Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A History of St. Laurence O'Toole - Part 2

From Lanigan's An Ecclesiastical History of Ireland (1822, vol. iv, chapt. xxviii, p. 172ff.):


As soon as St Laurence was placed on the see of Dublin Dermot Mac Murrogh king of Leinster forced upon the monks of Glendaloch a certain person as their abbot in opposition to the reclamations and ancient privilege of the clergy and people who used to elect the abbot of that monastery. But he was afterwards put out and in his stead was appointed Thomas a nephew of the saint and an excellent and learned young man. (59)

Meanwhile St. Laurenee was busily employed in attending to the government of his diocese being particularly anxious for the regular and constant celebration of the Church offices. Not long after his accession he induced the Canons of Christ church who were until then Secular canons to become Canons Regular of the congregation of Aroasia (60) He himself took the habit of the order which he used to wear under his pontifical dress over a hair shirt and observed its rules as much as he could observing silence at the stated hours and almost always attending along with them at the midnight offices after which he often remained alone in the church praying and singing psalms until day light when he used to take a round in the church yard or cemetery chaunting the prayers for the faithful departed. Whenever it was in his power he ate with the Canons in the refectory practising however austerities which their rule did not require for he always abstained from flesh meat and on Fridays either took nothing at all or at most some bread and water. Yet occasionally he entertained rich and respectable persons treating them sumptuously while he contrived to touch the poorest sort of food and instead of wine to drink wine and water so much diluted that it had merely the colour of wine. And as to the poor there were no bounds to his charity. Among his other acts of beneficence he took care to see fed in his presence a certain number of them every day sometimes sixty or forty and never fewer than thirty. He delighted in retiring now and then to Glendaloch and used to spend some time even to the number of forty days in an adjoining cave famous for the memory of St. Coemhgen or Kevin in fasting praying and contemplation. (61)

Notes in Lanigan
(59) Vita S. S. cap. 16. The time at which Thomas became abbot of Glendaloch is not marked but Archdall at Glendaloch assigns it to AD 1162 This is a mistake as appears not only from the Life now referred to but likewise from the circumstance that in or about 1166 the abbot of Glendaloch was Benignus whose name is signed to the foundation charter granted at that time to the priory of All Saints near Dublin. See Harris Bishops p. 375. Benignus was undoubtedly the abbot forced upon the monks by king Dermot. It cannot be supposed that Thomas was abbot prior to Benignus for it is plain from said Life that Thomas held the abbacy for several years and consequently he must be placed after Benignus Archdall ib. has a strange statement relative to that abbey expressed in these words: "A. 1173 Earl Richard, King Edward's lieutenant in Ireland, granted to Thomas his clerk the abbey and parsonage of Glendaloch and the lands," &c. In the first place there was no King Edward at that time By Earl Richard. Archdall must have meant Strongbow but how will this agree with his telling us immediately after that the English adventurers plundered Glendaloch in 1176. Which shows that it did not belong to any Englishman at that period Dr. Ledwich quoting the Black book of Dublin gives (Antiq. p. 48) a more minute account of this pretended transaction. He says that in 1173 Richard Strongbow granted to Thomas, nephew of Laurence O Toole, the abbey and parsonage of Glendaloch and that the charter was signed by Eva, wife of Strongbow, and other witnesses. If the Black book contains what he states it contain a forgery Thomas the nephew &c did not get that abbey from Strongbow but as expressly mentioned in the above quoted Life loc. cit. from the clergy and people of Glendaloch. The Dr. himself tells us that one of the witnesses to that deed marked Luke, Archbishop of Dublin, whose incumbency began in 1228. He would fain change Luke into Laurence that is St. Laurence O Toole. But the truth is that this was a grant not of Richard Strongbow but of Richard de Burgo who was chief governor of Ireland in 1227 and 1228. See in Ware's and Harris's Antiq. the Table of the Chief Governors &c of Ireland. The feet is thus related by Archdall ib. "A. 1228 Earl Richard, King Henry III's Lieutenant in Ireland, granted to Thomas his clerk the abbey and parsonage of Glendaloch together with all its appurtenances kmds and dignities situate within and without the city in pure and perpetual alms." The deed is in Harris's MS Collectanea at AD. 1228 copied from the Black book of Dublin Lib. nig. Archiep. Dublin. foL. 92. the very leaf to which Ledwich refers/ It mentions the numerous lands, &c, &c, and privileges belonging to the abbey according as king Dermot had testified "sicut in verba veritatis Diennicius rex les tatus est." Richard is called simply Count without any addition indicating that he was the same as Strongbow. Thomas is called his beloved and spiritual clerk without the least hint that he was the nephew of Laurence O Toole. The names of the witnesses are Luke, Archbishop of Dublin, the countess Eva, Walter de Ridell, Meiler son of Henry and Nicholas a clerk. The Dr. makes Eva the same as the wife of Strongbow but there was another Eva her grand daughter and daughter of William Marshal, earl of Pembroke. I do not find in Harris any grant made in 1173 by Strongbow relative to Glendaloch. It is plain notwithstanding Archdall's mistake to which Ledwich added circumstances of his own that the grant to the clerk Thomas was by Richard de Burgo in 1228. In Strongbow's days the English were not in possession of Glendaloch.
(60) lb. cap. 11 The abbey of Aroasia in the diocese of Arras had been founded eighty years prior to these times Fleury l. 63 f. 25.
(61) cap. 12 down to 17.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Tour Historical Sites of the Order of St. John on Rhodes with MedSeas Catholic Journeys

A fellow knight of the Order of Malta has put together a wonderful tour of the former Knights of St. John sites of Rhodes and Crete. He is a professional tour operator, MedSeas Catholic Journeys, who has taken groups to Malta, the Camino de Santiago in Spain and Portugal, and a Saints, Knights and Wine tour in Italy. This promises to be a spectacular trip and I hope you will consider joining us next September, 2017. Visit the MedSeas website for more information and a detailed itinerary.






Rhodes – The Island of Sun: Discover Rhodes, surrounded by clear blue waters, it’s a land of ancient temples, castles and fortresses, all part of the rich history dating back to the Neolithic era. We will experience its ravishing coastlines, dramatic mountain scapes, classic small villages and historic monuments especially sites linked to the Knights of St. John.