Bishop of Kildare

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The Bishop of Kildare was an episcopal title which took its name after the town of Kildare in County Kildare, Ireland. The title is no longer in use by any of the main Christian churches having been united with other bishoprics. In the Roman Catholic Church, the title has been merged with that of the bishopric of Leighlin and is currently held by the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. In the Church of Ireland, the title has been merged with that of the bishopric of Meath and is currently held by the Bishop of Meath and Kildare.

History[edit]

In the 5th century, the Abbey of Kildare was founded by Saint Brigid, a double monastery of nuns and monks. The abbey was governed by an abbess, who was the 'heir of Brigit' (comarbae Brigte), and by abbots, bishops and abbot-bishops, who were subordinate to the abbess.[1]

Although the bishopric was founded with the abbey in the fifth-century, it wasn't until 1111 AD that the diocese of Kildare was established at the Synod of Rathbreasail.[2] The diocese covered roughly the northern part of County Kildare and the eastern part of County Offaly.

After the episcopate of Walter Wellesley (1529–1539), there were parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, Kildare continued as an independent diocese until 1846 when it amalgamated with Dublin and Glendalough to form the united Diocese of Dublin, Kildare and Glendalough. In 1976, Kildare broke away from Dublin and Glendalough and combined with Meath to form the current united Diocese of Meath and Kildare. The Roman Catholic bishopric of Kildare too remained separate until it linked with the bishopric of Leighlin. The bishops of Kildare had been apostolic administrators of Leighlin since 1683 and the union of the two sees was formally decreed on 29 November 1694.[3]

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

Monastic bishops of Kildare[edit]

Monastic Bishops of Kildare
Tenure Incumbent Notes
d. 520 Conláed ua hEimri Known as Saint Conleth; died, according to tradition, 3 May 520
d. 639 Áed Dub mac Colmáin Abbot and Bishop of Kildare; brother of Fáelán mac Colmáin, King of Leinster
d. 709 Máel Dobarchon Died 19 February 709.
d. 762 Eóthigern Killed by a priest "at St Brigit's altar" (i.e. Kildare Abbey, later became Cathedral)
d. 787 Lomthuile
d. 787 Snéidbran
d. 834 Tuathchar Scribe
d. 840 Orthanach ua Cóellámae Cuirrig
d. 864 Áedgen Britt Also a scribe and anchorite; died 18 December 862 (or 864)
d. 870 Móengal
d. 875 Robartach mac na Cerddac Also was scribe and Abbot of Killeigh
d. 875 Lachtnán mac Mochthigirn Also was Abbot of Ferns
d. 881 Suibne ua Finsnechtai
d. 884 Scandal
d. 888 Lergus mac Cruinnén Slain in battle by the Danes
d. 931 Crunnmáel Died 11 December 929 (or 931)
d. 981 Anmchad
d. 1030 Máel Martain
d. 1042 Máel Brigte
d. 1097 Máel Brigte int Sair Ua Broicháin Styled Bishop of Leinster and Kildare
1097–unknown Ferdomnach Styled Bishop of Leinster; resigned the see to Áed Ua hEremóin
d. 1100 Áed Ua hEremóin
d. 1101 Ferdomnach (again) Resumed as bishop; died in office
d. 1108 Máel Finnéin mac Donngaile Abbot of Terryglass and 'chief' bishop of Leinster, but not specifically styled bishop of Kildare
d. 1146 Cormac Ua Cathassaig
d. 1148 Ua Duibín
Source(s):[1]

Diocesan bishops of Kildare[edit]

Diocesan Bishops of Kildare
From Until Incumbent Notes
bef. 1152 unknown Finn mac Máel Muire Mac Cianáin Bishop at the time of the Synod of Kells in 1152
unknown 1160 Finn mac Gussáin Ua Gormáin Formerly Abbot of Newry; died in office
bef. 1161 1175 Malachias Ua Brain Became bishop before 1161; died 1 January 1175
bef. 1177 aft. 1090 Nehemias Became bishop before 1177; recorded fl. 1080–1190; died after 1190
1206 1223 Cornelius Mac Fáelán Formerly Archdeacon of Kildare; elected and consecrated bishop in 1206; died before March 1223; also recorded as Cornelius Mac Gelain
1223 1232 Ralph of Bristol Formerly Treasurer of St Patrick's, Dublin; elected bishop before 12 March 1223; died 24 August 1232
1233 1258 John of Taunton Formerly a Canon of St Patrick's, Dublin; elected bishop before 6 August 1233; died circa June 1258
1258 1272 Simon of Kilkenny Formerly a Canon of Kilkenny; elected bishop before 21 October 1258; died April 1272
1272 1279 See vacant
1279 1299 Nicholas Cusack, O.F.M.. Appointed by the pope on 27 November 1279; consecrated between 15 May and 7 September 1280; died 5 September 1299
1300 1332 Walter Calf Formerly Chancellor of Kildare; elected bishop before January 1300; died circa 29 November 1332; also recorded as Walter de Veel
1333 1352 Richard Houlot Formerly Archdeacon of Kildare; elected bishop before May 1333; provided 24 May 1333; conscrated 18 October 1333; died 24 June 1352
1352 1365 Thomas Giffard Formerly Chancellor of Kildare; elected bishop after June 1352; appointed 21 November 1352; consecrated 31 December 1352; died 25 September 1365
1365 1404 Robert of Aketon, O.E.S.A. Formerly Bishop-elect of Down; elected Bishop of Kildare on 18 November 1365 and appointed 2 May 1366; resigned before April 1404; also known as Robert of Acton
1404 1431 John Madock Formerly Archdeacon of Kildare; appointed bishop 9 April 1404; died before July 1431
1431 1446 William fitzEdward Formerly Archdeacon of Kildare; appointed 20 July 1431 and again 8 August 1431; died April 1446
1447 1464 Geoffrey Hereford, O.P. Appointed 23 August 1447; consecrated April 1449; acted as suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Hereford; died before 1464
1456/7 1457 John Bole Elected circa 1456/57; never consecrated; provided Armagh 2 May 1457; also recorded as John Bull
1464 1474 Richard Lang Appointed (by Pope Pius II) before August 1464; consecrated c.1464; deprived 28 July 1474; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Chichester 1480 and Winchester 1488
1474 1475 David Conel Appointed 28 July 1474; consecrated after 6 September 1474; died before 5 April 1475
1475 unknown James Wall, O.F.M. Appointed 5 April 1475; acted as a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of London 1485-1491; died 28 April 1494
unknown 1492 William Barret Appointment date unknown; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Winchester 1502-1525 and the York 1530; resigned before 1492; also recorded as William Barnett
unknown 1513 Edward Lane Died in office; also known as Edmund Lane
1526 c.1529 Thomas Dillon, O.S.A.. Formerly Prior of St Peter's, Drogheda; appointed 24 August 1526; died before July 1529
1529 1539 Walter Wellesley, O.S.A.. Formerly Prior of Great Connell; appointed 1 July 1529; died before 18 October 1539
Source(s):[2]

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Church of Ireland succession[edit]

