The Story of Ireland
In 1905 Professor C.A.L. Totten published “The Story of Ireland” which we have condensed and are presenting here.
The early history of Ireland is common, neutral, middle ground for all concerned. Its facts, fancies, legends and lore belong to all classes of Irishmen. They are also shared by all who speak the current English tongue without regard to any present tribal, political, religious, social or mystic bonds and ties; because Irish history begins chronologically far beyond the days of Deborah and the Assyrian captivity of the Northern House of Israel. (720-718 B.C.)
American history is Britannic in the colonial degree down to 1776; or even to 1783,when our independence from the mother country was acknowledged under the seal and signature of King George. Whatsoever belonged to the mother country previous to 1776 belonged to us, and to our forefathers. We are as old as England, for we come from those same generations and inherit everything in common.
Indeed, now that all bitterness is foregone, and only a fraternal but distinct demarcation left, we can afford to take pride in all that marks so great an empire as our ancestral land had grown to be; nor, even as strict “home-rule sons of Erin,” can we escape this inheritance, nor shut our eyes to the fact that no little of the prominence of Britannia’s rule is due to the prowess of rich Irish brawn, and brain, and blood, lavishly expended whensoever there was common cause for the independence of “the twin islands” from any phase of Continental interference.
Like its lost mines of tin, of gold and silver; its vanished arts of filigree work and inimitable Damascene weaponry; the secrets of Ireland’s Ogham and old Gaelic runes, its hidden rites; Drudic, Baalistic, and even Judaic, yield little to the modern literary prospector and antiquarian, save such sure “signs” of the wealth there must exist below the surface.
There Solomon obtained his tin and copper; thither Hiram, King of Tyre, sent his Phoenician fleets. To its classic halls, long before the days of Caesar, all Europe sent her sons to finish their education. It was Plato’s Ogygia, The Ultima Thule, or farthest western island known to the ancients; the “land afar-off” that Paul aimed to reach and probably fond. But between Plato and Caesar’s day it was so lost to general geography that even the legions of Rome never ventured to invade it.
It was “Scotia Major,” and the Romans found sufficient prowess among its descendants, who had emigrated and settle in Scotland (Scotia Minor) centuries before, to warrant their walling them out of southern England, over which they did not obtain a temporary tenure for some 5oo years.
For 1000 years at last, circa 580 B.C. to 520 B.C., i.e., from the days of Jeremiah, who founded (as its Ollahm Folla) the Mysteries of Tara, to those of Patricus the Priest, who cursed its ancient halls; there is little proof of direct intercourse between Ireland and the Continent, save such as we obtain from the brief notes of Caesar and Tacitus.
But there is unbroken evidence of the intimate relations between Ireland and Scotland from Fergus I to Fergus II; and the records of Four Masters, of Iona, Columbo, Dun-Staffnage and Scone, togther with the humorous intermarriages between the royal lines of Ireland and Scotland, authentic beyond controversy, establish this to be so. Indeed, with Wales the intercourse was never wholly ruptured but continued as the result of the inroads of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, who drove the ancient Britons into the fastnesses of Wales. Because these ancient Britons (later the Welsh) were descendants of a kindred tribe to those who began the earliest permanent settlement of Ireland the bonds, resting in a common relationship, were never entirely broken.
When the Tuatha de Danaans (Tribe of Dan), abiding hitherto in ships, began to abandon them upon reaching their goal; the Sacred Island of the west, its fraternal shipping tribe of Simeon (The Silures) settled in southern Britain; and subsequently both peoples recognized Tea Tephia, “the daughter of David,” as their queen. “Taffi” (derived from David: Davie) is to this day as familiar a patronymic in Wales as “Jerry” (derived from Jeremiah, the ancestral guardian of Tea Tephi) is in Ireland.
The early story of Ireland is the “KEY” to Western history; it fits every tumbler in the lock; in its westward course empire went straight to the Hesperides, there to recover its strength; then curved its course as if to embrace all the islands into its eddy, north (via Armagh and Tyron), east (via Iona, Dun-Staffnage, Scone) and south with Edward to Westminster Abbey.
Let us then glance over the topic which is so comprehensive in its claims to its possibilities; and its promises! For when Tara shall have been thoroughly explored, and its “ancient things” exposed to modern gaze, all these things shall be no longer mysteries. My intention is to put before those who have but scant means and opportunity to glean the facts for themselves a miscellaneous array of facts, fancies, legends, lore and history relative to Ireland, or “Innis Fail,” once at Tara, now at rest in Westminister Abbey, as the coronation stone of the United Kingdom of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.
Let us approach our subject at once and continue our theme with a broad summary of the story of early Ireland; concluding with a review of the matter, spanning from the very dawn of history, via Palestine, Egypt, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, as stepping stones, to England’s capital, Lan-dan, or London, where the capstone of empire now rests. Such an excursus will put the matter in a most popular way before those who should be most concerned as to the story of the land of Erin, or Jrin, whose prominent Land’s end is Jenacaron, a word compounded of Jerusalem, and acra within Jerusalem.
Homer tells us that Ulysses, immediately after the taking of Troy, sailed to the Atlantic island, ten days beyond the Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar), that he there found Calypso, the daughter of Atlas, seated as queen, and that on account of its antiquity it was called Ogygia (see the Odyssey).
A school boy needs no further data to put his finger on the spot and as the mythological Atlas was the son of Neptune, whose name was Father Dan, or Poseidon, we can see at once that Calypso was a daughter of this Hebrew tribe, to wit, the Tuatha de Danaans, or the Tribe of Dan; who, abiding in ships, set sail for the west and received empire and the stone of empire on their shores, when subsequently Jeremiah brought the harp of David, the Ark of Israel, the title deeds of Palestine and the famous Lia Fail, which spells both ways, and looks both ways, to Innis Fail; the Isle of destiny. It is around these topics that the romance of our story lurks, and we doubt to that in the near future, the spade at the mounds of Tara will unearth treasure trove of immense value to all future ages.
Cuneiform characters were usually impressed on tablets of clay. Since clay is indestructible, except by the agency of man, we may well suppose that in cities like Tara old libraries and records have survived to the present day. There is good reason for believing that a repository or “mergech,” which is the Hebrew and Irish word therefor, exists at Tara, as all tradition avers, in which something must be deposited Antiquarians, and particularly those enlightened as to the origins of early Ireland, have felt for long that the time has come when it would be very desirable to search for that repository.
The unanimous traditions of Ireland indicate that Jeremiah, via Egypt and Spain, and touching perhaps at Denmark, rounded the northern part of England and came down to Ireland in a Phoenician ship bearing great treasures. This treasure was eventually stored in Tea Tephi’s tomb at Tara. Jeremiah’s own tomb is pointed out as Loch Erne in the Island of Davenish. His bust is in Ireland’s capital, and it was he who handed to Baruch, his scribe, and who accompanied him to Ireland, the title deeds of Palestine, with the instruction to bury them in an earthen vessel against their need in the latter days.
We take it that he did so in the 60-foot cubic mausoleum or “mergech,” underneath the mounds at Tara. It is therefore natural to suppose that, if this is so, and the stone of empire is of so much importance (even if only be from sentimental considerations), the possession of such a stone as the coronation stone of Great Britain would be a strong guarantee of empire. Indeed, this is the very idea that has accompanied this stone throughout history. The old runic verse, as Scott relates it, is about as follows:
Unless the prophets faithless be,
And seer’s words are vain,
Where e’er is found this sacred stone
the wandering race shall reign.
The word “wandering” comes from Succoth, or Scoth, whence Scott, then “Scotia Major,” which is Ireland, and “Scotia Minor,” which, via the Dalraids is Scotland. Verily, these four peoples, English, Irish, Scotch and Welsh, have wandered into all the angles of the earth, dwelt in booths derived form the same word Scoth, and have been scouts or pioneers around the world, and forever in search of the ten lost tribes of Israel.
They did not dream that destiny, as well as prophecy, and its interpretation,, has put upon them every mark of identification. Accordingly, to possess this stone by the sometime enemies of British rule, has been a great desideratum, and many schemes have been laid to obtain it. I can mention but one, as follows:
“Of all the schemes indulged in by the dynamite men, none seems to have been more far-fetched than that of a certain stone from within the walls of Westminister Abbey. This was the famous ‘Stone of Scone,’ which serves as the seat of the coronation chair in the Abbey. To an outsider the possession of such a stone as this seems of no importance whatever. Yet, ludicrous as it may appear, the idea of securing it gave rise to great enthusiasm and led to a very generous subscription with its object. According to the originators of the scheme, this ‘Stone of Destiny’ was really the property of Ireland for 1000 years before Christ, and upon it were crowned the Irish kings for hundreds of years on the sacred hill of Tara.
