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Position and Temper of the Irish Church, 

Diocesan Terrorism, 

The Secrets of the Prison House, . 

The Establishment in 1791, 

Enormous Wealth of the Bishops, 

Twenty Apostolic "Wills made since 1822, 

The Insurrection of 1867, 

Sir Robert Peel on the Coercive System, 

Fenianism — What it signifies, 

Ireland and her Sovereign, 

Irish Viceroys, 

For what should the Irish Roman Catholics be loyal ? 
















Chapter I. 

Ireland v. England, before an International Court, 

Meditations on Irish monuments, . 

National feeling of the priesthood, 

Case of Ireland stated to the Pope by its chiefs, 

War of races before the Reformation, 

Case of Ireland by Molyneux and Swift, . 







Chapter II. 
The Church of St. Patrick, 
Clanship of the old Irish Churches, 
The Celtic Church monastic and independent, 
Papal jurisdiction introduced in Ireland, . 
The Church of the Pale anti-Irish, 
Church and State in Dublin in Catholic times, 
Anglican claim of Episcopal succession in Ireland, 
Alleged conversion of the Marian bishops, 


a 2 



Chapter III. 

The Ulster plantation, ..... 

Foundation of the Presbyterian Church, . 

The persecution by Strafford and the bishops, . 

The Dublin Star- Chamber, . 

The Black Oath, ...... 

The charges against Strafford, .... 

The Solemn League and Covenant, 

Presbyterian ascendancy, ..... 

Milton and the Belfast Presbytery, 
Henry Cromwell's administration, 
Charles II. and the Irish Presbyterians, . 
William III. — The Regium Donum, 
Prelatic persecution of Presbyterians under Anne and the two first 
Georges, ...... 

Rise of Unitarianism, ..... 




Chapter IY. 

State of the Roman Catholic Church from the Reformation to the 

Revolution, . . . . . .83 

Destruction of churches, abbeys, and monasteries, * . .83 

National hatred towards the Reformers, . . . ,85 

Civil war, famine, pestilence, confiscation, . . .88 

The Roman Catholic Church from the Revolution to the Union, 91 

Wretched condition of the Roman Catholics in Dublin at the close 

of last century, . . . . . .92 

Contrasted with the Established Church, . . .94 

Chapter V. 
Progress of religious liberty in the present century, 
Trial of the Rev. Thomas Emlyn in Dublin for heresy and bias 
phemy, ...... 

The late Rev. Dr. Montgomery, .... 

Nonconformists in Dublin, .... 

Present state of Ulster Presbyterianism, . 


Chapter VI. 

The monastic system in the middle ages, . . . .111 

Social effects of its abolition in Ireland, . . . .116 

Progress of Catholicism since 1 829, . . . .117 

The late Bishop Doyle and his Church reforms— (J. K.L.), . 118 


Chapter VII. 

Attempts of Parliament to settle the Irish Church question, 

Lord Cloneurry on Irish agitation, 

The Tithe-proctor system described by Grattan, . 

The anti- tithe war, .... 

Deplorable destitution of the Established clergy, . 

The Government becomes Tithe-collector, and utterly fails, 

Deputation of Irish prelates to the King, . 

The Church Temporalities Act, . 

The Irish Church and National Education, 

Great debate on the Appropriation Clause, 





Chapter VIII. 
Dublin— The Archbishop and his staff, 
The two cathedrals, 
Restoration of St. Patrick's, 
Church progress in Dublin, 
Useless parish churches, 
Anomalies of the parochial system — St. Peter's, 

Chapter IX. 
St. Nicholas Within — The Established Church in a garret 
A Protestant chaplain to the Virgin Mary 
Waste of resources on forsaken parishes, . 
"The Liberty" of Dublin, 
Irish Church Missions in Dublin, . 

St. Mary's, Grangegorman, St. Thomas's, and St. George 
Pay of the Dublin curates, 
Church statistics of Dublin city, . 

Chapter X. 
Non-parochial churches in Dublin, 
Chaplains of voluntary churches made bishops, 
The Molyneux Asylum, and other Free churches, 
Dr. Verschoyle— Why made Bishop of Kilmore, . 
Success of " literates " in Free churches, . 

Non-parochial churches the most active, prosperous, and respect 
able, ....... 

Social progress and the aristocracy, 

Royal Chapel, Ringsend, . . . . 








Chapter XI. 

The last Bishop of Kildare, 

Church accommodation in the rural districts, 

Failure of the Established Church to convert the Pale, 

Great Pluralists — Warburton, Agar, &c., . 

Anomalies and abuses in the Metropolitan diocese, 

Chapter XII. 

The diocese of Meath — Its history, 

Fraudulent alienation of Church lands, 

Misplaced clergymen, 

Low valuations of glebe lands, 

Fellows of college as bishops, 

The palace of Ardbraccan, 

Bishop Maxwell, . 

Bishop O'Beirne, . 

Nepotism in Meath, 

The Church at Navan, 

Lord Ludlow's loaves, 

Statistics of the diocese, . 

Chapter XIII. 

Ossory, Ferns, and Leighlin, 

Bishop O'Brien, ..... 

His antagonism to the Government System of Education, 

Lord Clancarty on the "apostacy" of Government, 

Bishop O'Brien's procrastination, 

Wexford county, . 

Grand array of dignitaries, 

Church ruins — Ferns — Bishop Ram, 

Dr. Elrington — the last bishop, 

Assassination of Mr. Butler Bryan, 

Alienation of Church land, 

Statistics of the diocese, . 

Chapter XIY. 

Diocese of Ossory — Sinecures, 

Old Leighlin, ..... 

Deans Brown, Newland, Verschoyle, and Atkins, 

Kilkenny cathedral — Its restoration, 

Neglect and bad taste of former bishops, . 

The great Duke of Ormonde, 

What will the Protestants of Kilkenny do with their new cathedral? 

Chapter XV. 

Catholicism in the diocese of Ferns, 

Enniscorthy and its cathedral, 

The parish church. — Sir Henry Wallop, . 

Conversion of the Rams of Gorey to Romanism, . 

The worship of the Blessed Virgin — its marvellous 

in Ireland, ..... 
AVexford town and its churches, . 
Cost of ecclesiastical buildings in this diocese, 
The Roman Catholic diocese of Ossory, 
Visible working of the Church of Rome — a contrast, 

progress in 





Chapter XVI. 

The Bishop of Cashel and his four dioceses, 
Lismore and its castle. — The Duke of Devonshire, 
English owners of Irish Church lands, 
The city of Waterford and its cathedral, . 
Bishop Daly, ..... 

Statistics of the united dioceses, . 
Vast patronage and power enjoyed by this Bishop, 
His partiality to " Literates," 
Gross abuses in the diocese, 


Chapter XVII. 

Cork — history and present state of the See, 
Cloyne— its history and most celebrated Bishops, 
Statistics of the united diocese, 


Chapter XVIII. 

See of Limerick — its history and present state, 

Roman Catholic patrons of Church livings, 

Statistics of the diocese, 

Killaloe — history of the See, 

Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, 

Bishop Fitzgerald's " case" of the Church Establishment, 

Statistics of his four dioceses, .... 

The Roman Catholic Sees of Limerick, Killaloe, and Kerry, 




Chapter XIX. 

Tuam, Killala, and Achonry, 

Tuam, an aristocratic See — the last Archbishop, . 

Dr. Trench — his munificence and popularity, 

Bishop Jebb's account of the Galway landlords and tenants 

Archbishop Trench's opposition to Church reform, 

His labours to convert the Roman Catholics, 

His encouragement of polemics, . 

His reply to Eneas M'Donnell, 

His encounter with O'Connell in Galway, 

His actions against the Dublin Register and the Morning 

The new Reformation in Cavan, . 

Forty years' war against Romanism in Connaught, 

in 1824, 

. 363 

. 371 




Chapter XX. 

Bishop Plunket takes charge of the crusade, 

The number of converts, ..... 

The Missions denounced by the Rev. Dr. Webster, 

The late Duke of York's panacea for Ireland, 

Charge of bribery against the Irish Church Missionary Society, 

Letter of Archbishop Whately on the subject, 

Testimonies in favour of the Missions, 

Bishop Bernard's promise to carry on the controversial war, 

Lord Bandon on the duty of converting the Catholics, 

The Examiner on Dr. Bernard's appointment, 

*' An Irish Peer " on the failure of proselytism, 

The Roman Catholic Sees in the province of Tuam, 

Archbishop M'Hale — his career, .... 

Roman Catholic statistics of Connaught, . 


Chapter XXL 
Armagh — history of the See, 

The late Primate, Beresford — his rapid promotion, 
His letter on education, .... 
Denounced by bigots as Judas, 
The present Primate, Marcus Beresford, . 
His fiery speech at the Dublin Mansion House in 1834, 
The celebrated case of his curate, the Rev. Thomas Lyons 
Statistics of the diocese of Armagh, 
The diocese of Clogher, .... 
The Roman Catholic Primate, Crolly, 
Roman Catholic statistics of Armagh, 




Chapter XXII. 

Down and Connor, 

The late Bishop Mant, 

The see of Dromore, 

Belfast and its Vicar — the parochial system, 

Statistics of the united dioceses, . 

The Lord Abbot of Newry and Mourne, 

The Roman Catholic diocese of Down and Connor, 



Chapter XXIII. 
The see of Derry and Raphoe, 
Extensive landed endowments in Ulster, 
"Essays on the Irish Church," 
See of Kilmore, 
Bishop Bedell. 

The present Bishop of Kilmore, . 
Statistical synopsis of the Irish Church, 
The Ecclesiastical Registries Act, 






Chapter XXIV. 

Ireland without a Church Establishment, 
The worst that could happen, 
The bulwark of Protestantism, 
Dr. Chalmers on the Irish Church, 
Territorial rights, .... 
Visionary apprehensions, . 


Chapter XXV. 

Recent charges by Irish bishops, . . . . .516 

The Times on the Irish Establishment, . . . .517 

Alarms of Dean Byrne, . . . . . .521 

Why the Irish bishops cannot see the truth, . . . 524 
Irish families founded by bishops, .... 527 

How Roman Catholics worshipped in Ireland fifty years ago, . 534 

The spirit evoked by the unfeeling policy of England, . . 538 


Chapter XXVI. 

" Sentimental grievances," .... 

Bishop Doyle on the Conciliation of Ireland, 

Sir George Cornewall Lewis on the Irish Church, 

Bishop Doyle on Church property and Church Establishments, 

His plan of Church reform, 

Plan of Sir George C. Lewis, 

The disestablishing process commenced, . 

The Chancellorship — the Viceroyalty, 

Why should the bishops be in Parliament ? 

Endowment without establishment, 

Probable working of the voluntary system in freland, 

Earl Grey's resolutions, .... 

Protestant and Catholic objections to equal endowments, 

Chapter XXVII. 

The land question, . 

Sir A. Alison on Irish confiscations, 

The land agency of Ireland, .... 

The legal power of wholesale eviction, 

Unnatural relations resulting from the Cromwellian Settlement 

Necessity of compromise, ..... 

Chapter XXVIII. 

Lord Dufferin's defence of the Irish landlords, 

The Viceroy and the Cardinal, .... 

What the landlords were a hundred years ago, 

The landlords were legislators, magistrates, and grand jurors, 

The old grand jury system, 

Conservative testimonies, . 

Petty tyranny on large estates, 

Denial of leases, . 

Chief Justice Whiteside on tenant right, 

Mr. Butt's "Plea for the Celtic Race," 

Mr. G. Tuite Dalton's reply to Lord DufFerin, 

Can emigration cure'the national disease ? 

The land bill of Lord Naas, . , 



It is curious to notice how persons interested in 
ecclesiastical abuses treat those who try to have 
them corrected by legitimate means. All who make 
the attempt are regarded either as enemies of the 
Church or traitors in the camp, equally unworthy of 
attention. The English Church, resting on a broad 
national foundation, can bear to have abuses pointed 
out, because it is conscious of its utility, is not afraid 
that it is going to be destroyed, and has not got into 
the habit of being alarmed at the cry of "the Church 
in danger." But the Irish Establishment, resting on 
the narrow basis of a fraction of the population, and 
painfully conscious of its false position, is morbidly 
sensitive when anything is said about its defects, 
and it grows very angry with those who labour to 
bring about reforms, though in the most friendly 
spirit, and when they are absolutely necessary for 
its preservation. Its prelates, its dignified and highly 
beneficed clergy, and those who are dependent upon 
them, aware of the great secular and political inte- 
rests which twine themselves round the institution 
and keep it from falling, while exhausting its internal 
strength, take advantage of its peculiar circum- 
stances in order to secure impunity for practices that 
would not be tolerated in England : — The Church in 
Ireland is encamped in an enemy's country. The 


overwhelming Roman Catholic population around it 
are its inveterate foes. There is a numerous army 
of priests ever on the watch to assail it, backed by 
a foreign power. Its existence is bound up with the 
union of England and Ireland, with the settlement 
of property and the constitution of the country. If 
it should be separated from the State, or in any de- 
gree weakened, the Church of Rome would at once 
become the ascendant power in Ireland, and this 
would be fatal to the Throne, and would undo all 
the work of the Protestant Reformation — These and 
similar assertions have been made so often that they 
are accepted as so many truisms, and have been 
wrought into the Protestant mind of Ireland as in- 
tuitive convictions or instincts against which it is 
almost vain to reason, and which yield but very 
slowly, even to the stern logic of facts. If a Roman 
Catholic, therefore, complains of the Establishment 
as a grievance, he is at once credited with all the 
evil and traitorous designs to which I have alluded. 
If a Protestant layman, anxious that the obstacles 
which have so long impeded the progress of the 
Reformation in this country, advocates reform, he is 
at once set down as a Dissenter, or perhaps " a 
Jesuit in disguise." If a clergyman, who has 
laboured long to suppress his convictions with re- 
gard to the evils that prevail in the Church which 
he loves, feels the fire burning within him, so that 
he can be silent no longer, and he gives expression 
to what he believes to be truths of vital importance, 
he is at once branded and denounced as a dangerous 
man. The sentence of condemnation uttered behind 
his back by the bishop passes down through the 
ranks of the clergy, and the reformer is snubbed, 


repudiated, and virtually excommunicated. This 
sort of ecclesiastical ostracism against every minister 
whom a sense of duty to the Divine Head of the 
Church constrains to utter his sentiments freely on 
questions of the deepest interest to the Church itself, 
as well as to the country, has the effect of establish- 
ing a sort of diocesan terrorism which few men are 
courageous enough to face. But how are reforms to 
be effected if no person dares to point out abuses ? 
Nothing can be said against any clerical advocate of 
Church reform worse than was said against Martin 
Luther ; but what Protestant now laments that 
Luther was not silent ? 

As a matter of fact, however, the terrorism in 
question has had a powerful effect on the Irish 
clergy, and it is only recently that some amongst 
them have ventured to assert their rights — men of 
such position and character as to be proof equally 
against intimidation and calumny. Amongst the 
evils which the enforced reticence of the clergy has 
tended to foster is one which has been little noticed, 
though of great magnitude — the tyranny of the 
bishops. There have been many of them too ami- 
able and upright, too deeply imbued with the 
Christian spirit, to be guilty of oppression towards 
their clergy ; but there are, unfortunately, others 
who have manifested that combination of selfishness, 
arrogance, and vindictiveness, clothed in a pretence 
of transcendental piety, which constitutes the most 
hateful of all characters — a spiritual tyrant. 

" It is vain for any Government to expect that the 
clergy of the Established Church will co-operate in 
any wise and liberal measure demanded by the cir- 
cumstances of the times and the progress of the age, 


-while they leave to intolerant bishops uncontrollable 
power to oppress them — bishops whose boast amounts 
in effect to this, that they have held the same senti- 
ments unchanged for half a century, and that age, 
observation, experience, reading, have brought them 
nothing; and who openly deny that men can be 
honest or conscientious who have advanced with the 
age. It is a cruel injustice to leave educated men 
and their families at the mercy, for their daily bread, 
of a prelate of this stamp. One effect is that men of 
learning, ability, and independence, abandon the 
ministry to ( literate persons,' and sycophants ready 
to profess what may be required, and to take the 
course in which they are sure to succeed. It is a 
serious evil, a crying injustice, which, unhappily, 
prevails too generally in the Irish Church, that in 
each diocese the system of promotion varies accord- 
ing to the religious party or the politics of the 

It is not an agreeable task to reveal the secrets of 
a prison house, to tear away false pretences, and to 
bring to light acts of despotism and cruel wrongs 
inflicted upon Christian brethren by prelates who 
have always put themselves forward as the very 
paragons of Scriptural Protestantism. But it is a 
task which cannot be evaded in the prosecution of 
the present inquiry. In the interests of Protest- 
antism and of the Church, the truth on this subject 
must be spoken. It never has been spoken hitherto, 
and, therefore, some things in the following pages will 
amaze and irritate certain parties. The more de- 
voted and dependent friends of the bishops will be 
indignant; but when the question is put to them, 
whether these things are true, and whether, if true, 


they ought not to be published, they are silent. 
They may bitterly denounce the writer, but they 
cannot truly deny the facts. 

The Second Part, " the Inspection of Bishoprics," 
is the result of personal inquiry during the past two 
years in every one of the Irish dioceses. For this 
inquiry I was prepared by the experience, obser- 
vation, and pursuits of my whole life. An Irish- 
man, brought into contact from boyhood with all 
classes and ranks of the community, I have learned, 
I trust, to sympathize with all, and I have been 
certainly most anxious to do justice to all. I feel 
pretty confident, therefore, that I have been enabled 
to present a complete and faithful picture of the past 
and present state of the Irish Church Establishment. 
Dealing with it as a public institution supported by 
the State, the names of incumbents have been freely 
used, but personalities have been carefully avoided, 
ample justice has been done to the working clergy, 
and nothing has been stated in disparagement of the 
least worthy, except on the highest clerical authority, 
and where the interests of Protestantism and of the 
country required that the truth should be faithfully 

In what I have written on the land question there 
is nothing hasty. It is the result of long reflection. 
I have written what I believe in my conscience to 
be true and just, regardless of party interests, and 
under a deep sense of responsibility to God and my 
country. In the discussion of both the questions, 
which constitute the Irish difficulty, I have acted on 
the maxim of Lord Dufferin, that " unless the Past 
is first dealt with, it will be impossible to come to a 
just settlement with regard to the Future." 


As a Protestant, I can hardly hope that I have 
done full justice to the Church of Rome in Ireland. 
Few Protestants, I think, are better acquainted with 
the doctrines and practices of that Church, or more 
sensible of its errors. But I feel that I should be 
guilty of a dereliction of duty if I did not make 
known the many virtues as well as defend the just 
rights of the Roman Catholic priests and people. 
I have known both intimately under all circum- 
stances, and I believe that the distrust, disparage- 
ment, and prejudice which they naturally resent are 
as unwarranted by facts as they are unfortunate for 
the country. 

The Earl of Kimberley, who, in a short time, 
learned more about Ireland, and understood its case 
better than any other English Viceroy (and they 
were nearly all English), said, in his speech in the 
House of Lords last session: — "Ireland is a country 
with which English statesmen have been singularly 
unsuccessful in dealing. But if we can devise any 
measure by which that country can be brought more 
into sympathy with the rest of the United Kingdom, 
by which we shall touch the hearts of the people, 
which we have never yet touched, we shall add to 
the glory and strength of the empire more than by 
any other measures we can possibly devise." 

My object in the Third Part of this work — 
" Remedies and Reconciliation " — is to show how 
this great task of statesmanship may be accom- 
plished. That the changes indicated must take place 
at no distant day, I have not the slightest doubt. 
But whether the result will be speedy reconciliation, 
depends upon the fact, whether the Legislature will 
have the moral courage to do justice spontaneously 


in quiet times, or wait till the Minister of the day, 
like the Duke of Wellington or Earl Grey, lays 
before them the alternative of " Concession or Insur- 
rection," " Reform or Revolution." Ireland may be 
now reconciled to England, and the union may be 
cemented by mutual confidence and the abiding 
sense of a common interest. Let those who talk 
lightly of "sentimental grievances" be only induced 
to make a few sentimental sacrifices, and the great 
work of national unity and consolidation will soon 
be accomplished. Give the Irish people Church 
equality and tenant security, and they will be as 
ready as the English or Scotch to fight against all 
invaders pro avis etfocis. No people were ever loyal 
who lived under a notice to quit their homes, or 
worshipped God under the ban of the State. 

When describing the destitution of the Roman 
Catholic Church in Ireland about the close of the 
last century and the beginning of the present, I 
stated that large sums were granted at that period 
for buildings to the Church of the comparatively 
wealthy minority. It may be desirable to add some 
more precise information on that subject. There 
was a return made to Parliament, dated 24th July, 
1803, and signed by the then Chief Secretary, Mr. 
Wickham, who certified that it was made up from 
the best materials in the Chief Secretary's Office, 
and believed to be nearly accurate. From this 
return it appears that the number of parishes in 
Ireland then was 2,436 ; of benefices, 1,120 ; of 
churches, 1,001 ; and of glebe houses, 355. This 
represents the state of the Establishment in the 
year 1791. 

From 1791 to 1803 the Board of First Fruits 



granted the sum of £500, in 88 cases, for the build- 
ing of churches, making a total of £44,000. During 
the same period the Board granted £100 each for 
116 glebe houses, making a total of £11,600. 

From a Parliamentary return, ordered in 1826, 
it appears that within the present century the fol- 
lowing amounts had been voted by Parliament up to 
that date : — Gifts for building churches, £224,946 ; 
loans for building churches, £286,572 ;< — total, 
£511,538, for building churches in twenty-five years. 

During the same period gifts were made for glebes, 
£61,484; gifts for building glebe houses, £144,734. 
Loans were granted for the same purpose amounting 
to £222,291, making a total for glebes and glebe 
houses of £428,509. Thus, between the year 1791 
and 1826 the Establishment obtained for churches 
and glebes the sum of £940,047. The number of 
glebe houses in 1826 was increased to 771, and of 
benefices to 1,396. The number of cures with non- 
residence was 286.* 

At pages 96 and 97 I have copied statistics of the 
property left by certain bishops, which were produced 
by the late Mr. Henry Grattan, in the House of 
Commons, in 1842. These sums must have repre- 
sented the value of the real property as well as the 
personalities of the deceased prelates. In order to 
get at the truth about this matter, to see whether 
the Irish Establishment was the real Eldorada it 
had been represented, I have, with the kind permis- 
sion of the Registrar, extracted from the Registry 
in the Court of Probate the amount of assets left 
by every bishop who died since 1822, with the ex- 
ception of a few who were but a short time in their 

* " Liber Munorum Publicoruin Hiberime," vol. ii., pp. 208, 226. 



sees. The assets are sworn to be under a certain 
sum on which duty is paid. But this sum does not 
include any real property the deceased may have 
purchased, nor any settlements he may have made 
on members of his family, nor any stock he may 
have transferred to avoid legacy duty, or possibly to 
avoid the fame of having died too rich for the bishop 
of a poor Church. Allowance must be made for 
such deductions in connexion with the figures in the 
following table, the accuracy of which may be relied 
upon, for I have taken the greatest care to have 
them correct. I have not thought till this moment 
of comparing the assets left by the Irish Bishops 
with those of the Irish Judges, or with those of the 
English Bishops. The comparison might be instruc- 
tive. In connexion with this subject, the reader 
should examine the list of Irish families founded by 
Bishops, which he will find at page 527. He will 
see there to what an extent the blood of the Anglican 
bishops has been the seed of the Irish aristocracy. 







Trench, . 




J. G. Beresford, 


Tottenham Loftus, 






Magee, . 


Griffin, . 


Whately, . 




Butson, . 






Plunket, . 







Stewart, . 


. £25,000 




O'Beirne, . 



Kyle, ' . . 






Total amount of personal property left by twenty 
bishops, £861,868, or £43,093 for each bishop on 
an average. 

Think, also, on the enormous amount of patronage 
which the Irish Bishops enjoy, and remember what 
handsome provisions they are able to make for their 
sons, sons-in-law, brothers, and nephews, by bestow- 
ing upon them the best benefices, the duties of which 
may be discharged by curates at the Parliamentary 
stipend of £75 a year. It must be confessed, then, 
that the Irish Establishment is an institution worth 
righting for. 

Note — Five chapters of this volume are reprinted, with permis- 
sion, from the Fortnightly Review. 

A Report on four out of the twelve Bishoprics was published 
last year in the London Review, under the head of " Irish Church 
Commission.'''' It has been carefully revised. All the rest appears 
now for the first time. 



Ireland is at the present moment in a condition of 
which a London journal gives the following summary 
description : — " The new outbreak of Fenianism in 
Ireland is unquestionably of a very serious character. 
When we consider what the circumstances of this 
new outbreak signify, then we say it takes a serious 
aspect. It shows that disaffection in Ireland is 
wide-spread, that it is growing, that it has an organ- 
isation which works in precisely the most harrassing 
manner; and, moreover, that while its mode of 
working is judicious enough to harass our mighty 
military power, it is audacious enough and successful 
enough to encourage the rebellious spirit which so 
largely prevails over the country. In short, this 
outbreak justifies all the apprehensions expressed in 
this journal three weeks ago, namely — that in a 
country like Ireland five or six thousand rebels, 
divided into different bands, and acting on the plan 
of the late Polish insurrection, may harass and 
fatigue five times that number of troops, and keep 
the country in a state of revolt for an almost indefi- 
nite time. The Polish insurrection, in which there 
were never more than 20,000 men engaged, made 
work for half a million of soldiers. As we have said, 
the rebellion could not have lasted a week if the 
insurgents had collected in one body, but under the 
guerilla system on which it was maintained the 
insurrection was prolonged for more than a year. 


Now this is the danger we have before us in Ireland ; 
and the present outbreak shows that the Fenians 
know how to make it a very serious one. A hundred 
men 'seen' here, two hundred 'met' there, half an 
army in general pursuit, the whole country in agita- 
tion and alarm, and the executive so far baffled and 
helpless — that is the spectacle we have to contem- 
plate through the telegrams of yesterday and to-day. 
There is nothing for it but a prompt and wise 
severity. A considerable difference exists between 
the severity which is wise and the severity which is 
cruel, though both may be very formidable. The 
Irish Executive must adopt the first of them without 
flinching, and without an hour's delay."* 

The London morning journals of the same date 
speak of these disturbances in nearly the same spirit. 

The Times remarks, that " though there is no 
political danger, it is impossible to exaggerate the 
social calamities which this nefarious conspiracy is 
bringing on the whole of Ireland. The constant fear 
of disturbance and outrage, the discouragement to 
industry and to the introduction of capital, and the 
stimulus to absenteeism, must deeply affect the pro- 
sperity of the country. For this reason, if for no 
other, it is to be hoped that the suppression of the 
present disturbances will not only be speedy and 
complete, but that such condign punishment may 
be inflicted on the leaders as to convince even the 
most ignorant that rebellion is not the safe and 
pleasant vocation it has long been considered in 

The Daily Neivs observes, that "Fenianism, though 
in no sense a danger to the empire, is a curse to 
* Pall Mail Gazette, March 7th, 1867. 


Ireland, the pernicious consequences of which are 
not lessened by its miserable absurdity. The mere 
apprehension of the purposeless outbreaks of men 
whose irrationality renders it impossible to calculate 
on their actions, is fatal to settled order and social 
peace. The duty of the Executive is clear. It is 
its business to restore to Ireland, by the sharpest, 
most rapid, and most effectual means, that tranquillity 
without which the operations of industry and the 
intercourse of society are alike impossible. Rebels 
engaged in resistance to actual authority or taken 
with arms in their hands must be dealt with as the 
military exigencies of the moment may dictate. For 
others the slower, but not necessarily tenderer mer- 
cies of the law will remain. Little consideration is 
due to prisoners whose rank in a foreign service has 
probably encouraged, by the prestige with which it 
surrounds them, the vain hopes of illiterate dupes. 
Ireland cannot be allowed to become the Nicaragua 
of filibusters of the Walker type. But when the 
Executive has done its duty, which must be one of 
severity, there will remain tasks of a different order 
for the Legislature. It is not enough to punish 
vigorously bad men and to suppress insane rebellions. 
The evil social arrangements which afford knaves 
their opportunity must be redressed, unless the 
Imperial Parliament is content to be unconsciously 
the accomplice of the Fenian Senate." 

The Star remarks, "It is highly improbable that the 
rebels, even if joined by a large proportion of the 
peasantry, will be able to make serious head against 
regular forces ; but we must not underrate the 
strength of the movement, or of the popular feeling 
on which it rests, and to which it appeals. Deeply 


as one must deplore a vain endeavour, which will 
inevitably result in grievous suffering to the innocent 
as well as to the guilty, one feels a certain consolation 
in the thought that so palpable and undisguised a 
peril as that which now agitates Ireland will do 
something to convince our Conservative governing 
classes of the necessity that some attempt shall be 
made to content the Irish masses and estrange them 
from rebellious temptation. We have found it useless 
to appeal to a sentiment of justice ; perhaps Irish 
landlords and their English allies may lend a readier 
ear to the warnings of expediency." 

The Herald, which is the principal organ of the 
present Conservative Government, holds that " in 
such a case forbearance is out of place and severity the 
truest mercy. The viper of sedition, long hiding in 
covert places, has at length reared its crest to strike, 
and it must be promptly and firmly trodden under 

The Standard, which is on the same side, laments 
that this rising should be made "at the very moment 
when a well-disposed Government was proposing, 
with every chance of successfully carrying them out, 
measures which, by affording capital to the Irish 
farmer, would enable him to cultivate his farm with 
profit and security, and facilitate internal communi- 
cation by amending, if not itself undertaking, the 
management of the Irish railways. But, come what 
may, the Irish Executive is fully prepared for any 
emergency ; and it is perhaps as well that, once for 
all, the reckless adventurers who are at the bottom 
of this criminal disturbance should be taught the 
doom that inevitably awaits them in the conflict they 
have challenged." 


The Telegraph treats the matter in the old cavalier 
style, supposed to be most pleasing to John Bull. 
It says that Fenianism, " in some of its aspects, is a 
joke ; but it is a practical joke, and it is being pushed 
too far. A country liable to the chance of such an 
occasional outbreak is a troublesome sister island 
indeed. It is not only a poor, but a most quarrel- 
some relation. The Vicar of Wakefield found that 
he could get rid of a needy relative by lending him 
£5. We have tried lending Ireland money, but the 
purse does not seem to be a panacea for her woes. 
Patience and good intentions may finally enable our 
statesmen to discover the charm that, even at this 
eleventh hour, may make all Irishmen loyal, and 
give to all Ireland prosperity and peace. In the 
meantime, in mercy to the rebels in heart who have 
not yet committed themselves, and who are too 
numerous to be hanged, even if blood-thirstiness 
were our best policy, the Government cannot be too 
sudden or too energetic in its blows at every overt 
act of rebellion." 

The last sentence truly expresses the spirit of 
Tory policy in all such cases. Sudden, energetic, 
crushing blows at every overt act of rebellion. 
" Severity — severity — severity." Strike terror into 
the disaffected. Keep them down ; conciliate their 
leaders ; promote Roman Catholic layers ; lend money 
for public works ; encourage emigration ; thin the 
native population as much as possible ; maintain 
strong garrisons in all the disloyal districts ; let the 
Irish Commander of the Forces be a General experi- 
enced in putting down rebellion in India. This is, 
in substance, the Conservative policy for Ireland. It 
has been practised a long time, but unfortunately it 


has not been yet crowned with success. Ever since 
the Penal Code was relaxed, now nearly a century 
ago, there have been successive crops of disturbance 
and rebellion all cut down by the sword in the same 
manner, but they have sprung up again still more 
luxuriantly and extensively. The blood of the rebels 
has been the seed of disaffection ; and the last growth 
has ripened into a Pretender-Irish Republic. The 
fact is, that the history of Ireland from the period 
when the native population recovered from the terror 
inspired by the Penal Laws, has been little more 
than a history of abortive insurrections, Coercion 
Acts, martial law, special commissions, hangings and 
transportation, relieved by concessions, reluctantly 
made in the hour of extremity, and accompanied by 
irritating conditions, marring their moral effect. 

The late Sir Robert Peel maintained the coercive 
system for a long time. But in reviewing that 
system, after the Clare election in 1828, he made 
some remarks that it would be well to remember in 
the present crisis. In his place in Parliament he 
spoke of u the agitator and the priest laughing to 
scorn the baffled landlord — the local heaving and 
throes of society on every casual vacancy in a county 
— the universal convulsion at a general election ; 
this was the danger to be apprehended. I well 
know," he continued, " that there are those upon 
whom such considerations as these to which I have 
been adverting will make but a faint impression. 
Their answer to all such appeals is the short, in their 
opinion, the conclusive declaration — The Protestant 
constitution in Church and State must be maintained 
at all hazards and by any means ; the maintenance 
of it is a question of principle, and every concession 


or compromise is the sacrifice of principle to a low 
and vulgar expediency. This is easily said, but 
how is Ireland to be governed ? How is the Pro- 
testant constitution in Church and State to be 
maintained in that part of the empire ? Again I 
can anticipate the reply. By the overwhelming 
sense of the people of Great Britain ; by the appli- 
cation, if necessary, of physical force for the main- 
tenance of authority ; by the employment of the 
organised strength of Government, the police, and 
the military, to enforce obedience to the law." 

Then, by a process of argument so close, so logical, 
as to amount to a demonstration, Sir Robert Peel 
met this objection, and showed that the proposals 
of the Conservative party afforded no solution of 
the real difficulty. There is too much reason to 
apprehend that the proposals of the same party now 
would be equally ineffectual to produce national con- 
tentment. Many measures of amelioration have 
been passed since the time of Sir Robert Peel, but the 
stream of Irish disaffection has still flowed on ; the 
Government has stood upon the bank hoping that it 
would at length exhaust itself; but at the summer 
seasons, when it was expected to run dry, a flood of 
the bitter turbid water of national animosity has 
rushed down from its native springs, which those 
well-intended measures never had touched. 

Of course the Fenian rebellion must be struck 
down, and the more promptly the better ; but, when 
considering the effect of punishment upon those 
fanatics, we should not forget the numbers of their 
leaders that have been so recently tried, convicted, 
and sentenced to punishments worse than death. 
The disaffected people have heard about the treat- 
ment of the convicts — the hair and fine-flowing 


beards closely cropped — the hideous prison dress — 
the maddening or prostrating solitary confinement — 
the utter estrangement from friends, home, and 
country — the death to the world, with which those 
wretches have been visited. The prisons are full of 
victims awaiting a similar fate. The materials of 
war that had been prepared and concealed at so much 
cost of money and labour, and so much risk to the 
parties engaged, had been seized by the Govern- 
ment in enormous quantities. Yet we now see that, 
even in Dublin, surrounded by detectives and police- 
men whose vigilance is sharpened by the hope of 
promotion and reward, fresh supplies of arms and 
ammunition have been accumulated. It is evident, 
therefore, that hitherto the strongest measures of 
repression and prevention have not sufficed to hinder 
a fresh outbreak of rebellion simultaneously in many 
parts of the country. The military power at the dis- 
posal of the Government is literally irresistible ; but 
the enemy will not wait to be smitten by any large 
force. The Habeas Corpus Act is suspended, the 
Executive has almost unlimited powers, and yet life 
and property are frightfully insecure, business is 
paralyzed, and all the best interests of the country 
suffer to an incalculable extent. What makes the 
" situation" more extraordinary than anything of the 
kind that has ever occurred in Ireland, is the absence 
of social position, talent, and character in the Fenian 
leaders, from James Stephens down. They have no 
personal or social influence ; they have no oppor- 
tunities of addressing public meetings in this 
country ; they have no organ at the press ; and above 
all, they conspire and work, under the reiterated 
anathema of the Roman Catholic bishops and 
priests, their followers being exclusively, members 


of the Church of Rome. All this is very sug- 
gestive, and if the Government and the Legisla- 
ture are unable to comprehend its significance, they 
may as well abolish the Constitution in Ireland, and 
gratify the wish of many Irish Conservatives to have 
a Napoleonic regime established in its stead. 

As an Irishman, connected with no political party, 
intimately acquainted with the people of Ireland all 
my life, and engaged in the study of Irish questions 
for more than thirty years, I have endeavoured in 
the following pages to account for the difficulties 
that have so long perplexed British statesmen, and 
I now submit my humble contribution towards a 
solution and a settlement which not only the peace 
and prosperity of this country, but the safet}^ of the 
empire, seem to render absolutely necessary. 

The rebels, it appears, have just issued a mani- 
festo, which has been sent to the newspaper offices in 
England " with the compliments of the Government 
of the Irish Republic :" — 

" I.R. — Proclamation ! — The Irish people to the World. — We 
have suffered centuries of outrage, enforced poverty, and bitter 
misery. Our rights and liberties have been trampled on by an 
alien aristocracy, who, treating us as foes, usurped our lands and 
drew away from our unfortunate country all material riches. 
The real owners of the soil were removed to make room for cattle, 
and driven across the ocean to seek the means of living, and the 
political rights denied to them at home ; while our men of thought 
and action were condemned to loss of life and liberty. But we 
never lost the memory and hope of a national existence. We 
appealed in vain to the reason and sense of justice of the dominant 
powers. Our mildest remonstrances were met with sneers and 
contempt. Our appeals to arms were always unsuccessfu] . 
To-day, having no honourable alternative left, we again appeal to 
force as our last resource. We accept the conditions of appeal, 
manfully deeming it better to die in the struggle for freedom 


than to continue an existence of utter serfdom. All men are born 
"with equal rights, and in associating together to protect one 
another and share public burdens, justice demands that such 
associations should rest upon a basis which maintains equality 
instead of destroying it. We therefore declare that, unable 
longer to endure the curse of monarchical government, we aim at 
founding a republic based on universal suffrage, which shall secure 
to all the intrinsic value of their labour. The soil of Ireland, 
at present in the possession of an oligarchy, belongs to us, the 
Irish people, and to us it must be restored. We declare also in 
favour of absolute liberty of conscience, and the complete sepa- 
ration of Church and State. We appeal to the Highest Tribunal 
for evidence of the justice of our cause. History bears testimony 
to the intensity of our sufferings, and we declare in the face of 
our brethren, that we intend no war against the people of Eng- 
land ; our war is against the aristocratic locusts, whether English 
or Irish, who have eaten the verdure of our fields — against the 
aristocratic leeches who drain alike our blood and theirs. Re- 
publicans of the entire world, our cause is your cause. Our 
enemy is your enemy. Let your hearts be with us. As for you, 
workmen of England, it is not only your hearts we wish, but 
your arms. Remember the starvation and degradation brought 
to your firesides by the oppression of labour. Remember the . 
past, look well to the future, and avenge yourselves by giving 
liberty to your children in the coming struggle for human freedom. 
Herewith we proclaim the Irish Republic. 

(A harp.) " The Provisional Government." 

This is very absurd, emanating from such a 
source. But it will probably be read by the people 
of France and America as a declaration of national 
right, quite as reasonable and truthful as the Polish 
manifestoes which were formerly read with so much 
interest and sympathy in England. The fact is that 
the great danger of the Fenian 'movement arises from 
its basis of operations in the United States, which 
Irish emigration constantly enlarges, and from the 
hope that an aggressive military republic will be 
established in France immediately on the death of 


the Emperor. These foreign dangers might be dis- 
regarded but for the fact stated by the Earl of Kim- 
berly last year, and which, notwithstanding many 
denials, can no longer, I fear, be doubted, that, 
though the mass of the lower orders of the Roman 
Catholic population are not themselves ready to run 
the risk of fighting, they heartily wish success to 
those who do fight against the English power in 
this country. In other words, they are not loyal 
subjects to the Sovereign. If asked to give their 
reason for this feeling, they would probably reply by 
putting another question — " Why should we be loyal 
to the English Sovereign ? What has any English 
king or queen ever done for us ? On the contrary, 
have they not despoiled our ancestors, and perse- 
cuted our Church, and oppressed our race for seven 
centuries ?" 

It must, in candour, be admitted, that the rela- 
tions of the English throne to Ireland have never 
been satisfactory. The truth is, that the estrange- 
ment for many centuries of the sovereign who has 
been King of Ireland as well as of England, is one 
of the most unaccountable anomalies connected with 
its history. In the year 11 70 Henry II. came to 
Ireland to receive the homage of those within the 
Pale, who were willing to submit to his authority. 
Two centuries later Richard II. landed at Waterford, 
and is said to have gained the affections of the people 
by his munificence, but for the Irish he brought with 
him 4,000 men-at-arms and 30,000 archers, which 
were no doubt intended to enforce such anti-Irish 
laws as the Statute of Kilkenny. Richard came to 
Ireland again in the last year of the fourteenth 
century. Henry VIII. was the first English sovereign 


who assumed the title of King of Ireland. He was 
a very energetic monarch. He reigned for a period 
of thirty-eight years, during which he effected a great 
revolution in this part of his dominions, by establish- 
ing the reformed religion on the ruins of the National 
Church, but he never thought it worth while to cross 
the Channel and visit his Irish subj ects. His daughter, 
Queen Elizabeth, reigned over Ireland forty-five 
years, and very nearly exterminated the Celtic race 
and the Catholic priesthood ; but she never once saw 
or desired to see the green hills of Erin — never tried 
by her presence to conciliate the people who had 
been crushed by her power. For more than 240 
years no English sovereign ever set foot on Irish soil 
to see with his own eyes how his subjects were 
treated, and to win, by justice and kindness, the 
allegiance of their hearts. Cromwell came to Ireland. 
I need not say for what purpose, or what a blessing 
he left behind him with the native nobility and 
people. The bitterest malediction in the Irishman's 
vocabulary is, " The curse of Cromwell on you !" 
James II. came, but it is impossible to express the 
contempt which the Irish feel for the memory of 
Shamus. William III. at the battle of the Boyne 
saved England from Popery, arbitrary power, and 
wooden shoes. But for the Irish Catholics he 
abolished civil and religious liberty, the rights of 
property, manufactures, and education, forbidding 
the aspirations of the native artist to aspire higher 
than brogue-making. These were the blessed fruits 
of this royal visit. Queen Anne would have thought 
of visiting Ireland no more than she would have 
thought of visiting China. Those who read the 
writings of Dean Swift know how she loved her 


Catholic subjects in Ireland. The German Georges 
I. and II. would have banished from their presence 
for ever any minister who would have proposed a 
visit to the sister kingdom. They would have as 
soon gone to the West Indies to let the negroes 
kiss their hands, as to " the wild Irish." For many 
years of the long reign of George III., Ireland was 
his constant night-mare, standing over him, pike in 
hand, with dishevelled hair and bloodshot eyes, and 
forcing him to violate his coronation oath. At 
length, 130 years after King William, an English 
King thought of paying a friendly visit to his beloved 
Irish subjects. The Roman Catholics, agitators and 
all, were made delirious with loyalty by the smiles 
of George IV., though fresh from the persecution of 
his Queen. He played his part well, exhibited him- 
self in grand processions, gave balls and banquets, 
drank national toasts in the national beverage, 
flourished bigbunches of shamrock, and made Knights 
of St. Patrick. He enjoyed the thing as a right 
royal spree ; but he was nearly shipwrecked on his 
return to England, and he soon forgot all his pro- 
mises in the lap of Delilah ; while the Irish, recovered 
from their fit of intoxication with enthusiastic loyalty, 
awoke to a keener sense of their poverty and their 
exclusion from the blessings of the Constitution. 
Every one remembers with what agouy of conscience 
and pious tears he consented to sign the Act of 
Emancipation, when assured by the Duke of Wel- 
lington and Sir Robert Peel that there was no other 
way of preventing a civil war. William IV. never 
came to Ireland. Though the " Sailor King," the 
Irish Channel was too much for his stomach. He 
could weep with the Irish bishops, because when 


some of their mitres should next become vacant, 
they were to fall on no other heads, but he had no 
bowels of compassion for the Irish priests and their 
miserable flocks. 

Queen Victoria has visited Ireland three times, 
but even in her gracious person Royalty has not 
made itself at home in this country. On the con- 
trary, the people might apply to it the words of the 
Prophet to Jehovah, and say that the Sovereign in 
Ireland was " like a wayfaring man that continueth 
but for a night." The Irish do not fail to contrast 
these visits, so few and far between, so nervous and 
hurried, with the Royal fondness for the Scottish 
Highlands. They see the Royal children dressed in 
the costume of once rebellious and marauding Scot- 
tish clans. They see that the Sovereign feels quite at 
home in Scotland, and quite a stranger in Ireland ; and 
they are sentimental and sensitive enough to think 
this a slight and a grievance to their own beloved 
but neglected country, which, in comparison with 
the two other favoured sisters, is treated like a step- 
daughter. Seeing and feeling all this, they ask — 
Why should we be loyal ? What should we be loyal 
for ? What does our nation owe to British Royalty? 

Sir George Cornewall Lewis ascribed the misfor- 
tunes of Ireland very much to the fact that it is an 
island. If it had been joined by a tongue of land 
to the Continent, France would have walked in and 
kept possession, or the Celtic nation would have 
walked out, and left all the land to the British 
colony ; but Britannia, in her wooden walls, ruled 
the surrounding seas, and the two antagonistic races 
were like two foes shut in by themselves to fight it 
out. In another respect, however, the insular 


position of the Irish is unfortunate ; because if the 
Royal Family could come by railway from London to 
Dublin, it is probable that we should have a magni- 
ficent royal establishment in Phoenix Park, a Bal- 
moral at Killarney, and an Isle of Wight off the 
coast of Gal way or Mayo. 

But if we could not have the real presence of 
Penalty in Ireland, we have had at least its deputy 
and its symbols, with a little imitation Court. Even 
so, with such a Court it was possible to have conci- 
liated Irish national feeling, and shown something 
like confidence in Irish loyalty and Irish capacity. 
But, on the contrary, from the Reformation down to 
the present time (not to go back more than three 
centuries) the total number of Irish noblemen who 
were thought worthy to represent the English sove- 
reign in Dublin Castle was six, namely — Lords 
Ormond, Tyrconnell, Wellesley, Fortescue, Besbo- 
rough, and Abercorn, while the number of English- 
men and Scotchmen sent over to rule this country, 
of which they were in general quite ignorant, was 
fifty-nine, or nearly ten to one. Many of these being 
in embarrassed circumstances, came over to recruit 
their fortunes, and, like Poman proconsuls, or Eastern 
satraps, brought with them a train of hungry de- 
pendents, who were put into the best offices in 
Church and State. The Chief Secretaries also were 
for the most part Englishmen, even when we had an 
Irish Parliament. This was managed by the English 
Executive in Dublin Castle, contemptuously con- 
trolled, and imperiously dictated to, by the English 
Cabinet and Parliament in Westminster. What 
then can be more strange and unaccountable than 
the wonder and disappointment expressed by Eng- 
lishmen that the Irish are not loyal ? 





If an International Court were established as a supreme 
tribunal to the decisions of which all States should submit, 
and to which oppressed nationalities might appeal, there is 
some reason to apprehend — judging from the tone of the 
Continental and the American press, and from the speeches 
of such English statesmen as Mr. Bright and Mr. Stuart 
Mill — that in the case of Ireland v. England the verdict 
would be for the plaintiff, with heavy damages. If the 
tribunal could exercise the functions of a divorce court, and 
cruelty and neglect could be pleaded as a ground for the 
dissolution of the union, it is quite possible that Ireland 
might obtain a decree for separation. There is too much 
reason to believe that all Europe would concur in the 
opinion recently expressed in the Opinion Nationals, that 
"England is being punished for the injustice she has been 
guilty of towards Ireland — for her contempt for the rights 
of the whole people — for her egotism and religious fanati- 
cism. And in reference to the Fenian conspiracy, it is to 
7 . — B 


be feared that there are few of the nations or governments 
of Christendom that do not wait, with no very friendly 
feeling for England, to see "what force and energy there is 
in the passion of a persecuted, disinherited, starving people, 
whose only salvation is in expatriation en masse." 

It is almost impossible to get foreign writers to understand 
the real case of Ireland; and we should not be surprised at 
this when we find such contradictory opinions expressed, 
not only in the English journals, but by some of the most 
enlightened English statesmen, who have been debating 
Irish questions for a quarter of a century in the House of 
Commons, with the benefit of some hundreds of blue-books. 
At home and abroad, in Ireland as well as in England, we 
find the most obstinate adherence to one-sided representa- 
tions. One set of orators and writers will see only the case 
of the plaintiff, and another only the case of the defendant. 
A thorough, impartial, judicial review of the state of Ireland, 
past and present, is the rarest thing in the world. False 
impressions are continually produced by speaking of Ireland 
as if the country were inhabited only by one race, belonging 
to one Church. It is impossible to come to a right conclusion 
on the Irish Question without considering the various con- 
flicting social forces that are at work in the country. The 
Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Roman Catholic nobility 
and gentry, including most of the professional and mercantile 
classes, all the population of British descent, are attached 
to British connexion. But the mass of the agricultural and 
labouring classes — the existing representatives of the "mere 
Irish" of former ages — the survivors of the penal code — are 
still more or less subject to chronic disaffection, and cherish an 
inveterate animosity against England. And as the majority 
of the priests have sprung from the same classes, and have 
inherited the same instinct of morbid nationality — the result 
of long ages of injustice and proscription — they naturally 
sympathise with their flocks, and passionately denounce the 
English Government. There are exceptions it is true. Many 
of the Roman Catholic clergy are free from this unhappy 


bias. But of the majority of the native Irish and their 
clergy, it ma}' be said that rebellion runs in their blood, and 
is bred in the bone. Nor is this true merely of the Celtic 
portion of the population — pure Celts, indeed, are not at all 
so numerous in Ireland as most public writers imagine, nor 
do they count for much in the forces of society. They are 
found among the mountains of Donegal, Connaught, Kerry, 
and the wild districts of Minister; but they are now the 
poor and feeble remnant of a dwarfed and degraded race, by 
which almost exclusively the English agricultural labour 
market is supplied with hands for gathering in the harvest. 
The Roman Catholic peasantry who inhabit the richer and 
better portions of the country are generally of a mixed race, 
and quite a superior breed of men. It is a curious fact, that 
among them, and not among the spiritless Celtic clans, the 
most dangerous elements of rebellion have always been 
found. Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Wexford, Carlow, Kil- 
kenny, King's and Queen's Counties, Waterford, Cork, Tip- 
perary, Limerick, Louth, Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan, Meath, 
and Westmeath, counties in which the Irish and English 
"bloods" have mingled most freely from the Conquest down 
to the present time, have been the scenes of nearly all the 
political and agrarian combinations that have given the 
English Government most trouble, and called for the greatest 
number of coercion acts. It was in the most English counties 
of "the Pale," where the Irish language had not been spoken 
for ages, that the rebellion of 1798 raged most furiously, and 
that the anti-tithe war became most formidable. 

Then, there is in all parts of the country a considerable 
portion of the population that has been severely tried by 
the transition state of society during the last few years. 
Many of the small farmers have given up in despair the 
struggle to live by the cultivation of the soil, in consequence 
of free trade, which renders it almost impossible to make 
small farming pay. It is not without bitter feelings that these 
people have relinquished their homesteads and emigrated to 
America, or sunk to the rank of day-labourers. The high 
prices of cattle and live stock generally have caused the 



large farmers to throw their land out of cultivation simply 
because grazing pays better; and tL'ey thus at once escape 
the risks of an uncertain climate, and the trouble and loss, 
perhaps danger, of dealing with refractory labourers, who, 
instead of honestly earning their wages, might, as members 
of agrarian combinations, be possibly plotting the assassina- 
tion of their employers. The result of this state of things 
is, that there has been no steady demand for agricultural 
labour; while throughout vast districts of country there are 
no resident gentry or capitalists of any kind to give employ- 
ment to the people, and few farmers able to spend any money 
in the improvement of the land. Even if they had money 
they would hoard it unprofitably, or put it in some bank 
where the agent could not hear of it, rather than invest it 
in the soil, because, as they assert, when once so invested it 
would be lost to them and theirs for ever, and become 
instantly by law the property of the landlord, who could, 
and in the majority of cases would, put on an additional 
rent in proportion to the value of the improvements. The 
heart of industry is thus sickened and its hand paralysed, 
while the chronic disaffection inherited from past ages is 
inflamed by a burning sense of present injustice. The 
peasantry say they cannot cherish loyalty towards a Govern- 
ment under which it is impossible for them to live by in- 
dustry in the land of their birth — under which the people 
must be cleared off to make way for cattle and sheep; while 
their expatriation is a matter of national thanksgiving and 
the plague among cattle a matter of national humiliation. 
The sons of those small farmers have been educated in the 
national schools; but their education, instead of bettering 
their temporal condition, has made them feel that condition 
more keenly. Their discontent has been fostered by reading 
the literature of a fanatical nationality, and newspapers 
which appeal to the feelings thus engendered. The history 
of their country, which they study, is as inflammatory as if 
it had been written in the light of the conflagrations which 
consumed the churches, monasteries, and homes of their 
forefathers ; and for existing monumental illustrations of 


this history they behold beside the ivy-clad ruins of the 
great religious and charitable foundations which were the 
glory of their country in past ages, the untenanted and 
neglected mansions of absentee noblemen, to whose ancestors 
the surrounding lands were assigned by confiscating in- 
vaders. The feelings of indignation and hatred against 
England which the scene excites are not mitigated by the 
appearance of the parish church which stands within the 
sacred precincts, presenting an ugly contrast to the magni- 
ficent structure which it has superseded, with its well- 
endowed rector, ministering to a congregation of twenty or 
thirty people, while a thousand members of the disinherited 
Church kneel upon an earthen floor in a rudely constructed 
chapel in the neighbouring village. Contrasts like these are 
visible in every part of the country, and are fraught with 
associations which certainly do not foster loyalty to the 
power by which those changes were violently effected, and 
which has done so little to compensate for the desolation and 
spoliations to which those touching and venerable monu- 
ments of the past bear witness. 

If meditations among the tombs of Ireland awaken such 
painful reminiscences in the minds of the laity, even those 
of them who are least educated — L for they are an imaginative 
people, prone to brood over the past — how much more 
powerful must be the impression produced upon the minds 
of the Roman Catholic priests. Some of the more aged of 
these have been educated upon the Continent, and can tell 
their hearers of the grandeur and beauty of the cathedrals, 
abbeys, and colleges enjoyed by their Church in Italy, 
France, and Germany. Many of the younger priests also 
have resided in foreign cities, or travelled over the Continent 
occasionally ; and they, by the graphic accounts they give, 
exalt the ideas of their flocks with regard to the power and 
splendour which the munificence of States or of private 
individuals has conferred upon their Church. They tell 
them, at the same time, that it was so in Ireland before the 
Reformation ; and that no nation in Europe was more re- 
nowned for its ecclesiastical monuments and its charitable 


institutions. Even the home-bred priests, who have never 
left their own country, who have been educated at Maynooth, 
All Hallows, Tuam, Carlo w, and Thurles, constantly expatiate 
upon this theme in their addresses from the altar. The fact 
that the majority of the priests have sprung from the people, 
while accounting for their strong national antipathies, does 
not prevent their imbibing the largest measure of the sacer- 
dotal spirit. Each one of them was designated for the 
priestly office from early boyhood, thenceforth regarded as a 
sacred member of the family, and for some ten years of his 
life educated in the midst of monastic influences and ascetic 
observances, shut in from the world — all calculated to give 
him the most exalted idea of the character he was about to 
assume when the bishop's hands ordained him for his mission. 
While, therefore, there is a thorough sympathy between the 
priest and his flock in Ireland, and he is approached by the 
humblest of them with the greatest confidence, he is at the 
same time looked up to with feelings of reverence and awe 
for his spiritual powers and functions to which Christians of 
other denominations are strangers. We may well conceive, 
then, the effect produced by the impassioned declamations 
of these trusted guides of the people, when they depict the 
wrongs of their country, and the outrages perpetrated in 
past ages upon their national Church, first plundered, and 
then persecuted. They quote from such books as Cobbett's 
" History of the Reformation" descriptions of the spoliation 
of ecclesiastical property, and the demolition of famous 
religious houses. They give instances of sacrilegious confis- 
cation, and point to the Protestant dukes and earls who now 
enjoy princely revenues from the alienated estates of the 
Church. They recite thrilling narratives of the sufferings 
of hunted priests who exposed their lives to minister to the 
wants of their scattered flocks ; of martyred bishops, who 
went to the scaffold rather than apostatise from the faith — 
the victims of a cruel, vindictive, insatiable spirit of persecu- 
tion, which was at length, after many gallant but disastrous 
struggles for freedom, embodied in a penal code, the atrocious 
severity of which excited the horror of Christendom, On 


this subject they quote the denunciations of the most eminent 
Protestant writers and orators, such as Edmund Burke, 
Hallam, Brougham, and Bright ; and on the subject of the 
Irish confiscations they are able to appeal, among others, to 
the admissions of Lord Clare, the great Chancellor of Ireland 
at the time of the Union, who in a speech on that occasion 
reminded the House of Lords that the gentlemen outlawed 
for the rebellion in 1G88 numbered 3,978 ; and that their 
Irish possessions, as far as could be computed, were then of 
the annual value of £21 1,623, and comprised 1,060,792 acres. 
This land was sold under an English Act of Parliament, 
to meet the expenses incurred in reducing the rebels, and 
the sale introduced into Ireland a new set pf adventurers. 
But this was only a small part of the confiscations. Ac- 
cording to Lord Clare's statement, in the reign of James I. 
the whole of the province of Ulster was confiscated, con- 
taining 2,836,837 acres ; let out by the Court of Claims 
at the Restoration, 7,800,000 acres ; forfeitures of 1688, 
1,060,792 acres; total, 11,697,629. The noble lord then 
proceeded : — " So the whole of the island has been confiscated 
with the exception of the estates of five or six families of 
English blood, some of whom had been attainted in the 
reign of Henry VIII. , but recovered their possessions before 
Tyrone's rebellion, and had the good fortune to escape the 
pillage of the English republic inflicted by Cromwell ; and 
no inconsiderable portion of the island has been confiscated 
twice, or perhaps thrice, in the course of a century. The 
situation, therefore, of the Irish nation at the revolution 
stands unparalleled in the history of the inhabited world. 
If the wars of England, carried on here from the reign of 
Elizabeth, had been waged against a foreign enemy the 
inhabitants would have retained their possessions under the 
established law of civilised nations, and their country have 
been annexed as a province to the British Empire." From 
the same authority they learn that the English policy was 
" a declaration of perpetual war against the natives of Ireland, 
and that it has rendered her a blank amidst the nations of 
Europe, and retarded her progress in the civilized world," 


Mr. Phelan, one of the ablest Protestant writers of his day, 
nearly half a century ago, thus described the sentiments of 
the Irish Roman Catholics, in contemplating the history of 
their country : — " The Papacy," says he, " maintains its 
ascendancy, by an artful system of accommodation to the 
natural principles and motives of man. Of these it has 
chiefly taken to its aid in Ireland, that national spirit and 
pride of ancestry by which the lower classes of our country- 
men are so amiably, yet so dangerously distinguished. The 
Irish are a fondly national people ; they know little of their 
ancestors, but they believe of them everything which enters 
into their conceptions of worth and greatness ; and they feel 
a high, although mournful consolation, in turning from their 
own condition to the supposed freedom, and glory, and 
happiness of other times. These principles have been incor- 
porated into their creed — they receive their religion as the 
last bequest, and the last token of their almost canonised 
forefathers, and they cling to it with a devoted and desperate 
fidelity. " To cherish and keep alive this persuasion among 
them, legends, miracles, and prophecies, are devised with lavish 
but adroit profusion. Their religion is made to look vener- 
able through the vista of antiquity — interesting in the garb 
and attitude of decay ; and this interest assumes a dearer, 
and this veneration a holier character, from the sympathy of 
the Church with the fallen fortunes of her children. Thus 
the faith of a zealous Roman Catholic, though not that which 
either the truly spiritual or the truly philosophic would 
prefer, comes upon him with the romantic power of a pic- 
turesque and melancholy grandeur. Its influence is aided 
by the habits of a rural life — it is recalled by the ruined 
abbey, and the tottering round tower — it is studiously asso- 
ciated with the hearths, the tombs, and the altars of his 
progenitors. It is similarly connected, and by similar artifices, 
with all those of whatsoever country, who in the first and 
purest ages of the Gospel departed this life in the faith and 
fear of God ; until through a long line of martyrs and con- 
fessors — through St. Patrick — through the apostles — it 
finally blends itself with the Saviour of the world. The 


ambition which such considerations inspire is not to be 
estimated by political arithmeticians; it is not of earth 
alone. It seeks to combine earth and heaven, and tinges 
even dreams of worldly aggrandisement with a ray of brighter 
and purer illumination." 

The Irish Catholics are not an intolerant people. Speaking 
from personal experience, I can testify that, taking the mass 
of the population, there is no body of Christians in Ireland 
that have more respect for the rights of conscience in their 
neighbours, or that will more patiently hear arguments 
against their creed. But they hate proselytism, knowing 
that religion has so often been made the pretext of oppres- 
sion, and that it is still the pretext of a political ascendancy 
on the part of a small minority of the nation, representing 
the ancient colony that " warred for four centuries against 
the Irish Enemy" — meaning the Irish nation — and warred 
for one object only — to get possession of the lands, and make 
the inhabitants their serfs. The war was waged with as 
much cruelty, with as much disregard of the commonest 
rights of humanity, when the invaders, aggressors, and per- 
secutors were Catholics, as in the worst times of the Eliza- 
bethan, the Cromwellian, or the Williamite wars. After 
carefully studying the records of the period between the 
conquest by Henry II. and the Reformation, I can find no 
modern parallel to the feeling of the English Catholics 
towards the Irish Catholics, but the feeling of the whites of 
Jamaica towards the blacks. No negroes fared the better 
during the reign of terror in Jamaica because they were 
Protestants; they were flogged, shot, and hanged all the 
same as if they had been idolaters and cannibals. It is 
probable that the utterance of a prayer, or a text of Scrip- 
ture, would have increased the rage of their tormentors and 
executioners. But with all their rage and cruelty, the white 
Christians of Jamaica did not dare to say — though they 
acted as if they believed it — that it was no more sin to kill 
a negro than to kill a dog. Yet the English priests, friars, 
and monks of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth cen- 
turies did not scruple to utter the atrocious sentiment with 


regard to their fellow Christians in Ireland. The sentiment 
was embodied again and again in public documents, in Acts 
of Parliament, in bishops' pastorals, and the whole law and 
policy of the Pale were based upon the assumption that the 
killing of a mere Irishman was no murder, and that so far 
from being a crime to be ignominiously punished, it was a 
deed to be honourably rewarded. 

The earliest as well as the most interesting and memor- 
able statement of the case of Ireland was presented by King 
O'Niell for the Irish chiefs in the shape of a "Remonstrance" 
to Pope John XXII. in the year 1317. After reciting the 
facts connected with the grant of Ireland by Pope Adrian 
to Henry II., they proceeded to state their grievances. They 
alleged that ever since the English appeared first upon their 
coasts in virtue of the above surreptitious donation, they 
entered their territories "under a certain specious pretext of 
piety, and hypocritical show of religion, endeavouring in the 
meantime, by every artifice malice could suggest, to extir- 
pate the natives root and branch;" that by force and fraud 
they had expelled them from their fair and ample habitations 
and paternal inheritances, so that they were obliged to take 
refuge, like wild beasts, in the mountains, the woods, and 
the morasses of the country; the invaders daring to assert 
that not a single part of Ireland belonged to the Irish, but 
was by right entirely their own. Even the Church lands 
were invaded on all sides ; the cathedrals were plundered 
of half their possessions ; bishops and prelates were cited, 
arrested, and imprisoned without distinction. The English 
deprived the natives of their own ancient laws, and estab- 
lished instead an iniquitous code of their own. English 
Dominicans, Franciscans, monks, canons, &c, after extermi- 
nating the native virtues, and introducing the most abomi- 
nable vices, " asserted the heretical doctrine that it was no 
more sin to kill an Irishman than to kill a dog, or any other 
brute." The Remonstrance frankly states the effect pro- 
duced on the Irish by the conduct of the invaders. The 
awful enmity so plainly avowed it is to be feared survives, 
to some extent, to the present day, and finds its natural ex- 


pression in Fenianism. The chiefs declare as follows: — "All 
hope of peace between us is completely destroyed; for such 
is their pride, such their excessive lust of dominion, such 
our ardent ambition to shake off this insupportable } T oke, 
and recover the inheritance which they have so unjustly 
usurped, that as there never was, so there never will be, any 
sincere coalition between them and us; nor is it possible 
there should be in this life, for we entertain a certain 
natural enmity against each other, flowing from mutual 
malignity, descending by inheritance from father to son, 
and spreading from generation to generation. Nor can we 
be accused of perjury or rebellion, since neither our fathers 
nor we did at any time bind ourselves by any oath of alle- 
giance to their fathers or to them; and therefore, without 
the least remorse of conscience, while breath remains, we 
will attack them in defence of our just lights, and never lay 
down our arms until we force them to desist." 

It must be confessed that the complaints of the Irish 
chiefs were too well provoked by the acts of the invaders. 
In the little colonial state which the Anglo-Irish had estab- 
lished, having its head-quarters in Dublin, there was a per- 
fect union of the civil and ecclesiastical powers. Bishops 
were not only chancellors and viceroys, but also generals, 
who led the forces of the Pale against the " Irish enemy," and 
had little mercy upon even the native clergy who fell under 
their power, and not a particle of scruple about plunder- 
ing and burning dow r n churches and monasteries. They 
had a parliament of their own, in which they passed laws 
utterly forbidding, under the severest penalties, any sort of 
intercourse or commerce in the way of business, or hospi- 
tality, or even in religion, with the people of the country, 
whose habits and manners they sternly proscribed; punish- 
ing any of the colonists who, yielding to the attractions of 
Irish society, conformed to the national costumes and usages. 
The chiefs represented the Anglo-Irish of those times as a 
lawless race, quite different from the English in their own 
country. But both the English and the Irish must be 
judged with reference to the rude times in which they lived. 


When they were good they were very good; when they 
were wicked they were very wicked; and both by violent 
fits. Men who had gloried in plundering and burning 
churches, spent their ill-gotten fortunes munificently in the 
founding of abbeys, cathedrals, and monasteries, and in the 
endowment of various religious and charitable institutions. 
And lax as they were often in their morals, they occasionally 
made the most desperate efforts to put a stop to scandalous 
offences. For example, "in 1268 it was agreed between the 
Church authorities and the Dublin Corporation, that if a 
man committed a public sin, the first offence might be com- 
muted for money; that if he continued in the sin, and the 
same be public and enormous, that then he be cudgelled 
about the Church of St. Patrick; and that if still he per- 
sisted in the sin, the official of the archbishop should give 
notice of it to the mayor and bailiffs. It became their duty 
then to turn him out of the city, or cudgel him through it. 
It was decreed that after such public sins there should be a 
yearly inquisition. But in no case could any official of the 
archbishop draw one beyond the jurisdiction of the city. 
Every offender was to be tried within the city." 

If we doubted the annals of the time, or the testimony of 
the Irish chiefs, we should have the most conclusive evi- 
dence in the "Statute of Kilkenny" that the appeal of an 
Irishman, exclaiming, "Am I not a man and a brother?" 
would have been utterly lost upon the Englishmen of the 
Pale, just as much as a similar appeal from one of the 
Maories of New Zealand would be lost now upon one of the 
colonists in that island, after a series of wars, waged exactly 
in the same spirit, and for the same object — the possession 
of territory — as the wars of Ireland in the thirteenth, four- 
teenth, and fifteenth centuries. Yet there was a charm 
about the free, joyous, jolly life of the native Irish which 
many of the English found it impossible to resist, — a charm 
which the poet Spenser described like one who felt its power, 
and to which many of the colonists yielded with their whole 
hearts, thereby incurring the proverbial reproach of being 
ipsis Hibemis Hiberniores. To check this growing evil 


the English passed the famous "Statute of Kilkenny" in 
1367. By this it was enacted that alliances with the Irish 
by marriage, fostering, gossipred, &c, were high treason. 
The old Brehon law, which was the law of the land, the 
Kilkenny Parliament denounced as "wicked and damnable," 
and enacted that all who submitted to it should be accounted 
traitors. On the other hand, if any Irishman was found 
within the Pale, not shaved, and dressed in the English 
fashion, and who could not speak the English language, he 
was to be punished by confiscation of his lands and goods; 
and if he had no property, he was to be imprisoned till he 
submitted. No Irishman's cattle were allowed to graze upon 
an Englishman's land, no Irish ecclesiastic w T as to get a bene- 
fice, and it was made penal for any religious house to receive 
any Irishman into their profession, though they might re- 
ceive "any Englishman, without taking into consideration 
whether he be born in England or in Ireland." Hence, as 
Dr. Todd remarks, "his blood was his crime." Three arch- 
bishops and five .bishops were consenting parties to this 
anti-social enactment, and pledged themselves to denounce 
the spiritual sentence of excommunication against all its 
violators. In those times the Pope nominated many of the 
Anglo-Irish bishops and other ecclesiastics, and he was al- 
ways ready to fulminate his thunder against the king's Irish 
enemies. The Statute of Kilkenny seems to have been the 
re-enactment of an older law, to which reference was made 
by the Irish princes. But the same spirit continued to 
pervade the legislation of the Pale down to the Reformation, 
when the Parliament changed the title of Henry VIII. from 
"Lord of Ireland" to "King of Ireland." The English sove- 
reign, however, was but King of Ireland nominally until 
the reign of Elizabeth. "Hence it is," says Sir John Davis, 
"that in all the parliamentary rolls that are extant from the 
fortieth year of Edward III., when the Statutes of Kilkenny 
were enacted, to the reign of Henry VIII., we find the 
degenerate and disobedient English called rebels; but the 
Irish which were not in the king's peace are called enemies." 
After enumerating a number of statutes passed in the reigns 


of Henry IV, Henry VI, Edward IV., and Henry VIII, he 
proceeds, "All these speak of English rebels, and Irish 
enemies, as if the Irish had never been in the condition of 
subjects, but always ont of the protection of the laws, and 
were indeed in a worse case than aliens of any foreign realm 
that was in amity with the Crown of England. For by 
divers heavy penal laws the English were forbidden to 
marry, to foster, to make gossips with the Irish, or to have 
any trade or commerce in their markets or fairs. Nay, there 
was a law made no longer since than the 28th Henry VIII, 
that the English should not marry with any person of Irish 
blood, though he had gotten a charter of denization, unless 
he had done both homage and fealty to the king in Chancery, 
and were also bounden by recognizance in sureties to con- 
tinue a loyal subject. Whereby it is manifest that such as 
had the government of Ireland, under the Crown of England, 
did intend to make a perpetual separation of enmity be- 
tween the English and the Irish!' In later times the phrase 
"Irish enemy" was represented by the word Papist. And 
it is a singular fact, as showing the permanent influence of 
such a system of legislation, and the force of those interests 
which gave it effect, that half a century ago, a Protestant 
gentleman would have lost caste by marrying a Roman 
Catholic of the most respectable family; and we all remem- 
ber that so eminent a statesman as Lord Lyndhurst, the 
Chancellor of England, in a speech delivered in the House 
of Lords, described the Irish Catholics as " aliens in blood, 
language, and religion." That a race inhabiting Ireland 
before the Saxon set foot in England, subject to the British 
Crown for seven centuries, and said to have enjoyed the 
blessings of the Constitution for two or three centuries, 
should have been thus described by "the Nestor of the 
House of Peers" — will be a subject of marvel to future his- 

It is a wonderful, and apparently an unaccountable fact, 
that at the Reformation, after four hundred years of this 
internecine warfare, sustained by implacable and social 
enmity, the English Pale was no larger than it was left by 


Henry II. Sir John Davis accounts for the fact by stating 
that England never sent over a military force sufficient for 
the complete subjugation of the island. But the result is 
mainly to be ascribed to the demoralised state of the colony, 
and to the mutual antagonism of the great Anglo-Irish lords, 
who were in fact a sort of sovereign princes, making war 
and peace at will, intensely jealous of each other, and for 
their own purposes intriguing with the chiefs of the Irish 
enemy. Owing to this state of things, the Pale at the time 
of the Reformation had dwindled to the smallest bounds, 
comprising only parts of three or four counties, and in the 
feeblest condition. It may be asked, then, why did not the 
Irish enemy drive out the English settlers? For the same 
cause. They were so frequently fighting against one another, 
wasting one another's strength, destroying one another's 
habitations, crops, and cattle, and reducing their country to 
the condition of a desert. Not only did sept war against 
sept, but the same sept split into factions, and fought as 
fiercely as if attacking a common foe. An instance of this 
kind occurred in Galway, when the leader of one of the 
armed factions was the bishop. 

Now, let it be remembered that this system of mutual 
destruction, animated by deadly hatred between race and 
race, chief and chief, clan and clan, which lasted for four 
hundred years, during which ten thousand feuds were be- 
queathed "from bleeding sire to son," prevailed among a 
people who were exclusively Catholic, and when Protes- 
tantism had not been in existence. But the King of 
England revolted against the papal authority, and broke off 
all connection with Rome. Then the rich supplies from 
England, and also from the Anglo-Irish, were stopped. No 
more Peter's pence, no more ''provisions," no more livings 
in Ireland for Italian, Spanish, French, and English ecclesias- 
tics, the hangers-on of the Papal court. Then it was, and 
partly for these reasons, that the Pope changed sides in Ire- 
land, deserting the Pale, and adopting the cause of "the 
Irish enemy," so often excommunicated by him, and de- 
nounced as schismatic, contumacious, vile, and barbarous. 


From that day to this Papal intervention in Ireland has 
been a thorn in the side of England, and the thunders of 
the Vatican have been fulminated by apostolic nuncios from 
the Irish camp against the English garrison. And indeed 
nothing could be more natural than that the Irish nation 
should eagerly and gratefully accept this powerful support. 
Religious persecution of the most ruthless character had 
come in the train of desolating conquest. For seventy years 
from the Reformation down there was no Catholic arch- 
bishop in Dublin.* The recusant prelates and clergy were 
chased away. No Irish-speaking minister was permitted to 
open his mouth in any of the pulpits ; no mass could be 
publicly celebrated; no Catholic school could be opened; the 
churches were deserted and allowed to fall into ruin, if not 
demolished on account of their popish ornaments; while all 
the men of property and position in the country, who could 
manage to cross the seas, found refuge on the Continent, 
and most naturally laboured to enlist the sympathies of its 
sovereigns in order to recover their homes and their lands. 
Nor, so far as the people of Ireland are concerned, was the 
intervention of the Pope, the Spaniards, and the French, 
which led to so many disastrous wars with England, an 
unmixed evil. It gave hope of ultimate deliverance to a 
perishing nation, and saved from utter annihilation a most 
ancient and interesting race of men, while it acted on the 
rival clans, now crushed and scattered, as a powerful bond 
of union. The old native Church had been almost entirely 
destroyed by the internecine wars of four centuries, and it 
received the cowp de grace from Elizabeth. Hitherto there 
had been the Papal Church of the Pale, which came in with 
the English colony, and the National Church of the Irish, 
which never could be brought into complete subjection to 
Rome, and which now ceased to exist, with the clans to 
which it had adhered, and from which it drew its support. 
Henceforth the Church of the Pale became Protestant, fol- 
lowing the destiny of England; and the nation gradually 

* " History of the Catholic Archbishops of Dublin since the Reforma- 
tion." By the Rev. Dr. Moran. 


obtained from Rome a new priesthood, strictly Papal in its 
origin, foreign in its education, and intensely, inveterately 
anti-English in its spirit and teaching. Hating England 
for her heresy, recruited more and more from the ranks of 
the subjugated race, and therefore full of its animosity and 
vindictiveness, while heroically devoted to the interests of 
a persecuted people, the Irish Roman Catholic priesthood 
imbibed the spirit of disaffection which English policy con- 
tinued to foster and inflame from the Reformation to the 
Union. That disaffection had a perfectly intelligible cause, 
quite sufficient to account for its existence, intensity, and 
persistence, without supposing any inherent, invincible 
"difficulty" either in the Irish people, the Roman Catholic 
hierarchy, or the Papal policy. In the case of Ireland, stated 
by Sir John Davis, Attorney-General of James I. in this 
country, he ascribes the delects of the Irish peasantry — 
idleness, cunning, servility, and treachery — to the oppression 
they had endured for ages; but he bears testimony to the 
existence of very different qualities, which would be de- 
veloped under good institutions and fair treatment, conclud- 
ing his statement in the following words: — "The whole 
island from sea to sea had bin brought into his Hkdmes 
peaceable possession; and all the inhabitants in ewery cornor 
thereof, have been absolutely reduced under his immediate 
subjection. In which condition of subjects they will gladly 
continue, without defection, or adhering to any other Lord or 
King, as long as they may be protected and justly governed, 
without oppression on the one side or impunity on the other. 
For there is no nation of people under the sunne that doth 
love equall and indifferent justice better than the Irish, or 
will rest better satisfied with the execution thereof, although 
it be against themselves, so as they may have the protection 
and benefit of the law, when upon just cause they do desire it."* 
But equal justice they never got ; and nearly a century after 
this Mr. Molyneux published his famous " Case of Ireland 
Stated, in relation to its being bound by Acts of Parliament 

* " Tracts and Treatises on Ireland." Published by Mr. Alexander 
Thorn, Dublin, vol. i., p. 594. 


made in England." The Roman Catholic part of the nation 
was still the Irish enemy groaning under the penal code, or, 
rather, languishing in silent agony, for they were afraid to 
groan. Not their cause, however, so much as the cause of 
the English colony, was pleaded powerfully by Molyneux and 
Dean Swift. " The Case of Ireland," which could not be 
answered, gave so much offence in England, that the House 
of Commons ordered it to be burnt by the common hang- 
man. But the work of Molyneux, advocating representative 
government and the principles of the Revolution, was eagerly 
and universally read by Catholics as well as Protestants, and 
sowed the seeds which ultimately germinated in Catholic 
Emancipation and Parliamentary Reform. Although Swift 
treated the Irish Papists with the utmost contempt, and had 
not the least idea that they should be admitted into the 
constitution, yet they idolised him, and still reverence his 
memory, because of the caustic wit with which he assailed 
England for ruling Ireland on despotic principles. Then 
followed the volunteers, and the brief period of " Irish Inde- 
pendence ;" the United Irishmen and the Rebellion of 1798; 
the purchase of the Irish Parliament and the Union ; the 
Catholic Association and the Emancipation Act ; the anti- 
tithes agitation and the Church Temporalities Act. And now, 
after an experiment of three hundred years, the Anglican 
Church planted in this country is still barely commensurate 
with the English Pale ; while the miserable remnant which 
the civil wars had left of the Irish nation became swollen into 
a population of six or seven millions, with nearly an equal 
number in America and Great Britain, wishing the destruc- 
tion of the power by which their forefathers were oppressed, 
as if to inculcate the doctrine of providential retribution, 
and to show that no power, however mighty, can be unjust 
with impunity. During the last half century England has 
been endeavouring slowly, but steadily, and always under 
the pressure of agitation, to atone for past wrongs to Ireland. 
But every single measure of concession, every act of justice 
and sound policy, though the withholding of it threatened 
the dismemberment of the empire, has been resisted strenu- 


ously, passionately, by the Tory party, the representatives 
of the old English interest or Protestant ascendancy, in the 
name of which so many legal iniquities had been perpetrated, 
and for the defence of which so much Irish blood had been 
shed, so much national poverty and suffering inflicted. There 
are signs that the great work of reconciliation between the 
two nations is about to be accomplished. But no true recon- 
cilement can grow except out of political equality, — the 
principle of equal justice, not to individuals only, but to 
countries and to churches. Religion is too powerful an 
element in Ireland, and the Roman Catholic priesthood are 
too ambitious and sensitive ever to rest satisfied with the 
government which ignores their Church as a church ; which 
holds diplomatic communion with the Sultan and outlaws 
the Pope ; which endows with wealth and privilege the 
clergy of a small section of the community, and leaves the 
clergy of the majority to subsist upon the precarious and 
eleemosynary supplies of the voluntary system, requiring 
for its successful working the constant application of sectarian 
and factious stimulants, with the violent exaggeration of 
religious differences. 




In one respect the Established clergy have become intensely 
national. They are passionately in love with the old Irish 
Church. The Church of St. Patrick, they contend, was truly 
and essentially an Episcopal Church of the Anglican type, 
with which the present Establishment is really identical. 
The identity is assumed to be a fact clearly demonstrated ; 
and on the strength of this assumption, the Roman Catholic 
hierarchy is regarded as an alien institution imposed upon 
the country, and possessing no right, human or divine, for 
persisting in its offensive intrusion. This is the position 
taken by most of the Irish bishops and clergy since the 
publication of the Rev. Robert King's " Primer of the Church 
History of Ireland," which has been made a class-book for 
Divinity Students in Trinity College, Dublin. 

This must be regarded as one of the most extraordinary 
delusions of the age. " The Church of the native Irish," writes 
Dr. Todd, "was discountenanced and ignored by Rome as 
well as by England. It consisted of the old Irish clergy and 
inmates of the monasteries beyond the limits of the English 
pale, who had not adopted the English manners or language, 
and who were, therefore, dealt with as rebels, and compelled 
to seek for support from the charity or devotion of the people. 
Many of these took refuge in foreign countries, or connected 
themselves with foreign emissaries hostile to England at 
home; but at a subsequent period, when the Anglo-Irish 
Church had accepted the Reformation, the mere Irish clergy 
were found to have become practically extinct."* 

When foreign writers in the interest of the Pope came to 
deal with the native Irish Church, they were shocked with 

* " St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland. A Memoir of his Life and 
Mission, &c." By James Henthorn Todd, d.d., Senior Fellow of Trinity 
College, Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University, and Treasurer 
of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. 


what they regarded as its gross irregularities. St. Bernard, 
in his " Life of Malachy," for example, complains that up to 
his own times there had been " a dissolution of ecclesiastical 
discipline, a relaxation of censure, a making void of religion, 
and that a cruel barbarism, nay, a sort of Paganism, were 
substituted under the Christian name." In proof of this he 
adds that "bishops were changed and multiplied at the 
pleasure of the Metropolitan, a thing unheard of since the 
beginning of Christianity ; without order, without reason, 
so that one bishoprick was not content with a single bishop, 
but almost every congregation had its separate bishop." It 
is quite evident that St. Bernard was ignorant of the con- 
stitution of the Irish churches, and equally ignorant of the 
ecclesiastical polity which prevailed throughout the Conti- 
nental nations in the earliest and purest ages of Christianity. 
Neander, speaking of the earliest Apostolic Churches, says : — 
" It is certain that every Church was governed by a number 
of the elders, or overseers, chosen from among themselves, 
and we find among them no individual distinguished above 
the rest, who presided as a primus inter pares; though 
probably in the age immediately succeeding the Apostolic, 
of which we have unfortunately so few authentic memorials, 
the practice was introduced of applying to such a one the 
name episcopos, by way of distinction."* Mosheim and 
Milner, in their Church histories, Dr. Hinds, in his " Early 
Progress of Christianity," and a host of the most learned 
Church historians, allow that there were no diocesan bishops 
in the churches founded by the Apostles and their imme- 
diate followers. And Hooker, admitting the fact, observes : — 
" The necessity of polity and regimen may be believed 
without holding any certain form to be necessary in them 
all. And the general principles are such as do not particu- 
larly apply to any one ; but sundry forms of discipline may 
be equally consistent with the general maxims of Scripture." 
If, then, every congregation in that country had its own 
bishop, instead of proving that the Irish Christians were 
* "History of the Planting, &c, of the Church," vol. i., p. 167, 


corrupt, disorderly, and heathenish, it would prove only 
that they had adhered with fidelity to the primitive system 
of Church, polity, modified by the peculiar circumstances of 
the country, and by the genius of the Celtic institutions. 
The word "bishop," in the sense in which it is used by 
Churchmen, and generally understood, means a prelate who 
rules over a number of parochial clergy, be the same more 
or less. There was nothing of the kind in Ireland till it 
was imported by the Norsemen, and imposed by the Pope. 
During six or seven centuries after the introduction of 
Christianity, or about half the period that has elapsed since 
the mission of St. Patrick, the word " parish," or its equi- 
valent, does not once occur in the history of the Irish Church. 
But the parish we know is the basis of the ecclesiastical 
sj^stem now established in England and Ireland. The old 
Irish Church was built without this foundation stone of 
Episcopacy ; and the first thing that the Rev. Dr. Todd can 
find which at all resembles a " diocese " is indicated in the 
following words : — " The district which owed allegiance to 
the chieftain, and was inhabited by his followers, became 
the proper field of labour to his bishops and clergy, and this 
was the first approach made to a diocese or territorial juris- 
diction in the Church of Ireland."* But let not Presbyterians 
or Independents take comfort from the non-episcopal cha- 
racter of that Church. Its ecclesiastical polity, if the word 
be applicable to such a state of things, was neither Presby- 
terian nor Congregational. We look in vain for either 
model in the old Church of Ireland ; and nothing can be 
more futile than the attempt of controversialists to torture 
its ancient ecclesiastical records into proofs in favour of 
their respective systems of Church government. 

When St. Bernard and other assailants charged the Irish 
Churches with having a bishop for every congregation, they 
did not state the whole truth. The " Four Masters" make 
the number of churches established by St. Patrick 700, with 
700 bishops and 3,000 priests.! Dr. Petrie has published a 
* St. Patrick, p. 38. f O'Donovan's Translation, a.d. 493. 


later record, a.d. 6G4<, in which St. Patrick is said to have 
consecrated 350 bishops, 300 priests, and 700 churches. 
But no reliance can be placed on those numbers. The early 
MS. records were manipulated, and mixed with legends in 
the course of the middle ages. What is certain is, that 
almost every religious community worshipping in one place 
had not only one bishop, but several bishops, the prevailing 
number being seven, to which the Irish Christians evidently 
attached a mystic import. Thus the Martyrology of Donegal 
mentions no less than six groups of seven bishops each, living 
together. In three of those cases the seven bishops are said 
to have been brothers — sons of one father. " But this list," 
says Dr. Todd, "is completely eclipsed b}^ the 141 groups of 
seven bishops of various churches and places in Ireland, who 
are invoked in the Irish Litany, attributed to Aengus Cele 
De, or the Culdee, and probably composed in the ninth 
century."* It is doubtful whether the number seven was 
deemed necessaiy, or was general in the churches. Dr. 
Todd thinks that the institution of seven bishops was only 
temporary. But there is no doubt that there was generally 
a plurality of bishops in each church or religious community, 
or that the bishop w r as ordained "per saltv/m," that is, 
without passing through any intervening orders, and that 
this was done by a single bishop with the simple formality 
of prayer and the imposition of hands, often with little 
attention to personal qualifications. Nothing more, there- 
fore, was implied by the title of "bishop" than that the 
bearer was, as we should now say, in " holy orders," that he 
was a " clergyman" or " minister ;" it gave him a certain 
clerical status, being, in fact, equivalent to our term " Reve- 
rend." The title conferred no jurisdiction whatever. Dr. 
Todd has made this quite plain and perfectly undeniable, by 
proofs drawn from the original records, admitted by such 
writers as Lanigan and Colgan. The learned dignitary gives 
the results of his inquiries in the following words : — " From 
the foregoing facts and anecdotes, no doubt can remain in 
the mind of any unprejudiced reader that the normal state 
* St. Patrick, p. 32. 


of Episcopacy in Ireland was, as we have described, non- 
diocesan, each bishop acting independently, without any 
archiepiscopal jurisdiction, and either entirely independent, 
or subject only to the abbat of his monastery, or in the 
spirit of clanship to his chieftain. The consequence of this 
was necessarily a great multiplication of bishops. There 
was no restraint upon their being consecrated. Every man 
of eminence for piety or learning was advanced to the order 
of a bishop as a sort of degree or mark of distinction. Many 
of these lived as solitaries or in monasteries. Many of them 
established schools for the practice of religious life and the 
cultivation of sacred learning, having no diocese or fixed 
episcopal duties ; and many of them, influenced by mis- 
sionary zeal, went forth to the Continent, to Great Britain, 
or to other heathen lands, to preach the gospel of Christ to 
the Gentiles." Again, "On the Continent of Europe, the 
Christian empire, both in the East and in the West, was 
divided into episcopal provinces and dioceses, based upon 
the ancient civil divisions, and the canonical regulations in 
question were closely connected with the institution of 
metropolitan and diocesan jurisdiction. In Ireland, where 
there were no metropolitans, no dioceses, and no fixed or 
legally recognised civil divisions of the country, these 
canonical rules were inapplicable, and therefore were dis- 

The word " archbishop," it is true, occurs in Irish Church 
history ; but Dr. Todd has shown that it was used in a sense 
totally different from its present meaning. The Irish word 
ard-episcop is not equivalent to archbishop; it denotes 
simply an eminent or celebrated bishop, and there might be 
several of such archbishops in the same town or district.f 

Dr. Todd has justly remarked that the clan is the true 
key to Irish history, political and ecclesiastical. Upon the 
clan Christianity was grafted in the monastic form, and this 
vital connection was maintained indissolubly till — after a 
struggle which endured for nearly four centuries— the clan 
system itself was destroyed by the power of England. When 
* St. Patrick, pp. 27-79. f Ibid, p. 16, 


the Christian missionaries first went to Ireland, they found 
the clans existing as the primitive form of government, with 
numerous chieftains virtually independent, and one, two, or 
three nominal kings. St. Patrick and his followers always 
applied themselves in the first instance to the chieftain, and 
with his conversion followed that of the clan or sept. At 
or near his head-quarters in the town, village, or station, 
they obtained permission to erect a church, and school, and 
a dwelling-house, in which they and their leading converts 
lived in community, cultivating the land they had obtained, 
teaching those who came to them for instruction, and thus 
forming centres of civilization. They selected almost in- 
variably the sacred sites of Paganism, and built their 
wooden churches under the shadow of the Round Towers — 
then as mysterious and inscrutable as they are to-day. St. 
Patrick's life was often in danger from the intolerance of 
the Druids. His ecclesiastical establishments were sur- 
rounded by fortifications for the protection of the inmates ; 
and many of the most celebrated of them, as Armagh, Cashel, 
Downpatrick, Clogher, were built in situations possessing 
natural advantages for defence, or near the already fortified 
habitations of the converted chieftains. Whole tribes per- 
sisted in rejecting Christianity for ages. Even where the 
greatest success was obtained, it was secured by a prudent 
tolerance of the national superstitions, or by even turning 
them to account, in order to graft upon them Christian 
ceremonies. It was only in " some rare instances" that the 
missionary ventured upon the destruction of an idol, or the 
removal of a pillar-stone ; sometimes he contented himself 
with inscribing upon such stones the sacred names or 
symbols of Christianity, and ultimately they were changed 
into crosses. The very festivals of the heathen were re- 
spected, and converted into Christian solemnities or holidays. 
The Beltine and the Samhain of our Pagan forefathers are 
still observed in the popular sports of May Day and All 
Hallow's Eve ; Avhilethe bonfires on St. John's Eve, through 
the flames of which children are accustomed to jump, and 
from which till lately coals were taken to the corn-fields to 


secure them from blight, are a remnant of the worship of 
Baal. "Nothing is clearer," says Dr. O'Donovan, "than 
that Patrick engrafted Christianity on the Pagan super- 
stitions with so much skill that he won the people over to 
the Christian religion before they understood the exact 
difference between the two systems of belief; and much of 
this half-Pagan, half- Christian religion, will be found not 
only in the Irish stories of the Middle Ages, but in the 
superstitions of the peasantry to the present day."* 

Not only was the old Irish Church from the earliest times 
surrounded on all sides by gross forms of superstition and 
idolatry, deeply rooted in the soil, but in later times it was 
exposed to corruption from the Pagan rites of the Danes or 
Norsemen, who had established themselves in the country. 
In order, therefore, that it might be able to withstand "a 
lawless and savage Paganism," in the midst of which neither 
life nor property was secure, monastic institutions became a 
necessity. The head of each of these ccenobitic associations 
was the abbat, who was often a layman ; and sometimes the 
head of the institution was a woman, as in the case of St. 
Bridget of Kildare.-f- Within the abbey or monastery the 
bishops lived and laboured, subject to the abbat so long as 
they chose to remain, but free to go where they pleased if 
they became discontented with their position, and aspired 
to be founders of similar institutions in other lands, which 
many of them did, winning great fame on the continent of 
Europe, and becoming saints in the Roman calendar. At 
home the bishops assisted in cultivating the soil, ploughing, 
digging, reaping, &c, unless the wealth of the institution 
rendered them independent of such toil, and enabled them 
to devote their energies exclusively to the cultivation of 
learning and art, and the instruction of the people around 
them. These communities were in some cases so numerous 
and prosperous that they became the nuclei of considerable 

* " Four Masters," p. 131. 

t Dr. Todd spells the word "abbat," not "abbot," following the 
primitive and more correct practice. 


In a document first published by Archbishop Ussher, and 
supposed to have been written about the middle of the 
eighth century, the Irish "saints" are classed in three orders. 
The first were all famous and holy bishops, who rejected not 
the services and society of women, "because, founded on the 
rock of Christ, they did not fear the blast of temptation." 
They had but one head, Christ, but one chief, Patrick, but 
one mass, and one tonsure, from ear to ear. The second 
order had also one head and lord, but different masses or 
liturgies; they refused the services of women, separating 
them from the monasteries. The third order dwelt in desert 
places, lived on herbs and water, and on the alms of the 
faithful, despising property of all sorts. They were, in fact, 
hermits. Dr. Lanigan accounts for the exclusion of women 
from the monasteries, by the fact that it became necessary 
when they were crowded with young students; and he asks 
how would Dr. Ledwich like to see boarding-schools com- 
posed indiscriminately of grown-up boys and girls. On this 
document Dr. Todd makes the remark, that throughout the 
whole of the catalogue there is not the smallest allusion to 
diocesan or archiepiscopal jurisdiction. Not a word is 
said of a primacy in Armagh, or any peculiar authority 
vested in the successors of St. Patrick, except this, that the 
first order, having their one head, Christ, followed Patrick 
as their leader or guide, retained in the celebration of their 
mass the liturgy introduced by him, adopted the same ton- 
sure and the same Easter which he had taught, and were so 
far united in discipline "that what one of their churches 
excommunicated all excommunicated." The second order of 
saints does not appear to have had any connexion with 
Armagh or the institutions of St. Patrick. They had re- 
ceived a mass or liturgy from David, the celebrated Bishop 
of Menevia, now St. David's, in Wales. This order was also 
connected with the Colomban churches of North Britain, 
Cumberland, and Durham. It was from this order proceeded 
" that great stream of Irish missionaries who went forth to 
evangelise Europe at the end of the sixth and during some 
following centuries." Dr. Todd adds the following remark- 


able passage: — "From tliern the venerable Bede must have 
derived his information respecting theScotic or Irish churches. 
From them must have been obtained all the information 
respecting Ireland which is to be found in tbe writings of 
Continental authors. And it is remarkable that in the 
writings of Bede we find no mention of St. Patrick or of 
Armagh. He speaks only of Columba and the presbyters or 
bishops of the second order of saints. Adamnan also, the 
biographer, although he once incidentally mentions St. 
Patrick, is silent as to Armagh. The Continental missionaries 
of the sixth and following centuries seem to have carried 
with them to Europe no traditions of Armagh or of Patrick. 
This remarkable silence has appeared to some unaccountable, 
and even inconsistent with the existence of St. Patrick. 
But the explanation of it is obvious; the Irish saints of the 
second order were connected with the British Church, and 
not with the Church of St. Patrick. They were disposed to 
emigration, and their religious zeal carried them to the Picts 
of North Britain and to the barbarous nations of the Conti- 
nent of Europe to win souls to Christ. There was no reason 
why they should say anything to their converts about 
Armagh or the successors of St. Patrick. They were in all 
probability more anxious to connect the churches and 
monasteries which they had founded on the Continent with 
Borne and the successors of St. Peter, from whom more 
effectual support might be obtained. But that they did not 
altogether ignore St. Patrick is evident from the great 
collection of canons, from which D'Achery has published 
extracts, in which Patrick and the synods said to have been 
held by him are frequently referred to. This collection has 
been preserved in Continental libraries only, and was 
evidently compiled in one of the Continental monasteries 
connected with Ireland."* 

The great peculiarity of the ancient Irish Church was its 

clanship, and the fact that many of its abbats, or chief 

rulers, were not in holy orders; and when they were in holy 

orders, the rights of chieftaincy were transferred to the 

* St. Patrick, pp. 95, 96. 


ecclesiastical landlords, who enjoyed them in hereditary 
succession. Thus the land granted in fee to St. Patrick, or 
any other ecclesiastic, conveyed to the clerical society of 
which it became the endowment, all the rights of a chieftain 
or head of a clan. The com-arb, or co-arb — that is to say, 
the heir or successor of the original saint — who was the 
founder of the religious society, whether bishop or abbat, 
became the inheritor of his spiritual and official influence in 
religious matters. The descendants in blood, or "founder's 
kin," were inheritors of the temporal rights of property, 
although bound to exercise those rights in subjection, or 
subordination, to the ecclesiastical co-arb. There was some- 
times a double succession, or progenies, ecclesiastical and 
lay, both connected by blood with the original founder or 
donor of the lands. The tendency of this system was to 
throw the ecclesiastical succession into the hands of the lay 
succession, and so to defeat the object of the founder, by 
transferring the endowment to the laity. This is what 
actually took place in Armagh, and continued for two hun- 
dred years, the head of the ecclesiastical community, or 
monastery, whose successor afterwards claimed to be Primate 
of all Ireland, being actually a layman, and employing others 
to do the clerical duty. The rank of the feudal lord or 
chieftain, absorbed the co-existing episcopal or sacerdotal 
character in the co-arb, or spiritual chieftain. The "family" 
of a monastery comprehended not only the bishops, friars, 
or monks, and other religious inmates, but included also in 
many cases the vassals, serfs, or clansmen who lived on the 
lands around the abbey, and other dependencies. Sometimes 
an abbat was a pluralist, and had under his rule several 
monasteries. For example, the Abbat of Hy was the common 
head of the monasteries of Durrow, Kells, Swords, Drumcliff, 
and other houses in Ireland, founded by Columba, whose 
successor he was. Hence the "family" of Columbkill was 
composed of the congregations, or inmates, and dependents 
of all those monasteries, together with the mother-monastery 
of the island of Hy. The feudal abbat, therefore, was often 
able to turn out a large body of fighting men to defend his 


establishments and his estates, in which they had a joint 
property. In general, however, the family of the monastery 
consisted only of the monk-bishops and their assistants. 
This mixture of the temporal and spiritual has been a 
source of the utmost confusion to ecclesiastical historians, 
who looked at the old Irish Church through the modern 
hierarchical system, and laboured to trace the line of apos- 
tolical succession from St. Patrick down to their own time. 
" Even Ussher, Ware, and Lanigan," says Dr. Todd, " led 
away by their preconceived opinions, as to the existence of 
diocesan succession from the age of St. Patrick, were unable 
to realise to themselves the strange state of society indicated 
by our ancient records, and the still more strange state of 
the Church when bishops were without dioceses or terri- 
torial jurisdiction. Hence it is that these eminent writers 
took the modern state of the Church, since the establishment 
of dioceses, as the model of what they conceived was, or 
ought to have been, the state of the Church in the days of 
Patrick and Columbkill, and thus they have confounded the 
ancient corbes with chorepiscopi, and erenachs with arch- 
deacons. Even Colgan, influenced by the same prejudices, 
fell into the same mistakes."'' 1 

The latter office mentioned had reference to the Church 
lands, and was also hereditary in the same families. There 
are ancient lists of the co-arbs of St. Patrick ; but Dr. Todd, 
the most learned antiquary in the Irish Established Church, 
and probably the most competent of living judges in such 
matters, affirms that they all bear internal evidence of having 
been drawn up at the close of the eleventh or the beginning 
of the twelfth century, "when," he adds, "archiepiscopal and 
diocesan jurisdiction were introduced — and it is probable 
that their authors were influenced by a wish to establish a 
claim to a regular episcopal succession — at least at Armagh, 
and thus to escape so far the reproach of irregularity, which 
the Koman party amongst the Norsemen and English of 
that period had brought against the Irish Church. Hence, 
in reference to a regular succession in Armagh, or elsewhere, 
* St. Patrick, p. 162. 


Dr. Todd says, emphatically, "The Truth is, there was 


The monastic institutions or clan-churches were mutually 
independent and perfectly free from external authority, 
although they made repeated attempts to establish common 
rules of discipline, and to be so far united that what one 
church excommunicated all should excommunicate. But 
the Church followed the fortunes of the sept to which it 
belonged, and its establishments were plundered and burned 
without scruple in the course of the almost internecine war 
which the chiefs and tribes waged against each other. The 
Celtic abbeys had been plundered b}^ the Danes for cen- 
turies before the Conquest; they were devastated by Anglo- 
Norman settlers for centuries after the Conquest; and they 
often became the prey of those native chiefs who should 
have united to a man in their defence. Thus Glendalough 
and its " Seven Churches," situated in the Wicklow moun- 
tains, on the border of that gloomy lake celebrated by 
Moore, had in the twelfth century become a stronghold of 
robbers. Nothing seems to have withstood the violence of 
the times but the Round Tower, which sphinx-like looks 
down upon the ruins of the rudely-constructed ecclesiastic 
buildings ; and when we examine both, we cannot but 
wonder how any man could believe that they were erected 
by the same race of people, and for the same religious 

Dr. Todd remarks on the native independence of the Irish 
Church: — "It was not looked upon as coming from foreigners, 
or as representing the manners and civilization of a foreign 
nation. Its priests and bishops, the successors of St. Patrick 
in their missionary labours, were many of them descendants 
of the ancient kings and chieftains, so venerated by a clan- 

ish people By his judicious management the 

Christianity which he founded became self-supporting. It 
was endowed by the chieftains without any foreign aid. It 
was supplied with priests and prelates by the people them- 
selves, and its fruits were soon seen in that wonderful stream 
* St. Patrick, p. 172. 


of zealous missionaries, the glory of the Irish Church, who 
went forth in the sixth and seventh centuries to evangelize 
the barbarians of central Europe." 

Such was the ancient Church of Ireland which perished 
three centuries ago, after enduring for a thousand years ! 

If, then, we want to trace the genealogy of the parish 
priest, the rector, or the vicar, and of the modern diocesan 
bishop, we need not look to the ancient Irish Church, in 
which no such things were ever known ; but we find them 
transplanted from England, and flourishing in the Church 
of the Pale. A brief sketch of this Anglican institution 
will throw additional light upon the absurd ecclesiastical 
assumption on which such weighty material and social 
interests are made to depend, and on the strength of which 
the Established clergy would keep Ireland for ever standing 
on its smaller end.* 

The Danes, who occupied Dublin and the seaports, with 
the territory along the eastern coast, refused to acknowledge 
the jurisdiction of the Irish Abbats, and looked to the English 
Primate for the consecration of their bishops long before the 
English conquest by Henry II. By this they incurred the 
jealousy and hostility of the native abbats and clergy. The 
hostility was mutual. Throughout those ages the Church 
of Dublin and its rulers were always intensely anti-Irish. 
Of twenty-eight prelates who occupied the see from Donatus 
to the Reformation, a period of 600 years, there were only 
seven who were not Englishmen, or Northmen of some other 
country, and of these seven the greater number seem to have 
been educated in England. It must be admitted, however, 
that the people and clergy of Dublin had some better reason 
than mere national jealousy for repudiating the jurisdiction 
of the "Archbishop" of Armagh. 

A great effort was made in the year 1152 by the Pope, 
through Cardinal Paparo, to bring all the Irish Churches into 

* "As long as Ireland shall pretend, like sugarloaf turned upside down, 
To stand upon its smaller end, so long shall live old Ruck's renown." 

