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.

Radio Maria Mass for Lent




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.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A Memoir of St. Laurence O'Toole

From Dalton's Memoirs of the Archbishops of Dublin (1838, p. 51ff.):


LAURENCE O'TOOLE
Succ 1162 Ob 1180

Laurence O'Toole the truly illustrious individual who succeeded to this high preferment was the youngest son of the hereditary lord or petty prince of the territory of Imaile the head of one of the septs eligible to the kingdom of Leinster and which maintained the privilege of electing the bishops and abbots of Glendalough even for centuries after that see was de jure united to that of Dublin. His father's principality was situated in the district of Wicklow to which he was also attached in the maternal line his mother having been of the O'Byrnes a family equally revered in the memory of their countrymen. In the depth of the romantic valley of the two lakes which gave name to the see of Glendalough and where the ruins of its little city and cathedral are still traceable there was at this period one of those schools for which Ireland was justly celebrated and within its walls the pious Laurence imbibed the rudiments of his education and the principles of his religion. At the early age of ten his acquirements elevated him considerably above the ordinary class of his contemporaries and the infant ardour of his patriotism so manifested itself that when at that period his father participated in the oppressive hostilities with which Dermot Mac Murrough visited the most worthy of the chieftains of Leinster the heartless tyrant could only be induced to avert the worst inflictions of his cruel power on receiving as a hostage from the father's hands the son of his heart and hopes.

No sooner had Dermot possessed himself of this already celebrated boy than he subjected him to the first lessons of the persecution he was fated to endure and with a fiendish cruelty in thorough consistence with the character which even his Welch allies afterwards attributed to him he is said to have confined his victim in a barren unsheltered spot and only allowed him such a quality and quantity of food as might preserve an existence for tyranny to excruciate. The distracted parent when he heard of his son's sufferings knowing that entreaty would be responded with mockery and increased barbarity by some successful sally from his mountain holds captured twelve of Mac Murrough's soldiers whom he threatened instantly to immolate unless his son was restored to his home. The threat was effective and in the valley of Glendalough Laurence was once more received in a father's embrace. The secluded and melancholy appearance of this scene surrounded as it is by almost perpendicular mountains on all sides but the east where alone it opens like a vast temple of nature to the rising day early marked it as the more peculiar retreat of holiness and must have greatly influenced the determination of the redeemed boy who thereupon again applied himself to his studies in the place where his rudiments were imbibed and ultimately resigning the prospects of his birth and inheritance devoted his great talents to the service of religion and exhibited such eminent proofs of his knowledge devotion purity and high morality that in the twenty fifth year of his age at the importunity of the clergy and people of the district he was advanced to preside over that abbey whose ruins still affect the observer with inexpressible reverence and if not forming the most imposing feature at Glendalough at least powerfully deepen its interest. His charity to the poor at this time is much commemorated especially during a period of remarkable scarcity which miserably afflicted that part of the country during four successive years nor is it to be overlooked that by the rectitude of his conduct throughout this interval of his life he confounded the efforts of calumny and by the firm but merciful superin tendance of the district under his charge converted it from a wicked waste to moral cultivation. The result was to himself as might be expected and when the bishop of the see Gilda na Naomh died Laurence was at once selected by a grateful people to fill the vacant dignity. He however utterly declined this honour wisely and prudently excusing himself by reason of the fewness of his years. Providence reserved him for a more exalted and useful sphere of action and on the death of Gregory Archbishop of Dublin which soon afterwards occurred he was elected the successor a promotion which he would also have declined but was ultimately induced to accept by earnest representations of the good he might thus effectuate. He was accordingly consecrated in Christ Church Dublin in the year 1152 by Gelasius Archbishop of Armagh assisted by many bishops the people offering up the thanksgivings of their hearts and from that period the custom of sending the bishops of the Irish cities which the Danes had occupied to Canterbury for consecration was utterly discontinued.

In the following year Archbishop O'Toole engaged the secular clergy of his cathedral of the Holy Trinity to receive the rule of the regular canons of Aroasia an abbey which was founded in the diocese of Arras about eighty years previously and had acquired such a reputation for sanctity and exemplary discipline that it became the head or mother church of a numerous congregation. The better to recommend this change the archbishop himself assumed the habit of that order which he thenceforth always wore under his pontifical attire and equally submitted himself to their mortifications and rules of living. Although he studiously avoided all popular applause yet his continued charity to the poor could not be concealed. He caused every day sometimes sixty sometimes forty paupers to be fed in his presence besides many whom he otherwise relieved he entertained the rich with suitable splendour yet never himself tasted the luxuries of the table and as frequently as his duties would permit retreated to the scene of his early sanctity where in the cave still shewn as the labour of St Kevin's self inflictions removed from human intercourse he indulged himself in holy thinkings.

