The Rare Books Section

Our rare books room is a unique part of our special collections. The collection largely consists of books and pamphlets published in the nineteenth century, with some earlier notable works from the late 1600s and early to mid-1700s. Our collections include material relating to Cork and also books of wider national interest.

‘The history of the wars of Flanders: written in Italian by that learned and famous Cardinal Bentivoglio / Englished by the Right Honourable Henry Earl of Monmouth’

Author:  Bentivoglio, Cardinal.

Publication Info: London: Dorman Newman, 1678.

This is a late seventeenth-century publication by Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio (1577-1644), an Italian cardinal, historian and diplomat. His work was originally translated in 1654 by the famous aristocrat and translator Henry Carey, 2nd Earl of Monmouth (1596-1661)

‘The history of the execrable Irish Rebellion: traced from many preceding acts to the grand eruption, the 23rd of October 1641. And thence pursued to the Act of Settlement 1662’ by Edmund Borlase (c1620-1682)

Publication Info.          London: Henry Brome & Richard Chiswell, 1680

This seventeenth-century work was written by the physician and historian Edmund Borlase. He was the son of Sir John Borlase, who was lord justice from 1640 to 1643. It describes the history of the Irish Rebellion which began on 23rd October 1641. It details some letters and speeches compiled at that time, such as the reproduction of Sir William St. Leiger’s Letter to the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Leicester, about the state of  affairs in Munster.

‘King Charles and his case or an appeal to all rational men concerning his tryal at the High Court of Justice’ by John Cook

This original pamphlet from 1649 is among our most important original documents in our Rare Books Collections. John Cook (1609-1660) was a lawyer who produced this pamphlet during the trial of Charles I, denouncing the King. Charles I was executed on January 30th 1649. After the Restoration of Charles II, John Cook was subsequently tried and executed because of his support for regicide.

‘An historical and critical review of the civil wars in Ireland : from the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, to the settlement under King William with the state of the Irish Catholics from that settlement to the relaxation of the popery laws in the year 1778 in two volumes. Vol 1’

Author:  Curry, John, 1710-1780.

Publication Info: Dublin: P. Wogan (23 Old Bridge), 1793.

This book was first published in 1775 by historian and physician John Curry. He was a supporter of the cause for repeal of the penal laws and was one of the founding members of the Catholic Committee.  In this famous work, he wrote an account of the history of Ireland from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the settlement under King William III to the year 1778. It is noteworthy for its Catholic account of the history of Ireland during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

‘A list of the general and field officers as they rank in the army: of the officers in the several regiments of horse, dragoons and foot on the British and Irish establishments, to which is now added an alphabetical index’

Publication Info.               London: J. Millan, 1768.

This publication from 1768 compiled by the British War Office provides an interesting glimpse into army records from the mid-eighteenth century. It details the names of various Irish regiments at the time, such as the 14th Regiment of Dragoons, 5th Regiment of Horse and the 18th Regiment (later known as the Royal Irish Regiment) which were based in America at this time.

A general and statistical survey of the County of Cork. Vol. 1

Townsend, Horatio, Rev.

Published: Cork: Edwards & Savage, 1815)

 This survey is comprised of two volumes and was compiled by author and clergyman Rev. Horatio Townsend. It was part of a national survey of individual counties carried out on behalf of the Dublin Society. This work offers an invaluable insight into late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century social and economic history in Cork, as it details information about tenants, landlords and leasing.

Tolls and customs, Ireland: copies of the schedules of tolls and customs at fairs and markets, deposited with the several Clerks of the Peace throughout Ireland / ordered by the House of Commons, to be printed, 8 April 1830

Book | Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed | 1830.

This early nineteenth century book provides a unique insight into social history as it details the system of tolls and customs payable at regional fairs and markets around the year 1830. Some tolls relating to fairs in Cork county included Midleton, Kanturk, Mitchelstown, Newmarket, Skibbereen and Bantry. This book provides a unique glimpse of the commercial and rural life of Ireland in the decades preceding the Famine.

‘The Earl of Castlehaven's memoirs: or his review of the civil wars in Ireland; with his own engagement and conduct therein: containing also an appendix and postscript enlarged and corrected by himself. To which is prefixed historical notices of the author's family and life, compiled for this edition by Patrick Lynch’

Touchet, James, Earl of Castlehaven.

Publication Info.          Dublin: George Mullens, 1815.

This biography published in 1815 recounts the life of James Touchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven who was involved in the Confederate Wars of the 1640s. His memoirs detail his military engagements in north and east Cork, with descriptions from his campaigns in Fermoy, Castlelyons, Doneraile, Liscarroll, Rostellan and Youghal.

‘Edwards's Cork remembrancer, or, Tablet of memory : enumerating every remarkable circumstance that has happened in the City and County of Cork . . . from the earliest period, to the year 1792’

Edwards, Anthony.

Publication Info: Cork: Anthony Edwards, 1792

An interesting compendium of history and descriptions of natural events compiled by Anthony Edwards. Edwards was a printer and bookseller who was based in Castle Street in Cork in the late 1700s.

‘Memoirs of the lives and characters of the illustrious family of the Boyles: particularly, of the late eminently learned, Charles Earl of Orrery’

Author  Budgell, Eustace, 1686-1737.

(London: printed for Olive Payne, 1737)

This book offers some fascinating insights into the lives of members of the famous Boyle family, with a particular focus on the politician and nobleman, Charles Boyle Earl of Orrery (1674-1731). He was an author, soldier and politician who represented Charleville in the Irish parliament of the 1690s.

‘Hibernia Anglicana: or the second part of the history of Ireland / from the conquest thereof by the English to the present time; by the author of the first part. Part 2’

Author  Cox, Richard, 1650-1733.

Publication Info.               London : Joseph Watts, 1690.

Richard Cox (1650-1733) was originally from Bandon and practised law, subsequently becoming Chancellor of Ireland in 1703. This collection details the history of Ireland from the Norman era to the seventeenth century. The book also contains an extract from a letter from the city of Cork to the Lord Deputy of Ireland from the year 1603. The frontispiece is an illustration of King William and Queen Mary who reigned from 1689-1702.

‘Rotulus Pipae Clonensis : ex originali in registro ecclesiae cathedralis Clonensis’ / The Pipe Roll of Cloyne: transcribed from the original preserved in the registry of the ancient Cathedral church of Cloyne’

Richard Caulfield.

Publication Info.               Cork: Georgii Nash, 1859.

Richard Caulfield (1823-1887) was librarian of the Royal Cork Institution and Queen’s College Cork (UCC). The Pipe Roll of Cloyne was a medieval document detailing land ownership in the diocese of Cloyne.

‘Poems on several occasions / written by Dr. Thomas Parnell, late archdeacon of Clogher, and published by Mr Pope ... with The Life of Zoilus and his remarks on Homer's Battle of the Frogs and Mice’

Parnell, Thomas, 1679-1718.

Publication Info: Dublin: Thomasewing, 1773

Thomas Parnell (1679-1773) was an Anglo-Irish poet and clergyman. He was a distinguished poet of the 18th century and was a friend of Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift.