Bishop of Meath

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

History[edit]

Until the early twelfth century, the Kingdom of Meath had been divided into eight small monastic episcopal sees, which were located at Clonard, Duleek, Kells, Trim, Ardbraccan, Dunshaughlin, Slane, and Fore. By the time of the Synod of Rathbreasail, held in 1111, the last five had been united to the see of Clonard. Duleek was still recognized as a separate bishopric at the Synod of Kells, held in 1152, but disappeared not long after that date. The see of Kells was ruled together with Breifne (later Kilmore) in the second half of the twelfth century, but after 1211 Kells was incorporated into the diocese of Meath.

During the twelfth century, the bishops of Clonard were frequently called the "bishop of Meath" or "bishop of the men of Meath". Bishop Simon Rochfort transferred his seat from Clonard to Trim in 1202 and the title "bishop of Meath" became the normal style.

Following the Reformation, there are two parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, the bishopric of Clonmacnoise became part of Meath in 1569. In 1976, the bishoprics of Meath and Kildare were combined to become the united bishopric of Meath and Kildare. Alone of English and Irish bishops, the bishop is styled "The Most Reverend", for historical reasons.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Meath is still a separate title. The Roman Catholic bishop's seat is located at Christ the King Cathedral, Mullingar. The current bishop is the Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meath, who succeeded to the title on 16 May 1990.

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

Bishops of Clonard[edit]

For abbots of Clonard and early monastic bishops, see Abbot of Clonard.
Diocesan Bishops of Clonard
From Until Ordinary Notes
bef.1096 1117 Máel Muire Ua Dúnáin Consecrated a monastic bishop at Clonard Abbey before 1096. Became the first diocesan bishop of Clonard when the diocese was established in 1111. Died in office on 24 December 1117.
1133 1140 Eochaid Ua Cellaig Also known as Eochaid O'Kelly. Became bishop before 11 November 1133 and styled as the bishop of the men of Meath. Died in office.
bef. 1152 1173 Étrú Ua Miadacháin Also known as Eleuzerius. Present at the Synod of Kells in 1152. Died in office.
bef. 1177 1191 Echthigern Mac Máel Chiaráin Also known as Eugenius. Became bishop before March 1177, and at first styled bishop of Cluain-irairt (Clonard), but subsequently adopted the title bishop of Meath. Died in office.
1192 1224 Simon Rochfort Elected in 1192. Died in office before August 1224.
After the Episcopal see was transferred from Clonard to Newtown near Trim by Bishop Simon Rochfort in 1202, the title "Bishop of Meath" became the normal style.
Source(s):[1][2][3]

Bishops of Meath[edit]

Pre-Reformation Bishops of Meath
From Until Ordinary Notes
1224 1226 Dónán Dé (bishop-elect) Also known as Deodatus. Elected in August 1224, but was not consecrated. Died after 21 October 1226.
1227 1230 Ralph Petit Formerly Archdeacon of Meath. Elected before 30 March 1227 and received possession of the temporalities on that date. Died in office circa 28 September 1230.
1231 1252 Richard de la Corner Formerly a canon of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Elected and consecrated in 1231. Died in office before 29 June 1252.
1253 Geoffrey Cusack, O.F.M. Elected and consecrated before July 1253. Resigned in July 1253 and died before October 1254.
1254 1282 Hugo of Taghmon Received possession of the temporalities on 23 December 1252, confirmed by Pope Innocent IV on 31 October 1254, and consecrated after June 1255. Also was Lord High Treasurer of Ireland. Died in office before 30 January 1282.
bef. 1283 1286 Walter de Fulburn Appointed by Archbishop Nicol of Armagh, elected and consecrated before January 1283, however, Fulburn but did not get possession of the see. Translated to Waterford on 12 July 1286.
1286 1320 Thomas St Leger Formerly Archdeacon of Kells. Elected before 5 November 1282, but was not successful and took his claim to Rome where eventually appointed by Pope Honorius IV on 12 July 1286. Consecrated on 3 November 1287. Died in office in December 1320.
1321 1327 Seoán Mac Cearbaill Also known as John MacCarwill or O'Carroll. Translated from Cork on 20 February 1321 and received possession of the temporalities on 23 June 1322. Translated to Cashel on 19 January 1327.
1327 1349 William of St Paul, O.Carm. Appointed on 16 February 1327, consecrated circa the same month, and received possession of the temporalities on 24 July 1327. Died in office in July 1349.
1349 1352 William St Leger Formerly Archdeacon of Meath. Appointed on 5 October 1349, received possession of the temporalities on 24 February 1350, and consecrated on 2 May 1350. Died in office on 24 August 1352.
1353 1367 Nicholas Allen, O.S.A. Elected before 9 January 1353 and appointed on that date, consecrated on 31 January 1353, and received possession of the temporalities on 15 March 1353. Died in office on 15 January 1367.
1369 1379 Stephen de Valle Also known as Stephen Wall. Translated from Limerick on 19 February 1369, received possession of the temporalities on 15 February 1370 and again on 6 September 1373. Died in office on 10 November 1379.
1380 1385 William Andrew, O.P. Translated from Achonry in 1380 and received possession of the temporalities on 12 November 1380. Acted as a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Canterbury 1380. Died in office on 28 September 1385.
1386 1400 Alexander Petit Also known as Alexander de Balscot. Translated from Ossory on 10 March 1386. Died in office on 10 November 1400.
1401 1412 Robert Montayne Appointed on 7 February and consecrated before 13 September 1401. Died in office on 24 May 1412.
1412 1430 Edward Dantsey Appointed on 31 August 1412 and received possession of the temporalities on 11 April 1413. Died in office on 4 January 1430.
1430 1433 William Hadsor Appointed on 29 May 1430. Died in office on 28 May 1433.
1433 1450 William Silk Elected before 30 August 1433, appointed on 22 September 1434, and consecrated after 14 October 1434. Died in office on 9 May 1450.
1450 1459 Edmund Oldhall, O.Carm. Appointed on 7 August 1450. Died in office on 9 (or 29) August 1459.
1460 1482 William Sherwood Appointed on 26 March 1460. Died in office on 3 December 1482.
1483 1507 John Payne, O.P. Appointed on 17 March 1483, received possession of the temporalities on 16 July 1483, and consecrated before 4 August 1483. Died in office on 6 May 1507.
1507 1512 William Rokeby Appointed on 28 May 1507. Translated to Dublin on 28 January 1512.
1512 1523 Hugh Inge, O.P. Appointed on 28 January 1512. Translated to Dublin on 27 February 1523.
1523 1529 Richard Wilson, O.S.A. Appointed on 27 February 1523. Resigned before September 1529.
Source(s):[4][5][6][7]

