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Rector of Kells t and Canon of St. Patrick's, Dublin 













Deputation to the Prince of Orange Thanksgiving Ser- 
vices Non- Jurors Continued disturbances Sermon by 
Bishop Dopping Collection in aid of the Distressed 
Clergy An insolent Letter and its sequel Difficulties 
as to Patronage Dopping proposed for the Archbishopric 
of Dublin Objections . . . . . . . . i 



Recovery of the Church after fifty years of trial Church 
fabrics Derelict Parishes Difficulty in levying Rates 
for the Repair of Churches Causes of Non-residence 
Unions Alienation of Church Property how the 
number of Protestants might be increased Rural Deans 
Irish Bible Service for Receiving Lapsed Protestants 
Comparison between Dopping and King Character 
of Bishop Dopping . . . . . . . . 12 



Appointment of new Bishop Letter from Bishop King 
Bishop Richard Tennison A new Era Unknown 
Benefactors Trim Castlelost Remission of First 
Fruits Bishop William Moreton the Jansenists 
Bishop John Evans Archbishop King's opinion of him 
Bishop Henry Downes Bishop Ralph Lambert 
Swift on Preferment in the Irish Church . . . . 25 



Date of Manuscript Bishop Welbore Ellis His Funeral 
Crozier and Mitre Repair of Churches Church 
Furniture Communion Vessels Services Education 
Pluralities and Non-residence Incomes of the Clergy 
Various information . . 35 




Dean Swift His Incumbency at Laracor Description of a 
Country Parson Goldsmith's description Incomes 
Preaching Wesley's account of Preaching at Athlone 
Parishioners Bad behaviour at Church Repairs of 
Churches A movable Pulpit Burials in Church- 
Stocks Church Wardens Temperance Swift and 
Bishop Evans Remarkable Letters Swift's friendliness 
to Bishop Downes . . . . . . * 49 


Penal Laws existed before the Reformation Archbishop 
King on Penal Laws Toleration not understood 
Political aspect Administration Number of Roman 
Catholic Clergy in Meath Appointment of a new Roman 
Catholic Bishop Decreasing rigour An incident in 
Dublin Attempts at Conversion of Roman Catholics- 
Charter Schools Roll of Converts Lord Dunboyne . . 67 



Principally in Westmeath Wesley's succes; Friendliness 
to the Church Opposition The Vicar of Delvin espouses 
the cause of the Methodists Letters to Bishop Maule . . 81 



Many changes Bishop Arthur Price Begins to build at 
Ardbraccan Translated to Cashel Dismantles the old 
Cathedral Bishop Henry Maule Charter School at 
Ardbraccan Industrial Reforms Wilson's Hospital 
Visitations Widows' Fund Bishop Montgomery's 
Tomb Projected History of Ireland Bishop Carmichael 
Bishop Pococke Mervyn Archdall Bishop Arthur 
Smyth Bishop Maxwell . . . . . . . . 92 



United Irishmen Influence of the French Revolution- 
Opposition of the Roman Catholic Bishops Battle of 
Tara Destruction of Church Property Skirmishes . . 104 




Early Life enters St. Omer's College Joins the Church of 
England Ordination Vicar of Grendon Misrepresenta- 
tions of some Writers Statement in Parliament 
Voyage to America Literary Work Return to Ireland 
Correspondence with Dr. Plunkett Story of his Intro- 
duction to Lord Portsmouth Marriage of Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert Appointment as Bishop of Ossory Translation 
to Meath Manifesto in favour of the Union 
Memorandum on the Union of the Churches Maynooth 
O'Beirne as a Preacher his Literary Works . . no 


MEATH IN 1799. 

Queries of Bishop O'Beirne Pluralities and Non-residence 
Bishop's views on Ecclesiastical Discipline Curates 
Church Fabrics Glebe Houses -Tithes Church Services 
Diocesan School Parish Schools Parish Clerks 
Charities of Athboy . . . . . . . . 130 


Residence enforced - - Excommunication - - Building of 
Churches and Glebe Houses Visitation Charge on 
Preaching Dean Kirwan His School of Eloquence- 
Sectaries Hibernian Bible Society -Clerical Meetings 
Last Confirmation Tour Tablet in Ardbraccan Church 148 



Bishop Nathaniel Alexander Daniel O'Connell Anti-tithe 
Movement Agitation The Catholic Association - 
Castlepollard Kentstown End of the Agitation- 
Account of the Parish of Athlone in 1826 Report of 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, 1833 Incomes 
Population Church Temporalities Act The National 
Board . . .... 164 





Bishop Dickenson Bishop Stopford Protestant Orphan 
Society Deanery of Clonmacnoise Dr. Brooke's 
Recollections of Meath Clergy Bishop Townsend 
Bishop Singer National Board and Church Education 
Archdeacon Stopford Preaching Gown Scripture 
Readers The Great Revival Death of Bishop Singer- 
Appointment of Bishop Butcher . . . . . . 178 


Census of 1861 Disendowment an English Movement 
Royal Commission of 1867 Statistics of Meath 
Proposal to suppress the Bishopric of Meath Mr. 
Gladstone's Disendowment Resolutions Action of 
Archdeacon Stopford Diocesan Conference The Bill 
passed Choral Unions for Meath and Westmeath . . 193 




Preparations for Disestablishment Convocation The 
General Convention Diocesan Synod The Bishops' 
Veto Meeting of the Convention System of Nomina- 
tion Resignation of Archdeacon Lee Ecclesiastical 
Tribunals The Diocesan Synod Diocesan Council- 
Finances of Meath Profits of Commutation The 
Financial Scheme . . 202 


Death of Bishop Butcher Memorial Exhibitions founded in 
T.C.D. Meeting of the Synod Election of Lord Plunket 
Letters to his Mother His Sympathy with Reformation 
Movements abroad The Episcopal Fund Palace at 
Ardbraccan Church Restoration The Land League . . 217 




Translation of Lord Plunket to Dublin Election of Bishop 
Reichel his Preaching Precedence of the Diocese of 
Meath Decision of the Court of the General Synod 
Meath Board of Education Morgan, Bolton, and 
Cairnes Funds Death of Bishop Reichel Death of Mr. 
T. P. Cairnes Election of Bishop Peacocke His 
Translation to Dublin . . . . . . . . 229 


Election of Bishop Keene Supplemental Scheme Super- 
annuation Deaths of Mr. Robert Fowler, Archdeacon 
Nugent, and Rev. A. T. Harvey Other Workers in the 
Diocese New Churches Restorations Finances The 
Coote Bequest Emigration Conclusion . . . . 240 


I. Church Plate . . . . . . . . 255 

II. Bishops of Meath . . . . . . . . 269 

III. Bishops of Clonmacnoise . . . . . . 274 

IV. Archdeacons of Meath . . . . . . . . 276 

V. Deans of Clonmacnoise . . . . . . 278 

VI. Archdeacons of Clonmacnoise . . . . . . 279 

VII. Canons of Clonmacnoise . . . . . . 279 

VIII. Archdeacons of Kells . . . . . . . . 279 

IX. Canons of the National Cathedral of St. Patrick, 

Dublin . . . . . . . . . . 280 

X. Succession of the Clergy . . ... . . 280 








As soon as the issue of the battle of the Boyne was 
known, there was a great sigh of relief from the whole 
Protestant community of Ireland. After the fight, 
King Wiliiam proceeded towards Dublin, and pitched 
his camp at Finglas. The church clergymen who were 
left in Dublin immediately formed themselves into a 
deputation, and waited on the Prince of Orange. 
They were headed by the Bishop of Meath, who in 
their name presented an address of welcome and 
congratulation, at the same time expressing their 
loyalty to him, and their prayers for his welfare. 

On the Sunday following, a Thanksgiving Service 
was held in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in which the 
bishop took a prominent part. 1 Another similar 
service was held in Christ Church shortly after, at 
which Bishop Dopping preached. Some extracts 
from his sermon on that occasion have already been 
given. It will thus be seen that our bishop lost no 
time in transferring his allegiance to the conqueror. 

i Mant. 


Dopping's detractors put this down to his time-serving 
spirit, but another and more honourable explanation 
can easily be given, and there is no reason to suppose 
that he was actuated by any but the highest and most 
patriotic motives. 

Nearly all the bishops followed the lead of Dopping. 
There were, however, among them two non-jurors. 
One was Sheridan, Bishop of Kilmore, who " retaliated 
the injuries inflicted on him from his late sovereign 
by a faithful and immovable allegiance." He left 
his diocese and went over to England, and was there- 
upon deprived, ostensibly because he had absented 
himself from his diocese without licence, but, of course, 
really because he refused to take the oath of allegiance. 
The other non- juror was Otway, Bishop of Ossory. 
An order for his suspension was issued, but Bishop 
Dopping interceded for him, and urged that " he that 
continues steadfast to the late King, from whom he 
received so many disobligations, and so slender a 
protection, will be much more so to his Majesty, when 
his judgment is convinced." 2 Dopping also wrote to 
Otway, setting forth the reasons why in his judgment 
the Prince of Orange should be acknowledged. Whether 
he succeeded in convincing him, or whether, being such 
an old man, it was deemed advisable to condone his 
offence, is not clear, but at all events, he was allowed 
to retain his See until his death, which occurred two 
years later. 

While the war between the rival monarchs still 
continued a special form of prayer, suggested and 
probably drawn up by Bishop Dopping, was used in 
the churches every Friday, which day was set apart 
as a fast day, " appointed by the King and Queen 
for supplicating Almighty God for the pardon of our 

1 Mant, Preface to vol. ii.. History of the Church f>f JvJanil. 


sins, and for imploring His blessing on their forces 
by land and sea." Among the prayers was one for 
the Protestants in those parts of the country where 
King James still retained his hold. It was entitled : 
" A Prayer for the rest of our brethren that are not 
yet delivered." This service was first used on the sixth 
of August, 1690. 

Though the victory of the Boyne sealed the fate 
of King James, it was not to be expected that the 
turmoil of the country would be quelled in a moment. 
Not only were King James's soldiers still in the field, 
but the presence of even a friendly army, especially 
under the rules of warfare which obtained in those days, 
was not a thing that made for order or quietude. 
The Diocese of Meath that had suffered from the 
rabble, now suffered from the violence of the soldiers. 
The newly-regained power of the Protestants was not 
always used with due moderation, nor were men ready, 
after so much disorder, to settle down at once to 
peaceful pursuits. Another of Bishop Dopping's 
sermons, preached about this time, gives a glimpse 
of the sad condition in which the country remained 
for some time. He is preaching from the text (Daniel 
x., 2, 3), " In those days I Daniel was mourning three 
full weeks ; I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh 
nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at 
all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled ; " and he 
is urging the duty of humiliation and fasting, in view 
of the calamities of the country. He goes on to say : 

I shall only confine myself to the state and condition of 
our own affairs, which certainly call upon us for a severer exercise 
of mortification than we have hitherto practised. How many of 
our brethren do still stay behind to enjoy that ease and plenty 
in England which they do not expect to meet with in this 
afflicted country, being neither touched with a feeling of the 
private sufferings nor a sense of the public calamities that are 


upon the nation. What industrious arts we used to protract 
the war, and hinder the progress of that deliverance which God 
Had so happily wrought for us 

We have likewise reason to fast and mourn because of 
the dismal state and condition of the kingdom wherein we live. 
We may take up the sad lamentation of the prophet Isaiah : 
' Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire, 
your land is destroyed by strangers in your presence, and it is 
desolate as overthrown by strangers ; and the daughter of Zion 
is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of 
cucumbers, and as a besieged city.' Our stately houses are 
burnt with fire, our costly and expensive improvements cut 
down and destroyed ; some of our brethren are still under the 
power of their enemies, and those that are escaped them are 
forced to leave all behind them, and count it as an happiness 
that their lives are safe. . . . Our treacherous and disguised 
friends do secretly contrive our ruin by betraying our counsels, 
and endeavouring to disturb the public peace. Our deliverers 
oppress their friends whom they came to protect, and after 
that they have rescued them from the power of their enemies, 
they reserve them to fall as a sacrifice by their own hands, and 
think themselves to have a just title to all that they possess, 
because of the deliverance which they have brought them. 

We are relapsed into the same sins that we solemnly 
renounced, and have practised the same inhumanities towards 
our enemies that we condemned in them towards ourselves. 
We called it plundering and injustice when they seized upon 
our goods, but we count it none in ourselves to take away theirs 
on the pretence of reprisals for our losses ; and now that God 
has put it in our power to return good for evil, and observe 
that excellent rule of not doing to another what we would not 
have done to ourselves, we are so far from being induced to 
practice it, that we count it a lawful prize, and think it to be 
as innocent a game as that of the Israelites in spoiling the 
Egyptians. 3 

It is clear from this that Dopping was as unsparing 
in rebuking his friends as he had been formerly in 
resisting his foes. When such a picture could be drawn, 
we are not surprised to find that there was much 
suffering and even destitution amongst the clergy. 

MS. Sermons, T.C.D. 


The bishop did something more than declaim on this 
subject. He made an appeal to his friends in England, 
and was able to collect a substantial sum for the 
purpose of meeting their present necessities. In 
connection with this appeal, the Bishop of London wrote 
a letter to Dopping, in which there are some extra- 
ordinary statements. The date of the letter is the 
25th of September, 1690, a time when things were still 
in the greatest disorder, and when the majority of the 
clergy had been for several years without having 
received any income from their benefices. It seems 
to suggest that then, as so often before and since, 
Englishmen were profoundly ignorant of what was 
going on in the sister island. Whatever explanation 
may be given of it, the letter is curious and interesting. 
The Bishop of London says : 

I am told that the clergy of Ireland lived in great luxury, 
particularly as to apparel and equipage, and, indeed we had 
some specimens come over hither now and then that made it 
the more suspicious. We have heard likewise great complaints 
of non-residence, and dispensations for holding benefices at 
extravagant distances. It is said that there are in many places 
very unreasonable unions of parishes, in quality as well as 
number. It has been talked as if some who formerly recom- 
mended to church preferments had too great a regard to their 
secular friends and relations. 4 

The Bishop of London was, no doubt, right in the 
matter of non-residence and unsuitable unions of 
parishes, but he does not seem to recognize that the 
fault lay with the English rulers. As to the luxury of 
apparel and equipage, it is quite certain that it 
was not kept up by the income of the benefices, 
Possibly some of those non-residents, who were better 
known in London than in their own parishes, may have 
made an ostentatious display, but they were men, 

4 Doppiny Correspondence, Armagh. 


appointed for the most part by the crown, who had 
other sources of income, and who regarded the tithes 
of their parishes in Ireland as additions given to 
reward them for political or other services. 

As soon as peace was restored Bishop Dopping lost 
no time in taking up the work of reorganization in 
his diocese. What he accomplished in this respect 
will form the subject of the next chapter. Here it 
may be enough to point out some of the difficulties 
he encountered, not from the Romish party, but from 
his own co-religionists. The following insolent letter 
from the Earl of Cavan tells its own story : 

October the last, 1691. 

I onely wrote to you in Civility to lett you know whoe I 
have appointed my Chaplin of Kilbeggan Parish, for that my 
father, being non compos ment s appointed none of Harvie 
in his life time, and Oliver Lambert presumptiously putt in 
Harvie, and I with power now in my Pattent from the former 
Kings of England putts in Griffith, and if you please to 
oblidge me in granting him a Licence you may ; if not, I make 
bould to tell you I will keepe Griffith in posson of the place 
turne him out you, if you can, for I will uphould him as farr 
as the Law will allow me ag st them that will oppose him, for 
it is my right to p r sent a minist r as it is for me to receive my 
Rents out of my Estate. I suppose you would keepe in Harvey 
upon your freind Oliv r Lamberts acco*, being your ould 
acquaintance, but I assure your Lordshipp you will finde that 

1 am not the man that has beene rep r sented to you and other 
noted men in this Kingdome, when occation shall offer I am 
onely to p r sent a minis t r to you, and if you wont except of 
him I can put in afterwards whome I please, and soe assure 
your selfe for truth from 

Your Lordpps humble Serv 1 , 


If you will put in a minister (without my ord") as long as I 
have p r sented one to you already, I doe assure your Lordpp. 
I will make bould to turne him out by the should. 5 

5 Dopping Correspondence. 


It is amusing, but at the same time pathetic, to 
contrast this letter with another written to Bishop 
Dopping by the same nobleman a few years later : 

% Stober y e 29th, '96. 
My L d , 

Amongst All the Rest of y r kindnesses to me, I have ons 
Request more to beg of you, y* Is to App r In Person att ye 
Councill Board to morrow and to give me yo r Assistance there, 
otherwise I may Perish In the Streetes for want of Lodgeing 
and food, for there is some body or another y' has Invent* 
damnable Lies of me, sayeing y 4 I reflect d on some of y* 
Councill by way of discourse. Certtainly Had I done itt I 
should be one of y e Cursedest Blockheads In y e world to 
Reflect upon y m y t gives me my dayly Bread. Pray my Lo 
stand my freind y* my allowance might nott be taken away 
from me, and y 1 If itt Can be made app r upon Oath against 
me y { ever I spoke scandelous words of any of the Privy 
Councill I will \v th Hum ble Submission Beg their Pardon, butt 
I know of no offence y* I have comitt d . there is a Tenn shills 
a weeke w ch was laid up in m r Palmers Hands \v ch Comes now 
to twenty Pounds due to me In arrears, and If they doe take it 
away, god forgive y m . Pray my Lo be so kind as to desire y 
to lett me have my arrea rs to buy me Cloathes w ch I am in much 
need, and to maintaine me and Beare my Charges w n y e 
wether settles to goe to England to wait on His Majesty, 
for I know I shall nott have wherew th all to Beare my charges 
Butt Must Beg att y e gentlemens Houses by y e way. Nott 
Doubting y r Losp s Kindness, 

I remaine, 
Yo r Ldsps Most Humble Serv*, 


In 1694 some livings in the gift of Lord Drogheda 
fell vacant, and Dopping thought it a good opportunity 
to make some unions which would render the parishes 
in the east end of the County Meath more workable. 
He accordingly wrote to that nobleman, and suggested 

* Dapping Correspondence, 


that Julianstown should be given to Mr. Thomas 
Langdale, if he were appointed by the Lords Justices 
to Ballygarth, that Ardcath and Timoole should be 
joined to Duleek, " which will make a competent 
maintenance for a resident incumbent," and that 
Moorechurch and Clonalvey should be joined to 
Stamullen. There was a Mr. Brown at that time 
incumbent of Clonalvey, but the bishop thought that 
he might be dispossessed, as he was already a good 
deal of a pluralist. He says "Mr. Brown by this means 
will grow as fat in purse as he is in body, but he must 
part with some things that he has, that he may not 
grow too bulky, and if it were left to me, I could soon 
resolve what they should be." The bishop concludes 
his letter by saying : " My Lord, it is now in your 
power to provide for the clamorous necessity of that 
side of the country, and to prevent their complaints 
for the future ; and if something be not done at this 
time, the blame will lie at your lordship's door and not 
at mine." 

This request seemed reasonable enough ; it, how- 
ever drew forth an extraordinary reply from Lord 
Drogheda : 

Dublin, the 5th ffebruary, 1694. 


An old gentleman whose looks seem'd to crave a writt of 
case, from having too many cures to serve (therefore should 
be made a Bpp by my consent) deliverd me this day a Letter 
from yo r Lordsp in somewhat an unusuall stile, which I cannot 
but resent, it having been all ways my custome to consult 
your Lordship in the disposeing of what livings fell in my 
presentation, tho yo r Lordsp has been pleas 'd to be hard on me 
since the Breach of Boyne, on that account, which I pass'd 
by, rather than to have any difference with yo r Lordsp, whom 
I ever honoured and esteem'd, but now I must take leave to 
tell yo r Lordsp I shall present as I formerly writt you word, 


and if my Presentations meet with any opposition I know what 
I have to doe, tho it will be a trouble to me to have any 
difference and dispute with a Bpp I soe much honour. I shall 
ever endeavour to present those that will not neglect their 
duty ; it is in your power to make them do it, tho not in your 
power to refuse my presentation. I doe assure you Mr. 
Browne did not say one word to me of Langdall nor any body 
else, but I was and am resolved not to give any of my Livings 
to Mrs. or Mr. Coote's chaplains, and my reasons I doe not 
think fitt to mention, neither am I oblidged to it. Mr. 
Higgins has undertaken to serve the cure of Duleek, and I 
doubt not but he will performe. 

Yo r Ldship in yo r Letter to me of the 3ist of the last 
month is under great mistakes about the number of Denomi- 
nations of Parishes that Mr. Browne has. You mention 
Grangegeeth, Monknewtowne, Radrynagh, Knockamon, which 
are Townes of mine in the Ldship of Mellefont, and not as you 
apprehend them to be. I believe your Ldship knew the value 
of the living of Trim much better than any Livings of mine, 
and I believe would have been as well served and as much to 
the glory of God if it had not been annexed to the Bpprick. 
I am, 

Yo r Lordships humble Servant, 


I have sent Mr. Higgins to wait on you and to satisfy 
you, which is a compliment I might have let alone. 

Yo r Ldship desird me in one of yo r Letters to give the 
Living of Julianstowne to him whom the Lords Justices gave 
Ballygart to, and att the same time recomended Langdall for 
it to the Government, which was not clear yo r Lordship had 
not yo r considering Cap on, if you had you would have writt 
to the Lords Justices to have given Ballygart to the man that 
I presented to Julianstowne, for if you had thought on it, I 
am sure you know me so well that you might have been 
confident it could have been done no other way to have joyned 
those two livings. 7 

Some further correspondence ensued, and evidently 
a compromise was effected. The last letter preserved 
is from Lord Drogheda, who says : 

I this day received yo rs of the 6th, if yo r Lordsp has a 
coppy of the Letter you writ to me as I have of that which I 

7 Doppiny Correspondence. 


writt to you, you will find who was the first egressor by way 
of an angry stile. But as it is in Proverbs Chap, the 15, ver. 
the ist, A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words 
stir up anger, and in another Scripture, Lett not the sun goe 
downe upon your wrath, and this I hope in God I shall stick 
too, and I doubt not but yo r Lordship will doe the same. 

The See of Dublin became vacant by the death of 
Archbishop Francis Marsh on the i6th of December, 
1693. Considering the eminent position which Bishop 
Dopping held, and the invaluable services which he had 
rendered in times of great trial, it was natural that his 
name should be mentioned amongst those who were 
likely to be advanced to the archiepiscopal dignity. 
King William, however, seems never to have regarded 
him with any great favour. Already the bishop had 
given offence by a sermon in which he urged that the 
articles of the treaty of Limerick should not be held 
binding, and pleaded for stricter enforcement of the 
laws against Roman Catholics. On that occasion 
the King had expressed his great displeasure, and gave 
orders that Dopping should be removed from the 
Privy Council. Acting on the advice of the Bishop of 
London, Bishop Dopping wrote to the King, giving 
explanations and apologies, and shortly afterwards 
received from that prelate a letter which told him 
that " the King is very well satisfied with your 
submission, and to give you an assurance that he has 
laid aside all his displeasure, he has given order to my 
Lord Sidney to restore you to all the marks of his 
favour at his first arrival." 8 

The offence was thus condoned, but it was not 
forgotten. Other things, too, were remembered 
against him, specially his adherence to the cause of 
King James as long as the issue of the struggle was 

8 Dopping Correspondence. 


in any doubt. During that time, too, he had made 
enemies for himself among some of the Protestants, 
who were not slow now in misrepresenting his conduct. 
The Bishop of London tells him that " the objections 
made by those who were against your promotion was 
that you had been once very zealous for showing favour 
to the Papist , and afterwards for having them all 
hanged." In another letter he says : 

I heard my Lord Sydney say he was not for your having 
the archbishopric, because in King James' time you was for 
destroying the Protestants (I suppose he meant the dissenters), 
and in King William's time for routing the Papists. 

In another letter he gives still further particulars : 

I can only tell you at present that a speech in King James 
his Parliament was extremely applauded ; so for abatement 
I find it objected that you prayed at that time for the Prince 
of Wales, moved for some severities against dissenters, and had 
prayers for that King's success upon his expedition at the Boyne. 
You felt what resentment was taken at your unseasonable 
sermon, as it was then styled, the copy of which, to my grief, 
I have been cheated of. The last offence taken was at your 
appearing before our House of Lords, when they say you ought 
not to have appeared, to give an account of what passed at a 
Privy Council whereof you yourself was a member, and that 
you laid your load upon others, when you yourself was most 
forward in giving that advice which was complained of. 

The result of all this was not only that Dopping 
was passed over in the appointment of the arch- 
bishopric, but that to the end of his days he continued 
to be more or less under a cloud. In the meantime 
he had work enough to do in his Diocese of Meath, 
where all things needed rearrangement. His efforts 
in this direction will form the subject of our next 



THE establishment of the power of William III. marks 
for us the end of a long period of suffering and disaster, 
and the dawning of more peaceful days for the Church 
of Ireland. For fifty years she had gone through 
troubles such as she had never seen before, and has 
never seen since. Three separate attempts had been 
made to blot her out of existence : first, by the rebels 
of 1641 and the " Catholic Confederation " which they 
established ; secondly by the Puritans under Cromwell ; 
and thirdly, by King James II. After such a period 
of trial we can scarcely wonder that she was weak and 
exhausted, and that the process of recovery was slow. 
It is to be feared also that the lessons of adversity were 
but imperfectly learned. Statesmen tried to help the 
Church in their blundering way by the enactment of 
penal laws, but life and vigour could never be given 
by means such as these. Indeed, the penal laws have 
hindered our Church more than anything else in her 
whole history. All this, however, belongs to a later 
period. Our present task is to show the condition 
of the Church after those fifty years of warfare and 
tribulation, and the efforts that were made by her 
rulers to heal the wounds that she had received. 

Happily, the materials at our disposal, as far as the 
Diocese of Meath is concerned, are all that could be 
desired. A Royal Visitation was held in the year 
1693, and the report then drawn up by Bishop Dopping 


is still preserved. 1 This describes for us the state of 
the diocese in detail, giving the condition of every 
district parish by parish. The description, on the 
whole, is saddening. Again and again we have the 
entry that the church is "in ruin since 1641." The 
number of the clergy was few, and more than the fourth 
part of them were non-resident ; others were pmralists, 
having parishes so far asunder that it was utterly 
impossible for the duties to be properly discharged. 
Several parishes were without any provision for the 
cure of souls. 

A few extracts may be given as illustrations of the 
condition of the several parishes, choice being made 
of the more important centres. Of Mullingar the 
bishop tells that it was formerly worth twenty-five 
pounds per annum, but that the income was then not 
more than seven pounds. The church and chancel 
were repaired, but the vicar resided at Galtrim, which 
parish he also held, and only gave the Mullingar people 
a service once a fortnight. The large parish of Killucan 
had a non-resident incumbent, who spent his time in 
Dublin. His curate lived in the parish, and " preaches 
as often as his age and infirmities permit." The 
church and chancel were in very bad repair, and six 
chapels of ease, which were situated in different parts 
of the parish, were all in ruin. That part of the 
country had suffered much in the recent troubles, and 
was " mightily waste at present, not having above 
fifteen Protestant families in it." In Duleek, and 
indeed in a great many other parishes, they had service 
only once a fortnight. " This church," we are told, 
" was anciently a cathedral church, and the seat of a 
bishop, but was reduced to the head of a rural deanery 
by Cardinal Paparo in the year 1152 ; afterwards 

1 Bishop Dopping's Report is in Marsh's Library. There is also a transcript 
in the Record Office, Dublin. 


impropriate to the abbey of Lanthony in England, 
and upon the dissolution of the abbeys granted to Sir 
Garrett Moor. It had organs and a choir in King 
James the First his days, but upon granting away the 
chantry lands which supported the expense of them, 
it fell to decay. There are still standing the walls 
of a fair large church and chancell, with two aisles 
adjoining to it, but all out of repair these fifty years, 
except the porch, where the parishioners assemble to 
Divine service." 

Of course, there are some reports more favourable 
than these, but it is hard to find one in which the record 
is altogether satisfactory. In Trim the church was in 
good repair, and the services constantly maintained, 
but the chancel was in ruin. In Kells, on the other 
hand, the chancel was in repair, and the body 01 the 
church in ruin. In several cases we are told that the 
services were regularly conducted, though both church 
and chancel were in ruin. For the most part no informa- 
tion is given as to where the parishioners assembled. 
Sometimes, however, we are told that they met in the 
porch, as in the case of Duleek just quoted. In 
Kentstown also, the porch was able to accommodate 
the few parishioners who came to church. In other 
places, we learn that they met in private houses. This 
was the usage at Rathmolyon, Kilberry, Moynalty, 
and a few other places. At Stackallen they made use 
of the private chapel of Mr. Serjeant Osburn. At Navan 
they repaired the Mass house, and held their service 
there. No general effort seems to have been made 
as yet to rebuild the churches. 

Bishop Dopping sums up these several reports by 
telling us that the diocese contained one hundred and 
ninety-seven parish churches and one hundred and 
six chapels of ease, but only forty-three churches in all 


were in repair. There were fifty-five clergymen, fifteen 
of whom were non-resident. There were one hundred 
and forty-four impropriate churches and chapels in 
the hands of lay persons. He adds that in 1688 there 
were five other churches in repair, but they had been 
ruined since that time by the late troubles. " All the 
rest of the churches and chapels have been out of 
repair ever since 1641, but the walls of them are still 

The most interesting part of this report is the 
conclusion, in which the bishop, under the heading 
of " Observations," summarizes the results, and makes 
suggestions as to what he considered necessary for the 
future well-being of the Church. With the help of this, 
it is possible to present a fairly accurate picture of 
the condition of the Diocese of Meath at that time. 

He begins by saying that of the impropriate parishes 
in the hands of laymen, twenty had no provision for a 
curate, and twenty-nine had only three pounds per 
annum or less. These were the parishes that had 
formerly belonged to the monasteries. In the time 
of Henry VIII. they passed into lay hands, but it 
was stipulated that in each case some provision 
should be made for the spiritual wants of the people. 
Unfortunately this duty was in most cases shamefully 
neglected, and the government seems never to have 
enforced the clauses in the patents which provided 
for it. The result was that in fully half of the Diocese 
of Meath, the vicarages were so poor that there could 
be no adequate provision for the cure of souls. 

Besides these, there were other parishes in which 
the endowments were miserably small, or where such 
large payments had to be made to the crown, that 
scarcely anything was left for the incumbent. Then, 
there were no less than fifty-nine parishes " either 


totally waste or impoverished by the late troubles." 
The only way in which it was possible to provide for 
these parishes was by union with some of the adjoining 
churches. To facilitate this, an act had recently been 
passed, but as yet only eleven such unions had been 
effected, and in some of the eleven the validity of 
the union was disputed. 

The bishop directs attention to the number of 
churches that were in ruin, and enumerates the causes. 
They were threefold : first, the frequent wars and 
troubles in the kingdom ; secondly, the neglect of the 
parishioners, whose duty it was to keep the body of 
the church in repair, and of the impropriators and 
clergy, whose duty it was to look after the chancels ; 
and thirdly, the weakness of ecclesiastical power, and 
the great expense and delay of proceedings in the 
ecclesiastical courts. These last were so cumbrous 
and ineffective that the cost of recovering rates that 
had been levied and not paid, swallowed up all the 
proceeds, leaving nothing for the purpose for which 
the rate was struck. 

Bishop Dopping goes on to suggest some remedies 
which might counteract these three things which had 
caused the ruin of the churches ; and his suggestions 
here throw a curious light on the ideas then held, as 
to the nature of political and religious liberty. He 
gives it as his opinion, that wars and commotions 
may be prevented by hindering the Romanists from 
sending their children to the Continent for education ; 
by suffering none of them to be bred up in the inns of 
court, " for it is," he says, " their lawyers have done 
the greatest mischief, and formed and managed their 
politics in all commotions ; " and by causing " Popish 
minors that are heirs " to be brought up as Protestants. 
In all this, of course, he only reflects the spirit of the 


age. People did not yet understand that these were un- 
worthy means which defeated their own ends, because, 
for one who would be gained by such devices great 
numbers would be estranged, and bitter seeds of dis- 
satisfaction would be sown, which it would take 
generations to eradicate. 

The reluctance of the people to pay the rates 
levied for the repair of the churches he would meet by 
simplifying the methods of procedure in the ecclesiastical 
courts, and by giving imprisonment rather than 
excommunication as a punishment for disobedience. 
" Excommunication," he says, " is too dreadful and 
severe a sentence to inflict for such small matters 
as are usually the occasion of the contumacy ; " but 
he admits that many of the people cared very little 
for his excommunication, even though it were " the 
last and highest act of the Church's censure." He 
thinks that the chancels, at all events, might be put 
in repair, as the rector in each case was liable for the 
work. In the case of impropriate parishes the lay 
rectors could be compelled by the King, " by suing 
them on the clauses and covenants in their patents ; " 
and where the rector was a clergyman, the bishop 
could proceed by sequestrating the " issues and 
profits " of his living. Voluntary effort, which has 
become such a feature in modern church life, does not 
seem to have suggested itself to his mind at all. 

He then goes on to detail the causes why there were 
so many non-resident clergymen. He gives six 
reasons : first, the smallness of the livings, not able 
each to maintain a resident minister ; second, the want 
of Protestants to come to church ; third, the want of 
glebes in some places, and in all, the decay of the manse 
houses, by the frequent wars in this kingdom ; fourth, 
the unequal distribution of livings, which being in the 



hands of several patrons, are not disposed by them 
with respect to their contiguity, or the convenience 
of the parishioners ; fifth, defects and faults in the 
faculties ; and sixth, the narrow bounds and limits of 
several parishes. 

He dwells at considerable length on all these six 
points. Anyone who knows the Diocese of Meath 
will recognize at once that several of these difficulties 
might have been overcome by a judicious union of 
parishes, and Dopping himself was strongly of this 
way of thinking. Unfortunately, there were serious 
obstacles in the way. He tells us that in the reign 
of Charles II. an Act was passed to facilitate the union 
of parishes, but, he says, " it proved a remedy almost 
as bad as the disease ; for the incumbents being at 
the charge of the unions, they fixed on such as were 
most for their profit and advantage, or else would not 
pass them ; by means whereof some parishes are left 
without unions, and others are too large, and the 
inhabitants dwelling too far from the parish church." 
When a union was formed, it was clearly the intention 
that the new parish should provide sufficient income 
for the incumbent, so that he would be under no 
temptation to accept other cures, the duty of which 
he would not be able to accomplish. Some clergymen, 
however, had obtained faculties which enabled them 
to hold two of these unions, and thus the evil, so far 
from being remedied, was only intensified by the 
attempt made to cope with it. 

According to Dopping, a great deal of church 
property in the Diocese of Meath had been lost to the 
Church, " partly from alienations formerly made, 
partly from non-residence of the clergy in former times, 
and the many revolutions and troubles in this 
kingdom." He tells us also that a considerable portion 


of church land in Meath had been included in the 
forfeited estates, and had thus passed into other hands. 
The bishop complains that the Lord Lieutenant and 
Council had given orders to the Commissioners of the 
Court of Claims " that all lands belonging to the Church 
and others that were not returned in the Civil or Down 
Survey to be their property, were to be deemed as 
forfeited, and vested in his Majesty, to the uses of the 
Act ; by means whereof, their glebes being small in most 
places in some not exceeding two acres, and in many 
not being full one were surveyed among the rest of 
the forfeited lands as part of them, and no return made 
in the surveys of the Church's right, and so the ancient 
glebes are lost for ever, and the small pittance of glebes 
that still remain and is mentioned in the surveys is in 
danger to be lost by the clergy's non-residence." 

The following are Dopping's ideas as to how the 
" want of Protestants to come to church " might be 
supplied. He says : 

To remedy the want of Protestants, the putting the Acts 
against recusants (i Eliz.) strictly into execution would be 
very proper. By it, every one without cause absenting from 
Common Prayer was to pay twelve pence a Sunday, which was 
executed during all her reign and the reign of King James, 
and some time in the beginning of King Charles I., but relaxed 
on reasons of state, which proved the decay of the Protestant 
religion in this kingdom. This would be a means to get the 
King money, and the penalty is so easy that the recusant 
would have no just reason to complain of it. Secondly, by 
heartily endeavouring the conversion of the natives and the 
bringing them over to our communion, wherein the state must 
concur as well as the clergy. Thirdly, by sending missionary 
preachers to preach to them in the Irish tongue. Fourthly, 
by erecting English schools, and appointing salaries to the 
masters of them, to instruct them gratis in the English tongue, 
and obliging the masters to teach them the principles of religion, 
as well as the English language. There was a statute passed 
in this kingdom to that purpose (28 H. 8, c, 15), obliging every 


beneficed minister to keep an English school, and obliging 
the bishop to give them the oath about it before institution 
(which the bishops do) ; but the work is not done, partly by 
the clergy's fault, who have other things to mind, but more 
especially by the want of a penalty in the statute, obliging the 
Irish to send their children to them. Fifthly, by banishing 
their clergy, both regular and secular, there being little hopes 
of converting the people whilst they are suffered in the kingdom. 
Sixthly, by suppressing Popish school-masters, especially such 
as teach Latin, for these men train up their children for very 
little to the Latin tongue, till they are fit to be sent abroad, 
where they are maintained out of charity, or by begging, till 
they learn philosophy, and know how to read Mass, and then 
they are put into Orders, and sent back as missionaries. The 
late Act of Uniformity (17 Car. 2, c. 6) might put some stop 
to this if it were pursued, but the justices of peace and the 
gentlemen of the country are the persons that encourage them, 
because they can get their children taught for little by them 
in their houses. 

The appointment of rural deans had gone out of 
use, and Bishop Dopping proposes to restore them, 
so that they may " inspect the manners of the clergy 
and people, and certify the bishop of all emergencies," 
he would also have them " keep their rural chapters 
as anciently they did." And he would further not 
allow any clergyman to hold parishes in two rural 
deaneries, " much less in several dioceses." He has 
many other good suggestions about the building of 
residences, and compelling the clergy to reside in them, 
and several other points, which show that he had 
thought much on these subjects. The pity was that 
so few of the suggestions were ever translated into 

It will be noted that among other things, Dopping 
advocated the sending of mission preachers among 
the people, who would endeavour to reach the masses 
by speaking to them in the Irish tongue. This was 
a subject in which he seems to have taken a special 


interest. Some years previously the Honourable 
Robert Boyle " honourable by descent and parentage, 
more to be honoured for his intellectual and moral 
endowments ; still more worthy of honour as the great 
Christian philosopher, who laboured to advance the 
truth and glory of God " 2 took the work in hand 
of publishing the Bible in Irish, and by his influence, 
caused many of his fellow churchmen to take an 
interest in the project. Amongst those who helped, 
alike with advice and money, as we have already seen, 
Dopping took a prominent part, and when the book was 
at length published, the Preface was from the bishop's 
pen. Several letters are preserved, discussing the 
business arrangements, and it appears that five 
hundred copies of the Testament were printed, at a 
cost of four hundred pounds. This amount was 
raised by subscription, and each subscriber received 
a proportionate number of copies, according to the 
amount of his contribution. Many of the subscriptions 
were obtained at the personal solicitation of Bishop 
Dopping. When the book was issued, he wrote to 
Lady Ranelagh, expressing his approval of it .3 

In the troubles of that time, it is to be feared 
that the Church in the Diocese of Meath lost instead 
of gaining, for some of her members had not the 
courage of their convictions, and in the time of trial 
apostatized from the faith. When peace was restored, 
however, many of them sought reconciliation, and 
for these, as well as for converts from Romanism, 
Dopping drew up a form of service, which was entitled, 
" A Form for Receiving Lapsed Protestants, and 
Reconciling Converted Papists to our Church." This 
form was for many years bound up with the Irish 
Prayer Book, though it does not appear to have been 

5 Mant. 3 Dopping Correspondence. 


ever sanctioned either by convocation or synod. It 
directs the clergyman of the parish to send the convert 
to the bishop with an " Abrenunciation of Popery," 
of which three forms are given, one for ordinary 
persons, another for persons of more liberal education, 
and a third for priests or such as are likely to teach 
others. On this document being signed, the registrar 
is directed to give a certificate to the convert, for which 
he is to charge one shilling and no more, and if he be 
unwilling or unable to pay, " the bishop will take care 
it be paid for him." 

Armed with this certificate, the convert, having 
given notice a week previously to the minister, is 
brought up to the reading desk " by the church- 
wardens, or two grave discreet parishioners or Christian 
neighbours." The clergyman appeals to the con- 
gregation to declare if any impediment exists why the 
convert should not be received, and then charges 
the man himself to disclose any unworthy motive which 
may be influencing him to take this step. After that 
the convert recites the Apostles' Creed, and reads the 
" Schedule of his Penance," in which he acknowledges 
his fault, and asks for reconciliation. Then the 
minister asks the people to pray for the convert, and 
some versicles and collects follow, after which comes 
the Absolution, given with the laying on of hands : 
" Our Lord Jesus, who hath commanded that repentance 
and remission of sins should be published in His name 
among all nations, of His great mercy give unto thee 
true repentance, and forgive thee all thy sins. And 
I His minister, by the authority committed unto me, 
do absolve thee from all ecclesiastical censures which 
thou hast or mayest have incurred by reason of thy 
former errors, schisms, and heresies, and I restore thee 
to the full communion of the Catholic Church. In the 


Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. Amen." The Service concludes with the 

Bishop Dopping continued to rule the Diocese of 
Meath until his death, which took place in 1697. In 
his last years, however, he had become somewhat 
infirm, and was afflicted with deafness. As we have 
seen, too, he was under the discountenance of the 
government. If he had been a younger man he might 
possibly have carried out some of those reforms the 
need of which he insists on in these observations. 
As it was, he had not the energy to do much, and it is to 
be feared that for some years before his death the 
diocese was without that strong ruling hand which 
it needed so much. Archbishop King (but it must 
be remembered that he was accused of being " a 
positive opinionated man, wedded to his own way ") 
makes a curious comparison between himself and 
Bishop Dopping. He says : 

I remember an understanding and sincere friend once 
ingenuously told me that I was too rough and positive in my 
treating my clergy, and proposed to me the example of the 
late Bishop of Meath, Doctor Dopping, a person who was in 
truth much better skilled in the laws and constitutions of the 
Church than I was, had the good thereof as much at heart as 
any man could have, was of a meek and gentle spirit, and 
managed all things with mildness and gentle persuasion. I 
asked my friend whether he was well acquainted with the 
Dioceses of Meath and Deny, and desired him to tell me 
whether of them he thought in best condition, as to churches 
built and repaired, as to the progress of conformity, service 
of the cures, and flourishing of the clergy as to their temporals. 
He freely owned that Deny was in a much better condition 
as to all these, and that it was due to the care that I had taken. 
To which I replied that he knew that the churches had been 
more destroyed in Deny, and the state of the clergy and 
conformity more disturbed and wasted than in any place of 
Ireland ; and yet in five or six years that I had been there bishop 


it was put in a better posture' by the methods I took, than 
Meath was in fifteen by the bishop's ; and that he might judge 
by that which of the two were best. 

From this we may gather that Dopping was of a 
particularly amiable disposition, slow to censure 
perhaps too slow and ready to let things pass rather 
than speak an angry word. With such a disposition, 
we are not surprised to learn that when he was first 
raised to the episcopate his old parishioners in Dublin 
presented him with a piece of plate as a token of their 
esteem. Such a presentation meant more then than 
it would now, for the act was not then as usual as 
it has since become. King seems to suggest that he 
lacked force of character. The recorded incidents 
of his life do not give us such an idea of him. On the 
contrary, he appears as a courageous man, who stood 
his ground and did not desert his post during all the 
troubles of the Revolution. Judging by the records 
he has left, we would say that he was energetic in the 
administration of his diocese. Very possibly his case 
was of that kind which so often happens in this world : 
in the weakness of his declining years the strength of 
his years of vigour was forgotten. It was rather unfair 
for a comparatively young man like King to compare 
himself with one whose life was drawing to a close, and 
the infirmities of whose age were to a great extent 
caused by the sufferings that he had endured in defence 
of the Church. 



UPON the death of Bishop Dopping, there was con- 
siderable anxiety in the minds of those who had the 
welfare of the Church at heart as to the appointment 
of his successor. Those were days in which political 
motives counted for much, and when the men who had 
strong interest at court could generally obtain any 
position that they desired ; but the suitability of the 
candidate was often one of the last things that was 
considered. The name of Bishop Fitzgerald of Clonfert 
was very freely mentioned, and many were of opinion 
that if he were translated to Meath it would prove 
disastrous to the diocese. We have few particulars 
about him, but we know that he was not highly thought 
of by his contemporaries. When he was consecrated 
to Clonfert, Archbishop Marsh of Cashel wrote in his 
diary, " In which consecration I have had no hand ; 
the Lord's Name be praised for it ! nor may I ever 
be concerned in bringing unworthy men to the Church." 1 
He was, besides, an old man, and had not the energy for 
managing a diocese like Meath at such a time, even 
if he had been otherwise suitable. 

Bishop King of Derry, who was in many ways the 
leading churchman of the time, was very much 
exercised about the appointment, and spoke of Bishop 
Fitzgerald as " the weakest of the order, and having 
no qualification to recommend him." He also 



addressed a letter to Sir Robert Southwell on the 
subject, which, as it throws a good deal of light on the 
condition of Meath at that time, may here be given. 
It is as follows : 

L:derry, April 2Qth, 1697. 

I am very unwilling to give you any trouble except it 
be on necessary occasions, and I look on the present as 
eminently so. I understand by my letters from Dublin, 
which I left on the twentieth instant, that since my coming 
from thence it has pleased God to remove the Bishop of Meath, 
a most useful and eminent pillar of our Church, before his late 
impairment by sickness, and in particular my friend and 
assistant, upon whose advice I would rely in matters of 
moment. Tis of the last consequence to the Church here, 
and to his Majesty's service, that that place be supplied with 
a proper person. I will therefore take the liberty to lay the 
case of the bishopric before you, and doubt not but you will 
do in this, as I have ever found you to do heretofore ; I mean, 
improve the intimations I give you to the best advantage. 

The Bishopric of Meath is the first in the kingdom, as 
London is in England, and takes place next to the archbishops, 
but it is much inferior in value to many of them. The bishop 
is usually of the Privy Council, and resides in Dublin. We 
have at present these clergymen of the Privy Council, the 
Lord Primate, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Kildare, 
and Bishop of Cloyne ; and the Bishop of Meath was likewise 
of it ; and yet the church interest was very weak there, for the 
Lord Primate is disabled, and never appeareth ; the Bishop 
of Meath was under the discountenance of the government, 
and besides, by the infirmity of his hearing and other defects, 
could be but little serviceable for these last years ; and the 
Archbishop of Dublin (though an excellent person and a 
scholar) yet is too modest and unacquainted with the world 
to make a great bustle, without which, I am informed, little 
is done there. The Bishop of Kildare hath likewise his dis- 
advantages ; and the Bishop of Coyne is seldom at the board, 
and is not yet in so great authority as hereafter he will be, 
by reason of his age. So that upon this matter the church 
interest at the council-table depends on the fit choice of a 
person to fill the Bishopric of Meath. 


There are some such (as the Bishop of Clogher) that would 
be fit for it, but they are already in better bishoprics, and 
cannot, without imputation of imprudent ambition, accept it. 
If I might (between you and me) discover my sense, I think 
the Bishop of Waterford would do well in it ; and Dr. Smith, 
Dean of St. Patrick's, that attends his Majesty, might be sent 
to Waterford. By the care and prudence of the present 
bishop that diocese is put in tolerable order, as I observed when 
there last summer ; and it is a good testimony of the bishop's 
prudence that he governed a parish in Dublin for fourteen 
years in very difficult times, with the greatest love and highest 
approbation of his parishioners, and has now with the same 
success governed for five or six years his diocese. . . . 

I have one consideration more to press for the putting 
the Bishop of Waterford into the post, and 'tis the great 
disorder in which the Diocese of Meath is. 'Tis one of the 
largest in Ireland, consisting anciently of five bishoprics, at 
least sixty miles long, in an excellent country ; but the lands 
were mostly made away or exchanged for tithes about the 
Reformation ; the rest of the tithes are generally impropriate 
and many parishes must be united to make a competency. 
The late bishop, being infirm since the Revolution, was not 
able to look to the cures as was necessary, and there needs an 
active, vigorous, and skilful person to put them in order, such 
as the Bishop of Waterford ; and I hope you will use your 
endeavour to place him or some such there. I am now to beg 
your pardon for this trouble, but, lest I should increase it, I 
will conclude with my hearty prayers for you, and the humblest 
respects of, 

Sir, yours, &c., 

W. D. 

To Sir Robert Southwell. 2 

Bishop King was mistaken in supposing that the 
Bishop of Clogher would not be willing to accept the 
See of Meath. As a matter of fact, he was appointed 
to be Dopping's successor, and accepted the post, for 
though inferior in revenue to Clogher, the Bishopric 
of Meath was higher in dignity, it was more convenient 
to the metropolis, and it carried with it a seat in the 



Privy Council. Richard Tennison, who now succeeded, 
was first raised to the episcopate as Bishop of Killala. 
From thence he fled during the troubles of the 
Revolution, and for a time undertook the cure of souls 
in a London parish. After the defeat of King James 
he was once more brought back to Ireland, and was 
appointed to the See of Clogher, where he distinguished 
himself as a preacher and as a diligent worker in his 
diocese. He was appointed to Meath in 1697, and 
continued to occupy the See until 1705. At his death, 
"he set a valuable example to his brethren and his 
successors, by bequeathing a sum of money to the Lord 
Primate for the purchase of land, to serve as the 
foundation for a fund, to which he expressed his hope 
that the bishops of the kingdom would make additions, 
for the maintenance of clergymen's widows and 
orphans." 3 

The appointment of Bishop Tennison marks a new 
epoch in the history of the Diocese of Meath. It 
inaugurated the time of restoration, in which an attempt 
was made to repair the breaches caused by the many 
troubles which for so many years had afflicted the 
Church. If Bishop Dopping had been a younger man, 
no doubt he would have taken this work in hand, but 
the infirmities of age prevented him, and it was there- 
fore left to his successor. Churches which had long 
continued in ruin were now rebuilt, and in some cases 
the opportunity was taken of removing them to a more 
convenient site. The funds were obtained partly 
from impropriate rectories which had been forfeited 
by their lay owners, on account of their opposition to 
the Prince of Orange, and which were now in some 
cases applied in this way ; and partly from the bene- 
factions of churchmen, who began to take a greater 



interest in their Church than before. There were 
instances, too, of new endowments being given to 
parishes by private donors, so that we may fairly say 
that the opening years of the eighteenth century mark 
for us the beginning of better things. 

The names of these benefactors who came to the 
help of the Church, and assisted in repairing her 
breaches, have been for the most part lost in oblivion. 
At the present time Trim is the best endowed parish 
in the Diocese of Meath. The endowment dates from 
about this period, when the lands of Dunleivers, 
containing 222 acres 36 perches, were bequeathed to 
Doctor John Crookshanke, Vicar of Trim, with suc- 
cession to the vicars of Trim for ever, by a Cromwellian 
" debenturer," whose name remains unknown, though 
the fruit of his deeds is still being reaped. 4 An 
equivalent for this property was claimed at the time 
of disestablishment as a private endowment, and has 
been secured to the parish. 

Another example may be taken from the Parish of 
Castlelost. Prime Iron Rochfort was, as his Christian 
names suggest, a Puritan soldier. He was a lieutenant 
colonel in Cromwell's army, but was executed for 
killing one Major Turner in a duel which he fought 
in 1652. His son, Robert Rochfort, purchased 
property in the neighbourhood of Castlelost, which 
continues to be in possession of his family to the present 
day. He was a man eminent in his time, having been 
speaker of the Irish House of Commons in 1695, and Chief 
Baron of the Exchequer in 1707. He took a great 
interest in Castlelost parish, and built, in his own 
demesne at Gaulstown, " a very beautiful church, 
wainscoted, painted, seated, and flagged, and furnished 
with all necessaries in the most decent manner, all 

* Butler, Trim Castle. 


at his own charge." He also endowed the parish. 
In acquiring the property he had become 
" impropriator " of the rectory, and was therefore 
owner of the tithes, but he conveyed them to the 
bishop of the diocese for the use of the perpetual curate.s 
The parishioners in this case were not so fortunate as 
those of Trim, for when the church was disendowed 
no one seems to have been aware of this benefaction, 
and it was assumed that the tithes of the parish had 
been handed down to it from pre-reformation times. 
Consequently, no claim was made until many years 
after the time laid down in the Irish Church Act, and 
even after the extension of that time which had been 
made by the Representative Church Body. In the 
meantime, the balance of the amount awarded to the 
the church in lieu of private endowments had been 
applied to other purposes, as it was not expected that 
any other claims could be made. Under these 
circumstances the parish could only obtain a sum of 
646 8s. 8d., which still remained unappropriated, and 
which was voted as a special act of grace by the 
General Synod of 1902. If the claim had been made 
in time, an income of about two hundred pounds a 
year would have been secured to the parish. 

Under Queen Anne the Diocese of Meath, in common 
with the rest of the Church, was enriched by the 
remission of the old papal imposts of " first-fruits " 
and " twentieth parts." The former was applied to the 
purchase of glebes and the building of houses, and the 
latter was granted to the individual clergymen by 
whom they would have been payable. It was Doctor 
Swift, then vicar of Laracor, and afterwards famous 
as Dean of Saint Patrick's, who conducted the nego- 
tiations which led to these benefits being granted 

* State of the Diocese of Meath, 1733, MS. in Record Office, Dublin. 


to the Church. 6 Under the same queen the tithes of 
some impropriate parishes were restored to the Church, 
the impropriators having been deprived for rebellion. 
In this way the vicarages were endowed of Dunamore, 
Ratoath, Culmullin, Moyglare, and Kilcormuck 

Nor was it only in material ways that the Church 
prospered. Her bishops became more active than 
before, and this in turn reacted on the clergy. King, 
now become Archbishop of Dublin, writing to one of 
his suffragans in 1706, says : " I do own that the 
clergy are altered as to their demeanour towards their 
bishops of late, of which several reasons may be given ; 
one particularly is, the bishops being altered towards 
them. Time was when they were left to themselves, 
and might do, or not, their duty as they pleased. But 
of late some bishops have begun to look more narrowly 
into their practice, and to press their duty on them." ^ 

The archbishop seemed to think that the clergy 
resented the interference of the bishops. No doubt, 
this may have been true in some instances, but we 
may be sure that the greater part loyally seconded the 
efforts that were being made to infuse new life into 
the Church. 

Bishop Tennison did not long retain the See of 
Meath, as he died in 1705. He was succeeded by 
William Moreton, who had been already Bishop of 
Kildare, and who continued in the See until 1715. 
We have little or no record of his episcopate. On his 
death it would appear that the Rev. John Law was 
appointed. He had been Rector of Monaghan from 
1712, and was of a Scotch family. He died soon after 
his appointment to Meath, before he was enthroned, 

Shirley's Historical Sketch of the Endowments of the Church of Inland, 
published in the appendix to the Report of the Royal Commission, 1868. 
7 Mant. 


and it does not appear whether he was ever actually 
consecrated. 8 

There is a curious story told which would seem 
to connect the Jansenist Church of Holland with the 
Diocese of Meath, just about this time. In the early 
years of the eighteenth century the Jansenists wer2 
without a bishop, in consequence of the refusal of the 
Pope to allow consecrations to the vacant Sees, and 
at one time it seemed as if their episcopate would 
become entirely extinct. It was necessary for them, 
therefore, to make some provision for the ordination 
of their priests. They made application to various 
prelates in vain, but at length are said to have 
approached Luke Fagan, the Roman Catholic Bishop 
of Meath, and found in him one who was willing to 
accede to their wishes. Accordingly twelve candidates 
for the priesthood were sent over, and these were 
ordained by Bishop Fagan, one of them being Peter 
John Meindarrts, who became afterwards Jansenist 
Archbishop of Utrecht. Bishop Fagan required all 
twelve to promise that they would never reveal the 
circumstances of their ordination during his life, 
and to a certain extent the secret was kept. It came 
to the knowledge of the authorities at Rome, however, 
that such an ordination had taken place, though the 
information received was not sufficient to indicate 
any particular bishop. Fagan, in the meantime, had 
become Archbishop of Dublin, and the Pope wrote to 
him, telling of the rumours that had come to his ears, 
and asking him to ascertain if they were well founded 
or otherwise. The Archbishop thereupon formally 
asked each bishop separately, if he had taken part in 
this ordination, and as they all very naturally denied it, 

8 Pedigree of the Law Family, quoted in letter to the author from the Rev. 
H. L. L. Denny. 


he wrote to the Pope, and informed him, that after 
examination he was persuaded that none of those 
bishops of whom he had inquired was the guilty 

A story of this kind is manifestly difficult of verifica- 
tion, and it is easy to raise many objections against it. 
It has therefore been rejected by Cardinal Moran, and 
other Roman Catholic writers. It is not for us to 
decide. We simply give the story as it has been handed 

The next bishop in order was John Evans, who was 
translated from the See of Bangor. Archbishop King 
did not approve of this appointment, for in reference 
to it he says : " What signifies the interest of a diocese 
to the advantage of a friend that is to be preferred ? " 
He had the reputation of being a political partizan. 
He, however, proved in the end a munificent benefactor 
of the Diocese of Meath. By his will he left part of 
his estate " for building, if not built by himself, 
according to his intention, an episcopal house at 
Ardbraccan ; " and part " for purchasing glebes and 
impropfiiate tithes for the benefit and endowment of 
the several churches in the Diocese of Meath, in the 
sole donation of the bishops of that See." 9 This 
latter portion of the bequest, having been secured 
to the diocese at the time of disestablishment as a 
" private endowment," has enabled a sum of 2,304 
ys. 5d. to be spent on the repurchase of glebes, and 
now provides, besides, a yearly income of 536 8s. nd., 
part of which is appropriated to certain parishes, and 
part is at the disposal of the bishop. 

Bishop Evans died in 1724, and was succeeded by 
Henry Dowries, who was translated from Elphin. 
He, however, did not remain long in Meath, for he 

9 Mant. 

VOL. ii. r> 


was translated to Deny in 1727. Ralph Lambert 
next succeeded. He was, like most of the bishops of 
that day, an Englishman, and had come over to Ireland 
as chaplain to the Earl of Wharton. In 1717 he was 
raised to the episcopate as Bishop of Dromore, and in 
1727 was translated to Meath. He met his death five 
years later by accident. He trod on his gown as he 
was stepping out of his coach at his own door, and fell, 
breaking his arm. He lingered for a little while, 
but never recovered from the shock. 

If Dean Swift is to be believed, all these appoint- 
ments were made from political motives. He says, 
that " from the highest prelate to the lowest vicar, 
there were hardly ten clergymen throughout the whole 
kingdom, for more than nineteen years preceding 
1733, who had not been either preferred entirely upon 
account of their declared affection to the Hanover line, 
or higher promoted as the due reward of the same 
merit." This is, let us hope, somewhat of an 
exaggeration. At the same time there was, no doubt, 
a good deal of truth in the assertion, and it must have 
had a most deleterious effect on the efficiency of the 
Church. Yet we can scarcely say that the time was 
not one of progress. In spite of non-residence, 
pluralities and carelessness, the work of God seems 
to have been carried on, and men were learning to 
realize more vividly their responsibilities as members 
of the Church. Often, no doubt, the cure of souls was 
left to some poor curate, while the rich incumbent 
spent his life elsewhere ; but, perhaps the parishes 
were after all better off under the care of these simple- 
minded and poor but devoted men, than they would 
have been had the rectors themselves performed the 
duty which was so repugnant to their own tastes. 




THERE is a manuscript in the Public Record Office, 
Dublin, formerly preserved in the Registry of the 
Diocese of Meath, which gives an account of every 
parish in the diocese, with many interesting details. 
There is no date, but an official of the Record Office 
has written on the fly leaf the following note : 
" This book seems to have been written about the year 
1733, from the dates of the institution of some, and the 
death of others of the incumbents herein mentioned." 
Assuming this to be correct, we have in this return 
a remembrance of the brief tenure of the See of Meath 
by Bishop Welbore Ellis. 

Doctor Ellis was an Englishman who had been 
promoted to the See of Kildare in 1705. On the death 
of Bishop Lambert in 1732, he was translated to the 
See of Meath, which, however, he held only till the 
first of January, 1734, when he died. While Bishop 
of Kildare he had held in commendam the Deanery of 
Christ Church, Dublin, and when he died, he was 
buried " with great ceremony " in that cathedral. 
' The funeral procession," we are told, " was composed 
of the boys of the Blue Coat Hospital, to which he 
had bequeathed one hundred pounds, singing psalms ; 
forty-eight clergymen walking before the hearse, with 
scarves and hat bands ; the crozier borne before the 


King of Arms, who carried the mitre on a cushion ; 
the hearse adorned with escutcheons, and attended 
by the coaches of the Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant, 
the Primate, the Archbishops of Dublin and Cashel, 
and many other lords and persons of distinction. 
The appearance of the crozier and mitre gives a peculiar 
character to this solemnity." This account is 
quoted from Bishop Mant's History, but it is to be 
regretted that the bishop gives us no information of 
what became afterwards of the crozier and mitre. 
This seems to be the only instance of their use that 
has been recorded in connection with the Diocese of 
Meath, at all events since the Reformation. The 
way in which Mant draws attention to them would 
seem to show that they were then, as now, unusual 
in the Irish Church, but the fact of their being used 
on this occasion suggests that they may have been used 
at other times, of which no record has been handed 

It is probable that this " Account " was drawn 
up for the information of the bishop shortly after 
his appointment. It is very full in the description 
which it gives of the diocese, parish by parish, and 
enables us to obtain a fair idea of how things were 
progressing in those days. 

The first thing that invites our attention is that 
the number of churches available for public worship 
had very much increased since the days of Bishop 
Dopping. It will be remembered that he reported 
only forty-three churches in repair, which were served 
by fifty-five clergymen. In Bishop Ellis's report 
we find that there are at least seventy churches in use, 
and that the number of clergymen had increased to 
eighty-one this latter number being about the same 



as the number of clergy in the diocese at the present 
time. This comparison enables us to measure to some 
extent how far the church had recovered from the 
long-continued troubles of the seventeenth century. 
In the more important parishes there had evidently 
been a good work of restoration going on. Of Athboy, 
for instance, we are told, " The church of this union, 
which is in the town of Athboy, is in very decent repair. 
'Tis ceiled and the isle is flagged. There is a decent 
pulpit and reading desk, and the church is seated 
throughout, and has a handsome gallery besides. 
There is a font of stone, and the Communion Table 
decently railed in. There is a decent carpet (table- 
cover) for the Communion, a chalice and patin of plate, 
and flagon of pewter. There are likewise two bells. 
The churchyard in beautifull order, adorned with 
walks and evergreens, and planted with trees, and 
enclosed with a good stone wall." Of Mullingar he 
says : " The church is in very good order, and furnished 
with everything necessary for the celebration of Divine 
service. The chancel is in repair, but not used. 
'Tis separated from the body of the church by a 
partition, against which the Communion Table is 
fixed. The churchyard is well enclosed with a stone 
wall, and planted with trees." This arrangement of 
not using the chancel is curious, but a similar state of 
things existed in Kells church up to the time of dis- 
establishment. Nearly all the larger churches are 
described in much the same way, and we may, there- 
fore, conclude they were on the whole in excellent 

Many of the smaller churches were equally well 

cared for. Stackallen, for instance, is thus described : 

' The roof and walls are good, the window cases are of 

stone, and very good and neat, and the inside of the 


church is in most decent order. Tis ceiled and flagged 
and wainscoted. There is a decent pulpit and 
reading desk, and convenient seats throughout. There 
is a most beautiful table of polished marble for the 
Communion, handsomely railed in, and the floor 
boarded and raised. There is a font of marble, and a 
chalice, patin, and flagon of silver. There is likewise 
a good bell to the church, and the churchyard is well 
enclosed with a wall of stone and lime." Of Moynalty 
church a similar good report is given : ' The church 
is handsome and lofty ; the roof and walls firm and 
good. It is well flagged and furnished with decent 
seats, a font of stone, a Communion Table decently 
railed in, and the floor raised and boarded." In 
Clonard the church was in ruin, but the large chancel 
(evidently of the old abbey church) was used instead 
of it. " It is ceiled and flagged, and has galleries, 
besides a decent Communion and altar piece. The 
whole inside of the chancel is very beautiful and 

The record is not quite so good in every case. 
Enniskeen was then, as now, an important parish. 
It had fifty-two families of church people, and fifty- 
four families of " Protestant dissenters." The church 
is thus described : " The church is roofed, the walls 
and timber good. It is slated, but in some places 
stripped by the winds to which 'tis much exposed. 
'Tis very spacious, but intirely naked. There was 
a pulpit, but taken down by some former curate as 
being too small. No reading desk. Only one seat, 
and the whole floor of the church a dirty earthen floor." 
The bishop was himself in receipt of the tithes of this 
parish, and we might have expected that he would 
have seen that it was kept in decent order, but it was 
situated on the confines of the diocese, and apparently 


was more or less forgotten. A few other churches, 
mostly in small parishes, are spoken of as in bad 
condition. For example, Nobber church was " not 
in extraordinary repair ; " Balsoon was " indecent ; " 
Galtrim was " not very tolerable ; " Tara " not extra- 
ordinary nor in extraordinary repair ; " Rathcore 
church was " in repair, but not very decent ; " 
Killochonnigan had a "bad church and thatched;" 
Rathmolyon church was " in repair, but not very 
decent within ; " Killallon, " thatched and in bad 
order ; " Castlerickard church was in " sorry order ; " 
Leney was " in very indifferent repair, a dirty 
earthen floor, the Communion table not railed in, no 
utensils." One is tempted by the quaint way in 
which these faults are described to quote largely, 
but the real fact is that the number of churches thus 
condemned is after all comparatively small. Taken 
all round, it may be said that the churches were in 
tolerable repair. 

As to church furniture, the most complete account 
is that given of the parish of Kells. " The Com- 
munion table is railed in, but the place is too scanty, 
and admits but a very small number of communicants. 
There is a decent carpet, and fair linen cloth ; a silver 
chalice and patin, and two flagons of pewter ; a stone 
font, a surplice, a Bible, two Common Prayer Books, 
a Book of Canons, a book wherein are registered the 
christenings, marriages and burials, and another 
wherein are entered the acts of the vestry ; there are 
convenient boxes for collecting the alms." In nearly 
all the churches the presence or absence of a " carpet " 
is noted. The word is not used in the sense in which 
we now employ it, but in the obsolete sense of a table 
cloth. We still speak of a thing being " on the carpet," 
when we mean that it is under discussion. The 


allusion is, of course, not to a carpet such as covers our 
floors, but to the cloth cover of a council table. A 
great many of the churches, though otherwise well 
provided, were without a carpet, and in this connection 
it is interesting to note that Fuller refers to a similar 
want in some of the English churches when he tells 
his readers that " a Communion table will not catch 
cold with wanting a rich carpet." In Meath it was 
only the principal churches that were thus provided. 
At Laracor (Dean Swift's church), they were " furnished 
with all conveniences, except a surplice and carpet." 
That the former should be wanting in the parish of 
so good a churchman is surprising, but there is reason 
to suspect that the use of the surplice was often omitted 
in those days. 

The Communion vessels were in a few cases of silver 
or plate, but for the most part they seem to have been 
of pewter. In comparatively recent days these pewter 
vessels were discarded, and their place was taken 
by the very inferior plated ware supplied by the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners. As a result, there is 
scarcely a vestige of pewter still retained in the diocese. 
Had the old vessels been preserved they would now 
be of great value, but they seem to have been cast 
aside as utterly worthless. 

In several churches the provision for the celebration 
of Holy Communion was exceedingly poor and in- 
adequate. At Syddan the flagon and chalice were of 
block tin. At Knockmark there was " no Communion 
table nor place railed in for it, nor raised, no linen or 
carpet, nor flagon ; there is a chalice of pewter." 
Duleek was even worse. " No Communion table nor 
place railed in for it, nor is there any flagging or flooring 
in the place where the table should stand, nor else- 
where in the church, saving in the seats, and nothing 


appears but the common earth ; no utensils for the 
Communion." Leney was in just as bad a case. ' The 
Communion table not railed in ; no utensils." 

At Galtrim they had " no utensils for the celebration 
of the Lord's Supper except a chalice of cocoa nut 
tipped with silver." This seems to have been a unique 
form of chalice, and the reader will be interested to 
learn that while this history was being written the 
relic has been discovered, and is now restored to the 
parish. It had long been lost, but was preserved 
in private keeping, and the tradition handed down 
with it that it had at one time belonged to a church 
in the neighbourhood of Trim. It finally came into 
the possession of Doctor Minchin, then residing in 
Kells, who set enquiries on foot with a view of 
discovering to what church it formerly belonged. 
On the facts, as disclosed in Bishop Ellis's Report, 
being brought under his notice, Doctor Minchin very 
generously restored it to the Parish of Galtrim, and it 
is now in the custody of the rector of that parish. 
The stem of the chalice, which is made of ebony, is 
somewhat damaged, but the " silver tip " is perfect, 
and the vessel is otherwise in excellent condition. 

Services in the town parishes were held twice on 
Sundays, at one of which a sermon was preached, 
also on Wednesdays and Fridays, and on holidays. 
This is stated to have been the use at Kells, Trim, 
and Mullingar. At Athlone there was daily service 
as well as twice on Sundays. In a few of the country 
parishes there were two services every Sunday, but 
in most of them only one, much as is the case at present. 
According to Swift's biographers, he used to have 
service at Laracor on Wednesdays and Fridays, and it 
was at one of these week-day services that he is said 
to have begun the service by saying, " Dearly beloved 


Roger," instead of the usual " Dearly beloved 
brethren," addressing himself to the parish clerk, who 
was the only member of the congregation. Bishop 
Ellis's Report, however, makes no mention of these 
week-day services at Laracor, and we may perhaps 
conclude that they were also held in other country 
parishes throughout the diocese, although no notice 
of the fact is taken in this return. At Duleek, divine 
service was celebrated only every second Sunday. On 
the alternate Sundays, service was held in Mr. Mervyn's 
house, at the Naul, in the parish of Clonalvey. In 
Drogheda there was no service at Saint Mary's, 
although the church was kept in repair, and the 
parishioners used to go across the river to Saint Peter's. 

Very little information is given as to the frequency 
of the celebrations of the Holy Communion. At Athlone 
mention is made of a " monthly Sacrament," and 
this may have been the rule for the town parishes. 
At Kilskyre, we are told, " The Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper is administered six times in the year." This 
may have been the custom in the country places. 
At all events, this is the only information that the 
Report gives. 

There is but little told us as to the state of religious 
and secular education, and in the latter portion of 
the Report which deals with the western portion of the 
diocese, the subject is almost entirely ignored. In 
Kells, the children were catechized from Easter to 
Michaelmas. There was a Latin school kept by the 
parish clerk, who was always a clergyman, as the 
emoluments were considerable. There was also some 
provision for primary education : the archdeacon 
" paid for the schooling of about twenty-five boys and 
girls, and in a great measure cloathed them." We are 
also told that " there is a charity school in Athlone, 


where thirty boys and girls are taught to read and write, 
and four of the boys are clothed by Dr. St. George. 
There is likewise a spinning school of twenty girls, 
encouraged by the Commissioners of the Linen 
Manufactory. Henry St. George Esqr., has given a 
house for the schoolmaster." At Banagher the Royal 
School was already in existence, and the work of 
teaching carried on, though the master was non- 
resident. The following is the account of it : " There 
was a free school appointed to be kept in the town of 
Banagher by King Charles the First, and an endow- 
ment of 285 acres of land granted by him for the school. 
The schoolmaster is James Cunningham, who is at 
present at Gibraltar, a chaplain in the army. He 
employs the incumbent as a substitute, and allows 
him 20 per annum annually." In the smaller parishes 
the only provision for education seems to have been 
the catechising of the children at certain seasons of the 
year. A few entries will give some idea of the amount of 
instruction that was given. In Moynalty, the incumbent 
catechized the children every Sunday in the afternoon 
for five months in the year. In Stackallen, the 
children were catechized every Sunday during Lent ; 
and in Kilberry, on every holy day during the summer 
season. Very much the same information is given 
about other parishes, though in many cases no mention 
is made of the subject. All this does not tell us much 
about the state of education. It shows, however, that 
the duty was not altogether neglected, and we may 
fairly conclude that in most parishes, if not in all, 
there was some provision made for catechizing the 

An attempt had evidently been made, and with 
some success, to form unions, so that small adjoining 
parishes might be worked by the one incumbent. 


The system of patronage, however, continued to put 
obstacles in the way, and in many cases it was found 
impossible to arrange things satisfactorily. For 
instance, we have a Mr. Fisher, who was rector of 
Stackallen and vicar of Danistown, but to get from 
the one to the other, he had to pass through the 
parishes of Paynestown and Kentstown ; while the 
rector of Paynestown, on his part, had a couple of 
parishes intervening between it and Monktown and 
Skryne, which he also held. As for the rector of 
Kentstown, he was also curate of Athboy, a combination 
of duty that was quite impossible to perform. This 
last, therefore, comes more under the head of pluralities 
than of unsuitable unions. There were just a few such 
cases. Stafford Lightburn, Dean Swift's curate, 
was one, for he not only held the curacy of Laracor, 
but also the rectory of Churchtown in the County 
Westmeath. The Dean himself was another, as he 
continued to hold the parish of Laracor with some 
adjoining parishes after he had been appointed to the 
Deanery of Saint Patrick's. Anthony Dopping, son of 
the Bishop of Meath of the same name, and himself 
destined soon to become a bishop, held the rectory of 
Killucan together with the deanery and parish of 
Clonmacnoise. Of course it would have been im- 
possible for him to serve both cures personally. There 
were a few other case like these, but at the same time, 
a manifest improvement had taken place since the 
days of Bishop Dopping. 

An attempt was made by the bishops to enforce 
residence, and with that object in view two bills were 
introduced into the House of Lords in 1732, the one 
enforcing the building of glebe houses, and the other 
providing for the sub-division of large parishes. These 
were opposed with great vigour by the clergy, and 


were eventually thrown out in the House of Commons. 
Swift was one of the leaders in the opposition, and 
spoke of them as " those two abominable bills for 
enslaving and beggaring the clergy, which took their 
birth from hell." It is hard to understand how two 
measures, which, at the present day, would pass almost 
without discussion, aroused at that time such a violent 

The information which the Return gives as to the 
incomes of the clergy is very imperfect. The largest 
income given is that of the rector of Kells, who was 
also Archdeacon of Meath, and had 700 per annum. 
With this exception, there are no large incomes noted, 
and it would seem that 100 a year might be considered 
a fair average. Some went a good deal lower than 
this. The curate in charge of Killochonnigan, for 
example, had only 20. In most of the parishes, 
however, the information given does not enable us to 
say what the incomes really were, and in some cases 
there were glebe lands which may have added con- 
siderably to the value of the benefice. 

There are a few items of incidental information 
scattered here and there through the Report which are 
some of them interesting. Speaking of Kilmainham 
Wood, we are told : " The parish has been but of late 
upon the books, nor have I been able to find any 
mention of it in any books or rolls which have come to 
my hands." It seems extraordinary that a parish 
should have become, as this seems to imply, in a sense 
derelict. No mention of the parish is made by Ussher, 
so that we may conclude that in his day it had been 
already forgotten ; and the neglect continued until 
comparatively recent times. In 1790 the bishop 
consulted his chancellor as to how he should deal with 
the case. The impropriator, Lord Beaulie, was a 


Roman Catholic, and while he received the tithes of the 
parish, he made no provision for the duty, and no vicar 
had been appointed for many years. After giving 
some advice on the subject, Doctor Radcliff adds : 
" The very last opinion I gave the morning I left town 
to Mr. Lowther, son of Johnny Lowther (as I heard), 
did I believe, relate to this subject. The case complains 
that there is no person to do occasional duties in a 
parish near Kells, and that until very lately Sir William 
Barker, who was tenant to the impropriator, paid 
twelve pounds a year to the curate of Kells for doing 
those occasional duties, but that, since the expiration 
of Sir William's lease, there had been a stoppage of 
payment, and Mr. Lowther desires to know whether 
he cannot stop payment of his own tithes, until some 
person shall be paid for the occasional duties." 2 
Doctor Radcliff goes on to say that in his opinion 
Lord Beaulie could be compelled to pay this twelve 
pounds a year. No action, however, was taken, and in 
1800 we learn that " tithes had not been paid for many 
years, because the patron was a Roman Catholic." 
Thus it would appear that at least for about two 
hundred years the parish had been left without any 
adequate provision for the cure of souls. 

Nobber had been at one time one of the important 
towns in the County Meath, but evidently long before 
the time of which we are treating, it had fallen into 
decay. The rector used to hold, as attached to his 
living, the dignity of Archdeacon of Kells, and when 
that office was united to the bishopric, the bishop 
became rector of Nobber, and the incumbent had 
henceforth merely the position of perpetual curate 
appointed by the diocesan. The Report says : 

There is no glebe in this parish, but his Grace the Lord 

MS. in Record Ofiice, Dublin. 


Primate has lands in it belonging to his see, whereby a curate 
or vicar may be furnished with glebe, which is absolutely 
necessary in this parish, being situated in a barbarous part of 
the country, and no tolerable accommodation to be had other- 
wise for a resident clergyman. 

Navan was then, as now, without a glebe house 
and the incumbent was forced to procure a dwelling 
for himself as best he could. We are told that " the 
incumbent resided at first in the town of Navan, but 
since has removed to lodging in the country, which 
gives offence." 

The following description of Taughmon church 
and parson is somewhat amusing : 

There is a church in repair with a steeple in this parish. 
It has a stone roof, which cracked from end to end, and lets 
in the rain. The inside is in very sorry order, and everything 
almost wanting. Christopher Dixon, a weak man, is curate. 
He used to live in the steeple. He could not be trusted 
with money, and the Bishop of Meath used to lay out yearly 
for him for diet and conveniencies the sum of 20. It is a 
very obscure place, and there is a very small congregation. 

Notwithstanding his weakness, Mr. Dixon survived 
a long time, for in 1751 we find that a subscription was 
made among the bishops and clergy for his support, 
and a sum of 13 was expended, " 10 whereof to pay 
for board and lodging, and 3 to be laid out in buying 
cloaths and other necessarys." 3 He had in the mean- 
time been relieved from the duty of his parish, for we 
find that John Parker was appointed to it in 1744. 
Taughmon church has still its stone roof, and the crack 
which Bishop Ellis notes remains as of old. The 
congregation, too, continues to be very small. Indeed 
of late the church has only been used for occasional 

Our Report makes no mention of the now important 

1 MS. in Record Office, Dublin. 


town of Tullamore, which indeed was at that time 
by no means such an important place as it afterwards 
became. There had been a chapel of ease there, but 
no mention of it is made in the present account. The 
parish to which it belonged (Durrow) comes in for 
only a very scanty notice. There is equally no 
mention of Moate, but the parish, Kilcleagh, is 
mentioned as united to Bally loughloe. There is no 
intimation as to whether a church existed in the town 
of Moate, but from the fact that glebe lands were 
bestowed on Kilcleagh by Charles I., with a stipulation 
that a clergyman's residence was to be erected, we 
may perhaps conclude, that even then the importance 
of the place was recognized, and that the intention 
was that it should be made into a separate parish. 
This intention, however, like many others of the same 
kind, was not carried into effect until many years 

Except in the latter portions, the Return seems to 
have been very carefully compiled, and it marks 
for us the recovery of the Church after the miseries of 
the rebellion of 1641, the usurpation of Cromwell, and 
the attempted Romanizing of the Church under James 
II. After ninety years of such painful experiences, it 
speaks well for the Church that we find it so carefully 
organized, and on the whole so efficiently administered. 
There was still, no doubt, great room for improvement 
in many places, and the standard reached was very 
far from what would be deemed satisfactory in the 
present day. But once more we must judge things, 
not according to modern ideas, but according to the 
ideas that were then prevalent, and when we remember 
this, we cannot but admit that substantial progress 
had been made, and the way prepared for still greater 
progress in the future. 


WE have some interesting sources of information, of a 
different kind from any that have been so far available, 
which tell us about church life in the Diocese of Meath 
in the eighteenth century. First, we have the Life 
and Works of Dean Swift ; then we have the Journal 
of John \Vesley ; and finally, the writings of Oliver 
Goldsmith. These three are sufficiently near in time 
to one another to justify us in taking them as descriptive 
of the same period. 

Jonathan Swift was appointed to the livings of 
Laracor, Agher, and Rathbeggan in February, 1700. 
He had already had a parish in the north of Ireland, 
but he held it only for a short time, and it is doubtful 
if he ever resided in it, so that we may assume that, 
whatever knowledge he possessed of an Irish country 
clergyman's life was derived from his experience as 
incumbent of a small parish in the Diocese of Meath. 
After his appointment he was in no hurry to take up 
the duty, but continued to live in Dublin, officiating 
as chaplain to Lord Berkeley, and in the following year 
he accompanied that nobleman to England. It was 
only in September, 1701, that he went into residence. 
From time to time he did not hesitate to absent himself 
for long periods. In 1702 he was for six months in 
England, and in 1708 he went away again, not returning 
for a year and eight months. After his appointment 
to the Deanery of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, he only 



went occasionally to Laracor, and in his latter days 
he seems to have seldom visited his parish. Of course, 
he always employed a curate, so that the parish was 
not neglected, but, in view of his own action, it is hard 
to understand how he could write on the subject of 
non-residence, ' I believe there is no Christian country 
upon earth where the clergy have less to answer for 
upon that article. I am confident there are not ten 
clergymen in the kingdom who, properly speaking, 
can be termed non-residents." 

Swift's congregations were always small, seldom 
more than ten, and these, as he wittily puts it, " most 
gentle and all simple." That he found the place dull 
does not surprise us. It was not worse in this respect 
than many another country parish, but he was a man 
who loved to be in the thick of the fray. Writing to 
Vanessa, he says, " At my first coming, I thought I 
should have died with discontent, and was horribly 
melancholy while they were installing me." After a 
time he became more reconciled to his lot, and 
interested himself in the house and garden. He made 
friends among some of the neighbours, and was 
cheered by the companionship of Stella, for whom 
he rented a cottage in the immediate neighbourhood. 

The parish of Laracor benefited considerably from 
the dean's liberality. He made considerable improve- 
ments in the dwelling house, and by purchase he added 
greatly to the lands, all of which he left to his successors 
free of any charge. He also acquired the tithes of 
what he calls the " parish " of Effernock, a district in 
the neighbourhood of Trim, and bequeathed it as an 
addition to the income of the benefice. At the time 
of disestablishment, unfortunately, no claim was made 
for these tithes as a " private endowment," for if 
this had been done there is little doubt but that the 


parish would still be receiving the benefit of his 

When we remember how he was thus associated 
with our diocese, we may fairly take his lines on The 
Happy Life of a Country Parson as descriptive of a 
Meath clergyman's life in his time. Like everything 
else that Swift wrote, it has its note of sarcasm, but on 
the whole the picture is not unpleasing. 

Parson, these things in thy possessing 
Are better than the bishop's blessing : 
A wife that makes conserves ; a steed 
That carries double when there's need ; 
October store, and best Virginia, 
Tythe-pig, and mortuary guinea ; 
Gazettes sent gratis down, and frank'd, 
For which thy patron's weekly thank'd ; 
A large concordance (bound long since) ; 
Sermons to Charles the First, when prince; 
A Chronicle of ancient standing ; 
A Chrysostom, to smoothe thy band in ; 
The Polyglott three parts my text, 
Howbeit, likewise now to my next, 
Lo, here the Septuagint and Paul, 
To sum the whole the close of all. 
He that hath these may pass his life, 
Drink with the squire, and kiss his wife ; 
On Sundays preach, and eat his fill, 
And fast on Fridays, if he will ; 
Toast Church and Queen, explain the news ; 
Talk with churchwardens about pews ; 
Pray heartily for some new gift, 
And shake his head at Doctor S 1. 

Goldsmith, writing somewhat later, drew all his 
knowledge of a parson's life from the County 
Westmeath, where his father, and afterwards his 
brother, had their field of labour. The picture of the 
" village preacher " in the Deserted Village, is drawn 
with a more loving hand than that of Swift, but the 


two descriptions are not incompatible. He was a man 
of modest means, just barely raised above want, but 
contented, and not at all, like Swift's parson, praying 
for some new gift. 

A man he was to all the country dear, 

And passing rich with forty pounds a year. 

Remote from towns he ran his godly race, 

Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place. 

Unpractised he to fawn, or seek for power, 

By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour ; 

Far other aims his heart had learned to prize, 

More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise. 

The " forty pounds a year " that Goldsmith speaks 
of, seems to have been the regular pay of a curate at 
that time, and his own brother never got beyond it. 
It represented, of course, a good deal more than the 
same sum represents in the present day ; still it left 
no room for extravagance, and necessitated a very 
simple and quiet life. Swift, in his " Letter to a 
Young Clergyman," says that young men newly 
ordained " if they be very fortunate, arrive in time 
to a curacy here in town, or else are sent to be assistants 
in the country, where they probably continue several 
years (many of them their whole lives) with thirty or 
forty pounds a year for their support, 'till some bishop, 
who happens to be not over-stocked with relations, 
or attached to favourites, or is content to supply his 
diocese without colonies from England, bestows upon 
them some inconsiderable benefice, when 'tis odds 
they are already encumbered with a numerous family." 

Underlying both accounts is the assumption that 
promotion in the church went more by favour than by 
merit. That Swift makes such a complaint does not 
surprise us, as we know that he was always more or 
less discontented, but Goldsmith, who was of a very 


different disposition, gives us clearly to understand 
that if his parson had been " practised to fawn," and to 
adapt his teaching to the fashion of the hour, he might 
have obtained advancement for himself. It must 
have been disheartening to many a faithful worker to 
find himself continually passed over in favour of those 
who had more powerful friends. The grievance, 
however, was one of long standing, and we would be 
wrong in assuming that it was worse in those days than 
in the preceding time or in the time that was to follow. 
Goldsmith dwells at considerable length on the 
benevolence and hospitality of the parson, on his 
ministry by the death bed, and on his friendly 
relationship with his parishioners, but he dismisses 
the subject of preaching in a single couplet : 

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, 
And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray. 

We may probably conclude from this that preaching 
was not his strongest point, and we may perhaps 
generalize, and assume that the clergymen of the small 
country parishes were not as a general rule great 
orators, as indeed was not to be expected. There can 
be little doubt, however, that good preaching was very 
much appreciated, and that many of the clergy aimed 
at excellence in this respect. Swift dwells upon the 
subject very fully in his " Letter to a Young Clergy- 
man," and the faults which he points out are mostly 
those that would be found amongst men that made 
some pretensions to oratory. He notes with approval 
that he has " lived to see Greek and Latin almost 
entirely driven out of the pulpit," but he deprecates 
the habit which still obtained of making quotations 
from ancient and modern authors, by way of displaying 
the erudition of the preacher, and he specially ridicules 


the stock phrases by which such quotations were 
commonly introduced " As Saint Austin excellently 
observes "as " a late excellent prelate of our church," 
tells us and the like. " Of no better stamp is your 
' heathen philosopher,' and ' famous poet/ and 
' Roman historian/ at least in common congregations, 
who will rather believe you on your own word than on 
that of Plato or Homer." He also warns his young 
friend against attacking heathen philosophy, which 
possibly he has never taken the trouble to understand, 
and against preaching against atheism to congregations 
whose minds have never been troubled with theological 
doubts. Such warnings, it is needless to remark, would 
be unnecessary if the popular style of preaching in that 
day was not lofty perhaps one might say, stilted in 
its character. 

Incidentally, Swift lets us know that the usual 
length of a sermon in those days was half an hour. 
He also discusses the question as to whether a sermon 
should be read, or delivered without a manuscript, 
and he says that the whole body of the clergy would 
be against him, but the laity almost to a man on his 
side, in preferring the spoken sermon. ' I cannot 
but think," he says, " that whatever is read differs as 
much from what is repeated without book as a copy 
does from an original." It is evident from this that 
written sermons were the rule, and extempore sermons 
the exception. 

John Wesley, in" his Journal, speaks more than once 
of the preaching in Athlone church, of which he seems 
to have highly approved. On Sunday, May 3rd, 1748, 
he writes : "At eleven we went to church, and heard 
a plain, useful sermon." On May yth, 1749, he has 
the entry, " Athlone. The rector preached in the 
afternoon (though it is called morning service) a close 


useful sermon on the Fear of God." And again, on 
June nth, 1759, he writes, " We had an excellent 
sermon at church, on the Intercession of Christ." He 
does not seem to have expressed his opinion about the 
preaching in any other place in the diocese except 
Athlone, but we may gather from his observations 
that sound and thoughtful if not eloquent preaching 
was to be heard in the churches of Meath in his time. 
Turning now from the clergy to the laity, the 
description which Goldsmith gives of the parishioners 
clustering round the vicar after the Sunday service 
recurs at once to the mind : 

The service past, around the pious man, 
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran ; 
E'en children followed with endearing wile, 
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile. 
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed ; 
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed ; 
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given, 
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven. 

The congregation which thus showed its attachment 
to the pastor consisted of honest rustics. It is to be 
feared that some who thought more highly of themselves 
were very far from displaying the same estimable 
qualities. Even in such an abode of " innocence and 
ease " as Auburn is represented to have been, there 
were fools who came to the house of God merely to 
scoff. We can understand what this meant when 
we read Wesley's description of different churches. 
He says of Athlone, that he " had not seen one con- 
gregation ever in Ireland behave so ill at church, as 
that at Athlone, laughing, talking, and staring about, 
during the whole service." He was so accustomed 
to see the better class of people behave badly in church, 
that when they at all showed a serious disposition, 


he mentions it as something unusual. " I preached," 
he says, " at Clara to a vast number of well-behaved 
people, although some of them came in their coaches, 
and were (I was informed) of the best quality in the 
country. How few of these would have returned 
empty if they had heard the word of God, not out of 
curiosity merely, but from a real desire to do His 
will." At another time, he says, " I preached at 
Tyrrelspass with a peculiar blessing from God, though 
many persons of fortune were in the congregation. 
But the poor and the rich are His." And once more, 
again with regard to Tyrrelspass, he says, " Preached 
at 8 and 12 (there being no service in the church). 
A heap of fine gay people came in their post chaises 
to the evening preaching. I spoke very plainly, but 
the words seemed to fly over them. Gallic cared 
for none of these things." 

This inattentive and indecent behaviour at church 
seems to have arisen from a spirit of infidelity which 
was then fashionable, and which was accompanied by 
a loose kind of living. Wesley speaks of cursing, 
swearing, and drinking, as " fashionable wickedness." 
Swift tells us that the so-called free-thinkers were 
to be found amongst those in the country who were 
" oppressing their tenants, tyrannizing over the neigh- 
bourhood, cheating the vicar, talking nonsense, and 
getting drunk at the sessions." He thinks that nothing 
was gained by the " frequent custom of preaching against 
atheism, deism, free thinking, and the like, as young 
divines are particularly fond of doing, especially when 
they exercise their talent in churches frequented by 
persons of quality," for, first of all, " persons under 
those imputations are generally no great frequenters 
of churches," and even if they did come, they would 
not be convinced, for " reasoning will never make a 


man correct an ill opinion which by reasoning he 
never acquired." He thinks that education was at a 
very low ebb among the better classes, and tells us, 
41 that you will hardly find a young person of quality 
with the least tincture of knowledge, at the same time 
that the clergy were never more learned, or so scurvily 

When Swift took up his residence at Laracor, he 
found both church and parsonage in a state of dilapi- 
dation. He, however, at once set about repairing 
them. There were probably many other churches in 
the same condition, but a better order of things was 
coming in, and before many years had elapsed the type 
of sanctuary that Meath could boast was that which 
Goldsmith commemorates when he speaks of 

The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill. 

The interior arrangement of the churches was some- 
what different from that which is usual at present. 
The prayer desk, with the parish clerk's desk in front 
of it, commonly occupied the centre of the south wall. 
Behind this the pulpit stood in all the smaller churches, 
but in some of the more important, it was a movable 
structure, mounted on wheels, which was rolled into 
the centre aisle when required for use, and at other 
times relegated to a less prominent position. This was 
the use in Athlone Church, 1 and probably in some 
others, as it was not an unusual arrangement at the 
time. The pews were large, and often " built " * 
at the expense of the owners. Then, as now, they were 
the occasion of frequent disputes,3 and, as Swift points 
out, formed the chief subject of discussion between the 
clergyman and his churchwardens. It was not always 

1 Athlone Vestry Book. a Kells Vestry Book. 
3 M S. Opinions of Counsel, Record Office, Dublin. 


easy to keep them in decent order, for, when any 
important person in the parish died, it was customary 
to have the interment within the walls of the church. 
This, besides being insanitary, often caused damage 
to the pews, and must have rendered it exceedingly 
difficult to preserve the church furniture from excessive 
wear and tear. In Kells the vestry passed a resolution 

Whereas several pughs in said church have been greatly 
injur'd by burying corps in said church, it is therefore enacted 
that for the future, before the ground be opened or any pugh 
taken down, the sum of two pounds five shillings be deposited 
in the hands of the church wardens, in order to repair said 
damage, and the remainder, if any, to be disposed of as the 
ministers, church wardens, and Protestant parishioners shall 
think proper. 4 

It was only at a much later date that such interments 
were prohibited. 

The churchwardens and vestrymen concerned 
themselves with many subjects that are now considered 
to be altogether beyond their province. They pro- 
vided the stocks, and seem to have had the power of 
inflicting that penalty, which they awarded to such- 
offences as playing ball against the church walls,s 
and it was their favourite remedy against the tramp 
nuisance. Portion of the stocks of Navan is still to be 
seen outside the court-house, a quaint reminder of an 
obsolete mode of punishment ; and a much more 
perfect specimen, quite capable of being still used, 
has lately been purchased by the Rev. Hamlet 
McClenaghan, Rector of Dunshaughlin. Formerly it 
had belonged to the village, and had passed into the 
possession of a neighbouring farmer. 

The treatment of vagrants and beggars must have 

Kells Vestry Book.' Ibid, 


occupied a good part of the churchwardens' attention, 
and the old vestry books have many curious entries 
dealing with this subject. When a new resident came 
to the parish, if he had no visible means of subsistence, 
security might be demanded from him that he would 
not become chargeable on the charity funds. 6 The case 
of a vagrant was different. For him they had no mercy. 
He was either put in the stocks, or else received a 
whipping, and was sent on his way. In Kells, and 
probably in other places as well, they had a parish 
officer called the " whip beggar," or " ban beggar," 
whose duty it was " to keep off all beggars and poor 
people out of the parish." How he performed this 
duty is sufficiently indicated by the name of his office. 
He received a salary and a coat, and it was resolved 
that if he failed in his duty, the coat was to be taken 
from him and the salary stopped. 7 They had a similar 
officer at Athlone, but in that parish he was called 
the " bellower." 8 The ordinary mendicants, at all 
events in the towns, were provided with badges. These 
were metal plates, about three inches square, with the 
name of the parish, and a number. Those who were 
thus decorated were allowed to solicit alms in the 
neighbourhood. A similar custom prevailed about 
this time in many places both in England and Ireland. 
A well-known letter written by Dean Swift advocates 
the adoption of badges for the beggars of Dublin. 

Other duties that fell to the lot of church wardens, 
were the providing for foundling children, who were 
either put out to nurse, or sent to the Foundling 
Hospital in Dublin ; the providing of coffins for 
paupers, the care of the streets, especial mention 
being made of the duty of keeping them free from 

Ballyboy Vestry Book. Kells Vestry Book. 
" Athlone Vestry Book, 


strolling pigs ; 9 and a variety of other things that are 
now looked after in other ways. 

The funds required for all these works, as well as 
for the repair of the fabric of the church and the pay- 
ment of church officers, were raised by a cess levied 
at the Easter vestry. As Roman Catholics had to 
pay this tax, and yet none of them were allowed to 
vote at the vestry meetings, it naturally caused 
frequent resentment. Often it was raised with 
difficulty ; sometimes it could not be raised at all. 10 
Like many other things arranged for us by the English 
government, it helped to prejudice the people of the 
country against our Church. 

The Temperance movement is generally regarded 
as belonging to the nineteenth century. According 
to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the first temperance 
society dates from 1808, and was formed in Greenfield, 
Saratoga County, New York. New Ross is claimed 
by some to be the birth place of the first temperance 
society in Europe, and it was founded in 1829 by the 
Reverend George Whitmore Carr. 11 It may be well, 
therefore, to note that long before either of these 
dates, there was a movement of this kind in the 
Diocese of Meath, and though in doing so we come 
to a later date than the other events chronicled in 
this chapter, it may well take its place among our 
" Glimpses of Church Life." 

As early as 1771 the subject of temperance reform 
had attracted attention in the country, for in that year 
legislation was proposed which went beyond the 
wildest dreams of the present day. In that year a bill 
was introduced into Parliament to suspend whiskey 
distilling, " which was demoralizing the country." 12 

Slane Vestry Book. Ardnurcher Vestry Book. 

11 Rev. T. F. M. ffrench in Irish Eccksiastical Gazette, Jan. 28, 1898. 

" Froude, English in Ireland. 


In this case England interfered, because of the loss 
that would come to the revenue, and the bill had to be 
abandoned. Some time after that, in 1787, a meeting 
was held in Saint Mary's parish, Dublin, which formed 
itself into an organization for the promotion of 
temperance. The year following the movement was 
taken up in Meath, and a meeting was held in Kells, 
at which the following resolutions were passed : 

Resolved. That we highly approve of the resolutions 
entered into on the 2nd of April last by our brethren of the 
metropolis and that we will to the utmost of our power promote 
their patriotic intention, by the most spirited exertion to 
prevent the destructive practice of spirit drinking, so fatally 
prevalent among the lower ranks of society. 

Resolved. That as we are sensible of the influence which 
example has on the minds of the common people, we will in 
every instance discountenance the horrid vice of drunkenness, 
as well by punishing those who vend spirituous liquors illegally, 
as by refusing employment and protection to every person who 
shall continue in the practice of intoxication ; and we have 
the strongest persuasion that our brethren of the neighbouring 
parishes will, upon due consideration, see the indispensible 
necessity of adopting these or similar resolutions, for the 
purpose of establishing civilization and good order among their 
poorer fellow creatures, who only want instruction and 
encouragement to become good and useful members of society, 
relying on the wisdom and humanity of an enlightened 
legislature for further assistance in promoting the real happiness 
of this country, by destroying the principal source of idleness 
and immorality. *3 

Copies of these resolutions were published in the 
Dublin newspapers, and the temperance society in 
Dublin passed a resolution of approbation and 
sympathy. The leader in this movement, as far as 
Meath is concerned, was Mr. Michael Tisdall, of 
Charlesfort, whose descendants are still among the 
most faithful members of our church in the diocese. 

13 Kells Vestry Book. 


The Kells vestry, at a subsequent meeting, passed a 
resolution of thanks to him " for his charitable good 
services in suppressing drunkenness and all other 
disorderly practices," from which we may conclude 
that the organization, though it seems to have been 
short lived, was enabled in some measure to accomplish 
the object for which it was formed. 

As to the bishops, we have little information as to 
how they performed their duties, but as we have seen, 
they were supposed to have been more active than they 
had been in former times. Swift, as is well known, 
had not a very exalted opinion of the episcopal bench. 
He is particularly hard on Bishop Evans, and if his 
account is to be trusted a somewhat doubtful point, 
when an enemy is concerned that prelate was unfair 
and tyrannical to those who were of a different party 
from himself. It would appear that some unpleasant- 
ness arose between them at one of the first visitations 
which the bishop held, and in the following year 
Swift refused to attend the visitation, sending a proxy 
instead. Bishop Evans refused to receive his proxy, 
and thereupon Swift sent him the following letter : 

May 22, 1719. 
To the Bishop of Meath. 

I had an express sent to me yesterday by some friends, to 
let me know that you refused to accept my proxy, which I 
think was in legal form, and with all the circumstances it ought 
to have. I was likewise informed of some other particulars 
relating to your displeasure for my not appearing. You 
may remember, if you please, that I promised last year never 
to appear again at your visitations ; and I will most certainly 
keep my word if the law will permit me ; not from any contempt 
of your lordship's jurisdiction, but that I would not put you 
under the temptation of giving me injurious treatment, which 
no wise man, if he can avoid it, will receive above once from 
the same person. 


I had the less apprehension of any hard dealing from your 
lordship, because I have been more than ordinary officious 
in my respects to you, from your first coming over. I waited 
on you as soon as I knew of your landing. I attended on you 
on your first journey to Trim. I lent you a useful book 
relating to your diocese ; and repeated my visits, till I saw you 
never intended to return them. And I could have no design 
to serve myself, having nothing to hope or fear from you. 
I cannot help it, if I am called of a different party from your 
lordship's, but that circumstance is of no consequence with me, 
who respect good men of all parties alike. 

I have already nominated a person to be my curate, and 
did humbly recommend him to your lordship to be ordained, 
which must be done by some other bishop, since you are 
pleased, as I am told, to refuse it, and I am apt to think you 
will be of opinion that, when I have a lawful curate, I shall 
not be under the necessity of a personal appearance, from 
which I hold myself excused by another station. If I shall 
prove to be mistaken, I declare my appearance will be 
extremely against my inclinations. However, I hope that in 
such a case, your lordship will please to remember in the midst 
of your resentments that you are to speak to a clergyman, 
and not to a footman. 

I am, your Lordship's obedient 
Humble servant, 


It does not say much for the ecclesiastical discipline 
of those days to find that Swift could threaten his 
diocesan that if he refused to ordain the curate that 
he nominated, he would be able to find another bishop 
willing to do so. As a matter of fact, however, the 
question did not arise, for we find that this same year 
Stafford Lightburne was ordained in Meath for the 
curacy of Laracor ; so that the bishop cannot have 
been as unreasonable as Swift represents him to be. 
But this concession on the part of the bishop did not 
mend matters, for the enmity continued until his 



lordship was removed by death. Two years later, 
Evans held another visitation, and on that occasion 
Swift wrote the following letter to the Reverend 
Thomas Wallis, Vicar of Athboy, who had agreed to 
act as his proxy : 

Dublin, May 18, 1721. 

I had your letter, and the copy of the bishop's circular 
enclosed, for which I thank you ; and yet I will not pretend 
to know anything of it, and hope you have not told anybody 
what you did. I should be glad enough to be at the visitation, 
not out of any love to the business of the person, but to do my 
part in preventing any mischief ; but in truth my health will 
not suffer it, and you, who are my proxy, may safely give 
it upon your veracity. I am confident the bishop would not 
be dissastisfied with wanting my company, and yet he may 
give himself airs when he finds I am not there. I now employ 
myself in getting you a companion to cure your spleen. 

I am, 

Your faithful, humble servant, 

J. S. 

When the visitation actually took place the bishop 
" gave himself airs," as Swift suspected he might do, 
and refused to receive the Dean's proxy. Thereupon 
Swift sent him the following vigorous letter : 


I have received an account of your lordship's refusing to 
admit my proxy at your visitation, with several circumstances 
of personal reflections on myself, although my proxy attested 
my want of health ; to confirm which, and to lay before you 
the justice and Christianity of your proceeding, above a 
hundred persons of quality and distinction can witness that 
since Friday, the 26th of May, I have been tormented with an 
ague, in as violent a manner as possible, which still continues, 
and forces me to make use of another hand in writing to you. 


At the same time I must be plain to tell you, that if this 
accident had not happened, I should have used all my 
endeavours to avoid your visitation, upon the publick promise 
I made you three years ago, and the motives which occasioned 
it ; because I was unwilling to bear any more very injurious 
treatment and appellations given to my brethren or myself, 
and by the grace of God, I am still determined to absent myself 
on the like occasion, so far as I can possibly be dispensed with 
by any law, while your lordship is in that diocese and I a 
member of it. In which resolution I could not conceive but 
your lordship would be easy, because, although my presence 
might possibly contribute to your real, at least future interest, 
I was sure it could not be to your present satisfaction. 

If I had the happiness to be acquainted with any one 
clergyman in the diocese of your lordship's principles, I 
should have desired him to represent me, with hopes of better 
success, but I wish you would sometimes think it convenient 
to distinguish men as well as principles, and not to look upon 
every person who happens to owe you canonical obedience 
as if -- . 

I have the honour to be ordinary over a considerable number 
of as eminent divines as any in this kingdom, who owe me the 
same obedience as I owe to your lordship, and are equally 
bound to attend my visitation ; yet, neither I nor any of my 
predecessors, to my knowledge, did ever refuse a regular 

I am only sorry that you, who are of a country famed for 
good nature, have found a way to unite the hasty passion of 
your own countrymen with the long, sedate resentment of a 
Spaniard ; but I have an honourable hope that this proceeding 
has been more owing to party than complexion. 

I am, 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most humble servant, 


Whatever may have been the merits of this 
contention, and it seems impossible for us now to judge 
of them, we can scarcely help sympathizing with the 
bishop who had to deal with such a bitter-tongued 
opponent among his clergy. 

16 Mant. 


When Bishop Dowries succeeded Evans, Swift 
gave him a most cordial reception, as if to mark the 
contrast between him and his predecessor. On this 
point, the bishop writes : 

I spent all last week in or near Trim. On Wednesday I 
held my visitation, and on Thursday a synod there, and 
through the unexpected goodness of the Dean of Saint Patrick's 
was made perfectly easy on both days, as if he had a mind to 
atone, by his uncommon civilities to me, for the uncommon 
trouble he had given to my predecessor. The dean went with 
me on Friday to visit Arbracken, and to lay out the ground 
for my new house and gardens ; but we returned re in/ecta, not 
having allowed time for so necessary a work. 


THE eighteenth century was pre-eminently the age 
of those enactments against the Church of Rome, 
which are known as the Penal Laws. This seems a 
convenient place, therefore, to consider what light is 
thrown on the subject by the history of the Diocese 
of Meath. 

It is somewhat unfortunate that the expression 
" penal laws " should be used in this restricted sense, 
as it suggests that they were the outcome of Protestant 
bigotry and intolerance, whereas the real truth is that 
they were the consistent following out of a policy 
which had been adopted by the English in Ireland 
from the days of Henry II. There were penal laws 
before religion had become a factor dividing men into 
opposite camps, and the enactments of those earlier 
days, made by Roman Catholic monarchs, and some- 
times with the direct sanction of the Church, were 
far more severe than the most oppressive of those 
which a Protestant government imposed in later years. 
When the Normans conquered England they treated 
the Saxons with all that oppression which was then 
regarded as the right of a conqueror, but they made 
no penal laws there was equal justice for both parties. 
And the result was as beneficial to the Normans as it 
was to the Saxons, for it made their kingdom stable, 
and united the realm into a homogeneous whole. But 
they displayed no such wisdom in their treatment of 


Ireland. From the first they had one code of justice 
for themselves, and another for the original inhabitants 
of the country. An Englishman in Ireland, if he were 
disloyal, as many of them were, was a " rebel ; " but 
the Irishman who was making common cause with 
him was not a rebel, but an " enemy." A rebel might 
deserve punishment, but at all events, he had the law 
to which he could appeal, and he could not be con- 
demned without some sort of trial ; but an enemy 
had no such rights. It was in this spirit that Ireland 
was governed, and the evil tradition was handed down 
from one generation to another. This tradition was 
the true genesis of the penal laws. If there had been 
no question of religion the laws would, in all probability, 
have been enacted all the same. They would have 
been differently expressed, and would have been 
directed against " Irish enemies," instead of " Irish 
papists," but in every other respect there would have 
been no difference. 

In treating of this subject, there is one difficulty 
which presents itself at the outset, and that is, how 
to state the case in fairness, and yet not appear to be 
an apologist for this kind of legislation. Members 
of our Church have no inducement to defend the penal 
laws, for though directed against Roman Catholics, 
it is to Protestantism that they have done the greatest 
injury. The politicians who framed them were not 
men whose object was the welfare of the Church 
they had quite other ends in view. Nor were Irish 
churchmen unable to see through the designs of their 
rulers. King, then Bishop of Derry, and afterwards 
Archbishop of Dublin, expresses his opinion very freely 
on the subject. He says, " One would think that the 
world were somewhat concerned about religion, for 
of three bills that passed last, one was to prohibit 


marrying with Papists, and another to banish regulars, 
and the third, for damning the Articles of Limerick, 
was on pretence of weakening the Popish interest; 
but after all there is not the least consideration of 
religion at the bottom, and we must learn from this, 
not to judge according to appearance." This was 
written in 1697, when penal laws were beginning to be 
enforced. In 1720, when he had many years trial of 
them, he writes again. " If one would observe the state 
of religion in these kingdoms in our own time, that is 
since the restoration of the royal family, perhaps it will 
appear that the Church never gained more true friends 
than when the civil power gave her doctrine and 
worship least encouragement, nor lost more the hearts 
and affections of her people than when seeming most 

If we are to sit in judgment on the penal laws, 
there are three points that in all fairness should be 
kept in mind. First, it ought to be remembered that 
we should not judge the eighteenth century by the 
standard of the twentieth. The reign of Queen 
Anne is after all not so very long ago, but the world 
has progressed wonderfully in some directions since 
then, and in no way more remarkably than in the 
recognition of the right of religious liberty. The penal 
laws were frankly and openly intolerant ; but what 
nation was there at that time which had even the 
faintest idea of toleration ? The case of warfare supplies 
a parallel. Judged by the standard of to-day, the 
heroes of that age were simply brutes. They sacked 
towns, they committed all kinds of outrages, they 
conformed to none of the rules of what is called 
" civilized warfare." But, very rightly, we do not 
blame the soldiers of that age. We blame the age 
itself. The time of humanity in warfare had not yet 


come, and mankind had still to learn the lesson. The 
same is true with regard to toleration in matters of 
religion. It also was a lesson that had not yet been 
learnt. When, therefore, we condemn the penal laws, 
we should remember that the condemnation is merited 
more by the age that produced them than by the actual 
authors that enacted them. 

Another point to be borne in mind is that these 
laws had a political as well as a religious aspect, and 
that a supposed political necessity underlay every one 
of them. The Church of Rome at that time identified 
itself with the cause of the Stuarts, in opposition to the 
reigning dynasty. The Roman Catholic bishops of 
Ireland were appointed by the Pope on the nomination 
of the Pretender. Every appointment, therefore, was 
an act of hostility to the reigning monarch, and invited 
the retaliation which was embodied in these laws. At 
the Revolution there were Protestant non-juring 
bishops and clergy, who refused to acknowledge the 
Prince of Orange as their lawful sovereign, and these 
were deposed without any more ado. It was in exactly 
the same spirit that the Roman Catholic bishops 
and clergy were treated. 

It is remarkable how much this aspect of the case 
is misrepresented by some writers, who would have 
us believe that the penal laws were purely acts of 
religious persecution. The greatest sufferings under 
these laws is said to have been after the year 1709, 
when the Roman priests were required to take the 
oath of abjuration. Concerning this oath, Cogan, 
in his Diocese of Meath, makes the astounding 
assertion that " by the oath of abjuration the priest 
was ordered to swear that the sacrifice of the Mass 
and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and the saints 
were damnable and idolatrous. In other words, 


the priest was ordered to apostatize, or fly for his life." 
Where he obtained this information it is impossible 
to say, but he evidently made the assertion without 
taking the trouble to read the terms of the oath itself. 
The only explanation that suggests itself is that he 
confounds this oath with another which, in the time 
of Cromwell, was imposed on those who professed to 
be converts, as a test of their sincerity. What the 
priests objected to in this oath of abjuration was the 
clause, "I do solemnly and sincerely declare that 
I do believe in my conscience that the person pretended 
to be Prince of Wales during the life of the late King 
James, and, since his decease, taking upon himself 
the style and title of King of England, by the name 
of James III., hath not any right or title whatever to 
the crown of this realm." We may have a great 
deal of sympathy with men who could not see their 
way to make a declaration such as this, but we must 
recognize that the difficulty was altogether political, 
and we cannot feel astonished that such men were 
regarded with disfavour by the power which they 
refused to acknowledge. And they were not the only 
sufferers. The Protestant non-jurors were in exactly 
the same case, with this important difference, that it 
was not at all likely that the non-jurors would take 
up arms against the crown. We may therefore have 
great sympathy alike with Roman Catholics and non- 
jurors, and at the same time not be prepared to say 
that they were unjustly treated. 

The third point to be remembered is that a dis- 
tinction should be made between the actual provisions 
of the law and the way in which it was administered. 
The penal laws, being on the statute book, could be 
enforced in times of emergency, when there was danger 
of an attempt being made to restore the Stuart line 


At other times they were mostly allowed to remain 
in abeyance. The words of Edmund Burke, in speaking 
of the penal code, have often been quoted. He said, 
" It had a vicious perfection full of coherence and 
consistency, well digested and well disposed in all its 
parts. It was a machine of wise and elaborate con- 
trivance, and as well fitted for the oppression, im- 
poverishment, and degradation of a people, and the 
debasement in them of human nature itself, as ever 
proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man." 
The history of the diocese of Meath shows that this 
statement however theoretically true it may have 
been, was as a description of the practical working 
of the scheme altogether incorrect. The code, in its 
application at all events, was anything but perfect 
and complete. There were undoubtedly cases of 
hardship and injustice. Many Roman Catholic priests, 
especially among the " seculars," desired nothing 
more than to be left in peace to fulfil their spiritual 
duties amongst their flocks, but the law made no 
distinction, and they sometimes found themselves 
involved in the condemnation which was merited 
by some of their confreres. The law put a weapon 
into the hands of evilly disposed persons which could 
be used for the persecution of their Roman Catholic 
neighbours ; but those who took advantage of the evil 
facilities thus afforded were regarded with disfavour 
by those around, and by none more so than by members 
of the Irish Church. It is something to the credit of 
Irish churchmen that there never were wanting amongst 
them those who were ready to help in evading these 
severe enactments. In Meath, at all events, when a 
Roman Catholic priest found it necessary to hide 
himself, he generally found his place of refuge in the 
house of a Protestant. 


To understand how happily imperfect and in- 
complete the Penal code was in its administration, 
we may put some facts in apposition. The closing 
years of the seventeenth century, just after the defeat 
of King James, are said to have been some of the worst 
in the history of Romanism in Ireland. Cogan says, 
" The position of the Catholics of Ireland was then 
wretched in the extreme, and perhaps with the 
exception of Cromwell's merciless reign, there is no 
parallel in our ecclesiastical annals to the miseries 
endured under King William, and the last of the 
Stuarts, Queen Anne." There is some reason for these 
strong statements, for in 1697 an Act was passed by 
which " all popish archbishops, bishops, vicars-general, 
deans, Jesuits, monks, friars, and all Papists exercising 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, were required to leave the 
kingdom before the first of May, 1698, on pain of being 
kept in prison till sent out of the country : and 
should any of them venture to return, they were 
to be adjudged guilty of high treason." This certainly 
seems to be sweeping enough, and is an example of the 
" vicious perfection " to which Burke refers. A 
historian, if he were writing of any other country but 
Ireland, might well give this as his authority for 
describing the Roman Catholics of that day as a people 
deprived of their pastors by an oppressive law. This 
then is our first fact. Now, let us place another fact 
beside it. The Diocese of Meath, so far from being 
deprived of its pastors, had in it twice as many Roman 
Catholic priests as there were Protestant clergymen, 
and was nearly as fully manned then as it is at the 
present moment. 

There are now in the Diocese of Meath one hundred 
and thirty-five Roman Catholic clergy. In 1698, a 
year after the act in question had been passed, there 


were one hundred and twelve, of whom sixty-four 
were " seculars," and forty-eight " regulars." Nor 
can it be replied that these numbers represent what 
the strength of the diocese was before the legislation 
took effect, and that there may have been an almost 
immediate diminution in these numbers ; for we have 
another account a few years later, and we find that 
in 1704, when there was just enough time for the act 
to have wrought havoc with all the ecclesiastical 
arrangements, the number of the clergy, instead of 
diminishing, had actually increased. The sixty-four 
secular clergy had become ninety-three, registered 
and recognized by the government. 1 The number of 
regulars is not given, but allowing that it may have 
been considerably reduced, the increase of the other 
class would probably more than make up for the 
deficiency. And even if there were no others than the 
ninety-three, known and registered, the diocese would 
be very far indeed from being spiritually destitute. 
We therefore see that the historian who would take 
the Act of Parliament as his reliable authority, would 
be altogether astray as to the facts of the case. He 
might possibly dwell on the vicious perfection and 
completeness which enumerated so many ecclesiastical 
officers that no loophole of escape was left, but the 
perfection after all would be only imaginary, and the 
real truth would be altogether different from the 
conclusions that he would naturally draw from the 
words of the statute. 

As the reign of Queen Anne advanced the penal 
code grew in intensity, and it perhaps reached its 
climax in 1709, when the priests were required to take 
the oath of abjuration. By the Act of that year, 
informers were encouraged to betray Romish ecclesias- 

1 Cogan, Diocese of Meatk, vol. ii., p. 153. 


tics, and fifty pounds were to be given for the 
apprehension and conviction of an archbishop, bishop, 
or vicar general ; twenty pounds for a friar ; and ten 
pounds for a schoolmaster. We might naturally 
conclude from a law like this that at such a time 
it would have been impossible to appoint a new bishop. 
But, once more, such a conclusion would be altogether 
wrong. It was exactly this juncture that was chosen 
for the appointment of a Roman Catholic Bishop of 
Meath. The See had been for some years vacant, and 
had been governed by a vicar general. The last 
occupant, Doctor Tyrrell, who had been bishop in 
the time of James II., had been a very militant church- 
man. He was present at the battle of the Boyne, 
lived in camp with the soldiers for some time after- 
wards, and was in Limerick during the siege. Shortly 
after this he died, and it is not surprising that the 
authorities of the Church deemed it prudent not to 
appoint a successor until the remembrance of his 
warlike exploits had to some extent passed away. 
The remarkable point is that the time deemed suitable 
for such an appointment was the moment when the 
penal laws are supposed to have been at their very 
worst, and when, if they had been really enforced, 
such an appointment would have been impossible. 

The prelate who was thus appointed was Doctor 
Luke Fagan, who afterwards became Roman Catholic 
Archbishop of Dublin. A few years after his conse- 
cration to Meath, some busybody brought the case 
before the courts, but the proceedings that followed 
only showed how easily the law could be evaded* 
and that the authorities were evidently only too ready 
to connive at the evasion. 

There was a certain amount of evidence taken at 
Mullingar, but the Deputy Clerk of the Crown omitted 


to enter the examinations in the judge's book of bills, 
and in consequence, no action was taken and no decree 
made. The clerk was brought before the House of 
Lords to answer for his neglect, but, on expressing 
his regret, and begging pardon of the House, his 
offence was condoned, and the incident came to an 
end. The clerk who thus conveniently forgot his 
duty was almost certainly a Protestant, and we may 
be quite sure that he would have been more vigilant 
if he was not well aware that the Protestant magistrates 
were at his back. The House of Lords too, manifestly 
considered his offence to be only venial. The whole 
incident illustrates well the point that we are insisting 
on : that the enactments of the law and the administra- 
tion of it were two very different things. 

After the death of Queen Anne the penal laws 
continued to be in force, but were administered with 
rigour which diminished as the time went on. The 
danger of a Jacobite rising grew less and less, and the 
Roman Catholic clergy showed a disposition to accept 
the inevitable, and to acquiesce in the rule of the House 
of Brunswick. Towards the middle of the century, 
a meeting of bishops was convened by the Bishop of 
Meath, and a manifesto put forth explaining how the 
spiritual obligations of Roman Catholics were perfectly 
reconcilable with their temporal allegiance. 2 These 
circumstances rendered the existence of penal laws 
less necessary. In 1743 there was, for a short time, 
a revival of the old severity, in consequence of the 
rumour that an invasion of the country by the French 
was intended. It soon, however, passed away. A 
priest from Meath celebrated Mass in an old house in 
Cook Street, Dublin, and so great was the crush, that 
the floor gave way, and several of the worshippers 

1 Cogan, Diocese of Meath, vol. ii.. p. 165. 


were killed. This occurrence seems to have brought 
it home to the minds of people that the method of 
repression was as unworthy as it was ineffectual, and 
accordingly the laws were immediately after this very 
much relaxed. Towards the end of the century the 
Romanists had in practice all the liberty that they 
desired, though it was not for many years that the 
penal code was finally repealed. Occasional outbursts 
of bigotry and intolerance, no doubt, there were from 
time to time, but they were never very serious, and the 
Roman Catholics easily managed to hold their own. 
In 1779, when Doctor Plunkett was appointed Roman 
Catholic Bishop of Meath, it is said that some of the 
Protestants of Navan were determined that no popish 
bishop would be allowed to live in that town, but 
Plunkett simply defied them, and overcame their 
opposition without any difficulty. 

Besides the coercive methods of the penal code, 
there were other and less objectionable methods 
employed for the conversion of the Roman Catholics. 
In 1709, while Parliament was devising means for 
banishing Romish ecclesiastics, Convocation was dis- 
cussing a more excellent way of reaching the people 
of the country. It was agreed that the Bible and the 
Prayer Book should be published in the Irish language, 
and that preachers competent to speak to the people 
in that tongue should be employed, itinerating from 
parish to parish for that purpose. 3 The scheme was 
an excellent one on paper, but it needed some 
enthusiasm and devotion to carry it out, and these 
things unfortunately were conspicuously lacking at 
the time. Some Protestants openly opposed the scheme ; 
others gave it a half-hearted acquiescence. Between 
them, it never came to very much. 



A little later in the century, Henry Maule, then 
(1733) Bishop of Dromore, and afterwards Bishop of 
Meath, took up the subject, and advocated the 
establishment of schools all over the country. In a 
sermon preached by him in Christ Church Cathedral 
on the 23rd of October, 1733, he dwells at length 
on the methods to be adopted for the conversion of the 
Roman Catholics, and he says that two things were 
necessary : first, a wise and prudent execution of the 
laws against Popery ; and secondly, effectual and 
Christian methods for the general instruction of the 
Irish natives in the principles of the true religion 
and the English tongue. Under the second head he 
dwells at length on the importance of educating the 
people, and says that " the poorer sort of the Irish 
most chearfully send their children to the English 
Protestant schools, provided they are taught gratis." 
The scheme which he advocated was to some extent 
carried out. A charter was granted, for which reason 
the institutions became known as " charter schools," 
and there were great hopes that the system would be 
crowned with an abundant success. Unfortunately, 
it was an age in which corruption reigned supreme, 
and the fraud that was carried on in connection with 
the charter schools soon destroyed any hopes of their 
efficacy in accomplishing the purposes for which they 
were intended. The priests, after a time, forbade their 
people to send the children, and established opposition 
schools of their own in every district. In 1788 there 
were two hundred and thirty-six Roman Catholic 
schools in the Diocese of Meath a much larger number 
than is to be found at the present moment. 

The efforts made for the conversion of Roman 
Catholics, though conducted in this half-hearted and 
blundering way, were not without result. There is 


preserved in the Record Office at Dublin, quite a long 
roll of certificates granted to converts. Of these, 
something more than a hundred belong to the Diocese 
of Meath not a very great number considering the 
space of time covered, but probably not representing 
more than a fractional part of the real total. Those 
who received these certificates had first signed a form 
of abjuration, which they afterwards read publicly 
in church during the time of divine service. They 
were then received by the clergyman, who used a special 
form of prayer provided for the occasion, and all this 
being reported to the bishop, the formal certificate 
was issued by him. The following form was drawn up by 
Bishop Maule for use in the Diocese of Meath, and is 
preserved in a Book of Precedents : 

Henry, by Divine Providence Lord Bishop of Meath, 
to all to whom these Presents come, greeting. We do hereby 
certifie that A.B., of the Parish of C., in the County of D., 
hath renounced the errors of the Church of Rome, and was 
received into the Communion of the Church of Ireland, on 
the fourteenth day of July, in the year of Our Lord One 
thousand seven hundred forty and five, and that the said A.B. 
is a Protestant, and doth conform to the Church of Ireland 
as by law established. In testimony whereof we have caused 
our episcopal Seal to be affixed to these Presents. Dated 
the twenty-second day of July, in the year of Our Lord One 
thousand seven hundred forty and five. 

The most famous of the converts, as far as the 
Diocese of Meath is concerned, was Baron Dunboyne, 
who in 1786 resigned his position as Roman Catholic 
Bishop of Cork, declaring at the same time his intention 
of marrying. Great pressure was brought to bear upon 
him by the authorities of the Roman Church to prevent 
what they naturally regarded as a great scandal. 
The Pope himself wrote a letter to dissuade him ; 


but all was without avail. He read his recantation 
in 1787 in the Parish Church of Clonmel. His certificate 
is amongst those preserved in the Record Office, but 
it does not mention the fact that he had been Bishop 
of Cork. In 1800 he once more made his submission 
to the Church of Rome, and prayed to be restored to 
its communion. 



METHODISM was undoubtedly the most remarkable 
religious movement of the eighteenth century. Its 
progress in Meath was not as marked as it was in 
some other parts of the country, yet it was sufficiently 
great to merit special notice in a history of the 
diocese. 1 

It was principally in the western portions of the 
diocese that the Methodists established their societies. 
The following places are all mentioned in John Wesley's 
Journal as localities that had been visited by that 
great evangelist : Tullamore, Clara, Moate, Athlone, 
Tyrrelspass, Ballyboy, Frankford, Ferbane, Mullingar, 
and Drumcree. To some of these places he only paid 
a passing visit, but in most of them he established 
societies, many of which continue to the present day. 
He seems to have had large congregations wherever 
he went. In Tullamore, he says that " most of the 
inhabitants of the town " came to the preaching, and 
even at five o'clock in the morning " abundance of 
them " came back again to hear him once more. In 
Clara he preached to " a vast number of well-behaved 
people." In Moate he had only a handful of listeners, 
but they were very enthusiastic, and he pays the place 
the compliment of saying that it was " the pleasantest 
town that I have seen in Ireland." But it was at 

1 The information in this chapter is mostly derived from John Wesley's 



Athlone especially that he had the greatest success. 
Here he preached from the window of an unfinished 
house, opposite the market house, for the building 
which had been placed at his disposal " would not have 
contained half the congregation." This was on 
Saturday, the second of April, 1784. The following 
day he preached again, and so many came, that he 
says : " The waters spread too wide to be deep." 
The next Sunday the Roman Catholic priest had to 
forbid his flock from attending, and " seeing his 
command did not avail, came in person at six, and 
drove them away before him like a flock of sheep." 
After that, he tells us, " the roaring lion began to 
shake himself," and there was some opposition, but the 
objectors could not oppose openly, " the stream running 
so strong against them." And so he continued until, 
at the end of his visit, he writes, " With much 
difficulty I broke away from this immeasurably loving 

Notwithstanding this success, John Wesley does 
not seem to have had a very high opinion of the 
spirituality of the Meath people. They came to his 
meetings and behaved decorously, but they seldom 
were touched with his enthusiasm, and therefore it 
seemed to him that they failed to receive as much 
benefit as might otherwise have come to them. At 
Clara, he rejoices in the great multitudes that flocked 
to his service, but adds : ' How few of these would 
have returned empty if they had heard the word of 
God, not out of curiosity merely but from a real desire 
to do His will." On another occasion he writes con- 
cerning the same place, " I admired the seriousness 
of the whole congregation ; " from which we might 
imagine that an improvement had taken place in the 
meantime. But even then he was not quite satisfied, 


for he adds : " Indeed one or two gentlemen appeared 
quite unconcerned, but the presence of greater 
gentlemen kept them within bounds, so they were as 
quiet as if they had been at the play-house." 

They were much more responsive to him at Tyrrels- 
pass. Speaking of a meeting held there in 1748, he 
says : " Many of the neighbouring gentlemen were 
present, but none mocked. That is not the custom 
here. All attend to what is spoken in the name of 
God. They do not understand the making sport with 
sacred things, so that whether they approve or not 
they behave with seriousness." A somewhat different 
picture of the place is presented by Charles Wesley, 
who, writing about the same time, says : " God has 
begun a great work here. The people of Tyrrelspass 
were wicked to a proverb swearers, drunkards, 
Sabbath-breakers, thieves, etc., from time immemorial. 
But now the scene is entirely changed. Not an oath 
is heard or a drunkard seen among them. Aperto 
vivitur horto. They are turned from darkness to light. 
Near one hundred are joined in society, and following 
hard after the pardoning God." 

For some reason or other, the Methodists were for 
a long time kept out of Mullingar. On July gth, 1750, 
Wesley notes in his Journal. " In our way we stopped 
an hour at Mullingar. The sovereign of the town came 
to the inn, and expressed much desire that I should 
preach, but I had little hopes of doing good by 
preaching in a place where I could preach but once, 
and where none except myself would be suffered to 
preach at all." After a time, however, the obstacle, 
whatever it was, was removed, and in 1767 he tells 
us : ' We went on to Molingar, where for many years 
no Methodist preacher could appear." But even then 
the Mullingar people seem to have been ^somewhat 


half-hearted, for when, a few years later, he preached 
there again (in 1771), he tells us that there was " a 
serious and decent congregation, but they seemed 
quite unconcerned." 

The system of these early Methodists was quite 
consistent with loyalty to the church. To some extent, 
no doubt, it ignored the parochial organization. 
Wesley and his followers did not hesitate to carry on 
their work without paying any respect to the opinion 
of the ecclesiastical authorities of the district. He 
used to say, " The world is my parish," and he acted 
continually on that principle. But on the other hand, 
the Methodist service was always held at such an hour 
as would not interfere with the regular church services. 
Wesley himself always made it a point to attend divine 
service in the parish church of the district in which he 
found himself, and he exhorted his followers to do 
the same. In consequence of this attitude, the 
Methodist movement was encouraged by many of the 
clergy. John Wesley tells us that at one of his meetings 
at Athlone he had five clergymen present among the 
auditors. It is said that Henry Goldsmith, brother of 
the poet, and curate of Kilkenny West, was amongst 
those who were attracted by the Methodist services 
at Athlone. The historian of Irish Methodism most 
gratuitously suggests that his religion had been up 
to this mere formalism a suggestion that is certainly 
not borne out by anything we know of the man. He 
says : " He was just the amiable person so beautifully 
described in the Deserted Village, but like most of the 
clergy of that day, was a stranger to experimental 
religion, regarding its profession as enthusiasm." 3 
He seems to have been greatly impressed with the 
Methodist preaching, and it lends a certain pathos 

' Crookshank, History of Methodism. 


to the story, when we learn that he died about six 
weeks after he had been brought into contact with the 

But if some of the clergy encouraged the preachers, 
there is no doubt, that many others opposed them. 
Nor need we wonder at this, for if in some places 
Methodism was found to be a help to the Church, in 
many other places it was distinctly antagonistic. In 
Oldcastle, when the Society was first established there, 
the congregation in church increased so much that the 
building was unable to accommodate the crowd that 
assembled Sabbath after Sabbath. In other places 
it was the same, and if all members of the society had 
been faithful followers of the founder, there would have 
been a similar experience in every case. Unfortunately, 
the tendency which at length led the Methodists to 
separate from the Church was already making its 
influence felt, and relations consequently often became 
somewhat strained. In Athlone, at one time, the 
Methodists in a body left the church, and it was only 
by the personal influence of John Wesley himself that 
they were induced to return. He urged that if only 
for the sake of the other worshippers, who sadly needed 
a good example, the Methodists should not absent 
themselves from the parish church. But he pointed 
out also that the spiritual loss to themselves was 
equally great, for the meetings of the society were never 
intended to be a substitute for the ordinary services 
of the sanctuary. Writing in 1767, when the Methodists 
of Athlone had been brought to a better mind, he says : 
' I was among those that both feared and loved God ; 
but to this day they have not recovered the loss which 
they sustained when they left off going to church. 
It is true that they have long been convinced of their 
mistake, yet the fruit of it still remains ; so that there 


are very few that retain that vigour of spirit which 
they before enjoyed." 

When such tendencies were beginning to manifest 
themselves, we can scarcely wonder that the majority 
of the church clergy viewed the whole movement with 
suspicion, and that some of them even encountered it 
with hostility. This hostility came to a head in Meath 
in the year 1751, when a formal complaint was made 
to the bishop concerning the action of the vicar of 
Delvin, Mr. Moore Booker, who had identified himself 
in a very public way with the Methodist movement. 
The bishop not only spoke to Mr. Booker privately, 
but mentioned the matter in his visitation charge, 
and cautioned the clergy against the delusion that one 
of their brethren had unhappily fallen under. Some 
correspondence ensued, which was afterwards issued 
in pamphlet form by Mr. Booker, and from which a 
few extracts may be given, as throwing light on the 
history of this great religious movement. Mr. Booker 
only gives his own letters, and the documents to which 
these are replies have not been preserved. We have 
therefore only the statement of one side of the question. 
By inference, however, we may learn to some extent 
what was the position taken by the bishop, and by 
those of the clergy with whom he agreed. 

Mr. Booker, by way of preface to his letters, gives 
a short address to the reader. In it he complains of 
the action of the bishop at the visitation, and says that, 
" my defection has since become a common topic of 
conversation, both in city and country." He goes 
on to say concerning the Methodists : "I believe I have 
heard all that can be said with the least propriety 
against them, and still think they ought not to be 
discouraged. ... I must declare that my church, at 
least its Communion Table, owes almost nine in ten 


of its company to their labours, and I can affirm the 
same of one or two neighbouring parishes. Were it 
not for them, we should meet as few of the meaner sort 
there as of gentlemen of rank and fortune." 

Then comes his letter to the bishop. In it he asks 
for advice in relation to his behaviour to the people 
called Methodists, who were increasing in and about 
his parish. He says that he had given them no 
countenance until he had enquired into their tenets, 
their lives, and their conversation, and that he had 
found them very strongly attached to the doctrines 
of the Established Church ; that they professed no 
singularities, except in a zeal for faith, purity, and 
devotion, that rises to enthusiasm, and all this 
accompanied with a scrupulous exactness in their 
moral conduct. He then speaks of the increase in his 
congregations, and especially in the number of com- 
municants, and tells how the Methodists were asking 
for more frequent Communions, which he was giving 
them, both at his own church and at the church of 
Drumcree. Incidentally he mentions that the number 
of communicants on Christmas Day in Delvin Church 
was above fifty, and that on the day before he wrote 
his letter to the bishop, he had seventy communicants 
at Drumcree. Among these seventy, he says, there were 
six Papists, and he tells us how, " it was not a little 
affecting to see the poor creatures open their mouths 
for the bread to be put into them, as they had 
been used." In conclusion, he expresses the opinion 
that the clergy should treat the Methodists with all 
gentleness and indulgence. "If we can but reclaim 
them," he says, " from their enthusiasm, and prevail 
on the more rational members of the society for 
such they have among them to lead them into 
a more intelligible manner of expressing themselves 


in their particular assemblies, they may become such 
ornaments to Christianity as may give us a little 
sketch of the apostolic age. . . . That they are casting 
out devils in Christ's name is undeniable, and we have 
not even the weak pretence of the infant apostles for 
the forbidding them, since it cannot be said they follow 
not with us. Besides, if they be irritated, it is to be 
feared they may entirely desert the Church, and make 
its deplorable breaches wider." 

When the bishop received this letter, he showed 
it to some of his clergy, and consulted with them as 
to what course of conduct he should pursue. He then 
asked Mr. Booker to wait on him, and an interview 
ensued, in which, says the latter, " his lordship treated 
me with all civility and paternal affection." The 
bishop objected to the Methodists that " they had 
arrogated to preach without any legal designation to 
that office, being neither bishops, priests, or deacons." 
To this Booker replied that unordained persons are 
indeed very wisely excluded from our pulpits, but he 
knew of no law of God or of Protestants that forbade 
Christians, even of the laity, to assemble themselves 
together (at hours not appointed for the service of 
God or man) to exhort one another, to confess their 
sins one to another, and pray for one another, to read 
the Holy Scriptures, and when merry to sing psalms. 

The bishop then made a comparison between 
the Methodists and the Puritans, but Booker again 
replied, that " did they, like the Puritans of the former 
age, seduce believers from the Established Church, 
we should have reason to be alarmed ; but the direct 
contrary is manifest." 

His lordship went on to blame Mr. Booker for 
attending the Methodist meetings, and taking part 
in them. His defence on this point was peculiar, 


and showed that he had no great confidence in the 
Wesleyan system after all. " Really, I thought 
myself," he said, " as much in the way of my duty as 
some tender mothers whom I have known, when 
strangers had got in to the nursery, to steal in lest 
they should have brought their pockets full of trash, 
and poison the children out of stark love and kindness." 

The bishop named some clergymen in the diocese 
who entertained opinions antagonistic to the Methodists. 
To this Mr. Booker replied that " he could not be 
expected to pay implicit deference to their judgment, 
but must be led by his own conscience." He then 
added, " The great Gerson's question must be mine, 
To what end did God give me a conscience of my own, 
if another man's must be my rule of living and dying ? " 
He afterwards spoke to one or two of the clergymen 
who had been named by the bishop, and he tells us 
that " their prejudices ran high, but they knew 
nothing of the people in question but by hearsay." 

The interview ended by the bishop referring Mr. 
Booker to the vicar general of the diocese, " for 
further information and advice, in relation to the great 
offence he had to his brethren, by his letter to his 
lordship." As a consequence of this reference, Mr. 
Booker wrote a second letter, a copy of which is also 
given in his pamphlet, addressed to the Reverend 
Doctor Adam Lyndon, Vicar General of Meath. 

In this he repeats much of what he had already 
stated, and defends himself against the several charges 
that had been made aganist him. The objections 
urged aganist the Methodists seem to have been 
principally on account of their " enthusiasm," by 
which word was then meant either fancied inspiration, 
or an ill-regulated and misdirected excitement of 
religious emotion. To this charge Booker replies 


that " the very low and ignorant are only to be gained 
by so strong and violent an assault upon their passions 
that no small degree of enthusiasm is able to cany 
to effect." He also adds that " these poor people 
in no way pretend to prophecy, but depend wholly on 
the ordinary co-operation of the Spirit of God with 
their own, which they are persuaded Jesus Christ 
has promised them in His Gospel, on the condition 
of true faith and sincere repentance. Their terrible 
agitations arise only from conviction of their sins, 
and their joyous emotions, which in some time exceeds 
them, from the apprehension of the Spirit of God 
bearing witness with their spirits that they are the 
sons of God. If all this be nonsense, it is not their own. 
Saint John seems to have addressed his First Epistle 
chiefly to such little children, that they might (not 
suppose or hope, but) know that they have eternal life." 
In the concluding paragraph of the letter, he tells 
that his son, in Dublin, had heard some very ex- 
aggerated accounts of the bishop's action. ' There 
was a report about town that I was to be suspended 
for a letter I had written to my bishop concerning 
the swaddlers." He says he is not afraid of that, 
as indeed he need not have been, for there was neither 
the power nor the wish to do so. But he goes on to 
tell of one of his parishioners, Alexander Irwin, who 
had been assaulted in Athboy, " a town full of Papists." 
The cry, " a swaddler," was raised by the Popish 
mob, who attacked the man in great numbers, knocked 
him down, and beat him hi a most cruel manner, some 
of the bones of his hand being dislocated, if not broken. 
' This, sir," adds Mr. Booker, " or worse may, nay 
shall be, my fate, if nothing but joining cry against 
these poor innocents can prevent it." 

It is a curious fact that notwithstanding all this 


championing of the Methodists by Mr. Booker, they 
on their part did not at all approve of him or of his 
ministrations. The incident is one that is sometimes 
referred to as illustrating the intolerance of the Church 
at that time. A recent writer says concerning it, 
' The Vicar of Delvin might question the natural 
depravity of man, repudiate the personality of the 
Devil, and even deny the Divinity of Christ, as 
publicly and frequently as he pleased, with no one 
to gainsay or call him to account ; but as soon as he 
showed any sympathy with Methodism, the bishop 
and his clergy were up in arms against him. "3 

The slanderous assertion here made that Bishop 
Maule would not have censured Mr. Booker for heresy 
has absolutely no grounds to go upon. That he did not 
approve of the methods of the Wesleyans is of course 
manifest, and that being so, he had a perfect right 
to reason with one of his clergy as he did. Methodists 
of the present day have for the most part been brought 
to see that the bishop was right. They have plenty of 
" enthusiasm " in its modern sense, and to this they 
owe their great success in many places. But 
" enthusiasm " in the same sense in which the word 
was used in the eighteenth century is no longer 
favoured by them. Possibly it might have been wiser 
in the rulers of the Church at that time if they had 
endeavoured to control and correct the movement, 
instead of condemning it, but if they saw in it as they 
believed they did elements that were objectionable, 
it is not fair to charge them with intolerance if they 
held aloof from that in which they could not join 

3 Crookshank. 



DURING the eighteenth century there were no fewer 
than thirteen bishops of Meath. Some of them were 
quickly promoted ; others only lived for a short time 
after their appointment. Both causes combined to 
make the changes frequent. But Meath was not 
altogether singular in this respect, for the way in which 
prelates were translated from see to see at that time 
would surprise churchmen of to-day. Of some of 
these bishops Tennison, Moreton, Evans, Downes, 
Lambert, and Ellis we have already spoken. It 
remains to add a few details concerning the other 
bishops up to the end of the century. 

On the death of Bishop Ellis in 1734, Arthur 
Price, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, was translated 
to Meath. It is observed of him that he " gradually 
passed through all the stations of the Church, having 
been successively first reader, then curate, of Saint 
Werburgh's in Dublin ; vicar of Celbridge ; prebendary 
of Donadea in Kildare ; rector of Louth in Armagh ; 
archdeacon and canon of Kildare ; and finally dean 
of Ferns ; whence he was promoted to the bishoprics 
of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, in May, 1724." l From 
Clonfert he was translated to Ferns, and from that to 
Meath. After nine years he was once more translated 
this time to the archbishopric of Cashel. 

Bishop Evans had bequeathed certain funds for 
the erection of an episcopal palace at Ardbraccan, and 

1 Harris's Wart. 


had obtained plans for the building, which doubtless 
he would himself have erected if his life had been 
spared. His three immediate successors allowed the 
project to remain in abeyance, and it was not until 
the time of Bishop Price that the work was taken in 
hand. Price began by erecting the offices, which he 
built in a handsome manner, so that they might serve 
for wings of the principal building. He had only 
progressed thus far in the work when he was translated 
from Meath to Cashel, and his successor allowed things 
to remain as they were, using part of the new offices 
as his dwelling-house. 

When Price took up his abode at Cashel, he found 
that his predecessor, Archbishop Bolton, had under- 
taken the restoration of the old cathedral. It was 
the most ancient and historically interesting fabric 
then in use in all Ireland, and he prized it as a relic 
of the ancient Irish Church. It would not have 
required any great sum for the preservation of the old 
building. On the other hand, it was not easily 
accessible, and for that reason Archbishop Price 
abandoned the undertaking, and procured an Act of 
Council authorizing him to remove the cathedral from 
the Rock of Cashel into the town. The roof of the old 
church was then torn away, the soldiers quartered 
in the town being employed for the purpose ; and the 
new cathedral, though begun after some delay, was left 
unfinished for over twenty years. An anno tat or, writing 
in an old copy of Ware, mentions these facts, and adds 
" It were much to be wished that he had never quitted 
Meath, for then the house of Ardbraccan would have 
been completed ; and the noble, the venerable 
cathedral of Cashel would have escaped his destructive 
hand." * 



The next in the succession of Bishops of Meath 
was Doctor Henry Maule, who was translated from 
the bishopric of Dromore in 1743. He was a native 
of Arklow, and was educated in Trinity College. In 
1720 he was appointed Dean of Cloyne, and in 1726 
was promoted to the bishopric of the same diocese. 
From thence he was translated to Dromore in 1732, 
and finally to Meath in 1743. Archbishop King says 
of him that he was distinguished by his care for the 
souls under his charge, and his charity for the poor, 
his concern for the faith and discipline of the Church, 
his good affection for his Majesty, and zeal for his 
government and the public good. 

We have already seen how Bishop Maule advocated 
the establishment of charter schools, believing that 
the education of the young was the best means for 
regenerating the country. He carried out his ideas 
in his own neighbourhood, and established one of these 
schools near his own house at Ardbraccan. It 
continued for many years in a state of efficiency, doing 
a good work. A writer in the Hibernian Magazine for 
June, 1809, gives the following description of the 
place : 

Being a few minutes walk to the charter school, I visited 
it. I was never very partial to these institutions, and so 
much has latterly been said on the subject in public, I confess 
I entered the house with many prejudices against them. An 
inspection of its economy, however, convinced me that these 
prejudices were groundless, and to dissipate them, it is only 
necessary to visit the seminary of Ardbraccan. There are 
sixty boys in the establishment, who have been rescued from 
idleness, poverty and vice, with their consequent evils, and are 
here trained up under a very active and intelligent master, 
in a way to render them useful and virtuous members of 
society. The Incorporated Society have also established an 
extensive cotton factory, under the inspection of the master, 
where twelve looms are constantly employed on the premises, 


and many other industrious artizans in that neighbourhood. 
The manufacture of cords and velveteens have been already 
brought to a high degree of perfection, which, if the finishing 
were equal, would for fineness and durability of texture, rival 
English fabric. 

The same writer tells how Bishop Maule endeavoured 
in other ways to promote the prosperity of the place. 
He says : 

Bishop Maule, who held the See about seventeen years ago, 
was the founder of its (Ardbraccan's) modern prosperity. He 
established here a colony of English settlers, at a time when 
the industry of the natives stood much in need of the example 
afforded by the strangers, and divided the lands into small 
farms, which even notwithstanding the shortness of the leases, 
were rapidly improving. The late bishop, however, in his 
rage for improvements of another sort, deprived their descen- 
dants of their farms, for the purpose of converting them into 
pasturage and pleasure grounds, and dispersed their unfortunate 
inmates. The consequence was what might be expected ; 
and Ardbraccan, which even thirty years ago was a flourishing 
village, is now entirely gone to decay, not having above half 
a dozen cottages left. 

It was in the time of Bishop Maule that Wilson's 
Hospital, at Multifarnham, was founded. The funds 
of the institution were derived under the will of Mr. 
Andrew Wilson, who died in 1724, and left his property 
for the benefit of his wife and others, and after her 
death for the benefit of his nephew William Wilson. 
On his decease, the property was to go to the Lord 
Primate, the Archbishops of Dublin and Tuam, and 
the Bishops of Meath and Kilmore, who were within 
seven years to build a hospital, with school house and 
chapel, and to open the institution for the reception 
of old men to a number not exceeding forty, and 
Protestant male children, not exceeding one hundred 
and fifty. He made various regulations for the 


management of the establishment, and directed that 
the inmates should be dressed with blue faced with 
orange. He also provided for a chaplain, who was to 
be appointed at a salary not exceeding twenty pounds 
a year, and who was to hold daily service, and on the 
8th day of September in each year (being the 
testator's birth day) " preach a sermon to the aged 
men and children to be settled in the said Hospital, to 
keep his charitable intention in their remembrance." 

His nephew, William Wilson, after having come 
into possession of the property, purchased other lands, 
which he left as an addition to the endowment, and on 
his death, in 1743, the whole passed into the hands of 
the trustees named in the will of Andrew Wilson, 
and is still administered by their respective successors. 
There was a law suit set on foot by the heirs at law, 
who endeavoured to upset the will, but it was com- 
promised by a payment made to them of 3,412 ios., 
and this compromise was afterwards ratified by an Act 
of Parliament, by which the trustees were constituted 
a corporate body. The institution still continues its 
career of usefulness, and is at present in a flourishing 
condition under its efficient warden, the Reverend 
Hill Wilson White, D.D., LL.D. 

Bishop Maule appears to have been very diligent 
in his visitation of the clergy of the diocese. From 
his time we have a succession of Visitation Books, 
which, though they give very little information, yet 
show that the visitations were regularly held. A 
Diocesan Synod also was held yearly on the Thursday 
after Whitsunday the Visitation being generally held 
on Wednesday in the same week. The synod was 
presided over by the archdeacon, and in Meath it took 
the place which in other dioceses was taken by the 
Dean and Chapter. The business transacted at these 


synods was not very important, and in many years 
there is no report at all. The following Minutes 
for the year 1747 will show the class of subjects that 
engaged their attention. 

First, there is a list of parishes, with the names of 
the rector, curate, parish clerk, churchwardens, and 
schoolmaster, in each case. Then it goes on : 

Acts had and sped in the annual synod of the clergy of the 
Diocese of Meath, held in the Parish Church of Tryme, in the 
said Diocese of Meath, on Thursday next following the Feast 
of Pentecost, to wit, the eleventh day of June, in the year of 
our Lord One thousand seven hundred and forty and seven, 
before the said Right Reverend ffather in God Henry by 
Divine Permission Lord Bishop of Meath, and in presence of 
me, John Harris, Register of the said diocese. 

(Here follow sixty-six names of clergy attending.) 

On which day, and so-forth, it was unanimously agreed 
upon that for the time to come at every visitation to be holden 
for the said Diocese of Meath, each beneficed clergyman of the 
said diocese, whether absent or present, do pay for his dinner 
an English crown, and that each curate of the said Diocese of 
Meath, if present at dinner, do pay for his dinner one half an 
English crown. And it was likewise agreed that a proxy 
tendered by any person to excuse the personal appearance of 
any beneficed clergyman at any future visitation, shall not be 
received unless such proctor shall pay and discharge all demands 
such beneficed clergyman shall be subject to at such visitation. 

Signed by order, 

JOHN HARRIS, Register. 3 

From the report of other synods, we learn that 
the clergy used to elect proctors to serve in Parliament, 
and " in their behalf to consent to such things as shall 
be then and there enacted." The clergy also " ratified 
and confirmed under the common seal " the commission 
of the vicar general of the diocese ; and they made 
arrangements for the support of the widows of the 

3 Record Office, Dublin. 


In 1751 the number of widows on the list was five, 
and amongst them was the widow of Charles Goldsmith, 
and mother of Oliver, who received an annuity of 
ten pounds a year. In connection with this fact 
it is interesting to notice that the Vicar of Wakefield 
is represented as making a charity such as this his 
special care. ' The profits of my living, which 
amounted to about thirty-five pounds a year, I made 
over to the orphans and widows of the clergy of our 
diocese." In 1758 it would seem that the fund was 
not progressing satisfactorily, and in the synod of that 
year it was " agreed that the Rev. Dr. Atkinson, the 
Rev. Mr. Cope, the Rev. Mr. Coghlan, the Rev. Mr. 
Thompson, the Rev. Mr. Lightburn, the Rev. Mr. 
Barker, the Rev. Mr. Daine, and such other of the 
clergy as will attend, shall be a committee to draw up 
and consider of a scheme for the better provision of 
the widows of the clergy of the diocese, and that they 
meet as shall be most convenient to them for that 
purpose. And it was further ordered and agreed 
that all widows hereafter who intend to apply for the 
benefit arising by this fund shall send a memorial 
in writing, which is to be lodged with the register of 
the diocese previous to the visitation, setting forth 
their pretensions to it, certified by the minister of the 
parish where they reside ; and that such widows who 
at present receive relief from the same are to send 
an affidavit to every visitation of their having no other 
relief or charity elsewhere, and of their not being 
married at the respective times of their making such 
affidavits." The efforts of the committee were not 
very effectual, for in the next year they were only 
able to pay eight pounds to each widow, " on account 
of the deficiency of the fund." This fund continued 
to be in existence up to the time of disestablishment. 


Besides the ordinary visitations, Bishop Maule 
used to visit specially parishes in which the cir- 
cumstances of the case seemed to require it. We have 
an example of such a visitation being held at Laracor, 
on the seventh of August, 1750. The Record 4 tells 
us that " Peter Hannon, clerk, Vicar of Lercor, other- 
wise Laracor, in the said Diocese of Meath, being 
three times publicly called, appeared personally in 
court, and was admonished by the court to reside 
in his said vicarage, and to perform the cure thereof 
by the twenty-ninth day of September next ensuing, 
under pain of contempt." 

Among the many good deeds of Bishop Maule, it 
deserves to be mentioned that he restored the tomb 
of Bishop Montgomery in the churchyard of Ard- 
braccan. A Latin inscription records how it had 
fallen down and become ruinous, either from the 
effects of time, or more probably from the evil deed 
of sacrilegious hands, and that it was restored, lest 
the memory of the righteous should be blotted out. 
In the same tomb were buried Montgomery's wife and 
daughter, and three quaint figures may still be seen 
with the initials, G.M., S.M., and I.M. Maule himself 
was buried in the same tomb, and at a later period 
Bishops Pococke and O'Beirne were also laid to rest 
there beside their predecessors. 

It may be noted, too, that Maule took some interest 
in history, and had at one time the intention of writing 
a History of the Church of Ireland. 5 He wrote to 
Archbishop King on the subject, and that prelate 
replied in a letter which discusses the subject, admitting 
that such a work was very much needed, but stating that 
the difficulties in the way were so great that he had 
no hopes of ever seeing it accomplished. He says that 

* Record Office, Dublin. B Mant. 


the clergy " are put to such shifts to live, so employed 
in the common offices of their duties, that they have 
not time to apply themselves to anything else ; " 
and, as to the laymen, " our gentlemen do not apply 
themselves to learning, and those who are able to 
employ hands to collect and procure the sight of records 
generally live out of the kingdom." 

The Record Office of that day, too, was not as 
efficiently managed or as accessible to students as it 
is at present. " The offices where our records lie 
are kept or held by persons that neither live in the 
kingdom, nor if they did, were capable of looking into 
the records. The poor harpy deputy has no view 
but to get money ; never minds anything but what 
gets him the penny ; hardly knows what records he 
has in his custody ; and can neither find them if you 
inquire for them, nor let you peruse them without 
considerable sums and great costs." With difficulties 
such as these, it does not surprise us to learn that the 
project went no further. 

From the particulars which have been given it 
will be seen that Bishop Maule was one of our most 
efficient bishops. He held the See of Meath until his 
death, which occurred in 1758, and was succeeded by 
the Honourable William Carmichael, second son of 
the Earl of Hyndford. Carmichael had been Arch- 
deacon of Bucks, and came to Ireland as Bishop of 
Clonfert in 1753. In 1758 he was translated to Leighlin, 
and in the same year translated again to Meath. He 
continued in Meath until 1765, when he became 
Archbishop of Dublin. There is nothing particular 
to record of his episcopate. 

He was succeeded by Richard Pococke, well known 
as a traveller, whose works are not without their value, 
even at the present day. He was the son of an English 


clergyman, and nephew of Thomas Milles, Bishop of 
Waterford. His first episcopal appointment was to 
the See of Ossory, which he obtained in 1756. From 
thence he was translated to Meath in 1765 ; but he 
survived this event only for a few months, for he was 
seized with apoplexy while in the act of holding his 
first visitation, and died shortly afterwards. 

He was not only a traveller but an antiquary, and 
was of great assistance to Mervyn Archdall in the 
preparation of his Monasticon, supplying him with 
some of his materials, and making suggestions as to 
the form the work should take. Archdall had been 
domestic chaplain to the Bishop while in the See of 
Ossory, and it is a curious coincidence that while the 
present Bishop of Down, Doctor Crozier, was Bishop 
of Ossory, he had for domestic chaplain a member of 
the same family, and a namesake of the famous author, 
the Reverend Mervyn Archdall Clare. In 1786 Mervyn 
Archdall entered the Diocese of Meath as Incumbent 
of Slane, and in that parish spent many years, until 
his death. His tombstone at Slane is still preserved. 

The following curious description of Bishop Pococke 
is given by a Mr. Cunningham, and is quoted in M ant's 
History of the Church of Ireland. It not only tells us 
something about the bishop, but also of the methods 
of travelling, and of the state affected by bishops, 
in those days. 

That celebrated oriental traveller and author (he says), 
was a man of mild manners and primitive simplicity. 
Having given the world a full detail of his researches in Egypt, 
he seemed to hold himself excused from saying any more 
about them, and observed in general an obdurate taciturnity. 
In his carriage and deportment he seemed to have contracted 
something of the Arab character ; yet there was no austerity 
in his silence, and though his air was solemn, his temper was 
serene. When we were on our road to Ireland, I saw from 


the windows of the inn at Daventry a cavalcade of horsemen 
approaching on a gentle trot, headed by an elderly chief in 
clerical attire, who was followed by five servants, at distances 
geometrically measured and most precisely maintained, and 
who upon entering the inn proved to be this distinguished 
prelate, conducting his horde with the phlegmatick patience 
of a schiek. 

There are still to be seen at Ardbraccan several 
magnificent cedar trees, which are said to be the produce 
of seeds brought from Lebanon by Bishop Pococke. 
He died at Ardbraccan, and was buried, as we have 
seen, in the tomb of Bishop Montgomery. On the 
south side of the monument which commemorates this 
latter prelate there is an inscription which tells us : 
" Here lies interred the body of Richard Pocock, 
Bishop of Meath, who died September I5th, 1765, 
in the 63rd year of his age." 

The next bishop was Arthur Smyth, who had been 
Dean of Deny, then successively Bishop of Clonfert, 
Bishop of Down, and in 1765 Bishop of Meath. He 
only continued in the diocese from October, 1765 to 
April, 1766, and he was then translated to the Arch- 
bishopric of Dublin. The following description of 
him is given by his successor in the See of Dublin, 
Archbishop Cradock : 

He was endowed with talents and qualified by experience 
for a due execution of the great trust committed to him, and 
both had received improvements from (what is unquestionably 
a great acquisition, but at the same time a rare felicity to those 
of our order) travel and observation. He had penetration to 
discern at the most critical conjunctures and firmness to 
accomplish upon the most trying occasions, what appeared 
to him for the real benefit of the community, either in Church 
or State. In a word, his attention to his duty kept pace with 
his knowledge of it. 6 

Bishop Smyth was succeeded by the Honourable 
Henry Maxwell, youngest son of Lord Farnham. He 

Dalton's History of the Archbishops of Dublin, p. 344. 


was translated from Dromore in 1766, and continued to 
be Bishop of Meath until his death, which occurred 
in 1798. Of this long episcopate we have com- 
paratively little record. The visitations were held 
regularly every year, but the returns contain merely 
a list of the clergy, without any particulars. An 
exception can perhaps be made for the return of 1768, 
which gives us a little more information. From it we 
learn that non-residence, which has so often been 
noticed as one of the evils of the Church, had again 
become exceedingly prevalent, and that no less than 
forty-nine parishes in the diocese were without a 
resident clergyman. There were seventy-one churches 
in repair. Among the clergy appears the name of 
Henry Goldsmith as Curate of Kilkenny West. He 
was the brother of the poet. It was by Bishop Maxwell 
that the house at Ardbraccan was completed. Doctor 
Beaufort, in his Memoir of a Map of Ireland, says of 
it that it is " near the town of Navan, erected by the 
present bishop, in a style of superior elegance, and yet 
with such simplicity as does equal honour to his 
lordship's taste and liberality." 

The arrangements for the housing of the clergy were 
not as satisfactory as that of the bishop, for according 
to this same work of Doctor Beaufort, there were 
only twenty-nine glebe houses in the whole diocese. 
Beaufort's own parish, Navan, was one of those without 
a residence for the clergyman, and he has to be counted 
also among the pluralists and non-residents, as he was 
Incumbent of Collon, in the Diocese of Armagh, where 
he usually had his abode. 

A new order of things was established when Thomas 
Lewis O'Beirne was appointed to the diocese in 1798. 
But there is so much to tell about that period, that the 
consideration of it must be reserved for another chapter. 



THE year which saw Bishop O'Beirne entering upon 
his duties as Bishop of Meath witnessed one of the most 
calamitous events of Irish history, the rebellion of 
1798. A few words must be said on this subject before 
we enter on an account of the episcopate of that 
remarkable prelate. The rebellion did not extend 
over so great a part of the country as did the insur- 
rection of 1641, nor was the movement in any sense 
as formidable. It was, however, sufficiently extended 
to cause suffering and unrest even in parts of the country 
where there was little or no fighting, and it brought 
untold hardships for the time being alike on the 
loyalists and on the rebels. 

The leaders of the United Irishmen were for the 
most part men who had embraced the doctrines of 
the French Revolution a fact which may explain 
why the rebellion broke out at that particular time. 
At first sight it seems strange that the moment chosen 
for insurrection was one when the country was making 
fairly rapid advance in prosperity, when penal laws 
were being repealed, when concessions were being made, 
such as the establishment of a Roman Catholic college 
at Maynooth, and when Ireland enjoyed a Parliament 
of her own, with an amount of independence which 
had hitherto been unknown. But the spirit of re- 
volution was in the air ; the overthrow of the French 
monarchy was a tremendous object lesson before the 


world ; and as there was always in Ireland a smouldering 
discontent, it needed but this to fan it to a flame. 

This fact gave to the rebellion of 1798 an aspect 
different from that of other insurrections. It took 
from it the religious character, and caused the Roman 
Catholic bishops and clergy to look upon the movement 
with a considerable amount of suspicion. In 1641 
a special envoy from Rome came to direct the insurgents 
in their enterprise. In 1798, on the contrary, the 
movement was to some extent denounced by the rulers 
of the Roman Catholic Church. A few of the ordinary 
priests, no doubt, were carried away with the tide 
of popular opinion, some others were deterred by fear 
from expressing themselves publicly in condemnation 
of the insurrection, but several of the bishops delivered 
themselves very clearly on the subject. Doctor 
Plunkett, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath, 
speaking at Drogheda on the twenty-seventh of May, 
told the people that the rebellion was a criminal 
insurrection, " connected with principles hostile to 
religion, and to our reputation for loyalty, in the cause 
of which Irish Catholics had so often suffered before." 
The day following, at Duleek, he assigned as the causes 
of the rebellion, " the credulity of the lower classes, 
the decay of Christian piety, and the prevalence of the 
impious principles that are disturbing a great part of 
the Continent." At Ratoath, a few days later, he 
" reprobated in the most pointed terms the rebellion, 
as contrary to the doctrine and practice of Jesus Christ, 
of Saint Paul, of the primitive Christians, to the admired 
conduct of the Irish Catholics of the last century, as 
supported on French principles, hostile to the Catholic 
religion." l 

These warnings came too late as far as Meath was 

1 Cogan, Diocese of Meath. 


concerned. Already the insurgents were assembled, 
and had tasted alike of battle and of defeat. They 
chose the Hill of Tara for their meeting place, doubtless 
on account of its historic associations. In point of 
military strength, too, they could scarcely have found 
a more favourable rendezvous. But they were nothing 
more than a badly armed mob, and they were simply 
powerless against the disciplined troops with which 
they had to contend. They did not even try to retain 
the advantage of position which the site afforded, 
but assuming the offensive, left the height, and exposed 
themselves to the fire of artillery and the charges of 
cavalry. The result of course was a complete rout, 
and those who escaped from the field of slaughter were 
broken up into small parties, who fled through the 
country, and were glad if they could reach the shelter 
of their homes in safety, thenceforth effectually cured 
of a desire for campaigning. At a later period there 
was a second attempt to rouse the populace in Meath, 
but the punishment of defeat had proved a more 
effectual lesson than the exhortations of the bishop, 
and the movement then met with no success. 

The ordinary rebel, who shouldered his pike and 
followed the standard of insurrection, had, it need 
hardly be said, only the vaguest idea as to what were 
the principles of the Revolution. His one motive was 
hatred to England, with, it is to be feared, a large 
amount also of hatred to Protestants and Protest- 
antism, which, to him meant almost the same thing. 
Hence we find that the houses of Protestants, especially 
of clergymen, were special objects of attack, and that 
along their line of march all the churches were wrecked, 
and the Bibles and service books destroyed. For 
miles around the district of Tara, not a church or glebe- 
house escaped. In Tara itself, the curate was murdered. 


and the interior of the church destroyed. In the 
neighbouring parish of Knockmark, the rebels broke 
into the clergyman's house, and burned the parish 
registers, together with the Bible and Prayer Book, 
and caused the parish clerk to fly for his life. In 
Dunboyne the parson's house was ruined, "' by the 
vengeance of the rebels on it," and the parish clerk 
was " cruelly murdered." The glebe-house of Agher 
was attacked on two separate occasions. In Galtrim, 
the parish clerk had to leave, for, " being a loyal 
Protestant, his life was in danger." In Kilmore and 
Kilbrew, the curates had to fly in order to save their 
lives. In Athboy and several other places, both parson 
and people found it necessary to leave their homes, 
and seek safety until the coming of better times. 2 

In Westmeath, things were very much the same. 
Threatening letters were sent ; clergy were attacked ; 
Protestant families had to seek safety in flight. The 
chaplain of Wilson's Hospital, Mr. Radcliff, was 
actually wounded, and was only saved from the fury 
of the rebels by the intercession of the parish priest. 

Several skirmishes took place in different parts of 
the diocese. In addition to the battle of Tara, there 
were engagements at Wilkinstown, Moynalty, Kil- 
beggan, Bunbrusna, and Wilson's Hospital. When 
the rebels had been defeated in Wexford, some of 
them, under the leadership of a Roman Catholic priest 
named Kearns, made their way into Meath. They 
were dispersed by the troops which encountered them 
at Clonard, and they then spread themselves over the 
country, when they were hunted down by twos and 
threes. Their reverend leader was taken among the 
rest, and was executed by martial law at Edenderry. 

After the rebellion was actually crushed, there 

J Answers to Bishop O'Beirne's Queries. MS. in Library, T.C.D. 


continued for some time a kind of petty warfare, caused 
by small bands of the dispersed rebels, who roamed 
through the country, and though less formidable to 
the State it was a source of great danger and annoyance 
to the loyal inhabitants. This was more especially 
the case in the western portion of the diocese. As a 
consequence, martial law continued to be administered, 
though it became every day increasingly difficult to 
decide whether the offenders should be treated as 
rebels or as ordinary criminals. 

As happened at other times, our people suffered 
from their friends as well as from their foes. The 
soldiers who were quartered in different places were with 
difficulty kept within bounds. At Dunboyne they 
burnt most of the houses, and a sum of money had 
afterwards to be granted to compensate for the damage 
that they had done. The same thing happened in 
several other places. Wilson's Hospital was turned into 
a military barrack, the inmates had to be removed 
to make room for the soldiers, and a house was taken 
at MuUingar for their accommodation. In what state 
the military left it after their occupation, may be 
judged from the fact, that the glazier's bill alone, 
amounted to thirty-eight pounds. At one time six 
of the Hospital soldiers were in jail for robbery, and 
a guard had to be placed over the Hospital potatoes. 3 

Besides trouble of this kind, the year of the 
rebellion was a time of great financial difficulty for the 
clergy of the diocese. They derived their salaries for 
the most part from tithes a source of income always 
difficult to obtain. During the disturbance it was 
found impossible to collect any tithe, and as a con- 
sequence practically all the clergy of Meath were 
left for that year without any income. 

3 Record Office, Dublin. 


Altogether it was a time of great trial to the 
Protestant community. In several parishes it caused 
the celebration of public worship to be suspended. 
All through the diocese, it caused privation and suffering. 
Happily, the movement attained no very serious 
proportions in Meath, and the disturbances were of 
short duration. The first risings in Meath took place 
about the middle of the month of May. Before the 
autumn of the same year the district was restored to 
its normal condition. 



IN the year of the rebellion, 1798, the Diocese of Meath 
received as its bishop a man of remarkable ability, 
who inaugurated a new regime, and who in his episco- 
pate of twenty-two years brought the diocese from 
a position of what seemed almost hopeless disorder to 
a state of efficiency which it had not known since long 
before the time of the Reformation. He was a man 
of no ordinary powers, and the story of his life is one 
of varied incident. That story has been embellished, 
too, in a remarkable way by the fancy of romancers, 
who have drawn on their imagination to such an 
extent, that two biographies might easily be written 
one derived from authentic documents, giving the 
genuine facts ; and the other altogether mythical and 
quite irreconcilable with the former, but drawn from 
published accounts, some of them contemporary or 
nearly contemporary with the subject of the biography. 
Thomas Lewis O'Beirne was born in the County 
Longford, sometime about the end of the year 1747. 
His parents are said to have been of the farming class, 
and in humble circumstances. They were, however, 
sufficiently well off to be able to dedicate two of their 
sons to the Roman Catholic priesthood, so that we 
may fairly conclude that the expression " humble 
circumstances " must be taken in a comparative sense. 
In those days, Roman Catholic priests were compelled 
to seek their education abroad, and thereby to incur 


an expense much greater than would be necessary at 
the present day. 1 There were, no doubt, methods by 
which young men of small means were enabled to earn 
sufficient during their college career to pay for their 
expenses, but none of these methods seem to have been 
adopted by the brothers O'Beirne, and we may there- 
fore conclude that their parents were sufficiently rich 
to be able to pay for the education of their two sons 
at the College of Saint Omer, in France. 

While he was at this seminary, the health of Thomas 
O'Beirne gave way, and he was ordered for a time to 
the South of France. On his return he again fell ill, 
and this time was sent back to his native country, 
in hopes that rest and fresh air would restore him to 
health again. It has been represented by some Roman 
Catholic writers that he was on this occasion virtually 
expelled. Cogan, in his Diocese of Meath, says, 

O'Beirne, during his stay in the South of France, formed 
very suspicious friendships, associated with very irregular 
young men, most of whom were medical students, took to 
reading bad books, then swarming and perverting the heart of 
France, and returned to college at the expiration of his leave 
of absence no longer the same in fact, an altered and 
dissipated boy. Being attacked a second time with the same 
complaint, he was again ordered out by the doctor ; but the 
president of the college (Doctor Kelly) consented only on 
condition that he would go home to Ireland, and on his return 
bring a letter from his parish priest, certifying that his conduct 
was correct, and that he frequented the sacraments regularly. 

The only vestige of truth in this statement is the fact, 
that if O'Beirne had returned, he would have been 
expected to have brought with him a letter from his 

1 Killeen (Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 350) assumes wrongly 
that O'Beirne was ordained before leaving Ireland, and suggests that he 
supported himself while at St. Omer's College " by chaplaincies or foundations 
for Masses," which he discharged ; adding, " Roman Catholic writers, who 
now deny that O'Beirne was ordained a priest in this Church, have forgotten 
this usage of the period." 


parish priest. This was the usual custom, and there 
was no reason for departing from it in O'Beirne's case. 
How far the charge of dissipation and the rest is from 
the real facts of the case may be judged by a perusal 
of the following extract from a letter, written by Doctor 
Plunket, afterwards Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath, 
and at this time one of the chief professors in the 
college. The letter, which was a long one, dealing 
with a variety of subjects, and by no means a mere 
letter of introduction, was entrusted to O'Beirne, on 
his leaving Saint Omer's for the last time. In it 
Doctor Plunket says : 

The bearer, Mr. O'Beirne, is a young gentleman of this 
house who returns to Ireland to recover his health by breathing 
the native air for some time. His promising parts and amiable 
qualities have made him dear to all the members of the society 
in which he lived, and particularly to me. I love and esteem 
him exceedingly. Every civility shown him I shall acknowledge 
as conferred upon myself. As I am sure he would be glad to 
be acquainted with Mr. Austin fa priest who at that time kept 
a school in Dublin], I hope you will procure him that happiness 
by introducing him. 2 

Abandoning the slander of a partisan writer, and 
taking as our authority the contemporary document, 
we are justified in saying that he left Saint Omer's, 
having gained the affection of his companions and the 
approbation of his superiors. He, however, never 
returned. We have no further information, beyond 
the fact, that somewhat about this time he abandoned 
the Church of Rome, and joined the Church of England. 
He did not, however, relinquish the idea of taking 
Holy Orders, and he, therefore, continued his studies, 
only it was not at Saint Omer's, but at Trinity College, 
Cambridge. Here he had for his tutor the Reverend 
Doctor Watson, who afterwards became Bishop of 

J Cogan, Diocese of Meath 


Llandaff, and on the conclusion of his course he was 
appointed to the college living of Grendon, in the 
Diocese of Peterborough. He was accordingly ordained 
Deacon by John, Lord Bishop of Peterborough, in 
Trinity College, Cambridge, on Trinity Sunday, 1772, 
and was made priest in the same college chapel on the 
sixth of June in the following year. 3 His name appears 
in the Marriage Register of Grendon Parish as the 
officiating minister for the first time on November 2gth, 
1772.4 Comparing these dates with that of Doctor 
Plunket's valedictory letter given above (June 6th> 
1768), we see that there elapsed just four years from 
the time of his leaving finally the Roman Catholic 
seminary and his ordination as a clergyman of the 
Church of England. 

He retained the vicarage of Grendon until 1776, 
when he was appointed one of the chaplains of the 
Fleet, and in that capacity sailed with Lord Howe to 
America^ After his return, when the conduct of 
Lord Howe was called in question, O'Beirne wrote a 
vindication of his commander's action in a pamphlet, 
entitled, A Candid and Impartial Narrative of the 
Transactions of the Fleet under Lord Howe. By an 
Officer then serving in the Fleet. While at New York 
he preached a remarkable sermon in Saint Paul's 
chapel, Trinity Parish, on the Sunday next following 
the great fire, in which the parish church was destroyed. 
This sermon attracted considerable attention at the 
time, and served to bring the young ecclesiastic into 

The " romancers " present this story somewhat 
differently. They place the appointment to Grendon 
at a much later period of his life, and they say that 

3 Registry of the Diocese of Peterborough. 

* Information kindly furnished by the Vicar of Grendon. 

6 Dictionary of National Biography. 



he went to America as Lord Portland's secretary, 
when that nobleman was appointed Governor General 
of Canada ; that on the voyage the chaplain of the 
vessel died, and that O'Beirne was allowed to take 
his place without question, or the production of any 
credentials, it being assumed that he had received 
Orders in the Church of Rome before he left that 
community ; and that thus " O'Beirne imposed on the 
duke, having represented himself as a priest returning 
to take charge of a parish in his native diocese ; and 
that in consequence he received no Orders in the 
Protestant Church." This action of his on board the 
fleet is said to have been his " first formal act of 
apostacy." 6 All this is simply a tissue of falsehoods, 
invented by those whose aim was to cast discredit 
on one who had left their communion. The Duke of 
Portland was never Governor of Canada, and O'Beirne 
never sailed with him as secretary. Before he crossed 
the Atlantic he had been already ordained in the English 
Church, and had held an ecclesiastical appointment 
given him by the college in which he had pursued his 
studies. In every one of its particulars, therefore, the 
story is not only false, but badly invented and 

In O'Beirne's lifetime these stories had already been 
set on foot. Many in his own church believed that he 
had Roman Orders, and on the other hand, many 
Roman Catholics denied that he was ever ordained, 
and spoke of him as " the mitred layman." The matter 
was referred to in Parliament in 1825, that is to say, 
about two years after the bishop's death. On the 
sixth of May in that year, the " Roman Catholic Relief 
Bill " was under consideration, and an amendment 
was proposed by Mr. Brougham, regulating the appoint- 

Cogan, Diocese of Meath, vol. ii., p. 1 86. 


ment of men who were in Roman Catholic Orders to 
positions in the English Church. In his speech on that 
occasion he gave as one of his arguments, that a man, 
ordained as a Roman Catholic priest, might obtain 
preferment, and even become a bishop, without any 
Anglican ordination, which he seemed to think was 
necessary ; and to show that this was not an imaginary 
case, he cited the instance, that " Doctor O'Beirne, 
the late Protestant Bishop of Meath, was originally 
ordained a priest by the Pope of Rome. He was then 
a Catholic, but afterwards, becoming a Protestant, 
he was made bishop without any further ordination." 7 
A few days later (May loth), Mr. Secretary Peel 
referred to this assertion made by Mr. Brougham, 
and stated that he had a letter from Bishop O'Beirne's 
widow, and that " that lady desired him to state 
distinctly in answer to the observations in question, 
that the bishop, her late husband, never was an ordained 
priest of the Church of Rome. He had been brought 
up as a Roman Catholic, and so continued until he was 
about twenty years of age, when, seeing reason to 
enter the Protestant church, he went to Cambridge. 
At that university, Doctor Watson was his tutor, and 
he was ordained for the first time as a deacon of the 
Protestant Established Church, and some little time 
subsequently a minister of the Church of England." 
Mr. Brougham thereupon replied that, " it had been 
understood that the bishop had in the early part of his 
life received Orders from the Pope, which had been 
afterwards repealed. ... If Bishop O'Beirne had not 
received Popish ordination, it was singular that this 
should be so generally credited. He (Mr. B.) in saying 

7 Hansard. Killeen quotes this entry in Hansard, but makes no mention 
of the contradiction, which Hansard also publishes. He gives his reference to 
Hansard,but evidently took the quotation second-hand from The Sham Squire, 
in which the same omission occurs. 


so, only said what was generally understood. His 
friends denied it, and he was himself satisfied. It was 
probable the mistake might have arisen from the 
brother of Bishop O'Beirne having been a Catholic 
priest." 8 This somewhat halting and ungracious 
acceptance of the word of Mrs. O'Beirne shows what 
wide currency the story had obtained ; but it will be 
noted that her account exactly agrees with that given 
above, which was derived independently from 
authentic documentary evidence. 

In 1776, the year in which he sailed to America, 
he published a poem on " The Crucifixion," which 
seems to have been admired. It does not appear that 
a copy is preserved either in the library of Trinity 
College, Dublin, or in the National Library. On his 
return from the west he was instituted (5th November, 
1779) to the crown living of West Deeping, in the 
Diocese of Lincoln. There is some doubt as to whether 
he actually took up residence there. The present 
rector of that parish informs me that the Reverend 
White Bates was curate from 1745 to 1815, thus 
covering the time of O'Beirne's incumbency ; and that 
during all that time " no rector ever took a marriage 
or baptism or burial at least there is no signature of 
any in the registers." 

O'Beirne at this time took to literature, and gained 
some applause as a political writer. A series of 
articles which he contributed to a newspaper, under 
nom-de-plume of " A Country Gentleman," attacking 
the administration of Lord North, is said to have had 
considerable influence in bringing about the downfall 
of the ministry headed by that nobleman. He moved 
now in literary circles, and " bore an active and 
respectable part in the polite literature of his day. 



Amongst the scholars of his day there was a constant 
fire of jeu d'esprits, ballads, epigrams, imitations of 
Horace, and copies of verse, kept up by Bushe, Ogle, 
Langrishe, Ned Lysaght, and the wits of their day. 
Among these O'Beirne was not the least. He was a fine 
Latinist, and a copy of verses in that language, written 
by him, is among the best on the death of Burke we can 
recollect. It was no less beautiful in an English dress 
from the hand of Bush." 9 

Among other productions from his pen at this time, 
was a comedy entitled, " The Generous Impostor," 
adapted from Destouches' play, " The Dissapateur." 
The Duchess of Devonshire collaborated with him 
in the composition, and it was produced at Drury Lane 
Theatre in 1780, and was printed in the following 

In 1782 Lord Portland was appointed to the Vice- 
royalty of Ireland, and O'Beirne returned to his native 
country as his secretary and chaplain. He had not 
been many weeks in Ireland before he had an interview 
with his former teacher, Doctor Plunket, who had in 
the meantime become Roman Catholic Bishop of 
Meath. It would be interesting to know what was the 
subject that they discussed. Possibly it had some 
connection with the " Roman Catholic Bill," just passed 
into law, which repealed some of the more irritating 
portions of the penal code. Possibly the interview was 
of a more private character, and concerned matters 
of conscience and faith. Unfortunately the only 
information that we have consists of two entries in 
Bishop Plunket's Diary. Under the date June 8th, 
1782, we have, " I had an interview this day with Rev. 
Mr. O'Beirne, secretary to his Grace the Duke of 
Portland." This is followed by another entry, under 

9 Will's Lives of Illustrious Irishmen. 


the date June i8th, " I wrote this day to Rev. Mr. 
O'Beirne, at Dublin Castle." 

In after years, when O'Beirne had become Bishop 
of Meath, and had taken up his residence at Ardbraccan, 
the two prelates became neighbours, and it is said that 
they occasionally met, and that they lived on more 
or less friendly terms with one another. This is the 
tradition of the country. It is partly corroborated, 
and perhaps partly contradicted, by the following 
letters, which are the only documentary evidence that 
we possess. The first is from Bishop O'Beirne to 
Bishop Plunket : 

Ardbraccan House, 
January nth, 1806. 


In the 32nd page of this Sermon there is an expression or 
two that you may interpret into something unpleasant to your 
feelings, but I hope that with some things in which we both 
may differ from each other, we shall ever indulge mutual charity; 
and I request you to accept this copy of my Sermon on the 
Thanksgiving Day as a testimony of that affectionate attach- 
ment which, as it began in early life, no circumstance is ever 
likely to affect or weaken, notwithstanding the different 
situations into which we have been thrown. In one thing I am 
persuaded we shall never differ, the earnest desire of inculcating 
the superintending providence of God, of promoting Christian 
morals, and encouraging a disposition of peace and submission 
to the laws in this distracted country. 

I am, my dear Sir, 

With every sincere attachment and respect, 
Your very faithful humble Servant, 

T. L. MEATH. o 

The sermon to which reference is made was preached 
in Kells Church on the Thanksgiving Day for the battle 

10 Cogan. 


of Trafalgar. A hundred years later, when the 
centenary of that Thanksgiving Day was celebrated, 
the sermon was again repeated in Kells Church, before 
the bishop of the diocese and a large and deeply 
interested congregation. The passage to which 
reference is made in the bishop's letter is as follows : 

The contrary experiment has been made for us. A nation 
has tried what it is to be without religion, without morals, 
without a God in this world. The result has been that the most 
signalized of these desperate experimentalists, JI the favourite 
champion of infidelity and all its train of abominations, was 
the first to overturn its polluted altars, to abolish its impure 
rites. He has since changed his ground, but he has preserved 
a consistency of character. From the extreme of irreligion, 
he has passed to the extreme of superstition (extremes that 
invariably meet), and he exhibits to the world a mockery of 
religion ; a display of theatrical rites, blasphemously engrafted 
on the awful ceremonies of our religion ; a spurious mixture 
of discordant morals, neither heathen nor Christian, which 
every sect and denomination who profess the Gospel agree to 
reprobate. If we have been preserved from this innovating 
spirit, if we have checked the inroads of infidelity, and the 
religion established among us be yet untainted by the super- 
stition that surrounds us, let us show our gratitude in the only 
way that promises to secure these inestimable blessings to us 
and to our children. The religion we profess is pure in faith, 
it must be equally pure in practice. I * 

Bishop Plunket replied to O'Beirne's letter as 
follows : 


yd of March, 1806. 

Unavoidable avocations and excursions have, until this 
morning, prevented me from acknowledging the receipt of 
your friendly letter, and a copy of your Thanksgiving Sermon, 
handed to me by the Rev. Mr. Butler. This, coming from your 
Lordship, as a " testimony of affectionate attachment," I accept 

11 Napoleon Buonaparte. 1J Sermons by Bishop O'Beirnc. 


with thanks. I have perused it. When I say that I admire 
many fine passages, the offspring of a lively bright imagination 
and of a cultivated mind, deeply impressed with a sense of the 
awful dispensations of the providence of God, your Lordship, 
I am sure, does not expect I should admire the whole 32nd 
page. It is not that any expressions it contains affect me 
personally. No. To be candid, my Lord, I assure you, I 
cannot without smiling read assertions that impute " super- 
stition " to the religion of Bourdaloue, Flechier, Massillon, 
Bossuet, Fenelon. But the numerous body of people with 
whom I have the honour to be peculiarly connected read with 
other dispositions. They consider such expressions as un- 
provoked abuse. In vain would I attempt to reconcile them 
to it by alleging custom, almost constant custom ; much less 
could I pretend to convince them that unprovoked abuse is 
calculated to heal the bleeding wounds of our distracted country, 
to promote concord, to answer any one Christian or social 
purpose. The man who stands in my place is not free to dis- 
regard the feelings of his flock. Hence I am placed with respect 
to your Lordship in a singular predicament a predicament 
which casts a gloom upon and thwarts the intercourse I should 
wish to maintain. My own occasional feelings I can command, 
or even sacrifice, if necessary, to ancient friendship, and to the 
remembrance of former times. We differ in some things from 
each other ; but this difference, how great soever, shall not 
extinguish a single spark of charity in my breast prevent on 
my part the discharge of the slightest obligation which this 
first of all i:he virtues prescribes. The great duties to which 
your Lordship alludes, and in which we perfectly agree, have 
employed no small portion of my time these six and twenty 
years past. The decline of life and the near approach of eternity 
will not lessen their importance in my mind, nor, I hope, 
diminish the attention they claim. 

With sentiments of respectful and affectionate attachment, 

I am, my Lord, 
Your Lordship's obedient and humble Servant, 

Ifc P. J. PLUNKETT. '3 

As far as authentic evidence goes, O'Beirne's first 
connection with the Duke of Portland was when 
he accompanied him to Ireland as chaplain in 1782. 

1J Cogan. 


There is, however, a story, which has found its way 
into some historical works, which tells of a previous 
introduction to the duke, in an accidental way, at a 
country inn. It is said that O'Beirne was returning 
to Saint Omer's College, and that on his way he arrived 
at a village in England where the whole stock of 
provisions that the hotel possessed was a small shoulder 
of mutton. He ordered this to be cooked for his 
dinner, but while it was in process of preparation, two 
other travellers arrived, and as they also wanted 
something to eat, it was after some discussion agreed 
that they should be O'Beirne's guests, and that all 
together should partake of the mutton. The travellers 
turned out to be Charles Fox and the Duke of Portland, 
and they were so charmed with the young man's 
conversation that the duke invited O'Beirne to visit 
him in London, which he did, and thus laid the 
foundation for all his future fortune. 1 4 

No two writers agree altogether in the details of 
this story. The scene is laid by some in Wales, and 
according to them O'Beirne was not on his way to 
France, but was going to London in search of literary 
employment. The incident of the shoulder of mutton, 
too, is sometimes suppressed, and instead of it, we are 
told that Portland and Fox were conversing in French, 
and that O'Beirne told them that if they had any 
secrets to speak about, it was well that they should 
know that he understood that language perfectly.^ 
It is evident from these variations that the story only 
represents the current gossip of, the time, which each 

14 Croly, Life and Times of George IV., published in 1830. 

15 Letter from Mr. Wm. Forde given by Fitzpatrick in The Sham Squire. 
Mr. Forde added in a postscript, "I knew Doctor O'15eirne. He was in his 
manner a perfect and accomplished gentleman. He was an admirable writer. 
I have seen some of his pamphlets. The late Doctor Pluiiket, Bishop of Meath, 
was Professor in the Irish College when Doctor O'Beirne was a student in it, 
and as they lived within two miles of each other, the usual courtesies of life 
were observed between the rival prelates. The professor outlived the pupil 
several years. Bishop O'Beirne died in 1822." 


succeeding narrator embellished according to his fancy. 
We cannot disprove it, as in the case of the other stories. 
All that we can say is, that it is highly improbable. 
It is more likely either that O'Beirne was brought under 
Portland's notice by Lord Howe, or that his political 
writings, which attracted considerable attention at the 
time, caused him to be chosen as secretary by the 
newly appointed Lord Lieutenant. 

Lord Portland's viceroyalty lasted only a short 
time, and on his return to England O'Beirne also left 
Ireland, and was appointed to a crown living in England. 
The next year, 1783, he took the degree of S.T.B. at 
Cambridge, and later on in the same year he married 
at Saint Margaret's, Westminster, Jane, the only 
surviving child of the Honourable Francis Stuart, 
third son of the seventh Earl of Moray. He had one 
son and two daughters, all of whom died unmarried. 

There is still another story apocryphal like the 
rest which refers to this period of O'Beirne' s life. 
In 1785 the Prince of Wales, afterwards King George 
IV., was married privately to Mrs. Fitzherbert, and it 
is confidently asserted that it was O'Beirne who 
officiated on that occasion. There is no documentary 
evidence, for in the certificate of marriage the name 
of the officiating clergyman is carefully cut out 
presumably by Mrs. Fitzherbert herself. This story 
seems to have arisen in connection with the supposition 
that O'Beirne had received ordination in the Roman 
Catholic Church. It was assumed that Mrs. 
Fitzherbert, being a Roman Catholic, would have been 
disposed to secure the services of a clergyman whose 
Orders were, according to her ideas, valid. But 
there seem to have been no other grounds to go 
upon, and the whole thing is a matter of conjecture. 
Sir William Cope, who seems to have been particularly 


well informed on the subject, gave it as his opinion 
that O'Beirne " never could have married George IV. 
to Mrs. Fitzherbert." * 

O'Beirne came to Ireland once more in 1791, when 
he was appointed Rector of Templemichael, in which 
parish the town of Longford is situated. This was 
his native county, and it is even said that his brother 
was Roman Catholic priest of the parish during the 
time that he held the incumbency. 

On the appointment of Lord Fitzwilliam to the 
viceroyalty in 1795, O'Beirne once more became 
secretary and first chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant, 
and almost immediately afterwards he was promoted 
to the bishopric of Ossory, from which he was translated 
in 1798 to the bishopric of Meath. At the same time 
he was appointed a member of the Privy Council. He 
now devoted himself to the affairs of our diocese with 
wonderful energy and conspicuous success. He did not, 
however, give up politics altogether. He became a 
strong advocate for the Union, and when a petition 
was presented from residents in the County Meath 
who objected to that measure, he drew up a " Protest," 
which was signed by many owners of property in the 
district, and was specially commended by the bishop 
to his clergy, because " they above all others, are 
interested in the success of the measure." It is at 
once an able and temperate exposition of the reasons 
which led O'Beirne and many others at that time to 
wish that the union of the two countries should be 
accomplished. It is as follows : 

We, the undersigned Noblemen, Clergy, Gentlemen, Free- 
holders, and Inhabitants of the County Meath, having 
thoroughly considered the purport of certain resolutions 
published in the newspapers, and assuming to be the sense of 
the County on the proposal of a Legislative Union with Great 

18 Fitzpatrick, Sham Squire, second edition. 


Britain, feel it a justice we owe ourselves to protest against 
such assumption, and to claim a right of expressing our own 
judgment on a measure that so materially affects our general 
and individual interests. 

We cannot contemplate the various disasters and calamities 
that have so uniformly succeeded each other, for such a series 
of years, in this distracted country, without being impressed 
with a conviction that something is essentially and radically 
defective in our political system, and that some more effectual 
measures must be resorted to than have been hitherto provided, 
to remedy the evils to which the public state is so constantly 

In the proposal of a Legislative Union, as promising to be 
conducive to this happy end, we see nothing to alarm us for our 
independence or our interests ; nor can we comprehend how 
such a measure can be either injurious or degrading to either 
of the coalescing parties, while the terms, both as to constitution 
and commerce, are to be discussed and settled by each nation 
exercising its own independent powers of deliberation and 

We agree with some of the best and wisest men in both 
kingdoms in conceiving the strongest hopes that a Union se 
attained would remove every cause of distrust and jealousy 
between the two countries ; that it would consolidate the power 
and resources of the empire, and preclude the common enemy 
from all hope of converting our divisions into an instrument 
of separation ; that it would open a prospect of composing those 
religious dissensions to which we can trace so much of the 
public misery ; and that it would introduce among our people 
English capital, English manufacture, English industry, habits 
and manners. 

Under these impressions, we trust that, whenever his 
Majesty shall, in his wisdom, think proper to communicate 
to our legislature the result of the enlightened and temperate 
deliberations of the Lords and Commons of Great Britain on 
this momentous question, it will be received with the attention 
that is due to the common sovereign, and to the Parliament of a 
country with which we wish to be for ever united in affections 
and interests; and we expect that, in giving it a full and dis- 
passionate discussion, our representatives will manifest to both 
kingdoms that they have nothing in view but the peace and 
prosperity of Ireland, as essentially inseparable from the peace 
and prosperity of the empire. 1 ? 

17 Memoirs of Lord Castlerea*ti. 


Bishop O'Beirne also drew up a memorandum, 
which he presented to Lord Castlereagh, on the special 
subject of the union of the two Churches. His argument 
is that " the maxim laid down by Archdeacon Paley 
has been greedily adopted and zealously inculcated 
in this kingdom by all the sectaries, but particularly 
by the Roman Catholics. The established religion 
ought to be that which prevails among the majority 
of the people ; the faith of the nation ought to be 
consulted, and not that of the magistrate." 18 He shows 
that as long as the Church of Ireland remains distinct 
this maxim will keep alive the expectation of our 
adversaries, " but let the distinction cease, and the 
Church of England be the only church of the empire 
let this be done, and Paley 's maxim, whatever the 
intrinsic weight it possess may be, will cease to apply." 
He anticipates considerable opposition from some of 
his brother bishops. " The present primate," he says, 
" as well in temper and manners as in many points of 
learning, may well rank with Primate Ussher. But 
the bench is not without some of a different description 
violent, impracticable, condemning and opposing 
whatever does not originate from themselves, and not 
likely to brook any appearance of subordination to the 
See of Canterbury, which would be necessary to this 
plan." All this is a bygone controversy now, but it is 
at least interesting to know what were the anticipations 
of those who advocated that important measure. 

Another subject in which he took a very great 
interest was the establishment of the Roman Catholic 
College at Maynooth. He was strongly in favour of 
that institution, for, he urges, " if the Roman Catholic 
clergy must go for their education to countries hostile 
to England, they will imbibe those civil prejudices, 

lf< Memoir and Correspondence of Viscount Castlereagh. 


and that spirit of hatred and resentment, of which 
France and Spain have uniformly availed themselves, 
ever since the period of the Reformation, to raise up a 
party for themselves, and to excite domestic distur- 
bances in Ireland." He says that " one of the great 
objects of the institution was to bring the education 
of the Roman Catholic clergy, on whom the morals and 
conduct of the Roman Catholic body so exclusively 
depend, into contact with the government, and to 
subject them, as far as might be, without outraging 
their religious prejudices, under its control." A 
certain number of the Board of Trustees of Maynooth 
were at that time Protestants, and O'Beirne proposes 
that the number should be increased. "At all events, 
he says, " I hope and trust that the majority of the 
visitors will be Protestants, and that the Archbishop 
of Dublin, as Metropolitan of the Province, and 
the Bishop of Kildare, as Diocesan, will be of the 
number. I should also hope that, to connect the 
institution in some way with the University of 
Dublin, the provost would be a visitor, and some of its 
professors or fellows acting trustees. . . . The present 
prejudices of the Popish bishops may repugn at this 
introduction of Protestant prelates, but if the govern- 
ment is firm in requiring it, they will give way." >9 He 
thinks that by this method it might be possible to 
establish a certain amount of independence in the 
Irish Roman Catholic Church, and that, as most of the 
Popish bishops and the president of the college have 
been educated in France, " they will have the less 
objection to make the immunities of the Gallican 
Church, and the boundaries which it established between 
the spiritual and temporal power, and against the 
encroachments of the See of Rome, the basis of their 

19 Castlereagh, Correspondence. 


National Church in Ireland." The good bishop lived 
long enough afterwards to learn that most of these 
his anticipations were doomed to disappointment. 

Bishop O'Beirne's work in the Diocese of Meath will 
be treated in another chapter. A few words may be 
added here on his ability as a preacher. On this 
subject we cannot do better than quote from one who 
actually heard him. In one of Mrs. Piozzi's letters to 
a friend, she says, " Give me a hint, dear sir, a taste 
merely, of that stream of calumny, which, according 
to the Bishop of Meath, rolls down the streets of our 
favourite towns, taking a little fresh venom at every 
house it passes." She refers to a sermon preached 
by the bishop at Bath, and concerning it the compiler 
of " Piozziana " gives the following note : 

The Bishop of Meath mentioned by Mrs. Piozzi was O'Beirne, 
who has been some years dead. I heard the sermon in which 
he introduced the above-quoted passage on calumny. The 
figure of the stream is a happy one, but only of a piece with all 
his fine pulpit essays. His composition was invariably a rich 
specimen of the calm and correct in writing. His style, without 
being in the slightest degree gorgeous, was never less than 
elegant ; his metaphors were never broken nor misapplied ; 
every word seemed to drop from his pen precisely in its proper 
place ; and although each paragraph was as finished in itself 
as it could be, he had scarcely an auditor in what is termed a 
refined congregation who might not have imagined that he 
could have written exactly as the bishop wrote. To this 
style his manner was admirably suited. In his action and 
emphasis he was never theatrical nor ever tame, but from 
first to last abounded in gentle earnestness. The whole 
discourse was in truth so engaging, and so full of charms, that 
people used constantly to say what a pity it was that he made 
his sermons so short, whereas in fact, he never preached for 
less than half an hour at a time. This feeling on the part of his 
hearers was universal, and no doubt a high compliment to 
his powers. The effect of what he delivered, particularly 
during his latter years, was heightened by his appearance. 
He wore not a little greyish-blue wig, as English prelates do, 


but long flowing snow-white locks, and had a face like Sterne's 
monk, mild, pale, and penetrating, with a small sparkling eye, 
as keen as a viper's, while his voice one of exquisite modulation 
did all that loudness and vehemence could have done, 
without ever sounding as if raised to its utmost. He was 
altogether a man of first rate natural talents. 

Quite a number of the bishop's sermons have been 
published, and they fully bear out the high praise which 
is here given. The following list of his works is taken 
principally from Cotton's Fasti. 

A pamphlet, entitled " The Gleam of Comfort." 

" The Crucifixion," a Poem, 4to, 1776. 

" The Generous Impostor," a Comedy, 8vo, 1780. 

A series of Essays (in a newspaper), under the signature of 
" A Country Gentleman," 1780. 

" A Short History of the Last Session of Parliament." 

" Considerations on the Late Disturbances," by a Consistent 
Whig, 8vo, 1781. 

" Considerations on the Principles of Naval Discipline and 
Courts Martial," 8vo, 1781. 

A " Fast " Sermon, Dublin, 1794. 

Three Charges delivered to his Clergy, in 1795, 1796, and 
1797. 4to, Dublin. (These Charges were delivered while he 
was Bishop of Ossory. They deal largely with the subject of 

A Circular Letter to the Clergy of the Diocese of Ossory, 4to, 

The foregoing Charges and Letter, with four Occasional 
Sermons, printed together, 8vo, 1799. 

" A Candid and Impartial Narrative of the Transactions 
of the Fleet, under Lord Howe." By an Officer then serving 
in the Fleet, 1799. (This was a vindication of the conduct 
of Lord Howe, published seemingly on the death of that 

" A Sermon before the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge," 4to, 1801. 

" The Ways of God to be Vindicated only by the Word of 
God," a Sermon. 8vo, 1804. 

" A Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Meath," 8vo, 


" A Letter to Dr. Troy, on the Coronation of Bonaparte," 
by Melancthon. 

" The Wisdom and Justice of Ascribing to the Hand of 
God every event of Great Moment and Utility to Mankind," 
a Sermon preached on the Day of General Thanksgiving for 
the Victory of Trafalgar. 

" A Letter from an Irish Dignitary to an English Clergyman, 
on the Subject of Tithes in Ireland." (Anonymous), 1807, 
reprinted 1822, 

A Sermon at the Magdalen Asylum, Dublin, 8vo, 1807. 

A Letter to the Earl of Fingall. (Anonymous). 8vo, Dublin, 

" Christian Worship," a Sermon. 8vo, Bath, 1819. 

" Sermons on Important Subjects," 2 vols, 8vo. 

" Circular Letter to the Rural Deans of the Diocese of 
Meath," 1821. 


MEATH IN 1799. 

WHEN Bishop O'Beirne came into possession of the See 
of Meath, his first care was to ascertain exactly the state 
of the diocese. He manifestly had ideas as to the duties 
and powers of a bishop very different from those 
which had long obtained in the Church of Ireland. 
To his mind the Bishop was a real overseer and ruler, 
and his duty was to see that every one of his sub- 
ordinates performed faithfully the cure of souls to 
which he had been appointed. He accordingly without 
delay issued a paper of queries, which was sent to 
each clergyman in the diocese, asking for information 
as to the services held in the several churches, the state 
of the church fabrics, the provision made for education, 
and a variety of other topics. The replies given to 
these queries have been preserved, and a copy of them, 
bound together in one volume, is to be found in the 
Library of Trinity College, Dublin. The Record Office 
also preserves two manuscripts, one containing the 
bishop's comments on these replies, and the other, 
the directions given by him in each case to the clergy 
at the subsequent visitation. The three documents 
taken together give us very complete information 
as to the state of the Church in Meath at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century. It is from these, for the 
most part, that the present chapter has been compiled. 
The first point, which comes out very strongly 
indeed, was the alarming prevalence of pluralities and 

MEATH IN 1799 131 

non-residence. We have seen that these two evils 
had clung to the Church through all its history from the 
time of the Anglo-Norman invasion. It was never 
more rife than at this time. There was scarcely an 
important parish in Meath the incumbent of which 
did not possess another parish in a different diocese. 
Some of these lived in Meath, and were non-resident 
elsewhere. Others served their Meath charge by 
means of a curate. Others, again, wholly neglected 
their duty, and left their people without any spiritual 
provision. The Rector of Kells, for example, had a 
parish also in Ossory. The Incumbent of Navan lived 
in the Diocese of Armagh, and had a parish there. 
The incumbents of Athboy, Donaghpatrick, and Slane 
were all beneficed in Dublin ; and so on, throughout 
the whole of the diocese. Besides these, there were 
some who resided in England or elsewhere, drawing 
their stipends from Meath, and performing their duty 
either by deputy or not at all. 

This was a subject on which O'Beirne felt strongly. 
He referred to it in his Primary Charge, delivered 
in the Diocese of Ossory, and said that a man who 
absented himself from his parish, even when it was 
one without church or glebe-house, was " violating 
all that he owed to the redeemed of Christ, whom he 
engaged to instruct and to comfort, and forgetful 
of that awful Name by which he had sworn, abandoned 
his charge, leaving them to whatever casual instruction 
they could gather from others, to pick up the word 
by the wayside ; to beg even for Baptism for their 
children from some charitable hand, often from 
ministers of another faith, while he, standing on the 
mere privilege of an accommodating conscience, set 
every other consideration at defiance." 

He returned to this subject again ^shortly after his 


appointment to Meath. Writing to Lord Castlereagh, 
on the 23rd of July, 1800, he says, ' The radical evil 
of the Church of England, and what has ever since the 
Reformation opposed its extension, is that the 
parochial clergy are generally non-resident ; nor can 
the government ever advance the salutary purpose 
for which a parochial clergy is appointed so effectually, 
as by enabling the bishops to remove this great abuse." 

His efforts at enforcing residence met with con- 
siderable opposition from the parties interested, and 
his success at first was small, on account of the im- 
perfection of the law ; the higher courts in several 
cases having reversed the decisions by which he had 
enforced this duty. In 1807 he presented a report to the 
government, and in it we find that out of the ninety- 
two benefices in Meath at that time, only forty-five 
had resident incumbents, while forty-seven that is, 
more than half were non-resident. He adds the 
note : ' There are at present instances in this diocese 
of great encouragement to refractoriness in this 
essential point of discipline, taken from some late 
decisions of the Court of Delegates, to which there lies 
an appeal from the sentence of the Consist orial Court." l 

The difficulties which were thus presented did not 
deter the bishop from pursuing his purpose. As 
the law was shown to be ineffectual, he strenuously 
urged the necessity for new legislation, and with some 
success, for shortly after this an Act was passed by 
Parliament for enforcing residence, which to some 
extent remedied the evil. By the year 1820 the number 
of non-resident incumbents in Meath was reduced to 
twenty-two, some of whom held sinecure parishes. 
At the same time the residents had increased to seventy- 
nine, the number of benefices having increased in the 

1 Papers relating to the Established Church in Ireland, 1807 (Blue Book). 

MEATH IN 1799 133 

meantime to one hundred and one. The bishop, 
however, was not satisfied with the way in which the 
reform had been carried out. He would have preferred 
a more ecclesiastical method of enforcing discipline, 
and was in this respect a precursor of those who in the 
present day resent the interference of the Privy Council 
in Church matters. " The powers vested by the canon 
law," he says, " and the primitive discipline of the 
Church, in the archbishops and bishops, to enforce 
residence, when duly exercised, and no longer checked 
by appeals to a Court of Delegates, constituted as 
of late years it has been in Ireland, would have been 
amply sufficient to remedy the abuses arising from 
non-residence ; and that the several archbishops 
and bishops would have duly availed themselves of 
these powers, and faithfully exercised them whenever 
the circumstances of the several parishes in their 
dioceses would admit, must appear evident from 
the zeal and assiduity with which they have exercised 
the new powers vested in them by the Act passed in 
the 48th of the King, for enforcing residence of 
spiritual persons on their benefices in Ireland. In 
carrying the provisions of this Act into practice, it 
has been seen how ineffectual all substitutions for the 
operation and influence of the primitive discipline 
of the Church must prove, and that when, in the place 
of the obligations to canonical obedience and a 
professional feeling, a clergy are required to look for 
the great rule of their conduct in the discharge of their 
spiritual duties to the enactments of Parliamentary 
statutes and the mere letter of the law, there can be 
but little hope of forming an exemplary and useful 
parochial ministry. There is no way of evading the 
regulations of such statutes, and of the temporal 
penalties that they provide, of which they will not 


avail themselves. In this act, the time between serving 
the first monition to reside and the order for sequestering 
the profits of the benefice in case of non-compliance 
with the monition, leaves so many chances of defeating 
the wishes of the bishop, that neither that nor the 
immediate monitions produce any effect ; and when, 
to avoid the consequences of the order of sequestration, 
the person returns himself resident, there are instances 
in which, to evade the penalties of the third section, 
he contents himself with appearing in his benefice 
one day in every week. But the period of three years 
that must intervene before he can be deprived of his 
benefice affords a still greater encouragement to him 
to disregard all proceedings against him, when he 
has other sources to depend on besides the profit of 
his benefice. To have any prospect of rendering the 
Act effectual, the order of sequestration should issue 
in one month after serving the monition in case of 
non-compliance, and deprivation should follow a non- 
compliance of twelve months." 2 

It will be seen from these extracts that the bishop 
had no easy task before him when he undertook the 
reorganization of the See of Meath. In the replies 
to his questions, several of the clergy try to excuse 
their non-residence. Some throw the blame on the 
late rebellion. The Vicar of Athboy, for example, 
says : " It is not quite two years since I got this parish. 
As soon as I could hire a house I came to reside. This 
was at the eve of the rebellion. Upon the breaking 
out of the rebellion most of the Protestant families fled. 
I did so too. The illness and death of a near relative 
obliged me to be absent for a considerable time this 
summer, but I purpose carrying your lordship's 
intentions into execution, and discharging my own 

* Papers relating to the State of the Church of Ireland, 1820 (Blue Book). 

MEATH IN 1799 135 

duty." He does not explain, however, how he is going 
to do this, and at the same time fulfil his duty as vicar 
choral of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, which 
office he held at the same time. 

The incumbent of Rathmolyon gives his excuses 
very concisely. " Incumbent does not reside at 
present. Reasons are : advanced age, very infirm 
health, perturbate be times, lonely situation of the 
glebe-house, unspeakable terrors of the female part 
of incumbent's family." The parson of Agher is more 
diffuse. He says, " I have served my cure in person 
previous to the rebellion, which occasioned me to keep 
a curate, whose situation, having a house in a town, 
made it safer for him than me to attend, whose house 
being remote from a town was unsafe to inhabit from 
the two attacks made on it, though providentially 
repelled. I did not think it prudent to run the risque 
of a third, and therefore followed with my family the 
Wicklow regiment through their several routes. I am 
sorry to be obliged to answer another question of the 
No. ii (as to residence), which necessarily involves me 
in the same predicament Saint Paul was in, namely, 
self-condemnation. I never had any sick and dying 
poor person in any place that I did not first con- 
scientiously discharge the duties of my function, and 
next enquired into their several necessities, whether of 
medicine, wine, bread, or meat, which I immediately 
relieved as far as I was able, and often raised con- 
tributions that effectually relieved the parties after." 

Excuses like these were not always accepted by the 
bishop. The following is the account of himself given 
by the Incumbent of Rathconrath : "I have two very 
small parishes, one of the Rectory and Vicarage of 
Rathconrath, which, although containing above 4,000 
acres, yet the country has ever been so lawless, scarce 


any tithe could be got in the year 1775. I served 
the cure of Almoritia immediately adjoining Rath- 
conrath, for in that parish there is no church nor 
Protestant inhabitant, viz., Rathconrath. I resided 
there not many months till my cattle were houghed, 
and many threatening letters sent to me, and billets 
stuck, intimating that if I ever attempted claiming any 
tithes I should have the fate of my cattle. Whereupon 
I fled to Dublin, and in the following year, with the 
consent of their Graces the Lord Primate and the 
Archbishop of Dublin, and their Lordships the Bishops 
of Meath and Kildare, I solicited and obtained the 
chaplaincy of the Lying-in Hospital." The bishop was 
quite unmoved by this sorrowful tale, and administered 
a sharp rebuke. His note is : "Mr. Ould to be 
particularly cited to account for his abandoning this 
parish in the manner he has done, and injuring it 
as well in its spirituals as temporals." 

In some cases, the clergy tried to hide from the 
bishop the fact that they were non-resident. Of the 
Rector of Rat oath he writes : " His manner of 
answering my query respecting his terrier deserves 
animadversion, as does indeed the whole style of his 
answers, and particularly his asserting that he performs 
occasional duty, and concealing from me that he was 
residing in England." And concerning Ballyboy, he 
writes : " What does Mr. Kimmis mean by saying 
that he generally resides in his glebe house ? He must 
have a resident curate for each church, unless he 
chooses to do the duty of one of them constantly 
in a constant residence, and not occasionally, as he 
now appears to do." 

These are just a few typical examples of the 
difficulties with which the bishop had to deal in this 
matter of non-residence. The abuse was of long 

MEATH IN 1799 137 

standing, and required a strong hand to deal with it. 
We can only wonder that in the end O'Beirne was so 
successful in bringing about a better order of things. 

In most cases of non-residence a curate of one kind 
or another was provided. Several of them appear to 
have been not very efficient, but of course it is to be 
remembered that in an account like this, it is the 
less efficient ones that mostly come under notice, and 
that the great majority of them must have done their 
duty faithfully and well. Their lot was not very 
happy, and they were looked down upon by their 
rectors in a way that would not be tolerated for a 
moment in these days. The following extracts will 
show the somewhat contemptuous way in which they 
were regarded by the beneficed clergy, and may perhaps 
give some idea of the unpleasant position in which they 
were placed. 

The Vicar of Galtrim writes : " The vicar serves 
his cure in person. He found a licensed curate, and 
keeps him, to the great satisfaction of the parishioners, 
the curacy being to him, poor man, a great object." 
In much the same strain the Incumbent of Clongill 
tells the bishop : "I do attend myself, and also have 
a curate, who is not licensed. My reason for keeping 
him, is that the late Bishop of Meath desired I should 
do so till he could procure some other situation for him 
as he (Mr. Garnett) was a worthy attentive man, and 
had been at much expenes in settling himself as 
conveniently as possible to the parish." 

The tragic story of the Curate of Tara is told in 
few words by the incumbent. He says : " My health 
does not permit me to serve the cure in person, but 
the duty was faithfully and conscientiously discharged, 
to the entire satisfaction of the parishioners, by the 
Reverend Mr. Nelson, who was murdered in his own 


house last summer at noon day by the rebels. Since 
his death the duty is performed by Mr. Ingham, who 
lives within a short distance of the church, till your 
Lordship shall be pleased to grant a licence to the Rev. 
Mr. Woods, who has my nominations." The vicar 
seems quite satisfied with himself and with the way 
in which the duty of the parish was performed. The 
bishop, however, took quite another view, and cited 
him to the adjourned visitation, admonishing him to 
provide immediately resident curates for both his 
churches. In this case the vicar proved refractory, and 
eventually the bishop had to take measures for his 

The Incumbent of Wherry has a complaint against 
one of his curates. He says : "My curate, Mr. Maxwell, 
discharges his duty to the great satisfaction of his 
parishioners and most unwearied diligence. My other 
curate, Mr. Hamilton, is quite of a different character, 
not liked by the parish, and does not pay such attention. 
He is licensed, so I can't dismiss him. I take care to 
have the duty well attended, and I hope at your 
Lordship's visitation to get you to remove Mr. 
Hamilton." He did not find the bishop as ready to 
fall in with his ideas as he expected. The incumbent 
held also the parish of Belturbet in the Diocese of 
Kilmore, where he sometimes resided, but he spent 
most of his time in England. This method of ful- 
filling his duty did not commend itself to the diocesan 
and accordingly, he makes the note : "To take any 
legal steps to deprive Doctor Maxwell (the incumbent), 
unless he comes from England to reside." He takes 
no notice of the complaint against the curate. 

In other cases, the incumbent seems to have known 
little, and probably cared less, about the character of 
the curate who performed for him the duties of his 

MEATH IN 1799 139 

office. The Vicar of Trivett reports : "I have a 
licenced curate. He informs me that till the late 
rebellion he lived in Mr. Gorges' house. I never 
received any complaints from the parishioners of his 
neglecting his duty." The bishop's note is : " He only 
concludes that the curate did his duty because the 
parishioners made no complaints, and because the 
curate tells him so/' and he directs that the incumbent 
be specially cited to appear at the adjourned visitation. 
In the case of the parish of Moyglare, too, the bishop 
says : " What cause had he to call on his parishioners 
for the character of his curate ? This curate has pre- 
ferred a complaint against him. A suit must be 
enquired into." 

It was new to the Diocese of Meath to have at 
its head such a vigorous ruler. The extracts given 
above will give some idea of the difficulty of the work 
that lay before him, and of the determination with 
which he took up the arduous task. He was met in 
many cases with passive resistance. Some of the clergy 
did not answer his queries ; others absented themselves 
from the visitation. These were soon made to feel 
that the new bishop was a man with whom they could 
not trifle. An adjourned visitation was held, to which 
they were cited, and if they still proved contumacious, 
proceedings were at once taken against them. The imme- 
diate effect was salutary in every way, although it was 
only after some years of unyielding perseverance that 
the full effect of the bishop's reforms was made manifest. 
We are not surprised to find that the church fabrics 
reflected in their dilapidation and decay the unsound- 
ness of the whole body. There was scarcely a church 
in the whole diocese that did not require rebuilding 
or renovation. O'Beirne took this matter also in hand, 
and we will see later on that never, in the whole history 


of the diocese, was there such an era of church building 
as during his episcopate. 

No less than eighty-three parishes were without 
glebe-houses, and the worst of this was that the want 
of them was not felt, for why should a glebe-house 
be built when there was no resident clergyman to 
inhabit it ? In some cases the house which did exist 
was quite unsuitable. The following is the account 
given by the Incumbent of Dunboyne : "I have an 
acre of glebe joining the churchyard, on which is 
built an old cabin, built by subscription for a school- 
house, which was inhabited by my former clerk, until 
I came to reside in my parish ; in which house I have 
continued ever since, and is now in the most ruinous 
condition, occasioned by the vengeance of the late 
rebels exercised on it. I built a good stable and cow 
house, with other offices, all of which were destroyed 
but the stable, and I am sure no other clergyman 
will ever reside in so poor a cabin. I have planted an 
orchard and made a very good garden, which is all 
that is valuable in my possession." The bishop was 
unmoved by this tale of woe, cited the incumbent 
to his adjourned visitation, and there censured him 
" for contempt, and for a total neglect of his parish." 

The account of the house and land at Loughcrew 
is worth quoting. The incumbent was Mr. Moor 
Smith, who held at the same time a benefice in the 
Diocese of Armagh. He says : " There was a glebe 
formerly belonging to the parish of Loughcrew of four 
acres, adjoining the churchyard, in Mr. Button's 
avenue, which was exchanged, as I am informed, 
many years ago, for twenty acres of land in the same 
estate, lying together about half a mile from the church, 
subject to a yearly rent of 8. The deed of exchange 
was never perfected, but the incumbents have enjoyed 

MEATH IN 1799 141 

it undisturbed from the beginning. There is no house 
on the present glebe, except a very wretched thatched 
cabin, unfit and incapable of being made fit for the 
residence of a family. I am informed it had been 
inhabited by the incumbent formerly. I do not reside 
in that cabin, nor have I been able to procure any 
residence in that union since I became possessed of it, 
which is little more than a year, though I have used 
my best endeavours for that purpose." 

The glebe-house of Killucan was transformed into 
a barrack, and a Hessian regiment was quartered 
there. The rector resided in Tuam, in a parish which 
he had in that diocese. He kept as curate a Mr. 
O'Burne, who lived in Kinnegad, " availing myself 
of the protection of the military quartered there." 
The literary attainments of this clergyman must have 
been very small, for the bishop's note book has the 
reminder : "To speak to him privately about the 
ortography of his answers." It will be- noted that 
the bishop himself spells the word " ortography " 
in a way which, though at one time counted correct, 
was already obsolete in his days. 

Where the income was derived from tithes, and this 
was the case in most parishes, it was gathered from 
an unwilling people, and was sometimes farmed out to 
Roman Catholic collectors, who agreed to pay the in- 
cumbent a fixed sum, making whatever profit they 
could for themselves. A more objectionable method 
could scarcely have been devised, and it proved a cause 
of frequent disturbance, sometimes ending in bloodshed. 
This was specially the case in Westmeath. 

The church services were reduced to the fewest 
possible. The Holy Communion was administered 
mostly once in three months in some places not so 
often. In the larger churches however, there was a 


monthly communion. Few of the church festivals 
were observed, except Christmas Day and Good Friday. 
In two or three churches they had service on New Year's 
Day and on Ash Wednesday, but no incumbent mentions 
service on Ascension Day, nor does Whitsunday seem 
to have been observed as a time for the celebration 
of Holy Communion. In all these points Bishop 
O'Beirne set about effecting whatever improvements 
were possible. He ordered services to be held in the 
principal parishes on Wednesdays and Fridays. He 
notes how in Athlone they used at one time to have 
daily service, and enquires why this has been dis- 
continued. He calls attention in several places to the 
disproportion between the church population and the 
number of communicants. In Enniskeen he found the 
curious arrangement of the bishop allowing a yearly 
payment to the dissenting minister for looking after 
the people. He simply states the fact without any 
comment. Altogether it must have been a new 
experience for the clergy of Meath to have a bishop 
who thus interested himself in every department of the 
work, and who was a true overseer of the work of 

In the matter of education he was equally alert. 
The Diocesan School was at that time conducted at 
Trim. The bishop puts down as subjects to be enquired 
into : " Diocesan Schoolmaster What the amount of 
his appointment ? In what state the diocesan school 
house is, and if he inhabits it ? What number of 
scholars he keeps, and how many are educated ac- 
cording to the institution ? " At the diocesan visitation 
the following note is made : " Rev. Mark Wainwright 
admonished to have the objects of the school carried 
fully and bona fide into effect. That for that purpose 
he give immediate notice that the school is open for 

MEATH IN 1799 143 

day boys, and that he make immediate preparation 
for the reception of boarders." 

It was reported of Navan School that " Rev. 
Mr. Preston, master of the school, does not keep school 
himself, but employs Rev. Mr. Toomey." Thereupon 
the bishop makes the note : "To enquire of Dr. 
Duigenan as to the legality of giving the endowed school 
to a person who neither keeps a school nor lives in the 
house, but employs a deputy. If an abuse, what steps 
must be taken to remedy it ? To enquire who are 
the trustees, and who are the visitors ? If he has 
taken out a licence from my court, or holds in any 
manner under me ? " It does not appear what was 
the result of all these enquiries, but if he effected any 
reformation, it must have been short-lived, for fifty 
years later the Royal Commissioners reported that 
11 this endowment presented one of the most remarkable 
instances of an abused trust." 

With regard to the ordinary parish schools, O'Beirne 
endeavoured to insist that every clergyman should 
establish a school in his parish. At the visitation he 
admonished the various rectors and vicars that they 
must each have a parish schoolmaster. To urge that 
there were no Protestant children in the parish was not 
accepted as a sufficient excuse. The Incumbent of 
Moymet, for instance, gave this as his reason for not 
having a parochial school. His parish was a sinecure, 
for he had no church, and not a solitary Protestant 
parishioner. The bishop, however, insisted that he 
should fulfil his duty in this way all the same. " If 
a Protestant schoolmaster cannot be got for forty 
shillings, he must give more, or teach school himself. 
He is sworn to get a master, or to teach himself." 
One cannot help asking, what kind of teacher did the 
incumbent expect to get for two pounds a year ? 


Some of the replies throw a curious light on the 
qualifications expected in a schoolmaster, and the 
emolument which was considered to be a sufficient 
remuneration for his services. The Incumbent of 
Balroddan writes that he would like to get " a man 
of good parts and moral character, and fully capable to 
perform the duties of his station." He offers the noble 
salary of twenty pounds a year, on condition that the 
schoolmaster fulfils also the duties of parish clerk, and 
seems to be surprised that after all this generosity he 
was unable to find anyone to come up to his high 
standard. His neighbour of Moyglare, however, goes 
one better than this. He says, " I have not a 
Protestant schoolmaster, nor could I procure one, 
though I offered seven pounds a year, a sum I pay to a 
master of the school in my own parish in the Diocese 
of Tuam, where I have established a Sunday school. 
I mention these circumstances as presumptions of my 
having the same good disposition towards the 
parishioners of Moyglare, which I carried into effect 
for some time by paying the Protestant schoolmaster. 
I had then, besides the usual forty shillings a year, a 
penny a head for every child of the parish without 
distinction he taught on Sunday mornings, and the 
number who attended him was about twenty ; but 
this continued only a few months, for he died about 
six years since, and I found the same impracticable 
ever since. For a time I paid a Roman Catholic master 
for teaching the Church of his persuasion those 
fundamental principles of religion in which Christians 
of all sects are agreed, but he did not receive the 
encouragement he expected from his people, and there- 
fore left them." 

Besides the instruction given in the parochial 
schools, which was evidently intended for all classes 

MEATH IN 1799 145 

Protestant and Roman Catholic alike O'Beirne in- 
sisted on the duty of each clergyman himself giving 
religious instruction to the children of his own people. 
The replies given under this head are some of them 
curious and interesting. The Vicar of Oldcastle says, 
" I have a schoolmaster and pay him a salary. He 
teaches the children to say the Church Catechism, and 
brings them to the church, and leaves to the clergyman 
to explain it. It is no easy matter to get these sort 
properly qualified." The rector of Newtown 
Fertullagh goes more into detail. He says, " With 
respect to the public religious instruction of the children 
of the parish, I am obliged to acknowledge some 
neglect. I have certainly too remissly insisted, and 
their parents perhaps have been too backward in 
sending them to church for that purpose. During one 
summer only out of three did I regularly succeed in 
bringing a few of them together on Sundays, after the 
celebration of Divine service, when my examination 
was such as appeared to myself best calculated to 
discover what they knew, and to suggest to them what 
they knew not. I have since thought that the printed 
explanation by Stopford would prove an important 
help to them, and have procured a sufficient number 
of them, of which I have not yet made use. I must, 
however, in extenuation, observe that the children who 
attend me were not neglected by their parents, but 
had been properly instructed in the Church Catechism ; 
that the number of those in the parish who are of age 
to profit or to need this mode of instruction is extremely 
small ; and that the church of an adjacent parish, from 
its proximity to the most populous part of mine, is 
habitually resorted to by many of my parishioners." 
The neighbouring parish here referred to is doubtless 
Clonfadforan. The rector there says ; " The children 



in my parish are instructed in the principles of their 
religion by their parents, being chiefly Methodists. I 
have lately examined them in the Church Catechism, 
and found them instructed." 

The only other officer about whom information was 
asked was the parish clerk, and under this head some 
of the replies are most amusing. In Loughcrew, 
his qualifications are said to be " moderate and much 
on a level with the generality of clerks in country 
churches." In Oldcastle, he was " very well qualified, 
but in a bad state of health, and not well able to sing 
the psalms." The clerk at Rathcore, we are told, 
" reads tolerably well ; he does not attempt to sing." 
In Trivett, he is said to be " perfectly superannuated." 
In Moyglare, the vicar writes, " The parish clerk is as 
sufficient as parish clerks in general are, who, to do 
them justice, are shamefully deficient in one part of 
their duty, that of psalmody, which, from the manner 
they perform it, instead of exciting devotion, has 
often the contrary effect on light minds." The parish 
clerk of Kingscourt has the pre-eminence among them 
all : " He is a well-conducted man, but the worst clerk 
in this or any other diocese." 

The following account of the charities of Athboy 
is worth reproducing : " I know of no charitable 
foundation except a bequest of 10 per annum by a 
Mr. Cusack, for apprenticing children, viz., two boys 
yearly. This money is regularly paid by the governors 
of Stephen's Hospital, Dublin. To that hospital Mr. 
Cusack left a handsome estate near the town of Athboy 
several years ago. One of the Bligh family bequeathed 
1,500, the interest of which was to be distributed 
amongst the poor of the parish. The poor received 
this interest for some time, but as the money was not 
willed to trustees, the agent, one of the Tandys, kept 

MEATH IN 1799 147 

the principal, and refused to pay the interest any 
longer. Some time after this, another of the Tandys, 
thinking his relation's conduct disgraceful to the family 
name, left 1,500 to replace this money, but he com- 
mitted the same error in not naming trustees, of which 
advantage was taken by Tandy of Johnsbrook, in my 
parish, who refused to pay principal or interest. Such 
are the accounts I have received of these transactions. 
Within these two years there have been some houses 
called alms houses, erected in this town by Lord 
Darnley. They are wretchedly built, and have been 
in an unfinished state for some time. They are, how- 
ever inhabited, and there is a grocer's shop kept in one 
of them, with a licence board over the door, though 
they are called alms houses ! ! ! " 

Putting all these extracts together, we can form a 
fairly accurate picture of church life in Meath at the 
beginning of the nineteenth century. It is evident 
that things were at the lowest possible ebb. The 
beneficed clergy non-resident, and the duty performed 
by curates whose emoluments were altogether in- 
sufficient for the position in which they were placed. 
The churches dilapidated and unsightly. The services 
few and slovenly. The psalmody left to the efforts 
of incompetent parish clerks. One cannot help 
wondering how the Church ever survived. We have 
already seen how, more than once, she was brought 
low by attacks from without. We see at this time 
how she was abased by those of her own house. Twenty 
years later, when Bishop O'Beirne was near his end, 
all this was altered. Thanks to his energy and 
enthusiasm, the old abuses were to a great extent 
swept away, and in the Providence of God he 
was spared long enough to see with his own eyes the 
reward of his labours. 



THE story of Bishop O'Beirne's episcopate, extending 
over a period of about twenty-five years, is the story 
of continuous improvement and reform. At the outset 
he announced what his course of action was to be, 
and to the end he never for a moment faltered or 
flinched. How much need there was for improvement 
we have already seen in the last chapter. The evils 
that were then complained of were not new. Non- 
residence, pluralities, ruinous churches, want of glebe- 
houses the Irish Church had suffered from all these 
things from the first day that Englishmen had mixed 
themselves up in her affairs. One could scarcely hope 
then that abuses of such long standing would disappear 
all in a moment. But O'Beirne was a man of great 
strength of will and earnestness of purpose, and he set 
himself resolutely to the task that lay before him. He 
had intense love for the Church, and it grieved him 
to see the desolation that had been brought about by 
the neglect of many generations. The result of his 
labour was that at the end of his episcopate he could 
point triumphantly to changed conditions all round. 

He first attacked the non-residents, with a success 
which we have already noted. We need not be sur- 
prised to learn that he encountered considerable 
opposition. Cumbrous and tedious law proceedings 
were often necessary when clergymen proved con- 
tumacious, and there were cases in which these 


impediments were used to the utmost. In this 
connection, it is interesting to note that the bishop, in 
one case at least, contemplated the use of the ecclesias- 
tical punishment of excommunication to be inflicted on 
those who refused to submit to his authority. We have 
no means of finding out whether he actually put the 
excommunication into force, but that he was minded 
to do so is shown by the following letter from his 
chancellor, Doctor Duigenan : 


There is no doubt that you have full "authority to excom- 
municate Mr. Clewloe for his contumacy in not appearing, 
but he must be suspended prior to his excommunication. 
(See 71 canon). I think your Lordship should proceed against 
him according to the Non-residence Act of last session, but, 
perhaps this may become unnecessary by the proceedings 
already in progress against him. 

I beg that your Lordship will present my most humble 
respects to Mrs. O'Beirne and the young ladies. 

I have the honour to be, 

My Lord, 

Your most faithful and obedient Servant, 


Henrietta Street, Dublin, 
December 30th, 1808. x 

Mr. Clewloe was Incumbent of Vastina, and it 
would appear that the bishop acted on his chancellor's 
advice and deprived him, for we find that six months 
later than the date of this letter a new clergyman 
was appointed to the parish. 

Connected with the subject of non-residence was 
that of the want of glebes and glebe-houses. At the 
very first visitation therefore a large number of the 
clergy were admonished to build. As time went on, the 

Record Office, Dublin. 


bishop kept urging the necessity of having a proper resi- 
dence for the clergyman in every parish, until at length 
he had procured the erection of no less than seventy-two 
new houses in the diocese. When a house had been 
built in a parish, it became possible for the bishop to 
insist that the clergyman should occupy it. As long as 
the parishes were without glebe-houses, the constant 
excuse of the non-resident was that he could get no 
house in his parish in which it was possible for him to 

He was equally successful in the matter of churches. 
The large number of fifty-seven that is, considerably 
more than one-half of the total number of churches 
were erected during his episcopate. The architectural 
designs of these buildings left much to be desired. 
They are, indeed, it must be confessed, hopelessly 
uninteresting and featureless. We cannot help 
regretting that in some cases the old churches were not 
preserved. But while we may thus have misgivings 
from the aesthetic point of view, we cannot but admit 
that practically it was a great boon to the Church to 
have these plain and barn-like, but sound and 
serviceable, buildings for the celebration of public 
worship, instead of the ruinous structures with which 
she had to be contented for so long. There is a tablet 
in Kilshine Church, which commemorates the building 
of that edifice, and sets forth the work which the 
bishop accomplished in the diocese. It is as follows : 

The rebuilding and restoring of this Parish Church, 

After it had laid in ruin for upwards of a century, 

Were the effects of the pious exertions of 

That excellent Prelate, 

The Right Honourable and Most Reverend Father in God, 
Doctor Thomas Lewis O'Beirne, 

Lord Bishop of Meath, 
Who in the conscientious discharge 


Of the functions of his high and important office 
Not only caused many other Churches in this Diocese 

To be rebuilt and restored, 
But procured for that most respectable Body, 

The Reverend the Parochial Clergy, 
Residences and Glebes within their respective Livings, 
Suitable as far as it was possible to their situations, 
Thereby enabling them duly to discharge the duties of 

Resident Protestant Clergymen, 

And to dispense to their Parishioners of that Persuasion 
The invaluable comforts of 

Our Blessed Religion. 
Aided by a pecuniary grant of 1600 from the Board of First 

Obtained through the Intercession of His Lordship the Bishop 

of Meath, 

John Pollock, of Mountainstown, Esq., 
Accomplished the rebuilding of this Church, 
Which was restored, 
Ann. Dom. 1815. 

In 1807 there was a return made to the government 
giving the state of the Diocese of Meath. A similar 
return was furnished in 1820. The phraseology of 
the summary in both these documents is identical, 
and is manifestly copied one from the other, but the 
numbers are very different, and comparing them one 
with the other, we see what wonderful progress had 
been made in the interval. 

In the report of 1807, we read : 

The Diocese of Meath consists of 92 benefices, 46 of which 
are unions. On these benefices, 45 incumbents actually reside. 
Of the 47 who do not reside, 10 have no glebe-houses, but 
live sufficiently near to their respective benefices to discharge 
their duties without inconvenience. 19 have other livings on 
which they reside, and hold by faculty. 13 are absent with 
permission ; 2 without permission ; 2 benefices are vacant ; 
and i is a sinecure. There are 90 churches, 37 glebe-houses, 
75 glebes, and 17 benefices without glebes. There are 12 
benefices without churches, 54 without glebe-houses, and ,17 


without glebes. There are likewise in the Diocese of Meath, 
13 benefices of different denominations without churches, 
without glebe-houses, and without any ecclesiastical income 

With this, let us now compare the Report of 1820. 
The word " dispensation " is substituted for " faculty ; " 
otherwise the paragraph is repeated word for word : 

The Diocese of Meath consists of 101 benefices, 42 of which 
are unions. On these benefices 79 incumbents actually reside. 
Of the 22 who do not reside, 2 have no glebe-houses, but live 
sufficiently near to their respective benefices to discharge 
their duties without inconvenience. 10 have other livings, 
in which they reside, and hold by dispensation, 6 are absent 
with permission ; 2 without permission, i benefice is vacant, 
and i is a sinecure. There are 94 churches, 83 glebe-houses 
95 glebes, and 6 benefices without glebes. There are II, 
benefices without churches, 18 without glebe-houses, and 6 
without glebes. There are likewise in the Diocese of Meath, 
13 benefices of different denominations without churches, 
without glebe-houses, and without any ecclesiastical income 

The following lists are given in Bishop O'Beirne's 
own handwriting in a book preserved in the Record 
Office, Dublin. The date is not given, but the 
account must have been drawn up sometime towards 
the close of his episcopate. 



Donagh Patrick. Newtown Fertullagh. 

Painestown. Tullamore. 

Ballymaglasson. Vastina. 

Dunboyne. Kilkenny West. 



Moymet. *Drumraney Perpetual Curacy. 

Killohanagan Perpetual Curacy. Wherry Perpetual Curacy. 

*Mayne Perpetual Curacy. 

Killiagh Perpetual Curacy. 


Saint Mary's Drogheda. 


*Stonehall Perpetual Curacy. 



*Clara Perpetual Curacy. 

Kilbixy Perpetual Curacy. 




Rahan Perpetual Curacy. 

Moat, a House, Offices, and 

Garden in the town. 
Ardagh Perpetual Curacy. 
Kilbride Pilate. 

Durrow Perpetual Curacy. 

[NOTE. The four perpetual curacies marked with an 
asterisk are erased in the original document.] 


Donagh Patrick. 











Castletown Delvin. 













Knockmark. 2 










Drumraney. 2 
Saint Mary's, 


Tullamore Kilbride 


Newtown Fertullagh Colpe. 

Vastina. Kilbixey. 


Kilkenny West. 


Drumraney. 2 

Knockmark. 2 

Kilcleagh. } Money 

Ardagh. ~^ 

KillohanganJ building. 

2 It will be noted that the Parishes of Knockmark and Drumraney occur 
twice in this list, evidently a mistake: 



Donogh Patrick. Killiagh. Tissauran. 

Kilmainham Wood. Tullamore Kilbride. Gallen. 

Kilshiney. Colpe. Killoughey. 

Ardagh. Kilbrady. Vastina. 

Skryne. Stonehall. Knockmark. 

Rathbeggan. Castlelost, Beggar's Rathcondra. 

Ballymaglasson. Bridge. Bunowen. 

Mayne. Churchtown. Kilbride Pilate. 


Kells. Oldcastle. Leney. 

Dunshaughlin. Clonard. Ballyloughloe. 

Kentstown. Rathwire. Forgney. 

Enniskeen. Dmmcree. Moate, enlarged. 

Kilmoon. St. Mary's,Drogheda Duleek. 

Agher. Mullingar. Tara, rebuilding. 

Kilbrew. Ballyboy Ratoath. 

Trim. Kilbeggan. Castlepollard. 

Navan. Almoritia. 

Killohangan 1 Votes of Vestry passed for 
Bannagher V Rebuilding them on 
Castle Town J Loans from the First Fruits. 

When we examine these long lists, we get some 
idea of how great a debt the Diocese of Meath owes 
to Bishop O'Beirne. We see that there is scarcely 
a parish within its bounds which does not at this present 
moment show some token of his energy and zeal. 
He found the diocese in a state of disorder and decay : 
he left it well organized and efficient. Indeed we 
may say of Meath to-day that it is what Bishop O'Beirne 
made it. Other bishops, before his time and since, 
ruay have surpassed him in some ways, for we have 
had amongst them profound scholars, brilliant orators, 
and great writers ; but as a ruler and shepherd 


of souls, we may safely say of him that he was the 
greatest bishop that Meath has ever seen. 

But we are not to suppose that O'Beirne spent all 
his energies on externals, such as the building of 
churches and the providing of residences. In other 
respects, too, he aimed at raising his diocese to a high 
state of efficiency. We have seen that he himself had 
remarkable gifts as a preacher, and we find that he 
endeavoured to promote the cultivation of preaching 
power amongst his clergy. In 1810 he made this the 
subject of his Visitation Charge, and a copious extract 
from that document will be of interest, not only for the 
light which it throws on the character of the bishop 
and the state of his diocese, but also for the information 
which it contains about the state of the whole Church 
of Ireland at that time. 

He takes for his text the prayer, " That God would 
be pleased to illuminate us all in our several stations 
in His church with true knowledge and understanding 
of His Word, and that both by our preaching and 
living we may set it forth and show it accordingly." 
He speaks of the duty of censuring sin, and says : 

There is no part of our function that requires to be managed 
with more meekness of wisdom, as the apostle beautifully 
expresses it, than the reprobation of vice, and the checking 
of the dissolute and profane when in the ordinary commerce 
of society, in which we must engage, they give a loose to their 
vicious habits, and insult us with licentious and irreligious con- 
versation Within the precincts of your respective cures f 

and among your own parishioners, the call of duty is different. 
There, no flagrant violation of the public morals, no professed 
enmity to our holy religion, no open or avowed contempt of its 
faith, its discipline, or its ordinances, should ever elude your 
observation or escape your censure. No rank should be too 
high to induce you to overlook the pernicious example set 
to your flock . . . Open rebuke should seldom be tried : it 
should never be tried until private remonstrance shall have 


failed. . . . Neither will the spirit of the times admit of 
your enforcing that public discipline which in the earlier and 
more pious days of the Reformation provided for the 
exemplary punishment of notable crimes and notorious 
contumacy. Should the notoriety and the publicity of their 
delinquency bear you out, do not suffer them to profane the 
Blessed Sacrament, but privately warn them not to present 
themselves at the Holy Table, that you may not be necessitated 
to refuse them the Bread and Wine, as the rubric, which is law 
for you, directs you to do in all instances of open and notorious 
evil livers. 

From this we may conclude that the bishop desired 
to see in each parish something of that discipline which 
he was endeavouring to establish in the diocese. We 
have no means of knowing how far such an effort was 
made, or if made, how far it was successful. Probably, 
in many cases he received no great co-operation from 
the clergy. They had been too long accustomed to a 
lax discipline, and they were too many of them offenders 
themselves, to enter much into the spirit of a reform 
such as the bishop desired. Yet we can scarcely think 
that these weighty admonitions were altogether 
without result, delivered as they were in such impressive 
language, and backed with such an excellent example. 

He does not appear to have had much admiration 
for the training that divinity students got in those days, 
for he says that " from the course of studies in which 
persons destined for Orders are engaged previous to 
their admission to the ministry, and which, it is to 
be lamented, is so very unappropriate to the functions 
for which they are designed, it is not to be expected 
that immediately on their nomination to a cure of souls 
they should possess that knowledge of the Scriptures 
and of the works that have been written to interpret 
and illustrate them, that would enable them to become 
competent teachers of the Word." He suggests, 


as the safest method, to begin by selecting from the 
works of the great masters in the art of preaching who 
have gone before them, the matter if not the form of 
their public discources. But discretion, he says, 
is needful in selection, for " what can be so lamentable 
as to see a congregation of farmers, mechanics, and 
labourers, frustrated of every hope of improvement 
they indulge in at the return of every Sabbath, by a 
minister who selects for them some of the highly 
finished compositions with which such preachers as 
Blair so powerfully affected, and so luminously in- 
structed the refined audience to whom they addressed 
their sermons." 

About five years before the delivery of this charge, 
Dean Kirwan, the celebrated preacher, had passed away. 
He it was of whom Grattan said that, " he came to 
interrupt the repose of the pulpit, and he shakes one 
world with the thunder of the other." Like O'Beirne, 
he had begun life as a member of the Church of Rome. 
Like him, too, he had gone to Saint Omer's College 
for his education. O'Beirne left that college in 1768 ; 
Kirwan left it in 1771 ; so there is the possibility that 
they may have been both in that seminary at the 
same time. All this renders the following criticism of 
Kirwan the more interesting. It is evident, from 
what the bishop says, that the dean had many 
imitators. Indeed, it is said that he founded a new 
school of pulpit eloquence in the Irish Church. O'Beirne, 
however, was by no means inclined to encourage the 
new style of oratory, and his strictures are of his usual 
vigorous kind. 

