MacCURTIN, Hugh. A Brief Discourse in Vindication of the Antiquity of Ireland. 141 Dublin: Printed by S. Powell, at the Sign of the Printing-Press in Copper-Alley, for the author, 1717. Quarto. pp. xvi, [including 4 page list of subscribers], 313, [1 (errata)]. With half title. Modern quarter calf on marbled boards, title in gilt on spine. Ex libris with neat stamp. Minor old ink stain to Errata. A very good copy. Rare.
The dedication signed: H. MacCurtin.
The author Hugh MacCurtin (Aodh Buí Mac Cruitin) was born in the parish of Kilmacrehy, County Clare c.1680. He received a general education as well as special instruction in Irish literature and history from his cousin Andrew MacCurtin whom he succeeded as ollamh to the O’Briens of Thomond. He went to Paris to complete his studies, where he was patronised by Lord Clare and Isabella O’Brien, wife of Sorley MacDonnell of Kilkee.
On his return to Dublin he was working with Swift on an Irish historiographical work, which did not appear. In the preface to this work he refuted some of the statements made by Sir Richard Cox, in his Hibernia Anglicana. This infuriated Cox who had him imprisoned in New Gate for one year. On his release he returned to Clare and wrote poems in honour of the O’Briens, and O’Loughlins of Burren. He left Ireland in 1727 to seek a publisher for his Elements of the Irish Language. Within a short time Mac Cruitín crossed into French Flanders, where he served from October 1728 to August 1729 as a private in the Régiment de Clare – a unit that contained many officers and men from his native county. In a song composed at Christmas 1728 (Is grinn an tsollamhain chím fén Nollaig seo) he looked forward to a successful invasion of Britain and the execution of George II. With the assistance of Fr. Morphy of the Franciscans, the Grammar was published in Louvain in 1728. Sometime after this he was invited to Paris by Conor Begley, where he assisted in the publication of the first English-Irish dictionary in 1732. He returned to Ireland and spent his final years as a schoolmaster in his native parish of Kilmacrehy and died there in 1755.” MacCURTIN, Hugh.
[L1BC 1A] “COPAC locates 6 copies only. WorldCat 2. ESTC T90338.