Thomas Moore. 


a state of uniformity and subjection to the Papal See. It is 
recorded that the principal personages of Ireland, bishops, 
abbats, princes, and chiefs, with "three thousand ecclesiastics," 
then assembled ; but the synod was not held either in Armagh 
or Dublin ; nor is it known for certain where it was held. 
Some say at Drogheda, some at Mellifont, and some at Kells. 
The decrees of the synod, however, remained to a great 
extent a dead letter, till they were partially enforced by the 
sword of Henry II, who covenanted to be a collector of rents 
and dues for the Pope, and in consideration thereof his 
Holiness gave his assent to the "pious and praiseworthy 
desire" of the English King to subject the wild Irish to the 
Church's laws, extirpating vice, and preserving Church rights 
in the island, by which his Majesty was to obtain from God 
"an accumulation of eternal rewards, and on earth a glorious 
fame for ages." 

Laurence O'Toole, son of the chief of Imaile, became Arch- 
bishop of Dublin in 11G2. He was the first of its bishops 
who did not go to Canterbury for consecration, and thence- 
forth the custom was entirely abandoned. Though connected 
with an Irish sept, which long warred fiercely against the 
English of the Pale, Archbishop O'Toole worked harmoniously 
with Strongbow, Fitzstephen, and Raymond Le Gros, who 
co-operated in the enlargement of Christ Church Cathedral, 
the erection of the choir, the steeple, and two chapels. It 
was in this church that the remains of Strongbow, the 
" proud invader," were peacefully laid with the Church's 
blessing. This Irish prelate also assisted Cardinal Vivian as 
legate at a council in Dublin, in 1177, confirming the King 
of England hi his rights to the sovereignty of Ireland. And 
he afterwards went to Rome, where he obtained a Bull from 
the Pope, subjecting not only Glendalough, but Kildare, 
Ferns, Leighlin, and Ossory, to his metropolitan authority. 
But not being sufficiently tractable in the hands of his Royal 
Master, he was banished to Normandy, where he died in a 
monastery. He was soon after canonized, and became the 
patron saint of the diocese. This native prelate must have 
been a great troubler of the Pale, for he is said to have sent 



nearly 200 of his clergy to Rome to seek the Pope's absolu- 
tion for the sin of incontinence. 

In the interminable warfare carried on between the 
settlers and the natives, men of the same faith, worshipping 
with the same forms, and often led and instigated on both 
sides by bishops, abbats, and monks, the country was re- 
duced to such a wretched condition that in 1449, a Parlia- 
ment convened in Dublin enacted that whereas what tenants 
or husbandmen would not be at truce with the natives, " they 
burn, rob, spoil, and kill, and for the more part the land is 
wasted and destroyed ; and if such rule be holden, not 
punished, it is like to be the utter destruction and undoing 
of the land. Therefore it was enacted that as thieves and 
evil doers increased in great store, it shall be lawful for every 
Englishman to kill and take notorious robbers found plunder- 
ing by night or day, and that every man who killed or took 
any such should have for each one penny from every plough- 
land, and a farthing from every cottage within the barony 
where the manslaughter was done. The sheriff of the county 
was ordered to levy the money within one month, and ' to 
deliver it to him who made the homicide.' " 

The Colonial Parliament, in which the Prior of Christ 
Church always held a seat, passed a law in 1380 that no 
native should be suffered to profess himself in this institution; 
" an enactment," says Mr. Gilbert, " so strictly observed, that, 
excepting in the reign of James II., no Irishman was ad- 
mitted even as Vicar-Choral of Christ Church until John A. 
Stevenson was enrolled among the pupils of its music school, 
late in the eighteenth century." 

So strong was the antipathy of races and the antagonism 
of the native and Anglican ecclesiastics, that, even at a time 
when there was a great dearth of ministers, the Anglo-Irish 
in Dublin not only shut the sanctuary against the natives, 
and virtually against the worthiest of the Pale, but threw all 
possible opposition in the way of an appointment by " pro- 
vision." "The Church became a close borough; all healthy 
competition being set aside, laziness and ignorance resulted. 
Breeding in and in, transformed into an hereditary priest- 


hood, into a caste, the Anglo-Irish Church promised to be 
only an eyesore, a scandal to the Church of God."* My readers 
must bear in mind that I am writing now of ao-es when 
there was no Reformation, no Henry VIII. or Queen Eliza- 
beth, no Protestant penal laws. The gloomy background of 
the Irish picture which we deplore at the present day, the 
national animosity, the sectarian bigotry, the chronic dissen- 
sion, the invincible tendency to division, existed 800 years 
ago in colours darker than at the present time. In fact, 
the unprejudiced student of Irish history can trace amidst 
all the wars and revolutions that have troubled this country, 
a steady progress towards national unity ; and this progress 
has been greater during the last 300 years than during all 
the centuries that preceded from the time of St. Patrick to 
the Reformation. 

The see of the metropolis is not the metropolitan see of 
Ireland. Armagh has long enjoyed that prerogative. It 
was, however, disputed by Dublin for several centuries, and 
although the Pope had decided in favour of Armagh, it was 
not definitely and legally established till the reign of Charles 
I., when Lord Strafford devoted several days to the investi- 
gation of that long- vexed question and confirmed the decision. 
The Archbishop of Armagh was declared to be the " Primate 
of all Ireland," and to have the right to raise his crozier in 
each of the other provinces. Armagh is the Canterbury of 
Ireland. As St. Austin founded the primatial see of England, 
so St. Patrick is said to have founded the primatial see of 
Ireland, and in each case the claims of antiquity have with- 
stood the claims of political power and influence. The Bishop 
of Dublin, far more than the Bishop of London, played con- 
tinually a part in history as a great State functionary. He 
was not only honoured with a seat in the King's privy council 
in England, where he used to attend his Majesty in many 
weighty consultations, but also had within his " Liberties 
of the Cross," or his own Church lands, the rights of a prince 
palatine, with the power of even condemning to death cri- 
minals offending therein, for whose execution a gallows was 
* Father Malone. 



erected at Harold's Cross. His seneschal, down to a recent 
period, held a court, adjoining which" was a gaol for confining 
debtors. He had the regulation of the police in the manor 
or liberty surrounding his palace of St. Sepulchre, and like- 
wise the right of a market in Patrick-street. But these were 
small matters to him. In many cases the Archbishop of 
Dublin was the Grand Justiciary or Lord Deputy of the 
Enolish monarch, and sometimes led, in that capacity, the 
military forces of the Pale against " the Irish Enemy." 

Christ Church was governed by the Prior of the Augus- 
tinians, under monastic rules (which were not very strictly 
observed), from the year 1163 to 1538, when King Henry 
VIII. issued a commission to inquire into the condition of 
this church among others, and in pursuance of the recom- 
mendation of the commissioners, and with the consent of 
the prior and canons, he changed the constitution of the 
cathedral, making the canons secular, with a dean, precentor, 
chancellor, treasurer, and six vicars-choral, together with 
four boys called choristers. By an instrument dated 12th 
December, 1539, the King acknowledged Christ Church as 
the archiepis copal seat or see, and the second metropolitan 
church in Ireland. Robert Paynswick, the prior, was ap- 
pointed first dean, with the rectory of Glasnevin for his 
prebend. The sub-prior became first precentor, with the 
rectory of Balgriffin. The seneschal and precentor of the 
convent was made chancellor, and received the parish of 
Kilcullen ; the sub-precentor and sacrist of the convent was 
appointed treasurer, with Balscadan for his prebend. Four 
of the other canons of the convent were made vicars-choral. 
In 1541, the King granted a charter under the Great Seal, 
and added two other canons of the convent to the vicars- 
choral. By this charter, the dean, dignitaries, and vicars- 
choral were incorporated by the name of the " Dean and 
Chapter of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dublin." 

In 1521 Hugh Inge succeeded to the see by the Pope's 
appointment. He was followed in 1528 by John Allen, who 
had been chaplain to Cardinal Wolsey, and had been an 
active agent in the dissolution of English monasteries. He 


was, however, confirmed in this see by the Pope. His end 
was tragic. Having rendered himself obnoxious to the 
Geraldines, the archbishop, betrayed by a pilot when try- 
ing to escape, was stranded near Clontarf and murdered. 
"Feeble from age and sickness, kneeling in his shirt and 
mantle, bequeathing his soul to God, his body to the traitors' 
mercy, he was brutally murdered in the presence of Lord 
Thomas, commonly known as 'Silken Thomas,' who had 
just renounced his allegiance, exasperated by the false report 
of his father's execution in the Tower of London." 

Allen was the last of the Papal archbishops of Dublin. 
He was succeeded by George Brown, Provincial of the 
Augustinians in London, who had distinguished himself by 
preaching the doctrines of the Reformation, and was on that 
account selected for the chief post of the Anglo-Irish Church. 
He was elected on the Bang's special recommendation by the 
Chapters of Christ Church and St. Patrick's, and invested 
with a pall, and consecrated by Archbishop Cranmer and 
two other English bishops. The King rebuked him sharply 
for not being sufficiently zealous in his affairs. He took the 
scolding with great humility, "acknowledging his bounden 
duty to his lordship's goodwill, next to his Saviour Christ, for 
the place of which he now possessed," and continued to enjoy 
the royal favour to the end. He had a very difficult task, 
but he laboured incessantly to root out all that the Pope 
had planted in the portion of the vineyard committed to his 
care, and throughout the land generally. He was succeeded 
by Hugh Curwen, who had been Chaplain to Queen Mary, 
and who was consecrated in St. Paul's, London, according 
to the Roman Pontifical. He was zealous in the restoration 
of Roman Catholic worship in all its pomp ; but when Queen 
Elizabeth came to the throne, Curwen "accommodated his 
conduct and conscience to the policy of his new sovereign, 
and her liberal favour was his recompence." His successor, 
Adam Loftus, had been appointed in 1562, at the age of 
twenty-eight, to succeed Archbishop Dowdall in the see of 
Armagh, and was consecrated by Hugh, archbishop of Dub- 
lin, about the close of that year. "Consequently," Harris 


remarks, " the Irish Protestant bishops derived their succes- 
sion through him without any pretence of blemish, or open 
for cavil, for he was consecrated by Curwen, who had been 
consecrated in England, according to the forms of the Roman 
Pontifical, in the third year of Queen Mary." 

On Easter Sunda} T , 1551, the Liturgy in the English lan- 
guage was read for the first time at Christ Church, in 
presence of the Lord Deputy St. Leger, Archbishop Brown, 
and the Mayor of Dublin. On the accession of Mary, the 
Roman Catholic worship was reinstated, but in 1559 it was 
again suppressed by Elizabeth. On the 13th of August in 
that year, the Earl of Sussex, Lord Deputy, came to Christ 
Church, where he was sworn in, and the Te Deum was sung 
in English, at which the trumpets sounded. In January 
following the Parliament sat in that church, when it passed 
the Act of Uniformity and several other laws. This year 
orders were sent to Thomas Lockwood, Dean of Christ 
Church, to remove out of his church all Popish relics and 
images, and to paint and whiten it anew, putting sentences 
of Scripture on the walls in lieu of pictures or other the like 
fancies; which orders were observed, and men set to work 
accordingly on the 25th of May, 1559. Dr. Heath, Arch- 
bishop of York, sent to the two Deans and Chapters of 
Dublin, viz., of Christ Church and St. Patrick's, a large 
Bible to each, " to be placed in the middle of their quiers ; 
which two Bibles, on their first setting up to the public 
view, caused a great resort of people thither on purpose to 
read therein." 

Thus we see how naturally and gradually, and with how 
little change, even in form, the Anglican Church of the Pale 
became the Irish branch of the L T nited Church of England 
and Ireland. She had only to extend her borders and 
strengthen her stakes. Her spirit was still absolutely the 
same — English, Colonial, Anti-Irish, grasping, domineering, 
and unpopular. The weapons of her warfare were carnal, 
and she rested upon the sword of England for her defence 
against the Irish enemy, which she would force to con- 
form, but cared not to conciliate or instruct — this same 


Irish enemy, being all that war, famine, and pestilence had 
spared of that same old Church of St. Patrick with which 
her modern advocates would strive to make her identical. 

It is in the face of these glaring historical facts that one 
of them writes as follows: — "She is, indeed, the same — the 
identical Chirr do that has occupied the spiritual territory 
ever since Christianity was introduced, by the grace of God, 
into these highly-favoured islands, but it is maintained that, 
since the Reformation, she has become a purer, a holier, and 
a more scriptural Church. It may as well be said that a 
person afflicted with the plague is not the same identical 
individual, when the skill of the physician lias expelled the 
malady from his frame, and restored him to the health and 
strength he had formerly enjoyed. He is, no doubt, the 
same identical individual, but a sounder, a healthier, and a 
stronger man." "The two bishops, Leverous and Walsh, who 
refused to concur with their brethren in purifying the national 
Church, did not, however, ordain any bishops for the Romish 
party, and thus served, by this negative act, to cut off entirely 
from the Pope the old episcopal succession; and, therefore, 
the bishops and clergy of the Established Church, in the 
present day, and titty only are the lineal successors of the 
bishops and clergy of the Reformation, and through them, 
of those who introduced Christianity into Ireland in the 
fifth century. They alone, too, have a just and rightful 
claim to the tithes, ecclesiastical estates, cathedrals, and 
churches, which their predecessors had enjoyed from time 
immemorial, and, whiclo were never in the possession of the 
present troublesome and ever-encroaching Romish sect thai 
has been so long creating suclt turbulence and disaffection 
in the country. In fact, the State did little more than 
merely to continue those bishops with their clergy in posses- 
sion of the property which they had enjoyed previous to 
the improvements that they had been instrumental in effect- 
ing in the doctrines and discipline of the national Church."* 

It was easy for the conquerors of the native chiefs, abbats, 

* « The Church of Ireland before the Reformation," &c. By the 
Rev. Thomas W. Roe, 


and people to take possession of the tithes, ecclesiastical 
estates, cathedrals, and churches, but not so easy to convert 
those who were despoiled; nor to remove the plague of un- 
godliness from the extended Church of the Pale. It is not 
every member of a corporation who has the moral courage 
to expose fallacies and delusions calculated to sustain its 
exclusive privileges and profitable monopolies. This credit 
is due to the Rev. Dr. Todd, who has dug a pit into which 
the Patrician successionists have all descended. In virtue 
of that succession they claim the tithes. But the tithe system 
was introduced into Ireland by the foreign settlers in the 
twelfth century. The succession itself is but a shadow 
conjured up by the imagination. Dr. Todd has demon- 
strated that the clan-church perished under the repeated 
blows of England. When the desolating storm of persecu- 
tion abated, Rome gathered in and organized the scattered 
remnants of the population, and gave them pastors. Eliza- 
beth's "Establishment" got everything but the people — the 
property, the buildings, the dignity, and worldly state ; and 
to the present hour the people are alienated. 

We can see from all this how futile is the argument in 
favour of the rights of the Established clergy derived from 
records of consecrations and episcopal successions in the 
several sees. The argument assumes that spiritual au- 
thority, — the right to preach the Gospel and administer the 
sacraments, depends on the authenticity of those records, and 
on the infallible proof that the Holy Ghost was imparted 
to the existing bishops by other bishops, who had received 
the same divine gift in an unbroken line from St. Patrick. 
That foundation may serve for a Hierarchy, but it will not 
do for Christianity. Its greatest enemy could not wish to 
place it in a worse position, if he wanted it to be swept 
away by the tide of rationalism. There is, however, a 
beneficed clergyman in the Irish Church Avho has boldly 
denounced this pretended succession of the Anglican bishops 
from St. Patrick, as "the most impudent falsehood in all 
history!' This fiction having been solemnly put forth as 
truth by the Archdeacon of Dublin, Dr. Lee, Professor of 


Divinity in the Dublin University, in the sermon preached 
at the consecration of Archbishop Trench, the Rev. Dr, 
Brady came forward to refute the learned dignitary, in a 
pamphlet which bears the following title: — " The Alleged 
Conversion of the Irish Bishops to the Reformed Religion, 
at the Accession of Queen Elizabeth; and the Assumed 
Descent of the Present Established Hierarchy in Ireland 
from the Ancient Irish Church, disproved:" by W. Maziere 
Brady, D.D., Vicar of Donoghpatrick and Rector of Kilberry, 
Diocese of Meath, and formerly Chaplain to the Earls of 
Clarendon, St. Germans, and Carlisle, Lords Lieutenant of 
Ireland, Author of "Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, 
Cloyne, and Ross;" "Remarks on the Irish Church Tempo- 
ralities," &c.j &c. 

Dr. Brady states in his preface that, " in collectiug mate- 
rials for the ' Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, Clo}me, 
and Ross,' the writer was necessarily engaged, for many 
years, in examining the published works and unpublished 
archives relating to the Reformation period, and could not 
fail to remark that no documentary evidence was forth- 
coming to verify the received opinions touching the asserted 
conversion of the Irish bishops and the descent of the 
Reformed episcopate from the ancient Irish Church. " It 
would be an unmanly and almost a dishonest course on the 
part of the writer to conceal the facts thus ascertained 
and allow the stereotyped assertions to be any longer 
employed, without refutation, as weapons of party warfare. 
If the Church in Ireland is to be preserved, that cannot be 
done by stilling and suppressing the truth, and it is better 
that an admission of error should come from within the 
Church itself than that the charge of its being upheld by 
falsehood should be hurled against it, with more damaging 
force, by hostile hands. Under these circumstances the 
author hopes he may be pardoned for the part he now takes 
in contradicting what has been described to him, by perhaps 
the highest living authority, as ' the most IMPUDENT false- 
hood IN ALL HISTORY.' " 

Archdeacon Lee, Archdeacon Martin, and others have 


replied to Dr. Brady, labouring to prove that the Irish 
bishops accepted the Book of Common Prayer for the Mass- 
Book, and took the oath of allegiance to Elizabeth as the 
head of the Church, and thus became legitimate channels 
of Divine grace, streaming from the Apostles through the 
Popes and St. Patrick — although the primatial see was occu- 
pied for 200 years by laymen — and the records of the middle 
ages must have passed miraculously through a thousand 

It is strange that a writer so sober-minded as Bishop 
Mant should have been carried away by this Irish Sucession 
delusion. The fact is thus referred to in a note by Mr. 
Froude : — " I cannot but express my astonishment at a 
proposition maintained by Bishop Mant and others, that 
the whole Hierarchy of Ireland went over to the Reformation 
with the Government. Dr. Mant discovers that the Bishop 
of Kildare and the Bishop of Meath were deprived for 
refusing the oath of supremacy. The rest, he infers, must 
have taken the oath because they remained in their places. 
The English Government, unfortunately for themselves, had 
no such opportunity as Dr. Mant's argument supposes for 
the exercise of their authority. The Archbishop of Dublin, 
the Bishops of Meath and Kildare, were alone under English 
jurisdiction. When Adam Loftus was made Archbishop of 
Armagh, the Primacy became titulary Protestant. But 
Loftus resided in Dublin, the see was governed by a bishop 
in communion with the Pope — and the latter and not the 
former, was regarded in Ireland, even by the corresp'ondents 
of the English Government, as the lawful possessor of the 
see. " In a survey of the country supplied to Cecil in 1571, 
after death and deprivation had enabled the Government to 
fill several sees with English nominees, the Archbishops of 
Armagh, Tuam, and Cashel, with almost every one of the 
bishops of the respective provinces, are described as ' Catho- 
lici et Confoederati.' The Archbishop of Dublin, with the 
Bishops of Kildare, Ossory, and Ferns, are alone reckoned as 
< Protestants.' "* 

* Vol. x., p. 481. 


Mr. Froude gives in his text plenty of facts to show how 
worthless the conformity of the bishops was, if it were 
proved a hundred times over. Even in the cities of the 
Pale, Don Diego Ortiz could see in the people two virtues 
— " fidelity to the Catholic Church and hatred of the 
English." They all look to Spain, he said, " to deliver them 
from English tyranny, to save their souls, and give them 
back the blessed Mass. The Mass, indeed, they everywhere 
still use in their own houses. In Youghal there are yet 
two monasteries, a Franciscan and a Dominican. The friars 
are much troubled by the English. When their persecutors 
are in the neighbourhood they emigrate to the mountains, 
or hide in their cellars. When the coast is clear again they 
return to their houses. Everywhere, both in the cities and 
in the country, there is a universal desire for the appearance 
of a Spanish Armada to deliver them from slavery, and to 
restore their churches to them. There is an English pro- 
verb in use among them, which says — 

" ' He -who would England win, 
In Ireland must begin.' " 

" The English Government had added largely to their dif- 
ficulties by attempting to force the Reformation on Ireland, 
while its political and social condition was still unsettled. 
Of the prelates who were in possession of their sees at 
Elizabeth's accession, the Archbishop of Dublin, who had 
changed with every change, undoubtedly gave his counte- 
nance to the revolution. The Bishops of Meath and Kildare 
refused, and were deprived ; and there is no evidence that 
any other bishop in all Ireland, who was in office at Queen 
Mary's death, either accepted the Reformed Prayer-Book, or 
abjured the authority of the Pope. But for the question of 
religion the towns would have been loyal, for their pros- 
perity depended on the maintenance of order, while the 
native chiefs, however turbulent, would never have seriously 
desired to transfer their allegiance to Spain, for Philip, they 


well knew, would have been as intolerant of anarchy as the 
English Viceroy at Dublin. The suppression of the Catholic 
service, enforced wherever the English had power, and 
hanging before the people as a calamity sure to follow as 
the limits of that power were extended, created a weight of 
animosity which no other measure could have produced, and 
alone, perhaps, made the problem of Irish administration 
hopelessly insoluble. Notwithstanding the fair speeches of 
the Mayor of Waterford, neither that city nor any other in 
Ireland, except Dublin, would receive an English garrison 
within their walls. When they admitted the English 
Prayer-Book, it was with a reluctance which was nowhere 
concealed. A strong fort, armed and garrisoned, stood at 
the mouth of the Waterford river, but it was held, as the 
inhabitants significantly pointed out to Philip's commis- 
sioners, for the town, and not for the Queen.'** 

Mr. Froude remarks that "the intrusive religion was not 
recommended by the brilliancy of its moral influences ;" 
and the consequences of intruding it were most deplorable. 
" The spiritual disorganization of the country was even more 
desperate than the social. Whatever might have been the 
other faults of the Irish people, they had been at least 
eminent for their piety. The multitude of churches and 
monasteries which in their ruins meet everywhere the 
stranger's eye, witness conclusively to their possession of this 
single virtue ; for the religious houses in such a state of 
society could not have existed at all unless protected by the 
consenting reverence of the whole population. But the 
religious houses were gone, and the prohibition of the Mass 
had closed the churches except in districts which were in 
armed and open rebellion. For many years over the greater 
part of Ireland public worship was at an end. The Reformed 
clergy could not venture beyond the coast towns, and in 
these they were far from welcome. The priests continued 
to confess and administer the sacraments, but it was in the 
chiefs' castles, or at stations in the mountain glens, to scanty 
* Vol. x., p. 482. 


and scattered families, and the single restraint upon the 
passions of the people was fast disappearing." " The bridges, 
the special charge of the religious orders, fell into ruins. 
The chiefs took possession of the Church lands, the churches 
fell in and went to ruin, and the unfortunate country seemed 
lapsing into total savagery. . . The English settlers every- 
where became worse than the Irish in all the qualities in 
which the Irish were most in fault. No Celt hated England 
more bitterly than the transported Saxon. The forms of 
English justice might be introduced, but juries combined to 
defeat the ends for which they were instituted, and every 
one in authority, English or Irish, preferred to rule after the 
Irish system. 

Such are the stern realities of history. Elizabeth's refor- 
mation began by utterly destroying the native churches, and 
utterly demoralizing the people. How different from the 
rose-coloured pictures so complacently presented by prelates, 
dignitaries, and other champions of the Establishment in our 
day, who describe the bishops, clerg}^, and people as quietly 
transferring their allegiance to the Queen, and making them- 
selves her willing instruments in purifying the Church, 
restoring it to its primitive simplicity, and almost unani- 
mously casting oft' the galling yoke of the Pope ! It is 
astonishing to what an extent these gross perversions of 
Irish history, made by men who ought to know better, or 
who, knowing better, ought to have more regard for truth — 
have deluded the clergy as well as the laity — so powerful is 
the effect of the constant reiteration of falsehood. But truth 
is mightier than falsehood ; and when the truth prevails, as 
prevail it must in the end, woe to the institution whose 
main defence has been systematic misrepresentation ! 

Since the foregoing sheets were sent to press, I have been 
favoured by the Rev. Dr. Lee, Rector of Ahoghill, with 
another pamphlet " On the Irish Episcopal Succession," in 
reply to Mr. Froude and Dr. Brady, which deserves some 
notice here. Dr. Lee deserves credit for several things — for 
the great ability with which he writes, for the thoroughness 
* Froude, vol. x., pp. 534-5. 


and honesty with which he carries out his principles, and for 
his abstinence from vituperation in dealing with opponents. 
This latter quality he perhaps owes mainly to the fact that, 
as an Englishman, he is exempt from the instinct of Irish 
Protestant ascendancy, which is apt to generate a very 
arrogant and insolent sort of intolerance — offensive in 
proportion to the feebleness of the writer or speaker. Dr. 
Lee may have succeeded in convicting Dr. Brady of error, 
and Mr. Fronde of "romance." A majority of the Marian 
bishops may have outwardly conformed, when Elizabeth, 
in her short and incisive way of ending disputes about 
religion, put the alternative before them, " Sign or resign"— 
" swear or quit ;" and it is possible that a couple of those 
Irish bishops assisted Archbishop Curwen in consecrating 
the bishops whom Queen Elizabeth subsequently appointed. 
I will not trouble my readers with the bewildering argu- 
ments about the succession to the several Irish sees, because 
they have nothing to do with the real question at issue. 
That many of them did submit to the Queen's supremacy, 
and in words repudiated the Pope, there is no question. But 
for what purpose ? That they might betray the Government 
and alienate the property of the Church. For this, no doubt, 
they could easily have got the Pope's dispensation, and per- 
haps a plenary indulgence into the bargain. And they would 
have done what the Queen required the more readily, because 
they then daily expected the news of her assassination or 
deposition, to make way for Mary Queen of Scots, who was 
determined to restore the Catholic worship in Ireland, and 
follow in the footsteps of her royal namesake. Of the object 
of the temporary conformity, however, Dr. Lee gives the most 
convincing proofs, though overshadowed with the big capitals 
in which he prints the portions of his citations which record 
the simple fact of signing or swearing. Thus Archbishop 
Bramhall, in a work vindicating the consecration of Pro- 
testant bishops, asserts that " the old bishops complied and 
held their places, and joined in such ecclesiastical acts (as 
consecration), until they had made away to their kindred 
all the land belonging to their sees." Cox, in his " History 


of Ireland," says — " The very Popish bishops did assist at 
the consecration of most of the Protestant bishops, and com- 
plied with the Government and kept their sees until they 
had sacrilegiously betrayed the Church and alienated much 
of its possessions." With this agrees the testimony of another 
of Dr. Lee's witnesses, Bishop Jeremy Taylor, who, in a sermon 
preached at the funeral of Archbishop Bramhall, remarked : 
— "At the Reformation the Popish bishops and priests seemed 
to conform, and did so — that, keeping their bishoprics, they 
might enrich their kindred and dilapidate the revenues of 
the Church." 

To an ordinary reader of the Bible — to any unsophisticated 
Christian mind, the duplicity, perjury, fraud, robbery, and 
sacrilege here charged against the conforming Marian bishops 
might seem to render them incapable, by the imposition 
of their hands on the heads of men of another faith, which 
they believed to be heresy — of conveying the Holy Ghost, 
of remitting and retaining sins, and the other divine gifts 
with which Anglican bishops are believed to be invested. 
But what do Dr. Lee and his fellow-champions of the Irish 
Establishment think of this ? Nothing ! They pooh-pooh 
it. Indeed, in reading over their pamphlets, one might 
suppose that they are in the position of the disciples of 
John the Baptist mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, 
who had not so much as heard whether there was a Holy 
Ghost. Yet they ought not to have forgotten the words in 
the service for the Consecration of Bishops, in the use of which 
the sacrilegious church-robbers said to Elizabeth's nominees, 
"Receive ye the Holy Ghost by the imposition of our hands," 
&c. But Dr. Lee does not shrink from any revolting con- 
sequences of this kind. He boldly pushes his Church 
principles to their ultimate results. Granted that the 
Marian bishops were as black as the traitor Judas — no 
matter, argues this learned divine. " The baptism of Judas 
was as valid as the baptism of St. Peter — and the laying on 
of hands in episcopal ordination of the very meanest of the 
Marian bishops would, on the principles of true Catholic 
antiquity, make as valid a bishop as any consecrated 


under the great dome of St. Peter by the Bishop of Rome 

Why did not Dr. Lee mention consecration instead of 
baptism, in connexion with the name of Judas, since the 
matter in hand was the apostolic succession? But this does 
not affect the argument; and one cannot avoid wondering 
at the complacency with which he accepts the Irish episcopal 
succession as a succession of Judases, and how readily he 
grants that the Pope is the legitimate successor of the 
Apostle Peter. A natural inference from this admission 
would be, that Dr. Lee and his brethren of the Irish Estab- 
lishment would regard all Roman Catholic bishops and 
priests as lawfully consecrated and ordained, and as possess- 
ing the true succession. The United Church indeed admits 
this; for when priests are converted in Ireland, and join the 
ministry of the Establishment, they are never re-ordained. 
It would be the same with bishops if any of them conformed. 
They would not be re-consecrated ; and if Cardinal Cullen 
cast off the Pope, and accepted the Queen's supremacy, 
exchanging the purple for lawn slieves, he might be installed 
as Lord Primate of all Ireland without any of our bishops 
presuming to lay hands again on his consecrated head. 

On this point Dr. Lee makes a distinction of which he 
should have the benefit. " Our Church," he says, " holds 
that the great head of the Church is the only fountain of 
ministerial authority, and that by the law of the Church 
Universal all bishops lawfully ordained are equally sharers 
in that duly transmitted authority. Once having rightly 
received episcopal orders, the bishop has thereby received 
power to exercise the episcopal functions in all parts of the 
world; but he has not received authority to do so. In this 
lies the difference between mission and jurisdiction, No 
one but a bishop can convey episcopal orders, and by the 
laws of this realm, no one but its Sovereign can rightly give 
authority to any bishop to exercise his functions within its 
borders." There is a degree of caution in the wording of 
this passage, which may be accounted for by the fact, that 
the author exercises his own ministry in a parish where he 


is surrounded by Presbyterians, who are authorized by the 
sovereign of the realm, their endowment having been origi- 
nally a Regi u m Dun u m. He does not affirm that bishops are 
exclusively the sharers in the Divine authority to minister 
in the Christian Church, and instead of saying that no one 
but a bishop can confer "holy orders," he declares the truism 
that no one but a bishop can confer "episcopal orders," 
However, he asserts broadly, again and again, that no 
minister of Christ can officiate lawfully in any country 
without being placed in a diocese or parish by the sovereign 
of that country. He goes so far as to affirm that the bishop 
of Rome could not perform his functions lawfully without 
the warrant of the emperor. It is the civil power, accord- 
ing to him, (or rather the sovereign, excluding legislatures 
and republican presidents) which alone can give the minister 
of God authority or jurisdiction, or enable him to do any 
ministerial act lawfully in any nation of Christendom. 
Without the embrace of secular power the Church is barren; 
nay, she is an intruder, an interloper, a nuisance, leading a 
sort of gipsy life in defiance of all law and order. " Such 
persons," he says, p. 11, "even though appointed by the 
Pope, could not be regarded as loyal or as lawful possessors 
of any spiritual preferment within the realm." But if ap- 
pointed to his see by the Queen, or the King, that is, " by 
lawful authority, then by whatever bishop he may have 
been consecrated he is a legitimate link in the episcopal 
succession of the Church in which he holds a see, and is 
competent to carry on the continuity of that branch in the 
which he is placed" — (p. 21). 

There is a great deal more to the same effect, the sum of 
which is — that if a bishop is consecrated by three other 
bishops, who can trace their orders up through all the links 
of succession for 1,800 years till they come to the Apostles, 
then the said bishop has received the Holy Ghost, and the 
'power to preach, to baptize, to ordain, to consecrate, to remit 
and retain sins, and to give others the right to do so ; but 
then the Divine Person, which he bears about with him — 
the Person who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and 


is truly God — remains inactive, dormant, and can never 
lawfully put forth His almighty energies, until some earthly 
sovereign, moved perhaps by the lowest of human passions, 
is pleased to give the bishop an appointment and a local 
jurisdiction. Without the touch of the royal sceptre, the 
bishop or priest is impotent. The Holy Spirit, which 
bloweth where it listeth, cannot act, say the Anglicans, 
without royal licence ; or if he does act, his acts are null and 
void. But let the sovereign give a see to any man, who has 
been consecrated, and so received the Holy Ghost, then that 
man may retain this Divine power, and dispense at wull its 
wondrous gifts, though he be in heart an apostate from the 
faith, though his soul be steeped in vice, though his hands be 
defiled with corruption, or stained with guilty blood. "The 
Apostolic ministry," says Dr. Lee, "flows on, age after age, in 
the channels of Christ's appointment, and receives no taint 
or stain from the evil character of any, who, for the time, 
are the human instruments by which it is preserved and 
continued amongst men" — (p. 20). 

But those channels must be the dioceses and parishes of 
an Established Church, in strict subjection to the State. 
Archdeacon Wordsworth wrote a letter to Dr. Lee supporting 
him in these astounding positions, and it is published in 
this pamphlet. The Archdeacon says — " Suppose them all 
(the Marian bishops) to have been hypocrites, like Judas, 
this has nothing to do with the question of succession, which 
depends on official qualifications, not on personal desert." 

The proposition which Dr. Lee has laboured so hard to 
maintain, and in which he is supported by his namesake, 
Archdeacon Lee, and many of the ablest of the Irish clergy, 
is fraught with consequences which they may regard lightly, 
but which are very serious in the estimation of the Protestants 
of the United Kingdom. First, the Presbyterian ministers 
of Scotland and Ulster, though paid by the State, are not 
true ministers of Christ, and have no authority to preach 
the Gospel, not being episcopally ordained. The Queen is 
the head of the Scotch Established Church, and is repre- 
sented at the General Assembly ; but this does not avail, 


because their orders are not in the Apostolic channel. 
Hence they have not the Holy Spirit, and their sacraments 
are all null and void. Second, the Episcopal Church of 
Scotland is in the same unhappy predicament, inasmuch as 
the bishops have received no jurisdiction from the Sovereign. 
It is true that the Archbishop of Canterbury lately went 
among the members, and said they were the only true repre- 
sentatives of the Anglican Church in that realm ; but still, 
according to Dr. Lee, they are unlawful ministers. They 
may have dormant power, but they have no authority. 
Third, we now approach, with awe, a far more serious 
consequence. Suppose, which is not impossible, that, a few 
years hence, the Irish Church should, by Act of Parliament, 
signed by the Sovereign, be separated from the State. 
From that moment, according to Dr. Lee's theory, the Spirit 
of God would cease to act in her bishops and clergy. They 
would, ipso facto, become unlawful ministers — intruders, 
without authority or jurisdiction — and for them the channels 
of Divine grace would be for ever dried up. They would be 
in the same woful predicament in which they now, with 
scant sympathy, behold the Roman Catholic priesthood of 
Ireland, vainly fancying that their Church has been adminis- 
tering the means of grace to the mass of the people for the 
last three hundred years, and all because they did not 
change the Pope's supremacy for the headship of the daughter 
of Anne Boleyn. 

Archdeacon Wordsworth expresses a benevolent wish that 
"the schism in Ireland were healed, and that the two 
episcopal successions in that country could be fused into one. 
That blessed result would not be far distant if the present 
Irish Roman Catholics would do what was done by those 
Marian bishops, whose consistency is so much eulogised by 
Dr. Brady, namely, if they would renounce the Pope's 
usurped supremacy, and acknowledge that of Christ himself, 
as the one supreme Head of the Church, in the sense of the 
37th Article." Surely the Archdeacon must know that no 
such fusion could take place. Dr. Lee could have set him 
right on that point, and have told him that the Irish sees 

E 2 


beimr all full, there is no room for more. But it must be 
confessed that the Archdeacon is not very exacting. He 
does not want the Church of Rome in Ireland to change 
doctrines — only to change heads — the Pope for the Queen ; 
and certainly in a worldly sense, those who accepted the 
British sovereign would have the better bargain, for the poor 
Pope may now say with the Apostle whom he professes to 
succeed, "Silver and gold have I none." 

Dr. Lee has taxed his ingenuity in constructing genea- 
logical tables, by which he tries to connect Archbishop 
Curwen by seven or eight lines with the bishops of the old 
Irish Church. These lines are as speculative as the parochial 
boundaries which Archbishop Whately imagined to be drawn 
on a map of China, which he said would represent as real 
an interest as the Establishment then had in large districts 
of Ireland, except the tithes, which were at that time unpaid. 
But Dr. Lee might have drawn 700 lines, instead of seven, 
to the head of Curwen on the same principle ; for many Irish 
bishops of the old Church had wandered to England during 
the middle ages, and might have taken part in the consecra- 
tion of English bishops, who might have taken part in the 
consecration of some of the bishops who consecrated the 
Protestant Archbishop of Dublin. But what would the 
succession cause gain by this ? Nothing, because there were 
no diocesan bishops in the ancient Irish Church, and they 
could not transmit orders they had never received, and 
which they would have repudiated. As we have already 
seen, there were several " bishops," often in the same town 
or village, the title being a simple clerical designation, as 
Dr. Todd has demonstrated. It is a curious fact that Dr. 
Lee does not make the slightest reference to his " Life of 
St. Patrick," or to prove any real connexion between the 
monastic churches originally founded on the clan system — 
churches which were as numerous as the clans — and the 
Establishment founded by Elizabeth on the ruins of that 
system. He also keeps quite clear of the succession in 
Armagh, the Primatial See, where, if anywhere, the line 
should be traced. The adroit controversialist was, no doubt, 


aware that the Armagh see was in the hands of laymen 
for a period nearly as long as the duration of the Elizabethan 
Church in Ireland. How shall we account for the fact that 
so many able and learned men keep hammering at the 
Elizabethan titles, and showering pamphlets over the land, 
for the purpose of proving that the Church of Christ is con- 
fined to the narrow bounds of an established ministry, and 
that a kingdom which He declared was not of this world, 
cannot exist without being of this world — without beino- 
wrought by human laws into the framework of civil society 
— where it is to be for ever more embedded and confined ? 
Can it be accounted for otherwise than by the fact that in 
this political framework there are rectorships, deaneries, 
archdeaneries, and bishoprics '( As to the arguments about 
the episcopal succession, the}' do not touch the real question, 
and serve only to puzzle the writers and bewilder their 
readers, "who rind no end, in wondering mazes lost." The 
practical effect of the whole is well expressed in one of Mr. 
Charles Ross's " Merry Conceits" : — 

"The wisest old man that ever was known 
In the famous Wiseacre nation, 
Sat up all night with his head in a sling, 
To make this calculation: — 

If Tom's father was John's son, 

But John's son hadn't a father, 
What would John's son have done, 

If Tom's son's father wouldn't rather? 

He worked all night and he worked all day, 

Till he came to this conclusion, 
That Tom's son's father's father's son 

Was the cause of much confusion." 

The common sense view of the matter is the one which his- 
tory presents. The native Irish had always a clergy of one 
kind or other. First, in the historic period the Druids ; then the 
abbats, monks, professors, and teachers, trained and appointed 
by St. Patrick and his fellow missionaries, forming a church 
which, after existing in independence for seven or eight hun- 


dred years, was slightly modified by Roman elements intro- 
duced by the Anglican clergy established in the Pale, and 
gradually extending with the English conquest. Lastly, when 
that conquest was complete, and the monastic institutions, 
which were the nurseries of the ministry, were destroyed, the 
pastoral work was done as best it could be, by an imperfectly 
organized priesthood, which persecution compelled to be 
clandestine and contraband, except during the time that the 
Stuarts were on the throne. The river of national religion 
flowed on from age to age, obstructed by the strife of races, 
by the revolution of which Henry VIII. and Elizabeth were the 
chief instruments, by the subsequent civil wars, by the Penal 
Code, — and forced from its natural bed into irregular streams, 
pools, dykes, swamps, and bogs. But it worked slowly 
through all impediments, and at length gradually wore a 
channel for itself beside the ecclesiastical canal which England 
had constructed at so much cost. The canal was often nearly 
dry, and is now no fuller than it was at first. The river has 
been increasing in volume and in the force of its current 
from age to age. and now contains ten times more water 
than the canal, because it has its springs from the native 
mountains, valleys, and bogs, while the royal canal, though 
purer, has been fed only from the reservoir of the colony. 
All the pamphlets that ever earned mitres would not con- 
vince the Irish that the royal canal is the national river, or 
that it has a holier source. 



It appears to me that some knowledge of the history of the 
Irish Presbyterians, and of their relations, is necessary to a 
right understanding of the case of Ireland. Certainly so large 
and powerful a section of the community — enlightened, loyal, 
and Bible-loving Protestants — ouo-httoreceivesomeconsidera- 
tion before finally deciding the questions at issue with regard 
to Church. James I. commenced his reign in Ireland with a 
policy of conciliation. He proclaimed a general pardon to all 
who were concerned in the late rebellions, and restored to 
their former possessions those who had not been attainted. 
The natives were admitted to the privileges of subjects, and 
were placed in all respects on an equality with English 
residents. Regular courts of assize were re-established in the 
southern provinces, after being in abeyance for two centuries, 
and they were for the first time introduced into Ulster. 
But the gunpowder plot in England having excited his 
alarm about foreign emissaries, some of whom had been 
found plotting in Ireland, he refused all public countenance 
to the Roman Catholic religion in this country. In con- 
sequence of this, some of the northern chiefs to whom he 
had secured their estates, and on whom he had conferred 
titles of nobility, entered into a conspiracy against his 
government, and applied to the courts of France and Spain 
for aid to overthrow it. The plot was discovered before it 
was ripe for execution; its chief promoters, the Earls of 
Tyrone and Tyrconnell, fled in dismay, and shortly after 
O'Dogherty, another rebel leader, was slain. Their estates 
were forfeited, with those of others implicated in the con- 
spiracies; and the consequence was, that about half a million 
acres in Ulster were placed at the disposal of the Crown. 
This province having been the principal seat of the rebel- 
lions against Elizabeth, and the inhabitants, the most tur- 
bulent in the country, having been reduced to a miserable 


remnant by the devastations of civil war and famine, James 
resolved to " plant " it with English and Scotch settlers. 
Nothing could be more deplorable than the condition of 
Ulster at that time, as described by contemporary historians. 
With the exception of a few fortified cities, its towns and 
villages had been levelled to the ground, and scarcely any 
buildings remained, save the castles occupied by the English, 
and the mud cabins of the natives. Immense woods and 
extensive marshes covered a large portion of the country, 
relieved only by occasional patches in bad cultivation. The 
proprietors, beggared by the wars, were unable to employ 
labour; while many of the people betook themselves to the 
woods, living there like savages, and supporting themselves 
by plunder. Divine Service had not been performed for 
years together in any parish church throughout Ulster, 
except in the principal towns. It was under these circum- 
stances that the king resolved upon the scheme which has 
been generally known as "The Plantation of Ulster," and 
which was carried out by Sir Arthur Chichester, who was 
appointed Lord Deputy in 1605. The forfeited estates, 
having been carefully surveyed, were allotted to three classes 
of persons: — British undertakers, who voluntarily engaged 
in the enterprise; servitors of the Crown, consisting of civil 
and military officers; and natives Avhom it was expected 
this confidence and liberality would render loyal subjects. 
The lands were divided into three proportions of 2,000, 1,500, 
and 1,000 acres. Those who obtained the largest were each 
bound within four years to build a castle and " bawn," and 
and to plant forty-eight able men eighteen years old or 
upwards, of English or Scottish descent. Those of the 
second class were each obliged to build a strong stone or 
brick house within two years ; and the third a bawn, with 
a house of less value; each class being obliged to plant a 
due proportion of British families, and to have their houses 
furnished with arms for their defence. The result was the 
settlement in the country of 144 English and Scotch "under- 
takers," 5(3 "servitors," and 286 "natives," who gave bonds 
to the State for the fulfilment of the covenants, and who 


were required to render an account of their progress in carry- 
ing on the plantation. The chief undertakers were the London 
companies, who obtained nearly the whole of the county 
of Londonderry, on condition of their building and fortify- 
ing the cities of Londonderry and Coleraine, and otherwise 
expending £20,000 on the plantation. Sir Arthur Chichester, 
however, obtained the entire neighbouring territory of 
Ennishowen, with all the manors and rights formerly pos- 
sessed by the O'Doghertys ; but the stringent conditions 
imposed on the other undertakers were dispensed with, in 
consequence of which that portion of the county of Donegal 
presents an unfavourable contrast to the rest of the country 
even at the present day. 

Owing to the vicinity of Scotland, and the enterprising 
character of its people, the greater part of the settlers came 
from that country, and occupied the north-eastern side of 
the province, whence they spread themselves over the re- 
moter districts, while the southern and western counties 
were chiefly occupied by the English. The decayed and 
almost deserted towns were now rapidly replenished with 
inhabitants, the lands were gradually cleared of the woods, 
houses were erected throughout the cultivated country, new 
towns were built and incorporated, and in every direction 
proofs were given of industry, order, and peace, disturbed 
only by the marauding incursions of the natives, who issued 
from their fastnesses in the woods. It is stated, for example, 
that "Sir Toby Caulfield's people were driven every night 
to lay up all his cattle as it were in ward ; and do he and 
his what they could, the woolfe and the wood-kerne within 
culiver-shot of his forte had often times a share." Even in 
the English pale " Sir John King and Sir Henry Harrington, 
within half a mile of Dublin, had to do the like, for those 
fore-named enemies did every night survey the fields to 
the very walls." Of the English, as one of the settlers, a 
Presbyterian minister from Scotland, wrote, " Not many 
came over, because, being a great deal more tenderly bred 
at home in England, and entertained in better quarters than 
they could find here in Ireland, they were very unwilling to 


flock here, except to good land such as they had before at 
home, or to good cities where they might trade ; both of 
which in these days were scarce enough here. Besides that, 
the marshiness and fogginess of this island was still found 
unwholesome to English bodies more tenderly bred and in 
better air ; so that we have seen in our time multitudes of 
them die of a flux, called here the country disease, at their 
first entry. These things were such discouragements, that 
the new English came but very slowly, and the old English 
were become no better than the Irish." The writer adds 
that the king " had a natural love to have Ireland planted 
with Scots, as being, beside their loyalty, of a middle temper, 
between the English tender, and the Irish rude breeding, 
and a great deal more like to adventure to plant Ulster than 
the English, it lying far both from the English native land and 
more from their humour, while it lies nigh to Scotland, and 
the inhabitants not so far from the ancient Scots manners ; 
so that it might be hoped that the Irish untoward living 
would be met both with equal firmness, if need be, and be 
especially allayed by the example of more civility and Pro- 
testant profession than informer times had been among them." 
Some great English houses, however, were founded about 
this time. Sir Hugh Clotworthy obtained the lands of 
Antrim, both fruitful and good, and invited thither several 
of the English, " very good men," the Ellises, Leslies, Lang- 
fords, and others. " Chichester, a worthy man, had an 
estate given him in the county of Antrim, where he im- 
proved his interest, built the prospering mart of Belfast, and 
confirmed his interest in Carrickfergus, and built a stately 
palace there. Conway had an estate given him in the 
county of Antrim, and built a town, afterwards called Lis- 
negarvy (Lisburn), and this was planted with a colony of 
English also. Moses Hill had woodlands given him, which 
being thereafter demolished, left a fair and beautiful country, 
where a late heir of the Hills built a town called Hills- 
borough. All these lands and more were given to the 
English gentlemen, worthy persons, who afterwards increased, 
and made noble and loyal families, in places where formerly 


had been nothing but robbing, treason, and rebellion. Of 
the Scots nation there was a family of the Balfours, of the 
Forbeses, of the Grahams, two of the Stewarts, and not a few 
of the Hamiltons. The M'Donalds founded the earldom of 
Antrim, the Hamiltons the earldoms of Strabane and Clan- 
brassil, and there were besides several knights of that name, 
Sir Frederick, Sir George, Sir Francis, Sir Charles, his son, 
and Sir Hawk, all Hamiltons, for they prospered above all 
others in this country, after the first admittance of the Scots 
into it." The large tract of country in Down and Antrim 
formerly possessed by the Irish chief Con O'Neill, whom the 
Lord-Deputy had incarcerated for treason, and who had 
been liberated by the ingenuity of his wife, " a sharp, nimble 
woman," with the exception of one-third, which she managed 
to save for her husband, became the property of Montgomery 
of Ards, and Hamilton of Claneboy. " But," says the 
historian above cruoted, the Rev. Andrew Stewart, " land 
without inhabitants is a burden without relief. The Irish 
were gone, the ground was desolate, rent must be paid to 
the king, tenants were none to pay them. Therefore the 
lords, having a good bargain themselves, made some of their 
friends sharers, as freeholders under them. Thus came 
several farmers under Mr. Montgomery, gentlemen from 
Scotland, and of the names of the Shaws, Calderwoods, 
Boyds, of the Keiths, from the north, and some foundations 
were laid for towns and incorporations, kc. These founda- 
tions being laid, the Scots came hither apace, and became 
tenants willingly and sub-tenants to their countrymen 
(whose manner and way they knew), so that in a short time 
the country began again to be inhabited." 

Thus originated the towns of Donaghadee, Newtonards, 
Grey-abbey, Bangor, Holywood, and Killaleagh. Many of 
the native Irish were permitted to occupy lands in the 
midst of the new settlers, and to the great joy of all parties 
Parliament repealed the odious laws passed to prevent the 
English inhabitants of the kingdom from intermarrying, or 
holding any communion, either with the Irish or the Scots. 
The natives were no longer marked out as the natural 


enemies of the government, whom it was felony to marry, 
or to employ as nurses. These Presbyterian settlers were 
subsequently joined by many of the persecuted Puritans 
from England, and some of them being promoted to bishop- 
rics and other ecclesiastical dignities, they gave a low church 
temper to the Establishment. 

It seems there was much need of this leaven of Puritanism, 
and of a celebrated revival of religion which followed some 
time after ; for the same candid historian, Stewart, describes 
a state of things more like the morals and manners of the 
Restoration than those of the Commonwealth. " From 
Scotland came many, and from England not a few, yet all 
of them generally the scum of both nations, who from debt 
or breaking, and fleeing from justice, or seeking shelter, 
came hither, hoping to be without fear of man's justice in a 
land where there was nothing, or but little yet, of the fear 
of God. And in a few years there flocked such a multitude 
of people from Scotland, that these northern counties of 
Down, Antrim, Londonderry, &c, were in a good measure 
planted, which had been waste before. Yet most of the 
people Avere all void of godliness, who seemed rather to flee 
from God in this enterprise than to follow their own mercy. 
Albeit, as they cared little for any church, so God seemed to 
care as little for them." The writer goes on to state that 
they were entertained only with the relics of Popery, under 
a sort of anti- Christian hierarchy, by a number of careless 
men. " Thus on all hands atheism increased, iniquity 
abounded, with contention, fighting, murder, adultery, &c. 
Their carriage made them to be abhorred at home in their 
native land, in so much that going for Ireland was looked 
on as a miserable mark of a deplorable person ; yea, it was 
turned into a proverb, and one of the worst expressions of 
disdain that could be invented, was to tell a man that Ireland 
would be his hinder end"* 

This account is confirmed by other contemporary writers, 
and it shows that the state of Ulster, as the model province 

* "History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.' 1 By J. S. Reid,D.D. 
Vol. i., p. 91. 


of Ireland, is not to be ascribed to the superior purity of the 
stock of men with which it was first planted, but to the 
religious and moral culture brought to bear upon them by 
the Presbyterian Church, through the instrumentality of 
the Brices, the Blairs, the Livingstones, and other ministers 
of that stamp, who settled in the country and became the 
founders of the Irish Presbyterian Church. They were 
aided by the influence of some of the lords of the soil, who 
were thoroughly good men, among whom the Hamiltons are 
honourably mentioned, particularly Sir James Hamilton, the 
ancestor of Lord Dufferin, who had been ennobled by the 
title of Lord Claneboy. " To my discerning," says Living- 
stone, "he was the one man who most resembled the meekness 
of Jesus Christ in all his carriage that ever I saw, and was 
so far reverenced of all, even by the wicked, that he was 
oft troubled with that Scripture, ' Woe to you when all 
men speak well of you.' " Sir Hugh Clotworthy, ancestor 
of Lord Masserene, also exerted himself as a religious and 
social reformer, and was a man of great influence. Through 
their exertions, and those of eminent ministers whom they 
induced to settle in the country, a great and permanent 
improvement was effected amongst the people. 

Dr. Reid remarks that most of the northern clergymen in 
the Established Church were at this period Nonconformists, 
both in principle and in practice. They conformed just so 
far as would ensure their security and maintenance under 
the protection of the legal establishment. In some of the 
dioceses this was all the bishops required. When succeeding 
prelates became more strict in exacting uniformit} T , the clergy 
generally yielded, though with reluctance, that canonical 
obedience required of them before their superiors ; but in 
the seclusion of their parishes the}^ eontinued to observe 
the Presbyterian forms, so congenial to the habits and preju- 
dices of their people. A more searching intolerance, however, 
was soon after enthroned in high places. The good Primate 
Usher was not disposed to molest them, but when the Lord- 
Deputy Wentworth arrived, a policy of persecution inspired 
by Laud was carried out with relentless severity. Blair, 


one of the most eminent of the Nonconformist ministers, 
went to London to plead with the king for a number of his 
brethren who had been suspended by the northern bishops, 
armed with letters from noblemen and gentlemen to their 
friends at Court. The Earl of Stirling, then Secretary of 
State, promised to forward his suit, at which the good 
minister was so overjoyed that he said, " I did literally 
exult and leap. But when the timorous man saw my for- 
wardness, he, fearing Bishop Laud more than God, did faint 
and break his promise." Blair then put his case in the hands 
of Secretary Cook, who laid his petition before the king. A 
gracious answer was given, directed to Strafford. Having 
obtained his errand, Mr. Blair states that he gave the Secre- 
tary's clerks " three jacobuses," himself taking nothing. He 
hastened back to Ireland, but Wentworth had not arrived. 
Though appointed Lord-Deputy in January, 1632, he did 
not enter upon his government till the July following. 
Blair waited upon him in Dublin, for the haughty Earl told 
him he had his Majesty's mind in his own breast. He reviled 
the Church of Scotland, and upbraided the petitioner, bidding 
him come to his right wits, and then he should be regarded. 
With this intelligence, he says, " I went to Archbishop 
Usher, which was so disagreeable to him that it drew tears 
from his eyes ; but he could not help us." All hopes of 
relief were thus blasted, and in the tone and manner of the 
Deputy they discerned the storm that was gathering round 
the rest of their brethren throughout the kingdom. 

By the " graces " of Charles I. it was stipulated that all 
" Scottish men," undertakers in Ulster and other places, 
should be made free citizens of Ireland, and that no advan- 
tage for want of denisation should be taken against the 
heirs or assigns of those that be dead. The king consented 
to the calling of a Parliament to giva the sanction of law to 
those graces, but he did not keep his word. When the 
Parliament assembled in July, 1634, and had voted an 
extraordinary supply, the Commons presented a remonstrance 
to the king, urging the ratification of the graces. Wentworth 
refused to transmit their request to his master, for which 


service Charles was peculiarly grateful. "Writing in October 
following, he said, " Your last public despatch has given me 
a great deal of contentment, and especially for keeping off 
the envy of a necessary negative from me of those unreason- 
able graces that that people expected from me." Subsequently, 
however, the Irish Parliament passed an Act " for the natu- 
ralization of all the Scottish nation which were born before 
his late Majesty King James's accession to the throne of 
England and Ireland," these persons having been previously 
regarded by the common law as foreigners, and therefore 
incapable of legally acquiring or possessing property within 
the realm of Ireland. The king was assured in the preamble 
to the Act that the grievance about to be removed was a sad 
discouragement and disheartening unto many of his subjects 
of Scotland that would otherwise have planted themselves 
here for the further civilizinq-, stren^thenino- and securing? 
this realm against rebels at home and all foreign invasion." 

Archbishop Laud directed his special attention to the 
state of the Irish Establishment, which, it must be confessed, 
was by no means satisfactory. Throughout the greater part 
of the country, owing to the neglect of the bishops, the 
parish churches, and even the cathedrals, were in a vretched 
state of dilapidation, a great part of the Church revenues 
having been alienated from their successors, and appropriated 
to the aggrandisement of their families. The ecclesiastical 
courts were mere engines of oppression and extortion. Bishop 
Burnet, in his Life of Bedell, says, "Bribes w r ent about 
almost barefaced, and the exchange they made of penance 
for money was the worst sort of simony, being in effect the 
very same abuse that gave the world such scandal when it 
was so indecently practised in the Church of Rome, and so 
opened the way to the Reformation." Bishop Bedell him- 
self sent to Laud in 1630 a sketch of the religious condition 
of the khwlom. His own cathedral of Ardao-h, together 
with the bishop's house there, were "down to the ground." 
The parish churches were "all in a manner ruined and un- 
roofed and unrepaired/' The clergy, being English, had not 
the tongue of the people, and could not converse with them 


or perform for them any divine offices. Many of them held 
two, three, four, or more vicarages apiece. In the meantime 
every parish had its priest, and the Roman Catholic hierarchy 
exercised full jurisdiction. "His Majesty," says Bedell, "is 
now with the greater part of this country, as to their hearts 
and consciences, king hut at the Pope's discretion." This 
account was corroborated by Bramhall, whom Cromwell 
called "the Canterbury of Ireland" from his resemblance to 
Laud. In a letter to that prelate, with respect to the fabrics, 
he wrote, "It is hard to say whether the churches be more 
ruinous and sordid or the people irreverent." In Dublin he 
found one parochial church "converted to the Lord Deputy's 
stable;" a second to a nobleman's dwelling-house; the choir 
of a third to a tennis-court, "and the vicar acts the keeper." 
"In Christ's Church, the principal church in Ireland, whither 
the Lord Deputy and Council repair every Sunday, the 
vaults from one end of the minster to the other are made 
into tippling-rooms for beer, wine, and tobacco, demised all 
to Popish recusants, and by them to others, much frequented 
in time of divine service." The inferior sort of ministers he 
described as "below all degrees of contempt in respect of 
their poverty and ignorance," and proceeds, "the boundless 
heaping together of benefices by commendams and dispen- 
sations in the superiors is but too apparent ; yea, even often 
by plain usurpations and indirect compositions made between 
the patrons, as well ecclesiastical as lay, and the incumbents; 
by which the least part, many times not above forty shillings, 
rarely ten pounds in the year, is reserved for him that should 
serve at the altar; in so much that it is affirmed, that by all 
or some of these means one bishop in the remoter parts of 
the kingdom doth hold three-and-twenty benefices with 
cure. Generally their residences are as little as their livings. 
Seldom any suitor petitions for less than three vicarages at 
a time." 

Bramhall was made Bishop of Deny, and henceforth all 
the sees as they became vacant were filled by High Church- 
men of the Laud stamp, in whose eyes there was nothino- in 
human depravity so abominable as the sin of schism. Went- 


worth required the aid of such men to cany out his schemes 
of absolutism, and it must be admitted that he found ready 
instruments in most of the prelates. He had ordered a 
convocation of the clergy to meet simultaneously with the 
Parliament for the purpose of adopting the Thirty-nine 
Articles of the Church of England, so that the Irish Articles 
might become a dead letter. The convocation went to work 
conscientiously, digesting the canons, &c, to the best of 
their judgment; but Wentworth found that they were not 
doing what he wanted, and resolved to bring them to their 
senses. In a letter to Laud he chuckled over his victory, 
apparently quite unconscious that he had been playing the 
tyrant, circa soar/, in a style worthy of Henry VIII. 
Having learned what the committee of convocation had 
done, he instantly sent for Dean Andrews, its chairman, 
requiring him to bring the Book of Canons noted in the 
margin, together with the draught he was to present that 
afternoon to the House. This order he obeyed; "but," says 
the Lord Deputy, "when I came to open the book, and run 
over the delibera-Tidums in the margin, I confess I was not 
so much moved since I came into Ireland. I told him, 
certainly not a Dean of Limerick, but an Ananias, had sat 
in the chair of that committee; however, sure I was an 
Ananias had been there in spirit, if not in body, with all 
the fraternities and conventicles of Amsterdam, that I was 
ashamed and scandalised with it above measure." He gave 
the Dean imperative orders not to report anything till he 
heard from him again. He also issued orders to the Primate, 
the Bishops of Meath, Kilmore, Raphoe, and Deny, together 
with Dean Leslie, the prolocutor, and the whole committee, 
to wait upon him next morning. He then publicly rebuked 
them for acting so unlike Churchmen; told them that a few 
petty clerks had presumed to make articles of faith, without 
the privity or consent of State or bishop, as if they proposed 
at once "to take away all government and order forth of 
the Church. But those heady and arrogant courses he 
would not endure, nor would he suffer them either to be 
mad in the convocation nor in their pulpits." He next gave 



them strict injunctions as to what the convocation should 
do. They were to say content, or not content, to the Articles 
of England, for he would not endure that they should be 
disputed. He ordered the Primate to frame a canon on the 
subject; but it did not meet his approval, and so the Lord 
Deputy framed one himself, whereupon his Grace came to 
him instantly and said he feared the canon would never pass 
in such a form as his lordship had made, but he was hopeful 
it might pass as he had drawn it himself. He therefore 
besought the Lord Deputy to think a little better of it. The 
sequel is best told in Strafford's own vigorous language:— 
" But I confess, having taken a little jealousy that his pro- 
cediugs were not open and free to those ends I had my eye 
upon, it was too late now either to persuade or to affright 
me. I told his lordship I was resolved to put it to them in 
those very words, and was most confident there were not six 
in the House that would refuse them, telling him, by the 
sequel, we should see whether his lordship or myself better 
understood their minds in that point, and by that I would 
be content to be judged, only for order's sake I desired his 
lordship would vote this canon first in the Upper House of 
Convocation, and so voted, then to pass the question beneath 
also." He adds that he enclosed the canon* to Dean Leslie, 
"which, accordingly, that afternoon was unanimously voted, 
first with the bishops, and then by the rest of the clergy, 
excepting one man, who simple did deliberate upon the 
receiving of the Articles of England." 

We have heard much of late of the sacred and indissoluble 
union of the English and Irish Churches. The letters of 
Strafford show by what means that union was effected, and 
the constitution of the Irish Establishment as it now stands, 
in doctrine and in discipline, was finally settled. A more 
humiliating spectacle was never presented in the whole 
course of ecclesiastical history than b}^ the Irish Convocation, 
in thus abjectly submitting to the tyrannical dictation and 
bullying of an unscrupulous Lord Deputy, whose object was, 
as he himself expressed it, to make the king as absolute in 
* The first Irish canon. 


Ireland "as any prince in the whole world can be." In order 
more effectually to accomplish this object, he established in 
Dublin a "High Commission," to support the ecclesiastical 
courts and officers, "to bring the people to a conformity of 
religion, and to raise a good revenue for the Crown." The 
Court was established, and the chief use to which its 
formidable powers were turned was to exterminate the 
Presbyterians in Ulster. The new Bishop of Down, Henry 
Leslie, a Scotchman, \v;is the most vigorous agent of this 
policy; he was unrelenting in the persecution of his country- 
men who had been officiating in his diocese. S$> severe were 
his measures, that a number of the ministers and people 
prepared to emigrate to the wilds of America for the sake of 
enjoying liberty of conscience. But the vessel proving un- 
seaworthy, and being caught in a storm, they were obliged 
1m put back, and so the scheme of colonisation was aban- 
doned. Many of the laity took refuge in the west of Scotland, 
chiefly in the counties of Ayr and Wigton, where they were 
kindly harboured by the inhabitants, much to the annoyance 
of the Scottish bishops. Bramhall, Bishop of Deny, was 
equally active in that quarter. Went worth extended his 
inquisition into the titles of the London companies, and in 
the year 1G37, in consequence of proceedings instigated by 
him in the London Star Chamber, they were sentenced to 
pay to the Crown the enormous fine of i?70,0()0, their patent 
was revoked, their lands were seized in the name of the 
king, and Bishop Bramhall was appointed receiver-general 
of all their Irish revenues. If any one in Ireland breathed 
a word of objection to those arbitrary and rapacious pro- 
ceedings, he was at once crushed through the instrumentality 
of the Dublin Star Chamber. Subordinate instruments, 
worthy of their master, tortured and plundered without 
mercy wherever they had an opportunity. A commission 
was issued by Wentworth, authorizing the Bishop of Down 
to arrest and imprison, during pleasure, the Nonconformists 
in his diocese. Numbers of Presbyterians were committed 
to prison, or were forced to fly to Scotland, but the majority, 
bending before the storm, yielded a reluctant conformity, 

F 2 


while cursing prelacy in their hearts. Bishop Leslie was by- 
no means satisfied with the result of his operations. Accord- 
ingly he wrote to the Lord Deputy, complaining that many 
whom he had brought to some measure of conformity had 
revolted, and when he called them to account they scorned 
his process, because the sheriffs would not give effect to his 
excommunications. To this communication Strafford replied, 
that if he gave him a list of the offenders, with their places 
of abode, he would not fail speedily to send his pursuivants 
for them, and have them made subject to the ecclesiastical 
courts. This was done, and the consequence was the ruin 
of several of the best families in the country. This was not 
enough however. The next step was to impose upon the 
Presbyterians what was called the "Black Oath" which 
bound those that took it, not only to bear true allegiance to 
King Charles, but to submit in all due obedience to all his 
royal commands, and to renounce and abjure all covenants, 
oaths, and bonds whatsoever, contrary to this oath. In vain 
did the leading royalists of Ulster entreat that a qualifying 
phrase might be inserted in the oath — "just commands," or 
"commands according to law." Implicit submission to every- 
thing the king enjoined, whether political or religious, was 
absolutely demanded. The Commissioners appointed to 
administer the Black Oath were required to make a return 
of all the Scots in each parish. In presence of the military, 
the Presbyterian congregations were compelled to take the 
oath kneeling, their ministers setting the example. Women 
were also obliged to take it, the only class exempted being 
Roman Catholics. But many of the Presbyterians refused, 
and upon them the highest penalties short of death were 
unsparingly inflicted, without distinction of age, rank, or 
sex. These atrocities were summed up in a petition, pre- 
sented from the Irish Presbyterians to the Long Parliament 
by Sir John Clotworthy. The petitioners stated that their 
most painful, godly, and learned ministers were by the 
bishops and their commissaries silenced and deprived for not 
conforming and subscribing to an unlawful canon; that 
through the hotness of the persecution they were forced to 



flee the land, and their places were supplied by men unsound 
in doctrine, profane in life, and cruel in persecution — the 
bishops conferring livings upon their children and retainers, 
studendi gratia — four, five, six, or more benefices to each; 
that the King's officers were required to execute the bishops' 
writs, apprehending honest men and women, and casting 
them into prison until they were forced to free themselves 
by a heavy composition ; that they usurped with a high 
hand the j udicature of civil causes, imposed fines beyond all 
bounds, and imprisoned at their pleasure, whereby many 
were utterly undone ; " that divers of the prelates did jointly 
frame and wickedly combine, with the Earl of Strafford, that 
most lawless and scandalous oath, imposed upon the Scottish- 
British among us, who were Protestants, for receiving all 
commands indefinitely ; that very many, as if they had been 
traitors in the highest degree, were searched for, apprehended, 
examined, reviled, threatened, imprisoned, fettered by threes 
and fours in iron yoaks ; some carried up to Dublin in chains, 
and fined in the Star Chamber, in thousands beyond ability, 
and condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Divers, before 
delivering of children, were apprehended, threatened, and 
terrified. Others of them two or three days after childbirth 
so narrowly searched for, that they were fain to fly out of 
all harbour into woods, mountains, caves, and cornfields, and 
many days and nights together absent themselves, to the 
impairing the health of very many, and to the death of 
divers, and loss of their goods, which the enemy at their 
pleasure made havoc of. These with many more, inexpres- 
sible, have been the woeful effects of the Oath drawn up 
by advice of the prelates, and so unjustly pressed by the 
authority of the Earl of Strafford." 

The petition goes on to state that the prelates had taken 
possession of the best lands in every county, pretending that 
they were Church lands, " so that there is scarce a gentle- 
man of any worth whom they have not bereaved of some 
part of his inheritance, few daring to oppose their unjust com- 
mands, and if they did, there is none able to maintain their 
just titles against their power and oppression. By these 


ways have they ruinated and undone many families, destroyed 
and cast away thousands of souls, and moreover, in their 
own persons, been a scandal to the Gospel, and a stumbling- 
block, even unto the common enemy, by their swearing, 
cursing, drunkenness, sabbath-breaking, &c, having such 
servants usually in their families as are the most profane in 
the kingdom, few others being countenanced by them but 
such ; and if any seem to be of an holy life, he is scorned 
and persecuted by them."* 

Sixteen of the charges against Strafford related to his 
government of Ireland, and among these was his issuing of 
the warrant to Bishop Leslie, and his empowering him to 
imprison at pleasure the Nonconformists of his diocese, 
and imposing the Black Oath without authority of Parlia- 
ment. The case of Henry Stewart and his family produced 
a strong impression on the House. For refusing to take the 
oath he was fined in the sum of ^5,000, his wife in a similar 
sum, his two daughters i?2,0Q0 each, and his servant £2,000 
— a sum of ,£16,000 off one family, all being imprisoned in 
Dublin at their own charges till the fine should be paid. 
Sir John Clotworthy and Sir James Montgomery appeared 
as witnesses on several of the articles, the most important 
of which were fully proved. The evil work of the Star 
Chamber was, as far as possible, undone by the English 
Parliament. The London corporation received back its 
estates in Deny and Coleraine. The sentences of the Irish 
Commission Court were reversed, and peace was restored. 
During all the time of the persecution of Protestants in the 
north, the Roman Catholics were unmolested. Their bishops, 
priests, fraternities, schools, and colleges all flourished until 
they were betrayed into the rebellion of 1641, for which 
they afterwards so severely suffered. At first the Presby- 
terians were spared by the rebels ; but as the insurrection 
proceeded they were involved in the general proscription, 
which doomed all Protestants to extirpation. Fortunately 
they were not taken by surprise like the Episcopalians, and 
they had time to concert measures for self-defence. The 
* Reid, vol. i., p. 275. 


havoc produced by this outbreak of fanaticism was fearful. 
The Established Church was now overthrown and desolate. 
Few of her clergy, and not one of her prelates, remained in 
Ulster. The Presbyterians returned from Scotland in large 
numbers, followed by many new settlers from that country. 
Now much favoured by the gentry and authorities, they set 
about laying the foundations of the Presbyterian Church in 
Ulster, in exact accordance with the Scottish model, " and 
from this period," Dr. Reid states, "the history of her 
ministry, her congregations, and her ecclesiastical courts, as 
they now exist, can be traced in uninterrupted succession. 
The Church in Ulster rapidly revived, and broke forth on 
the right hand and on the left. The seed sown prior to the 
rebellion, though long checked in its growth by the chilling 
severities of the prelates, now began to spring up with reno- 
vated vigour, and to gladden the wilderness with its verdure 
and fertility." 

In 1G44 Commissioners were sent to Ulster to administer 
the Solemn League and Covenant. They reached Carrick- 
fergus in the end of March, and immediately commenced the 
work entrusted to them, having attended a meeting of the 
presbytery, where they produced their commission and a 
letter from the Scottish General Assembly. The oath was 
first administered to the regiments of the Scotch army, and 
it is stated that " the whole country about came and wil- 
lingly joined themselves in the Covenant, a very few excepted, 
who were either some old conformist ministers, or known 
profane ungodly persons." Hundreds came forward at the 
same time, and publicly renounced the Black Oath. At 
Belfast, however, there was no liberty granted to offer the 
Covenant, and it was with difficulty the Commissioners got 
leave to preach there. Proceeding through the province, 
they explained the Covenant and administered the oath to 
large numbers ; but in some places, and especially in Derry, 
there was great opposition. The mayor sent them a message 
prohibiting their coming at their peril ; but Sir Frederick 
Hamilton, a bold man, and very influential, came to the 
wall, sent for them, and brought them through the gates to 


his own house, ranch encouraging them, and commending 
their resolution in coming forward, notwithstanding the 
threatenings they had received. " As they went towards 
his lodging through the streets," says a contemporary record, 
"there seemed to be a commotion among the people, some 
by their countenance and carriage declaring then indigna- 
tion, some then Affection." Both the mayor, Thornton, and 
the governor, Mervyn, were warm partisans of prelacy ; but 
as the inhabitants were mostly Presbyterian, there was a 
strong reaction in favour of the Covenant, " which many 
embraced with much signs of affection." Thence the Com- 
missioners proceeded to Paphoe, Letterkenny, and Ennis- 
killen, where they were kindly received by Sir William Cole, 
whose family took the Covenant. " From this period," says 
Dr. Beid, " may be dated the commencement of the second 
reformation with which this province has been favoured — a 
reformation observable not only in the rapid increase of 
churches and of faithful and zealous ministers, but still more 
unequivocally manifested in the improving manners and 
habits of society, and in the growing attention of the people 
to religious duties and ordinances." 

It was reported to the Scottish Assembly that in the two 
counties of Down and Antrim above sixteen thousand per- 
sons of age and understanding had embraced the Covenant, 
besides the Scottish forces ; yet there were only two actual 
ministers in all those bounds who adhered to the Presbyterian 
discipline in all things. The former ministers were dis- 
trusted for their conformity, and because they had taken the 
Black Oath. Hence the presbytery of Bangor applied for 
Scottish ministers, stating that unless the reverend brethren 
from Scotland whom the last General Assembly had sent 
over " had taken much pains here, both the army and the 
inhabitants had removed themselves thence, and left the land 
for a free habitation to the bloody and barbarous idolators." 
Supplies of ministers soon reached Ulster, and the Presby- 
terian historian relates that " no sooner had prelacy been 
deprived of the warlike support of the State in consequence 
of the civil wars, than the people, left to their own unre- 


stricted choice, declared their preference of the Presbyterian 
form of government. The few Episcopal ministers who had 
either remained in the country or returned after the first 
fury of the rebellion had subsided, found themselves unable, 
while unsupported by the strong arm of the law, to re- 
establish their worship or government." Some of them 
therefore conformed to Presbyterian usages, in order to secure 
the confidence of the people. The Presbyterian ministers 
having the field very much to themselves, soon showed that 
they were not much in advance of the age in which they 
lived, and that even persecution had failed to teach them 
the lesson of toleration. The presbytery in 1645, "finding 
the Papists to grow numerous in the country, and consider- 
ing their numbers might thereafter prove dangerous to the 
Protestant religion, and that by the treaty between Scotland 
and England no toleration is to be given to Papists, and also 
pitying their souls in their ignorant and hardened condition, 
made an act that they should be dealt with by the several 
ministers, to convince them of their idolatry and errors, and 
bring them to own the truth, or otherwise to enter into 
process against them in order to excommunication ; and 
they appointed some of their number to speak to the Major- 
General, that he use that authority he hath for forcing them 
out of this part, and wholly out of the army, if they remain 
obstinate. This act of the presbytery was publicly intimated 
in the several parish churches." 

The spirit of ascendency was now coming strongly upon 
the Presbyterians. They began to grow jealous of the 
Independents, who by means of the self-denying ordinance, 
and the new elections, were rapidly gaining the preponder- 
ance both in the army and in the House of Commons. Dr. 
Reid so far sympathises with this jealousy, though condemn- 
ing the intolerance of the time, that he calls the Independents 
a "faction." When General Monk was commandino- the 
British forces in Ulster, he maintained friendly relations 
with the presbytery, and assisted them in carrying out 
their discipline. Accordingly, under his auspices they called 
before them a number of ministers, whom they deposed for 


various offences, amongst which are mentioned " intruding 
on a neighbouring parish, railing against the professors of 
godliness, and baptizing promiscuously." In 1649 the 
presbytery of Belfast began to take a more comprehensive 
view of its duties and responsibilities, and published a mani- 
festo called " A necessary representation of the present evils 
and imminent dangers to religion, laws, and liberties, arising 
from the late and present practices of the sectarian party in 
England and their abettors." Among the charges made 
against them were these: that they loved a rough garment 
to deceive ; that they had with a high hand despised the 
Covenant, calling it " a bundle of particular and contrary 
interests, and a snare to the people •" and, most heinous of 
all, "they endeavoured to establish by law a universal 
toleration of all religions, which would embrace even pagan- 
ism and Judaism in its arms." Having reviewed the conduct 
of this party, the presbytery proceeded to express its horror 
at the execution of the king in the following terms: — 
" Neither hath their fury stopt here, but without rule or 
example, being but private men, they have proceeded to the 
trial of the king, against both the interests and protestations 
of the Kingdom of Scotland, and the former public decla- 
rations of both kingdoms (and besides their violent haste, 
rejecting any defences) ; with cruel hands they put him to 
death, an act so horrible as no history, divine or human, 
ever had a precedent of the like." 

For this intermeddling with State affairs the Belfast 
presbytery was sharply rebuked by Milton, as secretary to 
the Protector. " What mean these men ?" he asks. " Is the 
presbytery of Belfast, a small town in Ulster, of so large 
extent, that their voices cannot serve to teach duties in the 
congregations which they oversee, without spreading and 
divulging to all parts, far beyond the diocese of Patrick or 
Columba, their written representation, under the subtle 
pretence of feeding their own flock ? Or do they think to 
oversee or undertake to give account of all to whom they 
send greeting ? And surely in vain were bishops, for these 
and other causes, forbid to sit and vote in the House, if these 


men out of the House and without vote shall claim and be 
permitted more licence on their presbyterial stools to breed 
continual disturbance by interposing in the commonwealth. 
Of this representation, therefore, we can esteem and judge 
no other than of a slanderous and seditious libel, sent abroad 
by a sort of incendiaries to delude, and make better way 
under the cunning and plausible name of a presbytery." 
Milton proceeds with running "observations" on the decla- 
ration, in which he speaks of its "notorious falsities, its 
shameless hypocrisy," charging its authors, "unhallowed 
priestlings," with designing rebellion against the govern- 
ment, which followed immediately after, when the Scottish 
inhabitants, he said, had joined Ormonde and the Irish rebels 
in an open war against the Parliament. He speaks of the 
rancour that leavened them, as having "somewhat quickened 
the common drawling of their pulpit elocution." In answer 
to the charge that the Government had not endeavoured to 
extirpate Popery and Prelacy according to the Covenant, he 
said, " No man well in his wits, endeavouring to root up 
weeds out of his ground, instead of using the spade will take 
up a mallet or a beetle; nor doth the Covenant any way 
engage us to extirpate or to prosecute the men, but the 
heresies and errors in them, which we tell these divines, and 
the rest that understand not, belongs chiefly to their own 
functions in the diligent preaching and insisting upon sound 
doctrine, in the confuting, not the railing down, encountering 
errors, both in public and private conference, and by the 
power of truth — not of persecution — subduing those authors 
of heretical opinions, and lastly, in the spiritual execution 
of church discipline within their own congregations."* 

In reference to this document, Dr. Reid remarks that it is 
"a fair sample of the scurrility and overbearing violence 
and contempt of the ministerial office by which the usurp- 
ing faction and their abettors were characterised. "T But 
the Presbyterians soon found the difference between the 

* " Observations upon the Articles of Peace with Irish Eebels, on the 
Letter of Ormonde to Colonel Jones, and the Representation of the 
Presbytery of Belfast." 

t History, vol. ii., p. 178. 


government of the " -usurping faction " and the " constitu- 
tional government under Charles II.," for the restoration of 
which they innocently prayed. They had now learned to 
class all their fellow- Protestants under two names. The 
Episcopalians were "Malignants," and the Independents and 
Baptists were " Sectaries/' while the Presbyterians were 
entirely and exclusively the people of God without any 
manner of doubt. Dr. Reid says that during the vicissitudes 
of the civil war the presbytery persevered in testifying 
against the power of the usurpers and in favour of a limited 
monarchy. Commissioners were sent over from Scotland 
in 1650 to encourage the presbytery in their opposition to 
the government, and in their adherence to the kino- now 
solemly pledged to support the Covenant. Providence, as if 
in anger, at length granted their prayer ; but before that con- 
summation which they so devoutly wished, and had reason 
afterwards to deplore, they had an opportunity of enjoying 
the blessings of civil government conducted on the prin- 
ciples of Christian equity and religious freedom. 

When Henry Cromwell first came to Dublin, in March, 
1654, he found the government in a very unsatisfactory" 
state, the Council doing very little except making orders to 
give away the public lands, the larger proportions being 
given to each of themselves. Of course the country was 
discontented under such a regime, but Henry Cromwell 
testified that the utmost it desired was "that all might be 
upon an equal account as to encouragement and coun- 
tenance." A year later he was sent over again as "Major- 
General of the army in Ireland," and he was soon after 
invested with the government of the country. His policy 
had a marvellous effect in tranquillizing the minds of all 
parties, and softening sectarian animosities. The various 
denominations rivalled one another in the warmth of their 
testimony to the excellence of his government — " his equal 
justice to all, and mercy to the poor." Notwithstanding 
the seditous proceedings of the Presbyterians, they were 
protected by him in the exercise of their discipline and the 
observance of public worship, and they were even allowed 


to enjoy the State endownments " without any ensnaring 
engagement," though they refused to keep the days of public 
fasting and thanksgiving ordered by the government. In 
1658 he invited a number of the more eminent Presbyterian 
and Independent ministers to meet him in Dublin in order 
to treat about "the regulation and improvement of their 
maintenance, which had hitherto been carried on in a mongrel 
way between salary and tithes." The result was that he 
adopted a plan by which each minister should have a salary 
of £100 a year — a very liberal stipend, considering the 
value of money in those times. The Independents were 
the ablest and most devoted champions of the Common- 
wealth, and they were naturally favourites with the Protec- 
tor. Steele, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was the head of 
that party in Dublin, and he was not satisfied because it was 
not in the ascendant. But Henry Cromwell was determined 
to maintain the principle of religious equality. " I wish," 
he wrote, " I could truly say that the Independents are not 
dissatisfied. It may be some of them thought they should 
ride when they had thrown the Anabaptists out of the sad- 
dle. But I must neither respect persons, nor parties, nor 
rumours, so as to be thereby diverted from an equal distri- 
bution of respect and justice to all; though I hope I shall 
always take a good care of all (under what form soever) in 
whom I see the least appearance of godliness."* 

I am not surprised to read that under this system of 
government, though branded as usurpation, " the kingdom 
continued to enjoy unusual tranquillity, and in no part of 
the empire did there exist a more cordial or general sub- 
mission to the new Protector." The Presbyterians improved 
the opportunity to the uttermost in extending and strength- 
ening their Church in Ulster ; but at the same time they 
exerted themselves by every means in their power to bring 
about the Restoration. Had not Charles solemnly sworn to 
maintain the League and Covenant ? and would he not 
therefore favour the Presbyterians and establish their 
Church in Ireland to the exclusion of the Malignants and 
* Reid, vol. ii., p. 317. 


the Sectaries ? In 1660 a synod was held at Ballymena, 
when all the brethren in the north were present. Mr. 
Adare brought every one of them a warrant for the tithes 
of their respective parishes, so far as was in the power of 
the commissioners in Dublin. Two ministers were deputed 
to present an address of congratulation to the king in 
London ; but they were disheartened as they approached 
the metropolis by ominous rumours of a change in the royal 
mind. One powerful friend after another declined to intro- 
duce them to the Court. Monk, their former patron, now 
Duke of Albemarle, " disgusted their address, and would 
not concern himself in it as it was drawn up." It contained 
a denunciation of Prelacy, and laudation of the Covenant. 
Sorely against their conscience they were obliged to expunge 
those words. The King condescended to hear the address 
as then framed. " But he looked with an awful majestical 
countenance on them •" no doubt meaning to assume the 
most sublime expression of Divine right. He gave them 
good words, and bid them not fear. 

Under the government which they had laboured to over- 
throw, their ministers had increased from half-a-dozen to 
seventy, regularly and permanently settled, and having under 
their charge nearly eighty parishes or congregations, with a 
population of not far from 100,000. But the flocks were 
soon scattered, and the shepherds compelled to fly. The 
bishops were immediately restored to their sees. Bramhall 
and Leslie, their old enemies, came back to their posts, 
having a long account to settle with those who had been 
ruling in their places, and denouncing them as Malignants. 
Three of the Leslies now wore mitres : — John in Raphoe, 
Robert in Dromore, and Henry in Down and Connor. The 
latter was removed to Meath, and was succeeded by the 
celebrated Jeremy Taylor, who, forgetting his Liberty of 
Prophesying, dealt with the Presbyterians as they had 
dealt with the Catholics. Presbytery was now repudiated 
scornfully by the nobility and gentry who had zealously 
patronised it a little while ago — the Broghills, the Cootes, 
the Blaneys, the Cauldnelds, the Coles, the Rawdons, the 


Trevors, the Hills, and many others. Four of the ministers 
were sent on a deputation to Dublin, where they were, as 
they reported, " but unkindly entertained by the Council, 
divers bishops being then privy councillors, besides other 
unfriends." They were reviled and mocked by the Episcopal 
party in Dublin. Jeremy Taylor summoned the ministers 
of his dioceses to appear in his presence at Lisburn, and 
placed before them a cruel dilemma, " He said he perceived 
they were in a hard taking ; for if they did conform contrary 
to their conscience they would be but knaves, and if not, 
they could not be endured contrary to law ; he wished them 
therefore deponere conscientiaru erroneam" Accordingly 
in one day the bishop declared thirty-six of their churches 
vacant. The ministers were silenced, and thrust out of 
their charges, in some cases with violence. Altogether 
sixty-one Presbyterian ministers, nearly the whole number 
then in Ulster, were evicted by the northern prelates, and 
deprived of their benefices. The penalties of recusancy 
were in many districts inflicted by an intolerant magistracy, 
with unwonted severity, on both ministers and people ; 
for two or three years their condition was deplorable, and 
again the ministers began to think of emigrating to America, 
" because of persecutions and general poverty abounding in 
those parts, and on account of their straits, and little or no 
access to their ministry."* 

During the brief reign of James II. the Catholics had 
their turn, and every office under the government was 
emptied to make way for them. But Deny was defended 
gloriously against his army ; the Prince of Orange, of im- 
mortal memory, established the principle of toleration, so 
far as Protestants were concerned, and the Presbyterians 
reaped for a season the advantages of the change. They 
were the first in the kingdom to hail the arrival of William 
in England, and to wish success to his " glorious under- 
taking to deliver these nations from Popery and slavery." 
They heartily joined the Episcopalians in fighting for civil 
and religious liberty ; and when the king arrived in Ireland, 
* Reid, vol. ii., p. 425. 


he did not forget their loyalty and devotion, though a number 
of the ministers had retired to Scotland. In a petition to 
his Majesty, in 1689, they pleaded then loyalty, and prayed 
that all sufferings for non-conformitv mio^ht be for the future 
prevented — that his Majesty might be a nursing father to 
then Church — that their ministers being reduced to insup- 
portable straits, might for their present necessary support 
have a proportionable share of the public charitable col- 
lections, and a future competent maintenance. In answer 
to this petition, the king wrote to the Duke of Schomberg, 
directing that they should receive that protection and sup- 
port that their affection to his service deserved, that they 
might live in tranquillity under his government. When in 
Ireland, he issued from Hillsborough an order addressed to 
Christopher Carleton, the collector of customs at Belfast, 
authorizing the payment of £1,200 yearly to the Presby- 
terian clergy of Ulster. This was the origin of the grant 
called Regiurn Domini, or royal bounty, which has been 
augmented from time to time, having, instead of a local 
charge, become a parliamentary grant, which now amounts 
to £40,669 per annum. 

There was much to be done after the Revolution to restore 
religion in Ulster. Jeremy Taylor was dead, and his suc- 
cessor in Down and Connor resided at Hammersmith, and 
had not been within his charge for twenty years. The 
clergy took all sorts of liberties in his absence, and ecclesi- 
astical scandals were rife, not only in that diocese, but 
throughout the province. The habit of the Irish to run 
down one another was then, as now, a national character- 
istic ; for Archbishop Tillotson once observed, that " if he 
should hearken to what the Irish clergy said of one another, 
there was not a man of the whole country that ought to be 
preferred." William protected the Irish Presbyterians while 
he lived, but after his death their troubles were renewed, 
and much of their subsequent history consists in the records 
of their grievances. The bishops were opposed to then legal 
toleration, and waged a war of polemics against them. They 
were so powerless in the Irish Parliament that the}' were 


not able to carry a single point, and for a long time they 
were obliged to petition humbly for " legal liberty." The 
validity of their marriages was questioned, and they were 
harassed by proceedings on that score. In 1704 was passed 
the Sacramental Test, by which the Presbyterians and other 
Dissenters were turned out of all public places of trust and 
emolument, and from all municipal offices. Presbyterian 
magistrates were deprived of their commissions, and they were 
thus, to a certain extent, brought under the penal code, 
whose ostensible object was " to prevent the further growth 
of Popery." The prelates would not even allow them to 
educate their own children, and in 1705 they induced the 
House of Commons to pass this resolution : — " That the 
erecting and continuing any seminary for the instruction 
and education of 3'outh in principles contrary to the Estab- 
lished Church and Government tends to create and perpetuate 
misunderstandini'-s among Protestants." The Commons went 
further, and resolved that any preaching or teaching in 
separate congregations " tends to defeat the succession of 
the Crown in the Protestant line, and to encourage and 
advance the interests of the pretended Prince of Wales." 
The English Schism Bill was extended to Ireland, and the 
tyranny of the Tory party, now everywhere in the ascendant, 
was becoming intolerable ; but it was at length happily 
checked by the death of Queen Anne. " The accession of 
George I.," says Dr. Reid, " immediately arrested the High 
Church faction in their furious career, and from this date 
the Irish Presbyterians began to breathe more freely, and 
to obtain relief from some, but not all of their more serious 
grievances." The Irish Parliament then assembled bien- 
nially, and at every session bills of indemnity were passed, 
to relieve Protestant Dissenters from the penalties which 
they had incurred by serving the king in the militia and 
otherwise. Various attempts were made to pass an Act of 
Toleration, but they were all defeated by the High Church 
party, and at last the Presbyterians lost heart, so that from 
1733 many years passed away before they again made any 
vigorous exertions for the removal of their political griev- 



ances. In the meantime, the monopoly of State power on 
one side, and political degradation on the other, produced 
the usual effect of general demoralization. Towards the 
close of the last century the condition of Presbyterian ism 
had sunk so low that persons were with difficulty found to 
occupy the pulpits, as the pastoral office presented the pro- 
spect of a life of perpetual poverty. " New light theology" 
began to disturb the peace of the Church, under the names of 
Arianism, Socinianism, and TJnitarianism, which ultimately 
produced permanent secessions. Agrarian combinations and 
lawless factions also sprang up. The writings of Tom 
Paine were extensively circulated, and republican principles 
were imported largely from France and America. The 
volunteer movement, however, filled the minds of the 
people with noble aspirations. And on the memorable 15th 
of February, 1782, in the church at Dungannon, "the 
Presbyterians of the north boldly asserted the independence 
of the Irish Legislature, and proclaimed their joy at the 
relaxation of the penal laws affecting their Roman Catholic 
fellow subjects. This demonstration added immensely to 
the public excitement. The Dungannon resolutions were 
at once adopted with enthusiasm by the volunteers all over 
the country."* In April of that year the Duke of Portland 
wrote to the English Home Secretary, "If you delay or refuse 
to be liberal, Government cannot exist here in its present 
form ; and the sooner you recall your Lord Lieutenant, and 
renounce all claim to this country, the better." The volun- 
teers were followed by the United Irishmen and the Rebel- 
lion of 1798. Many Presbyterians of mark, including some 
ministers, joined in the movement ; but, strange as it may 
appear, the majority of the leading conspirators were 
nominally connected with the Established Church.f 

The Union was the result of this insurrection, and since 
that event there has been a gradual approach towards re- 
ligious equality. The Presbyterian body has increased very 
much during the present century. In 1840 the Synod of 
Ulster and the Secession Synod were united under the 
* Reid, vol. iii., p. 455. f Dr. Madden's " United Irishmen." . 


name of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church 
in Ireland. The total number of its congregations now is 
547, and of ministers 590, with 38 "Licentiates." 

Great efforts have been made by the Conservative party 
of late years to make the Presbyterians forget their history, 
and the history of the Established Church as well. Some 
years ago the Kev. Dr. Cooke, then the ruling spirit of the 
Assembly, and a man of great political influence, proclaimed a 
marriage bet ween the Anglican and the Presbyterian Churches. 
The figure was unhappy, as the parties proposed to be united 
are " sisters." It was otherwise inapplicable, because in an 
ecclesiastical sense there can be no union between the two 
bodies. Dr. Cooke himself would not be permitted to preach 
in the meanest parish church, nor could he enjoy a living in 
the Establishment, without submitting to be re-ordained. 
Presbyterian ministers are still regarded by the Church 
clergy as schismatieal, and are now perhaps more than ever, 
since the times of active persecution, carefully shunned. 
Very seldom indeed are any of them seen with their Episcopal 
brethren on the same religious platform ; and when Irish 
Church advocates refer to the spiritual wants of the popula- 
tion of Ulster, the very existence of the 590 orthodox 
Presbyterian ministers is ignored, although it is unques- 
tionable that the superior social condition of that province 
is due in a great measure to Presbyterianism. 

G 2 



After a vacancy of almost seventy years, during which, 
writes Dr. Moran, " the see of Dublin groaned under the 
usurped authority of the three first Protestant bishops, who 
without any spiritual jurisdiction and as mere Government 
agents enjoyed its temporalities, Catholic prelates were again, 
through the paternal providence of the Roman Pontiff, ap- 
pointed to govern the diocese ; but such was the violence of 
persecution, that for more than a century after the death of 
Elizabeth, the canonically appointed archbishops died either 
in prison or in exile." In the year 1536, the first grant of 
religious houses was made to the King by the authority of 
the Irish Parliament. This grant comprised 370 monas- 
teries, whose yearly value amounted to £32,000, while their 
moveables were rated at £100,000. In the following year 
eight abbeys were suppressed ; and in 1538, a further order 
was issued for the suppression of all the monasteries and 
abbeys. Soon after, in Dublin and the neighbouring counties, 
the words of Marsham, a Protestant writer, would have been 
applicable: nothing remained in the monasteries "besides 
battered walls and deplorable ruins. The most august 
churches and stupendous monuments, under the specious 
pretence of superstition, are most filthily defiled, and ex- 
pecting utter destruction. Horses are stabled at the altar of 
Christ, and the relics of martyrs are dug up." The Lord 
Deputy and the Council pleaded with the English Govern- 
ment that at least six houses might be permitted to stand ; 
because, there being no inns in the country, they served 
the purposes of hotels, entertaining the king's deputy, his 
council, officers, and attendants, gratuitously, whenever they 
went that way. " Also in them young men and children, 
both gentlemen's children and others, both of mankind and 
womankind, be brought up in virtue, learning, and in the 


English tongue and behaviour, to the great charge of the 
said houses ; that is to say, the womankind of the whole 
Euglishery of this land for the most part in the said nun- 
nery, and the mankind in the other said houses. And in 
the said house of St. Mary's Abbey hath been the common 
resort of all such of reputation as hath repaired thither out 
of England. Also at every hosting, road, and journey, the 
said houses, at their proper costs, findeth as many men of 
war as they are appointed by the king's deputy." So wrote, 
on the 21st of May, 1539, the Lord Deputy Gray, and the 
three justices, Aylmer, Luttrell, and Howth; but the 
archbishop, the chancellor, and Brabazon, under-treasurer, 
although they agreed in opinion with the other members of 
the council, refused to sign the memorial, because they were 
named commissioners for the suppression. It appears from 
these documents that those religious houses, whatever 
might have been their abuses, were in many respects useful 
institutions, well suited to the times. When they were de- 
stroyed, no other institutions to meet the wants of the 
country were established in their stead, and the men who 
w^ere most active in the work of demolition obtained the 
confiscated estates as their own private property. 

Such proceedings were not likely to help the reformers in 
converting the natives ; on the contrary, they caused them 
to appear in the light of great criminals, who had not only 
violated natural justice, but added sacrilege to plunder. 
Accordingly, Arch bishop Brown complained, in his letters to 
Lord Cromwell, that the Irish were more zealous in their 
blindness than the saints and martyrs of the primitive Church, 
and that Rome had great favour for this nation " purposely 
to oppose his Highness the King." Therefore he said his hope 
was lost. Even the prebendaries of St. Patrick's " thought 
scorn to read" the new prayers ; and though there were 
twenty-eight of them all having country parishes, there was 
scarcely one of them that favoured God's work. Instead of 
winning the natives over to England by means of religion, 
the Government policy actually united the two races against 


England. " It is observed," wrote Archbishop Brown to Lord 
Cromwell, " that ever since his Highness's ancestors had this 
nation in possession, the old natives have been craving 
foreign powers to assist and rule them, and both English 
race and Irish began to oppose your Lordship's orders, and to 
lay aside their national old quarrels, which I fear will, if 
anything will, cause a foreigner to invade this nation." Then 
as to the social effect of the changes, he said in a subsequent 
letter, "Since ever I heard the name of Ireland first, the 
country was never farther out of order." Another member 
of the Government wrote to Cromwell, "Here as yet the 
blood of Christ is clean blotted out of all men's hearts, except 
the Archbishop," &c. None, from the highest to the lowest, 
spiritual or temporal, "would abide the hearing of God's 
Word." Again Robert Cowley, in the same year, wrote, 
expressing his sorrow to hear how "the Papistical sect springs 
up and spreads abroad, infecting the land pestiferously." 
Many testimonies to the same effect may be found in the 
State papers, and in Shirley's " Collection of Original Letters."* 
In 1564 Archbishop Cur win gives a curious reason against 
converting St. Patrick's Cathedral into a university : — 

"A university here will be unprofitable, for the Irish 
enemy, under colour of study, would send their friends 
hither, who would learn the secrets of the country and 
advertise them thereof, so that the Irish rebels should by 
them know the secrets of the English Pale." 

Even when forced under penalties to attend the parish 
churches, the natives used their own religious symbols, the 
crucifix, the beads, the Litanies, and pictures of the Saints, 
Notwithstanding the proscription of the Irish language, it 
irresistibly encroached on the English quarters, so that in 1575 
Stanihurst wrote that it was " free denizened in the English 
Pale, and took such deep root that the body which was before 

* Original Letters and Papers in Illustration of the History of the 
Church in Ireland during the Reigns of Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. 
Edited, with Notes from Autographs in the State Paper Office. By 
Evelyn Philip Shirley, esq., m.a. 


whole and sound, became by little and little in a manner 
wholly putrified." 

Nearly a century after this, the author of " Cambrensis 
E versus" said : — " The Irish language is that which all of us 
to this day drink in on our mothers' breasts. Except the 
inhabitants of Dublin, Drogheda, and Wexford, and their 
immediate vicinities, the only knowledge we have of English 
is what we learn in schools." The Lord Deputy Sussex 
complained, in 15(32, that the State Church was abused by 
the Papists, and that the people, utterly devoid of religion, 
came to divine service as to a May game, sometimes spilling 
the wine from the communion-cup, and flinging the sacra- 
mental bread at one another. Captain Lee wrote to Elizabeth, 
in 1594, that even the " Palesmen," who were servants of the 
Court, as soon as they had brought the Lord Deputy to the 
church door, departed " as if they were wild cats." The 
conforming clergy were spoken of as " old bottles," which 
could not hold the new wine of Protestantism, as "dumb 
dogs, disguised dissemblers, and lurking Papists." Arch- 
bishop Loftus petitioned to be relieved from the intolerable 
burden of Armagh, as it was neither worth anything to him, 
nor was he able to do any good in it, as it lay altogether 
among the Irish. "Oh, what a sea of troubles I have entered 
into !" exclaimed the Bishop of Meath, " storms arising on 
every side ; the ungodly lawyers are not only sworn enemies 
to the truth, but also for lack of due execution of law the 
overthrowers of the country. The ragged clergy are stubborn 
and ignorantly blind, so there is left little hope of their amend- 
ment. The simple multitude is, through continual ignorance, 
hardly to be won, so that I find angastice undique" This 
was Dr. Brady, who subsequently complained that he had 
no alternative but unbounded hospitality, or else " infamy 
and discredit, for these people will have the one or the other. 
I mean, they will either eat my meat and drink, or else 
myself* Archbishop Loftus strongly advised coercion to 
bring the people to church. They were poor, and dreaded 
fines, and the most obstinate might be sent over to England. 
* Shirley, pp. 187-191. 


" If it be objected," he said, " that this severe course may 
perhaps breed some stirs, I assure your lordship there is no 
dread of any such matter, for they are but beggars, and if 
once they perceive a thorough resolution to deal roundly 
with them, they will both yield and conform themselves ; 
and this course of reformation the sooner it is begun the 
better it will prosper, and the longer it is deferred the more 
dangerous it will be." Seven years later he reported that 
while the English army, munitions, and treasures were failing, 
the rebels were increased and grown insolent ; and he added, 
" I see no other course for this cursed country but pacification, 
until hereafter, when the fury is passed, her Majesty may, 
with more convenience, correct the heads of these traitors." 
After this came civil war and the awful desolation of the 
country by famine and pestilence, which has been described 
by the poet Spenser in his " State of Ireland." When the 
English soldiers entered " the enemy's country" they were 
surprised to find the land well manured and tilled, the fields 
well fenced, the roads and pathways well beaten, the towns 
populous, and the land well cropped. The soldiers of the 
invaders set about cutting down with their swords all the 
enemy's corn, to the value of ^10,000, in the one district of 
Leix. In Ulster the same plan was adopted to produce a 
famine, and during the next spring the inhabitants were 
effectually prevented from sowing and cultivating their 
lands. The ploughs, which were numerous, ceased to go, 
the cattle disappeared, the towns were burned, and the 
country was reduced to a desert. In Munster the same plan 
was so successfully adopted that the Lord Deputy could not 
get food for his horses till the grass had time to grow. The 
uniform accounts which the destroyers gave of the prosperous 
state of the country beyond the Pale are very remarkable. 
Let one or two suffice. One of the agents in this work 
wrote: — "On entering O'Kane's country we found it large 
and full of houses and corn ; we divided ourselves, and set a 
compass about, so as at night we met together, and encamped 
in the midst of the country, each troop having fired the 
houses and corn they met withal, which I never saw in 


more abundance." Sir Arthur Chichester relates, that when 
he landed in Ulster, in May, 1G00, " the country abounded 
with houses, corn, cattle, and a people who had been bred 
up in arms, and flushed with former victories; but he left 
the country desolate and waste, and the people upon it en- 
joying nothing but as fugitives, and what they obtained by 
stealth." Lord Mountjoy did the same thing in his part of 
the country, and wrote that he had succeeded, "by the grace 
of God, as near as he could, in utterly wasting the country 
of Tyrone." Pestilence and famine did the rest, and the 
end was that both the spoiler and the spoiled were involved 
in like calamity. The famine was so dreadful that children 
were found feeding on the bodies of their dead mothers ; 
but there was no longer any lack of food for the Lord 
Deputy's horses, for the grass grew luxuriantly in the de- 
serted streets and squares of the ruined towns, and there 
were no cattle left to feed upon the meadows. 

I say nothing of the massacres perpetrated by the 
English soldiers or the outrages inflicted upon the monks 
and nuns. But why do I allude at all to these barbarous 
atrocities ? Because they resulted from the insane attempt 
to force the religion, language, and habits of England upon 
the Irish nation. This led to combinations against the 
English Government, with foreign intervention, and this 
again led to a systematic devastation which would have 
disgraced the worst Government in Asia or Africa. And 
what did the newly-established religion gain by this tre- 
mendous infliction — this elaborate attempt to exterminate 
a whole people ? Nothing whatever in the way of sincere 
conversion, little in the way of nominal conformity, while 
the Protestantism was loaded with such odium that its 
diffusion through the country was rendered a moral impos- 
sibility even to this day. Sir Arthur Chichester was heard 
repeatedly to exclaim "that he knew not how this attach- 
ment to the Catholic faith was so deeply rooted in the hearts 
of the Irish, unless it w^ere that the very soil was infected 
and the very air tainted with Popery; for they obstinately 
prefer it to all things else — to allegiance to their king, to 


respect for his ministers, to the care of their own posterity, 
and to all their hopes and prospects." M'Geoghegan asserts 
that during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI, Eliza- 
beth, and James I., not sixty of the Irish embraced the 
Protestant religion. In Ireland, indeed, as has been well 
remarked by an able writer, "the Reformation would have 
been more truly called 'the Confiscation.' " There is at this 
moment scarcely an Irish nobleman, inheriting an ancient 
property, who does not owe the bulk of it to the confiscated 
lands of the Church. And what was the consequence to the 
Establishment ? The accounts in the extant visitation returns 
of the spiritual destitution of the Irish parishes, and of the 
miserable poverty of the Irish clergy in the two centuries 
which followed the Reformation, are truly marvellous. 
Churches ruined, glebe lands violently seized, the clergy 
without houses, their lives threatened by the landowners 
lest they should perchance reside although without houses, 
and thus recover the spoliated property or prevent further 
encroachments — such was the Irish Church in the time of 
Bramhall. And I may add, that in much later times the 
same body of Irish proprietors, acting together in their 
Dublin Parliament, exempted from tithes their own demesnes 
and the immense tracts which they had converted into 
grazing, having evicted the people. They thus threw the 
whole burden of the Protestant Establishment on the Roman 
Catholic tillers of the soil, who had to give the tenth of 
their produce, under the tithe proctor system, to the clergy 
of those very nobility and gentry who enjoyed the estates 
of the Church. I do not wonder, therefore, to find a 
candid Roman Catholic writer remarking that "no measures 
appear to have been left untried by the English officials to 
estrange the Irish from the Reformed Church and to excite 
them to revolts, the forfeitures consequent on which were 
usually devoted to the aggrandisement of those hirelings. 
In the meantime the Catholic princes of Europe found it 
their interest to stir up dissensions among the Irish, who 
were led to suppose that the attempts made to wound Eng- 
land through Ireland were the results of religious sympathy. 


The friars and priests became the trusted agents and emis- 
saries of the Irish chiefs, to whom they were naturally 
endeared by a community of country, language, and religion ; 
a complete change also took place in the policy of the Roman 
Court, and, from the time when England cast off their 
supremacy, the Popes became the partizans of the native 
Irish, whom the} T had before treated so superciliously. All 
these points remain to be fully investigated and fairly 
brought forward by the future ecclesiastical historians."* 

The triumph of Protestantism at the revolution of 1G88 
sealed the late of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, and the 
penal code which followed deprived them of the power of 
making any organized resistance to the Government down 
to the beginning of the present century. Part of that code 
was directed particularly against the priesthood. It was 
made a felony, punishable with death, for a priest to celebrate 
marriage between a Protestant and a Roman Catholic ; and 
the law presumed and concluded that the priest so acting 
knew that one of the parties was a Protestant, unless he 
produced a certificate under the hand and seal of the Pro- 
testant minister of the parish that the party was not a 
Protestant at the time of the marriage. But there was no 
obligation or penalty imposed upon him to give such a 
certificate. Priests were made liable to imprisonment for 
not disclosing the secrets of the confessional, if required to 
do so, in a court of justice. They were prevented by law 
from attending Catholic soldiers or sailors to administer the 
rites of their religion. Their obscure places of worship had 
no legal protection, and the priests were interdicted from 
receiving any endowment or permanent provision, while 
they were made liable to the payment of a bachelor's tax. 

It is not easy for even the most bigoted Protestant to 
avoid having his heart softened by the condition of the 
Roman Catholics in Dublin towards the close of the last 
century — and by the difficulties under which their devoted 
clergy laboured to maintain the influence of religion among 
their flocks. In describing that state of things I do not 
* The Irish Quarterly Review, No. V., p, 214. 


take as my guides Roman Catholic writers whose feelings 
might be supposed to give a deceptive colouring to their 
narratives. What follows is based upon records furnished 
by clergymen of the Established Church. One of these 
refers to the existence in Dublin of Roman Catholic schools, 
supported by the Roman Catholics themselves, in the early 
part of this century, as " a striking feature in the toleration 
of the present day" (a.d. 1818). He then proceeds to state 
that, while the penal laws were in force, the Roman Catholic 
clergy were obliged to administer spiritual consolation to 
their flocks "rather according to their temporary convenience 
than any systematic plan. No places of public worship were 
permitted, and the clergyman moved his altar, books, and 
everything necessary for the celebration of his religious 
rites from house to house, among such of his flock as were 
enabled in this way to support an itinerant domestic chap- 
lain; while for the poorer part some waste house or stable in 
a remote or retired situation was selected, and. here the 
service was silently and secretly performed, unobserved by 
the public eye. But the spirit of toleration had already 
gone abroad, and an incident furnished a pretext for allow- 
ing places of public worship while yet the statutes proscribed 
them. The crowds of poor people who flocked to receive the 
consolations of their religion were too great for the crazy 
edifices to contain or support them, and serious accidents, 
attended by the loss of sundry lives, occasioned by the fall- 
ing down of these places of resort, called for the interference 
of a humane Government. In the year 1745 Lord Chesterfield, 
then Viceroy of Ireland, permitted these congregations to 
assemble in more safe and public places. The old edifices, 
consecrated to public worship, were reopened, and new ones 
gradually built in the city. And a further toleration was 
allowed to their clergy, unmolested to distribute their flocks 
in such parochial districts as might be consecrated for their 

The rev. author, who was vicar of St. Catherine's, remarks, 

* ** History of the City of Dublin." By the Rev. J. Whitelaw and the 
Rev. R. Walsh. Vol. II., p. 806. 


that the occasion of the reopening of the chapels was "well 
remembered by sundry old men in Dublin, not long since 
dead." There was a minute account of this social revolution 
given in Latin by Dr. Burke, afterwards bishop of Ossory, 
in his Hibemia Dominicana. He spoke rather too freely 
of the penal code for the spirit of that age; and the con- 
sequence was that the "titular bishops" met at Thurles, and 
held a synod, very different from the "synod of Thurles" 
which some years ago condemned the Queen's Colleges. A 
declaration was published, signed by seven prelates, censuring 
the principles of the book, because they said " they weaken 
and subvert allegiance, raise unnecessary scruples in the 
minds of people, and give a handle to those who differ in 
religious opinions to impute maxims that we entirely reject as 
not founded in the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church." 

The new parochial districts were Arran-quay, Mary's-lane, 
Liffey-street, Townsend-street 3 Rosemary-lane, Bridge-street, 
Francis-street, Meath-street, James's-street, and Hardwick- 
street ; nine chapels altogether. There were besides, half a 
century ago, six friaries and seven nunneries, containing about 
80 nuns. The number of secular or parochial clergy was 
70, and of regulars belonging to the different " friaries," 40 ; 
that is, the total number of priests in Dublin half a century 
ago was 110. The penal acts of Queen Anne, forbidding 
Roman Catholics to teach school even in private houses, was 
repealed by 21st Geo. III., which allowed "a Popish master" 
to teach, if he took the oath of allegiance, and received no 
Protestant child into his school. Two years later such 
teachers were relieved from the necessity of taking out a 
licence. The consequence was a rapid multiplication of 
schools, the work of education being chiefly in the hands of 
monks and nuns. 

A few years later — in 1821 — another Protestant clergyman, 
the Rev. G. N. Wright, described the state of the Roman 
Catholic Church in Dublin. He remarked that there were 
only three of the chapels deserving of notice for architecture 
— the Metropolitan Chapel, in Marlborough-street ; Ann- 
street Chapel, in lieu of Mary's-lane; and St. Michael's and 


St. John's, in lieu of Rosemary-lane, on Essex's-quay. He 
also alludes to the penal laws, and says that while they 
lasted, even the rich who supported chaplains as part of their 
households, counted their beads in silence and retirement, 
adding that even yet the Catholics were not permitted to 
summon their congregations by the toll of the bell. 

Mr. Wright gives a description of the Marlborough-street 
Metropolitan Church, a grand structure for the time, com- 
menced in 1816, on a plot of ground formerly occupied by 
the mansion of Lord Annesley, just opposite Tyrone House, 
the town residence of the Marquis of Waterford, now occu- 
pied by the National Board of Education. " The stately 
edifice," he writes, "was raised by subscription solely — 
£26,000 has been already expended upon it, and it will pro- 
bably cost as much more to complete it. Mr. Hugh O'Connor 
contributed £4,000, and Mr. Cardiff £3,000." Magnificent 
as it was, however, the Catholics of that day did not presume 
to call it by any more pretentious name than Metropolitan 
"Chapel." When they got more courage and confidence, 
they called it a cathedral ; but now they do not think it 
worthy of that name, and it is styled "the Pro-Cathedral 
Church." It does duty for a cathedral provisionally, and it 
is probable that Cardinal Cullen has a plan in his head 
and funds in his hands which promise a cathedral worthy in 
his estimation of the metropolis of " Catholic Ireland." All 
the Roman Catholic places of worship are now " churches," 
and many of them are the finest buildings in the country, 
far surpassing anything of which Protestants can boast, 
except St. Patrick's and St. George's Church. 

Indeed the progress of the Roman Catholic Church in this 
city is astonishing, and has no parallel perhaps in any 
country in Europe. In 1820 there were in Dublin only ten 
parochial chapels, most of them of an humble character and 
occupying obscure positions. There were at the same time 
seven convents or " friaries," as they were then called, and 
ten nunneries, which Mr. Wright described as "religious 
asylums where the females of the Roman Catholic religion 
find shelter when deprived of the protection of their rela- 


ti\. s by the hand of Providence."* Now the loveliest 
daughters of some of the most respectable and the best 
connected Roman Catholic families leave their happy homes 
and take the veil, sometimes bringing with them ample 
fortunes — devoting themselves to the work of education and 
the relief of the poor as " Sisters of Mercy," " Sisters of 
Charity," Szc. 

There are now thirty -two churches and chapels in Dublin 
and its vicinity. In the diocese the total number of secular 
clergy is 287, and of regulars 125 ; total priests, 412. The 
number of nuns is 1,150. Besides the Catholic University, 
with its ample staff of professors, there are in the diocese 
six colleges, seven superior schools for boys, fourteen su- 
perior schools for ladies, twelve monastic primary schools, 
forty convent schools, and 200 lay schools, without includ- 
ing those which are under the National Board of Education. 
The Christian Brothers have 7,000 pupils under their in- 
struction, while the schools connected with the convents in 
the diocese contain 15,000. Besides Maynooth, which is 
amply endowed by the State, and contains 500 or 600 
students, all designed for the priesthood, there is the College 
of All Hallows, at Drumcondra, in which 250 young men are 
being trained for the foreign mission. The Roman Catholic 
charities of the city are varied and numerous. There are 
magnificent hospitals, one of which especially — the Mater 
Misericordire — has been not inappropriately called " the 
Palace of the Sick Poor " — numerous orphanages, several 
widows' houses, and other refuges for virtuous women; 
ragged and industrial schools, night asylums, penitentiaries, 
reformatories, institutions for the blind and deaf and dumb ; 
institutions for relieving the poor at their own houses, and 
Christian doctrine fraternities almost innumerable. All these 
wonderful organizations of religion and charity are supported 
wholly on the voluntary principle, and they have nearly 
all sprung into existence within half a century. The cost 
of all these churches, colleges, convents, and schools must 
be something enormous ; and it is difficult, even for those 
* Wright's Dublin, p. 174. 


who most dislike the Roman Catholic religion, to differ from 
a writer who says, — " It is impossible to contemplate this 
rapid advance in the work of charity and piety, without 
the conviction that this external growth of religion is but 
the manifestation of an improved inner life in the general 
mass of the population."* 

When comparing what the two Churches have done in 
Dublin, we must bear in mind that for the Protestant 
Establishment there have been the attraction and patronage 
of the Court, the support of the heads of all the adminis- 
trative departments, while, up to the close of the last cen- 
tury, there was the vast prestige, of the Irish Parliament, all 
the members of both Houses belonging to the Established 
Church, as well as the judges and state dignitaries. Again, 
the public grants of money for the Irish Church since the 
Union have been most profuse. Up to 1844 they were stated, 
from Parliamentary returns, as follows : — 

For building churches, £525,371 

For building glebe-houses, . . . . . 336,889 

For Protestant charity schools, . . . 1,105,588 

For the Society for Discountenancing Vice, &c, 101,991 

In connexion with this subject, Roman Catholic writers 
and orators do not fail to remark that while the Roman 
Catholic bishops and priests were persecuted fugitives, or 
doing duty by stealth in poverty and fear, some of the 
prelates of the Established Church were amassing enormous 
fortunes, and that bishops have been founders of many of 
the wealthiest families among the landed gentry of Ireland. 
The late Mr. Grattan, on the 12th July, 1842, during a 
debate in the House of Commons on the Irish Church, pro- 
duced statistics, extracted from the probates of wills in the 
Registry Office, Dublin, from which it appears that Arch- 
bishop Fowler left at his death, i?l 50,000 ; Archbishop 
Beresford, of Tuam, ^250,000 ; Archbishop Agar, of Cashel, 
,£400,000; Bishop Stopford, of Cork, ,£25,000; Bishop Percy, 
of Dromore, ^40,000 ; Bishop Cleaver, of Ferns, £50,000 ; 

* " Irish Catholic Directory, 1866," p. 198. 


Bishop Bernard, of Limerick, ^6*0,000 ; Bishop Porter, of 
Clogher, =£250,000; Bishop Hawkins, of Raphoe, ,£250,000; 
Bishop Knox, of Killaloe, =£100,000— total hoarded by the 
ten prelates, .£1,575,000. 

Then, the Established Church had Trinity College, with 
its endowment of 199,573 acres, its fees averaging d£30,000 
a year, and its right of presentation to twenty-one of the 
best benefices in the country, most of the Fellows being 
clergymen, and the University being fed by a number of 
royal and diocesan schools, well endowed, and under the 
control of the Church. 

Well, what lias been the result of the whole system of 
endowment and favour on the one side, and impoverish- 
ment and coercion on the other ? This question has been 
answered by a Protestant clergyman, the Very Rev. Hussey 
Burgh Macartney, D.D., Dean of Melbourne, in a pamphlet, 
called " The Experiment of Three Hundred Years." It was 
first printed in 1847. The author took for his text-book 
Bishop Mant's partial "History of the Irish Church." On his 
return to his native land lately, Dean Macartney published 
a new edition, in which he gives the result of his inquiries 
and reflections. He sums up his review of the past, asking, 
" What might England have done for the Irish Church?" 
And he answers : — " She might have Avatched over not 
merely the stability but the efficiency of what should ever 
have been regarded as a missionary Church, with a zeal pro- 
portioned to the difficulties of its position, and the intensity 
of its temptations. She might have sent over, not the refuse 
or offscouring, but the best and worthiest of her own sons, 
and drawn out and encouraged native merit and native 
exertion. She might have aided the Irish Church in every 
righteous effort to educate and evangelize the people, and 
stimulate its flagging energies. She might have demanded 
of the governors she sent us, that they should regard the 
preferments intrusted to them as a sacred charge, for which 
they must give strict account not only to God, but to the 
nation that sent them. Had she done this, Ireland would 
now be the grateful friend, the firm and faithful support of 



the country that had blessed her, and their natural differ- 
ences producing only a reciprocation of blessings, the people 
would have raised an united front to all the enemies of their 
temporal welfare, or of their common faith." 

In answer to the next question — " What has England 
done ?" he replies — " Laboured for centuries to degrade the 
Church of Christ into a political tool. So far from the ex- 
periment of attempting to convert or benefit Ireland through 
her National Church having been tried for 300 years, dis- 
countenance, neglect, or open persecution has attended 
every exhibition of spirituality within her own bosom, or 
of missionary exertion without. Her confidence has been 
gained to betray, her wealth and honours used to corrupt 
her ; she has been feasted like Isaac to be deceived — invited 
like Tamar to the fraternal mansion, to be defiled, and then 
cast out." 

"It is an old remark," says an Irish peer, "that one gene- 
ration suffers for the faults of another ; and this is not less 
true in ecclesiastical than civil affairs. The Irish Church 
had at one time singular opportunities, and she singularly 
neglected them, as Mant's History abundantly proves. In 
no part of the British Empire were the prospects of the 
Reformation brighter than in Ireland, but they were blighted 
by mismanagement, without a parallel. The fault lay pri- 
marily with the English Government ; but whether as 
wrong-doer or as victim, the Irish Church suffers, and cannot 
expect to undo the mischief of centuries by the activity of 

* Letter on Proselytism. 



I have noticed the marvellous progress of the principles of 
toleration during the List century, as illustrated in the history 
of the Roman Catholics of Dublin. Illustrations not less 
striking may be found in the history of Protestant Dissent. 
We could not have a better starting point for our review of 
this progress of religious freedom than the trial of the 
Rev. Thomas Emlyn for heresy and blasphemy in the Court 
of Queen's Bench, on the 14th of June, 1703. Mr. Emlyn 
was an Englishman, born at Stamford, Lincolnshire, in 
16G3. He entered the Dissenting ministry when just twenty 
years of age, and almost immediately after he came to Ire- 
land as domestic chaplain to the Countess of Donegal, with 
whose family he resided for some time in Belfast, after which 
he removed to London. In 1091 he was induced, after 
repeated and urgent invitations, to become co-pastor of 
the Presbyterian congregation of Wood-street — afterwards 
Strand-street — in Dublin, Mr. Boyse being the senior 
minister. Emlyn was a man of superior abilities, accom- 
plished, amiable, upright, a learned divine, and an eloquent 
preacher. The congregation numbered a thousand people, 
and included some of the nobility. For ten or twelve years 
everything Avent on pleasantly with Mr. Emlyn ; but in the 
course of his studies he began to entertain doubts of the 
divinity, or rather the supreme deity of Christ. He ascribed 
to Him all the other attributes in common with Trinitarians, 
but this he regarded as incompatible with the unity of 
God. Though averse, as he said, " to any mean compliances 
against his light in such sacred matters," he did not think it 
wise to throw himself abruptly out of a station of usefulness 
by an open avowal of his sentiments; and so he rather 
evaded the doctrines on which his mind was changed in 
the course of his preaching — dealing mostly with practical 



subjects. The congregation did not perceive this, and his 
preaching was as popular and apparently as useful as ever. 
But there was one member, Dr. Gumming, an elder of the 
congregation, who had been a divinity student, and he de- 
tected the latent heresy in the preaching of the junior 
pastor. He revealed his suspicions to Mr. Boyse ; they both 
waited on Emlyn, and questioned him on the subject. He 
then confessed frankly the change in his opinions, and 
offered to resign at once. To this they objected, and 
suggested a conference of the dissenting ministers of the 
city — Messrs. Weld, Travers, Sinclaire, Tredell, and Tate. 
" At their desire," he said, " I gave them a meeting, and 
candidly opened my mind to them. We had, not without 
mutual sorrow, about two hours' discourse, in which I pro- 
fessed myself ready to give my assent to the Scriptures, 
though not to their explanations ; judging I might justly 
use my reason where they so much used theirs, or other 
men's. And I would have done anything that, with a good 
conscience, I could, rather than have broken from them, 
with whom I had lived so many years in friendly acquaint- 
ance, and whom I loved and esteemed." But upon their 
first conference with him, they immediately agreed the 
same day to cast him off, without consulting his flock. 

He had just lost his wife, who left him two young- 
children, and he was overwhelmed with affliction. He went 
to London, hoping that the storm would soon blow over, and 
that he might return to the congregation. This, however, 
being out of the question, he came back to Dublin, and 
printed a defence of his opinions and his character, in con- 
sequence of the odium that had been excited against him. 
This he called " An humble Inquiry into the Scripture 
Account of the Lord Jesus Christ." He intended to return 
to England immediately after it was published, but some 
zealous Dissenters hearing of his plans resolved that he 
should not escape so easily. Two of them, a Presbyterian 
and a Baptist, being on the grand jury, were for having him 
presented to that body. But a quicker and surer process 
was adopted. Mr. Caleb Thomas, the Baptist, obtained a 


warrant from the Lord Chief Justice, Sir R. Pyne, to seize 
Emlyn and his books, and he went himself with the keeper 
of Newgate to execute the warrant. Heavy bail was taken 
till Easter, when the grand jury found a true bill against him 
for blasphemy, one of his own deacons being on the jury. 
Just at that moment came out an answer to his book that 
had been seized, by his late colleague, Mr. Boyse, with an 
inflammatory preface, and not a word in favour of liberty 
of thought. The trial took place in June. Before it com- 
menced, the prisoner was told by Sir R. Levins, an eminent 
barrister, that it was designed to " run him down like a 
wolf without law or game." His case was so odious that he 
found it hard to get counsel. If such a case occurred at the 
present day, the first men at the bar, such as Sergeant Arm- 
strong, m.p., or Mr. Butt, would be proud of the opportunity 
of pleading for the prisoner. But at Emlyn's trial several 
refused to have anything to do with the case, and those 
whom he did succeed in retaining ' v were so interrupted and 
borne down that they would not attempt it more." There 
was no evidence of the publication, but Boyse was sent for 
and put in the witness-box in order to extort from him 
the confession made by the prisoner to him and the ministers; 
and the amount of what he proved was that the prisoner 
declared " what was judged by his brethren to be near to 
Arianism." Six or seven of the bishops were present, in- 
cluding the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, Dr. Marsh 
and Dr. King. The counsel for the Crown urged that strong 
presumption was as good as evidence, and the Lord Chief 
Justice told the jury the same, and pointed them to the 
authority of the bishops on the bench beside him. His 
counsel did not dare to speak on the merits of the case, and 
he was not permitted to speak himself. When the jury had 
retired, they were hurried and goaded into a verdict of 
" Guilty. " The Attorney-General, Robert Rochford, de- 
manded that the prisoner should be sent to the pillory ; but 
in mercy to him, as " a man of letters," he was sentenced to 
one year's imprisonment, to pay a fine of £1,000 to the 
Queen, and to lie in gaol till it was paid. For five or six 


weeks he was confined in a close room, with six beds, among 
common felons, and then removed to the Marshalsea, where 
he remained a close prisoner for two years. During all that 
time he had not a single visit from bishop, presbyter, or 
layman to convert or console him, with the exception of Mr. 
Boyse and some of the poorer members of his congregation. 
"Of all men," he wrote, "the Dissenting ministers of Dublin 
were the most destitute of kindness ; not one of them, ex- 
cepting Mr. Boyse, vouchsafed me so much as that small 
office of humanity in visiting me when in prison ; nor had 
they so much pity on the soul of their erring brother — as 
they thought him — as to seek to turn him from the error of 
his way. These familiars, with whom I lived so many years 
in intimate society, never made the attempt," &c. At length, 
when it was found that the excessive fine of £1,000 was 
illegal, it was with much difficulty reduced to £70. And 
now comes the finishing touch of intolerance — an odious 
manifestation of cruelty and meanness in the name of charity. 
The Lord Primate, Dr. Narcissus Marsh, as the Queen's 
Almoner, was entitled to a shilling in the pound of all such 
fines, and he demanded that it should be levied off the whole 
amount inflicted by the sentence. " I thought," says the 
poor victim of persecution, who remained steadfast to his 
convictions to the last, " I thought his fees must have been 
reduced proportionately to her Majesty's reducement, and 
that the Church was to be as merciful as the State ; but I 
was mistaken herein. In short, after several applications 
and letters to him, he would have £20 of me, and so it was 
paid him, who thought it no blemish to his charity to take 
this advantage of the misery of one who, for conscience 
toward God, had endured grief."* 

Nearly twenty years after this — in 1719 — the Dublin 
Dissenting ministers engaged in negotiating the Toleration 
Act of that year, succeeded in obtaining the insertion of a 
clause, declaring that " neither this Act, or any clause, article, 
or thing therein contained, shall extend, or be construed to 
extend, to give any ease, benefit, or advantage, to any per- 
* The Trial of the Rev. Thomas Emlyn, &c. By George Mathews, esq. 


son who, in his preaching or writing, shall deny the doctrine 
of the Blessed Trinity." Never was the folly of intolerance 
more clearly demonstrated. This very congregation in 
Strand-street, which would have put its minister in the 
pillory, and nearly persecuted him to death, for being almost 
a Unitarian, itself soon after lapsed into Unitarianism. And 
mark the change ! One of its Unitarian ministers was the 
Rev. Mr. Plunket, whose son, William Conynham, became 
Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and whose grandson was Lord 
Plunket, late Bishop of Tuam. But for persecution, the 
Emlyns might have been as great a family as the Plunkets, 
and had Mr. Plunket lived in an age of intolerance, and been 
as noble in nature as Emlyn — the loss to the Church and 
State that would have thence ensued will be admitted by 
none more readily than by the Plunkets themselves. 

It is only by the light of such historical cases that we can 
see the progress that society has made, and be able to 
estimate the blessings of civil and religious liberty which we 
now enjoy. Another illustration has just occurred. The 
Rev. Dr. Montgomery, who died recently, was, for about 
forty years, the leader of the Unitarians in Ireland, and 
headed a large secession from the synod of Ulster, which has 
resulted in the formation of several Unitarian bodies, having 
altogether forty-four ministers. All these ministers are paid 
by the State, some £75 and some i?100 a year each. In 
addition to his d^lOO a year, Hegium Donum, Dr. Mont- 
gomery, the champion of principles which the law in the 
last century branded as blasphemy and heresy, received £1d0 
or =£200 a year for distributing the State endowment among 
his brethren ; and it has just been announced that his 
widow and daughter have received from the Crown a pension 
of i?l00 a year during the life of the survivor. What is 
most remarkable and suggestive in this instance of royal 
favour is the reason assigned for granting the pension, — for 
Dr. Montgomery's " services in the cause of civil and religious 
liberty." What a comfort it would have been to "the 
martyred Emlyn," languishing unfriended and forgotten in 
the noisome dungeon of the Marshalsea, if he could have 


foreseen the days of Henry Montgomery, who was more 
influential with Whig Governments in Dublin Castle than 
even his great orthodox rival, Henry Cooke, was with the 
Tory Governments. 

Congregations of Nonconformists were established in 
Dublin at a very early period after the Reformation. Before 
the reign of Charles II., many families of English Puritans 
and Scotch Presbyterians had settled there ; but they were 
more or less mixed up with the Established Church till 
1662, when the passing of the Act of Uniformity compelled 
the conscientious to separate. Among these were a number 
of clergymen, including the Provost of Trinity College and 
several of the Fellows. Being men distinguished for their 
station, learning, and piety, many wealthy and some noble 
families seceded with them, and formed congregations which 
were called Presbyterian, though they were not strictly 
bound by the Presb}^terian polity, but occupied a position 
between Presbyterianism and Congregationalism. They 
were formed into seven congregations, which were very 
large and influential ; namely, Wood-street, afterwards 
Strand-street, Cooke-street, New-row, afterwards Eustace- 
street, Plunket-street, Capel-street, Usher Vquay , and Abbey- 
street. The ministers had a Government stipend of i? 100 
a year each, which would be equal to i?300 or ^400 at the 
present day. The number of the Presbyterian congregations 
in the early part of this century was reduced to four ; and 
of these two, Strand-street and Eustace-street, formerly the 
largest and most influential, had lapsed into Unitarianism, 
still retaining the common name, Presbyterian. Strand- 
street congregation, as we have seen, formerly consisted of 
thousands ; but although the congregations of Cook-street 
and Mary's-abbey had merged into it, and although it was 
served by two pastors of singular ability, Dr. Armstrong and 
Dr. Drummond, the latter a highly accomplished scholar, the 
number of members in 1815 was only 560. The Eustace- 
street congregation could only count 200 members. The 
two orthodox Presbyterian congregations were Capel-street, 
afterwards called Mary's-abbey, and Usher' s-quay, into which 


the Plunket-street congregation had merged. The Mary's- 
abbey Meeting-house was shut in out of view behind Capeh 
street, entered by a gateway under the houses. Usher's-quay 
Meeting-house was also inclosed in the midst of old houses, 
as if "Nonconformity," as well as Popery, was anxious to 
to hide itself from public notice. 

When the Plunket-street Presbyterians moved to Usher's- 
quay in 1774, the vacant meeting-house w T as occupied by a 
congregation of Independents, who received "supplies" from 
England for some years. Their first settled pastor was the 
Rev. William Cooper, of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion. 
He was a man of great energy and ability, who had tremen- 
dous power as a controversialist; but though he attacked 
the Church of Rome vehemently, he was rather popular with 
Roman Catholics, who sometimes went to hear him in con- 
siderable numbers. The congregation was for a long time 
large and flourishing, having schools and almshouses in 
connexion with it. Mr. Cooper's son, the Rev. W. Haweis 
Cooper, also a man of superior ability, became the Inde- 
pendent minister of a new chapel in King's Inn-street, and 
the resident tutor of the Manor-street Academy or College, 
established by the Irish Evangelical Society for the education 
of ministers to labour in Ireland. At an early period an 
Independent Congregation was established in York-street, 
off Stephen's-green, for which a large and respectable looking 
building was erected in the year 1808. For these several 
places, as well as for others throughout Ireland, the men and 
the money for a long time came from England ; and, indeed, 
Independency, which never seemed able to take firm root in 
the Irish soil, has been mainly supported by English funds 
sent through the committee of the Irish Evangelical Society 
in London. The Rev. Dr. Campbell once spoke of the Irish 
Independent Mission as "ploughing the sand." 

Methodism was introduced into Ireland about the middle 
of the last century. The two Wesleys, John and Charles, 
visited Dublin, Cork, and other towns. Protestants flocked 
to hear them ; but they were much annoyed by mobs of 
Roman Catholics. In Cork, Mr. Charles Wesley found it 


necessary to prosecute the rioters, and twenty-eight deposi- 
tions were laid before the grand jury in August, 1749. But 
the grand jury, instead of rinding true bills against the 
rioters, represented Wesley, and nine of his friends, as 
"persons of ill-fame, vagabonds, common disturbers of his 
Majesty's peace, and prayed that they might be transported." 
The consequence was that the persecuting mob paraded the 
streets in triumph, offering £5 reward for a " Swaddler's 
head.'"' When Mr. Wesley and his friends appeared in court 
to stand their trial, the judges apologised for the outrage on 
religious freedom, rebuked the bigotry of the grand jury, 
and dismissed the case. In 1791, about the time of John 
Wesley's death, his connexion in Ireland comprehended 
twenty-nine circuits, sixty-seven preachers, and 14,000 
members. In 1802, the number of Wesleyan meeting-houses 
in Ireland was 122. In 1816 the Irish Conference reported 
forty-eight circuits, 133 preachers, and nearly 29,000 members. 

Other sects were represented hi Dublin at an early period 
of then existence — the Baptists, the Moravians, the Friends ; 
and some had then origin in this city, namely, the Walker- 
it es, the Kellyites, and others. The total number of Dissenters 
in Dublin in the year 1816 was 7,491, distributed as follows : 
— Orthodox Presbyterians, 2,200 ; Unitarians, 760 ; Presby- 
terian Seceders, 140; Independents, 1,700; Methodists, 1,420; 
Moravians, 230; Baptists, 150; Friends, 650; Walker's, 
Kelly's, and foreign Protestants, 240. There is a record of 
collections for schools and other charitable purposes hi the 
different places of worship in Dublin in the year 1815, 
which is interesting and suggestive. Protestant churches, 
£7,278 10.5. 7i& ; Roman Catholic chapels, £3,300 9s. 4d; 
Presbyterian meeting-houses, £1,259 18s. Id. ; Independent 
ditto, .£1,100; Methodist ditto, £388 6s. Id.; Baptist ditto, 
£190;— total, £13,517 4s. Id. 

Before the year 1840 there were two bodies of orthodox 
Presbyterians in Ireland, located chiefly in Ulster — the 
Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod. They were then 
united in one body, called "The General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church in Ireland," which, in 1856, comprised 


510 congregations, managed under thirty-seven Presbyteries. 
The ministers are supported by voluntary contributions, the 
rents of seats or pews, and the Regiwm, Donum. This was 
first granted by Charles II. in 1(372, who gave o£600 of 
" Secret Service-money" to be distributed in equal portions 
among the ministers annually. The grant was discontinued 
towards the close of his reign and during the reign of James 
II. ; but it was renewed and doubled by William III. In 
1784 the amount was increased to i?2,200, and in 1792 to 
i?5,000. In 1803 a classification was made according to the 
number and importance of the congregations — the first class 
being £100 ; the second, £75 ; and the third, £50, Irish 
currency. When the first-class men die out, the arrangement 
is that their successors will receive only £75. The money 
is voted annually, so that it is no longer a royal gift, but a 
Parliamentary grant. The total amount voted last year was 
£40,808 2s. 4 J. But this sum is shared with three Unitarian 
bodies— "The Remonstrant Synod of Ulster," "The Synod 
of Munster," and the "Presbytery of Antrim," having between 
them about fifty ministers. Their congregations are not 
large, but they are generally influential and wealthy. A few 
years ago these three bodies united to form the "General 
Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Association of Ireland," for 
the promotion of their common principles, "the right of 
private judgment and non-subscription to creeds and con- 
fessions of faith." Their doctrines are supposed to vary from 
the high Arianism for which Emlyn suffered to views of 
Christ bordering on those of Renan. 

There is no doubt that the Presbyterians of Ulster are as 
well able as as any body of Christians in England or Scotland 
to support their own ministers. But it seems to be a fixed 
idea with both ministers and people that their Church could 
scarcely exist without the Regium Donum ; and the Rev. 
John Rogers, late Moderator of the General Assembly, made 
repeated efforts to get the grant increased to a uniform rate 
of ^lOO a year for each minister, and that the endowment 
should be placed upon the Consolidated Fund — not an un- 
reasonable demand, if the Established Church be maintained. 


for the Presbyterians are nearly as numerous as the Episco- 
palians, and are quite equal to them in loyalty, intelligence, 
industry, and good conduct. No doubt, if Parliament should 
refuse the Regium Donum, and throw the Presbyterian 
ministers upon the voluntary system, making them wholly 
dependent for support upon their own people, who generally 
pay their ministers rather grudgingly, the Establishment 
would lose a most powerful support, and would have to bear 
the onset of an energetic agitation from the north. The total 
number of ministers connected with the Wesleyan body in 
Ireland is 155, and of their members 1 8,749. There is another 
body of the Wesleyan family, called the Primitive Methodist 
Society, which has in Ireland about 8,000 or 9,000 members. 

Returning to Dublin, I find by the last census that the 
total number of Presbyterians throughout the city parishes 
is 4,875, without counting two good congregations in the 
suburbs, one at Sandymount and the other at Rathgar. The 
number of Wesleyans in Dublin is 1,897 ; of Independents, 
392 ; of Baptists, 185 ; of Friends, 302 ; and of Jews, 324. 
From these statistics it is clear that the Church has absorbed 
nearly all the Dissenters except the Presbyterians of the 
General Assembly. These are constantly recruited from Ulster 
and Scotland, and consist to a large extent of prosperous mer- 
chants and thriving people in various branches of business. 

Some time ago, with the help of a legacy from a wealthy 
widow named Magee,* the late Rev. Richard Dill first 
brought his church into the face of day by the erection of a 
handsome building on Ormond-quay ; and more recently, 
the Mary's-abbey congregation, which was far the most 
wealthy, emerged from its gloomy enclosure in Capel-street, 
and removed to a magnificent new church in Rutland-square, 

* Mrs. Magee, the widow of a Presbyterian clergyman, had attached 
herself to the Established Church, till Mr. Dill devoted himself to her 
spiritual good. The result was that she built him a church, and gave 
£40,000 to Presbyterian missions, and £20,000 or ,£30,000 more for a 
Presbyterian College at Londonderry, called the Magee College, with a 
handsome sum for the residuary legatees, Mr. Dill and Mr. S. M. Greer. 
The money was left her by a brother. 


which cost £12,000 or £14,000, and was erected solely by 
the munificence of Mr. Findlater, a grocer and wine mer- 
chant. Some of the ministers of the Mary's-abbey congre- 
gation were distinguished men. The late Dr. Carlile, who 
succeeded Dr. Horner, became the first Resident or paid 
Commissioner of the National Board of Education, and had 
much to do with the compilation of the school-books. It 
spoke well for the liberality of the late Roman Catholic^ 
Archbishop Murray, that he worked for man}' years harmo- 
niously on the Board of Education with a Presbyterian 
minister in that responsible position ; and it shows how 
highly Dr. Carlile was esteemed, when his profession did 
not constitute a barrier to his appointment. 

With the exception of the Presbyterians and the Wes- 
ley ans, Protestant dissent in Dublin may be regarded as all 
but extinct. In the early part of this century Church 
people crowded to hear popular preachers belonging to the 
Independent, Baptist, and Wesleyan denominations, because, 
as they said, they had not "the Gospel " in the parish 
churches, and they were repelled by the dull formality, 
carelessness, and deathlike coldness which reigned there. 
But as soon as extra-parochial churches were erected with 
popular ministers, preaching extemporaneously, they returned 
to the Church, and the Dissenting places of worship were 
gradually deserted. The AVesleyans, however, owing to 
their peculiar organization, kept their hold on the people to 
a large extent. The Presbyterians do not regard themselves 
as Dissenters, but as a branch of the Established Church of 
Scotland, planted in this country, which originally shared 
the tithes with the Episcopalians, and which has been all 
along recognised and endowed by the State, with the ex- 
ception of a period of exclusion during the tyranny of the 
Stuarts, when their ministers were expelled, prosecuted, and 
incarcerated even by such enlightened bishops as Jeremy 
Taylor. During the existence of the Penal Code also, though 
not suffering like Roman Catholics, the Presbyterians were 
kept by the dominant sect in a position of humiliation and 
subordination, and were induced even to forego their rights 


and liberties to some extent, under the pretext that this 
was necessary in order to secure "the Protestant succession" 
in England, and "the Protestant interest " in Ireland. The 
spirit of submission and the habit of subserviency to the 
ascendant oligarchy of Churchmen, which monopolized all 
the powers and privileges of the State, have continued with 
some mitigation to our own time. The relation of Non- 
conformist churches to the Establishment in this country, 
politically considered, was like that of skiffs following in the 
wake of a man-of-war. They never dared to take any inde- 
pendent political action. 

The Presbyterians, though in Ulster they far outnumber 
the Episcopalians, have not a single representative in the 
present Parliament. Several gentlemen of position and 
mark among them offered themselves as candidates, but 
their own people voted against them in favour of Churchmen 
and Tories belonging to the great aristocratic families founded 
by Presbyterians. In Dublin it was deemed a monstrous 
thing for a Presbyterian or Protestant Dissenter to vote for 
a Liberal candidate. But the spell was broken at the last 
election, when Presbyterians joined with Roman Catholics 
and liberal Churchmen in returning a Quaker, Mr. Jonathan 
Pirn. And they also voted for the Hon. Captain "White, the 
unsuccessful Liberal candidate for the county. There was 
one magic word which prevented all liberal manifestations 
among the Protestants in Dublin and Ulster — Popery, Popery, 
Popery ! The Pope was the perpetual bugbear — a great 
devouring "beast," which threatened to swallow up all our 
institutions, not excepting the throne, and to gulp down 
first of all the Irish Protestant Establishment, which would 
render the rest an easy prey. 



The Rev. A. Cogan, of Navan, author of a learned work on 
the "Diocese of Meath,"* of which only the first volume has 
appeared, becomes eloquent and excited when he contemplates 
the ruins that abound in this part of the country. It may be 
instructive to quote some passages from his book, because it 
is in a similar strain that a great many of the priests address 
their flocks from the altar, producing a state of mind which 
is an element of no small power in the popular discontent. 
" The parish of Dunshaughlin," he says, " is encompassed on 
all sides with ruins of churches, abbeys, and chapels of ease. 
The green mounds of the dead, the traditional reverence of 
the people, the drooping willow, or the hoary ash-tree, spread- 
ing her branches over these consecrated spots, alone mark 
the sites of many a sanctuary which demons in human shape 
have uprooted and profaned. The gray walls or ivy-mantled 
mi us of others stand still, records of past ages — heirlooms 
of piety and charity — speaking to the heart, and recalling to 
memory those ages of faith and philanthropy, when, says 
Dr. Johnson, ' Ireland was the school of the west, the quiet 
habitation of sanctity and literature.' " Speaking of the 
abbey of Slane, he says — " Seated on a lofty hill, where St. 
Patrick kindled the paschal fire, clothed in ivy, surrounded 
by the richest pastures, within view of some of the most 
ancient pagan and Christian antiquities, and looking down 
on the blue waters of the Boyne — commanding the most 
extensive view of Meath — the ruins of Slane Abbey impress 
the beholder with religious solemnity, and carry us back to 
those ages when its aisles, now deserted, were thronged with 
worshippers, and when the piety and learning of its monastic 
teachers attracted numbers to its halls." Again, referring to 

* " The Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern." By the Rev. A. 

Cogan, Catholic Curate, Navan. 1862. 


Kells, Mr. Cogan remarks — " From the second year of Eliza- 
beth this town sent two members to the Irish Parliament 
till the ill-fated Union, when the borough was disfranchised, 
and £15,000, awarded as compensation, were given to the 
Earl of Bective. Two disastrous events led to the decline 
of Kells. The one, the confiscation of the wealthy religious 
houses, where poverty was relieved, numberless artisans 
employed, and the lands of which were let at moderate 
rents. The other was common to all Irish towns, the loss of 
our national independence." Taking a more comprehensive 
view, the historian exclaims : — " Clonard indeed is gone, 
Lismore is gone, Armagh, Clonmacnoise, Bangor, Glenda- 
lough, Kildare, Devenish, all these ancient landmarks have 
been swept away. The hand of the spoiler has torn up 
these sanctuaries of the faith and charity of our fathers. 
Their halls are no longer filled; the door of hospitality is no 
longer open to the poor man, the traveller, and the wayfarer. 
Silence — the silence of the grave — reigns around those holy 
places, where the cheerful laugh of youth, the pious chant 
of the monks, the sacred song of the holy sacrifice, amidst 
incense and ceremony, once resounded. All that the powers 
of this world could effect has been done. The monastery, 
the gorgeous temple, the abbey church, have disappeared. 
The abbey lands have been seized, the patrimony of the poor 
was confiscated. As if to show the strength of God's Word, 
the interposition of his providence and his merciful designs 
for the Irish nation, all the external aids, which the charity 
and philanthropy of past ages had conferred on religion, 
were permitted by him to be torn away."'' 1 

This is the bright side of the picture of monastic life, and 
it is not surprising that when a priest holds the brush of 
the artist, it should be highly coloured. But the picture has 
a dark side, too. In the first place, most of the monuments 
of piety, the destruction of which he deplores, had no exis- 
tence in those ages when, according to Dr. Johnson, Ireland 
was the quiet habitation of sanctity and literature. On the 
contrary, the greatest of them were erected in times when 
* " The Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern," page 8. 


the country was very far from being a " quiet habitation," 
and by the race who had been its invaders and despoilers. 
There was much good in those monastic institutions, but the 
good was not unmixed. It cannot serve the interests of 
humanity or of society to hide from our view half the facts 
of history, and argue from the other as if they were the 
whole. Historians who do this are as unsafe teachers as 
novelists who have but two sets of characters in their books, 
angels and demons. In the convent, as well as in the world, 

human nature presented a mixture of virtues and vices a 

picture of light and shade, not always " well accorded," the 
light being sometimes very brilliant, and the shade often in 
heavy masses. Besides, it is impossible to judge from what 
monasteries and nunneries are now in Protestant countries 
where Rome antagonizes with competing and censorious 
sects, with respect to what those institutions were when all 
Christendom was Catholic, when the Church was everywhere 
established, when bishops were feudal barons, when abbats, 
monks, and friars were extensive landowners, when religious 
houses were the homes of wealth and luxury, and when 
society around was in a state of disorder bordering on dis- 
solution. We may be able to form a better idea, though 
not an exact one, of the state of the religious world before 
the Reformation by the cases of Spain and Italy, where 
Catholic Governments have abolished monastic institutions 
on account of radical and incurable abuses, converting their 
immense landed property to national purposes. The late 
Bishop Doyle, the ablest modern champion of Catholicity, a 
prelate, who may be called the Irish Bossuet, and who was 
himself educated in Spain, expressed a very decided opinion 
that it would have been a great blessing to that country if 
its wealthy and luxurious monastic establishments were 

There is a great deal that is instructive about this subject 
in the history of caricature in the Middle Ages. Just as 
our Punch presents weekly true pictures, if exaggerated, 
of the follies and vices of the day, so the artists of the Middle 
Ages described the follies and vices of their times ; and it is 



remarkable that the clergy, and particularly the friars and 
monks, were the most popular subjects of then pictorial 
satire ; indeed, they were the stock models of pride, gluttony, 
intemperance, and other vices; and what is very extraordi- 
nary is, that such pictures were found most frequently orna- 
menting the interiors of ecclesiastical buildings and their 
sacred furniture, as well as in the embellishments of illu- 
minated books and records which were often the work of 
ecclesiastics, and were always under the eyes of the Church 
authorities. Besides, the religious ceremonies which Eoman 
Catholics hold most sacred were often publicly ridiculed and 
burlesqued; and the artists who did this with most out- 
rageous profanity, were the most popular with the Catholic 
multitude. Mr. Wright remarks that two favourite subjects 
of caricature among the Anglo-Saxon artists were the clergy 
and the Evil One. " We have abundant evidence that from 
the eighth century downwards neither the Anglo-Saxon 
clergy nor the Anglo-Saxon nuns were generally objects of 
much respect among the people ; and their character and the 

manner of their lives sufficiently account for it 

As we proceed we shall see the clergy continuing to furnish 
a butt for the shafts of satire through all the Middle Ages."* 
Such subjects as the following are frequently found on the 
carved seats or misereres in the stalls of old cathedrals and 
cathedral churches, and on the painted glass of church win- 
dows: — The fox in the pulpit with the ecclesiastical hood 
and cowl; the fox turned monk dressed in ecclesiastical 
costume, and canying home two or three geese ; demons 
tripping up intriguing monks and casting them into a river, 
or into "hell mouth;" foxes saying mass, &c There is a 
story told by Odo de Cerington, the popular fabulist, to the 
effect that one day the wolf died, and the lion called the 
animals together to celebrate his obsequies. " The hare 
carried the holy water, hedgehogs bore the candles, the 
goats rang the bells, the moles dug the grave, the foxes 
carried the corpse on the bier, the bear celebrated mass, the 

* " A History of Caricature and Grotesque in Literature and Art." 
By T. Wright, esq., &c. 1865. P. 53. 


ox read the Gospel and the ass the Epistle. When the mass 
was concluded the animals made a splendid feast out of the 
goods of the deceased., and wished for such another funeral." 
Our satirical ecclesiastic makes an application of this story 
which tells little to the credit of the monks of his time. 
"So it frequently happens," he says, "that when some rich 
extortioner or a usurer dies, the abbat or prior of a convent 
of beasts, i.e., of men living like beasts, causes them to 
assemble. For it commonly happens that in a great convent 
of black or white monks (Benedictines or Augustinians) 
there are none but beasts — lions by their pride, foxes by 
their craftiness, goats by their incontinence, asses by their 
sluggishness, hedgehogs by their asperity, hares by their 
timidity, because they were cowardly where there was no 
fear, and oxen by the laborious cultivation of their land."* 
A similar story was found represented in the sculptured 
ornamentation of Strasbourg Cathedral. An engraving of 
this was made and published by a reformer in 1580, but the 
whole impression was seized and burned by the common 
hangman. Mr. "Wright gives cases of popular demonstra- 
tions and theatrical representations, showing that religion 
in the Middle Ages had fallen into the greatest possible 
contempt with the masses of the people, and also with the 
educated classes among the laity. He remarks that, "al- 
though these performances were proscribed by the ecclesias- 
tical laws, they were not discountenanced by the ecclesiastics 
themselves, who, on the contrary, indidged as much in 
after-dinner amusements as anybody. The laws against 
profane songs are often directed especially at the clergy; 
and it is evident that amono- the Ano-lo-Saxons as well as 
on the Continent, not only the priests and monks, but the 
nuns also. in their love of such amusements, far trangressed 
the bounds of decency." On the character of the nuns 
among the Anglo-Saxons, and indeed of the inmates of the 
monastic houses generally, Mr. Wright refers his readers "to 
the excellent and interesting volume by Mr. John Trupp, 
1 The Anglo-Saxon Home : a History of the Domestic Insti- 

* Wright, p. 80. 



tutions and Customs of England from the Fifth to the 
Eleventh Century.' "* 

If we may trust contemporary records, the Anglo-Normans 
were no better than the Anglo-Saxons, and whatever may 
be said for the pre-eminence of Irish female virtue, it must 
be admitted that the Irish conventual establishments were 
not quite free from the irregularities which abounded in 
other countries. There was certainly room for reform, and 
for a better distribution and adaptation of church property 
of all sorts to the purposes for which it was designed. 
Richly-endowed communities may be active enough while 
they are subject to some powerful external stimulus, or to a 
severe and vigilant authority ; but the whole history of the 
Church proves that when such communities are left to them- 
selves, they gradually sink into a state of sloth and self- 
indulgence. Nevertheless those religious establishments 
were the only educational institutions, and the only asylums 
for the poor, and the stranger, and the wayfarer, which then 
existed. Their inmates recognized the great principles and 
obligations of Christian charity, and they did not forget that 
they enjoyed the property as trustees for the people, and for 
the poor who gathered around them. They were always 
resident ; they spent their incomes on the spot ; they gave 
employment, relieved distress, and visited the sick. It is 
plain, therefore, that when those institutions were de- 
molished, when their property was confiscated, and seized 
by rapacious individuals for their own benefit, while the 
inmates were scattered abroad without compensation or 
provision — a great calamity was inflicted upon the country. 
Nothing was substituted for the institutions thus destroyed 
— no schools, no hospitals, no infirmaries, no asylums — no 
provision of any kind for the poor disinherited people, who 
were flung like weeds out of the confiscated lands, and left 
to perish on the highways. 

The efforts made by these disinherited people and their 
clergy, thrown wholly upon them for support, to supply 
themselves with such necessary institutions, have been ex- 
* Wright, p. 44. 


traordinary. In England, the poor laws were established 
immediately after the Reformation, and the workhouse, to 
a certain extent, supplied the place of the monastery ; but 
nearly two hundred and fifty years had elapsed before a 
similar provision was made for the Irish poor, though many 
times more destitute than the English. The consequence 
was a numerous race of "beggars," vagrant families, who 
roamed over the country, living upon the poor formers, but 
excluded from the abodes of the gentry by well-guarded 
gates and vigilant house-dogs, which knew their duty so 
well that they could scent a beggar half a mile off. The 
famine of 1847 swept away most of this vagrant race, and 
about the same time the Poor-law came into operation, 
bringing relief no doubt in the form of food and shelter, but 
entailing fearful demoralization, by crowding all sorts of 
characters together, and violating still further the laws of 
nature by the compulsory separation of parents and children 
as well as husbands and wives. 

Those who would understand the state of Ireland, and 
legislate for it wisely, should consider well the progress of 
the Roman Catholic Church in this country since 1829, 
and the moral effect of that progress on the spirit of the 
community. When we reflect upon this we shall not feel 
surprised that the present generation of Roman Catholics, 
clergy and laity, in view of their own achievements and 
self-elevation, should be unwilling to be bound by declara- 
tions, promises, or pledges made by a broken-spirited race 
and impoverished Church during the arduous struggle for 
emancipation. The right or wrong of a state of feeling is 
one thing, the state of facts which gives rise to it is another 
thing; of the former it is not my province now to judge, 
the latter it is my business to report. Dr. Doyle did more 
than any prelate of his day — more, indeed, than all the Irish 
prelates put together — by his writings and influence to 
achieve the work of emancipation; but he was a man of 
energetic action, as well as a powerful writer and speaker. 
He had one of those moral natures which can never rest 
while surrounded by abuses and disorders that they have 


the power to correct — to which meanness, feebleness, and 
deformity are intolerable when there is a possibility of 
replacing them by dignity, power, beauty, grandeur. He 
was, therefore, the originator of that course of ecclesiastical 
renovation, material and spiritual, which has since his day 
produced such wonderful results; and his "monument in 
stone," the cathedral in Carlo w, presented a model and an 
example which roused emulation in his brethren, and showed 
what could be accomplished under the greatest difficulties 
by the faith and courage of energetic minds. To such minds 
as Dr. Doyle's, indeed, posterity owes nearly all the good it 
inherits ; their thoughts fructify in blessings, in geometrical 
progression, to all generations. 

On Easter Monday, 1828 ; Dr. Doyle, attired in his epis- 
copal robes, laid the first stone of his new cathedral. "This 
splendid edifice," says Mr. Fitzpatrick, "was projected and 
attempted under circumstances which would have discou- 
raged any ordinary person. Thatched cabins had long been 
used for the celebration of the divine mysteries, and many 
persons looked to a comfortable slated brick-and -mortar 
church as a step in the march of progress more desirable 
than practicable. Catholicism still lay bound in penal fetters. 
Dr. Doyle had no funds collected to defray the expenses of 
building. His own scanty means and those of the clergy 
had been encroached upon to the uttermost in providing 
food and clothing for the famishing people, and in erecting 
school-houses for the education of the peasant youth. The 
bishop knew, however, that he who once begins a work has 
half accomplished it, and trusting in the first place to Him 
in whose honour the cathedral was to be raised, and in the 
next to the fidelity of that flock of whom he was the pastor, 
Dr. Doyle, full of hope and manly resolution, planted the 
first stone as we have described." He lived but six years 
after this event, and yet he had the happiness of officiating 
in it on many occasions before his death. The clergyman 
who preached his funeral sermon there exclaimed: — "How 
often on that altar have I beheld this great high priest, 
lofty and dignified as Simeon of old, when he stood in the 


sanctuary, clothed with brightness and surrounded by the 
glorious sons of Aaron." In the Biogra/phie Universelle 
there is the following notice of this church : — "La cathe'drale 
de Carlow est sans contredit le plus beau monument eccle'- 
siastique qui ait ete eleve en Irelande dans le dix-neuvieme 
siecle. Depuis plusieurs annees il ressamblait par tous les 
moyens qui sont a la disposition d'un dignitaire de l'eglise, 
les fonds necessaires pour cette belle fondation, et Ton peut 
dire que sans son influence personelle, sans l'estime et l'ad- 
miration qu'il inspirait, la cathedrale serait encore dans les 
dpurcs de l'architecte." The late Mr. Thackeray, so satirical, 
if not cynical, about most things Irish, could not restrain 
his admiration of this cathedral when he visited the country 
in 1841. In the ''Irish Sketch-Book" he wrote: — "The 
Catholics point to the structure with considerable pride, it 
was the first, I believe of the many handsome cathedrals for 
their worship which have been built of late years in this 
country by the noble contributions of the poor man's penny, 
and by the untiring energies and sacrifices of the clergy. 
Bishop Doyle, the founder of the church, has the place of 
honour within it ; nor, perhaps, did any Christian pastor 
ever merit the affection of his flock more than that great 
and high-minded man. He was the best champion the 
Catholic Church and cause ever had in Ireland — in learning, 
and admirable kindness, and virtue, the best example to the 
clergy of his religion ; and if the country is now filled with 
schools, where the humblest peasant in it can have the 
benefit of a liberal and wholesome education, it owes this 
great boon mainly to his noble exertions, and to the spirit 
which they awakened." 

Dr. Doyle saw all the importance to the Catholic cause of 
the Clare election, and therefore gave O'Connell his decided 
support. A short letter from the bishop called forth from 
the great agitator the following burst of gratitude : — " If I 
had spent twenty-eight centuries instead of twenty-eight 
years in the service of my country, those sentiments ex- 
pressed in that letter would amply reward me. One spirit 
animates us all, and we have the prayers of that truly pious 


prelate for our success. The approbation of Dr. Doyle will 
bring to our cause the united voice of Ireland. I trust it 
will be the vox populi, vox Dei." 

The letter produced a very different effect on Lord 
Anglesey, who was then Viceroy. Enclosing it to Sir 
Robert Peel, he said : — "I fear the Clare, election will end 
ill. Dr. Doyle's letter to Mr. O'Connell is most mischievous. 
I, however, still hope that most of the other bishops set 
their faces against his proceedings." But another writer 
recorded the result in the following terms :— " The priest- 
hood and people heartily united, and moved as one man by 
the magnificent appeal of the patriot prelate, J. K. L., stood 
together and could not be divided." Years after, Sir Robert 
Peel himself acknowledged that the Clare election supplied 
the manifest proof of an abnormal and unhealthy condition 
of the public mind in Ireland — the manifest proof that the 
sense of a common grievance, and the sympathies of a com- 
mon interest, were beginning to loosen the ties which connect 
different classes of men in friendly relations to each other — 
to weaken the force of local and personal attachments, and 
to unite the scattered elements of society into a homogeneous 
and disciplined mass, yielding willing obedience to the 
assumed authority of superior intelligence hostile to the 
law, and to the Government which administered it. 

These are weighty words. Mr. Thackeray remarked that 
the people pointed with pride to the Carlow cathedral. 
They do jjoint with pride to all such edifices which have 
been raised in towering grandeur ever since in all parts of 
the country, overtopping and eclipsing the cathedrals of the 
Establishment. If British policy and Protestant principles 
had permitted the erection of Roman Catholic churches by 
parliamentary grants under the direction of the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners or the Board of Works, instead of the national 
pride, which is a sort of defiance to England, there might 
have been inspired the feeling of national gratitude, while 
the hierarchy would have been content with buildings less 
ostentatious, and showing less of the spirit of rivalry in their 
magnitude and style of architecture. At the same time, 


those social bonds would have been strengthened, the 
loosening of which Sir Robert Peel so much deplored. 

Some account may properly be introduced here of the 
revival which has taken place in the Roman Catholic Church 
during the last thirty or forty years, because we are reminded 
of it by the labours of the late Bishop Doyle with one of 
the Leinster dioceses. The celebrated signature J. K. L. re- 
presents the words " James, Kildare and Leighlin," those two 
dioceses being united in the Roman Catholic Church, while 
Leighlin and Ferns were united in the Established Church. 
Dr. Doyle was the ablest Roman Catholic divine of his day ; 
he had a singularly honest mind, and was a man always 
actuated by strong convictions of duty; he was, therefore, 
not less earnest as a Church reformer in his own communion 
than he was zealous as a champion of the " Catholic cause" 
identified in Ins view with the cause of the Irish nation. 
In the valuable work on his life and times by Mr. Fitz- 
patrick,* there are no chapters more interesting than those 
which record the strenuous and indefatigable efforts of this 
eminent prelate to restore discipline and to introduce decency 
and dignity in the mode of conducting public worship in 
the diocese committed to his charge. It appears that it had 
been the custom to appoint very aged men to the episcopal 
office in the Irish Roman Catholic Church, and that owing 
to their infirmities and consequent inactivity great laxity of 
discipline prevailed among the priests. Many of the parish 
priests speculated in farming, and made money by it ; others 
attended races, and not a few hunted. " They ejaculated 
" Tally ho " as often as " Dominus vobiscum." Their solemn 
black cloth and long clerical boots formed an unpleasant 
contrast to the gay scarlet coats and white tops of their lay 
companions." Dr. Doyle, who was a very young bishop, 
resolved to put a stop to all such irregularities. He pro- 
hibited his clergy from attending places of public amuse- 
ment. A priest must never appear on a race-course, unless 
it happened to be in his own parish. He also insisted that 

* The Life, Times, and Correspondence of the Right Rev. Dr. Doyle. 
By William J. Fitzpatriek, j.p. Dublin : James Duffy and Co, 


the} T should give up farming, except on a very small scale. 
It appears that in every respect the priesthood were greatly 
secularized throughout the United Kingdom in their dress 
as well as in their habits. In England they almost all wore 
brown, and we are informed by the Eev. Dr. Hussenbeth, 
that the Eev. Joseph Berrington was the first to appear in 
a black coat, and he was blamed for needlessly exposing the 
clergy to insult and persecution. No splendid ceremonial 
was as yet adopted in Catholic chapels. At the first attempt 
to get up benediction at Oscott, they could procure no better 
incense than a little resin, which Weedall, being sacristan. 
scraped out of some broken knife handles in the kitchen. 
He adds, " Little can Catholics who live in these days con- 
ceive the state of things when we could hardly walk abroad 
without insult, when we said mass chiefly in garret chapels, 
and were occasionally hooted, and had stones thrown after 
us, as it has happened even to the present writer." That 
state of things had passed away in Ireland when Dr. Doyle 
became a bishop, and, instead of the spirit of persecution, a 
friendly and neighbourly feeling had grown up between 
the priests and Protestant gentry, and in many cases between 
them and the Protestant clergy. The parson and the priest 
often hunted together, dined together, drank together, and 
played cards together, and they were about equally negligent 
in respect to their official duties, which they performed, when 
unavoidable, in the most perfunctory and slovenly manner. 
There was particularly a disgraceful want of cleanliness in 
the places of worship, which was the more inexcusable on 
the part of the priests from their belief in the sacrifice of 
the mass. Of such abuses Dr. Doyle was a stem reformer. 
Mr. Fitzpatrick tells us, that wherever he could lay his hand 
upon them he tore them up root and branch. He felt that 
the words addressed to the prophet were addressed em- 
phatically to him : " Behold this day I have set thee to root 
up and to pull down, and to destroy and to build and to plant," 
If, after rebuking a priest for culpable carelessness, Dr. Doyle 
aprain found the vestments or altar clothes soiled or shabby, 
he tore them into ribbons, and the Mass-book not unfre- 


quently met the same fate. " On his first visitation to a 
remote parish of Kildare he was disgusted to find the sacer- 
dotal vestments soiled and threadbare, and deposited in a 
turf basket. Dr. Doyle admonished the priest, but without 
effect, for on the next visitation matters appeared precisely 
in the same posture. Tearing the chasuble in two pieces, 
he told the priest that, if unable to purchase a new one, 
which he greatly doubted, at least to make up the price in 
halfpence and pence among his flock. The old pastor's 
habits were irrevocably formed, and he remained so utterly 
deaf to the young prelate's wishes, that, instead of doing 
what had been prescribed, he got an old woman to reunite 
the pieces of the chasuble, and in this condition he used it 
until his death, which occurred soon after. The manner in 
which Dr. Doyle dealt with objectionable vestments on all 
subsequent occasions prevented the possibility of their again 
coming into use. He not unfrequently consigned them to 
the flames of the sacristy fire." On another occasion, when 
he found all his admonitions and menaces totally disregarded, 
he came out of the sacristy and thus addressed the congre- 
gation : — " I regret there cannot be mass to-day. I have 
repeatedly impressed on your pastor the necessity and duty 
of providing himself with vestments befitting the dignity of 
the holy sacrifice. He has not only neglected to do so, but 
he has thought fit to omit to call on you for that trifling aid 
which would have at once obtained the amount needed ;" 
saying which he destroyed the vestments which had so long 
been a cause of general disedifi cation.* 

It was not through poverty that the parish priests appeared 
in such shabby vestments on the altar. Dr. Doyle, during 
his examination before a committee of the House of Lords, 
stated that he had required a return of the amount of their 
incomes, and he found that there were three who had £500 a 
year each, fourteen who had from £200 to £300, and in the 
remaining parishes, the sums varied from £100 to £200. It 
is not unlikely that the amounts were understated, or that 
some important items were omitted ; for one of those very 
* Fitzpatrick, vol. i., p. 277-8. 


priests whose vestments the bishop had torn in pieces left 
the sum of £8,000 to the Carlow College at his death in 
1843. The utter neglect of duty on the part of the priest- 
hood fortv years ago is strikingly exhibited in the case of 
Portarlington, one of the best towns in the county of 
Kildare. and then containing a population of 9,000 Roman 
Catholics. Yet for nearly twenty years there had been no 
confirmation in that parish. When visited by Dr. Doyle 
for the purpose of administering that sacrament, there were 
few present to receive it under sixty years of age. " Good 
God !" exclaimed the bishop. i: can these persons stand in 
need of confirmation ?" On a subsequent occasion he re- 
turned to confirm the young people, and the multitude was 
so great that the chapel could not contain them, and Lord 
Portarlington threw open Emo Park for their accommodation, 
and on that day 1,300 persons were confirmed. Mr. Fitz- 
patrick says that this scene may be regarded " as a random 
sample of what widely took place elsewhere." The bishop 
himself, writing long afterwards, to a clerical friend, about 
his labours at this time. said. " James, you know what I 
suffered in mind. My brain was bursting with the myriad 
dictates of duty which crowded into it." 

The most powerful means which Dr. Doyle used for the 
revival of religion among his priests was the " Spiritual 
Retreat," which consisted of protracted meetings for spiritual 
exercises, in which he led their devotions, and laboured to 
i-ouse them to a sense of their responsibility by soul-stirring 
exhortations. The Rev. Mr. Delaney describes a scene of 
this kind which he witnessed in 1820, when, at the imitation 
of this youthful bishop, 1,000 priests, and nearly every 
prelate in Ireland, assembled at Carlow. He conducted the 
retreat unaided, and preached three times every day for a 
week. "These sermons." says Mr. Delaney, "were of an 
extraordinarily impressive character. We never heard 
anything to ecpial them before or since. The duties of the 
ecclesiastical state were never so eloquently or so effectively 
expounded. His frequent application and exposition of the 
most intricate texts of Scripture delighted us : we thought 


he was inspired. I saw the venerable Archbishop Troy weep 
like a child, and raise his hands in thanksgiving. At the 
conclusion of the retreat he wept again, and kissed his co- 
adjutor with more than a brother's affection. " " More than 
forty years have elapsed," observes another priest, " but my 
recollection of all that Dr. Doyle said and did on that occa- 
sion is fresh ami vivid. He laboured like a giant, and with 
the zeal of an apostle. There he stood, like some commanding 
archangel, raising and depressing the thousand hearts which 
hung fondly on his words. I can never forget that tail., majestic 
figure pointing the way to heaven, with an arm that seemed 
as if it could have wielded thunderbolts ; nor the lofty 
serenity of countenance so eloquent of reproach one minute, 
so radiant of hope the next. It seemed as if by an act of 
his will a torrent of grace miraculously descended from 
Heaven, and by the same mediating agency was dispensed 
around. It was a glorious spectacle in its aspect and results. 
The fruit was no ephemeral growth or continuance, but 
celestially enduring. To this day I profit by a recollection 
of that salutary retreat." " For the ten days that the retreat 
lasted," observes the Rev. Dr. O'Connell, " Dr. Doyle knew 
no rest. His soul was on fire in the sacred cause. He was 
determined to reform widely. His falcon eye sparkled with 
zeal ; the powers of his intellect were applied to the work 
with telling effect. At the close of one of his most passionate 
exhortations he knelt down on a priedieu immediately before 
me. The vigorous workings of his mind, and the intense 
earnestness of purpose within, affected even the outward 
man — big drops of perspiration stood upon his neck, and his 
rochet was almost saturated." 

While thus urging forward the work of ecclesiastical 
reform with such vehement zeal, he was the most active of 
all the Ptoman Catholic prelates in his exertions in the cause 
of civil and religious liberty, and in the same year he re- 
ceived from Sir Henry Parneli (afterwards Lord Congleton) 
the following letter : — 

" My Lord, — Having closed my election with so trium- 
phant a majority, I lose no time in returning your lordship 


my warmest thanks for the very powerful support you gave, 
by expressing so warmly and so decidedly your opinions to 
your clergy. I shall never forget the services which they 
have rendered, by resisting with such promptness, unanimity, 
and effect, the outcry which was raised against me on account 
of the new election law." 

It was not likely that such a bishop as Dr. Doyle would 
be contented with the old style of buildings which were 
then used as places of worship. He strove to get new chapels 
erected throughout the parishes of his dioceses, and in some 
cases where the parish priests were reluctant or dilatory, he 
tore the thatch off the roof with his own hands ; and he 
soon set an example to all the other bishops by erecting a 
beautiful cathedral in Carlow. Writing to his brother, the 
Rev. Peter Doyle, he said that he had settled his plan of 
building ; adding, " That is the only monument in stone I 
intend to leave after me." He has left a more enduring 
monument in his noble character, and in the masterly works 
he wrote in defence of the rights and liberties of his country. 



I close this review of the past with a brief sketch of the 
efforts already made by the Imperial Parliament to settle 
the Irish Church question. 

Ireland continued, during 1831 and 1832, in a very 
unsettled state. The restraint imposed by the Catholic 
Association during the emancipation struggle was relaxed 
when the object was attained, and when Mr. O'Connell was 
absent from the country, attending his parliamentary duties. 
The consequence was that the people, suffering destitution 
in some cases, and in others irritated by local grievances, 
gave vent to their passions in vindictive and barbarous out- 
rages. O'Connell himself was not in a mood to exert himself 
much in order to produce a more submissive spirit in the 
peasantry, even if he had the power. He was exasperated 
by his collisions with Mr. Stanley, by whom he was treated 
in a spirit of defiance, not unmingled with scorn; so that 
the great agitator was determined to make him and the 
government he represented feel his power. If the Earl of 
Derby (when, as Mr. Stanley, he was Chief Secretary of Ire- 
land) had the experience which he now possesses, he would 
doubtless have adopted a more diplomatic tone in Parliament, 
and a more conciliatory spirit in his Irish administration. 
His character as it appeared to the Irish Roman Catholics, 
sketched by O'Connell, was a hideous caricature. A more 
moderate and discriminating Irish sketch of him represented 
the Chief Secretary as possessing a judgment of powerful 
penetration, with a facility in mastering details, with a 
temper somewhat reserved and dictatorial. Popularity was 
not his idol; instead of the theatrical smile and plastic 
posture of his predecessors, there was a knitted brow and a 
cold manner. He loved labour, and the impress of care and 
work was stamped upon his features. " For the ordinary 


recreations of men, he had an austere contempt ; he gave few 
dinners, and the freaks and foibles of fashion were sternly 
condemned in his careless dress. In his energetic tread 
across the flags of the castle-yard, and the authoritative 
strength of his masculine voice, self-respect and self-reliance 
were prominently perceptible. Amongst the gentry he 
acquired a reputation for eccentricity. He lived and walked 
alone. Shell tells us that he has often known him to walk 
fifteen miles along the high road with a staff in his hand, 
and a slouched hat on his head, and that he was designated 
as the 'odd gentleman from England.'" Mr. Stanley left 
much undone in Ireland. But this candid Catholic writer 
gave him credit for having accomplished much, not only in 
correcting what was evil, but in establishing what was good. 
He is praised for putting down Orange processions, and for 
"the moral courage with which he grappled with the hydra 
of the Church Establishment." He created as well as 
destroyed, and "his creations were marked with peculiar 
efficiency." "The Irish Board of Works sprang up under 
his auspices. The Shannon navigation scheme at last became 
a reality, and the proselytism of the Kildare-place Society 
received a fatal check by the establishment of the national 
system of education. The political philippics which Baron 
Smith had been in the habit of enunciating from the bench 
were put a stop to by Mr. Stanley. He viewed the practice 
with indignation, and trenchantly reprobated it in the House 
of Commons. It ought to be added that Mr. Stanley built 
a house in Tipperary, chiefly with the object of giving 
employment to the poor."* It has been often remarked that 
the Chief Secretary for Ireland, on his arrival in Dublin, is 
always surrounded by men, each of whom has his peculiar 
specific for the evils of the country. But Mr. Sheil says that 
Mr. Stanley, instead of listening to such counsel with the 
usual " sad civility, invariably intimated with some abrupt 
jeer, bordering on mockery, his utter disregard of the advice, 
and his very slender estimate of the adviser." He made an 
exception, however, in favour of the then celebrated "J. K. L." 
* u Fitzpatrick's Life and Times of Bishop Doyle," vol. ii., p. 252. 


He acknowledged a letter from Dr. Doyle, on the education 
question, with warm expressions of thanks for the sugges- 
tions contained in it, and a wish to see him on his arrival in 

Towards O'Connell, however, Mr. Stanley seems to have 
cherished a sort of antipathy. They exercised mutual repul- 
sion upon one another, and they never came into collision 
without violent irritation. Lord Grey was disposed to treat 
the agitator in a different spirit. Mr. O'Connell having 
stated publicly "that the highest offices of the law were 
within his power," referring to his refusal of the offer of 
Chief Baron, Lord Grey remarked in the House of Lords, 
"I may subject myself to reproach and censure from noble 
lords opposite ; but I have no hesitation in stating that 
knowing the extent of his abilities and power of rendering 
service to the Government, I should have been very glad if 
it could have been done, to detach him from the course in 
which he is now engaged, and attach him to the service of 
his country." On a subsequent occasion, in April, 1832, Lord 
, in replying to a charge of wishing to give a bribe to 
O'Connell, repeated his contradiction that an offer had been 
made to him of a place in the Government, and said that he 
would have been rejoiced if. any attempt at conciliation on 
the part of the Government had had the effect of inducing 
Mr. O'Connell to pursue a line of conduct which would have 
been materially conducive to the peace and tranquillity of 
Ireland, adding, " There is not, I am persuaded, any person 
who hears me, who looks at the situation of that country, 
and considers the weight and power of that gentleman's 
influence, who does not agree with me that it would have 
been most desirable, if practicable, to bring him over to the 
cause of good order." 

Lord Cloncurry thus vividly sketches the agitation and 
its causes at this period : " From the Union up to the year 
1829, the type of British colonial government was the order 
of the day. The Protestants were upheld as a superior caste, 
and paid in power and official emoluments for their services 
in the army of occupation. During the second viceroyalty 



of Lord Anglesea, the effort was made by him to evoke the 
energies of the whole nation for its own regeneration. That 
effort was defeated by the conjoint influence of the cowardice 
of the English cabinet, the petulance of Mr. Stanley, and the 
unseasonable violence and selfishness of the lately eman- 
cipated popular leaders. Upon Lord Anglesea's recall the 
modern Whig model of statesmanship was set up and 
followed ; popular grievances were allowed to remain unre- 
dressed; the discontent and violence engendered by those 
grievances were used from time to time for party purposes ; 
the people were hung and bayoneted when their roused 
passions exceeded the due measure of factious requirement ; 
and the State patronage was employed to stimulate and to 
reward a staff of demagogues, by whom the masses were 
alternately excited to madness, and betrayed, according to 
the necessities of the English factions. When Russells and 
Greys were out or in danger, there were free promises of 
equal laws and privileges and franchises for oppressed Ireland ; 
the minister expectant, or trembling for his place, spoke 
loudly of justice and compensation, of fraternity and freedom. 
To these key-notes the place-hunting demagogue pitched 
his brawling. His talk was of pike-making, and sword- 
fleshing, and monster marching. The simple people were 
goaded into a madness, the end whereof was for them 
suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, the hulks, and the 
gallows ; for their stimulators, silk gowns, and commissioner- 
ships, and seats on the bench. Under this treatmeot the 
public mind became debauched ; the lower classes, forced to 
bear the charges of agitation, as well as to suffer its penalties, 
lost all faith in their social future ; they saw not and looked 
not beyond the momentary excitement of a procession r a 
monster meeting. As time went on, those who led and 
robbed them felt the necessity of meeting the apathy attend- 
ant upon their increasing demoralisation by the use of more 
pungent stimulants. They could no longer trust for topics 
of agitation to a recapitulation of real grievances which 
might be redressed, but in the removal of which would be 
involved the drying up of the springs of the agitators' 


influence. To hold out hopes of the establishment of civil 
and religious equality, of the attainment of complete freedom 
of industry, or even of local self-government, no longer 
sufficed to rouse the passions of the mob, or to bring money 
into the exchequer of the demagogues. It therefore followed, 
that the staple talk of the popular meetings came to be made 
up of appeals to the basest passions of the multitude ; old 
feuds between Irishmen were revived, a new appetite for 
vengeance was whetted — nay, even the bonds of society 
were loosened by intimations, not obscure, that a triumph of 
the people would be associated with an abatement of the 
sacredness of property. The emptiness of this noise was 
in a direct ratio with its loudness. Yet it fulfilled its purpose 
of frightening the Tories out of office, or of deterring them 
from accepting it; and the talkers were accordingly every 
now and then rewarded and silenced by scraps from the 
refuse of official patronage. It must be obvious that this 
state of things could not have existed, had a middle class 
exercised a proper and natural influence upon the public 
mind. There was, however, practically , no such class in a 
position to interfere ; many of those who should have belonged 
to it were clamorous place-beggars, in the ranks of the 
agitators. Those who were not sunk into that abyss of 
degradation were restrained by their fears from taking any 
part in public affairs. They were, upon the one hand, afraid 
of contributing to a restoration of the power of their ancient 
oppressors ; and upon the other, distrustful of those pretended 
friends, whose selfish motives they could not but perceive 
through the disguise of their assumed patriotism."* 

The Irish peasantry very soon learned that whatever 
emancipation had done or might do for barristers and other 
persons qualified to hold situations under Government, from 
which Roman Catholics had been previously almost entirely 
excluded, it had done notliinp; to remove or even to mitio-ate 
their practical grievances. They found that the rack-rents 
of their holdings were not reduced ; that the tax-collector 
went round as usual, and did not abate his demands ; that 

* " Personal Recollections of Lord Cloncuny," chap, xviii., p. 456= 



the tithe-proctor did not fail in his visits, and that, in default 
of payment, he seized upon the cow or the pig, the pot or 
the blanket. Through the machinery of the Catholic 
Association, and the other associations which O'Connell had 
established, they became readers of newspapers, or regularly 
heard them read and had their contents expounded to them, 
and they learned what their own leaders had said in 
vehement, inflammatory language of their "monster griev- 
ance," the Established Church ; they learned that the language 
of their own leaders was not more violent than what was 
uttered by the most eminent Protestant statesmen, foreign 
travellers, and public writers upon this great anomaly. They 
were told that "the 500,000 Lutherans in that island had an 
establishment which cost little less than the establishment 
of 9,000,000 of Lutherans in England ;" that while England 
had only twenty-six bishops, Ireland had twenty-two. 
They had heard of the picture presented by Mr. Wake- 
field, who thus addressed his readers : — " Place yourselves 
in the situation of a half-famished cottier, surrounded by 
a wretched family, clamorous for food ; and judge what his 
feelings must be when he sees the tenth part of the produce 
of his potato garden exposed at harvest time to public 
' cant ;' or if, as is most common, he has given a promissory 
note for the payment of a certain sum of money to compen- 
sate for such tithes when it becomes due, to hear the heart- 
rending cries of his offspring, clinging round him, and 
lamenting for the milk of which they are deprived by the 
cows being driven to the pound to be sold to discharge the 
debt. I have seen the cow, the favourite cow, driven away, 
accompanied by the sighs, the tears, and the imprecations of 
a whole family, who were paddling through wet and dirt, to 
take their last affectionate farewell of their only friend and 
benefactor at the pound-gate. I have heard, with emotions 
I can scarcely describe, deep curses repeated from villa o-e to 
village as the cavalcade proceeded ; I have beheld at nio-ht 
houses in flames, and for a moment supposed myself in a 
country exposed to the ravages of war, and suffering from 
the incursions of an enemy. On the following morning the 


most alarming accounts of Thrashers and Whiteboys have 
met my ears — of men who had assembled with weapons of 
destruction, for the purpose of compelling people to swear 
not to submit to the payment of tithes. I have been 
informed of these oppressed people having, in the ebullition 
of their rage, murdered both proctors and collectors, wreaking 
their vengeance with every mark of the most savage bar- 
barity."* They had been told by Mr. Wakefield — on the 
impartiality, accuracy, and general excellence of whose great 
work no eulogium can be too high — that the word " Papist" 
carried as much contempt along with it, as if a beast were 
designated by the term ; that the Protestants regarded them 
as the helois of the country, who ought to be kept in per- 
petual bondage. They were told of the experience of Lord 
Chancellor Redesdale, who stated in the House of Lords that 
he had been connected with that ill-fated country for the last 
twenty years ; and he was sorry to say that there existed in it 
two sorts of justice, the one for the rich and the other for the 
poor, and both equally ill-administered. They had read the 
following description of the tithe-proctor by their country's 
most eminent Protestant statesman, Henry Grattan : — " The 
use of the tithe-farmer is to get from the parishioners what 
the parson would be ashamed to demand, and so enable the 
parson to absent himself from his duty ; the powers of the 
tithe-farmer are summary laws and ecclesiastical courts ; 
his livelihood is extortion ; his rank in society is generally 
the lowest ; and his occupation is to pounce on the poor in 
the name of the Lord ! He is a species of wolf left by the 
shepherd to take care of the flock in his absence." They 
had read that a single tithe-proctor had on one occasion 
processed 1,100 persons for tithes, nearly all of the lower 
order of farmers or peasants, the expense of each process 
being about eight shillings. They had heard of opinions 
delivered in Parliament, on the platform, and from the press 
by Protestant statesmen of the highest consideration, that it 
was a cruel oppression to extort in that manner from the 
majority of the tillers of the soil the tenth of its produce, in 
* Wakefield's " Account of Ireland," vol. ii. p. 486. 


order to support the clergy of another church, who, in many 
cases, had no flocks, or only a few followers, that were well 
able to pay for their own religious instruction. The system 
would be intolerable, even were the State clergy the pastors 
of the majority; but as the proportion between the Protest- 
ants and the Roman Catholics was in many parts as one to 
ten, and in some as one to twenty, the injustice necessarily 
involved in the mode of levying the impost was aggravated 
a hundredfold. It would be scarcely possible to devise any 
mode of levying an impost more exasperating, which came 
home to the bosoms of men with more irritating, humiliating, 
and maddening power, and which violated more recklessly 
men's natural sense of justice. If a plan were devised for 
the purpose of driving men into insurrection, nothing could 
be more effectual than the tithe-proctor system. Besides, it 
tended directly to the impoverishment of the country, re- 
tarding agricultural improvement and limiting production. 
If a man kept all his land in pasture, he escaped the impost ; 
but the moment he tilled it, he was subjected to a tax often 
per cent, on the gross produce. The valuation being made 
by the tithe-proctor — a man whose interest it was to defraud 
both the tenant and the parson — the consequence was, that 
the gentry and the large farmers, to a great extent, evaded 
the tax, and left the small occupiers to bear nearly the 
whole burden ; they even avoided mowing their meadows 
in some cases, because then they should pay tithe for 
the hay. 

There was besides a tax called church cess, levied by 
Protestants in vestry meetings upon Roman Catholics for 
cleaning the church, ringing the bell, washing the minister's 
surplice, purchasing bread and wine for the communion, 
and paying the salary of the parish clerk. This tax was 
felt to be a direct and flagrant violation of the rights of 
conscience, and of the principles of the British Constitution ; 
and against it there was a determined opposition, which 
manifested itself in tumultuous and violent assemblages at 
the parish churches all over the country on Easter Monday, 
when the rector or his curate, as chairman of the meeting, 


came into angry collision with flocks who disowned him, 
and denounced him as a tyrant, a persecutor, and a robber. 
The evil of this state of things became so aggravated that 
all reasonable men on both sides felt it must be put a stop 
to somehow. In 1831 the organized resistance to the collection 
of tithes became so effective and so terrible, that they were 
not paid, except where a composition had been made, and 
agreements had been adopted. The terrified proctors gave 
up their dangerous occupation after some of their number 
had been victimised in the most barbarous manner ; and 
although a portion of the clergy insisted on their rights, not 
merely for the sake of their incomes, but for the interest of 
the Church which they felt bound to defend, yet many had 
too much Christian spirit, too much regard for the interests 
of the gospel, to persist in the collection of tithes at such a 
fearful cost. Nothing could be more violent than the con- 
trasts presented at this time in the social life of Ireland. 
On the one side, there was a rapid succession of atrocities 
and tragedies fearful to contemplate :— the bailiffs, constat 
bulary, and military driving away cattle, sheep, pigs, and 
geese to be sold by public auction, to pay the minister who 
had no congregation to whom he could preach the gospel ; 
the cattle-prisons or " pounds " surrounded by high walls, 
but uncovered, wet and dirty, crowded with all sorts of 
animals, cold and starved, and uttering doleful sounds ; the 
driving away of the animals in the night from one farm to 
another to avoid seizures ; the auctions without bidders, in 
the midst of groaning and jeering multitudes ; the slaughter of 
policemen, and in some instances of clergymen, with fiendish 
expressions of hatred and yells of triumph ; the mingling of 
fierce passions with the strongest natural affections ; the 
exultation in murder, as if it were a glorious deed of war ; 
the Roman Catholic press and platform almost justifying 
those deeds of outrage and blood ; the mass of the Roman 
Catholic population sustaining this insurrection against the 
law with their support, and sympathy, and prayers, as if it 
were a holy war in which the victims were martyrs. On 
the other side were presented pictures which excited the 


deepest interest of the Protestant community throughout the 
United Kingdom. We beheld the clergyman and his family 
in the glebe house, lately the abode of plenty, comfort, and 
elegance, a model of domestic happiness and gentlemanly 
life ; but the income of the rector fell off, till he was bereft 
of nearly all his means. In order to procure the necessaries 
of life for his family, he was obliged to part with the cows 
that gave milk for his household ; the horse and car, which 
were necessary in the remote place where his glebe house 
was situated ; and everything that could be spared, till at 
length he was obliged to make his greatest sacrifice, and to 
send his books — the dear and valued companions of his life 
— to Dublin to be sold by auction. His boys could no 
longer be respectably clad, his wife and daughters were 
obliged to part with their jewellery and all their superfluities. 
There was no longer wine or medicine, that the mother was 
accustomed to dispense kindly and liberally to the poor 
around her, in their sickness and sorrow, without distinction 
of creed. The glebe, which once presented an aspect of so 
much comfort, and ease, and affluence, now looked bare, and 
desolate, and void of life : but for the contributions of 
Christian friends at a distance, many of those once happy 
little centres of Christian civilization — those well-springs of 
consolation to the afflicted — those green spots in the moral 
desert — must have been abandoned to the overwhelming' 
sand of desolation swept upon it by the hurricane of the 
anti-tithe agitation. During this desperate struggle, force 
was employed on several occasions with fatal effect. At 
Newtownbarry, in the county of Wexford, some cattle were 
impounded by a tithe-proctor. The peasantry assembled in 
large numbers to rescue them, when they came into collision 
with the yeomanry, who fired, killing twelve persons. It 
was market day, and a placard to the following effect had 
been posted upon the walls : — " There will be an end of 
church plunder ; your pot, blanket, and pig will not here- 
after be sold by auction to support in luxury, idleness, and 
ease persons who endeavour to make it appear that it is 
essential to the peace and prosperity of the country and 


your eternal salvation, while the most of you are starving. 
Attend to an auction of your neighbours' cattle." At 
Carrickshock there was a fearful tragedy. A number of 
writs against defaulters were issued by the Court of Ex- 
chequer, and entrusted to the care of process-servers, who, 
guarded by a strong body of police, proceeded on their 
mission with secresy and dispatch. Bonfires along the 
surrounding hills, however, and shrill whistles soon con- 
vinced them that the people were not unprepared for their 
visiters. But the yeomanry pushed boldly on ; suddenly 
an immense assemblage of peasantry, armed with scythes 
and pitchforks, poured down upon them. A terrible hand- 
to-hand struggle ensued, and in the course of a few moments 
eighteen of the police, including the commanding officer, 
were slaughtered. Tin- remainder consulted safety and fled, 
marking the course of their retreat by the blood that trickled 
from their wounds. A coroner's jury pronounced this deed 
of death as " wilful murder" against some persons unknown. 
A large government reward was offered, but it failed to 
produce a single conviction At Castlepollard, in Westmeath, 
on the occasion of an attempted rescue, the chief constable 
was knocked down. The police tired, and nine or ten per- 
sons were killed. One of the most lamentable of these 
conflicts occurred at Gurtroe, near Rathcormac, in the 
county of Cork. Archdeacon Ryder brought a number of 
the military to recover the tithes of a farm belonging to a 
widow named Ryan. The assembled people resisted, the 
military were ordered to fire, eight persons were killed and 
thirteen wounded ; and among the killed was the widow's 

These disorders appealed with irresistible force to the 
Government and the Legislature to put an end to a system 
fraught with so much evil, and threatening the utter dis- 
ruption of society in Ireland. In the first place something 
must be done to meet the wants of the destitute clergy and 
their families. Accordingly, Mr. Stanley brought in a bill 
in May, 1832, authorizing the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 
to advance £60,000 as a fund for the payment of the clergy, 


who were unable to collect their tithes for the year 1831. 
This measure was designed to meet the present necessity, 
and was only a preliminary to the promised settlement of 
the tithe question. It was therefore passed quickly through 
both houses, and became law on the 1st of June. But the 
money thus advanced was not placed on the Consolidated 
Fund. The Government took upon itself the collection of 
the arrears of tithes for that one year. It was a maxim with 
Mr. Stanley that the people should be made to respect the 
law; that they should not be allowed to trample upon it 
with impunity. The odious task thus assumed produced a 
state of unparalleled excitement. The people were driven 
to frenzy, instead of being frightened by the Chief Secretary 
becoming tithe-collector general, and the army being em- 
ployed in its collection. They knew that the king's speech 
had recommended the settlement of the tithe question. 
They had heard of the evidence of Bishop Doyle and other 
champions, exposing what they believed to be the iniquity 
of the tithe system. They had seen the condemnation of it 
in the testimony of the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin, 
who declared his conviction that it could not be collected 
except at the point of the bayonet, and by keeping up a 
chronic war between the Government and the Roman 
Catholic people. They had been told that parliamentary 
committees had recommended the complete extinction of 
tithes, and their commutation into a rent-charge. Their own 
leaders had everywhere resolved, "That it was a glaring 
wrong to compel an impoverished Catholic people to support 
in pampered luxury the richest clergy in the world — a clergy 
from whom the Catholics do not experience even the return 
of common gratitude — a clergy who, in times past, opposed 
to the last the political freedom of the Irish people, and at 
the present day are opposed to reform, and a liberal scheme 
of education for their countrymen. The ministers of the 
God of charity should not, by misapplication of all the tithes 
to their own private uses, thus deprive the poor of their 
patrimony ; nor should ministers of peace adhere with such 
desperate tenacity to a system fraught with dissension, 


hatred, and ill-will" The first proceeding of the Govern- 
ment to recover the tithes under the Act of the 1st of June 
was. therefore, the signal for general war. Bonfires blazed 
upon the hills, the rallying sounds of horns were heard along 
the valleys, and the mustering tread of thousands upon the 
roads, hurrying to the scene of a seizure or an auction. It 
was a bloody campaign; there was considerable loss of life, 
and the Church and the Government thus became more 
obnoxious to the people than ever. Mr. Stanley being the 
commander-in-chief on one side, and Mr. O'Connell on the 
other, the contest was embittered by their personal anti- 
pathies. It was found that the amount of the arrears for 
the year 1831 was £104,285, and that the whole amount 
which the Ga< .1 was able bo 1. vy, after putting forth 

its strength in cy^yy possible way, was £12,000, the cost of 
collection being £15,000, so that the Government was not 
able to raise as much money as would pay the expenses of 
the campaign. This was how Mr. Stanley illustrated his 
favourite sentiment that the people should be made to respect 
the law. But the liberal party among the Protestants fully 
sympathized with the anti-tithe recusants. 

Of course, the Government did not persevere in prosecu- 
tions from which no parties but the lawyers reaped any 
advantage; consequently, all processes under the existing 
law were abandoned. It was found that, after paying to the 
clergy the arrears of 1831 and 1832, and what would be 
due in 1833, about a million sterling would be required, and 
this sum was provided by an issue of exchequer bills. The 
reimbursement of the advance was to be effected by a land 
tax. Together with these temporary arrangements to meet 
the exigency of the case, for the payment of the clergy and 
the pacification of Ireland, an act was passed to render tithe 
composition in Ireland compulsory and permanent. But 
Ireland was not yet pacified, and at the opening of the 
session for 1833, the royal speech recommended that Parlia- 
ment should take into their consideration measures for a 
final adjustment of tithes in Ireland. The Duke of Wel- 
lington took occasion to state in the debate on the address 


that that most deserving class of men, the Irish clergy, were 
in as wretched a state as ever. And in the House of Com- 
mons, Mr. Littleton, the new Chief Secretary who succeeded 
Mr. Stanley, deplored the failure of all legislative efforts to 
make the tithe system work well in Ireland. The Statute 
Book, he said, had been loaded with enactments by the 
legislatures of both countries, for the purpose of giving the 
proprietors of tithes effectual means to enforce the law. 
The whole of those enactments had proved ineffectual; many 
of them, of the most severe description, extending even to 
capital punishment, had proved utterly useless. The diffi- 
culty of collecting tithes was, indeed, rendered quite insu- 
perable by the minute subdivision of tilled land, which was 
alone liable. It was stated " that a return of the actual 
number of defaulters, whose debts were under a farthing, 
and rose by farthings up to a shilling, would exhibit a very 
large proportion of the gross number. In some instances 
the charge upon the land amounted to only seven-eighths of 
a farthing. When he informed the committee that many of 
the smaller sums were payable by three or four persons, 
some idea might be formed of the difficulty of collecting 
tithes in Ireland. The highest aggregate charge was against 
those who owed individually about twopence ; and he would 
then beg to remind the committee that it was not so much 
the sum as the situation of the individual that rendered 
these charges oppressive. Twopence to one might be as 
great an impost as £2 to another. There was another great 
severity connected with the question of tithes. They were 
not simple. One proprietor alone did not come to the poor 
man to demand his tithes ; but many, whose interests were 
irreconcilable and adverse, fastened upon him. There were 
different kinds of tithes — the vicarial, rectorial, and impro- 
priate — all often fastening on the same individual, who was 
bound to meet the separate demands of each tithe-owner. 
The opposition to tithes, then, though it might receive an 
impulse from agitation, was not to be wholly traced to that 
source. There was a deeper source in the severity of the 
impost itself." 



It appeared from a parliamentary return-' 4 that, at the 
lowest calculation, the land belonging to the Irish sees was as 
follows : — 

No. of Irish Acres. 

Derry, ..... 


Armagh, ...... 



Kilmore, ...... 


Dublin, ..... 




Ossory, ..... 



Tuam, ..... 


Elphin, ..... 


Clogher, ..... 


Cork and Ross, 


Cashel, ..... 


Killaloe. ..... 




Ministers' Money, 




The incomes of the parochial clergy in Ireland were 
subject to some deductions, as payments towards diocesan 
and parochial schools, repairs of certain parts of churches, 
and repairs of glebe houses. Diocesan schools ought to be 
maintained by annual contributions from the bishop and the 
beneficed clergy ; but the levy drawn from this source was 
little more than nominal. The parochial schools were sup- 
I to be maintained by an annual stipend from the in- 
cumbent, which was estimated by custom at £2 per annum ; 
in many cases this had not been paid. The first-fruits had 
been abolished. They were designed to be the amount of 
the first year's income of every benefice, which was to be 
employed in. the building and repairing of churches and 
glebe houses, and the purchase of glebe land; but the assess- 
ment was made on the value of benefices in the reio-ns of 
Henry VIII., Elizabeth, and James I., and yielded only a 
trifling sum. 

It may be well to anticipate a little here, in order to state 
the result of a special Census of the Irish population which 
* February 11th, 1824. 


was taken in 1834, with the object of ascertaining the re- 
ligions persuasions of the people, when it was fonnd that 
the total population of 7,954*7 60 was divided among the 
several denominations as follows: — 

Roman Catholics, 


per Cent. 


Established Church, 






Other Dissenters, 



In the appendix to the first report of the Commissioners 
of Public Instruction, issued in 1834, it was stated that of 
the 1,387 benefices in Ireland, there were 41 which did not 
contain any Protestants; 20 where there were less than or 
not more than 5 ; in 23 the number was under 10: in 31 
under 15 ; in 23 under 20 ; and in 27 benefices, the number 
of Protestants was not above 25. There were 425 benefices 
in which the number of Protestants was below 100. There 
were 157 benefices in which the incumbent was non-resident, 
and no service was performed. The number of parishes or 
ecclesiastical districts was 2.408, and of this number 2,351 
possessed a provision for the cure of souls ; but the total 
number of benefices was only 1,387, as before mentioned, of 
which 90S were single parishes, and 479 were unions of two 
or more parishes. Parishes were permanently united by Act 
of Parliament, by act of council, or by prescription, and they 
might be temporarily united by the authority of the bishop 
of the diocese. Latterly, perpetual curates, a new order in 
the Irish Church, had been appointed to a portion of a parish 
specially allotted to them, the tithe of which they received, 
and were not subject to the incumbent of the remaining 
portion of the parish, but held their situations for life. 

Such was the state of things in Ireland when the Govern- 
ment of Lord Grey undertook the work of Church reform. 
There was a great deal of discussion in Parliament and 
throughout the country on what was termed " the Appro- 
priation Clause/' which formed a part of the first bill intro- 
duced on the subject. Dr. Doyle had laboured hard to prove 
that tithes were originally designed, not only to support 


the clergy, but to feed and educate the poor ; and that there 
shoidd be for these objects a tripartite division of the Irish 
tithes. Many Protestants, who did not go that length, con- 
tended that the income of the Irish clergy was excessive, 
and that the surplus should be devoted to the support of 
schools; but the great point of difference on which the Cabinet 
ultimately split was this : whether the property of the Church 
should be devoted to any other than strictly Church pur- 
poses — whether any portion of the ecclesiastical revenues 
could be lawfully secularised. In the first Church Tempo- 
ralities Bill there was a clause affirming the principle that 
the surplus ought to be devoted to other purposes, to which 
Mr. Stanley, Sir James Graham, the Duke of Kichmond, 
and others, strenuously objected, and it was withdrawn. 

When Mr. Stanley Avas transferred from the office of Irish 
Chief Secretary to the Colonial Office, Sir John Cam Hob- 
house was appointed to succeed him. But he resigned the 
post before he had an)' opportunity of leaving his mark in 
Ireland. The office was then taken by Mr. Littleton, and on 
him devolved the task of introducing the Irish Tithe Adjust- 
ment Bill. When the bill was in committee on the 30th of 
July, Mr. O'Connell moved an amendment, to the effect that 
the tithes should be made payable by the landlords to the 
clergy after being reduced 40 per cent. This amendment 
was carried — the numbers being, for the motion, 82; against 
it, 33. The ministers determined, notwithstanding, to go 
on with the bill, and brought it up to the House of Lords. 
There, on the motion of Lord EUenborough, it was thrown 
out by a majority of 67 ; two archbishops and nineteen 
bishops voting against it, and only three — Deny, Chichester, 
and Norwich — in its favour. The religious census of 1834 
strengthened the party which favoured the appropriation of 
surplused Church revenues. Lord Althorpe, who was now 
one of the most influential members of the Government, and 
the leader of the House of Commons, in introducing the 
Irish Church Temporalities Bill, avowed his conviction that 
any surplus funds resulting from the State management of 
ecclesiastical revenues should be devoted to State purposes. 


On the 27th of May ALr. Ward brought forward a motion 
upon this subject. In an able speech he reviewed the state 
of Ireland., and remarked that, since 1819, it had been 
necessary to maintain there an army of 22,000 men, at a 
cost of a million sterling per annum, exclusive of a police 
force that cost £300,000 a year. All this enormous expense 
and trouble in o-overnino; Ireland he ascribed to the existence 
of a religious establishment hostile to the majority of the 
people ; he therefore moved that '-'the Protestant Episcopal 
Establishment in Ireland exceeds the spiritual wants of the 
Protestant population; and that, it being the right of the 
State to regulate the distribution of Church property in such 
a manner as Parliament may determine, it is the opinion of 
this House that the temporal possessions of the Chinch of 
Ireland, as now established by law, ought to be reduced." 

The motion was seconded by Mr. Grote. "When he had 
concluded, Lord Althorpe rose and moved that the House 
should be adjourned until the 2nd of June. The differences 
in the Cabinet had now reached their crisis. It was fully 
expected that ALr. Ward's motion would be carried, and 
ministers differed as to whether the principle involved in it 
should be rejected or accepted ; the majority were for 
accepting it, whereupon Mr. Stanley, Sir James Graham, 
Lord Bipon. and the Duke of Eichmond resigned their 
offices. They were succeeded by Mr. Spring Pice as Colonial 
Secretary; Lord Auckland, as First Lord of the Admiralty; 
the Earl of Carlisle, as Lord Privy Seal ; Mr. Abererombie, 
as blaster of the jlint ; ALr. Poulet Thompson became Pre- 
sident of the Board of Trade, and the Marquis of Conyngham, 

On the following day. which was the anniversary of the 
king's birthday, the Irish prelates, headed by the Archbishop 
of Armagh, presented an address to His Alajesty, complaining 
of the attacks on the Irish Church, deprecating the threat- 
ened innovations, and imploring his protection. The king- 
was greatly moved by this appeal. Breaking through the 
usual restraints, he delivered an extemporaneous answer, in 
which among other things, he said : — " I now remember you 


have a right to require of me to be resolute in defence of the 
Church." He assured their lordships that their rights should 
be preserved unimpaired, and that if the inferior arrange- 
ments of the Irish Church required any amendment — which, 
however, he greatly doubted — he hoped it would be left to 
the bishops to correct them, without the interference of 
other parties. He was now completing his sixty-ninth } T ear, 
and he must prepare to leave the world with a conscience 
clear in regard to the maintenance of the Church. Tears 
ran down his cheeks while, in conclusion he said, "I have 
spoken more strongly than usual, because of the unhappy 
circumstances that have forced themselves upon the observa- 
tion of all. The threats of those who are the enemies of the 
Church make it the more necessary for those who feel their 
duty to that Church to speak out. The words which you 
hear from me are, indeed, spoken by my mouth, but they 
flow from my heart." 

These words, indiscreet as they were, and calculated to 
embarrass the ministers, were regarded as in the highest 
degree precious by the bishops and clergy, and the whole 
Tory party. With the utmost despatch they were circulated 
far and wide, with the design of bringing public feeling to 
bear against Mr. Ward's motion. In the meantime, great 
efforts were made by the Government to be able to evade 
the motion. Its position at this time appeared far from 
enviable, and there was a general impression that it could 
not long survive. The new appointments did not give 
satisfaction. The Cabinet was said to be only patched up 
in order to wear through the session. Lord Grey — aged, 
worn, and out of spirits — was chagrined at not being able 
to have Lord Durham in the Cabinet. Lord Althorpe was 
great in agriculture, and in his good-humoured manner, 
he was accustomed to say that he wondered why people 
forced him to become a Cabinet minister. Lord Lansdowne 
had not energy enough, while the Lord Chancellor had per- 
haps too much. On the whole, the Cabinet wanted unity 
and confidence in itself, and it was now made evident to all 


the world that it wanted the support of the Sovereign as 
well as of the House of Peers. It was under these discour- 
aging circumstances that Lord Althorpe had to meet Mr. 
Ward's motion on Monday, the 2nd of June. In order to 
avoid a dissolution and a general election, the results of 
which might turn upon the very existence of the Irish 
Church, it was necessary that the motion should be defeated. 
He refused to withdraw it, because he apprehended the 
speedy dissolution of the ministry, and he wished the deci- 
sion of the House of Commons on the Irish Church question 
to be recorded, that it might stand in the way of a less 
liberal administration. The anticipated contest in the Com- 
mons that evening excited extraordinary interest. The 
House was surrounded by a crowd anxious to obtain admit- 
tance or to hear the result, while within it was so thronged 
with members that the ministers found it difficult to get to 
their seats. Rarely has there been so full a house, the 
number of members being 516. When Mr. Ward had sjDoken 
in favour of his motion, Lord Althorpe rose to reply. He 
announced that a special commission of inquiry had been 
already issued, composed of laymen, who were to visit every 
parish in Ireland, and were to report on the means of religious 
instruction for the people ; and that, pending this inquiry, 
he saw no necessity for the House being called upon to 
affirm the principle of Mr. Ward's motion. He would, 
therefore, content himself by moving the previous question. 
This was carried by an overwhelming majority, the numbers 
being 396 to 120. The Church Temporalities Bill, with 
some alterations, passed the Lower House ; it encountered 
strong opposition in the Lords, but it ultimately passed on 
the 30th of July, by a majority of fifty-four, several peers 
having recorded their protests against it, among whom the 
Duke of Cumberland was conspicuous. The Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners appointed under the Act were the Lord 
Primate, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Lord Chancellor, 
and Chief Justice of Ireland, and four of the bishops. Subse- 
quently three laymen were added. 


The following are the principal features of this great 
measure of Church reform.* Church cess was to be imme- 
diately abolished. This was a direct pecuniary relief to the 
amount of about £80,000 per annum, which had been levied 
in the most vexatious manner; — a reduction of the number 
of archbishops and bishops prospectively, from four arch- 
bishops and eighteen bishops to two archbishops and ten 
bishops ; the revenues of the suppressed sees to be appro- 
priated to general Church purposes. 

The archbishoprics of Cashel and Tuam were reduced to 
bishoprics, ten sees were abolished, the duties connected with 
them being transferred to other sees — Dromore to Down, 
Raphoe to Deny, Clogher to Armagh, Elphin to Kilmore. 
Killala to Tuam, Clonfert to Killaloe, Cork to Cloyne, Water- 
ford to Cashel, Ferns to Ossoiy, Kildare to Dublin. The 
whole of Ireland was divided into two provinces by a line 
drawn from the north of Dublin county to the south of 
Galway bay, and the bishoprics were reduced to ten. The 
revenues of the suppressed bishoprics, together with those 
of suspended dignities and benefices, and disappropriated 
tithes, were vested by the Church Temporalities Act in the 
Board of Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to be applied by them 
to the erection and repairs of churches, to the providing for 
the church expenses which had been hitherto defrayed by 
vestry rates, and to other ecclesiastical purposes. The sales 
already made of perpetuities of Church estates, vested in 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, have produced upwards of 
£631,353 ; the value of the whole perpetuities, if sold, is 
estimated at £1,200,000. The total receipts of the Eccle- 
siastical Commissioners in 1834 were £68,729 ; in 1835 they 
amounted to £168,027 ; and in 1836 they reached £181,045. 
The cost of the official establishment was at one time 
£15,000 ; during the last ten years it has been generally 
under £6,000. Its total receipts, up to July, 1861, were 
£3,310,999. The Church Temporalities Act imposed a tax 
on all benefices and dignities whose net annual value exceeds 
.£300, graduated, according to their amount, from two 
* The Church Temporalities Act, 3 and 4 Wm. IV., c. 37. 



and a-half to five per cent., the rate of charge increasing by 
2s. Qd. per cent, on every additional £10 above £405. All 
benefices exceeding £1,195 are taxed at the rate of fifteen 
per cent. The yearly tax imposed on all bishoprics is 
graduated as follows : — Where the yearly value shall not 
exceed £4,000, five per cent. ; not exceeding £6,000, seven 
per cent. ; not exceeding £8,000, ten per cent. ; and not 
exceeding £10,000, twelve per cent. In lieu of tax, the 
archbishopric of Armagh is to pay to the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners an annual sum of £4,500, and the see of 
Deny is to pay £6,160. The present net incomes of the 
Irish bishops are as follows : — Armagh, £14,634 ; Meath, 
£3,764 ; Deny, £6,022 ; Down, £3,658 ; Kilmore, £5,248 ; 
Tuam, £3,898 ; Dublin, £7,636 ; Ossory, £3,874 ; Cashel, 
£4,691 ; Cork, £2,310 ; Killaloe, £3,310 ; Limerick, £3,987; 
— total, £63,038. The total amount of tithe-rentcharge 
payable to ecclesiastical persons — bishops, deans, chapters, 
incumbents of benefices, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners 
— is £401,114. The rental of Ireland is estimated, by the 
valuators under the Poor Law Act, at about £12,000,000 — 
this rental being about a third part of the estimated value 
of the annual produce of the land.* 

Mr. Stanley left behind him one enduring monument of 
his administration in Ireland which, though still a subject 
of controversy and of party strife, has conferred immense 
advantages upon the country — the National system of 
education. Sir Archibald Alison remarks that the principle 
of the Irish Establishment was that of a " missionary 
church ;" that it was never based on the principle of being 
called for by the present wants of the population ; that what 
it looked to was their future spiritual necessities. It was 
founded on the same reasons which prompt the building of 
churches in a densely peopled locality, the running of roads 
through an uncultivated district, of drains through a desert 
morass. " The principle," he adds, " was philanthropic, and 
often, in its application, wise ;" but it proceeded on one 
postulate, which, unfortunately, was here wanting — viz., 
* " Thorn's Irish Almanac for 1863," p. 721. 


that the people will embrace the faith Intended for them. 
This was so far from having hitherto been the case, that the 
reverse was the fact. For nearly three centuries this 
experiment was tried with respect to the education of the 
rising generations of the Roman Catholics, and in every age 
it was attended by failures the most marked and disastrous. 
The Commissioners of National Education refer to this 
uniformity of failure in their sixth report, in which they 
observe, — " For nearly the whole of the last century the 
Government of Ireland laboured to promote Protestant 
education, and tolerated no other. Large grants of public 
money were voted for having children educated in the 
Protestant faith, while it was made a transportable offence 
in a Roman Catholic (and if the party returned, high treason) 
to act as a schoolmaster, or assistant to a schoolmaster, or 
even as a tutor in a private family. The Acts passed for 
this purpose continued in force from 1709 to 1782. They 
were then repealed, but Parliament continued to vote 
money for the support of only the schools conducted on 
principles which were regarded by the great body of the 
Roman Catholics as exclusively Protestant until the present 
system was established." 

In the report drawn up by Mr. Wyse, the Chairman of 
the Select Committee of the House of Commons appointed 
to inquire into the foundation schools in Ireland, in 1837, 
an interesting history is published of the origin, progress, 
and working of those obnoxious schools, and of other educa- 
tional societies which followed. The Incorporated Society 
for Promoting English Protestant Schools in Ireland was 
established by royal charter in 1733, the avowed object 
being the education of the poor in the principles of the 
Established Church. It is sufficient to remark that the 
annual grants which were made to the schools in connexion 
with it (well known as the Charter Schools), were, in 
consequence of the report of the Commissioners of 1824, 
gradually reduced, and finally withdrawn. In 1824 there 
were of those schools 32 ; the number of children in them 
amounted to 2,255. The grant for 1825 was £21,615. The 

150 iezla:-:d axd her CHUECH7.- 

grant was gradually reduced to £5.750 in 1832. when i: 
finally withdrawn. During nineteen years this system cost 
the country £1.612.138. of which £1,027,71^ consisted of 
parliamentary grants. The total number of children appren- 
ticed from the beginning till the end of 1m- wm only 
12,745 ; and of th^se but a small number received the 
portion of £5 each, allotted to those who served put their 
apprenticeship, and married Protet The Ass aaticm 

for DigcpiiptenanGing Vice was incorporated in 1S00. It 
required that the masters ai - 1 mis la : - : : : in it - s :h ■: : h should 
be of the Esta 1 lish* ! Church ; that the sriptnres -hould be 
read by all who had attains oent proficiency: and 

that no catechism ] } tan . .-::. ept that of the Establi 
Church. The schools of the Ass aation amounted in ] J24 
to 226, and the number of children to 12,769 ; of whom it 
was stated that 7,803 were Prot and 4,804 l " i 

tan Catholics ; but the Be v. William Lee, who had 
inspected 104 of these schools in 1819 and 182(1 stated 
before the Commissioners of IS 24. that he had found the 
catechism of the Church of Borne in many of them. The 
Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor was founded 
upon the 2nd of December, 1811, and was managed by a 
committee of various religi suasions. The principles 

which the}" had prescribed to themselves for their conduct, 
were to promote the establishmen : d I i : > : in the support 
of schools in which the ap| intnient of governors and 
teachers, and the admission of scholars, should be unin- 
fluenced by religious distinctions, and in which the B:\ h- 
or Testament, without note or comment, should be read by 
all the scholars who had attained a suitable proficiency in 
reading, excluding catechisms and books of religious contro- 
versy ; wishing it. at the same :'::...■. h-tiiietly to be under- 
stood, that the Bible or Testament should not be used as a 
school book from which children should be taught to spell 
or read. A grant was accordingly made to the society of 
£6,980, Irish currency, in the session of 1814-15. The 
m of thi was manifestly the same as thai 

which was formerly called the Lancasterian system in 


England, and which, although adopted by the great body of 
the Protestant Dissenters there, was so mnch opposed by the 
bishops and clergy of the Established Church in general, 
that they completely prevented its application to schools for 
children of their communion. The Roman Catholic prelates 
and clergy set themselves with equal resolution against it 
in Ireland, and with equal success. It was accordingly 
found in 1824, that of 400.348 children whose parents paid 
for their education in the general schools of the country, 
and whose religion was ascertained, there were 81,060 Pro- 
testants, and 319,288 Roman Catholics; while of 56,201 
children educated under the Kildare Place Society — although 
theirs were schools for the poor, ami the Roman Catholics 
bear a much greater proportion to Protestants in the poorer 
a than in the higher — there were 26,237 Protestants, 
and only 29,964 Roman Catholics. 

Various inquiries had been instituted from time to time 
by Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Committees into 
the state of education in Ireland. One Commission, appointed 
in 1806, laboured for six years, and published fourteen 
reports. It included the Primate, two bishops, the Provost 
of Trinity College, and Mr. R. Lovell Edgeworth. They 
recommended a system in which the children of all denomi- 
nations should be educated together, without interfering 
with the peculiar tenets of any ; and that there should be a 
board of commissioners, with extensive powers, to carry out 
the plan. Subsequent commissions and committees adopted 
the same principle of united secular education, particularly 
a Select Committee of the House of Commons appointed in 
1824. These important reports prepared the way for Mr. 
Stanley's plan, which he announced in the House of Com- 
mons on the 9th of September, 1831. His speech on that 
occasion showed that he had thoroughly mastered the 
difficult question which he undertook to elucidate. It was 
remarkable for the clearness of its statements, the power of 
its arguments, and for the eloquence with which it enforced 
sound and comprehensive principles. 

On the 20th of March Sir Henry Hardinge brought forward 


the ministerial plan for the settlement of the tithe question. 
It was proposed that in future tithes should be recoverable 
only from the head landlord, and that the owner should be 
entitled to recover only 75 per cent, of the amount, 25 per 
cent, being allowed for the cost of collection, and the risk 
and liability which the landlord assumed. He might redeem 
it, if he wished, at twenty years' purchase, calculated upon 
the diminished rate. The purchase-money was to be invested 
in land or otherwise for the benefit of the rectors and other 
tithe-owners. The arrears of 1834 were to be paid out of 
the residue of the million advanced from the Consolidated 
Fund, and the repayments of the clergy for the loans they 
had received were to be remitted. There was a good deal 
of discussion on this plan, Lord John Russell contending 
that it was the same in substance as the one brought forward 
last session by the late Government. There was, however, 
some difference between the two measures. In the former, 
the landlords were to get two-fifths, or £40, out of every 
£100, securing to the clergy 77i per cent., and involving an 
annual charge of 17^ per cent, on the Consolidated Fund. 
This was the shape the measure had assumed as the result 
of amendments carried in committee. The ministerial reso- 
lution was carried by a majority of 213 to 198. 

But all this was but preliminary to the great battle which 
commenced on the 30th of this month, and which decided 
the fate of the ministry. Lord John Russell, after the 
House, had been called over, moved, " That the House should 
resolve itself into a committee of the whole House, to consider 
the temporalities of the Church of Ireland, with a view of 
applying any surplus of the revenues not required for the 
spiritual care of its members to the general education of all 
classes of the people, without distinction of religious per- 
suasion." This resolution was skilfully framed to secure the 
support of all the Liberal party, and of the English .Dissenters 
as well as the Irish Catholics ; all of them being able to aoree 
upon it, and to act together without inconsistency, thouoli 
each might act from different motives and with different 
objects. The discussion was particularly interesting, as it 


turned very much upon the great question of religious 
establishments. Lord John Russell, Lord Howick, and Mr. 
Sheil, while fully admitting that an establishment tends to 
promote religion and to preserve good order, contended that 
it ought not to be maintained where it fails to secure these 
objects, and that it must always fail when, as in Ireland, the 
members of the Established Church are only a minority of 
the nation, while the majority, constituting most of the 
poorer classes, are thrown upon the voluntary system for the 
support of their clergy. Concurring with Paley in his view 
of a Church Establishment — that it should be founded upon 
utility, that it should communicate religious knowledge to 
the masses of the people, that it should not be debased into 
a state engine or an instrument of political power — they 
demanded whether the Church of Ireland fulfilled these 
rial conditions of an establishment. They asked whether 
its immense revenues had been employed in preserving and 
extending the Protestant faith in Ireland ? In the course of 
something more than a century it was stated that its revenues 
had increased sevenfold, and now amounted to ,£800,000 
a-y ear. Had its efficiency increased in the same proportion ? 
Had it even succeeded in keeping its own small flocks within 
the fold ? On the contrary, they adduced statistics to show 
a lamentable foiling off in their numbers. For example, Lord 
John Russell said, " By Tighe's History of Kilkenny, it 
appears that the number of Protestant families in 1731 was 
1,055, but in 1800 they had been reduced to 941. The total 
number of Protestants at the former period was 5,238, while 
the population of the county, which in 1800 was 108,000, 
in 1731 was only 42,108 souls. From Stuart's History of 
Armagh, we find that sixty years ago the Protestants in that 
country were as two to one ; now they are as one to three. 
In 1733 the Roman Catholics in Kerry were twelve to one 
Protestant, and now the former are much more numerous 
than even that proportion. In Tullamore, in 173 J, there 
were 64 Protestants to 613 Roman Catholics ; but according 
to Mason's parochial survey, in 1818 the Protestants had 
diminished to only five, while the Roman Catholics had 


augmented to 2,455. On the whole, from the best computa- 
tion he had seen — and he believed it was not exaggerated 
one way or the other — the entire number of Protestants 
belonging to the Established Church in Ireland can hardly 
be stated higher than 750,000 ; and of those 400,000 are 
resident in the ecclesiastical province of Armagh." 

Such being the facts of the case, the Liberals came to the 
conclusion that a reform was inevitable. In order to adapt 
the Establishment to the requirements of the Protestant 
population, there must be a large reduction, and the surplus 
funds that remained ought to be applied to some object by 
which the moral and religious instruction of the people would 
be promoted. The least objectionable mode in which the 
money could be applied was the general education of the 
poor under the National Board, by which children of all 
denominations could be educated in harmony together, as 
they had been ever since its establishment. The reformers 
denied that there was any analogy between the revenues of 
the Established Church and private property. The Acts of 
Parliament securing those revenues had all treated the^o. as 
being held in trust for the benefit of the nation ; and after 
leaving ample means for the due execution of the trust, so 
far as it was really practicable, the legislature was competent 
to apply the balance in accomplishing by other agency than 
the Protestant clergy, to some extent at least, the objects 
originally contemplated by the founders of the religious 

The case of the Irish Church was stated by Sir Robert 
Peel, Lord Stanley, and Sir James Graham, who argued that 
its revenues were greatly exaggerated, subjected to heavy 
drawbacks and deductions. The vestry cess had been 
abolished. A tax exclusively borne by the clergy of three 
to fifteen per cent, had been laid upon all livings, and the 
Church Temporalities Act provided that in all parishes in 
which service had not been performed from 1830 to 1833, 
when a vacancy occurred, there should be no re-appointment, 
and the revenues of that living, after paying a curate, should 
be destined to other parishes differently situated, but for 


purposes strictly Protestant. Here, then, is a provision 
already made for the progressive diminution or extinction 
of the Episcopal Church in those districts where it is not 
called for, and can be of no utility. Whence, then, the 
anxiety to take away a surplus, which, in all probability, 
will not exceed £100,000 a year, from a Church already 
subjected to such heavy and exclusive burdens ? It is not 
pretended that the object of this appropriation is to apply 
the income seized to the payment of the national debt, or 
that it is justified by any State necessity. They argued that 
if the appropriation clause, as now shaped, once passed into 
law, not only would the Protestant faith cease to be the 
established religion in Ireland, but the measure would be 
fatal to the Established Church in England also. It was to 
avoid that danger that the Irish legislature at the Union had 
stipulated for the s ifety of the Protestant Church, and with- 
out going the length of contending that those articles were 
like the laws of the Medes and Persians, which could not be 
altered, yet they should not be infringed upon without evident 
and pressing necessity; and if there was any one Irish interest 
that should be treated with special tenderness, it was that of 
the Church, which, owing to the minority which constituted 
Iherence, was beset with peculiar dangers. Besides, it 
was asked, what chance was there that the concessions of 
this principle and the alienation of Church property would 
pacify the Roman Catholics, or heal the divisions of that 
unhappy country ? Would resistance to the payment of 
tithe to a Protestant Church be removed by applying a small 
fraction of its income to a different purpose ? Suppose the 
incumbents were removed from one-fourth of the parishes 
in Ireland, and their revenues applied to the National 
schools, would that alleviate the discontent in the remaining 
three-fourths, where the incumbents still resided and per- 
formed their functions ? Would it not rather increase the 
agitation by encouraging the hope that by perseverance the 
Church would be stripped of all her revenues 1 The measure, 
therefore, instead of bringing peace, would only stimulate 
strife and protract war, In fact, the Conservatives con- 


tended that this was only the first of a series of measures 
avowedly intended to annihilate the Protestant Establish- 
ment. What said Archbishop M'Hale in 1833, after four 
years' enjoyment of the rights and privileges granted by 
the Emancipation Act ? He said, " After all the evils which 
have fallen on this devoted land, it is a consolation to reflect 
that the legislative axe is at last laid to the root of the 
Establishment. The primers of our ecclesiastical establish- 
ments have not read the Roman history in vain, when the 
two overshadowing plants which spread their narcotic 
poisonous influence all around them have been laid low. 
This is but the prelude of a further and still more enlarged 
process of extinction. By every reform abuses will be re- 
moved until, it is to be hoped, not a single vestige of that 
mighty nuisance will remain." Mr. O'Connell was not less 
frank in his avowal of ulterior objects. In October, 1834, 
he said : — " It is quite true that I demanded but a partial 
reduction. It was three-fifths of the tithes. Why did I ask 
no more ? Because I had no chance, in the first instance, of 
getting the whole abolished; and I only got two-fifths, 
being less than I demanded. I had, therefore, no chance of 
getting the entire destroyed ; and, because I am one of those 
who are always willing to accept an instalment, however 
small, of the real National Debt — the people's debt — I de- 
termined to go on, and look for the remainder when the first 
instalment should be completely realized. My plan is to 
apply that fund in the various counties of Ireland, to relieve 
the occupiers of land from Grand Jury cess, and to defray 
the expense of hospitals, infirmaries, and institutions for the 
sick." In other words, said the Conservatives, Mr. O'Connell 
proposed to confiscate the property of the Church, in order 
to relieve the land from its appropriate burdens, and to 
exempt it from the support of the poor. They argued, 
therefore, that on no reasonable ground could it be main- 
tained that this concession to Irish agitation could have any 
other effect than stimulating the agitators to make fresh 
demands. Sound policy required that the Protestant Estab- 
lishment should be maintained in Ireland. It is the essence 


of an establishment to be universal. There must be a clergy- 
man in every parish. His provision must be certain beyond 
the reach of fraud or agitation, beyond the reach of popular 
influence, so that he may not be obliged to adapt the doctrine 
to the taste of his hearers, or to lower the standard of truth. 
It must be sufficient for the support of a family in decent 
competence, fur the clergy are permitted to marry, and must 
not be socially inferior to the more respectable portion of 
their parishioners. The livings of Ireland were by no means 
above this standard, many of them were below it. For 
example, there were 570 under £250 a year, 854? under 
£450 a year, and 948 under £500 a year. The whole, Sir 
James Graham estimated, would not average more than £.200 
a year. "It behoves the Whigs," said he, "in a peculiar 
manner to oppose this mischievous and disastrous revo- 
lution. Whig principles consist not in death's heads and 
er<»ss-bones, denunciations against those who venture to 
exercise their civic franchises according to their consciences, 
nor in prayers for mercy limited to those in heaven, but not 
to be extended to those on this side the grave. Genuine 
Whig principles consist in a warm attachment to civil free- 
dom, and the Protestant religion as by law established. 
This is a vital question, upon which no further compromise 
can be made. The property set apart by our ancestors to 
maintain and propagate the Protestant religion is sacred, 
and ought only to be applied to sacred uses. More than 
this, those who minister at the altar ought to live by the 
altar. That principle is high as heaven, and you cannot 
reach it ; it is strong as the Almighty, and you cannot 
overturn it ; it is as fast as the eternal, and you cannot unfix 
it. It is binding on a legislature consisting of Christian 
men, and acting on Christian principles, and no consideration 
on earth should induce you to compromise or destroy it/' 
Sir Robert Peel, who argued all through upon the supposition 
that the concession of the appropriation principle involved 
the destruction of the Established Church, stated, that though 
he might be compelled to succumb to an adverse vote, he 
should ever condemn the procedure of procuring that vote 


at the expense of the Irish Church, rather than by means of 
a direct motion of want of confidence in the Government. 
He believed that on this question the House was not an ex- 
pression of national opinion ; he believed that his view was 
that of the large majority of the people; and he therefore 
felt strong to meet the decision that might ensue from his 
adherence to his view of duty to the Irish Church. 

The debate lasted four nights, and was kept up with the 
greatest spirit and vigour. The division was taken between 
three and four o'clock in the morning, when it was found 
that in a house of 611 members the numbers were — for the 
motion, 322 ; against it, 289 ; leaving the Government in a 
minority of 33. A Cabinet Council was held on the following 
day, when it was unanimously resolved to await the result 
of the debate on the Irish tithe question .on the same evening. 
Lord John Russell, on the report of the Committee being 
brought up, moved the following resolution : — " That it is 
the opinion of this House that no measure upon the subject 
of tithes in Ireland can lead to a satisfactory and final ad- 
justment which does not embody the principle contained in 
the foregoing resolution." He referred to the principle of 
the appropriation clause. On this an animated debate fol- 
lowed, which lasted till one o'clock in the morning. When 
the House divided, it was found that the resolution was 
carried by a majority of twenty-seven, the numbers being 
— ayes, 285 ; noes, 258. 

As these divisions took place on a question of vital policy, 
Sir Robert Peel had no alternative but to resign. Accord- 
ingly, he announced his decision in the House next day. 
After the extraordinary efforts that he had made, and con- 
sidering the circumstances under which he was called upon 
to assume the reins of government, it must have been very 
painful to him to be thus cut short in his patriotic labours ; 
but he bore the disappointment with admirable spirit, and 
retired from his jDOsition so gracefully that he was warmly 
cheered from all parts of the House. In making his parting- 
announcement, he said — " The Government, being firmly re- 
solved to adhere to the principle of their own bill, and not 


to adopt the principle of the vote of last night, felt it to be 
their duty as public men to la} r their offices at the disposal 
of His Majesty. I have been anxious to make this explana- 
tion as briefly as I can, and in a manner the least calculated 
to give offence, or excite angry feelings. My whole political 
life has been spent in the House of Commons ; and whatever 
may be the conflict of parties, I, for one, shall always wish, 
whether in a majority or a minority, to stand well with the 
House of Commons. Under no circumstances whatever, 
under the pressure of no difficulties, under the influence of 
no temptation, will I ever advise the Crown to forego that 
great source of moral influence which consists in a strict 
adherence to the spirit, the practice, and even the letter of 
the Constitution." 

It may be as well to dispose here of the Irish Church 
question ; for although Lord Morpeth, on the part of the 
Melbourne administration, brought in a bill for settling the 
question, which passed the House of Commons by a majority 
of twenty-six votes, and which contained the appropriation 
clause — in the House of Lords this clause was struck out, 
and it was otherwise altered in Committee so materially 
that, when sent back to the Commons, they scarcely knew 
their own offspring. The bill was therefore disowned, and 
thrown out.'- 4 

* The foregoing chapter is extracted from my History of England from 
the Accession of George IV. to the death of the Prince Consort, published 
some years ago. London : Cassell, Petter, and Galpin. 




My report on the present condition of the Irish dioceses 
commences with the metropolis, which has always been the 
great centre of power and influence in the Irish establish- 

Before I proceed to inquire into the condition of the 
several churches and parishes, it ma}^ be as well to make 
my readers acquainted with the authorities by whom it is 
governed, and the means set apart for the support of their 
dignity and the remuneration of their services. In order 
that the accuracy of these details may be beyond dispute, 
I have availed myself of returns carefully revised by the 
ecclesiastical authorities themselves, which may therefore 
be confidently relied upon as not overstating anything to 
the disadvantage of the Church. The diocese of Dublin and 
Glendalough contains 125 benefices with 88 -curacies. The 
patronage in the Archbishop consists of, dignities and pre- 
bends, SO ; benefices, &c, 43 ; benefices to which he appoints 
alternately, occasionally, and conjointly, 5. The gross value 
of the see is £8,249 ; the probable, but not yet accurately 
ascertained, net value is £6,569. The present Archbishop 
is the Right Hon. and Most Rev. Richard Chenevix 
Trench, D.D., second son of the late Richard Trench, brother 
of the first Lord Ashtown in the Irish Peerage, by Melesina 
Chenevix, granddaughter and heiress of Dr. Richard 
Chenevix, Bishop of Waterford from 1745 to 1779; born 9th 
September, 1807; married 1832, Hon. Frances Mary Trench, 


sister of Lord Ashtown; educated at Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge; formerly Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of 
Oxford; Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge, 1845-6; Theolo- 
gical Professor and Examiner, King's College, London, 1847; 
Dean of Westminster, 1856; appointed Archbishop of Dub- 
lin, 1863; consecrated 1st January, 1864; Primate of Ireland; 
Chancellor of the Order of St. Patrick ; Visitor of Trinity 
College, Dublin; patron of fifty-six livings. His Grace's 
examining chaplains are the Yen. William Lee, d.d., Arch- 
bishop King's Lecturer in Divinity in the University of 
Dublin, and the Rev. J. G. Scott, A.M. ; his chaplain is the 
Rev. Arthur Dawson, A.M. It is said that the Archbishop 
appointed Dr. Lee on his arrival in Dublin, without any 
previous personal acquaintance, attracted to him, no doubt 
by his work on Inspiration, which has given him a high 
place in theological literature. The Archbishop is assisted 
by no less than seventeen rural deans, resident in different 
parts of the diocese, a surrogate, vicar-general, and registrars. 
The two cathedrals — Christ Church and St. Patrick's — 
rue in a certain sense, united. There is but one dean and 
ordinary between them, namely, Dr. West, appointed in 
] 864 ; and there is a sort of duality in several of the minor 
offices, the same persons officiating in both churches. In 
Christ Church there is a precentor, a chancellor, a treasurer. 
There are three prebendaries, who are always the incumbents 
respectively of the parishes, St. Michael's, St. Michan's, and 
St. John's. The vicars-choral are six in number. In addition 
to the vicars-choral, there are other singers called " stipen- 
diaries." There is an organist, a deputy-organist, a "master 
of the boys," a master of the grammar school, and assistant- 
master, who is a clergyman. Then there is a registrar to 
the dean and chapter, a diocesan architect, a steward to the 
prebendaries and vicars, and a steward to the Augmentation 
Estate. In addition to these there is a pro-proctor, a law 
agent, and a verger. The total number of persons consti- 
tuting the official staff of this cathedral is thirty, who all 
minister more or less directly to the dignity and efficiency 
of this single church, which accommodates about 1,000 per- 



sons, and is a heavy, dingy, ill-arranged, and uncomfortable 
place of worship, producing an impression that it is not 
accomplishing the purposes for which it was erected, except 
the singing, and presenting a sort of monumental protest 
against the Reformation. 

The collegiate and cathedral chmch of St. Patrick is still 
more amply supplied with dignitaries and officials, as appears 
from the following list : — Dean and Ordinary, Sub-Dean, 
Precentor, Chancellor, Treasurer, Archdeacon of Dublin, 
Archdeacon of Glendalough, Resident Preacher, Minor 
Canons, Vicars-Choral, Organist, Deputy- Organist and Mas- 
ter of the Boys, Master of the Grammar School, Registrar to 
Dean and Chapter of St. Patrick's, Steward to the Vicars, 
Verger and Pro-Proctor, Sexton. 

Christ Church Cathedral has no property of its own, the 
clergymen belonging to it being supported by the incomes of 
certain parishes. But St. Patrick's has a rent-charge of 
£1,434, which produces a net income of £1,112, there being 
church accommodation for 3,000 persons. 

In his Primary Charge, the Archbishop gives the average 
number of persons attending public worship in the churches 
in the diocese of Dublin on the Sunday morning as amount- 
ing to 40,000, and in the evening to over 19,000. This does 
not include the two cathedrals ; and in connection with this 
subject his Grace observes : — - 

" It is gratifying to note how successful the restoration of 
St. Patrick's Cathedral has proved in that kind of success 
which its large-hearted and large-handed restorer must most 
have desired. I have before me the returns of the number 
of the week-day congregations, from June 12 to September 8 
of the present year. These returns give an average attend- 
ance of 148 a day, or 74 at each service — congregations, of 
course, somewhat swollen by the many sight-seers who have 
passed through the city during this summer, but satisfactory 
after every abatement has been made. Certainly our people, 
when opportunities of week-day worship are offered to them, 
are not slow to avail themselves of them." 

But the correspondent of the Clerical Journal, under- 


stood to be a rector of the Irish Church, eives the following 
description of the week-day service in that cathedral : — 

" A visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, upon a week- 
day, is a gratification to every Churchman, and especially is 
delightful to those who in former days chanced to attend the 
old service. The change from decay, with its disagreeable 
accompaniments of sloth, filth, and carelessness, to renewal, 
with brightness, life, and energy, cannot fail to excite grati- 
tude towards God, who moved the noble restorer to his 
munificent work. There is likewise felt a kind of jealousy 
lest this present beauty of God's worship in this glorious 
cathedral should be marred prematurely by any negligence 
on the part of those who are specially bound to uphold and 
adorn the sanctity of the services. Upon a recent visit to 
this cathedral, upon the afternoon of a Church holiday, there 
were some indications of remissness and perfunctoriness 
among the clerical and lay officers of the cathedral which 
deserve remark. Of the ten or twelve clergymen whose 
duty it is to attend the daily service, there was one solitary 
representative, who is both a minor canon and a vicar-choral. 
Neither Dean nor Sub-dean was there, and the only other 
clergyman who attended was a prebendary. Only three 
singing men were present, in place of twelve vicars-choral. 
The surplices of the boys of the choir were untidy, and 
seemed as though their washing was paid for by the Eccle- 
siastical Commissioners." 

It may be doubted whether the Protestants of Dublin are 
disposed to give an}^ sort of reasonable attention to three 
cathedral services on week-days. All, except fashionable 
people and lovers of music, would prefer on such occasions a 
short, simple service, consisting of prayer and an extempo- 
raneous exhortation. There is something peculiarly chilling 
to devotion in a cathedral service hurriedly performed in an 
immense cold building, with only a sprinkling of people 
present. The Archbishop states that the average attendance 
at St. Patrick's since its opening was seventy on the week- 
days, but remarks that the congregations were " somewhat 
swollen by the many sight-seers who have passed through the 



city during the summer." The fact is, however, that even 
in the afternoon on week-days, the attendance is often not 
more than a dozen, and at the morning service, ten o'clock, 
it is likely to be still less. The Dublin people are not early 
risers, noon is the Church hour to which they have always 
been accustomed ; and not even the most zealous ritualists 
among the clergy can coax many of them out to church two 
hours earlier. A mid-day or an afternoon service in St. 
Patrick's might be fairly attended, especially by ladies, if 
the cathedral were situated in a respectable quarter of the 
town, such as Merrion-square or Stephen' s-green. But it 
stands in a locality which is one of the lowest in the city, 
surrounded by a dense, impoverished population, occupying 
decayed and half-ruinous houses, where nearly all sanitary 
arrangements are neglected, and the cathedral can be ap- 
proached only by traversing a number of mean, dirty streets. 
Standing on the top of "Patrick's steeple" — a noble tower, 
which Mr. Guimiess has thoroughly renovated and strength- 
ened with chiseled limestone, and which is 120 feet high, 
commanding extensive views on every side — the spectator 
looks down upon a mass of filtlry lanes and alleys, squalid 
dwellings, pestilential slaughter-houses, and the lowest kind 
of shops for the sale of old furniture and refuse of all sorts 
which surround the cathedral, and cover all the space between 
it and Christ Church, about a quarter of a mile distant. It 
is said that Mr. Guinness has a plan in his mind for clearing 
off all those buildings and converting a large portion of what 
is called "The Liberty" into a People's park, planted with 
trees, and affording the means of health and recreation to 
the inhabitants of that neglected part of the city. " The 
formation of an extensive square, having one of our ancient 
cathedrals at each end, the Roman Catholic Chapel of St. 
Francis at one side, with St. Bride's and St. Werburgh's 
Churches on the other, and affording eligible frontages for 
building, could not fail to improve to a wonderful extent the 
south side of the city, and is a grand idea, worthy of a 
merchant prince." 

Mr. Guinness, I need scarcely inform my readers, is the 


owner of the vast brewery establishment which bears his 
name, and the merits of which are appreciated, wherever 
there are Englishmen, all over the world. He is a man of 
boundless wealth, and his munificence is shown in many 
directions. The renovation of St. Patrick's Cathedral — 
which was his own exclusive work, finished off, with every 
detail complete, in the course of three years — is said to have 
cost i?l 20,000. There are those who think that, considering; 
the unfavourable, though ancient and sacred locality, this 
money might have been otherwise expended with greater 
advantage to the community — in such a way, for example, 
as the Peabody Fund in London. But if Mr. Guinness 
should carry out the magnificent scheme indicated above, he 
would lay the poor of Dublin under as great an obligation 
as he lias laid upon the Church to which he belongs. The 
citizens, however, of all parties and denominations hastened 
to express their gratitude to this great public benefactor by 
returning him to Parliament without opposition, in the room 
of Sir Edward Grogan, who had resigned his seat. It was 
expected that the Queen would have been advised to confer 
upon him some title, at least a baronetcy, in recognition of 
one of the greatest services that ever a single layman ren- 
dered to the Irish Church of which Her Majesty is the head. 
His son-in-law is the Hon. and Rev. W. Conyngham Plunket, 
grandson of the great orator and statesman, who was Lord 
Chancellor of Ireland, and nephew to the late Lord Plunket, 
Bishop of Tuam, whose title his father inherits. Mr. Plunket 
was brought into the Chapter recently, and is now Treasurer 
of St. Patrick's. Though comparatively a young man, he 
would, no doubt, have been appointed to the deanery had 
circumstances permitted. But that dignity, or probably one 
still higher, awaits him at no distant day, for he has in his 
favour influences powerful everywhere, but all-powerful in 
Ireland — nobility on the one side and wealth on the other. 
These social advantages, with his own distinguished ability 
and energy, will be sure to raise him to one of the highest 
places in the Establishment, of which he is a zealous 
defender. The new Treasurer of St. Patrick's, in which office 


lie succeeded the Rev. Dr. Todd, T.C.D., received priest's 
orders in 1858, from which date to 1864 he was Rector of 
Kilmoylan, in the diocese of Tuam, with an income of £320 
a year, there being no church in the parish, and only four 
Protestant inhabitants. Mr. Plunket had, however, rendered 
important service to the Church as chaplain to his uncle, and 
as the organizer and effective advocate of the West Connaught 
Church Endowment Society, which was established in 1859, 
and has been instrumental in endowing churches in six 
parochial districts in a part of the country where formerly 
great destitution existed. 

In the long list of dignitaries given above there are but two 
names distinguished by attainments in theological literature, 
and by their published works in defence or illustration of 
Christian truth. These are Dr. Todd and Archdeacon Lee ; 
but these gentlemen won their honours not in connexion 
with the cathedrals, but in connexion with the University, 
as Fellows and Professors. The present Dean was Arch- 
deacon of Dublin, and examining chaplain to the late 
Archbishop Whately, having at the same time charge of the 
immense parish of St. Peter's. It is often stated that the 
prizes in the Irish Church are very few ; if so, there is the 
more reason to discourage pluralities, and the monopoly of 
several prizes in the same hands, a course which would be 
dictated not only by a regard to the spiritual interests of the 
Church, but to its defence against external enemies. The 
net income of the Archdeacon of Dublin is i?9I3, and the 
gross income i?l,855. What is called the '-corps" of the 
archdeaconry consists of St. Peter's parish, St. Kevin's, St. 
Stephen's, Trinity Church, Rathmines, St. Philip's, Milt own, 
and Booterstown. This immense district has a total popula- 
tion of 74,11-4. Setting aside five or six proprietary churches 
within its bounds, that is, chinches supported by private 
endowments and pew rents, the corps of the archdeaconry 
affords chinch accommodation for 4,000 persons. We might 
suppose that the pastoral care of so large a population, coupled 
with the duties of archdeacon, was quite enough for one man, 
and that a minister of what is called " a poor and struggling 


church," with hundreds of ill-paid curates, might be content 
with an income of ^1,000 a year. But Archdeacon Lee still 
retains his Professorship in Trinity College, which doubles 
his income ; and which in times like these, so critical, not 
only to our national Church, but to the Christian faith, might 
well give sufficient employment to the ablest and most 
industrious divine that ever the University produced. There 
are no giants in our days, but even in the days when there 
were giants, the duties which Archdeacon Lee has taken 
upon him would be quite burden enough for two pair of the 
strongest shoulders. Besides, it may be questioned whether 
a life devoted to the duties of a professorship in college be 
the best preparation for the position of a parochial minister; 
or that a divine immersed in parochial affairs, and even 
parochial disputes, caused by enforcing a too stringent 
ritualism upon reluctant congregations, is in the best possible 
condition to discuss with inquiring students the deep theo- 
logical questions which are now silently agitating their minds. 
If our Church had an efficient government, capable of turning 
to the best account all the talents and resources at her 
command, we may be assured that there would be a better 
division of labour, and also a better division of emolument. 

Before leaving the cathedral of St. Patrick's, I feel bound 
in duty to say a few words with respect to the barrier which 
separates the nave from the choir and transepts, the part of 
the church which is fitted with pews, boarded, matted, and 
made comfortable for public worship. This barrier consists 
of a formidable iron railing, reticulated so as to obstruct the 
view, and surmounted by sharp iron spikes. The centre 
portion of this railing opens as a gate, to admit the clergy, 
the choir, and those who are privileged to occupy that 
reserved part of the house of God, which may be called 
the "sanctuary" of the Temple, while the nave is the "outer 
court." It is true that there are seats in the nave to accomo- 
date the outer court worshippers, but owing to the barrier 
in question and the pillars or buttresses of enormous thick- 
ness at each side, they can see little and hear less, while to 
persons who are not very hardy, sitting or standing for an 


hour or two on a stone floor is decidedly dangerous to 
health. Of course, respectable people who make application 
to the proper quarters can obtain the privilege of admission 
by getting a written " order." But there is no public an- 
nouncement informing the Protestant community where or 
on what terms the orders are to be obtained, or the grounds 
on which the separation is so rigidly established between 
the members of the same flock. Let us suppose strangers 
coming up from the provinces, or from the neighbouring 
counties, wishing to worship in this national temple and to 
enjoy its admirable choral service, or let us suppose visitors 
from Great Britain or America, attracted to the place from 
the same motives : they walk up towards the choir till they 
are stopped by the lofty iron gate. They see beyond the 
barrier a fashionable congregation, comfortably seated to the 
right and left of the choir, hearing and seeing everything to 
perfection ; and they may observe also a number of empty 
seats. But the gate does not open at their approach ; the 
janitor is blind to their presence ; ladies and gentlemen pass 
in, having either a "face admission" or presenting the 
magical order. If the strangers should attempt to follow, 
the gate is quickly shut in their faces, and they are told 
there is " no admission without an order." Now it must be 
confessed that this exclusion, during the hours of worship, 
has a very ugly, un-Christian appearance. It seems to be a 
presentation of Pharisaism in its most repulsive form, and 
to say to the publicans and sinners outside — " Stand off, we 
are holier than you!" or, "Stand off, we are more respectable 
than you!" or, "Stand off, we are wealthier than you!" The 
outer court worshippers, thus repulsed from the sacred 
enclosure of aristocratic Christians, may move round the 
huge buttresses and try to enter at the side ; but there the 
aisle is barred also by a small iron gate, carefully locked and 
guarded, and not to be opened except to the parties who 
have somehow secured the privilege of admission to the 
pews. Surely some means might be adopted to prevent 
overcrowding, less invidious, and more indicative of Chris- 
tian fellowship, than the iron fortifications to which I have 


referred. On the Continent, the magnificent cathedrals of 
the Roman Catholic Church are open to all the faithful on 
perfectly equal terms. The stranger can advance freely to 
the very steps of the altar and take any chair that happens 
to be vacant, paying a penny or two for its occupation. 
Whether it be from the nature of the Viceregal Court, with 
its crowd of ornamental officials and dignified sinecurists, or 
from the spirit of ascendancy and intolerance which from 
the Conquest down characterized the government of the 
Pale, the society of the Irish metropolis has always been 
peculiarly exclusive and snobbish, and the worst snobs are 
sometimes the purse-proud traders, who hang by the skirts 
of the Court circle. It is to this inborn spirit of pretentious 
and anti-national "ascendancy" that we must ascribe, among 
other things, the determined efforts made to keep Stephen's- 
green, one of the finest squares in Europe, shut against the 
people, despite the wishes of the noblest and most enlight- 
ened part of the community to have it opened. 

Notwith standi no- the loss of the Parliament, and the con- 
sequent absence of many of the nobility and landed gentry, 
the city of Dublin has made steady progress, and has been 
largely increased and very much improved since the Union. 
It is true that the magnificent town residences of some of 
the nobility have been turned to very different uses. For 
example, Leinster House, the palace of Ireland's only Duke, 
is occupied by the Royal Dublin Society ; Tyrone House, by 
the National Board of Education ; Powerscourt House, by 
the firm of Ferrier, Pollock, and Company ; and Alborough 
House, by Her Majesty's troops ; while several others are 
hotels, or have even been so degraded as to be let off in 
separate tenements to room-keepers, who seldom appreciate 
the value of the lofty marble chimney-pieces or the elaborate 
ornamentation of the ceiling. But against all this we have 
to set off whole squares and innumerable "roads" to the 
south side of the city, erected during the present century, 
and occupied by the landed gentry, by wealthy members of 
the learned professions, and by a very numerous class of 
merchants who have realized splendid fortunes. Kingstown 


also, which may be regarded as belonging in a certain sense 
to the city of Dublin, has become a considerable town, the 
intermediate territory for six or seven miles along the coast 
being studded with handsome villas, while a very large 
suburban population, generally in good circumstances, has 
grown up in the same district, in which there are two other 
townships, Blackrock and Pembroke. Taking the first year 
of the present century — the epoch of the Union — as our 
starting-point, we shall find that the Irish metropolis, 
amidst all the vicissitudes of the country, has been steadily 
improving. The total population of Dublin at that time 
was 182,370 ; now it is 254.293, the increase having been 
constant at every decennial period since the Census began 
to be taken. There is no doubt that the property of the 
city has increased in proportion. 

It is gratifying to be able to state that the progress of the 
Church, and the development of its resources, have kept 
pace with the progress of society, and show a wonderful 
advancement during the last half century. But it has hap- 
pened in the old parts of Dublin, as it has happened in the 
old parts of London, that the community has outgrown the 
ancient parochial system, and that a number of well-endowed 
churches clustered in a small space have been forsaken by 
nearly all the wealthier portion of the parishioners, who reside 
in the country, where they have built and endowed churches 
for themselves. The ancient city walls, of which no traces now 
remain, included the parishes of St. Werburgh, St. John, St. 
Michael, St. Nicholas Within, the eastern part of St. Audeon, 
and the Deanery of Christ Church — a space comprehending 
about forty-five English acres. Taking Christ Church as a 
central point, we find within about half a mile of that build- 
ing no less than twelve parish churches, some of them not 
many perches asunder ; viz., St. Werburgh's, St. John's, St. 
Michael's, St. Nicholas Within, St. Peter's, St. Andrew's, St. 
Ann's, St. Audeon's, St. Brigid's, St. Catherine's, St. J ames's, 
St. Luke's — nearly two-thirds of the parishes of the metro- 
polis, which are only nineteen in number. Within the same 
space are the two cathedrals and the Castle Chapel, which is 


attended regularly by the Viceregal Court, the Chief Secre- 
tarv, and all the State functionaries, with their families, who 
belong to the Established Church. The Royal Chapel has 
been lately so much improved that it is now an architectural 
gem in its internal fittings and decorations. 

St. Werburgh's, however, is the parish church of the Lord 
Lieutenant, in which he has a seat in front of the organ ; 
and, by established etkaiette, he attends the annual charity 
sermon for the schools. This church, originally a fine 
building, almost hid by a number of mean houses which 
enclose it, was dedicated t«> the patron saint of Chester. It 
was formerly a sort of cathedral Among its incumbents 
were the celebrated Jam i Us hop; 

William Chappel, John Milton's tutor at Cambridge ; Arch- 
bishop King, and other celebrities. It became the burial- 
place of many important i. deluding the 
Geraldines. The tomb of Lord 1 Fitzgerald is an 
object of interest to the admirers of the chivalrous character 
of that unfortunate patriot. The church was twice destroyed 
by tire. The steeple was 160 feet high, terminating with a 
o-ilt ball and vane, forming one of the chief ornaments of 
Dublin; but being found in i condition, it was 
taken down in 1810. The to as taken down in 
1836, and the bells were unhung and placed in the vestibule. 
The building has, eonsequently, a mutilated appearance. In 
1030 this church was described as "in good repair and 
decency,"' worth £00 per annum, there being 239 house- 
holders in the parish, all Protestants, with the exception of 
28 Roman Catholics. At the close of last century its total 
population consisted of 3,629. By the last census (1861) 
the population was returned at 3.174 persons, of whom only 
692 are members of the Established Church. The net 
income is £396, the present incumbent being the Rev. 
Edward W. Whately, son of the late Archbishop. For many 
years the attendance in this fine parish church has been 
very small, consisting mainly of poor people, and not 
averaging more than about fifty persons. 

One minute's walk from St. Werburgh's, and divided from 


Christ Church Cathedral only by a narrow lane, is the parish 
church of St. John's, a small, plain, oblong building, with a 
stone front, in the Grecian style. It is surrounded by 
galleries, and has seats for 600 people. It has a small belfry, 
and it is almost amusing on Sunday morning to hear its 
tiny bell ringing an accompaniment with the magnificent 
gong of Christ Church swinging in the lofty tower by which 
it is overshadowed. The whole area of the parish is under 
fourteen English acres. The population at the close of last 
century was 4,142, inhabiting 295 houses. At present it is 
3,043, of which 416 are members of the Established Church. 
It is a prebend al parish, and the living is in the gift of the 
Dean and Chapter of Christ Church. The net income is 
£220 per annum. The church is one of very ancient foun- 
dation. It received various endowments from time to time, 
intended of course for Roman Catholic purposes. It fell 
into decay in the middle of the last century, when the Irish 
Parliament granted a sum of £1,000 for the erection of the 
present edifice. 

Passing along Christchurch-place, to the west of the 
cathedral, we meet the parish church of St. Michael's, sepa- 
rated only by a narrow street. This church is remarkably 
diminutive, all tower at one end, and all window at the 
other. The window, which faces the cathedral, consists of 
stained glass, and the tower is a dark, heavy, square struc- 
ture, which seems not at all in keeping with the little 
building with light-coloured walls with which it is connected. 
It has accommodation for about 200 persons, the total Pro- 
testant population of the parish being seventy-six, so that 
if every man, woman, and child, including the aged and the 
sick, belonging to the Established Church, were seated in 
the little building, it would not be more than one-eighth 

Proceeding westward in the same line of streets, we arrive, 
in four or five minutes, at the parish church of St. Audoen's 
— a very ancient structure, but so small that it would not 
be noticed, except for the square tower, designed for a much 
larger building. Shut out of view from the main street, 


this church is visible only from a narrow lane, and abuts 
upon the large Roman Catholic church of St. Audoen's. In- 
ternally it is very nicely fitted up, with the pews, or rather 
. arranged in the modern style, and affording accommo- 
dation for about 300 persons. Attached to it are schools 
and a widows' almshouse. The net value of the living is 
£15G a year, and it is in the gift of the Archbishop. 

Proceeding, still in the same line, along High-street, in 
less than five minutes we come to the fine parish church of 
St. Catherine's ; and in less than five minutes more we 
arrive at the parish church of St. James's — a beautiful 
modern structure. 

Passing by these churches for the present, we return to 
the group of old parishes surrounding Christ Church Cathe- 
dral. The subjoined table presents at one view the anoma- 
lous state of things connected with these parishes. The 
census of 1861 gives the numbers of the religious denomina- 
tions in the several parishes, but it was not without an 
immensity of labour and care that the results could be 
collected. To find the Protestant inhabitants of some of 
the smallest of the parishes it was necessary to hunt through 
several municipal wards. In order to ascertain the number 
of the respective denominations in the enormous parish of 
St. Peter's, I had to search through no less than six muni- 
cipal wards and two baronies in the county Dublin, and to 
bring together a number of details in order to make out the 
totals, which the Census Commissioners have supplied for 
each parish. 






In 1800. 

In 1866. 


St. YTerburgh's, 





St. John's, 





St. Michael's, 





St. Audoen's, 


5, 1 92 



St. Bride's, 





St. Nicholas Within, 





Taking six of those parishes — namely, Werburgh's, St. 
John's, St. Audeon's, St. Bride's, St. Nicholas Within, and 
St. Michael's, we find that they occupy only an area of 111 


English acres, and that their aggregate Church of England 
population is 3,680 persons of all ages. It has been calcu- 
lated that, excluding young children, the aged, and the sick, 
about half the total population may be expected to attend 
public worship. The number of people, therefore, in these 
six parishes requiring church accommodation, is not more, at 
the utmost, than 2,000. The net income of the six parishes 
is £1,283, which would give 12s. a head for all the persons 
in those parishes able to attend public worship. Each of 
these small churches is served by two clergymen, some of 
them by three. Counting the curates' salaries and the 
charitable endowments, the total amount of Church revenue 
spent upon them is very large. 

Let us contrast these six parishes with the single parish 
of St. Peter's, the parish church of which, an old ugly 
building, standing in a graveyard, is now being renovated. 
This church is situated in Aungier-street, about half a mile 
from the group of prebendal churches which we have been 
considering. The parish contains 4,163 acres, that is, it is 
nearfy forty times as large as the whole of the six parishes 
above enumerated! The population of those parishes has 
not changed very materially since the beginning of the 
present century. In some there is an increase, and in some 
a diminution. The diminution has been caused by the fact 
that all the people who have business places in those old, 
crowded, unhealthy districts manage to reside out of town, 
in order to enjoy the benefit of good air for their families. 
This is in a great measure the cause of the larger decrease 
of the Protestant population, who have become a small 
minority in some instances where in the last century they 
were a majority, because they belonged for the most part to 
the wealthier class of society. By professional men, for this 
reason, this district is almost entirely deserted, so that even 
the parochial clergy are generally non-resident. It has been 
quite different with the parish of St. Peter's. At the close 
of the last century the population was 16,000, now it is 
upwards of 58,000 — that is, it has increased five-fold in sixty 
years. Of this number 14,000 belong to the Established 


Church, so that the Protestants are to the Roman Catholics 
in the proportion of about one to four. The parish stretches 
out beyond the city bounds into the barony of Dublin on 
the one hand, and the barony of Uppercross on the other, 
extending to Rathfarnham on the right, and to Donnybrook 
on the left. It is in the rural portion of it chiefly that the 
great increase of population has taken place. 

We may pause here to ask, Can there be a more striking 
illustration of the absurdity of sticking to the old parochial 
system, of the gross anomalies of that system, and of the 
utter waste of resources which it necessitates ? There are 
half a dozen religious establishments, each with its church, 
its schools, and, perhaps, its almhouses, its two or three 
clergymen, its churchwardens, sexton, organist, parish clerk, 
schoolmaster, kc, the whole of these ministering to some 
3,000 or 4,000 souls, the miserable residuum of the popula- 
tion, within a territory of about one hundred English acres. 
This is one picture. In the other picture we behold a parish 
forty times the extent of those six parishes, with four or 
five times the Church population, stretching across the city 
boundary and out into the country south, east, and west for 
miles — and all this vast territory and population committed 
to the pastoral care of a rector, who is also Archdeacon of 
Dublin, and Professor of Divinity in the Dublin University. 
How is it possible to defend such a parochial system as 
this ? Can it be defended by any friend of the Church who 
desires that her revenues should be beneficially applied, that 
her resources should be turned to the best account for the 
spiritual advantage of her people, and that her ecclesiastical 
arrangements should commend themselves to the public as 
reasonable and just, instead of outraging the feelings of pro- 
priety and equity in every Christian mind \ If the instruction, 
guidance, and consolation of the members of the Church 
alone were the object, and if there were a real government 
of the Church conducted on principles of common sense and 
justice, would not these six diminutive parishes — relics of 
a state of things that has passed away for ever — be all united 
into one parish, of which Christ's Church, St, Werburgh's, 


or St. Catherine's, would be the parish church, in order that 
the Church property, all the parish endowments — which 
have long ceased to answer their purposes — should, following 
the Protestant population, be transferred to the districts 
where they are required, and where the ministrations of 
half a score clergymen — now all but wasted — might be 
turned to the best account in the work of Church extension 
and in the edification of the Protestant people. 

In these remarks I have spoken with exclusive reference 
to the Protestant population. If we were to take into 
consideration the total population that should be embraced 
in the theory of the parochial system, which some people 
contend for as apostolical and inviolable, although Ireland 
owes it to the Anglo-Norman settlers, and it dates only 
from the twelfth century — then, indeed, the failure of the 
system to supply the wants of the whole people would be 
astounding. For example, the total population of the six 
parishes in the foregoing table is 24,445 ; so that the Estab- 
lishment even in this poor locality, where its forces are so 
powerfully concentrated in the space of about 100 acres of 
territory, has left 20,000 Roman Catholics destitute of the 
means of grace, and, according to the solemn ordination vows 
of its own clergy, and the emphatic testimony of its own 
Thirty-nine Articles, blinded by a system of " damnable 
id< 'iatry." 

But leaving out this aspect of the parochial system, and 
con fin i n g our observations for the present to the Anglican 
Church community itself, we find a still more startling 
anomaly staring us in the face, and upbraiding us with the 
irrationality and inconsistency of our ecclesiastical system. 
However we may attempt to account for it, it is a strange 
fact that the Protestants of Ireland do not adhere to their 
parish churches. On the contrary, they are forsaken, as a 
rule, by all who are able to pay for pews or sittings in the 
free or proprietary churches, or what we may call the 
voluntary Episcopal churches. For accommodation in them 
they generally pay at a high rate — seldom less than a pound 
a year for each sitting, although they could have their 


ancestral pews without cost in their own parish churches. 
Whether it be owing to the system of patronage under which 
the ministers are appointed, or to some other cause, certain 
it is that in the great majority of cases the parish churches 
of Dublin have been miserably attended. The congregation 
thinly scattered through the church presents an aspect the 
reverse of cheering on the Sabbath morning, with languor 
in the reading-desk, tameness in the pulpit, and drowsiness 
in the pews. On the other hand, all the churches which are 
extra -parochial are well attended, some of the largest of them 
being crowded ; and they have been so continuously for many 
years, irrespective of change of ministers. It will suffice for 
the present to mention one instance of this. Not ten minutes' 
walk from the group of old parish churches which I have 
described, stands the chapel of the Molyneux Asj'lum for the 
Blind, in which the late Dr. Fleury maintained a high popu- 
larity for many years. A new asylum and a splendid church 
were erected a few years ago in Leeson-park, about a mile 
out of town at the south side. That large church was im- 
mediately crowded by a most respectable congregation, and 
did not cease to be so when Dr. Fleury died, and was suc- 
ceeded by his assistant, the present popular chaplain. It 
occurred to some Christian men that the old building might 
still be turned to account as " a missionary church." Such 
an institution seemed to be scarcely required in the imme- 
diate vicinity of Peter's parish church, and Werburgh's 
parish church, and the other churches I have named, not 
to speak of the two cathedrals. Yet so successful has the 
undertaking become, that I have seen in this single church, 
now Albert Chapel, nearly as many worshippers as in the 
six well-endowed, ably served parish churches, to which 
reference has so often been made. These are facts — unde- 
niable facts. 




Shams have prevailed, more or less, in all ages, and the 
progress of modern civilization does not seem to have greatly 
diminished their number or their variety. Of all shams, 
ecclesiastical shams are the most reprehensible and disgrace- 
ful. If, in the conduct of Divine worship, " all things should 
be done decently and in order" — if Christians, and, above all, 
Christian ministers, should so act as to give no offence and 
to cast no stumbling-block in the way of the people, — if 
truthfulness, sincerity, uprightness, be Christian virtues, the 
Church herself, in her corporate capacity, ought to present a 
perfect example of honesty in her dealings. Her rulers 
ought to be faithful stewards of the property intrusted to 
their management. As much as in them lies, they ought 
to turn those sacred funds to the best possible account for 
the promotion of religion and charity. If they had not 
legal power to do this, they should have sought that power 
through their representatives in Parliament. So far as the 
Irish branch of the Church is concerned, they cannot complain 
of the want of means to do this. They have special repre- 
sentatives in the members for the Dublin University. 
These might always count on the support of a large and 
compact body of Conservative members, strong Churchmen. 
Besides, a number of the Irish bishops have seats in Parlia- 
ment, and there is no doubt that their lordships have 
influence enough to bring about any practical reform 
necessary for the greater efficiency of the Church. Indeed, 
there is an Act of Parliament by which the Lord Lieutenant 
in Council can make new parochial unions, and parishes 
may be suspended, under certain circumstances, where there 
is no church or congregation, the revenues of which may be 
employed in other directions by the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners, who exist for the very purpose of applying Church 


property when going to waste to districts and objects where 
it is most required. With such a state of facts, there ought 
to be no gross and glaring abuses — no ecclesiastical Gations 
and Old Sore nix, even in remote parts of the country, still 
less in the heart of the city of Dublin, and within a few 
minutes' walk of the Archbishop's palace. 

How, then, shall we account for the scandal of St. Nicholas 
Within — a sham parish of live acres, adjoining Christ Church 
Cathedral, with only a street between? The history of this 
church is curious. It was erected by Donagh, Bishop of 
Dublin, founder of the Convent of the Holy Trinity ; and, 
in 1479, Edward IV. granted a patent to Lord Worcester 
and his wife, Sir John Bath, John Chevir, Thomas Birming- 
ham, Stephen Botiller, or Butler, and John West, to found 
a chantry of one or two chaplains in honour of God and the 
Virgin Mary, to celebrate mass in this church for the 
benefit of the souls of the founders, and for those of all the 
faithful departed, with endowments of lands, tenements, and 
rents, &c. A small chapel was consequently dedicated to 
the Virgin Mary, 26 feet by 17. In 1630, a report stated 
that the church and chancel were in good repair and decency, 
the most of the parishioners being Papists. When Dr. 
Samuel Winter, Provost of Trinity College, preached in 
St. Nicholas Church, his lectures were frequented by the 
commissioners, city magistrates, and many others ; and to 
encourage poor people to come to church, he caused some 
white loaves to be distributed among them always when the 
sermon was ended. Dr. Samuel Mather, the celebrated 
Presbyterian divine, was Dr. Winter's co-pastor. Towards 
the close of the seventeenth century, Dr. King remarked 
that it had the thinnest congregation in Dublin till Mr. 
Price became its rector ; but that, since he became its 
incumbent, though he had erected two galleries, there was 
still a want of room for the crowds that attended, owing to 
his care, piety, and diligence. The church was rebuilt in 
the year 1707, the front being of hewn stone, with a great 
arched doorcase in the centre, upon which, in the first storey, 
was a large arched window, with a smaller arched window 

N 2 


at each side. In the second storey was another arched 
window, over which was a square belfry, rising about twelve 
feet above the roof. The chapel of St. Mary in the new 
church extended in the front of the Lord Mayor's seat, and 
in breadth to the middle of the church, and a gate in the 
western wall is still called the priest's gate. Nothing 
remains of either the church or the chapel now but the bare 
Avails, the doors and windows being roughly "filled up with 
stones. The building having become ruinous, it was 
unroofed in 1835 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who 
got the vaults covered over with large flags, and in that 
state it remains to this day, a melancholy monument of 
something worse than neglect. 

There is located upon the five acres which this unique 
parish contains, a total population of 1,838, of which 184 
persons belong to the Established Church, that is, about one 
to eighteen. These might easily be absorbed in the little 
congregations attending the half-dozen churches already 
described within a stone's throw of the ruins, and, as a 
matter of fact, they are absorbed somewhere, all but a few 
paupers. Yet in " Thorn's .Almanac " I find that St. 
Nicholas Within has an incumbent, with a net income of 
£110 a year, which is understood to be considerably under 
the real value. He resides far away at the north side of the 
city, where he could not easily be found by his parishioners, 
if there were any to seek his spiritual care. He also fills 
the office of Chaplain to the Mount joy Government Prison, 
where he has a little duty to perform. As incumbent of 
the roofless church of St. Nicholas Within, he keeps a curate, 
who lives in Hathmines. It required no small amount of 
ingenuity to put any sort of decent face upon this sinecure, 
but the thing has been attempted. If any one curious in 
these matters tries to find the parish of St. Nicholas Within 
upon a Sunday at noon, he will, after diligent inquiry, be 
directed to a small house adjoining the ruins of the church. 
He ascends a very narrow staircase, till he comes to the 
garret, and there he sees two little rooms thrown into one, 
with forms to seat twenty-five or thirty persons. Beside the 


open stairs there is a box, serving as pnlpit and reading- 
desk, and immediately under it a small table for the elements 
of the Holy Communion. Beside the pulpit is an old easy 
chair for the clerk, a comfortable-looking gentleman in 
plaid slippers, who seems from his manner to be fully 
sensible of the comicality of the situation, and to enjoy it 
thoroughly. When the service has proceeded for some time, 
an elderly gentleman, sprucely dressed in black, with high 
shirt-collar and deep black stock, without a trace of whiskers 
on his lone red face, and with all the remaining locks of 
his hair economically and scrupulously arranged, makes his 
appearance, and takes a prominent place on a chair. He 
soon solves the mystery of a piece of furniture having the 
appearance of an old wardrobe standing near the pulpit, 
and which proves to be an organ — like the organist just 
described, a venerable relic of the past — said to be a portion 
of an old Dutch instrument. Soon after him a young man, 
like a respectable mechanic, comes in and proves to be the 
organ-blower. We have now got the curate who officiates, 
the parish clerk, the organist, and the organ-blower ; in 
addition, there are two young men and two or three old 
women, looking very like parish paupers or pensioners. 
These make up the whole of the congregation, with the 
exception of eight girls brought from the Protestant Refor- 
matory School, situated a considerable distance off. These 
girls seemed to be under the charge of a fat old gentleman 
and his wife, who would be at first taken for the only 
householders or bond fide parishioners in the room. But 
although the day was fine when I visited the place, there 
was literally not an individual present to whom that 
description could apply. Officials, paupers, prisoners and 
their keepers, numbering altogether not more than twenty 
persons, constituted the congregation, for which two clergy- 
men do duty in a garret — as mean as any room I have ever 
seen used by Methodist or Dissenting home missionaries for 
village prayer-meetings. The present Archbishop of Dublin 
and his Archdeacon, hearing the fame of this singular church, 
dropped in one day to see it, and one can easily understand 


how shocking to their refined ecclesiastical taste, and to 
their feelings as High Churchmen, must have appeared this 
shabby exhibition of the Establishment. We may imagine 
their reflections as they thought of districts of the country 
where there are Protestants without churches, and Protestant 
ministers without stipends, and wondering what sort of love 
the Dean and Chapter of St. Patrick's could have had for 
the Church, when they exercised their patronage in such a 
manner as to allow this "living," which is in their gift, to 
be abused in the manner described. We can understand the 
Archbishop asking himself whether it be compatible with 
Christian truth and equity to send " Deputation Secretaries " 
on begging excursions to England to raise funds for the 
endowment of churches, with such a cluster of sinecures in 
the heart of the city of Dublin, with able ministers bound 
to the pulpits of deserted churches solely by a golden chain, 
having no business there, and no reason whatever to be 
there, except to qualify themselves for receiving their 
stipends. In fact, it is not a cure of souls, but a legal way 
of receiving incomes under false pretences. 

But the strangest part of the story of St. Nicholas Within 
is yet to be told. The Chapel of the Yirgin Mary, with an 
endowment of about £300 a year, is involved in the ruin of 
the church. It was impossible since the Reformation that 
any of those who received the income could have performed 
the duties for which the endowment was given, namely, 
to celebrate mass daily for the souls of the donors, and for 
the " faithful departed " generally. Yet the endowment has 
been enjoyed by Protestant clergymen down to the present 
time. In the year 1840 it was the subject of an extraor- 
dinary trial in the Court of Queen's Bench, Dublin. The 
chaplaincy having become vacant, there were two candidates 
for it, the Rev. Mr. Shannon and the Rev. Tresham Gregg. 
According to law, the householders of the parish have the 
right of electing the chaplain. Mr. Shannon contended that 
the right of voting belonged to the Roman Catholic house- 
holders as well as the Protestants. They voted, and gave 
him a majority ; but the Court of Queen's Bench decided 


that they had no right to vote, and that the revenue, at all 
events, had become Protestant, and could not be devoted to 
" superstitious uses," or be disposed of by those who still 
held the faith of the donors in that parish. There are only 
four resident voters, and half a dozen altogether, resident 
and non-resident, who have any legal claim to vote. Yet 
in all probability there will be another trial at the next 

It is quite evident that the £500 or £600 wasted on this 
sham parish should have long ago been turned to account in 
the real service of the Church, while the few families it 
contains should be handed over to some neighbouring parish. 
It has no church, no schools, no widows' house, no institution 
whatever connected with it. There is only one service in 
the whole week, conducted in the garret above described, 
and yet there is a complete staff of church officers, viz., a 
clerk, a sexton, an organist, and an organ-blower, who receive 
for their services handsome stipends from the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners. On what principle that body feels itself 
justified in paying those stipends is a question which ought to 
be asked in the House of Commons. The Dean and Chapter 
of St. Patrick's have but a few small livings in their gift, 
namely, this parish, St. Nicholas Without, and St. Luke's, 
which have been lately united, and the perpetual curacy of St. 
Bridgid's. The union of St. Nicholas Without with St. 
Luke's has been effected chiefly, it is said, through the 
instrument ah ty of Mr. Guinness, M.P., the former parish 
having had no church for many years. This shows that the 
Dean and Chapter have the power of effecting reforms if so 
disposed, and that there is a possibility of other patrons 
correcting abuses in a similar manner when men are really in 
earnest. The church of St. Bride's, or St. Bridget, would have 
a very small congregation without the soldiers who attend it, 
and the schools, which are excellent. It is remarkable that 
this is the only church in Dublin the schools of which are 
connected with the National Board. Although extremely 
High Church, the incumbents of St. Bride's have been 
distinguished by great liberality in politics. The present 


Dean Bermingham, who was curate of the church for many 
years, voted for O'Connell, and the present incumbent, the 
Kev. W. G. Carroll, is almost the only one of the Dublin 
Established clergy who has acted openly and cordially with 
the priests in working charitable institutions. 

It must strike any one looking at Church matters with an 
impartial eye that it is a great absurdity to have two cathe- 
drals in Dublin, both situated quite near one another in the 
oldest part of the city, where there is only a miserable 
residuum of the Protestant population, caring little or nothing 
about cathedral worship. A Church reformer of the very 
mildest class would recommend that Christ Church should 
be reduced to the condition of a parish church, the centre of 
a union consisting of St. Michael's, St. John's, St. Werburgh's, 
St. Nicholas Within, and St. Audoen's, which would give a 
Church population of about 3,000 persons, and furnish a con- 
gregation on Sunday morning of about 1,000, which is less 
than Christ Church could easily accommodate. This reform 
would involve the abolition of the Chapter, or its complete 
incorporation with St. Patrick's Cathedral. The patronage 
of the union thus formed for Christ Church might be given 
to the Archbishop, who has at present only four Dublin 
parishes in his exclusive gift — St. Ann's, St. Peter's, St. Wer- 
burgh's, and St. Audoen's. The present corporation of Christ 
Church does not deserve much credit for the way in which 
it has exercised its patronage. An example of this has been 
given in the recent election to St. Michael's, when they 
gave the living to a clergyman of only eight years' standing 
in Dublin, undistinguished by his talents or services, and 
passed by other candidates, one a distinguished scholar and 
author, the Rev. J. Jordan, a Dublin curate of nearly twenty 
years' standing, and another curate of many years' standing 
— the Rev. R. Flemyng. 

There are excellent schools connected with this parish, in 
consequence partly of a good parish estate, from which the 
salaries of the teachers and of a curate are paid ; and also, 
no doubt, in consequence of the great care bestowed on them 
by the late prebendary, the Rev. William Greene, son of the 


late Baron Greene, and now prebendary of St. John's, which, 
like its neighbour, St. Nicholas, in the " top room" over the 
way, has a miserable congregation, because there are so few 
Protestants in the neighbourhood. For many years past 
there have been no churchwardens in St. Michael's, and last 
year there could be none appointed in St. Nicholas Within 
for the same cause, that is, the want of Protestant house- 
holders. But of all the examples of the want of regard to 
real and valuable service to the Church, it seems to me that 
the most striking is that of the present rector of St. Audoen's, 
one of the small prebendal churches already described. The 
Rev. Dr. Leeper has been nearly thirty years a working 
clergyman in Dublin. He has the reputation of being a 
good linguist, as well as a medallist of the Dublin University ; 
he is a literary man of superior attainments, and so highly 
has he been esteemed as a parish clergyman, that he was 
presented witli his degree of B.D. by his old parishioners of 
St. Mary's, and of d.d. by the teachers under the Church 
Education Society of Ireland. Yet the only promotion he has 
ever got in the Church is this little parish of St. Audoen's, 
with an income of about £150 a year. What renders the 
neglect of such a man by the dispensers of Church patronage 
more reprehensible is that Dr. Leeper has been for many 
years, and is still, the highly efficient chaplain and secretary of 
the Church Education Society; so that his merits and services 
were well known to the majority of the Irish prelates, who 
preside over that institution, and yet not one of them has ever 
given promotion to their most deserving officer. How shall 
we account for this ? Was he neglected because he had a 
large family depending upon him for support ? How dif- 
ferent would it have been if he were a younger son of some 
noble or wealthy family, with no children at all and but a 
a tithe of his capacity for public service. Archbishop 
Whately, though strongly opposed to the Church Education 
Society, by giving Dr. Leeper St. Audoen's, has really done 
more for him than any of his Church Education friends. 

It is due to Archdeacon Lee to say that though he had 
spent his life in college he has proved himself to be a most 


energetic past r. He seems tc be Hie sf those Ba^aesfc, prac- 
tical men, who cannot rest - :' r: . with aliases jefore their 
eyes, which it is within then province and j wet fcc reform 

If he has a strong pa : divity t : ritualism. i: it only a proof 
of the logical : nsistency : ".:- i-reed E-:ievirg in tre 
Book of Comm n Prayes - the best liturgical expression of 
Scriptural truth, he is determined as far as he can fcc aory 
his j rincdples fch roughly out. and t pot life into its forms. 
Even those : hi j rishi aers wh sc vehemently blame 
him for nndnly ::"::__ the Prayer-1 re iliged fcc 

admit that he alsc cxalfe the pulpit by the ability :: his 
preaching. One of the t\::_, that strike a thoughtful 
server wit! o oishment in sonnexi d with Chtirch 

fcters in Dnbliri, is fch ' rtr maraefei :: fche [ arish 
hurches. The design : I hitect which was atw ys 

utterly devoid of t ms nevea t I vc sen Carrie t rat 

so far as the steeple ^ sued A] rch was srected 

and a place left for a steeple, but the v ucy remained till 
the church grew 1 L and fche ": ..: 3 arn-like ... le ; 3 bl atb 
after Sabbath, from generation t _ n i :.t: n . rej i a :1. e 1 the 
negation, fche rector, fche archbishop, and fche Govern- 
ment, for their want if zeal, or evencomn a interest, in the 
welfare of the Chmch. This fact is most remarkable u 
Ann's 3 the parish church of the archbisho] . which, r^en at 
the present day. presents :his ttrnni-j ". _ ranee. St. 

Peter's, the mother church : a v st and wc Ithy - arish 
ne : those parochial monuments of negleet : apathy 

and bad taste. But nc tier lid Aj Bacon Lee become 

the rector than he determine I tc remove this reproach. He 

set to work energetically : i fche i Bstoratic o f the building. 

ted a subscription for the pur] yst and, it is said has 

alrea rl U the neces ry funds The 

mate building h £5,000, to be slightly 

reduced by leaving outs otal w rk if funds fell 

short. The Ecclesiastical C :.:..> i uers have granted 

from the " Beresford Fun i -.■_: : 

that the sum fa aiahi : ... 

is only £3,000. The Ecclesiastic 1 C mmi very 


anxious to have the church completely rebuilt, which would 
£1,400 additional, of which they would advance £1,000, 
leaving only £400 to be subscribed. If rebuilt, the western 
wall would be carried about fifteen feet further to improve 
the shape of the church. The building has been closed, 
and no doubt the work of reconstruction will be carried 
forward with all convenient speed. In the meantime Divine 
worship is held in the parish school-house. If, then, all the 
time and powers of the rector were concentrated on this 
large and influential parish of St. Peter's, great results 
might be expected ; but with his duties as member of the 
Chapters of the two cath - Archbishop King's Lec- 

turer in Divinity in the Dublin University, and as Examining 
Chaplain to the Arehbisb >p, i ' in human nature that 

•aid possibly be an efficient parish minister, or bestow 
up>n his flock the pergonal attention ami care which, accord- 
ing to his own church theory, the office of a parish priest 
involves. It would not be difficult indeed to do as well as 
most of his predecessors, for there are respectable families 
who had been attending that same parish church regularly 
for five, ten, or twelve years without ever receiving a pas- 
toral visit at their homes, unless the curates were specially 
sent for in case of dangerous illness. Strange as it may 
appear, this has been hitherto the ordinary state of things in 
the parishes of Dublin, with rare exceptions. 

St. Stephen's Church, a handsome building, situated near 
Merrion-square and Pembroke Township — the most aristo- 
cratic district of Dublin — is attended by the wealthiest of 
the city congregations, and especially by those who are sup- 
posed to have high Anglican tendencies. It is a chapel of 
ease or district church in the parish of St. Peter's. The Rev. 
F. Woodward, at present chaplain of the Anglican Church 
in the city of Rome, and the Rev. William Maturin, now 
Incumbent of Grangegorman Church, Dublin, were both 
chaplains in St. Stephen's many years ago, and established 
its reputation, fixing in it a very fashionable congregation. 
Its character has been well maintained by its present 
curates, the Rev. Messrs. Smith and Walsh, both able men ; 


the former has published a volume of sermons, and the latter 
obtained a theological scholarship in the University. There 
is a daily service here, which is fairly attended, and on 
Sunday mornings the church, which accommodates 850, is 
always full. 

In ancient times the government of Dublin was a miniature 
representation of the Government of Ireland generally, with 
its numerous chiefs, each rejoicing in his independent juris- 
diction, and his power over life and property in his own 
little domain. The city of Dublin also was divided into 
little principalities, called " Liberties." The Archbishop of 
Dublin had his Liberty, in which he could erect what has 
been described as a sure sign of civilization, namely, the 
gallows, and use it too. The Prior of Kilmainham had his 
Liberty, and so also had the Dean of St. Patrick's — all 
rejoicing in their exemption from the jurisdiction of the 
Mayor of Dublin. 

But "the Liberty" which has survived to the present 
day belonged to the Earl of Meath, and comprised a con- 
siderable portion of the western part of the city at the south 
side of the LifFey. An ancestor of this peer, Sir William 
Brabazon, held the office of Vice-Treasurer and General Re- 
ceiver of Ireland from 1534 to 1552. He was three times at 
the head of the Government as Lord Justice, and of course 
availed himself of the opportunities thus afforded to get 
possession of so large a portion of Dublin. The Earl of 
Meath's Liberty has always been noted as the lowest and 
most impoverished part of the city. It is considered bad 
enough now, but it is a paradise to what it was half a cen- 
tury ago. It consisted for the most part of very narrow 
streets, lanes, and alleys, occupied by artisans, petty shop- 
keepers, labourers, beggars, and a numerous class that lived 
by vice. Whitelaw, in his History of Dublin, states that from 
ten to sixteen persons of all ages, and both sexes, slept in a 
room not fifteen feet square, " stretched on a wad of filthy 
straw, swarming with vermin, and without any covering 
save the wretched rags that constituted their wearing ap- 
parel." From thirty to fifty individuals were frequently 


found in one house. In Plunket-street, in 1798, thirty-two 
contiguous houses contained 917 inhabitants, and the entire 
Liberty averaged from twelve to sixteen persons to each 
house. There was at that time an utter neglect of sanitary 
arrangements — an evil which has not been cured yet. Filth 
accumulated outside the houses till it was nearly on a level 
with the windows of the first floor, producing smells that to 
visitors were intolerable. In back lanes and narrow yards 
matters were still worse, while the nuisances of slaughter- 
houses, knackers' yards, soap factories, &c., poisoned the air 
on every side. In Thomas-street, the great thoroughfare to 
the west, there were, in 1798, 190 houses, of which fifty-two 
were licensed to vend raw spirits, and were kept open all 
night — scenes of drunkenness, rioting, and all sorts of vice. 
When the stranger remarks upon the poverty and squalor of 
the Liberty at the present time, he is told, perhaps, by his 
Irish friends, that it is all to be ascribed to the Union; 
but if he goes back to the history of ante-Union times, 
even when the Liberty was the seat of the silk trade, he 
will find that it was then ten times more wretched than it 
is at present. 

This is a sort of population for which the Established 
Church ought to have made provision on a scale propor- 
tionate to the extent of the population and its demoralized 
condition. It is chiefly situated in the parish of St. 
Catherine, which at the close of the last century was in- 
habited by 20,000 people. At present the population is 
about the same, but only 1,595 belong to the Establishment. 
For these there is ample accommodation in the parish church, 
which is conveniently situated — a fine building with sittings 
for 900 persons. The net value of the living is £300 a year. 
We are not surprised to find that it is in the gift of the Earl 
of Meath, nor do we question the general belief that, in the 
manner and form provided by law, the next presentation is 
sold to the highest bidder, and that there is therefore little 
regard paid to the intellectual or moral fitness of the rector, 
who claims to be the sole legitimate pastor of the 20,000 souls 
within the bounds of his parish. The late rector became 


the subject of a trial which contained very unedifying dis- 
closures, and it could not have been expected that under his 
pastoral care much could have been done for the spiritual 
good of the people. Nothing can be said against the moral 
character of the present incumbent. But turning to the 
" Irish Church Directory," published by Mr. Charles, I find 
something very remarkable in the dates connected with the 
appointment. He was ordained in 1849, at which time he 
entered the diocese, and in the very next year he was in- 
ducted as the rector of this parish. He suddenly abandoned 
another honourable profession, the Bar, for the purpose of 
entering the Church. His previous training, therefore, could 
not have specially fitted him for the discharge of his duties 
as the pastor of a missionary church in the midst of a poor, 
ignorant, dense population. It is true that he is assisted by 
two curates, but if a rector is not himself very well qualified 
for his office, he is not likely to employ curates with abilities 
calculated to eclipse him. The men of his choice will be 
faint reflections of himself, and even if they have superior 
light, they will find it prudent to keep it shaded. This may 
account for the melancholy fact that while the total popula- 
tion of this parish within the city bounds is 18,000, and the 
Church of England population is 1,595, and there is accom- 
modation in the church for 900, yet the actual attendance 
upon the ministry of these three clergymen at Sunday 
morning service might be contained in a schoolroom of 
moderate dimensions. This parish has the best estate in the 
city, amounting to nearly £1,000 a year, managed by a 
board incorporated by a recent Act of Parliament, at the 
instance of Mr. Benjamin Lee Guinness, m.p. Part of the 
stipends of the two curates is paid out of this fund. The 
church at Harold's-cross, and another in Swift's-alley, off 
Francis-street, are chapels-of-ease to St. Catherine's, though 
each has its own district assigned to it, and each minister 
has the position of an incumbent. 

Among the charges brought against the late rector, who 
had exchanged an English living for this parish, was one of 
mismanagement, in connexion with the proceeds of the great 


parish estate. To avoid his creditors he lived in the vestry- 
room of the church. At one time, when the Rev. Mr. Hast- 
ings was rector, and the Rev. Thomas Gregg curate — two 
excellent ministers — there was a great revival of religion in 
this parish, and the church was full ; but since that time it 
has been rapidly sinking in popularity and public estimation. 
This result lias been brought about partly by interminable 
parish squabbles connected with pecuniary matters. A 
Presbyterian congregation in the neighbourhood is said to 
have been largely recruited from time to time by desertions 
from St. Catherine's; whereas if its pulpit were efficiently 
occupied by an Evangelical minister capable of preaching 
extemporaneously, the contrary effect would be produced ; 
the Dissenters would frequent the church as they have done 
to a large extent in this city. 

St. James's parish is next to St. Catherine's, and though it 
also is in the gift of the Earl of Meath, it has been much 
more favoured by Providence. So long ago as the year 1826 
the living came into the possession, by purchase of course, 
of an excellent Evangelical clergyman, the Rev. Thomas 
Kingston. It is a vicarage with a rentcharge of £331, the 
net income being £222 ; but Mr. Kingston is not dependent 
upon this income. He is said to be one of the wealthiest of 
the Dublin clergy. By his instrumentality and exertions a 
new parish church has been built, and it is a model of 
what a parish church should be, beautiful and commodious, 
all the internal arrangements being calculated to inspire the 
cheerful feeling expressed in the words of the Psalmist : — " I 
was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the House 
of the Lord." The church population of the parish is 1,872, 
the total population being 18,495. The Protestant paupers 
are so numerous in the South Union, which is situated in 
this parish, that one of the curates is almost exclusively 
employed in attending to them. The new district of St. 
Jude's, near Kilmainham, where a good church has been 
recently built, and is well filled, has been formed out of part 
of St. James's parish, not only with the consent, but with 
the active co-operation of Mr. Kingston, though at a yearly 


pecuniary loss to himself. If all incumbents were like him, 
the Establishment would be in a very different position to- 
day. Still the fact remains that a good parish minister, 
after labouring for forty years, finds only one in eighteen of 
the population adhering to Ms church. 

The parish of St. Andrew's embraces the commercial 
centre of the city — College-green, Dame-street, Grafton- 
street, Suffolk-street, Westmoreland-street, kc, the church 
being situated near the University and the Bank of Ireland. 
At the beginning of this century, the total population was 
7,G00; at present it is 6,900, of which 1,572 are members of 
the Established Church, 4,971 being Roman Catholics and 
363 of other denominations. The parish may be regarded 
as in an especial manner belonging to the State. The patrons 
are the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Lord 
Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and 
the Master of the Rolls. The Chiefs, who are Roman 
Catholics, decline to exercise their rights. The late vicar, 
the Rev. Mr. Bourne, was a pluralist of many years' stand- 
ing, holding a parish in the country. He was an octogen- 
arian when he died, a few years ago, and was seldom seen 
or heard of, so that the rising generation of his parishioners 
had almost forgotten Iris existence. The senior curate for 
forty or fifty years, a quiet, estimable man, was the Rev. 
Mr. Nevins. After him the pulpit was occupied, and- the 
church well filled, by a very popular preacher, the Rev. 
Charles Tisdall, now Dr. Tisdall, Chancellor of Christ Church 
and Rector of St. Doulough's, in the county of Dublin. The 
gross income of the- parish is £67-1, and the net income £127. 
When the last vacancy occurred there were many candidates 
for this desirable post. If the congregation had had a voice 
in the matter, they would no doubt have chosen some able, 
accomplished minister, whose eloquence would have filled 
the pews. 

The church remained in ruins since January, 1860, the 
parishioners,- the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the 
patrons not being able to make up their minds as to the 
character of the building to be erected — whether it should 


be an unpretending structure, suitable for the very small 
congregation of resident parishioners, or whether it should 
be a magnificent edifice, worthy of its situation, and an 
ornament to the city. The latter idea was ultimately 
adopted. The design unanimously approved of is that of 
the firm of Messrs. Lanyon and Lynn, of Belfast ; the esti- 
mated cost of which is £10,500, to which may be added 
£400 for railing and stonework in front of the church, £500 
for organ, £100 for bells, contingencies £1,000, ornamental 
work £700, architect's fees, £000. 

According to the latter plan, which admits of ornamental 
additions at any future time, the building has been com- 
pleted, and was opened for public worship by the Archbishop 
on St. Andrew's day. It is a really beautiful edifice, far too 
grand for the parish, unless it be regarded as a sort of metro- 
politan church, to which strangers visiting Dublin and 
unattached worshippers might be attracted, in which case a 
Church Spurgeon located there, or even a man of far inferior 
power, with a gift of extemporaneous preaching, would be 
instrumental in doing much good in promoting vital Chris- 
tianity. Something like this would be done in such a case 
by the Presbyterians, or by a Roman Catholic bishop, who 
knows the importance of adapting means to ends, and with 
whom the great end is not that the post would suit the man, 
but that the man should suit the post — not that a certain 
amount of property should be enjoyed by a clerical friend, 
but that the greatest amount of good should be done to the 
people, and consequently to the influence of the Church. 
Archdeacon Wolsely is a wise and good man, but he belongs 
to the high and dry school of preachers, who have less chance 
of a hearing in Dublin perhaps than in any place in the 
United Kingdom. Consequently, unless the venerable vicar 
of St. Andrew's be magnanimous enough to employ eloquent 
men as curates, and to allow them to preach regularly, there 
is much reason for apprehending that this fine building, the 
erection of which has drawn so largely on the general funds 
of the Establishment, will be but an addition to the long 
list of metropolitan parish churches which have so sadly 



failed to answer the object of their existence. There is at 
present a minister in the Irish Church by whose preaching 
St. Andrew's would be sure to be filled to overflowing. I 
allude to Dr. Magee, grandson of the late Archbishop of that 
name. He is unquestionably the most accomplished preacher 
that the Establishment could boast of for many years. His 
is not the declamatory style of pulpit eloquence which puffs 
up columns of wordy climaxes, like an engine letting off the 
steam, or flings around masses of rhetorical froth. His 
oratory indeed is sparkling and spirited, but it has always a 
strong body of thought. While stirring the feelings with 
the fervid power of a true master of eloquence, his matter is 
solid, logically arranged, and instructive, his diction appro- 
priate and correct. If, then, the Irish Church had a govern- 
ment capable of turning all its intellectual and moral re- 
sources fco the best account, Dr. Magee, who is comparatively 
useless as Dean of Cork, would be placed in the metropolitan 
pulpit of St. Andrew's, and where, like Dr. Gregg, in Trinity 
Church, he should have nothing to do but preach. The 
crowded state of this church at the second opening service, 
and the effect produced by the Dean's sermon, fully bear out 
these remarks. 

St. Anne's, as I have already remarked, is the parish church 
of the Archbishop, whose palace is in Stephen's-green, North. 
The parish includes some of the most respectable parts of 
the city, such as Stephen's-green, North, Dawson-street, 
Kildare-street, Leinster-street, Clare-street, Merrion- street, 
and part of Grafton -street. The total population, according 
to the last census, is 10,919, which is about 4,000 more than 
it was sixty-eight years ago. Nearly 2,000 of these belong 
to the Established Church, 8,727 are Roman Catholics, and 
the remainder Dissenters of different denominations. The 
gross value of the living is £512 a year, and the net value 
£300. The church, which has been rendered much more" 
commodious by the abolition of the old square pews, accom- 
modates 1,000 people, and it is well filled by a highly 
respectable congregation — much better filled than any of 
the parish churches in this city. 


The admirers of the many great qualities, intellectual and 
moral, of the late Archbishop Whately had to lament some 
weaknesses in his character. Logic was his forte, and he 
had an extreme fondness for dialectics. He was never so 
happy as when surrounded by those of his clergy who 
appreciated, or pretended to appreciate, most highly and 
admiringly the displays of his powerful and subtle intellect 
in this department. The consequence was that he saw and 
heard too much through the eyes and ears of those favoured 
friends, and that he had too little respect for excellent 
ministers of another stamp, who formed no part of this 
intellectual clique. There was, therefore, a strong impression, 
not altogether unfounded, that Dr. Whately, though in the 
ordinary sense of the word remarkably unselfish, was partial 
and unjust in the exercise of his patronage. He had his 
pets among the clergy, while others of much higher standing 
and longer service were totally neglected, and perhaps dis- 
liked. Where the Archbishop took a liking, he was a 
thorough-going friend, and it must be admitted that those 
who enjoyed his friendship were generally distinguished by 
real moral worth. One of the most worthy of his favour- 
ites was Dr. Dickinson, who had been his chaplain, and 
who, through his influence, became Bishop of Meath. Bishop 
Dickinson died prematurely. His son, the Bev. H. Dickinson, 
was appointed, when very young, to the parish of St. Anne's, 
of which the Archbishop is patron, and two of his brothers 
got livings in the diocese. His brother-in-law, the present 
Dean of St. Patrick's, became Dr. Whately 's examining 
chaplain and Archdeacon of Dublin, and got the great parish 
of St. Peter's, and its appendages, chietly from regard to the 
deceased Bishop of Meath. Facts like these, quite as much 
as differences on the education question, perhaps, accounted 
for the general dissatisfaction felt by the evangelical clergy, 
who are the great majority, with respect to Archbishop 
Whately's administration of the diocese. The present vicar 
of St. Anne's is a superior preacher, as well as a most diligent 
and successful parish minister, which is proved by the 
flourishing state of his congregation, and his attention to 



the parochial schools. On the death of the Rev. E. S. Abbott, 
rector of St. Mary's, Mr. Dickinson was appointed in his 
place as Sub-Dean of the Castle Chapel. 

The parish of St. Mark's is one of the most important in 
Dublin. It contains a population of 20,887, of which 3,784 
belong to the Established Church, and upwards of 16,000 to 
the Church of Rome. The living is a vicarage, the gross 
income of which is £449, and the net income £303. The 
patrons are the same as those of St. Andrew's, namely, the 
Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop, the three chief judges, and 
the Master of the Rolls. The church is a substantial, capacious 
building in Great Brunswick-street, standing in a grave-yard 
still unclosed, much below the level of the road, and it affords 
accommodation for 1,300 people. It is attended largely by 
the working classes and small traders, that is, largely in 
proportion to the other classes ; but like most of the other 
parish churches it has a thin, listless congregation. The 
lifeless aspect which it presents is easily accounted for. The 
parish has been in an unsatisfactory condition for many 
years. The vicar resides at Kingstown. His name is seldom 
heard amongst the Dublin clergy, though he has enjoyed the 
benefice since 1831. The parishioners complain that he 
spends generally from four to six months of every year in 
England ; and when at home, he seldom appears in the 
church or parish, except at noon service on Sundays ; and 
he is "assisted" for the most part by curates, who are 
young and inexperienced. W hile one may be a very zealous 
ritualist, magnifying the Church and the Prayer-book ex- 
travagantly, the other may be pulling in an opposite direction 
as a minister of the Evangelical school. The clergyman, who 
should perform the functions of a head, is supposed to dislike 
the people, though he has been connected with them in the 
endearing relation of pastor for more than thirty years. The 
parishioners apparently reciprocate the feeling, and would, 
perhaps, hear with the greatest satisfaction of his translation 
to England, or to a better country. As a consequence of this 
state of things, it is said that all the parochial institutions 
are in a decaying condition, while in the immediate neigh- 


bourhood a sort of nondescript Dissent flourishes in a splendid 
building called Merrion Hall, erected and supported by 
voluntary subscriptions. Some of the anti-Ritualist party 
insulted the Archbishop when preaching in Mark's church 
some months ago, in consequence of which the Young Men's 
Society was dissolved by the Vicar. 

The case of the Prayer-book v. the Bible has been carried 
on in Ireland with alternating success from generation to 
generation. Under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Whately 
the Bible was in the ascendant ; under the jurisdiction of 
his successor it is the turn of the Prayer-book. Scripture 
may be the rule of faith, but the Rubric must be the rule of 
practice. This tendency to magnify the liturgy and exalt 
the clergy is marked everywhere in the diocese. Many 
churches are now open daily for divine service^ and the 
Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday. This decided 
change shows how much a bishop can do in directing the 
consciences of his clergy, and altering their views of minis- 
terial duty. 

There is a curious routine of promotion in connexion with 
the livings in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Christ 
Church. The rule has hitherto been that whoever happened 
to be elected to the prebend of St. Michael's ascended step 
by step through several parishes till he came to one of the 
three best, when a vacancy occurred. Thus the prebendary 
of St. Michael's proceeded first to St. John's, second to St. 
Michan's, and then to St. Mary's, St. Thomas's, or St. George's. 
The last four parishes are at the north side of the city. 
With regard to the parish of St. George's, however, the Dean 
and Chapter enjoy only the alternate presentation. St. 
Paul's is another of the parishes at the north side of the 
Liffey in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church. 
It has been possessed by the present incumbent, the Rev. 
William J. H. Le Fanu, for the long space of thirty-two 
years. The net value is d£213. The total population of the 
parish is 10,000, spread very thickly over an area of 114 
acres. Of this population — almost exactly what it was 
sixty-eight years ago — 2,635 belong to the Established 


Church and 7,074 are Roman Catholics, the remainder being- 
Dissenters of various sects. The church, which is a sub- 
stantial convenient building with a large tower, has accom- 
modation, including the galleries, for 600 persons. But the 
attendance on Sunday mornings is not more than a fifth of 
that number. The Protestant constabulary from the Reserve 
depot in Phoenix-park help to swell the congregation, and 
there is a considerable number of children. Setting aside 
the constabulary, the number of adults of both sexes who 
regularly attend this old church, is probably not more than 
fifty. This is a small fraction out of a Church population of 
about 2,500, and a total population of 10,000. Yet this is all 
the Establishment does in this very poor district for the 
spiritual instruction and guidance of the people. The rector 
is an amiable man, always at his post, doing duty also as 
chaplain of the debtors' prison called the City Marshalsea. 
He is said to be descended from Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 
but he does not seem to have inherited the genius of that 
gifted family. On the contrary, he appears to be quite at 
home in an old church, situated in an old part of the city, 
where everything around seems to be sleeping, antiquated, 
and decaying. 

Within a short distance of St. Paul's is the parish church 
of St. Michan's, the only church in Dublin bearing the name 
of a Danish saint. It is a capacious, antique-looking building, 
with a square tower, situated in a large grave-yard, crowded 
with ancient monuments. No wonder it was a favourite 
burying-place, for its vaults have an antiseptic quality, 
which prevents decomposition. Here lie the bodies, still 
undecayed, of the brothers Sheares, betrayed by Captain 
Armstrong, and hanged as rebels in 1798. The gross income 
of the parish is 6^512, but the net income is set down at 
£257. There is church accommodation for 1,300 people, 
though the total Church population of all ages is only 1,263, 
while the Roman Catholic population is 18,576. The district 
is very thickly populated, and remarkably poor — so destitute 
of houses that indicate anything like thriving even on a 
small scale, not to speak of prosperity, or any means of 


employment for the masses that occupy the wide range of 
miserable narrow streets and lanes, in the midst of which 
the church is situated — that one wonders how those people 
can possibly manage to exist. 

Here, then, is a parish in which, if anywhere, the work of 
the Establishment, as " a missionary institution," might be 
supposed to be carried out with the best chance of success. 
Among the clergy who have the strongest feeling with 
reference to the rights and duties of the Establishment in 
relation to the Roman Catholics is Dr. Stanford, a former 
rector of this almost exclusively Roman Catholic parish. 
During his incumbency, therefore, he endeavoured to carry 
out this idea, and set about converting the Roman Catholic 
population around him. He erected schools in the graveyard 
for the education of their children, and for the adults he set 
on foot controversial lectures in connexion with the Society 
for Irish Church Missions. The lectures were kept up 
incessantly, on Sunday evenings and week days, and, by 
means of handbills containing questions about the peculiar 
doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and challenges 
addressed to its clergy, which were sown broadcast over the 
parish, Roman Catholics were " affectionately invited to 
attend" in order to see their Church cut up and to hear 
their clergy denounced as deceivers and impostors. I am 
assured that no appreciable result followed, except the very 
natural one of arousing a bitter "feeling of hostility in those 
whom the missionaries sought to win over to the Establish- 
ment. When Dr. Stanford was moved up to a better parish 
his place in St. Michan's was taken by the late Rev. Mr. 
Abbott, who discontinued the controversial lectures, and did 
all he could to restore peace by letting the Roman Catholics 
alone. The Rev. Dr. Monahan, his successor, also abstained 
from this offensive mode of procedure. But he was very 
active in other respects in developing the more legitimate 
resources of the Church, of which he is one of the most 
estimable and efficient ministers. 

Since the present incumbent came to the parish, the 
polemical plan of "driving away strange and erroneous 


doctrine" has been resumed. Controversial classes have been 
re-opened, and the Roman Catholics are again affectionately 
invited to listen to discussions which have for their object 
to prove that the Pope is Antichrist, and the worship of the 
Host idolatry. This may possibly increase the number of 
conformists ; but it has one effect, which is to be deplored — 
the children attending the parish schools are hooted as they 
pass through the streets, though previously they had not 
been molested. The incumbent, a man of ability and energy, 
was formerly the London Secretary of the Irish Church 
Missions. It is natural that he should be zealous in the 
cause of Church Missions to Roman Catholics, and that the 
controversial spirit should be strong within him ; and indeed 
he is only courageously carrying out the principle of aggres- 
sive warfare against the Roman Catholic Church, by which 
alone, in the opinion of many of its advocates, the Establish- 
ment can be defended. The majority of the Dublin clergy 
however, disapprove of the system. Its effect on the Sunday 
attendance is certainly not encouraging; for in the large 
church of St. Michan's, which has sittings for 1,300 people, 
I found not more than about fifty adults attending the regular 
morning service. 

St. Mary's is one of the few parishes in Dublin that afford 
a fan opportunity of carrying out the parochial system. It 
contains a number of Church people sufficient to supply a 
good congregation, with sittings for more than 1,000 persons, 
the Church population of the parish being 4,256. But the 
Roman Catholic population are four to one, amounting to 
nearly 19,000, for which the State makes no provision. In 
the hands of the present rector, Dr. Monahan, it is a model 
parish. Although this clergyman spent much of his life in 
college, he has shown an extraordinary aptitude for the duties 
of a parish minister. Distinguished as a scholar, he is at 
the same time practical in his turn of mind — an energetic 
worker in the reform of abuses and in the development of 
resources. In St. Michan's he found his curates without any 
adequate support, one of them being obliged to keep a school; 
and he set to work with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, 


and otherwise, and got them i?200 a year each. And when 
the late Rev. Mr. Andrew, who spent nearly thirty years as 
curare in the diocese, died, leaving his widow and family 
destitute, Dr. Monahan set on foot a subscription, and raised 
for them the sum of £2,000. The Establishment would be 
strong indeed in moral support if the majority of its incum- 
bents were like the rector of St. Mary's. Fortunately, he 
ha- got a parish rich in institutions of all kinds — Sunday 
and boarding-schools and the finest widows' houses in 
Dublin. One of these is called Madame Darner's, situated 
in Great Britain— 1 the other, which is in Denmark- 

street, is also called after it- founder, Forticks. The widows 
of deceased householders of St. Mary's parish are the claim- 
ants of admission to the former, and are selected by a board 
of trustees, while those admissible to the latter are such as 
may appear to the rector of the parish deserving of the shelter 
thus provided. 

The school-house, formerly a private residence, is one of the 
finest houses in St. Dominick-street, a relic of the old times, 
when it was a fashionable quarter of the city. The doors 
are of massive mahogany, and the ceiling elaborately and 
handsomely stuccoed. There is here an extensive parochial 
library, which is turned to good account; indeed all the in- 
stitutions of the parish are worked by the rector and his 
curates in the most efficient manner. The parish church is 
in excellent order, and is well attended. The late rector, 
Mr. Abbott, closed the burial-ground, and started a sub- 
scription for taking down the heavy dismal wall by which 
it was surrounded, and substituted an iron railing. Dr. 
Monahan has had the fortune to be promoted very rapidly, 
without the help of aristocratic connexions, as it is only 
fifteen years since he was ordained, and he is now in pos- 
session of one of the best of the Dublin parishes, the rent- 
charge being £6 '27, and the net income, £650. 

There is a chapel-of-ease connected with St. Mary's, popu- 
larly called the Black Church, originally built for the Eev. 
Hugh White, one of the most popular preachers of his day. 
It affords accommodation for 500. The senior curate is the 


Rev. Thomas Tonilinson, a truly estimable minister, who 
has been labouring diligently in this diocese for tvrentv-nve 
years, and has never got any pr< shough he haa 

brought up a large family, one of whom is a promising 
minister of the Church which has treated him so unkindly. 
For many years he did all the duty cji the parish at Bray, 
the vicar of which was then a brother of Lord Plunket. 
Bishop of Tu am. When he died, the late Archbishop gave 
the living to his son. the present re ;::r of St. v ~e:":v::^h's. 

