Thursday 12 December 2019

Walsh Ecclesiastical History Diocese of Cork


CHAPTER XXI SEE OF CORK Its founder St Barr or Finbarr is supposed to have been raised to the episcopacy about the beginning of the 7th century He was a native of Connaught of the sept Hy Bruin Ratha a district lying to the northeast of Galway and in the barony of Athenry As Lochan was the name of the family Finbarr was only his surname and it means white haired This eminent saint was educated under Mac Corb a disciple of St Gregory the Great Having travelled through Britain Gaul and Italy in quest of knowledge he returned to Ireland and erec ed a monastery and school near Loch eire at the south side of the river Lee on a site granted him by a chieftain named Odo Barr was a great favorite with St Aidan bishop of Ferns and is said to have been the companion of his journeys to Britain and thence to Rome It appears that on his return to Ireland he had been a bishop Of his successors in the see the list is very incomplete until the year 1152 when Gilla Aeda O Mugin bishop of Cork attended the synod of Kells Since that period the succession is complete St Finbarr died at Cloyne on the 25th of September about the year 622 and was interred in Cork having presided seventeen years The reputation of St Finbarr for sanctity and knowledge soon spread over Ireland and reached the Continent Multitudes of scholars native and foreign repaired to his establishment and in a few years it contained several hundred monks many of whom became professors in various schools both in Ireland and in foreign countries The celebrated Gar van from whom Dungarvan is supposed to have taken its name was a disciple of the saint and also the learned Nessan whose character as a professor of sacred literature attracted still greater numbers to the school of St Barr Cork thus became a populous and extensive city and subsequently was enlarged and improved by the Danes who settled there but to whom its origin is to be by no means ascribed St Finbarr the founder of the see in 606 died about 623 St If essan the disciple of St Barr probably not a bishop This Nessan is different from Nessan of Mungret who died in 552 Numbers of disciples from all parts flocked hither under St Nessan as to the habitation of wisdom and to the sanctuary of all Christian virtues according to the biographer of St Barr The festival of St Nessan is observed at Cork on the 17th of March and on the 1st of December The year of his death is unknown Russin son of Lappin comorban of St Barr and bishop of Cork died on the 7th of April 685 Selbac died in 773 Cathmogan died in 961 Columb MacCiarucain called comorban of St Barr died in 990 Cellach O Selbac who died on a pilgrimage in 1026 he is called bishop successor of Barr and chief of the wise men of Munster Neil O Mailduib died in 1027 Airtri Sairt died in 1028 Cathal died in 1034 Mugron O Mutan comorban of Barr and bishop of Cork was inhumanly murdered by robbers of Cork in 1057 Clerech O Selbac died in 1086 Mac Lothod O Hailgenen died in 1107 Patrick CSelbaic died in 1111 The see being vacant in 1140 St Malachy of Armagh nominated a foreigner and a man of sanctity and learning to the see with the approbation and applause of the clergy and people but the name is unknown however the following Bishop Gilla is supposed to have been the person whom St Malachy named Gilla Aeda O Mugin a native of Connaught and of the family of the monastery of Errew of Loughcon sat in the see of Cork in the year 1152 and assisted at the council of Kells He died in the year 1172 and was highly celebrated for his virtues by the Irish historians who call him the chief prelate for devotion wisdom and chastity in all Ireland Others of them say that he was sanctified by God and a man full of God's blessing This bishop is reckoned among the principal benefactors to the church of Cork The abbey of Augustin Canons of St Finbarr's Cave commonly called Gille Abbey took its name from this bishop and of which he had been abbot Gregory succeeded in 1172 He granted to the abbey of Thomas court near Dublin the church of St Nessan at Cork Gregory having presided about fourteen years died AD 1186 Reginald the time of whose consecration or death is unknown O Selbaic bishop of Cork died in 1205 Supposed to be identical with Reginald Geoffry White in the year 1215 was recommended to the archbishops of Dublin and Cashel by King Henry HI as a learned provident and honest man It does not appear whether he was consecrated or not Marian O Brien bishop of Cork in 1224 was translated to