In 1167 he assisted at the council which King Roderic convened at Athboy and which in the mixed grades of those who attended it greatly resembled a Saxon Wittenagemote. Thither according to the Annals of the Four Masters came the comorb of Patrick, Catholicus O'Dufly Archbishop of Connaught, Laurence O'Toole Archbishop of Leinster, Tiernan O'Rourke Lord of Brefny, Donough O'Carrol Lord of Uriel, the son of the King of Ulad Dermod O'Melaghlin King of Tara Raynal Mac Raynal Lord of the Danes, Donough O'Faolan Chief of the Desies &c. The complement of the whole so collected was 6000 of Connaught 4000 with O'Rourke 2000 with O'Melaghlin 4000 with O'Carrol and the son of the King of Ulad 2000 with Donough O'Faolan and 1000 with the Danes of Dublin. The political object of this assembly was to obtain more indisputable acknowledgments of the sovereignty of Roderic and to calculate what aid and support he might expect in case of the then expected invasion of Dermot Mac Murrough's auxiliaries. The council did not however separate without passing many good ordinances touching the privileges of churches and clergy and the regulation of public morality and religious discipline Archbishop Laurence also presided as legate at a clerical convocation held at Clonfert in 1170 by commission from the Pope. Upon the first invasion of the Welch adventurers he adhered firmly to the independence of his country and encouraged the inhabitants of Dublin to a vigorous defence against the invaders they however daunted by the martial appearance and disciplined array of Strongbow's forces before their walls entreated the prelate rather to become the mediator of a peace to effectuate which he passed out into the lines of the besiegers but while the terms of surrender were yet under discussion. Raymond le Gros and Milo de Cogan with a party of young and fiery spirits scaled the walls and at once possessed themselves of the city with frightful carnage. The charity of Archbishop O'Toole was eminently exercised on this occasion. At the hazard of his life he traversed the streets of the metropolis protesting against the ruin he could not control snatching the panting bodies from the grasp of the invader he administered to the dying the last consolations of religion to the dead the hasty service of a grave and to the wants and wounds of the wretched survivors all that their necessities could require or his means afford.

