Tuesday, 5 July 2016

St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin (Walsh)

From Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy: With the Monasteries of Each County, Biographical Notices of the Irish Saints, Prelates, and Religious, 1854, c. xliv, pps. 421ff:

Dublin Abbey of the Virgin Mary. The foundation of this celebrated monastery is attributed to the Danes on their conversion to Christianity about 948 by others it is ascribed to the Irish princes. It was inhabited at first by Benedictines. The first abbot James died on the 11th of March the year of his death is not recorded. The year of the foundation 948 which some assert to have been the date thereof can scarcely be admitted. It was assuredly in existence in the eleventh century.

AD 1113 died the abbot Michael on the 19th of February.
AD 1131 died the abbot Evcrard who was a Dane.
AD 1139 this abbey was granted to the Cistercians through the influence of St Malachy O'Moore who was the personal friend and admirer of St. Bernard, under whose care Malachy placed some Irish youths to be instructed in the discipline which was observed at Clairvaux, the monastery of St. Bernard.

On the 17th of June 1540 an annual pension of 50 Irish was granted to William Laundy, the last abbot, at which period one thousand sand nine hundred and forty eight acres parcel of its property situated in the counties of Dublin and Meath had been confiscated. A considerable part of its possessions had been granted to Maurice, earl of Thomond, and to James, earl of Desmond.

In 1543 the abbey was granted to James, earl of Kildare, on condition and under pain of forfeiture should he or his heirs attempt at any time to confederate with the Irish. How fortunate for the Irish that the keys of heaven have been entrusted to the disinterested keeping of St. Peter. The abbey was however in the twenty fourth of Elizabeth presented to Thomas, earl of Ormond, in common soccage at the annual rent of five shillings Irish.

The abbot of St Mary's sat as a baron in parliament Princes prelates and nobles enriched it with their bequests. Not a vestige of this once magnificent abbey remains the site of which is at present covered over with the habitations of traders and artizans. There was a beautiful image of the Virgin and Child in her arms in this abbey.