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.


  1. Thank you for this entry. Where exactly is the location?

  2. What modern Dublin street is this?

  3. Dear Father,

    The picture above, quite wrong for this post, is the remains of St. Nicholas within on Patrick's Street. The Nun of Kenmare, in her Illustrated History of Ireland has this to say about St. Mary le Hogges:

    "College-green was then quite in the country, and was known as the village of Le Hogges, a name that is apparently derived from the Teutonic word Hoge, which signifies a small hill or sepulchral mound. Here there was a nunnery called St. Mary le Hogges, which had been erected or endowed not many years before Henry's arrival, and a place called Hoggen's Butt, where the citizens exercised themselves in archery. Here, during the winter of 1171, the Celt, the Saxon, and the Norman, may have engaged in peaceful contests and pleasant trials of skill."

    So the answer is College Green or thereabouts, to the east of the medieval city.