the see of Cashel in this year by provision of the Pope Gilbert archdeacon of Cork was consecrated in 1225 and died in 1238 Before his death this prelate with the consent of his chapter granted in fee farm to Michael de Drnelle one plow land part of the possessions of his see lying between Kilmahanock and the lands of Duf glay to hold of God and St Barr and of him and his successors at the rent of sixteen pence Lawrence who succeeded died in 1264 William a Cistercian monk of Jerpoint succeeded in 1266 and was confirmed by the Pope's legate It seems he sat but a very short time Reginald or Reynold treasurer of Cashel obtained the temporals of this see in August 1267 In the year 1270 Prince Edward then lord of Ireland by donation of his father granted to this prelate and to his successors for the relief and amendment of the state of the church of Cork the right of patronage and advowsons of the churches of the blessed Virgin of Nard and Kilmahanock and also of the chapel of St Peter at Cork But he reclaimed those advowsons to the crown when he afterwards ascended the throne Reginald died at Cork in December 1276 and was buried in the church of St Barr Robert MacDonagh a Cistercian monk of great learning succeeded in 1277 and also obtained the temporals The advowsons granted to his predecessors were recovered from this prelate as is already noted He died in March 1301 having sat twenty four years John MacCarwill dean of Cork was unanimously elected by the chapter in June 1302 obtained the royal assent and was confirmed by the archbishop of Cashel in July following He was translated to the see of Meath by Pope John XXH in 1321 and afterwards to Cashel in 1327 Philip of Slane was a Dominican friar appointed by the Pope and obtained the temporals in July 1321 Three years afterwards he was sent an embassador to the Pope by King Edward H and discharged his commission with such address that he was on his return called to the privy council of Ireland The Pope armed this prelate the archbishops of Dublin and Cashel with a commission to inform themselves of what things were wanting and expedient for the peace and tranquility of Ireland On his return to Ireland a council was called at which a large number of the nobility and gentry attended and at which it was resolved as necessary for the welfare and quiet of the realm 1st That the disturbers of the peace and invaders of the king's rights should be excommunicated by the archbishops and bishops by virtue of the apostolic authority 2d That the small and poor bishoprics not exceeding twenty forty or sixty pounds a year and which were governed by mere Irish should be united to the more eminent sees 3d That the Irish abbots and priors should be enjoined by apostolic authority to admit the English into a lay brotherhood in their monasteries in order to establish a brotherly love and concord between the two people When the council concluded its business Philip bishop of Cork was despatched to the king who forwarded those resolutions to the Pope to be by him sanctioned with the weight of his authority The Pope thought proper to annex the three cathedrals of Enach dune Achonry and Kilmacduach to the see of Tuam This affair was kept a secret from the king nor was it notified to the respective bishops and chapters The king Edward III afterwards complained in the year 1330 to the Pope when Malachy MacAeda archbishop of Tuam seized the bishopric of Enaghdune by virtue of this union The bishop of Cork now dead escaped the king's resentment The junction of Achonry and Kilmacduach was not attempted Philip bishop of Cork died in 1326 and before the end of that year John le Blond canon of Cork was elected to succeed He either sat a short time or was never consecrated Walter le Rede or Rufus canon of Cork was promoted by the Pope John XXII and obtained the temporals in October 1327 From his see of Cork he was translated by the same Pope to the archdiocese of Cashel AD 1330 John de Baliconingham rector of Ardwinhin in the diocese of Down was appointed to the see of Cork in the year 1330 though the Pope annulled his election to the see of Down a little before that time John died on the 29th of May 1347 having governed the see about seventeen years John Roche canon of the cathedral of Cork and a man descended of a noble family elected by the dean and chapter in 1347 was consecrated by Ralph Kelley archbishop of Cashel about the Christmas of that year He sat ten years and six months having died on the 4th of July 1358 Gerald de Barry a person descended of a noble and ancient