Bishop of Down and Connor

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The Bishop of Down and Connor is an episcopal title which takes its name from the town of Downpatrick (located in County Down) and the village of Connor (located in County Antrim) in Northern Ireland. The title is still used by the Roman Catholic Church, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with other bishoprics.

History[edit]

The sees of Down and Connor were established at the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111. For a brief period in the early 12th-century, they were united under Máel Máedóc Ua Morgair (Saint Malachy), who also became Archbishop of Armagh.[1]

On 29 July 1438, plans for a permanent union of the sees of Down and Connor were submitted to King Henry VI of England for his sanction.[2] Exactly twelve months later, 29 July 1439, Pope Eugene IV issued a papal bull stating that Down and Connor were to be united on the death or resignation of either bishop. In 1442, Bishop John Sely of Down was deprived of his see by Pope Eugene IV,[3][4] thereby effecting the union of the two dioceses. John Fossade, who had been bishop of Connor since 1431, became the bishop of the united see of Down and Connor in late 1442. However, due to strong opposition to the union in the diocese of Down, three more bishops of Down were appointed, two whilst Fossade was alive and one after his death. It was not until the appointment of Thomas Knight that the two sees were finally united under one bishop.

Following the upheaval of the 16th century Reformation in Ireland, there were parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, Down and Connor merged with Dromore in 1842 to form the bishopric of Down, Connor and Dromore. They continued until 1945 when they were separated into the bishoprics of Down & Dromore and Connor.[5][6]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the see of Down and Connor continues to the present day. The incumbent is the Most Reverend Noel Treanor, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor, who was appointed by the Holy See on 22 February 2008 and ordained bishop on 29 June 2008.[7]

Lists of bishops[edit]

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

Pre-Reformation Bishops of Down and Connor
From Until Incumbent Notes
1442 1450 John Fossade John Festade; appointed Bishop of Connor in 1431; became Bishop of Down and Connor in 1442, however, due to local opposition, he did not get full control; died in the spring of 1450.
1453 1469 Thomas Knight OSB Appointed 24 August 1453; consecrated 31 May 1456; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of London 1459-63; died before July 1469.
1469 1480 Tadhg Ó Muirgheasa Thaddaeus; appointed 10 July; consecrated 10 September 1469; died after July 1480.
1483 1519 Tiberio Ugolino Appointed thrice: 14 February 1483, 12 September 1484 and 1 September 1485; consecrated 12 March 1489; died before April 1519
Source(s):[8][9]

Post-Reformation Church of Ireland bishops[edit]