“Its restoration to the land of its original and only lawful owners, it was contended, would inspire confidence in the course then being pursued, and the people would be strengthened by the well-known tradition ‘that so long as this stone remained in Ireland, so long would she remain a mighty nation,’ wile its loss to the English would work wonders. Elaborate preparations were made for carrying out the scheme. Men were sent from America to work in conjunction with certain Fenians in London, and it was decided that some of the conspirators should secrete themselves in the Abbey and at night seize the police, remove the stone and pass it out through a window to others who would be in waiting outside to take it to a place of safety. For months these men waited and waited, but the opportunity never came, for one of the group gave the whole thing away to the police, and the detectives who surrounded the sacred edifice made the seizure impossible. In the end the three principals had to leave the country for fear of arrest, and the whole affair ended in smoke; as usual.” (Extract from Twenty Years in the Secret Service, by Maj. Henri le Caron, government spy on the Fenians)
The more we delve into authentic history the more remote the antiquity of Ireland becomes; and naturally it is from unprejudiced chroniclers that we obtain our most valuable data. Let us, therefore, continue our excursus through the pages of authors who never heard of “Anglo-Israel,” nor dreamed of any of the uses by which subsequent and independent discoveries lead us to make out an origin and destiny for our race, with their assistance in corroboration, that is indeed “Fail” or “wonderful!”
All ancient historians agree that hordes of Scythians emigrated to Egypt and from thence to Spain; why, then, refuse credit to the Irish annalists, who are unanimous in asserting that a colony of these Scythians from Spain settled in Ireland? (History, Rev. State of Ireland, p. 7, Francis Plowden, 1805)
Besides the common use of the Phoenician language by the native Irish to this day, there are many proofs of their descent from the Scythians or Phoenicians that put the question out of all doubt. That the Carthaginians were a Phoenician colony has never been questioned, and, like other colonies, they carried their language with them.
Plautus, who wrote his plays in the second Punic war, introduces into his “Paenulus” the character of Hanno, a Carthaginian, into whose mouth he puts several Carthaginian (or Phoenician) sentences, which baffled the learned to decipher until these speeches were later alternatively considered, and became perfectly intelligible to the Irish scholar. The ingenious and learned Lieutenant Col. Vallancey, whose unexampled proficiency in the Irish language has rendered his researches into the antiquities of that country most useful to the public, has given an accurate collation of these Punic speeches with the Irish, as now spoken.
He found them to differ little more than the difference provincial dialects of the French, and even of our own tongue; and infinitely less after a lapse of 3000 y ears than modern English differs from what was in use four centuries ago. They are also to be found in Sir L. Parsons’ Defense of the Ancient History of Ireland. History. Rev. State of Ireland, p. 6, Francis Plowden, 1805)
It is to be expected that the ignorance of the editors and printers of Plautus should often misplace the syllables and run one word into another in a language which was not understood. Col. Vallancey has corrected this dislocation of the words and syllables, and thus rendered the whole legible to the Irish, without altering a letter. The curious reader may wish to set a specimen of this wonderful similarity, or rather identity, of the Phoenician and Irish languages:
Carthaginian, as in Plautus:
“Bythlym mothym noctohij echthanti diasmachon.” Proper intervals arranged by Col. Vallancey: ‘Beith liom! Mo thyme nocto thii nel Ach anti dias naccoime.” Irish: “Beth liom! mo thym nocto thii nel ech anti dias machon.” Translated into English: “Be with me! my fears being disclosed, I have no other intention but recovering my daughter.”
Carthaginian and Irish, without the change of a word or letter: “Handone silli hanum bene, silli in mustine.” Translated: “Whenever she (Venus) grants a favor, she grants it linked with misfortunes.” Carthaginian: “Meipsi & en ete dum & a lam na cestin um.” Irish: “Meisi & an eiste dam & alaim no cestin um.” Translated: “Hear me and judge, and do not too hastily question me.” *History Rev. State of Ireland, pp. 6-7, Francis Plowden, 1805)
The possession of a vernacular language at this day, which was in general use above three thousand years ago, is a defiance to historical fiction had falsity, that Ireland alone, amid all the nations of the universe, can proudly boast. The ancestors of the Irish were undoubtedly Scythians, or, as they were afterward called, Phoenicians.
Reckoning from today, 3000 years minus 1905 A.D. (Original date of publication),takes us to 1095 B.C., i.e., as far back as Saul’s era, 2909 A.M. In those days the ships of Dan and Tyre plied the Mediterranean Sea and out into the Atlantic far and wide. And measuring from Plowden’s day takes s to 1195 B.C., or into the judgeship of Tola, in the days of Obed. But dan had already, even from the days of Deborah, “abode in his ships” for more than three score years.
There happened about the year of our Lord 1418, a very notable transaction which proved the high estimation in which the Kingdom of Ireland then was, ever had been, holden by the learned of Europe. At the council of Constance the ambassadors from England were refused the rank and precedency which they claimed over some others. They were not even allowed to rank or take any place as the ambassadors of a nation, as the advocates of France insisted that the English, having been conquered by the Romans, and agin subdued by the Saxons, who were tributaries to the German empire, and never governed by native sovereigns. Should take place as a branch only of the German empire, and not as a free nation. The English advocates, admitting the force of these allegations, then made claim for precedency and rank from Henry’s being monarch of Ireland only, and it was accordingly granted.
It is a point universally agreed upon, that the early Greeks were in a state of savage barbarity, in the most extensive meaning of the word, for a considerable time, until a set of people from Egypt came to settle among them. With these strangers came arts, agriculture, letters, legislation, and religion. But though these luminaries came from Egypt, yet it is agreed that they were not an Egyptian but a Phoenician colony. There is no fact in ancient history better ascertained than that the first polishers of Greece were these Phoenicians, and that the alphabet they communicated to them, like that of Ireland, consisted of no more than sixteen letters. But though this is universally admitted, yet the Grecian historians are by no means in unison as to the time of this reformation.
The substance of their findings may be reduced to this. Agenor and Belus, whose antiquity is so remote that, according to their fabulous manner of writing, their fabulous manner of writing, they have made them the sons of Neptune, or the sea, early agreed to separate.
Belus resided in Egypt, and married the daughter of Niulus, by whom he had children. Agenor settled in Phoenice, and became the father of a numerous race, among whom were Cadjus, Phoenix and Cilix. Indeed, Josephus treats their pretenses to history and antiquity with the highest contempt; for “though,” says he, “it is acknowledged that they received their first letters for the Phoenician Cadmus, yet, for want of public registers, they are not able to produce any testimonies of this, or indeed of any other point of high antiquity which might be depended upon. ‘Not so,’ continues he, ‘with the Phoenicians, the Chaldeans, and with us (the Jews) who have from remote antiquity, by means of registers, and the care of persons particularly appointed to this office, preserved our histories beyond all other nations.” May not this report of Josephus on the Greeks be, with equal propriety, applied by the Irish to the enemies of their high antiquity; the only thing they have left to boast of! (History of Ireland, p. 15, O’Halloran)
It is then manifest that this relation of the polishing of the first Greeks must have been, through the neglect of these public registers, preserve by tradition only; and that, in after periods, when the Greeks, in imitation of other polite nations of antiquity, began to cultivate history, they committed these relations, such as they found them, to writing.
But, unable to trace the precise periods of these transactions, they gave them the best form they could. Our history will, however, I think to universal satisfaction, clear up these difficulties, and prove that even tradition itself in history is to be despised. In those days the bards committed the entire body of national tradition to memory verbatim. We see the two brothers, Agenor and Belus, agree to separate: Belus marries the King of Egypt’s daughter, and settles there, while Agenor remains in Phoenice. Can anything come nearer to the relating by our historians of Niulus, the second son of Phenius, settling in Egypt, and marrying the daughter of Pharaoh, and of his elder brother’s ruling in Phoenicia?
Whether the early ancients understood the use of the compass in sailing I shall not inquire, though confidently affirmed by some moderns; and that this, with the purple dye of the Tyrians, the malleability of glass, etc., were afterwards lost. In the days of Solomon, voyages to India were frequent, and we find took three years. If them, the ancients knew not the use of the compass, they certainly must have known that of some other instrument equally useful, besides the polar stars at night and the sun in the day.
The Irish have always prided themselves upon having kept up a longer succession of monarchs than any other kingdom in the world. This race of kings the Irish call Milesian, all of them having descended from Heber, Heremon and Ith, the three sons of Milesius, who headed the expedition from Spain.
In the year of our Lord 1170 one of the princes of Ulster boasted to Pope Alexander III of an uninterrupted succession of 197 kings of Ireland, down to his time. From the Ptolemaic canon, extended into the Victorian canon, and covering a straight line of 184 monarchs from Menophres, 1322 B.C., down to Victoria’s jubilee year, I have discovered that the average reign of each one of the entire list was 17.5 years.