You will not take for your model (he says), those 
pompous haranguers who always declaim, but never discourse 
nor talk to their hearers who mount the pulpit on stilts 
who despise all use of natural and familiar language, as 


belonging to a flat or creeping style and who place all the 
perfection of pulpit eloquence, some in an unceasing flow of 
rounded periods, some in epigrammatic points and well turned 
conceits, some in repeated flashes of brilliant expressions, 
strained metaphors, and figures so far-fetched as to defy all 

An attempt has been lately made in this country to form 
a school of this false and tinsel school of pulpit eloquence. The 
great master of that school, although possessed of great natural 
powers to move the passions, to amuse the fancy, and to 
captivate the ear, yet was unqualified from the course of his 
early studies for filling the pulpit in the character of a Protestant 
parochial minister. He was uneducated and unexercised in 
that species of eloquence that peculiarly belongs to it. His 
attempt was to introduce the declamatory, florid, and highly 
ornamented style of the French preachers, and their theatrical 
manner and vehement gesticulations, instead of the sober, 
modest, chastened style, manner and delivery, that dis- 
tinguishes the fathers of our Church, that are suited to the 
spirit of our reformed religion ; less impassioned, but more 
lastingly impressive ; full of weight and gravity, and necessarily 
adopted by all who address the reason and the conviction, 
before they attempt the heart and its affections. His dis- 
courses were like most French discourses pictures of the 
age, and invectives against its follies and disorders, more than 
vehicles for conveying Gospel truths and Gospel principles, 
or than enforcement of Gospel duties. . . . These were the 
" thunders by which he broke the slumber of the pulpit," 
(an affected and invidious phrase so often quoted) and kept 
those awake who probably would have slept with the young 
man in the Acts of the Apostles, if Saint Paul himself preached 
the Gospel to them. This extraordinary man for such he 
doubtless was had for some time many imitators among 
the younger clergy, who were ambitious to share in the 
celebrity he had acquired. But, like all imitations, they copied 
all his faults and imperfections, without the fascinations of 
genius that in him covered them all. 

In the concluding part of the charge, the bishop 
deals with sectaries, and with the duty of preaching 
against them ; but he adds the warning that where 
they have not made their appearance, " it may be the 
more prudent way not to force them on the notice 


of your parishioners ; " adding that " in most parts 
of this diocese they are unknown." 

Meath probably had to thank the sparseness of her 
population more than anything else for her comparative 
freedom from sectaries. In other parts of the country, 
and possibly in parts of Meath also, they seem to have 
been particularly active about this time. O'Beirne's 
method of dealing with them was to increase the 
earnestness and zeal of the clergy. He addressed a 
letter to his rural deans in 1821 on this subject. His 
words would be applicable in some respects to the 
present day. He says : 

It is the reproach of her enemies that her clergy have in 
general become so secularized that they have lost the stamp 
of their holy profession, and we every day hear it admitted 
by her nominal friends that it is not without reason that 
sectaries and seceders arrogate to themselves the exclusive 
praise of that zealous discharge of the pastoral duties, to which 
every minister of the Gospel pledges himself, on his having 
the care of souls committed to him in the Lord. 

As to what depends on me, what I have chiefly at heart is 
to see, before I shall be called away to answer for my own 
stewardship, the establishment of a parochial clergy in the 
diocese, who should manifest the zeal of those sectaries and 
seceders, without the fanaticism and excluding spirit that serve 
only to render their zeal dangerous, and destructive of all 
Christian morality and true religion. It would be to see that 
every officiating minister whom I should license should be as 
distinguished for assiduity and earnestness in preserving all 
who are committed to his charge from being tainted and led 
away by false teachers, who are daily multiplying around us, 
as those teachers are in gaining proselytes from the Established 
Church. While professing to teach her articles of faith, they 
pervert them as they pervert the Scriptures, and deduce from 
them doctrines which the pious and learned compilers of them, 
and all their most distinguished successors, have uniformly 
condemned as unknown to the Gospel. 

Severe must be the account which every individual amongst 
us shall have to give, when his ministry is ended with his life, 
if he shall be found to have discharged that ministry with the 


torpor and lnke-warmncss that so evidently bespeak the total 
absence of that primitive spirit, to which, I fear, we are in a 
great measure to attribute the apathy in all matters of their 
religion that characterizes so many amongst the Protestants of 
this country, and the little attachment they show to the 
pure and reformed church into which they have been baptized. 

The " sectaries and seceders " which the bishop had 
immediately in his mind when he made these observa- 
tions were the agents of the Hibernian Bible Society. 
It is a fundamental principle of that society as at 
present constituted that it is simply the handmaid 
of other organizations, and that it should therefore 
confine itself to the task of circulating the Scriptures, 
without note or comment. In the early years of the 
nineteenth century, however, things were differently 
managed, and the methods of the society failed to 
commend themselves to many sober- minded Churchmen. 
Remonstrances were made from time to time, and 
animated discussions took place both in the committee 
and at the public meetings of the society. In the end, 
the Irish bishops as a body withdrew their patronage, 
and severed their connection with that organization. 
O'Beirne tells us that " the management of the 
Hibernian Bible Society has entirely fallen into the 
hands of sectaries and seceders, and the establishment 
of their auxiliary societies, wherever it takes place 
through the country, has for its immediate object the 
increase of the number of their proselytes, and the 
extension and prevalence of their doctrines." 

It was characteristic of Bishop O'Beirne that his 
opposition to the methods of the Bible Society did 
not take the shape of mere destructive criticism, but 
of vigorous counter organization. He directed each 
rural dean to form a deanery branch of the Diocesan 
Bible Society, which was affiliated with the Association 


for Promoting Christian Knowledge. They were to 
" make every exertion to procure the countenance and 
co-operation of the respectable laymen in their respec- 
tive deaneries, and their presence at the meetings 
appointed by the rural dean for the promotion of 
the important object of the society, that of dis- 
seminating the Scriptures, the Book of Common 
Prayer, and tracts breathing the genuine spirit and 
inculcating the pure morals and unadulterated doctrines 
of the Gospel." The clergy were all directed to aid in 
this, and the bishop adds : "I could not experience 
a more sensible mortification than to find that in some 
instances the rural dean cannot induce the clergy of 
his deanery to take any active part in the formation of 
these societies, or to attend the meetings ; and I repeat 
that the clergyman who betrays such a want of feeling 
of what he owes to his own character and to his sacred 
profession, must expect to have his name brought by 
me before his brethren at the visitation, with the stigma 
he so justly deserves." 

The friction with the Bible Society continued for a 
considerable time, and some strong language was used 
on both sides. Conciliatory resolutions were passed 
at the meetings of the society, but the language of 
individual members who took part in the debate 
scarcely accorded with the moderate tone of these 
resolutions. One speaker, a beneficed clergyman of 
the Diocese of Dublin, referring to the secession of his 
own diocesan, spoke of it as " the lopping off of rotten 
branches giving fresh vigour to the tree, and a promise 
of more abundant and better fruit." Happily these 
differences have long since been adjusted. Even the 
" Meath Bible Society," formed, as we have seen, in 
direct opposition to the Hibernian Bible Society, is now 
an auxiliary to that institution. 



This controversy with the Hibernian Bible Society 
took place in the year 1821, when the bishop was 
already an old man, and indeed was nearing his end. 
It tells us how he retained his energy to the last, and 
was keenly alive to the welfare of his diocese. 

It is to Bishop O'Beirne that we owe the first 
establishment of clerical meetings in the Church of 
Ireland. We have no records to show whether he 
actually held such assemblies in the Diocese of Meath, 
but the presumption is that he did so, for during the 
short time that he presided over the Diocese of Ossory 
he established them there, and they continued as 
long as he was bishop of that See. In the circular which 
he issued on that occasion he speaks of the project 
as one which he had " very much at heart." He drew 
up the following rules for the conduct of the meetings, 
and we learn from them that they were carried on 
practically in the same way as the clerical meetings 
of the present day. 


To interpret and explain the New Testament, beginning 
by the Gospel of St. Matthew, and going through four chapters 
at least at each meeting. 

Each person to come prepared to expound the original Greek 
and acquainted with such commentaries as he can procure, 
according to his convenience and means. 

The explanation to be followed by a lecture on the chapter 
that shall have been expounded ; which lecture the bishop 
is to prepare. 

To conclude with an enquiry into the principal events, and 
the principal agents of the several ages of the Church, beginning 
by the first age. 

The meeting to be held in the Cathedral Library (which 
is open for the convenience of those who wish to consult what- 
ever books may be found there proper for the occasion) and to 
dine with the bishop. 2 

a Madden, Memoir of the latt Rev. Pettr Re, 


In the year 1821, Bishop O'Beirne undertook 
his last confirmation tour. There is a short account 
of it in Saunder's News Letter of August the fourth in 
that year, which may here be reproduced : 

The Lord Bishop of Meath, attended by the Rev. Mr. 
Pakenham as chaplain, arrived in Mullingar on Saturday last 
in order to consecrate the church ; but unhappily some cir- 
cumstance occurred which prevented its accomplishment. 
However, his Lordship, anxious for the accommodation of the 
parishioners, has licensed the church, until an opportunity shall 
occur, when he will perform the ceremony as he had originally 
intended. He preached on Sunday on the subject of Con- 
firmation. To show the hallowed respect which every member 
of the Protestant Church should feel for her ordinances, the 
Bishop of Meath has ventured, almost at the risk of his life, 
to journey from one end of the diocese to the other, to perform 
the ceremony of Confirmation. 

Bishop O'Beirne died at Ardbraccan on the 
I7th of February, 1823. A tablet erected to his 
memory in the Parish Church very fittingly recounts 
the progress of the diocese during his episcopate as 
the most appropriate record of his life. It reads as 
follows : 

Near this Place are interred the Mortal Remains of 

The Most Reverend and Right Honorable 


Lord Bishop of Meath, 
The Chief Objects of whose Life were 
To promote Happiness in his Family by Affection and 


And to diffuse Piety and Holiness through his Diocese, 
By guiding and directing his Parochial Clergy 

In the Performance of the Awful Duties 
Incumbent on them as Ministers of the United Church. 
During the 25 Years that he presided over this See 

There were erected in it 
72 Glebe Houses and 57 Churches 
He died February I7th, 1823, 
Aged 76 Years. 


ON the death of Bishop O'Beirne speculation was 
naturally rife as to his successor in the See of Meath. 
Among the names mentioned was that of the brother 
of the Duke of Wellington. The following paragraph 
appeared in the Dublin Evening Post on February 2/th, 
1823, just ten days after the death of the bishop : 


Some of the London papers state that the Irish Bishopric 
of Meath, vacant by the recent death of Doctor O'Beirne, 
has been offered to the Honourable and Reverend Gerard 
Wellesley, brother of our illustrious chief governor. The 
Morning Chronicle intimates that the offer has been accepted 
and that the appointment has already actually taken place. 

In this case the forecast for it was nothing more 
was mistaken. The choice of the Crown was the Right 
Reverend Nathaniel Alexander, who had been con- 
secrated Bishop of Clonfert in 1801, and translated to 
Down and Connor in 1823. He was the eldest son of 
Robert Alexander, Esquire, elder brother to James 
first Earl of Caledon, and was uncle to our present 
illustrious Primate, to whom he had a remarkable 
resemblance in his personal appearance. Like most 
of his predecessors, he became a member of the Privy 
Council. He continued to rule the See of Meath until 
his death, which took place in 1840. 

It was well for the diocese that it had been so 
thoroughly organized under O'Beirne, for in common 
with the whole Church of Ireland, it was now called 


on to pass through a time of great trial, due to what 
is known as the tithe war. The population of the 
country was at this time rapidly increasing, but 
agriculture, which was then as now the principal 
industry, was in a backward state, and consequently 
the productiveness of the land was not advancing 
in the same proportion. The result was that a large 
number of the people were in such a condition that a 
single unpropitious season was sufficient to bring them 
face to face with the horrors of famine. In 1822 the 
suffering became so great that Parliament voted a sum 
of half a million pounds for the alleviation of Irish 
distress. Such a time has always been in Ireland a 
season of agitation and unrest, and this was no 
exception to the rule. The malcontents found a 
leader in Daniel O'Connell, who at this time was 
beginning to make his influence felt, and under his 
auspices an organization was founded, known as the 
" Catholic Association." Its object was two-fold : 
the obtaining of Catholic emancipation, and the 
abolition of tithes. 

The former of these, though it was perhaps of the 
greater importance politically, does not concern us 
here. It was a measure that must have been passed 
sooner or later, and the mistake made was that it was 
too long delayed, and in the end only granted in 
response to agitation, so that the disturbers of the 
country could boast that it had been extorted by force. 
The Protestants of Ireland, who had so administered 
the penal laws that their operation was for the most 
part unfelt by those against whom they were directed, 
were certainly not to blame for the delay, and many 
of them those of Meath among the number joined 
with their Roman Catholic fellow countrymen in 
petitioning for their repeal. 


The anti-tithe movement was a blow struck directly 
at the Church of Ireland. The incomes of the clergy 
were for the most part derived from this source ; 
when, therefore, payment was refused, it simply meant 
that the parsons were left without any maintenance. 
The institution was unknown in the ancient Irish 
Church, and was only introduced into the country by 
the Romanizers of the twelfth century. From the 
first it encountered considerable opposition, and it is 
said though the assertion is not easy to verify that 
it was never paid in those parts which lay beyond the, 
English Pale. We have already seen how at various times 
the collection of these payments had become difficult, 
and sometimes impossible. In the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century the opposition took a new form. The 
discontented no longer formed themselves into armed 
bands. They adopted more peaceable but not less 
efficacious methods. " Agitation " so familiar a 
feature in modern Irish politics took its rise about 
this time, and Daniel O'Connell may be said to have 
been the parent of that new force which he himself 
wielded so adroitly, and which has proved to be so 
powerful all through the century. 

During the episcopate of Bishop O'Beirne the first 
rumblings of the coming storm were heard, and the 
subject had given rise to considerable discussion and 
ill-feeling. The bishop wrote a pamphlet dealing with 
the controversy, which he entitled, A Letter from an 
Irish Dignitary to an English Clergyman on the Subject 
of Tithes in Ireland. This pamphlet was considered 
to be such a powerful statement of the Church's case, 
that it was reprinted for more general circulation after 
the bishop's death. The great argument that he uses 
is that the title of the clergy to their tenth part rests 
precisely on the same foundation as the title of the 


laity to the remaining nine parts. This proposition 
was vehemently denied by the opponents of tithes, 
who were always loud in their assertion that they were 
making no attack on the rights of property. The bishop 
urged that the two things held together, and he reminds 
landowners that rent as well as tithe was being attacked. 
" Is there a day," he asks, " in which we do not hear 
of insurrections and disturbances in some district or 
another in consequence of the exorbitant rents to 
which lands have risen ? " He argues, too, that all 
transfers of property had been made subject to the 
payment of tithe, and that therefore it stood in the 
exact same position as did the payment of rent. 
Arguments such as these, however convincing they 
might be in themselves, could have little influence in 
swaying the passions of an excited mob, and it was 
by mob violence that the whole subject was discussed. 
The government seemed to be quite powerless. In 
1832 it undertook the collection of the tithe, but the 
experiment proved a conspicuous failure. It is said 
that a sum of twelve thousand pounds was collected 
at an expense of twenty-seven thousand, and the 
attempt to levy the remainder was at length abandoned 
in despair. The methods adopted by the agitators, 
and the impotence of the government in dealing with 
them, may be understood from the following account 
which appeared in Tale's Edinburgh Magazine at 
the time : 

The system of the Catholic Association is the very reverse 
of violence. It is humble submission to law. It is the 
extremity of passive obedience, but dictated by the most 
determined spirit of resistance. The cattle are seized, im- 
pounded, brought to auction ; but a plague seems upon them 
no one will bid a shilling no one will buy them. Tithe has 
been branded on them the moment they were seized. A Roman 
could not shun with greater horror anything devoted to the 


infernal gods than a whole people the cattle branded with that 
single word. They are driven to Dublin under a guard of 
police, perhaps soldiers, and there shipped for Liverpool, but 
their evil fame has gone before, the obnoxious word is on them, 
and there, too, no buyer can be found. The consequence is 
that no cattle are seized, and tithes are therefore at an end. 

Meath was not one of those districts in which the 
tithe agitators were particularly strong, yet there were 
many distressing scenes, and much suffering on the 
part of the clergy. The following is from the Annual 
Register for the year 1831 : 

The peasantry set up their own uncontrolled law of force. 
They directed themselves against the tithes of the Church, 
and the rents and property of the laity. Marching armed to 
the residence of the clergy, they compelled them to reduce 
the legal rate of the tithes, or to abandon it altogether. 
Vengeance was denounced by all manner of threatening 
notices, not only against the persons who should exact, but 
against the farmers who should pay it, and the menaces were 
carried into execution by murder, rapine, and arson. In the 
County Meath they marched from house to house, taking 
the labourers from their work and the horses from the plough, 
and so soon as the military had dispersed an assemblage at one 
point, a new one started up at another. 

On the twenty-third of May in the same year (1831) 
there was a serious riot at Castlepollard in connection 
with some legal proceedings for the recovery of tithe. 
The following is the account, as given in the Annual 
Register : 

At the fair of Castlepollard, in the County Westmeath, 
the police had occasion to seize an offender. The mob 
attacked the police, the prisoner was rescued and carried off 
in triumph, renewed assaults were made, the chief constable 
was knocked to the ground, the police fired, and nine or ten 
persons were killed. At the Mullingar assizes, in the month 
of July following, bills of indictment for murder were presented 
to the Grand Jury against several of the police. The Grand 
Jury ignored the bills for murder, but in four cases found 


bills for manslaughter. The prisoners were then put upon 
their trial, and were all acquitted. As the year advanced, the 
frightful mixture of lawless violence on the one hand, and of 
bloody repression on the other, lost little of its horrors. Pay- 
ment of tithe was almost everywhere refused, and the usual 
system of threats and murder was again set in motion. The 
clergyman dared not ask the willing occupier dared not pay. 
The law was powerless, and wherever the officers of the 
law interfered, open and bloody war was declared against 

The reports of these proceedings published in the 
English Radical journals were very much what they 
would be at the present day. The mob was declared 
to be peaceful and orderly. It was the officers of the 
Crown who were the disturbers and aggressors. Here 
is the account, taken from Tate's Edinburgh Journal, 
of the occurrence last narrated : 

At Castlepollard a stone or two fell on the bayonets. There 
was no evidence to prove that the police were in danger ; 
and what is conclusive, not a single policeman was produced 
with the slightest mark of injury on his person. But the 
excuse was given. They turned round and fired by threes into 
the middle of the crowd. 

From the same source we take the following 
description of a scene at Kentstown, where cattle had 
been seized in consequence of non-payment of tithe : 

A sale was lately attempted in the County of Meath of the 
farm stocking of Mr. Christopher Morgan of Kentstown, and 
at the auction there appeared upwards of twenty thousand 
persons " to mark the bidders," but no bidder was to be found 
among the whole assemblage. A sale was again attempted 
a week or two afterwards, when there was the same assemblage, 
and the same result. No disturbance whatever took place on 
either occasion. The ministry, by the slowness of their 
measures in the abolition of tithes and the repeal of the house 
and window duties, are giving the people an opportunity of 
perfecting themselves in the art of passive resistance an art 


which is likely soon to become more effective in protecting the 
people from unjust burdens than a reformed Parliament." 

It does not fall within the province of this history 
to discuss the question of tithes, whether they were 
just or unjust ; nor have we to sit in judgment on the 
rulers of those days, and decide whether they acted 
wisely or with due regard to the rights of the people. 
We have only to note that the time was one of great 
suffering and privation to the clergy. Many of them 
were reduced to the direst poverty, and so great was 
the distress, that a sum of one million of money was 
granted from the Treasury, first as a loan to the tithe 
owners, and afterwards turned into a gift. Various 
Acts of Parliament were passed, beginning with the 
Tithe Composition Act in 1824, and ending with the Act 
passed in 1838, which substituted a rent-charge for 
the tithe formerly paid. This last Act brought the tithe 
agitation to an end. By it the payment was transferred 
from the occupier of the land to the owner, a reduction of 
twenty-five per cent, being made at the same time, 
as a reasonable allowance " for the greater facility 
and security of collection arising out of such transfer 
of liability from the occupiers to the owners of lands." 
This, with some slight modifications, continued to be 
the law as to the payment of tithe down to the time 
of disestablishment. 

The rural deans' returns at this period reveal to us 
the fact that the diocese was fully organized and 
efficiently administered. For that reason they lend 
themselves less to quotation than do some others from 
which extracts have been already given. The returns 
for the year 1826 go into greater detail than most of 
the others, and the account of the Parish of Athlone 
may here be given, as a fair specimen of what they are 


like. It speaks of progress and prosperity, but is not 
exceptional in this respect. Of most parishes it was 
possible to give an equally favourable account : 

New church building, not yet fit for divine service. For the 
Communion there is a cup and chalice, 1 two plates, one patten, 
a knife and spoon, all silver. Two table cloths and two napkins, 
one Bible, and three Prayer Books (the Bible in good order, 
the Prayer Books in indifferent order) belong to the church. 
The churchyard is well enclosed. No dead body has been 
buried in church, or within twelve feet of walls, during 
last year. Divine service is regularly performed on the Lord's 
Day at noon and at seven o'clock in the afternoon, and on 
every festival and holiday throughout the year, and on every 
day in Passion Week. The minister and congregation are 
punctual to the appointed hour. The average number of 
congregation at present 300. The place used for divine service 
being too small to contain the entire number of Protestants 
in the parish, it is supposed when the church is finished the 
average number may amount to 600. The Sacrament is 
administered on the first Sunday of every month, and on 
Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, and Whitsunday. The number 
of communicants on Christmas Day last was 402 ; on Sundays 
from 40 to 60. The number of congregation increasing. The 
number of communicants doubled within the last four years. 
The congregation are generally furnished with Prayer Books. 
The number of families of the Established Church are increasing 
very much. The children are catechized every Sunday, from 
two to three o'clock, by the master, and on every Friday, by 
the incumbent, at the school. They are also catechized every 
Sunday at the Sunday School. The glebe-house and offices 
are in excellent repair. The present incumbent has just 
expended 600 in building a new range of offices. The glebe- 
house is furnished and occupied by incumbent. A terrier 
has been taken but not lodged. Cornelius Gallery has just 
been appointed parish clerk ; he is well qualified. He is 
schoolmaster also, is well qualified, discharges his duty 
regularly, and attends church and the Sacrament constantly. 
The number of children attending him from 100 to 120 in 
summer ; in winter, from 70 to 90, some of whom pay from one 
penny to two-pence per week. The late William Handcock, 
Esq., left 20 per annum for the endowment of a Protestant 

1 Chalice in this case means what we would call a flagon. 


school-master, and the late Arthur St. George left 5 and a 
house for ever to an English Protestant school-master, but 
neither of these endowments are available for the above 
purposes. There is a parochial school-house at present, and 
one is to be built this summer by the incumbent, chiefly at his 
own expense. There is a registry regularly kept in parchment, 
and a copy annually lodged. There is a preachers' book 
regularly kept. Baptism is administered in church on the 
Lord's Day after divine service. The sick are diligently visited. 
Matrimony is solemnized in church, and in canonical hours. 
The vestry accounts are regularly settled in Easter week. 
The number of Roman Catholic families supposed increasing. 
No Protestant dissenters in the parish. 

The same items of information are given with regard 
to every parish, showing that they are answers to 
specific questions. This fact shows us that the rural 
deans' inspection was very thorough, and that the 
bishop kept himself well acquainted with the state of 
every parish in his diocese. 

We have another source of information in the 
reports of several Commissions, Royal and Parlia- 
mentary, which were held during the episcopacy of 
Bishop Alexander. They show that the work begun 
by O'Beirne was carried on by him with vigour and 
success. We may choose the Report of the Ecclesias- 
tical Commission, 1833, as sufficiently far on in his 
episcopate to show how the diocese fared under his 
rule. It gives us the following summary account 
of the duties performed in the churches by the several 
incumbents : 

In the ninety-nine churches in this diocese, divine service 
is celebrated, in nine of them twice on all Sundays ; in forty- 
three, twice on Sundays in summer and once in winter ; and 
in forty-seven once on all Sundays during the year, exclusive 
of the celebration of service in each on the principal festivals. 
In six of these churches, viz. : Kells, Kilbride-Tullamore, 
Mullingar, Navan, Rathgraffe, and Trim, there is one service 


performed on all Wednesdays and Fridays ; and in Athlone 
Church a service on every Friday. And the Sacrament of the 
Holy Communion is celebrated monthly, and on the three 
great festivals during the year in seven, fourteen times in one, 
monthly in ten, twelve times in five, ten times in two, nine times 
in one, eight times in five, seven times in three, every second 
month in three, six times exclusive of festivals in one, six 
times in forty-nine, five times in one, four times in ten, and 
three times in one of these churches. 

There were altogether one hundred and three 
incumbents, of whom eighty-nine were residents 
and fourteen non-resident. This shows that the evil 
of non-residence, which had been so rife at the beginning 
of the century, had practically ceased to exist, for 
eight of the fourteen parishes in which the incumbent 
was non-resident were districts small in extent, with 
no church, and in most cases no church population. 
Provision was made by payment to neighbouring 
clergymen for^the performance of any occasional duty 
that might arise. The other parishes in which the 
incumbent was non-resident had a resident curate. 
Altogether there were thirty-eight curates employed 
in the diocese, which with the eighty-nine resident 
incumbents, made a clerical staff of one hundred and 
twenty-one. The church population of the diocese was 
at that time about two and a half times what it is at 
present, but even when we take this into account, 
it must be admitted that abundant provision was made, 
as far as the number of clergy was concerned, for the 
spiritual wants of the people. 

The net incomes of the clergy amounted in the 
aggregate to 30,291, giving an average of nearly 300 
a year. The incomes were, however, somewhat 
unevenly divided. Thirty-five of the parishes had 
less than 200 a year, and of these twenty-one had 
less than 100. On the other hand, there were eleven 


parishes of over 600 a year, and of these one had 800, 
another 1,200, and another 1,800. The income of a 
curate was generally about 75 a year. 

The amount that had been spent on the building 
of churches and glebe-houses, principally during the 
episcopate of Bishop O'Beirne, was very considerable. 
On the former about 80,000 had been expended, and 
on the latter about 73,000. Of these payments for 
glebes, 29,488 had been contributed by the clergy 
themselves, besides 24,658 which had been granted 
to them on loan, and which had to be repaid either by 
themselves or their successors. 

The total population of the Diocese of Meath in 
1834 was 104,059. Of these, 25,626 were church people, 
77,562 were Roman Catholics, 672 were Presbyterians, 
and other dissenting bodies numbered 199. The 
Presbyterians had churches in Enniskeen, Laracor, and 
Mullingar. There were Quaker meeting houses in 
Moate and Tullamore. The other Dissenters nearly all 
attended church service, and most of them, especially 
the Methodists both Primitive and Wesleyan called 
themselves church people. The Primitive Methodist 
meeting-house in the parish of Clara was made use 
of by the incumbent at Christmas and Easter for the 
administration of the Holy Communion to remote 
parishioners. There were Wesleyan chapels in 
Kingscourt, Clara, Banagher, Mullingar, Athlone, 
Tullamore, Tyrrelspass, and Kilkenny West. The 
Primitive Methodists had chapels at Oldcastle, Athlone, 
Tullamore, and Clara. The Baptists had chapels at 
Clara, Banagher, Athlone, and Rahue (in the parish of 
Ardnurcher) . 

Among the Acts of Parliament which were passed 
affecting the church, the most important was the 
Church Temporalities Act, which became law in 1833. 


By this Act the number of Sees in Ireland was reduced. 
There had been four archbishoprics since the time of 
the Synod of Kells. Henceforth there were but two. 
Ten bishoprics were suppressed, and the Sees united 
to adjoining dioceses. Meath, however, was not 
affected by this change, as it continued to retain its 
separate existence. The money that was saved by this 
reduction of the establishment was vested in the 
Board of Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who applied 
it to the building and repairing of churches, and to the 
providing of requisites for divine service, thus 
abolishing the assessments made by vestries for these 
purposes. Under this Act, the so-called sinecure 
parishes were abolished, and the emoluments of churches 
in which no service had been held for three years prior 
to the passing of the Act were handed over to the 
commissioners. The only parishes in the Diocese of 
Meath which were thus dealt with were Cruisetown, 
Ballygarth, Staholmac, Moymet, and Innismot, the 
combined incomes amounted to 475 a year, and out of 
this a payment of 83 a year was made to neighbouring 
clergy for the performance of the duty. 

One other event is worthy of mention in connection 
with the period of which we are now treating, namely, 
the establishment of the Board of National Education. 
This took place in the year 1831. Like nearly all 
the measures passed at that time, the concession was 
made in response to agitation. Before the establish- 
ment of the National Board, the work of education was 
carried on by the Kildare Place Society, to which a 
yearly grant was given by the government. At first 
it was a rule of the society that the Scriptures should 
be read daily by all the children, and for many years 
no objection was made to this, as no comment was 
permitted, and all attempts at proselytism were 


prohibited. After a time the system was attacked by 
the Roman Catholic clergy, and in 1826 their bishops 
put forth a manifesto, which claimed the right of 
directing the education of their own children. From 
that time an agitation was kept up, and in the end the 
National Board was established as a kind of compromise. 
It did not give all that the prelates had demanded, 
but it established the principle that the State was to 
concern itself only with the secular instruction of the 
children, leaving the clergymen of the different churches 
to make their own arrangements as to religious teaching. 
The expectation was that in the schools to be established, 
all creeds would meet together for the ordinary work, 
a separation being made only when the time for 
religious instruction arrived. As the system is now 
carried out, this intention of the founders has not been 
realized. For the most part our National Schools are 
altogether denominational, though safeguards exist 
to prevent their being used for proselytising purposes. 
In the beginning, however, something more than this 
was attempted, and an effort was made to unite all 
parties, in the hope that the ultimate results would be 
to break down much of the bigotry and sectarianism 
which unhappily has always prevailed in our land. The 
system did not commend itself to the clergy of the 
Church as a body. They were strong evangelicals, 
who felt that they had a duty to do something for the 
conversion of the Romanists by whom they were 
surrounded, and there was always the possibility that 
a Roman Catholic here and there might be attracted 
to their schools. Besides this, they regarded the 
reading of Scripture as the foundation on which all 
education should be based, and they objected to any 
school in which the Bible was a closed book for the 
greater part of the day. The controversy on the subject 


was long and bitter, and has only died down within 
our own time. In Meath there was less excitement 
than in other parts of the country. Her bishops and 
some of her leading clergy were found among the 
supporters of the new system, but they were not able 
to carry with them the general body of the clergy, 
and it is only within a comparatively recent time that 
the National Board school has been accepted in the 
majority of our parishes. 

VOL. H. N 



WHEN the anti-tithe agitation came to an end, Meath 
entered upon a period of rest and quietness concerning 
which there is comparatively little to record. We 
must remember, however, that those times which 
provide the most abundant materials for the historian 
are by no means the times when the greatest progress 
is being made. If, therefore, we have little to say about 
the middle period of the nineteenth century, it is because 
work was being steadily carried on, and the Church went 
on her way, quietly fulfilling the great mission with 
which she had been entrusted by the Divine Master. 
Agitation did not come to an end, but it was diverted 
into a more purely political channel, and the Repeal 
of the Union became the popular cry. Some of 
O'Connell's greatest mass meetings were held within 
the bounds of the diocese, but their object did not 
concern itself in any way with the affairs of the Church, 
and therefore may be left out of view in our present 

Bishop Alexander died on the twenty-first of 
October, 1840, after a protracted illness, having pre- 
sided over the See of Meath for a period of seventeen 
years. He was succeeded by Doctor Charles Dickenson, 
who was at that time a well known and popular Dublin 
clergyman. His father had come originally from 
Cumberland, but was settled in the County Cork, where 


Charles Dickenson was born in 1792, being the youngest 
but one, of sixteen children. At the early age of fifteen 
years he took a scholarship in Trinity College, and on 
the completion of his undergraduate course he began 
to read for a fellowship. He soon gave up the idea, 
however, for he became engaged to be married, and 
taking Holy Orders, he was appointed to the curacy 
of Castleknock. Shortly afterwards he was appointed 
to the assistant chaplaincy of the Magdalen Asylum, 
Dublin, and when the Reverend James Dunne, in the 
following year, resigned the chaplaincy of that 
institution, Dickenson was elected as his successor. 
He became one of the intimate friends of Archbishop 
Whately, and was appointed one of his chaplains. He 
is said to have been " a man of extremely winning aspect 
and address, and particularly accessible to the clergy 
on all matters of counsel or business." 

While the See was still vacant Doctor Dickenson 
wrote to his sister a letter which reveals something 
of the character of the man. He discusses the 
appointment to Meath, and says : " It is gossiped 
among the Castle people that I am to be the person m 
I do not myself think it, and I am perfectly calm about 
it. It is an office I should fear to wish for, and I 
am sure the matter will be controlled by the Highest 
Wisdom. Many are putting forth political interest 
to secure the appointment, and I am putting forth 
nothing at all. My course has been adopted without 
any reference to my own advancement, and it shall 
not be changed either by being appointed or over- 
looked." ' 

Doctor Dickenson's episcopate was very short. 
He was consecrated on the twenty-seventh of December, 
1840, and he died on the eleventh of July, 1842. 

1 Memoir of Bishop Dickinson. 


The following obituary notice of him appeared in 
the Annual Register for 1843 : 

July nth, 1842, at his palace, Ardbraccan, in his fiftieth 
year, the Right Honourable and Right Reverend Charles 
Dickenson, D.D., Lord Bishop of Meath, and a Privy Councillor, 
Doctor Dickenson's appointment to the See of Meath was one 
of the latest made by the Whig Government in Ireland. 
It was the spontaneous and unsolicited act of Lords Fortescue 
and Morpeth, and was applauded by men of all parties. The 
Irish papers most opposed to him in politics congratulated the 
ministers on having made so good a selection. The letters 
subsequently collected, and published under the title of " The 
Bishop," were addressed to Doctor Dickenson at the time of 
his appointment. They were, as they professed to be, the 
production of a layman, but the materials were supplied by 
one of the highest authorities in the church. The Bishop of 
Meath was a zealous advocate of National Education, and every 
measure calculated to promote the genuine principles of both 
civil and religious freedom. He took a lively interest in the 
Oxford Tract controversy. He prepared, just before his 
death, a charge in which he traced the coincidence between 
the Tractarians and the Transcendentalists. It was to have 
been delivered on the very day he died. 

The vacancy caused by the early demise of Bishop 
Dickenson was filled by the appointment of Edward 
Adderly Stopford, LL.D., Archdeacon of Armagh. 
The following account of him is given by the Reverend 
Doctor Brooke, in his Recollections of the Irish Church. 
He says : 

The Rev. Edward Adderly Stopford, Archdeacon of 
Armagh, was of a noble family. His father was son to the 
Bishop of Cloyne,who had married his own first cousin, Anne, 
daughter of James Stopford, first Earl of Courtown. But 
Edward Stopford owed his preferment to no influence of 
position, nor to any interest whatsoever exerted on his behalf, 
but simply to his being known as a most learned ecclesiastical 
lawyer, and well suited to manage Church affairs in her 
Majesty's Privy Council ; and this estimate of him he after- 
wards fully justified, by his wise diligence in the breaking up 


of many of the large parish unions still remaining in the Irish 
Church ; to this he directed much of his attention as a Privy 
Councillor. He had before this proved himself a good and 
sound divine by his book On the Sabbath, a work too good to 
be so little known, yet valued and read by not a few. He was 
a pleasant and agreeable companion, fond of wit and literature, 
though not having time to cultivate the latter. 

It was about this time that the Protestant Orphan 
Society was founded. The Westmeath Society was 
established in the year 1840, in the last year of the 
episcopate of Bishop Alexander. The Meath Society 
dates . from 1844, and was established under the 
auspices of Bishop Stopford. Before this time the 
Dublin Society undertook the care of orphans sent up 
from the Diocese of Meath, and there was, besides, 
a small local society at Athboy. As in other similar 
societies through the country, the boarding-out system 
was adopted, and with the happiest results. Close 
on a thousand orphans have from time to time been 
cared for, and with few exceptions have been in every 
way a credit to the institution that befriended them. 
We have, in the present day, a multiplicity of 
organizations that were not thought of when the 
the Protestant Orphan Society was founded, but for 
economy of management and efficiency of administra- 
tion it is still without a rival. 

The resources of the Orphan Society were soon 
taxed to the utmost, for times of great destitution and 
suffering were at hand. It is true that Meath to a 
large extent escaped the horrors of famine, which were 
so terrible in other parts of the country, but she had 
her share in the pestilence by which so many children 
were left fatherless, and without any provision for 
their sustenance. Then, too, began that process of 
depopulation by emigration which has continued 
without intermission to the present day, and gives to 


so many parishes the disheartening experience of a 
dwindling roll of church membership. It is to be 
hoped that the turning point will soon be reached, 
and that some new development, such as the establish- 
ment of industries other than those of pasturage and 
agriculture, may bring back the people to as fair 
and fruitful a spot as is to be found in all God's earth. 

The only ecclesiastical event which we have to 
chronicle in this period is the suspension of the Deanery 
of Clonmacnoise, which was decreed by act of Council 
on the twentieth of May, 1847. A memorial was 
immediately presented by the bishop, praying that 
such suspension should be removed, and in answer to 
this petition the Council acceded to the request, 
restoring the dignity before the close of the same year. 
But the emoluments of the office were no longer paid 
to the dean. They were transferred to the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners, and the deanery continued to be an 
unpaid office until the year 1882, when the synod, 
on the recommendation of the diocesan council, agreed 
to award a salary of 100 a year to the holder of that 

Doctor Brooke, whose Recollections have been 
already quoted, gives some interesting details about 
several of the clergy who served under Bishop Stopford. 
The extract is somewhat long, but it will be interesting 
to the reader : 

At the bishop's house of Ardbraccan I twice met Miss 
Maria Edgeworth, my father's and my grandfather's friend, 
and here, too, I met his clergy, the most remarkable of whom 
was Edward A. Stopford, his second son, and the archdeacon 
of the diocese. He, indeed, was no common man ; possessing 
an intellect keen even to subtility, and capable of meeting 
and solving almost any intellectual difficulty; he yet exhibited 
in his manner and address the kindness and simplicity of a 
Christian gentleman, and was ever accessible for counsel, 


support, or help, to every^clergyman of his father's large 
diocese. Like the bishop, deeply read in black-letter lore 
and Church law, he was on these matters, an oracle to the 
Church, only, unlike that of Delphi, he never returned 
doubtful answers. 

Inscius spargcre voces ambiguas. 

He had, above any man I ever met, the power of putting 
much matter into small space, and that clearly and intelligently ; 
he was singularly happy in meeting and conquering infidelity 
in individual cases. He was a gentle, but most powerful 
controversialist, and his papers on Romish error in The Catholic 
Layman, as I have said before, are as masterly as they are 

Added to these qualities, he was a good mechanic, he could 
make anything out of wood or iron ; had built steam carriages, 
and bound his own folios in a workmanlike fashion, which 
a London bookseller would not disown. 

I knew him well for forty years, and knew him best and 
loved him most when I was permitted to minister to him as 
a dying man ; then it was he realized the humbling con- 
victions, yet exalting comforts, of that Gospel he had ever 
preached. He said, " The fifty-first Psalm is my vadc mecum," 
and he died with a meek faith in a loving and redeeming 

In Meath there had been a body of excellent clergymen, 
some still living, among whom is my valued friend and fellow- 
student in old Trinity, Robert Hedges Dunne, one whose long 
consistency in a sound Christian course has been as steadfast 
as his own stalwart form and stout heart. There is also John 
F. Battersby, whose living is near Mullingar, a man who 
often taught my people from my Kingstown pulpit ; Doctor 
Walshe, one whose physical and professional vigour seems 
to grow with his advance of years ; and others whom I knew 
less, but equally esteemed. 

Among those whom we all had to grieve for, was the late 
John Lever, Rector of Tullamore. He was brother to Charles 
Lever the Lorrequer of light literature and had much of 
the fraternal genius ; short in stature, and ruddy in com- 
plexion like King David ; he had quick sparkling eyes, and a 
protruding forehead actually knobbed with bumps of in- 
tellectuality. Like his brother, whom I also knew well, he 
was animated in manner and rapid in speech ; he was as a 


preacher thoughtfully evangelical, using no manuscript or 
note, and his discourses were solid, grave, and teaching, and 
such as one would not expect to hear from one so particularly 
lively in manner. Joseph Daly, Rector of Ferbane, was a 
remarkable minister ; he has been greeted at the clerical 
meetings, when the clergy sat together over their Bibles, as 
the " Diocesan Concordance." A Latin Father has said, 
Bonus textuarius, bonus theologus, and this could well apply 
to Daly, for his extemporary sermons were full of Scripture, 
not only accurately quoted, but also the chapter and verse 
faithfully rendered, a wonderful act of a powerful abstract 
memory. One more I must speak of, a loved friend, the 
Reverend Charles Bayly, who died as Vicar of Trim ; he was 
a singularly popular man with clergy as well as laity, and 
perhaps had more culture and reading than most evangelical 
ministers the weak point in the body being more or less 
an inclination to ignore literature and despise art, forgetting 
that these are the good Lord's gifts to refine and adorn our 
poor fallen nature, and, like His common bestowments of 
music and of sunlight, to refresh and cheer us in our pilgrimage 
along the wastes of life. 

Nor must I forget my dear friend and kinsman, the 
Reverend Coote Charles Mulloy, who for many years ministered 
in Meath. Esteemed a good clergyman, possessing a most 
accomplished mind, and a spirit much like the blessed Saint 
John's for gentleness and forethought ; and yet this person, 
perhaps the meekest man in the diocese, when historically 
considered, presents a curious anomaly. For he is the 
representative of the O 'Mulloy chieftaincy, one of the oldest, 
if not the oldest, Milesian families in Ireland. He is also 
Standard Bearer to the King of Ireland, by royal appointment 
of an ancestor in 1680. His ancient Celtic motto (which the 
good man has suppressed) breathes of rapine and slaughter, 
and he can look back along his line of twelve hundred years 
to a pedigree of fighting warriors. Yet this gentlest of men 
and of ministers has been all his life preaching nothing but the 
gospel of peace and of love, and exemplifying the same in 
his person, his parish, and his household. Mr. Mulloy married 
the eldest daughter of Doctor Stopford, Bishop of Meath ; 
another daughter, a most intellectual and accomplished lady, 
is the wife of Richard Nugent, Esq., of London. Mrs. Nugent, 
when Miss Stopford, exerted herself during the Irish famine 
in 1845, and was eulogized for the same by name in an eloquent 


speech made by Lord George Bentinck in the House of 

The colloquial style of this extract does not detract 
from the vividness of the portraiture, and we may 
fairly gather from it that the clergy of Meath in the 
forties and fifties were men of culture and piety ; some 
of them good preachers and able scholars, and devoted 
to the work of the ministry which they had undertaken. 
It may be well to add that the Richard Nugent to 
whom Doctor Brooke refers, established the " Irish 
Church Sustentation Fund " in London, and acted as 
Honorary Secretary of that fund until his death. His 
place is now efficiently filled by his daughters, grand- 
daughters of Bishop Stopford, and by their exertions 
a very substantial sum is contributed every year for 
the help of poor and struggling parishes in the West 
of Ireland. 

Bishop Stopford died on the seventeenth of 
September, 1849. His successor was not appointed 
until September in the following year. The choice 
of the government this time fell on Thomas Stuart 
Townsend, Dean of Waterford. He survived his 
elevation for only twelve months, and shortly before 
his death had gone abroad for the benefit of his health. 
It may, therefore, be said of him that he had scarcely 
taken possession of his See before he was called away. 
The following obituary of him appeared in the Annual 
Register for 1852 : 

September i6th, 1851. At Malaga, aged fifty-one, the 
Most Reverend and Right Honourable Thomas Stuart Town- 
send, D.D., Lord Bishop of Meath, a Privy Councillor of Ireland, 
a Commissioner of National Education, and an Ecclesiastical 
Commissioner for Ireland ; eldest son of Thomas Townsend, 
Esq., B.L., who was M.P., for Belturbet in the last Irish 
Parliament. Educated at Winchester and at T.C.D. ; Rector 


of Burnchurch, County Kilkenny. In acknowledgment of 
his strenuous support of the National Education scheme, 
and generally of the policy of the Earl of Clarendon, he was 
promoted to the Deanery of Lismore in October, 1849 ; to that 
of Waterford in August, 1850 ; and in September following 
to the Sec of Meath. A Roman Catholic journal says : " The 
Bishop of Meath was the consistent, disinterested, and warm 
advocate of the National School system of education. His 
lordship's advocacy was not induced by an anxiety to create 
a self interest, or to establish a foundation for government 
patronage, but with a view to the amelioration of the rising 
classes of his fellow countrymen. He laboured from conviction, 
and his labours were attended with success. Prior to Doctor 
Townsend's promotion to the See of Meath, he discharged the 
duties of a pastor with a zeal, kindness, and consideration 
adequate to the responsible position he occupied. Kind and 
benevolent to the needy, courteous and affable to all who came 
within the sphere of his sacred duties, he departed this life 
after arriving at the height of his calling as a minister of God." 
The bishop married in 1828 the second daughter of Charles 
Spread, Esq., of Landsdowne Lodge, County Kerry, and has 
left a numerous family. 

Bishop Townsend was succeeded in the following 
year by Doctor Joseph Henderson Singer. He was 
the son of James Singer, Esq., Deputy Commissary 
General to the Forces in Ireland, and was born in 
1786. He had a brilliant career in Trinity College, 
where he took his M.A. degree in 1810, and in the same 
year he gained a fellowship. He was appointed 
Regius Professor of Divinity in 1850, became Arch- 
deacon of Raphoe in 1851, and was consecrated to the 
See of Meath in 1852. Brooke says of him that he 
" was a man of universal and accurate information, 
possessing very polished manners, and a kind and 
winning address. He was a prodigious reader, not 
even despising the lighter literature of the day, which 
he swallowed, but probably did not care to digest ; 
a steady preacher of evangelical truth, and a bold 


upholder of Scriptural education." This last sentence 
implies that he supported the Church Education Society, 
in opposition to the National Board. In the appoint- 
ments of Bishops Dickenson, Stopford, and Townsend, 
much weight was given to the fact that, in opposition 
to the great body of the clergy, they supported the 
National Board. If the Whig ministry had remained 
in power, doubtless the same considerations would 
have swayed them in appointing to the vacant See, 
but just at this juncture there was a change of ministry 
and it was under the auspices of the Conservatives 
that he was chosen to be the new bishop. 

This controversy on the subject of education 
constituted, one might say, the one topic for discussion 
just at this time. On the one side was a small but 
influential party which was in favour of the govern- 
ment plan. On the other side was the great bulk 
alike of clergy and laity, who saw in the National Board 
system a concession to Roman Catholicism, and 
disliked it accordingly. In 1845 nine of the bishops 
issued a manifesto, which set forth the position taken 
by the supporters of the Church Education Society, 
which was a counter organization, intended to compete 
with the State schools. In it their lordships say : 

When the government first announced its determination 
that this system should supersede those to which the State had 
before given support, it was generally opposed by the clergy 
and laity of our Church. The grounds on which this opposition 
was made to rest were various. The undue prominence given 
to secular, to the depreciation of religious instruction the 
disregard shown to the position and claims of the clergy of the 
Established Church, tending to throw the direction of national 
education into the hands of the priesthood of the Church of 
Rome and other defects and evils, both of the system itself 
and of the machinery by which it was to be worked, were urged 
as grave objections against the proposed plan of education. 
While its opponents differed as to the importance which was 


to be assigned to some of these objections, there was one upon 
the paramount importance of which all were agreed. The rule 
by which the Holy Scriptures were to be excluded from the 
schools during the hours of general instruction, was treated 
by all as so fundamentally objectionable, that while this 
should continue to be the principle of the system, they could 
not conscientiously connect their schools with it, even though 
all the other grounds of opposition were taken away. 

In the former societies for the education of the poor, with 
which the clergy were connected, they had, in accommodation 
to the unhappy divisions of the country, consented to forbear 
from any attempt to teach the formularies of our Church to 
the children of dissenters, Protestant or Roman Catholic, who 
attended the schools of which they had the superintendence. 
But they did not judge themselves at liberty so to deal with 
the Word of God. There was in every school a Bible class, 
and in every school to read the Bible was a part of the daily 
business ; and all the children in attendance, of whatever 
religious communion, took their places in this class, as soon 
as" their proficiency enabled them to profit by the reading of 
the Holy Scriptures. But the distinction of the new system 
was, that it placed the Bible under the same rule with books of 
peculiar instruction in religion, and excluded it with them 
from the hours of general education. And, moreover, this great 
change was avowedly made as a concession to the unlawful 
authority by which the Church of Rome withholds the Holy 
Scriptures from its members. 

Such was the state of the controversy when Doctor 
Singer became Bishop of Meath. Archdeacon Stopford 
was at this time, in many ways, the leading clergyman 
in the diocese, and was, like his father the bishop, 
a warm supporter of the National Board. He had 
established a National School in his own parish of Kells, 
but he had not been able to induce many of the clergy 
to follow his example. For the most part the parish 
schoolmasters combined with their duties those of 
parish clerk, and in this double capacity received 
salaries which seldom exceeded twenty pounds a year. 
The schools were small, and there was no scheme of 
efficient inspection. In 1856 he put forth a proposal 


which was intended to unite the discordant elements. 
He suggested that the National Board should take 
over all these schools, allowing them to retain their 
denominational character, but only concerning itself 
with the secular instruction which they provided. 
As a necessary corollary to this, he advocated that the 
Christian Brothers' schools should also be included. 2 
For the time, his suggestions fell on deaf ears ; but 
in the end the lines which he sketched out were 
those on which the education difficulty was solved. 

Another controversy which attracted an amount 
of attention scarcely intelligible to us in the present 
day was about the use of the black gown in the pulpit. 
As far as our records inform us, it would seem that 
the gown as a preaching vestment only appeared in 
Meath in the early years of the nineteenth century, 
probably under the influence of Bishop O'Beirne, 
though it is in the episcopate of his successor that we 
have the first mention of it. The gown may have 
been in use before that time, but if so, no record has 
been preserved. During the time of the Tractarian 
movement in England, the use of the surplice in the 
pulpit began to be the badge of a party. In Ireland, 
however, it was never altogether regarded in that 
way. In Meath an extraordinary use was introduced 
by Bishop Stopford, and continued in some places until 
a period within living memory. He advised those 
who wished to preach in a black gown to wear it under 
the surplice. When the time for the sermon came, 
the clergyman slipped off the outer vestment, without 
retiring to the vestry, making the change, as the bishop 
puts it, " unobservedly and speedily." 

Shortly after Bishop Singer's appointment there 
were efforts made in some parts of the diocese to 

a MS. in Diocesan Registry. 


reach the Roman Catholics, by means of Scripture 
readers and colporteurs. It does not appear whether 
this was done under episcopal sanction, nor, indeed, 
can we say if the bishop was consulted on the subject. 
The leading spirit seems to have been Archdeacon 
Stopford, who was a warm supporter of the Irish 
Church Missions, and himself a very able contro- 
versialist. In his own parish he introduced three 
readers, who went about selling Douay Bibles, and 
endeavouring to enter into religious conversation 
with the people. The immediate result was not very 
happy, as there was some rioting, and the whole place 
was for a time in the greatest ferment. Some of the 
ringleaders soon found themselves in prison, and this, 
it need hardly be said, did not tend to promote peace. 
Nevertheless it resulted in the establishment of the 
Meath Colportage Society, which continued a useful 
though not very ostentatious work until it was merged 
in a larger organization which embraces the whole of 
Ireland. The Roman Catholics, on their part, though 
they met Protestant controversialists with " stones 
and mud and shouts and filthy songs," did not hesitate 
to introduce preachers who attacked the doctrines of 
the Church, and argued against the principles of the 
Reformation. It tells something of the intrepidity 
and vigour of Archdeacon Stopford, to know that on 
that occasion he himself attended the services at which 
these missioners preached. He went in full canonicals, 
sat in the foremost seat, and made it known that he 
was ready to present the other side of the argument 
in his own church. It is said that a number of the 
leading Roman Catholics of the town accepted his 
invitation, though history does not relate that any of 
them went away convinced. 

These controversial methods have grown out of 


favour in our days, and perhaps we are right in thinking 
that they consisted too much in destructive criticism, 
and that those who spent their energies in the confuting 
of error were apt to present a mere negative creed, 
and in this made a great mistake. At the same time 
we should not forget that this controversy, and the 
desire that it showed of reaching the masses around, 
was a sign of life and vigour ; and we do well to re- 
member that it is true of churches as it is of individuals, 
that it is not those who make the fewest mistakes 
who do the most good. 

Towards the close of the fifties there occurred 
in the north of Ireland a remarkable religious movement, 
known as the " Great Revival." It was attended 
with great excitement and many extravagances. As 
far as can be ascertained none of these extravagant 
developments reached the Diocese of Meath, but the 
wave of religious fervour was felt, and alike among 
clergy and laity there was an earnestness and devotion 
that spoke of a real work of God. Bishop Singer 
himself took the lead in the movement, and established 
a prayer-meeting at his Palace at Ardbraccan on 
Friday afternoons, and again at seven in the evening. 
Others of the clergy followed the lead that was thus 
given. Archdeacon Stopford had meetings in his 
own house, as well as special services in the church. 
The bishop's son, the Reverend Aemelius Singer, had 
a weekly prayer-meeting at Stackallen. Similar 
meetings were held by the Reverend Henry Brougham 
at Moynalty, the Reverend Frederick Trench at 
Newtown, and by many other clergymen in the Diocese 
of Meath. 

Bishop Singer died on the nineteenth of July, 1866, 
in the eightieth year of his age, and in the fourteenth 
year of his episcopate. On the twentieth of the 


October following, Samuel Butcher, D.D., Regius 
Professor of Divinity, T.C.D., was consecrated in the 
College Chapel to the vacant See. The sermon on 
that occasion was preached by the Reverend Doctor 
Salmon. The episcopate of the new bishop was 
destined to be a time of trial and difficulty. Now 
that it has passed into history we may thankfully 
acknowledge that it was also a time when devotion 
to the Church was conspicuously manifested. As for 
the bishop, he displayed statesmanlike qualities of 
which we might never have known if the occasion 
had not called them forth ; and the people of whom 
he had the oversight gathered loyally around him, 
strengthening his hands, and all working together 
enthusiastically to ensure the welfare of the Church 
under the new conditions in which she was soon to be 



THE census of 1861 was the first which gave accurate 
information as to the religious profession of the people 
of Ireland. An attempt had been made in 1834 to 
give the relative numbers of the different churches, 
but it was imperfectly carried out, while in the census 
of 1841, and again in that of 1851, no return was given 
of religious beliefs. When the results of the 1861 
census were published, it appeared that out of a 
population of 5,798,967, there were 4,505,265 Roman 
Catholics, and therefore that this church claimed the 
great majority of the people. The Established Church 
numbered only 693,357, and the Presbyterians 523,291, 
the remainder being made up of various dissenting 
bodies and Jews. Almost immediately an agitation 
was set on foot for the Disestablishment of the Church, 
the argument naturally being that it embraced within 
its fold only a small section of the community. The 
movement, however, did not rouse much enthusiasm 
in Ireland, and in connection with it there were none 
of those stirring scenes and popular demonstrations 
which characterized the anti-tithe agitation, the 
demand for Catholic emancipation, or the movement 
for the repeal of the Union. The general opinion, 
therefore, was that the time was far distant when it 
would come within the sphere of practical politics. 
Those were the days of the Fenian organization, and 
the agitators who favoured more peaceful methods 
were regarded as half-hearted by the populace. Perhaps 



that was one reason why the disendowment of the 
Church never became a great party cry in Ireland ; 
and of course mother reason was that while the Church 
establishment remained it furnished a most convenient 
lever when concessions for the Roman Catholics had 
to be extorted from the British Parliament. 

The movement for the disendowment of the Church 
came almost entirely from England. The two parties 
in the State were at that time so evenly balanced, 
that neither had a working majority. Both parties 
were also very much disorganized, and this was 
especially the case with the Radicals, who were eagerly 
looking round for a policy which would unite all the 
heterogeneous elements of which that body was 
composed. The ebullition of disaffection in Ireland 
seemed to show that some remedial legislation was 
sorely needed, and this conclusion was brought home 
to the English people in an unexpected way by outrages 
perpetrated in their very midst. The Liberation 
Society saw in the crisis an opportunity for advancing 
their own principles, and at the same time furnishing 
a rallying cry for the Liberal party. No one knew 
better than Mr. Gladstone how to use an opportunity 
such as this, and he was not slow to avail himself of it. 
In the course of a debate, on the motion of Mr. J. F. 
Maguire to appoint a committee to consider the 
condition of Ireland, Mr. Gladstone announced that he 
was opposed to the continuance of the Church establish- 
ment in Ireland, and shortly afterwards he introduced 
a series of resolutions on the subject, when he obtained 
such majorities that the Conservative ministry was 
forced to resign. 

How unexpected all this was, is shown from the fact 
that at the very time when these resolutions were being 
discussed, a Royal Commission was preparing its 


report on the state of the Church, with the idea of 
suggesting legislation which would provide for a better 
disposal of its revenues. This Commission had been 
appointed in 1867, and was directed to " enquire and 
report as to the several archbishoprics, bishoprics, 
dignities and benefices, and as to the revenues belonging 
to the same ; and also as to the several united and 
separate parishes and parochial districts in Ireland, 
and the number of members of the Established Church 
of England and Ireland inhabiting them ; and also 
as to the property vested in the Ecclesiastical Com- 
missioners for Ireland, and the administration of the 
same ; and to enquire and report whether alterations 
and improvements should be made in the management, 
administration, and distribution of the revenues and 
property, or in the state and condition of the several 
offices, dignities, corporations, and benefices." * 

The report which this Commission presented, though 
Mr. Gladstone's legislation had rendered it obsolete 
before it was issued, is interesting and instructive, 
both from the information which it gives, and from 
the recommendations which it makes. It contains 
a detailed account of each diocese, given parish by 
parish, and sets down the church population, extent, and 
income, together with the amount of the various out- 
goings, so that the net revenue in each case is accurately 
stated. The following summary, published in the 
appendix to the report, gives the statistics for Meath, 
as summarized by Archdeacon Stopford : 

From a Map and Statement of the Diocese of Meath, 
carefully prepared by me from the Ordnance Survey, Stack- 
poole's Returns, and the Diocesan Registry, it appears 

(i) That the Diocese of Meath contains about 1,186,840 
statute acres, equal to about 1,855 square miles. 

1 Report of the Established Church (Ireland) Commission, 1868. 


(2) That 104 benefices are filled. 

(3) That the net income of these benefices, omitting the 
lands of the archdeaconry, is 24,051 2s. 7d. 

(4) That the number of the members of the Church is 
16,289. Hence it follows that 

(a) The average area of a benefice is eighteen square 

(b) The average net income is about 231 55. 

(c) The average church population is over 156. 
Considering that the average of a rural parish in England 

is five square miles ; the average population 387 ; and of 
income, 285 ; and considering the great increase of labour 
and expense incurred in visiting a congregation scattered over 
a district three and a half times as large, the comparison is not 

But averages tend to conceal evils, and leave opens for 
attack ; and the Diocese of Meath does greatly need revision 
of its arrangement. 

He goes on to say that the area of benefices in Meath 
varies from two and a half to one hundred and twenty- 
eight square miles, adding, " Our present system is 
vicious alike in the size and boundaries of parishes ; 
and most of what are called the abuses in the Church 
arise from defect in the remedy which the law has 
provided." The Church population, he says, varies 
from five in one parish to seven hundred and eight 
in another. Six benefices have less than twenty 
church members ; fourteen others have less than fifty. 
The incomes of the benefices vary from 19 los. to 
996 175. 9d. Fifteen are under 100. He then 
makes various proposals for re-arrangement, suggesting 
that the number of benefices should be reduced to 
eighty-one, and providing for them incomes that vary 
from 200 to 576. 

The commissioners recommended some very drastic 
changes, and amongst their proposals was the sup- 
pression of Meath as a distinct See. They suggested 
that it should be united to Dublin, and that Dublin itself 


should no longer be an archbishopric at least, a 
majority of the Commission thought so but, in 
recognition of its former position, and because the 
capital of the country was situated within its bounds, 
they proposed that it should have precedence over 
every other bishopric in Ireland. However, as we 
have seen, before the report was presented to 
Parliament, it had been decreed that an appeal must 
be made to the electorate to decide whether the con- 
nection between Church and State in Ireland was 
any longer to be preserved. 

On the twenty-third of March, 1868, Mr. Gladstone 
introduced his resolutions in favour of disendowment, 
and the debate on these resolutions began a week 
later. The first of them was carried on the first of 
May, and four days later Mr. Disraeli announced the 
intention of the government to resign and appeal to the 
country. The dissolution did not, however, take 
place until the eleventh of November following. Every 
exertion was made to avert the disaster, but in vain. 
On the second of December Mr. Gladstone was 
entrusted with the seals of office, and had at his back 
a majority of the House of Commons, pledged to assist 
him in the work of destruction. He lost no time 
in introducing his Bill. It was presented to the House 
on the first of March, 1869. 

There was a rumour at the time that Archdeacon 
Stopford helped Mr. Gladstone in the drafting of the 
Bill, and considerable indignation was expressed at 
what was considered an act of perfidy on the part of the 
Archdeacon of Meath. The truth, however, was 
merely that the archdeacon made some suggestions 
to Mr. Gladstone, which that statesman discussed 
with him, and in some measure adopted, the object 


being to make the Bill as little detrimental as possible to 
the interests of the Church. The following letter, 
addressed by the archdeacon to the Daily Express, 
explains the part he took in this matter : 

To THE EDITOR OF THE Daily Express, 

SIR, I have seen in your paper of this date that a rumour 
has been in circulation that the government had made 
overtures to me to assist them in the preparation of a Hill for 
the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church of 

I beg to say in reply, that the government has not made 
any overtures to me on this or on any other subject. 

Opposed on principle, as I am, to disestablishment, I yet 
see that the battle will be fought on a Bill. I desire to see the 
issue taken on intelligible grounds. I think a party fight on 
mere mistakes would not serve the interests of the Church. 
Knowing that other parties are working hard to have the Bill 
drawn as hostile as possible to the future efficiency of the 
Church, and knowing too that nothing is being done on our 
side to counteract them, I have made representations to the 
government that they should abstain from needless injury 
to the Church. Of the result, I, of course, know nothing. 
But I have the satisfaction of knowing that wise and able 
men, who do not see their way to join with me at present, are 
yet disposed to hope that even from such humble efforts some 
good may arise in the future. 

I believe that Mr. Gladstone is sincerely desirous to do th 
Church as little injury, and to leave it as efficient for spiritual 
work, as political circumstances will permit. Others are 
striving for the extinction of a Reformed Church. I think our 
duty is to leave no means unused to secure the efficiency of the 
Church in the future ; and to this I strictly confine myself. 
Your obedient servant, 


Archdeacon of Meath. 

The Bill was still under discussion in Parliament 
when the Easter vestries met, and at most of them 


resolutions were passed protesting against dis- 
establishment. By direction of the bishop, delegates 
were elected at these meetings to a diocesan conference 
which he had summoned. This conference met at 
Navan on Wednesday, the thirty-first of March, 1869. 
The large attendance, both of clergy and laity, showed 
how great was the interest that the question had 
excited. It is interesting to note that amongst the 
clergy present there were two at least who had openly 
declared themselves as being in favour of Mr. 
Gladstone's Bill. One was the Reverend Frederick 
Trench, Rector of Newtown, who had published a 
pamphlet on the subject. A short time previously he 
had been present at the annual meeting of the Kells 
Young Men's Christian Association, and was met with 
such tokens of hostility from the people assembled, 
that he had to quit the room. 2 The other was the 
Reverend Doctor Brady, Vicar of Donaghpatrick, 
who shortly afterwards, having commuted and com- 
pounded, seceded to the Church of Rome, and ended 
his days as one of the Pope's chamberlains at the 

The bishop presided at the meeting, and the first 
resolution was proposed by Lord Dunsany, and 
seconded by Archdeacon Stopford, as follows : 

That this meeting protests against the measure for the 
disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish branch of 
the United Church now before Parliament, as destroying the 
religious character of the State, and alienating from the direct 
service of God property solemnly devoted to Him ; and also 
as an enormous injustice to the members of the Irish branch 
of the Reformed Church, from which there will be thus 
withdrawn that provision for the ministry of the pure Word 
of God, and of His Sacraments, which, by compacts that 
ought to be most binding, had been assured to them. 

1 Report of Meeting in the Mcath Herald. 


This was followed by another resolution, proposed 
by Major Dalton, and seconded by the Reverend C. J. 
Bayly, Vicar of Trim : 

That this meeting further protests against the government 
measure, as containing, apart from the primary wrong, a 
multitude of secondary injustices, and as calculated to oppose 
great hindrance to the future working of the Irish Church. 3 

It was scarcely to be expected that resolutions 
like these would influence in any way the minds of the 
senators who were debating the subject at Westminster. 
Two months later the Bill had passed its third reading 
by an overwhelming majority. There was still a hope 
that the House of Lords would come to the rescue and 
throw out the Bill. But this hope also proved to be 
vain. On the twelfth of July a day which suggested 
very different memories the peers read the Bill a third 
time, and shortly afterwards it received the royal 
assent, and became the law of the land. 

The time was one of great anxiety and of no little 
foreboding. It was, however, a good omen that in 
the midst of all their troubles the churchmen of Meath, 
so far from being disheartened as to the future, were 
actually inaugurating a new organization, which was 
to have for its object the improvement of church music. 
It was in the week before the Church Bill was intro- 
duced that the first annual meeting was held of the 
Meath Church Choral Association. The first Choral 
Festival had been held in Athboy in December, 1867. 
After it, the Choral Association was formed, and the 
first festival under its auspices was held at Kells, 
when the church was re-opened after renovation, on 
the fifth of August, 1868. The following extract 
from the report will be read with interest : 

At the end of the first year since the Meath Church Choral 

3 Report of Meeting in the Meatk Herald. 


Association assumed its present form, the committee have 
much reason to congratulate the members and friends of the 
association on the success which has attended it. Already 
the example set by Meath has led to the formation of a similar 
association in Westmeath, and from enquiries which have 
been addressed to the secretaries as to the rules and working 
of our association, we have reason to believe that like 
movements are in contemplation elsewhere. At the Kells 
Festival all the eleven choirs in union took part, and we 
cannot do better in speaking of the result than by quoting 
the words of the Rev. G. W. Torrance, who most kindly 
assisted us by presiding at the organ. Writing of the festival 
afterwards, he says, " I think that all engaged in it have 
very good reason to be satisfied with the early fruit of an 
association which will yet, I hope, do great things for the 
church music of the diocese." We cannot leave this subject 
without expressing our thanks to the Reverend Alfred T. 
Harvey, for his unwearied exertions in superintending the 
training of the several choirs for the festival. 4 

As noted in this report, the Westmeath Church 
Choral Union dates from practically the same time. 
It was established on the same lines as that in Meath, 
and held its first festival in Mullingar on Tuesday, 
the fifteenth of December. The Westmeath choirs 
were trained by the Reverend Doctor Reichel, who 
afterwards became bishop of the diocese, and the 
Reverend R. T. Bevan, Rector of Street, in the Diocese 
of Ardagh. What progress has been made in the 
meantime may be judged from the fact, that at this 
festival there was no anthem, and that the whole service 
was rendered in unison. 

Thus there was no tone of faltering or of dis- 
couragement. The wealth of the Church might be 
taken away, but its welfare was assured, when its 
children were prepared to go forth with singing to 
undertake the serious task which lay before them. 

4 Report of the Meath Church Chora) Association. 



WHEN disestablishment and disendowment had become 
accomplished facts, not a moment's time was lost in 
commencing the work of reconstruction. The Irish 
Church Act was passed in July, 1869, but did not come 
into operation until the first day of the year 1871. 
The interval was employed in drawing up a constitution 
for the Church, in making arrangements for general 
and diocesan synods, in appointing members of the 
Representative Church Body, and in formulating 
schemes for the collection of church funds. The whole 
work of preparation was practically completed before 
the Church Act came into force. 

The Irish House of Convocation had not been called 
together since the days of Queen Anne, nor could 
it be assembled without the royal mandate. This 
restriction being taken away by the Church Act, 
it was determined that Convocation should be called 
once more into existence. Accordingly, it met in 
Saint Patrick's Cathedral, in September, 1869. Among 
the resolutions which were passed at this meeting, was 
one that declared " that under the present circum- 
stances of the Church of Ireland, the co-operation 
of the faithful laity had become more than ever 
desirable," and another arranged for the holding of a 
" convention," in which both laity and clergy would 
meet together. In anticipation of these resolutions, 
a meeting of the laity had been already held, to make 


suggestions and arrangements for the future manage- 
ment of the Church. This meeting drew up a 
requisition to the two archbishops, asking that a con- 
ference of representative laymen should be summoned 
for the fifth of October following. Accordingly, a 
circular was issued which directed each incumbent 
to summon a meeting of his parishioners, admitting 
all adult members of the Church, either resident or 
holding property in the parish. These were to elect 
as many lay delegates as there were clergy in the parish, 
and to forward the names without delay to the bishop. 
The course thus indicated was adopted in Meath as 
in all other dioceses, and the bishop assembled the 
delegates Meath and Westmeath meeting separately 
and from them the members of the lay conference were 
chosen. When this conference met, it agreed to the 
suggestion of Convocation, that a general convention 
of clergy and laity should be assembled. 

The next move, therefore, was to elect repre- 
sentatives to this "General Convention," which was 
to transact business such as is now ordinarily transacted 
by the General Synod, besides drawing up a code of 
laws by which the Church was to be governed under its 
altered circumstances. Once more a meeting of the 
parishioners was held in every parish to appoint 
delegates, but on this occasion it was left optional 
to elect two laymen for every clergyman, a privilege 
which was embraced in nearly every instance. On 
the result of these elections the Diocesan Synod of 
Meath met for the first time though this meeting 
is not ordinarily counted among the number of Meath 
synods. The delegates from the eastern portion of 
the diocese met at Navan on Monday the twenty-second 
of November, 1869, and those from the western portion, 
at Mullingar, on the following Wednesday. 


The bishop presided at both meetings, and in his 
opening speech pointed out that the object which 
brought them together was to take steps for the future 
organization of the Church. He was sure that they had 
all assembled under a deep sense of the obligation 
imposed upon them, and he trusted that the harmony 
and unity which hitherto had pervaded their councils, 
would not be broken. He went on to remind the 
delegates of a resolution which had been passed by 
Convocation, and had been quoted in a letter issued 
by the two archbishops, " that they were now called 
upon not to originate a constitution for a new com- 
munion, but to repair a sudden breach in one of the 
most ancient churches in Christendom." The bishop 
explained what he thought was the spirit in which 
they should approach the work of reconstruction by 
referring to the " very striking passage " in the 
Preface to the Prayer Book, which spoke of 
" Ceremonies, why some be abolished and some be 
retained." The reference, he said, was to certain 
persons who were anxious to discard everything because 
it was old, and to introduce novelties simply because 
they were novelties ; and he went on to quote, " in 
such case they ought to have reverence to them for 
their antiquity, if they will declare themselves to be 
more studious of unity and concord than of innovations 
and new-fangleness, which (as much as may be with 
true setting forth of Christ's religion) is always to be 

The remainder of the bishop's speech was taken 
up with matters of business. He explained the mode 
of voting, the qualification of voters, and other matters, 
connected with the election of delegates ; and he 
proceeded to say that he thought it advisable that they 
should not enter into a discussion on any subject that 


might lead to a debate. Before concluding he spoke 
of a resolution which had been arrived at by the 
prelates, that they would sit and vote as a separate 
body or order. This resolution had given rise to a 
good deal of comment, because it constituted the bench 
of bishops a kind of separate house, able to control 
the decisions of the synod in the same way as the House 
of Lords can exert a restraining influence on the House 
of Commons. Bishop Butcher gave the reasons why 
they had come to this decision, and told the synod that 
the real motive in their hearts was to guard the interests 
of the Church. It will be gathered from this, as from 
the whole tone of the address, that there were some 
misgivings as to how far a popularly elected body could 
be trusted with the control of Church affairs. If his 
lordship had survived to the present day, he would 
see that his fears were groundless. He would, no doubt, 
be both surprised and gratified to find that this episcopal 
veto, which seemed then so necessary, has been 
little more than a dead letter. 

In accordance with the bishop's suggestion, there 
was practically no debate at these meetings. A little 
dissatisfaction was expressed at the synod being called 
together in two sections, but the objections were over- 
ruled, and when the necessary elections were completed, 
the sittings came to an end. It may be well here to 
record the names of those who represented Meath 
at the General Convention, which met shortly after- 
wards to draw up the constitution of the Church of 
Ireland. The clerical representatives were : J. F. 
Battersby, Doctor Joseph Bell, E. F. Berry, Dean 
Brownlow, C. Burton, T. G. Caulfield, Doctor Dundas, 
R. Radcliff, Doctor Reichel, C. Russell, H. A. Sadleir, 
and Archdeacon Stopford. The lay representatives 
were : J. P. Armstrong, G. A. Rochford Boyd, T. P. 


Cairnes, Lord Castlemaine, Richard Chaloner, Major 
G. T. Dalton, Lord Dunsany, Doctor Ferguson, Robert 
Fowler, Samuel Garnett, Thomas Gerrard, J. L. Naper, 
J. J. Nugent, R. Nugent, H. M. Pilkington, LL.D., 
VV. Barlow Smythe, P. H. Thompson, J. Tisdall, R. C. 
Wade, and H. H. Woods. Of this long list only one- 
Mr. Thomas Gerrard now remains to us. 

The " General Convention of the Church of Ireland," 
of which these gentlemen were members, sat for forty- 
one days, from the fifteenth of February to the second 
of April, 1870. It resumed its sittings on the eighteenth 
of October following, when it sat for sixteen days more, 
to the fourth of November. The account of the 
important business which it transacted belongs to the 
general history of the Church. It may suffice here to 
note that the delegates from Meath took a leading part 
in the deliberations, and that some of the most im- 
portant points in the legislation of the Church were due 
to their initiative. For example, the third clause of 
the " Preamble and Declaration," which is prefixed 
to the Constitution of the Church of Ireland, was 
not in the original draft, but was proposed by Arch- 
deacon Stopford. It sets forth that, " The Church 
of Ireland will maintain communion with the sister 
Church of England, and with all other Christian churches 
agreeing in the principles of this declaration ; and will 
set forward, as far as in it lieth, quietness, peace, and 
love, among all Christian people." It will be seen that 
this is not the least important of the articles which are 
laid down as principles in that preamble. 

The Reverend Doctor Reichel was, as many will 
remember, a skilful debater and ready speaker, and 
as may well be imagined, he took a prominent part 
in all the discussions. In the matter of the system 
of nomination to vacant parishes, it may be said that 


the new method was altogether shaped by him. The 
number of the diocesan representatives, and the 
position of the bishop as president of the board, with an 
ordinary and casting vote, are due to the amendments 
which he proposed, and the acceptance of which he 
urged on the convention with his extraordinary vigour. 
In the original draft, it was proposed that the Board 
of Nomination should in each case consist of three 
nominators elected by the parishioners, together with 
three clergymen and three laymen elected by the synod, 
the bishop seemingly being excluded. This board 
was to nominate three clergymen to the bishop, and 
from these three the diocesan was to make his choice. 
Thus it will be seen that at each board the diocese 
would be represented by six members, and the parish 
by three. On the other hand, there would be six lay 
votes to three clerical. The present system, as pro- 
posed by Doctor Reichel and accepted by the convention, 
makes the board to consist of four laymen, three of 
whom represent the parish, and two clergymen, who 
with the bishop and the fourth layman represent the 
diocese. It is said that when Doctor Reichel became 
bishop, and had experience of the working of these 
boards, he was led to doubt whether the present 
system adequately protects the interests of the diocese. 
Dean Craig, writing to the bishop's son, says : 

He told me candidly that, when the matter was under 
consideration after the disestablishment of the Church, it 
was proposed that the diocese should be more represented, 
and the parish less. He at that time went in for the system 
adopted and still in force, but had quite changed his mind 
after some years of experience, though he felt the difficulty of 
making a change now. On one remarkable occasion, when the 
parochial nominators all voted for a certain candidate, and 
were supported by the lay diocesan nominator, he gave his 
vote with the clerical nominators, and immediately after, his 


casting vote. He was convinced that he was acting rightly, 
and without doubt he was. I was a member of the board on 
that occasion. 1 

Among the resolutions passed at the convention 
was one, proposed by Master Brooke, as follows : 

That a committee shall be appointed to consider whether, 
without making any such alterations in the Liturgy or 
formularies of our Church as would involve or imply any 
change in her doctrines, any measures can be suggested 
calculated to check the introduction and spread of novel 
doctrines and practices, opposed to the principles of our 
Reformed Church, and to report to the General Synod of 

Immediately afterwards, Doctor Lee, Archdeacon 
of Dublin, resigned his membership of the convention, 
on the grounds that by this resolution the synod was 
to be asked to alter the doctrines of the Church of 
Ireland. Under ordinary circumstances, a member's 
resignation simply means that another takes his place, 
but in this case it was felt that by letting the matter 
pass over, there was a tacit acknowledgment of the 
truth of the charge made by the archdeacon. There 
was a small party in the convention which rejoiced 
in the secession of any high churchman, and one of 
them moved that this resignation be simply accepted. 
Once more, however, the convention accepted the 
leadership of Doctor Reichel, and by a vote of two 
hundred to twelve agreed to his resolution : 

That in accepting the resignation of the Venerable William 
Lee, D.D., Archdeacon of Dublin, the Convention distinctly 
repudiates the allegation contained in his letter to the Lord 
Primate, viz. : that the Convention had adopted a resolution, 
of which the object is to alter or modify the doctrines of the 
Church, as denned in the Book of Common Prayer." 2 

1 Memoir of Bishop Reichel prefixed to Sermons by Charles Parson* 
Reichel, published after the Bishop's death. 

' ! Journal of (He General Convention of the Church of Ireland. 


The part which Doctor Reichel took in shaping the 
regulations for the appointment of clergymen to vacant 
cures may be said to have been paralleled by Doctor 
Pilkington in framing that chapter of the statutes 
which deals with ecclesiastical tribunals. Doctor 
Pilkington held for some years the office of Chancellor 
to the Diocese of Meath, and was one of the ablest 
ecclesiastical lawyers of his time. There is scarcely a 
clause in the chapter referred to which was not amended 
at his suggestion, and several of the rules which were 
introduced were proposed by him. 

It remains to add that the mode of electing to the 
Primacy, after much debate and many abortive 
proposals, was settled by the acceptance of a resolution 
proposed by one of the Meath representatives. It 
was Mr. Barlow Smythe whose suggestion was in the 
end adopted, and which now, with some modification, 
forms part of the law of the Church. 

At the ensuing Easter vestries, lists of registered 
vestrymen were formed, and in each parish a select 
vestry was elected, as well as parochial nominators 
and diocesan synodsmen. Thus the parochial 
machinery was set at work which has continued in 
operation until the present day. 

The first meeting of the Diocesan Synod, formed 
in accordance with the rules laid down by the Irish 
Church Convention, was held on the twenty-eighth 
of July, 1870. The members assembled for Divine 
Service and the celebration of the Holy Communion 
in the chapel of the Lying-in-Hospital, Dublin, and 
afterwards met for the transaction of business in the 
Pillar Room of the Rotunda. The meeting lasted for 
two days, and as the mandate from the Primate for the 
election of members of the General Synod had not yet 
been received, it was adjourned for that purpose, and 

VOL. n. p 


met again later in the year in two parts the Meath 
portion in Navan, and the Westmeath portion in 
Mullingar. The resolutions adopted at this synod 
were all of a business-like character ; they denned the 
duties of the Diocesan Council, as well as the number 
of members, and the mode of their election. They 
directed the council to carry into effect the resolutions 
with regard to finance which had been adopted by the 
General Convention, and for that purpose to promote 
parochial organization for the collection of subscriptions 
and donations to the sustentation fund ; they also 
asked the council to report on the subject of the re- 
arrangement of benefices, and to prepare a list of 
churches, glebe-houses, and other church property 
that was to be claimed from the government. They 
recommended the clergy to commute, so as to gain 
the financial advantages which were thereby secured. 
These resolutions, together with the election of the 
Diocesan Council and of the Board of Patronage for 
the diocese, seem to have fully occupied their time. 