There is a parish called Grangegorman on the L.::mem 
borders of the city, formed of pieces cut off St. Paul's and 
St. Michan's. and containing a total j )puIaiion of only 
0; of which the Established Church claims 821. The 
living is £100 a year. This church t : which the red : f 
the two parishes ju : menti :ied appoint alternately, is quite 
unique in its way. Although the building was :: the 
humblest character in size an . style, it internally presei 
the appearance of an eJ : em] under difficulties, to 

produce a little mimic cathedral, aftei the high 
model. The rector is the Rev. W. Maturin. son of the 
eccentric novelist of that nam-. authoT >f the tragedy 1 
"Bertram:" " Woman; or Pour et otn and The Ro- 
mance of the Albigenses." It is related that the most 
brilliant product! - d bis genius were written in the di 
vestry of St. Pet urch. of which he was curate, and 

where the duns could not reach him. His son, the present 
incumbent of Grangegorman. is a man of undoubted abiJ y 
and learning, an able preacher, but extremely ritualistic in 
his opinions and practices, and with a strong tincture :: 
asceticism in his piety. He is a man of strong convictions, 
and very earnest in carrying them out. So completely 
Komanistic did the services of this church appear, that 
people wondered very much : fch< i ate 1 sc long 

by Archbishop Whately whose w i Romanism they 

so aptly illustrated. But if Mr. Matin ben in the 

cold shade of opposition, he is now in the sunshine off v i u 
The present Archbishop seems fully to appre jiate his pea - 
vering endeavours to rehabilitate the ritual of the Church 


so as to exhibit its ancient catholicity, and clothe it in 
mediaeval costume, albeit it was but a tawdry imitation, and 
consistency would seem to have required that the genuine 
articles should have been sought at the altars of the Roman 
Catholic Church. Mr. Maturin has proved himself to be a 
most disinterested man, for he has refused several country 
livings offered him by successive Governments, and he has 
just erected a new church, of course in the Gothic style, with 
"dim religious light," produced by means of painted windows 
covered with saints, while the Communion-table is arranged 
in the form of an altar, and there are all sorts of inscriptions 
about the place in the illuminated letters by which the 
monks of the middle displayed their artistic skill, 

and a curiously-wrought stone font near the door which 
mio-ht serve as a model for ritualistic artists in England. It 


is said that a certain amount of jealousy is felt among the 
Dublin clergy at the very special consideration in which 
Mr. Maturin is held by the Archbishop, as of course they 
regard other clergymen in the diocese quite as deserving of 
his Grace's favour. To any ruler of the Church, however, 
at all sympathizing in Mr. Maturin's views, he must appear 
entitled to the highest consideration from his zeal, devotion, 
and charity. He has Communion every Sunday, and once 
a week besides, and keeps up choral service regularly in his 
church. He had for many years daily service, before others 
in Dublin thought of adopting the practice. 

St. Thomas's parish is one of the largest and best in 
Dublin, containing 774 statute acres, with a total population 
of about 30,000, of which 6,500, or about one in five, belong 
to the Established Church, the Roman Catholics being more 
than 20,000, and the rest Protestant Dissenters. The parish 
church is of the same ugly type that prevailed in the last 
century, with signs of an attempt at a -tower, which was 
never erected. There is accommodation for 1,500 people, 
and the net income is about £600, the living being in the 
gift of the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church. The Rev. 
Dr. Stanford received the appointment in 1855, after being 
twenty years in the ministry. So large a Protestant popu- 


lation, not to speak of the Roman Catholics whom Dr. 
Stanford regards as apostolically and legally included in his 
charge, would fully occupy his time and energies even with 
the help of two curates. But his hands are full of extra- 
parochial work, being a member of almost all the committees 
of all the religious societies in Dublin, and the editor of 
the Christian Examiner. But the Protestant parishioners 
would be better pleased if their rector let literature alone, 
belonged to fewer committees, and gave more of his time 
arid attention to his parochial duties. 

St. George's is another of the large city parishes north of 
the LifFey in which the Protestants muster most numerously. 
It comprises a district which was very much built upon 
during the present century, and the population has conse- 
quently increased from 5,000 to upwards of 16,000. It 
comprises Mountjoy-square, Gardiner-street, Eccles-street, 
Cavendish-row, Great Denmark-street, and other streets 
chiefly inhabited by barristers and gentlemen of indepen- 
dent means. The Established Church population amounts 
to 4,490, the Roman Catholics being upwards of 11,000, or 
nearly three to one. St. George's Church may be said to be 
the only ecclesiastical edifice erected by Protestants in 
Dublin, since the Reformation, which is really a credit to 
the city. Free from the unwholesome appendage of a grave- 
yard, it stands upon the most elevated ground in Dublin, in 
the centre of a rectangular area, surrounded by handsome 
regularly-built houses, terminating to the west in a crescent, 
from which diverge three spacious streets, so that it can be 
fully seen in every direction. The building, cased with cut 
stone, presents four regular fronts. It is of the Ionic order, 
the decorations being executed in the most correct manner. 
The principal entrance is from the crescent in the centre of 
the western front, which is ornamented with a noble portico 
of four beautifully fluted Ionic colums supporting an angular 
pediment, with the inscription in Greek of " Glory to God in 
the highest." Over the portico, which extends forty-two 
feet, with a projection of fifteen, rises the steeple, of cut 
stone, highly decorated, divided into four storeys, and sur- 


mounted with a handsome spire, the entire possessing much 
elegance and lightness, and measuring in height 200 feet 
from the pavement. The interior dimensions are 84 feet by 
60. The galleries are supported by projecting timbers, 
gracefully ornamented, rendering columns unnecessary. The 
decorations of the inside of the church are finished in a style 
which corresponds with its external beauty, the ceiling being 
particularly admired, while all the arrangements are ad- 
mirably adapted for the convenience both of the ministers 
and the worshippers. 

This magnificent church, situated in the midst of a 
numerous and opulent Protestant population, by which it 
ought to have been crowded, has been for many years rather 
thinly attended. This state of things arises from the fact 
that there has been little or no regard paid to the real 
interests of the Church, or to the spiritual welfare of the 
people, in the appointment of its rectors. The living is in 
the gift of Mr. Moses, and of the Dean and Chapter of Christ 
Church alternately. The present incumbent was appointed 
by this body in 1844. He is precentor of Christ Church, a 
" singing " man, the grand qualification for a parish minister, 
in the eyes of deans and chapters. The senior curate of the 
parish is the son of the Rev. Dr. Stuart, a Presbyterian 
clergyman in this city, who was so highly esteemed as a 
Biblical critic and theologian, that his congregation often 
included half a score Church clergymen. He was for many 
years one of the most popular preachers in Dublin. 

The Dublin curates are not as badly paid as curates 
generally are in this country. In the larger parishes it was 
formerly the practice for the parishioners at the Easter 
vestry to assess themselves generally in the sum of ^100 
per annum for each curate, for a third or early morning 
service on Sundays. This was in addition to the legal 
stipend of £7o given by the rector. But since the passing 
of the Church Temporalities Act, the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners have taken upon them the payment of the curates 
out of the funds at their disposal, arising from abolished 
bishoprics, &c. In this way, and by the addition of marriage 
fees, the Dublin curacies are worth between ^190 and i?200 


a year each in the larger parishes. In some cases they 
exceed o£200, as in St. Anne's, where the senior curate is 
also secretary to the Charitable Musical Loan Fund and in 
St. Mary's, where the senior curate holds a lectureship, called 
the Ramsey Lecture, worth about £20 a year. Some one 
Dublin curate is elected by the city rectors every third year 
to a lectureship on the Church Catechism, instituted by 
Bishop Stearne of Clogher, worth ^70 per annum, and 
tenable for three years. Three Dublin curates, now elected 
by each other, are governors of an educational asylum in 
Camden-street, founded by Dr. Pleasants, an eccentric 
physician, and receive for their trouble ^48 per annum. It 
thus happens that four Dublin curates are always in the 
enjoyment of better livings than many of the Dublin rectors. 
Besides, some of them, in addition to their curacies, hold 
chaplaincies, for which they receive special payment. The 
senior curate of St. Catherine's is chaplain to the Richmond 
Bridewell, and the curate of St. Michael's is chaplain of 
Kilmainham Prison. Notice is here taken only of chaplain- 
cies held in addition to the curacies with special stipends. 
In St. Peter's Parish, the sum total received from the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners for curates has been redis- 
tributed by the Archdeacon in various proportions amongst 
the clergy who assist him in this capacity, and who seem 
to have plenty of work in conducting the numerous Church 
services and charitable institutions in which the parish 
abounds, namely, the male and female boarding schools, the 
daily schools, the infant school, the Sunday schools, the 
Mutual Benefit and Clothing Fund Society, the Widows' 
Almshouses, the Coal and Provision Fund, &c. 

The total number of officiating parochial clergy, incum- 
bents, and curates in the city of Dublin is 61. The total 
amount of revenue which they receive is ^14,836, allowing 
each curate £180 a year on an average. The total Church 
population in the Dublin parishes is 22,392, which is one to 
eight of the Roman Catholics. The number actually 
attending the parish churches is 11,000, and they cost the 
State £1 6s. Qd. a head. 



In Dublin more than half the Episcopal population attend 
non-parochial churches, sometimes called free churches or 
proprietary churches, founded chiefly by the laity from 
time to time, in order that they might have their spiritual 
wants supplied by ministers whom they considered more 
evangelical, more spiritually minded, more earnest and active 
than the parochial clergy. In the course of time, the rapid 
increase of population in the southern suburbs rendered it 
necessary to erect new buildings, in order to meet the 
demand for church accommodation. The want was so 
generally acknowledged, that some of these churches have 
had districts assigned to them, so that the incumbents could 
celebrate marriages, baptize children, &c. ; but in some cases 
the rectors disputed their legal right to use the Sunday 
collections for the poor, arguing that they were robbing the 
poor of the parish churches by alienating from them the 
wealthy parishioners. It is a fact that the free church 
congregations are for the greater part far the most select, 
respectable, and fashionable, for they consist generally of 
those who are able to pay their way, and who prefer paying 
liberally for pews which they can call their own, and into 
which no strangers may intrude. And it sometimes happens 
that the gradations of wealth and respectability are marked 
by the position occupied by certain families in the church. 
Some gentlemen are trustees, or have been large contributors, 
or choose to pay a high figure for the best places, where they 
can hear and see and be seen to the greatest advantage ; 
and no doubt one cause of the success of these churches is 
that the worshippers may avoid unpleasant contact with 
people of inferior positions, some of whom may not be very 
well dressed, perhaps not over clean ; or they may be offen- 
sive by the vulgarity of their manners, and therefore it 
would be very undesirable that strangers should suppose 


they were in any way related to the highly respectable 
family to whom the pew belongs. There is an effort being 
made now by the High Church clergy to counteract these 
manifestations of the money power, and of the gradations of 
rank in the house of God, by taking the doors off the pews, 
abolishing pew-rents, and relying upon the " offertory " for 
the support of the ministrations of religion ; and there is a 
Church, St. Bartholomew's, about to be opened on this 
principle. The incumbent is the Rev. Arthur Dawson, son 
of the late Dean Dawson, who belonged to the Evangelical 
school of divines. But it has happened in this country, as 
in England, that the sons of leading Evangelical ministers 
in Ireland have become the highest of High Churchmen. 
This is understood to be the case with Mr. Dawson, who is 
private chaplain to the Archbishop. His faith in the 
voluntary principle is so strong, that he expects the new 
church to pay the clergyman and other church officers from 
the offertory, all the sittings being free and unappropriated. 
Possibly his expectations may be realised, for St. Bartholo- 
mew's is the centre of the Pembroke township, one of the 
most wealthy and aristocratic districts about Dublin. With 
respect to the country generally, it is another matter. If 
the experiment were successful, it would at once solve the 
grand Irish difficulty, and release the State from the burden 
of supporting the Church, and from an immense amount of 
odium, trouble, and vexation, which are still harder to bear 
than the financial impost. But the success of the experiment 
is very doubtful. People who love comfort, and are able to 
pay for it, will insist upon being protected from intrusion, 
and will have the exclusive enjoyment of their own pews, 
cushions, and hassocks. 

The earliest of the Dublin free churches is the " Bethesda," 
situated in Dorset-street, at the north side of the city. Its 
first chaplain was the Be v. B. W. Mathias, who had the 
reputation of being for many years the only church minister 
in Dublin who " preached the Gospel," or who, in other 
words, was " evangelical." He may therefore be said to be 
the forerunner of the revival which has produced the Evan- 


gelical [tarty in the Irish Church, and which in Dublin has 
its strength in the voluntary congregations. Dr. Walker, a 
Fellow of Trinity College, also preached in the Bethesda, 
but he ultimately adopted the opinion that there ought to 
be no clergy under the Christian dispensation, and he became 
the founder of a society called the " Walkerites," whose 
leading principles are still maintained by the " Darbyites," 
called after another seceding clergyman, the " Plymouth 
Brethren/' the " Christian Brethren," and the " Believers." 
Mr. Mathias was succeeded in the chaplaincy by the Rev. 
Mr. Krause, who had been in early life a military officer, 
and served at Waterloo. He preached extemporaneously, 
and was a tremendously high Calvinist. A lady took notes 
of his sermons without his knowledge, and many of them 
have been printed under the editorship of the Rev. Dr. 
Stanford. Mr. Krause was succeeded by the Rev. John 
Alcock, who was inducted in 1852, and kept the church, 
which accommodates 1 ,400 people, well filled. He is now 
Archdeacon of Wateribrd. 

Early in the present century, a youth from the county 
Clare, in the far South, one of a numerous family, arrived in 
Dublin, as he has often publicly stated, with five shillings 
in his pocket. He managed to pass through Trinity College, 
and in due time was appointed to a church in Portarlington, 
and after that he became Vicar of Kinsallahan, where there 
were very few Protestants, but he had an opportunity of 
appearing on missionary platforms in Dublin, and thrilled 
the audience by the fluency, fervour, and power of his 
extemporaneous speaking. He was equally eloquent in 
Irish and English, and as the movement in favour of Catholic 
Emancipation began at that time to excite great interest 
in the Roman Catholic controversy, the young Munster 
clergyman became immensely popular as a champion of 
Protestantism and the Bible. In 1835 he was brought to 
Dublin as assistant chaplain of the Bethesda, to which his 
preaching drew great crowds. This unfriended youth was 
John Gregg, the present Bishop of Cork. His numerous 
admirers resolved that he should have a pulpit of his own, 



and they built for him Trinity Church, which accommodates 
1,800 people, and it was opened in 1839. He continued to 
labour there for twenty-three years, during which he was 
the most popular preacher in Dublin. His church was 
always crowded, and some of the most eminent public men 
were his regular hearers. Among these was Lord Morpeth, 
then Chief Secretary for Ireland ; and when that amiable 
nobleman became Yiceroy, as Lord Carlisle, he did not forget 
the eloquent and ardent minister of Trinity Church, and the 
consequence was that, in 1862, Dr. Gregg became Bishop of 
Cork. Cork is one of the poorest of the sees, but the Church 
patronage is very great. Yet, Mr. Napier, late Lord Chan- 
cellor, a member of Trinity Church congregation, doubted 
whether the Bishop had gained in emolument by his pro- 
motion. From which we might infer that Trinity Church 
was then worth i?l,200 or £1,500 a year, though it was 
generally understood to be only £800 or £1,000. It is now 
set down in the " Irish Church Directory " at £538. The 
Rev. John Nash Griffin, a highly accomplished clergyman, 
ordained in 1842, is the present incumbent. As might be 
expected, the attendance is not as large as it was during 
the incumbency of Dr. Gregg. 

It is worthy of remark here that the Bishops of Meath, 
Cork, Kilmore, and Derry had been connected with volun- 
tary churches or churches outside of the parochial system. 
The late Bishop of Meath, Dr. Singer, formerly Fellow of 
Trinity College, was for many years Chaplain of the 
Magdalen Asylum, Leeson- street. The chapel accommodates 
900 persons, and the chaplain has an income of £400 a year. 
The present incumbent is the Rev. F. Carmichael, formerly 
Curate of St. Werburgh's and St. Bride's, and Assistant 
Chaplain of this institution. He is an eloquent preacher, and 
has a highly intellectual congregation, a member of which 
has lately given ,£1,000 towards the building of a stone 
Gothic front to the chapel. Among its chaplains have been 
the Bishops of Meath and Derry, the able, humorous, and 
eccentric Csesar Otway, who wrote many brilliant things under 
the signature of " C. O.," and the Rev. Alexander Pollock, 


an able and popular minister, one of the secretaries of the 
Church Education Society, who died about two years ago. 

There is a large number of these episcopal chapels in 
Dublin and the suburbs connected with various charitable 
institutions — some of them established solely for the purpose 
of having a chapel, and a minister supported on the voluntary 
principle. There are the chapels of the Female Orphan 
House, the Female Penitentiary, the Hibernian School, the 
King's Hospital, the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, the 
Mariners' Chapel, &c. which have congregations varying in 
size, but nearly all consisting of respectable and influential 
people. The most important of the free churches is St. 
Mathias, situated on the South Circular-road, in the parish 
of St. Peter's, and having accommodation for 1,250 persons. 
The church, which is a substantial handsome building, 
without much pretension to ornament, is constantly filled 
to overflowing, and the demand for sittings is such that 
applicants may have their names down Tor months before 
any can be had. Although the congregation contributes 
c£600 a year for the support of its ministers, and a consider- 
able sum for its schools and other charities, it may be safely 
asserted that it pays more, and works more, for the promotion 
of religion at home and abroad than ten of the parish congre- 
gations. The gentleman who lias filled the post of chaplain 
since 1843, four years after he entered the ministry, is the 
Rev. Maurice F. Day, who is growing gray in the service, 
after twenty-three years' hard work. Mr. Day is not a sen- 
sation preacher, nor is he, in the ordinary sense, eloquent or 
popular ; but his preaching is distinguished by thorough 
knowledge of Scripture, sound judgment, great earnestness, 
with very little action, but a most impressive manner, which 
gives the stamp of truth, conviction, and a single purpose to 
all he utters. He is, therefore, looked up to with the greatest 
respect by all the Dublin clergy who are known as "evan- 
gelical," and he is the man whom, if they could, they would 
have chosen to be their diocesan. Indeed, there is perhaps 
not one of the bishops appointed by Lord Palmerston in 
Ireland who possesses the qualifications for the episcopal 



office, described in the New Testament, in a more eminent 
degree than Mr. Day. Yet the only distinction the late 
Archbishop conferred upon him was to make a pun on his 
name by way of illustrating the inconsistency of the ladies 
of Dublin, who, he said, "go to Day for a sermon, and to 
Morrow for a novel."* 

Dublin, towards the close of the last century, adopted a 
course the reverse of what the Revolution introduced on the 
Continent. Instead of converting churches into scenes of 
dissipation, it converted places of amusement into churches 
and charitable institutions. Thus, the gay h aunts of Ranelagh 
became a convent ; the play-house of Smock-alley a parochial 
chapel ; and Astley's Amphitheatre a house of worship and 
an asylum for blind females. The history of this institution 
is interesting. The house had been originally the family 
mansion of Sir Thomas Molyneux. It was erected in 1711, 
and was at that time a grand residence, surrounded by a 
fashionable vicinity. When that part of the town was 
deserted by its gay inhabitants, the family mansion was let 
by the late Sir 0. Molyneux to a professional gentleman, 
whose representatives disposed of it to the well-known Mr. 
Astley, who built on the ground and offices in the rear of 
the dwelling-house his circus, where he continued to amuse 
the public many years with feats of horsemanship. From 
him it was taken by a candidate for public favour who pro- 
posed to make it a rival of Crow-street Theatre. The attempt 
failed, and the place reverted, by process of ejectment, to the 
family of the original proprietor. This seeming a fit oppor- 
tunity for effecting their purpose, the subscribers to the 
Blind Asylum in 1815 took the whole concern at the annual 
rent of £100, and applied it to several purposes of charity. 
The dwelling-house, which is commodious and spacious, they 
fitted up for the reception of fifty blind females ; and the 
amphitheatre, with some alteration, passed into a chapel 
connected with the institution. Where the scenes formerly 
stood now stands the altar of God; on the stage w x as erected 
the pulpit ; the pit and galleries retained their former desti- 
* Referring to Morrow's Circulating Library. 


nation, and were crowded with the usual concourse of people. 
This is what has been known in Dublin as the Molyneux 
Asylum, the chaplain of which, for some twenty-live or thirty 
years, was the late Rev. Dr. Fleury, a man of great popular 
talents, whose preaching kept the church always crowded 
by a respectable congregation. He had an extraordinary 
command of language, with a colloquial manner of delivery. 
Like Dr. Gregg, of Trinity Church, he always preached 
extemporaneously, and rivalled him in the attractiveness of 
his pulpit eloquence, while in private life he was greatly 
esteemed and beloved. Owing to the decayed condition of 
the locality about Peter-street, in which the church is situated, 
and its unhealthy character, it was thought desirable to move 
to more healthy quart is in the suburbs. Accordingly, 
ground was taken in Leeson-park, a district where there was 
scarcely a house a few years ago, but which is now covered 
with beautiful villas and terraces, occupied by wealthy 
people. On that site, which had presented the appearance 
of a swam}), rose, in a very short period, the most splendid 
monument about Dublin of the power of the voluntary 
principle in the Establishment — a church built in the Gothic 
style, light, commodious, and elegant in all its internal 
arrangements, and affording accommodation to 1,300 people, 
with an equally commodious asylum for the blind in the 
same style of architecture. Dr. Fleury had the satisfaction 
of seeing, before he was unexpectedly removed by death, 
this church crowded with the most respectable congregation, 
consisting, to a large extent, of people attracted to the 
neighbourhood by its erection. He was succeeded by his 
assistant chaplain, the He v. Maurice Neligan, whose preaching 
keeps the church still full to overflowing. 

In the same neighbourhood — Ranelagh — is Sandford 
Church, a quiet little place of worship, erected and endowed 
by Lord Mount Sandford for the late Archdeacon Irwin, one 
of the fathers, and perhaps the most esteemed and venerable 
of the Evangelical school in Ireland. He laboured in the 
ministry there till he was an octogenarian. His assistant 
chaplain and successor is the Rev. W. Pakenham Walsh, one 


of the ablest and best of the Dublin ministers — active in 
every Christian enterprise, and at the same time a devoted 
pastor. He has been Donnellan Lecturer in the Dublin 
University ; and though a leading member of the Evangelical 
party, he was chosen by the present Archbishop to preach 
on the occasion of his first ordination in Ireland. Another 
fine church has been erected and endowed at Rathgar out of 
a fund left for such purposes by the late Mr. Goold, a Dublin 
stockholder. It is beautifully situated, near the banks of 
the river Dodder, which divides it from Rathfarnham, 
opposite the extensive and well- wooded demesne of the 
Marquis of Ely, now occupied by the Lord Chancellor 
Blackburne, and commanding a near view of the Dublin 
mountains. The pasture fields in which it first stood have 
been quickly covered with first-class terraces, which are all 
inhabited almost as soon as built. This church also is crowded 
with one of the most fashionable congregations about Dublin, 
the incumbent being the Rev. James Hewitt, formerly curate 
to Mr. Day. The rector of Rathfarnham, within whose 
parish this church is situated, instituted proceedings to get 
possession of the Sunday collections for the poor, to which 
it seems he had a legal claim, but the matter was compro- 
mised by paying i?20 a year to the parish church. 

Harold's Cross Church is another of the same class, built 
many years ago, mainly through the exertions of the Rev. 
Thomas Kingston, rector of St. James's, in which it is situated. 
It stands at the entrance of the Mount Jerome Cemetery, 
the favourite burying-place of the Dublin Protestants, orna- 
mented with very fine old timber. It was the residence of 
the celebrated Mr. Keogh, leader of the Catholics in their 
struggles for emancipation towards the close of the last 
century — the O'Connell of his day, whose interesting old 
mansion is now the residence of the registrar of the cemetery. 
The minister of this church for many years was the Rev. 
Robert McGhee, the well-known polemical writer. 

Another of the proprietary churches, and one of the most 
important, is the Episcopal Chapel, Upper Baggot-street, 
which accommodates 1,300 persons, and has a gross income of 


dP^OO a year. The present Bishop of Kilmore, Dr. Hamilton 
Verschoyle, was appointed its chaplain in 1835, and continued 
at that post till he became bishop, in 1862, having been for 
many years one of the honorary secretaries of the Church 
Education Society. This position gave him great influence 
among the clergy ; though it would appear to have been 
anything but a recommendation to the Government, as Dr. 
Verschoyle was at the head of an institution hostile to its 
educational policy, which got its funds increased in propor- 
tion to the vigour with which that policy was attacked by 
those who preached on its behalf. He was a judicious, but 
by no means a brilliant preacher, nor had he ever written or 
spoken anything to prove that he was a profound theologian. 
Yet he is now the successor of Bishop Bedell, in the see of 
Kilmore, one of the best of the bishoprics, worth i?6,000 a 
year, with broad rich lands, as if to illustrate the poverty 
and destitution of the Irish Establishment. It is difficult to 
see any ground of pre-eminent merit which should entitle 
Bishop Verschoyle — estimable though be is personally — to 
one of the greatest prizes in the Church ; and allowing 
him all the merit which his most partial friends could ascribe 
to him, no one can say that he would not have been well 
rewarded with an income of ^1,000 a year, or that this sum 
would not have been ample remuneration for any duties he 
has to discharge as Bishop of Kilmore. So that in this one 
see alone Church property to the extent of £5,000 or £6,000 
a year might be released to provide for the spiritual wants 
of the population in other places. Many persons wondered 
why the Secretary of the Church Education Society got a 
mitre from a Liberal Government, pledged to support the 
National system. But it is said that Dr. Verschoyle modified 
his views materially about that time, concurring with the 
late Lord Primate in the opinion that the Church clergy 
might lawfully accept aid from the Government for their 
schools if they could not otherwise be supported. A pamphlet 
upon the subject brought upon him a storm of reproaches, for 
which he was consoled with the see of Kilmore, having first 
got the stepping-stone of the deanery of Ferns. 


Dr. Verschoyle's successor in the Baggot-street Episcopal 
Chapel, where he laboured for more than twenty years for 
a large and wealthy congregation, is an Englishman, and a 
" literate ;" that is, one ordained without a university edu- 
cation. He was ordained in 1859, and, though a young 
man, he received this important appointment, one of the 
best in Dublin, in 1862, the year of his admission to the 
diocese. Among the candidates for the post were many 
distinguished graduates of the Dublin University, and some 
ministers of recognised ability and considerable standing. 
Yet this comparative youth, whose use and abuse of the 
letters h and r at once betrayed his nationality and the 
small cost of his education, was chosen to minister to this 
highly intellectual congregation, not by universal suffrage, 
but by a body of trustees, consisting of the aged Bishops of 
Cashel and Meath, the Bishop of Cork, Dr. Gayer, Ecclesias- 
tical Commissioner, Master Brooke, and some other influen- 
tial laymen. Mr. Windle, Chaplain of the Mariner's Church, 
Kingstown, is also an Englishman, and a "literate," chosen 
in the same manner, having carried off the prize from the 
alumni of the Dublin University. It seems difficult to 
account for this preference ; but, perhaps, it may be ascribed 
to the zeal, fluency, and fervour of the successful candidates, 
and their aptitude for visiting, and the management of, 
schools, charities, &c, thus holding out the best promise of 
filling the church and bringing pecuniary support to its 
institutions. Others ascribe their good fortune to the fact 
that they had secured the favour of some of the most active 
and influential of the trustees. It must be said, on the 
other hand, that there are many Irish "literates" in the 
English Church, and that the late Bishop of Chester, Dr. 
Sumner, set the example of ordaining gentlemen of this class 
in his anxiety to meet the overwhelming spiritual destitution 
of his diocese. It should, however, be remarked that the 
number of "literates" is increasing fast, both in Enoland 
and Ireland, chiefly from the fact that men who have re- 
ceived a university education greatly prefer other professions, 
unless they have connexions and friends in the Church 


holding out a prospect of something better than a curate's 
salary, on which it is impossible to marry, unless marriage 
is to bring property, and very difficult for a single man to 
maintain the position of a gentleman. But the social status 
of a gentleman is secured by being a minister of the Estab- 
lished Church, and the chances for curates intermarrying 
with the families of the gentry are numerous. This may 
account for the fact that some curates are willing to officiate 
gratuitously, and that the position is coveted by men of 
ability, who have risen from the ranks of the people by their 
own exertions, chiefly by means of tuition. In this way, 
and also through conversions to Protestantism occurring in 
Trinity College, we may account fur an increasing mixture 
of Celtic blood in the Irish clerical body, as indicated by the 
very large number of Mac's and O's, and other native 
patronymics which we observe in the clerical lists. With 
this new blood there is an increase of zeal and energy in the 
ranks of the clergy ; and I have heard one of the ablest and 
most influential, as well as the most useful, of the Dublin 
clergy, state that the whole of the life, activity, and progress 
which have characterized the Irish Church during the last 
thirty years, and which may be said to have secured for it 
all the disinterested friends it has, is due to those of its 
ministers who belong to the middle classes ; and that the 
younger sons of the aristocracy, and the landed gentry, who 
monopolize its good livings, have really done little or nothing 
to promote its welfare, either by their liberality or their 
labour. They regard it as a sort of patrimony of the aris- 
tocracy, to help to keep up the dignity of "gentle blood." 
And, indeed, the same thing is true with regard to the 
progress of society generally in this country. The aristocracy 
and the large proprietors, as a class, have done little or 
nothing in the way of improvement. Go where we will 
through the country, all the indications of progress, of the 
expenditure of capital, of the employment of the people, of 
building, planting, reclaiming, manufacturing, mining, &c, 
in every department of industrial enterprise, will be found 
to be the work of the middle classes, and chiefly of com- 


mercial men. This is the class of men to which the Estab- 
lishment owes all its redeeming features ; not merely the 
fine new churches and school-houses which have sprung up 
about Dublin and in other large towns, but, as I have said, 
the internal life and energy, which have kept the Church 
from dying a natural death. But it is a curious fact, and 
one worthy of the attention of Parliament, that the great 
commercial classes, which make money so fast and spend it 
so freely — the manufacturers, merchants, bankers, ship- 
owners, brokers, railway proprietors, fund-holders, lawyers, 
doctors, &c. — are under no legal liability to contribute any- 
thing whatever to the support of the Established Church ; 
and, as a matter of fact, they do not contribute anything 
worth speaking of. The burden of that support is thrown 
entirely upon the land. At a large dinner party, consisting 
of the leading and wealthiest commercial men of Dublin, all 
members of the Established Church, the question was put 
to the company individually, how much they actually con- 
tributed to the State Church under the compulsion of law, 
and the answer was not five shillings a head. They might 
attend their respective parish churches, have their pews free, 
and enjoy all the benefits of the parochial administrations, 
at the cost of a weekly copper to the poor-box. But they 
prefer contributing largely to the building of extra-parochial 
ch arches, in which they pay from £5 to £10 a year each 
pew-rent. If asked the reason why they pay for what they 
could get for nothing, they reply, because they can have 
ministers whom they like better, who are pleased to see 
them in their places on Sunday, who take an interest in 
their children, and visit their families, whereas they never 
saw the parochial or peculiarly State clergy, and never heard 
of them except in church on Sunday. It must be admitted 
that these are very important and suggestive facts in con- 
nexion with the Irish Church question. Do they not prove 
that society has outgrown the Established Church system, 
and that it does not and cannot meet the requirements of 
the present age ? 

Let us take another illustration of the working of the 


two systems. There is a very old decayed township called 
Irishtown, or Ringsend, on the bay, about two miles south 
of Dublin. In 1703, the inhabitants of this place having 
become numerous, in consequence of its being a port, and 
being not only distant from the Donnybrook parish church, 
but the people being prevented from resorting thither by 
tides, and waters overflowing the highway, an Act was 
passed authorizing Viscount Merrion to convey any quantity 
of land, not exceeding two acres, for a church and church- 
yard for their accommodation, and the Archbishop of Dublin 
was empowered to apply £100, out of the forfeited tithes, 
towards the building, an endowment which afterwards took 
effect in the adjacent village of Irishtown. This was the 
origin of the chapelry called St. Mathew's, of Ringsend, 
Which is in the patronage of the Crown. The old church is 
still in existence, with a square and lofty belfry tower. In 
the churchyard are the tombs of the Vavasour family, the 
Foxes of Tully, &c. The present gross value of the living 
is £217, though the net value is set down at only £91. The 
incumbent has held the office since 1831, that is thirty-five 
years, and his residence is Clifden and Irishtown. To Irish- 
town, however, the reverend gentleman is almost a stranger, 
and Clifden is his bund fide residence. Now this town is 
situated on the very opposite point of the island, on the 
shore of the Atlantic, among the picturesque mountains of 
Connemara, county Galway, where the reverend doctor pur- 
chased an estate, and where no doubt he spends his time 
very pleasantly. In the meantime, the royal chapel of 
Ringsend has been served on Sunday mornings by a professor 
in Trinity College at the rate of a pound for every service. 
This is all the benefit derived by the now large population 
of that district, including Sandymount, from a church spe- 
cially endowed with an income of over £200 a year. The 
military from Beggarsbush Barracks, in the neighbourhood, 
attended this royal chapel, where they had a special claim 
to pastoral instruction and oversight. But as the incumbent 
was looking after his estate in Connemara or fishing in its 
dehghtful mountain streams, they have been withdrawn 


from the place. This is what the State Church has done 
for the last thirty-five years for a poor and populous district, 
during which this valuable endowment has been allowed to 
run to waste. But very near it stands another contrast — 
the beautiful church of Sandymount, erected and endowed 
chiefly by the munificence of the late Mr. Sidney Herbert 
(Lord Herbert of Lea), the owner of vast property in this 
neighbourhood. The minister of this church attended to 
his congregation, was constantly on the spot, and had the 
place always filled. There are Churchmen in Ireland, men 
of the highest intelligence and true zeal, who believe firmly 
that in this manner, if the old parochial system was com- 
pletely swept away, with all its buildings and endowments, 
an incomparably better Church machinery would be speedily 
substituted for it, and supported liberally out of the inex- 
haustible, but almost unworked, mine of the wealth and 
zeal of the middle classes, with the immense advantage that 
the clergy of the regenerated Establishment would be tenfold 
more efficient than they can be, legally hampered, encum- 
bered, and secularized as they are under the present 
condition of subserviency to the State, which virtually is 
controlled by the House of Commons composed of men of 
all creeds, who have voted the Irish Church Establishment 
"a monster iniquity." 



The last Bishop of Kildare was the Hon. Charles Lindsay, 
son of the Earl of Balcarres, in Scotland. He came over to 
this country as chaplain and private secretary to Earl 
Hardwicke, Lord Lieutenant. In 1803 he was promoted to 
the see of Killaloe, and was translated immediately to Kil- 
dare. The same year, or the year following, he was appointed 
to the Deanery of Christ Church, which he held in com- 
mendam, enjoying the revenues of both for forty-two years. 
He died in 1846, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. It is 
recorded by Archdeacon Cotton, that he watched actively 
over the rights and privileges of his cathedral ; that he was 
a good scholar, of a refined taste, a great proficient in music, 
the founder and patron of the present school of sacred music 
in Dublin ; and the inscription on his monument in Christ 
Church states that his aspect was so benign and venerable 
that all acknowledged his presence to be the best comment 
upon Leviticus xix., 32, where it is written, "Thou shalt 
rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old 
man, and fear thy God." He lived and died at Glasnevin, 
near Dublin, where he left a charming residence for his 
family. There is nothing recorded of his administration of 
the diocese, concerning which we read only that he was 
enthroned at Kildare. Indeed, he seems to have regarded it 
merely as an appendage to the deanery, in connexion with 
which he could better indulge his taste for music and enjoy 
the pleasures of society. Yet Kildare was once a famous 
place — the greatest head-centre of religion in Ireland, having 
for some time enjoyed the rank of an archbishopric, and hav- 
ing been founded as early as the sixth century. The proper 
title, however, was not that of archbishop, but that of chief 
abbess, for that was the rank held by the foundress, St. 


Brigid, who employed a minister or bishop to perform the 
clerical duties of her cathedral, while her vestal virgins 
watched over the holy lire. This holy hre. and the round 
tower, together with other circumstances, prove that Kildare 
was one of the principal places of Baal- worship, if not the 
greatest, in the island. The vast central plain, called the 
Curragh, was probably the Irish Stonehenge. where the 
representatives of all the pagan tribes assembled on great 
national occasions. The fame of the cathedral, and the 
miraculous power of the relics there preserved, continued to 
the Reformation, when the ploughshare of ruin passed 
through it. The total population of the diocese of Kildare 
is 98,369, of which 84,590 are Roman Catholics, the Protest- 
ants being about one to seven. The number of benefices 
is forty-six, of which three are perpetual ernes. The net 
income of the clergy is £8,236. The Crown has the patron- 
age of eleven of the livings, and the bishop seventeen. In 
the "Irish Church Directory" there is a column for church 
accommodation, by which is meant the number of sittings 
for the inhabitants of the parish: and we find that the 
cathedral of Kildare can accommodate only 200 people. 

The theory of the Established Church is. that it should 
provide for the spiritual wants of the whole population, and 
especially that it should furnish means for keeping up the 
public worship of God throughout the land. During the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, determined efforts were made to 
carry out this theory by forcing all the adult inhabitants to 
attend the parish churches on Sunday. But if the whole 
people are to attend the Established chinches, there should 
be room for the whole people in those churches. Now. in 
looking through the "Irish Chinch Directory." we are struck 
with the utterly inadequate provision thus made for the 
people, especially in the rural parishes. Thus, the popula- 
tion of Glasnevin is 1.556, and there is church accommodation 
for 150, that is, for about one in ten of the population. The 
total population in Rathiarnham is 5,683, and the Church 
population is 1,356 ; but the accommodation in the parish 
church is 600, not half sufficient for the Protestants, and not 


affording room for more than one-ninth of the whole popu- 
lation. Howth has a total population of 2,89 4, and a Chnrch 
population of 380 ; but there is church accommodation for 
only 300. The parish of Rathdrum, one of the most im- 
portant towns in the county AYicklow, contains a total 
population of 6,768, and a Church population of 549 ; but 
though the church is unusually good, and the patron is Mr. 
Benjamin Lee Guinness, M.P., there is room for only 400 
worshippers. This parish is served by two efficient clergy- 
men, and may be regarded as a favourable specimen of country 
parishes, including small towns; yet I find, upon inquiry, 
that the average attendance on Sunday forenoon is not more 
than 100. In strictly rural districts, where the Protestants 
are thinly scattered, the attendance is miserable, in many 
cases consisting only of two or three families and persons 
officially connected with the church. There are curious 
stories current on this subject, which would be amusing if 
grave interests and responsibilities were not involved. I 
have been assured by a rector, that when he was curate of 
a parish near Maynooth, on his way to church on Sunday 
morning, he regularly took up on his car the parish clerk 
and sexton, and these were the whole congregation. On one 
occasion the Duke of Leinster met a curate returning during 
the hour of Divine service, either from that church or another 
in the neighbourhood, and inquiring the cause of his being 
out so soon, the clergyman answered, " She is ill !" There 
was, it appears, but one woman who attended the church, 
and it was no doubt a relief to the clergyman not to have to 
go through the service in a cold church under such circum- 
stances. I have heard of one case where, to avoid the 
expense of a curate and the necessity of keeping open the 
church, the rector advised a widow lady and her family to 
go to mass, assuring her that the. Roman Catholic service 
contained a good deal of truth — that she could discriminate, 
choose the good and refuse the evil, like cattle, which instinc- 
tively select the wholesome herbage in a pasture, and pass 
over the rank tufts of grass that would not be good for their 


One of the most extraordinary things connected with the 
Irish Church is the fact that it has not been able to embrace 
within its fold even the population of the English Pale. 
Setting aside the new townships at the south side of the 
metropolis, all of which have sprung up during the last 
twenty or thirty years, I find the peasantry of the counties 
of Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow as completely Irish 
in their manners and habits, and as thoroughly devoted to 
the Church of Rome, as the people of Tipperary or Cork. 
The gentry, for the most part, are Protestants; but the great 
dead walls which surround their demesnes and shut out the 
public view, do not more significantly mark their exclusive 
spirit and the separation between them and the frieze-coated 
farmers around them than the social and religious wall of 
separation between them and the mass of the population. 
It seems wonderful that during so many ages the ruling and 
wealthy classes did not succeed better in imparting their 
religion and manners to the people even within the Pale, 
and on the very borders of the metropolis. Until the com- 
mercial element came into operation, increased largely by 
English and Scotch settlers, there, was not a trace of progress 
or improvement about the suburbs of Dublin. The same 
mud walls, open dykes, untrimmed hedges, and dirty roads, 
alternately covered with mud and dust, without a seat for 
the weary traveller, or the least accommodation for the 
comfort of the people, continued from generation to gene- 
ration. Neither the aristocracy nor the Established clergy 
seemed to spend a thought upon the inhabitants of their 
estates and parishes, except as machinery for producing rents 
and tithes and returning members to Parliament. As, there- 
fore, no Scriptural, rational or humane efforts were made to 
Protestantize or civilize the people, they remained in their 
primitive state, or relapsed from the Established Church into 
the Church of Rome, as much estranged from their so-called 
" natural protectors " and their authorized ministers as if 
Henry II. had never invaded the country and Henry VIII. 
had never reformed the Church. 

But although, in the united diocese of Dublin and Kildare, 



the proportion is very small between the Church population 
and the Roman Catholic population, and although the actual 
attendance at public worship is seldom as large as it ought 
to be, and too often merely nominal, the proportion between 
the incomes of the clergy and the amount of church accom- 
modation is remarkable. The average is about one pound 
per annum for every person that could rind room in the 
church; and, as the churches are seldom half full, — often not 
more than a third or a fourth full — it happens that in the 
metropolitan diocese the incumbent receives generally two 
or three or four pounds a head for all those who actually 
attend his public ministry. As illustrations of this, I give 
a few examples from the "Irish Church Directory": — 









Castleknock, . .£544 600 Maynooth, . 294 160 

Chapelizod, . 254 300 Narraghmore, 502 125 

Clondalkin, . 430 200 Newcastle, . 241 Nil 

Clonmethan, . 404 150 Newcastle Lyons, 252 100 

Cool lock, . 232 180 Raheny, . 300 100 

Donaghmore, . 368 300 Rathcoole, . 397 120 

Dunnganstown, 585 600 Rathdrum, . 460 400 

Dunlavin, . 492 380 Rathmichael, 221 75 

Knglass, . 283 250 Rathniore Union, 329 200 

Fontstown, . 257 100 Santry, . 392 230 

Garrisrown, . 357 170 Swords, . 329 300 

Glanelg, . 207 200 Timolin Union, 334 150 

Inch, . . 374 250 Wicklow, . 655 700 

Killcullen, . 375 250 BaUysax, . 170 120 

Kilsallahan, . 250 100 Ballysonnon, . 347 200 

Glaskill, . 1,045 200 Clone, . . 349 300 

Luxlip, . 530 300 Coolebauagher, 454 200 

Lusk, . 300 200 

These cases are nearly all taken from the diocese of 
Dublin. Many of them are parishes near the city. They 
could be multiplied to any extent, showing that the number 
of pounds sterling allotted originally for the support of the 
pastor greatly surpasses the number of sittings provided for 
the accommodation of his hearers. If we were to examine 
the lists, Ave might find throughout the country at large 
hundreds of parallels for the sinecure city parishes. In fact, 



we should find that the parochial system works as badly in 
the country as in the towns, and that, in order to main- 
tain it, the funds of the Church are most culpably wasted. 

Another bad feature of the system is the existence of 
pluralities — a class of abuses which may be called an ini- 
quitous perversion of sacred funds, for which, of course, the 
State, as well as the Church, is responsible, and in reference 
to which bishops are the greatest delinquenis. The rector 
of Kill is a sample of the old pluralists once so common. 
His father was the celebrated Bishop Warburton, whose 
ordination was a matter of dispute among the curious. The 
Church directories of a few years back showed a blank in 
the place where the date of Mr. Warburton's admission to 
his Kildare benefice ought to be. In the edition of Charles's 
"Church Directory" for last year, the date 1845 is given as 
the year of his admission. But the Rev. Dr. Brady, in his 
" Cork Records," gives a different account. It there appears 
that Mr. Warburton has held the unions of Kill and Lyons 
from the year 1814, and, along with it, from the year 1818, 
the precentorship of Limerick — and, from 1825, a vicar- 
choralship in Cloyne, and, from 1826, another vicar-choralship 
in Cork, and, from 1829, the sinecure rectory of Drumcliffe, 
in the diocese of Killaloe. The official responsibilities of 
Mr. Warburton thus extended over five dioceses. He was 
the legal pastor of 108 Church people, 14 Dissenters, and 980 
Roman Catholics, in Kildare diocese. In Limerick diocese 
the State gave him charge of 237 Episcopalians, 81 Dis- 
senters, and 3,611 Roman Catholics. In other words, he was 
the authorized pastor of more than 5,000 souls, scattered over 
six parishes in two different provinces, the vast majority of 
the people thus committed to his "care" being Roman 
Catholics, who repudiated his authority altogether. For all 
these "services" he had a gross revenue of £430 17s. 6d. 
from Kill, and £754 3s. 8d. from his Limerick precentorship. 
It was also his duty to sing in the cathedrals of Cork and 
Cloyne, for which no doubt he was paid well, although the 
returns of Captain Stacpoole contain no record of the amount. 
He enjoyed, however, the gross revenue of £229 6s. 6d. from 


his sinecure in Killaloe. Thus, exclusively of his vicar- 
choralships, he had a gross income of £1,415 7s. Sd. per 
annum for ministering to a total of 237 members of the 
Established Church, if by possibility he could minister to 
people living so remote from one another. One of the last 
acts of the late Lord Monteagle was to attend the primary 
visitation of Archbishop Trench at Limerick, to represent 
the want of a curate to perform divine service in one of Mr. 
Warburton's Limerick parishes. It was simply a physical 
impossibility that ever Mr. Warburton could have earned 
this income. If he sang in Cloyne, he could not sing in 
Cork ; if he sang in either place, he could not preach and 
visit at Drumclifte ; and if he did his duty in Limerick, he 
could not do it in Kildare. Certainly his mitred father had 
much to answer for when he went to give an account of his 
stewardship. The common excuse for the nepotism of 
bishops is that they have a right to give livings to their 
sons if their sons can perform the duties as well as others. 
But what excuse can be made for a bishop who loads his son 
with the revenues of the Church under circumstances which 
render the duties incompatible and their performance impos- 
sible, thereby robbing the Church of the means of paying 
the men by whom the duties could be done, and so robbing 
the Christian people of the ministrations of religion to which 
they are entitled? 

Another of the old race of pluralists, the incumbent of 
Hollywood, in the county Wicklow, was the Hon. and Very 
Rev. James Ao-ar, Archdeacon of Kilmore, son of an arch- 
bishop, and, being the son of an archbishop, naturally an 
arch-pluralist. Mr. Agar held the Archdeaconry since 1809, 
more than half a century, and the Hollywood living since 
1814. Hollywood contains only 87 members of the Estab- 
lished Church, while the Roman Catholics number 1,654. 
He had a parish as Archdeacon in Kilmore, which contains 
1,182 Church people, 295 Dissenters, and 4,045 Roman 
Catholics. It is difficult to ascertain which of the parishes 
was blessed with his presence. According to Captain Stac- 
poole's Returns, p. 25, Archdeacon Agar was a resident in 



Hollywood, but at p. 34 lie was said to be non-resident 
there, and to have a faculty for that purpose. A friend 
suggests that the difficulty may be solved by supposing that 
the venerable pluralist lives neither at Carrigallan, in the 
diocese of Kihnore, nor at Hollywood, in the diocese of 
Dublin, but at Stephen's-green, in this city, so as to avoid 
causing any unnecessary jealousy between the rival candi- 
dates for the favour of his ministrations. For the northern 
parish he received a gross revenue of £1,075, and for Holly- 
wood £169 4s. 10c?. Out of this income of about £1,200 
he paid three curates a total sum of £225 annually. Of 
course he conscientiously believed that it was for the benefit 
of the Church that he should have received about £1,000 a 
year for fifty years, while the duties for which he received 
it were discharged by three other ministers for one-fifth of 
that amount. But it may occur to Church reformers in this 
age of inquiry to ask whether the Archdeacon had not deceived 
himself in tins matter, and whether there is real advantage 
in paying so dearly for Church ornaments of his class. 

Perhaps the most remarkable clergyman in Kildare diocese 
is the Rev. John Browu, treasurer of Kildare, registrar of 
the diocese, and rector of the parishes of Great Connell, 
Ladytown, and Ballymanny. His parishioners consist of 
1,439 Anglicans, 69 Dissenters, and 2,959 Roman Catholics; 
and he has one church, yet he does not reside, being exempt 
(as registrar) by the 5th Geo. IV., cap. 91, s. 9, and he keeps 
no curate. In the returns made by this gentleman to the 
queries of the Archbishop touching his duties as registrar, 
he makes an extraordinary statement, to the effect, that al- 
though unable, through illness, to give full information, the 
office is always open to the public for business. He keeps 
no clerk and no curate, is not resident, and yet serves a 
church and keeps an open office ! 

The anomalies and abuses in this metropolitan diocese are 
very numerous. I can only give a few of the most striking 
examples. Balscadan is one, of which the vicar, appointed 
in 1844, resides in York-street, Dublin, has no church and 
no duty. He is employed, however, as one of the Inspectors 


of the Church Education Society, and it must be confessed 
that he could not live on the income, which is only £44 net. 
It is stated that a church is being built, but I cannot see 
for what purpose, as the total population is only 778, and 
the Protestant population 28. 

Castledermot Union has a total population of 3,759, and 
a gross income of £489. The incumbent since 1837 has the 
reputation of being an ecclesiastical Croesus; and if he loved 
souls as well as he is said to love sovereigns, the people of 
his charge would perhaps be better cared for than the people 
in any parish in Ireland. But he generally lives on the 
Continent, and the sight of his face in the parish is as rare 
as the sight of his money, which is saying a great deal. The 
parochial duties, however, are performed by his curate, who 
does the best he can to supply the rector's lack of service 
with the small stipend allowed him. There are no schools 
in the parish. 

The rector of Glasnevin, the Rev. H. G. Carroll, is an 
able man, an eminent classical, biblical, and oriental 
scholar, having the reputation of being well acquainted 
with Arabic and Syriac, as well as the modern Continental 
languages ; and yet he has been so unappreciated by the 
dispensers of patronage, that he has got a stipend of £126 
a year, which he owes to the authorities of Christ Church. 
Here then we have a distinguished scholar of Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin, a biblical prizeman, remarkable among his 
contemporaries for profound and extensive scholarship, 
treated as if he were the merest clod. This case strikingly 
illustrates the statement current among the clergy here, that 
some of the best scholars of the diocese have been most 
neglected, and that the most precious talents committed to 
the Church have been deliberately buried by its rulers. 

The incumbent of Druincondra, near Dublin, though hav- 
ing a small income, enjoys the comfortable position of being 
his own patron, and of having appointed himself to the 
living. The fine old church of Rathfarnham, near Dublin, 
most favourably situated, in the midst of a total population 
of nearly 6,000, has been in an unsatisfactory condition for a 
long time. The rector, since 1853, is an able preacher, but 


he has unfortunately no residence in the parish save the 
vestry-room of the church, while his family live in a remote 
part of the county ■ so that it is impossible that he should 
be able to discharge the duties of such an important parish 
in a way that would be desirable. It contains not only a 
large number of the poorer classes, but also a number of the 
gentry, including the late Lord Chancellor, Mr. Brady, the 
present Lord Chancellor, Sir Robert Shaw, &c. There are 
various other instances of incongruities, strangely jumbled 
together in consequence of the present system of patronage. 
The rector of Taney, with a gross income of £398, is a 
pastor of a parish which includes the populous and rapidly- 
increasino- villao'e of Dundrum. He is a distinomished 
logical and ethical "grinder" in the Dublin LTniversity: that 
is, he prepares private pupils for their examinations in those 
departments of science. As might be expected, his preach- 
ing partakes of the character of his weekly studies, being 
very logical in form, laboriously raising difficulties of which 
his hearers would never have dreamt, as if for the purpose 
of giving them a learned refutation, which tends sometimes 
to bewilder rather than guide. When the present Arch- 
bishop arrived in Dublin, some friends of Dr. M indis- 
creetly put forth in the press his claims to be appointed 
archdeacon of the diocese, on the ground of Iris experience 
as a parish minister ; but when his Grace came to inquire 
into the matter, he found that this parochial minister was 
in the habit of spending many hours every day in the 
university instructing his pupils, as he had been doing for a 
great many years; so that his parochial experience must 
have been very limited. Such a parish as Taney ought to 
give him abundant occupation ; and every one knows that 
the union of a parish minister and a college professor in the 
same person is not at all desirable. Those whose business 
it is to grind youth in the elements of knowledge are, as 
preachers, proverbially "dry." Yet the clerical members of 
the Dublin University are not satisfied with the unrivalled 
advantages afforded to men of learning in that magnificent 
and exceedingly wealthy corporation. 



Meath is unique among the dioceses of Ireland, and its 
bishop enjoys peculiar distinctions and prerogatives which 
entitle it to rank next the See of Dublin. It is true that it 
has no cathedral, nor dean, nor chapter, the archdeacon being 
the only subordinate officer; and during the time when 
bishops were elected, the royal ts directed to 

him and the clergy in general The affairs of the diocese 
are transacted by a synod of the clergy, who have a common 
seal of great antiquity. The bishop ranks next to the arch- 
bishops, and he is the only one in the United Kingdom who 
is, like them, styled most reverend. He also enjoys the title 
of Right Honorable, being io a member of the Privy 

Council in Ireland. The importance of the see arises from 
various circumstances. It presents a striking example of 
the fact, that in the early Irish Church bishops were so 
numerous that they could be regarded as little more than 
pastors of small toAvns and villages with the respective sur- 
rounding districts, the population being clustered in particular 
localities, which they cultivated, having ranges of wood or 
mountain as pasture land in common. Meath contained in 
ancient times the following dioceses : — Clonard, Fore, Trim, 
Dunshauo-hlin, Slane, Ardbraccan, and several others, all of 
which were consolidated in the twelfth century with a 
common seal. Duleek and Kells, two other ancient sees, 
were subsequently added ; and finally, in 1568, the see of 
Clonmacnoise was, by Act of Parliament, likewise consoli- 
dated with Meath. So that, in fact, we find no less than 
nine ancient sees composing this one modern see ; and if we 
bear in mind that at the time when those sees were founded 
the population could not have been more' than a fourth of 
what it is now, we shall be able to conceive the difference 


between an ancient and a modern bishop, and to recognise 
in the latter functionary nine bishops rolled into one, with 
probably ninety times the income enjoyed by each of 'his 
primitive component parts. 

Archdeacon Cotton has printed for the first time, from the 
original in the Rolls Office, Dublin, the Act of the Irish 
Parliament by which Clonmacnoise was united to Meath. 
The preamble states that "Whereas the Bishoprick of Clon- 
macnoise is now vacant, and of so small revenues and profits 
as it is not equal to a living with good parsonage in some 
churches of this realm, by reason whereof the poor inhabit- 
ants within this diocese are utterly destitute and disap- 
pointed of a good pasture ; and thereby of long time being- 
kept in ignorance as well of their duties towards God as 
also towards the Queen's Majesty and the commonwealth of 
this realm, to the great danger of their souls ; and that the 
same diocese doth so adjoin unto the bishoprick of Meath as 
the bishop of that diocese might very conveniently instruct 
and edify the poor and needy of the other, if the same were 
united and consolidated to it, whereof should follow that 
the people shall be fed with sound doctrine for their souls' 
health; and also by" the good policy of the reverend father 
that now doth to the great utility of the subjects, and good 
advancement of service, occupy the see of Meath, shortly 
brought and reduced to a great civility, and consequently to 
a wealth, which thing would much increase the force of this 

This Act is a literary curiosity, on account of its ortho- 
graphy. For example, bishop is spelled "busshoppe," autho- 
rity is "aucthoritie." Sometimes bishop is spelled with y 
instead of u, might is "moughte," and so on. The Act is 
signed as follows : — "Le Seigneur Deputie le Veoulte." 

The bishop so highly eulogised in the preamble was Dr. 
Hugh Brady. He was a great favourite with Sir Henry 
Sidney, the Lord Deputy, who, in a letter to the Queen, 
calls him the honest, zealous, and learned Bishop of Meath, 
a godly minister of the Gospel, and a good servant of your 

* " Fasti," vol. iii., p. 133. 


Highness. In that letter Sir Henry described the condition 
of the Church as being most lamentable — "as foul, deformed, 
and as cruelly crushed as any other part of this sore and 
sick realm. Your Majesty ," he added, "may believe it that, 
upon the face of the earth, there is not a Church in so 
miserable case." As remedies he recommended that ministers 
should be sought out in Scotland or elsewhere who could 
speak Irish, and that English bishops should be sent over as 
likely to be "not only grave in judgment, but void of affec- 
tion." Elizabeth, we know, did not patronize Irish, even 
though imported from Scotland. As to English bishops 
there were plenty of them ; but, with few exceptions, they 
were far from answering the Lord Deputy's description, and 
it is to be feared that his favourite, Dr. Brady, who was an 
Irishman, however "grave in judgment," was not altogether 
"void of affection " for the good things of this life, nor as 
careful as lie ought to have been of the property of the 
Church intrusted to his stewardship. At all events he and 
his successors failed lamentably in the promise to instruct, 
civilize, edify, and comfort the poor people of Clonmacnoise. 
So far as the Established Church is concerned, this work is 
still to be done. 

Clonmacnoise is situated within eight miles of Athlon e, 
about the centre of the island. It was once called the Seven 
Churches, and was one of the most celebrated ecclesiastical 
settlements in the country, having a college and various 
monastic buildings, with a cathedral and bishop's residence. 
Notwithstanding its present desolate aspect, its former 
greatness is attested by a mass of most interesting ecclesias- 
tical ruins. It was called the Iona of Ireland and the Mecca 
of Irish hagiology. The feeling experienced in visiting such 
ruins is like that of travellers in the Holy Land, who wonder 
how it was possible for a great and numerous people to have 
existed in such desolate and sterile regions. Thus, the Kev. 
Caesar Otway exclaimed, "What a dreary vale is Glenda- 
lough ; what a lonely isle is Inniscultra ; what a hideous 
place is Patrick's Purgatory ; what a desolate spot is Clon- 


macnoise ! From this hill of Bentullagh, on which we now 
stood, the numerous churches, the two round towers, the 
curiously overhanging bastions of O'Melaghlin's Castle, all 
before us to the south, and rising in relief from the dreary 
sameness of the surrounding red bogs, presented such a 
picture of tottering ruins and encompassing desolation as I 
am sure few places in Europe could parallel." When this 
description was written, in 18S9, the moral aspect of the 
people visiting the place presented a melancholy illustration 
of the failure of the Church to which the work of national 
instruction was assigned by the State three hundred years 

The monuments of ancient princes, bishops, arid abbots, 
were swarming with motley crowds of mourners seeking the 
graves of their departed relatives, "devotees crawling from 
point to point of the reputedly sacred circle; invalids 
scraping for holy clay, or waiting a cure by contact with 
sward and stones ; rustic virtuosi gaping and stumbling in 
search of some denouement to the mystery which their dull 
minds have long associated with the name of the Seven 
Churches ; and multitudinous sots staggering after the few 
brains they have lost on the adjoining patron green, or 
reeling and wabbling with a drunkard's speech to partake of 
the last dregs of debauchery at the close of the orgies of the 
patron." It should be remarked, that the Roman Catholic 
bishops and clergy have since exerted themselves, laudably 
and successfully, in most places to put down the abomina- 
tions of mingled superstition and licentiousness, so utterly 
heathenish in their nature as well as their origin, which 
attended the anniversaries in honour of patron saints. 

In 1622 Archbishop Ussher made the following return to 
a royal visitation : — " Clonmacnoise, — This deanery was in 
times past a bishopricke. There has been in times past, 
belonging to that bishop, a deanery yet continuing — an 
archdeaconry and twelve prebendaries, all long since wasted 
and extinct ; which all were maintained by the offerings and 
funerals, the churches of Clonmacnoise being the ancient 


burial-places of the kings of Ireland, and of the best of the 
nobility of the same. There is one churchyard and ten 
churches, whereof two are in reasonably good repair."* 

The diocese of Meath contains a large tract of the best 
land in the country, the famous grazing district in which its 
best cattle are fattened, and which sends the finest beef and 
mutton to the English market. It is the richest portion of 
the vast plain which stretches across the island from the 
sea to the Shannon, and lies between the Boyne and the 
Liffey. Within the county of Meath is situated the cele- 
brated Tara Hill, where, long before the introduction of 
Christianity, and long after, the monarch of Ireland held 
his court, and received the homage of a host of tributary 
kings, each nearly as independent as himself. The monarchy 
of Ireland was afterwards separated from the kingship of 
h, which was, properly speaking, the patrimony of 
the monarch, and which, owing to the richness of the 
country and the absence of natural defences, was continually 
the prey of plundering invaders from the north. In later 
times it was the scene of some of the most important events 
in the civil Avars. The native Irish had recovered the 
greater portion of it from the English colony before the 
Reformation. During the rebellion of 1641, the English 
occupied its chief town, Trim, as a military post, which was 
unsuccessfully besieged by General Preston in 1 647 ; became 
an asylum for the royalists in 1649, after the battle of Rath- 
mines ; and, after the massacre of the garrison of Drogheda, 
it surrendered to Cromwell's forces. In 1690, the famous 
battle of the Boyne, which may be said to have decided the 
destiny of the United Kingdom, was fought, partly in the 
county Meath, through which the defeated army of James 
was pursued in its southward retreat. 

Considering, then, the importance of this rich district 
lying so near the capital of the Pale, so full of historic in- 
terest, so studded with abbeys and monasteries, and made 
classic ground by great battles, it is surprising that it was 
not, either by Elizabeth or James I., planted by Protestants, 
* Cotton, vol. Hi., p. 143. 


and that many of the old Catholic nobility were permitted 
to retain their estates in a region so desirable for the re- 
formers to possess and people, if for nothing else, that they 
might have near the metropolis a body of loyal yeomanry 
on which they conld rely to repel the attacks of the 
O'Byrnes, O'Tooles, and other native enemies to the English 
and the Protestant interest. This was not done, however; and 
it is a curious fact, that in scarcely any part of the island 
has the work of assimilation between the English and the 
Irish made less progress, and in few places out of Connaught 
has the Established Church a feebler hold on the native 
population. Nor is there any diocese which has more glaring 
anomalies, as appears from Captain Stacpoole's returns. There 
are fourteen parishes wholly destitute of any provision for the 
cure of souls, thirty-eight parishes which have no churches, 
twenty-one which have no income, and some which have 
incomes varying from £2 10s. to £20. The diocese contains 
105 livings, comprising 130 parishes, supposing Fercall to 
consist of six. Archdeacon Cotton has placed this diocese 
in the province of Ulster, meaning, of course, the ecclesiastical 
province of Armagh. But the only portion of the diocese 
which is situated in Ulster is one parish in the border 
county of Cavan. It comprehends nearly the whole of the 
counties of Meath and Westmeath, a large part of the King's 
county, and small parts of Longford and Kildare, the latter 
two counties having but one parish and one church each. 
The length of the diocese is eighty, and its breadth twenty 
statute miles, having an area of about 993,000 acres. In 
1831 the population of the diocese was 377,859 ; the number 
of parishes, 206 ; of benefices with cure, 102 ; of resident 
incumbents, 89 ; and of non-residents, 14. The tithes were 
valued at £27,416 ; the glebes, at £7,251 ; the gross income, 
£36,480; and the net income, £30,291. There were then 
nine benefices without churches, the total number of churches 
being 99, with something over 20,000 sittings. In 1834 the 
population consisted of 377,562 Roman Catholics, 25,626 
members of the Established Church, and 800 or 900 Presby- 
terian or Protestant Dissenters. At that time the Church 


population bore to the Roman Catholics the relation of about 
one to fifteen. Two benefices contained no member of the 
Established Church, live contained only 20 members each, 
eleven not more than 50, twenty not more than 100, and 
twenty-tive not more than 200 each. 

The case of Donaghpatrick shows how the property of the 
Establishment, as well as the interests of religion, has been 
treated under the eyes of the bishops, and by the bishops 
themselves. It is now the church of the union of Kilberry 
and Donaghpatrick. Formerly there were three churches, 
one in each of those parishes, and a chapel at Randalstown. 
Two of the buildings are now in ruins. Eighty acres of 
valuable land, which belonged to the parish of Donagh- 
patrick, was passed in fee-farm, in 1571, to Plunkett, of 
Felton, by John Everard, the incumbent, the bishop, and 
Richard Everard, of Randalstown, the patron, for a reserved 
rent of £4 a year. But of this property no trace is now 
discoverable, nor does the present incumbent get the re- 
served rent. The manse house, hagyard, and orchard 
mentioned in old records have also disappeared. The 
alienation of the eighty acres was a job between the patron 
and an incumbent, to which the bishop, Hugh Brady, was 
a party ; the same prelate who stated that he would have 
been eaten up himself if he had not kept open house for 
the people who surrounded him, complaining of his lack 
of means to meet this unlimited but necessary hospitality. 
Possibly, it was in consequence of difficulties of this kind that 
he betrayed his trust, and made away with the property of 
the Church. A report on the state of this diocese towards the 
end of the sixteenth century illustrates the frauds that were 
then practised in order that a friend might enjoy two or 
three livings. The rector of Kilberry resided in another 
parish, which the bishop certified to be two miles off, whereas 
it was nearly twenty miles, and the incumbent was repre- 
sented as serving both parishes. Under the ruins of the 
church of Kilberry an altar slab was recently dug up by 
the present rector, Dr. Brady ; and its position shows that 
it belonged to a still older church, much larger than the one 


whose ruins still remain. The ancient font lies buried in 
the churchyard. According to the "Irish Church Directory," 
the church accommodation for the people of this union is 
eighty sittings, while the gross income is £373, and the net 
income, £270. In the union there is a population of 16,000, 
of which thirty persons, young and old, belong to the 
Established Church, and there is one solitary Dissenter. 
It was, no doubt, under the impression produced by these 
facts that Dr. Brady wrote to the Times a letter, in which 
he frankly avowed his opinion that it is "a great moral 
iniquity" that the whole Church revenues of the nation 
should be appropriated to the clergy of one small sect. This 
daring assertion he had previously made in the pulpit of 
the Chapel Royal, as one of the Viceregal chaplains ; and it 
was to this he ascribed the fact that when Lord Wodehouse 
became Viceroy his name was omitted in the list of Vice- 
regal chaplains, who are privileged to preach to the Irish 
Court, and from whom the Irish bishops are usually selected. 
The truth is that Dr. Brady's own case furnishes a striking- 
illustration of the anomalous state of the Establishment. 
He is an ecclesiastical historian, a learned investigator of old 
records, a diligent and honest inquirer, and an able statis- 
tician — a department in which there is much work to be 
done in this country — as he has shown in his " History of 
the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross ;" and he, perhaps 
the most competent man in the Church to do the work, in- 
stead of being set apart for it by the bishops, or placed in 
one of the Dublin cathedrals, where he might have leisure 
to do it, is rector of a parish in the country, where there are 
but thirty members of the Established Church, not one of whom, 
perhaps, can appreciate his learning. Dr. Brady is too candid 
to say that he went to Donaghpatrick because he believed he 
was providentially called to minister to its thirty Church 
Protestants and its solitary Dissenter ; still less would he 
claim to be the divinely-appointed pastor of the Roman 
Catholics there, in the room of their own parish priests. 
Then, it may be asked, how can he, as a Christian minister 
specially qualified for a totally different kind of work, con- 


sistently and reasonably account to the Divine Head of the 
Church for being there at all ? 

Similar observations might be made with respect to other 
men in that diocese. There is, for example, the Rev. Dr. 
Dobbin, a distinguished scholar, B.D. and ll.d. of the Dublin 
University. He is well known as the learned author of 
several theological and other works, among which may be 
mentioned one on the celebrated " Codex Montfortianus," 
which is hi Trinity College, Dublin, and contains the much 
controverted text, 1 John, v. 7. He also answered in a very 
able manner Strauss's "Leben Jesu," in a work entitled 
" Tentanum Anti-Straussianum." Here, then, is a divine 
qualified by his learning for one of those professor's chairs in 
the Dublin University which are " occupied " by gentlemen 
with large populous parishes ; and yet he is buried in a 
parish in the diocese of Heath, with an income of £137 a 
year, and a church population of 145 persons of all ages, 
upon whom his learning is utterly lost. There are other 
cases of a similar kind, such as Dr. Gibbings, of Tessauran, 
who has published lectures on Church history, and edited 
the Papal Index ExpurgatoHus, and ministers to a rural 
population of 162 persons, of whom 100 are the most that may 
be expected to attend church on Sunday ; and for this work 
he enjoys a benefice, the net value of which is set down at 
£300, although its 666 acres of glebe land ought to be worth 
at least four times that sum. The only other case of buried 
talents I shall mention in this diocese is that of the Rev. 
Dr. Reichel, of Mullingar. He was for a number of years 
Professor of Latin in Queen's College, Belfast, having been 
a very distinguished student of Trinity College, Dublin, and 
having also studied at one of the German universities. 
Perhaps his talents might have been turned to better 
account than they were as a Professor in one of the Queen's 
Colleges. But surely it was not a wise exercise of patronage 
for the Crown to place him in the county of Westmeath, 
with a net income of £215 a year, in a town where church 
people are in the proportion of about one to nineteen of the 
population, where so learned a man must have some diffi- 


culty in making himself understood by his hearers, while 
his habits of study must unfit him for the details of pastoral 
work. The system which rewards college professors towards 
the end of their career by endowing them with country 
parishes, for the duties of which all their previous habits 
unfit them, and the spiritual interests of which must there- 
fore to a large extent be sacrificed for their accommodation, 
could have been planned only by men who regarded the 
Church Establishment merely as a preserve of the State for 
the benefit of those from whom the Government derives 
political support. Such an utter disregard of adaptation in 
the means is a clear proof that the welfare of the Church 
could not have been the end. 

In looking through the clerical list for this diocese of 
Meath, we are struck with the absurdly low valuation of 
the glebe land. Glebes, it is well known, generally consist of 
the best land of the district ; and the rich grazing land of 
Meath is, with the exception of the Golden Yale of Tipperary, 
the best in Ireland, and brings rent varying from £2 to £5 
an acre. But in estimating the value of the glebe lands, 
very low figures have been adopted. For example, in the 
parish of Ardnurcher, the Rev. Garret Nugent enjoys a 
Crown living with 251 acres of glebe land, a very good 
estate in itself, for which the value is returned at £208. 
In addition to the 251 acres, he enjoys a rentcharge or 
stipend of £180, and he has got all this property for taking 
care of 130 parishioners. How glad the parish priest would 
be to have that income for the spiritual care of the 3,721 
souls that look to him for guidance. Perhaps he thinks he 
ought to have it, and that the State is not just in giving it 
all to his neighbour, who has so little to do. The Rev. T. 
G. Caulfield, of Baliyloughloe has 100 acres, with an addi- 
tional stipend of £433. The living is in the gift of the 
bishop, and the incumbent has enjoyed it since 1859. This 
parish contains 153 souls belonging to the Establishment. 
This would be a comfortable berth, supposing the incumbent 
to have no sense of duty or responsibility, which would be 
an uncharitable assumption ; therefore we must infer that 


in common with many other conscientious incumbents so 
situated, his righteous soul must be vexed from day to day 
with the thought that he is not earning his income. The 
Rev. John Brandon, of Castlerickard, has also an easy berth, 
with forty acres of land, a stipend of £127, and a church 
which accommodates only eighty people. It is large enough, 
however, for the total number of Church souls committed to 
his charge is fifty-six. The Rev. Joseph M. Daly, of Church- 
town, has sixty-one acres, with a stipend of £256, for looking 
after ninety-three souls in a total population of 1,711. 
VieAving the Establishment solely in a worldly light, and 
setting aside all disagreeable thoughts of conscience and 
Christianity, the happiest man in this diocese is the Rev. 
Ralph Coote. The date of his ordination seems to have 
been beyond the reach of the diligent compiler of the " Irish 
Church Directory," who has put a blank instead of the 
record. He is as reserved with respect to the year of his 
birth as he is with respect to the date of his ordination. 
For although Sir Bernard Burke, whose diligence in these 
matters is proverbial, gives the dates when all the rest of 
the Cootes came into the world, he does not record the birth 
of the incumbent of Fercall. He does, however, record his 
marriage, which occurred in 1825, and it may be supposed 
that this interesting event was preceded by his ordination. 
It seems, at all events, to have heralded his promotion, which 
occurred two years after, allowing the happy couple time to 
make the Continental tour. However that may be, Mr. 
Coote was admitted to the diocese in 1827, thirty-nine years 
ago, and in that same year he jumped into the possession of 
a union of seven parishes, with a magnificent endowment of 
glebe lands, amounting to 2,805 acres, which ought to 
produce a revenue of £5,000 a year, though the gross income 
is set down at £1,468, and the net at £997. The Protestant 
population of this union of seven parishes is 815, of which 
88 are Dissenters, the total population being 12,115. The 
patron of this union of Fercall is Sir Charles Coote. The 
cause of the seven parishes being thrown into one was 
obviously to make a suitable provision for the younger son 



of a wealthy baronet, and in doing so it is highly probable 
that none of the parties concerned in this manipulation of 
Church property ever spent a thought on the spiritual wants 
of the people. It is right to remark, however, that there 
are five churches in the union, each of which is served by a 
curate, so that the whole pastoral work is done for £400 or 
£500 a year. 

The union of Drumcree also deserves some notice. It 
consists of five parishes, and has a Church population of 89 
persons, out of a total of 1,530. The incumbent is the Rev. 
Cecil Russell, who has 87 acres of glebe land, with a stipend 
of £150. The Union of Duleek has 81 acres of glebe, and 
£133 of stipend, with a Church population of 207 persons. 
Gallen has 222 acres of glebe land, with £155 stipend, and 
a Church population of 115 out of a total of 3,113. The 
Rev. Robert Healy, vicar of Moate, has 138 acres of glebe 
land, with £212 rentcharge or stipend, but he has a com- 
paratively large flock, 300 souls. Generally speaking, these 
Meath incumbents may be said to have, on an average, an 
acre of fat land for every soul to which they are supposed 
to break the bread of life, without counting the rentcharge 
paid by the landlords. The Rev. Robert H. Dunne has 127 
acres of glebe land, together with £314 stipend ; yet his net 
income is set down at £382, and there is not a single 
Protestant of any sort in his parish. The Rev. William 
Lyster, who allows blanks for the time of his ordination and 
his coming into the diocese, received, in 1863, from the 
patron, Mr. John Lyster, the parish of Killucan, with 69 
acres of glebe, £804 stipend, for which the net income is 
given as £662, and for which he ministers to a Church 
population of 325, out of a total population of 6,566. The 
union of Kells, one of the principal towns in the diocese, has 
a splendid endowment — 177 acres of glebe land, which must 
be worth £5 an acre. The incumbent returns the gross 
income at £1,670, and the net income at £1,211, but he does 
not give the money value of the glebe land, nor the amount 
of the rentcharge. The incumbent is the Venerable E. A. 
Stopford, Archdeacon and Surrogate, whose father became 


bishop of the diocese in J 812 — two years before his son's 
appointment to this valuable living. The Stopfords are one 
of those families to whom the Irish Church has proved a 
good nursing mother. They can look back to a Fellow of 
Trinity College and Rector of Conwall, a Bishop of Cloj^ne, a 
Bishop of Cork and Ross, and a Bishop of Meath, flourishing 
on their genealogical tree ; and there are at present two 
archdeacons bearing that honoured name. It is remarkable 
that many of the best livings in the diocese of Meath are in 
the gift of the bishop, and that the most desirable of them 
are enjoyed by the bishop's sons and sons-in-law. 

The policy of making bishops of fellows of college is very 
doubtful. A senior fellow of Trinity College is as well off 
in point of position and income as any clergyman could 
reasonably desire to be. The scholastic habits of his life and 
all his associations fit him for the sphere which he occupies, 
and unfit him for every other, but most of all for the govern- 
ment of a diocese. He has no experience of pastoral duties, 
and cannot sympathize with those who are engaged in them. 
The change which he makes late in life is like the trans- 
planting of an old tree, which cannot well take root in the 
new soil, and never can attach itself vitally to the surround- 
ings of the new situation. He enters a palace in the country, 
becomes lord of a residence fit for a prince and his retinue, 
but brings to the grand baronial halls and saloons the habits 
of a recluse. There, for example, at Ardbraccan, is a garden 
large enough to supply vegetables and fruit for the household 
and retainers of a feudal baron. But the new bishop is 
probably without any family, and is content with two or 
three servants. He has excellent stabling for twenty or 
thirty horses, with every arrangement perfect, but only two 
or three of the mangers are occasionally occupied. He has 
rich pasture land sufficient for a dairy of forty or fifty cows, 
but he has let the grazing to save himself trouble, and one 
or two cows supply all his needs. He has around his palace 
some of the finest tillage land in the world, but probably one 
small field is the utmost that he cultivates. He has no 
following, no local associations or attachments, and his great 



object seems to be to isolate himself as much as possible from 
the people that surround him. This was very nearly the 
position of the late accomplished and venerable Bishop of 
Meath, Dr. Singer. The palace is splendid ; the demesne 
magnificent; incomparably rich and beautiful are the see lands 
which lie around it ; but there was no life there. All was 
silent and sad. The palace, with its marble walls, was shut 
up ; there was no living thing to be seen about the place but 
a care-taker, who lodged with his family in a stable loft, and 
the gate-keeper. They gave no indications by their appear- 
ance and dress that they were the servants of a lord bishop 
worth thousands a year. The garden-walks were ungravelled, 
the borders of the beds broken and neglected, the soil, 
naturally rich, was starved, the few fruit-trees which sur- 
vive were literally dying of old age, and the same may be said 
of the timber in the demesne, which is fortunately registered, 
and cannot be cut down, or else we may be sure it would 
quickly disappear. In the memory of the oldest inhabitant 
no bishop has incurred the expense of planting a single tree. 
There is no rising generation of wood there — nothing that 
indicates a hope of the future — everything, on the contrary, 
betrays the feeling in each incumbent, " It will do well 
enough for my time — after me, the deluge." This is a faithful 
picture of what I saw myself when I inspected the place 
last year, going through the grounds, the gardens, and the 
out-offices, with the care-taker as my guide. The palace 
was shut up. I was struck, during the drive from Dublin 
to Ardbraccan, with the baldness and nakedness of that fine 
country. Scarcely a tree in some districts as far as the eye 
could reach; nothing but an undulating plain of grass, 
reminding one of an American prairie. Even where some of 
the old farmsteads have been permitted by the landlords and 
graziers to remain, the houses are unsheltered by trees and 
the fields by hedges. Can we wonder, however that tenants- 
at-will do not plant trees, which would become the landlord's 
property, when we see that bishops with magnificent incomes 
and a life-interest in their see lands, neither plant trees nor 
improve the property in any way whatever ? The average 


life of a bishop is not very short. Since the commencement 
of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, there have been only twenty- 
four bishops in Meath, and but four bishops in this diocese in 
sixty-six years, giving to each a tenure of sixteen years. 
Many a tenant-farmer would be glad to improve on the 
chance of such a tenure or on a life interest. But bishops 
are too prudent to do anything of the kind. 

The apostle Paul says that a bishop should be given to 
hospitality, and he has said nothing which better commends 
itself to our reason. But this is a text which bishops seem 
to forget altogether. Ardbraccan is quite in the country. 
There is not even a village or a hamlet in the place. But 
although a portion of the diocese is forty or fifty miles 
distant, I am assured on good clerical authority that no 
clergyman's horse ever had the good fortune to smell the 
Bishop's oats, or to make himself acquainted with his lord- 
ship's stable. When the clergy came to wait upon their 
apostolic diocesan, they were obliged to unyoke their vehicles 
outside the palace gates, and to feed their horses from nose- 
bags. It has often been uro-ed in defence of the Church 
Establishment in its present state that it is a great advantage 
to the country to have a resident gentleman in every parish 
or union of parishes. This argument applies of course with 
greatest force to the bishop, who, on account of his large 
revenues, might be expected to act the part of a resident 
nobleman, to be a large employer, and to make his palace 
the centre of great social influence, by means of liberal 
expenditure. I therefore made inquiries in the town of 
Navan, which is two and a half miles from the palace, 
whether that place and the surrounding country derived any 
benefit from the Bishop's expenditure. The answer invari- 
ably given was very emphatic — " Not a shilling ! " 

The palace was built by Bishop Maxwell, youngest son of 
the first Lord Farnham, who was translated to this see from 
Dromore in 1766. The stone was obtained from the lime- 
stone quarry on the demesne, which is still a most valuable 
property, and is rented by the Bishop to a gentleman in 
Dublin by whom it is worked. The stone, which is soft at 


first and easily cut, becomes hard when exposed to the 
weather, and the palace walls look perfectly fresh after 
enduring for one hundred years. The plan of the edifice and 
the style in which everything about it was executed were 
certainly worthy of a nobleman. It is said that Bishop 
Maxwell declared that he would erect a palace on such a 
scale of magnificence that no " Tutor" could afford to occupy 
it. He remained in possession himself for thirty-two years, 
having died in 1798, aged seventy-five. His hope that his 
successor would be a man of gentle blood, who could worthily 
fill such a baronial residence, was very far from being 
realized, for his immediate successor was Dr. O'Beirne, son 
of a Roman Catholic farmer in Longford, who sent him to 
school at St. Omer's, in Flanders. He changed his religion, 
and became successively Chaplain to the British Fleet, Pri- 
vate Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, Yicar of Mohill, 
where his brother officiated as priest, then Bishop of Ossory, 
and ultimately Bishop of Meath, where he remained till 
1823. He was an able man, the author of many publications, 
and an excellent bishop, for during the time he presided 
over this diocese there were erected in it seventy-two glebe- 
houses and fifty-seven churches."' 

* The conversion and promotion of O'Beirne would make a little 
romance : — " He was travelling on foot through Wales, when the day 
became very boisterous and rainy, and he took shelter in a poor inn on 
the wayside, and after ordering his dinner, which was a small bit of 
Welsh mutton, he went into a little sitting-room. In some time two 
gentlemen came in also for shelter (they were on a shooting party, and 
were driven in by the violence of the storm), and asked the woman of the 
house what she could give them for dinner. She replied that she had 
nothing but what was at the fire roasting, and it was ordered by a gentle- 
man in the next room, adding in a low tone, she believed he was an 
Irishman; whereupon one of the gentlemen exclaimed, ' Damn Paddy, he 
has roast mutton for dinner, while we must fast ! We will take it.' 
Whereupon O'Beirne walked down from his room, and asked who damned 
Paddy, and insisted upon getting his dinner, and added they should not 
have it by force, but if they would take share of it on his invitation he 
would freely give it, and they were heartily welcome; on which they 
accepted the invitation, provided he would allow them to give the wine, 
which they assured him was very good, notwithstanding the appearance 


Quoad temporalities, the great object of a bishop is to 
extract as much money as possible out of his see, and to 
avoid any outlay that is not absolutely necessary. He sets 
himself on the defence against all new claims and liabilities, 
and perhaps even goes out of his way to repudiate his obli- 
gations to those who helped him up to his present position, 
and to give the world to understand that he has been promoted 
solely for his merits. This is not unnatural at the age when 

of the place. They all retired to tlie sitting-room, and the two gentlemen 
began conversing in French, whereupon O'Beirnc interrupted them, and 
informed them that he understood every -word they uttered, and they 
might not wish that a third person should know what they were speaking 
about, and then the convers.'ition became general, and was carried on in 
French, of which O'Beirne was a perfect master. They inquired of him 
what were his objects in life, when he told them his history — that he was 
a farmer's son in Ireland, and his destiny was the Irish Catholic priest- 
hood. "When they were parting, one of the gentlemen asked would he 
take London on his way to Paris, to which he replied in the affirmative. 
He then gave him a card with merely the number and the street of his 
residence, and requested he would call there, where he would be very 
happy to see him. O'Beirne walked to Londou, which took him a con- 
siderable time, and on arriving there did not fail to call at the place 
indicated by the card. When he got to the house, he thought there must 
be some mistake ; but nothing daunted, he rapped, and met a hall porter, 
to whom he presented the card, and told him how he came by it, but 
supposed it was a mistake. The porter replied : ' Oh, no ! His Grace 
expected you a fortnight ago, and desired you should at once be shown 
in ;' and ushered him in accordingly to the study, where His Grace the 
Duke of Portland introduced himself to him. He had been appointed 
Governor of Canada, and O'Beirne's knowledge of the French language, 
and his education and general information, were matters that made him a 
desirable private secretary to deal with the French Canadians, and 
O'Beirne accepted the proposal of going out as private secretary to the 
Duke of Portland. It was in Canada he apostatized and became a 
minister of the Established Church. To the Duke of Portland O'Beirne 
owed his promotion in the Irish Church, first to the parish of Temple- 
michael, then to the see of Ossory, and finally his translation to the see 
of Meath, then valued at more than £8,000 per annum. He was married 
to a Scotch lady, a daughter of General Stuart, had one son and two 
daughters." — " The Sham Squire." By W. J. Fitzpatrick, esq. j.p. The 
priest was a frequent visitor at the palace, and was in the habit of riding 
out with his nieces, the bishop's daughters." 


bishops sometimes come into possession of their sees. After 
seventy, men do not like to engage in the work of renovation. 
Life then is precarious, encompassed with infirmities, and 
needing repose. The bishop is more inclined to amuse him- 
self with his grandchildren than to undertake anything which 
would tax the powers that remain to him, even if he were 
not disabled and tormented by gout, and did not need 
the careful nursing of his daughters. This was for many 
years the condition of Dr, Singer, who lived to be an 
octogenarian, and resided principally in Harcourt-street, 
Dublin. It therefore happened in this case, as in many 
others, where the bishops are old and infirm, that the 
management of the diocese fell into the hands generally of 
relatives, who formed an impenetrable circle round his sacred 

It may be doubted whether it was well for the usefulness 
and the fame of Dr. Singer to have been made a bishop. As 
a Fellow of Trinity College, and Regius Professor of Divinity, 
he enjoyed for many years a great and enviable prestige. 
He was justly regarded as the most influential leader of the 
Evangelical party in the Church. Indeed, he may be said 
to have been the principal founder of that party. He took 
the liveliest interest in divinity students, holding meetings 
with them constantly in his rooms, and labouring in every 
way to give them just ideas of the duties and responsibilities 
of the Christian ministry in Ireland, and to fit them for their 
proper discharge. Very many of the Evangelical clergy 
who became most distinguished in different parts of the 
country, looked up gratefully to Dr. Singer as the Gamaliel 
at whose feet they had sat, and from whose lips they had 
learned the principles which they regarded as the essence of 
the Gospel. This earnestness in religion was accompanied 
by many graceful accomplishments, and by a genial, attractive 
manner, as well as a tolerant spirit, which secured him hosts 
of friends, and made him at one time the most popular man 
in the Irish Church. There was great rejoicing, therefore, 
when he was appointed to the see of Meath. Dr. Singer was 
to redeem the character of the Irish Bench from the charges 


of worldliness, negligence, and nepotism. He would consider 
only the spiritual interests of the Church in all his appoint- 
ments. He would seek out in his diocese the most laborious 
and godly ministers, the most aged and worthy curates who 
were encumbered with the largest families, the men most 
capable of reviving pure and undefiled religion, of building 
up the waste places of Zion, and cleansing the neglected 
sanctuary. Meath would soon present the delightful picture 
of a model diocese, and show the world what the Irish 
Church would become when men like him were selected to 
fill the position of its chief pastors. But, alas for human 
nature ! Many of Dr. Singer's former admirers were obliged 
to exclaim, "How has the fine gold become dim !" 

Dr. Singer was consecrated in 1852. Three years after 
that his son, the Rev. P. M. Singer was ordained and 
admitted to his father's diocese. Four years after his 
ordination, Mr. Singer received from his father one of the 
best livings in his gift. There is another living — the parish 
of Reynagh — in the gift of the Bishop, which is endowed 
with 158 acres of glebe land and £107 rentcharge or stipend, 
though the net value is returned at £119. We find this 
living in the possession of the Rev. Robert Stavely, who was 
son-in-law, domestic chaplain, and secretary to the Bishop, 
and resided at Adelaide-road, Dublin. Mr. Stavely was 
ordained in 1852, and in 1856, when he was not five years 
in the ministry, the Bishop gave him this living, passing over 
all the curates of long standing in the diocese, for no reason 
in the world, except that the lucky recipient had married 
the Bishop's daughter. The Rev. R. B. Baker is married to 
another daughter, and was one of his lordship's chaplains, 
Mr. Singer, his son, and the Archdeacon of Meath occupying 
the same position. It does not appear whether any or what 
emoluments are attached to this office. Mr. Baker, it is said, 
passes most of his time in England. 

Episcopal nepotism is not without its defenders ; and there 
is one text which they regard as a very precious portion of 
the Word of God — " He that provideth not for his own, and 
especially for those of his own household, hath denied the 


faith, and is worse than an infidel." This text might be 
quoted in condemnation of a man who abandoned his wife 
and children, and cast them for support upon the union ; or 
a man who squandered away his income on vice, neglecting 
to clothe, educate, and provide for his children. A bishop 
who failed to give his sons a good education, fitting them for 
professions according to their talents, or refused to give his 
daughters suitable marriage portions, would justly fall under 
the condemnation of the apostle. The bishop may do as 
he pleases with his private income. " To his own Master he 
standeth or falleth ;" but the revenues of the parishes of 
which he is patron are not his property. In reference to them 
he is but a steward, a trustee, and he is bound, as an honest 
man, to give them only to the miuisters who, by their 
services to the Church and their capacity to promote its 
interest, deserve them best. It is not as a father in the 
flesh, but as a " right reverend father in God " that he is to 
indulge his paternal feelings in the dispensation of his 
patronage ; and his children in that capacity are not his 
sons and daughters, but the clergy of his diocese, whom he 
is bound to treat justly according to their merits, instead of 
pampering some and starving others. It is a very lame 
apology for nepotism — for giving away the best livings to 
unfledged divines, thus depriving of their due learned and 
laborious clergymen, men of long standing, and virtually 
robbing the Church of the use and benefit of its property — 
it is a very lame apology for this abuse of a sacred trust to 
allege that the bishop's relations and pets are competent to 
perforin the duties of their respective charges. They may 
go through them in a certain way ; but they have no moral 
right to offices to which they are pushed up by favouritism 
over the heads of men incomparably better qualified. A 
stripling who has just buckled on his armour has no right 
to the prizes set apart as rewards for veterans who have 
been for long years fighting the battles of the faith, and 
enduring the burden and heat of the day in many a weary 

The case of the Bishop of Meath, an infirm octogenarian, 


full of affection for his children and grandchildren, surrounded 
by sons and daughters, who, with their husbands, guide his 
feeble hands in the exercise of episcopal authority, is not 
singular. There have been many similar cases in the Irish 
Church, and hence arises a question for the grave con- 
sideration of Government and Parliament. It is a monstrous 
evil that the clergy of a diocese, and the spiritual interests 
of a community, should be under an authority so 
paralyzed, misguided, and abused. The Roman Catholic 
Church, which teaches us so many lessons of practical 
wisdom, acts very differently in such matters. As soon as 
ever a bishop becomes incapacitated by age or infirmity for 
the efficient discharge of his duties, a coadjutor and successor 
is appointed. The old bishop is considerately allowed to 
retain his position and dignity ; but the active administra- 
tion of the diocese and the chief responsibility rest with his 
more vigorous colleague. Surely, if the Irish Church is to 
be maintained, some such plan should be adopted for the 
superannuation of bishops, and for preventing women from 
becoming the rulers of our clergy. 

It must be confessed that when Dr. Singer went to Meath, 

he only followed the example that had been set him by his 

predecessors in providing for his own household at the 

expense of the Church. Dr. Stopford particularly had left 

some of his fortunate offspring in possession of the best things 

in the diocese. The most valuable living is that of Kells, 

the gross income being £1,670. This includes the value of 

177 acres of glebe land, lying in the richest part of Meath. 

In the " Irish Church Directory " there is a suspicious blank 

for the money value ; but probably it would be set down 

at about thirty shillings per acre, though really worth three 

or four pounds. As the incumbent is the author of a book 

on the income and requirements of the Irish Establishment, 

it is strange that he has not furnished to the compiler of 

the " Church Directory " the particulars of his own living, 

as all the other clergy in the diocese have done. In the 

"Directory" for 1864, however, the value of the 177 acres 

of glebe land is set down at £266 yearly, and the amount of 


the rentcharge at £885. Archdeacon Stopford was ordained 
in 1833. His father was appointed Bishop of Meath in 1842, 
in which year the son also entered the diocese, and in the 
year following he became possessed of its richest benefice. 
He was for a time Vicar-Genera], and he now holds the 
offices of Archdeacon of Meath, Rector of the union of 
Kells, Surrogate of the Meath Diocesan Court, and Acting- 
Deputy-Registrar of the same court. The multifarious 
duties of these various offices, together with the literary 
habits of the Archdeacon, necessarily prevent his paying 
much attention to the spiritual wants of his parishioners, 
who number 521 souls, and are committed to the care of a 
curate, whose pastoral experience may be inferred from the 
fact that he had been two years in holy orders. It may not 
be surprising under these circumstances, but it is far from 
creditable, that the parish church, which is large and spacious, 
should be in a very dirty condition, or that we should find 
a cracked table and a looking-glass in the chancel, which is 
used as a vestry. Everywhere about the church we discover 
tokens of negligence and decay, and altogether it seems the 
only public building in Kells which is uncared for both by 
laity and clergy. And a not unnatural result of this state 
of things is the fact that in summer a number of ultra- 
Dissenters, who repudiate the Christian ministry altogether, 
were busy in Kells holding meetings on Sunday afternoons 
in the court-house, not very far from the church, which 
meetings were crowded by gentry and townsfolk, who 
preferred the preaching of irregular evangelists from Kerry 
and Merrion Hall to the " authorized " ministrations of the 
Archdeacon and his curate. 

Clongill, with forty members of the Established Church, 
and £206 per annum and a residence, is a living held by the 
Rev. T. A. Stopford, another son of the late Bishop, who is 
also Registrar of the diocese. His address is given in all the 
Directories as Navan, but since the 25th of June, 1862, he 
has been licensed as permanent chaplain to the British 
residents at Rouen, in France. A full exposure of this 
glaring case of non-residence was given in one of the Dublin 


papers, but it produced apparently no effect. No curate for 
Clongill appeared in the "Church Directory" for 1862, 1863, 
1864, or 1865 ; but in last year appears the name of the 
Rev. Thomas G. Irwin, said to have been ordained in 1865, 
and in that year admitted both to the diocese and the 
curacy ; but I am assured that this is a mistake, for Mr. 
Irwin was ordained in 1851, and has been curate of Clongill 
since 1862. It is not easy to account for mistakes of this 
kind. If, however, there was a faithful and efficient epis- 
copal oversight in this diocese, there would not be so much 
of what looks like collusion between the privileged relations 
of bishops ; and either the forty Church souls of Clongill 
would be handed over to the care of some neighbouring 
minister, or the gentleman who is paid for looking after 
them should be compelled to reside in the parish. In truth, 
those sons and sons-in-law of bishops may do very nearly 
as they please. Who is to call them to account ? Not 
surely the right reverend and affectionate grandpapa, tot- 
tering under the infirmities of his fourscore years, who 
knows nothing of the outer world but what he learns from 
the ministering angels of his household, by whom he is 
tenderly nursed. 

The church of Ardbraccan adjoins the demesne of the 
palace, although it is in the gift of the Crown. It is a very 
plain, homely sort of building, standing on the site of one 
of the most primitive of the Irish cathedrals. It contains 
a seat for the bishop, which is dignified with the name of a 
throne, though the ornament with which it is surmounted 
reminds one of the top of a shower-bath. The rector has 
fifty-three acres of glebe-land and a rentcharge of £6L5 a 
year, yet, strange to say, the net income is returned, at £394. 
The church is made to accommodate 200 persons, and the 
Protestant population of the parish amounts to 267, but the 
attendance on Palm Sunday, though the weather was fine, 
was not more than sixty or seventy persons, including chil- 
dren, all of the working classes. 

Navan, one of the principal towns in the county, formerly 
an important borough, returning two members to Parliament, 


has now a total population of 6,345. It is only twenty- 
three miles from the metropolis ; and though it was one of 
the strongholds of the Pale, the number of Protestants in 
the union, including three parishes, is only 189, not counting 
twenty-six Dissenters. Out of such a Protestant population 
a large congregation is not to be expected, but to any one 
who is realty interested in the cause of Protestantism the 
attendance is painfully disappointing. It consists almost 
exclusively of the few families of the gentry residing in the 
neighbourhood. The large pews rising above one another 
towards the wall at each side, and so deep that the wor- 
shippers sitting could not see one another, when I was there 
on a fine Sunday had for their only occupants a lady or 
gentleman in each corner. In some cases only two out of 
the four corners were thus adorned, and, in others, the pews 
were entirely empty. The church is neat, commodious, and 
cheerful. Fronting the door there are two lofty seats, cor- 
responding to each other, and covered symmetrically, one 
for the bishop and one for a long-departed civic functionary 
the "portreeve." There is a handsome organ, which a very 
conspicuous inscription in painted letters reminds the wor- 
shippers was presented to the parish by Mrs. Savage. Under 
the organ gallery, to the right as you enter, is another very 
remarkable exhibition of charity — a shelf, on which are 
placed, nicely arranged in a row, ten sixpenny loaves, which, 
as an inscription states, have been provided for the poor of 
the parish by the Duke of Bedford. The original donor, 
however, was Lord Ludlow, who directed that five shillings' 
worth of bread should be provided weekly for the poor of 
this church. The Duke, of course, continued the grant when 
the estate came into his hands. The present proprietor is 
Earl Russell, who is spoken of as an excellent landlord. 
With respect to the ten loaves, it may be said that it would 
be difficult to devise a better plan for fulfilling the text, 
"The poor ye have always with you ;" but, really, even this 
attraction seems to fail to bring the poor to the church of 
Navan, for scarcely any representatives of that class, or even 
of the working class, were visible in the congregation. On 


the other hand, if the loaves were allotted to the Roman 
Catholic poor attending the immense church a few perches 
off, one might well exclaim, ''What are they among so many V* 
That building, which has the appearance of a vast hall sur- 
rounded by large galleries, and capable of accommodating 
five or six thousand people, presents in every way the 
greatest possible contrast to the parish church. A similar 
contrast exists at Trim, Kells, Mullingar, Slane, Duleek, 
Athboy, and all the towns in the diocese. But this is too 
fruitful a topic to be disposed of in a paragraph. 

The Rev. Dr. Brady has published "A Statistical Digest, 
exhibiting in a Tabular Form the present State of Endow- 
ment and Population in the Diocese of Meath, compiled from 
the latest Returns of the Census and Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners of Ireland," from which I extract the following 
figures. The number of benefices is 105, composed of 204 
parishes, containing 107 churches, and having 105 incum- 
bents. The gross income of the see is £4,308 2s. 3d, the 
net, £3,664 16s. 4id. The total gross income of the benefices 
is £30,717 Us. lie/., net income, £24,504 4s. 4cZ., giving an 
average net income per benefice of £243 7s. od. If we add 
the tithes, disappropriated from the see, and the value of the 
deanery lands of Clonmacnoise (£1,686 4s. 9d.), with the 
revenue of the five suspended parishes (£475 7s.), the gross 
total of the ecclesiastical revenues of Meath will amount to 
£37,187. The total population of the Established Church 
for which this provision is made, is 15,869, giving 151 souls 
for each benefice, the Roman Catholic population being 
221,553, or 2,110 souls for each benefice. The diocese con- 
tains only 1,865 Dissenters. Without counting the bishop's 
income, the endowment per head of the Church population 
is, gross, £l 18s. 8d. ; net, £1 10s. 10c?-. This is exclusive 
of 240 persons who form the Church population of fourteen 
impropriate parishes, in which there is no provision for the 
cure of souls ; and of twenty-nine persons who form the 
Church population of five suspended parishes; and of 151 
members of the Established Church who are inmates of 
public institutions, whose spiritual wants are otherwise 


provided for by the State. If these be added, the gross 
population is 16,289.* 

In this diocese, as well as in others, the work of education 
has been grossly neglected, and trust-funds set apart for the 
purpose have been shamefully perverted. Alderman John 
Preston, of the city of Dublin, in 1688, granted 1,737 acres 
of land upon trusts to pay a Protestant schoolmaster at 
Navan, and another at Ballyroan, in the Queen's Count}". 
These were "grammar schools," that is, classical schools. 
The trust was misapplied till 1813, when the estates were 
vested in the Commissioners of Education, that is, when 
they could be got out of Chancery, where they had remained 
for ninety-nine years, at a cost of three or four thousand 
pounds. The Endowed Schools Commissioners, whose report 
was published in 1858, state that when they visited the 
Navan school they found no boarders, and but three day 
boys present out of five on the roll. With one exception, 
the boys knew less than the average of boys in National 
schools. And this is the result of a splendid endowment for 
the education of Protestant youth within two and a half 
miles of the palace of the Bishop of Meath, who was himself 
one of the Commissioners of Education ! The same report, 
referring to the Mullingar Diocesan Free School, remarks 
that the public derived no advantage whatever from the 
endowment, and that there had been no interference on the 
part of the Commissioners, although the annual returns 
furnished by the master indicated to them the state of the 

One of the best endowed establishments in all Ireland is 
Wilson's Hospital, near Mullingar. The estates are situated 
in the counties of Westmeath, Longford, Kildare, and Dub- 
lin, and consist of 5,881 acres, yielding a rental of £3,639, 
which is £400 a year less than the Ordnance valuation. 
The report of this institution was favourable. 

* "Remarks on the Irish Church Temporalities, &c.," by the Rev. "W. 
M. Brady, d.d. 



The first bishop we meet in travelling southward from 
Dublin is the Bishop of Ossory, Ferns, and Leighlin, who 
resides at his palace in Kilkenny — Ossory being the name of 
a petty principality in the olden times. The diocese includes 
nearly the whole of the county of Kilkenny, one barony of 
the Queen's county, and part of the King's county, em- 
bracing an area of over 600,400 statute acres. The total 
number of benefices of all sorts is sixty-seven. Ferns in- 
cludes nearly the whole of the county of Wexford and a 
portion of the county of Wicklow, and is about the same 
extent as Ossory. It has sixty-four benefices. The third 
diocese in this union of bishoprics is Leighlin, which in- 
cludes nearly the whole of the county of Carlow, a consider- 
able portion of the Queen's county, and of the county of 
"Wicklow, and some portion of the county Kilkenny, with 
an area of 524,706 acres. The number of benefices is thirty- 

This prelate, then, rules over an immense tract of country, 
which is about the best inhabited and best cultivated portion 
of the island, having an industrious, orderly, and well- 
conditioned population, so far, at least, as the country parts 
are concerned. Including sixty-five curates, he has subject 
to his authority 229 clergymen, having at his disposal 103 
livings to distribute amongst them as vacancies occur. His 
own income is ^4,630 gross, and £3,867 net, with a very 
fine palace adjoining his cathedral in the town of Kilkenny, 
and some acres of see land. The gentleman who occupies 
this enviable position is the Right Rev. James Thomas 
O'Brien, D.D., who was born in 1794, and is consequently 
now seventy-three years of age. He graduated in the Dub- 
lin University in the year 1815, and was elected Fellow in 
1820, having, it is said, like some other distinguished men 



in the Church, become a Protestant during his undergraduate 
course. He was appointed to the office of Archbishop King's 
Lecturer in Divinity in 1833. Three years later he married 
Ellen, daughter of the late Chief Justice Pennefather, and 
after the lapse of six years more he became bishop of this 
united diocese, having stepped into it from the Deanery of 
Cork, both the appointments occurring in the year 1842. 
His immediate predecessor was Dr. Fowler, who, on the death 
of Dr. Elrington in 1835, became Bishop also of Ferns and 
Leighlin under the Church Temporalities Act, by which the 
see of Ferns was abolished. In the year 1600 it so happened 
that Robert Grove, a native of Kent, was promoted to the 
see of Ferns, and as the neighbouring see of Leighlin had 
been vacant for some time, he got that see into the bargain, 
and they have been united ever since. Perhaps in con- 
sequence of the disturbed state of the country, or for the 
sake of economy, he resolved to go to his diocese by sea, and 
was unfortunately lost, with all his family, in the Bay of 

Bishop O'Brien has the reputation of being one of the 
ablest men on the Irish Bench. He is understood to be a 
diligent student and a deep thinker ; yet the only work of 
any importance he has produced during his long life of 
lettered ease is his book on Justification,* which was so 
highly esteemed that for many years it could not be had 
except at an exorbitant price. It will naturally be asked 
why the author did not meet the demand by publishing a 
new edition. The answer given by his friends and admirers 
is that he is constitutionally very indolent. At length, how- 
ever, he roused himself so far as to publish a new edition, 
which has come out within the last year or so. He is not 
popular among his clergy, as his manners are said to be cold 
and distant, and they are often annoyed by the way in 
which he neglects their communications. They are for the 
most part " Evangelicals" — good Churchmen so far as the 

* u An Attempt to Explain and Establish the Doctrine of Justification 
by Faith Only, in Ten Sermons upon the Nature and Effects of Faith." 
Preached in the Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, by J. T. O'Brien, d.d. 


