Church of Ireland Home

RCB Library Notes

Red Book of Ossory

In response to a local initiative the RCB Library has had the Red Book of Ossory digitized.  A copy has been presented to the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows, which will facilitate local access to the manuscript. The original register will continue to be stored in the RCB Library but access to it, in the first instance will be through the digitized copy. This should reduce wear and tear on the original manuscript and the electronic copy, with its facility to zoom in and out, will make easier detailed examination of the manuscript.

Dr Raymond Refausse shows the Red Book of Ossory to the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory
Dr Raymond Refausse shows the Red Book of Ossory to the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory

Dr Raymond Refaussé shows the Red Book of Ossory to the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory

The Red Book of Ossory is a fourteenth century register of the diocese which is associated with Richard Ledred who was Bishop of Ossory, 1317–60. The volume contains copies of documents which would have been important for the administration of the diocese – constitutions and taxations, memoranda relating to rights and privileges, deeds and royal letters. The register is however, best known for the texts of songs composed by Bishop Ledred for the vicars choral of St Canice’s Cathedral ‘so that their mouths be not defiled with theatrical, foul and secular songs’. It also contains a treatise on acqua vitae.

The digitization of the Red Book of Ossory is the first part of a programme to digitally copy all the medieval manuscripts in the RCB Library.


For further information please contact:
Dr Raymond Refaussé
Librarian and Archivist
RCB Library
Braemor Park
Dublin 14
Tel: 01–4923979
Fax: 01–4924770
E–mail: Librarian and Archivist

Our use of cookies

Some cookies are necessary for us to manage how our website behaves while other optional, or non-necessary, cookies help us to analyse website usage. You can Accept All or Reject All optional cookies or control individual cookie types below.

You can read more in our Cookie Notice


These cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

Analytical cookies help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage.