Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Derricke, John

DERRICKE, JOHN (fl. 1578), author of the ‘Image of Ireland,’ was the follower of Sir Henry Sidney, and the friend of his son, Sir Philip. He may have been the Mr. Derricke who, in 1557, was employed to make the great seal for Ireland by direction of Mr. Secretary Sir John Bourne. His work is divided into two parts, the first giving a sort of allegorical description of Ireland, after a somewhat confused manner, the women being represented as seductive nymphs, and the men as a kind of sylvan deities; and the second, which is alone of any value, giving a description of the wood kerne, or native Irish, in the time of Elizabeth, illustrated by curious woodcuts of the wood kerne in the costumes of the period, ecclesiastical, civil, and military. The work appears to have been written in 1578, and was first published in 1581. In 1809 it was reprinted with notes by Sir Walter Scott in ‘Somers Tracts,’ and an impression of 286 copies, on thick paper, edited by John Small, was published at Edinburgh in 1883.

[Small's edition of the Image of Ireland.]

T. F. H.