An ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an online

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bishop of East Connaught. By this title 1 do not know what
bishop could be meant except one of either Roscommon or El-


pliin, or of both together. If Moeliosa was then bishop of Ros-
common, while the see of Elphin existed separately, as would
appear from its having been governed by Flanachan as late as
the year 1168, it will follow that the sees were not as yet united
at the time of the synod of Kells. But, if Elphin was still not
united with Roscommon, liow can we account for its not being
mentioned in the aforesaid lists ? In this supposition it may be
conjectured, that Ware was mistaken as to Flanachan O'Dubliai,
whose name I do not meet with elsewhere ; but, admitting that
the sees were then united, it may be said, that Moeliosa was only
a coadjutor bishop to him, while holding the united dioceses,
which might justly go under the name of East Connaught. Thus,
allowing that there was such a bishop as Flanachan, and that he
lived until 1168, v/e can easily understand, how after his death
Moeliosa became full bishop of Elphin, that is, of Elphin and
Roscommon together, and v^hy the name of Elphin does not ap-
pear in the lists, being comprized under that of Roscommon.
Ware was, I believe right ( Antiq. cap. 16. and Bishops at Clon-
macnoisj in giving the name of Clonmacnois to the see called
Cinani by Cencius Camerarius. In after times it was wrested
from the jurisdiction of Tuam, and placed under that of Armagh.
Dromore is not mentioned in the list; perhaps it was then comprised
under the diocese of Armagh, or rather Down. ^.Vo^. 13. to
Chap. XXXII.)

(107) John of Hagulstad, quoted by PagI, {Critica SfC. ad A.
1151.) alludes to something done by Paparo In the synod with
regard to the matrimonial contract, and Is followed by Fleury,
Hist. Eccl. L. 69. §. 62. Concerning this point I da not find a
a word in our Irish documents. If any thing took place rela-
tively to it, it was midoubtedly no other than an endeavour to
establish the Sponsalia de praesenti instead of those de futuro,
of which enough has been said already, (See Chap. xxvi. §. 6.
and ib. Not. 52 and 66.)

(108) In spite of the clear account, that remains of the pro-
ceeding of the council of Kells, and the total silence of old writers
concerning doctrinal matters being discussed in it, Ledwich had
the effrontery to^say, (J«%. Sfc. U4^.) that " the great objects
of Paparo's legation were to extinguish our ancient doctrines and
discipline," &c. Was the condemnation of simony and usury an
extinction of Irish doctrines ? What had the proposal of tithcb-


to do with doctrines ; or would Ledwich Iiave wished, that the
discipline, according to which they were not paid, had been uplield ?
The giving of palliums is not a point of faith or doctrine. Then
he tells us, that one of the objects was to new- model our hier-
archy, and above all, lay the foundation of a revenue, for which
pui-pose, he says, the number of Irish sees was reduced. But, if
it was intended to raise a revenue for Rome, as he meant, surely
the number ought rather to have been augmented How was the
revenue to be raised by our sees ? Ledwich supposed by the an-
nates paid on the granting of bulls, and says, that the four palls
bestowed on the metropolitans together with tlie bulls for the
other bishops brought a large sum into the Cardinal's coffers.
This is not only a barefaced falsehood, but a proof of this malig-
nant scribbler's profound ignorance, whereas in those times an-
nates were not paid to Rome for bulls on the collation of bi-
shoprics ; nor did they even begin to be paid any wliere for, at
least, 1 50 years later. And, even did that practice exist in Pa-
paro's ilsLjs, what bulls had he to give to bishops ? ' There were
no new bishops appointed at the council of Kells, and every one
knows, that bulls are issued only for newly appointed ones, and
that annates or First fruits are charged merely on new incumbents.
(109) The Annals of Cluain-eidneach ap. Keating have ;
" Qui etiam Cardinalis protinus post peractum concilium iter ar-
ripuit, et none calendas Api-ilis transfretavit" Ware in his tract,
Archiepiscopi Cassiliensis, had thought, that the year of Paparo's
departure was 1153. In that supposition the synod should have
been held in said year, which was not the case, as has been
proved above. Not. 97. Pie was deceived by a passage of John of
Hagulstad, but afterwards changed his opinion. That writer, treat-
ing of Paparo's arrival in Ireland, Sec. gives the whole of the pro-
ceedings under A. 1152; but Pagi remarks, {Critica, S^c. ad A,
1151) that the A. 1152 marked by him for Paparo's amval was
in reality 1151. Now, as Paparo did not reach Ireland until a
late time of the year, and as John of Hagulstad speaks of Pa-
paro's travelling, on his return, through Scotland after Easter,
Ware . hadj been led to think, that he did not leave Ireland until
1153. It is thus also that Fleurj' was led astray, who says, (L.
69. $. 62.) that Paparo left Ireland in 1153, adding that he did
so after Easter. PIcre again he is mistaken ; for, as Paparo sailed


