Skip to main content

Full text of "Lives of the Irish Martyrs and confessors"

See other formats



.•,iFi  i' 

S*''^'^,-^    •■'    ''  f-"  c      ' 






*  ' 





Lewis     Bingley 


I  Cornell  University  Library 

BX4659.I7  066  1882 



Cornell  University 

The  original  of  this  book  is  in 
the  Cornell  University  Library. 

There  are  no  known  copyright  restrictions  in 
the  United  States  on  the  use  of  the  text. 




MYLES  O'REILLY,  B.  A.;  LL.  D. 






THE     PENAL     LAWS, 



James  Sheeiiy,  Publisher,  33  Barclay  St. 

BALTIMORE:  74  W.  Fayette  St.    WASHINGTON:  613  pn  Street. 
PHILADELPHIA:  30  N.  51a  St.    BOSTON:  47  Hanover  St. 


jSs  Jamiis  Shehht. 


It  is  almost  needless  to  state  that,  for  the  various  additions  made 
to  the  New  York  edition  of  Myles  O'Reilly's  "Irish  Martyrs  and 
Confessors,''  that  talented  author  and  gallant  defender  of  Pius  the 
Ninth  is  not  responsible.  Impressed  with  the  importance  of 
making  still  further  known,  if  possible,  the  lives  of  our  saintly 
forefathers  in  the  faith,  I  have  taken  the  liberty  of  adding  some 
biographical  sketches  not  to  be  found  in  the  author's  valuable 
collection.  Among  those  added,  will  be  found  the  lives,  labors  and 
sufferings  of  several  heroic  men,  who,  though  they  did  not  shed 
their  blood  for  the  faith,  yet,  by  reason  of  their  lifelong  exile  in 
foreign  lands,  well  deserve  the  title  of  Confessors.  These  last  have 
been  selected  from.vanous  sources,  chiefly  from  the  "Irish  Eccle- 
siastical Record." 

As  a  further  evidence  that  the  cruelties  practised  upon  Irish 
Catholics  were  in  accordance  with  the  laws  of  Great  Britain,  I  have 
also  added  a  very  complete  collection  of  the  Penal  Laws,  compiled 
from  Pamell's  impartial  History  of  those  legislative  enactments 
against  the  liberties  and  rights  of  our  ancestors,  dating  from  the 
Treaty  of  Limerick  to  the  Reign  of  George  III. 

Although  the  Church  has  not  formally  canonized  these  Con- 
fessors and  Martyrs,  we  have  every  reasonable  hope  that  they  have 
long  ago  secured  the  rest  and  happiness  of  heaven.  Let  us  re- 
member that  we  are  closely  related  to  those  elect  of  heaven,  that 
they  are  bone  of  our  bone  and  flesh  of  our  flesh  ;  that  we  and 
they  are  members  of  the  one  great  Church  of  God,  which  reaches 
from  the  recesses  of  purgatory  to  the  surface  of  the  earth,  and 
extends  aloft  to  the  highest  vaults  of  heaven. 

R.  B. 


The  practice  of  preserving  the  records  of  the  lives  of  great 
men,  which  a  pagan  historian  declared  no  age,  however  dull, 
had  ever  neglected,  comes  to  the  Christian  recommended  by  a 
deeper  interest  and  a  more  pregnant  use.  The  pagan  could 
recommend  the  family  and  friends  of  the  great  departed  only  to 
turn  from  weak  regrets  to  admiring  contemplation,  and  suggest 
a  timid  hope  that  the  object  of  their  affection  might  continue  to 
exist  in  another  sphere.* 

Christians  are  told  to  remember  that  "  we  have  a  great  cloud 
of  witnesses  over  our  head,"  and  are  called  on,  "  laying  aside 
every  weight  of  sin  which  surrounds  us,  to  run  by  patience  to  the 
fight  proposed,  strengthened  by  the  example  of  the  saints,'" 
and  are  reminded  that  "the  just  seem  to  the  eyes  of  the  foolish 
to  die,  but  indeed  are  in  peace."  Hence,  from  the  first  ages  of 
Christianity,  it  was  looked  upon  as  a  sacred  duty  to  preserve  the 
memory  of  the  lives  and  deaths  of  those  who  had  served  Christ, 
and  who  "  had  been  deemed  worthy  to  suffer  for  his  name  " — 
the  memory  of  their  deaths  even  more  than  that  of  their  lives, 
because,  while  death  to  the  pagan  was  the  final  end,  (the  limit 
to  the  labors  and  successes  of  great  men,)  to  the  Christian  if  was 
the  very  instrument  of  victory — the  moment  of  triumph  :  to  the 
former,  it  was  ♦he  termination  of  existence ;  to  the  latter,  it  was 
the  commencement  of  the  real  life :  for  the  former,  the  cause  fell 
with  its  defender ;  for  the  latter,  the  triumph  of  the  truth  was 
secured  by  the  death  of  its  martjT. 

