Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The abbey of St Thomas (Walsh)


Shrine of Our Lady of Dublin

From Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, 1854, c. xliv p. 424-5:

The abbey of St Thomas was founded in the part of Dublin called Thomas court for canons of St. Victor by William Fitz Adelm, butler to King Henry II.
A.D. 1174. About this time Simon was abbot.
A.D. 1200 Walter do Lacy son of Hugh the conqueror of Meath confirmed his father's benefactions to this abbey.
A.D. 1205 the contest which arose between this abbey and that of Bectiff in the county of Meath concerning the right to the body of Hugh de Lacy was determined in favor of St Thomas's.
A.D. 1326 Stephen Tyrrel was abbot.
A.D. 1354 John Walsh was abbot
A.D. 1380 the parliament of the English pale enacted that no mere Irishman should make profession in this abbey.
A.D. 1505 Walter Walsh was abbot.
A.D. 1529 James Cotterell was abbot.
A.D. 1534 Henry Duffe was abbot. In July 1538, he made a surrender of the abbey and its possessions. On the 10th of September an annual pension of forty two pounds was granted to him and to his predecessor James Cotterell a pension of 10. The abbot of this house was a baron of parliament.

Henry VIII granted a portion of the possessions of this abbey to William Brabazon Esq. forever at the annual rent of 18s 6d sterling. This ancestor of the earl of Meath obtained more grants of those possessions from King Henry at the yearly rent of £1 4s l1d.

In the 27th of Queen Elizabeth a grant was made to Anthony Deeringe of large possessions belonging to this abbey, one at 16s 8d Irish money, another at 20s Irish, and a third at £4 14s 4d, all in the county of Meath to be held by him and his heirs forever.

By an inquisition taken the 16th of January 1625 it was found that Henry Harrington knight was seized of some of its possessions at the value of 7s besides reprizes.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Priory of the Holy Trinity, Dublin (Christ Church)(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:


Priory of the Holy Trinity commonly called Christ church. Sitric the Danish prince of Dublin is said to have given Donatus the bishop of that see a site on which to erect a church in honor of the blessed Trinity. The year of the grant is marked in the black book of Christ church as taking place AD 1038.

On the advancement of St. Lawrence O'Toole to the see of Dublin AD 1163 he instituted the canons regular of the order of Arras instead of the secular canons.

AD 1176 died Richard earl of Pembroke called Strongbow of a cancerous sore in his leg and was interred in the church of the Holy Trinity within sight of the holy cross.

AD 1546 the tomb of a bishop who had been many centuries interred was this year opened the body was found whole and uncorrupted with a gold chalice rings and episcopal vestments.

Relics religiously preserved in this church: A crucifix said to have spoken the staff of Jesus; St. Patrick's altar; a thorn of our Saviour's crown; part of the Virgin Mary's girdle; some of the bones of SS Peter and Andrew; a few of those of the holy martyrs St. Clement, St. Oswald, St. Faith, the abbot Brendan, St. Thomas a Becket; St. Woolstan bishop of Worcester and St Lawrence O'Toole, all of which have been destroyed by the English reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in detestation of popery and idolatry.

The cloisters and other buildings attached to this magnificent church have been removed, the church alone remains, reminding the spectator of the splendor of ancient days and of the piety and faith of the Catholic church as exemplified in works of art and architectural taste. The court yard and the aisles of Christ church are at present nothing more than the promenade of the idle and the curious.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Archiepiscopal See of Dublin (1762-1823)(Walsh)


Archbishop Troy, O.P.

From Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, 1854, c. xvi, p. 129 ff:

Patrick Fitzsimon, dean of Dublin and parish priest of St Audeon's, was appointed to the archdiocese, a dignity which he filled six years in a manner solely ecclesiastical and unobtrusive. It is worthy of remark that his prudence and judgment were preeminently evinced on the occasion of the test oaths when the Pope's nuncio at Brussels, Ghillini, denounced them and directed an authoritative remonstrance against them, which he designed to be circulated as a pastoral throughout the province. These oaths were projected as a security by the government in the event of conceding emancipation to the Irish Catholics. The archbishop suppressed the nuncio's remonstrance. The Irish parliament in the last year of this prelate's life issued an order to the parliamentary archbishops and bishops of the kingdom to make out a list of the several families in their parishes, distinguishing Protestant from Catholic, and also of the several popish priests and friars residing in their parishes. Having attained the age of seventy six years, the archbishop died in Francis Street, Dublin AD 1769

