John O'Donovan

John O'Donovan

Electronic editions by CELT of Irish texts edited and translated by O'Donovan

The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters. Six volumes.

Bibliography of John O'Donovan


1809 July 9: born at his father's farm in Atatemore, Co. Kilkenny; educated in Dublin. 
1826: appointed to work in Irish Record Office. 
1829: worked in historical department of the Irish Ordnance Survey: examined manuscripts and toured Ireland. 
1832–1833: wrote many articles, on Irish topography and history, in the Dublin Penny Journal
1837: volume published by Ordnance Survey which contains a long Irish text and translation from the "Dinnsenchas" by O'Donovan. 
1840: married Mary Anne Broughton, with whom he had nine sons. By this marriage he became brother-in-law to Eugene O'Curry, another Celtic scholar. 
1840–1841: wrote articles for the Irish Penny Journal
1841: first volume of the Irish Archaeological Society published: The Circuit of Ireland by Muircheartach MacNeill edited by O'Donovan; this work contains the first good map of ancient Ireland. 
1842: The Banquet of Dun na nGedh and the Battle of Magh Rath published. 
1843: The Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many from the Book of Lecan published; prepared a text and translation of "Sanas Chormaic". 
1844: The Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach, from a manuscript of Duald MacFirbis, published again accompanied by a beautiful map; entered Gray's Inn, London on 15 April. 
1845: Grammar of the Irish Language published by Trinity College Dublin, the expense of printing shared by O'Donovan and TCD. 
1846: The Irish Charters in the Book of Kells published. The Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological Society published, which contains the Covenant between Mageoghegan and the Fox
1847: called to the Irish Bar; Celtic Society publishes his Leabhar na gCeart, from a manuscript of Giolla Iosa mor MacFirbis. 
1852: employed to transcribe legal manuscripts by the commission for the publication of the ancient laws of Ireland. 
1848–51: transcribed, translated and edited the six volumes of the Annals of the Four Masters, often called the "Fifth Master" for this work. The Irish type in which the text is printed was designed by George Petrie. 
1849: Celtic Society published his The Genealogy of Corca Laidhe, or O'Driscoll's Country. 
1850: conferred with honorary degree of LL.D. by University of Dublin (TCD). 
1852: employed by the commission for the publication of the ancient laws of Ireland; made transcripts of legal manuscripts in Irish which fill over 2,000 pages and a preliminary translation of these in twelve volumes. 
1856: Journal of the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society (n.s.) published Letter of Florence Mac Carthy to the Earl of Thomond, on the ancient history of Ireland, edited with Notes. 
1860: Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society (IACS) published his Three Fragments of Irish Annals, with Translation and Notes. 
1861 December 9: died in Dublin and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery. 
1862: IACS published his Topographical Poems of O'Dubhagain and O'Huidhrin
1864: IACS published his Martyrology of Donegal, edited by Bishop William Reeves. 

Dictionary of National Biography 
Patricia Boyne John O'Donovan (1806–1861): a biography (Kilkenny: Boethius 1987)



Select Bibliography of John O'Donovan

by Donnchadh Ó Corráin



Select Bibliography

  1. (ed. & tr.), `The circuit of Muircheartach mac Neill', in Tracts relating to Ireland i (Dublin 1841)
  2. `Origin and meaning of Irish family names', Ir Penny J 1 no 41 (Apr 10 1841) 326-28; 42 (Apr 17) 330-32; 46 (May 15) 365-66; 48 (May 29) 381-84; 50 (June 12) 396-98; 51 (June 19) 405-07; 52 (June 26) 413-15.
  3. (ed. & tr.), The banquet of Dun na nGedh and the Battle of Magh Rath (Dublin 1842)
  4. (ed. & tr.), The tribes and customs of Hy Many (Dublin 1843)
  5. (ed. & tr.), The genealogies, tribes and customs of Hy Fiachrach (Dublin 1844)
  6. A grammar of the Irish language (Dublin 1845)
  7. `An ancient poem attributed to St Columbkille' Miscellany of the Irish Archæological Society (Dublin 1846) 1-15
  8. `Autograph letter of Thady O'Roddy', Miscellany of the Irish Archæological Society (Dublin 1846) 112-25
  9. `The Irish charters in the Book of Kells', Miscellany of the Irish Archæological Society (Dublin 1846) 127-57
  10. `Covenant between Mageoghagan and the Fox, with brief historical notes on the two families', Miscellany of the Irish Archæological Society (Dublin 1846) 179-97
  11. `The Annals of Ireland from the year 1443 to 1468 translated from the Irish by Dudley Firbisse', Miscellany of the Irish Archæological Society (Dublin 1846) 198-
  12. (ed. & tr.), Leabhar na gCeart or the Book of Rights (Dublin 1847)
  13. (ed), Miscellany of the Celtic Society (Dublin 1849)
  14. (ed. & tr.), The tribes and territory of ancient Ossory (Dublin 1851)
  15. `Inauguration of Cathal Crobhdhearg, king of Connaught', J Kilkenny Archaeol Soc 2 (1853) 335
  16. `Letter of Florence MacCarthy to the earl of Thomond on the ancient history of Ireland', J Kilkenny Archaeol Soc ns 1 (1856) 203-229
  17. `On the elegy of Erard MacCoise, chief chronicler of the Gaels over the tomb of Fergal O'Ruairc, chief of Brefny at Clonmacnoise', J Kilkenny Archaeol Soc ns 1 (1857) 341-56
  18. `The registry of Clonmacnoise', J Kilkenny Archaeol Soc ns 1 (1857) 444-60
  19. `Original letters in the Irish and Latin languages by Shane O'Neill' and `Proclamation of Hugh's treason against Elizabeth', Ulster J Archaeol ser 1 5 (1857) 259-73
  20. `Extract from the journal of Thomas Dineley, Esq., giving some account of his visits to Ireland in the reign of Charles II', J Kilkenny Archaeol Soc ns 2 (1858) 22-32
  21. `Military proclamation in the Irish language issued by Hugh O'Neill of Tyrone in 1601', Ulster J Archaeol ser1 6 (1858) 57
  22. `Errors of Edmund Spenser on Irish surnames', Ulster J Archaeol ser1 6 (1858) 135
  23. `Irish correspondence of James FitzMaurice of Desmond', J Kilkenny Archaeol Soc ns 2 (1859) 354-69
  24. Annals of Ireland: three fragments (Dublin 1860)
  25. `The Fomorians and Lochlans pedigrees of MacCabe of Ireland and MacLeod of Scotland', Ulster J Archaeol ser1 9 (1861) 94
  26. (tr) & Todd, James Henthorn Todd & Reeves, William (ed), The martyrology of Donegal (Dublin 1864)
  27. The topographical poems of O'Dubhagain and O'Huidrin (Dublin 1862)
  28. Letters by John O'Donovan preserved in the Ordnance Survey, Phoenix Parks [now in National Archives] together with autobiographical notes [unpublished, 9pp]

