Archdiocese of Tuam (Church of Ireland)

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The Archbishopric of Tuam existed from the mid twelfth century until 1839, with its seat at Tuam.

St Jarlath (c. 445–540) is considered to have founded Tuam as the seat of a bishop in about 501, and he stands first in the list of bishops of Tuam. However, the names of only two other bishops are recorded before the eleventh century, Ferdomnach (died 781) and Eugene mac Clerig (died 969).[1]

Tuam achieved a new importance after it became the seat of the O'Connor High Kings of Ireland in the early 11th century. The O'Connors had previously been based at Cruachain, County Roscommon.[2] The first St Mary's Cathedral on the present site was begun in the 12th century, when Turlough O'Connor (1088–1156) was High King. This marked Tuam's becoming the seat of an Archbishop, following the Synod of Kells of 1152.[3]

With the Reformation, the new Church of Ireland established its own archdiocese, which was separate from the authority of the Pope. This archdiocese became the central part of the new Province of Tuam, an ecclesiastical province of the Church of Ireland, so continuing until the nineteenth century. In 1839, on the death of the last archbishop, Dr Power Trench, Tuam lost its metropolitan status, as a consequence of the Church Temporalities Act, and united with the see of Killala and Achonry. At the same time, the diocese of Ardagh was separated from it and united with Kilmore.[4]

The former Ecclesiastical province of Tuam now forms part of the Church of Ireland Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry in the united Province of Armagh and Tuam.

Church of Ireland archbishops of Tuam[edit]

The following is a basic list of the Church of Ireland archbishops of Tuam.[5][6][7]

Loss of metropolitan status[edit]

The Church Temporalities (Ireland) Act 1833 combined the Church of Ireland Archdiocese of Tuam with the Diocese of Killala and Achonry on 13 April 1834. However, Tuam retained its metropolitan status until the death of the incumbent Archbishop, Dr William Power Le Poer Trench, in 1839.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haydn, Joseph, The Book of Dignities (London: Longmans, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1851) p. 490
  2. ^ Characteristics of Tuam & Recommendations Archived February 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. at
  3. ^ St Mary's Cathedral, Tuam at County Galway Guide,
  4. ^ Haydn, op. cit., p. 491
  5. ^ Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 406–407. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  6. ^ Cotton, Henry (1850). The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Fasti ecclesiae Hiberniae. Vol. 4, The Province of Connaught. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. pp. 12–18. 
  7. ^ 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. 431–432, ISBN 0-19-821745-5