In 1171 Hasculph the Danish Governor of Dublin whom the English had expelled from the city arrived in its harbour to reassert his rights with thirty ships in his train and a numerous force commanded by John Wood from the Isle of Man and the islands of the North and described in the Irish Annals as well appointed after the Danish manner with brigandines jacks and coats of mail their shields bucklers and targets round and coloured red and bound about with iron Archbishop Laurence on this occasion considering that much national good might result from opposing the power of the new invaders by that of the old became most zealous in his appeals to the native princes to promote Hasculph's project and his devoted patriotism and the sanctity of his character gave great weight to his exhortations. The people rose in arms to his call collected all their strength surrounded Dublin by land while the Dane occupied the harbour and threatened the hitherto victorious Strongbow with total annihilation From the height of the citadel he beheld with alarm the allied natives at last united in the defence of their country and extending their lines from sea to sea around him Roderic was encamped at Castleknock whence his army extended to the ancient town of Finglas O'Rourke and the petty prince of Ulster mingled their forces along the strand of Clontarf the Lord of Hy Kin selagh occupied the opposite shores of Dalkey while the Chief of Thomond advanced so near as Kilmainham to the walls of the metropolis and even Archbishop Laurence communicated the inspiration of his character to this cause and gliding amidst the ranks of war animated the several septs of his countrymen to the assertion of their common liberties. Within the city were Earl Strongbow Maurice Fitzgerald Raymond le Gros the Achilles of the invasion Milo de Cogan Richard de Cogan and some other chosen chieftains but their scanty soldiery bore a fearful comparison in numbers with the host that were to oppose them and Strongbow in the prudence of necessity withheld them from any encounter that might but reveal their weakness It was the crisis of Ireland's destinies but her monarch was not equal to the emergency. During two months these warriors patiently endured the closest blockade but after that interval a privation of food so grievous that according to Regan a measure of wheat was sold for a mark and one of barley for half a mark threatened the garrison with the most terrific species of death In this emergency rather than pine under the lingering infliction of famine they loudly implored their commanders to lead them against the enemy and afford them at least the glorious consolation of dying on the field of battle In aggravation of their despair and the imminence of their fate came fearful accounts of the state of Fitz Stephen and his followers in Wexford. A council was thereupon held and an ineffectual effort having been made under its direction to obtain favourable terms by negotiation it was resolved without further delay to sally on the besiegers. The garrison was accordingly divided into three companies Raymond le Gros with 200 knights took the vanguard Milo de Cogan with as many more kept the centre and Strongbow with Maurice Fitz Gerald and 200 knights and soldiers composed the rear sufficient numbers being left to guard and secure the city. Early on the following morning when the natives were least expecting an assault the appointed detachments impatiently sallied from the city and falling on the wing of Roderic's army completely broke down any opposition it was able to offer and following up their advantage along the monarch's line slew without mercy even until the fall of night when they returned to the city wearied by their bloody victory but much enriched with spoils and with what was then even more welcome ample stores of provisions Roderic himself narrowly escaped being taken prisoner. The native chieftains fled in every direction and the allies from the isles took to sea without another effort Hasculph himself however was taken prisoner as he was hurrying to his ship and having when brought before the English leader expressed himself in terms deemed unbecoming and certainly imprudent in a captive was instantly ordered to execution Milo de Cogan was thereupon re instated in the government of Dublin and Strongbow marched with his adherents to the relief of Fitz Stephen in Wexford. The political exertions of the archbishop were not however paralyzed by these unexpected discomfitures. With unwearied zeal he still laboured to organize an effective opposition against Strongbow and his followers but the arrival of King Henry the Second at Waterford in the October following with considerable forces having given a new character to the invasion and most of the leading men of Ireland having submitted to him Laurence together with the principal archbishops bishops and abbots of the country repaired to that city and in obedience to the bull of Pope Adrian then for the first time exhibited respectively submitted themselves to him the English king as their temporal lord and ruler. In the Christmas following Archbishop Laurence assisted at the synod convened at Cashel by the king's orders wherein several canons were established for the prevention of marriages within certain degrees of kindred the more solemn administration of baptism the due payment of parochial tithes the immunity of church lands and of the clergy from secular exactions the distribution of the property of deceased persons according to their wishes solemnly avowed before death or an equitable division in case of no such avowal the administration of the last rites to the dying the regulation of burials and the conformity of divine service in Ireland with that of the Church of England while it is very remarkable that notwithstanding the great reform which it was alleged the Irish nation required not only were all the bishops and ecclesiastics who were present on that occasion natives with the exception of three Henry's immediate chaplain and advisers but it was actually not deemed necessary to make any canons at this synod relative to religious doctrine or even the more essential points of discipline and some of the decrees are evidently of a political rather than an ecclesiastical tendency.

About the year 1173 this prelate gave the amiable example not only of Christian forgiveness but yet more of that cordiality with which persons most opposed in politics should concur in the cause of religion and charity and co operating with Strongbow Robert Fitz Stephen and Raymond le Gros undertook the enlargement of Christ Church and accordingly at their own charges erected the choir the steeple and two chapels one dedicated to St Edmund king and martyr and to St Mary and the other to St Laud. He adhered however not the less faithfully to the fallen fortunes of his former sovereign and as zealously but more peaceably endeavoured to uphold them as far as circumstances would now permit. Accordingly in 1175 when Roderic O Conor was reduced to narrow his negotiations and exertions to the sole object of securing the sovereignty of his own province of Connaught he despatched Catholicus Archbishop of Tuam, the Abbot of St Brandan, and Archbishop Laurence styled in the treaty Roderic's chancellor to wait upon King Henry at Windsor where he held his court. There these emissaries concluded that remarkable treaty which is yet extant and in which the contracting parties are both named kings Henry of England and Roderic of Connaught. It was on this occasion Archbishop O'Toole visited the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury and as the writer of his life says narrowly escaped death from an insane individual who conceived he would do a meritorious action by murdering the prelate and assimilating his fate with that of Becket Accordingly he rushed upon him as he was celebrating mass beat him down and inflicted grievous wounds upon his head. When the archbishop recovered the king on hearing of the circumstance would have punished the attempt by the death of the offender but the archbishop interceded for his life which was spared accordingly.

