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DIED A. D. 1176.
MALACHY O'BIRN, O'Brin, or O'Brien, as he is called in the Annals of Leinster, succeeded O'Gorman. Nothing very creditable to him is recorded, unless it be his own consciousness of demerit, by which he obtained a character for modesty. He was engaged with the bishop of Wexford in an infamous stratagem to deceive Fitz-Stephen, who was bravely defending his castle in Carrick; and little suspected that two nominally Christian bishops were basely perjuring themselves, when they swore by the mass-book, the eucharist, and various saintly relics, “ that Dublin was taken, and all the English destroyed; and that the forces of Connaught and Leinster were marching down to besiege him.”* This fabrication was unfortunately too successful; and the brave and unsuspecting warrior surrendered himself and his party into their hands, upon terms, which they with added baseness failed to fulfil. Malachy is mentioned in the life of Lawrence O'Toole, archbishop of Dublin, published by Surius; and is stated in the Annals of Leinster to have died in the year 1175, while other authorities say his death took place on the 1st of January, 1176.
DIED A. D. 1222.
CORNELIUS MACGELANY was consecrated bishop of this see, 1206, having first been rector of Cloncurry and archdeacon of Kildare. The Annals of Inisfail mention that his death took place in the year 1223, but the more general opinion seems to have been that it was in 1222.
Ralph of Bristol.
DIED A. D. 1232.
RALPH OF BRISTOL was the first treasurer of St Patrick's church, and was consecrated to the see of Kildare in 1223. About three years before, St Patrick's had been converted into a cathedral by Henry Loundres, archbishop of Dublin, and Ralph is represented as having gone to great expense in repairing and ornamenting it. William of Malmesbury states, that he was one of those who granted fourteen days of indulgences to the abbey of Glastonbury, fifteen to the church of Torre, and thirteen to the church of the Holy Trinity of Godenie, both belonging to this abbey. Ralph wrote a life of Lawrence O'Toole, archbishop of Dublin, (which was published by Surius,) and died in 1232.
DIED A. D. 1238.
John Taunton, canon of St Patrick's, Dublin, was elevated to the see of Kildare in 1233, and continued to govern it for twenty-five
RESIGNED A. D. 1206.
MATTHEW O'HENEY, archbishop of Cashel, was witness to the charter of Donald O'Brian, king of Limerick, by which he granted large portions of land to Brictius, bishop of Limerick, and all his successors. He is spoken of in the Annals of St Mary's Abbey, as being “a man of all the Irish the wisest and most religious," as having founded many churches, and “voluntarily abandoned all worldly pomp." He is buried in the monastery of the Holy Cross in Tipperary.
DIED A. D. 1202.
FELIX O’DULLANY, abbot of Ossory, was appointed to the see of Ossory in 1178, and about the latter end of Henry II's reign, transplanted the episcopal seat from Aghavoe to Kilkenny, and laid the foundation of the cathedral of St Canice, or Kenny, which was afterwards finished at great expense by Geoffry St Leger. He died in 1202, and was buried in St Mary's monastery of Zerpoint, in a tomb on the north side of the altar.
Geoffry St Leger.
DIED A. D. 1286.
GEOFFRY ST LEGER, descended from a noble family, was consecrated bishop of Ossory in 1260. He finished at great expense the cathedral of St Canice, and also founded the college of Vicar's Choral of Kilkenny, and ordered that they should celebrate his anniversary and the anniversaries of several of his predecessors. He recovered the manor of Seir Keran by the right of combat then in use, his champion overcoming that of his adversary. After governing this see for about twenty-six years, he died in 1286, and was buried in his church near St Mary's chapel, in a tomb ornamented with his own statue.
William de Birmingham.
DIED A. D. 1311.
WILLIAM DE BIRMINGHAM, son of Miler de Birmingham, baron of Athenry, was appointed by Edward I. to the archbishopric of Tuam, which he held for twenty-two years. Shortly after his consecration, he joined to it the church of Enaghdun, and ordered Philip le Blound, archdeacon of Tuam to take the mitre, pastoral staff, &c. of the bishopric of Enaghdun, which had been deposited in the friary at Clare, till a new bishop should be elected. There were many contests respecting the union of these two sees, both before and after the time of this prelate. In 1306, a Franciscan of the name of Gilbert, managed to get himself consecrated bishop of Enaghdun, and notwithstanding Birmingham making a personal appeal to the pope, he could obtain no redress, and Gilbert was established in the temporalities of the see. The archbishop died in 1311, and was buried at Athenry near his father Miler.
SUCCEEDED A. D. 1181.-DIED A. D. 1212.
