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DUBLIN, 1st September, 1879. 


Having been requested by the Com- 
missioners for publishing the Ancient Laws and 
Institutions of Ireland to edit such of the Brehon 
Law Tracts translated by the late Dr. O'Donovan 
or Mr. O'Curry as might be most suitable for pub- 
lication, the Eev. Dr. T. O'Mahony and myself 
proceeded to prepare for the press the text and 
translation of the several Brehon Law Tracts con- 
tained in this volume. 

The Rev. Dr. T. O'Mahony, in consequence of ill- 
health, was unfortunately obliged to retire from 
all connexion with the editing of this volume 
before he had finally revised the entire Irish text. 
I am much indebted to the kindness of Mr. W. M. 
Hennessy, who corrected for the press that portion 
of the original text which had not been finally revised 
by the Rev. Dr. T. O'Mahony. 

The notes appended to the text, except mere re- 
ferences, were selected by the Rev. Dr. T. O'Mahony 
from those appended to the manuscripts of the origi- 
nal translators. 

For the Introduction I am exclusively responsible. 

The Index and Synopsis have been prepared by 
Mr. P. Bagenal. 

I am, my Lord, 
Your Lordship's obedient servant, 


The Right Rev. 

The Lord Bishop of LIMERICK, 

Secretary to the Commission for Publishing the 
Ancient Laws aud Institutions of Ireland. 

a 2 


IxTHonrmoN : 

Part I. General observations as to the translation, vii 
II. Of the Tract entitled " Of taking posses- 
sion," ... xiii 
TIL Of the " Fine " and the " Gulnne " system, xlix 
H IV. Of the Incidence of Fines, xciv 
>t V. Of the Succession to Land, c "i 
VI. Of the Tract entitled " Judgments concern- 
ing Co-tenancy," . cxlx 
VII. Of the Tract entitled " Bee Judgments," . cxli 
VIII. Of the Tract entitled " Right of Water," . clvi 
IX. Of the Tract entitled " Precincts," . clxiv 
X. Of the Tract entitled " Divisions of Land," clxx 
XI. Of the Tract entitled the " Crith Gabhlach," clxxi v 
XII. Of the Tract known as " The Sequel to the 

Crith Gabhlach," . . . ccviii 

XIII. Of the Tract known as " Of Succession," 

and concluding observations, . ccxxiii 

Synoptical Contents of Introduction, . ccxxxi 

I. -O 1tl ceccugcro ; or " Of taking lawful possession," . 
II. bjxecrcha comaithcefa atrofo ; or " Judgments of 

Co-tenancy," . . . .67 

III. bech biierha ; or " Bee Judgments," 
IV. Coibmur uirci 5 or " Right of Water," . 205 

V. TTlaigne ; or " Precincts," . --"' 

VI. "Do brveiceaiiinuf, >tc. ; or " Of the Judgment of 

Every Crime," &c., 
VII. Te-o an peafiariTi a cniraib ; or "The Land is 

forfeited for Crimes," . .263 

VIII. oT>la ii\e ; or " Divisions of Land," . 275 

IX. T)e ^o-Dlmb cnieoit cumci ; or " Of the Divisions 

of the Tribe of a Territory," . . .281 

X. Cj\ih SabTac, the Crith Gabhlach, . 297 

XI. Do. do., the Sequel to the Crith Gabhlach, 343 

XII. The unnamed Tract entitled " Of Succession," . 371 

General Index of the Text, . . . 



THE Brehon Law Tracts contained in this volume have been 
selected by the Editors as specially illustrating the land- 
laws of the early Irish, and the constitution of the Celtic 
family and tribe. . . 

Upon the former of these subjects it is not to be ant* 
pated that we should find in any work, composed by a 
lawyer of the Brehon school, a series of definite rule; 
systematically arranged ; or even an attempt to lay down 
the general principles upon which, in any class of cases, the 
jud^e or arbitrator proceeded. The idea of law in its 
technical sense was wholly foreign to the ancient lawyers. 
They dealt not with laws, but customs ; which, of unknown 
origin, handed down from remote antiquity, often obscure, 
and frequently misconceived, influenced the public opinion 
of each tribal community as to what it was right should be 
done in each particular case. The Brehons were gradually 
approaching the idea of general legal propositions by an 
induction from numerous and distinct cases which had 1 
decided in accordance with pre-existing customs. 

This mode of dealing with legal questions has been largely 
illustrated in the preceding volumes ; assuming an individual 
case to have resulted in a concrete decision, they vary to a 
certain extent the constituent facts of the case by adding 
some, or striking out others, and speculate as to the variation 
in the decision which should have followed such an altera- 
tion in the facts. This mode of dealing with legal questions 
naturally fell in with the idea that all legal rights should be 
treated from a negative point of view, that is, considered 
not with the object of being enforced, but rather of being 
compensated for when infringed, the amount of such com- 


pcnsation being assessed in fixed ratios with reference to 
the varying circumstances of each case. 

To record the existing customs of their tribe was not an 
easy task for the ancient lawyers, for it involved the 
necessity of reducing the indefinite general opinion of the 
tribe into a series of abstract propositions by a wide induc- 
tion from particular cases. The most indefinite custom 
cannot exist, or be transmitted, without being reduced to 
some form which is capable of oral transmission, and in 
every uncivilized community certain ancient rules, dealing 
indifferently with moral and legal matters, are handed down 
from father to son, and remain the exclusive possession of 
the elders of the tribe and the sages of the law. Such 
ancient rules, when preserved, rarely afford any distinct or 
reliable information ; they are intended to serve as catch- 
words or suggestions to assist the memory to recall what 
had been previously orally communicated ; generally in a 
rythmical form, always in language condensed and antiquated, 
they assume the character of abrupt and sententious proverbs, 
the drift of which cannot be more than vaguely guessed at. 
Collections of such sayings are to be found scattered 
throughout the Brehon Law Tracts, and in them, if any- 
where, are to bo found whatever abstract legal propositions 
the Brehons possessed ; it is to be regretted, although it may 
be naturally anticipated, that but little clear and definite 
information can be extracted from these passages. If we 
were certain that they were preserved in their original form, 
and had no doubt of the accuracy of the translation, yet 
the actual meaning and practical application of these brief 
and oracular utterances would be to a great extent a matter of 
mere speculation ; such, however, is far from being the case, 
and the modern critic approaches the consideration of thorn 
under great, if not almost insuperable, difficulties. The 
first inquiry naturally is, whether we possess an authentic 
Archaic text ; upon this preliminary and cardinal question it 
is impossible not to feel most serious misgivings ; however 
ancient any particular rule, or rather apophthegm, may be, 
the grammatical form of the language in which it is 


expressed cannot claim very high antiquity ; it is manifestly 
much later than the Irish of the glosses ; the words have 
lost their inflexions, but the sentences have not assumed a 
logical construction, and their present form very much 
resembles a Latin inscription in which the inflexional 
terminations of the nouns and verbs have been erased. 
Both the text and matter of popular literature orally trans- 
mitted undergo a constant assimilation to the language and 
ideas of the day ; but many examples prove that ancient 
formulae handed down as the exclusive possession of a 
comparative^ small number may at length become unin- 
telligible even to their exclusive custodians ; the Salian hymn 
of Numa and the litanies of the Arval brothers were repeated 
long after their direct meaning was lost. Although it cannot 
be contended that the text of the Brehon law had become 
as absolutely antiquated as the formulae last alluded to, it is 
evident that the commentators felt that they were dealing 
with an uncertain and difficult text; the numerous and 
often conflicting glosses, and the commentary, sufficiently 
prove this. The original text may perhaps have been as much, 
and as little, understood by the Brehon of the IGth century 
as the original text of the laws of the Decemviri by the 
Roman of the 1st century. 

An ancient legal text is further very much embarrassed by 
the necessary use of purely technical terms, which can have no 
life or meaning apartfrom the societj' in which they originated, 
and which when once lost can never be recovered. The ex- 
tensive reforms effected during the present century in the Eng- 
lish Real Property Law have already rendered obsolete a large 
proportion of the terms of legal art which were familiar to the 
cotemporaries of Lord Kenyon. In the case of an hereditary 
profession, as was that of the Brehon judge, the use of 
technical terms throws about the simplest operation the air 
of mystery, in which the exclusive possessors of any 
speciality desire to hide their calculations ; and thus by 
every profession whose members assume an abstruse charac- 
ter, heralds, lawyers, theologians, &c., there are used vastly 
more technical words than are necessary, the object of which 


is rather to cloak trivial, than to express complex, ideas. 
Difficulties arising from this cause occur plentifully in every 
Brehon law tract. 

The task of translating the original text is further 
embarrassed by the ordinary absence of punctuation in 
the manuscripts. When the sentences in a paragraph 
are intended to be fully developed, an intelligent reader 
supplies for himself the want of punctuation (which is a 
very modern invention), and successfully follows the sense 
of the authors as it is gradually developed. The original 
Brehon text consists altogether of curt and proverbial ex- 
pressions, which rarelyattempt the completeness of a sentence, 
and are strung together without an attempt at logical or 
grammatical connexion ; indeed it may be fairly supposed 
that if one of these paragraphs had been read through to a 
Brehon judge for the first time, evenly and without strong 
accentuation, he would have found himself much perplexed 
if required to explain the meaning. It is apparent that the 
most ancient passages possessed a rythmical structure, and 
that the movement of the verse, and the pauses in the lines, 
threw out separately and emphased the curt and unorganized 
apophthegms. Passages of this character, when all the 
words are reduced to the one dead level by being successively 
written out without stop or accent, are absolutely deprived 
of all the aids to their comprehension, which their author 
assumed would be lent to them by the voice of the oral 

Editors of such a text must exercise the utmost caution, 
and are exposed to constant temptations. The first neces- 
sary step which should precede translation is to break up 
the text into the proper paragraphs and sentences. The 
form of the text gives no indications how this should be done, 
and hence in the present case the logical process has been 
often inverted, the punctuation being fixed with reference 
to an a priori conjecture of the general drift of the passage. 
Such speculations, however ingenious, are always practi- 
cally of little value, when a large proportion of the words 
are technical terms, the precise meaning of which is unknown 


to the author. The editors of this volume, which contains 
many passages of peculiar difficulty, have felt themselves 
forced to reconsider the principles upon which the more 
ancient text should be translated, and to lay down some 
rules for their own guidance in the matter. They have 
come to the opinion that the only consistant principle upon 
which a translation of the archaic passages can be based is to 
adopt the explanations of words contained in the glosses, and 
to assume the correctness of the views as to the general 
meaning of the text expressed in the commentary. It may 
be easily conceded that the authors of both the glosses 
and commentary were themselves unable to translate the 
text with accuracy, or with certainty to divine its meaning ; 
but their condition in respect to the modern editor is as 
twilight to absolute darkness. At what date the original 
family and tribe- system was broken up in Ireland; whether 
it had not been superseded by another organisation even 
before the date of some of the commentators of the Brehon 
law tracts, is a question which cannot be answered without 
much consideration arid further examination of both the 
Brehon law and the existing materials of Irish history ; but 
whether the original Celtic family and tribe-system did or 
did not exist in its completeness at the time of commen- 
tators, they lived under the influence of the ancient tradi- 
tional law, and must, as an hereditary caste, have cherished 
the recollections and spirit of the old customs, the exact 
knowledge of which may even have ceased to be of practical 
importance. As a means of understanding the present, as 
even a fragmentary survival of what was once useful know- 
ledge, every lawyer learns as a matter of course much which 
is really obsolete and unpractical. The English law student 
is instructed in much of the law which has been long since 
advantageously abolished. The theory of the feudal system, 
the origin of the manor, the feigned proceedings by fine and 
recovery, are taught to modern students, who may never 
have any need practically to apply them ; but by this process 
the tradition of the old real property law of England is 
handed on ; and a second rate practitioner of our day could 


to some extent explain a case in the year books which 
would be absolutely impenetrable to the trained mind of an 
accomplished civilian. Before attempting to fix the mean- 
ing of any passage in the original text, the editors have 
consulted the glosses and commentary with the view of 
ascertaining what the original commentators understood the 
general drift and meaning of the text to be, and the punctu- 
ation and translation has, as far as possible, been based upon 
the assumption of the correctness of the views of these 
early critics. The more any student becomes conversant 
with the ancient texts, the more he must be impressed with 
the fact that any other mode of dealing with them is 
wholly conjectural. It is possible for an ingenious editor, 
by a due application of stops, and the interpolation of words, 
supposed to be understood, in italics, to produce any results 
he may desire, and by such a process a very plausible and 
consistent appearance may be given to a translation which 
bears a very feeble (if any) resemblance to the original. It 
is the simple duty of the editors of the present volume to 
give the public a translation as correct as possible of the 
Irish text, and they have anxiously abstained from the con- 
stant temptation to translate this text in accordance with 
their preconceived views of what it ought in any given case 
to mean ; they at the same time desire to warn students of 
the subject that in their opinion the present translation of 
the original text can not be received as final or satisfactory : 
it is essentially tentative : that other students will differ 
from it in many particulars is certain ; that some may suc- 
cessfully revise and correct it is most probable ; neither the 
late distinguished scholars, who originally translated the 
MSS., nor the present editors, nor any future critic are certain 
to be always successful in dealing with such a subject matter. 
The reader cannot be too clearly reminded that the transla- 
tion of the original texts has been conducted upon the 
principles before stated ; that conjectures founded upon the 
supposed meaning of detached passages of text, and unsup- 
ported by the commentary are uncertain; and that the 
commentary, not the text, is, in the opinion of the editors, 


the reliable basis for any conclusions or further speculations. 
These observations are the result of a prolonged experience 
in dealing with these Brehon texts ; the most difficult of the 
passages in question have been translated and re-translated ; 
frequently the translations were apparently most consistent 
and probable, but again and again they have been found to 
be inconsistent with what the glossists and commentators 
manifestly understood them to be, and in many such 
instances the editors had finally to admit that their own 
views as to the meaning of the text were, although perhaps 
ino-enious, altogether mistaken. As to the technical legal 
terms occurring in the text, the editors have desired to 
translate them as far as possible ; it must be observed that 
such words cannot find an exact equivalent in any modern 
language; the complex ideas represented by these words 
were, as is the case of all legal terms of art, formed under 
peculiar and transitory conditions of society, and their real 
and living use and meaning perished with the system out 
of which they sprang. Their meaning can be only approxi- 
mated by a diligent comparison of the divers passages in 
which they occur. 


THE first tract contained in the present Volume is entitled 
" On Taking Lawful Possession," and the importance and 
peculiar meaning of this title will be obvious from the 
subsequent observations. 

The first portion of the original text down to page 33 is 
obviously composed as a consecutive treatise dealing with 
the symbolic ceremonial by which an action for the 
recovery of the possession of land was instituted ; the 
latter portion consists of a selection of isolated rules, some 
dealing with hereditary succession to land, others having 
no more than an incidental connexion with those which 
precede them. 


This tract, in itself of obvious utility to the practising 
Brehon, is the subject of lengthened and clear explanations, 
and it would appear that the commentary annexed to the 
text is formed by combining several antecedent commen- 
taries from different manuscripts, inasmuch as very similar 
notes upon the same passage succeed each other in the text. 

The great importance of this tract arises from its ex- 
hibiting in the clearest manner the mode in which the 
judicial authority of the Brehon arose, and the series of 
legal fictions by which a defendant was constrained to 
come into court, and to submit his case to the jurisdiction 
of the customary Judge. It is most interesting to observe 
that the authority of the Brehon among the Celtic Irish 
arose in precisely the same manner as that of the Judges, 
by whatever title they may be called, among the other 
Aryan tribes ; that the peculiarity of the Brehon system 
does not prove any abnormal organization of the Celtic 
tribe, but was in truth but an instance of archaic survival ; 
and that a Roman might have recognised in the proceedings 
before the Brehon the ancient and technical formula?, from 
which with difficulty and after long delay the Civil Law 
succeeded in freeing itself. 

The evolution of the idea of law and judicial authority 
is inseparable from and follows that of government and 
social organization ; the judicial system of the Celtic Irish 
was permanently fixed by the arrested development of their 
social organization, from many causes, which it is not 
intended here to discuss, but most of which were originally 
physical. The Celtic Irish never formed town communities, 
or were subject to any vigorous central authority; it Avas 
utterly impossible, therefore, that they could attain to ideas 
of law, which are evolved by the needs of a more complex 
civilization ; the peculiarity of the Brehon is that profes- 
sional lawyers of great acuteness and considerable technical 
education developed in numerous written works the logical 
results of a purely archaic customary law. 

In the introduction to the last volume we drew special 
attention to the fact that all judicial authority, at least 


among the Aryan or Indo-European tribe communities, is 
originally derived from a system of voluntary submission 
to arbitration, and we treated the Brehon process by dis- 
tress as a legal fiction illustrative of this principle ; the 
formulae necessary for the institution of actions to recover 
the possession of land, and which are dealt with very 
fully in the present tract, in a remarkable manner illustrate 
this rule, and present extraordinary analogies to the ancient 
processes of the Roman law. We desire very briefly, and 
with special reference to the forms of actions the subject 
of this tract to re-consider the origin and theory of 
judicial authority in primitive communities. Every archaic 
society is governed absolutely and exclusively by " Custom," 
which may be defined as the acquired habits of any human 
community. Whence any such habits were originally 
acquired, or when any society began to acquire and trans- 
mit any fixed modes of acting, are questions wholly foreign 
to this introduction ; we must accept as a fact that every 
human community appears to have acquired certain habits 
of acting, and that the surrounding physical conditions 
have been most influential in either originating or modifying 
them ; abstract ideas of right or wrong are very obscure in 
the members of a primitive community ; even in the ordinary 
affairs of daily life they consult their own comfort and 
advantage much less than do the members of a civilized 
society, and do and endure many things because their an- 
cestors did or endured the same, for the local opinion 
of the tribe believes that their ancestors were wiser than 
themselves, and what has been shall continue to be done. 
In such a state of society the ordinary incidents of life, such 
as the birth or death of any member of the community, 
&c., are followed by fixed and well-known results, and 
the status, property, and position of each individual depend 
\ipon, or are affected by, the occurrence of a well-understood 
fact, or group of facts. The progress of any such society 
arises from the efforts of individual members to get rid 
of the custom which restrains their personal freedom, to act 
otherwise than the unwritten law of public opinion decrees 


that they must act, from the struggle of the free will against 
the local custom. In such communities the individual dares 
not attempt to attain his object by open contradiction, or 
repudiation of the venerated local usage, and strives, there- 
fore, to effect his purpose through fictions by means of which 
the custom is violated in fact, though observed in appearance. 
If a man, who desires to do something which he is forbidden 
to do directly, observes that in the event of certain facts 
occurring the custom will allow him to do what he desires, 


he may artificially produce the requisite state of facts, and 
then, in apparent conformity with the custom, circuitously 
effect what he could not have directly accomplished ; in 
such a case a series of acts are consciously done solely for 
the object that a certain effect may follow; the object 
desired is the consequence of the act done, and arises 
from the actual pre-existence of the necessary antecedent 
fact ; gradually as it is understood that the custom can be 
thus evaded, the necessary antecedent acts became less and 
less real, and finally assume the form of a symbolical, or 
pantomimic performance, which, with the object of individual 
convenience, is gradually more curtailed, until at last it is 
simply alleged or verbally asserted to have been performed, 
and matters are allowed to proceed upon such assumption. 
Up to this point it is manifest that the necessary antecedent 
facts must be fully and correctly performed, simulated, or 
alleged, and that any failure so to do, or incorrectness in so 
doing, must result in the failure of the whole operation. 
Finally, the exception having become more familiar than the 
rule, the society begins to believe that the individual has a 
right to do directly what he has hitherto affected indirectly, 
and the formula, which originally was the foundation of the 
matter, is discovered to be an unmeaning technicality and re- 
jected altogether. The ceremony of marriage among half 
civilised nations is the most obvious instance of this fact, 
and the form of marriage by wife-capture existed in Rome, 
as in many other communities, for centuries after the date 
at which its meaning was so utterly forgotten that historical 
romances were invented to account for its origin. As to 


transactions of this kind during the intermediate period, 
when the necessary antecedent facts were merely simulated 
or alleged, two points must be observed ; first, that unless the 
simulation was correctly performed, or the allegation full and 
complete, no results at all followed, and secondly, that if the 
ceremony was correctly gone through, precisely the same 
results followed as would have resulted from the real occur- 
ence of the facts simulated to have occurred.* 

The jurisdiction of Judges was gradually established by 
a series of fictions. In the original tribe each " paterfamilias" 
ruled as of right those under his absolute jurisdiction ; but, if 
differences arose between members of two distinct families, 
there was no original authority to which either could appeal ; 
such disputes could be decided only by a recourse to force 
and arms ; the manifest inconveniences of such a system 
called for some remedy, as the society progressed towards 
order and civilisation. At some period there arose a custom, 
or general public opinion, that under certain definite circum- 
stances the hostile litigants should submit their quarrel 
to the arbitration of the tribe, and that the question in 
dispute should be decided by reference to the assumed 
pre-existing custom. 

The rule that in such cases recourse should be had to 
arbitration was in its inception one of imperfect obliga- 
tion, and the contending parties might still insist upon 
the natural right to assert their claims sword in hand; 
the regulations as to judicial process among the early 

* The common recovery in the English law was one of the most elaborate and 
successful of legal fictions; by this process the owners of estates tail succeeded in 
practically repealing the Statute " De donis." The original form of procedure itt 
actions of ejectment is often described as another instance of legal fictions; but it 
does not fall within Sir H. S. Maine's definition of the term ; it was not introduced 
to create or attract jurisdiction, for the Court of Common Bench had original 
jurisdiction to decide the question really in issue ; and it produced no change in 
the rules of the Common Law relative to titles to land. In its inception it was 
nothing more than a fraudulent abuse of the procedure of the Court arising from 
the alteration in the form of judgment entered up in actions commenced by the 
writ " de ejectiont fermae ; " and the alterations in the procedure, which established 
it as the ordinary action for the recovery of lund, were introduced by the Court 




Norse settlers in Iceland illustrate this most clearly ; 
but gradually the increasing pressure of public opinion 
caused the reference to arbitation to become the accepted 
and normal mode of deciding differences between the members 
of the tribe. It is to be observed that the public opinion, 
or custom, did not require the intervention of the arbitrator 
until the dispute had reached a certain point, viz., until the 
public peace of the tribe was broken by the occurrence of 
actual hostilites between its members. An individual could 
not institute a suit to determine a right as against his 
neighbour ; but if he assailed his neighbour, spear in hand, 
the community required both to submit their rights to 
arbitration. The plaintiff, therefore, who desired a judicial 
decision upon his claim, proceeded openly to assert his 
right in an hostile manner, confident that upon the inception 
of the combat the other members of the community would 
intervene and enforce the custom of arbitration against both 
parties ; the neighbours would not, however, step in between 
the parties until matters had gone on to the point at which 
the custom required a submission to arbitration, nor could 
the defendant be required to admit that the custom applied 
to his case, unless all the preliminary requisite circumstances 
had actually occurred. The pantomime of actual conflict 
had to be correctly acted up to the critical point, otherwise 
there would be no basis for the jurisdiction of the arbitration, 
and it should not be pushed beyond a definite point, other- 
wise actual conflict would have occurred, the very thing 
which the plaintiff desired to avoid. Hence the extreme 
technicality of all the early procedure, which proceeded upon 
this theory, and the fact that ancient lawyers devoted their 
attention to the formulae requisite to bring a defendant into 
court, and disregarded the principles upon which the case 
should be decided when brought before the arbitrator ; for the 
decision of the case it was assumed that the existing custom 

* Then Flosi spurned the money, and said he would not touch a penny of it, 
and then he said he would have only one of two things ; either that HanskuUl 
should fall unatoned, or they would have vengeance for him." (The story of Burnt 
Njal, vol. 2, p. 155.) This was after the judgment, and the tender of the com- 


was sufficient, and the " sensus communis " of the members of 
the community evolved the presupposed usage which ruled 
the case.* Ignorance of the prescribed formula deprived a 

* The proceedings at the trial at the Hill of Law in the second volume of the 
Burnt Xjal illustrate this fact, and prove that the technical terras relative to 
various classes of wounds, &c., and the mysterious and obscure proceedings 
incident to an action, were not peculiar to the Brehon Law. The course of 
the proceedings in this ease may be briefly stated as follows: Mord, the nominal 
plaintiff, gives technical notice of the institution of suit (p. 235); Flosi, the de- 
fendant, in the night secretly resigns his priesthood and joins the Thing of Askel 
to escape the jurisdiction of the Court (p. 239) ; the next morning Mord opens 
his case with* the following notice" I take witness to this, that I except all mis- 
takes in words in my pleading, whether they be too many, or wrongly spoken, and 
I claim the right to amend all my words, until I have put them into proper shape. 
I take witness to myself in this" (p. 242) ; the first objection taken is in the nature 
of a challenge of the array, viz., that two of the neighbours on the inquest were 
relatives to Mord, one his godfather, the other his second cousin (p. 248) ; 
Thorhall, the adviser of the plaintiff, demurs to the challenge on the ground " that 
he challenged them not for their kinship to the true plaintiffs, the next of kin, but 
for their kinship to him who pleaded the suit '' (p. 250). The demurrer is allowed. 
The defendant again challenges the array on the ground that two men on the 
inquest were lodgers only, not householders (p. 250). Thorhall replies that the 
men qualified as owners of cattle of a value equal to that of the requisite 
qualification in land (p. 232). This was a novel point Flosi said to Eyjolf 
"Can this be law?" Eyjolf said hehad not wisdom enough to know that for a surety, 
and then they sent a man to Skapti, the speaker of the law, to ask him whether it 
were good law, and he sent them back word, " that it was surely good law, though Jem 
knew it " (p. 252). Then followed a challenge to four of the inquest ; " foi those 
sit now at horns who were nearer neighbours to the spot" (p. 253). To this 
challenge Thorhall demurs on the ground that a majority of the inquest was 
rightly summoned, and that therefore the case should proceed, whereupon a further 
application is made to Skapti, who replies, " More men are good lawyers now than 
I thought. I must tell you then that this is such good law in all points, that there 
is not a word to be said against it ; but still I thought that I atone would know this, 
now that Njal is dead, for he was the only man I ever knew who knew it." The 
inquest are then called on to give the verdict, which they do without further 
evidence, for they themselves were the witnesses (p. 25G). The plaintiff goes then 
before the Court, and proves the finding of the inquest as to the fact, and the 
defendant, Flosi, is called to defend the case, or rather to show cause against the 
finding. Eyjolf, on behalf of the defendant, pleads to the jurisdiction of the 
court, which was the Eastfrithersthing, whereas Flosi, being now a Thingman of 
Askel, was within the jurisdiction of the Northlandersthing. This objection was 
fatal ; but a second suit is immediately instituted against Flosi for contempt for 
court for employing a lawyer in the court to whose jurisdiction he was not subject, 
"for having brought money into the lifth court" (p. 261). This step was taken 
to compel Flosi to withdraw the plea to the jurisdiction. Other technicalities 
follow, but the litigation finally resolves itself into the " Battle at the Althing. " 



man of, not of the right, but of the possibility of bringing his 
antagonist before a Judge ; and the possessors of the requisite 
mysterious forms, whether patricians, pentiflfs, or Brehons, 
thus acquired the advantage of being the sole possessors of 
these secret and essential forms. Thus, in the Roman law, 
the term "actio" became the generic designation, which 
signifies a particular form of procedure taken as a whole 
including the ceremonies, acts, and words, which constituted 
it ; all of which had to be correctly gone through before 
the Judge had any jurisdiction in the matter. The case of 
the Romans proves that it is quite possible that an actual 
written law should co-exist with such a purely archaic 
conception of the position and jurisdiction of the Judge. 

This period in the development of Roman law is clearly 
illustrated in the following passages : 

"The Quirites (men of the lance) had, in their judicial 
customs, even to the promulgation of the twelve tables, 
forms of procedure, assimilated to acts of violence, and 
to the combat, in which we at once see their predominant 
characteristic, the military life, and the important part 
played amongst them by their favourite instrument, the 
lance ; as also the predominance of the sacerdotal and 
patrician elements, which had regulated the forms, and 
which had preserved the pantomimic action of former 

" The actiones leges were completed in jure before the 
magistrate, and this was the case even when it was necessary 
for him to appoint a Judge. This was the form, the prelimi- 
nary step;"t (that is, the intervention of the state did not 
proceed beyond compelling the parties to submit the quarrel 
to an arbitrator ; the state did not pretend itself to enforce 
the law in the first instance ) ; 

" But notwithstanding the fact that the sacramentum, 
and the judicii postulatio were generally forms for the 
enforcement of all substitution of rights, and that they had 
in all cases a certain uniform characteristic, however much 
the details andnecessary formula, adapted to each individual 

* Ortolan, History of Koman Law, sec. HO. t M-i see. 142. 


case, might vary in each instance, according to the nature of 
the law, or according to the provisions of the law upon 
which the right was based, it was necessary that the parties 
should be familiar with the acts and ceremonies suited to 
their particular case."* 

" Such was the early system of procedure amongst the 
Romans. Its characteristic was symbol ; it is here that we 
find the lance,the tuft of grass, the tile, and the material repre- 
sentation of ideas, or of objects. It is here that we find the 
gesture, the legal pantomime, the simulated act of violence, 
the fictitious combat (manuum consertio), for the most part 
symbolising the transactions and processes of an earlier and 
barbarous period ; here we find the utterance of sacred terms, 
and he who should be so unfortunate as to say " vine " 
(vites) in an action concerning vines, instead of using the 
word " arbores, " which was the religious term peculiar to 
the law of the case, would lose his action ; here we find the 
impress of the sacerdotal finger ; we see it in the sacra- 
menlum, the preliminary deposit of money in the hands of 
the pentiff for the benefit of public religious service ; we see 
it in the pignoris captio, accorded subsequently on occasions 
in which religious sacrifices were concerned ; and it is here 
we find the weight of patrician influence. The magistrate 
was a patrician ; the Judge could only be selected from the 
order of patricians ; in one word, jus and the judiciutn 
were in their hands."'!" 

The explanation of the latter statement plainly is that 
it was the original tribe, not the mere sojourners or strangers 
on the spot, who had the right to intervene to preserve the 
peace, and that none but a member of the original tribe 
could be assumed to know the local custom. 

The Roman ceremonial to which we desire to draw particu- 
lar attention, as presenting peculiar analogies to the Brehon 
procedure detailed in the present tract, is the manuum conser- 
tio, which formed portion of the symbolic action which took 
place in the process known as the " sacramentum. " This 

* Id., sec. 143. t H., sec. 144. 


proceeding appears to be nothing else than a personal conflict 
between the litigants, foughtoutoverthe subject matterindis- 
pute ; if the subject of dispute was such as could not conve- 
niently be carried or led before the prater, a portion was 
brought into court, and the formalities were enacted over it as 
if it were the whole (deinde in earn partem quasi in totam 
rem prcBsetitem fiebat vindicatio). If it was a flock of sheep 
or herd of goats, a single sheep or goat, or single tuft of hair 
was brought ; if it was land, a clod ; if it was a house, a tile, 
(Gaius IV 17 Poste's translation). The essence of the action 
was an actual combat over the subject of dispute ; a mere 
personal conflict apart from the subject matter in dispute 
was not sufficient to compel a submission to arbitration as 
to title ; the actual "res" or its symbol must have been fought 
across by the contending parties. It is remarkable how far 
even at the date of Gaius, the original form in actions as to 
the possession of land had been symbolised for the conve- 
nience of the parties. Originally, when land was the subject 
of controversy, the praetor repaired with the litigants to the 
spot, and they there performed in his presence (injure) the 
ceremony of the manuum consertio. At this stage of the 
procedure, the breach of the peace was designedly produced 
in a symbolic form, but every thing else was real. When, 
however, the Koman territory became too extensive for the 
praetor to attend every such fictitious combat, the ceremony 
was adapted to the change in circumstances, the presence 
of the praetor was dispensed with ; the parties, accompanied 
by their respective witnesses, performed the manuum con- 
sertio upon the ground in dispute, and carried a clod as 
portion thereof to the praetor, and then matters proceeded 
as if the pnetor had been present upon the locus in quo 
during the performance of the ceremony. Subsequently the 
necessity for the litigants to resort to the lands in dispute 
was dispensed with ; they left court and again returned, it 
being assumed that they had in the meanwhile repaired to 
the lands in question ; that is that the statement that there 
had been a manuum consertio became an untraversable 


allegation in the pleading, and of course was soon absolutely 
dropped out and disregarded.* 

The Brehon procedure for the recovery of land is identii 
with the Roman form up to the point at which the conte 
for possession was reduced to a mere symbolic formula ; 
probably from the small extent of the tribe lands in which 
such disputes arose, the further step of substituting an 
untraversable allegation that a conflict had arisen for an 
actual or simulated conflict did not occur to the^ Celt 
lawyers ; but the procedure, although crystalised in this 
archaic form, was modified to suit the circumstances of 
different cases, and was adapted to admit what in 

Mr Poste in his edition of Gains (p. 499, 2nd ed.) asks the question, " What 
was the exact nature of the -manu.m consertio? '" Upon the analogy of ll 
taken by the parties in the wager of battle in the old English law he conjectur 
that the term was equivalent to i.frpa, an oath or pledge that the party beheved 
in the justice of his case; in the tirst edition of Ins work he adds, 
confessed, however, that none of our authorities allude to the oath (jusjuramlu 
having formed a part of the procedure by sacramentum, and possibly the 
consertio was merely a symbolic battle." In his later edition he adds 
possible when we consider the common Aryan descent of the Romans and our 
Teutonic ancestors to suppose any connexion between the forms o homan am 
Teutonic litigation? Or, was manuum consertio merely a symbolic I 
idle reminiscence of a process belonging to a period anterior to the existence 
public tribunals, the period of self-help, when the remedy of the litigant was 
redress his wrongs by the prowess of his own right hand? Or was manuum 
consertio like Diductio and Vis ex conventu, a fictitious trespass necesi 
the basis of the penal (?) proceedings by sacramentnm? Or was it mer 
means of identifying the subject of litigation ? (p. 500). The W-* 
between the Roman action and the Wager of Battle is very doubtful. 
English proceeding was one of the modes of arriving at a finding upon the ,: 
of fact arising upon the pleadings, by an appeal to the Divine power to testify a 
to this fact by giving the victory to the party in the right The assert.on of right 
was an appeal to the Divinity by both of the combatants, who might be hi ec 
champions, but ought to be persuaded of the truth of their cause. ? on he 
result of the combat depended the finding, as to the question of fact, upon which 
judgment was entered. What resemblance there is between th-e 
difficult to see. There can be little doubt that manuum consertio is 
lated in its ordinarv meaning as a combat, not a " symbolic battle, an idle re 
iscence of a process belonging to an anterior period," but, for thepurpo,e, of the 
an actual combat, as for the purpose of barring an estate tail, the recovery was 
an actual action, pleaded to and defended by the tenant in tail; and the judgrm 
over in warrentee against the vouchee was full compensation to subsequent tenant 
in tail and the remainder men. 


present system of English pleadings would be described as a 

It is to be first observed that the introduction of the 
community for the purpose of compelling the parties to sub- 
mit to arbitration, was quite independent of any intention 
or desire of the parties that there should be an adjudication 
as to their several rights to the land in question ; it arose 
from the existence of the fact that two claimants were at 
one and the same time in possession adversely to each other 
of a certain piece of land. This is very clearly shown by a 
case cited in the commentary.* Ninne, the son of Matech, 
with three horsemen was on his way to Ulster; they 
unharnessed their horses upon certain lands, which had 
previously belonged to their tribe ; this fact was unknown 
to them, they had no intention of making any claim to the 
lands in question, and their halt there was merely accidental. 
The occupier of the land required them to depart ; "Then 
the two, who were with Ninne replied ; ' It does not make 
our claim greater that we have unharnessed our horses here ; 
it is not to claim our share therein.' (The occupier replies) 
'This is not easy, for it was your own before ; they shall not 
be left there for that reason.' They did not know until 
then that it had been theirs before. The person whose land 
it was drove their horses from it by force. They afterwards 
complained to Conchobar Mac Nessa concerning it, and he 
awarded a fine for unlawful expulsion upon the person who 
drove the horses out of the land, and an equivalent for what 
was driven off it, and he gave them lands in proportion to 
their family." 

This story recognises the right of Matech to require 
an adjudication as to his rights in respect of the 
lands, although the King compounded this claim by an 
equivalent given out of his own lands. This bare fact of a 
contest for possession was gradually modified into a fixed 
procedure by which notice of the intended entry was served 
upon the occupier, and the transaction was witnessed and pro- 
bably regulated to members of the tribe, the occupier given 

* Page 5. 


ample time to consider whether he would abandon the lands 
to the claimant, or submit the case to arbitration, and, finally, 
damages payable to the occupier for an illegal entry secured 
in the event of the claim proving unfounded. The entire 
process in its fully elaborated state was tedious, requiring, if 
the occupier simply remained quiescent, a period of not less 
than thirty days. For ten successive days (or at least on the 
first and tenth day) the claimant gave notice of his demand, 
and of his intention to enter if no answer were returned; 
on the tenth day, accompanied by his witness, and leading 
two horses by their bridles, he crossed the boundary, and 
remained upon the contested premises, but just within the 
march, for a day and a night; he then retired, and during the 
subsequent period of ten days (or at least on the middle and 
last day) repeated the notices previously given ; upon the 
twentieth clay he again crossed the march, with four horses 
and two witnesses, and advanced one third way towards the 
centre of the lands. If again he received no answer from the 
occupier, he withdrew, and for two days more gave notice 
outside of his intention to make his final and decisive entry; 
on the thirtieth day he again entered the lands with eight 
horses, and with witnesses of whom a certain proportion 
were of the chieftain rank (flaitks), and the others freemen 
(feini) ; upon this last occasion he advanced to the centre 
of the land, and took possession, unless the occupier submitted 
to arbitration. The prolonged period requisite for the notices 
and several entries, was intended to allow the occupier time 
to consider whether he would consent to arbitration; and 
the final entry was in such a form as to compel the occupier 
either to abandon possession, or actually to resist, for it is 
stated that, "unless law be offered to him before going over" 
(which must mean the crossing of the boundary on the 
thirtieth day), "it is not unlawful for him not to come out, 
until it is ascertained whether the land is his or not." If, how- 
ever, the occupier distinctly refused arbitration, and con- 
tested the rights of the claimant, the lengthened procedure 
was unnecessary, and the matter was brought to an issue by 
an actual forcible entry and occupation of the lands in 
question ; " if it be certain to him (the claimant) that law 


will not be given to him before going over" (i.e., before lie 
has crossed the boundary upon the thirtieth clay), " it is 
not unlawful for him that he has not given notice, provided 
that he has brought the means of taking possession "; and 
again; "if it be certain to him that law will not be ceded to 
him, it is guiltless for him to go over with all his cattle." 

The symbolism of the procedure is evident ; the claimant 
is to enter upon the lands in such a fashion as to show that 
he is not seeking as a traveller to cross the piece of ground in 
question; he does not drive his chariot into or upon the 
lands, for in such case his intention might be ambiguous 
his horses must be loosed from the chariot, and led by the 
bridle as if to graze ; the duration of the first entry is 
intended to prove by a lengthened sojourn within the fence 
that his claim was not to traverse but to occupy ; on the first 
two occasions upon which an actual conflict is not anticipated, 
he is attended by a witness or witnesses to testify to the 
performance of the essential act ; upon the third occasion he 
is accompanied by witnesses, who must consist of members 
of the noble and of the free class of the tribesmen. The 
necessary presence of the former is remarkable ; it is very pro- 
bable that they are representatives of the community, whose 
office would be two-fold ; either to intervene as the Roman 
praetor in the actio sacramenti, if an actual conflict occurred, 
or if the occupier abandoned the possession to recognise the 
claimant as the legal occupier of the land. That the arbitra- 
tion must have rested upon either voluntary submission or 
actual conflict, is manifest from the statement that the result 
of an unresisted entry on the thirtieth day by the claimant 
not followed by a submission to arbitration by the occupier, 
was not in the nature of a judgment in rem, but merely 
legalised the plaintiff's occupation until the question of right 
was decided ; and this continued legal occupation had no 
other result than to inconvenience the occupier to such an 
extent as to compel him to discuss before the professional 
arbitrator the question of right.* 

* The Welsh process for the recovery of land is analogous to the Irish. " There 
are three kinds of dadenhudds of land ; and these dadenhudds are, a dadenhudd by 
tilth and ploughings, a dadenhudd by car, and a dadeahudd by bundle and burden." 


The symbolical acts by which a man expressed his inten- 
tion of subsequently taking possession, and which upon the 
last entry amounted to constructive possession, were mani- 
festly unsuited to the case of a woman ; it was necessary for 
her to represent in pantomime the incidents of her owner- 
ship, and if she failed in the appropriate details, the cere- 
mony was wholly useless for the purpose of putting the 
occupier in such a position that public opinion would require 
his submission to arbitration ; thus when the Brehon Sencha, 
with the design of causing the process to fail, declared that 
the formulae in the two cases were the same, blotches arose 
on his cheek as a punishment for his unjust advice ; nor 
was he cured until his daughter Brigh communicated to 
the female claimant the requisite symbolic acts for the 
purpose of establishing her right to force the occupier to 
an arbitration. 

The exclusive possession of the knowledge of such ancient 
forms was in all early societies the basis upon which rested the 

" And these dadenhudds are not to be prosecuted except by the son, in the place 
where his father was theretofore, or in the place where his parents were formerly ; 
for a dadenhudd is not to be sued by kin and descent." 

" Whoever is to prosecute dadenhudd by tilth and ploughing, is to remain upon 
the land, without answering, until he may turn his back on the stack of the forth- 
coming harvest, and that without answering to anyone, and the answer ; and the 
ninth day from the following calends of winter, law." 

" Whoever is to prosecute dadenhudd by car, by having beeu with his car and 
his household and his hearth, belonging to himself, or to his father before him, 
upon that land, is to be there, without answering, until the ninth day, and then 
give an answer ; and at the end of the second ninth day proceed to law." 

" Whoever is to prosecute dadendudd by bundle and burden, by having been 
with his bundle and his burden, his fire, himself and his father before him using a 
hearth, upon the land, is to be there, without answering, three nights and three 
days, and give an answer ; and at the end of the ninth day, law." 

" And the dadendudds are not to be adjudged to anyone, unless there shall have 
been a grant and delivery of the land to him previously by the lord." (Ancient 
Laws and Institutes of Wales, vol. i., p. 171.) 

It is to be observed that these forms of action are confined to claims founded 
upon actual ouster, or by lineal descent to lands granted to individuals in several 
property. The narrow limits within which a claim by hereditary descent were 
restricted by the Welsh law are subsequently explained in the section of the 
Introduction dealing with the fine and the gtilfine organization. The full details 
of the procedure in such cases are in the same work, vol. ii., p. 277. 


power of the sacerdotal or patrician classes. If the correct 
fulfilment of ancient traditional litanies, or the dramatic 
performance of a complicated pantomime, was necessary for 
every tribe man who desired to accomplish his devotions or 
to assert his right, the class, which possessed the traditional 
and requisite formulae, exercised an undefined but un- 
limited influence over the uninitiated lower order. The 
first step towards the establishment of original judicial 
power, was the publication, or perhaps the vulgarisation, of 
the antique formulae. A knowledge of the custom was practi- 
cally useless unless accompanied with the further knowledge 
of the appropriate form of action ; hence immediately after 
the passing of the Twelve Tables a further effort was made 
to prescribe regulations for the forms of procedure, or the 
actions of the law (leges actiones) ; and hence the severity 
of the blow inflicted upon the Patriciate by the devulgation 
of the formulae by Flavius Fimbria. There is some incon- 
sistency between the text and commentary as to the form 
pursued by a female claimant, but upon the whole the 
principle of the variance between the two ceremonies is 
obvious ; the symbolical acts to be performed by a woman 
represented the ordinary incidents of her occupation of the 
land ; for the horses led by the man, in her case were substi- 
tuted the same number of sheep ; the period of thrice ten 
days was in her case reduced to thrice four days; she made 
three successive entries, first, with two sheep and one female 
witness; secondly, with four sheep and two female witnesses ; 
and lastly, with eight sheep and three female witnesses; the 
text cites what must have been considered the leading case 
of the woman Ciannacht, which contains further particulars 
of the procedure which had apparently fallen into disuse 
before the date of the commentary. It was necessary for 
the claimants of either sex upon the first entry to remain a 
full day and night within the fence, and by the commentary 
it appears that upon the second entry also it was necessary 
for the woman to remain for this period upon the lands; the 
witnesses therefore who accompanied her upon these occa- 
sions were women, not men; but upon the occasion of the 


third and final entry she " claimed her right with a male 
witness." Whatever be the reason that upon the two first 
entries the witnesses were female (as to which the gloss gives 
a curious explanation), it is evident that the witness upon 
the occasion of the third entry was required to be a male, 
and we may infer that this arose from his fulfilling not 
merely the duty of witnessing the transaction, but of inter- 
vening, in the name of the community, in the manner above 
suggested. The original also represents Ciannacht not only 
to have driven the appropriate number of sheep into the 
land, but also to have carried with her a sieve, a kneading 
trough, and a baking instrument (probably a griddle); these 
articles clearly indicated her intention not merely to enter, 
but also to remain upon the lands, and to perform the duties 
of her position as housewife. 

This ceremonial, necessary as a general rule for the asser- 
tion of a claim to the possession of lands, was, from its 
nature, in some instances impossible, and in many incon- 
venient ; and the form was therefore varied to suit the 
peculiar nature of the case, hence the passage in the text: 
" There are seven lands with the Feini into which cattle are 
not brought for entry ; it is men that are required" (p. 7) ; and 
that in the commentary : " the same number of cattle which 
is brought to take possession of the other lands is the number 
of men that shall be brought to take possession of these lands " 
(p. 9). The two first cases excepted are those in which the 
entry with horses was absolutely impossible, viz., (l)a dun fort 
without land, or (2) a church without a green ; the four next 
exceptions are cases in which the horses to be brought upon 
the land would be exposed to some necessary peril, viz., (3) 
" a land upon which there are plunderers," which is glossed 
as meaning a land upon which the cattle have been killed ; 
this is a very ambiguous expression, and may bear two 
entirely different meanings, according to the reference of the 
term " plunderers," either the persons in occupation, or to 
third parties ; the general object of the exception is that 
the claimant should not be obliged to go through the details 
of the ceremony, if there were reason to anticipate his 


horses would be injured or stolen; (4) an island into which 
it would be impossible, without great inconvenience, to 
bring the horses ; (5) land the cattle upon which were 
suffering from murrain; (6) land the cattle upon which 
were upon certain contingencies liable to be seized by 
some local potentate in exercise of some customary right. 
Two instances of lands of this description are given ; the 
lands of Tir-Mudhain, the cattle upon which were forfeited 
to the King of Caisel on the day on which he assumed the 
sovereignty, because the inhabitants of the lands had killed 
a former King of Caisel ; and the lands of Kod-Adamair, 
the cattle upon which were similarly forfeited to the Coarb 
of Lismor the day on which he assumed the Abbacy, a custom 
explained as the reward granted to Saint Mochuta, the 
founder of Lismor, for having expelled a serpent out of the 
lands in question. In both these instances the lands were 
subjected to some curse or penalty, in expiation of the sins of 
their former owners, and such exceptional rights should not 
be confounded with any of the feudal incidents ; (7) the last 
excepted case is that of " land which the chief divides after 
the death of the tenant (occupier), where a hole is made, 
where a stone is put." It is evident that this passage was 
ambiguous to the glossists and commentators ; the immediate 
gloss upon the text is perplexed and contradictory ; it seems 
to explain the exception as referring to any proceeding on 
the part of the chief to re-enter upon a portion of the tribe 
land (dibadh land), after the death of the member of the 
tribe to whom it had been allotted, for the purpose of re- 
distributing it. In a later passage of the text, which occurs 
in page 21, there are two classes of land excepted in the 
following words, " except in the case of the lands of Conn 
Cetcorach, or of land devoted to the support of a mansion 
which is a Nemeadh-person's," the latter of these exceptions 
manifestly corresponds with the sixth exception of the 
passage in the 7th page, and it may be assumed that the 
former exception, in the latter passage, agrees with seventh 
exception in the earlier portion of the work ; this is 
rendered certain by the explanation in the gloss that the 


phrase " Conn Cetcorach's land " denoted some particular, 
portion of the "dibadh " land ; the gloss in page 23 explains 
the exception as referring to a contest between tribesmen 
upon a re-distribution of the land by the chief, but adds the 
very difficult passage, " as to the land which is lent or let 
for rent, it is into it the requisites for taking possession are 
brought." That the ancient ceremonial should be exclusively 
(or at all) applicable to lands let upon rents, is highly im- 
probable, and it is in contradiction to the cases of Ninne 
son of Matech, and Ciannacht, which were evidently con- 
sidered as leading authorities. The only explanation of the 
gloss which can be suggested, is that the glossist intended 
to distinguish the two classes of lands ; those held in common 
by the members of the tribe, and divided and re-divided 
among them by the chief, to which the entry with horses 
was not necessary ; and those held by members of the 
tribe in severalty, to which the ceremony was applicable ; 
but that at the date at which the gloss was written the 
free members of the tribe had been reduced to the position 
of paying rent to the chief for the land held in severalty, 
and that thus the payment of rent had become one of the 
incidents of several ownership. 

The claimant having, however symbolically, asserted his 
claim to possession of the lands in question by a forcible entry, 
if he failed to sustain his right, became a trespasser a b initio, 
and was bound to pay damages to the defendant whose 
occupation he had wrongfully disturbed. Every step in the 
procedure had to be taken in such a manner that the damages 
for the entry, if wrongful, were ipso facto secured to the defen- 
dant. In the case of a male claimant, every witness, whom 
he brought with him on each occasion, was to be of an honour 
price equal to the value of the land. The fine for the entry 
fell upon the claimant and his witnesses, who, most probably, 
in the subsequent proceedings testified to the validity of the 
claim, and it would seem that when the claimant, after the 
third entry, was put into possession of the lands in question, 
all the stock and other property brought in by him upon the 
lands, were charged with the damages ultimately to be found 


payable to the defendant if the claimant's case failed; and it 
may be conjectured that in the original form of the action the 
claimant was bound to put on the land upon the occasion of 
his third entry stock equivalent to the value of the land ; such 
at least seems to be the passage in the text : "If there be 
Fenechus," (submission to arbitration conceded as a custom- 
ary right), " speedy judgement is passed in his favour. If 
there be not Fenechus, lawful possession is given; its price 
is to be offered with sheds, cows, food, habitations, attend- 
ance of cattle, except in the case of the land of Conn Cetcor- 
ach, or the land devoted to the support of a mansion which 
is a Nemadh-person's" (p. 21). 

The exceptions prove the rule that it was necessary in all 
other cases to bring in the equivalent in property. If this 
be correct the analogy to the actio sacramenti in all its 
essential points is complete ; and the property to be placed 
upon the land represents the subject matter of the symbolic 
wager. This system of counterclaim was strictly logical, and 
founded upon the mode in which such transactions were 
regarded by a tribe in an early stage of civilization. The 
symbolic act was regarded as a real and bond fide transaction, 
and all the consequences followed from it, which should 
have followed if the thing dramatically represented had really 
taken place ; the ceremonial was a short-hand mode of writ- 
ing, but was for all purposes that which it represented. The 
defendant was forced to arbitration upon the assumption of 
an actual conflict, arising out an actual adverse entry ; the 
claimant could not deny the reality of the trespass, which was 
the basis of his claim to obtain a judicial decision of his 
rights, and was estopped from trasversing this fact when the 
defendant sought in his turn damages for the wrong sym- 
bolically inflicted. Thus, among the Maories, when a man 
guilty of manslaughter expiated the offence by submitting 
to the form of being wounded by the avenging kinsman, he 
was considered as absolutely dead for all purposes ; he lost 
his status as a member of his tribe; his property was divided 
as if he were actually dead, and he was, as if a stranger, re- 
introduced into his original tribe by the ceremony of adoption. 


The amount of the fine to be paid by the unsuccessful 
claimant, as may be anticipated, varied, according to the 
Brehon Law, with reference to the various circumstances of 
the case. " If the nobles have entered over a full fence, and 
it is a land which has not a chief and a tribe, it (the fine) is 
a " Cumhal " and forfeiture of stock. If they have entered 
over an half- fence it is three-quarters of a " Cumhal," and 
three-fourths of the stock. If they have entered on land 
which has not any fence at all, it is half a " Cumhal," 
half the stock. The stock only is to be divided by the 
plebeians, and half a " Cumhal " is the fine if it be in Cain- 
Law.* If it be land that has a chief and a tribe, it is for- 
feiture of the stock with a " Cumhal " fine, if entrance be 
made over a full fence, and one half if there be no fence at 
all ; and this is the same with respect to plebeians and 
nobles " (p. 25). 

The peculiar distinction in this passage between land 
which has a chief and a tribe, and that which has not a 
chief and a tribe, is worthy of observation. The original 
translation has in many passages given this meaning to the 
words in question ; it must, however, be confessed that this 
translation is most unsatisfactory ; it implies the existence 
of extra tribal land, a fact most improbable in a country 
such as Ireland, in which there was no fringe of unsettled 
lands between the Celtic occupiers and an anterior 
defeated population; the whole island was divided into 
distinct and veiy well-defined tribe districts ; neither between 
the tribe-marks which must have been everywhere con- 
terminous, and still less within their limits, could there have 
been established independant landholders, disconnected from 
the prevailing system of society. It is to be observed that 
the word in these passages translated " tribe " is " coibhne, " 
which is translated " hereditary right '' by the same trans- 

Was the forfeiture of the stock absolute in the case of land without a chief or 
tribe ? or did it in this case also depend on the result of the action ? Although 
not without hesitation, we adopt the former theory, viz., that in the case of such 
lands the stock was absolutely forfeited, because the form of action was inappli- 
cable. That the forfeiture was absolute may be gathered from p. 27, line 24, and 
p. 31, line 31. 



lator in such passages as "land to which he thinks he has 
an hereditary right" (coibhne) ; and the word coibhne i 
is frequently used as designating a particular class of pro- 
perty in land, coibhne-land as contrasted with dibadh-land." 
The term must signify both the nature of the right of an 
individual to certain landed property of a particular character, 
and also the land which was itself the subject matter of suet 
a ri-ht In the original text (page 39) the claims of heirs 
of females are spoken of as affecting " coibhne "-land, and 
may be reasonably concluded that the coibhne-lands wei 
those which had been allocated in severalty to distil 
families, and were descendable in the families of the original 
real (or supposed) prsepositus. The tribe lands being 
those held in common by the members of the t 
manifestly described as the dibadh-lands, in which 1 
share of each occupier was for life only. If this conjecture 
be correct, the passages in question should be translate 
' Lands which have not an owner in severalty, and heredil 
transmission "; coi'Wme-land would thus be equivalent tc 
Norse " udal"-l*nd; and the same word when used to expn 
the ri-ht of an individual to such land (or his share them 
wouWcorrespond to the well known term " udal-recht It 
this conjecture be correct, much of the apparent difficulties 
and contradictions in the text and commentary woul 

Cund, or conn, is simply a form of the word meaning "head," and as applied 
to an individual, must be a correlative term, indicating the po.. ion of 
vidual specified in relation to one or more others. The idea implied by the word 
coibne" is that of the issuing out and interlacing of various branches .pnngmg 
from one common stock, and it thus mean, an association o persons grouped 
toother with reference to a common right or subject-matter. 1 his exactly the 
Indent idea of the ownership of "hereditary" lands, not land m ,U enfrety 
transmitted from one individual to another, according to certam rules of s 
lion (which is our modern conception of heirdup), but land m winch all the 
descents of the original acquirer jointly take anin,*re,t This cojbne property 
means , roperty held joinUy by the acquirer and his dependents. The hea of a 
actual or potential family would be the cund, or conn, and if the fan dj *<*, 
orLized on the geilfine system, he would be then identical the " 
li h." Dibadh property, in its original sense, as contrasted with co.bne property 
seems to express anv property divisible, or to be divided, among several 
person,. The necessary equivocal use of such terms is hcreaffcr referred to 
a subsequent section. 


removed. We find in this tract four distinct classes of land 
to which the prescribed process of formal re-entry is 
^inapplicable, having reference to the nature of the estate 
in the land, and not to the locality or intrinsic circumstances; 
the three more important of these are the following; first, 
the land described in the text at page 7, in the passage above 
referred to, as " land which the King divides after the death 
of the tenant, where a hole is made, where a stone is put "; 
whatever be the precise meaning of the rule, the text refers 
to dibadh-land redivisable after the death of each occupier ; 
secondly, " the land of Conn Cetcorach ", which also is 
explained to mean debadh-land, and, thirdly, the land which 
has not " cund " or " coilkne." If the third class of land is 
simply a negative description of the lands included in the 
preceding passages, the meaning of all these passages is 
simple and clear, viz., that the common tribe lands, dis- 
tributed from time to time among the general members of 
the tribe for agricultural purposes, and meared by distinct 
mounds and boundary stones set up by the executive of 
the tribe, and in which the owner had only transitory 
interests, were not lands to which the process of recovery of 
possession by entry was applicable. The fourth excepted 
class of lands, viz., those subject to the rights of some 
Nemedh person, are lands upon which the process is rather 
facilitated than prohibited, in the interest of the claimant. 
It is a common error to assert that all lands in Ireland under 
the Brehon Law were held as tribe lands, and that the 
entire tribe were the owners of the lands comprised in the 
tribe-district ; it is manifest that much land was held in 
severally, and upon such terms that individuals had specific 
rights in distinct lands, either by hereditary descent, or as 
founded upon contract. It is quite possible that lands should 
be cut out of the general tribe-land, and become the subject 
of several ownership and hereditary rights, without their 
vesting in any individual in absolute property. Portion of 
the tribe lands may have been acquired by a single family, 
or by an individual on behalf of himself and his family or 
possible descendents, and these may have been transmitted 



by hereditary succession, or sold without any one person 
acquiring the rights which are implied by the English term 
in " estate"; lands may be enjoyed in severalty as between 
the family and the tribe, but jointly as between the members 
of the family itself. Such were the principles of the Norse 
udal tenure of land ; and some such system of land-holding 
seems to be the basis of the Celtic Geilfine system, which 
it is proposed to deal with in the following section. 

A curious exception to the necessary formulae occurs in 
the case of individuals described as " raitech "-persons. A 
ro/itecA-person is defined in the commentary as one " who 
was up to this time (the time of the action) abroad, living 
apart from the tribe, and who does not know that he has 
not land, and he comes with his cattle, and his neighbours 
say the land is his, and judges tell him to go as far as the 
third of the land "(p- 29). 

The raitech was therefore an acknowledged tribesman, 
who, after long absence returned to his tribe, and, upon the 
information given to him by members of the tribe, pro- 
ceeded bond fide to assert his hereditary right to the coibne- 
lands of his family. 

The raitechs were divided into three classes; the two 
first were the man who had got into failure, and the man 
who had deserted upon failure ; both these classes comprise 
those who had lost, or failed to obtain, any share in coibne- 
]and, and were so to say " out on the road "; the third class 
of raitech is defined thus, " The King is called raitech, be- 
cause he owns his share of waifs of his road, and also from 
his generosity." (Page 31.) The introduction of the King 
into the class of broken men is probably due to a fanciful play 
upon words; it may, however, be observed, that the King, who 
claimed a share in any coibne-lands in a tribe territory, 
would probably be resident outside, and would find it 
difficult to carry out the full ceremonial in the prescribed 

The broken man returning to his tribe would find it im- 
possible to drive his horses upon and off the land in dispute 
at the proper periods ; he had no house or " green " of his 


own to resort to in the meanwhile ; and what was more im- 
portant, he was not in himself a security for the damages 
the occupier could recover, if the claim proved to be ground- 
less. He was therefore permitted to graze his horses upon 
the lands during the intervals between the entries, paying 
a fixed price for the grazing ; and, if the case were decided 
against him, he was allowed three days to clear out, and, 
subject to the payment of the small damages of three "seds," 
he was permitted to drive off his beasts (p. 27). 

The original text, and the detached instructions in the 
commentaries, contemplate the use of horses exclusively in 
the symbolical entry ; and horses appear to have been both 
the original, and at all times the preferable stock for the 
purpose. In the gloss an illegal entry is defined as 
" the bringing illegal means of taking possession into land, 
i.e., cows after horses when he could find horses," the fine for 
which was a "cumhal" or forfeiture of stock, or three " seds "; 
the glossists are at variance as to the precise amount (p. 33). 
It is evident that at some period cows were substituted for the 
horses, which in the original ceremony were indispensable. 
There appears to have been some distinction, certainly, as to 
the amount of fines, between the case of an entry to recover 
possession made by a noble, and one made for a similar pur- 
pose by a simple freeman, or plebeian, as it is translated. It 
may be conjectured that this form of action was, in its 
origin, confined to the recovery of lands by the patrician or 
noble class, and that the horses and chariot were the symbol 
of military possession, as was the lance (at later time repre- 
sented by the wand) in the case of the Eomans ; that a 
similar form of action was invented for the benefit of the 
lower orders, and that ultimately the two formula? were 
confounded, although it was always understood that the 
claimant only used cattle instead of horses from necessity, 
and that he was not at liberty to substitute them for horses 
"when he could find horses." 

The forms of the Brehon procedure for recovering the 
possession of land ended with the reference of the dispute 
to arbitration ; the object of the process was that his right 


at law should be granted to the claimant ; that there should 
be " Fenichus "; the pressure was put upon the defendant 
that there might be " Fcnechus," a proceeding or judg- 
ment in accordance with the custom of the tribe. Thus the 
whole ceremony of the Roman act io ended with the appoint- 
ment of the judex. The ancient procedure ended precisely 
at the point where the modern commences. As to what 
is now considered the essential of an action, the pleadings 
in court, Gaius dismisses it in very brief terms ; " deinde 
quum ad judicem venerant, antequam apud cum causam 
perorarent, solebant breviter ei et quasi per judicem rein 
exponere ; quse dicebatur causse collectio, quasi causse sure 
in breve collectio." (Gaius IV. 15.) 

To understand this we require only an account of the 
mode in which a dispute is decided in an Indian village 
community. The case is submitted to the entire body of 
the inhabitants, who represent the original tribe, or family, 
to the patricians in fact of the small "civitas." The 
body thus assembled combine in themselves the func- 
tions of witnesses, judge, and jury. They include in 
their number all those who knew the facts of the case, 
" the respectable men of the neighbourhood," so familiar to 
us as our ancient form of jury. They themselves are the 
living testimony as to what is the custom of their com- 
munity, and this custom they apply to the facts of the 
case assumed to be within their own knowledge. The 
villagers talk over the case among themselves, apparently 
in a very confused manner; separate groups form, who 
discuss the question in various ways ; but at length a result 
is evolved ; there is a general consensus arrived at, and the 
judgment is given in a purely concrete form. In Mr. 
Wallace's description of the confused discussion and ultimate 
result of a meeting of a Russian Mir to assess taxation and 
divide the- village lands, we have a vivid description of the 
workings of such a primitive assembly. At this stage of 
civilization it is clear that there was no form of procedure 
after the submission to arbitration. When the community 
had grown too large to sit together and decide as one body 


upon the case, a committee of the entire body would be 
appointed to hear and decide the dispute. This stage of 
the judicial development existed among the Icelandic Norse. 
Of this procedure there are the most detailed accounts in 
the two trials before the Althings related in the Saga of the 
Burnt Njal, and before referred to. In these cases it is 
evident that the defendants were not bound to submit 
to the jurisdiction, unless the preliminary ceremonies 
were accurately gone through, and the judges selected 
in accordance with the custom. Numerous points of 
the utmost nicety are raised by the defendants to 
every step of the action, and equally technical replies are 
made on behalf of the plaintiffs. These very special points 
of practice are decided by the general assembly, because 
they were antecedent to the creation of the court. But it is 
something very foreign to our ideas that the judges, when 
at last legally appointed, neither hear any speeches from 
the parties, nor examine witnesses ; they retire from the 
public meeting, talk the matter over, and come to a decision 
on grounds wholly apart from what we should consider the 
merits of the case. When a society became numerous, and 
its customs complicated, the general public naturally felt 
their own ignorance of the traditional rules by which any 
cases should be decided, and there arose a necessity for 
experts who had made the knowledge of the traditional 
custom their special study. The Icelandic Norse clung 
tenaciously to the custom of a public assembly, and solved 
the difficulty by the appointment of the " Speaker of the 
Laws," who attended the Althing, and was its professional 
adviser.* The Celtic Irish lost the ancient custom of the 

" In those days there were no books ; even-thing was traditional : the law itself 
was committed to memory and the custody of faithful lips. Time out of mind 
there had existed amongst the nations of the north men who, like L'lfljdt, had 
made the customary law their study, and learned its traditional precepts by heart. 
There were the lawmen or lawyers (liigmenn), a class which we shall still find 
flourishing in the time of which our Saga tells. They were private persons, 
invested with no official character, but who enjoyed all the influence which an 
exclusive knowledge of any one subject, and, most of all, of such a difficult subject 
as law mut necessarily give to any man in an early state of society. But when 



general assembly, and the decision of what the local custom 
was, fell into the hands of the Brehons, the hereditary and 
professional possessors of the secret of the custom. But the 
Brehon was not a judge in the modern sense of the term; 
he represented the assembled tribe, and when he had once 
got possession of the case there were no sacred formulas to 
prescribe the mode in which it should be conducted. It is 
evident that the reference of thedispute to a single individual, 
in whatever character he acted, necessarily introduced new 
elements in the procedure ; the court no longer could be held 
not only to decide upon the law, but also to testify what 
the actual facts were ; hence the introduction of pleadings 
(causce collectis), the full statement of the case (peroratio), 
and the examination of the witnesses, and also the arrange- 
ments for the remuneration of the judge. The foundation 
of the jurisdiction of the Brehon, as simply the professional 
witness of the local custom applicable to the facts, (and 
unable to apply to the case, what in English law is termed 
" equitj'," the appeal to an over-ruling moral law antecedent 
to or over-ruling the technical law when it worked injustice,) 
is illustrated by the rule (page 51), " Constant is every old 
law of every territory of covenants. When any territory is 
uncovenanted, it is then every disputed case is brought 
before the King." By a " territory of covenants " is meant 
a district in which there was an established custom, sup- 
posed to rest upon the " consensus " of the tribe, and which 
was testified to by the local hereditary Brehon ; " territory 

the Althing was established, we first hear of a law officer properly so-called. 
This is what we have called the "speaker of the law." His bounden duty 
it was to recite publickly the whole law within the space to which the 
tennre of his office was limited. To him all who were in need of a legal 
opinion, or of information as to what was or was not law, had a right to turn 
during the meeting of the Althing. To him a sort of presidency or precedence 
at the Althing was conceded, but with a care which marks how jealously the 
young Republic guarded itself against bestowing too great power on its chief 
officer. He was expressly excluded from all share of the executive, and his tenure 
of office was restricted to three years, though he might be re-elected at the end of 
the period." Dasent, Burnt Njal, p. Ivi. 

The judicial power in Iceland was vested in the Court of Laws, composed of the 
priestly heads of the original families, each with two assessois, whom the official 
lawyer instructed upou any point of law, if requested to do so. 


uncovenanted " is glossed " where the defendant or plaintiff 
has not a Brehon," that is, when the community has failed 
to retain a record of their customs by the appointment of 
the regular witness to the existence and nature in the 
person of the Brehon ; in such a district there was no law to 
be applied to the question in dispue. In this case therefore the 
King himself was the judge. From this passage we may 
infer that at a very early date the general meeting of the 
tribe, which did continue to meet for some purposes down 
to a late period, had lost its judicial power, and that the 
King had acquired the powers and position of the assembly 
of the tribe, or, which in this case is more probable, there 
still hung about him certain surviving fragments of his 
ancient judicial function. 

When a professional or hereditary class undertake the 
duty of recording and transmitting the customs of the tribe, 
the hitherto indefinite custom, or habit of acting in a par- 
ticular manner, is necessarily reduced to the form of short 
rules committed at first to memory, subsequently to writing 
Two fragments of these ancient dicta occur in the present 
tract (p. 39 and p. 45). The difficulty of translating pas- 
sages of this nature has already been referred to, but, 
difficult as is the task of translation, more so is the attempt 
to extract from them and develop at length, the customary 
rules dimly hinted at, rather than embodied, in the curt and 
oracular sentences. An attempt is here made by the assist- 
ance of the glosses and commentary to express in distinct 
terms the substances of these passages. The following is 
submitted to the criticism of the reader by the editors, as a 
result of such a comparison, but made by those who can claim 
the possession of no source of information, which is not 
available to the ordinary student. 


1. The sons, and, if there are no sons, the daughters of 
their mother, claim a right to enter upon and take posses- 
sion of the lands, in respect of which legal contracts for 
full consideration, and dealing with coibue-land, had been 


made with their mother, for the geilfme chief, who must 
for this purpose be one of the geilfine division,* confirms 
the contract. 

2. Brigh made the decision, which fixed the rule of 
succession to lands in respect of which contracts had been 
entered into upon the occasion of a woman's marriage. 

3. The lands are divisible with reference to the number 
of the members of the family inclusive of the grandchildren, 
and the great-grandchildren, but of the land thus divisible 
is excepted one-seventh, which becomes the property of the 
geilfine chief. This one-seventh is fixed with reference to 
the extent of the lauds themselves. 

4. On the extinction of the class of great-great-grandchild- 
ren, their land goes back to the other classes representing the 
three prior generations ; in such case it is divided among 
the classes representing the three prior generations ; on the 
extinction of the great-great-grandchildren class the other 
classes of the family became the owners. It is not divided 
among them in other proportions than the liability for the 
wrongs done by members of the family ; and, therefore, in 
such a case the class representing the sons gets no more than 
one-fourth part. 

5. When the members of a family exceed seventeen in 
number, they cease to be organized as a family. 

6. The fuidhir-tenants are not subject to any joint liability 
for wrong committed by their kinsman, unless they form 
five house-holds of them, completely organized as a family, 
upon the principle of mutual liability. 

7. If the fuidhir tenants consist of five households, or- 
ganized as a family, under a chief, and having sufficient 
stock, they divide their property among them, as do the 
members of the family, and are subject to liability for each 
other's deeds in the same proportion. 

* It is subsequent' y sugseste 1 tliat the expression, " Unless he be the sixth," 
may be taken in its literal sense as meaning the sixth head of the family in lineal 
descent, a construction of the words which, in the view subsequently taken of the 
geilfine, would be practically equivalent to that in the text. 




1 . A son does not succeed to all the land of his mother, 
unless he claim it through her by virtue of a marriage 
contract of which the family had notice (i.e., unless it be 
"cruibk" or "sliasta" land). 

2. (As to lands other than " cruibh " or " sliasta " lands), 
her sons divide it upon her death, but (they do not succeed to 
the entire) for one-half reverts to the family of the (her) 
father ; the remaining half only her sons divide. 

3. The half, which reverts to the family of the (her) father, 
the members of that family duly divide among themselves. 

4. In the case of a "bo-aire" chief (who dies without 
leaving a son) there comes to his daughter by right of 
relationship no more than one-half, i.e., fourteen "cumhals" 
of land if the deceased had twenty-eight " cumhals " of land. 
The same rule applies to the " bratach " lands of a " bo-aire " 


5. Land given by the family to the deceased to the used 
as a road, upon the terms of his restoring it, is to be restored 
by his daughter, if she succeed, in its entirety ; but she is to 
be paid by the family upon giving it up, one half the value 

of it. 

Of these rules, those numbered 1, 1-5 appear to relate to the 
mother's cruibh and sliasta lands,and are framed with the view 
of regulating that succession in accordance with the princi- 
ples of the geilfine organization, which are subsequently dis- 
cussed in this Introduction. The rules numbered II., 1-3 
deal with the succession to a woman's other than cruibh 
and sliasta land ; and those numbered II. 4 and 5 deal with 
the succession of a daughter, in default of sons, to her 
father's land. The very remarkable rules, I. 6 and 7, do 
not appear to have any immediate connexion with the ques- 
tion of female ownership of land. It would be premature 
here to consider the meaning and operation of these rules 
until the nature of the family itself and of the geilfinne 
system has been to some extent established, and the pro- 
posed explanation of the system of descent is, therefore, 
postponed to a subsequent section. 


It remains to draw attention to some isolated rules 
in the latter portion of this tract as illustrative of the nature 
and date of the Brehon Law. The first paragraph, to which 
attention is desired to be drawn, is the case of Seither in 
the original text (page 17). She claimed as against the 
chiefs of the tribe, certain lands which they had taken 
possession of; the glosses explain this by their having 
erected boundaries, or set up stone landmarks ; comparing 
this with the passage in page 7, where " dibadh " land is 
described as " the land which the chief divides after the 
death of the tenant, where an hole is made (or, a mound is 
raised), where a stone is put," her ground of complaint was 
that the chief of the tribe had measured off as common 
tribe property, the land which she claimed in separate 
ownership. Her father and mother were of different tribes, 
and her right to the land was established. She then sought 
that she should not be subjected to the imposts which fell 
upon the unfree holders of land ("fuidhirs"), nor should 
she be expelled from the land (put out into the road), for 
failure to perform the military duties incident to the 
possession of the land. She was freed from this obligation 
(of military services) by her tribe, according to the rule 
" that female possession reverts, i.e., that one-half of the 
land, which passed to a woman, falls back into the general 
tribe land, and that in consideration of this the tribe releases 
the residue during the female owner's life from the duties 
incident to the possession.* It is clear from this rule that 

* These rules, as far as they deal with the succession of women to land, or the 
succession to the land of women, must be taken to represent the effect of the 
judgement of Brigh which established the rights of women. 

The rule that women, as being incapable to do military service, should forfeit 
one half of the inheritance, could be introduced only after a date at which the 
military incapacity of women was an acknowledged fact. 

This would bring down the alteration of the law of succession in the favour of 
women to a date subsequent to the year G97. " Connected with Adamnan's journey 
to Ireland in 697, the Annals record a transaction, which they despatch with 
enigmatic brevity : Dedit legem innocentium poputis. In other words, they allude 
to a social reformation, which was brought about by Adamnan, and which, having 
obtained the highest sanction of the people, became, as in the case of many modern 
Acts of Parliament, associated with the name of the propounder. A synod was 
convened at Taro, within an enclosure called the Rath-na-Senadh, or " Bath of 


the possession of any portion of the tribe land entailed 
the duty of railitarj' service; but that this was an incident 
to the possession of land by a free member of the tribe (as 
the " trinoda necessities " of the early English Law), not a 
feudal service due to the chief of the tribe. The contra- 
dictory glosses upon this passage prove that the commentators 
were unable to explain the point of the division, and that 
the condition of society had then materially changed since 
the date of the original text. The note to this passage, 
printed at the foot of page 17, shows how the later commen- 
tators had lost the correct traditions of the law, and 
preferred the display of a scrap to genealogical information 

the Synods," where the memory of the chief actor was perpetuated in the name 
Fupall Adhamhnain, or " Pavillion of Adamnan," which was given to a portion of 
the space; also in the SuiJfie Adhamhnain, or Adamnan's chair; the Dvmha 
Adhamhnain, or Adamnan's mound; and the Cros Adhamhnain, or Adamnan'a 
cross, situated at the east of the Rath. This mofiT>ciit, or "convention general," 
was held, as a semi-legendary record states, at the instance of Adamnan, for the 
purpose of procuring a national enactment exempting women from war and expe- 
ditions." " Reeve's Life of St. Columba," p. 1. 

In relation to this law the following passage occurs in the "Vision of 
Adamnan," which is preserved in the " Leabhar Breac " : "It was this precept, 
too, which was preached in the great convention of the men of Erin, when 
Adamnan's rule was put on the Gaedhil, and when women were made free by 
Adamnan, and Finachta Fledach, son of Dunchadh, son of Aine Slaiuc, the King of 
Erin, and by the men of Erin also. For it was alike that men and women went 
into battle, and into conflicts, until the Rule of Adamnan was imposed." 

" It is to be regretted that we have not a more historical account of the institu- 
tion of this law than the following, which is taken from the Leabhar Breac and 
Book of Lecan : ' Adamnan happened to be travelling one day through the plain 
of Bregia with hi mother on his back, when they saw two armies engaged in 
mutual conflict. It happened then that Rouait, the mother of Adamnan, observed 
a woman, with an iron reaping-hook in her hand, dragging another woman out of 
the opposite battalion, with the hook fastened in one of her breasts ; for men and 
women went equally to battle at that time. After this Ronait sat down, and said, 
1 Thou shall not take me from this spot until thou exemptest women for ever from 
being in this condition, and from excursions and hostings. Adamnan then 
promised that thing. There happened afterwards a convention (moTVoail) in 
Ireland, and Adamnan, with the principal part of the clergy of Ireland, went to 
that assembly, and he exempted women at it." (Petrie's Tara, p. 147.) Reeves' 
Life of St. Adamnan, p. 179, note. It seems that Adamnan took occasion of a 
great religious revival to ameliorate the condition of the Celtic woman, and that 
the reform thus effected was considered as one of the great events, as it un- 
doubtedly was, iu early Irish history. The celebrated judgment of Brigh, 
certainly the rules embodied in this tract, cannot have been of an earlier date. 


to the intelligible explanation of their text. Evidently for 
the purpose of getting in the names of her brothers, it is 
stated that she claimed against her brothers ; the author of 
this cannot have understood the first line of the original text 
which is very clearly explained in the gloss; and the 
possibility of an adverse claim by a sister against brothers 
in respect of land derived either through the maternal or 
paternal side, is absolutely at variance with the express 
rule laid down in the commentary, page 15, line 33. 

When the authentic tradition of the custom was once 
affected by the changes in the existing modes of life and deal- 
ing with property which must have arisen from the political 
convulsions to which the Irish Celtic nation was subjected 
during the historic period, the Brehon lawyers had no definite 
and abstract legal principles to guide them, and the analogies 
which they may have discovered in the Ecclesiastical and 
English systems, with which they came in contact must have 
been essentially misleading. There is, therefore, no reason to 
doubt the fact, which is patent upon the face of their writings, 
that the Brehon lawyers found much difficulty in dealing 
with the ancient texts, and have annexed to them the most 
varying and contradictory explanations. 

In most early customary laws the validity of any trans- 
action usually depended upon the performance of some 
prescribed mode of stipulation ; the following passages are, 
therefore, worthy of notice as indicative of a very modem 
.and equitable mode of viewing the essence of the transfer 
of property: " (As to) the person who buys without stealing 
or concealment, with purity of conscience, it (the subject 
'matter of the purchase) is his lawful property, according to 
God and man ; if his conscience is free, his soul is free."* 
There is in this passage an assertion of the doctrine of a 
purchase for valuable consideration without notice, and the 
title of the purchaser is referred to his moral condition at 
the date of purchase, not to the fulfilment of the requisite 
ceremony of purchase. The same idea is evident in the 
following passage, also : " Except the covenants which are 
forbidden by the Feini, nothing is due without deserving 

* Page 33. 



it, fur every contract, winch is unsafe, is entitled after 
nuptial present according to the Brehon, except in case of 
poverty, or prohibition, or want of power."* 

In this passage there are involved the doctrines of consi- 
deration as the necessary basis for a contract, of purchase for 
valuable consideration and part performance, and of the re- 
scission of the contract by an inequality in the condition of 
the parties which in equity would now cause an agreement 
to be set aside, or specific performance to be refused. In 
the latter portion of this paragraph " poverty " must mean 
such pressure of poverty upon one of the contracting parties 
as would prevent his acting as a perfectly free agent; and 
"prohibition," according to the gloss, the fact of notice affect- 
ing the purchaser that the vendor has no equitable title ; 
"want of power" is explained as duress, or influence of a 
moral or immoral character. 

There are other passages in this tract which lay down in 
a direct manner the ancient theory of society that the 
individual exists only as a member of some recognised 
community and therefore that his contracts are always 
subject to rescission by the head of the community to which 
he belongs. " There are four covenants which are not 
binding, though they (the parties) are proceeded against; 
thai of & bondman with his chief; o/a son with his lather; 
of a monk with his abbot; of an "ulach" person with another 
if alone. For the chief, and the tribe, and the church may 
redeem (rescind) every good contract, and every bad contract 
which are made with their subjects, except what they 
themselves order them ; for these are the three defective 
covenants mentioned by the Feini ; the covenant with the 
subject of a church ; the covenant of a servitor of a chief ; 
a covenant with fugitives from a tribe." t The principle 
here laid down is clear and distinct, but even at the 
date of the original text it had become modified by the 
application of equitable principles, for the passage concludes 
thus: "They are bound not to be remiss about covenants, 

* Page 59. 

t Page 53. This statement, or one almost identical, U frequently repeated in 
the Brehon Law Tracts. 


because if they should be remiss about covenants, then 
they do not annul the covenants of their subjects," which is 
an application to the case of the equitable doctrine of laches. 

This passage is followed by a very obscure paragraph 
dealing with what are styled " ternal covenants," not agree- 
ments in our sense of the word but the legal results arising 
from the acts or omission of three persons in a certain 
relation. It is suggested that the passage may be illustrated 
thus ; A contracts with B that the latter should do something 
affecting C, or which C may forbid to be done, and C having 
notice of the transaction does not interfere ; and thereupon by 
reason of C's omission to do so the contract becomes binding 
upon him. This principle, (if our explanation of the passage 
is correct), is an excellent example of the equitable doctrine 
of " acquiescence." 

The latter portion of this tract must be considered as a 
mere common place book of some Brehon, who wrote out in 
the blank pages which followed the first part, a number of 
independent dicta, as he learnt them, or as they occurred to 
his memory ; very few of these rules have any connection 
with the subject-matter of the original work ; there is little, 
if any, sequence of thought, and they manifestly are of very 
different origin in point of date ; this latter portion is how- 
ever valuable both on account of the very ancient rules as 
to the succession to land which are here preserved, and as 
illustrating the extent to which the ancient law was modified 
by equitable principles, a result doubtless attributable to the 
indirect influence of the civil law.* 

* " They speak Latin like a vulgar language, learned in their common schools of 
leachcraft and law, whereat they begin children and hold on sixteen or twenty 
years, conning by rote the aphorisms of Hippocrates and the Civil Jnxti/utes, and 
a few other parings of these two faculties. I have seen them where they kept 
school, ten in some one chamber, grovelling upon couches of straw, their books at 
their noses, themselves lying prostrate, and so to chant out their lesions by piece- 
meal, being the most part lusty fellows of tweuty-fiv3 years and upwards." 
Edd. " Campion's account of Ireland," page 18 (A.D. 1571). 

Mr. I'rendergast goes so far as to speak of the Brthon as giving "his judg- 
ment according to the Brehon Code, formed parlly of Irish customs, and partly 
of maxims culled from the Roman Digest." (The Cromwellian Settlement, 2nd 
edition, p. 15.) This is an exaggeration, fortunately for the antiquarian value of 
the Brehon Law Tracts. 


In all the Brehon Law Tracts there are references to an 
existing organization, generally known as the Geilfine 
system, and to the four classes designated as the Geilfine, 
Deirbhfine, larfine, and Indfine.f No distinct explanation 
of the system is anywhere given by the writers of these 
tracts, but it is everywhere assumed as existing, and of so 
well-known and notorious a character that it did not seem 
to our authors necessary to state its details or to lay down 
the rules by which it was governed. That it was familiar, 
or assumed to be familiar, to the students of these works ia 
proved by the figurative use of the terms primarily indicating 
the members of this system as indicating certain definite 
relations of place ; remarkable passages of this nature occur 
in the "Bee- Judgments "J and the "Eight to Water. " It is 
obviously impossible to understand the scope or meanino- of 
many of the rules contained in the original text, or of 
passages in the commentary, without forming some clear 
conception of this peculiar organization of individuals as- 
sumed throughout, as pre-existing, and endeavouring to define 
the technical terms connected with this system, which so 
often occurs, used sometimes in a primary, and sometimes in 
a secondary sense. In the Book of Aicill, published in the 
last volume of the Brehon. laws, there occurred a very 
remarkable passage, explanatory of the mode in which 
property was divisible among the members of a family in 

* It was originally intended to have devoted a separate section of the Introduc- 
tion to each of the Tracts contained in this volume ; it was, however discovered 
in the progress of the work, that owing to the identity of the questions which arose 
in certain of these Tracts, it was impossible to adopt this course without much 
repetition of previous statements, or an embarrassing amount of cross references. 
The sections III., IV., and V. of the Introduction are designed as dealing with the 
questions which arise upon the Tracts entitled " Of the Judgments of every Crime 
&c.," " The Land is forfeited for Crimes," and "The Divisions of the Tribe of a 
Territory," and also with the rules of succession contained in the first Tract ill the 
volume. The consideration of the remaining Tracts has been necessarily postponed 
until after the discussion of the question of the " geilfine" system, 
f Thi.s word sometimes appears as " Innfine' 1 or " Finnfine." 

t P- 173. p, 207. 



accordance with the rules of the Geilfinc system,* and an 
attempt was made in the Introduction to that volume, to 
explain the rules laid down upon this subject in the commen- 
tary upon the Book of AicilLt The explanation given by 
the editors of the proceeding volume of the passage, with 
which they were immediately dealing, has been to that 
extent admitted to be correct by the various authors, who 
have, since the date of the publication of the last volume, 
written upon the subject; and before any attempt to draw 
further deductions from the additional information, which 
is afforded by the law tracts now for the first time published, 
it may not be inexpedient to reprint the passage in the 
previous introduction dealing specially with this subject. 
" The most remarkable custom described in the Book of Aicill is 
the fourfold distribution of the family into the 'geilfine,' 'deirbh- 
fine ' ' iarfine,' and ' indfine ' divisions. From both the text and 
the commentary it appears that the object of the institution did 
not extend further than the regulation of the distribution of then- 
property. Within the family seventeen members were organized 
in four divisions, of which the junior class, known as the ' geilfine '- 
division consisted of five persons ; the < deirbhfine' the second in 
order the ' iarfine ' the third in order, and the ' indfine ' the senior 
of all' consisted respectively of four persons. The whole organ- 
ization consisted, and could only consist of seventeen members. 
If any person was bora into the ' geilfine '-division its eldest 
member was promoted into the 'deirbhfine'; the eldest member 
of the ' deirbhfiue ' passed into the ' iarfine ' ; the eldest member 
of the < iarfine ' moved into the ' indfine ' ; and the eldest member 
of the 'indfine' passed out of the organization altogether. It 
would appear that this transition from a lower to a higher grade 
took place upon the introduction of a new member into the ' geil- 
fine '-division, and thersfore depended upon the introduction of 
new members, not upon the death of the seniors. The property 
held by any class, or by its members as such, must have been 
held for the benefit of the survivors or survivor of that class ; but, 
upon the extinction of a class, the property of the class or of its 
members as such passed to the surviving classes or class according 
to special and very technical rules. 

On the failure of the ' geilfine '-class, three-fourths of 

* p. 330. t P- 



perty passed to the 'deirbhfine,' three-sixteenths to the 'iarfine ' 
and one-sixteenth to the ' indfine '-class. 

" On the failure of the ' deirbhfine '-class, three-fourths of its 
property passed to the ' geilfine,' three-sixteenths to the ' iarfine ' 
and one-sixteenth to the ' indfine.' 

" On failure of the ' iarfine '-class three-fourths of its property 
passed to the 'deirbhfine,' three-sixteenths to the ' geilfine ' and 
one-sixteenth to the ' indfine.' 

" On failure of the ' indfine,' three-fourths of its property pond 
to the 'iarfine,' three-sixteenths to the 'deirbhfine, 1 and one-six- 
teenth to the ' geilfine.' 

"On failure of the 'geilfine' and 'deirbhfine '-classes, three- 
fourths of their property passed to the ' iarfine,' and one-fourth to 
the 'indfine.' 

" On failure of the ' indfine ' and ' iarfine,' three-fourths of their 
property passed to the 'deirbhfine,' and one-fourth to the ' geilfine.' 

'On failure of the 'deirbhfine' and ' iarfine '-classes, three- 
aurths of their property passed to the ' geilfine,' and one-fourth to 
the 'indfine. 

" On failure of the 'geilfine' and 'indfine,' three-fourths of the 
property of the ' geilfine ' passed to the ' deirbhfine ' and one-fourth 
the 'iarfine ' and of the property of the 'indfine,' one-fourth 
passed to the ' larfine/ and one-fourth to the 'deirbhfine ' 

Two possible combinations of two extinct classes, viz. : the 
geilnne and ' iarfine,' and the ' deirbhfine ' and ' indfine ' are 
omitted from the commentary. It would appear that upon the 
e of any two classes the whole organization required to bo 
completed by the introduction of a sufficient number into the 
' geilfine '-class and by promotion carried on through all the classes 
upwards; and if there were not forthcoming sufficient persons to 
the organization there was no partition ambn the sur- 
viving two classes, but the property went as if the deceased were 
not members of an organization at all. The rules as to the dis- 
tribution of property upon the extinction of any one class or of 
any two classes may be understood from the annexed diagram 

1 ' n n & 










Iarfine, . 






4 1 12 

12.1 4 



Deirbhfine, . 






12 I 4 









4 I 12 


. .r ' uou 01 tne property of such 

. organization depends appears clearly from the above diagram. 



Let it be assumed that each class possesses property represented by 
the figure 16. The class or classes extinct are denoted in the 
subsequent columns by a cypher, and the distribution of the pro- 
perty of the extinct class or classes is indicated by the numbers 
set opposite the names of the surviving classes. Three-fourths of 
the property of any extinct class pass to the next junior class, and 
in default of any junior surviving class, to the next senior class. 
The remaining one-fourth is treated in the same manner. If, 
exclusive of the class which has received its share, there remains 
but one class, the residue passes to that class, but if two classes 
survive, three-fourths of the residue pass to the next junior class, 
and, in default, of such class, to the next senior class ; and the residue, 
one-fourth of a fourth, or one-sixteenth of the entire, goes to the 
remaining class. If two classes become extinct, the property of 
each is distributed according to this rule, in which case, if the 
two classes which become extinct are next to each other, the dis- 
tribution of the property of both is identically the same ; but if 
the extinct classes are not next to each other, the property of each 
is distributed to the remaining classes in varying proportions. 
It is evident from the commentary that the original principle, 
however it arose, had been forgotten, so that the distribution con- 
tained in column 8 of the above diagram is very awkwardly ex- 
pressed, and the cases in columns 9 and 10 are altogether omitted. 
The meaning of this very artificial arrangement appears from the 
following passage : ' If the father is alive and has two sous, and 
each of those sons has a family of the full number i.e., four- it 
is the opinion of lawyers that the father would claim a man's 
share in every family of them, and that in this case they form two 
' <*eilfine '-divisions. And if the property has come from another 
place, from a family outside, though there should be within in the 
family a son or a brother of the person whose property came into 
it he shall not obtain it any more than any other man of the 
family.' From this it appears that the whole organization existed 
within the family, and consisted of the actual desern.limis of a 
male member of the family, who himself continued in the power 
of the head of the family. As soon as a son of the house had 
himself four children, he and his four children formed a 'geilfiiie '- 
class, and each succeeding descendant up to the number of seven- 
teen 'was introduced into the artificial body. The entire property 
exclusively belonging to this family within a family was confined 
to the members of the organization until the number exceeded 
seventeen, when the senior member lost his rights to the separate 
estate, retaining those which he possessed in the original family. 


" This arrangement must be regarded as an invasion of the 
archaic form of the family, and an introduction pro tanto of the 
idea of separate property. How or when the system arose we 
have no information, but arrangements equally complicated have 
been elaborated in the evolution of customary law. 

" If it be admitted that the parent and his first four children 
(or sons) form the original ' geil fine '-class, it may be conjectured 
that the term ' geilfine '-chief, so often occurring in the Brehou 
Liw, indicates a sou of the head of the family, who has himself 
begotten four children (or sons), and thus founded as it were a 
family within a family ; and further, that, as upon the death of 
the head of a family each of his sons would become the head of a 
new family, the ' geilfine '-relationship in such an event would 
disappear, and its members would resolve themselves into a family 
organized in the normal manner. It may be conjectured that the 
parent always continued in the ' geilfine '-class, and that therefore 
it contained five members, although the other classes comprised 
four only, and that hence was derived the peculiar title of ' geil- 
fine '-chief." 

In this passage the system was accepted as a very singular 
institution, regulating the distribution of the property of a 
family; no attempt was made to account for the existence 
of rules so unusual, although it is obvious, that the mere 
existence of rules so complicated and in themselves so 
unreasonable must be referable to some anterior social 
S3'.stem, as is the case with the rules of the English law 
dealing with the succession of real estate. Three distinct 
theories as to the origin and working of this system have 
been published since the date of the last volume of the 
Brehon Law Tracts, by Sir H. S. Maine in his Lectures on 
the Early History of Institutions ; by Dr. W. K. Sullivan in 
his introduction to the Lectures of the late Eugene O'Curry ; 
and by Mr. J. F. M'Lennan in an appendix annexed to the 
last edition of his work upon Primitive Marriage, and 
entitled the " Divisions of the Ancient Irish Family." 

So numerous and important are the references to the Geil- 
iine system in the tracts comprised in the present volume, so 
radically does this system underlie the organization of the 
family, and the succession to land, to illustrate which, the 


majority of the tracts now published have been specially 
selected, that it may not be considered an abuse of the 
restricted duties of an editor to explain the views upon this 
subject put forward upon such distinguished authority,and to 
state the objections to the reception of any of them in its 
integrity, before an attempt is made to propound a theory 
of the origin and working of the system, wholly deduced 
from the Brehon Law Tracts themselves, and which, al- 
though not in itself to be assumed as correct, as no 
modern explanation of so archfeic an institution could claim 
to be, is at least consistent with the authorities and in itself; 
and affords a key to the rules as to the succession to land, 
scattered throughout the present volume. 

The views of Sir H. S. Maine upon this subject are clearly 
put forward by him in the following passages selected from 
his work : 

"Any member of the joint-family, or sept, might be 
selected as the starting point, and might become a root from 
which sprang as many of these groups of seventeen men 
as he had sons. As soon as any one of the sons had four 
children, a full Geiltine sub-group of five persons was formed; 
but any fresh birth of a male child to this son or to any of 
his male descendants, had the effect of sending up the eldest 
member of the Geilfine sub-group, provided always he were 
not the person from whom it had sprung, into the Derblifine. 
A succession of such births completed in time the Derbh- 
fine division, and went in to form the larfine, and the Ind- 
fine, the After and the End-families. The essential principle 
of the system seems to me a distribution into fours. The 
fifth person in the Geilfine division, I take to be the parent 
from whom the sixteen descendants spring, and it will be 
seen, from the proviso which I inserted above, that I do not 
consider his place in the organization to have been ever 
changed. He appears to be referred to in the tracts as the 
Geiltine chief.* 

" The Irish family is assumed to consist of three groups 
of four persons, and one group of five persons. I have 

* Early History of Institutions, p. 210.. 


already stated that I consider the fifth person in the 
group of five, to be the parent from whom all the other 
members of the four divisions spring, or with whom they 
are connected by adoptive descent. Thus the whole of the 
natural or adoptive descendants are distributed into four 
groups of four persons each, their rank in the Family being 
in the inverse order of their seniority. The Geilfine group 
is several time stated in the Brehon Law to be at once the 
highest and the youngest. 

" Now Mr. W. Stokes has conveyed to me his opinion 
that ' Geilfine ' means ' hand-family.' As I have reason to 
believe that a different version of the term has been adopted 
by eminent authority I will give the reasons for Mr. Stokes' 
view. ' Gil ' means ' hand ' this was also the rendering of 
O'Curry and it is in fact the Greek x"P- In several Aryan 
lanfniao-es the term signifying ' hand ' is an expressive 
equivalent for power, and specially for Family or Patriarchal 
Power. Thus in Greek we have inro-^iipioe and x / P'!> for 
the person under the hand. In Latin we have /tents 
' master,' from an old word cognate to x 'P ; we have also 
one of the earliest cardinal terms of ancient Roman Family 
Law, manus, or hand, in the sense of Patriarchal authority. 
In Roman legal phraseology the wife who has become in law 
her husband's daughter by marriage is in manu. The son 
discharged from Parental Power is emancipated. The free 
person who has undergone manumission is in mancipio. 
In the Celtic languages we have, with other words, ' Gilla,' 
a servant, a word familiar to sportsmen and travellers in the 
Highlands, and to readers of Scotfc in its Anglicised shape 

' Gillie,' 

" My suggestion, then, is that the key to the Irish distri- 
bution of the Family, as to so many other things in ancient 
law must be sought in the Patria Potestas.* It seems to 
me to be founded on the order of emanciption from Parental 

* The use by Sir H. S. Maine of the term " palrla potestas" is very infelici- 
tous as basing his theory upon a doctrine of the Roman Law, which their own 
lawyers admitted to be peculiar and exceptional. The more general term " head- 
ship of the joint house" may, however, be substituted for it without injury to the 



Authority. The Geilfine, the Hand-family, consists of the 
parent and the four natural or adoptive sons immediately 
under his power. The other groups consist of emancipated 
descendants, diminishing in dignity, in proportion to their 
distance from the group, which according to archasic 
notions, constitutes the true or representative family. 

" The remains, which we possess, of the oldest Roman Law 
point to a range of ideas very similiar to that which appears 
to have produced the Irish Institution. The family under the 
Patria Potestas was, with the Paterfamilias, the true Roman 
Family. The children who were emancipated from Paternal 
Power may have gained a practical advantage, but they 
undoubtedly lost in theoretical dignity. They underwent 
that loss of status which in ancient legal phraseology was 
called a capitis diminuto. We know too that according 
to primative Roman law they lost all rights of inheritance, 
and these were only gradually restored to them by a 
relativelymoderninstitution,theequity of the Roman Praetor. 
Nevertheless there are hints on all sides, that, as a general 
rule, sons as they advanced in years were enfranchised from 
Paternal Power, and no doubt this practice supplies a partial 
explanation of the durability of the Patria Potestas as a 
Roman Institution. The statements therefore which we 
find concerning the Celtic Family would not be very un- 
true of the Roman. The youngest children were first in 

The entire geilfine system rests according to this view upon 
the patria potestas of the original progenitor without any 
reference to common property ; the members are those up 
to the number of sixteen, who are the subject of the patria 
potestas, whether sons or remoter descendants, either by 
actual descent or adoption, and irrespective of age or the 
possession of property. It may be inferred that in Sir H. 
S. Maine's opinion the existence of the common ancestor 
is essential for the maintenance of the system, and that he 
regards all the members as living at the same time. 

The theory of Dr. W. K. Sullivan is very different, and 
is contained in the following passage of his work : 

* Id., p. 216. 


"The whole Fine Duthaig included several stages of 
consanguinity ; (1) the Cindfine or children the sons having 
the foreright; (2) the Brv.indfine, from bi-uind, the womb, 
the sons and daughters of heiresses or daughters of the 
Gradk Fine, or nobility inheriting property in their own 
right ; (3) the Gelfyne, which seems to have been sometimes 
used for all relatives to the fifth degree, and sometimes 
for the relatives to the fifth degree exclusive of the direct 
heirs. These constituted the family in the strict sense" of 
the word. From the fjdjine branched off, (4) the Derbfine, 
which included relatives from the fifth to the ninth degree ; 
(5) the larfine, or relatives from the ninth to the thirteenth 
degree ; and (C) the Ind/ine, or relatives from the thirteenth 
to the seventeenth degree. Beyond the latter degree, the 
Fine merged into a Duthaig Dalne, that is, the nation at 
large, who were not entitled to a share of the Dibad, or 
property of deceased persons, or liable for the payment 
of fines or americaments on account of crimes, etc., except 
those of their own special Fine, within the recognised 
degrees of consanguinity. The Gelfine were the represent- 
atives of the rights and liabilities of the family or house ; 
they formed a kind of family council styled Cuicer nu Fine, 
or the five Gials, or pledges of the family. As they re- 
presented the roots of the spreading branches of the family, 
they were also called the cuic mera na Fine, or the five 
fingers of the Fine. When property, in default of direct 
heirs, passed to collateral heirs, the Gelfine received the 
inheritance in the first instance, and assumed all the 
responsibilities attached to it. In default of relatives of 
the fifth degree, the property passed to the representatives 
of the other Fines."* 

This opinion of Dr. W. K. Sullivan has been adopted 
by Mr. W. E. Hearn, who after citing the Welsh rule of 
inheritance, viz., " The ancestors of a person are his father, 
and his grandfather, and his great grandfather ; the co- 
inheritors are his brothers, and cousins, and second cousins,"t 

* Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, Vol. I., p. clxiii. 
t Ancient Laws of Wales, VoL II., p. 427. 


proceeds thus : " We may observe, I think, a similar case 
in the difficult case of the Irish Fine. The ingenuity 
of the Brehon professors multiplied distinctions which 
are not found in the laws of other countries, and it is 
not easy distinctly to understand their writings on this 
subject. I venture however to suggest that 'Fine,' like 
Familia, was used in various senses, and included both the 
more limited and wider bodies ; that of the six kinds of 
Fine enumerated in the Brehon Laws, the first three include 
the Sui heredes and A gnat i, and that the remaining three 
are subdivisions, how far practically important we cannot 
tell, of the Gentiles. The Geil-fine included the fifth 
descent, which, if the E<jo were not counted, brings us to 
the sixth descent as in other cases. The other three Fines 
taken together, extend to the seventeenth degree, at which 
point all traces of kinship arc assumed to be lost.''* 

If this view be correct the Geilfine system is simply a 
mode of calculating kinship ; the Geilfine has no existence 
as a social entity ; the particular Fine in which any indi- 
vidual should be classed depends altogether upon the person, 
who is assumed as the stirps ; it would also seem that the 
five members of the Gcil/i/ie class, and the four members 
of the other three classes are not considered by these authors 
as " individuals" but as successive generations, and that the 
original ancestor is altogether excluded ; and it also must 
manifestly follow that the members of the four classes could 
not possibly co-exist.-|- 

* The Aryan Household, p. 173. 

t Authors, who speak of property as being divisible among relations in the 
seventeenth degree, cannot have considered the difficulty, or impossibility of ascer- 
taining kinships so remote, or the consequences which would probably result could 
all the relatives of this remote degree be once ascertained. It would be necessary, 
for such purpose, to trace up seventeen male descents for the purpose of discovering 
the stirps, and in the second place to complete the requisite genealogical table of 
all the male descendants of the stirps throughout seventeen generations downwards. 
The stirps, upon the ordinary average of human life, must have been dead 
upwards of 500 years, and there is no existing noble or royal family in which this 
inquiry could be attempted with any prospect of success. 

Thus the relatives in the seventeenth degree of the Count de Chambord include 
all the descendants of Louis, the first Duke of Bourbon, son of Robert of Clarc- 
mont, and grandson of Saint Louis, who died in A.D. 1341. Those of the present 



The theory of Mr. M'Lennan upon this subject is different 
in every respect from those of Sir H. S. Maine and Dr. W. 
K. Sullivan. The two cardinal assumptions upon which he 
proceeds are, (1) that the terms geilfine, derbhfine, iarfine 
and indfine are correlative, and that, therefore, the four 
classes of the system must exist from the inception ; (2) 
that the arrangement was founded upon the possession, 
and intimately connected with the distribution of property ; 
(3) and that the members of the groups included only 
certain of the members of the family. 

The geilfine system according to this view originated in 
the existence of four persons, related in the same degree to 
the original stirps ; each of whom was the primary mem- 
ber of one of the four classes, and as a necessary result the 
Father or stirps was excluded from the organization, and 
the subsequent members of each class were the lineal 
descendants of the original member of that class. 

" If we conceive one of the organizations, initiated as in 
the case pronounced upon by the lawyers, to be completed 
(1) through the death of the Father, and his two sons leaving 
a set of four grandsons in their places, each as the eldest 
member of his division ; and (2) through the filling up of 
the divisions by the birth of descendants to the several 
grandsons, the following table will then represent the 
organization : 






A 2 

A 3 


Fathers and Brothers. 

B 1 


B 3 


Sons and First Cousins. 

C 1 

C 2 

C 3 


Grandsons and Second Cousins. 

D 1 

D 2 



Great Grandsons and Third Cousins. 


Great great Grandsons. 

German Emperor include all the descendants of Frederick IV., Burggraf of 
Nurnberg, who died in 1332. As to their probable number when discovered, it is 
a matter of geometrical progression. If we consult the pedigree of David it will 
appear that, as seventeenth in descent from Reu, he counted among his relatives 
within the seventeenth degree the entire nations of the Jews, Edomites, Ishmaelites, 
Moabites, Ammonites, Midianites, and several others. 


" The seniors of the division are A 1 , A', &c., the brothers 
who constituted the 'family of the full number, i.e., four'; 
and the other men in the divisions along with them respec- 
tively, are their first-born sons, grandsons, &c. A 1 is the 
eldest of the four brothers, A 2 the next eldest, and A 4 is the 
youngest. The following features of the system now 
become intelligible : 

"1. It is at once obvious why it is said the geilfine divi- 
sion is the youngest, arid the indfine division is the oldest. 

" 2. We can see a reason why, as a rule, there should be 
four men only in a division, and why there should be a fifth 
man in the geilfine division. The age of marriage among 
the ancient Irish was seventeen years the age for finishing 
fosterage. Thus A 1 would be at least fifty-four years old 
before his great grandson D 1 would be bora; he would be 
between eighty and ninety years old before E 4 could have 
a son ; which would be the signal to A 1 to 'go out of the 
community.' As a rule then, there could be only four 
generations of men in existence at a time, and represented 
in the divisions. The fifth man, or rather boy, in the 
geilfine division must have been added to postpone the 
going out ' into the community ' of the senior of the indfine. 
When he went out, he became, as we shall see, a pensioner 
on his division, and were he to go out when E 4 was born, he 
might be a charge on that division for a term of years. 
Before E 4 could have a son, however, A 1 would be a very 
old man. Indeed, the ' going out ' must have been rare. 
The law, however, provided for it, as it did for the divisions 
not being full, and even for their becoming extinct. What- 
ever the purposes of the organization were, the existence of 
the whole number of the seventeen men was not essential 
to them, and in the eye of the law a division existed so long 
as there was one man in it (Senchus Mor, Vol. III., p. 333). 

" 3. So far as the organization was an artificial institution, 
it may have been a sufficient reason for limiting the number 
of divisions to four, that there were four men only in a 
division. More probably the reason was that four was, on 
the average, the full number of sons in a family. 

" 4. We have a clue to the ' self-acting principle/ as Sir 


Henry S. Maine aptly calls it, according to which the oldest 
member of each division passed into the next, on a new- 
man ' coming up ' into the geiltine division. Among the 
Irish the next brother, or other nearest male agnate next in 
seniority to a deceased chief, succeeded to the chieftaincy in 
preference to a son. We can, therefore, understand how 
they should provide for the succession of brother to brother, 
in order of seniority, in the headships of divisions ; and 
failing brothers for the succession of cousin to cousin (of 
the same class) in order of seniority. It accords with this 
succession law that when A 1 ' went out,' A 2 should succeed 
to him as head of the indfine division, that A 3 should 
succeed A 2 as head of the iarfine, and A 4 succeed A 3 as 
head of the derbhfine. But we saw that before A 1 went 
out he would be very old. Before another 'going out' 
could occur through the birth of a grandson to E 4 the 
brothers would certainly be all dead, and the first cousins, 
B l , &c., would be the heads of divisions. It would be next 
B r s turn to go out, and he would be succeeded in the 
headship of the indfine division by B 2 as the cousin next 
in seniority; and B 2 being succeeded by B 3 , and B 3 by B 4 all 
the seniors would be promoted as before. By the fourth occur- 
rence of such an occasion it would be D r s turn to go out; if, in- 
deed, before then the organization had not collapsed through 
the extinction of divisions and want of men to reform them."* 
In a subsequent passage Mr. M'Lennan explains the mode 
in which this system would work as a quasi-entail of the 
family lands. " The most simple way of regarding the rules 
established for the fourfold organization, in order to see how 
they operated as a succession law, is to conceive it to be 
started by four brothers, A 1 , A 2 , &c., on the death of their 
father, leaving to them ancestral lands, which had come to 
him as next-of-kin, and which, at common law, they were 
entitled to divide equally between them. Thus regarded, 
the arrangement operated, in the first instance, as a settle- 
ment of the respective shares of the brothers on their heirs of 
line, the survivors, or survivor of them, as far as great grand- 
sons. When a son B appeared, A shared the division lands 

* Primitive Marriage, 2nd edition, page 472. 



with him; when a grandson appeared, they were shared 
again between the father, son, and grandson ; and they were 
finally redistributed on the appearance of a great grandson. 
After this there were redivisions as the men in turn died, 
till, they all being dead, the land was shared in the propor- 
tions specified between the remaining divisions. The chief 
peculiarities of the system, it will be seen, are (1) that it 
stopped succession in the direct line, except in the geilfine 
division at great grandsons ; (2) that the principle of primo- 
geniture appears in the formation of the groups of co-inheri- 
tors and parceners ; and (3) that a life-tenancy only was 
given to any heir. To comprehend the working of the 
system, we must think of the four brothers as havino- one 


or more brothers who shared with them the lands on the 
death of their father, but remained outside the organization. 
These, I conceive, were the men of the family with their 
descendants, or whose descendants, if they were dead, might, 
on the extinction of one or more divisions, enter the organ- 
ization by forming new divisions. If the indfine, for 
example, became extinct, the iarfine would become the 
indfine in the reformed organization, the deirbfine, the iar- 
fine, the geilfine, dropping the odd man, would become the 
deirbfine, and the next eldest brother to A 4 , with his de- 
scendants, would become the new geilfine division. The 
new divisions would enter with a share of the ancestral 
lands equal to that possessed by the others, except so far as 
the others had their shares increased by the distribution 
between them of the lands of the indfine. And thus the 
organization would continue, confining the lands to great 
grandsons, till it collapsed through the extinction of two of 
the lines and the failure of men of the family to reform it. 
The succession law acting no longer, the lands of the extinct 
groups would then go to the next-of-kin, and be subject to 
the common law of succession, whatever that was, till the 
lands were again resettled by the formation of a divisional 

It is to be observed that Mr. M'Lennan clearly distin- 

* Primitive Marriage, 2nd edition, page 496. It is to be observed that the 
technical terms used are those of Scotch, not of English, law. 


guishes between the actual existing form of any legal organ- 
ization, and the legal theory by which such form is deter- 
mined. He does not assert that the Irish 'fine' as a rule, 
was organized as a complete geilfine system, but proposes 
his theory as the abstract system of the Brehon lawyers, 
upon which, under certain circumstances, the 'fine' would be 
organized so far as it went, and which it should assume if 
fully developed. The English lawyer knows that the abstract 
and complete form of the English manor is as purely ideal as 
any Platonic archetype, but that the existing manors do, as far 
as circumstances admit, present more or less resemblance, and 
approach more or less nearly, to the theoretical manor de- 
scribed in our Real Property text books. Mr. M'Lennan's 
scheme however involves difficulties which he has wholly 
failed to explain. Why should the ordinary rules for the 
succession to land be suddenly arrested upon the birth of a 
fourth son, and the shares of the several sons thereupon pass 
in strict entail for three generations according to the law of 
primogeniture ? Why should the succession in the case of 
the geilfine division be extended to one generation further 
than in the case of the other classes ? and why should the 
head of the indfine division remain in the system, although 
he had himself a descendant in the fourth degree, but " go 
out " upon the birth of a descendant of his youngest brother 
in the same degree ? Mr. M'Lennan assumes the four mem- 
bers of each class to have held the original share of the first 
member of that division, as joint tenants ; and if so the 
following questions must at once arise. If A 1 goes out and 
A 2 must thereupon cease to be head of the iarfine division 
and succeed A 1 as head of the indfine, and A' pass similarly 
from the deibhfine to the iarfine, and A* from the geilfine to 
derbhfine, does A 2 cease to be a joint tenant of his own 
original share with B 2 , C 3 , and D 2 , and become a joint tenant 
of the original share of A 1 jointly with B 1 , C 1 , and D 1 , and 
is this process repeated in the other classes, so as to leave 
the four junior members of the geilfine class sole tenants of 
the original share of A* ? and further if, upon the entire ex- 
tinction of the indfine class, the geilfine class become in the 


"formation of new divisions" the derbhfine class, how is 
the fifth man of the geilfine class got rid of? Mr. M'Lennan 
simply says that in this case the geilfine division drops the 
fifth man, but we must confess that such exclusion appears to 
us as inexplicable as his original inclusion. 

In dealing with a question such as the present, there is 
nothing more misleading than analogies and assumed re- 
semblances. Each of the three above-mentioned authors, 
who have treated of this subject, has supported his theory 
by reference to rules existing in other archseic systems of 
law, which are more or less confidently stated as arguments 
for the acceptance of the proposed theory as correct. But a 
profitable comparison can only be instituted between two 
known objects. An attempt to define the qualities of any 
tiling unknown by reference to the qualities of a known 
quantity rests upon antecedent proof (more frequently the 
suppressed assumption) of their identity. This argument 
from tacitly assumed resemblances has been often in the 
present day too far pressed, frequently with very unfortu- 
nate results ; in dealing with an inquiry like the present, it 
would seem to us that the first step is to discover, as far as 
possible, what the actual texts with which we are dealing 
say upon the subject, and to draw our conclusions from 
them free, as far as may be, from those a priori ideas of 
law, which, as incident to the form of society in which we 
live, naturally influence our judgment ; and that when we 
have arrived at some definite conclusions in this manner, 
then, but not until then, the analogies and resemblances of 
other system are useful for the purpose of testing the proba- 
bility of the correctness of the results to which we have 
attained, and as explaining or illustrating many points of 
detail which at first failed to attract the attention which 
they deserved. 

When an attempt is made to deduce, from the existing 
remnants of the works of the Brehon lawyers, a consistent 
theory of the organization of the ancient tribe and family, 
there arises the obvious difficulty, that the documents, with 
which we have to deal, are not the contemporaneous exposi- 


tion of an existing system, and that we have no means of 
arranging them according to the date of their production ; 
even the original text and commentary of many of them are 
separated by long intervals of time, and exhibit ideas alto- 
gether discordant. The earliest date of the original text, or 
rather of the customary rules laid down in the original text, 
is not, and probably cannot be, ascertained; the latest 
commentaries and glosses are probably not earlier than the 
IGth century; they certainly cover a period extending from 
the Danish invasion to the reign of Elizabeth, during which 
the country was exposed to continued war and confusion, 
and subjected to all the political and social causes which 
would naturally lead to the breaking up of the ancient tribe 
and family system, and the substitution of the arbitrary 
power of chiefs commanding bands of armed retainers for the 
regular action of ancient and established custom. The 
analogy of other nations in a similar condition would natur- 
ally lead us to anticipate that during this period the chiefs 
were constantly gaining ground as against the rights of the 
individual members of the tribe, and such would appear to 
have been the case from the days of Conn Cetcorach to that 
of the chiefs, who, in the IGth century, obtained from the 
English Government grants of the tribe lands in fee or fee- 
tail with the object of defeating the custom of Tanistry, or 
of destroying the rights of the customary holders. The 
original constitution of the tribe or family during such a 
period gradually ceases to be an existing social fact, and 
tends to become merely a rule for the distribution of property 
upon death, after a fashion which would be strange and 
inexplicable, if we did not understand it to represent a social 
system which had for all practical purposes disappeared. 
The distribution of property according to the Geilfine system, 
as expounded in the commentary to the Book of Aicill, bears 
the same relation to the original constitution of the 'fine,' as 
the rules of the English law, relative to the succession of 
real estate, bear to the feudal system, or as the distribution 
of property according to the later Civil Law does to the 
early Roman family. Those of the Brehon Law tracts, which 
deal with the geilfine system as an arrangement of the tribe 


or family, would seem therefore the more ancient and 
authoritative with regard to the nature of that organization; 
and it is worthy of remark that the differences, Avhich exist 
between what may be a priori assumed to be the earlier 
and later tracts, are just what might be anticipated to have 
arisen under these circumstances. 

The most important document upon the subject of the 
tribe and family organization is the tract entitled "Of the 
Divisions of the Tribe of a Territory" published in this 
volume, and we desire particular attention both to the text of 
this tract, and the obvious deductions to be drawn therefrom. 
The word translated tribe in the title of this tract is 
" cinel," which is generally understood to mean a tribe in 
the full extension of the term, and containing a greater or 
less number of " families." 

The word translated " territory" means not a mere extent 
of land, but primarily the tribe or people themselves, and 
thence a tract inhabited 'by a definite body, and regarded 
with reference to the rights of the occupants. 

The word "fine," translated variously " tribe" or "family," 
(a circumstance which has been noticed as an error by some 
critics of the present translation of the Brehon Laws,) 
appears on the face of this document as not having any very 
precise or technical meaning, implying any number of per- 
sons conceived as forming a class whether from identity of 
descent, or similarity of rights. 

This document must not be considered as a description 
of the ordinarily existing tribe, but rather as an explana- 
tion of the form which a tribe would assume if fully de- 
veloped in every direction. It is remarkable that this tract 
would appear to consider the tribe and family as commen- 
surate, ii not identical. It would be, however, an error to 
consider that we must, from the tract in question, infer such 
to be the case, a result contradictory of many other passages 
in the Brehon Law tracts and opposed to all analogy.* 
The number of families in the Celtic tribe was never theo- 

* The following passage is conclusive upon tins point: " An ' aire-fne ' be it 
known; a man who leads his family ('/ne') when they are cm thsir way to the 
chief ('./fcj><A ')'' Post. p. 349. 


retically fixed, as were the number of the Roman gentes 
or Greek f pdnai ; and our author naturally deals with the 
simplest case of the tribe consisting of one family, or, which 
is perhaps more probable, when he deals with the family, 
he directs his attention to some one supposed instance. 

The mode in which the tribe or family was organized 
according to this tract, was as follows : 

(A.) The "fine " of the chief (flaithe-fine), consisting of 
(1) the chief's fuidhir tenants ; (2) the kinsmen of the 
chief; (3) the dependents of the chief. 

(B.) The divisions of the "fine" of the territory (1) the 
geilfine; (2) the deirbhfine ; (3) the iarfine ; (4) the 
innfine; (5) the deirghfine; (G) the duibhfine ; (7) the 
finetacuir ; (8) the glasfine ; and (9) the ingen ar meraibh. 
The nature of the five latter divisions, as to which there is 
no doubt, is of much importance in determining that of the 
four first in the second part of this catalogue. The " deirg- 
fine" are described as those who have shed blood; from whom 
no debadh property comes; who receive no share of the tribe 
("fine"), but who nevertheless pay for the crimes of their 
kinsfolk. Dr. W. K. Sullivan describes this class as consisting 
of those " who killed, or attempted to kill the senior members 
of their fine in order to get at their dibad, or property ;"* 
in this he follows Dr. O'Donovan, who states, in the note 
annexed to the text, that they were those who were guilty 
of the murder of a brother familyman, i.e., one of the seven- 
teen men of the four principal divisions. A permanent 
division of murderers is indeed an anomaly in a tribe 
organization, and there is a much simpler and more obvious 
explanation ; in the present volume there is contained a tract 
entitled "The Land is forfeited for Crime," in which it is laid 
down that the land of one who had committed a crime was 
"given for his crime ;" that his land was the primary fund 
for the payment of the "dire "-fine and compensation in 
exoneration of those who by reason of their kinship, or 
family relation, to the criminal, were bound to make good 
his default. The deirgfine-man was one who by reason of 

* Manners and Customs, &c., Vol. I., p. clxvi. 



a crime had forfeited his share in the property of the "fine," 
but in other respects continued to be recognised as a membe 

The "dubhfine " were those whose claims to be members 
of the "fine" were under dispute, and who were reqiurec 
to substantiate their rights by ordeal, or by lot. 

The " fine-tacuir " were not members by descent, fc 
a contract of adoption. 

The " glasfine " were the children of a female member by 
a stranger, defined as the children of an Albanach, and 
described as kindred from beyond the sea. 

The " ingen ar meraib" were those commonly believec 
have claims to be members, but whose title rested merely 
on common repute, and was not the subject of ordeal or lot. 
This term " ingen ar meraibh," literally " the nail on the 
finger," may be similiar to the word " nagel kyn" as desig- 
nating indefinite and indescribable relationship. It is to be 
observed that these five latter classes consist of men not full 
members of the "fine." The "deirghfine," although members 
by descent, had suffered a " diminutio capitis," and were not 
in the enjoyment of full rights. Of the remaining four 
classes two were confessedly not members at all, and the 
membership of the two remaining classes was either in 
supense or unprovable. The four classes of the ff> 
&c must therefore represent the members of the "fine ot 
admitted descent, and full rights. These classes arc in tins 
tract described as follows : 

" The geilfine extends to five persons ; it is they that get the 
' debadk '-property of every kindred chief (cond) who leaves 
' dibadh '-property. 

" The ' deirfine ' extend to nine persons ; their ' dibadh - 
property is not divided according to the number of kindred 


" The ' iarfine ' extend to thirteen men ; they get only t 
fourth part of the fines, or of profits, of the ground, or c 


" The ' innfine ' extend to seventeen men ; they < 
among themselves, as is right, whatever part of the tribe- 
land is left as ' debadh '-land." 


From this tract the following deductions may be safely 
made : (1) the organization of the "fine" was based upon 
the exclusive possession of land by the "fine " as a distinct 
community, and had direct reference to the mode in which 
the land was divided among them. 

(2) The four classes of the geilfine, deirbhfine, iarfine, and 
' innfine ' consisted of seventeen members of the "fine " of 
pure descent, and full rights. 

(3) Each of these four classes was complete in itself and 
possessed distinct joint rights both as against the other three 
classes as well as against the general members of the "fine" 

(4) The four classes of full members do not comprise all 
the members of the fine. The " dubhfine " man, who had 
succeeded in establishing his position in the "fine" by ordeal 
or lot did not enter into the " geilfine " classification, but 
received a share of a fixed amount. 

With reference to the " deirbhfine" division there is stated 
a rule that their property was not divided according to the 
number of kindred heads ; it is possible that this may be 
introduced to point out that as between the " geilfine " and 
" deirbhfine " divisions, the two classes were to be considered 
as different and equal stocks, and the " geilfine " had no 
advantage in the division of property by reason of the 
greater number of its members ; it would seem more 
probable that this is a general rule to the effect that property 
which passed to the " deirbhfine " class was to be divided 
"per stirpes" and not "per capita." This fact is put 
beyond doubt by the passage in page 259 describing the 
mode of the division of the " dire "-fine payable to the family 
(and "fine " ) of a slain man : " Three cumhals of " dire "-fine 
go to the son and to the father ; there are three cumhals 
of "dire"-fine remaining after that; a cumhal of "dire"-Gne of 
them goes to a brother collaterally. There is one 'cumhal' 
of 'dire' fine then after that that is to be divided from 
the lowest man of the ' geilfine ' division until it reaches 
the uppermost man ; and from the uppermost man until it 
reaches the lowest, &c." 

A mau therefore could stand in some relation to . a 


" geilfine " class, which did not include either his existing 
father, son, or brother, and from which we must assume 
that he himself also was excluded. The same conclusion 
must be drawn from the liability to pay fines. Upon this point 
Mr. M'Lennan remarks : " That the divisional organization 
was one of the divisions of the 'fine' or sept, appears from a 
curious passage in the Book of Aicill (Vol. III., p. 481) which 
discusses the question from whom a forced exaction, as in 
payment of a penalty^ or fine, might lawfully be levied. 
Here the ' seventeen men ' are several times referred to as 
specially liable to such an exaction if levied on account 
of the crime of any man connected with them, in terms 
which seem to imply that every tribesman had, necessarily, 
a connexion with a divisional organization which was liable 
for his defaults. In one place the text, which, as it stands, 
reads as nonsense, must have been intended to indicate that 
the distant relatives of the criminal were liable for him only 
when the divisional organization was incomplete, or had 
collapsed a reading which is confirmed by the text. The 
four nearest tribes bear the crime of each kinsman of their 
stock, geilfine, &c. CSenchus Mor, Vol. I., p. 261.) Here 
the connexion is disclosed between a tribesman, himself not 
the member of a divisional organization, and the organiza- 
tion responsible for him."* 

The seventeen men must have exercised an authority and 
rule over the other freemen, of the " fine" or must have 
filled some quasi representative position in relation to their 
fellows. If the former were the fact it is improbable that 
so remarkable a difference of status would have been passed 
over by the author of this tract. 

(5) The seventeen men are not represented as occupying 
among them the entire territory of the " fine," for there was 
a surplus of land available for members of the ' 'dubhfine " 
or of the " glasfine." 

(6) The existence of the organization of the "fine" does 
not seem to have been limited by reference to the life 
or lives of any person, or class of persons ; the existence 

* Primitive Marriage, 2nd ed., p. 480. 


of such classes as the "dubhfine" and the "ingen ar meraibh," 
the members of whom were contemplated as possibly increas- 
ing in number with the rest of the "fine"* prove that "fine" 
so constituted had continued for very long periods.t But 
upon the completion of the four classes to their full number an 
important change took place as to the rights of the members 
of the "fine " in respect of their common property. The 
words in thistract " From this forth it is acaseof acommunity 
of people, it is then family relations cease," are glossed as 
meaning that upon this contingency the subdivisions of land 
and liability separate, or that the relationship becomes ex- 
tinct, or that the four families become extinct. The meaning 
of the glossist is quite clear, not that the previous members 
of the "fine " cease to exist as individuals, but that the organ- 
ization of the "fine " as far as relates to the mode in which 
the common property is held ceases to exist and the commu- 
nity is dissolved into a number of persons holding the land 
they occupied independently of each other and without rights 
of inheritance to the lands of each other. That this is the 
correct interpretation appears from the passage in the first 
tract in this volume, " From seventeen men out they are not 
a tribe-community % and the commentary upon that passage. 
(7) The special yeilfine class possessed -\ certain superiority 
over the other three, and by some such title had an 
exclusive right to extern property falling in, and as a 
natural consequence according to the first principles of 
Brehon law was also subject to a primary liability for the 
crimes of the members of the " fine. " 

These results may be supplemented by some other con- 
clusions gathered from the tracts contained in the present 
and preceding volume. 

There was at the head of the "fine" a chief who repre- 
sented the "fine" in its collective capacity. 

In the Book of Aicill, in discussing the right to property 

found upon roads, and the remedy for injuries done to roads, 

a distinction is drawn between the king of the territory, 

and the geilfine chief, in this passage distinctly described as 

* Page 295. f Vol. IV., p. 213. t Page 39. 



the " geilfine flaith "; and the latter is treated as represent- 
ing the rights of the "fine " as the former those of the entire 
community.* The " geilfine " chief of this passage would 
appear to be the same as the "fair chief of the tribe" whose 
assent was requisite to the validity of contracts dealing with 
" coibne-property ";t and also with the "head of the tribe" 
who had certain rights in the nuptial presents of women of 
the tribe, and the gains of an harlot a member of the tribe.J 
The "geilfine" chief was not always, it appears, necessarily a 
member of the "geilfine " class, for in the second of the pas- 
sages referred to, there occurs a curious proviso restrictive of 
the power of the " fair-chief of the tribe," viz., " unless he be 
the sixth " which, although explained in the gloss in an ob- 
scure manner, appears to mean unless he be not one of the 
first five, i.e., of the geilfine division properly so called.. 
There appear allusions to chiefs of the deirbhfine, iarfine, and 
indfine divisions, which implies that some one of the class 
possessed a seniority, or superiority, over the other members 
of the class.H It would also appear that when a class was 
once formed, it continued to subsist as long as any one 
member of the class continued in existence ; as we should 
now express it, the members of a class were as among them- 
selves joint tenants and not tenants in common. The 
movement of individual members through the different 
classes was not caused by the vacancies in the three latter 
classes but by a superfluity of members in the first class ; 
and that the social position and rights of the classes among 
themselves was in the inverse order of the seniority. That 
there were some connexion of kinship between the members 
of the four classes is everywhere assumed, but the relation- 
ship which may have existed at any time between the 
members may not have been that upon which the system 
was originally constituted. The existence of a father and 
four sons is more than once referred to as the basis of an 

* Vol. III., p. 307. t Vol. IV., p 39. J Id., p. 63. 

Another and slightly different explanation of this passage is suggested subse- 
quently, see p. Ixxxviii. 
|| Vol. IV., p. 243. 


ordinary " geilfine " system, but it does not follow that 
although the existence of a father and four sons would 
result in founding the system, it could not be formed by five 
persons of the same stock, standing in another relationship 
to each other ; it might, it appears, be formed upon the basis 
of five co-existing brothers. That the deirbhfine were 
not descended from the geilfine is shown by the passage, 
which describes the property of the geilfine division upon 
the death of the five members of that division passing to 
a branch extern to the 'geilfine,' viz., the deirbhfine divi- 
sion.* In the glosses upon this passage there is the follow- 
ing : " In this case after the death of the five persons which 
are the geilfine division, the land is divided among the 
three 'fine ' divisions, and in this case there is no female 
heir." As a female is here assumed to have been entitled 
to succeed upon the failure of male heirs, the extinction of 
one of the classes implies both the death of the original mem- 
bers, and the failure of their issue, and it is therefore neces- 
sary in any theory of the system to find room for the succes- 
sion of lineal descendants to the land of their ancestors. 

Mr. M'Lennan after pointing out that such a system 
must be primarily founded upon the possession and dis- 
tribution of land, and that the liability of the members 
for the acts of members of the "fine" is based upon the 
rights which they enjoy in respect of the common property, 
makes the following important observation : " It is not 
difficult to imagine that arrangements of such obvious con- 
venience as defining and limiting the liabilities of kinsmen 
for one another, if once successfully established among the 
superior classes, would in time be imitated by the inferior ; 
and the peculiar settlement of property, worked through a 
divisional organization, as may be easily seen, is nowise in 
its nature, inapplicable to movable estate."t 

In conformity with this observation of Mr. M'Lennan, a 

remarkable analogy to the geilfine system in the "fine" 

appears to have existed among the families of the "fuidhir" 

tenants, which is worthy of much attention in the consider- 

* Vol. IV., p. 39. t Primitive Marriage, 2nd ed., p. 192. 


ation of the present subject. These tenants, settled upon 
the chief's share of the tribe lands, were recruited from the 
broken men, who had lost land and kinship, and in the tribe 
organization were supposed to form portion of the "fine" 
of the chief (flaithfine), but at an early period they seemed 
to have formed artificial families upon the system of recip- 
rocal liability, and to have acquired a right of hereditary 
transmission of property. The passage to which we refer 
lays down as a general principle that " the natural bondman 
does not bear the crimes of his relatives," but that if there 
were five houses of " fuidhir " tenants, each householder 
having a stock of one hundred cattle, and all under one 
chief, they formed an association, recognised as a portion 
of the tribe, for each thereupon shared in the common tribe 
land (dibadh) and paid for the crimes of the other member 
of their separate organization. The phrase "They share the 
tribe property,' 1 translated as in the last sentence by an 
earlier glossist, is translated by a subsequent commentator, 
"Each of them shall share the tribe property of each other ;" 
according to this view the reciprocal liability for crimes 
drew with it common rights and joint ownerships in the 
aggregate stock of the five houses.* But whatever rights 
the five head men of these "fuidhir" houses acquired in the 
common stock, it must have been subject to the succession 
of lineal heirs, as in a subsequent passage we read (m respect 
of the case of fuidhir tenants), " the father does not sell any- 
thing to the prejudice of his sons, grandsons, great grand- 
sons, or great great grandsons."t To constitute such a com- 
munity there must have been a certain number of persons 
belonging to different households, and also possessing an 
adequate amount of property. The sons, brothers, &c., of 
an household were liable for each others deeds without such 
organization, and the addition of impecunious persons into 
such an association would create a liability without any 
reciprocal guarantee. 

* Post, page 43. The precise meaning is not important, but we are inclined to 
prefer the latter translation. 
f Post, p. 287. 


There must have existed distinct and early laws of 
hereditary succession to lands of inheritance (orba) among 
the Irish Celtic tribes, but these rules have in fact been 
amalgamated in the "geilfine" system, and cannot be now 
understood apart from it ; the Welsh rules which may be 
assumed to have some general resemblance to those of the 
Irish, throw, in our opinion, considerable light upon this 
subject. The relation of the father and son in the Welsh 
law in respect of the family inheritance resembled rather 
the civil law substitution, than the English joint-tenancy ; 
"neither is the son to deprive his father, during his life, of 
land and soil ; in like manner the father is not to deprive 
the son of land." * Such a rule, if strictly carried out, would 
have created a perpetual succession, and the right of the heir 
could be barred only in one way, viz., by an agreement 
between " father, brothers, cousins, second cousins, and the 
lord ;" a proceeding the same as the present mode of barring 
a Scotch tailzie. Upon the death of the father, the daughters 
took nothing, unless there was a failure of male heirs ; upon 
the death of the father .the sons divided the lands between 
them in the following manner : " When brothers share the 
patrimony between them, the youngest is to have the 
principal tyddyn, and all the buildings of his father, and 
eight erws of land, his boiler, his fuel hatchet, and his coulter; 
because a father cannot give these three to any but to the 
youngest son ; and though they should be pledged, they 
never become forfeited. Then let every brother take an 
homestead with eight erws of land ; and the youngest son 
is to share, and they are to choose in succession from the 
eldest to the youngest."t 

The inheritance having been thus divided among the first 
generation of descendants, was again divided among the 
grandsons, and again among the great grandsons, after which 
there was no further apportionment. By this we must 
understand that the three first generations of descendants 
took "per capita," and that the fourth generation retained 

* Ancient Laws of Wales, Vol. I., p. 177. 
t Ancient Laws of Wales, Vol. I., p. 543. 


the existing shares by household or per stirpes. The reshar- 
ing was subject to the exception that no one should "remove 
from his tyddyn to another ; because the tyddyns are of such 
a number that no one is obliged to be a builder for another".* 
The right to inherit the share of any deceased relative, was 
not as collateral heir of the deceased, but as a lineal descend- 
ant of the original ancester ;f to use the terms of English 
law, heirship was claimed not to the last seized, but to the 
purchaser; but the right of inheritance stopped short at the 
fourth generation of descendants ; the descendant in the 
fifth degree had no hereditary claim through his ancestor to 
any portion of the lands of inheritance, and therefore kins- 
men more distantly related than third cousins could not be 
heirs to each other in respect of shares in lands of inheritance. 
In default of relations within this degree the land escheated 
to the king.J It is to be remarked that according to this 
system the elder brothers go out of the father's house and 
establish themselves in separate buildings, upon distinct 
portions, cut out for them of the lands ; and the youngest 
son is left in the possession of the original homestead and 
all its gear. The redivisions are not partitions of the land 
exhausting the entire, but on these occasions each male 
descendant acquires a fixed portion as his share ; after the 
third generation there is no further redistribution of the 
land ; and after the fourth generation the family organiza- 
tion is dissolved into separate households, each of which 
(for the purpose of inheritance) had no relationship with the 

* Ancient Laws of Wales, Vol. II., p. 291. fid. J Id., Vol. I., p. 545. 

That the hereditary right of succession to property and the claims of kinship 
should cease, or be very much diminished at some particular point in the chain of 
descent, is a conception not unknown to ancient law. "The typical example of 
this division of the clan, as of so many other of our early institutions, is found in 
India. In that country the degress of kindred, as I have already observed, were 
determined by the nature of the sacred rights in which the kinsmen shared. The 
nearer relatives offered to then- deceased ancestors thepinda or sacrificial cake. The 
more distant relatives made an offering of water. The former were called Sapin- 
das, or persons connected with the cake. The latter were called Samanodocas 
or persons connected by equal oblations of water. The relation of the Sapindas 
ceases with the seventh person, that is, with the sixth degree of kindred." (The 


In the following observations it is desirable to use the 
terra "tribe" and "family" in a techincal sense, treating the 
former as indicating the larger organization known as the 
"cinel," the latter as equivalent to the "fine;" this distinc- 
tion between the " tribe" and the " family" appears in all 

degrees of kindred in this passage are calculated according to the rules of the 
English, not cf the Civil Law.) " Thejelation of the Samanodocas ceases only when 
their birth and family name are no longer known. The Sapindas have the primary 
right of inheritance to a deceased person; and failing the Sapindas the Samanodocas 
succeed. In other words all those persons are Sapindas, who have a common 
great-grandfather, or other nearer ascendant, that is second cousins and all nearer 
relatives. All those persons are Samanodocas, who have a common great-great- 
grandfather, or other more remote ascendant, that is third cousins and all more 
distant relatives. In the. former case, the common ancestor who marks the limit, 
is the father's grandfather. In the latter case it is the grandfather's grandfather. 
Thus the Prince of Wales and the Ex-Crown Prince of Hanover are Sapindas, 
because they trace descent from the same great-grandfather, King George III., 
but their children fall into the wider circle of Samanodocas, or more remote 
kinsmen. The Aryan Bmuehold, p. 168. 

The actual text of the Welsh Law is as follows : 

1. When sons share their patrimony between them, the youngest is to have the 
principal tyddyn, and all the buildings of his father, and eight erws of land, his 
boiler, his fuel hatchet, and his coulter; because a father cannot give these three 
to anyone but to the younger son ; and though they should be pledged, they never 
become forfeited. Then let every brother take a homestead with eight erws of 
land, and the youngest son is to share ; and they are to choose in succession, from 
the eldest to the youngest. 

2. Three times shall the same patrimony be shared between three grades of a 
kindred; first between brothers, the second time between cousins, the third tune 
between second cousins ; after that there is no propriate share of the land. 

3. No person is to demand re-sharing, but one who has not obtained a share by 
choosing ; thence the proverb, there is no choice in what is settled. 

4. No person is to obtain the land of a co-heir, as of a brother, or of a cousin, 
or of a second cousin, by claiming it as heir of the one co-h*eir who shall have died 
without leaving an heir of his body ; but by claiming it as hen- to one of his own 
parents, who had been owner of that land until his death without heir, whether a 
father, grandfather, or great-grandfather, that land he is to have, if he be the 
nearest next-of-kin to the deceased. 

5. After brothers shall have shared their patrimony between them, if one of 
them die without leaving an heir of his body, or co-heir, to a third cousin, the 
king is to be the heir to that land. 

6. As a brother is rightful heir to his patrimony, so is his sister rightful heir 
to her gwaddol, through which she may obtain a husband entitled to land ; that 
is to say, from her father, or from her co-inheritors, if she remain under the 
guidance of her parents and co -inheritors. 

7. If an owner of laud have no other heir than n daughter, the daughter is to 


early systems, and correlative terms expressing them are 
found in many languages.* 

The "family" came into being under certain circumstances, 
and again was dissolved upon the existence of a certain 
state of facts ; the " tribe" existed before the " family" came 
into being and continued to exist after the latter had been 
dissolved ; the "tribe" consisted of an aggregate of individuals 
connected by a real or assumed relationship, and occupying 
in separate households a district of which they in some 
manner were the common owners. 

Let us consider the circumstances under which a "family" 
organized upon the geilftne system came into existence ; 
the mere fact that a member of the tribe had a certain 
number of children would be insufficient, for it rested 
upon the basis of the possession of a distinct and separate 
property ; nor again would the bare fact of the possession 
of land enable a member even of the " family" to found a 
new geilfine group, for there was only one such organiza- 
tion in each family. 

The property upon which a family was formed was not a 
right to a share greater or less in the general tribe land to 
be allotted from time to time, or a right to depasture the 
waste of the tribe, but the exclusive possession of a definite 
portion of the tribe land, granted out the general mass, and 
appropriated as the exclusive and hereditary property of the 
descendants of some definite individual, an estate corre- 
sponding to the A.S. bocland, and described in the Brehon 

Law as " orba." 

be heiress to the whole land. The Dimetian Code, ch. xxiii., A. L. & I., vol. i., 
p. 543. 

" Distribution is in the first place to be between brothers. The youngest is to choose 
his tyddyn with such houses as may be upon the eight erws, if he be an uchelior, 
and from oldest to oldest let them choose their tyddyn, and to every one what 
houses may be upon his tyddyn. And after that let the youngest son share in every 
case ; and from eldest to eldest let them choose. Afterwards cousins are entitled 
to a re-sharing, but no one shall remove from his tyddyn for another, because the 
tyddyns are of such number that no one is obliged to be a builder for another. 
And in that manner are second cousins to re-share. And, after the third sharing, 
let everyone re-claim his share in his possession lawfully through guardians of 
land-borderers. Cyoreithian Cymru, xxxi., 1, A. L. &, I. of Wales, vol. ii. , p. 291. 

* The Aryan Household, 161-171. 


If land has thus been dedicated to the use of a separate 
family, the claims of its members to enjoy their several 
proportions by hereditary right must be traced from the 
original acquirer, or in the old English law term " from the 
conqueror." This is very clearly shown by the Welsh rule 
that heirship is traced back in the first instance to the 
ancestor, and not to the deceased. As the family increased, 
the additional further accommodation is provided for, not by 
the enlargement of the original dwelling, but by the erection 
of new buildings with several allotments. The brothers 
under the Welsh Jaw did not upon the father's death take 
equal undivided or divided shares, but to each was alloted 
his homestead with his eight erws of land in severalty. The 
existence of the thickly scattered "raths" in Ireland would 
of itself prove that the "family" occupied its district in this 
manner, and in the tract of the "Crith Gabhlach" (also 
published in this volume) the several members of the tribe 
are assumed to occupy separate houses, classified as to size, 
&c., in accordance with the rank of the occupiers ; the Celtic 
family never seems to have clung together in the peculiar 
form of the Sclavonic household. 

In considering how a yeilfine system might have been 
formed, the question why the number of seventeen formed 
an element in the organization may be postponed for sub- 
sequent consideration. Nothing can be more embarrassing 
than an attempt to reconstruct a system founded both upon 
hereditary descent, and certain assumed arithmetical propor- 
tions. A family arranged upon some rules of inheritance can 
be easily understood, if once the principle of hereditary suc- 
cession which underlies it, be ascertained ; a political insti- 
tution resting upon the selection of a fixed number from the 
indefinite mass of the population, can be supposed to have 
been an actually working institution. But when we read 
of assemblies formed of members selected in certain propor- 
tions-, or in fixed numbers, out of different stocks, or of 
property divided among the descendants of some ancestor 
in a fixed number of shares, it is clear that we are no longer 

* Ancient Laws of Wales, Vol. I., p. 177. 


dealing with actual facts, but with theoretical descriptions 
of what the institution was supposed in the abstract to have 
been. The numbers in each family must be uncertain ; some 
men have many, some few or no descendants. The actual 
condition of the population must soon have rendered its 
arithmetical classification impossible, if such classification 
ever existed in fact. No one pretends to believe in the actual 
existence of the early Roman constitution, with a perma- 
nently fixed number of tribes, curia?, gentes, and familise ; 
and yet upon the assumption of the existence of an almost 
impossible state of facts rest the number of the members of 
the senate, and the organization of the legion. Institutions, 
as all else, must accommodate themselves to existing facts, 
and in such cases as those to which we have referred the 
principle of hereditary right must shake off the incumbrance 
of arithmetical arrangement, or the numerical arrangement 
be carried out in disregard of the strict rules of descent. 

The original acquirer of " orba " land establishes upon it 
his household, and as the number of his sons increases 
beyond the capacity of one common dwelling, they success- 
ively go out, take separate allotments, and establish them- 
selves in distinct homesteads. This scattering of the original 
household must have arisen as a matter of necessity, as the 
consequence of an increase in number beyond the accommo- 
dation of the paternal dwelling. The eldest would probably 
first marry and leave the original home, and the order of 
their departure would probably follow that of their seniority. 
That the sons took their separate allotments during the life 
of the parent, and not upon his death, is the only mode of 
explaining the Welsh rule that the youngest and not the 
eldest son, succeeded to the father's house and gear ; this 
must have rested upon the assumption that the youngest 
son alone remained in his father's house, which he jointly 
occupied with the father, upon whose death he remained in 
sole possession by survivorship, rather than succeeded by 
inheritance. Each son as he successively left his father's 
house received his share in the lands of inheritance, and, 
having become the head of a distinct household, would 


cease to be a joint owner with his father in the original 
property; the portion acquired by an elder son who had 
thus gone out would pass to his descendants, according to 
the ordinary rules of descent, but the undisposed of resfdue 
of the original lands would survive to the youngest son, 
who had not gone out, as representing his father in the 
manner before mentioned. 

The "geilfine" system began to exist when there was a 
father and four sons ; but the question arises as to the 
particular date at which this happened. That such date 
was that of the birth of the fourth son is in every way 
improbable; the members of the system are always spoken 
of as "the seventeen men," who have definite rights and 
considerable liabilities, which could neither be enjoyed 
nor performed by infant children residing in their father's 
house. The members of the geilfine stood in definite rela- 
tion to each other ; they had certain rights in each others 
property, but what was more important, they were jointly 
liable for the wrongs committed by any of the "family," 
and were guarantors among themselves for the payments to 
be made in respect of any such. That a man's four infant 
sons, who resided in his house, and possessed no independent 
property, were joined with him as security for his debts, 
would be of no advantage to extern creditors, and the father 
could not expect any benefit from having joined with him- 
self as co-securities, his sons, who had no property except a 
contingent interest in what he himself possessed. The nature 
of the relation between the members of a "geilfine " system 
implies that they all are sui juris, and all owners of property 
efficient to answer their joint and reciprocal obligations. It 
is at this point that the great importance of the mode in 
which the "findhir" tenants are organised into a fictitious 
family is apparent. This was, as stated in the passage 
before referred to, effected by combining into one, five dis- 
tinct households, not individuals, each possessing a fixed 
minimum of property. The unit here, as is generally the 
case in early tribal systems, is not the individual, but the 
household; when an individual i.s spoken of, he is referred 


to in his character of the head of an household ; his property 
is originally the property of the household, of which he is 
the manager rather than the absolute owner. It is remark- 
able that the hereditary rights of succession of "findhir" 
tenants is apparently connected with the fact of their being 
organised ; this would be a natural consequence of such an 
arrangement, for the property of any " findhir" house having 
been caught by the system of mutual guarantee, the house- 
hold would be continued for the purpose of the fulfilment 
of the guarantee, in the persons of the sons of the original 
head as a member of the artificial family. For these reasons 
there are considerable grounds for assuming that the^four 
sons, who jointly with their father formed a " geilfine," are 
four sons who have gone out and established themselves in 
independent homesteads upon their allotments. 

Disregarding again for the present the question of 
numbers, the father and his sons, who have left the original 
home, and established themselves as the heads of indepen- 
dent houses, form the nucleus of the " geilfine " arrangement 
of the family ; we have now an organization of households 
and a community, or land held by a community (coibne), 
instead of land held by an individual as head of an house ; 
and in place of being " the paterfamilias " the father becomes 
the "geilfine" chief, or the head (c-eud) of the community. 
The number of households in the community is fixed by 
the number of new homesteads established by the sons 
who have gone out, that is, a number equal to the sum 
total of the father and his forisfamiliated sons ; and if the 
union be an union not of individuals, but of householders 
representing their separate homesteads, the system will 
not be broken up by the death of any leaving issue, but 
his successor in the headship of his house will take his 
place in the geilfine system. 

The youngest son, succeeding his father as head of the 
original household, would at an early period probably 
succeed to the headship of the family also. The ancient 
religion of the Irish Celts has absolutely disappeared, but if 
their religious ideas resembled those of many others of the 


early Aryan tribes, among whom the headship of the family 
is intimately connected with the performance of the sacred 
rites at the original hearth, it would not appear unnatural 
that the headship should remain with the son, who, although 
the youngest, occupied the original home of the family. 

The geilfine system having been once originated, it is to 
be considered whether the sons of the original acquirer 
represent the branch of system technically known as the 
" geilfine " branch, or represent the first members of the 
four distinct branches, as is the opinion of Mr. M'Lennan. 
To the latter opinion there appear to be insuperable 
objections. It excludes the ancestor from the system 
altogether; it confines the number of households in the 
family to four; it certainly fails satisfactorily to account 
for the extra member of the geilfine branch ; it introduces 
the wholly foreign theory of primogeniture ; and it involves 
the fatal difficulty that a large proportion of the members 
must be infants ; as to the extraordinary longevity and 
power of reproduction he attributes to its members, we take 
no objection, as its author throughout treats the geilfine 
system, not as an existing social organization, but a specu- 
lative theory of descent. 

That the geilfine class was formed before the deirbfine 
began to come into being, must be, in our opinion, the 
conclusion to be arrived at, upon an examination of the 
texts, and is the only theory upon which the peculiar in- 
timate union between the members of each class amono- 
themselves, and the gradations of rank and probable differ- 
ence of wealth among the classes can be accounted for. 

The creation of the deirbfine class is similar to that of 
the geilfine, and would appear to have arisen in the same 
manner. If the sons, who leave the original home, take 
fixed allotments to which their descendants will be con- 
fined, and the original home and the balance of the lands 
of inheritance remain with the youngest son, and are 
available for the establishment of his descendants, it must 
follow that until the lands are completely occupied, the 
elder stocks must be constantly losing ground in point of 


wealth as compared with the younger. If a son of the 
youngest son can, on leaving the original home, receive an 
allotment similar to that which his father's elder brother 
received, his position is much better than that of his first 
cousins, and with each successive generation the disparity 
would become more marked. The answer to this objection 
is, that the existence of this very disparity, is one of the 
most peculiar, and, at first, unaccountable facts of the geilfine 
system, according to which the members of the geilfine 
class are, by the introduction of new members, promoted, or 
degraded (it is immaterial which term is used) into and 
through the three other classes, with a loss upon the occasion 
of each removal of position and property, but with a co- 
relative diminution of liability. 

That the four branches of the geilfine system represent 
four distinct generations of the descendants of the original 
acquirer must be admitted ; the terms descriptive of the 
four classes are repeatedly used as expressing the four 
successive generations descending from a supposed ances- 
tor ; but it appears equally certain that none of the classes 
were the descendants of any other of them. The glosses, 
indeed, treat the geilfine branch as being sons, the deirbfine 
branch as being grandsons, &c. ; but if the views of the 
commentator in the Book of Aicill are not to be actually 
discarded, the "indfine" class contained the senior members 
of the system, and the geilfine the youngest; and hence 
the anomaly that the word which signifies the junior 
members of the class, are supposed to indicate the sons, and 
that which signifies the senior members of the class the 
great great-grandsons of the same person. So far, however, 
from treating the " deirbfine " as representing the " geilfine " 
class, the former is spoken of as a foreign branch taking 
only upon the failure of the issue of the geilfine. 

The youngest son of the original acquirer, having suc- 
ceeded his father, marries in his turn, and his sons, beginning 
with the eldest, go out successively and settle on their 
allotments. The second head with his four forisfamiliated 
sons forms a new geilfine branch, and that formed by the 


four sons of the original acquirer is pushed down into the 
hfine class ; the original house, being that out of which 
the successive generations have swarmed, alwaj^s continuing 
as an household of the geilfine, and thus the existing chief 
with his forisfnmiliated sons always forming the geilfine 
division ; the claim of the several branches of the system to 
their respective allotments, supposing the generations to 
have died off evenly, and the whole number seventeen to 
have been filled up, would be as follows : the geilfine would 
be the sons of an existing head or chief; the deirbfine, the 
first cotisrns of the geilfine, would claim as the grandsons 
of the previous chief; the iarfine, second cousins of the 
geilfine, would claim as great-grandsons of the second last 
chief; the indfine, the third cousirts of the geilfine, would 
claim as the great great-grandchildren of the original 
acquirer. The senior branch upon this supposition is that 
most removed from the chief for the time being, and for 
the reasons before stated also the least wealthy. The four 
divisions, representing four successive generations, would, 
if the analogy of the Welsh Law is of weight, complete the 
system ; if the right of hereditary succession was not trans- 
missible beyond the fourth generation of the descendants 
of the original acquirer, the sons of the fifth chief or head 
would have no right to allotments, and no further indepen- 
dent households could be formed. 

If the respective classes represent in the manner above 
mentioned four successive generations of the descendants of 
the original acquirer, each generation represents either 
brothers or the descendants of brothers ; and each class, 
taken by itself, formed a distinct subdivision of the farnilv, 
the members of which were the nearest relations of each 

If each class represents a generation, it, at first sight, is 
difficult of explanation how four successive generations re- 
main of the same number, neither less, nor more, but this 
objection is removed if we admit that each class is in fact 
the offspring of a single individual. 

We are strongly inclined to believe that in its inception 


the respective classes were not tied down by any fixed 
rules as to numbers, although at the date of the commentary 
on the Book of Aicill the number of seventeen was con- 
sidered as of the essence of the system. The geilfine 
organization is frequently spoken of as the " seventeen men," 
which would lead to the supposition that the number was 
always kept up by some contrivance to that amount ; but 
from the rule that a class was not extinguished as long as 
there was one member of it in existence, it is clear that the 
system could, and must often, have been worked with very 
reduced numbers ; a circumstance not incompatible with 
its successful operation, for the survivorship existing among 
the members of each class would concentrate the property 
of all in the hands of the last survivor, and leave the 
amount of property available for the fulfilment of their 
mutual guarantees unaltered. 

The numerical form of early institutions arises from the 
desire of half-educated men for an unattainable arithmetical 
completeness in their arrangements, and from the wholly 
unwarranted assumption, with the view to enable them to 
construct theoretical systems, that all the families would be 
of some fixed amount, and that the members would be 
born or die off in the required order. The lawyers who 
reduced to writing the customs of the "fine" assumed that 
the number of children in each family would be five, that 
is, four who go out, and one who remains in the original 
home/and that, therefore, the system in its complete de- 
velopment must consist of seventeen persons, although 
probably as a fact it frequently fell short of that amount. 
The perfect form of seventeen persons, divisible in the 
four classes, each representing four brothers, with the 
addition of the head of the household occupying the original 
home, became the accepted theoretic form of the institution. 
If the number of seventeen members once became the 
supposed essence of the arrangement, that, which originally 
consisted of four classes, each of which was assumed to be 
four in number, and which, therefore, with the addition of 
original house, made up seventeen individuals, was con- 


sidered as an organism of seventeen persons, sub-divided 
for occult reasons into four classes containing each a certain 

In the "Bee Judgments" and "Rights of Water," allusions 
are made to the four geilfine classes, which manifestly prove 
that the four classes were regarded as distinct from, and 
contrasted with, each other. The geilfine system must 
have been familiar to the authors of these tracts, who 
illustrate local positions by reference to the relations be- 
tween these classes. Nothing can more clearly show that 
each class was considered as a complete entity in itself. 

Although the rule may have prevailed from an early date 
that the four geilfine classes should comprise no more than 
seventeen menbers, the number thus theoretically fixed 
could not often have come into conflict with facts ; the 
chance of four successive householders in the lineal descent 
having each five sons, all of whom marry and have issue, is 
very remote, and may be practically dismissed from consider- 

\Ve have already stated our explanation of there being 
four classes in geilfine system, and no more, viz., the rule 
that hereditary rights were not transmissible through more 
than four generations, and that therefore the organization 
could not be carried on beyond the great-great-grandsons 
of the original acquirer ; other results worthy of consider- 
ation would arise upon this contingency, which are implied 
in the remarkable phrase ; " From this forth it is a case of 
a community of people, it is then family relations cease." 
At first sight it would appear that the paragraph states that 
the innfine class divide among themselves the residue of 
the lands " of the family " as if it were " common tribe land," 
and that thereupon the organization of the " family," was 
dissolved. This would imply that the " innfine " class could 
at once on coming into being, dissolve the "family," a 
conclusion contrary to all the passages, which treat the 
" family " with its four classes as a continuing entity ; it is 
quite impossible to imagine that the completion of the 
system involved its dissolution. It appears that no further 


generation of sons issuing from the original dwelling could 
obtain allotments, because the fourth occupier of the house \vas 
the last who had a right to settlehis sons on the " family "laud ; 
his younger son, the fifth occupier of the original holding, 
could putout his sons as they married, but was obliged todivide 
the original holding, which up to this would have remained 
entire, among all his sons. The peculiar privileges attached 
to this holding would be lost, and all the "households" 
placed on an equality ; the house which up to this had been 
the chiefs house would become one of the houses of the 
ultimate "geilfine" divisions, thus permanently raisin cr the 
number of members of the class to live; the undisposed 
of residue of the land, so much as had not been allotted 
to the sixteen members of the four divisions, would be 
divisible among the households probably per stirpes. The 
land of the " family, " which up to this had been regarded 
as the undivided property of the community (coibne 
land), is broken up among the various members in 
independent properties. This explains the expression relat- 
ive to covenants dealing with coibne property, "which 
the fair chief of the tribe ("family ') confirms unless he be the 
sixth ;" for the sixth chief of the " family, " however elected, 
would be the first who did not represent the rights of the 
original acquirer. We haveno information how the "geilfine" 
chief was subsequently appointed; the note prefixed to the 
commencement of the Tract " On Succession " proves that 
the succession to the headship of the " family " was an open 
question, and that the lawyers were inclined to support the 
doctrine of seniority as against some previously established 

It is necessary to consider the rules of succession laid 
down in the commentary in the Book of Aicill, with the 
object of ascertaining how far they agree with the theory 
of the origin of the geilfine system which has been here 
suggested. The well known passage in the Book of Aicill 
appears to treat of the question how the property of a 
household should be divided among its members, and would 
therefore deal with a much later stage of the Brehon Law, 


when the property of the originally united household was 
subject to distribution among its members. The principle 
that this property should be divided among seventeen per- 
sons at most, was then accepted, but the reason for such a 
number being fixed upon had at that time been forgotten, as 
there are no definite grounds shown for the distribution of the 
members into the four classes, and the essential and distinct 
unity of each class has been abandoned by the supposition that 
an individual of one class can be passed on into another class 
by the increasing number of junior members, and that, when 
the number of possible members exceeds seventeen, the senior 
member of the " innfine" class passes out of the organization . 

It was, of course, impossible, when dealing with the mere 
distribution of property among the members of the house- 
hold to suppose the system broken up when ' the number 
exceeded seventeen, and the extrusion of the senior member 
was a devise to avoid this difficulty. Sir H. S. Maine's 
explanation of this passage, supposing it simply to express 
a late mode of dividing household property xipon the 
analogy of the prior distribution of family property, may be 
adopted with the exception of the continuance of the parent 
in the geilfine division.* The addition member of that 
division was, it seems, inti-oduced from the older system, 
and retained after the reason for the fact had been forgotten. 

Assuming the original geilfine system to have been such 
as has been suggested, the principle for the division of the 
property of the household laid down in the Book of Aicill 
is clear and consistent. 

The actual relationship of the members of a fully devel- 

* Although great weight is to be attributed to the opinion of Sir II. S. Maine, 
it may be fairly ccinjectured that at the date of the Commentary upon the Book 
of Aicill the rules for the distribution of property in the case dealt with were a 
mere survival of an organization which had practically ceased to exist, and that 
the seventeen consisted of the seventeen junior male descendants of the stirps, 
without reference to the original number of sons, and that these seventeen were 
arranged in classes after the analogy of the ancient divisions of the family. The 
anomalous results which would follow in some ca^f-s where the number of male 
descendants exceeded seventeen would not be more extraordinary than those 
which in exceptional cases occur under all systems for the distribution of property 
after death. 


oped geilfine system, if all the members died off at regular 
intervals, would be as follows. The members of all the four 
classes would then be the descendants in the fourth degree 
of the original acquirer; the " geiljine" division would be 
the first cousins of the deirbfine division ; the second cousins 
of the iarfine division, and the third cousins of the innjine 
division ; the deirbfine division would be the first cousins 
of the geiljine division ; the second cousins of the iarjine 
division, and the third cousins of the innjine division ; the 
iarjine division would be the second cousins of both the 
geiljine and deirbfine divisions, and the third cousins of the 
innfine division ; and the innjine division would be the 
third cousins of the three other divisions. Their relation- 
ship might also be traced by representation, that is by the 
relationship which at the first existed between the original 
members of each division, in which view the geiljine division 
would be the nephews of the deirbfine division, the great 
nephews of the iarjine division, and the great great nephews 
of the innfine division ; the deirbfine division would be the 
uncles of the geilfine division, the nephews of the iarjine 
division, and the great nephews of the innjine division ; the 
iarjine division would be the uncles of the deirbfine division, 
the great uncles of the geilfine division, and the nephews of 
the innfine division ; and the innfine division would be the 
uncles of the iarjine division, the great xincles of the deirb- 
fine division, and the great great uncles of the geiljine 
division. As upon the failure of any class the property is 
to be divided among classes and not per capita, their shares 
are in the first instance determined by the assumed natural 
relationship of these divisions, and if this does not differ- 
entiate the classes, then by their representative relationship ; 
the nearest class taking three fourths, the next three six- 
teenths, and the most remote taking one sixteenth. On the 
extinction of the geilfine, three fourths would pass to their 
first cousins the deirbfine, three sixteenths to their second 
cousins the iarjine, and one sixteenth to their third cousins 
the innfine. On the extinction of the deirbfine three fourths 
would pass to their first cousins the geilfine, three sixteenths 


to their second cousins the iarfine, and one sixteenth to their 
third cousins the innfine. On the extinction of the iarfine 
division, a difficulty would arise, as both the deirbfine and 
geilfine divisions would stand in the same relation, viz., that 
of second cousins, and their respective portions would have 
to be determined by their representative kinship ; the 
deirbfine division as representing nephews would take the 
precedence of the geilfine division as representing great 
nephews, and three fourths would go to the deirbfine 
division, three sixteenths to the geilfine division, and one 
sixteenth to the innfine division. In the case of the extinc- 
tion of the innfine division, all the other divisions stand to 
them in same degree of actual kinship, and the division of 
the property would follow representative kinship exclusively, 
three fourths passing to their nephews the iarfine division, 
three sixteenths to their great nephews the deirbfine 
division, and one sixteenth to their great great nephews the 
geilfine division. The distribution of the property of any 
two extinct classes follows precisely the same rules ; if the 
property of each class be separately divided in the propor- 
tion of twelve to four between the surviving classes in 
accordance with their nearness of kinship. Thus upon the 
failure of both the geilfine and deirbfine division, the pro- 
perty of both is divisable between the remaining classes, 
their second and third cousins, three fourths to the iarfine, 
and one fourth to the innfine division ; but upon the ex- 
tinction of the iarfine and innfine divisions, the two sur- 
viving classes standing in the same degree of actual kinship 
to both, the principle of representation is introduced and 
three fourths pass to the deirbfine and one fourth to the 
geilfine division. 

This mode of explaining the geilfine system gives the key 
to the rules laid down in the 39th page of this volume. 
The passage referred to is an attempt to lay down the 
rules for the succession to a female in the technical terms 
used in reference to the organization of the family. It 
appears from the gloss that the rules 3 and 4, in page xlii, 
deal with the succession to the property of a deceased female, 


and ihat tLe grand-children and great grand-children, there 
referred to, are not those of the deceased female, but of the 
original settler, if we may use this modern term. It appears 
that the hereditary right to the vacant lands did not extend 
beyond the fourth generation of the stirps, and that descend- 
ants of the several generations are conceived as co-existing. 
The existing descendants of the original stirps may be classed 
in two modes, either as constituting a geilfinc system, or 
classified with reference to the relationship which the 
original members of any division of such a system would 
have borne to the original stirps. In a fully formed family 
the members of the geilfine class would be the original 
members of their division and descendants in the fourth 
generation of the stirps ; the dcirlihfine class would represent 
their fathers, the descendants in the third generation, and 
similarly the iarfine and innfine would represent ancestors 
who were the grandsons and sons of the original stirps ; 
thus the terms geilfine and deirbhfine might in a secondary 
sense be used to designate descendants in the fourth and the 
third generation. The four generations of the male issue of 
the settler seem to have been regarded as forming four classes 
equivalent to the classes of the geilfinc system, and having 
similar rights of property and succession inter 8( 

Upon the completion of the Geilfine system the "family" 
does not appear to have dissolved beyond the extinction of 
hereditary rights in the land of the family; the organization 
still continued upon the basis of mutual guarantee and 
liability; the seventeen houses (or the lesser number actually 
in existence) formed the patriciate of the "family," jointly 
liable for the compensation for the wrong committed by 
members of the family, and jointly entitled to share in 
certain proportions in the compensation payable for wrongs 
inflicted upon members of the family. The chief represented 
henceforth the " family ;" not the hereditary rights of the 
original acquirer, for property falling in from externs vested 
not in him but- the yeiljine class; to the last the distinc- 

* The difficulty in this explanation is the incomprehensible glosses, page 41, lines 
30 and 31. It may be suggested that the glosses in question hare been transposed. 


tion of the "tribe" and "family" must have been clearly 
marked, the family rested on the lands of inheritance booked 
to the original acquirer, and as a family had no property 
external to that, the tribe possessed the general undivided 
tribe lands and the waste pasturage lands ; these latter it is 
to be observed cannot have been included in the lands of 
the "family" which were finally divided upon the completion 
of the geiliine system. The claim of an individual to share 
in the pasturage was founded upon his being a member of 
the tribe, and had no connexion with his membership of 
a family, and when, we proceed to consider the Crith 
Gabhlach, it will be clear that, in the organization of the 
tribe, the family was wholly disregarded, as in the legion, 
the individual citizens were equal in the face of the law, 
and the paternal authority disregarded. 

The conclusions, to which we arrive, may be briefly stated 
as follows: (1) the geilfine system was an ingeniously 
contrived organization of the " family" with the object of 
keeping it together upon the basis of mutual guarantee, 
founded upon the antecedent rules of succession to lands of 
inheritance (orlci) ; and of retaining the lands of inheritance 
in the descendants of the original acquirer, as far as the 
existing rules as to " remoteness of limitations" permitted ; 
(2) that it was contrived in the interest of the noble classes, 
who possessed sufficient influence to procure portions of the 
public tribe lands to be granted to them and their families 
to the exclusion of the rights of the general body of the 
"tribe" ; (3) that as the general tribe lands were appropriated 
by the noble class, the system in its earlier stages gradually 
became obsolute, and merely a subject of antiquarian en- 
quiry ; and that the later commentators, especially when 
once the idea of seniority as the basis of succession had been 
established, were unabled clearly to explain its origin and 
probably found more difficulty in understanding it than does 
the modern student ; and (-4) that the system when existing 
in its latest state of survival was adopted as the basis 
for a system of rules relative to the distribution of the 
property of an household, to which in its origin it had really 
no analogy. 




It is a cardinal principle of the Brehon Law that the 
liability to pay the fines and compensation for crimes, 
committed by a member of a tribe or family, should fall upon 
the persons who -would be entitled to his property upon 
his death, and in the same proportions. 

In this volume there are contained two tracts as to the 
persons by whom, and the proportions in which, such fines 
and compensation should be paid, viz., the tract entitled 
" Of the Judgment of every Crime which any Criminal 
Commits, &c.," and that entitled " The Land is forfeited for 
Crime." If we could therefore succeed in ascertaining the 
mode in which such tines and compensation should be 
assessed upon persons other than the criminal himself, and 
in what proportions the fines and compensation payable for 
the death of any member of a tribe or family should 
be divided, we cannot fail to acquire a certain degree 
of knowledge as to the distribution of property upon 
the death of the owner, and shall be in a position to 
understand the otherwise obscure rules as to the succession 
to laud contained in the first tract published in this volume. 

The former of these tracts would appear to be of a very 
modern date, and not to be free from the influence of the 
principles of English Law. The reasons upon which the 
conclusion is arrived at are the following: (1) it distinctly 
recognises acts of violence to be crimes, and does not 
regard them as merely torts, treating the consequences 
of crimes in the light of punishments for wrongful and 
illegal acts ; (2) the payments to be made by the criminal 
or his guarantors are considered as compromises by which 
he may escape the punishment due to his crimes, not as 
arrangements by which the quarrel between the parties 
is to be compromised ; (3) it seems to recognise a coercive 
jurisdiction as possessed by the Judge to which the parties 
were obliged to yield ; (4) it treats the execution of the 
criminal, his imprisonment, or his servitude as the possible 


consequences of his crimes, and, as a logical result, discusses 
the contingency of his evasion to escape punishment. 

All these ideas are manifestly foreign to archaic law. 

The extreme vagueness and uncertainty of the use of the 
terms " deirbfine " and "geilfine" in this tract are very 
remarkable ; an uncertainty very puzzling to the authors 
of the glosses and commentary, who have frequently to 
correct and explain the manner in which these words are 

It appears that the former term is indiscriminately 
used in three different senses : (1) as descriptive of all the 
members of the geiljine organization, (2) as the deirbfine 
class as distinguished from the geilfine, and (3) as a term 
descriptive of certain relationship merely. 

The glosses and commentary are especially important in 
dealing with this tract, as without a very careful reference 
to them erroneous conclusions may be derived from an 
unaided examination of the original text. 

The tract commences with a statement of the property 
and persons liable to the payment of fines and compensation. 
The rules of the priority here laid down may be summarized 
as follows : (1) The criminal himself was primarily liable ; 
this is to be inferred from the words, " If he absconds," 
commencing the paragraph, and stating thus the contin- 
gency upon which the subsequent secondary liabilities arise ; 
(~2) The property moveable or immoveable of the criminal 
in the second degree was liable ; when we proceed to the 
second tract upon the subject it will appear that this 
liability was considered as a charge specifically affecting 
the property in question ; it may be observed that this rale 
involves the idea that the injured party had a legal right 
to the payment of the fine and compensation, a theory of 
anything but an archaic nature. (3) His father was liable 
in the third degree, whose liability is obviously founded not 
so much upon kinship, as upon his position as the head of the 
household of which the criminal was a member ; this passage 
is glossed with the explanation, " when he has no son, for it 
is upon him (the son) it (the crime) should go before it went 
upon the father ;" we may conclude therefore that the author 


of the gloss would introduce the son into the list in priority 
to the father; it would appear that the original text 
contemplates the criminal as forming portion of his father's 
household, but the author of the gloss perceives that the 
case of the criminal being himself the head of an household 
has been omitted, and points out that in such case the son 
whether as the co-OAvner of the household, or next in blood 
would be primarily liable ; the old rule of the "coir-feine" 
law cited in the gloss proves that the liability did not affect 
ancestors or collateral relations so long as there was in 
existence issue of the criminal to be made answerable. 
(4) His brothers, in equal shares ; with brothers the liability 
by reason of kinship here stops short, for the next class in 
order are (5) his " deirbfine n (not deirbfine relations as iu 
the translation, for there is no word in the original equivalent 
to relations) ; this word is explained in the gloss as equivalent 
to " geilfme," and must therefore mean that the liability fell 
upon the members of the yet/fine organization, falling upon 
the several classes successively, and ultimately upon their 
default upon the yeiJfine chief personally ; such at least 
is the conclusion we draw from the following gloss ; viz.: 
"Upon th e chief, i. e. the chief who is over the geiljiuc 
division which happens to be there ; and it is not the chief 
of the deirbfine divisions, nor of the iarfine division. It is 
on them (the yeilfine division') the crime is charged before 
he brings it to the " deirbfine " division from whom he [the 
eJMe/(?)]haa taken their pledges." (G) The household in 
which is his bed and where he is fed, which seems to mean that 
the liability then falls upon those who have harboured him 
and assisted his escape, for these words arc qualified by the 
gloss : " if he is not caught upon his bed." (7) The king, the 
head of the tribe, as contrasted with the head of the family. 
The second paragraph is evidently introduced from the 
work of some other author, as it is merely a re-statement of 
the rule laid down in the first paragraph, in a much less 
satisfactory form. It is remarkable that in the paragraph 
there is introduced after the ' " deirbfine " a class described 
as the " taoibhfine," glossed as " his brother's side family." 
This would lead to the conclusion that in the latter para- 


graph the "deirbfine" meant not the members of the 
gelljine organization, but the first-cousins of the criminal. 
It is, however, not desirable to embarrass the clear state- 
ments of the first paragraph as explained by the glosses, or 
to start conjectures resting upon a paragraph so confused as 
the latter undoubtedly is. 

A mere sojourning stranger, from whom the chief had not 
and could not have taken pledges, if guilty of a crime, and 
not possessed of property, did not render any of the family 
or tribe liable to contribute to the fine or compensation pay- 
able in respect of his crime ; he was simply " put upon the 
road," declared " exlex," and abandoned to his fate. 

(The principle that the liability to pay should be com- 
mensurate with right to receive is remarkably laid down in 
the following rules contained in the Commentary :) 

In the case of any unintentional* crime except " killing," 
the eric fine is primarily payable by the criminal; the 
compensation ("what he owes beside the eric fine," i.e. the 
honour price) is payable by his family " in the proportions 
in which they divide his property." 

In the case of unintentional "killing" (with certain 
exceptions) both the family and criminal contribute to pay 
the entire, whether he has means of payment or not, the 
criminal paying one " cumhal" of the compensation, and 
the same share as his father or son in the six cumhals of 
dire fine, the family contributing the residue in the shares 
in which would divide his property. The reason for this 
rule is stated to be that if he himself were killed the entire 
family would participate in the compensation. 

As to intentional crimes, the rule was different. In such 
cases the criminal, his son, and his father were successively 
liable to the full extent of their property in exoneration 
of the family. 

When payments have to be made by the criminal, 
they first fall upon his movable, secondly upon his 
immovable property, and finally upon himself, by which is 

* In page 249, line 1, " iittnlional" is printed by mistake for " unintentional." 



meant that he should serve for it until he worked out the 
value of six " cumhals." 

At page 259 is discussed the proportions in which the 
amount payable for " killing " should be divided among the 
kin of the deceased. The words of the Commentary are as 
follows : " When the man who is dead in this case has a 
son, he takes the cumhal of compensation alone, if he be 
alive ; and if he is not alive, his father is to take it ; if he 
(the father') is not alive, his brother is to take it ; if he (the 
brother) is not alive, it is the nearest person to him that 
takes it. It is thus the body-fine is divided three cumhals 
of dire-fine go to the son and to the father. There are 
three cumhals of d ire-fine remaining after that; & cumhal 
of dire-fine goes to a brother (the brothers ?) collaterally. 
There are two cumhals of dire-fine still after this ; a cumhal 
of dire fine of these goes to the son and to the father. 
There is one cumhal of dire fine there after that. This is 
to be divided from the lowest man of the geiljine division 
until it reaches the uppermost man, and from the uppermost 
man until it reaches the lowest man," &c.* Thus, of the six 

* This passage illustrates the connexion between the ather and son which so 
often occurs in ancient law. As long as the son forms one of the household of 
which the father is the head, he is obviously one of those in the hand of his 
father, and a co-owner of the household property ; but even after he has left the 
original dwelling and established a hearth for himself, he does not completely 
succeed in shaking off his connexion with his parent. Hence the three emancipa- 
tions requisite at Itomun law to free the son from the pntria potestas. It is with 
reference to this principle that we may explain the passage in the last volume 
which has produced so much discussion, viz. : "If the father is alive and has 
two sons, and each of these has a family of the full number i.e-, four it is the 
opinion of lawyers that the father would claim a man's share in every family of 
them, and that in this case they form two geilfiue divisions ; and if the property 
has come from another place from a family outside, though there should be 
within in the family a son or a brother of the person whose property came into it, 
he shall not obtain it any more than any other man of the family." (Vol. iii., 
r. 333.) From the present passage it is clear that, although the son established 
a separate household for himself and his sons, the father took a share in the 
money payable for his body fine ; and hence it may be inferred that the father 
was entitled to support in the son's house. If a son obtained orba lands, and, 
having four sons, established an independent " geilfme " system, it appears that 
his fatlur could claim a man's share in it. The point of the question in the 
passage referred to seems to be, what was the position of the father if he had twj 


cumhals of the dire fine, the father takes two, the son two, 
the brother one, the geilfine division one. As to what is 
styled the compensation ("the honour price) none of it passes 
to the geilfine division ; this the son, in the first instance, is 
entitled to ; in default of a son, the father ; in default of 
the father, the brother (or brothers) ; and in default of a 
brother, the nearest person to him, by which we must 
understand that it passes as a succession to the person or 
persons who would be entitled to the brother's property 
upon his death. This Commentary is appended to a text 
which deals with the question, " Who are they who divide 
the chattels and the dibadh property (of a deceased person ?). 
The answer to this in the original text runs simply thus 
" Four, father and son, brother and family." The Com- 
mentary, however, upon this text deals with the mode in 
which compensation and dire fines are divisible, and 
between whom. Nothing can show more clearly that to 
the commentator the persons entitled to " dibadh " pro- 
perty and to compensation and dire fine were the same and 
in the same proportion ; but he has certainly failed to 
explain whether it was in accordance with the rule appli- 
cable to the compensation, or according to that applicable 
to the dire fine, the dibadh property would devolve. It 
would seem that the rule applicable to the compensation, 
not that applicable to the dire fine, is the analogy to the 
rule for the devolution of the debadh property. The rule 

eons, who had both obtained grants of orbs land, and severally founded distinct 
" families " in which of them should the father take his " man's share " and 
l:ow should his rights be arranged as between the two families ? 

The opinion referred to laid down that the father had a distinct and indepen- 
dent right to a " man's share " in both of the families, although they formed two 
distinct geilfme divisions. The second portion of the passage points out the 
distinction between the rights of a father and that of any other member of the 
family in the form of an argument, viz. : " So different is the position of the 
father from that of any other member of the family, that in the preceding 
case the father has his right to a ' man's share ' in both families, although 
in the subsequent case no member of a family, whatever be his apparent 
equity, has any special rights whatsoever." The father in the supposed case 
would occupy the anomalous position of being a member of two incipient 
" families." 



as to the dire fine laid down in this passage is wholly in- 
consistent with that stated in page 247, line 2. The latter 
passage is introduced as explanatory of the rule in page 
245, line 26 ; but it must be observed that the explanation 
is inconsistent with the rule which it is supposed to 
explain, and that, to make any sense of the passage, we 
must read at line 4 of page 247 " share in " for " take." 
Now, the whole explanation is introduced to explain the 
apparent anomaly of the family contributing to the payment 
of the compensation for an unintentional killing, and no 
such explanation would be necessary unless the fact of the 
family sharing in the liability to pay, and the right to 
receive compensation presented some difficulty which re- 
quired explanation. This difficulty must have been that 
the rules as to compensation were in some extent incon- 
sistent with what would have been naturally expected to 
have been laid down upon the subject that is, that they 
deviated from the fundamental principle of the rules as to 
liability to pay or receive fines and compensation with 
those which regulated the devolution of property upon 


If the family, by which we must understand the parties 
liable in the second degree, paid the amount to which the 
criminal himself was primarily liable, they acquired a charge 
upon his property, which they could enforce to taking 
possession and the receipt of the profits. " The limit of the 
duty of the family which pays his, the kinsman's, trepasses 
until they are paid back every ' sed ' which they have 
paid, together with its profit, the grazing of the grass, nor 
the must, nor the corn do not go into account against 


The injured party appears to have possessed a similar 
rif ht as against even the land of the wrongdoer, if he had 
land, but the members of the family could discharge the 
claim against themselves by handing over the criminal, and 
retain the land for themselves. " And the family have the 
choice whether to hand him over and have the land to 

Page 257. 


themselves, or whether they will give the land for the crime ; 
and it is within the choice of the family this lies." It 
follows from this passage that the injured party had an 
acknowledged, and acquiesced in, right to seize even the 
land of the wrongdoer in payment of his demand, which 
would have led to the very inconvenient result of a stranger 
being settled upon the tribe or family land ; what would 
be the legal status of the stranger is difficult to understand, 
whether he would be entitled only to the profits of land 
held by the wrongdoer in exclusive ownership merely, or 
whether the possession of the land would have drawn with 
it the accessories of sharing the common tribe land, and tho 
depasture of the waste ; to avoid this difficulty the family 
might surrender the wrongdoer, and themselves acquire his 
portion of land. 

The second tract entitled " The Land is forfeited for 
Crimes," is of a very miscellaneous nature, and of a palpably 
late date. The idea of the forfeiture of the lands of a criminal, 
irrespective of their value and amount, arose in the English and 
other feudal systems from the nature of the tenure of laud. 
The lord possessed the absolute ownership, the tenant only 
the usufruct upon the condition of the performance of the 
incidents of his tenure ; the commission of a felony, in its 
nature a quasi-treasonable act, terminated the right of the 
tenant to the usufruct, and the land escheated to the lord of 
whom it was held ; the escheat of the land in such a case 
rested upon an entirely different basis from that of the 
forfeiture of the felons' goods ; but when the land was held 
in absolute ownership, and the possession of the owner was 
that of the head or member of a family, although his goods 
might be forfeited, the land could not ; the law as to tho 
gavelkind lands of Kent was a survival and illustration of 
this principle. In the preceding tract the wrongdoer either 
lost the possession of his land temporarily until its profits paid 
off the amount to which he was liable, or absolutely as the 
result of his loss of status, not as a punishment in the correct 
use of that term. The author of this tract has thrown 
together a number of loose memoranda and references to 


authorities upon the subject of the forfeiture of land, and 
the fines payable in respect of theft, in a manner which 
would suggest that they represent the heads of some law 
argument upon the subject. The case upon which he relies 
is the remarkable decision as to the forfeiture of Bregia by 
the tribe of Aengus Gabhuaidcch, in consequence of the 
latter having wounded in tlve eye the King Cormac at his 
palace at Tara ; the circumstances of the case are fully set 
forth at the commencement of the Book of Aicill in the 
preceding volume. It is to be observed that in the original 
authority there is no allusion to a forfeiture of the land at 
all ; the decision was that the members of Aengus' tribe 
should undergo a " dirninutio capitis," viz., that in a certain 
proportion the inhabitants should be reduced to the con- 
dition of " daer " stock tenants ; and that which is treated 
as a forfeiture of the land arose from their refusal to submit to 
the sentence, and emigrating in a body into Munstcr. Our 
author treats the transaction as essentially a forfeiture in the 
nature of a punishment for a crime. " For what old Adam 
did great things were lost," i.e., as by the transgression "all 
the fruits of Paradise were forfeited by Adam, so his lands 
were forfeited by Aengus."* 

Various other passages prove the late date of this tract, 
and that it was written either by an ecclesiastic, or under 
ecclesiastical influence, such as the following extract 
noted down for citation, " God has not formed corruption 
nor any particular species of violation, the merciful God 
deems such things atrocious ; unless land is given no 
umpire can heal them, i.e., unless land is obtained as the 
eric-fine the crimes cannot be taken away, though it be 
a righteous judge who estimates them, for he would 
pronounce no falsehood."t In a subsequent passage we find 
an extract from the Gospel of St. John introduced by the 
well known phrase of " ut dixit lex." It would appear in 

* Page 2G7. The peculiar judgment upon this occasion may have arisen from 
the fact that Aengus, when he wounded King Cormac, was acting in an official 
character as the "aii-e-cchta" of his tribe. 

t Page 2G5. 


one passage that the author was attempting to introduce 
the doctrine of the Roman " hreres."* 

Although evidently drawn up for some practical purpose, 
the tone and manner of this tract closely resemble portions 
of the introduction to the Book of Aicill, which the author 
manifestly had before him, and it is probably of the same 
and as late a date. 

Apart from a few incidental extracts from previous authors, 
it cannot be considered as an authority on the Brehon Law, 
and is valuable as illustrating the change to which the older 
system must have been subjected from the influence of the 

At the date of its composition the Irish lawyers wore 
perplexed by the conflicting ideas of the old law on the 
one hand, and Christianity and the Roman Law on the 
other, the state of mind so curiously exemplified by the 
introduction to the laws of Alfred. 



In the preceding section we have endeavoured to ascertain 
the proportions in which fines and compensations were 
payable by the parties secondarily liable, as affording some 
reliable information as the rules of succession to property, 
and enabling us thus to explain the passages in the first 
tract in this volume dealing with the subject, and as also 
explaining the practical effect of the geilfine system upon 
the succession to land. 

However strongly the rule may be laid down that the 
liability to pay the fine or compensation falls upon those 
who would be entitled to the property of the wrongdoer 
upon his death, and in the same proportions, it is clear 
that this liability could only fall upon the persons in esse 
at the time, those resembling the class of persona entitled 
under an ordinary English settlement of real estate, 
whom we should describe as having vested estates in 
remainder, and must exclude the unborn issue of all such, 

* Page 2G7, 


although such issue may subsequently come into being, and 
succeed to the possession of the estate. The rules for the 
incidence of these payments must have been drawn up to 
meet ordinary cases ; and the more complicated and unusual 
must have been decided according to the principle involved 
in these rules involved, not expressed because the Brehon 
lawyer is always dealing with specific concrete cases, and 
however elaborate in his arithmetic calculations, never 
attempts any abstract rule or definition. Before discussing 
the rules as to the succession of land, it may be observed 
that to a large proportion of the tribe land the legal idea 
of a succession must have been inapplicable. It is now an 
admitted fact that the Irish tribe was not in its organization 
an anomalous institution, but was simply one example of 
those village communities which existed among all the 
early Aryan nations, and that the forms of all these com- 
munities resembled each other in their general features. In 
all the numerous books published lately upon the subject, 
this principle has been laid down ; and the difficulty in 
dealing with the subject at present is not to discover 
analogous cases, but to escape being entangled in or misled 
by the countless examples of institutions more or less 
similar, with which we are now so abundantly furnished. 
The district of the tribe was at first as a matter of fact, and 
was always in theory considered to be, the property of the 
tribe ; from this are first to be subtracted the dwellings of 
the members of the tribe, with their curtilages ; next the 
chief's share ; and lastly, those portions of the general tribe 
land which had been in same manner (it is immaterial how) 
allotted to individuals or families in exclusive ownership. 
The residue of the lands, unappropriated to indviduals, con- 
sisted of the common tillage and meadow land, and the 
common pasture or waste. The common tillage and meadow 
lands were divided out from time to time in separate pro- 
portions, and according to some customary law among all 
the members of the tribe who also enjoyed the right to 
depasture the waste according to certain fixed rules. It is 
clear that to these latter two classes of land the idea of 


succession is wholly inapplicable ; the right to till or graze 
the public lands was a purely personal and temporary right 
enjoyed by the individual as being a member of the tribe, 
and enjoyed by his sons, not by any hereditary right, 
claimed from or through their father, but in their own right 
as themselves being members of the tribe for the time beino-. 

o o 

The ownership of these lands was vested in the collective 
tribe, but the rights of each member were personal, tempo- 
rary, and incorporeal. But the nature of the interest of the 
owners in land cut out of the general tribe land, and allotted 
in exclusive ownership was entirely different. They claimed 
under a grant made to one or more persons, and made their 
title through the grantee or grantees ; this title to land is 
usually spoken of as being hereditary, and the land in 
question described as inheritable land, or land of inheritance ; 
but it does not follow that although the title must be made 
under a particular grant, and through the original grantee, 
that the actual owners stand in the relation of " heirs " to 
the person through whom they claim. Our modern ideas of 
inheritance and heirship are involved with those of the 
transmission of property by descent and primogeniture ; 
and much of the confusion which exists upon this subject, 
has arisen from the inquiry proceeding upon the assumption 
that purely local and arbitrary rules of our own municipal 
law are universal and eternal principles. 

Land might be allotted in separate ownership for a 
limited period (e.g., for a life), or in perpetuity ; but 
although the former class of grants are found among the A. 
S. charters, in the case of the Irish tribes we have no reason 
to believe that the grants were limited in duration. 

When land was alienated in perpctuum, it passed upon 
the death of the original grantee to the person or 
persons entitled, according to the custom, to the succes- 
sion to his property ; such persons might, or might not, 
be identical with his nearest agnates ; but even if they 
wei-e, it did not follow that their title to the succession was 
founded on descent or even blood relationship. The origin 
of all successions appears to be not descent, but co-ownership. 


The legal unit is not the individual but the household ; the 
head of a house acquires property for his household, and 
possesses it as the manager of an implied partnership, not 
as an absolute owner. The household need not include all 
his descendants, or consist exclusively of them. The 
emancipated sons, under the old Roman, would not have 
shared in their father's property, which would have passed 
to an adopted son. Our ideas as to the transmission of 
property in ancient times are, perhaps, embarrassed by too 
exclusive a reference to the Roman law, in which the 
hseres presents a misleading resemblance to the feudal heir ; 
but in countries in which the technical unity of the family, 
exhibited in the existence of the Roman hseres, was not 
continued, the succession was manifestly equivalent to 
survivorship among joint tenants ; and this principle of 
survivorship applies not merely to the property of the head 
of the household, but to that of every member of it. Let 
us observe how a perfectly simple process is obscured by 
the use of words. If a household consists of A, the father, 
and B and C, the sons, they are co-tenants or co-partners in 
the property of the household, with the father, A, as the 
manager ; if the father, A, dies, the property survives to B 
and C, the sons ; in this case the sons would be commonly 
spoken of as taking in the character of their father's heirs. 
On the other hand, if B, one of the sons, dies, the property 
survives to A, the father, and C, the surviving son ; we 
should in this case think that no rights to property had 
passed, and speak of the possibility of B succeeding to his 
father as having ceased. Again, if a third son, D, is bom 
no visible change has taken place, but, in fact, a new mem- 
ber has been introduced into the joint tenancy or partner- 
ship, and the rights of the three original joint tenants, 
diminished pro tanto. The extent to which heirship is 
traced in the collateral line in any ancient law depends 
upon the greater or less magnitude of the original joint 
family. If, for any reason, families have hung together for 
several generations, continuing to form one household, 
the death of each member increasing the shares of all the 


other members in the common fund, the extent of collateral 
heirship admitted by the customary law may be very wide ; 
and, on the other hand, it will be probably found that in 
the case of a nation which, from some external reason, has 
acquired the custom of inhabiting small and distinct habita- 
tions, the degrees of collateral heirship will be contracted, 
unless the idea of relationship be kept up by family religious 
rites. The reason for the rule that the liability to pay fines 
and compensation falls upon the persons who would take 
the property of the criminal, and in the same shares, is that, 
as the family has to pay for the wrongs committed by its 
members, the payment falls upon the common fund, and 
diminishes pro tanto the shares of all who take by survivor- 

This is illustrated by, and explains, a difficulty which 
arises as to the incidence of, and the rights to, fines. In 
some passages the father is the person primarily liable, in 
some the son, and in some they are represented as jointly 
entitled to the compensation. Who in any given case were 
entitled to the succession, or liable for wrongs, must 
originally have turned upon the question of fact, who, at the 
date of the death, or of the crime, were the members of the 
household to which the deceased or the wrong-doer belonged. 

The rules as to the succession to land have been em- 
barrassed by the use in the Brehon Law of words descrip- 
tive of different kinds of interests in lands, or, rather, of 
lands distinguished by a reference to the nature of the 
interests of the possessors ; and the terms used are such as 
involve a cross division. The primary distinction between 
the general tribe-land and the lands of inheritance is per- 
fectly clear; the former are ike fear an fine ; the latter are 
the orba lands. The latter class of lands are subdivided 
into those upon which the geilfine organization had been, 
and those in which it was not, established. The former 
lands are described repeatedly as " coibne " land that is, 
land which was the property of an organized association of 
persons. The root of the word seems to imply something 
like the spreading of branches from a common stock, and it 


is frequently used to denote the association of different 
individuals considered as one body in a legal point of view. 
There also occurs another term frequently used as descriptive 
of land, viz., " dibadh," the explanation of which involves 
much difficulty. It is used, as has been observed, in the 
first tract as descriptive of common tribe land as contrasted 
with coibne land ; it is also used to express the property 
passing from a deceased to the parties entitled to the succes- 
sion, and it is used in the latter sense evidently to describe 
the share of a deceased co-owner in coibne land when it 
passed by succession. It would appear that the term is 
used rather in opposition to the term " coibne " than as 
descriptive of any specific class of lands, and desigates land 
which is divisible among various parties as tenants in 
common, and not as members of an association. The same 
land might be described as either "coibne" or "dibadh," 
according to the rights of the individuals then under con- 
sideration. The question as to the succession to " cruibh " 
and " sliasta," the interests in which were created by express 
contract, may be postponed until after that of the two other 
classes viz., (1) land of inheritance not subjected to the 
geilfinc organization, and (2) lands upon which a geilfine 
organization had been established 

Assuming that the penalty for wrong falls upon the 
household of the wrong-doer, and that the succession to his 
property would take the form of a survivorship of the other 
members of the household, three possible cases would arise 

(1.) If the wrong-doer, or deceased, as the case might be, 
were a member of his father's household, the liability would 
fall upon the father, and the share of the deceased pass to 
him, in both cases in his character of head of the household. 

(2.) If the son did not go out during his father's lifetime, 
and after his death continued in the house in joint possession 
with his brothers and their descendants, the latter would 
both incur the liability and take the succession, in each case 
as the co-members of the household, bat the transaction 
would apparently be different from the preceding case, for 
the fact of the successioa would be here apparent. 


(3.) If the son had gone out and established himself as 
the head of an independent household, the liability would 
fall upon, and the succession accrue to, his own children or 
remoter descendants, the co-members of the household, and 
in this case there would appear to be liability and heirship 
resting upon descent. 

The right to fines or compensation would follow the same 
rule as the liability to pay them. 

In the latter two cases, if we were to speculate who at any 
given time might be the co-members of the household, our 
calculation would include all persons necessarily members of 
the house who could come into being during the life of 
the wrong-doer, or deceased. 

The two tracts in question in various passages state the 
persons liable to pay and entitled to receive fines and com- 
pensation. The statements are apparently contradictory, 
but a clear idea of the order of priority may be obtained by 
a careful comparison and analysis. We may disregard the 
passages in which the general word " family " is used ; in all 
such cases the liability of the members of the family among 
themselves would be secundum legem, and this must be 
necessarily implied. \Ve may similarly disregard the pas- 
sages in which the term " the nearest hearth " is used ; this 
term must either mean the household next liable in order 
according to law, or refer to cases inapplicable to the question 
of succession. 

In page 243 the order of liability is thus described : (a) 

the father; (6) the brother ; and (c) the geilfine (see the gloss 
as to the latter term, and the preceding gloss introducing 

the son in priority to the father). In page 245 it is (a) 

the brother; (6) the geilfine division; (c) the deirbfine; 
(d) the taoibhfine or the iarfine division ; and (e) the iar- 
fine. In 247 it is the son. In page 2G9 it is () the son ; 
and (b) the father ; and in pages 249 and 268 it is simply 
the geilfine. 

As to the right to receive the compensation, in page 245-G 
we are told that the body fine for the death of father or son 
is payable to the entire family. In page 255 the father and 


the son of the slain take half the eric fine between them. 
In the page 259 the body fine of six cumhals is divided in 
the following proportions : To the father, two ; to the son, 
two; to the brother, one; and to the geilfine, one. 

These fluctuating dicta involve no real contradiction. 
There is no statement in any of them inconsistent with the 
others, if we suppose that on each occasion the author is 
dealing with some specific case, asserting the liability of some 
individual defendant, but not defining the order of liability 
of the persons secondarily liable as among themselves. 

Bearing in mind the principle, "As long as there is a 
family before him, it is not backwards he sues," there can 
be no difficulty in stating the order of liability and the 
reasons for it. 

The liability falls first upon the persons who would be 
the members of his household ; if he were the head of an 
household, its members would be his own sons, and, there- 
fore, upon the son the liability first falls. 

If he has not left his father's family, the liability falls 
upon the father as the head of the household ; if he were 
dead, those next liable are the brothers who would have been 
joint owners with the criminal. 

Thus the liability is confined to the persons who were, or 
had been, members of the same household with the wrong- 
doer ; but at this point the liability of relations stops, and 
the geilfine division of the "fine" assumes the liability. 
There was no intervening liability between that of brothers 
and that of the general " family." 

If we now attempt to translate this priority of liability 
into a theory of the succession, the following observations 
appear of importance : 

(1.) The rule that the parties liable pay the fine in the 
proportions in which they would divide his property, does 
not imply that eo instanti upon death the property would 
have been divided among the parties named ; it means that 
the liability, as a damnosa Jiereditas, or negative quantity, 
pursues the same line of succession as the actual inheritance 
would have pursued. 


(:2.) The term son must be read as " sons," and inclusive 
of the descendants of sons, and the observation applies to 
the term " brother " also. 

The sons of the deceased take in prioiity to his brothers; but 
of such a rule, when once admitted to exist, there are two 
possible explanations, either (.) that the brothers succeed 
if the deceased die without leaving sons or lineal descendants 
surviving him, or (6.) that the brothers, or their descen- 
dants claiming through them, succeed to the inheritance upon 
the general failure of the sons or their descendants, as we 
should express it, upon the general failure of the male issue 
of the purchaser ; or, as it might be put, whether upon 
failure of male issue of the original acquirer, his brothers or 
their descendants would claim as his heirs, or as the collateral 
heirs of the last of the issue. This involves the question 
what was the nature of the interest taken by the sons of 
the deceased in his lands. At the present day, and in the 
English Law, the eldest son, succeeding as heir to an estate 
in fee, takes the estate absolutely without any obligation to 
transmit it to his own heir ; according to the old French 
law of substitutions the eldest son took the estate, but was 
deprived of all power of alienation, so that the succession upon 
his death passed to his heir ; and the principle of the Scotch 
tailzie is similar. 

In all early systems of law the idea of primogeniture is 
absent, and the land passes to all the sons ; supposing it 
thus to pass, the practical working of the rule of descent 
hinges upon the question whether these sons take as abso- 
lute owners, with full powers of alienation, or whether all 
the male descendants of the ancestor have a claim to a 
portion in the lands which cannot be defeated by their 
predecessors ; and if so, how long does this right exist, or at 
what date is it extinguished? 

Although the tribe may be considered as perpetual, and 
its members, at however remote a date, retain their rights 
in the common land, there is no indication that the lands of 
inheritance were subject to such a rule, which, if it existed, 
would have bound property in a perpetual entail, and pro- 


hibited alienation. It is to be remarked that in no passage 
is there allusion to land passing to the descendants of an 
owner generally, and in perpetuum ; on the other hand, 
there are frequently allusions to the four first generations of 
the descendants of the deceased, and the clearest intimation 
that the head of a family, who was an owner of property, 
could not alien for his own purposes, to the injury of his 
descendants, and that there existed in the sons a certain 
right to the father's land, sufficient, at least, to restrain the 
latter's power of alienation. The residue of the land of the 
"-fine" remains undivided until the constitution of the 
''innfine" class, which fixes a date connected with existence of 
a fourth generation of descendants.* Lands were estimated 
"according to the amount of their property from great-grand- 
son to the great-great-grandson ;"t this passage is explained 
as stating the mode in which land is divided upon the death 
of a daughter (who must be a daughter, not of the original 
ancestor, but of the survivor of his sons although this is 
immaterial), upon whose death the latest descendants en- 
titled, are specified as the great-great-grand-children of a 
common ancestor. 

A remarkable passage occurs in page 287, which, whether 
it refers to estates of "fuidhirs," or separate property in 
land generally, expresses the author's idea of hereditary 
succession. " The son is enriched in the same ratio as his 
father, and the father does not sell anything to the preju- 
dice of his sons, grandsons, great-grandsons, or great-great- 
grandsons." Thus, an owner of land was restrained from 
alienation in favour of his four next generations of descen- 
dants, which implies that all the members of these four 
generations took an interest in the lands of their ancestor ; 
and, if these four generations had thus joint rights in the 
land, as quasi-joint tenants, the death of any one would 
operate as a survivorship for the benefit of all the existing 
members of the class, and the shares in the land would vary, 
from time to time, according as new members were intro- 
duced upon their birth ; and if this hereditary right was 
* Pages 283-287. t Page 33. 


not transmissible beyond the fourth generation, all the 
existing members of the class at the date of the last division 
(the date of the introduction of the last member into the 
class) would hold in severally, and form respectively new 
hereditary stocks. It may be suggested that the reason for 
the assumption of four generations as the basis of this 
system of descent, was as follows : the land vested in the 
original acquirer, as head of his household, and as a portion 
of the joint property, which he could not alien during his 
life, and the rights of those who succeeded to the land were 
based upon the theory of their being the surviving members 
of his household. When the fact of succession passed into 
a theory for succession, the right of succession would be 
given to all those who could possibly have been existing 
members of the household at date of the death of the head" 3 , 
and descendants of the fourth degree were considered as 
the most remote who could stand in that position. A law 
of heirship founded upon such a basis would draw the limit 
of collectoral heirship at third cousins ; this may seem to 
some a very narrow and imperfect scheme of title by des- 
cent, but the difficulty seems to us not to reduce it to this limit, 
but to extend it so far. The succession, in default of sons,' 
passed first to the father, and then to the uncles of deceased' 
but manifestly all more remote collateral relations were ex- 
cluded, and the succession of the geilfine class was equiva- 
lent to a succession to the family to which the deceased 
belonged. The rights of the heir-at-law, however remote 
his relationship to the deceased, is a purely English and 
modern idea, imported into the feudal law by a very trans- 
parent fiction, and almost within the present generation, 
systematized by recent statutes. As against the father or 
the brothers, there does not seem to have been any restraint 
upon alienation, and naturally because they could not have 
been members of the household of the deceased, and they 
could not be considered, except by a fiction, as having any 
joint ownership with the deceased in the subject matter of 
the succession. The " alienation " applied to the ownership 
of land, such as we are dealing with, must be understood as 



alienation in accordance with the local custom, and so far 
as it was thereby permitted, and is not to be confounded 
with the unrestricted rights of disposal, which we now asso- 
ciate with absolute ownership. 

In considering any rules of descent, it must be remem- 
bered that the terms son, brother, &c., are correlatives, and 
possess no meaning until we have ascertained who is the 
father, brother, &c., to whom they refer until we have fixed 
the stirps, the relationship to which determines the succes- 
sion. The original stirps must manifestly be the head of 
the household, when the land in question was granted in 
several ownership out of the common tribe land ; but if the 
right by descent were always traced back to the first 
acquirer, the extent to which collateral successions would 
exist must have been far wider than the text authorizes us 
in concluding it to have been. If we are right in our 
opinion that the general rule of all male descendants to a share 
in the inheritance ceased with the fourth generation, it 
follows that the members of the family who then acquired 
separate, not undivided shares, each became a new stirps 
for a fresh line of descendants. 

When land has been granted out of the common tribe 
land in severalty, and as the property of an individual, if 
the inheritance become vacant by the failure of heirs to the 
grantee, the land thus left without an owner falls back into 
the general tribe land out of which it was taken. Whether 
in such a case it becomes the property of the chief, or of the 
members of the tribe, depends upon the question whether 
the chief has, as was ultimately in most European countries 
the case, succeeded in substituting himself for the general 
body of the members of the tribe as the representative of 
the State. That lands of inheritance, upon which no geil- 
fine system had been established, did so revert, is proved by 
the special rule relative to extern inheritance in the case of 
a fully organized "fine," in which latter case the geilfine 
division were entitled to a succession, in the nature of an 
escheat, in vacant inheritances. This we take to be the 
meaning of the passage in page 285 : " The geilfine extends 


to five persons, and it is they that get the dibadh of every 
kindred chief who leaves ' dibadh ' property." The phrase 
" who leaves " is glossed " who becomes extinct of." The 
geilfine division are here described as five co-existing 
persons, who take jointly an inheritance under certain 
circumstances. There would be no necessity for the obser- 
vation, if the " dibadh" property in question passed to them 
as those primarily entitled to the succession ; their right to 
succeed is a privilege connected with their official or local 
position as the five men of the geilfine division. The pro- 
perty in question cannot have been the " dibadh '' property 
of any of the seventeen men, for it would then have survived 
to the men of the division of the deceased. This implies 
that the five men of the "geilfine" division represent the 
entire "fine" for the purpose of receiving successions, as 
they represent the community in being ultimately liable in 
certain cases for the wrong committed by the members of 
the "fine." If an allotment made to a member of the 
"fine" other than the seventeen men, became vacant by 
failure of heirs, the land fell not into the common property 
of the " fine," but became the exclusive property of the five 
men. If brothers, however, take a succession next to the 
sons of a deceased, this rule could not (subject to the excep- 
tion subsequently noticed) apply until the " geilfine "system 
had been completed, and the land divided among the 
members, because every member of the "fine " must in that 
case have left a brother or nephews surviving him, except a 
sixth or younger son of the first geilfine chief, and a son of such 
son, or a sixth or younger son of the second "geilfine " chief, 
&c. Successions so very rare as these could not be considered 
as in the nature of a privilege or the subject of a special rule, 
and, as up to the date of the final partition the " geilfine " 
chief is assumed to be the owner of the waste, there would 
be little object in such a regulation; but its meaning is 
evident if it implies that the fifth "geilfme" chief, 
and his four brothers, who jointly form the last and 
permanent " geilfine " division, continuing to represent the 
"fine" for the purpose of liability, continue also to repre- 


sent it beneficially as entitled to the succession to vacant 
inheritances. Their position would in this case be very 
similar to that of the lord of a manor in the English law. 

It is stated in the introduction to Mr. Curry's Lectures 
that the succession was at first to the sons or remoter 
male issue exclusively, but that ultimately the daughters 
became entitled if there were no sons.* Although the 
authorities cited to support this seem to the cases and rules 
dealino- with cruib and sliasta land, there is no reason to 


doubt the general accuracy of the statement. 

There are, undoubtedly, in the glosses to the first tract in 
this volume, indications that at the date of the glosses, 
daughters had succeeded in acquiring a right to succession 
upon the death of their brothers, and that the later lawyers 
altered the original text, by the introduction of words sup- 
posed to have been omitted, and thus corrected the law to 
make it accord with the later usage ; thus, in the original text 
at page 39, line 23, there is the passage, " an extern branch 
stops it (i.e., the property) if the five persons of the geilfine- 
div isi on perish." This is glossed as follows "and in this 
case there is no female heir." This gloss manifestly follows 
up that in page 41, line 24, referring to page 39, line 16, " all 
the geilfine-division have become extinct, and all the land is 
obtained by the daughter in right of her female ' coarb '- 
ship, or as I have to tell concerning the dibadh-l&nd of the 
head (CHIT>) to whom the land belonged, i.e., the daughter; 
it is then the land is divided among the three tribes." The 
right of females to a succession would be manifestly sug- 
gested by the feudal law ; the first English settlement was 
founded upon the assertion of this principle ; and such a 
doctrine would be popular among the owners of land, natur- 
ally desirous to transmit their property to their female 
issue. The principle of female succession to lands other 
than cruilh and sliasta, does not exist in the original 
text, and appears as struggling into existence at the date of 
the latest commentators ; such a theory of succession is in 
contradiction to the old conception of the household, and 

* Manners and Customs, vol. I., p. clxxi 


that it was repugnant to the opinions of the older school of 
lawyers is shown by the restrictions by which it was limited 
even in the case of cruibh and sliasta land. 

The obvious objection in a system of tribe law to female 
succession is that it naturally leads to alienate the lands of 
the family, and by intermarriages with externs to transfer 
them to members of a foreign tribe. This difficulty arose in 
the days of Moses. Thus, on the petition of the daughters 
of Zelophedad, of the tribe of Manasseh, who had died in 
the wilderness, Moses laid down the rule that the daughters 
should succeed to their father's inheritance if there was no 
son;* but the objection to this rule was soon perceived and 
stated by the fathers of the family oi Gilead, viz., " if they be 
married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children 
of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken away from 
the inheritance of our fathers, and be put to the inheritance 
of the tribe whereunto they are received ; so shall it be 
taken from the lot of our inheritance.''^ The rule, as origin- 
ally laid down, had to be modified by the annexed proviso, 
"every daughter that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe 
of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family 
of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may 
enjoy every man the inheritance of his father. Neither 
shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe, 
but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall 
keep himself to his own inheritance.''^ 

At whatever date female succession was established, it 
appears to have been subject to a restriction similar in 
effect to the later Mosaic rule. "A female heir is here referred 
to who has had the father's and the grandfather's land for a 
time, and though she should desire to give it to her sons, she 
shall not give it." The introduction of female succession to 
land is contemporary with the birth of the idea of absolute 
ownership, and fixes the date at which the idea of the family 
and tribe is finally broken up. Although the rule of 
female succession existed under the Brehon Law it may 

* Num. 27, 1. f I<1-, d>- 3". * + IJ -i y - 8 - 

Page 39, see g'.oss, p. 41, Hue 4. 


be regarded as a proof of the late date of the author who 
asserts it as a rule, and must be rejected from any state- 
ment of the ancient law of succession. 

The succession to the cruibh and sliasta land rested upon 
express contract, and this class of lands consisted of those 
which, to use a modern term, were settled upon the mar- 
riage of a daughter of the house ; that this form of succes- 
sion was considered as an infringement of the common 
right of the family is proved by the necessity of obtaining 
the consent of the geilfine-chie? to the contract. The effect 
of this contract, it would appear, was to introduce the 
daughter into the class entitled to the succession upon the 
death of the father. It must be presumed that the daughter 
during her life was entitled to the possession, as in the 
Welsh law in analogous case it is stated, "her gwaddol 
constitutes her proprietorship if she abide by her kindred."" 
The succession of her children was, however, much restricted ; 
if she were married to a native freeman, her sous would be 
themselves entitled to the rights of full members of the tribe 
and upon the obvious principle that they could not claim 
at once under and against the custom, they lost, for the 
general benefit of the family, two-thirds of the lands ; if her 
sons were, through their father, " exiles and foreigners," i.e., 
if they had no claim to any portion of the family land under 
the customary law, they were left in possession of the 
entire at the will of the family, " while they are doing good 
with it." If the only issue of the marriage were daughters, 
there appears to have been a question whether they were 
entitled to a succession. Their right to the land was estab- 
lished by a leading case decided by Brigh, probably the 
wife of the Brehon Sencha previously referred to,t and it 
would seem that the passage introduced in page 41, line 16, 
is intended to be a report of the judgment. The case is 
thus stated " The mother had died, and left no son, and 
there are no sons, but daughters only And the daughters 
shall obtain all the land with obligation to perform service 
of attack and defence, or the half of it, without obligation to 

Ancient Laws,.&c., of Wales, vol. 2, p. 607. t Fa S e 17 - 


perform service of attack anddefence ; and there is power over 
them to compel them to restore the land after their time." 
Hence it would appear that they were bound to indemnify 
the tribe against loss by reason of their incapacity to 
serve, or to compound for this liability by surrender of half 
the land, as a tenant of a lease, perpetually renewable, 
may, upon obtaining a fee-farm grant, free his holding from 
future liability to rent by releasing to the landlord a pro- 
portionate part of the lands ; and that the interest taken 
by the daughters was for their own lives, and upon their 
death the lands fell back into the common fund of land out 
of which it had been taken. 


The subject of this tract may be more correctly described 
as the rules regulating the mode of the partition of lands 
held by joint tenants, and the rights which, upon the parti- 
tion, arise between the owners of the several portions. 

The composition of the tract is remarkably consecutive, 
and, from the author's point of view, logically developed. 
The commentary is unusually clear and intelligible, although 
in some instances explanations are introduced which antici- 
pate, or are merely copied from, subsequent passages of the 
original text ; thus the commentary in page 77 is identical 
with the text at page 113 ; and towards the end of the 
tract passages evidently taken from other writings are intro- 

* The word translated in the text " co-tenancy" is translated by Dr. O'Donovan 
as "joint- tenancy." This is a very remarkable error not as to the meaning of 
the Irish word, but of its presumed English equivalent. The subject discussed 
in the tract is the rights arising between persona, who have ceased to be joint- 
tenants by a severance of their joint-tenancy, and become owners in severally of 
their separate holdings. We have no English term expressing such a legal 
relation, and the words "co-tenancy" and "co-tenants" have been used as 
the nearest equivalent expression. The learned translators did not profess to 
be skilled in the terms of English law, but they grievously embarrassed their 
translations by the use of technical words which they could not be expected to 
understand. The present editors have carefully removed from the translation 
every English term, the use of which could lead only to a misconception of the 
original text. 


duced, some of which are difficult to understand, and others 
directly contradict the leading principles laid down in the 
body of the work. A remarkable instance of the latter case 
occurs in page 147, from line 6 to line 19. 

This tract does not apply to any process similar to the 
modern enclosure of a common. That the general tribeland 
or public pasture should be cut up into separate lots, and 
divided among the members of the tribe in absolute owner- 
ship, was foreign to the ideas of any early community, and the 
author, at the commencement of the tract, carefully points 
to the circumstances under which the relationship described 
by him as " co-tenancy " arose. " Whence does co-tenancy 
arise ? " he asks ; and to this question himself replies "From 
several heirs." We 'are here reminded of the important 
statements referable to the land of the "fine " in pages 287 
and 285, the former of which states that the land of a family 
was not at all divided, and the latter states that in certain 
circumstances the members of the geilfine organization 
divided among themselves the residue of the tribe land as 
dibadh land, and that thereupon the family relations ceased, 
and there was henceforth what was called a community 
of people. The partition of the lands need not be confined 
to the case of a "fine" but must be extended to the breaking 
up of any inheritance among several heirs, which, if the 
theory of the rules regulating the succession to land herein- 
before proposed be correct, necessarily took place on the 
completion of the fourth generation of the descendants of 
the founder of the household or first acquirer. 

The author understands that the pre-existing rights, which 
depended upon joint ownership, are determined by the fact 
of the partition, and that the owners of the several lots 
must henceforth deal with each other individually, and 
that their mutual rights depend upon an agreement contem- 
porary with the division of the lands. " The heirs, in the 
first place, partition their shares and their possessions, and 
each of them guards against the other of them, and each of 
them gives a pledge, of indemnity to the other."* The re- 

Page C9 


ciprocal rights between the adjoining and now independent 
owners, which are to be thus secured by mutual pledges, 
would in the civil or English law be inferred in the case of 
any adjoining owners, and the transaction takes the form of 
the mutual covenants, which are sometimes necessary, to 
meet peculiar circumstances, in our deeds of partition. It is, 
however, to be observed that the giving of the indemnity 
was not accompanied with any detail of the extent and 
nature of the indemnity itself, which was defined and ex- 
plained by reference to the custom, and that the material 
pledge given and preserved was not the corpus out of which 
the compensation or damages was to be paid, but rather the 
evidence of the existence of a contract the nature of which 
was assumed. " Each cotenant shall place a pledge of the 
valm of two ' screpulls ' on one of the rack pins of each 
other's at the foot of the bed as secu rity for the fulfilment of 
the duties of co-tenancy ; and though he should not fulfil 
them, this is not the pledge that shall be forfeited for it, but 
the ' smacht '-fine which we have mentioned before, or sacks, 
or fines for man trespass according to the nature of the tres- 
pass, if trespass has taken place therefrom."* The subse- 
quent relation of the parties is clearly expressed in the phrase 
" the new custom avoids the security,"t meaning that the 
relations which had previously existed between the parties, 
arising by implication from their position as joint owners, 
had come to an end, and that their subsequent mutual rights 
rested upon the legal consequences of the interchange of 

The several lots in the land to be divided having been 
ascertained, the duty of sufficiently fencing their respective 
shares fell upon the several parties. There are no rules given 
for the extent of fencing, which each several owner was to 
execute, and as each fence was common to two properties, it 
must in every case have been a matter of arrangement be- 
tween the parties ; but^very specific directions are given as to 
to the size and materials of the fences to be erected. There are 
four kinds offence specified ; (1) a trench, corresponding with 
* Page 75. f Page 74. 


what is now usually called in Ireland a " ditch ;" a trench with 
the earth dug out of it, piled on one side of it in the fashion 
of a wall or mount ; the trench was to be three feet deep, 
three feet wide at the top, one at the bottom, and two at the 
middle. The mound corresponded with the form of the 
trench out of which it was excavated, being three feet in 
height, three feet wide at the base, and one foot at the top. 
(2) Astone wall of six feet in height, three feet wide at thebase, 
and one at the summit : this was evidently a dry stone wall 
like those now common in the West of Ireland, because the 
only instrument specified as necessary for their erection is 
an iron bar, and there is no allusion to the use of mortar. 
(3 & 4) The other two kinds offences, described as a "strong" 
or " close " fence, or a "felmadh " (otherwise a naked) fence, 
were of wood or timbers set together ; the details of these 
are elaborately given, but must appear to the modern reader 
rather obscure. The former is thus described : " the top of 
the one tree shall be on the trunk of the other tree, and so 
as that the smallest sucking pig could not pass through it 
for its closeness, nor the ox pass over it for its height." The 
latter class of fence was not of so substantial a nature. 
" The naked fence should be thus made ; the length of a 
foot to the articulation (or separation) of the big toe is to 
be between every two stakes, and six feet in its height, or 
twelve hands, if it be measured by hands ; and three bands 
of interwoven twigs upon it, a band on it at the bottom, 
another in the middle, and another at the top, and a certain 
space between every two bands ; and a hand is the length 
of the pole (the interweaving) from that out, and a black- 
thorn crest upon it at the top ; and every stake should be 
flattened at top by three blows struck on its head, after 
being first thrust by the hand in the ground as well as you 
can."* The nature of the fence depended upon the nature 
of the place in which it was to be erected, which is thus 
explained " a trench or a stone wall in the plain ; and the 
naked fence in the half plain, and the close fence in the 

Page 77. 


wood."* It appears from this that the right of separate 
ownership was not confined to arable or even grazing lands, 
but in some cases included what would have been expected 
to have formed portion of the waste of the tribe ; this separate 
ownership of forest accounts for what would be otherwise 
difficult to understand, the liability of owners of lands for 
trespasses committed by wild animals.t The constant and 
regular attendance of all the parties engaged in the fenc- 
ing was attempted to be secured by the very naif rule; 
"each of them shall give his victuals into the hand of the 
other at night, that he may remember to come in the 
morning to his share of the cotenancy work ; and the 
victuals of the person that will not come may be safely 
used, and if the victuals of any of them be used, he shall pay 
fine for overuse."J 

The whole theory of the damages paid in respect of the 
most usual form of trespass, the trespass of a neighbour's 
cattle, was calculated after the usual Brehon fashion, every 
possible form and incident of the trespass being intro- 
duced, as an arithmetical quantity, influencing the ultimate 
result. In a passage in a later portion of the tract the 
actual amount of damage done is suggested as the basis 
to calculate the sum of the compensation to be paid. 
" A worthy neighbour is brought to appraise the trespass, 
and grass of equal value is given at the decision of 
the neighbours ;" this matter-of-fact mode of estimating 
the damage was probably considered unscientific by our 
author who proceeds to lay down every possible element in 
estimating compensation, and to annex to each a fixed value. 
These distinctions, if stated at length, would occupy much 
space ; and the actual amount payable in respect of any 
supposed trespass, or the possible number of results which 
might be produced by varying the elements of the calcu- 
lation, is of little practical importance. This desire to 
reduce matters necessarily fluctuating to certain results, 
this wholly misapplied pretension to arithmetical accuracy, 
was the essential vice of the Brehon law, and the glory of 

* Page 77. f Page 121. J Page 77. Page H7. 


its professors ; the working of this system was so fully 
explained in the introduction to the last volume, that it is 
unnecessary here to recapitulate it, and it is not needful on 
the present occasion to do more than to summarize what were 
the chief elements in their calculations upon this subject. The 
personal responsibility of the defendant, either by wilful acts 
or culpable negligence, divided all trespasses into "man" tres- 
pass, and ordinary or " cattle " trespass. The extent of the 
trespass, whether the cattle had merely run in and upon the 
lands, or walked about thereon and eaten the verdure and 
crop ; or had spent some time there not only eating but 
lying down, was also denned ; and technical names were 
given to these species of trespass, viz., " tairsce," " airlim," 
and " feis ; " and the proportion of damages payable in 
respect of each fixed, as so constantly occurs in these calcu- 
lations, in the geometrical ratio of two.* The time at which 
the trespass took place, whether by day or night, had to be 
taken into account ; the former involving twice the compen- 
sation of the latter. The season of the year could not be 
overlooked ; we are told, " that the year is divided into two 
parts for regulating ' smacht '-fines, for the ' smacht '-fines 
of each quarter are not alike, because it is difficult to regulate 
the ' smacht '-fines of the winter season, and of the spring 
cold, for saved provisions are more precious than growing 
grass."t The nature of the crop upon the land was obviously 
the principal element in the damage ; the questions of the 
existence or sufficiency of the fence, the period of the 
duration of the trespass, the number of cattle which tres- 
passed, the number of gaps they crossed the fence, all 
affected the result in fixed ratios. As a specimen the 

* See the calculation as to the extent of the preciuct, post, page 227. 

f Page 79. The division of the year, stated in the text, into two unequal parts, 
viz., the summer period comprising five months, being the last month of spring, 
the three months of summer, and the first month of autumn, and the winter period 
comprising the last two months of autumn, the three months of winter, and the first 
two months of spring, was made, in the opinion of Dr. O'Donovan, with the object 
solely of regulating the price of grazing lands. 

" That the Pagan Irish divided the year into four quarters is quite evident from 
the terms Eai-rach, Samhradh, Foghmhar, and Grimhridh, which are undoubtedly 
ancient Irish words, not derived from the Latin through Christianity ; and that 


following rules may be taken, as to cases really simple, and 
involving only four of the above elements. " Four sacks 
are due for feis trespass in a winter grass field over a full 
fence, two sacks for ' airlim '-trespass, and a sack for 
' tairsce '-trespass. If it be trespass upon a pastured field of 
winter grass land, or upon an inclosed field of winter moun- 
tain land, or winter wood, or an old winter milking place, or 
into an inclosed field of summer grass land, two sacks are 
due for 'feis '-trespass, and a sack for ' airlim '-trespass, and 
half a sack for ' tairsce '-trespass. If it be trespass upon a 
pastured field of winter mountain, or winter wood, or an 
old winter milking place, or a pastured field of summer 
grass land, or into an inclosed field of summer mountain or 
summer wood, a sack is due for 'feis '-trespass, half a sack 
for airlim trespass, and a quarter of a sack for ' tairsce '- 
trespass. If it be trespass upon a pastured field of summer 
mountain, or summer wood, or summer old milking place, 
half a sack is due for 'feis '-trespass, and a quarter of a sack 
for ' airlim ' trespass, and the eighth of a sack for ' tairsce '- 
trespass. The eighth of the eighth is the fine upon every 
trespassing animal, for every beast is a trespasser in a co- 
tenancy. For the ' tairsce '-trespass of one animal upon a 
pastured field of summer mountain pasture, whatever animal 
commits it, the sixth part of the half of one sack is due,"* 
&c. The liability for the trespass is very clearly based upon 
the neglect of the owner, as appears from the exceptions, 
viz., the cattle being driven over by a man or dog ; or 
straying in consequence of heat or fear, or owing to any kind 
of violence ; but these exceptions very properly extend only 
to " airlim " trespass, for if the cattle be left on the land to 


each of these began with a statul day, three of which days are still known, namely, 
Bealllaine, otherwise called CeideamJiain, or beginning of summer, when they 
lighted the fires at Uisnach at the beginning of Samhradfi ; Ltighnasajk, the 
games of Lughaidh Lamh-fhada, which commenced at Taillte on the first day of 
t'oghmhar, the harvest ; and Samhain, i.e., Samh-fhuin, or summer end, when 
they lighted the fires at Tlachtgha. 

Introduction to the " Book of Eight."," p. liiL, but see the gloss which Dr. 
O'Donovan himself cites in the subsequent page. 

* Page 81. 


eat and lie down, there is neglect on the part of the owner, 
and the trespass becomes " feis "-trespass. 

In the case of lands not in cultivation or grass the fine 
for trespass takes a pecuniary form ; thus in the case of the 
church of a " nemadh " person it is stated to be an ounce of 
silver, and the estimation of the amount is combined with 
the numberof eighty-four a manner whichis far from 
clear ; in the case of a king's dun fort, or a churchyard there 
is no money fine fixed but " every hole made in the place is 
to be filled up with eric-sod and the place pressed, stamped 
and levelled.* 

The trespass of horses involved a different question from 
that of cattle ; the mere halting of travellers on their road 
could scarcely be considered in the light of a wrong, and at the 
same time an entry with horses upon land might result in 
an action for the recovery of the premises, and it was the 
duty of all the members of the tribe or family to prevent 
thus, in an indirect manner, the institution of legal proceedings. 
Hence arose the two forms of horse-trespass, technically 
known as " fothla " and " tothla " trespass. The former arose 
when travellers unharnessed their horses upon the land of 
an absent man, and asked a neighbour accidentally present 
where they had unharnessed their horses ; it was the 
neighbour's duty to tell them that the land was the private 
property of the absent owner, and to warn them off, where- 
upon if they did not leave the place they were liable for 
the trespasses of their horses ; on the other hand if the 
neighbour saw them with the bridles in their hands, as if 
in the act of making a legal entry in assertion of a right of 
ownership, he was bound to question them as to their object, 
and in default of so doing, became himself liable for the 
trespass, if the strangers were ignorant that they were in- 
truding upon a separate property. The second case arose 
if unknown strangers unyoked their horses in the land of 
a separate owner, and the neighbour, accidentally present, 
either expressly informed them, or by his silence permitted 
them to believe, that they were not committing a trespass, 

Page 87. 


in which case he was himself personally liable forthedamage3. 
This passage would lead to the conclusion that the elaborate 
fences, directed in this tract to be erected about the lands 
allotted in severalty, very frequently, if not ordinarily, had 
no existence. 

The trespasses of swine naturally were the subject of 
customary rules ; " if they eat the grass they are trespassers 
like other grazing cattle. If they root up the land, other 
land shall be given until proof of the restoration of the land 
is completed ; that is until two horses in yoke are brought 
and left there, and it is seen that no part of the earth stick 
to their teeth while grazing it."* The damages for the 
trespass of swine were of course fixed with reference to the 
supposed size and age of the pigs, but in a preceding 
passage reference is made to an old and purely fanciful rule 
that the hole made by the pigs should be filled up with 
corn and butter ; if such a rule existed it must be referred 
to some religious origin.f 

The young and troublesome pet pig, a constant source of 
mischief, was a subject of special rules ; it was evidently 
regarded as the prime cause of breaches in the fence and the 
ringleader of the cattle in the homestead ; " the young pig 
which first breaks through the fence, and shows the way 
to the herd, there is a ' smacht ' fine upon him equal to that 
of one animal. The second time that he goes, there is a 
' smacht ' fine upon him equal to that of four animals, and 
compensation equal to that of two animals. The third 
time that he goes, there is compensation upon him equal 
to that of three animals, and a ' smacht ' fine equal to that 
of seven animals. The fourth time that he goes, there is a 
' smacht ' fine upon him equal to that upon the whole nock, 
and compensation equal to that upon four animals."J 

The rules having been fixed as to ordinary trespasses, our 
author proceeds to discuss what must be considered as 
purely imaginary cases ; it is difficult to see where the rules 
of practical importance end, and where merely legal specu- 
lations, and vain distinctions and discussions commence; 
Page 97. t Page 99. \ Page 109. 


but when the amount of " smacht " fine and compensation for 
the trespasses of pet herons, hens, pet deer, pet wolves, 
pet old birds (hawks), pet foxes, and bees becomes the 
subject of quasi-serious discussion we surely have left the 
regions of practicality behind, and are witnesses of useless 
displays of pure dialectic subtility. 

As to bees it is very naturally remarked that their owner 
cannot prevent their leaving his premises and flying into 
those of his neighbour, " for they are swift, and there is no 
restraint upon them, and because they do not fly all to- 
gether;"* in this case the owner was not guilty of a 
wrong as incident to their trespasses, and therefore there was 
no ' smacht '-fine payable in respect of it, but merely compen- 
sation. The only occasion upon which the bees of a neighbour 
can be understood to commit trespass is when they swarm 
into the adjoining laud ; the sole injury incident to this 
trespass is occupation by the swarm of some infinitesimal 
portion of the neighbour's land, and the trespass involves 
its own compensation, for the swarm fix their nest and make 
their honey on the spot they thus wrongfully occupy. Thus 
the compensation for this trespass resolves itself into a 
joint ownership of the honey produced by the swarm : 
" How is the fine of their produce paid ? At the time of 
smothering the bees, the man who sues makes a seizure of 
that honey, and it goes into the keeping of safe hands, 
and it is afterwards submitted to award. The decision 
which is right to make afterwards concerning it is to 
divide the honey between them into three parts, i.e., a 
third for attendance, and a third for the bees, and a third 
for the owner of the land. And the third allotted for the 
land is itself divided into three parts, i.e. a third is given 
to the man who owns the bees on account of the land from 
which they come, the other two thirds are divided between 
the four nearest farms, i.e. where the food is. If this dis- 
tribution of it every year shall be deemed tiresome, each 
nearest farm takes a swarm." 

This passage affords us a means of understanding the 

* Page 105. 


manner ia which these Brehon tracts are composed. The 
whole question of bees is discussed in a subsequent tract in 
this volume, and, upon a comparison of these rules with the 
latter tract, it is evident that there were subsisting certain 
simple well-known customs as to swarms of bees, and that 
each author simply uses the subject-matter as a means of 
displaying his dialectic powers in the elaboration of rights 
and rules which never were attended to or expected to be 

The question of the bees having been dismissed, the next 
which is discussed at great length is that of hens. The 
trespasses of hens may involve negligence on the part of the 
owner, for by proper rag-boots fowl may bo restrained from 
wandering ; the absence therefore of rag-boots bring hen 
trespasses within the class of man-trespasses, as resulting 
directly from the negligence of their owner, and con 
sequently within a higher scale of damages. Great ingenuity 
was displayed in classifying the nature of hen trespasses ; 
first, the trespasses of a hen within a house, which are sub- 
divided into three classes, viz., snatching away, spilling, and 
wasting, for which respectively different Compensations word 
fixed; secondly, trespasses outside of the house in the garden, 
subdivided again into soft swallowing of bees, injuring 
roidh-plants, and injuring garlic; and further in' such case 
arose the further questions whether the bird were a cock or 
a hen, and if the latter whether it were or were not barren 
The inconsistent repetitions in the commentary relative to 
this case prove that it was a favourite subject of discussion 
in the schools. 

The most extraordinary discussion is reserved for the 
case of dogs, the authors of which were certainly devoid 
of any sense of the ridiculous. The feeding of a do<* 
naturally involves responsibility for its acts, but the do 
trespass, which particularly attracts the notice of the author 
of the original tract is that involved in his depositing his 
ordure on the laud of an adjoining owner. The commentator 
remarks that there are four trespasses of hounds, viz. man- 
trespass (I.e. trespasses against men), mangling of cattle, 



breakin" of dwellings, and committing nuisance on land. 
The three former he passes over without notice, and proceeds 
to consider the interesting questions which arise uncle the 
last head ; what is required by law is to remove the dog s 
ordure out of the ground as far as its juice is found, and it 
(the rjround} is to be pressed and stamped upon with the 
heel and fine clay of the same nature is to be put there 
compensation. This is the test of reparation ; that two 
horses of a chariot in yoke come there and gra/.e there, and 
if no part of the sod of grass stick to their teeth in grazing 
on it the reparation is complete. And three times the size < 
the ordure is due for compensation, and its size of butter 
and its size of dough and its size of curds ; and the part of 
them that is not obtained in the one is to be claimed in the 
other afterwards. And if it be in the presence of the owner 
that the hound has committed nuisance on the grass, a 
fine for man trespass shall be paid by him for it."* 

Man-trespasses, properly so called, wrongful acts committed 
by the defendant himself in respect of the land of an ad- 
joining owner, are divided into various classes, and described 
by specific technical names ; but as no explanation is given 
of these terms, with the exception of " fothla "and " tothla 
trespasses, it is impossible to explain the distinct 
which they refer. t 

The subject of " man-trespass " is resumed at a subseqm 
page,* and treated of at considerable length and in the 
usual manner. The first wrongful act discussed is that o 
cutting down trees or underwood upon the land of another. 
The various species of trees and shrubs are divided by the 
original writer, and more in detail by his commentator, 
into various classes, founded upon some nobleness inherent 
in the trees themselves, and the extent to which the tree 
is injured forms of course an clement in the calculation. 
The following extract is sufficient to illustrate these rules :- 
"For the cutting of trees or stripping them, full 'dire 
is paid for each, i.e., a perfect compensation for the portion 
of them which is damaged, and five ' Beds' as ' 

* Page 123. t Pg M- } Page 147, 


But all trees are not equally noble, for there are seven 
chieftain trees and seven common trees, and seven shrub 
trees, and seven bramble trees, and the 'dire' -fine for each is 
different. The chieftain trees are oak, hazel, holly, ash 
yew, pine, apple. The ' dirs '-fine of the oak ; a cow-hide 
is due for stripping off it the barking for a pair of woman's 
shoes ; and an ox-hide for the barking of a pair of man's 
shoes ; and also to cover it until the test of its recovery is 
had, i.e., smooth clay and cow-dung and new milk are to be 
put upon it until they extend two fingers beyond the wound 
on both sides, and half fine shall be for it until it is whole. 
For cutting the trunk a cow is paid, and five seds are its 
' dire '-fine. A co/yjctc/i-heifer i* ike fine for their great arms, 
or for their small oaklings ; a 'dairt' heifer for their branches! 
The ' dire ' fine of every chieftain tree of them is such."* 

The only class of man-trespass dealt with is the breaking 
down and passing through a fencef (the English trespass 
qudre clausum freyit'). As to this, distinctions are drawn 
having reference to the extent of the breach and the status 
of the wrongdoer, and in the latter case the compensation 
to be paid by the native freeman in every case is double of that 
payable by a stranger, probably because the payment of 
compensation arises from an implied contract, and is not 
founded in theory upon the tort. 

There are four exceptional cases in which it was justifi- 
able to make gaps or breaches in private fences : (1) a 
breach before the hosts, which is glossed to mean "in 
flying before an host," but which reference seems rather 
to mean " to permit the advance of the host " ; (2) before 
provisions, glossed of the host," which would mean, 
for the purpose of bringing up supplies to the host ; in both 
these cases the host must mean the armed array of the 
inhabitants of the district in which the fence is situated 
(3) for the passage of chieftains " if they had found no other 
passage," and (4) for the conveyance of materials for the 

* Page 140. Sec the notes appended to the text as to the meaning of this 
difficult and obscure passage, 
t Page 153 



erection of any of the following buildings, (a) a mill, (fc) an 
oratory, (c) a shrine, and (d) a king's dun fort. 

The principle of a right of way of necessity is clearly 
stated; such rights must have immediately come into 
existence upon the division of joint tenancies into separate 
lots ; this right is however fenced in with peculiar restrictions 
which prove the exclusive possession by its owner of the 
servient tenement, and the anxiety of proprietors to prevent 
the acquisition by their neighbours of easements by continued 
user " There is one stay (quere, restriction on full enjoyment, 
or easement) which every co-tenant is entitled to from the 
other i.e. in a land without an opening, without a road, 
without a way ; he is entitled to full passage over every 
co-tenant's land that is next to him, but the manner in which 
he is bound to pass is with six persons about him, three 
persons from the owner of the land, and three persons from 
the man who seeks the passage shall attend to keep them 
(the cattle} close to the fence in order that they may not 
spread over the land. If he has a way, this may be omitted ; 
if there be two mounds to it, or two stone walls, he is 
restrained by them, for they are witnesses. "* 

The liabilities or duties annexed to lands held in several 
ownership are expressly laid down in this tract; this 
subject has been already noticed with reference to the rights 
of women to land, but the enumeration in the following 
passage is worthy of a reference : 

"The liabilities of land now, i.e., service of attack and 
defence against wolves and pirates, and attendance to the 
law of the territory, both as to the hosting and feeding and 
service of defence." 

" The liabilities as regards roads, i.e., a fence is required 
for it alone, and it is necessary to cut them and cleanse them, 
and remove their weeds and mire in time of war and of a 
fair and because it is expected that each should assist the 

other, t 

Very interesting information is given incidentally in 
the commentary on this tract, which proves the existence 

* Tage 157. t Page 1-45. 


at the date of its composition of tenants in the modern sense 
of the term, holding land for periods either fixed or uncertain, 
and paying rent in kind. The details as to this mode of 
land arise incidentally from the discussion of the liabilities 
and rights of the owner of a several lot, who is absent at the 
date of the partition and as a necessary consequence does not 
erect the fences between his portion and those of the adjoining 
owners, or who leaves the district to escape the fulfilment of 
his duties in this respect. In such a case the two adjoining 
owners would have no complete fence to their portions, as 
far as they meared the lot of the absent man, and his 
abandoned lot would lie between them, enabling then- cattle 
to trespass across upon their respective holdings. In such 
case the adjoining owners can distrain upon his property, 
if he has any, until he makes the fence ; if he has no property 
they can distrain the " next of kin to him of his family," 
until they fulfil his duties on his behalf. This is explained 
in the commentary as follows : " Let them distrain his family 
until they fence their brother's land,"* showing that the lia- 
bility would fall on the members of the household to which the 
absent man had previously belonged. If his family were 
unwilling to fulfil this obligation, they could escape it by 
conceding the right of grazing the land to the two adjoining 
proprietors, who in consideration of the year's grass them- 
selves complete the fencing of the land, and occupy the 
derelict lot with their cattle in equal proportions. If the 
absent man return in the course of the year, and find that, 
his family having refused to fulfil his duties on his behalf, 
his lands are in the possession of his neighbom-s, he was held 
to have a claim upon his family, who by their failure to 
perform their duties to him had caused him to be temporal ik- 
ied without home or farm. His rights under these circum- 
stances against his family are explained in the followiii"- 
rather obscure passage : " If the deserter has come/rom out- 
side into the territory after this, his family shall give him 
land during the term of the hire (lit. loan), and they shall 
obtain the hire, and the part of his farm-buildings which 

'Page 131. 


he may have found on his coming back shall be obtained 
by the deserter. If his family have land, and they give not 
of it to him, the hire is to be obtained by those who are 
outside, and the portion of the erections which the law has 
not declared forfeited, the farnity shall purchase for him. If 
the family had no land at all, they equally divide the hire 
between the time and the labour, and he himself purchases 
the portion of the erections which the law has not confiscated. 
If the family have land, and he would not accept of it, 
the hire shall be divided equally between time and labour, 
and he shall obtain no portion of the erections."* The 
explanation which we suggest for this passage (the general 
meaning of which is not obscure) is that notwithstanding 
the division of the land in several lots, there still survived 
certain obligations among the members of the several houses, 
both towards third parties, and inter sese, to aid in carrying 
out the works incidental to a partition, and therefore if the 
family failed to fulfil their duty to an absent member, and per- 
mitted the adjoining owners, in consideration of fencing the 
land, to occupy it for a year, they were bound specifically to 
compensate the owner on his return for the temporary loss 
of his holding. If the word translated " hire " is taken in the 
double sense as meaning both a "letting," and the "subject- 
matter of the letting," the rules may be read thus : 

A. On his return his family must provide an equivalent in 
land during the residue of the year; his family shall be 
entitled to receive from him the letting value of the land, 
and at the end of the year he shall be entitled to whatever 
'' improvements " shall have been made by him on the 
portion of land so allotted to him. 

B (1). If his family have land of their own and do not 
allot to him an equivalent therein during the residue of the 
year, land must be procured for him from a third party 
during the period, and his family pay the rent of it for him, 
and all the "improvements" which he shall have effected 
on the land at the end of the year must be purchased by 
the family for him. 

* Page 131. 


(2). If the family have no land, they must give him in 
time and labour an equivalent to the value of his land 
during the residue of the year, and he must in this 
himself buy in what in the preceding case the family were 
bound to purchase for him. 

(3). If liis family offer him a compensation out of their 
lands, and he refuse it, they are bound to compensate him 
in time and labour equivalent to the value of the land for 
the residue of the year, and he loses all right to the im- 

The difficulty in understanding this passage arises specially 
from the mode in which the rights of third parties are 
made apparently to depend upon the dealings between the 
owner and his family and as was before stated this explan- 
ation is very uncertain and not perhaps more than conjec- 
tural in its details.t 

Some commentator upon this passage, fortunately for us, 
has had his attention directed to the question as to the 
rights to the " erections " upon the land, and not very 
logically proceeds to explain the rules on this subject as 
between landlords and tenants in the modern sense of the 
term. From this passage we conclude that there were two 
modes of letting land, viz., for an indefinite term, and for a 
fixed period, but that in both cases the lessor could resume 
possession, and that the fact of the period of the holding 
being ascertained bound the tenant and not the landlord. 
The terms " with necessity " and " without necessity '' 
in this passage, applied to the act of either landlord or 
tenant in determining the tenancy, are the same as are 
used in reference to wrongful acts in the other portions of 
these laws, and in such passages they have been translated 
as " intentional " and " unintentional ;" the meaning of the 
word " necessary " as qualifying an act may be taken to be 

* See the explanation of this passage given at page 135. 

f The subsequent commentator sees the difficulty of explaining these rules and 
suggests the following key to their meaning, viz :--" It 13 the lanJ of another man 
that he has in this case let out on hire" (p. 135); that is, that when the family 
procure land from a third party for the use of a " deserter " they occupy t he- 
double position uf tenant and landlord. 


that the act in question was the natural result of the 
circumstances in which the person who did it was then 
placed; thus a "killing with necessity" would include 
justifiable homicide or manslaughter, and a " killing without 
necessity " would be equivalent to our term murder, meaning 
the slaying of another wrongfully and " with malice afore- 
thought ; " the best translation of these terms in relation 
to the determination of a tenancy would seem to be " reason- 
ably" and "unreasonably," a qualification of an act not 
very logical, and probably expressing the general opinion of 
the neighbourhood upon the moral aspect of the transaction. 

