Bishop of Ferns

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The Bishop of Ferns is an episcopal title which takes its name after the village of Ferns in County Wexford, Ireland. In the Roman Catholic Church it remains a separate title, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with other bishoprics.

History[edit]

The diocese of Ferns was one of the twenty-four dioceses established at the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111. It comprised roughly with the ancient territory of the Uí Cheinnselaig with the bishop's seat (cathedra) located at Ferns Cathedral. During the later medieval period the church at New Ross enjoyed quasi-cathedral status.[1][2]

Following the Reformation, there are parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, Ferns was united with Leighlin in 1597 to form the bishopric of Ferns and Leighlin.[3][4]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the bishopric of Ferns continues as a separate title.[5][6] The current Incumbent is the Most Reverend Denis Brennan, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns, who was appointed by the Holy See on 1 March 2006 and was ordained bishop on 23 April 2006.[7]

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

List of pre-Reformation Bishops of Ferns [1][2]
From Until Incumbent Notes
unknown 1117 Ceallach Ua Colmáin Died in office
unknown 1125 Máel Eoin Ua Dúnacaín May have been bishop of Ferns or Leighlin, but was called bishop of Uí Chennselaig in the Annals of the Four Masters; died in office at Leighlin
fl. 1161–62 1182 Joseph Ua h-Áeda Known to be bishop around 1160 and 1161; died in office
c.1186 1223 Ailbe Ua Maíl Mhuaidh, O.Cist. Formerly Abbot of Baltinglass; elected bishop circa 1186; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Winchester in 1201 and 1214; died 1 January 1223; also known as Albinus, Albin O'Mooley and Alpin O'Moelmhuaidh
1223 1253 John of St John Formerly Treasurer of Limerick; elected before 6 July 1223 and consecrated before 2 April 1224; died before October 1253
1254 1258 Geoffrey of St John Formerly Treasurer of Limerick; elected before March 1254; received possession of the temporalities after 16 March 1254; died before May 1258; he was possibly brother to the previous bishop
1258 1282 High of Lamport Formerly Treasurer of Ferns Cathedral; elected before 11 July 1258; received possession of the temporalities 27 September 1258; died 15 May 1282
1282 1304 Richard of Northampton Formerly a Canon of Killaloe; elected 28 July 1282; received possession of the temporalities 13 October 1282; consecrated in 1283; died 13 January 1304 and buried in Ferns Cathedral
1304 Simon of Evesham Elected after 12 March 1304; consecrated 22 June 1304; died 1 September 1304
1305 1311 Robert Walrand Elected after 14 February 1305; consecrated after 13 April 1305; died 17 November 1311
1312 1346 Adam of Northampton Elected before 14 March 1312; received possession of the temporalities 14 March 1312; consecrated 18 June 1312; died 29 October 1346
1347 Hugh of Saltu Formerly a Canon of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin; elected before 10 March and consecrated 8 April 1347, but was deprived of the see later in the same year; also known as Hugh of Leixlip
1347 1348 Geoffrey Grandfield, O.E.S.A. Appointed 5 March and consecrated at Avignon in June 1347; received possession of the temporalities 15 November 1347; died of the plague 22 October 1348; also known as Geoffrey Grosseld
1349 John Esmond Elected and consecrated in 1349, but did not get possession of the see due to a prior papal reservation; deprived in the same year; later successively appointed Bishop of Emly on 28 February 1356
1350 1362 William Carnells, O.P. Appointed 19 April and consecrated 1350; received possession of the temporalities 15 October 1350; also was Lord High Treasurer of Ireland; died in July 1362
1363 1400 Thomas Dene Formerly Archdeacon of Ferns; appointed bishop before 15 April and consecrated 18 June 1363; received possession of the temporalities the 27 August 1363; died 27 August 1400
1400 1415 Patrick Barrett, O.S.A. Formerly a Canon of Kells Priory; appointed 10 December 1400 and consecrated in the same month; received possession of the temporalities the 11 April 1401; also was Lord Chancellor of Ireland; died 10 November 1415
1418 1457 Robert Whittey Formerly Precentor of Ferns Cathedral; appointed 16 February 1418; resigned 5 October 1457; died 1458
1451 Tadgh O'Beirn, O.S.A. Appointed 8 October 1451, but did not take effect
1457 1479 John Purcell I Appointed 4 October 1457; died before October 1479
1479 1503 Laurence Neville Formerly a Canon of Ferns; appointed 26 October 1479 and received possession of the temporalities 20 May 1480; died 1503
1505 1509 Edmund Comerford Formerly Dean of Kilkenny; consecrated at Ferns Cathedral in 1505; died 15 April 1509
1510 1519 Nicholas Comyn Appointed bishop before 20 January 1510 and consecrated at St Paul's Cathedral, London on that date; translated to Waterford and Lismore in 1519
1519 1539 John Purcell II Appointed 13 April and consecrated at Rome 6 May 1519; died 20 July 1539