•  Tacitufl,  AgricoJa. 

6  Preface. 

In  no  country  was  this  practice  of  preserving  the  niemoriah 
of  the  saints  more  carefully  observed  than  in  Ireland.  Our 
earliest  and  most  authentic  records  since  the  days  of  St.  Patrick 
are  the  lives  of  our  saints  ;  and  from  Jocelyn  to  Colgan  to  re- 
cord their  deeds  was  a  labor  of  love.  It  was  a  remarkable  fact 
that,  in  all  these  collections,  up  to  the  sixteenth  century  one  class 
of  saints  found  no  representatives.  The  Church  of  Ireland  had 
produced  a  "  glorious  choir  of  apostles  "  who  bore  the  good  tid- 
mgs  to  many  a  distant  land  ;  the  "  number  of  her  prophets  who 
uttered  praise  "  was  not  small ;  but  she  numbered  in  her  calen- 
dar no  representative  of  "the  white-robed  army  of  martyrs." 
By  a  singular  prerogative  her  conversion  had  not  cost  the  life 
of  a  single  one  of  her  teachers,  and  it  seemed  probable  that, 
were  she  left  to  herself,  no  blood  of  her  children,  shed  for  the 
faith,  would  ever  stain  her  soil.  But  the  litany  of  her  saints 
was  to  be  completed,  and  he  who  was  the  "Master  of  her 
apostles,"  the  "Teacher  of  her  evangelists,"  the  "Purity  of  her 
virgins,"  was  also  to  be  the  "  Light  of  her  confessors"  and  the 
"  Strength  of  her  martyrs  ;"  and  the  church,  whose  foundations 
had  been  laid  in  peace,  was  to  see  her  persecution-shaken  walls 
cemented  and  rebuilt  with  the  blood  of  her  martyrs. 

The  sixteenth  century  saw  in  Ireland  the  commencement  of  a 
persecution  which,  gradually  increasing  in  intensity,  culminated 
in  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  in  what  was  probably  the  most 
exterminating  attack  ever  endured  by  a  Christian  church.  The 
fanatical  followers  of  Mohammed,  in  the  seventh  century,  propa- 
gated their  faith  by  the  sword  ;  but  the  hordes  of  Cromwell  aban- 
doned the  attempt  to  make  the  Irish  converts,  and  turned  all  their 
energies  to  blotting  out  Catholicity  in  Ireland  by  the  destruction 
of  the  Irish  race  :  the  Irish  were  recognized  as  ineradicably 
Catholic,  and  were  slain  or  banished  to  wildernesses  where  it 
was  believed  they  must  become  extinct.  While  this  persecution 
was  one  mainly  and  essentially  of  Catholicity,*  it  was  embittered 
and  prolonged  by  every  other  element  which  could  exacerbate 
and  increase  its  ferocity ;  the  differences  of  race,  of  conauest  of 

•  English  and  Scotch  Catholics,  settled  in  the  north  of  Ireland,  were  as  ruthle    1 

in  i6w  as  those  of  Irish  descent.      See  Curry's  ^Wl7;«yzV-j,  referred  to  in  notf  n«  ^^ 

iii»te  on  next  page. 

Preface.  7 

government,  all  added  their  elements  of  bitterness  to  intensify 
and  prolong  the  strife. 

