Page images

His eques

Mr. Stuart is at a loss to conceive how a blind ecclesiastic should trian pow. have been so laboriously occupied, and at such severe and hazardous ers.

exercise as Waucop must have been engaged in, to become famous for riding post better than any man in Christendom. But the circumstance noted in the text, if there correctly stated, viz., that Waucop was rather very short sighted than quite blind, will help to remove

the difficulty. His dying His death took place at Paris on the 10th of November, A.D. 1551, words, A.D. and his last words, if we may therein believe O'Sullevan, were these: 1551.

"Lord, if my existence here be necessary for the good of thy people, I will not shrink from the useful task which I ought to perform. If not, 1 shall willingly yield up my station in this most laborious life, for assigning as the exact date of his consecration, April 24, 1564. The following brief memoir will supply a somewhat fuller and more satisfactory account of this remarkable individual than could have been conveniently introduced in the body of this work.

that my spirit may enjoy beatitude in thy presence." Abp. Mac The famous and learned Mac Mahon, titular archbp. of Armagh, Mahon's seems to have been aware of the damage which the true story of his confusion predecessor Waucop was calculated to do to their cause. In his cele of the dates brated work Jus Primatiale Armacanum, c. 27, in giving a list of some connected of their primates, he says, "DowDALLO Pauli Tertii concessione sccwith R. W! Cessit in sede Armachana (qui concilio Tridentino interfuit, ibique

a patribus agnitus et declaratus hujus regni primus, Vide superius 10,) ROBERTUS VENANTIUS." Waucop's recognition at Trent was of too much importance to this author's argument to allow of his ne glecting the point; and yet the assertion that the same Waucop succeeded to Dowdall, shows how the author of the Jus Primatiale felt the difficulty in which the matter was involved. How could he succeed to Dowdall, a man who died some seven years after himself. No wonder is it that the Irish Romanists have been slow to furnish us with an account of their succession of Primates. Here one of those very primates, and the one of whose learning they are most justly proud, could not give a short list of some of his own predecessors, without a most outrageous violation

of historical truth, contradicting all the historians and records of the Council of Trent.) Memoirs of Rd. Creagh, 1. RICHARD CREAGH, the first papal primate subsequently to first papal the establishment of the Reformation in Ireland, succeeded, or rather primate was appointed, to the titular dignity, (as appears from the text at after the Re- p. 773, sup. and notes there,) in or about A.D. 1564; having been conformation, secrated, it would seem, by Pope Pius IV. (not V, as stated in Rothe's A.D. 1564. Analecta) some five or six years after the death of Abp Dowdall.

There appears indeed to be some authority (as will be seen presently)

* Stewart's Armagh, 236, and O'Sullevan, H. C. pp. 79, 80. Spondani, Ann. ad an. 1546. Palavicino, Hist. Conc. Trident. 1. 6, c. 5; 1. 15, c. 13. Pere Orleans, l. 3, p. 85. Jus. Prim. Arm., pp. 7, 19, referred to by Stuart in loc. cit.

Richard Creagh was, according to our authors, the son of a very re- His birth, spectable merchant of Limerick, named Nicholas Creagh, by his wife education, Joanna White. Having acquired in his native place the first rudi, and early ments of literature, and a taste for scriptural knowledge, on his arrival life. at years of maturity, he traded as a general merchant to and from Spain. On one occasion, having disposed of a quantity of goods which he had brought to that country, he shipped various cther commodities as a venture to Ireland. “And now the appointed day for sailing had arrived, the wind was favourable, and the passengers, merchants, and seamen were hurrying on board. Creagh however, who had determined to solicit the blessing of Almighty God on his undertaking, told his companions that he deemed it necessary to attend the solemnization of mass, before he could go on board, but that as soon as he should have effected this pious object, he would instantly embark. His companions however left him whilst he was attending the celebration of divine service, and having weighed anchor hoisted sail. Creagh saw the vessel Providential in motion, and called to them from the shore-in

vain ; for by a sud- escape from den gust of wind, or by some mismanagement of the crew, the ship shipwreck. was instantly buried in the sea, and every one on board perished. Creagh, thus providentially saved from death, returned thanks to God for his escape, and determined to adopt a mode of life less perilous to the body, and more salutary to the soul."* He now addicted himself He becomes entirely to literature, and having gone to Belgium, and graduated an ecclesiasA.M. in the University of Louvain, and afterwards B.D., he subse- tic and quently returned to Ireland in the beginning of the reign of Queen schoolmasElizabeth, being then in priest's orders: and opened'a school in Limer- ter. ick, where he earnestly made use of every exertion to advance the prin. ciples of the Romish faith.

