Page images

a letter to the pope, in 1321, complaining grievously of his injuries. It sets forth, among other things, that the bishop, "on receipt of his majesty's letters, had repaired to his diocese, and had now been for many years there, laudably fulfilling the duties of his pastoral office;" but that Malachy's grasping ambition was causing this exemplary prelate much annoyance and injury; for that he, (Malachy,) "by suppressing the true circumstances of the case, and making false representations, had obtained certain apostolic letters addressed to certain judges, who were said to be of his own family or connections, and who did their endeavour to disturb, in many ways, the peace of the bishop aforesaid, and by means of processes, false and erroneous, to alter the condition of his church, and apply its revenues to the uses of the archbishop above men

tioned."* Malachy These open assaults failing, however, to crush adopts a the liberties of Annadown, or to procure the crafty policy for ob- suppression of the see, Malachy appears iu his ohject of his next step to have had recourse to craft and podesire. licy for effecting his object; using for his in

strument in the business a distinguished individual named Philip of Slane, who was, by the pope's provision, made bishop of Cork, and put

• Rymer, Fæd. Lond. 1818, vol. 2, pars I, p. 457.

form in Ire

in possession of the temporalities of that see by the king's authority, bearing date July 17, 1321.*

Three years after, in 1324, this Philip was Philip of despatched by the king, Edward II., on an em- commissionbassy to the pope, having for its object “the er, holds a Reformation of the state of the Irish Church ;" promoting which commission lie executed so much to the Church resatisfaction of his royal master, that on his re- land. turn he was called into the privy council of Ireland. The pope likewise armed him, together with the archbishops of Dublin and Cashel, with a commission to make a careful inquisition into what might be suitable and expedient for promoting tranquillity and peace in that country; for which purpose those archbishops and he, having met in council, with many of the nobility, gentry, and official personages in Ireland, the following resolutions were by them adopted, as being needful for promoting the welfare and quiet of the realm :

“ Ist. That the disturbers of the peace and invaders Statement of the king's rights should be pronounced excommuni- of the resocated by the archbishops and bishops, by virtue of the lutions

adopted on apostolic authority.

“2ndly. That the small and poor bishoprics, not exceed- sion ; ing £20, £40, or £60 a year, and which were governed

this occa

• Harris's Ware, pp. 559, 360.

which are confirmed

by the mere Irish, (who are known to have been sowers of discord and contention in the country in various ways during the time past,) should be united to the more eminent archbishoprics and bishoprics.

“3rdly. That the Irish abbots and priors should be enjoined by the authority aforesaid to admit the English into a lay brotherhood in their monasteries, &c."*

On the breaking up of the council, Bishop by the Philip was despatched with these resolutions to pope,

the king, and by him sent on to the pope, to procure the confirmation of them by his authority; his majesty considering them to be, as he expresses it, “ useful for checking the stubborn wickedness of the Irish people.”

The agent however, (acting most probably under the influence of Archbishop Malachy aforesaid, whose interests and objects were so directly concerned,)

exceeded his commission, and without giving to who oddly the king, or to the bishop or chapter of Enaghapplies one

dun, of them to

any intimation of such a proceeding, made Annadown application to the pope, in the name of his royal in particular. employer, “to have the cathedral churches of

Enaghdun, Achonry, and Kilmacduagh, united to the metropolitan church of Tuam,” which union was accordingly, by the pontifical authority, enacted to take place in compliance with such a request. Some years after, in 1330, we find Malachy making use of this papal enact

* Rymer, ib. p. 554.

ment, as a ground for seizing into his own hands the jurisdiction and revenues of the see of Enaghdun, in defiance of the claims of Thomas, then lawful bishop of the place.*

This conduct gave occasion to a fresh letter Edward III. of remonstrance and complaint against Mala- the proceedchy's proceedings, from the English monarch ing to the

pontiff. (now Edward III.) to the Roman pontiff. It was written, the king observes, “under a feeling of pity and compassion for the desolate condition to which the venerable father, Thomas, by the grace of God, Bp. of Enaghdun, was reduced ;” and to expose “the delusion practised on his majesty himself, as well as on the pontiff;" and further, with a view to obtaining redress,“ lest in reproach of the episcopal dignity, the said bishop should be obliged to beg his bread.” " It appears to us quite incredible and inconceivable,” says King Edward, “that any such union can have been instituted by you ... especially as the church of Enaghdun aforesaid His descripis among the mere English, and ruled by an nadown as English bishop, and the church of Tuam among

an English

settlement. the mere Irish, and ruled by a mere Irish prelate, and the said bishopric of Enaghdun exceeds the taxation afore cited ; so that the said union, if it have any existence, is quite repugnant to

• Rymer, par. ii. p. 780.

still met

the union

the terms of our said father's application, and the informations above noticed, by virtue of

which it is said to have been granted."* Malachy Malachy however carried his point. And succeeds in subjugating although the union of Achonry and KilmacdaEnaghdun. agh to Tuam did not then take place, yet Enagh

dun remained united to it, and apparently by virtue of this authority, in succeeding ages.

Malachy died at a very advanced age in 1348. Bishops of

Attempts were subsequently made to revive Enaghdun

and maintain a succession of prelates in Enaghwith after dun, as we find mention in after times, of perto Tuam. sons appointed to the office on different occa

sions. Thus, in the next century, while Maurice O'Kelley was archbishop of Tuam, “John Brit, a Franciscan friar, was advanced to the see of Enaghdun, upon the death of Henry Twillow, bp. thereof, on Jan. 24, 1402:" and again in the time, it would seem, of “Cornelius," archbishop of Tuam, “John Camere, a Franciscan friar also, was advanced to the see of Enaghdune, upon the death of Matthew, on the 14th of Nov. 1421." These latter bishops of Enaghdun appear from their very names to have been of the English interest, which may have made the Irish residents of the diocese more willing to give up their local feelings in favour

*Rymer, par. ii. 780.

Harris's Ware, pp. 560, 610.

ib. 611.

« PreviousContinue »