Mobile menu

Arts and crafts from around the world

Attributed to Sir Christopher Nugent, 5th Baron Delvin (1544-1602)

Facsimile of the Irish language primer commissioned for Elizabeth I c. 2011

14 x 17.5 x 1 cm (book measurement (conservation)) | RCIN 1102695

Your share link is...

  Close

Facsimile of the Irish language primer commissioned for Elizabeth I, c. 1564

'Among the manifold actions … that beare testymonie to the worlde of you maiestyes greate affection, tending to the refformation of Ireland, there is noe one … that more euydent showithe the same, then the desyer your Highnes hath to vnderstande the language of your people theare.'

This Irish language primer was composed for the Queen by Sir Christopher Nugent, Baron Delvin, He had been introduced to the Queen in 1564 at Clare Hall, Cambridge, where he was a student from 1563, and this volume may have resulted from that meeting. It is one of the earliest works to attempt to explain the Irish language to a non-Irish speaker, and to have Irish phrases translated into both Latin and English. As well as the introduction in English, it also contains a history of the Irish Language in Latin and a description of the Irish alphabet.