Adam Duff O'Toole

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Adam Duff O'Toole (Irish: Adducc[1] or Adam Dubh Ó Tuathail;[2] died 11 April 1328[1]) was an Irishman burned at the stake in Dublin for heresy and blasphemy. What is known about O'Toole comes from a letter from the leaders of the Pale, the English colony around Dublin, to Pope John XXII asking him to authorise a crusade against the Irish. The letter names "Aduk Duff Octohyl" as leader of a host of Irish heretics. Modern historians regard the accusations as politically motivated, and the letter as a counter to the Irish Remonstrance of 1317.[1][3] Adam Duff was the son of Walter Duff, of the O'Toole family based in the Wicklow Mountains.[4] The O'Tooles had formed an alliance with the King of Leinster, Domhnall mac Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh, to wage war on the English. Holinshed's Chronicles states:[5][6]

"A gentleman of the familie of the O'Toolies in Leinster, named Adam Duffe, possessed by some wicked spirit of error, denied obstinatelie the incarnation of our Sauior, the trinitie of persons in the vnitie of the Godhead, and the resurrection of the flesh; as for the holie Scripture, he said it was but a fable: the Virgin Marie he affirmed to be a woman of dissolute life, and the apostolike see erroneous. For such assertions he was burnt in Hogging greene, beside Dublin."

Hogging or Hogges Green was a green extending south and east from the modern College Green and centred on the Hogges, a Norse Dublin mound.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Callan, Maeve Brigid (14 February 2015). "Summary–Wild Irish". The Templars, the Witch, and the Wild Irish. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  2. ^ Neary, Anne R. (2004). "Adam Dubh O Tuathail". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ Nicholson, Helen J. (2012). "The Hospitallers' and Templars' involvement in warfare on the frontiers of the British Isles in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries". Ordines Militares. Colloquia Torunensia Historica. 17: 115–116. ISSN 0867-2008.
  4. ^ Olden, Thomas (1895). "O'Toole, Adam Duff". Dictionary of National Biography. 42. Smith, Elder & Co.
  5. ^ Webb, Alfred (1878). "O'Toole, Adam Duff". A Compendium of Irish Biography. Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son.
  6. ^ "The Holinshed Texts (1577, Volume 3, p. 58 with companion text)". University of Oxford. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  7. ^ Duffy, Seán (1998). "Ireland's Hastings: the Anglo-Norman conquest of Dublin". In Christopher Harper-Bill. Proceedings of the Battle Conference in Dublin, 1997. Boydell & Brewer. p. 82. ISBN 9780851155739. Retrieved 21 April 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • "The heresy of being Irish : Adducc Dubh O'Toole and two MacConmaras" in Maeve Brigid Callan The Templars, the witch, and the wild Irish : vengeance and heresy in medieval Ireland (Cornell University Press, 2015)

External links[edit]