The Diocesan Council met for the first time at 
8 Dawson Street, Dublin, on Wednesday, the twenty- 
fourth of August, 1870, and set at once to work, meeting 
regularly every month, until after the first arrangements 
were completed, it was not deemed necessary for them 
to meet so often. 

The financial arrangements of the diocese formed 
naturally one of the first subjects to be considered 
by the Diocesan Council and the Synod. It does 
not fall within the scope of this present work to give 
an exposition of Irish Church finance, but so many 
wild assertions have lately been made on this subject 
that it may be well here to explain the exact state of 
the case, taking the finances of the Diocese of Meath 
as our example. 


The first fact that we have to keep in mind is that 
the Irish Church Act provided for the payment of the 
existing clergy as long as they lived, and gave to the 
Church the right of demanding their services in return 
for this payment. In other words, the Act did not 
turn the clergy all adrift. It was felt that to do so 
would be intolerably unjust. What the Act provided 
was that, while the existing clergy lived, things 
were to go on as before, but as each clergyman died, 
there would be no State provision for hiss uccessor. 
The position of the Diocese of Meath then was that it 
had one hundred and thirteen clergymen whose services 
would be paid for by the government as long as they 
lived, but when they died provision had to be made 
for their successors. Such clergymen were henceforth 
known as " annuitants." It will be easily understood 
that this arrangement made it possible for something 
to be done in the way of re-endowment. In any 
individual parish the parishioners could at once begin 
to subscribe for the support of the ministry, and their 
subscriptions could be allowed to accumulate as long as 
their clergyman lived. On his death, the amount 
thus saved would form an endowment to help towards 
the payment of his successor. 

Another alternative was offered to the church and 
the clergy. It was proposed that if the clergy consented, 
the capitalized value of their annuities would be handed 
over to the Church, and in that case the Church would 
have to pay the annuities instead of the government. 
This was not really an alternative, but was simply 
another and a more economical way of carrying out the 
same business. To pay an annuity year by year, 
or to pay the ascertained value of the annuity in one 
sum, is financially an equivalent transaction. This 
proposal of the government was accepted. The 


clergy of Meath, with two or three exceptions, agreed 
to it, and as a result, the diocese received a sum of 
367,436 145. 8d., and undertook to pay annuities 
amounting to close on ^30,000 a year. The clergy 
who agreed to this arrangement were said to have 
" commuted," and the money thus given to the 
diocese was called " commutation capital." 

It would seem at first sight that this was a large 
sum of money for one diocese to receive under an Act of 
disendowment, but when we look into the matter, we 
will see that the government made an exceedingly good 
bargain by the transaction. Every clergyman in the 
diocese was entitled to a government annuity, and that 
being so, it would seem that the sum awarded should 
be the amount which would enable the diocese to 
purchase such an annuity in each case. But this was 
by no means possible. It would have taken about 
55,000 more to do so. Or to put it in another way : 
if the diocese had invested its capital in Three per 
cent. Consuls, and had been able to purchase them at 
par a thing that was not possible at the time 
and if Mr. Goschen had not brought in his Bill for 
reducing the interest on Consuls : then when the whole 
transaction would have been completed, the diocese 
would have been a loser by 55,000. This sum, 
therefore, represents the profit which the government 
made by its transactions with the Diocese of Meath. 
Instead of making a concession to the Church, it was 
really saving its own pocket. 

The value of the annuities was calculated at three 
and a half per cent. This means that if the sum 
mentioned had been invested at that rate of interest, 
the net result would be neither gain nor loss. When the 
last annuitant had been paid off, nothing would be 
left. The Representative Church Body, however, 


undertook business, somewhat similar to that which 
is conducted by an insurance company, and by their 
success in that enterprise they were able to pay the 
diocese four per cent, on the amount of its capital. 
Three and a half per cent, as we have seen, would have 
enabled the diocese exactly to pay its way in dealing 
with the annuitants. Four per cent, gave a clear 
profit of one half, and this half per cent, profit would 
yield 1,837 a year. This amount, put by every year, 
and allowed to accumulate at compound interest, 
would this year (1907) come almost exactly to 150,000. 
The amount that has been saved out of the original 
capital is more than this. It amounts to 176,884. 
The difference is accounted for by the fact that the 
staff of clergy was at once cut down, and that several 
were content to take part of the value of their annuities 
on being released from the obligation of giving their 
life service. We have thus accounted for a large part 
of the diocesan capital. The remainder has been 
chiefly derived from the accumulation of subscriptions 
paid for sustentation during the lives of the annuitant 
clergy, but not required for the support of the ministry 
until after their decease. The actual financial 
operations were much more complicated than the case 
as here presented, but the final result was bound to 
work out very much in the same way. 

Up to this we have dealt only with the question 
of the payment of the annuitants. Another question 
called for immediate settlement, namely, how to furnish 
stipends for the various parishes, according as they 
became vacant. We have shown above how this could 
have been done in any one individual parish. But 
the uncertainty of life would have rendered the in- 
dependent action of parishes most precarious and 
unsatisfactory. If the clergyman of the parish lived 


long, a good deal could be done to provide for his 
successor, but if he lived only for a short time, no such 
provision could be made. To meet this difficulty, 
the Financial Scheme was framed. The principle on 
which this was founded was that of an insurance 
company, namely, that while each individual case was 
uncertain, the inclusion of a large number of cases 
reduced this uncertainty to a minimum. Accordingly, 
every parish was required to subscribe whether it had 
an annuitant clergyman or not, and the diocese under- 
took to pay the stipend of the new incumbent whenever 
it became necessary to appoint one. In this way it was 
calculated that in the early years, when few clergymen 
would have to be paid, an amount of capital could be 
secured, the interest on which would be available 
when the full charge of sustentation would have to be 
borne. It was expected that -a fund could thus be 
formed sufficient to pay thirty-five per cent, of the 
incomes of all the clergy in Meath, and on this basis 
the financial scheme was founded. Subsequent 
years showed the correctness of these calculations. 
Not only has the scheme been able to pay all the 
demands that were made upon it, but since the year 
1896 it has been found possible to pay bonuses of six 
and four per cent, to those clergy who have been ten 
years in Orders, and to carry over every year a balance 
amounting to about one thousand pounds. 

The Financial Scheme was adopted at the synod 
which was assembled on the fifteenth of November, 
1871. Earlier in the year, the Reverend Robert Gregg, 
who afterwards became successively Bishop of Ossory, 
Bishop of Cork, and Archbishop of Armagh, attended 
a meeting of the Diocesan Council, and explained the 
financial proposals of the Representative Church Body. 
At that meeting a sub-committee was appointed, 


consisting of Archdeacon Stopford, the Reverend 
Garrett Nugent, afterwards Archdeacon of Meath, 
Mr. W. Barlow Smythe, The Honourable R. Handcock, 
Mr. Robert Fowler, Mr. G. A. Rochfort Boyd, and 
Mr. Thomas P. Cairnes. These drew up a draft of the 
scheme, which was presented to the council, and then 
submitted to the synod. It was afterwards submitted 
to an actuary, and then to the Representative Church 
Body. At the following synod (July gth, 1872), it 
was again brought up, and with some amendments 
was brought into the shape which it has since retained. 

A large number of the clergy elected to 
" compound," that is to say, they gave up their 
annuities, and received in return a lump sum, amounting 
to somewhat more than half the value, being relieved 
at the same time from the obligation of giving their 
life service. Many of them continued to work in the 
diocese, but became stipendiary clergy, receiving the 
ordinary stipend of the parish, with a certain deduction, 
on account of the capital sum which they had received. 
In every such case the parish became vacant, and this 
fact very considerably facilitated the work of re- 
arrangement of benefices. This project was therefore 
taken in hand at once. At the time of disendowment 
the number of benefices was one hundred and five. 
This number was immediately reduced to seventy- 
seven. A still further reduction took place afterwards, 
so that the number of parishes now amounts to 
seventy. This consolidation of parishes was in every 
way good for the diocese. It was economical, for it 
enabled the work to be done with a smaller staff. 
But it was also good in other ways, for some of the 
parishes were absurdly small, and indeed it was only 
difficulties about patronage and the like that had 
prevented it from being carried out at an earlier period. 


The net result of all was that the diocese entered 
on its new circumstances with a reduced income and 
a reduced staff. But the reduction in income was not 
so much as to render the average stipend of a clergyman 
much less than it had been before ; nor was the reduction 
in staff great enough to interfere seriously with the 
efficient working of the diocese. A few churches were 
closed, where the small numbers attending rendered 
this course advisable, but in every case there was 
another church within a reasonable distance, so that 
none of the parishioners were left without the means 
of grace. On the whole, therefore, it may be said that 
the spiritual wants of the people are as well attended 
to as in the old times, and that the blow of dis- 
establishment has not in any way impaired the 
efficiency of the work in the diocese. 


IN August, 1876, the Church of Ireland, and especially 
the Diocese of Meath, was startled by the announce- 
ment of the unexpected death of Bishop Butcher. 
He had been suffering from fever, but there was every 
reason to hope that his natural strength would enable 
him to battle with the illness, when, in a moment of 
delirium, he inflicted injuries on himself from which 
he succumbed. He was a man whose ability and 
scholarship could badly be spared at such a time, for 
the controversy as to the revision of the Prayer Book 
was then at its height, and the Church needed wise 
and able leaders for the difficult work that she had 
undertaken. The Diocesan Report for 1875, which 
was presented to the synod on the seventeenth of 
October, 1876, has the following notice of the deceased 
prelate : 

It is our most painful duty this year to record an event 
that has cast a deep gloom over the entire Church, and has 
specially affected the Diocese of Meath. We refer to the death 
of our beloved and revered bishop, who was so suddenly 
and unexpectedly taken from amongst us, in the midst of 
his labours, and in the prime of his usefulness. His loss, 
while most seriously affecting the whole Church, will be 
specially felt in this diocese, over which he presided in the 
trying period since disestablishment, with such marked ability 
and such unceasing care ; and in which his unvarying kindness, 
gentleness, and consideration, have lastingly endeared him 
to all. In the General Synod, while ably and firmly maintaining 
his own views, his influence was constantly exercised in the 


interests of moderation and of peace, and he was frequently 
instrumental in effecting amicable and satisfactory solutions 
of difficulties that threatened to be most serious. In our 
diocesan synod, in the Representative Body, in our diocesan 
council, and in other boards of which he was a member, his 
untiring assiduity, his cheerful and willing devotion, his 
forbearance and gentleness towards all, made him conspicuous 
even among devoted men. 

We have indeed sustained a serious, an irreparable loss, 
in this brave, this noble life, too quickly past ; and it remains 
for us not merely to mourn his death, but to lay to heart the 
lesson that his unceasing devotion to his Master's cause, 
and his constant attachment to the Church that he adorned, 
so plainly teach. 

It would ill become that Church to allow such a life to 
pass away without some suitable memorial something to 
mark fitly her sense of the benefits he conferred, and of the 
magnitude of the loss she mourns. Actuated by this feeling, 
the council, at their first meeting subsequent to his death, 
unanimously adopted the following resolutions : 

Proposed by Thomas P. Cairns, Esq., seconded by 
the Dean of Clonmacnoise 

That this council desires to record its deep sense of the 
irreparable loss it has sustained by the death of its beloved 
and revered chairman, the late Right Honourable and Most 
Reverend Samuel Butcher, D.D., Bishop of this Diocese. 
That this loss, while most keenly felt by the Church of Ireland 
at large, in depriving her of one of her most distinguished 
prelates, whose learning, munificence, piety, and incessant 
devotion to her interests, contributed so largely to her 
successful reorganization, falls with peculiar severity on this 
council, over which he presided during so trying a period 
with such marked ability and judgment, and in which his 
earnest and cheerful devotion to the interests of the diocese 
has always been conspicuous, while his unvarying kindness 
and gentleness have endeared him to all with whom he was 
brought into contact. That we desire at the same time to 
express our profound sympathy for his bereaved family in 
their deep affliction, and that for this purpose a copy of this 
resolution be forwarded to Mrs. Butcher by our secretaries. 


Proposed by Thomas P. Cairns, Esq., seconded by 
the Dean of Clonmacnoise 

That with a view to perpetuate the memory of the late 
Right Honourable and Most Reverend Samuel Butcher, D.D., 
Lord Bishop of Meath, and to commemorate the services he 
conferred on the Church of Ireland, as Regius Professor of 
Divinity in the University of Dublin, and subsequently as 
Bishop of Meath, and to mark a sense of the loss sustained by 
his death, a fund be formed to be called " The Butcher 
Memorial Fund," to be applied in founding a professorship 
in connection with the divinity school of the Church of Ireland, 
to be called " The Butcher Memorial Professorship." 

That contributions to this fund be invited, first from the 
members of the Church of Ireland in the Diocese of Meath ; 
secondly from the members of the Church of Ireland at large ; 
thirdly, from all such as knew and valued the worth of the late 
Bishop of Meath, and that the members of the Diocesan 
Council be appointed to carry the foregoing resolution into 

In accordance with the latter resolution, a consider- 
able sum of money (about 2,500) was subscribed, 
but the idea of founding a professorship was abandoned, 
and instead, a number of exhibitions were founded in 
connection with the divinity school, which are awarded 
to students who have passed their junior divinity year. 
The amount in each case is not more than fifty nor 
less than twenty pounds. The capital, at present 
amounting to 2,583, is lodged with the Representative 
Church Body. 

The bishopric having thus become vacant, the 
diocesan synod was summoned by the Lord Primate 
to assemble on the eighteenth of October, 1876, for the 
election of a new bishop. It was felt by all to be a 
momentous occasion. We have seen that in the early 
days, shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion, 
the synod of Meath on several occasions elected the 
bishop. In those synods, however, only the clergy were 


represented. In this case the clergy and the faithful 
laity were to meet together for that purpose. It was 
therefore a new thing. Never before in the history 
of the diocese had such an event occurred. It was 
also one of the first elections held since the dis- 
establishment of the Church. Three other bishops 
had been appointed in Cashel, Kilmore, and Ossory. 
This was to be the fourth. 

Before the synod assembled, the members met 
together for the celebration of the Holy Communion in 
Saint John's Church, Fishamble Street, Dublin. Then, 
under the presidency of the Lord Primate, and with 
the Right Honourable J. T. Ball, LL.D., acting as 
assessor, the synod met in the Synod Hall, Christchurch 
Place, for the serious and responsible task of electing 
a new bishop. 

On the first voting, which was to form a select list, 
it was found that five names were to be included. These 
were, Lord Plunket, who obtained 94 lay and 43 clerical 
votes ; the Very Reverend Achilles Daunt, Dean of 
Cork, who had 81 lay and 41 clerical votes ; the 
Venerable Doctor Reichel, Archdeacon of Meath, 
who was supported by 46 clergyman and 19 laymen ; 
the Reverend Doctor Bell, Rector of Kells, who 
obtained 29 clerical and 18 lay votes, and the Reverend 
Canon Jellett, afterwards Dean of Saint Patrick's, 
who was voted for by 30 of the clergy and 21 of the 
laity. It was easily seen from these numbers that the 
choice lay practically between Lord Plunket and the 
Dean of Cork. Accordingly, on the second voting, 
few suffrages were given to any of the other candidates. 
Lord Plunket obtained this time 84 lay votes and 56 
clerical, while Dean Daunt was supported by 46 laymen 
and 22 clergymen. This showed that Lord Plunket 
had obtained a decided majority over the dean, but 


as it did not amount to two-thirds of the members 
present and voting, another vote was necessary, in 
which the name of Lord Plunket was alone submitted 
to the synod. When the result was declared, it was 
found that 105 out of 116 laymen had voted for him, 
and 74 out of 79 clergymen. This was decisive, and 
thus the synod came to a happy termination by the 
almost unanimous election of the new bishop. 

William Conyngham Plunket, who thus succeeded 
to the See of Meath, was the son of the Honourable 
John Plunket, Q.C., and was born in the year 1828. 
His uncle, Lord Plunket, was Bishop of Tuam, and by 
him he was ordained in 1857. As soon as he was made 
deacon he became private secretary and chaplain to 
the bishop, and a year later he was appointed rector 
of the united parishes of Kilmoylan and Cummer 
In 1864 he was appointed Treasurer of Saint Patrick's 
Cathedral, Dublin, and from that time took a leading 
part in the affairs of the Church of Ireland. At the 
time of disestablishment he was one of the delegates 
to the General Convention, and took part in the dis- 
cussions of that body, working in conjunction with 
Archdeacon Stopford, with whom he was in almost 
entire agreement as to principles, policy and doctrine. 
At about the same time (1871) he succeeded to the 
peerage, becoming fourth Baron Plunket. He soon 
became one of the leaders of the evangelical party in 
the Church, and this fact, together with his position 
as a peer of the realm, marked him as one fitted to 
rise to the highest eminence. It was therefore natural 
that when the Diocese of Meath became vacant his name 
should have been one of the first to suggest itself. 
Some leading men in the diocese communicated with 
him beforehand, and on his intimating to them his 
willingness to accept the office if elected, it was generally 


felt that the election was a foregone conclusion. While 
the matter was still pending, he wrote to his mother : 

The Meath Diocese is the only one (with the exception of the 
Archbishopric of Dublin) which I could well undertake to think 
of just now. The Diocese of Meath, strangely enough, has 
its centre (so far as practical convenience is concerned) outside 
of it. Its synods and councils and boards of nomination are 
all held in Dublin, and it would therefore be quite possible, 
and indeed most convenient (were I appointed), that I should 
reside a great part of the year in Dublin. Then again the palace 
at Ardbraccan (a very fine and comfortable house) is only two 
hours rail from Dublin. The diocese is in good working order, 
and is compact, so that the labour of superintendence would 
not be excessive, and the clergy and laity, so far as I can learn, 
are as a whole not of a troublesome or fratricidal disposition ! 
Altogether, if I am to allow myself to be nominated for a 
bishopric at all, I don't know any diocese for which I should 
more wish to be elected. * 

We have already seen that the surmises of this letter 
were realized. Lord Plunket was elected to the 
bishopric, and was consecrated at Armagh on Sunday, 
the tenth of December, 1876. On the afternoon of 
the same day the bishop wrote again to his mother : 

I cannot help writing one line to say that the consecration 
has taken place, and I am now Bishop of Meath. If I have 
any qualifications to fit me for the high office upon which in 
God's Providence I have been called upon to enter, let me say 
that I owe it all, under God, to what I first learned from you, 
and therefore you shall be the first to hear of the result from 
your affectionate first-born son. 

Letters such as these betray the loving and 
affectionate disposition of the man, and the many 
who remember his episcopate both in Meath and in 
Dublin will bear testimony that this was eminently 
his characteristic in the ruling of his diocese. 

1 Howe. Life of Archbishop Plunket. 


Lord Plunket was a man of wide sympathies, and 
his name soon became well known outside his diocese, 
in consequence of the part which he took in promoting 
movements towards reformation, especially in Mexico, 
Spain and Portugal. The action which he afterwards 
took in consecrating a bishop for the Reformed Church 
of Spain led to much controversy and recrimination. 
That, however, does not concern us here, as the 
consecration referred to took place after he had severed 
his connection with Meath. It may be enough here 
to remark that it was while Bishop of Meath that his 
attention was first directed to the subject. A Dublin 
clergyman wrote to him, setting forth the facts of the 
case, and urging on him the desirability of giving these 
reformers the opportunity of establishing an episcopal 
church by consecrating for them a bishop of their own. 
Bishop Plunket carefully considered the subject, and 
became convincen that this was the right thing to do, 
and having once made up his mind on this point, he 
took up the work with an ardour which no opposition 
was able to quench. He himself visited Spain, and 
satisfied himself as to the genuineness of the movement. 
He then made a strong appeal to those in this country 
who were interested in the cause, and was instrumental 
in raising a considerable sum of money. To a great 
extent he carried his own clergy with him, but there 
were some who held aloof, and it was even muttered 
that he was so much taken up with work abroad, that 
he had little time or thought left for the work of his 
diocese. One of the clergy a dignitary of the diocese 
went so far as to write to the bishop a letter of re- 
monstrance. Many men would have shown bitter 
resentment at being thus called to account by one of 
his own officers. Bishop Plunket, however, while 
he did not accept the rebuke, because he believed it to 


be unmerited, answered in the spirit of a true Christian 
gentleman. He replied : 

I hasten to assure you that your letter has not made me 
angry with you. It is the part of a friend to speak what he 
believes to be truth to a friend at any cost, and we have been 
too long on terms of affection with one another to feel aggrieved 
by frank and kindly speaking. All I would ask is that you 
will receive what I have to say in a similar spirit. 

He then goes on to say that much of the absence 
from the diocese has been due to the illness of his wife, 
and that on this account he had several times thought 
of resigning his episcopate. He shows too, that, so 
far from his having lost interest in his diocese, it had 
prospered in a remarkable way under his rule ; and 
then, coming to the real point of difference, he adds : 

Only one word more. If it be thought that because of 
the deep interest which I feel in the work of reform in other 
churches my interest in my own Church is likely to falter, all 
I can say is that such a principle would contradict every 
experience of the past. No church has ever shown life or 
prospered that has lacked the outgoing spirit of missionary 
zeal, and I can truly say that if any one motive more than 
another urges me to work as, God helping me, I shall continue 
to do, on behalf of such a cause as that of Spanish reform, 
it is the interest which I feel in the honour of my own Church, 
and the desire that by helping others she may bring back 
into her bosom an abundant blessing in return. - 

The first task that confronted the diocese on the 
appointment of Lord Plunket was to provide an income 
for the new bishop. The method adopted in this case 
was practically the same as the provision made for 
the incomes of the clergy. At the disendowment the 
diocese received the capital value of Bishop Butcher's 
annuity, and undertook to pay him his salary as long 
as he lived. If he had lived to the average term of life 

~ l Memoir of Lord Plunket. 


all this capital would have been eaten up, but in the 
meantime subscriptions would have been accumulating 
year by year, and these would form an endowment from 
which the future bishops would be paid. Already 
during the lifetime of Bishop Butcher, a sum of 9,365 
had been put by in this way. The early death of the 
bishop left a large part of the capital still untouched, 
and thus 11,330 was added to the fund. A special 
effort was then made to collect subscriptions, and in 
this way 7,330 was added. The London Sustentation 
Fund Committee gave the handsome donation of 
2,000 ; so that altogether a capital sum was realized 
of about 30,500. The interest on this capital, together 
with annual subscriptions, and a grant of 1,000 a year 
for three years from the General Sustentation Fund, not 
only sufficed for the proposed stipend of 1,500 a year, 
but also left a substantial balance to accumulate until 
the bishopric was fully endowed. At a later period 
another special effort was made, and the whole amount 
was contributed. 

At the same time the palace and demesne at 
Ardbraccan were purchased for 10,325 . It was intended 
to make an effort towards raising this sum as soon as 
the endowment of the bishopric was completed. In 
the meantime the bishop was charged four and a 
quarter per cent, on this purchase money as rent. 
Bishop Plunket took up his residence at the palace, 
but when he was translated to Dublin, it was felt that 
the house was unsuitable to the reduced income of the 
See, and eventually it was sold at a price less by 
1,825 tnan that at which it had been purchased. The 
glebe-house of Ardbraccan was then bought from 
the parish, and at present, under the name of Bishops- 
court, forms the episcopal residence. 

With so many calls on the liberality of the churchmen 



in the diocese, it might well be supposed that other 
things would suffer. This, however, was by no means 
the case. In the Report of the diocese for 1877 
particulars are given of restorations and improvements 
in different churches, amounting to considerably more 
than six thousand pounds, and in the following year 
there is a paragraph which tells that 

The Council are happy to report that the work of church 
building and church restoration, to which they invited special 
attention last year, still progresses with unabated zeal. Three 
new churches are being built at the present time : one at Durrow, 
at the sole expense of the Honourable Otway Toler ; one at 
Moyliscar, at the sole expense of Mrs. Tottenham ; and one at 
Syddan, from a bequest left by the late Miss Ball. At Moydrum, 
a church has been built, at the sole expense of Lord Castlemaine, 
as a domestic chapel, but largely attended by the church 
people of the surrounding district, as well as by members of 
his lordship's household. Moydrum church was consecrated 
during the present year. 

The work thus begun has been steadily continued 
until the present time, and it may now be said that there 
is scarcely a church in the diocese which has not been 
renovated and beautified since disestablishment 
a fact which may be taken as a gratifying indication 
that that event, from which so many disasters were 
anticipated, has not in any way robbed the Church 
of its life and viguor. 

New troubles arose about this time due to the action 
of the Land League and the conspiracy against the 
payment of rent. The land-owning class were zealous 

supporters of the Church, and when they found their 
incomes reduced, it was inevitable that the Church 
should suffer from their loss. In 1881 the Diocesan 
Council had to report a falling off of 813 in the cash 
receipts for assessment, and commenting on this, they 
say : 

When it is remembered that the country is at present 
passing through a crisis of unexampled severity, affecting 


most seriously almost every class in the community, and that 
the class which has suffered most severely comprises those 
who have been hitherto the most steady and liberal supporters 
of the Church, it is only to be expected that we should feel 
the effect of this state of things in a general falling off in the 
contributions. It is also to be feared that the results appearing 
in the present report are not the worst that may be 

These anticipations were justified, for in the next 
year there was a further falling off of 404, but the 
Council give it then as their opinion that " the crisis 
arising out of the Land League agitation has been well 
nigh passed, and that we may now look forward to 
a general though gradual improvement in the condition 
of the country/' This forecast also proved to be 
correct, for in the next year there was a small increase 
in the receipts, which improvement continued until 
matters righted themselves ; and in the meantime it 
was a matter of congratulation that in no case had 
the income of any clergyman to be reduced. 

The effects of the disturbed state of the country 
were manifested in other ways besides this diminution 
in subscriptions. Many spoke of leaving the country, 
and there was a fear that there would be a large 
exodus of the wealthier class of people. Bishop Plunket, 
both in public and in private, did his best to dissuade 
people from doing what he regarded as an act of 
desertion. He was an ardent patriot, and he held that 
it was the duty of every loyalist to remain at his post, 
quoting with effect the words of the psalmist : " Put 
thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good : dwell 
in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." One of 
his best known poems was on this subject, and a couple 
of stanzas from it may fitly close this chapter : 

From Irish soil you love to roam, 

But let me just remind you, 
You'll nowhere find a happier home 

Than what you leave behind you. 


The world explore from shore to shore, 
'Twill be a vain endeavour : 

On scenes so bright you'll never light, 
Oh never never never. 

And now, my friends, go if you will, 

And visit other nations, 
But leave your hearts in Erin still, 

Among your poor relations. 
The spot of earth that gave you birth, 

Resolve to love for ever ; 
And you'll repent that good intent, 

Oh never never never. 



IN 1884 Lord Plunket was elected to the Archbishopric 

of Dublin, and thereby the Bishopric of Meath was 

rendered once more vacant. The Diocesan Synod 

accordingly met on Wednesday, the fourth of February, 

1883, for the election of a new bishop. After the first 

voting it was found that three names were to be placed 

on the select list. These were the Very Reverend 

Charles Parsons Reichel, Dean of Clonmacnoise ; the 

Reverend Joseph S. Bell, Rector of Kells ; and the 

Reverend Canon Wynne, Incumbent of Saint Matthias's 

Church, Dublin, and afterwards Bishop of Killaloe. 

The first two were beneficed in the Diocese of Meath, 

and were well known throughout the whole Church of 

Ireland as preachers of more than ordinary ability. 

Canon Wynne was also equally well known as incumbent 

of an important Dublin church. In the subsequent 

voting it became evident that the choice lay between 

Doctor Reichel and Doctor Bell, but neither of them 

was able to obtain the majority of two-thirds, which 

is necessary to secure an election. The matter was 

therefore referred to the bench of bishops for decision. 

Before the bishops sat for this purpose, an objection 

was made against the proceedings, on the ground that 

the name of Canon Wynne should have been submitted 

to the Synod, and a vote taken as to whether his name 

should be included in the list from which the bishops 


were to make their choice. This objection was upheld 
by the Court of the General Synod, and accordingly 
the Synod had to meet again, which it did on the 
fifteenth of June. Again it was found impossible to 
obtain a two-thirds majority for any one candidate, 
but on this occasion only the names of Dean Reichel 
and Canon Bell were placed on the select list, and from 
these two the bishops were asked to make a choice. 
The prelates met on the nineteenth of August, and 
elected Dean Reichel, who was accordingly consecrated 
in Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, on the twenty- 
ninth of the following September. 

The new bishop was son of a Moravian clergyman, 
and was born in 1816. He was educated partly in the 
University of Berlin, and partly in Trinity College, 
Dublin. In the latter place he had a distinguished 
career, and soon became the best classical scholar of his 
class. He had some thoughts of reading for a fellow- 
ship, but relinquished the idea, and took Holy Orders, 
being ordained for the curacy of Saint Mary's Church, 
in Dublin. There he continued for four years, until, 
in 1850, he was appointed Professor of Latin in Queen's 
College, Belfast. In 1864 he entered the Diocese of 
Meath, being appointed to the Vicarage of Mullingar. 
From that he passed, in 1875, to the Incumbency of 
Trim, becoming at the same time Archdeacon of Meath. 
In 1878 he was appointed Professor of Ecclesiastical 
History in Trinity College, an office which he held along 
with his incumbency, and in 1882 he became Dean of 
Clonmacnoise. He was also Canon of Saint Patrick's 
Cathedral, being the first representative canon for 
Meath. Thus he had been for more than twenty years 
associated with the diocese before he was called on to 
undertake the responsible office of its bishop. 

The memory of Bishop Reichel is still so fresh in the 


minds of many that little need here be said about his 
character and attainments. As a scholar, he had few 
equals in the Irish Church at the time, and in the 
subjects in which he had specialized some branches 
of liturgical study, for example he was without a 
rival. As a preacher, too, he stood alone. He never 
preached without his manuscript, and he accompanied 
the reading with no action whatever ; there was a 
singular absence of anything that could be called 
" flowers of rhetoric ; " but every sentence was terse 
and forceful, and his voice was of such clearness and 
penetration that not a word was lost. He often chose 
the evidences of Christianity as the subject of his 
discourses, and in such cases the argument was clearly 
stated and driven home with irresistible force. In 
controversy he was what would be called a hard hitter, 
and he left on many the impression that his words were 
always bitter and cutting. All those who were 
acquainted with the man in his private life, knew that 
he was the very opposite of all this. He was full of 
kindness, with a heart easily touched, and a ready hand 
to help those who were in need. 

While the diocese was still vacant, the Bench of 
Bishops met, and by a unanimous vote determined 
that Meath should be deprived of the precedence 
which had been accorded to her in former times. The 
Bishop of Meath always ranked next to the archbishops, 
and was styled " Most Reverend," whereas the other 
bishops were styled " Right Reverend." This 
distinction was observed in the Irish Church Act of 
1869, but in 1885 a new rule of precedence was issued 
from Dublin Castle which directed that in future " all 
Archbishops of the Protestant Episcopalian Church 
in Ireland, and all Roman Catholic Archbishops in 
Ireland," were to take rank according to the dates 


of consecration or translation, and that similarly all 
bishops of either church were to have precedence 
according to date of consecration. 

It might have been expected that a document like 
this, which gave to the Church of Ireland the un- 
authorized title of "Protestant Episcopalian Church," 
would be ignored by the bishops in any action in which 
they had unfettered liberty, but they do not seem to 
have looked on it in this light, and accordingly, in the 
General Synod of 1885, the Archbishop of Dublin 
made the following communication from the bench of 
Bishops : " Her Majesty the Queen having regulated 
the Court precedence of the prelates of the Church of 
Ireland, inter se, the archbishops and bishops have 
passed the following resolution in reference to the 
ecclesiastical precedence of the future Bishops of 
Meath : ' That in future the Bishops of Meath shall 
rank next in ecclesiastical precedence amongst the 
bishops according to the date of their consecration, 
and that the style of the Bishops of Meath shall be 
similar to the style of the other bishops of the Church 
of Ireland.' ' The archbishop went on to say that the 
resolution did not emanate from himself. " It might 
seem very ungrateful, but he came to the conclusion 
that if ever there was such a change, the present, when 
the See was vacant, was the proper time to make it." 
The Bishop of Down and Connor followed, and he, too, 
disclaimed responsibility for the resolution, though he 
had supported it. He said that the Lord Primate 
had written to him on the subject, stating " I heartily 
agree with the enclosed resolution, which puts an end 
to what will be found an anomaly the inconvenience 
without any counterbalancing advantage whatever." 

The following statement, drawn up in 1876 by Sir 
J. Bernard Burke, Ulster King at Arms, will show the 


historical grounds on which the claim of Meath 
rested : 

Anciently Meath was one of the five provinces, and?the 
seat of the chief monarch of Ireland. In 1152, Cardinal 
Paparo, Legate a latere, brought over four palliums, and 
assigned one to each of the four bishops, Armagh, Dublin, 
Cashel, and Tuam, erecting those Sees into archbishoprics. 
As some consolation to Meath, and in recognition of the former 
royal eminence of that province, the Bishop of Meath was 
styled Most Reverend, and given the first place among bishops 
primus inter pares. De Burgho, in his Hibernia Dominica, 
says, " Episcopus Midensis primus semper est Provincial 
Armachanse suffraganeus, quanquam enim inter caeteros 
Hiberniat Episcopos esset consecratione junior eos nihilominus 
loco precederet." 

At the Reformation, the Protestant Church found the 
Bishop of Meath accorded the first place among bishops, and has 
ever since allowed that pre-eminence to the See. The Church 
Disestablishment Act of 1871 interferes in no way with 
ecclesiastical pre-eminence, but while severing the link between 
Church and State, has simply disallowed a precedence derived 
from the state connection to prelates of the Irish Church 
consecrated after the passing of the Act. Consequently, 
in state ceremonials and in social meetings, a bishop of the 
Irish Church, who was such at the time of the passing of the 
Act, would, however junior in ecclesiastical rank, have 
precedence ; but not so ecclesiastically. In all church 
congresses, and on all ecclesiastical occasions, the Bishop of 
Meath, however junior in his consecration, is still clearly 
entitled to the same pre-eminence as ever. He is, as he always 
has been, primus inter pares among Irish bishops. 

Bishop Reichel was not the man who would, without 
protest, relinquish any of the ancient rights and 
prerogatives of his See. " He had the dislike of a 
student of history for that kind of reform which 
proceeds from a mere passion for symmetry." T He 
was no sooner consecrated than he raised his voice 
against this action of the bishops, in which he 

1 Memoir. 


maintained they had exceeded their power, and he 
demanded that the matter should be tried before a 
properly constituted tribunal. The clergy and laity 
of the diocese backed him up in his contention, and 
in the Synod of 1885 passed the following resolution : 

That the clerical and lay members of the Meath Diocesan 
Synod most respectfully refuse to accept the resolution passed 
by the archbishops and bishops of the Church of Ireland, and 
communicated to the General Synod at its last meeting, 
purporting to deprive the Bishops of Meath of the precedence 
within the Church which they have continuously enjoyed for 
more than five centuries, and to which they are entitled as a 
matter of right. 

At the next meeting of the bishops, which was 
held on the third of December, 1885, Bishop Reichel 
carried his point, and the following resolution was 
passed : 

That it be referred to the Court of the General Synod, in 
accordance with sec. 3, c. 2, of the Statutes of the General 
Synod, 1885, to determine, in the event of a vacancy in the 
Archiepiscopal See of Armagh, who shall be entitled to convene 
the Diocesan Synod of Armagh and Clogher, and to preside 
at the same, as being the person for the time being authorized 
to convene the Diocesan Synod, cap. v., sec. i, and cap. ii., 
sec. 26. Statutes General Synod ; and to advise the archbishops 
and bishops as to what precedence the Bishop of Meath is 
entitled to as regards the other bishops of the Church of 

In accordance with this resolution, the Court of the 
General Synod assembled on the eleventh of January, 
1886. The sitting members were the Archbishop of 
Dublin, the Bishop of Limerick, the Right Honourable 
Lord Chief Justice Fitzgibbon, the Honourable John 
Fitzhenry Townsend, Judge of the Court of Admiralty, 
and the Honourable Sterne Ball Miller, Judge of the 


Court of Bankruptcy. After hearing the arguments 
of Counsel, the court gave its decision in favour of 
Doctor Reichel's contention, and made the following 
order : 

Upon vacancy of the See of Armagh, the Bishop of Meath 
is, by the Constitution of the Church of Ireland, entitled to 
convene the Diocesan Synod of Armagh and Clogher, and to 
preside at the same, or to appoint a commissary so to do, 
as being the bishop of the province first in order of precedence, 
and as such the person for the time being authorized to convene 
the Diocesan Synod. 

The Bishop of Meath for the time being is entitled to 
precedence among the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church 
of Ireland next after the Archbishop of Dublin, and before the 
other bishops of the said Church. 

Thus the ancient prerogatives of the See were 
secured, and the position of Meath as the premier 
diocese in Ireland was established. 

The Board of Education for the Diocese of Meath 
was established in 1890. For two or three years 
previously the matter had been discussed between 
the heads of the diocese and the Judicial Commissioners 
constituted by the Educational Endowments Act, 1885, 
and the negotiations resulted in an Order of Council, 
by which the new board was formed. It was to consist 
of the Bishop, Dean, and Archdeacon, as ex officio 
members, together with four clergymen and six laymen, 
elected by the Diocesan Synod, and additional co-opted 
governors, not exceeding five in number. Their trust 
was to hold and apply endowments for elementary and 
intermediate education in the diocese, to promote 
technical instruction, and to promote and encourage 
religious, education. The Board took over the 
administration of the funds of the Preston School at 
Navan, together with some other less important 
endowments, and became trustees of all the school 


buildings in the diocese. At present it also 
administers the funds contributed through the diocese 
for the promotion of religious education, arranges 
for the annual examinations in Scripture and Church 
formularies, and provides result fees for the teachers. 

About this time two large bequests were left to the 
diocese for the benefit of poor parishes. Mr. Morgan, 
of Navan, left a sum which yields about 350 per annum, 
and Miss Bolton, of Bective, left money and property 
which gives a yearly income of over 200. Mr. T. P. 
Cairnes, the financial secretary of the diocese, added 
to these bequests a sum of 2,829, yielding 101 per 
annum, and drew up a scheme by which, from these 
three funds, the income of every parish not exceeding 
200 in value was increased by ten per cent. 

During the whole of Doctor Reichel's episcopacy 
he was more or less in feeble health. He had frequent 
attacks of gout, and every winter seemed to bring with 
it severe bronchitis or pneumonia. Towards the end, 
these attacks increased in intensity, and in 1894 he 
passed away in the seventy-seventh year of his age. 
His friend, Canon MacDonnell, of Peterborough, wrote 
of him : 

To those who knew Doctor Reichel from his early days, 
and the intense piety and high motives which influenced him, 
it was a pleasure to see that, as years passed, he was better 
understood and appreciated. Now that his race is run and 
his work finished, what Irish churchman does not feel proud 
of him as one who adorned and did honour to the Church of 
which he was a prelate ? In quieter times and in the evening 
of his days those qualities shone out that were partially 
obscured in the dust of controversy and the party struggles 
of the Irish Synods. Even at his advanced age of seventy- 
seven the Church can ill spare such a man. Like the blaze of 
golden light that follows the actual setting of the sun, the true 
greatness of the man will be more seen when all clouds of 
prejudice have been dispersed by death. Among his intimate 


friends the Bishop of Meath's death leaves a blank which the 
outside public can never understand. 2 

For the third time now since disestablishment, the 
Diocese of Meath was called on to elect a bishop. 
It accordingly met on the twenty-sixth of April, 1894. 
Just on the eve of the Synod the diocese sustained 
another great loss in the death of Mr. T. P. Cairnes, who 
had filled the office of financial secretary from the time 
of the re-organization of the Church. As a financier 
he had few equals in Ireland, and was one of the most 
trusted advisers of the Representative Church Body. 
To the Diocese of Meath he gave his very best energies 
and ability, and he had the satisfaction of seeing her 
finances placed on a sound basis, and their reliability 
abundantly proved, before his death. We have already 
seen something of his liberality, but it was shown, not 
merely in large gifts, such as that which has been 
noticed, but in the help which he constantly gave to 
poor and struggling parishes, where he knew that the 
people had difficulty in keeping up their assessments. 
In his own town of Drogheda he has left an enduring 
memorial in the dwellings provided by his liberality 
for the working classes. When the Synod assembled 
for the election of a bishop, the first business done was 
to pass the following resolution : 

That we, the Synod of the Diocese of Meath, desire to 
express in the strongest manner our very deep sense of the 
irreparable loss which our diocese has sustained in the death 
of its Honorary Financial Secretary, Thomas Plunket Cairnes, 
Esq., who, for a period of twenty-four years conducted the 
financial affairs of the diocese with consummate ability and 
unwearied assiduity. We also desire to make mention of the 
munificent liberality which from the very first characterized 
all our late Honorary Secretary's dealings with the diocese. 
We feel that his loss is not confined to the Diocese of Meath, 

a Memoir. 


but that it is one in which the whole Church of Ireland is 
concerned. We also desire to convey to Mrs. Cairnes and his 
family the expression of our deepest sympathy with them in 
the very deep affliction which has so unexpectedly befallen 

The Synod then proceeded to the election for which 
it had been called together, and a select list was 
formed, consisting of the names of Canon Peacocke, 
Rector of Monkstown in the Diocese of Dublin ; Canon 
Keene, Rector of Navan ; and the Very Reverend 
Hercules H. Dickenson, Dean of the Chapel Royal, 
and son of a former Bishop of Meath. There was 
considerable difficulty in coming to a conclusion, as the 
clergy and laity could not agree as to which name 
should be supported, but in the end all three names 
were submitted to the bench of bishops, and the choice 
of the prelates fell on Canon Peacocke, who was 
accordingly consecrated on the eleventh of June, 1894, 
in the Cathedral of Armagh. 

This is not the place to speak of Bishop Peacocke, 
as he is still amongst us, worthily presiding over the 
Archdiocese of Dublin, to which he was elected three 
years later. Suffice it to say that during his short stay 
in Meath he displayed those remarkable powers of 
organization which he had displayed as a parish 
clergyman, both at Saint George's, Dublin, and also 
at Monkstown. He was quickly winning the confidence 
of both clergy and laity when he was translated to the 
higher office which he now fills so well. 

The last time that he presided at the Diocesan 
Council was on the ninth of June, 1897, and on that 
occasion the following resolution was passed : 

That the members of the Meath Diocesan Council cannot 
separate without leaving on record their feeling of regret that 


this is the last occasion on which they shall be presided over 
by their beloved and respected bishop. While they most 
heartily congratulate His Grace on his promotion to the 
arduous position to which he has been called, and pray that 
he may be long spared to preside over the Archdiocese of 
Dublin, they desire to express their sense of the loss which 
they have sustained, and to assure His Grace that their best 
wishes go with him in his removal from the diocese.3 

3 Minutes of the Diocesan Council of Meath. 


MEATH has had more experience of episcopal elections 
than any other diocese in Ireland. On the translation 
of Doctor Peacocke to the See of Dublin she was called 
on for the fourth time to elect a bishop. Again it 
was found impossible to obtain a two-thirds majority 
for any one name, and accordingly two names were 
sent up to the Bench of Bishops by the Synod which 
met on the tenth of August, 1897. These were the 
Reverend Canon Keene, Rector of Navan, and the 
Reverend Doctor Bernard, Archbishop King's Professor 
of Divinity in Trinity College. Of these Canon Keene 
was chosen, and he was accordingly consecrated at 
Armagh on the seventeenth of October in the same 
year. He still presides over the See in which most 
of his ministerial life has been spent, and it is the prayer 
of his many friends that he may be long spared to fill 
that exalted position. It would be out of place to 
speak of his qualifications or character. It may suffice 
to say that his college record has rarely been equalled, 
and that the range of subjects in which he distinguished 
himself shows a versatility of powers which few can 
boast. He obtained the highest distinctions in every 
subject that he studied, and these included Classics, 
Mathematics, Ethics, Hebrew, and Divinity. No 
further explanation need be desired of the fact that 
the clergy, almost unanimously, and the laity, by a large 
majority, wished to have him as their bishop. 


The events of Bishop Keene's episcopate are so 
recent, that only a few need here be recorded. The 
most important, from the financial point of view, was 
the formation of what is known as the " Supplemental 
Scheme." The funds which were available for this 
purpose were the profits of commutation, and how 
these profits arose has been already explained. In 
1895 it was found that the interest on the commutation 
capital was sufficient to pay the annuities that were 
still remaining, and the year following there was a 
balance of 484. The time had come, therefore, when 
this fund could be dealt with, and the interest, as it 
became available by the death of annuitants, applied 
for the benefit of the diocese. The matter was 
accordingly taken in hand by the Diocesan Council, 
and after much consideration a scheme was drawn 
up, and submitted to the synod which met on the 
twenty-sixth of August, 1899. The capital that would 
be eventually available amounted to 73,831, and the 
interest on this came to 2,570 a year. As amended 
by the synod, and with some subsequent modifications, 
the Supplemental Scheme provides that out of this 
interest the ten senior clergymen in the diocese are to 
receive an addition to their salaries of 30 a year each. 
The next ten in order of seniority receive 20, and the 
next twenty 15. The Rural Deans receive a stipend 
of 10 a year each ; 700 a year is credited to the 
Superannuation Fund ; 200 to the Supplemental Fund, 
and the remainder allowed to accumulate as a reserve 
fund for future contingencies. The first of these 
provisions, it will be observed, secures that a clergyman 
who never gets promotion beyond a parish with the 
minimum income of 200 a year, is secure of obtaining 
in addition 20 a year from the Bolton, Morgan, and 
Cairnes Funds, 12 as a bonus under the Financial 



Scheme, and 30 from the Supplemental Scheme, 
making in all 262 not a very princely income, it 
is true, but fair enough when it is remembered that 
this is the minimum, and that considerably more than 
half the parishes in the diocese would yield a larger 

The Supplemental Scheme too, in conjunction with 
the Central Superannuation Fund of the Representative 
Church Body, enables the diocese to give a retiring 
allowance to those clergymen who are disabled by age 
or infirmity, the amount being calculated on the same 
principle as is adopted by the government for the 
superannuation of civil servants, namely, one-sixtieth 
of the income at retirement for every year served, 
with a maximum of two-thirds. 

In the first report issued after the consecration of 
Bishop Keene, three deaths are noted of prominent 
workers in the diocese. These are Mr. Robert Fowler, 
Archdeacon Nugent, and the Reverend Alfred T. Harvey, 
Rector of Athboy. Mr. Fowler was one of the orginal 
members of the Diocesan Council when it was first 
constituted, and for many years had served as treasurer 
for the eastern portion of the diocese. He co-operated 
ably with Mr. T. P. Cairnes in the drawing up of the 
Financial Scheme and in the subsequent carrying out 
of its provisions. Alike in the Council and in the synod 
his word always carried the greatest weight, for it was 
felt that reliance could always be placed on his wisdom 
and judgment. Archdeacon Nugent held the office 
of Honorary Clerical Secretary from the time of 
disestablishment. He was a man of great business 
capacity, and became the trusted adviser and friend 
of each successive bishop. He was a ripe scholar 
and to the end of his days a diligent student, yet of such 
a quiet and retiring disposition that few beyond his 


intimate friends were aware of the extent of his powers. 
He was appointed Archdeacon of Meath by Bishop 
Plunket in 1882, and became Rector of Trim in 1892. 
The Reverend Alfred T. Harvey was best known in 
connection with the Church Choral Union, which he 
was instrumental in founding when serving as Curate 
of Trim. In later years he acted as secretary of the 
Union, and arranged for the Choral Festivals which 
were held every year. He was also Diocesan Secretary 
for Meath of the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel, and was Secretary of the Diocesan Committee 
of Missions and Charities. To the regret of all his 
friends he was carried away by a painful disease at a 
comparatively early age. 

The Diocesan Report for 1897, commenting on 
these three deaths, says : 

The year has thus been one in which the diocese has suffered 
serious loss by the death of old and valued workers. It must, 
however, be a matter of thankfulness that these wise and 
efficient labourers were spared to us until the work of re- 
construction consequent on disestablishment had been almost 
completed, and the Council feel that the satisfactory reports 
which they are able to offer year after year are largely due to 
the energies of men who are no longer with us. They have 
been taken away, but their work remains, and it is now for us 
to carry on and perfect that which they have so well begun. 

These words express well the spirit in which we 
should think of those men who, by their liberality and 
ability did so much for the diocese in the time of trial, 
and they form a suitable introduction to a few 
reminiscences which may here be given of some of those 
of the clergy and laity whose names ought not to be 

Mention must first be made of Mr. W. Barlow 
Smythe, of Barbavilla. He was present at the first 
meeting of the Diocesan Council, and for many years 


was one of the most regular attendants. He was the 
first lay Diocesan Nominator, was one of the Diocesan 
Trustees, and a member of the Diocesan Court. His 
connection with the diocese was brought to an end in 
a tragic way. It was in the days of Land League 
troubles, and one Sunday, as he was returning from 
church, a shot was fired at his carriage. There can be 
no doubt that it was intended for Mr. Smythe, but it 
struck a lady who was in the carriage with him, who 
was killed on the spot. As a result, Mr. Smythe left the 
country, and resigned all the offices which he held in con- 
nection with the diocese. On receiving his resignation, 
the Diocesan Council passed the following resolution : 

Resolved, that we learn with very sincere regret that W. B. 
Smythe, Esq., has resigned all the offices which he held in 
connection with the diocese for so many years, and the duties 
of which he discharged with so much zeal, efficiency, and 
advantage to the best interests of the Church in the diocese. 
We desire further, to express our deep abhorrence of the 
deplorable event which makes it impossible for him to reside 
with safety on his estate. 

This was passed on the tenth of January, 1883, 
and it reveals in a very striking way the dangers which 
were at that time confronting alike the Church and 
the Country. 

Another name prominently associated with the 
work of the diocese was that of Major Dalton, of Kelts, 
who also was a member of the first Diocesan Council. 
He was an indefatigable worker, and took a lively 
interest in the Bible Society, especially in the Meath 
branch, which employed colporteurs to work in different 
parts of the diocese. The Honourable Robert J. 
Handcock, of Athlone, was another member of the 
original council, and for many years acted as Diocesan 
Treasurer for the Westmeath district. He seldom 
took part in debate, but he was one of the most regular 


attendants at the meetings, and transacted much of the 
financial business. His successor in the office of 
Diocesan Treasurer, Mr. Edward Dames Longworth, 
has also, quite lately, passed from us, his life, which 
promised so much of usefulness, being cut off un- 
expectedly in its prime. Other names that should 
be mentioned are Doctor Joly, by whose liberality 
the parish of Castlejordan has been endowed, Mr. 
Richard Chaloner, Mr. John Tisdall, Judge Gamble, 
Colonel Cooper, Mr. G. A. Rochfort Boyd, and Mr. 
J. L. Naper. There are many others that might 
be noted, for there is scarcely a parish in the diocese 
that has not had some who have rendered conspicuous 
service to the Church. As we look back on those years 
since disestablishment we may say of the churchmen 
of Meath as a body that they were men of whom any 
diocese might be proud. 

Among the clergy, too, there are names that 
deserve remembrance. The Reverend Canon Bell, 
Rector of Kells, and his brother, the Reverend James 
A. Bell, Rector of Banagher, were both remarkable men. 
Of Canon Bell we have already seen that his was one 
of the names put forward when the bishopric was 
vacant, and the position which he held in the diocese 
may be judged from the number of votes cast in his 
favour, even when against such a formidable rival 
as Bishop Reichel. He was in his day one of the best 
preachers in the Irish Church. Shortly after the 
episcopal election he resigned his parish, but retained 
his position as representative Canon in Saint Patrick's 
National Cathedral. In his last days he suffered much 
from a long and painful illness, which he bore with 
wonderful resignation and fortitude. His brother 
James was almost equally gifted as a preacher, and 
was besides a brilliant scholar. He left the diocese to 


take up work in England under the London Jews' 
Society. In the succession of Deans Brownlow, 
Reichel, Swift, Dowse, and Craig we have men, all 
of whom worked well, and were highly esteemed for 
their work's sake. Mention should also be made of the 
Reverend T. G. Caulfield, Rector of Ballyloughloe, 
by whose liberality that parish is endowed with glebe 
lands which are valued at fifty pounds a year ; the 
Reverend John Westrop Brady, long a member of the 
Council ; the Reverend Francis Hopkins, Rector of 
Trim ; the Reverend Duncan Brownlow, Rector of 
Donaghpatrick, who succeeded Mr. Harvey as 
secretary of the Church Choral Union, and was, besides, 
secretary of the Meath Protestant Orphan Society ; 
the Reverend Frederick W. Wetherell, Rector of 
Rathmolyon ; the Reverend J. H. Davidson, of 
Dunshaughlin, and many others. Nor can we omit 
to mention one who has been recently called away, 
the Reverend Maxwell Coote, Rector of Killoughey. 
He was at the time of his death the " father " of the 
diocese, and had spent the most of his ministerial life 
in Meath. He was remarkable for his liberality, and 
during his lifetime subscribed regularly to many poor 
parishes in his own immediate neighbourhood. By his 
will he left 2,000 for the endowment of his own parish 
of Killoughey, 1,000 to Tullamore, and 1,000 to 
Bally boy. The residue of his estate, which it is expected 
will reach something close on 30,000, he left to the 
poor parishes of the diocese of Meath, being the largest 
benefaction which the diocese has received since the 
time of disestablishment. 

Looking back on these years, we may now ask, 
what is the progress that has been made ? But when 
we come to answer this question, we become conscious 
of the fact that the real tokens of progress are of a kind 


that cannot be tabulated. y The Kingdom of Heaven 
does not come with observation, and hence the 
historian can give no account of how sinners have been 
led to Christ, and saints have been strengthened, and 
believers have been built up in their most holy faith. 
These are things that are known to the great Master in 
Heaven, and to Him alone. All we can do is to tell 
about material things the building of churches, the 
collection of funds, the perfection of organization, and 
the like. But things like these, though not in them- 
selves spiritual, are not without their significance, and 
may be taken as outward signs of that which is inward 
and spiritual. Those who love the house of God 
sufficiently to give of their substance for its support, 
are more likely to be true worshippers of Him to whom 
the House belongs than those who never make any 
sacrifice or practice any self-denial for the sake of their 
religion. With these thoughts then in our minds, we 
may take a retrospect of the past thirty-seven years, 
and record what has been accomplished in that time. 
And first, with regard to the church fabrics. Some 
churches, we know, have been closed, and some dis- 
mantled. It has always been with regret that such a 
course has been taken, and in some cases churches that 
are really not required for the districts in which they 
are placed have been preserved and used for occasional 
services. On the other hand, no less than nine new 
churches have been built. These are : the Church 
of Foyran, built by subscription, and consecrated in 
1876 ; the Church of Shannon Bridge, in the Parish of 
Clonmacnoise, built by Captain Charles Dunne, with 
some help from the parishioners and others, and conse- 
crated in 1877 ; the Chapel of Moydrum, built by Lord 
Castlemaine, and consecrated in 1879 ; the Church of 
Moyliscar, built by Mrs. Tottenham, consecrated in 


1880 ; The Church "of Burrow, built by the Honourable 
Otway Fortescue Toler, consecrated in 1881 ; the 
Church of Syddan, built by funds bequeathed by 
Miss Elizabeth Ball, and consecrated in the same year ; 
the Church of Lynally, built by the bequest of Captain 
Howard Bury, and the gift of his wife Lady Emily 
Bury, consecrated in 1887 ; the Church of Donagh- 
patrick, built by Mr. Thomas Gerrard, and his sisters, 
Mrs. Collins and Mrs. Johnston, consecrated in 1897 ; 
and the Church of Skryne, built by Sir John Dillon, 
Bart., with some help from the parishioners, and 
consecrated in 1904. These are for the most part 
buildings of great beauty some of them small, but 
all of them adequate for the wants of the districts in 
which they are placed. 

As to the other churches, it would be impossible 
now to record how much has been done in the way of 
restoration, and merely to enumerate the buildings 
which have been renewed would be to give a list which 
would include almost every church in the diocese. The 
old square pews, which were at once unsightly and 
inconvenient, have so completely disappeared, that 
many in the rising generation can have no idea of the 
arrangements that were to be found nearly everywhere 
in the days of their elders. 

Before disestablishment the repairs of churches 
were executed chiefly by the Ecclesiastical Com- 
missioners, and it was feared by many that when the 
expense of supporting the ministry was thrown upon 
the people, it would put such a tax on their energies 
that the church fabrics would inevitably be neglected. 
The result has shown that this was by no means the 
case. As soon as parishioners felt that they were 
themselves responsible for the care of their churches, 
they rose well to the occasion, and spared neither 


expense nor trouble in preserving and beautifying 
their sanctuaries. 

Turning now to the finances of the Church, the 
record of the diocese for the past thirty-seven years 
has been remarkable indeed. From the first a large 
and yearly increasing sum had to be paid for the 
support of the ministry and of the various organizations 
connected with the Church. Not only has this been 
met, but a large sum has been laid by, the interest on 
which is available for carrying on the work. There 
is a prevalent idea that the greater part of the capital 
which the Church has saved is due to the liberal terms 
obtained under the Irish Church Act. That a con- 
siderable sum has been gained in this way has already 
been shown, though it is to be remembered, as has also 
been pointed out, that the arrangement was as 
advantageous to the government as it was to the Church. 
It may be well, however, taking Meath again as our 
example, to show how much of the capital is due not 
to the financial operations of the Representative 
Church Body in dealing with commutation capital, 
but to the generosity of the Church members, who 
contributed year by year to the building up of the 
diocesan funds. Taking the balance-sheet of the 
Diocese of Meath for the year 1905, and excluding all 
sums which have been derived directly or indirectly 
from the concessions made in the Irish Church Act, we 
have the following items : 

s. d. 

Parochial Endowments, contributed since the 

passing of the Disendovvment Bill . . . . 54.587 4 2 
Half the Composition Endowments, which had to 

be subscribed in each case . . . . 16,635 I2 TI 
Episcopal Endowment, excluding Composition 

Balance of Bishop Butcher . . . - 26,170 o o 

Stipend Fund No. i, excluding Composition Balances 92,573 15 9 

Supplemental Fund . . . . . - 304 6 9 

Stipend Fund No. 2, excluding Composition Balances 1,778 3 5 



Diocesan Endowment Fund 
Poor Parish Fund 
Cairnes Fund 
Bolton Fund 
Morgan Fund 

Paid for purchase of Glebes 
Widows and Orphans Fund 
Superannuation Fund 
See House 

s. d. 

2,079 6 4 

890 5 7 

2.870 18 9 

3.731 14 10 

9.767 6 8 

24,237 12 9 

788 9 2 

7,072 o o 

1.577 8 4 

245,064 5 5 

This large sum altogether arises from the contribu- 
tions of the churchmen of the diocese, and it tells 
us how nobly they have risen to their responsibilities. 
This does not include Mr. Coote's bequest, nor certain 
sums contributed for endowment of various parishes, 
which are not vested in the Representative Church 
Body. If these be taken into account, the amount 
would scarcely fall short of 300,000. 

Nor is the spirit of liberality dead. Another of the 
fears which timorous souls expressed was that when the 
generation passed away who had witnessed disestablish- 
ment, their successors would not have the same 
enthusiasm, nor be so ready to make sacrifices on 
behalf of the Church. That this fear, too, is groundless 
is shown by the response which has just been made to 
the appeal of the Representative Church Body for an 
Auxiliary Fund, which is to cover loss resulting from 
the reinvestment of money that had been lent on 
mortgage. To that appeal, Meath has already 
promised a contribution of 22,861, and in this 
liberality has surpassed every diocese in Ireland. 

While thus providing for the work of God within 
her own borders, and for the general necessities of the 
Church at home, the diocese has not been unmindful 
of other claims, but contributes a sum of over 2,000 
a year to missions and charities. Of late years 


missionary conferences and missionary exhibitions 
have been held in various centres, and those who are 
so faithful to their own Church have shown that they 
have sympathy also with the Church abroad, and are 
ready to support those who are engaged in the glorious 
work of extending the Kingdom of Christ. 

There is, unfortunately, a reverse side to the picture 
which cannot be left out of sight. The Church popu- 
lation of the diocese has decreased and is still 
decreasing to an alarming extent. Since the days of dis- 
establishment one-third of our Church people have left 
the diocese. We see the result in diminished congrega- 
tions, in schools closed, or kept open with difficulty, and 
with an attendance barely sufficient to satisfy the 
requirements of the National Board. It becomes 
increasingly difficult to have efficient parish organiza- 
tions, and in some parishes the smallness of the number 
who gather together for worship on Sundays must have 
a depressing effect alike on minister and on the 
congregation. One of the causes is the tendency, which 
shows itself in the rural parts of England as well as in 
Ireland, of the population to leave the country 
districts and flock into the towns. Another is the 
abandonment of tillage, and the turning of large tracts 
of land into grazing farms, thus requiring less labour. 
These are causes which are not peculiar to our island, 
but are felt all over the kingdom. But there are 
besides causes which are peculiar to Ireland. The 
tide of emigration to America and the British colonies 
has swept away many of our people. Then, the 
tendency of recent legislation^ and of the new land laws 
is more and more oppressive* to' ? land owners, and is 
every day loosening the ties whicr/bind them to their 
ancestral homes. Altogether the outlook is not promis- 
ing. We can solace ourselves that the loss to the diocese 


is not a loss to the Church, for those who have left us 
have brought to their new homes the religion which they 
learnt at home, and in the far-off west, or in Africa or 
Australia, they still continue in the good old way ; 
but this thought, though it may comfort us, does not 
make the work here at home less difficult. Yet we 
must not grow weary in the work, for those who are 
still left to us require the more care and encouragement 
as we see them bereft of the support which numbers 
can give. This, however, is our great difficulty, and in 
view of it we can only pray for God's grace, that we may 
not become weary in well-doing. 

After all, though we have this discouragement, we 
have, as has been pointed out, many things to 
encourage us, and as we look forward we know that 
in the history of a country events never stand still, 
and therefore we may rest assured that the present 
conditions will not always continue. One thing we 
learn from the history that has just been recounted, 
that the pessimists who foreboded disaster have always 
been wrong ; and if we keep this in mind it will give 
us courage for the future. God has not preserved us 
through so many vicissitudes, and saved us through 
so many dangers, merely that in the end we should 
fail from lack of numbers. We may rest assured that 
He has a work in store for the Church in Meath, and 
in the meantime we must simply wait in patience, 
faithfully performing the present duty that He gives 
us, and ready, whenever the call comes from Him, to rise 
to higher responsibilities. 





THE churches in the Diocese of Meath are, for the 
most part, well provided with suitable vessels for the 
celebration of the Holy Communion. Except in a 
few instances, they are of silver, and many of them 
are both interesting and valuable. Although the 
author cannot write as an expert on this subject, he 
trusts that a short description of some of the most 
interesting of these vessels will not be unacceptable 
to the reader. 

It is possible that the oldest piece of silver in 
possession of the diocese is the small chalice, still in 
use in the parish of Mayne. It has evidently been 
often repaired, and the cup seems to be of much later 
date than the base. On neither is there any hall mark, 
but, judging from the shape of the base, it may be 
of pre-Reformation date. After the fourteenth century 
the foot of the chalice was made hexagonal in plan, 
so that the cup might not roll when laid on its side to 
drain after it had been rinsed out. After the Reforma- 
tion the shape was changed, so that the new Com- 
munion Cup might bear no resemblance to the old 
" Massing Chalice," and it then assumed the form 
with which we are so familiar in most of our churches. 1 
If the Mayne Chalice were modern, we might not be 
justified in thus arguing as to its age, for the tendency 
of later times is to return to ancient models ; but 
in its present form it manifestly belongs to a time 

1 Encyclopedia Britannica. 


when no such tendency had shown itself, and hence 
we may probably affirm that, in part, this chalice is 
the oldest vessel that we possess. 

There is a somewhat similar chalice at Athlone, 
which has the inscription, " Ex dono Mariae Dodwell, 
unoris Henrici Dodwell, S.T.D." ; and on the base, 
" For Saint Mary's Church of Athlone," with the words 
added, " Renovatus a Robert Handcock, D.D., 1815." 
Here again the same explanation is possible, that the 
base is of greater age than the cup. The Doctor Henry 
Dodwell here commemorated was one of Cromwell's 
preachers, and his name will be found in the list already 
given. But at the Restoration he seems to have been 
dispossessed, for we find that in 1661 John Stevens 
was appointed to the Vicarage of Athlone and Rectory 
of Ballyloughloe, and three years later paid first fruits 
for these two parishes, as well as for the parishes of 
Kilcleagh, Drumraney, Gallen, and Rynagh. He 
was, it may be noted in passing, father to the founder 
of Stevens' Hospital, in Dublin. This raises a question 
as to the position which Dodwell held. Although one 
of Cromwell's preachers, his degree shows that he 
must have been in Holy Orders, and, therefore, might 
have continued in the incumbency, as did many others. 
Possibly he may have died about the time of the 
Restoration, as it is not without significance that the 
chalice is presented not by him, but by his wife. 

There is besides at Athlone a paten, probably also 
of the seventeenth century. It has no inscription. 
The other plate is interesting, though not so old. The 
flagon is large, and seems to have had at one time 
somewhat hard usage. The lower part is much 
crushed, and the lid, which was originally attached 
by a hinge, appears to have been taken off roughly 
with a chisel. The hall-marks are not legible. The 
inscription reads : " The gift of Henry St. George, 
brother to Arthur St. George, Esq., to the Parish and 
Parish Church of St. Mary, Athlone, Anno 1702, The 
Revd. Edward Wallen being Rector." There is also 
a large flat paten, of the same date, with the inscrip- 
tion : " Ex dono Francisci Lambert ad usum Ecclesiae 
St. Mariae, Athlone, 22 Junij 1702." Athlone also 
possesses a large heavy alms dish, with the inscription : 


" The gift of Henry St. George, Esqr., to St. Marye 
Church in Athlone." 

The church of Eglish has an old paten, which bears 
on the back the date 1559. On the front it has the 
inscription : "Ye Church at Eglish, 1775." There 
is no hall-mark. The curate in charge informs me 
that he has shown it to a friend who is somewhat of 
an expert, and that he thinks that it was very 
probably made in the year 1559, and given to Eglish 
in 1775. If this surmise be correct, it is the oldest 
dated piece of plate that we possess. The same church 
has a flagon which is somewhat remarkable. It is 
nine inches high, like a tankard, with a lid attached 
by a hinge, and a handle at one side. The bottom is 
of oak. The rural dean remarks, "It is doubtful if 
this is an ecclesiastical vessel at all. It is like an old 
pewter pot in shape." Very probably it was not 
originally intended for church use, for in those old 
days they frequently employed vessels that we would 
not now consider suitable for the service of 'the Holy 
Communion. The chalice and paten formerly 
belonging to the disused church of Knockmark are 
held on loan by this parish. The chalice is inscribed : 
" This Chalice and Stand belong to the Parish Church 
of Knockmark, 1819." The paten has, " This Stand 
and Chalice belong to the Parish Church of Knock- 
mark 1819." The peculiar use of the word " stand " 
is worthy of notice. 

There is in the parish of Durrow a chalice, which, 
from the hall-marks, appears to be of the date 1632 
or 1633. The Rev. S. de C. Williams writes concerning 
it, " It has the letters B.T. rather coarsely but deeply 
cut on it, almost obliterating some letters finely 
engraved, which look like F.G. From a comparison 
between the two inscriptions, it only requires a slight 
effort of the imagination to think of B.T. as a vulgar 
upstart, who thought he could take the place of a 
man of culture and refinement by seeking to obliterate 
his initials by putting his own over them. Beneath 
this double pair of initials are the letters C.M., en- 
graved in the same way as the letters, which I think 
are F.G. The silver in this chalice is still fairly thick, 
but the hall-mark was stamped so deeply in it on the 



outside that it is now appearing on the inside." 
Durrow has also a silver flagon, with the inscription : 
" This piece of plate was given by Mrs. Francis Fox 
for the use of the Parish Church of Durrow, Anno. Dom. 
1732 ;" a paten, which has engraved on it, " The Gift of 
Francis Fox of Durrow to the Parish Church ; " 
and a second paten, " Presented to Durrow Church 
by Toler R. Garvey, 23rd June, 1881." 

It would appear that the rebellion of 1641, followed 
by the usurpation of Cromwell, caused most of the 
old church plate to be lost. The Protector, we know, 
seized it wherever he could, and melted it down for 
coinage. It need not surprise us, therefore, to find 
that most of our silver is of subsequent date to those 
events. The chalice of Killucan has the London 
hall-mark of 1663, and is still in perfect condition. 
It has the inscription, " Parrish of Killuquen Cupp 
1664. GW : AD : Churchwardens." The same parish 
has also a large silver paten, " The Gift of Mrs. Jane 
Nugent of Clonlost to the Parish Church of Killukan, 
December the gth, 1742." It has the Dublin hall-mark 

of 1734-5- 

In Kells there is a chalice and paten which, 
according to the Dublin hall-mark, were made in 1663. 
The chalice has the inscription on the cup, " Hoc 
Poculum Pertinet Ad Ecclesiam Parochialem Sancti 
Columbae de Kells 1665," and on the base, " Donum 
Ambrosij lones S.T.D. Archdiaconi Midensis." The 
paten has " Ecclesiae de Kells 1665." There is 
also a large paten or alms dish it would be large for 
the former, but small for the latter with the inscrip- 
tion, " Ecclesia de Kells, A.D. 1671." Archdeacon 
Ambrose Jones, who seems to have been the donor of 
all three, was one of Cromwell's preachers, but 
managed to adapt himself to the varying opinions 
of the time, and so held possession of the living after 
the Restoration. He became Bishop of Kildare in 
1667, but does not seem to have vacated Kells until 
1678, when he was succeeded by another of the same 
family, William Jones. Kells has also a very hand- 
some flagon, which, with a second chalice and paten, 
were presented by Archdeacon Lewis. On the flagon 
is engraved " I.H.S. In Usum Ecclesiae Xti Apud 


Kells. Deo O. M. D.D.A. Georgius Lewis, Arch- 
diaconus Meidensis. Anno 1724." The Chalice has, 
" In usum Ecclesiae Christi apud Kells. Deo O. M. 
D.D.D. Georgius Lewis, Archdiaconus Meidensis. 
1727." The paten has simply the letters I.H.S. with 
a cross enclosed in halo. There are, besides, two 
collecting plates, with a dove engraved, evidently in 
reference to the founder of the church, St. Columba, 
and around it the words, " For the Church of Kells, 
May the 8th, 1738." All these are of English plate. 

The church of Clonard has a chalice presented in 
1677, and repaired in 1796. It has two inscriptions 
recording these facts. " Ex dono Susanna Loftus, 
April i5th, anno 1677 ; " and " Renew'd by Lady 
Jane Loftus, June 22nd, 1796." The hall-mark is of 
the date 1795, showing that the cup is of later date than 
the base. There is also a paten, with the inscription, 
' The Gift of Lettice Loftus to ye Church of Clonard 

The old plate of Athboy dates from 1678, and is 
in bad condition. An electro-plate set is in ordinary 
use. The old chalice gives the name of the vicar, 
Robert Parkinson, and of the churchwardens, Thomas 
Bligh and Robert Fame, with the date. It was 
evidently repaired at a later date, for it has also the 
names of John Hopkins and Thomas Tandy, church- 
wardens, 1749. The paten has no inscription. 

In Skryne there is a chalice and paten, both of 
which bear the same inscription : " This was dedicated 
to the Church of Skriene by the Honourable Mrs. Mary 
Dillon, May 30th, 1680." There is also in the same 
parish a fine silver flagon, and a large paten or alms 

The old chalice of Loughcrew has already been 
noticed. It bears the inscription " Die In Usum 
Eccliae De Loughcrew in Com Miden Dicavit Ric 
Dudell Vic. Anno Dom 1683. The same parish has 
an old silver paten, and three plated chalices, two of 
them dated 1843 ; the third without date. 

The parish of Almoritia has some beautiful and 
valuable plate. The oldest is the chalice and paten, 
which are inscribed, " The Gift of L. M. E. to the 
Parish of Rathcondra, 1691." The flagon has " The 


Gift of Lewis Meares, Senr., Esqr., and Elizabeth his 
wife to ye Parish Church of Rathconrath, 1698." 
Like many other flagons, it has a whistle at the end 
of the handle, which would seem to show that it was 
not originally intended for church use. There is a 
second paten of somewhat later date, " The Gift of 
John Meares, Esqr., to the Parish of Almoritia, 16 
Sepr., 1763." They have also a curious silver gilt 
chalice, with cover, which seems to represent a pine- 
apple. Quite lately a pocket Communion Service has 
been presented to the parish, for use in the visitation 
of the sick. It consists of glass bottle with silver top, 
paten and chalice, and has the inscription, " The Gift 
of Kate Devenish Meares, Almoritia, 1904." 

Galtrim Church has a paten with the inscription, 
" Golthrim Church, 1686." Reference has already 
been made to the curious cocoanut chalice which, in 
1733, belonged to this parish. It may, perhaps, be 
assumed that it fell out of use in 1766, for in that year 
a silver chalice, st'll in use, was presented, " The Gift 
of Mrs. Warren, senr., to the Church of Galtrim." 
Laracor, with which Galtrim is united, has two chalices 
and a paten of eighteenth century silver. One of the 
chalices has the inscription, " The Gift of Carrot 
Wesley, Esqr., To ye Church of Larracor, 1723." 
This, as will be noted, was presented to the parish 
during the incumbency of Dean Swift. 

The chalice and paten of Ratoath date from 1693. 
Both have the same inscription, " The Gift of Kathern 
and Dorcas Bolton to the Parish Church of Ratoath 
on Easter Sunday 1693." The Boltons lived at that 
time at Lagore, and for close on a hundred years the 
rectory was held by members of this family. Henry 
Bolton was appointed in 1677 ; he was succeeded in 
1688 by Doctor John Bolton, who resigned in 1720, 
and was followed by Richard Bolton, who continued in 
the incumbency until his death in 1761. The three 
incumbencies thus fall short by six years of the 
century. The flagon was presented during the last of 
these three incumbencies, and was " The Gift of Mrs. 
Sarai Norman to the Church of Ratoath, A.D. 1743." 
A member of the Norman family, Thomas Lee Norman, 
succeeded to the rectory in 1761, being presented by 


the " true and undoubted patron/' Mr. Thomas Bolton, 
of Lagore. Belonging to the same union is some 
valuable but more modern plate : a chalice and paten, 
dated 1716, belonging to the church of Kilmoon ; and 
a chalice and paten, dated 1776, belonging to Kilbrew. 
The two latter are inscribed, " The Gift of Ham Gorges, 
Esq., to the Church of Kilbrew, April nth, 1776." 

When the church of Kilmore was closed, the plate 
was sent for custody to the Representative Church 
Body, and was by them entrusted on loan to the 
Warden of Wilson's Hospital, for use in the chapel of 
that institution. It consists of a chalice and paten, 
both of which bear the same inscription, " Parish of 
Kilmore, June ye 6th, 1698." There have been added, 
round the inside of the base of the chalice, and on the 
under side of the paten, the words, " In usum Ecclesiae 
Wilson's Hospital. Hill Wilson White, S.T.D., Custos 
A.S. MDCCCC." The warden informs me that " the 
handsome silver Communion vessels belonging to the 
chapel of Wilson's Hospital were stolen some forty 
years ago." Wilson's Hospital also possesses a modern 
paten, which is thus described : "It has rim chased 
with oak leaves between four Maltese crosses. The 
centre is depressed, and bears the Sacred Monogram 
I.H.S. It is supported on an hexagonal stem, divided 
into two portions by embossed knob, and rests upon 
a hexagonal foot." It has the inscription, " A.M.D. 
Hanc Patinam fieri fecit H. W. White, S.T.D., Custos, 
in usum Ecclesiae Wilson's Hospital. A.S. 
MDCCCXCI." There is also a silver and glass cruet 
flagon, inscribed, " A.M.D.G. In usum Ecclesiae 
Wilson's Hospital. D.D. H. W. W. MDCCCXCI." 

There are a chalice and paten at Trim, which are 
interesting on account of having been presented to 
the parish by Bishop Dopping. They both have the 
inscription, "The Gift of Anthony J., Bp. of Meath, 
To ye Church of Trymm 1696." It will be remembered 
that the bishop was rector of Trim. This arrangement 
was first made under Bishop Montgomery, but the 
rectory was not finally appropriated by letters patent 
until 1648, when it was so granted to Bishop Dopping. 
Lord Drogheda makes sarcastic reference to this fact 
in r the extraordinary letter which has been already 


quoted. There is a second chalice, " The Gift of Mrs 
Mary Lightbourne and Mrs. Jane Lloyd to St. Patrick's 
Church of Trymm ; " and a second paten, " The Gift 
of Mrs. Mary Lightbourne and Mrs. Jane Lightbourne 
to St. Patrick's Church of Trymm." The Light- 
bournes were long connected with the Parish of Trim, 
and one of the family became curate to Dean Swift 
at Laracor. The rest of the Trim plate was presented 
by Dean Butler. It consists of a flagon and two alms 
dishes. The flagon was presented in 1855, ^d com- 
memorates that Dean Butler had then been Vicar 
of Trim for thirty-five years ; the alms dishes were 
presented, one at Whitsuntide, 1855, and the other at 
Easter, 1859. 

The Parish of Raddonstown has a chalice and paten, 
presented to the church in 1697, by Mr. William 
Connalle. The silver chalice and paten belonging to 
Moyglare, in the same union, is modern. 

Some eighteenth century and more modern plate 
has been already noted ; for the rest, it may suffice 
to mention only those which have more or less interest- 
ing inscriptions. 

In Ballyloughloe there is a chalice and paten, " The 
Gift of the Revd. Robert Smyth, late Vicar of Bally- 
loughloe, July, 1706." There is also a small chalice, 
" From Lord Sunderlin to the Parishioners of the 
Parish of Drumreny ; " another paten, ' The Gift 
of the Revd. John Travers, Vicar of Ballyloughloe. 
Feb. 9, 1775 ; " and a small paten, which has the 
inscription, " In usum Infirmorum Dedicavit Johannes 
Travers Vicarius De Ballyloughloe." 

In the Union of Moynalty, the chalice and paten 
of Newtown date from 1709. The Church of Moynalty 
itself has a chalice with the inscription, " Ex dono 
Johannis Chaloner, An. Dom. 1714 & Georgij Regis 
Primo." There is also a paten dated 1724. 

The old Communion plate of Kingscourt consists 
of one chalice and two plates. It has the following 
inscription : " The gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Pratt and of 
her only child Mervyn Pratt, Esq., to the Parish 
Church of Enniskeen, County of Cavan, 1710." 
Beneath this is a cross and the monogram, I.H.S. 
A beautiful new service, consisting of two chalices and 


a flagon, was presented to this parish by Mr. J. Pratt 
in 1905. 

The chalice of Dunshaughlin is without hall-mark 
or date, and should probably be placed much higher 
up in our list. It is very light, and of dark silver, and 
has the inscription, " C. of donsaghlin." The oldest 
dated plate belonging to the parish is a small paten, 
" The gift of Henry Webb, Esq., to ye Parish Church 
of Dunsaghlin. Anno 1711." Noah Webb, Dean of 
Leighlin, was incumbent of this parish from 1692 to 
1696. Doubtless the Henry Webb here commemorated 
was a member of his family. The flagon belonging to 
this church is inscribed, " Dunsaghlin Church. Anno 
1719." Of the other churches in this union, Bally- 
maglasson has a chalice and paten dated 1812. Rath- 
beggan has electroplate. 

