[Seal presented by Elizabeth I to the Earl of Desmond]

Face of a seal, inscribed with the motto 'Ex marmore exeo', and an image of a tree growing out of a rectangular slab.

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Technique Woodcuts
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites
Keywords(s) Antiquities, Inscriptions, Trees
Colour Monochrome
Published / created

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Rambles in the South of Ireland
Contributor(s)
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy Vol. 2, p. 282
Source copy James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland Galway Special Collections: 914.190481 CHA
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Related text from travel account

Previous to the departure of James Fitzgerald, (for before his leaving London, he can scarcely be called the Earl of Desmond,) from the land of his captivity for that of his birth, he had several private audiences of Elizabeth. At one of these the Queen appears to have presented him with a seal, a fac-simile of which, copied from an impression in the State Paper Office, is here inserted.
[Image: Seal presented by Elizabeth I to the Earl of Desmond]
Poetry and poetical devices were fashionable in [p. 283] the court of Elizabeth, and the design of this seal is a beautiful illustration. A tree in full leaf and vigour, rises from a grave stone; and around it is the motto, EX MARMORE EXEO.
A close translation of some Irish verses, the precise meaning of which is rendered obvious by the discovery of this seal, are here offered to the reader. Nor is it an improbable conjecture, that they were the composition of some Bard or Rhymer, in the pay of the Lord Deputy of Ireland, or the Lord President of Munster.*

And our noble Queen thus spake the Earl,
"Thou ’rt like to a young and hopeful tree;
Then take this seal, with its chain of pearl,
That Desmond’s son may his image see."

Upon that seal there was graven fair
A silent tomb with a nameless stone,
That Desmond’s deeds may lie buried there,
And be with mercy, like moss, o’ergrown.

A young tree sprung from that marble bed,
And about its branches fresh and green,

[Footnote]*See, in support of this conjecture, the will of Sir John Perrott. "And I have given money to Rhymers to sett forth hir Majesties most worthie praises, as by Maister Treasurer’s of the Warres accomptes will appere."

[p. 284]
"I rise from this tomb," was plainly read,
By the favour and grace of England’s Queen.
[Vol. 2, p. 282-284]

[Continues with an account of the Earl of Desmond’s life]