An tSaltair Óg

  • Irish
  • 1627 (?)
  • Irish manuscripts, Lost Irish manuscripts
  • paper

A manuscript, now lost, written by Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, possibly at Kildare in 1627 or 1628. It is believed to have contained a copy of the Psalter of Cashel (Saltair Chaisil), or what remained of it, from which it takes its name, an Saltair Óg ‘the Young Psalter’, sometimes explained as ‘the son of the Psalter’.

An tSaltair Óg
Provenance and related aspects
1627 (?)
Origin, provenance
Origin: Ireland
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Cell Dara
Cell Dara ... Kildare
County Kildare
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ass. with Mícheál Ó CléirighÓ Cléirigh (Mícheál)
(d. 1643)
O'Clery (Michael)
Irish scholar, historian and scribe.
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Later testimony (below) claims that Mícheál Ó Cléirigh wrote the MS in 1627/1628 and that he was at Kildare when he did. Ó Cléirigh himself or one of the Four Masters referred to it when he provided a source for an alternative version of the pedigree of St Mo Ninne: Mac na Saltrach móire .i. Saltrach Caissil an tSaltair Og sa (Ó Riain 1989: 129). At this time, the Psalter may no longer have been complete as John Colgan would later use the term fragmentum to describe it. Ó Riain argues that Ó Cléirigh may have made use of manuscripts other than the Psalter of Cashel: in the case of the genealogies of Irish saints, he may have drawn on the part of the Book of Leinster which would have been at Kildare around this time; this is suggested by readings in Mágaodh’s copy of the genealogies and the passages copied by Ó Catháin (see below).
Later provenance: ass. with John ColganColgan (John)
(d. 1658)
Mac Colgáin (Seán)
Irish Franciscan at St Anthony’s College, Louvain; scholar, theologian, editor and hagiographer.
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Ó Riain suggests that the Saltair Óg was probably known to John Colgan and that his description of the actual Psalter of Cashel was in part based on it. What happened to Ó Clérigh’s copy is unknown but after John Colgan died in 1658, it was not among Ó Cléirigh’s books known to have been found in Colgan’s cell.
Later provenance: ass. with Conchubhar MhágaodhMhágaodh (Conchubhar)
(s. xvii)
Irish scribe.
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There is a colophon by the (northern?) scribe Conchubhar Mhágaodh on f. 122v of Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 1304 (dated 1681), in which he claims to have used an tSaltair Óig mhic na seantshaltrach, echoing Ó Cléirigh’s description above, and that he drew on this leabhar Naomhseanchas naomh Éireann for his text of the genealogies of Irish saints. Mágaodh identified it as the work of an brathair bocht .i. Michél Ó Cléirigh and gave the date of writing as 1627 (cf. Ó Catháin below).
Later provenance: ass. with Seán Ó Catháin [scribe]Ó Catháin (Seán) ... scribe
(fl. 1720s)
O'Kane (John)
Irish scribe responsible for BL MS Egerton 184 and RIA MS 23 G 4.
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In Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 G 4 (dated 1722), the scribe Seán Ó Catháin refers to the same MS, gives its place of writing as Kildare and date of writing as 9 July 1628.
Hands, scribes
Hands indexed:
Lost. Mícheál Ó CléirighÓ Cléirigh (Mícheál)
(d. 1643)
O'Clery (Michael)
Irish scholar, historian and scribe.
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Copies or excerpts
Codicological information
State of existence


Secondary sources (select)

Ó Riain, Pádraig, “The Psalter of Cashel: a provisional list of contents”, Éigse 23 (1989): 107–130.
125–126, 129
Ó Riain, Pádraig [ed.], Corpus genealogiarum sanctorum Hiberniae, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1985.