BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER IN IRISH Leabhar na Nornaightheadh Ccomhchoitchionn, agus Mhiniostralachda na Saceaimeinteadh, agus Resadh agus Dhearghnath na Heaglaise, do reir usaide Eaglaise na Sacsan; Maille ris an Tsaltair no Psalmuibh Dhaibhidh. In Irish and English.
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FIRST EDITION WITH PARALLEL ENGLISH TEXT
London: Eleanor Everingham, at the Seven-Stars in Ave-Mary-Lane, near Ludgate, 1712. Crown octavo. First Irish edition, with parallel English text. Woodcut of royal arms. Bound in modern antique style panelled calf, title in gilt on maroon morocco label on
spine. Occasional light toning. A very good copy.
ESTC T148983. Darlow and Moule 5536. Lynam no. 6.
This edition of ‘Leabhar na Nornaightheadh Ccomchoitchionn’ was translated by John Richardson
(1664-1747), the son of Sir Edward Richardson, from Armagh, (see Griffiths’ ‘The Bibliography of the
Book of Common Prayer 1549-1999’). Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he graduated B.A. in 1688.
After ordination he was appointed in 1693 to the rectory of Annagh, a parish in County Cavan, which
included the town of Belturbet. He was single-mindedly determined to convert the Irish Roman
Catholics by means of the Bible and liturgy in the native language: “And as our happy Constitution
stands, both in Church and State, we are ... oblidged to publish the ‘Common-Prayer-Book’ in Irish,
that the Ordninances of Religion may be administered to them in a known Tongue.”
Richardson advocated the ordination of Irish-speaking ministers, the distribution of Irish Bibles,
common prayer books, and catechisms, and the establishment of charity schools. He was grant-aided
by the new Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in his project of printing with the provisio for
distribution in Scotland also. The main body of the text was printed in Moxon’s Irish type. He incurred
huge money losses in his printing operation, and although recommended more than once for a benefice
he received only the small deanery of Kilmacduagh.
The Book of Common Prayer was first translated into Irish Gaelic in 1608,
In English and Irish printed in parallel columns except for preliminary acts and preface which are in
Irish only and are printed in roman type; Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, and the Psalter and all
following up to the Thirty-nine Articles in Irish only and printed in Irish characters.
Irish text printed in Joseph Moxon’s Irish type cut in 1680, according to T.B. Reed the only Irish fount
in England until 1800; Robert Everingham had used this type for the second edition of William
Daniel’s Irish translation of the New Testament in 1681.
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