England  had  conquered  Ireland,  but  never  absorbed  its  iden- 
tity in  her  own  ;  and  although  she  nominally  ruled  it,  her  rule  up 
to  1600  was  far  from  being  consolidated.  England  became 
Protestant,  while  Ireland  remained  Catholic  ;  and  hence'  the 
persecution  of  Catholicity  in  Ireland  was  not  only  the  persecu- 
tion of  the  believers  in  one  faith  by  the  adherents  of  another  ;  it 
was  also  (as  was  the  case  in  the  Netherlands)  the  persecution  of 
the  conquered  by  the  conquering  race,  of  the  old  government  by 
the  new,  of  the  possessors  of  the  land  of  the  country  by  those 
who  sought  to  confiscate  it  for  their  own  advantage.  How  in- 
finitely this  has  tended,  for  three  hundred  years,  to  prevent  all 
impartial  and  good  government  in  Ireland  is  patent  to  all.  One 
incidental  good,  however,  resulted  from  it:  the  fire  of  persecution 
surely  but  slowly  fused  into  a  common  nationality  all  Irish  Catho- 
lics of  the  various  races  which  had  so  long  remained  separated. 
Norman  and  Celt,  Palesman  and  "  mere  Irish,"  forgot  their  dif- 
ferences in  their  common  Catholicity ;  the  laws  which  had  sought 
to  exclude  men  of  Irish  descent  from  certain  posts  in  the  church 
became  obsolete  when  the  honors  of  the  church  were  the  passport 
to  martyrdom  ;  and  so  also  the  dislike  of  the  Irish  outside  the 
pale  to  seeing  bishops  of  English  descent  appointed  to  sees  in 
their  country  gradually  faded  away  before  the  heat  of  a  common 
persecution.  Dr.  MacMahon,  a  pure  Irishman,  became  Arch- 
bishop of  Dublin,  a  see  which  had  been  occupied  uninterruptedly 
jy  Englishmen  since  the  time  of  St.  Laurence  O'Toole ;  the  see  of 
Tuam  was  filled  by  Archbishops  Bodkin  and  Skerritt;  and  the 
sainted  Oliver  Plunket,  the  "Palesman,"  was  welcomed  enthusias- 
tically by  the  Irish  of  Armagh.  Out  of  the  furnace  of  persecution 
there  arose  a  new  nationality  for  Ireland,  composed  of  Irish  Catho- 
lics ;  whether  of  Irish,  of  English,  or  of  Scotch  descent,*  it  has 
continued  to  our  day,  and,  we  may  hope,  will  endure  to  the  end. 

*  /f  my  readers  will  glance  down  the  list  of  names  of  those  whose  memorials  are  here  given, 
they  win  see,  mingled  with  such  purely  Celtic  names  as  O'Neill,  O'Conor,  O'Reilly,  O'Brien, 
those  of  Norman  and  English  race,  as  De  Burgo,  Nugent,  Bathe,  Barry  ;  as  Archer,  English, 
Russell,  Slingsby,  Stapleton,  Prendergast.  Curry  (Civil  IVars,  Appendix,  p.  623)  gives  in- 
ttances  of  Catholics  of  English  and  Scotch  birth,  resident  in  Ireland,  slain  for  their  r;l  gion. 

8  Preface. 

And  it  is  a  nationality  of  which  we  may  well  be  proud,  and  which 
may  console  us  for  the  sad  deficiencies  of  our  secular  history. 

The  natural  development  of  political  society  in  Ireland  was 
arrested  at  the  end  of  the  twelfth  century  by  the  English  inva- 
sion, ere  the  country  had  been  consolidated  under  one  govern- 
ment,* and  for  some  four  hundred  years  the  English  did  not 
succeed  in  reducing  the  whole  island  under  one  rule.  Thus,  since 
12  00,  Ireland,  as  a  whole,  has  never  had  a  national  government  t 
or  national  life ;  and,  since  1 600,  even  the  local  Irish  governments, 
or  rules  of  the  great  chiels,  have  disappeared.  Thus  we  may 
say  that,  since  1200,  we  have  no  great  consecutive  national  politi- 
cal history  or  national  government,  to  the  gradual  development 
of  which  we  can  look  back  with  pride  and  content;  but,  on 
the  other  hand,  we  can  trace  with  unalloyed  satisfaction  the  his- 
tory of  our  church  alike  in  tempest  and  in  calm — her  struggles 
in  the  dark  and  stormy  ages  of  persecution,  and  her  renewed 
youth  and  vigor  in  the  serener  atmosphere  of  our. own  days. 
Hence  it  is,  I  confess,  that  the  history  of  religion  in  Ireland 
has  always  had  peculiar  charms  for  me  ;  and  although  I  have 
e\er  felt  the  deepest  interest  in  the  gallant  but  gradually  less 
and  less  successful  struggles  for  independence  of  my  race,  I 
have  dwelt  with  still  deeper  interest  on  the  religious  history  of 
the  same  race — a  historj'  of  progress  and  development  alike  in 
prosperity  and  in  adversity ;  a  history  which  links  the  past  with 
the  present  and  the  future :  a  past  to  which  we  can  revert  with 
well  grounded  pride  ;  a  present  in  which  we  recognize  with  grati- 
tude the  fruit  of  the  struggles  and  sufferings  of  our  forefathers, 
whose  example  we  are  called  on  to  imitate  ;  a  future  to  which  we 
may  look  forward  with  humble  but  well-grounded  hope. 

