David Rothe (1573 – 20 April 1650) was a Roman Catholic Bishop of Ossory.
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He was born in County Kilkenny and studied at the Irish College, Douai, and at the University of Salamanca, where he graduated doctor in civil and canon law, he was ordained in 1600, and proceeded to Rome. From 1601 to 1609 he was professor of theology and secretary to Archbishop Peter Lombard, and on 15 June 1609, was appointed Vice-Primate of Armagh.
He arrived in Ireland in 1610, having been made prothonotary Apostolic, and held a synod for the Ulster Province at Drogheda, in February, 1614, and a second synod in 1618. Though appointed Bishop of Ossory on 10 October 1618, he had, owing to the severity of the penal laws, to seek consecration in Paris, where he was consecrated early in 1620; he returned to Ireland in late 1621, after publishing two ecclesial works.
In 1624, Rothe presided over a synod at Kilkenny, and he laboured zealously during a trying period. He joined the Confederates in 1642, and welcomed the papal nuncio, Rinuccini, to Kilkenny, on 14 November 1645. Three years later, he refused to acknowledge the validity of the censures issued by Rinuccini, believing that the Supreme Council were acting in the best interests of the country. Although seriously ill in 1649, he continued to minister to the plague-stricken citizens of Kilkenny but was compelled by the Cromwellians to leave on 28 March 1650. After being robbed along the way, he was permitted to return. His remains were interred in St. Mary's Church, but there is a cenotaph to his memory in St. Canice's Cathedral.
As early as 1616, Rothe had published the first part of his Analecta and the completed work was issued at Cologne (1617–19); a new edition was brought out by Cardinal Moran in 1884. In 1620 he published Brigida Thaumaturga at Paris, followed by Hiberniae sive Antiquioris Scotiae in 1621 at Antwerp, and Hibernia Resurgens at Paris, also in 1621.
- Lynch, De praesulibus Hiberniae (1672)
- Ware, De praesulibus Hiberniae (Dublin, 1665)
- C. P. Meehan, Franciscan Monasteries (Dublin, 1872)
- Moran, Spicilegium Ossoriense (Dublin, 1874–84)
- William Carrigan, History of Ossory (Dublin 1905); Report on Franciscan MSS. in Hist. MSS. Com. (Dublin, 1906)
- Hegarty, Maureen (1979), 'David Rothe', Old Kilkenny Review 2:1, 4-21.
- Corish, Patrick (1984), 'David Rothe, bishop of Ossory', Journal of the Butler Society 2:3, 315-23.
- O'Sullivan, William (1994), 'Correspondence of David Rothe and James Ussher 1619-23', Collectanea Hibernica 36/37, 7-49.
- Lennon, Colm (1999), 'Political thought of Irish counter-reformation churchmen: the testimony of the "Analecta" of Bishop David Rothe', Morgan, Hiram (ed.), Political ideology in Ireland, 1541-1641 (Dublin, 1999), 181-202.
- O'Connor, Thomas (2000), 'Custom, authority, and tolerance in Irish political thought : David Rothe's Analecta Sacra et Mira (1616)', Irish Theological Quarterly 65:2, 133-56.
- Hand, Stephen (2012), "The leaven of your forepassed wicked lives purged': Excommunication and Exile in Part 1 of David Rothe's Analecta (1616)', Ossory, Laois and Leinster 5, 86-114.