William Magee (archbishop of Dublin)
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He was born at Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland, the third son of farmer John Magee and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was elected fellow in 1788. He was ordained into the Church of Ireland in 1790. Two sermons, preached in the college chapel in 1798 and 1799, form the basis of his Discourses on the Scriptural Doctrines of Atonement and Sacrifice (1801), a polemic against Unitarian theology, which was answered by Lant Carpenter.
He was appointed professor of mathematics and senior fellow of Trinity in 1800, but resigned in 1812 to undertake the charge of the livings of Cappagh, County Tyrone, and Killyleagh, County Down. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1813 as "a gentleman of high distinction for mathematical & philosophical knowledge & Author of several works of importance".
In 1813 he became dean of Cork. He was well known as a preacher and promoter of the Irish Second Reformation, and in 1819 he was consecrated Bishop of Raphoe. In 1822 the Archbishop of Dublin was translated to Armagh, and Magee succeeded him at Dublin. Though in most respects a tolerant man, he steadily opposed the movement for Catholic Emancipation. He gained notoriety for prohibiting the Catholic inhabitants of Glendalough from celebrating Mass "as they had theretofore done in their ancient and venerated cathedral of St. Kevin".
He died on 18 August 1831 at Stillorgan, near Dublin. He had 16 children, of whom 3 sons and 9 daughters survived him. He was the grandfather of Archbishop William Connor Magee of York.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Magee, William". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 302.
- Works of the Most Reverend William Magee, D.D., 1842.
John George de la Poer Beresford
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