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[BIBLE] NEW TESTAMENT, IRISH.

Tiomna Nuadh ar dtighearna agus ar slanuigheora Iósa Críosd ar na ṫarrv,ng go fírin̄ea’c as greigis go goiḋeilg. Re Huilliam O Domhnuill.

London, ar na ’cur a gcló rē Robert Ebheringṫam, an blīaḋam drōis an Tiġerna, 1681.

£3,500

4to. pp. [xviii], 364. [without first blank]. Gaelic letter, preface in Roman, double column with single rule. Title within double rule border with woodcut ornament, woodcut initials, “Vin. Vincent. 1777”, autograph  on upper paste-down. Light age yellowing, minor, mostly marginal, spotting, occasional marginal thumb mark or stain. A very good copy in contemporary speckled calf, covers bordered with a single blind rule, spine with raised bands, expertly rebacked to match, tan morocco label gilt, corners restored. 

Important rare and beautifully printed second edition of the New testament in Irish. Both this edition of the Irish New Testament and the Old Testament were printed in an edition of about 500 copies, in a new type cut by Moxon in London at the expense of the natural philosopher Robert Boyle. This remained the only Irish type in England until 1800. It was Boyle’s profound belief that the Bible should be available in the vernacular language of all peoples around the known world. This put him at odds with the English Ascendancy class in Ireland at the time. There are several variant imprints of the 1681 New Testament. This copy has the English preface by Andrew Sall, together with an Irish translation by Reilly (not present in all copies).

The Irish New testament was first published in Dublin in 1602 and was the work of William O Domhnuill with the collaboration of others including Nicholas Walsh and O Domhnallain the Archbishop of Tuam. “O Domhnuill’s puritan beliefs mellowed over the years and he in died in disillusioned obscurity in 1628 He was in many respects Gaelic Ireland’s equivalent to the great English biblical translator and scholar, William Tyndale (d. 1536). However, the effective failure of the reformation to implant itself over than superficially in Irish soil means that O Domhnuill’s name and extraordinary achievement in respect of the Irish New Testament and the Gaelic Books of Common Prayer (1608) have largely gone unrecognised in the narrative of Ireland’s cultural history. .. The republication of O Domhnuill’s New Testament in 1681, [was] made possible by the financial support and evangelical commitment of Robert Boyle a remarkable figure in seventeenth-century new science. … With a view to having the 1602 New testament reprinted Boyle engaged the assistance of Andrew Sall (d. 1682) member of a Tipperary Old English family and a former Jesuit .. Boyle funded the casting of a new font of Irish type, produced by the printer and globe maker Joseph Moxon in London and modelled on the type produced by the Irish Franciscans in Louvain. .. Sall in his preface to the New Testament, paid warm tribute to Boyle’s generous support fo the publication of 500 copies.. Sall urged those able to do to read the holy book frequently. Clergymen were requested to read it aloud to their Irish-speaking congregations, while pious fathers were instructed to have it read to their households ‘in lieu of Romances, and other idle or noisom Divertisements. Moreover, foreigners in Ireland who wished to learn the country’s lannguage could do so by comparing the Irish New Testament with the equivalent in their own language. finally it was incumbent on those student divines seeking to minister in Ireland ‘to procure such knowlege in the language of the Natives, as may enable them to help and instruct the Souls committed to their charge.. Knowlege of Irish on the part of the clergy was essential as there were ‘many Parishes, Baronies and whole Counties, in which the far greater number of the Common People do understand no other language but Irish. Sall’s preface was translated to Irish by OReilly [who] also revised O Domhnuill’s text in matters of vocabulary and spelling in order to align the translation to the text of the King James Bible of 1611.” The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, C. 1530-1700.

ESTC. R211457. Darlow & Moule 5533. Wing B2759D

L3092