In Castlelost the chalice and paten are inscribed, 
" The Gift of Mdme Hannah Rochfort to the Church 
of Castle Loss in Westmeath, 1712." The Rochforts, 
as we have already learned, were munificent bene- 
factors of this parish. The flagon is modern silver. 
Of the other churches in the union, Moyliscar has a 
silver chalice, of which I have not been able to ascertain 
the date. Enniscoffy has flagon, chalice, and paten, 
dated 1892. 

The Stackallen plate consists of flagon, chalice, 
and paten. All of them have the same inscription, 
" The Honble Frek. Hamilton, Esqr. Eccles ye 7, 
verse ye ist. Chap, ye ist, verse ye 7th. He died iober 
ye loth, 1715, & is buried in ye Parish Church of 
Stackallen." In the centre is engraved a skull and 
cross bones. The silver belonging to Pay nest own is 
not particularly interesting. It consists of a flagon and 
paten (the chalice and another paten is electroplate). 
There is also a silver alms dish, " Presented to Pains- 
town Church in loving memory of Arthur George 
Murray and his dear Wife Eliza Knight Murray, by 
their sorrowing sons and daughters, 1897." The text 
is added, " God shall wipe away all tears from their 

The plate belonging to Kilbeggan Church is hand- 
some and valuable. It is all of heavy silver. The 
oldest piece is the paten, which has the inscription, 


' The Gift of Brabazon Newcomen to ye Church of 
Kilbegan, 1717. Enlarged by ye Parish 1750." Next 
comes the chalice, which is " The Gift of Brabazon 
Newcomen, Esq., to the Church of Kilbeggan, 1723." 
There is also a flagon, " The Gift of Lieut. Col. Lambart 
to the Church of Kilbeggan, 1754 ; " and an alms 
dish, " The Gift of Charles Lambart to the Parish of 
Killbeggan, 1768." It will be noticed that in many 
of the inscriptions that have been quoted, the spelling 
of the names of parishes is peculiar. One would have 
thought that in the case of Kilbeggan there would be 
little room for variation, but we find that the name 
is spelled in three different ways on these vessels. 
The parish of Ardnurcher, in the same union, has only 
plated vessels, formerly belonging to Lynally. Some 
years ago the silver belonging to this parish was stolen 
by burglars, who broke open the church. The 
probability is that it was melted down by them, and 
therefore can never be recovered. 

In the parish of Rynagh (Banagher) there is an 
interesting chalice and paten, both of which bear the 
inscription, " Ex Dono piissimee Anae Baronissae de 
Louth Ecclesiae Parochiali de Reynah Diocesi 
Medensi. Anno 1719." There is also a large silver 
paten, dated 1815. 

In Delvin there is a chalice with cover, bearing the 
inscription, " The Gift of the Rev. Samuel Hodson to 
ye Parish of Delvin, being Vicar Thereof, A.D. 1720." 
Also a silver paten bearing the Fitzgerald crest. 
Killallon, with which Delvin is united, has flagon, 
chalice, and paten, inscribed, " The Gift of the Rev. 
Jeremy Walsh, deed., near 60 years Vicar of Killallon, 
1789." It would appear that in 1825 there were 
two chalices, but if so, one of them has been 

Forgney possesses an interesting chalice, " The 
Free Gift of Freke Sandys, Esqr., to the Church of 
Forgney, Anno Domini 1722." Also a paten, " The 
Gift of the Rev. Dean Harman To the Parish Church 
of Forgney, 1770 ; " and a flagon of modern plate which 
was presented by Mrs. Frances Harman. It has an 
alms dish, " In Memory of the Right Honourable 
Colonel E. R. King Harman, M.P., who died June 


1888 ; " and a paten, which was the gift of the Rev. 
J. H. Rice in 1895. 

The parish of Ballymore has a chalice which dates 
from 1723. It is inscribed, " The guift of the Parishrs 
of Ballymore. Ye Revd. Wm. Piers, Minister. George 
Lennon and John Dawson, Churchwardens. 1723." 
This was one of the parishes which were appropriate 
to the see. Accordingly we find that, in 1734, the 
bishop presented a flagon and paten. The flagon 
bears the inscription, " D.O.M. In usum Ecclesia 
Parochialis de Ballymore in Diocesi Midensi Rite 
Reverendus Arthurus Divina Providentia Midensis 
Episcopus Hanc Langenam. D.D.C." The paten 
bears the same inscription, substituting the word 
" Patinam " for " Langenam." 

The Newtown Fertullagh Plate is old, and the 
chalice and paten are worn very thin, indeed worn 
through in places. The hall-marks are not decipher- 
able, but the date may be fixed approximately by 
the inscription on chalice and paten : " This belongeth 
to Newtown Fertullagh Church in ye Diocese of Meath. 
John Shadwell, M.A., Rector." Shadwell vacated 
the parish in 1724. There is also a flagon, which was 
" The bequest of the late Barry Lowe of Newtown, 
Esq., 1781." 

The chalice of Syddan was " The Gift of David 
Nixon to the Church of Syddan, A.D. 1731." The 
paten was acquired when the Rev. Brabazon Disney 
was vicar. He was appointed in 1788. fo\ 

A chalice and paten at Tisaran dates from 1735. 
Two brass alms dishes were lately presented to this 
church, bearing the inscription, " A Thankoffering 
for God's protecting Care, the 2nd July, 1905." They 
were presented by a young lady in the parish who had 
a narrow escape from drowning. 

Ardbraccan has been for many centuries the 
residence of the Bishops of Meath. Naturally, there- 
fore, the handsome and valuable Communion vessels 
were episcopal gifts. A chalice and paten were pre- 
sented by Bishop Maule in 1744, and a flagon, chalice, 
paten, and alms dish were given by Bishop Henry 
Maxwell in 1782. 

Agher has a chalice presented by Hercules Langford 


Rowley in 1747 ; also a flagon and two patens. 
Drumcree has a chalice and paten presented by 
Thomas Smyth in 1752. 

Dunboyne has for paten an ordinary sideboard 
salver, with three legs, dated 1763 ; also an old chalice ; 
and a very fine flagon, deposited, at present with the 
Representative Church Body. 

The chalice of Tara dates from 1755 ; the flagon 
and paten from 1766. 

The church plate of Saint Mary's, Drogheda, dates 
from 1767. The flagon and paten have the inscription, 
" In usum Ecclesiae B. Mariae de ponte piorum muni- 
ficentia. A.D. 1767." The chalice has " Ecclesiae 
Beatae Mariae de ponte Gulielmus Graves Armiger. 
A.D. 1767." The silver vessels at Colpe were presented 
by Mr. William P. Cairnes in 1904. They have also 
an electroplate chalice and paten, given to the parish 
in 1815 by Mr. Henry Smith. 

Taughmon Church has chalice and paten dated 
1770. The Portnashangan plate dates from 1823. 
This parish has also a small set of sacred vessels for 
use in the visitation of the sick. 

The Kentstown chalice is the gift of the Rev. J. 
Ball, who was appointed rector in 1786. All the 
other vessels are electroplate. 

The Mullingar plate dates from 1791, and consists of 
two chalices and two patens. They have also two 
electroplate flagons of the same date and a small 
service for use in the visitation of the sick, which was 
acquired in 1902. 

The silver chalice at Clonfadforan is dated 1794. 
There is also a silver flagon which was " A Gift from 
the Countess of Belvidere to the Church of Tyrrels- 
pass, June 25th, 1825." 

Of early nineteenth century plate, which has not 
been already noticed, it may suffice to refer to the 
chalice of Kilshine, presented by the Rev. Mungo 
Noble in 1802, and another chalice, presented to the 
same parish by Mr. John Pollock in 1815 ; the chalice 
and paten of Leney, " Dedicated to God, and for 
the use of the Church of Leney, by Alexander Murray, 
Esq., Mount Murray, 1808 ; " the flagon, chalice, 
and paten of Kilnegarenagh, which was " The gift 


of Thomas Homan Mulock, Esq., of Bellair, to the 
Church of Liss, 1811 ; " the large and handsome 
vessels belonging to Tullamore, which were acquired 
in the early part of the century ; and the flagon, 
chalice, and paten of Killochonnigan, which were 
" The Gift of Elizabeth, Countess of Darnley, 1823." 
The paten of Drakestown, dated 1817, and the chalice 
and alms dish belonging to the same parish, and dated 
1824. Mention may also be made of a chalice at 
Julianstown, with the inscription, " For the use of the 
Parish of Gillingstown ; " and of another at Kilkenny 
West, " The Gift of Captain Richard Newstead to 
ye Church of Kilkenny West." Both of these are 
doubtless much older than those we are now noticing, 
but as the plate marks are absent or undecipherable, 
the date cannot be fixed. 

Three sets of more modern plate deserve special 
mention. First, the chalice, flagon, and silver-mounted 
glass flagon of Lynally, which were presented to the 
church by the Countess of CharleviUe, when it was 
consecrated in 1881. In the same church there is a 
brass almsdish, the workmanship of the Rev. W. F. 
Falkiner, Rector of Killucan, by whom it was pre- 
sented to the Parish. It is a very handsome and 
beautiful piece of beaten brass work, and bears the 
inscription "IAAPON AOTHN AFAIIA o eEOs." Then, the 
very beautiful and costly set, consisting of a flagon, 
two chalices, and a paten, presented by the Rev. 
Francis Swift, afterwards Dean of Clonmacnoise, to the 
Parish of Kilbixey, of which he was then rector ; and, 
lastly, the flagon, chalice, and paten, presented in 
1891 to the Parish of Donaghpatrick by Mr. Thomas 

There is, besides, a good deal of electroplate, but 
for the most part of no particular interest. Special 
mention need only be made of the chalice and two 
patens belonging to Nobber. These were presented 
by Bishop Henry Maxwell, who was rector of the 
parish, in 1792, but for many years they were lost and 
fogotten. A short time ago they were brought to 
Mr. Wilkinson of Navan, who purchased them, and 
restored them to the parish. Before being handed 
over to the rector, they were renewed and replated 


at the expense of Sir John Dillon, Bart. They are 
now in regular use at the celebration of Holy Com- 
munion. They bear the inscription, "The Gift of 
the Right Honble. and Revd. Henry Lord Bishop of 
Meath to the Church of Nobber. A.D. 1792. Samuel 
Murphy, Curate. Francis Hopkins, Joseph Russell, 
Churchwardens. Lost for many years. Restored 
A.D. 1907." 

The only pewter vessel remaining seems to be a 
chalice at Almoritia. There are, however, pewter 
collecting plates at Ballyboy, Enniskeen, Moate, 
Mount Nugent, Kilmainham Wood, Loughan, Moy- 
glare, Kilnegarenagh, Tisaran, and Durrow. 

Many parishes still possess the old copper collecting 
boxes, with long handles, which are sometimes 
irreverently referred to as " warming pans." In most 
cases they have quite gone out of use, and are preserved 
merely as curiosities. It is to be feared that many 
will be lost, unless some means are taken for their 
preservation. It is not likely that they will ever again 
come into use, but, having been once employed in the 
service of the Church, they ought to be rescued from 
the fate of the rubbish heap. 

Some plate has been lost, it is to be feared, through 
the carelessness of the custodians. We have already 
referred to the cases of Ardnurcher and W r ilson's 
Hospital. In Ratoath they had two silver collecting 
plates in 1825 ; there is only one at present. At 
Clonmellon a chalice is missing which was there in 
1825. In Duleek, the " cup, chalice, and paten in 
good order," which were there in 1825, have dis- 
appeared, and their place is taken by poor electro- 
plate, acquired in 1827. ^ n Slane they had two silver 
cups in 1825, and both of them seem to have dis- 
appeared. These are the only cases of loss that I can 
trace ; and, when we remember that such valuable 
possessions were often left to the care of sextons, we 
can only wonder that the loss has been so small. 




AT the Synod of Kells, as we have already seen, the 
various small dioceses in the district were consolidated, 
and formed into one whole Diocese of Meath. This 
may, therefore, be taken as the proper time from 
which to trace the succession of bishops. 

1152. Eleutherius O'Meehan held the See of Clonard at 
the time of the Synod of Kells. He died in 1174. 

1174. Eugene succeeded, and assumed the title of Bishop 
of Meath. 

1194. Simon Rochfort was the first Englishman preferred 
to the See. He was consecrated in 1194, and died in 1224. 
He changed the Episcopal seat from Clonard to Newtown near 

1224. Deodatus, elected by the clergy of Meath, but, 
according to some, died, before his consecration, in 1226. 

1227. Ralph le Petit, had been Archdeacon of Meath, and 
was elected in 1227. He was a very old man, and only 
survived his elevation until 1230. 

1232. Richard de la Corner, or Nangle, a canon of St. 
Patrick's, Dublin, was consecrated in St. Peter's, Drogheda, 
in 1232. He died in 1250. 

1250. Geoffrey Cusack is not generally counted among 
the Bishops of Meath, as there was a long continued contest 
about the election. It seems clear, however, that he was 
actually consecrated, and held the See for some time. 
5 *V{ 1255. Hugh de Taghmon, " a pious man of a venerable 
life," was the rival of Geoffrey Cusack. As late as r255 he is 
spoken of as " bishop elect," and sometime after this was conse- 
crated. He was made Lord High Treasurer of Ireland by 
King Henry III. He died in i28r, and was buried at 

1287. Thomas St. Leger was elected in 1282, but was not 
consecrated until 1287, when he was raised to the episcopate 
at Kilkenny, John de Sandfort, Archbishop of Dublin, and 
Roger, Bishop of Ossory, being consecrated the same day. 
He died in 1320. 

1321. John O'Carrol, was consecrated Bishop of Cork 
in 1302, and succeeded to Meath, by the Pope's provision, in 
1321. He was translated to the Archbishopric of Cashel in 


1327. William de Paul, sometime Provincial of the Order 
of the Carmelites, was consecrated at Avignon in 1327. He 
died in 1349. 

1350. William St. Leger, Archdeacon of Meath, was elected 
by the synod of the clergy, and then appointed by the Pope's 
provision, which ignored the election. He was consecrated by 
the Bishop of Winchester, and died two years later, in 1352. 

1353. Nicholas Allen, Abbot of St. Thomas's, Dublin, was 
consecrated in 1353, and died in 1366. He was appointed 
Treasurer of Ireland in 1357. 

1369. Stephen de Valle, was consecrated Bishop of 
Limerick in 1360, and was from thence translated to Meath 
in 1369. He died at Oxford in 1397, an( * was buried there. 
He was for a time Treasurer of Ireland. 

1380. William Andrew, consecrated Bishop of Aghadoe 
in 1374, and translated to Meath in 1380. He died in 1385. 

1386. Alexander Petit, or De Balscot, became Bishop of 
Ossory in 1371, and was translated to Meath in 1386, at the 
request of the clergy of the diocese. He died at Ardbraccan 
in 1400, and was buried at Trim. 

1402. Robert Mountain, Rector of Kildalkey, was 
appointed Bishop of Meath by the Pope's provision. There 
was some delay in his consecration, as King Henry IV. wished 
to promote his own confessor, Robert Mascal. Mountain, 
however, was consecrated in 1402, and sat until his death in 

1413. Edward Dantsey, Archdeacon of Cornwall, was 
appointed in 1413, and held the See until his death in 1429. 
He was High Treasurer of Ireland, and for a time Deputy to the 
Lord Lieutenant. 

1430. William Hadsor was appointed by the Pope in 
1430. On the death of Bishop Dantsey, Thomas Scurlock, 
Prior of Newtown, seems to have been elected, but he failed 
to obtain confirmation of his election from the Pope. Hadsor 
only survived until 1334. 

1434. William Silk, Rector of Killeen, was appointed 
by the General Council of Basil in 1434. He died at 
Ardbraccan in 1450, and was buried at Killeen, where his tomb 
may still be seen in the ruined church. 

1450. Edmund Ouldhall, A Carmelite of Norwich, suc- 
ceeded in 1450. He died, and was buried at Ardbraccan in 


1460. William Sherwood was appointed by the Pope in 

1460. He was for a time Deputy to the Lord Lieutenant, and 
afterwards Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He died at Dublin in 
1482, and was buried at Newtown. 

1483. John Payn succeeded in 1483, and died at Dublin 
in 1506. In 1496 he was appointed Master of the Rolls. 

1507. William Rokeby, Vicar of Halifax, was appointed 


by the Pope in 1507. He had already held the office of Lord 
Chancellor of Ireland. He was translated co the Archbishopric 
of Dublin in 1511. 

1512. Hugh Inge succeeded in 1512. He was translated to 
Dublin in 1522. 
,* 1523. Richard Wilson was appointed in 1523, and died in 


1530. Edward Staples, Commendatore of the Hospital 
of St. Bartholomew in London, was appointed by the Pope's 
provision in 1530. He was deprived by Queen Mary in 1554, 
and died shortly afterwards. 

1554. William Walsh was appointed when Staples was 
deprived, but was not consecrated for some time afterwards. 
He was deprived by Queen Elizabeth in 1565, and for a time 
imprisoned. Afterwards he retired to Spain, and died there in 


1563. Hugh Brady was consecrated in 1563, and died at 
Dunboyne in 1583. He is buried in the church of that parish. 

1584. Thomas Jones, Dean of Saint Patrick's, Dublin, 
was consecrated in 1548. In 1605 he was translated to the 
Archbishopric of Dublin. 

1605. Roger Dod, Dean of Shrewsbury, was appointed in 
1606. He died and was buried at Ardbraccan in 1608. 

1611. George Montgomery, Dean of Norwich and Chaplain 
to King James I., was consecrated to the Bishoprics of Derry, 
Raphoe, and Clogher in 1605. He was translated to Meath in 
1611, the See having been some time vacant after the death of 
Roger Dod. He continued at the same time to hold the See 
of Clogher. He died in London in 1620, but was brought for 
burial to Ardbraccan, where his tomb may still be seen. 

1621. James Ussher, Chancellor of St. Patrick's and 
Professor of Divinity in Trinity College, was consecrated in 
St. Peter's, Drogheda, in 1621. He was translated to the 
Archbishopric of Armagh in 1624. 

1625. Anthony Martin, Dean of Waterford, Fellow of 
Trinity College, was consecrated in Dublin in 1625. On the 
usurpation of Cromwell, he left Meath, and took up his residence 
in Trinity College, where he died of the plague in 1650. He 
was buried in the College Chapel. 

1660. Henry Leslie, Dean of Down and Treasurer of St. 
Patrick's, was consecrated Bishop of Down and Connor in 
1635. He was translated to Meath in 1660, the See having 
then been vacant for ten years. He only survived his trans- 
lation until the next year, when he died in Dublin, and was 
buried in Christ Church Cathedral. 

1661. Henry Jones, Dean of Kilmore, was consecrated 
Bishop of Clogher in 1645, and was translated to Meath in 
1661. He died in Dublin in 1681, and was buried in St. Andrew's 


1682. Anthony Dopping, Fellow of Trinity College, Rector 
of St. Andrew's, Dublin, was consecrated Bishop of Kildare 
in 1678, and was translated to Meath in 1682. He was 
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dublin. He died in 
Dublin in 1697, and was buried in St. Andrew's Church. 

1697. Richard Tennison, Vice-Chancellor of Trinity 
College, was consecrated Bishop of Killala in 1681, translated 
to Clogher in 1690, and again translated to Meath in 1697. 
He died in 1705. 

1705. William Moreton, Dean of Christ Church, Dublin, 
was consecrated Bishop of Kildare in 1682, and was translated 
to Meath in 1705. He died in 1715. 

1716. John Evans, Bishop of Bangor, was translated 
to Meath in 1716. He died in 1724. 

1724. Henry Downes, Minister of Brington Church, 
Northamptonshire, was consecrated Bishop of Killala in 1717. 
From thence he was translated to Elphin in 1720, and from 
Elphin to Meath in 1724. He had yet another translation 
in 1727, when he left Meath and went to Deny. 

1727. Ralph Lambert, Dean of Down, was consecrated 
Bishop of Dromore in 1717, and was translated to Meath in 
1727. He died in 1732. 

1732. Welbore Ellis became Bishop of Kildare in 1705, 
and was translated to Meath in 1732. He died in 1734. 

1734. Arthur Price, Dean of Ferns, was consecrated 
Bishop of Clonfert in 1724. From thence he was translated 
to Ferns and Leighlin in 1729, and in 1734 he became Bishop 
of Meath. Ten years later, in 1744, he was again translated 
to the Archbishopric of Cashel. 

1744. Henry Maule, Dean of Cloyne, was consecrated 
Bishop of Cloyne in 1726 ; he was translated to Dromore in 
1732 ; and came to Meath in 1744. He died in 1758. 

1758. The Honourable William Carmichael, Archdeacon 
of Bucks, was consecrated Bishop of Clonfert in 1753. From 
thence he went to Ferns and Leighlin in 1758, and in the same 
year was again translated, to Meath. In 1765 he became 
Archbishop of Dublin. 

1765. Richard Pococke, Archdeacon of Dublin, was 
consecrated to the See of Ossory in 1756. He was translated 
to Meath in 1765, and died the same year, just as he was about 
to hold his first visitation. 

1765. Arthur Smyth, Dean of Deny, was consecrated 
Bishop of Clonfert in 1752. He was translated to Down and 
Connor in 1753; he came to Meath in 1765, and finally was 
translated to Dublin in the following year. 

1766. The Honourable Henry Maxwell, Dean of Kilmore, 
was consecrated to the Bishopric of Dromore in 1765. He was 
translated in the following year to Meath, which he held until 
his death, in 1798. 


1798. Thomas Lewis O'Beirne was consecrated Bishop 
of Ossory in 1795, and was translated to Meath in 1798. He 
died in 1823. 

1823. Nathaniel Alexander was consecrated Bishop of Clonfert 
in 1802, and translated to Killaloe in 1804 ; the same year he was 
again translated to Down and Connor, and finally became 
Bishop of Meath in 1823. He held the See until his death, 
which took place in 1840. It may be noted that no less than 
fourteen successive Bishops of Meath were appointed by 
translation, and that from the consecration of Anthony Martin 
in 1625 to the death of Nathaniel Alexander in 1840 a period 
of two hundred and fifteen years no bishop was con ecrated 
for the Diocese of Meath. 

1840. Charles Dickenson, Chaplain of the Magdalen 
Asylum, Dublin, was consecrated in 1840, and died in 1842. 

1842. Edward Adderly Stopford, Archdeacon of Armagh, 
was consecrated i i 1842, and died in 1849. 

1850. Thomas Stewart Townsend, Dean of Waterford, was 
consecrated in 1850, and died in the following year. 

1852. Joseph Henderson Singer, Archdeacon of Raphoe 
and Regius Professor of Divinity in Trinity College, was 
consecrated in 1852, and died in 1866. 

1866. Samuel Butcher, Regius Professor of Divinity in 
Trinity College, was consecrated in 1866, and died in 1876. 

1876. William Conyngham Baron Plunket, Treasurer of 
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, was elected by the Synod of 
Meath on the i8th October, 1876, and was consecrated in 
Armagh on the loth of December in the same year. He was 
translated to the Archbishopric of Dublin in 1884. 

1885. Charles Parsons Reichel, Dean of Clonmacnoise, 
was elected by the Bench of Bishops from names sent up to 
them by the Diocesan Synod in 1885, an d was consecrated in 
St. Patrick's Cathedral. He died in 1894. 

1894. Joseph Ferguson Peacocke, Rector of Monkstown 
and Canon of St. Patrick's National Cathedral, was elected 
by the Bench of Bishops from names sent up by the Diocesan 
Synod in 1894, and was consecrated in Armagh. He was 
translated to Dublin in 1897. 

1897. James Bennett Keene, Rector of Navan and Canon 
of St. Patrick's, was elected by the Bench of Bishops from 
names sent up by the Diocesan Synod in 1897, and was 
consecrated at Armagh. 

The following note is appended by Bishop O'Beirne 
to a list of the Bishops of Meath which was drawn up 
by him : " The first Bishop of Meath who was admitted 
into the Privy Council, except in right of some great 
State cffice, was Thomas St. Leger, in the reign of 



Edward the First. The next who appears to have been 
a Privy Counsellor, without any State office, was 
Edward Staples, in the reign of Edward the Sixth. 
The next was Thomas Jones, called into the Privy 
Council in consequence of instructions given by Govern- 
ment to Sir John Perrot in 1584. The next was James 
Usher, in 1621. The next Anthony Martin, in 1641. 
The next was Anthony Dopping, in whose patent, 
dated I4th of January, 1681, was inserted an unusual 
clause admitting him into the Privy Council. Sub- 
sequent to this period bishops called into the Privy 
Council, as far as I can learn, were Richard Tennison, 
Henry Downes, Welbore Ellis, Arthur Price, Henry 
Maule, William Carmichael, Henry Maxwell, Thomas 
Lewis O'Beirne." It may be added that Bishop 
O'Beirne's successors, up to the time of disestablish- 
ment, all enjoyed the same honour. 



THE Church of Clonmacnoise was founded in 548, and 
it became such an important establishment that there 
can be little doubt but that a succession of Bishops 
was kept up there from the first. Only a few of the 
earlier names have come down to us. 

Baitan, Abbot and Bishop, died 663. 
Joseph de Rosmor, died in 839. 
Maelodhar, died in 886. 

Cairbre Crom, was bishop in 894, died in 899. 
Loingseach, died in 918. 
Colman, son of Ailill, died in 924. 
Dunchadh, died in 940. 
Dunadhach, died in 953. 

Co* mac O'Killeen, Abbot of Roscommon, died in 964. 
Tuathal, died in 969. 
Conaing O'Cosgraigh, died in 997. 
MaelpoU, died in 1000. 
Celechar Mughohornach, died in 1067. 


Gillachrist O'Hectigern, died in 1104. 
Domnald O'Dubhai, died in 1136. 

Moriertach O'Melider, was present at the Synod of 
Kells in 1152. He died in 1188, but resigned some 
time before his death. 
Tigernac, died in 1172. 
Muirigen O'Muirigen, died in 1213. 
Edan O'Maily, died in 1220. 
1220. Melrony O'Modein, died in 1230. 
1230. Hugh O'Malone, died in 1236, and was buried at 

Elias, mentioned as predecessor of Thomas in State 

1236. Thomas, Dean of Clonmacnoise, died in 1252. 

1252. David O'Gillapatrick, died the same year. 

1253. ^Thomas O'Quin, died in 1279. 

1281. Gilbert, Dean of Clonmacnoise, consecrated at Armagh 

in 1281. He resigned in 1288. 

1290. William O'Duffy, died from an accidental fall in 1297. 
1297. William O'Findan, Abbot of Kilbeggan, died in 
1300, after which the See was vacant for three years. 
1303. Donald O'Brian, Guardian of the Minorites of Killeigh. 
Lewis O'Daly, died in 1337. 
Henry, died in 1367. 

Philip, died in 1338. 

1390. Miles Cory, appointed by Pope Boniface IX. in 1390. 
He was made Lord Justice of Connaught by King 
Richard II. 
O'Galchor, died in 1397. 

1397. Philip Mangill mentioned in the Vatican Records as 

" Bishop Elect " in 1397. 

1398. Peter, Abbot of Granard, died in 1411. 
1411. Philip O'Mail, died in 1422. 

1423. David Brendog, appointed by Pope Martin V. He 

held the See for only one year, when it remained 

vacant until 1427. 
1427. Cormac M'Coghlan, Dean of Clonmacnoise, elected by 

the Chapter. He died in 1442. 
1444. John Oldais. 

John (probably not the same as John Oldais), died 

in 1486. 
1487. Walter Blake, Canon of Annaghdown, appointed by 

Pope Innocent VIII. He died in 1508. 
1508. Thomas. 
1516. Quintin, appointed by the Pope's provision. He 

died in 1538. 
1538. Richard Hogan, Bishop of Killaloe, was translated to 

Clonmacnoise in 1538, and died the same year. 


I539- THorence Gerawan, appointed by the Pope's provision. 

He died in 1554. 
1556. Peter Wall. He died in 1568, after which the See 

was by Act of Parliament united to Meath. 


THERE being no cathedral in Meath, the archdeacon 
occupies a position corresponding to the dean in other 
dioceses. He has precedence before all the other clergy, 
and in former times was entitled to preside at the Synod 
of the clergy, which met yearly, on the Thursday after 
Pentecost. Until the time of disestablishment, the 
archdeaconry was united to the rectory of Kells. 

ii Helias. 

1190. Ralph le Petit, sometimes called Archdeacon of 


1222. R . 

1235. Simon de Burford. Had licence from the Pope to be 

elected to a bishopric, although the son of a priest. 

1264. Richard of Malmesbury. 

1269. John de Dumbleton or Dubilton. 

1289. John de Kenelve. 

1295. William de Sidan. 

1325. William St. Leger, appointed Bishop of Meath in 1350. 

1350. Robert de Emeldon, Treasurer of Ireland. 

1361. Matthew Crumpe. 

1362. Adam Owen. 
1369. Henry Poole. 

1372. Matthew Crumpe again. There ,was a dispute 
between the King and the Bishop as to the right of 
presentation. Crumpe was appointed by the Crown. 
Hugh de St. Martial, Cardinal of St. Mary's in 
Porticu was also appointed by the Pope, but Crumpe 
held possession against him. Cardinal Hugh after- 
wards gave his adhesion to the Antipope Clement 
VII., and for this reason was dispossessed. 

1374. Andrew Brandon. 

1386. Thomas Sprott. The Pope appointed Landulph Cardinal 
Deacon of St. Nicholas in Carcere Tulliano, but 
Sprott opposed the provision successfully. 

1388. William Carleil, one of the Barons of the Exchequer. 


1400. Thomas Bathe or Bache, Chief Baron of the Exchequer 

and Treasurer of Ireland. 

William or Walter Young, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. 
John White. 
Christopher Dowdall. 
Christopher Dowdall. 
John Chambre. 

Robert Luttrell. Deprived by Queen Elizabeth. 
John Garvey, consecrated Bishop of Kilmore in 1585, 

and translated to Armagh in 1589, but held at 

the same time the Archdeaconry of Meath in 

1603. Owen Wood. 
1606. Thomas Moyne, Dean of St. Patrick's in 1608, Bishop 

of Kilmore in 1628. 
1608. John Rider, Dean of St. Patrick's, which office he 

exchanged with Moyne for the Archdeaconry ; 

Bishop of Killaloe in 1612. 
1613. Randolph Barlow, Dean of Christ Church, Dublin, 

appointed Archbishop of Tuam in 1629, holding at 

the same time the archdeaconry in commendam. 
I ^33. John Bramhall, Treasurer of Christ Church, appointed 

in 1634 Bishop of Derry, and on the Restoration 

raised to the Archbishopric of Armagh. 
1634. Robert Ussher, Canon of St. Patrick's and Provost of 

Trinity College, consecrated Bishop of Kildare in 1635. 
1644. Arthur Ware. 
1 66 1. Ambrose Jones, appointed Bishop of Kildare in 


1678. William Jones. 
1681. Henry Cottingham. 
1698. James Moorecraft. 
1723. George Lewis. 
1730. William Smyth, Dean of Ardfert 
1732. James Smyth. 
I 759- Charles Stone. 
1799. Thomas De Lacy. 
1844. Edward Adderly Stopford. 
1872. Edward Fleetwood Berry, Vicar of Trim. 
1875. Charles Parsons Reichel, Dean of Clonmacnoise in 

1882, consecrated Bishop of Meath in 1885. 
1882. Garrett Nugent. 
1898. Graham Craig. 
1900. John Rennison. 



Thomas, elected Bishop of Clonmacnoise in 1236. 

Gilbert, elected Bishop of Clonmacnoise in 1280. 

Cormac MacCoghlan, died in 1426. 

Odo O'Molan, deprived by the Primate in 1549. As no 
successor was appointed until 1561, the year in 
which he died, it would appear that the deprivation 
was not effective. 
1561. William Flynn. 

Miler M'Clery was Dean in 1579. 
1601. William Leicester. 

1628. Marcus Lynch, became Prebendary of Tuam next year. 

1629. Richard Price. 

1633. Samuel Clarke. 

1634. William Burley, Prebendary of Tipper in St. 

Patrick's, Dublin. 

1661. John Kerdiffe, D.D., was Fellow of T.C.D. 
1668. Henry Cottingham, became Archdeacon of Meath 

in 1681. 

1681. Theophilus Harrison, Canon of Kildare. 
16 Stephen Handcock, deprived under James II., but 

restored by King William and Queen Mary. 

1697. Theophilus Harrison, probably the same as Harrison 

appointed in 1681. He was appointed Prebendary 

of Clonmethan in St. Patrick's, Dublin, in 1702, but 

continued to hold the Deanery until his death in 1720. 

1720. Anthony Dopping, son of the Bishop of Meath, became 

Bishop of Ossory in 1741. 
1742. John Owen, D.D., Prebendary of Christ Church, 

1761. Arthur Champagne, D.D., Prebendary of Kildare 

and Vicar of Mullingar. 

1800. Charles Mongan Warburton, D.D., Dean of Ardagh. 
He was consecrated Bishop of Limerick in 1806, and 
in 1820 was translated to Cloyne. 
1806. Thomas Vesey Dawson. 
1811. Henry Roper, D.D. 
1847. Richard Butler, D.D., Vicar of Trim. 
1862. John Brownlow, Rector of Ardbraccan. 
1882. Charles Parsons Reichel, consecrated Bishop of 

Meath in 1885. 

1885. Francis Swifte, Rector of Mullingar. 
1900. Graham Craig. 

1904. Richard Stuart Dobbs Campbell, D.D., Rector of 




Milo Mac Thady O'Connor, became Bishop of Elphin 

in 1260. 

Philip O'Dullachan, was Archdeacon in 1366. 
James MacCoghlan, son of the Bishop, was killed in 


1444. Irelius O'Melachlin. 
1568. Malachi Dolaghan. 
1579. Ferdoragh Malone, held the Archdeaconry until 


1620. Joseph or John Ankers, was Vicar of Athlone, 
Bally loughloe, and Kilcleagh in 1608. 

1638. Neill Molloy, Precentor of Kildare. In 1622 he is 

mentioned as Vicar of Fircall. 

1639. Richard Lingard, Vicar of Athlone. 



1398. Bernard Ycellaydi. 

Florence O'Shruan, was a Canon in 1444. 



The Rectory of Nobber was united to this dignity, 
for which reason the holder is sometimes styled " Arch- 
deacon of Nobber." 

1047. Cuduiligh. 

1276. - Synan. 

1287. Thomas St. Leger, appointed Bishop of Meath in 


1315. William St. Leger. 

1362. Henry Powell. 

1380. Walter de Brugge. 

1384. Adam Naas. 

1401. The Bishop of Telese in Campania. 


1418. Robert Sutton. 

1423. John Stanyhurst. 

1534. Charles Reynolds. 

1535. Thomas Lock wood, Dean of Christ Church in 1543. 
1565. Thomas Lancaster. 

In 1544 the Archdeaconry of Kells was united to 
the Bishopric. The appointment of Thomas Lancaster 
in 1565 shows that the union did not become effective 
until some years later. 




AFTER the disestablishment of the Church it was 
decided to make St. Patrick's a National Cathedral, 
and it was arranged that each diocese should elect a 
representative canon. The Prebend of Tipper was 
allotted to Meath ; and it is interesting to note that 
this canonry was held in 1546 by Christopher Gaffney, 
Rector of Castlerickard ; in 1567 by William Leech, 
Vicar of Dunshaughlin ; in 1615 by Gilbert Purdon, 
Rector of Paynestown ; in 1634 by William Burley, 
Dean of Clonmacnoise ; and in 1801 by Hill Benson, 
who was appointed to Ballymaglasson, though he did 
not accept the parish. 

1872. Charles Parsons Reichel, Bishop of Meath in 1885. 
1885. James Bennett Keene, Bishop of Meath in 1897. 
1897. John Healy. 



ATTEMPTS have been made from time to time to draw 
up a list of the clergy in the several parishes in the 
diocese. Bishop Dopping, in one of his manuscripts, 
gives a few names, from which it would appear that 


he had some such idea in his mind, but he does not 
seem to have followed it up. Archdeacon Stopford 
began a similar task, and made some progress ; the 
result of his labours is contained in a book which is 
at present preserved in the Registry of the Diocese. 
The most complete list, however, is that drawn up by 
the late Rev. William Reynell, whose industry in all 
manner of research was a marvel to those who knew him. 
The present author, being unaware of what Mr. Reynell 
had done, went practically over the same ground. On 
the death of Mr. Reynell his note-books dealing with 
the Diocese of Meath were purchased by the Rev. J. 
E. Preston, Rector of Julianstown, and by his courtesy 
the author has been allowed to compare his own lists 
with those of Mr. Reynell. Although in the main 
agreeing, they, in nearly every parish, supplement 
one another. The principal sources of information are 
the First Fruits Returns, the Register of Institutions, 
and the Visitation Returns. Many names, however, 
have been gleaned from other sources so many that 
it is quite evident that the officials must often have 
forgotten to make regular entries. The lists that 
follow are not given as being in any sense complete, but 
the author trusts that they may be found useful as a 
groundwork for further investigation. 

It is to be noted that the date prefixed to a name 
is the ascertained date of the commencement of the 
incumbency ; the date following a name is the ascer- 
tained termination of the incumbency. When the 
year is given between brackets it signifies that the 
clergyman is known to have held the incumbency at 
that date, but that no evidence has been found to fix 
it either as the beginning or the end. Where the word 
" Preacher " is appended, it means that the appoint- 
ment was made under Oliver Cromwell. 


UP to 1854 there was only one Deanery of Kells. 
Since that date it has been divided into two, Upper 
and Lower. 




Consists of Kells, Dulane, Balrathboyne, and 

IN the oldest records these parishes are said to have 
been united " time out of mind." With the exception 
of Kells, however, none of the churches seem to have 
been used since the time of the Reformation. The 
Rector of this Union, up to the time of disestablish- 
ment, held also the Archdeaconry of Meath. Balrath- 
boyne was separated from the Union and formed into 
a perpetual curacy in 1844, but was reunited to Kells 
in 1892. The Church of Kells (St. Columba) was built 
in 1778. The steeple, which stands separate from 
the church, is part of the pre- Reformation building. 
When the church was rebuilt, a spire was put on this 
steeple, which seems to have been of wood, and was 
blown down in a storm. The present spire was erected 
by Lord Bective in 1783. The Church of Balrathboyne 
(St. Baithen) was built in 1844, on a new site in Charles- 
fort demesne. An iron church was erected at Balrath 
Burry by the late Mr. Nicholson, and was licensed for 
public worship in 1877. 

ii Helias. 

1190 Ralph le Petit. 

1222 R . 

1235 Simon de Burford 
1264 Richard of Malmesbury. 
1269 John de Dumbilton. 
1289 John de Kenelve. 
1295 William de Sidan. 
1325 William St. Leger. 
1350 Robert de Emeldon. 

1361 Matthew Crumpe. 

1362 Adam Owen. 
1369 Henry Poole. 
1372 Matthew Crumpe. 
1374 Andrew Brandon. 
1386 Thomas Sprott. 
1388 William Carleil. 
1400 Thomas Bathe. 

1407 William or Walter 

1450 John White. 

1489 Christopher Dowdall. 
1528 Christopher Dowdall. 
1540 John Chambre. 

1558 Robert Luttrell. 

1559 John Garvey. 
1603 Owen Wood. 
1606 Thomas Moigne. 
1608 John Rider. 
1613 Randolph Barlow. 

1633 John Bramhall. 

1634 Robert Ussher. 
1644 Arthur Ware. 
1661 Ambrose Jones. 
1678 William Jones. 
1681 Henry Cottingham. 
1698 James Moorecraft. 
1723 George Lewis. 
1730 William Smyth. 
1732 James Smyth. 
1759 Charles Stone. 
1799 Thomas De Lacy. 



1844 Edward Adderly 

Stopford, D.D. 
1872 Joseph S. Bell, LL.D. 
1887 John Healy, LL.D. 


William Smith (1622) 
1729 John Power. 

Currell Smith (1733) 
1739 Stephen Bootle. 

1747 J. Stanley Monck. 

1748 Henry Roberts. 
1752 Dixie Blundell. 
1760 Christopher Betty. 
1770 John Falkiner. 
1773 William T. Jones. 
1779 John Patterson. 
1788 Francis Ennis. 
1794 Went worth Shields. 
1796 Jason Crawford. 
1800 Thomas Morris. 
1808 Frederick Augustus 


1812 John Robert Moffat. 
1821 Richard Bell Booth. 
1844 John Hopkins. 

1846 William Mills. 
1849 William Kempston. 

1855 Bartholomew Labarte. 

1856 Garrett Nugent. 

1857 John Swifte Joly. 
1862 Charles C. Fuller ton. 

1864 H. H. Mac Adams. 

1865 John A. Cross. 
1872 F. L. Meares. 

1872 H. de Burgh Sidley. 

1876 Thomas R. Rice. 

1877 W. J. Kingsborough. 

1880 Alexander M 'Cully. 

1881 Charles P. Grierson. 
1883 R. R. Graham. 

1885 John N. Lombard. 

1886 George Healy. 

1887 Edmund Lombard. 
1892 Jonathan Oswald Airth 


1895 Charles Edward Hardy. 
1898 Frederick W. Knight. 
1901 Beresford Townsend 

1907 Marcus Henry Moore 



Consists of Moynalty, Newtown, Kilbeg, Robertstown, 

and Emlagh. 

The union of Newtown, Kilbeg, Robertstown, and 
Emlagh was formed in 1802, and these parishes were 
joined to Moynalty after disestablishment. The 
Church of Moynalty (St. Mary) was built in 1819. 
Originally the church of the union of Newtown was 
at Kilbeg, but later the Church of Newtown was 
erected, and is still in use. 


1416 Peter de la Felde. 
1564 Nicholas Talbot 

John Carte (1604). 
1618 Thomas Smyth. 

John Brookes (1634). 
1641 Henry Pemberton. 
1674 William Jones. 

1681 Thcophilus Harrison. 

1682 George Proud. 
1693 Thomas Tucker. 
1740 Charles Meredith. 
1745 John Brett, D.D. 
1768 Edward Day. 
1772 Charles Woodward. 
1793 Hon. Edward Taylour. 



1803 WiUiam Kellctt. 
1851 Henry Brougham. 
1865 John W. Dundas, D.D. 
1893 John Beatty, LL.D. 
1907 Bennett Samuel Rad- 


1739 James Sheridan. 
Philip Smith (1826). 
Charles James Lambert 



1618 Hugo Skinner. 

William Smyth (1622). 
1630 Thomas Williams. 

1666 Alexander Abercrombie. 
1693 Thomas Tucker. 
1728 Thomas Tucker, Jun. 
J 733 James Latimer. 

1740 Charles Meredyth. 
1745 Charles Newton. 
1748 John Bradshaw. 
1753 Gerald Macklin. 
1769 Thomas Simcocks. 
1800 Went worth Shields. 
1829 Joseph Stevenson. 
1863 Henry Ashe. 

Frederick Fitzwilliam 

Trench, 1869. 
1870 James Staunton. 


William Brabazon (1826) 
1860 Johnston H. Acheson. 


John Fitz Johns (1622) 
1684 James Moore. 
1692 Thomas Tucker. 

1717 Thomas Tucker, Jun. 
1747 John Bradshaw. 
1769 Thomas Simcocks. 
1800 Wentworth Shields. 
1802 United to Newtown. 


John Fitz Johns (1622) 
1684 James Moore. 
1692 Thomas Tucker. 
1747 John Bradshaw. 
1802 United to Newtown. 


1644 Ambrose Jones. 
1682 John Stearne. 
1703 Thomas Grantham. 
1709 Alexander Abercrombie. 

1718 Thomas Tucker. 
1747 John Bradshaw. 
1800 Wentworth Shields. 
1802 United to Newtown. 


Very little record of this parish is preserved. 
Ussher makes no mention of it, and within the last 
hundred years the Rural Dean reported that after 
making diligent enquiry he was unable to find it. 
There are two ancient church sites in the parish. An 
iron church (St. Kieran the Pious) has been erected 
on a new site. The parish is now served by the in- 
cumbent of Munterconnaught, in the Diocese of 

1860 H. Hugh O'Neill. 
A. G. Elliott, 1868. 
1868 Denis Knox. 

1885 Joseph King. 
1890 Albert King. 
1894 John Thomas Webster. 



The Church (St. Sciria) was built early in the nine- 
teenth century, and stands on the top of the hill in the 
village of Crossakeel. The original site is about a mile 

1385 John Taaf. 1769 Hon. Joseph Bourke. 

1408 William Silk. 1772 John Andrews. 

1442 Richard Stanyhurst. 1777 Michael Daniel. 

Richard Lindson (1604) 1806 Hon. Pierce Butler. 

Richard Purdam (1622) 1808 Thomas De Lacy. 

1662 Thomas Bladen, D.D. Henry Ormsby, 1818. 

1664 John Creighton, D.D. 1844 Richard Bell Booth. 

1670 Richard Duddle. 1866 John M. Maguire. 

1697 George Adams. 1867 Louis M. Maunsell. 
1703 Ralph Lambert. 

1709 Richard Moreton. Curates. 

1717 Josias Hort. Charles Woodward (1768) 

1721 Robert Howard, D.D. John O'Neill (1826). 

1723 John Ward. R. A. Martin. 

1765 Dixie Blundell. 1860 Richard Booth. 



Consists of Kilmainham Wood and Moybologue. 

The Records of Kilmainham W T ood are very im- 
perfect. It is not mentioned by Ussher. The church 
(St. John the Baptist) was built in 1806. In 1877 the 
Parish of Moybologue, formerly in the Diocese of 
Kilmore, and a chapel of ease to Bailieborough, was 
united to this, and at the same time a new church 
(St. Columba), not on the old site, was consecrated. 

1791 John Kellett. 1878 James E. H. Murphy. 

1808 Thomas Foster. 1882 John Beatty, LL.D. 

1853 Hugh Gelston. 1896 William F. Legge. 

1861 Charles Conry. 1904 Herbert M. C. Hughes. 
1867 Thomas Robinson, LL.D. 


Consists of Enniskeen and Ardagh. 

Both these parishes were formerly united to the 
bishopric, and were chapels of ease to Nobber. In 

1784 Enniskeen was made a Perpetual Curacy. The 
church (St. Ernan) was built at the end of the eighteenth 
century. After disendowment, the Parish of Ardagh 
was united to Enniskeen. The Church (St. Patrick) 
was consecrated in 1806. 


1622 Edward Roberts. 1873 Thomas Rudd. 

1723 Edward Cassidy. 

1785 James Stopford. 

1788 John Nevin. ARDAGH. 

1799 Thomas Frederick Knipe 

Arthur Rolleston. 1723 Edward Cassidy. 

1816 William Pratt. 1806 William H. Woods. 

James Wolfe Charlton. 1816 Michael De Courcey. 
1844 Robert Winning. John M'Causland (1825) 

Edward Norman. 1826 William Pratt. 

Thomas Moriarty. Arthur Stephenson 

Francis Briscoe. ( T 842). 

1861 Hugh Gelston. Edward Fairtlough 

1894 James Harte. (1848-1872). 


Consists of Drakestown, Castletown-Kilpatrick, Knock, 
Staholmock, Cruicetown, and Nobber. 

In 1740 a union was made of the Parishes of Drakes- 
town, Castletown-Kilpatrick, and Knock. The church 
(St. Patrick) is in Castletown-Kilpatrick, and was built 
in 1820. In the old documents this Parish is call Kil- 
patrick, and it is sometimes impossible to determine 
whether this or Kilpatrick in the Union of Rathgraffe 
is meant. Where such doubt exists, a query (?) is put 
after the name. The Parish of Nobber was formerly 
appropriate to the Archdeaconry of Kells, and when 
that dignity became attached to the See, the bishops 
became rectors. The church (St. John the Baptist) 
was built in 1717. It was formed into a Perpetual 



Curacy in 1784. Staholmock and Cruicetown were 
united to Syddan in 1823, but the union does not seem 
to have taken effect immediately, as some later 
appointments to these parishes are noted. The present 
Union of Drakestown was formed shortly after dis- 


1616 James Trench. 
1638 John Hoskins. 
1660 William Sheridan. 
1660 John Kerdiff. 

1664 Ambrose Jones. 
1679 Mark Ussher. 
1702 Thomas Forbes. 
1718 Philip Whittingham 
1740 Michael Whittingham. 
1780 Samuel Close. 

1813 Robert Longfield. 
1835 Edward Nixon. 
1847 William Mackesy. 

1883 Charles Faussett. 

1884 H. B. Hewson. 

1886 W. W. Burbury. 

1887 William Frederick 



1862 John Fleming. 
J 873 James Smyth Franks. 

1868 Thomas George Irwin. 

1869 Richard Smyth. 


1386 John Asserby(P). 

Nicholas Boyle, 1595 (?) 
1595 Thaddeus Boyle (?) 

1616 Daniel Clarke (?). 

1617 William Smyth. 

1665 Ambrose Jones. 
1682 Thomas Hawley. 
1702 Thomas Forbes. 

1740 United to Drakestown. 


William Smyth (1622). 
1641 Nathaniel Nanscome. 

1664 Ambrose Jones. 

1702 Thomas Forbes. 

1740 United to Drakestown. 


1613 John Forsith. 

1621 Hugh Symes. 

1622 Thomas Wilson. 

1623 William Donnellan. 
1625 William Gleeson. 
1633 Richard Mattheson. 
1664 Ambrose Jones. 
1682 John Sterne. 

1703 Thomas Grantham. 
1721 Richard Bolton. 

John Bolton 1761. 
1761 John Bradshaw. 
1769 John Bowden. 

Marmaduke Cramer, 


1788 Brabazon Disney. 
1823 United to Syddan. 

1830 Thomas Birney. 

1831 Benjamin Hobart. 


John Fitz Johns {1622). 

1628 vSamuel Clarke. 

1664 Ambrose Jones. 

1682 John Sterne. 

1703 Thomas Grantham. 

1721 Richard Bolton. 

1761 John Bradshaw. 

1769 John Bowden. 

1776 Marmaduke Cramer. 

1788 Brabazon Disney. 

1823 United to Syddan. 

1830 Thomas Birney. 

1830 Thomas Dawson Logan. 




1418 Robert Sutton. 
1535 Thomas Lockwood. 

William Medcalfe (1622). 
1754 Thomas White. 

John Gorges (1785). 

John Gibbons (1791). 
Thomas Frederick 
Knipe, 1799. 

1799 James Ellis. 

1832 John Wynne M'Causland. 

1868 Moritz Kaufman. 


Consists of Slane, Fennor, Grangegeeth, and 


This Union seems to have been made in the 
eighteenth century. The only church is that of Slane 
(St. Patrick), which was built in 1712, and enlarged in 


1312 John Fleming. 

Roger Winter, 1386. 
1386 Robert Sutton. 
1389 Richard Bone vy 11. 
1402 William Rowe. 

Mr. Adyn (1431). 
1431 William Sutton. 

Thomas White, 1615. 

Edmund Southern 


1667 Arthur Ellis. 
1673 Dermot Sullivan. 
1676 Laurence Jones. 
1695 John Burton. 
1702 John Barton, D.D. 
1719 Ossory Medlicott. 

1719 Samuel Holt. 

1720 John Maxwell. 
1763 Bernard Dogherty. 
1786 Mervyn Archdall. 
1792 Thomas Brownrigg. 

1814 Moore Smith. 

1815 Brabazon Disney. 
1831 John James Disney. 

1865 John Westropp Brady. 
1902 Charles Edward Hardy. 


Joseph Ridgway. 

1857 J. B. Doyle. 

1858 John Leared Irvine. 
1860 Brabazon Thomas 



Edward Southerne 

Thomas Bateson (1633). 
Laurence Jones (1693). 

Nicholas Tedder (1622). 


Nicholas Tedder (1622). 

Samuel Holt (1733). 




Consists of Paynestown, Ardmulchan, Knockcommon, 
Stackallen, Gernonstown, Dunmoe, and Rathkenny. 

The parishes of Paynestown and Ardmulchan were 
united in 1672. The church (St. Mary) is old, but was 
practically rebuilt in 1823. Stackallen, Gernonstown, 
and Dunmoe were united in 1677, but the union seems 
to have been ineffective, for they were again united in 
1803. The Church (St. Mary) was built in 1815. The 
Parish of Knockcommon was formerly in the Union 
of Duleek. Rathkenny Church (St. Canice) is still 
preserved, though no longer in use. These churches 
were served by the same clergyman from the time of 
disestablishment, but the actual union did not take 
place until 1902. 


James Winfrey (1546). 
1550 Cornelius Coyne. 

1559 Terence Larr. 

1560 Adam Loftus. 

Gilbert Purdam (1615). 
I 633 Jocelyn Ussher. 

1684 Joslin Barnes. 
1682 Michael Jephson. 
1688 Lawrence Jones. 
1695 John Barton. 
1702 John Barton, D.D. 
1718 Samuel Holt or Richard 

1763 Hon. George Maitland. 

1764 Hon. Thomas Stopford. 
1794 Brinsley Nixon. 

1799 George Brabazon. 

1807 George Brabazon. 

1851 Somerset Lowry Towns- 

1854 Peter D. Digges La 

1902 William Coates Harvey, 


1615 William Mulligan. 

Edward Sowtherne 


J. Burton (1733)- 
1850 Francis R. Sadleir. 


1542 Roger Doreham. 
1550 Cornelius Coyne. 

William Phillips (1622). 
1628 Samuel Clarke. 

1671 Richard Tennison. 

1672 United to Paynestown 

1693 Laurence Jones. 


William Hayley (1622). 

William Lloyde (1633). 

Launcelot Dowdall 

1816 United to Duleek. 

* Holt, according to Diocesan Register ; Fisher, according to First Fruits 




John Staneyhurst, 1413. 
1413 Christopher Hunt. 

Edward Sowtherne 


1688 Edward Parkinson. 
1721 Richard Fisher. 
1768 William Nesbitt. 

William Marshall (1799). 
1800 George Hardman. 

1828 Brabazon William 

John Hopkins, 1842. 
1852 Thomas Gordon 


1854 Peter Digges La Touche. 
1859 Paulus O. Singer. 

1867 Achilles Daunt. 

Frederick Wetherell. 

1868 John H. Freke. 


Thomas Green (1693). 

Francis D. Hamilton 


1859 Mervyn Archdall Clare. 
1863 Edward AugustusLester. 


1616 William Hayley. 
1632 Thomas Bateson. 
1636 William Meoles. 
1665. Darby Sullivan. 

Edward Parkinson 

1721 Richard Fisher. 
1800 United to Stackallen. 


Robert Nicoll (1622). 

Roger Puttock. 
1641 John Bodkin. 
1721 Richard Fisher. 
1800 United to Stackallen. 


1542 John Tyrrell. 

John Robynson (1622). 
1630 William Lloyd. 
1665 Roger Jones. 
1667 William Meoles. 
1670 William Meoles. 
1673 James Mandesley. 

John C. Brown (1693). 
1696 Richard Reader, D.D. 
1699 Arthur Forbes, Sen. 

John Grace (1733)- 

Thomas Greene, 1743* 
1743 Arthur Forbes, Jun. 
1784 Charles Roberts. 
1800 Robert Henry. 

1808 Barry M 'Gusty. 

1814 Anthony Adams. 

1832 Robert Patrick Dansey 


John William Allison, 

Francis Davidson (1826). 


Consists of Drumconrath, Innismot, Loughbraccan, 
Syddan, Killary, and Mitchelstown. 

Drumconrath Church (St. Peter) was erected in 
1766. The Union of Syddan, Killary, and Mitchels- 
town was made in 1734. The Church of Syddan (St. 
David) is a new one, and was built by a bequest of the 
late Miss Elizabeth Ball. It was consecrated in 1881. 
Innismot retained its independent existence until 
1833, when it was " suspended," there being no church, 



and only five Protestant parishioners. Loughbraccan 
was formerly in the Union of Nobber, but was trans- 
ferred to this Union when it was formed, consequent 
on disestablishment. 


1387 Nicholas Fleming. 

Thomas White (1622). 

1635 Augustus Arland Ussher. 

1680 Robert Parkinson. 

1699 Arthur Forbes. 

1737 Arthur Forbes, jun. 

1783 Bartholomew Lutley 

1791 Hon. Richard Bourke. 

1795 Hon. Joseph Bourke. 

1795 Hon. Hamilton Cuffe. 

1811 James Wilmot Ormsby. 

1813 John William Keating, 

1817 Henry Dawson. 

1819 Hon. Skeffington Preston 

1844 Edward Michael Hamil- 
Lyndon Henry Bolton 


R. Gordon Cumming, 

1872 Samuel Law. 

1892 William J. Kittson. 

1896 Stephen Radcliff. 


1855 James J. Duncan. 
1861 Matthew Lord Eaton. 


William Metcalfe (1622). 
1737 Arthur Forbes. 
1783 William R. Hawley. 
1799 Valentine Duke. 

William Hawkins (1799). 
1807 George Brabazon. 

Brabazon W. Disney 

1410 William Alexander. 
1621 John Forseath. 

1621 Nathaniell Chapman. 
1639 James Beswicke. 


1544 Henry Teeling. 

1545 Edward Karlan. 
1553 Maurice Flanagan. 

William Medcalfe (1622) 
1685 John Stearne. 
1693 Thomas Whalley. 
1729 John Bradshaw. 
1769 John Boden. 

1776 Marmaduke Cramer. 

1777 Robert Erving. 
1788 Brabazon Disney. 
1823 Brabazon W. Disney. 

1828 George Hardman. 

1829 William Brabazon, 1872. 


1860 Alexander Mulholland. 

1868 John Carter. 

1869 John William Allison. 


1560 Richard Birmingham. 

1622 George Sing. 
1626 William Griffin. 
1630 Richard Lingard. 

John Caryford. 

James Beswicke. 
1661 John Matthews. 
1677 Robert Erwing. 
1685 John Sterne. 
1687 James Grantham. 
1700 Thomas Grantham. 

1703 John Sterne. 

1704 Michael Hartlie. 
1729 John Bradshaw. 
1741 Thomas Whalley. 
1741 Isaac Mann. 
1751 Oliver Brady. 



1761 Thomas or John Lucas. 
1769 John Bowden. 
1776 Marmaduke Cramer. 
1786 James Stopford. 
1788 Brabazon Disney. 
1797 George Lambart. 
1820 William Gregory. 


William Medcalfe (1622). 
1685 John Stearne. 
1693 Thomas Whalley. 
1729 John Bradshaw. 
1734 United to Syddan. 


Consists of Donaghpatrick, Kilberry, Clongill, Kilshine, 

and Teltown. 

A new Church (St. Patrick) has been built r at 
Donaghpatrick by Mr. Thomas Gerrard, which was 
consecrated in 1897. The Union of Donaghpatrick and 
Kilberry was formed in 1801. Clongill and Kilshine 
were united in 1809, and they still remain technically 
a separate Union ; for, although served by the Rector 
of Donaghpatrick, the union with that Parish has 
never been ratified by the Synod. Kilshine Church 
(St. Sinche) was consecrated in 1812. 


1551 Redmond Ledwich. 

John Wingfield (1622). 
William Davyes, 1628. 

1638 George Dunbar. 

1639 Robert Worrall. 
1660 William Sheridan. 
1677 Laurence Jones. 
1683 Edward Roberts. 
1724 David Roberts. 
1761 Joseph Pasley. 

1772 Nathaniel or Willianf 


1796 John O'Connor. 
1803 George O'Connor. 
1843 George Everard. 
1863 Henry Thomas Wilmot. 
1863 William Maziere Brady, 


1872 Duncan J. Brownlow. 
1882 John Andrew Jennings. 
1896 Duncan J. Brownlow 

1904 Henry Edmund Patton. 


Richard Carter (1842). 
1870 Francis M. Hanlon. 

1449 John Stackboll. 

William Botiller (1498). 

Edward Delahyde 1535. 
1535 Robert Luttrell. 

1560 Richard Birmingham. 

1561 William Brady. 
1584 John Arward. 
1616 William Davis. 

William Phillips (1622). 
1628 Samuel Clarke. 

1633 William Smith. 
1 68 1 John Twells. 
1671 Henry Cottingham. 
1688 William Lightburne. 

Thomas Greene, 1743. 
1743 William Paine. 
1767 Richard Godley, D.D. 
1791 Richard Vincent. 
1801 United to Donagh- 




1638 John Hoskins. 
1660 John Kerdiff. 
1672 Edward Williams. 
1674 James Moore Clarke. 
1692 Edward Roberts. 
1724 Henry Roberts. 
1763 Gerard Macklin. 
1771 Dawson Crow. 
1790 Wardlaw Ball. 
1805 Robert Barker. 
1809 Thomas Sutton. 
1844 Anthony Blackburne. '"' 
1850 Thomas Adderley Stop- 


1850 Thomas Burton. 
1862 Thomas Irwin. 


Robert Haket (1422). 
1616 James Trench. 
1638 John Hoskins. 
1660 John Kerdiff. 
1671 Edward Williams. 
1673 Richard Jones. 
1638 Edward Roberts. 
1729 Theophilus Roberts. 
1780 William Hale. 
1788 Francis Taylor. 

Francis Jones (1789). 

1792 Thomas Butler. 

1793 Mungo H. Noble. 

1 809 United ^to ^Kilshine . 


16 William Davys. 
1660 William Sheridan. 


Consists of Duleek, Ardcath, Dowth, and Timoole. 

The Union of Duleek was formed in 1816. The 
only church is that of Duleek (St. Keenan), which 
was built in 1816 and consecrated in 1826. The ruins 
of the old abbey church stand in the graveyard. 


1616 William Hayley, St. 

Edward Hayward (1622), 

St. Mary's. 

William Hayward (1633), 

St. Mary's. 

William Lloyd (1633), 

(St. Kennies). 

Thomas Bladin, preacher 


John C. Brown (1693). 

Mr. Higgins (1694). 
1708 J. or Henry Echlin. 
1716 John Hatch. 
1719 Launcelot Dowdall. 
1753 William Bradish. 
1788 William Slessor Hamil- 

1813 Moore Morgan. 

1814 Joseph Turner. 
1831 Edward Batty. 

1856 J. George Digges La 

1863 Alfred Hamilton. 



1863 William Hoyte. 
1868 Brabazon W. Brunker. 
1878 Henry Ashe. 
1906 Charles Horatio Walter 


John Bolt (1421). 
1533 Edward Serle. 
1616 William Hayley. 

William Lloyde (1633). 
1670 William Meoles. 
1700 James Cooper. 
1712 Piers Collingwood. 
1793 Robert Shanley. 
1813 Moore Morgan. 
1816 United to Duleek. 


Nicholas Tedder (1622). 

1667 Arthur Ellis. 
1674 George Booker. 
1692 John C. Brown. 

1699 Thomas Cox. 
John Echlin (1733). 

1753 William Bradish. 
1816 United to Duleek. 


Launcelot Dowdall 



Richard Coffy (1622). 
1673 William Meoles. 

1700 James Cooper. 
1712 Piers Collingwood. 
1793 Robert Shanley. 
1813 Moore Morgan. 
1816 United to Duleek. 

Consists of St. Mary's, Colpe, Mornington, and Donore. 

St. Mary's Church was erected in 1810. The Union 
of Colpe, Mornington, and Kilsharvan was formed in 
1826. After disestablishment, Colpe and Mornington, 
with Donore, were joined to Drogheda, and Kilsharvan 
was transferred to Julianstown. Colpe Church (St. 
Columba) was built in 1809. 


1376 Bartholomew Dullard. 

Robert Sutton, 13^6. 
1387 Roger Winter. 
1615 John Egerton. 
1618 Robert Burton. 
1660 Thomas Burton. 

Michael Briscoe, preacher 

ffaithful Geale, preacher 


John Hook, preacher 


1683 John Mandsley. 
1708 John Echlin. 

1763 Thomas Ferguson. 
1768 Samuel Lindsay. 
1774 Humphrey French, D.D. 
1778 Charles Crawford. 
1821 James Crawford. 
1844 Richard Carter. 
1862 James Rynd Briscoe. 
1872 John Archer. 
1905 Thomas Redmond Brun- 


1756 Richard Bun worth ^ 
James Hamilton (1818). 
1846 Richard Carter. 



1868 Arthur William Wynne 


1889 William M'Kenna. 
1898 William Coates Harvey. 
1901 Herbert A. S. Merrick. 
1904 Charles Horatio Walter 



Robert Burton (1622). 

John Echlin (1733). 
1763 Samuel Preston. 
1780 Felix O'Neill. 
1784 John Barrett. 
1793 John Lever. 

1807 Moore Morgan. 

1808 Robert Gore Whistler. 
1813 Robert Whistler. 

1815 Hugh Shields. 
1820 Charles Ferguson. 
1826 Alexander Johnston 

1841 Joseph Druitt. 

1869 Danby Jeff ares. 


1870 John W. Chambers. 


Robert Burton (1622). 


Launcelot Dowdall 

1719 Robert Burton. 


Consists of Julianstown, Ballygarth, Clonalvey, 
Kilsharvan, Moorechurch, and Stamullen. 

^ The Union of Julianstown, Moorechurch, Stamullen, 
and Clonalvey, was made in 1813. Ballygarth was an 
independent Parish, though without a church, until 
1844, when, on the death of John Burdett, the tithes 
were vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Kil- 
sharvan was added to this Union after disestablish- 
ment. The Church of Julianstown (St. Mary) was 
built in 1770. Within recent times it was completely 
restored and almost rebuilt, though some of the old 
work still remains. It is now being enlarged, and a 
handsome steeple is being erected, by Colonel Pepper, 
D.L., of Ballygarth Castle. 


1615 Thomas Lees. 
1628 Launcelot Lowther. 
1660 Thomas Burton. 
1673 Henry Goldwyer. 
1673 William Meols. 
1688 Gabriel Meols. 
1694 Thomas Langdall. 

1700 James Cooper. 
1712 Piers Collingwood. 
1732 Stewart Wilder. 
1771 Anthony French. 
1780 Henry Blacker. 
1793 William Slessor Hamil- 

1813 Robert Shanley. 
1821 John W. Beauman. 



1828 William Vandeleur. 

1844 Henry Moore. 

1879 Frederick Henry Smith, 

1884 John Evans Preston. 


Edward Fairtlough 



1392 William White. 
1398 Robert May. 

John Derbishire (1604). 
1615 Richard Purdon. 

Thomas Lees (1622). 
1679 Thomas Fitz Symons. 
1688 Gabriel Meols. 

1693 William Meols. 

1694 Thomas Langdall. 
1706 Henry Matthews. 
1740 Daniel Jackson. 
1746 John Jackson. 
1774 Richard Moore. 
1776 John Bayly. 
I 799 J onn Burdett. 
1841 Suspended. 


Nicholas Tedder (1622). 
1637 Adam Jones. 

1692 Joceline Barnes. 
1692 John Brown. 
1708 Henry Echlin. 
1716 John Hatch. 
1720 Launcelot Dowdall. 
1753 William Bradish. 

William Slessor Hamil- 

ton, 1813. 

1813 Robert Shanley. 
1821 United to Julianstown. 


Thomas Langdall (1693). 
1708 John Echlin. 


Adam Jones (1622). 
1651 Thomas Burton. 

1688 Thomas Burton. 
1692 John Brown. 
1705 Henry Moore. 
1708 Henry Echlin. 
1716 J. Echlin. 
1716 John Hatch. 
1763 Thomas Ferguson. 

Charles Ferguson, 1826. 
1826 Alexander Johnston. 

Thomas Langdale (1693) 


1541 William Pentney. 
1615 Thomas Lees. 
1628 Launcelot Lowther. 
1673 William Meols. 
1688 Gabriel Meols. 
1700 James Cooper. 
1712 Piers Collingwood. 
1771 Anthony French. 
1780 Henry Blacker. 
1821 United to Julians town. 


1398 Hugh Lange. 
1403 Philip Blake. 

Thomas Comwalsh. 

Thomas Caddell, 1536. 
1536 Simon Geffrey. 

1615 Thomas Lees. 

1616 William Hagley. 
1628 Henry Leslie. 
1632 Thomas Butson. 
1636 William Meoles. 
1688 Thomas Burton. 
1692 Joceline Barnes. 
1692 John Brown. 
1708 Henry Echlin. 
1716 John Hatch. 

1720 Launcelot Dowdall. 
1753 William Bradish. 
1789 William Slessor Hamil- 


John Echlin (1622). 

_ Thomas Langdall (1693), 
1708 John Echlin. 




Consists of Kentstown, Danestown, Ballymagarvey, 
Brownstown, Staffordstown, and Rathfeigh. 

The Union of Kentstown, Danestown, and Bally- 
magarvey was made in 1801. Rathfeigh and Staffords- 
town were formerly in the Union of Skryne, to which 
they were united in 1677. The Church of Kentstown 
(St. Mary) was erected early in the nineteenth century. 


Luke Ussher (1622). 
1677 Laurence Jones. 
1702 John Barton, D.D. 
1718 John Matthews. 
1724 Patrick Lyon. 
1759 Bernard Dogherty. 
1786 James Stopford. 
1786 John Ball. 
1800 John Toler. 
1832 Richard George. 

Charles J. Lambert, 1857. 
1857 John George Brighton. 
1872 Andrew Robinson. 
1878 Alfred T. Harvey. 
1886 Edward Goff. 

1898 James Henry Rice. 


1826 Henry Gibson. 
1868 Oliver Brighton. 


Richard Hone, 1549. 
1549 Christopher' Gaffney. 

Nicholas Bocham (1622). 
J 637 James Beswicke. 
1682 Laurence Jones. 
1695 John Burton. 
1702 John Barton, D.D. 
1718 Richard Fisher. 
1785 Charles Roberts. 

1800 Robert Henry. 

1801 United to Kentstown 


Patrick Lyon (1733). 


Richard Hone, 1549. 
1549 Christopher Gaffney. 

1619 William Hayward. 

1620 Edward Hayward. 
1671 John Fitzgerald. 
1684 Joceline Barnes. 
1718 Charles Cobb. 
1720 Samuel Holt. 
1737 Hanover Sterling. 
1763 Bernard Dogherty. 
1763 Charles Agur. 
1785 Charles Roberts. 

1800 Robert Henry. 

1801 United to Kentstown. 


1637 James Carey, first Rec- 



Laurence Jones (1693). 
1725 Patrick Lyon. 


Laurence Jones (1693). 


Godfrey Loftus (1604). 
1619 John Bathe. 

1630 William Fitzgerald. 

1638 Charles Cullen. 

1676 Noah Webb. 
1668 Henry Bolton. 

1677 United to Skryne, 





Consists of Skryne, Dowdstown, Kilcarn, Lismullen, 
Monktown, Templekieran, and Tara. 

The Union of Skryne was formed in 1677. The 
Parish of Rathfeigh, which formerly belonged to it, 
was transferred by the Synod, first to Kilmoon, and 
afterwards to Kentstown. The church in use was that 
of the Parish of Templekieran, but this has lately been 
dismantled, and a new church built in the Parish of 
Lismullen, by the exertions and liberality of Sir John 
Dillon, Bart. It was consecrated under the name of 
St. Columba's Church in 1904. The Parish of Tara 
was joined to the Union at disestablishment. Tara 
Church (St. Patrick) was built in 1823. 


1283 James of Spain. 

Nicholas Wafre (1402). 
1450 Walter Prendergast. 
1534 Peter Wallis. 

Thomas White, 1598. 
1598 William Whitereede. 
1606 Thomas Robinson. 
1619 Morgan Jones. 
1623 Robert Nicholl. 
1662 Thomas Hill. 
1692 Joceline Barnes. 

1719 Charles Cobb. 

1720 Samuel Holt. 
1763 Charles Agur. 
1765 Samuel Pulleine. 

1784 Verney Lovett. 

1785 Richard Swanne. 
1794 Richard Wynne. 
1796 Stephen Radcliff. 
1829 Richard Radcliff. 
1871 Oliver Brighton. 
1896 Leslie A. Handy. 


John Sayler (1615). 


1616 John Sealer. 

Morgan Jones (1619). 
1623 Robert Nicholl. 
1662 Thomas Hill. 

1684 Joceline Barnes. 
1677 United to Skryne. 


Morgan Jones (1622). 
1674 Henry Moneypeney. 
1677 United to Skryne. 

1677 United to Skryne. 

Samuel Holt (1733)- 

1621 Morgan Jones. 
1677 United to Skryne. 


Audoen Brod- 1 (1422). 

Edmund Oronnow, 1599. 
1599 John Moineghan. 


1620 T Cadwalader Edmonds or 1751 Anthony Malone. 

Edwards. 1780 George Maunsell or 
1624 Richard Hackett. Maxwell. 

1627 Launcelot Lowther. 1781 John Rogers. 

1633 Edward Stanhope. 1810 William Henry Irvine. 

1634 Thomas Walmeslie. 1839 Mark Perrin. 

1671 Christopher Kerdiffe. 1840 Joseph Richard Hamil- 

1675 Marcus Ussher. ton. 

1697 Thomas Conigsby. 

1707 Randulph Dawson. Curates. 

1708 John Wetherby, D.D. 

1709 Archibald Ayton. William Bradish (1753). 
1721 John Hamilton. Sliar Hamilton. 

1724 John Madden, D.D. 1780 Valentine Duke 

1734 Richard Stewart. 1781 John Williamson. 


Consists of Kilmessan, Assey, Balsoon, Dunsany, 
Killeen, Kiltale, and Trubly. 

The Parishes of Assy and Balsoon were made into 
a separate Union in 1826, but in neither Parish was 
there church or glebe house ; they were, therefore, 
subsequently joined to Kilmessan. Dunsany and 
Killeen became in 1680 part of the Union of Tara. 
Kiltale was united to Knockmark in 1811. Trubly 
formed part of the Union of Trim. The present re- 
arrangement was made after disestablishment. Mace- 
town, which was formerly joined to Kilmessan, is now 
in the Union of Ratoath. The Church of Kilmessan 
(St. Mary) was built in 1731, and has recently been 

KILMESSAN. 1788 John Barrett. 

1793 David Charles Ingham. 
John Mey, 1444. ^26 Charles Moore. 

James Daley (1622). 1828 St. George Caulfield 

1628 Joseph Singe. Irvine. 

1641 Peter Harrison. _ James W. Rynd, 1849. 

1671 George Booker. ^49 Francis Briscoe. 

1693 John C. Brown. ^85 William F. Falkiner. 

1700 James Cooper. ^92 Anthony Drought. 

1712 Moor Booker. I9 o 5 George H. Patton. 
1729 Henry Nix. 

1732 William Doyle. AssY OR ATHSEY. 

1763 Samuel Preston. 1615 James Young. 
1774 John Evans Franklin. 1621 Morgan Jones. 



Patrick Griffith (1633). 
1684 Thomas Benson. 
1716 Andrew M'Evoy. 
1721 William Snowden. 
1761 David Cope. 
1768 William Evelyn. 
1781 Blount Medlicot. 
1795 David Charles Ingham. 
1798 Mark Wainright. 
1821 David Charles Ingham. 

St. George C. Irvine 

1826 Spencer William Walsh, 

1861 Francis Briscoe. 

1616 John Gregge. 

Edward ffennor (1622). 
1626 Alexander Sharpe. 
1632 Thomas Bateson. 
1675 William Smith. 

1684 Thomas Benson. 
1715 Andrew M'Evoy. 
1721 William Snowden. 


1611 Richard Pollard. 
1680 United to Tara. 


William Bermingham 


William Silk, 1434. 
1536 Sir Henry Plunkett. 
Arthur Book (1604). 

Edward Doyle (1622). 
1642 Christopher Kerdiffe. 
1675 Marcus Ussher. 

1680 United to Tara. 


James Daley (1622). 
William Meoles (1633). 

1670 Christopher Kerdiffe. 
1675 Alexander Abercrombie. 
1708 Thomas Grantham. 

1810 William Liddiard. 

1811 United to Knockmark. 


Henry de Rathfayl, 


1359 Thomas Malacken. 

1558 Richard Scallon. 

1619 Price Griffin. 

1620 Patrick Griffith. 
1677 William Smith. 
1688 Thomas Benson. 

John C. Brown (1693). 
1715 Anthony Raymond. 
1726 Hugh Dawson. 
1726 Caleb De Butts. 
1731 United to Trim. 


Consists of Moyglare, Balfeighan, Kilclone, and 


Moyglare was an independent parish until dis- 
establishment. Raddanstown Union was formed in 
1682, and included the Parishes of Balfeighan, Kilcloon, 
Gallow, and Drumlargan. The last two have now been 
joined to Agher. The churches are ancient. 


1611 William Fitz Symmonds. 
i 41 John Fitzsymons. 
i 88 Thomas Mallory. 

1692 Patrick Lindsay. 
1709 John Wilson. 
1719 James Garstin. 

Jonathan Dillon, 1729. 
1765 Gaspar Caillard. 



1768 Arthur Grueber. 

1802 Thomas Jones. 

1814 Arthur Ardagh. 

1846 Richard Dixie Maunsell. 

1867 Robert Hamilton. 

1877 John Charles Creed. 


Francis Davidson (1818). 
1883 John Newman Lombard. 


Robert Cooke (1622). 
1674 Henry Monypenny. 
1682 United to Raddanstown. 


William Fitz Symmonds 


1674 Henry Monypenny. 
1682 United to Raddanstown 


William Fitz Symmonds 


1674 Henry Monypenny. 
1700 Daniel Sewell. 
1712 Thomas Newton. 
1730 Martin Dean. 

William Davyes (1733). 
1741 Gustavus Hamilton. 
1755 John Bomford. 
1776 Henry Blacker. 
James Blacker, 1793. 
1793 Power Le Poer Trench. 
1803 Ponsonby Gouldsbury. 
1830 Joseph Turner, D.D. 
1836 George Vaughan Samp- 

1838 William Tyrrell. 
1840 William Handcock. 

Samuel Abraham Walker, 


1849 Robert Lauder. 
1852 Francis Ralph Sadlier, 


1857 Henry Burrows. 
1859 J. Staunton. 

Consists of Agher, Dramlargan, and Gallow. 

This Union was formed at disestablishment. The 
church was built in 1840, and has recently been rebuilt 
by Mr. J. S. Winter. 


1593 Thomas Tedder. 

Eugene M'Cartie, 1594. 

1613 Nicholas Proud. 

1614 Robert Booning. 
1664 Nicholas Proud, D.D. 
1669 Richard Tennison, D.D. 
1682 George or Edward Synge. 
1686 Richard Mallory. 

1692 John Bolton, D.D. 
1699 Jonathan Swift, D.D. 
1745 Peter or John Hamon. 

1765 Blount Medlicott. 
1782 Dudley Ryves. 
1784 John Ravel Walsh. 
1802 John Ravell Walsh. 1 
1808 John Kellett. 
1849 Robert Lauder, LL.D. 
1870 George Henry Martin. 
1884 Robert Seymour, D.D. 
1892 Joseph Leigh Stuart. 

William Major (1693). 

1 Probably the same as the preceding, 
said Walsh having resigned." 

In the Institution it says " the 




Robert Cooke (1622). 1617 Robert Cooke. 
1674 Henry Monypenny. 1674 Henry Monypenny. 

1682 United to Raddonstown. 1682 United to Raddonstown. 



Consists of Ratoath, Donaghmore, Killegland, Criks- 
town, Cookstown, Greenogue, Kilbrew, Kilmoon, 
Macetown, Cushinstown, and Piercetown Landy. 

The Union of Ratoath, Crikstown, Cookstown, 
Killegland, Donaghmore, and Greenogue was formed 
in 1682. The Church (Holy Trinity) was consecrated 
in 1821. Kilbrew and Tryvett were united in 1678, 
but at disestablishment the latter was transferred to 
Dunshaughlin. The Church was built in the eighteenth 
century, and is now disused. Kilmoon and Piercetown 
Landy were united in 1826. The Church (St. Munna) 
was built in 1816. The present Union was formed in 

RATOATH. 1887 John Howlin Montserrat. 

T , n/r j IQ03 William F. Legere. 

1405 John Mordoun. 

William Taillour (1422). Curates. 
Patrick Fyne, 1559. 

1559 John Hele. Edward J. Lewis 

15- John Fleming. (1826). 

1603 Nicholas Smyth, alias William Tighe (1842). 


Henry Bolton. (1633). DONAGHMORE. 

1675 Noah Webb. 

1676 Charles Newburgh. Nicholas Smyth (1622). 

1677 John Bolton, D.D. Henry Bolton (1633). 
1693 John Bolton. 1678 John Bolton, D.D. 
1720 Richard Bolton. 1682 United to Ratoath. 
1761 Thomas Lee Norman. 