John Carpenter succeeded on the 3d of June, 1770. Having passed to a foreign university, Lisbon, to acquire his education and degrees, he was, on his return to his native city of Dublin, appointed curate in St Mary's parish chapel. Early in his missionary life, he was involved in the political struggles of the day and engaged with Lord Taaffe, who was the venerable mediator of the Irish Catholics, but they were then considered of too little importance to be noticed by the government. On the death of Archbishop Fitzsimon the regulars of the province anxiously solicited the translation of De Burgo, bishop of Ossory and the author of Hibernia Dominicana, to the see of Dublin, however, through the influence of the earl of Fingal, Charles O'Connor of Belanagare and others of the Catholic nobility and gentry and the hearty concurrence of the Dublin clergy, the promotion of Doctor Carpenter was effected. He was consecrated in Liffey street chapel by Anthony Blake, the primate of Armagh, assisted by the bishops of Kildare and Ossory. In November, 1778, Doctor Carpenter, seventy of his clergy and several hundred Roman Catholics of the laity, attended at the court of king's bench in Dublin and took the oaths prescribed by the act of parliament for the relief of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. On the 29th of October, 1786, Archbishop Carpenter closed his mortal career in the fifty ninth year of his age and was buried in St Michan's churchyard, Dublin. He was not a prelate gifted with any remarkably splendid talents.  They were more distinguished for sound judgment strong memory and diligent research.

John Thomas Troy succeeded in 1786 was born near Porterstown in the county of Dublin. At the early age of fifteen he went to Rome to prosecute his studies there assumed the Dominican habit and at length became the rector of St Clement's in that city. In 1776, on the death of De Burgo, bishop of Ossory, the pope selected this divine as worthy to fill his vacant chair. He was accordingly consecrated at Louvain on his way homeward by the archbishop of Mecklin assisted by two mitred abbots.

On arriving in his diocese of Ossory he revived the ecclesiastical conferences of the clergy that were from necessity discontinued. In January, 1779, and again in October of the same year, he published very spirited circulars against the system of whiteboyism then prevalent and caused excommunication to be solemnly pronounced against all those who were engaged in its folly through all the churches of his diocese. In 1787, he issued pastoral directions to his clergy in which they were strictly prohibited the future celebration of midnight masses by which the festival of Christ's nativity was ushered in and that none should be celebrated before six o clock in the morning.  He forbade any priest secular or regular from appearing at hunts races or public concerts. In 1793, Doctor Troy published pastoral instructions on the duties of Christian citizens, which were impugned as favoring republicanism but the whole scope of his writings was to show that Roman Catholics adhering to the principles of their Church are loyal and good subjects because their religion inculcates obedience to constituted authority and to the power that is established under any form of government. His loyalty to the throne was too well known to be thus rashly assailed and in the subsequent troubles of the country he denounced sentence of excommunication against any of his flock who should rise in arms against the government whereby his life was endangered as a conspiracy was formed to murder him.

In 1795 was founded the royal college of Maynooth an institution intended solely for the benefit of those who were educated for the Catholic priesthood of Ireland. The buildings cost thirty two thousand pounds and were far from being sufficiently extensive to give accommodation to the students. The annual grant from parliament heretofore amounted to £8,000 sterling. In 1807, an application for an increase was made and the additional sum of £2,500 was obtained at which amount the annual grant continued until the year 1844, when Sir Robert Peel pressed by the repeal agitation endowed the college thereby preventing the annual display of parliamentary bigotry by which the establishment as well as the faith of the Catholics of Ireland was assailed and insulted.  Its present income is £26,300 sterling.  New buildings have been recently erected at an expense of £30,000 in a manner and style befitting the national college of the Irish church. Before its endowment the Very Rev. Michael Montague of Armagh, for many years burser of the college and subsequently president, by a wise economy and by a desire also to add to the comforts of the students was enabled to erect the structures that are set apart for the junior students. At the period that this important concession was made to the Catholics of Ireland intercourse with the Continent was suspended and consequently the means of education were beyond the reach of the students who were intended for the service of the Catholic Church. The government wisely resolved to provide them a suitable education as it was debarred them abroad and as its deprivation was a proscription beyond man's endurance and one to which no people should submit. It is then to the liberality of an Irish parliament consisting as it did exclusively of Protestants and to its judgment the native talent of Ireland is no longer obliged to search for education in the land of the foreigner. Perhaps too the fear of imbibing revolutionary ideas on the Continent operated powerfully on the Irish senate as they could not but understand the unwise policy of having the priesthood of Ireland educated in countries which cherished interests passions and prejudices directly hostile to the government under which they were to live and of having them return home with feelings of gratitude to those people who had offered them an asylum and averse to those who had at home proscribed their education. The college of Maynooth can vie with any similar establishment of Europe in piety discipline and talent

In 1814 a contest arose between Doctor Troy and the grand jury of the city of Dublin relative to the Catholic chaplaincy of the jail of Newgate.  The grand jury having appointed one, Doctor Troy, on the plea of incompetence, suspended him.  The former appealed to the court of king's bench but were informed that, if the person they selected was not to be found at his post they must proceed to nominate another and to continue until the office was substantially filled. The grand jury, however, adopted a different course and sent an order to the prison that no Catholic clergyman should be admitted except him whom Doctor Troy had suspended.  A disgraceful and protracted strife ensued and under the protection of an old penal enactment continued to maintain a clergyman in an office of importance who was disqualified by his legitimate superior.

