Bishop of Derry

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The Bishop of Derry is an episcopal title which takes its name after the city of Derry in Northern Ireland. In the Roman Catholic Church it remains a separate title, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with another bishopric.

History[edit]

The bishopric has its origin in the Columban abbey of Derry, founded by the abbots of Iona in the sixth century. By the High Middle Ages, the monastery of Derry was one of the chief monasteries of the Columban familia and its abbots often bore the title Comarbai Coluim Cille, successor of Saint Columba.

The episcopal diocese emerged from the reorganisation of the Irish church in the twelfth century. The see was founded to cover the lands of the Cenél nEógain (i.e. Tyrone). It was fixed first at Ardstraw, then at Maghera (Machaire Rátha Lúraigh - the plain of Lurach's fort).[1][2] The Irish annalists commonly styled the bishops of this area 'bishop of Cenél nEógain'.[2] Bishop Germanus, called in Irish Gilla in Choimded Ó Cerballáin, obtained sanction from Pope Innocent IV for the see to be transferred to Derry in 1254.[1]

Following the Reformation, there are parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, Derry continued a separate see until 1834 when it amalgamated with Raphoe and became the united bishopric of Derry and Raphoe.[3]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the title is still a separate bishopric. At present the see is vacant. The most recent incumbent was The Most Rev. Dr. Séamus Hegarty, D.D., Lord Bishop of Derry, whose resignation was accepted by the Holy See on 23 November 2011.[4]

On February 25th 2014, Pope Francis appointed the then auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor - Most Reverend Donal McKeown as the new Bishop of Derry. He was installed as Bishop of Derry on Sunday April 6th 2014 in Saint Eugene's Cathedral Derry.[5][6]