1794 Launcelot King Cun- KILLEGLAND. 


1820 Robert Norman. Nicholas Smyth (1604). 

1844 Henry Johnston. 1678 John Bolton, D.D. 

1885 John Healy, LL.D. 1682 United to Ratoath. 




Nicholas Smyth (1604). 
1682 United to Ratoath. 


Nicholas Smyth (1604). 
1682 United to Ratoath. 


Nicholas Smyth (1604). 
1678 John Bolton, D.D. 
1682 United to Ratoath. 


Mr. Hubertstie (1604). 
1619 Leonard Beckwith, 
1667 Henry Bolton. 

1675 Noah Webb. 

1688 Joshua Barnes. 

1696 Jerome Ryves. 

1699 Frank Fulk. 

1712 George Blake. 

1763 Bigoe Henzell. 

1788 Lionel, Viscount Strang- 

1 80 1 John Molesworth 

1807 Bigoe Henzell. 

1819 John Uniacke Swayne. 

1836 Thomas Houston Bar- 

1862 Thomas Marshall. 

1863 William Hammerton. 


1261 John de Colchester. 
15 Laurence Devins. 
1552 Roger Skiddy. 
1619 Roger Danby. 
1623 Roger Puttock. 
1642 John Fitz Simons. 
1663 James Bishop. 
1670 Edmund Greene. 
1673 Thomas Mallory. 
1693 Andrew Brereton. 
I 7 I 7 J onn Smith. 

John Madden, 1744. 

1744 Hill Benson. 
1775 Charles Roberts. 
1803 Shuckburgh R. W. 

1807 Thomas or William 

1826 William Coddington. 

William Coddington, 

jun. (1842). 

Stephen or Richard 

Radcliff (1858). 

William John Irvine 


1870 Dillon Charles Campbell. 


Nicholas Bocham (1622). 

Patrick Griffith (1633). 
1728 William Jones. 

J. Madden (1733). 
1744 Hill Benson. 
1776 John Jones. 

William Duncan, 1805. 
1805 Charles Ingham. 

1826 Charles Moore. 

No record. 


John Fuyt, 1402. 
1402 John Magayga. 
1442 John Loragh. 

Gerald Dalton, 1561. 

William Cocks, 1597. 
1597 John Moynaghan. 
1620 Cadwallader Edwards. 
1624 Richard Hackett. 
1627 Launcelot Lowther. 

1633 Edward Stanhope. 

1634 Thomas Walmeslie. 

1692 John Fitzgerald. 
1684 Joslin Barnes. 

1693 Andrew Brereton. 


1695 John Madden. 
1744 Hill Benson. 
1763 Charles Agur. 
1775 Charles Roberts. 


1803 Whitney Shuchburgh 


1807 Thomas Fairtlough. 
1826 United to Kilmoon. 


Consists of Dunshaughlin, Bally maglasson, Culmullen, 
Knockmark, Rathbeggan, Rathregan, Tryvett, 
and Kilmore. 

Dunshaughlin and Rathregan were united in 1678- 
The Church (St. Seachlan or Secundinus) was built in 
1813. Ballymaglasson Church (St. Keiran) was con- 
secrated in 1816. The Union of Knockmark, Kiltale 
and Culmullen was formed in 1810. The Church has 
now been dismantled. Rathbeggan Church (St. 
Beccan) was built in 1817. Kilmore Church (St. 
Patrick), built in the eighteenth century, is preserved, 
though no longer in use, except for occasional services. 
The present Union was formed in 1882. 


1524 James Sheffield. 
1560 Anthony Rush. 
1565 George Leigh. 
1567 William Leech. 
1569 Joseph Darcy. 

1579 James Chapman. 

1580 Robert Brazier. 
1588 Anthony Rush. 

John Allen, 1595. 
1595 Arthur Cooke. 
1615 Baldwin Shepheard. 
1630 John Lennox. 
16 John AUbright. 
16 John Kyan. 

John Crawford (1641). 
1668 Simon Digby. 
1672 Noah Webb. 
1696 Jerome Ryves. 
1698 John Jourdain. 
1751 John Powell. 
1755 Bigoe Henzell. 
1789 William Henry Irwine. 
1818 Gorges Lowther Irwine. 
1838 John Low. 

1855 John H. Dunne. 
1864 Thomas Marshall. 
1882 John H. Davidson. 
1905 Hamlet McClenaghan. 


1775 Doctor Hum. ffrench. 
1811 John Madden. 
1848 Goodwin Swift. 
1850 Robert Rowan. 
1853 Nicholas Magrath. 


Baldwin Shepheard 


Robert Cooke (1622). 
1673 Thomas Mallery. 

Patrick Lindsay (1693). 

Richard Moreton, 1708. 
1708 Jonathan Wilson. 
1718 Thomas Forbes. 
1727 Jonathan Rogers. 
1733 Christopher Donellan. 
1735 Edward Molloy. 
1737 Hanover Sterling. 



1753 Henry Duncan, LL.D. 
1760 Samuel Caldwell. 
1771 William Dennis. 
1771 Richard Cave. 
1799 Thomas Tucker. 
1811 Mervyn Pratt. 
1814 Hill Benson. 
1814 Skeffmgton Preston. 
1820 William Gorman. 
1824 Lambert Watson Hem- 

1843 Robert Handcock. 

1844 William Hamerton. 
1863 Brabazon W. Brunker. 
1868 William Hoyte or Hoyle. 
1870 William Hamerton. 
1872 John H. Davidson. 


1820 William Harding. 

1821 Fortescue Gorman. 

1824 Thomas Smith. 

1825 Thomas Pearson. 
1827 Erasmus Burrowes. 
1832 Richard Carter. 
1832 William Simpson. 


1617 Robert Cooke. 

1638 Thomas Carter. 

1639 Alexander Bailie. 
1642 Christopher Kerdiffe. 
1675 Marcus Ussher. 
1697 Wilfred Lawson. 
1717 John Hamilton. 
1721 Anthony Lowrey. 
1742 David Cope. 

1763 William Donellan. 
1789 Hon. Thomas St. 


1794 T. Vesey Dawson. 
1807 William Liddiard. 
1811 United to Knockmark. 


Thomas Robinson, 1619. 
1620 Cadwalader Edwards. 
1624 Richard Hackett. 
1627 Launcelot Lother. 


1633 Edward Stanhope. 

1634 Thomas Walmeslie. 
1640 John Swayne. 

1671 Christopher Kerdiffe. 
1675 Alexander Abercrombie. 
1708 Thomas Grantham. j 
1721 John Shad well. 
1724 Jonathan Smedley. 
1729 Richard Stewart. 
1746 Henry David Petit- 


1762 John Rogers. 
Oliver Carter, 1765. 
1808 William Henry Irvine. 

1810 William Liddiard. 

1831 Henry Liddiard. 
1853 Edmond Jonas Lewis. 

Thomas Marshall, 1881 


James Wills (1826). 
1853 Lorenzo Torpey. 


1594 John Callan. 

One Kevan. (1604). 

James Kean (1622). 
1639 Adam Kyan. 
1668 Francis Ussher. 
1671 James Mandesley. 
1678 John Bolton, D.D. 
1699 Jonathan Swift. 

Isaac Graham (1774). 
1774 Henry Blacker. 
1776 Meade Swift. 
1782 Thomas Brownrigg. 
1792 Joshua Clibborn. 
1794 Ponsonby Gouldsbury. 
1799 James Elrington. 
1805 Rowland Betty. 

1811 Henry Moore. 
1813 Henry Ormsby. 

1817 Henry Crosby. 

1818 James Matthews. 

1832 John James. 
William Hoyte, 1863. 

1864 Brabazon Brunker. 

1860 Thomas Phibbs. 




Edward Doyle (1622). 
1626 John Wilson. 
1668 Simon Digby. 
1676 Noah Webb. 
1678 United to Dunshaughlin. 


1411 Gregory Neel. 

Richard Mortimer, 1545. 
1546 Peter Row. 

1558 Edward Rome. 
1581 John Brennan. 
1614 Baldwin Shepheard. 
1630 Thomas Fairfax. 
1632 John Lennox. 
1668 Simon Digby. 
1670 Noah Webb. 
1696 Jerome Ryves. 
1699 Frank Foulk. 
1712 George Blake. 
1763 Bigoe Clerk Henzell. 
1788 Lord Viscount Strang- 

Shany Ford (1799). 
1801 John Molesworth 


1805 Bigoe Henzell. 
1819 John Uniacke Swayne. 
1836 Thomas Houston Barton 

1862 Thomas Marshall. 

1863 J. William Hamerton. 


1869 W. Hoyte. 


1593 Thomas Tedder. 

1604 Loftus. 

1614 Robert Booning. 

1668 Hugh Sterling. 

1670 Christopher Kerdiffe. 

1675 Adam Ussher. 

1680 James Kyan or Ryan. 

1682 George Finglasse. 

1686 James Duncan. 

Thomas Mallory, 1688. 

1688 John Chetwood. 

1717 John Smyth. 

1740 Hugh Tisdall. 

1763 Gerald Macklin. 

1784 Hon. William Knox. 

1786 John Travers Radcliff. 

1814 William Gorman. 

1824 Thomas Smith. 

1831 Edward Tighe Gregory, 


1859 Robert Posnett. 
1862 William Augustus 



1789 Thomas Radcliff. 
J. Corrigan (1842). 

1870 D. C. Campbell. 

Consists of Dunboyne and Kilbride. 

Dunboyne had Kilbride as a Chapel of Ease in 1622, 
and as far back as can be traced the two Parishes were 
united. The Church (SS. Peter and Paul) is modern. 

William Pyrron (1385). 

John de Burgo (1401). 

William Lullyngton 


1576 George Darmot. 
1579 Marmadukc Middleton. 



ohn Kyan. 
ames Kean (1622). 
Edward Stanhope, 
ohn Price. 

1683 Edward Hollis. 

1684 Thomas Hawley. 


1709 Thomas Forbes. 1884 James Hamilton. 

1727 Edward Sampson. 1888 J. P. Tegart. 

1728 John Jephson. 1895 Annesley T. Somers. 
1730 Thomas Sheridan, D.D. 1908 J. Forde Leathley. 
1734 John Knowles. 

1767 Robert Gorges. r . 

1767 Edward Henry Duncan, 

L.L.D. Patrick Lindsay (1693). 

1806 Richard John Hamilton. Adam Caulneld (1733). 

1823 Richard Martin. Skeffington Preston 

*833 John Aughinleck. (1842). 

1871 John Cooke. 1857 Frederick O'Melia. 

1881 William John Kings- 1862 James Borbridge 
borough. Doyle. 



Consists of Trim, Newtown Clonbun, Kilcooiey, 
Scurlogstown, Tullaghanoge, and Moymet. 

The Union as at present, excluding Moymet, was 
formed in 1731. Moymet continued as an independent 
Parish, though without a church, until the middle of 
the nineteenth century, when, on the death of John 
Hussey Burgh, it was suspended. The Church of Trim 
(St. Patrick) is ancient, but has been often restored. 
In 1612 the Parish was united to the See of Meath, 
since which time the bishops have been Rectors, and 
the officiating clergyman was styled " Vicar." 

TRIM. 1454 Philip Norreys, D.D. 

Rectors X 4 8 3 Richard Walsh - 6 

1483 Edward Wellisle. 6 

1283 Nicholas de Geneville. 1501 Thomas |D'Arcy. 

William de Clebury 15 John Rycardes. 

(1324). James Sheffelde (1527). 

1381 Walter de Brugge. 1541 Francis Agard. 

1403 Richard Petyr. 1542 William Copeland. 

1412 John Prene. 1546 William Nugent. 
1432 Patrick Prene. John Petit. 

1435 Robert Dyke. Henry Fitzsimon. 

8 Contested appointment. 

3 o8 


1581 John Draper. 
1601 Robert Draper. 
1612 United to Bishopric. 


1612 John Tanner. 

John Gregg (1622). 

1628 Robert Ivey. 

1629 William Griffith or 

Jeremy Benton, preacher 


1660 James Carey, preacher. 
1666 John Cruikshank, D.D. 

1670 John Harper. 

1671 Robert Erwin. 
1680 George Proud. 
1682 John Padmore. 
1698 John Sterne. 

1702 Anthony Raymond. 
1726 Hugh Dawson. 
1726 Caleb De Butts. 
1732 Adam Lyndon. 
1753 Guy Atkinson. 
1767 William Evelyn. 
1776 William Foster. 
1780 William Elliott. 

1818 Richard Butler, D.D. 

1819 Richard Butler, A.B. 

1862 Charles James Bayly. 
1869 Edward Fleet wood 

1875 Charles Parsons Reichel, 


1885 Francis Hopkins. 
1892 Garrett Nugent. 
1898 Edward Goff. 


1842 James Hamilton. 
1859 Thomas Wetherall. 

1863 C. Ormsby Wiley. 
1865 Benjamin Irwin. 

1868 Alfred T. Harvey. 
1872 John G. Manghan. 
1875 F. Samuels. 
1878 Samuel Sandys. 
1 88 1 Anthony Drought. 
1884 Edward Martyn Venn. 
1892 Joseph John Nesbitt, 


Robert Booning (1622) 
1666 John Crookshank, D.D. 
1732 United to Trim. 


Alexander Sharpe (1622). 
1666 John Crookshank, D.D. 
1670 John Harper. 
1732 United to Trim, but 
1753 Gerald Macklin. 


1622 " Noe curate." 

1666 John Crookshank, D.D. 

1670 John Harper. 
1732 United to Trim. 


1622 " Noe curate." 

William Meoles (1633). 

1671 Robert Erwing. 
1682 George Proud. 

John Stearne, 1713. 
1713 Anthony Raymond, D.D. 
1726 George Allcock. 
1748 Daniel Beaufort. 
1758 Washington Cotes, 


1762 John Auchmuty. 
1793 Thomas Vesey Dawson. 
1793 George Alley. 
1807 John Hussey Burgh. 


This Parish was generally held as a Chapel of Ease 
to Trim, and when the Bishop became Rector of Trim 


in 1612, he succeeded also to Rathcore. The Church 
(St. Ultan) is ancient. 

John Gregg (1622). 1802 John Roberts. 
1664 Nicholas Proud. 1826 Richard Ryan. 
1669 Richard Jones. 1837 James Alexander. 
1680 John Congreve. 1838 James Matthews. 

Anthony Raymond, 1863 Robert Irwin. 

D.D., 1726. 1876 Gregory St. Laurence 

1726 Hugh Dawson. Cuffe. 

1726 Caleb De Butts. 1881 James Edward Harnett 

1732 Adam Lyndon. Murphy. 
*753 Guy Atkinson. 

1767 William Evelyn. Curates. 

1776 William or Thomas 1727 David Carleton. 

Foster. Edward J. Lewis (1826). 

1781 Christopher M'Allister. 1855 Samuel Parsons. 

John Kellett (1799). 1863 Thomas Wetherell. 

Chaworth Brown, 1802. 


Ussher reports in 1622 : " This Church belongeth 
to the Abbey of Bective, in the possession of the said 
Mr. Dillon (impropriator), who pretendeth to have an 
exemption from the Lord Bishop's jurisdiction, and 
doth prove wills and grant administr aeons." At that 
time the Church and Chancel were in repair. When the 
Abbey was allowed to go to ruin, no other church was 
built for this Parish until the erection of the present 
building about the middle of the nineteenth century 
(St. Mary). The records of this Parish are very im- 

1622 " Noe curate." 1902 Richard Frederick Martin 

Patrick Griffith (1633). Clifford. 

1726 John Grace. 1903 Robert B. Birmingham. 
Charles Burton (1902;. 


Consists of Laracor, Galtrim, and Derrypatrick. 
This Union was formed after disestablishment. 


The Church of Laracor (St. Peter) is modern ; that of 
Galtrim (St. Mary) was erected in 1800. 


1551 Andrew Barn wall. 
William Chamberlain, 


I 5^>4 John Allen. 
1613 Edward Sotherne. 
1618 Robert Booning or 


1664 Nicholas Proud. 
1669 Richard Tennison. 
1682 Edward Singe. 
1686 Richard Mallory. 
1692 John Bolton, D.D. 
1699 Jonathan Swift, D.D. 
1745 Peter or John Hamon. 
1798 Henry Thomas Preston. 
1801 Charles Massey. 
1804 Charles Warburton. 
1806 Joseph Sandys. 

1808 John Brinkley, D.D. 

1809 Charles Henry Crook- 


1812 Blaney Irwin. 
1850 Quintan Dick Hume. 
!854 John Cotter MacDonnell. 
1862 Robert Posnett. 
1866 Charles Elrington M'Kay 
1881 Edward Denny. 
1898 W. E. S. Connolly. 
1903 Hugh Clement Beere. 

1722 Stafford Lightburne. 


William de la Corner, 

1289 Philip le Norman. 

William de Clera (1292). 
1357 Thomas de Meelton. 

Thomas Enel (130,9). 

Thomas Bache or Bathe, 


1403 John Swayne. 
1425 John Randolf. 

Nicholas Daley. (1604). 

James Daley (1622). 
1630 John Williams. 
1636 Hugh Morrison. 
1666 John Crookshank. 
1670 Christopher Kerdiffe. 

1674 Henry Monypenny. 

1675 Marcus Ussher. 
1699 Joshua Warren. 
1701 Wilfred Lawson. 
1717 John Hamilton. 

1721 Anthony Lowray, D.D. 
1737 John Smith. 
1742 David Cope. 
1763 William Donellan. 

Mark Tisdall (1789). 
1789 Hon. Thomas St. 

1794 T. Vesey Dawson. 

1806 Barry M 'Gusty. 

1807 William Liddiard. 
1814 John Lowe. 

1838 Matthew Maine Fox. 
1844 Henry Siree. 

Samuel Abraham Walker 


1856 Lorenzo Torpey. 
Thomas Foster (1871). 


William Harvy (1693). 

1857 Nicholas Magrath. 


- James Daley (1622). 
William Meoles (1633). 
William Harvy (1693). 
Anthony Lowry (1733) 



Consists of Athboy, Girley, Rathmore, Moyagher, and 


This Union was formed in 1678. About the year 
1843 Girley and Kildalkey were separated, and made 
into perpetual curacies. They have now been again 
united. The Church of Athboy (St. James) is ancient. 
Kildalkey Church (St. Mary) was built when the 
perpetual curacy was established. The record of the 
building of Girley Church (St. Margaret) is not found. 
The Archbishops of Armagh were Rectors of Athboy. 
The following is the succession of Vicars. 


1558 John Marriman. 

David Jones (1604) 
1617 William Smith. 

George Gemester (1641). 

Samuel Edwards, prea- 

cher (1658). 
1670 Edmund Greene. 
1674 Robert Parkinson. 
1713 Thomas Wallis. 
1746 Alexander Alcock. 
1753 William Gruebere. 

1781 Blount Medlicott. 

1782 Thomas Benson, D.D. 
1784 Henry Wynne. 

1797 Samuel Murphy. 
1805 Hon. Hamilton Cuffe. 
1811 Robert Tronson. 
1831 Robert Noble. 
1871 Francis Hopkins. 
1885 Alfred T. Harvey. 
1898 Henry Edward Whyte. 


PatricklLyon (1733). 

J. A. W. Sprule (1842). 
1861 J. G. Hopkins. 

1870 John Adam Cross. 

Thomas George Irwin 


1906 Geoffrey Wilberforce 


William Smith (1622). 

1674 Robert Parkinson. 
1857 J. F. Bickerdike. 
1869 Henry Hare. 
1881 Hamilton Hare. 


1536 William Cocks. 
1596 Robert Allbright. 

Willbryan Fox (1604). 
1616 Benjamin Culme. 
1637 William Hudson or 

1675 Robert Parkinson. 
1678 United to Athboy. 

Robert Shepley (1622) 


William Smyth (1622) 
1678 United to Athboy. 


Robert Booning (1622). 
1678 United to Athboy. 

Perpetual Curates. 
1843 William Irwin. 
1849 William Hutchinson. 


1865 Graham Graig. 1875 Solomon K. F. Ralph. 

Thomas George Irwin, 1893 William F. Legge. 

1872. 1897 J. Frazer Pillor. 

1873 Charles M. Brown. 1906 United to Athboy. 

The Church (St. Kineth) was consecrated in 1823. 

Alexander Sharpe ( 1622). 1853 Orlando Thomas Dobbin, 

Philip Johnston (1733). LL.D. 

Arthur Connolly (1799). 1874 John Evans Preston. 
1817 Joseph Greene. 1884 Anthony Drought. 
1847 Henry Purdon Disney. 1892 Richard J. Merrin. 


Consists of Navan, Ardsallagh, Donaghmore, 
Athlumney, and Follistown. 

The Parishes of Donaghmore and Ardsallagh were 
united to Navan in the seventeenth century. 
Athlumney was a separate vicarage, though without 
a church, until the death of the Rev. R. P. D. 
Hamilton in 1870. Navan Church (St. Mary) was 
built in 1818. 

NAVAN. 1818 Philip Barry. 

* T^ c i u 11 1882 Robert Thompson. 

1460 Doctor Stackbolle. g Ch rf j ames Lambert. 

William Phillips (1615). Ig ^ James B J ennett Keene . 
1633 Robert Puttock. g J Rennison 

Richard Bourk, preacher 

(1658). Curates. 

1658 Jonathan Edwards, ^ George BrabMon . 

^ T ? r i : r A-ft James Moreton (1826). 

*? ^MV ^Q 1 ^ ar lffe> WilUamHamerton(i8 4 2) 

1671 William Smith. wmi Chartres . 

1682 Thomas Benson. * , Butler 

1715 John LVOIL ff Jj iu Wilson White 

1718 Ossory Medhcott. 75 Ran ^^ 

1728 John Grace ^ H d Ver ^ White 

1737 George Buchanan. 

1743 James Cavendish. Anns ALT A 

T-V i /- i* T-> AKDoALLAOrl. 

1747 Daniel Cornelius Beau- 
fort. Edward ffennor (1622). 

1765 Daniel Augustus Beau- Edmund Greene (1674). 

fort 1674 William Smith. 




Richard Burel (1345). 
1560 Patrick Dongan. 
1614 Thomas White. 

1623 Roger Puttock. 
1675 Richard Tennison. 
1677 William Smith. 
1682 Thomas Benson. 


Cornelius Cahan (1549). 
1620 John Sayler. 

Patrick Griffith (1622). 
1629 Samuel Clarke. 
1641 John Bodkin. 
1677 William Smyth. 
1684 Thomas Benson. 
1684 Benjamin Colcot. 
1715 John Lyan. 
1715 Dive Downes. 

1719 Ossory^Medlicott. 
1728 John Grace. 

P. Downes (1733). 
1737 George Buchanan. 
1744 James Cavendish. 
1747 Daniel Beaufort. 
1781 Richard Barry. ^ " 

1788 George Charles Garnett. 
Daniel Beaufort, 1789. 

1789 Daniel Augustus Beau- 


1819 Francis Dansey Hamil- 

1831 Robert Thompson. 

1832 Robert Patrick Dansey 

1870 United to Navan. 


Walter Mooney (1622). 


Consists of Ardbraccan, Liscartan, Rataine, Clonmac- 
duff, Churchtown, and Martry. 

This Union was formed in 1780. The Church (St. 
Ultan) was built in 1777. 


William de Clera (1292). 
1403 Richard Hill. 
1494 William Downyll. 

James Trench (1615). 

Robert Nicholls (1622). 

William Meoles (1633). 
1681 Henry Cottingham. 
1681 John Chetwood. 

Lewis Gillardy. 
1703 Rowland Singleton. 
1741 Lewis Gaillardy. 
1751 William Tisdall. 
1770 William Foster. 
1780 Richard Moore. 
1818 Hon. Henry Pakenham. 

1843 John Brownlow. 
1882 Duncan J. Brownlow. 
1899 Launcelot Coulter. 


Michael Egan (1826). 

1854 Robert Stoney. 

1857 Samuel Parsons. 

1859 William Cotton Ring- 

1878 Harry de Vere Dawson 

1880 John Dickson Eccles 

1880 James Francis Caithness. 

1868 John M'Gregor Ward. 




1401 John Taaf. 

Martin White, 1438. 

James Trench (1622). 
1630 George Cottingham. 

1632 John Hoskins. 
1638 Samuel Boden. 
1670 Henry Cottingham. 

1681 Michael Jones. 

1682 John Chetwood. 
1703 Rowland Singleton. 
1730 United to Ardbraccan. 


1622 " Noe curate." 

1666 John Crookshanke, D.D. 

1670 John Finglasse. 

1670 John Harper. 

1 68 1 John Chetwood. 

1730 United to Ardbraccan. 


1622 " Noe curate." 

1633 Robert Puttock. 

1666 John Crookshank, D.D. 

1670 John Harper. 

1671 John Finglasse. 
1682 George Proud. 
1692 John Stearne. 
1703 Anthony Raymond. 

1725 Aeneas M' Mullen. 

1726 Robert Stephenson. 
1738 Philip Dixon. 

1770 William Evelyn, D.D. 
1776 Richard Moore. 


1622 " Noe curate." 

1681 John Chetwood. 

1730 United to Ardbraccan. 


John de Dubiltum (1263) 
William Davyes (1622). 
1641 William Meoles. 

1682 John Chetwood. 
1730 United to Ardbraccan. 

The Church (St. Michael) was built in 1797. 

Thomas Schell, 1546. 
1546 Thomas Fleaming. 
1616 John Gregg. 
1629 William Meoles. 
1664 Nicholas Proud. 
1670 Richard Jones. 
1688 Joshua or John Warren. 
1701 William Tyrrell. 
1734 George Dobson or 

1778 Conway Benning, D.D. 

1823 Samuel Magee. 
1873 Frederick William 

1903 Thomas Anderson. 


1861 Samuel A. Brennan. 
1869 Edmund Ireland Arm- 

1864 Thomas Lindsay. 
1868 Thomas Foster. 



The Church (St. Bridget) was built in 1816. 

Nicholas Agone, alias 1800 Thomas Frederick 

Smyth (1622). Knipe. 

1639 Henry Purdon. 1834 Henry H. J. Westby, 

1662 Hugh Hannah. "D.D. 

1679 John Lawry. 1840 Thomas Garde Durdin. 1 

1686 James Maxwell. 1890 Frederick J. Grierson. 
1721 Edward Thompson. 

1723 Dive Downes. Curate. 

1756 Dive Downes. Nicholas J. Halpin( 1826) 


Consists of Loughcrew, Diamor, Moylough, and 


Moylough and Diamor were united to Loughcrew 
in 1682 ; Clonabreny or Russagh in 1815. The Church 
(St. Keiran) is modern, and on a new site. 

LOUGHCREW. 1814 Robert King. 

AI^ n j *. TM i J 8i5 Richard B. Vincent. 

U622^ I8 34 Thomas ' Rorke ' 

1630 Jocelyn Ussher. l8 54 J* m f Alexander Hamil- 

1664 Richard Dudell. 00 , T , to JJ' 

Richard Wode 1676.* l886 J ohn Q^ 

1692 Charles Proby. Curates. 

1726 John Willoughby. Creaeh Code 

'737 John Gibbin. __ gjjg 
1740 Hanover Sterling. 

1752 Nathaniel Preston. MOVTOTIPH 
1784 John Arthur Preston. 

1798 Moore Smith. Robert Travers (1622). 

1 A remarkable example of long incumbencies. From the appointment 
of the elder Dive Downes, in 1723, to the resignation of Mr. Durdin in 1890, 
there were only five vicars, and this, notwithstanding the short incumbency 
of Canon Westby, which only lasted six years. 

1 There is a tombstone in the old Church to the memory of " Richard 
Wode, Mount Wode, Vicar of Loughcrew, who died November, 1676," but 
at that date Dudell is known to have been in possession of the vicarage. 
Possibly Wode was before Dudell, and resigned the vicarage sometime before 
his death. 



1624 Robert Ussher. 
1664 Richard Dudle. 
1682 United to Loughcrew. 


James Areskin (1622). 
1630 William Griffin. 
1670 Thomas Bladen, D.D. 
1682 United to Loughcrew. 


Oliver Plunkett (1622). 

1664 Richard Dudle. 

1665 Robert Barthrem. 1 
1727 John Willoughby. 
1737 John Gibbin. 
1740 Hanover Sterling. 

1814 Robert King. 

1815 United to Loughcrew. 


Consists of Killeagh and Kilbride-Castlecor. 

This Union was made in 1885. Killeagh Church 
(St. Fiach) was built in 1810 ; Castlecor Church (St. 
Brigid) in 1808. 


Alexander Plunkett 

1664 Richard Dudle. 

1665 Robert Barthrem. 
1682 United to Loughcrew. 
1809 Thomas O'Rorke. 

1834 Union with Loughcrew 


1834 Robert Battersby. 
1874 Henry William Matthews 
1886 Robert Butler. 
1906 H. F. Hill de Vere 


Joseph Green (1810). 
1870 James Alexander Hamil- 

1882 Sterling De Courcy 

John Fitz Johns (1615). 

John Agone (1622). 
1628 William Griffin. 
1631 David Thorn or Thomas. 
1639 Hugh Morrison. 
1662 Hugh Hannah. 

1679 Joshua Broomhead. 

1680 John Lawry. 
1686 James Maxwell. 
1720 Edward Thompson. 
1723 Dive Downes. 
1756 Dive Downes. 
1800 Thomas Frederick 


Thomas O'Rorke 


1834 William Betty. 
1845 James Adams. 
1885 United to Killeagh. 


Thomas Tomlinson, 

1860 Elliott A. Knipe. 

1 According to First Fruits Returns, but Dudell was at this date in 
possession of the benefice. 




Consists of Rathgraffe, Fore, Faghly, and 

The original Union, formed in 1676, consisted of 
Rathgraffe, Lickbla, Faughalstown, Mayne, Foyran, 
St. Mary's and St. Fechin's of Fore, and Kilpatrick. 
Mayne and Foyran were then served by perpetual 
curates, appointed by the Incumbent of the Union. 
In 1905 the present union was made, Lickbla and 
Foyran being transferred to Mayne. The Church of 
Rathgraffe or Castlepollard (St. Michael) was erected 
in 1821. 


John Drynan (1615). 
1621 Thomas Greaves. 
1665 Thomas Fitzsimons, 1725 
1725 George Alcock. 
1730 Robert Lestrange. 
1747 Stafford Lightburne. 
1751 Stafford Lightburne, jun. 
1760 Patrick Moore. 
1762 Hon. George Maitland. 
1764 George or John Wynne. 
1781 George Coates. 
1802 Chaworth Brown. 
1847 William Eames. 
1869 George Kirkpatrick. 
1873 Robert Allen. 
1890 Richard Smyth. 
1905 Anthony Drought. 


Michael Egan (1818). 
Richard F. Handy (1826) 

Adolph F. Drought (1842) 
1864 James Field. 
1886 William Henry Roper. 
1904 Henry Airay Watson. 


Patrick Agone (1622). 
1665 Thomas Fitzismons. 
1776 United to Rathgraffe. 


1376 Maurice M'Ynwhar. 

Richard King, 1407. 
1407 Nicholas Moynagh. 
15 Bernard O'Daly. 

Thomas Greaves (1622). 
1665 Thomas Fitzsimons. 
1776 United to Rathgraffe. 

No record. 

Consists of Mayne, Lickbla, and Foyran. 

This Union was formed in 1805. The Church of 
Mayne (St. Nicholas) was erected in 1806. Foyran 
Church (St. Hugh) was built a short time before dis- 
establishment, and was consecrated in 1875. 

1615 Cadwalader Edwards. 

1621 William Sibthorpe. 
1624 John Goldsmith. 


1630 Thomas Dovile. 
1665 Thomas Fitzsimons. 
1802 Chaworth Brown. 
1809 Richard Vavasour. 

Bond Hall (1810). 

Charles Burton. 
1822 Thomas Smith. 

William Sturrock, 1832. 
1832 Richard Fleming Hardy. 
1860 George Kirkpatrick. 
1869 C. C. Mulloy. 

1894 James Hamilton. 
1906 Robert Butler. 


John Agone (1622). 
1875 Robert Henry Durham. 
1878 Edward Montgomery 

1882 John M'Arthur Mac- 

millan, LL.D. 

1887 William Henry Roper. 
1896 Frederick William 



1422 Thomas Rydell 
1541 Richard Hurford. 
1560 Thaddeus M'Gilla. 
1608 John Dry nan. 
1621 William Sibthorpe. 
1624 John Goldsmith. 
1665 Thomas Fitzsimons. 
1776 United to Rathgraffe. 
1905 United to Mayne. 

John Agone (1622). 


1632 John Goldsmith. 
1776 United to Rathgraffe. 
1905 United to Mayne. 


1859 H. M. Kilbride. 
1862 Richard Booth. 
1866 Coote C. Molloy. 
1872 John Reade West. 

Consists of Collinstown and Kilpatrick. 

Collinstown was part of the Parish of Fore until 
1843, when a church was built (St. Feighan) and a 
perpetual curacy endowed by the late Mr. Smyth of 


1843 Charles James Bayly. 
John E. Trench, 1851. 
1851 Richard Dowse. 
1865 Edward Newland. 

Hamilton Haire, 1872. 

Arthur Newburgh Haire, 


1874 Daniel James Hearn. 

1875 E. Singleton. 

1876 Edward Goff. 
1886 James Staunton, D.D. 
1894 George H. Patton. 
1905 G. R. L. Wynne. 


Alexander Plunkett 


1665 Thomas Fitzsimons. 
1776 United to Rathgraffe. 



Consists of Kilcumney, Killulagh, and Disertale. 

This Union was formed in 1818. The Church (St. 
John) was built in 1811. 


Alexander Plunkett 

1665 Robert Barthrem. 

Humphrey Leigh (1674). 
1681 William Lightburne. 
1702 John Hill. 

1751 Francis Thompson, D.D. 
1776 Edward Reynell. 
1788 Humphrey French, 


1788 Edward Story. 
1792 John M'Causland. 
1808 Michael De Courcey,D.D. 
1860 Cecil Russell. 
1872 Richard Archdall Byrn. 
1896 Samuel H. Somers. 
1901 Frederick William 


1863 Robert Peel Wadsworth. 

1866 Richard Booth. 

1870 Arthur Robinson Barton 

1891 Robert Thomas Byrn. 


Thomas Chantrell, 1400. 
1400 Nicholas Rede. 

Richard O'Brayn, 1402. 
1402 Denis O'Brayn. 

1406 James Nugent. 
1559 J hn Tute. 
1617 Thomas Greaves. 
1665 Robert Barthrem. 
1667 William or Humphrey 


1684 Samuel Hudson. 
1729 Jeremiah Walsh. 
1818 United to Drumcree. 


1667 William or Humphrey 


Consists of Clonard and Killyon. 

This Union was formed in 1782. 
Finnen) was built in 1821. 

The Church (St. 


1565 Morianus O'Carbrie. 
1589 Richard Steede. 
1615 Thomas Robinson. 
1619 Alexander Sharpe. 
1665 Charles Sharpe. 
1669 Eugene Reyley. 

1670 Alexander Norris. 
1722 Caleb De Butts. 
1726 Hugh Dawson. 
1732 George Blake or Black. 

1762 John Jones. 

1763 Stephen Bootle. 
1770 St. George Aihc. 



1799 Hon. George Theobald 

1815 Thomas or Francis 


1818 George Brabazon. 
1822 Edward Nixon. 
1836 William Pratt. 
1844 James Crawford. 
1861 Spencer William Walsh, 

1 88 1 Carter Alexander Gaird- 


1890 William Henry Roper. 


1722 William Griffith. 
1888 Leigh Richmond Hamil- 


Miles Pemberton (1622). 
1771 St. George Ashe. 
1782 United to Clonard. 

Consists of Castle Jordan and Bally boggan. 

This union seems to have been formed at an early 
date. The Church was built in 1826. 


John Ridgwell (1622). 

William Brereton (1693). 

John Gibben (1733). 
1747 William Ussher. 
1774 Mark Rainsford. 
1792 John Digby. 

1840 Thomas Marshall. 
1862 William John Burke. 
1877 Henry Ashe. 

1885 William S. Little. 

1886 Samuel H. Lewis. 

1901 Thomas Anderson. 
1903 Henry J. Smith. 


1870 Thomas Scott. 
1878 Edward Morgan Griffin. 
1900 Edmund Maurice Gum- 


Thomas Ridgwell (1622). 
1688 James Mandesley. 

William Brereton (1693). 


This Parish was for a time united to Clonard (1722). 
The Church (St. Nicholas) is old. Date of building not 

1389 Thomas Mareschall. 
1400 Donald Magluay. 
1564 Christopher Gaffeney. 
1567 William Barrel . 
1572 Robert Draper. 
1581 Joseph Greenan. 
1606 Myles Pemberton. 

1665 Charles Sharp. 
1688 Alexander Norris. 
1722 Caleb De Butts. 
1726 Hugh Dawson. 
1732 George Blake, D.D. 
1762 John Payne. 
1771 Thomas Hopkins. 


1783 Henry Wynne. 1863 John Brandon. 

1784 George Knipe. 1876 Thomas Heron Aldwell. 
1797 Sir Thomas Meredvth. 1886 Robert C. O'Donoghue. 
1800 Arthur Rolleston. 1907 Oliver W. Walsh. 

1800 James Elrington. 

1805 William Peacocke. Curates. 

1816 Francis Jones. 

1817 Robert Drought. 1727 David Carleton. 
Francis Davidson (1818). Richard Carleton (1733). 

1819 John Lawler. 1890 Herbert James Spurway. 

1846 Robert Irwin. 1897 Alexander Duff Moore. 


The Chapel of Kinnegad was made a perpetual 
curacy in 1791. It was again united to Killucan after 
disestablishment. Killucan Church (St. Etchen) was 
erected in 1816 ; Kinnegad Church (St. John Baptist) 
in 1822. 

KILLUCAN. Curates. 

mm- iir u 1612 John Bryan. 

1390 William Wylde. _ fa ^ ( fi } 

X 4 Donald Magluay. _ Thon L Bumf ord (1826). 

1550 William Cockes lg Frands Marsh 

Henry Luttrell (1604). 

John Carter (1612) KINNEGAD. 

vr u i '-D ^- / z \ 1756 Arthur Newcombe. 
Nicholas Robinson (1612) G ]d M Wi 

VIPr) T 

a TTJ j T\ i 1791 Charles O'Beirne. 

1626 Edward Donelan. ^ r> ^ . XT ui 

TTT. IV 1820 Robert Noble. 

1042 William Barry. 

4 Henry Dodwefl, preacher 

John Brand. 

1748 Henry Wynne. Thomas WethereU. 

1828 James Alexander. Curates. 

1836 Cecil Crampton. Robert Irwin (1842). 

1863 William Lyster. 1888 Purefoy Poe. 

1892 William F. Falkiner. 1891 Richard J. Merrin. 


The Church (All Saints) was built in 1813. 

1385 William Hammond. 1617 William Sibthorpe. 

one Dalton (1604). 1630 Randolph Adams. 




1675 James Hierome, D.D. 
1679 John Forbes. 
1692 Joshua Warren. 
1700 Thomas Dobson. 
1718 Lewis West. 
1725 Edward Thompson. 
1746 Arthur Champagne. 
1800 Henry Dundas. 

1813 Francis Lambert. 

1814 Thomas Robinson. 
1828 Hon. Henry Montague 


1851 Thomas Woodward. 
1856 John Hopkins. 
1864 Charles Parsons Reichel, 


1875 Francis Swift. 
1892 Robert Seymour, D.D. 


William Sturrock 


1865 John George Birch. 
1870 Thomas Simpson Jones. 
1872 Frederick Simeon 


1876 James Staunton. 
1882 Augustus Theodore 


1885 John Hamilton Bourke. 
1889 James Henry Rice. 
1894 Richard George Salmon 


1896 George Villiers Jourdan. 
1901 Robert B. Birmingham. 
1905 Edward Jennings. 


Consists of Portnashangan, Portloman, Taughmon, and 


The Union of Portnashangan and Portloman was 
made in 1803. Taughmon was added after disestablish- 
ment. Portnashangan Church (St. Mary), was erected 
in 1824. Taughmon Church (St. Munna) is a very old 
building, with a stone roof, and is now only used 
for occasional services. 


1615 James Byram. 

1631 David Thorn. 

1665 Walter Melvin or Melvill. 

1670 Audeon Reyly. 

1692 John or Thomas Dobson. 

1717 Abel Marmion. 

1717 William Jones. 

1718 John Jones. 
William Tyrrell, 1734. 

1734 Christopher Pearson. 
1745 John Hill. 

1751 Francis Thompson. 
1776 Samuel Close. 
1780 Felix O'Neill. 1 
1780 Zachary Williams. 1 
1785 John Mullock. 
1803 John Jephson. 
1816 John Thomas Burgh. 
1823 John Thomas O'Neill. 
1832 Henry Daniel. 
1836 James Alexander. 

Noah S. Hickey, 1846. 
1846 Charles J. BaUy. 
1851 John Croft on. 

1 There is evidently a mistake here. Both clergymen are said in the 
First Fruits Returns to have been appointed on the same day. Williams is 
mentioned in the Diocesan Registry, but no mention is made of O'Neill. 



1869 Frederick Wetherell. 
1872 Colpoys C. Baker. 

1881 John Andrew Jennings. 

1882 George Richard Purdon. 

1826 James Brabazon. 


1615 Thomas Kirkby. 

John Mountfield (1622). 

Solomon Morgan (1641). 
1665 Walter Melvin. 

1670 Audeon Reyly. 

1692 Thomas or John Dobson. 

1717 Abel Marmion. 

1717 William Jones. 

1718 John Jones. 

William Tyrrell, 1734. 
1734 Christopher Pearson. 
1745 John Hill. 

1751 Francis Thompson. 
1751 Nicholas Tubbs. 
1757 Richard Bunworth. 
1771 John Jones. 
1776 Samuel Close. 
1780 Zachary Williams. 

1780 Daniel Augustus Beau- 

1789 George Charles Garaett. 
1801 John Jephson. 

1816 Thomas Burgh. 
18123 United to Portna- 


1435 Patrick Cruys. 
1615 James Byrom. 

Robert Shipley (1622). 
1635 Walter Mooney. 
1688 Robert St. Clare. 
1693 John Buckhurst. 

Christopher Dixon (1733) 
1744 John Parker. 

1750 James Sheridan. 
1768 James Montgomery. 

Roger Blackball, 1790. 

1790 Edward Story. 

Charles Eustace, 1800. 
1800 Albert Nesbitt. 

1809 Bond Hall. 
1845 Noah S. Hickey. 

No record. 

The Church (St. John Baptist) was built in 1798. 

1403 James Symond. 
1612 James Byram. 
1631 David Thorn. 
1664 Randolph Adams. 

1675 James Hierome, D.D. 

1676 Henry Greene. 
1679 John Forbes. 
1693 Joshua Warren. 
1701 Thomas Dobson. 
1718 Daniel Jackson. 
1728 Oliver Brady. 
1762 Smyth Loftus. 
1779 George Lambart. 
1797 John Vignoles. 

1800 Francis Pratt Winter. 

1819 Henry Hunt. 

1820 Richard Ryan. 

1826 Richard Crone. 

John W. Rynd, 1835. 
1836 Henry Moore. 
1842 Graham Philip Crozier. 
1853 Robert Cage or Cadge. 
1855 John Cowan. 
1861 Henry Knox Hutchinson 
1881 James Staunton, D.D. 
1886 Sterling De Courcy 


1893 Matthew Lord Eaton. 
1905 Henry Fyers Crampton. 


1727 Edward Thompson. 
1766 Mr. Newcombe. 
1860 G. A. Samuels. 



Consists of Delvin, Clonarney, Killallon, and Killua. 

Clonarney was united to Delvin in 1821. Killallon 
and Killua were formed into a Union in 1782. They 
were joined to Delvin in 1898. Delvin Church (St. 
Mary) is ancient. Killallon Church (St. John the 
Evangelist) was built early in the nineteenth century. 


1399 Jhn Mortagh. 
1406 William Sylk. 
John Mey, 1444. 

Edward Hatton (1615). 
1632 Launcelot Lowther. 
1665 Robert Barthrem. 
1667 William Leigh. 

Humphrey Leigh (1674). 
1685 Samuel Hodson. 
1709 Leonard Hodson. 

Samuel Hodson (1720). 
i729*Moore Booker. 
1758 George Erwing. 
1776 Walter Bagot. 
1797 Thomas Stephens. 

1812 Henry Moore. 

1813 Henry Fitzgerald. 
1854 Andrew L. Savage. 
1856 Edward Batty. 

1879 Nicholas Gyles Carew. 
1890 Adrian Graves 


Henry Pourdam (1674). 

Robert H. Dunne (1843). 
1898 Thomas Carey. 
1900 Henry Minchin Lloyd. 


Edward Hatton (1622) 
1681 William Lightburne. 
1684 John Read. 

1703 John Hill. 

Arthur Reynell, 1784. 
1784 Edward Reynell. 


1788 Peter Carlton. 

1790 Thomas Wildridge Shiel. 

1798 Mark Wainwright. 

1820 Henry Fitzgerald. 

1821 United to Delvin. 


13 Conrad Western-field. 
John Okkarwill. 1 
John Asserby. 1 
Thomas de Everdon 

(I398)- 1 

Thomas Plunket (1550). 
Richard Lindsor (1604). 

1617 Thomas Greeves. 

Richard Purdam, 
1662 Thomas Bladen, D.I). 
1703 Ralph Lambert. 
1709 Richard Moreton. 

Thomas Harrison, 1714. 
1714 Robert Lestrange. 
1730 Hugh Vaughan. 

Hugh Allen (1733). 
1766 Joseph Pasley. 
1772 Nathaniel Preston. 
1796 George Leslie Greesson. 

1821 Thomas Westropp. 

1822 Richard Hercules 


1836 Joshua Darcey. 
1850 Anthony Blackburne. 
1875 Thomas Rudd. 
1808 United to Delvin. 

F. R. Sadleir. 
1846 John Finnerty. 
1870 Edward J. A. Percy. 

1 Disputed election between these three. 




1617 Thomas Greaves. 
1665 Robert Barthrem. 
1667 William or Humphrey 

1684 Samuel Hudson. 
1693 James Hudson. 
1709 Leonard Hudson. 
1729 Jeremiah Walsh. 
1782 United to Killallon. 


Consists of Moyliscar, Lynn, Carrick, Kilbride Veston, 
Kilbride Pilate, Enniscoffy, and Castlelost. 

Moyliscar, Lynn, and Carrick were united in the 
seventeenth century. Enniscoffy and Kilbride Pilate 
were united in 1818. The present Union was formed 
in 1880. Moyliscar Church (St. Nicholas) was built 
by the late Mrs. Tottenham, and was consecrated in 
1880. Castlelost Church (Christ Church) was built in 
1815 ; and Enniscoffy Church in 1818. 


John Mount field (1622). 
1637 Robert Fullerton. 
1666 Edmund Burke. 
1692 Alexander Delgarno. 
1716 Philip Whittingham, 


1743 Edward Cassady. 
*753 George Evans. 
1781 Robert Evans. 
1809 Meade Dennis. 

1840 William Benn. 
John Reed, 1841. 

1841 George Morley Dennis. 
1844 Robert Agnew Martin. 
1875 John Howlin Mon- 

1887 Albert Erasmus Crotty. 


1800 Mr. Robinson. 
1881 Patrick Sweeny. 
1883 Robert C. O'Donoghue. 

1886 Gerald Saunders Atkins. 

1887 Andrew Cooper. 
1890 John George Hodges. 
1893 Henry Nathaniel Joly. 
1900 Henry Fyers Crampton. 

1905 Bennett Samuel Radcliff 
1907 G. Ridley Day. 


Thomas Carpentere,i400 
John Mulgan, 1422. 
1562 Edward Darcy. 

John Mountfield (1622). 
1637 Alexander Bayly. 

1639 Thomas Carter. 
1666 Edmund Burke. 


Daniel Oge M'Grannell 


1634 Henry Pemberton. 
1666 Edmund Burke. 
1692 Alexander Delgarno. 


Danyell Oge M'Grannell 


1692 Alexander Delgarno. 
1717 Philip Whittingham. 

William Nesbitt, 1790. 
1790 Hemsworth Ussher. 
1821 Edward Dowling. 

Edward James Geog- 

hegan (1845). 



1867 John Gumming Macdona 


John Acton (1401). 
1401 Geoffrey Applepen. 

Thomas Lisley (1622). 
1630 Adam Anderson. 
1640 John Pemberton. 
1679 James Mill or Mylnes. 
1713 William Percival. 
1764 Joseph Pasley. 

1766 Theophilus Roberts. 
1780 Robert Ross. 
1791 Thomas Robinson. 
1815 John Hales. 
1818 United to Enniscoffy. 


John Moimtfield (1622). 
1717 Philip Whittingham, 


1780 Robert Ross. 
1791 Thomas Robinson. 
1815 John Hales. 

Edward Batty (1821). 
1827 Henry Daniel. 

1832 John Reed. 

1841 George Morley Dennis. 


Daniel Oge M'Grannell 


1 6 James Mylner. 
1713 William Percival. 
1734 Michael M'Kinlie. 
1764 Launcelot Low. 
1772 Samuel Preston. 
1777 Thomas Stratford. 

Robert M'Asky, 1801. 
1801 Samuel Lucas. 

Thomas Gore, 1805. 
1805 John Yeats. 

1850 Gustavus Warner. 


Barry C. Brown (1842). 

Consists of Clonfadforan and Vastina. 

This Union was made in 1887. Clonfadforan Church 
(St. Sinanus) was erected in 1828 ; Vastina Church 
(St. Brigid) in 1808. 


Myles Pemberton (1622). 
1679 James Mill or Mylnes. 
1713 William Percival. 
*734 William Moneypenny. 
1743 Michael M'Kinlay. 
1764 Joseph Pasley. 
1766 Henry Goldsmith. 
1768 Elias Handcock. 
1771 Robert Leavens. 
1783 Hems worth Ussher. 
1821 William Eames. 
1847 Cecil Russell. 
1860 Robert Healy. 
1864 Richard Dowse. 
1900 Nathaniel S. Joly. 


1887 Francis John Stopford 

1889 James Leonard Poe. 

1891 Charles Sinclair. 

1892 James W. M'Ginley. 
1901 Alfred Ernest Leigh 


1905 Walter Henry Townsend 


1401 John Acton. 
1401 Geoffrey Appelpen. 
Thomas Lisley (1622). 



1637 John Crawford. 1809 

1663 Neptune Blood. 1828 

1675 Henry Fitzgerald. 1843 

1680 James Mylnes. 1844 

1712 John Shadwell. 1877 

1724 George Marlay. 1879 

1735 Thomas White, D.D. 1883 
1769 Launcelot Low, D.D. 
1784 Philip Homan. 

1802 James Clewloe. 1874 

Thomas Robinson. 
Henry Rochford. 
Richard B. Booth. 
John Francis Battersby. 
Arthur Gough Gubbins. 
Edward P. Riddall. 
Henry Seddall, LL.D. 

H. W. Butler. 

Consists of Ardnurcher, Kilcumreagh, and Kilbeggan. 

Ardnurcher and Kilcumreagh were united at an 
early date, probably in the sixteenth century. Kil- 
beggan was added to the Union after disestablishment. 
Ardnurcher Church was built in 1822 ; Kilbeggan (St. 
Beccan) in 1764. 

1873 Joseph Morley Dennis. 
1876 A. Beatty. 

1879 Walter Riddall. 

1880 George Samuel Greer. 
1886 Thomas Heron Aldwell. 
1888 James Hamilton. 

1894 Francis J. S. Mouritz. 



William de Geinville 

1400 Malachy Maccochlan. 

William Nugent, 1547. 
1547 Dermod O'Mollan. 
1556 Patrick O'Molane. 
1571 John Mulrony. 
1589 Robert Draper. 
1607 Thomas Pillen. 
1607 John Darling. 
1615 Thomas Pillen. 
1625 Richard Prise. 
1660 Neptune Blood. 
1662 William Smith. 
1682 William Morgan. 

1692 Nicholas Knight. 

1693 John King. 

1730 Benjamin Hawkshaw. 
1740 Michael M'Kinlie. 
1765 William Walsh. 
1771 Philip Homan. 
1802 Hemsworth Ussher. 
1821 George Leslie Gresson. 
1843 John Lever. 
1862 Garrett Nugent. 

1857 Jonathan Harding. 
1860 Peter Marsh. 

1400 Patrick Magayga. 

John Stearne (1622). 

Thomas Fleetwood( 164 1) 
1691 - - Griffith. 1 

William Harvie. 1 
Robert Pakenham, 1745. 

1745 Herbert Bowen. 
1764 James or John Elrington. 
1801 William Marshall. 
1831 Edward Wilson. 

Mr. Walsh (1822). 
1870 J. B. Smith. 

1 Disputed election. 



Consists of Newtown Fertullagh and Rahugh. 

The Church was erected hi 1834. 
separate records of Rahugh. 

There are no 

1608 Thomas Pilne or Pillen. 

1625 George Southwick. 

1626 William Moorehead. 

James Carey, preacher 

1688 James Mylne. 

1713 William Percival. 

1714 Thomas Monck. 

John Shadwell, 1724. 
1724 George Marlay. 
1736 Thomas White. 
1769 Herbert Bowen. 
1781 Thomas Gore. 

1805 John Yeats. 

1811 Henry Rochford. 
1811 Charles Vignoles, D.D 
1843 Samuel Despard. 
1847 William Drought. 
1854 Joseph Morgan Daly. 

1864 Robert Healy. 

1865 William Izod O'Connor. 
1889 Oliver W. Walsh. 

1899 J. W. M'Ginley. 


1727 Andrew Jameson. 

1862 Samuel A. Brennan. 

1863 Edward S. Radcliff. 

Consists of Clara and Lemanaghan. 

Clara was formerly a Chapel of Ease to Ardmircher. 
It was formed into a perpetual curacy in 1808, at which 
time Lemanaghan was united to it. The Church (St. 
Brigid) was built early in the nineteenth century. 


1809 Francis Jones. 

1810 Skelton Gresson. 
1853 William Peter Turpin. 

Hugh J. Flynn, 1872. 
1872 Frederick W. Mac- 

1906 James Hamilton. 


1851 John Maurice Gillington. 
1870 Robert Healy. 

1899 Hugh Clements Beere. 

1904 Lewis H. Macnamara. 

1905 Patrick Percival 



1634 Thomas Astbrooke. 
1662 Robert Sandes. 
1670 George Lauder. 
1732 John Antrobus. 


This was a Chapel of Ease to Fercall. The Church 
(St. Cormac) was built in 1815. 

1617 Neale Molloy. Thomas Coffy, preacher 

1641 John Stenne. (1658). 



1757 Richard Bunworth. 
John Burton (1818). 

Charles Burton (1842). 

W. George Harman 


1848 Henry Carleton. 
1857 Amand du Bourdieu. 

Thomas B.Harpur, 1875. 
1875 Arthur Gough Gubbins. 
1877 James Cullen. 

1879 James Bennett Keene. 
1879 John Healy, LL.D. 
1886 James Todd, LL.D. 
1888 John Alfred Forde. 
1890 J. Wybrants Johnston. 
1904 A. E. L. Stuart. 

1892 James Clarke. 


This Parish represents the old Parish of Fercall, 
which included Killoughey, Rahan, Lynally, Ballyboy, 
Eglish, and Drumcullen. The Church (St. Eoughy) 
was built in 1818. 

1615 Charles Dun. 

1617 Neale or Nolan Mulloy. 

1641 Richard Washington. 

1665 Thomas Coffy. 

1692 Thomas Hamilton. 

Joseph Placett (1694). 

Richard Taylor, 1728. 
1728 Daniel Jackson. 
1773 Charles Coote. 

1796 Thomas Kemmis. 

1827 Ralph Coote. 

1868 Maxwell Henry Coote. 

1905 Lewis H. Macnamara. 


1810 Peter Roe. 

John Kinahan (1818). 

John Dunne (1824). 
Charles Burton (1842). 

W.George Harman (1842) 
1881 F. W. Knox. 

1896 George A. Earle. 
1898 Alexander Duff Moore. 
1904 Arthur Reginald Burns. 

Consists of Eglish and Drumcullen. 

Eglish Church (St. James) is old, date unknown. 


Joseph or Thomas 

Barnes (1818). 
Robert Healy (1842). 
i86q Augustus F. G. Bluett 

1896 Hamlet McClenaghan. 

1897 Philip Graydon Tibbs. 

1902 William Thomas Stewart. 
1906 Robert Francis Shirley. 


1548 Rory O'Conebagh. 
1550 Rory O'Lonem. 
Charles Burton (1824). 



Consists of Kilnegarenagh and Rahan. 

This Union was made after disestablishment. Kil- 
negarenagh Church was built in 1830. Rahan, formerly 
one of the Chapels of Fercall, was made a perpetual 
curacy in 1810. The Church is a very ancient and 
interesting structure, part with stone roof, probably 
dating from before the Anglo-Norman Invasion. There 
are also the well preserved ruins of a twelfth century 
church, with handsome doorway. 

KILNEGARENAGH. 1864 Edward Newland. 

Thomas Astbrooke( 1639) RAUAN 
1732 John Antrobus. 

1736 John Owens, D.D. I550 R ory O'Brien. 

1744 Sir Philip Hoby, Bart. X 6i6 Charles Dun. 

1748 Henry Coghlan. ^24 Richard Prise. 

1797 Henry Maxwell. l8l2 Francis Evans. 

1802 Henry Mahon. l823 Charles Bury Turpin. 

1838 Michael Egan. _ j Vignoles Brabazon 

1864 Robert H. Dunne. (1883). 

1883 J. Vignoles Brabazon. l8 8 3 United to Kilnegarenagh 

1890 George Alexander Nicolls 


Curates - r 8 5 6 Maxwell Henry Coote. 

James Dom. Burton 1857 Tobias De Rome Bolton. 

(1818). 1860 Thomas Mason. 

James P. Holmes (1824). 1861 Andrew T. Labatt. 


The Church (St. Columba) is old, and was partially 
rebuilt in 1802. 

Robert Shepley (1622). 1823 John Lever. 

1754 Thomas Bambrick. 1830 Peter Toler. 

1755 George Jackson. 1847 Joseph Chapman. 

Thomas Falknor (1799). 1876 Richard Smyth. 

Edward Pepper, 1815. 1885 Oliver Joseph Tibeaudo. 

1815 Arthur Champagne. 1893 Stirling De Courcey 

1816 Cuthbert Fetherstone. Williams. 



Consists of Kilbride and Lynally. 

Tullamore was formerly a Chapel of Ease to Durrow, 
but at an early period was formed into a separate 
Parish. It became a Rectory by the purchase of the 
tithes by a grant from the Evans Fund. The Church 
(St. Catherine) was built in 1818. After disestablish- 
ment, the parish of Lynally was joined to Tullamore, 
and a beautiful new Church (St. Bartholomew) was 
built there in 1887 by the bequest of Captain Howard 
Bury and the gift of Lady Emily Bury. 


Philip Dickson (1748). 
1755 George Jackson. 

Francis Grant, 1758. 
1770 William Stoney. 
1779 James Maxwell. 
1799 Ponsonby Gouldsbury. 
1830 John Lever. 
1843 Edward Fleetwood 

1861 John Swift Joly. 
1869 Graham Craig. 

1902 Robert Stewart Craig. 


William Eames (1818). 

Joseph Meredyth (1826). 
1856 A. T. Macnamara. 

1859 Henry Burrows. 

1860 Walter T. Turpin. 

1862 William Johnstone 


1865 Usher B. Mills. 
1872 John C. Low. 

1869 John Rennison. 

1874 Peter Wilson. 

1876 William Wilson. 

1878 Henry James Ringwood. 

1882 Stephen Thomas Penny. 

1883 William Warnock Smith. 

1884 Stewart Emerson 


1902 Herbert Newcome Craig. 

1905 Horace Sterling Towns- 
end Gahan. 

1907 Cecil Thomas Rennison. 




1550 Dermicus O'Dongin. 
1617 Neale Molloy. 
1641 Richard Washington. 
1665 Thomas Coffy. 
Neal Carolan (1693). 
1769 Quintan Finlay. 


1859 Walter T. Turpin. 
1861 Henry Walter Butler. 


Consists of Ballymore, Killare, and Drumraney. 

Ballymore and Killare were united at an early date. 
The Church (St. Owen) was built in 1826. After 



disestablishment the Parish of Dnimraney was divided 
between this Parish, Ballyloughloe, and Kilkenny 
West. The Church was built in 1811, but is now 


Nicholas de Clcra (1289). 
1401 Donald Magluay. 

Maurice O'Kennedy 

1425 Andrew O'Casey. 

John Coffey, "1546. 
1546 Richard Bermingham. 

Richard Walsh, 1549. 

Robert Fullerton, prea- 

cher (1658). 

William Piers (1723). 

Thomas Lennox (1733). 

Stephen Booth (1746). 

Alexander Mackilwain, 


1773 Charles Kelly. 
1782 Edward Donovan. 
1827 John Falloon. 
1865 James A. Bell. 

1873 Edward P. Riddall. 

1874 O. J. Tibeaudo. 
1890 Andrew Cooper. 


1857 William Henderson. 
1862 Lewis R. Hearn. 


1560 Bryan O'Connoyle. 

John Ankers (1622). 

1628 Mark Linche. 

1629 Richard Price. 
1664 John Stevens. 
1682 Henry Greene. 
1731 John Travers. 

William Maxwell, 1800. 
1811 James Alexander. 

Benson, 1821. 

1821 William Battersby. 
John F. Battersby. 

1822 Creagh Code. 
Donelan Bolingbroke 

Seymour (1845). 
Richard Butler Bryan, 

1847 James Alexander Crozier. 

Consists of Forgney and Noughaval. 

Both these Parishes were formerly Chapels of Ease 
to Ballymore. They were held with Ballymore by the 
Bishop of Meath, but were disappropriated from the 
See in 1844. Forgney Church (St. Munis) was built 
in 1810. 

Donald Magluay, 1401. 
1401 Thomas Magluay. 
1800 James Moffatt. 
1840 Hill Wilson. 
1872 Henry Seddall, LL.D. 
1883 Edward Morgan 

1894 James H. Rice. 

1898 O. W. Walsh. 

1907 Francis J. A. Beere. 


1851 Stephen Radcliff. 
1857 Lorenzo Torpey. 
No record. 



Consists of Kilkenny West and Bunowen. 

These Parishes were united after disestablishment. 
Kilkenny West Church is dedicated to St. Canice. 
Bunowen Church was built in 1818. 


1608 John Ankers. 

Charles Goldsmith, 


1747 John Wynne. 
1782 William Bryan. 

Philip Bertles, 1785. 
1790 James Saurin. 
1809 William Bryan. 

1815 Richard Butler Bryan. 
1822 Richard George. 
1848 James A. Crozier. 
1860 Newport Benjamin 


1870 John Rennison. 
1876 George F. Courtenay. 

1876 Richard Smyth. 

1890 Edward Martyn Venn. 


1800 Samuel Robinson. 

1806 Samuel Pool. 

1870 William Shaw Darley. 


1823 John Gordon Caulfield. 

1826 Thomas Gordon Caul- 
John Francis Battersby. 

1844 Donelan Bolingbroke 

1852 David Robert Bleakley. 


Consists of Almoritia, Piercetown, Templepatrick, 
Rathconrath, Churchtown, and Conry. 

Almoritia and Piercetown were united in 1840. 
Rathconrath was a separate Parish until disestablish- 
ment, and Churchtown until 1875. The only Church 
now in use is Almoritia (St. Nicholas), which was built 

1730 Benjamin Hawkshaw. 
1738 Currell Smyth. 
1770 Charles Woodward. 
1772 Richard Norris, D.D. 
1784 Bartholomew Lutley 


James Irwine, 1811. 
1811 Samuel Williams. 
1813 James Hamilton. 
1841 James Brabazon. 
1885 H. Vere White. 


Charles Dun, LL.D. 


1617 William Moorehead. 
1630 Randolph Adams. 

Thomas Fleet wood (1641 ) 
1665 Randolph Adams. 
1675 ./William Jones. 
1675 'Alexander Norris. 
1722 Robert Meares. 



1888 Francis Thomas Caldwell 
1898 Charles Edward Hardy 
1902 Hamlet McClenaghan. 
1905 James Frazer PiUor. 


John Macefield (1615). 

John Falloon (1824). 


James Areskin (1622). 
1630 Randolph Adams. 
1-675 James Hierome, D.D. 
1683 John Twells. 

1730 Benjamin Harshaw. 

1738 Currel Smith. 

1813 United to Almoritia. 


William Moorehead 

- Dalton. 

1574 - 
James Areskin (1615). 
1630 Randolph Adams. 
1688 Miles Sweny. 
1692 John Twelves. 
1696 Nicholas Knight. 
1730 Benjamin Hawkshaw. 
1738 Currell Smith. 
1748 Michael M'Kinley. 

1765 William Quid or Field, 

1811 George Frederick Potter. 

1837 Brabazon Joseph Grant. 

1727 Thomas Lemon. 


Thomas Lisley (1622). 
1630 Randolph Adams. 
1637 John Crawford. 
J 675 James Hierome, D.D. 
1683 John Twells. 
1722 Robert Mears. 
1733 Stafford Lightburne. 
1747 James Ross. 
1762 Arthur Reynell. 
1784 Roger Forde. 
1831 James Matthews. 

1838 John Low. 

1839 Robert H. Dunne. 
1864 Joseph Morgan Daly. 
1872 Robert Henry Durham. 
1875 T. Basil Anderson. 

William Drought (1842). 

No record. 


Consists of Leney, Lacken, Templeoran, Stonehall, 
Multifarnham, and Dysart. 

The Union of Leney consisted of Leney, Tyfernan, 
Templeoran, and Kilmacnevin. The last is now united 
to Kilbixy. Stonehall, Multifarnham, and Dysart were 
added after disestablishment. Dysart was formerly 
united to Churchtown. The date of Leney Church is 
not known ; Stonehall Church (St. John Baptist) 
dates from 1809. 

Henry Parr (1622). 
Robert Lorky, preacher 

Francis Gouldsbury, 

1760 Thomas Mears. 



William Gorman (1799). 
Ponsonby Gouldsbury 

1808 Daniel Ward. 

1849 Thomas Hanley Ball. 

Thomas M'Mahon, 1856. 
1856 Alexander Braddell. 
1878 Richard Stuart Dobbs 


1888 John Rennison. 
1897 Francis Thomas Cald- 


1860 John Carroll. 

No record. 

No record. 


Gilbert Purdon (1615). 

John Mountneld (1622). 

Christopher Dixon (1733) 

Abel Marmion, 1734. 
1734 Oliver Brady. 
1764 James Sheridan. 
1771 William Nixon. 
1813 Robert Lockwood. 
1820 John Young. 
1830 Bond Hall. 

Jackson Wray, 1855. 
1855 John Dopping. 

1862 John Carroll. 

1863 Francis Marsh. 

Thomas Kishby (1615). 


Gilbert Purdam (1622). 
1665 Walter Melvin or Melvill. 
1670 Eugene Reilly. 
1688 Audeon Reyly. 
1692 Thomas or John Dobson. 
1717 William Jones. 

Abel Marmion, 1734. 
1734 Oliver Brady. 
1762 John Wynne. 
1779 James Maxwell. 
1799 Ponsonby Gouldsbury. 
1809 United to Stonehall. 

Thomas Kishby (1622). 


1309 John de Fresingfeld. 
Nicholas Moynagh 


1407 Richard King. 
1560 John Duffe. 
1617 Adam Anderson. 
1630 Randolph Adams 
1639 Robert Lackey. 
1660 Thomas Burton. 
1675 William Jones. 
1.688 John Forbes. 
1692 Edward Wallen. 
1723 William Jones. 
1725 William Monypenny. 
1761 Robert King. 
1783 Christopher McAllister. 
1783 Henry Wynne. 
1788 Richard Wynne. 
1801 Stephen Radcliff. 
1809 United to Churchtown. 

Consists of Kilbixey and Kilmacnevin. 

Kilmacnevin formerly belonged to the Union of 
Leney, but was transferred to Kilbixey after dis- 


establishment. The Church (St. Bigseach) was built 
in 1798. 

KILBIXEY. 1864 William Izod O'Connor. 

Henrv Parr ^1622^ l86 5 Francis Henry Swift. 

1760 ?hoas or' 'charies ^5 Frederick John Badham, 


1815 John Thomas De Burgh. KILMACNEVIN 

1822 Gerald Beere. 
1849 William Irwin. Henry Parr (1622). 



The Church (Holy Trinity) was erected in 1812. 
A private chapel, which is used by the parishioners in 
the neighbourhood, was built at Moydrum by Lord 
Castlemaine, and was consecrated in 1879. 

1542 Onorius Coffey. 1858 Paulus Oemelius Singer. 

1550 John Dillon. 1859 Thomas Gordon Caul- 

1559 John Dillon. field. 

1569 John Kellye. 1875 George Henry Moore 

1608 John Ankers. Preston. 

1630 John Stevens. 1886 Jonas Greene. 

1633 Richard Lingard. 1903 Richard Frederick Martin 

1634 Thomas Fleetwood. Clifford. 

1662 Rowse Clopton. 1907 Beresford Townsend 

1684 George Padmore. Gahan. 

1685 Robert Smyth. 

1685 Robert Sintclare. Curates. 

John Smyth (1689). Robert Roberts (1699). 

1706 William Jackson. John Huleatt, 1733. 

1725 John Travers. 1733 James Marshall. 
1774 William Maxwell. Thomas Walsh (1842). 

1800 Thomas English. 1857 John Crofton. 

1816 William Peacocke. 1857 William C. Ringwood. 


Kilcleagh was generally held with Ballyloughloe and 
Athlone until 1816. The Church (St. Mary) was con- 
secrated in 1788. 



John Ankers (1622). 
1628 Mark Linche. 
1639 Robert Lingate. 
1664 J onn Stevens. 
1706 William Jackson. 

Christopher Kean ( 1799). 

William Maxwell, 1800. 
1803 Thomas English 

1816 Arthur Rolleston. 

D. W. Tempe (1842). 
John Hopkins, 1856. 

1856 Richard Gibbings, D.D. 

1857 Charles J. Bayly. 

1862 Richard Carter. 

1864 William Irwin. 

1865 Robert Healy. 
J 875 John Rennison. 

1888 Thomas Heron Aldwell. 
1904 J. Wy brants Johnston. 


Spencer W. Walsh, D.D. 


1870 John Swift Joly. 
1898 H. W. Burgess, LL.D. 
1901 John D. F. Morrow. 


The Church (St. Mary) was built in 1826 ; the 
tower, however, belongs to an older structure. 

David Malone (1604). 
1608 John Ankers. 
1629 Richard Price. 
1629 Mark Linche. 
1633 Richard Lingard. 

Mr. Barton (1644). 

Samuel Cox, preacher 

Enoch Webb, preacher 


1 66 1 William Vincent. 
1664 John Stevens. 
1683 Edward Wallen. 
1723 William Jones. 
1747 Arthur Forbes. 
1747 Arthur Grueber. 
1755 Richard Handcock. 
1791 James William Sterling. 
1820 James Robert Moffatt. 
1861 Edward Fleetwood Berry 
1869 John Swift Joly. 
1888 Richard Stuart Dobbs 
Campbell, D.D. 

William Burnett (1733). 


1768 Elias Handcock. 
1824 Samuel Hodson. 

1824 Alexander Campbell. 

1825 Thomas Walsh. 

1826 Travers Jones. 

1827 C. H. Mangin. 
1827 J. Kallis. 

1829 C. H. Hayden. 

1830 James Luby. 
1833 Thomas Lanage. 

John Hewitt Wren 


1851 Thomas Wilson. 
1854 F. W. Maunsell. 
1856 Thomas Wetherell. 

1858 James Staunton. 

1859 E. J. Handcock. 

1860 Edward Isaac Had- 


1861 E. A. Knipe. 

1883 C. W. Roberts. 

1884 John Roche Ardill. 
1886 Frederick J. Grierson. 
1902 William George 

1907 Cecil Ross Kitching. 



Consists of Clonmacnoise and Tisaran. 

This Union was made after disestablishment. The 
Church of Clonmacnoise (St. Keiran) is an ancient 
building. Tisaran Church (St. Saran) was built in 
1806. A new church (St. Keiran) has been erected at 
Shannon Bridge. It was consecrated in 1877. 


1615 John Ankers. 

William Maxwell, 
preacher (1658). 
1743 Philip Barrett. 

1762 Stephen Booth. 

1763 Joseph Pasley. 

1764 William Donaldson. 
1778 John Baily. 

1799 Jhn Gay Fitzgerald. 
1843 James Wolfe Charleton. 
1851 Charles Vignoles. 
1874 N. R. Brunskill. 

1880 James Edward Cullen. 

1881 A. E. Crotty. 
1887 S. E. Cooney. 

1893 John George Hodges. 


1727 Robert Jackson. 

Nicholas Magrath (1842). 

1559 Patrick Morgan. 

John Stearne (1622). 
1634 Thomas Ashbrooke. 

1664 Cornelius O'Donnell. 

1665 Thomas Coffey. 
1672 George Lauder. 
1709 Richard Moreton. 

1731 James Smyth. 

1732 John Antrobus. 
J 736 John Owens, D.D. 
1744 Sir Philip Hoby, Bart. 
1748 Henry Coghlan. 

1797 Henry Maxwell. 
1802 Henry Mahon. 
1838 James Alexander. 
1857 Charles J. Bayly. 
1857 Richard Gibbings, D.D. 
1866 Henry A. Sadleir. 


Mr. Maxwell (1799). 

Mr. Hamilton (1799). 

H. Birmingham (1824). 

Charles Driscoll (1826). 
J. C. Wolfe (1842). 

1865 Thomas Richard Setford 

Consists of Wherry and Gallen. 

This Union was formed after disestablishment. 
Ferbane Church was built in 1805, Dut the belfry was 
not erected until 1819. Gallen was formerly united 
to Rynagh. The Church (St. Conocus), situated in the 
village of Cloghan, was built in 1813. 



WHERRY^OR FERBANE. 1884 M. A. Devine. 

1639 Thomas Ashbrooke. 
1664 Cornelius O'Donnell. 
1670 George Lauder. 

1731 James Smith. 

1732 John Antrobus. 
1736 John Owen. 

1744 Sir Philip Hoby, Bart. 
1748 Henry Coghlan. 
1797 Henry Maxwell. 
1802 Henry Mahon. 
1815 Hugh Fitzgerald. 

1837 Joseph Morgan Daly. 

1838 James Alexander. 
1851 Richard Gibbings. 
1857 Charles James Bayly. 

James Forsythe, 1874. 
1874 Donelan Bolingbroke 


1664 John Stephens. 
1682 Michael Cahill. 
1739 James Price. 
1798 Henry Maxwell. 

John Burdett, 1841. 
1841 James Paul Holmes. 
1849 Courtney Turner. 

William Drought, 1874. 


Henry B. MacCartney 


1859 Charles L. Thomas. 
1870 James Forsythe. 


Rynagh was united to Gallen in 1798, but the Union 
was dissolved in 1841. The Church (St. Mary) was 
erected in 1829. 

1639 Thomas Johnston. 
1671 John Stevens. 
1682 Michael Cahill. 

Thomas Piers, 1739. 
1739 James Price. 
1754 Richard Warburton. 
1798 Henry Maxwell. 
1798 George Brabazon. 
1798 John Burdett. 
1841 Robert Mitchell Kennedy 

John Joseph Fletcher. 

1849 Courtenay Turner. 
1856 Robert Staveley. 
1867 Joseph Samuel Bell, 


1872 James A. Bell. 
1886 J. Jackson Sherrard. 


1863 Frederick W. Wetherell. 
1870 Arthur B. Nicholls. 
1885 William Winter Burbury. 




Abbey churches, i., 92, 113, 124. 
Adrian, Pope, i., 63, 70. 
Adventurers, i., 308. 
Agher, rectory, i., 215 ; attacked, 

ii., 107 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; church, ii., 

154; plate, ii., 265 ; clergy, ii., 301. 
Agitation, rise of, ii., 166. 
Aidus, King, i., 45. 
Alcuin, i., 27. 
Alexander, Nathaniel, Bishop of Meath, 

translated from Down, ii., 164 ; 

death, ii., 178 ; episcopate, 272. 
Alienation of church property, i., 182, 

224, 245, 265 ; ii., 18, 50. 
Alien priories, i., 105. 
Allen, Nicholas, Bishop of Meath, i., 

143 ; ii., 270. 
Allen, John, Archbishop of Dublin, i., 

162, 163. 

Alms Houses at Athboy, ii., 147. 
Almoritia, incumbent, ii., 136 ; church, 

ii., 154 ; plate, ii., 258, 268 ; clergy, 

Andrew, William, Bishop of Meath, i., 

145 ; ii., 270. 
Angulo, Gilbert de, i., 95 ; Joceline de, 

i-, 95- 

Ankers, John, i., 238. 

Anne, Queen, remits first fruits, ii., 30 ; 
penal laws, ii., 69, 74. 

Annuitants, ii., 211. 

Appropriations, i., 72, 118, 123, 169. 

Archdall, Mervyn, ii., 101. 

Archdeacon of Meath, president of 
synod, i., 79 ; contested appoint- 
ments, i., 124, 137 ; illegitimate, 
125; excommunicated, i., 130; 
deprived, i., 191 ; John Garvey, i., 
192; Owen Wood, i., 214; Ussher's 
mention, i., 257 ; list of arch- 
deacons, ii., 276. 

Archpresbyters, i., 75. 

Ardagh, church founded by St. Pat- 
rick, i., 9; glebe, ii., 153; church, 
ii., 154; clergy, ii., 286. 

Ardbraccan, founded by Broccan, i., 3 
note ; Ultan, i., 44 ; plundered, i., 
52 ; purchased from the king, i., 55 ; 
granted to Gilbert de Angulo, i., 95 ; 
alienation of glebe, i., 245 ; tithes, 
i., 265 ; taken by rebels, i., 273 ; 
bishop attacked, i., 277 ; charter 
school, ii., 94 ; prosperity under 
Bishop Maule, ii., 95 ; plate, ii., 265 ; 
clergy, ii., 313. 

Armagh, Book of, i., 2, 4, 14 ; synod 
at, i., 70 ; visitation of province, i., 

Armagh, Archbishop of, part in epis- 
copal elections, i., 80 ; excommuni- 
cates the archdeacon of Meath, i., 
130; excommunicated, i., 131; 
deposes the clean of Clonmacnpise, 
i., 156; rector of Athboy, i., 244. 
Ardmulchan, i., 121, 243, 244; ii., 


Ardnacranna, Carmelite friary, i., 107. 
Ardnamullen, i., 293. 
Ardnurcher, rector of, i., 120; vicarage, 
i., 217 ; rural deanery, i., 243 ; 
vicar, i., 250 ; glebe, i., 265 ; ii. 
153 ; church attacked, i., 325 ; 
Baptist chapel at, ii., 174; plate, 
ii., 268 ; clergy, ii., 327. 
Ardsallagh, restitution of tithes, i., 
265 ; castle of, i., 289 ; clergy, ii., 

Art, King, i., 46. 
Art Oge, i., 224. 
Asserby, John, i., 139. 
Assy, i., 265 ; ii., 299. 
Association for Promoting Christian 

Knowledge, ii., 161. 
Athboy, Carmelite monastery, i., 106 ; 
church, i., 169; garrison, i., 212; 
vicarage, i., 216 ; Primate as rector 
i., 244 ; taken by rebels, i., 273 ; 
besieged, i., 289 ; Cromwellian 
preacher, i., 295 ; church, ii., 37 ; 
curate, ii., 44 ; a Methodist assaulted, 
ii., 90 ; rebels at, ii., 107, 131 ; non- 
residence, ii., 131, 134; charities, 



ii., 146; glebe, ii.. 153; Choral 
Festival at. ii., 200 ; plate, ii., 259 ; 
clergy, ii., 311. 