Church recognises evangelical doctrines ; beyond that their 
admiration and cordial reverence seldom extend. But what- 
ever their particular views may be, the bishop has every- 
thing his own way. They complain that he is haughty 
and stern to a most painful degree, and that he will know 
none of them intimately, with the exception of those who 
happen to be his own relations ; yet he manages somehow 
to get them all to his own way of thinking, or rather, per- 
haps, to adopt his well-known ideas, especially his ruling 
idea on Church education. He has been for many years the 
recognised champion of the Church Education Society, in 
opposition to the National system adopted by the Legislature 

and the Government. This is one of the anomalies of the 


present system of Church and State. Here is a prelate whom 
the Sovereign has made ruler over the clergy of three 
dioceses, that he might aid in the work of Christian civili- 
zation. He derives all his powers and jurisdiction from the 
Crown and the Legislature ; he lias got revenues and a place 
fit to maintain a lordly dignity, and when the State estab- 
lished a system of National education on principles that had 
been recommended by nearly all the bishops, and which has 
been supported by the leaders of every political party for 
thirty years — this State bishop has felt it to be his duty to 
labour for twenty years in disparaging, discrediting, de- 
nouncing, and resisting that system, not only in his charges 
to the clergy, but in the exercise of his very extensive 
patronage. This system of opposition Bishop O'Brien has 
maintained with unabated pertinacity for twenty years, and, 
to all appearance, he will maintain it to the end. Complaints 
have been made against the Government for not promoting 
men of this spirit, but if they did more to provoke such 
complaints than they have done, they would better consult 
the freedom of the clergy as well as the material and 
spiritual interests of the laity. It is conceivable that there 
would be in the diocese of Ferns, for example, few clergy- 
men who could not conscientiously accept aid from the State 
funds for the support of their parochial schools, especially as, 
owing to the unhappy religious antipathies that have sur- 



vived in the county Wexford ever since the Rebellion of 
1798, it is not likely they would have any practical diffi- 
culties in the matter of Scriptural instruction by the intrusion 
of Roman Catholic children. But with the exception of a 
dignitary lately appointed by the Crown, I learn that there 
is but one clergyman in the diocese who receives aid from 
the Xational Board : and this exception is accounted for by 
the fact that the clergyman is related to the bishop. 
Although his lordship was seventy-two years of age. he 
travelled from Kilkenny to Dublin to attend the annual 
meeting of the Church Education Society held on the 11th of 
April, 1 S G 6 , and occupied more than half the time allotted to 
the proceedings hi an elaborate reply to the primary charge 
of the Archbishop of Dublin, whose suffragan he is. That 
amiable prelate had ventured to express an opinion that the 
Irish clergy had acted unwisely at first in not accepting the 
funds set apart by the State for popular education in Ireland. 
But this incidental expression of an opinion seemed, indi- 
rectly at least, to impugn the infallibility of his lordship of 
Ossory, who had been contending for twenty years that it 
was unlawful in the sight of God for any clergyman to 
place Ms schools in connexion with the Xational Board, the 
rules of which he could not possibly observe without a vio- 
lation of conscience. The Apostle Paid says of a Christian 
man acting according to his own convictions in matters not 
essential to salvation — " To his own master he standeth or 
falleth ; who art thou that judgest another's servant r" 
But the Bishop of Ossory it seems, assumed, the responsi- 
bility of taking the Divine Master's place, and judging for 
his clergy in this matter of National education ; nor did he 
hesitate to denounce as unprincipled and time-serving his 
brethren on the Irish Bench who presumed to differ with 
him on the subject. Indeed few men are more intolerant 
than he of any difference of opinion, whatever may be the 
question at issue ; and the most remarkable proofs of in- 
dustry and ability he has ever exhibited have been in 
criticising and satirizing opponents. It was difficult to do 
this in the case of Archbishop Trench, and his Grace might 


Well have hoped to escape any sort of censure for having 
uttered the following very mild judgment : — 

" I can enter fully into the feeling of the clergy of Ireland, 
when in 1832 the whole education of the people was sud- 
denly taken out of their hands ; but, while I can quite 
understand their inability at once to realize and adapt them- 
selves to the new condition of things in which their part 
was so limited and so subordinate, I ought not, at the same 
time, to shrink from saying that, so far as I can judge, they 
ought to have accepted the assistance of the State." 

Yet this is interpreted into a " serious charge" against 
the clergy, and the Bishop of Ossory set to work, and after 
a month's cogitation constructed an elaborate argument to 
convict the Archbishop of " sin." This argument was de- 
livered on the platform of the society at the great meeting 
in the Rotunda, in presence of two or three thousands of the 
laity, and hundreds of the clergy from all parts of the country, 
winding up as follows : — 

" He says expressly that he would have accepted the 
assistance of the State on the terms on which it was offered, 
and that he c would not have accounted that a sin.' Now, 
it is unnecessary to prove by words that what he would 
account a sin he would not do. But the real question be- 
tween us is this : — He thinks the clergy might have accepted 
the aid of the State in the conduct of their schools, upon the 
conditions on which it was offered, without committing a sin. 
We think that we could not do so without committing a 
sin. Not a sin in the narrow sense of its being a violation 
of a positive command or a specific prohibition, but in the 
wider, and, as I believe, truer sense of the word, in which 
every departure from the will of God, every known vio- 
lation and neglect of duty, and every shortcoming on our 
parts, is a sin." 

Again, he said, in reference to the clergy : — " When they 
had once deliberately determined, in the present or in any 
such like case, which it was the will of God that they should 
do, he did not say that they should never reconsider the 
grounds on which they had come to that conclusion ; but 


he did say that they should be very slow to engage in such 
a reconsideration .of the circumstances which made it de- 
sirable that they should come to an opposite conclusion. 
And if they found reason to suspect that they were mis- 
taken, and then to see clearly that they were mistaken — if 
that were the result of their second inquiry, were there not 
good grounds to fear that it might be but an answer given 
in God's displeasure, and that, as in the case of Balaam of 
old, what seemed to them to be an expression of His will 
was but an answer given to them in His anger to act upon 
their own ?" 

Dr. O'Brien having thus proved to his own satisfaction 
that his Archbishop was a deliberate sinner, and that if any 
of his own clergy, on prayerful reconsideration, had, like the 
late Lord Primate, changed their minds as to the lawfulness 
of receiving aid from the State for the support of their 
perishing schools, they should be regarded as so many 
Balaams, blinded by God in his anger, we need not be sur- 
prised that one of the most ardent of his disciples, the Earl 
of Clancarty, who occupied the chair, took upon him to de- 
nounce " the apostacy of the Government in deserting the 
true principle of education" : — 

•' But this I do know (he said), that a greater outrage can 
hardly be imposed on the Protestant community and the 
ministers of the Gospel in this country, than to ask them to 
carry out a system of education to which they were strongly 
opposed — for the benefit of their flocks, and of all the young 
children of then parishes who look up to them for instruction 
and guidance, to ask them to become patrons and ministers 
of schools in which they are not to name Christ to their 
children. That, I say, is a great outrage, both on society 
and the Establishment." 

Referring to the National Board of Education, of which 
the Bishop of Deny is a member, aud to which Archbishop 
Whately lent all the energies of his great mind for more than 
twenty years, Lord Clancarty said : — 

" But, intrusted with the education of the nation, and in- 
trusted with unlimited resources for carrying it out, had 


they ever asked God's blessing upon such a work ? Did 
they ever do so % No, they did not. I was sitting on a 
committee myself, and I then had it in evidence that the 
National Board never once bent knee in prayer for that 
purpose ; and although the education of a nation can never 
be carried out in defiance of God, and in disregard of the 
blessings with which he would countenance such a work, 
yet such is the condition in which that unhappy board have 
carried on their work. They have never asked God's 
blessing on the system of education which they pursue, the 
principle of which is elimination of His Word from the 
united education that is to be given in Ireland." 

When we find bishops and noblemen indulging in so 
much intolerance and uncharitableness towards men who 
are at least their equals, many of them their superiors in 
every attribute, moral and intellectual, that commands 
respect, we may easily understand that a controversy em- 
bittered by such a spirit, and persisted in for thirty years, 
must have had a very unhappy effect upon both the clergy 
and the laity, generating an unreasoning fanaticism, for 
which the Bishop of Ossory must be held mainly responsible, 
and which naturally exhibits its greatest virulence in the 
dioceses over which he has control. Perhaps it is owing to 
this that he has so few scholarly or distinguished men 
among his clergy. No man, indeed, who loves freedom 
would wish to remain under the heavy pressure of Bishop 
O'Brien's authority, with whom to claim the right to differ 
is tantamount to claiming the right to sin. Hence it has 
been remarked that, although his clergy are generally good 
men and work their parishes well, yet they agree with the 
Church chiefly because the Church agrees with the bishop. 
But when a bishop is so exacting as Dr. O'Brien, he should 
himself be very near perfection. His opinion, indeed, ought 
to have great weight, for it is the result of slow and careful 
study, guarded and qualified with all manner of cautions on 
this side and on that, but unfortunately it is so long under 
deliberation, that when it comes it is generally too late to be 
of service. His charge on the "Essays and Reviews," a 


masterly production, did not make its appearance till the 
interest in the subject was gone, and the volume of " Essays 
and Reviews" was almost forgotten upon the book-shelves 
of the most learned of the clergy, thrown into the shade by 
the more daring scepticism of Colenso. The same tardiness, 
the same inveterate habit of procrastination, is apparent in 
giving away livings, which, it is said, is sometimes not done 
till within a few hours of the expiration of the six months 
allowed by law for each vacancy. It is a fact that from 
three to four months usually elapse before he can make up 
his mind as to the candidate he should promote, and it often 
happens that he has three vacant livings on his hands at the 
same time. His lordship's admirers, as a matter of course, 
applaud this hesitancy as a proof of his deep anxiety with 
respect to the selection, and they add also that it evinces 
great kindness, inasmuch as it enables the new incumbent to 
have a little fund accumulated for the charge on the glebe - 
house and the expenses of removing. This may be very good 
for the incumbent, but it is very bad for the parish, which 
must be dependent for supplies upon some good-natured, 
unattached clergyman, who has property of his own, of 
which class there is one gentleman in the northern part of 
the diocese of Ferns, who is continually on foot, stopping 
the gaps which the dilatory bishop leaves open. 

There are, however, those who do not take so charitable 
a view of these delays, and who think that they are made 
instrumental, whether intentionally or not, in augmenting 
and intensifying the bishop's power to an enormous extent. 
It is quite possible that this may be done conscien- 
tiously, and, no doubt, it is so in the present case. It is 
not from pure love of power for its own sake that ecclesias- 
tics who have been most successful in grasping it have 
cultivated the arts of spiritual despotism. They persuade 
themselves that it is, above all things, most conducive to 
the glory of God and the good of the Church that their 
self-will should prevail eveiywhere and always, and, there- 
fore, that every antagonist to their policy is, to all intents 
#nd purposes, a sinner, a heretic, or an anti-Christ. The 


great argument which Bishop O'Brien has incessantly pressed 
against the Government system of education is that the 
clergy should be at liberty to do what they believe to be 
their duty to God in the management of their schools, with- 
out being bound by rules imposed for the protection of the 
consciences of Roman Catholic parents and children. But 
he monopolizes to himself this liberty of acting according to 
conscience, and absolutely denies it to the clergy for whom 
he professes to plead ; for should any of them dare to assert 
it, he is pointed at as an unprincipled sinner, like the prophet 
Baalam, whom an angry God has visited with judicial blind- 
ness, forerunning his destruction. If the clergy who feel 
aggrieved and oppressed by an authority so inconsistent 
with the genius of Protestantism, are asked why they sub- 
mit in silence, and how, in a free country, such an iron rule 
can be enforced, they will point to the bishop's system of 
patronage. He has an immense number of livings to bestow, 
and most of them have passed through his hands during the 
last twenty years ; everyone of them has been expected 
anxiously by, perhaps, half a score curates, each having a 
circle of relations and friends, many of whom, perhaps, 
earnestly petitioned for the appointment, and the ladies of 
the expectant curate's family are not, perhaps, the least im- 
portunate in their solicitations on such occasions. They all 
know what his lordship requires in the matter of education, 
and what class of men he delights to honour and promote, 
The consequence is that protestations and promises are made, 
and solemn pledges given, which bind candidates and re- 
cipients alike, if not to think as the patron thinks, at least 
to speak as the patron speaks on the subject, which is the 
great dominating idea of his mind. It may seem a matter 
of astonishment that any Christian bishop could take delight 
in protracting for four, five, or six months, the anxious sus- 
pense, the earnest pleading, the importunate applications of 
perhaps thirty clerical circles of this kind, for as I have said 
there are generally three livings vacant at a time, for each 
of which we have fairly assumed there are ten candidates, 
many of whom have to support families on £75 a year» 


One of them, in a letter to the Dublin Daily Express, states 
as an excuse for preaching in a white surplice, which is sup- 
plied, and even washed, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, 
that so far from being able to furnish himself with a black 
gown for the pulpit, he cannot afford to purchase a silk dress 
for his wife. To a minister so situated, and obliged to main- 
tain a social position as a gentleman, an addition of £100, 
or even £50 income, with a dwelling-house, and twenty or 
thirty acres of land rent free for life, with the rank of rector, 
must be an object of vital importance. Besides, he escapes 
the precarious position of dependence upon a rector who 
may be kind and brotherly, but is more likely to be capri- 
cious, exacting, and supercilious. In the whole range of 
society under the British constitution there are no two 
functionaries so irresponsible, so completely unchecked, by 
law or public opinion in the exercise of their power, as a 
bishop and a rector in the Established Church of Ireland. 
From habit the laity are passive, and if any of them should 
presume to interfere as to the doings of either bishop or 
clergy they are generally "snubbed." It seems to be a point 
of honour, if not a matter of principle, with our ecclesias- 
tical rulers to stamp out any spark of independence that 
may show itself amongst the laity. However that may be, 
it is something like cruelty to keep livings thus suspended 
for months before the eyes of so many anxious expectants ; 
and the evil is not mitigated by the fact that when at last 
the parishes are given away they are received very often by 
clergymen who have property of their own, on the plea that 
the livings are small, and that the man of independent 
means will be able to do most good. The disappointed 
curates, whom Providence has not thus qualified for pro- 
motion, are consoled perhaps by the promise of a better 
benefice when other vacancies occur. It would be a curious 
inquiry to try to ascertain the state of mind of a bishop 
subject to this perpetual process of receiving petitions, and 
disappointing expectants, held for months or years in a state 
of painful suspense. To some minds the thing would be 
utterly intolerable, like visiting the starving poor in their 


garrets and cellars without the power of complying with 
their petitions for relief, or the still more touching appeals 
of their emaciated looks. But we can conceive that to other 
minds the process gives the sort of excitement which an 
enthusiastic angler feels when he sees a number of salmon 
and trout playing around his bait, which he dangles, tanta- 
lizingly, in order to prolong the sport. 

It has been justly remarked that the county of Wexford, 
which the diocese of Ferns embraces, is classic ground to the 
readers of Irish history. On every hand are to be seen those 
strongholds of other days, built by the first English adven- 
turers to defend themselves against the sudden and impetuous 
attacks of the Irish chieftains. It is surprising how strong 
and sound some of them appear after the elemental battles 
of seven centuries. The numerous remains of ecclesiastical 
and military structures, however, are now fast disappearing. 
The baronies of Forth and Bargie, lying along the coast south 
of the town of Wexford, are particularly interesting. They 
were in old times called emphatically "the English baronies." 
They were granted, in 1169, by King Dermod M'Murrough 
to Constable Hervey de Montmorency, who cleared the 
district of the old natives and planted it thoroughly with 
settlers from England, drawn partly from Pembrokeshire 
and Somersetshire. The language spoken by their descend- 
ants till a very recent period was the Somersetshire dialect 
of the Anglo-Saxon, modified by a perceptible admixture 
of Welsh. Down to the present generation they had pre- 
served themselves in a separate community, quite a peculiar 
people in language, manners, and social habits, and especially 
in their industry, thrift, order, and comfort. " The people 
of these baronies," wrote General Valency, " live well, are 
industrious, cleanly, and of good morals. The poorest farmer 
eats meat twice a week; and the table of the wealthy farmer 
is daily covered with beef, mutton, or fowl. The beverage 
is home-brewed ale and beer of an excellent flavour and 
colour. The houses of the poorest are well built and 
thatched ; all have outhouses for cattle, fowls, carts, or cars. 
The population are well clothed, strong, and laborious," 


This is a description of the people as they appeared more 
than one hundred years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Hall, who knew 
them well, remark that the various wars, under the reigns of 
Elizabeth, Cromwell, and James II., appear to have affected 
only the chiefs or head men of these baronies, and to have 
left the humbler classes undisturbed. Yet, had it not been 
for the numerous castles, the ruins of which form so remark- 
able a feature in the landscapes, they would probably have 
been exterminated by the native Irish. " Over a surface of 
about forty thousand acres, there are still standing the re- 
mains of fifty-nine such buildings, and the sites of many 
more can still be pointed out. The walls of solid masonry 
were equally secure against the arrows and the javelins of the 
foe, and the effects of fire. A plentiful supply of pure water 
was never wanting where a castle was erected ; and from the 
warder's watch-tower on the summit, two at least, and often 
six or more castles were in sight. The beacon fire, or other 
signal raised on one, spread the alarm in a short time over 
the country." Of the county in general, they remark, it is in 
one respect highly privileged; few of its landed proprietors 
being absentees. " There are no huge estates over which 
several agents must necessarily be placed ; and, as very few 
of its gentry leave involved properties, it follows as a matter 
of course that the tenants are in easy circumstances, and are 
neither rack-rented nor pressed for sudden payments. A 
list of the good landlords of the county of Wexford would 
fill several pages. Many of them have successfully laboured 
to introduce improvements among the people." In 1831 the 
population of the county was 182,713, in 1851 it was some- 
thing less, and in 1861 it was reduced to about 144,000. 
Wexford is certainly a model county. It is chiefly agricul- 
tural, like all other counties out of Ulster ; but its condition 
shows that with proper relations between landlord and 
tenant, encouraging industrious habits, an agricultural popu- 
lation may be comfortable and prosperous. The farmer class 
of Wexford seem to be in a more natural and healthy 
condition than anywhere else in Ireland. They have passed 
through the crisis brought on by famine and free-trade 


manfully, preserving their stock, paying their rents, and 
keeping up a system of cultivation, mixing tillage with 
grazing in such a way as to excite the admiration of travel- 
lers. I have seen more cattle and sheep of good breed and 
in good condition — more meadows and cornfields, and green 
crops in a day's journey in the county of Wexford than in 
ten counties in other parts of the island. Here, then, is a 
population that seems naturally fitted in a pre-eminent 
degree for the reception of Protestantism — industrious, in- 
telligent, self-reliant, independent in circumstances, and with 
a much larger admixture of English blood than the population 
of any other district in the country. Yet, strange to say, 
there is no county in Ireland whose population more firmly 
withstood the advance of the Reformation, or when roused 
by opjoression fought so desperately against English con- 
nexion. Nowhere at the present day is the antipathy greater 
between Protestants and Catholics, or the devotion of the 
latter to the Church of Rome more intense. The baronies 
of Forth and Bargie produce a greater number of priests 
than whole counties in other parts of the island; and 
Wexford men are amongst the ablest and most energetic 
members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The total number 
of Protestants in the county, according to the census of 1861, 
is 12,759, and the total number of Roman Catholics 130,103, 
showing that the latter are more than ten to one. This is a 
result different from what might have been expected in a 
county having so little Celtic blood, and with a numerous 
body of Protestant landlords. There is only one way of 
accounting for it ; the Established clergy in past times must 
have grossly neglected their duties. 

The Church has been compared in prophetic language to 
"an army with banners;" and the idea of the "Church 
militant" has been a favourite one with divines in all ages. 
The figure is not inappropriate, because the Church has been 
organized to war against the evils that are in the world, to 
pull down the strongholds of Satan, and to liberate his slaves. 
The war has been successful wherever it has been waged in 
the apostolic spirit, and with apostolic weapons, which are 


not carnal but spiritual, the word carnal meaning here poli- 
tical or secular. It is useless now to speculate as to the 
amount of success which might have attended the Reformed 
Church in this country in pulling down the strongholds of 
the Church of Rome if she had acted on the apostolic method, 
repudiated temporalities, and relied entirely upon the sword 
of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Unfortunately, 
she has appeared to the native population as a body armed 
with the weapons of this world, and under this great moral 
disadvantage she has too often fought as if beating the air, 
and has been terrible only in smiting with the sword of the 
State. The State, however, has ceased to render this fatal 
aid, and it is necessary now, more than ever, if she is to hold 
her ground, to gird on her Christian armour, and to depend 
on the might which comes from above. As she could not 
beat Rome by Parliamentary power, or royal favour, or 
worldly grandeur, neither can she beat Rome by ritualism, 
ecclesiastical costume, or ceremonial pomp. In all such 
efforts, however imposing, she must appear to the votaries of 
Rome a poor copyist, a mere histrionic performer, a dwarf 
imitating a giant. It is true that each bishop might appear 
in procession with a goodly array of deans, archdeacons, pre- 
centors, prebendaries, choristers, &c; but, unfortunately, a 
learned dean at the Belfast Conference did not hesitate to 
call some of those dignities " shams," and the Archbishop of 
Dublin, looking at the Irish Church with a fresh English 
eye, which discerned the signs of coming storms, compared 
the number of Irish Church dignities to over-crowded sails,. 
in which the winds might play perilously. 

If we might follow up these similes in the case of Ossory 
and Ferns, we should find that the Bishop could command 
as ample an array of dignitaries as any of his brethren. The 
diocese of Ossory would furnish a dean, a precentor, a chan- 
cellor, a treasurer, an archdeacon, some half-score prebendaries, 
three or four vicars-choral, and a number of rural deans. 
Ferns would furnish a dean, a precentor, a chancellor, a 
treasurer, an archdeacon, and a long train of prebendaries 
and rural deans. Leighlin also would give its contingent, a 



dean, a precentor, a treasurer, an archdeacon, with a number 
of prebendaries and rural deans; altogether, the number of 
these dignitaries in the united diocese is over sixty. Is 
Bishop O'Brien high priest ? Then he can move in pro- 
cession at the head of five dozen cathedral officials, who, 
clothed in gorgeous robes of varied tints, would form a grand 
and imposing train of titled ecclesiastics, which might well 
excuse a proud prelate for magnifying his office. Is Bishop 
O'Brien a general ? Then he is surrounded by a magnificent 
staff of officers, large enough to command one of the Pope's 
best armies. Is Bishop O'Brien the captain of a ship ? 
Then, though the freight of souls is small, he spreads out to 
the breeze more than sixty fluttering sails — a beautiful sight, 
when reflecting the bright sunbeams on a summer's day, 
while the zephyrs are playing softly among the streamers 
from the masthead. 

" And proudly riding o'er the azure realm, 
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes." 

But what if the storm should come ? What if tho " grim 
repose" of national discontent should break forth into a 
hurricane ? In that case, every one knows an excess of 
canvass with light freight would be very dangerous. 

A return furnished by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners 
for Ireland by order of the House of Commons, and printed 
in 1864, gives us the gross and net revenue of the dignities 
in each diocese. The following are the figures for these 
dioceses, omitting shillings and pence: — 

I. — Ferns. 








Prebends - 





. 909 







. 747 







. 635 







. 595 






Prebends — 1 st, 

. 158 






„ 2nd, 

. 257 


„ 3rd, 

. 279 








DX— Ossobt. 





Deanery, . 




. £331 






. 178 






. 171 






. 242 


Prebends — 1st. 



Prebends — 1st, 

. 254 


„ 2nd, 



„ 2nd. 

. 268 


„ 3rd, 




. 301 






. 434 



. 474 







It is true that most of these dignitaries are incumbents 

of parishes, and have cure of souls ; but here is a sum total 
of £10,427 of public money, over which the State exercises 
its control, devoted to the support of the " dignities :; that 
should surround the Bishop of Ossory. It is true that they 
formerly were the appurtenances of three bishops, but., as 
they were mere appurtenances or appendages, they had no 
right to survive the functionary to whom they belonged. 
The Deans and Chapters of Ferns and Leighlin had no right 
to get under the wings of Ossory.. like two clutches of mother- 
less chickens getting under one hen already engaged in 
sheltering her own progeny. The Dean of Ferns has 
declared publicly that he considers his dignity a " sham," 
and states that the only act he ever did in virtue of his 
office was to apply an old rusty seal to some document in 
a single instance. The only signs of " dignity : ' which the 
public can see about these titular functionaries are the 
straight collars of their coats and vests, their knee-breeches 
and leggings, and the ornament which Cobbett irreverently 
called a fireshovel hat. These marks of distinction entitle 
them to a certain precedence in court ceremonials, and they 
are generally placed on the list of viceregal chaplains, indi- 
cating also that they are open to an episcopal appointment. 
I went to Ferns on Good Friday last, hoping to find there 
at least the shadows of the dean and chapter, and something 
that deserved the name of a cathedral. But the buildine 


dignified with that name is a small barn-like structure, one 
of the ordinary country churches, with the usual heavy 
square tower. The bishop's " throne " is an elevated pew, 
now used as a reading-desk. The " stalls " of the dean and 
chapter are small seats in two dark corner pews at the 
bottom of the church, under the gallery, and over each, in 
faded letters on the mouldy wall, is the title of the dignitary 
to whom it belongs. The dignitaries were screened from 
vulgar eyes by curtains, which became a useless piece of 
furniture when their glory had departed, and so the rector 
has very properly turned them to account as window-blinds 
to keep the glare of the sun off the pulpit during divine 
service. The congregation on this great holiday was a mere 
handful, perhaps twenty persons. The rector is the Rev. 
Robert Fishbourne, an able and faithful minister, who had 
been ordained in that same church forty years ago, and after 
thirty years' labour in the diocese was promoted to this 
living by the present bishop with extraordinary and credit- 
able promptness. He very kindly gave me information 
concerning the church, showed me the ecclesiastical ruins, 
and conducted me through the palace grounds. I observed 
to him that I thought the church looked very dingy and 
damp, and expressed surprise that it was not kept in better 
order. He assured me that damp was not the cause of the 
dinginess, that, on the contrary, it is remarkably dry, but 
that it has not been cleaned or painted for many years, 
certainly not during the ten years that he has been there, 
and he does not know how long besides. " The Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners," he said, " are very careful about the painting 
of the outside work, but will do nothing of the sort inside, 
unless a considerable portion of the cost is paid by the 
parishioners. I have spoken to my people on the subject, 
but as they made a handsome collection to present with an 
address to one of my curates, who, after six years' stay, 
left us last November, and did the same last January for a 
second, who had been here four years, and as they since 
subscribed to purchase a new harmonium, I could not just 
now, nor for some time, call on them for another collection 



to paint the church. And as the Commissioners are con- 
sidered to possess ample funds, many persons make objec- 
tions to giving subscriptions for church purposes." 

There it is. The habit of relying upon the State extin- 
guishes public spirit among the people. They are content 
to sit in a dismal, dirty, dingy church for ten or twenty 
years, rather than put their hands in their pockets to meet 
the trifling expense of keeping it in proper order and making 
it comfortable and cheerful, because there are funds in the 
hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Yet I do not 
see why the Commissioners should blame them for this 
apathy, since they have undertaken themselves to supply all 
the necessaries of the church, not only giving the minister 
his surplice gratis, but actually washing it for him into the 
bargain. But even this state of things is better than the 
old vestry system, under which the parish church was 
converted into a bear-garden every Easter Monday about the 
vestry-rate, against which the Roman Catholic ratepayers 
uproariously contended with the rector and his friends, 
protesting that they ought not to be compelled to pay for 
the sweeping of the church, the washing of the surplice, and 
even for the bread and wine used in the sacrament, which 
was an outrage upon their consciences. 

It has been said that Ireland is a land of anomalies, but 
they are not as numerous now as they were in former times. 
The Roman Catholic peasantry have such reverence for holy 
places, that they will devoutly kiss the ancient monuments, 
and carry away portions of the sacred earth where the saints 
were buried. Yet I have seen some of these ancient burial 
grounds without fences, and so completely unprotected that 
the pigs went rooting among the graves and monuments, 
while the bones of the dead were cropping up from the soil. 
I have seen within the better protected precincts of a famous 
old abbey heaps of bleached skulls piled up against the ruined 
walls like cannon balls at Woolwich. The Reformers had 
such a love for antiquity, that without reference to population 
or any of the requirements of the existing generation, they 
placed their bishops and deans and chapters where they 


had been placed by the founders of the sees hundreds of 
years before, though what was then a considerable town 
and a royal residence had become a poor village. Yet from 
the Reformation down to a very late period not the slightest 
care was taken to preserve the most interesting ecclesiastical 
monuments and historical records. Thus, for example, the 
parochial records of Dunshaughlin — once a bishopric — which 
had been complete for more than three hundred years, and 
had been removed to the residence of an incumbent for safe 
keeping, were, on his death, sold to a grocer in the village 
for waste paper and waste parchment, and so destroyed. 
The ruins of the most beautiful buildino-s of old times fared 
no better. The case of the abbey and abbey church of Ferns 
is a striking example. Both stood within the Bishop's 
demesne, immediately adjoining the modern church. They 
were among the most interesting historic remains in Ireland. 
Ferns, the " stately city," was once the capital of the king- 
dom of Leinster. The magnificent castle, the only remaining 
tower of which commands a view of nearly the whole 
county, is a more modern structure, erected by Strongbow; 
but it was very much damaged in the course of ages, during 
the conflicts between contending races and creeds. The 
abbey and its beautiful church shared the same fate. The 
ruins now consist merely of two sides of a cloister, or a small 
chapel with some windows, ornamented with elaborate 
sculpture, and a very interesting round tower or steeple. 
These ruins are the remains of an Augustinian monastery, 
founded by King Dermot M'Murragh. Though the Crom- 
wellian troops made sad havoc of it, the portion they spared 
might have been better preserved. But year after year the 
ruins grew less and less, the materials disappearing under 
the eyes of the bishops. It could scarcely be expected that 
Englishmen like Thomas Bam, George Andrews, Robert 
Price, Richard Boyle, Narcissus Marsh, Josiah Hart, John 
Hoaclley, William Cottrell, Robert Downs, John Garnett, 
Thomas Salmon, Charles Jackson, and others from the same 
favoured country, would take much interest in mere Irish 
antiquities. What did they care about St. Edan or St. 

T 2 


Mogue, by whom the cathedral was founded, or any of the 
abbots, his successors ? The monument of St. Mogue, 
however, was dug up with some other relics of the past. 
He is represented lying on his back, with a mitre on his 
head, and a cross on his breast. When the church was 
repaired in 1817, the tomb of this ancient prelate was enclosed 
in a recess in the wall adjoining the pulpit, and the following 
inscription was placed over it : — " Under this monument are 
interred the remains of St. Edan, commonly called St. Mogue, 
the founder of this cathedral, and first Bishop of Ferns. He 
discharged the duties of the pastoral office with piety and 
Christian zeal for the space of fifty years, and died at an 
advanced age, January 31, a.d. 632." This monument is 
considered very sacred by the Roman Catholics, who believe 
it to be invested with miraculous power. They conse- 
quently come from great distances, and stealing into the 
church whenever they find the doors open, kiss it as an 
infallible cure for toothache. Clearly, then, this monument 
is not in its proper place. It ought to be either given up to 
the Roman Catholic bishop or sent to a museum. 

The episcopal palace was first erected in 1630 by Bishop 
Ram, an able and active prelate, who recovered some por- 
tions of the alienated property, and founded a family with 
a fine estate, established at Gorey, in the county Wexford. 
It was this prelate who, in reply to queries directed by King 
James I., described the methods he had adopted for 
converting the natives. First, he had " carried liimself " in a 
mild and gentle manner, referring the severity of correction 
unto the judges of this land in their circuits. Secondly, when 
mild methods failed, he proceeded to excommunication, and 
ultimately he adopted the stronger methods, which required 
the aid of sheriffs. When the recusants were brought before 
him in custody, he first endeavoured to convince them by 
persuasions and reasons, together with then apparent and 
present danger, hoping to make them relent. But himself 
prevailing nothing with them, he entreated their landlord, 
Sir Henry Wallopp, to try what he could do with them, but 
all in'^vain. Finally, he had the offenders brought singly to 


him, and asked them to give security that they would attend 
the curate's house twice or thrice a week to have the Church 
Service read to them in private. " But," said he, " they 
jumped all in one answer, as if they had known beforehand 
what offer I would tender unto them, and had been cate- 
chized by some priest what answer to make — viz., that they 
were resolved to live and die in that religion, and that they 
knew they must be imprisoned at length, and therefore (said 
they) as good now as hereafter." It is a curious fact that 
the present representative of the Ram family, with his wife, 
has become a convert to the Church of Rome — prepared for 
that course, probably, by the aesthetic charms of Roman 
worship on the Continent, and partly driven to it, it is said, 
by the repulsive intolerance of the Protestant clergy and 
people of his own parish. Bishop Ram ruled the diocese for 
a quarter of a century. He was at an advanced age when 
he built the palace of Ferns, and he is said to have placed 
over the portal the following inscription : — 

14 This house Ram built for his succeeding brothers. 
Thus sheep bear wool — not for themselves, but others." 

The present structure, however, was erected by Bishop 
Cleaver, who was translated to this see in 1789. During 
the Rebellion of 1798 it was seriously damaged and plun- 
dered by the rebels, his library and property of all kinds 
being destroyed, though he himself escaped personal violence. 
He was succeeded by the Honorable Percy Jocelyn, son of 
Lord Roden, then by Lord Totenham Loftus, both of whom 
were successively translated to Clogher. As these prelates 
belonged to noble families their expenditure was of great 
importance to the village, which is inhabited almost entirely 
by poor people. 

The last of the Bishops of Ferns was Dr. Ellington, who 
entered Trinity College as a sizar, with nothing to depend 
upon but his talents and industry, and won his way first to 
a scholarship, then a fellowship, and finally to the office of 
Provost, which placed him at the head of the University. 
Having been ten years Bishop of Limerick, he was translated 


to the see of Ferns in 1822, and held it till his death in 
1835. He is still gratefully remembered at Ferns by Roman 
Catholics as well as Protestants. Eminently learned, he was 
also zealous and active in the cause of religion, and did not 
shrink from encountering the late Bishop Doyle in defence 
of the Establishment. And though he had spent so much 
of his life in College he lived in a manner becoming his 
condition, giving employment, circulating money, and taking 
an interest in the poor people around him. A monument 
was erected in the cathedral by his clergy "to testify their 
admiration of his character as a bishop of the Church of 
Christ, of his virtues as a member of society, and of his 
learning as a scholar and divine." He died July the 12th, 
1835, aged 74, having issued from the press no less than 
twenty-five separate publications, sermons, charges, and 
pamphlets.* At his death the see was abolished, or rather 
united to Ossory, and its revenues were taken charge of by 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who let the see lands and 
palace to Mr. Butler Bryan. Though a layman, this gentle- 
man endeavoured to preserve what remained of the eccle- 
siastical ruins, and employed men to restore some portions 
of them at his own expense — a thing that seems never to 
have been thought of by the bishops, or by the owner of 
the castle, or any one else but this stranger. Mr. Butler 
Bryan would also have been a benefactor to the neighbour- 
hood, but very soon after he was settled in Ferns he was 
assassinated. Walking alone in his shrubbery, he was 
approached by a person in the garb of a peasant, who gave 
him a letter, and, while in the act of reading, presented a 
pistol and shot him dead, in revenge, it was supposed, for 
some injury, real or imaginary. The assassin, who was 
believed to have come from Tipperary, was never punished, 
though a man was tried for the offence. 

The successors of Bishop Ram did not fare much better 
than himself in the work of converting the natives. There 
are in the diocese 26 livings, each with an average popula- 
tion of 98 members of the Established Church, and 1,749 

* Several of his works had appeared under the signature of "S. N." 


Roman Catholics ; that is, not one to seventeen of the popu- 
lation belong to the Established Church. The incumbents 
of these 26 livings enjoy, on an average, £304 19s. 5d 
each. The following is a list of these benefices, which in- 
cludes several unions : — Ballybrennan, Coolstuffe, Rathma- 
knee, Castle Ellis, Templescobin, Hook, Came, Edermine, 
Whitechurch, Duncormick, Adamstown, Bannow, Killegney, 
Taghmon, Preban, Mulrankin, Killinick, Rossdroit, Kilme- 
nanagh, Tomhaggard, Tacumshane, Clone, Bally waldon, 
Horetown, Featherd, Killuran. The union of Castle Ellis 
contains four jmrishes ; Mulrankin, four ; Killinick, five ; 
and Tacumshane, seven. There are half a dozen parishes, 
with only 30 members of the Established Church between 
them, some having two, some three, some four, and so on. The 
total population of the diocese of Ferns in 1834 was 197,000, 
of which 24,07- belonged to the Established Church, and 
172,789 to the Church of Rome. The total population in 
1861 was 151,368, of which 14,383 belonged to the. Estab- 
lished Church, and 135,650 to the Church of Rome. This 
shows a diminution of more than 10,000 in the Church 
population of this diocese. For these 14,000 Church people 
there are 63 beneficed clergymen, with a net income of 
£14,812. There are besides 17 curates, enjoying an income 
of £1,365 13s. 9d 

The diocese of Leighlin contains 10 benefices, the Church 
population of which is under 50 persons. It has 29 livings, 
the average Church population of which is 72 souls, the 
average Roman Catholic population 1,270, and the average 
value of each living £224. The total number of benefices, 
including four perpetual cures, is 59, and the net income of 
the clergy £13,030. In 1834, the Church population of this 
diocese was 20.391; in 1861 it was reduced to 13,022. 

As I passed through the diocese of Ferns, I observed traces 
of numerous churches and churchyards, which show that in 
past times the number of parishes was much greater. In 
uniting these old parishes into one benefice, the usual mis- 
takes were committed; we find good incomes and small 
congregations, and small incomes with fair congregations. 


There exists at present no power to correct such abuses ; 
but, as I have already remarked, the bishop has managed 
somehow to get men of competent means to fill the small 
posts. Of this many examples might be given. Thus, the 
Rev. M'Nevin Bradshaw, the incumbent of Ardamine, with 
197 Church people, has his parish church three or four miles 
from his rectory ; while he has a pretty memorial chapel, 
built by Mr. S. Richards, also to provide for, which he could 
not do if he were not a man of property, for the net income 
of the benefice is only £85. Mrs. Bradshaw shows what 
can be done by a minister's wife with good means and a 
missionary spirit, and what is being done in many cases by 
the wives and daughters of clergymen throughout the 
country. She is indefatigable in her work, conducting all 
sorts of benevolent societies, and labouring to improve the 
condition of the fishing population about Courtown Harbour. 
Her first act, on coming of age and getting the control of 
her property, was to send over £'600 to the rector of the 
parish in which she then resided to clear off the debt on 
the church. The case of Mr. Bradshaw presents a sort of 
difficulty, which bishops sometimes feel — how to promote 
deserving ministers, without inflicting a serious privation 
on the parishes in. which they labour. The parish of Kil- 
tennel is in the gift of the Earl of Courtown. It is exten- 
sive, and the glebe-house grows larger and larger with each 
rector. The gross income is £96 per annum, with twenty- 
two acres of beautifully situated, but not very profitable 
land. Hence, Lord Courtown feels obliged, when a vacancy 
occurs, to look out for a clergyman of private means, who 
can afford to occupy the position, and who would be per- 
sonally acceptable to him, inasmuch as the rector acts very 
much as his private chaplain. 

I have remarked, with reference to the diocese of Meath, 
that glebe-lands are sometimes alienated from the Church, 
no one can tell how. A case which has occurred in the 
neighbourhood of Gorey may help us to understand the 
process. It appears there is an Act of Parliament still in 
force which has escaped the notice of Members of Parliament 


who are supposed to watch specially over the interests of 
the Church. Under this Act a rector may give a lease for 
thirty-one years of an outlying glebe to a middleman for 
half its value, and the middleman can then, if he please, 
sublet. The incumbent who does this may obtain a heavy 
fine, and he may do so towards the end of his own tenure ; 
or he may give it to a member of his own family, who will 
thus be enabled to enjoy the property of the Church for 
thirty-one years ; and if there is not somebody to look 
sharply after it, and take proceedings for its recovery, his 
family may enjoy it in perpetuity, as many families have 
done under similar circumstances. The parish of Kilcavan 
is one of those which have been absorbed in unions. Its 
glebe-land, which is beautifully situated at the foot of Tara 
Hill, yields to the rector of the parish ^12 a year, the farm 
being sublet by a gentleman who is a constabulary officer, 
to whom the lease was granted by his father, his benefice 
being sequestrated for debt. 

The glebe land of the parish of Donoghmore has been 
lost. There is no ground even to build a house on. The 
parish, with 120 Protestants, has just been conferred on the 
Rev. Mr. Murdock, who succeeds a good and amiable man, 
who is said to have been "clergyman, physician, public 
lecturer, and general mechanist" for the whole neighbour- 
hood, and was fortunately able to gratify his philanthropic 
tastes, to rent a large house, and to exercise hospitality. Tn 
this parish are some of the leading families of the county. 
The new rector is an unmarried man, without a residence 
in the parish, and having a gross income of £129 a year. 
Another of these parochial anomalies may be mentioned. 
There is a mountainous parish, with a gross income of £177 
a year, the glebe-house being at one end, and the church at 
the other — five or six English miles distant — the drive from 
one to the other being through Wicklow Gap. The late 
rector, starting early for Sunday-school and service, had to 
carry his dinner with him, and eat it in the vestry-room, 
that he might be able to take an afternoon service in a 
school-room on his way home. The Rev. Solomon Donovan 


appeared to be sinking fast under this toil ; but the bishop 
has had compassion on him, and promoted him to the parish 
of Hoaretown. 

Wexford is the chief town of the county. It is a good 
old English town, where a number of small gentry and 
retired officers live economically. The population is 12,000. 
The benefice is a union which consists of no less than 17 
parishes, and though the length of the union is 10 miles, and 
its breadth 3 J miles, the total Church population, according 
to Captain Stacpoole's returns, is only about 1,000. In 1834 
it was double that number. There are two churches in the 
town, which would accommodate 1,000 persons, and one at 
Rathspeck, which accommodates 100. Income, including 
Rathspeck, gross £720, net £415. Enniscorthy is the prin- 
cipal business town in the county Wexford, situated on the 
Slaney, which is navigable from Wexford. It is one of the 
most flourishing towns in the south. The benefice is a 
union, with 39 acres of glebe land, and rentcharge, £1,01 4 ; 
net income, £653. The church accommodates 700, the 
Church population being 1,298 in a union of five parishes — 
St. Mary's, St. John's, Ballyaskard, Temple-Shannon, and 
Clonmore. The population of the town is 5,396, and of the 
union, 10,595. New Ross is a union of seven parishes, the 
rector having a gross income of £864, net £550. There is 
church accommodation in New Ross for 1,000, and in Old 
Ross for 150. The total Church population of the union is 
about 800, the population of the borough being more than 
7,000. The church is a handsome building, adjoining an old 

In the leading towns of the diocese, it must be confessed, 
then, that the Established Church cuts a poor figure, when 
her people are compared with the total population ; and what 
she has done and is doing for religion, charity, and civili- 
zation, will, I fear, look very small beside what has been 
done in the same towns by the Roman Catholic priesthood 
from their own unaided resources. 



The diocese of Ossory has forty-one livings, with an average 
of sixty-eight members of the Established Church, against 
1,610 members of the Church of Rome, the average value of 
these livings being £297 2s. lid. It has the usual pro- 
portion of unions, and no less than fourteen parishes, without 
a single member of the Established Church. The folio wing- 
table shows the proportion between " the work and the 
reward " in some of the Ossory parishes : — 

Kilmacow, . 

. 10 Anglicans, . 

. £268 10 

10 gross value 

Killameny, . 

. 20 

213 19 


Killerniogh, . 


461 10 



. 57 

581 4 


The incumbent of Eirke is represented in Stacpoole's 
returns as being non-resident on account of ill health. It 
contains sixty-eight members of the Established Church, no 
Dissenters, and 2,561 Roman Catholics. The gross value of 
the living is £550. It is now held by the Rev. Henry 
Brougham, a relation of Lord Brougham. Mognalty is in 
the gift of the Crown, which was rather unfortunate in its 
appointments to that parish. A former incumbent was a 
lunatic, who killed one of his parishioners in a sudden attack 
of insanity; and it is a curious coincidence that he got 
Eirke, which is another Crown living, by the insanity of 
the previous incumbent, who cut his own throat one Sunday 

The Rev. Luke Fowler is the incumbent of Aghoure, with 
ninety-one acres of glebe land and £630 rentcharge, yielding 
a net income of £674. He was ordained in 1820, and got 
this good living four years after. But the patron was the 
bishop, and the bishop was his father. It is a union of no 
less than eleven parishes, and has one little church which 
accommodates 130 persons. The total number of Church 


members of all ages in these eleven parishes is 172, three of 
the parishes being without any Protestants at all. The 
total population is 4,573, so that the Roman Catholics are 
to the Protestants as nearly twenty-eight to one. 

The union of Callan in this diocese also attracts attention 
by its vast extent and its magnificent income. Aghoure 
union has an area of more than 21,000 acres, with a popu- 
lation of 4,573, but Callan has an area of 36,941 acres, with 
a population of 8,453 — a charge worthy of a bishop, if the 
people had any faith in his ministrations. But although 
the union consists of six parishes, the total number of mem- 
bers of the Established Church, infants included, is 204. 
The incumbent is rewarded for the pastoral care of these 
204 souls with 52 acres of glebe land and £1,691 tithes or 
rentcharge, producing a gross revenue of £1,751, and a net 
income of £1,309, as it stands in "Thorn's Almanac;" but 
in the "Irish Church Directory" it is reduced to £1,094. 
According to Stacpoole's returns, three curates are employed 
to instruct the 204 Protestants, receiving respectively £100, 
£80, and £75 a year, so that there are three clergymen 
doing duty for these 200 people, for which they are paid 
£255. The net income of the rector, therefore, which 
cannot be less than the £1,300, and which would yield a 
fair income to five or six working clergymen, is enjoyed for 
doing absolutely nothing except ruling the three curates, a 
task which might be safely left in the hands of the bishop. 
The reader may be curious to learn the name of the 
happy man who is blest with this splendid income, and he 
will not be surprised to learn that he is the bishop's brother- 
in-law, the Rev. William Pennefather, son of the late Chief 
Justice of the Queen's Bench in Ireland. Although this 
favoured clergyman was not without ample means of his 
own, the bishop, instead of placing him in a parish with much 
duty and small income, according to the plan he adopts in 
other cases, promoted him to three livings successively, one 
better than another, in the diocese of Ferns, and then 
brought him to Callan, where he could be near himself in 
Kilkenny. It is true that the union of Callan is in the gift 


of the Marquis of Ormonde ; but Church patrons know very- 
well how to manage matters of this kind, and strike the 
balance to suit one another's convenience. 

Baltinglass is, perhaps, one of the most neglected and ill- 
used parishes in the whole country, so far as the spiritual 
wants of the Protestant population are concerned. Indeed, 
it seems difficult to conceive how such glaring abuses could 
exist if there was anything that deserves the name of 
government or discipline in the Established Church. Bal- 
tinglass was the seat of an ancient monastery, and was 
famous for the learning and zeal of its inmates. It was 
suppressed in 1537, and its extensive possessions, including 
the castle and manor of Baltinglass, became the property of 
the Stratford family, the head of which is Earl of Aid- 
borough. The town was formerly a parliamentary borough, 
with a "sovereign," twelve burgesses, a recorder, a town 
clerk, a sergeant at mace, and a clerk of the market. But 
at the passing of the Reform Bill there were but two bur- 
gesses and no freeman remaining. It was the pocket 
borough of the Aldborough family, who at the Union re- 
ceived £15,000 compensation for their vested interest. Lord 
Aldborough had then a magnificent mansion in Dublin, 
Aldborough House, which was long deserted, and has been 
for some }^ears used as a military barrack. He had a 
beautiful residence at Baltinglass, on the banks of the Slaney, 
commanding the most charming views of the Wicklow 
mountains. It was accidentally burned many years ago, 
since which time the family have been non-resident, although 
they have another fine old mansion, called Belan Hall, in 
the county Kildare. The present peer, who was a captain in 
the 1st Dragoon Guards, succeeded his father in 1849. He 
is eccentric, and lives away on the Continent, no one knows 
where, except his agent, who is said to be sworn not to 
reveal the secret. 

The parochial church is in the precincts of the old Abbey 
of Baltinglass. It has sittings for 500 persons. In 1834 
the parishioners consisted of 793 Churchmen, 13 Presby- 
terians, 7 other Protestant Dissenters, and 3,419 Roman 


Catholics. In 1861 the total population of the parish was 
2.649, of which only 381 were members of the Church of 
England, and 38 Protestant Dissenters. It appears, then, 
that the Protestant population has been reduced to one-half 
since 1834. This is not to be ascribed altogether to the 
famine or emigration. Indeed, the wonder is that the whole 
Protestant population has not gone over to the Church of 
Rome. The history of the parish presents a glaring illus- 
tration of the evils of lay patronage. It belonged, either "by 
purchase or inheritance, to a gentleman, who bestowed it on 
himself, and held it for nearly half a century. He was 
married and had a family : but nut content with one wife 
and one family, he attached himself to a lady who was the 
governess of his children, with whom he lived openly as his 
concubine till his death, having a family by her also, for 
which he provided very handsomely. 

The present incumbent enjoys a net income of £364: a 
year. He is the proprietor and patron of the living, and so 
he appointed himself. The " Irish Church Directory " has 
a blank for the date of his ordination, a blank for the date 
of his admission into the diocese, and a blank for the date of 
his induction. These three events, therefore, are wrapt in 
mystery. The return of Captain Stacpoole, which is dated 
1864, represented the incumbent as " non-resident, by 
licence," and the duty as being done by a curate, who re- 
ceived a stipend of £100. The curate to whom he delegated 
his duties and responsibilities lived in splendid style. Hovr 
he got the means for leading this sort of life was revealed 
several times in the Dublin Insolvent Court ; and therefore 
it is allowable to make allusion to the feet in a report on 
the Irish Establishment, setting forth its condition and 
government as a State institution, and the manner in which 
its clergy earn the public funds which they enjoy. Literates 
are generally distinguished by their zeal, activity, and 
peculiar aptitude for missionary work. It would be a great 
blessing for Baltinglass if a man of that stamp were sent to 
the parish. If that were done, the parishioners would for 
the first time, in the memory of the oldest inhabitant, have 


some idea of what a faithful and pious minister of the Gospel 
could do in reclaiming a neglected population. We see in 
this case the operation of the principle that underlies all 
legislation connected with the Irish Establishment — the 
principle, namely, that the spiritualities of the Church are 
to give way to its temporalities. The claims of property 
are paramount. If the clergy are only curates — mere 
tenants-at-will — the bishop can withdraw their licences, or 
or the rectors can dismiss them — without assigning any 
reason ; and if they did assign a reason, inefficiency, or un- 
popularity, or the slightest tinge of heterodoxy, would be 
quite enough. But an incumbent is almost as sacred as a 
king. He is hedged round by the rights of property and 
fortified by forms of law, which enable him, in the majority 
of cases, to bid defiance alike to his parishioners and his 
bishop. He cannot be dislodged, without a course of liti- 
gation so expensive, vexatious, and of such doubtful issue, 
that people sometimes prefer to be destitute of the means of 
grace for a whole generation, or to become Dissenters, rather 
than engage in such an odious warfare. 

The head-quarters of the see of Leighlin is a small village 
called Old Leighlin, in the county of Carlow. We read that 
the present cathedral was founded by Bishop Donat, in 1185, 
and that it was re-edified 300 years after. This cathedral is 
now the parish church. It consists of the nave and chancel, 
and has a large stone baptismal font. The belfry tower is 
about sixty feet in height. As usual in the case of those 
ancient churches, the ornaments of the walls, pillars, and 
arches, were daubed over with whitewash. In 1834 the 
members of the Established Church in the parish amounted 
to 319, and the Roman Catholics to 3,237. The living is 
now only a perpetual curacy, with an income of £97. The 
impropriate tithes, which formerly belonged to the parish, 
amount to £461 10s. 9cZ. The Church population is 173 
persons, with one Protestant Dissenter ; total population 
being 2,269. Yet this " cathedral," which accommodates 
200 persons, and attached to which there is a Protestant 
population of only 173, has its dean, its precentor, its chan- 


cellor (suspended), its treasurer, its archdeacon (the Hon. and 
Ven. Henry Scott Stopford), and its four prebendaries. 

Before proceeding to the real cathedral of this immense 
united diocese, and noticing the head-quarters of the bishop, 
it may be as well to say a few words about some of the 
deans — who, next to the bishops, are the most important 
personages in their diocese, as it is from this class of digni- 
taries that bishops are generally taken, and it is rarely that 
a simple clergyman is made a bishop per saltwm, without 
having first purchased for himself the good degree of a dean. 
Some deans, indeed, never succeed in reaching the Bench. 
For example, Peter Brown, a scholar of Trinity College, 
Dublin, was made Dean of Ferns in 1794, and held this 
dignity for forty-eight years, till he died, at the deanery, 
Gorey, in 1842. Perhaps he had not sufficient interest to 
get a mitre, though connected with the family of Lord Sligo. 
A curious anecdote is related of him, when, in his old age, 
he used to wile away the time, and keep himself awake 
while the curate was preaching on Sunday, by counting in 
the reading desk the bank notes he had received for tithe 
during the previous week, quite regardless of the eyes that 
were fixed upon him from the gallery. Dean Brown was 
succeeded by the Rev. Henry Newland, D.D., who had been 
vicar of Bannow, and afterwards rector of Ferns, to which 
he was promoted by Bishop Elrington, who liked him for 
his zeal and activity in the Reformatio!] movement that 
preceded Catholic Emancipation. He was a man of ability 
and learning, full of energy and ambition. In 1827 he 
published the " Memorial of the Established Church in 
Ireland/' and in 1829 appeared an able work from his pen, 
" An Apology for the Established Church of Ireland," of 
which the bishop spoke in the highest terms. He also pub- 
lished " An Examination of Dr. Doyle's Evidence before the 
Committee on Tithes in Ireland." While Dr. Newland con- 
tinued to defend the Establishment against its assailants, he 
was very popular with the clergy, and honoured as a distin- 
guished champion of their cause. But by a series of 
publications in favour of the Government plan of national 


education, founded by Lord Stanley, the present Earl of 
Derby, he made himself a black sheep. In 1836 he pub- 
lished his examination of the " Scripture Lessons," trans- 
lated by the Commissioners of Education in Ireland. In 
1845 he gave to the world "Observations on the Past and 
Present Condition of the Education of the Poor of Ireland; 
and in 1850, "Remarks on the State of Education in Ire- 
land." His last production, which appeared in 1859, was 
" The Life and Contemporaneous Church History of Antonio 
de Dominis, Archbishop of Spallatro," a work which was 
published at Oxford. His publications on the education 
question were valuable, sound in argument, and vigorously 
written ; but they brought him nothing save discredit and 
aversion from the great body of the clergy, while they failed 
to obtain for him the expected mitre from the Government. 
The later years of his life, therefore, were clouded with dis- 
appointment, and rendered unhappy by broken health, and 
a load of debt in which he is said to have been involved, 
like many other clergymen, by the extravagance of his sons. 
His living was sequestrated for years, and he died in the 
midst of his difficulties, branded by his brethren as a "castle 
dean," though he had talents, learning, and virtues, which 
might have made him one of the brightest ornaments of 
the episcopal bench. His successor, the Rev. Hamilton 
Verschoyle, was more fortunate. He, too, was branded as 
a " castle dean," because he had changed his mind on the 
education question, and had written a pamphlet on the sub- 
ject. But he had powerful influence, and was rewarded in 
a few months with one of the best sees in Ulster. This 
deanery has been indentified in a remarkable manner with 
the education question. The present Dean Atkins, formerly 
a Fellow of Trinity College, who succeeded Dr. Verschoyle, 
had long been distinguished as the able and consistent ad- 
vocate of united education, and the Bishop of Ossory cannot 
fairly class him with the " Balaams " of the Establishment. 
He was recently named with Dr. Graves and Dr. Magee as 
one of the likeliest dignitaries to be appointed to the vacant 
see of Limerick, and though lacking the Parliamentary 


influence of noble families, his claims cannot long be over- 
looked by any Government that considers the interests of 
the Church in the appointment of bishops. 

The late Dean of Leighlin was the Honorable Richard Boyle 
Bernard, D.D., second son of the first Earl of Bandon, and was 
appointed in 1822. It sometimes happens that men of wealth 
and aristocratic connexions are distinguished for penurious 
habits, and Dean Bernard was a little eccentric in this way. 
Nevertheless his savings were turned to good account. He 
died at Leighlin in 1850, and left the following bequests: 
To the Church Education Society for Ireland, ,£1,000 ; the 
Irish Society, £500 ; the Infant School at Leighlin Bridge, 
£50 ; and £100 in smaller sums to other charitable institu- 
tions. The present Dean is Mr. Lauder, who was appointed 
in 1864, the same year in which he was admitted to the 
diocese. In the " Church Directory " there is a blank for 
his ordination. He is incumbent of the union of Wells, 
which is in the gift of the Crown, and produces a net income 
of £228, quite enough for the duties he has to perform, for 
there are only seventy-three Protestants in the parish, of 
whom two are Dissenters, the Roman Catholic population 
amounting to 1,000. 

Archdeacon Cotton states that the title "Dean of Ossory" 
is irregular and improper, there being no such office as that of 
dean of a diocese. A dean is either dean of a cathedral, or a 
collegiate church, or a royal chapel. In all official documents 
from the earliest time down to the present, the dean of this 
cathedral was called the Dean of Kilkenny, or much more 
frequently Dean of St. Canice. There have been but two 
incumbents of this deanery since 1795, the date of the ap- 
pointment of the Hon. Joseph Bourke, son of the third Earl 
of Mayo. He held the office for forty-eight years, and died 
at Salthill, near Dublin, in 1843. A tablet was erected to 
his memory in the cathedral. The inscription circumspice 
would not have suited that tablet ; for he left his cathedral 
a pile of ruins and a mass of rubbish, its finely-chiselled 
marble columns being daubed over with several coats of 
whitewash, and some of its beautiful arches closed up with 


rude masonry, so that their very existence was unknown. 
This honorable and tasteless dean was succeeded by Charles 
Vignoles, D.D., the present incumbent. He was son of the 
Rev. John Vignoles, for twenty-four years minister of the 
French church in Portarlington, who was descended from an 
ancient and distinguished family in Languedoc, some mem- 
bers of which took refuge in Ireland after the revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes. Many of the French refugees settled 
at Portarlington in the Queen's County, and made it one of 
the neatest towns in Ireland, celebrated as a place of educa- 
tion. The French congregation has ceased to exist, the 
families having merged into the Established Church popu- 
lation, and not a few of them having established themselves 
among the gentry of the country, and supplied the Church 
with some of the best of its ministers. Dr. Vignoles was 
for some time Dean of the Chapel Royal, Dublin. He has 
occupied his present position since 1843, having been or- 
dained in 1811, so that he is fifty-five years in the ministry. 
It is much to the praise of a dignitary of his advanced age 
that he is now engaged in the work of restoring his cathe- 
dral. It is a pity that so much precious time has been lost, 
and that such a humiliating monument of neglect was per- 
mitted to offend the eye and shock the taste so long ; but 
better late than never. 

If, reasoning from analogy, and expecting edifices and 
arrangements worthy of the professions and pretensions of 
a great, wealthy, and religious community, we find at its 
head-quarters nothing of this kind, but what is neglected, 
ruinous, poor, and mean, the feeling of disappointment at 
the incongruity must be painful and mortifying in the 
extreme. It is difficult to imagine that the chief members 
of a hierarchy, splendidly endowed by the State, can be sin- 
cerely devoted to their Church as a spiritual institution, 
designed to instruct and elevate the people, and to give them 
worthy conceptions of the Divine Majesty, if the principal 
buildings consecrated to His worship are allowed to remain 
from generation to generation in a state of decay — if they 



suffer the very sanctuary to be surrounded by rubbish, and 
the most beautiful and costly works of art, bequeathed by 
the public spirit and liberality of a former age, to be defaced, 
mutilated, trampled under foot, or buried out of sight under 
accumulated filth. If such things were permitted to exist in 
the metropolis of a country, the culpability would be greatest, 
and the presumption of the want of genuine religious feeling 
and zeal in the rulers of the Church most damaoino-. But 
great blame must attach to any bishop even in the smallest 
diocese who is content to officiate from year to year in a 
cathedral where everything around him is sordid; where 
deformity and dirt are the prevailing characteristics of the 
place. If we were to leave religious feeling out of the case 
altogether, the wonder is that, as a mere matter of taste and 
self-respect, a number of educated gentlemen like the bishop 
and the dean and chapter of a diocese could sleep in peace, or 
face the public with complacency, where this state of things 
existed. Yet such has been the state of things almost from 
the Reformation to the present time in many of the cathedrals 
of the Established Church in Ireland. Some of them were 
dilapidated and almost ruined during the civil wars ; but in 
whatever state Protestantism found them, in that same state, 
wdth few exceptions, it has left them to our own time; while 
not a .single new cathedral worthy of the name has been 
erected in any part of the country for 300 years. The only 
two cases of complete restoration which have occurred are 
due to the munificence of individuals, one of them the late 
Lord Primate, and the other a layman, Mr. Guinness. But 
although the Primate was liberal, it must be admitted that 
what he spent on his cathedral was a very small sum com- 
pared with the enormous revenue he had received from the 
Church as a bishop during half a century, not to speak of 
the other members of the Beresford family, who had long 
enjoyed some of its wealthiest bishoprics; nor should the 
fact be concealed that the layman's contribution to the work 
of cathedral restoration has been fivefold more than the 
contribution of the prelate. The late Primate, however, 


surpassed all his brethren on the bench in munificence, and 
he deserves great credit for having set an example which is 
now being followed by several bishops. 

The cathedral of St. Canice, at Kilkenny, was originally a 
splendid building, scarcely inferior in magnitude, complete- 
ness, and ornamentation, to St. Patrick's in Dublin. I 
recollect having attended public worship in that building 
many years ago, when divine service w T as conducted in the 
chancel, which was enclosed in the most tasteless manner, 
the marble pillars being covered with whitewash, and the 
whole aspect of the place indicating that ugliness, deformity, 
and shabbiness had been specially cultivated by the Dean 
and Chapter. All the rest of the grand old temple, which 
has stood upon that hill for seven centuries, succeeding 
another edifice which had stood for five centuries, was aban- 
doned to the genius of decay. I paid Kilkenny a visit 
last year in the prosecution of this inquiry. Not being aware 
that the cathedral was closed, and that the process of resto- 
ration had at last commenced, I ascended the sacred mount 
by a flight of time-worn steps, which led into a narrow lane 
by which it is surrounded, a high wall excluding the view, 
and presenting the appearance of a fortification. Advancing 
to the right the visitor sees an old wooden bridge, forming a 
passage from the bishop's palace to the cathedral. This 
passage has been discontinued, and his lordship now ventures 
to enter by a door on a level with the road. The enclosure 
around the cathedral is an immense graveyard covered with 
monuments, many of them full of historic interest. The 
cathedral being shut during the renovation, the service was 
performed in the schoolhouse adjoining. This building 
accommodates from 120 to 150 persons, which was about 
the number of the congregation present, including children. 
It is fitted up as a place of worship, with a communion table 
at the end, and a pulpit and reading-desk placed one at each 
side in the usual way. Near the door, to the right, were 
two or three gentlemen and seven boys, who constituted the 
cathedral choir. They had no surplices, nor any sort of 
distinctive dress, and for an organ there was a little har- 


monium, at which the performer sat as if at a small piano in 
a drawing-room. It was the most puny and miserable 
attempt at choral service I had ever witnessed; and it was 
certainly very disappointing after reading in the Irish Church 
Directory about the dean, the precentor, the precentor's vicar, 
the dean's vicar, the vicars choral, and the numerous preben- 
daries. The least that one should expect from the dignitaries 
of a cathedral is, that they should keep up a well instructed 
and efficient choir. If this be wanting, and if the service be 
conducted by them just as it is in rural parish churches, 
where a few persons volunteer to sing, instead of the parish 
clerk solo, people will naturally inquire what is the use of 
a cathedral. The bishop took part in the service, occupying 
a chair at the communion table. A bishop in lawn sleeves 
in such a rude and diminutive "pro-cathedral," gives one the 
idea of a chief judge sitting in his robes on the bench at 
petty sessions. 

Considerable progress has been made in the restoration. 
A new roof has been put on, and the walls with their orna- 
mental crosses have been restored with excellent taste, and 
in the strictest harmony with the original style of the 
building. The whole of the interior has been cleared out, 
and the magnificent proportions of the old cathedral have 
been fully revealed. The people who had worshipped in it 
for generations could have had but a faint conception of 
what those proportions were. Lofty arches, of exquisite 
workmanship, were built up and completely hid. A beautiful 
chapel and other appendages were overwhelmed and con- 
cealed in ruins. The marble pillars, as well as the walls, 
were covered with half-a-dozen successive coats of whitewash; 
numerous marble monuments of bishops, abbots, earls, and 
other historic personages, were buried under rubbish, or lying 
neglected, like boulders cropping out in a field, no one 
seeming to heed those costly works of art, so interesting to 
the antiquary and the historian. That the monuments of 
"Popish saints and bishops" should have been thus con- 
temptuously disregarded by Croinwellian Protestants may 
be accounted for ; but what seems inexplicable is, that the 


monuments of the noble house of Ormonde should have been 
thus treated from age to age. Kilkenny Castle, the seat of 
the Marquis of Ormonde, the present head of the Butler 
family — onee the greatest in Ireland except the Geraldines — 
is worth visiting, as an existing model of the grand old 
feudal castles of the Anglo-Xorman barons in the middle 

—proudly overlooking the city which grew up under 
ihadoWj and by the strength of its gates, walls, and 
towers, bidding defiance to all assailants. It is beautifully 
situated on th :s of the Xore, commanding charming 

views of the surrounding country, and of the most picturesque 
portions of the city. An old writer on I describes 

;ene : — " ; jacent town appears as if it had been 

built merely to be looked ; . not Cooper's 

classic hill, not ( or Gloucester's gayer 

-. can furnish such a lavish variety to the landscape 
painter as th< >se Hibernian scenes. There nature has painted 
with her must correct pencil ; here she has dashed with a 
more careless hand. This uiciful and fiery sketch of 

a great master: that the touched and finished work of a 
studious corn We may judge of what the owner of 

this castle was in the days of its glory by the titles given to 
him when he was attainted in 1715 : — " The most high, 
puissant, and noble Prince, James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, 
Earl of Brecknock, and Baron of Lanthong and Moore Park 
in England ; Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Ormonde ; Earl of 
Ossoiy and Carrick ; Viscount Thurles, and Baron of Dingle 
and ArkloAv in Ireland ; Baron of Dingwall in Scotland ; 
hereditary Lord of the Regalities and Governor of the County 
Palatine of Tipperary, and of the city, town, and county of 
Kilkenny ; hereditary Lord Chief Butler of Ireland ; Lord 
High Constable of England ; Lord Warden and Admiral of 
the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle; Lord 
Lieutenant of the County of Somerset ; Lord Lieutenant and 
Gustos Rotulorum of the County of Norfolk ; High Steward 
of the cities of Exeter, Bristol, and Westminster ; Chancellor 
of the Universities of Oxford and Dublin ; Colonel of the 
1st Regiment of Foot Guards, and of the 1st Regiment of 


Horse Guards; Captain General and Commander-in-Chief of 
all his Majesty's Forces by Sea and Land throughout the 
British Dominions or acting in conjunction with the Allied 
Powers; one of his Majesty's most honorable Privy Council 
in England and Ireland; Knight Companion of the most 
noble Order of the Garter ; and Lord-Lieutenant-General 
and General-Governor of Ireland." 

The revenue from his estates, which were then forfeited, 
was estimated at £80,000 a year. Carte states that the 
losses of the first duke by the troubles in Ireland in 1641 
amounted to £868,500 beyond all official profits, and every 
description of remuneration afterwards received. This was 
the grandfather of the attainted duke, who joined the Pre- 
tender in France, and died in comparative poverty at Avignon. 
In 1791, John Butler, of Garry ricken, was restored to the 
earldom of Ormonde by the Irish House of Lords. In 1816 
his successor, Walter, was created marquis. Further steps 
were obtained in 1820 and 1825, and in 1838 the second 
marquis by the new patent succeeded to the dignities and 

Kilkenny played a very prominent part in the history of 
the warfare between the English Pale and the nation. A 
great Council of English barons was held there in 1294. In 
] 309 the Colonial Parliament assembled there, and passed 
the most severe laws against the adoption of Irish customs, 
which were enforced by anathemas fulminated from the 
cathedral by the Archbishop of Cashel ; and at various other 
times English Parliaments were held in the city; one of the 
most cruel of the anti-social enactments of those times being 
distinguished as "the Statute of Kilkenny." In 1641 the 
city was seized by Lord Mount Garret, and it became the 
head-quarters of the Catholic Confederation. James I. erected 
the town into a borough and a free city, with a county of 
its own, to be called the county of the city of Kilkenny. 
Charles I., in 1639, granted to the mayor and citizens the 
monasteries of the Black and Gray Friars, with several 
rectories, and other possessions. It seems strange, therefore, 
that with such a history this cathedral, which contained its 


principal monuments, should be allowed to fall into decay — 
the more strange as we read of several attempts made to 
restore it. Bishop Ledred, in the early part of the fourteenth 
century, rebuilt the cathedral, and placed in it a window of 
stained glass, so beautiful that Rinuncini, the Pope's Nuncio, 
offered £700 for it in 1645. Bishop Hackett, in 1460, made 
some additions to the building, and so did several other 
Roman Catholic prelates. A Protestant bishop, Griffith 
Williams, in 1641, spent £1,700 in restoring and beautifying 
this cathedral. It was also embellished, towards the end of 
the seventeenth century, by Bishop Otway, who gave to it a 
service of communion plate weighing 363 ounces. 

When the restoration is complete, it will answer to the 
following description: — The interior lofty, the nave separated 
from the aisles by a range of live clustered columns on each 
side, composed of the black Kilkenny marble, with lofty and 
gracefully moulded arches, lighted by a large west window 
of beautiful design, and a range of five clerestory windows, 
the aisles having four windows on each side. The choir has 
a beautifully groined ceiling, embellished with delicate 
tracery and numerous modillions, with a central group of 
cherubs, festoons and foliage of exquisite richness. At the 
end of the south transept is the consistory court on one side, 
and the chapter house on the other. On the eastern side of 
the north transept stood the beautiful chapel of St. Mary, 
which had been converted into a parish church. Altogether, 
it will be, when finished, a magnificent edifice, of which any 
city might be proud, if regarded merely as an ornament ; but 
in the present age it is difficult to exclude the idea of utility 
in connexion with the most beautiful and costly architecture 
— an idea which was fully realized in the ages called bar- 
barous, when those great churches were erected. In the 
centuries which intervened between the Conquest and the 
Reformation, there was an obvious fitness in a cathedral like 
this, for no building of less magnitude could have accom- 
modated the multitude of worshippers, especially on festive 
occasions, when all the people were of one faith. But now 
it may be fairly asked, what will the Protestants of Kilkenny 


do with this vast building ? Hitherto it afforded accom- 
modation for 280 persons ; henceforth it will be able to 
accommodate twenty times that number. Now, the total 
number of the members of the Established Church, of all 
ages, in the city of Kilkenny is 1,242 ; while the total Roman 
Catholic population is 12,669. Little more than 700 or 800 
Episcopalians can be counted upon to attend public worship, 
and for their accommodation there are two parish churches 
besides St. Canice's. St. Mary's, an interesting church, kept 
in excellent order, and distinguished as the place in which 
the Rev. Peter Roe officiated for many years, and left behind 
him a name still gratefully remembered, is the one which 
is resorted to by the gentry and most of the respectable 
inhabitants ; and without the cathedral there is ample church 
accommodation for all the Protestants in the city. But if 
the whole of them were to attend the cathedral, they would 
be comparatively lost in that vast cold edifice ; and in order 
to be at all comfortable, they must shut themselves up in 
the chancel, or in the Yirgin's Chapel, leaving the nave as 
a sort of museum for the exhibition of ancient monuments. 
The truth is, that without a multitude of worshippers, a 
numerous hierarchy, and a pompous liturgy, there seems to 
be no rational purpose that a large cathedral can answer. 
These things are all on the side of the Church of Rome, for 
which the Irish cathedrals were originally built, and, 
despairing of getting them back, she has been building very 
beautiful and very costly ones for herself, of which not the 
least remarkable is the new cathedral of Kilkenny, with a 
magnificent tower that casts old St. Canice's into the shade. 



The Roman Catholic Bishop of Ferns lives in Wexford, the 
county town, and also the great centre of religious influence 
for the diocese, coming to his cathedra! at Enniscorthy, 
which is twelve miles distant, whenever his services are 
required. The owner of Enniscorthy, and of some miles of 
country about it, is the Earl of Portsmouth, who inherits his 
Irish 'states from Sir Henry Wallop, Vice-Treasurer and 
Hirer of War in Ireland in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 
He was also a Lord Ju ad there is an inscription to 

St. Patrick's Church, Dublin, which records 
that during his government in Ireland the Desmond wars 
terminated, and the head of that nobleman was sent to 
England. On his return to his own country in 1591, he 
had the honour of entertaining the Queen and her court at 
Farley- Wallop. He could well afford to do so, if only from 
his Irish estates, which included the castle, manor, and 
abbey of Enniscorthy. The abbey has disappeared, but the 
castle remains, and some of the apartments in it were used 
as offices till a recent period, when it was abandoned — in 
consequence, it is said, of dampness, which could be easily 
prevented. By pointing the Avails and repairing the roof 
it might be made to stand for ages yet, if only as an orna- 
ment to the town, as it occupies a commanding position, and 
is a very picturesque object, when viewed from the opposite 
side of the Slaney. But it seems to be abandoned to decay. 
There is no building or charitable institution which bears 
the name of Wallop, or Portsmouth, or Lymington. There 
are an immense workhouse, a magnificent lunatic asylum, just 
erected, like a palace ; a handsome model school, a good 
church, and a Roman Catholic cathedral : but the lord of 
the soil does not seem to the tourist to have had anything 
to do with any of those buildings, or the institutions which 
they represent. At the principal hotel there are two beau- 


tiful portraits of the present Lord and Lady Portsmouth — 
a very handsome couple ; but they were brought over by a 
speculator, hawked about among the tenants, and disposed 
of to them at a very high price. 

The Enniscorthy Cathedral is by no means pretentious in 
its character. It occupies an elevated site on Duffry Hill, 
and has a lofty tower, but the front, which is faced with 
granite, is low. The pillars which support the arches at 
each side of the nave are also granite. The arches are 
painted in different colours, not like marble, but rather like 
the paper which we see in the halls of private dwelling- 
houses. The effect is not good. There is a striking want 
of taste in having granite pillars surmounted by such tawdry 
decorations. There are also three arches at each side of the 
chancel, and behind the high altar, which is simple, is a very 
large window, on which twenty-eight figures of saints 
are brightly painted. To the right of the chancel, where 
it is separated from the nave, stands a fine marble 
statue of the " Virgin and Child," upon an elevated pedestal, 
which is adorned with vases, containing a profusion of flowers, 
placed there in honour of " the Queen of Heaven," to whom 
also is dedicated a pretty altar in a little chapel to the right. 
Corresponding to the statue of the Virgin, is a very fine 
marble statue of St. Joseph, for which contributions are 
solicited, and a box is placed there to receive them. The 
whole of this church is comfortably seated, and in a 
front gallery there is a beautiful organ. Altogether, the 
aspect and arrangements of this church show that comfort 
and economy and adaptation to the actual wants of the 
population were the objects of its founders, rather than 
ostentatious display or architectural pretension. 

The Protestants of Enniscorthy have a very respectable 
church, comparatively new, with a good tower and a lofty 
spire, which appears to great advantage at the north side of 
the Slaney ; but the building is almost lost to view in the town 
itself, being partly buried in a small ill-kept graveyard, with 
a dismal dead wall and some old ruinous houses separating 
it from the narrow street. It accommodates 700 people, and 


is well attended. There is no regard whatever paid to in- 
ternal ornamentation. The pews are dingy and dirty, and I 
noticed but one monument in the church, a modest tablet 
to the memory of Mr. Jacob. The glebe-house and grounds 
are among the best to be found in the country. Nothing- 
can exceed the beauty of the situation, with the famous 
Vinegar Hill in the background, which witnessed such a 
bloody struggle in 17D8, the walls of the windmill from 
which the rebels were handed still surviving as a monument 
of that terrible religious conflict. In front winds the river 
Slaney, clear as erystal, through the greenest of pastures, its 
banks on either side adorned with villas and beautifully 
wooded grounds, and in the distance rise Mount Leinster 
and Blackstairs, a lofty range, which separates the counties 
of "Wexford and Carlow. The glebe consists of about forty 
acres of good land, and the plantations about it are very 
tine and kept in excellent order. The rentcharge is upwards 
of £1,000 a year, the gross income being £1,080, and the 
net, £653. Forty years ago the incumbent of this fine 
living was Mr. Radcliffe, who lived in splendid style, and 
kept two first-class hunters in his stables, with which his 
son followed the hounds two or three times a week. The 
old Protestant inhabitants state that Mrs. Radcliffe spent 
money at a rate that would soon have emptied all the banks 
in the town, and that on one occasion she lost by gambling 
in Dublin £300, her carriage, and a pair of horses. Whether 
these stories are true or false, it is certain that the living 
was sequestrated for debt, and that the incumbent was con- 
fined to his house except on Sundays. Under such circum- 
stances the Protestants of the parish must have been sadly 
neglected, and been kept together, as in many other places, 
much more by intense hatred of Popery than by a knowledge 
of their religion. The parish has been well worked by an 
excellent minister, the Very Rev. Denis Brown, Dean of 
Emly, one of the most esteemed leaders of the Evangelical 
party, who enjoyed the living for about twenty years. As 
under the Radclifte regime extravagance was the order of 
the day, so under the Brown regime economy was carried 


to an extreme, though the rector, it is said, had ample means 
of indulging his benevolent feelings, while he was sur- 
rounded by niany poor people much needing his help, espe- 
cially in the famine time. 

Enniscorthy is six miles from Ferns, and it was Sir Henry 
Wallop, successor to the Enniscorthy Abbot, that assisted 
his countryman, Bishop Ram, ancestor of the Ean_ : 
Gorey, to wallop the natives into conformity (I do not mean 
to convey that this is the origin of the word). Dean New- 
land obtained in Dublin as his curate a highly-gifted young 
man of poetic temperament, the sou of a man of genius, the 
late Mr. Kirk, the sculptor. This young gentleman was 
carried away by the Puseyite movement in England, and 
circulated the " Tracts for the Times " far and wide amongst 
the Protestants of the parish, and the surrounding district. 
He was a great favourite with the Ranis, and his enthu-i .:_: 
was contagious. Mrs. Earn, sister to the Countess of En; ji - 
killen, a most accomplished lady, of highly cultivated taste, 
having an intense love of the beautiful in art and nature, 
and charmed with what she saw of it in the churches of 
Italy, lent all the influence of the family to further the re- 
vival the curate had set on foot ; and the Dean was not 
strongminded or independent enough to resist the inno- 
vations. But the stubborn Protestantism of Gore}^ would 
not so easily give way. The sons and daughters of the men 
who had lavishly shed their blood in the battles with 
" Papists" in 1798, were not to be captivated with cere- 
monies which they contemptuously described as the " mum- 
meries of superstition, and the rags of Popeiy," nor were 
they to be persuaded to accept them by the influence of 
their landlord's wife, though she were an angel from heaven, 
and, indeed, she was very like one. Accordingly, the parish 
church was deserted. Mr. Kirk, foiled in his ate 
rena issa ace, went in disgust to England, and he ultimately be- 
came a priest in that Church where so many of his Tractarian 
brethren sought the full gratification of then spiritual 
longings. The Rams went abroad, and ultimately approached 
the same fountain to quench their spiritual thirst. Hence- 


forth Mrs. Ram became an intensely ardent propagandist of 
Catholicism. Along the shaded walks, and among the great 
old ancestral trees of Ramsfort, planted by the Bishop, every 
one of which seemed consecrated to Protestantism, in secula 
scculorura, appeared at every turn a beautiful cross, a full 
length figure of the Saviour, or a lovely statue of the 
Virgin. A new Roman Catholic church was erected in the 
town ; a nunnery, with schools amply endowed, sprang up 
as if by magic; Sisters of Mercy and long-robed priests 
promenaded in all directions about the demesne ; religious 
fetes of all sorts were the order of the clay — and so it still 
continues. After these changes were effected, the bad feeling 
which they had produced was exasperated to the utmost by 
the preaching of a new curate, a red-hot zealot of the Evan- 
gelical school, an eloquent man, but exceedingly violent, 
intemperate, and controversial in his pulpit harangues. 
This was the state in which poor Dean Newland left the 
parish when he died. His present successor, Dean Atkins, 
seems admirably adapted to heal wounded feelings on both 
sides ; and to show what may be clone by a really judicious 
clergyman, who acts in a Christian spirit, I may mention 
that Mr. Ram now contributes liberally to Church objects, 
and that on a late occasion, when one of Mrs. Ram's converts, 
who was dying — a young man who was a servant in the 
house — repented of his change, and insisted on receiving the 
last rites from the Protestant clergyman, the Roman 
Catholics, who under other circumstances would have riot- 
ously resisted his interrnent in Protestant ground, attended 
his funeral in large numbers, perfectly satisfied that the 
change was real, and that no unfair means had been used to 
bring him back to the Established Church. There is an im- 
portant lesson in this fact. Protestantism loses nothing, 
but gains everything, by justice and gentleness, and by 
acting in the spirit of Christian toleration. 

The Roman Catholic revived during the last quarter of a 
century in Ireland has taken a direction in regard to doctrine 
and worship which may be regarded as an innovation of very 
grave import. The doctrinal system which prevailed up to 


the present generation was what might be called — to adopt 
a Protestant phrase — " Low Church." The tone of contro- 
versy, wherever it was adopted, was rather apologetic, and 
the policy defensive rather than aggressive ; and there 
seemed to be everywhere a desire to present what Protestants 
regard as the errors of the system in a mitigated form. 
There was no compromise certainly with regard to funda- 
mental doctrines, such as Transubstantiation and the sacri- 
fice of the Mass ; but the worship of the Blessed Virgin and 
the intercession of the saints were very much explained 
away, while the mediation, as well as the atonement of 
Christ, was asserted and prominently put forth in cate- 
chisms and popular treatises on Christian doctrine. But 
since the passing of the Emancipation Act, and more espe- 
cially since the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was 
promulgated, there has been a strong tendency, acceler- 
ated from year to year, to magnify the Virgin, and to give 
her the place on the Throne of Mercy, and the position as 
an all-powerful mediator, which Protestants hold to be the 
peculiar prerogatives of the Redeemer. It would be a very 
interesting inquiry to ascertain the cause of this change. 
The Divine wisdom manifested in the scheme of Redemption 
has always been the theme of admiration, chiefly because of 
its adaptation to the wants of human nature. To prove the 
supernatural origin of Christianity it has been argued that 
sinners would not dare to approach the Deity, if he were 
presented to them only in his aspect as the Supreme Ruler, 
infinitely just as well as irresistible in his might and awful 
in his majesty. But when his Son condescended to lay 
aside his Father's glory, to come down from his eternal 
throne, to take human nature upon him, to suffer from the 
ordinary wants of humanity, to be tried and afflicted like 
sinful men, in order that he might be ''touched with a feel- 
ing of their infirmities," and be able to sympathize with 
them thoroughly in all their misery, as "a brother born for 
adversity," when he consummated a life of perfect virtue 
and self-denial by suffering the most ignominious and pain- 
ful death as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, in order to 


open up a way of salvation and to reconcile a fallen and 
rebellious race to their offended Creator; and when, to crown 
all, he rose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and even 
upon his throne at the right hand of the Father retained 
his sympathy and compassion, still "bending from heaven a 
brother's eye," still pleading earnestly and irresistibly for all 
who trust in him ; when all this has been done, Protestants 
believe that nothing has been left undone by which penitent, 
weary, heavy-laden sinners can be encouraged to approach 
the Throne of Grace, and be drawn by the Holy Spirit from 
evil courses to a life of obedience, animated by the purify- 
ing hope of eternal glory. But the Church of Rome teaches 
that something mure is necessary. In the position which 
she has assigned to the Blessc-d Virgin in the mediatorial 
system, she has availed herself to the utmost of a source of 
attraction which has been in all ages most powerful with 
the heart of man. In woman he beholds the most beautiful 
object in creation, whose form excites his admiration, whose 
trusting tenderness and devoted attachment inspire him with 
love, whose virgin purity he holds to be sacred. The Mother 
of Jesus appears in the Church of Rome invested with all 
those sweet, endearing attributes exalted, intensiiied, ethe- 
realized in the highest possible degree. She is presented as 
a model of perfect beauty, adorned with all the most win- 
ning graces of her sex, born without sin, and living without 
an impure thought, yet with a heart full of affection 
for sinners. She is a virgin mother, holding the infant 
Saviour in her arms, and gazing upon him with all a mother's 
fondness. She stands by his cross at the last hour, faithful 
when all other friends had failed him, undismayed by the 
terrors which surrounded him, unaffected by the infamy of 
his death. Finally, she follows her risen Son to share his 
glory without feeling the power of death, and appears 
crowned as the Queen of Heaven, with all the authority as 
well as the affection of a mother — as " The Mother of God," 
as well as the mother of "the Man, Christ Jesus" — and 
having the power to command her Son, as well as the privi- 
lege to plead with him for her clients. 



Such is the position which the Blessed Virgin holds in the 
Eonian Catholic system of divinity, as it exists at present, 
and has done for a long time on the Continent, for when the 
present Pope issued his decree on the Immaculate Concep- 
tion, against the remonstrances of many of the most learned 
divines, he was but giving expression to the prevailing belief 
which the Jesuits and other religious orders had been incul- 
cating for ages. I do not advert to the subject for any 
polemical purpose, but merely to state matters of fact as 
fairly as I can, and to account for the things which I am 
about to describe in connexion with Roman Catholic worship 
in this country. Most of my readers are aware that the 
month of May is now specially dedicated to the Virgin, and 
that it is called " the Month of Mary." It is generally 
ushered in by pastorals from the Roman Catholic bishops 
prescribing certain devotions. But I think Protestants 
generally are not aware of the extent to which Roman Ca- 
tholic zeal manifests itself in connexion with this devotion 
to "the Queen of Heaven." My attention was specially 
called to it on my visit to the Enniscorthy Cathedral on the 
4th of May. I have already described the decorations of 
the Virgin's altar there. On visiting the Christian Brothers' 
Schools adjoining, I found on the right at the top of the 
upper room, in which the advanced pupils are taught, a small 
statue of the Virgin and Child, standing in a beautiful shrine 
or tabernacle amidst floral ornaments. The Christian 
Brothers, who had charge of the school — exceedingly nice, 
gentlemany young men, dressed in black gowns with square 
caps — explained that the May devotions to the Blessed 
Virgin had sprung up in Italy, and now prevailed very much 
in Ireland. I had plenty of proofs of this in the town of 
Wexford, where there are two splendid new churches, with 
grand towers, built almost exactly alike, in cathedral style ; 
erected also at the same time, and chiefly through the exer- 
tions of the same priest. One of them is called the Church • 
of the Immaculate Conception, and the other the Church of 
the Assumption ; both, therefore, specially dedicated to the 
Virgin Mary. There could be no mistake about this in the 


mind of any one visiting these splendid places of worship, 
which are fitted up admirably with seats to the very doors, 
finished in the most approved style, and with a degree of 
taste that would do honour to the best cathedrals in Eng- 
land. Behind the high altar there is a very large window 
of stained glass, and a similar one of smaller dimensions at 
each side. To the right is Mary's Chapel, with an altar 
brilliant and gorgeous in the extreme. There is a beautiful 
statue of the Virgin and Child, before which three lamps 
were burning during the day, and in the evening eight or 
nine dozen of candles are lighted, while ten or twelve vases 
are filled with a variety of flowers, kept constantly fresh, 
and producing the most brilliant and dazzling effects for the 
worshippers, who are nearly all attracted to this favourite altar, 
the beauty and splendour of which throw the altar of Christ 
completely into the shade. Generally, indeed, the Saviour 
appears only agonized on the Cross, his hands fastened with 
nails, and the blood flowing from his pierced side, or "else 
lying dead and ghastly in the Sepulchre. It is only the 
Virgin that appears arrayed in beauty, crowned with 
majesty, and encircled with glory. Her altar in the Wex- 
ford Church of the Assumption is decorated in the same 
style as the Immaculate Conception, but not with so much 
elaboration. Great local sacrifices must have been made for 
the erection and furnishing of these two churches, with their 
magnificent towers and spires, but much of the money came 
from Great Britain and the colonies; and to a question which 
I put on the subject to my guide, I received for answer that 
it came " from all parts of the habitable world." 

But beautiful as those two new churches are, they are sur- 
passed in internal decorations by the Franciscan Church of 
this town. This is a perfect gem in its way — so elegantly 
painted and ornamented, and so nicely kept, so bright and 
cheering in its aspect, and evincing such regard to comfort 
in all its arrangements, that we can easily conceive it to be 
a very popular and fashionable place of worship. It is not 
cruciform, but built in the shape of an L. To the left of 



the principal altar, at the junction of the two portions, 
stands in impressive prominence the altar of the Virgin 
Mary, which is covered by an elevated canopy, resting upon 
white and blue pillars with golden capitals. Upon the altar 
stands a beautiful marble statue of the Virgin. Three lamps 
burn constantly before it. One hundred candles are lighted 
round it in the evening with half a dozen gas-burners. 
Floral ornaments are in the greatest profusion and variety. 
There are four large stands on the altar floor, two others 
higher up on the pedestal, and a number of small vases with 
bouquets ranged on the altar. The Friary attached to the 
church presents a picture of order, neatness, and cleanliness, 
which seemed to be a reflection of the characteristics of the 
"English baronies," showing how national idiosyncracies 
and social circumstances affect religion. In fact, a com- 
munity of Quakers could not keep their establishment in 
better order than these Franciscans keep then friary. I 
observed a great contrast in this respect in the Roman Ca- 
tholic establishments of Waterford and Thurles. Wexford, 
indeed, is quite a model town in the Roman Catholic Church. 
There are three other places of worship besides those already 
mentioned — the college chapel and the nunnery chapels, and 
certainly there are no people in the world, perhaps, not ex- 
cepting the Romans themselves, more abundantly supplied 
with masses. There is a mass for working men at five 
o'clock in the morning, there are masses daily during the 
week at later hours, and no less than six or seven on Sun- 
days in each of the principal chapels, or churches as they 
are now generally called. The college is a large building, 
and in connexion with it is the residence of the bishop, Dr. 
Furlong. Two facts will show the paramount influence of 
the Roman Catholic Church in the diocese of Ferns, Avhich 
is nearly commensurate with the county of Wexford : no 
Catholic in it dares to open a public-house on Sunday, and 
no fair or market is held upon any of the Roman Catholic 
holidays. If a fair chances to • fall upon a holiday, it is 
transferred to some other day in the week. It must be 

Inspection of bishoprics. 309 

said, to the credit of the Roman Catholic clergy of Wex- 
ford, that a better conducted people than theirs does not 
exist in the United Kingdom. 

The proportion of Roman Catholics to Protestants in this 
diocese is 9i to 1. Very large sums have been expended 
during the last fifty years on religious edifices of various 
kinds. The new churches and chapels in the principal towns 
and throughout the country are stated in the " Irish Catho- 
lic Directory" to have cost £112,800; parochial houses and 
houses of regulars about £20,000. Dr. Howlett, of New 
Ross, grand-nephew to Bishop Doyle, states that in his 
opinion £20,000 ought to be added to this estimate for these 
two items. The sum of £10,000 has been spent on the 
diocesan college, i?10,500 on the erection of the Christian 
Brothers' schools and on parochial school houses, while, dur- 
ing the same period, nine convents have been built at a cost 
of £27,000. The sum total for the half century is given in 
the Directory as ^180,400 ; but according to Dr. Howlett, 
it should be £200,000. The proportion of Roman Catholic 
children in the National schools of this county is stated to 
be 147 to 1. But it must be remembered that the Estab- 
lished clergy in that diocese, almost to a man, have unfor- 
tunately set their faces against the National schools, greatly 
to the detriment of the Protestant people. 

Before leaving the town of Wexford I must notice the 
humiliating contrast presented by the Established Church 
in point of ecclesiastical architecture. After admiring the 
magnificent proportions and towering grandeur of the Roman 
Catholic churches, occupying commanding sites, the visitor 
finds with difficulty the parish church in a narrow street. 
To say that the building is old and ugly would be saying 
little. Its dark, heavy, old-fashioned walls and roof, its 
semicircular windows, its rusty iron railings in front, and 
iron gates fastened with big padlocks, all give one the idea 
of an ancient bridewell shut up and deserted for want of 
prisoners. It is really most discreditable to all parties 
concerned to have such a building for a parish church in a 
town like Wexford. W^e have too many such monuments. 


as the old church of Wexford to prove the truth of what the 
Dean of Cork said in a letter to the Rev. W. C. Plunket, 
that there is no people in the world who do so little for 
their religion as the laity of the Established Church of 

In this diocese the Roman Catholics have 150 primary 
schools, three of which are convent schools, deriving no aid 
from the State, and six are monastic schools. They have 
also 80 public circulating libraries. The number of parish 
priests is 40, and of curates, 72. The total number of priests 
is 129, of whom 13 are regulars. There are nine convents, 
with 121 members in community, and four monastic houses. 

I have already noticed what was done by the late Bishop 
Doyle in the united dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin with 
regard to the erection of ecclesiastical edifices. A respected 
parish priest, the Rev. P. Carey, of Bonis, has kindly fur- 
nished the following particulars of what has been done in 
that direction since his time. In the united diocese there 
have been erected — 

120 chapels, at from £1,500 to .£2,000 each, 

. £200,000 

14 convents, at £2,500 each, 


2 colleges, at £15,000 each, 


2 friaries, at £5,000 each, 


4 Christian Brothers' establishments, 


2 monasteries, . 


Total ecclesiastical buildings, . £281,000 

He cannot estimate the cost of primary schools and paro- 
chial houses, which must be very great. For example, in 
his own parish there are nine schools for poor children, and 
they were all built by the voluntary contributions of the 
people. The educational establishments in the diocese are 
St. Patrick's College, Carlow ; Clongowes Wood, Kildare, 
and the seminaries of Mountrath, Tullow, Newbridge, and 
Kildare. The total number of primary schools is 253. The 
bishop is the Right Rev. Dr. Walshe, who was consecrated 
in 1856. The total number of secular clergy is 132, and of 
regulars 22. There are 14 convents, with 196 members, 5 


monastic houses, and 4 Christian Brothers' establishments. 
The total number of churches and chapels is 122. 

Ossory, which is united to Ferns in the Protestant arrange- 
ments, is a diocese by itself in the Roman Catholic system. 
The present bishop is the Right Rev. Dr. Edward Walsh, 
consecrated in 1846. He resides in Kilkenny, just opposite 
his new cathedral, in a modest sort of manse, such as a 
country rector might occupy; and he is so little mindful of 
appearances, that he allows the pillars at his gate to be 
covered with placards, containing announcements of charity 
sermons, &c, in his churches. There is a college at Kilkenny 
with 180 students, of whom 60 are designed for the priest- 
hood; the number of parish priests is 41, curates 60, regulars 
12. There are nine conventual establishments and one 
Christian Brothers' establishment, which is a fine new 
building adjoining the cathedral, and erected by the con- 
tributions of the Young Men's Catholic Association. The 
new cathedral is very beautiful indeed ; the magnificent 
tow T er is too large and lofty in proportion to the length of 
the nave, but it has a grand effect when seen from a distance. 
Within, the church is very commodious, and fitted up quite 
comfortably, with sittings for about 1,000 persons, and 
standing room for about 1,000 more. 

The Black Abbey is one of the very few ancient ecclesias- 
tical buildings still in the possession of Roman Catholics. 
Its property was given to the Corporation, which, till the 
passing of the Municipal Reform Act, was exclusively Pro- 
testant. Only a portion, however, of this interesting ruin 
still survives. The abbey was founded in 1225 by the Earl 
of Pembroke, who was buried there. It belonged to the 
Dominican order, to which it was restored by the Reform 
Corporation. The brethren undertook the restoration of 
the church in such a manner that the whole when complete 
should be ornamental to the city, and should be a striking 
monument of the good feeling and liberality of the age. But 
the attempt to accomplish this object has been a melancholy 
failure. Very little of it has been in keeping with the 
original style of the building, while the tawdry decorations 


within are in the worst possible taste, contrasting painfully 
with the solemn grandeur of the original. This contrast has 
been heightened to the utmost by the erection of an altar, 
presented by a wealthy citizen, which cost £500. It is a 
piece of elaborate finery, which inspires anything but reve- 
rential feeling, and reminds one of the bridal architecture 
of an artistic confectioner. The restoration of St. Canice is 
conducted on the right principle of making the cathedral as 
like as possible in every respect to what it was originally. 
The Dominicans should imitate this good example, if it would 
not now be a work of supererogation after the erection of 
the new cathedral. Still, if there was room for the abbey 
church in old times, there ought to be room for it now. The 
new cathedral is constructed of the best materials, planned 
after the finest models, and finished in excellent taste, with- 
out any incongruous ornamentation. 

In visiting the towns of Ireland, especially south of Dublin, 

we are everywhere struck with the actual and visible 

working of the Roman Catholic system. We see the parish 

churches, with their square towers or their tall spires pointing 

to heaven ; but the Established religion is invisible. The 

churches are locked, and access is not to be obtained except 

by searching for the sexton who keeps the keys, unless in a 

few places, which are open for daily service for a couple of 

hours in the forenoon, after which the building is hastily 

shut up. Not so in the Roman Catholic churches, all of 

which are constantly open from morning till night. The 

visitor, albeit a heretic, may enter unquestioned, and even, 

if he wishes, approach the altar, and examine everything at 

his leisure. Nor will he ever find the church empty. Either 

there is a priest celebrating mass for a congregation of devout 

worshippers, or there is a group kneeling near a confession 

box, waiting for their turn to disburden their consciences, 

or there are penitents here and there counting their beads 

or reading the Penitential Psalms, or "going round the 

stations," in the performance of the penance imposed upon 

them — or nearly all these things are going on at the same 

time. And what a strange mingling of ranks and classes on 


such occasion- Ri —ed ladies, beautiful girls, ugly 

starved-: _ ien, tottering old men, miserable 

Is cripples _ . rs — all are at home there, and all 
equal before that altar or that confession-box. There are 
J of these I >xes — two, four, or six in a large church, 
each having the name of the priest who hears confession there 
— the Rev. John Roche, the Rev. Peter Synnott. the Rev. 
Thoi.. - ! or the Rev. James Murphy, as the case 

may be — the penitent being at liberty to choose his or her 

uck with the ean s 
and j i it evinced by the poor people in these 

lie plac 3] They never enter the 

rater, and making 

as, never pass before the altar without 

►Id men aud women when leaving 

the plac- si p d >wn and kiss the floor. To these people 

the priest in the nal represents the Holy Ghost, and 

wer of remitting or retaining 

their sins, of bin lino _ - aid when he 

- :>ou the altar celebrating mass, and elevates the 
Host I be adored, they iirmly believe that he holds in his 
hands the Son of God, the Saviour of the World. They 
. juently regard him with a feeling of awe, and a spirit 
of submission of which Protestants have no conception. 

There is a good deal of controversy now going on in Ireland 
on the subject of ritualism in the Established Church. Some 
of the clergy are endeavouring - mpete with the pri 
in costume, ceremonials, forms, genuflexions, vk'c. The laity 
and the majority of the clergy detect under all this an 
gn in the performers to make themselves priests, 
and to brino- in the dogmas which, in the Church of Rome, 
form an essential part of the sacerdotal system. They may 
or may not be right in this judgment, but one thing is clear, 
that without the doctrines the ceremonies are unmeaning. 
If there be an altar and priest, there should be a sacrifice ; 
but Protestantism utterly rejects anything of the kind under 
the Christian dispensation. The Protestant laity of this 
country have no faith whatever in the sacerdotal pretensions 


of those High Church revivalists. The latter may fancy, 
however, that their services would be more impressive and 
edifying if conducted with the ceremonial accompaniments 
used by the Roman Catholic priesthood. They might as 
rationally suppose that a doctor's prescription would be 
more effectual if he wore a black gown or a white surplice, 
or that it would lose its effect if he visited his patients with 
a moustache. The real influence of the Protestant clergy 
must ever depend upon the power of their preaching and 
teaching, and on the earnestness, consistency, zeal, self-denial, 
devotedness, sympathy, and diligence, with which they pro- 
secute the work of the ministry. By no sort of priestly 
devices, or studied formalities, or ecclesiastical millinery, can 
they compensate for the absence of these qualities. In the 
open daylight of Protestantism they need not hope to evade 
the realities and responsibilities of their position by wrap- 
ping themselves up in sacerdotal vestments, turning their 
backs on the congregation, or veiling themselves in clouds 
of incense. 



The Bishop of Casliel presides over four dioceses — Cashel, 
Emly, Waterford, and Lismore. Cashel and Emly, which 
were united centuries ago, include a large part of the county 
Tipperary, and some portion of the county Limerick — an 
area of 765,109 acres. The total number of benefices, includ- 
ing 18 suspended, 3 impropriate, and 3 perpetual cures, is 75, 
of which the bishop has the patronage of 51, and the Crown 8. 
The united diocese of Waterford and Lismore includes the 
whole of the county Waterford, with part of the county of 
Tipperary, and has an area of 040,660 statute acres. The 
total number of benefices is 75, including 13 suspended, 
4 impropriate, and 3 perpetual curacies. Of these the bishop 
has the patronage of 30, the Crown 12, incumbents 4, Trinity 
College 1, and laymen 12. Thus we see that the bishop of 
these united dioceses has the absolute appointment to no less 
than eighty-five Church livings — a tremendous responsibility 
for the State to impose upon one man. There is in these 
dioceses the usual number of dignitaries. At Cashel there 
is a dean, a precentor, a chancellor, a treasurer, an arch- 
deacon, and four or five prebendaries. At Emly a dean, a 
precentor, an archdeacon, a chancellor, and prebendaries. 
At Waterford a dean, a precentor, a chancellor, a treasurer, 
and an archdeacon. At Lismore a dean, a precentor, a 
chancellor, a treasurer, an archdeacon, prebendaries, and 
vicars-choral. Altogether, about a score dignitaries, without 
including the prebendaries. The gross income of the bishop 
is £5,109 ; net, £4,402. 