Church of Ireland Bishops of Down and Connor
From Until Incumbent Notes
1520 c. 1541 Robert Blyth OSB[N 1] Appointed 16 April 1520; accepted royal supremacy in 1539; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Ely 1539-1541; resigned c. 1541; died after 19 October 1547.
1542 c. 1559–63 Eugene Magennis[N 1] Papal appointee from 1539, he accepted royal supremacy and was confirmed by letters patent 8 May 1542; retained possession during the reign of Queen Mary I; probably attended the 1560 parliament and took the Oath of Supremacy;[10] died c. 1559–63.
1565 1567 James MacCawell Nominated 6 June 1565, but is not known for certain if he was consecrated or obtained possession; promoted to the archbishopric of Cashel in 1567.
1569 1571 John Merriman Received temporalities 20 December 1568; consecrated 19 January 1569; died before 6 July 1571.
1572 1582 Hugh Allen Appointed by letters patent 21 November 1572; translated to Bishop of Ferns 24 May 1582.
1582 1593 See vacant
1593 1595 Edward Edgeworth Nominated 31 July 1593; consecrated 1593; died 1595.
1596 1601 John Chardon Appointed by letters patent; consecrated 4 May 1596; died 1601.
1602 1607 Roben Humpston Nominated 17 July 1601; consecrated 5 April 1602; died before 14 January 1607.
1607 1612 John Todd Formerly Dean of Cashel; nominated to Down and Connor and to Dromore 24 January; appointed to all three by letters patent 16 May 1607; resigned 20 January 1612.
1612 James Dundas Nominated 23 February; consecrated July 1612; died before 29 November 1612.
1613 1635 Robert Echlin Nominated 29 November 1612; appointed by letters patent 4 March 1613; died 17 July 1635.
1635 1661 Henry Leslie Nominated 8 August; consecrated 4 October 1635; translated to Meath 19 January 1661.
1661 1667 Jeremy Taylor Nominated 6 August 1660; consecrated 27 January 1661; also appointed administrator of the see of Dromore 23 June 1661; died 13 August 1667.
1667 1672 Roger Boyle Nominated 26 August; consecrated 18 October 1667; translated to Clogher 19 September 1672; he was the younger brother of Richard Boyle, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin.
1672 1694 Thomas Hacket Nominated 29 August; consecrated 28 September 1672; deprived on 21 March 1694 for continued non-residence, neglect and other offences against ecclesiastical law; died in August 1697.
1694 1695 Samuel Foley Nominated 17 August; consecrated 2 September 1694; died 22 May 1695.
1695 1699 Edward Walkington Nominated 10 July; consecrated 4 August 1695; died in January 1699.
1699 1720 Edward Smyth Nominated 21 January; consecrated 2 April 1699; died 16 October 1720.
1721 1739 Francis Hutchinson Nominated 30 November 1720; consecrated 22 January 1721; died 23 June 1739.
1739 1743 Carew Reynell Nominated 4 September; consecrated 18 November 1739; translated to Derry 6 May 1743.
1743 1752 John Ryder Translated from Killaloe; nominated 25 April 1743; appointed by letters patent 1 August 1743; translated to Tuam 19 March 1752.
1752 John Whitcombe Translated from Clonfert and Kilmacduagh; nominated 24 February 1752; appointed by letters patent 21 March 1752; translated to Cashel 1 September 1752.
1752 1753 Robert Downes Translated from Ferns and Leighlin; nominated 12 August 1752; appointed by letters patent 13 October 1752; translated to Raphoe 16 January 1753.
1753 1765 Arthur Smyth Translated from Clonfert; nominated 28 December 1752; appointed by letters patent 24 January 1753; translated to Meath 28 October 1765.
1765 1783 James Traill Nominated 27 September; consecrated 3 November 1765; died 12 November 1783.
1784 1804 William Dickson Nominated 19 November 1783; consecrated 1 February 1784; died 19 September 1804.
1804 1823 Nathaniel Alexander Translated from Killaloe and Kilfenora; nominated 2 November 1804; appointed by letters patent 21 November 1804; translated to Meath 21 March 1823.
1823 1848 Richard Mant Translated from Killaloe and Kilfenora; nominated 13 March 1823; appointed by letters patent 23 March 1823; became Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore from 9 April 1842; died 2 November 1848.
In 1842, Down and Connor united with Dromore to form the united bishopric of Down, Connor and Dromore
Source(s):[5][6]

Post-Reformation Roman Catholic bishops[edit]