To  others  appertains  the  nobler  task  of  writing  the  general 
ecclesiastical  history  of  Ireland ;  and  if  we  have  not  yet  had  a 
second  Lanigan  to  continue  the  history  of  our  church  from  the 
twelfth  century,  we  are  daily  receiving  valuable  additions  to  oui 

*  The  political  state  of  Ireland  in  117a  was  analogous  to  that  of  England  under  the  Hep- 
tarchy, and  of  France  before  Charlemagne. 

i  Unless  we  except  the  brief  rule  of  the  Confederation  of  Kilkenny,  from  1641  to  1647,  ot 
from  178S  to  1800,  when  Ireland  was  ruled  by  an  oligarchy,  while  the  Catholics,  the  gre;n 
maiority  of  the  people,  were  outside  the  pale  of  the  constitution. 

Preface.  9 

historical  knowledge  of  separate  portions  of  it  from  the  pens  of 
scholars  like  Dr.  Renehan,  and  his  able  editor  Dr.  McCarthy,  Dr. 
Moran,  and  others.  I  have  undertaken  the  lesser  work  of  collect- 
ing the  biographies  of  those  martyrs  and  confessors  the  tale  of 
whose  sufferings  makes  up  so  large  a  portion  of  the  church  history 
of  the  sixteenth,  seventeenth,  and  eighteenth  centuries.  It  may, 
indeed,  appear  strange  that  there  has  not  hitherto  been  any 
compleie  collection  of  this  sort  Ireland  is  a  country  where  the 
habit  of  preserving  local  histories  and  biographies  has  flourished 
since  before  the  Christian  era,  and  from  the  days  of  St  Patrick  her 
hagiographers  collected  the  lives  of  her  saints  as  carefully  as  her 
bards  and  genealogists  collected  the  descents  and  the  battles  of 
her  warriors.  But  it  is  a  singular  proof  how  nearly  the  devastation 
of  the  Cromwellian  persecution  annihilated  the  life  of  the  Irish 
race  that  for  nearly  one  hundred  years  hardly  an  effort  was  made 
to  preserve  a  record  of  the  sufferings  of  her  sons.  This  is  not 
the  case  with  regard  to  the  earlier  and  less  sweeping  persecu- 
tions under  Henry  VIII.,  Elizabeth,  and  James.  Then  the 
custom  which  had  been  practised  by  the  early  Christians  under 
the  pagan  emperors  of  recording  the  sufferings  of  the  martyrs 
was  imitated  by  the  Irish,  and  catalogues  and  biographies  were 
carefully  collected  by  those  who  escaped  in  Ireland,  or  who 
lived  in  the  Irish  colleges  abroad.  Numbers  of  these  have  been 
lost,  but  we  still  have  several,  such  as  the  Processus  Mar- 
tyrialis  of  Doctor  Roothe,  published  in  1619  j  Mooney's  treatise, 
written  in  1620 ;  and  portions  at  least  of  others  copied  later  by 
Bruodin  and  O'Heyn.  But  from  1650  the  destruction  was  so 
utter,  the  blow  so  crushing,  the  slaughter  so  immense,  that  all  idea 
of  recording  particular  incidents  seems  to  have  been  abandoned 
in  despair  for  nearly  a  century  f  and  Bruodin,  who  published  in 
1669,  O'Heyn  in  1706,  and  De  Burgo  still  later,  were  the  first 
who  resumed  the  interrupted  task.  Hence  there  are  immense  de- 
ficiencies in  the  collection  of  the  lives  of  our  Irish  martyrs ;  and 
although  1  have  collected  as  far  as  I  could  all  those  recorded, 
they  can  be  regarded  only  as  specimens,  not  as  forming  a  com- 

