(22) Such knights were honourable creations made by the Irish kings. We have an account of them in the psalter of Tarah, before the reigns of Conaire the Great, A. M. 3970, ante Christum 34; Cormac Ulfadda, A. D. 230; and the glorious Brien Boiromhe, A. D. 1027; the three greatest monarchs that ever Ireland had: Fitz∣gerald, the first knight of Glin, was so made by the im∣mortal Brien Boiroimhe, who fell in the bloody fight, A. D. 1239, that was sought by him with Maolmorda king of Lcimsier, who joined with the Danes. The king of Ireland and the king of Leinster slew each other; and with Brien Boiroimhe set the glory of Ireland. The states from this time began to decay; and Roderick o Connor, who came to the crown, A. D. 1108. was the last king of Ireland. Our Henry the Second, got the kingdom A. D. 1172, by two means; one of which was a grant the pope made of it to him; who was allowed by the natives to be supreme Lord of the island in temporals, and the nobility had by commission resigned it to him, after the death of Brien Boiroimhe.—The other mean, and what effectually did the work, was the king of Leinster's joining with Strangwell, who was at the head Page  289 of the English forces, and had married that king's daugh∣ter. An old chronicle says she was the most beautiful woman upon earth of her time, and very learned: but inferior nevertheless in beauty and learning to the six princesses we read of in the psalter of Tarah, who were fair beyond all mortals that ever lived, and wonderful in the extent of their knowledge; to wit,

  • The princess Mac Diarmuid.
  • The princess Mac Reagien.
  • The princess Mac Faolain.
  • The princess Mac Kennedy.
  • The princess O Heyn.
  • The princess O Flaherty.
These six were Druidesses, says the psalter of Tarah.

By the way, reader, let me tell you, that from this same psalter of Tarah, I writ out one of the finest and most improving love stories that ever I read. It is called the adventure of Teriagh Mac Shain and the beautiful Gara O Mulduin; which happened in the reign of Cor∣mac Ulfada, king of Ireland, in the year of salvation 213, that Faon Maccumhail, commonly called Fian Mac∣cul, the mighty champion, beat the Picts, and brought off among other prisoners, the beautiful Ciarnuit, (daughter to the king of the Picts) whom Cormac Ulfada took for his concubine. This story is likewise more shortly told in the red book of Mac Eogane, a very valuable old Irish ma∣nuscript: and from both those books I will give my rea∣der the best part of this adventure as soon as I can see a proper place to bring it in.

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