family of the Barrys and dean of Cork was consecrated bishop of Cork in 1359 and sat upwards of thirty four years He died worn out with sickness in the 90th year of his age on the 4th of January 1393 and was buried in his own cathedral Roger Ellesmere a friar succeeded by provision of Pope Boniface IX and having sworn fealty to the king obtained the temporals in March 1396 He sat in this see ten years and died in 1406 Gerald succeeded in the year 1406 Nothing more known of him Patrick Ragged succeeded and was translated to the see of Ossory AD 1417 In the years 1415 and 1416 he attended the council of Constance and while there acquired a vast reputation for his learning and other endowments Miles Fitz John dean of Cork succeeded in 1418 consecrated in the same year and died in the year 1430 During his incumbency Adam Pay bishop of Cloyne strove to unite the see of Cork to that of Cloyne The parliament not deeming the affair within its cognizance the cause was referred to the court of Rome and those sees on the death of Miles were accordingly united by Pope Martin V Jordan succeeded to both sees in 1431 Jordan was chancellor of Limerick and was promoted by provision of Pope Martin V In 1465 attempts were made to deprive him of his see William Roche archdeacon of Cloyne by false suggestions to the Pope representing that the Bishop Jordan was so worn out with age and deprived of strength and sight and therefore unable to discharge the pastoral offices obtained his appointment as coadjutor of Cork and Cloyne and by virtue thereof seized all the rents and revenues of the see To give effect to the plot Gerald a clergyman of Cloyne and before then the domestic of the prelate Jordan caused some instruments to be forged in which it was set forth that the aged bishop constituted this Gerald and John O Hedian archdeacon of Cashel his proctors to make a resignation of his bishopric O Hedian employed the bishop elect of Ardagh who was then at Rome as his substitute to make this resignation into the hands of Pope Pius H On this being done the archdeacon of Cashel obtained a provision for him to the sees Bishop Jordan applied to the king and to the Pope the latter sent a commission to the archbishop of Cashel and to the bishops of Exeter and Limerick authorizing them to make a strict inquiry into the case of bishop Jordan and if found as Jordan represented to remove the coadjutor and also compel him to return an account of the revenues of the sees Bishop Jordan succeeded and was restored to his rights he afterwards continued quiet in the possession of his see during life The year of his death is unknown His incumbency continued over thirty years Gerald Fitz Richard who was so active in invading the rights of Bishop Jordan succeeded He appropriated the vicarages of Clonmolt Danigin Donilbane and Bally espillany to the abbey of de Choro Benedict Middleton and died in the year 1479 William Roche who by false suggestions was appointed coadjutor to Bishop Jordan succeeded in 1479 and resigned in the year 1490 Six years afterwards he procured a pardon from Henry VII for being implicated in the rebellion of Perkin Warbeck Thady MacCarthy called by some Mechar succeeded in 1490 by provision of Pope Innocent VHI Died in 1498 Gerald bishop of Cloyne and Cork resigned in 1499 John Fitz Edmond descended of the Geraldines succeeded by provision of the Pope on the 26th June 1499 The year of his death is not ascertained John Bennet or Ferret died in 1536 Lewis MacNamara a Franciscan friar was appointed to the sees of Cork and Cloyne by the Pope but did not obtain possession of the temporals as Henry VHI thrust a schismatic Dominick Tirrey into occupation which he held about twenty years Lewis died a few days after his appointment at Rome John Hoyedon canon of Elphin was appointed by a papal provision also in November 1540 Edmund Tanner was bishop of those sees in 1580 Was grievously persecuted in Elizabeth's reign William Therry bishop of those sees in 1620 Richard Barry bishop of those sees in 1646 was a doctor of sacred theology His name is appended to the sentence of excommunication which the nuncio Rinuccini issued in 1648 subscribed the resolutions of Jamestown and again signed the commission of the celebrated Nicholas French bishop of Ferns and of Sir James Preston to the Duke of Lorrain Norbert or Robert died in 1667 Peter Creagh succeeded and was translated to Dublin John Baptist Skynne succeeded in 1701 died in 1709 Denis MacCarthy succeeded Year of his death is not recorded Timothy MacCarthy bishop in 1730 