•  Wiih  llie  exception  of  the  small  tract  Morison's  rAr««<>i/ra,  published  at  Imupmck  ill 

lO  Preface. 

plete  enumeration,  especially  as  regards  the  period  from  1640  to 

I  have  undertaken  to  collect  the  biographies  of  those  who  suf- 
fered for  the  Catholic  faith,  not  to  write  a  contribution  to  the 
political  history  of  Ireland  ;  hence  the  scheme  of  my  work  does 
not  embrace  the  lives  of  those,  however  glorious  their  career, 
however  noble  the  cause  for  which  they  suffered,  who  did  not 
suffer  directly  for  that  faith.  The  same  rule  has  been  observed  by 
those  who  preceded  me.  Thus  Bruodin  says :  "  Neminem  hie  no- 
mino  in  bello  justissimo  a  Catholicis  in  Hibernia,  pro  defensione 
fidei,  regis  et  patriae  incepto  occisum,  inde  eorum  hie  facio 
memoriam  qui  omni  jure,  nominari  merentur  inter  eos  qui  pro 
Christo  certando  occubuere."      (P.  698.)* 

In  the  case  of  laymen,  I  have  thus  been  led  to  omit  many  who 
no  doubt  were  persecuted  really  on  account  of  their  religion,  but 
nominally  for  political  reasons ;  in  the  case  of  priests  there  is 
much  less  difficulty.  Bishop  Heber  MacMahon  indeed,  who  fell 
at  the  head  of  his  troops,  although  one  of  the  noblest  characters 
of  his  age,  is  excluded  by  Bruodin's  rule ;  but  priests  who,  al- 
though non-combatants,  were  put  to  death  in  the  discharge  of 
their  sacred  duties  when  attending  the  dying  on  the  battle-field, 
or  exceptionally  slain  after  the  surrender  of  towns  because 
priests,  are  clearly  to  be  enumerated  as  martyrs.  In  the  great 
majority  of  cases,  however,  there  is  no  question  whatever :  the 
priests  and  bishops  were  imprisoned  and  put  to  death  simply  on 
account  of  their  religion.  Although,  as  in  England,  they  may 
have  been  tried  for  treason,  the  treason  consisted  either  of  "  a 
second  refusal  to  take  the  oath  acknowledging  the  queen's  su- 
premacy, or  having  a  second  time  defended  the  supremacy  of 
the  Roman  See,"  (5  Eliz.  cap.  i.,)  or  "obtaining  any  bull,  01 
persuading  any  one  to  be  reconciled  to  the  Church  of  Rome/' 
(13  Eliz.  cap.  ii.,  and  23  Eliz.  cap.  i.,  and  3  Jac.  cap.  iv.,)  01, 
"  having  been  consecrated  priest  abroad,  entering  or  remaining 
ill  the  kingdom,  or  receiving,  hiding,  or  assisting  a  priest " ' 
(27  Eliz.  cap.  ii.)     And  if  my  readers  will  turn  to  the  lives  of 

•  So  also  Morison :  "  Non  recenseo  hie  ullum  in  bello  occisum,  quamvis  fidei  cauaa 

Preface.  \  \ 

Archbishop  O'Hurley,  Archbishop  Creagh,  or  Archbishop  Plun- 
ket,  tliey  will  see  how  little  their  deaths  were  due  to  anything 
save  their  religfion.  As,  however,  a  good  deal  of  misapprehension 
exists  on  this  subject,  it  may  be  well  briefly  to  trace  the  position 
of  the  Irish  bishops  and  priests  in  relation  to  the  civil  govern- 
ment from  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.  The  church  had  never  con- 
demned, nay,  she  had  sanctioned  the  resistance  of  the  Irish  to 
the  English  invaders  ;  but  from  the  time  that  their  pt)wer  became 
firmly  established  and  was  the  only  existing  government  within 
the  pale,  the  ecclesiastics  subject  to  their  sway  preached  obe- 
dience to  what  was  henceforth,  in  those  districts,  the  only  repre- 
sentative of  authority.  The  case  was  very  different  in  those 
parts  of  the  country  which  preserved  their  independence  for  cen- 
turies later ;  but,  as  I  have  before  mentioned,  there  was  not  from 
the  thirteenth  century  a  national  government  exercising,  or  even 
claiming,  supreme  authority  over  the  whole  kingdom.  In  the 
sixteenth  century  the  suzerainty  of  the  English  king  was  pretty 
generally  acknowledged  ;  even  the  great  O'Neill,  although  pre- 
serving a  virtual  independence,  did  not  claim  a  perfectly  inde- 
pendent sovereignty;  and  from  the  reign  of  Elizabeth,  the  sov- 
ereign of  England  was  acknowledged  as  the  only  de  facto  ruler 
of  Ireland.  Hence  bishops  and  priests,  in  pursuance  of  their 
duty  of  obedience  to  the  powers  that  be,  not  only  submitted  them- 
selves, but  preached  the  duty  of  submission  to  others.  Thus 
Dr.  Rooth'e  under  James  I.  wrote : 

