Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1282 Annals of Ulster and pre-Palladian annals

  • Irish, Latin
  • s. xvi
  • Irish manuscripts
  • vellum
A manuscript of the Annals of Ulster (AD 431-1489) in the hand of Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín as well as a pre-Palladian set of annals, the first part of which is lost.
H 1. 8
Cat. no. 1282
Irish annals
Provenance and related aspects
Irish, Latin
s. xvi
16th century
Hands, scribes
Hands indexed:
Main hand (AU) The main hand of the Annals of Ulster (f. 16r ff), identified as Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, who worked for Cathal Mac Maghnusa. Ruaidhrí Ó LuinínÓ Luinín (Ruaidhrí)
(fl. 16th century)
O'Luinin (Rory)
Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, Irish scribe
See more
H1 (AU) The hand designated H1 is responsible for the first set of additions to AU. Unidentified.
H2 (AU) H2, responsible for another set of additions. The hand was once identified as that of Ó Luinín's patron Cathal Mac Maghnusa, but Mc Carthy has argued that it is Ruaidhri Ó Caiside. Ruaidhrí Ó Caiside [archdeacon of Clogher]Ó Caiside (Ruaidhrí) ... archdeacon of Clogher
(ob. 1541)
Archdeacon of Clogher, known for his scribal work in manuscripts of the Annals of Ulster.
See more
Hand (pre-Palladian annals) The hand responsible for writing ff. 1-15 is similar to Ó Luinín and was identified as his by Daniel Mc Carthy. Nicholas Evans, however, has given a number of palaeographical arguments for treating the hand as distinct. If so, it remains uncertain if the manuscript should be considered a composite consisting of two originally independent works or if the scribes had worked together to produce a single manuscript. Ruaidhrí Ó LuinínÓ Luinín (Ruaidhrí)
(fl. 16th century)
O'Luinin (Rory)
Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, Irish scribe
See more
Hand of the elegy A distinct hand seems to have supplied the poem on f. 15v. The poem is an elegy for Cathal's son Féidhlim Mac Maghnusa so that both the poem and the hand that wrote it are datable in or after 1487. Note that the Annals of Ulster come to a close in 1489 and contain Féidhlim's obit on f. 128v.
Codicological information
31.8 cm × 23.4 cm
Table of contents

Links to texts use a standardised title for the catalogue and so may or may not reflect what is in the manuscript itself, hence the square brackets. Their appearance comes in three basic varieties, which are signalled through colour coding and the use of icons, , and :

  1. - If a catalogue entry is both available and accessible, a direct link will be made. Such links are blue-ish green and marked by a bookmark icon.
  2. - When a catalogue entry does not exist yet, a desert brown link with a different icon will take you to a page on which relevant information is aggregated, such as relevant publications and other manuscript witnesses if available.
  3. - When a text has been ‘captured’, that is, a catalogue entry exists but is still awaiting publication, the same behaviour applies and a crossed eye icon is added.

The above method of differentiating between links has not been applied yet to texts or citations from texts which are included in the context of other texts, commonly verses.


While it is not a reality yet, CODECS seeks consistency in formatting references to locations of texts and other items of interest in manuscripts. Our preferences may be best explained with some examples:

  • f. 23ra.34: meaning folio 23 recto, first column, line 34
  • f. 96vb.m: meaning folio 96, verso, second column, middle of the page (s = top, m = middle, i = bottom)
    • Note that marg. = marginalia, while m = middle.
  • p. 67b.23: meaning page 67, second column, line 23
The list below has been collated from the table of contents, if available on this page,Progress in this area is being made piecemeal. Full and partial tables of contents are available for a small number of manuscripts. and incoming annotations for individual texts (again, if available).Whenever catalogue entries about texts are annotated with information about particular manuscript witnesses, these manuscripts can be queried for the texts that are linked to them.


Primary sources This section typically includes references to diplomatic editions, facsimiles and photographic reproductions, notably digital image archives, of at least a major portion of the manuscript. For editions of individual texts, see their separate entries.

