Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 38.djvu/124

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Molaissi
Mole
118

At this time the pestilence called the Buidhe Chounail, or yellow plague, was raging at Corcabascin, co. Clare, and Molaga successfully exerted himself to arrest its spread. He died on 20 Jan., but nothing is known of the year beyond the fact that he survived the great plague of 664. At Leaba Molaga in the barony of Condons and Clongibbons are to be seen the ruins of his oratory, with the cashel or enclosing wall and two crosses. To the south, at a distance of eighty yards, are the four pillar stones enclosing the termon or sanctuary. A square tomb beneath the south wall is supposed to be the grave of the saint.

[Vita Molaggae su Molaci Confessoris ex Hibernico versa; Colgan's Acta Sanct. pp. 145 sq.; Calendar of Oengus, p. xlii; Giraldus Cambrensis's Topographia, cap. v. (Rolls Ser.); Die Irische Kanonensammlung, von H. Wasserschleben, zweite Auflage, p. 175; Lord Dunraven's Notes on Irish Architecture, pp. 61, &c.; Lanigan's Eccl. Hist. iii. 83; D. J. O'Donovan's Martyrology of Donegal, 20 Jan.]

T. O.

MOLAISSI (533–563), Irish saint, son of Nadfraech and Monua, was a descendant of Conall Cernach, and was born in 533. He founded a church on an island in Loch Erne known in Irish as Daimhinis, or Stag Island, and at the present day as Devinish. A round tower and a church, both of much later date than the saint, with some ancient tombs, are to be seen on the island. He lived there with a community of monks, subject to a rule instituted by him. It was not wanting in austerity, for throughout Lent it allowed only one handful of barley grain each twenty-four hours. He lived through the Buidhe Chonnail, or plague of the reign of Diarmait and Blathmac, in which both kings and St. Fechin of Fore [q. v.] perished. He is described as going about in a hood of badgers' skins, long afterwards preserved as a relic, and called the brocainech. Another was a little evangelistarium called the soiscela beg, which he used to carry about with him. He made a pilgrimage to Rome. The rest of his life presents a long series of miracles and of austerities. He died on 12 Sept. 563. Michael O'Clery mentions an ancient Irish life (Felire na Naomh Nerennach, p. 245), and quotes a poem on him by Cuimin of Coindeire, beginning 'Carais Molaisi an locha-Molaissi of the lake loves.' S. H. O'Grady has printed and translated another Irish life of him from a copy in a sixteenth-century Irish manuscript now in the British Museum (Addit. MS. 18205). He is sometimes called Laisren or Lasrianus, and his name is also spelt Molaise. A fragment of his ancient office has been preserved by Michael O'Clery. He is described as tall, and had three sisters : Muadhnat, Tallulla, abbess of Kildare, and Osnat.

He is to be distinguished from Molaissi of Leighlin, whose feast was 18 April; from Molaissi of Inis Muiredhaigh, who is venerated on Inishmurray to this day, and whose day is 12 Aug.; and from Molaissi of Cill-Molaissi, in South Munster.

[T. O'Donovan's Martyrology of Donegal, Dublin, 1864; S. H. O'Grady's Silva Gadelica, 1892; W. Stokes's Calendar of Oengus, 1871.]

N. M.

MOLE, JOHN (1743–1827), mathematician, the son of an agricultural labourer, was born at Old Newton, near Stowmarket, Suffolk, 10 March 1743 (O.S.) His mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Martin, taught him to read, but he received no school education. He obtained employment as a farmer's servant, and at the age of twenty-seven displayed extraordinary powers of mental calculation, and subsequently acquired, without tuition, an intimate knowledge of algebra. In 1773 he opened a school at Nacton, near Ipswich. His 'Elements of Algebra, to which is prefixed a choice collection of Arithmetical Questions, with their Solutions, including some New Improvements worthy the attention of Mathematicians,' London, 1788, 8vo, was highly commended by the reviews. In April 1788 the author paid a visit to London, and was introduced to Dr. Tomline [q. v.], bishop of Lincoln, and Lord Walpole. He was an occasional contributor of pieces in prose and verse to the 'Ipswich Magazine' (1799–1800). In 1793 he relinquished his school at Nacton, and removed to Witnesham, a village on the other side of Ipswich, where he again commenced the drudgery of tuition. While there he published 'A Treatise on Algebra,' Ipswich, 1809, 8vo. In 1811 he returned to Nacton, where he died on 20 Sept. 1827. He was twice married, but left no issue.

[Addit. MSS. 19167 f. 162, 19170 f. 145; De Morgan's Arithmetical Books, p. 117; Gent. Mag. 1788 p. 410, February 1828 p. 185; Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. vi. 887-91.]

T. C.

MOLE, JOHN HENRY (1814–1886), water-colour painter, was born at Alnwick, Northumberland, in 1814. His early years were passed in a solicitor's office in Newcastle-on-Tyne, but his leisure time was devoted to art, and at the age of twenty-one he began his professional career by painting miniatures. He first exhibited in London at the Royal Academy, where he had four miniatures in 1845 and six in 1846. He also painted landscapes and figure subjects in water-colours, and this led to his election in