The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory. Four Volumes (1905)
Book ID: 63580
The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory. With a Preface by The Most Rev. Dr. Brownrigg, Lord Bishop of Ossory. Four volumes. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker, 1905. First Edition. Pp (1) xxxi, 300, folded map at rear; (2) viii, 397; (3) vii, 512, folded map; (4) vii, 433. Profusely illustrated with plates and text illustrations. Publisher’s olive green boards, front covers ruled in gilt with crest of the dioceses gilt embossed in centre. Scattered foxing to preliminary leaves, light water staining to upper margin of frontispiece plate of volume (3) otherwise a very good set.
Autograph letter (loosely inserted) signed from Rev. Abraham Brownrigg to the publisher’s commending them of the quality of this edition & enclosing payment for ten copies ordered. Rev. Brownrigg served as the Bishop of Ossory from 1884 until his death in 1928. He wrote the preface to this edition & there is a frontispiece portrait plate of Brownrigg to volume one.
The first volume gives an overall history of the diocese from its pre-Christian Celtic origins through its various Bishops and Clergy. The other three volumes examine Ossory’s parishes in detail. Each parish’s buildings, churches, castles, monuments etc, are described and examined. The origins of townland names are described as are many tombstone inscriptions. The history of many prominent families in each parish is also recorded. The work is distinctive in the richness of its illustrations. The newly emerging art of photography is extensively employed. This gives the volumes accessibility to the novice lacking in other works of the same period.
The actual writing took six years between 1897 and 1903. Of the one thousand sets printed 840 copies were eventually sold, the remaining 160 were lost in Dublin during the 1916 Rising. The work was well received on its publication and although other diocesan histories exist, none match it for its scope and depth.