The rules laid down on this subject are as follows : 

A. If the letting be for an uncertain period, in all cases 
the tenant, if he determine the tenancy, leaves the erections 
behind him ; but if the landlord determine the tenancy for 
any reason whatsoever, the tenant may carry away the 
erections with him. 

B (1). If the letting be for a term certain, on the expiration 
ot the term, the tenant must leave the erections behind 

(2). If the tenant determine (surrender) the tenancy for rca- 
sonable cause, the value of his erectionsis apportioned between 
(having reference to) "time and labour;" but, if without 
reasonable cause, he must leave them behind. 

(3). If the landlord, even on the last day, unreasonably de- 
termine the tenancy, the tenant may remove his erections ; 
but if reasonably, there is a division of their value having 
reference to time and labour. 

c. If the lands have been let for agricultural purposes, with 
anagreeinent to manure and dung them, and a period has been 
fixed for the determination of the tenancy, the case follows 
the ordinary rule ; but if no period has been fixed, it shall, 
nevertheless, be considered as a tenancy for a fixed period 
such period to be ascertained by the award of " the neigh- 
bours ;" the grounds upon which it would proceed may be 
gathered from the commentary, at page 137. "If he has 
specified no particular time between them at all, the land 
shall belong to the 'man without' (i.e., the tenant, as con- 


trnsted with the owner), until the time of his manure or 
dung has been taken out of it." 

D. If the letting be for grazing, and "for forming erec- 
i ions " (with a covenant to erect buildings), the rent is " one- 
third of every animal on which there is increase;" but if 
for grazing only, every seventli cow is left for payment of 
the rent, but the tenant is allowed for every seven cows to 
pasture without further payment, in addition to every seven 
cows, as many sheep as were considered the equivalent of a 

E. If the tenant has agreed not to break up the land, and 
lias ploughed it in violation of his agreement, the " tillage 
and seed " are forfeited, and he pays five " seds " as damage!; 
but he can always break up the land if there was no agree- 
ment to the contrary. 

F. Farm buildings found upon the land by the tenant, 
are, at the determination of the tenancy, to be treated as 
having been erected by him.* 

Some information as to the rent of land may be obtained 

* Page 133. These equitable doctrines applied only to free contractual tenant. 
Ine unfree customary tenants were very differently treated. 
" The free tributes, as I have hoard, 

Are they which we have above mentioned ; 

Of the noble tribes these are due, 

Who are upon lands external [to the mensal lands]. 
' The unfrcc tribes, a condition not oppn 

They arc in his [the kind's] own lands ; 

Servile rent by them, it i< the truth, 

Is to be supplied to the palaces of the chief king. 
"The tribute which is due of these 

[IsJ is of fire bote and wood ; 

[also] the renewing of his cloaks, constant the practice. 

A tribute in washing and in cleaning. 
" This is due of the be.-t part of them 

Run and purple of line strength, 

Red thread, white wool, I will not conceal it, 

Yellow blaan and biunean. 
"From the unfree tribes of ijnolli coin'enance, 

Who fly with the rentJrOHi th: I n J, 

1 icice as much is due 

A, they had earned off from their fatherland.' 

&>3k ofRiylti," p. 223-4. 


from an earlier passage in this tract dealing with the mode 
in which land-trespasses are estimated ; the answer which 
it gives to this question is as follows : " From its rents ; if 
it be winter grass that is injured, two-thirds of its rent is 
the fine for the trespass ; if summer grass, it; the fine, is one- 
third."* On this passage the gloss says : " Two-thirds of 
the fair rent, or price that is paid for its ' feis '-trespass 
and ' airlim '-trespass is what is paid for its ' airlim'- 
trespass only, for it is four sacks that are paid for its ' feis'- 
trespass, and two sacks for its ' airlim '-trespass. Two- 
thirds of the rent which is paid for a " Tir-Cumhaile " of 
the best land to the end of three quarters of a year is what 
is due for ' feis '-trespass in a meadow of winter grass-land 
over a full fence, i.e., three ' screpalls ' for the three quar- 
ters ; i.e., two ' screpalls ' for ' feis '-trespass in winter, 
and one ' screpall ' for ' feis '-trespass in summer, and this 
is the third of the three ' screpalls.'t 

Those who are desirous to work out questions of this 
nature, are referred to the Tract entitled " Divisions of 
Land," contained in this volume, in which the measures of 
laud are explained, and the addition or diminution in the 
value of land produced by the presence or absence of 
various qualities. 

The letting of land, as explained in this tract, was car- 
ried on upon essentially mercantile and equitable princi pies, 
and was wholly unconnected with any feudal tenure. 

Sir H. S. Maine has successfully shown that the feudal 
relation of Lord and Vassal among the Irish (so far as it was 
developed) rested upon the hiring out to the less wealthy 
classes of cattle and not of land. The benefice which the 
tenant received as the consideration of his services, must have 
been of value, and not otherwise easily attainable ; and Sir 
H. S. Maine therefore points out that in the earlier stages of 
society there was a superabundance of land in proportion to 
the amount of cattle available for cultivation and manure, and 
that what the vassal desired and obtained was not land to 
till or pasture his cattle upon, but cattle for the purpose of 

* Page 97. t Page 97. 


utilising his otherwise valueless lands. This tract, however, 
exhibits to us a condition of society altogether different from 
that in which the ' saer ' and ' daer '-stock tenancy took their 
rise. We find tenants paying very substantial rent under 
grazing leases, tenants willing to expend money in " erec- 
tions," and manuring their holdings, and also that the 
custom of tenants taking land for agricultural and grazing 
purpose, had existed sufficiently long for the development 
of a custom determining the duration and incidents of the 
tenancies, and the respective rights of landlord and tenant 
as to future and permanent improvements. The manifest 
inconsistency between cattle-tenure and the rules laid 
down in this tract on the relation of landlord and tenant, is 
one of the many proofs of the social changes which must 
have occurred between the date at which the older Celtic 
customs were in force, as being in accordance with, and 
springing from, the daily needs of an existing society, and 
the period when the latter and speculative commentaries 
were composed ; and, therefore, of the impossibility of ex- 
tracting any one uniform system of jurisprudence from the 
mass of Brehon Law Tracts of unknown authorship and un- 
certain date. 

The contents of this tract are sufficient to put an end, 
once and for ever, to an assertion, which seems to Lave 
become an axiom adopted by all authors on Irish history and 
antiquities, and which has also gained considerable political 
notoriety, namely, that the ancient Irish had not attained 
to the idea of exclusive ownership in land, and that all the 
land, until the influence of English law prevailed, was con- 
sidered as the joint property of the tribe or family. It is 
evident that the several and individual ownership of land 
was perfectly familiar to the Irish lawyers, and that the 
most advanced applications of this doctrine, such as hiring 
of land for limited periods and under specific covenants, and 
also the doctrine of servitudes, were not unknown. The 
question of importance upon this branch of Irish antiquities, 
is not whether several property in land was known to the 
Irish Brehons, but what was the proportion which, in the 



historical period, tlic lands held by the body of the tribe 
bore to those appropriated to individual and separate owners. 

In an introduction, such as the present, many interesting, 
although incidental, statements, which are of much antiqua- 
rian value, must necessarily be left unnoticed. 

None of the Brehon tracts gives more complete materials 
for estimating the merits and demerits of the early Irish 
lawyers than does the present. This may be attributed to 
the fact that the work in question, being probably of a late 
date, contained few difficulties in its construction, or re- 
ferences to ancient and antiquated customs. The glosses 
prove that the subsequent commentator felt no difficulty in 
understanding the original text. The subject matter was 
also practical in its nature, and remarkably adapted for the 
mode in which the Brehou school dealt with legal subjects. 
In despite of a style singularly wearisome and confused, it 
is impossible not to observe that they have worked up into 
a consistent form a mass of local and varying customs ; 
that they have laid hold of important legal principles, though 
in an uncertain and illogical fashion ; and that in the selec- 
tion of their rules they have exhibited an honest and 
equitable spirit ; on the other hand, this tract illustrates 
then- incapacity to arrive at legal abstract propositions, and 
the extreme indefiniteness or mistiness of expression to which 
they were habituated ; their prevailing error of mistaking 
arithmetic conclusions for definite propositions ; and, lastly, 
their predelection to wander away from the practical appli- 
cation of their rules into the discussion of imaginary and 
fantastic cases, which were elaborated in the nature of 
scholastic speculations. The wisdom, for which the Brehon 
lawyers obtained such undeserved credit, rested upon the 
feeblest, not the most important, portion of their work. The 
vulgar of the day may have listened with amazement and 
admiration to discussions as to the various liabilities of 
hens, or the trespasses of dogs ; and most of their modern 
translators and students, confessedly ignorant of jurispru- 
dence, seem to have been struck with astonishment at these 
dialectic performances ; but the test of the merit of every 


legal school is its success in the application of its scientific 
conclusions to the practical affairs of life. That theBrehon 
lawyers reduced the mass of customary rules into a tolerably 
definite form, and contrived to base their doctrines upon a 
foundation more or less logical, and that, although possessing 
no original jurisdiction, by the general equity of their 
decisions, they succeeded in establishing their judicial 
power, are merits which the cursory student of the present 
day, repelled by the form of their works, is perhaps too slow 
to admit. 



The culture of bees in the middle ages possessed an 
importance which, in our modern days, it has altogether 
lost. Until the introduction of sugar into Western Europe 
at so cheap a rate as to admit of being considered an article 
of ordinary use, honey was largely employed as the only 
means of sweetening the food ; and almost until our own 
days the consumption of wax for candle was very extensive. 
At whatever date the sugar-cane was first cultivated in 
Europe, (the western nations first became acquainted with 
it shortly after the date of the first crusade), the extensive 
use of this article in Ireland cannot have arisen before the 
introduction of West Indian sugar at the end of the IGth 
century, up to which date the cultivation of bees must 
have continued to be a matter of considerable importance 
in Ireland. 

The importance of bee-culture in Ireland is proved 
by the well-known legend relative to their introduction 
into the island. This is printed in Colgan's " Acta Sanc- 
torum," under the date of the 13th of February, the feast of 
St. Dominicus, or Modomnicus. As the book is not easily 
accessible, the passage is here transcribed : " Narratur 
ibidem et aliud de ipso S. Modomnico seu Dominico 
miraculum vere prodigiosum, universal patrise continua 
veritate proficium, et perenni fama viro sancto gloriosum. 
Traditur enim primus esse, qui vel apes absolute, vel 


saltern certi generis apes in Hibcrniam transvexerit ; unde 
magna dcinceps in illo regno, qua ante caruit, apum et 
mcllis abundantia remansit. Sed quia hfec periodus, ut 
fabulosa, a dune cervicis hereticis irridotur, et quibusdem 
emunctre naris Catholicis tanquam parum fun data minime 
arrideat, placuit plures, eosque graves et vetustos, ejus 
producere testes. Cum S. Modomnicus, discipulus sancti 
Patris (S. Davidis) ad Heberniam reverteretur, et navern 
ad transfretandum ascenderet, ecce omnis multitudo apum 
terras illius, unde exierat, consequens eum, in navi cum eo 
consedit. Ipse enim examinibus apum nutriendis atque 
servandis, diligentcm curam de Patris David mandato 
dabat, ut indigentibus aliqua ciba suavioris oblectamenti 
ministraret. Discipulus vero nolens tanto beneficio fratres 
defraudare, iterura ad Patris presentiam rediit, sequente 
tamen euin turba apum, qu?c ad alvearia propria prorexerunt. 
Cum secundo valefaceret fratribus, et viam suam carperet, 
ecce apes, ut prius, eum insequuntur ; quod cum videret, 
iterum ad fratres revertitur ; et similiter eum apes onines 
concomitantur. Cum tertia vice hoc factum itcrassent, et 
vir Dei nullatenus vellet eas a fratribus abducere, cum 
omnium fratrum benedictione et Patris David, licentiam 
transfretandi cum apibus accepit ; apes quoque S. David 
benedicens, ait ; terram, ad quam propcratis, vestro abundet 
semine, nee unquain deficiat vestrum inibi semen vel 
gcrmer nostra autem civitas a vobis in perpetuum im- 
munis, ice ultra semen vestrum in ea exerescat. Quod 
usque in presens tern pus completum esse cernimus ; nam 
si aliunde in illam civitatem deferantur, nequaqiiam durare 
possunt. Hibernia autem insula, in qua usque tune apes 
vivere nequebant, postea magna mellis et apum fertilitate 
florebat. Quod enim ibi apes autea vivere nequebant, ex 
hoc colligitur, quod si pulveres vel lapilli de Hibernia, inter 
apes aliarum terrarum projicerentur, fugientes tanquam 
nocivam devitabunt. 

" Hujus historise veritatem confirmat nomen loci, quo 
apes illse in Hiberniam derectae primo collocataa sunt, ab 
ipso eventu desumptum ; is enim locus in regione Fingalliae 


sive comitatu Dubliniensi situs, Lann-lcachaire, id est, 
Ecclesia Apiarii adpellatur, &c.' : * 

The present tract must lie considered as an exercise in 
which the question of the ownership of bees, their swarms, 
and their honey, is selected as a subject for dialectic 
subtility. From the passages in the preceding tract dealing 
with bee trespasses, and incidental passages in the present, 
it is evident that questions relating to the ownership of 
bees were, in the ordinary course of life, dealt with on much 
Ifss refined principles than are here suggested; but the 
present tract is valuable as illustrating the modes of thought, 
and the logical abilities of the Irish lawyers. For the 
purpose of raising all possible questions as to ownership and 
possession, no subject could have been more ingeniously 
selected than that of the rights to bees and their produce ; 
and upon this point some few observations are necessary. 

The ownership of bees raises at once the question of what 
is meant by possession. This term is generally defined as 
expressing the simple notion of a physical capacity to deal 
with a thing as we like, to the exclusion of everybody else, 
and the possession continues, even without physical contact, 
if the physical force to retake the object can be reproduced 
at will. 

The most remarkable illustrations of the legal conception 
of possession arise iu the consideration of the possession of 
live animals. The animals which ordinarily exist in a 
domesticated state, such as cows and horses, hardly differ 

* The good father, who deals so hardly with thick headed heretics and 
sceptical Catholics, is however himself embarrassed by evidence as to the existence 
of bees before the date of St. Modomnicus: "Quod autem in Ilibernii ante 
sanctum hunc Dominicum natura apes et mel'.a f uerint constat ex irrefragabili 
testimonia regula; S. Ailbfi, iu qua num. 37 ita legitur, 'cum sident ad mensam, 
adferautur herbae, sive radices, aqua lot;B in mundis scatellis ; item puma, cervixia, 
et ex alveario mellis ad latitudiuem pollicis, id est, aliquod favi.' S. autem 
Ailbeus floruit in Hibernia simul cum S Patricio, et aliquot etiam annis ante ejus 
adventum, sive ante annum 431. Ad auctoritates S. ^Engussii et aliorum qui 
dicunt S. Dominicum primum fuisse, qui apes in Iliberniam attulcrat, dicendum 
hoc esse intelligendum de ctrto genere apum: eunt enim iu Ilibeniiii et don.esticte 
et silvestres, ac diversi colons et generis apes ; praecipuarum autem ex his genus 
et semen viJetur S. Dominicus primus advexisse." ( Vit& Sam-forum, p. 328, 
n. 7-8.) The legend therefore affords no means of fixing thu dute of this tract. 


from other property. Animals, on the other hand, which are 
in a wild state, are only in our possession so long as they 
are so completely in our power that we can immediately 
lay hold of them. The meaning of the distinction is, that 
the tame animal will naturally, and of itself, remain within 
the possession of the owner ; the wild animal will as cer- 
tainly attempt to escape, and will most probably succeed in 
doing so. 

We do not possess the fish in a river, although the several 
right of fishing belongs to us ; but we do possess fish when 
once they are placed in a receptacle, whence we can at any 
time take them. According to the civil law, the ownership 
of wild animals is founded upon the fact of capture, and 
exists only so far as they are actually or constructively in 
restraint. The Institutes are clear upon this point : " Fene 
igitur bestise, et volucres, et pisces, et omnia animalia, quaa 
mari, cselo, et terra nascuritur, simul atque ab all quo capta 
fuerint, jure gentium stalim illius esse incipiunt. Quod 
enirn ante nullius est, id iiaturali ration e conceditur, nee 
interest, feras bestias et volucres utrum in suo fundo quis 
cupiat, an in alieno."* 

The ownership of the locus in quo of the capture is here 
entirely excluded from the consideration of the vesting 
of ownership. 

This law has been in England very considerably modified, 
by reason of the exclusive privileges generally conceded to 
owners of land. There is not the least difficulty in a man 
having possession of that of which he is not the owner, and 
it was consistent with the idea, which attaches to our word 
" close," to treat the person entitled to the possession of 
inclosed land as in possession of all the game which at any 
time happen to be there. It was, therefore, obviously cor- 
rect to decide that, when a trespasser kills game upon the 
land in my possession, the game is mine. It is, however, 
very difficult to apply these principles to the case of bees ; 
the hives, the honey in them, and the bees in the hives, are 
manifestly in the possession of the owner, but as to the bees 

* lust., Lib. ii., Tit. 1, De occupations ferarura. 


who fly away or swarm out, he has no means of identify- 
ing or recapturing them, unless by close and imme- 
diate pursuit ; bees which leave the hive are in the same 
position as wild animals which escape from their cage. In 
the case of wild bees, according to the Roman Law, the 
owner of the soil would have neither property nor possession 
until he physically possessed himself of their nest and 
honey ; in this latter case, according to the general principles 
of English law, the possessor of the land should have, in 
right of such possession, a possession in the bees and their 
nests upon his land, and he alone, by actually securing 
them, should become their owner. The trespasser who 
secured a swarm or bees' nest upon the land of another, had, 
under the civil law, both property and possession ; under 
the English law he should have the possession, but the pro- 
perty should vest in the owner of the land. The law as to 
bees is thus laid down in the Roman law : " Apium quoque 
fera natura est. Itaque apes, quae in arbore tua censederint, 
antequam'a te in alveo includantur, non magis tnse intelli- 
guntur esse, quam volucres, quae in arbore tu& nidum 
fecerint. Ideoque si alius eas incluserit dominus eorum erit. 
Favos quoque si quos effecerint, eximere quilibet potest. 
Plane integra re, si prtevideris ingredientem fundum tuum, 
poteris cum jure prohibere ne ingrediatur. Examen quoque, 
quod ex alveo tuo exvolaverit, eousque intelligitur esse 
tuum, donee in conspectu tuo est, nee difficilis persecutio 
ejus est, alioquin occupantis est."* 

Bracton, as might be expected, adopts the passage of the 
Institutes ; but in quoting his authority, Blackstone adds 
the following observations : "But it hath been also said that 
with us the only ownership in bees is ratione soli; and the 
charter of the forest, which allows every freeman to be en- 
titled to the honey found within his own woods, affords 
great countenance to this doctrine, that a qualified property 
may be had in bees, on consideration of the property of the 
soil whereon they are found."t 

* Inst., Lib. ii.. Tit. I, De apibus. 
t Black. Com. B. II., P. II., Chap. 1. 


The mode in which the ownership of bees, their honey, 
and their swarms, is discussed in the present tract, and the 
principles applied by its authors, are a very fair test of the 
extent to which the Brehon Lawyers were acquainted with, 
and influenced by, the Civil Law, of which the rule of 
ownership resting on possession was one of the primary 

The rights to the produce and swarms of a hive of bees 
upon the farm of any proprietor are, according to the theory 
of the authors of the present tract, founded upon an implied 
contract between him and the adjoining owners of land. 
The holding of the owner of the bees is assumed by them to 
be square, or at least four sided, and each of the sides to be 
meared by the lands of a distant owner. The bees are sup- 
posed to enter into and gather honey on the four adjoining 
farms, the owners of which, by reason of the sustenance thus 
afforded to the bees, acquire definite rights in their increase 
and produce. The unpractical nature of this treatise is shown 
by the fact that the author believed that bees did not breed, 
or throw off swarms, until the third year, and it is upon 
this assumption that their calculations are based. They 
allow the hive what is styled, " three years of exemption, 
one year for their production, one year ' while they are 
few,' " and the year of their breeding, which must mean 
the year of their tirst swarming. During this period the 
adjoining owners have no right to the swarms, but only to 
a certain definite proportion of the honey produced. Four 
vessels of different sizes are assumed as the measure of the 
quantity of the honey produced, and these vessels are them- 
selves arranged by reference to the size of cattle at different 
periods of their growth, (1) the milch cow vessel, which 
when full a man of ordinary strength could raise to his 
knee, (2) a " samhaisc " heifer vessel, which a man could 
raise' to his navel, (3) a " colpach " heifer vessel, which a 
man could raise as high as his loins (or waist), and (4) a 
" dairt " heifer vessel, which a man could raise over his 
head ; the several proportions out of these respective quan- 
tities of honey to which the adjoining owners were (or per- 


haps each of them was) entitled, was one-half, one-third, one- 
fourth, and one-fifth of an esera, or drinking cup ; this was 
the amount fixed by the ordinary rule, but there were also 
contingent claims for a supply of honey in the case of an 
entertainment to a person of rank, or upon the occasion of 
sickness. The swarms of the third year must be assumed 
to have belonged to the owner of the hive, for upon the 
expiration of the three years, " the period of exemption," 
the four adjoining owners became each entitled to a swarm 
out of the hive. In the distribution of the swarms the 
author assumes that bees throw out three swarms in the 
year ; the first assumed to be the best, the second swarm 
also of good quality, and a third inferior swarm, described 
aatito tt meraighe'' swarm. Three only of the adjoining 
proprietors could get their swarm in the third year, and the 
fourth had to wait for the following season, when he was 
entitled to the first and best swarm of the year. 

The lands in question were assumed to bear the same 
relation to each other as the divisions of the geilfine, and 
they were entitled to their swarms -in a rotation founded upon 
the supposed relationship existing between these four classes. 
As the number of the geilfine divisions were four, and that 
of the lands, inclusive of the original farm, entitled to swarms, 
was five, the theory could not be completely carried out. 
The original farm, which obtained the swarm of the third 
year, must have been considered as the geilfine class ;* the 
other lands were classed with reference to the proximity of 
the hive, and the degree to which the bees would, therefore, 
be supposed to resort to it for their honey ; the nearest land 
was described as the " deirbfine " land ; the next nearest 
must have been the " iarfine," and the third the " innfine." 
The remaining adjoining farm could not have had any name 
derived from the geilfine relation, but must have been intro- 
duced as a consequence of the assumption that the original 
farm was a square. That the original farm was the geilfine 
farm follows from the fact that the second was the deirbh- 
fine, as otherwise the geilfine must have been postponed to 

* See Gloss, page 178, line 22. 


two remaining classes, or introduced after the deirbhfine ; 
but the order of the four classes must be observed, which is 
a matter of importance in considering a passage in the next 
tract in this volume dealing with the rights to water. 

The owners of the adjoining lands were bound to set a 
watch " in the bright times, when the bees send out a swarm," 
and, if a swarm escaped through their negligence, ^they 
" shall support the bees until the end of another year," that 
is, the further distribution of swarms was adjourned to the 
next season. The case of swarms, which were not allotted 
to, and taken possession of by, one of the four adjoining 
owners, is next discussed ; if a swarm, not the property of 
one of the adjoining owners, swarmed within the farm of the 
owner of the hive, no question could arise ; a rule determining 
the ownership of a swarm could only arise, when it had left 
the farm of the original owner, and settled upon the lands of 
a third party. For the purpose of deciding this question our 
author refers to the analogous case of the rights to the fruit 
of a tree, belonging to one person, but planted in and grow- 
ing out of the land of another.* Such a question is foreign 
toany European system of law, but it frequently arises in 
the Courts of Ceylon, where not only the owners of the tree 
are different, but even the tree and its produce are held by 
many persons in joint, and necessarily undivided, owner- 
ship. It is easy to understand how such a question might 
arise in a country such as Ceylon, where a farm used for the 
cultivation of large trees, such as a cocoa-nut plantation or 
mango-grove, has, in the course of several generations, been 
splitup into innumerable shares among the descendants of 
the original proprietor, but, considering the small size and 
insignificant value of the fruit trees in Ireland at the date 
of this tract, and the abundance of land, it is difficult to 
believe that the case is aught but imaginary, unless we 
assume the existence of the letting of land for garden pur- 
poses, with a customary rent reserved out of the produce. 

The general rule on this subject was that the bottom (the 
land) was entitled to the fruit of the top (the tree) every 

I'avKiT. 't Page 169. 


fourth year, and that in the other three years it was divided 
into two parts .between the respective owners ; the text then 
refers to the contingency of bees swarming upon such a 
tree, and treats the swarm as if it were portion of the natural 
produce of the tree itself. The general rule as to such 
swarms of unclaimed bees is stated in the commentary thus : 
" It is to the land out of which it (the tree) grows 
originally, that its produce belongs every fourth year ; until 
(then ?) the produce of the bees is divided into two parts to 
the end of three years between the owner of the bottom of 
the tree and the owner of the top, and its produce every 
fourth year is due to the owner of the bottom, in the same 
way as the owner of the top gets the produce of the tree 
every fourth year, so the owner of the bottom of the trees 
obtains the produce of the bees every fourth year. This is 
when the original owner of the bees is not known."* This 
rule refers to the division of the ownership of a stray swarm 
between the owners of the land and of the tree. The rules 
as to swarms, the ownership of which was either admitted 
or asserted, is stated subsequently in the commentary, and 
it is to be remarked that in the decision of such questions, 
two additional elements are introduced, the greater or less 
certainty of the ownership of the swarm, and the rank of 
the owner of the tree. 

(1.) " As to known bees in the trunk of the tree of a noble 
' nemedh,' two-thirds of their produce are due to the owner 
of the tree, and one-third to the owner of the bees, to the 
end of three years, and they (the bees) are the property of the 
owner of the tree from that out. 

(2.) " As to doubtful bees in the trunk of the tree of a noble 
'nemedh,' three-quarters of their produce are due to the 
owner of the tree, and one-fourth to the doubtful owner of 
the bees, to the end of three years, and they belong to the 
owner of the tree from that out. 

(3.) " As to the known bees in the top of the tree of a 
noble 'nemedh,' one-third of their produce is due to the 

* P. 171. The punctuation of this passage has been altered from that in the 


owner of the tree, and two-thirds to the owner of the bees, 
to the end of a year, and they belong cj:d n*i>\iij to the 
original owner of the bees from that out. 

(4.) "As to doubtful bees in the top of the tree of a noble 
' nemedh,' one-half of their produce is due to the owner of 
the tree, and one half to the owner of the bees, to the end of 
a year, and they belong to the owner of the bees from that 
out; or, according to others, it is to the owner of the tree 
they belong.* 

(5.) ".4s to known bees in the trunk of the tree of an 
humble 'nemedh,' one-half of their produce is diic to the 
owner of the tree, and one-half to the owner of the bees, to 
the end of three years, and they belong to the owner of the 
tree from that out. 

(6.) " As to doubtful bees in the trunk of the tree of an 
humble ' nemedh,' one-half their produce and one-eighth go 
to the owner of the tree, and one-half except, one-eighth to 
the owner of the bees, to the end of three years, and they are 
the property of the owner of the tree from that out."t 

The two further rules which should correspond to rules 3 
and 4, are omitted in this part of the commentary, but in a 
subsequent passage the further rule occurs :+ "As to known 
bees in the top of the tree of an humble ' nemedh,' the fourth 
portion of produce belongs to the owner of the tree, 
and three-fourths to the original owner of the bees, to the end 
of a year, and they are the property of the owner of the 
bees from that out/'J 

There is a passage in the original text which puts the 
rights of the " nemedh "-person upon an entirely different 
footing, and classes a swarm of bees as one of the seven 
fugitives not entitled to the protection of his house, and 
therefore in this case the " nemedh "-person, being obliged 
to yield up the fugitives to the pursuing owner, receives but 
one-third qf one year's produce as a gratuity. This passage 
is quite inconsistent with the rest of the text, and the de- 
tailed rules of the commentary, and proves how much of the 

* Tliis rule is variously given in page 189. 
t Page 183. % Page 189. 


regulations laid down in this tract are purely dialectic, and 
what different conclusions may be arrived at by shifting the 
point of view from which the question is regarded. 

The questions are then discussed which deal with the 
conflicting rights of the man who finds a stray swarm, and 
the owner of the land on which the swarm is found ; these 
may be summarised as follows : 

(a.) If the swarm is found in a green, that is, the open 
orassland immediately surrounding an house, one-fourth of 
one year's produce to the finder, and three-fourths to the 
owner of the house. 

(6.) If in a tree in a green, if the bees have been there a 
year, one-half to the finder, and one-half to the owner of the 

(c.) If in the land between the green and the waste, one- 
third to the finder, and two-thirds to the owner of the land. 

(d.) If in waste unappropriated land (land not separate 
private property), the finder takes all, subject to a claim by 
the chief, if it be public land of a lay -tribe, or by the 
church, if it be public land of a cleric-tribe to " one-third of 
every third." 

The position of the "daer," and " saer" -tenants, and their 
personal connection with a superior, is marked by the rule 
that " daer "-tenants of a church give over to the church 
one-third of their finding ; " daer "-tenants of a chief give to 
tlu-ir chief one- third, except in the case of bees found in the 
waste land, and in that case one-ninth ; the " saer "-tenant 
of the church gives over one-fourth, except in the case of 
bees found in the waste land, and in this case one-twelfth ; 
the " soer"-tenant of a chief gives no portion to the chief. Two 
other subjects are discussed in the tract, but neither of them 
are of such importance as to deserve a special analysis. The 
first is with reference to injuries inflicted by bees. The mode 
in which this question is considered is much less detailed than 
in the text and commentary of the Book of Aicill, and the 
matter is referred to the judgement passed upon the occasion 
of the bleeding of Congal Caech ; the passage referred to in 
the original text is as follows : " It happened on a certain 



day that I was left alone in the garden, without any one to 
take care of me, and the little bees of the garden rose up 
with the heat of the sun, and one of them put its poisonous 
venom in one of my eyes, so that my eye became awry, 
for which I have been named Congal Claen."* It may 
be reasonably conjectured that the tale of Congal Claen 
had rendered the question of damages arising from the sting 
of a bee a favourite siibject for legal speculation.t 

In the latter portion of the tract are considered the damages 
payable on account of the stealing of a hive, which only 
deserve notice as proving that property in the bees when 
confined in an artificial nest was recognised by these lawyers. 

We are now in a position to consider the mode in which the 
ownership of bees, their honey,and their swarms, are discussed 
in the present treatise. What is most obvious is the absence 
of any general principle applicable to the consideration of the 
questions raised. The rights of adjoining owners are referred 
to a state of things purely imaginary, viz., the supposition 
that every farm is meared by four neighbouring farms, which 
are the nearest to the premises in question, an assumption 
geometrically impossible ; the consideration of the rights of 
the parties standing in this impossible relation is then con- 
sidered upon the assumption of a fact actually incorrect, 

* The Battle of Magh Rath, p. 35. 

f Ancient law -givers appear to have entertained serious apprehensions of the 
injuries which might be inflicted by bees, of which the following examples 
suffice : 

" Si quis apiaria in civitate, aut in villa forsitan construxerit, et alii dampnum 
intulerit, statim moneatur, ut eas in abditis locis trausferre debeat, ne forte in eodem 
loco hominibiis aut animalibus dampnum iuferrant. Et qui ha;c pracepta aut 
lestationem neglexerit, et dampnum suffocationis in quadrupedes intulerit, quod 
mortuum fuerit, duplum rcstituat : quod vero debilitatum, ille obtineat, et simile 
dampuo reddat : et pro judicis contestatione, quam audire neglexit, v aolidos 
eoactus exsolvat." " Lnjes \l'!.ic</'itln>rHiu," Lib. viii , tet. vi., 2. 

"Apes si occidunt hominem, ipsas quoque occidi fcstinanter oportet ; mel 
tamen expendatur in medicinam et in aliis necessariis." " Tlieod." Poen. xxxi., 

" Apes si occiderint hominem, statim occidantur, antequam ad mel perveniant, 
ita saltern ut non per noctein ibi restent ; et mel quod fecerint comedatur." 
" Ecgb." Con!. 39. 

" Apes si aliquem occiderint, statim ocridantur, et mel quod antea fererint 
datur." " Eri/b.' Pcen., Lib. iv.,s. 37n. 


viz., that bees do not swarm until the third year ; and the 
distribution of their swarms ie regulated by reference to the 
false analogy of the divisions of the family in such a manner 
as to involve an arithmetical error. In considering the 
ownership of swarms not included in the preceding rules, the 
author fails to grasp the clear rule of the civil law, that 
ownership depends upon the reduction into possession, and 
the equally clear principle of the English law that a tres- 
passer cannot take any advantage arising from his own 
wrong. The mode in which our author proceeded was this : 
he observed that on all such occasions a contest as to the 
ownership arose between certain definite parties, the finder 
of the bees, the original owner of the bees, and the owner of 
the land in which the bees had swarmed ; he never applied 
any general principle to the rights of any of them, but 
finding them, or at least two of them, in conflict as to 
the ownership, he admitted that all had rights, and strove 
to regulate their rights in an arithmetical form. The 
analogy upon which he at first proceeded, that of a tree 
planted by one in the land of another, he after a time 
abandons, and the subsequent statements are referable 
to analogies, which he has not disclosed. There is an 
entire absence of any scientific mode of thought, but the 
account between the various parties is taken, having refer- 
ence to the circumstances in the case, which would strike 
the mind of an unprofessional arbitrator when attempting 
to make up the quarrel on grounds calculated to satisfy the 
contending parties ; however long and apparently elaborate 
the treatise may be, it does not, except in the detail and 
elaboration of its numerical calculations, rise over the level 
of ordinary ancient regulations upon the subject. 

The Welsh law dealt with the subject in the same, though in 
a more pref unctory manner. " On whatever boundary a wild 
swarm is found, the law says that it is right for the owner 
to hew the tree on each side ; and he on whose land the 
tree may fall, is to have the swarm ;"* and again, " Whoever 

* Ancient Laws of Wale*. Vol. I., p. 07. 


shall find a swarm of wild bees is to have a penny or the 
wax ; and the owner of the land is to have the swarm."* 

No clearer example can be desired of the essential differ- 
ence between the Celtic mode of thought, apparently clear, 
yet really indefinite, when dealing with a practical question, 
and the hard and logical habits of thought of the Norman 
lawyers (who were equally ignorant of the civil law), than 
the following enactment of the Assise of Jerusalem upon 
the subject of bees : " Sel avien che per aventura le ape che 
sonno nelle mie casse vanno foi'a, et restano in altrui casse 
de volunta di esse, la rason vol ch'io non habbia action 
alcuna de andar a prenderle per forza de la casse d'altri ; per 
che sonno ucelli salvatichi, per che tosto che le usciranno 
da le mie casse, io no ho piu signoria in quelle, se iion 
tornano iterum ne le mie casse, et sonno mie mentre sonno in 
ditte mie casse, et non piu; la rason de simil ucelli e che vanno 
ogni zorno fora per viver de li beni de fora, et pero quelli 
che li hanno chiusi in le sue casse sono sui patroni, mentre 
voranno stare, 6 ritornare ; ma se alcun vien al mio loco 
dove tegno le ape, et porta una cassa onta di dentro di 
qualche odore, per el quale intrano dentro tutte, o parte de 
le mie ape, et le porta via, la rason commanda che quel che 
fara questo sia tenuto di tornar indrieto le mie ape con 
tutto el frutto che havera fatto, et poi esser condanato 
personalmente sccondo che li judici stimaranno che valevan 
quelle ape, et che potevan lavorar per quel anno, et restituir 
altro tanto a la justitia de jure ; et similimente se le mie ape 
fanno niiel in altrui arbore, la rason judica ch'io non habbia 
alcuna rason, no alcun altro del qual fosseno le ape, ma 
quello deve esser del patron del arbore; et questo e dl 
justitia, perche nessun non puo segnar le sue ape che non 
soiuegliono a le altre, et cosi come le viveno de li fiori, et 
beni d'altrui, cosi deve esser il miel di colui, nell' arbor, o 
terreni del quale voluntariamente vanno a farlo ; parimente 
se le mie ape a far el suo miel a qualche arbore salvatico 
che non ha patron, la rason vole che cadauno possa premier 
di quel miel senza errare verso alcuno, perche e loco com- 

* Ancient Laws of Wales, Vol. II., p. L'tfii. 


mime, dal quale de rason ogni homo puo pigliar, ctiam le 
ape, et portarle, dove li place senza errare, de jure, et per 
1'assisa de Hierusalem."* 

It is impossible to believe that the author or authors of 
this tract and commentary (which has been manifestly 
altered from time to time, amended, and enlarged), had any 
acquaintance with the civil law, and it must be admitted 
that, in its present condition, it is a remarkable and most 
unfavourable specimen of the manner in which the Brehon 
teachers approved and discussed legal questions. 

* Assise of Jerusalem, see 215. What is most remarkable in this section of the 
Assize of Jerusalem is the distinct manner in which actual possession is laid down 
as the only ground for the ownership of bees, and the clear argument upon which 
it is founded viz., that the ownership consists in simply retaining them in actual 
possession, and is not founded upon any expenditure of labour and food hi their 
maintenance. The doctrine of constructive possession which appears in tin- section 
of the Institutes is here disregarded, and thereby the difficulty is avoided which 
arises from the limitations of the constructive possession introduced into the Unman 
text, " Donee in couspectu est, nee difficilis persecutio ejus est." Also, when no 
act ual reduction into possession has taken place, it is presumed to have been made 
by the owner of the soil, as no one else could enter upon his lands for the purpose ; 
and the case of the bees being fraudulently induced to escape from the possession 
of their owner is anticipated and provided for. How difficult it was to form clear 
ideas as to this matter appears for other attempts at legislation upon this subject. 
Thus, in the laws of the Wisegoths was contained the following section : 

" Si quis apes in silva sua, aut in rupibus, vel in saxo, aut in arboribus in- 
venerit, facial tres decurias, quie voeantur caracteres ; unde potius non per uiium 
caracterem fruu~ nascatur. Et si quis contra hoc fecerit, atque alienum signatum 
invenerit et irruperit, duplum restituat illi cui fraus illata est, et prseterea xx 
flagella suseipiat." "Leges ti'isigothorum," Lib. viii., sit. vi., 1. 

The ownership is here founded upon the discovery simply of the swarm, and 
nci reduction into actual possession was required ; and the question whether 
the person who so found them was rightfully or not upon the place where the 
bees had swarmed is altogether overlooked. 

In the present tract the Brehon lawyer has seen the two distinct grounds upon 
which the ownership might be founded, but has worked out logically neither 
train of ideas, and concluded by compromising both, with reference to a supposed 
analogous case, and in an arithmetical manner. 



The subjects discussed in this treatise are neither riparian 
ownership of running water, nor servitudes connected with 
the use of water, but the right to conduct water courses 
for the construction of mills, and the right of the adjoining 
owners to use such mills, and to draw water from the mill 
course and pond. The Brehon lawyers permitted anyone 
desirous of constructing a mill to bring the necessary supply 
of water through the lands of his neighbours, and to acquire by 
compulsory purchase the ground necessary for the purpose 
upon the terms of paying a fixed legal compensation for the 
same. " Every co-tenant is bound to permit the other (co- 
tenants) to conduct drawn water across his border ;"* and, 
" this is the second instance in the ' Berla ' speech where the 
law commands a person to sell his land though he should not 
like to do so."f The process in question was a veiy archseic 
anticipation of the modern " Land Clauses Consolidation 
Act," specifying the terms upon which the necessary land may 
be purchased, the amount to be paid, the matters to be taken 
into consideration upon the occasion of the purchase, and 
the rights arising by implication of law in the work when 
completed. Certain lands, from their nature, could not be 
compulsorily acquired for the purpose of the erection of a 
mill, viz., the " nemed "-land of a church, or (2) of a dun, or 
(3) the circuit of a fair-green. The author understood that 
the right of acquiring land for a work of public utility 
must be restricted by rules which would prevent a dis- 
proportionate violation of private right, or an excessive 
inconvenience to the public itself. The amount of the 
purchase-money for the land to be taken was not, as may 
be easily anticipated, the subject of valuation, but was fixed 
in every case by a an express rule, and the price was not 
measured by reference to the extent taken, but the fact of 
the compulsory taking was to be compensated for as a quasi- 
tort. Thus, a " sed " of ten " serepalls " was payable for 

* Page 2 13. f Page 2 IT,. 


every farm through which the water course was carried ; 
.some variation in the price was, however, permitted, having 
reference to the nature and value of the land itself : " If it 
be arable land, though it (the water) should pass through 
only half a step of it, it shall be paid for after this manner 
(that is, the price shall be one " sed ") ; but if it be unprofit- 
able land, half a "sed" is its price, otherwise it is a day at 
the mill for every land over which it passes that is due for 

Three classes of land are enumerated for which no 
compensation was payable, either on the ground that the 
owner of the land was benefited, not injured, by the construc- 
tion of the water course, or because it was evident that he 
incurred no damage whatsoever ; these are (1), "lands on 
which a mill stands, so that it yields produce," which is 
explained in the gloss as meaning the land used for the con- 
struction of the mill pond, which afforded to the owner of 
the land a constant and abundant supply of water, or, 
according to another commentator, of fish ; (2), a house and 
close previously without a supply of water, and which, 
therefore, was benefited by the mill-stream being constructed 
close to it ; and (3), a trench usually dry, and used only to 
carry off the winter drainage, the owner of which was 
obliged to permit its use without compensation .f It would 
have been fortunate for the English public if the equitable 
considerations which in the Brehon law deprived the owners 
of land taken for public works of any compensation, if the 
construction of these works resulted in a profit, not a loss, to 
the owners of the land required, had been taken into con- 
sideration by modern legislators. Whatever bargain or 
arrangement had been made by any owner of land in con- 
nexion with the construction of a mill, a dam, or a bridge, 
became absolutely binding if acquiesced in during the lives 
of two subsequent owners :J " If they have been so acknow- 
ledged, it is right that they should remain so for ever, gratis 
or for payment, according to the Brehon. " This passage 
vory fully expresses the archaic idea of ownership ; the 

I'].'!. f Page 215 J Page 211. Page 213. 


owner was owner merely for the term of his own life, as be- 
tween himself and his family he was in some sort only a 
tenant for life, whose contract as to the subject matter was 
not binding upon his successor. This idea of ownership is 
quite foreign to the English law, but is exactly what existed 
in the case of " substitutions " in the old French law, or in 
that of a Scotch tailzie. The English law has superadded 
to the power of dealing with property which is incidental 
to ownership, the conception of absolute ownership being 
perpetual in its duration, a fallacy which has exercised 
immense influence upon our real property law, and is the 
basis of our whole system of conveyancing. This rule 
also is an instance of the application of the principle of 
" limitation " of actions, which within only recent times has 
been recognized as of paramount importance in our juris- 
prudence. The period of limitation fixed by this rule is 
during the life of the father and grandfather of the person 
affected by it, and as the normal period of limitation in the 
Brehon laws is the space of three generations, a subject 
subsequently discussed, it maybe reasonably concluded that 
the party who entered into the original agreement was the 
great grandfather of the person whose right to object to the 
transaction was barred, and that the father and grandfather 
had acquiesced in the acts of their predecessor. In a very 
obscure passage of the commentary we have an express 
statement that the period of limitation was such as we have 
mentioned, and the assertion that the period of limitation 
did not run as against a minor : " If they were recognized 
during the lives of three persons, they are lawful from that 
forth. But if the son of the third man did not acknowledge 
them jointly with his father, he being an infant, and in case 
he was so, they shall not be lawful, until he shall have 
acknowledged them, for the same period after he has come 
to the age of reason."* The only explanation which can be 
suggested for this passage is, that the acquiescence during 
the three continuous lives was not the simple acquiescence 
of the successive owners \vhose lives are taken into account 

* Pa-el' U. 


in the computation of the time, but the acquiescence of their 
families during their successive lives ; thus, if the owner (so 
called) had a son, both father and son must acquiesce during 
the life of the former, and the son, who was an infant at his 
father's death, having been unable during his infancy to do 
any act to bind his rights, was entitled after his father's 
de.-ith, and for the same period as he had lived as a minor 
during his father's life, to elect whether he would or would 
not confirm the acts of his father ; and if he allowed this 
space of time to elapse without insisting that, by reason of 
his infancy, there had not been any legal acquiescence 
during his father's life, he was estopped from relying upon 
the fact of his infancy, and the imperfect acquiescence during 
the father's life was validated by reason of the retrospective 
effect of the son's subsequent acquiescence. 

If the owners of the lands required for the construction of 
the race or pond preferred to take certain rights in connexion 
with the watercourse and the mill in lieu of pecuniary com- 
pensation, they were at liberty to do so. 

Mr. O'Donovan has stated his opinion on this subject in 
his note, which is appended to page 220 of the text, but he 
does not appear to have realized the difficulty of applying 
the first paragraph of the text to the right to grind corn at 
the mill, or to have attempted to reconcile this passage with 
the very explicit and detailed statements of the commentator 
in page 217. The tract commences thus: "There is equal 
right to the water drawn through the tribe lands due to the 
lands out of which it is drawn."* What is the particular 
right dealt with in this passage ? Does it refer to the right 
of grinding corn in the mill, or to some other right incident 
to the water course ? and is the mode in which this right is 
to be exercised, or are the persons by whom it is to be 
exercised, compatible with such a supposition ? The rights 
of theadjoiningowners are regulated in reference to thegeilfine 
system,and the lands are divided into four classes correspond- 
ing to the four geilfine divisions. Mr. O'Donovan describes 
this theoretical division of the land to have been as follows: 

* Page 209. 


The land in which the mill-race was first turned otf, "the 
course," was geilfine land ; the land ori both sides of the mill- 
race, down to the mill-pond, was deirbhfine land ; the land 
surrounding the pond was iarfiue land ; and the land on both 
sides of the race, from the pond to the land, was the innfine 
land. It is clear hi the text that the innfine-land was the 
pond itself in which the water was contained, and that the 
deirbfine land was somewhere between the source and the 
pond, and it is not certain that the author of the passage in 
the original text contemplated any water-course running 
from the pond down to the mill. It is quite true that the 
author of the commentary at page 217, divides the lands into 
four classes corresponding with Mr. O'Donovan's; but the 
question may be asked whether he is dealing with the same 
subject matter as the author of the first paragraph of the 
original text. The authors of the glosses evidently did not 
understand the distribution of the lands contemplated in the 
original texts ; one gloss describes the deirbhfine land as the 
pond, and another apparently describes the pond as the iarfine 
land. But the patent objection to the first paragraph being 
considered as describing the rights of adjoining owners of 
land to grind their corn at the mill, is, that thereby there 
would be no surplus time left at the disposal of the owner of 
the mill house, whose rights could not well be excluded from 
consideration. The computation of time in this tract has 
reference to the working days of the week, and Sunday is 
kept out of the account as an holiday ; if, therefore, each first 
day (i. e., Monday) belong to the land out of which the water 
is drawn, and three days are allotted to the pond, and one day 
to each of the remaining classes, viz., the deirbhfine and iar- 
fine lands, the entire week would be divisible among the 
owners of the adjoining lands exclusively. This objection 
does not apply to the scheme regulating the mode of work- 
in" such a mill contained in the commentary.* According 
to this rule the right to work the mill is divisible between 
six classes : (1) the well, (2) the owners of land from the 
well to the pond, (3) the pond, (4) the owners of land from 

* I'ayi- 217. 



the pond down, (5) the artizans, and (C) the attendance 
raw-third goes to the land, and the things which belon* to' 
it and one-third to the science of the artizans, and one- 
third to food and rude labour." The two latter classes, the 
rtizans and attendance, represent the proportion allotted to 
the owners of the mill, for capital invested and current 
expenditure; the rotation is arranged with reference to a 
pmod of three weeks, containing eighteen working davs 
distributed thus : 

The Well, 

1st Week. 

2nd Week. 

3rd Week. 

Pond, . 
Pond down 





Wednesday and 
Friday and Satur- 

Wednesday and 

Friday and Satur- 

.^ _^_ 

Wednesday and 
Friday and Satur- 

It is clear that if the author of the first paragraph of the 
had considered the adjoining lands to have been 
iivided upon this system, the pond should have been de- 
scribed, not as the innfine, but as the iarfine lands ; and in 
one of the glosses we, in fact, find this correction made if 
the pond was the iarfine lands, the two intermediate dasles, 
-the dmrikfae and the iarfine lands must have been 
placed between the source of the water and the pond; and 
a* before remarked, we find in the first passage no allusion 
to any race from the pond to the mill. It may be suggested 
that the first passage refers, not to the right to use the mill 
but to draw water from the mill-course and pond-a privi- 
lege perhaps not of much value in Ireland, but one which 
theBrehon lawyers, to whom the rule e minimis non 
culations' WaS UDknOWD ' WOUld not disregard in their cal- 
The present tract concludes with the following remark- 
able passage :- There are seven ditches, according to the 
ami, the injuries done by which are not paid for (though 
such should be done by them), for every person shall be 
corrected (restrained ?) bj_ his security, unless they have 



been made free; the ditch of a 'dun '-fort, the ditch of a 
cill'-church, the ditch of a fair green, the ditch of a null- 
race, the embankment of a mill-pond, the ditch of a tur 
bo- (the hole caused by the cutting of turf), a ditch which 
is at a bridge ; for, from this out (i.e., with the exception of 
these specified cases), each one pays for the injury sued for, 
or caused by each ditch which one has made in his 
to him who has sustained the injury, for every surety shall 
be sued unless these exceptions have been established 
regards water. It was thus that the common right to , 
ducting water was established by the Feini."' 

ThlsVssacre states that ditches (or constructions of any 
kind) are divisible into two classes, viz. ; those the owners 
of which are responsible for the accidents arising from then- 
construction, and those the owners of which are exempt from 
damages in that respect ; the reason why mill-courses fall 
within the latter and the former class, is stated in the gloss 
viz ._ They are erections, concerning the construction o 
which authors have laid down no denned mode of con- 
struction " All the ditches referred to are made in the exercise 
of le-ral ri-ht; and all, except the cutting of the bog, may 
be considered in some degree as public works; the cutting 
in the boc* would be an exercise of a right in common land 
in the ordinary manner. Now the very principle of damages 
in the English law, which would be applicable to such cases, 
would be "that a person who had constructed any work of 
such a nature in the exercise of a legal right, and with due 
care and precaution, would not be liable for damages in re- 
spect of an injury which occurred to a third party, caused 
by the existence of the work in question, or the legitimate 
mode of using it. This is the point which was applied 
Railway Companies, in the case of the King v. Pease, 4 B 
& Ad. 30 ; the question in such case is always one of negh 
crence in 'the construction or using of the work. This 
appears to the point taken by the author of the gloss, viz 
-that there was no established rule regulating the mode 
yhich the mill-course should be constructed and that 

in wi 

* Page 221. 


the construction being in itself legal, it was impossible to 
consider the mode of construction a ground for damages. 
The obvious mode of deciding the question by an issue of 
fact as to whether the construction in question was or was 
not properly constructed, and with all ordinary care, was a 
course which would not recommend itself to the Brehon 
lawyer accustomed to the use of distinct arithmetical formula. 
This passage is interesting, as illustrating how the Brehon 
law was taught ; in any modern system the author would 
have laid down an abstract proposition, illustrated it by 
particular examples, and fortified it by previous decisions ; 
and, thus having established his general proposition, would 
have applied it to the facts of the case, then the subject of 
consideration. The Brehon lawyer must have had in his 
mind, however vaguely, some abstract rule with reference 
to which he classified a number of individual cases ; having 
made his classification, he then instructed his pupils by 
specifying the result of the analysis, without communicating 
the principle upon which it proceeded. It is this mode of 
dealing with legal questions, which, in the case of the Brehon 
law, creates such difficulty and obscurity. Their works are 
neither simple statements of antecedent customs, nor a 
teaching by deductions from expressed general principles ; 
the logical process may be described as a series of enthymemes 
with the major premiss suppressed ; but a careful examina- 
tion of many of these passages will disclose the general rule 
upon which the author proceeded. The form of their works 
must have been determined by their original function, as the 
professional witnesses of unwritten custom ; the decisions 
pronounced by them in cases of the first instance, would 
naturally fall within Sir H. S. Maine's definition of The- 

mistes, clearly illustrated in the following passage : " It is 

certain that in the infancy of mankind, no act of legislature, 
nor even a distinct author of law, is contemplated or con- 
ceived of. Law has scarcely reached the footing of a cus- 
tomit is rather a habit. It is, to use the French phrase, 
' in the air.' The only authoritative statement of right 
and wrong, is a judicial decision after the facts not one 



pre-supposing a law which has been violated, but one which 
is breathed for the first time by a higher power into the 
judge's mind at the moment of adjudication." 

The present tract is a curious instance of this mode of 
dealing with novel questions. Water mills were introduced 
into Ireland by Cormac Mac Art, probably in the course of 
the third century, and the rules referable to them could not 
have grown up until the use of these constructions had be- 
come 'common, and questions had arisen upon the subject. 
There was therefore no antecedent custom ; nor was^ there 
any sovereign power capable of establishing a law, in the 
proper sense of the term, upon the subject. The Brehon 
Judge must have proceeded in such cases precisely as the 
English Common Law Judges in a similar position; they 
referred to a supposed antecedent custom their decisions 
upon the novel cases arising before them, and by a series of 
decisions upon particular instances, ultimately created the 
materials from which general legal principles might be de- 
duced. In the case of the Brehon Judges the form of then- 
decisions continued unaltered, which the writers of their 
law tracts embarrassed themselves by adopting, 
scholastic logic was known to, and taught in the schools of 
the Irish ecclesiastics in the middle ages, but in the Brehon 
law tracts there is not a trace of its influence. This fact 
may be attributed either to the natural opposition of the 
representatives of the old customary law to the schools in 
which the Canon or Civil Law would be considered as 
authoritative, or to the mode of teaching natural to an 
hereditary class of lawyers, influenced by traditional forms, 
and desirous to retain as a monopoly the secrets of their 



The open space around a dwelling, which was assumed to 
be within the peace of the owner of the house, has been 
referred to in the Book of Aicill, published in the preceding 
volume, with reference to the compensation payable by 


third parties for acts of violence committed within it.* The 
author of the present tract proposes to state the extent of 
the precinct with reference to every grade, both lay and 
clerical, and to discuss certain questions connected with the 
subject. The determination of the precise extent of each 
precinct he attributes to the decisions of a convention of 
the bishops, " ollamhs," chiefs, poets, sages, and seniors of 
Ireland, held at Sliath Fuaid in Magh Bregh, and alleges 
that the extent of the precinct fixed for each class, for the 
violation of which fines should be paid to the owner of the 
house, was written by the men of Erin in the great " Cas " of 
the ancients. The unit in this calculation is the extent of 
the precinct of the lowest grade, entitled to enjoy the 
privilege of sanctuary, that is the " bo-aire " chief, which 
was fixed in simple and archaic fashion. Let him be placed 
at the door of his house in his customary seat, with a spear, 
twelve hands breadth long, from the iron head to the horn 
ferule ; so far as he could cast it did his precinct extend. 
This measurement of the limit of the precinct to which the 
owner of the house was entitled, rests upon the same 
principle of the well-known rule of the " maritime league " 
in international law, viz., that external combatants must 
suspend hostilities when their further prosecution would 
endanger a neutral in his usual and legal place of residence. 
The ordinary spear cast having been assumed as an unit it 
is doubled for the next higher grade in social rank, and so 
proceeds by geometric progression through the five remain- 
ing ranks to the King, whose precinct is consequently a 
circle with a radius of sixty -four spear casts. 

A King of King, i.e., either a provincial, or the national 
King, had, by virtue of his rank, a precinct, independent of 
measurement, inclusive of the entire plain, or meadow, 
within which his dwelling stood ; and the same privilege 
was conceded to the Archbishop of Armagh, as " Coarb" of 
St. Patrick. A different method was adopted in fixing the 
extent of the precincts of the dwellings of ecclesiastics ; in 
this case the calculation is based upon the extent of the 

* Ante- Vol. III., Page 119-145. 


greatest, and not the smallest, precinct; to a church, "in 
which were the three grades of bishop, professor, and archin- 
iiech," approximately translated in the text, a " cathedral." 
belonged a precinct with a radius of two thousand paces ; to 
a bishop, a saint, or a hermit, one of one thousand paces, " if 
it be in a plain," that is, inclusive of all the open surrounding 
space to the maximum extent of one thousand paces ; the 
precincts of the lower ecclesiastics diminished in the same 
ratio as their respective " honor-prices." The right of pro- 
tection was one accorded to the owner of the house for his 
own benefit and security ; it was not a right of the fugitive 
who required protection ; it might, therefore, be waived by 
the owner of the house, who was not bound to concede its 
benefit to a stranger, and if it were violated the result would 
be that damages should be paid to the owner of the house 
solely. The position of the two extern hostile parties was not 
altered by the fact that the fugitive succeeded in getting 
within the precinct of a third party, and therefore the owner 
of a precinct, as the condition of the inviolability of his own 
household, was bound to secure to the pursuer the legal re- 
dress to which he was entitled ; this appears in the following 
passage, " What is protection as to reciprocal rights ? be- 
cause there is no protection without offer of law."* The 
right to the benefit of the rule as to the precinct was there- 
fore suspended if the owner of the house refused to give to 
the pursuer the necessary guarantee. The protection 
afforded by the precinct naturally extended not only to the 
fugitive, but also to the property brought by him within 
the limit. Damages for the violation of the precinct did not 
arise solely from the fact of violation, but notice that the 
place in which a person was seized, or property recaptured, 
was within the limits of the precinct of a third party, 
was requisite to make the act otherwise justifiable a wrong 
as against the owner of the house ; for among the cases ot 
exemption is placed that of " ignorance," which is defined 
(with reference to some known case) as the seizure of cattle 

* Page 233. 


under protection, in the belief that they were not under 
protection ; which must mean, in ignorance of the fact that 
they were within a precinct.* 

The two other cases of what is called "exemption," that 
is, non-liability to damages for actual violation of the pro- 
tection, are unlawful protection, and forcible violation ; the 
former exception is free from difficulty, and applies to the 
case of the owner of the house refusing to fulfil his recipro- 
cal duty of guaranteeing to the pursuer his legal rights ; the 
latter is, howevei-, not so clear ; " forcible violation " of the 
protection of a precinct is the very act for which damages 
are payable, and, if this expression be referred to the pur- 
suer, it would follow that the most aggravated cases would be 
exceptions to the rule. The only other to whom the 
" forcible violation " could be referred would be the fugitive 
himself, and it is suggested that the case contemplated is 
that of a fugitive refused protection, and himself forcibly 
entering the precinct. The construction put upon this last 
mentioned passage is strengthened by the fact that the 
succeeding paragraph assumes that the protection to be legal 
must be assented to by the. owner of the house, or some one 
on his behalf, t 

The assent to the entry of a fugitive within the limits of 
the precinct must have been given by the head of the house- 
hold himself, or by some member of the family as his agent, 
and on his behalf. Hence his first wife and his unemanci- 
pated son,J or even an emancipated son or any person of the 
family could receive a fugitive. A very clear distinction as 
between express and implied agency is drawn in the text 
with regard to the reception of fugitives by persons other 
than the head of the house. If the protection is accorded 
to the fugitive by any member of the family by the express 
direction of the head of the household, full honor-price was 
payable for its violation; but if there were no express 
direction given for the reception of the fugitive, and a mem- 
ber of the family acting on behalf of the head of the house- 

Page 229. f Page 229. 

J Page 231, but see note on this passage. 


hold received him within the protection of the precinct, the 
amount of the honor-price payable for the violation of the 
protection was diminished, in accordance with the more or 
less intimate relation of the head of the house to the person 
who had assumed to act on his behalf. The person, who, on 
behalf of the head of the household, as his agent either express 
or implied, received a fugitive, was never entitled personally 
to any damages for the violation of that protection, which 
he could not have given in individual capacity. This implied 
agency extended only to those members of the household 
" who had no expectation of separation from the head of the 
house,"* thus a mere armed retainer or mercenary soldier 
temporarily resident in the house could not act on behalf 
of the head, nor could a person himself a fugitive under pro- 
tection ; as to these cases then is cited in the text the old 
rule : " Sanctuary of sanctuary ; one pilgrim does not pro- 
tect another ; no one is entitled to fines for the violation of 
the protection of his hired soldiers." It would be attributing 
perhaps too much ingenuity to the Brehon Lawyers to believe 
that they worked out these rules by reference to the doctrine 
of implied agency ; it would be more safe to conjecture 
that at an early period a fugitive might have been received 
into the protection of the household by any of its members, 
and subsequently their action was explained as being as 
that of implied agents of the head of the household. 

The amount of damages payable in respect of a violation 
was varied with reference to the elements which entered into 
all such calculations, such as the extent of the violence used 
towards the fugitive, and the ranks of the fugitive and of 
the person whose protection was violated. 

The number of the persons who could at the one time be 
received into sanctuary was necessarily limited ; the pursuer 
could not be expected to yield to the claim to protect 
fugitives, unless the owner of the precinct could himself 
restrain them from departing, as otherwise his guarantee 
that justice should be done would be nugatory. The 

* Pa.^c 231, butsee note on this passage. 


number of fugitives who could at one time be received into 
protection was therefore limited to twenty-seven. 

The church claimed to exercise a more extended protection 
than was accorded to the laity : " It is safe for her to protect 
before the terms (specified times} without offer of law in 
either of them, and to protect after the terms with offer of 
law, and to protect against death and unjust fines always."* 

The rules with regard to the precinct, and the protection 
thrown over fugitives by the head of the household, would 
seem to be a survival of earlier ideas modified to meet 
the circumstances of a denser population, and the claims 
of the ministers of the Christian religion. There must 
have been originally some distinct and symbolical act 
by which the fugitive was removed into the protection of 
the house ; if this was connected with the ancient pagan re- 
ligion, it may have fallen into disuse after the introduction 
of Christianity. The original position of the fugitive is thus 
described by Mr. Hearn : " Another division of the same 
class (the dependents of the family) consisted of refugees, 
especially refugees for homicide. It seems to have been an 
ancient belief that the stain of human blood, however in- 
curred, required purification. There was also the danger of 
the blood feud from the kinsmen of the deceased. The 
homicide, therefore, generally fled from his home, and sought 
a person who could purify him from his sin, and also protect 
him from the avenger of blood. If such a suppliant applied 
to the House Father in the proper form, as recognized by the 
House Father's worship, and addressed him by the proper 
adjuration, such a request could not be refused. The stranger 
had brought himself within the protection of the House 
Spirits, and they would resent any wrong done to their 
suppliant. Away from his hearth indeed, and without the 
appropriate ceremonial, the House Father might at his 
pleasure grant or refuse the mercy to any person who sued 
lor it. But the suppliant in the technical sense of the word, 
the Jtt'nje or the man who came to the holy hearth was a 



different case. Him the House Father was bound to receive, 
and when he had received him, the stranger was initiated, 
and became, at least for the time, a member of the house- 



This tract is an attempt to fix arithmetically the value of 
a cumhal of land (cin cumcnle), having reference to the 
quality and advantages of the land in question. Arable 
land is divided into three classes (1) first-class arable land. 
(2) hilly arable land, (3) labour-requiring arable land. A 
cumhal of the first class is valued at twenty-four milch 
cows, of the second class at twenty milch cows, and of the 
third-class at sixteen milch cows. Weak land, which may 
be understood to mean land fit only for grazing, is also 
divided into three classes, viz., coarse land, weak land, and 
deep land, a cumhal of which respectively is valued at twelve 
dry cows, twelve (q. ten) dry cows, and eight diy cows. The 
tract then considers the extent to which the value of any 
cumhal of land is increased by what were considered as its 
accidental and extrinsic advantages, such as the existence of 
a wood or mine upon the land, its fitness for the erection of a 
mill, or its facility of approach, or nearness to a highway, 
Each of these accidents is taken into account to increase the 
value in a certain ratio, and the value of any given cumhal 
of land is to be estimated, having reference to both the 
quality of the land and its accidental advantages. 

Upon the first view it might appear that the whole tract is 
but a piece of solemn arithmetical trifling, such as the Brehon 

* The Arvan Household, p. 109. The term " dergg/ine," which occurs in " The 
Divisions of the Tribe of a Territory," (page 285, 1. 15), has been previously ex- 
plained in accordance with the gloss upon that passage; but the existence of a class 
of members of a family, deprived of their land as a consequence of homicide, is so 
unusual a fact that it might be plausibly suggested that the " dcrggfine" included 
originally the 'intrai admitted into the family, and when the original rights 
connected with their admission had become obsolete, and \\w cu-tom, which 
must have been a late one, of forfeiting (to use this very inaccurate phrase), 
the lands of a wrongdoer had been introduced, the term (derggliuc) was applied in 
the way in which the authors of the glosses understood it to be used. 


lawyers loved to exercise their ingenuity upon ; but a little 
consideration will prove that there is a practical basis for 
this apparently fantastic estimate. That the estimate is not 
of the character of a modern tenement valuation is obvious, 
for it applies to a state of society in which taxation was 
unknown, and not even its author could have anticipated 
that the price of land, when actually sold, could be regu- 
lated in this manner. To understand the meaning of this 
tract, it must not be forgotten that in ancient Ireland there 
was no currency or established standard of value, and that 
all mercantile transactions were carried on upon the footing 
of simple barter. In such a condition of the market how 
are the relative prices of articles quoted ? The existence 
of a fixed standard of value means that the value of all other 
articles is estimated by the amount of them which can be 
purchased by fixed quantities of some one selected com- 
modity. Any commodity may be selected as the normal 
standard, our habit of selecting gold or silver simply arising 
from the fact of their indestructible nature, and the assump- 
tion that their value in exchange is invariable. 

When we speak of the penny loaf being larger or smaller, 
we mean that the amount of bread which a penny will pur- 
chase has increased or has diminished. When we state that 
a pound of tea costs two shillings or five shillings, we mean 
that the amount of silver which is equivalent in exchange 
to one pound of tea is greater or less. Both statements 
merely express the ratio which the value of a commodity 
fluctuating in the market bears to the value of ascertained 
quantities of a commodity assumed to be fixed in value. If, 
however, there exists no fixed standard of value, how is the 
price of any commodity to be stated ? This difficulty was 
met by the ancient Irish, as by every other people under 
similar circumstances, in the following manner : the actual 
amount of any article brought to market, or handed over to 
another person, is fixed by a certain unit which depends 
upon the mode in which the article is dealt in. Slaves and 
cattle would be counted by the head ; metal by the usual 
weight of the bars ; and farm produce by the form in which 


it was offered for sale. Thus at the present day we deal in 
so many head of cattle, barrels of potatoes, or sacks of corn. 
Here the difficulty arises how to express the ratio which the 
value of any number of cattle bears to any given number 
of sacks of corn. For this purpose an abstract measure of 
value is invented, which is roughly estimated to be repre- 
sented by a certain amount of each of the articles ordinarily 
brought to sale, and a given quantity of each article having 
been fixed as representing this value in exchange, the several 
quantities of the different articles are supposed to be equal 
in value to each other in the normal condition of the market. 
As in the present day, in remote country districts, a man 
who pays for the grazing of so many cows may take it out 
in the grazing of sheep or geese, each cow being represented 
by a customary number of the smaller animals, so in ancient 
times the value of a cow would be considered as equivalent, 
for the purpose of exchange under ordinary circumstances, 
to so many sheep, geese, &c. 

It has been frequently remarked that in primitive societies 
the rule of supply and demand has almost no existence, 
and that the same price will continue to be paid for the 
same article during very long periods of time, and without 
regard to what are called mercantile considerations. As long 
as this mode of dealing is applied to articles which can be 
sold by measure and weight, and are of the same average 
quality, there is no difficulty in working the system ; but as 
soon as an attempt is made to apply it to land, the difficulties 
involved become apparent. Land can only be sold by re- 
ference to its superficial extent, but the qualities of any 
two pieces of land of the same acreage are very different, 
and therefore their value in exchange cannot be the same. 
How, therefore, can the value of any piece of land be ex- 
pressed with reference to the imaginary standard of value 
to which all other articles are referred ? This is the question 
which the author of this tract attempts to solve, viz. : 
What is the par of exchange of land in the market with 
reference to the other subjects of exchange ? That he 
should fail in doing so in any practical manner was inevi- 



table, for the question was, in its essence, insoluble ; but he 
adopts the only reasonable mode of approaching the question, 
and handles the matter with considerable acuteness. He 
assumes as the base of his calculation a fixed measure of 
land, which he defines as the land-cumhal ; he then 
divides land with reference to fertility or fitness for 
pasturage, and brings out the result in cattle ; he then 
considers the accidental qualities of any particular land, and 
treats them as raising the value in a certain ratio ; the 
value of any land in exchange would thus be represented 
by a certain number of cumhals in cattle, irrespective of 
the actual acreage of the land. 

The basis of the whole calculation rests upon the super- 
ficial extent of a cumhal of land ; and the commentator 
naturally appends a table of the superficial measurements 
upon which his calculation is founded. "How is a tir- 
cumaile measured ?" By grains ; three grains in a proper 
inch ; six inches in the hand ; and two hands in a foot ; 
six feet in a pace ; six paces in an " intritt " measure ; six 
" intritts " in a " lait " measure ; six " laits " in a " forach " 

The tir-cumaile would seem to be seventy-two square 
forach-measures. The following table represents the state- 
ment of the text : 


























1 forachs. 






G 1 

If we assume the foot measure to be practically equiva- 
lent to the modern foot, the " tir-cumaile " would be about 
283 acres ; on the other hand, if the forach-measure were 


equal only to 144 feet, as would appear to be stated in the 
passage referred to in the note to the text, it would be 
equivalent to about 10 acres. There are no means afforded 
by the text to enable us to express any definite opinion as 
to which of these quantities is the correct result, and it would 
be inconsistent with the object of the preface to discuss the 
question generally with reference to other and extraneous 
authorities ; nor, perhaps, could such inquiries lead to any 
definite result. 

The ingenious mode of calculating the value of land 
devised by our author, could never have been practically 
applied ; the term " tir-cumaile " originally meant, and 
probably always continued to mean, " the land of a 
cumhal," and when so used, necessarily excluded the as- 
sumption of the land being of any fixed acreage. Mr 
O'Curry considers the phrase " tir-cumhaile," as much land 
as would suffice for the grazing of a cumhal of cattle, and 
this may have been the ordinary sense in which the term 
was used. 



This tract has received especial attention from Irish Anti- 
quarians, inasmuch as it professes to give a detailed descrip- 
tion of the several social ranks and organization of the 
Irish tribe. Mr. O'Curry has, in his Lectures on the Manners 
and Customs of the Ancient Irish, adopted this treatise as an 
authentic and archaic work, and without hesitation ac- 
cepted its statements as a sufficient authority for his detailed 
account of the earliest form of the Celtic tribe system. Dr. 
W. K. Sullivan, adopting the views of Mr. O'Curry upon 
this subject, attributes the date of its composition to the 
middle or end of the seventh century. Before any discussion 
as to the nature of the work and the conclusions which may 

Mr. O'Curry, shortly before his death, revised and corrected his previous trans- 
lation of this tract, making many important alterations and emendations. This 
revised addition has been entrusted to the present editors, and on all occasions the 
I.-IUT and more matured text of Mr. O'Curry's translation has been followed m the 
pri'snit edition. 


be fairly drawn from its statements, it is necessary to con- 
sider the probable date of its composition. It must be first 
remarked that it does not consist of an ancient text with 
an annexed commentary and explanatory glosses, but is mani- 
festly written throughout by an author according to a definite 
plan, and that to the later lawyers who may have made 
use of it, it presented no archaisms, either of custom or lan- 
guage, which required special comment or explanation. The 
most important passage, as indicating the probable date of 
the composition, is the statement relative to the four rights 
to which it was proper that a king should pledge his people, 
the first of which is stated to be " a right to help him to 
drive out foreign races, i.e. against the Saxons."* Assuming 
that these latter words are not a gloss which has crept into 
the text (and there is no reason to believe that they are), 
the date of the work must coincide with a period at which 
the Saxons were regarded as the enemies par excellence of 
the Irish people, and not merely as a hostile, but as an in- 
vading race. It is obvious that no Irish writer would have 
singled out the Saxons as the special enemies of the Irish 
during the period covered by the Danish invasions, nor after 
that date until the Saxon had, in the mind of the people, 
been substituted for the Dane as their natural enemy. The 
date of the work must therefore be either before the end of 
the eighth century, or after the English invasion, the period 
covered by the Danish invasions being absolutely excluded. 
The early relations of the Irish and Saxons were of the most 
friendly character, and naturally so as the Irish were then 
busily employed in plundering, and perhaps to some extent, 
conquering, their Christian and Celtic neighbours across the 
channel. This point is thus discussed by Dr. W. K. Sullivan, 
in the following passage of his preface to the Lectures of Mr. 
O'Curry : " The common object of attack, Roman Britain, 
brought the Irish and Saxons in contact at an early period. 
And this intercourse was, on the whole, of a most friendly 
character. . . The hostility of the two peoples appears to 
have first arisen in consequence of the quarrels between the 

* Page 335. 


Irish and Saxon churches. Political causes helped to de- 
velop this- hostility as soon as the Saxon dominion extended 
to the north of England, and the Saxon kings of Northum- 
bria came into direct contact with the Scotic kingdom es- 
tablished in Scotland. The wars carried on by the Saxon 
kings against the Scots and Picts involved the Irish in the 
quarrels of their brethren in Scotland, and led to the ravag- 
ing of the coasts of Ireland by the .Saxons. Venerable Bede 
records an expedition of this kind sent in the year A.D. 684, 
by Ecfrid, King of the Northumbrians, under a commander 
named Beort, ' which miserably wasted that harmless nation, 
which had been always most friendly to the English, inas- 
much as in their hostile rage they spared not even the 
churches or monasteries.' It is in the seventh century that 
we find mention for the first time of the Saxons as enemies. 
The first notice of the Danes or Norsemen occurs in 790, or 
more correctly in 795. After that date, and until the arrival 
of the Normans, the Danes alone are mentioned as hostile 
foreigners. This circumstance is of very great importance 
in connexion with the date of the law tract, the Critk Oabh- 
lach." After citing the passage above referred to, he pro- 
ceeds : " If this example be not an interpolation of much 
later times, it shows, taken in connexion with other circum- 
stances, that the important document in question belongs to 
the period anterior to the Viking expeditions, and in all 
probability to the middle or end of the seventh century."* 
If this view of the meaning of the passage be correct, it fol- 
lows that one plundering expedition against the Irish sea- 
board so profoundly affected the national mind, that the 
Saxon was held by the people as a national enemy to be ex- 
pelled from the island which he had invaded. No allusions 
to the Saxons as such enemies are cited from any of the early 
Brehon Law tracts or popular romances ; no act of hostility 
savo one isolated plundering expedition is referred to; and 
it is to be remarked that after this event the Saxons at least 
were ignorant of any hostile relations existing between them 
and the Irish ; Bede reprobates the expedition as a wanton 

* Manners and Customs, &c., rol. i., p. xxxvi. 


attack on a friendly nation; and at a later date Alcuin was 
of the same opinion, when, in a passage quoted by Dr. W. 
K. Sullivan, he described the Irish as " gentes Scotorutn in- 
nocuas Anglis, et semper arnicas."* The passage of the tract 
referred to would rather lead to the conclusion that the date 

* The details of this raid, as related by the original authorities, are a proof rather 
f the friendly terms which always subsisted between the two nations, than that 
;s result was to establish permanently hostile relations. The entire passage in 
Bede is as follows : " In the year of our Lord's incarnation 684, Egfrid, King of 
the Northumbrians, sending Beort, his general, with an army into Ireland, miser- 
ably wasted that harmless nation, which had always been most friendly to the 
English ; insomuch that in their hostile rage they spared not even the churches or 
the monasteries. The islanders to the utmost of their power repelled force with 
force, and, imploring the assistance of the Divine mercy, prayed long and fervently 
for vengeance ; and though such as curse cannot possess the kingdom of God, it 
is believed that those who were justly cursed on account of their impiety, did 
s.,.,,, suffer the penalty of their guilt from the avenging hand of God; for the 
very next year that same king, rashly leading his army to ravage the provinces of 
the Picts, much against the advice of his friends, and particularly of CuthlxTt of 
blessed memory, who had been lately ordained bishop, the enemy made show as 
if they fled, and the king was drawn into the straits of inaccessible mountains, 
and slain with the greater part of his forces, on the 20th of May, in the 40th year 
of his age, and the loth of his reign. His friends, as has been said, advised him not 
to engage in this war ; but he having the year before refused to listen to the most 
reverend father, Egbert, advising him not to attack the Scots, who did him no 
harm, it was laid on him as a punishment for his sin, that he should not now 
regard those, who would have prevented his death." "Ecclesiastical llistorv " 
Lib. IV.,c.26. 

The Saxon Chronicle states -" A.D. 684. Here in this year Egfrid sent an army 
against the Scots, and Beorc, his alderman with it, and miserably they plundered 
and burned the churches of God." 

The Saxons at least considered this raid a tin, and believed the king's subsequent 
death was a signal Divine chastisement. 

The following is the statement in the Four Masters : "The age of Christ 683, 
the 10th year of Finachta. The devastation of Magh-Breagh, both churches 
and territories by the Saxons, in the month of June precisely ; and they carried 
off with them many hostages, with many other spoils, and afterwards went to 
their ships." 

The same raid is mentioned in the Annals of Ulster under the year 684, and in 
the Annals of Clonmacnoise under the year 680. 

The captives taken upon the occasion of this raid were restored by the Saxons 
" Adamnan went unto the Saxons to request [a restitution of) the prisoners, whom 
the X,,rth Saxons had carried off from Magh Breagh the year before mentioned ; 
he obtained a restitution of them, after having performed miracles and wonders 
before the hosts ; and they afterwards gave him great honour and respect, together 
with a full restitution of everything he asked of them." The Four Masters, Vol I., 
p. 291. The Annals of Clonmacnoise, under the year 6*6, -tales that, " Adamnan 



of the work must be brought down to some date after the 
English invasion, unless there be internal evidence which 
would render such a conclusion improbable; and, if the date 
be so far postponed, it must be referred to a period consider- 
ably subsequent to the first invasion, to that at which all the 
Irish tribes stood in a hostile position to the English king, 
and the invasion was at length successfully checked, or at 
the earliest date, to the first quarter of the fourteenth cen- 


There is also internal evidence which, independently of the 
passage referred to, would lead to the same conclusion. 

The most remarkable change in the organization of the 
early Irish Church was the substitution of an episcopal for the 
monastic system. In the earlier form of church government 
the abbot, not the bishop, was the ruling ecclesiastic ; the 
" coarb " of the original saint was the head of the ecclesiastical 
tribe; the pre-eminence and territorial jurisdiction of bishops 
arose at a date long subsequent to the commencement of the 
Danish invasion. Is it probable that a treatise descriptive 
of the ranks of society, if written during the life of Adanman, 
and the vigorous existence of the Columban monasteries, 
would omit any allusion to an abbot, and speak of the bishop 
as travelling " for the good of the church and the territory," 
and as of rank equal, if not superior, to the king of the 
tribe? There is further no allusion whatsoever to the 
geilfine system, nor to the geilnne flaith as representing his 
" tine," and therefore an important item in the social system 

brought back sixty captives to Inland." In the Annals of Ulster, under the same 
year, there is a similar statement 

It therefore appears that this invasion of the Saxon amounted merely to a raid 
a ong the coast between the rivers Liffey and Boyne ; that all the restitution 
sought by Adanman on In-half of his country was freely accorded ; and that the 
inroad was regarded by the English as a sinful violation of their friendship with 
an allied nation. And it the more remarkable that upon his return to Ireland 
~M 'imiian succeeded in introducing into Ireland the Roman mode of computing 
Easter, which proves that at that date the Irish cherished no peculiar f.rling.y.f 
mSmosity tmvard the English or their ecclesiastical usages. (See Bede Ecc. llixt., 

I il> V., c. 1.">.) 

All the alm\e references are contained in the notes to Dr. O'Donovau's edition 

i| the ' Four Masters." 


a very remarkable omission in a treatise of the character 
of the present. The condition of society exhibited in this 
work is that of the tribe system in state of decay and 
decadence, and rapidly tending to assume a feudal form. 
The simple freeman has sunk to the condition of the Saxon 
ceorl ; the tribe lands have, to a great extent, if not altogether, 
been monopolized by the noble classes ; the political power 
has passed into the hands of the chiefs and greater nobles ; 
all classes, from the highest to the lowest, are bound together 
by the semi-feudal bond, founded upon the system of landing 
out cattle ; all classes are rated for the payment of tribute tb 
their superiors ; and the basis of society seems rather to be 
personal service than the common rights of the members of 
the tribe. Except for the survival of ancient terms, and some 
archaic rules and peculiarities arising from the absence of a 
circulating medium and the material conditions of the 
people, the condition of the country, as thus described, was 
not very different from that it exhibited in the last century. 
This is the opinion of Mr. O'Curry, as expressed in the 
following passage : " It is not very easy to translate into 
modern language the technical terms of the ancient law of 
Landlord and Tenant; but a very well matured system 
existed at a very early period indeed, under which, although 
there was no such thing as absolute property in land in any 
individual, still, within the tribe, individuals held exclusive 
property in land, and entered into relations with tenants for 
the use of the land, and these again with undertenants, and 
so on, much as we see in our own days. Now these relations 
constitute the first test of rank and condition. The Flaith 
a word in some sense may be translated the Lord or 
Nobleman was distinguished by being the absolute owner 
(within his tribe) of land for which he paid no rent, so that, 
if a man possessed but a single acre in this way, he was a 
laith. All other persons holding land held it either from 
a Flaith or from some tenant of his ; and the rank and 
precedency of these persons depended upon the amount of 
their possessions."' Although there are many statements in 

* -Manners and Customs of the Am-i-nt Iris!,, vol. ii., page 34. 


tins description to which exception may be taken, it fairly re- 
presents the practical condition of the Irish as depicted in the 
CrithGabhlach, subject to the material correction that such \\ as 
not the original system of the Celtic tribe, but rather the 
condition to which the tribe had been reduced at the date of 
the composition of this work. The same causes were at 
work in Ireland as elsewhere, and with the same results. 
The chiefs and nobles had succeeded in crushing the lower 
orders, and had converted into their own separate property 
the land originally the common property of the tribe. The 
Crith Gabhlach might fairly be described as a compendium 
of the rights and emoluments of the higher classes, of their 
house tributes, rents, cuttings, and coster ings, and is not 
dissimilar from the old law book of the Brehon whereby the 
English commissioners "perceived how many vessels of butter, 
and how many measures of meal, and how many porks, and 
other such gross duties did arise unto M'Guire out of his 
mensal lands."* 

It is not to be concluded that any Irish tribe or province 
was ever actually organized in strict conformity with 
the rules laid down in this tract. It is impossible to 
believe that a nation so mobile and turbulent as the Irish 
Celts lived under a system so rigid in its laws and pedantic 
in its mimitia? ; that the different classes possessed so much 
and no more than the amount of property herein set down 
against them ; inhabited houses of precisely the prescribed 
size furnished in the manner described, and supplied with 
the farming instruments directed ; that the occupiers of them 
paid so much and no more than their customary rents ; and 
that the whole society, from the provincial King downwards, 
were bound, and acquiesced in, a complete system of semi- 
feudal service. The work must be considered as a description 
of society fully organized according to the current legal 
theory at the date of its composition ; but it can no more be 
assumed that the existing communityaccurately corresponded 
to the le^al theory, than that the condition of England in the 

* Autf, vol. iii., i 


twelfth century, was such as Blackstone's sketch of the feudal 
system assumes it to have been. 

The Crith Gabhlach treats of the various ranks of the 
freemen of the tribe, their mutual rights and duties, and 
the power and privileges of the King ; the unfree classes 
of the community are only referred to in connexion with 
the rights and qualifications of the free. 

The author lays down as the cardinal principle that the 
proper grade of the layman among the people is determined 
by the amount of his property. The number of classes of 
men is stated to be seven. That this number was selected 
as the sacred number, and was not in accordance with the 
actual state of facts, appears from the statement of the 
author himself, and the mode in which the division in 
classes is varied in different passages. The grades of a 
people are stated to be as follows : (] ) the " fer mbidboth " 
man, (2) the "bo-aire" chief, (3) the "aire-desa" chief, 
(4) the " aire-ard " chief, (5) the " aire-tuisc " chief, (6) the 
" aire-forgaill " chief, and (7) the king. This sevenfold 
division is stated to be derived from the similitude of the 
ecclesiastical orders, " for it is proper that for every order 
which is in the Church, there should be a corresponding one 
among the people."* 

The two first classes represent the free but not noble, the 
latter five the free and noble. 

The divisions of the noble class are then specified, and the 
number of them is again seven, viz. : (1) the " aire-desa," (2) 
the " aire-echta," (3) the " aire-ard," (4) the " aire-tuisc," (5) 
the "aire-forgaill," (6) the "tarnaise" of a king, and (7)tho 
king. To complete the number seven in this, two further 
classes are introduced, the "aire-echta" and the tanist; the 
latter of these was an official person and not a class of indivi- 
duals, and the same observation is applicable to the "aire- 
echta." The non- noble classes are classed as folio ws : (1) the 
two grades of " fer-rnbidba " men, (2) the "og-aire," (3) an 
"aithech" person, (4) the " bo-aire febhsa," (5) the "mbruigh- 
fher" man,(6)the "fer-fothla" man, and (7)the"aire-coisring" 

* Page L".i'.i. 


man. The seven classes are here again completed, first 
by the introduction of the "aithech," a very anomalous 
class, as subsequently explained in the text, and by the 
addition of the last three, viz., the " mbruigh-fer," the " fer- 
fothla," and the " aire-coisring," two of which are the names 
of officers, and not of classes. 

The scheme of classification used by the author of the 
tract on Precincts, must have been different from that 
of the author of this tract ; for he also, dividing the 
society into seven classes, states the two lowest to be the 
" bo-aire " and the " aire-desa," and the highest to be the 
king, omitting to give the names of the four intermediate 
divisions, and, with reference to the extent of their pre- 
cincts, he fixes their rank upon the basis of a geometric 
progression, a gradation inconsistent with the ratio of their 
properties and honor-prices as fixed in this treatise. 

The several ranks are divided with reference to the amount 
of property requisite to qualify for each respectively, and 
from and in the proportion to the requisite amount of pro- 
perty follow their rights and privileges (some of which we 
should now class as duties) : (1) the legal value attributed 
to their oath, contract, guarantee, and evidence ; (2) the 
honor-price ; (3) refections, or the nature and amount of 
food they should receive from a host; (4) sick maintenance; 
(5) the extent to which they could give protection to a third 
party who claimed it ; (G) the " taurcreic," or the amount of 
stock to be delivered to them by the superior to whom they 
commended themselves (the commendation to a lord in con- 
sideration of the " taurcreic " might be oppressive or advan- 
tageous to the inferior, according to the circumstances of the 
time); and (7) the " bes tigi " or house tribute, payable in 
kind by the inferior to the superior to whom he had 
commended himself. 

The following analysis of the necessary qualifications and 
rights of the several classes will render the relative positions 
of the respective ranks clear. 



1. The " mbidboth " man. This class is sub-divided into 
two sub-classes, viz., the " mbidboth " man who had attained 
the age of fourteen years, but not yet that of seventeen years, 
" unless he has taken possession or succession before that, or a 
man of the Feini grade be a co-occupant with him," i.e., unless 
he is himself in possession of a house, or be the joint occu- 
paiitofone with a free man of full age(?), and the "mbidboth" 
man who had attained the age of seventeen years. The oath, 
contract, or guarantee of the former extended to the value of a 
" dairt " heifer ; his refection was milk and stirabout ; his 
protection extended to one of his own grade over the terri- 
tory ; his honor-price was a " dairt " heifer. The value of 
the oath, fcc., of the latter was a "colpach " heifer; his pro- 
tection extends to one of his own rank until he has given 
him double food (two meals ?) ; his refection was milk and 
stirabout ; his honor-price a " colpach " heifer ; his propor- 
tionate stock (taurcreic) was four " seds" in value ; his food 
rent (bes tigi) a wether ; his sick maintenance for himself 
and his mother new unskimmed milk every third, fifth, ninth, 
and tenth day, and also on Sunday. 

It appears from this that the very lowest class of freemen 
were not, as has been stated, wholly devoid of property 
they are presumed to possess a house, in respect of which they 
may be required to pay food rent to a superior, and they had 
a share, however small, in the common pasture, otherwise 
they could not have availed themselves of the proportionate 
stock (taurcreic) they might receive. 

2. The Bo-aire or enriched churl. The "mbidboth "-man, 
upon acquiring the necessary amount of property, became 
ijjso facto a " bo-aire " chief, because, in this case, there was 
no change of status, as in the transaction afterwards men- 
tioned from the non-noble to the noble class. This increase 
is attributed to the profits made by stock received from a 
lord in the first instance ; for he is assumed to have com- 
mended himself to a lord ; such would seem to be implied 
by the rule : " In three days after notice half a portion 


(of fencing ?) is due from him for a field ; a third part of 
the fee for his theft, and his drunkenness, and his laming, 
and of 'eric' fine for killing him goes to his chief ;" the 
chief, his lord, has a right to a certain amount of his labour, 
and a share in all damages for injuries done to him. 

A. The lowest grade of the general class of " bo-aires " is 
the " og-aire," that is a young-aire, one who lately acquired 
the rank of a " bo-aire ;" his property must, therefore, be 
assumed to be the minimum sufficient to quality for that 
rank. His property consists " of sevens ;" seven cows and 
a bull ; seven pigs and a boar ; seven sheep, and one horse. 
The change in his position is marked by the statement that 
"He has land of three seven (21) cumhal value." The right 
to the land is connected with the possession of stock ; but 
if a cumhal of land means enough land to graze a cumhal 
of cattle, or three cows, it would follow that he obtained 
grazing land far in excess of that which was necessary for 
his assumed stock. That the lands of a " bo-aire " may have 
far exceeded what was requisite for the grazing of a stock 
of " sevens," appears from the statement that there might 
be four or five "aithechs"on the land of one " bo-aire ;" 
and as each " aithech " is defined as possessing ten cows, ten 
pigs, &c., the author must have contemplated the case of a 
" bo-aire's " lands being sufficient to graze fifty head of cattle, 
besides lesser beasts. The land held by the " bo-aire " was 
not his separate property, for there is a distinct reference to 
his paying one out of seven cows for the use of the land. 
The difficulty in understanding the " bo-aire's " position 
arises from their being no explanation of how or from whom 
he obtains the thrice seven cumhals of land. Stock, not 
land, is what the lord gave to the man who commended 
himself to him ; that it was stock which was given pre-sup- 
poses that the inferior receiving the stock had, independently 
of his lord, the means of grazing them. It may be assumed 
that the proportionate stock given to the freeman not pos- 
sessing other cattle, i.e., the "rnibdboth"-man fixes the share 
in the pasturage lands of a tribe to which each freeman 
WHS absolutely entitled, and that the right to put a larger 


amount of stockupon the common pasture land, was connected 
with the actual amount of stock possessed by their owner ; 
but that for every additional seven cattle put upon the lands, 
one was left as the payment for the year's grazing the 
profits of the waste grazing lands would probably in the 
end be monopolized by the chief, as the English feudal lords 
of manors contrived to possess themselves of the waste. The 
" og-aire " also possessed one-fourth share in a plough, an ox, 
a plough-share, a goad, and a bridle, and a share (quere, one- 
fourth) in a kiln, a mill, and a barn. His house was nine- 
teen feet in length, witli an out-house of thirteen. His 
proportionate stock was eight cows; his food-rent was a 
"dartaidh" heifer. His refection extended to two men, 
who were entitled to no more than milk and stirabout, and 
a certain amount of new or sour milk and cakes. The pas- 
sage which describes the extent of his evidence, &c., and 
the amount of his honor-price, is very remarkable. It 
appears from a subsequent passage that the normal amount 
of the honor-price, and legal value of the oath, &c., of a 
bo-aire, was five seds ;* but in the case of an " oc-aire," this 
was reduced to three seds, which fact is thus explained : 
"And the two seds, which are wanting to it (his honor-price) 
are ivanting, because the stability of his house is not per- 
fect, and he is not competent to undertake liabilities for 
them, like every other "bo-aire "for the smallness of his 
property.t from which we must conclude that the new " bo- 
aire " was not a full " bo-aire," and did not obtain the full 
rights incident to his rank until some subsequent period. 

B. The second sub-division of the "bo-aire" is the "aithech," 
who is distinctly stated by our author not to be a " bo-aire/' 
but why he was not so considered it is difficult to discover- 
His property exceeded that of the " og-aire ;" his stock was 
" ten," i.e., ten cows, ten pigs, ten sheep, &c. ; his house was 
twenty feet in length, with a kitchen of fourteen; the value 
of his oath, &c, and his honor-price was four seds ; his pro- 
portionate stock was ten cows, and his food-rent the choicest 
of a herd of cows, and a bacon, four sacks of malt, and a 
* Page 009. f Page 307. 


wooden vessel of salt; hewas entitled to refection for two,milk 
and stirabout, butter on Sunday, venison, sea-grass (?), onions 
and salt. His property and social position was superior to that 
of the " og-aire," and he was not considered as of the " bo- 
aire" rank, but what was styled " an immovable tenant." The 
reason given for this is as follows : " What is it that puts 
this man from being in the rank of a ' bo-aire ?' Because 
it may be that four or five such may occupy the land of a 
' bo-aire,' and it could not be easy for each of them to be a 
' bo-aire.' "* What is very noteworthy as to this class is 
the disproportion of the food-rent to the other incidents of 
his position, and proves some uncertainty as to his status. 
He, although possessing cattle, is described as grazing them 
upon the land of a "bo-aire;" but as a ."bo-aire " is not 
described as having any land of his own, it must mean that 
he was some kind of sub-assignee of the " bo-aire's " grazing 
rights, and that the transaction bore some resemblance to 
the grazing partnerships referred to in the Book of Aicill.l 

c. The " bo-aire" febhsa, or the wealthy " bo-aire," is one 
who has acquired the full rights of his class. His property 
is larger than that of the " og-aire" he has twelve vjows and 
twice seven cumhals of land, a house of twenty-seven feet 
and a back-house of fifteen, a share in a mill and a kiln, 
barn, sheep-house, calf-house, and pig-stye. As before 
remarked, the value of his oath and his honor-price were five 
seds, his proportional stock twelve cows, and his food-rent a 
male "colpach" heifer with its accompaniments. J 

D. The next class, the " mbruighfher" is evidently an 
official of the " bo-aire" rank, not an independent sub-division 
of the entire class. He is " the ' bo-aire' for obedience to 
judgment." His property is represented as twenty cows, 
two bulls, six bullocks, twenty hogs, twenty sheep, four 
house-fed hogs, two sows, and a horse, and he has also six- 
teen sacks of seed in the ground ; he has a lawn for sheep 
about his house, a house of twenty-seven feet, and a 
back-house of seventeen, feet, and outhouses. The value of 
his oath, &c., and his honor-price, arc six scds. His propor- 

Page 309. t Ante, Vol. III., page 142. J Page 311. 

ixTRonrcnoN. clxxxvii 

tionate stock was two cumhals, and his foot-rent a cow with 
its accompaniments.* The very peculiar enumeration of 
fines for all conceivable injuries to himself and his property 
prove that he occupied an exceptional position. It would 
seem that he was in some way bound to offer hospitality 
to a king, a bishop, a poet, or a judge " from off the road," 
and that his supply of eatables for such purpose was por- 
tion of his " obedience to judgment." 

E. The highest of the members of the " bo-aire" class is 
described under the title of the " fer-fothla chief," and was 
so called because his cattle having become too numerous for 
the grazing which he himself possessed, he had commenced 
to give them out to others as taurcreic, or additional stock. 
There is no amount of property fixed as the necessary quali- 
fication for this rank, the test of the qualification for which 
was that his property was in excess of his means of supplying 
necessary grazing. The amount of his honor-price and the 
value of his oath, &c., is eight seds, his house was twenty- 
seven feet in length, with a back-house of seventeen. His 
proportionate stock was four cumhals, and his food-rent a 
cow with accompaniments one year, and a male colpach 
heifer the other. 

A " fer-fothla" chief manifestly stood at the head of the 
" bo-aire" class, for it was the " fer-fothla" who is described 
as passing from the non-noble to the noble grade in the 
manner subsequently discussed. 

F. The "aire-coisring" chief is evidently an official person, 
and not a sub-division of the " bo-aire" class. He is described 
thus : " Why is the ' aire-coisring' (i.e., the binding 'aire') 
so called ? Because that he binds people, king, and synod 
on behalf of his tribe (cenel), in their rights of safety by 
verbal engagements ; but they concede to him leadership, 
and a right to speak before (or for) them. He is the family 
chief then. He gives a pledge for his family to kino-, and 
synod, and professional men, to restrain them in obedience "t 
His honor-price and the value of his oath, &c., were fixed at 
eight seds. His house was thirty feet in length, and the 

* P.^eSll- t Page 317. 


outhouse nineteen. His proportionate stock was five cum- 
hals, and his food-rent a cow with its accompaniments, and 
a male " colpach" heifer, with its proportion of other food. 
No amount of property is fixed as a necessary qualification.* 
The " aire-fothla" passed under peculiar circumstances from 
the " bo-aire" class into the noble class that of the " flaiths." 
These are explained in the following passage of the text : 
" When does the ' Aithech'-tenant become a chief having the 
bo-airich-ship ? Upon going into a true green (the extent 
of precinct suitable to the rank of a flaith). When he has 
as much as the ' aire-desa/ it is then he is an aire-desa, &c."t 
When we turn to the explanation of an " aire-desa" chief's 
qualifications in a subsequent page, the following passage 
occurs : " And he is the son of an ' aire,' and the grandson 
of an ' aire.' "} The " bo-aire-fothla" chief did not attain the 
rank of a " flaith" by merely purchasing an acre of land, for 
there is no reference to land in the transaction ; nor did he 
acquire it by virtue of possessing merely the property of a 
" ttaith," for his property was required to be double of that 
at which a " flaith-desa" was valued, nor again could he be 
considered a "flaith," unless both his father and grandfathers 
were " aires," which must mean something more than they 
had been " bo-aires." That there was some element of here- 
ditary descent requisite to fix the social position of a " flaith" 
all analogy leads us to expect. The elevation of a " bo-aire" 
to the rank of a flaith was not simply equivalent to his being 
rated at a higher valuation. He acquired what was called 
the " deis"-right, which is thus denned in the text : " What 
is the deis-right of a 'flaith' ? The goodly right to protect 
his office or rank. There are four ' deis'-rights prescribed 
for the ' flaith'-chief. The ancient protection of the people 
(or territory) is his office in the territory, together with the 
office of leader, or ' tanist' -leader of the army, whichever 
office it may be, of his 'giallna'-tenants, his ' saer'-tenants, 
his ' sen-cleithe'-tenants, the punishment of every imperfect 
-.rvice, the following of cottier tenants and ' fuidher'-tenaaLs 

+ Page 317. J Page 321. 


whom he brings upon his land, because his wealth is the 
greater and better."* And again, " "Whj' is the ' aire-desa' 
so called ? Because of the fact that it is on account of his 
' deis'-rights that he is paid ' dire-'fine. Not so the ' bo-aire' 
chief; it is in right of his cows he is paid ' dire'-fine."t 

Upon this subject Mr. Hearn makes the following ob- 
servations : " Among the members of the clan itself, within 
the 'cinel,' in the strict sense of the term, and apart from 
the exceptional privileges of the royal house, there was a 
well-marked difference. That difference was between the 
noble and the free, or, as it may otherwise be expressed, be- 
tween the gentle and simple. Both classes were equally 
members of the clan, and, to a certain extent had equal 
rights. But both by public opinion, and by the custom 
which supplied the place of law, certain sections of the 
community possessed, in comparison with other sections 
thereof, an acknowledged superiority. Their descent was 
purer ; their wealth was greater ; their wer-geld was higher ; 
their share in the public lands, or in the distribution of 
booty, was larger; they were the natural leaders of the 
community in war, and its natural councillors in peace. 
Accordingly, we observe in the early history of all Aryan 
nations, the presence of what may be called a natural 
aristocracy, as the leaders and kinsmen of a natural demo- 
cracy. It is not difficult to understand that some households 
should be more prosperous, more numerous, and more 
wealthy than the others. Yet these advantages are rather 
the effects than the causes of such a difference as that 
which we are considering. Even if there were no evidence, 
that in at least certain societies, land was distributed accord- 
ing to the rank of its holders, they are inadequate to explain 
all the facts of the case. They may account for the differ- 
ence in modern society, where individuals rise and fall with 
a rapidity unknown to archaic nations ; but they do not 
explain the strongly marked lines, which intersect the 
society of the ancient world. The preceding inquiries point, 
for the cause of the difference, to some sentiment connected 

Page 321. f Page 321. 


with the peculiar religion of our forefathers, and consequently 
affecting their descent. The facts correspond with the ex- 
pectation. A certain series of pure descents was sufficient 
to establish freedom, and a share in the government of the 
community, and in the distribution of lands ; but another 
and a larger series was necessary for the full enjoyment of 
all the honours and all the consideration which the com- 
munity could give." " The rule of nobility seems to be the 
result of two other rules. One is that fundamental 
principle of taking the common great-grandfather as the 
stock or founder of the joint family or Mseg ; the other is 
the rule of the Three Descents. The effect of the latter rule 
was, that for the purpose of acquiring full rank in any par- 
ticular status, the claimant must show that his father and 
both (?) his grandfathers had held that status. Consequently, 
a man who claimed to belong to the nobility of the clan must 
show that his grandfather was noble that is, that his grand- 
father had a kin, or in other words, had a great-great-grand- 
father who was a freeman." After referring to various other 
archaic systems of law, Mr. Hearn makes the following re- 
marks upon the existence of this rule among the Celtic 
nations : "The Celtic nations also exhibit traces of a 
similar custom. In Cymric law, the descendant of the 
original Altud or stranger to the district, was, after the lapse 
of three generations, ranked as a " Briodwr ; " and thence- 
forth became irremovable, and was entitled to his share in 
the lands of the ' vicinity.' In Scotland a similar rule ap- 
plied to serfs, although it is possible that in this case the 
rule may have been introduced from England. In Ireland 
the descendants of a Bo-aire, or Ceorl, might aspire, when 
they possessed land (?) for three generations, to become 
Flaths."* So, too, "A'Fuidkir' family t in the fourth gene- 
rationindeed, in the third, for the Daer Botach had also 
right of settlement could not be ejected from the land. 
That is, the third descendant was capable of transmitting 
heritable right, and the fourth of acquisition by virtue of 
such right." As a curious exemplification of this principle, 

* Manners and Customs, &c., Vol. I., p. cix. f Ib., p. cxxi. 


Mr. Hearn refers to a passage in the Introduction of the 
preceding volume relative to the claims of his original 
church upon the property of a former member.* Upon the 
pr.'-tical working of this rule Mr. Heam further remarks : 

"These considerations indicate the triple distinction of 
the ancient free population. It consisted of freedmen, of 
freemen, and of nobles. The distinction rested exclusively 
upon blood, and could not, therefore, be removed by grant 
either of people or of King. By the operation of time, if 
there were no disturbing influences, each lower class natur- 
ally passed into the one next above it. Each step of the 
promotion brought with it increased consideration, additional 
strength and influence, by reason of a more numerous 
kindred, and more extended alliances, and no small material 
advantage, both direct and indirect. At a later period, when 
the dependent portion of the household became developed, 
and the Gesindschaft was established, other varieties of rank 
arose. Nobility was then derived, not from birth, but from 
official position, and attendance upon the throne. "f 

The idea of "limitation "in the Irish law was connected with 
three successive lives, either of three persons in lineal de- 
scent, grandfather, father, and son; or of three successive over 
lords, as in the case of Daer Fuidhir tenants,} or of three 
successive owners, as in the case of rights of water. The 
same idea of three, or its multiples, being the basis of such 
calculations, also appears in the passage in this tract, stating 
that cottiers and "fuidhir "-tenants been " sencleithe "- 
tenants, and irremovable after serving for nine times nine 

We may now proceed with the analysis of the remaining 
ranks in the tribe. 

* Vol. III., p. Ixix. 

t These extracts are selected from the Vlllth Chapter of " The Aryan House- 
h"M," pp. 103 to 209. 
J Upon this puint Mr- Hearn seems to have fallen into error. V.S. 



1. The "aire-desa". The property with reference to which 
this and the subsequent class are arranged, is manifestly 
land, as the number of the tenants of each is respectively 
stated, as in the non-noble classes the number of their cattle. 
The tenants of the " aire-desa " were ten, five " giallna," and 
five " saer "-tenants. The amount of food to be furnished by 
the tenants is stated in detail. An incident to the right of 
feasting at the houses of his tenants (" coshering ") was the 
number of persons whom he might take to their houses from 
the " Calends" to Shrovetide; ten couples are the number 
specified in this case ; in return he was expected " to pro- 
tect his tenants in all just suits of ' cain ' law and ' cairde'- 
law, standing towards them in the relation of a patron to his 
clients. The legal value of his oath, &c., and honor-price 
was ten ' seds '; the length of his house twenty-seven feet ; 
his proportionate stock was six ' cumhals,' and his food-rent 
two cows."* 

2. The " aire-echta " was an officer of the tribe, and does 
not represent a class ; this is obvious because no property, 
qualification, rights, or liabilities, are specified in his case.f 
The dutyof the "aire-echta" was "to avenge theinsult offered 
to a territory in which a person was lately killed ;" he was 
an appointed avenger of wrongs. This is illustrated by the 
case of the blinding of Cormac Mac Airt, " Aengus Gabhuai- 
dech " was an " aire-echta " (translated " champion "), who 
was avenging a family quarrel in the territories of Luighne, 
and he went into a woman's house there and drank milk in 
it by force ; and the woman said, " It were better for thee 
to avenge the daughter of thy kinsman upon Cellach, son of 
Cormac, than to consume my food by force."J Aengus there- 
upon at once proceeded to Temhair and slew Cellach ; the 
point of the story seems to be that the woman reproached 
the "aire-echta" for plundering her under colour of avenging 
a family quarrel, while he left unperformed the more im- 
portant and dangerous duty of slaying the king's son for the 
abduction of one of the women of the tribe. 

* Page 321. f Page 323. t Ante, Vol. III., page 83. 


. The " aire-ard." He had twenty tenants, ten giallna, 
and ten "saer "-tenants ; twenty couple were "his right on 
a feasting;" his honor-price and the value of his oath, frc. 
was fixed at fifteen seds; his proportionate stock was seven 
" cumhals," and his food rent three cows. There is no state- 
ment as to the size of his house.* 

4. The "aire-tuisi," who had twenty-seven tenants, fifteen 
"giallna" tenants, and twelve "saer" tenants; he h:,d 
thirty couples at the feasting. The value of his oath, &c 
and his honor-price was fixed at twenty seds " his house 
was twenty-nine feet in length; his proportionate stock was 
eight " cumhals," and four cows his food rent. The aire- 
tuisi in the third generation participated in the government 
of the tribe. " He makes (assist* in making ?) ' corus '-ar 
rangementsin the 'raith' right of his father and grand- 

5. The " aire-forgaill " stood in rank at the head of the 
nobles, and next to the king and tanist ; his position is 
marked by the words " he testifies to the character of the 
grades we have enumerated, in every case in which a denial 
of a charge is sought, because his quality is superior to that 
of his companions." This passage might le? d to the conclu- 
sion that the " aire-forgail " was an official who had the 
power of deciding the status of the individual members of 
the tribe, but inasmuch as the " aire-forgaill " chief is intro- 
duced into the list of titles of dignities ir, the subsequent 
tract, although the " aire-echta " is omitted., it is probably 
that the name indicates a class, not an office, and that the 
right to give evidence as to the status of a member of a tribe 
was incident to the position of the first class of the nobles 
He had forty tenants, twenty "giallna " and twenty "saer"- 
tenants ; the value of his oath, &c., and honor-price' was 
fixed at fifteen seds ; his house was thirty feet in length 
his proportionate stock nine " cumhals," and his food rent 
five cows.J 

0. The "tanist" of the king or his elected successor. Hs had 
five " sencleithe "-tenants more than an " aire-forgaill "-chief 

* Page 325. t Page 327. i P.-.JJC 320. 


from which it may be conjectured that his father and grand- 
father must also have been aire-forgaill " chiefs. His honor- 
price and the value of his oath was fixed at thirty seds ; ten 
"cumhals" were his proportionate stock, and six cows his 
food rent. There is no reference as to the size of his house, 
or his receipts from his tenants, which may be assumed to 
have been considered the same as those of the " aire-forgaiU 1 
chief, and it is probable that the additional five " sencleithe"- 
tenants, which he is stated to have, were not in addition to 
the number of the tenants required for the rank of an aire- 
forgaill, but are introduced to indicate that his tenants had 
acquired the position of " sencleithe "-tenants under his 
family, as a proof of the status of the tanist himself.* 

7. The king. This rank is sub-divided into three classes: 
A. A kingof hills or of horns ; the term is not easy of ex- 
planation ; it, however, is used to designate the position of 
the head of a fully organized tribe. Naturally no property 
qualification is annexed to this rank. His honor-price and 
the value of his oath, &c., were fixed at seven " cumhals"; 
his proportionate stock was twelve " cumhals," and his food 
rent six cows. The size of his house is not stated.* 
B. A king of companies, the head king of three or four 
reguli. His honor-price and the value of his oath, &c., were 
fixed at eight "cumhals," for which amount his "sick 
maintenance " was to be commuted ; his proportionate stock 
was fifteen " cumhals," and his food rent eight cows.t 

C. The head king, whose supreme position is indicated 1 >y 
the passage, " under his control every chief is who cannot be 
corrected by his lord." His honor-price and the value of 
his oath, &c., were fixed at fourteen cumhals; as the supreme 
head he could give, but not receive, cattle, and therefore there 
is no reference in this case to proportionate stock or food 
rent.t His residence is described with much particularity as 
a fortified " dun " fort, but the length of his house does not 
much exceed that of the higher noble classes, being only 

thirty feet. 

The rank of every freeman determined that of their family 

* Page 329. t Page 331. 


and dependents, and entitled them to proportionate com- 
pensation. " Half the sick maintenance of a man of every 
grade is due for his lawful son, and his wife ; for it is half 
which is due for every lawful person, one-fourth for every 
unlawful one. The wives of mercenary soldiers have sick 
maintenance in right of their sons and husbands. Stewards 
and couriers are sustained with half the maintenance of their 
They arrange that their share in the maintenance 
orresponds with their sustenance by their chief. Every 
artizan who makes the manufactures of a chief, or a church, 
i sustained with half maintenance, according to the rank 
of each person whose manufacture he makes."* 

The object of the author in fixing the number seven as 
the basis of his classification appears in the passage:-*-" The 
maintenance of every grade in the church is the same as 
that of its co-grade in the laity."* He desired to treat the 
seven grades of the church as correlative to the seven grades 
of the laity, the ostiarius corresponding to the " mbidboth "_ 
man, and the bishop to the King; or rather, finding the 
number of grades in the church fixed at seven, he attempts 
to classify the laity in seven grades, and either omits or 
interpolates ranks to produce the required result. This fact 
is conclusive of the extremely unreliable nature of the 
classification contained in this tract, and the impossibility 
of treating it as historical evidence of the organization of 
an Irish tribe at any period. 

The analysis of this classification is shown in the annexed 
table. None of the incidents of any rank are introduced 
except such as are more or less common to all, and capable 
of being numerically expressed. 

In these tables the names of the'classes printed in Italics 
are those which are rejected upon the ultimate analysis 
The introduction of the " aire-echta " to make up the number 
is manifest in this table. The series of numbers in all the 
columns seem to have been fixed before he was introduced 
and any numerical qualifications attributed to him would 
have destroyed the regularity of the numerical sequence. 


71 2 



No. of Tenants or property 
qualification in Cattle. 

C *C O -^ 
P N 

III"! .s ~ ~ 

l i -5 "3 "s i ,? 2 S S | | | I 

| frf 1 * 4 -2 f a " I 


4-T ^ "S ^ 

i a 

1 1 1 s - s e 1-2 III* 

_ Ci O ^ 

Food rent of 

U /! ' 9 ^1 

|llt-2.' >^5f 5 f g f If 1 

Ill!l|!slll& J 1 1 J J 


5 "" ' aT^^" ^ r J2 .2 

, S f f I 1 1 1 J 2 J -5 -5 -5 i 

\2*** ~Z " " 
E E *6 8 8 s 3 a s 2 H 

g^ OM u w o u t* v O <N iO 


1 1 I -II 1 *" * -" " " * 2 " S 

* 1 

, || | | | | | * 5 I 1 ! 1 1 

Rent in kiliJ 
from Tenants. 

"ort^ a.a^ = ^ 

rt B. " M * >O 

Value of Oath, &c., 
and honor-price. 

V S ~i 5 f f 5 c ^f c? ST " 

1* 8 J ! Ji ^ * - - - - -I = "i 

1 1 

"""*"- . 1 1 

. .^ ^ g | ^ 2 . .,: | c -1' "c^j? 

8 d3 * 7^ iiio^^'^? 

r d i * ^ ^ t. C > -h - -i3 "* ^ "" 

. ^ M r S O U fa C^ O O 



If we turn to the scheme of the ranks of a tribe contained 
in the next tract, we find the arrangement wholly different. 
The titles of rank (or of discredit) given here amount to 
twenty-six. The arrangement is in the inverse order of that 
in the present tract, commencing with the King and pro- 
ceeding downwards. The nine last of these classes may be 
disregarded as representing the unfree class. They are 
discribed as not possessing the right to go into the assembly 
who had no dire fine, and were not worthy to enter into 
bonds or securities. 

There remain therefore seventeen distinct terms, represent- 
ing, according to the author, so many classes of the free 
members of the community. Their respective grades 
are marked solely by the amount of their honor-price, 
and the number of persons to free feeding they were en- 
titled. A reference to the case of the class No. 9 (the 
henchman " seirthuid"), and class 21, the "aire-iui&i", will 
show that the phrase " free feeding " means the supply of 
food to a certain number of individuals, not a right to pas- 
ture so many head of cattle. The sequence of the ranks of 
the free persons in the tribe, according to the sequel, would 
be represented as follows : 







2 and a cmv. 

5 jeds. 

The ' second 'of a "/?- 

8 cows, . 



The " Bo-aire, 




A "Flaethem" of one rnf.-nl. 



A hnl f' " Fliitthi at " JH r.<vn, . 



A full "/7./ -fun, . 



A " dae" person, . 

4 half cumhals. 

An " inifi'iitli " /ursoa, . 


J cumhal and a 


An " idhna" person, 


3 thirds of a cum- 


An alre-fine" Chief, . 


7 cumhals to four. 

An ' aire-desa" Chief, . 


1 cumhal to seven. 

An 'airc-tuisi " Chief, . 


1J cumhals. 

An ' a!re-ard" Chief, . 


3J cumhals. 

An ' aire-forgaill " Chief, 


3i cumhals. 

A King of the 3rd rank, 

7j cumha!s. 

A King nf tin' L'nd rank, 

14 cumhals. 

A King of the 3rd r;ink, 

5 cumhals of gold 

and a jewel. 

As to the ranks common to both, the following result 


may be arrived at by a comparison of the tests: The 
freeman, without any property, is called in the Crith 
Gabhlach a "mbidboth," and in the sequel an "uiatne"- 
man, these two terms representing the lowest class must be 

The " og-aire " of the first list corresponds partly with 
the ' second ' of a " bo-aire," and partly with the " bo-aire" 
of the second list. 

The " aire-desa " is common to both, and it appears from 
the amount of their honor-price, that the " full flaithem " 
and the "aire-desa" of the second list are identical. 

The titles of the "aire-ard," "aire-tuisi,"and "aire-forgail," 
are common to both lists, but the latter tract treats the 
" aire-ard " as identical with the " aire-forgaill." The sequel 
treats the " aire-ard" (or " aire-forgaill") and the " aire-tuisi," 
as oiScials simply, and they should, according to this autho- 
rity, be struck off the list of the classes of society. 

The result will be to reduce the number of the actual 
ranks of society to four : (1) the " mbidnoth " or "uaitne " 
man, the freeman without property ; (2) the " og-aire," or 
bo-aire, the freeman possessing a property qualification ; 
(3) the " aire-desa," the noble with property qualification ; 
and (4) three grades of Kingship. It is to be remarked 
that at these points the valuation as to honor-price exactly 

If we refer to the scale of compensation for the death of 
any person killed, as set out in the Book of Aicill, the result 
is as follows : 

1. A king, bishop, professor, chief poet^and every 

archmech person, or best " aire-forgail" 

chief, . . .14 cumhals. 

2. A middle or lower "aire-forgaill" chief, or 

" aire-ard " chief, ... . . 7 do. 

3. An " aire-tuisi," or " aire-desa " chief, . . 4 do. 

4. A " bo-aire," or " og-aire " chief, . . . 3 do. 

5. A " fer-niidbaidh " person, . . . 2 do. 

6. A "flescach" person, or "dair "-workman, . 1 do.* 

* Vol. iii., p. 475. 


Upon a comparison of these three lists, the following 
results follow ; that the essential distinctions as to ranks 
were five only, viz. : (a) the Kings of three orders, and those 
persons, who, from their official position, were placed in the 
same category ; (6) the nobles, who were sub-divided into 
four classes : the " aire-forgaill," the " aire-ard," the " aire- 
tuisi," and " aire-desa " ; and that the best " aire-forgaill " 
filled an official position, which placed him in the same 
category as the king ; (c) the freeman possessing property, 
the "bo-aire;" (d) the freeman without property; and (e) 
the non-free classes. 

That a great proportion of the classes introduced into 
the sequel are purely imaginary is evident upon the face 
of the tract. As between this tract and the Crith Gabh- 
lach, to which it is supposed to be a sequel, the list in 
the former appears the more ancient and trustworthy ; 
the author of the sequel, if he had had the Crith Gabhlach 
before him, never would have abandoned the principle of 
systemizing the ranks in sevens, nor omitted so many as 
seven of the grades. He also ignores the precise directions 
as to the sizes of their respective houses, and the amount of 
their furniture, which occupy so large a proportion of the 
Crith Gabhlach, and he does not allude to the amount of 
proportionate stock and food rent, which in the Crith 
Gabhlach is stated as an essential mark of rank, upon the 
assumption that all classes were bound in a feudal tie to 
some superior. The statement in the Book of Aicill is clear 
and practical, and is far more valuable as an authority than 
the later tracts. It naturally follows that we regard the 
Crith Gabhlach as, to a great extent, an imaginary work, the 
Utopia of a Brehon Lawyer, and, although containing veiy 
numerous fragments of archjeic law, not affording any dis- 
tinct basis of an historical character ; and that a description 
of the condition of the ancient Irish nation, if founded upon 
a faith in the Crith Gabhlach, as descriptive of an existing 
order of society, must be considered as merely imaginary. 

The concluding portion of this tract discusses the duties, 
rights, and appropriate mode of life of a king, according to 


the standard of the period ; of the ideal king, who is des- 
cribed as a man full of lawfulness in all respects, consulted 
for knowledge, learned and calm. 