His visit to How long he employed himself in this way does not particularly ap- Rome, pear : but we are informed that after the lapse of some time,t whether wearying of scholastic toils, or desiring further self improvement, or wishing to lead a stricter life, he betook himself to the Continent of Europe, and visited Rome, "where being known and welcomed by the supreme pontiff, Pins V., I he was prohibited from devoting himself to

• Stuart's Armagh, p. 249. O'Sullevan, Hist. Cath., t. 2, 1. 4, c. 10. Burke, Don 601. Ware's Writers, 97. Jus. Armac. c. 27.

+ Vid. Rothe's Analecta, &c. [Anastrephomena?) de Richardi Creaghi Arch. Episc. Armach. vita notationes, pp. 9, 10. Ed. Colon. I619,

1 i.e. according to Rothe, from whom this passage is extracted.

son ;

the monastic profession, which he had in view, until he should receive some further intimations concerning the wishes of the Most lloly Lord (the Pope.] Meanwhile his holiness, although the other was unconscious of it, was already conceiving a plan for sending him back into

Ireland, to be either a buckler to the faith, or a solace to the sorrows, and promo of the Catholics therein resid-nt. And in order to provoke him to the to the titu- more abundant industry and zeal in behalf of religion, he determined lar primacy. to consecrate him archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland.

For that see was then lying vacant, in consequence of the death of his predecessor the most illustrious and most reverend George Dowdall, whose demise took place within a few days of that of the renowned Queen Mary, and that also of Cardinal Pole, having occurred in England, whither he had repaired for the purpose of arranging certain

matters connected with his Church. He comes " After his consecration, (for neither the dangers of such an expediback to Ire- tion, although they were intimated to him, nor the difficulty of effectland, and is ing an entrance into the country, nor the calamities which it was then put in pri- suffering, nor the miseries of the Catholics who lived there could in

fluence his mind to have recourse to any subterfnges in order to avoid the burden,) filled with the Spirit from heaven, he ploughed across the ocean, and left behind him the storms of the sea, to encounter storms yet more serious upon the land.". For on his return to Ireland he was immediately apprehended and put into prison. * After his disembarkation, when he had accomplished a few days' journey, he was

taken captive by his adversaries of the contrary persuasion, men who but makes were downright infidels, and brought to Dublin and cast into prison ; his escape, but from thence after having lain for some time in chains, he effected

an escape in company with his gaoler. and flees “ Having thus gotten loose from his bonds, he made away with himbeyond seas. self beyond seas, in order to obtain a little time for taking breath

among the [R) Catholics, and to prepare himself for fresh struggles. As soon therefore as he had in some little degree recruited his facul

ties, an intimation having been conveyed to him relative to the wishes He returns of his most holy lord, [the pope,] he now returned a second time as prito Ireland, is mate : and setting himself to attend to the oversight of his flock, he is again taken, once more apprehended by the faithless enemy, and brought before the tried for

viceroy and council in Dublin." He was now tried for high treason high trea

and breaking his prison : but the jury, after having been shut up for

some days, could not agree in a verdict ; for which misdemeanour they imprisoned were imprisoned and fined. Creagh himself was sent over to London, in the Tow- and there immured in a dark cell, in which however he managed from er of Lon

the fat of the meat which was given to him, to make a lamp that af. don :

forded light sufficient to enable him to recite his breviary.

son, and

[blocks in formation]

“From this den he was at length removed into a more spacious and lightsome apartment in the same tower;"* from which he managed to escape in some extraordinary manner, as described by a Jesuit named but again James Navarchus, who is said to have had it from Creagh himself, and makes his whose account of the matter, dated Kal. Oct. 1565, is published by escape, in a Rothe in his Analecta. “A little bird which supplied at once a fa. manner vourable omen and also a suggestion for his escape, was the means of extricating the imprisoned sufferer from his captivity."'t Of the letter of Navarchus, more presently. “ The bishop

therefore effected his escape from the tower, and that astonishing in such an extraordinary manner, that a great sensation of astonish- to his ment seizəd upon all who knew even the position of the place . and friends. they were eagerly desirous to have from himself a true and correct recital of the method and plan of his delivery.