Roman Catholic Bishops of Down and Connor
From Until Incumbent Notes
1520 1539 Robert Blyth OSB[N 1] Appointed 16 April 1520; deposed by Pope Paul III in 1539 when he accepted royal supremacy; died 1547.
1539 1559 Eugene Magennis[N 1] Appointed 16 June 1539; accepted royal supremacy in 1541, but remained in possession of the see during the reign of Queen Mary I; probably attended the 1560 parliament and took the Oath of Supremacy;[10] died c. 1559–63.
1565 1580 Miler Magrath OFM Appointed 12 October 1565; accepted royal supremacy in 1567; in 14 March 1580 that he was deposed from the see by Pope Gregory XIII.
1580 1581 Donat O'Gallagher OFM Translated from Killala; appointed 23 March 1580; died c. 1581.
1582 1612 Bl. Conor O'Devany OFM Appointed 27 April 1582; consecrated 2 February 1583; executed 1 February 1612; beatified by Pope John Paul II on 27 September 1992.
1614 1625 Patrick Hanratty Appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 7 March 1614; translated to Dromore in 1625.
1625 1629 Edmund Dungan Appointed 9 June 1625; consecrated in July 1626; died 1629.
1630 1640 Hugh Magennis OFM Bonaventura; appointed 22 April and again 28 June 1630; died 24 April 1640.
1640 1642 See vacant
1642 1643 Heber MacMahon Appointed 10 March 1642; translated to Clogher 27 June 1643.
1647 1653 Arthur Magennis OCist Appointed 11 March 1647; consecrated 1 May 1648; died 24 March 1653.
1657 1670 Michael O'Beirn Appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 17 April 1657; died c. 1670.
1671 1673 Daniel Mackey Appointed 4 May 1671; died 24 December 1673.
1673 1711 See vacant During this period, the two dioceses of Down and Connor seem to have been governed by separate vicars general.
1711 unknown Terence O'Donnelly Appointed vicar apostolic of Down by papal brief 22 August 1711; vicar apostolic of both from February 1714.
1717 1724 James O'Shiel OFM Appointed 2 October; consecrated in November 1717; died 13 August 1724.
1727 1739 John Armstrong Appointed 7 April 1727; died in December 1739.
1740 1749 Francis Stuart OFM Appointed 19 September; consecrated 24 November 1740; died in May 1749.
1751 1760 Edmund O'Doran Appointed 30 January 1751; died 18 June 1760.
1760 1778 Theophilus MacCartan Appointed 10 September 1760; died 16 December 1778.
1779 1794 Hugh MacMullan Appointed 11 August 1779; died 8 October 1794.
1794 1824 Patrick MacMullan Appointed coadjutor bishop 29 July; consecrated 21 September 1793; succeeded 8 October 1794; died 25 October 1824.
1825 1835 William Crolly Appointed 6 February; consecrated 1 May 1825; translated to Armagh in April or May 1835.
1835 1865 Cornelius Denvir Appointed 6 September 1835; resigned May 1865; died 10 July 1866.
1865 1885 Patrick Dorrian Appointed coadjutor bishop 13 June; consecrated 19 August 1860; succeeded in May 1865; died 3 November 1885.
1886 1895 Patrick MacAlister Appointed in 1886; consecrated 28 March 1886; died 26 March 1895.
1895 1908 Henry Henry Appointed 16 August; consecrated 22 September 1895; died 8 March 1908.
1908 1914 John Tohill Appointed 5 August; consecrated 20 September 1908; died 4 July 1914.
1915 1928 Joseph MacRory Appointed 18 August; consecrated 14 November 1915; translated to Armagh 22 June 1928.
1929 1962 Daniel Mageean Appointed 31 May; consecrated 25 August 1929; died 18 January 1962.
1962 1982 William Philbin Translated from Clonfert; appointed 5 June 1962; retired 24 August 1982; died 23 August 1991.
1982 1990 Cahal Daly Translated from Ardagh and Clonmacnoise; appointed 24 August 1982; translated to Armagh 6 November 1990.
1991 2008 Patrick Walsh Appointed titular bishop of Ros Cré and auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor on 6 April 1983; ordained bishop 15 May 1983; appointed diocesan bishop of Down and Connor on 18 March 1991; retired 22 February 2008.
2008 present Noel Treanor Appointed 22 February; ordained bishop 29 June 2008.
Source(s):[11][12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Blyth and Magennis were both bishops in both successions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 334, 343 and 347.
  2. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 344 and 348.
  3. ^ Kilclief Castle. Irish Antiquities. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  4. ^ Kilclief Castle, County of Down. Library Ireland. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 388–389.
  6. ^ a b Cotton 1850, The Province of Connaught, pp. 202–218.
  7. ^ Bishops of Down and Connor. Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  8. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 343–344 and 347–348.
  9. ^ Cotton 1850, The Province of Connaught, pp. 201–202.
  10. ^ a b Tanner, Marcus. Ireland's Holy Wars: The Struggle for a Nation's Soul, 1500-2000. Yale University Press P87. 
  11. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 423-424.
  12. ^ Diocese of Down and Connor at Catholic-Hierarchy Retrieved on 26 August 2009.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Cotton, Henry (1850). The Province of Connaught. Fasti Ecclesiae Hiberniae: The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Volume 4. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. 
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S. et al., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, Reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.