1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/O'Clery, Michael
O’CLERY, MICHAEL (1575–1643), Irish chronicler, grandson of a chief of the sept of O’Clery in Donegal, was born at Kilbarrow on Donegal Bay, and was baptized Tadhg (or “poet”), but took the name of Michael when he became a Franciscan friar. He was a cousin of Lughaidh O’Clery (fl. 1595–1630), who, with his son Cacrigcriche O’Clery (d. 1664)—one of Michael’s co-workers—is also famous as an Irish historian. He had already gained a reputation as an antiquary and student of Irish history and literature, when he entered the Irish College of St Anthony at Louvain. In 1620, through the initiative of Hugh Boy Macanward (1580–1635), warden of the college, and himself a famous Irish historian and poet, and one of an old family of hereditary bards in Tyrconnell, he began to collect Irish manuscripts and to transcribe everything he could find of historical importance; he was assisted by other Irish scholars, and the results were his Reim Rioghroidhe (Royal List) in 1630, Leabhar Gabhala (Book of Invasions) in 1631, and his most famous work, called by John Colgan (d. 1659), the Irish biographer, the “Annals of the Four Masters” (1636). Subsequently he produced his Martyrologium of Irish saints, based on various ancient manuscripts, an Irish glossary and other works. He lived in poverty, and died at Louvain.