Hence the period required by the Irish monarchs, who actually appeared thereon, or in their own lists, is 197 times 17.5 years, which equals 3,448 years. This takes us back to 2278 A.M. (3448 minus 1170) or 1721 B.C. (Some 65 years after the Flood, 1656 A.M. which proves that the flood was not world wide), ALL OF WHICH IS AGREEABLE TO CERTAIN IRISH TRADITIONS REFERRED TO BY O’HALLORAN, AND BY WHICH IS LOCATED THEIR ORIGINS IN THE DAYS OF MAGOG, MAKING THEIR MIGRATIONS START AT THE DISPERSION FROM BABEL.
THE ITEMIZED LINE OF THE ROYAL PEDIGREE OF IRELAND CAN BE TRACED BACK FROM HEREMON EVEN TO ADAM WITHOUT A BREAK, and down to Edward VII (now to George VI), with heraldic accuracy; in fact, there are innumerable descendants (collateral and branches of the main stem) right among us, as, for instance, the Saltonstalls, in all of their connections, the Stuarts, the Washingtons, etc., who derive their genealogy from this perennial stream. But this is no time to demonstrate the matter it is merely stated as a fact. It is sufficient then to register the claim, for they are the pioneers in, and thus the real “vade mecum” of, royal genealogy as such.
Hence they were anciently called Scoti, by an easy transition from Scotis, by an easy transition from Scuthi, Scythians, or “wanderers,” which appellation, in process of time, remained only appropriate to north Britain, which was inhabited by a colony from Ireland. Venerable Bede generally calls the Irish “Scots.” James I, upon his accession to the throne of England, boasted to the Parliament that he derived his pedigree from the Irish dynasty.
The singular phenomenon of reptiles, which are elsewhere venomous, is too curious and too generally spoken of as fabulous, not to be noticed (here he is speaking of the Jews, but just does not name them because of fear of the Jews as so many of the older writers were). The native Irish have ever attributed this singularity to the prayers of St. Patrick, before whose days, they affirm the island to have been overrun with these noxious creatures.
Personally, I attribute this legend as to Ireland’s immunity from venomous reptiles to a far earlier incident, to wit, the arrival of Jeremiah in Ireland about 580 B.C., bringing with him, not only the Lia Fail, and the regalia of the Davidic line, but principally the Ark of the Covenant! The Bible shows clearly the effect its presence had upon the land of Philistia, when it was captured. It was overrun with vermin, emeralds, etc., so that the Philistines, perforce, sent it back to Judea with a quantity of golden mice as a peace offering to the god of the Jews.
A somewhat similar prodigy seems to have occurred upon its arrival in the land of the Druid’s “Eron,” 1,000 years before St. Patrick the Second arrived, and may have been subsequently attributed to him, because of the other notable events attendant upon his own mission to Erin.
Let it not be forgotten that one of the derivations of Erin is from “Eron,” which is the Greek and Irish word for ark, and that this ark of Israel was put into the particular custody of Jeremiah, who brought the daughter of David, Tea Tephi, to Innis Fail. Those who are interested in this particular phase of the romance of the Atlantic island of refuge and renown, will find the biblicalography of the topic rich in standard authorities, such as Urquhart, Dean Stanley, Lowerly, Dr. Joseph Wild, “The Annals of the Four Masters,” the elder Petrie, Sir Flinders Petrie, Peter Pineda, O’Halloran, Spencer, et cetera. We might even quadruple the authorities who have been attracted by the romance and mystery that surrounds the stone and its original owners.
At a very early period Christianity made rapid progress in Ireland. On the arrival of Magonius or, as he is generally called, Patrick he found there a hierarchy already established, which, for a time, seemed very unwilling to acknowledge his superiority. I STRONGLY SUSPECT THAT INSTRUCTION IN CHRISTIANITY CAME TO IRELAND FROM THE EAST AS THE RESULT OF TRADE CONNECTIONS RATHER THAN BY WAY OF ROME BECAUSE IRELAND RIGIDLY ADHERED TO THEIR EASTERN CUSTOMS, AS TO TONSURE AND THE TIME OF CELEBRATING EASTER. Added to this is the fact that the ancient Irish church preserved privileges and immunities peculiar to itself.
Archbishops and bishops were appointed without consulting Rome; bishops were multiplied at the will of the metropolitans; they even consecrated bishops for foreign missions, and these missionaries, in many instances of discipline, actually opposed the mandates of Rome; as Columbia in Scotland, Finian and Colman in England, Columbanus in France, St. Gall in Germany, etc.
For more than five centuries after the death of St. Patrick we scarcely trace any vestiges of correspondence or intercourse between Rome and Ireland, and in this interval, in many instances we find Rome looked upon several of our missionaries with a jealous eye. (History of Ireland, p. 19, O’Halloran)
Now let it be noticed that this is the evidence of O’Halloran, one of the foremost and best accredited historians and chroniclers of Ireland itself. It is “exparte” evidence, pure and simple, in its plain statement of the facts, and we have little doubt but that data will eventually be discovered that will demonstrate that Paul himself, during his seven-year disappearance in the west, spent principally in Great Britain, found ample opportunity, occasion and duty to run over and lay the foundations of the true church of Ireland, even as John is practically said to have done in Iona, and as Paul actually did, even in Rome itself, before any other apostle had ever visited it. All of this appears plainly in the Acts of the Apostles, and the testimony of the early Christian fathers, and is plainly intimated in his epistle to the Romans. (Life of St. Paul in Britain, by Morgan)
However dim the record may be the fact is at least certain that with wonderful rapidity the Gospel reached the shores of Britain and Ireland soon after it was first promulgated. One of the most illustrious of the immediate successors of the apostles, Justin Martyr, most positively declares that there was not a nation, however barbarous, known to the Romans in his time (140 A.D.) In which Christianity was not planted. In his time Britain was an integral portion of the Roman empire, full of flourishing colonies. It was one of the most cherished of the provinces of the Caesars. The Roman soldiers defeated Boadicea’s army in 61 A.D., just when the apostles were at the height of their evangelical career.
Some remarkable statements are made by ancient Christian historians. Theodorus, Bishop of Cyprus, says: “The apostles persuaded even the Britons to receive the law of the crucified Lord. Paul, after his release from his imprisonment at Rome, went straightway to Spain, and thence hastening away to other nations (Ireland?), carried the light of the Gospel to them also; that he, Paul, having gone into Spain, brought salvation to the islands (note plural!) That lie in the ocean?
The Keltic Countries of Western Europe
The Keltic countries of Western Europe, when first invaded by the Romans, were all civilized. Their condition was much higher than history, directed by Roman influence, is accustomed to admit. It would be unwarranted and improbable assumption to suppose they had, at that time, the highest condition of civilization they had ever known. They must have declined with that decline of Phoenician power and commercial enterprise which interrupted their communications with the East. But they still had intelligence, wealth and importance.
We can see tat their skill in many of the arts of civilized life was nowise inferior to that of the Romans themselves. They had a literature which, in some countries, was abundant and important, although the Romans give us no account of it. If Roman scholars had carefully studied the Keltic language, literature and antiquities, and faithfully recorded the result of such studies, we should not now begin our histories of Great Britain with the invasion of Caesar; nor would the most presuming historical skepticism fail to treat the ancient history of that part of Europe with some respect.
In the time of Julius Caesar, Turdetania and Ireland appear to have had the most advanced condition of the Keltic civilization. Turdetania, like most of the Keltic countries of Spain and elsewhere on the Continent, became entirely Romanized. The Turdetani forgot their language, lost their literature, changed their manners, and were so entirely transformed by the conquerors that Strago said of them:
“They have for the most part become Latin.” The Romans did not go to Ireland, although, in their time, its commerce, wealth and culture made it the most important of the Keltic countries. On this point Tacitus says, in his life of Agricola: Melius (Hibernae quam Britanniae) aditue portusque per commercia et negociatores cogniti;” that is to say, “the ports of Ireland are better known through commerce, and more frequented by merchants, than those of Britain.”
Ireland escaped the destructive influence of a Roman invasion, outlived the Roman Empire, and maintained its independence until the time of Henry II of England; more than 1,200 years after the invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar, and about 750 years after the Romans retired from that country.
It is not generally known that Ireland was literally sold, under a quasi assumption of ownership, by the Pope to Henry II, for an extension of the right to collect “Peterpence” therein. The custom was instituted by Ina, 720 A.D., to collect funds for an English college at Rome, and was collected on Peter mass, one penny each from family possessed of thirty pence annual land rent. It was paid by Offa, 790 A.D., by Etherfolf, 835 A.D., and was subsequently claimed by the Popes as a tribute from England and regularly collected till discontinued by Edward III, 1365 A.D., and finally prohibited by Act 25, Henry VIII, 1534 A.D. It was forbidden in France in 1860; but its extension over Ireland in the time of Henry II was at least the origin of Ireland’s loss of political independence.
