The Leabhar na
g-Ceart (Book of Rights)
Edited by O'Donovan
|The Privileges of the kings of
The tributes of the king of Aileach and his stipends
here, and his tributes from his territories, and his
stipends to them.
A hundred sheep and a hundred cloaks and a hundred cows
and a hundred hogs from Cuileantraidhe.
Thirty hogs and thirty cows and thirty wethers from
Three hundred hogs and three hundred cows and three
hundred wethers from the men of Lurg.
Three hundred cows, three hundred beeves, a hundred
tinnes from the King of Ui Fiachrach.
A hundred beeves and a hundred cows and a hundred hogs
and fifty cloaks from the Ui Mic Caerthainn.
Three hundred hogs, three hundred cows, three hundred
beeves from the Cianachta of Gleann Geimhin.
Ten hundred milch-cows, a hundred beeves, fifty oxen,
fifty hogs from the Fir Li.
A hundred milch-cows, fifty hogs, fifty cloaks from the
A hundred beevs, a hundred milch-cows, fifty cloaks from
the men of Magh Iotha.
The free chieftainships of Aileach, i.e., Tulach Og and
Craebh and Magh Iotha and Inis Eoghain and Cineal Chonaill:
of these the learned man, viz., Benean, son of Sescnean,
The right of the king of Aileach, listen ye to it.
Among the oak-forests immeasurable
He is entitled to income, no trifling tribute,
From the tribes and from the Forthuatha.
A hundred sheep, a hundred cloaks, a hundred cows
And a hundred hogs are given to him,
From Cuileantraidhe of the war
to the king of Aileach laboriously.
Three hundred hogs from Tuatha Ratha2
Three hundred cows with copious milk,
Thirty wethers in the yellow month [August]
Are due to the king of Aileach, all.
Three hundred hogs from the men of Lurg3
Three hundred cows, not small the wealth,
Three hundred wethers living
To the king of Aileach of the spacious house.
There is due from the king of Ui Fiachrach4
Three hundred cows, - not a promise of words,
A hundred beeves and a hundred heavy tinnes5
To the king of Feabhal of the ready ships.
A hundred beeves from the Ui Mic Carthainn6
And a hundred hogs, - 'tis not very trifling,
Fifty cows, a lawful payment,
Fifty cloaks with white borders.
Three hundred hogs by which the north is replenished
Three hundred cows to feed the host,
Three hundred beeves, wealth for war
From Cianachta7 of the abundant store
1. unknown territory
2. NW Fermanagh; O Flanagan chieftains tributary to Maguire.
3. Barony of Lurg, in the north of Fermanagh. O Maelduin were
chiefs, tributary to Maguire.
4. Ui Fiachrach Arda Sratha (Ardstraw) NW Tyrone. To be
distinguished from the Ui Fiachrach of Connacht.
5. tinnes: a hog killed and salted.
6. Descendants of Forgo, son of Caerthainn, son of Earc,
grandson of Colla Uais. Tirkeerin, a barony of Londonderry
7. Race of Cian, son of Ailill Olum, king of Munster. Barony of
Keenacht, Londonderry. In the possession of O'Conor of
Glengiven; displaced by the O'Kanes in the 1th century.
Ten hundred milch-cows from the people of Li1
A hundred beeves, it is the award of truth,
And fifty oxen of Oxen
with fifty hogs of heavy bellies.
A hundred milch-cows from the Tuathas of Tort2
Fifty tinnes, fifty hogs,
With fifty colored cloaks are given to him
From Dun-na-h-Uidhre3 in one day.
A hundred beeves from the men of Magh4
And a hundred milch-cows full rich,
fifty cloaks, an award of tribute
To the intrepid king of Aileach.
There is not due from Tulach-Og5
A tribute to the king of Feabhal of the banquets,
Because it is in its proud land assumed
the sovereignty over the men or Eire.
There is not due out of the Craebh
A tribute to the king of Aileach of comeliness,
There is not due from Magh Iotha
A tribute of tax for their fair territories.
1. Fir Lir of the Bann, descended from Colla Uais. Territory
of Magh-Li, west of the Bann. Driven across the Bann by the
2. The Ui Tuirtre, seated on the east of the Bann and Lough
Neagh, in Antrim. Descent: Colla Uais.
4. i.e., Magh Ith. An esxtensive plain in the barony of Raphoe,
Co. Donegal, named after Ith, the uncle of King Milesius, who
was slain there.
5. A branch of the O Cathainns (O'Kanes) called Fir na Craeibhe;
west side of the lower Bann.
There is not due from Inis Eoghain
A tribute to the chief king, nor gratuity,
There is not due of the race of Conall1
A tribute, or custom, or white [unwrought] wool.
Those are the tributes of the king of Aileach;
No one is learned who does not well know them;
No king is entitled to reign or rule
Who does not maintain his right.
These are the payments and stipends of the king of
Aileach to his chieftainries and tribes, to refection and
The king of Aileach himself, then, when he is not
king of Eire, is entitled to sit by the side of the king
of Eire at banquet and at fair, and to go before the
king of Eire at treaties and assemblies and councils and
And he is entitled to receive from the king of Eire
fifty swords and fifty shields and fifty bondmen and
fifty dresses and fifty steeds: these for the king of
Aileach. He distributes his stipends thus:
Five shields, five swords and five drinking-horns
and five women and five bondmen and five steeds to the
king of Cairbre Droma Cliabh.
