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1910 New Catholic Dictionary

Annals of the Four Masters

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Sometimes called the Annals of Donegal, the most extensive and the earliest authentic records of Irish history, traditionally begun c.A.M. 2242 (1762 B.C.), and compiled (January 22, 1632 to August 10, 1636), at the instance of Father John Colgan (died c.1657),the hagiographer and historian, mainly by Michael O'Clery, afterward a Franciscan monk. They continue down to 1616, but of the original compilation, the present name of which was conferred by Father Colgan, scarcely one volume remains. Michael O'Clery and his three assistants, Peregrine O'Clery, Farfassa O'Mulconry, and Peregrine O'Duignan, are the "Four Masters." The Annals contain the reigns, deaths, genealogies, etc., not only of high-kings, but of provincial kings, chiefs, dignitaries, ecclesiastics, and others, with some account of battles, murders, and wars. They have been published in three editions, the principal one, in seven quarto volumes, being that of John O'Donovan, both in Irish and English, "Annala Rioghachta Eireann" (Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland), Dublin, 1851.

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Entry for 'Annals of the Four Masters'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. 1910.

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