Coilíneach neamhghnách a d’fhoghlaim Gaeilge agus a bhfuil eolas ina litreacha ar Uíbh Fhailí a linne. In Irish Genealogist, 1983 (‘The MacCoghlans’) cuireann Kenneth Nicholls síos air mar ‘that remarkable adventurer to whom we are indebted for so much information regarding Delvin MacCoghlan in the early seventeenth century and before’. Chuir Brian Mac Cuarta eagar ar na litreacha in Analecta Hibernica, 1987 (‘Mathew De Renzy’s letters on Irish affairs 1613–1620’). Ag Mac Cuarta freisin tá péire aiste: ‘A Planter’s interaction with Gaelic Culture’ in Irish Economic and Social History 20, 1993 agus ‘A Settler’s land disputes in a Gaelic Lordship’ in Studia Hibernica 30, 1998–9. Tá cur síos ar a shaol in Dictionary of National Biography agus ag Rolf Loeber in Irish Midland Studies: Essays in Commemoration of N.W. English, 1980 in eagar ag Harman Murtagh (‘Civilization through plantation: the projects of Mathew de Renzy’). Is léiriú ar cibé tábhacht a bhaineann lena litreacha a bhfuil ag Marc Caball faoi in Poets and Politics: Continuity and Reaction in Irish Poetry, 1558–1625, 1998.

In Cologne a rugadh é. Bhí Laidin, Iodáilis, Gearmáinis, Ollannais agus Béarla aige. Le cúrsaí trádála a chuaigh sé agus bhí sé ina chónaí in Antwerp sular aistrigh go Londain ag pointe éigin roimh 1604. Faoi 1605 bhí sé bancbhriste agus theith go hÉirinn agus bhí ina oifigeach custaim tamall agus teach aige ar Ché Mhic Giolla Coille i mBaile Átha Cliath. D’éirigh leis talamh a fháil i ndúiche Mhic Chochláin (Dealbhna Mhic Chochláin) in Uíbh Fhailí; ní raibh aon Sasanaigh lonnaithe ann ag an am agus ba bheag má bhí aon smacht ag an rialtas ann. Ba é an coinníoll a bhí ag dul leis ‘provided he should not take the name, stile or title of Roirke, O’Molloy, the Fox, MacCoghlan, or O’Doyne; nor receive or pay any Irish rent, taxes, or services, or divide his land according to the Irish custom of gavelkind’. Le heagla roimh an gceann fine, Sir John Mac Cochláin, ní labhródh aon duine de mhuintir Chochláin le de Renzy agus ní dhíolfaidís earraí leis ach amháin ar phraghas iomarcach. Ba gheall le hoileán dúiche seo Mhic Chochláin, portaigh agus coillte ar thrí thaobh agus an tSionainn ar an taobh eile. Chuir sé mórchuid litreacha agus pleananna i dtaobh plandála agus a leithéid chuig Sir Arthur Chichester agus a chomharba idir 1613 agus 1620.

Phós sé Mary Adams c.1608 agus bhí mac acu. Ba í Ann Maypowder an dara bean aige. Thosaigh sé ag foghlaim Gaeilge i 1608 nuair a bhí sé ag obair i gcalafort Dhroichead Átha. Deir Caball: ‘Especially interested in the classical bardic culture, he took instruction from Conchobhar and Tadhg Mac Bruaideadha in Thomond. Tadhg Óg Ó hUiginn of Leyney also tutored De Renzy in the intricacies of the learned medium. Such was the level of his proficiency that between c.1608–11 he is reputed to have compiled a grammar and dictionary of Irish.’ Is ar leacht a cuireadh suas i 1635 in Eaglais Pheadair i mBaile Átha Luain a fuarthas an t-eolas i dtaobh an ghraiméir agus an fhoclóra. Deirtear in DNB; ‘Diligent search has been made for the works mentioned, but without result, and if they are extant it is probably in some foreign library.’ Tuairimíonn Mac Cuarta, agus tugann fianaise as scríbhinní Ruairí Uí Fhlaithbheartaigh mar thaca lena thuairim, gur ghraiméar a scríobh Tadhg Óg Ó hUiginn atá i gceist. In Éigse XXVII, 1993 (‘Conchubhar Mac Bruaideadha and Sir Matthew de Renzy’) tá dán molta ar de Renzy (‘Oraoid uaim go O Rénsi’) le Mac Bruaideadha in eagar ag Mac Cuarta agus an nóta seo aige: ‘The context of the following texts may have been a correspondence between Conchubhar Mac Bruaideadha and members of other Gaelic literary families, perhaps involving approbations of works and authors, and associated with De Renzy’s attempts to have his literary efforts in Irish recognised.’

Bhí de thoradh ar eolas De Renzy ar an teanga agus ar an aos léinn gur chreid sé gur cheart filí, croinicithe, agus ginealeolaithe Mhic Chochláin a bhá: ‘Thereby the McCoghlans, he hoped, would lose the knowledge “from whence they came”, and forego claims to native land’ (Loeber). Deir Caball: ‘Although cognisant of the communicative advantages of speaking the language and possessed of an antiquarian interest in Gaelic scholarship, De Renzy was adamant that if English suzerainty were to be securely established in Ireland, Gaelic culture would have to be neutralised and preferably eliminated.’ Ar mhaithe lena shlándáil féin go príomha a theastaigh an phlandáil agus an t-ionnarbadh uaidh. Faoi phlandáil 1622 tugadh 1,016 acra dó ach lean sé air in aghaidh Mhic Chochláin agus in Eanáir 1629 thug sé le fios don rialtas go raibh comhcheilg ar bun ag an taoiseach sin chun eirleach a dhéanamh ar Shasanaigh. D’éag sé 29 Lúnasa 1634. Chuir a mhac leacht suas ina onóir san eaglais i mBaile Átha Luain agus scríobhadh air go raibh sé 57 bliain d’aois: ‘He was a great traveler and general linguist, and kept correspondency with most natives in many weighty matters, and in three years gave great perfection to this nation, by composing a grammar, dictionary and chronicle in the Irish tongue: in accounts most expert, and exceeding all others for his great applause’ (A History of the City of Dublin, 1854–59 le John T. Gilbert).

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