Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Grace Dieu (Walsh)

From Fr. 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 p. 430.

Grace Dieu in the barony of Balruddery and three miles north of Swords.

About the year 1190 John Comyn archbishop of Dublin removed thither the nunnery of Lusk and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. He filled it with regular canonesses of St. Augustine and granted it an endowment. Henry de Loundres, Archbishop of Dublin, added to it the parish church of Ballymaddon with the chapel thereunto belonging instead of the parish church of St. Audeon, given by Archbishop Comyn.

Felicia anchoritess of Ballymaddon claimed an annual rent charge payable by the prioress of Grace Dieu.

AD 1531 this nunnery paid 3 6s 8d proxies to the archbishop of Dublin.

The extensive possessions of this nunnery were granted forever to Patrick Barnwell, Esq. at the annual rent of 4 8 6d Irish money. The grant was renewed on the 8th of January the first of Edward VI.

In October 1577 the prioress was seized of a messuage and eighteen acres of land with divers buildings. Towards the south of said buildings the prioress and nuns with the chaplain had a small dwelling and celebrated the divine offices in the parish church of Portrane, all of which were held by Isabella Walsh by a demise from the prioress before the dissolution. Many Catholics obtained grants of property belonging to the monasteries which they religiously reserved for the use of their inmates.