William Bedell's Translation of the Old Testament into Irish

Completed 1648, and here re-published in 1827

William Bedell (1571-1642), an Englishman, was educated at Cambridge. The Provostship of Trinity College, Dublin, became vacant in 1627 and the Fellows, with the advice of Archbishop Ussher, invited William to accept the post. He was a man revered not only by the English but by the native Irish as well. In 1629, he was consecrated Bishop of Kilmore, where he witnessed great hardship among the peasantry. He immediately won the hearts of the people for his kindness and generosity to them, and even went to the extent of learning their native language. Goldwin Smith. writing of the Civil War of 1641, wrote "In Ireland, against the dark clouds of the storm, one rainbow appeared. Bishop Bedel had won the love of his neighbours. He and his family were not only spared by the rebels, but treated with loving-kindness". Lecky wrote of him "In that rebellion, one English-man was exempt from the hostility that attached to his race ... and 'when he died he was borne to the grave with all the honours the rebel army could afford". O'Reilly of Breifne was heard to utter "Requiescat in Pace Ultimus Anglorum".

Title Page

Genesis, Chapter 1