Consequently Ireland retained its Keltic institutions, laws and literature for more than 1,200 years after all the other Keltic countries had been subjugated and transformed. There was but little internal change in Ireland for a long time after the princes of that country, and it is not very long since it was the prevalent speech in all the provinces. This explains why the Keltic antiquities and ancient writings have appeared to be so much more abundant in Ireland than elsewhere, and why Toland was able to say, with so much truth:
“There remain (in Ireland) very many ancient manuscripts undoubtedly genuine, having incomparably more ancient materials of that kind for their history, to which even their mythology is not unserviceable, than either the English or the French, or any other European nation with whose manuscripts I have any acquaintance.”
In Gaul and Spain the destruction was nearly complete 1,800 years ago. In Britain, which was not wholly transformed by the Roman occupation, no remaining literary monuments of any importance escaped 5the influence of the fierce and successful Anglo-Saxon invasion. Gildas, who wrote in the sixth century, stated that the old Keltic histories of Britain no longer existed in his time, all the ancient books having been destroyed by the ravages of war, or taken to foreign countries and lost by self-exiled or banished natives of the island.
The Welsh books are comparatively modern, and of no great account so far as relates to British antiquity; but the Irish books show us, to some extent, the history, institutions and culture of that country in very ancient times; and we can see in them the truth of Toland’s statement:
“The most valuable pieces (of the Irish), both in prose and verse, were written by their heathen ancestors, whereof some, indeed, have been interpolated since the introduction of Christianity; which additions or alterations, nevertheless, are easily detected.” (So writes Professor Baldwin)
Nevertheless, we need only to refer to the Welsh “Triads,” and indeed the Welsh language itself, to discover its undoubted Hebrew origin. Taliesin, the famous Welsh bard, declares that his source of information was Hebraic, and that “In Hebrew have I sung,” and we could cite as much from him as from Vallancey in these premises.
But to continue, Professor Baldwin goes on to state:
“If we had nothing more than that important collection of laws known as the Senchus-Mor or Brehon laws, there would be enough to show the antiquity of the old Irish civilization and literature.”
This collection is much older than the Christian era, yet it must have been the growth of many previous ages of civilized life; even from the day of Jeremiah and before.
The language in which it was written seems to have become a dead language in the fifth century A.D., when it was revised, “purged of heathenism,” and rendered into the current Irish of that age, under the superintendence of Bishop Patricius, usually called St. Patrick, although the true St. Patrick lived more than three centuries earlier (432 A.D. minus 300 equals 132 A.D.)
It is not certain that the latter Patricius had anything to do with this revision of the Brehon laws, or that he stayed long in Ireland. He did not change the Irish church, which was three centuries older than his time. Some antiquarians doubt his existence; but he was probably the same Patricius who was afterwards Bishop of Auvergne.
This expurgating Patricius, or some other fanatic, did more; he collected and committed to the flames a vast number of the ancient books, desiring, with barbarous fanaticism, to wipe out and hide from remembrance everything that related to the Duridical learning and religion.
The language of its revision of the Senchus-Mor was itself antiquated and dead in the time of Henry II, but he work was studied and used log after that time. It has lately been translated into English. So there were two Patricks, and the latter one seems to have confused the records of Erin’s antiquity (as much as the early one cursed its Druidism), and yet to have gotten most of our current honor! Verily we need to look up the records!
The Irish historical books have preserved a regular list of the kings of Ireland from the earliest times, admits Professor Baldwin, with brief annals of each reign; 136 kings previous to the arrival of Bishop Zpatricius in the year 432 A.D., are enumerated, all royally descended except one, who “was a plebeian called Carbry Cathean.”
Brief annals, kept regularly from year to year, seem to have been very abundant in the olden times, for every local prince, as well as the kings, had his Ollahm (Hebrew for prophet) to write such records. Keating says, in his history of Ireland:
“It is evident that in former times there were constantly more than 200 principal annalists and historians in the kingdom, who had handsome revenues. Every nobleman of any quality retained a number of these learned men.”
The old annals, reproduced and continued from age to age by these men were used by writers of more extensive histories; but in the y ear 1630 A.D.,they had suffered greatly by the waste of time. In that year Ferall O’Gara took measures to secure a careful compilation of such as then remained. The work was done by four Irish monks. This compilation, known as “Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Four Masters,” has been printed in seven quarto volumes, with the Irish text on one page and an English translation opposite.
All the histories of Ireland (and Lavoisine; Anderson’s “Royal Genealogies,” etc.) give substantially the same account of the early times, and of the kings who reigned previous to the Christian era. The greatest event described in Irish ancient history is the conquest of the island by “the sons of Milidh,” or Milesius, who came from Spain with a large fleet and a strong army. According to the chronology of the “Four Masters,” this took place about the year 1700 B.C.; but more probably accounts fix the date nearly four centuries later.
These Milesians had been preceded by other successful invaders. The earliest company of invading immigrants are described as “Parthalon’s people,” who found in the island a people called Fomhoraicc, Fom’oraig Afraic, and Formoragh, rendered into English as Fomorians. These Fomorians are sometimes described as “natives,” and sometimes it is said that they came in ships to fight Parthalon’s people and subsequent invaders. The uniform representation is that they came originally from Africa. It may be supposed that they represent the first communities established or civilized in Ireland by immigrants from the Phoenician or Cushite settlements in Africa or Spain. They treated Parthalon’s people with invincible hostility. After about thirty years, Parthalon died of a wound received in battle with them, and his colony became extinct.
The next invading immigrants were led by Neimhidh, who captured a stronghold of the Fomorians; but after a short time the fortress was retaken by More, the Fomorian leader, who had “a fleet of sixty ships and a strong army.” This defeat was so overwhelming to Neimhidh that most of his people fled from the island to
Britain. A long period elapsed; about 400 years some of the accounts say, before there was another invasion.
Then came the Fir-Blogs, a strong people divided into three tribes, called Fir-Blogs from the name of the principal tribe. They conquered the whole island, and divided it into five provinces; a division, say the Irish writers, that has never been seriously disturbed, except that what is now Munster was then divided into two provinces. But the stormy and battle-shaken rule of the Fir-Blogs lasted only thirty-seven years, during which time they had no less than nine kings, who appear in the lists as the first nine kings of Ireland.
They were displaced by the Tuatha de Danaans, a people evidently more advanced in civilization than any of the previous invaders, who came with a powerful army, and overthrew the Fir-Blogs in a great battle which is famous in Irish annals. Nuadha, king of the Tuatha-de-Danaans, lost his hand in battle, and “Creidne, the artificer, put a silver hand upon him.”All accounts agree in saying the rule of the Tuatha-de-Danaans lasted 197 years, and that they also had nine kings, of whom the last three reigned jointly. Their dominion was overthrown by the sons of Milidh of Milesius.
It can be seen in all these narratives that, in the earliest times to which the records relate, Africa, Spain, and other countries had commercial intercourse with Ireland. The great provocation that led the people of Spain, frequently called Milesians in the annals, to invade the island, was received during friendly visit of some of their people to the Tuatha-de-Danaans. They conquered the whole isand and held it until Ireland ceased to be an independent kingdom. Their language and culture were made predominant, being gradually adopted by all the races and peoples in the island.
Professor Baldwin says:
“These Milesians were Kelts; but some of the earlier invasions must have taken place previous to that Arvan immigration into Western Europe, which, by absorbing the civilized Finnish and Cushite peoples found there, in Spain, Gaul and the British islands, created the Keltic race. Perhaps the Milesians were the first Kelts that appeared in Ireland.”
Hardly, for like them the Tuatha-de-Danaans were pure Hebrews, the former direct, the latter via Phoenicia, Carthage, and Spain to Ireland.
It is not creditable to English scholarship that those who represent it have given no more attention to the old language and literature of Ireland, but the explanation is not difficult. We find it in that invincible scorn and disdain of the English for everything Irish by which the relation between the two countries has been made so unprofitable to both, and so injurious to Ireland in all respects. Without friendly and careful investigation, it has been rudely assumed that the Irish language and literature were not worth attention; therefore, they have been neglected.
It is to be lamented that his important field was not worked carefully two or three centuries ago, when the old manuscripts were more abundant and the language was in general use among the Irish; for much has been lost. Without accepting either the dates, the glosses, or the ethnical speculations of the later Irish writers, we must admit that the general outline and main facts of Irish history furnished by the old records of the country cannot reasonably be discredited nor shown to be improbable.
On the contrary, they are in harmony with what we know, or may reasonably presume, concerning Western Europe in prehistoric times. The monuments of the Age of Bronze, as well as what we know of the antiquity and the colonizing enterprise of the Arabian Cushites, make this Irish claim to antiquity probable, and forbid us to treat it with such contempt as has been so largely bestowed upon it.
This is a case where contemptuous skepticism dishonors those only who indulge in it. Thus it is seen that all who are drawn and devote their study to Ireland are led to the Orient, but not knowing the true descent, fail to reach Gael-lee (Galilee) as the true source of the Gaelic people!
“We know very well, without reading the Irish annals, that Ireland was an independent nation, having its own kings, institutions and civilization more than 2,000 years ago (yes, 2,520 and more years ago!), and that it remained so until its princes, moved by papal influence, submitted to the English (in the days of Henry II).”
Ireland was an independent monarchy in the time of the Romans. Ptolemy described its cities; Tacitus mentioned its importance; and it is prominently mentioned by writers of earlier ages.
We cannot reasonably discredit that portion of the Irish annals which relates to the ages since the Romans began their subjugation of the Keltic countries; nothing but the intolerance of contemptuous prejudice is capable of doing this. So, it is more than unreasonable to reject the Irish claim to antiquity and treat with disdain the older annals of the country.
The Irish people seem to have reached the highest condition of their civilization and culture in the time of the great sovereign known in their annals as Ollahm Fodhla, who reigned long before the Christian era (562 B.C.); but they were eminent for culture in times as late as the Norman conquest of England (1066 A.D.). No one familiar with what is recorded of the history of England, between the time of Hengist and that of William the Conqueror, has failed to observe that Ireland, at that time, was the most enlightened country of Western Europe. It had the best scholars and the most advanced condition of learning. Mosheim says in his Ecclesiastical History:
“The philosophy and logic taught in the Europe and schools in the ninth century scarcely deserved such honorable titles, and were little better than empty jargon. There were, however, to be found in various places, particularly among the Irish, men of acute parts and extensive knowledge, who were well entitled to be called philosophers.”
Among the learned Irishmen of that age was the celebrated Scotus. Gildas, according to his biographer, went to Ireland for education, and studied in its schools “the highest forms of philosophy and literature;” and Camden tells us that “the Saxons, from all places, flocked to Ireland as the emporium of letters.” If the Normans had failed to conquer England, the language and culture of the English race would now be different and we should have been taught greater respect for the language, antiquities, history, and old literature of the Irish race.
As if this were so, we shall how revert to the origin of the Gaels, and in a different strain attempt to show forth the true philosophy now well established, and soon destined to be of a renown equivalent to the fame of its founder. Jeremiah. In the meantime we suggest that those who have followed us in these data collected in Irish bibliography go to their Bibles, too, and try to find out what became of that famous prophet; where he built, and planted; and where he died a natural death, and was buried. There is indeed a “mystery” in “Eron.” who sealed it in the Mergech at Tara?
A slight study of the map will show that Tara is now a somewhat out-of-the-way-place, about twenty-five miles northwest of Dublin. It is some five miles from Kilmerian station on the Dublin and Meath railroad.
In 565 A.D., St. Quadham, along with a posse of bishops and chiefs from the south of Ireland, cursed the city of Tara, so that neither king nor queen might ever rule there again. They forced the government, monarchy and people to abandon the place. From that day Tara has been deserted, has crumbled with ruins, and whatever treasures it possesses remain to this day buried, awaiting exploration and resurrection.
The hill of Tara, although of no great height, stands in a commanding position, being situated in an undulating country, to all appearances of great fertility. The hill of Skreen, some two miles to the east, is the next most prominent object in the district. From the top of Tara’s hill the country can be seen for miles around, owing to the prominent position of the hill, which is on all sides surrounded by gentle slopes interspersed with woods; while looking backward upon Tara form this surrounding neighborhood, the whole locality looks like a plain, so gentle are the undulations.
But this ancient site of Ireland’s famous capital is now of interest only because of its associations, and because of its associations, and because of the possibilities which surround the exploration of its ruins. The main hill or plateau is covered with mounds, between the larger of which, or Cathair Crofin (i.e., near the Frradh), the Mergech mausoleum, or Tomb of Tea Tephi is supposed to lie.
Let us select, then, a few notes form the vast array of chronicles and legends at our hand, in order to establish beyond peradventure the indignity of this investigation and demonstrate that Jeremiah and Ollahm Fola have similar tastes and were continuously contemporaneous enough to be identical.
“Ollahm Fola is celebrated in ancient history as a sage and legislator, eminent for learning, wisdom and excellent institutions, and his historic fame has been recognized by placing his medallion in ‘basso relievo,’ with those of Moses and other great legislators in the interior of the dome of the Four Courts of Dublin.” (O’Connor’s annals of Four Masters, p. 297, notes)
“The ancient Records and Chronicles of the Kingdom were ordered to be written and carefully preserved at Tara by Ollahm Fola and there formed the basis of the Ancient History of Ireland, called the Psalter of Tara. (O’Connor’s Annals of four Masters, p. 297, notes)
“Amongst the most celebrated kings of Ulster, who also reigned as monarchs of Ireland, was Ollahm Fodhla, or Ollahm Foloa, the famous legislator, whose reign is placed by Tryishach O’Flaherty and others about seven centuries before the Christian era. He found the conventions of Taran.” (O’Connor’s Annals of four Masters, p. 412)
“At Tara also was the Mur-Ollah-ham, of the House of the Learned, in which resided the bards, Bretons, and other learned men. (O’Connor’s Annals of four Masters, p. 293)
“When this book was printed the assumption was that the great potentate; Eochaid-Ollahm Fola Heremon Ardri, was not one person but two individuals, a king and his minister. That Eochaid Heremon Ardri was the king; that Ollahm Fola was neither a king nor an Irishman, but that he was a foreigner, a Hebrew and a prophet; i.e., a Hebrew prophet. It is very satisfactory to find now that condition of things which was asserted to be necessary. For the identification of Ollahm Fola with the great prophet to the nations of the Hebrew Scriptures has been most completely shown to be the real state of the case, upon the unexceptional authority of the learned edition of Lynch’s “Cambriensis Ersus.”
Dr. Kelly, professor of history of the royal College of Maynooth, informs us touching the disputed dates used in connection with this illustrious individual, Ollahm Fola; that the time of his existence, had by the balance of deduction of the most learned and dispassionate of their scholars bee reluctantly admitted to be brought as near to the time of the Prophet Jeremiah, without mention of his name, nor any thought of the existence of the individual, as if they had been working to bring out the result.
King Cimboath, dynast of Ulster; the certainty of whose epoch all seem to accept and declare for as one who had had a remarkable death; died at Emania, the place of the Ulster kings, 353 B.C. Added to this, we are satisfactorily informed that the period of Ollahm Fola, according to Fortcherne, is reasonably to be assumed at 230 years before the death of King Cimbroath. This 353 plus 230 equals 583, i.e., the certainty known date of the Prophet Jeremiah, as well as when he could have been in Ireland. (The Date of Jeremiah’s Arrival in Ireland” by Thos. W. Plant)
“IF the word Ollahm” writes a Hebrew friend, “was spoken as relating to a man, it would simply imply that he was a professor of hidden knowledge which was not common to man generally.” He who founded the college of Ollahm was the Ard Ollahm, i.e., Chief Ollahm.
A celebrated bard, Cu-an O’Cochlain, a considerable man, and for a time Regent of Ireland, 1024 A.D., collected the legends which in his day were prevalent concerning this Tara episode of early Irish history, and ran them into a poetic select in, from which we take as follows:
The gentile Heremon here maintained
His lady, safe in an impregnable fortress;
She received form him all the favors she desired,
And all his promises to her he fulfilled.
Bregli of Tea was a delight some abode,
On record as a place of treat renown;
It contained the grand, the great Mergech,
(This is the great Mergech at Tara Hill, the name of the tomb was thought to be Celtic, but now since 1871 is known to be Hebrew and significant, particularly of a place of deposit for treasures, secrets, mysteries, etc. (Jeremiah 32:13-44) Considering the treasures, ark, title deeds to Palestine and various other Hebrew marks of identity which Jeremiah had with him, and which he and Baruch were directed to bury, the explicitness with which the tomb of Tephi is described is noticeable)
The daughter of Pharaoh, of many champions,
Tephi, the most beautiful that traversed the plains,
(Tephi is Hebrew; a pet name, like Violet, denoting beauty and a fragrance of all delicious fruits. It is a cognomen; a surname. Tea-Tephi was the entire surname, like Eleanor, the beloved; Rosamond, the fair. The word does not occur in medieval Irish at all; like Mergech, Tara, Ollahm, etc., it is a pure Hebrew word belonging to the oldest phase of the Gaelle of Vallancey’s contention)
Here formed a fortress, circular and strong,
(Perhaps arched with the “royal Arch” of “Free and Accepted” Masonic tradition over the very arch itself! Or at least vaulted below in a crypt with this mystic arch, and its removable key stone, are in circummetric proportions to the cubical treasure vault or mergech still inviolate, for Tea was immured both within and without her fortress or house, i.e., “Beth.”
Which she described with Breast pin and wand.
She gave a name to her fair fortress,
This royal lady of agreeable aspect,
(Otherwise “The woman with the prosperous royal smile.”)
“The Fortress of Tephi,” where met the assembly,
Where every proceeding was conducted with propriety.
It may be related without reserve,
That a mound was raised over Tephi as here recorded,
And the bier beneath this unequaled tomb,
Here formed for this mighty queen.
It is a mystery not to be uttered.
(There is manifestly a mystery surrounding this whole episode but here we reach the most interior part of it. Suppose we imagine for a moment that in this mergech of Tea Tephi lies also deposited the Ark of Israel! That the school of Ollams established by Jeremiah were in reality Free and Accepted Masons; from whom later, as we can show the ancient Scottish rite descended (Ireland was Scotia Major): these, in this tomb of such large dimensions, perhaps we shall in due time discover. The type of all Royal Arch Masonry)
The length and breadth of the tomb of Tephi
Accurately measured by the sages,
Was sixty two feet of exact measure,
As prophets and Druids have related.
Tephi was her name! She excelled all virgins!
Wretched for him who had to entomb her;
Sixty feet of correct admeasurement
Were marked as a sepulcher to enshire her.
It is asserted that all mankind may know;
That a mound was raised over Tephi as recorded.
And she lies beneath this unequaled tomb,
Here formed for this mighty Queen.
The mournful death of Tephi, who had come to the North,
Was not for a moment concealed.
A meeting was held to select a sepulcher
In the South, as a tomb for the beloved Tephi;
Temor, the impregnable, of lasting resources,
(The “resources” here referred to as so lasting, are perhaps the Stone, the Race, the Ark, the Title Deeds, the Standard, the Harp, the Ollams, etc.)
Which conferred on the woman high renown.
Five hundred years previous to the writing of the foregoing poem, the Irish kings (513 A.D.), oppressed by a consciousness of the “mystery” surrounding Tara’s foundations, assembled there to inquire of the Bards what could be discovered. The session lasted three days. A poem was composed on this occasion by one Amerigin, Chief Bard to King Oesmond, from information communicated to him by an old sage called Fintan. The following verses are a literal translation of this poem:
Temor of Bregia! Whence so called?
Relate to me, O learned sages!
When was the place called Te-mor?
Was it in the time of Parthalon of battles?
Or at the first arrival of Caesaire?
Tell me in which of these invasions
Did the place obtain the name of Tea-mor?
O Tuan! O generous Finnchadh!
O Bran! O active Cu-Alladh!
O Dubham! Ye venerable Five!
Whence was acquired the name of Te-mar?
“It appears to have been once called Hazelwood, and then other names in succession.”
“Until the coming of the agreeable Teah, the wife of Heremon of noble aspect.”
Then the name was changed.
A rampart was raised around her home
For Tea, the daughter of Lug-h’-Aidh
She was buried outside,, in her mound,
And from her it as named Ta-mur.
“The seat of the kings,” it was called;
The princes, descendants of the Milesians;
Five names had it ere that time;
That is from Fordruim to Temor.
I am Fintan, the Bard:
The historian of many tribes;
In latter times I have passed my days
At the earthen fort above Temor.
Log is Celtic for “God,” and Aidh is the same for “House,” hence this makes Tephi the daughter of God’s House! How pointed an allusion s this to Tephi, the daughter of Bethel~ Lughaidh was a man’s name in later Irish times just as Bethel was in Puritan days, as we see in Sir Bethel Codington, a Christian name, etc., and Sir Richard Bethel, a surname, and Bethia, a woman’s name, etc. There were two kings of this name in Irish history, Lughaidh I and Lughaidh II. On the whole, this is as pointed a reference to the daughter of King Zedekiah, who brought the Lia Fail and Bethel. Or Lughaidh, to Ireland as we could want.
The Lia Fail
It is of no small moment that Eusebius, Bishop of Caesaarea, 313 A.D., the great friend of Constantine, mentions the British church as founded by the apostles in person. Let it be noted that the famous and devoted Verantius was Bishop of Poictiers in the sixth century, in the very century at the end of which the Roman Monk Augustine came over from Pope Gregory the Great.
It is most remarkable that Verantius, who as a Bishop in Gaul must be a good authority as to the history of neighboring Britain, actually tells us in express words that “he, Paul, crossed the ocean landed and preached in the countries (plural again) which the Briton in habits and in the utmost Thule!” (Ireland)
What has Britain in her own early records to tell us of her reception of the faith? More than might be supposed. She did not lack faithful recorders, though their preserved utterances are few and brief. Yet they are eminently trustworthy and are not to be mistaken.
The earliest Christian writer in this country whose writings are extant is Gildas, who was born in 511 A.D., and so was contemporary with Pope Gregory and Augustine. This writer says:
“That upon our frozen isle, while shivering with the icy cold of ignorance and heathenism and idolatry, the cheering beams of the true sun; the Sun of Righteousness, shone brightly out a little before or about the time of the defeat of Boadicea by the Roman legions.”
This is a contradiction with a vengeance of the impudent assumption in which our popular history is hashed and pulped into nonsensical silliness, that our forefathers were heathen barbarians for six centuries after the Christian era began, until the monk Augustine came to enlighten them!
What seems to be an authenticated fact is that a great British king, Caractacus and his family were Pauline Christians, that his son was made Bishop of Britain and the Isles by St. Paul; that Prudence, his brother-in-law, was the husband of Claudia, or Gladys, and that King Lleinwiy publicly professed his faith in Christ in the years 156 A.D.
Prudence and Claudia are mentioned in the New Testament:
“Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.” (2 Timothy 4:21)
In the year 230 A.D., Origin writes that “Christ’s power is seen in ?Britain as well as Mauritania.” Not only did the apostles, and not the popes, plant the first British churches, but it is certain that before the Roman hierarchy lifted up its head British victims added their name to the roll-call of suffering martyrs during the great pagan persecution.
Before Gregory and Augustine were born British Christians not only believed in Christ and His Gospel, but died for Him. The first faggot crackled and the first drop of martyr blood hissed in the sacrificial fire during that Diocletian horror which was the last of the ten pagan persecutions, and which began 303 A.D.
The very name of one of the greatest of British saints is a glaring protest against the origin of the British and Irish churches via the Augustinian myth. St. Patrick himself preceded Augustine and St. Alban suffered death during that early age on a hill named after him near the present town of St. Albans. “Then it was,” says the venerable Bede, “that Britain enjoyed the highest glory by her devotion confession of God; and great was the number of her martyrs.”
The proto-martyr of England, St. Alban, offered up his life in the year 400 A.D.
What of the history of the “Coronation stone?” We can trace the unbroken story of the consecutive custodians down to date. And this is what makes the silence of the so-called “learned” so surprising to us. They affect to treat the topic as too trite to take their time, thinking thus to stifle investigation which; we will readily grant, can find no invigorating ozone in their atmosphere.
We doubt if its story can be paralleled by that of any part of the royal regalia of any people upon earth. It may be stated as a fact that legend and tradition, antedating written history itself, but found in such libraries as the Talmud, enable us to go back with it even to the very gates of Eden, and the sacrifice of Abel to find in it (Bethel) Abram’s altar at Bethel; and Jacob’s pillow there; and that it was itself the rock of Horeb, and subsequently at Kadesh Barnea.
We can trace it with Joshua into Palestine, and with Solomon into the Temple at Jerusalem. There, upon it, we an see Joash crowned; “as was the manner” in Israel (2 Kings 11:14; 2 Chronicles 23:11-15) yea, and to omit the bulk of evidence by vaulting the years down to our own day as is still “the manner” in Israel. Upon the self-same “rough Ashlar,” King George VI was seated at his coronation, as were all of his line back to Scotland, back to Ireland, and so on back to Jerusalem.
I am not romancing, my friends, in cavil’s scornful sense; but should it be romantic to your mind, then know that this topic is the very kernel of romance of history itself. Once become enthusiastic in the quest for knowledge of the record of this wandering Altar of the wandering race, and your lost condition in the land of doubt will at once be at an end.
This little stone in the rock-throne of the rock whence ye are hewn, the veritable stone seat of the stone kingdom, “cut out without hands;” the untooled “little stone” that in reality (“Grace! Grace unto it!”) became the headstone of even Solomon’s Temple, yea, its altar of incense and coronation pillar.
Let us resume the story of the Lia Fail. It was taken to Iona, Scotland, by Fergus, and never returned to Scotia Major; and so in time it was taken to England by Edward I and never returned.
Andrew of Wyntown (1400 A.D.) In his ancient “Chronykil of Scotland,” gives the following account of the stone of Scone:
“A great stane this kyng then had
that fore this kynyes gte war made,
And haldyne wr a gret Jowal
Wyhthin the kynryk of Spayne hale.
This kyng bad this Simon ta
That stane and in-tye Island ga,
And wyn that land and occupy
And halde that stane perpetually.
Fergus Ere, son fra hyin syne
Down discented evyn be lyne
In to the fyve and fifty gre,
As every ne rechn and man may see
Broucht this stane wytht-in Scotland,
Fyrst guhen he come and wane that land.
“Now will I the werd rehere
As I fynd of that stane in vers;
‘In fallat fatum Scoti quotumque in locatum
In venient lapidem, regnare tenentur ibidem.’”
(Wyntown Chronykyl lib III. Chapter 16)
Which account may be put into more modern English as follows:
This king had at that time a famous stone which was used as his throne, and was regarded as a priceless jewel in Spain. He gave it to Simon, and directed him to take it with him to Ireland and win that country for occupation, and to hold the stone-throne perpetually. Fergus Earcus, a lively descendant of Simon in the fifty-fifty generation, as on reckoning one may readily see, (Consult genealogy of Victosia Heremon to Fergus inclusive. 54 generations, ad one for the father of Heremon, who is here represented as conferring it, 55 as by “Chronykyl.”) brought the stone to Scotland, when he first came over and conquered it.
The coronation chair is a large solid old-fashioned chair, at lest 600 years of age. In place of castors it is supported by four carved lions facing outwards. About nine inches from the floor there is a shelf or bottom board, and between it and the chair’s seat, sitting on it as on a shelf, is the coronation stone.
In its present shape it is an oblong block of stone some 26-27 inches long, 16-17 inches broad, and 10-11 inches deep, and is of a bluish-stell color, mixed with veins of red. At each end there is a large iron ring, much worn and rusted. They have the appearance of being intended for handles to assist in transporting. The stone is old and looks ready to crack into pieces. It has rested in its present place for 610 years. (1296-1906. Original date of publication of this article. Also since that time, in fact, just a few years ago the stone was returned to Scotland)
In the treaty of Northampton, made subsequent to the conquest of Scotland (1328), it was decided that England should return to the Scots what they had stolen (Edward I). But did they do it? No. For while they gave up the records and royal regalia, they utterly refused to yield up the old ragged stone. At the same time the Scots would have preferred to have lost all else and saved it.
Mr. Lowerley, geologist, gives the characteristics of the stone as follows:
“A sandy granular stone; a sort of sienite, chiefly of quarts; with light and reddish brown felspar, and also light and dark mica, with probably some dark green hornblende intermixed; some fragments of a reddish grey clay slate, or shist, are likewise included in its composition.”
Futile attempts have been made to trace the origin of the stone to Scottish quarries and to those of Ireland, wh8ile others have pointed out its non-fitness even to the geology of Bethel itself. Even its geological rejectment from “the stones of that place” is what we would expect, for although both Abram and Jacob seem to have found it there, it had already been a wandering stone, with Noah across the Flood, and with Adam’s family down to Seth, who died the year before Noah was born. In fat, we shall not identify the rock whence it was taken until we are much nearer to Eden’s gates than we now are to the North Pole!
42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17)
How the lion came to be the blazon of a country so far west a Scotland and in the icy north, the following extract from Campion’s History of Ireland, p. 22, in Spencer’s publications, declared:
“First, therefore, came from Ireland, Fergusius, the son of Ferchardus, a man very famous for his skill in blazoning armes. Himself bore the Red Lyon, rampant in a golden field. There was in Ireland a monument of marble (stone?) Fashioned like a throne and...because he deemed the finding thereof to be ominous to some kingdom, he brought it along with him and lyde it up on the country for a jewel. This marble (stone?) Fergusius obtained towards the prospering of his voyage, and in Scotland he left it, which they used many years after in coronation of their King, at Scone.”
Hence the lion of Scotland was in reality the lion of Ireland, and being thus associated by Fergus with the family stone, it was probably equally related to the royal family he represented. Yet the lion is as foreign to Ireland as it is to Scotland. But if Tea Tephi be the daughter of David, how appropriately both stone and blazon trace their way together from England via Scotland to Judah in Jerusalem. The following is a Scottish account of the coronation stone:
“In Westminister Abby there is a stone on which the kings of England are crowned. It was carried thither from Scone, where the kings o Scotland had been crowned upon it, and had been placed there by Kenneth, son of Alpen, after his victory over the Picts in 843 A.D. to Scone it had been transported from Dunstaffnage, where the successors of Fergus had been crowned upon it. To Dunstaffnage it had been brought via Iona, from Tara, where the Scottish kings of Ireland had been crowned upon it, and Ireland had been named from it Innis Fail.
To Tarah it had been brought from Spain and to Spain, it was said, from the Holy Land...The importance attached to it was such as to make its removal to England to be considered, in the time of Edward I, a necessary step towards the subjugation of the Scottish kingdom. They call it ‘The Stone of Fortune,’ and the ‘Stone of Destiny’ (Lia Fail).” (Megahart’s Pillars of Hercules)
Mr. John Burton in his history of Scotland says:
“In the adjoining Abbey of Scone, on King Edward’s first visit to Perth, he found something which was well worth his while to remove and keep, and he either took it with him northward or left it till his return. This was the Stone of Destiny, the Palladium of Scotland.”
An old Irish rhyming chronicler puts it thus:
“...As he came home by Scone away, The Regal Stone of Scotland then he brought; and sent it forth to Westminister for ay, To ben thierynne a chayer clenly wrought, which yit yis there standing beside the Shryne In a chayer of old time made full fyne.”
“When our king (Edward I) went forth to see the mountains, and understanding that all was a peace and quiet, he returned to the Abbey of Scone which was of canons regular, where he took the stone, called the Regal of Scotland, upon which the kings of that Acton were wont to sit at the time of their coronation for a throne, and sent it to the Abbey of Westminister. The Scots claim that this was the stone whereon Jacob slept when he fled into Mesopotamia.” (Hollingshed’s Chronicles)
“Innis Fail, signifying the Island of Destiny, was the name given to Ireland by the Tuatha de Danaans, from a remarkable stone they brought with them into Ireland, which was called the Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny, sitting on which the ancient kings, both of the Danaan and Milesian race (being the same people) were for many ages crowned at Tara. This stone was sent to Scotland in the sixth century for the coronation of Fergus, king of Scots, who was descended from the Milesian kings of Ireland, and was used for many centuries at the Coronation of Scottish kings and kept at the Abbey of Scone, from which it was taken to England, by Edward I, when he invaded Scotland, and placed under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey, where it still remains though it has been erroneously stated in some modern publication that the large pillar stone, which stands on the mound or Kath, at Tara is the Stone of Destiny, an assertion opposed to the statements of O’Flaherty, the O’Connors, and all other learned antiquarians. From the ancient Scottish kings of Irish Milesian race were descended the kings of Scotland and Royal house of Stuart.” (Annals of the Four Masters. Note p. 112, by Owen Connellan)
In his essay on Certain Monuments of Antiquity, Mr. Weaver says (p. 118):
“It appears that the Irish kings, from very ancient times until 513 A.D., sere crowned upon a particular sacred stone called ‘Liath Fail,’‘the Stone of Destiny,’ that, so also, were the Scottish kings until the year 1296 A. D., when Edward I of England brought in here. And it is a curious fact that this stone has not only remained in England until now, and is existing still under the coronation chair of our British sovereigns in Westminister Abbey, but that all our kings, from James I, have been crowned in that chair. This being a fact so curious, we shall quote its particulars in a note as taken from Toland, in his History of the Druids, pp. 137-139).”
Toland’s statement is this:
“The Fatal Stopne (Liag Fail) so called, was the stone on which the supreme kings of Ireland used to be inaugurated, in times of heathenism on the hill of Tarah; it was superstitiously sent to confirm the Irish colony in the north of Great Britain, where it was continued as the coronation seat of the Scottish kings ever since Christianity; till in the year 1300 (1296 A.D.). Edward I, of England brought it from Scone, placing it under the coronation chair at Westminister, and there it still continues. I had almost forgot to tell you that it is now called by the vulgar, Jacob’s stone; as if this had been Jacob’s pillow at Bethel!”
“It is stated in very old copies of the Book of Invasions, and other ancient documents, that it was the Mosaic Law, that the Milesians brought to Erin at their coming; that it had been learned and received from Moses in Egypt by Cae; Cain Breathach (Cae of the Fair Judgment), who was himself an Israelite, but had been sent into Egypt to learn the languages of that country by the Great Master, Fenius Farsaidh (Fenius the Antequarian), from whom the Milesian brothers, who had conquered Erin, are recorded to have been the twenty-second generation in descent (which is correct), and it is stated in the Leuchas Mor that this (the Mosaic Law) was the law of Erin at the time of the coming of St. Patrick in 432 B.C.” (O’Curry’s Lectures, Vol. II, p. 20)
The first Irish mention of the harp is found in the Dinn Leanches, by MacAwalgain (574 B.C.). The books of Leacan and Ballymote state that the Tuatha de Danaanz (729 B.C.), people learned in arts and sciences, who through devious wanderings, had reached Egypt, and there sojourned contemporaneously with the Israelites, having migrated from Scythia, the cradle of their ace, etc.
Beauford is of the opinion (vide Walker’s Irish Bards), that the Irish harp is constructed on true harmonic principles. Galilei, the elder, writing about the middle of the sixteen century, states:
“This most ancient instrument (harp) was brought to us from Ireland, as Dante (born 1265 A.D.) Testifies, where they are excellently made and have been in great repute for many ages.”