Biographical Notices of John O'Donovan

  1. anon, `The late John O'Donovan', Dublin University Magazine 59 (Jan 1862) 85-88.
  2. anon, `Short life of the late John O'Donovan', Duffy's Hibernian Magazine 1/1 (January 1862) 106-14.
  3. anon, Life and labours of John O'Donovan LLD, reprinted as a pamphlet from Dublin Review 51 (May 1862) 359-78 (London 1862).
  4. anon, Obituary of John O'Donovan, J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 7 (1862-63) 3.
  5. Patrick Boyle, `John O'Donovan at Oxford', Ir Ecclesiast Rec 32 (1912) 113-17.
  6. Patricia Boyne, John O'Donovan (1806-1861): a biography (Kilkenny: Boethius 1987).
  7. William Carrigan, `Entries relating to John O'Donovan and his immediate relatives from the registers of the formerly united parishes of Slieverue and Glenmore, County Kilkenny', J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 45 (1915) 167-69.
  8. Arthur P. Cleary, Queen's Colleges in Ireland (Dublin 1862).
  9. T. J. Clohosey, `John O'Donovan', Old Kilkenny Rev 14 (1962) 5-15.
  10. Helena Concannon, `John O'Donovan and the Annals of the Four Masters', Studies [Dublin] 37 (1948) 300-07.
  11. [Bráthair Críostamhail], Síoladóirí, i. Eoghan Ó Comhraidhe agus Seán Ó Donnabháin (Dublin 1947).
  12. Henry Dixon, `John O'Donovan', An Leabharlann 2/1 (1906) 1-39.
  13. Henry Dixon & Donal O'Connor (ed), `Letters written by John O'Donovan containing information relative to antiquities of the county of Down during the progress of the Ordnance Survey in 1834', An Leabharlann 3/1 (1909), supplement.
  14. Lady Mary Ferguson, Life of the Right Rev. William Reeves (Dublin 1893).
  15. Lady Mary Ferguson, Sir Samuel Ferguson in the Ireland of his day (London & Edinburgh 1896).
  16. Thomas Flannery, `John O'Donovan', Denvir's Monthly Irish Library 12 (Dec. 1902) 1-24.
  17. Sir John Gilbert, `Ancient Irish historical manuscripts', Dublin Review 100 (1861).
  18. Brendan Jennings, The Four Masters: Michael O Cleirigh and his associates (Dublin 1936).
  19. Eugene O'Curry, Statement of O'Curry on the translation of the ancient laws of Ireland, J National Lit Soc Ire 1/3 (1902) 147-59.
  20. John O'Donovan, Copy of a letter written by John O'Donovan to Dr J. H. Todd giving an account of his early life, J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 16 (1883-84) 347-49.
  21. John O'Donovan, Sixteen letters from John O'Donovan to J. W. Hanna, written from 1846 t0 1857, An Leabharlann 2/2 (March 1907) 140-83.
  22. E. de hÓir, Seán Ó Donnabháin agus Eoghan Ó Comhraí (Dublin 1962).
  23. Colm Ó Lochlainn, `John O'Donovan and the Four Masters' [reprint of the prospectus of O'Donovan's original edition, with a note], Irish Book Lover 29 (May 1943) 4-8.
  24. Colm Ó Lochlainn, `John O'Donovan and Colonel Larcom', Irish Book Lover 39 (Nov. 1945) 122-24.
  25. W. A. Seymour (ed), A history of the Ordnance Survey (Kent 1980).
  26. Michael Tierney, `Eugene O'Curry and the Irish tradition', Studies [Dublin] 51 (1962) 449-62.
  27. R. de Valera, `Seán Ó Donnabháin agus lucht a chúnta', J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 79 (1949) 146-59.

Bibliography created by Prof. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Department of History, University College Cork.
Rendered into HTML by Margaret Lantry, UCC.


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