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Church of Ireland succession[edit]

List of Church of Ireland Bishops of Ferns [3][4]
From Until Incumbent Notes
1539 1566 Alexander Devereux [A] Last Abbot of Dunbrody; elected bishop by the dean and chapter in 1539 and confirmed by King Henry VIII; consecrated at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin 14 December 1539; died in Fethard-on-Sea before 19 August 1566
1566 1578 John Devereux Dean of Ferns; nominated 10 October and appointed by letters patent 19 October 1566; died in 1578 and was buried at St Mary's Church in Wexford
1579 (James Proctor) Appointed by letters patent 11 April 1579, but died before consecration
1579 1582 See vacant
1582 1597 Hugh Allen Translated from Down and Connor; appointed by letters patent 24 May 1582; became Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin when the two dioceses where united in 1597.
In 1597, the Church of Ireland see became part of the united bishopric of Ferns and Leighlin

Roman Catholic succession[edit]

List of Roman Catholic Bishops of Ferns [5][6]
From Until Incumbent Notes
1539 1541 See vacant
1541 Bernard O'Donnell, O.F.M Appointed 30 March 1541; translated to Elphin 3 June 1541
1541 1542 Gabriel de S. Serio, O.S.B. Translated from Elphin 3 June 1541; died 5 May 1542
unknown 1566 Alexander Devereux [B] Appointed by King Henry VIII in 1539, but was not deprived in the reign of Queen Mary I; died in Fethard-on-Sea before 19 August 1566
1566 1582 See vacant
1582 1587 Peter Power Appointed 27 April 1582; died 1587
1587 1607 See vacant
1607 unknown Daniel Drihin Appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 17 November 1607
1624 1636 John Roche Appointed 29 April 1624; died 9 April 1636
1636 1645 See vacant
1645 1678 Nicolas Franch Appointed 6 February and consecrated 23 November 1645; also appointed auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Compostela 1652-1666, Paris 1666-1668, and Ghent 1668-1678; died 23 August 1678
1678 1683/84 See vacant
1683/84 1691/92 Luke Wadding Appointed coadjutor bishop of Ferns on 26 August 1671, but declined the post later that year; consecrated bishop of Ferns in 1683 (or 1684); died 1691 (or 1692)
1691/92 1697 See vacant
1697 1709 Michael Rossiter Appointed 1 July 1697; possibly died 1709
1709 1728 John Verdon Appointed 14 September 1709; died circa 1728
1729 1744 Ambrose O’Callaghan, O.F.M. Appointed 26 September 1729; died 8 August 1744
1745 1786 Nicholas Sweetman Appointed 25 January 1745; died 19 October 1786
1786 1814 James Caulfield Appointed coadjutor bishop 26 February and consecrated 7 July 1782; succeeded 19 October 1786; died 14 January 1814
1814 1819 Patrick Ryan Appointed coadjutor bishop 2 October 1804 and consecrated 2 February 1805; succeeded 14 January 1814; died 9 March 1819
1819 1849 James Keatinge Appointed coadjutor bishop 6 December 1818; succeeded 9 March and consecrated 21 March 1819; died 7 September 1849
1849 1856 Myles Murphy Appointed 19 November 1849 and consecrated 10 March 1850; died 13 August 1856
1857 1875 Thomas Furlong Appointed 9 January and consecrated 22 March 1857; died 12 November 1875
1876 1884 Michael Warren Appointed 13 or 14 March and consecrated 7 May 1876; resigned 22 April 1884; died 22 April 1885
1884 1917 James Browne Appointed 6 or 8 July and consecrated 14 September 1884; died 21 June 1917
1917 1938 William Codd Appointed 7 December 1917 and consecrated 25 February 1918; died 12 March 1938
1938 1963 James Staunton Appointed 10 December 1938 and consecrated 5 February 1939; died 26 or 27 June 1963
1964 1983 Donald J. Herlihy Appointed 30 October and consecrated 15 November 1964; died 2 April 1983
1984 2002 Brendan Oliver Comiskey, SS.CC. Formerly auxiliary bishop of Dublin 1979-1984; appointed bishop of Ferns 4 or 11 April 1984; resigned 6 April 2002
2006 present Denis Brennan Appointed 1 March and consecrated 23 April 2006.[7]

Notes[edit]

  • A B Alexander Devereux was bishop of both successions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 355–356. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  2. ^ a b Cotton, Henry (1848). The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Fasti ecclesiae Hiberniae. Vol. 2, The Province of Leinster. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. pp. 331–334. 
  3. ^ a b Fryde, ibid., p. 393.
  4. ^ a b Cotton, ibid., pp. 334-335.
  5. ^ a b Fryde, ibid., pp. 428-429.
  6. ^ a b Diocese of Ferns. Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
  7. ^ a b Denis Brennan. Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 7 September 2009.