Althoiigh there is difficulty in explaining many of the 
details, a definite picture is given of the mutual relations of 
the king and his people, and the mode of life at the date of 
the work. The duties and rights of the king are conceived 
as resting upon his representative character ; as the "flaith," 
as the patron of his retainers or clientele, or the head of the 
hoiuse on behalf of his family, represents in the assembly or 
before the judge all those technically " in his hand," so 
the kings stands as the agent of his tribe ; " he swears for 
them to the king (i.e., to the superior king) on behalf of the 
territory. He denies (or makes oath) on their behalf ; he 
proves for them to the extent of seven cumhals. He goes 
into co-judgment, into co-evidence, with the king for his 
people."* The relation of the king to the tribe implied 
reciprocal rights and duties, as that of head of the house- 
hold to its members : " They are entitled to righteous judg- 
ments. They are entitled to a pledge on their part. They 
are entitled to sustenance as they sustain."* In three cases 
the king is authorized to bind the people by his promise 
made on their behalf; viz., a pledge for hosting, which means 
a levy of the armed force for a definite purpose, three of which 
are stated in the text; a pledge for right; and a pledge 
for international regulations. For three purposes the king 
was entitled to call the people together; for a fair, for a 
meeting for correction, or making a contract, or for the pur- 
pose of accompanying himself to the boundary.* The para- 
graph commencing in page 335 states: "There are now 
four rights which a king pledges his people to observe." 
By this, having reference to the passage which 'follows, 
should probably be understood the rights which the king is 
entitled to exercise as against the people ; the measure and 
extent of his executive authority. The first right mentioned 
is the right of " Fenechus "-law, but it is added : " It is the 
people who proclaim it. It is the king that proclaims the 

* rsc 333. 


other three rights, and it is the king that enforces them." 
The enactment of rules to bind the people rested with the 
people themselves ; the king had no legislative power ; he 
enforced obedience to the law, but could not himself enact 
one. As the idea of the enactment of a new law, in the 
correct use of the term, was quite foreign to the state of 
society with which we are dealing, this perhaps might be more 
correctly expressed by the statement that the people de- 
clared the custom, and made the regulations incident thereto, 
and that the king carried them out into execution ; havino- 
reference to the second right attributed to the king, the 
" Fenechus "-law proclaimed by the people dealt with the 
division and management of the tribe land, which at the 
present day is the all-engrossing business of the Swiss Com- 

The second right of the king is defined as " a right after 
they have been defeated in battle, and he consolidates his 
people afterwards so that they are not broken up ; and a 
right after a mortality."* Both of the circumstances under 
which this right of the king arose, are cases in which the 
tribe had suffered the loss of many of its members, and the 
relative proportions of the several households had been 
materially altered, and for the stability of the tribe, and to 
ensure cultivation, it would be requisite to redistribute the 
tribe land among the surviving members. The extreme case 
of a tribe having been driven out of its original territory, 
and establishing itself in a new district, would be an instance 
of the circumstances under which the exercise of this 
unusual authority on the part of the king would be neces- 
sary ; so also if, by any casualty, a large proportion of the 
tribe perished (we frequently read in history of the destruc- 
tion or banishment of an entire gens), the result must have 
been, to a greater or less extent, a recasting of a mode in 
which the tribe land was distributed. 

The third right is defined as that of the King of Cashel 
in Munster, that is, such well-known rights as the King 
of Cashel, taking him as the leading case, is understood 

* Page 335. 


to possess.* Three such are enumerated, the first of 
which is obvious enough, " the right to help him to 
drive out foreign races." The right secondly mentioned, 
" a right for the sowing of seed," is not so simple or easy 
of explanation. Dr. O'Donovan explained it as a right of 
the head king, when the under kings were fighting among 
themselves and neglecting their legitimate business, to 
compel them to abstain from hostilities, and " to sow their 
lands." This is a remarkable instance of the habit of 
attributing the morals and ideas of the nineteenth century 
to the members of a semi-civilized community, and assuming 
that they did act as we think that we ourselves ought to 

This passage in the original text manifestly refers to the celebrated Psalter 
of Cashel, supposed to have been written by St. Benean (or Benignus) to appease 
his relations, justly indignant that he, being a Munsterman, had blessed Con- 
nacht, whither he had been sent by St. Patrick to preach Christianity. 
" Cognati Sancti Benegni, ut populus Eogauia! Casselensis, Olildiana progenies, 
i-t alii Momonienses, audito prsedicto cjus facto, lion pariun offensi ct contra vinim 
Dei indignati dicuntur. S. autem Benignus, ut istain offensam aliquo grato 
delueret obsequio, famosum illud chronicou, quod Psnlterlum Casstlense nuncu- 
patur, inchoavit et composuit ; in quo non solum tutins Hibernia; Mouarchorum, 
sed specialiter Mumonire, acta, jura, prerogatives, et successio censcribantur."- 
Colgan, Trias Thaum, c. 33, p. 205. If we are to assume that the Book of 
Rights practically represents and contains the substance of the Psalter of Cashel, 
the " right of a king" refers merely to the amount of food and supplies which he 
was entitled to receive from his feudatory chiefs. The Book of Rights is singu- 
larly devoid of any legal information or value whatsoever. If the author of this 
treatise was acquainted with the Psalter of Cashel, or the Book of Rights, it is 
difficult to understand how he has placed the feudal relation of the kings and 
their chiefs upon the taking of cattle and food rout, and not upon the receipt by 
the chiefs of the extravagant and fabulous gifts stated in the Book of Rights. 
The gifts represented in the Book of Rights, as presented by the King of Cashel 
to his feudatories, are, of course, imaginary ; but that a "king of companies" 
should take from the head king fifteen cumhals of cattle as his proportionate 
stock, and pay eight cows as the food rent of his house, is equally incredible. It 
would seem "that both authors, each after his own fashion, were desirous of 
stating the relative positions of the King of Cashel and his under kings. The 
relation was created by the receipt by the inferior from the superior of some 
benefit, and a subsequent render of service in consideration of it. The actual 
transaction may have taken a merely symbolical shape, which the author of the 
Book of Rights has exaggerated in a poetic (?) form, and the author of this tract 
described in accordance with the usage prevalent among the lower classes. As 
there may be some who believe that St. Benean wrote the Psalter of Caahel, I 
do not rely upon the reference to that work as a conclusive evidence of the date 
of this tract. 


have acted if placed in their position. If the over-lords had 
exercised this right it would have been very fortunate for 
the general body of the people, and the greater part of the 
annals would never have been written. The simplest ex- 
planation appears to be that the king could enforce the 
cultivation of the tribe-land in the ordinary course of cus- 
tomary husbandry. The third right is that " of lighting up 
religion, such as is found in the right (or law) of Adamnan."* 
The historical celebrity of the " Cain-Adamnan " arose from 
the rule exempting women from liability to military service ; 
but this rule was only one of the clauses, and the reference 
here made seems to be to those enacting the performance of 
specified religious duties. 

The rank of the king was regarded as official, not 
personal ; if, therefore, he engaged in the labour fit only 
for a plebeian, he was for the time being reduced to the 
plebeian grade, and his dire fine assessed accordingly. 
The four occasions when he thus lost his status were 
when he used a clod-mallet, or a shovel, or a spade, or 
when he travelled alone. The reason for this latter rule is 
remarkable : " This might be the day upon which a woman 
alone (without witnesses) might swear her child upon a king 
a day upon which no one could give testimony but herself 
alone,"* a rule not devised for the protection of the moral 
character of the king, but to prevent the danger of the 
introduction into the family of the king of spurious bastards, 
and to guard against such mischief as was caused by the 
facility with which Shane O'Niel acknowledged all children 
attributed to him. In one other case the king lost his status, 
and was entitled to the " dire "-fine of a non-noble person : 
when in retreating from battle he was wounded in the back. 
Upon this point the author remarks, with characteristically 
trivial accuracy, that the rule did not apply when the 
weapon had passed through the body and came out at the 

The days of week are in this treatise portioned out to the 
various duties and pleasures of the king.* He abstained 

* Page 335. 


from labour on Sunday, but his " occupation " upon this day 
was drinking ale, and distributing it to others, "he is not a 
lawful Flaith who does not distribute ale every Sunday." 
Strange to say there is no allusion to any religious ceremo- 
nial, an omission the more remarkable as the author writes 
under evident ecclesiastical influence. The remaining days 
of the week were appropriated as follows : Monday to public 
business (" for causes for the adjustment of the people "), 
Tuesday to chess, Wednesday to coursing, Thursday to 
marriage duties, Friday to horse racing, and Saturday to 
announcing his decisions ("giving judgments "). Such a 
passage is ample proof how much of the details and arrange- 
ments in this treatise are purely fantastic. No one for a 
moment imagines that a king spent his time in the absurd 
routine here suggested; yet it is not, in our opinion, more 
imaginary than the preceding specification of the size of the 
houses and the amount of the furniture of the respective 
grades of society. Such a work as the present can be relied 
upon in its general results only ; as to the numerical details 
we have no means of distinguishing which are imaginary 
and which are exact. 

The king was responsible, both to his own people and to 
externs, for illegal or irregular seizures or requisitions ; this 
appears in a negative form from the exceptions to his assumed 
liability. The three excepted cases are : (1) the requisition 
levied upon a rebellious and reconquered territory ; (2) a 
requisition upon the members of his own tribe when an extern 
king was his guest; when there was an unusual demand 
upon his hospitality ; (3) the seizure of dry cattle which 
have trespassed upon the tribe waste. In the two latter 
cases the cattle were to be restored, which proves that what 
the author was treating was not the return of (or payment 
for) the goods, but the consequences of their illegal seizure. 

The duty of hospitality is strongly enforced upon the 
king ; such is the meaning of the paragraph commencing, 
" There are three fastings which bring no offence to a king."* 
The fasting alluded to is not the fasting of the king, but the 

* Page 337. 


fasting of bis guests ; a failure in the duty of hospitality is 
only excused by the absolute want of the means of pro- 
viding the necessary food ; what we should express in one 
general term is here stated in the form of three special ex- 
ceptions. At the conclusion of the tract, the author describes 
an Irish king sitting in state at the head of his retainers 
and court ; and in the passage it is certain that he has 
omitted no detail which, in his opinion, enhanced the splen- 
dor, or testified to the power, wealth, and luxury of a Celtic 
prince of the period.* At the south end of the house> 
which must be understood to be a large four-sided hall, are 
posted the body guards of the king, four in number ; these 
are not men of his house, or of his tribe, but broken, land- 
less men, whom he had freed from dungeon or gallows, or 
from servitude of the lowest grade, men without tribe or 
home, who existed only as the hirelings of their masters ; the 
man, whose life the king had spared in battle, was not con- 
sidered as sufficiently in his power, " for he may lay hands 
upon him and kill him out of devotion to kin own chief or 
people" such a man could not be trusted, for he had a tribe 
and home to which he might return. The four guards sur- 
round the king one in front, one in the rere, and one on 
either side ; to secure the fidelity of these mercenaries, they 
are watched by another stranger, one of the hostages fur- 
nished by the subject tribes, or the under kings ; it is easy 
to see that if this man was a hostage for the fidelity of his 
tribe, they in turn were securities for his personal fidelity 
to the king, to secure which, further, he was allotted land to 
the large amount of seven cumhals, equivalent to the honor- 
price and judicial value of an under king ; he is seated by 
the guards behind to watch their actions. From the king's 
right hand, along the east wall of the hall, are ranged suc- 
cessively his guests, his poets, his harpers, flute-players, 
horn-blowers, and jugglers; opposite the king, at the other 
end of the hall, sits his champion, who would be described 
in an Eastern court as " his chief fighting man ;" on the 
king's left hand, along the western side of the' hall, are 

* Page 339. 


ranged his wife, his brehon, and his " saer "-tenants, or noble 
vassals ; at the door is stationed a " man of deeds," to keep 
it; before the champion and the doorward is set up the 
spear of each "against the confusion of the ale-house;" 
close to the champion, in chains, stand the " unredeemed 
hostages," whose appearance in fetters was manifestly an 
essential portion of the spectacle. Having exhibited the 
king in fulness of his power and splendour, the author asks : 
" Which is greater, a king or a bishop ? The bishop," he 
replies, " is higher, because the king stands up (to salute 
him), by reason of religion. A bishop, however, raises his 
knee to a king."* 

The impression produced by the Crith Gabhlach as to the 
condition of the Irish people at the date of its composition, 
is very unfavorable. Their houses must have been small 
and ill-furnished ; the length of the house of an " og-aire " is 
set down as seventeen feet about the size of the cottage 
of poorer class of farmers of the present day and the house 
of the head king is stated to measure only thirty-seven feet 
in length ; from this we must conclude that the habits and 
mode of life of the upper and lower classes were very simi- 
lar ; the houses would seem to have consisted each of one 
room only ; the description of a house, as having so many 
" beds," not rooms, in it, shows that they all slept in one 
chamber ; the houses were wood, or wattle- work, of a very 
unsubstantial character ; the back house so often alluded to 
was probably a detached kitchen ; the furniture described is 
of the simplest nature, and in insignificant quantity ; al- 
though some golden and silver articles are mentioned, there 
is scarcely an allusion to rich dresses, jewels, personal orna- 
ments, or works of art ; the ordinary diet seems to have 
been of the coarsest description ; and it is remarkable that 
there is no allusion to wine throughout ; the description of 
the king's court must be very much exaggerated, or the size 
of his house under-estimated, for it would be impossible to 
crowd into a room of thirty-seven feet in length, the number 
of persons detailed as forming his court and retinue ; the 

* Paj;c339. 


want of refinement in manners is marked by the fact of the 
champion and man of deeds at the palace retaining their 
spears " against the confusion of the ale-house." 

The old tribal organization continued to be the supposed 
form of their social system. We read of the king calling his 
people together for various purposes, and of the people them- 
selves declaring the "Fenechus" law, but the universal system 
of commendation extending from the low " mbidboth" man 
to the king of companies (every one of whom received cows 
from a superior, and paid his food-rent), and the masses of 
non-free tenants who swelled the retainers of the "flaith," 
prove that the new system of personal relation was being 
rapidly substituted for the bond of tribal union ; the tribe 
lands had been monopolized by the noble class ; whether by 
grant or force, fairly or unfairly, is unimportant. The 
double process is summed in the Latin sentence " Hrcc fere 
pascua data sunt depascenda sed in communi ; qu?e multi 
per potentiam iiivaserunt." As a natural consequence, land- 
less men and " fuidhirs " abounded ; the general instability 
is proved by the custom of hostages, and the presence of the 
foreign retainers who surround the king ; and the rules, as 
to the maintenance of the wife of the mercenary soldier, 
show that the hired gallowglass, the curse of Ireland, was 
not unknown. 

The Crith Gabhlach may be fairly characterized as the fan- 
tastic production of an antiquarian lawyer of a strong eccles- 
iastical bias, composed at a date at which the tribe system 
was breaking up, and the condition of the people, both 
moral and material, had much deteriorated. The work is 
of the highest value as an antiquarian treatise, rather on 
account of the general principles which it assumes, and the 
incidental statements which it contains, than from the 
accuracy of its classification, or the truth of its minute de- 
tails ; and any deductions founded upon a belief in its 
historical value must lead to conclusions involving the too 
common error of substituting an imaginary, for the actual, 
condition of a people. 




This tract deals with the same subject as the preceding, 
and can be advantageously considered in connexion with it. 
In the original manuscript no special title has been prefixed 
to the treatise, and for the purpose of the present volume it 
has been named the sequel to the Crith Gabhlach, implying 
that the subject dealt with in the preceding tract is further 
discussed in the present, but not that it was a work by the 
same author, or composed by another author as an appendix 
or continuation of the Crith Gabhlach ; in the last section 
of the introduction it has been sufficiently shown that two 
different schemes for the sub-division of the rank of society 
are adopted by the respective authors, and that, so far from 
being complimentary, the latter tract is contradictory to the 

The legal rights with reference to which the several 
ranks are classified by this author are specified by him as 
nine in number. As stated by the author, these appear to 
have been as follows : (1) the greatest and least number of 
attendants brought by them to their cosherings upon their 
tenants, or accompanying them as their " company in the 
tribe " ; (2) their feeding, probably the amount and nature 
of the food to be provided for them ; and the amount of com- 
pensation to be paid to them under the following heads : 
(3) for " esain " ; (4) for wounding ; (5) for insulting ; (6) for 
the violation of their protection ; and as (7) their honor-price ; 
(8) also the obscure fines described as " blush "- and blister- 
fines ; (9) and their exemptions before and after refections.* 
Although the classification may have been originally made 
with reference to these several heads, the detailed rights and 
duties of each class are very imperfectly stated, and all 
reference to some is wholly omitted. It is remarkable that 
to a large proportion of the classes specified the alleged 
grounds of the classification, certainly the greater portion 

* By "exemptions " we should understand "privileges" in the full extent of 
the word; either special rights or special duties, tUe enjoyment or performance of 
which distinguished the individual from the general mass of the nation. 



of them are inapplicable, and that there is not any reference 
made either to their proportionate stock and food rent, or 
the sizes of their dwellings, matters dealt with in detail by 
the author of the Crith Gabhlach. The twenty-six classes 
stated in this tract of the classes of this tract are enumer- 
ated downwards, that is, commencing with the head king, 
and proceeding downward to the lowest grade, but it is perhaps 
more convenient in considering them to adopt the inverse 
order, and to proceed from the unfree classes as the natural 
basis. The nine last classes are intended to comprise the indi- 
viduals, not members of the tribe, either as originally unfree, 
or as having lost their original status ; they are described as 
not possessing a holding, or talents, or followers, and therefore 
not worthy to form part of the assemblies, or companies of 
refection, nor entitled to "dire" fine, or to enter into 
securities or give evidence. They are evidently regarded 
not as servile, but unfree, having no status, and possessing in 
theirown personsno legal rights; it would follow fromanalogy 
that their persons could be protected and their property 
secured to them only by the intervention of some member 
of the tribe, in whose "hand " they would technically con- 
sidered to be. 

When the definitions of these nine classes are considered 
it appears that they are not arranged with reference to their 
respective rights, for they are all described as possessing none, 
but rather with reference to the causes whereby they had 
lost, or did not possess, any recognised status, and that the 
nine classes are sub-divisions of one class, distinguished from 
each other by purely accidental circumstances. The ranks 
thus enumerated are as fqllpws : 

(a) A " henchman/ a sqldier of a good race "the nearest 
to the hip of a leader when going to the meeting, who, 
with his wife, was entitled to free feeding, and a fine 
for certain injuries. This is clearly a description of 
the immediate followers of the King ; either of the four 
personal attendants who surrounded him in his hall,t or 
of the mercenaries whose wives had sick maintenance in 

* P*e 353. f Page 339. 


ritfit of their husbands.* The description in the Crith 
Gabhlach of the class of persons with whom the kings sur- 
rounded themselves, proves that they were selected precisely 
because they were not members of the tribe, and, therefore, 
bound to the lord by simply personal interests. 

(6)| The freeman who had "lost his patrimony,his lands, and 
his stock, and did not possess anything throughout the terri- 
tory visibly or invisibly." By the loss of all his property the 
freeman lost also his status. This class must be distin- 
guished from the " mbidboth "-man, the lowest class in the 
Orith Gabhlach, who, as having cattle lent to him by a lord, 
and paying food rent for his house, did possess a certain 
amount of property, however small, and therefore retained 

his status. 

(c) A " cow grazier of a green,"t a term used meta- 
phorically to express the case of the freeman who has lost 
his status, not from poverty, but by reason of disgraceful 
cowardice a man dishonoured, as the Greeks expressed 
it, by having lost his shield ; he is described as keeping his 
cattle within the green or enclosure near his house, and not 
daring to drive them out into the common pasture through 
fear of the wolves. 

(d) A " Baitse "t tenant, of whom no description can 
be given except that contained in the text: "A man 
who is not freed by profession or residence ; that man 
does not belong to a company, who has not the deeds 
of a champion in him. He does not go security, nor is he a 
pledge with a chief or a church, because it is a sunbeam he 
is called." 

(e) The fifth class is described as " a man matched with 
a bad wife, by whom he is rendered deranged and un- 
steady ; such a person is denned as an " oinnit."f Extra- 
ordinary as are some of the definitions of the Brehon 
lawyers, it is impossible to believe that the author of this 
tract seriously intended to express what these words, in their 
plain and ordinary meaning, state, and not to suspect that 
an ancient and forgotten rule, either as to the origin or 

* I'age 331. t Page 353. 


some specific acts of the wife, survives in this apparently 
absurd description. 

(/) A " midhlach "* person, an effeminate, unwaiiike 
man, a coward or an imbecile. As the coward has 
already been enumerated under the head of the "co\v- 
grazier of a green," this class may more properly include 
idiots and imbeciles ; the added words " so that he is the 
material of a victim to be given on account of the territory " 
(if the translation be correct), might mean that he was a 
very fit person to permit to be killed in expiation of a blood 
feud. The word " cimbid " admittedly means a man whose 
life is forfeited, " a victim," and the text appears to refer to his 
being utilized in this fashion, when it speaks of being or 
affording the "material for a cimbid." 

(gf)t A clown, mountebank, or buffoon, not a jester simply, 
but what we should call an itinerant tumbler, dishonoured 
because he "went out of his shape before hosts and crowds." 

(Ji) A "rias-caire" man,t "a robber whom his race and 
family shun, a violator of ' cain ' law, and of law, who goes 
from marsh to marsh, and from mountain to mountain," or 
as it is also explained, expressive of the latter fate of such 
an one, " a rath-builder who is enslaved to a chief and a 

And lastly, (i)+ The person described as "a crumb-fox, who 
gets the crumbs of all food natural and unnatural, whatever he 
crunches or eats is his ;" by which may be meant a starvino- 
roguish outcast ready to appropriate and consume the frag- 
ments of other's victuals. 

These descriptions of the unfree men throw a light 
upon the meaning and intention of the author's classi- 
fication ; he is not merely stating the legal grades and 
acknowledged ranks of society, but arranging the men 
of the society in which he lived, with reference both 
to their actual rank and supposed respectability, as he ex- 
presses it when he says that persons are estimated not only 
by form and race, land, tillage, and property, but also by 
their profession and worthiness. It is very natural to speak 

* Pa-c 353. t Page 355. 



with contempt of cowards, fools, mountebanks, &c., but no 
one can contend that these various disreputable characters 
were acknowledged steps in the social hierarchy, which had 
its culminating point in the head king. 

If a writer of our own day undertook to describe the 
various ranks of English society, and having commenced 
with the following: "Tramps, housebreakers, acrobats, 
idiots, henpecked husbands, cashiered officers, insolvents, 
&c." finally concluded with the " bishops, earls, marquises, 
dukes, the Lord Chancellor, and the Queen," we should 
understand that he had confused the ideas of legal rank and 
social respectability in a hopeless manner ; and yet any such 
work, if preserved to a date at which a wholly different form 
of society had been substituted for that now existing, would 
be valuable to the antiquarian of the future as illustrative 
of the gradations of our society ; but we may hope that 
enough of our literature will remain to prevent the occur- 
rence^ the mistake that insolvents and acrobats were ranks 
in society in the same manner as dukes, or that insolvents 
and housebreakers were permanent castes. 

Bearing in mind the fashion after which the classification 
of the unfree persons has been constructed, let us turn our 
attention to the seventeen classes into which the free mem- 
bers of the tribe are divided. If we refer to the table in 
page cxcvii it will be observed that the ranks not common 
to both the systems of classification in this tract, and in the 
Crith-Gabhlach, are marked in italics. On examination, all 
these will appear to be grades of social respectability not 
legal ranks grades of respectability which gave those who 
possessed them substantial claims against the members of 
their families or third persons, or affected their compensation 
for wrong, but did not elevate them in the assembly above 
the other freemen, or entitle them to political privileges or 
grades in society arising from official position or public ser- 


These classes among the nobles are as follows: (a)* 
the " aire-fine" the head of a "fine " (probably, as before sug- 

Page 34!>. 


gested, the " geilfine-flaith"), a person of consideration and 
importance, as representing the members of the "fine," but 
no more forming a rank in the tribe than the head of a house 
as representing the several members of the household. 

(&)* The " idhna"-person, who has a number of sons who are 
born to him, and of male relatives (or brethren) to the number 
of thirty champions. He is entitled to free li ving of five from 
his "fine." The key to the interpretation of this lies in his 
right to free living from the "fine." He must belong to a 
" fine," and there must be other households in the " fine" in 
which he should have his free feeding for four. His quali- 
fication was the possession of sons and brothers, warriors 
thirty in all He appears to have been the head of a house- 
hold (or joint family) within the "fine," so numerous that 
the household allotment being insufficient to support them, 
a certain number were supported by the remaining houses 
of the "fine." A person^the head of a numerous household, 
would manifestly be one of much power and influence in the 
ea rly stages of society. 

(c.) The " ansruth"*-person is described as one " who 
protects his mansion and his land. He is allowed (lit. 
For him is) the wounding a person in each term of 
the year. He has no fewer than twenty (attendants) 
in an extern territory. He lias free feeding for four on 
every side, and from every chief in his ' tuaith.' He is en- 
titled to a trusty sword for his honor-price." As the 
" idhma" was entitled to support from the " family," the 
" ansruth" was entitled to it from the tribe. His position 
involves the wounding or slaying of his others, and his 
absence from the tribe-land with the accompaniment of a 
strong escort. His peculiar honor-price, the sword, indicated 
his office. He may be easily identified with the " aire-echta" 
of the Crith Gabhlach.f 
* Page 349. 

f The position of the champion or defender of a territory is well illustrated by the 
following passage of the Tain Bo Chnailgne : 

"Cuchulainn then asked his charioteer where the great road which passed 
Emania led to, and he answered that it led to Ath na Fvraire (i.e. the Ford of Watch- 
ing) at Aliabh Fuaid (a well-known mountain lying at the south of ancient Emania, 


(d) The " dae"-person* is described as one " who for 
another goes to fight his battle, when he has no help of 
his family." The position of this person is determined 
by his relation with neither the family nor tribe, but 
with some third person or persons, whose quarrel he has 
espoused. His position resembles that of a patron with a 
client, or a chief to whom a poor and oppressed man com- 
mends himself. Perhaps the description is intended to apply 
to the leader of hired gallowglasses, the condottiere of the 
period, which interpretation is rendered probable by the 
phrase, " he is entitled to free feeding and that of his sol- 
diers."^ A character of this description, undoubtedly, never 
formed one of the normal ranks of the ancient tribe. 

in the present county of Armagh). ' Why is the ford called the Ford of Watch- 
ing?' said Cuchulainn. 'Because,' said Ibar, 'there is an Ultoman champion 
constantly watching and guarding there, in order that no warriors nor foreigners 
should unperceived enter into Ulster, without being challenged bj* him to battle ; 
and the champion must answer fur any such challenge on the part of the whole 
province.' ' Do you know who is at the ford to-day ? ' said Cuchulainn. ' I do, 
indeed ; it is the valiant and victorious Conall Cearnach, the Royal Champion of 
Erinn,' said Ibar. 'Well, then,' said Cuchulainn, 'you drive on until we reach 
that ford.'" Translated by Mr. O'Curry. " Manners and Customs of the 
Aiii-iint Irifh," vol. ii., p. 365. 

* Page 349. 

t He, whose cause the " dae "-person asserted, can scarcely have been a private 
individual, if any system of tribe law whatsoever existed, nor again can we 
understand a private individual supplying free feeding to him and his soldiers. 
The employer of the "dae "-man and his mercenaries must have been at least a 
tribe chief, and the sentence, " when he has not the help of a family," expresses the 
independent position towards his tribesmen, which a chief enjoyed who bad 
secured mercenary support. The " dae "-man would thus be the leader of the mer- 
cenary guard, or head of the housecarls of a chief. Such bodies of men were called 
" Lucht Tighe," or Household Troops. The Lucht Tighe of Tadhy O'Kelly, King 
of Hi Maine, in Connaeht, and of Ferghal O'Ruairc, King of Breefney, were con- 
spicuous at the battle of Clontarf, A.D. 1014. In 1593 Hugh M'Guire, Lord of 
Fermanagh, marched to battle with the people of his own territory, and a body of 
" Amkuis," or mercenary household troops drawn from other territories or countries. 
The regular organization of these household troops, or bodyguards of the chieftain, 
appears from the names of divers places ; for example, we know that there was 
anciently a district in Monaglian called Lucht Tighe mhic Mut/iyumhna, that in, 
MacMahon's Household, because it was exclusively drvoted to the maintenance 
of the chief's household troops, who thus " were entitled to free fuelling on all 
sides." O'Curry. " Mniinm and Cuttnms of the Ancient Irifh." veil, ii., p. 


The three classes of the (e) " ogflaithem," (/) " lethflaithem," 
and (y) " flaithem of one vassal,"* are merely sub-divisions of 
the poorer "flaiths," with reference to their income, the 
amount of which naturally depended upon the number of 
their tenants ; but there is no reason to believe that the 
rights of a flaith were measured in accordance exactly with 
the number of his tenants. Undoubtedly the " flaith," who 
had a large number of tenants who swelled the train of his 
retainers, and paid him food rent, which enabled him to sup- 
port others, was a much more important person than the 
"flaith" with few tenants, and that poor broken-down 
" flaiths" with one, two, or three old tenants were very little, 
if at all, above, in public consideration, the cow-owning 
churl, who was rising into the noble class. 

It appears from a passage in the last tract published in 
this volume that the descendant of " flaiths" might fall back, 
under certain circumstances, probably the want of qualifying 
wealth, into the non-noble class ;t but there are no grounds 
for considering that the " flaith " below the aire-tuisi were 
legally divided into ranks in the exact ratio of their fortune. 
The differences as to this point between this list and that 
contained in the Crith Gabhlach are very instructive as to 
the mode in which these detailed enumerations were com- 
posed, and the reliance to be placed upon their numerical 
statements. In both lists the bo-aire takes the highest posi- 
tion among the non-noble classes ; and the ranks above that 
are " flaiths " or noble ; the entire body of the " flaiths " be- 
low the rank of the " aire-ard " (or that of aire-echta ?) are 
included, according to the scheme of the Crith Gabhlach, in 
the rank of the " aire-desa "; if the four classes of the " aire- 
fine," " idhna "-person, " ansruth "-person, and " dae "-person, 
be struck out of this list as not representing classes properly 
so called, the three remaining classes of the " ogflaithem," 
" lethflaithem," and " flaithem " of one vassal remain, who 
must fall within the class of the " aire-desa," as defined by 
the Crith Gabhlach ; but the qualification of an " aire-desa," 
as defined in the Crith Gabhlach, was eleven tenants, and 

Page 351. t Page 381. 1. 9. 


he was entitled to feeding for ten couples. It is evident 
therefore that many of the " aire-desa " class cannot have 
had the wealth specified in the Crith Gabhlach as the quali- 
fication, for that rank, and that, despite the diminution of 
their wealth, they still continued "flaiths," as long, if we rely 
on the statement in this tract, as they had a single vassal. 
This is perhaps what is implied in the definition in this 
tract of the " aire-desa," as " a man who had preserved the 
patrimony of his father and grandfather in the same condi- 
tion as he had found it before him, and who accumulates."* 
The name in this tract of " flaithem" of one tenant may, pro- 
bably, at the date of this tract have been equivalent to the 
French termof the lastcentury, which described a very impecu- 
nious nobleman, as the seigneur ot a duck pond, the smallest 
conceivable amount of real estate which enabled him to assert 
his position as a seigneur. The " uaitne " person, as described 
in this tract, might be supposed to represent an office, and not 
a class, but it is clear that there must be interposed between 
the " bo-aire " and the members of the unfree classes, a class 
representing the freeman without the full property qualifica- 
tion of the " bo-aire," and the amount of the honor-price of 
the " mbedboth " and the " uaitne " man being identical, 
there are sufficient grounds for considering the two names 
as different designations of the same class. 

It is important to submit the schemes of rank contained in 
these two tracts to close examination, as the apparently 
anomalous character of the Irish tribe has been chiefly pro- 
duced by the assumption that the Crith Gabhlach should be 
admitted as an exact and historical document, and its 
numerical statements received without reserve as truthful 
representations of existing facts; so long as this mode of 
treating the Brehon Law tracts holds its ground, the ancient 
Irish tribe system must continue to be considered, as it has 
unfortunately too long been imagined, as an exception and 
an anomaly, a maze of technicalities incapable of disentangle- 

The tract next proceeds to deal with the ranks of the 

Page 34 9. 


learned professions, before enumerating those of the church ; 
the mode in which the various ranks in the several scales 
are considered equal to each other, and a harmony attempted 
to be established throughout, appears in the following intro- 
ductory passage : " The distinctions (or titles) of wisdom 
(literary professions) now are different from the titles of the 
laity, because it is a " cumhal " of increase of honor-price, 
which each grade of the church takes, from the lighter of 
candles up to the psalm singer. It is by seds, however, the 
increase of the " fine " grades and poets progress from low to 
high. Their proof and their denial too correspond; "a bishop 
and a king, the origin of all chiefs," &c.* 

The classification of both the Ollamhs and poets is 
plainly merely an exercise of the imagination ; the 
epithets and ranks are founded upon conceits, analogies, 
and plays of works, and there is 110 practical informa- 
tion to be gleaned from them. Upon the other hand, 
the discussion as to the " dire "-fines of ecclesiastics is 
one of the most interesting passages of the Brehon Law 
tracts, as illustrating the period between the break up of 
the Columban system and the institution of a regular epis- 
copal hierarchy. The discussion upon this subject com- 
mences with the following extraordinary passage : 

" What is the highest dignity on earth ? The dignity of 
the Church. What is the highest dignity which is in the 
Church ? The dignity of a bishop. 

" The highest bishop of these is the Bishop of Peter's 
Church, because it is under his subjection the chiefs of Rome 
are ; and they are not under the subjection of anyone who 
has not virginity, or repentance, or lawful espousal; and it 
is to him that seven cumhals are payable for every degree 
of the seven degrees (or orders) that are upon him, if there 
be eric-fine for him at all ; if not ' eric '-fine, there is to be 
the death of a person for it. 

" Where is this to be found ? It is in the tract which 
Augustine wrote about the degrees of the Church, and of 
their dire fines ; and of their non-feedings, and the particular 

* Page 353. 


law of the church of Peter, and the emperor of the whole 

The scheme upon which the cleric are arranged is a 
double gradation partly connected with the orders in the 
church, and partly in connexion with the religious condition 
of the individual. It is needless to observe that the moral and 
religious merit of the individual is referable solely to the 
one virtue of continence ; but it is certainly surprising that 
the author arranges all classes of the church, inclusive of 
the recluses into the three classes of virgins, married, and 
repentant. Every fine must, therefore, be the result of three 
quantities : the official position, the moral state of the 
injured cleric, and the nature of the injury inflicted. It is 
impossible to construct in a tabular form the amount of 
compensation payable in each case, as the results stated in 
the text do not all coincide with the theory on which they 
are professed to be calculated. The general principle, how- 
ever, is clear, viz.: that the full amount calculated upon the 
rank of the injured cleric, and the nature of the injury, is 
payable in the case only of the cleric being a virgin ; this 
amount is reduced by one-third if the cleric be married, and 
again by another third if he be penitent ;t and that between 

* P. 363. Can the author of this passage have heard of the " De Civitati Dei," 
and conceived it to be a work of the character of the Crith Gabhlach? 

t The penitence of the bishop may be referable to uuchastity, either before or 
after his consecration. That charges of this description might be brought against 
a bishop, however eminent, appears from the Confession of St. Patrick: "Post 
annns triginta invenerunt me, et adversum verbum quod confessus fucram 
antequam essem diacouus. Propter anxietatem mesto animo insinuavi amicissimo 
meo que in pueritia mea una die gesseram in uno in una hora ; quia nondum 
prevalebam nescio, deus seit ; et habebam tune annis quindecem et deum vivum 
non credebam, neque ex infantia mea sed in morte et incredulitate mansi donee 
valde castigatus sum, et in veritate humiliatus sum a fame et nuditate et cotidie 
contra hiberione non sponte pergebam, &c. " National MSS. of Ireland," Vol. II., 
Ap. III.i. 

The Brehon lawyers evidently contemplated the case of a bishop falling into sin : 
" There are four dignitaries of a territory who may be degraded: a false-judging 
king, a ttumbliiiy bishop, a. fraudulent poet, an unworthy chieftain who does not 
fulfil his duties. Dire-fine is not due to these " (ante, Vol. I., p. 55). See also the 
gloss upon this passage, the meaning of which is clear, although the translation is 
questionable. It may be inferred that the sinful and unrepentent bishop suffered 
a " diminutio capitis," as did the king when engaged in servile occupations. 


the payments on account of injuries to clerics of various 
ranks, there is to be made a deduction of one cumhal for each 
grade in the ecclesiastical orders. It is very doubtful if the 
seven grades referred to in the text are the same as the usual 
ecclesiastical orders, as the clerical student and the recluse 
would seem to be included in the computation. The author 
appears to have considered that, in some cases of exceptional 
iniquity, the process of compensation by eric-fines was in- 

" What is the penalty (lit. debt) of wounding a virgin 
bishop ? Three victims (cunidh) are to be hanged for every 
hand that wounded him ; half the debt of wounding is paid 
for insulting him." " As to every person who sees, and who 
does not protect him by all his strength, by all his deeds, 
and that the guilty person escapes, it is seven cumhals that 
are to be paid for his sick maintenance and his eric fine."* 
Again "So it is with every grade of virginity until it 
comes to the case of a virgin cleric, so that there are seven 
' cumhals ' for wounding him, or a victim."! 

These passages prove that the author not only imagined that 
an aggravated injury of this class would entail the punish- 
ment of the guilty parties, but would also require "blood" ex- 
piation. These passages explain the expressions used in 
reference to the " midhlach " person in this treatise, viz., that 
he would naturally afford the material for a victim. Such a 
mode of punishing or avenging crime is inconsistent with 
the whole tenor of the Brehon law, and perhaps indicates 
that the author was a cleric, or of clerical sympathies, who 
enunciated principles for the benefit of the church which 
never formed portion of the customary law.:): 

* Page 363. f Page 365. 

J The doctrine of the early Irish Church of the necessity of blood-shedding as 
an expiation for blood is fully set out in the poem of Dublitach Mac ua Lugair, 
supposed to have been recited in the presence of St. Patrick, and under the 
immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost: 
" The truth of the Lord, 
The testimony of the New Law, 
Warrant that Xuadti shall die; I decree it. 
Divine knowledge, it is known, decides 
(To which veneration is due), 


The following passage is remarkable as a proof of the 
religious ideas which existed at the date of the composition 
of this treatise : 

" There are three kinds of recluses in a church, i.e., a lay 
recluse, upon whom a soul-friend pronounces his character 
of approval, and who goes to the sacrament, who is in the 
true unity of the church, without power of foot or hand. 
It is as a grade of virginity he is paid fines. He is of equal 
' dire '-value with a virgin clerical student; so that there 
are seven cumhals for wounding, and he is of equal ' dire '- 
fine with him in every dignity besides, and shedding of 
blood, and white blow. 

" A la}' recluse upon he pronounces his character, who 
does not go to the sacrament, it is but two-thirds he reaches 
to the first lay recluse. 

That each man for his crime 

Shall depart unto death." 

"There was in the First Law of the men of Erin 

That which God has not vouchsaved in His New Law. 

The Trinity did not vouchsafe mercy, 

Through heavenly strength to save Adam, 

For it was perpetual existence 

God gave him of His mercy, 

Until otherwise he merited 

By deserving death. 

Let every one who kills a human being; 

Even the king who seeks a wreath with his hosts, 

Who inflicts red wounds intentionally, 

Of which any person dies; 

Every powerless insignificant person, 

Or noblest of the learned ; 

Yea, every living person who inflicts death, 

Whose misdeeds are judged, shall suffer death. 

He who lets a criminal escape is himself a culprit ; 

He shall suffer the death of a criminal. 

In the judgment of the law, which I, as a poet, have received, 

It is evil to kill by a foul deed ; 

I pronounce the judgment of death, 

Of death for his crime to every one who kills. 

Kuada is adjudged to Heaven, 

And it is not to death he is adjudged." 

'It was thus that the two laws were fulfilled ; the culprit was put to death for 
his crime, and his soul was pardoned and sent to heaven. What was agreed upon 
by the men of Erin was, that every one should be gieen up for his crime, that sin 
ini-jht not otherwi.-c increase in the island.' Ante, Vol. III., pp. 1 1-13 & xx_xxiv. 


" Another lay recluse is he who puts bounds to his passions, 
and who goes to the clergy this day, upon whom a soul-friend 
does not pronounce his character, or recommendation. To 
the extent of two-thirds he reaches unto the middle lay 

"A person should not wonder that there should be an equal 
" dire "-fine for the lay recluses who are without virginity, if 
they be beloved of God, and their works great, if their 
miracles are as numerous, or if they are more numerous in 
the same way that Peter and Paul were to John, and in the 
same way that Anthony and Martin were ; ut dixit Sciptura, 
" ubi habundabit dilechtum, super habundabit gratia."* 

The author manifestly regards St. Peter as having been a 
married man, and, with reference to Paul, puts a well- 
known construction upon the twelfth verse of the ninth 
chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. 

The peculiar views put forward in this tract as to the posi- 
tion and duties of the clerics are remarkable, and are of import- 
ance in fixing an approximate date for the composition of this 
tract. The bishop, not the abbot, is the highest known 
ecclesiastic, indeed of the abbot there is no mention whatso- 
ever ; the marriage of the clerics is assumed as permissible, 
although discountenanced, inasmuch as the married cleric 
thereby to a certain extent lost caste, as proved by the pro- 
portionate diminution of his "dire "-fine; the recluse is 
treated as an acknowledged order in the Church, and he is 
intimately connected, for the purpose of the amount of his 
"dire "-fine, with his soul-friend ("anmchara"); the Pope 
was recognized as the highest bishop of the Church, and as 
'ruling over Rome ; and in the reference to the imaginary 
work of St. Augustine, there is an allusion to " the emperor 
of the whole world." These indications point to the transi- 
tional and obscure state of the Celtic Church after the break- 
ing up of the Columban monastic system, and before its 
complete reorganization under continental influence, to the 
latest period of the existence of the Culdees, a remarkable 
era in Celtic ecclesiastical history, which has been lately 

* Page 367. 


fully dealt with, so far as the scanty existing materials 
permit, by Mr. Skene.* The allusion to " the emperor of the 
whole world " may help in some degree in fixing the date of 
the work. A Celtic pilgrim returning from Rome would 
state the impressions which the existing state of facts pro- 
duced upon him ; he certainly would not be influenced by 
the legal theories of the civil lawyers ; the abstract idea of 
the all-ruling emperor would not occur to him unless the 
power of an existing emperor were brought home to his 
mind by what he saw with his eyes and heard with his ears 
among the public of the city. A pilgrim to Rome during 
the interval between the disappearance of the influence of 
the Eastern emperors and the date at which the Culdees 
finally ceased to exist, could have his attention drawn to the 
imperial power, as a universal dominion, only at two distinct 
periods either during the reigns of Karl the Great and hia 
son Ludwig, that is, between A.D. 800 and A.D. 840, or after 
the resuscitation of the imperial power by the Emperor 
Otto in A.D. 951. The expression of the Bishop of Peter's 
Church "having under his subjection the chiefs of Rome", 
(unless this be merely a Celtic phrase expressing sovereignty), 
would exactly describe the position of the Popes after the 
later date. This would point to the end of the tenth or 
beginning of the eleventh century as the probable date of 
the composition of this tract. 

From these, and the various remarkable points of differ- 
ence between this tract and the Crith Gabhlach, already 
alluded to, it may be inferred that the present treatise is the 
more ancient of the two, and represents an older condition 
of Irish society. A considerable portion of it, so much as 
deals with ollamhs and poets, is purely fantastic, full of the 
false discussions and quibbling classification so much in 
vogue with Brehon lawyers, and valueless except as a 
monument of misspent time and ingenuity ; another portion, 
so much as deals with the clerics, although most valuable 
from an historical point of view, cannot be considered as a 
practical statement of existing law, but rather as a covert 

* " Celtic Scotland," vol. 2, chap. vi. and ix. 


attempt to introduce legal innovations in favour of the 
Church ; the residue, which treats of the classes of the tribe, 
is most valuable in every respect, although in dealing with 
it, and discussing the principle of the scheme upon which the 
ranks of the tribe are classified, it cannot be forgotten that 
it was written by the author of, or at least has been com- 
bined into one production with, the two latter divisions of 
the work. 


The last tract contained in the present has no heading or 
title in the original ; it has been named, for the purpose of 
reference, as a treatise on " Succession," inasmuch as that is 
the subject which the author proposed to discuss. This 
work is of the fragmentary character, being nothing more 
than a collection of unconnected extracts or references, 
thrown together in a note-book as the materials for an 
intended work. 

To this tract there is prefixed the following extraordinary 
head-note : " By this book, if I can, in the name of God, I 
will bring the senior before the junior in every case, as these 
laws down here state. Beyond this I will make an inter- 
mixture of their law altogether."* 

The object of the work was not to state what were 
the customary law upon the subject dealt with, but to 
collect authorities in support of an argument in favour 
of succession by descent and seniority, and, it may be 
gathered, in opposition to the rules regulating it by per- 
sonal merit, property qualifications, or election. The 
author must, for the purpose of extract and reference, have 
had before him a considerable number of works, which it 
would be now difficult to ascertain or identify. As to the 
passage near the commencement of the tract, concerning the 
succession of an abbot,* it appears that the authority refer- 
red to is the concluding paragraphs of the Senchus Mor 
with the present annexed commentary.t 

Although from its form, and the obvious intention of its 

* Page 375. f Vol. 3, page 79. 


composition, this work is unsatisfactory and of no authority, 
many of the extracts contained in it are both interesting and 
important. Many of them support the doctrine that the 
grade of an individual in the tribe was originally fixed 
with reference to property, and that the loss of the qualifying 
amount of property involved a diminutio capitis; e.g., 
"Qualification is nobler than age."* 

"The senior does not go before the junior, unless he be 

' 'A king without property is no king,' i.e., as to tenants 
and kine."t 

'No unproductive person merits a share with the Feini,' 
i.e., the person who is barren, without property, without 
worthiness, does not merit a noble share of ' smacht '-fines 
or sick attendance, according to the ' Fenechus '-law."J 

' Let no wandering men pass judgment,' i.e., there shall 
' e no honor-price for the person who is wandering about 
without property.":}: 

" The inferior man with property is put into the land, or 
the chieftainship." 

Other extracts accoi-d more permanency to the status of 
a noble when once established. The " aire-forgaill " chief 
deserves a chieftainship or an abbey," even though he had 
but his arms or his raiment, he shall have the honor-price 
of a king, or of an "aire-forgaill chief"; to which statement 
the author prefixes the remark " I wonder at this," and 
possibly considered it bad law. Other extracts prove that 
among the Celts, as elsewhere, the claim to the hereditary 
transmission of property and office was gradually assuming 
legal form : 

" The son of an abbot in the present church, 
" A fact estiblished by sense, 
" The son of the husbandman in the territory, 
" The son of the king to bind the hostages." 
This is obviously a verse of some composition intended to 
favour the hereditary succession to the coarbships of the 

* Page 377. + Page 381. 

t Page 387. P gP 3S3. 


greater monasteries, and even to inferior but profitable 

" In the monastery of Lnsk, in the list of the abbots, between the years 731 
and 927, we find that the second and third abbots were brothers, and sons of the 
first abbot named in it ; that the fourth abbot and the prior were brothers ; that 
the son of the second abbot was ' econumus,' or house-steward; that the fifth 
abbot was son of the third ; that the eighth abbot was son of the sixth ; and 
that the tenth abbot and the Bishop of Duleek and Lusk were brothers, and sons 
of the eighth abbot. Again, in the monastery of Gleann Dissean, near Carlow, 
we find, between 874 and 1016, the names of eight abbots and one Aircinnech, or 
Erenagh. Of these, the second and third are brothers, and sons of the first ; the 
fourth and fifth are brothers, and sons of the third ; the sixth was foster-son to 
the second, while his son was Aircinnech, or Erenagh ; the seventh abbot was son 
of the fourth, and the eighth grandson of the second. Here the whole are direct 
descendants of the abbot who died in 874. Thus we find that the office of 
' economus,' or house-steward of Armagh, was hereditary from 779, when the 
death of Cearnach, son of Suibhne, who was bishop of Armagh, is recorded, 
when he is called economus of Armagh. He is succeeded by three sons, one 
after the other. His grandson, by the third son, is bishop and anchorite of 
Lann Leire. The son of the latter is abbot of Lann I.eire, and ' economus ' of 
Armagh, whose son again is abbot of Lann Leire. But, perhaps, the most in- 
structive example is connected with the celebrated monastery of Clonmacnois. 
Torbach, abbot or primate of Armagh in 812, was the son of one abbot of Louth, 
and the father of another abbot of the same place, and from him descended a 
family who filled many offices connected with Clonmacnois, and among them we 
find that even anchorites married, and were succeeded by sons. The family were 
called the duel Torbaeyh. Their connexion with Clonmacnois began with his 
son Aedhagan, who died on his pilgrimage at Clonmacnois in 834 ; and his son 
Eoghan, the anchorite, who died in 845. Eoghan's son, Luchairen, scribe and 
anchorite at Clonmacnois, died in 8G3 j and in 893 his son, Egertach, the Aircin- 
nech, or Erenach of Eaglais-Beg, or the little church of Clonmacnois, died. In 
947, the son of the latter, Aenagan Erenach, of the little church, and bishop and 
pure virgin that is, unmarried died; and in 953 his brother, Dunadhach, 
bishop of Clonmacnois, whose son, Duncliadh, Ferleiy/iinn, or lector of Clonmac- 
nois, and its anchorite, aftenvards head of its rule and history, died in 1005. He 
was father of Joseph, who was anmchara, soul-friend or confessor of Clonmacnois. 
Joseph's son was Conn na-mbocht, or of the poor, who appears in the " Annals of 
the Four Masters," in 1031, as " Head of the Celt De, and anchorite of Clon- 
macnois, and who invited a party of the poor of Cluain at Isael Chiaran, and 
who presented twenty cows of his own to it. And Conn ws father of Maol- 
chiarain, Coarb of Ciaran, or abbot of ClonmacnoU. It is unnecessary to follow 
this further ; but it is obvious how prevalent at this time in Ireland was the 
marriage of the clergy of all classes, and the perpetuation of their ecclesiastical 
offices in the lines of their descendants, and that it had even broken down the 
asceticism of the anchorite, and the canonical rule of the Cele De in this respect. 
In Scotland we find that the territory of the old monasteries was called Abdaine, 
or Abbacy, a word represented in Latin by Abbatia or Abthimia, and had, to a 
great extent, passed into the hands of laymen, who often retained for several 



The most important extracts here contained have refer- 
ence to the rule of three descents, before referred to, which 
determined the status of an individual with reference to 
that of his father and grandfather, viz. : 

" He is a disease of evils after three persons."* 
" He is a hill of chieftainship in the third person."* 
" For it gives a prescription of acknowledgment ; three 
heirs have succeeded one another." 

generations the name of abbot. Tbe territory termed the Abthauia of Dull, 
which was of great extent, and included th modern parishes of Dull and Fortin- 
gall, seems to have been in the hands of Crinan, the lay abbot of Dunkeld, and, 
along with the possessions of the latter abbacy, must have placed him on a par 
as to power and position with the great Mormaers of Albau." Skene : 

Scotland, Vol. II., p. 341. 

The causes and the results of the marriage of clerics in Ireland and Scotland 

is thus stated by Mr. Skene: 

" In the early Monastic Church of Ireland celibacy was enforced upon at least 
one class of the monks, for the saints of the second order refused the services of 
women, separating them from the monasteries; but still there was a succession to 
the abbacy, the tribe or family in whom it was vested providing a fit person in 
Orders to fill the office ; but wheu the stringency of the monastic rule was broken 
in upon, under the influence of the secular clergy, marriage was gradually per- 
mitted and connived at, and at length became general, the rebound toward a 
secular state being great in proportion to the enforced strictness of the previous 
system. The natural consequence was that a direct descent from the ecclesiasti- 
,.;,! penora themselves came in place of the older system of succession, and the 
Church offices became hereditary in their family. The next step in the down- 
ward process was that the Abbots and Superiors did not take Orders, and became 
virtually laymen, providing a fit person to perform the ecclesiastical functions, 
but retaining the name, and all the secular privileges and emoluments of the 
abbacy. The performance of the Church service was cither intrusted to a secular 
priest, who was called the ' sacerdos,' or sagart, or it fell to the Cele DC, when 
there was such a body connected with the monastery, or to both combined. The 
great ecclesiastical offices thus became hereditary in the persons of laymen in two 
wavs either by the usurpation of the benefice by the lay chieftains from whose 
family it had been supplied, or in the family of the abbot by whose direct descend- 
ants the office was filled. It must be borne in mind that prior to 1139, though 
celibacy was enforced upon the monks by the monastic rule, and upon the clergy 
generally as a matter of discipline, marriage, when it did take place, was not 
unlawful. It was not until the second great Council of Lateran, held in that 
year, declared all such marriages ipsa facto null and void that they became so ; 
and 'the effect of this, where the ben-tic.! had become hereditary in a particular 
family, was, instead of restoring the former clerical character of its possessor, to 
stereotype their condition of laymen, and to convert them into a purely lay 
family." "Celtic Sco/lait'1," vol. ii., P- : 

* Page 37'.'. 


" They were once noble, i.e., unless his father and grand- 
father were chiefs, though he may be of the same race ; as 
to his origin, his chieftainship is lost to him."* 

" ' In Avhich it is stated, that a chieftainship is lost,' i.e., 
during the ages of three persons."* 

" ' A plebeian chief/ i.e., one of plebeian race, whose 
father or grandfather was not a chief."* 

" Question. What is the ' ansruth '-poet ? His father 
and his grandfather were ' ansruth '-poets ; for every grade 
whatsoever, whether chief or poet, if he parts with his 
qualifications during the ages of three persons, his lot is not 
equal to those who are found in possession of their qualifi- 
cations during the ages of three persons, until they double 
their qualification or their service."t 

These extracts clearly prove the rule before referred to, 
that the possession of the necessary property, through three 
generations, was requisite to give the complete status of 
the rank to which the qualification was annexed ; and that, 
taking a negative form, the rule was applied to the case of 
those who lost the qualifying property necessary for their 
rank, and that the third in descent in such a case lost his 
status absolutely, and fell into a lower grade. 

But if a person acquired double the amount necessary to 
qualify him for a higher grade, he became a fully recognised 
member of that grade irrespective of descent. This explains 
the rule in page 317, which fixes the amount of stock re- 
quisite in the case of a " bo-aire," adjoining the rank of an 
" aire-desa," as double the qualification of the latter rank. 
The amount specified in this passage was that requisite to 
make the " bo-aire " a complete " aire-desa," and it may be 
inferred that if he acquired the amount of an " aire-desa's " 
qualification, he became an " aire-desa " sub modo. And in 
the same way if an " aire-desa " lost his qualification, the 
status of that rank was not absolutely lost until after the 
death of himself and his son, when his grandson absolutely 
passed into the lower grade. This partial acquisition of 
status in the first generation, and its completion in the third 
* Page 387. f Page 383. 


generation constantly appears in ancient laws. Thus among 
the Scandinavians there were the three gradations of the 
Frigiven man, his son, and his grandson, the Bondr.* In 
the Sachsen Spiegel, the rule is thus expressly laid down : 
" Si qui in quatuor suis generationibus, hoc est ex duobus 
avis et duobus aviis, ac patre et matre indiffamati juris 
est, ilium in jure nemo infamare potest." The same principle 
is marked in Roman law by the specific names for each step in 
the progression toward complete citizenship, viz. : Libertus, 
Libcrtinus, and Liber ; and explains the passage in the 
speech of Appius Claudius Crassus, contrasting the full 
patrician with the ordinary Quirite : " An hoc, si Claudise 
familiar non sirn nee ex patricio sanguine ortus sed unus 
Quiritium quilibet, qui modo me duobus ingenuus ortum et 
vivere in libera civitate sciam, reticere possim."t 

The first phrase quoted from this tract is remarkably 
expressive, " He is a disease of evils after three persons," 
meaning that when the father and the grandfather have 
been evil, the fulness of the sins are developed in the grand- 
son ; this is precisely the expression of Demosthenes, <>7poc 
ix rpcyocme,} and gives the full point to the line in Sophocles : 
Oapati. av f*tv yap ovo' tav rfx'rije ty<< 

To acquire the full rights of an " aire-desa," the " bo-aire " 
must have qualified himself by the possession of land held 
by his tenants, although he could acquire a qualified nobility 
founded upon the possession of cattle simply. 

"The law styles that person a plebeian chief (a flaith- 
aithech) who desires to obtain a chieftainship in right of 
any other property, except in right of (other than) tenants ; 
and by tenants is flesh meat supplied to the chief;" and 
again " that these kings are not entitled to anything in right 
of their property, i.e., their cattle."]] 

* Robertson : " Scotland under her Early Kings," Vol ii., p. 322. 
t Livy : Lib. vi., c. 40. 
J Dem. 1327. 3. 

0. T. 1062. For the references the lY.itor is indebted to Mr. Hcaru's work, 
" The Aryan Household." 
|| Page 383. 


The qualification, therefore, of the chief, as founded upon 
the possession of land, had no reference, apparently, to the 
value of the land, or what would be now called his annual 
income, but was based upon the number of tenants upon 
his land, and the amount of their food rents ; that is the 
number of his retainers made up of his tenants and the other 
followers, whom the food rents of his tenants enabled him 
to maintain. 

The right of acquiring rank in the tribe founded upon the 
acquisition of property must, of course, be understood as 
applicable only to free members of the tribe themselves ; as 
in all early communities the freedom of the tribe and the 
right to acquire or enjoy a portion of the tribe lands may 
be taken to have been practically identical. 

The several tracts contained in the present volume have 
been collected from the following sources : 


Dili cecciiscro ; or, Of taking Lawful Possession of Laud. Trans- 
lated by Dr. O'Douovan. Vol. I., pp. 91-123, of his official 
translation, and extracted by him from T.C.D., E 3, 5, and 
H3, 17. 


breach a comaithcefa airofo ; or, the Judgments of Co-tenancy. 
This tract is described by Dr. O'Douovan as " Judgments of 
Co-tenancy," and was translated by him. Vol. I., pp. 1-90, 
of his official translation, and extracted by him from Rawlinson, 
487, and T.C.D., E 3, 5, and H 3, 18. 

bech bp,echa; or, Bee Laws. Translated by Dr. O'Donovan. 
Vol. I., pp. 346-382, of his official translation, and extracted 
by him from H 2, 15, T.C.D. 

coibmuf tnf-ci ; or, Right of Water. This tract is described by 

Dr. O'Donovan as " Of Water Mills, Mill Races/' <fec., and 

was translated by him. Vol. I., pp. 383-399, of his official 

translation, and was extracted by him from H 2, 15, T.C.D. 


maigne; or, Precincts. Described by Dr. O'Donovan as "Of 
the inviolable space which surrounded every man's residence, 


according to his rank or dignity," &c., and translated by him. 
Vol. VII., pp. 2777-2786 of his official translation, and ex- 
tracted from Egerton, 88, 54, a.a. 


DO bfieiteamntif, &c. ; or, " Of the Judgment of every crime," 
&c. Translated by Mr. O'Curry. Vol. VI., pp. 902-904, 
of his official translation, and extracted from H 3, 17,T.C.D. 


t-e-o an ^eariann a ancaib ; or, "The Land is forfeited for 
crimes." This was translated by Dr. O'Donovau. Vol. V., 
pp. 2320-23G9, of his official translation, and extracted from 
Egerton, 88, 22, b.a. 


yo-ola. nfie; or, " The Divisions of Land." This was translated 
by Dr. O'Donovan. Vol. IV., pp. 1251 to 1253, of his 
official translation, and was extracted by him from H 3, 18, 


oe po-otmb cineml cuaici ; or, Of the Divisions of the Tribe of 
a territory. This was translated by Dr. O'Donovan. Vol. I., 
pp. 268 to 277, of his official translation, and extracted by 
him from H 2, 15, T.C.D. 


Cfiirh jaBlac. The Crith Gabhlach. This was translated by 
Mr. O'Curry ; his first translation appears in Vol. I., pp. 
1-76, of his official translation ; his revised translation is 
paged as pp. 2340-2400, and the text was extracted by him 
from H 3, 18, 252, T.C.D. 


The sequel to the Crith Gabhlach, described by Mr. O'Donovan 
as an unnamed tract of the different ranks of society and 
privileges translated by him. Vol. IV., pp. 1300 to 1314, 
and extracted by him from H 3, 18, T.C.D. 


An unnamed ti-act, entitled by the editors, " Succession." 
Described by Dr. O'Donovan as a Tract on the law of 
Succession, or paths of Judgment. Translated by him. Vol. 
V., pp. 2199-2220, of his official translation, and extracted by 
him from Egerton, 88. 

[ ccxxxi ] 


I. The present volume of tracts selected as illustrating the land 
laws of the early Irish, and the constitution of the Celtic family 
and tribe, p. i. Whatever abstract legal propositions the Brehons 
possessed to be found in the tracts. First inquiry, whether there 
is an authentic archaic text, p. viii. Composition of original Brelion 
text, p. x. Principle on which a translation ought to be based, 
p. xi. Method adopted by editors in dealing with the text, p. xii. 
II. ON TAKING LAWFUL POSSESSION. A consecutive treatise deal- 
ing with the symbolic ceremonial by which an action for recovery of 
land was instituted, p. xiii. ; exhibits the mode in which the judicial 
authority of the Brehon arose, and the series of legal fictions 
necessary to bring a defendant into court. The authority of the 
Brehon the same as that of the judges in other Aryan tribes. 
The Brehon system an instance of archaic survival. The Celtic 
Irish never formed town communities, p. xiv. All judicial authority 
derived from a system of voluntary submission to arbitration. 
The origin and theory of judicial authority in primitive communi- 
ties reconsidered. " Custom " denned as the acquired habits of 
any human community, p. xv. Jurisdiction of judges gradually 
established by a series of fictions. Quarrels begin to be submitted 
to arbitration of tribe, p. xvii. Method of bringing suit into court, 
p. xviii. 

The case of the Romans considered, judicial customs of the 
Quii-ites described and compared, p. xx. The Roman procedure, 
symbol its characteristic, manuum consertio. The peculiar analogy 
to the Brehon procedure for recovery of land, which is identical 
with the Roman form up to a certain point, but modified to suit 
different cases, pp. xxi-xxiii. 

The case of Ninne, the son of Matech, considered. The Brehon 
procedure for recovery of land described, p. xxiv. 

First step towards the establishment of original judicial power 
was the publication of antique formulae, p. xxviii. Inconsistency 
Ijctween the text and commentary as to the form pursued by a 


female claiuiiiut. The leatling case of the woman Ciannacht, 
Seven exceptions to the ceremonial of laying claim to land, p. xxix. 
Highly improbable that the ancient ceremonial was exclusively 
applicable to lands let on rents, p. xxxi. The procedure further 
described. The system of counter-claim, p. xxxii. Amount of 
fine paid by unsuccessful claimant. Discussion of the term 
" coibhue," and the various classes of tribe lands, p. xxxiii. Defi- 
nition of " raitoch " persons divided into three classes, p. xxxvi. 
Horses used at first exclusively in the symbolical entry, cows 
afterward substituted from necessity. Forms of procedure ended 
with reference of dispute to arbitration, p. xxxvii. Allusion 
to the mode in which a dispute is decided in an Indian village 
community. Mr. Wallace's description of a meeting of a Russian 
Mir to assess taxation, and divide village lands referred to, p. 
xxxviii. Judicial development among the Irelandic Norse. The 
procedure detailed in two trials before the Althings, related in the 
Sagu Burnt Njal, p. xxxix. The foundation of the jurisdiction, 
the position and functions of the Celtic Brehon clearly stated, p. 
xl. An attempt to express in distinct terms the substance of two 
fragments of ancient dicta, pp. xli-iii. The case of Seither illustra- 
tive of the nature and the date of the Brehou law, p. xliv. 

Passages indicative of the modern and equitable mode of view- 
ing the essence of the transfer of property, p. xlvi. Assertion of the 
doctrine of purchase for valuable consideration without notice. 
Passages laying down the ancient theory of society, p. xlvii. 
Explanation of the term " ternal covenants," p. xlviii. 

explanation of the system anywhere given in these tracts, p. xlix. 
A remarkable passage in a preceding volume reprinted, explana- 
tory of the mode in which property was divisible among the mem- 
bers of a family, pp. 1-liii. Three distinct theories published as to 
the origin and working of the Geilfine system since date of the last 
volume of Brehon Law Tracts, viz., those of Sir H. 8. Maine, Dr. 
W. K. Sullivan, Mr. J. F. M'Lennan. The views of Sir H. Maine 
stated and explained, p. liv. Dr. W. K. Sullivan's theory quoted ; 
adoption of it by Mr. W. E. Hearn. Welsh rule of inheritance 
cited, p. Iviii. Mr. M'Lennan's theory stated, pp. lix-lxiv. Im- 
portance of the tract entitled " Of the Divisions of the Tribe of a 
Territory," p. Ixvi. Deductions from the tract entitled " The 
Land is Forfeited for Crime," p. Ixix. Welsh rules of inheritance, 


pp. Ixxv-vi. Description of the "Geilfine" system, pp. Ixxx-lxxxviii. 
The rules of succession laid down in the Book of Aicill considered, 
p. Ixxxix. Conclusions arrived at, p. xciii. 


CRIMES. The tract " Of the Judgment of every Crime which any 
Criminal Commits" considered, pp. xciv-ci. The tract " The Land 
Forfeited for Crime " considered, pp. ci-ciii. 

V. THE SUCCESSION TO LAND, p. ciii. Description of the first 
land system, p. civ. The origin of succession appears to be co- 
ownership, p. cv. Illustration of the rules of succession, p. cvi. 
Distinctions between various classes of tribe lands explained, p. 
cvii. Three cases of liability and heirship stated, p. cviii. 
Liability to pay fines, and the custom of compensation explained, 
pp. cix-cx. The question of the nature of the interest taken by 
the sons in the lands of a deceased discussed, cxi-cxii. Hereditary 
succession and rules of descent, pp. cxii-cxv. Female succession, 
pp. cxvi cxvii. 

VI. JUDGMENTS OF CO-TENANCY, p. cxix. The partition of 
lands, p. cxx. Fencing, p. cxxi. Trespass by cattle and damages, 
pp. cxxiii-cxxviii. Trespass by bees, hens, clogs, p. cxxix. Man 
trespass, p. cxxx. Existence of tenants in the modern sense of 
the term, p. cxxxviii. Eules laid down on the relation of land- 
lord and tenant, pp. cxxxiii-cxxxviii. Several and individual owner- 
ship of land perfectly familiar to Irish lawyers, p. cxxxix. Value of 
this tract, p. cxl. 

VII. BEE JUDGMENTS, p. cxli. The legend relative to introduc- 
tion of bees into Ireland given, p. cxli. This tract valuable as 
illustrating modes of thought and logical abilities of Irish lawyers, 
p. cxliii. Possession of bees considered, p. cxliv. English and 
Roman law thereon, p. cxlv. The Brehon kw of bees, pp. cxlvi- 
cli. Cou,m3utary thereon, p. clii. Welsh law, p. cliii. Norman 
law, p. cliv. 

VIII. RIGHT OF WATER, p. clvi. Tracts of the right to con- 
struct watercourses and mills. Compensation, when payable, p. 
clvii. The question of ownership, p. clviii. Mr. O'Donovan's 
opinion, p. clix. Ditches divided into two classes, p. clxii. The 
reason why Brehon law is difficult and obscure, p. clxiii. Water 
mills, when first introduced into Ireland, p. clxiv. 

IX. PRECINCTS, the extent of each determined by a national con- 
vention held at SLIATH FUAIDH, p. clxv. Damages for violation, 



p. clxvi. Protection must be legal, p. clxvii. Amount of damages, 
and number of fugitives allowed, p. clxviii. Mr. Hearn's descrip- 
tion of the original position of the fugitive, p. clxix. 

X. DIVISIONS OF LANDS, the tract an attempt to fix arithmeti- 
cally the value of a cumhal of laud, p. clxx. lu ancient Ireland 
no currency or standard of value, p. clxxi. The difficulty of ex- 
pressing the value of land obvious, p. clxxii. How attempted to be 

solved, p. clxxiii 

XI. CRITH GABHLACH, the date of its composition attributed by 
Dr. Sullivan to the seventh century, p. clxxiv ; by the editors to 
the eighth century, p. clxxv. The early relations of Irish and 
Saxons discussed by Dr Sullivan, p. clxxvi. 

Change in the organization of the Irish Church, p. clxxviii. 
Opinion of Mr. O'Curry on the then condition of society, p. clxxix. 
This tract a compendium of the rights and emoluments of the 
higher classes, p. clxxx. The proper grade determined by amount 
of property, p. clxxxi. List of classes, p. clxxxii. Analysis of 
necessary qualifications and rights of several classes, pp. clxxxiii. 
Mr. Hearn upon the subject, p. clxxxrx. Extreme unreliable nature 
of classification contained in this tract shown, p. cxcv. Tabular 
analysis, p. cxlvi. Sequence of ranks shown in table, p. cxcvii. 
Scale of compensation for death given in book of Aicill, p. cxcviii. 
The Crith Gabhlach must be regarded, to a great extent, an 
imaginary work, though giving a definite picture of mode of life, 
p cxcix. Duties and rights of kings, p. cc. The week, how 
portioned, p. cciv. Full description of a king in state, p. ccv. 
Condition of Irish people at the date of this tract very unfavour- 
able, p. ccvi. 

XI. SEQUEL TO THE CRITH GABHLACH, p. ccviii Another c 
fication given, p. ccix. Definitions of classes, p. ccix., compared 
with those in the Crith Gabhlach, and closely examined, p. ccxii. 
Discussion on "dire "fine of ecclesiastics a most interesting pas- 
sage in Brehon law, p. ccxvii. Important views put forward in 
this tract as to position and duties of clerics, p. ccxxi. 

XII. SUCCESSION, p. ccxxiii. Although of a fragmentary char- 
acter this tract contains some interesting matter, p. ccxxiii. Most 
important extracts have reference to the rules of three descents, 


oi N 



A = .3.?. f-b-^'llr 

6 -. H. 3. 17, 311-327 
C - t f-WJ" 


^ocombacticcub featb faep,ceattais J moTiaij 
bp^gpcdte ; bacccnp, c^icha comer comol; aicheatn 

gaibeaf cumije ma'oon ceatlacti rneT>onac1i& m 

lacti cuimge. 

f tiocombacticcnb yeatb, .1. if coich noif tuach coibgic nafopirx a 
pefvann ci\ef in ceccugcro fo fif -DO byiicti in-o. nio-oaig niair>.c 
mb|xu5faice, .1. ip caesium ixcro an ech pyxenaigcirv-ooibf turn lie. Oac- 
caifi. cp.iclia coma comol.t. corhcairvDi .1. baca^ teif txiam tia crxico 
.1. f eichim no niT>yai5im co iiaccomaiLcetv a periann wibfium anilaiT) pti- 
K-CCicTieatti gaibeaf ctnmge .1. if mctiiu aetn, if luaicliiu gabuf necb 
rmnTOi in v ea T xanl ' D on cechcuj;aT> nieTjonacli ma on c6c cechcusaT). 
ITlauon ceallacti meT>onach .1. tiocha taif in yen. beyief cechcuga 
iy^in pe|vann t>a cec ceccuga cumiT)e in vep-U" 111 QT 1 al a cec ceccaigce ; 
acr; afiuc ciTXcnamamibiTi. TTlaftonibeif mmc, manu be, anan) T>eacma 
ijocuy i^platfom cumiTie I^UTOIU. tl i v'T^ceallacli caitiige.1. noco leif 
tti pep, bejxu^ ceccuga-o if in vetxan-o cap, clat) in vett,amT> ^oa ceccuga-o 
cumit>e m ven,aim> a\i ai in cec ceccuigci, man a cab)\a in cellac eite. 

ti fH P- .1. CIT> pp. beifieaf in ceccatitij if anitaiT) t>o be^aT) e ; abati 

reop.a T)ecniat) TJO cabat^c mian ^ei\ann ; abcro cac lae no 

K cabaiyxc ime fie \ic na cec t)cctitan:)0, no comcro af in cen ocuf 
if in lo T>C5eanac, ocuf if in to iiieTJonac; ocuf niuna|\ cfncecco 
he yiif m fie fin, if -ovl t>o anunt> co hop, in fep,ainT> ocuf no. eac 
ina lanii, ocuf fiatne latf, a fofiba na c6c -oecmaiDe; ocuf 
fio baT> coiyi -DligeD T>O a fo^ba cuici if m cec -oecmait), ocuf a 

>6'nmT)icecc na oecmai'oe me'Donci, ocuf bee TIO tall fie ta co naicci ; 
ocuf munacmceap, eann fin,if tiut'ooaniacli fie fie na tiecmaiDe 
me-oonci, ocuf fio ba coifi T)li5eT> TIO afofiba cmcci if in oecniai'D 
tneT>onai5; ocuf aba-o -DO cac Lae an. in mbnjbait) fie fie na 

1 Of taking lawful possession. The Irish for this is taken from O'D, 409. 
(H. 3, 17, col. 311.) 

J, / 

My (M. 'tf-') 


tribes quickly obtain possession of land ; F TAKING 
it is secured to thenT by the work of their PMBMI 
horses; landsjrfi^wCtaken possession of until proof fw^ju 
is givenrhe shall sooner get possession if from the 
middle entry ; it is not true possession. 

Quickly obtain, i.e. it is sooner quickly that the good men obtain actual pos- 
session of the land by bringing the" requisitssfcttaking possession into it. The work "Ir. -fr&rjtJt**, ' 
of their horses, i.e. it is through the work of their horses it is justified to them. These ^ elow 
Lands are not taken possession of, &c., i.e. equal ' cairde,' i.e. he had the 
territories before, i.e. I hold or I maintain that their land is not retained by them after 
thatmanner. He shall sooner get possession, i.e. quicker or sooner does one 
obtain possession of the land from the date of the middle possession-taking than 
from the first possession-taking. If from the middle entry, i.e. it is not to 
the man who brings the means of possession-taking into the land for its possession 
for the first time that the possession of the land belongs on account of its 
first possession-taking ; he has but an inception of right alone respecting it. If it 
is, it is well, if not, there is a stay of ten days and the possession is his then. It is 
not true possession, i.e. it is not to the man who brings the means of taking 
possession into the land and over the fence of the land for its possession that the 
possession of the land belongs on account of the first possession, unless he makes 
the second entry. 

Whatever man brings the means of taking possession it is thus lie 
shall bring it : he shall give notice for the space of thirty days upon 
the land ; he shall serve notice every day respecting it during the 
period of the first ten days, or accorditig to others, on the first and 
the last day, and on the middle day; mul, unless he has been 
responded to during that time, he is to go over to the border of the 
land, having two hones in his hand (by the bridles), and having a 
witness, at the end of the first ten days ; and law is due to him 
at the end of five days in the first ten days, and at the beginning 
of the middle ten days, and he shall remain within for a day and 
a night ; and if he is not responded to then, he is to go out durin" 
the period of the middle ten days, and law is due to Mm at the 
end of five days of the middle ten days and he shall serve notice* > Ir. 
upon the defendant during the period of the middle ten davs ? *""* Jy 

VOL. iv. 

4 *0m Ceccugcro 

OF TAKIHO T>ecmaiT)e me-oonaise ; no, comcro if in cer to ocuf if in to 
^ LAWFUL m eTjonac ocuf if m lo T>ei5eanac, ocuf muna cmceajx e, T>ul T>O 
OS9B3M10.N. na TjecmaiDi metionaiji, ocuf a nmTjcrcecc na 

1 TjecmaiTje Tjeisenaige, co cjxian in fen,aim>, ocuf ceiqxi heic leif 

focuf T>a fiaT>ne. CCbaT> -DO cac tae fie fie fla oecmai-oi 
tnei>onai5i ; no coma-o if m cec to ocuf if in lo me'oonac ocuf 
if m lo -oeiseanac; ocuf tnuna rinceafi e, if uul t>o amac, ocuf 
abaT) T)O afi mbiT)bait) cac lae amuij i\e fie na -DecniaiDi 1)615- 
anaigi ; ocuf muna wnceafo he, if T>ul T>O anunt) a fofiba na 

IC T>ecniaiT)i -oeiseanaigi, co fiutse lee in fefiamn, ocuf occ neic 
leif ocuf cjii fianne leif , ocuf a lee T>O 5fiaT>aib flaclia, ocuf 
a left T)O 5|xaT>aib feme ; ocuf muna 7>amT;un, -Dlij;eT> -DO |ie nt>ul 
ant>unn,noco nin-Dlijtec T>O sin co n amac no co finna in leif no 
nac leif ; ocuf -Dama-o cmnre leif na T>emra -DligeT) T>O fie n-oul 

,s-anT>unT>, noco nm-oliscec -DO gm co cuca abaD ace ceccugan t>o 

T^eallach cap, qica, cec^ceatlach ; at ria cecca 
aum^e; ceallach t)a DeclimaT) aan^amap,; cm T)o 
coi fleap'* cu i ni t)e. 

, 'Ceallach cayx ofica .1. cap. claT); no cajxbut 1 'cetlach ci|ie cm 
CCT>iia cecca cmnise .1. otiget) na ceccarm cuitiiT>i m 

-DOfom fiti. Teallach -oa oecTima'D cian rxamari, .1. m 
cechcuga-o bei\uf itiT) a aicTile m T>aT)echnia-D cian ixemujx .1. in oecmat> 
meTionacli ocuf m -DecmaT) Dei-oenacli. Cian fxamayiM. cian acactiap, 

a Tiemufx. CCro oo coiflea'D cini'6e, .1. if 

Tii in vep.ain-o -oofom fin. 

[Mmnemacmaeecb T)feiniblui5foruaiti a cfiich nUluT), 
'IX 409. niaixcac |, ^o f ( 151-0 cafiiic, ocuf fcoififec a neocba i nfi ba 
cemiul TDoaib fciam, na bo cumce cbora mD : co neiptfic m n ba 
u, cifi, beifoit) bu]\ neochu af m cift. CCfbefcC nm in tnaf baoi la 
llmne ; ni mo T>an T)ume cieabcorajn fcon, ap, neoch futin ; na 
bu ap, cumce co7>a an-o. 11 1 bufiUfafon fioba libfifiiani; m bicro 
enii ain,e. Mi fe'ourun, cofm nafiT>mat> leo i\iam aciji. Hi 

1 The latt ten days. The MS. here reads ' middle ' instead ' of last ; ' but the 
jeiise clearly requires 'last.' 


or, according to others, it may be on the first day, and on OF TAKIXO 
the middle day, and on the last day, and unless he is responded to, p OSSE .; SIOX . 

he is to go over to the land at the end of the middle ten days, and 

at the beginning of the last ten days, into the third of the 
land, he having with him four horses and two witnesses. He is 
to serve notice 1 during the period of the last ten days ;' or according r r . 
to others, it may be on the first day, and on the middle day, and on ^."'' ce l " J 
the last day ; and unless he is responded to, he is to go out, and he 
is to serve notice" on the defendant every day outside during the 
period of the ten last days ; and unless he is responded to, he is 
to go over at the expiration of the last ten days until he arrives 
at half (middle point of) the land, having eight horses and three 
witnesses with him, one-half of them of the chieftain rank, and the 
other half of the Feini rank : and unless law is oifered to him before 
going over, it is not unlawful for him not to come out until it is 
ascertained whether the land is or is not his ; and if it be certain 
to him that law will not be given to him before going over, it is 
not unlawful for him that he has not given notice, provided that 
he has brought the means of taking possession. o^tfLa^- trA*A. 
Entry over a \2all7 & nrst entry ; la^fhdoes not 
legalize possession ; an entry of tAvice ten days ea- yC r . 
laoxi-losg-killed ; ik-is-laaLthat- takes possession ,of 
the land for liimfrom the other party} fy ,'' 

Entryovera wall, i.e. over a fence ; or, according to others, to bring a chariot 
in au entry upon land without forewarning. Law does not legalize posses- 
sion, i.e. that is a law which does not justify possession of the land for him. 
Entry of twice ten days, &c., ie. the means of possession-taking which he 
brings into it after the two ten days. ' Cian remur,' i.e. the middle ten days and 
the last ten days. Long tilled, > Le. long it has been with him under tillage. 
Law that takes possession, i.e. that is law which takes away the possession 
of the land for him. 

Ninue, son of Matech, one of the Feini, went northwards into 
the country of the Uladh -with three horsemen to visit friends, 
and they unharnessed their horses in a land which had previously </ - 
belonged to their tribe, but it was not to demand a share therein ; 
and the person whose land it was said to them, take away your 
horses from the land. Then the two who were with Ninno 
replied : it does not make our claim greater that we have 
ahamessed-our horses here ; it is not to claim a share therein. 
This is not easy for it was your own before ; they shall not 
be left there for that reason. They did not know until then 


OF TAKING teicfer a neocha af . Cafira t>m m n ba cip. a neocha af an. eicin. 
tfcrc ianAim nnbi Concoban.TTlac Hera, ocuf ben.cfi-oe fiacb 
cedita f.op,f an a can*;uf aneocha af in cifi, ocuf cotntoj 
ni caficaf af, ocuf 750 cotnbi fetba DOib a come fin 
celtaig ] 

'Cfcaic fechc fealba la peme na jaibcep achgabail, <. 
na beip, ceachpa ina ceallach ; ic pipj injoo J-oinsaT),,* " 
^fofijch "Do boms a cobach ocuf a cealtach ; -otm cen f eilb ; 
ceall gen paichce; appopf a^nibai potilais; baipleac ^ 

boaip ; muipmif mapa ma be^'ceachpa ; upacomol cif - y " 
neimiT) ; ap T)a panT>a plach lap necuib m ceile, a clae- 
cap poll, 1 cupcap lia. 

CCcaic feclic featba .1. create fecc peivoin-o r>a naifneiT>enn 111 
penecliuf, ocuf noco t>tej;arx achgabait if in-oitle TJO byxicli in-ocib tja 
ceclicusoT). Ma beip. ceactiTia .1. noco beparv cedi|xa T>a cechcuga-o. 
1c pi p. .1- if V'T- impuitsmcep. no ineiU-sirep, iiTocib, no r>o byietch 
pa cectirugaT). T:oich -DO boing, .1. if coicli no if ttiach coibgicen- 
CC cobach .1. atligabail. CC cealtacn, .1. cecncaigce. "Dun cen f eitb, 
.1. cen pepann aici, amuil oca "Dun apailt. Ceatt gen v ic "ce .1. 
amuilacacellsaV"- ti?- Vnf mbai po^laij .1. OJinajV imtpba 
na 1iniT)ille. batfteac .1. loc baif inibi bo an, .1. boftoc.l-tuere amba- 
faisren,iar cn,e an, na toe baif itnbi gatap. Tllutpinifniapa 
.1. mif mapcanach bif ap muip, no ima mapcanach minp, anraitacalmf 
cacnais .1. otiiun ambata'6 cuicce no uarct .1. an, annfacuf a mbpife ince. 
flna beip. ceacnpa .1- noco bepap cechpa T>a ceclicugaT) cen echap,A 
Upacomol .1. m ni pop a pipaccomailcen, a cif T>O neimeD, amuil oca 
no poccromaipi .1. cip bif la nec,T>ianT>le?;iip,ciff, apvocoif- 

i Init Cathaiyh. Scattery Island in the Shannon, near Kilrush. 

* Tir-Maghain.l-nC., 846, the following note is given: Secures the rent, 
i.e. land which one possesses of which rent is due, and the cattle of the entry are 
distrained for that rent alone, i.e. the thing by which his rent is secured to the 
'Kcmidh '-person, such as Tir-Mudhain in Eile to the King of Caisel, or Kot- 
Adaraair, in Ui-Conaill-Gabhra to the Coarb of Lismor in the same way, i.e. 
According to the ancients all along everything which is found on Fiadh-Mudhain is 



that the land had been theirs before. They did not remove their OF TAKING 
horses from thence. The person whose land it was then drove 
their horses from it by force. They afterwards applied to 
Conchobhar Mac Nessa concerning it, and he awarded a fine for 
p 347 ' unlawful eispokian upon the person who drove the horses out of 
the land, and an equivalent of what was driven off it, andhe gave 
them lands in proportion to their family. 

There are seven lands with the Feini into which 
distress is not taken, into which not cattle arcbrought 

f rf-vk*' -i /i^.^^^ >^^.^ ^^^!^^\ m il, M 

for entry ; it is men that aro 


- if /rc^ocpo.f-n'n. ~~--^i~u--. ' VJtKUf* , i , 

oil and the entry are-seized upon ; a dun - 
fort without land ; a church without a green; a land 
on which there are plunderers; a deadly place of^.j***' 
murrain; an island ha the sea^o which cattle -are 
brought: land tt^icfes^cures the rent of a 'Nemidh'- 

O * 

person ; land which the chief divides after the death 
of the tenant, where a hole is made, Avhere a stone 
is put. 

There are seven lauds, i.e. there are seven lands which the Feinechus men- 
tions, and into which it is not lawful to bring distress in the shape of cattle into them, 
to take lawful possession. N'ot cattle are brought, i.e. cattle are not brought 
to take lawful possession of them (the lands). It is men, i.e. it is men that are 
suffered or required to be brought into them, or to be brought to take lawful possession 
of them. Quickly are seized upon, Le. it is quickly or soon seizure is made. 
Exaction, i.e. distress (Inuful seizure). Entry, i.e. legsd. A 'dun '-fort 
without land, i.e. without having land, such as Dun Araill. A church 
without a green, i.e, such as Cell Gabhrin. A land on which there are 
plun(lerers,i.e.ottw4wlrt4wt44hayfebeeuiUled. A deadly place, i.e. a place 
of death, where there is murrain of cows, i.e. 'bas-loc,' i.e. a place where they are 
carried off by death through cow-plague or a place of death where there is disease. 
An island in the sea, i.e. a deadly island which U s'itnah<r\n the sea, oratwhich 
the sea is destructive, such as InTs Cathaigh ,' i.e. there is fear of their being drowned 
going to it or earning from it, i.e. on account of the difficulty of bringing them thither. 
To which cattle are brought, i.e. cattle are not brought to take lawful 
possession of it without a boat. Secures the rent, i.e. the thing by which 
his rent is truly secured to a ' Nemedh '-person, such as Tir-Maghain, 2 or Rot- 
Adamairi, i.e. land which one has, of which rent is due, for the cattle brought to 

forfeited (due) to the King of Caisel the day on which he will assume the kingdom, 
because they had killed a king of Caisel. Eod-Adamair, too, there was a serpent 
there, and Mochuta expelled it thence, and the reward that used to be given to 
him for having driven it thence was everything which the Coarb of Mochuta of 
Lit-mor could find on it, the day on which he assumed the abbacy, should be his 
property, for it is forfeit. 

8 "bin 

OF TAKING ticep ceicpa in ceattaig ta cif a tiering. Mi coip, tettac cecp,a inn ap, 

L * ' aip,micm tia vtata ifa cip. dp-Da pant>a vtach .1. in np uppannup 

_ _ " in ptaich, rip T>ibaT>; no ip ppecpa T>ach5abait mbteogain, .1. connaij 

ptaic a cuic anT> .1. conu T>ariiaip in a ptaicup e > ocuf o poiiinpef in 

>-cip iiDibat) noclia negm -DO ceclicugat) T>O bp.eic inn. CC claecan, poll 

.1. ctoro .1- 1 ctiT>cen. volticompainT) in pejvaimj. 1 cuyicap. tia .1. con.- 

che.t- tap na clan>e .1. in cloc cpiche -i- bi pott ocu^ tiu ocup coipca ptaca 

ann co pepcap. a cuic ann. 

^: ; L "i ' -1 'oio mbejicayi crcligabatl if na fecc f.e^annaib feo, acac cuic 

f , feoic cm -DO cmncac cn> DO inbleojain ; no -oono, if cuic feoic 

innfin T>O inbleogain, ocuf ni fil ni TIO cmncac co ^a yapa fogatl, 

ocuf o fafbtif fogait acdic cuic feoic inn "DO cmticac. TTlafa 

inmlle i\ug DO cecctigaT) funn, if fiac cechcaigce ci^ve co cunn 

co coibne, no ciixe cen cunn cen coibne. 1n cotnlm T>O imoitib 

i j T>O be^ap, DO cechcugaD na pe^xann eile coi\ab e befiap, DO Doimb 

DO techcujaD na pefvann. 


. ftif 
'Cocotnbaig Giotnnachc ciccnbfitnge ; J *Da ai antt-fin 

ramaigar ; 'Dcxluit) ca|i peafic a cet> ceallaig ; bach po^i 
f.ine a pojicomat; imana mjium a]\ peineachaf co hochc 

2.0 La iuiT)ni5e piaTinaire ban a ceceallac, nat) fieanaT) a 
ce"0 p,Ufa. Ceachjiumat) La achajiach -ifeaT) cechca 
each banjceaLLai5- *Oo LuiT) lafium TDia ceanT)aT)ai^ 
co iTDiabLaT) aifime acap,p,ac, LofaT), cinachaii t ceajic- 
pinne ; cuaipr faigeap a comnaitirii La peaji 

w piaTinaife^ 1f lajiam achjvach. T)ian T)a 

., 'oLige'O ceachfiuimce a ceT),. TtLigeT) aiLe a metionac, cuL- 

W:J4*H V I^O" 

- " H^y.iu**; Tpuij^eaLL ah .Deigaiiach. 

., cUtvn.-da.- fa**" 

'Cocombaig ciannacnc .1. if coicli no if tuach po coibgefcap 
Ctanait, in$en Pepguf a, na pepunna po bo cian uutche cuf cpa- 

1 ' Jfcimedh 'person. C. 846, adds, " the chief retains his share there.' 


make entry shall be distrained for the rent of the ' Neimedh 'l-person. It is not OK TAKING 
right that an entry by cattle be there on account of the dignity of the chief whose ^ ^^ 

landitis. Land which the chief divides, i.e. theland which the chief distri- ^_ 

butes, a ' dibadh '-land; or it is a responding to the distress of a kinsman, i.e. the chief 
retains his share in it, i.e. he does not cede it during his reign, and when he will 
divide the ' dibadh '-land he is not obliged to briug the means of taking possession 
into it. Where a hole is made, Le. a mound, i.e. wherein a hole issunk in the 
division of theland. Where a stone is put, i.e. a pillar-stone, Le. after its being 
jawJosed, i.e. the boundary stone, i.e. there are a hole and a stone and the chief's 
standing stone there in order that his share there may be known. 

If distress be brought into either of these seven lands, there are 
five ' seds ' due either by the guilty person or the kinsman ; 
or, indeed, according to others, it is five ' seds ' by the kinsman, and 
there is nothing due by the guilty person until damage arises, and 
when damage arises, there are five ' seds ' due by the guilty pel-son. 
If it be cattle that he has brought to take possession in this instance, 
it is fine of law&l-actuaLpossessiea of land with chief and tribe, 
or of land without chief or tribe. The same number of cattle which 
is brought to take possession of the other lands is the number of 

men that shall be brought to take possession of these lands. 

^ p*32fcc4></ th*hwS' ***"** 
Ciannacht took possession 2 of a distant farm ; she 9^. r 3 ^t 

arranged two ewes there ; she msst-d over the mound- 
fence as the first entry ; she-challenged thVtebe to 
come to terms of agreement with her as to her land; 
she afterwards reinainld* according to the Feinechus, 
''^lor eight oay with women witness on the occasion 
of a the first entry, to prove that she did not sell her i r . "in. 
iirst^Hodesty. In four days after it is 
woman's entry is lawful. She 
again to the head of her land with double steek, a 
kneadinjr trough, a sieve/^mLaoaking iaipleaaest; 


in due order she claimed her right with a man witness. J 
If sfee^^aSe^affasres^pouded to, she is entitled to 
four days for her first suit, to two days for her middle, 
and for her last, to speedy judgment. 

Ciannacht took possession, i.e. it is soon or quickly Ciannacht, daughter 
of Fergus Forcraidh took possession of the lands which were lately far from her ; 

' Ciannacht took possession. The following anecdote is given in C. 846 (H. 3, 18, 
p. 385 a), and iu O'D. 740 (II. 3, 17, col. 538) ; " Ciaunachta, Le. daughter qf 


10 "Din ecctij;aT> 

OF TAKING pea; no 7>ono, comcro i Ctannocc, ingen Connta, mic Tkntij;, mic CCitetla 

LAWFUL utaim. 'Cocombais .1. TX> caom boing. Cianbriuise .1. aan mon. 
I0! *' fxo mbacan, an po5un.n,aT>, no apan. poc tiaici fvonibui cin, .1. o emb co 
bUtca. T)a 01 ant> fin p amatsap .1. ip aTntatT>T>on,oinepnnpaTnu5aT) 
j'pin noin cotvougaT) pin ocupT>icain,ijacon,ai'o inataini. "Do tuiT> can 
peafvc .1. -DO cuaiT> pi can. ctat> m pean,aint> "on cec cechcugaT). Oacb 
pon, pine .1. paigim no nTopaisitn concro an, peyiann no pine bejxup pi in 
pin. accomatpam. Iniana ian,um .1. em ana-o pi mn, pin meice pin. 
CCyi v e ' neclcna r' ' T>0 T 161 ! 1 ' n V etlecnct 'T 1 ' Coliochc ta.i. bith T>I 

10 ma ui\p,nait)i n,e n,e occ laici, ocuy ceicp,i cain,ig T>O bn-irh te a pofiba na 
ceclijiamcan mer>onci a haictma ceccecnn,amcVian. ptaTmaipe ban a 
ceceatlac .1. -oa ban vta-onaipe T>O bn,eidi -01 le a vt^ba na cechn,amtan 
ni6T>onci a haictt na cec cecn.amcan ; loj; enecn t>o ceccan,T>e -oib in pejvanti, 
.1. gabat ingen Illin-o ocupGicline mgen can.paic nibitiT). N OT> ^eanat), 

iX.i. noco fvecaic einij a cecmuintJciTve. Ceadin-tiniaT) ta achap,ach 
.1. n.o bo coin. 01/1567) T>O Tianicain 751 ip in cecnn,amaT) ta T>on cechixatu- 
cam T>eiT)enaiTi a aichlt na cechfiamcan meT>onci ; atafin,ac peccup aile 

)an,ip. 1pea-o cechca -i. ippe-c in po T>ti5eTi cac ceccaigcil bant>a. T)o 
IUIT> uiiaum .1. iap.p in aite T>ec, .1. -DO cuait) p -oofcinT) a lata, 

;roo am) a i?en.aiiTo bot>ein. Co maiablaT) atixme, .1. co ntnabUro na 
ain,me fiucupcan, te i\eime a pon,ba na cec1in,amcan menonci T)O bn,ic TJI 
te atan,|xacn peccap aite ayvip, .1. occ cain,ij. Lopat), cn,iac 1iai\, .1. 
a topac ocup a cn.iachajx, ocup m ni pon. a cen,cai5enn a pume teo .1. a tec 
pume an, copac uite. Cuai]ic paigeap a comnaitini .1. m ni fO]\ 

ifa. nniT>]poi5enn a cuma napcain.ecc ion. cae uin,T> .1. a cuiceat ocup a 
ayxbotg. La pean, votixjeatt .1. ta pen. buy inpiaT>naiye aca fovp.- 
geatt; uain, ip n.ip TIO cuaiT> menma m ugoain, conabu T>oit^iu cn.1 ban 
Via'onaipe -oagbait na aen pen, pat>naipe. 1p ian,am achyvach .1. ip, apa aittiti pin, achan,n,ach pechcup aiti ; an, ip ma7)ia vfiecai|\,cen, 

5 hi DO n,ein, T>ti5iT) comaich tp amtaiti peo n,o bo coin, a -oenam, .1. ma 
cincipm b'ep pun,n,a po cecoin,, no a\\ meaT>an, ip an, ceatn.uime a T>ti5eT) r>\ 
an, T)up, ocup ic gaip.'oi an, grtc mbaiTii cac mo^o T>O bein. paecan, 

Fergus Forcraidh and liri Anbui who was wife to Blai Briughaidh, but whom 
Conchobhar Mac Nessa bought after the death of her first husband, Fergus Forcraidh. 
The woman wished to come to her brethren to demand land of them, i.e. Conall 
Cernach and Ainrirgin . 

The daughter inquired of Sencha, son of Ailell, whether it was right for her to 
demand land. He said at first that it was not right for her to demand land ; after 
which "the blotches "i were raised on his cheek in the night. He said on the next day 
that it was right for her to demand land ; and he told her to bring man-possession- 
taking into it, so that grain-blotches were raised on his cheeks a second time. His 
mother then told him that the means of possession-taking which he should have 
decided should have been sheep, a kneading-trough, and a sieve. 

She then took two worthy female witnesses with her, namely, Gabhal, daughter 
of Midhe Minn, and Cethra, daughter of Minn, and they took Minn's chariot 

1 The blotches. These were said to appear on the face of Kings or Brehons who 
had riven false judgments. Vide Senchas Mor, vol. i., p. 25, 


or, according to others, it was Ciannaclit, the daughter of Connla, son of Tadhg, OF TAKISO 
son of Cian, son of Ailell Olum. Took possession, i.e. fairly seized on. Dis- LAWFUL 
tant farm, i.e. they had been fora long time before in the 2>oss?ssion of her l 
brethren, without good seetrrrry ; or, according to others, it was far away from her land 
- } ? * W as, i.e. from the Feini' to Uladh. Two ewes, &c., i.e. she settled or arranged 
them thus, she held two ewes yoked in her hand. She passed over the 
mound-fence, i.e. she went ever the fence of the land to take first possession of 
it. She challenged the tribe, i.e. I hold or insist that it is on the land of 
the tribe (not of strangers) she brings this true claim. She afterwards 
remained, i.e. she remains quiet after doing thus nnich. The Feinechus, i.e. 
according to the Feinechus. For eight days, i.e. she is to be a_petrtianpfor the 
space of eight days, and she is to bring four sheep with her at the end of the middle 
fourth day, after the expiration of the first four days. Women witness on the 
occasion of* the first entry, i.e. two women witnesses to be brought by Ir. In, 
her at the expiration of the middle four at the end of the first four days ; the 
land is equal to the honor-price of either of them, viz., Gabhal, daughter of Menn, 
and Eichne, the base b daughter of Menu. That she did not sell, i.e. she did b j r . 
not sell the honor of her first marriage. Infourdays after, i.e. it is right to grant Chariot. 
her the benefit of law on the fourth day of the last four after the expiration of 
the middle four; the time after that again. Is lawful, i.e. this is the 
law of every woman possession-taking. She went afterwards, i.e. after the 
twelfth day, i.e. she afterwards went to the head of her own property, to the head 
other own land. With double stock, i.e. double the stock which she had 
brought with her before the expiration of the middle four, are to be brought by her 
another time again, i.e. eight sheep. A kneading-trough, a sieve, i.e. her 
kneading-trough and her sieve, and along with them the thing by which she adjusts 
her bfc)g, i.e. her baking flag (griddle) first of all. In due order she claims 
h e r r i g h t, i.e. the thing by which she sues her security in proper order, i.e. her distaff, 
and her comb-bag. Wit haman witness, i.e. with a man who is qualified to bear 
witness, to give testimony ; for according to the intention of the author ofthit law it 
would not be more difficult to find three female witnesses than one male witness. Is 
afterwards, i.e. it is afterwards, after this, one other time; for if she be responded 
to well according to law, this is the way it should be done, i.e. if she be responded to 
at first, or in the middle, it is after four days that law should be ceded, at the first 
entry, and it is shorter every time, the more she is put to trouble', until 

with them. And she took two sheep on the first occasion, and four on the fourth 
day, and eight on the eighth day; and she went in this manner at once with two 
sheep and two female witnesses with her, and remains afterwards. She brought four 
eheep on the eighth day, and eight on the eighth day, and thus took the possession." 

1 From the Feini. She had to come a long distance from the territory of the 
Feini, in the south, to the country of Uladh in the north. 

2 Pat to troMe. The following explanation is given of this passage in 
O'D. 410: "If she is responded to at once or in the middle tei-m it is in 
four days that her right is to be ceded to her in the first entry, and it is shorter 
every term the more trouble is brought upon her, so that it is "a judgment of 
precinct" to herself, i.e. that the term of its arrival to them, Le. a pledge in the 
precinct, or five days to solicit the defendant, i.e. five others if at the middle notice 
her offer of law was responded to, or she is to remain for a time, for she is nearer to 
the actual possession each time." 

12 *0m ^eccuscro 81 fan a. 

OF TAKING conic fulfill TJI ; maijin pcroeoij icijium. "OtigeTj cecTiixuitnce .1. po 

L > 'bo coip, -oligeT) TJI a von-ba iia cechruiitnce me-oonci a haicli tia cec cech- 
"' pumice. "OligeTj mte a meT>onac .1. jvo bo coin- otiget) TJI a pojibct 

aile 7)011 cecbyiamcam oeinenai'D a aicti na cectip.arncan rtieTjotict. 
'VU'Seatl an -oeigan ocli, .1. cal aca a vuigelluili TJI i vop-tia nacecli- 
yiairnci oei'oeiici, .1. a C)\OT> uite TJO b^ieich ITITJ. 

TDafa cmnei taif na nemeafi nlijet) no, iflan T>O Tiuta anunn 
co na cfun> uile. TTlafu CUTDCI laif co TTDemcaii, \f Ian pach 
cec1icai5d uati ; cona tie fin aca, apat) ceojia n'oechmort, in inbciiD 
foif cunncubaiyic taif i nnemca no na nemca tdige-o oo, .1. rait bif 
in \\e biT> oc cumnje pechetnan in ipecc neiginac, oca cij 
m pecc cuifec ocuf nietonac. 

.1. cac uai^ if abat) ceofia nnecmaT) T>O beixaiT) na pifi, if 
abat) ceofia ceachfiaincan -DO beyxaiTi na mna, ocuf cuqxuma 
oecaib 130 be]\aiT) na p'p- ocup DO cai^aib no beixam na nina; 
ocuf in com-paT) ciajatn na fifi if m jrefiann, if in conipan pn 
cm^at) na mna. Cac uat^ if mna be]\ain m cecrugaT) 1\- abat) 
ceo]\a ceachi\amta t>o befian ap. in mbitibaiT) ann, ocuf if amlaii) 
Dobe^an .1. abat) no cabai^c noib a]i in itibinbuin caclaefie fie 

a onalceac1ii\aimce; nonono, ceana, comanif m cento, ocuf ifm to 
menonac, ocuf if an to negeanac; nut ni amac a fojvba na 
ceacjiamcan cuifige, ocuf a nmnicecc na cecrchjiaman menon- 
aije cap, feajic in fefiamn, ocuf na caqxig te ocuf ban pannaiyc 
te, ocuf bet ni ann fie ta co nainci, ocuf muna nncap, hi nut ma 

jftig ocuf bee m ann fie p.e na ceachyiamcan menonaije, ocuf 
abannocabaificcac t[a]e an, in mbmbuin p,e fie na ceach|ianican 
menonaije ; no, coman af m cen to, ocuf if in to menonac, ocuf 
if m to neiganac, ocuf nut m umac ann fin co Cfuan in feyiainn, 
ocuf ceicp,i caip.i te ocuf na ban fiannaife, ocuf bee ni annfino 

; fve ta co namci, ocuf muna namaft ntigen ni if nut ni nm cig 
ocuf bee m ann fin fie fie na ceachfiamcan neigmaige ; ocuf 
aban no cabaific cac tae ni ap, in mbinbuin fie fie na ceaeh 
fiamcan neigincain ; no, coman af m cen to ocuf if m 16 neig- 
anac nut ni amac co fiuige tec in fjepamn, ocuf hocc caifug le, 

1 For her last, to fjxedy jmlytnent. O'D. 411, adds here, "i.e. yonder (within 
Ike land) all the decision is at the expiration of the last four days, unless law has 
been ceded to her until then. Ciannachta, daughter of Conula, son of Teige, son 
of Cian, sued for seven 'Cumhals' for the reward of her hand-labour." 


r her j_iLit__c_jiflci^ finally afterwards. She is entitled to OF TAKIKO 
four days, Le. it is right to cede her law at the expiration of the middle four LAWFUL 
days after the first four. She is entitled to two for her middle, i.e. it is 
right to cede her law at the end of two days of the last four after the middle 
fonr had leen attendedlo. For her last to speedy judgment,' i.e. within 
all the judgment lies for her at the end of the last four days, i.e. she is to bring all 
her cattle into it. 

If it be certain to him" that law will not be ceded to him, it is 
guiltless in him to go over with all his cattle. If it be certain to 
him that it (law) will be ceded, it is full fine of lawful aetnnr-pos- 
session that it is to be paid by him ; whence is derived the rule of 
law, " let a notice of thrice ten days be geven, when it is doubtful 
to him whether law will be ceded to him or not ceded, " i.e. within 
the tenitory he is tarrying while he is supplicating- the defendaat 
on the last occasion, but at his own house on the first and middle 

That is, every time that the men give notice of thrice ten days 
the women give notice of thrice four days, and whatever number 
of horses the men bring it is the same number of sheep which the 
women bring ; and the extent to which the men enter into the land, 
is the same extent to which the women enter. Every time that 
it is women who bring the means of taking possession it is a notice 
of thrice four days they serve on the defendant, and it is thus they 
serve it, i.e. they serve notice on the defendant every day during 
the space of the four days ; or, indeed, according to others, it is on 
the first day, and on the middle day, and on the last day ; she is to f , -j^ 
go out at the expiration of the first four days, and in the beginning 
of the middle four days she is to go again over the mound-fence of the 
land, having two sheep with her and a female witness, and she is 
to remain" there for a day and a night, and unless she is responded i r . #e. 
to she is to go to her house, and to remain there during the space 
of the four middle days, and to serve notice every day on the 
defendant during the period of the four middle days ; or, according 
to others, it may be on the first day, and on the middle day, and 
on the last day, and she is to go out then as far as the third of 
the land, having four sheep with her and two female witnesses, 
and she is to remain there for a day and a night, and unless law 
is ceded to her she is to go to her house and remain there during 
the space of the last four days ; and she is to serve notice every 
day on the defendant during the space of the last four days ; or, 
according to otJiers, it may be on the first day and on the last day 
she is to go out as far as half the land, having eight sheep with 
To him. There is some error or defect in the context here. 

14 *Oin ^ecrujaT) -Sipana. 

LAWFUI! G ctlir CTX? t)at1 P a ' Dria1 r e ' ocu r tier DI ann pie la co naiDce. TYla 
POSSESSION. Damap,Dlij;eDDi annpeig, ipDlijet) DO Denarn Doib mun pep,ann ; 
ocuf muna Damap, DligeD DI, iplan DI gin co d, ace a cpioD uilt 
t>o bp,eic inD anunD a pop,ba na eeop,a ceachp.amca; ocupjemaD 
/ ; n xe foul anunD buD chinDce na -oemca olige* -of gin co coca 

tiliget) TIO neac,jno tiliseti ceccaigce inie, ace nul anunti T>I cona 
ocuf co n^t mufnticefi po 

O'D. 410, [CCpcco natle o ninaib cecc if cii\ i poi|\cenn na \ e laiche ; af 

a tioche famtan), ocuf ancro cecfie la ; cecc anutin, 
/ c tf aile Dec 

,, r o f, CCpat) rixeifi a iroedinitn'oe no beyxuic na ^fi itn a pef 

oul Tioib anunn 1 pofibuig na cec -Dechmanje Dap, claD m 
ocuf Da ech leif, ocuf ^aDnuifi Dia nibi lojenech in 
ocf caitiecc Da ci p,e f,e na DechrnuiDi ineDonce, ocuf Dili ann 
ijanunn ma pop,baiD co cp,ian m ipe^timn, ocuf cetdifie heicli laif, 
'-r-Z. ocuf a fgufi if m ^etxonn, octif Da piaDnuifi .1. cujxub logenech 

jach pep, Dib m pep,unn ; caiDecc DO Daci p.e |ie na DeclnnaiDe 
DeiDence, ocuf Dul anunn mu pop,baD m comae bup aillleif, ocup 
occ neicb leip, ocup epjup, piatun Dap,ab log einech each pep, 
ioDibin pep,unD; ocup biD call no co nDamcup, DligeD DO umun 

1p 1 Decbip^ m bamcellaij ocup m peap-ccllaij, .1. anup 
DecnmuiDe Dpip, anup cetp,uinie DO mnaoi, caiup pep. paDiuiipi 
DO pip, anp ban piaDnuipi DO mnaoi .1. cup m cechp^uinie 
z?Deit>enui pep^ paDnuipi inDd pem ; anup etch Dpep.uib ip caop.iD 
DO mnaoi. 1n ojxba cpaiiD no pliapca a machap, bep,ip pipi m 
ceccugaD pin, ocup m puil mac ann ; no, ip a pep,unn achnp, ocup 
penachup,, ocup m puil comop,ba pep,piDa ann.] 

beaiacaiT) -Senca cecb^echacli'bancetlacli aji pejicel- 
30 tac!i,j conTDqi pejiba pulaclica pojkxa 5fiuaiT)e 

1 ' Cruid'-land. Over the 'd' of the word 'cruid' is written the usual con- 
traction for 'no,' 'or,' and the letter 'b,' suggesting that the word might be 
'a hand or fist.' 




her and three female witnesses, and she is to remain there for a OP TAKING 


day and a night. If law be ceded to her then, they are to make p OBSKS8IO s. 

regulations according to law concerning the land ; and if law be not 

ceded to her, it is safe for her though she should not come, but she 

is to bring all her cattle over at the expiration of the thrice four days ; 

and even though it should have been certain before going over 

that law would not be ceded to her, though law had not been given 

to anyone, or law of actual-possession touching it, but she is to go 

over with her cattle and with her people at once. 

A notice of two days is to be given by women that they will 
enter* upon the land at the expiration of the six days j it is IT. 
accordingly in eight days, and a stay of four days ; they go over 
accordingly in twelve days. 

The men give notice of thrice ten days touching their lands ; at 
the expiration of the first ten days they shall go over the mound- 
fence of the land, each having two horses with him, and a wit- 
ness who has honor-price equal to the value of the land ; and he is 
to return to his house within the space of the middle ten days, 
and at the expiration thereof he is to go over as far as the third 
of the land, having four horses with him, and he unharnesses them 
in the land, and he has two witnesses ; i.e. each man of them has 
honor-price equal to the value of the land ; he is to return to his 
house and remain there during the period of the last ten days, and 
at the expiration thereof he is to go over into the land as far as he 
may think proper, having eight horses with him and three wit- 
nesses, each man of whom has honor-price equal to the value of the 
land ; and lie shall remain there until law is ceded to him con- 
cerning the land. 

The difference between a woman possession-taking and a man 
possession taking is this, that which is ten days for the man is four 
for the woman, and what is man witness to the man is woman witness 
to the woman, i.e. until the last four days in which man witness is 
requiredfor both; what is horses for men is sheep for a woman. Into 
the 'cruid'-land 1 or 'sliasta'-land of her mother she brings this pos- 
session-taking, and there is no son ; or according to others, it is into 
the land of a father or a grandfather, and there is no male heir. 

fr &Kj. /U<nf*?jKt^n**^i ' >.t<^iflti ^J j 

Sencha adjudged in his first decision woman pos- 
session-taking as man possession-taking, so that there 
were blotches rcnooa on his cheek after having 
passed biased judgments. 


POSSESSION, banceattach, conroaji peajiba 
iafi r-ip,bfieachaib. 

; ip conmi'Oi'&afi l 
po)i a 

I. ttMaahf fwWc 


v<- &tw/l*/ C /?V^ 

j Senca .1. no bneithnaigufcanSencaafa cec bnetthemntif 
in cechtugaTj batroa ainuil in cechcugaT) veni>a. Conroan v e n oa .1. co 
no itnputlnsicen na bolsa pon a gn,uaiT>ib ian mb^veich na claenbtxet .1. 
ian. claen b|xechib. 

bp.1^1. yio icuycafx b]\is ingen cSencha pn T>O yxein, 

1|>i conmiT)i*arx .i.tfi 

<. bonna. ComT>afi peayxba .1. cotx culoig^ecan, .1. co)\ loig^eca-n, arm 
nabol5apop.a 5fxuait>ib tap. mb|xich na pjvbtxec; ocup ipa^'pn gabaiii co 
TI.O neicn -ouine aep. T>O neoch, no pogail aile Tiip o fui gena nac coibTieUich 
DO rnolat) conTiigaiTi iari fin, no o gebup tman vogail fin, coma inan-o T>O 
ocuf TJO neich boDein. palgufDe .1. 

: .1. if 1 bfiech fiucufcaix Seanca in ceccugfaT)] bairoa ariiuil in 
ceccug[aT)] f.efx-Da, ocuf f,o efigefcafv bolga f o|i a 5i\uaiT)ib ; ocuf 
fto icufcafv fifiinne bfiige efec. Ocuf ifi bfieach fiuc, a reacli- 
cu5[cro] f.em ^0110 tnnaib. CCcuf if af pn if folluf CID f.ojal no 
fuaibjxecro Tioine "DO 7>enaTn, o buf cafia no coibDeileac "oo no 
>. gebcro tumpe, conaT) inann no ocuf no gaban btiTiem iinpe. 


InloLait) feichnDap, featba cechcaif a cont) a cenal. 


bia o beraib moja na poiTDaiT) fiaice. -Saefica la pne a 
po|\comol, po bich baJncroba caipc. 

ni c*?^/"^ 

.1. no eiltgefcuix.i. |io ineillpfcari Sicin, ingen mmT),ocuf 
ingen canpaic TTlinT) na verxanna no ceccaigficap. coT>naij a 

1 Himself. In O'D., 413, the reading run? somewhat differently, as follows: 

" So that the blotches disappeared from his cheeks after the passing of the true 
judgment by her, and from this is derived the aistom ; that if a man should pass a 
false sentence, whenever a friend or a relative of his should pass the true judgment 
after it, it is the same to him as if he himself had passed it, and it frees him 
from the fines uf false judgment after it, i.e. as he is bound to pay fines for him to 
another creditor, so is he to have the benefit of the judgment delivered in this case. 
' Stither. For 'Seichidar' of O'D. 12C3, O'D. 413, reads 'Seithir' and C 
848, 'Sithir.' 


. ,'vn^^y </>^,,, r ^ s*mrrT 

a: r^... Jl /~6*m f^**w<^ ^.^t 'Jf MvttSuj 'ift, 4*tuu*4*, ^> P*t txvw 3>J- *r /J/M^-te 


Brigh in her truth by4wjt-taie-jtt<%Hieftts cured F TAKIX 
him ; it is she that established the woman possession- POLIOS. 
taking, so that the blotches on his cheeks were 
concealed after the true judgments were passed. 

Sencha adjudged, i.e. Sencha adjudged in his first judgment that the female 
ss.on-taking should be the same as the male possession-taking. So that 
there were blotches, i.e., so that the blotches were raised on his cheeks after 
baring passed the biased judgment, i.e. after partial judgments. 

P.righ cured, i.e. Brigh, daughter of Sencha, cured him according to the truth 
true judgment. Is it she that established, i.e. it is she that con- 
rted the female possession-taking. So that the blotches, i.e. that they 
sunk down, i.e. that the swelling of the blotches disappeared after the passing of the &tveM*0 Of fa ' ) 

e judgment ; and hence is derived the rule, that though a person may compose a 
atire, or do other injury to another, if any relative of his should compose a eulogium 
after that, the Utter will nullify the satire; or if he should make good the injury 
that is the same as if he had done so himself. 1 Concealed, i.e. hidden. 

That is, the judgment which Sencha passed was that the female 
possession-taking should be like the male possession-taking, and 
blotches did rise on his cheeks ; and the truth of Brigh cured him. 
And the judgment she passed was that the women should have 
a possession-taking of their own. And from this it is evident 
that whatever damage a person attempts to do, if a friend or a 
relative should undo it, it is the same as if he himself should 
repair it. 

c -xu - - , , i* * 

beither- claimed the lands which the chiefs of her 
tribe^raxl taken possession of^She was a woman of 
two races, who was entitled to the land, and she 
sought that it should not be after the custom of 
slaves, or dispossessed persons. She was freed by 
her tribe from obligation, because female 

Claimed,!.,,. ., he rlu,ll,, lg ,, ( l,i. ( ..Sithir,3, laughter of Memi and Gabhair the 
base daughter of Menn, claimed the lands which the chiefs of her tribe had taken chariot 

Sithir.-In C. 84, and in O'D. 413, the following note is given ... 
Sithir claimed the lands, i.e. the daughter of Fergus, son of Ledi, who was /I 

LohUB, son ,,f Madaeh, one of the Feird, and she had a son by him * Ir. HVtt. 
Nia MacAnluain. Sithir claimed a possession from her brothers, i.e. from~Aili!d 
Lethdherg and from Aengus Aigle, i.e. the face of that Ailell was half red, and 
it was in Aigle Aengus was fostered, i.c. Meitheas in the territory of Uladh." 

18 , *0ni CecrusaT) Sipana. 

tv*^ 1 

OK TAKING cen eoi I. "Cecil caif .1. n,o coiixixtijip^an,, no fiola cofxca mT>. Oach be 
^.AWFLT. -oe^abail .i.feicnmi no in-opu^m contra ben p.o cin-oiip;an, o TMbsablaib, 

POHBMMK. ^ ^ g a ^a,^ ^uttcaib ocuf a mcrc1iai, -DO velnib "Cenirvach. Oaviach- 
cuig cn,ice .1. ba n,eiT>iriech ip tx m cn.ic fto can,up;an,, no -p. *"* 
rcafxcanach te, .1. |vob inT>tii5Ci vP- '" C 1 cl1 T 10 catvufcotv. Wi bia 
o befcnb moga .1. noco bicro vo bapf gnae no mbim) oc puba octif oc 
fuiba "oa. cint> uile, .1. ni biacpa 0151 pine na nee icifi, ace a T)ucp.acc 
buT>em, .t. ni bmcpa pu ocup call i cmn cin,e .1. m bia cif na consbail 
Vuii\yxa, na biachat) afoeti cuaici na -Duna, ace cm-ocaichen, f aech. tl a 
(fiVoiToai-o n-aice .1- noco ponnabta a^ 110 hi v- '" T^ oc catl a ^^ cen 
Viiba ocf cen n,uba. Saen,ca la v"i e .1-'Dcen, a pn- accomol a 
Ven-anT) na fme amlai-o pn. Po^'ch banrcoba caif 1C .1. von Vach 
i|- aT>ba T>arx coip. aipc in ve)U(in-o hi m\i \:\\\, mi a cabaiyvc uile -01 co 
puba ocuy co ^xubct, no 1111 let T>I cen fuba ocuf cen n-uba; no von vach 
i^ a-oba T>an, coin, aip?c m venainti uaichi ian,]p na n,e, .1. y.o but cjvebuijxi 

*Ooijin ajxjiqpeireap, bepu cellaij. 1 ceofia -oeachma- 
-oaib -olige-o, ma-o pftip'saip comaiiipe^ ; o ca cumal co 
qncha-o, at naen bep cna cellaig CIT -oiabalpo-o 

-u t)a each a Imm teach aep, fealba, piaT)naife m- 

T>p,ic, poijicif T)li5eT> ; cuice -DO -01156-0, -omna-o be peine- 
achap TTluna be pemeachaf, cellaif lajirui'Diii imiT) 
fiaTn-DUTi oechmaiT>,ceic1iTii heich ailiur .f^l^ 11 !" 1 fa 6 ! 1 - 
fealba -oeige pe]i pm-oan lac; ^an-oca copnailir ; 
ir cp.eire -oo -olige-o -oia^jioTL be peitiechap. tnuna'be 
P einecu r' cettaip iqirui-oiu a iroisejxnT) -oecmaT), ochc 
neich ailear mi qietb cofiunia,qiei5e \:e\\ pa-oan lac -oo 
5jiaT>aib peine. Hannca copmailuif. 'CuU. puijeall 
tia-oaib, -oiana-O^be pemeachap . nitina'abe pemeachap 

i Shall not /<?. The MS. here has only 'biary' which Dr. O'Doiinvan 
U-iifjthRncd out into biucpa; 'p' with the same mark of contraction -elsewhere 
is lengthened out into 'v^-' 

At the border of the land For ' leach den, psalba,' of the text, the frag- 
ments of this tract found in O'U. 414, 744; and in C. 850, have "let "pmv- 
relbtt, i.e. an half free possession." The different MSS. vary as usual in the 
spelling of the words. 

' ' -'" 


possession of. Taken possession of, i.e., erected boundaries, or they placed OF TAKIXO 
-stones there. She was a woman of two races, i.e., I hold or insist that L '"VKI-I. 

s descended from two races, her father being of the Ulta, and her mother of PossESSIOX - 

J Feini of Teamhair. Entitled to the land, i.e., she was directly entitled to 

e land which she loved, or which was dear to her, i.e., she was entitled justly 

the land which she loved. That it should not be after the custom o"f 

lay es, i.e., that she should not, according to the pleasant or delightful knowledge 

be bound to perform the services of attack and defence for the entire of it i e. sh ' 

shall not feed ' the head of the tribe or any other , S o,,, but according to her own 

ish, i. & , she shall not feed here aad there for the sake of the territory i e there 

shall be neither rent nor keeping upon her, nor refection for the guests of the'terri 

tory nor of the 'Dun '-fort, but every impost is removed from her. Or dis- 

possessed persons, ie., she was not removed from it upon the road without 

recemng the one-half thereof without MyMigtltoperform the services of attack 

id defence She was freed by her tribe, ie., she was freed from the true 

obhgatumof the lands of the tribe in that manner. Because female posses- 

n reverts, ie, because it i. a property of which the land i. to be restored in 

truth for gwing it all to her with the obligate of performny Me sen-ices of 

i tack and defence, or of giving the half of it without performing the services of 

tttack and defence; or because it is a property of which the land is to revert from 

ler after the term, i.e., there was security for restoring it. 