This harp is called Cruith or Clanseach, and was introduced into Wales (1098 A.D.) By Griffith, King of North Wales, who was born in Ireland. Wheaton says the Welsh received instruction from the Irish as late as the eleventh century. This harp, which has challenged the strictest mathematician’s investigation, was unknown to the Greeks, Romans or Egyptians in that remote time. They used the Cythera, or a harp of inferior curve, with some equal strings. M. Guigene observes that several learned men are of opinion that the Irish are not indebted to Egypt for their harp, and he adds the singular surmise that it came from the North and was introduced that way by the Saxons! Fortunatus mentions the harp as an instrument of the barbarians (i.e., of the Goths!) (Life from the dead, Lieut. Gen. Palmer, Royal Art.)
There seems to have been some subtle family connection between Jeremiah and Tea Tephi. F. Leyland Feilden claims that she was actually Jeremiah’s granddaughter. (Great granddaughter! Jeremiah, Hamutal, Zedekiah, Tea Tephi) If this be so, then the manifest interest felt by the prophet in his “under-charge” is intensified in the highest degree, as well as the romance of his guardianship! Zedekiah was the son of Josiah, by Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah, of the House of Levi.
Now if the connection between Jeremiah, the prophet who “lamented for Josiah” (2 Chronicles 35:25), and Jeremiah of Libnah, whose daughter was Josiah’s wife, be as thus implied, then the importance of the transaction in which Jeremiah, the prophet, figures so prominently; the purchase of the title deed to Anathoth from Hanameel, his uncle Shallum’s son, and the care with which the transaction was sealed, subscribed and given to Baruch, to be buried in an earthen vessel; the Mergech! (Jeremiah 32:6-44) is explained.
Doubly interested in Tea Tephi, both because of her being of David’s seed, as well as of Aaron’s and his own, and now possessed of the very fields which her own seed should yet in due time inherit, the transaction become notable. It is perhaps possible that in the opening of “the great Mergech at Tara” (the earthen vessel?) These deeds will be found laid up against the Ark of the Covenant, and other treasures commonly supposed to be there unto this day!
C.E.R. Machesy of New Zealand, visited Tara in 1903, and wrote a lengthy article in The Banner of Israel. Mr. Machesy thought that the mound contained a double chamber, sepulchral in front and with its treasures sealed within the second. Her palace was over the mound, and the “Crowning Mond” is not far away, and a pillar that once stood upon the latter was rolled over to the “Queen’s Mound” and raised as a monument over the “Cropies” grave (Irish rebels), who were buried there. The more recent excavations were begun by Mr. Charles Grooms, a Free Mason.
The mound is owned by two gentlemen, Lord Russel and Mr. G. Biscoe. Mr. Groom got the consent of the latter, but worked in the wrong place and found nothing, as all the really valuable terrain lies in Lord Russell’s land. It is there that treasure exists, if anywhere, and the landowner is quite willing to have these ancient royal precincts throughly explored by responsible and official parties.
So, in this connection, let us still add other data to the wealth of material already adduced to connect the Queen, the Ark, the Harp, the Blazon and the Throne; Seat to Ireland and Tara.
J.A. Goodchild, in his preface to the Book of Tephi says:
“My own rough and erroneous reproduction of the main features of a story which has amply influenced the national clerical and literary history, not merely of Celtdom, but of all non-Slavonic Europe, is chiefly based upon the excellent modern translations of Messrs. Standish O’Grady, Whitby Stokes and others; whilst I must recognize the claims made by Gillariack the Croch-gacked, O’Clery, to kindly remembrance for preserving certain important details which would otherwise probably have been lost.”
We shall make but two extracts from this interesting compilation, but these are sufficient to set forth the glowing interest in which this topic was held by ancient Bards of Ireland, to wit:
The Seat of Yahweh
“We were five that rode upon asses, and five by the
mules they led,
Whereon were the things brought forth from the
House of God when we fled.
The Stone of Jacob our father, the Seat wherein
Upon Sacred things whereof the Book of the Prophet tells
And the signs of my father David, on whom was the promise stayed
Bright as the crown of the dawn, deep as the midnight shade.
Upon me was that promise fallen. For me was the prophet’s toil.
He had signed me with David’s signet, anointed my head with oil.
He had set my hands to the Harp; he had bidden me hold the spear; (scepter)
The buckler (collar of judgment) was girt to my bosom
And Baruch and he drew near
To set my feet upon Bethel, the Stone that is seen this day.
That my seed may rest upon it wher’er it is borne away:
And its promise be sure beneath them, strong to uphold their throne;
Though the builders cast it aside, it shall never left alone.
These things we did at Taphanes, ere we fled to the haven of ships.”
From the Book of Tephi I also select the following and omit much else:
The Marriage of Tephi
“My bridegroom, my chosen, my strong one, in whom my lord had delight,
My feet were by thine, my hand was in thine, as they led us to plight
Our faith by the Stone.
My heart was thy heart, my will was thy will,
When Gri and the priests spake with us, and bade our souls to fulfill
The vow of the lips by the vow of the soul, and swear with the Lord
In the sight of the people and priests and scribes that stood to record
Our oath of faith as a pair that God made first in the land,
To have it in heedful care, and seek not ourselves but Erin”...
This poem is loaded with the elements of our identity with Israel, and corroborates all that we have already published.
The wisdom of Daniel was as much of a proverb in Israel as that of Solomon himself. Ezekiel’s sarcasm against the Prince of Tyrus, “Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel,” (Ezekiel 38:3) embodies the proverbs. But unto none of the prophets was so much disclosed as unto Jeremiah, who preceded Daniel, and of whose books Daniel himself admits (Daniel 9:5) h was a close student. Indeed, a careful reading of the whole book of “Jeremy the Prophet” cannot fail to convince one that his commission to its letter, must have been rigorously carried out, and that its policy is working somewhere yet. And the very prevalence of the name “Jeremiah” among the Irish is traced directly to the ancient presence of the prophet himself, as the Ollahm Fola of Ireland. The Irish love for the name needs no argument, and its recognition is found in the well-known rhyme: (In exactly the same spirit and sense that, because of St. Patrick’s presence there in former times, so many sons of Erin are named “Patrick.”)
“There’s not a hut, the isle around,
But where a ‘Jerry’ may be found.”
“Wise as the Tuatha de Danaans,” is a saying, as Mr. A.G. Georghegan says, that can still be heard in the highlands of Donegal, in the glens of Connaught and on the seaboard of the southwest of Ireland. An old manuscript informs us that:
“The purpose of the Danaans’ journey was in quest of knowledge, and to seek a proper place where they should improve in Druidism.” (Who Are the Irish, Bonwick, p. 28)
“Of all the Irish races, the Danaans were unquestionably te most remarkable. They stand out preeminently as the intellectual people of that country. They were, above all others, the Druids (Or judges of the people. ‘Dan’ means a judge; Daniel, Judge of God; Jacob’s blessing, ‘Dan shall judge’), by which name the Irish bards designated men of superior intelligence, with such a knowledge of the natural laws as constitutes them magicians and dealers in charms.” (Genesis 39:16-18;
Bonwick, p. 26)
It s my own belief that Jacob in his prophetic blessing of his sons, paused at the close of that conferred upon Dan, and as if in contemplation of the long delay to be drawn out before the object of Dan’s mission should be discovered, down to our own days, ejaculated that last sentence in this part of the prophecy, “I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord!” That was 3630 year ago! And the patriarch would now be 3777 years old and still “waiting” for the revelation yet to come from the land of the Tuatha de Danaans! But it is certain that, with the signs about hm, he would know the tarrying time”was almost spent!
“The Danes,” says Mr. G.W. Atkinson, “are the Tuatha de Danaans, whom I think must be the highly intellectual race that imported into Ireland our Oghams, round towers, architecture, metal work, and, above all, the exquisite art, which has come down to us in our wonderful illuminated Irish manuscripts.”
The early history of the Danaans and Milesians is so inextricably mixed up with Biblical history (names, places, customs, things, laws, legends, etc.), that from all of its confusion in its present unassorted state, we only rise with a conviction that these two peoples were one and the same stock, and that stock Hebrew. Speaking of the effect of Caesar’s conquest of England, Yeatman says:
“The Roman occupation has destroyed the Keltic situation of England and left nothing to replace it. With the destruction of the Druidical order learning perished. This was happily not the case of Ireland, because the Romans from England, stood out as the most learned country perhaps in the whole world, and to Ireland, at any rat, the whole of Europe was indebted for the learning which survived the decay of the Roman Empire.” (The Shemic Origin of the Nations of Western Europe, John Pym Yeatman)
Yes, and in no small measure was “the survival of learning,” so-called, due to John Duns Scotus and to others of the Danaan land of Innis Fail.
This concludes a series of article on the story of Ireland, proving that even tradition in history is valuable evidence to sustain the accuracy and truth of Scripture.