The framers of the Church Temporalities Act, when 
abolishing the Archbishopric of Cashel, and uniting the 
diocese to Waterford, on the death of the incumbent of one 
of them, left it optional with the survivor to reside either at 
Cashel or Waterford, and it is to be presumed that the 


bishops were also consulted with reference to the title which 
he was to bear. Waterford was selected as the residence, 
because it is an important city, while Cashel is a small inland 
town. But the name of the latter was preferred, and so the 
bishop signs " Robert Cashel" instead of " Robert Waterford," 
which is not so euphonious, but Emly is a prettier name 
than either, though in ancient times it was called Imleach, 
which the English, who never could manage to pronounce 
the Celtic guttural, softened into Imolie, and gradually 
shortened into Emly. There could be no objection to the 
title on the score of antiquity, for the see is said to have 
been once an archbishopric, founded by St. Patrick, and the 
place was noticed by some eminent historians as in their 
time a large and flourishing city, situated on the border of a 
lake which covered 200 acres, and it could boast a line of 
sixty-one bishops down to "Raymond de Burgh in 1562. 
But it was united to Cashel soon after that, and as the latter 
place had been renowned as a royal ' residence for centuries 
before the Reformation, Emly, which had dwindled into a 
mere village, was thrown into the shade. It is situated in 
the same part of the country six or seven miles from the 
town of Tipperary. 

Lismore, which has also a pleasant sound, is not without 
claims to give the title to the bishop on many accounts, and 
if counsel could be heard on its behalf, much might be said 
in defence of its rights. As for its natural beauties, they are 
scarcely to be surpassed. The tourist who approaches it 
with the highest expectations, will admit that they are more 
than realized. It is situated upon the steep and rocky banks 
of the Blackwater, the most picturesque river in Ireland. It 
flows through one of the most verdant of valleys, in some 
places thickly covered, in others thinly shaded, with wood, 
with magnificent single trees, the growth of centuries, and 
here and there groups so happily disposed as to produce the 
finest possible effects. Then there is the castle, gray and 
massive, with its ivy-grown towers, all kept in perfect repair. 
Every visitor has been in raptures with the views from the 
castle. The lovers of the picturesque seem to have nothing 


more to wish for when they contemplate the scenes presented 
on every side by the still river — here brightening in sun- 
shine, there reposing in the shade, and again dashing over 
the salmon weirs; — the deep woods, the green slopes, the 
jutting heads of moss-clad rocks, relieving the variegated 
foliage ; the vast extent of rich country, giving the impression 
of a splendid picture, realizing all the vivid colouring, and 
contrasts, and mingling shades, which the imagination of a 
painter can conceive, while in front is the mountain of 
Knockmeledown, towering above a range of lofty hills which 
stretches away to the eastward. On the right is the town 
of Cappoquin, with its church spire rising above the trees, and 
the Blackwater, flowing clown in the midst of beautifully 
ornamented demesnes, surrounding fine baronial residences. 
Lismore was once an important city, crowded with famous 
ecclesiastical edifices. It had a castle, founded by King John 
in 1185. That was demolished by the Irish enemy ; another 
was erected in its place, which became the residence of the 
bishops. But it was alienated by Miler Magrath, one of 
those bishops, to Sir Walter Raleigh, at the annual rent of 
£13 G.5., and from him passed into the hands of Sir Richard 
Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork, and the castle was inhabited 
from 1645 to 1753 by the Boyle family. In that year, on 
the death of the fourth earl, it passed, along with the greater 
part of his Irish and English estates, to his daughter, the 
Lady Charlotte Boyle, who had been married to William 
Cavendish, fourth Duke of Devonshire. In this castle was 
born the celebrated philosopher Robert Boyle, and asso- 
ciated with its history as sojourners there are the names of 
James II., Lord Clarendon, and other celebrities. The Duke 
of Devonshire found the place a miserable, neglected village, 
with no other traces of its ancient magnificence than the 
ruins of its cathedral and its castle. But now, under the 
fostering care, excellent taste, and wise liberality of its 
princely proprietor, it has become one of the nicest towns in 
Ireland, so improved and beautified as to be in some measure 
worthy of the glorious scenery that surrounds it. None of 
the wretched mud cabins are to be seen which disfigure the 


outskirts of other towns, presenting a painful contrast to 
contiguous grandeur. The castle also is thoroughly reno- 
vated. The rooms are fitted up with all the conveniences of 
modern improvements, the doors and floors being made of 
thick Irish oak, and the drawing-rooms ornamented with 
the most costly tapestry. One of the towers was retained 
in its rude dilapidated state, serving as a contrast to heighten 
the effect of the improvements, which combine the luxuries 
of the present day with the romantic interest of an ancient 
historic castle. What a pleasant life the old bishops and 
their gifted successors, the Boyles, had at Lismore ! But to 
imagine it fully the reader should stand, as I have done, in 
one of the towers, and look down upon the rich and 
exquisitely beautiful landscape, especially upon the river 
that flows under the castle walls, and see, as I have seen, on 
a fine summer evening, sixty or seventy magnificent salmon 
tossed alive into the Duke's boa,t from one net. This fishery, 
by the way, as a source of income has been greatly di- 
minished in consequence of the recent destruction of weirs 
by order of the Fishery Commissioners under the late Act 
of Parliament. 

It is gratifying to observe the English owners of Irish 
Church lands at length showing a disposition to do some- 
thing for the benefit of the country from which they derive 
their revenues, but even in such cases we cannot altogether 
forget the means by which those estates were acquired. Let 
us hear what Archdeacon Cotton has got to say upon this 
subject. Miler Magrath, already mentioned, who was Arch- 
bishop of Cashel in 1582, held these sees in commendam 
during the pleasure of Queen Elizabeth. "While in this 
position, he grossly betrayed his trust by alienating the 
property of the Church as far as lay in his power. " During 
this period," observes the archdeacon, "that improper 
transaction took place by which Archbishop Magrath, in 
combination with the Dean and Chapter, alienated for ever 
the manor and see lands of Lismore, together with the castle, 
which was the Bishop's residence, to Sir Walter Raleigh, for 
the nominal annual rent of £13 6s. 8d. This Church pro- 


perty soon afterwards — viz., in December, 1602 — fell into 
the hands of Sir Richard Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork, 
from whom the greater part of it is inherited by the Duke 
of Devonshire at this day." 

Magrath consecrated Bishop Weatherhead in 1589, and 
the Archdeacon says, on the authority of one of the Boyles, 
that " he followed too closely in the steps of his predecessors 
in the matter of leasing and alienating the lands of his 
Church." But it was not only by getting leases in per- 
petuity of Church lands at nominal rents that the Boyle 
family enriched themselves in this country. A whole swarm 
of Boyles came over from England and settled down upon 
the honey of the Irish Establishment. Archdeacon Cotton 
records under the date 1619, the appointment as Bishop of 
Waterford and Lismore, of Michael Boyle, d.d., " cousin- 
german of Richard, first Earl of Cork, brother of Richard, 
Archbishop of Tuam, and uncle of Michael, Archbishop of 
Dublin. Coming to Ireland, he was made Dean of Lis- 
more in 1014, and soon afterwards, through the Earl's 
interest, was advanced to this bishopric by the King's 
letter, dated July 9th, 1619. He was also Archdeacon of 
Cork and Cloyne, Chancellor of Lismore, and Treasurer of 
Waterford, and appears to have possessed several other 
pieces of preferment in various baronies at the same time, 
and this by permission and grant of the King himself." The 
Archdeacon gives a long list of offices which the first Earl 
of Cork — " this active and far-sighted peer " — obtained for 
members of his family, whom he invited over to Ireland, 
besides the immense property of all kinds which he acquired 
for himself ; so that, according to his own admission, having 
come to Dublin with only £29 in his pocket, he at length 
made himself able to spend £50 a day." The following is a 
list of his family who were quartered on the Church : — 
Thadeus Boyle, Vicar of Kilpatrick, in Meath, succeeded by 
Nicholas Boyle ; Richard Boyle, who became successively 
Warden of the College of Youghal, Dean of Waterford, 
Archdeacon of Limerick, Bishop of Cork, and Archbishop of 
Tuam ; Michael, his brother, Dean of Lismore and Bishop of 


Waterford; Michael, his nephew, called Michael III., Pre- 
bendary of Cork, Dean of Cloyne, and Rector of Clonpriest 
— all in the same year — afterwards Rector of Ahern, 
Chaplain-General of the Forces, Bishop of Cork, Archbishop 
of Dublin, and Primate of all Ireland. There were ten other 
Royles, of the same lucky family, who obtained various 
preferments too tedious to enumerate, from bishoprics down.* 
Archdeacon Cotton states that John Atherton, a native of 
Somersetshire, who became Bishop of Waterford and Lis- 
rnore, had, like his two immediate predecessors, Royal grants 
to hold other preferments in aid of his sees, which had been 
grievously impoverished under Archbishop Miler Magrath. 
He repeatedly endeavoured to recover the Church property 
which had been alienated and had fallen into lay hands, 
" but he met with determined opposition from the powerful 
families then in possession, and his efforts were attended 
with only partial success." 

Youghal, a seaport town situated at the mouth of the 
Blackwater, also yielded its ecclesiastical property to English 
adventurers. It had in old times two monasteries, one with 
an abbey for Dominicans, founded by Thomas Fitzgerald, 
surnamed The Ape ; and another for Franciscans, founded by 
Maurice Fitzgerald, and completed by Thomas, his son. It 
was the oldest Franciscan establishment in the kingdom, 
and became the burial-place of some distinguished members 
of the house of Desmond. The collegiate church, which 
still survives, and part of which is used as a parish church, 
belonged to one of the great educational establishments 
which nourished in the Middle Ages. It was founded in 
1464 by Thomas, Earl of Desmond, and consisted of a 
warden, eight fellows, and eight singing men. The collegiate 
church was a magnificent structure, in the Gothic st}de, 
richly ornamented, with a lofty tower on the north side, and 
consisted of a nave, choir, transept, and north and south 
aisles. It is an extremely interesting building, and contains 
many monuments, especially a gorgeous group representing 
the first Earl of Cork, his two wives, and nine of his 
* See Cotton's " Fasti," vol. i., p. 126. 


children, and covered with heraldic devices. The church 
had large revenues and privileges, the latter confirmed by 
several Popes. The wardenship, which was a sort of 
bishopric, survived the Reformation. The estates were 
in-anted to Sir Walter Raleigh, who resided in a curious old 
mansion adjoining the church. It still survives, and is 
inhabited. The college was occupied for some time by Sir 
George Carew, the conqueror of Munster. Sir Walter 
Raleigh obtained the greater part of the territory of the 
Earl of Desmond, forfeited in consequence of his rebellion. 
He sold those estates to the Earl of Cork, who also purchased 
up the interests of other parties in the town of Youghal ; 
but being charged with obtaining some of the property 
unfairly, he was lined .£15,000 by the award of the Lord 
Deputy Strafford. The college has been rendered classic 
ground by the residence of Sir Walter Raleigh, who planted 
some trees, which still survive, and by the fact that the poet 
Spenser is said to have composed there, or at least recited to 
his friend Sir Walter, some portions of the " Fairy Queen." 
This property also ultimately passed into the hands of the 
Duke of Devonshire, who did not seem to take much interest 
in the old, decayed town. It is a singular fact in the history 
of the place, that the Youghal estate, with the house of Sir 
Walter Raleigh, and another old mansion adjoining, was 
purchased a few years ago by Mr. Lewis, of London, who 
commenced the work of renovation by getting a railway 
constructed from Cork, causing marine villas to be built 
along the shore, and making other improvements, which 
were all unfortunately cut short by his bankruptcy. 

Waterford, the present head-quarters of the United 
diocese, is one of the most celebrated of the Irish cities, and 
one of the earliest occupied by the Danes. It had the usual 
number of ecclesiastical establishments, all amply endowed 
— the Abbey of St. Catherine, the Augustinian Monastery, 
the Priory of St. John the Evangelist occupied by Bene- 
dictine monks, the Dominican Friary of St. Saviour, the 
Holy Ghost Hospital, the cathedral, &c. ; nearly all the 
property of which passed into lay hands. All those insti- 



tutions, dignities, powers, and privileges, which formerly 
were part and parcel of the State Church in that quarter, 
under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Pope — at least, all 
that have survived the revolutionary wreck caused by the 
Reformation and the civil wars, are now invested in the 
person of Dr. Daly, who was born in 1783, and is, therefore, 
eighty-four years of age. Consecrated in 1843, he has 
enjoyed his present position for twenty-three years. Ac- 
cording to Sir Bernard Burke, he comes from the ancient 
family of the O'Daly, which claimed its descent from Nial, 
of the Nine Hostages, this branch being established in the 
county Galway, which was represented for many years in 
the Irish Parliament by the Right Hon. Denis Daly, 
described by Grattan as one of the best and brightest cha- 
racters that Ireland ever produced. He married the only 
daughter of Lord Farnham, descended from the Maxwells, 
a royal race of Scotland, who left two sons — James, created 
Baron Dunsandle and Clanconell, and Robert, the Bishop of 
Cashel and Waterford. The former left a numerous, family; 
the latter is still a bachelor, who seems to have made it the 
great object of his life to leave the family estates worthy of 
their lineage, and to enrich his nieces and nephews. The 
Rev. Robert Daly was early in life appointed Rector of 
Powerscourt. His aristocratic connexions, and the estima- 
tion in which everybody held Lady Powerscourt — who was 
eminently distinguished by her benevolence, piety, and zeal, 
and who regarded Mr. Daly as her spiritual director — gave 
him vast influence amongst the clergy in those days. His 
relative, Lord Farnham, was active in promoting the " New 
Reformation," which preceded the Emancipation Act, and 
was intended to prevent that measure. Mr. Daly was one 
of the most energetic leaders of the anti-Popery movement, 
and being a man of strong will, positive, prompt, and dic- 
tatorial, he became not only primus inter pares among the 
Evangelical clergy, but ultimately assumed the position and 
bearing of a Protestant Pope. When he spoke, everybody 
was to acquiesce ; no dissent was tolerated. At that time 
clerical meetings and conferences were numerous, not only 


in Dublin, but in various places throughout the country. 
The Rev. Robert Daly, of Powerscourt, was everywhere, and 
wherever he appeared he was master. Discussions went on 
freely amongst the clergy, each giving his opinion without 
fear, till the Rector of Powerscourt arrived. The moment 
he entered the room, every one was silent, and humbly 
listened to the oracle. Now this oracle, unfortunately, 
happened to be one of the most narrow-minded, bigoted, 
and intolerant men in the Irish Church. Not a drop of 
national blood seemed to have come into his veins either 
from the O'Dalys of Galway, or the Maxwells of Scotland. 
Irish Toryism, pure and simple, hatred of Popery, which 
nothing could mollify, hostility to all sorts of liberalism, 
which nothing could conciliate, invincible dislike of any 
man, especially of any clergyman, who dissented from his 
opinions — these wore and are the leading characteristics of 
the minister whom Earl de Grey appointed to rule over the 
Established Clergy in the four dioceses of Cashel, Waterford, 
Emly, and Lismore, making him sole patron of eighty or 
ninety |lvings, and placing more than a hundred educated 
gentleiiien and their families to a great extent at his mercy. 
The ., Protestant Cathedral of Waterford has very little of 
the cathedral style about it. It is like a good large old 
parish church in a third-rate English town. The nave is 
simply a square entrance-hall, under the tower, with some 
monuments on the walls. The chancel and aisles are all 
pewed, the galleries being supported by square pillars, on 
which rest round pillars supporting the roof, with stucco 
capitals ; the ceiling is richly ornamented, and the church 
altogether is commodious and cheerful. It is quite evident 
that those by whom the internal arrangements were planned 
were not High Churchmen ; for nothing could be more 
offensive to the taste of such men than the way in which the 
altar is overshadowed by an immense pulpit and reading- 
desk, standing right in front of it, and obstructing the view 
of the worshippers. For this elevation of the pulpit above 
the altar there is, however, some compensation to High 
Anglicans in a large " glory " over the Communion-table, 



with I. N. R I. in golden letters, and above it an arch or 
canopy, supported by handsome pillars. To the right of the 
pulpit is the Bishop's throne, under a canopy. 

The old cathedral, or rather the oldest part of the first 
cathedral of Waterford, was built in 1096, by the Ostmen, 
on their conversion from Paganism ; and about two centuries 
later it was endowed by King John, a dean and chapter 
having been appointed under the sanction of Innocent III. 
Endowments of various kinds had accumulated from ao-e to 
age, till the Reformation, when the old altars were thrown 
down and the ornaments defaced. During the rebellions 
and wars that followed, its most costly treasures were carried 
away, with the brass ornaments of the tombs, the great 
standing pelican which supported the Bible, the immense 
candlesticks, six or seven feet high, the great brazen font, 
which was ascended by three stairs, made of solid brass, and 
various gold and silver-gilt vessels. In 1773 the dean and 
chapter pronounced the old building so much decayed as to 
be unsafe for public worship, and unfortunately resolved that 
the whole pile should be taken down and replaced by a new 
edifice. Out of the materials of its Gothic arches, its pointed 
windows, and its massive walls, was constructed the present 
light and beautiful building, entirely in the modern style. 
The total length is 170 feet, and its breadth 58 feet. On 
each side of the grand entrance are the vestry and the 
consist orial court, over which are apartments for a library. 
There is a lofty ornamented steeple rising from the same 
end. In 1815 an accidental fire broke out in the organ-loft, 
destroying the ceiling of the church, most of the woodwork, 
and also a magnificent organ, which, thirty-five years before, 
had cost £1,200. Three years after, the church was fully 
repaired, and restored to its original beauty. 

There are two other churches in Waterford — St. Olave's, 
which is very ancient, situated near the cathedral, and St. 
Patrick's, which stands on elevated ground to the west of 
the city. There is also a quiet church at the opposite side of 
the river, near the ferry. The bishop's palace is a substan- 
tial, handsome building of hewn stone, the front towards the 


Mall being ornamented with a fine Doric portico and 
enriched cornice. It is situated in the immediate vicinity 
of the cathedral, and as it is in the heart of the city, only a 
small plot of ground belongs to it ; the see lands, however, 
comprise 8,000 acres. The chapter consists of a dean, precentor, 
chancellor, treasurer, and archdeacon. But, strange to say, 
there is no choral service. Divine worship is conducted 
exactly as in the plainest rural church, with not the least 
attempt at chaunting or singing the responses. In fact, 
Protestantism appears in this cathedral as plain and bald as 
the most Puritan worshippers could desire, shorn of every- 
thing like ornament, with no beauty in its form, and no 
music in its voice, relying altogether on the simple power of 
the Gospel, — which, I believe, is faithfully preached by the 
clergy connected with the place, though I had no opportunity 
of judging for myself; for when 1 was there, the pulpit was 
occupied by the handsome and tiuent travelling secretary of 
the Jews' Society, the Rev. Mr. Brennan. The corps of the 
deanery of Waterford, which is in the gift of the Crown, 
consists of the parishes of Trinity Within and Without, St. 
Michael, and St. Olave, the rectory of Kilcarragh, and parts 
of Kilburn, Kilmeadan, and Reisk. There are two glebes in 
the union, one of 17 acres, and another of 317. St. Olave's 
Church was built in 1734, and is remarkable for its pulpit 
and the bishop's throne, which are composed of black oak, 
handsomely carved. 

The diocese of Waterford itself is but small, the number 
of benefices being only twelve, and the net income of the 
clergy £2,635. The total population is 43,506, of which 
2,943 belong to the Established Church, and 39,472 to the 
Roman Catholic Church. Thus the proportions are nearly 
fourteen to one. The great majority of the Protestant 
population reside in the city. The benefice of Killoteran 
has ten members of the Church, and the chancellorship of 
Waterford, with four parishes, has seventeen. 

The diocese of Lismore is vastly more extensive than that 
of Waterford, the area being 573,803 acres to 66,875. The 
total population of this diocese is 145,265, of which 4,775 


belong to the Established, and 139,769 to the Roman 
Catholic Church, so that the proportion is about thirty-four 
to one. The total population of the diocese of Cashel is 
121,011, of which 4,721 are members of the Established 
Church, and 114,831 Eoman Catholics, the latter being in 
the proportion of about twenty-eight to one. The total 
population of Emly is 62,196, of which 1,414 are members 
of the Established Church, and 60,707 Roman Catholics, or 
about one to sixty. The total number of Protestants in the 
four dioceses subject to the authority of Bishop Daly is 
13,653, while the Roman Catholics are 354,779, the propor- 
tion being one member of the Established Church to twenty- 
six Roman Catholics. It is to be remarked that in these 
dioceses the Established Church is almost exclusively the 
Church of the gentry, and the Roman Catholic Church the 
Church of the working classes and the poor. For the reli- 
gious wants of the 354,779 comparatively poor Roman 
Catholics no provision is made by the State. For the 
spiritual benefit of the 13,653 comparatively wealthy 
Protestants the following provision is made : — There is one 
bishop, with a net income of £4,402.; there are four deans, 
four archdeacons, and four cathedral staffs. There are in 
Cashel forty-two beneficed clergymen, with a net income of 
£13,499. There are in Emly twenty-nine beneficed clergymen, 
with a net income of £5,595. There are in Waterford twelve 
beneficed clergymen, with a net income of £2,635. There are 
in Lismore fifty-two beneficed clergymen, with a net income 
of £9,542. Thus we have 135 beneficed clergymen receiving 
annually revenue amounting to £31,271, free of all charges, 
for ministering to the spiritual wants of 13,653 Protestants of 
all ages, which gives to each clergyman an annual income 
of i?236, and an average congregation of 101 persons, 
including infants, or £2 7s. 3d per annum a head. 

But these figures only partially reveal the anomalies 
of the present system. From the returns to an order of the 
House of Commons, obtained by Captain Stacpoole in 1864, 
I have constructed the following tables, giving in the first 
column the name of the benefice, in the second the number 



of parishes composing it, in the third the number of members 
of the Established Church which the parish or union 
contains, in the fourth the amount of net income enjoyed 
by the incumbents, and in the fifth the total population. 

Cashel and Emly. 

Name of Benefice. 

No. of 

No. of 


of Established 




Clonoulty, . 
Kilvemnon, . 
Killenaule, . 
Prebend of Fermor, 
„ Kilbragb, 
Templeree, . 

Prebend of Killandry, 
Cullen, . 

Archdeaconry of Emly, 
St. John's, Newport, 
Kilmastulla, . 
Chantorship of Emly, 
Kilbehenny, . 
Emly, . 
Aney, . 





































From this table it appears that there are twenty-three 
incumbents in the diocese of Cashel and Emly, who receive 
annually the sum of £9,630 for ministering to 1,374 mem- 
bers of the Established Church. The subjoined is a similar 
table for Waterford and Lismore : — 




Waterford ane 


Name of Benefice. 

No. of 

No. of 


of Established 





Killoteran, . 





Bally nakill, . 








































Prebend of Mora, 










Kilsheelan, . 





Derrygrath, . 





Lisronagh, . 































From this table it appears that there are in the united 
diocese of Waterford and Lismore 18 incumbents minister- 
ing to 544 members of the Established Church, for which 
they receive annually the sum of ^4,115. The previous 
table for Cashel and Emly shows that the average income 
of each incumbent is £239 6s. 2d. The average number of 
church members, including children for each benefice, is 
seventy-eight, the annual cost per head being £3 Is. 2\d., 
or at the rate of £15 6s. O^cl. for each family. The results 
for Waterford and Lismore are still more astounding. In 
18 benefices the number of members of the Established 
Church of all ages is only 544, while the total amount of 
revenue is £4,115, giving to each incumbent an annual in- 
come of £228 12s. for ministering to thirty souls, which is 
something over £7 10s. per head, or i?37 10s. per family. 
In the former united diocese the proportion of Protestants to 
the whole population is 1 to 20i, and in the latter 1 to 48f . 


In looking through the clerical lists given in the " Irish 
Church Directory" for the four united dioceses ruled by 
Bishop Daly, I note a surprising paucity of curates. In the 
diocese of Waterford there are only four, two of whom are 
set down twice each for different parishes, the Rev. John 
Derenzy and the Rev. Thomas Gimlette, the latter gentle- 
man beins: also classed among the incumbents for the Crown 
living of Kilderan. Two of the curacies are marked vacant. 
If they were filled up, there would be only six curates in the 
whole diocese of Waterford. In the diocese of Lismore, 
with fifty-three benefices, extending over a vast territory, 
there are only twenty-seven curates, of whom four or irve 
do duty each in two parishes. In the diocese of Cash el and 
Emly, with seventy-five benefices, there are but thirty-five 
curates. Of these ten do duty in two parishes each, and 
one, the Rev. Richard Toppin, who must be almost a ubi- 
quitous individual, is curate of three parishes, and incumbent 
of a fourth. How he manages to do duty in the four 
parishes is a matter which, no doubt, the bishoj) is able to 
explain. Another of the curates, the Rev. John Swayne, 
A.M., is also incumbent of two distinct parishes, Megorban 
and Loughmo, so that he has to do duty in three places. 
The other incumbents, who are also curates, are the Rev. G. 
Peacocke, the Rev. M. L. Apjohn, and the Rev. W. Baker. 
The number of " suspended " livings in these dioceses is also 
very large: ten in Cashel, eight in Emly, six in Waterford, 
and six in Lismore — thirty altogether. The process of 
suspension results from the absence of divine worship, and 
this in the majority of cases from the want of worshippers. 
If this principle of retrenchment, as applied to the parochial 
system, be a sound one, it is plain from the foregoing tables 
that it might be carried a great deal farther, and that a very 
large amount of church property now running to waste 
might thus be saved for districts where there are Protestants 
to be instructed, and ministers ill paid. 

" Let me have men about me that are fat !" exclaimed 
Julius Caesar. The Bishop of Cashel, it would seem, re- 
verses the motto, and says, " Let me have men about me 


that are lean." But the lean men whom he loves to have 
about him are not those who think too much, but those who 
think very little, or not at all, in a sense different from his 
own way of thinking. Instead of availing himself of the 
power which the law gives, through the Lord Lieutenant 
and the Privy Council, of grouping together small livings 
and forming good centres of Protestantism, thus affording 
each incumbent a position of independence and social in- 
fluence as a country gentleman, with curates to do the duty 
in remote stations, his policy has been to dissolve existing 
unions and split them up into the smallest possible incum- 
bencies, not capable of supporting a family respectably, to 
which he appoints a number of poor struggling ministers, 
and by these means he multiplies an impoverished clergy, 
lowering thereby immensely the social status of the Estab- 
lished Church in those districts. The clergy complain that 
as soon as a union becomes vacant, the Bishop takes the 
train to Dublin, hurries to the Castle and gets the Order in 
Council, by which he has at his disposal two, three, or four 
livings, instead of one, and the whole thing is done before 
they know anything about it. In this manner he enlarges 
vastly the field of his patronage, and multiplies the number 
of incumbents of small mental calibre in his diocese. Like 
Continental despots, his policy appears to be to break down 
everything that would be likely to resist his own absolute 
domination. There are eighty-three livings in the gift of 
this Bishop, some of them of great value — an amount of 
patronage which, with the exception of Armagh, is about 
the greatest in Ireland. There are, however, in the united 
diocese nearly seventy parishes without curates ; yet, with 
so many prizes, Bishop Daly seems to have found the 
greatest difficulty in obtaining men of education and inde- 
pendence of mind to take service in the Church under his 
authority. Perhaps he does not want to have such men in 
the diocese. This might be inferred from the proofs he is 
said to give of domineering temper, to which no educated 
man of independence would submit if he could possibly 
avoid such humiliating servitude, so utterly repugnant to the 


spirit of Protestantism. Hence, in order to fill vacancies, 
his lordship has been driven to the necessity of ordaining 
men without an academic education ; and, as a matter of 
fact, he has "laid hands suddenly" on more '-literates" than 
all the other Irish bishops put together. Some of these 
rough-and-ready candidates for holy orders were from the 
army, some from the counting-house desk, some from the 
apothecary's shop, some from the ranks of lay preachers of 
various dissenting sects, some from the Metropolitan Hall in 
Dublin, some returned emigrants, and one a member of the 
swell mob. The history of the last case is quite a romance 
of imposture. By forged testimonials, a loud profession of 
unctuous piety, and fawning manners, the accomplished 
reprobate persuaded Bishop Daly to ordain him. After 
plying his original trade for some time under the clerical 
mask, he went to England, and by the same arts, that is, by 
forging testimonial and making lying professions, he im- 
posed on a number of clergymen, and got into the most 
respectable social circles, in each of which he went on order- 
ing goods and borrowing money till he was found out. Then 
he absconded, but turned up very soon again in a new sphere, 
with a fresh batch of testimonials. At last he was informed 
on by an old accomplice, while officiating as curate of a 
fashionable church in London. Most of the literates have 
left the diocese soon after their ordination, in the hope of 
getting a better social position ; but some few were made 
permanent by great promotion, while the ablest and most 
learned men in the diocese, who prepared for their profession 
by a costly university education, have been sent by the 
present bishop into the remotest parishes, and to minister to 
the smallest congregations. The more prominent positions, 
and the larger fields for usefulness, at his lordship's disposal, 
are occupied by men of no ability or standing. Some of 
these were followers and admirers connected with the bishop 
in the county of AA 7 icklow. In the case of these clerical im- 
migrants from Wicklow it is said that the bishop consider- 
ately departs from his usual objectionable practice of dividing 
the living into fragments, and creating miserable benefices 


without parishioners. For them he preserves unions worth 
from ^700 to .£1,000 a year. 

In the returns ordered by the House of Commons in 18(34, 
I find that there are twenty-three incumbents in these 
united dioceses holding important and well-paid benefices, 
" non-resident by consent of the bishop." I learn that to 
this number may now be added the incumbents of Moyne, 
Ballybrood, Kilwartermory, Newcastle, Rathronan, and 
others. Some of these clergymen are travelling on the 
Continent, some serving curacies in the county Louth, some 
in England, some twenty miles distant from their own 
parishes in the diocese itself, some managing farms, and 
engaged as land agents, and some whose occupation is not 
known, nor even their address in the parishes from which 
they derive their incomes. Thus, then, it appears that this 
united diocese is to a great extent a mass of glaring abuses ; 
and it is hard to avoid agreeing with those clergy who regard 
the bishop under whose administration they exist as inflicting 
more grievous damage on the Irish Church and on the 
cause of Protestantism than all those who attack the Estab- 
lishment, either in Parliament or the press. If there be 
sincere Protestants who hold that it is sacrilege to lay a 
reforming hand upon this system, in order to bring it into 
something like harmony with the principles of common 
honesty, not to speak of Christian truth and equity, they 
are persons upon whom argument would be wasted.* 

* The foregoing portion of this report on the Irish Bishoprics appeared 
in the London Review from January to June last year. What follows is 
printed now for the first time. 



The See of Cork is believed to have been founded in the 
early part of the seventh century by St. Barr, or Fiiibarr, 
who is supposed to have been a native of Counaught, and 
preceptor of Colman, the founder of the see of Cloyne. 
Tradition says that he had been a hermit, and was taken 
from his cell " to fill the first episcopal chair at Cork." But 
very little is known about him or his successors till the 
middle of the twelfth century. At various times this 
bishopric was held in conjunction with Cloyne or Ross, or 
both. The see of Ross has been united to it since the year 
1583 ; and by the Church Temporalities Act of 1834, the 
see of Cloyne was also permanently annexed. The diocese 
of Cork contains an area of 659,000 statute acres. It has 
58 benefices, with 10 perpetual and district cures — total, 74 
livings. Cloyne contains 830,000 acres, and has a total of 
93 livings. Ross has 254,000 acres, and a total of 25 livings. 
The whole area of the united dioceses is embraced within the 
vast county of Cork, which is divided into two ridings. The 
number of curates is, in Cork 42, in Cloyne 27, and in Ross 7. 
The net value Of the see is only £2,304, but the patronage 
in the hands of the bishop is very extensive — 42 livings in 
Cork, 67 in Cloyne, and 19 in Ross ; 128 altogether. Each 
of the three dioceses has preserved its cathedral staff — a dean, 
precentor, chancellor, treasurer, archdeacon and prebendaries. 
Cork shared, to a large extent, the fortunes of Munster, 
and was involved, more or less, in the vicissitudes occasioned 
by the civil wars. It has long maintained the position of 
the second city in Ireland. Our business, however, is not 
with its civil history, but with its position in the ecclesias- 
tical establishment of the country. There are some 
interesting matters in the records of the see which may be 
briefly alluded to as illustrating the state of society in old 


times. In 1292 Bishop Robert M'Donagh was twice fined 
£130 for presuming to entertain pleas in the ecclesiastical 
courts for matters belonging to the Crown. In 1324 Philip 
of Slane was sent as an ambassador to the Pope by Edward 
II. On his return, an assembly of bishops was held, at 
which it was resolved to bring the powers of the Church to 
bear in support of the civil government, so that all the king's 
enemies, and all disturbers of the public peace, should be 
excommunicated. It was also resolved to eject the native 
clergy, as far as possible, from their livings, and to consoli- 
date small bishoprics by adding them to others, in order that 
the Anglo-Irish prelates might have sufficient incomes to 
support the episcopal dignity. In pursuance of this polic} r , 
Pope Martin V. united Cork and Cloyne in 1430, both being 
vacant at the time. During the period between the English 
settlement and the Reformation, the native prelates in this 
part of the country, as well as elsewhere, were abbots and 
priors — not diocesan bishops. But within the pale, and 
wherever the English power extended, the hierarchical 
arrangements of the Church of Rome prevailed. Dominick 
Tirrey was bishop at the time of the Reformation, and held 
the see twenty years, during which the Pope nominated two 
other bishops of Cork, neither of whom took possession. 
Bishop Sheyn, appointed by Elizabeth in 1572, was so 
ardent a reformer that he burned the images of the saints. 
In 1582, when Elizabeth annexed Ross to Cork and Cloyne, 
Bishop Lyon reported that the bishopric of Cloyne was 
granted by his predecessor in fee-farm at rive marks ; that 
Cork and Ross, when he came into possession, were worth 
only i?70 per annum, but that he had improved them to 
£200 per annum ; that he built a mansion-house at Ross, at 
an expense at least of i?300, which in about three years 
after was burned down by the rebel O'Donovan ; that he 
found no episcopal house at Cork, but that he built one, 
which cost him at least ^1,000 ; and that he never was in 
possession of the house belonging to the bishopric of Cloyne, 
which was withheld from him by Sir John FitzEdmund 
Fitzgerald in his lifetime, and since his death by his heir. 


The followinp* record is found in the original minute-book 
of a royal commission, issued in 1570, now remaining in the 
Exchequer office, Dublin : — " Richard Dixon, Bishop of Cork 
and Cloyne, was sentenced to do public penance in Christ 
Church, Dublin, during divine service on Sunday, but did it 
in hypocrisy and pretence of amendment. Therefore the 
Commissioners, on 7 November, 1571, proceeded, after full 
proof and examination had, to deprive him of his see, for 
having married a woman of bad character, one Ann Goole of 
Cork, while his lawful wife, Margaret Palmer, by whom he 
had children, was living, and for having, after this, attempted 
by letters to induce another respectable young lady to be 
married to him."* 

Bishop Lyon was succeeded by John Richard Boyle, who 
became Archbishop of Tuam. While he occupied the see of 
Cork he is said to have repaired more ruinous churches and 
consecrated more new ones than any other bishop of that 
age. He was succeeded by Dr. (Ohappel, and ni'tL-v Chappel 
came his son, Michael Boyle, concerning whom Bishop Downes 
has the following notice in a MS. diary preserved in the 
library of Trinity College, Dublin : — " When Bishop Michael 
Boyle was here he lived in the city. The bishop and mayor 
used to come to St. Barry's Church together. When they 
came to the middle part of the eastern stone bridge, the 
bishop took the right hand of the mayor, and the sword and 
other ensigns were left in Alderman Field's house at the 
foot of the bridge till they returned from church. Captain 
Hayes says that he has seen this twenty times done." Arch- 
deacon Cotton explains this etiquette by stating that St. 
Finbarr's Church, the cathedral, is not in the city, but in 
the Bishops Liberty, and was therefore beyond the mayor's 
jurisdiction. The same is the case in Kilkenny and other 
cathedral towns. 

Dr. Downes, an Englishman, ancestor of the late Lord 

Downes, succeeded to this see in 1699. He had been a 

Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and Archdeacon of Dublin, 

where he died, and was buried at St. Andrew's. He is said 

* Cotton, vol. v. p. 32. 


to have been a man of learning, but he has left no literary 
remains except a MS. journal of a tour through the dioceses 
of Cork and Ross, which is preserved in the Trinity College 

Dr. Peter Brown, Provost of Trinity College, who ruled 
the diocese from 1709 to 1735, was an improving bishop. 
Through his exertions several churches and glebe-houses 
were built or repaired. A public library was founded, and 
more than £2,000 was spent on a country house at Bishops- 
town, near Cork, with a demesne of 118 acres belonging to 
the see. Dr. Robert Clayton succeeded in 1735 — an English- 
man — who had also been Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. 
He bore the character of a munificent, learned, and hi^h 
spirited man, and was an author of some distinction ; but 
the Arianism of his writings was so palpable and offensive, 
that an ecclesiastical commission was appointed to bring him 
to trial, a proceeding which so alarmed him that he got an 
attack of fever, of which he died. He was followed by 
Jemet Browne, who has left no traces of his existence but a 
"Fast Sermon." Isaac Mann, a native of Norwich, who had 
been Archdeacon of Dublin, was appointed to this see in 
1772. He is the author of a familiar exposition of the 
Church Catechism, which has been frequently reprinted by 
the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. Another 
Englishman came after him, Dr. Euseby Cleaver, brother of 
the Bishop of Chester. He remained in Cork only a few 
months, having been translated first to Ferns, and then to 
Dublin. William Foster, who succeeded him, was son of 
the Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. He was translated 
from this poor see first to Kilmore, and then to Clogher, 
where he died, in ] 797. Dr. Bennett, the next Bishop of 
Cork, was nephew of Lord Westmoreland, then Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland. He was succeeded in 1794 by the Hon. 
Thomas Stopford, son of the Earl of Courtown. He died in 
1805, and was succeeded by Lord John George Beresford, 
who had been ordained to the office of deacon in St. Kevin's, 
Dublin, only ten years before, but he was third son of the 
first Marquis of Waterford — a scion of the great house of 


Beresford, then the most powerful in Ireland. For a member 
of such a family the see of Cork was too poor, and in two 
years after his consecration he was translated to Raphoe, 
where he remained seventeen years, and he was again 
translated to the higher see of Clogher. But he was there 
only a single year, if so much, when he was translated a 
third time to the archiepiscopal see of Dublin. It might be 
supposed that the object of his friends, then considered the 
greatest friends of the Church, was to consult her interests, 
by placing so good and wise a prelate in the metropolis, 
where he could exert a greater amount of influence in favour 
of the Protestant cause. But this supposition proved to be 
unfounded, for the youthful prelate was not two years in 
Dublin when he was advanced to the Primacy, with about 
double the amount of revenue, and not half the amount of 

The next Bishop of Cork was the Honorable Thomas St. 
Lawrence, second son of the first Earl of Howth. Not so 
fortunate as some of his predecessors, he remained upon this 
episcopal stepping-stone till his death, in 1831. 

The Dublin University had now its turn once more, and 
its Provost, Dr. Kyle was appointed to this see in 1831. 
Archdeacon Cotton testifies that Bishop Kyle was "a good 
scholar, a man of generous feelings and active habits of 
business ; most diligent in superintending the concerns of 
his important dioceses, which he conducted in such a manner 
as to gain general respect and esteem." He died in 1848, 
and was followed by Dr. James Wilson, a native of Newry, 
who owed his advancement to his own talents, and their 
recognition by Archbishop Whately. He had been a scholar 
of Trinity College, Dublin, and precentor of St. Patrick's. 
Bishop Wilson died at Cork in 1857, aged 78, and was 
buried in the cathedral. He was succeeded by Dr. William 
Fitzgerald, the present Bishop of Killaloe, who was formerly 
a scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, and Professor of Moral 
Philosophy and Ecclesiastical History in the University. 
He was translated to Killaloe in 1862, and was succeeded 
by the present bishop, Dr. Gregg. 


The old cathedral has been pulled down, and a new one 
is being erected upon the same site. The demolition has 
excited but little regret. Excepting the tower, a pointed 
doorway, and a few other remains of the ancient cathedral, 
that structure, which was a plain, massive, heavy, oblong 
pile, dates no farther back than 1735. It was erected from a 
tax imposed by Parliament of one shilling in the ton upon 
all coal and culm consumed within the city. Totally devoid 
of architectural ornaments, and utterly unworthy of such 
a city as Cork, the interior was distinguished from an 
ordinary parish church only by the Bishop's throne and the 
stalls of the dignitaries. The episcopal palace, which was 
built by Bishop Mann, is a large, handsome, square edifice, 
fronting the west end of the cathedral. The city formerly 
possessed numerous monastic institutions, among which may 
be mentioned the Abbey of St. Finbarr, the Gray Friary, 
the Abbey of St. Mary of the Island, an Augustinian friary, 
the church of which had an east window 50 feet by 30; 
the nunnery of St. John the Baptist, the priory of St. 
Stephen, for the support of lepers, &c. The following are 
the names of the parishes connected with the city: — St. 
Finbarr, a rectory, in which stands the cathedral, and which 
contains portions of the suburbs. In 1834 the parishioners 
consisted of 1,826 Church people, 48 Presbyterians, 74 other 
Protestant Dissenters, and 12,712 Roman Catholics. St. 
Anne Shandon is situated partly in the city and partly in 
the barony of Cork. In 1834 the parishioners consisted of 
3,551 members of the Established Church, 19 Presbyterians, 
169 other Protestant Dissenters, and 20,480 Roman Catholics. 
St. Mary Shandon is also partly in the city and partly in 
the barony of Cork. The Census of 1834 showed that the 
religious denominations numbered respectively, 1,666 Epis- 
copalians, 84 Presbyterians, 63 other Protestant Dissenters, 
and 13,683 Roman Catholics. St. Nicholas in the same 
year contained 2,321 Episcopalians, 57 Presbyterians, 30 
other Protestant Dissenters, and 14,774 Roman Catholics. 
St. Paul's, which lies wholly within the city, had 936 Church 
members, 61 Presbyterians, 68 other Protestant Dissenters, 


and 4,089 Roman Catholics. St. Peter's also lies wholly 
within the city. In 1834 it contained 2,507 Episcopalians, 
57 Presbyterians, 77 other Protestant Dissenters, and 5,586 
Roman Catholics. Holy Trinity, or Christ Chnrch, had in 
the same year 2,924 Episcopalians, 49 Presbyterians, 304 
other Protestant Dissenters, and 6,459 Roman Catholics. 

According to the returns of 1861, the numbers of the 
Episcopalians and Protestant Dissenters in the above parishes 
are as folloAvs. The third column, containing the total 
population, according to the last Census, will show the pro- 
portion of Protestants to Roman Catholics : — 

Parishes. Church Members. Dissenters. Total Population. 

St. Finbarr, . 1,759 188 12,963 

St. Anne Shandon, 3,892 837 28,818 

St. Mary Shandon, 968 315 14,529 

St. Nicholas, . 2,260 388 18,240 

St. Paul's, . 441 129 4,152 

St. Peter's, . 1,197 234 11,887 

Holy Trinity, . 1,968 401 8,715 

Total, . 12,583 2,492 93,304 

Add the Church people and Dissenters together, and we 
shall have the total Protestant population, amounting in 
round numbers to 15,000, which, deducted from the total 
population, leaves over 84,000 Roman Catholics, or rather 
more than five to one of the whole population. 

Before proceeding to take a more general view of the 
united diocese, it may be as well to say a few words con- 
cerning its two other component parts. Cloyne is situated 
in the county of Cork, near Middleton and Castlemartyr. 
It is a small antique-looking place, surrounded by a rich 
country. The cathedral is a plain, heavy, old cruciform 
structure, containing monuments of the Fitzgeralds and 
Longfields, of Bishops Woodward, Warburton, and Bennet. 
The cemetery around it is spacious, and shaded by numerous 
trees more than a hundred years old. The episcopal palace 
was described in a letter from Bishop Bennet to Dr. Parr, 
as a large irregular building, having been altered and im- 
proved by different bishops ; but altogether a comfortable 



and handsome residence. "The side next to the village has 
a very close screen of trees and shrubs, and three other sides 
look to a large garden and a farm of 400 acres. This farm 
constitutes what is called the mensal lands, which were 
intended for the corn and cattle consumed at the bishop's 
table. The garden is large — four acres, consisting of four 
quarters full of fruit, particularly strawberries and raspber- 
ries, which Bishop Berkeley had a predilection for; and 
separated as well as surrounded by shrubberries, which con- 
tain some pretty winding walks, and one large one of nearly 
a quarter of a mile long, adorned for a great part with a 
hedge of myrtles, six feet high, planted by Berkeley's own 
hand, and which had each of them a large ball of tar put 
to their roots. At the end of the garden is what we call 
the rock shrubbery, a walk leading under young trees, among 
sequestered crags of limestone, which hang many feet above 
our heads, and ending at the mouth of a cave of unknown 
length and depth, branching to a great distance under the 
earth, and sanctified by a thousand wild traditions." 

Bishop Berkeley was appointed to this see in 1733. He 
had officiated for some years as Chaplain to the British 
Embassy at the Court of the King of Sicily ; and returning 
to Ireland as Chaplain to the Duke of Grafton, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, he was appointed successively Dean of Dromore and 
Derry, before his promotion to this see, where he became so 
illustrious by his writings, and merited the line from Pope, 
which is inscribed upon his monument at Oxford, where 
he died in 1773 — 

" To Berkeley every virtue under heaven." 

After Berkeley James Stopford occupied the see till 1759, 
when he died, leaving behind him one published sermon. 
Robert Johnson succeeded, and after him came Dr. Hervey, 
fourth son of the Earl of Bristol, who was translated to the 
see of Derry in the following year. Charles Agar, the 
grandson of a bishop, obtained the see of Cloyne in 1768, 
which he held for eleven years, and was then translated to 
the archbishopric of Cashel. Richard Woodward, an 
Englishman, distinguished as a scholar and an author, came 


next. He published a pamphlet on " The Present State of 
the Church in Ireland," ] 787, which passed rapidly through 
several editions, exciting the admiration of Churchmen, but 
provoking violent enmity among Roman Catholics and Dis- 
senters. His name deserves to be mentioned with honour, as 
one of the first advocates of the right of the poor of Ireland 
to a national provision, in support of which he published 
two pamphlets. It was he that planned and principally 
founded the House of Industry in Dublin, in 1773. In the 
House of Lords he pleaded powerfully for the repeal of the 
penal statutes against Roman Catholics. He was, in fact, a 
bishop of very rare public spirit in those times — the Whately 
of his day — and he well deserved the eulogium engraved 
upon his monument in his own cathedral, where he was 
buried — " The father of the poor, the friend of toleration, 
and the support and ornament of the Protestant established 

The next Bishop of Cloyne was Dr. William Bennet, who 
presided over the see for twenty-six years. Of him nothing 
is recorded by Archdeacon Cotton, except his effort to obtain 
the Provostship of Trinity College, to be held in commen- 
dam with his see, which was frustrated by the indignant 
remonstrance of Edmund Burke. Bishop Bennet was 
through life the friend and correspondent of the learned 
Dr. Samuel Parr. Dr. Warburton was translated to this 
see from Limerick in 1820. He is remembered best for the 
liberality with which he provided for his own family at the 
expense of the Church. Bishop Brinkely, the last occupant 
of this see, who died in 1835, was an Englishman, who had 
obtained the highest honors in science at Cambridge, and 
had been Professor of Astronomy in Trinity College, Dublin. 
Celebrated as an astronomer, and a botanist, he was for 
many years President of the Royal Irish Academy, and 
contributed several papers, which are preserved in its 
" Transactions." 

On the whole, there are fewer anomalies in the diocese of 
Cork than in most others in the south and west, and the 
clergy seem generally anxious to discharge their duties to 



the best of their abilities according to their opportunities. 
Still there are glaring inequalities and a striking dispro- 
portion between income and work, as the following ' table 
will show : — 

Cork and Ross. 

No. of Mem- 

Cost per 

Proportion of 

Name of Benefice or 

Net Value. 

bers of Es- 


head of 

Church Mem- 





bers to entire 





£ s. d. 

Dunderrow, . 




Inchigeelagk, . 




Kilbrittain, . 




Killaspugmullane, . 




Knockavilly, . 








Temple Michael de 





Temple Trine, 




Temple Ornalus, 
Total in 9 benefices, 







7 15 

3 per cent. 

This gives an average amount per head for the Church 
population of £7 15s. 

The diocese of Cloyne contains ninety-one beneficed 
clergymen, enjoying a net income of £24,385, giving an 
average of £268 to each incumbent. The Established Church 
population amounts to a total of 11,746, so that every soul 
in the diocese costs the State £2 Is. 6d. for its spiritual 
care. I have constructed a table from Stacpoole's returns 
showing the relative numbers of Church people, and the 
amount of money paid to their clergy in thirty-five benefices 
of this diocese, from which it will appear that thirty-five 
incumbents receive the net sum of £12,228 for minis- 
tering to 1,209 souls, while there is outside the pale of the 
Establishment in the same parishes a total population of 
Roman Catholics of 69,099, comparatively poor, whose 
clergy receive nothing from the State, although the tithe- 
rentcharge is levied off the lands they cultivate : — 

inspection of bishoprics. 
Diocese of Cloyne. 


No. of Mem- 

Cost per 

Proportion of 

Name of Benefice or 

Net Value. 

bers of 


head of 

Church Mem- 





bers to entire 





£ s, d. 

Aghern, . 




Aghabullogc, . 








Aglishdrinah, . 








Bally hea, 




Ballyhooley, . 




Bally vourney, . 




Castlemartyr, . 




















Dungourney, . 




Garryclovne, . 








Gortroe, . 












Kilbrin, . 
















Kilneinartery, . 
















Monanimniy, . 




















Templenacarrigy, . 






27 • 


Whitechurch, . 
Total in 35 benefices, 







10 2 

2 per cent. 

This table gives, in round numbers, £10 a year on an 
average for every Anglican soul in these thirty-live parishes. 

In the Roman Catholic arrangements, the diocese of Cork 
includes the county of Cork and part of Kerry. The Bishop 
is the Most Reverend William Delany, d.d., who, in 1847, 
succeeded Bishop Murphy, a prelate held in the highest 



esteem by all parties for his learning and virtues, being a 
member of one of the most respectable and wealthy families 
in Cork. The number of parish priests in the diocese is 32; 
administrators, curates, and chaplains, 58; the number of 
churches is 70; convents, 7; nunneries, 10; monasteries, 2; 
Christian Brothers' schools, 3 ; Presentation Monks' schools, 
3 ; Presentation Nuns' schools, 3 ; Sisters of Mercy schools, 
1 ; Sisters of Charity schools, 1. The ladies of the Ursuline 
Convent, Blackrock, conduct one of the first boarding schools 
for young ladies in Ireland, and there are also highly respect- 
able day schools in the city. The Christian Brothers' schools 
are attended by 2,150 pupils daily, representing about 6,000 
children on the rolls. There are upwards of 8,000 pupils 
under the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Monks, 
while the nuns instruct 7,220. Besides these there is in the 
city and throughout the diocese a fair supply of lay schools 
directed by the parochial clergy. I subjoin a synopsis of 
the united dioceses: — 









rage for 


Cost per 
Head of 




tion of 
to entire 

Cork, . . . 
Cloyne, . . 
Ross, . . . 

Total for united 
diocese, . . 








£ s. d. 
2 16 
14 3 







Per cent 





12 6 






The see of Limerick, according to Sir James "Ware, was 
founded by King Donald O'Brien about the time of the 
English invasion; but tradition traces its origin to St. 
Munchin, the son of Sedna, who was placed by St. Patrick 
over some Christian converts in that place, and affirms that 
the parish church, which now bears the saint's name, was 
originally the cathedral. We may, however, pass over his 
supposed successors, about whom little or nothing is known, 
and also over a number of prelates of the Anglo-Norman 
period, till we come down towards the close of the fifteenth 
century. In 1489, John Folan, a canon of Ferns, who was 
then at Rome, as proxy of the Archbishop of Armagh, was 
appointed to this see by the Pope. Three or four years later, 
John Quin, or Coyne, a Dominican friar, obtained this 
bishopric, although Henry VIII. endeavoured to place another 
person in the office. Bishop Quin was brother to the direct 
ancestor of the present Earl of Dunraven. The next bishop, 
who succeeded in 1551, was William Casey, who was pro- 
moted by King Edward VI. He was deprived by Queen 
Mary five years after, but restored by Elizabeth in 1571. 
Bishop Casey left an only daughter, married to Sir D. Wray, 
of Leicestershire ; and from her have descended the Earl of 
Buckinghamshire, the Earl of Limerick, Earl Ranfurley, Sir 
Aubrey de Vere, and Mr. William Monsell, of Tervoe.* Hugh 
Lacy was made bishop in the room of Casey, but he had 
conscience enough to resign when Queen Elizabeth enforced 
the English Liturgy. 

John Thornburgh, an Englishman, succeeded Bishop 

Casey. His chief qualifications were that he was "a lover of 

natural and experimental philosophy, an encourager of mining 

and minerals, and having great skill in chemistry," But he 

* Cotton, vol. v., p. 59, 


had a much stronger recommendation, in the fact that he 
had performed many useful services to the Crown. Bernard 
Adams, another Englishman, appointed in 1603, held the 
bishopric of Kilfenora in commendam, with two or three 
other benefices. Limerick seems to have been a favourite 
see with the English divines. Francis Gough, the third in 
succesion from the prolific sister Church across the channel, 
was appointed in 1626 ; George Webb, a fourth Englishman, 
in 1634 ; and Robert Sibthorpe, a fifth, in 1642. Edward 
Synge came next, and was afterwards translated to Cork, 
being succeeded by William Fuller, a native of London, in 
whose time Ardfert and Aghadoe were united to Limerick 
by patent, dated March 16, 1666. Dr. Francis Marsh, a 
native of Gloucestershire, came next, and was succeeded by 
Vesey, ancestor of Viscount de Vesci and Vesey Fitzgerald. 
Simon Digby, son of the Bishop of Dromore, Nathaniel 
Wilson, an Englishman, and Thomas Smyth, bring down the 
succession to the end of the seventeenth century. Bishop 
Smyth was the grandfather of the first Viscount Gort. He 
survived during a quarter of the eighteenth century, when 
another Englishman appeared in the person of William 
Burscough, chaplain to Lord Carteret, then Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland. James Leslie, John Averill, and William Gore, 
who followed in succession, were Irishmen; so also was 
William Cecil Pery, afterwards created Lord Glentworth. 
Thomas Barnard was promoted to this see in 1794, and was 
followed by Dr. Warburton in 1806. This bishop was trans- 
lated to Cloyne in 1820, and was succeeded by Thonrns 
Elrington, Provost of Trinity College, of whom I have 
already spoken as Bishop of Ferns. He was succeeded two 
years after by John Jebb, one of the very few Irish prelates 
who gave themselves to the cultivation of literature. His life, 
with a selection from his letters, was published by his chap- 
lain, Mr. Forster, in 1836. Jebb was a native of Drogheda, 
the son of a merchant, who was descended from the Jebbs, 
of Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire. He was the author of 
works on sacred literature, practical theology, "The Protestant 
Kempis, or piety without asceticism ;" and, in addition to the 


Life and Letters already mentioned, bis " Thirty years' corre- 
spondence with Mr. Alexander Knox," was published in two 
volumes in 1834. For some years previous to his death, 
Bishop Jebb was laid aside by a severe paralytic stroke. 
He died in England, near Wandsworth, in 1833, at the early 
age of fifty-nine. 

The Hon. Edmund Knox, youngest son of Lord Northland, 
was translated from Killaloe to Limerick in 1834. He 
continued to hold the office till 1849, though he had been 
for years residing on the Continent. He was succeeded by 
William Higgin, who was translated to Deny in 1853, and 
still continues at the same post. The next bishop of Lime- 
rick was Dr. Henry Griffin, an ex-Fellow of Trinity College, 
Dublin, who died in 186G. He was succeeded by Dr. Graves, 
Dean of the Chapel Royal. The Dean was devoted to 
antiquarian pursuits, and was for many years President of 
the Royal Irish Academy, to which he contributed some 
learned papers. Being a man of an active turn of mind and 
liberal sympathies, he distinguished himself by an attempt 
to promote middle class education, as a leading member of 
the Endowed Schools Commission, whose inquiries were 
protracted for about three years. The result was a monster 
blue book of four enormous volumes ; but the mountain 
which was so long in labour did not produce even a mouse. 

The united dioceses of Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe 
include the whole of the county of Kerry, nearly the whole 
of the county of Limerick, and some portions of the counties 
of Clare and Cork, the area being 1,770,017 statute acres. 
The gross value of the see is £4,612 — net £3,961. It con- 
tains 126 benefices, including eight perpetual and district 
cures. The number of curates is about 50. The bishop 
appoints to 48 livings, the Crown to 20, incumbents to 17, 
and lay patrons to 40. The net income distributed between 
the incumbents is £12,228. Limerick has its full share of 
dignitaries — a dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, and 
archdeacon, and half a score of prebendaries ; while Ardfert 
and Aghadoe each rejoices in an archdeacon of its own. In 
1831 the population of the diocese of Limerick was 228,777, 


having 38 churches, with 8,330 sittings. In 1834 the popu- 
lation consisted of 11,122 Church people, 85 Presbyterians, 
and 191 other Protestant Dissenters — that is, less than 
12,000 Protestants of all denominations ; while the Roman 
Catholic population of the same diocese amounted to 246,302, 
or about twenty to one. The whole united dioceses had then 
a total population of 562,387 ; at the last census it was only 
394,562 ; so that the famine and emigration must have 
reduced it to the extent of 167,826. 

Limerick, " The City of the violated Treaty," is too well 
known to need any description here ; but a few words may 
be said of the other two constituent parts of the united 
diocese. Ardfert, a small village four miles from Tralee, the 
present capital of Kerry, gives its name to a parish which 
stretches along the wild coast of the Atlantic. Near the 
village stands Ardfert Abbey, the seat of the family of 
Crosbie, formerly Earls of Glandore, and within the demesne 
is the ruin of the abbey from which it receives its name, 
and in which, about twenty-five years ago, I saw an immense 
number of human skulls, piled up like cannon balls. The 
village then contained a population of 600 or 700 persons, 
inhabiting about 100 houses, nearly all mud cabins. Before 
the Union Ardfert was a borough, and returned two members 
to Parliament, or rather its owner did so, and received 
£15,000 for his interest at the time of the Union. Ardfert 
was a very ancient diocese, but since 1660 it has been united 
to the see of Limerick, together with Aghadoe. Of this 
once famous episcopal town, beautifully situated within a 
mile and a half of Killarney, and commanding the most 
charming views, nothing remains but some small ruins, 
popularly called, " The Bishop's Chair," and the stump of a 
round tower, which exhibits a style of masonry quite 
superior to that of the fragments of the cathedral. In the 
Roman Catholic arrangements these two old sees form parts 
of the diocese of Kerry. 

Amongst the lay patrons of these united dioceses are 
the following peers : — The Earl of Devon, the Earl 
of Cork, who appoints to seven livings; Lord Leconfield, 


Lord Muskerry, the Earl of Limerick, Lord Headley, Lord 
Ventry, the Earl of Dunraven, the Earl of Kenmare, and 
Lord Southwell. The last three are Roman Catholics, and 
in their case the appointments lapse to the Crown, or 
they are made for them by the Crown. In the " Clerical 
Directory " there is a curious distinction made with 
reference to Lord Dunraven, who is a convert to the Church 
of Rome. But it seems to be assumed that his aberration 
will be only temporary, for the phrase is, " The Crown, 
during the nonconformity of the Earl of Dunraven." There 
is one patriarchial incumbent in the diocese of Limerick — 
the Rev. Richard Dickson, who has enjoyed a Crown living, 
with a net income of £558, for the long period of 68 years, 
hciving been inducted in 1790. This rector has church 
accommodation for 150 persons ; but it is more than enough, 
for the total number of Church members of all ages in his 
parish is only G8. The sum of £558 is very large to have 
received as an income for this small amount of work. I find 
that in the diocese of Limerick thirteen of the incumbents 
are non-resident, eight because there are no glebe-houses, 
two because their livings are sequestrated, and one because 
he resides on another benefice in the county of Kildare. In 
nine of the benefices there are no churches, and of course 
no Divine service. In Ardfert and Aghadoe there are six 
incumbents non-resident, four because there are no glebes, 
and two because residence is not required. In the diocese 
of Limerick there are only seven benefices, with a Church 
population exceeding 200 souls, and the same number in Ard- 
fert and Aghadoe. These include the towns and the city of 
Limerick, and they are nearly all unions. Several of the 
unions have three parishes each ; and Listowel has as many 
as ten parishes. The following thirty-four benefices in the 
united dioceses have each a Church population under fifty 
persons : — Liscormack, Kilinellick, Ballinloudry, Emly, 
Cairelly, Aney (a union of seven parishes), Rochestown (one 
Churchman,) Clonkeen (two Churchmen), Ballycahane, 
Bruree, Castlerobert (five Protestants in two parishes,) Croagh, 
Dysart (five Protestants), Drehidtarsna, Dromin, Effin (eight 



Protestants), Killacathan, Kilkeedy, Kilpeacon, Mahonagh, 
Manisternenagh, Mungret, Shanagolden, Derrygalvin (one 
Protestant), Aglisli, Clougliane, Dromod, Duagh, Garfinagh, 
Killemlogh, Kilconly, Killury, Molaniff (a union of three 
parishes), Obrenen. 

These figures are all taken with the greatest care from 
returns furnished by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and 
the registrars of the respective dioceses, in compliance with 
the order of the House of Commons (Captain Stacpoole's). 
From these returns I have constructed the following table 
for these three dioceses, which will show at a glance the 
number of benefices in each, the total net income of the 
clergy, the average income of each incumbent, the cost per 
head of the Church people committed to his charge, the 
total Church population, the number of the Established 
Church population, and its proportion to the total population. 
From this table it will be seen that in the diocese of 
Limerick the Church Protestants are one to twenty, and 
in Ardfert and Aghadoe not quite one to thirty-three. 


Ardfert and 


Number cf benefices, 




Net income, .... 




Average for each incumbent, . 




Cost per head of Church po- 

pulation, .... 

£1 8s. Od. 

£1 9s. 6d. 

£1 85. &d. 

Total population, . 




Established Church population, 




Proportion of Church members 

to entire population, . 

5 per cent. 

3 per cent. 

4 per cent. 

The united dioceses of Killaloe, Kilfenora, Clonfert, and 
Kilmacduagh have their head-quarters at Clarisford House, 
Killaloe, a fine mansion, beautifully situated in the midst 
of ample, rich, and well planted grounds, on the banks of 
the Shannon, near Lough Derg. The town is little more 
than a large village, though it was once a place of some note, 


as having been the seat of the O'Briens, and an important 
military pass. Kincora, the residence of the celebrated Brian 
Boru, was in the neighbourhood ; but nothing remains of it 
save a large, circular earthen fort, called Bal-Boru. Kilfenora, 
which must have been once a "city," is now a very poor 
village in the county of Clare, standing on the road from 
Eirnistymon to Burren. Clonfert is a similar village, situated 
three miles from Eyrecourt, county Galway, on the verge of 
a bos:. It consists of a few scattered houses, the remains of 
a "palace" and a "cathedral." The palace is a plain-looking 
country mansion, and the cathedral a small, dingy, common- 
looking old church. Kilmacduagh is about three miles from 
Gort, in the same county, where there are the ruins of a 
round tower and seven churches, most of which are barely 
discernible, and at the best they must have been very hut- 
like buildings, with the exception of the cathedral. 

In 1601, Roland Lynch, Bishop of Kilmacduagh, obtained 
a grant of Clonfert in commenda/ffb, and they have been 
united ever since. In another place Archdeacon Cotton 
states, that Lynch was made Bishop of Clonfert, with a 
licence to hold Kilmacduagh in corniiiendam. But it 
amounts to the same thing. In 1834 they were both handed 
over to the Bishop of Killaloe by what the Archdeacon calls 
"the ill-omened Church Temporalities Act." In reference to an- 
other exchange of a similar kind, he exclaims, " This bishopric 
became united to Tuam by Act of Parliament." He seems 
greatly shocked that anything touching the Church should 
have been done by Act of Parliament, although Parliament 
had been doing such things to oblige aristocratic Churchmen 
from the Reformation down. Did it never occur to him to 
ask what would the Lish Church Establishment have been 
without Acts of Parliament ? The Church of Borne in Ire- 
land is what she is, not only without Acts of Parliament, 
but in spite of a hundred hostile Statutes. If the Church 
of England in Ireland had been left equally unprotected* by 
the legislature, or had been equally discouraged by the State, 
what would be its condition now ? Would it be more in- 
fluential than the Episcopal Church of Scotland, and on 


what ground, apart from conquest and State policy, was it 
entitled to better treatment ? 

The bishopric of Killaloe is said to have been founded 
in the seventh century. Archdeacon Cotton being a good 
Churchman, is anxious enough to make out all the links of 
succession, connecting the present Anglican bishops with 
St. Patrick ; but the venerable and conscientious chronicler 
is often obliged to qualify the records, as in the following 
sentences : — "AD. 639 (circa). The first bishop was St. 
Flanan, a disciple or pupil of the school of St. Lua ; he was 
the son of Theodrick, or Turlogh, King of Thomond, who 
was a munificent benefactor to this church, and was interred 
there with honour by his son. Flanan is supposed to have 
been consecrated at Rome about the year 639 ; but at what 
precise period, or how long he governed his see remains iD 
great obscurity. The successors of Flanan for some centuries 
are not now known. The earliest amoug them whose name 
Ware could discover is Carmacan O'Muilcashel, who died 
1019."* We may therefore dismiss the fiction of an apos- 
tolic succession, and pass on to the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, when M'Geoghegan tells us, that Geofry Marsh 
founded a castle at Killaloe, and compelled the inhabitants 
to receive the English bishop. The names of the bishops, 
however, are decidedly Irish, nearly all Mac's and O's till 
we get into the seventeenth century. In 1613, John Rider, 
a native of Cheshire, became bishop of this diocese, of which 
he presented a statistical account to the Royal Commissioners 
in 1622. About ten years after he was succeeded by Lewis 
Jones, a Welshman, who lived till he was 86. Edward 
Parry, a native of Newry, came next. Then another Irish- 
man, Edward Worth, who was followed in succession by 
Daniel Witter, an Englishman; John Roane, a Welshman, 
and Henry Ryder, born in Paris, but educated in England. 
His successor, Thomas Lyndesay, or Lindsay, was also an 
Englishman ; his successor was Sir Thomas Vesey, son of 
the Archbishop of Tuam. Drs. Forster, Carr, Storey, Ryder, 
and Brown occupied the see from that date down to 1745, 
* " Fasti," vol. i., p. 458. 


when Richard Chenevix, who had been chaplain to the 
Prince of Orange, and subsequently to Lord Chesterfield, 
when Viceroy of Ireland, was appointed to this see ; but in 
the following year he was translated to Waterford. This 
prelate was an excellent man, who left £1 ,000 to Waterford 
and £1,000 to Lismore ; the interest of the former sum to 
be given to clergymen's widows, and the latter to be dis- 
pensed for the benefit of Lismore, according to the discretion 
of the bishop. His only daughter and heiress, Melesina, 
married Richard Trench, barrister, brother of the first Lord 
Ashtown, and from her by the mother's side is descended 
the present Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Chenevix Trench. 

Bishop Chenevix was succeeded by Dr. Synge, son of the 
Archbishop of Tuam, and brother of the bishop of Elphin, 
so that there were three of this lucky family bishops at the 
same time ; and for the benefit of one of them, in 1753, the 
bishopric of Kilfenora was united to Killaloe. The second 
occupant of the united diocese was Robert Fowler, an 
Englishman, who succeeded in 1771 ; after him came Dr. 
Chinnery, who died in a year, and was succeeded by Dr. 
Barnard, son of the Bishop of Deny, who was translated 
to Limerick in 1794, making way for the Hon. William 
Knox, fourth son of Lord Northland, who was translated to 
Deny in 1803, making way in his turn for Dr. Lyndesay, 
sixth son of the Earl of Balcarres. This gentleman was 
quickly translated to Kildare, which he held, with the 
deanery of Christ Church. He was followed in Killaloe by 
a member of another noble family, Dr. Alexander, nephew 
of the Earl of Caledon ; and being so connected, we are not 
surprised to read that he was in the same year translated to 
Down and Connor, and subsequently to Meath. Another 
of the same noble class followed him in Killaloe, Lord Robert 
Ponsonby Tottenham Loftus, second son of the Marquis of 
Ely. We now light upon a name, Richard Mant, an Eng- 
lishman, of whom Archdeacon Cotton can say, and he does 
so with an evident feeling of relief and gladness, that " he 
owed his promotion to his talents" He thought it unneces- 



sary, no doubt, to inform his readers to what the long list 
of the younger sons of peers owed their promotion. 

Another man without title, Dr. Arbuthnot, intervened in 
1 823, and was succeeded by the third son of Baron Ponsonby, 
translated to Derry in 1831, making way for the seventh 
son of Viscount Northland, whose family is one of the most 
episcopal in Ireland. 

The sees of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh having been united 
to Killaloe, Dr. Butson became bishop of the four sees 
on the translation of Dr. Knox to Limerick. Next came 
Dr. Sandes, who was in 1839 translated to Cashel, making 
way for the Hon. Ludlow Tonson, eighth son of the first 
Baron Biversdale. Bishop Tonson died in 1862, and was 
succeeded by the present bishop, Dr. Fitzgerald, who was 
translated from Cork. 

Bishop Fitzgerald is the son of Maurice Fitzgerald, M.D., 
and brother of Baron Fitzgerald. He was born in 1814, and 
took his degree in Trinity College, Dublin, in 1837. He 
was successively Rector of Monkstown, near Dublin, Arch- 
deacon of Kildare, and Professor of Moral Philosophy and of 
Ecclesiastical History in the Dublin University. For many 
years he was the Private Chaplain of Archbishop Whately, 
by whom he was held in the highest estimation, and to 
whose influence is ascribed his promotion to the see of Cork. 
In that position he won the esteem of all parties, no fault 
being found with any part of his administration of the 
diocese excepting the rigidity of his Churchism. He pro- 
hibited his clergy from taking part in united prayer-meetings 
with Presbyterians, Methodists, and Independents. It is 
supposed that he was influenced in his non-Protestant ex- 
clusiveness by his private chaplain, the Rev. George Webster, 
who, though the son of a good Wesleyan, and though he had 
himself been once a tutor in the Connexional School in that 
body in Dublin, is one of the stifFest and most uncompro- 
mising of the ritualistic clergy in Ireland. It is believed that 
it is to Mr. Webster's histrionic mimicry of Romanism that 
the present Bishop of Cork referred more particularly in the 


graphic description which he gave of Anglican mummery in 
his late Charge. Very different from the sentiments of his 
predecessor are those which he delivered on the 15th of 
January, 1867, to the Church of England Young Men's 
Society in Belfast. There he declared that the Church did 
not belong to the clergy but to the laity, and that by the 
Church he did not mean Episcopalians merely, but Protest- 
ants of all denominations who derive their faith from the 
Bible. Mr. Webster, however, is so highly prized by Dr. 
Fitzgerald, that though the former is the incumbent of a 
large church in Cork, and the latter resides for away on the 
banks of the Shannon, the reverend gentleman is still the 
Bishop's domestic chaplain. 

Bishop Fitzgerald leads a very retired life, devoted to his 
studies. He lately published a Charge headed " The Case of 
the Church Establishment in Ireland Considered." Referring 
to the fact that the Church of the invading minority was 
established as the Church of the whole nation, Bishop 
Fitzgerald sa}'s : — 

" There were, indeed, other possible courses before our 
forefathers : to leave Ireland without any Church Estab- 
lishment, to establish the Roman Catholic Church, or to 
establish a Church regulated on the principles of the Church 
of England, concurrently with the endowment of other com- 
munions. But the project of leaving a country without 
any Church Establishment, would have been then regarded 
as equally wild and impious by every considerable party in 
the State ; and the project of a Roman Catholic Establish- 
ment, either sole, or in connexion with others, could not 
have been executed without convulsing the Empire with a 
civil war. It is not difficult to see, then, that, as I said, the 
policy actually adopted was the inevitable result of the cir- 
cumstances of the case. On the whole, I am satisfied, that 
even viewing the measure merely as a question of statesman- 
ship, it was the wisest policy ; and that so far as it has 
failed, that failure is not due to the project in itself, but to 
the weakness of the mode of its execution, and to concurring 
circumstances in no way essentially connected with it. 

2 A2 


"There can be, I think, no reasonable doubt, that if, at the 
period of the Reformation, the power of the English 
Government had been the same in this country as it was in 
England itself, and if the same wise and moderate measures 
had been adopted here as were adopted there, the mass of 
the Irish population could have been brought into con- 
formity with the new system, even more easily than the 

But the opposite system having been adopted, producing 
the results which we now deplore, his lordship says : — 

" For these the Church of this country cannot, I think, be 
fairly held responsible. They were the work of politicians, 
not of Churchmen. They were made, indeed, to secure what 
was called the Protestant interest ; but that interest was 
not the interest of the Church. On the contrary, it is 
notorious, that many of those who most zealously prosecuted 
this unrelenting course of oppression towards the Roman 
Catholics, were persons who lost no opportunity of plun- 
dering the property, and insulting the persons and the 
profession of the ministers of their own nominal creed. 

" The burthen and disgrace of the penal code has, indeed, at 
last been removed from among us, though it is only within our 
own memories that our Roman Catholic fellow subjects have 
been admitted to the full participation of equal civil rights 
with ourselves. In the interval which has since elapsed, no 
one will deny that our Church has visibly improved in 
activity and efficiency ; but if it were expected that, in this 
short interval, we should have accomplished the miraculous 
work of overcoming the prejudices which had become fixed 
by the neglect, or exasperated by the oppression of centuries, 
we must fully confess that we have failed to fulfil such 
expectations. How far they are to be treated as reasonable 
expectations, we must leave others to judge. We cannot 
undertake to perform such prodigies as these. 

* -%■ * - # * # 

" Then, as to the dangerous body whose minds are poisoned 
with a rancour against what they call British ascendancy, 
drawn from the long-remembered wrongs of former ages of 


misrule, it is plain that the Protestant Church Establish- 
ment is a very small part of their quarrel with the present 
state of things. They know that whenever the present 
settlement of power and property — whenever the great 
frame of Imperial policy goes down in Ireland, the Church 
must go doAvn with it. Meanwhile, it is only as a part of 
that frame that they regard it with hostility ; and, perhaps, 
there is no part which they regard with less. Of all holders 
of property in Ireland, since we got rid of the odious old 
tithe-system, the ecclesiastical holders of property give least 
annoyance to the bulk of the people. They are commonly 
known as, whatever else they may be, intelligent and 
respectable resident gentlemen, who oppress and injure 
nobody, kind and sympathizing neighbours, and, according 
to their means, liberal employers and rewarders of local 
industry. No doubt, as holders of property under what is 
regarded as an English settlement, as identified by interest 
and education with English law and English sentiment, we 
come in for our share of hatred against everything English." 
After all these candid admissions, this able and liberal 
prelate has no remedy to propose, and he sees nothing for 
it but to maintain at all hazards the present system of 
Church and State in Ireland. Indeed it is hard to expect 
anything else from even the most enlightened and honest 
men in his position. His lordship has a net income of 
d£ 3,261 ; he lives in a palace fit for a duke ; he is the patron 
of eighty-eight livings ; he is the spiritual ruler of more 
than 1 00 clergymen, who receive a total net income of more 
than 20,000 a year, for ministering to, or pretending to 
minister to, about 16,000 souls, scattered over several 
counties, through a population of 355,000. Four dioceses 
are united under his charge. In Killaloe his flock number 
one in twenty of the population ; in Clonfert, one in twenty- 
five ; in Kilfenora and Kilmacduagh, one in 100. It will 
be seen by the following table that in one of these dioceses 
the spiritual care of the Church people, including children, 
costs £5 12s. a head, and in another, £3 13s. 










rage for 


Cost per 

Head of 





tion of 
to entire 

Killaloe, . . 
Kilfenora, . . 
Clonfert, • . 
Kilmacduagh, . 

Total for united 
diocese, . 







£ s. d. 
5 12 
3 13 







Per cent. 




15 4 




Of the sixty-eight benefices in the diocese of Killaloe there 
are only fifteen having each a Church population exceeding 
200 souls. Birr or Parsonstown is the most Protestant place 
in the diocese, having 2,000 members of the Established 
Church and 320 Dissenters. But this district may be con- 
sidered a sort of English colony, existing under the protection 
of the once powerful family of the Parsons, now represented 
by Lord Rosse, the great astronomer, who has recently given 
his opinion on sublunary affairs in a small pamphlet on the 
relations between landlord and tenant, in which he has 
proved to his own satisfaction that all the blame about what 
is wrong rests with the tenants, and none at all with the 
landlords. This, no doubt, is comparatively true, so far as 
his lordship is concerned, and the appearance of Parsonstown 
certainly does credit to its proprietor. Of the benefices in 
this diocese fully one-half are unions of two or more parishes, 
and at least the same proportion of them do not contain 
fifty Church members each, young and old, while there are 
forty-four parishes in the diocese without a single Pro- 
testant ! 

Kilfenora contains thirteen parishes, but they were all 
lumped into three benefices — Kilfenora, Kilmanagheen, and 
Rathbourney. The income of the first is £543, the incum- 
bent being non-resident on account of ill-health ; of the 
second, £595 10s. ; of the third, £247 10s. The first has 


forty-one souls, the second 104, and the third eighty-six, the 
total Church population in this diocese being 141. 

Clonfert, the third diocese, has thirteen livings, in which 
there are three with a Church population of over 200 each. 
Most of the livings are unions, some with three parishes, some 
with four, and one with not less than seven. Kilmacduagh, 
the fourth diocese, has twenty-three parishes, the whole 
thrown into four livings. Most of these are vicarages, 
showing that laymen in the old times had made very free 
with the property of the Church in these smaller dioceses. 
Turning to the " Irish Church Directory," I find that in the 
diocese of Killaloe, &o., the bishop is the patron of eighty-eight 
livings ; the Dean and Chapter, and some clergymen, of seven 
or eight others ; Lord Leconfield, of four ; and the Crown, 
of only two. In Kilfenora also the bishop appoints to 
four out of six of the livings. But in the two dioceses of 
Clonfert and Kilmacduagh that were transferred from Tuam 
by the Church Temporalities Act, the bishop's patronage is 
more limited. Five of the large unions in these dioceses 
belong to the Marquis of Clanricarde, and to three others 
his lordship appoints with the bishops alternately. 

The Bishop of Killaloe is surrounded by an ample array 
of dio-nitaries — four deans, four archdeacons, with the usual 
number of chancellors, precentors, treasurers, prebendaries, 
&c. The principal cathedral, however, in which they are 
expected to display their pomp is a small, dingy, old church, 
with accommodation for 200 persons, the attendance being, 
probably, not half that number, as the Church population of 
the benefice is only 221 souls, the total population being 
2,800. When I was there, on a fine Sunday evening last 
summer, the attendance was not more than twenty or thirty. 

Now let any candid, disinterested man, with the least 
glimmering of statesmanship, or the most elementary ideas 
of the principles of just government and sound policy, reflect 
over the foregoing facts and figures, and say whether such 
an ecclesiastical system as this ought to be maintained in 
its integrity. For bishops and the sons of bishops, for such 
of the nobility and landed gentry — and they are numerous 


— as have rich episcopal blood flowing in their veins, we 
can make allowance just as we did for the Christian slave- 
owners in Jamaica and in the Southern States of America, 
because it is scarcely in human nature to be able to see 
clearly and judge fairly from their point of view and with 
the strong instincts of their order. But for enlightened 
statesmen, looking from an imperial point of view at the 
Irish Establishment, and saying that it is an institution that 
works very well as it is, that it involves no national injustice, 
no waste of trust property, no unrighteous inequality, and 
that it ought to be defended intact by all the power of 
England, — for such statesmen there is no excuse. They do 
not deserve the name. 

The Roman Catholic hierarchy have shown no disposition 
to diminish the number of dioceses, or to throw in small 
ones to be held in commendam, in order to increase the 
income of the bishop. On the contrary, they have seemed 
anxious to keep up the episcopal bench in its full strength 
as to numbers, leaving each bishop to take care of himself 
so far as revenue is concerned. The diocese of Limerick 
includes the county of Limerick, and a small portion of 
Clare. The number of parish priests, and administrators, 
and curates is 58. Of parochial churches and chapels there 
are 94 ; houses and chapels of regular clergy, 5 ; 10 con- 
vents, with 142 members ; and 5 monastic houses, with 
38 members. Of the convents, three are in the country, at 
Newcastle, Adare, and Rathkeale, and three in the city, one 
of which is at the union workhouse, where a community of 
the sisterhood is established, the guardians having placed 
under their control and management the union hospital, 
containing nearly 1,000 patients. In the convent of the 
Good Shepherd there are 23 sisters, who have charge of a 
Magdalen Asylum, with over 70 penitents, and a reforma- 
tory with 30 children. There are altogether 11,466 children 
in primary schools in this diocese in addition to the ordi- 
nary parochial schools, under lay teachers scattered over the 
diocese. The " Irish Catholic Directory " records that the 
present bishop, Dr. Butler, " has waged an active and most 


successful war against the model schools in the city until 
he emptied them of Catholic pupils." So much the worse. 
I have visited the model schools in Cork, Sligo, and Deny, 
and I have never seen institutions of the kind more ad- 
mirably conducted. The education is of the highest order, 
the discipline perfect, and the children are clean, cheerful, 
and remarkably intelligent. I believe there is not the 
slightest ground for suspecting the least disposition among 
the teachers in any of those schools to abuse their oppor- 
tunities for the purposes of proselytism, and I think it very 
greatly to be deplored that those excellent and much -needed 
institutions for imparting a superior middle class education 
should have encountered so much opposition on the part of 
the Roman Catholic bishops. 

Killaloe, in the Roman Catholic system, includes portions 
of Clare, Tipperary, King's County, Galway, Limerick, and 
Queen's County. The bishop is Dr. Flannery, who was 
consecrated in 1858, and who has for his coadjutor Dr. 
Power, consecrated in 18G5. Bishop Power has recently 
built a house for himself in the town of Killaloe, on an 
elevated site, the ground for which, I understand, has been 
granted in a very liberal spirit by Dr. Fitzgerald, the Protest- 
ant bishop of the diocese. The total number of the secular 
clergy in this diocese, parish priests and curates, is 124, the 
number of churches 142. It is a remarkable fact that the 
regular clergy have but one chapel in this diocese. There 
are two monastic houses, with only ten members between 
them, and five convents, with 102 members in community. 
A diocesan college has been recently opened at Ennis, where 
there are forty boarders and 1 00 day pupils. 

Attached to the convent of Roscrea is an efficient ladies' 
school, while each of the four Convents of Mercy — Nenagh, 
Ennis, Birr, and Kilrush — has, besides a primary school for 
the poor, a branch for superior education. 

The diocese of Kerry includes the county of Kerry, and 
part of Cork. The bishop is the Most Rev. Dr. Moriarty, 
who resides in his " palace " at Killarney, where a magni- 
ficent cathedral has been erected quite close to the beautiful 


grounds of the Earl of Kemnare — a Catholic peer who has 
retired from public life. His son, Viscount Castlerosse, is 
a zealous and munificent supporter of his own Church ; but 
for some cause or other, though in much favour with the 
Queen, who honoured him with a visit some time ago, he is 
said to have refused a site for a place of worship belonging 
to the Church of which Her Majesty is the temporal head. 
Nowhere in all Ireland does the Establishment appear in 
such humiliating contrast with the splendour of the Church 
of Rome, which has several very fine new buildings in addi- 
tion to the cathedral. The miserable hole in which the 
Protestants worship is found with difficulty, and is quite in 
keeping with the decayed, neglected, tumble-down condition 
of the whole town of Killarney, in which nobody seems to 
build, or repair, or do anything whatever for the future. The 
residence of the landlord, whose ancestral trees overshadow 
the town, is an earthly paradise. Three of the finest hotels 
in the kingdom are in the neighbourhood ; immense sums 
of money are spent there every summer by visitors to the 
lakes. But nothing seems to do the people any good. The 
number of parish priests and curates in the diocese is about 
100, the number of churches and chapels 94, of which only 
two belong to the regular clergy. Tralee is the principal 
town in the diocese; the Christian Brothers have schools 
there, and at Cahirciveen and Dingle. The Presentation 
Monks have schools at Killarney, and there are eleven con- 
vent schools of various orders, in which 5,000 girls are taught, 
making a total of more than 8,000 children in the schools 
of the religious orders of this diocese. According to the 
report of one of the National Board's Inspectors, himself a 
Roman Catholic, the literary education in some of those 
schools is extremely defective. 



The united diocese of Tuam, Killala, and Achomy, is the 
largest in Ireland. Tuam includes the greater part of the 
county of Galway, and a small portion of the county of 
Roscommon. Killala includes about one-third of the county 
Mayo, and some portion of the county of Sligo, and Achonry 
parts of the counties of Sligo and Mayo, forming together an 
of 2,686,085 statute acres, and embracing the greater 
part of the province of Connaught. The length of the 
diocese of Tuam is 77 statute miles, and its breadth 63. In 
1834? the population consisted of 9,6 19 Churchmen, 367 Pres- 
byterians, 65 Protestant Dissenters, and 467,970 Roman 
Catholics — the Protestants of all denominations being to 
the Roman Catholics in the proportion of one in forty. 
The population at the last census was 9,041 members of the 
Established Church, and 302,367 Roman Catholics, the 
Presbyterians and Dissenters being under 500. 

The see of Tuam is said to have been founded about the 
beginning of the sixth century. Its prelates are sometimes 
called by the Irish annalists bishops, or archbishops, of 
Connaught. There was once a bishopric of Mayo, which 
was annexed to the see in the sixteenth century, and of 
Enachdune, which after a long series of disputes, says Arch- 
deacon Cotton, was finally annexed to Tuam " about the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth." The reader cannot fail to observe 
the vagueness with respect to dates and facts in the records 
with which the venerable author of Fasti Eeclesise Hibernicse 
would confirm the faith of the Irish Protestant bishops in 
their regular succession from St. Patrick. The reign of 
Elizabeth was a long one, yet he can only say that it was 
about that reign that one line of Celtic bishops was tied 
to another line. The same sort of vagueness and uncertainty 
pervades the whole history of the ancient Irish Church, 


For example, St. Jarlath, the patron saint of Tuam, "is said" 
to have founded a monastery and a school there "about" the 
beginning of the sixth century. Then we read that the list 
of St. Jarlath's successors, for some centuries, is sadly imper- 
fect. The most that the annalist can tell about them is that 
they " died," of which there can be no doubt, if they ever 
lived. There was one, however, in the middle of the twelfth 
century, who was a person so eminent for wisdom and 
liberality, that one of the old annalists "proclaimed that 
when he died Ireland died with him." He might have said, 
like Metternich, " After me the Deluge." But if Ireland was 
submerged in the Atlantic that time, she very soon came to 
the surface again, to prove to the world the irrepressibility 
of the Celtic race. Two years after we find another prelate 
of Tuam receiving the pall from Cardinal Paparo. Most 
of those saintly prelates seem to have been buried in 
the Abbey of Cong. From the close of the thirteenth century 
there seems to have been a struggle for the appointment of 
bishops to this see between the Pope, the King of England, 
and the Connaught chiefs, the Pope generally prevailing. 
The chiefs who had most to do with these matters were the 
Bermino'hams and Burkes. At leno-th came the Reformation, 
when Christopher Bodkin, who pliantly conformed to the 
religious faith of the reigning monarch, was transferred by 
Henry VIII. to this see from Kilmacduagh, which he 'was 
allowed to hold in commeiidam. Queen Elizabeth was 
understood to have abhorred the Irish lano-uage. But we 
find her recommending Nehemiah Donnellan to this see, 
because he was " very fit to communicate with the people in 
their native tongue, and a very mete instrument to retain 
and instruct them in duty and religion ; and that he had 
also taken great pains in translating and putting to the press 
the Communion Book and New Testament in the Irish 
language, which her Majesty greatly approved of." It was 
unfortunate for the Established Church that she did not 
make all her appointments in the same spirit of consideration 
for the welfare of the people. Bishop Daniel, or O'Donnell, 
of this diocese, in the beginning of the seventeenth century 


finished the Irish translation of the New Testament, which 
had been commenced by Bishop Walsh, of Ossory. Nothing 
of this kind was to have been expected from Archbishop 
Boyle, who was obliged to take refuge in Galway during the 
rebellion of 1641, or from Archbishop Maxwell, who died 
of orief on hearing of some disaster that befel the cause of 
Charles I., or from Archbishop Yese v. who, during the tyranny 
of Lord Tyrconnell, was forced to fly to England with his 
wife and twelve children. 

Archbishop Synge had better times in the eighteenth 
century, and reigned peacefully for twenty-five years under 
the Penal Code. His successor, Dr. Hort, got Ardagh in 
C07n/me7idam, and it was so held for about a hundred years. 
Passing over Jemett Browne, of whom nothing remarkable is 
recorded, we come to a magnificent aristocratic series of 
spiritual lords of Tuam, the last of which has just been ap- 
pointed by Lord Derby. The first was the Hon. J. D. Bourke, 
brother to the Earl of Mayo, whose title he inherited. He 
was translated to this see from Ferns and Leighlin in 1782, 
and ruled it till 1794, when he died, and was interred in the 
family burying ground near Naas. His successor was the 
Hon. William Beresford, who was afterwards created Baron 
Decies, and was buried in 1819 at Clonegam, near Curragh- 
more, the seat of his family, in the county Waterford. It 
was now the turn of another great aristocratic house, the 
Trenches of Ballinasloe, the head of which is the Earl of 
Clancarty. The Hon. William Power Trench was translated 
to this see from Elphin in 1819, and reigned till 1839, in 
which year he was succeeded by the Hon. Thomas Plunket, 
son of Lord Plunket, the great Irish Chancellor. The crowning 
appointment of this series is the Hon. Dr. Bernard, brother 
to the Earl of Bandon, who, on the occasion of his en- 
thronization at Tuam, on the 17th of January, 1867, declared 
that see to be " the bright spot of the Irish Establishment." 
Its history is really interesting since the appointment of Dr. 
Trench, who was the last of its archbishops, the apostolic 
succession being profanely cut off by the Church Temporalities 
Act in 1834. 


Dr. Trench, was first Bishop ofWaterford. In the year 
1809, through the influence of the Duke of Richmond, then 

Viceroy, he was translated to the see of Elphin. in the pro- 
vince of Tuani. Like nearly all the old Irish sees, it is said 
to have been founded by St. Patrick, who must have been 
decidedly an ubiquitous apostle. But of his successors little 
or nothing is known for many centuries, till the arrival of 
the English ; "a little before which/ 5 says Ware, "the see of 
Elphin was enriched with large estates, on the translation 
of the see of Roscommon to it ; the sees of Ardcarn and 
Drumclive, with others of less note, were united and annexed 
to this. At last it came to be looked on as one of the richest 
in all Ireland., and had subject to it about seventy-nine 
parish churches." This, no doubt, was the reason why the 
accomplished brother of the Earl of Clancarty was translated 
to Connaught from the important city of Waterford He. 
however, set to work with laudable zeal, inspecting all the 
parishes and institutions of his new diocese. He became 
the patron and manager of the Hibernian Bible Society, a 
branch of which was established at Elphin: and at a meeting 
in the cathedral it was resolved — " that a cordial invitation 
should be given to the gentlemen of the Roman Catholic 
Church residing within the limits of this branch to join and 
give then patronage and support to the good and pious work 
intended." But he did not restrict his efforts to the spiritual 
welfare of the Roman Catholic gentry ; he devoted himself 
most earnestly to the relief of temporal distress dining the 
famine and pestilence which visited Connaught in 1817-38. 
Elphin felt severely their effects, having a wretched popu- 
lation, without a market, without business of any kind, and 
very remote from turbary. The poor of the town and it- 
precincts were supplied by the Bishop with fuel, blankets, 
clothing, and plenty of milk, and even the wandering beggars 
received from him supplies of soup. rice. &c. In this way 
he became very popular. He also had a fever hospital 
opened for the poor people afflicted with typhus. Bishop 
Trench held the commission of the peace, and was very 
active as a magistrate. In this capacity, he on one occasion 


used his authority to enforce the rights of a priest, who was 
shut out of his chapel by his own flock, because the man of 
their choice had not been appointed. They had even threat- 
ened the life of Mr. Dolan, the newly appointed priest. Dr. 
Trench being consulted by another magistrate, at once 
declared his willingness to unite with him and uphold the 
law by protecting Mr. Dolan in the discharge of his duties 
in the parish chapel at Strokestown. Accordingly, his lord- 
ship appeared on an appointed day, with four or five other 
magistrates, at Strokestown, and his presence had the desired 
effect. On another occasion the Bishop called out a number 
of the Enniskillen Dragoons, and rode at their head, to dis- 
perse a body of Whiteboys and other rioters, who threatened 
to do some mischief in the neighbourhood. He also paid 
attention to the prisons ; and from a letter of his, written in 
1813, it appears that they were sadly in need of reform. In 
the gaol of the county of Roscommon he found a common 
hall, in which nineteen persons were to sit, cook their food, 
and take their meals in a space in which nineteen persons 
could not conveniently stand, the cells which should have 
been used by the prisoners being otherwise improperly 
occupied, and another common hall being used as a guard- 
room by the soldiers. He found twelve female prisoners, 
"all co-mixed, confined in one room, in which they all slept, 
cooked their food, and took their meals — no cells or common 
hall allotted to them, as the law directed. He found seven 
debtors confined in one room, as if they were criminals. 
Prisoners of all classes were confined together, good and bad 
— convicts and those whom the law, as well as Christian 
charity, still held to be innocent. There was no place allotted 
for a chapel, or an infirmary, or a work-room. The Inspector 
of Prisons, who received an ample salary, had not seen that 
gaol for three years. These facts, which present a vivid 
picture of the manner in which the landed gentry neglected 
their duties in those days, were formally brought by his 
lordship before the Grand Jury and the Judges at the 
Assizes; and in doing so, he showed how useful to the 
country a bishop of the Established Church, or any bishop, 


might make himself if he were a practical reformer, and 
went about among the people, sympathizing with them in 
their wants and grievances. But he was a rare exception, 
more especially in the combination of religious zeal with 
charity. Mr. Albert Best, a Dissenter, for many years agent 
of the London Hibernian Society, bore testimony that Bishop 
Trench contributed much to the increase of religion in that 
diocese in which Sligo is situated. "The judicious selection 
of faithful clergymen for every vacancy secured an efficient 
parochial ministiy. The hitherto neglected Protestant 
population, thinly scattered over the rural districts, was 
carefully sought out, and its spiritual wants attended to; 
the happy consequence of which was, that Scriptural in- 
formation became more extensive in every grade of society, 
and religion, instead of being the subject of derision, was 
fe]t in many cases in all its sanctifying influence, and in 
all, generally speaking, became an object of respect. Many 
of the leading gentry participated in these spiritual blessings, 
and they cordially co-operated in every plan of religious 

Archbishop Beresford, of Tuam, died in October, 1819, 
when the Prince Regent took into his royal consideration 
" the singular piety and integrity of the Right Rev. Power 
Le Poer Trench, D.D.," and translated him to the archbishop- 
ric. When his Grace removed to that town in the month of 
December, the crowds that went forth to meet and welcome 
him were immense, and his carriage passed between burning 
piles of turf. to the palace. "Such is the return," he ex- 
claimed, "for all the kindness they have received from the poor 
Archbishop, than whom there could not have been a more 
kind-hearted man." Writing to a friend a few days later, 
his Grace said, "We were met by a large mob at the suburbs 
of the town, and the crowd was so great from thence all 
through the town, cheering, that the carriage could hardly 
move. This was not very complimentary to a man of whom 
they knew nothing, nor very respectful to the memory of 
my predecessor." 

It should be recollected that these people, who burned 


their turf so freely, and cheered so loudly, giving a triumphal 
entry to a Protestant archbishop, were Roman Catholics, 
who had to pay tithes to his clergy, and to support their 
own priests at the same time. To one of the clergy, who 
had a dispute with a parishioner about potato tithes, he 
wrote as follows : — " I candidly confess, that had I been con- 
sulted before you made your claim for potato tithe I should 
have given my opinion against your doing so. I do not 
think the question now is, whether any retreat is inglorious; 
this is not the spirit in which a Christian minister ought to 
consider anything. If this claim had been bond fide made 
in consequence of injustice upon the part of Mr. D., and that 
such injustice still exists, I see no reason why you should 
relinquish your claim; but if that injustice should be actually 
removed I cannot see how it can be any reflection upon you 
to relinquish a claim which was taken up clearly and dis- 
tinctly in consequence of such removed injustice." — The facts 
of this case are worth recording, as an illustration of the 
working of the old tithe system. A rich grazier in the 
union of Emlafad gradually acquired possession of several 
large farms in one of the parishes. These he converted into 
pasture, in which condition they were tithe-free. It is true, 
the incumbent was entitled to the tenth lamb and the tenth 
fleece of wool ; but the grazier, to avoid paying either, was 
in the habit of removing his sheep-walks from one portion 
to another of the wide territory he occupied in the county. 
He frequently avowed that he would never allow hay or 
oats to be grown till Mr. Garrett, the incumbent, would 
agree to accept a fair titheable value on the produce. But 
expert as he was in dodging the tithe-proctor, the parson 
managed to seize some lambs and fleeces, and the sum of 
£60 was due to him. The grazier, however, declared publicly 
that he would sooner pay £500 than yield to a demand for 
tithes on wool and lambs. An attempt to settle the matter 
by arbitration having failed, it was alleged that he sought 
to starve Mr. Garrett into compliance, by withholding all 
tithe of every kind for the harvests of 1818 and 1819. He 
was then cited to the Ecclesiastical Court for tithe due on 



tillage, and a bill in Chancery was filed against him for the 
tithe due on wool and lambs. Next he was sued for the 
extensive crop of potatoes on his lands. This tithe, though 
legal, and paid in many parts of Ireland, had not hitherto 
been demanded in that district. In this case it was, how- 
ever, held to be just, inasmuch as the farmer received £8 or 
£9 an acre from the cottiers for the privilege of sowing and 
removing the crops from the land. Of course, in such a case 
the poor had to pay the tithe also. Therefore, many gentle- 
men of the county, feeling that an oppressive impost on the 
poor was about to be introduced, called a public meeting, 
raised subscriptions, appointed a tithe committee, and adopted 
memorials to the Viceroy, the Metropolitan, and the Diocesan. 
Colonel Cooper, one of the principal Protestant landlords, 
became the leader of the movement. The war was a pro- 
tracted one; for in 1821 the Archbishop wrote to Mr. Garrett, 
stating that he would on no account advise him to relinquish 
the suit, without being fully secured in that, the deprivation 
of which first occasioned him to seek the tithe of potatoes, 
adding, "I have no hesitation in saying, that were you in 
my diocese I would call my clergy together, and head an 
association and subscription to carry on the contest in which 
such a powerful combination is opposed to you." 

On the 15th of May, 1822, Mr. S. Cooper, member for the 
county of Sligo, presented a petition to the House of 
Commons from that county, complaining of the claim 
recently set up by Mr. Garrett to tithe upon potatoes, no 
such claim having ever before been asserted in that quarter 
of the country. Mr. Goulburn, then Chief Secretary, to 
whom the archbishop had communicated the particulars, 
explained the case to the House, and in the course of his 
speech said : — " Every man who knew the state of Ireland, 
knew the difficulties which existed in getting tithes at all. 
The land was generally let at a rent exceeding its value. 
The leases were so framed with clauses for duties performed 
and articles furnished, that the landlord had the first oppor- 
tunity of claiming his due. Then came the clergyman, after 
the land was stripped, to lose his right altogether, or to take 


process at law, as the last hope of obtaining it." The deci- 
sions of the courts were ultimately in favour of Mr. Garrett, 
and Mr. D. was forced to submit to a composition."* 

Another of the periodic famines with which some 
districts in Connaught were so often visited occurred in 
1822. The Archbishop exerted himself as usual to mitigate 
distress, in organizing relief committees and contributing 
most liberally himself. Among the tributes of gratitude 
which he received, was one from a Galway priest, the Rev. 
T. E. Gill, who prefixed to a charity sermon which he 
published the following dedication to the Protestant Arch- 
bishop. It will be read with astonishment by the clergy of 
both churches in these days of comparative intolerance and 
exclusiveness : — 

" My Lokd — Youv exertion? in these distracted times claim the tribute 
of a people's thanks. Without distinction of creed you have lent a willing 
ear to the cry of the poor, and a liberal hand to their alarming necessities. 
Tally was called, in his day, the father of his country. You, my lord, in 
our days, have acquired a name, combining in its signification the noblest 
qualities of our nature, the father of the fatherless. 'Tis engraved in our 
hearts ; 'tis impressed on our memories ; it can never be forgotten. 
Entering, then, into the universal feeling, I take the liberty of inscribing 
to your Grace my feeble efforts in the same great cause, and of subscribing 
myself, with the liveliest admiration of your virtues, 

Your Grace's most obedient humble servant, 

" The Author. 
" Galway, August 24th, 1822." 

How shocked Archbishop MacHale would be if one of his 
clergy now published a sermon alluding to his heretic 
competitor in the same see in the following terms : — " I call 
on them to co-operate with the wise appropriation already 
begun in favour of the distressed and sickly of the com- 
munity by his Grace of Tuam, with that piety and zeal, with 
that ardent and indefatigable industry, that ever characterize 
his efforts, and breathe on his actions an unearthly lustre." 

* " Memoir of the last Archbishop of Tuam." By Rev. J. D Arcy 
Sirr, d.d. Page 104, &c= 

2 B 2 


Referring to British liberality during the distress, the 
reverend Celt, with all the fervour and florid eloquence of 
his race, exclaimed : — " Oh ! we shall fondly entwine the loved 
shamrock of our valley with the fostering rose. They shall 
grow lovingly together. Their fragrance shall mingle like 
the incense of love ; the dew-drops that will glisten on their 
leaves shall be like the tears of some celestial sympathy, 
We shall plant them in the sunniest beds of our gardens as 
a grateful memorial of this generous people. Religious and 
political differences no longer remembered, our misfortunes 
have at length providentially accomplished what our brighter 
hours could never effect. No longer eyeing each other with 
distrust, the Irishman shall strain his English neighbour to 
his heart. Both shall kneel at the same shrine — }^es, both 
shall worship at the same burning altar of charity !" 

The Distress Committee for the town and county of Gal way, 
at a meeting held in September, 1822, the Rev. Dr. Ffrench, 
the Roman Catholic warden, in the chair, passed a resolution 
expressing their congratulations on the success that had 
crowned the archbishop's efforts to alleviate " the unpre- 
cedented intensity of wretchedness " under which the people 
had so long suffered, and offering their humble tribute of 
affectionate gratitude, and then proceeds in a similar strain : — 
" We do not fear to intrude upon the august seclusion of 
those virtues, which have been so unceasingly exerted in 
abating the misery and in ameliorating the condition of the 
people of this district. More glorious by your actions than 
even by your exalted station, you proceeded in the exercise 
of your sacred ministry, and, with a singular self-devotion, 
you interposed between the victims of contagion and the 
grave — you have fulfilled your holy task, and having reached 
the highest point of genuine glory, you now return to your 
home, hailed by the benedictions of a grateful, affectionate, 
and applauding people. That your Grace may live long to 
contemplate the good effects of your beneficent interposition 
is our most sincere and fervent prayer." 