frohi Ireland on the 24th of March, he consequently left it before
Easter, which in 1152 fell on the 30th of that montli. What
John of Hagulstad says is tg be understood of Paparo's travellinir
through Scotland after Easter on his way to Home, althou'>li he
was before it out of Ireland.

(110) In the Annals of Cluain-eidneach ap. Keating, as quoted
by Colgan, (A A, SS. p. 776. and elsewhere) we read ; " Pridie
iionas Marlii haec synodus absoluta fuit." Thus the synod would
have ended. on the sixth of March. There must be a mistake in
this reading ; for, as it began on the 9th, (see yot. 97) how could
it have terminate on the 6th ? Accordingly Colgan conjectured,
{ib.) that, instead of pridie nonas, we ought to read pridie idits,
which would bring its termination to the 1 ith, thus allowing six
days for its sitting, a time fully sufficient for its proceedings. Dr.
O'Conor introduces a different correction, and maintains that,
while pridie nonas should be retained, coepta ought to be read
instead of absoluta, and quotes, as we have seen (Not, 97.) a
passage to this purpose from Flannan Ixlac-Eogan. But in this
hypothesis the synod would have begun on the sixth of March,
three days prior to that marked in the above-mentioned Annals ;
and it cannot be supposed, that these Annals would have assigned
two different days for its commencement. The passage in question
is at the end of the account of what took place in the council, v^nd
is naturally relative rather to the ending than to the beginning of
it, the date for which is given at the head of said account. Add,
that, in Dr. O'Conor's supposition, the Annals would make no
mention of the day, on which the synod was concluded, which,
considering the precision with which they treat of it, would be
very odd and can scarcely be admitted. It might seem from
Paparo's not having crossed the sea until the 2lth of March, tliat
the synod sat even later than the 14th, the day supposed by Col-
gan, whereas it is stated that he set out immediately after it was
over. But it will be allowed, that he did not leave Kells until the
following day, that is, the 15th m Colgan's system; and while
proceeding for a port whence to sail for Scotland, he might have
travelled slowly, and, when airived there, miglit have been detained
waiting for a passage.

(111) Ware and Harris, Bishops at Lei^hlin.

(112) Tr. Th.p. 308.


(113) See Ware and Harris, Bishops at Killalla. Maelfogamair
was called bishop of Tir-amalgaid QTirawly) and Hua-Fiachra
(Tireragh). It was very usual in these times to denominate our
bishops from the districts comprized in their dioceses. Harris
places one Keliach as bishop of Killala between St. Muredach and
Maelfogamair, who, he says, was bishop there in the reign of
Tuathal, who was king of Ireland from A> .534- to 544-. This can-
not be right ; for St. Muredach himself was not bishop of Killala
until after that time. (See Chap. xii. J. 1.) Harris refers to
Colgan's A A. SS. p, 248. But Colgan, although he calls Keliach
a bishop, does not tell us when or where he was such.