In 1176 when the remains of Strongbow were deposited in the church he had so lately beautified and enlarged when the proud invader was let down into the grave amidst a population whose homes he had desolated Archbishop Laurence presided at the solemn rites that close the enmities of man and mingle with the better recollections of the dead the hopes and prayers that point to everlasting life yet with what deep reflections must he have witnessed the clay thrown over that cold corse that was once animated with such an adventurous spirit the narrow home of him who was the prominent actor in the catastrophe of a nation whose successful ambition had triumphed over the independence of Ireland subverted its ancient constitution dissolved the privileges of its families confined its monarch within a portion of the remotest province of his former kingdom and erected out of the remainder palatinates and baronies yet in the words of William of Newbridge carried to the grave no part of those spoils he coveted so eagerly in life putting to risk even his eternal salvation to amass them but at last leaving to unthankful heirs all he had acquired through so much toil and danger affording by his fate a salutary lesson to mankind.

In 1177 Cardinal Vivian presided as legate at a council in Dublin where the right of the King of England to the sovereignty of Ireland in virtue of the Pope's authority was further inculcated. There is no positive evidence however that Archbishop Laurence took part in this proceeding although he appears in other transactions conjointly with Vivian during his stay in Ireland. In 1178 he granted and confirmed to the church of the Holy Trinity those of St Michan, St Michael, St John the Evangelist, St Brigid, St Paul and all the profits of the mills which the said church was known to possess without the walls near the bridge and the fishery with the tithes of salmon and of all other fishes on either side of the water course of the Liffey and all the lands of Ratheny, Portrane, Rathsillan, Kinsaly, the third part of Cloghney, the third part of Killallin, Lisluan, Killester, Duncuanach, Glasnevin, Magdunia, St Doulogh's, Ballymacamleib, Cloncoen, Tallagh, Tullaghcoen, Killingincleam, Kiltinan, Rathsalaghan, Tullaghnaescope, Drumhing, Ballyrochaican, half of Rathmihi, Tiradran, Ballyrochan, and Ballymoailph, with all their appurtenances for ever.

In 1179 this archbishop with some other Irish prelates proceeded to Rome to assist at the General Council then held there being the second Council of Lateran. King Henry however before he would permit them to pass through his dominions exacted from them a solemn oath not to prejudice him or his empire in the progress of their mission. On Laurence's arrival at Rome he obtained a bull from thepope confirming the dioceses of Glendalough, Kildare, Ferns, Leighlin, and Ossory to his metropolitical authority and further assuring to his own see its lands and possessions as therein most fully detailed. The Pope also created him legate of Ireland in virtue of which commission according to his biographers he afterwards on his return exercised legatine authority in his native country.

In 1180 according to Hoveden and Benedict he again passed out of Ireland entrusted by the unfortunate Roderic to place that prince's son as an hostage with the English king then sojourning in Normandy as was stipulated in the before mentioned treaty of Windsor. There the archbishop was detained by the king whose displeasure he had incurred as Cambrensis alleges by having through zeal for his country's service made some harsh representations at Rome of the Anglo Irish Government and obtained from the Pope privileges derogatory of the royal dignity. But as all history evinces that this patriotic prelate discharged the duties of his high clerical station in the most exemplary manner and even yielded his political antipathies to the necessities of the times it may be naturally concluded that his remonstrances and authority were only such as justice would warrant and directed against the barbarity of the adventurers of the day.

Such honest representations of the encroachments they would have made in temporal and spiritual property should be fairly considered as so far from violating Laurence's engagement to Henry that in reality the honest interest of the English crown could not be better advanced than by the suppression of the wanton outrages he vainly witnessed It was by the disregard of his expostulations that a host of needy adventurers were endowed in Ireland and a government founded within the pale of that devoted country which was felt only in its power to do injustice.

Well had it been if the consequences of that misrule had died with the tyrants who first perpetrated it Unfortunately however for the generations of ages the acts of those detached and licentious chiefs were permitted to assume the name of English administration and bigotries were engendered and hatreds associated which only the nineteenth century is dissolving Archbishop Laurence lived to see his country the patrimony of strangers but to the last hour of his he laboured to avert the evils of that dispensation and to place a country whose intestine made it incapable and unworthy of independence under the lawful protection of England's not the fickle despotism of alien Palatines the midst however of the ill merited restraints upon him it was too fatally evinced that banishment from his country accelerated his dissolution.