In 1824, Bishop Jebb, in a speech on the Irish Tithes 
Composition Amendment Bill, in the House of Lords, referred 


to this season of distress in language which throws some 
more light on the conduct of the Irish landlords in those 
times. Dr. Jebb said : — " Application for assistance was 
made to the absentee proprietors, who annually abstract from 
that county (Galway) the sum of £83,000. And what was 
the amount of their congregated munificence ? My lords, 
it was £83 ! Not a farthing in the pound of their annual 
Irish income." The admirable conduct of the Established 
clergy at that time made a deep impression on the hearts of 
the Roman Catholic peasantry. Bishop Jebb proceeded : — 
" In many parts of that country, especially those parts where 
the clergy have least professional employment, they are the 
chief, too frequently the sole moral prop and stay ; and from 
the highest to the lowest rank and order, they are inde- 
fatigable in every social and civil service. In that very 
province from which I have adduced a melancholy instance 
of absentee penury, during the same calamitous season of 
1822, it pleased Providence to raise up a diffusive instru- 
ment of good, and that instrument a Churchman. If 
the London Distress Committee, if its honourable and worthy 
chairman, were asked, who, at that period, stood foremost in 
every act of beneficence and labour of love, they would with 
one voice pronounce the Archbishop of Tuam ; from morning 
to night, from extremity to extremity of his province, at 
once the mainspring, the regulator, the minute-hand of the 
whole charitable system. As distress deepened and spread 
abroad, he multiplied himself with a sort of moral ubiquity. 
He proved himself worthy to rank with ' Marseilles' good 
Bishop,' and hand-in-hand with him go down to the latest 
posterity, among the benefactors of mankind." 

There was some surplus of the charitable funds remaining 
which Archbishop Trench laboured to utilize for the en- 
couragement of the growth of flax. He purchased wheels, 
reels, and other things necessary for this purpose, and set 
the women spinning, and the men weaving, cultivating self- 
reliance by advancing loans to be repaid in small weekly 
instalments. The Bev. John D'Arcy, of Galway, co-operated 
efficiently in this industrial movement, and was the first to 


establish a savings' bank in that town. Such services ren- 
dered to his country by a prelate of the Established Church 
deserved to be the more gratefully remembered, because 
they are unfortunately so exceptional. 

The metropolitan of Connaught had certainly ample 
means for the exercise of benevolence. Ardagh as well as 
Killala and Achonry was held by him in commendam 
till the Church Temporalities Act transferred it, together 
with Elphin, to the Bishop of Kilmore. The archbishopric 
was, in fact, a sort of principality, and as a prince of the 
Church Dr. Trench enjoyed it for a period of about forty 
years. He might with such revenues have enjoyed life in 
London, or on the Continent, like some of his brethren, 
especially in times when the public were not so exacting as 
they are now; and when we recollect that the bishops as 
well as the clergy were apt to consider the incomes they 
derived from the Church as much their own property, to do 
with it what they pleased, as the estate of any private gentle- 
man. Although Archbishop Trench held this opinion, he 
did not act upon it, but seemed evidently conscious that he 
was a trustee, and that he was bound to reside, labour, and 
spend for the benefit of the population in the midst of which 
he was placed, with such magniticent endowments, by the 
State. The benefit of his expenditure in such a poor dis- 
trict of country was highly appreciated by all classes. By 
the Church Temporalities Act, Killala and Achonry were 
added to the already ample territory over which he was 
called to preside. On this occasion the greatest possible 
anxiety was felt at Tuam lest his Grace should remove to 
the palace of Killala. A public meeting was therefore con- 
venedj and an address presented, signed by the sovereign, 
as chairman, and by 280 of the principal inhabitants, nearly 
all Roman Catholics. In reply to this address he wrote, that 
if he were to consult his own feelings he should have little 
difficulty in determining where his future residence should 
be. But he said, " Inasmuch as I feel (humanly speak- 
ing) that the cause of vital religion, the establishment of 
the Redeemer's kingdom upon the earth, and the general 


interests of the Church of Christ, may be involved in the 
question, I dare not hastily and unadvisedly decide upon a 
measure so awfully responsible. I have, therefore, prayed 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to grant me a short time 
for deliberate consideration, for humble prayer to Almighty 
God for direction, and for a spirit altogether abstracted from 
self, before I give my final answer to their requisition." He 
gave that answer on the 11th of June, 1834. "I have," he 
said, " this day sent my final answer to the requisition from 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, that I should declare 
whether I would make Killala my residence, and that of 
the bishops of Tuam for ever, in which I have expressed 
that I feel it my duty to continue such residence at Tuam, 
and thus my connexion with my friends and neighbours 
will be extended to the end of my life." Tumultuous joy 
was produced by this announcement. Large bonfires blazed 
in the street, and the houses were brilliantly illuminated. 
But in proportion to this exultation was the despair of 
Killala. To the earnest appeal of the inhabitants not to 
leave them destitute of a bishop, his Grace replied: — "If 
the dire consequences you so feelingly apprehend would 
result from my non-residence at Killala, and from the non- 
residence there of my successors the future bishops of Tuam, 
what must I anticipate will be the fate of the comparatively 
few Protestants around me, and in the other parts of the 
county of Galway, and the more southern parts of the 
county of Mayo, should I desert them, and deprive them for 
ever of the fatherly care and watchful eye of the [appointed] 
shepherd of their souls ? Could I dare to leave them un- 
protected, unsupported, exposed to persecution, to bitter 
trials, and ultimately compelled to seek that protection in a 
foreign country of which they were deprived in their own ? 
All that I wordd, I cannot do ; I would, therefore, decide 
upon that which appears to me the least injurious to the 
cause of vital religion and the general interests of the 
Church. I may err in my judgment, but I am sure you, 
gentlemen, will do justice to the purity of my motives and 
the conscientious sense of duty that leads me to the con- 


elusion that I ought to establish the future residence of the 
bishops of Tuam where it now is." 

His meek spirit was roused almost to indignation by the 
plans of further Church reform which were before Parlia- 
ment in 1835. He wrote the heads of a speech that he 
intended to deliver in the House of Lords, in which he 
strongly insisted on the missionary character of the Irish 
clergy. " They were sent," he said, " as the apostles of old 
were sent, to preach the Gospel to every creature, whether 
Protestants of their own immediate communion, or Dissen- 
ters, or Roman Catholics, or Jews, or Turks." He con- 
sidered a parochial minister responsible for every living soul 
within his parish. He seemed to hope that the whole pro- 
vince would soon turn over to the Establishment. " The 
fields," he said, "are white already to the harvest." He 
protested, therefore, against the clause of the bill, which 
would appropriate any part of the undoubted property of 
the Church to any but purely ecclesiastical purposes, and 
denounced the reform as a monstrous measure. He also 
raised his voice against any revision of the composition for 
tithes in Ireland, settled under various Acts of Parliament. 
" Thus," says his biographer, the Rev. Dr. Sirr, " the Arch- 
bishop at once put his foot upon the whole of this infamous 
system of legislation, when he prepared to tell the House of 
Lords, that our political empirics had mistaken the whole 
character of the Established Church. The Church was 
established in the land not because the whole community 
did, but in order that the whole community might agree 
with her. She was introduced as leaven into the lump that 
the whole might be leavened. It was now unblushingiy 
proposed that she should be withdrawn from ever}' place 
which was apparently pre-occupied by the Romish schism. 
Much profound socratic argumentation was thrown away on 
the subject, and much criminal coquetting emplo} x ed in 
honour of a hateful and disgusting voluntaiyisrn. Till she 
can accomplish the total downfall of the establishment, the 
Church of Rome in Ireland, that most anomalous of schis- 
matical bodies, which ever had existence, considers it her 


policy to applaud the voluntaries and to boast of the advan- 
tage of voluntaryism in religion.* 

The theory of Church and State in Ireland thus clearly 
propounded, Archbishop Trench laboured to carry out to the 
fullest extent during his long career in Connaught. The ex- 
periment was made under the most favourable circumstances. 
All along the Atlantic coast, and for some miles inland, 
there was a dense Roman Catholic population whose spirits 
had been broken by periodic famines, and they were pretty 
much in the condition of the Celtic race after the Elizabethan 
wars. The feudal spirit still remained in full force beyond 
the Shannon, and many of the landed proprietors had im- 
bibed the spirit of their Archbishop, and warmly co-operated 
with him in the propagation of Evangelism. His owti 
brother was the head of one of the greatest of the old 
aristocratic houses of the province — the house of Clanearty, 
a fact which, in such a /v/ ^/.-worshipping community, must 
have given his Grace an immense prestige, which a prelate 
sprung from the people, such as Elrington, Mant, or Magee, 
could not possess. The clergy, too, of the united dioceses 
were most zealous in prosecuting the missionary work; and 
they did so with the great advantage of being the almoners 
of very large funds, contributed in England for the relief of 
distress in their respective parishes. Some of them learned 
to preach in the Irish language, and they were aided by a 
host of Scripture-readers, and by school-masters, supported 
by funds dispensed by societies having their head-quarters 
in London. Such were the conditions under which the ex- 
periment was made by this wealthy and popular prelate 
during his long public life, and which was continued still 
more systematically and with more effective organization by 
his successor, the late Lord Plunket. We shall see with 
what result. So great was the destitution in 1831 that, 
according to the report of one of the committees, a popula- 
tion estimated in the county of Mayo at 293,000 souls, no 
fewer than 226,532, or more than two-thirds of the whole 
people, had been placed on the charity lists. The misery of 
* Memoir, p. 326. 


the people is described as having been affecting in the 
extreme ; " but," remarked one of the clergy, "it is the 
misery which ever afflicts this wretched land ; the misery 
not of this year alone, but of every year — a misery the cause 
of which lies deeper than in the failure of the crops." The 
Protestants of those districts were, however, so far above 
the level of destitution that, out of an allocation of 203 tons 
of meal made by the central committee at Gal way, a single 
ton was set apart with this entry — " To the poor Protestants, 
one ton." Abuses under such a state of things were in- 
evitable, and the effect was so demoralizing that the 
benevolent archbishop felt constrained to write : — 

" Starvation is now become a trade, and provisions are 
sent in abundance where no calamity occurred, and where 
there is no extraordinary want to warrant it. The cry is, 
as the provision is going, why should not this parish and 
that parish get its share ? The demand for relief upon the 
central committee every week increases; and I am taught 
to believe what they cannot supply the government will. 
Places that I know were never in less want than they are 
this year, have received large supplies of meal. This is a 
sad precedent, and I fear we shall not for a long time recover 
it. My means would not last a day, if I had not most con- 
scientiously and justly drawn the line I did, and which I 
will adhere to to the end." 

There was not one tenant on a large estate who was not 
returned " destitute." Many of them were in affluent cir- 
cumstances. At the head of one list was a farmer who had 
a large stock of cattle, and a very large supply of oatenmeal 
for sale ; and he had actually some hundreds of pounds 
deposited for safe keeping with one of the churchwardens 
of his parish. None of the persons returned in some of 
those lists were suffering any degree of want greater than 
was usual at that period of the year. The Archbishop re- 
ceived altogether for distribution on this occasion, from 
public and private sources, the sum of £5,667, of which sum 
he returned £2,839 as not being required. There was 
another season of scarcity in 1835, but at that time the 


distress of the Protestant clergy themselves in other parts 
of the country where agitation against tithes was successful, 
called for all the assistance that could be afforded by the 
bishops and others. 

If the missionary efforts of the Archbishop and his clergy 
could have been felt by the Roman Catholic population to 
be purely spiritual in their object, they would, no doubt, 
have been much more effectual. But they were unfortu- 
nately identified with the cause of Protestant ascendancy, 
and the maintenance of a political system which excluded 
from the Legislature all persons holding the creed of the 
mass of the population. For two or three years preceding 

olic Emancipation, the Protestant clergy were most 
active in agitating against that measure, and in their efforts 
to prove that Roman Catholics could not be bound by the 
most solemn oaths. The meetings of the Hibernian Bible 
Society, which were held throughout the country, were con- 

<t into a sort of political propagandism, designed to 
keep the bulk of the Irish population out of the pale of the 
Constitution, although Emancipation was part of the policy 
by which the Union was effected, and foiled only because 
George III. felt bound by his coronation oath to put his 
veto upon the concession. It was so with respect to all 
other Protestant societies which appealed to the public for 
support. In fact, there was a regular crusade against the 
Church of Rome in Ireland at that time, and, as might be 
expected, the Archbishop of Tuam lent his powerful aid to 
the movement. But that movement met with the fierce 
antagonism of the leaders of the Catholic Association. 
O'Connell, Sheil, and others, with some of the most eloquent 
of the priests, entered the arena of controversy, and inter- 
rupted the proceedings of the Protestant meetings, especially 
where they were held in the county court-houses and other 
secular buildings. On the 19th of October, 1824, a meeting 
of the Bible Society was held in the sessions-house at 
Loughrea, in the county of Gal way. The Archbishop was 
announced to take the chair, and the local clergy imprudently 
issued a circular, directed indiscriminately to all persons in 


the neighbourhood of any respectability, commencing with 
the words, " You are kindly invited to attend the annual 
meeting of the county Galway branch of the Hibernian 
Bible Society." This appeal was responded to by the Rev. 
Peter Daly, p.p., of Galway, and other priests, accompanied 
by some Roman Catholic gentlemen, and backed by a mass 
of the Roman Catholic population who crowded to the 
court-house. The Rev. B. W. Mathias, of Dublin, and the 
Rev. Dr. Urwick, an Independent, attended as a deputation 
from the parent society. They found the court-house 
crowded to excess, but it was a comfort to observe that 
Major Warburton was there with the police under his com- 
mand, to protect the Protestants from violence. They made 
way for the Archbishop, who was voted to the chair. 
" Never," wrote Dr. Urwick, " shall I forget the view on 
looking round. On the right in the jury-box were ranged 
a number of Roman Catholic clergymen, five of whom seemed 
ready to prove themselves the champions of the day. Im- 
mediately below at the witness-table were a few ladies. 
In front was a dense mass of human heads ; along the wall 
on the left, under the windows, were some clerical and other 
friends of the Protestant cause. A brief report was read, 
and its adoption moved and seconded ; but when the Arch- 
bishop rose to put the motion, Father Daly, of Galway, 
claimed the right of addressing the meeting, pleading the 
circular that had been sent to the Catholic bishop of 
Clonfert, among others. He said he wished the subject 
to be fairly discussed, and though he was not a subscriber, 
he might be induced by argument to change his mind and 
join the Society. He was told by the chairman that arrange- 
ments for discussion might be made after the business of 
the meeting was over. But the priests claimed their right 
to be heard then and there ; the mob became excited, 
clamour and confusion arose, the frightened women were 
handed out through the windows. It was then proposed 
by the Roman Catholic party that the Archbishop should 
leave the chair, and that it should be taken by Mr. Guthrie, 
a liberal Protestant barrister. But the Archbishop, who 


was a man of courage and firmness, said — " I shall not leave 
this chair, Mr. Daly, until the business of this day is gone 
through, unless I am forced out of it — unless I am forced 
out of it." This emphatic declaration disconcerted the 
leaders. But the mob, whose brethren his Grace had so 
often fed, vociferated — " Turn him out, turn him out !" 
" And," said Dr. Urwick, " if demoniac rage was ever indi- 
cated in human countenances, it was in the mass before us 
then. Circumstanced as we were, pent up amid such sights 
and sounds, with no way of escape, it would have been 
little disgrace if even a stout heart had quailed. We had, 
however, one who showed no fear. His Grace lost not his 
self-possession for an instant, though, undoubtedly, had 
violence been done, he would have been the first victim/' 
Mr. Guthrie then attempted to speak, sustained by the 
clamours of the multitude, but the chairman persistently 
refused to hear him, and the conflict lasted for about two 
hours, till at last it was whispered that the military were 
coming. It was not until his party had sounded a retreat 
that the Archbishop felt he had no choice left. -He and 
other friends of the society withdrew, " egress for flight 
being readily afforded them."* The triumphant party then 
held a meeting of their own, at which they passed a resolu- 
tion detailing the circumstances of the previous clamour, 
in which they stated " that the chairman by his orders and 
example procured many of the members of the Bible Society 
to keep up a most indecent clamour for the avowed purpose 
of stifling the voices of any persons who might differ in 
sentiments from the Archbishop ; and at length his conduct 
lui ring become so outrageous, even in the opinion of some of 
his own party, that a very general call was heard to appoint 
another chairman, upon which he declared he would remain 
there for a month to carry his own object into effect ; but 
after a considerable time occupied in clamour, excited by 
himself, he vacated the chair and left the meeting ; where- 
fore we view tuith disgust and indignation the arbitrary 
conduct of the Archbishop." 

* Memoir, p. 471. 


They also resolved as follows — " That we look with indig- 
nation and horror at the introduction of a military party of 
the 10th Hussars into a public assembly of such a nature, 
with drawn swords, countenanced by the Protestant Arch- 
bishop of Tuam, to intimidate, or perhaps to massacre, the 
Roman Catholic clergy and laity, who have been insidiously 
invited to this house, and who came with the hope of ex- 
pressing their sentiments, and promoting any rational measure 
calculated to improve the morals and condition of society; 
and, at the same time, we cannot withhold from the military 
our approbation of their peaceable and orderly conduct, 
notwithstanding the intemperance and bad example of the 

The Dublin Evening Post, to its credit be it recorded, did 
not endorse this denunciation of the courageous Archbishop. 
That journal, then the leading Liberal organ in Ireland, 
referring to the Galway proceedings, remarked : — " We can 
never mention the name of Dr. Trench but with feelings of 
admiration and respect. We can never forget the conduct 
of this exemplary prelate in the year of famine, and we are 
satisfied, that the poor of his archdiocese will remember it 
with gratitude. While others, who, with a species of bitter 
irony are called the natural protectors of the poor, were 
uttering fine sentiments on the banks of the Thames, or the 
Seine, he was visiting every part of his extensive and starving- 
see, distributing food and raiment and medicine, comforting 
the afflicted, and saving hundreds from the jaws of death." 

People had then extravagant ideas of the revenues of the 
Irish bishops, which certainly derived some countenance 
from the enormous amount of personal property in the wills 
of some of the number, and which were the more readily 
accepted, because much of it was realized by renewal fines 
on the leases of Church lands. Mr. Eneas M'Donnell, a 
"Roman Catholic gentleman, was in the habit of writing 
letters in defence of the Catholic cause in the great Whig- 
organ of the time, the Morning Chronicle. In one of those 
letters, deploring the interrupt] on of friendly relations between 
Protestants and Roman Catholics in Connaught, he said: 


u And really, sir, when we consider the vast official revenues of 
his Grace, who has, as I understand, recently refused the offer 
of £27,000 as a renewal for one single lease, it is not unreason- 
able to expect some forbearance towards the Roman Catholic 
population, constituting as it does forty-nine fiftieths of the 
people of the district from which such revenues are obtained; 
and the more particularly, as they do not receive, expect, 
or desire any professional services from his Grace in return 
for such public contributions to his wealth." 

To this statement the Archbishop made the following 
answer : — If I could give satisfactory value in the renewal 
of a lease under me for £30,000 I should have no hesitation 
in refusing to accept for it £27,000 ; and if my property 
(which I deny is a public contribution to my wealth), be 
ever so large, why should any man living envy me its 
possession, or betray jealousy on its account, more than on 
the account of the 1;; sessions of any layman. My 

title to my estates is, at least, as good as that of any other 
man's in the land ; and it is to be presumed, that the ex- 
penditure of their proceeds in the hands of one whose station 
requires his residence upon them, will at least be as extensive 
and conscientious for the benefit of the community as that 
in the hands of any others, and its disturbance would involve 
the ruin of numerous families, and the violation of settle- 
ments, of marriage articles, of wills, &c, &c. But in the case 
before us, Mr. Eneas M'Donnell understands what is not 
true. I have been twenty-three years upon the episcopal 
bench, and I never received, demanded, or refused the one- 
eigltth part of £27,000 for the renewal of one lease ; and 
there are many of the most important and valuable leases 
under the sees of Tuam and Ardagh, some of which were not 
renewed for more or less time previous to the death of my 
predecessor, and none of which have ever been renewed by 
me, and I would willingly renew any one of them to the 
25th of last month for less than one-eighth of £27,000." 

Another Bible meeting was held on the 1st of November 
following at Carrick-on-Shannon, in the county Leitrim. It 
was held in the court-house, and 600 respectable persons, 


among whom were several Roman Catholic priests, were 
admitted by ticket. One of them, Dr. M'Keon, attempted to 
address the meeting ; and it was ultimately arranged that 
there should be a public discussion between an equal number 
of Protestant clergymen and priests. Archbishop Trench 
wrote to the chairman, the Rev. W. A. Percy, stating that 
" nothing ought to be left undone in this most important 
crisis," and that he had sent one of his faithful clergy to 
Gal way most strongly to urge the Warden, the Rev. James 
Daly, to be at Galway on the day appointed. The discussion 
took place on the 9th of November, between the Rev. Dr. 
M'Keon, George Brown, and Michael O'Beirne on the part 
of the Roman Catholics, and the Rev. W. Digby, G. Hamilton, 
and W. Bushe, on the part of the Protestants, the question 
being, " The Bible as a rule of faith." The Archbishop was 
well pleased with the result. 

In August, 1827, he presided at a Church missionary 
meeting in the town of Galway, when Mr. O'Connell was 
there at the assizes. Handbills were circulated intimating 
that Mr. O'Connell would attend the meeting, and as a 
matter of course the place was crowded. He entered during 
the proceedings, and as soon as one of the speakers had done, 
presented himself to the notice of the chairman, who told 
him that he could not hear any one who was not a member 
of the society. Mr. O'Connell said, " I remember, my lord, 
to have heard a story once of an interpreter, who was a very 
good sort of a man, and a professed linguist, but who unfor- 
tunately knew not a word of the language spoken by either 
of the two persons for whom he undertook to interpret, and 
exactly like to him is your Grace's aid-de-camp, he does not 
understand one word of what you and I, who are discussing 
very quietly the question of courtesy or right, are saying, 
and yet stands up and offers to arbitrate between us." Thus 
he went on again in his rambling strain, evidently at a loss 
to know what exactly he would be at. " Mr. Freeland, and he 
meant him no personal disrespect, found one doctrine in the 
Bible and his Grace found another. Let them settle their 
differences between themselves before they come to convert us. 


Let them toss up for it ! There is a story of two cats who 
were constantly quarrelling. They were locked up in a 
room one night, and in the morning they were found to have 
eaten one another up except their tails. Let your lordship 
and that gentleman (looking at Mr. F.) be shut up together 
like these cats The Roman Catholics had con- 
verted 4,000 in China. Two bishops and some priests had 
been martyred for their religion. Why did not your lordship 
tell that to the meeting ? He would convict his lordship 
before a jury (a laugh), because he did not tell the meeting 
of the murder of the Catholic bishops and priests." 

Mr. Topp, a lay gentleman, who attended from the parent 
society, thus describes the scene : — " It was indeed a most 
triumphant day for the cause of God, and missions. The 
contrast must have been as striking to others as to myself, 
even to the numerous band of priests, and there were many 
there, as well as to the respectable and intelligent members 
of the Roman Catholic Church, who formed the great 
majority of our crowded and attentive assembly. Yes, there 
was a strong pictorial contrast of lights, and shadows — there 
was the calm unruffled forbearance of our Archbishop in the 
chair, unmoved by any ebullition of undue feeling, under 
coarse ribaldry, and personal insult, all evidently given vent 
for the purpose of raising the often expressed shout, and 
laugh, and clapping of hands, and waving of handkerchiefs. 
There was also the calm, the dignified, the holy reply of the 
Warden Daly breathing love, and pity, and forbearance, as 
he unravelled the mis-statements, corrected the erroneous 
assertions of the assailant, and vindicated the truth of God 
our Saviour, and the sublime and Christian object of our 
society in sending forth the gospel of life and salvation to 
the ends of the earth. And there was in the dark back- 
ground the man who called forth all this; trembling and 
ashamed as he felt the withering effect of Christian eloquence 
and Christian charity. Indeed so powerful was the effect, 
that Mr. O'Connell rose immediately after the Warden had 
concluded, and to his own honour and credit be it now 
recorded, he complimented the Warden in the handsomest 

2 c 


manner he could, saying, 'Warden Daly was a scholar, a 
gentleman, and a Christian, and would to God all others 
were like him !' But I said the day was most triumphant. 
The event gave notoriety to our proceedings. It was then 
the assizes of Galway, and the next day the church was 
unusually crowded. Many of the respectable members of 
the bar attended, and a sum of near £24 was collected, so 
that our God herein made the wrath of man to praise him." 

In October of the same year commenced another collision 
between the Archbishop and the priesthood. The Rev. 
Thomas Maguire, generally called Father Maguire, the 
celebrated controversialist, delivered a speech at a public 
meeting at the town of Roscommon, in which he was reported 
to have stated that within the last fortnight a Protestant 
rector waited on him, bearing to him a letter from an arch- 
bishop, " making an offer of £1,000 in hand, and a living of 
£800 a year if he would abjure the Catholic religion and 
become a Protestant parson." This statement became the 
subject of comment in the newspapers, and it was stated that 
Dr. Trench was the archbishop intended. The libel was 
conveyed to the Morning Herald by its Dublin corre- 
spondent. The Dublin Register commented upon the 
alleged transaction with the heading, " Horrible and almost 
incredible depravity." But the Archbishop, feeling that the 
imputation was most injurious to the Establishment, com- 
menced legal proceedings, and all the newspapers had to 
apologize ; and Mr. Maguire himself had to explain away 
the statement, and throw the blame upon the reporters. 
Mr. Michael Staunton, proprietor of the Morning Register, 
excused himself by saying — " I only credited what I saw in 
print, or what thousands besides myself credited. But that 
all originated in mistake or misrepresentation, which luas 
not mine, and that the Archbishop of Tuam and his 
venerable brethren were altogether blameless, and, of course, 
as far as those publications were concerned, grossly and 
unwarrantably misrepresented, I was as ready at the earliest 
moment, as I am now, to testify." 

In an article in the Register Mr. Staunton said : — " There 


is not now a single man in fche country who lias the 
remotest suspicion that the Archbishop of Tuam had the 
least concern with the offer to the Rev. Mr. Maguire, which 

was alluded to at the Roscommon meeting It 

becomes us now to make a statement, which it was not at 
all necessary to do in vindication of his Grace, and which it 
would have been obviously not proper to do pending the 
late proceedings in the 'Exchequer— and it is this, that the 
Rev. Mr. Maguire denies, and we need not say truly denies, 
that he ever alleged that he had received any offer of the 
nature alluded to from the Archbishop of Tuam." 

The action against the Morn'my Herald, however, pro- 
ceeded in the Court of Common Pleas, London, before the 
Chief Justice, Sir William Draper, and the Archbishop got 
£50 damages. In his charge the Judge referred to what was 
then called "the New Reformation" in Ireland, and expressed 
a hope that it would turn out a real and extensive reforma- 
tion ; but he added : — " God forbid that it should ever be 
accomplished in any degree by such infamous and corrupt 
practices as are here imputed to the Archbishop of Tuam." 
A motion was afterwards made to set aside the verdict, but 
it was confirmed by the unanimous decision of the Bench. 
In Dublin the prosecution against Mr. Staunton came on 
for trial, after many delays in the Court of Queen's Bench, 
just when Catholic Emancipation was announced, on the 
23rd of February, 1829. Mr. Sheil, who was counsel for 
Mr. Staunton, after alluding to the apologies which were 
tendered, added : — " If before this trial it was judicious and 
praiseworthy to tender this reparation to so distinguished 
an ecclesiastic, assuredly it is at this moment a still easier 
discharge of duty to do so, when the minds of every one of 
us should be brought into reconciliation, and should yield 
to the influence of ameliorating events. In the mild tem- 
perature of this new political season, better feelings should 
spring up, and the hearts of men, opening and expanding in 
this prosperous and sunny time, should be fertile in the 
production of good and kindly emotions. The publication 
of which the venerable prosecutor complains was written 

2 c 2 


in the midst of deep animosities and of factious but not 
unnatural virulence. The trial which has originated from 
them takes place when splendid anticipations, which are 
almost equivalent in their moral result to their glorious 
realization, are presented to us ; and it behoves every indi- 
vidual to avail himself of every the least occasion which is 
afforded him, to render the national mind more susceptible 
of prosperity." The learned gentleman closed his speech, 
after referring to Dr. Murray's mode of meeting slander, in 
these words : — " The Archbishop of Tuam bears the same 
armour, and should rely equally upon it. He is a good man, 
mistaken, in my opinion, in his particular views, but his 
conduct is irreproachable ; and he has a humane and Chris- 
tian heart. Let him bid defiance to accusation, and, above 
all, let him not, upon a surmise that his character is assailed, 
go through such a process of purification as this. There is 
no blot upon his name, and he needs no such ablution as 
is afforded in this court. I began by expressing my regret 
that he should so far have misapprehended the meaning of 
the defendant ; and in concluding, I unaffectedly reiterate 
the assurances of my client, that he is deeply sorry that he 
should have given room to his Grace to indulge in such 
'fantastical misconception' " 

The new Reformation shone at that period, like a glorious 
dream in the imagination of English as well as Irish Church- 
men, and then as well as now Tuam was regarded as " the 
bright spot of the Irish Establishment." It is true the 
movement which first received that name began in the 
county of Cavan under the auspices of Lord Farnham. 
Among his tenantry, and those of the neighbouring gentry 
who sympathized with him and caught the holy contagion 
of missionary zeal, which was to supersede Catholic Eman- 
cipation by consuming Catholicism, and melting off the 
spiritual chains of the people, there were many who " read 
their recantations" in the parish churches of Cavan and 
Kingscourt. But in that neighbourhood the light that 
Hashed so vividly for a time soon faded, and after the pass- 
ing of Emancipation the zeal of many Protestants waxed 


cold, and the battle against Popery was relinquished. In 
Connaught, however, it was not so, and the sanguine spirit 
of the Archbishop hoped on while his ample resources helped 
to supply the sinews of war which, as commander-in-chief, 
he directed. It is interesting to read now what the great 
Church organ of the time — the British Critic — thought of 
the movement. In the number for January, 1828, there was 
an elaborate article on " the Irish Reformation." " As in 
Cavan," remarked the writer, "an impulse seems to have 
been given by the superintending zeal of one eminent in- 
dividual, so the province of Connaught, the peculiar realm 
of Irish Popery has experienced the active exertions of a 
metropolitan, who has not admonished his clergy with the 
cold and selfish counsels of worldly prudence to abstain 
from provoking the bigotry of surrounding multitudes, but 
has urged them with the most earnest exhortations to make 
known the truths of religion to an ignorant and deluded 
peasantry. In Cavan a single year of zealous superintend- 
ence seems to have been sufficient for giving the impulse 
decisive of that reformation, for which preparation had al- 
ready been made." But Connaught, it seems, did not require 
that preparation. " A province has begun to receive and to 
embrace the new reformation." This was the more wonderful, 
for according to the missionary reports from which the 
Bvitislt Critic derived his impressions, the greater part of the 
Roman Catholic inhabitants were represented as " meriting 
equally the name of pagans or Mahometans as of Christians." 
Their religion was said to be composed of mere superstitions 
— "the efficacy of holy wells, holy trees, holy stones, of 
charms and gospels — not the Gospel of the Scriptures, but 
amulets prepared by the priests, scapulars, jubilees, penances, 
and purchased absolutions." Galway was described as the 
very head-quarters of Irish Popery, and there an impression 
was made. In proportion, as Protestantism made progress, 
Popery assumed a more hostile attitude. The Bible was 
described as the book of the devil, the poison of souls, and 
the key to perdition, and the people were told the mission- 
aries who forced it upon them might lawfully be kicked out 


of doors, have their skulls cracked, or be drowned in "bog- 
holes. "Even this hostility, however," said the contem- 
porary Critic, " works for good. Popish authority is found 
to stretch itself, until at last it must break ; while Protestant 
conciliation will no longer squander itself away at the ex- 
pense of consistency." 

But what had the Established clergy with their Arch- 
bishop and his suffragans been doing for generations before in 
return for the revenues granted them by the State ? How 
did it happen, as this writer truly states, that " heretofore 
the Roman Catholic peasantry had been wholly abandoned 
to the care of their clergy, whom they had accordingly re- 
garded as the only friends of the poor, having no personal 
knowledge of their landlords except when a Parliamentary 
election brought them together for a purpose in which the 
landlords alone were concerned?" The Rev. M. H. Seymour, 
a most zealous missionary, informed Dr. Sirr that the Arch- 
bishop's visit to hold a confirmation in the parish of Kille- 
nummery was the first episcopal visit for such a purpose at 
that place for ninety years, in consequence of which old 
women came forward to be confirmed. Archbishop Beres- 
ford "had found it impossible to penetrate into Connemara," 
and a church which had been built at Ballinahinch was never 
consecrated or used till it became a ruin, and not one stone 
remained upon another* — too fitting an emblem, spiri- 
tually, of the Church Establishment in Connaught. Unless 
the poor abandoned Protestants scattered through that 
western region had chosen to live like heathens, they must 
have asked the priest to marry them, baptize their children, 
and bury their dead. They did so ; and in this way the 
Church lost more members than she has been able to regain 
by all her Connaught missions. It is much to the credit of 
the last Archbishop that he made extraordinary exertions to 
recover the ground that had been lost, and to conquer fresh 
territory. He left no likely means unemployed for this 
purpose. He encouraged the planting of Scriptural schools 
in every direction, and their masters became a sort of local 
* Rev. Dr. Sirr. 


missionaries, arguing in season and out of season against 
"the errors ofPopeiy." He invited the ablest preachers and 
the best controversialists among the clergy in Dublin and 
elsewhere to traverse the province and preach up the new 
reformation. Feeling the great importance of the Irish 
language in preaching to the natives, of which the Rev. 
John Gregg, the present Bishop of Cork, gave him a striking 
illustration in his own person, the Archbishop caused an 
advertisement to be published stating that he had come to 
the determination of not receiving into holy orders after the 
1st of January, 1832, any person for the ministry of that 
province not capable of reading to and addressing the people 
in their own native tongue. This was dated March 7th, 
1830. But no such candidates presented themselves to his 
Grace, and this project, therefore, failed. Another plan of 
his had the same object. He wished to establish a college 
at Tuam, where the Irish language would be taught to 
candidates for the ministry who had graduated in the 
university, and in which they might be specially prepared 
for the missionary work among the natives. He sent a 
prospectus of the institution to his brethren on the bench 
soliciting their co-operation, but only one or two of them 
deigned to notice it even in the coldest manner, and the 
scheme fell to the ground. A project for establishing a 
Protestant colony on the waste lands of Conneniara he also 
regarded with favour, and within a few years of his death 
this venerable prelate travelled all the way to the island of 
Achill to visit the missionary colony founded by the Rev. 
Edward Nangle. His carriage having broken down, he 
pursued his journey on an outside car. He died in the 
sixty-ninth year of his age, on the 26th of March, 1839, 
having filled the metropolitan see for the long period of 
forty years. 

It may be safely said that, humanly speaking, no fitter 
agent could have been employed to extend the Reformation 
in Connaught, nor could more suitable instruments have 
been selected, than those which this truly good prelate em- 
ployed, with unflagging zeal, for nearly half a century. But 


he was himself part and parcel of the Protestant ascendancy 
— the political and the ecclesiastical system against which 
the national instincts of the people, whom he would enlighten, 
revolted. They suspected that even the efforts made osten- 
sibly for the salvation of their souls were designed to exclude 
their race from the civil rights and privileges which Pro- 
testants enjoyed, and they were easily taught that by con- 
forming to Protestantism they would betray their country. 
They could not help associating the new Reformation with 
the secular aspects of the Establishment, with the wealth 
and grandeur of the bishops, the exactions of the rector, 
and the visits of the tithe-proctor; and they felt that it 
would be base in them for such a cause to desert the priest, 
who had been their only friend, adviser, and guide for this 
world, as well as for the next. The Rev. Dr. Sirr, the author 
of this very instructive memoir of one of the best prelates 
that ever adorned the Establishment, unwittingly admits the 
failure of the Church as a missionary institution, and its 
cause, in the following passage : — " The priests adopted a 
stratagem that, alas ! proved too successful in the issue. 
They subscribed for several copies of the Dublin Register, 
a newspaper then the official organ of the Roman Catholic 
Association, and arming their emissaries with these, sent 
them to the discussion halls to read the speeches of Shiel 
and O'Connell, and the Bible was closed that they might 
drink in sedition, and admire the wonderful orations of these 
great Irishmen. Politics took the place of theology, and 
though priestcraft was humbled, popery was triumphant. 
A more wicked artifice was never resorted to to rivet the 
chains of ignorance ; but it is one which has been practised 
effectually on a larger scale, over the whole face of this un- 
fortunate island."* 

* Memoir, p. 542. 



The war against Romanism in Connaught, which Archbishop 
Trench had so persistently waged for forty years, was prose- 
cuted, after a brief truce, by his successor, the late Lord 
Plunket, and continued with more or less vigour, and a still 
larger measure of foreign aid, in the shape of funds from 
England. For some years, his nephew, and chaplain, now 
the Hon. Conyugham Plunket, was the most active agent of 
this crusade. That gentleman delivered an address before 
the Church Congress at Manchester in 1863, and which he 
has reprinted as a pamphlet, on "The Church and the Census 
in Ireland." This address contains some interesting statistics 
on Church progress. " How deplorable," he said, "was the 
state of the Church in Ireland at the commencement of the 
present century may be gathered from the fact, that out of 
1,220 incumbents who in the year 1807 had charge of the 
2,341 parishes of Ireland, no less than 397 were non-residents, 
while the cause of this non-residence in 169 instances was 
pluralism." These figures were given in a Parliamentary 
return. Some improvement was shown at the end of a 
quarter of a century. In 1832, it appeared from the diocesan 
returns to the Privy Council Office, that the number of non- 
residents had been reduced to 368, and the number of 
pluralists to 109. That is, the non-residents were persuaded 
to return to their duty at the rate of one per annum, and 
the pluralists were reduced at the rate of two per annum. 
This was not much to boast of in the way of Church reform 
for a quarter of a century. Mr. Plunket states, that the 
number of converts from the Church of Rome during that 
era of successful missionary labour which came to a crisis in 
1828 was 2,357. Passing over that crisis, and the collapse 
that followed Catholic Emancipation, Mr. Plunket proceeds 
to trace Church progress from 1834 to 1861. He states that 
within that period 133 new incumbencies were formed within 


the Church, 306 new churches built, and 171 enlarged. 
During the same period the non-residents decreased from 
368 to 150, and the pluralists, he says, became almost extinct. 
Mr. Beresford Hope was struck with Church progress in 
Ireland, and the feature of that progress which naturally 
attracted his attention most was cathedral restoration. He 
pointed to the cathedral movement in Armagh, and Dublin, 
and Limerick, where the churches have been restored, and 
to the proposed restorations grandly designed for Kilkenny, 
Cork, Belfast, and Tuam. 

But the portion of Mr. Plunket's address which is most 
to our purpose at present relates to missions to Roman 
Catholics. He does not rest the claims of the Establishment 
on the fact that it has missionary duty to discharge towards 
Roman Catholics, and he says, "So far from this, I hold that 
were the Roman Catholics of Ireland all to become Presby- 
terians to-morrow the rights of the Church in Ireland, both 
as regards her connexion with the State and the possession 
of her own property, would remain precisely as they are 
now."* This is a very remarkable declaration. If 88 per 
cent, of the population of Ireland were Bible-reading Pres- 
byterians, Mr. Plunket holds, that the other 12 per cent, 
being Episcopalians, would have a right to be the Established 
Church of the country, and to enjoy the whole of the national 
Church property. He proceeds then to enumerate the 
agencies by which the conversion of the Roman Catholics 
was sought — the Irish Society, the Scripture Readers' Society, 
the Island and Coast Society, the Reformation Society, and 
the Irish Church Missions Society. These societies he describes 
as having been organized by Churchmen, conducted on Church 
principles, and directed by the bishops and clergy, being, in 
fact, essentially a Church movement. Perhaps it would be 
found, however, that the chief business of the clergy in con- 
nexion with them consisted in receiving and disbursing 
funds which came for the most part from England. If any 
one had access to complete sets of the annual reports of 
those several societies for the last forty years he would find 
* M The Church and the Census in Ireland," p. 24. 


that the amount of British gold poured into Connaught 
during that time to subsidize the Established clergy, with 
their Scripture-readers and schoolmasters, in trying to convert 
the Roman Catholics, would be something enormous. But 
this is voluntaryism, not the work of the Establishment. 
The Established Church in Connaught deserves the credit 
of the missionary movement just as much as the landlords 
and their tenants deserve the credit of the English supplies 
that so often came to mitigate the famines that prevailed in 
that miserable province. The necessity of such extraneous 
efforts and contributions to bring the Gospel, and the means 
of grace, even to the few Protestants scattered here and 
there, proved that the Establishment had utterly failed to 
accomplish its object. It was paralysed and helpless, and 
its duty had to be done by others, with means drawn from 
the charity of the public in England. Let me quote a few 
of Mr. Plunket's instances, supplied to him by clergymen of 
different localities. "The time," writes one, "is fresh in my 
memory when in certain coast districts beyond this town 
(Skibbereen) and Bantry there were but six clergymen and 
six churches, but there are now in those districts sixteen 
clergymen, four of which are partially maintained from the 
funds of the Additional Curates' Fund Society, and fourteen 
churches, with public worship also in several school-houses." 
Another states, that when he went to Dingle, in 1831, there 
were oidy five Protestants, four of whom went sometimes to 
mass. There was no church, no glebe-house, no Scriptural 
school, in any of the four parishes of the district. He 
testifies that the result of missionary work there was to add 
1,000 converts to the Church, and that in another parish, of 
which he became rector, 150 men and women had left the 
Church of Rome and joined the Establishment. The Rev. 
S. H. Lewis counts 2,000 converts in Dingle in twenty-six 
years, and Mr. Plunket considers this an under-statement. 
Dingle became a sort of Protestant colony, and the clan 
feeling came into operation in the work of conversion. Thus, 
the Rev. Mr. Moriarty, the chief missionary, was a convert, 
and had a large following of Moriartys, and the Rev. Dr. 


Foley brought over a number of the Foleys. The latter 
gentleman paid a visit to America some years ago. and in 
his published account he says. " Everywhere I met whole 
hosts of Dingle converts, holding the faith of their adoption 
with unwavering constancy. At one place. Boston. I addressed 
400 persons, the greater number of whom were converts 
from Kerry, or had become converts since they removed to 
America." A Limerick rector counts 600 converts in his 
parish since 1849. Preaching in the Irish language by men 
of the same race, who sympathized with the people in their 
national feelings, proved singularly successful" for a time in 
the mountainous districts of Kerry, on the Atlantic coast. 

But Mr. Plunket turns to West Connaught as presenting 
the greatest results of the Church missionary movement. 
This is a tract of country bordering upon the Atlantic, and 
comprising the districts of Achili. Erris. and Connemara. 
extending for 100 miles in length and twenty or thirty in 
breadth. Twenty-five years ago. that is about the time of. 
the death of Archbishop Trench, who had been carrying on 
the missionary work there for forty years, the greatest 
number of congregations, says Mr. Plunket. which could be 
found within the district was 13. the number of churches 
being 7, and of clergymen 11. Within the same district 
there are now 57 separate congregations. 27 churches, and 
35 clergymen. In the reign of Queen Anne. Sir Arthur 
Shaen introduced a Protestant colony in the northern part 
of West Connaught. There were also Protestant colonists 
settled southward near Galway. The Rev. Mr. D'Arcy told 
me that there was a remnant of them when he went to 
Galway about fifty years ago. but they had been utterly 
neglected, and as no clergyman of their own church ever 
went near them they were obliged to go to mass. 

The Rev. Dr. Hume remarks, that " It is peculiarly difficult 
to recover either those that have been perverted or their 
descendants ; yet the missionary fruits are two-fold, em- 
bracing the Roman Catholic population, and the descendants 
of lapsed Protestants. The former are pure Celts, mild, 
docile, and gentle in their dispositions, far different from the 


Romanized Normans imported from England, who make up 
the dangerous classes of the worst counties, and constitute 
England's ' great difficulty.' " 

The Rev. W. C. Plunket, in his account of a visit to the 
Connemara missions, says : — I learned with astonishment 
the extraordinary fact, that' not more than a century ago 
one half of the population inhabiting this very district of 
Connemara were members of our own Church ; and that, 
consequently, in sending out missionaries into these districts, 
we are only, after all, carrying out the unquestionable duty 
of recovering the straying sheep that wandered but a few 
years ago from our own fold." 

But what was the condition, in a spiritual point of view, 
of the district of Derrygimla previous to 1848, after all that 
Archbishop Trench and his clergy had done during forty 
years ? " There is but one answer. It was dark and barren. 
No ministry ; no means of grace ; no Bible, and no Protestants 
to read it, with the exception of four or five families residing 
in different and distant parts of the parish, who never assem- 
bled for public worship, and never went to any place of 
public worship, as the distance was too far; while many 
original Protestants, who came to reside there on farms, 
suffered then children to be baptized by the priests — this 
being the natural result of intermarriages with Romanists — 
and the absence of all means of grace to counteract the evil 
influences and consequences that followed." 

This is the authentic report of results from the labours of 
the Connaught missions under Archbishop Trench. His 
successor has fortunately something more to show, as appears 
from the following table : — 















I. — Achill and Erris, 
comprising benefices 

II. — Non-Missionary 

III. — Bunlahinch, 
Tourmakeady, Aas- 
leigh, and Castle 
Kerke Missions, 

IV. — Connemara and 
Arran, . 

V. — Oughterard, 
Spiddal, &c, . 

Deduct Methodists, . 
Total, . 





































The following table, constructed from the census by the 
Rev. Dr. Hume, of Liverpool, gives the relative numbers of 
the religious denominations for each county in the province : — 








Galway Town, 
Galway County, 
Leitrim County, 
Mayo County, 
Roscommon County, 
Sligo County, 

Total of Connauglit, 





















I have given an account of a confirmation by the last 
Archbishop of Tuam, and of a visit which he paid to the 


Tsland of Achill. The following from Mr. Plunket's 
pamphlet will serve as a companion picture : — 

" It is now fourteen years since (in the year 1849) I 
accompanied the Bishop of Tuam upon a tour of confirma- 
tion through the district of Western Connaught. There 
were upon the occasion of the confirmation 460 converts 
confirmed in Achill, and 401 in the district of Connemara. 
Two years afterwards I again accompanied the bishop upon 
a similar tour through the districts of Connemara. The 
number of converts confirmed at that time was 712. 
Since that period there have been four more confirmations 
held within the mission districts, and the whole number of 
converts confirmed upon the six occasions referred to, as 
officially reported in returns drawn up at the time by the 
bishop, amounts to 3,090 ; of this number, 2,042 belong to 
the district of Connemara. As a proof that the work is not 
diminishing in that district, I may add that at the last of 
these confirmations, which I myself attended during the past 
three weeks, no less than 139 converts were confirmed from 
the parishes of Clifden and Ballinakill alone." 

Testimony to the reality of this work of conversion has 
been borne by many eminent persons who visited Connaught 
— Canon Wordsworth, the Bishop of Rochester, the Bishop 
of Oxford, the Archbishop of Dublin, and many others. 
Yet the truth of history requires that I should not omit to 
mention the fact that great doubt has been thrown upon the 
correctness of the mission reports, and it has been publicly 
asserted that visiters have been imposed upon by the 
dexterous management of the agents in collecting together 

O © CD CD 

at particular places children and adults a to make a fair 
show in the flesh." Some distinguished clergymen of the 
Establishment in Belfast, Cork, and elsewhere, have openly 
impugned the reports, and have charged the conductors of 
the Irish Church Missions to their faces, in meetings of the 
clergy in Dublin, with publishing false statements about 
converts, and bribing children to attend their schools. In 
some cases where incumbents encouraged the controversial 
missionaries in their parishes, they have shut up the schools 


and lecture-rooms, on account of the alleged misconduct of 
the lay missionaries. A Cork clergyman, the Rev. Dr. 
Webster, in particular, openly denounced the missions in the 
newspapers, and reprobated the principle on which, as he 
alleged, they were conducted — that is, holding out temporal 
inducements to the children and others to receive religious 
instruction from teachers belonging to a church differing 
from their own. It was perhaps with the view of bearding 
the lion in his den that a meeting of the friends of the Irish 
Church Missions was held in the Protestant Hall, Cork, on 
the 4th of April, 1864. The Earl of Bandon presided, and 
delivered a long speech. He defended with spirit the Rev. 
Mr. Dallas and the Rev. Mr. Eade, the chief managers of the 
society. He said they were constantly hearing attacks from 
Roman Catholics, at which they were not surprised, because 
it was the natural principle of self-defence — the principle on 
which Demetrius upheld the worship of Diana in Ephesus. 
But the attack became more serious when it was made by 
a Protestant. He declared his conviction, however, that the 
charges were utterly unfounded. Lord Bandon said it was 
alleged that the Irish Church Missions used means, which 
are described as bribery, to induce the starving Romanists 
to submit to their teaching, and hence the name of soupers 
had been applied to those who for the sake of a mess of 
pottage were ready to attend either classes or the schools, 
and to learn verses out of the Holy Scriptures, at the same 
time cursing those who had given them bread for so doing. 
" The simple answer," continued his lordship, " to that is, 
that there is not a word of foundation for the whole. For 
my own part, I never could see the harm of giving a hungry 
child something to eat. Great, however, has been the work 
of the Irish Church Missions, and also that noble Irish 
Society. It and its supporters were like the sappers and 
miners who broke up the ground before the great army 
under Mr. Dallas advanced ; it was they undermined the 
fortress, while it remains for the Irish Church Missions to 
storm the citadel of Antichrist." 

Lord Bandon had a very simple method of regenerating 


Ireland. It was only to give her the Bible. He quoted the 
" golden rule " for the management of this country, laid 
down, when upon his dying pillow, by the late Duke of 
York, who said — " Develope her resources, despise her 
agitators, and give her the Bible." Lord Bandon concluded 
with the following enthusiastic peroration : — " ' Give Ireland 
the Bible,' has been echoed through the land, until the 
Catholic priests in some instances have been obliged to 
pretend to give it, though I believe most reluctantly. Give 
Ireland the Bible, and I believe you will see her take her 
place among the nations of the world. I believe we may 
say that as in that family of old there was joy when the 
repentant prodigal returned, so when this prodigal land of 
ours, which for nearly six centuries has wandered from the 
fold of Christ, and whose chequered history has been one 
continued record of anarchy, confusion, miseries, distresses, 
disappointments, and woe, shall have returned to her earlier 
and purer faith, she will be welcomed amidst the vaults of 
heaven with rapture and delight, and the angelic choir of 
heaven, re-tuning their harps, shall swell the notes of praise, 
1 Ireland was dead, but is alive again ; she was lost, but is 
found.' " The Rev. Mr. Benn, on the same occasion, said he 
knew that the society had been charged with bribing 
Romanists to become converts. The thing was absurd, and 
he didn't envy the man who could charge his brother 
clergyman with being guilty of so great a crime. The Rev. 
Mr. Eade, now Eade Corey, Secretary of the Irish Church 
Missionary Society, defended it from the charge of bribery. 
He said : — " But it had been asked, how were those converts 
made ? Some broadly asserted that bribery was the power 
that produced them. He gave that a flat denial. Indeed, 
if this were true, not only would it be necessary to bribe the 
converts at first, supposing we were bad enough to do it, 
but a continued bribery would be also necessary, in order 
to retain them, and the converts thus made might at any 
moment increase their demand. The society must also bribe 
all the converts who had gone to America, to England, and 
Scotland. They must also bribe the numbers of converts 

2 D 


who had gone out from the "West and elsewhere into 
domestic service, and into the army and navy. Such a 
system would be incredible and absurd. But what was the 
power by which they made converts ? It was by bringing 
the Scriptures to bear on the consciences of Roman Catholics. 
That was the power, and that alone. It has been said — and 
we are not at all ashamed of it — that food is given to the 
hungry children in the mission schools. True. But how 
does the matter stand % The Roman Catholics themselves 
were the first to introduce it. At the time of the famine, 
food was given by them to the starving children in their 
schools to keep them alive. It was introduced by the Roman 
Catholics, and afterwards adopted by the Protestants. There 
are many of our schools in West Connaught where it is not 
given, and the poor children often support themselves by 
gathering sea- weed from the rocks. The food in our schools 
is given, not by the society, but by benevolent friends. It 
is not given as a bribe— it is given as charity. Those poor 
hungry, starving children would get more food in the Roman 
Catholic schools than we can ever give them. The power 
of the mission is not a miserable plate of stirabout ; it is 
something by far higher — it is the Scriptures brought to 
bear on the conscience." This is in substance the defence of 
the procedure of the Society of Church Missions. 

A correspondence arose out of the charge of bribery, which 
contained some interesting matter. On the 3rd of December, 
1863, Mr. Eade wrote to Mr. Webster in the following 
terms : — 

" I have been informed from more than one quarter, 
that in a sermon preached by you in St. Nicholas' Church, 
Cork, on Wednesday evening last, you stated, that the 
Society for Irish Church Missions bribed their supposed 
converts, and that you could prove that they did so. 

" As Missionary Secretary of this society, I trust I may be 
permitted to ask you whether you made such an assertion, 
and if so, on what grounds ; as the charge, if believed, would 
seriously injure the Society, not to say destroy the character 
of honourable men who are carrying on an important work 


of Church extension in this country, who would indignantly 
repudiate such a charge." 

To this Mr. Webster replies as follows : — " Any man may 
be fairly charged with bribery who gives money or any 
temporal assistance to his fellow- creature for doing anything 
that that fellow-creature believes to be wrong. With this 
kind of bribery I did charge the Irish Church Missions 
Society last Wednesday week, and I make the same charge 
on every occasion, in public or private, whenever the subject 
is naturally introduced to my notice. I see no reason still 
for withdrawing the charge. 

" You have schools to which Roman Catholics send their 
children to be taught Protestantism, and the parents of 
these children are influenced to do this by the food and 
clothes given in your schools. The money to buy this 
assistance may be collected locally in the various districts 
where the schools are situate, and the money collected in 
England may be devoted to the payment of agents and 
1 Missionaries ;' but still the money for food is collected 
under the auspices of the Society, and with its full sanction. 
If the food and clothes are not given to tempt the children 
and adults to attend the classes in the schools, but given as 
mere charity, why is the food not given to those who refuse to 
attend the classes ? If Archbishop Cullen could afford to open 
good boarding schools for the poor Roman Catholics in Dublin, 
would he not at once fill these schools with Roman Catholic 
children, and empty the poor-houses ? What, then, is 
keeping the thousands of children away who refuse to enter 
your schools, and whose parents are willing to let them put 
up with the wretchedness of the poor-house ? There can, I 
think, be but one answer to this question, and that is, the 
moral sense of right and wrong, such as it is, in these 
parents, directs this part of their conduct. If you, then, 
offer such parents worldly inducements, ivith the intention 
of tempting them to send their children to you, I believe 
your society is fairly chargeable with bribery. All this I 
explained to my congregation." 

In a subsequent letter Mr. Webster wrote : — " I complain, 



not that temporal relief is given to our starving fellow- 
creatures, but that it is given on condition that they commit 
sin. You do not deny that if that relief is given to induce 
them to do what they believe to be wrong, the Roman 
Catholic commits sin who violates his conscience, and you 
sin doubly in offering the worldly inducement for such a 
purpose. You say, ' Even, if under the teaching of Rome, 
some of them believed at first that they were doing wrong, 
they would soon discover,' &c. This is just the point I 
wish to dwell upon. I cannot see what good results may 
spring from evil, but I cannot believe that any results, 
however beneficial, could justify me in using unlawful 
means. You must acknowledge that the bread and clothes 
are given to the children and to the adults for the very 
purpose of bringing them to your schools. 

" You say that it is ' customary in Ireland in all schools 
intended for the lowest class in the community' to give food 
to the children. This is hardly correct, and I think you 
would find it difficult to point out a school where food is 
given to Roman Catholics to make them listen to Protestant 
teaching, except that school be conducted by the Irish Church 
Missions Society, or by one of the few clergy in Ireland who 
approve of the principles of that society. Food and clothes, 
I know, are sometimes given; but then this assistance is 
given to the Roman Catholics whether they attend the 
Protestant instruction or not. 

"Again, you say that the Roman Catholic children in 
Dublin who attend your schools ' could obtain greater tem- 
poral advantages in Roman Catholic schools or dormitories 
in the same locality.' Probably you are unaware that the 
miserable relief that the Roman Catholics are endeavouring 
to give has been very laudably provided by them for the 
purpose of counteracting the system of temptation which 
the Irish Church Missions has instituted. You cannot 
surely mean to say that Archbishop Cullen is able to collect 
as much money in Dublin for the temporal relief of the 
countless thousands of Roman Catholics who are willing to 
receive it, as the Irish Church Missions Society collects in 


all Ireland. At all events, as a Protestant, I should feel 
ashamed to enter into such a contest with any body of 
men. It appears to me to he wholly unworthy of Pro- 
testantism to make the poverty of Roman Catholics an 
occasion of outbidding, or overreaching the heads of the 
Roman Catholic Church, and, therefore, as long as you 
tempt Roman Catholics, by a regular fixed system of relief, 
to prefer the interests of this world to those of the world to 
come, so long I must feel myself bound to make every 
protest in my power against the Irish Church Missions 

"You quote an extract from a speech made by the Bishop 
of Oxford in Manchester. If his Lordship has been totally 
misinformed, I am very sorry for it; but I am fully per- 
suaded he would see cause to change his mind if he were 
acquainted with the facts which I and many other clergy 
could have furnished. I also confess I am deeply grieved 
to see that many other Englishmen, some writers in the 
Times for example, have fallen into the same mistake, and 
have taken up the notion that the Irish Church Missions 
Society is really doing a good work in Ireland. My only 
comfort is that so much of the machinery of the Society is 
worked by Englishmen, and that in a few years, accord- 
ingly, when they discover the mischief they have done, and 
the very imperfect grounds upon which they continued to 
believe they were working with success, they will not have 
to charge the Irish clergy with being the cause of their 

"If it were necessary, I could give instances where the or- 
dained agents of the Irish Church Missions paid Protestants 
to pretend they were Roman Catholics at your controversial 
meetings, and at these meetings to call these very ordained 
agents the hardest names. I could tell you of a school, of 
which it was reported that there were eighty Roman Ca- 
tholics in attendance, when the fact was, not a single Roman 
Catholic ever entered the school, except some five or six 
wretched children who were sent from Dublin by the Irish 
Church Missions Society. I could tell you of a scene I 


once witnessed at the same establishment, where, on a Sun- 
day morning, large quantities of bread were given to Roman 
Catholics for learning a verse of Holy Scripture, and where 
these same people, in my presence, went away cursing the 
Protestants, and cursing the very persons who gave them 
the bread and taught them the verse. I could tell you of 
agents who were known to be charged with drunkenness 
and other vices, who entered in their reports that they were 
persecuted, when they merely got into broils in their drunk- 
enness, and who were, in spite of the remonstrances of the 
Parish clergyman, retained in their offices. I could tell you 
of a report, made by one ordained agent, that he had made 
fourteen converts from Romanism in a certain locality, and 
who had to acknowledge, when I inquired closely into the 
matter, that these fourteen persons did not belong at all to 
that locality — that they had been brought there by this agent 
himself from distant places, and lodged in a school-house, 
and then represented as converts from the locality where 
they had been supported for a few weeks. These and many 
other facts I could report, and there are multitudes of clergy- 
men in Ireland who are able to bear a similar testimony 
from then own experience." 

Mr. Eade replies at great length to the main charge of 
bribery, and furnishes copious explanations of individual 
cases. Mr. J. C. Colquhoun, chairman of the General Com- 
mittee, also took up his pen in defence of the missions, in a 
letter to the Daily Telegraph. Others also entered the 
lists. Much of the correspondence turned upon theories of 
conscience. Mr. Eade, the secretary, in one of his letters in 
the Cork Constitution, said: — "I do not wonder that Mr. 
Webster tries to escape from this painful position by a long 
and subtle dissertation on "conscience." I think he would 
have been more conscientious if he had not made a charge 
public before he was prepared to give publicly a proof of its 
being true." But the editor interposed here v T ith this re- 
mark: — "Mr. Eade forgets that Mr. Webster offers the names 
if guaranteed against legal consequences. We should not 
notice this but that we do not wish to have our space occu- 


pied with needless repetitions. Let the offer be accepted, or 
let the names be given privately to Mr. Eade, and let that 
gentleman either acknowledge that the promise has been 
redeemed or give a reason for maintaining that it has not. 
It is time that this part of the controversy were closed." 

There had been an investigation into the truth of the 
reports before the late Archbishop of Dublin, and just one 
month after that investigation, the Archbishop addressed a 
letter to the Rev. Mr. Dallas, dated November 20th, 1857. 
This letter deserves to be put upon permanent record, as a 
judicial deliverance upon the question of the integrity of the 

" My dear Sir, — You have given a satisfactory explanation of the 
transaction relative to the money given to one of the attendants on the 
controversial classes. And, though it was an imprudent thing to let any 
money pass, as being likely to create suspicion, you must not imagine 
that I ever myself suspected the society of keeping pretended contro- 
versialists in pay, much less that any such notion had any share in 
influencing my decision. 

" But, waiving further reference to the several complaints which I 
investigated, and assuming that all of them were as satisfactorily answered 
as that one (which, however, is beyond ichat I am prepared to admit), still, 
the main consideration that influenced me was, the absence of all proof 
of any positive good results. It was all hopes for an uncertain future ; 
while, for the present, there was the uncompensated evil of much acri- 
monious feeling, excluding (as the curates and several of the inhabitants 
testified) those quieter approaches of good which had formerly existed. 

" The parochial clergy, to whom was committed the spiritual charge of 
the district, and who are solemnly bound to act therein according to the 
best of their own judgment, and whom I have no reason to suspect of 
want of anxiety for its Christian welfare, thought that the burden of proof 
lay on the managers of the Mission to show cause for continuing the 
experiment in that locality. I did not understand them to give any 
opinion as to the working of the Mission in other places. It is conceivable 
that a plan which succeeds ill in some places, may work well in others 
that are differently circumstanced. But they had in view the district 
which was under their own eyes, and which was committed to their 
charge. And in that they (fairly, I think) called for proof of some good 
results. ' Lo these three years I come seeking fruit on this tree and find 
none : cut it down.' 

" If Dr. West had thought that both his present curates (as well as his 
late curate, Mr. Webster) were in error on this point, the next step 


would naturally have been, to replace them by others. For it would 
manifestly have been unwise and hurtful to have two independent agencies 
going on in the same district without co-operation or mutual confidence. 
But as he did not think (nor did I) that there was any reason to think 
their disapprobation was groundless, his only course was to request the 
suspension of the Mission in that locality. 

" We may, perhaps — both he and I and the curates — have acted on an 
error of judgment. But even if it were so, we ought not to be thereupon 
judged hostile to Protestantism. Nor, again, should anyone assume as 
indubitable that we must have erred in judgment because we differ from 
him on a question of expediency, not as to the end to be aimed at, but as 
to the means to be employed. For this would be to claim an infallibility 
beyond what the Pope pretends to. 

" If my decision was an erroneous one, it was at least (as you know) 
not a hasty one. And this is more that can be said for those (and some 
such there are) who, without having heard anything but an exparte 
statement — and that (as I happen to know) a garbled and incorrect one 
— presume to pass severe censures on the Archdeacon and me. 

" I have ascertained that some reports are circulated by persons pro- 
fessedly friends to your Mission which are likely in the end to do more 
damage than any devices of opponents. For falsehoods, though appa- 
rently serving a present purpose, are sooner or later detected, and then 
they do damage not only to the authors of the calumny, but also some- 
times to the cause they advocate. 

" It is reported, I find, that Dr. West concealed from me a letter from 
Mr. Eade (while I was in England) which would have caused my decision 
to be opposite to what it was. This calumny is one which would have 
been worthy of the father of lies himself, except that it is so silly and 
clumsy a fabrication. For as I had all along determined (as you know) 
to examine the parties orally face to face, Dr. West could not, if he had 
wished it, have kept me in the dark on any point. 

" The truth is, that he did transmit to me the whole substance of Mr. 
Eade's letter, keeping the letter only as a memorandum for his interview 
with Mr. Eade previous to the oral examination before myself which had 
been already resolved on. So that those who give credit to such a story 
as I have alluded to, show great simplicity — I mean simplicity of head. 

" But no honest man who knows anything of Dr. West would ever 
suspect him of anything dishonourable, even when there is (as in this case 
there was not) some object to be gained by it. Those of an opposite 
character naturally suspect all men of being as unscrupulous as them- 

" Some there are, I find, who profess to feel much esteem and veneration 
for me, only they lament my being in bad hands. I am a mere puppet, 
it seems, acting just as my evil counsellors pull the strings. This is just 
the manifesto of most rebels. They honour their king, and only rise in 


arms to drive away his evil counsellors. But I know how to value the 
professed esteem of such men. A little boy, indeed, may be on the whole 
a promising child, though he may have been seduced and bullied into 
something wrong by some naughty seniors ; but a man of my age and in 
my station who should suffer himself to be misled by weak or wicked 
advisers, would be clearly good for nothing. And such, therefore, must 
be the opinion those persons really have of me. 

" I have mentioned as a specimen one out of many false reports that are 
circulated. If you should have it in your power in any degree to check 
them, you will so far be lessening a great danger both to your Mission in 
particular and to the Protestant cause. For nothing could give a greater 
triumph to our opponents than to be able to point to persons professing 
to propagate the Gospel truths, and yet setting the example of disregarding 
the ninth commandment even in their dealings with fellow-Protestants. 

" Before I conclude this tedious letter, I will mention that Mr , 

of , a most zealous anti-Papist, has sent me a MS. which I think he 

is proposing to print, suggesting some modifications (from his own expe- 
rience) of the Mission system. Some of his suggestions appear to me 
worth considering. And I have no doubt »he would allow me, if you 
wished it, to forward the MS. to you. 

" Believe me, dear sir, yours faithfully, 


" Richard Dublin. 

" P.S I shall allow Archdeacon AVest to take a copy of this letter, 

which he may show to any inquirers who wish to know the truth, and 
thus save himself the trouble of repeated oral explanations." 

Notwithstanding the censure passed upon the missions, 
the following certificate respecting the Dublin branch was 
signed by the following Dublin clergy: — Archdeacon Wolsley, 
the Rev. Dr. Stanford, the Rev. Dr. Sidney Smith, and the 
Rev. Messrs. Day, Griffin, AYhately, Hare, Marable, Plunket, 
Halahan, Thistleton, Askin, Windle, and Lynch : — 

" We, the undersigned, having knowledge of the principles and working 
of this special mission for visiting from house to house throughout Dublin, 
by the instrumentality of well-trained and experienced missionary agents ; 
and being earnestly desirous to strengthen and increase its operations in 
this city, hereby heartily commend it to the consideration and support of 
our congregations and friends, in order that they may give it such 
encouragement and help as wDl be commensurate with the extent and 
importance of this metropolis, and the Christian zeal of our Protestant 


The results of the correspondence and inquiries seemed so 
satisfactory to the committee of the society that they pub- 
lished the whole of the documents in a pamphlet. * 

Last summer the present Archbishop of Dublin was in- 
duced to pay a visit to Connemara, in order that he might be 
enabled to judge for himself as to the reality of the missionary 
work, and the truth of the reports concerning it. His Grace 
was so well pleased with what he saw and heard that he 
sent a letter to the Times, bearing strong testimony in favour 
of the missions, and describing the congregations and the 
schools. Soon after the appearance of his letter, the priests 
of the several parishes in which the missionaries operate 
published positive contradictions of his statements, and 
asserted that he had been imposed upon, repeating the old 
story, that the people composing the congregations and the 
children in the schools had been brought from a distance 
for the occasion. These allegations were emphatically denied 
by the Rev. Hyacinth D'Arcy, incumbent of Clifden, and a 
magistrate of the county, who is the chief superintendent 
of the missions, and receives a portion of his income from 
the society. He is a gentleman of great respectability, 
having been the former proprietor of Clifden. And no one 
would think of accusing him of stating what he did not 
believe to be true. Yet, it must be confessed, that the con- 
flict of testimony is very perplexing. 

There was, however, a curious trial, bearing upon the 
subject, in the Court of Common Pleas, which commenced 
on the 17th of December, 1866, before Chief Justice Monahan 
and a special jury. It was an action brought by Robert 
Stevenson, a schoolmaster, against the Rev. Roderick Ryder, 
of Clifden. The plaintiff claimed £500 damages for alleged 
slander. The following were the circumstances that led to 
the trial. In consequence of the controversy that arose 
after the publication of the Archbishop's letter in the Times, 
the proprietor of the Dublin Evening Post, a Roman 
Catholic journal, sent a gentleman named OTarrell as a 

* "The Irish Church Missions and the Kev. George Webster," &e. 
Dublin, 1864. 


special commissioner, to investigate the facts on the spot. 
Mr. O'Farrell visited the school conducted by Mr. Stevenson, 
and questioned him about the parentage and religion of the 
children, and then published his answers in the Dublin 
mg Post. It was stated that the Rev. Messrs. D'Arcy 
and Ryder called the schoolmaster to account for having 
given such information, and that from this sprung an animus 
against him, issuing in an altercation between him and Mr. 
Ryder about the price of a load of turf. In this altercation 
the plaintiff denied in the presence of Mr. D'Arcy and others 
having ever received payment of the ten shillings in dispute, 
whereupon the defendant, as alleged, spoke and published 
the following words : — " Oh, yes, I paid you, Mr. Stevenson ; 
I paid you, and that is all I know. You are a liar, and an 
infernal liar." The plaintiff was ultimately dismissed from 
the service of the society, and he now sought to recover 
damages for the loss he sustained in consequence of the 
words alleged to have been spoken by the defendant. 

Counsel handed in the following extract from Archbishop 
Trench's letter to the Times : — "Two days later the Bishop 
of Tuam consecrated another new church at Errismore, some 
seven or eight miles to the south of Clifden. The total church 
population of this district is 282. Of these 76 are original 
Protestants and 206 converts, of these latter 96 being scholars 
under fifteen years of age, but attending church ; the re- 
mainder adults. There were present at the consecration 
service 415 persons, of whom 215 (including 40 original 
Protestants, 164 converts, and 11 Roman Catholics) were 
inhabitants of the district. There remained more than 70 
to partake of the holy communion." 

He also put in the following, from the letter of the Evening 
Post commissioner : — " I have been assured by respectable 
persons who were in the vicinity of the church on the day 
referred to, that there were not 200 persons present, including 
the school children. Now as to the '96 scholars,' I made it 
my business to visit the mission school of Errismore, and I 
found only 31 children, of both sexes, present, and of that 
number more than a moiety appeared to me to be under the 


age of four years. The school is certainly capable of con- 
taining more than 96 scholars, but there were not within 60 
of that number present at half-past one o'clock on yesterday 
(Tuesday), and I have been informed that of those attending 
5 are the children of the ' reader,' 4 of the schoolmaster, 
and 6 the children of a pensioner from Cork, all Protestants ; 
making a total of 15. I do not vouch for this of my own 
knowledge, but I have had it from good authority. I had 
some conversation with the schoolmaster, who appeared to 
me to be a respectable man, and he assured me that he did 
not believe there was one child of Catholic parents amongst 
the 31 present in the school ; and this, be it observed, is one 
of the strongholds of the Church Mission Society in West 

In the course of his examination, Mr. Stevenson, the 
schoolmaster, swore, that probably only three or four of his 
pupils in the school in question were in fact the children of 
Catholic parents. With respect to his dismissal, his counsel, 
Mr. M'Laughlin, read the following letter : — 

"The Rectory, Clifden, Co. Galway, 
" 5th September. 

" Sir, — I enclose ten shillings, which I hope may save you the trouble 
you fear, or lose your friendship. However, I will forward your note to 
Mr. Cory, that he may see what a friend he has, and how well all his 
kindness has been appreciated. — Yours, Sir, 

"Hyacinth Darct." 

" Mr. James Darcy will cash the check for you at any moment." 

The jury gave the plaintiff a farthing damages. 

The late bishop, Lord Plunket, and some of his clergy, 
were for years involved in bitter controversy and litigation 
with the priests of the parishes in which his property was 
situated, in connexion with the schools and other missionary 
operations, and there were some cases of gross outrage, and 
even the shedding of blood. But happily, towards the close 
of his lordship's life, more amicable relations grew up be- 
tween him and the Roman Catholic people around him. and 
it was observed that some of the most violent of his former 
clerical opponents showed their respect for his memory by 
attending his funeral. 


One of the principal agencies employed for the extension 
of the Church in West Connaught is the West Connaught 
Church Endowment Society. In January, 1865, the bishop 
issued an appeal from his palace at Tuam, in which he said : 

" The Church revenues of the district, which have always 
been miserably disproportioned to the extent of the parishes 
from which they are derived, have been subdivided to the 
uttermost, in the hope of meeting the increased demand for 
pastoral supervision, but in vain ; and the result is, that 
there are now in West Connaught a large number of im- 
portant districts, each requiring the care of a separate 
clergyman, which are dependent for pastoral superintendence 
solely upon the precarious supply of annual contributions. 

" In the year 1859, a society, entitled the West Connaught 
Church Endowment Society, was formed, under the patron- 
age of the late Lord Primate of all Ireland, the object of 
which was to convert these new fields of labour into separate 
parochial districts (or what in England are called ' new 
parishes'), and to provide each district with such an endow- 
ment as might ensure to it the permanent services of a 
resident minister. 

"The Bishop of Tuam is happy to say that, since the for- 
mation of that society, five of the most important districts 
of West Connaught (Moyrus, Sellerna, Derrygimla, Castle- 
kerke, and Bally croy) have been provided through its means 
with an endowment of £75 per annum each. 

" In the case of Moyrus and Sellerna, this endowment has 
been augmented by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for 
Ireland up to £100 per annum, and there is reason to expect 
a similar augmentation from the Commissioners, in the case 
of the remaining districts which this society still proposes 
to endow. 

" The next district whose endowment is contemplated by 
this society is that of Ballyconree. The sum required for 
this endowment is £2,500 ; and as more than £1,000 has 
been already collected for this purpose by the society, it is 
hoped that, before long, the full amount will have been 
made up. It is a striking proof of the value of this society, 


that, in consequence of the endowment provided by it for 
Derrygimla and Castlekerke, the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners for Ireland have made grants for building churches 
in these districts — a step which they would not have other- 
wise felt themselves justified in taking. 

" The Bishop of Tuam is happy to state, that wherever 
the claims of this society have been made known, they have 
enlisted the warm sympathy of all who unite in loving our 
Church and desiring its extension. The late Lord Primate 
of Ireland showed his interest in the work by the munifi- 
cent donation of £800, and the present Primate of Ireland, 
in addition to a liberal donation of his own, has given to 
the society £500 from a Church trust-fund of which he has 
the disposal. The late Archbishop of Canterbury not only 
signified his approval, but also subscribed to the funds of 
the society. The present Archbishop is a contributor of no 
less than £100. The Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishops 
of Chichester, Kilmore, Rochester, Winchester, Meath, Deny, 
Oxford, and Ripon, have all contributed to this society ; and 
among the names of its lay-supporters appears that of our 
present Premier." 

Lord Plunket has been succeeded by another member of a 
noble family, the Hon. and Rev. Charles Broderick Bernard, 
D.D., brother of the Earl of Bandon. He was consecrated 
at Armagh, on Sunday, 13th January, 1867, by the Lord 
Primate, assisted by the Bishop of Cork and the Bishop of 
Kilmore. The consecration sermon was preached by the 
Hon. and Rev. W. C. Plunket, Chaplain to the late Bishop. 
After all the prayers and forms of the solemnity the act of 
consecration took place as follows : — His Grace and the 
bishops, after the conclusion of prayer, placed their hands 
upon the head of the elected bishop, who knelt before them, 
and his Grace said — " Receive the Holy Ghost, for the office 
and work of a bishop in the Church of God, now committed 
unto thee by the imposition of our hands, in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 
And remember that thou stir up the grace of God which is 
given thee by this imposition of our hands, for God hath 


not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and 
soberness." Then the Archbishop delivered the Bible to the 
new bishop amid the breathless silence of the congregation, 
and closed this singularly solemn part of the ceremony by 
exhorting him in the prescribed words. 

On the Friday following Dr. Bernard was enthroned as 
Bishop of Tuam, Achonry, and Killala, The following 
members of his family were present, with many of the gentry 
of the neighbourhood : — The Earl of Bandon and Countess 
of Bandon, Mrs. Bernard, Lord Bernard, Mr. Percy Bernard, 
Mr. W. B. Bernard. Having been formally and warmly 
welcomed by Archdeacon Townsend, the Rev. Dr. Trench, 
the Rev. C. H. Seymour, Vicar and Provost of Tuam, and 
Mr. Denis Kerwin, D.L., in the name of the clergy and laity, 
his lordship spoke as follows : — " I feel greatly obliged to 
you for your kind expressions and most kind Avelcome to 
me. I won't deny to you that coming into such a diocese, 
where such a work has been carried on, causes me great fear 
and trembling. In fact, the united diocese over which I 
have now been called to exercise some supervision is one 
which is looked to, not only throughout Ireland, but 
throughout the United Kingdom, as the bright spot in the 
Church of Ireland. And, of course, in proportion to its 
magnitude, and in proportion to the zeal and energy, and 
faithfulness with which the late Bishop carried on the work, 
in such proportion must my difficulties increase. But I can 
only assure you that I bring to the work that is now before 
me the most earnest desire to uphold in every way the 
different details which have been carried on throughout 
your diocese. It is very strengthening to feel that, next to 
the strength which I humbly and earnestly look for from on 
high, I have such a body of clergy as there is in this united 
diocese. I don't hesitate to say that, though I have come 
from a place which is remarkable for the faithfulness of its 
clergy, still I believe there is no diocese in the United 
Kingdom where there are so many earnest and faithful men ; 
and these will support me, not only by their work, but by 
their prayers, and I shall look to them especially, that they 
will be continually supplicating for me at God's throne of 


grace for grace and strength, without which I cannot hope 
to do a single act for His glory. Dr. Trench and the Arch- 
deacon have both kindly spoken of me in connexion with 
the Church Education Societ} T . I am always bold to speak 
in that cause, which I believe to be essential to the very 
existence of Protestantism. I have no hesitation in saying 
that if we give up essentially, unmistakably Protestant 
schools, that we shall soon give up Protestantism altogether ; 
and I always wish to speak boldly and clearly upon this 
point, I thank God that he has preserved me from ever com- 
promising myself, and 1 pray that he will keep me steadfast 
and immovable in this great and glorious work. The work 
of missions, which is so special and prominent a feature in 
this diocese, is one which has occupied the whole of my 
ministerial life. Whether under the Irish Society, or the 
Irish Church Mission Society — for I have worked for both 
— I have been a working man. And the details of that 
work, which, of course, I shall not trouble you with, have 
been oreat encouragement to me, and have made me familiar 
with what I shall enter upon here. And I can only assure 
you, my dear brethren, of the delight wliich I feel that I 
shall have the sympathy of my clergy, and that they shall 
have mine ; that in all their arduous work I hope to take a 
part, and whether in what calls for labour or sympathy, they 
shall never find me wanting. I confess I feel our meeting 
together to-day a great privilege. I hope that I shall be 
familiarly acquainted with every one here ; but I feel the 
great kindness and honour you have done me in coming in 
such inclement weather, and at most serious inconvenience 
to yourselves, to give me this kind and cordial welcome. 
I accept it in the spirit of love and kindness ; and I look 
forward to our co-operating together with the greatest 
comfort, so that God's Word ' may have free course and be 
glorified.' I do sincerely thank you, and hope that you Will 
pardon the few imperfect remarks which I have been able 
to make on an occasion which makes me feel very much 

Lord Bandon also addressed the assembly, and in the 
course of his speech said : — " I agree with the expression of 


my brother that the maintenance of parochial schools and 
Scriptural education is essential to the welfare, and, under 
God, to the very existence of our United Church. It has 
often been my duty to take part in the House of Commons 
in questions relating to the Chinch. It is nineteen years 
since I first spoke in favour of it, and every year's experience 
since then has only convinced me that there is no real Church 
if we do not, like the vestal virgin, retain the undying flame 
of truth in our bosom. There is no doubt there may be 
danger if her clergy, as in England, adopt semi-Romish 
practices. But this is not the place to dilate upon that 
matter. It is my duty only to thank you. I hope that all 
those whom I have met here to-day will be greater friends 
at a future time. It gives me most sincere pleasure to see 
you all in my brother's house, because I feel that a Christian 
bishop and his clergy ought to unite under his roof. If the 
Church is to prosper, it is by the common union of all bodies, 
and the cordial and affectionate welcome given by the bishop 
to his clergy. I am delighted at the connexion which I 
now form with the West of Ireland, and I trust that we may 
all pull together in the maintenance of Protestant principles. 
Allusion has been made to the loss of the late bishop. I 
had the pleasure of knowing him personally, and valuing 
his great exertion ; and I feel sure that my brother will 
cordially support the missionary exertion which he made in 
this place. For me it is perhaps scarcely proper to say 
so ; but I feel that the laity is a part of the Church, and 
that our essential duty is to be a missionary Church. Our 
duties are not to be confined to our own communion, but 
will never cease so long as there is a Roman Catholic 
unconverted to the truth." 

The Very Rev. Lord Mountmorres, Dean of Tuam, has 
published the following remarkable letter in connexion with 
this appointment : — 

"to the editor op the daily express. 
u Sir, — Having just seen in your paper of the 8th a letter signed " Lex 
Ecclesias," in which, under an assumed title, the writer charges me with 
propagating the inaccuracy I noticed, and questions me who was to grant 

2 E 


licences if no administrator was elected, and why was the usual course 
departed from, and, though not last, who were the powers over me, I 
hasten to refer him to page 111 of Rogers' Ecclesiastical Law, where he 
will find it laid down here in England the archbishop is guardian of the 
spiritualities of any see within his province. And now, having said so 
much, which answers the question put to me, I will tell him that when I 
came to this deanery I found things in a sad way. I inquired from the 
then registrar, and I could only find that all the papers relating to the 
dean and chapter had been burned, even the silver seal melted away, and 
I could not find that a chapter ever was held. TVhy this was so I can 
only surmise that the presence of records might prove the non-registry of 
leases, which would be destroyed thereby. 


On these proceedings at Tuam the London Examiner 
makes the following rather cynical comments : — " The well 
trained and highly paid actors in that mystery of mysteries, 
the un-Irish Church in Ireland, are resolved to play ont the 
farce to the last. The play is a State Play performed by 
command for the entertainment of a select audience, from 
the younger members of which the chief actors are taken. 
Believe the first words of each as he comes on the stage, and 
c he had rather not be a bishop.' The Hon. and Reverend 
Broderick Bernard, just named by Lord Derby Protestant 
diocesan of the Catholic diocese of Tuam, improves the 
occasion by translating into conversational language the 
classical nolo episcopari. As if he were tearing himself 
from a weeping flock to go on a victim mission to some 
cannibal land, the Hon. Rector of Kilbrogan declares himself 
almost choked with emotion at the sight of some of the 
neighbouring squires who had come 'in the snow' with a 
candelabrum to light him on his desolate way to the spiritual 
peerage of Tuam, and a poor £4,000 a year ! This is inim- 
itable in its way. A younger son of one of the great Planter 
families of Munster, who in all their generations have lived, 
politically, sword in hand amidst a subject race, having to 
make choice of a calling, chooses for his vocation the ministry 
of the Act of Parliament Church. Unlike a real Church, 
there are for the most part no duties to be performed in it 
comparatively worthy of the name, for in the most part it 


is a sheepfold without sheep, where the shepherd has nothing 
to do, and where, having no flock of his own, the law shears 
for him his neighbours, and gives him the price of Iris wool. 
Just the right sort of calling this for a younger brother of a 
Tory earl. The eldest born has the estate, so the second 
must either go into the Guards or sit for the family borough, 
with its 220 retainer constituents, or take Holy Orders. 
The Honorable and Eeverend Broderick Bernard, beino- the 
grandson of an archbishop, and representing, as his name 
denotes, the confluent claims of two noble houses to be pro- 
vided for at the public charge, chooses the last alternative, 
and for his appointed time plays the subordinate part of 
priest-in-waiting. Promotion was quicker formerly, before 
Lord Derby in a Whiggish freak threw ten anti-Irish mitres 
into the melting pot of Reform. But to do him justice, he 
has never missed an opportunity of compensating the great 
families, whose hereditary means of comfort and luxury he 
lessened thereby, for the evil he so inconsistently did them. 
When he was in office before, the brother of Lord Dunsandle 
was raised to the see of Cashel, and now having the intensely 
anti-Protestant see of Tuam to fill up, he has given it to one 
of the intensely anti-Catholic house of Bandon. 

" It may be said, indeed, that in this our present Premier 
differs in no way from those who have gone before him, and 
that between Tory and Whig distribution of episcopal prize- 
money in the conquered realm the difference is but in name. 
Lord Palmerston made the cousin of the Marquis of Water- 
ford Primate, with an annual stipend of £12,000, not long 
ago ; and since then Lord Ashtown's brother has been made 
Metropolitan of Dublin, with a salary of £10,000 a year. 
Lord Normanby, while he was Viceroy, conferred a bishopric 
on Lord Riversdale; the late Bishop of Tuam was Lord 
Plunket ; and the present Bishop of Down, a near relative 
of the Earl of Ranfurly , owes his elevation to Lord Clarendon. 
This only shows incontrovertibly what the Anglican Estab- 
lishment in Ireland is for. Rifled at first by brutal force, 
such as Mr. Froude, in his last volume of Elizabeth's reign, 
lacks words to characterize as it deserves, Church property 



in Ireland has been used, under all circumstances and by all 
administrations, as the wages of corruption. There it is ; 
what else is to be done with it % The original purpose for 
which it was set apart has been made contraband by law. 
For no share in the Catholic gifts and Catholic donations of 
Catholic times must any Catholic in a Catholic country 
apply. Sometimes we see on the walls a placard with the 
heading, 'Robbery and Reward,' and those who read are 
bidden to seek out those who hold or who hide the ravished 
spoil, and encouraged to help in the discovery by a promise 
of part of the prey. But in this case there is no conceal- 
ment, and the derivative title by ancestry of having had a 
share in the storm and sack of the Irish Church is treated 
as the best recommendation to the choicest bits in the 
appropriation of the plunder. There is joy indeed among the 
garrison class whenever such conspicuous claims are publicly 
recognised. For 

" ' Doesn't it seem like the fulfilling of prophecies, 

When all the best families are put into all the best offices ?' " 

" An Irish Peer" has published a pamphlet, in the form of 
a letter, to the Archbishop of Dublin, on " Proselytism,"* 
which deserves the most serious attention, it is written in 
such a friendly, calm, and judicious spirit. He is intimately 
acquainted with the subject, and I believe his views to be 
thoroughly correct, and his inferences perfectly just. If this 
be so it must be admitted that Lord Derby has made an 
unfortunate appointment in placing in the heart of Con- 
naught a divine, who brings with him from Bandon, across 
the Shannon, all the associations of Protestant ascendancy, 
and the avowed purpose of prosecuting the work of proselyt- 
ism, that is, of carrying on a religious war against the mass 
of the people, the commander-in-chief being bishop of a 
Church established by law and splendidly endowed, but 
numbering only one in thirty-three of the population, as 
appears from the subjoined table which I have constructed 
from the Parliamentary papers : — 

♦Dublin: Hodges and Smith, 1865. 












rage for 


Cost per 

Head of 





tion of 
to entire 

Tuam, . . . 
Killala, . . . 
Achonry, . . 

Total for united 
diocese, . . 






£ s. d, 
13 7 
15 6 





Per cent. 




10 3 




Dean Atkins, or Dean Alexander, would have made a far" 
more suitable bishop for Tuam, if only to break the monotony 
of aristocratic appointments made in the spirit of an old 
regime, fraught with so much social injustice, and held 
accountable for so much national calamity. Bishop Bernard, 
with all the facts and statistics before him, called Tuam the 
bright spot of the Church Establishment, and acquiesced in 
the statement of his brother, Lord Bandon, that the war 
against Romanism should not cease. But even now he and 
other influential friends of the Establishment would do well 
to reflect upon the words of " An Irish Peer," who is a 
Protestant, and has been a subscriber to those societies which 
aim at the conversion of the Irish Roman Catholics, and 
who still does full justice to the motives of those who are 
engaged in the work of proselytism. He says : — " The 
machinery of proselytism set in motion in Ireland during 
the last thirty or forty years, by means of English and Irish 
societies, has been of the most extensive as well as expensive 
kind. Reports of the various religious societies inform us of 
the amount subscribed, the number of agents, lay and clerical, 
employed ; and the result, or want of any result, has been 
annually proclaimed from the platform. Need I quote the 
annual reports that now lie before me, to show that if liberal 
subscriptions could have availed, they were not wanting 1 
An organization employing several hundred agents, extend- 


ing throughout Ireland, aided by local committees, and in 
many cases by powerful local influence, might be expected 
to make many converts in so poor a country. The landlords 
in an immense majority are Protestants, and even if indif- 
ferent to religious motives, they know that their material 
interests would gain by the conversion of the poor Roman 
Catholics. Every Protestant knows, or at least believes, that 
the disaffection to Government and ill-feeling towards the 
higher classes prevalent among the poor, is in part due to 
miscalled religious teaching. 

" But what results have we obtained in the shape of con- 
versions ? How many converts does the Hibernian Society 
report for the last year ? How many does the Irish Church 
Missionary Society ? 

"Were I to analyse these reports, as I had intended, 
enumerating, on the one hand, actual conversions claimed, 
and, on the other hand, giving the subscriptions received; or 
were I to contrast positive results achieved with those pro- 
mised or expected, said to be contingent upon fresh exertions, 
or to be prevented by adverse circumstances or influences, 
the statement would appear like satirical criticism. I would 
rather, therefore, refer to these reports themselves, and to the 
speeches of clergy or laymen annually made at the Dublin 
meetings, leaving to the impartial inquirer to decide whether, 
on the evidence of its most zealous friends, the cause of 
proselytism in Ireland has been successful. 

"That there are still a few worthy persons who, after years 
of disappointment, maintain their hopes and reiterate assur- 
ances, which the experience of nearly forty years has con- 
tradicted, is quite true. But those who remember the lan- 
guage held years ago, when a few conversions did look like 
a real beginning, or at later periods when, in default of any 
actual results, the usual phrase applied to Roman Catholics 
was, that ' there is a spirit of inquiry among them,' must 
smile at the repetition of such language in the present day ! 

" The man must be blind indeed to the signs of the times, 
blind to the external objects visible to all who have eyes, 
blind to what passes in our streets and fields, and equally 


blind to the lessons of a press entirely devoted to the priests, 
who thinks that their influence is waning ! 

"If Roman Catholic churches and cathedrals, emulating 
those of the Continent in costly architecture — if convents, 
monasteries, colleges, all built within the last twenty years, 
be any evidence of declining zeal, then Romanism may be 
declining. Nor need we confine ourselves to these indirect 
but significant proofs of zeal in a poor country ; for no one 
resident in Ireland can be ignorant of the greatly increased 
influence of the Roman Catholic priesthood over their flocks. 
The chapels are everywhere better attended upon holidays, 
and the lower orders, at all events, are far more strict in 
their confessions, fasts, and other religious observances, than 
they used to be. Would that our poor Protestants in their 
own creed had emulated them ! 

" Let us honesty admit it, too — the moral conduct of the 
poor Roman Catholics has much improved of late years. 
The old type of landlord-murder, which has been well de- 
scribed as c parochial murders,' because the whole parish 
was sometimes privy to them, has become obsolete, and 
with it the darkest stain on the character of the poor Roman 
Catholic Irish has been removed ; other crimes have notably 
decreased, as proved by the criminal statistics, and the 
proud boast of Irish womanhood, has been more than ever 
justified. If we see some grounds to regret the influence of 
the priesthood, justice and truth require us to acknowledge, 
that on these points at least it has been beneficial. It is 
really time that we should look at the facts of the case, and 
dismiss any illusions begotten by religious zeal. 

" I am far from attributing intentional misinterpretation 
to the compilers of society reports, read at the May meet 
ings, or to the speakers — better men than myself — who 
address them ; but I do say, that the real truth of the case 
is not to be gathered from these reports and speeches ; and 
certainly no good cause can, or ought to be advanced except 
by truth. 

" The zealous and excellent men who devote themselves 
to the cause of converting the Roman Catholics seem to me 


to maintain the opinions with which they commenced their 
labours some thirty or forty years ago, and to ignore the 
vast changes which (partly on account of those very labours) 
have come over the whole Roman Catholic body in Ireland. 
An Irish layman who can look back thirty or forty years, 
will have no difficulty in recognising that the antagonism 
between the two creeds is greatly increased, and that the 
Roman Catholics have received a stronger and more exclu- 
sive organization under the priesthood. 

"Where free intercourse, and even fellowship, existed 
between the two creeds before, there is coldness and repul- 
sion now. The priests, on their side, have not been idle 
during the attacks upon their religion, and by enlisting all 
the antipathies of race, creed, and tradition against the 
Protestants, they have more than repulsed the assault. 
Where there was indifference before, they have aroused a 
hatred, which would in itself suffice to baffle the well-meant 
efforts of proselytism, and they have endeared Romanism to 
their Hocks, not less as antagonistic to the Saxon creed than 
as connected with the history of the Celt. 

" This policy, if not quite in the spirit of the Gospel, was 
still as natural as it was skilful. But the Roman Catholic 
priesthood adopted another policy entirely unobjectionable 
and well worthy of imitation. They seemed to have felt 
that the greatest danger to their creed would arise from any 
moral inferiority in its votaries, when compared to Protest- 
ants. From controversy, oral or written, they could easily 
protect their flocks by the simple expedient of forbidding it. 
But the silent argument of a better example and a more con- 
sistent life- might have done for Protestantism more than 
the whole machinery hitherto brought into play. 

" To meet this peril the Irish priests set about a moral 
reformation which, at least in rural parishes, has very com- 
pletely succeeded. The gatherings and merry-meetings which 
led to drunkenness and immorality were discouraged. The 
idleness — parent of vice — in which the holidays of the 
Church used to be passed, has been changed into close at- 
tendance at chapel ; and from this change a visible advance 


in the orderly and decorous habits of the people has resulted. 
Between the ragged and noisy congregations which thronged 
the chapels of yore, and the decently clad, quiet congre- 
gations (with their handsome prayer-books — a new feature) 
in the present day, the difference is immense. And it is 
but fair to the poor Roman Catholics to say, that their im- 
proved appearance and outward demeanour only correspond 
to their advance in moral conduct. Let us in the interest of 
truth, if not of controversy, do justice to the well-ordered 
parishes, and really well-conducted population of which 
there are many examples. I could point to Roman Cath- 
olic parishes which present the ideal type of what a rural 
parish should be, where the mutual relations of the priests 
and people are all that we desire for our own Church, and 
where the moral state of the poor might compare favourably 
with the best of our Protestant parishes. 

"There are zealous Protestants who can discover no merit 
among the professors of an erroneous creed, and who will 
consider the good conduct of Roman Catholics a spurious 
morality. I do not agree with them; but that is beside the 
question ; for my aim has only been to show that against all 
the efforts of proselytism, the priests, better tacticians than 
their opponents, have only increased their influence and 
strengthened their position. In the matter of relative 
morality, they have cut the ground from under our feet, and 
deprived us of the best argument in our mouths by showing 
that the assumed superiority of Protestants might be denied." 
According to the arrano-ements of the Roman Catholic 
Church, which scrupulously observes the old ecclesiastical 
landmarks, the province of Tuam consists of seven sees — 
Tuam, Clonfert, Achonry, Elphin, Kilmacduagh and Kil- 
fenora, Killala, and Galway. Archbishop MacHale, whose 
name has been almost constantly before the Irish public for 
nearly half a century, is the Metropolitan. He is a Con- 
naught man, having been born at Tubbernaveen, county 
Mayo, in 1791 ; he is, therefore, seventy-six years old. He 
distinguished himself by his learning and abilities at a very 
early age, having been appointed Professor of Dogmatic 


Theology in the College of Maynooth when he was only 
about twenty-three years old. In 1825 he was appointed 
Coadjutor Bishop of Killala, with right of succession, and 
consecrated with the title of Bishop of Maronia, in partibus. 
He was then widely known as the author of a series of 
letters on Bible Societies, the Established Church, and 
Catholic grievances, under the signature of " Hieropliilus." 
A second series of the same kind was published later under 
his own name. He is also the author of a work on the 
" Evidences and Doctrines of the Catholic Church." In 1834 
he succeeded Dr. Kelly as Archbishop of Tuam, and in that 
position he has continued ever since to be a tower of strength 
to the Boman Catholic cause, being by far the most powerful 
champion of that cause in the hierarchy after the death of 
Dr. Doyle. O'Connell used to call him the Lion of Tuam. 
He has always been intensely national in his sentiments, 
and indefatigable in his exertions to check the advance of 
Protestantism. He was some years ago continually writing 
letters in the newspapers to the Prime Minister for the time 
being, and other public men, in which he ostentatiously showed 
his contempt for the Ecclesiastical Titles Act by adopting the 
signature, " John, Archbishop of Tuam." Perhaps he could 
not have given better proof of his ardent nationality than he 
did by translating Moore's Melodies and six books of the 
Iliad into Irish verse. He always affected a lofty scorn 
of the prelates of the Established Church, as mere State 
functionaries thrust into the see to trouble the repose of his 
flock. There is something wonderful in the hierarchial 
system of Borne, which can thus raise the son of a peasant 
to a status, and animate him by a spirit that enable him to 
maintain such a bearing towards rivals of aristocratic blood, 
princely revenues, and high social 'prestige, especially when 
he is dependent for his support upon the voluntary contri- 
butions of a poor and degraded people. 

There are in the diocese of Tuam 46 parish priests, 51 
administrators and curates, with a few regulars — total, 101 
priests, who officiate in 115 churches and chapels. There are 
besides 13 Franciscan monasteries, six convents, one college, 


and two Christian Brothers' establishments. The editor of 
the "Irish Catholic Directory" observes that "this is the only 
diocese in Ireland in which none of the schools conducted 
by the religious orders are under State control, or derive 
public grants for their support. The eleven Franciscan 
schools, with an aggregate number on the roll of about 
5,000 ; the two Christian Brothers' schools, Tuam and 
Westport, with their 1,400 ; and the six Convent schools, 
with their 3,600 pupils, or an aggregate of 10,900 children, 
are supported solely by the religious orders themselves, 
assisted by the voluntary contributions of the people of the 
diocese. The organized scheme of pecuniary proselytising, 
supported by immense aid from England and Ireland, and 
backed by the persistent influence of many of the leading- 
landed proprietors, has its head-cpiarters in this diocese ; but 
notwithstanding the poverty of the people, and, as a con- 
sequence, of the clergy, and the loss which abstinence from 
State grants inflicts on the schools of the religious commu- 
nities, such is the deep attachment of the people to their 
faith, and such the zeal and activity of the clergy, inspired 
by their venerated Archbishop, that no sensible effect has 
ever been produced on the population by all these adverse 
agencies, the diocese of Tuam containing in 1861, 966 
Catholics in every 1,000 of the population, and ranking next 
to Dublin in the aggregate number of Catholics, numbering 
302,367 souls. The parochial schools, under lay teachers, 
are, considering the circumstances of the country, fair in 
number, and tolerably efficient." 

The diocese of Clonfert has — Bishop, 1 ; parish priests and 
administrators, 23; curates, 11; regulars, 9 ; churches, 45 — 
of regulars, 3 ; of nuns, 3 ; convents of regulars, 3 ; nun- 
neries, 3. Achonry — Bishop, 1 ; parish priests, 17; curates, 
16 ; others, 4 ; chapels and churches, 37 ; convents, 2. 
Elphin — Bishop, 1 ; parish priests, 38 ; curates, 51 ; regulars, 
5 ; monasteries, 2 ; chapels, 84 ; convents, 3 ; nunneries, 4 ; 
college, 1 ; seminary, 1. 

In connexion with this diocese the editor of the " Catholic 
Directory " observes — " There are large convent schools in 


Roscommon, Athlone, and Sligo, attended by 2,172 girls ; 
and the Marist Fathers conduct a numerously attended 
school in Sligo. The supply of parochial schools, under lay 
teachers, is numerous and increasing. Model schools have 
been erected and opened in Sligo in defiance of the protest 
of the Bishop and of the adverse decision of all the prelates 
of the province assembled in synod ; but no Catholic pupil 
enters their unhallowed walls, and, supported at an immense 
expense from the public taxes, there they stand a monument 
of British aggression upon Catholic rights and also of Catholic 
fidelity to the voice of their pastors." Notwithstanding 
this denunciation, the visiter will find the Sligo Model 
School one of the best conducted institutions in the United 
Kingdom, every person connected with it being evidently 
animated by the spirit of Christian kindness and charity. 
and the well-placed schools presenting real models of order, 
propriety, and efficiency. 

In the united diocese of Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora there 
are — Bishop, 1; parish priests, 15; administrators, 4; 
curates, 10 ; others, 2 ; chapels, 37 ; nunneries, 2 ; Christian 
Brothers' establishments, 2. Galway has — Bishop, 1 ; parish 
priests, 13; curates, 7; others, 20; churches, 26; convents, 
5 ; nunneries, 5 ; college, 1. 

It is said that the convent schools there are among the best 
in Ireland. They have the following numbers of pupils on 
their rolls : — Rahoon, 599 ; Newtown-Smith, 999 ; St. 
Nicholas, 323; Oughterard, 258; Oranmore, 260— Total, 
2,439. These, with the monks' boys, make a total of 3,412 
pupils under instruction in the primary schools conducted 
by religious orders. Killala has : — Bishop, 1 ; parish priests, 
20; curates, 17; others, 4; chapels, 40; diocesan seminary, 1; 
nunnery, 1. 

The following is a summary of the archdiocese, showing 
what the voluntary system has done in the province of 
Connaught in the erection of buildings, in the work of edu- 
cation, and in the maintenance of priests, monks, and nuns : 
— Bishops, 7; parish priests, 168; administrators and curates, 
including chaplains and professors, 181 ; regular clergy, 33 ; 


churches and chapels, 387 ; houses of religious orders, or 
communities of priests, 11; of men, 19; of women, 24. 

It would be difficult to estimate the value of the buildings 
of various kinds — churches, chapels, convents, and schools, 
which have been erected in Connaught by the Roman Cath- 
olics during the last forty years. Many of them, no doubt, 
were chief]}' constructed, by the free labour of the people, 
with materials on the spot. But a rough estimate may be 
formed from the statistics which I have given of the dioceses 
of Dublin, Ferns, and Armagh. 



Of the primatial see of Armagh Archdeacon Cotton says — 
" There seems to be no reasonable ground for doubting that 
this Church was founded and endued with its primatial 
dignity and pre-eminence by St. Patrick." He also remarks 
that, " the registry of Armagh presents a splendid contrast 
to the others. This repository (alone of Ireland) contains a 
venerable and valu