Symon Semeonis

Symon Semeonis (also Simon FitzSimon or Simon FitzSimmons) was a 14th-century Irish Franciscan friar and author.


Of Hiberno-Norman origin, Symon is the author of Itinerarium Symonis Semeonis ab Hybernia ad Terram Sanctam (The Journey of Symon Semeonis of Ireland to the Holy Land).[1] In 1323 he and his companion friar, Hugo Illuminator (Hugh the Illuminator), undertook a pilgrimage from Clonmel in Ireland to Jerusalem. In his manuscript account he describes his experiences and encounters during that journey.

His encounter with a migrant group ‘the descendants of Cain’ outside the town of Heraklion (Candia) in Crete is probably the earliest surviving description by a Western chronicler of the Romani people in Europe. The account of his experiences in what is now Albania is also one of the earliest written reports of that land to reach Britain.[2]

He received a special passport for Mendicants from the Sultan at a reduced fee. This passport was apparently authenticated by the application of Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad's fingerprints.[3] The original manuscript is currently held as MS 407 in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

His surname is now rendered FitzSimon, FitzSimmonds, or Simmonds, and still found in Ireland.

Others of the name

See also



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