In April, 1815, Archbishop Troy laid the foundation stone of his metropolitan church but he lived not to witness its completion. He departed this life on the 11th of May, 1823, in the 84th year of his age and was buried in the vaults of the temple he was founding. Doctor Troy was a truly learned and zealous pastor attached to the glory of God and his church and to the honor of the holy see, solicitous of and vigilant in the discharge of his duties for the good of those entrusted to his charge and of the state of which he was a member, meek and unassuming so that the humblest child of his diocese could approach him with confidence and affection.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Swords Abbey (Walsh)


Swords Castle, County Dublin

From Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, 1854, c. xliv p. 437:

Swords in the barony of Coolock six miles north of Dublin. By some attributed to St. Columbkille.

St. Finan surnamed the leper from his having been afflicted with some cutaneous disease during thirty years of his life governed the monastery of Swords and very probably was the founder. He was a native of Ely O Carrol then a part of Munster and was of an illustrious family. Two other monasteries are attributed to St. Finan, the celebrated monastery of Innisfallen, an island in the lake of Killarney, and that of Ardfinan in the county of Tipperary. Finan spent some time of his life apparently as abbot of Clonmore which had been founded by St. Maidoc of Ferns. The house of Swords was his principal residence and probably the place of his death. St. Finan died in the reign of Finachta, monarch of Ireland. The day of his death is marked in Irish and foreign martyrologies at the 16th of March. He is said to have been the disciple of St. Columbkille but, as his death is placed between the years 675 and 695, he could not have been the disciple of that saint who died in 597.

Swords is called Surdum Sancti Columbae, a name it may have received from its being of the order of St. Columba.

A.D. 965 died the bishop of Swords, Aillila son of Moenach. Here again we meet with bishops in the vicinity of Dublin both at Lusk and Swords.
A.D. 1012 the Danes reduced the town to ashes.  In 1016 renewed their ravages
A.D. 1025 died Marian Hua Cainen, bishop of Swords. He was surnamed 'the Wise.'
A.D. 1042 died the archdeacon of Swords Eochogan, a celebrated scholar and scribe of this monastery.
A.D. 1135 Connor O Melaghlin, king of Meath, sacked and wasted the towns of Swords and Lusk. He was slain in the expedition.
A.D. 1138 the reliques and churches were destroyed by fire.

Nunnery. In the fourteenth year of the reign of king Edward IV, A.D. 1474, there is an actual grant by Parliament of twenty shillings yearly from the crown revenue to Eleonora prioress of Swords and her successors. No more recorded of it.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Abbey of St. Mary le Hogges, 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. 423:

Nunnery of St Mary de Hogges. In the year 1146, Dermot Mac Murchard, king of Leinster, founded this convent for Augustinian nuns in a village called Hogges, adjoining the east end of the city of Dublin. Gregory of Dublin and Malachy primate of Ireland were directors of the building and generous benefactors to it. In the year 1151 the royal founder subjected the cell of Kilclehin in the county of Kilkenny and that of Athaddy in Carlow to this house.

Oighe in the Irish language means a virgin and hence it is likely the village took its name from the nunnery. Into this convent no lady was admitted until she completed her thirtieth year of age. After the arrival of the English in Ireland a plot was formed by the natives against them and many of the English having repaired to this convent, the nuns secreted them. King John so pleased with their exemplary humanity, on coming to Ireland, rebuilt their nunnery and annexed thereto many chapels and livings. The lady abbess Matilda died the 20th of March the year of her decease is not recorded The lady Rossia was abbess. On her death license was granted, April 9th, 1277, to the nuns to proceed to an election. The lady Mary Guidon was the last abbess.

