Geoffrey Keating: History of Ireland

Scope and Content

Geoffrey Keating's History of Ireland, transcribed by Conchubhar O'Corbain for Seamus og McCoitir (James Cotter junior), September 1709, 206 folios: (fos 10-12v) list of kings of Ireland; (fos 15-29) preface; (fos 30-198) text. On fos 1 and 10 is the signature of James Cotter, 18th century.

Administrative / Biographical History

Geoffrey Keating (1570?-1644?) was born in a village near Burgess in the county of Tipperary, Ireland. He attended a nearby school, before completing his education at university abroad. He returned to Ireland over twenty years later, having been ordained a Roman Catholic priest. Keating preached in the south of Ireland, before settling in the glen of Aherlow, Tipperary, and devoting his time to writing. His history of Ireland, entitled 'Foras Feasa ar Eirinn' (Foundation of Knowledge in Ireland), the preface of which was dated 1629, was the first connected history of Ireland written in the Irish language, and became popular throughout Ireland.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1901.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Keating in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. X (London, 1908), pp. 1162-1163.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.


The history was printed by the Irish Texts Society in 4 volumes, London, 1902-1914.

Geographical Names