John Conyn, a native of England, who was a particular favourite of Henry II. and his chaplain, was recommended by him for the archbishopric of Dublin, and was accordingly elected to it on the 6th of September, 1181. He was afterwards ordained priest at Velletri, and on Palm-sunday, March 21st, was consecrated at the same place archbishop, by pope Lucius III. He there obtained a bull from the pope, dated April 13th, 1182, in which there is the following passage : “ In pursuance also of the authority of the holy canons, we order and decree that no archbishop or bishop, shall, without the assent of the archbishop of Dublin, (if in a bishopric within his province,) presume to celebrate any synod, or to handle any causes or ecclesiastical matters of the same diocese, unless enjoined thereto by the Roman pontiff or his legate.” The copy of this bull may be seen in an ancient registry of the archbishop of Dublin, called Crede Mihi. A very sharp controversy arose afterwards between the archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, on the subject of this privilege, which did not terminate for centuries. Cambrensis, who knew the archbishop, states, that he was at the time of his consecration, created cardinal priest at Velletri; but Ware disputes this, as it is not alluded to, either in the bull of pope Lucius, in Comyn's characters, or in Onuphrius, or Ciacorims, who have published a catalogue of the cardinals. Comyn came to his see, September, 1184, to prepare for the reception of earl John, whom Henry II. was sending over as governor of Ireland, John gave him in 1185, the reversion of the bishopric of Glendalough, when it should become vacant, and also granted him a remarkable charter, which entitled him and his successors to hold courts, and administer justice throughout Ireland; but it does not appear that any of his successors
exercised either civil or eeclesiastical jurisdiction beyond the dioceses of their own archbishoprie. Comyn assisted at the coronation of Richard L, on the 3d of September, 1189, and was a witness to that monarch's letters patent, for surrendering to William, king of Scotland, the castles of Rockbork and Berwick, which he acknowledged to have been his hereditary right. He was also present at the council which appointed the regeney during the king's absence in the Holy Land. Roger Hoveden gives an account of the various injuries inflicted on this prelate, by Hamo de Valonis, lord-justice of Ireland, which made the archbishop determine to leave the kingdom rather than be subjected to a continuance of them. He first, however, ercommunicated all those who had done him wrong, and laid an interdiet upon his archbishopric. He then went to earl John to obtain redress of his grievances, and to demand restitution of what had been forcibly taken from him. Not receiving the prompt and efficient aid that he expected, he fled to France, and appealed to pope Innocent III., who wrote a remonstrance to John upon the occasion, and also complained of the archbishop having been unreasonably detained in Normandy. This appeal, although it effected Comyn's present purposes, and that Hamo was in consequence recalled from the government, caused a long and bitter enmity against the archbishop on the part of John, which does not seem to have been removed until 1206, when the king again received him into favour, and commanded the lord-justice in Ireland both to protect him from all injuries, and also to make every possible restitution to him for the losses he had sustained. Hamo also, who had greatly enriched himself before leaving Ireland, seems to have at length become conscious of his own injustice, and to expiate his crime, gave to the archbishop and his successors (in free alms,) twenty plough-lands in the territory of Ucunil. The account of this is given by John Alan, a subsequent archbishop, in his registry, which is called the Black Book of the Archbishop of Dublin, a copy of which is in Marsh's library. Comyn is described as a man of learning, gravity, and eloquence, and a very munificent benefactor to the church. He built and endowed as a collegiate church, St Patrick's cathedral in Dublin, about the year 1190, and in part repaired and enlarged the choir of Christ's church. He also founded and endowed a convent of nuns in Dublin, which took its name a Gratia Dei, and was commonly called Grace Dieu. Dempster asserts Comyn to have been a Scotchman, born at Bamff, and descended from the earls of Buchan, but there does not seem to be any good authority for this statement. The constitutions and canons made by this prelate, and confirmed under the leaden seal of pope Urban III., are yet extant among the archives preserved in Christ's church, Dublin. His mortal remains are also deposited there, where there is a marble monument erected to his memory on the south side of the choir. His death took place in Dublin, on the 25th of October, 1212.
As the regulations and canons made by this prelate are curious in themselves, and many of them still binding, we subjoin them. The synod at which they were agreed to was held in the year 1186 in Dublin, in the church of the Holy Trinity:
“ The 1st. Prohibits priests from celebrating mass on a wooden table
according to the usage of Ireland; and enjoins that, in all monasteries and baptismal churches, altars should be made of stone; and if a stone of sufficient size to cover the whole surface of the altar cannot be had, that in such a case a square entire and polished stone be fixed in the middle of the altar, where Christ's body is consecrated, and of a compass broad enough to contain five crosses, and also to bear the foot of the largest chalice. But in chapels, chauntries, or oratories, if they are necessarily obliged to use wooden altars, let the mass be celebrated upon plates of stone of the before-mentioned size, firmly fixed in the wood.
“ 2d. Provides that the coverings of the holy mysteries may spread over the whole upper part of the altar ; and that a cloth may cover the front of the same, and reach to the ground. These coverings to be always whole and clean.
“ 3d. That in monasteries and rich churches chalices be provided of gold and silver; but in poorer churches, where such cannot be afforded, that then pewter chalices may serve the purpose, which must be always kept whole and clean.
is 4th. That the host, which represents the Lamb without spot, the alpha and omega, be made so white and pure, that the partakers thereof may thereby understand the purifying and feeding of their souls rather than their bodies.
" 5th. That the wine in the sacrament be so tempered with water, that it be not deprived either of the natural taste and colour.
“6th. That all the vestments and coverings belonging to the church, be clean, fine, and white.
“7th. That a lavatory of stone or wood be set up, and so contrived with a hollow, that whatever is poured into it may pass through, and lodge in the earth; through which also the last washing of the priests' hands after the holy communion may pass.
“8th. Provides that an immoveable font be fixed in the middle of every baptismal church, or in such other part of it as the paschal procession may conveniently pass round. That it be made of stone, or of wood lined with lead for cleanness, wide and large above, bored through to the bottom, and so contrived that after the ceremony of baptism be ended, a secret pipe be so contrived therein as to convey the holy water down to mother earth.
“ 9th. That the coverings of the altar, and other vestments dedicated to God, when injured by age, be burnt within the inclosure of the church, and the ashes of them transmitted through the aforesaid pipe of the font to be buried in the bowels of the earth.
“10th. Prohibits any vessel used in baptism to be applied ever after to any of the common uses of man.
“ žlth. Prohibits, under the pain of an anathema, any person to bury in a churchyard, unless he can show by an authentic writing, or undeniable evidence, that it was consecrated by a bishop, not only as a sanctuary or place of refuge, but also for a place of sepulture; and that no laymen shall presume to bury their dead in such a consecrated place without the presence of a priest.
“12th. Prohibits the celebration of divine service in chapels built by laymen to the detriment of the mother churches.
“ 13th. Since the clergy of Ireland, among other virtues, have been