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

Bishops of the diocese of Cinél nEógain
List of Bishops of the diocese of Cinél nEógain
From Until Incumbent Notes
1107 1122 Máel Coluim Ua Brolcháin [A] Styled "bishop of Ard Macha" (Armagh) in the Annals of Ulster, but probably took care over the see of Cinél nEógain. Consecrated on 13 September 1107. Died at Derry in 1122.
unknown 1139 Máel Brigte Ua Brolcháin [B] Styled "bishop of Ard Macha" (Armagh) in the Annals of Ulster, but probably took care over the see of Cinél nEógain. Died on 29 January 1139.
unknown 1149 Ua Gormgaile Died in office.
bef.1152 1173 Muiredach Ua Cobthaig Also known in Latin as Mauricius. Styled "bishop of Cenel-Eogain and of all the North of Ireland" in the Annals of Ulster. Present at the Synod of Kells in March 1152. Died on 10 February 1173.
unknown 1185 Amlaím Ua Muirethaig Styled "bishop of Ard-Macha and Cenel-Feradhaigh" in the Annals of Ulster and appears to be reckoned as coarb of Saint Patrick in the Book of Leinster, but probably took care over the see of Cinél nEógain. Died at Cenél Feradaig Cruthnai in 1185 and buried at Derry.
1185 1230 Fogartach Ua Cerballáin I Also known in Latin as Florentius. Died in office.
c.1230 1254 Gilla in Choimded Ó Cerbailláin, O.P. Also known in Latin as Germanus. Elected circa 1230. Transferred the See to Derry in 1254.
Sources:[7]
Pre-Reformation Bishops of Derry
List of pre-Reformation Bishops of Derry
From Until Incumbent Notes
1254 1279 Gilla in Choimded Ó Cerbailláin, O.P. Transferred the See from Ráith Lúraig (Maghera) in 1254. Died in office.
1280 1293 Fogartach Ua Cerballáin II Also known in Latin as Florentius. Elected circa 1280. Died in office before 24 July 1293.
1293 1294 (Michael) Previously Treasurer of Derry. Elected on 10 October 1293, and though granted possession of the see's temporalities on 8 February 1294, he was never consecrated.
1294 1297 Énri Mac Airechtaig, O.Cist. Also known as Henry O'Reghly or Henry of Ardagh. Elected before 12 August 1294 and again before March 1294. Received possession of the temporalities on 16 June 1295. Died in office.
1297 c.1315 Gofraid Mac Lochlainn Elected before 26 June 1297 and received possession of the temporalities after that date. Died in office circa 1315.
1316 1319 Áed Ó Néill Elected in 1316. Died in office in June 1319.
1319 1349 Michael Mac Lochlainn, O.F.M. Also known in Latin as Mauricius. Elected after 19 August 1319. Died in office before 18 December 1349.
1349 aft.1380 Simon, O.P. Previously Bishop-elect of Clonmacnoise in earlier 1349. Appointed Bishop of Derry on 18 December 1349, but the date of his consecration is not known. Died in office after 1380.
unknown 1391 Johannes Died in office before July 1391
1391 1394 John Dongan, O.S.B. Previously Bishop of Mann and the Isles (1374–1387). Appointed before 11 July 1391. Acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of London (1392). Translated to Down on 16 September 1394.
1394 (Seoán Ó Mocháin) Appointed on 16 September 1394, but did not take effect.
1398 1401 Aodh Also known as Hugh. Appointed before 25 February 1398. Possibly resigned before August 1401.
1401 1415 Seoán Ó Flannabhra, O.Cist. Previously bishop of Elphin (1326–1354) and abbot of Macosquin. Appointed bishop of Derry on 19 August 1401. Died in office before February 1415.
1415 1419 (Domhnall Mac Cathmhaoil) Appointed on 20 February 1514, but was never consecrated, and died before October 1419.
1419 1429 Domhnall Ó Mearaich Appointed on 16 October 1419. Translated to Connor on 9 December 1429.
1429 1433 Eoghan Ó Domhnaill Also known in Latin as Eugenius. Translated from Connor on 9 December 1429. Died in office before September 1433.
1433 1458 Johannes Oguguin Also known as Johnannes Ogubun. Appointed on 18 September and consecrated after 17 October 1433. Died in office before May 1458.
1458 1463 Bartholomaeus Ó Flannagáin, O.Cist. Previously a monk in Assaroe Abbey. Appointed on 27 May 1458. Resigned in 1463.
1464 1466 Johannes Died in office before April 1466.
1467 1484 Nicholas Weston Appointed on 21 February 1467. Died in office in December 1484.
1485 1501 Domhnall Ó Fallamhain, O.F.M. Appointed on 16 May 1485 and consecrated after July 1487. Died in office on 5 July 1501.
1503 1519 Séamus mac Pilib Mac Mathghamhna Formerly Bishop-designate of Clogher in 1494. Appointed bishop of Derry on 26 November 1503. Died in office.
1520 1550/51 Ruaidhrí Ó Domhnaill Also anglicised as Rory O'Donnell. Appointed on 11 January 1520. Died in office on 8 October 1550 (or 1551).
1550/51 1554 See vacant
1554 1569 Eugene O'Doherty Appointed on 25 June 1554. Died in office circa 1569.
Sources:[7]

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Church of Ireland succession[edit]