"  I  know  that  the  inhabitants  of  Ireland,  the  subjects  of  our 
king,  are  contented  with  the  present  peace,  (as  the  subjects  of 
the  Roman  empire  under  Augustus  ;)  I  know  how  they  detest 
the  tumults  of  war,  and  desire  to  devote  themselves  to  the  arts 
of  peace  and  enjoy  its  sweets  ;  I  know  they  desire  nothing  more 
than  the  happiness  of  the  king  and  his  offspring,  and  that  under 
their  auspices  may  be  firmly  established  the  much-desired  peace 
and  indulgence  toward  the  Irish,  both  in  respect  to  other  mat- 
ters and  especially  in  those  matters  which  regard  religion,  the 
divine  worship,  and  the  profession  and  practices  of  the  ancient 

On  the  accession  of  Charles  I.  the  Irish  acknowledged  him  as 
their  legitimate  king;  and  when  his  English  subjects  rebelled 

12  Preface. 

against  him,  the  Irish  defended  his  cause  with  arms ;  and  the 
Catholic  synod  of  Killtenny  in  1641,  presided  over  by  Hugh 
O'Reilly,  Archbishop  of  Armagh,  declared :  "  Whereas,  the  war 
which  now  in  Ireland  the  Catholics  do  maintain  against  sectaries, 
and  chiefly  against  Puritans,  is  for  the  defence  of  the  Catholic 
religion,  for  the  maintenance  of  the  prerogative  and  royai  rights 
of  our  gracious  King  Charles,"  and  ordered  the  following  oath 
to  be  taken  by  all :  "  I,  A.  B.,  do  profess,  swear,  and  protest,  be- 
fore God  and  his  angels,  that  I  willj  during  my  life,  bear  true 
faith  and  allegiance  to  my  Sovereign  Lord  Charles,  by  the  grace 
of  God  King  of  Great  Britain,  France,  and  Ireland,  and  to  his 
heirs  and  lawful  successors."  The  Confederates  of  Kilkenny, 
indeed,  very  rightly  sought  at  the  same  time  to  secure  freedom 
for  their  own  religion,  and  the  exercise  of  their  own  civil  rights  j 
but  it  is  essential  to  remember  that  the  Confederation  of  Kil- 
kenny sought  to  maintain  the  rights  of  Ireland  under  the  existing 
dynasty  and  government,  (which,  although  alien  and  wrongful 
in  its  introduction,  could  then  claim  to  be  established  by 
time,)  not  to  substitute  by  revolution  a  new  government  for  it. 
The  scheme  of  making  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  king  of  Ireland 
found  little  favor,  even  when  Charles  was  wholly  unable  to  afford 
that  protection  which  is  the  correlative  of  obedience.  The  Irish 
of  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century  were,  indeed,  called 
rebels,  and  treated  as  such,  but  it  was  by  those  who  were  them- 
selves really  rebels  against  their  legitimate  sovereign,  the  repub- 
licans of  England  ;  and  the  Cromwellian  persecution  smote  them 
alike  for  their  fidelity  to  their  religion  and  to  their  king. 

