The Blazing Starr

Artist(s) : Thomas Dineley (Draughtsman)

Pen and ink sketch of a comet.
The same comet features in another drawing by Dineley (see ‘Rallahine Castle’).

Inscribed in Image

  • Caption within boundaries of image – The BLAZING STARR (as it appeared to me & others in the county of Thomond or Clare,) taken at ye Castle of Rallahine belonging to Giles Vanderlure Esqr one of his Maties Justices of ye peace for ye county in IRELAND. Decembr 10. 1680. Nullus Cometes qui malum nullum ferat.

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Technique Pen and ink drawings
Subject(s) Nature
Geographical Location
  • Rathlaheen Castle - Castle
  • Newmarket-on-Fergus - Town or city
  • Clare - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Comets
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 11 cm x 5.5 cm
Published / created 1681
Closely related image:

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Observations in a Voyage through the Kingdom of Ireland
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy p. 179
Source copy National Library of Ireland MS 392
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

Concerning these Comets Dubartas writes thus

––– The blazeing Starr,
Threatning the world with famine, plague and Warr;
To Princes, Death, to Kingdomes many crosses;
To all estates inevitable losses;
To Herdsmen, Rot; to Plowmen hapless season;
To Seamen storms; to Cities, civil treasons:

At its first appearance here at Rallahine Castle, being on Friday night Decembr 10nth 80 it shewed it self with a prodigious long, pale taper ray of a leaden Saturnine colour without any signe of a starr to be discern’d at its poynt: And that it continued to January the 18nth following is all the Observation I could make and comunicate to my friends in England. As being unacquainted with Astrology.
But my accquaintance Mr Francis Herne, belonging to Mr Kerney Serjeant at armes & a learned Mathematician from his house in Castle street Dublin, sent down this account into Munster where it came to my hands.
At the City and Archbishoprick of Dublin A Blazeing Comet appear’d Wednesday ye 15 Decembr 1680. It had a very long Bushy Tale or Trayne pale whiteish glairing not unlike the shew of candle-light through white paper. the starr it self was not then very conspicuous, though its Raye or Beame shott it self forth, so that ye starr of the 3 starrs call’d the Eagles Heart was exactly in the middle of its blaze. [p. 180]
On Thursday the 16 its gastly brush tayle was seen on the south of the Heart of the Eagle within half the breadth of the Raye &c this is also sayd to have been seen in England much about the same time. At Erford in Germany Thuring. on ye 18 Novembr 80. In France 24 Novr at Bourdeaux, Att Hamborough. 27 Decr 1680 & at Mentz. Novemb. 80. Wth these things the Irish were ready to furnish an inquisitive stranger, which were not a little gratefull to my curiosity. [pp. 179-180]
The Blazing Starr