List of Church of Ireland Bishops of Derry
From Until Incumbent Notes
c.1569 1605 See vacant Denis Campbell, Dean of Limerick, was nominated to be bishop of Derry, Raphoe and Clogher in 1603, but died before consecration in July 1603.
1605 1609 George Montgomery Nominated on 15 February and appointed by Letters Patent and 13 June 1605. Also was bishop of Clogher (1605–1621) and Raphoe (1605–1609). Translated to Meath on 8 July 1609.
1610 1611 Brutus Babington Nominated on 11 August 1610 and consecrated in the same year. Died in office on 10 September 1611.
1613 1615 John Tanner Formerly Bishop-designate of Dromore 1612-1613. Nominated bishop of Derry on 16 April and consecrated in May 1613. Died in office on 14 October 1615.
1616 1634 George Downham Nominated on 28 October 1616 and consecrated in January 1617. Died in office on 17 April 1634.
1634 1661 John Bramhall Nominated on 9 May and consecrated on 26 May 1634. Translated to Armagh on 18 January 1661.
1661 1665 George Wild Nominated on 6 August 1660 and consecrated on 27 January 1661. Died in office on 29 December 1665.
1666 1679 Robert Mossom Nominated on 11 January and consecrated on 1 April 1666. Died in office on 21 December 1679.
1680 1681 Michael Ward Translated from Ossory. Nominated on 6 January and appointed by letters patent on 22 January 1680. Died in office on 3 October 1681.
1681 1690 Ezekiel Hopkins Translated from Raphoe. Nominated on 21 October and appointed by letters patent on 11 November 1681. Died in office on 22 June 1690.
1691 1703 William King Nominated on 7 December 1690 and consecrated on 25 January 1691. Translated to Dublin on 11 March 1703.
1703 1713 Charles Hickman Nominated on 17 February and consecrated on 11 June 1703. Died in office on 28 November 1713.
1714 1717 John Hartstonge Translated from Ossory. Nominated on 7 February and appointed by letters patent on 3 March 1714. Died in office on 30 January 1717.
1717 1718 St George Ashe Translated from Clogher. Nominated on 16 February and appointed by letters patent on 25 February 1717. Died in office on 27 February 1718.
1718 1727 William Nicolson Translated from Carlisle. Appointed by letters patent on 2 May 1718. Translated to Cashel on 28 January 1727.
1727 1735 Henry Downes Translated from Meath. Nominated on 11 January and appointed by letters patent on 8 February 1727. Died in office on 14 January 1735.
1735 1743 Thomas Rundle Nominated on 20 February and consecrated on 3 August 1735. Died in office on 15 April 1743.
1743 1745 Carew Reynall Translated from Down and Connor. Nominated on 25 April and appointed by letters patent on 6 May 1743. Died in office on 1 January 1745.
1745 1747 George Stone Translated from Kildare. Nominated on 26 April and appointed by letters patent on 11 May 1745. Translated to Armagh on 13 March 1747.
1747 1768 William Barnard Translated from Raphoe. Nominated on 28 February and appointed by letters patent on 19 March 1747. Died in office on 10 January 1768.
1768 1803 The Hon. Frederick Augustus Hervey Translated from Cloyne. Nominated on 28 January and appointed by letters patent on 18 February 1768. Also became the fourth Earl of Bristol on 23 December 1779. Died in office on 8 July 1803.
1803 1831 The Hon. William Knox Translated from Killaloe and Kilfenora. Nominated on 27 August and appointed by letters patent in 9 September 1803. Died in office on 10 July 1831.
1831 1853 The Hon. Richard Ponsonby Translated from Killaloe and Kilfenora. Nominated on 14 September and appointed by letters patent on 21 September 1831. Became Bishop of Derry and Raphoe when the two sees were united on 5 September 1834. Died in office on 27 October 1853.
Since 1834 The Church of Ireland See is now part of the united bishopric of Derry and Raphoe
Sources:[3]

Roman Catholic succession[edit]