Bishops during the Reformation[edit]

Bishops of Meath during the Reformation
From Until Ordinary Notes
1529 1554 Edward Staples Appointed by Pope Clement VII on 3 September 1529. Accepted royal supremacy in 1536, although no action was taken against him by Pope Paul III. Deprived by Queen Mary I on 29 June 1554 and died circa 1560.
1554 1560/77 William Walsh, O.Cist. Appointed by Cardinal Pole on 22 November 1554. Deprived of the Church of Ireland temporalities by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. In the Roman Catholic Church, his appointment by Cardinal Pole was confirmed in a consistory on 6 September 1564. Died in exile in Spain on 4 January 1577.
Source(s):[8][9][10]

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Church of Ireland succession[edit]

Church of Ireland Bishops of Meath
From Until Ordinary Notes
1560 1563 See vacant
1563 1584 Hugh Brady Nominated on 21 October and consecrated on 19 December 1563. Died in office on 14 February 1584.
1584 1605 Thomas Jones Nominated on 18 April and consecrated on 12 May 1584. Translated to Dublin on 8 November 1605.
1605 1608 Roger Dod Appointed by letters patent on 13 November 1605. Died in office on 27 July 1608.
1609 1621 George Montgomery Nominated on 8 July 1609 and appointed by letters patent on 24 January 1612. Also was bishop of Derry and Raphoe 1605 to 1609, and Clogher 1605 to 1621. Died in office on 15 January 1621.
1621 1625 James Ussher Nominated on 16 January and consecrated on 2 December 1621. Translated to Armagh on 21 March 1625.
1625 1650 Anthony Martin Nominated on 22 February and consecrated on 25 July 1625. Died in office in July 1650.
1650 1660 See vacant
1660 1661 Henry Leslie Translated from Down and Connor. Nominated on 3 August 1660 and appointed by letters patent on 19 January 1661. Died in office on 7 April 1661.
1661 1682 Henry Jones Translated from Clogher. Nominated on 9 April and appointed by letters patent on 25 May 1661. Died in office on 5 January 1682.
1682 1697 Anthony Dopping Translated from Kildare. Nominated on 14 January and appointed by letters patent on 11 February 1682. Died in office on 25 April 1697.
1697 1705 Richard Tennison Translated from Clogher. Nominated on 1 June and appointed by letters patent on 25 June 1697. Died in office in July 1705.
1705 1715 William Moreton Translated from Kildare. Nominated on 27 August and appointed by letters patent on 18 September 1705. Died in office on 21 November 1715.
1716 1724 John Evans Translated from Bangor, Wales. Nominated on 19 January and appointed by letters patent on 10 February 1716. Died in office on 2 March 1724.
1724 1727 Henry Downes Translated from Elphin. Nominated on 17 March and appointed by letters patent on 9 April 1724. Translated to Derry on 8 February 1727.
1727 1732 Ralph Lambert Translated from Dromore. Nominated on 12 January and appointed by letters patent on 10 February 1727. Died in office on 6 February 1732.
1732 1734 Welbore Ellis Translated from Kildare. Nominated on 18 February and appointed by letters patent on 13 March 1732. Died in office on 1 January 1734.
1734 1744 Arthur Price Translated from Ferns and Leighlin. Nominated on 19 January and appointed by letters patent on 2 February 1734. Translated to Cashel on 7 March 1744.
