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AN HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL ACCOUNT
LIVES AND WRITINGS
MOST EMINENT PERSONS
IN EVERY NATION;
PARTICULARLY THE BRITISH AND IRISH;
FROM THE EARLIEST ACCOUNTS TO THE PRESENT TIME.
A NEW EDITION,
REVISED AND ENLARGED BY
ALEXANDER CHALMERS, F. S. A.
PRINTED FOR J. NICHOLS AND SON; F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; T. PAYNE ;
A NEW AND GENERAL
BRIGIT, or BRIDGET, and by contraction BRIDE,
(ST.) a saint of the Romish church, and the patroness of Ireland, flourished in the beginning of the sixth century, and is named in the martyrology of Bede, and in all others since that age. She was born at Fochard in Ulster, soon after Ireland was converted, and took the veil in her youth from the hands of St. Mel, nephew and disciple of St. Patrick. She built herself a cell under a large oak, thence called Kill-dare, or the cell of the oak, and being joined soon after by several of her own sex, they formed themselves into a religious community, which branched out into several other nunneries throughout Ireland, all which acknowledge her for their mother and foundress. Her biographers give no particulars of her life, but what are too much of the miraculous kind for modern readers. Several churches in England and Scotland are dedicated to her, and some in Germany and France, by which we may guess at her past reputation. According to Giraldus Cambrensis, her body was found, with those of St. Patrick and St. Co-, lumba, in a triple vault at Down-Patrick in 1185, and were all three translated to the cathedral of the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of Henry VIII. She is commemorated in the Roman martyrology on the first of February. This Brigit was a virgin; but in the Roman calendar we find another Bridgit, a widow, the foundress of the monasteries of the Brigittines, who died July 23, 1373.1