St. Mary's Abbey manuscript. IE TCD MS 11500 Public Deposited

St. Mary's Abbey manuscript. IE TCD MS 11500

Alternative title
  • Historical compilation (early 15th century) from St. Mary’s Cistercian Abbey, Dublin
Shelf Mark/Reference Number
  • IE TCD MS 11500
Rights statement
  • Copyright The Board of Trinity College Dublin. Images are available for single-use academic application only. Publication, transmission or display is prohibited without formal written approval of the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Copyright status
Date Created
  • circa 1400-1425
  • IE TCD MS 11500, in Latin, English, and Anglo-Norman French, is a highly significant early 15th-century manuscript produced at St. Mary’s Cistercian Abbey in Dublin. Founded in 1139 from the community at Savigny in northern France, St. Mary's Abbey seems to have followed its mother house in merging with the Cistercian order in 1147. It became the wealthiest monastic house in medieval Ireland; its chapter house (c.1200) still stands on Meetinghouse Lane. The Irish parliament met commonly at St. Mary's, as it had no permanent building in the city. It seems significant in that context that the manuscript contains a constitutional element in the form of an early version of the Ordinances of 1311, regulations which sought to restrict the power of King Edward II.In June 1304 a serious fire destroyed a large part of the city, and much of S.t Mary's, along with many rolls and documents of the Irish chancery stored there. It was probably this event which led to the compilation of the manuscript, by several scribes, as the community set about making good the losses it had suffered. The monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in the sixteenth century.
  • Two separate sets of medieval ex libris indicate the ownership of the book by the monks of St. Mary's Cistercian Abbey in Dublin. The list of owners, subsequent to the dissolution of the monastery, is as follows: Redmond O'Gallagher [Réamonn Ó Gallchobhair], bishop of Killala (1545-69; d.1601); Edward Buggyn (possibly he who d.1590); Patrick Dowdall (fl. sixteenth century) possibly from Co. Louth; James Ley, first earl of Marlborough (c.1552-1629; his coat of arms is stamped on the front cover); Lewis Morris (1701-65) Welsh scholar and poet; Rev. Treadway Nash (1725-1811) of Bevere, near Worcester; John Somers Cocks, first earl Somers (1660-1841) in whose family it remained until 2014, when it was purchased by the Library of Trinity College Dublin, with support.
Resource type
  • pigment
  • ink
  • parchment (animal material)
  • Irish
Digital Object Id
  • MS11500_001
  • 0125448