The intrinsic interest of this humorous narrative of the holiday excursion of a knot of English officers in Ulster in the last days of Elizabeth's reign derives an extrinsic attraction from the fact that its author was a brother of the famous founder of the Bodleian Library. Sir Josias Bodley was the youngest of Sir Thomas Bodley's four brothers. Not much is known of his early life, but Anthony Wood's statement that he spent some time at Merton College, Oxford, is confirmed by the evidence of classical reading which the narrative of his Irish tour affords. After serving some years in the Netherlands, Bodley came to Ireland in 1598, and seems to have spent his remaining years in that country. His earliest experience of the country was gained in the war with Tyrone. He served under Essex and Mountjoy, and is frequently mentioned by Fynes Moryson in his account of the Irish wars as holding considerable commands in various parts of Ireland. In March 1604 he was knighted by Mountjoy. After the pacification of Ireland he was appointed to superintend the Castles of Ireland. In 1609 Bodley was selected to survey the Ulster Plantation, and in recognition of this work received the appointment of director-general of the fortifications of Ireland, a post which he held until his death. Bodley, who died August 19, 1617, was buried at Christ Church, Dublin, August 26, 1617 (Finlayson's Monumental Inscriptions in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, p. 72). Transcripts of the Descriptio Itineris ad Lecaliam in Ultonia are among the manuscripts at the British Museum (Add. MS. 4784, f. 87) and at the Bodleian Library (Tanner MS. 444). The transcript from which the version here printed is translated was copied by Bishop Reeves from that at the British
p.327Museum, and is in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (MS. No. 734). This translation is also by Bishop Reeves, by whom it was published in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology for 1854 (vol. ii. pp. 73-99). Comparison with the manuscript in the Bodleian, and with a further copy formerly in the Phillipps collection which has recently been acquired by the University of Dublin, shows the British Museum version from which Dr. Reeves took his transcript to be less accurate than the others.