In Normandy the sickness fell upon him and conscious that the hour of his demise was approaching he retired into the monastery of Regular Canons at Eu on the confines of that province anxious to close his life within its peaceful walls and amidst the brethren of his favourite order. Yet even in the sacred reflections of that moment the afflictions of his country lived in his remembrance from his death bed he is recorded as having sent a monk of the fraternity to the camp of Henry to implore peace for Ireland and when some token of assent was given by the King and communicated to the prelate it mingled with the hopes of a dying Christian and he sunk into his last repose on the 14th of November 1180.

Immediately after his burial which took place at Eu King Henry despatched Jeoffrey de la Hay his chaplain into Ireland to seize the revenues of the see which he held over for nearly one year. The remains of Archbishop Laurence were at first placed in a shrine before the altar of the martyr Leodegarius but when the prelate was canonized in 1218 by Pope Honorius the Third they were with great solemnity translated and placed over the high altar where they were long preserved in a silver shrine.

The abbey that was sanctified by his death was on his canonization dedicated anew to him and his festival has continued to be celebrated there yearly with one office of nine lessons as it is also observed in Ireland under the particular sanction of a decree of Pope Benedict the Fourteenth Cherish in your memory says that pontiff addressing the archbishops and bishops of Ireland. Cherish in your memory St Patrick the apostle of Ireland whom our predecessor St Celestine sent to you of whose apostolic mission and preaching such an abundant harvest has grown that Ireland before his time idolatrous was suddenly called and deservedly is the Island of Saints cherish in your memory St Malachy Archbishop of Armagh whose ardour for the conversion of souls St Bernard has depicted in the boldest colouring. He stood forth undaunted in every manner prepared to convert the wolves into sheep to admonish in public to convince in private to touch the chords of the heart boldly or gently as suited the subject. Traversing the country he sought the aspirations which he might turn to the service of the true God neither was he carried by horse but on foot like an apostle he performed his mission. And yet with even more sincerity cherish in your memory St Laurence the Archbishop of Dublin whom born as he was of royal blood our predecessor Alexander the Third in the Council of Lateran selected as his legate apostolic for Ireland and whom Honorius the Third alike our predecessor afterwards canonized whence you may well know what services that saintly man rendered to his flock. But if yet more we were to exhort you to cherish in your memory the very holy men Columbanus, Kilian, Virgil, Rumold, St Gall, and the many others who coming out of Ireland carried the true faith over the provinces of the continent or established it with the blood of their martyrdom we should far exceed the limits of a letter. Suffice it to commend to you to bear in memory the religion and the piety of those that have preceded you and the solicitude for the duties of their station which has established their everlasting glory and happiness.

In reference to his personal appearance St Laurence is represented as having been tall and graceful in stature of a comely presence and in his outward habit grave but rich. His life published by Surius is said to have been written by Ralph of Bristol Bishop of Kildare in the commencement of the thirteenth century and a correct copy thereof is reported to be in Archbishop Ussher's collection in Trinity College Dublin. The biography from which the chief facts above related have been selected was written by a brother of the monastery of Eu and is published in Messingham's Florilegium. It but remains to mention that in the Roman Catholic church St Laurence is the patron saint of the diocese of Dublin.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Archiepiscopal See of Dublin (1669-1707)(Walsh)


Peter Talbot, S.J., 
later Archbishop of Dublin

From Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, 1854, c. xvi, p. 125 ff:

Peter Talbot succeeded in 1669. Peter was the son of Sir William Talbot and brother of the celebrated Colonel Talbot whom James II created earl of Tyrconnell and afterwards ennobled with the title of duke. Peter was born about the year 1620. Early in life, with a view of entering the ecclesiastical state, he repaired to Portugal, there became a Jesuit in 1635, and afterwards to Rome, where he completed his studies and was admitted to holy orders. From Rome he returned to Portugal and afterwards removed to Antwerp where he lectured on moral theology and published a treatise on the nature of faith and heresy the nullity of the Protestant church and its clergy. He is supposed to be the person who received, in 1656, Charles the Second into the Catholic religion while he was at Cologne and to have been sent privately to Madrid to intimate to the court of Spain the fact of his conversion. On the marriage of Charles II with the Infanta of Portugal he was appointed one of her chaplains and his vows as a Jesuit having been dispensed with he was promoted to the see of Dublin in 1669 and consecrated in the May of this year either at Antwerp or Ghent.

