ON THIS DAY: 10 AUGUST 1636 : Annals of the Four Masters

The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Irish: Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na gCeithre Máistrí) are chronicles of medieval Irish history.

They were a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636 at a Franciscan friary near the Drowes river in Co. Leitrim. The patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, M.P., a Gaelic lord in Coolavin, Sligo.

The chief compiler of the annals was Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh from Ballyshannon, who was assisted by, among others, Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Cú Choigríche Ó Duibhgeannáin. Although only one of the authors, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, was a Franciscan friar, they became known as ‘The Four Friars’ or in the original Irish, Na Ceithre Máistrí.

The annals are written in Irish. The several manuscript copies are held at Trinity College Dublin, the Royal Irish Academy, University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland.

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