Letter from " Among others, the most illustrious Thomas Goldwell, bp. of St. Bp. Gold. Asaph's, (who was staying at Milan when he (Creagh) came to Lou- well to vain after his escape from London,) sent him a letter of the following Creagh on purport, partly congratulating him on his fortunate escape, and partly this occarequesting him to furnish an account of the manner of his liberation. sion, June

20, 1565, "Copy of the Letter of the Bp. of St. Asaph's to the Primate : trans

lated from the English Autograph. u • Most illustrious and reverend lord: as I was greatly concerned congratuat learning that your Grace, after having arrived in Ireland, had been lating traitorously apprehended and cast into the tower of London ; so was I Creagh, and exceedingly delighted to hear of your having escaped, miraculously as it seems, from thence to Louvain, and that you are there on a visit with your friend and mine, our Master Michaelis ; who, I doubt not, was greatly delighted by your arrival thither, as I myself was at your delivery from prison. And when your most illustrious lordship shall have inquiring leisure, you will confer on me a very great gratification by condescend- about the ing to write me a detailed account of your escape. For when I first manner of received the news of it

, the matter appeared to me so astonishing, that his deliverit seemed like the vision which appeared to St. Peter, when the angel ance. brought him out of prison. In whatever way it has occurred, to God be the praise, for that it hath pleased Him to watch over His servant : to whose divine protection I commend your most illustrious Grace, as I do myself to your prayers.

" And as there is a report among us here that a certain English father of the Soc. Jes. had accompanied your lordship into Ireland, there be some in this place who are exceedingly anxious to know what has

• ib. p. 15. VOL. III.

+ p. 16, ib.

2 B

befallen him. There is living in this city a very worthy man from Ireland, named Maurice, a Jesuit, who was greatly pleased at learning that you had effected your escape. Would your most reverend Lord ship be pleased to salute in my name our reverend master Michaelis, your host.

With these I desire your grace's welfare and happiness. “ Milan : the 20th day of June anno 1565.

" To your most illustrious lordship,

“ Yr. unworthy brother and Servt. Creagh

T. G. Bp. St. Asaph's." again returns to Ire- “ What answer the primate returned to this letter is not recorded." Jand, and is Creagh now returned once more to Ireland, while the rebellion of again impri- Shane O'Neill was raging in the north, and accordingly before June soned. 1567, in which that chieftain was killed. But he was again appre

* Rothe ii, 35. The scarcity of books, and difficulty of making references to authorities in a remote rural district, has obliged me in a few instances, to depend on the statements of writers professing to use the original authorities, always taking care to verify such references after. wards. And although, in handling an author whose correctness of quotation is so little to be depended on as Mr.Phelan's, I have used for the most part much caution, and comparison with such collateral authorities as were available, still I find that in the case of one passage from Rothe's Analecta, relative to Creagh's dispute with Shane O'Neill, given, as quoted from Phelan, at p. 76, I have been led into a citing of testimony in a currupted form; the best apology for which is to give here the correct version of the passage as it stands in Rothe's Analecta, Colon. 1617, p. 447—which is as follows:

“ But lo! the Lord passeth by! Already had the great and strong wind gone before, overthrowing the mountains, and breaking the rocks in pieces : this was what happened in the case of that famous Dynast, John O'Neill, in the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth, who overran and wasted all before him like a raging tempest, sparing neither mountains, rocks, nor hills ; but introducing confusion into all the ordinances of God and man, stained his hands with a brother's blood; and having demolished in part the Church of Armagh, and incurred (as it is said) the indignation of the prelate Creagh, a great assertor of ecclesiastical privileges, after many slaughters which he committed, aided by captains whom he had invited out of Connaught and Munster, and admitted to a share in his plans, in fine, after numberless reproaches and scandals in which he became involved, though he would have himself accounted as the champion of the liberty of his country, and of the religion of his forefathers, not being of the number of those by whom salvation was wrought in Israel, as he sowed the winds, he reaped nought save only the whirlwind."

« PreviousContinue »