On his arrival in Dublin he found an assembly of the Catholic clergy sitting under the control of the primate Talbot asserting an authority to oversee the proceedings, the old controversy respecting the primatial right was revived. Both parties appealed to Rome where a decision was made in favor of Armagh as Archbishop Plunkett and after him Hugh Mac Mahon alleged. In 1670, Archbishop Talbot sojourned for a time at Ghent and having returned to Dublin in the May of this year he waited on Lord Berkeley, lord lieutenant of Ireland, by whom he was courteously received and permitted to appear in his archiepiscopal character before the council. On the 30th of August 1670, the archbishop held a synod in Dublin and again in the following year he convened a second one enforcing the publication of bans of marriages and prohibiting under pain of excommunication any Catholic male or female from contracting matrimony with the offspring of Jews, Turks or Moors and moreover interdicting any priest from solemnizing such.

The liberal Lord Berkeley being removed from the government of Ireland, the bigoted Essex replaced him and forthwith the storm burst upon the devoted heads of the Catholics and Peter Talbot was at once marked out for proscription. He was accused with an intent to introduce Roman Catholics into the common council of the Dublin corporation. Judging rightly of his danger and distrusting those who should adjudicate his cause, he fled and after wandering some time in disguise he arrived safely in the metropolis of France from which he addressed in 1674 a pastoral letter full of tenderness to those over whom he presided on the duty and comfort of suffering subjects.

In 1675, he ventured to return to England where he took up his residence at Pool Hall in Cheshire and fearing that his end was approaching he obtained through the influence of the duke of York a connivance to his restoration to Ireland. In 1678, he was arrested at Malahide on suspicion of being concerned in the popish plot as nothing was found in his papers to justify the charge and as his state of health did not permit his removal the security of his brother was accepted for his appearance. He was, however, on the arrival of the duke of Ormond in Dublin, removed to the castle a prisoner on the point of death. There he remained for two years treated with great severity until death put an end to his afflictions in the year 1680.

Patrick Russell, after a vacancy of three years, succeeded on the 2d of August 1683. In July 1685 he held a provincial synod at Dublin in which local and provincial regulations were made. In the following year, Archbishop Russel assisted at an assembly of the Roman Catholic clergy held in Dublin at which the primate of all Ireland presided. To this meeting of the clergy the earl of Clarendon alludes in a dispatch to the earl of Rochester dated the 15th of May. Again Patrick Russel presided at a diocesan synod held in Dublin on the 10th of June 1686 in which it was decreed that parochial clergymen having the charge of souls should provide schoolmasters in their parishes to instruct the children and should inspect the schools and remove the teachers if negligent. On the 1st of August, 1688, he held a provincial council wherein it was enacted among other things that every parish priest should under pain of suspension on the Lord's day explain some point of the Christian doctrine or give a short exhortation to the people after the gospel. During the residence of King James in the Irish metropolis, Archbishop Russel enjoyed the distinction of performing the holy rites of the Catholic church in the royal presence. The last rite which he celebrated before the king was the consecration of the Benedictine nunnery in Channelrow. On the overthrow of the Stuart dynasty, he fled to Paris, whence he returned to close his days in the land of his labors. At the close of the year 1692, he went the way of all flesh and was buried in the ancient church of Lusk.

Peter Creagh succeeded in 1693, was bishop of Cork for several years previous to 1686. It is probable that he was a relative of Sir Michael Creagh who was the lord mayor of Dublin in 1688, whose brother the mayor of Newcastle was also knighted by King James. On the flight of James and the surrender of Limerick, Peter left the country and resided in Paris until, on the 9th of March 1693, he was advanced to the archdiocese of Dublin. During the incumbency of Peter, the embers of persecution were rekindled the education foreign or domestic of Catholics was prohibited penal enactments succeeded in 1697. All popish prelates, vicars general, deans, monks, Jesuits and all others of their religion who exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Ireland were ordered by act of Parliament to depart from the kingdom before the 1st of May, 1698, and in case of return were subjected to imprisonment and transportation to foreign parts, whence, if they returned, they were liable to be arraigned as traitors and it was moreover enacted that none should be buried in any monastery, abbey or convent not used for the Protestant service. In the same session was enacted the statute prohibiting the intermarriages of Protestants with Catholics. Such indeed was the success of the persecutors in the year 1698, that the number of regulars alone shipped from Ireland were one hundred and fifty three from Dublin, one hundred and ninety from Galway, seventy five from Cork and twenty six from Waterford, in all a total of four hundred and forty four. During all this time there is no public notice of Peter Creagh, the archbishop of Dublin, and such is the scarcity of materials in connection with his life that the period of his death is to be inferred from the appointment of his successor.