Macarius superior of the Irish monastery at WurtZ"
burg — Church of Egidius at Nuremberg given
for the use of the Irish — Fope Adrian W, a
scholar of Marianus, a monk of the Irish house
at Ratisbon — An Establishment formed for the
Irish at Vienna — The Irish houses of Wurfz-
burg, Nurembergy Vienna, Ratisbon, <§'c. in
course of time usurped by the Scotch — King
Henry 11, of England applies to the Pope for
permission to take possession of Ireland — The
Pope draws up a Bull making over to Henry the
entire possession of that islarid — Synod at Melli-
font and consecration of the church there — Great
offerings made to God and the monks of Melli-
font by several Irish princes, and by the wife of
Tiernan O'Ruaire — Synod of Brigh-mac-Thaidhg
— Derry raised to the rank of a regular episco-
pal see — Deaths of several bishops-^St. Laurence,
or rather Lorcan, O' Toole, consecrated archbishop
of Dublin — Synod of Clane — Decree that no one
should be a pr^ofessor of theology in any church in
Ireland who had not previously studied for some


time at Armagh — The canons of Christ-church
from being secular canons become canons regular
of the congregation of Aroasia — A cathedral
erected at Derry — War bettveen Murtogh Mac-
Loughlin king of Ireland, and Eochad Jang of
IJ lidia^'-'Battle of Litterluin and death of Mur-
togh — Burning of Armagh, and of several
churches — Rod eric king o/'Connaght, aided by se-
tjeral other Irish princes, depose Dermod Mac
Murchard kiiig of Leinster, xvho had seduced
Dervorgal, the uife of Tiernan O'Ruairc — Reli-
gious houses founded by Dermod^^Roderic
' 0*Conor acknowledged king of all Ireland —
Convention at Athlone — Dermod Mac-Morogh ,
applies to Henry II. king of England for as-
sista?ice to recover his kingdom — Enters into ne-
gociations with Strongbow and others — Landing
of the first of the Anglo-Saj:ons in Ireland, who
are immediately joined by Dermod — Roderic
O'Conor raises a great army to oppose tliem —
War between Donald O'Brien king of Limerick
and O'Conor — Donald assisted by the English —
Landing of a fresh body of English—Landing
of Strongbow—Waterford taken — Eva, daughter
of Dermod, married to Strongbow — Dublin taken
by Dermod and Strongbow — They march into
Meath and Breffny— Synod of the Irish clergy
at Armagh, who unanimously declare that the mis-
fortunes now fallen on the Irish 2)eople was a
judgment from God, for their purchasing fro7n
the English some of their children as slaves— -Li-
beration of all the English slaves throughout Ire-
land— English who had gone into Ireland ordered
to return by Henry IL—But afterwards per-
mitted to remai?!-— Death of Dermod Mac-Mor-
rogh— Dublin besieged by Roderic king of Ire-
land—The siege rmed and the Irish army dis-



MACARIUS, superior of the Irish monastery of
Wurtzburgh, (1) died on a 19th of December some
year before 1152. (2) He is said to have written
an elegant work on the praise of martyrs. (3) Ma-
carius was succeeded by Gregory, and he by Carus,
who became chaplain to king Conrad (the third) and
queen Gertrude, who gave him the church of St.
Egidius at Nuremberg for the use of the Irish. After
Carus, Declan, abbot of St. Egidius of Nuremberg,
was appointed chaplain to the said king and queen,
and after the death of Conrad, (which occurred
early in 1 152) was continued as such to his successor
Frederic Barbarossa. Declan erected a noble church
at Nuremberg, and formed a monastery there for
his Irish countrymen. (4) If we are to follow cer-
tain accounts, (5) it was about the year 115^2, or
somewhat later, that Gilla Criost, or Christian
Mac -Car thy, the second abbot of St. James' of Ra-
tisbon, went over to Ireland to collect money for the
support of the monastery. Their great benefactor
Conor O'Brian was then dead, having depaited this
life, as we have seen, (6) in the year 1142. The
funds, with which he had supplied them, being ex-
hausted. Christian found it necessary to apply for
relief to his Irish friends. He was very well re-
ceived and generously treated by a iViunster king
or prince, and by several chieftains, so that he ac-
quired a great deal of money. When preparing to
return to Germany, he was taken ill and died in Ire-
land, and was honourably buried before the altar of
St. Patrick in the metropolitan church of Cashel. (7)
Christian had received into his community, which
is said to have been then of the Benedictine order,
an Irishman of great merit, named Gregory, who
had been a Canon Regular oF St. Augustin. This
Gregory, who seems to have been different from the