Athlone, Dominican monastery, i.; 
in; income of parish, i., 120; 
vicarage, i.. 217 ; church, i., 243 , 
ii., 171 ; extensive union, i., 248 ; 
restitution of tithes, i., 264 ; murder 
of Mr. Barton, i., 275 ; attack on 
church, i., 325 ; services, ii., 41, 142 ; 
Holy Communion, ii., 42 ; schools, 
ii., 43 ; Wesley at, ii., 54, 55, 81, 82, 
84 ; moveable pulpit, ii., 57 ; 
" bellower," ii., 59 ; Methodists 
leave the church for a time, i., 85 ; 
glebe, ii., 153; statistics of parish, 
ii., 171 ; Methodist chapels, ii., 174 ; 
Baptist chapel, ii.. 174 ; plate, ii., 
256 ; clergy, ii., 337. 

Athlumney, ii., 3^3. 

Augustinians, i., 93, 259. 

Auxiliary Fund, ii., 250. 


Baithen, i., 46. 

Balfeighan, i., 3, 265 ; ii., 301. 

Ball, Miss Elizabeth," ii., 226, 248. 

Ballybeg, castle of, i., 289. 

Ballyboggan, i., 94 ; ii., 320. 

Ballyboy, Carmelite monastery, i., 
no; glebe, i., 265; church seized, 
i-. 3 2 5 : precaution against beggars, 
ii., 59; Wesley at, ii., 81 ; incum- 
bent, ii., 136; church, ii., 154; 
endowment, ii., 247 ; clergy, ii., 328. 

Ballygarth, i., 215, 248; ii., 8, 175, 296. 

Ballyloughloe, income of parish, i., 120; 
Bishop Wall presented to benefice, 
i., 157; church, i., 243; ii., 154; 
served by the incumbent of Athlone, 
i., 248 ; restitution of tithes, i., 264 ; 
church seized, i.. 326 ; united to 
Kilcleagh, ii., 48; glebe, ii., 153, 
plate, ii., 262 ; clergy, ii., 336. 

Bally magarvey, income of parish, i., 
121 ; restitution of tithes, i., 265; 
clergy, ii., 297. 

Ballymaglasson, tithes, i., 265 ; glebe, 
ii., 152, 153.; church, ii., 154; plate, 
ii., 263 ; clergy, ii., 304. 

Ballymore, Benedictine abbey, i., 104 ; 
bishop's residence at, i., 242 ; town 
burned, i., 289 ; glebe, ii., 153; plate, 
ii, 265 ; clergy, ii., 331. 

Balrath, castle of. i., 289. 

Balrathboyne, i., 46. 

Balroddan, see Raddonstown. 

Balsoon, i., 228, 289 ; ii., 39, 300. 

Banagher, church, i., 243; ii., 154; 
royal school, ii., 43 ; Methodist 
chapel, ii., 174; Baptist chapel, ii., 
174 ; see Rynagh. 

Barith, Danish leader, i., 51. 

Barnwall family, i., 103. 

Barrind of DrumcuIIen, i.. 44. 
Barton, Mr., murdered at Athlone, i., 


Basil, General Council of, i., 250. 
Bates, White, ii., 116. 
Bathe, Thomas, i., 124. 
Battersby, John F., ii., 183. 
Bayly. Charles, ii., 184. 200. 
Beaubec, i., 106, 121. 
Beaufo, Isabella de, i., 136. 
Beaufort, Dr., ii., 103. 
Beaumore, i., 104. 
Bective, Cistercian abbey, i., 92, 127: 

no curate, i., 249 ; castle of, i., 289 ; 

clergy, ii., 309. 
Bedell. William, Bishop of Kilmore, i., 

229. 305. 

Beggars' badges, ii., 59. 
Bell, James, ii., 245. 
Bell, Joseph S., ii., 205, 220, 228, 245. 
Bellower, ii., 59. 
Benedictines, i., 104. 
Bernard, John, Dean of St. Patrick's. 

ii.. 240. 

Bernard, of Clairvaux, i., 58. 70, 92. 
Bevan, R. T., ii., 201. 
Bible, Irish, i., 315 ; ii., 21. 77. 
Bible Society, Hibernian, ii., 160 ; 

Diocesan, ii., 160, 244. 
Bigseach of Kilbixey, i., 48. 
Birmingham, Richard, i., 192. 
Bishops, tribal, i., 8, 32, 53. 
Bishops, diocesan, appointment of, i., 

79, 90 ; increased activity, ii., 31 ; 

non-jurors, ii.. 70 ; manifesto 

against the National Board, ii., 187 ; 

veto, ii., 205 ; election after dis- 
establishment, ii., 219; income, ii., 

224 ; succession, ii., 269. 
Bishops, Roman Catholic, i., 218 ; ii., 


Bishopscourt, Westmeath, i., 242. 
Bishopscourt, Meath, see See House. 
Black Death, i., 143. 
Blackwater River, i., 7. 
Bligh family, bequest to Athboy, ii., 

Bole, John. Archbishop of Armagh, i., 


Bolton, Miss, bequest, ii., 230. 
Booker, Moor, Vicar of Delvin. 

sympathy with Methodists, ii.. 86 ; 

letter to Bishop Maule, ii. 87 ; to the 

vicar-general, ii., 89. 
Bourk, Richard, Cromwcllian preacher, 

i., 297. 300. 

Boyd, G. A. Rochfort, ii.. 215. 245. 
Boyle. Hon. Robert, i., 315 ; ii.. 21. 
Boyne. river, i.. 2 ; battle, i., 332 ; ii., 


Brackley, Walter de, i., 82, 83. 
Brady, Hugh, Bishop of Meath, family, 

i., 192 ; character, i., 193 ; letter to 

Sir William Cecil, i., 194; advocates 

establishment of a university, i., 194 ; 



letter on the appointment of Arch- 
bishop Loftus as Dean of St. 
Patrick's, i., 195 ; " State of the 
Diocese of Meath," i., 197 ; re-edifies 
Kells Church, i., 201 ; death, i., 202 ; 
alienation of church property, i., 160, 
224, 241 ; episcopate, ii., 271. 

Brady, Dr. M., ii., 199. 

Brady, John Westropp, ii., 246. 

Bramhall, John, Archbishop of Ar- 
magh, i., 263. 

Brawney, i., 57. 

" Breastplate," see Lorica. 

Brenny or Breffni, i., 21, 210. 

Brigid of Kildare, i., 48. 

Broccan of Ardbraccan, i., 3, 44. 

Brooke, Dr., " Recollections," ii., 180, 
182, 186. 

Brooke, Master, ii., 208. 

Brougham, Henry, ii., 191. 

Brown, George, Archbishop of Dublin, 
quarrel with Bishop Staples, i., 175 ; 
work as a reformer, i., 180. 

Brown, Mr., incumbent of Clonalvey 
ii., 8. 

Brownlow, Duncan J., ii., 246. 

Brownlow, John, Dean of Clonmac- 
noise, ii., 247, 278. 

Brownstown, i., 121, 265 ; ii., 297. 

Bruce, Robert, i., 131. 

Bunbrusna, skirmish at, ii., 107. 

Bunowen, ii., 154, 333. 

Burgo, John de, i., 126; William de, 

i-, 155- 

Burke, Edmund, on penal laws, ii., 72. 

Burke, Sir J. Bernard, on the pre- 
cedence of Meath, ii., 232. 

Burton, Robert, i., 229. 

Bury, Captain Howard and Lady 
Emily, ii., 248. 

Butcher Exhibitions in T.C.D., ii., 219. 

Butcher, Samuel, Bishop of Meath, ii., 
192, 204, 217, 224, 273. 

Butler, Dean, i., in ; ii., 278. 

Byzantine influence on Irish art, i., 39, 


Cairnech of Dulane, i., 12. 

Cairnes, Thomas Plunket, ii., 215, 236, 


Capuchins, i., 259, 328. 
Carmelites, i., 106, 107, 259, 328. 
Carmichael, Hon. William, Bishop of 

Meath, ii., 100, 272. 
Carpet, ii., 37, 39. 
Carrick, i., 122. 
Carter, John, i., 233. 
Carthage Mochuda of Rahan, i., 45. 
Cashel, interdict at, i., 128. 
Castlecor, see Kilbride-Castlecor. 
Castlejordan, taken by Sir Charles 

Coote, i., 293 ; parish endowed, ii., 

245 ; clergy, ii., 320. 

Castlelost, income of parish, i., 122; 
endowment, ii., 29; glebe, ii., 153 ; 
church, ii., 154; plate, ii., 263; 
clergy, ii., 326. 

Castlemaine, Lord, ii., 226, 247. 

Castlepollard, church, ii., 154 ; riot at, 
ii., 1 68 ; see Rathgraffe. 

Castlereagh, Lord, ii., 125. 

Castlerickard, rector, i., 140; church, 
ii., 39 ; clergy, ii., 320. 

Castletown-Kilpatrick, founded by St. 
Patrick, i., 9 ; vicar, i., 247 ; tithes, 
i., 264 ; church, ii., i 54 ; clergy, ii., 

Catalogue of Irish saints, i., 19. 

Catechizing, ii., 145. 

Cathedral, diocesan, i., 99, 104. 

Cathedral, national, ii., 280. 

Catholic Association, ii.. 165. 

Catholic Confederation, i., 269 ; ii., 12. 

Caulneld, T. G., ii., 246. 

Cavan, Earl of, ii., 6, 7. 

Census (1861), ii., 193. 

Cessation of arms, i., 284. 

Chalice of Galtrim, ii., 41. 

Chaloner, Richard, ii., 245. 

Charles I., accession of, i., 258 ; 
restores tithes to certain parishes, i., 
263 ; gift of glebes, i., 265 ; ii., 48 ; 
appeal to Parliament, i., 279; 
negotiations with the rebels, i., 285, 
288 ; founds Royal School at 
Banagher, ii., 43. 

Charles II., restoration, i., 303 ; death, 
i-. 3 1 7 ', progress of Romanism under, 
i-, 327- 

Charter schools, ii., 94. 

Choral Union, Meath, ii., 200 ; West- 
meath, ii., 201. 

Churches, parish, large number of, i., 
126 ; compared with abbey churches, 
i., 169 ; condition in 1622, i., 227, 
242 ; causes of ruin, ii., 16 ; re- 
building, ii., 36 ; Swift and Gold- 
smith's description of, ii., 57 ; built 
by Bishop O'Beirne, ii., 139, 150, 

Church Papists, i., 231. 

Church Temporalities Act, ii., 174. 

Churchtown (Meath), i., 249 ; ii., 314. 

Churchtown (Westmeath), ii., 154, 334. 

Churchwardens, ii., 58, 60. 

Cistercians, i., 58, 92, 106, 259. 

Clairvaux, i., 60. 

Clara, Wesley at, ii., 56, 81, 82; 
glebe ii., 153; Methodist and 
Baptist chapels, ii., 174; clergy, 
ii., 328. 

Clarendon, Lord, i., 317. 

Clement VI., Pope, i., 143. 

Clera, Nicholas de, i., 124; William 
de, i., 124. 

Clerks, parish, ii., 146. 

Clergy, character of, i., 135, 168, 199, 
217 ; Irishmen excluded, i., 174 ; 



incomes, i.. 250. 262; ii.. 15. 173. 

196 ; list (1622). i., 251 ; succession. 

ii.. 280. 

Clehcal meetings, ii., 162. 
Clewloe. Mr., incumbent of Vastina, ii., 

Clogher, Bishop of, i.. 82 ; ii.. 27 ; 

diocese of, i., 131, 222, 30 . 
Clonard. foundation of, i., 18 ; ruins 

at, i.. 22 ; bishopric of, i., 53, 61 ; 

plundered, i., 66 ; Augustinian 

monastery, i.. 84 ; nunnery, i., 103 ; 

castle, i., 136; rural deanery, i., 

243; vicar, i., 250; church, ii., 38, 

154; skirmish at, ii., 107; plate, 

ii., 259 ; clergy, ii., 319. 
Clonabraney, i., 250. 
Clonalvey. i., 121 ; ii., 8, 42. 296. 
Clonarney, i., 247, 324. 
Clonarvey, i., 122. 
Clonfad, i., 30. 
Clonfadforan. catechizing, ii., 145 ; glebe 

ii.. 153; plate, ii., 266; clergy, ii. 


Clonfert, ii., 25. 
Clongill, i., 216; ii., 137, 293. 
Clonguffin, i., 48. 

Clonmacduff, i., 249, 265 ; ii., 314. 
Clonmacnoise, founding of, i., 23 ; 

tower, i., 40 ; Danes at, i., 50, 52 ; 

burglary at, i., 55 ; fasting, i., 56; 

incomes of clergy (1302), i., 119; 

cathedral, i., 156 ; plundered i., 156 ; 

rural deanery, i., 243 ; incumbent. 

i., 248 ; tithes, i., 264 ; parish, ii., 

44 ; clergy, ii., 338. 
Clonmacnoise, Archdeacon of, i., 120, 

129, 156, 158 ; ii., 278. 
Clonmacnoise, bishopric of, i., 53, 62, 

82, 93, 154; income of, i., 119; 

illegitimate bishop, i., 125 ; fighting 

bishop, i., 156 ; last bishop, i., 157 ; 

united to Meath, i., 157, 193 ; 

revenues, i., 158 ; list of bishops, ii., 

Clonmacnoise, canons of, i., 119, 158; 

ii., 278. 
Clonmacnoise, deanery of, i., 119, 156, 

158 ; ii., 182, 278. 
Cloyne, Bishop of, i., 135. 
Coarb, i., 9. 

Colchas of Clonmacnoise, i., 27. 
Collinstown, ii., 318. 
Colman of Clonard, i., 21 ; of Lynally, 

i-. 45- 
Colpe, priory of, i., 94 ; preceptory, 

i., 104; income of parish, i., 121 ; 

glebe, ii., 153; church, ii., 154; 

plate, ii., 266 ; clergy, ii., 295. 
Columbanus, i., 29. 
Columkill, i., 29, 33. 
Comin, Jordon, i., 94. 
Communion, Holy, ii., 42, 141, 173. 
Commission, Royal (1867), . '95- 

Commutation, ii., 211, 241. 

Compounding, ii., 215. 

Conference, diocesan, ii., 199. 

Confirmation, ii., 163. 

Conry. ii., 334. 

Constantino of Rahan, i., 45. 

Controversy with Roman Catholics. 

ii., 190. 

Convention, General, ii., 203. 
Converts, roll of, ii., 79. 
Convocation, ii., 202. 
Cookstown, ii., 303. 
Cooper, Colonel, ii., 245. 
Coote, Sir Charles, i., 282, 289, 


Coote. Maxwell H.. ii., 246. 
Corkerry, i., 296. 
Cormac of Durrow, i., 33. 
Corner, Alicia de la, i., 103 ; Joceline 

de la, i., 95 ; William de la. i.. 136 ; 

see Angulo. 
Corner, Richard de la. Bishop of 

Meath, i., 84, 135 ; ii., 269. 
Cory, Miles, Bishop of Clonmacnoise, 

i., 155- 

Council, Diocesan, ii., 209. 
Craike, Alexander, Bishop of Kildare, 

i.. 194- 
Craig, Graham, Dean of Clonmacnoise. 

ii., 207, 246. 

Creekstown, i., 265 ; ii., 303. 
Crofts, Sir James, i., 184. 
Crofty. hill of. i., 282. 
Cromwell, Oliver, lands in Dublin, i., 

291 ; siege of Drogheda, i., 292 ; 

holds no parliament, i., 304 ; changes 

in Meath, i., 308 ; action against the 

church, ii., 12. 
Cromwell, Thomas, i., 182. 
Crookshanke, Dr. John, ii., 29. 
Crossbearers, i., 202. 
Crosses, Irish, i., 38. 
Crozier, of Kells, i., 41 ; of Durrow, i., 

41 ; of St. Patrick, i., 56 ; of Bishop 

Ellis, ii., 36. 

Crucifixion in Irish art. i., 39. 
" Crucifixion, The," poem, ii., 116. 
Crucifix, miraculous, i., 94. 
Cruicetown, ii., 175, 287. 
Crumpe, Henry, i., 46; Matthew, i., 


Crusades, i., 118. 
Crutched friars, i., 104. 
Culmullen, ii., 31, 305. 
Cunningham, James, ii., 43. 
Curates, ii., 137. 
Curwen, Hugh, Archbishop of Dublin, 

i., 196. 
Cusack, Geoffrey de, Bishop of Meath, 

i., 84 ; ii., 269. 
Cusack. Mr., bequest to Athboy, ii.. 


Cushinstown, ii., 303. 
Cuthbert, Richard, i.. 94. 




Dalton, Major, ii., 200, 244. 

Daly, Joseph, ii., 184. 

Danes, i., 49. 

Danistown, ii., 44, 297. 

Dantsey, Edward, Bishop of Meath, i., 

1 16, 148, 149 ; ii., 270. 
Darnley, Lord, ii., 147. 
Daunt, Achilles, Dean of Cork, ii., 220. 
David of Menevia, i., 18, 94. 
Davies, Sir John, i., 222. 
Davidson, J. H., ii., 246. 
Dease, Thomas, Roman Catholic 

Bishop of Meath, i., 2^6, 259, 267, 

275, 283. 

De Flumine Dei, i., 93. 
De Lacy, Hugh, appointed to the Lord- 
ship of Meath, i., 67 ; his policy, i., 

68 ; personal appearance, i., 68 ; 

contest with Tiernan O'Rorke, i., 69 ; 

destroys Celtic monasteries, i., 72 ; 

dispute about his body, i., 93 ; 

founds Abbeys of Kells and Durrow, 

i.. 96. 

De Lacy, Hugh, the younger, i., 105. 
De Lacy, Walter, i., 22, 94, 105. 
Delamere family, i., 112. 
Delvin, parish, i., 122 ; Methodism at, 

ii., 87 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; plate, ii., 264 ; 

clergy, 324. 
Deodatus, Bishop of Meath, i., 82 ; ii., 


Depositions (1641), i., 270. 
Deprivations, i., 188, 190, 191. 
Dermod, King of Leinster, i., 64, 65. 
Desmond, Thomas, Earl of, i., 150. 
Diamor, i., 248 ; ii., 316. 
Diarmaid, King, i., 25. 
Dickenson, Charles, Bishop of Meath, 

family, ii., 178 ; letter to his sister, 

ii., 179; appointment to Meath ii., 

179; obituary notice, ii., 180 ; 

supports the National Board, ii., 

187 ; episcopate, ii., 272. 
Dickenson, Hercules H., ii., 238. 
Dillon, Sir Henry, i., in. 
Dillon, James, i., 107. 
Dillon, Sir John, ii., 248, 268. 
Dillon, Robert, Lord of Dunsany, i., 107. 
Dillon, Friar Thomas, i., 102. 
Dirpatrick, ii., 310. 
Disertaly, i., 249, 319. 
Disert Columkill, i., "154. 
Disert Keiran, see Tristelkeiran. 
Disestablishment, ii., 193, 197, 200, 202. 
Disraeli, Benjamin, ii., 197. 
Dixon, Christopher, ii., 47. 
Dod, Roger, Bishop of Meath, i., 221 ; 

ii., 271. 

Dodwell, Henry, ii., 256. 
Dominicans, i., m, 328. 
Donaghmore (Navan), round tower, i., 
40; lands, i., 54; tithes, i., 26:; 

clergy, ii., 313. 

Donaghmore (Ratoath), i., 265 ; ii., 

3i, 302. 

Donaghpatrick, founded by St. Pat- 
rick, i., 7, 9 ; plundered, i., 52 ; 
church, i., 243 ; ii., 154; rector, ii., 
131; glebe, ii., 152, 153; new 
church, ii., 248 ; plate, ii., 267 ; 
clergy, ii., 292. 

Donore, ii., 295. 

Dopping, Anthony, Bishop of Meath, 
translation, i., 306 ; sermons, 
i., 307 ; on loyalty, i., 309 ; 
another sermon on the same text, 
i., 311 ; letter to a dissenting 
minister, i., 314 ; supports Protestan- 
tism in Parliament, i., 318 ; im- 
prisons a schoolmaster, i., 319 ; 
administers the Diocese of Dublin, 
i., 321 ; resists repeal of the Act of 
Settlement, i., 322, 331 ; obtains 
safeguards in searches for arms, i., 
324 ; protests against conduct of 
General Rosen, i., 324 ; accused of 
inconsistency, i., 334; sermon after 
the Battle "of the Boyne, ii., i ; 
reasons with Bishop Otway, ii., 2 ; 
Form of Prayer during the War, ii,. 
2 ; discountenances reprisals, ii., 3 ; 
collection for poor clergy, ii., fj ; 
letter from the Bishop of London, ii., 
5 ; from Lord Cavan, ii., 6, 7 ; from 
Lord Drogheda, ii., 8 ; proposed for 
Archbishopric of Dublin, ii., 10 ; 
visitation return, ii., 12 ; helps in 
publication of Irish Bible, ii., 21 ; 
compiles service for receiving lapsed 
Protestants, i., 21 ; his later years, 
ii., 23 ; comparison with Archbishop 
King, ii., 23 : presentation from 
his parishioners, ii., 24 ; presents 
chalice and paten to Trim, ii., 261 ; 
episcopate, ii., 272 ; compiles list of 
clergy, ii., 280. 

Dopping, Anthony, Rector of Killucan, 
ii., 44. 

Dowdall, George, Archbishop of Ar- 
magh, opposes the English Liturgy, 
i., 183 ; discussion with Bishop 
Staples, i., 185 ; deprived, i., 188 ; 
recalled by Queen Mary, i., 188. 

Dowdstown, ii., 298. 

Downes, Henry, Bishop of Meath, ii., 
33, 34, 66, 272. 

Dowse, Richard, Dean of Clonmac- 
noise, ii., 246. 

Dowth, i., 66 ; ii., 294. 

Drakestown, ii., 267, 287. 

Draper, Robert, Bishop of Kilmore, i., 
214, 224. 

Drogheda, St. Mary's Church, i., 169, 
237, 244; ii., 154; priories of St. 
John and St. James, i., 104 ; Car- 
melite monastery, i., 107 ; income 
of parish, i., 121 ; synod held at, i., 
135; Capuchins, i., "259 ; proclama- 



tion at, i., 261 ; besieged by the 
rebels, i., 282 ; by Cromwell, i., 292, 
305 ; church services, ii., 42 ; glebe, 
ii., 153; plate, ii., 266; clergy, ii., 

Drogheda. Lord, letters to Bishop 

Dopping, ii., 8, 9. 
Dromore, diocese of. i., 135. 
Drumconrath, i., 245 ; ii.. 291. 
Drumcree, Wesley at, ii., 81 ; increase 

in the number of communicants, ii., 

87 ; church, ii., 154 ; plate, ii., 266 ; 

clergy, ii., 319. 
Drumcullen, i., 44. 329. 
Drumlargan, i., 265 ; ii., 302. 
Drumraney, i., 245 ; ii., 153, 154, 332. 
Dubilton, 'John de, L, 87. 
DuddeJl. Richard, i., 320 ; ii., 259. 
Duigenan, Dr., Chancellor of Meath, 

ii., 149. 

Dulane, i. t 12, 51, 66. 

Duleek, founded by St. Kenan, i., 13 ; 
attacked by Danes, i., 50, 51 ; 
priory, i., 94 ; abbey church, i., 169 ; 
iL. 154; prior, i., 189; rural 
deanery, i., 121. 243 ; parish, ii., 8, 
13; plate, ii., 41, 268; services, ii. 
42 ; clergy, ii., 293. 

Dunboyne, boy rector, i., 126 ; burned 
by Silken Thomas, i., 163 ; Bishop 
Brady buried at, i., 202 ; garrison, 
i., 212; tithes, i., 265; murder of 
parish clerk, ii., 107 ; soldiery at, ii., 
1 08 ; glebe house, ii.. 140, 152, 153 ; 
plate, ii., 266 ; clergy, ii.. 306. 

Dunboyne, Lord, ii.. 79. 

Dungon's Hill, i., 289. 

Dunne, Captain Charles, ii., 247. 

Dunne, Robert Hedges, ii., 183. 

Dunmoe, i., 211. 

Dunsany, i., 244 ; ii., 300. 

Dunsany, Lord, ii., 199. 

Dunshaughlin, founded by St. Sech- 
nall, i., 10; bishopric of, i., 53, 61 ; 
rural deanery, i., 75 ; skirmish at 
i., 163 ; tithes, i., 264 ; stocks, ii., 
58 ; church, ii., 154 ; plate ii., 263 ; 
clergy, iL. 304. 

Durrow, founded by St. Columba, L, 
32 ; incumbent of, i., 247 ; parish, 
ii., 48 ; glebe, ii., 153; new church, 
ii., 226, 248 ; plate, ii., 357 ; clergy, 
"., 330. 

Durrow, Book of, i., 37; crozier of. i., 41 . 

Dysart. i.. 246. 335. 


Eathmadh O'Miadhchain, Bishop of 

Clonard, i., 61. 

Ecclesiastical Commissioners, ii., 175. 
Edge worth, Maria, ii., 182. 
Education, ii., 42, 143 ; Board of, ii., 


Edward I., i., 124. 

Edwards, Dr. Jonathan. L, 298. 300. 

Effernock, ii., 50. 

Eglish, ii.. 257. 329. 

Election of bishops, ii., 219, 229. 

Election to conference of laymen, ii., 
203 ; to General Convention, ii., 203. 

Eleutherius, Bishop of Clonard. i., 61 ; 
ii., 269. 

Elizabeth. Queen, i.. 290. 

Ellis. Welbore, Bishop of Meath, 
translated from Kildare, ii., 35 ; 
state of the diocese, ii.. 35 ; funeral, 
" 35 ' episcopate, ii., 272. 

Emancipation, Catholic, ii., 165. 

Emigration, ii., 181, 251. 

Emlagh, i., 249 ; iL, 284. 

English clergymen preferred to Irish, 
i., 73 ; retaliation, i., 74. 

English Liturgy, ordered, i.. 183 ; 
opposed by the Archbishop of 
Armagh, i., 183 ; discussion between 
the Primate and the Bishop of 
Meath, i.. 185 ; restored by Queen 
Elizabeth, i.. 191. 

Enniscoffy. ii., 263, 326. 

Enniskeen. church, ii., 38. 154; dis- 
senting minister at, ii., 142 ; parish 
clerk, ii., 146 ; Presbyterian meeting 
house, ii., 174 ; plate, ii., 262 ; 
clergy, ii., 286. 

Ere of Slane, i.. 7, 14- 

Etchen of Killucan, i., 31. 

Eugene, first Bishop of Meath, i., 62, 
73 ; ii., 269. 

Evans, John, Bishop of Meath. trans- 
lated from Bangor. ii., 33 ; bequest, 
ii.. 33 ; death, ii., 33 ; controversy 
with Dean Swift, ii.. 272. 

Everdon, Thomas de, i., 139. 

Evreaux, Benedictine abbey, i.. 105. 

Excommunication, i., 86, 88, 128; 
ii., 17, 149. 156. 


Faelgus, i., 21. 

Pagan. Luke, Roman Catholic Bishop 

of Meath, ii., 32, 75. 
Faghalstown, ii., 317. 
Faghly, ii.. 317. 

Falkiner, W. F., i.. 91 ; 11., 267. 
Fechin of Fore. L, 44. 
Feogy, Thomas, i., 144. 
Fennor, i., 121 ; ii., 288. 
Ferbane. ii., 81. 
Fercall, i., 217. 
Fiacc, hymn of, i., 13. 
Finances of Meath, ii.. 210, 249. 
Finian of Clonard, i., 18. 
Fintina of Clonguffin, i., 48. 
Fitzgerald, William. Bishop of Clon- 

fert, ii., 25. 
Fitzherbert. Mrs., ii., 122. 



Fitzsymmonds, William, i., 250. 

Fitzwilliam, Lord, ii., 123. 

Fleming, Christopher. Baron of Slane, 
i., 112. 

Flemyng, John, i., 126. 

Foirtchernn, i., 2, 18. 

Follistown, ii., 314. 

Fore, foundation of, i., 44 ; bishopric, 
i., 53 ; Benedictine abbey, i., 104 ; 
romantic story, i., 105 ; rural 
deanery, i., 243 ; tithes, i., 265 ; 
clergy, ii., 317. 

Forgney, i., 3, 15; ii., 154, 264, 332. 

Foundlings, ii., 59. 

Fowler, Robert, ii., 215, 242. 

Foyran, i., 122 ; 247, 318. 

Franciscans, i., in, 328. 

Frankfort, Carmelite monastery, i., 
no; Wesley at, ii., 81 ; see Kil- 

Free Churchyard, i., 75, 98. 

Fulburn, Walter de, Bishop of Water- 
ford, i., 88, 89. 

Furness Abbey, i., 106. 


Gallaher, Edmund, Bishop of Derry, 
i., 208. 

Gallen, i., 120, 249 ; ii., 154, 339- 

Gallow, i., 265 ; ii., 302. 

Galtrim, prebend of, i., 80 ; income 
of parish, i., 123; non-resident 
rector, i., 124; advowson, i., 135; 
incumbent, i., 197 ; ii., 13 ; vicarage, 
i. t 215; rebels at, i., 275; chalice, 
ii., 41 ; parish clerk, ii., 107; vicar 
and curate, ii., 137; glebe, ii., 153 ; 
plate, ii., 260; clergy, ii., 310. 

Galtrim, Hugh of, i., 136. 

Gamble, Richard, ii., 245. 

Garnett, Mr., curate of Clongill, ii., 

Garvey, John, Archbishop of Armagh, 
i., 192, 201, 202. 

Gaulstown Church, ii., 29. 

Gelasius, Bishop of Clogher, i., 131. 

Geneville, Geoffrey de, i., in. 

George IV., ii., 122. 

Gerrard, Thomas, i., 7 ; ii., 206, 248, 
267, 292. 

Geravan, Flan, Bishop of Clonmac- 
noise, i., 157. 

Gernonstown, ii., 290. 

Giraldus Cambrensis, i., 37, 56. 

Girley, i., 27, 243 ; ii., 311. 

Gladstone, W. E., ii., 194, 197. 

Glass, ancient stained, i., 107. 

Glebe houses, bill for building, ii., 44 ; 
Nobber, Navan, ii., 47 ; built by 
Bishop O'Beirne, ii., 140, 149, 152, 

153, 174- 

Goldsmith, Charles, ii., 98. 
Goldsmith, Henry, ii., 84, 103. 

Goldsmith, Oliver, his connection with 
Meath, ii., 51 ; description of parson, 
ii., 52 ; preaching, ii., 53 ; parish- 
ioners, ii., 55 ; his mother, ii. 98. 

Gospel, Fort of the, at Clonmacnoise, 

i-. 57- 

Gown, preaching, ii., 189. 
Grangegeeth, ii., 288. 
Greenoge, i., 265 ; ii., 303. 
Gregge, John, i., 249. 
Gregg, Robert, Archbishop of Armagh, 

ii., 214. 
Grendon, ii., 1 13. 


Hadsor, William, Bishop of Meath, i., 
149 ; ii., 270. 

Hampton, Archbishop, i., 231. 

Hamilton, Mr., curate of Wherry, ii., 

Handcock, Hon. Robert, ii., 215, 244. 

Handcock, William, ii., 171. 

Hannon, Peter, ii., 99. 

Harris, John, ii., 97. 

Harvey, Alfred T., ii., 201, 243. 

Henry II., i., 63 ; III., i., 83 ; IV., i., 
97, 148 ; VII., i., 152. 

Henry VIII. claims to be head of the 
Church, i., 90, 157; divorce, i., 161, 
165 ; assumes the title of King of 
Ireland, i., 166 ; dissolves the 
monasteries, i., 167 ; censures 
Bishop Staples, i., 182. 

Hilda, i., 48. 

Hopkins, Francis, ii., 246. 

Hosee, Walter, i., 136. 

Hospitals, i., 103, 113. 

Howe, Lord, ii., 113. 

Hugh, Cardinal, Archdeacon of Meath, 

i-, 137- 

Hugh, Lord of Teffia, i., 56. 
Humphrey, James, i., 175. 


Images, i., 177, 179 ; miraculous, i., 

94. 95- 97- 
Impar, i., 249. 
Impropriate parishes, i., 169, 197, 199, 

217, 263, 265 ; ii., 15, 30, 31. 
Income of bishop, ii., 224. 
Incumbents not in Holy Orders, i., 249. 
Indulgences, i., 145. 
Inge, Hugh, Bishop of Meath, i., 153 ; 

ii., 271. 

Ingham, Mr., curate of Tara, ii., 138. 
Innismot, ii., 175, 291. 
Interdict, i., 128. 
Irish Church Act, ii., 200, 202. 
Irish language, ii., 19. 
Irish Liturgy, i., 184, ii., 77. 



Irishmen, exclusion from church 
livings, i., 73 ; from abbeys, i., 94, 
114 ; from towns of the Pale, i., 97. 


James I., reign of, i., 221 ; Bishops of 
Meath in his reign, i.. 221 ; appoints 
Anthony Martin, i., 240 ; condition 
of clergy under, i., 250. 

James II., accession, i., 317 ; treatment 
of Protestants, i., 318, 321 ; ii.. 12; 
Parliament in Dublin, i., 322; 
appointments to parishes in Meath, i. 

James of Spain, i., 80. 

Jansenists, ii., 32. 

Jellett, Henry, Dean of St. Patrick's, 
ii., 220. 

Jerusalem, Knights of St. John of, i, 

Jesuits, i., 206, 213, 236, 237, 259. 

Joly, Dr., ii., 245. 

John, Bishop of Ferns, elect of Meath, 
i., 84. 

John, King, i., 82, 105, 112. 

Jones, Ambrose, i., 258, 299, 301. 

Jones, Henry, Bishop of Meath, i., 305 ; 
ii., 271. 

Jones, Colonel Michael, i., 289, 306. 

Jones, Sir Roger, i., 246. 

Jones, Thomas, Bishop of Meath, 
appointed, i., 202 ; his preaching, 
i.. 203 ; advocates severity against 
Romanists, i., 203 ; his episcopate, 
i., 204 ; ii., 271 ; censured by Queen 
Elizabeth, i., 205 ; his defence, i. 
206 ; writings against the Earl of 
Tyrone, i., 210 ; certificate of Meath, 
i., 214 ; translated to Dublin, i., 218 ; 
his alienation of church property, i., 
1 59, 224, 241 ; rector of Trim, i., 230. 

Jorse, Roland, Archbishop of Armagh, 

i.. 131- 

Julianstown, income of parish, i., 121; 
incumbent, ii., 8; glebe, ii., 153; 
plate, ii., 267 ; clergy, ii., 295. 


Kearns, rebel leader, ii., 107. 

Keating, John, i., 326. 

Keating, Thomas, i., 228. 

Keene, James Bennett, Bishop of 
Meath, ii., 238, 240, 273. 

Keiran of Clonmacnoise, i., 23 ; gapped 
bell of, i., 56. 

Kells, founded by Columba, i., 32, 33 ; 
book of, i., 37, 54; crosses, i., 40; 
round tower, i., 40 ; metal work, i., 
40 ; crozier, i., 41 ; plundered, i., 
52, 66, 21 1 ; burnt, i., 66 ; bishopric 
of, i., 53, 61, 82; synod of, i., 59; 

archdeacon of, i.. 61, 87. 124, 130, 

163. 164, 182, 257; ii., 46, 279; 

rural deanery, i., 75, 243 ; Augus- 

tinian monastery, i., 96 ; Trinitarian 

priory, i., 104 ; income of parish, i., 

123; ii.. 45; excommunication at. 

i.. 130 ; clergy, i., 191, 192 ; ii., 282 ; 

garrison, i., 210; rectory, i., 214; 

curate, i., 247 ; taken by the rebels 

in 1641, i., 273; curate murdered. 

i., 273; synod of (1642), i., 283 ; 

church, ii., 14, 154 ; chancel, ii., 37 ; 

church furniture, ii., 39 ; services, ii , 

41 ; catechizing, ii., 42 ; regulations 

about pews, ii.. 58 ; whip-beggar. 

ii., 59 ; temperance society, ii., 61 ; 

rector, ii., 131 ; choral festival, ii., 


Kenan of Duleek, i., 13. 
Kenley, John de. Archdeacon of Meath, 

i., 130. 
Kentstown, rector of, i., 197. 215, 246 ; 

income of parish, i., 121 ; church, ii., 

14, 154; glebe, ii., 153; anti-tithe 

agitation at, ii., 169 ; plate, ii., 266 ; 

clergy, ii., 297. 
Kerdin, Christopher, i., 229. 
Kilallon, contested appointment, i... 

139; rector, i., 216, 250; castle, i., 

289 ; church, ii., 39 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; 

plate, ii., 264, 268 ; clergy, ii., 324. 
Kilbeg, i., 265 ; ii., 284. 
Kilbeggan, Cistercian monastery, i., 

93 ; rector, i., 125 ; curate robbed, 

i., 275 ; tragedy at, i., 276 ; church 

seized, i., 326 ; skirmish at, ii., 107 ; 

glebe, ii., 153; church, ii., 154; 

plate, ii., 263, 268 ; clergy, ii., 327. 
Kilberry, i., 191, 244 ; ii., 14, 43, 292. 
Kilbixey, founded by Bigseach, i., 48 ; 

Abbey of Tristernach, i., 74; Glebe, 

ii., 153; plate; ii., 267; clergy, ii., 


Kilbrady, ii., 154. 
Kilbrew, rector, i., 215, 246; attacked 

by rebels, ii., 107 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; 

church, 154 ; plate, ii., 261 ; clergy, 

H-, 303. 

Kilbride-Castlecor, i., 228 ; ii., 316. 
Kilbride Pilate, i.. 122; ii., 153, 154. 
Kilbride Veston, i., 122. 
Kilcarn, i., 121 ; ii., 289. 
Kilcleagh, incumbent, i., 248 ; tithes, 

i., 265 ; glebe, i.. 265 ; ii., 48, 153 ; 

clergy, ii., 337 ; see Moate. 
Kilclone, i., 265 ; ii., 301. 
Kilcormack, Carmelite friary, i., no; 

tithes, ii., 31 ; see Frankford and 


Kildalkey, i., 15, 54, 145, 148 ; ii., 311. 
Kildare, i., 37, 48. 
Kildare, Earl of, i., 152, 161. 162. 
Kildare Place Society, ii.. 175. 
Kilgluin, i., 3. 
Kilkenny, synod of, i., 248. 



Kilkenny West, monastery of Cross- 
bearers, i., 102 ; church seized, i., 
238; glebe, ii., 152, 153; Methodist 
chapel, ii., 174; plate, ii., 267; 
clergy, ii., 333. 

Killagally, i., 120, 265. 

Killary or Killavy, i., 197, 216, 228, 
246 ; ii., 291. 

Killeagh, ii., 153, 154, 316. 

Killeen, i., 150, 216; ii., 300. 

Killegland, i., 265 ; ii., 302. 

Killochonnigan, incumbent, i., 250 ; 
church, ii., 39, 154 ; income of parish, 
ii., 45 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; plate, 277 ; 
clergy, ii., 312. 

Killoughey, glebe, i., 265 ; ii., 153 ; 
church, ii., 154; endowment, ii., 
246 ; clergy, ii., 329. 

Killua, ii., 325. 

Killucan, St. Etchen of, i., 31 ; rector, 
i., 140, 216, 233 ; church, i., 243 ; ii., 
13, 154; glebe, ii., 141, 153; 
plate, ii., 258 ; clergy, ii., 321. 

Killulagh, i., 122 ; ii.. 319. 

Killyon, ii., 320. 

Kilmacnevin, ii., 336. 

Kilmainhambeg or Kilbeg, i., 104. 

Kilmainhan Wood, i., 104 ; ii., 45, 154, 

Kilmessan, i., 197 ; ii., 299. 

Kilmoon, income of parish, i., 121 ; 
church, ii., 154; plate, ii., 261; 
clergy, ii., 303. 

Kilmore, diocese, i., 131, 224, 229. 

Kilmore, parish, i., 215 ; tithes, i., 264 ; 
attacked by rebels, ii., 107 ; glebe, 
ii., 153 ; clergy, ii., 306. 

Kilnegarenagh, i., 265 ; ii., 266, 330. 

Kilpatrick (Meath), see Castletown Kil- 

Kilpatrick (Westmeath), i., 9 ; ii., 318. 

Kilsharvan, ii., 296. 

Kilshine, no curate in 1622, i., 249 ; 
tithes, i., 265 ; tablet in church, ii., 
150 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; church, ii., 154 ; 
plate, ii., 266 ; clergy, ii., 293. 

Kilskyre, foundation, i., 48 ; plundered, 
i., 52, 66 ; rectory, i., 216 ; church, 
i., 243 ; rector, i., 248, 250 ; Holy 
Communion, ii., 42 ; clergy, ii., 

Kiltale, ii., 300. 

Kimmis, Mr., incumbent of Ballyboy, 
ii., 136. 

King, his part in election of bishops, 
i., 79, 80. 

King, Archbishop, imprisoned, i., 333 ; 
his opinion of Bishop Fitzgerald, ii, 
25 ; letter about the Diocese of 
Meath, ii., 26 ; his opinion of Bishop 
Evans, ii., 33 ; on penal laws, ii. 
68 ; on the writing of a history of 
Ireland, ii., 99. 

Kingscourt Methodist Chapel, ii., 174 ; 
see Enniskeen. 

Kinnegad, taken by Sir Charles Coote, 
i., 293 ; curate, ii., 141 ; clergy, ii., 

Kirwan, Dean, ii., 156. 

Knock, i., 247 ; ii., 287. 

Knockcommon, ii., 289. 

Knockmark, tithes, i., 265 ; plate, ii., 
40, 251 ; parish registers burnt, ii., 
107; glebe, ii., 153; church, ii., 
154 ; clergy, ii., 312. 


Lacken, ii., 335. 

Laisren of Durrow, i., 33. 

Lambert, Ralph, Bishop of Meath, ii., 

34, 272. 
Lancaster, Thomas, Archdeacon of 

Kells, i., 164. 

Land League, ii., 226, 243. 
Landulph, Cardinal, i., 138. 
Langford, Sir Arthur, i., 314; Sir 

Hercules, i., 313. 

Lapsed Protestants, Service for Re- 
ceiving, ii., 21. 
Laracor, tithes, i., 264 ; vicar, i., 313 ; 

no carpet or surplice, ii., 40 ; services, 

ii., 41 ; curate, ii., 44 ; glebe, ii. 

153 ; Presbyterian meeting house, 

ii., 174 ; plate, ii., 260 ; clergy, 309. 
Laude Dei, priory of, i., 94. 
Law, John, appointed to the bishopric 

of Meath, ii., 31. 
Lean, James, imprisoned by Bishop 

Dopping, i., 319. 
Leary, King, i., 6. 
Leckno, see Piercetown Landy. 
Lee, Archdeacon, ii., 208. 
Lemanaghan, boy rector, i., 126 ; tithes, 

i., 264 ; clergy, ii., 328. 
Leney, no curate in 1622, i., 249 ; 

church, ii., 39, 154; plate, ii., 41, 

266; glebe, ii., 153 ; clergy, ii., 334. 
Leslie, Henry, Bishop of Meath, i., 304 ; 

ii., 271. 

Leodgarvick, i., 249. 
Lever, John and Charles, ii., 183. 
Lewis, Cardinal, i., 138. 
Lewis, George, Archdeacon of Meath, 

ii., 259. 

Lickbla, ii., 318. 
Lightburne, Stafford, ii., 44, 63, 98, 


Limerick, articles of, ii., 69. 
Liscartan, ii., 314. 

Lismore, book of, i., 20 ; see of, i., 45. 
Lismullen, i., 103, 122 ; ii., 298. 
Llanthony, i., 94. 
Lockwood, Thomas, Archdeacon of 

Kells, i., 164. 
Loftus, Adam, Archbishop of Armagh, 

i., 190 ; Dean of St. Patrick's, i. 
195 ; Archbishop of Dublin, i., 196. 
Lomman, i., 2, 15. 



Longworth. Edward Dames, ii., 245. 
Lorica. of St. Patrick, i., 7 ; of St. 

Columkill, i., 34. 
Loughan, i.. 40 ; ii., 284. 
Loughbraccan, i., 246; ii., 291. 
Loughcrcw, vicar, i., 250 ; glebe, ii., 

140; parish clerk, ii., 146; plate, i., 

320; ii.. 259; clergy, ii., 315. 
Loughsuedy, rector, i., 125, 189. 141 ; 

rural deanery, i., 243 ; parish, i., 

249 ; see Ballymore. 
Loundres, William de, i., 106. 
Luttrell, Robert, i., 191. 
Lynally, founded by St. Colman. i., 45 ; 

glebe, i., 265 ; church seized, i., 325 ; 

new church, ii., 248 ; plate, ii., 267 ; 

clergy, ii., 331. 
Lynn, i., 122, 325. 


MacCoghlan, erenach of Clonmacnoise, 
i.. 156. 

MacCoughlan, Corraac, Bishop of Clon- 
macnoise, i., 156. 

Macetown, ii., 303. 

MacGillevider, Eugene, Archbishop of 
Armagh, i., 82. 

MacMollisa, Nicholas, Archbishop of 
Armagh, i., 131, 132. 

Magluay, Donald, i., 140. 

Maguire, J. F. ii., 194. 

Malachy of Armagh, i., 58, 70, 92. 

Marisius, Geoffrey de, i., 83. 

Malone, William, i., 232. 

Marsh, Francis, Archbishop of Dublin, 
ii., 10. 

Marsh, Narcissus, Archbishop of Cashel 
(afterwards of Dublin), ii., 25. 

Martin, Anthony, Bishop of Meath, i., 
240, 258, 304 ; attacked by rebels, 
i., 277 ; imprisoned, i., 286 ; death, 
i., 294 ; episcopate, ii., 271. 

Martry, i., 124 ; ii., 314. 

Mary, Queen, deprives Bishop Staples, 
i., 1 88 ; appoints Bishop Walsh, i., 
189 ; opposes papal provision, i., 189. 

Mary's Abbey, Dublin, i., 73. 

Mascal, Robert, i., 148. 

Massacre of Protestants in 1641, i., 270. 

Maule, Henry, Bishop of Meath, on 
schools, ii., 78 ; translated from 
Dromore, ii., 94 ; charter schools, 
ii., 94 ; settlement at Ardbraccan, 
ii., 95 ; visitation, ii., 96, 99 ; 
restores tomb of Bishop Montgomery, 
ii., 99 ; proposes to write a history 
of Ireland, ii., 09 ; presents plate to 
Ardbraccan, ii., 265 ; episcopate, ii., 

Maurice, Abbot of Kells, i., 130. 

Maxwell, Henry, Bishop of Meath, 
translated from Dromore, ii., 102 ; 
visitation, ii., 103 ; presents plate 

to Ardbraccan, ii., 265 ; and to 

Nobbcr, ii., 267 ; episcopate, ii., 272. 
Maxwell. Henry, incumbent of Wherry. 

ii., 138. 

Maxwell, Mr., ii., 138. 
Mayne, glebe, i.. 245; ii., 153; 

incumbent, i.. 248 ; church, ii., 154 ; 

plate, ii., 255 ; clergy, 317. 
Maynooth College, i., 153; ii.. 125. 
Meath, Diocese of. dates from the synod 

of Kells, i., 61 ; ii., 269 ; revenues, 

i., 241 ; suffered from soldiery, ii., 3 ; 

returns for 1807 and 1820, ii., 151 ; 

population, ii., 174; proposed 

suppression, ii., 196 ; precedence, ii., 


Meath, Kingdom of, i., I. 
Meindartt, John, Jansenist Archbishop 

of Utrecht, ii., 32. 
Mellifont, i., 58, 92, 122. 
Mendicant Orders, i.. 117. 
Menevia, i., 18. 
Metal work, i., 40. 
Metcalfe, William, vicar of Sydaar, i., 


Methodism, ii., 81. 
Mexico, reformation movement in, ii., 


Minchin, Dr., ii., 41. 
Ministers appointed under the Common- 
wealth, i., 295, 299, 308. 
Minors appointed to livings, i., 126. 
Missions, contributions to, ii., 250. 
Mitchelstown, ii., 292. 
Mitre, ii., 36. 
Moate, church, i., 243; ii., 48, 154; 

Wesley at, ii., 81 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; 

Quaker meeting house, ii., 174 ; see 


Molloy, Hugh or Odp, i., no. 
Monasteries, Celtic, i., 18 ; destroyed 

by the English, i., 72 ; Anglo- 

Norman, i., 92, 113 ; dissolution of, 

i., 115, 166, 172, 173; its effect on 

the church in Meath, i., 167 ; sales 

of property, i., 169. 
Monknewtown, ii., 228. 
Monktown, ii., 44, 298. 
Montgomery, George, Bishop of Meath, 

i., 221 ; report, i.. 227; tomb, ii., 

99; episcopate, ii., 271. 
Money, value of, i., 119. 
Moorchurch, i., 121 ; ii., 8, 206. 
Moreton, William, Bishop of Meath, ii., 

3i, 272. 

Morgallion, i., 95, 212. 
Morgan bequest, ii., 236. 
Mornington, ii., 295. 
Moyagher, ii., 311. 
Moydrum, episcopal property in, i., 

241 ; new church, ii., 226, 247. 
Moyglare, vicar of, i., 250 ; tithes, ii., 

31 ; incumbent and curate, ii.. 139 ; 

school, ii., 144 ; parish clerk, ii., 146 ; 

glebe, ii., 153 ; clergy, ii., 300. 



Moyliscar, income of parish, i., 122 ; 
glebe, ii., 153 ; new church, ii., 226, 
247 ; plate, ii., 263 ; clergy, ii., 325. 

Moylough, i., 245 ; ii., 315. 

Moymett, no curate in 1622, i., 249 ; 
tithes, i., 265 ; school, ii., 143 ; glebe, 
ii., 153 ; parish suspended, ii., 175 ; 
clergy, ii., 308. 

Moynalty, union of , i., 104; troops led 
by the Bishop of Meath at, i., 202 ; 
rectory, i., 216 ; church, i., 243 ; ii., 
14, 38; curate, i., 247; catechizing, 
ii., 43 ; skirmish at, ii., 107 ; plate, 
ii., 262 ; clergy, ii., 283. 

Moyvore, i., 125. 

Mountain, Robert, Bishop of Meath, i., 
148 ; ii., 270. 

Mullingar, Augustinian monastery, i., 
95 ; Trinitarian priory, i., 104; 
Dominican monastery, i., in; in- 
come of parish, i., 122 ; rectory, i., 
217 ; abbey near, i., 238 ; rural 
deanery, i., 243 ; incumbent, i., 248 ; 
Capuchins at, i., 259 ; vicar robbed, 
i., 275 ; town burned, i., 289 ; state 
of parish, ii., 13 ; church, ii., 37, 154, 
163 ; services, ii., 41 ; Wesley at, 
ii., 81, 83 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; confirma- 
tion at, ii., 163 ; Presbyterian and 
Methodist Chapels, ii., 174 ; synod, 
ii., 203, 209 ; plate, ii., 266 ; clergy, 
ii., 321. 

Mulloy, Coote Charles, ii., 184. 

Multifarnham, Franciscan abbey, i., 112, 
206 ; income of parish, i., 122 ; 
rectory, i., 217 ; incumbent, i., 229, 
246 ; abbey rebuilt, i., 237, 238, 269 ; 
clergy, ii., 335. 

Munis of Forgney, i., 15. 

Murtough O'Maolidhir, Bishop of Clon- 
macnoise, i., 62. 


Nangle, see Angulo. 

Nany, see Julianstown. 

Naper, J. L., ii., 245. 

National Education, Board of, ii., 175, 
186, 187. 

Navan, abbey of, i., 95 ; district wasted; 
i., 211,212; church, i., 244 ; ii., 154, 
tithes, i., 265 ; troubles in 1641, i., 
272, 273 ; appointment of Crom- 
wellian preachers, i., 297 ; Mass 
house used for service, ii., 14 ; glebe 
ii., 47 ; stocks, ii., 58 ; opposition 
to R. C. bishop, ii., 77 ; rector, ii., 
131 ; school, ii., 143, 235 ; diocesan 
conference at, ii., 199 ; synod, ii., 
203, 210; clergy, ii., 312. 

Nelson, Mr., curate of Tara, ii., 106, 137. 

Newtown (Kells), 1.^247 ' " I 53> 2 ^ 2 > 

Newtown (Trim), Augustinian abbey, 
i- 75 J synod of, i., 75 ; fracas at 
abbey, i., 101 ; Hospital of Crutched 
Friars, i., 104. 

Newtown Fertullagh, rector, i., 246 
catechizing, ii., 145 ; glebe, ii., 152, 
153 ; plate, ii., 265 ; clergy, ii., 328. 

Nicholl, Robert, i., 285. 

Nimbus, i., 39. 

Nobber, united to the archdeaconry of 
Kells, i., 89 ; ii., 46 ; church, i., 243 ; 
ii., 39 ; plate, ii., 267 ; clergy, ii., 

Nomination, board of, ii., 206. 

Non- jurors, ii., 70. 

Non-residence, i., 123, 229; ii., 13, 103, 
173; causes of, ii., 17; bills for 
enforcing residence, ii., 44, 132 ; 
O'Beirne's reforms, ii., 149. 

Norman, Philip le, i., 136. 

Norsemen, i., 49. 

Noughaval, i., 56 ; ii., 322. 

Nugent, Garrett, Archdeacon of Meath, 
ii., 215, 242. 

Nugent, Richard, ii., 184. 


O'Beirne, Thomas Lewis, Bishop of 
Meath, birth, ii., no ; at St. Omer's 
College, ii., in ; joins the Church of 
England, ii., 112; ordination, ii. 
113, 115; voyage to America, ii, 
113; erroneous account given by 
some writers, ii., 114 ; literary work, 
ii., 116 ; chaplain to Lord Portland, 
ii., 117; letter of Bishop Plunkett, 
ii., 118 ; sermon on Trafalgar Day, 
ii., 119 ; story of his introduction to 
the Duke of Portland, ii., 121 ; 
marriage, ii., 122 ; Mrs. Fitzherbert, 
ii., 122 ; rector of Templemichael, ii., 
123 ; Bishop of Ossory, ii., 123 ; 
translated to Meath, ii., 123 ; protest 
in favour of the Union, ii., 123 ; on 
Maynooth College, ii., 125 ; preach- 
ing, ii., 127 ; works, ii., 128 ; queries 
sent to his clergy, ii., 130 ; on non- 
residence, ii., 131 ; on ecclesiastical 
discipline, ii., 133 ; on preaching, 
ii., ISS; withdraws from the 
Hibernian Bible Society, ii., 160 ; 
last confirmation tour, ii., 163 ; 
tablet inArdbraccan church, ii., 163; 
episcopate, ii., 273. 

O'Burne, C., curate of Kinnegad,ii., 141. 

O'Carroll, John, Bishop of Meath, i., 
90, 142 ; ii., 269. 

O'Carroll, John, rector of Kilallon, i., 

O'Connor, Milo, Archdeacon of Clon- 
macnoise, i., 120. 

O' Conor, Cathal Dearg, Prince of 
Connaught, i., n J. 

2 A 



O'Daly, chief poet of Ireland, i., 21. 
Odder, i.. 103, 122. 
Oengus. lord of Laeghaire, i., 21. 
O'Fynnan, Bishop of Clonmacnoise, i., 


Oldcastle taken by Lord Broghill, i, 
293 ; Methodism at, ii., 85 ; cathe- 
chizing, ii., 145 ; parish clerk, ii., 
146; glebe, ii., 153 ; church, ii., 154 ; 
Methodist chapel, ii., 174; clergy, 

ii- 3i5- 

O'Mayler, John, i., 94. 
O'Melaghlin, King of Meath, i., 103. 
O'Melaghlin, Cahir, Dean of Clonmac- 
noise, i., 1 56. 
O'Molone, Dean of Clonmacnoise, i., 


O'Neill, Shane, i., 202. 
Onniyl, John, i., 126. 
O'Reilly, Hugh, R. C. Archbishop of 

Armagh, i., 283. 

O'Reilly, Philip, attacks Meath, i., 210. 
Organ, ii., 14. 

O'Rorke, Tiernan, i., 64, 69. 
Ormond, Duke of, i., 292, 304, 317. 
Ota, Danish queen, i., 50. 
O'Toole, Laurence, i., 71. 
Otway, non- juror Bishop of Ossory, 

ii., 2. 
Ould, Mr., incumbent of Rathconrath, 

ii., 136. 
Ouldhall, William, Bishop of Meath, 

i., 150 ; ii., 270. 
Owel, Lake, i., 50. 


Pakenham, Mr., chaplain to Bishop 

O'Beirne, ii., 163. 
Pale, the, i., i, 72, 278, 282. 
Pall, i., 59. 
Papiron, Cardinal, i., 60, 100 ; ii., 


Parker, John, ii., 47. 
Parliament, English, i., 280, 286, 291. 
Patrick, Saint, preaches in Meath, i., 
2, 4; Lorica, i., 7; founds Donagh- 
patrick, i., 7 ; other churches, i., 9 ; 
companions of, i., 10 ; Sechnall's 
hymn in praise of, i., ii ; revises the 
old laws, i., 12 ; escape from cap- 
tivity, i., 13 ; " family" of, i., 14. 
Patron saints, i., 10. 
Paul, William de, Bishop of Meath, i., 

142 ; ii., 270. 

Payne, John, Bishop of Meath, supports 
Simnel, i., 151 ; contest with the 
Earl of Kildare, 152 ; tablet in St. 
Patrick's Cathedral, i., 153 ; episco- 
pate, ii., 270. 

Paynestown, rectory, i., 121, 215 ; ii., 
44 ; non-resident incumbent, i., 229, 
246; glebe, ii., 152, 153; plate, ii., 
263 ; clergy, ii., 289. 

Peacockc, joseph.,T'crguson, Bishop of 

Meath, ii., 238, 273. 
Penal laws. i.. 191, 213, 235, 259; ii., 


Penances, i., 76. 
Petit, Alexander. Bishop of Meath. i., 

147 ; ii., 270. 
Petit. John, i., 96. 
Pews, ii., 57. 
Pewter vessels, ii., 268. 
Philip, Bishop of Clonmacnoise, i., 155. 
Piercetown, ii., 344. 
Piercetownlandy, i., 121, 265 ; ii., 303. 
Pilgrimages, i., 97. 
Pilkington, H. M., ii., 206, 209. 
Piozzi, Mrs., ii., 127. 
Plague, i., 294. 
Plate, ii., 40, 255. 
Plunket family, i., 112. 
Plunket, Baron William Cunningham, 

Bishop of Meath, ii., 221, 227. 273. 
Plunkett. Alexander, i., 250. 
Plunkett, Oliver, i., 250. 
Plunkett, Patrick Joseph, Roman 
Catholic Bishop of Meath, ii., 77, 
105, 112, 117, 118. 
Pluralities, i., 123, 171, 248. 
Pococke, Richard, Bishop of Meath, 
translated from Ossory, ii., ipi; 
helps Mervyn Archdall in compiling 
the " Monasticon," ii., 101 ; mode 
of travelling, ii., 101 ; cedar trees at 
Ardbraccan, ii., 102 ; episcopate, ii., 

Pollock, John, ii., 151. 
Pope, part in episcopal elections, i., 81 ; 

provision, i. 81 ; appeals to, i., 89. 
Portland, Duke of, ii., 117, 120. 
Portloman, i., 15, 122; ii., 323. 
Portnashangan, i., 122 ; ii., 266, 322. 
Portugal, reformation movement in, 

ii., 223. 

Preaching ministers, i., 229, 249. 
Prene, John, i., 124. 
Preston, Catherine, i., 112. 
Preston family, i., 104. 
Preston, General, i., 289. 
Preston, Mr., Master of Navan School. 

ii., 143- 
Pretender, the, appoints R. C. bishops, 

ii., 70. 

Price. Arthur, Bishop of Meath, trans- 
lated from Ferns, ii., 92 ; plan for 
building see house, ii., 92 ; translated 
to Cashel, ii., 93 ; episcopate, ii.. 272. 
Price, Richard, i., 250. 
Priests, Roman Catholic, i., 236 ; ii., 73. 
Primacy, election to, ii., 209. 
Privy Council, ii., 273. 
Proctors, ii., 97. 

Protestant Orphan Society, ii., 181. 
Proud, George, Vicar of Trim, i., 326. 
Provision, papal, i., 90, 143, 145. 149, 

Provisors, statute of, i., 139. 140. 



Psalter of St. Columba, i., 41. 
Purdam, Gilbert, i., 229. 
Purdon, Richard, i., 250. 
Puritans, i., 262, 278, 303. 


Rad cliff, Dr., Chancellor of Meath, ii., 

Radcliff, Mr., chaplain to Wilson's 

Hospital, ii., 107. 
Raddanstown, tithes, i., 265 ; school, 

ii., 144 ; plate, ii., 262 ; clergy, 

ii., 301. 

Rahan, i., 45 ; ii., 153, 330. 
Rahugh, assembly at, i., 51 ; Baptist 

chapel, ii., 174. 
Ralph le Petit, Bishop of Meath, i., 81, 

83, 95 ; ii., 269. 
Ratane, i., 249, 265 ; ii., 314. 
Rathbeggan, vicarage, i., 215 ; glebe, 

ii., 153; church, 77, 154; plate, ii., 

263 ; clergy, ii., 305. 
Rathconnell, i., 122, 245, 289 ; ii., 153, 


Rathconrath, rectory, i., 217 ; incum- 
bent, i., 248 ; church seized, i., 326 ; 
ntn-residence, ii., 135 ; glebe, ii., 
153; church, ii., 154; plate, ii., 
259 ; clergy, ii., 334- 

Rathcore, i., 48 ; church, ii., 39 ; parish 
clerk, ii., 146 ; clergy, ii., 308. 

Rathfeigh, i., 121, 215, 245 ; ii., 297. 

Rathgraffe, ii., 317 ; see Castlepollard. 

Rathkenny, ii., 290. 

Rathmolyon, church, ii., 14, 39 ; non- 
residence, ii., 135 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; 
clergy, ii., 314. 

Rathmore, i., 216, 247 ; ii., 311. 

Rathregan, i., 264 ; ii., 306. 

Rathwire, see Killucan. 

Ratoath, union of, i., 170 ; garrison i., 
212; vicarage, i., 215; rural 
deanery, i., 243 ; tithes, i., 264 ; ii., 
31 ; non-residence, ii., 136 ; glebe, 
ii., 153; church, ii., 154; plate, ii., 
260, 268 ; clergy, ii., 302. 

Reading Ministers, i., 229, 249. 

Rebellion (1641), i., 267, 278, 305 ; 
(1798), ii., 104. 

Records, accuracy of ancient, i., 23. 

Recusants, i., 257. 

Reeves, Bishop, account of John 
Soreth, i., 109. 

Reichel, Charles Parsons, Bishop of 
Meath, trains choirs, ii., 201 ; member 
of General Convention, ii., 205 ; 
proposes system of nomination, ii., 
206 ; on the resignation of Arch- 
deacon Lee, ii., 208 ; chosen on 
select list at episcopal election, ii., 
220 ; elected Bishop of Meath, ii. 
228 ; death, ii., 236 ; episcopate, ii., 

Representative Church Body, ii., 202. 

Restoration, the, i., 303. 

Restoration of churches, ii., 226. 

Revision of the Prayer Book, ii., 208. 

Revival, the great, ii., 191. 

Revolution, English, ii., i ; French, 
ii., 103. 

Reynell, William, ii., 281. 

Reynolds, Charles, Archdeacon of Kells, 
i., 163. 

Richard II., i., 147, 155. 

Richard of Dundalk, Archbishop of 
Armagh, i., 117. 

Rinuccini, John Baptist, Papal Nuncio, 
i., 287. 

Robertstown, i., 265 ; ii., 284. 

Rochford, Simon, Bishop of Meath, 
appointment, i., 74 ; holds synod at 
Newtown, i., 75 ; death, i., 78, 82 ; 
candidate for the primacy, i., 81; 
removes see from Clonard to New- 
town, i., 101 ; effigy of, i., 102 ; 
episcopate, ii., 269. 

Rochfort, Prime Iron, ii., 29. 

Rochfort, Robert, ii., 29. 

Roderic O'Connor, King of Ireland, i., 
63, 65, 67. 

Rokeby, William, Bishop of Meath, i., 
153 ; ii., 270. 

Rosen, General, i., 324. 

Round towers, i., 28, 40. 

Ruman, i., 21. 

Rural Deaneries, formerly bishoprics, 
i-> 53. 75 ; visitations, i., 76 ; revival 
of, ii., 20; salaries, ii., 241. 

Rynagh, i., 249, 265 ; ii., 264, 339 
see Banagher. 


Saints, Irish, three orders of, i., 19 ; 
vindictive character of, i., 56. 

Sancto Severo, Walter, i., 124. 

Sanctuary, i., 40, 54- 

Salerni, Matthew de, i., 124. 

Sarsfield, General, i., 325. 

Scheme, Financial, ii., 213; supple- 
mental, ii., 241. 

Schiria of Kilskyre, i., 48. 

Schools, ancient Irish, i., 17 ; English, 
ii., 19 ; Irish to be suppressed, ii,, 
20 ; diocesan, ii., 142 ; parochial, 

ii-, 143- 
Schoolmasters appointed by Cromwell, 

i., 301. 

Scripture Readers, ii., 190. 
Scurlog, Thomas, Bishop of Meath, i., 


Scurlogstown, ii., 308. 
Seal, of the clergy of Meath, i., 91 ; of 

Durrow and Trim, i., 96. 
Seanchus Mor, i.; 12. 
Sechnall of Dunshaughlin, i., 10 ; his 

hymn, i., n. 



Sectaries, ii., 159. 

See House, i., 242. 245 ; ii., 66, 92, 
103, 225. 

Services, frequency of, ii., 172. 

Settlement, Act of. i., 322, 331. 

Shamrock, i.. 6. 

Shannon Bridge, ii., 247. 

Sharpe, Alexander, i., 250, 274. 

Sharpe, John, i., 273. 

Shepley. Robert, i., 247. 

Sheridan, William, Bishop of Kilmorc, 
ii., 2. 

Sherwood, William, Bishop of Meath, 
i., 150, 165 ; ii., 270. 

Shrines, i., 41, 47, 49. 

Silk, William. Bishop of Meath, ii., 270. 

Sing, George, i., 246. 

Singer, Joseph Henderson, Bishop of 
Meath, ii., 186, 191, 273. 

Singer, Aemelius, ii., 191. 

Skryne, shrine of St. Columba, i., 47, 
49 ; prebend, i., 80 ; Augustinian 
monastery, i., 102 ; non-resident 
rector, i., 124; vicarage, i., 215 
rural deanery, i., 243 ; tithes, i., 264 
intolerance at, i., 285 ; incumbent 
ii., 44; glebe, ii., 153; church, ii. 
154; new church, ii., 248; plate 
ii., 259 ; clergy, ii., 298. 

Slane, St. Patrick at, i., 5,7; church 
i., 9, 14 ; attacked by Danes, i., 50 
bishopric, i., 53 ; wasted, i., 66, 211 
rectory, i., 216; rural deanery, i. 
75, 243 ; Franciscan abbey, i., 112 
Capuchin abbey, i., 237 ; college, i. 
245 ; strolling pigs, ii., 60 ; incum- 
bent, ii., 131 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; plate, 
ii., 268 ; Clergy, ii., 288. 

Smith, Moor, ii., 140. 

Smith, Zephaniah, i., 296. 

Smyth, Arthur, Bishop of Meath, ii., 
102, 272. 

Smyth, William, i., 247. 

Smyth, William Barlow, ii., 209, 215, 
243. 3i8. 

Soreth, John, General of the Carmelites, 
i., 109. 

Southwell, Sir Robert, ii., 26. 

Spain, James of, i., 124. 

Spain, reformation movement in, ii., 

Sprott, Thomas, i., 138. 

Stackallen, rectory, i., 216 ; private 
chapel, ii., 14 ; church, ii., 37 ; 
catechizing, ii., 43 ; incumbent, ii., 
44; glebe, ii., 153; plate, ii., 263; 
clergy, ii., 290. 

Stafernan, i., 249. 

Staff ordstown, i., 265 ; ii., 297. 

Staholmock, i., 264 ; ii., 287. 

Stamullen, i., 121, 215 ; ii., 296. 

Staples, Edward, Bishop of Meath. i., 
154, 161 ; escapes from Silken 
Thomas, i., 163 ; quarrel with Arch- 
bishop Brown, i., 174 ; sermon at 

Kilmainham. i., 174; unpopularity, 
i., 181 ; censured by Henry VI 1 1., 
i., 182; deposed, i., 183, 188; 
episcopate, ii., 271. 

Stella, ii., 50. 

Stevens, John, ii., 256. 

St. George, Arthur, ii., 172, 256. 

St. George, Dr., ii., 43. 

St. George, Henry, ii., 43, 256, 257. 

St. Leger, Deputy, i., 184. 

St. Leger, Thomas, Bishop of Meath. 
i., 87, 116, 124, 130; ii., 269. 

St. Leger, William, Bishop of Meath, 
i., 142 ; ii., 270. 

Stonehall, i., 122 ; ii., 153, 154, 335. 

Strafford, Lord Deputy, i., 263. ; 

Strongbow, brought to Ireland by King 
Dermot, i., 64 ; becomes King of 
Leinster, i., 66 ; surrenders his 
possessions to Henry II., L, 67. 

Strokestown, i., 229. 

Stocks, ii., 58. 

Stopford, Edward Adderly, Bishop of 
Meath, ii., 180, 185, 187, 273. 

Stopford. Ed ward Adderly, Archdeacon 
of Meath, character, ii., 182 ; 
supports the National Board, ii., 
1 88 ; introduces scripture readers, 
ii., 190; prayer meetings, ii.,*9i ; 
his account of the Diocese of Meath, 
ii., 195 ; communication with Mr. 
Gladstone, ii., 197 ; resolution at 
Diocesan Conference, ii., 199 ; 
member of the General Convention, 
ii., 205 ; proposes clause in Preamble, 
ii., 206 appointed to draw up 
Financial Scheme, ii., 215; co- 
operates with Lord Plunket. ii., 221 ; 
his list of the clergy of Meath, ii., 

Suairleach, i., 21. 

Succession, Act of, i., 165. 

Suffragan Bishop of Meath, i., 176, 179. 

Summerhill, dissent at, i., 313, 319- 

Superannuation Fund, ii., 242. 

Supremacy, royal, i., 164, 165, 173. 191. 

Surplice, ii., 40. 

Swayne, John, Archbishop of Armagh, 

i- 133- 

Sweetman, Richard, i., 101. 

Swift, Francis, Dean of Clonmacnoise, 
ii., 246, 267. 

Swift, Jonathan. Dean of St. Patrick's, 
his opinion of Bishop Jones, i., 244 ; 
negotiates for remission of first fruits, 
ii., 30 ; on Irish episcopal appoint- 
ments, ii., 34 services at Laracor, 
ii., 41 ; a pluralist, ii., 44 ; oppOMi 
bill for building glebe houses, ii., 45 ; 
appointment to Laracor, ii., 48 ; 
endows the parish, ii., 50 ; " Happy 
Life of a Country Parson," ii., 51 ; 
" Letter to a Young Clergyman." ii., 
52; on preaching, ii., 53: repaiis 
bis church, ii., 57 ; letters to Bishop 



Evans, ii., 62 ; friendliness to Bishop 

Downes, ii., 66. 
Syddan, in 1641, i., 274; plate, ii. 

40, 265 ; new church, ii., 226, 248 ; 

clergy, ii., 291. 
Sydney, Sir Henry, i., 192, 196; his 

description of Meath, i., 198. 
Synge, Edward, vicar of Laracor, i., 


Synod, i., 79; ii., 96, 203, 209, 219. 


Taghmon, income of parish, i., 122 ; 

incumbent, i., 247 ; church and 

parson, ii., 47 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; plate 

ii., 266 ; clergy, ii., 323. 
Taghmon, Hugh de, Bishop of Meath, 

i., 84, 99, 116, 135 ; ii., 269. 
Talbot, Richard, Lord Tyrconnell, i. 


Tandys of Athboy, ii., 146. 
Tara, seat of the monarchy, i., i ; 

Patrick at, i., 4 ; Shamrock legend, 

i., 6; church, i., 9; ii., 39, 154; 

tithes, i., 265 ; meeting of the lords 

of the Pale, i., 282 ; battle, ii., 106 ; 

curate killed, ii., 137 ; glebe, ii., 153 ; 

plate, ii., 266 ; clergy, ii., 298. 
Tate, Mr., preacher at Summerhill, i.. 


Tathe, John, i., 140. 
Taxation of Meath (1302), i., 119. 
Teffia, i., 56, 57. 
Teltown, fair of, i., 65, 66 ; clergy, ii., 


Temperance Society, ii., 60. 
Templars, Knights, i., 103. 
Templekeiran, ii., 298. 
Tempi eoran, ii., 335. 
Tennison, Richard, Bishop of Meath, 

translated from Clogher, ii., 

28 ; bequest, ii., 28 ; death, ii., 31 ; 

episcopate, ii., 272. 
Thomas, St., Abbey, Dublin, i., 73, 93. 
Thomas, Silken, i., 162, 163. 
Tighernach O'Broin, Bishop of Clon- 

macnoise, i., 62. 
Tikehull, Humphrey de, i., 81. 
Timoole, ii., 8, 294. 
Tirechan, i., 44. 
Tisaran, income of vicar, i., 120; 

tithes, i., 264; glebe, ii., 153; 

church, ii., 154 ; plate, ii., 265 ; clergy, 

ii., 338. 

Tisdall, John, ii, 245. 
Tisdall, Michael, ii., 61. 
Tithes, restitution of i., 263 ; non-pay- 

ment of, ii., 108 ; proctors, ii., 141 ; 

war, ii., 164. 
Tola, i.. 21. 

Toler, Hon. Otway, ii., 226, 248. 
Toomey, Mr., master of Navan School, 

ii., 143. 

Torrance, G. W., ii., 201. 

Tottenham, Mrs., ii., 226, 247. 

Townsend, Thomas, Bishop of Meath, 
ii., 185, 187, 273. 

Tractarian movement, ii., 180, 189. 

Trafalgar, Thanksgiving Day, ii., 119. 

Trena of Kiklalkey, i., 15. 

Trench, Frederick, ii., 191, 199. 

Trevet, origin of name, i., 46 ; burned, 
i., 51 ; tithes, i., 265 ; vicar and 
curate, ii., 139 ; parish clerk, ii., 146 ; 
clergy, ii., 306. 

Tribunals, ecclesiastical, ii., 209. 

Trim, foundation of, i., 2, 9 ; bishopric, 
i,. 53 ; rural deanery, i,. 75 ; St. 
Mary's Abbey, i., 97 ; miraculous 
image, i., 97, 98, 177, 180; Dominican 
friary, i., in ; Franciscan monas- 
tery, i., 112 ; Richard of 
Dundalk preaches at, i., 117; in-, 
come of parish, i., 123 : synod of the 
Irish clergy, i., 132 ; Silken Thomas 
at, i., 163 ; church, i., 169 ; ii., 14, 
154; assizes, i., 176; boy rector, 
i., 183 ; preaching against the 
English Liturgy, i., 190 ; impropria- 
tions, i., 197 ; garrison, i., 212 ; 
rectory, i., 214 ; proposal to estab- 
lish university at, i., 225 ; united to 
see, i., 230 ; Diocesan school, i., 230; 
ii., 142 ; rural deanery, i., 243 , 
glebe, i., 244 ; visitation at, i., 
249 ; taken by the rebels in 1641, i.. 
273 ; battle at, i., 289 ; Cromwell at, 
i., 293 ; extraordinary story of 
church wreckers, i., 326 ; endowment 
of parish, ii., 29 ; church services, 
ii., 41 ; plate, ii., 261 ; clergy, ii., 


Trinitarians, i., 103. 

Trinity parish, New York, ii., 113. 

Tristelkeiran, crosses of, i., 40 ; plun- 
dered, i., 52, 66. 

Tristernach, i., 74, 98. 

Trubly, i., 127 ; ii., 300. 

Tuathal, Bishop of Clonard, i., 

Tuathal, King of Ireland, i., i. 

Tullaghangarvey, i., 56 . 

Tullaghanoge, i., 249 ; ii., 308. 

Tullamore, chapel of ease to Durrow 
ii., 48 ; visit of Wesley, ii., 81 
glebe, ii., 152, 153 ; church, ii., 154 
Quaker meeting house, ii.. 174 
Methodist chapel, ii., 174; endow- 
ment, ii., 246; clergy, ii., 331. 

Turgesius, i., 50. 

Tyfarnham, ii., 323. 

Tyrone, Earl of, his rebellion, i., 

Tyrrell, Patrick, R.C. Bishop of Meath, 
"i., 328 ; ii., 75. 

Tyrrelspass, Wesley at, ii., 56, 81, 83 ; 
Methodist chapel ; ii., 174 ; see 




Ultan of Ardbraccan, i., 44. 

Uniformity. Act of, i.. 191 ; ii., 19. 

Union, Act of, ii., 123, 125. 

Union of parishes, i., 170, 274; ii., 16, 
is, 44. 215. 

United Irishmen, ii., 104. 

University, proposal to establish at 
St. Patrick's, Dublin, i., 194; at 
Trim, i., 225 ; founded in Dublin, i., 

Urban VIII.. Pope. Bull of, i., 258. 

Ussher, Archbishop, i., 19 ; appointed 
Bishop of Meath, i., 221, 230; 
" Answer to a Jesuit," i.. 232 ; 
correspondence with Rev. John 
Carter, i., 233; sermon on the 
Sword, i.,238 ; translated lo Armagh, 
i., 240 ; visitation i., 240 ; episco- 
pate in Meath, ii., 271. 

Ussher, Luke i., 246. 


Vacant parishes, i., 126. 

Vagrants, ii., 58. 

Valle, Stephen de, Bishop of Meath, i., 
117, 145 ; ii., 270. 

Valysch, Walter i,, 144. 

Vanessa, ii., 50. 

Vastina, i., 249 ; ii., 152, 153, 154, 326. 

Venderal, Nicholas, i., 144. 

Verdon, Rosina de, i., 98. 

Vere, Robert de, Duke of Ireland, i., 

Vestrymen, duties of. ii., 58 ; opposi- 
tion to, ii., 60 ; registered, ii., 209. 

" Vicar of Wakefield," ii., 98. 

Villapagan, L. 249. 

Visitation of Meath (1622), i., 242. 

Visitation at Laracor, ii., 90. 


Wainwright, Mark, ii., 142. 
Wall, Peter, Bishop of Clonmacnoise, 
i. ( 157 ; ii., 276. 

Wallen, Edward, i., 256. 

Wallis, Thomas, ii., 64. 

Walsh, William. Bishop of Meath, 

appointed by Queen Mary, i., 189; 

delay in consecration, i., 189; 

deprived, i., 190 ; episcopate, ii., 


Walsh, rector of Loughsuedy, i., 162. 
Walshe, Dr., ii., 183. 
Ward, Hill of, i.. 69. 
Ward, Hugh, i , 112. 
Ware, Sir James, i., 258. 
Wellesley, Hon. and Rev. Gerard, ii., 


Wesley, John, ii., 54, 55. 
West Deeping, ii, 1 16. 
Westmeath, Earl of, i., 238. 
Wetherell, Frederick W., ii., 246. 
Wherry, i., 120, 249 ; ii., 138, 153, 339. 
Whip beggar, ii,, 59. 
Whitby, i., 48. 
White, Hill Wilson, ii., 96. 
White, Sir Nicholas, i., 203. 
Whitely, Thomas, i., 230. 
Widows' Fund, ii., 98. 
Wilkinson, W. L., ii., 268. 
Wilkinstown, skirmish at, ii., 107. 
William III., invasion of, i., 320 ; 

welcomed by Dublin clergy, ii., i. 
Williams, Griffith, Bishop of Ossory, 

i., 311. 

Wilson, Andrew, ii., 95. 
Wilson, JDaniel, i., 275. 
Wilson, Richard, Bishop of Meath, i., 

153, 161 ; ii., 271. 
Wilson, William, ii., 95. 
Wilson's Hospital, founding of, ii., 95 

chaplain wounded by rebels, ii., 107 

used as military barracks, ii., 108 

plate, ii., 261, 268. 
Woods, Mr., curate of Tara, ii., 138. 
Wynne, Frederick R., Bishop of 

Killaloe, ii., 229. 


Yellow plague, i., 20. 
Yellow steeple, i., 97. 

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