Church of Ireland Bishops of Kildare
From Until Incumbent Notes
1540 1548 William Miagh Formerly Dean of Kildare; appointed to the see by Henry VIII in opposition to the Pope's appointment; died 15 December 1548
1550 1555 Thomas Lancaster Nominated 20 April and consecrated July 1550; deprived in 1554 in the reign of Queen Mary I; later became Archbishop of Armagh. Also Dean of Kilkenny in commendam, 1552–1555.
1555 1560 Thomas Leverous [A] Formerly Bishop-designate of Leighlin; nominated by Queen Mary I on 1 March 1555 and appointed Bishop of Kildare and Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin on 30 August 1555; deprived of both posts for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy in 1560, however, he was still recognized as the Roman Catholic bishop until his death in Naas circa 1577
1560 1564 Alexander Craik Nominated 17 May 1560; consecrated August 1560; also was Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin; died before 3 March 1564
1564 1583 Robert Daly Nominated 16 April and consecrated in May 1564; died sometime between 23 February and 3 July 1583; also recorded as Robert Dale
1583 1603 Daniel O'Neylan Nominated 3 July and consecrated in November 1583; died 18 May 1603; also recorded as Donnell O'Neilan
1604 1635 William Pilsworth Nominated 23 July 1604; consecrated 11 September 1604; died 9 May 1635
1636 1642 Robert Ussher Nominated 19 October 1635; consecrated 25 February 1636; died 7 September 1642
1644 1650 William Golborne Nominated 17 May 1644; consecrated 1 December 1644; died 1650
1650 1660 See vacant
1661 1667 Thomas Price Nominated 8 October 1660; consecrated 10 March 1661; translated to Cashel 30 May 1667
1667 1682 Ambrose Jones Nominated 20 April 1667; consecrated 29 June 1667; died 15 December 1678
1679 1682 Anthony Dopping Nominated 3 January 1679; consecrated 2 February 1679; translated to Meath 11 February 1682
1682 1705 William Moreton Nominated 14 January 1682; consecrated 19 February 1682; translated to Meath 18 September 1705
1705 1732 Welbore Ellis Nominated 28 August 1705; consecrated 11 November 1705; translated to Meath 13 March 1732
1731 1743 Charles Cobbe Translated from Dromore; nominated 18 February 1732; letters patent 16 March 1732; translated to Dublin 4 March 1743
1743 1745 George Stone Nominated from Ferns and Leighlin; nominated 15 February 1743; letters patent 10 March 1743; translated to Derry 11 May 1745, and subsequently to Armagh 13 March 1747
1745 1761 Thomas Fletcher Translated from Dromore; nominated 26 April 1745; letters patent 14 May 1745; died 18 March 1761
1761 1765 Richard Robinson Translated from Ferns and Leighlin; nominated 26 March 1761; letters patent 13 April 1761; translated to Armagh 8 February 1765
1765 1790 Charles Jackson Nominated 8 February 1765; letters patent 25 February 1765; died 29 March 1790
1790 1804 George Lewis Jones Translated from Kilmore; nominated 7 May 1790; letters patent 5 June 1790; died 9 March 1804
1804 1846 Hon. Charles Dalrymple Lyndsay Translated from Killaloe and Kilfenora; nominated 9 May 1804; letters patent 14 May 1804; died 8 August 1846
From 1846 to 1976, the Church of Ireland see was part of the united Diocese of Dublin, Kildare and Glendalough; and since 1976, it has been part of the united Diocese of Meath and Kildare
Source(s):[4]

Roman Catholic succession[edit]

Roman Catholic Bishops of Kildare
From Until Incumbent Notes
1540 Donald O'Beachan, O.F.M. Appointed 16 July 1540; died shortly afterwards in the same month
1540 unknown Thady Reynolds Appointed 15 November 1540; accepted Royal Supremacy and was recognized by King Henry VIII as a suffragan bishop of George Browne, Archbishop of Dublin (Church of Ireland), but not as Bishop of Kildare
1555 1577 Thomas Leverous [B] Formerly Bishop-designate of Leighlin; nominated by Queen Mary I on 1 March 1555 and appointed Bishop of Kildare and Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin on 30 August 1555; deprived of both posts for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy in 1560, however, he was still recognized as the Roman Catholic bishop until his death in Naas circa 1577
1619 unknown James Talbot Appointed Vicar Apostolic by Papal brief 14 September 1619
1622 unknown Donatus Doolin Appointed Vicar Apostolic by Papal brief 14 January 1622
1628 c.1641/44 Roche MacGeoghegan, O.P. Appointed 5 May 1628 and again 12 February 1629; died circa 1641 and 1644
1665 unknown James Dempsey Vicar Apostolic, provided 24 November 1665
1671 unknown Patrick Dempsey Vicar Apostolic, provided 30 June 1671
1676 1683 Mark Forestal O.S.A. Appointed 8 October 1676; appointed administrator of the Diocese of Leighlin on 5 September 1678; died 7 February 1683
From 1683 to 1694, the bishops of Kildare were administrators of the bishopric of Leighlin.
1683 1693 Edward Wesley Appointed 2 August 1683; died 1693
1694 c.1707 John Dempsey Appointed 8 February 1694; became bishop of Kildare and Leighlin when the two were united on 29 November 1694; died circa 1707
Since 1694, the Roman Catholic see of Kildare has been amalgamated with Leighlin to form the current united bishopric of Kildare and Leighlin
Source(s):[5]

Notes[edit]

  • A B Thomas Leverous was bishop of both successions when they were briefly reunited in the reign of Queen Mary I.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Moody, T. W.; Martin, F. X.; Byrne, F. J., eds. (1984). Maps, Genealogies, Lists: A Companion to Irish History, Part II. New History of Ireland: Volume XI. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 259–262. ISBN 0-19-821745-5. 
  2. ^ a b Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 357–358. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  3. ^ Fryde, ibid., pp. 394–395 and 431.
  4. ^ Fryde, ibid., pp. 394-395.
  5. ^ Fryde, ibid., p. 431.

External links[edit]