December 1st, sixth of King Edward VI, this abbey with its appurtenances was granted forever to James Sedgrave at the annual rent of eleven shillings and eight pence.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Archiepiscopal See of Dublin (1707-1762)(Walsh)


Francis Street Church, Dublin

From Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, 1854, c. xvi, p. 127 ff:

Edmund Byrne succeeded in 1707. He was ordained at Seville and was in the fifty first year of his age when promoted to the see of Dublin. Soon after his promotion it was proposed under a parliamentary sanction that a public meeting of Protestant and Catholic prelates and doctors should be held for two months to propound and debate on the disputed articles of faith, on which occasion, says Mr Clinch, this worthy archbishop, alone of all the Irish Catholic prelates, attended said conferences and then with such zeal wisdom and more than human eloquence propounded the principles of his religion in the public college of Dublin that many enlightened by the rays of truth shook off the yoke of heresy and sought the harbor of safety in the bosom of the Catholic church. The old controversy respecting the primatial right was revived about the year 1717 and on this occasion Dr Mac Mahon wrote his learned work Jus Primatiale. The archbishop of Dublin, having divided the parishes of St James and St Catherine, the pastor appealed to the primate of all Ireland whose decision restored the appellant. The matter was, however, brought before the supreme tribunal of the church but before its decision was obtained Dr. Byrne died.

Edward Murphy, who acted as secretary to the synod held by Archbishop Russel in July, 1685, and also in 1688, was subsequently bishop of Kildare from which see he was translated to the archbishopric of Dublin in 1724. Having filled the see five years he died in 1729.

Luke Fagan in 1729 was translated from the see of Meath to the archdiocese of Dublin, which he filled about five years residing in the ancient chapel house of Francis Street during this time. Though the rigorous spirit of the penal laws was somewhat relaxed during the government of George the Second, yet his life was so unobtrusive as not to project himself to the notice of posterity.

John Linegar was appointed to the see in 1734. During the administration of the Duke of Devonshire, the vengeance of the law was again directed against the prelacy and priesthood of Ireland. A proclamation issued in February, 1743, by which all justices of the peace were ordered to enforce the penal laws for the detection of popish prelates and priests and in the same document were offered large pecuniary rewards for the seizure and conviction of those proscribed men and of others who would dare to conceal them or entertain them in their houses. In consequence of this cruel edict, worthy of a Nero, the chapels were closed, visits made in search of priests, yet some zealous ecclesiastics exercised their ministry in obscure and unfrequented places. On one occasion a priest John Fitzgerald officiated in a ruinous dwelling within the city. The sacrifice of the Mass being finished and the people ready to depart, the priest and nine of his hearers were killed by the fall of the house and many more were severely bruised or maimed. Moved by this lamentable occurrence, Hoadley, a Protestant primate, effected a toleration in the council and the chapels were re-opened on the 17th of March, 1745. In 1751, Archbishop Linegar received from Rome instructions which he was ordered to transmit to the archbishops of Armagh, Cashel and Tuam, and by them to be communicated to their suffragans exhorting them to subdivide extensive districts into new parishes or otherwise select coadjutors for their flocks. The prelates themselves were directed to reside and enforce residence within their sees and every second year to report to the nuncio at Brussels the state of religion and of ecclesiastical discipline. Confessors were forbidden to take alms at their confessionals, parish priests were directed to have the children taught their catechism diligently and correctly and, with regard to the regular clergy, their superiors were ordered to avoid admitting them to take the religious habit in Ireland, as it was desirable they should assume it in monasteries of foreign countries where the noviciates were regulated according to the constitutions of the Popes and should not return to Ireland until they finished the course of their studies there and have acquired the knowledge of moral and dogmatic theology. The Archbishop Linegar lived until the year 1756.  His portrait is preserved at the Sienna convent in Drogheda.

Richard Lincoln was appointed to succeed in 1757. In this year, he caused an exhortation to be read from the altars inviting the Roman Catholics to be grateful to those who had preserved them without distinction of persons by their charity and benevolence in the visitation of famine which recently afflicted them. A series of more than sixty years, said the bishop, spent with a pious resignation under the hardships of very severe penal laws and with thanks for the lenity and moderation with which they were executed since the accession of the present royal family is a fact which, with any unbiassed mind, must outweigh the ill-formed opinions of the doctrines and the tenets which the Catholic church inculcates. This document concluded by urging on his flock an abstinence from sin and the performance of moral and religious duties. In 1759, a dispute arose between the archbishop and the regular clergy of his diocese. The prelate, feeling it incumbent on him to control their faculty of hearing confessions and to prescribe other points of ecclesiastical discipline, an ordinance issued from Rome in August, 1761, more peremptorily enjoining the manner in which such confessions should be heard and otherwise adjusting the disputed points of discipline. In February, 1762, another exhortation issued urging the respective congregations to submission and allegiance and recommending the king to their prayers in order that by a solid and lasting peace the effusion of Christian blood might be restrained. Archbishop Lincoln died at the close of 1762 and was buried in a family vault in St. James' churchyard Dublin.