List of Roman Catholic Bishops of Derry
From Until Incumbent Notes
1569 1601 Redmond O'Gallagher Translated from Killala on 22 June 1569. Died in office on 15 March 1601.
1601 1622 See vacant No record of vicars apostolic appointed.
1622 unknown (Luke Rochford) Appointed vicar apostolic to administer the see by papal brief on 13 March 1622.
1629 1668 (Terence Kelly) Appointed vicar apostolic to administer the see by papal brief 10 January 1629. Deprived of the post in 1668.
1671 unknown (Eugene Conwell) Appointed vicar apostolic to administer the see by papal brief 30 June 1671.
1684 c.1711 (Bernard O'Cahan) Appointed vicar apostolic to administer the see by papal brief in January 1684. Died in office circa 1711.
1694 c.1696 Fergus Laurence Lea Appointed on 8 February 1694, but it seems probable that he never took possession of the see. Also was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Raphoe on 18 February 1694. Died circa 1696.
1711 1720 See vacant
1720 unknown Terence Donnelly Appointed on 5 January and consecrated on 27 March 1720. Death date unknown.
1727 1738 Neil Conway Appointed on 7 April 1727. Died in office on 6 January 1738.
1739 1749 Michael O'Reilly Appointed on 24 April 1739. Translated to Armagh on 23 January 1749.
1749 1750 John Brullaghhaun Also known as John O'Brolchain. Appointed on 7 May 1749. Died in office in 1750.
1751 1752 Patrick Bradley, O.P. Also known as Patrick O'Brolchain. Appointed on 29 January and consecrated on 3 March 1751. Resigned in 1752.
1752 1765 John MacColgan Elected on 19 March and appointed by papal brief on 4 May 1752. Died in office in 1765.
1766 1797 Phillip MacDevitt Appointed on 4 January 1766. Died in office on 24 November 1797.
1797 1824 Charles O'Donnell Appointed coadjutor bishop on 11 (or 14) January 1797 and succeeded diocesan bishop on 24 November 1797. Died in office on 19 July 1824.
1824 1840 Peter MacLaughlin Formerly Bishop of Raphoe (1802–1819). Appointed Administrator of Derry on 12 January 1819 due to Bishop O'Donnell's age and infirmity. Confirmed bishop of Derry on 4 April and by papal brief on 11 May 1824. Died in office on 18 August 1840.
1840 1864 John MacLaughlin Appointed coadjutor bishop on 21 February and consecrated on 16 July 1837. Succeeded diocesan bishop on 18 August 1840. Resigned in 1864 and died on 18 June 1864.
1864 1889 Francis Kelly Appointed coadjutor bishop on 19 April and consecrated on 21 October 1849. Succeeded diocesan bishop on 13 June 1864. Died in office on 1 September 1889.
1889 1907 John Keys O'Doherty Appointed on 28 December 1889 and consecrated on 2 March 1890. Died in office on 25 February 1907.
1907 1926 Charles MacHugh Appointed on 14 June and consecrated on 29 September 1907. Died in office on 12 February 1926.
1926 1939 Bernard O'Kane Appointed on 21 June and consecrated on 26 September 1926. Died in office on 5 January 1939.
1939 1973 Neil Farren Appointed on 5 August and consecrated on 1 October 1939. Resigned on 14 April 1973, and died on 8 May 1980.
1974 1993 Edward Daly Appointed on 31 January and consecrated on 31 March 1974. Resigned on 26 October 1993.
1994 2011 Séamus Hegarty Translated from Raphoe. Appointed on 1 October and installed on 6 November 1994. Requested to resign due to health reasons on 7 November 2011, which was accepted by the Holy See on 23 November 2011.
2011 2014 See vacant
2014 present Donal McKeown Appointed on 25 February 2014[8]
Sources:[9][10]

Notes[edit]

  • A B These two Ua Brolcháin bishops were members of the Cenél Feredaig, whom were closely associated with Derry.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (Third Edition ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 345. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  2. ^ a b Fryde, ibid., pp.371-372
  3. ^ a b Fryde, ibid., pp. 387-388
  4. ^ "Bishops". Diocese of Derry. Retrieved 19 June 2009. 
  5. ^ http://www.derryjournal.com/news/local-news/derry-s-new-bishop-is-donal-mckeown-1-5899542
  6. ^ http://www.derryjournal.com/news/local-news/donal-mckeown-installed-as-bishop-of-derry-1-5984452
  7. ^ a b Fryde, ibid., pp. 345-346
  8. ^ Derry’s new Bishop is Donal McKeown, Derry Journal, 25 February 2014
  9. ^ Fryde, ibid., pp. 422-423
  10. ^ "Diocese of Derry". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 19 June 2009.