Doighin, dost thou kugw the customs of an entry* 
In thrice ten dayslaw is due, if thou consult wisdom 

f ^^^^4 a te^S ne 'cumhal' to thirty; 
s one 6ustom of entry, though the length of the 
' Foirge '-measure should be doubled. 

^ ^ horses i^l^aUh^er^^f^h^^ wt 

' pfee witness-lie demands that his legal right a be 

ceded to him, if there be 'Feinechus.' If there be 
not ' Feinechus/ he returns until the middle of the 
ten days, when he should bring four horses which are 
unharnessed in the free land in the presence of two Hr. H 
male witnesses. There is a similar division ; In three *"' 
days afterwards his right law is to be ceded to him 
if there be 'Feinechus.' If there be not 'Feinechus/ 
he returns after this at the end often days with eight 
horses which he is obliged to have to relieve the 
house, with three man-witnesses of the ' Feini 'grade. 
There is a similar division. If there be ' Feinechus,' 
speedy judgment is passed in his favour. If there 

VOL. iv. ., 

. A, 

Hd. kr**, ^Ttvfc- Mw i- M* /^HW ju-frrt, h H^H^^j, (J ; f^r^ ttnfr**** 1 l 

-nmt, i/Ure l\ m, u^n, . ', ^ MX /*w< w. ^^t^^/M. jvd^r***- -ft*** 

20 t)in Ceccu^at) 

co peif, cona'ooj, co 

cein co naicfieib, co cojiuime ceachj\a, ache ai> ctunT) 
ceccofiaig, no imcelgaT) mb^oja nqcb ir nemeat>. 1p 
ar m ceallacti fo T)o bongafi cac fealb la 

j- C|iui rifie T)O cellach, maenan mam moaijceaji i 
r ecaib ^ -OQ^fUfvcafi, rnaT> la buap, buijxe, cumal ape 
flamT)cefi. TTlunab po feilb cechca ap, gen ctmT) gen 
coibne, -Dilfi buaip. bet\aiiv 

"Doigm ayx a v e 'f eayi-i-amaci aifiNin i\e"0o)5en,copei^6)\fiuno co 
fioib acuc bapif gnae no aibiiro iti ceccmgci T>O Tveifi in venochai'p, .1. Nin 
oo fiaiT) ann fo p^i "Doigm .1.^1 macprxgaicnUUcaib. 1 ceop,a oeach- 
, .1. if na coon,a T)echmaiT) aca -DligeT) m ceccaigte, no ay a 
na ceon,o nT)ec1imaiT> T)le5aitv ne a ci\ot> uile T>O bpeic in-o. Til CCD 
5 a T' ' rllclT) ' c( coimp.)|_a vi^q5 al f vein, no -oia nimcomain,ccen, 
,r|ve gaetaib, 1^ amlaiT> feo -DO -oena. Oca cumal .1. o ca aipieif nam 
uon an, cumaite co i\uici in y e TU lI1T1 if v lu cp.icac cumal, ocup cin-ocec 
an, eictntirecli pn, .1. ci"D cin, cumuile cip tin, cn,icaic cuinal, i^peT) oen 
be|x;na ann f o v"it oo cettacli. CCT> naenbefcna .1. if inann T>on,ein, 
bayiya gnae no aibin-o oliseT) a ceccaigct. Cfo tnabol V OT> VQ'T^S 6 ' 
! cm Diabla'D vT 1 -5 e V- fut ^ e f at1t1 ' 

"Oa each a laim .1. -oa ecli i taim coma tefe eochain, in 
ocup noco yaen, T>oib a fco\i annyroi, ocuy beic cuic peoic T>ia -pcujxca^ yo 
cecoin.imin cin,e .1. lech yuin,nayealba, no i]pin petn[feilb]lechpjiix,im 
comailc a veoin, nama, lanpoen, imui\n,o in fealb T>O melajv pen. ocup 
S'an.bun.; lec)paon,imu)xn,o in cpealb nacomelafx ace pen, no ajvbun, nama. 
leach aen, .i.icii\ a clat> ocuf aai\. piaTinaif e int>fuc i.paT>naife 
niTijvaic aca pfiechmn cona Tjliscech T>O CUUITI iy>in veayiatiT). Cuice "DO 
), T)ianaT) be pemeachap -t. niaTiia ixoib n,ian. " 

1 Food. ' cein ' may also mean fire.' 

* Doighin. A somewhat different commentary is given in O'D., 413, as follows: 
"Doidhin, said Nin to her son, to Doiclhin, that thou maytst know the good or 
pleasant knowledge of the possession-taking; or Doidhin was the name of the 
Brehon. She was a female ' Coarb ;' and she obtains all her land with obligation 
to perform services of attack and defence for a time, and the half of it without 
obligation to perform service of attack and service of defence." "CCfia 
means either, " dost thou know," or " that thou mayst know." 

)w ^ 



be not ' Feinechus,' lawful possession is gwen ; its F 
price is to be offered with sheds, cows, food, 1 habi- POBMBMO 
tation, with attendance of cattle, except in the case of 
the laud of Conn Cetcorach, or of land devoted to the 
support of a mansion which is a 'Nemeadh '-person's. 
It is by means of a this kind of entry every land is * ir. Out 
seized on by the Feini. 

In an entry on land which has fences, it is not 
equally the property increases in ' seds ' ; it is decided 
if it be with kine he takes the possession, it is a ' cum- 
hal ' that is mentioned. Unless it be in a lawful 
possession in a land without a chief, without a tribe, 
the cows which are brought are forfeited. 

Doighin 2 dost thou know, i.e. her son ; said Nin to Doighin, that thou 
mayest know, or that thou mayest have pleasant or delightful knowledge of lawful 
possession-taking according to the Feinechus ; i.e., Nin said this to Doighin, i.e., to a 
son of a wise man of the ' Ulta'. I n t h r i c e t e n d a y s, i.e., in three times ten days 
the legal right of possession is to lie conceded, or it is after the three ten days it is 
required of him to bring all his cattle there. If thou consult wisdom, i.e., if 
tliou consult thy own wisdom, or if thou confer with wise men, it is thus thou 
wilt do. From land of one 'cumhal,' i.e., as I am treating of land from 
the land of the value of one 'cumhal' to the land which is worth thirty ' cumhals, 
and this is a cote of " certainty for uncertainty," i.e., whether it is a land of the 
value of one 'cumhal,' or a land of tits value o/ thirty ' cumhals,' it is one custom 
that is for the entry. It is one custom, i.e. the law of the possession is the same 
according to the pleasant or delightful knowledge. Though the length of the 
'foirge'-measure should be doubled, i.e., though the doubling of the 
'foirge'-measure should tuke place throughout, it is so it will be. 

Two horses in hand, i.e., he is to have two horses, held by the bridlei, in 
his hand until he reaches the border of the land, and it is not free for them to 
unharness them there, and if they be unharnessed at once in the/land there will be 
a fine of five ' seds,' i.e., half the freedom of the land, or it is the old land half free, 
for eating its grass alone, but fully free is the land of which the grass and the corn 
are eaten ; but the land is half free of which the grass or corn alone is eaten 
J5 order, i.e., between the mound and the tillage. Worthy witness, i.e , pure 
witness to see that he entered lawfully into the land. That his legal right 
lie ceded to him, if there be Feinechus, i.e., if the usage of the law 

In C. 849, the reading is as follows : " Dodin, dost thou know the customs of a 
making entry on kindt Nine said these words to his son. A wise man of the 
Ultunians said so to his son, i.e., Dodin, to teach wisdom unto him ; so that he said, 
Dodin, said he, dost thou know the customs of the making entry on land with the 
Feini? What law does he mention here? Answer, the law of cattle possession, , 
Query, what is the right form of this law, $c. ?" 

TXu-ft, j*, wv/A. uao ; if V 4& inHv bwrfurvrf caS+b <v UMHAt y ** 4ff*ljn- t* 

r t-t 'tnu, tmrni^i^f t*, 

22 *0iti 

Off TAKiNochatp no naniEain no, n,o bo coin, nli;;en no pon,ba cuicct non nccmanj 

meT>onaiT) a naiehli na cec nechmam. TDuna be peineactiaf .1. 

SSESSIOJ.-. niatlc( i^j, yua^ nlij;in in penechatp no namcam no. TJellaif 

ian.ptiiniii, .i. c call aca lep nine mn,p anicroa fin a men^J fiomn in 

jna necman, .1. a pon,ba na necmaim menonci ocup i nwnacacc na 
necmaim nemenche. Cetchn.1 hetch .1. ceienn,i eicn atn,ileni;;up no 
nligup no bfxicli leipmn i na necmaini menonci, .1. ipaen, noib 
a peon, ipin pen,ann annpne, ocup noco ^aen, yiomamT). "Oeig'e 
Via^an .1. ueroi T>pen,aib ipn pa-onaipe no bn.eich leac .1. 

i.Hannca copniattip .1. uia^anncaip. copnailup napyxinni accu, no in 
Vin.mT)i acu co copmait. "Cn.eipe'oo'Dlise'o ma non be peinechap 
i. mama noib|naia ot/igi'D tn penecaiyoo namcain naic, n,obu coin.nlige'D 
not vop,bac|ieip t>on necmainneTOenais, a Tiaiclili nanecmaini me-oonci, 
uc ]pup)\a-i- amaitaca ixomaint), ocu^ ceic a nain,trii apain, muna can.can, 

ffo\\ puiU*T> pi\i ^ gun,t]b necman. ,., . >. 

CCpcro Tiaite o riinaoi, ocuf cef Uf if ni\ a foificetro na haoile, 
octif ancrt \ e ta iaiafiiiT)iti, ocuf cecc if rifi 1 foificenn na fe la. 
1f a hocc fariitaiT) ocf anat) ceicfii la, cecc anuni) layifuroiu if 
atle t>ec famlait) tiona. 

10 'Cetlfttf ian, fumtu, .1. rcdt aca anbut CIITDIUTI na cjxi 
n-Decman. CC nnige an-o T>ecmaT), 1. 1 pon-ba na necmaim neimnct. 

M&ninf limn** 1 -) Oclic neich aitefff, .i.occneich if e ni aiinLlm^ef no T>li5efoobn,eich 

l/eir co cyieib no iivo in ^T^HinT) na coin,icm. 'Cixeige fefi pianan, .1. 
cn,einiT>Fen,aibipn pannaipenobfitc'h ctrin. Lac no gn,anaib peine, 

jf-i-t-ecnonagiaanaibuilen non,ein,in penechaif. Rannca cofmaitiuy 
.1. tic pupn.a. tut vuigeall, .1. mania n,oib p,ian, nligen in venechaip 
no namcam nine call, oca ptngeall mil naic i pof-ba na necmami 
nemenci. Tllunan be peineach ay, .1. c pipn-a- 'Cecra cuinme, 
i. ceccaigcen, cuinim in ven,amn naic lo^bic aca v'tvoechf am co nligcec 

.,, t\.if m |ie pn. Co peif, .1. co lai;;i notb ann, .1. co mbiun coclon. 
Conanoj, .1. mtelppp-en. Co cein, .1. a nain,biacnan na y^pTveini pn. 
Co naicp,eib, .1. co'cfieib anaic no cigib no nenam noib. Co co^xuinie 
.i.cecnfianobv>.eiclacinnnocoin,ic'hin. CCchc cin. cmnn ceccoi\aig 
.i.ipececaixuccn,iannibaaneif.e, -Mti ven,ann aifiaixlaepecuyinaconnaig 

3 S a cec cuixu ceillpne .1. cip, mban coiccmn, uaip. noco neicen apan ceon.a 
nnecman imepein,na cechcugan no bfieicinncn ace ajioinn pocecotn,, no 
comain,mm no mnci ; ace m pefiann no, an, 6m no an, pochn,aic, 
ipinnben,ain.m ceccugan. Mo imcelgan mbn,osa, .i.nuncen feilbno 
cell cen paicci oc na bt byiug ma mmcelsun, .1. in pefiann ac na bi paicct 

koTie bfxeic cechyia inn na ceccugan, arhuil aca "Dun CC|iaill, uaijx if name 

i Two male witnesses. In O'D. 414, the following is added : " The honor price 
of each of whom is equal to the value of the land." 

8 Three. ' 'Cfieine ' is an underlined gloss apparently by the same hand as that 
which wrote ' neme ' orer the line. 

3 Twelve days. This paragraph is found in the lower margin of col. 2, page 7, 
of the MS. E. 3, 5, in the hand of one Donnchadh, dated at TTloin na caon., 1542. 

The land of Conn Cet-Corach. In C. 851, this is explained " Tin, n.'5, the land of 
a king." In O'D. 415, it is called the ' dibadh'-land of the ' daer-stock tenant,' and it 
is there added, " the force of ' ace ' ' except ' here is, it is not cattle that are brought 


of the Feinechus be granted to him, the bencft o/Iaw should be given to him at the end OF TAKIXG 

of five days of the middle ten after the first ten. If there be not Feinechus, LAWFUL 

&c., i.e., if the usage of the Feinechus law has not been ceded to him. He returns 

after that, i.e., within thy welfare lies after that point of time, fi nin Mm ill* i"imt of ir, //^ J^fl-ll/U, et t . 

the two tens, i.e., from the end of the middle ten and the beginning of the last ten days. 

Four horses, i.e., he is bound or obliged by law to bring four horses with him 

into it, at the end of the middle ten days, i.e., it is free for them to unharness them 

in the land in this case, and it is not free in the former instance.* Two male Mr. Before 

witnesses, 1 i.e., to bring with thee two men to bear testimony, i.e., three.* "* 

There \a a similar division, i.e. they divide what seems like the truth, or 

they have the truth to all appearance. b In three days to be conceded h Ir- Simi- 

to him, if the Feinechus be submitted to, i.e., if the custom of the <"v > 

law of the Feinechus be ceded to by thee, it is right to give him the b'-ntjlt of the 

law at the end of three days of the last ten, after the middle ten, ut supra, i.e., as it 

is before, and the notice goes into the reckoning, unless it is given as an addition 

mentioned in the notice to it that it is ten days. 

A notice of two days is given by a woman, and she comes into the 
land at the end of the two days, and thei-e is a stay of six days after 
this, so that she enters upon the land at the expiration of the six 
days. It is thus eight days and a stay of four days, she goes over 
after this, it is thus twelve days. 3 

He ret urns after this, i.e., within the territory thy welfare lies aonnornijig the 
full determination of the three ten clays. At the end of ten, i.e., at the expiration 
of the last ten days. Eight horses he is obliged to have, i.e., eight horses 
is what he is bound or obliged by law to bring with him to the house or end of the 
land to regain it. Three men witnesses, i.e., three men as testimony to be 
brought thither. With thee of the Feini grade, i.e., with thee, of the grades 
which are according to the Fcnnechus. There is a similar division, i.e., 
ut supra. S p e e d y j u d g m e n t, i.e., if the custom of the law of the Feinechus be ceded 
to thee, within the territory, every decision lies for thee at the end of the last ten days. 
If there be not Feinechus, i.e., ut supra. Lawful possession, i.e., 
the possession of the land becomes legal for thee when thou hast been legally 
viewing it during that time. With sheds, i.e., for their lying there, i.e., that 
they may sleep. With cows, i.e., the cattle. With food, i.e., the feeding 
of that cattle. With habitation, i.e., to erect a habitation of houses/for them ^ 
in which they may remain. With attendance, i.e., to bring cattle witntheeinto 
itfor relief. Except the land of Conn Cetcorach,'i.e., hewas thefirstthat 
obtained the third of the ' dibadh '-land in Eirin, i.e., the land on which the sensible 
adults sent their first obligations of tenancy, i.e., a common 'dihadh'-laml, for a notice 
of three ten days is not necessary concerning it, or to bring requisites for taking 
-ion into it, but it is to be divided at once, or equal stock is to be brought into it; 
but as to the land which is lent or let for rent, it is into it the requisites for taking 
possession are brought Support of a mansion, Le., a 'dun '-fort without 
land, or a church without a green, which has no mansion to support it, i.e., the 
land which has no green into which cattle might be brought to take possession of it, 

here to take possession of it, but persons, i.e., a ' dun '-fort without land, or a church 
without a green." 'Conn Cet-Corach,' appears to mean, "Conn of the first con- 
tract," i.e., who put the first contract, or engagement (' cor') upon the tenant. 

hi- -fvrM, nfo> VA JA -ffaft, -n* -fo- 


24 *0m Cedc-uscro Stance. 

i^wrmf betxa ' x t>a ceccu 5T>r iTie - Noch if 11 em erco. .1. no in venann "fa 

POSSESSION. Prwcomaitcen, ctf t>o neimet), amuit aca "C\\i TThigain no Hoc COomaifn. 

1 f af 111 ce attach f o, .1. if af in ceceii^a-D facoibgicefv each vermin 

i mbefian. cechn.a T>a ceccugat) -DO fiein, in penecaif. 

f Cfxui etfie, .1. eettach if in cij\ mi aeaic cjvui. Inaenan main i. 

ni hinant) mogaiguf matne -DO neoch cettach 1 cifi co cn.uibjocuf 1 cin, cen 

cn.u .1. noco noen manT> tim TJO beip. mouga-o mamec an, p|lVn petxainn mi 

ic fee p,if im ceccti^aD m pefiamt) co cfiuib ime aici ocuf cen cjiuib nv.c, 

ace if mo oo be]\aiii co cjxuib ime nici ; no noco naenan inant) tim -DO bein 

otnougoni afi in vep. ben,uf cechcuja-o T>O bixeicli HIT> co c)\uib ech aici ocuf 

cen cjxuibech, ace if mo t>oben.aiix cociiuib ech aici. Ill a-o ta buafi, .1. 

maT) teif in bua|x t>o ni in 05 boip, beyvuf im eechcuguTj. Cumat a fo 

^ f tamt>ce|x, .1. aifnerocep, cumat fe mboa ceccujuTj citxe cen cunn cen 

coibni. Tllunab vo feitb, .1. jman abaiv ife-oja vejiam-o bot>em f.o 

ceccaij;efcan he, if aim aca fin. ~~^en cun-DTTrrlcen cunn coibtatuff a. 

(/9/fi0v4& ^ e " C01 ' :)tle '- 1 - cen coibmceTjaif .1. tiaem ocuf vi^en. Thtfi buai^i 

bepai p., .1. tntf 1 m buaip, bejxain, if in cechcugu-o nm'otiscec i\e caeli na 

cumaite i\omainn. 

i^\l f -1- Cutnal fe nibo fo, ocuf if cuma ara fin a reclirugti-o 

V co CUTTO co coibne, no CID a ceccuga-o cifie 5611 cunn j;en cotlmc ; 
110 DODO, if cunml fc itibo i ceccugccD ci]xe cen cunn cen coilnc, 
ocuf cumat rpi nibo ifin cechcugaT) aili. 

TTla-o caj\ Ian fine T>O na liuaiflib, ociif if ctfi gen cunn 501 
coibne, if cumal ocuf t>ilfi naqxnie. TTlaT) a]\ leic ime, if rju 

iccechtiumice cumaite ocuf qxi cerhfitntnce na baiftine. ITIaT) gem 
ime ici|\, if tec cumat ocuf tec naifimc. CCi^eam nama -DO comfo- 
5011, amuitfiOfiaiTif nun, 7)0 nalnftib, ocuf tec cumat maT) a cam. 
1Tkro cijx co cJninti co coibne, if t>itfe na hai^tne co cumat -ou]\ 
tan ime, cju ceaclif.aniice cayv tec ime octif tcac cen ime 

V ocuf if mann ara fo T)o iftib octif -DO tiaiftaib. 

TTlaT) anpf -DO naftob riji co cunn, if tec fiac UCCD, no amuit 
cifi co 

1 Which is a 'Nemheadk '-person's. The reading in C. 851, is "no cif neimit), or 
the rent of a Neimidh, i.e., land of which it is due." 

2 With fences around it. ' crvu ime,' mny mean also " a fence, u-hich i.t a paling." 

3 Of horses. The word ' ech ' was not translated by Pr. O'Donovan : it is here 
rendered "horses," its meaning in modern Irish, a meaning also found frequent!}- 
in the Brehon Laws vid. C. 1,248, 1,990; O'D. 2,085. That horses were required 
for taking possession in some cases i evident from this and several other passages 
in the present tract. 


such as Dun Araill, for it is persons that are brought to take possession of it. Which OF TAKISO 
is a 'Xem h eadh'-person's, 1 i.e., or the land by which the rent of the 'Xeimhedh'- LAWFUL 
person is truly secure.! to him, such as Tir Mughain or Rot Admairi. It is by FossF - es ' ox - 
means of this e n try, i.e.. it is by this form of taking possession every land is 
takon possession of into which cattle are brought to legalize the possession accord- 
ing to the Feinechus. 

Land which has fences, i.e., an entry on the land about which there are fences. 
It is not equally the property i n ere a ses, i.e., it is not equally pro- 
perty increases for one who has wide entry into a land with fences and into a 
land without fences, i.e., I do not deem that thing the same which brings increase 
of wealth to the owner of the land as to paying ' seds' to him for taking lawful 
possession of the land with fences around it? and a land without fences around it, but 
more is given for land with fences around it ; or, I do not deem that the same which 
brings increase to the man who brings means of taking possession into it with cattle 
of horses and without cattle of horses,' but it is more when he has cattle of horses. 
If it be with kine, i.e., if it be with cows he enters to take lawful possession. 
It is a 'cumhal' that is mentioned, i.e., a 'cumhaP worth six cows is 
mentioned as brought to take possession of a land without chief or tribe 
alliance. Unless it be in a lawful possession, i.e., if he says it is hU 
own land that he has taken possession of, it is in that case this is so. Without 
a chief, i.e., without a chief of the same tribe. Without a tribe, i.e., without 
agreement, i.e., of saints and just men. The cows which are brought are 
forfeited, i.e., the cows which are brought as unlawful means of taking posses- 
sion are forfeited, together with the ' cumhal ' aforesaid.* Ir. Bffor; 

That is, this is a ' cumhal ' of the value of six cows, and this is 
equally given as the fine for taking possession of land which has" a b Ir. H"i<A. 
chief and a tribe, or for taking possession of land which has 
not" a chief and a tribe ; or, according to others, it is a ' cumhal ' of ' Ir - Ir '' / '- 
the value of six cows for the taking possession of land which has ""'' 
not a chief and a tribe, and a ' cumhal ' worth three cows for the 
other possession -taking. 

If the have entered' 1 over a full fence, and it is a land Mr. For 
which has not a chief and a tribe, it (thefiiie~) is a ' cumhal, 1 and for- '** nobl "- 
feiture of stock. If they have entered over a half fence, it (the fine) 
is three-quarters of a ' cumhal,' and three-fourths of the stock. If 
they have entered on land which has not any fence at all, it (the 
fine') is half a ' cumhal,' and half the stock. The stock only is to be 
equally divided as we have said, by the plebeians, and half a 'cumhal' 
in the fine if it be in ' Cain '-law. If it be land that has a chief and 
a tribe, it (die penalty) is forfeiture of the stock with a ' cumhal ' 
fine, if entrance be made over a full fence, three-quarters if over a 
half fence, and one-half if there be no fence at all ; and this is the 
same with respect to plebeians and nobles. e Ir. for. 

If it be unknown to him who entered that it was not a land that had a 
chief, it is half fine that is paid by him, or, as in land that had a chief. 

26 *Om T^eccu^cro Sirana. 

)r TAKIKO ^neaile: 1Tla*eifiCocttnn co cot bne,T>iarnbeT> cp,ai, if cutnal; 

POSSESSION, niuna t>et> if tec cumal, ocuf if cotcceann tnTjfin icift ifeat ocf 
uafal. "Dm tnbefia aifiTain fop, aifimi eeacca T>O T>amaib ocuf 
eacaib ocuf buatb, if T>ilif uile co jxo log cumatle ma. mbet> qxai. 

,f TYluna bet>, if lee cutnal. TTlaT> ba betfieaf ocuf eidi 650, ociif 
if luga tiaT) log camaile, if T)ilfi na haip,me T>O qxocaifie, T)ia 
mbe-o cfiat ; tnuna beD, if lee tulfi tiaijxme ocuf cutnal a 
caii\e, TOa mbeT) cfiai. TDuna bei> cp,ai, if lee cumal. 


cen cunn cen coibtie, T)ia mbeT) c^oi, if cutnal ocuf 7)ilft 
naifane TDO uaiflib, ocuf let cutnal ocuf lee tulfi natfitne, muna 
beT) cfiat. TTlaT) DO if lib co cfioaib, if Ian r>ilfi naifvtne. TTlutia 
beT) cftai, if leteh Tiilfi naifctne. 

O'D 417. [fTltmtip po peilb rechcain. 


.1. TTlunup a ftiche a f.e|xuinT> fein eeceuf i eeceuja etfie cen 
ijrconncin coibne,ici|v cam ocuf QfVfMrtaf , .1. inunup-oofaigefelba 
ace f.o|\, etcfn. 

ceT1 cor111 cen C01 ^ ne 

.1. Tifi cen cunn comfialtifa fiif, .1. lefa, .1. fine, .1. ctn cotb- 
nefea, ace cecnutf ocuf bufiba, .1. tulfi m buaift bejxuip, ifin 
cechcugaT) ninnTiligcech fie eaob na cumaile fiomumn, CIT> iflip 
cm uaiflib, .1. if -oilef m buap, uile, .1. 111 can if cifi cm cunn 
cm coibne, if tnlfi naifinie ocuf na ep.1 feoic a naichgm in 

no T>ono, if ep.i feoic nama m can na relccefi Cfii iafi 
ntieixufcc co nac laif m cifv, ocuf if lojcaije fo ve^a. amnfin : 
jjin can imup,iao ic T>ilft naij\me ocuf na cyxi feoie, mie 
i fotiim : mat) lecb une imuftyio, if lee -oilfi naifttne i 

i -fj- there be cattle. Owing to the ambiguity of the term " cpai," or " cfvtn," 
it is vry difficalt to decide in some instances whether it should be rendered " cattle " 
or " a fence." 

s Are forfeited. After "befiujx" in the MS. the words "inecup. neclica' 1 
follow. They were not translated by Ur. O'Donovan, and their meaning is very 


A nother version If it be a land that has" a chief and a tribe, and OF TAKING 
if there are eattle, it (the fine) is a 'cumhal;' if there be not cattle, it p^^ox. 
(the fine) is a half ' cumhal,' and this is common in this case both to - 
plebeian and noble. Should he seig ill ono day upen -a lawful 
number of people, and horses, and cows, they are all forfeit as far 
as the value of a ' cumhal ' if there be' on the land. 

If there be not cattle, it (the fine) is half a 'cumhal.' If it be 
cows he brings, and he has horses, and it is less than the value 
of a ' cumhal,' the forfeiture of the stock is the leniency of the case, 
if there be cattle ; if there be not, it (the penalty) is half forfeiture 
of the stock and a ' cumhal ' in severity of law, if there be cattle. If 
there be not cattle, it (the penalty) is a half ' cumhal.' 

In the case o/land that has not b a chief and a tribe, if there be b I'- WM- 
eattle, it (the penalty) is a ' cumhal '-fine and forfeiture of stock by 
nobles, and a half 'cumhal' and forfeiture of half the stock, if there 
be not cattle. If the entry was made by plebeians with atoek, it (the 
penalty) is full forfeiture of the -stock. If there be not cattle^ it is 
forfeiture of one-half the stock. 

Unless it be into lawful land. 

That is, unless it be on the supposition of its being his own land 
he brings his requisites for taking possession of land that has not* 
a chief and a tribe, both in ' Cain '-law and in ' Urradhus '-law, i.e., 
unless he seizes land by force only. 

In the case of land that has not a chief and a tribe, 
the kine which are brought thither are forfeited. 2 

That is, land which has not a head of a tribe, i.e., jEelLwislres, i.e. , 
of the tribe, i.e., without relatives, but fierce and lawless people, i.e., 
the forfeiture of the kine which are brought to take unlawful 
possession, together with the ' cumhal ' aforesaid, whether they (the 
people) be plebeians or nobles, i.e., all the kine are forfeited, i.e., 
when it is a land without a chief without a tribe, it (the penalty) is 
forfeiture of stock and the three ' seds ' as compensation for the 
t^-iss ; or, according to others, it is three ' seds ' only when three 
days are not allowed after the proof being had that the land is not 
his (the claimant's), and the price of theft is the cause of this ; but 
when it is forfeiture of cattle and the three ' seds,' there was a 

(V /.' yO f 

perfect fence then ; if, however, there was only half fence, it (the 
penalty) is forfeiture of one-half of the stock then. 

28 *0in Ceccugcro 

^ A ^ Z^tntu'oe J\aicfci5 a qiiun fealba co T)il no "Oefiofc. 
,^ ? POSSESSION. 'ceiljea'D aji qaeire, munab Imp pobfiaiT) co cein co 
natcfteib, co piaca paicce. 1ce peicli jxtidice pifit 
; clicheaji pec, flanroce pop^u net tiuile ; 

,j-. Yiv^-17 t;tiiniTje Txaieaig .i.p.aieec1i afcnama mechaif .1. 111 

in ei -oajva ceg in fvoc ipn ^ejiann co nice a cn.ian, ocur cp,ocaii\el T>O 
1\ona'D 111^ im a lecu-D co cfiian in v e 1^ ain ' D - Co -oil .fffco T>itxiT> i/cro, 
/O ttLCJhu <!*& IWHA, -1- co Dilo-D a|>. tlo -Den,o^c .1. co T)ein.bciiTDiuT> u ai|Vi]pme ant). T/eil- 
CfJ2 10 secco an, cyieij^e .1. ceilgitip, lie a^ an, cn,eip manab tei^ boTiein in 
^ T>eispeviann pn, .1. uci\ mbn,eicnemnacc. pobfiaiT>?fr.i. b^ug putt v af 

tnon^ frvnu. o, {rf^i -Cic^ Co cein .1. co ceiniT) T>O T>enam ann fii'p m |\e ^in. Co n aitjxeib .1. 
co cfieabaib maic -DO cif^ib TIO T>enatii ann Ty m |ie fin. Co piaca 
vcncce, .1. cop na piacaib bic aici pon, a^aicce vcm, -oa nTjejxna iiToligeT) 
\s ceccaigci. 1ce ^610!! v alc h ce .1. if tac ^o na v e ' c itec uo-o ap 
a vi'cci -oa nTjeyina in-D-Dtiget) cechcaijci. Clichean. fee, .1. cteithe 
an, fee .1. loilgech. Pon,c;u na 11 uile .1. in fee if pn,co5aiT>i bif ac na 
liuilib, 111 Cfaiiiaifc. T)ij; fee if T>ico5ai-oi fomaine 
ann .1. TianxaiT) T>a fc)iepall. tacofiia'n co n-oeichbnxe .1. non 
^liaicecti .1. ta T>eicbin,uf aici -oa cofnarii an pejiamT) t>on pp. befa nai ho 
.1. cecheusat) cip,e cen cunn cen coibni fin, ocuf TJO cuan> ni tfiuiD net 
co nice cn,ian in pean,aiiTD. ffp. bef a hai 5i\ian .1. oon pn befa ai 
in STiian T>O beyian, na veich fo tnle. 

1. 1fe airline 111 iiairai^ ; Tiuine taif fto bai feclicap, fine 
v ; arnuich cofcp.ctfoa, ocuf m fiTjiyxnac ficubi fefiarm 0156, ocuf cic 

i ' Raitech '-person. That is literally ' a roadman.' 

' On the point. In C. 851, the gloss is " co T>it .1. co. fiuccan, bjvec iniini, until 
judgment, i.e. until sentence is given respecting it." 

3 Good land. Over the ' T>' of the word ' pobyiaiTj ' ia written the contraction for 
'no ' ' or,' and '5' intimating that the last letter might be 5. 

4 Under him. This gloss in the MS. seems rather to belong to the preceding 
clause. Dr. O'Donovan however placed it as here given. 

The be$t ted: 'ctitan, fee' is explained in C. 852, ".i. laulgac, no T>auni 
cimcelta an,acan,, no buo mlaoge, a milch cow, a ploughing ox, or an incalf 

Bad not land. O'D., 418, adds here : " he is to give notice of ten days, and to 
go with all his property over to the land at the expiration of those ten days ; and as 


<--rc*4tSt* Q, 

The possession of a'ra^ech'-person 1 in the third of [^ 
the land AoZefc until juSgment or decision f* ft ad He is POS*. 
' ejected after three days, unless he has good land with 
fire and habitation, with fines of a green. These 
are the fines of a green to be paid by the manctfho 
makes an) unlawful entry: a 'sed' of the greatest -87. *> ' 
3 the choicest ofa!! 'seds'; the worst 

'sed' for profits, with the costs o/the necessary d 
fence of the man whose property the ground is. 

The possession of a 'raitech'-person, i.e. a ' raitech '-person suing lost 
property, i.e. the bold advance which a man whose house the road is, makes into the 
land until he reaches the third part of it, and it is mercy that has been extended 
to him in permitting him to enter as far as the third of the laud. Until judg- 
msnt, i.e. until judgment is given respecting him, i.e., until judgment is given 
on the point.' Or decision, i.e. acertain decision of his residence there. Ejected 
after three days, i.e. he is cast out after three days unless that good land 
belongs to himself, i.e. after judgment. Good land, 3 i.e. the laud which is 
uu ler him. With fire, i.e. together with fire which has been made there during 
t'uttime. And habitation, i.e. with habitations in place of houses which 
hive been built there during that time. With fines of a green, i.e. with 
the fines which he has on his green to be paid by him, if he has made an 
illegal entry. These are (he fines of agreen, i.e. these are the fines 
wliich are recovered from him out of the green if he has made an illegal 
entry. The best 'sed,' s i.e. the best among 'seds,' i.e. a milch cow. The 
choicest of all, i.e. the 'sed' which is most to be chosen by all, i.e. the 
' samhaisc '-heifer. The worst 'sed' for profits, i e. the 'sed' which is 
least to be chosen for profits, i.e. the ' dartaid '-heifer worth 8 two screpalls. r r . Of. 
With the necessary defence, i.e. to be paid by the ' raitech '-person, i.e. he , 
the man whose property it is, is under the necessity of contesting the land against 
him (the l raitech '-person), i.e. taking possession of land that had not b a chief b I r . Wilh- 
that had not b a tribe, and he went farther than as far as the third part of the out. 
land. The man whose propertythe ground is, i.e. to the man whose 
property the ground is all these fines are given. 

Thus may the ' raitech '-person be known ; a man who was up 
to this (the time of tlie action) abroad, living apart from the tribe, 
and who does not know that he had not land, 6 and he comes with 

mercy is shown unto him at his going over, so mercy is likewise shown unto him 
I iy giving him three days for departing, when it is determined that the land is not his 
property according to law, and whatever part of his duty he neglects, there is no fine for 
actual-possession upon him, except these ' seds,' namely, an incalf cow, a milch cow, 
and a ' dartaidh '-heifer ' 

When it is cattle for taking possession the ' raitech '-person brings, mercy is ex- 
tended unto him in permitting him to enter as far as the third of the land the first 
day ; and when it the penalty') is a ' cuinhal' and forfeiture of stock from another for 

30 X)m CeccugaT) 

r TAKING co na hmDilib, oeuf ODbepaD na comaicaig if laif in tip,, co 

POSSESSION, nabaip bpeiche a Dul co cp,ian in y.ep,amD. bo ocuf f am if c ocuf 

Dapcaig ifpeD ICCUT> a log a fogealca in cip,e ; ocuf ceilgaiD ap. 

cpeifi lap, ngaiD eip a cipc ; octif if cip, co coibne -DO, ap. if -0015 

r laif if taif ; mat) cip _co coibne miuppo, if T)ilfi naipme, aniuil 


ami ; paiceach afcnam'a mearhuf, ocuf 

1\aiceac neipje a meataf , ocuf ixaicec |ii ; ocuf if aifie a -Depafi 
Tiaicec |ief m i\i, tiaii\ if teif a cmc ftiicce a fioic, ocuf ap, a 
f coiccm-oe. 1n can if acligabail af ail T>O gabail DO na fxaiceacaib, 
genmoca in 11,15, aba-6 naili afi in fcatceach gfiaiT) ftacha, ocuf 
abat> naen le ayi in fiaiceac gfiafo f.eine, uc f upjxa T)iximuf . 

1n can if tuleaf an aipim o cac, if ci\i feoic o na p/xiceacaib. 

CC eT)CftOcaipe fin ; a cpocaip,e miniujxpo, ini T>e af tuga, 7)itfi na 

fhaipjne no cpi feoic, co p,abea7> bef uaiia. tlo, cp.1 feoic o na 

p,aiceachaib, octif oilfi an aipnie o cac a ceccugaT) co cpiun fe- 

qlba. cttfai VOMITS o 

O'D. 419. [Stan 7>on p,aicech eta ceif co cp,ian na featba a np co cont> co 

coib'ne, cen co'cucca apai), uaip nach ca cfp, tua futung fjit pe 

ic napuro ; cpi feoic fai^ -om ce ni if f ia, no Dia caipifi call cap 

cpeifi mp ntieicm Dlisiti DO. Ocuf if cap, cpo, ocuf if lecli muna 

bee cp,ui. 

TTla cip cen conD cen coib'ne, if Dilfi naipn'ie ucro amuil each : 

no Dono, in jpenn gabuicc na cpi feoic ifin cumuil ife spenn 

rgabuf a aipeiiifoiii 1 nuipeih. HODOJIO, m bail if Dilif a aipcm o 

each if cpi feoic on p.aicech. CC ecpocatpe, a cp.ocaipeimuppo, 

unlawful i,<5ssession-taking it is three ' scds ' that are paid by the ' raitech '-persons ; 
or rather the proportion which the three 'seds' bears to the 'cumhal' ia the same 
proportion which his stock bears to the stock of all others. Or, indeed, according 
to others, when it (the penalty) is forfeiture of stock from all others, it is three siMs 
from the ' raitech '-persom ; this is the severity of the case, but its clemency is 


his cattle, and his neighbours say the land is his, and judges OF TAKING 
tell him to go as far as the third of the land. He shall pay a cow p OSSES . SIOS . 
and a ' samhaisi '-heifer and a ' dartaigh '-heifer as the price for 
grazing the land ; and he shall be ejected after three days after 
failing to establish his claim ; and it is a land to which he thinks 
he has a hereditary right, 1 for he thinks it is his ; but if it be a 
laud to which he has not a hereditary right it is forfeiture of stock 2 , 
as we have said before. 

There are three sorts of ' raitech '-persons ; a ' raitech '-person who 
gets into failure, and a ' raitech '-person who deserts at failure, and 
the king ' raitech' ; and the reason that the king is called 'raitech' is 
because he owns his share of waifs of his road, and also from his 
generosity. When it is distress it is thought fit to take from the 
' raitech '-persons, except the king, a notice of two days is served 
on the ' raitech '-person of the chieftain grade, and a notice of one 
day on the ' raitech '-person of the Feini grade, ut supra diximus. 

When the stock is forfeited by all others, it is three ' setls' that are 
paid by the ' raitech '-persons. This is the severty of the case ; but 
the leniency of it is, the part of it which is less, the forfeiture of 
the stock, or three ' seds,' it is it he shall pay. Or, according to 
others, three ' seds ' are due from the 'raitech '-persons, and forfeiture 
of the stock from all others for fiaving come to take possession as 
far as the third of the land. 

It is safe for the ' raitech '-person though he goes as far as the third 
of the land in a territory that has* a chief and a tribe, even though i r . in<A. 
he may not have given notice, because the land is not supporting ' ^. ^J, , 
him during the period of the notice ; there are three ' seds 'fine upon 
him if he goes farther, or if he remains within beyond three days after <W - 
attending lalhjEe^iiiremeiits_o4a,w. And this is when he goes over 
a fence, and it (tliefine) is one-half of three ' seds' if there be no fence. 

If it be a land that has not a b chief and a tribe, it is for- b Ir. Witi- 
feiture of stock that is incurred by him as by everyone else ; 
or, according to others, the proportion which the three ' seds ' bear 
to the ' cumhal ' is the proportion which his stock bears to the stock 
of all. Or, according to others, where the stock is forfeited by 
everyone else it is three ' seds ' that are recovered from the ' raitech '- 
person. This is the severity of the case, but its clemency is the 

that part of it which is less, the forfeiture of stock, or three 'seds,' a due from the 
' raitech '-person for coming as far as one-third of the land, aud forfeiture of the 
stock* from all others." 

1 Jlei-editary right ' Coibhne,' seems here to mean a right to the laud by descent. 

'Stock. The stock necessary in making a legal entry. 




'" C1 ' Be T l "5 a -1- win ncu'n^e ; no, na crii feo.c ; no 7>ono, 
POSSESSION. feoic o n.aicec 1 cecc co cn.icm fealba, ocuf Tjitp naii\iite 6 cac.l 


CCcaic ceojia aimrejia nVreagaip, eit)echcct la peine : 
achgabait eitechca; celtacli m-oligcech, cotniiug ^en 
j cufiu bel, no gan etot cu iTDlige-D. ^o cuaiche, 50 
bp,eicheamccin naT) bei^ piacha each ae. 


CCctnc ce n aimr e n a - 1 -a m .ne ) ocu r p T x r ucain i acaic ceoixa tie 
ucaine i nrn'oyxtisenn nee ,11 1f niTjligcec -DO T>enam TJO Tieip. in V enea- 

chaip. CCchgabail .1. cuic feoic nToe. 'Cellctch inT>li 5 ce(<^ .1. 
r cechcuscro int)ti5t:ech -DO brxicli ipn> .1. ba carv eif eocu, ocur |xo 

5eba eocu .1. cumal, no -oilp buai T x, no cixi |^oic int>. Com pug S en 

cutxu bel.i. com^uc -6oCcn,u T>O pon. necli cen cn,ebmn.e co coitx o belaib 

aici i%e aipec no tie olefcni T>O in neic imarvocaip. llo S an elo6 .1. 

no can elo-o -oo leco-o mi a cum olige-D, .1. aparo na ctioiy-ci ce T>O T>echai-o 
,n?T-if. So cuaiclie.i. ip S o T>O cuaicli .1. na mop. tuaithe, ocur oon 

biieicemam na bepa eip.ic im cac nae im cac nogae t>ib pn, ei-o be -oib cu r 

a p,oipcep,. 

rosccch bescMCC so. 

1n n -DO beip, na cechca feilbfaf e -DO \\<m co pacaib 
^ C, ca '5e- 1n a cjieanaf cen ceol gen caigi, co nglame cuibpe, 

x -Dilear "Dorui-oe o "Dia ocup -oufne ; -Diam flan a cubup 
flan a anum. 

T)ono -DianaT) 

ajia peipeap, coiji 

' The third of land. C. 852 reads, " i.e. the ninth, i.e. the third of the third of 
the tribe : he does not enter into the share of the chief or the church." 

'Forfeiture of stock. The 'airem' is the stock of cattle- brought into land to 
legalize the possession. 

*nebeym n inyof'Bescna'he,-e.I n the MS. there seems to be no break be- 
tween this passage and that immediately preceding, but on the margin the Irish 
for this heading is given. In other places in the same MS. similar marginal notes 
are found, where the original seems lo l, . a continuous subject 

4 Right of covenant,. In C. 833, there is a gloss on this text, and it is 


smaller of these, i.e. forfeiture of stock, or the three 'seds' ; or, OK TAKIXI, 
<";;,r:(ni,/ to others, it is three 'seds 'from a ' raitech '-person, for P,^E>S'I,',.N. 
ilIe</aUi/ coming as far as the third of the land, 1 and forfeiture of 
stock 2 from all others. 

'<* la -<fct/^~ i*- An- 

Ihere are three occasions on which illegalities are 
prosecuted by the Feini : unlawful distress ; illeo-al 
entry ; combat without veW"Sgagements, <&*&&* ** 
~t**i**r departing according to law.' ; It is falsehood for the 
- kiiy, it is falsehood for the judge who does not award 
fines for each. 

There are three occasions, i.e. 'am', time, and 'sir' fixed; there are 
three fixed periods at which one sues the thing which is unlawful to do according 
to the Feinechus. Distress, i.e. five ' sods' are thfjine for it. Illegal en try, 
i.e. to bring illegal means of taking possession into the land, i.e. cows after horses, 
when he could find horses, .i.e. the fine for it is a ' cumhal,' or forfeiture of stock, or 
three 'seds.' Combat without verbal engagement s,i.e. to proclaim a battle 
against" one without proper security by word of mouth for restoring or righting a J r . f^,, 
the thing about which he gives the challenge. Or not departing, i.e. or 
without departure from the rule of law, i.e. warning or fasting though he was 
fairly met b by an offer ofarlitruliim. Falsehood for the laity, i.e. it is a lie b j r Tltour/1, 
for the country, i.e. the great territory, and for the judge who does not award he i, earn* 
' eric '-fine for each and every one of these casct, whichever of them thev come to "9<iiast. 
decide upon. 

THE BEGiN-xrxc OF <BESCXA' HERE. 3 C 1 ^^^^, 

He who gives property which is not lawfully his 
own shall pay the fines for stealing. As to the person 
who buys without stealing or concealment, with 
purity of conscience, it (what he buys) is his lawful 
property according to God and man ; if his con- 
science be free, his soul is free. oU^n^'' 

Thou deservest whatever is adjudged ; that thou ^Wvy. ^ J- jf^ 
maycst know the right of covenants; 4 that thou kvb 

said that " u^u pepep. coip conincromann " was spoken by Fergti, the poet, 

as equally applicable for every Hrehon. (p4. Or 




o Sipana. 

OF TAKING comncrotria, cfjicc fiuice pi]i pipceatn pcngce paeji 

LAWFUL ^ VY>Ui<UV <*riT C^fJ , I 4 

POSSESSION, m rneapam co|\ cotncroaip each anaicaiT>ceap, afiacaeo- 
can aip ; ofi'm peat>afi naT) peine T>o gfiep, 
t>ai5pfne ocup pifigialtna tia Tnaich]u oilcfieap ; aft ar- 

' e a CI11 1l rU151>D T) 1TT1 F c1iai S 

s, C 
d- HDZJ 

Tn ci t)o bet \i n a ceclicct poi l/b, .1. in n T)O beip, ni T>O neocli, ocu^ 
noco na yeilb boT>in cechcuy, ace o ^eilb s wc ' 111 ScaiT)e. CC^ e -DO 
pon co piacaib, .1. lye icu^ lie co pcaib gain. In Cl Cfveanaf, ! 
m ci cennnij;e^. Cen ceot, .1. cen gttic .1. cen ceot, coiblenc^s_a5aic 
t>unaiT> vo cecoiyi. S 6 " caigi, .1. cen -oiceitc, .1. Tjicetc a gaici ian.T)ain. 
Co nglaine cuibye, .1. ci\i |-lan, gaibcen, y'uniiisj^cjjnj^^iajTibe 
Cfiebuifx^, .1. cen enectainn, cen ffnacc cen aicligin mani caip,i|'iceji/ 
O T>ia, ^i. no hectaip. Ocuy 7>uine, .1. na cuaitt. T)iam flan a 
cu bu^, .1. can pip cubup b^aich aici. 

f 'A T*\ 

. . , 

if &imiT>e Tjono, .1. poimTjetiaig, no up,poichti ma T>ia i. , , , 
DO bp,eicnemnaip. CCp.a peipeap,, .1. copeipen,piu/nocop,oibapipacuc 
op,T>ugaT> na cuma napcaip,ecca T>O p,eip, coip,. CCp.p,uice pip,, .1- cop,- 
ab e ni bep,a TJO neocn T>ul a napcaip.ecc ip Tup, TJO Tjut p,e tog enecn. 
pMp.eam paigce paep,, .1. ip pip, tim paigiri a TitnTjpaigci pin pop, na 

y, popep,aib; no ippeT) ipaeiXT)Uic Tjutpp.! tog cenecTi. 1n meapam, .1. ipe 
ni p,o ineipeninaigen a hmT>e Tioib T>ul p.ip m 111 p.0 cocaimpiget) TJO in'ip. 
coip,, T>utp.e togan enech. CCnaicaiT>ceap,, .1. ip e ni ponaipceap in cac 
pin ap, m caeb p,o huceipceri TJO T>ut, cap. cenn a conigp-aiTj. CCp. ni 
pea-oap,, .1. con mT>paigci TJO neoch Tjogpep TJO p.eip. m penecliaip 

jj-in ni nap, ep,atuaigeTj TJO -out, p,e "' if mo nap,e tog enecn. "Daig pine, 
o- cicpaiTj in pine pq copaib, uoip, ip micrtop, TJO Tjut p.e ni ip mo na p.e 
log a enecn,. 1. ma mono tog a enec, caictnig pme ocup maichp.e ocup ptaca. 

v ()i up pip,giattna, .1. na ptp,/TjanaTja)in giatta-o no in ceittpme .1. nit 
ptacha cicpaic po cop.aib. 11 a niaic hp.1, .1. ip uittiT>i m cpepaiiTj pine 

, iC ,mac1uin,, ac caiT>ect po cop,aib. CCp, ace a cp.1, .1. ap,ipiaT>pom cp.eroi 
p,o pamaigerj no p,o ho)XT>aigpTj 'oenipuaicn.e'D na cop, nmTjltgcec TJO Tjena 
nech. Tllapa itiTjeicbip, p.o nuc uarj, no ni puigbe-o cut p.o gett, ni gabap, 
tog UOTJ IIITJ icip,. 1n can naipccep, in piac, ocup ip Tjoigtaip pogebaTj, no 
: ua-o, a tog TJO ic inrj. 

1 Flrgiallna. In C. S."4, this term is glossed " ccd-giallnai." 
* Tht third. In C. 854, "oltres " is explained "a maicp.e quod tertium est." The 
translation here given of the term is only conjectural ; the text appears defective, 
and the gloss seems to be a mere etymological analysis of the word ' oilcfieap.' 


mayest reach the truth, thou shalt sue the nobles, F 
thou shalt sue for what is estimated in a meet POSSE Jiox. 
covenant from all who are bound as sureties for their 

-i i c c^srt, ife- t*Ws& -t^Tt-o &e(.fi/ru'^' It. a 

neighbours ; tor no one ev^f- ouco For "more tha-n -ts 
ailowe^f4tHH-^s-Awwi^-pme by the Feini, for the tribe 
and the 'Fir-giallna,' 1 and the mother's tribe shall 
interfere ; for these are the three parties who are 
appointed to dissolve covenants. 

He who gives property which is not lawfully his own,i.c. the 
person who gives a thing to any one whicli was not lawfully in his own possession, 
but in the possession of the thief by theft. Shall pay the fi n e s , i.e. it is he 
shall pay for it with fines for stealing besides. W h o b u y s , i.e. he who purchases. 
Without stealing, i.e. without thievery, i.e. without secrecy, i.e. whe-pee- 
he original theft at once. Without concealment, i.e. 

without secrecy, i.e. concealing the theft afterwards. With purity of con- 
science, i.e. three sureties,^. he takes here the ' sod,' or if there be security, 
i.e. without honor-price, without ' smacht '-fine, without compensation, unless he 
hr>s taken it. G o d , i.e. of the church. And man, i.e. the laity. If his con- 
science be free, i.e. having no knowledge of a betraying conscici: 

Ifrfm dnaji*v e s t , i.e. thou meritest or thou earnest if they have come to kfct, -fjd, fa 
the decision of the judgment. That thou mayest know, i.e. that thou 
mayest know, or have a knowledge of the order or form of covenants according to 
justice. That thou mayest reach the truth, i.e. that it is the thing 
which gives one the right to enter into covenant that should go as his honor- 
price. Thou shalt sue, i.e. I deem it true that thou followest up thy suit 
upon the goodly men ; or what is free to thee is to go security as far as th^ honor- y 
price. What is estimated, i.e. the thing that was estimated originally for 
them is to go security for the tiling which was fixed according to right, i.e. to go a j r y ,, 
stire/y as far as his honor-price. Arebound, i.e. that is what all bind on the person with. 
who was permitted to go surety for his equal grade. For no one ever sues, i.e. 
for no one is to sue at any time according to the Fi'inechus for a thing which is not 
permitted him to go security for, i.e. for anything which is greater than his honor- 
price. Forthetribe, i.e. the tribe shall impugn 1 ' the compacts, for it is a false b I r . Come 
covenant for him to go security for anything which N greater than his honor-price, against. 
i.e. if it be greater than his honor-price, the tribe and mattes and chiefs dissolve 
it (the contract). And ' F i r g i a 1 1 n a ', i.e. the men to whom is due the service 
or the vassalage, i.e. the chiefs shall oppose the compacts. The mother's, i.e. 
the third 8 party are more numerous, i.e. the mother's tribe impugning" the compacts, a j,. f llln 
For these are the three, i.e. for these are the three who were appointed ing w; 
or ordained to disturb the unlawful contracts which one shall make. If it 
was without necessity he gave a tiling away, or he does not procure a thing 
though he promised, no price is got from him for it at all. When the debt is 
fastened, and he thinks he will get it, or he gave it away of necessity, its price is 
paid then. 

VOL. IV. D 2 

3(5 "Om r/eccusaT) 

LAwtu 1 L * Ml nai r uma na haipsecro na hop., ace -pop trial ; 'ni 
I..SSK.X. na1 p buap ba: ch'nTOia pop neach Imp na biaT> ba ; ni 

1 . 4 ^ 

naif ap, pop impurnacli, nitmap pocha featb; ni 
eDach pop nach nochc, munacopma clacc; ipe gpeche 
$ cen copal) To 5111 po coll bpech. 1ce rneappa ccD gella 
a cunning T)o cac. 

11 1 naif, .1. ni fvo ponaifcfiu m ain^et) no in op, no in uma ace pop, m 
nuafal, uaip. if aice bo 0015 a rnbich, no ife bo -ooicn TMipajjbcnl. Ni 
naif buafx,-!- ni px> ponaifcfiu buap, aiiiuil in nibuayi T>O bep.aT> bet 
,,,chniT)ia cennaif>e taif caip.if ap. in ct ac na biac ba, no na bat) cuimt;ec 
a pagbmt co hufiufa. Mi naif ci|X, .1. ni fxo ponaifcifiti pe|i.anii vH 
in ci bif fO]\ ini|iama a nuro T>inaTj, niana podiaiscen, voT 10 ' 111 aici, no 
niana i\oib veap,ann aiciT>a pocliusaT). Pop, mifiumacn, .1. pop. poen- 
olesacn. Mi naif 6T)Uc1i .1. ni fio ponaifcpu ecacVi po, in Tjuine bif 
,', lornnucc, niana poib ecacli aice t>a coivncliin. TTIuna clacc, 
.! mani coip ecach co lieini. 1fe j;iieche cen cofxaTj, .i.ifeni aca. "DO 
ciallait>e na Tnbn,ecri ; amuil if ecayibach gpech na cno vaif i cen 
aici, if anilait) if eca|ibacli na neiche fin TJO T>enani. 1 ce 
aT> ^ella, .1. ife ni |io meifemnaiseTi T>O gellaT) "DO cac 111 ni 
>f , ima cumcatx lie infill, in ni biaf aice .1. iff e* mefixaiguf bfxeicem a 

cumac -DO Rill TJO cac. 
rvMjf ' 

.l.maf 7>a fif noT)aanfif .i.fif acfeic1ieaniamoiclieT)a, ocuf 
pf ac cfiebaifie, no anpf ac feichemam coiceaT>a na fiabcroafl 
na feilb na reoic fiorinscllca ann, 1 
: TTlaff a anpfac feichem coicbetia ocuf fi 

O'D. 420. [.1. cac v'a^ injeltuf T)time ocuf bit) ma f-aitibfie, no if T>OI 

laif a fagait o neocli eile, ocuf ma ct T>etbiia, no no nibeifi uai) ' 
, . tr lafifin, if ann if foyieic aftf,a anajifia, ace imco cac 

Cac fiach mgetluf na bit ma faifbp,e, no nac T)OI Inif a 
ifi eifiic ainuit fio jell .1. m ran na bi 1 feilb m f eichctiKin 

1 Cinnia, the nurcJiant. In C. 854, the reading is buafl bar Oinnia, and the 
gloss adds " Cinnia, for he was the first who brought cows int.. Kriiin.' 1 

'Blind nut. "pnpfuje" is the reading in C. 854, and it is glossed "cnu rccec, 


Thou shalt not bind anyone to pay in copper, or sil- 
ver, or gold, but a chief; thou shalt not bind anyone P>SRKSRI.>X. 
to pay in kine like those of Cinnia, who has not kine ; 
thou shalt not bind anyone to pay in land, who is 
wanderingf unless he-possesses land/; thou shalt not 
bind a naked person to pay in clothes, unless he has^ 
rjgj got ra i ment . i t i s as a nut without fruit to adjudicate 4 
ift-i f ifl-^hts maftner. The promises of all shouW be 
adjttsted-ta_their ability. 

Thou shalt not bind, i.e. thou shalt not impose the payment of silver, or 
gold, or copper, except upon the noble, for it is with him they are likely to be, or 
it is he that is likely to get them. Thou shalt not bind, &c., kine, i.e. thou 
shall not impose Ihf payment ofk'me like the kine which Cinnia the merchant 1 used 
to bring across with him, upon the person who has not got kine, or who cannot easily 
procure them. Thou shalt not bind land, i.e. thou shalt not fasten payment in 
land upon the person who is moving from place to place, unless it is found that he has 
land, or unless he has land to support him. Who is wandering, i.e. upon a 
wanderer. Thou shalt not bind clothes, i.e. thou shalt not bind payment in 
raiment upon the man who is bare naked, unless he has clothes to relieve him. Unless 
he has got raiment, i.e. unless li finds clothes quickly. It is as a nut 
without fruit, i.e. it is a thing which is according to the wisdom of judgments ; 
as the shell of the blind nut- without fruit is profitless, it is likewise profitless 
to do these things. The promises should be adjusted, i.e. the thing by 
which the promises of all are to be estimated is the thing by which he is kept to 
his promise, i.e. the thing which he has, i.e. the ISrehon estimates every one's promise 
by his power to fulfil it. 

If by liis knowledge, or by his ignorance, i.e. if the plaintiff have 
knowledge, and the surety have; knowledge, or the plaintiff have 
not knowledge that the ' sods ' which he^rcjimBed on the occasion 


were not in his possession, it is upxM^tEcsQCunty'olSi-tftff^-geacls '/ 4 

for-'anarraL^Qa'K" 3 If the plaintiff be ignorant, and the surety has 

knowledge of the fact, tte^tevg^Kh^i-^^ H* Tub (ft **', 0*&f, Qiffc 

That is, every debt which a man promises when he is in his 
rich condition, or he thinks he will get it from another, and if 
necessity should arise, or if it should be afterwards taken from him, 
it is then it falls under " ' arra '-goods for ' anarra '-goods." ( 

In every case of debt which one promises who is not in a rich con- 
dition, or which he docs not expect to get, the ' eric '-fine is as he 
a blind nut; for it is of no profit to him who breaks it. It is so with a person 
who binds upon one a thing which he has not. For no one should promise a tiling 
which he has not." 

3 ' Anarru '-goods. Vid. vol. 3, p. 150, n. ' Arra' means the thing promised or 
a biniilar one, ' Anarra,' a different thin;;, as e.g. a ' clip ' instead of a 'cow,' 


OF TAKING ocuf noctia T>OIJ a ^ajml no, ocf n.o vicm in nait, a ice 



POSSESSION, amtnl jxo riafcan. paiyi co lof ocuf af . 

) n-o bin aige m can TK> n-mne m cunnnxxo, ocuf -DO cuani 
flu 7>ecbin.iur, if ipon,eic an^io anajifiu, .1. 111 can naifcceji in 
5T ;la c. cu r if ^ 01 5 J-aif pojebi-6, no fio nuc 'oecbip.iuf uat), a tog 

TTlaf inT)ecbi|inif |iuc uat>, noni puigbet) cm|xo jell, 111 jabup, 
lot uat) mn icm~|. 

1n longar) bairocaig bancop,a a coibne coi^ comatiT)a, 
"> afia naifc pinnriuich puroaja [manip fe fei mbefia.] 
*0o be|\c bjn ap, bancojia. Otiba maine mep coip,ce 
o ca each euro compocaif ; po tm maine miT)i7)eap, o ca 
hinT)ua co hiqumia, inge cumal renofiba ; po miaT) gjuan 
geiiicliep,. pinncni po^ cut cumcichep,; cfienib pne 
i v poglaigceaii ; gabul apca eclicjxanT)a ; Tmro_7M ctucce 
cofimola. 1mca pp,i cin compocaif, iTKro^orTcellach 
oep.echcach ; ache ceachivunne T>o pn-DpineTo rechc T>ec 
Tieilicheaii co nach "ourhaij 7>o pine. pui'Defi ni beip, 
cm compocaip, muna ctnc cfieaba coijibeanaDaii. TTIa 
10 cute qxebaib complanaib conjianTiac a pnnceaT)a. 

1n tongas boirocaig .1. eillgic a mtc ocuf a ningena in ni FOJV an, 
alfaccufiu a maichrxe, .1. ineillgicep. na tnna cechcuscro no brieicTi ir 

1 ' Coibne '-property, vid. p. 81. Stipra, u. 1. 

Unltsi he lie the sixth. This clause in the Irish is supplied from the lower margin 
of the first column, in E. 3, 5, p. 9. 

Bind. In the MS. the letters a and I of ' atf uc ' are marked ill a way which 
seems to denote that they should be transposed. 


promised, that is, when it is not in the possession of the debtor, and OF TAKING 
it is not likely to be got by him, and the security knew it, it is to POSSESSION. 
be paid as it was bound upon him, with addition and increase. - 

If he had it (the property) when he made the contract, and it 
passed away from him by necessity, it (the case), is ^aeeermng-to ( " 
nnrfe for ' a.rmia^jJ-gnQfl g " i.e., when the debt is fastened, 

and he thinks that he will procure it (the tiling promised), or neces- 
sity has carried it from him, he is forgiven the value. 

If it be not necessity that carried it away from him, or he 
cannot procure it though he promised, no value is taken from him 
for it at all. 

Heirs of females claim on rightful covenants of 
equal value made with a female ancestor, relative to 
' coibne '-property 1 for the fair-chief of the tribe con- 
firms the subject matter, unless he be the sixth. 2 Brigh 
pronounced judgment on female covenants. Lands 
are estimated by their stock from every related head ; 
they are estimated according to the amount of their 
property from the great-grandson to the great great- 
grandson, except in regard to the 'curnhal senorba'; of etr>.7 
according to the size of the land it (the ' cwnlial- 
senorba ') is produced. The tribe property is claimed 
backwards ; it is divided between three tribes ; an 
extern branch stops it, if the five persons of the 
' Geilfine' -division perish. Except as regards the 
liability of relationship, if the family become extinct ; 
except a fourth part to the 'Findfine.' From seventeen 
men out it is decided that they are not a tribe-com- 
munity. The ' fuidhir '-tenant does not bear the 
liability of relationship, unless there be five houses to 
relieve each other. If there be five houses with 
complete stock, they share the property of the tribe. 

Heiri of females claim, i.e. their sons and their daughters claim the thing 
which the contracts of their mothers bind, 3 i.e. the women claim to bring means 

40 *Om 

OF TAKING m pefiann a\\ an. laepec na mna aiti a pin, ctin,u. CC coibne coin, 
POSSESSION coma t x ' t) Q ' arnlait) yio coibint>cij;eT> a comaix-ou^a-D "po-p. coyiaib -DO 

" txein, coin.. CCrta naipc v"inpn,ueh .1. if e in pn,uic eaienemach bip, 

.1. vlacai geilpmi ipe jxniaipcep in cyxian mapa cn,uib no ftiapea 

J"ne, no ipe i:"a'fcef in ven.cnvo "'te mapa eucat>. ITlcinij) 

pe pet mben.a. i. manap e in peipeTi fep. ip e ben.up in oiba'o .1. nianab 

e m peipe-o pefvoec a geilpne, in Tjein.bvine vonaiycey coimgi an geitpnir, 

ace nee T>O cuicpeii na peilpne. "Do beric b|xi (t\i l)ancon,a .1. cel- 

tac1iinT>.i. l Dobi\echemnai^cT)'Dob]\i5in j.'en,ann a)\ai\laeyecnamnaailo 

/on v'T*. cuyia. Oi\ba incline mey coi]xce .1. m pedant) ayx ai\ mei-peni 

coyvach a main amachaip., no main, a machai)x, .1. niaen, ' T 1 ^ ein,enn. 

.1. Ofiba q\ui-o ocuf cftiafca na tnachayi fimn, octif 
o T)tbat5i in rnaichifi, ocuv nf puilic mi'c ace itigeanfc ncunci. 
uf be^ait) in ingean in peafiann uili co puba ocuf co i\tiba, no 
a lee gan puba gan ]iuba ; octif coiniT>e ^ui]\|\e fie ai^eac tiaitc 


O ca cacli CIDTJ compocaiy .1. o caaipieip tiani T>O oiba'6 cacli cni-o 

w\\ comvoicpe-o in veixann; in geitpnentti|u> l Ditn>aanT>, acupin venann 

u, uile -DO bn.eich T>on insin a T>ual5up bancomafibaip; no o ca aipiciv 

oam t>o T>ibat) in cint> T>an, compoicpe-o in peyxanT), in 1115111, 1^ ami com- 

noinT)Ciix in ven.aiTO v "a ceoixa vinib. V tin maine .1. nipiyein- 

noi5cen,maine in ven.amT) \:o imac na v'ne utn. rnjibuT) nahinj;ine. Oca 

htn^oua .1. na geilpine .1. iy lac n,o Tub-oa an-o, no 1^ tac comn.oniT>vef 

IS in ven.ann- Co 1iian,mua, .1. na Tjeiixbpine. 1 nge cumal yenojiba 

.1- 11151 a)X ace, oca ace Urn an-o, ace m cumatY e ai5cen,'T)on onba pain, 

peccma'D ciyxe T>ibaiT), ocup a bich peic alami vlaca geilpne ac unruiarui 

> Of equal value. In C. 854 the follow-in;,' explanation is K ivcn : "ConiajxT>o, 
.1. (Mount alii 'comorbc,' i.e. the thing which was in the p.i^essin,, ,,f n,,', 
mother is what the daughter claims, or the thin- which the nx.thcr -ivrs ainl 
bequeaths to her." 

8 The fair chief of the tribe confirms. In C. 855 the following readin- ,,f this 
Kloss is given. " CCiliren. a]x i naij-c, pinnp)xuc1i, i.e. the ' I'innsrutli l-Vineclmis,' 
of the ' Geilfine '-division, are as the five brothers, like as the five fingers of the 
hand, each of them obtains the ' dibadh'-land of the other. 

For it binds, i.e. no one shall take unto himself to make vp the 'Geilfine '- 
division any one of his tribe in general, although there should be but one man of 
the five brothers alive except himself, i.e. the son of the man who has the ' dibadh '- 
land shall not obtain it, i.e. he is the sixth in relation to the five; he shall not 
alone obtain the 'dibadh'-land which his father holds, but the sons of his brothers 
f/iall share it with him, but it shall be divided among all after the death of the 
man who obtains the lands of his extinct brother. The 'dibadh'-land of the 
ioceMed shall be shared by the sons of his other brothers, for the right to i( 


of taking possession into the land about which the other women made true contracts. OF TAKING 
Rightful covenants of equal value 1 relative to 'coibne'-property, LAWFUL 
<S c., i.e. according as it was stipulated that it shall be adjusted by compacts accord- 
ing to justice. The fair chief of the tribe confirm s, i.e. itis the pleasant 
senior, Le. the chief of the ' geilfine '-division is he that confirms the one-third, if 
it be ' cruibh '-land or ' sliasta '-land, or it is he that confirms all the land, if it be 
land that was given. Unless he be the six th, i.e. unlesshe be the sixth man, 
it is he that will obtain the ' dibadh '-land, i.e. unless he be the sixteenth (,ic) 
man removed from the 'geilfine '-division, it is not the 'deirbhfine'-division shall 
confirm the power of the ' geilfine '-division, but one of the five men of the ' goilfine'- 
division. Brigh pronounced on female covenants, i.e. there was an 
entry in the case, i.e. judgment was passed by Brigh touching the land about which 
the other women made their true contracts. Lands are estimated, i.e the land 
about which contract was made by her mother Main, or her mother was Maer, i.e. 
Maer, the daughter of Cobhthach Cielbregh, i.e. King of Erin. 

The ' eruidh ' and ' sliasta '-land of the mother is here referred to, 
and the mother had died and left no sons, and there are no 
sons, bnt daughters only. And the daughters shall obtain all the 
land with obligation to perform service of attack and defence, or 
the half of it without obligation to perform service of attack and 
defence ; and there is i>ower over them to compel them to restore 
the land after their time. 3 

From ever}- related head, i.e. as I am about to tell concerning the 'dibadh '- 
land of each chief to whom the laud belonged ; all the ' geilfine '-division here became 
extinct, and all the land is obtained by the daughter in right of her female 'coarb'- 
sbip ; or as I have to tell concerning the ' dibadh '-land of the head {chief) to whom 
the land belonged, i.e. the daughter, it is then the land is divided among the three 
tribes To the amount of their property, i.e. the property on the land is 
estimated according to the number of the tribe after the extinction of the daughter. 
Kroin the great grandson, i.e. of the 'geilfine'-division, i.e. it is they who have 
1 1 m me extinct, or it is they shall divide the land. To the great great-grandson, 
i.e. of the 'deirbh-fine '-division. Except the 'cumhal sonorba' 4 , i.e. ' inge' 
for ' except,' I make an exception here, but the ' cumhal ' which is wSweTf ffthat 
land, the seventh of SSdSiiKHi^famT and this is in the possession of a ' geilfiue '-chief 

is not more inherent in his son than in all, as is set forth in the 'Corns Fine'- 

* After t/iiir lime. O'D. 421, adds here, "ocuf ip e pUiic fjeitpeine naiTj- 
meye; and it is the chief of the ' geilfine'-division, who binds it" (oliliffes Ike 
i'ii"</'it' i' t:t >/ii''- bcicl: the tan/Is). 

* The cumhal tennrbn In C. . C '.">G, the following note is added, which is not 
found in any other of the c<ipi r > : 

Except a 'cumhal tsenorba,' i.e. a chief head of a family who sustains the 
companies attending the king and the bishop and who is substantial to bear liabili- 
ties. When the ' deirbhfiue ' obtains the ' ilibadli '-land of the ' gcilline,' all their 
number present give the worth of a ' cumhal ' of land to this man, and to every other 
In ad of a family whatever, one after another, who is not near enough to be one 
of the tribe. The reason that it is given to this man is, because he is bound to 
pay for the liabilities <4 the family. See alsu C. '.'I 

42 *0in 

OF TAKING pjiT>ni ocup gonmic. Ocup ip e cuic m ace ant>, uain noco bto comnom'o 

LAWFUL u ,nn,<r*,T>e, no noco bia icin hi no con -oibTm m vine utle; ocup ip ap pin 
gaban cona beic in cumal cpenonba no cop -vib-on in pne * 

"TDoinpeipiun nopbein co mbuaiti, 
f u Cumal cpenonba ni puaill; 
" TTlic na cnt cecmumncin caoni, 
" 1p mic 

" Ocup T>aon piiT>in, in peccmati. 

10 PO miaTjgnian genichen.i. aT>a gemicpeic vouoiylecai'oin veixainn 
fo meic no po laigec. Vmnciu yon cut .1. cumgicen -ouchcup na 
geilpine fo\\, cuLu DO cum tToeinbpne a cuic Tie in can comi\oni'DCiH lie 
Vo naceojiapnib. Cnenib vine .1. pot>ettiscin, in T>ibaT> icin na ceo^ia 
pine .1. oeifibpne ocu^ 1 ian,pne ocu^ nTDpine. '5 aou ^ ayca echcyxanT) a 

iS'-i- if 5 a t>uL if echcjiam-o cuycixa^ca T>O geitpme m gabal -oa na^caice^ 
111 penatTD -1. in oeifibpne. ma^D T>I cuicce .1. if aim yo maT> icq\ nc c 
cuicpn na geilpne, \f ann comnointjciyi m v e T lat1 ' D V na ceona pmb, 
ocuf 111 v ul ^ bancomaTxba ann. 1mcap|xi cin conipocaiy^ .1. if 
amlaiT) pn acaic ne Tiic cinat) a compocaif, uain amuil comn,oitTDic in 

.^Dibax) if amlaro icpaic in cinat-o. TTlaT) iDon cellach .1. mwo injx 
nT>enacn cellaig na ^eitpme af a pine, .1. af a pefiaiin t if ann com- 
1\oinT)cen lie .1. in penann fo na ceona pinib. CCclic ceachixuime -DO 
VHTopme .1. nocon puiL ni oin'opne ace ceacliiiamuT) T>O T>ibaT) ijeilpne, 
1. in feif6T) i\aiiT> -nee. O poetic -oec .1. oca na feclic VIHU T>ec ununn, 
an T>eili5cen tac, conac Tjucnaig pne me o ca fm amach ace -ouchaif; 
n-oaine. Pui-oen ni beiyx cm compocaif .i.^ablaynl, .1. in vor>aen,, 
in T>ae|iaiciiiea, nocobeinenn cmai-o a compocaif . TTluna cuic cp,eaba 
coinbeanat>an .1. in an a yiabac cute efveaba aict -oa cointcin, .1. m cuic 
natch ceT>ach, ocup manab ac oen ptaich bete. TTla cuic cnebaib 
conif tanaib, .1. ma comtanai5cen cuic cnebca caca t>uin -otb 111 cine 
natc cecach ; t>ta mbe cuic pen T>ib ocuf cec oni'DittiC o each pn, beiniT) 
cac T)ibaT> ocup cinatT) anatti, amuil each nunnai-o, o biaf in cute naicli 
cecach acu ocuf o buf uc oen plaich beic ; ocup cechuamcu cinaiT) unnam 

1 ' Gottnacs.' That is, sons who support their fathers in old age, or sons of a 

Seventh. The Irish of this passage is found in the left margin of p. 9, col. 1, 
of the MS. E. 3, 5. 

3 Three tribes C. 850 adds ; " the three we mention here, i.e. the chief, the 

church, and the tribe." 

4 Except a fourth. In C. 857 where there is a running commentary on this 
text, the following note is added here : 

'Except the fourth of the ' innfine '-division, i.e. after the extinction of the 
' geilfine '-division, so that their abode is desert, then the 'deirbhlme '-division 
obtains all their ' dibadh'-land ; but the ' innfine '-division gets a fourth part from 


wl*^etitieiBg 'fuidher '-tenants and 'gormacs.'i And the force of 'except 'OF TAKING 
here is, because there is no division of this cumhal, or it shall not exist at all LAWFUI 
until all the tribe shall have become extinct ; and from this is derived the toying OSSE6SIOS ' 
that there shall be no ' cumal senorba ' until all the tribe is extinct. 

Seven persons obtain, with triumph, 

The ' cnmhal senorba,' not scanty ; 

The sons of the three first wives fair, 

And the sons of the ' adaltrach'-woman likewise ; 

A ' fuidhir '-tenant and a fine ' gormac," 

And a ' daer-fuidhir '-tenant the seventh.' 

According to the size of the land, i.e. this is produced according to the 
nobleness of the laud as to greatness or smallness. The tribe-property is 
claimed backwards, i.e. thehereditary right of the ' geilfiue '-division back- 
wards to the ' deirbhfine '-division who have their share of it when it is divided 
among the three tribes. 3 The three tribes, i.e. the 'dibadh '-land is divided be- 
tween the three ' fine '-divisions, i.e. the 'deirbhfine '-division, and the ' iarfine '-divi- 
sion, and the ' innfine '-division. An extern branch stops it, i.e. the branch 
by which the land is detained is a branch that is hitherto extern to the ' geilfine '- 
division, i.e. the 'deirbhfine '-division. If the five, &c., i.e. in this case, if 
after the death of the five persons which arc the ' geilfine '-division, the land is divided 
among the three ' fine '-divisions, and in this case there is no female heir. Except 
as regards the liability of relationship, i.e. it is thus they are as regards 
the paying for the crimes of their relatives, for as they share the ' dibadh '-land so they 
shall pay for their crimes. If the family, i.e. after the removal of the family of 
the ' geilfine '-division out of their land, i.e. out of their territory, it is then it, i.e. the 
land is divided among the three 'fine '-divisions. Except a fourth' part to the 
'find-fine'-division, i.e. there is nothing for the 'inufine '-division except the 
fourth of the ' dibadh ' land of the ' geilfine '-division, i.e. the sixteenth part. From 
seventeen, 5 i.e. from the seventeen men out, it is then they are distinguished, so 
that they are not a tribe community from that out, but a community of people. 
The 'fuidher'-tenant does not bear the liability of relationship, 
i.e. the fuidher gabhla '-tenant, &c., i.e. the ' fo-daer '-person, i.e. the natural 
bondman does not bear the crimes of his relatives. Unless there be five 
houses to relieve, i.e. unless he has five houses to relieve him, i.e. the five who 
have stock contisting of a hundred head of cattle, and unless they belong to one chief. 
If there be five houses with complete stock, Le. if the five houses, the five 
who hava stock consisting of a hundred head of cattle, of each ' daer '-man of them 
be complete ; if there be five men of them each man having a hundred of cattle, 
every one of them obtains his share of the ' dibadh' land and pays for the crimes of 
the others, like every free native, i.e. when they have the five stocks of a hundred 
head of cattle, and are under one chief ; and they shall pay the one-fourth of the 
crime of the free native, and the fourth part of the ' dire '-fine of the native free- 

them of everything which is divided, both lands and ' seds.' In like manner are 
their crimes paid for. 

> From seventeen. From this out they do not obtain any share ; for the ' geil- 
fine '-division extends to five, the ' deirbhfine '-division to twelve, the ' innfine '- 
division to seventeen men. 

44 T)m reccuscro 8\ pan a. 

OF TAKING ictif, ocuy cec1i|tamcti tune T>ula iii\yiaiT> r>o ma T>uiL>ac cc 

LAWFUL pnncea-Da .1. ir caicnemacti umuuiTjur cac t>ib TjutViai?; pine a ceile. 

fli mac bjiatiap pnnciga pine pfii pot) 
Tnunab rieafa pqi coibneap inachai]i achaifi m o]iba. 

hofiba tnactia^ mtmcoqiclie a mic o ptaicliaib a a|ro- 
rhimna. "Ooaipcaleadi irmi|iixo "Do cum pne 
a leach anaiLl a pji bjiechaib pi a peola 
pne o cijic cobjxamne. 11if ac T>o cejic compocaif aclic 
cejic ojiba mboai|iec T)a feclic cumal ; coTnajVoa o|iba 
n ,-j', \ (o biacach tnboaiiieacli ; o]iba yoji fee tumpaebai^ ; af T)a 

jiana]i leich 

1) i in etc bfitfoap V'^'TC'K" ' "co ne in mac poilay T>UCCUJ- p 
, uite, ni iy> mo na y-eccma-D cipe Dibu'6. 

THeo) o^ba qxuil) no fliafca, no nityi^ci T)ac1iai|i Tiia 1115111 ic|i 
tiuchiaacc, if tulef o pine no maccnb T>eonaiT> ocuf niiii\caip.ri, 
cem beici oc ^0500111 T>e, co a nuibat) no a m>eifi5e o pne. TDut) 
mac imuyi|io be^vuf cermuiHT)ci|v 750 i^juro, if Dituf T:a quan 
na noi\ba fa T>o, l!a1J^ bq\ait itnc na \\\\\\\\ au anan> ; DIUT) 
mac nnuf f.o croat.rf.ai5i, if tec na nofba fo T>O. 

V 1ne maic^i beca 

.1. bancoinaf ba pt fun-o ocuf pefiann achap, ocnf fetiachap, 

cuce f e f e, ocuf genia'D ait T>1 a cabaifc ma. macaib ni nb|'.ea. 

TTltinab nea^a pifi coibneaf, .1. manip neya a coibnef m veitain-o 
^f TXt macbain. mna-Dachoivi, mamb ojiba cfiuib ocuf f lio-pca'oon marlnp. lie ; 
bei\aiT> m mac n.ann -oe yo aiciie'ocecmuitTDCip.e 

i The trtiejvilijmejits. In C. 859 the following note is added here: _ 
" A female heir is here referred to, and her tribe are not bound to restore to her. 
Jt is after her death it is divided between sons and brothers, for if the tribe were 


man's beast shall lie paid to each a/them for his beast. They share the tribe OF TAKING 
p r o p e r t y, i.e. it is delightfully each of them shall share the tribe property of each pJ 

It is not a son that obtains the property of a tribe 
in ground to be valued, unless the title to the land 
be nearer to his mother than to his father. 

As to a mother's land her sons shall divide it from 
the days of her public testament. But the half of it 
reverts to the tribe of the original owner of the land ; 
the other half according to the true judgments, 1 the 
seed of her flesh divide. The tribe divide their por- 
tion by just partition. There comes not by right of 
relationship but the right land of a ' bo-aire '-chief 
to the extent of twice seven ' cumhals ; ' similar are 
the 'biatach '-lands of the ' bo-aire '-chief : as to land 
given up for a road and respecting which there are 
obligations, it is to be restored ; half ' dire '-fine is 

O ' 

paid out of it. 

It is not a son that obtains, i.e. it is not the son who takes the patri- 
mony of the -whole tribe of the mother, he takes no more than a seventh of dibadh '- 

If it be 'cruib' or ' sliasta'-land, or land appropriated by the father 
for his daughter out of afiection, it is forfeited by the tribe to the 
sons of the husbands, being exiles and foreigners, while they are 
doing good with it ; they also have what the tribe leave vacant or 
desert. If it be a son that a first wife bears to a native free- 
man, the two-thirds of these lands are forfeit, because the sons 
of native freemen bear (pay for) liabilities ; but if he be the son 
of an ' adaltrach '-woman, half these lands are due to him. 

I n ground to be valued, i.e. when it is truly estimated that tho tribe of 
the mother are cognizant of it. 

A female heir is here referred to who has had the father's and 
the grandfather's land for a time, and though she should desire to 
give it to her sons she shall not give it. 

Unless the title to the land be nearer, &c., i.e. unless the claim to the 
land be nearer to the mother than to the father, unless it be ' crudh ' and ' sliasta '- 
land of the mother ; for, if it be uch, the son shall take a share of it according to 
the nature of hii mother's contract, i.e. whether she be a first wife of contract or 
an ' adaltrach '-woman. 

bound to restore the land from her, no portion of it would be given to the sons 


Awc 1l 1xba actla n muncoip.che,.i. in penann avt an. meifem cop-ach 

POSSESSION. amaltl arT1(TC 1iain., if mainTjoneach prnpcuin.ethap, cop.. CCmic o plaic- 
ft ai b a a p,T>ch t m n a .1. buT>le a macaibpi a cine T>e on lo -oo vugne a cimna 
co hap.T>, .1. if la a macu o laicaib a baip .1. cp.uib ocuf f biafca 
ixanncatn. ifunn ammt yvatincaip, cinai-o nomanii), .1. bancoman-ba -oono 
C. 859. anif iu, ocuf m -olig [a pme caif tc nw], ma-o tieafa in pm-ociu T>O macliaip, 
in true ap. bancomayxbuf ma T>KI aehip,, if arm majibena-ofai-oe a vine o 
a cin,c conifianToe, afi iff BTI a ceficfom a piirocn> -DO b|veicn art pne. 
"Do aific a teach, .1. aificcip, a lee itnuprio in vi]x 7>ia V'ne. 
.0 Ocup if e cuic in miuiayvo ann, uaifi ven.rtnn na pne f eo, ocuf o|iba crxtub 
ocuf fliafca rxomamT), .1. if ecuic itinmmp,o, noco naifcenn ni T>penann 
a achap-rio bi ma laim, ociif aifci a peyiann T)iluf ^en. CC leach anaill, 
.1. a lee aili oo rieiri na pyibrxeca no na pnbnecheman. Sil a peola 
potaisceatt .1. voT!eili 5 ceri eifeic -oo fil a veola, t>a clainT). TTlac 
,jtroalcixaij;i up.naT)nia ocuf pne fin, ocuf a jiotnT) an, -DO ecuyijxu. pme 
o civic cobviainne, .1. m pine cic T>ia cumavioinn TJO vein citxc, ocuf 
ifi fin a coibn-aiiTD o pine cip,7)afecc cumal -DO ingin in boaiaviech if 
V-envi. tlif cic -DO cep-c compocaif, i. ni CICT>O cornoicfiguT) -DeT)oviciix 
cin,c. CCclic ceixc ofiba mboaiiaec .1. ace mar, pen.ann in boaifiec, 
,. .v lee nojaba an achap, oia ingin ia|v n-Dibar>,cen f loige^cen cif , cen congbail 
.1. civiceieni fecc cumal rio but oc an boainij if pevirv ant). T)a fecc 
pumal comavi-oa .1. -DO comarvomse-o rxe TJO fecc ^o cunmlmb cona-o 
he peviann -oa ntienann in boaiyie nioT)onac, no in boaip.e if caipe a 
becuga-o. lee in ojiba in achan. -oon mpn iavi nee mn aehayv; cen puba 
,roen rwbafm. Oriba ponfec mmpaebaivi..!. peviann'ooberiarivnTV 
conai|x .1. mie <rna paebuvi, poebp-a la pine a cuingi'o cucu, poebpiac lem a 

.1. perianTToo beriayi a)i canmi\ if lc > octif aemaebavi 

i.fl n na seibenT) fop, ^.at puiDfve ; af ai 5 e eirimravi lech eneclann 

2t)OTieacli, leacli -non n T>O beiri, ocuf rfiian T)on n -oa cabaijv 

Gneclann Don n -oombeifi cinnioca in feife* fiati-o Tiec 


i The crime, i.e. the 'eric '-fine for crime. 

" A female heh- This gloss is an addition by a later hand, and in smaller letters. 
* The half of it reverts. In O'D. 422, the following somewhat different explana- 
tion of this is given : 

" But the one half of it is restored to the tribe whose property the land is by 
right, i.e. it is divided into two parts, like every other 'dibadh'-land, when there are 
sons in question, and if there were only daughters they take the one-half of it during 
their time (the term of tlnir natural lii-es) with an obligation of restoiinfr it after 


A mother's land, &c., i.e. the land to which claim is estimated from the OF TAKING 
wealth of the mother, it is wealth to the person by whom the contract is made. >.T f ^^ y 
sons from the days of her public testament, i.e. her son, , 
her .hare of it from the d.y that she made her will openly, i.e. her sons shall own 
it from the day of her death, i.e. 'crubh' and ' sliasta '-land is here dMdl 
the crime ' is divided before, i.e. a female heir' is here referred to, and her tr 
not obliged to restore to her, if the tribe property be nearer to the mother 
son in female succession than to the father, it is then the tribe claim by their 
right of partition, for it is her duty to bring her tribe-property to the trit 
But the half of it reverts,' i.e.butthehalfbelongingto the owner of the land 
is restored to his tribe. And the force of the particle ' but' here is, because this 
is the land of the tribe, and ' crudh ' and ' sliasta '-land are referred to before, i.e. 
the force of 'but' is, that no part of the land of the father which was his poss 
sion reverts, but his own proper land doth revert. The other half, i.e. the 
other moiety according to the true judgment, or according to the true judges. The 
seed of her flesh divide, i.e. it is partitioned to the seed of her flesh, i.e. her 
children. The son of an ' adaltrach '-woman of contract and the tribe are here 
referred to, and it is divided into two equal parts between them. T h e t r ib e by 
just partition, i.e. the tribe come to make partition of it according to right, and 
in this partition the tribe gives a land of twice .seven 'cumhals' to the daughter of 
the highest 'bo-airech '-chief. There comes not by right of relationship, 
i.e. there comes not of relationship according to what is right. But the right 
land of a 'boa ire'- chief, i.e. except the land of the ' bo-aire'-chief, 
i.e. half the land of the father goes to his daughter after his decease, without 
th, ,,rice of hostmgs, without rent, without refection ; i.e. a land of twenty-eight 
' cumhals' had been in the possession of the ' bo-aire '-chief of best rank, in this 
,-asc. Twice seven 'cumhals,' &c., &c., i.e. it was adjusted by twice 
seven ' cumhals,' so that it is the land by which the middle 'bo-aire'-chief or 
the lowest ' bo-aire '-chief feeds her. Half the land of the father devolve! to the 
daughter after the death of the father ; this is without the service! of attack and de- 
fence. Land given up for a road, and respecting which there are 
f.bli gations, i.e. land which is given for a road, i.e. concerning which there are 
two obligations, an obligation upon the tribe to demand it back, and an obligation 
upon her to give it up. 

That is, land 4 which is given Cora mad is to he restored, and the 
obligation is 011 the person who does not receive it for the stock of 
the 'fuidhir '-tenant; it is by him half honor-price is paid to one, 
half to the person who gives, and one-third to the person to whom 
it is given. Honor-price to the person who gives it except the 

their time, i.e. the force of the 'but' here is, he does not restore the land of his 
father which he had in his hands (occupation) but he restores his own proper land ; 
or, indeed, their true land is restored to its tribe, and the force of the ' but' here 
i^, for this is the land of the tribe, and it was ' crudh ' and ' sliasta '-land we spoke 

of before. 

"A land of seven ' cumhals' she had here and the half of it goes to her sons, and 
the half to her tribe, and she is an ' adaltrach '-woman that is lure treated of." 

, Land, This commentary is found as a note on the lower margin of col. 2, p. 'J . 
of the MS. E. 3. 5. 


'oAl2.fl / 

T)on ct T>a Ca ^ >ai 1" 1 ' cmmoca feifi-o .1. m fojun a bjxec 
POSSESSION. oc "r a cabai^u; ainuil fio jab ciyi poqxaice no aifibiorca .1. ojiba 
gaibcefi o plait no oeclaip. be^ci nnuyifio, nuinaixagbatcuni 111 
bancomajxbu laipin pine ; befiti pine man fio jabac cui)\ leo. 1 p 
rimaebuix^n af T)a fienayv lettuce. 

CC'p no. |ianafi leich-oifie .1. 1^ af^eic eivmicliep. lee ineidi -oo 
-oon cip. T)eneclaiiiii -otfi .1. lee a ci)ie ; a teat :naill af a 

Cute in imaebufi a -oei\\ ann ? .1. faebufi taipn ingm 
paebu^ laipn pne. 1ffeT> a Tieifi 1)11561:), paebu^ laifin pine 
/'aific T>oti itigm in tiaqx na bi mac cnro cap.ei^ in arha^, 
paebujx laifin ingm a aific afiif -oon pine. 

iM'*'? Sl 

conroi-Dan coimi reach, fii T)ijaeanaii iq\ mo bT bliaraiti, 
aclic bepaib poch]iticca, aji nach cneat) beftan ^e tneraib 
Tij:aiTi5ean ta peme. 

on ci 



Stan vainspe, .1. planci aicliseim a peoin a 
ViTi-Decnpn m byiuts vT^'f C01 T^ 'o'l^'i ia tait> can ac^a co no ap a a 
TMi">Fn a peon- Ingtiai-oe ctyxe, .1. iii Sr vr(iT) ft hm-oi a comaicicin 
in comaichci itia cin, -i. -oct aici no a cni ecan.bai icin, no ceiti. 11 1 

i,t>irxeanatx, .1. noco na-obul ein,nicen, eirvic irvo lap, viable -DO 1 nairirin 
ifin blianam cen acna cop, apa a nm-o vo|Xf m ven. fin anif. CCclir 
bef aib voclijiucca, .1. ace m pp^ -DO bein. aii poqiaic T>O p,ein, bapefa 
gnae no aibin-o, uain, ce beic nech a namcin a yochfieca cen a acpa con, 
Vafa a n-m-o pop. a peon., noco lucaici oliguf a voclin.oic T>IC )\if. CCp 

,' nach cnea-o .1. an. nac cain liaf yeoin. beflan n,e meifamnacc a acn.a 
;oe aca -oiulcaT), conac coin, camfjin ime -DO |xeip, in v e " lecnc "f> ! icin. 
cjtechc ocuf pen. m htccap. an aichgui ace T>in,e na 5011 a ocuf f mace. 

'Half ' dire'-Jtne. In O'D. 422-.,, the following note is added : "That is, 
half the thing which pertains to the land, i.e. half the part which is given to 
her out of her land, by the tribe, or indeed it is half to her out of her land 
property, i.e. it is out of that the one-half is paid by the person who gives, and 
one-third by the person to whom honor-price is given, except one-eighth to the 
person who gives honor-price, and onu-sixth to the person to whom it is given, 
so that it is two-thirds of one-fourth of honor-price that is wanting to the person 
to whom it is given, which is equal to the one-sixth of the whole. 

" Full honor-price is ijiveu to one for purity and worthiness and property, i.e. one 
half for purity and worthiness, and one half for property, both live cattle and dead 
chattels. The one-half which is <>n account of live cattle, i.e. the one-fourth of 

C (,11 

.- -mo/r 


-W<Ax>>o . 


o T 


sixteenth part of honor-price to the person to whom it is given, except OF TAKING 

one-sixth, i.e. its taking and its giving do not run like those of hired 

land, or refection land, i.e. land which is rented* from a chief or 

from a church. He (the son] takes it, however, unless the covenants * Ir ' 

of the female heir affect the tribe ; the tribe take it unless they have 

verbal covenants. That is the obligation out of which half ' dire '- 

fine is paid. 

Out of w h i c h half ' d i r e '-fi n e i is paid, i.e. it is out of this is paid 
half the part of the land which comes to her as honor-price, i.e. half her land; the 
other half out of her property. 

What obligation is mentioned here 1 i.e. an obligation on the 
daughter and an obligation on the tribe. What the law says is, 
" let there be an obligation on the tribe as to restoring to the 
daughter when there is no son after the death o/the father, and an 
obligation on the daughter to restore it (the land) again to the tribe. 

In the 'Bruighrechta'-laws it is guiltless to look on 
cattle g-Fa#iftg on the jointly-fenced land of a co- 
occupant. Nothing shall be paid after the lapse of a 
year, but after the custom of hire, for every wound that 
is healed by arbitrators is Hot-te-be-settlediy the Feini. 

It is guiltless to look on, i.e. restitution of the grass of his land need not be 
made by the person who is truly looking on the land, for whom it is not right to correct 
it, if it remain without being claimed until the top grows on the grass. Grazing t 
on a farm, i.e. they graze the top of the grass in the land, the neighbour being 
cognizant of it, i.e. for two Bights or three unprofiteWy on thy partner's land, cf- 
Nothing shall be paid, i.e. ' eric '-fine shall not be paid for it after his being 
cognizant of it for a year without claiming, until its top grows upon that grass 
again. But after the custom of hire, 5 .e. but the grass which he lets for 
hire according to the good or pleasant custom, for though one should be cognizant of 
the hire without claiming it until the top grows on the grass, he is not the less 
entitled to have his hire paid to him. For every wound, i.e. for every damage 
to grass that is repaired by arbitration cannot be further sued for ; ' de ' is a negative, 
so that there is no further claim for it, according to the 'Feinechus'-law,s i.e. as 
regards' 1 wound and grass, compensation is not paid, but the ' dire '-fine of tlie wound b j r S 
and ' smacht '-fine. tween. 

honr-price, one-fourth for land and dead chattels, the half of that for land alone, 
so that it is the one-half of this is given to her, i.e. the sixteenth part. Or, indeed, 
it is a balance that is struck between land and dead chattels, or the one-sixteenth 
for either unless they are equalized according to arbitration." 

But after the custom of hire. In C. 859, the following note is given: "But 
after the manner of hire. The custom of this is, whatever is contracted is 
enforced, but if no contract has been made, no payment is made, to the trespasses 
in the case of co-occupancy, unless they are claimed for within the year after the 
trespass, shall not be enforced." 

"Feinechus'-law. That is, whatever ia submitted to arbitration and decided by it 
must be considered as finally settled. There can be no further appeal to the 
' Feinechus'-Iaw. 

VOL. IV. j.; 

50 *0m t^ecuiga'o iyana. 

Or TAKING .1. n a cnetia T>OIIO, mtmab actmnm nia ylamn, octiy 111 no 


POSSESSION. 5 a b neicbiyie, ni hicotfi aiclijin ace colon n quo nanm. 

TDa yio yollaijefj in yean. cm ajfia cun. yay m yaeyi eite na 

inert, if Tjilyi na bai aithgina, ocuf caiyic m ymacmiy in m ym ; 

/oca eyuc a yogla TJO t>ul a o oinne, ocuy iy ant) 

oocuram o Tnnne cue na 

f unn, Dume fio bai a naiT>icain yojla comiceaya 
no oenam ^|\if, ocuy fio bai a yaill gen a cacjia co]\ yaf a 
iccaiyoTneic yyiiy, ocuy m fuccaji aichgin, ociiy iy e yin aen 
a n-Dityigeann aichgm o nufne a yaill t>o -oenam, ocuy ni hiccajx 
ochnuy iyni yaitl. 

xv ' / /; 

f\ fi.r W/*A*V C ^ ? ' ''Sill each renT)li5et);cac1ia quce conTiealg. 1n ran 
o 1 r 'OicoinDetg each cjuch, ir ant bejiafi each '' 

co 1. 

cacti yenT>li56T), .1. lyucatn cac yenT>eili5ur>, cac T)eili5UT) T>ib 
yo yiy yie oeite, no cac TjtigeT) yen T>ib n.e ceitc, no cac T>ti5eT> T>O yxei^ 
nayen. 1n can iy T>icomT)eit5,.i. in can na bi b|\eic1iem ac m biT>- 
bui-6 no ac m peichemuin coichena. 1y HUT) ben-an, cadi oigeant) co 
n.15, .1. ty ann be)\aiifi each T>icenti Chicroaiy ocuy b)\eiclieninaiy an. amuy 
jo 'n 1115, uain. iy aici iy TJOIJ in camcoayach T)obic1i. "DigeanT); .1. na 

Tli 1115 laif no bmT) jeilt 1 njlafaib, "Do na cabap, 
chip ptacha, Tio na ei|i^)ieT>ap peich can a. 1n ran 
^eibitif m fug ma mama fo, if anT) T)o fianaji T)ip,e 1115, 
gen gae, gen eafbjiac, cen eiyinT)|xuctip pjii a chuacha. 

Hi tug, .1. noco n-15 iy jxaici fxiy mam fxabac getW, aice |\e comaltat) 
a ivige no a ceiltyme. Tl a caban- cTiiy ytacTia, .1. -oaefuticiltnecca, 
.1. bp.aich. peicTi cana, .1. ymacVic cana. 1n can geibiuy m 1^15, 
.1. in can gaibey in moamugaT) no in gyveim a T)ubn,aman. fiomaniT). 1y 
50 anT> T>O n-anan. t>i|ie, .1. iy anT> ein.nicen. eneclann ^.15 T>O co comlan, 
.1. na momot)Ut> ya, .1. j;iall, ocuy ciy, ocuy ymacc. ^en gae .1. im 
bfieicliemnuy, no im gupaTsnaiyi, no nn eiyinT))\acuy DO T>enam 7)0. 

' The wounds. The Irish of these two paragraphs is found in the right margin 
of col. 2, p. 9, near the bottom. 

Bit people. See Vallancey Collect., vol. III., p. 89, for an attempt to trans- 
late this and other passages of the Brehon Laws. 


That is, as to the wounds, 1 indeed, unless they are claimed for OF TAKING 
before they are healed, and no necessity interferes, no compensa- PO^ESSTOS 
tion is paid except body ' eric '-fine alone. 

If it has been neglected to sue for the grass until other grass 
grew in its place, it is a case of forfeiture of the compensation, and 
a repayment of the ' smacht '-fine for that thing ; the ' eric '-fine for 
the damage becomes obsolete to a person, and in this case compen- 
sation is lost to" a person through his neglect. I r . Fal!i 

That is, the case here is of a man who was cognizant of the com- /""" 
mission of a trespass of co-occupancy against him, and he neglected 
suing for it until the grass grew ; sacks are paid for it, and com- 
pensation is not paid, and this is the only instance in which com- 
pensation is forfeited by a person through hia neglect, and sick- 
maintenance is not paid for the neglect. 


Constant is every old law-,d every territory e< 

covenants. When any territory is uncovenanted, it is 
then every disputed case is brought before the king. 

Constant is every old law, i.e. perpetual is every old arrangement, every 
decision of those which follow with each other, or every old law of them with each 
other, or every law according to the ancients. When uncovenanted, i.e. when 
the defendant or the plaintiff has not a Brehon. It is then every disputed 
case is brought before the king, i.e. it is then every disputed case of crime 
and judgment is brought before the king, for it is with him the solution of every 
difficulty is likely to be. Disputed case, i.e. tfcetbg-bugbt to be settled. <<Mt.X ty**** - 


He is not a king who has not hostages in fetters, 
to whom the rent of a king is not given, to whom the 
fines of law are not paid. But when the king gets 
these submissions, it is then the ' dire '-fine of a king is 
paid, if he is free from b falsehood, from betrayak>fhis b ir. mth- 
-aebles-, from unworthy conduct towards his people. 3 

He is not a king, i.e. he is not to be styled king unless he has hostages for 
preserving his kingship or his tenancy. To whom the rent of a king is not 
given, i.e. therent paid on 'daer'-stock tenancy, i.e. malt. Fines of law, i.e. 
the 'smacht'-fine of the law. When the king gets, i.e. when he receives 
the submission or allegiance which we have mentioned before. It is then 
the 'dire'-fine is paid, i. e. it is then the honor-price of a king is completely 
paid to him, i.e. these submissions, i.e. hostage, rent, and 'smacht'-fine. Free from 
f a 1 s e h o o d, i.e. respecting judgment poised, or false witness lorna, or impropriety 

52 *Oin 'Cecco^a'D -81 fan a. 

$ (TV W - ? 
OF TAKING 'gen earbfiat, .1. cen byiachjia nuarat j ocuy noco T>ti5cectia t>o byxatlt 

LAWFUL n treat. Con et rt iTon,ucur,~~.i- tin supomgett a ottstT), no tm sum 

_ notni gate pon,tuacnatb; uaiixT>a 1x010111 Dtbrtti aice, nocobta"oeneccann 

jug T>O co com tan. 

\ r CCcaic fechc picronaife pofi^eallaT) jae each ^115 ; 
fenaT> TDO foT>at> ap a naip.tip ; cen pifi, cen TdigeT), 'Di'De < 
aifie, mge man cajicejic; maiT>m cadiapaifi ; nunama 
plaichiuf ; tnpce mbLecca ; milleaT) meafa ; feoL 

, neacha. 1ce fechc mbeocain'Dte anT) fo 
/o each 1 n 5 . 

CCcat c recite ptat)n at re, .1. acatc a recite amuitpiar)naire 
a gae fo\\ in cacTi ty Sena-o no ro-oaT), .1. rena-o na heclatrt 
DtnipoT) arr a uarat ttr. Cen ptix .1. mi -p'ucha'b CIITDCI .1. cen cejic 
Cen ottger), .1. tin pachatb etcctnT>ci T>O -Damcain ootb. T)iT>e cniie 

. 4) vr^tMj^^' if .1. co htnT>tt5tec. Inge tna-o cayx ceyic .1. tnge cifi ace, ucaacc ttm an-o, 

tnaT> afi catyicpn T>lt5tT) no, nocon int>ti5cech etrtuni anT>raiT>e. 111 afom 

y/n/ _ 

/ft'* j ftU^ cacha paiiuo. pe conittn a yie -0^51:15, .1. tec tog enec cfvechnair at^xe. <^J^ 
11 una .vbec can ana, .1- gb^ca TJO biclt tiiu ptacliurr. Three nibtecca 
i. rurccae .1. btclt can tachc .1. -oircattar in tacltca. Ill i ttea-omeartt, 
2-o .1. tan na catbrtn, ocur mtttctp,. -Soot neacltu, .1 reotat> arm n echo, 
tnnai\ba, no ruatlt bee T>on a^buji oo bich anr>. 1ce rechc mbeo- 

> ^ cain-ote .1. tctac ro anuar in -pedtca aniutt cainntt niLt V"!^ amsur no 

paittrt5er a gae pojv in each ir n'S- 

"Ceojia jua oca rnoatn T>a pich Dia poji each cuaich ; 
puitteam 511 naDma ; pofigeall jupaTtnaife ; 
a\\ pochjiaic. 

511 a, .1. ceo|xa gua eim ir tiiera ttToecliar T>ta pop. na cuac- 
hatb. puttteam gu na-cma .t. putttetn tot^foechca -DO gabatl a\i 
Sunarcuiviecc, ocu-p noco Titesaii a gabait Cf6 ap. v'T^"arcaip,ecc .1. tog 
30 Doaraixa-o aca ananTnatnictn co be. Tiaptcli -01 a, .1. 

po^seatt 5viaT)nairc, .1. in guviuTmatre -Dvonxgett TIO. 
Yieach ar, pochivatc .1. na bjvecha gua T>O bpetdi -co ay. 
toigfoecca, ocur noco titesan, CTO a inbixptrli an atrci. 

' For hire. Vide Vail. Collect., p. HO, vol. iii. (No. X.) 


done by him. From betrayal, i.e. without betrayal of the nobles; and it OF TAKING 
is not more lawful for him to betray the plebeians. 1' ro m unworthy con- LAWI-TI, 
duct, i.e. with respect to false decision of his law, or with respect to wounding or O$SKSS1O; ' 
robbing his people ; for if he had been guilty of any of these, he shall not have the 
honor-price of a king completely. 

There are seven proofs which attest the false- 
hood of every king; to turn a synod out of their 
noble Mis '-fort^izcbe without truth, without law, 
' dide aire,' unless they (the demands of the parties) 
were beyond right ; defeat in battle ; dearth in his 
reign ; dryness of cows ; blight of fruit ; scarcity of 
corn. These are the seven live caudles which expose 
the falsehood of every king. 

There are seven wi tn esses, i.e. there are seven things as it were wit- 
which attest his falsehood against every king. To turn a synod out, 
i.e. to turn the synod of the church out of their noble 'lis'-fort (meeting-place.') 
Without truth, i.e. respecting certain fines, i.e. without justice. Without 
law, i.e. respecting ceding to them uncertain debts. ' Dide -aire,' i.e. unlaw- 
fully. Unless, &c., beyond right, i.e. "unless" for 'but,' i.e. I make an 
exception here, if it is after offering of law by him, it is not unlawful for him then. 
Defeat in battle, i.e. by an equal number in a lawful battle fltljJy i.e. half his 
price of honoris taken away on account of it. Dearth, i.e. to be without wealth, 
i.e. that famine should be iii his reign. Dryness of cows. i.e. failure, i.e. to be ty "W- 2f 
without milk, i.e. destruction of the milk. Blight of fruit, i.e. after its 
appearance, and it is afterwards destroyed in the bud. Scarcity of corn, 
i.e. the disappearance of the corn, the vanishing of it, or a small quantity of corn 
being in existence. These are the seven live candles, i.e. these 
above are the seven things, as if living candles, which expose or exhibit to view his 
falsehood against every one who is a king. 

There are three falsehoods which God most 

. . T^r-C.. . . 

avenges upon every territory ; additional gain by 
a false contract; deeiskrti by false witness; false 
judgment given for hire. 1 

Three falsehood s,i.e. there are indeed three falsehoods for which God takes ^ " 

worst vengeance upon the territories. Addi tional gain by a false contract, 

*ts -fJUvU~ *xx<^uvt^x 
tract, when it i^ iit La 

1)i*f f(~t JtiM, fJlrv*j**Ji '- i- ~4,^M*ts -fJUvU~ *xx<^uvt^x . 

i.e. to receive afi/b*MUiAMWtAPtrwr afalsexvwtract, when it i^ iit LawioJ to receive it 

4ft/ (/>.** ^.fu'stAsrs^ 

even for. a true contract, i.e. to get reward by his saying that there it^surt&nt 
where thwft-is none. Which God avenges, i.e. for which God showers down 
his vengeance. Decision by false witness, i.e. to apniwof false wi 
False judgment for hire, i.e. false judgments to be passed by him for a 
payment or hire, when it is not lawful even to pass them gratis. 

54 "Oin ^ecuija'D 

OF TAKING CCccoc ceiehpi naDtn naT> pea'oa'o cjaTrpoipcai'oeap 
. 21. POMPON. TnuT) pop a ptaich ', mac pop a achaip, ; manach pop, a 
abaiT); ulach pop, apaile mat) an aenap. CCji popuaplaice 
ptaich, ocup pfne, ocup eactap each pochap, ocup each 
-I- ? rnochap, pocep/ocap, pop,a meampva, ache m popcongpaT) ; 
ap, ace ceopa natrnianT) 'appa mnpm naipcaiticeap ta 
peine : cop, pop eacalpa, cop, pop, pognamce 
ptacha, cop, pop paenteagachaib pfne. CCp TIO 
plaich, ocup pine, ocup eaclaip each cop, na colmat^cep. ; ' 
ap, 7)165011 TDoibpitim na be lobcaij coji, ap T)ia mbaT) 
cop, ip ant) m cinncacpom cupu a memop. 

CCp, ip annpom 1 mbp,eicheamacc cop la peine cuip, 
' cpene. Cfp, ace cuip, cjveineacha ta peine each la pea]i 
// Cz3Y , 5"l| T)ia upojaipe, alaili T)ia popnjaip-e, ap, ap T>o puiDe aca 

C &ZJO irpopcongaip, nc(7otip5ai|i inn JIUITI conctiaipe. 

CCcaic ceicliin na-om, .1. acaic a cechyiafi no n1 ponait>ni, ocup 
tioco mnTjyKiigcep, ofVfio ciai^lq^j;uiT)e-D HIT) mt:, .1. cop, pop. tnemyiu i tiec- 
tnctip a cenn ; caiclimigic mi CHID na cup.ii fern mam bee cota T>oib, .1 ir 
amtaiTi fin aca, no iman ipmacc -oic annpo cen co hicun. in tnclipn. 
to Ciat> |xoipcai'oean.,.i.cia TXO aixgicen, poi\ifio. 1YluT> pop, a i?laich 
.1. fenvafo in plaich niaD ait tetf. Tllac <po}\ a admin,, .1. pc oc. 
Ulanacn pop a abait>, .1. co pa icac a cenna, .1. aip iy niT>pa -0011 
memop cachca-D in cint> gaibi-o ima polca t>ib con-Dapagbac a ppitpotca. 

cj. tfif*'* f- c , Ulach pop. apaite, .1. -0015 ^enpai-o ime, .1. utacli bif cen piaronu ci-o 

^S"i macaipe beic tp amUtiT) fin biaj^ CCp popuaplaice, .1. tiat> baT> 
machcaT) cen cobach ooib T)ib, uaip popuaflaice-o cac cop t>o ginac. 
Cach fo chap, .1. cop com loigi. Cach nochap, .1. T>iubapca. PO- 
cepT>cap pop a meampa.i. atxt cupcap pop. a momopicnechaib, 
pop amempaib; CIT> 'oonoap nacaicmesDai^ no nayenpa'oirin cunT>pat> 
DO oeii'oaif piu botiein. CCchc in popcongpaTi, .1. ace ini popcon- 


<n^Am' - e -*,*-*" . e ^'f r ^. 

There are four covenants which a^aotr binding OF TAKING 

Si<W(/lr<*>V -tr&f4>***S .7 LAWFUL 

though they (the parties) are proeeedMvagamst ; Uwt POSSESSION. 

Cl-# &fW-'* t * ~\ ^^^ff^-t f> i 1 /} 

^ bondman m&i his chief]; of a son writ his lather ;<4.A vf i> 
tj^a monk *wM his abbot; $f an 'ulach '-person with 
another if alone. For the chief, and the tribe, and the 
church, will redeem (rescind) every good contract and 
every bad contract which are made with their sub- 
jects, except what they themselves order them; for 
these are the three dfeeve eeWnants mentione'd by 

the Feini ; the covenant with a subject of a church, 
the covenant efot servitoc of a chief, a covenant 
with fugitives from a tribe. For the chief, and the 
tribe, and the church, may annul every covenant of 
this kind to which they did not consent ; for they 
are bound not to be remiss about covenants, because 
if they should be remiss about covenants, then they 
do not annul the covenants of their subjects. 

For in the judgment of covenants with the Feini the ^ 
covenants of three are difficult. The ternal covenants 
with the Feini are where one man commands it (the 
covenant) and another forbids, for to him io the com- 
mand who has not forbidd^, what he has heard. * ** 

There are four covenant s, i.e. there are four persons who make a wwwant, U 
and proceedings cannot be maintained icc/Wfy against them though they are 
^ for it, viz. :-a covenant with subjects in the absence of their chiefs ; the 
,-hic.h dissolve these covenants inA-ss tlipy havR gvenjheir_cc,p.^nt to OK rntfaag 
s^them ie it is thus it is, or ' smacht '-fine is paid in this case, though com- 
pVsation is not paid. Though they are proceeded against, i.e. though 
*"*. ther-e.rr-t.ed. A bondman with hi s chief, i.e. the chief may repudiate it, 
*"~ if ii so please him. A so n with his father, i.e. sic oc. A monk with his 
abbot i e. uotiHM-WS for his crimsUstit !< ^. u \t for the 



'ulach '-person, i.e. because he will deny all about it, i.e. an ' ulach ' who is 
without a witness, even though they be in the plain, it shall be so. W i 1 1 r e d e e m, 
i e it is no wonder that they should not distrain them, for they redeem every c< 
tract which they make. E v e r y g o o d c o n t r a c t , i.e. every contract of full 
value. Every bad contract. i.e. frauds. Which are made with 
theirsubjects, i.e. which are put upon their dependants, upon their subjects; 
W h v then should they not dissolve or deny the contract which they should make with 
themselTes (the chitf*). Except what they themselves order, i.e. but 

*Om Ceccusat) Tirana. 

OF TAKIXO STwnc boT>em Twib-oo oenum pe nech oile, uaip tioco cuim 5 ech a caicme- 
' cti r roe '^ amuil T>O genac a cunnpat, pen. CCp ace ceopa no-c- 
ant), .1. ap ace cpi mcomann inpti ponaifcitep T>a nairneiT>enn in 
:enechar, ocu r i r ejbcroacn aba a ma.c on t, -DO ni lac. Cop pop 
,: meampa eacat r a, .1. (Yecmatf. Cop pop po 5 n amte ptacha, .1. 
nnpat) -DO T>enam pip m IIK'C bif ac po 5 natn -oon plmcn. Cop pop 
paenlea5acnaib,.i.copcupcapapnapanneloT)achaibbi|-Donpine. CCyx 
ooinncai ptaich ocup ptne,.i.uaiptnipai5iT>in plaicn,ocuf in eclmf~, 
ocuy in pine cac cunnpan nac tolmnach a memain, ocuf ife cuic in 
roopam), tiaip i Tiubpamap ponianiT) oca cpi naT>manna e r pa, .1. peoic 
ml icip focticti-De anT) pn, ocup 111 ci po pec a cuic T.e i r Tnlu|> uaT) he, 
ocuy- m ci na po pec noco mla^ ua-o he. CCp olegap -ooib, .1. uaip 
.e apt)oibpum nap ablencaignonap ticcaigaccobach nacopntnT>li 5 - 
cech 7)0 nine a memaip, .1. napbac tiuncaig cobaig lap pij- COT v CCp 
oiamba-D lobcaig, .,. ap t>iambac laebcaig f lum no T>iatnbac liccais 
ii-oecc po na copaib. 1 r ant) ni cmncacfom, .1. i r ann pn ni 
cin-Dcacj-um, no noco cenn-ooipcic af na ctnp t>o nice a memam mi 

CCp if annroni, .,. ua ip T 7,0 na noich.b if T,o,l 5 , a 
" ""^ ^ T 16 ^ 1n Veneehai r . C U , n cpene .,. cuip rp, nech no rp, nor. 
fix W* .,. Iri ^a,L, T>ia popn 5 aipe, .1. ac popcon 5 aip a -oenma .1. anncp 5 m n o a - 

fau Cgbo >emt>enma. CCp , f ^oy^u^e aca popcongatp, .1. ap i r coma- " 

>a, r ,n aca conu-o manT> -DO neoc ocu r t>o neic popcon 5 a,p a t>enAa A 
man a t>epna upgaipe a nenrDennia. 

: ^a^ cfii natimariT)a la peme tiaT) jioi^lieaT) nf 
anaicai-ocefi. *Oi 5 aib DO Log eneach eijieach no reasaT) .- 
nm-om pop, neacfi ^o pinncap, poji tijipoqia ; 11017)171 ' 
cofiarasai-oe la 5at)ai 5 e 5 in rn ga^a pa-oepn ; pojicfiai-o 
C0lbe:e ^ eac W^"'D ; |ap acme -oa achlait) cop, la peine, l. 
lit- M 30 bean TW cabaja coibce nqi-pnaiseai), octir pep, -DO beip, 
coibclie mop ppi bai-opg ~ipa\i na rcapa -oilp. CCjia are 

1 TAe <e>-na/ covenant! In C. 8CO, the following note is added: 

1 Ternal covenants, i.e. of three persons, i.e. three contracts upon him, i.e with a 

chief, with the church, and with an extern tribe, whichever it be his share is forfeit. 

Forbid*. Dr. O'Donovan read as in the text the first syllable of the word 

' 1 ; in the MS. there is simply a ' with two diagonal strokes over 

it;! contraction for 'n ' being a horizontal stroke over the letter which 

n ' should follow. The reading would thus be " ac" The reading in 

C. 860 is " " 


what they themselves order them to make with another person, for they are not able OF TAKINT, 

to dissolve these, but as they would their own contract. For these are the LAWFUL 

three defective covenants, i.e. for these are the three covenants which are con- 

tracted of which the ' Fenechus '-law makes mention, and their ' ba ' i.e. their 

good is defective from the persons who make them. The covenant with a 

subject of a church, i.e. in the absence of the heads. The covenant 

of a servitor of a chief, i.e. a covenant which is made with those 

people who are doing service to a chief. A covenant with fugitives 

from a t ribe, i.e. a contract made with the fugitiveswho areof thetribe, For 

the chief and the tribe, &c., may annul, i.e. for the chief, and the 

church, and the tribe, abrogate every contract with which their subjects are not 

satisfied ; and the force of the ' for ' here is, for we said before there are three 

defective covenants, i.e. a 'ied' which is between (owned by) many persons is here 

referred to, and the person who sold his share of it, forfeits it, and as to the person 

who did not sell it, it is not forfeited by him. For they are bound , i.e. for 

it is right for them that they be not remiss or negligent in setting aside the unlawful 

contracts which their subjects make, i.e. that they be not remiss in setting them aside 

after knowledge of the contracts. Because if they should be re- 

miss, i.e. for if they should be negligent, or if they should be remiss, and not 

impugn the covenants. Then they do not annul the covenants, 

i.e. it is then they do not set aside, or they do not abrogate the contracts which "oftvn^, 4fuM> 

their subjects make, by opposing them. 

For they are difficult, i.e. for they a r e among the things that are 
most difficult in the judgment of the covenants according to the ' Fenechus '-law. 
The ternal covenants, 'Le. the contracts of three persons or three parties. 
One man commands it, i.e. commands the doing of it, i.e. forbids 8 the non- 
doing of it. For to him is the command, i.e. for it is from that principle 
is derived that it ia the same to one to command its doing and to forbid its non- 

mi <M~ 

Ihere are three coweats with the Feini, which 
do not amount to the thing stipulated. It takes 
from the honor price of a chiaf-wfatr-goes upon- a 
covenant with a person who is ktrewa to be pro- 
claimed ; a covenant concerning stolen property with 
a thief, although he did not steal it himself ; to give 
too great a nuptial present to an ' eachlach '-person ; 
for there are two ' achlaidh ' covenants with the 
Feini, the case of a woman with whom the nuptial 
present of a married woman is given/ and the case of 
a man who gives a large nuptial present to a harlot 
for-ber-hnvitiT divorce. For these are the covenants 

58 "Dm 'Ceccugcro 

OK TAKING cuiji innpin na'op.oicea'O co cjuan fio ftuDigeat) amu- 

I.AWFUL . , 

POSSESSION, baficaib cop, ta peine. 