1744 1758 Henry Maule Translated from Dromore. Nominated on 10 May and appointed by letters patent on 24 May 1744. Died in office on 13 April 1758.
1758 1765 The Hon. William Carmichael Translated from Ferns and Leighlin. Nominated on 30 May and appointed by letters patent on 8 June 1758. Translated to Dublin on 12 June 1765.
1765 Richard Pococke Translated from Ossory. Nominated on 22 June and appointed by letters patent on 16 July 1765. Died in office on 15 September 1765.
1765 1766 Arthur Smyth Translated from Down and Connor. Nominated on 27 September and appointed by letters patent on 28 October 1765. Translated to Dublin on 14 April 1766.
1766 1798 The Hon. Henry Maxwell Translated from Dromore. Nominated on 28 February 1766 and appointed by letters patent on 15 April 1766. Died in office on 7 October 1798.
1798 1823 Thomas Lewis O'Beirne Translated from Ossory. Nominated on 1 December and appointed by letters patent on 18 December 1798. Died in office on 17 February 1823.
1823 1840 Nathaniel Alexander Translated from Down and Connor. Nominated on 12 March and appointed by letters patent on 21 March 1823. Died in office on 21 October 1840.
1840 1842 Charles Dickenson Nominated on 21 December and consecrated on 27 December 1840. Died in office on 12 July 1842.
1842 1850 Edward Adderly Stopford Nominated on 20 October and consecrated on 6 November 1842. Died in office on 17 September 1850.
1850 1852 Thomas Stewart Townsend Nominated on 9 October and consecrated on 1 November 1850. Died in office on 1 September 1852.
1852 1866 Joseph Henderson Singer Nominated on 2 November and consecrated on 28 November 1852. Died in office on 16 July 1866.
1866 1876 Samuel Butcher Appointed by letters patent on 21 August and consecrated on 14 October 1866. Died in office on 29 July 1876.
1876 1884 The Rt. Hon. William Connyngham Plunket Elected on 18 October and consecrated on 10 December 1876. Translated to Dublin on 23 December 1884.
1885 1894 Charles Parsons Reichel Elected on 19 August and consecrated on 29 September 1885. Died in office on 29 March 1894.
1894 1897 Joseph Ferguson Peacocke Elected on 15 May and consecrated on 11 June 1894. Translated to Dublin on 19 May 1897.
1897 1919 James Bennett Keene Elected on 10 September and consecrated on 17 October 1897. Died in office on 5 August 1919.
1919 1925 The Hon. Benjamin John Plunket Translated from Tuam, Killala and Achonry. Elected on 3 October and confirmed on 15 October 1919. Resigned on 31 March 1925 and died on 26 January 1947.
1926 1927 Thomas Gibson George Collins Elected on 4 February and consecrated on 17 March 1926. Died in office on 3 July 1927.
1927 1938 John Orr Translated from Tuam, Killala and Achonry. Elected on 22 September and confirmed on 15 November 1927. Died in office on 21 July 1938.
1938 1945 William Hardy Holmes Translated from Tuam, Killala and Achonry. Elected on 14 October and confirmed on 19 October 1938. Resigned on 31 May 1945 and died on 26 May 1951.
1945 1959 James McCann Elected on 4 July and consecrated on 24 August 1945. Translated to Armagh on 19 February 1959.
1959 1973 Robert Bonsall Pike Elected on 14 April and consecrated on 19 May 1959. Died in office on 27 December 1973.
1973 1976 See vacant
Since 1976, the Church of Ireland see has been part of the united Diocese of Meath and Kildare
Source(s):[11][12][13][14]

Roman Catholic succession[edit]

Roman Catholic Bishops of Meath
From Until Ordinary Notes
1577 1621 See vacant During this period, Cornelius Stanley was appointed vicar general of the sees of Meath and Dublin on 15 May 1591.
1621 1652 Thomas Dease Appointed on 5 May 1621 and consecrated on 22 May 1622. Died in office in 1652.
1652 1657 See vacant
1657 1661 Anthony MacGeoghegan, O.F.M. Translated from Clonmacnoise on 16 April 1657. Resigned in 1661 and died in 1664.
1665 unknown (Edmund Mac Teige) Appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief on 24 November 1665.
1669 1679 Patrick Plunkett, O.Cist. Translated from Ardagh on 11 January 1669. Died in office on 18 November 1679.
1679 1688 James Cusack Appointed coadjutor bishop on 5 October 1678 and succeeded diocesan bishop on 18 November 1679. Died in office in 1688.
1689 1692 Patrick Tyrrell, O.F.M. Translated from Clogher on 24 January 1689. Died in office in 1692.
1692 1711 See vacant During this period, James Fagan was appointed on 30 April 1707, but did not accept the appointment.
1713 1729 Luke Fagan Appointed on 15 September 1713 and consecrated on 7 February 1714. Translated to Dublin in September. 1729.
1729 1756 Stephen MacEgan, O.P. Translated from Clonmacnoise on 26 September 1729. Died in office on 30 May 1756.
1756 1778 Augustine Cheevers, O.E.S.A. Translated from Ardagh on 7 August 1756. Died in office on 18 August 1778.
1778 1827 Patrick Joseph Plunkett Appointed on 19 December 1778 and consecrated on 28 February 1779. Died in office on 11 January 1827.
1827 1830 Robert Logan Appointed coadjutor bishop on 26 July and consecrated on 29 October 1824. Succeeded diocesan bishop on 11 January 1827. Died in office on 22 April 1830.
1830 1866 John Cantwell Appointed on 4 July and consecrated on 21 September 1830. Died in office on 11 December 1866.
1866 1898 Thomas Nulty Appointed coadjutor bishop on 29 August and consecrated on 23 October 1864. Succeeded diocesan bishop on 11 December 1866. Died in office on 24 December 1898.
1899 1906 Matthew Gaffney Appointed on 28 April and consecrated on 25 June 1899. Resigned in 1906 and died on 15 December 1909.
1906 1928 Laurence Gaughran Appointed on 19 May and consecrated on 24 June 1906. Died in office on 14 June 1928.
1929 1943 Thomas Mulvany Appointed on 12 April and consecrated on 30 June 1929. Died in office on 16 June 1943.
1943 1946 John Francis D'Alton Appointed coadjutor bishop on 7 April and consecrated on 29 June 1942. Succeeded diocesan bishop on 16 June 1943. Translated to Armagh on 25 April 1946.
1947 1966 John Anthony Kyne Appointed on 17 May and consecrated on 29 June 1947. Died in office on 23 December 1966.
1966 1968 See vacant
1968 1990 John McCormack Appointed on 29 January and consecrated on 10 March 1968. Resigned on 16 May 1990 and died on 21 September 1996.
1990 present Michael Smith Appointed an auxiliary bishop of Meath on 17 November 1983 and consecrated on 29 June 1984. Appointed coadjutor bishop of Meath on 13 October 1988 and succeeded diocesan bishop on 16 May 1990.
Source(s):[15][16][17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cotton 1849, The Province of Ulster, p. 111.
  2. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 339, 367–368.
  3. ^ Moody, Martin & Byrne 1984, Maps, Genealogies, Lists, p. 285.
  4. ^ Brady 1876, The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and Ireland, volume 1, pp. 233–235.
  5. ^ Cotton 1849, The Province of Ulster, pp. 111–115.
  6. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 367–369.
  7. ^ Moody, Martin & Byrne 1984, Maps, Genealogies, Lists, pp. 285–286.
  8. ^ Brady 1876, The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and Ireland, volume 1, pp. 234–238.
  9. ^ Cotton 1849, The Province of Ulster, p. 115.
  10. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 369, 402, and 439.
  11. ^ Cotton 1849, The Province of Ulster, pp. 115–125.
  12. ^ Cotton & Cotton 1878, Supplement, pp. 94–95.
  13. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 402–403.
  14. ^ Moody, Martin & Byrne 1984, Maps, Genealogies, Lists, pp. 406–409.
  15. ^ Brady 1876, The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and Ireland, volume 1, pp. 238–244.
  16. ^ Diocese of Meath at Catholic-Hierarchy Retrieved on 9 July 2013.
  17. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 439–440.
  18. ^ Moody, Martin & Byrne 1984, Maps, Genealogies, Lists, pp. 351–352.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brady, W. Maziere (1876). The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and Ireland, A.D. 1400 to 1875. Volume 1. Rome: Tipografia Della Pace. 
  • Cotton, Henry (1849). The Province of Ulster. Fasti Ecclesiae Hiberniae: The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Volume 3. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. 
  • Cotton, Henry; Cotton, Charles Philip (1878). Supplement. Fasti Ecclesiae Hiberniae: The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Volume 6. Dublin: James Charles & Son. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. ISBN 0-19-821745-5.