one that succeeded Macarius at Wiirtzburg, was ap-
pointed successor to Christian,and was the third abbot
of St. James' of Ratisbon. It is related, that he went
to Rome to be consecrated, that is, to be invested
with the abbacy, by Pope Adrian IV. (8) His
journey to Rome could not have taken place before
1]55, whereas Adrian's pontificate began on the 3d
of December, 1 154. Among other subjects of con-
versation the Pope inquired of him concerning Ma-
rianus, who was then a monk of the Irish house of
Ratisbon, and who had taught the liberal arts at
Paris, where he had among his scholars Nicholas
Erecspere, afterwards Adrian IV. The Pope was
very glad to hear that his old master was well, and
spoke of him in the highest terms of commenda-
tion (9)

(1) See Chap. xxvi. §, 4.

(2) Bollandists at Life cf Marianus of Ratishouy 9th Feb,

(3) lb. They quote Eysengrein, who states, that iMacariiw
wrote De laiide maHyrum elegans volumen,

(4) Life of Marianus, cap. 5.

(5) I allude to the Extracts from a chronicle of the Irish monks
of Ratisbon, of which above Not. 36. to Chap. xxvi. Lynch
floe. cit. lb.) justly complains, that said chronicle is full of

(6) Chap. XXVII. ^. 6.

(7) In the said chronicle we read ; " Christianus, abbas mo-
nasterii Scotorum S. Jacobi Ratisbonae, vir nobilis ex stirpc prl-
mariae familiae Mac-Carthi in Hibernia, jam exhaustis thesauris
dim Ratisbonae submissis a rege Hiberniae, videns suos inopia
laborare humani subsidii, rogatu fratruni suorum, ut novimi repeteret
levamen egestatis, concessit in patriam suam Hiberniam, ut a rcge
ejusdem christianissimo ac devoto Donato O^ Brian (jam cnim vita
functus erat fundator Consecrati Petri et monastcrii S. Jacobi
Scotorum rex Conchor O'Brian) et ab aliis Hiberniae mognatibus
impetraret eleemosynas, Qucm rex Donufus, cum rcgina uxorc,
et principibus Hiberniae, feliciter expcditis suis negotiis, rcdituni in
Germaniam parantem .oneravit ingentibus thesauris. Scd Chris-


tianus in Hibernia spiritum Deo reddidit, et honorifice sepultus
est ante altare S. Patricii Ecclesiae metropolitanae Casselensis."
There is a mistake in the name Donatus 0' Brian ; tor at the time
that Christian came to Ireland there was no king of that name in this
country. Lynch thought {loc. cit.) that, instead o^ Donatus O'Briavy
the prince alluded to was either Donat Mac-Carthy of Desmond,
or Turlogh O'Brian king of North Munster, who reigned from
1142 to 1164? or 1167. To me it seems more probable, that the
prince meant was this Turlogh, whereas Cashel, where Christian
was buried, and where it may be supposed that he died, belonged
to Turlogh's kingdom. Turlogh was succeeded by Domnaid or
Donald O'Brian, who was a very pious prince and celebrated for
his foundations of churches and religious houses. Owing to hi^
great reputation as a benefactor to monasteries, it may be fairly
conjectured, that the unchronological compiler of that chronicle
confounded him with Tmlogh O'Brian, latinizing at the same time
his name Domnaid into Donatus. From the Life of Marianus
(cap. 4-.) it would seem as if Christian, having collected the
money, returned to Ratisbon and laid it out in purchasing lands
for the monastery. Yet it states, (cap. 6.) that he died in Ire-