CCchc un^anra cop, la peme, ni "Oileap ni gen aijiil- 
tiT), afi nach cfxaiT)e ip eaplan injaip a cotbche, 'olip'O c ^ 
r flan cjiaite a fieifi bfieicheaman, achcuaip no ujigaific 
no epnachc. 

CCcatc tpt nT>manT>a, .1. t>o ni ponaiT>m T>a naipneiT>enn in pene- 
cup, ocuf noco ixo iirofaigec mi in anuceyceT) iac, no iix5Q\uc 
"Oigaib -DO tog eneacli, .1. t)i5baiT> T>O tog a enech m arfMcn n 
10 icrc co pip -DO naca -olisenn, no if tn,oyx:<ro tun. olise-o, Li. in 
cicpaic in pne v cojxaib, -t- V'f V U T V V OC I ICI ac ctxebuifit in ujxivaTiuip ; no 
gin cuilimiTiecca a cam, ocuf ni uit ac yeiclietiiuin coiclieTja ; aicngin T>IC 

" cP-e^u'T 1 '! ocu r tloco 11 ' cca 1> iijiv'f" 1 crxebuitx! no co 
cincac. t1aiT>ni pofi neach .1 naiT>m -DO raec TIO cmo in- 
,fco mcann ; T)i5baiT) T>ia emectamn m meic p,o T>ibayca|v T>ia 
Tlafom copula j^afoe, -1. if eipnT>n,acup a v'f coifi T>ut 
|ie Dttpi m cpeoic gaici cap, cenn in sacaroi cin cob sacai-oi he 

afoann cjieabaiyie m QITD pn, ocuf ce 
ni tucann ni fxe ^pen- me'oon 501^6 Ian mn-olistac, ace 
u. mtina puit cfiebaifie T>O ]\e T)i5bait a lami w 

coibce .1. coibci oon ci a\i a neillgiceji, atiiuil 
ai|ve pon,each, uaip.i' niifiia iciyi ace log a cenbaijxno a caille. 
CC|v acaic oa. achiai-o con. .1. aca T)efDi ayv a neillgiceii coyx, amuit 
al l^ e Vn- ech, -oa naiyneiT>eiTD in penecnapp, ' "01 COT 1 poce)XT>aice]i p]u 

^yhectaclia. bean pn,ir cabap coibce .1. in cuiananjin nronaiTii yyil. 
Pen, -oo bein, cotbclie mop,, .1. baiTiyech cac be cait>e, nocacbenT>eip5e 
lann,.i.tipnaiTim cen impolca ap, a cenT>. Pop na pcapa, .1. naponaip- 
cirep a T>itp T>I. CCp,a ace cmp inn^m, .1. ap ice cuip inpm ocuy 
nnco po in-D^mgcep ciT> co cpian na cop nTiligcec. Ro put'Disea'D, .1. 

7C . po pamaigeTi, no poliopTjaige-o a nupan etpepcaib na cop T>a]naip)eroenn 
in <.'er>echaf\ CCchc upgapca .1. ace na cuip upj;aipte pea annaf T>a 
iiaipieiT>enn in penecliup, tiuip caichmicep uile iacpaiT>e, -i- aclic na 
cuip upgatpci peo, ni oilep cen ni T>on aipiltiUT) T>O pacbait ppi cupu bet 
DO peip na peine .1. cpian. 'gen aipi ttiu-o .1. noco oilepni trip cen a 

' In case oj poverty. In C. 2,742, ' uaijV as a degree of poverty, is distinguished 
from ' angbochc,' ' extreme poverty.' 

2 ' Eachlach-person. ' In C. 860, 'nechlagn' is glossed " 'meptiiaech,' a 
woman to whom a ' nuptial '-present is given, .Lip echtuij cop mpn, she is 
an 'echlach' of engagements then," ' TT1 epfjpech ' is the Latin 'meretrix.' 
me also, C. 264. 

1 Forbidden contracts. In O'D. 425, these forbidden contracts are said to be : 
that of the son of a living father, that of a person without property, &e, 


which /amount ecJy to one-third of what has been OF TAKING 
ordained in fraudulent covenants by the Feini. POSSESSION. 

Except the covenants which are forbidden by the 
Feini, nothing is due without deserving it, for every 
property which is unsafe is entitled, after nuptial J W *///, a 4 

to the Brehon, except * 

in case of poverty 1 or prohibition or want 
poorer. ^^Lo<t^Wc^ 

There are three covenants, i.e. there ore Mree who make contracts men- 

tioned by the Feiiii, and they do not attain to the thing which they agree for, or -jn tir^M^. 4"^ * 

as-te-whidi-Uioy get a. ehoice. It takes from the honor-price, i.e. it sub- 
tracts from the price of the honour of the chief who sues for them, knowing that 
he is not entitled to do so, or it is fasting in excess of what is legal,* i.e. the i r Beyond 
proclaimed person ; the tribe will oppose his contracts, i.e. the surety in ' urradhus'- law. 
law having knowledge of the proclamation ; or he being without merits in * caiu '- 
law, and the defendant has not knowledge thereof, compensation is to be paid by the 
surety, but nothing is to be paid by the surety until the guilty person is apprehended. 
A covenant T7ith a per son proclaimed, i.e. a covenant which is made for 
a fugitive until he pays ; it lessens his '-exit ' olftinr as much as it subtracts from his 
wealth. A covenant with a thief, i.e. it is impropriety for one who has b true b Jr. In. 
knowledge to go security for the lawfulness of stolen property for a thief although 
he is not a thief himself. 

The surety does not bind anything here, and though the thief be 
apprehended, he does not pay to the fully unlawful middle theft 
man, unless he has security for the payment of the emptying of 
his hand to him. 

Too great a nuptial present to an ' eachlach'-person* i.e. too great 
a nuptial present by the person of whom it is demanded, as ' a load on a horse,* for 
any thing given to her is overmuch, except the price of her head dress or cowl. For 
there are two ' achlaidh ' covenants, i.e. there are two of whom contracts are 
sued, like ' a load on a horse,' which the Fenechus mentions, i.e. two contracts which 
are made with ' cchlach '-persons. A woman with whom the nuptial 
present is given, i.e. the nnliwful contract, &c. A man who gives a large tf- V, Ji/e- 1* 
nupti al present, i.e. every secret woman is a harlot, or every woman who deserts 
her UaiueJs a strumpet, i.e. thprpis ymaifr&nt. n.-idut*t*-pi*>p<.rt)- nnnrwmiiig her. For 
her divorce, i.e. when her rightisdueto her by contract. For these are the . 

covenants, i.e.for these are the compacts which do not extend but to one-third of 4M/f\#* Vis ^y^ 
the lawful contracts. What has been ordained, i.e. what has been settled or 
ordained in trrersr/Sie ot estimatiog-coEenaiTts of which the Fenechus treats. Ex- 
cept the covenanti whi^i are forbidden, i.e. except the above forbiddeu 
contracts which the Fenechus mentions, for they are all dissolved, i.e. except these 
forbidden contracts, 3 it is not lawful not to have a part of the thing deserved under 
exprecced contracts according to the Feiui, i.e. one-third. Without descrying 
it, i.e. nothing ia lawful at all for which its full value has not been paid. For 

60 T>m 

OF TAKING lucre pola lanloigi T>ap a cent). CCp nadifcpai-oe, .1. each cpai-oi bef 

LAWFL ' L eplan irnai-o acoboigi cuip ocuf cuiiT>an,ca. T)li?;i-o flan cpaitie, .1. 

Q5SEN510N. olignvplainciujuga-o a cpm-oi amuil iy> piap T>O bpeichen'iain, no amuil a 

Depa in bpeichem ap a peip. CCcht uaif no upgaipc, .1. cabaipt,.!. 

s- nai-om pop, nech po picip poppficpa, .1. nai-oni copufa gaici la jacai-oe. 

Mo egmachc, .1. popcpait> coibcippi heclaig, uaiyiTiaroni niTiliscecY'in, 

ocuy tioco napcmc tii, .1. ayi etcm, no yal pp, cpenuj^ 1 nibecluag, .1. con, 

DO i^ocliom) co py co cpebuipi, no T)ono, cop pop, niempu. 

ivK- rr 

k ? tlcaic qii T>onT) ncrom naipcanDce^ ta peme T)icean- 

glaT) a peiceamna : bean pfii cabqi cotbche, iiTOiclitij 
reach a adiaifi ; maD afi Tuceatl an acliaii, of adiaiji 
/V6. a _ e IL'P a J 1 in coibche }Mn ; cop, poceiiT>cafi feach aga 

pine a'Oa cojxa To bcicli 050 ; cop, paepma pocep,T)caii 
peocli pine miiinaige. CCp, ace 'Dona'DmanT) iniipo "Dicean- 
a peicheamna na'Da'D cofia Tio naTnnaiT)rii. 

Cfcaic cpi oon'D na-om, .1. c*n nccommroa ponaiyxMcep icai t>a 
naipieiT>enn in venechuf\ Tdceanglat), .1. T)i aca TJiulcciTi, cona cen- 
glac net cpebmpi na -petcheamna T>apa ceccttc cem>, .1. cm pocepT>aicep 
Do^mcnbiap. Dean ppi cabap, coibche .1. manab comcineol, no 
manab coibci cechca, CI-D comceneoil. TT1 ar> ap, T>iceall, .1. mem ap 
pacli oichle fn nachap -DO necep pn. CCf achaipaen, .1. i]^laif in 
achaip a oenpep in cotbci pn, ocup ip t>ilu^ in ben T>ono on ci T>iacabap. 

) - 1 - ma ' I 10 IP 1 !" 1 1)1 i"5ean conaf> a^ -Doigain 7>it1ile an 

00 jnece^ potiaiDm a coibce T>I, citi u^xunnuf no T>teifeaT) iti 

i-cachai|i non coibce, ruitlrejv ^nf T)o feccub ^o T)ilpb na mna 

pein, co fiaib coibce comlan ann ; ocuf cia -DO gne in bean cirmra 

int)leifDea coibce no up.^unnuf TJO coibce, m hicann in radiani 

nf t>e ; muna pmp. miu^yxo, in in^ean com ap, -pat T)iclile DO 

O'D. 426. Bfiecea, [if] flan TDI, octif icait> in ci DO fime in 

i Contract and covenant. In O'D. 425 "acoboijt cunnupca" is glossed thus: 
" -i. ima T>ibuipc ctinpef a no cpebuipe T>O caitmtuch amuil if piap no 
bpeichernuin .1. m cpian cop nibel, oc m pip cpeanu-p pacabap m cptan. 
Fraudulent contracts as regards ignorance or security are to be dissolved as is the 
rule with the Brehon, i.e. the third of express contracts, with the man who huys 
the third is left." 


every property, i.e. every property which is unsafe after her perfect dower of OF TAKING 
contract and covenant. 1 Isentitled,&c., tobesafe,i.e. her property is entitled LAWFUL 

to be made secure according to the sentence of the Brehon, or as the Brehon shall 

say respecting it. Except poverty or prohibition, i.e. as to giving, i.e. a 

covenant with one who knows the proclamation, i.e. a covenant concerning stolen 

property with a thief. Or want of power, i.e. giving overmuch nuptial 

present to a harlot, for that is an unlawful covenant, and nothing retwiCTS-it-bkid- 

ing, i.e. by violence, or the bar (barrier'} of a man who purchases for small value, Cp- J 

i.e. the covenant of two sane persons with knowledge and warranty, or according fOZ- 2' 

to others, a covenant with subjects. 

There are three covenants entered into by the 
Feini which the parties who have claims 2 dissolve 
that of a woman to whom a nuptial present is given, 
if concealed from her father, ( if concealed from the 
father, it is to the father alone this nuptial present is 
due ) ; a covenant which is made without the know- 
ledge of the chief of a tribe, who ought to be present 
with them; a contract of adoption which is made 
unknown to the ge&tipmng tribe. For these are the 6^rr^f \ 
bad covenants which the parties having claims dis- 
solve, and which are not binding. 

There are three covenants, i.e. three covenants there are which are 
fastened, as mentioned in the ' Fenechus '-law. D i s s ol ve, i.e. ' di ' is a negative, 
i.e. the sureties do not bind the parties for whom they enter into security, i.e. although 
it mwJ?e eat-jipofl_ th'" a raprnm-h. A woman to whom a nuptial 
present is given, i.e. unless she be of equal family, or unless it be a lawful 
nuptial present though she maybe of equal family. If concealed, i.e. if it 
be for the purpose of defrauding the father this is done. It is tothe father 
alone, i.e. it is to the father alone this nuptial present belongs, and the woman is 
forfeited by the person by whom it is given. 

If the daughter knows that it is for the sake of defrauding the 
father the covenant of her nuptial present is made with her, 
whatever proportion of the nuptial present the father is entitled 
to, he is to be paid it in ' seds ' out of the woman's own lawful 
property, until a complete nuptial present is made up ; and though 
the woman should commit a crime for which her nuptial present, or 
a portion of her nuptial present is liable, the father pays no part of 
it ; but if the daughter does not know that it was done for the 
purpose of defrauding, she is guiltless, and the person who makes 
the contract of marriage shall pay. 

a The parties who have claims. The term ' peiceam ' means either creditor or 
debtor. It is found also in the sense of an advocate or pleader. Here it seems to 
mean the persons whose authority was necessary to render these contracts binding. 

62 t)in 

L F A h COIX POOOT^TV rech a 5 a p,ne, ... In con, cu W f ech in 05 ae 
POSSESS. bl f T>on P " e> 1 -^'cn 5 eil V me. CC-oct coyia T>O be, C h 050,.,. , r conu 

. ,.. 

to*- Coppae r ma.,.in COTl c UncaTln , r , n mac paerma 
an p,ne, oc r n, ajije^ 5 , ne 5eilv , ne . Seocf , ^ m J 

'recninpmeW r ac un nan>eacinT,. CCn. ace oonaT>manT> ,,, n J 
an 5 la-o, * uuin. i r icrc f o na nautnann V onm r cice n acai ; ocnr^o 
a mnlccDO, co na cen s lac na crxebu^i na peichemain can a cecaic cen-o. 
llaT>aT) cojia, .1. noco coip, a ponaitun. 

leach cacha cec coibclie cacha mna -oia lioja pine, 

. ma-o mp, negaib a achafi, ma-D he polo a chinai-o ; qiian 

-Don cantfoe, ceachfunme -Don qieapp coibche. niat) 

cumpcai-Dec co n-oeichbifie ocafai-De, conposlaigcea^ a 

comptechcmb peine ; afi tea cuic acoibce cacha mna -oia 

haga pne, amail pil a cuic a nabaT) bainp'oe. Ippop, 

,?pt]n-D -DO peip-oeap, bjaeaca buain ocup ambuafn la 


0/6 Ml ' Geactl cachc( cec co.bche, .1. ni bejuiti in f o ca^ab oil r T>on mna, 

If a'jxe i r lu 5 u benaiyi on mna, o mencnigceri a tecu^, coyvab luga 
cep, ,mar> a oin-oille. T),a haga p,ne, .,. TO n o S ae b, r 7>on ptie. 

-t. TTluna marxarn in ca ,chiri a let alctxum on cnge p'ne, no 
lere iap,Twn* le ocuf ujinai'Din -DO comchfneol, ocu r cyiian cfnoit 
le -DO cum cac prx 5 r a naca ; ocu r CIT> mfnfc -DO niceaji a hun- 
naiT>m n e haen pe n , noco T)le 5 a^ criian cin6it te ace aen reacc. 


ma maitiai* mu^o ,n cachain, a let tajwt no leat atcnutn 

ocu r i^narem T> O cotnctnol ; ocu r cn ,an nnoit le 
/tf-ft. Cum cac W 5"r a naca 7T il ; mi.uil aca a mtmecaib erozm 

Iff 3'V 

To the head of the W6e.-The Irish gloss may also mean, Mo the most perfect 
person who is of the tribe.' 

' Tinol '-marriage collection.-' Tinol' was the collectioa of gifts which the 
tire, and friends presented to the woman on her marriage. Vide vol 2 
page 34fi, n. 3. 

T Tot That i9 ' " She WSS diV rCC(1 and after rar <l" married to the same man 
In D. 425, ,t is added that it is lawful to marry her to the seventh person from 
that out, she is considered a ' gab'ul baidbe.' 
4 fudgmentt of ' Eidgedh: Vid. vol. 3, pp. 88-97. 



A contract which is made without the knowledge o/the chief of OF TAKING 
a tribe, i.e. the contract which is made without the knowledge of the head 
of the tribe, i.e. the 'geilfine '-chief. Who ought to be with them, i.e. 
it is right that he should be at the making of it. A contract of adoption, 
i.e. a covenant which is made with the adopted son of the tribe, and it is not fot-the 
C/ '2ffr- ty ' usaafciitew maintenance from the ' geilfine '-division. Unknown to the peti- 
tioning tribe, i.e. without the tribe which is petitioning for the payment o/his 
crimes. For these are the bad covenants, &c., i.e. for these are the 
covenants which being made arc again dissolved; and 'de' is a negative, i.e. 
the sureties do not bind the debtors for whom they enter into security. Which 
are not binding, i.e. it is not right to fasten them. 

Half of each first nuptial present of every woman 
is due to the head of her tribe, if married after the 
death of her father, if it be he that had sustained f 
(paid for] his erinies ; one-third of the second, and *i* [** 
one-fourth of the third nuptial present. If she 
goes away of necessity from that out, it (the nuptial 
present) shall be distributed according to the arrange- 
ments of the Feini ; for a share of the nuptial present 
of every woman is due to the head of her tribe, as 
he has his share in the ' abad '-gains of a harlot. It is 
by this the judgments of every proper and improper 
(woman) are known among the Feini. 

Half of each first nuptial present, i.e. this is not given nntil it is 
lawfully due to the woman. The reason that less is taken from the woman 
because she has been put away frequently is that the quantity of her cattle is left 
fewer. To the head of her tribe, i.e. to the head of the tribe. 1 

If the father is not living half the price of her fosterage is paid 
by the chief of the tribe, or, according to otters, she shall bring" 
one-half price of fosterage in marriage with on e of the same tribe, and 
one-third of the ' tinol '-marriage-collection 2 to every man to whom 
she goes ; and however often she may have been contracted to 
one man, it is not required by law that she should bring the third 
of the 'tinol '-marriage-collection with her but once. 3 But if the 
father is living, her half fosterage-price, or half the expense of her 
fosterage is paid by" the father, in case of c marriage with one of >> Ir. From. 
equal family ; and one-third of the ' tinol '-marriage-collection is 
brought by her to every man to whom she goes, &c., as it is set 
forth in the judgments of ' Eidgedli. ' ' U. fa 4)-ufo(f> / 


64 "Oin Ceccugcro S 

OK TAKING 1T)aT> tan. nesaib a achari, .1. in ci ip nepatpann acapm. 1T1 an 

h e v ^ a c1lnlai ' D > ' 1Tla ' D 

POSSESSIOX. nlai ' D > ' 1Tla ' D e 1" caigi pine impuingey a cinca. 

'Cn.i an t>on canipT>e, .i.apincoibchicanaipce, .i.ipm coibcecanaipce 
if oa cfuan no bein.ea-6 a actiain. ami ; ocup if aip,e ip luga beitxeay 
, byiatairv el/Dap acliairv, uai|i 1^ tuja if -oicna laiy uriait na Tiin^ne tin 
cp.iancmol'oapTxei'pciacocTiu'puaice. Til ar> cumycai-oec.i. i mbay,no 
cofifi nona^caiaa, .1. uaip. ip ecuic in maccnaigci.'Daina-Dcp.ena TinTDeicTi- 
birv'iuy T>O neicheain cinrpcan, na aifcebat) uaTifuni m cuc|iumaT)o beyvat> ^ -^ 
oon coibche. ca puiroe, .1. o ca ai-pm-p -Dam ^00 niiroaiipiii, .1. oon 
iiTDj-cuchaf) co nT>eicbit\e. Convoslnisceaji, .1. ^ ca t n po'Deitisce^ In 
acunia ^tpin-pcib in penechaif ima T)uli|-in fiomT) iy neya. CC-p, tr;a 
cuic a coibce, .1. an, aca cuic 1 coibci caca mna T>on oj;ae bi^ -oon pne, 
amuitin cuic aca T>O anT>ut cuy> m mnat mbaich cup aciagan, can, apari; 
ocuf Tp ap -pm sabain, a bith -DO conict m aenmaiirxann pcliic, uain, ipe-o 
pin aca t>o tp in meitx-Dfiig a ntiuJ, ctuci ap, eicm, CI-D rMein/ofiec aeep, CIT> /. 
meiri-oTvech nat. aeecmn ; ocup pOT>ail eneclaimn -DO po aicne* a~coibT>e- 
tacaip ma poT>laiT) aili. CC cuic, .1. TIO pniadic. 1p fofi punt) T>O 
peipi-oan, .1. ip vop- fnn cain,ipcen, bjxeca buam ocup ambuam na 

fftfo 2.-1 mban oligcecli, ocup ambuam na mban nm-olistech. buam, .1- match, 

10 .1. -Dagban. CCmbuain, .1. olc i. o^iocnban. 


If after the death of her f ather, i.e. in thecase of him whoisthenext OF TAKING 
person to the chief this is so. If it be he that had sustained his crimes, LAWFt 
i.e. if it be the head of the tribe that bears the weiyht of t>& crimes. One-third 
of the second, i.e. of the second nuptial present, it is of the second nuptial 
present her father, if living, would have had two-thirds; and a brother gets le^s 
than a father because he is less anxious to command the girl respecting the third of 
her 'tinol '-marriage-collection, if-hei "pi U[it rty -ts-gene from her. If she goes 
away of necessity, i.e. by. ilealh_4_cr_is-diiMced ; for the force of the doubt is, if it Iv-kt.'Wtf <^~ 
be without necessity she separates, it shall not take away from him the proportion of 
the nuptial present which he would get. F r o m t h a t o u t , i.e. as I am treating of 
this case, i.e. the going away with necessity. It shall be distributed, i.e.itis 
fairly distributed according to the arrangements of the ' Fenechus Maw with respect 
to its going to the nearest division. For a share of the nuptial present, i.e. 
for there is a share of the nuptial present of every woman due to the head of the tribe, 
as he has a share for going to the lewd woman, to whom approach is had notwith- 
standing notice ; and from this is derived the ctittom that he has it (a share) to 
the twenty-first case, for this is his right in the case of the harlot, for going in 
unto her by force, whether she be a harlot who sills or a harlot who does not 
-seH; and the honor-price is divided by him according to the nature of her relatives, 
into other distributions. His s h a r e , i.e. of the ' smacht'-fine. It is by this 
arc k-rro-wn, i.e. it is by this the judgments of. the good and bad women are 
.{wwsed, i.e. of the lawful and unlawful women. Proper, i.e. good, i.e. of good 
women. Improper, i.e. of bad, i.e. of bad women. 


bueocdicc comccidicescc cw*oso. 


VOL. rv*. F 2 

A. R*i^.&yt7, jt*- ilj+to- IJ **.[()'&. Ziff -2>S-%) >*'& /ft/a JMts fiuJ. XX? _ 
6. e.3-?.f.i'k4r (''/A r,/-i 9 ) jT 9* /y -W-. 
C. -J. /7 Je-3// 6 

f. )?4--3KV*' [C. 


bReccctia comcadicescc 

CiT) afi a neibenqi comaitticer ? Cumapiaif antifin, 
fiTnii if comaicTi ^naif caich T)ia^aiti T>o tomiiaT) 
Ascv - pmacca qcup cdiclie ; a]iailt if comaichcef qnrrm if 
cuma no T)o ^aib aifte pjii aichecb, ocup aiticintiecli pfii 
.r bachtac. 

bfxeacha comaictice^a .1. btiicetnnu'p yx) be^ayx umun cutnaic- 
ecup umuti aitecup cumaifie, no timun cutnasnap urnun sna'p cumaiT>e, 
( .1. urn an Rnacujcro cumaiT>e. ) 

Cir> an, a netbenan, comaicnce]p, .1. CTO ap, a jvaicen, no an, a 
naipierocejiin caicecTiuf cumaiT>e. Cumagnaif anT)yin .1. gnatuscrp 
cumaiTieannpii. CCn, in m iy> comaich gnaiy caicli -oia n,aiti .1. an, 
iy commoic gnacugcrocdic T>ibn.e ceili. Smacca .1. na meicli. Cdicrie 
.1. in pact) ouine caic^ .1. muna ^t>encaji 50 oligcec 111 coniaicce-p 
CCn,aitt if comaicncep .1. gne eile iy aicecliuy cuniaiT)e. (Xn, in in 
ip cum a no no gaib .1. an, in yafc iy cornmeicc, no ip cucnjima T>le?;un, 
oon ain,e Sfiam flgta a gabatl rnf~ln aiyve 5n.ait> petne, ocup ain,cin- 
tiech na cillt a gabail ive baclach if jn ciU. 

Cai|i, can pop,beifi coimaichcer ? 
f ( 3 0'A' I -*fo$' Ciaq\uchfai5e? ConiianT)ctccoTnap,ba 

zc octif a realba, ocuf impen each Tub pfii ajiaite, ocup 
/ . ;?t ) "Do beqi each Thbj'OiguiTi T)ia^iaiLe. 

Caii\, can von.bein. coimaicncef, .1. cornairicim^canaf a VQfjibne 
1t1 carcecup cumaroe. (Xj)V_poni (tixbuf, .1. tcp in caoirTbribu uaif, wf m 
pg[p.aiin. Cia criuchf aige, .1. cut gne fiTie. Coni\anT)ac comariba, 
.1. ir caom un.n.annaiccna coimcuiT>e ofibu in ve^c' 111 " 1 " on c^cna hamup 


lium aipieif no inmpn Tie. CC, .1. tin, nnibuit). CC fealba, 

o-ve^jxann achon, ofcap penacnup,. 1mven cacTiT)ib pn,i ayiaite, .1. 

xi,c.ii A nibi nai5iT>dceiltj "Do bein, each rub TUgum, .1. gell T> f cn^patt 

n,e comalt in comcncceya, .1. TH fo TiiulcaT), connch n.oic cm intiiU caich 

n T>O cum a ceiti. 

i Airchinnech. The steward of the church lands, or the ecclesiastical holder of 
the church lands. He was a layman, but had primam tomuram. 


WHY is co-tenancy so called ? That is equal customs J <.-"- 

iij MKNTS >>r 

(' cumagnais '), because the customs are equally good CO-TK.V- 

for all reciprocally to levy ' smacht '-fines and penal- 
ties ; or, otherwise, it is co-tenancy, because it affects 
the chief equally ('cuma') with the plebeian ('aithech'), 
and the 'airchinnech' 1 the same as the shepherd. 

Judgments of co-tenancy, i.e. these are judgments that are passed con- 
cerning the common tenancy, concerning the holding in common, or concerning 
the common custom, the common usage, i.e. concerning the common custom of 
holding land. 

Why is co-tenancy so called? i.e. why is the holding in common so 
called or denominated. Equal customs, i.e. that is common usage. Be- 
cause the customs are equally good for a 1 1 , i.e. because the usage 
is equally good ('commaith ') for all reciprocally. ' Smacht'-Bnes, i.e. the 
park*. Penalties, i.e. the fine for man-trespass, i.e. which are imposed, unless 
the common custom (' comaithces ') is lawfully observed. Or, otherwise it is 
co-tenancy, i.e. another reason why it Is so called is, it is a common holding. 
Because it affects, &c., ie. for the reason that it is in an equal degree, 
or in the same proportion that the chief of lordly grade and the chief of the Feini 
grade are bound to receive it, and the ' airchimiech ' of the church is to receive it 
the same as a shspkwd in the church. 

Question Whence does co- tenancy arise ? From 
several heirs. In what manner is this ? The heirs, 
in the first place, partition their shares and their 
possessions, and each of them guards against the 
other, and each of them gives a pledge of indemnifi- <*ivv& 
cation to the other. 

Question Whence does co-tenancy arise? i.e. I ask whence 
does the common custom arise? From several heirs, i.e. from the noble fofi.htfr*' } (/4-J 
heirs enercasinyjJ the land. In what manner is this? i.e. in what way 
is this? The heirs partition, i.e. the landholders fairly divide the land 
in the first place, of which I shall relate or tell. Their shares, i.e. their 
'dibadh'-land. Their possessions, i.e. th father's or the grand-father's 
lands. Each of them guards against the other, i.e. each of them 
against the other. Each of tJremgiv. c of indem nif ica t ion, 

Le. a pledge of two ' screpalls' to observe the law o/'the co-tenaucy; i e. 'di ' is a 
negative, that the fine for the injury done by the cattle of each would not full upuu 
the other." 

t To the other There seems to be sonic error or defect in the MS. here. 

70 bfieocha Comaidicepa CCiTDfo. 

Coop, CiT) "Dopec a cornaicep ? "Oopec fiairo ime. 
CO-TKN- Q ac h 1TTie co na ftnaccaib, each caijijiLti cona caiche ; 
aft_j_jnbiac pmacca m biac caiclie ; ijnbiac caiclie ni 
biac|fmacca. Inromsaib naiT)m naepaib. [ 

f Caip. CIT> Tjopec a cotnaice^, .1. comaificim CTO t 

ipn aicechu cutnait)e. "Do^ec yvaYTD irne, .1. ip |ieTTiceccai5iT> tmm 
|ioinii m pejaain'onaime'DO'Denam. Cacti ime co na ymaccaib, .i.cac 
ime gufOii ni ^tnaccaisceji, ago T>enam, .1. vurmu pyn clmy, ^oc VT 11 COIXHITJ, 
bunt pyii Dinyiime, piT)ba VCJ- V 6 ^" 101 ' Cadi caifigiLti cona caiclie, 
,o ! na meic .1. cac gelt c-oifiicnech jifl 111 pac ouititftatie. Cona catpne 
.1. getl t>a ^pc^epaL'" CC|x 1 mbiac f"iaca nl btac caiche, .1. In 
uaijx biayini ymaccaigtejx ami, in ^aihu ocuy in ^oc VT 1 !'o, n^ca bia'D 
ini -oo bej[.an, i^jiacmcaib .1. na meic no in v'ch -oume caice. 1 mbiac 
caiche 111 biac ^macca, .1. in naiix bgc na mete no in pac ouine- 
Afitlt*'i. i) cliaiceiiocabiaTi mjifianiafipixi ctai|^ocuirin poc pyw coyiaT). 

naiTnn naeyaib, -1- 1^ 1 emi DingbaidieiX'Doiieiiinuapeapa conac 
napxtivie uil/ i\e coniatlai) in comaiccefa, ace ma geall. 

Caiji Cot)eTiT:ap, coimaicef ? CCnfiairorafx aite qi 
rfietp; ingaibraii aile ime T)ia cincn; unpof 
?o aile Ta oecTimqi'De ; incomallrap, 05 ime 7)10 

Cain, Co-oencafx comaicep .1. comaip.cini cinnu'p t>o niclien, in 
caicecup cuniaiT>e. CCn jxamjcafi atle aifx c^vei^e, .1. ujxfiannca-n in 
Vean,ann uma nT>encaT\. 111 caile ap.fp.Sifi. Ingaibcan, aile ime -o\ai 
cu i cc i,.i. sabiyiaile DOT>ent(hi i jx^ibu cyicti utme, oc'uy T>a lii T>uibfve buain 
^ea.-(>a- 1 in voiicin^can. ailo T>ia oecnmai'De, .1. V'1 lcl "' DCt 'T l ln * 
nocc uile DO con,acc i v1^ u 'oecmaide, cinnioca in ci|i T>i\ai5in. 1nco- 
mallcafi. os inieT>ia niiy,.i. comlancngreji m ime conilan -DO co|\ac- 
cain a vs>n.bu in tuip. 

1 Pledge, 'Targillc' here signifies a pledge of two 'screpalls' lodged with a 
neighbour for the payment of damages. 

> Completed in a month. Dr. O'DonOYBB has made the following remark on this 
point : " The language is here very rude r.nd unsatisfactory. It could be im- 

*Ir. II ttft. 

, j 

for the stone-fence. The new custom, i.e. itisjrcll s3?d by (according 


to~) pew knowledge that it is not the SStSSy of a surety that is given to observe 
the co-tenancy law, but a pledge. 

Question How is a co-tenancy made ? It is di- 
vided in three days for the stakes ; the fencing is 
begun in five days ; the fence^fimshed in ten days; 
the perfect fence is completed li^month. 2 

QuestionHow is a co-tenancy made, i.e. I ask how is the common 
tenancy made? It is divided in three day s, i.e. the land on which the 
stake (paliiade') fence is to be made is divided in three days. The fencing 
is begun i n f i v e d a y s , i.e. the fence is commenced to be made at the end of five 
days, and two days are allowed to them to cut its wood. Thefenceisfinished 
in ten days, i.e, it is truly finished as to its reaching the condition of a naked 
palisading at the end of ten days, excepting the blackthorn crest at top. T i: e 
perfect fence is completed in a month, i.e. the complete fence is 
brought to its completion at the expiration of the mouth. 

proved thus: Quajre How is a farm of common occupancy formed? In thrco days 
the land is marked out for fencing. The fencing must be commenced in five days 
(of wlm-h two days are allowed for cutting'the timber). In ten days the fences 
must be'set up and finished, with the exception of the blackthorn crest at top, which 
must be completed a month after the work has been commenced." 


Question What is the first thing in the co- 
tenancy? The division precedes fences. Every CO-TEN- 

* -t -I -i . AXCY. 

fence is liable to a legal conditions; every pledge to 

i j i i 

damages ; where the requisites commanded by law 
are observed there are no penalties ; where there 
are fines, the things commanded by law are not ob- 

. tin U'ltCI /g t qe> 

served. Tfee-new custoni-a^etds-eeettrity . . L^... _^ *, 

fl -.unn/.n '- "'""' .L-r-fxr****^'^.: "3U~lk**+ W&^ *t*U- 
Question What is the first thing, i.e. I ask what comes foremost in 
the common co-teuancy? The division precedes fences, i.e. I deem it 
foremost that the division of the laud should be made before the fences. Every 
fence, is liable to legal conditions, i.e. every fence should be made by 
what the law commands, i.e. a spade for making a trench, a bar for a stone 
fence, a for a strong fence, a billhook for a ' felma '-fence. Every 
pledge to damages, i.e. the sacks, every relieving pledge, or the fine for 
man-trespass. To damages, a pledge of two 'screpalls.' Where the 
requisites commanded by law are observed, i.e. where the thing 
commanded is observed, i.e. the spade for a trend,, and the bar for a stone wall, 
the things to be paid in for the faults are not to be given, i.e. the sacks or the fines 
for man-trespass. Where there are fines the things commanded by 
law are not observed, i.e. when the swks or the penalties for man-tres- 
pus arc due, the spade 1ms not been brought for making gj%**&> and the bar 


bfieocha Conicnrlicefa CCiTOpo. 


i CuTMur piiaclirulitneocuj'coinuicefa? Smactica 
111ie ' J 1 FT" claif, foe mi cojiaro, biail pp.1 -oaijutne, 
p'Oba'0 mi pelmat)! "*0ai|ic!caclia cnem ncroimcom 

'- , . *W/>W.OXif 04 1. - 

- liccuroe fio peola paip,. Ceich^e line TxTttnptn : 
, ' rcojia, -oui^itne, |?elmaT). ttjiaite, ^"-oai^c cacha 

nccDimcoi|i jiaine pjii each mme. 

ipn noccmacliairxe. "Ouitxime, .1. tpn coill,].i. noccaile, (nojif m 


tec macaitie. 

i CoT>iac f machca ime? .1. comaifvcim earn ac nan ece^m acc- 
mscgjiacT)enarnna1iimei]rMn aitechufcuTiiaiTie. Smaclica ime,.i. if e 
111 pnaccaiscep, acu ac T>enum na Tiime. p^obaT) p^i velmaT), .1. 

iv vnif in pat mate, p^if in tiochcaile. Pei^ o?u^ airxlimatroa co 
- ai " 1ctTl malT>1 "' ocu r ^'5' 1 ^ ocu f T 1111 ^'" aitci, V'ac peif in'ocib 
uili, aiialim lai oduy> ixuiyxiu lai, ocuy taijxfce WDCI, oAi-p ai|xlini aiT>ci,lec 
pach peip mt)cib mil. T)aip,c cachac|ieijpi nat)imcoiTX p.ain'oe 
TXO peolct pcufi, .1. oai|ic caca cpeip p.o'Vneca-p aiyv, muntib i in ime 

' Cl r /; eini COIJVDO T>o-p.mne urn a laoinn. Ceich-rie ime -DO cmyin, .1. 
coicrie hirne T>ifcnai5dieiT, 110 ca]iTvtu^curi. Clai f , co^a, .1. 


a T)ei|x an peyi amtnj, if cumlle ceccmcach, ocuf 
an pefi call nf oeTina cm icif,, if nech T)ia mbi log 

a, i.e. the lying down of a beast in a field after being filled to 
satiety. This was a definite trespass. All this is apparently misplaced. For 
definitions of trespasses, vide pp. 124, 12C. 

'Jiuiriu '-trespass, i.e. passing over fields. See p. 124, et ley., infra. 

' The man outside, i.e. the suer or plaintiff. Dr. O'Donoran remarks here, "It 
is very difficult to express these ideas neatly in English. The following may con- 
vey to the English reader a fan- idea of the meaning : 

" If the suer says. ' This stake lias injured my beast once it is unlawfully con- 



Question What are tlie rwt^Ht4k-s commanded by .u- 1)U - 
of fences ainee3iiaucy ? The requisites for the *CO-TKX- 
fences are a spade for making a trench, a bar for a ANCY - 
stone wall, a hatchet for a strong fence, a billhook .^l 
for a ' felmadh '-fence. A ' fcSk^hifer is the fine for 
every three days that he (the. co-tenant] 
kMHftte the yr&p&v portionf which had fallen to him. 

A B < 

There are four kinds of fences wkieh *ighi be-j?e- 
jprired a trench, a stone wall, a strong fence, a ' fel- 
niadh '-fence ; or else, according to others, it (the fine] 
is a ' dairt '-heifer for every three days during which 
he (the joint tenant], has not made the proper portion 
of every fence. 

Question What are the requisites commanded by law of 
fences? i.e. I ask what are the things which are commanded for making the 
hedge in the common usage. The requisites commanded for the 
fences, i.e. it is the thing which is peremptorily ordered for making the fence. 
Abillhook for a 'f elmadh '-f e nee, Le. for making the good fence ('fal 
maith'), i.e. for the naked fence. (' Fei-> '-tn>;m-- ' and leaping over fences, so 
that they are caught in the morning and lying in the day, 'ruiriu '-trespass* 
by night, and the fine for ' feis '-trespass it paid for them all ; at to ' airlim '-trespass 
by day and ' ruiriu '-trespass by day and tairsce '-trespass by night and ' airlim *- 
trespass by night, half the fine for ' feis '-trespass Is due for them all.) A 'dairt '- 
heifer for every three days during which he has neglected 

to make. the pjoper portion. &c., i.e. a ' dan- 1 '-heifer for every three 

rAu-t iff ';f&**w*f**"*$ A&rfc, , . MvJiJ^tfovf*< 
days that he fails, it it be not the fence which is frtjy-tfgntrfor him he has made 

'fkf^ji his Bmin. Four fences which might be required, i.e. four 
kinds of fences are prescribed or required. A trench, a stone wall, i.e. a 
trench or wall on the bare plain. A strong fence i.e. in the woodji.e. 
a naked fence, or hi the halt-cleared plain. ^ 

If what the man outside 3 says is, it is a stake of first fault, and 
what the mail within says is, it is not in fault at all, the com- 

structcd, and I demand satisfaction for the injury,' and if the defendant denies 
that his stake is unlawfully funned or fixed, <>r that it could have done any injury 
unless unlawfully meddled with, then any person who has sufficient honour- 
price to qualify him may settle the dispute, and decide the satisfaction to be made 
for the first injury done by the unlawful stake, or declare that the stake is lawful, 
and thit no injury has occurred by means of it. 

' If the suer says, ' The stake is unlawful!}- made and fixed, and has now in- 
jured my beast for the second time, or the third time,' and the defendant replies, 

74 bfieccctm Comaicticera CCiTOfo. 

JUDO- 1t1ec |, a11 aichsin no biaD ucroa ma c&Tcinaro ; cona Denna cm 


CO-TEN- icin, iflan DO. 

TYlaD x feD a Dein an f.en amui, if cuaitte DecmTrac no cnecm- 

cach h^, ocuf a Dein m f eft call if cuaille ceccmcgc, if leith pn 

5- no lanjMfi DO fcun let Dine no Ian jpine De ; ocuf airhj;in UOD 

ina cep cinaiD, oc'uf noca sabanDjjnenn tine Dibcaj[v"eif Duinime, 

uai]\ linaf) ovnllebun in claif , ocuf bfiifiD cnamti an conar>. 

tWuti- JUwM 5/</0, Cinca no maD na cetna in cem becan ca faip.cfin, lee a mbia 

ma nc(ifilini ifei) biaf ma cainfci, if e aii\ec ceic m nich co 
10 cni Dai|\i:i, amail ara 

, if -oairic cacha cyieiipi nefoimcoin. nam-oe 
cacTi tiime, .1. gne eile, ,i.ifoain.T;atvcac1i cjxeifi, munatn 111 
eim coin. T>O t>o ixiS" 6 Dimi-6. 

co jvoTgabtii* Dume DO lann cmDfacam a CODO DO 
/fDenam Don connaicef, npcha nfuil -pniacc fain niuna Denna 
fogqil, ocuf Da nDenna, ica einic a yos'-a. gebuf unujvno, an 
Dume DO laim emnfacam a coDa Don comaicef DO Denam, aru 
fniacc pain, .1. Datne caca eneifi, niuna tamic ; no ce tamij;, 
niuna De)\na inie; no ce DO nmDt, muna be a nomn boDem no 
,^/</, /) jr. miif can ; no CID hi a nanD boDem no nnefcan, munab i in iine if 
coin no miefcan ; no CID hi m inie if coin DO ninDe ime, ma no 
t ft cinfief_can fen aili ocuf fen ainbeD co cabainc raebaD fi\ni. 

Ocuf in finacE fin Die DO co cenD mif , ocuf can ni Die o fin 
amach co ceiiD mif qiti. Ocuf geall Da fgnepgil 6 cac comaiD- 
if tech an Del^am ciji a ceili f.o cofaib a tepta \ie comaUgp 
Dligep an comaiccefa ; ocuf cin co comatlle, noco ne an jeall 
fin cuicif anD, ace an fmace a Dubnamun 'nomamD, no meich, 

1 No, this is the first instance tliat it has caused any injury,' the neighbours will 
then decide by compurgation, which lias the truth on his side. If they in 
favour of the defendant, he shall make compensation for the first injury whi 
!:< lniicully calli-d the lirst crime of the stake. 

"Fines do not lie for injuries done by any of the other fences from the finn or 
close wooden fence up, ' U-' the commentator, ' the foliage fills tliu 

trench, and the trees break the stone wall.' " 

- "- * * 


pensation that is obtained from him for its first fault is for one j rlK; - 

that has honor-price to decide ;' if no fault at all has been commit- MENTS OF 

ted, he is free/rom blame. AXCY. 

If what the man outside says is, "it is a stake of two faults 
or three faults," and the man within says, " it is a stake of first 
fault," it is half proof or full proof that removes half ' dire '-fine 
or full ' dire '-fine from him ; and compensation is obtained from 
him for its first fault, and none of these fences^jeeHi-tfee-stBEmg &MJU* W& 
fcnco out, taken hnlfl-frfrrfnn rfffftmjrv), for foliage fills the trench, 
c Cw and trees break the stone wall. 

As to the trespasses which the cattle commit while they are 
seen, half of ikntfine which lies for their ' airlirn '-trespass shall be 
for their ' tairsci '-trespass, and the extent of its increase is to three 
' clairt '-heifers, as it is" in other ' smacht '-fines. 

Or else, it is a 'dairt '-heifer for every three days during 
which he has not made the proper portion of every fence, i.e. 
another version, i.e. it is a ' dairt '.heifer for every three days, unless it he the 
division that U right for him, he has made of the fence. 

However long a person may have delayed taking in hand to 
commence the performing of his share of the co-tenancy duties, there 
is no 'smacht '-fine upon him unless trespass luisbeeu committed, but 
if it has been committed, he shall pay the ' eric '-fine of the trespass. 
But, from the time that the man has taken in hand to begin to do 
his share of the co-tenancy duties, he is liable to ' .smacht '-fine, 
i.e. a ' dairt '-heifer for every three clays of delay, unless he has 
come ; or, though he has come, if he has not made a fence ; or 
though he lias made it, unless it be his own portion he has fenced ; 
or though it be his own share he has fenced, unless he lias made 
the proper kind of fence ; or though it be the proper fence he has 
made upon it, if he has put up old stakes or old j . ! s, trusting 
to them/or a fence. And he shall pay" this 'smacht '-fine to Ir. ryi. 
the end of a month, but shall pay nothing afterwards till the expira- 
tion of another month. And each co-tenant 8 shall place a pledge of 
the valve of two ' screpalls ' on one of the rack pins of eacli other's 
houses at the feet of the bed as security for the fulfilment of the 
duties of co-tenancy ; and though he should not fulfil them, tiiisjs JJ^ ' 
not thifci pledge that shall be forfeited for it, but the ' smacht '-fine 
which we have mentioned before, or sacks, or fines for man- 

1 To decide.-- There is some defect in the MS. here, tyt 

* Co-tenant, ' comai'ocecll ' means also co-tiller, ur co-grazier, or co-occupant. 

Comaiclicera CCiiT>ro. 

JUDG- 110 fiadi oumccaithe fo aicneT) net fojlrr, rnn no faf foj;ait ann. 

Mi:.vrs OF ,,7 ^ * 

CO-TFX- Ocdf if IUT> mum blf acu ac oetiuiii u coca 0011 COHKIK :q- no an 
AXCY. inie, fiaiha wn claif , foe pju congrp, biail fni ouinmie, pt>ba pni 
fetnia. Ocf ajinac catch T>ib a tatm a ceili tf tn aitce, co fio 
/|0'2- i( >7 fcummjt Icif naccam an tnafoin TIO T>enatn a coca tion conmt- 
cliccf : ociif in ct na nttrj:a i^cii a afinac TO caiclicjji, octif KMU 
cattrep, a^nac netch, oca V 1 c ^otniixtnie tiat). Ocnf tf e cotfi 
nenma na cla^ac cj\i ct\oijci ma letec tap, nuaccap,, ocuf T>a 
1:^015 a]\ meton, ocuf cjioij iay\ mcrap,, ocuf cixi cixotgci ma 
10 cap/obe, octif cfii rfioigti a lecec an muifi cuyxcafi aifci tap, 
mccajx, ocuf -oa cyioig a^x metion, ocuf qxotg tap, nuacrafi, ocuf 
rjxi qxoigti m aqxtn in mui]\, conat) f e ]xoi5te m aifXT)i na claf ach 
ocuf m aifiT)e m muifi af a cmn. 

1r copa miujxixo, cn,i cixoice mti tetac iajx mccap,, octif na 
a\i nieotan, ocuf cyxoij iaix nuacrajx, ocuf fe qxotgct ma 

1n T)a:i>.iine itiHrjxjxp, if ainhnb otecaix a Denuiii pte ; ba|X]x in 
c]xomT> ayv bun in qxoiiiT> eile, ocuf cona cifa m cajxc bee 

an tilutci, na m Tiam canaif a^x OIUDI. / ijy 

tf *" 

Inocraiti if anila Tilecaix ifite ; qxcig co nwl nonpun inn 
c tia cuaille, ocuf fe <qxoi5Ci ma haintie, no DaTionn A 'Dec, ma no 

oonnmb connifran ; if qxi bunchuin fain, buncbii^x faifi ion 
mccan, ocuf aneit^ ayx fneVon, ocuf anatle iayx nuaccan, ocuf at> 
jach T>a bunchufi ; ocuf noixnn"f oc in chuaille o f|ean amum, 
cin onoigen paifi tan niiacran; ocuf cni beimmtiajjci ceanti , ' ' ^ 

jaclia cuaille conmfi na fata an cuf amcnl comccfa. 

Inatai nT)letannainie-D fin .1. ctaif no conat ifln macbaine, 
ocuf noccatleif m tecmachaine, ocuf T>aiixmieif m caitl. Ocuf 
cucntima 1 naintu mte. 

' His victuals. The word ' ctfinac,' here translated, 'victuals,' occurs under the 
forms ' eafumudi,' ' efianadi,' and ' cv-iim'-, in a laragraph on co-tenancy, in 
the "Finnsruth Fitl>il," (O'U. 155(1), wliere it i.i added, that if a man's 'efinac' 
be used " he is not entitled to compensation, nor to a fine for over use." The term 
may mean the metal implements e;ich <o-t"iiant was obliged to have for the 
work of fencing. As a term for the ploughshare and coulter together, it is still a 
living word ill the south of Ireland. 


trespass, according to the nature of the trespass, if trespass JDG- 
has taken place therefrom. And the implements which they Co TES . 
shall have in making their shares of the co-tenancy work, or ASCJ. 
of the fence, are a spade for a trench, a bar for a stone wall, a 
hatchet for a strong fence, ami a billhook for a ' felma '-hedge. And 
each of them sbaH giE-Ms-ete*kL inta. the hand of the other 
at night, that he may remember to come in tte i^ngjp^dolii^ ^ 
share of the co-tenancy work; and the ^^^^X^^^ ' ff> 

^^^^^^^M^^i, and if the 33SO15y of them - 
) be used;, he shall pay fine for over-use. And the true making of the 
trench is three feet in its breadth at the top, and two feet in the 
middle, and one foot at the bottom, and three feet in its depth, and 
three feet the thickness of the mound which is placed over it, at 
the bottom, and two feet in the middle, and one foot at the top, 
and three feet the height of the mound, so that the depth of that ^ 
trench and the height of the wall over it make" six feet. 

Now as to the stone fence, there are three feet in its thick- 
ness at the bottom, and two feet in the middle, and a foot at the 
top, and six feet in its height. 

But as to the Ssfence, it is thus it should be made : the top 
of the one tree shall be on the trunk of the other tree, and so as 
that the smallest suckling pig" could not pass through it for its M.,. The 
closeness, nor the ox 2>ass over it for its height. 

The naked fence should be thus made: the length of a foot-to the 
articulation (or serration) of the big toe is to be between every two 
stokes, and six feet in its height, or twelve hands, if it be 
measured by hands ; and three bands of interwoven twigs 2 upon it, a 
band on it at the bottom, another in the middle, and another at the 
top, and a certain space between every two bands ; and a hand is the 
length of the pole (the interweaving} from that out, 3 and a black- 
thorn crest upon it at theJWD^and every stake should be flattened 
at top by three blows>truck on its head, after being first thrust % 
the hand on the ground as well as you can. 

The places where these fences should be are thus, i.e. a trench 

or a stone wall in the plain, and the naked fence in the half-plain, 

and the close fence in the wood. And the height of them all is equal. 

Bandt ofinteruoven to.ff*. 'Ounctiori,' literally, 'butt-setting,' means a baml 

of oziers interwoven between the standards or stakes. 

8 For 'atnum' here which seems to make no sense, Dr. O'Donovan conjectured 
anutin ' and translated accordingly. Professor O'Curry translated "o pan 
amuin," "above th. wickerwork." The MS. Bawlinson, 487, fol. 64 a, col. 2, 
has"amuin." ; 

Jroa - 


. , , . l. CO-TEX- 


Opeocha Comaiehcefa 

Smachea eaipgilli each fuxici iryi, famtaaf) octir 
eajj>fca|ia'D ocuf caomcgcc; achcni cuma cdtumaajaic 
ocur ecafircafiac, fiairocap, -oono in bliaT)aiTi 1 n-oe ppi 
pnachca, ap 111 copnail ftnaafa)cacha t^aiche ; .ariTifoni 
r a pngchca gaimpuacm ocur eiftjiach jjaic, ap irptiiche 
beo3>echu coficha. ^eiT>ib miach micefi cach neche- 
mam, miach r-nachlumpaiiie, lecmmch FJU motiai ap 
aiialim ; befia -oe 'Dat^TO15 apTpeif, ap, if 'pe^ c ch lige ' 
cac cappaite, aip.lim ace na TJeilfec nac capeaite, ace 
eapeait)e airo lap. nai'De. 

Smacca caitigiUi each yvaici, .1. m ni fniacraijjcericatxcenn tio 
ngetl coif,icnec cach jxaice. Icifi p atn|xcc6, .1.111 ejxic. e-cuTvpcafiaT) 
.1. mi ecujvpa^uf rviy iti geimtve -oon erinach. Caotncacc, .1. nil bif 
machoimiT>echcT>e. Mi coma coniTnctaj;ai c ocup ecart^caixac, .1. 

'sachc ni ctic^uma itiijbif acoimTOesc in seimnTO T>on e^adi ocu^im ec|v- 
f carvtif nif-oe. R.ant)cari Donoin btta-oain, .1. urvnanncarinono in 
bticroain afi -06 n.e hie fmacca. GCyi tn cofttiail fmacca cacha 
Tiaiche, .1. uaifv tio6a coy-tnuil mi ptiaccaigceji an-o m cach jxaice. 
CCtitifom a fmachca gaittipuacca, .i-lp T>O na ngfib if inn^a no iy 

: cmnya ann ini ^maccaigceri a T?uacc m seimpe. eiTir-ach 5^.1 1, .1 
in uaifi bif cyiic an, na hmmlib if in ennach. CCn. i^nuiche beo 
bechu .1. ari if uaifle mi oo beip. beaca -DO na buaib ipn geinirve na 

' Ei-ery quarter. Upon this Dr. O'Donovan observes: "A literal translation 
of this passage could not be understood by an English reader." The following is 
submitted as the closest that could be considered intelligible : 

" Relieving pledges are ordained for every quarter of the j-ear, both in summer 
and in the parts separated from or added to it, but these parts are not equal, for 
the year is divided in two regulations for the 'smacht '-regulations of every quarter 
are not alike. The 'amacht '-regulations of the winter, and the cold portion of 
spring are more difficult, for living food is more noble than fruit. 

"Three sacks are estimated as the fine for trespassing OH all rich land, half a sack 
for pastured land, and half a sack for a mountain. 

" Two ' dairt '-heifers arc adjudged for lying down satiated after gi-azing, for even- 



Additional pledges for ' smacht '-fines are payable 
every quarter 1 of a year, both in summer and in r 
the parts of autumn and spring, subtracted from or 
added* to ivinter; but the parts added and subtracted ir. s epa - 

. T 1 i j. j. ration and 

are not equal, for the year is divided into two accomp am- 
parts 2 for regulating 'smacht '-fines, for the ' smacht '- 
fines of each quarter are not alike, because it is diffi- 
cult to regulate the ' smacht '-fines of the winter 
season, and of the spring cold, 3 for saved provisions 
are more precious than growing grass. Three sacks 
are estimated for damage committed lij trespass in 
cornland, a sack in pastured land, half a sack in a 
mountain field ; two ' dairt '-heifers for ' feis '-trespass, 
for every lying down is colled 'feis '-trespass when 
detected ; every detection is ' airlim '-trespass if they 
(the cattle) have not lain down, but detection therein 
after a night. 


Additional pledges for ' smacht '-fines every quarter, i.e. the 
thing which is omlauwd-fc* the relieving pledges every quarter of a year. In 
summer, i.e. the 'eric'-fine. Subtracted, i.e. the part of the spring which 
is detached from winter. Added to, i.e. that part of it which accompanies it. 
But the parts added and separated are not equal, i.e but the part 
of spring which is added to the winter, and the part which is subtracted from it 
are not equal. For the year is divided, i.e. the year is divided into two 
ji:irts for the regulation of payment of 'smacht '-fines. For the 'smacht'- 
fines of every quarter are not alike, i.e. for the thing ordained by law 
in each quarter is not alike. It is difficult to regulate the 'smacht'- 
f i n e s o f the winter s c a s o n , i.e. the thing commanded to be given as fines 
during the cold of the winter is among the difficult things of law. S p r i n g -c o 1 d , b b l r . shim r- 
i.e. when the cattle are shivering in the spring. For s a v e d p r o v i s i o n s a r e ing. 
more precious, i.e. for more noble is the thing which gives food to the cows 

lying down when detected is a ' feis '-trespass. It is an 'airlim '-trespass if they 
did not lie down. No fine for lying-down lies for any detection, except their being 
(might in the morning." 

* The gear i< divided into two parts. According to C. 23, the year was divided 
into two unequal parts. The ' Samfucht,' or warm season, comprises five months, 
viz. the last month of spring, the three months of summer, and the first month 
of autumn; and the ' Gamfucht ' comprised seven months, viz., the two last 
months of autumn, the three months of winter, and the two first months of spring. 

:< Spring cold. That is, during February and March, which were considered a 
part of the winter. See p. 89, infra. 

<*, 1/ 

80 bfxecorha Cornaielicera CCiiT>ro. 

Juno- mi t>o beip, topu t>6ib ifin^tfampati. 'Cpetnib ttitach mttep, 
MENTS OF each n e t h e m a 1 n , .1. cp.eit>e T>O nnachaib if he 111 meifemnaigtep, 
|i peif ocuf in oiplim Digum eoip,ecam> TTliach 1 nathlum pai p.e, .1. 

<Uiv fcanvrmJiTH// V^'f attumpuipe peoip etamuin tfamp.aca. Lee miach pp,t monai, 

.1. i naip.lim attumpuipe mona ;;eimp,eta pe Tnjum mona 

ap. ceirp,e miacaib, .1. 1 n&f TJIJUHI veotp etamuin 
if peir each 1156 cac t app,ai Tie^f.1. cipic peifi poppu o 
tap.pai5cep ant) late ina lije. CCipLim actHia neitfec, .1. epic 
/aip,lmieoppaact napolaigit aim. Mac captaiTie ace cap,taiT>e 
ant) i ap n ai T>e , .1. noca cap,patani eite ajpeypmi epic peifi opp_u ma 
naip,lmi, act a tapp.actam ann mp, mafoin. 


Ceiclini ennaili comanna m comaicefa a mccajxlanfiac feifi, 

I/OW .1. feif lae, octif feif aitce, |\uiiae na liaitice, ocuf ainlmi na 

hatt)ce, cona rofifiaccain an aii\liTn'am) ccp, mait>in. 
naile coniajx-oa an comaicefaa mccafi let pac ^eifi, .1. iaiiii\e an 
laei, ocur aiiatnn an laei, caii\fce na hait>ci ocuf aii\bm 
cona cofqiqccani an ai^lfw ann iaji niaitn'n. Let fiach 
in laoi (i raiiifci an taei, no let puc caifi^ci na huroct a 
can lae, ocuf if i fin an aen hefinaili cechfunnan. 

I) 0'Al5"^7 ^^^1*' Cetfie nieic a feif f)i5ona feoifi etamain geinifieca cap, Ian 

iine,T)aniiacinanaifilini,ocuf miacinacaififci. TDaf 1 ailompaifie 
feoifi, ecaniam jeinrpfeca) no t>i'5Uin niona jennp-era, no caille 
geinTfieca, no atbuailiti.seimf.e'Da, no 1 nTHjom f 601 !" 1 etamam 
ii cfamf l aif>,'Da miac fna feif , octif miach ina naijilTm, ocuf let nieic 
ina caififci. TDdf i atlumpoifie mona geimfteta, no caille geim- 
jxeca,no arhbuailiT> 5eim|ieca,no atlompviifte f eoifJetamam cf am- aiTDiSn'ti mona farnnara no caille famf.ara, miac fna 

^ ^rit^,, / , ^r, , 

feif, lecmeich ina fwfilim, ceatnamie meicji ma cainfci. liiaf 1 
-; aclompinne mona f amjiaca no caille f amfiaca, no atbuailif) f am- 
, lecmeich ma feif, ocuf cechnttjme meich ma fonlim, octif 

' Enclosed fold. On the term "0150111," Dr. O'Donovan, quoting an old gloss, 
says, it meant grass which was not to be violated, i.e. a meadow, 


in winter than the thing which gives produce to them in the summer. Three JCDG- 
sacks are estimated for trespass in eornland, i.e. three sacks is the fine MENTS OF 
estimated for ' feis '-trespass anil ' airlim '-trespass in an inclosed meadow. A sack 

in a pastured field, i.e. for lying in a pastured field of grass land in the summer. . _* ^ _";/. 

Hal f a sack in a mo un tain field, i.e. for leaping into a pastured field 
of winter mountain land with an inclosed field of summer mountain land. Two 
'dairt'-h eifers shall be given for 'feis'-t respass, i.e. two 'dairt'- 
heifers of the mine of two ' screpal'.s ' with four sacks are adjudged, i.e. for ' feis'- 
trespass in aprapn-liifinccd winter grassland. Every 1 ring-down is called 
'f eis'-t respass, c.,i.e. 'eric '-fine for 'feis '-trespass is charged on them when they 
are caught there lying down. 'Airlim '-trespass if they have not lain 
down, i.e. ' eric '-fine for ' airlim '-trespass is charged on them if they have not lain 
down. Every detection, but detection therein after the night, i.e. 
it is not for any other detection I say that ' eric '-fine for ' feis '-trespass is charged 
on them for their 'airlim '-trespass, but for their being caught there in the morning. 

There are four equal eases in" the co-tenancy in which full fine Tr. Of. 
for lying down trespass is paid, i.e. lying down by day, and lying 
down by night, ' ruire '-trespass by night, and ' airlim '-trespass 
' >y night, and their being detected in their ' airlim '-trespass there 
in the morning. There are four equal cases in the co-tenancy for 
which half fine for ' feis '-trespass is paid, i.e. ' ruire '-trespass by day, 
and ' airlim '-trespass 1 >y day, ' tairsce '-trespass by night, and 
' airlim '-trespass by night, if they are detected in their ' airlim '- 
trespass there in the morning. Half the fine for the ' airlim '-tres- 
pass by day is due in the case of ' tairsce '-trespass by day, or half 
the fine for ' tairsce '-trespass by night in the case of ' tail-see '-tres- 
pass by day, and this is the only case of a fourth (i.e. of fourth fine). 

Four sacks are due for ' feis '-trespass in a winter grass field over 
a full fence, two sacks for ' airlim '-trespass, and a sack for ' tairsce '- 
trespass. If it be trespass upon a pastured field of winter grass land, 
or upon an inclosed field of winter mountain land, or winter wood, 
or an old winter milking place, or into an inclosed field of summer 
grass laud, two sacks are due for ' feis '-trespass, and a sack for 
' airlim'-trespass, and half a sack for ' tairsce '-trespass. If it le 
trespass upon a pastured field of winter mountain, or winter wood, 
or an old winter milking place, or a pastured field of summer grass 
land, or into an inclosed field 1 of summer mountain or summer 
wood, a sack is due for ' feis '-trespass, half a sack for ' airlim '- 
trespass, ami a quarter of a sack for ' tairsce '-trespass. If it 
be trespass upon a pastured field of summer mountain or summer- 
wood, or summer old milkiug-place, half a sack is due for ' feis '- 
trespass, and a quarter of a sack for ' airlim '-trespass, and the 


82 bjiearha Comairhcefa Cdrofo. 

Juno- occmaTj meich in a caipfce. Occinccu an occmaiti ap each naen 


CO-TEN- anmanTj nangbint), uaip angbait cac nut a comaicef. tjaiflfCi 
ANCY - aen antnurvo an aclimipgrpe mona fampaca, ciD be rja poiferj, 
. /. in feifetj panrj tece aen meicli. 1f e cnpec aca m pic fin co pmci 
r cpi fecc nanmanua TJO aen feilb a nrjut antnTocap bepnarjuib 
f aine ; ocuf maf cap aen bepnai T>O cuarjap, fmacc ap in cec 
a,ocuf aichgm feoip no apb'a^\ ap cac nanrnann oca fm 


T>a bai 111 v'<i -DUinabaitt cmiici ca^i tan inie, ocuf bo ocuf 

/o r aiiigirc caji lee ime ; bo maf an ime icij], ; a n^igoin peoifi jeim- 

l\if> aca fi"- ^af ' atlonipuine peoijx ecamam semiixei), no 

a nwjoin mona sejmrnj no caille sejnirut), no aibtiailvDscjrn- 

\up, no a n-oi'som ^eo\\i etaniam cfam Detect, bo UITD ray. tan 

y A,/ ime, ocuf^rii cecnamna cgji tec ime ; yamaifc maf cin ime 

n TTlafi achtompuipe mona no caitte, no acbuaitii) gennpecg, no 
acttimp^ipe feoip ecamam fampaca, no a nrjijom mona no 
caitti, 110 acbuaiti fampara, famuifc anrj cap tan ime, ocuf a 
ceopa cechpamie cap tec mie, cotpac fe fcpi pott maf cm ime 

ID ITlafa attompatpe mona no ccuttc,no acbuaibf canj\gca,colpuc 

.ui.fcpepatt ann cap tan ime, ocuf a ceopa cecpamnu ca]\ tec 

f- . n'Ajiif iiiRSTiaipc cecpi fcpepatt maf 5111 inir 

bo in fiach oumecaici con-ocabapcacli nap t-^>) ime, ocuf 

colpac^i f aip no f uipe cap tec ime. "Cap, tan mie ar*<c na nieich, 

' ocuf a tec .cap tec ime, ocuf nocon f-tut ni maf cm mie icip. 

Tap tan ime aca m f tach 7>ume caice ocuf a ceopa cccpaime cap 

tec ime, ocuf tec, maf gin ime icvp. 

Canaf 1 ngabtip ceopa cecpatme m fetch pumecaici cap tec 

i Reit!ll!aa. That is, the owner must make good the grass or corn destroyed 
by the animal. 


eighth of a sack for 'tairsce '-trespass. The eighth of the eighth is the JCDO- 

/. , ,, , . MKNTS OF 

JIM upon every trespassing animal, for every beast is a trespasser 

in a co-tenancy. For the ' tairsce '-trespass of one animal upon ANCT. 
a pastured field of summer mountain pasture, whatever animal 
commits it, a sixth part of the half of one sack is <hie. This 
extends" to three times seven animals of one herd in their going ' Ir. The 
over different gaps ; and if it be over one gap they went, there ,'^f./ ,/", 

is ' smacht '-fine upon the first animal, and compensation for grass "> tillit 
, reaches, iff. 

or corn upon every animal from that out. 

Two cows is the fine for definite man-trespass over a full fence, 
and a cow and a ' samhaisc '-heifer {/"across a half fence ; a cow is 
the fine if there be no fence at all. This is for trespass in a pre- 
served field of winter-grass. If it be trespass upon a pastured field 
of winter-grass land, or upon a preserved field of winter moun- 
tain or winter wood, or old winter mil king-place, or upon a pre- 
served field of summer grass-land, a cow is the fine for it if across 
a full fence, and three-fourths of the value of a cow across a 
half fence ; a ' samhaisc '-heifer, if there be no fence whatever. 

If it be a pastured field of winter mountain or wood, or 
an old milking-place, or a pastured field of summer grass-land, or 
a preserved field of summer mountain or wood, or an old milking- 
place, a ' samhaisc '-heifer is the fine for trespass on it over a full 
fence, and thrn <|u:utcrs of a cow over a half fence, a 'colpach'- 
heifer worth six ' screpalls,' if there be no fence at all. 

If it (the trespass) be upon a pastured field of summer mountain 
or wood, or an old milkiiig-placo, a ' colpach '-heifer of the value 
of six ' screpalls ' is the fine for it if across a full fence, and three 
quarters of a ' colpach '-heifer across a half fence, a ' dairt '-heifer 
of the value of four ' screpalls,' if there be no fence at all. 

A cow is the fine for doubtful man-trespass' 1 //' across a full fence, 
and a ' colpach '-heifer is the fine upon him or her (the trespassin'j 
beast) across a half fence. For trespass committed across a full 
fence ' the sacks '- are paid, and the half thereof (i.e. of tJie sacfy, 
across a half-fence, and there is nothing to be paid as fine if there 
be no fence at all. 

Whence is it (i.e. the r/i/.: <// precedent,) derived that it is three- 
quarters of the fine for man-trespass that is paid for the trespass 

a The sacks. The term is here technically used. It meana four sacks of oats 
nml barley. See infm. p. 11!'. 

;> Mim-trespaa. That is, trespass committed by cattle with the connivance of, or 
caused by the owner, or some person in charge of them. 

VOL. IV. O 2 

84 bfveocha Comairlicefa CCnTipo. 

.TI-IIG- mie, ocur co net vml ace lee a nimcl) ? 1r ar 5abj>, let in 

KNTS OF . . 

O-TKX- V 610 " t>umecaiti cm mie icip,, ocuf 111 tec eile T>e afi fjac can 

A.N-CY. j n)e . , 11a ^ a et 1Tne p,,^ at1T)5 cernfiaime ap, f each lee mie ; cabuija 

m eocemcro fin a puille'oSn lece ):uil an mie, co na reoj\a cec- 

in peich otiinecaici cayx lee ime. 
Hocon ipajabujj nac ni T>O namiacaib cm inic, coifino_T)cii l i'6i '" 
can aca lee line ant>, cetnaT)lecna^K(c1i -oobetaix 

llochan TpuiltiecBija i\uii\iT> na aifilime 

na laijt)iti T>innili a leicli yxe T)uinelcairhi ; ocuf aca -Decbiji, 

n> T>i^om ocuf aclonipaii^e, achann ocu^ anacaiTn, ocuf aca tiecbiji 

ime ocuf can imej CCca a nTiecbe^i mil |ve nuacaib. 

CIT> f.o T>ep.a m can if meich Dlegap, ifin f.oj;ail co na f.uil ni 
cm mie icip,; ocuf m can if pac opmecaiti untinfvo, co yml a let 
fii>e cm ime ieip.? 1f e m pat f ot>ep,a, m connec'oooft'oaig tiligi 
if aji na hmtiili ctca ac pp, na nmtiili op.p.0, ocuf im)li5T:ec of.ip, 
an fe^amT) gan ime 0151 ; ocuf coip,cm co bet niltjo na migcaib 
DO m can nabiaii ime 0151. llocon pml a comiec Tiligcec imup,p.o, 
acfip,na mtuli op.]ia in can aca piach T)Uinecgiti uaf>, ocuf coip, 
ce no bet a let uaf> cm ime icyi, CIT> m^ligcec T)fip, an pep-aim) 

5 C 5n ime T>O bet 0156, uaip, conp,anT)ac bait baegal > 
11 /o</-' 

"Detbi|i Tiijom ocuf aclotnpuyie, ocuf aichim ocuf anaithmi, 
ocuf ime ocuf can ime a let fie f\at tiurnecgici ; ocuf nocon 
^uil Tsetbifi peifi na aifilime, na fitnp.1t>, na caip.fci a let fie 
piach -oumecaiti ; ocuf ara an T>etbifi uili a let fie macbaib. 

' 1 , wj . 1^ antl ctccoc na nieicli op.p.o in mbait> \\o yjagaib nume iac 

no a nT>ifiamT>, ocuf i\o pagaib btiacliaill co-6nac f,e coif ; 

Ont-eiyhtk This is wrong, it should be ' one-fourth.' 


committed by going across a half hedge, and that it is only half Jt-no- 

' the sacks ?' It is derived from this, that it is half the fine for man- Co*,, 

trespass is due when, there is no fence at all, and the other half of it AX< v. 

for trespass over full fence ; if it be a half fence that is there, there 

is a fourth of 'the sacks' for half fence; carry that one-eighth, 1 and 

add it to" the half which is for the case of no fence at all, and it makes ' Ir. / 

three-fourths of the fine for man-trespass across a half fence. **** to. 

No portion of ' the sacks ' is obtained without the fence, it is 
proper for this reason, that when there is a half fence, it should be 
half the fines that are due for it. 

There is no difference of ' ruiridh '-trespass, or ' airlim '-trespass, 
or ' tairsgi '-trespass, or increase or decrease of cattle with respect 
to man-trespass ; but there is a difference of meadow and pastured 
land, df profitable land and unprofitable, and there is a difference 
of fence and non-fence. All these differences are observed with 
respect to ' the sacks.' 

What is the reason, when it is 'sacks' that are due for the 
trespass, that there is nothing due where there is no fence at 
all ; but when there is fine for man-trespass, that the half thereof 
is due where there is no fence whatever ? The reason is, the herdin< 
which the law has ordered for the cattle is provided by the owner 
of the cattle for them, and it is unlawful for the owner of the land 
not to have a fence ; and it is right that he should have no portion 
of ' the sacks ' when he has not a fence. The owner of the cattle 
has not provided the lawful herding for them when he pays fines 
for man-ti such case right that he should pay the 

one-half when there is no fence at all, even though it is unlawful for 
the owner of the land not to have a fence, for " fools divide the 
neglect" between them." 

There is a difference between preserved grass- land and pastured 
land, and between profitable and unprofitable land, and between 
fence and non-fence, 3 with respect to fines for man-trespass; and there 
is no difference between ' feis '-trespass and ' airlim '-trespass, or 
' ruiridh '-trespass, or 'tairsce '-trespass, with respect to fines for 
man-trespasses ; and there is a difference between them all with 
respect to sacks. 

Where they are fined ' the sacks ' is where a person has left 
them (the cattle) in a mountain or a wood, and left a sensible adult 

- I'iV. vol. 0, p. 303. " Every Judge is punislialilc for his neglect." 
a Xun-fence. The MS. here lias ' ca ' with a stroke over the ' a,' such as usually is 
employed to mark ' c.' The meaning requires that the word should be read as "can." 

86 bfteoclia Comairhcefa CCirorx). 

r i Cf 

JUDO- no m coimec a -oem t>titi onnoi rnacan an na tnucaib; cocott 


CO-TEN- 1tT1 na cenci ; bnoga im na^abnaib ; uncoil rx> na gamnaib; aet>- 
AN-CY. aine aj; na cainib ; buachaitt a^ na buaib. vw-c*-u^,f.T~(<)'. 

1f ant) ara m pgc Tiuin^fcarui citrocec, m mbait> no ^ajaib ucc 
5 a ipa^nati an juinc f eoit\ no anbat^,, ocuf cm-oci leif cona nacli- 
inn. 1f ann erca m pac T)imie cgici conni-gbancacVi, m 
if conncabaific leif m nachtiaif no na nactroaif mo. 

TTla cuic rait me at) nif-^rainp a rabaiixc i?o cnT" amacli, 

^- if tan pacli -00111600161 ; mu raic at) nii'i^coinfit) a ral'iainc -pa 

lo t>6, if tia qxmn an \:e\c t)Uinecaiti ; nia jaobacan call at) ni|-i 
a cabmnc aenpecc, 1^ cntan m feicb t>uinecaiti. 

CC pail aca t)ianai5lnli5 neimeo, ni het> an cena, umji tiaifijec a 
v,~>9<'' sbtm* cai ^ 11lec ^ 1 ari ' D ' ocuf 50 aficnf feccnanmantia fo cechain -DO aen 

acd fin co na ntiul nunt) fame jrecc can, f aine bennat) ; 
ir no aj\ c-p,f yecc nanmannaib ^o cecaiyi tio \ afne f elba co na ntiut 
anunn aen fecc can. -paine benna; ocuf -oaniati rcq\ aen benmn/, 
ni biat) ace fmacc an m cec mil, ocuf aithgm feoin no anbai]\ 
uacha uili. 

* CC pail aca T>vjn nig, let 1 niancnatj ni aitJlig, Imcan ' 
'o cac i>enc tionjxicbi, tio uin cac tienc no cainmif)i ann .1. a fontta 
ocuf a yatap, ocuf tiin rm'n a cotnaicirira nan a heipi ; ocuf if c 
: oca m nic, co nuici fecc nanmantia no aen ; 

" fmacca caqiceT) cuica m|i pogail 

i< is a ling's ' dun '-fort, $c. The text !s obscure here, and seems 
defective in the original. The paragraph with some variation is given in O'D., 
1074, as a commentary on the clause, " Rooting the earth in distinguished places." 
j *A ' Us martradh '-fort. Probably a churchyard ; ' martyres' appear to have 

meant 'relics'. Vid. O'D., 1674. 

iuw, T-M', tM nrM^c j*hM do 
tw *M/ <; 


as herdsman with them, or the care-taking which the law requires' JI-DO- 
over them ; a yoke for the pigs ; a hood for the hens ; ties of O.TKK, 
leather for the goats ; a, spancel for the yearling calves ; a shep- AXCT. 
herd with the sheep ; a herdsman with the cows. i r . ,.,,/.,.. 

The case where the fine for definite man-trespass is due is when 
he (the trespasser) left them (l/te cattle) near the field of grass or 
corn, and he is certain that they would go into it. The fine for 
doubtful man-trespass is due when he is doubtful whether they 
would go or would not go into it. 

If the}' arc within the field as long as that they might be driven 1 " i> Ir. 
out thrice, it (the penalty) is full fine for man-trespass; if they are Br ""' / ''- 
within so long as that they might be driven out twice, it is two- 
thirds of the tine for man-trespass; if they were vithiu the field so 
long as that they might be driven out once, it is one-third of the fine 
for man-trespass. ^ ^ 

When it is n case o/"thc violation of a ' nemed '-person's church a 
or sanctuary, it (the juie) is not the same, lint an ounce of silver is 
the fine for their rooting there, and this is charged upon 3x?X 
4 (84) animals of the one herd (cattle belong! ay to one man) after they 
have gone over the fence different times by different gaps ; or 
upon three times seven aninr <tied by four (84) of different 

li'Tils (pMMffioM) when they have gone over once by different 
gaps; and if it be by the one gap, the ' sniacht '-fine shall be 
only upon the first beast, and compensation for grass or corn from 
the owners of them all. 

When it is a king's 'dun '-fort, 1 or a ' lis martradh '-fort 2 that 
is trespassed upon, let every hole made in the place be filled with 
' eric ' sod, 3 so as to be In > with the clay of each hole that 

was made therein, viz., let it be pressed and stamped with the 
heel, and let fine clay of the same nature lie placed there after- 
wards, and the extent to wliich it runs, is as far as seven animals 
of the same posse^i'*!! (/ 

The additional 'smaeht '-fines for instigation are to 
bo paid-in five days after damage, for trespass without 

a '.Eric'-so*/. The \v< -f.\ which Dr. O'Pnnovan has thus translated is bf-fffr. <n/ffi p fa. 

'fii]>.j;pc,' thi: usual word for .-ilvcr,' even in the spoken language of the pn *> ut tu^-Jff if. jSttrr 

dav. In O'D., 1C74, the reading is ' ari;at.' which apjiears to have the same .' 
meaning, both terms being Celtic form'- < I the Latin ' argeiitum'. 

bp,eacha Coroaichcepa CCn'opo. 


... MKN-TSOF a caiche cen nai-om naepaib. S 
Hfa^ ^' T^echroJ'oa quern a pochfiaice ip e a pmacr. 

-pmacca .1. atia-6 cjiei-p ocuf -oicim cuicci v ! 1 '" 
f mttcc, .1. no napmacca puip cawon na gella coi|ucii6cha T>O coriaccam 
j" an, cjncci ; no in ni pnigctaiscejx lae lieijiic in 0111015 fiipi cajiT>gpna gella 
coiixichnedia -DO coriaccam uai-6 an cmcci, in can ip atfiuil a 011105 Vein 
DO cin a iamb. 

.1. m 110111 if arfiuil a anai-6 pern DO he, if anat> cfieifi vofi in 
finachr, ocuf oicim cuicci. 1n can if athutt cinaig nfnbleojain 
imurifio, if ana-6 cuicci ipofi in pnacc ocuf T)icim cfieifi fo\i m 
Y mace. Ocuf if ann if aifiuil a cm|>Ki 5 ] puin DO cm a runb, m can 
aca Dtl in cinaij if in \\ob ^ein ; ocuf if ann if aiTTutt cinaig 
TunbLeojam DO, cc_uaip, na 

Cen naiT>m naeyaib, .1. cm tiai-om napcairxe flip -DO fxeijx nuapearo 
irjtxflcomaUincomaitcefa. Saimorxgain,.!. 01x511111 in brxoga |xir no coip, 

Di|X5ecai-oe ipn seimixe. "Oa cp-ian na -Degcneice, pnocca ml ma veir ocur 
ina aiixliin, ijye-D puil ma peip n atria. 


^^^^B^cl 10 ^ e 'l 111 ctma 
ocur gaimpuacca ;^in cuma T)ono ciT) cac nup 

^. CCfbc-jiari -oono feclic mi pa T)ib p|y fampuacb, ocup a 
cuic pp.1 gaimpuacc; an mi 'Dei'oitiach T)o e]i|iiuc1i, ocup 
qiHnipi ]xnniiai-D, ocup rp,rmipa an pogrom ]i p)n paro- 
puacc ; cuu; nupa imy4uip, pp.i sampuaar,) qu mipa in 
5aim]iiT), ocup m -Da mi caipeclia -DO ep,p,ach ppi gaim- 

--rpuacc. 1c qiuma pmacca geimfii'D olTiaici pmachca 
ramivxi-o, fl iniuiche beo beacha na mbo ol-oar a <LW 

tfTnJili *o.i^ 

i Farm-Latex. Tlie word " fnbfMUgfxechca " lias been written over the words 
"oa rjuan " in the MS.- by a much latfr liaiul than that of the original scribe. 

'Xmacltt'-Jiur See p. 31 (O'D., 2171), and compare withO'D.,402. " Question 
-How are land trespasses nilrulatp<l?_From the rents, i.e. from thofullrent given fr 

the land itsdf, the profitable or nnprofitablegraag-landwhidh fa injured is wtiinated. 

Two-tliirds of tlic rent is the fine, i.e. two-thirds of the rent which is charged for 
a ' tir cumhaile ' of the best land, for three-quarters is the fine for ' feis '-trespass in 
a meadow of winter grass land over a full fence, i.e. three ' screpalls' upon it for the 
three-quarters, and two 'screpalls ' for ' feis '-trespass in winter, and one for 'feis '- 
trespass in the summer, i.e. the one-third of the three 'sfi-cpalls.' (II. 3, 17, col. 30C.) 

A passage similar to this very obscure one occurs in C, 25. treating of the trcs- 


giving farther legal security. For winter trespass in 

the farm-laws 1 two-thirds of the rent is the 'smacht'- CO-TKX- 


fine 2 . 

The additional 'smacht '-fines, i.e. thereis a stay of three days, and a delay 
in pound of five days for the payment of the 'smacht '-fine, i.e. or the ' smacht '- 
fines with which are given the additional pledges are to be brought in five days ; or 
the thing which is commanded by law as ' erc '-fine for the crime for which the 
additional pledges are given, is to be brought by him in five days, when the crime 
of his beast is as his own crime. 

That is, when it is to him like his o-,vn crime, there is a stay 
of three days for the payment of the ' smacht '-fine, and a delay 
in pound of five days. When however, it is as the crime of a 
kinsman, 3 there is a stay of five days, and a delay in pound of 
five days for the payment of the ' smacht '-fine. And the case in 
which his beast's crime is to him like his own crime is, when the 
beast itself is value sufficient to pay for the damage f and it is 4 as j r j|^ fB 
the crime of his kinsman, whenever it is not of that value. "*' vain- /' 

the crime ii 

Without giving further legal security,.!, without the guaranty of a ' t ^" bout 
contract-binder, according t,o new knowledge for observing the laws of co-tenancy. ltte 'f- 
Winter trespass, i.e. trespass upon the farm with the proper regulations 
in the winter. Two-thirds of the fair reflf, the ' smacht '-fines which are paid fur 
fuis '-trespass and 'airlim-'- trespass, is that wlm-h is due fur 'feis '-trespass alone. 

There are different ' smacht '-fines every quarter of 
a year, but the ' smacht '-fine in the hot season is not 
the same as that of the cold season ; even every month 
of these seasons is not alike. ^ Seven months of them <4 W, 7 
are included 11 in the hot season, and five in the cold b Ir . Are 
season ; the last month of spring, and the three months mld f r - 
of suinuier,and the three monthsof autumn, are called' i r . For. 
the hot season ; but the five months of the cold sea- 
son are, the three months of -winter, and the two first 
months of spring. The ' smacht '-fines of winter 
are heavier than the ' smacht '-fines of summer, for 

passes committed by swine. It runs as follow?: "What was in the old judgments? 
Every pit that was rooted 4y swim to be filled respectively with corn, otbeniny with 
butter, for they deemed it lawful to make good the damage done to the earth by itsown 
produce. But this was afterwards changed to compensation for the thing injun-d." 

'A kinsman. ' Inbleoghan' means a man's son, grandson, relative, or any person 
for whose crimes lie is responsible. 

It it ILiterally " and where it is the same as the crime of the kinsman Li when- 
ever it is not." 

Ojieacficc Comaidicepa CCnTtpo. 

.Tri)O- x 

MKSTS OF tigectfKi cc^ in^geinicneji pep 1 fatnfwro, mjrna 

A : Smacea caca n.aiche, .1. ini fmaccaisrjen. in 506 ]xwc1ie. Mi 

cum a T>O no f mace, .1. npcacucn,uniainifrnactaij;cejxi pogail -DO -Denarii 
5" aeeaf incfamiiaiti ocuf a vuacc in geimri.!*. Mi cuma T>OHCJ CITJ cac 
mif -Distil TH u, .1. nocacucrxumacfamaij;iT>cacniif Donahibat>ahifin, 
.t.nii ceafam cfamfxaiT>ocuf mipuaccain geimrie. 1c cixuma f mace a 
Seimiu-o,.!. if c|xuma ini f maccaigceix iym vogail T>o mac na Tininite 

fi ipn v () S 1 '' " "'ac na 
CCyi lyjvtiicli e beo bectcliu nambo 

a 11 gertixc .1. iy ua)]rle ini TJO betp. beta T>ona buaib ipn geirnv 
ini TJO bein, lace T>oib ipn rfamixaig. CCix ic geimchevi 
paniixaT) .1. ij> lie yoin put '.1. a-oageinit) pe)X ipn ryaiiiyiuiT). Mi chu 
iiiiurxrio "i a ngeimrxe -t. noca net) a txata lium in veyvoo vf if in 
ir 561111 jvig. 

A '*/ CCpbepap pmacca pampgrp ; miac cac aiplime ap 'D,r-"" 

pechc rianmati'6aib' f ppi echam uTtiguin ; lee nieich ma 
p|u ac1ibponT5aT) ; leu meich p^n mom p]iniT)ip ; lecmmcli 
cac cu(ijl5aib o T>aTn co T>a]icai5 p]u peip. 1c Tia miach 
pjii jeam p ace. 

fmacca f'6, -i. jiwocgjinoaiftiei'Dcejiitil fmacc- 
ogail T>O mac na timmle ipn cfainn,arp. ffliac cac ait\- 
tune, .1. miach if e ni aifnei-oichejx ap, fecc nanmanT>aib oaotTfeitb co 
na n-oul anunn aon pecc cajx aon ben.njp-61 nat|xlim Diguin peonx ecatiium 
if CfamixoTD. lee meicli ma pix' achbixon-DOT), .1. mcro pn.1 bp.ontia'6 
^11 1iait, .i.aiixtim acliluimpup.? peoip.'6. lef meicli VT 1 ' 
mom vixniT>if, .1.1 peif atlumpui)xe mona -parniuicu, no caille fani- 
lecimach cac culgaib o -oatn co T>a|xcai$, .. a^x fecc 
a veif oigum peoi-|x etamum g^miixeca, ocuf feccmcrolec 

?omeic1i t>o CUTO gac anmun-Daig na cue a|\, aijXT) euro. Ic -oa miach 
io viii geampuacc, .1. 1 vif uchtumpuijve vewp, echamum 
, no i nain,lim Tjiguin v 6 "!! 1 ecamuiii 

1f cumal fmacc cac rnil i comaicer, octif 1 

amail ifbgya ipn pinnfi\uch picliu/; co^ngeil mjen f|\i pacail, 

?s ocuf coniDifie each naefa 1 fogelcat), congelac t>a oap.cai'D fech 


\ > ' Fd- The word ' beca,' means also life. 

" I .* .0 ' Finnsruth Fithil-law. A tract on the manner of passing judgments. 




that which supports the cows in winter is more pre- 
cious than their produce, for grass is produced in O.-TBS- 
summer, but none at all in winter. 

There are 'smacht'-fines every quarter, i.e. the thing which is 
commanded to be paid as 'smacht'-fine in every quarter of a year. The 
'smacht'-fine is not the same, i.e. the thing which is ordained to be 
;s ' smacht'-fine for trespass committed in the heat of the summer and in the 
cold of the winter is not equal. Even every month of these is not 
alike, i.e. it is not alike that each of these months is regulated, i.e. a month 
of summer heat and a month of winter cold. The 'smacht'-fines of 
winter are heavier, i.e. the thing which is commanded t lie paid as 
.-maclif.fine, for the trespass which the cattle commit in the winter is heavier 
than the thing ordered to be paid for trespass which the cattle commit in the sum- 
mer. For that which supports the cows, &c. : i.e. more valuable is 
the thing which gives food' to tin: cows in the winter than the thing which 
gives them milk in the summer. For grass is produced in summer, i.e. 
this is the reason, i.e. grass is produced in the summer. But none at all in 
winter, i.e. it is not that I say that grass grows in the winter. 

Let the summer ' smacht '-fines be stated ; a sack is 
charged for every ' airlim '-trespass upon seven 
animals into a profitable meadow ; half a sack if into 
after-grass ; half a sack if into a mountain ; half a 
sack for the 'feis '-trespass of every sort of cow from 
an ox down to a ' dartaid '-heifer. There are, how- 
ever, two sacks in the cold season. 

Let the summer 'smacht'-fines be stated, i.e. the thing which is 
, "nmanded as ' smacht'-fine for trespass whic'. the cattle commit in the summer 
MCI be told or related. A sack for every 'a irlim '-trespa ss, i.e. a 
sack is the fine which is mentioned a-; imposed upon seven animals of one herd 
after going over by leaping oiu.e, across one gap into a meadow of summer grass- 
land. Half a sack if into after-grass, i.e. if to trespass quickly, i.e. 
by leaping into a pastured field of summer grass-land. Half a sack if 
into a mountain, i.e. for 'feis '-trespass in a pastured field of summer 
mountain or summer wood.- Half a sack, &c., from an ox to a 
' ! a r tai d '-h e i f e r, i.e. upon seven animals for ' fei* '-trespass in a meadow of 
winter grass-land, and the seventh "f a halt sack is the portion of the fine for each 
.minnl, ii-hirh hr iwTnnt $n$n$n f l > *fl?X~ r are, however, two sacks 
i n t he cold seas o n , i.e. for ' feis '-trespass in a pastured field of winter grass- 
land, or for 'airlin : :ito a meadow of winter grass-land. 
, y/~*4*- 

\ ' cumhal-48-tlje ' smacht '-fine for every beast in a co-tenancy, 
and in taking forcible distress, as is said in the 'Finnsruth Fitliil'- 

la\v 2 A nail rates-swtlt a tooth, and equal 'dire'-fine is paid for cattle 

<,f every ago for feeding, for two ' dartaid '-heifers eai beyond (more 

0|ieacha Comairlicepa CCiropo. 

t 10 11 ' 1 - 1 ^ ^SP a fn comecup, pn, o?ti r 1 comaiceaf, no 
CO-TKX- ' comectin. aca 


9r( , , ~' -p 

a 5 F^q^enqva^ co ceTTomblicrong; cqieip 
Fuacta/noaj bep'piu r>a qucm a 
ociif a ci]i lai)' in peq^ ojijcqi com 

o cpenap, cip co CSITD inbliatMia, .t. as oeBcennaij^ in 
<qi pochp,uic co cetro tnblicrong, .1. in rjximuip DoJ)e]\a|i i poch- 
TXUIC, .1. vocliixuic veoiji ai\ rip. c|ii cumal. r(ip.cij-i n^ei tnpuacca, 
.1. ca|ieip na pogla DO indieji a puacc an 5eiii|ivp, a let veichfroe, .1. lee 
O'D. 403. an peidi trtunepajtl conncaba^cais an cf amende ipn cap, Ian line, [ocur a 
lech may- gan mime], -i- an aclcmipuip.e veoi]\ echeuiimm geniiixeca, no a 
n-Dipum mono 56imn.iT>, no cuill^eimpe, no achbuaile gemip.. tlo aj 
bef V' -oa cp-ian a vochpeca capeiyi, .1. dj; bep pm DCI cpian 
IMC v< )'.'(, .1. napimtiijxe p"'^a|>. cip, cp.i cuiiial, .1. in culpac occ fgpc- 
15- pall VU't cap.eip tip.p T>O cumal in a pocpeic ; 110 at) bef viu -oa. cpum na 
V'nninj^ce acu ipin pocpeic, iryet nr ipn voHail bo^niche,.. p, r na 
Vepan-oaib cecna i -, uaij: ,m 5 eiinpr6, .1. aji ueo|xa cccjianne na fuinuvpce 
uinjp-Detc lii, ace ccn incpcpall nania na ru^ op, aip'o an-o ; no -oono 
cena, cin co V nil <cdi- ae r colpai^e occ y^p-eapall mT>ci, ' 

.sf, ., bip-,S ttca ui|W ni ,i'rmiv>u C eop,a cecpanne na punuir-ce 
hi. Ocii u rii ) m in t-u, oi 

u ri]i ) m r in yt-up, ojiscap, CUT), .1. a pep.aiiT)lui r in , 
no nirhrp, aiiT) T>O op-suin, .,. utp. yie na pocpeca, in can i r ,. fo 
cucu-o he; no a vepaiTo ac 111 pip -oo nicliep, aiiD i posail, .1. lap. nic 

^ ** A ^ic aiiilimeii-oa imcroichec fmachca ; cac ai|iliTn 

iua com no -ouine; no ai^lini ncnbilno omna, no aifilim 
neicne cipp. 

1 Joint-stocking Thai b [itittin^ an equal stock on the land. 

-' /.' nl. ' poCTMtlc'S* here used t., denote the award or price, lure or compensation 
paid, or contracted t.. be -iven, for tlie use of the laud for one year. 

>.t : ,,,ii,st whom trupau ii ,,.,/,,/. The followi,,^ seems to l,e the meaniii" 
of this very ohscure text: "A calf is the rent payable for land taken until the 
end of the year; in the case of a trespass committed from the commenccmrut of 
the cold season on to the end of the year, a ealf is the tine payahle.or a calf wl.deh 
is worth two-thirds of the value of such a calf as should be paid for the real 
(which would at that time be a ' umJlBilC '-heifer); and the land upon such pay" 
ment becomes the property of the man against whom the trespass is committed, or 
of the man. who pay a the line.' 


the Lir^t ox. In a '-land ihi -Idng ' is J^^ 

made, and in a co-tenancy, or in joint-stocking it is here. CO-TKS- 

A calf is the rent which is paid for land taken till ^- 
the end of the year; in the case of trespass commit- 
!'><! after the commencement of the cold season to the 
end of the year, a calf is the fine, or a calf which is 
worth two-thirds of the rent afterwards ; and the land 
remains with the man against whom trespass is com- 
mitted in the case. 

A calf, c., which is paid for the land till the end of the year, 
i.e. a calf (the price of a calf) pays fur the land v-lw-li M l-l for hire (rent) to the end 
of the year, i.e. the 'umhaiac' -heifer which is given as rent,' i.e. as the hire for the 
grass of a land of (worth} three ' cumhals.' After the cold season, i.e. after 
the trespass which is committed in the cold of the winter, half the fine for this, i.e. that 
'samhaisc '-heifer is half the fine for doubtful man-trespass over a full fence, and the 
half thereof if there be" no fence, i.e. into a pastured field of winter grass-laud, or > Ir. TT7tf- 
into a meadow of winter mountain, or of winter wood, or a winter old milking- oul - 
place. Or a calf which is worth two-thirds of the rent after- 
wards, i.e. a calf which is worth two-thirds of the rent, i.e. of the ' samhaisc '- 
heifer which is paid for a land of three 'cumhals,' i.e. the ' colpach '-heifer of the 
ralue of eight ' screpalls ' which is to / paid for a land of two 'cumhals' for its 
r-nt; or, a calf which is worth two-thirds of the : umhaisc '-heifer which is paid 
for the nut, it is it that is jimd for the trespass which is committed on the same 
lands in the cold of the winter, ie. it is r/ircii for three-quarters of the value of the 
-imhnisc '-heifer in this case, except one 'scrcpaH' only which was not brought 
f . -rward here ; or indeed, according to others, although it (the calf) has but the age of 
a ' colpach '-heifer of eight ' screpalls ' value, it is from the excess of the improvement 
, r increase that is upon it that it is worth three-quarters of the ' samhaisc '-heifer. 
And the land remains with the man against whom trespass 
is committed^ i.e. the land remain.'! with the man who is trespassed upon in this 
case, i.e. after the term of the rent, when it is for rent that it (the land} was given ; 
or, according to ot/ttrs, the land belongs to the manwhohas0mmitted-tlie_trespass, ' 
i.e. after his paying the 'eric '-fine of his trespass. 

There are three 'airlim '-trespasses && which ^S}- 
'smacht '-fines agfepaid : every 'airlim '-trespass before 
a dog or a man ; or an ' airlim '-trespass in consequence 
of heat or fear, or an ' airlim '-trespass owing to b any " Ir - f 
kind of violence. 

In O'D. 403, the following condition is added : 

" If it be winter grass th:it is trespassed upon, two-thirds of the rent shall be 
the fine, i.e. of the rent which is paid for a ' Tir-cuinhaile ' of the best land which 
it liii-i'l for throe-quarters of a year. There are three heifers as rent upon it for 
the three quarters; and two heifers, i.e. the two-thirds of the three heifers are the 
fine for ' feis '-trespass in a meadow of summer grass over a full hedge." 

94 bjieaclia Cornaichcepa CCunpo. 

Jrw;- caic aifiltmeiToa, .1. acaic leimenna -oo macain, an, in pen, no an, 

Co N Tr F '" "f^ar 1 ocup einroictiirpeij; we can -pniacc on/p,a anT>. Cac ain,lim 

ANCY " ^' a cotn ' ' a s ce '*e T 11 ^ coin. No -Dinne, .1. 05 cece jvia nTiaimb. 

- CCin,lim n aibil, .1. in cun biy cnbell on.iaa fiece^fMigyieinp. lloomna 

!> .1. i\ict cn,eicn, no ixecoib-oin. 1lo aii\tini neicne cipyi, .1. cibei) 

.1. coyumn no cene ymgnen. 

Smacc T)ia cuica icqi pojait cona focal cona 
/ :. ocuf a tonroaca. 'Cjieimb fmacca caclcoqi, qimn pon 

T)1 C01JIC6 CC1JI6. 

en p|i~aitl ap |icnap, COTD a caeb no a 
r> )'Tna' < pep, po^ai%, no pejx pamla, fcap, a caiche a iie-qi IKI 
comaic1nT). : 

. v5macc -oia cuicci, .1. mi fmaccaiscejv ucro i pofibg ciiira iaji 

' HTjeuani na pojlr^ .1. n<c nieic, .1. umro CIXPI^I yo)i in pnacc, ocaf 

(T cuicci. Cona vocal, .1. ncitnirccli, .1. nap-ub yecqib iacc. Cona 

.1. nap,ub caip. LoniT>aca, .1. sixan lo^uj, - LotrfcoiTDajperna 

f;un,ub T>aca lie ocuy Tie lu-.n, o. cm cul^,. 'Cnleinib pmacca cat- 

co iji, .1, cixemiugaT) ayi m pnacc -oo i\ein, coin,. 'Cyiian yon -01 

coi]\ce aifie, .1. cp.ian a nibi-6 ayi in coiyici ocu-p ai\ itT6'eovtnui5, 

in ara afi in coin.ce aonup, ocup -DO cn.iuti toga 

Ilia veyv v^ mil, tna pejx o befwrn. ipn yeyi eile rqi yon airh- 
hinft, .1. ma yp^ ecln'nni n.oJ)n.onT>aT> miT), oiablw& -DO veoji unrrliffini ruv- 
a eip munabpuil ecliam 0151. CC cueb, .1. v<>a. No a naiiiceu-o, .1. 
Saii\iT>. Tlla ve)i polaiT), .1. na caille. No v^n pain la, o. net 
li'mona, .1.111 ryli-ibc. CC ]ici]\ na comatc niT),_.i. uiclisnj an cinaig yin 
mnuil ip )i\a]\ nip 11 ( cotnaicnib, .1. an,T>mef DU^U)-U tin coimaichi'D ain., 
muna vagcaji pep, a conimaich m-o an, yon aidigena, ocuy neniibec 
a comaicmca 0151 

. C H,l 

|f;>M~) f o C(Xl/^ , 

Cai]\ can mice]! ccuche. cine ? dp a poclinacaib ; ma 

I? ax./w\i/ c 

1 /Tea)-. Dr. O'Donovan remarks upon this "The gloss is here transposed, ami 
should be restored to its proper order thus: 

"Fear, i.e. of thunder or lightning. Or an 'a i r 1 i m '-trespass owiiii; 
to any kind of violence, i.e. before a foray, or before plunderers, or any 
violence whatsoever." 


There are three 'airlim'- trespasses, i.e. there are three leaps Jnx;- 

which are made upon the grass or upon the corn, and they are freed from paying 

'smacht'-fine for them. Every 'airlim'-trespass before a dog, 

runningoff before a hound. Or a m a n , i.e. in flying before men. An ' a i r 1 i m'- 

trespass in consequence of heat, i.e. when they (the cattle), are run- 

ning from the heat of the sun. Or fear,' i.e. before a plundering party," or a I r . Prey. 

band of depredators. Or an 'a irlim '-trespass owing to any kind 

of violence, i.e. whatever violence it may be, i.e. thunder or lightning. 

' Smacht '-fine is paid in five days after trespass 
with testing of the grain as to hardness and bare- 
ness. ' Smacht '-fines are three-fold by right, the 
third of which is set aside for oats. 

If it be one kind of grass that is paid for another 
at the side or at the extremity of the field, whether it 
be hidden grass or coarse grass, let the fines be paid 
according to the arbitration o/the co-tenants. 

'Smacht'-fine is paid in five days, i.e, the thing which is com- 
manded I'j Into to be paid by him b it to be rendered at the expiration of five days i> Ir. From 
after the commission of the trespass, i.e. ' the sacks,' i.e. there is a stay- of three days *''"' 
upnn (for ' "/") the 'smacht'-fine, and a delay in pound of five days'. 

With testing, i.e. of the ~.uks,' i.e. that they arc not bitter (foul or maw- 
kish). As to hardness, i.e. that they be not moist B arenes.s, i.e. the grain ^ 
which they eat*bare, that it be not dirty or chafiyf'-e- that it be well coloured and 1 '"*f . 
bare, i.e. without chaff! ' B m a c h t ' - f i n e s are threefold by right, Stgtu DffaS- ' 

\.". there is a threefold division of the ' smacht'-fine by right. The third of 
which is set aside for oats, i.e. the third of what is for oats and for 
barley, is for the oats only, and its value is one-third. c j r . /.-,. 

If it be one kind of grass that is paid for another, i.e. third of /'.< 
if it be grass that is given for another grass as compensation, i.e. if it be rich value. 
grass that has been spoiled in this case, let him (the trapatur) give twice the 
quantity of poor grass in return for it, if ke has not rich grass. At the 
side, i.e. long. Or at the extremity, i.e. short. If it be hidden 
grass, i.e. of the wood. Or coarse grass, i.e. of the mountain, i.e. of 
the moor. According to the co-tenants, i.e. the compensation for 
that trespass is according to the opinion of the neighbours, i.e. the arbitration of 
the neighbours decides upon ib, unless grass equally good is obtained for it as com- 
pensation, and his not having grass of the same nature is the reason of it a being 
ili .-i'fc'7 I'j arbitration, 

Question How are land trespasses estimated ? 
From its rents ; if it be winter grass that is injured, 

A ttay, i.e. the period during which cattle distrained remain upon security in 
tin- hands of the owner ; but the ' stay ' comes first, then ' delay in pound ' follows 
it, and then three days of grace called "'Cp.evp imccitniujte," in the Iri>h 
Laws: i-i'l. Senchus Jlor, vol. 1, p. 79, et SKJ. 

96 b|ieorhcc Cornaidicefa CCnTiro. 

, airo, <7 'oa quan afpchfiacat ipe a 
1 r quan. 

Cain, can rnicep, catche cip.e? .1. comaipxim cantata nieifetn- 
.11 naigcen, no. cinea TM> mefiep, fvifin pefunro. Ct'f voclifiacaib, .i.Jttji 
^ in vejxann vein p-optintctn. in- pe^ ochatp no anecham millteii aim. Ill a 
gaimpen., -i- mam lie pen. in seimfxi-o oitigcevi ani>. 7) a cfvian a 
pochftHca iyo a caiclie, .1. Tia cp.ian tia T)eiscp.Fioi urn ina/peiy, oc -i-p 
niunaii'.lini ly^cpacaiiici aiiiliiniiania; uaiyiceictxi meicacana fftf, ocu^ 
Daimacli na imi]ilitn. "Da ci\ian pocyieca aca a\\ ci|X cumaile -oojiecham 
lo if pew co cenn cp,i Tiaiti ifj^et) ml i veif -01511111 peoip. echernain geitn- 
A T- eccl C 2]} tan ii)ie, .1. cp.1 fq\ibuiU, i\if nari\i ixaici, .1. T>a fcfieputti peif 
ti^eiinrie, ocuf f cyxeVntll 1 yeif an f amyiaiT), ocuf if e fin cfiian na C|xi 
fcfiepoll. Ulaj^fampeft, .1. yp) 1 - in cf, if cp.ian a buitna veifioctif 
no i)\lmi aca na aiiitnn nama, .1. T>a nuacli ma v e 'f> ocuf niiach i 

** Caiche mtic. "ma^lci^j^pe^caichacli arnyil ca'iclie 
'tf)'D.,i22c. cerh^a olcena. rTTla pocnlait) cme [cin]*poi\jaiU co 

<o6^, 3 . Vi 3.^ Ju^^s 1 J A>S ^.^.v, . 

o-i)., 1220. fMXJ)loTncan ct ?)eniiiirc- I i.J co nucan T)a ecTi a coiaaic A 
_, ^o, -6M^-4r p- + * "*~' ye s ^ e A 

o'D.. 122(5. omif Letcan cmT>, coJ.-naTroislen rsi a piacla ar oc a s^eic. 

' *r*,e ^ *to^e.^ a ">, '>-6 c Kfi 

z.*.? **1r rmT> ir 'oeoiuti^c. 

1 |uM,5 ' uOI^MK-V iB at*.c/>.^'. o%<^<A.Bqj , > 

Cec caichqcli a rainrce, o caichach ma cmchac nmche. " 

N/f r> ^ n*^ f*n4*lt 6 ~ e i. ct*t*rf*.!r y 

* r " B CCil aca 1 iTDlige'na peme buacliailt oc cac cechfig_ c 
O-D., 122G. FT 11 /oe [fceo arocej; if Tie aca COITO bo buacliaill 1 mban- 
foiltfi ; a mbeit 1 mbttaile pojat)u an oitce"; ^iricf maca 
fi*peif I'poifanai'Dce; ma bat bic a mboTiainjen ;"eic1i 1 P'** 

ctnb necli ceachra'no a niriDe ; came a ICHT. 

- - 

i Fair rent 'T)Fij;ofieic' is glossed 'cendach' in Pnwlinson, 487 (O'D. 2115.) 
41 Tir-cumhaile.' A piece of land measuring 12 'forraclis' in length, and 6 in 
breadth, Vide C. 252, and O'D. 1462. Vide also vol. 3, p. 335. 


two-thirds of its rent is the fine for the trespass ; if 
summer grass, it (the fine) is one -third. CO-TEN- 

Question How are land trespasses regulated? i.e. [ ask whence are estimated 
the trespasses that are committed upon the land. From its rents, i.e.** -ft- Mir) 
the land itself it is Ifnm-n whp^'ier it is profitable or unprofitable grass thai is *,^ii frt/H^-faf 1 
injured on the occasion. If it be winter grass, i.e. if it be the grass of 
the winter that is injured therein. Two-thirds of its rent is thejine 
for the trespass, i.e. two-thirds of the fair rent ' or price that is paid for its 
f. is '-trespass, and ' airlim '-trespass is what is pnid fur its ' airlim '-trespass only ; 
for it is four sacks that are paid for its ' feis '-trespass and two sacks for its ' airlim '- 
tn--pas.i. Two-thirds of the rent which is paid for a ' Tir-cumhaile' * of 
the best land to the end of three-quarters of a year is what is due for 'feis '- 
t respass in a meadow of winter grass-land over a full fence, i.e. three ' screpalls ' for 
the three-quarters, i.e. two ' screpalls ' for ' feis '-trespass in winter and one ' sere- 
pall' for 'feis '-trespass in summer, and this is the third of the three 'screpalls.' 
If it be summer grass, i.e. the grassof the summer,!! isone-thirdof what is due 
f'>r its feis '-trespass and for its ' airlim '-trespass that is due for its ' airlim '-tres- 
pass only, i.e. two sacks for its ' feis '-trespass, and one sack for its ' airlim '-trespass. 

The trespasses of swine. If they eat the grass, f ,. s h^A^ 
they -a*e trespassers like other- grazing cattle in ' ^/, ftr 
general. If they root up the land, other land ylall 
be given until'the proof-ef^fae-festoration -vfrhe land / Ccff 7? 
is eempiotod; that is, until two Horses in yoke areir. Until 
brought and left there, and it is seen that no part ;/ ' 
of the earth stick to their teeth while grazing on it. 
Thus is it 

Half fine is due for ' tairsce '-trespass by day and 
full fare if it be trespass committed by night. For 
it is a maxim in the law of the Feini that every . 

kind of cattle should have a herdsman by dayjmd ** * 
niglvjj; from which is derived the saying "the cow's ' fr V'' ! 
sense carrier is her herdsman in the bright light ; " 
that they should be in an enclosure at the fall of 
night ; that the swine should be in their stye by 
nif-ht ; that the cows should be in a cow-fastness ; 

O * 

horses in their proper fetters or in a stable ; sheep 
in their fold. 

3 Thus it is tefhJ, The original ecems to be defective here. 

98 b]ieacha Comaichcefa CfnT)fo. 

June- Ccnche nine, .1. aura na mtic. CCmmt caiclio cechn.a otcena, 

MKSTS.OF .,. cdinntcinca na cer.n.aolcentt uilecena um pnc\i Tunnff .nr, oyqui. 1T1 - 

'JLcr^f, C KSC\~ VochtaiT) cine, .1. maTjcocaitcm r<amui/-none^ POV- "ill. 1 - r ')' 1 f^.' 1 

,t^y eile 11111 a\\ fon aichsma- Co i\o 1 l ' 01 J 4 a T 1 ' 1> & 11 T^^^P-no gu ' 

O'D 1226. a coixaic [.i.nae5cfc, .1. na 1ieic1iin-D,ifia Ven"fiE.i'U- I : 
<^ 8 tei c arv an , .1. ipn VS*S$*}$ C o n a 1: o i ^ ejn g n 1 a fUg& 
a oca 5 teit, .1. owoM&^ttna -oon .nan^a pncla a fr a 5 

ant, , r -oea^^ r c .,. T an ?f SSuM *. 6 

T)on . 

-i-n, r. H. 

^_- v ' 

O'D 1226. [CC Defvorc; ScMifuaji v,a cdi 01111 a ctxp,<MT> trai 
Bp.lo, ' lean poDlaf m ngleii; fin, 1^ ami Dtoinrai|iT)ef.ovc. 1TlaT>5tcirj 
p.0 geliT) na muca, if umail ccaq\a a catai^. Cia v-O bai 1 rem 
bp.etcaib jac ctaf i\o clai-oea* -DO li'nat) TJO aiibami alaill DO 
ir imbtm, ai\ba heat, ba rrcca loo ww\\ ceille in calmtm -Diarov.aT) 
^ffoefin ; DO -oeocaro qxaiaixum \:o]\ airbsm neic bp.on nair<.aiin. v 
Ouinecaice cfia, imecotan cai\cii\T>o cMc .1. ai\af> ocuf^iqxebai) 
"i ocf fotla ocuf rocla ocur an ocu^ 

A: 1T)K(c1i a^ muic inoii\, leic meich cac1iaj:eiri, ceicm niaiin 
io each bamb; no -ooae let nieic a^ cac imiicjnqii\, cerhi\atntti 
meich cacha ceifi,ocuf 7)amajni caubainin.^ Cojxtiici ceiti\i vecc -v,, 
ian^ard 11x^11:^^0 ; inch ^o^r ^ muca mo^a cem bin 
Ir^aiTii if Ui^i) i:ot\f na banbti ma^p^ n_a 0150, uaij}_ if 
a nucmaitOna cecrchnib. 

' leach cadiuch a ccnn.r ci .1. tecpac aintnneiti laei cairifS' "' ^ ao > 
tan V'c airxtinip tae no ai-oce i raiyvrce nm-oche ; cuciitima fef ocuf ixui- 
ne-o na hai-oche. Cucp-uma ai|atnii ocuf ixuir\cT> m lae cai\ tan ime cac 

' - 


Kin pac rep 1 "' DC ' b ; ain,tini aroche ocur a cai|xrse, tec pac V e P lnT>lb ; 
30 Yunn-ecro tae ocuf airvtim tae ic man-oa ; techviacli ain-time i caiiirse lae. 

' An equivalent.' <Tirj;in ' properly moans a restoration of the same thing to the 
original owner, but it is' frequently, as in tin applied to " the making 

"ood," or giving an equivalent for any loss, dama;," 

Tv-o horstiin ydce.Tto greater part of the remainder of this tract is taken 
from the MS. E. 3 5, in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. BawKnTO,487, wants 
the glosses on the second part of the preceding text. They are taken from K. 3 5. 

3 Carrying. For 'imecrccm ' of the text, the meaning of which is doubtful, C. 
32, reads ' irnreciTHtni,' which means ' drawing,' ' pulling.' &<_. 


The trespasses of swine, i.e. the crimes of the pigs. Like the trespasses JL-DG- 
of cattle in general, i.e. like the trespasses of every other description of cattle " 
when the finefor man-1 : ' ipon them. If they root up the land, 

i.e. if rooting of the land be what they do. Other land, i.e. when other land is 
ijin n for it by way of an equivalent 1 of the land ir/iiV/. tlfj i-ot< '! "i>. Until the 
proof of the restoration, &c., is completed, i.e. until the certain 
reclamation of the land which they rooted up is announced. Two horses in 
yoke, a i.e. they are yoked [?] i.e. the horses on it, on the land afterwards. And 
are left there, i.e.. the hordes on the land. That no part stick to their 
teeth, i.e. so that no part of the earth Ftick in their teeth in grazing on it. Thus 
it is tested, i.e. it is then it certainly is determined that it is restored to its 
healthy state, i e. the land. 

Its tooting : let two horses be unharnessed and placed there yoked 
together to graze, when in grazing they do not pull up a sod, it is then 
the test is seen. If the swine have eaten the grass by grazing, their 
trespass is like that of other cattle. Although in the old judgments 
it is ordered that every furrow which they should root should be 
filled respectively with corn and butter, for they deemed it just 
that the land should receive for the injury done it an equivalent in 
its own produce ; yet it afterwards was exchanged for restoration 
of the thing which was damaged therein. Man-trespasses are, 
carrying (loads) over your neighbour's land, i.e., ' aradh '-trespass, 
'aitrebadh '-trespass, 'follscudh '-trespass, ' fothla '-trespass, 'tothla'- 
trespass; ' an '-trespass, and ' airgsiu '- 

A sack is the fine upon a large pig, Imlf a sack upon every slip 
(young pig), four handfuls 5 for a farrow pig ; or, according to others, 
half a sack upon every large pig, a quarter of a sack upon each slip, 
and two handfuls upon every farrow pig." This addition extends 
to four times seven animals ; but it extends to the entire number* . Ir . 
of the large pigs. The reason that it is less on the farrow pigs 
th'tri upon the law |il.'-_ >se their nimbleness is less than 

tli nt of cattle. 

Half fiue is for 'tairsce'-trespass, i.e. half t'..,v fine of the -airlim '-trespass 

by day for ' tairsce '-trespass by day; the full fine of ' airlim '-trespass by day or 

,,'i-ht'for ! !;t: the ' feis '-trespass and ruirindh '-trespass 

by nielli are equal. The ' airi: and 'ruirindh '-trespass by day over a full 

,,f any person arc MpAli for the ' feis'-trc-'pa^ by ri-ht and the ' ruirindh '- 

trespass !-/: rfc. ''- is f " U finc for ' feis '" 

< dm- for them ; for ' airlim' ' nii,'ht and ' tnirs'-'-trespaF-: there is 

half the line for ' fcis '-t - ' 'rind'i '-trespass by day and airlim '-trespas-r by 

day are equal ; half the fine for ' a:r!i:n'-tr. '-trespaas by day. 

* 'Airyriu'-trespast.'l'hit r mi rk abrul -ippears to be quite out 

of place here. Itis not easy to .',. tcrmiue the d "f trespass mentioiu-d. 

5 Haniifuls. ' Mam ' is as much as can be taken up between the two palms of 
the hands held together. 

Farrow pig. That is. a young Bucking pig. 
VOL. IV. H ^ 

100 bfieortict Comaic1icef CCrTOfo. 

Juno- OTjcactictch ma cacacTi aiT>ce .1. ojpacti atn.litne m lae cctiyifBe net 
MESTS OF liamcrip. CCjx aca a n-ol^ei) na vein e .1. an. ma atvoliseT) in 
CO-TKN- c h al p. p lxl TIO .1. ifin to. Sceo a\-oc e .1. bo-oem. 



r " '"^Cir-t) *' Cominjaine rjxa : cut cnucratDe a hunlamn ceacna ocuj 
r fealb ? .1. Dia ba Dec fo\\ ala, ocuf rete trauma ocuf fecc muca 
ocu^ fete coijiig. 11i riuja-o oi^xc na luiani a cominsaifxe co 
lutiaroro. t1f no bniacari la cac in cScTafi com octi ^ ceacaiiT, ocuf 

a>-, ^ t^nn>^r^^ 

ceatnaf , ocur croseniran tiat) -oia ceille ;/aT>jijoT>niaT> a coimn- 
gaine p piai>"a^ amuil TJO coivcaT) ^on na-Dinjtnn ocuf i\aca. . 
ate niati a|i conaib atlra nania^c. Uonaf ai\ a comingaine, ni cei-o 
cm cearna na ceacna painhj lanutii, ace DO ain^etia in inainc DO 


Cevc. Cm tin rac|\cai^ DO cotninsaine? 11in.: Pe]\ nne 

nama, an Dli^iDnDe la caca ceacna DO injaine DO ; cm bccDonu 

CM*Wf> , ,, * / ~^ (W 

*<&-> : bo no 'allau' yain, no cainiu, no*oono gamam no allau, (gcup i 

I ni conmaij la ; cec p^x baiD De, ni DibaiD la. 

Cottimgaine DOITO, no ainnn pop. niciD vill>a caic Di Di' 
amnie .1. bo co colpac von mui) Dann ; colpaic o HICID T>amiT><m &* 

tvvg&tT) ' tSBXK B .vP r BD -, A,0 

irconincro oociasan) ; ci ar bemiD anaile I Dam Iron ineT)HDaiiii, 

a/ o. . 

bo vxfi meD bo, aj roi\ meD cnge, aji geataiTBTMa boin ^peac noDam. 
t!5^- &' "lit ciunait) connuae'in veriDam emf cm aiillfe, im 1 Dia ceacna 

. J (f^vt>^ n (l t b 

VDerm rona a litijpa cm ainnn T>li5ipcen De ; u]\ H t)a 5 UT) 

..k'utfp^ijD ^ out. * ul Bp*fciO , 

meD catnec, ocuf \>m cuina'joix HIUD Danca, DI D^ttnc ?o]\ 
o) p -< Dcolpaije, D*a colpac pon meD bo, bo co colpadi voix maD nDanii. 
, faa^Daamha, ocuf DamconcliaiD, ni ciagaD a comjiainT). 

vA-K "ao-roA^ D 


CID to Dena f on ? 11 in. 1n canb cecannif, if cimia 

a ceacna raDefm, ocuf ceacna cac am bif oca 1 mbuaile. 
"Dam concaiD Dgna, if amia imDicpDc a ceacna octif ceacna a 

' Common pasturage. This commentary is not in II. 3, 1 7, nor in Eawlinson, 487. 

