Latin Vardæus, was born in co. Donegal, about 1580. He was of a family of hereditary poets of the O'Donnells, which had flourished in Tyrconnell from the twelfth century, and which gave its name to the wild district still known as Lettermacaward, ‘the country-side of the bard's sons.’ Earlier men of letters of the family were:
Fearghal Macanward the younger (fl. 1260), poet, who was brought up with Maghnus, chief of the O'Cathains. His elder brother, Cearbhall, was slain in the battle of Down in 1260. He wrote a lament for the chiefs slain there, which has been edited with a translation by J. O'Donovan (Miscellany of Celtic Society, Dublin, 1849, p. 404).
Eoghan Readh Macanward (d. 1510), Irish poet, chief bard of Tyrconnell, who wrote a poem of 136 stanzas on the death of Domhnall O'Donnell, ‘Leasg an adhaighsi ar easruadh’ (‘Sloth this night on Assaroe’).
Fearghal Macanward, son of Fearghal (d. 1583), Irish poet, bard to the O'Donnells, who wrote ‘Ni trath aithreachuis dshuil chonuill’ (‘No time of sorrow to the seed of Clonell’); an elegy for Aedh mac Aedh dhubh O'Donnell; and 320 stanzas on Con O'Donnell, both of which are extant. He died 13 March 1583.
Maolmuire Macanward (fl. 1587), Irish poet, who was son of Connla Macanward. He wrote a poem of 196 stanzas, encouraging Red Hugh, son of Black Hugh O'Donnell, son of Nial Garbh, son of Turloch of the Wine [q. v.], to bear up when he was imprisoned in Dublin Castle in 1587, and a poem on the ruins of Donegal Castle.
Cu-ulaidh Macanward (fl. 1604), Irish poet, who wrote a lament for Graine O'Donnell, who died of measles at Ballyshannon in 1604.
Eoghan Macanward (fl. 1608), poet, who wrote an address to Red Hugh on his voyage to Spain after the defeat of Kinsale in 1602; an address to Hugh, earl of Tyrone, in 1603; an elegy for Ruadhri MacSweeny; another on the death of the first earl of Tyrconnell in 1608; an address to the second earl; and other poems.
Hugh entered the Franciscan convent of the town of Donegal, and was there a contemporary of Michael O'Clery [q. v.] He afterwards studied at Salamanca and in Paris. In 1616 he became the first professor of theology in the Irish College of St. Anthony, at Louvain, which had just been founded by Flaithri O'Maelchonaire [q. v.] He subsequently became warden of the college, and John Colgan [q. v.] resided there with him. He proposed to write a complete Irish martyrology and hagiology, and made great collections for the purpose, which form the basis of Colgan's ‘Acta Sanctorum Hiberniæ.’ Colgan, in his preface, states the extent of Macanward's labours, and explains that he had wished ‘totum sub P. Vardæi nomine publicare.’ A list of the works which he projected and worked at, but did not publish, is given in Harris's edition of Ware's ‘Irish Writers.’ He completed ‘Acta Sancti Rumoldi Martyris inclyti.’ This account of the patron saint of Mechlin contains many notes which show a wide acquaintance with Irish literature, though its general style is somewhat dry. It was published at Louvain in 1662, after the author's death. Some brief Irish poems by Macanward are extant. He was devoted to the study of Johannes Scotus, and rejoiced when dying on his day, 8 Nov. 1635. He was buried at Louvain.
Subsequent members of the literary clan to which Macanward belonged are:
Eoghan Macanward (fl. 1640), Irish poet, who became a Franciscan and wrote an Irish poem on his order, and other religious poems.
Fearghal Macanward (fl. 1655), Irish poet, who wrote an elegy of 232 stanzas, ‘Do toirneadh ceannus clann Cuinn’ (‘The authority of clan Con was raised’), on John O'Donnell; and two somewhat longer ones, ‘Treoin an cheannus clann Dalaigh’ (‘Powerful the authority of clan Daly’), on Calvach O'Donnell, and ‘Gaible fodhla fuil Chonaill’ (‘Supports of Ireland the blood of Conall’). He also wrote a poem on the Magennises, ‘Trial codhnach cloinne Ir’ (‘Trial treasure of the sons of Ir’), and ‘Fan rath imrid aicme Ir’ (‘In prosperity proceed the race of Ir’), on the O'Ferralls.
Patrick Macanward (fl. 1696), Irish poet, who wrote a panegyric on Gearoit O'Roddy, with a description in verse of Feenagh Maghrein, co. Leitrim, the patrimony of that clan; and ‘Cuid ronna a nambhuaim Eireann’ (‘Part of the divisions of Ireland's woes’), on the death of Donoch, son of Maolmuire MacSuibhne of northern Donegal.
[Acta S. Rumoldi, Louvain, 1662; J. Colgan's Acta Sanctorum Hib. Præf. ad lect. Louvain, 1645; Bishop Nicholson's Irish Historical Library; Ware's Works, ed. Harris; E. O'Curry's Lectures on the MS. Materials of Irish History (Appendix, No. 157); E. O'Reilly in Trans. Iberno-Celtic Soc. 1820; S. H. O'Grady's Catalogue of Irish MSS. in Brit. Mus.]
MACARDELL, JAMES (1729?–1766), mezzotint-engraver, was born in Cow Lane (aferwards Greek Street), Dublin, about 1729. He learnt mezzotint-engraving