John Gregg (Archbishop of Armagh)

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The Most Reverend
John Gregg
Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland
Dr. R. Miller and John Gregg Archbishop of Dublin. (22571712226) (cropped).jpg
See Armagh
Installed 1939
Term ended 1959
Predecessor Godfrey Day
Successor James McCann
Other posts Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin
Archbishop of Dublin
Personal details
Born (1873-07-04)4 July 1873
North Cerney, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Died 2 May 1961(1961-05-02) (aged 87)
Nationality British
Denomination Church of Ireland
Education Bedford School
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge

John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg CH (1873–1961) was a Church of Ireland clergyman, from 1915 Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin, in 1920 translated to become Archbishop of Dublin, and finally from 1939 until 1959 Archbishop of Armagh. He was also a theologian and historian.


Gregg was born at North Cerney, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom on 4 July 1873. He was educated at Bedford School, and at Christ's College, Cambridge,[1] where he was a classical scholar and won the Hulsean Prize Essay competition for 1896 with The Decian Persecution.[2][3]

He came from an Anglo-Irish family, which boasted a large number of Church of Ireland clergy within its ranks. His grandfather, another John Gregg, had sat in the House of Lords as Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and his uncle, Robert Samuel Gregg served briefly as Archbishop of Armagh in the 1890s after a long episcopate as Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. J A F Gregg went on to be a notable church historian. He served as assistant curate of Ballymena under Charles d'Arcy 1896–1899, then as Curate at Cork Cathedral (1899–1906), and as Rector of Blackrock, Co. Cork (1906–1911), before being appointed in 1911 Professor of Divinity in Trinity College, Dublin. In 1915 he became Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin, in 1920 Archbishop of Dublin. He was elected to Armagh in 1938, but refused the position largely on account of his wife's health, and Godfrey Day, Bishop of Ossory, was elected in his place. Following Day's death in 1939, Gregg was again elected Archbishop of Armagh which post he held until his retirement in 1959. He was married twice. First in 1902 to Anna Jennings (d. 1945) by whom he had two sons and two daughters, and secondly, in 1947, to Lesley McEndoo, younger daughter of the then Dean of Armagh.[2][4] He was a supporter of the old Unionist order but encouraged his flock to make their peace with the post-1922 political realities in Ireland.[5]

According to R. B. McDowell –

"...the Church of Ireland was led (or some would say dominated) by John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, archbishop successively of Dublin and Armagh, who might fairly be described as an instinctive conservative with, however, an awareness of contemporary trends... Gregg's bearing suggested a prince of the church or at least a prelate of the establishment... he was a scholar and a man of affairs, his administrative flair being reinforced by dignity, decisiveness, and a sardonic wit... His theological sympathies were high church, though he had been brought up an evangelical and had an Anglo-Irish distaste for ceremonial exuberance.[6]

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Decian persecution; being the Hulsean prize essay for 1896
  • The Wisdom of Solomon, 1909
  • The Primitive Faith and Roman Catholic Developments: Six Sermons Delivered in St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork, Lent, 1909
  • Anglican orders and the prospects of reunion (1930)
  • The Ne Temere Decree: A Lecture (1943)



  • Seaver, George, John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, Archbishop (Faith Press, 1963)
  • Simms, George, John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, 1873–1961: An Appreciation of His Life and Times, Delivered in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on 4th July 1973 Being the Hundredth Anniversary of His Birth (1973, 14 pages)


  1. ^ "Gregg, John Allen Fitzgerald (GRG891JA)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ a b Seaver, George, John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, Archbishop (Faith Press, 1963), p. 10
  3. ^ The Decian Persecution: Being the Hulsean Prize Essay for 1896 by John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg (W. Blackwood and sons, 1897), title details at
  4. ^ "Marriages." Times [London, England] 22 Jan. 1947: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 Mar. 2015. URL:
  5. ^ Bourke, Angela, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (NYU Press, 2002 ISBN 0-8147-9907-8, ISBN 978-0-8147-9907-9) p. 124 at
  6. ^ McDowell, Robert Brendan, The Church of Ireland, 1869–1969 p. 131 online at
Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Charles D'Arcy
Archbishop of Dublin
Succeeded by
Arthur Barton
Preceded by
Godfrey Day
Archbishop of Armagh
Succeeded by
James McCann