(8) After the passage just quoted the said chronicle continues ;
<' Vir magnae virutis genere Hibemus, nomine Gregorius ex or-
dine Regularium canonicorum S. Augustini, impetravit a Christian©
admitti in ordinem St. Benedicti, qui Christiano extincto, apud
Jacobi Ratisbonae in abbatis munere suffectus Romam ab
Adriano Papa consecrandus petiit." That this Gregory was
not the same as the one, who had governed the Irish monas-
tery of Wurtzburg, seems clear from its being stated, that Gre-
gory of Wurtzburg was succeeded by Carus. Therefore, if he
died, as may reasonably be supposed, before Carus got that ap-
pointment, he must have been different from the Gregory, who
succeeded Christian at Ratisbon, and who went to Rome in Pope
Adrian's time. For Carus himself was dead some years before the
pontificate of Adrian, as appears from his successor Declan hav-
ing been chaplain to king Conrad, who died in 1152.

(9) lb. This Marianus must not be confounded with the Ma-
rianus one of the founders of the original Irish monastery of Ra-
tisbon. See Chap. xxv. §. 2.


§. II. When Gregory returned to Ratisbon, he
was urged by his monks to go to Ireland for the
purpose of receiving the money, which had been col-
lected by Christian, and which was deposited with
the archbishop of Cashel. He went thither and,
besides the deposit, got still more money from divers
noblemen, all which he brought to Ratisbon, and
expended on the purchase of lands, &c. and on
erecting a new magnificent monastery of hewn
stone, having thrown down the old one that was in
a ruinous state. (10) Under Gregory's government
a new establishment was formed for the Irish at
Vienna, Henry, duke of Austria, having given to
him a monastery tliere, called of St. Mary and St.
George, over which Gregory placed Sanctinus toge-
ther with 24 brethren. This was after the I5th
year reckoned from the time, in which Macarius was
appointed superior of the house of Wurtzburg. (1 1)
Meanwhile Walbrun, provost of the church of Eich-
stad, made over to Gregory a church called the
Lord's sepulchre, which he had built in the suburbs
of Ratisbon, together with lands, for the use of the
Irish monks. (12) From what has been said of
these establishments it is evident, that those of
Wurtzburg, Nuremberg, Vienna, and others, in-
cluding the old one of St. Peter's near Ratisbon,
were all subordinate to that of St. James, and that
they were, without exception, purely Irish, (13) ex-
cept that, it seems, Scotchmen were occasionally
admitted into them, whose countrymen afterwards
in course of time, when the Irish gave up the
name of Scots, obtained, under the usual trick of
applying to themselves what belonged to the an-
cient and original Scots, exclusive possession of
them, and went so far as to prevent Irishmen even
from being received into them.

(10) n. In this narrative the aforesaid chronicle intermixes
some of its anachronisms, sucli as making Gregory bring letteri


to a king Murcertach O'Brlan from tlie German king Conrad.
But there was no king JNIurcertach or Miirtogh O'Brian in Gre-
goi-y's time; and Conrad was dead before Gregory, who had
ah-eady visited Adrian IV. could have set out for Ireland.

(11) See the Life of Marianus, (cap. 6.) and the observations
of the BoUandists at 9 February. The precise year of Maca-
rius' appointment to Wurtzburg is not known ; (see Not. 38. to
Chap, XXVI.) but it could not have been prior to about 1140,
whereas Gregory, during whose incumbency the monastery of
Vienna was founded, did not become abbot of that of Ratisbon
until about 15 years after that date.

(12) lb,

(13) Sec Not. 12. to Chap. xxiv. The BoUandists (loc. cit. ib.J
observe that none but Scots, that is, principally Irish, were re-
ceived into the monasteries, called Monasteria Scotorum, in Ger-
many ; " I?i his porro coenohiis soltimmodo Scoti inhahitabant et
nulli alii, uti vel sancit vel testatur Fredericiis IL imperator in
diplomate an. D. 1212."