The see of Cloyne is again reconstituted by Benedict XIV in the year 1748 Richard Walsh bishop of Cork appointed by the illustrious pontiff Benedict XIV Richard it seems was living when Thomas de Burgo bishop of Ossory published his Hibernia Dominicana Honorable James Butler afterwards Lord Dunboyne succeeded Was translated to Cashel In the year 1787 James Butler in order to gain possession of his family estate renounced his religion in the parish church of Clonmel Faith is a precious gift which does not depend on man's strength it is the boon of heaven more precious and more valuable than all the perishable goods of life to which man is so attached and as those things require care and economy and a faithful dispensation in their use and application lest they be wasted and consumed so it is with this holy gift In order to retain possession of it humility prayer and grateful acknowledgments to the Father of mercies who abundantly showers his graces and benedictions on his children are necessary The best and first of Christians have lost their faith He who stands should beware lest he fall Lord Dunboyne persevered in this wretched course until May 1800 when sickness reminded him of his defection from the Catholic church and of the imperative obligation of quickly returning to the fold which he deserted In that month the archbishop of Dublin Doctor Troy received two letters from Lord Dunboyne with which his physician Dr Purcell had been entrusted one of which Lord Dunboyne desired to be addressed to the Pope expressing contrition for the rash act he had committed and soliciting his reception into the bosom of the Catholic church The letter to Rome was accordingly forwarded by the archbishop of Dublin But his illness becoming too serious to admit of delay Dr Troy directed the Rev Dr Gahan for whom Lord Dunboyne entertained the highest esteem to proceed to the castle of Dunboyne and comply with the wishes of the dying prelate During this illness Lord Dunboyne bequeathed to the trustees of Maynooth college an estate which he possessed in the county of Meath worth 1000 per annum however this legacy was contested by Lady Dunboyne with whom in virtue of an act of parliament made specially for this occasion a compromise was effected and half of the original sum has in consequence become the permanent property of the college This annuity together with a sum of 700 which the parliament granted in the year 1813 through the influence of Vesey FitzGerald member for the county of Clare and chancellor of the Irish exchequer is applied to the maintenance of twenty students selected from the most distinguished members who have completed the usual course of studies in the college Their time is devoted to the study of ecclesiastical tical history canon law the Hebrew language and to the composition of dissertations on various theological subjects This important establishment since called the Dunboyne was placed under the superintendence of the Rev Charles MacNally now bishop of Clogher in the year 1828 and is at present ably and efficiently conducted by the Very Rev John O Hanlon DD During the trial of the suit which Lady Dunboyne instituted at Trim Dr Gahan who attended the dying prelate was one of those who underwent six painful examinations in the chancery office on previous occasions and was directed to answer various questions to which he could not conscientiously respond His refusal was declared by Lord Kilwarden who presided at the trial as a contempt of court and the venerable Gahan was sentenced to undergo a week's confinement in the prison of Trim To his sentence he submitted with fortitude and Christian resignation affirming and assuring his lordship that like Eleazar of old he would sooner lay his head on a block and forfeit his life than reveal the secrets which had been disclosed to him in the ministerial discharge of his duty He was soon after as he had acted from principle discharged by the decision of the court Francis Moylan was translated from Kerry in 1786 Died universally regretted in the year 1815 Florence MacCarthy coadjutor to Doctor Moylan in 1800 died in 1810 John Murphy consecrated in April 1815 accompanied Daniel Murray the archbishop of Dublin on his journey to Rome as the representatives of the Irish bishops when the vetoistical arrangements were in contemplation for the Irish church During an incumbency of thirty years Doctor Murphy accumulated the largest private library in Ireland He died in 1847 William Delany succeeded Was consecrated in August 1847 and now happily presides