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Ussher correspondence published - 20/03/2015

It is with great pleasure that the Irish Manuscripts Commission announces the publication of Dr ELizabethanne Boran's edition of The correspondence of James Ussher, 1600-1656.

Ussher’s correspondence reflects his political and ecclesiastical role as the head of the church in Ireland at a crucial time when it was forging its identity as a separate enclave from the Church of England. The scholarly network revealed by his correspondence illustrates his pivotal role in Irish, British and European intellectual life.

His contemporaries recognised the importance of his work and Roman Catholic writers such as David Rothe, bishop of Ossory, and William Malone, the noted Jesuit controversialist, were as anxious as his colleagues in Trinity College to avail themselves of his renowned historical research, not to mention the extensive library he amassed as archbishop of Armagh. In Britain he corresponded with the leading scholars of his day including historians such as William Camden, Sir Robert Cotton, and John Selden, celebrated mathematicians and scientists such as Thomas Lydiat and John Bainbridge and the radical educational and ecclesiastical reformers John Dury and Samuel Hartlib.

This edition brings together 680 letters covering the period 1600–1656 and includes translations of all Latin, Hebrew and Arabic texts. Indexes of persons, places, subjects and published works combine references across all three volumes.

You can read what historians are saying about this edition and purchase it here.


Definitive edition of the correspondence of James Ussher - 20/01/2015

Pictured right is the editor of the forthcoming edition The correspondence of James Ussher, 1600-1656, Dr Elizabethanne Boran, making the final checks on her page proofs before this edition goes to press.

Printed in three volumes this edition brings together the correspondence of one of the most influential intellectuals of early modern Europe over a 50 year period. The range of his achievements was extraordinary—spanning the Bible, theology, patristics, Irish history, ancient history, ancient languages, chronology, and the calendar. He maintained an interest in oriental languages and manuscripts throughout his life and purchased eastern materials via agents in Aleppo and elsewhere. This edition will be available for purchase in early March 2015.


Latest Calendar of State Papers, Ireland volume - 15/01/2015
The latest volume in the Calendar of State Paper, Ireland, New Series, has just been published. Covering the period from 1547 to 1553, this volume calendars material in the National Archives in London relating to policy towards Ireland and its governance in the mid-Tudor period when Edward VI was king. The state papers reveal how the institutions of central government were extended into the provinces as well as details about life in the towns and communities of Ireland. More details and a preview are available here. Other calendars in this series covering the reign of Elizabeth I from 1566-1567 and 1568-1571 are also available to purchase.


Coming shortly, edition of 16th century Irish campaign journals - 09/01/2015
The Irish Manuscripts Commission is delighted to announce the imminent publication of David Edwards' edition of 19 campaign journals dating from 1557 to 1599. This edition reproduces from various journals and diaries details of crown military operations in Tudor Ireland. Covering much of Ireland from Rathlin Island to Munster, the journals kept by commanding officers in the field regularly include unusual details of contemporary life in addition to their strictly military content, such as observations of English fishing boats off the north Mayo coast, or notes about unusual stillborn babies in Wicklow, or the overwrought state of some commanders in Desmond territory. By any measure, these journals are of importance in the history of the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland recording as they do the royal expeditions into central and north-east Ulster against Shane O’Neill and the Antrim MacDonnells with which Elizabeth I’s reign commenced; the Munster operations against James FitzMaurice and the earl of Desmond that occupied successive administrations during the middle years of the queen’s reign; the conflict in Connacht with the Clanricarde and Mayo Burkes that followed; and, lastly, the numerous ‘hostings’ and ‘journeys’ undertaken to combat the turmoil sparked by Tyrone’s rebellion and Spanish invasion plans in the final years of the reign.

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