§. iiT. Although Adrian IV. had such a regard
for his old master Marianus, he was then concerned
in hatching a plot against that good man's country,
and in laying the foundation of the destruction of
the independence of Ireland. Henry II., who be-
came king of England about the same time that
Adrian was placed on the chair of St. Peter, on be-
ing informed of his promotion wrote to him a com-
plimentary letter of congratulation, and having thus
opened the way for obtaining favours, applied to him
in the year 1115 (14) by means of John of Salis-
bury then chaplain to Theobald archbishop of Can-
terbury, for a really important one. John, address-
ing the Pope in the king's name, asked him for per-
mission for his master to take possession of Ireland
for the purpose of extending the boundaries of the
Church, of announcing to unlearned and rude peo-
ple the truth of the Christian faith, and extirpating
the weeds of vices from the field of the Lord. (15)
What an apostolical and exemplary sovereign was


Henry Plantagenet ! It is strange, that the Pojk;
could have listened to such stuffy while he knew,
that palliums had been sent, only three or four years
before that time, to Ireland by his patron and bene-
factor, the good Pope Eiigenius III. and must liave
been informed by Cardinal Paparo, who was, as
St. Bernard states, a very worthy man, that many
good regulations had been made ; that there were
excellent bishops in this country, such as Gelasius
of Armagh and Christian of Lismore ; and that the
Irish church was not then in so degenerate a state
as to require the intervention or the pious exertions
of such a king as Henry. But the love of his coun-
try (England), (^16) his wish to gratify Henry, and
some other not very becoming reasons prevailed over
every other consideration, and the condescending
Pope with great cheerfulness and alacrity took upon
himself to make over to Henry all Ireland, and got
a letter or Bull drawn up to that effect, and di-
rected to him, in which, among other queer things,
he wishes him success in his undertaking, and ex-
presses a hope, that it will conduce not only to his
glory in this world but likewise to his eternal happi-
ness in the next. He founds his right for making
this grant on the notable principle, that Ireland and
all the islands, which have received the Christian
faith, undoubtedly belong to St. Peter and the holy
Roman church. (17) Adrian requires of Henry to
preserve the rights of the churches inviolate, and
that, as he had promised to do, he would take care
that a denarius should be annually paid from every
house to St. Peter. (18) He sent to him, by John
of Salisbury, a gold ring, adorned with a vakiable
emerald, as a token of investiture of his nght to
govern Ireland ; whicli ring, it was ordered, should
be kept in the public archives. (19)

(14) Matthew Paris and others, who are followed by Usher,
fS^Iloge at Adrian's Bull, No. 46.) assign this transaction to A.


1155; and Pagi (Criticaj S^c. ad A. 1159) observes, that the
date, marked by Matthew Paris, is the true one. Fleury (L. 70.
J. 16.) has it under 1156.

(15) These hypocritical reasons are given in the very beginning
of the hopeful Bull of Adrian IV. " Laudabiliter et satis fruc-
tuose de glorioso nomine propagando in terris, et aeternae felici-
tatis praemio cumulando in caelis, tua magnificentia cogitat ; dum
ad dilatandos Ecclesiae terminos ad dedarandam indoctis et rudU
bus popidis Christianae Jidei veritatem, et vitiorum flantaria de
agro Dominico extirpanda, sicut Catholicus princeps, intendis ;
et ad id convenientius exequendum consilium Apostolicae sedis
exigis ad favorem." The entire Bull may be seen in the Appen-

(16) This reason was assigned by Cardinal Pole in a speech,
which he delivered in 1554, and in which, as quoted by Usher,
( Sy/o^e, A'o^. to Adrian's Bull) he said" Pope Adrian IV. by
nation an Englishman, induced by the love of his country ^ granted
the dominion of Ireland to Henry 11. king of England. This

Online LibraryUnknownAn ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an → online text (page 14 of 45)