Richard Sharpe1
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  • 1 Wadham College, Oxford
The Duke of Sussex‘s Irish Manuscript (Rylands Irish MS 22)
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Rylands Irish MS 22 is a copy of Geoffrey Keatings Trí Biorghaoithe an Bháis (1631), made by the well-known scribe Risteard Tuibear in 1710, a professionally made vernacular book, making available for circulation a widely read devotional text. In the last two pages the scribe permitted an apprentice to copy, and as a result he had to write the ending a second time more correctly. Like several other books made by Tuibear, it belonged to Muiris Ó Gormáin in Dublin in the later eighteenth century and is found in his book lists from 1761 and 1772. Inside the front is the book-plate of the Duke of Sussex, and the catalogue of his library from 1827 shows that this is a book given to him by Sir William Betham a year earlier. When the Duke‘s library was auctioned, this was sold to a London dealer, reappearing in sales between 1866 and 1869. It was bought by the Earl of Crawford and came with all his manuscripts into the Rylands Library, where for its origin and history it stands out from a collection of books largely made for or by Denis Kelly, of Castle Kelly, in the mid-nineteenth century.

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