[dig. img.] Digital resources and imaging services, Trinity College Library Dublin, Online: Trinity College Dublin, 2009–present. URL: <>.
Digital images direct link
[ed.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “The Dublin fragment of Tigernach’s annals”, Revue Celtique 18 (1897): 374–391.  
comments: These annals are not part of the Annals of Tigernach, edited in [[Stokes 1897f |this volume]] of RC and elsewhere.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – Stokes' editions of the Annals of Tigernach assembled: <link>
Fragment at folios 12r–14v

Secondary sources (select)

Mc Carthy, Daniel, “Ruaidhrí Ó Caiside’s contribution to the Annals of Ulster”, in: Seán Duffy (ed.), Princes, prelates and poets in medieval Ireland: essays in honour of Katharine Simms, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013. 444–459.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “TCD MS 1282 (the Annals of Ulster): a scholar’s book and exemplar”, in: W. E. Vaughan (ed.), The Old Library: Trinity College Dublin, 1712–2012, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012. 33–39.
Evans, Nicholas, The present and the past in medieval Irish chronicles, Studies in Celtic History, 27, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2010.  
Ireland has the most substantial corpus of annalistic chronicles for the early period in western Europe. They are crucial sources for understanding the Gaelic world of Ireland and Scotland, and offer insights into contacts with the wider Christian world. However, there is still a high degree of uncertainty about their development, production, and location prior to 1100, which makes it difficult to draw sound conclusions from them. This book analyses the principal Irish chronicles, especially the Annals of Ulster, Annals of Tigernach, and the Chronicum Scotorum, identifying their inter-relationships, the main changes to the texts, and the centres where they were written in the tenth and eleventh centuries - a significant but neglected period. The detailed study enables the author to argue that the chroniclers were in contact with each other, exchanging written notices of events, and that therefore the chronicle texts reflect the social connections of the Irish ecclesiastical and secular elites. The author also considers how the sections describing the early Christian period (approximately 431 to 730 AD) were altered by subsequent chroniclers; by focussing on the inclusion of material on Mediterranean events as well as on Gaelic kings, and by comparing the chronicles with other contemporary texts, he reconstructs the chronicles' contents and chronology at different times, showing how the accounts were altered to reflect and promote certain views of history. Thus, while enabling readers to evaluate the sources more effectively, he also demonstrates that the chronicles were sophisticated and significant documents in themselves, reflecting different facets of contemporary medieval society and their shifting attitudes to creating and changing accounts of the past.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The original compilation of the Annals of Ulster”, Studia Celtica 38 (2004): 69–96.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The chronological apparatus of the Annals of Ulster AD 82–1019”, Peritia 16 (2002): 256–283.  
The view of Mac Airt and Mac Niocaill in their 1983 edition of AU that the annals of f 12–14 of TCD 1282 are indeed part of the Annals of Ulster has recently been vindicated. Analysis of the chronological apparatus of f 12–14 reveals that their author was responsible for the introduction of Dionysiac epacts and continuous Anno Domini into the Irish annals. He accomplished this by an extraordinary series of interpolations into the pre-Palladian section of the Iona Chronicle that he used as source, demonstrating both his computistical skill and profound indifference to historical chronology. By AD 431 his apparatus was accurately synchronised with all the Dionysiac chronological criteria, and he continued with it, re-ordering many events through the fifth and sixth centuries. In the seventh century he omitted a single kalend, which put all his subsequent apparatus in arrears by one year. Collation of AU with the other annals indicates that his compilation continued to c.1019 and was completed shortly after 1022. This compilation is identified with AU’s ‘Liber Cuanach’, and Cuan hua Lothcháin (†1024) is proposed as the author.
Fletcher, Alan J., Drama and the performing arts in pre-Cromwellian Ireland: a repertory of sources and documents from the earliest times until c. 1642, Cambridge: Brewer, 2001.
Gwynn, Aubrey, “Cathal Mac Maghnusa and the Annals of Ulster (continued)”, Clogher Record 2:3 (1959): 370–384.
Gwynn, Aubrey, “Cathal Mac Maghnusa and the Annals of Ulster [first part]”, Clogher Record 2:2 (1958): 230–243.
Abbott, T. K., and E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of the Irish manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co, 1921.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2011, last updated: August 2023