> No engagement is given Irj one to the other. There is no contract between the 

parties ( ' commoners ") as to ordinary accidents ; they are in the same position as if 


Full fine if the trespass has been committed by night, i.e. 
thefull line for 'airlim'-trwpass by day for ' tairsce '-trespass by night. For 
it is a maxim in the law of the Feini, i.e. for it is in the law 
of the Feinechus. By day, i.e. in the day. And night, i.e. in the night 

Common pasturage 1 : what is its nature as to the green of cattle 
and flocks? i.e. twelve cows in a herd, and seven yearling calves, 
and seven pigs and seven sheep. Farrow pigs or lambs do ^^ 

not come into the common pasturage until Lammas-day. No '*f" ^ 

eng^gere^t^Ja^Von l.y Q^^^yr-fchft-atLm- 2 with respect to protecting 
the herd from deg*, quagmires, or cattle gorings, or from w ^J^L < j*^ 
may do to one another ; their common pasturage \vas arranged 
before witnesses, as if upon securities and guarantees, excepting 
protection against wild dogs only. As to what is legally placed in 
the common pasturage, no trespass of cattle or quagmires is con- 
sidered with respect to it afterwards, but the carcass of the animal 
which is killed shall be shown to witnesses. 

Question. How many are freed from the responsibilities of ibe com- 
mon pasturage J Answer The owner of the land only, for he is en- 
titled to a day's herding for every head of cattle on his land; for al- 
though there should l>e a cow or its value (> quivctleTti) due from him, or 
a sheep or a yearling calf or its equivalent, and it does not add a day; 
tli, nigh these should be separated from him, it does not lessen a day. 
Now, m a common pasturage there i- made of the 

Bizeofeachpersou'seattle-tii^sHife, kty^e. a cow with **" 

a heifer in lieu of an ox ; heifers from the size at which they are 
bulled pass in the place of cows ; though others say it is an ox in 
place of an ox, a cow for a cow, a calf in place of a calf, for two 
cows graze more than" the great ox. The equivalent of the bull is Mr. Beyond, f 9 
not put in this enumeration, there is not of his own species of cattle * ** * 

any even number that would till up the number which would be 
required for him ; for two geese are in lieu of a sheep, two sheep 
in lieu of a ' dairt '-heifer, two ' dairt '-heifers in lieu of a ' colpach '- 
heifer, two ' colpach '-heifers in lieu of a cow, one cow with a 
colpach '-liedfo^Jie^^anc^ Threat bull, the < suasdamha '- 
ox, and the 'damh-Tonchaidh -ox do not come into the enumeration. 
What is the reason of this ? Answer The bull, in the first 
place, bulls equally his own cattle, and the cattle of all 
which are with him in the enclosure. The ' damh-couchaidh '-ox 
equally protects his own cattle and the cattle of his neighbours. 

they ha.l <- illy to th- -pting always the 

case of wild dojjs (the property of one of the parties). 



4 . if. - 


biieochct Comaidicera Cdropo. 

Juno- comaiceac. If aijxe fin ni eiU5uit> coflaigce a naifum, ajiujf 
Co N TF.N? cunlct t> n 'C cue a leaf, OTDligro cac buacaill a biaca'6.*> D ^ 

AN'Cr. ... r, 

T> fo KT V 

TTluca oona, ni eiaj;uT> rajx comaifune ace tntica aif, inge n^ 

fTObaige co meaf . Com fa -oSiia, flan cac com fa cac cumavo cac 
- cominsaijxe, ace in7>yia'& no in-ovurc no alguin. 

Cia f.ojiai ceaqxa cuic f\\\ iiaile ace paifoe no suiQi-oe, 110 

,,;, ; M].;:V ,.,,, , j. ;ll ^i/rn,- Ji'^nl,"' mOTO OTO 

iijcqi -00110 an aj no noifij, ocuf fiannaiD in t>a 
m>e, fobic bcf vT-if5 c T">5W no commap.c an 
ag -Die laile; ace 11 i eeaf^ a fiogujic a nep.c neeaiifio. 11o, ma 
fea^T 1 ^'T' focei\T)ae cyiaiiii_ im an a mbeo -ouf ci 7)a Una 
ane^eti -oo alaile af. 1ee a mb^eata annf o efia, muna f eafoap, 
5UiniT>e fop.f in nag fiiain ; -oia feafDafi, beiieat m ^e\\ bef ae 
mafic a aije, ocuf afi\ean a ceile a p ^ a1 ^ " 5 ocu f Tlia * V 6l) 
f,o eoTfi, an a, fo ce^cari cf,ann foyif^o a huyilann fealb T>uf 
cia T>tb TIO eot bmba -oo cabaifte, ocuf -Dombeifi layium 111 ei wa 
cine, ocuf aneiyimei) a ceile T>O iifilairo fealb ocuf ceaqxa. Oic 
an aige aeaixficu, octif affiujl fo-oailie an etfice if aifilirro 
mafic an aige aeafifio. ^ 

* CCf Tie aca con-o bo a buachailt-1. if tie if co-onacti -DO na buaib 

mbuacliaiU. CC m b u ai t a i T> .1. na mbo .1. a f ainna-o. "111 O^'TII u c a' I DAT) 6 ' 

i euc na niuca ifiti 

* .1. ITluca imtiixfto; muc o]xixo caca f.eif i, ocuf banb cac atixlnne, 
ocuf a a TToifiefeoifi; aft Dliv&_ 111 vojcalraT) fin a imcomeT) co 
ic leiyx. OCfeif afotlfoceiejiibfioiDaib in a*ot!g,ocuf mntcai'oeocaib 
ffit De. 1f Tie if bei|x ifm Coijx feme bic ; "Oia inbi-n nmca 
moaiT)eep,,aixuf qxu cuiii(ii)i n]t fi-if fctxit) bcil ii)it>l)a p 6b|un uaiT) 
nacefianajx ninn_aifo im cuca claifc cue ucn cotnajxba 

~' Illat) bet, bit> i m bo-aai iigoan .1. bi* a tit>ain5en na nibo, i nibuai- 
lit) no i niboagib. 

'Commons. The word 'Cijinfii' lu-i'i: translatoil ' commons,' may mean a 
' litter of jjig.' If so, the whole passayi; would signify, " As to a litter of pigs, every 


r$. *vr p 3<tt 

For this reason ' coslaithe '-cattle do uot come into the enumeration, ^^ 
for all stand hi need of them equally. Every herdsman is required CO-TEN- 


to feed them. - 

Pigs, too, do not come into the enumeration of land stock unless 
*they be old pigs, excepting on wood land with masts. As to com- 
mons,' every commons is free to every grazier of the common 
pasturage, except for plunder, or trespass, or knowledge of crime. 
Why are the cattle of all placed together, except gorers and 
fierc* cattle, or tia^iU^^effl-th^rmffiding that everyone- efeall 

?-If it be a calf that has 

;m - e ^ 

killed another, let +.1iA-otU<MMferi>-has killed it be slaughtered, and 
let them (the owners) divide the flesh of both between them into two 
equal parts, because of the killing by the former ; or, let the flesh of 
the killed calf be divided between them ; but this cannot be enforcer 
between them. Or, if it be preferred, let them cast lots for the live 
calf to know which of the two should pay the other for him. These 
are their judgments here, unless the calf had never been known 
before as a gorer ; but if he had been known us such, let the man 
whose property lie is take the flesh of the calf, and his neighbour 
slnll "ive him another calf ; and if he slaughters the calf, lots shall 
,st upon them on the green of the cattle to know to which of 
them the guilty party l.y right should be given ; and the man to 
whom it has fallen afterwards obtains him, and his neighbour gives 
him away in the green of the flocks and cattle. The flesh of the 
MM calf shall be between them, and as they divide tbe^ri^fee, 
so they divide the flesh of the calf between them. 

From which is derived the saying "the cow's sense is 
h e r h e r ,1 s n, a i, ," i.e. it is from this it is mid that their herdsman is the seuse- 
carra, to the cow, ID - c 1 o s ui.e. of the cows, i.e. in the summer. 

If pigs, i.e. iuto a stye the swine *&8% in the night. 

That is, as to pigs : a pig is thejlne upon them for every ' feis 
, tftfB, and a farrow pig for every ' airlim '-trespass, and a calf as 'dire - 
jine for grasa ; for it is right that pasture should be wholly guarded. 
They should lie in a stye at four roads by night, and they should 
have a swineherd by day. From whence it is said in the law 
called ' Coil- Feine Bee ;" " If there be a swineherd, it (tJteJme) 

,ased, for their stye should be at the meeting of roads that lead 
into the middle of farms which are partitioned into small divisions, 
each 'coarbV division being marked and divided by furrows." 

If cows, let them be in a cow fastness, i.e. let them be in the 
fastness 1,'jallj (recto* I < of the cows, in an inclosure or in 

litter of pigs is free to yraze on every coiMWM, every common pasturage," &c. 

Coir Feme Bec.-A tract not known now. The translation of the extract w 
only conjectural. 



0]ieac1)cc Comaiclicefct CCri'Dpo. 


.1. da fio baDap pmacca mafia ann, ceic]ii la mibeD na Tim- 

. . 

51KNTS OF ,. . 

CO-TEN- TU*> ocup caemna in cipie atipi|xoi,na he_Djf ifm cep peip, a ean- 
c*- aipe ip Data peip, tetmtpe neic aDfiopieapDa ip m epieap peip, 
oDilpe neic aDfioptapDapi ipm cectc^ariiaT) peip; a]inf ayxac ocuf 
>' aqaati m\\ \-tn. 1y- amne cfia af)aannT)ai^ vinacca cecannif, ace 
na liefitimeaniia Doytia Dtti'e. " 4l *n^aO( Czy 





IJm 6ii\tim neigne iimcoin noTiume; ej\lim 
T 110 cofiatn-o no mbeatl, no eifitnn a^u a-D)ioiiiifDai]i a ntnaiT) 

1ce eifilinieanna imjiT)jceat) fmacra. 

10 Co DUCOD epa pop Dapea ocup Dapeaige ta caemna in tuic 
ocup tneiD in pie, conaD e pmacc popa Dticaip a penneaD. Cmp- 
ataite ip ogeiptnn ace DO cotpeaD Da nag Dec IHD. Let 
ic cac"uljaib"o Dum co DapraiD ppi peip, ace ip peip cac tige 
cac eappaige. Or maj) be^ in eip po hoprap, ann inibi ni bi 
peapp, miac no caipeac 1 eopat) bip ann, nueep, am' bep pni, ocup 
DO beip, Diabut pocpatce eap, a eipe. 

* Cepc CID ap a nucep pon ? tli'n : Tip, po cpean bom co ceann 
mbtiaDna, ro_q nuac Dec Dono pocp,eanaD pon ; oce meic ap -n 

ocup a ceeaip ap pampuace. TTlaD jempuace 05 |\o 
ann,ap)\eaniDapahoceinD, ocup a anDipe oijx. TTIaD e 

po nopeop ann, app.eniDeap ceicpi meic mn, ocup a 
a nmpe 


na fmacca T)ia epeif 1 lap, poja 

qia 1 copaib bel; aen pnacc ap, cac ceaqxa^ro --oj*,J.mi": 
eifi. 1 r e in pimcc pit ap, cac ceatfia Dib, nuac caca 
, ocup tec meic cac eifitime ayi cac peer mbuaib. 


6ich i cuib^each ceclica no net nint>e .1. na tieicli ina 
cuitnn.edi -ol^ec, in cenn vi^i bac in a nedunl^ib. 

11 .1. eich, a pniacea amait cac ceaqxa pogeattaT) pjn na hu^sa- 
30 batawanaiie. CCixD05aibnaheocooctipcuiinniciur,ociip aea- 

. i Jo. n) 

1 The trcspatsir. ' Cuint-cci-,' may jiossibly mean "a trespasser" or "criminal," 
but, from the context, it is hard to see how it c<m bear such a sense here. 


That is, though there were, great 'smacht '-lines therein, four saci'S 


with the increase of the cattle, and tho protoottou of the country ; <;,,-TKN- 
tkfan otV3c:r-rer?m*<i-3'or the first ' feis '-trespass, a second in ANCY - 


the en*' <>f ft second ' feis '-trespass, forfeiture of half what a*t*wd ^, 04*^^ / 
(*> for the third ' feia '-trespass, entire forfeiture of what arrived, far 

the fourth ' feis '-trespass ; for it is tying ami dwelling after that. ^ It-n^ 'U- /k 
Thus they used to divide the ' smacnt '-fines at first, except in case 
of tho ' airlim '-trespasses, which 4e-nut~d8erve foifeititre. pwvuft- 
What are these ] Answer. Forced leaping before a dog or a 
man ; leaping on account of thund'-r or sultriness, or a leaping, but 
u4v>K/? j^ so as they are purimud befo: mid get over. Such are the 

leapings-far which./' smacht '-fines ilu uut lie. 

Until it amounts to a ' dairt '-heifer and a yearling with thcfiae 
./'.</ b ; / the. protection of the place and length of the time,-tfae 
' smacht '-tine to which it amounts is to be proved. Though others 
say that full leaping-<m/>SA' is committed, if twelve calves have 
g. 'lie into it (the field). A half sack i* t/iefne for every animal from 
the ox to the ' dartaidh '-heifer for 'feis '-trespass, but every lying |/ 
down in which it (Ilu; animal] is caught is 'feis.' J If the extent of 
land which had been damaged on the occasion be so small that 
the produce which is there is not better (,//!</< C'llnvljli:) than a sack 
or th* trespasser, 1 let the value of it be estimated, and he shall 
obtain double the hire (rent) afterwards. 

Question. From what is that estimated I Answer. Laud which 
i*^<+.\w_p,-H -for to the end of a year, it is twelve sacks that would 
purchase this ; eight sacks for the cold season, and four sacks for 
the hot season. If the damage has been committed in full winter, 
eight sacks shall be paid for it, and a calf as 'dire '-fine for grass. 
If it be in the summer that the damage has been committed, four 

'. shall be paid for it. and a calf as 'dire '-fine for its grass. 

They shall pay the ' smacht '-fines in three days after the trespass 
has been committed, Ailess indeed by verbal engagements it is 
otfiei'wti"'- arranged ; it is the same ' smacht '-fine that shall be paid 
for everv 'ttlc that iu oinigkt upon the land. The'smacht'- 

fine that is upon every cattle of them is a sack for every ' feis '- 
trespass, and a half sack for every ' airlim '-trespass upon every 
seven cov s 

Horses in their lawful f el n their stables, i.e. the horses 

in tlieir lawful fetter*, the head to the staple in their stables. 

That is, <!.> flu' hiirses, the '.-mat-lit' fines are like those of any 

other eat ile which consume fodder ai'i er their being taken in trespass. 

'a, ftr- For the horses rtt* .d detained (''. /?), and notice 


.. it. c?7^i/ieA, ^wvT>^vJ*~ 6v")"/n'Z>'<*'J ^ 

%vM4 4*7V <tw C**K- I** dit, . . J^t 

Q ^ 10G bfieodia Comaichcefcc 

JUDO- baniD DO pfi beDe heic, tian peafDafi ; mttna peafDafi, acabamt> 
'CO-TEN- ac oon ragefinabef n^omfocuf oc'oon bfieiteomom na cuain, 
ANCV. ocuf oc cefvbca gobanti, ocuf oc p^nucill na cuaice ; ocuy aca - 

baniT) fanilmg po na q\ica olceana ocuf comnicuf cof; 
5"* * * fon Dia cute la Dec, 110 picbic aif)ce, no niff , of Tjmn no 
BKui-aWD ci pei\ biDe neich ]\e nan)ifi]i a mcina. ^cu^aa vogealcaD pi 
Doib? 11m : TDiac caca in if DO buatb ocuf eac1iaib,miac ocuf tec 

e Dta cuibnirei nini.ioi miac 

DO Damjnuna cuibmgcefv ; Dta cuibnijreii ninip.fio,if miac 
cac lai co naiDci. T3eiD 111 ciai\$e f.o commnfiice ^.\\ a f.oafc, 
a fogealcaD acai\i\oi i iiDe ; inuna ri imnfifVOjlfog a 

Don pfv cuibnigireii. 11a fto ineata a fafc f.of,f"in feyi m* /" 
ctnbmjcefi, ocuf Dia DI a ceile co niaf^aifi cecca, ocuf co paD- 
naif e iiiDfuc, octif co naetaib, f oyiuaif liceqp, in coiniDecip, bejiaiD- 
ftDe a ceaqia, ocuf aff^ean f- 

Ciafa fo^eatcaD foil ? .1. nuac caca mif , <t\i f 
ceatjia fjl Doib aftuje, 111 fojealcaD acligabata. 

on 1111 fin in nonn, ni haelaij cia fognaiscefo mnaib .1. 
a nDatnaib octif eacaib ocuf ba blecca DO bleogan ; face 111 ceic 
f.ofvp,o in fie 

18 -Smacuc potla ocuf cocla- 

C it I '!>) 

Pocla Din, Dam DO cjiij octif fcuifieaD ann a cifi a ceile, im- 
connfic Doib ci'afa baifim in fio f ctnfifiT). TJo fcuiyxf 1111 1 cifi inD 
fifi feo. TTla fOficongfiafom a rubaif.c of nac faeinaf om , ire 
affieanaD catce a neacb 101111111. 11o upaile DOHO, crocifium na 
z.s'ffciana leo, octif ni inicomvjxoba Doib, if ni)'a uffiean in cacaig 
fin, niaD ainbpf Dono Daitii in ci^ in fio f cuififcac a neoco. 

, c 5 

"Cochla Dono ; afbeifvfttnn fp.1 Datm attqia fcofi in cijie ; if 

i Are detained, There is an or;iMin- lien- in the JI.S. 

s JAe keeping. Tluit is, of the cattle out at grass under the care of proper herds- 

8' Tolltla'-tn-.-imis. Fothla' usually meuua 'ellidiiibV /evading,' &c., and 
'Tothla,' 'demand,' 'claim,' 'request.' 


ig-gaeu to the man whose horses they are, if he be known ; if he is 
not known, notice its-given at the ' dun '-fort of the nearest lord, and CO-TE.N- 
at the 'dun'-furt of the Brehou of the territory, and at the forge of A _^' 
the smith, and at the principal church of the territory; and notice 
is likewise given throughout the neighbouring territories, and they 
(the horse*) are detained 1 till the expiration of fifteen days or twenty 
nights, or a month, if the man whose horses they are does not arrive 
before that period ivhich is that of their delay in pound. And 
what expense of feeding is due for them 1 Answer. A sack every 
moiith for cows and horses, a sack and half a sack for an ox, unless 
he has been impounded ; but if he has been impounded, it is a sack 
for a day and night. Tfafrfceeping* comes under the same estimation 
as the impounding ; they shall divide the expenses of feeding in 
two between them ; if be (Me owner of the cattle) does not come, the 
expenses of feeding are entire to the person who has impounded. 
If the man who has impounded has failed to give the notice, and 
if his neighbour should come with the lawful following, and 
with worthy witnesses, and with oaths, tlw-4eri-tadr-relteYe 
feijn, he shall obtain his cattle, and he shall pay the expenses of 

What are these expenses of feeding 1 A sack every month, for 
it is feeding for cattle that is due for them in this instance, not 
expense of feeding for distress. ^ ^ ^j^ ^^j^ <* ^ 

If it be after this month iintTnV is >la a v"1p f Uf service obtained 
from them, i.e., from oxen, and horses, and milch cows whieh-are 
miUied ; but no expense of feeding is charged 5 upon them while ' Ir. Goct. 
they render service, i.e., do work or give milk. 

' Smacht '-fines for .' fothla '-trespass and 'totlila'.- 
trespass. 3 

' Fothla '-trespass is committed when a party of people come and 
unharness their horses in the land of a neighbour, asking what place 
it is in which they have unharnessed . \e have unharnessed in the < 
lands of this man. If he has ordered them to Retake themstehees 
from thence, and tfaat they do not comply, they shall pay for the 
trespasses of their horses afterwards conn, lifted. Or it is other- 
wise, indeed, if -be sees t 1 the bridles with them, and bftdflfis 
Ut>t ijiifislkaj-tlicm, it is thou who shalt pay for that trespass if 
the party are ignorant of what land they have unharnessed their 

ln.irscs in. 

As to ' tothla '-trespass, now; thisds_Jiaid-e-tHi-fifeiow -party 
wko have unyoked ffowL&fWMB-^he-fandj and thou hast given 

108 bjiecctlict Comaidicepa CdTDpo. 

amt1e 1 ' nj:oi r ce 'o 01 b reap. ami, ace nat> n|eibp.e TJOT> betaib natna ; 
CO-TKN- C T c ufa appiean in cacaig pin lafium amuil ' 

ANCV. p ^0,^.5 fmbeTj pniacra paicci beid a 

Ccnn.15 ma tiap, .1. tia caifiij; -DO bicli ma ctxu. 

-o. r- 1 

5 L.I. Caij\i5 inioiaixo, ic ^macca aifitime DO I'uitub, ap, m pit 
-ooib, .1. Danina peip,cfe caca ai]\lime n^i torn, -oamna ceficle 

~ #'"<*> 

. _cc * 7 * 

1 't,^ (o^uov) ^^a T)ono A oiicc conjiantia .ciiTOca pin qiec, octif 05 

I * 2 connan-oa [cirrtiraj riii 1ie"; oin7cT>eara bir a lir no a 

ffM^fA , s >| ^(.r-'jeoTi^o.ntor.T. fVitdji / 

'"pcnclice, Lingeaf eiplim a ngoiic pcucce a T>I, a n, 

fM , s >| .-'jeoTi^o.ntor.T. fVitj / 

'"pcnclice, Lingeaf eiplim a ngoiic pcucce pa T>I, pa qn, 
pa ceadiaiji, an aen lairhe ; \\\ IfnriTnimno, in cnec ace 

**r-? r . t^n^A 

aen ejium ; coniiamjaT) annTica laimm i nr>e. 

4wv..A s ttA jwry.* yulr* 

0,5 nono, con^anna cinaiT) pjii 1ieT),*po)iii5iT) gealeap 


<" CCca t)ono oyicc .1. aca 7)0110 OTIC ui\iiniia^ cinniT) i\ij^ in tfvec |xif 
in nailbtn i vintic pecc tianniotmn Vi\i c|\ec .1. 1111 cuc]\iinia opTVo. 
Ocuy s .1. 05 urtp.anna]f cinait) flip in tfiec |vip m ncnlbin i pui^ic pecc 
nanmanna pop iin cgc|\uiTia. Oipcc peaca .1. in peca fxobi ma up.c. 

.1. in coi^c peara bp,ipeap ap^ T>up octip bep^eap eotup f.ep in 

cucptuma p)ai Tia nanmanna TJO pmacc paqi, ocup ppii tiaen 
anmann T)airh5iii. In pecc rampue ceit>, cucp^uiTia pjxi ceiupti 
hanniannatb paip, 750 pmacc, ocup cucfiuina piai T>a anmanna 
1n cjieap peace ceic, cucpiuma p|\i rpii Tiarnianna 
ocup ppu pecc nanmanna TIO ptnacc paqi. 1n ceac- 
pecc ceic, cucp^uma pp^ip 111 ryxec uite paip, t>o pin ace, ocup 
cuepaima pp.i cetcp^i liannianna Daiclijin, ocup ap e m rpiec 
bep,eap cac peace. 

' Sheep in their fold. the text here is from (CD., 1226 (E. S. 5, p. 2, col. ]). 
The reading fa OTX, 2172 (Rawlinson 487, fol. (i.'i, p. 1, col. b), in "caifvecc 
Imp;" and that in C. 28 (H. 3. 18, p. |L'), is "cain-i?; illmp;" the orthography 
varying as usual in the different M.SS. in nearly every single word. 

2 The litter. O'D., 2173, lias here, " Tin re is as large a fine upon the pet young 
pig, as upon seven animals, who goes into the garden the first time. . . There 


them to understand that it is allowable to unyoke there, although Jijno- 
thou hast not said so by word of mouth ; it is thou who payest for "O-TEK- 
that trespass afterwards as if it were thy_ own cattle that hadjom- AXCY. 
milled it. I^mny rAn.cb iho nmminti of ' smacht '-fine payable for 
trespass in a green adjoming*-rroTi se. 

Sheep in their fohl,' i.e., the sheep to be in their fold. 

The sheep have fines for ' airlini '-trespass imposed upon them, 
for there is no fine for ' feis '-trespass, i.e., the makings of a spindle 
(of wool] for every ' airlini '-trespass into bare grass, the makings 
of a ball into preserved grass. 

There is a small pig that shares the fines with the <ftjni6g 
herd, and a heifer which shares the fines with the 
herd; a pet young pig which is kept in an enclosure, or 
in a green, which makes ' airlini '-trespasses into the 
garden of the green twice, thrice, four times in one 
day, but the herd makes but one 'airlim '-trespass; 
they divide the liability afterwards between them 
into two equal parts. 

The calf, too, pays equal fine with that of the herd 
where he is a trespasser that passes over the lawful 
pasture, or over the lawful fence. 

There is a small pig, i.e. there is a young pig which shares the fine ivitli 
the herd, with the flock in which there are seven animals. With a herd, i.e. 
the same upon them. And a calf, i.e., a calf which shares the crime with the 
rlock or the herd in which there are seven animals, in equal parts IV t young 
pig, i.e.,thepet4h*4it*r 

That is, the pet young pig which first breaks through the fence, 
and shows the way to the herd, there is a ' smacht '-fine 2 upon him 
equal to that upon two animals, and compensation equal to that 
of one animal. The second time that he goes, there is a ' smacht '- 
fine upon him equal to that of four animals, and compensation 
equal to that of two animals. The third time that he goes, there 
is compensation upon him equal to that of three animals, and a 
' smacht '-fine equal to that of seven animals. The fourth time 
that he goes, there is a ' smacht '-fine upon him equal to that upon 
the whole flock, and compensation equal to that upon four animals. 
And he leads the herd each time. 

U on him only the same fine as on every other animal the first time, the same as. 
on two, however, every time from that out." 

' Smacht '-Jine. That is a fine for violating the law ; ' aithghin ' is com- 
pensation for the actual trespass committed iu injuring the corn, grass, &c. 

110 Ojiearhcc Cornairhcepa CCiTDfo. 

inam~ H " Cuct1tl a C(C11U 1">< V a C 1 11 ' P 1C( piaT>naib, ocu f V- hiqrccro 

CO-TEN- cac na, ocup paic cpec m cecpumat) -peer, ctirpuma ppi THI nun- 

Axcr - mannaib pai-p t>o pmacc ocup ppi liut-n umnann 

TDo TJO cuaiT) na haenap fo cpi pia piatmaib ocup nip 
>" nac na, ocuf puc cpec tap ^n, cucp.umcc vii'f 111 
jinacc, ocuf cncp,uma ):]\i ceicp.1 hanmanna tiaichjm ; no, tna -DO 
cuaiT) a aenu^ pa rp.1, ocuf m po lncaTD, ocuf p,c cpec in rpeaf 
peace, cucpuniapp.1 fe Jianrnanna yaip, -DO pin ace, ocuf cucpuma 
ppi cpi hanmanna 

o 11la TJO cuait) co pa TJI a aenup, octif ni po lnccro m cec pecc, 
ocuf po 1caT> in pecc canifne, cucpuma ppt T>a lianmanna 
DO -pmacc ocuf ppi haen anmann 

1Tla -DO cuaft) co pa -01 a aenup, ocup po hicati in cec peer, ocup 
ni p,o hicaD m pecc ranipDe, cucptnna ppi pecc nanmannaib patp, 
i/rio pmacc, ocup cucpuma ppi ua anmanna 7>an;h;5in. 8amlait> 
oono in ra. 

'>ip a lip, .1. call. 11 o cr pnidice, .1. atnuidi. Lnigeap eiyxlim, 
./. Unsiripeicaixaleitn mt\, a|xiti vet^rio a|iin ap,bafi. pa -DI,.I. co pa DO. 
Pa cfii,.i.copactii. Pa cectcTicuri,.i. co vacechmfi. CCn aen laiclie, 

io .1. 1 naen U> ceic inunn he in can ip cucjuima aiyx ocup ailbin 1 puilic pecc 
nanmanna. Wi lins itnu|i.iio m ci\ec, .i.noco tiiigenn in cailbni ace 
aen tenn ai|iin can ipcucTiutna ojvi\o. Conn.anTKco cliiiToca 
i nt>e, .1. ip cam UTi^anaic a cinca ecap.yxu ia|ium ap. "DO, im cucfiuma 
atTipium 1 iToul anunn co pa cec1iairi,octipoririopum 1 iToulmuiroaenveachc 

i'dCj t>ono, confianna cinaiT), .1. tp e ctiic in t>ono atro, T>ona mucaib 
f.o aipneTO n.omaitiT>. Po]ip,f;n> j;eateap, .1. pep. moi6 occi, ocup ccic 
cari aii\bi-o no paigit) peoip, aili ; no T>ono, geilc eipinyiaic oict, ocup ccic 
cap. ime nim>n.aic. 

.1. VoppjiTi ap anim no o pacliap ap a -oaj pep pein a n7>a 
-)o pep, neic aile, cin ap, ime cm co_bjet> ; no ap a T>poc peyx pem a 
pep neic aile o bup cap ime Tieac, no 51-0 cap mime gin co 
T>eac ap a tiaig pep. pem a n-oaj pep, neich aile. Mi paice 
V ( W5'' D VP- 1C( C1 no -Dicp^ccD ap a -opocli pep pem a nTiaig pep 

OH^ neich aite, inunab cap mime oeac. 

1 Lawful. The word 'in'on.tnc ' means ' worthy, pure, honest, perfect, complete 


If he has gone alone thrice before witnesses, and he (his trea- ___ 
pass) has been paid for each time, and that he has led the herd the CO-TKN- 
f, ,urth time, there is a ' smacht '-fine upon him equal to that of two '__ 
animals, and comprusatiou equal to that of one animal. 

If he has gone alone thrice before witnesses and has not been 
pai.l for each time, and he has led the herd afterwards, there is a 
' smacht '-fine upon him equal to that of the herd, and compensa- 
tion equal to that upon four animals ; or, according to ot/iers, i 
he has gone alone thrice, and has not been paid for, and has 1 
the herd the third time, there is ft ' smacht '-fine upon him equal 
to that of six animals, and compensation equal to that of three 


If he has gone twice alone, and has not been paid for the J 
time, and has been paid for the second time, there is a ' smacht' 
fine upon him equal to that upon two animals, and compensation 
equal to that of one animal. 

If he has gone twice alone, and has been paid for the first time, 
and he has not been paid for the second time, there is a ' smacht '- 
fine upon him equal to that of seven animals, and compensation 
e, 1U al to that of two animals. The calf indeed is similar as to fines. 

Which is l:<pt in an enclosure, i.e., within. Or in a green, i.c.,outside, 

Makes 'airlim'-trespasses, i.e.. he leaps a leap, a leap upon the grass 

or upon the corn. Twice, i.e., two times. Thrice, i.e., three times. Four 

times, i.e., to four times. In one day, i.e.. it is in the one day he goes . 

fence when there is a fine upon him equal to that upon the herd in which there are 

'seven animals. But the herd makes but one 'airlim'-trcspaii, i.e., 

the , nt one over-leap when the fine on them is equal to that on At pet 

, /n> mg,,iy. They divide the liability afterwards between them into 

, equal partt, i.e.. they divide the fines afterwards fairly between them into 

two equal parts, an equal share on him for having gone over four times, and on them 

for going over once. The calf too pays equal fine, i.e. theforce of the/xtrt.cfc 

here is, because it was of the pigs we have treated before. A trespasser 

that passes oi-er the lawful pasture, i.e., he had good grass himself, and ^/^ 9// 
he goes over a palisade fence into other grass ; or, indeed, he has unlawful pasturage, -. 
and he goes over a lawful 1 fence. 

A trespasser is the name yiven to him (the calf) when he goes 
from his own good grass into the good grass of another, whether 
over a hedge or not ; or from his own bad grass into the good grass 
of another over a good fence, or whether he has gone over a fence 
or not, he has gone from his own good grass into the good grass 
of another. He should not be styled a trespasser though he should 
,m his own bad grass into the good grass of another 
unless he has passed over a fence. 

Ofieoetm Cotnaiclicepa CCiTnpo. 


J UDO o ^ . ->x, rorr/ 

\ f V MENTS OF Cai 1 x ~''3g Jn ime nrojuc ?f nflgn cojia, cona rni 

-T, , UUM,H ^4! lv/> x . X ' M/* ' 

" a teichea-o, IPPI 1111 " 1 "Diet liccipvoe ; 

cWa 'gonrnie ; 
ia J l rnchcqa, qu qvcttie'a leirhecro 

**^n t,/) twxt^t A 

a cujijaji 111 muji, ocur^ jfiaigce, a naii\-no 
n mui)!. nia^ noclic^aiLe, 5 ebaiT) r iTe ^i T)c 
Jil.ty^* o-D. 2174. fctnrhe ; m/t)iceaT> fctuche cqt a -Dluice, ocur fni"! Dtc 

1U"<}-1 -X) 4am, A L ^J /) 

Tiarn a]i a Jiatfi'Oe, ocf <a T>qirirtie ; -Da-Doniro T>ec T)i 

t , * J * -ftviovW^^ v./) Wj| ^ 

naifvpe ; qn bancaifi 111-01, buncon roii a Itoccan, ocur 

<WA '"^ ~*rt '' 

Xlliv ItTI 1 <WA '"^ fi~*rt '' 

fUlil uroe cqia meT)on, oaif afiaite paiji icqi nnacli- 



) cacli cuaiLlc- ia|inuachru^, ocup latncan 

T)oib co liacli u^paema rn"calatn ; ocup qu beifneanna* iW.jb.zS 
O-D. 2175. paqi -oa [p]cqica [a cean%. 

O-D. 2i75caille uapa ananiani, oci^ cqi pnaigain paiii. T)ia 

>.^rJ- A p fl X,. ^ *fJtAt /) ' 

mbe paqi l^^jne peo |, ip T)idipo^ail qi ceacp,a. n 
o'D. 2175. i r aiTnie at in Tnninme ifqi [a] aqroe ocup [a] 
O'D. 2175. olinrlie, ocup [a] mt)^ucup. ^^^^ /) 



Caiix cai-oe in ime IIVTHUC? .1. comaificnn cmci onchne'na Ttitna 
o-otigcis ici^i- 1T1 an coyta, .1. T>ia cloicli t\f ocuf clocli vop.ixu anucop. 
CC leicViecco, .1. ia)i niclicuyi. CC teiclieati, .1. utji nuctclicufi. tC 
ooirnne, .1. ia|i naiu'Di. 1ai\ n idicafi, .1. u()i mclicuix rip (C teic- 
1ieat> n<( mai5ne,.i. in mai-o 1 ctnyice^ in mu-p. mp, nichcan, a muiyi. 
naiyiTie in niui)i,.i. -pia-pp. ^fbui-6 ^i-oe pyii Tiam, pcuiclic, 
t.".i. gabaiT) proe ^1^111 nTxitn ncup |>.ip in ^cutci nibec. 1Ji T)iceoT) 
pcuiclie, .1. nococeic in nij^cucjia-pna -pcoca cfuc ap, T>luic1]i. T)icec 
-cam a^i a lucux-oe, .1. nococeic in Danrcai'rup ap. wfi-oe, .1. in -oa -oofin- 
oec. CC oaingne, .1. nocu ctmipcaigetin pe aix a oaitijiie. T)a -001111 -o 
oec, .1. na cp.i buncop.. Co^iai'swo cacli cuaille, .1. cop,ab crium-D. 
' o1a n nuachcuTx, .1. na|iab dec r>.ama. Lamcup T>oib, .1. a cvfi -001 b 

' Bunchor-bands Bands of oziers interwoven between the standards, or stakes. 

'Amalltt This was fur the purpose of flattening the head or point of the 
stake to prevent it from hurting cattle. See O'D. 1 .">."><;. 

3 Interweatiny vk-l.tru-orh. For 'uapa ananiani,' of the text O'D. 2175 has 
'uap penamain.' 

* ' Bunchor' '-bands. There is something wrong here in the 51 S. 


Question What is the lawful fence ? If it be a 
stone wall, a Avail of three stones, its dimensions are 
three feet in" thickness, twelve hands in height ; if ' 
a trench, three feet in width and in depth ; its' width * Ir- "*' 
one foot below at the bottom, three feat is the 
breadth at the place where the wall is placed, and three 
feet is b the height of the wall. If it be a naked fence, * ir. m. 
it shall bea defence against oxen, and small cattle; the 
small cattle could not pass through it from its closeness, 
and an ox could not pass over it from its height and' 
its firmness ; twelve hands are its height; three 'bun- 
chor '-bands 1 in it, a ' bunchor '-band at the bottom, 
another in the middle, and another at the top ; kt fL 
sueh-wise-that eaeh~stake4s-rouaded at the top, and 
they are pushed down by the hand m order -tbat the M 
ground may receivethem, and they are each struck 
on the head with three blows of a mallet. 2 The length 
of a foot as far as the joint of the big toe is to bo 
between every two of the stakes ; three hands the 
length of each stake, over the inter wea vino- wicker- 
work, and a blackthorn crest upon it. If it be thus 
made, it is a defenee-against the trespasses of cattle. r r . you. 
The ' duirime '-fence is similarly formed as to JL''f " "'* 
height, and closeness, and lawfulness. 

QuestionWhat is the lawful fence? i.e., I ask how is the lawful 
fence known. If a wall of three stones, i.e., two stones below and one 
stone over upon them. In thickness, i.e., at the bottom. In thickiu- 
i.e., at the top. In depth, i.e., in height. At the bottom, i.e., below at the 
bottom. Is the breadth at the place where the wall is placed, i.e., 
of the place where the wall is placed at the bottom of the wall. The height 
of the wall,i.e,up. It shall be a de fence against oxen, &c., i.e.. it 
shall be a fence against the ox and the small cattle. T h e s m a 1 1 c a 1 1 1 e &c. 
i.e., what crops the briars does not pass through it in consequence of its closeness! 
That an ox, &c., i.e., the ox does not go over it on account of its height, i e 
the twelve hands. Its firmness, i.,,.. it is not removed on acconnt of its firmness' 
Twelve hands, i.e., the three 'bunchor '-bands.' Each stake is 
rounded at the top, i.e.. that they be round. At the top, i.e., that 
they be not like oars. Pushed down by the hand, i.e., thrust by the 

VOL. IV. j 


114 bjieaclia Cotnaiclicefa 

.- olaim,conai^ixiMMncmnfeT>atifinBdUna1n. '011015 co n.'5<5 
MF.XTSOF ^oyx^an, .,. c o -De-oat na ojvoan, .1- cnx>'5 co n,ici in incro, .1. co bun in 
CO-TEXT , T)elll5etln - n QyxT)U jupntn.a^n,, urin. cac Tmcuaille. Uafa an am am, 
'.i. uafapgi mm po utxcomain. na cini T.n,ai5'in. Cin. on.ai5 a " 1 > .1. ion- 
^-tMltrchpOT'- "^~ be Vi ">! ma T>ian.oibm venam fin ain, if 01^05- 
Ictroi t>o net cechn-aib lie. 1f am tie, .1. 1-p amlaiT> -pin T>ono in ouiixime. 
ICITV aiffoe octi f -otuicli e, .1. 111 nana Dop.iTD -Dec, ocuf co na T>15 in 
y-cincTie cp.ic ayx a -otuictiP. 1 n cu f, .1. cen flega, cen beyia, cen 


* .,^,'CiO r c 'Srnaclic peara dunnne ocuf dfice, pctif pearaoir, 

pf 0-.-7J jitvy^v ^ ^ ^i/rK, A 

ocur peaca micnne, ocqr peara femeom, ocuf peara 

* x * 1 *^ * 1 1C" A 

TxuflglUe naifiaib ; ire inTfin a cairnce. ^ 

peaca c1milT.Tve, .1- na Iniile en title amuil na, .1. 
tec ymacc vo^f ria "nmanna ya. peaca 01^, -1- annul na bu. 
if peaca miccitie, .1. amutt na cona cenntia. jDeaca -pel n eoi n, 
^ febaicc. "CairiS't^ 6 naiyiaib, .1. -DO cm-o cai-p.p'-li icaicin, a 
pmacca, .1. getl coin.icnnec1i aipi, Rpll oa y-cn-eoaU; ocu^ if -cap. a 
cenn iccain, pmacca ina pogtaib comaidicey^a. 

* .1 . Cmtce achitie C|va,(cSn) ocuf ^eoiT), octif ceafica, ocuf pea- ; 
'i ccroa cuiyxfie, ocuf teich ; a TiaifisiUe annul cac ceatfia ma tube 
cait\silte naifiaib ; tnuna be, a caiiijille amutt cac cectrh^a 
ptceana. O^IA/ 

Caitce beach q\a, in caiche pi -oo fuitiaib, m 

Cm po -Delia fon. aip.e an iuamnaig, ocuf ni pt 

, * Waib, ocuy- pobic ria Tiat^leansea-D tnte i malle, ayi if no _eijali- 

() nieann ann pn na ruille cprh^m na ftnacca ta connciu ? .1. eifi- 
tirn nia naflivrap. a ne^an vr^f-P ^ ecriaT T U111 H 10 caicaita, co 

Tiac unura can hie a cman. "Oif cafcain pi noib, .1. catain nta 

D - 

Co hejianafi in cacaij ma cofia? 11tn - aitiifeix a coilltefi na 
beich,nobei^in jpe|V(rt50ofxwnfU|0.tTtf ffltnilftniCocefoatAnn 

jabala, ocuf fo geallan laifivini. 1fi bfieac if coifi iafiuni mie, 
yiamn in meala noib 1 qai .1. qaian no uixgnam, ocuf cfitan no 
bcacaib, ocuf cfiian no ni\. CC r^ian in rifie tianncayv f on 

1 ffhe detains all that will tie toU him This very obscure passage may pon H ly 
mea n "If he (the man injured by bees) retains in his mind all I shall tell 
him. in that case he may look after trespasses by bees in such manner that it will 
in .1 l,e easy for the owner of the bees to escape paying him compensation." Per- 


hand I, so that it cannot but enter into the ground. A foot as far as the joint of Ji'no- 

big toe, ,.e., to the articulation of the big toe,i.e.. a foot till it reaches tlie place "KXT< "F Ofa- 
.e., the pomt where the bfe toe separates from the foot, between ,vcrv two rtakea - 

T . ei ; ll "; interweaving, i.e., over the fine interweaving >,:/,,, ,, w 
^S&uniUhe blackthorn crest. B lack tho rn crest, i.e., at the ,,, If it be 
s made, ,.e.,if it be of this make it is impregnable to the cattle. Similar! v 
'duirime '-fence is also thus MMfeefet AS- to height and 
s, i.e., the twelve hands, and so as that the small cattle could not 
-through it on account of its closeness. La wf ulness, i.e., without spikes, 
ithout spears, without points. 

As to the 'smaclit'-fine for pet herons and hens, 
and pet deer, and pet wolves, and pet old birds, and 
pet foxes ; there is an additional pledge upon them ; 
this is for their trespasses. 

The 'smachf-fine for pet herons, i.e. all tM , of bir , u , l(lVe (o 

J6w_Ufa the hens, i e. there is half ' smacht '-fine upon th, Pe , rt eer 

thecows. Pet wolve,, i.e. like the domestic doga Pel old birds,' 

lawks. Additional pledge upon them, i.e. for addition their 'nnachf- 

are paid, i.e. there is a relieving pledge, a pledge of two 'screpalls;' and it 

b for th, 'smacht '-fines ^^.their trespassesin co-occupanev 

As to the fines upon-JaitLids,' i.e. demand geese, and hens, and pet 
herons and bees; their additional pledge is the same as that of all 
animals, lf they are liable to additional pledge ; if not, their addi- 
onal pledge is like that of cattle in general. 
As for the feeqs of bees, it is trespass fine, which are due 

, c are 

these, not additional pledge. A* <4 .&*. It (f> *a*) ^^, a &M* " 
M hat is the reason of thi.s,?fey are swift, and there is 

?' '/ 


not incur restitution or 
i i.e. ' au-lim '-trespass, if 

it is 
tlieir damage. There are two lines for 

them, i.e. a ^^^-^nm^Hy of) their produce. 

How is the &uM>f tlioh- produce paid ? Answer At the time 
smothering the bes, the man who sues makes a sekure of tint 

. and it-gees into the keeping of safe hands,- aiid4t4 after- ' Ir. ff n ,l ti* 
wards submit^ to award. The decision which is ri-ht to make /** 
aflarwar* concerning it i, to divide tl,e honor between them into 
three part., Le. a third for attendance, and a third for the bees and 

forth, ,/_, und, The third fl^oifod for the land 

- i. ikmld he render,,!, i.e., "an 'airlim'-trespass in which U ;,, ! ,, 

t ., ; n, i ,m^ lnagC: it is nut cas , tyiuo; , lia _ viiyfor llie . r dam 

11G b|ieac1ia Coniaiclicefa CCnnp. 

.limn- j. rfuan De T>on fifi bet) a beidi f.o bidi in n|xe af a 

CO-TKN- ill qua" aile nannrafi fon iafi na cetcfie comaicaib be-oa 

i -u-p AXCY. neafa -DO, .1. i^njbeic bjcro. 1Tla f.ciarh laif in romaf fin cac 

~' bbat>ain fain., TJO beip. faice cac comaicai-6 be^a nefom. v 

j- 'C|\icinaiT)'DOCin,c.i. foxal,ocufT)Oi\T;a'D,ocuf coyxba'D. 

bmiigena -peiipume cona nannlann ; ocuf ife nieic m annlaim> 
fin comnscnc cacabaitigine Dib, ocuf a tecac ; ocuf m cafibu|i if 
mo rnilti-D na ceile, if T>e iccufi na baifijina fin if m email) -DO 
mac na ce^ca afng. T)amna ceofia feyicaf beca ? iu tecfqieputl 

ioma anaiD 1 Itf .1. maetflucat) bee, ocuf toe 1101-01 ocuf coinTii, 
ocuf nocon amuit fogail comaiccef fin, ace ambitamuilbicbince. , / 

(C rnJ cmai-o .1. fecrap. Itf [.i. i\e harhatb ocuf muttlenn] *i^ 

ocuf fie oatftb aixbafi; ocuf a^fece cejicaib beof ara m inrli fin, 
T ocuf noco raic caifiif. 11 perrroa en uiti amutl na cefica ima 
comaiccefa ; reofia * 

O'D 2175. 1la 1lU) ^ en arnu ,t n a cefica im a fogla coimcefa. 11a qai cc 
' foslaacig, foxal,ocufcop.bati,ocuf CC rfii cc f ogta a 

lif, maetflucqp bech, ocuf toe \\wi> ocuf camninne. 

bairxsina ma fo^qit arig, ocuf tec^cfiepatt a tif no a 
; octif meic fop-Tia a feccutitif,aiiiuit na )\uba eite 1k. 
ootio cena, comu'fiach bicbmci uatib if na bechaib ocuf if in 
aich. 1f ann crca a neifuc a oubfiamuft fiomainn o na ceficaib 
an mbqvo aru an coiinee a -oeip, T)ti5eti ofifdi .1. cocaitt inipa, 
)' ocuf muna bet, co mbiat) pac T)uine caiti 

11a peca en uiti amuitna cejyjcajima p ogtrnb comaicef a. Teo|\a 
baifijma a cmai5,1vifecenui)iiiunn -oib aci, ocuf tetfcpepatt 

1 ' RovIh'-planti. Vide vol 2, p. 420 n, 421. 

> X;i</ ww'^s. Twenty-five letters have beeii here cut away with part of the lower 
margin of E. 3, 5, page 3. 

Of co-tenancy __ The MS. E. 3, 5, is here defective. What follows up to the 
article on hound trespasses, p. 120, is supplied from O'D., 2176 et ieq., and C. 29. 
See Welsh Laws, p. G92, folio edition. 


is itself divided into three parts, i.e. a third of it is yleen to the Juno- 
man who owns the bees on account of the land from which they CO-TEX- 
come, the other two-thirds are divided between the four nearest ANCY . 
neighbouring farms, i.e. where food (for the bees) is. If this dis- 
tribution of it every year should be deemed tiresome, each nearest 
farm takes a swarm. 

Tfiere are three trespasses of the hen, i.e., snatching away, /"A: > 
spilling, and jEastwig. The fine is three cakes of man-baking with 
their condiment ; and the amount of this condiment is to e'j! the 
thickness and breadth of each cake of them ; and the corn which is 
more injured than the rest, it is of it these cakes are made which 
are paid for the trespass the hens commit in a house. Tl- 
for their trespass in the house. The makings of three spindles 
(full of wool,) which are worth half a ' screpall ' is paid for their 
trespasses in an enclosure of a garden, i.e. the soft swallowing of 
bees, and the injury of ' roidh '-plants 1 , and garlic, and this is not 
as trespass in the co-occupancy, but is regarded as viciousness. 
Their three trespasses outside the enclosure, i.e. in kilus and t &$ '< 
mills 2 * * * and on corn-stacks ; and on seven hens this 
addition is, and it does not go beyond them tlmi All the 

petbirds are as the hens as regards their trespasses of co-tenancy ? 
three * * 

All the birds are as the hens, with respect to their trespasses in 
the co-occupancy. The three hen-trespasses in a house are snatch- 
in" away, wasting, and spilling. The three hen-trespasses in an 
enclosure are soft swallowing of bees, and iiij uring ' roidh '-plants and 

Three cakes is the fine for their trespass in a house, and half a 
'screpall' in an enclosure or herb-garden ; and 'the sacks ' ;<.' c/v/';, <7 
upon them outside the enclosure, like other trespassers. ( )r, indeed, 
according to others, it is fine for thierishness 4 that is paid for (// ir 
swallowingtlie bees, and for trespasses in the kiln. Where the ' eric '- 
fine which we have mentioned above is paid for the hens is when 
the restraint which the law orders is upon them, i.e^ooots of rag 
upon them, and if they be not upon them, a fine for 
shall be upon them. 

All pet birds are like the ln'iis with respect to their trespasses 
in* co-tenancy. Three cakes is tlt>' fin>- for the trespass of every " Ir. Of. 
seven birds of them committed in a house, and half a ' screpall ' in an 

4 Thieclshitesi. The ' bithbinche ' of an animal h his acquired habit of injuring 
or trespassing. 

118 bjxeatha Comaithcepa CCiTDfo. 

^ OCU y, i e n^ch a feccafi liff. ta\\ Ian fine crca fin, 
CO-TKK- ocuf a lee eafi lee fine, ocuf cm 111 maf cfn fme ietfi. Cu cocliluib 
ANCY. urn p u ^- n . ^0 Tjono, fto cinii a mbqile af fto bu cfrmci leif a 
nemtiaceam aff ; ftadi -Dintie [caice] innififip, fojjfiu muna 
]:tnliee cocla umpu, no munafi la me conuifi aff T 1 - b 
leif a nenraaccain. 

baifijjina f ep,fitie co na nannlunn bfieyafn caca fiairhi 
a]i fe baii\5i'tia banpume, rfii baip.gma coifici atro, octif an 
cecna oeofina ; uai|i if arnlqip fcrrap, meic in cotnmtcef a, let -DO 

;o cotfia ant> ocuf lee oeoyinam ; ocuf ni cuqfiuma'6 a lo, iiaiix 
m eocemai) f-.ann ocrmogac DO pingmn lo na eyxi mbaifijin 
coi|xce,ocuf in feccniafiiiatin fefcaTiopin5inT)arinarp.ibaiiri5ina 
eofinat). Ocuf cabuifi na fe bai^jina fin afv ryxf baifijina yefi- 
finne, feoflms co let ocuf cfii fvanna Dfeoixlmg ocuf oecbniat) 

'>' 111 oeclnnai'D Tif.e-ofcliii5 loj ann, no na tfii mbaiftgm ifm. Cfn 
DO maec na ceafica if in eig aca fin. 

t)amnaT) eyn fenriif beT>a ffu leffcfiepqll fna ctnai-o a lif, 
letjneicli ma Stiafi*] a fecuaii lif. 0,^9^4 

(C rfii cmaif) a rig, foxal, ociif -oof^ca ocuf coftbu. CC qfif 

ZD fogla a lif, maetflucut) beac, ocuf Ion fioi* ocuf comt)enn, no 

ffii beocliu ocuy lf ocuf c^uacha. CC qai foglaiua feccajx lif, 

.1. fiehuuliaib ocuf niuillerm ocuf |\eT)aifib a^ba; nofiiifabull 

ocuf vi\i liucuib ocuf ff>.i soi\cuib; no Tiono, cond tJu^ogal coin- 

attcef a -ooibf 111111 na f. ogla f m, ace a nibet am tut bicbmgi, octjf co 

if fecie cei\ca aea in inch fin. 1lliac1i aft cificnabi Tianni\iee, cumu 

let i)icie aft, cailec ; cuma cfn cifici ffu lubgoftC ocuf bej4c1iaib. 

T) b 'c ^ [Ceyica; a caii\5ille amail cac cetf.a, ai]\ m 

mni>.aic ocuf unbe nniD^aic f|Hf ; ocuf cuat) tia ofcDlae -Dec, TDO 
51\un, if yniace pi TDOib ffii cac naii\lim ; ocuf aconnmeT) u\\, na 
eaf, m^aic fin, inroibe a neT)ai ocuf uficonila 

' i Enclosure __ ' I^is ' means here, the enclosure of a garden where bees are kept. 

Condiment.' Aiinlinin ' is any thiug taken with bread, such as butter, sauce, 
line-mi. <S.c. Butter and bacon are the kinds of ' annlann ' usually referred to in 
these laws. 



enclosure, 1 and half a sack for trespass outside an enclosure. This is ^ ^ ^ ^ 
when tl'-tj have passed over a full fence, and it is half for trespass ',",','_ T ,, N . 
over a half fence, and nothing 'if there be no fence at all. This is 
when they have boots of rags upon them ; or, indeed, according 
to others, he (the otCTier^put them in a place from which he felt certain 
they could not come ; but fine for man-trespass lies against them 
unless rag-boot^ be upon them, or unless they haws-beeft-seut by 
a way through which he was sure they could not come.* 

Three cakes of man-baking with their condiment 8 of butter or 
bacon every quarter of a year, are the equivalent for six cakes 
of woman-baking, which consist of three cakes of oats, and the 
same number of barley; for the manner in which the sacks of 
the co-tenancy are paid, is one-half in oats and one-half in barley ; 
and their price is not equal, for the eighty-eighth part of a ' ping- 
inn ' is the price of the three cakes of oats, and the sixty-seventh 
part of a ' pinginn ' is that of the three cakes of barley. And 
taking these six cakes as equivalent to three cakes of man-baking, 
their price will amount to a farthing and a half, and three parts 
of a farthing, and the tenth of the tenth of a farthing is their 
price, or that of these three cakes. This is for the -trespass which 
the hens commit in the house. 

The makings of three spindles which are worth half a ' screpall ' 
are due for their trespasses in an enclosure, half a sack for their 
trespass outside an enclosure. 

Their three trespasses in a house are snatching away, spilling 
and wastig. 3 Their three trespasses in an enclosure are soft 
swallowing of bees, and the injuring of ' roidh '-plants and garlic, or 
of bees, herbs; and com ricks. Their three trespasses outside the 
enclosure, i.e., in kilns and mills and stacks of com ; or in a barn, 
in kilns and fields ; or, according to others, these trespasses are 
not trespasses of the co-tenancy, but they are to be considered 
thieves, 11 and this Jim; runs to seven hens. A sack for a hen that b It. As 
is not barren, and hence half a sack for a cock; equal is the ^ 

fine for trespass of the hen in an herb-garden and for the injury i r . nu 

run is nit tt 
which she does to bees. 5 , rt;1 AirilJ _ 

\ As <ohens : their additional pledge-/e alike thut of every kind o -~ 

^qf cattle, for <i~y i.all no f pn--i*n-ftJawfal place over a lawful f * 

W*-***^-^ fence _ and a c ^ of tv;elve j ]lt .i ieS) O f grain, is the ' smacht '-fine 

which is paid for them for every ' airlim '-trespass ; and this when 
they are guarded so as that they may not pass over a lawful 
. tlu-ir wings being clipped and spancels upon them. 

' Wasting 'Corb' is glossed ' cairearii,' spending wasting, or consuming 

i-Nad' (another form of the word) means also, diityii'g, defiling. 

f,,f . k .- t .-W t~r~i *> "", ?r. 

<!{ (A, heJti fr i^rr^t- " ' 

bjiectrlia Coniairhcepa 

v \ht^ ihmow a C 111 aarrr> oct) r na rnna'5, ocu r na b T iain,Tio na bfiutc ocuf 
CO-TEN-- na 'ooain annul na conn centrou tim a yojlaili comairhcef a. 11u 
AN '' 1la s al! -' :cf mmnl na haiji ceannT>a tim a pogla B comaitcefa. 
c. lla mtica allra T>U nibecff a^ cumuf neic, aniuil na muca 

Uapcrou fo amuitna ceamiTm if copmnl p n ni urn pnacT; noi r 
lee pach uauuib na nanmann i r copnuil tt i,u, amail 1^ lee pacli 

a fmacr a n .; cu ^ui 5 i r ecc 
' ]M)iacc a lif, ocur meich a fecraji lif. 

eile. 1ti coiap, ocuf in r enen, aminc araic a cinm-o nonia. 
Tlicm conimcce r a cu puice qn r ccc nainnamia, CIT> ile r cuM. (( 
bee aim, ache gu |iabuiT) a coniin 5 aifie cona mbec ac oenuni 
1K( V"5 la 5 no ]-uc vo]i cac fcilb muna jniilic a coiiiin 5 aiiie. 


<f Caifi cmpa carliach po pel. C/FIH nji in comicai-o ? 

C1T) 'CT 111 ? Ofl^tie in conluatn i ralam, ocur 

tr>>.. ft ""scvrntA/rt- '** ?>i j^J.-- v r ,^ lfr /^y^ ff I 

a e 'l^ e ; ; ^ cu r a'^ ! 1 " hemefoa clionltimn, 
~ / 


ahaimeiT) -DO Tm, ocup ;a~hiaimei'D /> 'Do rjiucli, ocur a" 

^ 2 o1 1 eimei-D'Dome r :in7 A 'Dip J e-: ^oircet^ cS^tfe^eclic 

cona clunncaib -DO neach rojiaipeaT), rap- -oifie ocu r 

.om,c. . 

Smachca comiclieara came colanT) a petcli, mi ni bi 
2178. rrnachc ache la colainT) a peich ? p ef i i crab no [in] atfi- 
w,rf^ u'cean"D fce colanT) a peich. 

t hi' a/ Ootu^rv A 

' 0m,c.,vA,i._A ' seilbh' means a .INtinct possession, the stock of a particular 

Question The text in E. 3, 5, is defective here. 

The feediny.-The term conU>n,"or 'conluon,' means " dogs' excrement " 
and so glossed in C. 2783, where this very paragraph is quote,!, fart in s,,,,^ 
what different taa^ajje, llm,:-" C.u^ap ca,r, V o P ,c , cu V M rm , 
:omaiccera, dt> bepe cm contain. " It is evident, however, from the K ] ,, n 
the passage in the text, that the author of that gloss understood it as "hound's 


The wild dogs, and the foxes,/ or the badgers, and the 'togans,' 
are as the tame dogs with respect to their trespasses in the co-ten- 
ancy. The wild fawns are like the tame calves with respect to 
their trespasses in the co-tenancy. The wild swine, if they should 
be in one's power, are like the tame swine. 

The wild deer are like the tame deer which are like them, with 
respect to ' smacht '-fine ; or, according to others, it is half the fine 
of the animals which are like them, that is paid for them, as it is 
half fine that is obtained for them. 

Three cakes is their ' smacht '-fine for trespass in a house ; their 
' smacht ' -fine for trespass in an enclosure may amount to seven 
half ' screpalls,' and sacks are due for trespass outside the enclosure. 

Another version. As to the heron and the hawk, their trespasses 
are outside only. J| And the fine in the case of co-occupancy r 

extends" as far as three times seven animals, even though there Ir. The ^f'/Wj 
should be several distinct ownerships,' provided that they are under ' 
common herding at the time of committing the trespass ; or it ex tends 
to each distinct ownership if they are not under common herding. 

Question 2 - --What trespass does a hound commit 
on the land of a co-tenant ? The feeding 3 of him *" 7 * ft * 1 
iityp_LcG6=A liability for his teeapags.. ^Ui^ L b ir. Bears. 

What is done in this case ? To take away the 
hound's ordifre from the land, and settle the laud 
after it ; and three times the bulk of the ordure is to 
be paid as its ' dire '-fine, its bulk of butter, and its c ir. in. . fa 

bulk of curds, and its bulk of dough. The support ^ 
of all pet animals and their trespasses fall on the ^O&^M-? -for ivfafaw, 
^efson-whTro-wrre-4kem, both as regards 'dire '-fine ^t*vv A&i/v 

. w *j*w r ~^fyL 

and compensation. 

In the ' smacht '-fines of co-tenancy, what is the 
substance of the liability 11 incurred by them (i.e., on A ir. Body 
their account), for there is no ' smacht '-fine unless J 
there be a substantial liability. 11 The destruction of 
the grass at the side or at the end of the field is 
the substance of the liability. 4 

food," taking ' Ion ' to mean as it does in the modern language, ' food,' ' provision," 
&c. "Cit> bejxe cm contain," as quoted in the gloss C. 2783, means " who 
bears (or shall bear) the trespass of dogs' ordure," which is probably the true 
meaning of the clause in the text, though the glossarist understood it otherwise. 

122 bfieaclicc Comaiclicepa CCiTOfo. 

Ji-no- Caifi, .1. cornaificmi cia cm comaitcefa vuaclicraigef in cu 
MBNTS OF incomaiclng. beip,iTj ctmi, .1. beiyn-o cinca 111 con in ci cucufcap. ion 
' bn>T>onco,n. 

- t.i) .1. Catce con *i. a ceacaifi, .1. omnecaice, ocuf a ufJbach 

% ceatfia, fobac naicfieibe, ociif conlon 1 cip,. Caip, CITJ 1 f ogam 1 
buaine in conluain fin 1 ratam ocuf for: ftro txqia eife, ocuf bo- 
cop, faip, co ceann mif. 1n cmaiT> aile o ru in cec chinaiti .1. 
ineic i\o bj\onna in cec cin, ifm ranifoe, a baf inD. x 

Cm fo ne\\a. fon^ap, ni reic ceacaip, a cec cm ? 

, , 

' o'l>. lo [Ce |\ocifa^c in cu ayi -peayianT) m coinaitij nocan puil nf uat> 
ZMI-& qcu muna oeiinnat) conluan pai|i ; ocf ma o^xotne, i 

iiT>cnuinait) -DO rocliuilc, ocuf fiiyi no buam a^f m aifiecc 
batacb m conluain, ocuf ui]x infn a comaismca HID. 

buain m conloin a rcilimitn gem t>o5abui\ a 
anil, ocuf afonnati ocuf afulqp, ocuf uifi niin a comaiginca ap, 
aicbgma. 1y neiauxc flamn fin ; ace co n-oicliec tia each 

.. -r tim.cafipucc hi cofiuicc ant> o^uf congletec an-o, ocuf conai-Dg 

a pacla ni tion feop, 050 5leit. Ocuf a cfd himeru^m cacKa 
fon aichgma, o?Uf amectmn, ocuf ainefoo caef, ocuf aniec 

5faich ; ocuf in ni t>ib fin na fagc^i, geibrp jftenri in .11. 
Ocuf maD 1 fia-onaifi pfobunaT) no net m cu conluan aji in 
co mbec fiac T>uinelcaici uai) aiTD.] 

CIT> v'^ o f 050111? .1. CIT> plipn niaT>aifin,i 

t)uaine in Conluain, .1 buam caca in con af m calniam. Ocuf 

'^'catam T>aiT. a eif e, .1. calam aiti T>anaeifi,.i. afonnoTiocuf afaiaT). 

CC ceoi^a neinieiT)e,.i.iii conlom mn ap.fon Tiine. 1 n a in fie^ .1. an. 

Ifon fmacca. 'Coifcea-o cac ae f 7)1160 n c .1. caifceri cacajiecca t <*rtc/*w. 

no'uaifi T>eifiT)e cona-oennac posail^ Cona ch i n nc 01 b, .1. T>^C, t>\a. 

' Four. In C. 29, the reading is cecm^, four; which seems to be the correct 
one. ' Ceucain.' usually means ' dirt, filth,' a si use ivhidi the context does not 
ri]i|'.ir to warrant here. 

* Four times. The original is defective here. Taking ' ceacaifl', ' four" or ' 
quadruped ' to be the correct reading, the sentence may mean, " What is the reason 
of this, for a quadruped docs not go inpayment for its lirst crime?" Taking 


Question, i.e., I ask what trespass of co-tenaney does the hound commit in the JUDG- 
neighbour's land? Involves a liability for his trespass, i.e., the person 
who has given store of food to the hound is accountable for the trespasses of the hound. 
That is, the trespasses of hounds, i.e., four 1 , i.e., man-trespass, and 
mangling of cattle, breaking of dwellings, and committing nuisances 
on land. Question What is done in this latter case ? To take 
that ordure out of the ground, and place a sod thereon afterwards, and 
cowdung is to be left over it to the end of a month. As to the other 
trespasses from the first trespass out, i.e. compensation is to be made 
for the thing injured by the first trespass, for the second, the life of 
tlie hound is taken.' ? fa^ 

What is the reason of this, forji_does-ot*epeatr tfee-ftrst tres- 
pass-fow-feaes 1 * fjtf^r -jrtHA 6u4 it W+vfalvt -Jv^-fto* otf*" 

Though the hound should come on the neighbour's laud there 
is no fine" upon him (the dog), unless he has committed nuisance Jr. 
upon it ; and if he has, the spot on which he has done it, is to be 
dug up, and the clay to be removed therefrom as long as the 
smell of the ordure is perceived, and fine clay of the same nature 
with that taken away is to be placed thereon. 

What is required by law is, to remove the dog's ordure out of the 
ground as far as its juice is found, and it (the ground) is to be 
pressed and stamped upon with the heel, and fine clay of the same 
nature is to be put there as compensation. This is the test of repara- 
tion ; that two horses of a chariot in yoke come there and graze 
there, and if no part of the sod of grass stick to their teeth in 
grazing on it the reparation is complete. And three times the size of 
the ordure is due for compensation, and 3 its size of butter, and its 
size of dough, and its size of curds ; and the part of them that is 
not obtained in the one is to be claimed in the other afterwards.* 
And if it be in the presence of the owner that the hound has 
committed nuisance on the grass, a fine for man-trespass shall be 
paid by him for it. 

What is done in this case? What is the reparation in this case, for the 
damage in the co-occupaucy 1 To take away the hound's ordure, i.e. to 
takeaway the hound's excrement out of the ground. And settle the lan'd after 
it, i.e. to put other earth there after it, i.e. to press it and to trample it with the heeL 
Three times the hulk, i.e. of the hound's excrement is to be given for it as 
'dire '-fine. As its 'dire'-fine, Le. as 'smacht'-line. The auppojt of all , 
pet animals, i.e. every w4ne<t-toy^uiiial is restrained by it that they commit 
not trespass. And their trespasses, i.e. to pay, i.e. if they have committed 
'ceacutp. to mean 'dirt,' or 'excrement,' the meaning would he for "excrement 
does not go as a first trespass." 

i The 'ocuf ' in the original seems superfluous, unless it is meant for .1. 

< Aftericardi. That is, if it be not obtained inbutter, it shall begiven in dough, &c. 


bjieacha Comaichcepa CCnt)fo. 

3, ' ' 

CO-TEN- 1 ^ n ^'l 16 ' '"<* ceorvaaimeici. CCi e h 5 i n, .1. in fVeoirv. 
ANCT. -"i "Cliea comi ch ea f a,.i. m nipnaccaigceri , f in acbechtircumai'oe, 
- na rmacea .,. rneich. CaiT>e cola a V eich, .,. aicngm , ne,c 
lU6p ann. ttrx ni bi r tnacc, .,. umyi noco bi in til fmaccaiscen 
aim ace la caeb aichgina colta na pad .1 .meicn. pep. i caib, .1. in 
paca. 11 o airiceant),.!. in gaitxic. Ice colanT) a teich, .1. a 
m inbai-o ip e )\o loice-o ann. 


' n a^rwsa r on, ap, 

A*- 3 na hpmi neach)b^o S a comicaiTjjOp ni bm^^ct arie,aji 
nac o n ba, qa nach a^ap, nac mcfieaba; a t ia 
each arvacecrcpa poj^ each nailepoi each 



, .. , Z * n , 5 , no , r n 

ta no eipi^an? .,. cm arvavaicevno cm 

|ta no ^eipi^an .,. cm cm arva nairnemten. ereic 
Race mbrvo 5 a, .,. T>irxiacaiT>e inpervanvo m ni nirm. CCn na no 


iacj[.i. r. r- 
A' ( * r ' 


^ ^ 

.1. CCcaic ceoria r ealba na beirieoro ba T>oT!a Tub caicaib/feo .i-Tiu*, oc Urn o,lbe,oc UrT :oac CU a,c-i. 1 r W5 atb f cinart fU r,n, 

a nfjifnv -DO cac ceac^a olceana. 

caite ?\l -oo ceocpa; ni coibeif anxeana.,. caire 
cap, a.rxbe, ocu r caite caippce, oc,, r caici ,11,1^1,0. mat, caire 
caji a.^be, ocu r bn> anjmc- icip, cac ca comitach, i r tec cacai* 

Two 'screpalls.'That i s , to secure the observance of the common usage This 
pledge was hung upon a rack in the neighbour's house at the foot of his bed 
Vid. p. 75, ante. 

nn ck tomb, 


trespass. To the person who owns them, i.e. taOi^-m*-* whom they JVDG- done damage. Both a, regards -dire Mine, i.e. the three equal hulks. M 
Compensation, i.e. of the grass. A.NCY. 

The 'smacht'-fines of co-tenancy, i.e. the thing which is command* 
in the common tenancy, the 'smacht'-fines, i.e. sacks. What . 
substance of the liability, i.e. compensation for the thmg which 
damaged. For there is no ' smacht'-fine, &c., i.e. for the thing which 
commanded for it is only for the sake of compensation for the substance of the 
liability, i.e. sacks. Grass at the side, i.e. lengthwise. Or at the end 
i.e. shortwise, or m breadth. Is the substance of the liability, i.e. 
compensation when it is it that has been injured. 

Farm-law, why so called? That is the law 
of farms, that no one may injure the farm of his 
neighbour, that he may not cut down the wood of his 
land, that he break not, that he may not plough it, that 
he may not inhabit it ; for every man shall give 
additional pledge for his cattle in respect of every 
passing over a fence, for every breach, for every 
rushing over. 

Farm-law, i.e. the law for the farm, i.e. the farm, or the regulations which 
are required for it. Why so called? i.e. why is it so called or denominated? 
The law of farms, i.e. that is, this is the regulations of the land. That 
no one may injure the farm of his neighbour, i.e. either in its grass or 
corn i e. that no one may injure the land of his neighbour. That he may not 
cut'down the wood of his land, i.e. that he may not cut the wood of his 
hud That he break not, i.e. the stakes or pales, i.e. of a house there. That he 
may not plough it.i.e. thathe may not till it. That he may not inhabit 
it i e that ht may not fix upon it his houses, his kilns, or his mills. For every man 
shall give an additional pledge, i.e. that every one may give a relieving 
pledge (a pledge worth two 'screpalls'* to insure the payment of the fines imposed) for 
every trespass which his cattle commit by going over the fence. For every 
breach, i.e. for every crossway, for every passage which they make over it. 
For every rushi ng over, i.e. for every great running over iMvhich they make. 

That is, there are three lands which ws aronotfiaocl for these ^t> 
trespasses, viz., a^troepaee 4n a wood, ajjcspas&~in a moor, and a 
' foach-tuaithe '-troDpocB. Tlei^-taspassUs--GOjidoixe4-4ieir-for 
evefx-iiad-of attle-nniy"be-iirar wild-place. 

There are three trespasses of cattle ; they are not equally paid 

for, viz., a trespass over a palisade, and a trespass by ak^ ch > and 

a trespass by rushing over. If it be trespass over a pMfeade, and 

;>r. that there is a bad 3 fence between every two neighbours, it is 

Bad. For ' an ' in the Irish of this line, and also of the next line, C. 30, reads 


^l/> (Wr^Wy-, 

/1 ^* ^"" U 7 T * V ftM^- Tf LJ ' tj 

1 AmMStf t'/u #*'-/& W4b* f+j 'jfjftf -fiwvfel/ ttv fa CffTTV/^-^r 


126 bfieorlia Cornaitlicera CCn-opo. 

IT>, op conlui an anfine in rarai^. mafiob a\\ aite fn ptx bet) 
CO-TKX- a m 

ruibixcro ; inpia jieriu a^gapa comroigre^ ma eige/t^wU^^ in*. ^-^ 

x ^ -f*** D L. ' *i t j^~ yi 

> n -fT^ Cfl- / TaxY^A' rUJ fa*-M. ' 

X 1 /" 

MEXTS O OF 1 c1 ^ ctri ' D ' a l 1 - corlJ - u ' an anime in rafaij;. mafiob a)xailefn pjxbe-o 
l^iTi, ip o'ocacajrg^t an-o, ap pi .05110 laim a tnn 

x Cam cai'oerainrce? 1 ' ^aimchc ran reilb no ran a 

V^^M^A 3.^ '^ "TrM/^o ' ' 

ce ^ OTia ^" ra r>- 1" 10 " ' 'O"^ wn abinti net 

be- fnam T>oib. Caififipce can FCK neifeafica. 0'/W-9/!7 

--uZ,A-< nv ! fl 

.1. comaiyictm caici in caficup cae .1. cae caijxij;. 
.1. rCmgacTic] -oap, Tia mp.cenn, IIQ'^^^ ceitp.1 aipceiiiT). Tap. 

In -i.T>afi pejiunn m bomp.e.i.ceop.a voinge ocuy uficap. ftepcat-D. 11o cap. 
a -01, .1. cap 7>a pepanT). T)ul cap. po-o, .1. lecpacti caippce 1 t)7)iit 
cap teccla-D in poic .1. co lee inie .1. p^i lutiie atnuicli. "Dul cap, 
abiD-o, .1. ap 5ppnn tec mie inni rap a necanap ami. 11 a be fnam 
7>oib, .1. ma-o^nam 7>oib ifpach aiptime HTD. 'Cai-p.p.fce cap, -pag 

If neiy-eapca, .1. cap pepann in ci eipsep af a piyic .1. m ceiyepc. 
Tap pa 5, .1. cap pic .1. cip. 

.1. CCcaic tiono r-p.1 rai|ifice .1. catfifce 

cap, abmtt, ocu caifiyifce cap. comitac. TTlaT) raipyce cap aibin-o 
Domain nabe cpeoip, if ogcacaij pil ann, aptif gteic t)ap fnT5pic 
JP mn fin. TTIati caippfce cap bepna caplpo-D, -DO rtiic ceach- (b'i&i2Mf) 
puimce fpifm fop calmam, ociif afpeanap' an aill, apuf tec DO ^ 
fattaib, an cult no oqeb'oeroaib j_a lee na faille panncap acapu 
in-oe. tnaT)caippfce capcomicacaipm i mbiaf)T)acpeabaj\ini 
**!& D epcpeqbqp, ipfei) m cecna nono; pannaiD a faitt acappu'in -005 
^ ime ; ni le^ajo ime fojifq nepcpeabap. 1f puipm lapmoca fin ; 
ocuf if cacaig na fpicgaib fola, op nf Dlesap imuami folaT) 

1 7na eight. This phrase may possibly mean, "What exists before it is prohibited 
is maintained afterwards." 

Aircenn. A piece of land containing 7,776 feet, or half a 'tir-cumhaile.' 
* Half fence. In OD., 2170 the gloss runs thus, " T u I cap pocc 
.1. eipic caippe cap. tec ime 1 tirmt cap, teach ctut> in poiT), &c. Going 
over a road, i.e. the 'eric '-fine for a breach over a half fence is due forgoing 
over one wall of the road. Going over a river which they have not to 
swim, i.e. the 'eric '-line of a breach over a half fence is due fur this also. What 
makes the breach here the same as passing over land is, the going across the road 
which has only half a fence, or across a. river without swimming, and there is full 


estimated at half trespass, for the bad fence lessens the trespass. If 

they have come over the fence of the man whose property they are, CO-TEX- </" -^ *. e ' ' ) 

it is full trespass, for " Hand ie/hanchdoes not pSJJft, unless it-has A * L \'tffr ' >) &tw ,* r 

been done for love, or through fear, orfEfouglTlordship." It is 

from- it was said : "Inpia resiu adgara coimdigther ina eighe."' 

Question Wliat is a breach ? Passing over one 
land, or over two. A breach is also going across a 
road, going across a river which they (the cattle) do 
not swim. A breach is going over the land of a 

Question, i.e. I ask what is ' tarthus-cae', i.e. the way over it. Passing 
over, i.e. passing over two ' aircenn '-lands,' or over four ' aircenn '-lands. Over 
one land, i.e. over the land of the ' Boaire '-chief, i.e. three ' forrach'-measures. and y '* 
the cast of a tod. Or over two, i.e. over two lands. Going across a 
road, i.e. half the fine for breach in going over one wall of the road, i.e. with 
half a fence, i.e. with a fence outside. Going across a river, i.e. what they 
have crossed in this case founds a claim of jlne fqual to that of half fence. 3 
Which they do not swim, i.e. if they have to swim it, it is (amounts to) 
fine for ' airlim '-trespass. A breach over the land of a fugitive, i.e. 
over the land of the person who has gone away from his land, i.e. the deserter. 
Over the land, i.e. over ' fich,' i.e. land. 

Now, there are three kinds of breach, viz., a breach across a 
road, and a breach across a river, and a breach across a neighbour- 
hood. 4 If it be a breach across a deep river without guiding, there 
is full fine for it, for it is c grazing beyond \that4s-lawfur in that 
case. If it be a breach over a gap or across a road, the one-fourth of 
it (the fine) falls to the ground, and the rest is paid, for half is due 
for the neglects, the other for the claimants ; the half for the neglect 
is divided between them in two. If it be a breach over a neigh- 
bourhood of co-tenants where there are two residents and one non- 
resident, it is the same thing : they divide the neglect between 
them, of the good fence. No fence is charged upon the non-resident. 
It is ' ruiriu '-trespass afterwards j and it is a trespass that does 

fence to the grass into which they go, or a half fence, for the river or the road is 
equal to half fence. 1 ' 

Dr. O'Donovau observes here.- -" This gloss is also defective, and should run 
thus : Crossing over a road which has only a half fence, to commit trespass, or 
over a shallow stream, which the animals can cross without swimming, is equal 
to a breach over a half fence ; but if the river be so deep as not to be crossed with- 
out swimming, or the wall of the road a perfect fence, they are equal to full fence, 
and the breach over them is accordingly c-timated." 

* A neighbourhood. That is, a settlement of co-occupants, or co-tenants. 

128 Djveocha Comaichcepa CCntipo. 

" coi re( rT 1 - 1 "' k<T ^ 1C ' 00-1111 .1. na cciqai connccog ima bicro, 
CO-TK.N- ocll r na ceirju econncaig croa tieafam ooibpiue. x 

L, p trtJrt&sr& P 

t\Wi,. B 'Op atfitTM mbiaD Ta coma|iba^ieabqii 1111 eapeajir/ 

cit) T)d5nicea|i t P ; p.| he^pea^c ? 'gatbeat) iinme co n^tricua, 

fop muna berpegbpt-o inj 

co nimcuaa-D^jae, no concafi'Da'D peji-oilfe (fo' A 

. 1 ^ ft ffv n Tf'A 

ceann mbliat)na. IllaT) peiit)tlpe T>o A be^a a pfne, iini- 
-^ A peanlceaclicap in t)a cotnaf^a otnTtne, ocup t)o bet^aD''* 

fL lyJ?^f IX**v- n ^/rvV-<(/ A 

cornaifieam tut), ocup To cnji^ealla each Tiiajiatle a"f 

t, ,,!,. r\ w 

O^ ma -DO a eipeatin co ^eabmji Imp a neccaip, 
rei-o DQ.chum a pine, polongaT) co ceant) tnbtiatna, ocup 
tii 01 a cneabaijie popip-ts ma ^1^, (ocup) ip -01 leap TO 

^ - 

title. - ^" ** * ck it . 

ito 4 

f ai i\ m , .1. of ayx acuy, ocap aip.m baile n-Dma^, 1 mbiac t>a coitnecaiT) 
- 7f JO-^ c T lba ^nebap 1 perian-o in ci eip5ej_ap aptic, nnon efejxc .1. ice T>a erepc 
-Deirvge a mecbuf, ocu^ eiy-eyic ca r cnani|niecaip^ Ci-o T>O gnicearx, .1. 

criec7>onicep.Tiifin eifeixc. P^l heif&atxc, .1. Of a p|ve. Saibeaij 
imme, .1. gabaiyi acligabail oirie co n-oerina ime enicqip, .1. co|ia ime m 
cwcecbca -DO. O f muna be, .1. mcma 


aici. goibceap a pine, .1. gabati adigabml -oon ci"if coTnpocut> -DO 
oon pine. Co ninicuaaT), .1. co n-oerwiac ime emcoi|i. Ho concari- 
oaT) peflt>llpe, .1. co cucac T)itp in peoifi afi pocbriaic, .1. in pne. Co 
ceann mbttano,.1. ap. txe na pocn,actca. Ill 075 ven'oitf e, .1. ma 
T)ilyi in pervain^D T>O beyiac in pne ap, vocp-aic T>O caitem in veoiji. 1 m- 
Vean ceacncan, in T>a comapba, .1. itni-o .1. uin,mieT> ceclicati-oe m 
oa coimecaTO oyiba \m\1 ime, co yxoib ime com Ian aim. "Do beyiaT), .1. 
ooberurc aijvem cumaree inT)im cucnuma. "Do aipsealla, .1. -DO beifk 

Nearest to them. This commentary is exceedingly obscure and difficult. 
A deserter. ' Esert,' is a landless man, a fugitive, or evader of his duties. 


not involve reciprocal duties as regards goods, for reciprocity of 
gpods is not enforced by law in the case of neighbours exceeding 
eight pei-sons, viz., the four co-tenants HHHrediaiely^ound feet, 
and the four non-co-tenants, who are nearest to them. 1 

And in a: place where there are two solvent land- 
holders, and a deserter, 2 what is to be done- with the 
deserter? Let him be distrained until he fences 
(makes his fence), and if he has not a habitable 
residence, let the next of kin to him of his family be 
distrained until they make the fence for him, or give 
up the right of the grass to the end of a year. If it be 
that the family give up the right of the grass, then let 
each of the two 'coarbs' of the families occupying the 
adjoining lands erect a perfect fence, and they shall 
bring equal stock upon it (the land), and afterwards 
each shall give the additional pledge to the other. 

^ And if the deserter come^outside having with him 
his cattle-farmer's requisites, he goes to his family, 
and they sustain him to the end of a year, and the 
part of his farmer's requisites which ai*i*e. in the 
land a*e. all his property. 

And in a place, i.e., ' 03,' for 'acus 1 (and), and 'airm,' means placeor locality, 
i.e., where there are two solvent landholders in the land of the person who goes ' 
away from his land, or the deserter, i.e., there are two kinds of deserters, a deserter 
who deserts his land, and a deserter who evidon rncpoiicibilities. What is done, 
i.e., what is done to the deserter. A deser ter, i.e., 'as' (out of), 'a firf (his land).' 
Let him be distrained, i.e., let a distress be made upon him, and l e t his 
good* be distrained, until he makes a proper fence, i.e., until the fence is in the 
way that is legitimate for it to be. And if he has not, &c., i.e., if he has not a 
habitable residence. Let his next of kin be distrained, i.e., let seizure 
be made upon the next of kin to him of the family. Until they make the 
fence, i.e., untiltheymakethelegitimatefence, Or'give up the right of the 
grass as the rent, i.e., the family. To the end of a year, i.e., for the term 
of the hire. I f it be that the family give up t he r igh t of the grass, i.e., if 
it be the forfeiture of the laud that the family consent to for the hire to consume the Ir. Give. 
grass. Let each of the two 'coarbs' erect a perfect fence, i.e., they fence, 
i.e., both of the two landholders who are adjoining it, shall make afence, so that there 
shall be a perfect fence there. S h a 1 1 b r i n g e q u a 1 s t o c k , i.e., of cattle, i.e., 
they shall bring a common stock there into the deserttr'i land in equal proportions. 
Shall give the additional pledge], i.e., each of them gives the relieving 


130 I)|ieac1ia Covnaidice)-a 

JUDO- caci) mb geU, coiriicnech T>a ceite, af, .1. gelt mi fcnepall, C o m- 
MEXTSOK aln .eam, .1. oom-oillib. "Oia naile,.i. a cin. tia eife]\ca. 

Or ma T>O ci eif eanx, .1. of an. acuf, ocuf ma T)ia ci in ceifep.c 
A ' amuich -Dia nechT>ain. coy ani if cpebap. DO leif DO cnu-6. ^ei-o T>O- 
f chum a 1:1 tie, .1. ceic an. tic, etc -DO cum a pne twoein. Vorflonga-o 
co ceaii-o mblia'onu, .1. impoilnsm a ?me he ap. vochf.a/c co cenn 
mbliaT>na, .1. ayi 111 pe bif 111 veaputin a|\ vochyxuic, .1. -opeotx ocu^T)ui|Te. 
O'D. 2183. Mi'oiacp.eabaipe 1 .i.[-oo'Dencaib]T)oaiTxbe-Daibocu]rT)oaile-Daib. V^ 
ing, .1. airvsicep. ap.a citro in venann. If T>iteaf DO u 1 le, .1. Don 
n efe'rvc ; ocuf ayx V-e na vochyxeca cuimc amuich he ami rm, ocuf in potfVCnc 
D ' 2183 T)0n virie ' ocu ^ " a ' Denca ' t na 1la 1^ u11li " ' 

A ^D )3 a / " !, 1n ^-^ ^, at , ^ a ci eabaa im 

4 ayi pine 

,7 V.T mbrwrcarv, ocnf co -DajfeaT) -oilfi pep, S^ 61 ^ co ceanri niblm-ona, 

f ocur *T' ca6 let eacafiba vi^ 1'"e, ocuf otoofSiscro in -net coin- 

icac mpum animt bit) leo paT)efin, ocuf cai^ealla cac pjn ^aile. 

CC f maccacyia, ID ^eatla -oopeT), I'D f aije ; .1 . gealL f^i hinie, i\ama 

Ur j^fto/ dr^Ak^M^ ) (., a cirv bmc) f]u claif, fcifiepaU a pu, ocuf a leajaTi aen 
peace; foe pyn coyxaig, fCfiepall a pu, ocuf ateagai) pacfvi ; biail 
toff,i -Duifv-mie, .1. a lea^cro pa w, 5 1" 1 " P u fCTiepall; 
peltnas, no pfjf m naile, f qxe^aU a piu, ocuf a leascro 
ritaite no beoleagcro. tlafcagcefv na fniacca fo iai\ai)i. 
! -n^KW^W D 

O'D. 2183. [1n ceifei\T; if lie a aitne: -ouine fanT) bif iciji in T>a como]xba 

qiejia cyxebutfii ; gabufx adigabail -oe ina-o raic feoic aice; 

vffogellca ocuf blec -o/t T>ul ina ceanT), ocuf tii ceic lobu. Tlluna 

f uilic feoic 0151, atsabail r>o jabail DUX inbleojain, ocuf fogetlc 

ocuf blec DO tiul ina cenn, ocuf ni tlieic lobu. 

TTla camic in cerejic amuig mfv fin, cabfiuic a fine 
oo |ie yie na foqxejica, ocuf beiaaic fine in foclifiaic, ocuf ni 
" tn.ebuifii fO]\ic a\\ a CHID DO bjieic Don eiffe]xc. Tllat) cu fefi 
aeon finej ocuf ni cabfanc DOf urn, a f odifiuic DO b^et Don luce 
amach, ocuf ini na fio Dilfij Dliget) DO na Dencaib, 

To each oiher. The text is very defective here. 

' Fused.' Leagadh' means, literally, ' melting.' The instruments mentioned liera 
were to be prepared by fusing the metal, the harder the material to be operated 
on, the more numerous were the fusions of the metal forming the implement, and 
consequently the more valuable the instrument. 

Expense of tending __ The wages paid to shepherds, or caretakers of the cattle. 


pledge to the other out of it afterwards, i.e. , a pledge of the value of two 'screpalls.' JCDO- 
Equal stock, i.e. of cattle. To the other, i.e. out of the land of thedeserter. MEXI> "*' 
A 1$^ f the deserter come, i.e., 'os,' for 'acus,'.(and), and if the deserter C ' X T ', :X " 
come outside the land with the number of cattle which renders him solvent. He 
goes to his f amily.i.e., 'he goes,' for 'he comes,' i.e. he comes to his own 
family, And they sustain him to the end of a year, i.e., his family 
supports him for pay to the end of a year, i.e., the term during which the land 
is let for hire, i.e., with grass and water. The part of his farmer's 
requisites, i.e., of erections, of stakesandof poles. Which arrive, i.e., which 
W : ' <r rnqnirod of him in the land. Are all his property, i.e., of the 
Mfl* deserter; and after the term of the hire he came outside in this case, and the hire is 
given to the family, and the erections, the corn crops and the houses, rjo to the deserter. 

, 5J? W^ 1611 tllere ar e two men fulfilling their duty, and one who 
does not fulfil his duty, let them distrain him, if ke-kts-propetty ; 
if h^iw not property, let them distrain his family until they 
fence their brother's land, or" until they give the right of the * Ir - And - 

grazing to the end of a year, and the right of every half separation* ' 

respecting a fence, and the two co-tenants afterwards preeeed as _'A- 

if it (the land) was their own, and they deliver pledges to each 

other.' The 'smacht '-fines now, which they pay, are the pledges 

which precede, i.e., they are these, i.e., a pledge for fence stakes, 

a spade, i.e., in soft laud, for a trench, a ' screpall ' is its wortl^ 

and it is to be fused 2 (melted) once; a <soc' for a stone wall, a 'screpall' 

is its worth, and it is to be melted thrice ; a bill-hook for a hard 

fence, i.e., it is to be fused (melted) twice, so that it is worth a 

'jcrepall'; a wood axe for a ' felma '-fence, or for a palisade, its 

worth is a ' screpall,' and it is to be melted twice, or to undergo 

long-heating, or live-melting is to take place. These ' smacht ' 

fines are made binding afterwards. 

The deserter is thus known : a weak person, who is situated 
between the two 'coarbs' that do their duty; he is distrained if he 
has 'seds;' the grazing and the expense of tending 3 shall be 
added, but forfeiture shall not be* allowed. If he has not ' seds ' * Ir - Goei 
distraint shall bo made on his next of kin, and expense of grazing "' 
and tending shall be added, but forfeiture shall not. 

If the deserter has come from outside into the territory after 
this, his family shall give him land during the term of the 
hire, and the family shall obtain the hire, and the part of his 
farm-buildings which he may have found on his coming back shall 
be obtained by the deserter. If the family have land, and they give 
not of it to him, the hire is to be obtained by those who are outside, 
and the portion of the erections which the law has not declared 



132 bjieaclia Comaiclicefa CCnDpo. 

Juna- fine DOfum. TTluna f.uit fefianD icifi ac fine, conifiommc 

*Co N TEN ? T 16 ocu f faoeafi Don focfiuic, ocuf cenDcaDfum fem DO ini tia 

ANCV. fio Ditf i DligeD -DO na Dencaib. TTIa ta feafianD ac fine, ocuf 111 

gabunnfinn. if conifiomD icifi fie ocuf faochafi Don focfiuic, 

^ ocuf ni bei^fiuni nf T>O na 

, 6m T>O fiacat) m feafiann, ocuf nifi cinnet) 
fxitfi, cm foma bef faifi, cm fie tiecbifiitif ciT) fie hin-oebifuuf 
oeacaf , if a Denca DO fjajbait DO. f ^ jfa 

TTIafa pua5fiaD aca paifi, CID fie Detbifiiuf C1D fie1nnDecbifiiuf 
ID DO jneir, if a Denca DO bfieit DO tei^. 

ITlai) fio cmDei) fie paifi, ocuf camic in fie, if a Denra DO f-crgbail 
DO. TTlaf he f:em DOCOI* af^ fie Decbifiuf, if comfioinn /nfi -jie 
ocuf f aocafi. 1Hctf a nmDecbifiuf- DO coro aff , -pacbuii; naDenca. 

fa f:ua5fiaD aca vifi, CID if m 16 DeiDenach 
DO 1 ninDecbifiui", beifiiD leif a Denca. 

TDuf lie Detbifiuf fio fjuasfiaD DO, if comfioinn infi fie ocuf 
rfaochu]\. TTlaf DO cuayi no Daitech paifi DO fiarraD, ocuf maD 
l\o cmnei) fie -paifi, if a beit -pofi m fie. 

TTltina fio cmnei) fie fxnfi icifi, if aifiDiiief comaigcech faifi. 
TTlaf fie caicetn a feoifi ocuf fiia cfiebuifie DO fiarcaD, if rfiian 
each nut fOfi a mbi 111 pb'c. 

-itf ilt i-f . TTlaf fie carcen'i feoifi nama CUCOD Tie, if fefi araig fecc mbu 

1 rifi a ceiti, f-Ofi faguib' in f eccmaD boin Dia btiaDUin, ocuf tog bo 
DO caoifnb na cafiD 0fi aifiD DO bee a foetcfecc 0151. 

TTlaD fio a6cai cin afi, ocuf fio TiaifieD, if Ditfi in aifi co na 
pi, ocuf cuic feoic. TDunafi accaijet) cm ayi, if flan, ace in ni 
Dia cfiebutfii f.ofi]\icc afi a cmD in a cifi, if Dilef DO. 

"Ouine fo fuf nuc eiDifi fubu na fiubu a fefiamn DO Denam, 
no cii) eiDifi noca ait leif aDenum; COIHD CD DO niuhe|i jnf 

' IiK-raue. Tliat is, which increases ia siae, condition, &c. 


forfeit, the family shall purchase for him (the deserter.) If the -Ti no- 
family have no land at all, they equally divide the hire between "^ 
the time and the labour, and he himself purchases the portion AXC-Y! 
of the erections which the law has not confiscated. If the family 
have land, and he (the deserter] would not accept of it, the hire shall 
be divided equally between time and labour and he shall obtain no 
portion of the erections. 

If the land has been let for hire,' and no time has been specified, ' Ir. Loan. 
whatever length of time he shall be upon it, whether with necessity 
or without necessity he goes, he shall leave behind his erections. 

If he is noticed to quit, whether it is done with necessity 
or without necessity, he may cany away his erections with him. 

If a term has been specified for him, and the term has expired, 11 b Ir- Come. 
he shall leave his erections behind. If it is ho himself that went 
away of his own accord with necessity, it (the value of the buildings) 
is to be divided between time and labour. If he has gone away 
without necessity, he shall leave behind the erections. 

If he is noticed to quit, though he should be noticed on the last 
day of his term without necessity, he may carry off his erections. 

If he has been noticed to quit by necessity, there is to be a divi- 
sion between time and labour. If it (the land) was given him 
for manure or dung, and if a time has been specified for it, it 
shall be according to the time. 

If a time has not been specified at all, it shall be settled by 
the award of the neighbours. If it is to consume its grass only, 
and for forming erections it was given, it is one-third of every 
animal on which there is increase 1 . 

If it is to consume its grass only it (the land) was given, he is as 
"a man who has placed seven cows on the land of his neighbour,'' 
the seventh cow shall be left as payment at the end of the year, 
and he has in reserve the value of another cow in sheep, which he 

he acamt. c b> -nt* t**^ - < Ir. j] r ; n 

If he has stipulated not to plough, and it has been ploughed, the f ora>arj - 
tillage and the seed are forfeited, and five 'seds'. If no condition 
has been made as to not ploughing, he is free, but the portion of 
his farm buildings, which he found on the land before him, becomes 
his by right. 

A deserter. This is a person who is not able to perform service 
of attack and defence for his land, or though ho mav be al.lo is not 
willing to perform them; what is done to him is to give him notice 

134 bjicccclia Comaidicefa CCn7)p. 

7 T-fc- o 

Juno- apan ocuf Cofcan no cabainr aifi, ocuf achgqbuil nsj jjabuil ne 
CO-TEN- lay- fin ; ocuf noca nuil cinne atfiigtt fofi in athgabail fin, ace 
ANCT. achsaboMtna faoitceji a uiacpain fie -olivet), ocuf cec fogettc ocuf 
blec ina cenn, ocuf ni ceic lobu. 

!f ITIana buil cnon 0151 fem, rabnan apai) foyv inbleosnin if 
neafa TIO, ocuf crchgabuil no jabmt -oe iafc fin ; octif nora 
nDefinnafubu ocuf fiubu in fejiainn ; noca oitfi'oe in fe^ann tion 
n T)O nenat) fubu ocuf fiubu. 

t>o iiimDe in fine m feafiann no rabaific ap, foc|iuic, 
10 n\ai> cainic in ceifefcc amuig lap, fie net focyiaca, mtfi na 
foclifieca Don fine, ocuf ni t)ia cft,ebuifie fO]ifiicc ma cifi, 1^ 
oitef tiofan .1. -Do^iffefiT:. 

1Paf fie fie na focfiaice cumic amuij he, nenaic in fine a 

imftitunj ju ci in fie ; ocuf ma T>O beifi m p'ne fe^fiann t>6, ocuf 

if geilifDfnini in feafigrm, T)ilfi na focliyiuice t>on fine, ocuf 

na nT>enca tion 

TDuna cabyiac in fine in<fiann TIO, ocuf oca acu, 
ccuf jeibifirn fefiann, atfec na focfieca on fine amac, ocuf 
fuaflutcirr: in p'ne a tmnca octif a feocca TDOfum. 
2* 1TlaT) caifijic m fine fejxann no, ocuf ni hail -oofum a jabail, 
cacni fioTiitfig fie non focfiuic bm aca fine ; cacnina fio 

non fochfaiic icaf om ftif in feaft amac, ocuf beifiro in feft amac 
na nenca, no fiiafiuici\> nofum ian. t1o nono, ceana, cac ni no 

a^ A 

mlfi ne non focnuic bin aca fine, cac ni na fio nilfi^fie non 
iffocftuic, if a naific on fine amach, ocuf bejjiin in fean amach 
na nenca, no fuaflutcin iacc. 

TTluna fuit fe^inann 05 fine, ocuf no jebunfum fenann, cac 
ni no mtfis fie non focfiuic bin oca fine ; cac ni na no mlfij 
fie non focnuic a aificc o fine amach ; cac ni na no nitfig ne 
na nencaib, beqxm m fefi amac, no ftiafluicenfuiii iao:. 

^eanann nume eil.e rucufraft afi focnuic annfin. TDafea 

fenann bonem nictifcan nuine afi focnuic, ace man no cinntifcafi 

' Who is outside. This seems to mean " the man who holds the land." 


by warning and fasting, and make a distress upon him afterwards , 

and there is no certain restriction upon this distress, but that it CO-TEN - 

shall be such a distress as that it may be thought sufficient to induce AXCY - 

him to come (submit) to law, and expense of feeding and tending 

shall be added" to it, but forfeiture is not added." * Ir - Cocs - 

If he has not cattle himself, let him give notice to his nearest 
of kin, and let distress be taken from him afterwards ; and he has 
not performed the service of attack and defence due of the land ; 
the land is not more the rightful property of him who should per- 
form service of attack and defence. 

If what the family has done is to let out the land on hire, and 
if the deserter has come outside after the term of the hire, the hire 
is due to the family, and that part of his farm requisites which he 
found on his land belongs to him, i.e., to the deserter. 

If it is before the term of the hire he has come outside, the 
family shall support him until the expiration of the time ; b and if I"\ ('"'H 
the family have given him land, and he accepts of the land, the C(;H1( , 
family are entitled to the hire, and the deserter is entitled to the 

If the family do not give him the land, when they have land, 
and he gets land elsewhere, the family shall return the hire out, 
and the family shall redeem his erections and his ' seds ' for him. 

If the family have offered him land and he is unwilling to accept 
of it, every part of the hire which time has rendered forfeit shall 
belong to his family ; every part of the hire which is not forfeit 
shall be paid to the man who is outside, and the man who is out 
side 1 shall bring away the erections, or they shall be redeemed for 
him. Or indeed, according to others, evejy part of the hire which 
time has rendered forfeit is due to his family, whatever part of the 
hire has not been forfeited by time shall be returned by the family 
out, and the man who is outside takes the erections, 2 or they (the 
others) redeem them. 

If the family have not land, and he (the deserter) obtains land 
elsewhere, whatever part of the hire time has forfeited belongs to the 
family ; whatever part of the hire time has not forfeited is to be re- 
turned by the family out; whatever part of the erections time has not 
forfeited the man outside takes ; or he (the deserter) redeems them. 

It is the land of another man that he has, in this case, let out 
on hire. If it be his own land a man has let out on hire, but so 
* Erections ' T>nta ' means houses, folds, stalls, sheds. 

136 bjieatlia Comaiehcefa CCtTDpo/ 

( MEXO F n6 ai TUthe eaeujxfiu, cemut. iftn T>aixa c6lBT>encrf Tion fie fio 
*' CO-TKX- fogtijira lie a'nnroetbifiiuf'-oon feajxann, in focbfiuic octif tia 
-oe,^ ^ briec ^ 6 I61 ^ ocu ^ c , a ,p_ a? 1fnl T)aria c6c ^ .oe,.^^,, 

Don fie T>O oeacnaftini a nfrroeCDffutif T>e, in ^ocfiutc ocu-p na 
foenra DO. 1Tla camfc qecbijuap DO neaccap, -oe, if comfioi'nn 
fie ocuf rfaochu^ T>on ):oci\uic ocuf -DO tia oenrcnb. 

CCfi foqxaic rucufrafi T)ume a feafiunn antifin, ociif maf no 
nenani t>enca a^x rucufCTtfi 1ie,"acr tim 1x0 cnintifraix fie 
aijx earufifiu, cit> i\e 'occbipv^f cit) fie 1 
oon petyxann, if~ha tienra uile T>O 

TTlaf) i\o cim>rcari ixe ai)xice eju^ixu, ace mav ra ayi in 
pejiann lie iat r in ixe fin, i r Dttp na nuenca Dpeyx bunait. in 
fen,ainn 1 pop.bu tia ixe. Re oenvm -oenra aifi cucufraix -otnne a 
Veajxann ant) fin. 1Tlaf n e Tienani ruaiji iiy aoileoffi^x, ace 
>s ma* 1x0 einiT>eili 5 ufcafi ixe aifuce aifi, iti fe^nann -oo bee ac on 
fi)x aniuig nT ' n fm. ITlunaix cfnnefraix fie aifnue ectrufiixu 
ieiix, in peafvann vo bet aeon pfi amtug, no 5 u rucati yxe a tuai]x 
no a 

. n 


fealt>a.^ O^cacliais am) pn, etp,i?r 65 in 

realbc Ujr l 1111 ! 11 "^" ocup if- poUusa-D, muna imge 

Uuip,iuT> Tiono.i. ife cuic m T>ono ann, uain. rainnfce a 

> nomaiiTO. ^arx ceotxa f ealba .1. can ceona venanna .t. . 

11 o ceiceoiia fealba .1. can ceifeni venannaib. O-ocacliaig .1. 

an 6 S , cin comtan in tn hifin, .1. airilime. CCfiuf 65 in polluga^, 

.1. if comtan in vottu 5 ca> fin -DO na buacliaillib, T m,e aca eirvic comtan 

ni-D. RuiTVi'D naice .1. fiich no paca -DO -oenani -ooib t>ono, no neim- 

Y. ni5iTO -ooib -oono, co TIO paca. Uicli cari cru 1iaiTi[c]eonn .1. nich 

cart pp. centi ceona p f ^CUTO. If ixuiniiiT) .1. if oinic nuroroa in-o. If 

Vottu S at> .i., r paitt 05 TJO na buacliaitlib. Dluna imge t>eich- 

bin.e .1. mana jioib T)eir1ibinuf aca iieimTiicin a nibuacliaiUe. 

A A 


as he has specified a certain time between them, even though it JL-DG- 
shouldbe on the second last day of the term he has been noticed <)i c^."! 
necessity to quit the land, he shall bring the rent and the erections *wnr. 
with him, and though it should be on the second last day of the . hToffth 
term that he was warned off b the land without necessity, the rent la "' L 
and the erections are his. If necessity has happened to either of *I r ' Wmt 
them, the rent and erections are equally divided between time and 

It was for hire a man let out his land in this case, and if he let 
it to erect buildings upon it, but in such a manner as that he has 
specified a certain time between them concerning it, whether it was 
of necessity or without necessity he (the tenant) has been warned off 
the land, he may take all the erections away with him. 

If he has specified a certain time between them, but so as he 
has been on the land during that time, the erections are the pro- 
perty of the original owner of the land at the expiration of that 
time. It was to make buildings upon it a man has let his land in 
this instance. If it was for the purpose of making manure or dung 
upon it, but so as a certain time has been stipulated concerning it, 
the land shall belong to the " man without " during that time. If 
he has specified no particular time between them at all, the 
land shall belong to the "man without" until the time of his 
manure or of his dung has been taken out of it. 

Running over now, means running over three hold- 
ings, or four holdings. There is full fine for this, for 
the neglect is complete. But a 

naines running over the three head-lands of three 
holdings; it is running over, and it is neglect, unless 
necessity excuses it. 

Running over now, i.e. the force of the 'now' here is because it was of a 
'tairsce '-trespass we spoke before. Three holdings, i.e,, over the three lands 
(farms or MJinyg), i.e., of a 'bo-aire '-chief. Or four holdings, i.e., over 
four lauds (holdings'). Full fine, i.e., it is full crime, complete trespass, i.e., of 
'airlim '-trespass. For the neglect is complete, i.e., this is complete neglect 
on the part of the shepherds, and it is therefore that complete 'eric '-fine lies for it. 
A very long running, i.e., a very long running is made by them, or a running 
by them to a great length. Running over the three head-lands, i.e., 
running over the very extremities of three lands. It is running over, 
i.e., it is 'eric'-fine for running over, that is paid for it. It is neglect, i.e., it 
is perfect neglect on the part of the shepherds. Unless necessity, &c., i.e., 
'here was necessity which -well screens the s 

133 bp.eccdia Comaichcera CCnT>ro. 

.TI-DO- x .1. CCraic nono rni ntnniT>a ann: nuine can ceona fealba, 
CM-TEN- ocu r puipe nall:e > ocuf nuine cnacca. 

c COD a mntfoafi nuine T-nacca octif naice f 
nabauan occ mincona Dec airo -DO fleaf cac. 1f e fiuiTiiuT) Tiaici 
fannfin octif cfiacca, afi ni catixsealta neac n 1 - 1 T 10116 ^T 1 f' n 
ace ton une iiTonic, no abann -ooinain, no n , no altcro. 

- ">~"^^ J 

TTla no ctiacun na 1nnT)illi ran aen aincint), no rap. na ain- . 
CHIT), if einic cainfce uatKdb atit) ; tnaf rayi qn aincerro no 
ran ceitni aincenn, if einic nuipiu-oa onno ann; octif ecliaic nf 
loina reir ocur ina naintim, ocuf noco necliaic ni ma nuipiut) 
O'D. 2180. na ina cainfce. [Ocuf ma -DO cuaccan can pejinann snaro no 
ran T>a feanann, if einic caif5"ce onna ann. pmc peifi jeimniT) 
a nuiniui> aoroce m jeimnvp ; pac aintmie lae a i\uiniut) m 

/if 's'Cain Caiman airiceanT)?'Ceoriai:aiii5e ocur up-- 

' s.sio'e/)- 1 Svi,.^A Jyrfc/l 

c5n plefcaig, if ein-oe mace btnTDfdse, a cotnpaT) anT) f 
S i, i.^uic imnie^m ^oT). 1m- 

iv/ ^^-(vs)' ^ eaT1 cac h t er ^u'ocur anatl, iwipoitngea'p ime 


y - - ^ 

i^Cg,^ Cia meiT) ftnachca pi a comicear r^-C 
pnachc ttne octir.ceacpff, jjejtnaaj caid,e^^ L ^') 

/! e.^itfcw /4 ^ A 5< "^' 

Ca meiT) caiche pi a conuchecqr ' CC ceojia ; caicne 
. 17*; aile,'ocuf ccuce ceacp,a, ocuf tiuine 

cai-oe airvceatiT)? .1. comaiTicim caici aictine na 
Un-con. pleycaiB, o. ina vuilliu-o. If eifi-oe mace bun-o- 

catli. That is as far as a ' flescach '-youth could cast a wand or spear. 
' If the. cattle, $c __ The Irish for the first part of this paragraph is found on the 
lower margin of col. 1, p. 4, of the MS. K. 3, 5. 



There are indeed three kinds of running over ; running over 
three possessions, and teag running over, and running over a CO-TEN- 

/I ANV'Y. 


Question Ho-w are the strand running over and the road running 
over estimated 1 Answer : When there are eighteen spear casts 1 of 
a youth on it. That is.road running over and strand running over, 
for no one shall give additional pledge to the other for this, 
except over a lawful fence, or a deep river, or an inlet, of the sea, 
or a cliff. 

If the cattle" have gone over one headland, or over two headlands, 
' eric '-fine for breach shall be paid for them therein ; if over three 
headlands or over four headlands, there shall be ' eric '-fine for 
running over due from them for it ; and they eat something in 
their ' feis '-trespass and in their ' airlim '-trespass, and they eat 
nothing in their running over or in their ' tairsce '-trespass. And 
if they have passed over the land of one of grade (a dignitary), 
or over two lands, the fine of ' tail-see '-trespass is charged upon 
them for it. There is the fine for winter ' feis '-trespass for a 
running over on a night in winter ; and the fine of an ' airlini'- 
trespass by day for a running over by day. 

Question What is the headland? Three 'forrach'- 
measures, 2 and the shot of a rod cast by a yo4h, i.e., Cc.rf. i;> . p. Ciyiwh* 
the spear-youth, the extent of that of the strand 
is equal to half the lawful fence to a road. They 
reckon the ditch on the one side and the other, so 
that it makes the full fence, and thus a lawful fence 
is sustained between them. 

Question How many ' smacht '-fines are there in 
a co-occupancy ? Two ; ' smacht '-fines of fence, and 
of cattle, besides the trespasses. 

How many trespasses are there in a co-tenancy ? 
Three. Trespass of palisades, trespass of cattle, 
and trespass of men. 

Question. What is a headland, i.e. I ask how is the headland 
known? The shot of a rod cast by a youth, i.e., in addition to it. 
That is the spear-youth, i.e.. it is th<j ' fleascaeh '-youth, i.e., the boy who 

* ' Forrach '-mraturts. The ' forrach ' was a measure of land containing 5J2 
yards. (H. 3, 18, p. 146.) 

140 0|ieacha .Comaidicefia CCn'Oro. 

JUDO- fai5e,.t.if ein pt'efcach .i.macT>iubriaicef inrnbumifai5. CC compan 

CO-TEN^ ''' C0lmec " a cuc P-uma in ni f m a Tjxadic map.a, era pen,ann mli ap. a 

AXCY. bl ceccugaT) T>echfac na hin-oilli, biaro ein.ic pairoiT>a m-o. Leach in 

int>riuic ininie,.i. fmacc tecime inT>rvaicean7>utcaritecctaT> in P.OIC, 

f if tan ime pofif in oan.a ctun .t. f e -omfin if in ctut> ocup f e T>ui-p,n ipn 

cuaiUe, .1. tec ime poyi ceccari in -oa clau. Impean, .1. airimieT) 

cac -con tec feo ocuf Tion tech aiti iman i\oc, co poib tan ime an<o. 

ImpoitngeaT) ime in-op,ic, .1. impoitngiceri ime Titiscech 

anitaiT) pn. CCcayi.! 111 f am lam .1. icip, in DO. clan. 

lo Cai-p. cm mem f machca?.i.ciameicftnaccauitif m comaichecuf , 
if in naichacuf cumaitie, .1. cm tin ppif a cabap ftnacca 1 comaichcef. 
Smachr ime -t. in ni fmaccaigcep. i nnut cap. an ime. Ceacpa.1. 
cechpa conboing pop, nainsen, no t>ono ap, cQmnimn .1. m na fcpepatt .1. 
in piach T>unacaiche, no na meich. Senmoca caiche .t. cenmoca m 
|5 f mace tut o na oainib' -DO mac pif m pepant> .1. bp.ifet) in aite. 

Ca meit> caiche. 1. cia meic cinca -DO mac na Tjaine fif m pepann 
if m aichecuf cumaroe. Caiche aitej^.i. T>apcaiT> acpi cuaitle. Caiche 
oeacpa .1. a cechpa no cup, m-o .1. na meich. "Dume caiche .1. 
na cinca aiti no mac na naine pif m pepann ina ecmaif fin. 

o .1. Cefc CaT>mT> caiche fealBa? .1. caidigi ataile cecamuf, 
ocuf a caichgi patiefin, ainififi imbi fietic caich a ci^e afi lonig- 
feacmb ocuf ap. conaib allcaib, ocuf cadigi a 

Cef c Ccro mT) caichge mle ? CC riafnati ic f eilb cene f ola aile 

a nuifi, ocuf ficrcbuf ayme foyxc ia|if UIT>IU, ocuf T>itfi tieic \io 

j-oficaiT, f.ofic raifiiftn; ocuf mt>itfi neicli fio ofirafi uaic f.up,|iii. 

Cin T>O cuaittf fo^c, ocuf -DO liac, ocuf -DO claifi, ocuf DO 

cyian'oce ; ocaf cm fiuibec, ocuf cicc jao ojiac, cm f^obtiai-D. 

Caite ceime cyia; a tec cmne fojic cac aen bliaT>na, no 
cac afia bliat>am. X "Do batnec catue lia riDibaD fcroefin. 

3. tef c, t-fia, d-D f-fvifa tiarcaicherx cdite aite iap. na 
CCDaiticef. ffu cuitnne featicqT)int>riaice T)o~T)ojiii-iiaidiefi in fme, 
co clantiati leo in ime pa cfii cen f ena, > 


cats the rod. The extent i.e. the same extent or the same proportion of the Jt'no- 
sea shore, if the cattle should pass over it into another land lawfully occupied, there "** E 
shall be 'eric '-fine for the running over due for it. Half for the lawful ANCy 
fence, i.e. the 'smacht'-fine for half the lawful fence h due (or going over the - 
one mound > of the road, it is full fine forgoing ovtr the second wall, i.e. six hands is 
the height of the mound and six hande is that of the palisade, i.e. half fence it 
reckoned for either of the two mounds. Tj*^#&g?i, J.e. for thfiy rerlfnn ach ^ 
on this side and the other of the road, so that they-msfe or amountJe a full fenced* . 
A lawful fence is sustained, i.e. a lawful fence is thus sustained between 
them. Between them thus, i.e. between the two mounds. 

Question how many 'smacht'-fines? i.e. how many 'smacht'-6nes are 
there in the co-tenancy, in the commoa tenancy, i.e. how many things are there 
for which 'smacht'-flnes are paid in the co-tenancy. 'Smacht'-fine of fence 
i.e. the thing which is commanded to be paid for going over the fence. Of cattle, 
i.e. cattle which break through fastnesses, or indeed on being driven break fences, 
i.e. the two' screpalls,' i.e. the fine for man-trespass, or the'sacks.' Besides the 
trespasses, i.e. besides the 'smaeht'-fme which is paid by men for the trespasses 
which they commit in the land, i.e. by breaking the palisades. 

How many trespasses, i.e. how many damages do men do to the land in the 
common tenancy? Trespasses of palisades, breakingof stakes, i.e. a'darfaidh 1 - 
he4fer for three stakes. Cattle trespasses, i.e. to put cattle into it, i.e. 'the 
sacks'. Men trespasses, i.e. the other faults which men committed regarding 
the land besides these. 

Question What are the damages of possessions'! i.e. the tres- 
passes of another person, in the first instance, and his own tres- 
passes, when every territory requires to defend itself against 
pirates and wild dogs, and the trespasses on his roads. ^ 

Question What are the trespasses of stakes J T-e-wOn them in k 

Lr&Mj <$* "-fit, 4W *& ^VjUv-^A -f-f**- . 

thy possessteH without rtioki^-^errHmHifae-greHiul, after which 
thou art responsible for the^fence, and the right to the thing 
damaged is upon thee besides that ; and the making good by 
thee of the thing which has been damaged is upon them. The 
default of thy stake is upon thee, and of thy flag-stone, and of thy 
trench, and of thy stake-fence ; and whatever dmnetges-eJuM -result 

goring, or cLumagiag-, wwadg. Mfa, (,*) 

As to the trespasses in respect of a passage ; half the fine upon 
thee every year, or full fine every second year. The trespasses are 
merged by the ' dibadh ' of themselves. 

Question _ By whom are the trespasses of stakes established 
after the 'dibadh' of themselves? TJiey are restored fiafin the 
memory of -a worthy antiquary 5 bir-"wWn the fenoe was-^wit- is 
at the fence was planted by them thrice without denial. 

i Mound. ' Cladh ' means a wall of earth, a dyke, but it is commonly translated 
'a ditch,' as in the term, a 'furze ditch.' 

bjieocha Comaiclicejia CCn-oro. 

aarracr * Ca W CI-D clannap aite ? 11oil ocup mait. 
C..-TKN- Caqv-caiTDe maill? CCile in ime pa cni cen pena. O r 

clanna? Luga peanca mnnice pian a 

i, W* ">T l1 ' nC "' r lnUT1a beT> reancaroe, *a bo-ain* inn,xici T>O ctm 
/ qiaiiiT), ocu r ala hi T,.a tuga, ocu r a,,ie cofnge'ar i CTT i D, r , irrei, 
Clannaf aile if in. 

_0 r iriaT) in cfiie mle jao tcro mna fecc naca 
flin. CCp, acaic in tia bta -DCC f]iifi cuim>i\igcep, cj\tc. 

fwD /3 ^ u 
Cat) iaT) par:? 11, n. Clap, bla, ait bta, pni) bla, noe r bta, 

llla mucT1m 5e, ocu r 5 no Ua, bla impogta, ocu r liti'ti bla, 
bla, bla neafbaige, bla ^eime [cla-o bla]. 

Clajx bla; ci\ic annfin nau nmcoifceaJpac coma^a, ocii]^ na 

innjuTDce^ f eancait). 

Ce r c cofuimijceii? CC himronia r 

a-D ixobeT) t>a coinaj\ba, -DO p,annaiT) i 

TVf^tVrWi' f) 

CCil bla ; epic incoifce ail a-DjxaDa, no ail antifcuice, no , 

no Ii 5 , no ail leacca. Tia mbeT) r ecc coma^a mb am> m rucc 
fin, cac ae if ayiaitiu, ip quo ann fin na cuinrcamcean 

nbbla; qxic pon incoipce bile peat)a, no p-o comarx^a Jit.yie 
6a comaiiT) aejcac ae uap anaili, no all bog, no pen noil 
cuDinai-oe -oo teiceaT). ConTjinigren DOTIO quca vnirlin, a 
^ peancai-o co nivroopci-D pojx in ip -oriib. 

11oep bta; .1. cnic ina cotpce juine noipe no peapca 1 pt> no 
^ a nnng. CCTipuije cnic cat>opn, nuinup gluaipeaT) peancai-6, ap, 
1 ID coman'Da cnice in pm. 

Ota mucnai ; .1. cnic pon incoipci cer bona cnann no cuattte 1 
ratam no T)ibitl mulling no peancixatgeaT) po runiT). 1p -oai am 
cnic, muna be txoil con a noipce." & o^Untit^t, D 

bla .1.5110 bta cnic incoipce Tjumae no bun nomna, no "Dtinm; 


1 Shall thrust in the stick. The Irish may also mean, " Shall cast a lot.' 
8 Uisturlfd. The text must be defective here. 


Question What settles the stake 1 An oath and prescription. JUDG- 
Question What is prescription"! The sticking of the fence thrice Co-Ticx- 
without denial. And if it be denied, by what oath shall it ANCY. 
be settled 1 An oath of a worthy antiquary to be a witness of 
the fencing. And if there should not be an antiquary, two 
worthy ' bo-aire '-chiefs s,hall thrust in the stick, 1 and the one . 

shall take his oath, and the ' aire '-chief who swears between two ts j W* 1* 
hf whn shull thnM- MI fh, sta 1 '** then. 

