John Crozier (archbishop of Armagh)
John Baptist Crozier MRIA (1853–1920) was Archbishop of Armagh of the Church of Ireland and Primate of All Ireland (1911–1920).
John Baptist Crozier, eldest son of the Reverend Baptist Barton Crozier and Catherine Mary Crozier née Bolland, Rockview, Ballyhaise was born in the townland of Knockfad on 8 April 1853. A tree called ‘The Primate’s Tree’ still flourishes in the garden at Rockview House.
John Baptist Crozier was baptized in Casletara Parish Church, Ballyhaise on 24 June 1853 by curate Arthur Moneypenny. His grandfather, a justice of the peace, was John Crozier of County Fermanagh and his mother was daughter of John Boland, 54 Blessington St, Dublin. by Catherine his wife, daughter of John Howard of Bray Married St Georges Dublin 15 February 1851.
He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a B.A. degree in 1872, a M.A. degree in 1875, and a B.D. and D.D. degree in 1888. He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy from 1916. He was a keen horseman, Vice-President of the Holywood Cricket Club and one of the earliest members of The Wanderers Football Club of Dublin.
His extensive ministry began in 1876 in St Stephen, Belfast. Successive appointments followed to St Anne’s Belfast (1877) Holyhood, County Down (1880), Dunsford in Down Cathedral (1889), St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin (1896), and as chaplain to Bishop Knox (1885), to the Bishop of Down (Welland)(1892) and to the Lord Lieutenant (1891).
He was elected Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin on 20 October 1897 and consecrated in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin 30 November 1897. He translated to the Diocese of Down, Connor and Dromore in 1907, and on 2 February 1911 was elected, unanimously by the house of Bishops, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. He was enthroned in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, on 17 March 1911 in succession to Archbishop Alexander who had resigned due to ill-health. A special train brought hundreds of people from Belfast for the ceremony, which was so crowded that several hundreds had to be refused admission.
He married on 12 September 1877, Alice Isabella Hackett, third daughter of John and Jane Sophia Hackett of St James, Bray and they had four children.
Eldest son, Major General Baptist Barton who was born on 17 July 1878, married Ethel, the eldest daughter of William Humphries of Ballyhaise House and they had a daughter Cynthia and a son Ronald Baptist Barton. He won numerous distinctions in the European war, including Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy and Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
Second son John Winthrop, who was born on 5 Dec 1879, was elected Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry on 23 November 1938 and consecrated in Armagh Cathedral on 2 February 1939. He married on 1 September 1910 Bertha Elizabeth McCall from Banbridge, County Down. He retired in 1957 and died 15 February 1966.
Third son was Mervyn Packenham, born on 20 July 1881. He died at the Palace, Armagh on 18 December 1914 and is buried at Armagh Cathedral.
Only daughter was Alice Maude who was born on 7 May 1884 and who married on 16 June 1908 Charles Chenevix Coote son of Sir Algernon Coote Bt of Ballyfin, County Laois and had four children Cecilla Maud, Mervyn Charles, Dermot Chenevix and Patricia Aileen.
Primate John Baptist Crozier died on Sunday 11 April 1920 at the Palace, Armagh and he is buried in the grounds of Armagh Cathedral beside his wife, Alice Isabella, who died on 29 February 1928 at the residence of her daughter Mrs Alice Coote of Grosvenor Place, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Their youngest son Mervyn Packenham, who had died earlier in 1914, is buried in the same grave.
His memory is commemorated on a stained glass window in Armagh Cathedral, another window commissioned by him commemorates his son Mervyn. There is also a Memorial Plaque in Holywood Church.
Also Portraits currently hang in The See House Armagh and Bishops Palace Kilkenny.
Descended from ancient lineage
His ancestors were of Norman descent and first emerged when they joined the armies of William the Conqueror to invade England in 1066. John Crozier came to Ireland as a Cavalry Officer in 1630 with Lord Strafford, prior to that he came from Redworth Hall, County Durham and his family had been there since 1407.Before that time they were in Westmoreland which was then part of Yorkshire. Robert Crozier in 1262 obtained a grant of land from the Abbot of St Bees in Cumberland. In the family Arms which is used to this day are four bees and a cross indicating where they obtained their first grant.
That John Crozier 1630 had two sons: John, who had lands in Fermanagh at Coa, Cavantillycormack and Ardvarny and in Tyrone at Moorfields and founded the Fermanagh Branch of the Family; William, the other son, who went to County Down and had lands in Stramore, Lower Stramore and The Parke all near to Banbridge.
The Fermanagh branch produced two High Sheriffs, both called John Crozier, and were attainted by James II.
The early family consisted of Sir William 1368 who was Household Steward to John O Gaunt and Sir John Crozier 1402 who had many manors in the home counties in England and lived at Stoke D'Abernon in Surrey. Also in the family was William Crozier in the 15th century, who was Canon of Glasgow, Arch Deacon of Teviotdale, and he held many prebends, was a Papal Legate, one of the founding fathers of St Andrews University and was a Professor of Logic; he is well recorded in history and was a kinsman of James, Earl of Douglas.
Arms granted by Ulster Office of Arms
In 1893 separate Arms were granted to this branch of the family having been used by them since 1704.
Shield:- 'Or, on a cross, between four fleur de lys azure, a Crozier of the field'
Crest:- 'A demi eagle displayed proper, charged on the beast with cross pattee or,'
Motto:- 'Vi et virtute'