Five shields, five bondmen, five women, five swords
to the king of Cineal Aedha of Eas Ruaidh.
Six steeds, six shields, six swords, six
drinking-horns, six blue colas and six green cloaks to
the king of the Cineal Eoghaine.
1. The inhabitants of Tir Chonaill; families of O'Maeldoraigh
(O'Muldory), O Canannain (O'Canannans), O Domnaill
(O'Donnell), O Buighill (O'Boyle), O Galchobhair
(O'Gallagher), and O Dochartaigh (O'Dogherty).
Five steeds, five shields, five swords and five
cloaks, five coats of mail to the king of the Cineal
Seven women, seven bondmen, seven steeds, seven
swords to the king of Cineal Lughdhach.
Seven bondmen, seven women, seven swords, seven
drinking-horns, to the king of Inish Eoghain.
Six steeds, six drinking-horns, six swords, six
shields, six hounds to the king of Magh Iotha.
Three steeds, three shields, three swords and three
drinking-horns to the king of the Ui Fiachrach of Ard
Three steeds, three shields, three swords, three
drinking-horns to the king of the Fir Luirg.
Three steeds, three shields, three swords, three
green cloaks to the king of Craebh.
Three women, three mantles, three tunics to the king
of Ui Mac Caerthainn.
Three steeds, three shields, three drinking-horns,
three swords to the king of Cianachta Gleanna Geimhim.
Six bondmen, six horses, six swords, six shields to
the king of the Fir Li.
Three women, three bondmen, three steeds to the king
of Ui Tuirtre.
Fifty bondmen and fifty dresses and fifty cloaks and
fifty coats of mail to the king of Tulach Og. Of this
division and distribution Benean sang thus as below,
O Man, if thou hast gone northwards
Across Magh Iotha of the hardy border,
Tell the stipend of every one
From the king of Aileach of the serene brow.
When over noble Eire reigns not
The king of Aileach of the vast tribute,
He is entitled to sit without fail
By the side of the king of Eire of noble mansions.
Fifty swords, fifty shields,
Fifty bondmen, - it is a great debt,
Fifty dresses, fifty steeds [from this monarch]
to the king of Aileach of high decisions.
Entitled are his chieftains of prosperity
From the king of Aileach of the armed battalions,
After resting from a hard march, I have heard,
To stipends and gifts.
Five shields, five swords, five drinking-horns,
Five steeds, five women, great their hilarity,
To the king of Cairbre of Druin Cliabh1
From the king of AIleach of grand bridles.
Entitled is the king of Cineal Aedha2
To five shields, five slender swords,
Five bondmen brought over the bristling surface of the
Five fair-haired, truly-fine women.
The king of the Cineal Boghaine3, the firm,
Is entitled to five steeds for cavalry,
Six shields, six swords, six drinking-horns,
Six green cloaks, six blue cloaks.
Entitled is the king of Cineal Eanna4
To five beautiful, powerful steeds,
Five shields, five swords of battle,
Five mantles, five coats of mail.
Entitled is the king of Cineal Lughdhach5
To seven swords for hard defence,
Seven women, seven bondmen, early,
Seven noble steeds to the hero.
1. Barony of Carbury in the north of Sligo.
2. Race of Aodh. Barony of Tir Hugh, Donegal.
3. Race of Eanna Boghaine. Territory of Tir Boghaine, present
barony of Banagh, Donegal.
4. Race of Eanna, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages; barony of
5. Tribe name of the O'Donnells. Original territory from the
stream of Dobhar to the river Swilly.
Entitled is the king of Inis Eoghain
To six bondmen, - no great gratuity,
Seven steeds, six women [brought] over the sea
Seven beautiful horns for drinking.
Entitled is the king of Magh Iotha
To six beautiful steeds from other countries,
Six drinking-horns, six swords, six hounds,
Six fair shields from beyond the seas.
Entitled is the king of Ui Fiachrach Fionn
To six beautiful steeds at his good lake,
Three shields, three drinking-horns, three swords
From the might-deeded, noble king of Aileach.
Entitled is the king of the Fir Luirg, the hero
To three beautiful steeds brought from over the deep
Three shields, three polished swords
And three brown drinking-horns.
Entitled is the king of the Craebh to a gift
Three strong steeds, as stipend,
Three shields, three swords of battle,
Three green cloaks, of even color.
Entitled is the king of Ui Mic Caerthainn
to three tunics with golden borders,
Three beautiful, fair mantals,
Three befitting bondwomen.
Entitled is the king of Gleann Geimhin
To three bay steeds assuredly,
Three shields, three drinking-horns, three swords
Every year from the hand of the king of Aileach.
Entitled is the king of the Fir Li of the lake
To six shields, six swords of battle,
Six slender, proud horses
And six bondmen of great work.
Entitled is the king of the northern Ui Tuirtre
To three swift horses for cavalry,
Three women with fair heads of hair
And thre large, enslaved bondmen.
Entitled is the strong king of Tulach Og
To fifty prosperous bondmen over his fields,
Fifty swords, fifty steeds,
Fifty mantles, fifty coats of mail.
Here is the history of Niall's race
I find it in books, clearly;
Benean's faithful hand, without reproach,
Was the one that wrote it there, O Man.