And if the whole territory be divided into seven parts so that 
they (the antiquaries) cannot direct them] Answer For there 
are the twelve marks by which a boundary is defined. 

What are these ? Answer A flat mark, a stone mark, a tree 
mark, a deer mark, a stock mark, and a mound mark, a division 
mark, and a water mark, an eye mark, a defect mark, a way mark, 
a uwMHid mark. 

A flat mark : this is a land which is not distinguished by any 
land mark, and which antiquaries cannot define. 

Question How is it settled 1 It is measured into two, into 
the possession of those around it. If there be two ' coarbs,' tttey kfu *., 
divklo it first. 

A stone mark : i.e. a district which is marked by a stone of 
worship, or, an immovable stone, or a tree, or a flag, or a mgjiu- 
aientai. stone. If there be seven land marks of them therein at 
that tfajjfcp, one over the other, it is a boundary that cannot be 
disturbed. 2 

A wood mark : this is a district which is marked by an ancient 

tree or a tree mark, the one with the other, or an ' all bog ' tree, 

9, tcJJtw -gttfc or ancient oak 3 which was allowed to feti. The boundaries are 

defined by these, unless there be antiquaries to instruct as to the (1 fyt/jT(, 18 
certain thing. *tf diM* ^ ,'/ *i,tt*{Lny ! ItUft j ./ ' j 

A deer mark : that is a district marked by the hair of deer or 
of dry cows in a wood or in a plain. These determine meers, un- 
less the antiquaries remove them, for these are PIPPES of a territory. 
A stock mark : Le. this is a district marked by the first trunks 
of trees, or a stake in the earth on the ruin of a mill, or an old 
bridge under the water. JHwse-ar* 4aad-jaankajwhich define, un- 
less-there Jje_some other thing to explain. 

A mound mark : Le. a district marked by a mound or trunk 
of an oak, or mound of a tree ; meers are defined by these. 

'Ancient oak. See Welsh Laws, p. 373, for meer-timber. 

lO") ^^ Ojieadia Cornaiclicejia CCn'Opo. 

o**" l 

Ji-Do- CinTj bla, .1. cnic incoipce in roe aba no Icca no ripnair. 


CO-TEX- tLrpuigai-orefi cpuca popifin ma THpieac an innup eiapna. 
AX(r- RoT>aftc bla .1. cpuc incoipce comapfoa peai>a no muigc, cfiamt) 
no liaj, no comafroa ralman. 1pi cftic TIO miTrtgeajijiofc, ocup 
iOTipuigaiTicefi cfuce pfiipm, ma fio petpea^x m Tia aijeTiepiba bfoe 
nnan fiamT. fin. a^Ci) 

Ola eapbaitie ; cpitcli incoipce eapbaij ralman .1. fan, no 
no rail gleann, no lacpiac pean" ftx/cia. ConDifiicceapi 

Ola nnpojla; cpuc T>O cetT) uifce glaife aipim po leanap in T>a 
comapiba in^TiaCbiaTi popi ceccapi in Tta leirhe. CCTipuigaiTireii 
cfiica fopi fin. 

Ola fteime ; cpuc f on incoipce fioT> fii no ruaite, no JIOTI 
impeagna, no bocafi. 1p bla cpuci ann fin. 

ClaT) bla; cfiic fon incoipce Tiuae, na tiftclaine, no piaf, no 
Sic. feafir, no pecib Tiuae ; apt ip cpuc ann pn na iTJan TIO uuliup, cpiic 

incoipce clat) no cofia. 

^TVt * ^V -A* $0 l> 

CCTifuiTujceft cfiica rpia poftf na haibVpeo; ocup pianna an aili 
ocup folonjaT) cairligi an aili iafium. v 

C,,* sic - renege rifie cfia .1. puga ocup piuga aft macaib npie ocup 

lomgpeacaib, ocup cofiup fpn ruait, irifi ploigeaTj ocup coi^bml, 
ocuf fioga. ^nWD 

fiaire .1. nue p^np a aenupi, ocup a flaige ocuf anupi- 
6, ocup a coclaiT) ocup glanat) a nsfieallach an 

cua ocup aenaij, ocuf -0015 ap. am fuilit)T)O cac cobaifiafiaili. 1li 
oupli caicje no punn, T>ufli fomame.^ 

'Somame aile; a ronaT) TIO neoc TIO nala Tie inpt, ocup Difie 



Caipi co Difieanapi pon ? 11m ; uan mole 1 cuatlli TIO ripcail 
i ap caili, uan bonunt) ana t>6, tiafiraig ana rpn cona nmT>cai; 
naipic ma ceacaipi, coljflac a\\ a fe, bo ana hocr, cuic feoic ana 
-DO t)6c ; ace fo feoic 5abla.a r oa*ommeit>,. mat) ppti neire px>- 
> *&***' ^eipeafif ocup airlijm an aile T>O nne irropiic, ocuf beit p.o |\acup 
D co ceann mblia-bna.' (P <*<<) >Uhv^M^ t^i^.u, f^ fe- n<W>a/ ^U-i 

i The eye. The eye fixes the boundary, if two points of it remain, i.e. by run- 
ning a straight line between these points. 

* An wanting. The letter which Dr. O'Donovan read as 'r>' in the word 
'pfiebcro,' seams the usual form of long i which precedes '\i' when that letter is 

* Roads. For the different kinds of road among the ancient Irish, vide Cormac's 
Glossary, edited by Whittey Stokes, Esq. ; also C. 806-7, and I'.uuk of Rights, pp. 
Ivi., ft stq., Dublin, 1847. For rules as .to the penalties incurred by persons 
injuimg roads, vide Ancient Laws of Irchml, vol. iii., l>p. oCC>, ;>7, 


A water mark : i.e. a district defined by the water of a river, or 3 ena- 
ct a lake, or of a well. Boundaries are defined by these if they "O-TFN 
run in a straight direction. ANCY. 

An eye mark : i.e. a district defined by a mark of wood or of plain, 
of tree or of stone, or by a mark of earth. This is the district 
estimated by the eye 1 , and boundaries are defined by these, if the 
two certain heads which are to this division be known. 

A defect mark : i.e. a district defined by want of land, i.e. a 
declivity, or a sedgy place, or stony vale, or track of an old-jeJ. 
Boundaries are defined by these, if antiquaries are wanting." 

A mark of division : that is a district through which the water , 

of a streamlet flows where the two ' coarbs' fulluML-il^^afcfa^ag on '' ^ " f ' "^ '* ' 
either side of it. Boundaries are settled by this. 

A way mark : that is a district marked by the road of a king 
or a people, or a road of carriage, or a cow-road. These are district 

A mound mark : this is a district marked by a mound, or ditch, 
or rath, or foss, or any mound whatever ; for this is the kind of 
district into which it is not proper to enter, namely, a district 
bounded by a ditch or stone wall. r t- , ^ .-. 

Boundaries are settled by these kindo of land mafia; and they 
divide the stakes and sustain the fines for stakes afterwards. 

The liabilities of land now, i.e. service of attack and defence 
against wolves and pirates, and attendance to the law of the terri- 
tory, both as to the hosting and feeding, and service of defence. 

The liabilities as regards roads, 3 i.e. a fence is required for it alone, 
and it is necessary to cut them and cleanse them, and remove their 
weeds and mire in the time of -war and of a fair, and because it is 
expected that each should assist the other. H&-(4he owner of the V*W" inJfe*U>j 
road] -dggg-aafc-deaerve damages from that, btk. hH merits profits. __. 

The profits of stakes are; the produce which comes of them in 
the land, and the ' dire '-fine for cutting them. C,( 

Question How is this paid for 1 Answer : a wether lamb for 
removing a stake from -its-plaee, a she lamb for two, a ' dartaigh '- 
heifer for three stakes with their appendages ; a ' dairt '-heifer for 
four, a ' colpach '-heifer for six, a cow for eight, five 'seds' for 
twelve ; but they are ' seds ' of graduation of-tfetrsitme-vakuvifoi. ht"^ 4 
^elnngcd to a digaitary, and a restoration of 

the stakes to a perfect fence, and to be security for its safety to ^ . , 

the end of a year. ^ 


146 bjieaclia Comaiclicetia CCiToro. 

JUDO- Somame cifie^iaft pif>, ocuf pefi, ocuf innani, ocuf mfce, ocu 
J. eVtorf U2o ^ S B F niufp,, ocuf mbeafi, ocuf capca^, oaif fftice 71^- 
Axcy. ,dn*D 

Somame fiaice ; intxe ocuf a |vin ocuf 0151*; ceiteoixa(t 

D is 8 " (c. 31->) 5 [Caicci cecriacrxa ; cfii caicce pit T>O f uirnb .1. cmcce a tungine, 
ocuf carcce a ncr6ai|\ce, ocuf cmcce a mbet; caichce a nmsne 
bo neoc confca|ia, ocuf conctan), ocuf ftmce ; caidice a nat)- 
aifvce T>O nech sumce, ocuf confca|iacc; catdice a mbet TDO 
neoc gatbef DO fep.uib na 

it Co mn>eT>afi cfia net caicce f o, ocuf co 

stec innftaic T>O inef na f ogla, ocuf fopeftchafv fefi f otu [1] 
ib na comaiscec cafe a eif i. TTla peyx f ota [i] a pota ta f eafc / 

T>a noift^ ocuf pefv uait> 1 caeb/aitvcitiTi befa ff 1" V e V L - 
ief. TTluna be peft, jaibchep, T)iablaT) poccfiaice uaT) mm$,_ 
110 aribatm, amait bif mef m fe6ip. m i(?aTtipucc pa 1 njempucc. 

//7? If -<7 i*-f "Ouine caicce qfia .1. impeDani rapt cijx DO cette .1. 

ocuf aic|xeb, ocuf poltpcuc, ocuf pocta, ocup an, ocuf aiftCfiu.] 

fclf ite, wvb < 

x fcaiti ca'Dj / (rDT)uinecaidi'e? .1. beim pe-oa,[eiT)iix aijtig 
pea-oa ocuf achaig r.eaT>a, ocuf po^ta pea-oa, ocup lopa 
- - ipecc*Da- tti*4-' iajtnvi c wsr*&o A 

ochcac, abaOl.'^ Cu^ic peoic'^nroifie cach^ej ^o^buin-^i,^^ c 
beime, co{mch in a nsabt^b, Tiaijic ina cfiaebaib^ 

>, beicne, 


> leani, ita? bo^a TTDirie each ae ; gMnfic itia qwreba.: 


tliac' caicne, fepnT) pp, "Omiic a n-oifie c6 ae * 


1 Their joints. Thre is some defect in the MS. here. 

Birch.' Beithe' is found in some ancient glossaries as a gloss on ' Buxus,' the 
Box-tree. It is now applied only to the ' Birch.' 

3 Idha. Dr. O'Donovan does not give an English equivalent fur this term. 
Prof. O'Curry suggests ' Palm.' It is, under the form ' lodlia,' commonly trans- 

tow* jv vj|c4/ <- . W*(4 CojW 1 i" e^t 





.r Tlje profits of the land are: every produce which it bears, both 

wood, and grass, and bejis, and water, and sea, and harbour, and Co TEN 
what the sea casts ashore, and waifs, <tc. AUCT' 

The profits of reads' are: their ' dire '-fines, their strays, their 
joints ;' four cows they share. 

The trespasses of cattle, now; there are three trespasses by 
them, i.e. the trespasses of their *atfs, and the trespasses of their 
horns, and the trespassesoftheir mouths ; the trespasses of their 
J*uk by separating, and SeSg^nd plundering ; the trespasses of 
their horns by goring and tearing; the trespasses of their mouths 
by what they eat of the grass of the neighbours (co-tenants). 

How now are these trespasses estimated, and how are they paid 
for 1 A worthy neighbour is brought to appraise the trespass, and 
grass of equal value is given at the decision of the neighbours. If 
the man who has committed the trespass has grass of equal value, let 
him give grass in the side or head of a field to the amount of the grass 
which he has plundered. If he has not grass, let double the hire 
be given by him aftewards, or produce, according to the appraise- 
ment of the grass in the hot or in the cold season. 

As to the man trespasses, now, i.e. passing over thy neighbour's 
land, i.e., ploughing, and residing, and burning, and casting him out, 
and driving, and examining. 

Question What are the man trespasses ? Cutting 
trees, both chieftain trees and common trees, and 
shrub trees, and bramble trees. 

^ The chieftain trees are; oak, hazel, holly, yew, ash, 
pine, apple. There are five ' seds ' for the ' dire '-fine 
of each ; a cow for cutting their trunks, a ' colpach '- 
heifer fine for their arms, a 'dairt '-heifer for their 
branches. ?jjt-*br<<r 

The common trees are ; alder, willow, kBvthorn, 
(mountain ash^ birch, 2 elm', 'idha.' 3 A cow is the ^'' l e **vf^ 
' dire '-fine for each ; a 'dairt '-heifer for their branches 

The shrub trees are; blackthorn, elder, spindle tree, 
white hazelj aspen, arbutus^, test-tree. 4 A ' dairt '- 
heifer is the ' dire '-fine for eacl 

lated ' yew,' but that tree is named before as Ibur.' It ma/bVa^ecics of pine 
w translations given for ' V eo T it, r ,' 'c^cm-D vm ,' and 'rxa.c.'are onlv cOnj^tural. 
* Tat-tree.Some tree probably from winch lots were made. ~^ 1UV O 


'Wv/ c t " H' t4wv ijM***^ 



I l.s b|iectc1ia Comaitlicera CfnT>ro. 



' lorn r-e$t>a ; iiaicli, pair,' aicecmi) 

Mi-: NTS <>i- *._ I 4*C i_ 

CO-T- ei-oecm-o, ralcach, fpin- Ciqia a nT>i|ie each ae. 

AXCY. ** C- 

- r 

Cain, ca-o IOT> Tnnnecaiclie? .1. coniaincim cat> iac na cmta -DO 
tiiat na T>aine ixif in venanti in a ^crnaif pn. beim ve-oa .1. ceyccro in 

j- ve-oa co Tim-otiscecli. Oclicac .1. in crxan-D giulf. Cuic ipeoic .1. -DO 
cecaicroaba. bo buin-beitne.i.mcmmc1i5in. Colpacli .1. occ f-qxepaU, 
in uicTigin. Dairxc .1. ceitfxi |x;ivipaU.i. op. feifeT). bo ati^iyxe cadi 
ae .1. ocur ni cue a nairligm afi aip,T). "D a 1 lie .1 ceitr" fqwpaU i nwixi 
5 abat na paola .1. an colpac r e prxepatl, ocuy- if t>iTve ajv aich 5 in .1. no 

.0 ir ariramaifc. eiT>eati-o .1. lee -oin.1 C|vaeb in cuilniT) if e Ian -Dirn bun- 
beime in eiHitro ; no let -oirxi ^aba.1 in cmtinT) if 6 tan wrxi bun beitiie in 
Cuyxa .1. cfxi fcp.ipall, no bef pu -oa Tpcrveapati ina 


.1. beim ^eata no a lom^cro, T)O tvanayx cac na o T>ifii .1. 
iiTDV-ic ineic fxo bfionnrai\ m-, ocuf cute ^eoic ma Tufie. CCcc tii 
if comniuic cac pt. n" a^" 111 5 "^ 1cair f ete ""^'S feat)a, ocuy- 
r eci; nairhig peata, ocuf r ecc P^a P ear a ' ocu f f ecc 
, ocuf a^am T)ifie cac ae. 

' coll > ciietin, mnT)iuir, ibatx, occac, abaci. 

7 j-,g CCip.i p eal6a '. ^"'T 1 ' coll > ciietin, mnT)iuir, ibatx, occac, abaci. 

-^ C w| ^N "Oitie Tvoaruxc; bo feice i coi^rsea-D TO ban a^u, ocu r TOHI 

tnfi*<h V io re , 6e , coi^cseero -oa ^BTX afa, ocuf a Tppiqvap co n-Derxofc a flame ' 
nvnin ocu bocoi ocu lemlacc naiyie co ciajaD T>a inei\ 

.1. infi nvnin ocuf bocoji ocuf lemlacc naiyie co ciajaD T>a 
ca n" "cieccacc let -DO beic faifv 5O|iab flan. CC 


beim, bo mi), ocuf cuic feoic a T)\\\e. Colpac ma motx jabla, no 
ma T>aii\b^i beja, -oat^c ma cfiaebaib. 1f amne Dif^e cac 
a,' f.eT>a tub. 

"Oaifi ; ctt> Tjombeiri naiftecliuf ni ? 11m-CC meaf ocuf a f aipe ; 

i A sii-th. A cow was worth 24 ' scropalls,' and the young heifer called a 
' dairt,' was the sixth of the value of this cow. 

A cow-hide. Dr. O'Donovan remarks on this. The original is certainly in- 
correct here. It should be, " For the barking of the oak to the extent required for 
tanning a cow-hide, a pair of woman's shoes is the ' dire'-fine." See O'D. 1G77. 

,,-n, ''fcvf- 


The bramble trees are ; fern, bog-myrtle, furze, Jri)G - 
briar, heath, ivy, broom, gooseberry. A sheep is the CO-TEN. 
' dire '-fine for each. AN<;Y ' 

Question What are the man trespasses'? i.e. I ask what are the crimes 
which people commit as regards the land besides these above mentioned. Cutting 
trees, i.e. cutting the timber unlawfully. Pine, i.e. the fir-tree. Five 'seds,' i.e. 
which amount to two cows. A cow for cutting their trunks,i.e.forconipensa- a Ir. Of 
tion. A 'colpach'-heifer, i.e.of We ra/weo/eight 'screpalls' as compensation. A vhich come 
'ilairt'-heifer, i.e. of four ' screpalls,' i.e. for a sixth'. A cow is the 'dire'- tm> coa "' 
fine for each, i.e. ffir he did not fewi^itieir compensation fo& A 'dairt'- 
hcif er, i.e. of four 'screpalls' as 'dire'-fine for the branches of the bramble trees, 
i.e. for a ' colpach '-heifer of the value of six ' screpalls ' and ' dire'-fine is he re put 
for compensation, i.e. or it is for a ' samhaisc '-heifer. I ry , i.e. half the ' dire '-fine 
of the branches of the holly is eqtial to the full 'dire '-fine for cutting the trunk of 
the ivy ; or half the ' dire'-fine for the branches of the holly is the full ' dire '-fine 
for cutting the trunk of the ivy. A sheep, i.e. of the value o/ three 'screpalls,' or 
worth two ' screpalls ' due as its ' dire '-fine. 

That is, for cutting of trees or stripping them, full ' dire '-fine is paid 
for each, i.e., a perfect compensation for the portion of them which is 
damaged, and fiye 'seds' as 'dire'-fine. But all trees are not equally 
noble ; for there are seven chieftain trees, and seven common trees, 
and seven shrub trees, and seven bramble trees, and the 'dire '-fine 
for each is different. 

The chieftain trees are; oak, hazel, holly, ash, yew, pine, apple. 

The ' dire '-fine of the oak : a cow-hide 8 is due for itrippiny off' it 
the barking of a pair of woman's shoes 3 ; and an ox-hide for the 

barking of a pair of men's shoes ; and also to oagH' it until the test ^-n<^ ( ftkfyt- Oatn- > } 
of its recovery* is had, i.e., smooth 5 clay and cow-dung and new milk 
are to be put upon it until they extend two fingers beyond the wound 
on both sides, and half^ne shall be for it until it is whole. For 
cutting the trunk a cow is paid, and five 'seds' are its 'dire'-fine. 
A ' colpach '-heifer is thefoie for their great arms, or for their small 
oaklings, a ' dairt '-heifer for their branches. The 'dire'-fine of 
every chieftain tree of them is such as u-e fiave now stated. 

Oak : what gives it dignity ? Answer. Its acorns and its 

* .-1 pair of woman's shoet. That is, as much bar!; as would tan leather enough 
to make a pair of woman's shoes. 

* The telt of Us recovery. That is, until it is secured against the effects of the 

W' Mllier. 

* Smnotri. The Irish word read as 'mum' may be 'iniiili,' the original being i'.j- ^,. 


150 bjieaclta Cornaidieepa CCtTDfo. 

JODQ- coll? a nic^f ocuf a cael ; aball? a meaf ociif a }\fc ; ibayi? -ft 
CO'TEN! a gi57>e r aep,a; cuilenn ? pep, pop, a^aili inn pin, ocu f lappet ' 

COTEN a gi57>e r aep,a; cuilenn pep, pop, a^aii inn pin, ocu f l 
ANCT! cap"pait> ; tnnwup? polac l / ocFp)pi5liapa, ocuf lee ap,ai> aip,m. 
occach ? a bi a tulca. rif,*Mtfa D 

" CCdiaig pea-oa 5 ^fin, fail, bece, lem, c^rcliec, mar>. 
bo btmbuime cac ae, oaiyic in a ngabla, cae^ia ma c^aeba, cuic 
ayx eai\ba. 

f?ecroa; fceirh, -oriaisean, T;i\om, ^eoyxtif, q\cinn pT 1 , 
efoleann, pncoll. Colpac butibeime cac ae ; cuic f eoir afi eafiba, 
, Do^fiaiiaT)aii,_vaj rl J ) e. cute feoin .1. Wficagnead Wf 
no T>iaai5ean cub|\a. 

^ 3 . , ^ leacla 

1 ;, 5 1 . , -Dil^e an aen saif , ocufoaiTit; ina nea^ba. 1f umne 

t^.D. uili, ace a nutlfi ocu^ |xoT>ilp. C?^ D ) j 

if T)etbiii cyiamT) a pii) comaifccefa, ocuf can 
.M, _q. Pecbip, 5p- a1 * a ?* "eiriie-o, ocuf cm Decbi|\ crxam-D. ^niacc a 

pt-6 neniiet) no co mbensafi uile, ocuf eneclann mo o bencaji. 

T)a ba ocuf bo mt>lae5 ocuf colpac ocr vc^epall rp.1 
na pet>a. Lulgach ocup colpach occ fcpepall ocup -o 

oceictii rcpepall, a ryxi nairhjina. Lailgec ocuf colpac occ 
f qxepall, ocup T>aip,c cettp.1 pcp,epall, cp.1 -oip.1 na nachec pena. 
Satnaifc ocuf T>aip.c ceitp,i pcp.epall, ocup oap.taiT) tja pcpepall 
a cp.1 nmchsena. Saniaifc ocuf T>aiiT.c ceitp.i fcpepall ocuf 
oap.caiT) -oa pcp.epall, cp.! T>irvi na ipp-ola pe'oa. Colpach fe 

T^cp-epall, ocuf Da|\caiT> T>a pcp-epall, ocuf caep.a fcp,ipmll, a 
cp-1 naichjena. 

1 Nolle structures. That is, the highly prized pieces of furniture manufactured 

from it. 

2 Fer for araili inn sm. This ] ' '.ft untranslated by Dr. OTIonovan. 
Professor O'Curry rendered it, " This is the tame as invinlahlr grass " ; a me 
which seems very douhtf ul. It may mean, " A man upon another in that," and 
refer to the use of holly sticks in fighting. 


hazel 1 its nuts and its wattles ; apple ? its fruit and JUDO- 
ita bark; yew? its noble structures' ; holly 1 ' fer for araili inn sin,' 2 CO-TES- 
and the axle-trees of chariots are made of it ash I supporting of ANCY.' 
a king's thigh, and half furniture of his arms. Pine? its Being 

The common trees are ; alder, willow, birch, elm, aspen, 'idhadh/ 
mountain ash. A cow is the fine for cutting the trunk of each, a 
' dairt '-heifer for their arms, a sheep for their branches. Five 
' seds ' is the fine for their lopping. 

The shrub trees are ; whitethorn, blackthorn, elder, spindle-trep, 
test-tree, iryT* white hazel. A ' colpach '-heifer is the fine for 
cutting the trunk of each ; five ' seds ' for their lopping, except 
the blackthorn, for which five ' seds ' are paid, i.e. blackthorn 
which is in an ueprefitable-ierrce*~^SrofH JoiCTi 
, or sweet-smelling blackthorn^ 

The bramble trees are ; briar, furze, heath, gooseberry, broom, 
fern. ' Leacla ' is forfeited for one sprig, and a ' dairt '-heifer for 
their lopping. They are all thus paid for, except the right and 
the full right. 

There is a difference of tree in a co-occupancy wood, without 
any difference of class. There is difference of class in a sacred 
wood, without difference of tree. There is ' smacht '-fine in a 
sacred wood until it is all cut down, and honour price is paid for 
it when it is cut. 

Two cows and an in-calf cow and a ' colpach '-heifer of the value 
of eight ' screpalls ' are the three ' dire '-fines of the chieftain trees. 
A milch cow and a ' colpach '-heifer of eight ' screpalls ' value and a 
' dairt '-heifer worth four ' screpalls,' are their three compensations. 
A milch cow and a ' colpach '-heifer of eight 'screpalls' value and a 
' dairt '-heifer of four 'screpalls,' are the three ' dire '-fines of the 
common trees. A ' samhaisc '-heifer and a ' dairt '-heifer worth 
four ' screpalls,' and a ' dairtaidh '-heifer of two ' screpalls,' are 
their three compensations. A 'samhaisc '-heifer and a 'dairt '-heifer 
of four ' screpalls' value, and a ' dairtaidh '-heifer of two 'screpalls,' 
are the three ' dire'-fiiies of the shrub trees. A ' colpach '-heifer worth 
six ' screpalls,' and a ' dairtaidh '-heifer worth two ' screpalls,' and p, 
sheep of the value of one ' screpall,' are their three compensations. 

3 /tv/. The Irish word here is 'eidleann, ' whereas in the text before (line 2, p. 148) 
it is ' eideand.' Dr. O'Donovan regarded them as different forms of the same name ; 
Professor O'Cnrrv suggested ' woodbine' as the translation of ' eidleann.' (ri^fo ' 
* ~A n ufipr6taM( fence. 'pat^ccqtb-4ftv-poasiIJv-inan._' a fence hcUcecn_ouv!-.' 


. * , . - ^^44*9^ 

W ?u. 

(. T 

152 b]ieacha Comaichcepa CCntipo. 

Juno- Cni fcrupmtl itToctb inn mtlirin ocur -ome mntnb fin in ran 

MKNTS OF 1 1 1 *Y1 

CO-TEN- 1 f a V 1t) comicneotfa, octif tn fit 111 na ngablaib, yyit. llicro a 
AXCY. p'j, nerhe beitie miufifio, ceici\i f q\ipuilt itroceib ap, tiifie, ocuf t>a 
fqiepaU a^ airhgin, ocuf a tfiian ina njabta, ocii^ a feifeaT) 
S ina cjiaebmb. CCnaf atrlijin TIO ai|iechaib <pet>a i^eaf) if -Difie -DO 
^eaiia; a naicligin pn iffe* if -oifie -DO 

'i *Uuvr& &AV " . 

t\ n /\ 4*, Ov" ' ^ fc i 

CCujiba A ap.e T)ona, itiunacaice. Oajxrais a qu cuaitli 
-^cona ntnTiceach, Tainc ina cuic, colpacli ana lioclic, 

v. r * r- ~-\ , , efl 7 / 

,y G?^/ cuic peotc ana T)oroec,/ocur;aicl)5in la cacn na ; ociip 

* ' ' -, /* 

-.j, f\_ 'beich po cmaiT) na be^nat) co ceanT) mbliaTina. J 

-oona .1. fljxeibe in ipeixainT) nono. lT>unaccnfce .1. 
if aura Tiona oainib eifiT>e. "Daiacais ! if pu T>ct f cyiepall. Co n a 
niiiT)ceac1) .1-cuf ani if coicli no if oucliaig bif oyvjioatntTDe, in cuetacn. 
"Oain,c ma cuic .1. ceicp.1 fcn,eapaili. Cotpac .1. occ fqxeapatt. 
'SCtnc f eotc .1. -off cecaic -oa ba, .1. mp, puc. CCichgm ta cacn na 
.1. aithgin in aile ta cac f mace T>ib fin, ocuf T>aine fio bp,if ami fin Tie. 
beich ^o cmaiT) .1. con, v c ^ ac comaichig 111 aipbe. Co ceanT> 
mbliaT)na .1. an, in \ie co fioib pep, bunaiT) 1 naicicin a 

(O'D. 40G.") ["Oafvcaij 1 rfii cuaillib] .1. oafqxepall o fnflflCO{)ti ma lulm ; 

5 -oaiftt: ceic1ip.i fcfcipuitl in a cuic .1. lutai m Tieof-.aiT) ocuf metion- 
cai tai in ti^aiT). Cotpac ochc fqiipuill a meT>onrai tai m 
oeoftait), ocuf bo inTilaej o tiftficro, ocuf lulai in ufifiaif>, um-\\ 
liocc fCfiipuitl o ui\yiat> ina tulai, ocuf bo mnlaeg fe fcjiepall 

1 Of its being repaired. That ie, acknowledges that it has been properly 

* Smallest offence, i.c. cutting three stakes. Middle offence, i.e. cutting five or 


Three 'screpalls' both for compensation and 'dire '-fine are paid J<-' DG - 


for them when it is in a co-occupancy wood t/tey are, and there CO-TEN- 
is nothing for their large branches, &c. If, however, it be in ANCY. 
a sacred wood they are, there are four ' screpalla ' for them as 
'dire '-fine, and two 'screpalls' as compensation, and its one-third 
for their arms, and its one-sixth for their branches. The compen- 
sation for the chieftain trees is equal to the ' dire '-fine of the 
common trees ; and the compensation for them (the common trees) 
is equal to the ' dire '-fine of the shrub trees. 

But cutting of land is man-trespass. A 'dartaigh'- 
heifer is the fine for three stakes with their append- 
ages, a ' dairt '-heifer for five, a ' colpach '-heifer for 
eight, five 'seds' for twelve, and compensation for 
every one of them ; and he (the trespasser) shall be 
accountable for the injury of the gap to the end of 
a year. 

But cutting of land, i.e. but the real cutting of the land. Is man- 
trespass, i.e. this is trespasses by the people. A 'dairtaigh'-heifer for 
thret, i.e. of the value of two 'screpalls.' With their appendages, i.e. 
with the thing which is natural or which is proper to be on them from the root, 
the slender twigs placed across. A 'dairt'-heifer for five,i.e. of four 'screpalls' 
value. A 'colpach'-heifer, i.e. of eight 'screpalls.' Five 'seds.,' i.e. which 
amount to two cows, i.e. altogether. Compensation for everyone of them, 
i.e. the restitution of the stake fence with every ' smacht '-fine of these, and 
it was persons that broke it in this case. Shall be accountable, i.e. until 
neighbours (co-tenants') appraise the stakes. To the end of a year, i.e. until the ' '^Vt}*1 
time that the original proprietor admits that it has been repaired. 1 

A ' dairtaidh '-heifer is due for three stakes, i.e. two ' screpalls ' 
are to be pa U by a foreigner for the smallest injury ' a ' dairt '-heifer 
of four ' screpalls ' value for five stakes, i.e. the small offence of the 
stranger is the same as* the middle offence of the native freeman. Ir. And. 
A 'colpach'-heifer worth eight 'screpalls' is due for the middle offence 
of the stranger, and an in-calf cow from a native freeman, and it is a 
small offence of the native freeman, because the middle offence of 
the stranger is the same as" the small offence of the native freeman, 
for eight ' screpalls' are due from the native freeman for liis small 
offence, and an in-calf cow worth sixteen ' screpalls ' for his middle 

eight stakes. Greatest or highest offence or trespass, i.e. cutting twelve stakes, 
and making by so doing a full gap in the fence. 

Comaichcepa CCnT))x>. 

Jrno- -oec ina metioncai lai, ocuf bo itrolaej; o T>eop.ait> tna cleici lai ; 

MKNTS OF . , - 

Co-Tr.x- CU1C r e ' c 'oi cecaiD T>a ba ofifwco ma cleici lai. 

O'D. 406. [Cia o ftnl in eifiicc fo, octif cinntif fio fejaD in ria fcn.epull 

if na cfii cuaillib ? .1. -oiaf -DO nitip.chti|xraib lech cintin 
5"leich ceille, fCfiipull uarhtnb m T>a cuaille T>ib .1. leic 

o cac pup, wb .1. aon mtificufira coT>nai^ ocuf fcynpall uafi 
- ifm cf.ef cuaille .1. t>iaf -DO nmfichiifcca lerh cumn ocuf leic 
ceille ann, ocuf fcp.ipall uapa m r>a cuaille, ocuf rp.iafi tio 
mufichuyira connuij, fcfiipull o each pfi T>ib m cac cuaille T>O 
>na cfti cuaillib eile .1. occ mufvcflfvfta cpT)nai5 anrj, ocuf ochc 
uacha if na hocc cuaillib.] 

1*1 . . ^ \ 


M d 

CCca ofiba not) aclairjeaT) ; aujiba neigne fim floj, jua 
lonaib, fua plaicaib cia botie. 

CCca ofxba naT) actafoean, .1. aca pjxebeTia TIO beTiop, a|i in 
ocuf tioco cabap, aclaiTje ?\ a|V 111 ci T>O ni me. CCu|iba 
.1. b|iife-D ap- eicin pefin flog, .1. pop, ceicet) pe flog. Hi a 
lonaib, .1. na flog ipn. R,ia ptaicaib, .1. Txiaf " 
c, mana uapacup. conain, aile. 

vj . 

a CCca aujioa ceaTia naT> aclatTiea'D: atijiba nimfrea'Dna 
20 faifie muitinT), no T)uiiadn5e, no membfta, no fai|\e 4*"' 

T)uim fiij. CCucomaficcqi mte, afitif fean parac ta 
nVW n<)0 ^ peine, no tiqncufi ^ach ^uiTte; u]iba jua potlaib, flia 

jixH- nailaicnaib. "Ouncau cccc nonba. 


CCca aup,ba ceana, .1. aca pipeipe'oa cena renmoca fin, ocuf noco 

if cabp,ac actaiT)i pacn ap, in ci T>O til iac. CCupba'Dnw, .1. in 

ppeipe -DO nicep, pepn neim^6T>ain -DO bepap, ap, amuf in muilniT) 

in can bleep, ac T>enam a faip.fe. T)uip,ch ige, .1. motp. 1Tlembp,a, 

.1. bice. 8aip.e nuini pij, .1. in ran birep, ac a T>enam. CCricomapcap, 

uile, .1. lappaijcip, uttp cac ni -oib fm npip in p e T la " 1T> ' - 1 - 

^o pen t>iiiiaT), no T>una-D een aipiafn/r. 

1 Cuttings. That is, breaches, or gnps. 




AN "' 

offence, and an in-calf cow from the stranger for his highest offence ; 
five ' sods ' which amount to two cows are due from a native free- 
man for his highest offence. 

By whom is this ' eric '-fine paid, and how do the two < screpalls ' 
proceed from the three stakes 1 i.e. two of the foreigners being 
of half sense and half reason pay' a ' screpall '* for two of those r r . From 
stakes, i.e. half a 'screpall' from each man of them, i.e. one ihtm - 
sound-minded foreigner who pays a ' screpall ' for the third stake, 
i.e. two foreigners of half sense and half reason in this case, and 
a ' screpall ' is paid by them for the two stakes, and three sound- 
minded foreigners, .every man of them pays a ' screpall ' for every 
stake of the other three stakes, i.e. there are eight sound-minded 
foreigners in this case, b and eight ' screpalls ' are paid by them for 
the eight stakes. 

Ir. in it. 

,** rM t^- , . 

There are cuttings' which Mwietwied for ; a forci 
cutting before a host, before provisions, before chief- 
tains of any kind. 

There are cuttings which are not sued for, i.e. there are real cuttings 
which are made in the land, and fines are not sued upon the person who makes 
them. A forcible cutting, i.e. a forcible breach before the host, i.e. in 
flying before a hoit. Before provisions, i.e. of these hosts. Before 
chieftains, i.e. before the chieftains, whatever chieftains they be, if they had 
found no other passage. 

There are cuttings also which are-cot ouod-fer ; a 
cutting for carriage at the construction of a mill, or 
of an oratory, or of a shrine, or at the building of 
a king's ' dun '-fort. Leave is asked about them all, 
for it IB an old maxim with the Feini, " for every 
supplication is pleasant"; a cutting before bodies, 
before pilgrims. Let every breach be closed. 2 

There are cuttings also, i.e. there are real cuttings also besides these, and 
they bring no claim of debts upon the person who makes them. A cutting for car- 
riage, &c., i.e. the real cuttings which are made *y4hexaimge of things brought 
towards the mill when the construction of it is being made. Of an oratory, 
i.e. of a large one. Of a shrine, i.e. of a small onf. The building of a 
king's 'dun'-fort, i.e. when it is being done. Leave is asked ab.out 
them all, i.e. permission to do every thing of these is asked for of the owner of 
the land, i.e. consent without closing, or closing without consent. (>'(j. fa tnutS 

* Be closed Or, let every gap or breach be closed, or every breach is to be 


ft 4U4 6 

C&IU.HI -^^ . _j/ 



Ojieaclia Comaiclicefa CCiTopo. 

, f)'A iyCi\ 

" TMifirarDa no Tia Tjaijiri irro yjil, a ceccap. T>e. 
CO-TEN- :TTlaT> cen aiftiaface, cen -oMnatMf lee. TTlafioefcercun, octir m 


J _ ' comaftleiceefi DO, iflan T>ia nnuna, mana Duna, if ceehfiameha. 

(JCn,up yean pafac lapeine, .1. an. if fencmfjeTj 05 t>o fiein. in 
penechaif, .1. if cechn.amcainT>ap,caT>a, nonaTjaincinro. I] o liancun,, 
.1. aitgen, .1. if tiancain, cain.eci Tie o beicin. ftca JUIBI. llyvba 1x1 a 
cotlaib, .1. na mayxb, mana pagbat) conain. atle. Hia nailaicfiaib, 
.1. fief in luce ceic ma aiticp.i. "Duncan, cac tiuncan, cac 
pyxeipro T)ib ftn, uain, mana Tjencaji noco flan. 

"Dm naccomaiacafv m ran oflaiccefo ffii T>eiT;1ibifief, ociif 
ounrafi, fon m-ouf cecna, iflan tio. TDa fio T>unaT>, ocuf if mefu 
an-oaf aniutt fio but, a iiDigaib aifii m -Dfcoc mie iccaji uaDfuni. 
ITlam fio ntm irifi, iccafi fmacc na oifijne tmn. TTlana 
accomaficcaft inn,, ocuf ouncafi annul fioliui, iflan T>O. TTlafa 
olc, icat> fmacc oifigne traipse. Tlluna ouna icifi, ica-o fmacc na 
e, ocuf lee cuic feme, ap, m arhcomafic. 

ComiclheacTi Tiorio bip icifi T)a cifi*'oli5i'o Ian 
feifeap, umpu, cfiiap, o piji cifie, ocup a]iaiti o 

Cuic feoic anam ocuf ctcain, ma Tnclimaific, ache 
am eigne; m haclaiTie am bo T)o cajib. 

Comicheach T>ono bif icin. T>a cin.,.1. ici|i Tia vei"iHT>, m cin. o na 
bi fioc .1. tiain. noco npuil conain, aici fern. "Dligi'D tan 1min.ce, .1. 
DO tecuT> -DO. pin, cin,e, .1. o pin. in pen,ainT>. CCn,aiti, .1. an. in 
comtin biaf 6 pin. bunaro ma n^egaiT) .1. tiuin, noco nuit conain, aici pein, 
ocuf iftan TJO cac vos^t -DO t>ena n,if na comaiccib, amuit comnith 

,1. CCca annaT) actam Titiseaf cac comaidieac tua fiaile .1. nfi 
cen beota, cen fioc, cen bocuft ; otijit) lamrnifice rafi cac cifi a 
conntac bef neafani r>o, ace if-fet) in'oaf na 73115, T 6 !* 11 !' 1 

1 Road. Or unless another road could be found. 

! No road. In O'D. 407, it is called a district, "cm com cm beotti," "without 
an npcning at the front or the rear." 



It is the fourth of the 'dartaidh'-heifer or of the 'dairt'-heifer that 
is due for it, &c., for either of thorn. If without consent, without 
closing, it (the fine) is one-half. If he has given consent, and that 
he has not advised him to it, it (the penalty) is full fine if he 
closes, if he does not close the gap, it is one-fourth. 

For it is an old maxim with the Feini, i.e. for it is a perfect 
old decision according to the 'Feinechas'-law, i.e. it (the fine) is a fourth of the 
'dartaidh'-heifer, or of the 'dairt'-heifer for it. Supplication, i.e. clement, i.e. <j. 
he is the more clement for being supplicated. Acuttingbeforebodies, i.e. 
of the dead, unless they find another road. 1 Before pilgrims, i.e. before the 
people who go on a pilgrimage. Let every cutting be c 1 o s e d, i.e. every 
true cutting of these is closed, for unless it is done (closed) it (the act) is not guiltless. 

If leave be asked, when it is breached* with necessity, and it is ^r. 
closed in the same way, it is guiltless. If it has been closed, and 
it is worse than it was at first, the damage done in consequence of 
the bad fence is paid by him. If it has not been closed at all, the 
' smacht '-fine of the damage is paid for . If permission has not been 
asked at all, and it is closed as it had stood before," it is guiltless. Mr. A, it 
If it be badly done, he shall pay fine for the damage done by it. c c i r ' 0cer ;,. 
If it be not closed at all, he shall pay the ' smacht '-fine of the 
damage, and half five 'seds', for he did not ask leave. * *% TWf & . .' 


A co-tenant who is between two lands is entitled 
to full passage; six persons are to le about them 
(the cattle), three from the owner of the land, and 
three others from the man of the passage. 

Five ' seds ' are payable for driving in and out, if 
without asking leave, except in case of forcible driv- 

1 ; the driving of a cow to a bull is not sued for. 

A co-tenant who is between two lands, i.e. between two farms, i.e. 
in the land from which there is no road, 8 i.e. for he has no passage himself. 
Is entitled to full pass age, i.e. to be ceded to him. From the owner 
o f t h e 1 a n d, i.e. the owner of the farm. 1 h e r s, i.e. for the proprietor shall 
have an equal number after (minding) them, i.e. for he (the co-tenant) has not a 
passage himself, and he is not amenable for any trespass which he may commit 
against the neighbours, as running of the whole stock or drove. 

*Af**r **'**''** t******^ , - to-oits, a ?* 

There is acrc-atoy which every co-tenant is entitled to from the 

other, i.e. in a land without an opening, without a road, without 
a way ; he (the tenant) is entitled to full passage over every co- 
tenant's land that is next him, but the manner in which he is 
bound to pass is, vaith six persons about him, three persons 

158 Ojiearlia Coined el ice^a 

T)ia ntlucat. VT" 

CO-TEN-- ipelmaT), ap. na ^oleatcro pon ci]i. *Om mbe bocaft,T>r,7>o pollaisea]i 
- fait>e; oia mbet) -oa claf> ime, no -of cop.ait>, at>] uiceaji leo ap, QD 
Vicroani annf% 1y ue avixub^at), b^aDwo puroain; mutia bet> 
f acn T)on DoiinfanTi nf hitncecap, la yuiTiaib ; if tie afiiubfiat), nf 

Cuic ^eoic anain, .1. inunT> .1. HID. CCcam, .1. imach, .1. a^. Ill a 
DicTimaipc, .1. n1 naifl cononfv oati, no ni coernnacaip, gubail ime. CCcc 
am eigne, .t. mfl ifton etfwe. CCiti bo T>O cayib, '.1. cuic -peotc oa 
10 oecaic oa ba itiam, ocu^ iy cap, Ian itne, ocuf lech in fein mana be ime 
THa T>a|i. lee, ty ceojxa cecli^amca na -oa bo. m& -oayx Ian ime in acli- 
lum^ap. 1^ bo. Tlla T>an, lee ime, 1^ ceojxa cechp,amca na bo; man cen 
ime icip,, i 

407.) .1. [Cifi an coin cm beolu bif 10^ -oa periunn cm conai|\. TTla 
if cifi ^echc cumulu, nai|\cn cacha q\eimfe ajx conui^x tioib -out 
nmmlib. TTla ctyi cumuite, no cju cumulu, if on cmn bliatina co 
of. TTIaD aon contiiri.if molccachac|iei^p,ocu|-if cijiTia 
cuniuta ifOT)um ; ma afi T>a cumul miup.i\o,'no cjii ctmiutu, 
cech|iumaT) blia-oun, octif if T)o eccup, pne aca uite. ^^\ 
can if T>O pne, if ann if rriiati o pfi nyie, ociif ajiaili o pcji 
itneyice, ocuf munu ca^Dyotn fin, iflan t>o a b]ieit1) caqii^; no 
oono, na fojta DO tienuic chenu cen ice. 

7)011 comaiclie. 


from the owner of the hind, and three persons from the man who 
seeks the passage shall attend to keep them (the cattle) close to the Co . Tt;N . 
fence, in order that they may not spread over the land. If he has ANCY - 
a way, this may be omitted; if there be two mounds to it, or two 
stone walls, he-to-rcatrainod by-4bm for they are a kind of witnesses. 
From this it was said, "the witnesses ape-not to bu removed;" 
unless they are but of the one side, they shall not be passed ; and 
from this was said, " Ae witnesses are nnt tn lie remnYpd.'"' 

Five 'Beds' for driving in, i.e. over, i.e. into it. Out, i.e. out of it, i.e. 
from it. It without asking / e a, v e, i.e. he did not find another passage, or he 
was not able to pass along it. Except forcible driving, i.e. for that is 
guiltless. The driving of a cow to a bull, i.e. five 'seds' which amount to 
two cows for this driving in, and it is over a full fence, and the one-half for the same 
if there be not a fence. If it be over a half fence, it (the faie) is three quarters of 
the two cows. If over a full fence into bare grass, it is a cow. If over a half 
funce it (Ihefint) is three quarters of the cow; if there be no fence at all' it is a Ir. 117.4- 
samhaisc '-heifer. 

This is a land without egress or ingress, which is between two 
lands without a passage. If it be a land of seven 'cumhals,' there 
is a ' dairt '-heifer every season due for allowing them a passage 
for their cattle. If it be a land of one 'cumhal,' or a land of three 
' cumhals,' it is from one end of the year to the other. If it be 
one passage, it is a wether every tkwd-year that is due, and it is a 
land of twice seven ' cumhals ' in that case ; but if it be a land of 
two ' cumhals,' or of three ' cumhals,' it is in the fourth year, and 
all this is by (in the case of) an outside family. When it is by (in 
the case of) the family, then it is one-third from the owner of the 
land, and another third from the man of the passage, and if he does 
not concede this (right of way), it is guiltless for him (the owner of 
the cattle) to bring them over it; or, according to others, he is ,to 
pay the damage which they may commit on the occasion. 
i To be remoceil. The original is defective here. 

Ends the sulject of the co-tenancy. 





(,- C; 

/s. /becti bftedicc.] 

BEE-JUDO- CGnnf cm hi cccu^ 1 ^ caiT^^ 6 "T 1 bectiaib > 
^ cautisiUe ticntub caji cif bep T>a nerpnicacli 
pa tneic cia pa taigec ; *a\\ if a TO^ib 
a tnbfiecha a T)caiixrce, a ccmaiVa ILoTge ptfi-cerhqi- 
a tie bef -DO nefom, -Dlegaic feiT)e -oStaich T)oib 

CCnnrom.1. ann r aem.i. T>oili 5 . tli cau^ S it'l''b .1. if -DO i 

coructieaca ir i -0111^1 -DO neac ica r ^ 5 ealt coTMftneafi oa beirv r e 
cean-o na meac .1. 5 eaVt -oa fcrxepaU, atiT> r i"De .1. BUMtenisro 
r eiriT)e geatl corxicneac oritxo, 51-0 annya, .1. seall -oa ^t^ebalt .a^ 
' .1. -DO luce tia vearvan-o if neaf u ooib -DO 506 teic, VT"O -oa caeb ocuf 
-DO naitvceatin in citxe. Ci a pa m eic .1. SIT> beg 51 T> mop. lie .1. 111 
110 na beic. CCix if a c angiltib .1. uain, if ap, caba^c gil 
"oaix a cean-o ben-ap, brveitemnaf o^o. CC -ocai p,f ce .1. itn an 
SKleit. CCccmaiD.1. im an caeca-6. CC Iloi 5 e .1. im an fence. CCp 
cechatvooic .1. t>o luce na ceachria vearxam) if neafu -ooib i mun 
oom. DLesaic .1. -DleaswD free log Tjoib ap 'm-oeotai-6 no log-oeotan) 
ooib cm log ace vomelc. 1 ap nainif epaib f ut|ve .1. iopf an pe 
f utain 1m ID beic 1 f aeip.e. 

Two 'scrcpalls.' The following note on ' Cain Cuisc' is found at the bottom 
of p. 2-1 of the MS. H. 2, 15. 0#Jflfrt') 

"5eiU Da fctveaball p^i Diguin ocuf ni uit pixi curvgabait, arx 111 neigen 
ime ixiu gia ^a neD vosla comaitsefa, ocuf ni nicro na gealla fo 
coicef ant), ace cam cuifg ocuf mi an salain. ocuf ollabixui & nai 110 
Tie cpi mblmDan ; no Dan, if e 5 eaU if COITX anD if cucnuma nif m 
cam cuifc .1. fmacc comaitciufa DO r^c P'" ia Vi cabaipc na ngeall fo 
cement ceat^a eile -, no 5 umaD 1 in cain cuifg ocuf mian S ataiti ocuf 
otlabtiuig nai; ocuf a cabaitxc a cn.iun- DU gac ciyx, no su na cucca a 
emnl Dib DO S ac ti,t ocuf 51-6 motx Da f ealbacaib beaf in 5 ac cm nucu 
Dteasain. ace in cucp.uma fin DOib uite pe |xe na cn.1 mbtiaDan ; ocuf 11 
ceDume rvig a leaf if an epic if a bpeic Deo, ocuf 51-6 focaiDt ica 11 
txiaccanaf a Leaf if an epic a neineacc, no 50 nuit ace in cucpuma fin 

DOib uite- 

There is a pledge of two 'screpalls' for uieaduw and there is not wr raismg a 


AMONG additional pledges an additional pledge 

P -, . MA fxQ* f **Jfafr*t*i'Gi 

tor bees is-dHfictdtj additional pledge is required for 
them that they pass not beyond the land which is 
nearest to them on every side, whether it be much or 
little ; for it is according to the additional pledges 
that judgments are passed respecting their ' tairsce '- 
trespass, their crime, their produce, $fthe four lands 
which are nearest to them, for these are entitled to 
a share of their produce gratis after the periods of 
their exemption. 


, vf 

It is difficult, i.e., 'annsa em,' i.e. difficult,. Among additional pledges, 
i.e., of all the relieving pledges which one pays, the most difficult is the relieving 
pledge which he gives for the bees, i.e. a pledge of two 'screpalls.'i Is required, 
i.e., that demands a relieving-pledge for them, though difficult i.e. a pledge of two 
'screpalls.' B eyoud the land, Le. to the owners of the lands which are nearest 
to them on each side, at both sides and both ends of the land. Whether it be 
much, i.e. whether it be big or little, i.e. the land, or the bees. For it i s 
according to the additional pledges, i.e. for itis upon giving therelievhig 
pledge for them that judgment is passed on them. Their ' tairsce'-trespass, 
i.e. with respect to the feeding. Their crime, i.e. with respect to the blinding 
of men or beasts. Their produce, i.e. with respect to the swarming. In the 
four lands, i.e. for the people of the four hinds which are uxt hand to them. 
Are entitled, i.e. these are entitled to get value for their 'deolaidh '-right or 
the value of ' deolaidh '-right is due to them without any price except consuming. 
After the periods of their exemption, i.e. after the particular time during 
which bees are in freedom (exempt from fines). 

fence, for no fence can be put against them though they may commit trespasses of 
co-tenancy, and these are not the pledges that are forfeited therein, but the ' Cain 
Cuisc,' 'the longing of disease' and the 'ollabruig nai' for a period of three years; 
or, the pledge that is right here is one equal to the 'Cain Cuisc,' i.e. that 'smacht- 
Cnes of co- tenancy ' should accumulate upon them after giving these pledges for them 
as well as for other animals ; or, the ' Cain Cuisc, ' ' the longing of disease ' and ' olla- 
bruig nai ; ' and that the three should be given to every land, or that only one of them 
should be given to every land, and that though great may be the number of land- 
holders in each land, only this proportion is due to them all during the period of three 
years; and the first person who stands in need of them in the land is to get it, and 
though many in the land should stand in need of it at the same time, they can 
get only this proportion." 

VOL. IV. M 2 

164 t)ech 

CCn, -ole 5 aic beich -Hi. blicroan fM^e, pe tar 
nai-ogenerap,; blicroain a -oeuircen, bli-oam a feoil, 
blicroaiTi a fit Mi -olesaic in cerajvooic fin ' 
adic a chain cuifc, Tiaallabixis rime, no micmn 
r c o ceoiaa bliaT)an a ri^ e ' C1 P 6 la r a narchBe 
o rha na ceot\a bliaT)na rtiifii fin, if poiU+ nI 
focejic na nnachca fo. MochJK ehc nxi 
oqinsne, an 110^015 bo co ertiuT) fon, m 5 ilc, nxx 
m bech oc cecctamaT) a choncnu ca na ceofMi 


m >Da 

o ' 

oepleo-o -ooib; colic a faichib a cob-oailib ^ 

<v. a ^ H~~ r "~ qwcn, u t i iTpulams nech -DeotaiTJfeeotai'oJ'DiaJ.aitiu la 

peine ; afi ip cfiifp^ciu m fo conpo-olaicep, po chobTiaiti 

CCn -otegai c beich .1. uaiti Dlea 5 a TO beic beich 

Ctpe lav n mT.genecap .1. cibe laif 1 n S einetiT, teD" ai 



fl o KU earn. blmT>a,n .1. In bliaocrfn i cuifitisen-o fiai> * m ceT 
bUcncan r n. blm^ait. a r eo,t ... bti< 1 ml fuaiU wb, 11 
blia*am ranmre. blioTioin a fit * In bliaoaiti a filatiT> fiaT), if an 
bUoa,f!. 11 1 T>U 5 a, C in cecnaTx^oir fir, .1. i, 

bUoa,f. 11 1 T>U 5 a, C in 
^ Their i<?.-The age of the bee is estimated by German apiarians as one 
year but Huish shows that a queen-bee lives sometimes four years. See ffM, 
'Nature, Economy, and Practical Management of Bees," 2nd edition, London, 
1817, pp. 246, 248, 249. 

According to the division of the ZanA-Dr. O'Donovan remarks here:- 
"From these texts and glosses it appears that the person who reared bees, 
was obliged after the third year to share their honey with the Height 
who resided in the four townlands lying around him in every direction, th 
during the first three years some of the honey was due to sick persons and 
to certain dignitaries, as an 'ollave'-poet, a bishop, a professor of literature &c 
who may live within or happen to be on a visit in any of the four t 
which were entitled to the produce of the bees. 

The quantity of honey to be given out for these three classes of persoi 
was proportioned to that produced by the bees. If the produce of the 
amounted to the full of a 'milch-cow vessel,' i.e. a vessel which when full a man 
of ordinary strength could raise to the height of his knee, they shall get half 
full of an 'escra,' if they produce the full of a ' samhaisc'-heifer vessel, wlacl, 


For bees are entitled to three years' exemption, BEE-JUDO- 
with whomsoever they are produced : the year of "f^ 
their production, the year when they are few, the year 
of their breeding. 1 The people of these four lands 
are not entitled to anything but according to the 
'Cain Cuisc/ or 'allabrig naie,' or 'the longing of 
disease,' until the end of the three years of their 
exemption, with whomsoever they are produced, for ^ lt 2*7 
from these three years of exemption out, it is according 
to the^injury that these ' smacht '-fines areimposed. <^ z 
Ifr H3-4mly =as=^hc injury requires, fa-r as long as the a~^ s +*" J ^'k* 
cow r^fS&-g^i^^til milfcrng^time, so l^f^does "^"^ % < 
the bee require to gather Its producef From the 
three years out, the four lands that are next them 
are entitled to get a gratis share, they are entitled 
to a share of the swarms according to the divisions 

the-Feini ; for this is 

the third tribe-property which is divided according 
to the divisions of the lands. 2 

For bees are entitled, i.e. for the owners o/*bees are entitled to be a period 
of three years in exemption. With whomsoever they are produced, i.e. 
with whomsoever they are generated quickly or lawfully. The year of lluir 
production, i.e. the year in which they generate, i.e. the first year. The year 
when they are few, i.e. the year in which there are but few of them, i.e. 
the second year. The year of their breeding, i.e. the year in which they 
breed,' the third year. The people of the four lands, i.e. the people of 

man can raise to his navel, they shall get one-third of an ' escra ; ' if they produce 
the full of a 'colpthac '-heifer vessel, which a man can raise as high as his loins, 
they shall get one-fourth of an 'escra, 'if they produce a 'dairt '-heifer vix-rl, 
which a man can raise over his head, they shall get the one-fifth of an 'escra.' 

3 The ytui- in ichic/i they breed, the third year. On this Dr. O'Donovan observes : 
It is difficult now to determine what induced the author of this law to suppose that 
bees were three years old when they began to breed. The age of the bee is estimated 
by the German apiarians at one year, and they hold it as undoubted that the queen 
of the present year is not to he found in the hive the following year. The age of the 
common bee is estimated at one year, or one year and a half. But lluish shows that 
a queen-bee sometimes lives four years, and cites various writers who assert that they 
have seen hives which were ten, fifteen, and thirty years old; but he remarks that 
" it must not be supposed that in fixing the duration of a hive at fifteen or twenty 




BEE-JUDO- luce no cecrcfwx peafiaiTD fin bif imon TJOITJ ni eile T>oib. CCche a chain 
MF.XTS. c u , .p c .,. acc p.iaj;ail na tHge cuifg .1. in ni af euigpa, cu-p ni cinT>eT> <p\l 
tin,e, no 50 mat) leienefcjia 1 lefcan. lulam. Leiehefqaa t>oib a lefoan, 
lulaicecuarisaibveaiivBoslun; cp.ian efcrxaaleafcaiifaniaifcecuansaib 
pean, 50 imlmn ; ceachn,ama efcn,a a lef can, colpeatge cuan-grab peap. 50 
ap.a; cuicea-o eafcp.a a leaftap, T>ainxe cuan-gcnb peap, of a chmn. Tl a 
allabfuj; naie .1. T>aecain caif 15 na Tjaime, .1. no in ni -oa ben,an, t>on 
d ay ottbn.15 biy utn anm, no bintig af. an nap ocvf oil arv a -DOimne 
.1. in rottom gaife. .1. -010 ci ollbnis a tan 01 .1. 1115 " epfcop no uayal 
TiemeaD cena. 11 o mian ngalai^n, .1- no in tnian no ben,an, -DO m can 
bi f e i ngalarv. Co ceon,a blia-oan -LCO ceatro rpi mblianan bi-obeic 
1 paein.e .1. gem atle eiycib acc pn. Cip .1. CIT>. Na cebn,a btia-ona 
.1. ocTia na c|vi btiaT>na pn bn> beic 1 yaerxe. 1^ pornnmj .1. if oon 
tucc i:o|xo p.oici'o m-o a noirigne. poceixc .1. cuiricin, in fmacc ifeo. 
CCti T^o f 015 .1. In-o aifxen tvo mnfaigef feig. Ho f 015 m been .1. yto 
inT>faijif> m comaT> cecna. O ca tia ceop.a btia-ona .1. o ca na tfii 
btiaT>na bi-D beic i faeijve- CCilic a faicVitb .1. airvilcmpT> luce na 
cn,ice faite -DO coibtjelegut) ooib. CC^p, m ^utams .1. uafn, nocon mmi- 
tingenT) neac ni m TjeotoDcaine, in naifci-6, -oa ceite. "OeotaiT) .1. 
oeolai'o teif an, abff m coin ctiifc ocuf in mmnn galaip, no mTi alta- 
CCfi if 1 crnfV'citi .1. uaif. ifi feo cp-eaf pine -oticats 
oib^etegtit) na erne. 

CobT>aile faidie, octif bfiecTiabaififibunffi'Oj octif tifci 
cup, cfiica; aifi iftii'De ]io ftu'Dise'D getpnie 
Tiefibpnie, mfipne ocf iiTDpine In pinceTxiib gjimifi 

years, it is not meant thereby to infer, that it is peopled with the same queen or 
the same bees during the whole of that time. A hive in this respect " (he con- 
tinues) "maybe compared to a city; the inhabitants who founded and built it 
are long since dead, but it etill remains peopled by their descendants, and many 
perhaps have emigrated from it to form a colony elsewhere." 

The same writer states that the bee is generally in its state of perfection from 
the 21>t to the 23rd day; that the drove takes its flight usually about the 27th ; 
the queen about the 10th. They are entirely suspended during the cold weather. 
//UM/, 2nd Edition, p. 1 29. 

" The young bee has no sooner emancipated itself from its cell, than the common 
bees flock around it, and with their proboscis cleanse it of any extraneous matter 
which it may have brought from its cell. At the same time, the young bee 
scims delighted with the attention which is shown it. It first tries its wings, 
then cleans its antenna;, and in a few minutes is in the fields gathering provision 
for the hive." Umih, 2nd Edition, p. 130. 

"When a young queen-bee has emerged from her nymphal state, she is capable 
of laying epgs in the space of three or four days, and fhe would lay them if she 


these four lands which are next to hand to them are not entitled to get anything BKK-JUPG- 
ele. But according to the 'Cain Cuisc,' i.e. but the rule of 'the drink *TS. 
from the-Mre,' i.e. the thing by which it HM4atood, and there is no limitation 
upon it, or, according to some, it is half a cap' out of a milch-cow vessel. Half a _ 

cup is due to them out of a milch-cow vessel which a man can raise to his knee; fflJ-fty 

one-third of a cup out of a ' samhaisc '-heifer vessel, which a man can raise to his 
navel ; one-fourth of a cup out of a ' colpthach '-heifer vessel, which a man can raise 
to his loins; one-fifth of a cup out of a ' dairt '-heifer vessel which a man can lift 
over his head. Or ' allabrig naie,' i.e. a sufficiency for the chief of a party 
at a feast, or what is given to the person who is of great power in science, or 'brug' 
for steadiness and 'oil' for his depth, i.e. the 'ollav' of wisdom, i.e. to whom 
great force comes from full science, i.e. a king, or a bishop, or any noble dignitary 
whatever. Or the longing of disease, i.e. or the thing which is given to him 
to satisfy his longing when he is in a disease. Until the end of three years, 
i.e. till the termination of three years bees are in freedom, i.e. without being subject to 
anything else to 1>e obtained out of them, but that before mentioned. Cip i.e. cid. From 
the three years, i.e. from these three years during which bees are in freedom. 
According to the injury, i.e. it is for the people to whom they go, accord- 
ing to their injuries. Are imposed, i.e. this 'smacht'-fine is imposed. As 
long as the cow requires, i.e. as long as she requires. So long does the bee 
require, i.e. require the same length. From the three years out, i.e. 
from the three years that bees are in freedom. Are entitled to a share of 
swarms, i.e. the people of the land are entitled to a division of the swarm. For 
no one is liable, i.e. for no one is liable to give anything in gratuity or of 
grace to another. Gratuity, i.e. it is deemed a gratuity by him onaccountof the > "" 
cain cuisc.'or 'the longing of disease' or the ' allabruigh ne.' For this is the 
third tribe-property, i.e. for this is the third tribe-property which is fairly 
distributed according to the division of the lands. 

The distribution of the swarms, and the judgments 
of top and trunk of trees, and drawing water across 
lands ... for in respect of this 'geilfine' and 'derbh- 
fine,' ' iarfine ' and ' innfine ' are placed by the Feini 

had a particular establishment of her own independently of the mother hive, in 
which the young queens never possess the privilege of laying their eggs, 
however, in a state qualified to place herself at the head of a colony disposed to 
share her fortunes. Such is the attachment of the bees for their queen." 

" The first swarm that appears in the spring is always in part the produce of the 
e"gs which were laid in the preceding year. These eggs have subsisted in the 
hive during the autumn and winter in the state of eggs fecundated by the drones. 
Thec eggs are not hatched until the return of the warm weather in April or May, 
and the drones which are the produce of these eggs as soon as they have quitted 
their nymphal state, fecundate the eggs, which the queen has already laid in the 
cells of the present year.'' lluish, 2nd Edition, pp. 190, 191. 

' 1 cup, 'escra.' " Quoddam argenteum vasculum unde potentibns personis potus 
hauririsol'et, quod Hibernicaiinguavoctiturfscro," vita DarercaeCBrussells, MS. 

quoted by Dr. O'Donovan.) 

^ .,* / - v , ' 

- ~ 

'/lfi' /^A/ 

16 8 bech bfiecha. 


BE x " la F eiTie - ^ T 1 Vech baififi btmai-o la feme 

x alfop-oe cfio ima cofuro/pobidi piuaT) cijae miT)cui|ie- 

chaji a cofiaT), ap, T)ilfi5chifi bap,|i bunaiT) a ccot^a'D m 

cechfiama'D bticroain T)o ciji incui|iicbe|i a 

C fr<U^l, U>7^ b&?-<LM/n ./. ^ (*,*, tU/ryfaM w*rv O 

Cirv i*s<l*k rdrVt i for 

Cotcoaile yaiclie .1. faici T>O cotroeilejuti T)Oib .1. if in cecp.umaT) 
bliaiiaiti. Ojiectia bai\i\i .1. in bpeac crca icirv peari bonct in criaitro 
ocuy- veap- a batri. Ufci ctiitxit>ne .1. ocuy m cuiyx;e cairvgicerx caji na 
peapatTDaib. CCirv if uiT>e.i. tiaip, if vocopnaitiuf na aei eat>a ipn r\o 
eT). gelpitie .1. m cobo|i. 'OeiabpiTie .1. in^tve o cobuyv gu 
1ai\pine.i. 1n turn liropme -1. otiiiT> py. ni pincevatb .1. 
in-oibin vearxaiTD'oarveiivin-Detiecaif. CCtv ifi byvecb .1. uaip, 
if 1 f eo brteai aca ici^a f earx bona in cyxain-o octif peafv a Bmrxn -DO Txeii\ 
HIT) pctiecaif. OCti'Df iT>e .1. airxilcnisi'6 feifi^eig c|io Tja oenaiii im o 
coturo. Pobicti f nuaT) ciyve .1. i?on vat feanatch no ecoifc in CITXI, in 
i 4 -|;eananT> incc T>a cutriemj feacojxu'D. CCp. -ottf tgchiri .1. uaip, -Dit 
Bona in qxamT) corva* a bain.n, gac ceacriama-6 bliai)ain 
ina 7)a cuiyiiceii e. 1nctnrvicheyi [.i.] in 


't^ |l!? 1nna ceofia blurona aite conFO'Dla1ceJ^ i cifi 

cifi infOchflifwcheji octi r cip, ara na/a; ape -oaUina ' 
K nn-Dicoirnse, "Difienap, leicht)ip.e T)ia fiailiu a beraib p-o 

bpech, po pjipe cach^)pet)a, atnail p,o roi-Oige-o la peme 

(Mil KMV 

TTla-D caijibe, -Dipenata po raip.'Dbe each pe-oc^ co 
ceniuil T)O, ache ni poepep nemeT) te. 

CCca ampep, ap coim-Difxe rairx-o-obe cacha peT)a pp,ia 
tf bonebe ; aca tiro ampep, aile ni aile ache cpian -oifie ina 

beich jiosabcrc an-o, conpo-olac a cojiaT) eroppu 

' The embankment. JUs-wjy difficult-t*-deeide whether the Irish word thus 
translated is 'oijie' or 'T>ine.' ^ p. Z-Ojj. \ i, 



iribgg of the land. For the judgment of BEE-JUDO 

top and bottom, according to the Feini, is that a 
fold is required about his fruit, because of the appear- 
ance of the land in which the produce is sown, for the 
bottom is ^n^i^led-'to-ih^Jiniit-^f-'the-feop every fourth 
year, of the land in \vhieh,4Jie l uiLtJs-sown. 

The distribution of the swarms, i.e. the swarms to be divided by them, 
i.e. in the fourth year. The judgments of top, i.e. the judgment that is 
passed between the owner of the bottom of the tree and the owner of its top. 
Drawing water, i.e. and the water which is drawn across the lands. For in 
this, i.e. for it is after the likeness of these they are placed. 'Gelfine,' i.e. the 
well. ' Derbfine,' i.e the embankment' from the well to the pond. 'larfine,' 
i.e. the pond. 'Innfine,' i.e. from the pond down. Tribes of the land, i.e. the 
tr&MOf the land according to the 'Fenechus'-law. For the judgment, i.e. this 
is the judgment that is between the owner of the bottom of the tree and the owner 
of its top according to the ' Fenechus'-law. Is required, i.e. he ought to make 
an enclosure about his produce. Because of the appearance of the 
and, i.e. because of the surface or aspect of the land, of the farm in which he 
sows his produce. For the bottom is entitled, i.e. for the owner of the bottom 
of the tree becomes entitled to the fruit of its top every fourth year; i.e. it is due 
to owner of the land in which it (the tree) is planted. Is planted, i.e. the top. 

In the other three years it is divided into two 
parts between the land in fi which it is planted and 
the land out of which it grows; whichever of the 
two parties eemmits-ittjtHy, he pays half 'dire '-fine < -i*e, * 
to the other according to the customs of wood 
judgments, according to the rank of each tree, as 
it was established by the Feini. 

If it be cutting, it is paid for according to the 

cutting of each tree, aeeerding-4e-4ts-krd, except ^ ^^ v 

what the ' neniedh ' frees of it. 2 

There is a time when the cutting of each tree is 
liable to the same ' dire '-fine as cutting the trunk ; 
there is another time when it incurs but one-third 
' dire '-fine for its cutting. 

If it be bees that have taken up their abode /!/' 
there, they divide their produce between them into 

'Frees of it. The words 'nemeti Tje,' may also mean, a 'nemedh' of God, 
' an ecclesiastical dignitary.' 

" ' / *< 

170 bech bfiettia. 


i TiT)e co cenn ceofia blicroan; actic if i cifte afa nara A ' 


in coficro 


1tina efiorva .1. inatrvi eile. Convo-olaieen. .1. if caSin 
ap, 7>o ieifi in pearvctnt) ajnajpa cui-p-m-D f e a. torta-r/a bunaT> .1. in 
an-o afrt nafant> fe; comn,oinr> con,aiT> in c|voinT> an, TIO 50 ceanT) cn,i 
tnblicrima, iciTiv 60 "- botia " n ocuf v 60 ! 1 a tiain,i\, .1. ocup aton,aT> 
gac cectcnyvamcrD blicroain -opiyx a bmyirx. Cipe .1. cibe von -oa ima-o 
fin em cuiriisep .1. ateaT)fiaT>. "Oin,enan, .1. ein.niT> pne teitTiin,e mvo 
oia. ceile. CC beyaib .1. a baif gnae no mbin-o bn.eiceinnuif tut ?eai>. 
.opo fuiyve cacna pe-oa .1. vo uaiftt'oeccn'o saca pecroa .1. s pa'oa" 
51-0 cutnria. Ro yufoigeT) .1. aiiiait f,o pTOigeTj e TJO tieip. mt> enecaif. 

I V 

cairvbe .1. mce&artctmcell-oonerftn. T)irvenaix .1. 

ibi gaca -pea-bo, if comaic cenet V-'f' ocu f "' I* acc( t 1 ' ca 1 t 
CCclic m foeifvef .1. ace mni foe^ay T>epn a b'eit conaT) p-5 neninT) e 
uaip, nocon ^o aigneT) q\ain l o ica ma nrp'oe, ace v aigneT) gtxait) in ci 150 

CCca amf e|i .1. iea aimfen. fp cotti7>i|xe ain,T)Cimcealt gaca 
pyiiabeim T>iabun alancimcelt.imif maivb-oacaT). CCca itro 
t. ra aimfen, eite, ocuf noco naifMlxnigmiTi fe ace cn,mn T>iyie .1. -oa 
na lancimceall i mif beoapea*, no cjiian a lancimceatl i tniy 


TTla beich .1. ma-o beic gabai-D anT>. Conpotilae .1. if coin fT>aile 
a eoixat) na faiceT) acotiti afv T>O co ceann en.1 bliatina. CCcnc if i 
.1. ace agum if fve peap.ainT). 

ir peariaitro af an fafairo fe a btmin> a corxait) gac ceacfxariier6 
btia-6ain, 50 yxom-o cofiaif) na mbeac affDO ju cearrD r|ii mblicroan , 
ra|i f ea^i b'ona in criamt) ocuf feafi a b'aifvfi ; ocuf a cof,cr& gac 
ceatf.ariicro blia^ain T)1TI ab'ona.'atnailbcp.ef f.eap, m baif-txrofiaT) 
in ci\aim> ^aca ceacfvamoro blicroam, if amlan) fi" befief f.eaf, 
bona in cfvamT) co^at) na mbeac $ac cectqiamero bliariam. Co na 

i A deod month. That is, a month in which there is no vegetation. 

If it be bees See Huish on the rearing of bees in the trunks of trees. " In 

Poland the laws are particularly severe against robbers or destroyers of this 
property (beet reared in the trvnl-i of trees), punishing the offender, when 
detected, by cutting out the navel, and drawing out his intestines round and 
round the very tree which he has robbed." 

"Varro is the oldest who mentions hives as a receptacle for the bee; since his 
time the form, as well as the materials of them, has been much altered, and they 
are to be found of all sizes and !Yrms in different parts of the world." Huith, 
2nd Edition, p. 62. See also pp. 412, 413, 414. 



two parts to the end of three years ; but the produce 
belongs to the land out of which it grows. <*>. fa v^jrt^-T- 

In the other three, i.e. the other three years. It is divided, i.e. it is 
fairly divided into two parts between the land in which he sows his produce 
anginally, i.e. the land from which it grows; the fruit of the tree is equally 
divided into two parts to the end of three years, between the owner of the bottom 
of the tree and the man who owns its top, i.e. and its fruit every fourth year to the 
owner of its top. Whichever of the two partiei, i.e. whichever of the 
two httfrinjurad the tree, i.e. by cutting it. He pays, i.e. theypaybalf 'dire'-fine to 
each other. According to the customs, i.e. according to the good or 
pleasant knowledge of the judgment of the trees. According to the rank, 
i.e. according to the nobleness of each tree, i.e. whether wild or sweet. Was 
established by the Feint, i.e. as it was established according to the 
' Feinechus '-law. 

If it be cutting, i.e. if it (the cutting) be made all round. It is paid for, 
i.e. it is paid for according to the high cutting of each tree which is of equally good 
kind, but it is not cut all round. Except what the 'nemed' frees, i.e. but 
what is freed of it by its being a 'nemedh' tree, for it is not according to the 
nature of the tree that this is, but according to the nature of the grade of the 
person who possesses it. 

There is a time, i.e. there is a time when equal 'dire'-fine is paid for high 
cutting the round of each tree, and for cutting it all round at the bottom in a dead 
month. 1 There is a time, i.e. there is another time, and it (the cutting') does not 
incur but one- third 'dire '-fine, i. e. two-thirds for its full round in a living month, 
or one-third for its full round in a dead month. 

If it be bees 5 , i.e. if it be bees that have taken up their abode there. They 

i v i d e, i.e. they fairly divide the produce of the swarms between them into two 
parts to the end of three years. But the produce belongs to the land, i.e. 
I make an exception as to the land. 

It is to the land out of which it (tree) grows originally that its pro- 
duce belongs every fourth year (until the produce of the bees is 
divided into two parts to the end of three years), between the 
owner of the bottom of the tree and the owner of its top ; (and 
its produce every fourth year is due to the owner of the bottom, 
in the same way as the owner of the top gets the produce of the tree 
every fourth year), so the owner of the bottom of the tree obtains 
the produce of the bees every fourth year. This is when the 

" When bees were first cultivated in Germany, the hives consisted of excavated 
trunks of trees, which were placed perpendicularly in a row. In Spain they are 
formed to this day of an excavated trunk of box." 

"In Russia the swarms are placed in earthen vessels, and in Provence and 
different parts of Italy, they are made of four planks well fastened together. In 
the latter country they are ulso made of the trunk* of tree." Tb. pp. 
52, 53. 


172 bech bpecha. 

BEE-JUDO- pinca peapt bunair> ma mbeac airrofin ; no 50 tnat> apt CUITJ pipi m 
MENT3 ' cpiamT) r>a bee in comftomTi pm, iapi mbfieic Dipt bunaiT) a CUIT> 
eipeib piotme. 

pinciu jpiain 1 mbec bpechaib ippi pet)e pochople a 

s neipbpine, ap ip i "Deipbpne 1 mbech bpechaib cip, bep T)a 

nepom poTxclomg. 1ppeT) on ailep cec paiche T>eotai'o T)ia 

ceopa mbliaT)gn. Ma ceopa cpicha aiLe, cpich T)ib bep 

T)a nepom, bep cech copau ip-oe bepep canaipe. TTIaT) 

Cfe comcecpi, ocup mem commaich a copa'o. pocep-oap cpann 

,ecuppu t)up cia T)e bepep canaipe, ocup'rftepaije ; imana 

i i^f. m cechpamaT) cpich conbep cec paiche T>ia bliaT)ain ; 

cUtyfy ache TDtejap "Donaib cpich aib peo napfie poipche 

pocepT)ac m bech paiche, ap a mbe pep, aait)ib occa 

mmchomtiec, ap na eplac a paiche ; ap t)ia neptac, ni 

T>le5acpom pomuine, ocup polomgacpom beochu co 

cenT) mbliaTina aichippuch. 

Pmciu .1. aca T>uccup T>on me a -Dualsup nit) vea^ainT) ip na beaccnb 
DO |vein. na poch ople .1. ip iprie poxtap Le e po coprnailiup 
na T>eiixbine ajx geiline. OCn. ip i .1. uain, tpi copiiiuiliup na oeip.bine a)i 

vgeiUne 1 nibixeiceiiinap na mbeac. 'Cin, bep -oa n epom .1. in vpap-uinj 
ip nepu -ooib, imuilngep iat). 1 ppeT> on .1. ipi piT>eis afiilcmgep ce-oyaite 
01 niT>eolaT)caiiie i CHIT) cn.i mbliat)an. "Oeola t> .t. tp e cuit> in -oeolui-o 
nucun eigen T>\ cn.ancujx. C|iicha aile .1. m qaic wb ip nepu ocup ip cojxai). Ipfoe .1. tpt pt>e ben,ep m patte canaipe. TIlaT) 

14" comcecpi, .1. mam comacfiatb IUTJ ocup mari comaic a cop.ot>. "Oup 
cia T>e bejiep .1. -oa ip cia bei\ep m paice canaipe. nieyiaige .1. cia 
hejxep m pmeyiaige. Imana m ceachfiaTn at> .1. eamnaiT) in ceatfiu- 
ma'6 cn-ic su mbeyienT) pi ce-o paice i cin-o blia-ona an. cyii bliaijnaib, no 
i an-o na bliatina pin vein. U'clic ^165011 .1. accaigim gu nT>leasan. 

VC-TIO tucc na pa na polupcan. 1 CUIVXTO beic paici uarcib. CCn 

> To watck tfiem. See Huish's Treatise on Bees, 2nd Edition, p. 192. "To guard 
against the fallacy of these signs, the miwtpriuk-nt method is to keeper uppuint a regular 
watch, from the hours of 9 a.m., to 3 i>.m. Many persons select children for this 


original owner of the bees is not known; or, according to others, 
this division is of the share of the owner of the tree, the owner of 
the bottom having P re ^PH v taken his sbare therefrom ' ^^^.^ 

The tribeof* thervkmd in bee-judgments is like 
>.vW the ' deirbhfine,,''1or* hi the bee-judgments the land 
which is next to them and which supports them is 
the 'derbhfine.' It is entitled to the first swarm 
gratis after three years. Of the other three lands that 
land of them which is nearest, which is of best 
produce, shall get the second. If they are equally 
near and if the produce be equally good, lots shall 
be cast between them to know who shall obtain the 
second swarm and the ' meraighe'-swarm ; the fourth 
land shall make its claim, and shall get the first 
swarm after one year ; but these lands are bound in 
the bright times when the bees send out a swarm, to 
send a man to watch them, 1 that the swarm may 
not escape ; for if it should escape, they shall not be 
entitled to profits, and they shall support the bees to 
the end of another year. 

The tribe of the land, i.e. the tribe is entitled to a share in the bees, in right 
of the land according to the judgments. Is like i.e. it bears it away after the 
likeness of the' deirbhfine '-division from the 'geilfine'-division. For it is i.e. for 
it is like the ' deirbhfine' over the ' geilfine ' in the judgment as to bees. T h e 1 a n d 
which is next to them, i.e. the land which is nearest to them, which sustains 
them. Itis it i.e. this is that which is entitled to the first swarm gratis at the end 
of three years. Gratis, i.e. the force of 'gratis' is that it is not compulsory to 
cast lots. Of the other three lands, i.e. the land of them which is nearest 
and of best produce. It is it, i.e. it is it shall get the second swarm. If they 
are equally near, i.e. if they are equally near, and if their produce be equally 
good. To know who shall obtain, i.e. to know who shall get the second 
swarm 'Meraighe'-swarm, i.e. who shall obtain the 'smeraighe'-swann. The ( 
fourth shall make its claim, i.e. the fourth land yitft until it obtains the first 
swarm at the end of the year after' three years, or at the end of that very year. Ir. on. 
Are bound, i.e. I make a condition that this is incumbent on the people of 
these lands in the bright times' in. which bees send out swarms. To send a 

purpose, who are often led away by trifles, and thus the swarm, the chief profit of 
the proprietor, is lost to him." 

Bright times. The bees generally swarm from the hours of nine till three in 
May or June, in England. Huish, 2nd edition, p. 189, 

174 bech bfiecha. 

i- 50 nab peon, uaicib 050 TiimcoimeT). CCn n a enlac i 
an na no eteo na fa,*,, tfn , a n enlac .,. tm,n wa nelar, .,. ,' 
Co cent) mblia'ona 

,< Ci7> po T>epa coni-o 7>on ouine rea Tjf.ecrean in faice T>O coimec 

>cur conuD -oip, cyiaiiiT) T)le5ap, ci'r coimec m criainD. 1 r 
e rach ro T>e]aa, pep m cn.ain-0 geiber -WTI na mbeacli ci f a beich 
bpeic leif, ocu r coip, 5 ema-D he -DO coimeccro -DO; ruriD nno^u, 
noca 5 abanT> m -oume r ea -01,1 m r a.che a r aice T>O bpeic teif, 
,acc co po cuipchep he, ocur coip 5 emaT> e pem T>O coimecuT) -DO 
Oume rein ocu r beich oige, nochoc uillic beich ic luchc na 
peasant) i r nepa T>O. Ocu f ire* r,le E ap. T>e cam cui r c, ocu r mian 
5 alaip ocur allabpug nae, T>O cabaipc -oo luchc na ceiciu 
^T> i f ne f a -oo ^ pe rjw mblia&an ; ocu r compamt, 
Doib i r m cechraimaT) blm^am ; ocur if i comjxainT) 
i ooib .1. cec rcnche ocu r canaife ocu r fmep,ai 5 e. Ocur m 
epic -oib i r nera ocu r i r pepp copcro if 1 beipe r cec rmche 5 an 

T>O na cni 

aile; ocu r ma C a/T>ib n T)e c,a,c , r ne r a no i r peann 
a ceite, i r canaip T>O b^eich m cen cyxanDcutx; ocu r 
nti vo cup ict n na -oa quich aile, ocu r m a wb T>a 
twocc beich cam 11, blrn'oam pn i r cec r iche TO, bpeic T>I,< 
arvjr Sen c^amc^; ocu r in cam cuifc ocu r in mian n 5 a 
tai n , ocu r m atlabpug nae -DO cabaijw -DO luchc na cetrii 
,.crea n anD i f ne r a T>oibriuni m Rioroain pn ; ocu r in-o uam 
be r amirejx COt ia rmche t,oib , r r e^ T>le 5 ap ^ na mbech a 
r-ocria Doib r ium nee uaitib aca coimec an, na ^a elac. m a jxa 
pocatfirium T)oib irret> T>le 5 a^ mb a cabaipc, ocu r mame curaD 
a nelac na beic, nocon pt conirxamT) f aiti T>oib m Wicroain rin 
inT, r cucuT> TO nea^) luce na r aic, i fr eD T.le 5 ap, cam cui r c 

ocur mian ngalai^ ocu r allab^i 5 nae -oo caba.pc T)oib ,ie |ie 
c mblia-oanjocur aenreacc cacha bticriam -DlesaTi na neice 

TTlaine -oea^nSrac m^cucuT), ace nocho nail m 
ap, irr ucrcac conoifig mi rochaitie cet). 

' We jecomi-'-A second swarm in this country is very seldom worth preserv- 
ing through the winter, as the stock of honey which it collects is not sufficient t< 
maintain it through a wild season." Huish, p. 210. 

Jtoar. There is . note by the scribe here, partly' illegible , he appears to ten 
C n Aedh son of Concubar (Connor), son of Gilla m Naemli, probably, of the 
MacEgan family of Brehons. 


man, i.e. that a man is appointed by them to watch them. Tha it may BEE-JUDO- 
not escape, Le. that the swarm may not escape. For if it should MESTS. 
escape, Le. for if they should escape, Le. the swarm. To the end of another 
year, i.e. the swarm for three other years. 

What is the reason that it is incumbent on this person to 
watch the swarm in this instance, and that it is the owner of the 
tree that is bound to mind the tree in the case cited below 1 
The reason is, the owner of the tree obtains leave for the owner 
of the bees to take away his bees in this case cited below, and it is 
right that he (the owner) should mind them ; but in this case, this 
man does not obtain for the owner of the swarm leave to take 
away his swarm, but that it be set, and it is right that he himself 
should mind it. 

This is the case of a man who has bees, and the people of the 
lauds next to hi have not bees. And what is due of him is to 
give the ' Cain Guise,' the ' longing of disease' and ' allabrug nae ' 
to the people of the four lands next to him for a period of three 
years ; and the swarms are to be equally divided by them in 
the fourth year ; and they are bound to make an equal division, 
i.e. o/the first swarm and the second 1 and the ' smeraighe '-swarm. 
And the land of them which is nearest and of best produce shall 
obtain the first swarm without casting lots; and the second swarm 
and the ' smeraighe '-swarm shall be obtained by the other three 
lauds; and if there be one of these lands that is nearer or of better 
produce than the others, it shall get the second swarm without 
casting lots ; and lots shall be cast between the other two lands, 
and the one of them which happens to get nothing that year 
shall get the first swarm, for it is without casting lots; and 
that year it shall give the ' cain cuisc ' the 'longing of disease' and 
the ' allabrug nae' to the people of the four lands nearest to it ; 
aud when it is time for their sending out a swarm, the owner 
of the bees is bound to give them notice to send one from among 
them to watch them (the bees) that they may not escape. If he has 
given notice to them they are bound to comply, 4 but if he has not -Ir. Togic 
been sent, and if the bees depart unobserved and are lost, there is no """ 
division of the swarms for them that year. If the owners of the 
swarms have gone away (removed), they are entitled to receive but 
<cain cuisc,' 'longing of disease' and 'allabrig nae' for a period 
of three years; and once in each year these things are due. 
If they have not departed, there :s nothing due to the others 
then, for it is a case of 'lew prevailing over many.' 

^ , 

bech bpecha. 

- Cacli cp,ich fioucca a cechca ni 

pmachru, ap, ifet> uacach m fain conoifig ppi fochai'o.>J 
la eine. TYla'o infcuchuT), TII Tjlegafi m t)oib ache 
cmn c ^ ui r cc T1 mictnn ngala^ no allabfiuig nae, 

rap, 'Dle5aifi_'DoibfeoTn mi\"naib -eoJ^a1 btiaT)naib faijie; 
if iafx fen finT) fop, a cechca, r cip 7)une lafarnj-l|a 
Ufu caufijuitle naifim oLlDace fmachca; if foma "Do 
each p,echc oca mbec/ 

CC ceclica.1. in ipatci. Mi oliscnne coi^S'J'l'e .1. gealltxi 

,. bait. Ma ftnactica .1. na foiche. CCp. ife-o uacacti .1. a aen 

fatce feorii 1 naigit) faice inToa itit> pip, eile. Ill a-o irifcuctiUT) .1. 

tncro fieiqxeaccop, icro .1. uiaglan if an ceachixaniat) bluroain. Mi 

otegaix .1. noco ^leasa^ tii eile -ooib -DO na cjvichaib. CCp, -DiegaiTi. .1. 

uatp. T)lea5aTi, T>oib fin uaicib tap, na bimmiaib itnit) 1 faetfxe. 

,ff en f 111-0 .Liafif an c|vef bliaT>ain. Pop, acechca.i. pop. in ni 

no pop, m faice. Cip -oune .1. gib T>uine p,if nat) ufu geall copuicneac, 

op,p,o .1. geall T>a fgp,ebalt. Sm ache a .1. na faice. 1f vowia ' 

if o thait, no if voetiica T>U gac p,icc uume iga miD, no if p.050. 

vrtv . 

, 1f T)i p.ui'Dilfib 1 mbechbp,echaib la eine cipe 
,.pop,fa p, occa colluT), occa cunifcuchuT), occa 
njabail, occa ntiecpn Tiajio fofcau in am m cochumlac. 
Crechca Toib T>an, cipe mp>tiifiec oc T>ul feccu tap, na 
chonaip,, T>oneoch naT>ene olcc nafch^annp,ecc pp,iu ; ap, 
if efeT)e pull ailef ailep fail) HIT) fipj T1 mil pop^aib- 
y-chep, an'D, la pp ^ca ftMWi naT> p,o map,b m bech 
p.o'Ombi ; ap, ma p,o map,bchap, fiT, ap.cec a cinaiT> 
amal each. 

,J ^ ^-i-^ 1 ' 

r+rt^rtr V 

\ -- 

' lj> "f* 

f?op,fa p,utp,er .1. cnear) iga millet) no oca map.baT>. Occa 
cumf cucnuT) .1. af gac leafcap. TX> leafcap.. Occa ngabail .1. -oa 
bap.p.aib ocuf T>O limismb. Occa nroecfin .1. 050 ntiecfatn cap, a 
In am 111 cocnumlac .1. if an pe fucain ICQ nimluaiwo 




which has gsten what is lawful is not BKE-JUDO- 

to give additional pledge or . ' smacht '-fines, . "J^! 8 " 

3 ,* , j, , , , ^W ^v ^c%?Vr^k^77M>f 

tor that weuidJee 3 a case of ' the few prevailing over i r . /. 

the many' with the r Feini. ,. If they depart there is 

. *, -fa"*" ^* " t* 4 *' ^yAi*v/>j 

nothing due t$ the&xbut r cam cuisc/ or 'longing of 
disease,' or 'allabruig nae;' fey-4hese ftre-'due to // 
them after the three years-of exemption : it is after ,'* *<* 
this heckles for his right^ whoever he be that deems it 
easier to give additional pledge than ' smacht '-fines ; 
it is for the good of every kind of person who has them. 

What is lawful i.e. the swarm bound to, and additional pledge, i.e. a 
pledge of two ' screpalls.' Or 'smacht '-fines, i.e. for the swarms. For that 
would be the few, &c., i.e. his one swarm against the many swarms of the 
other man. If they depart, i.e. if they dispose of them by sale, i.e. utterly* in b Ir. Quilt 
the fourth year. There is nothing due, i.e. nothing else is due to them from clean - 
the lands. For these are due, i.e. these are due to them from the others, 
after the years during which they are in freedom, ft is after this he sues, 
i.e. after the third year. For his right, i.e. for the departure, or for the swarm. 
Whoever, i.e. whatsoever person it be to whom it is easier to give a relieving 
pledge for them, Le. a pledge of two 'screpalls.' 'Smacht'-fines, i.e. for the 
swarms. It is for the good, i.e. it is for his good, or it is ceded to every kind 
of person who has them, or it is a choice. 

Of the innate rights in bee-judgments with the 
Feini are the cases of those whom they may injure 
while they are being destroyed, or removed, or taken, 
or in being viewed over thy dwelling at the time of 
their swarming. It is unlawful for them if they sting 
anyone in passing by them on his path, who does not 
do them harm or any thing illegal ; for this is the 
blood which is entitled to a full meal of honey for the 
man who was stung in this instance, with proof from 
him that he did not kill the bee which stung him ; for 
if he has killed it, its__firime^wil^pass-iik-e that of 
every other animal. 

Whom they may injure; indicia wound in destroying or killing them. Or 
removed, i.e. from any one vessel (hive) to another. Or taken, i.e. from 
topsof trees or from precincts. In being viewed, Le. in viewing them over his 
habitation. At the time of their swarming, i.e. at the particular time 


fx. Y. J <"-> !t'~t\eJlwnJ' frm cf 1ffcUX/>v ?/" 

r~n*s -mMm- 

Ivrfafcr iwu' < 

178 bech 

BEE-JUDO- beicfoiceT>o cup. 5x1 roicno $u luac. Crecbca Tsoib.i.if inTjligeTj T>oib 
MENTS. j-^g ^oyio^o in-opaige-o 15 T>ut feocu po^ m conaip,. 1n|\,ui)\er; .1. in 
copbac gu napni. Ma T>ene olcc.1. a mayibca. CCnnfiecc.i. uini^nigi- 
T>ec^tiT) 501-01 |iiu .1. buala-o na cey. CC|x ip ef eve .1. uain, if ipTje putl 
^aile"faic pp. TJO mil inci. [Vuil, yocuinn.] 01x501 bdiep, .1. vo|x a 
caban, anT> in yopgoiii- La pi yi .1. la pt 1 tuige o naei_eapu [.1. tuige a 
;in co nap inapbay;caix y^e in beac p,o gonafcap. e .1. f\\ 
fflapbchaix ^IT> .1. atiiail m cac i 
i fvob ceccnicac, ocuf aca T>il in cinaiTj 


77UX- ' 

. TTIaT) ruil no phaecha, l rrJp i ^ 1 ai |^ cq^qiann , 
"^Tn iercrwii nmie, cip,Lefci\a t>ia choch T)ib ' 

^ V ^- * , l*V*l* l 

a piach. CGji if t cecna bfvech in rp cec^an&ce-D 

trr^aJLO c ft) OtA-SiU' tO ^t,SS.,i-/)t 

1 im chinca bech ton conaill caech caeclince been. Oach 

i.> rf-ttfh*U' tim^ HLwu**Kr . t<ii?tVi t 

ni cemnach comiTiubaiar appa plaic. Cpbe]\c a cmn ponf 

- jwi^w^vf 1 . . 1 

is-tTi pefibacaifi bech, "oc^ 1 !^^ 6 /] 1 1r T on.echala.ulni 
ocup firiiti imbi . CCi^ iff iftii-oiu ajicec f och^aiDe^cinai'D 
tf^tU^^ noenpip, naT) f.ot\uc1^fcacaii title, la peirte; amaUrianc . 

-SvC kJw 1 r-or><^ eca JP' la COTlcc rl mucca T>o. cediiiae, no f en sonajffi ' 

J-JM1W I- <ij-r? tun&n^ IfustMH-tr t 

L-raU''- a dchc'fttiais Tnaqi, nctcni'O^lq rpicep, awvchacn na 

i*vrf . M<**6' cCfff-^r^f 

jpfopchach fofi nech fain-one-oach, TMjienafi in pe|i 
jurfW , r^n. ua'oaib 111 le, iilT'Do noch^acfki|i uile irroilf e. 

" T AW ^ (*,. * /v ac/' ' wtA ' ^^ 


TTIaT) full, .1. ma-6 fuil caecaf pav. 1ff iY<uiT)iti, .1. if an aet 
eaT>a if in aip-ilcmsit) ye cuyx cn-amT) pon, na teafcrxaib uile, .1. fo\i na 


cea|x;aib. Cip leycixa, .1. gibe leafcajx tub coicer anT). CCrx cec a , 
,<rviach, .1. curaTj'na v'ac, -1. ceiy ifm caero ^pin^na beic.) CCip if i l 

- - 

viac, .1. curaTjn , -. . 

cecna bfiech , .1. uaiix if i feo ce-o bpeac rxusa^ VP- conatl t)O caeca- 
oaW bach TII cem^acTi, .1. feicim nomt)fai5)m cona-Daingeculac 
naiftnT) T)O bih^ef Comnjubaric, .1. guix cuirxe-6 lie dy- a laicemnar-. 
T3 ciberic a ell i n , .1. cusa* a cm yorxf an ^eafv 05 a Turtxroari beich ma 

i ^ood o <Ae *Kn. It is doubtful whether the word " pocuinn," which is on 
the right hand margin of the page in the JIS., was intended as a gloss on 'yuil.' 

Coaall Catch, For Congal's charges against Domlmall, King of Temhair, see 
Battle of Magh Rath, published by the Irish Archaeological Society, Dublin. 



that the beeg send forth 'swarms soon or quickly. It is unlawful for BEE-JI-DO- 

them, i.e. it is unlawful for them if they attack any one in passing by them 

on the way. They sting, i.e. the profitable worker with a weapon. Who 

does not do any harm, i.e. killing them. Or anything illegal, i.e. the 

illegality of stealing as regards them, i.e. to strike the hives. Forthisistte blood,i.e. 

for this is the blood which is entitled to as much honey as is sufficient for a man, 

i.e. blood on the skin. 1 Who is stung, i.e. on whom the stinging is inflicted 

here. With proof, i.e. with proof by oath from that particular individual, (i.e. 

oath by him alone), that he did not kill the bee which had stung him, i.e. a test of ""* 

bloodshed or violation. For if he has killed it, i.e. like every animal that %* 

is forfeited at the time of its crime, or like every vicious beast of first crime, which 

is itself a sufficient payment for its crime. j r ^ n( j 

If it be an eye that nas been blinded, it is then '* 
required that lots be cast u-pon all the hives, and on '" 
whichever of the hives it (the lot) falls, it shall pay 
the fine. b For this was the first judgment passed first " Ir - 
concerning the crime of a bee in respect of Conall op^/f" 
Caech, 2 whom a bee had blinded. ^S^^o^m- 
lrair-eame-4indj^eniayod him from his kingship. He 
charged the man who owned the bees with the injury, 
and this is the judgment which was passed by the 
Ulstermen and the Feini respecting it. For it is in 
this instance, the many become accountable for the 
crime of one, although they all have not attacked, 
according to the Feini 5 as a beef which is torn by b~^- <$V^W -w, 
dogs or pigs or cattle, or a man who is wounded in 
^tlaevan of a great army, when no test or proof is c ir. At 
found against a particular person, the 'eric -fine in- ' ' 
curved by the one man is paid by them all, or they 
all are forfeited. 

If it be an eye, i.e. if it be an eye they have blinded. It is t h e n require J, 
i.e. in that particular case, it is required that lots be east upon all the vessels, i.e. 
upon the hives. On whichever of the hives, i.e. whatever hive it (tfiglot) shall 
fall upon. It shall pay the fine,>> i.e. the fine shall fall on it, i.e. the hive ol- f, HJtrtrNtJ' fa 
iL-liiMi flip lw>a_hiivo naiigpH flicliliriHlng F or this was the first judgment, 
i.e. for this was the first judgment which was passed in respect of Conall whom thet fajo 
had blinded. The king of Temhair came, i.e. I insist or maintain that he dwells 
on a royal delightful hill. Removed him from hi kinyship, i.e. that he 
was deposed from lib chief tainship. lie charged with thoinj ury, i.e. Ikeftnefor 
his injury was charged against the man who had the bees in his possession. This 

VOL. IV. N 2 

/ fi'ft lO^ 

ISO becl) bfieeha. 

BKE-JUDG- an,r-UT>. Vlocli if 1 bn.ech, .1. peicim cona-n i feo bp,ear; i\u5aT> 05 
MENTS. utsaib itne. CCin. iff i|*ait,.i.riif OT eawifin,.i. 1 oon brveat 
ocuf 7)011 caeca* tec itin, fochaiT>e, .1. 111 ce<f mil i cmai* in ctenpn, .1. 
in aen be'cV SocnaiTje, .1. in fatge no in cef. TloenviTii ' ' m 
s beat -DO in cueccro. 11aT> von.uc1i atticaf., -1- ocuf nocon. v"cc- 
. mli ^o n.ein. mT> f?enecaif. CCmat ma|ic, .1. ariiait map.c 
50 na conaib. Wo cecnrxae, .1. co na ceacn,aib. tlo vet* 
, -1- no in vean. soncan, a udic flflaig tnoip., mi cocrxanT>, no cum- 
cabaijvc cia -oib; no conro -oileaf a man-bai) icip. nP ocu f Tiuirle ' 1tt 1* 
to tielot) ciric. La mtcetv, .1. ocuf noco tmmcenacn. OCttflcliacIt, .1. 
uai-atceafcujaT) -pena nacn uataib 7>o n,onaT>. POIXC Tin ch vf- 
^aiiiTin,eT)acn, .1. irrvoenariifl^'F t inec T>ib 50 " 

.1. ictat\ m vean iiaicib mle on cftuag, no o na 
.1. in 

> !f Hi apum pop-, bpichemnaib 1 nibec bpechaib becti 

ceeechca gaibee cpann huapal_nemiT>, nach ni apu a 
beim m cpamT) po bic mT) nemiT), na a|ti "Dan? a 


"DligiT) pep "DO Tiaeeee, bef buna'Dach T)oib, epmn a 
jo -ocopaiT) co cen-o eeo]ia mblia^an, acne if ont) nemu-o 
a mmcoimee; ocupif 'Deotai'D aepian eicpepmbunanD; 
a cpian naitL T)o nemtiT) 1 fuiTiijcliep; a epian naill 7)0 
cnip -ocunelae. O clia na eeopa bli^ona m "Dlig pep -m 

btmaie cuic mDib ace rmacliea T)cJneocb t ma ptiapafae 

< op55m a cipe. 

W 1 avum .1. noco nuyu tium i mbn.eiiemnaf na mbeac m niyeai 
am fxomaiiTo. becVi cecechca .1. beic ceccaro aic no ait>e 1 mbun 
cn.ainT> uarat neimii) v^aca no ectaya. W ac h 

a beim .1. nocon 

c t ialtlT) T>m btin - V bit .1. vo Tjaigin m neimit) ap a c-p.anT> 
, e. M a af u .1. nocon tif u a cua^luguT) ay na mbeac. 

i The tree. Huish remarks that bees kept in an apiary in the vicinity of the 
woods, when they send forth their swarms, have always a propensity to lodg 
themselves in a tree, which is in their vicinity, because it is their natural and 
primitive habitation 2nd edition, p. 191. 
Crevecaur thus expresses himself : 

" One of the problems most difficult to solve, is to know when the bees will 
jwartn, and whether the swarm will remain in the hive provided for them, or 


i s the judgment, Le. I maintain that this was the judgment which the Ulster- BEE-JUDG- 
men passed concerning him. For in this instance, i.e. for it is in this par- MEKTS. 
ticular case, i.e. concerning the judgment and the blinding, it goes among the 
many, i.e. all the hive for the crime of the one man, i.e. of the one bee. The 
many, i.e. the swarm or the hire. Of the one, i.e. the bee which caused the 
blinding. They all have not attacked, i.e. they all did not attack Conall 
according to the ' Fenechus'-law. As a beef, i.e. as a beef which is found with 
the hounds. Or cattle, i.e. with the cattle. Or a man who is wound ed, 

i.e. or the man who is wounded at the van of a great host, as regards casting lots, vartil t* HJY< > * <^W</ / f 
Bcd which of theui ; or it is lawful to kill them, whether vicious beast or man, 

after eluding justice. When no test or proof is found, i.e. and when there 
is no proof positive. Test, i.e. noble testimony denying that it was by them it 
was done. Or proof against a particular person, i.e. a proof against 
one of them in particular. Is paid, i.e. the crime of the one is paid /or by them 
all, i.e. by the host, or by the vicious beasts. Or they are all forfeited, 
i.e. the swarm is forfeited for the crime of one bee. 

It is not easier for Brehons in bee-judgments to 
decide concerningTbees that have taken up their 
lodying in the tree 1 of a noble dignitary, with respect 
to which it is not easy to cut the tree on account of 
the ' nemedh/ nor is it easy to release them. 

The man who has watched them, who is their frt^A**^- 
original owner, is entitled to one-third of their pro- 
duce to the end of three years, but they are to be 
minded by the ' nemedh '-person ; and the third 
which reaches the original owner is as a gratuity; the 
other third is due to the ' nemedh '-person in whose 
tree* they fix themselves ; the other third is due to * ir. with 
the land on which they feed. From the three years w ^ c > M> llh 
out the original owner is not entitled to any share in 
them except ' smacht '-fines^iFthey should come to 
trespass on his land. 

It is not easier, i.e. I do not consider this easier in the judgments of the 
bees than what we have mentioned before. 6 Bees that have taken up, i.e. b Ir. The 
bees which have taken possession of a place or lodging in the tree of a noble ^"9 'J 01 " 
'nemedh,'- of a chief, or of n church. It is not easy to cut the tree, 
i.e. it is not easy to cut the tree at its base. On account, i.e. on account of 
the 'nemedh' whose tree it is. Nor is it easy, i.e. it is not easy to release the 
bees therefrom. 

escape to establish themselves in the cavity of some tree; for when, by means of 
their emissurir-, they have chosen thcin-ctves a retreat, it is not possible to retain 
them in any hive which you may select for them" ib., p. 191. 

182 becti bfiechcc 

.1. oli?;i'& in i?eayi bif ma coitiiTOeactbeaf bee ma 
comcticecc. bef buimTiacri .1. -Donecc if eafv buriaiT) T>o|b. ffuctn a 
ocofiai-o .t. tfuan a coifiait> co ceanT> ceoyia Ttiblm'6an -oifi tia nibeac. 
CCcbc 1 <f otiT) tiemut) .1. accmgitn if o neirhet), o pfi m cjiaiti-o, a nitn- 

i- coimeT) fiif in fie pin. 1p -oeolaiT) -1. ip -oeolaTicaiTie m cfuan tictnfi 
bunanj; ipe cuit> in T>eoUtif>, nucun eigen T>oa coimer). CC cifiian naitt 
.1. a cfiian eite no netriieT) i furoigtiiT, no patnaigciifi tat) .1. fea^i m-o 
pea|xaitiT). CC tjuan naiLt .1- ocu|> ni he in ?a.-o 1^ bete veafa \ mbun 
op.aint) uayat neimit>, ce mii,micTie|x yyxi ci|\, m ^1 be^ie^p ace 1^1 tiemecro. 

/0 Ni T)li5 v 6 !' 1 ' noco T>li5enT> pep, bunani CUIT> T>ib .1. peajx na tneac 
CCcc iptnachca .1. na faice,no cmn cm]pc. "Doneocli m a fiuafafac 
.1. ini ^m ma-oia \v> m-o^m^ea. ^\tm -oo\i^om a pea|iain75, ma beac bead) 
acayutn Tioiasaii] m cipe ete. 


Oeic eafa i mbtin cfiaurD uafat neimiti, T>a cfiian 
ann, ocuf cfiian t>ifi tia nibeac 511 cearra cfii tnt)liaT)an, ocnf if 
Ditef tup, ni cfianiT) ica> o ca fin amac. 

beic cuncabayicaca 1 tnun cj\amT) tiafal neimiT), ceo|\a ceat- 
fucrnti 15 pifi fn cfiaiiro, octif ceaqrtarhce aj fiTV 11 a tneac 511 ceanT) 
cfii Tnblia'oan, ocuf ip wlef tup, in qiaint) iar> o ta fin miac. 
xo beic eafa a nibafifi cfiainT) uaf ail neirinf), cfxian Tififi m cfiainti, 
ocf Tia cfiian T>fifi na mbeac ju ceant) mbliaT>na, ocuf if Ditef 

na mbeac o ca fin amac iaT>. 

Oeic cuncabafiraca 1 mbafifi cifiainn tiafal neimiti, leac T>fifi 
m cfiainT), ocuf leac tifnx na mbeac 511 ceanT) mbtiatma, octif if 
'Tntef T>fi|v na mbeac iaT> o ra f m amac; no, gumat) np|\ in 

1 Known bees. That is, bees which were watched when swarming, and identified 
in the tree of a dignitary. 

' To trespass. Huish mentions cases of serious injury inflicted on animals by bees, 
when swarming, or being robbed. 

"A man who did not perceive that he was in the vicinity of a hive on the 
point of swarming, tied his ass to a post; the hive Bwarmed, and fixed itself oh 
the muzzle of the ass; the patience of the animal could not brook the strangers, 
and it began to rub its muzzle on the ground. The indignation of the 
Bwarm was roused, and the animal was so stung that it died in three days" 
p. 192. 

The Abbe" della Eocca, relates a curious anecdote. 

"A person, not very skilful' in the management of bees, was appointed to deprive 
a hive of part of itg honey, and in the operation he wounded the Queen bee. 
She immediately issued a most plaintive cry, and the bees attacked instanta- 
neously all the spectators and the animals in the vicinity. A horse of the 
archbishop's was by chance tied to a tree contiguous to the apiary, and it was 
attacked with so much fury, that it broke the reins, and took refuge in country 


The man, &c., is entitled, i.e. the man who accompanied them ,in their BEE-JTJDO- 

and overtook them is entitled. Who is their original owner, 'he. who MEXTS- 
is their original possessor. One third of their produce, i.e. the third of 
their produce to the end of three years belongs to the owner of the bees. B u t b y 
the 'n erne dh,' i.e. I make a condition that it is by the 'nemedh,'by the owner of 
the tree, they are to be minded during this period. It is a gratuity, i.e. the 
third part which comes to the original proprietor is considered a. gratuity ; the 
force of the word 'gratuity' is, that he is not obliged to mind them. The other 
third, i.e. the other third is due to the ' nemedb '-person with whom they fix or 
settle themselves, i.e. the owner of the land. The other t h i r d , i.e. and it is not 
while they are known bees 1 in the trunk of the tree of a noble ' nemedh '-person ; 
although they are accounted for the land, it is not it that gets thii third part but it is 
the ' nemedh'-person. The original owner, & c., i.e. the original owner is not 
entitled to any share in them, i.e. the owner of the bees. Except ' s m a c h t '- 
fines, i.e. the swarms, or 'cain cuisc.' If they should come, i.e. this, is 
jo if they should" come to trespass on his land,* if they have bees to trespass on the 
other land. 

--" t> As to known bees 3 in the trunk of the tree of a noble ' nemedh ' 
two-thirds of their produce are due to the owner of the tree, and 
one-third to the owner of the bees to the end of three years, and 
they (the bees), are the property of the owner of the tree 4 from 
that out. 

As to doubtful bees in the trunk of the tree of a noble ' nemedh,' 
three-quarters of their produce are due to the owner of the tree, 
and one-fourth to the doubtful owner of the bees to the end of three 
years, and they belong to the owner of the tree from that out. 

As to known bees in the top of the tree of a noble 'nemedh,' 
one-third of the produce is clue to the owner of the tree, and two- 
thirds to the owner of the bees to the end of a year, and they 
belong exclusively to the original owner of the bees from that out. 

As to doubtful bees in the top of the tree of a noble 'nemedh,' 
one-half their produce is due to the owner of the tree, and one-half 
to the owner of the beea to the end of a year, and they belong to 
the owner of the bees from that out ; or according to others, it is to 
the owner of the tree they belong. 

house, but the bees pursued it with so much acrimony, that it mounted the stairs 
of the first story, and burst into a room full of company, to whom it was no doubt 
an unwelcome visitor" p. 191. 

3 Knotcn bets. This commentary is found on the lower margin of the MS., p. 
23, and that which follows, on the top margin of same page. 

* Owner of the tree. Iluish says that in Poland the inhabitants have no regular 
bee-hives ; and he adds, " Every peasant who is desirous of rearing bees, goes into 
the forest or district belonging to his master, without even his leave, makes a 
longitudinal hollow aperture or apertures in the trunk of a tree, or in the collateral 
branches, about three feet long, one foot brond, and about a foot deep, into which he 

*"" '' - -Us, 

184 bech bpetha. 

BEE-JUDO- Qeic earai mbun cnaint>iril nemif>, leac DCII\ in cnamt>, ocur 


_ leac T>pfi na tnbeac ju ceant> cp,i mbltcroan, ocuf 1^ Tttlef 
in qiaini) iat) o ca pn imac. 

beic cuncabaficaca 1 mbun cfiam-o ifit tieimif>, ocuf leac ocuf 
^ocrtiiai) 15 p|i in cjxamti, ocuf leac genmoca occmai) 15 pfi na 
nibeac 511 ceanT) cfii nibliafian, ocuf if -oiler ^'If 1 1t1 c]\ainD o ca 
fin amac. 

Pep, o nelac beic iniaig if t>ij\ cic feo. 1n can acbefi, an bech 
cm con, cm cechfia, mitiala m ch^anncbain, pn nama, ocuf nagu 
, nmyoala coincma'D DO beich T>oib fo chucfiurnnia. 


Mi apu a^cnte bech ceccapclina gaibce bafip, nemeT), 
no maigin, no bfiac fcaficha ; ap, cam T)imec int> nemit) 
n4. ni 'OQJDccufiec, Ache .1111. neluTtaig TKtchuifin la Pjine, 

7/3 Tia Tl1Tri tierne ' D ' De Tia Tiuine j^bech 'Do^.coifte'* 

ifcan>-cu poinTDil, ocuf eoloTDaig pne, pep, aifim 
ben aflui a cam Ian am n a, ocyj: ben no pep, aplui 501 p,i 
a machap,|no achap,, mge mat) nee na T)ama coip. tap, 
pecacai'De ; ciT) efi^e ni Tim nemet) T)e na t)uine in 

neoch ma popaccbqfc)T)uine oip,n5ne "Oief pjn mbi coip, 

e. M ^^ 

LtU (HU V ) 

beich cecechca jaibce bafip, nemiT), no maijin, no 

deposits his beea, leaves them some food, but pays very little further attention to 
them, until late in the autumn. When after cutting out some of their honey, and 
leaving the remainder for their maintenance, he secures the aperture properly 
with clay and straw against the frost and inclemency of the approaching season. 
These tenements, if they may be so called, with their inhabitants, and the produce 
of their labour, then become his indisputable property: he may sell or transfer 
them ; in short, he may do whatever he pleases with them ; and never is it heard 
that any depredation is committed onthem, except by the bear. Vid. note 2 , p. 
170, supra. 


As to known bees in the trunk of the tree of an humble ' nemedh-' BEE-JUDO- 
person one-half their produce is due to the owner of the tree, and MENT8- 
one-half to the owner of the bees to the end of three years, and they 
belong to the owner of the tree from that out. 

As to doubtful bees in the trunk of the tree of an humble 
' nemedh '-person, one-half their produce and one-eighth go to the 
owner of the tree, and one-half, except one-eighth to the owner 
of the bees to the end of three years, and they are^ the property 
of the owner of the tree from that out. 

To the man from whom bees have escaped abroad this properly 
applies. When it (the law) says " the crime of bees, the crime of 
hounds, the crime of cattle," this has reference to the casting of 
lots only, and not to the co-balancing of crimes between them in 
equal proportion. 

It is not easier in this other case to decide con- 
cerning bees that have taken up their lodging in the 
top of the tree of a ' nemedh'-person, or in the field, or W 
on the spread sheet ; for the ' nemedh'-person well 
protects what comes to <liim^ except seven fugitives, t" 
mentioned by the Feini, which the ' nemedh ' of God 1 * * ' 
or man 2 does not protect : bees that have migrated, 
and a waftderittg-fchief, and a fugitive from the tribe, 
a man who has stained his weapon with blood,* ir. A. man 
a woman who has fled from her matrimonial contract, weapon. 
and a woman or man who has fled from maintaining 
his mother or his father, unless he (the father) is a 
man who has not cededjustice after he has stolen 
goods ; b forjidih-respeet to^his no ' nemedh '-Derscmof b i r . After _ 
God or man protects tJ*erBaan- J who,lias left. plunder ajj'.j' 

f^-a^fKlMj^H/f^ f ff brhjrrn, t if f^-rfJii fri-Mm fr TlMfn'. 

behind him which should have been returned. 

As to bees that have taken up their lodging in the 
top of the tree of a ' nemedh '-person, or in a field, 

1 'Nemedh' of God, i.e. the ecclesiastical tlitmitary. 
B Of man, i.e. the lay chieftain. 


186 becfi 

BEE-JUDO- ty^^ rconcha, mtiT) Tieme'D rnian contra co cent> 

MKNTS. )jLy 

aTJtia, in Tia qimn aile T)o pip, T)ot>aecec bejj btmai'oacn * 
T>oib, ache if o fUiTnti a nimcomec, an ifDeolaiTi aqamn 
ace an nemeD. 

f tl i af .1. no'coriyuf u arvaile, gne eile, 110 ni 1ui]pa 111 111 reo, n Ce ccne- 
clica .1. beic ceaccaiT) aic noaiT>e/na in 111 TxotnainT). Oa|\n, nemet) 
.1. cficnnTi uay^ait neimiT). tlo maigtn .1. ayi na mtugib amutc- tJo 
b^vac ycaixcno .1. no bfiac T>O pgaileT) an, a cint>, ocuy pain, caiinyic . 
"Dimec .1. ai^nei-6 leac co iroictient) m neme-o in m cic cuige fo\>. a 

, r conian,e. CCclic .un. .1. na .un. neici etaiT) arro^-Do cam m-oeafa no 
rnT>ipn m-o pemecnaiy. bech T>O coi^tec .1. voxtat-D amac .1. tocliaf- 
taic tiaT). 'Cai'D cu pomTJily .1. m 5at)aise .1. in ct btf pon, 
gm incite, amail com, ay gac ma-o i nmoT). OotoTiais .1. m ci 
co nmnle a -ol^eD con,uya pm. pen, ain,m netrxs -1. veaf, -Deaixg 

is'cLaiT)eni ifm cn,ic ian.f an man,baT> "eef^se. ben aytui .1. m bean 
a ixiajait m tanamnaiy.^ ben .1. mgen. V e 1^ - 1 - mac - 
.1. T>on mnaei- W o ach an, .1. -oon in,. 

TTla ca ceaccujcrD afi a clap.aT) no ccp, caetac na caelle, 

ocuf nocon tut ^op, a beacaib, if beic eafa 1 nibun ep.aint> ifil 

^neimiT) T)o ^la^ait yiiu. TTIa ra ceacrtijuf) ^ofi a beacmb ocuy 

nocon tut ayx a ctafiat) no ^on. a caetac, if beic cuncabaiiraca i 

cp,aim) ifit neinut) TDQ 
t^ecTD if bun am?, jacmaip, nac ipecayi a necrcaiafgafiaTi gen 
tecroficro m ciaaint). 1feat) if bcqfifx aniD, gac uaip, p>a pecap, a 

jf necafifjafia'D gen tetifiaTJ in cfiai'nt>. 


Comifvain-D cp.1 nibtia'oan po^i b[eacaib] bona t>i5iaef, octif 
comfiaint) blmiina fo\i beacaib ba^fi. Ceat-p.aimce a coT)a 
beyief cuncabaiific o p\i beac Tiogixef, 511) i mbun 5175 i mbafifi 

C 'S a '' 3Ce ba^P- - 1 - Sabaic i tnban,n, qxainti tiayal netmiT). CCtliT) 
neniet) .1. ain.ilcnigi'o in neimeT>, pean. In cfiamt), cynan a con,aiT> 50 
ceanu mbliat)na ; co cen^o ceojxa mbtia-oan cacn con,aT) miach m can 1^ 
bun gabaic ; co ceanT> ceon,a mbliaTian cacti rofuro amuich ocuy if t>o 

By killing. A word in the gloss hre is illegible. 


or on a spread sheet, the 'nemedh '-person is entitled to BEE-JUDO 
the third part of the produce to the end of a year, ' 
the other two thirds are due to the man who caught 
them and who is their original proprietor, but they 
are to be minded by him, for the one-third given to 
the ' nemedh '-person is a gratuity. 

It is not easier, i.e. this other case is not easier; another version, or this thing 
is not easie^ Their lodging, i.e. bees that have taken possession of a place 
or habitation ; this is not easier than the case beforeui- Top of the tree of a 
'nemedh'-person, i.e. of the tree of a nbTJTe 'nemedh'-person. Or in the field, 
i.e. in the fields abroad. Oj the spread sheet, i.e. or a sheet which was spread 
ont a before them, and on wWh they rest. P r o t e c t s , i.e. be it told by thee that the * Ir. 
' nemedh '-person protects the thing which comes to him under his protection. E x- 00> 
cept seven, i.e. the seven things which abscond, and which the-' Fintchus '-laTv 
-mentions or rec