Under  Charles  II.,  also,  the  Irish  Catholics  were  faithful  sub- 
jects ;  they  were  only  too  faithful  to  his  brother  James.  But  from 
the  time  when  the  dynasty  of  Orange  was  established  on  the  throne, 
it  was  obeyed  by  the  Catholic  priests  of  Ireland,  whose  one  rule 
was  to  mix  as  little  as  might  be  in  secular  politics,  and  under 
those  successive  and  different  governments,  all  alike  alien  m 
their  origin,  to  observe  the  apostle's  precept  to  be  subject  to  the 
powers  that  be.  This  is  well  stated  in  the  synodal  decrees  of 
the  province  of  Armagh  given  by  Dr.  Renehan  :*    "  AH  priests 

*  Renehan's  Bishops^  p.  118, 

Preface.  13 

are  to  take  care  not  to  mix  themselves  up,  either  publicly  or  pri- 
vately, with  affairs  of  state  or  of  temporal  government,  nor  to  in- 
cur the  enmity  of  the  king's  majesty  or  of  the  temporal  governors, 
unless  only  it  be  by  discharging  their  duty  to  God  and  their 
flocks  in  the  administration  of  spirituals,  leaving  to  Caesar  what 
is  Caesar's,  and  to  God  what  is  God's." 

But  if  they  were  ever  ready  to  obey  in  worldly  matters  the 
various  temporal  rulers  who  governed  Ireland,  they  were  inflexi- 
ble in  preserving  their  own  and  their  people's  higher  spiritual 
allegiance  to  their  Divine  Ruler  and  his  vicegerent  on  earth,  and 
to  them  we  owe  the  preservation  of  our  noblest  and  most  endur- 
ing nationality,  our  Catholicity.  Of  them  it  may  well  be  said, 
"  They  took  care  of  their  nation,  and  delivered  it  from  destruc- 
tion." Rightly  may  we  "praise  these  men  of  renown  and  our 
fathers  in  their  generation,"  for  they  preserved  for  us  the  faith, 
through  such  a  persecution  as  has  rarely,  if  ever,  elsewhere  been 
endured  :  "  they  had  trials  of  mockeries  and  stripes,  of  bands  and 
'  prisons,  they  were  stoned,  they  were  cut  asunder,  they  were 
tempted,  they  were  put  to  death  by  the  sword,  they  wandered' 
about  in  sheep-skins,  in  goat-skins,  being  in  want,  distressed,  of 
whom  the  world  was  not  worthy.  But  in  all  these  things  they 
overcame,  because  of  him  who  loved  us  ;"  and  by  their  sufferings 
has  been  preserved  to  Ireland,  not  only  the  faith,  but  also  the 
spirit  of  fidelity  and  sacrifice  of  which  they  have  left  such  glori- 
ous examples.  The  roll  of  those  who  suffered  open  violence  for 
the  faith  closes  with  1745,  but  not  then  ended  the  tale  of  those 
who  were  faithful  even  unto  death. 

For  one  hundred  years  more  (until  1829)  did  Irish  Catholics 
submit  to  the  privation  of  every  worldly  advantage  rather  than 
abandon  their  faith,*  "  accounting  all  things  as  dross  that  they 
might  gain  Christ."  Nay,  even  at  4  later  date,  when  in  1847  famine 
and  pestilence  smote  the  land  ;  when  "  our  skin  was  burnt  as  in 
an  oven  by  reason  of  the  violence  of  the  famine  ;  when  the  tongue 
of  the  suckling  child  stuck  to  the  roof  of  his  mouth  for  thirst ; 
when  the  little  ones  asked  for  bread  and  there  was  none  to  break 
it  to  them,  and  they  breathed  out  their  souls  on  the  breasts  of 

*  **Manum  suam  misit  bostis  ad  omnia  desidenibilia  eioa." 

14  Preface, 

their  mothers  ;"  when  it  might  truly  be  said,  "  It  was  better  with 
them  that  were  slain  by  the  sword  than  with  thew  that  died  with 
hunger ;"  and  when  the  generous  people  of  England,  of  France, 
of  Italy,  and  of  every  other  Christian  land  sent  abundant  alms 
to  our  famishing  people,  there  were  found  in  some  districts  of 
Ireland  men  base  enough  to  use  hunger  as  an  instrument  of  tor- 
ure  to  make  the  poor  forswear  their  religion,  who  offered  food 
and  clothing  as  the  price  of  apostasy,  and  tempted  our  starving 
peasants  to  barter,  like  Esau,  their  birthright  of  faith  for  a  mess 
of  pottage.  And  there  were  found  hundreds,  I  might  say  thou- 
sands— old  men,  and  weak  women,  and  tender  children,  whose 
names,  unrecorded  here,  are  registered  in  heaven — who  spurned 
the  temptation,  as  their  ancestors  had  done  before  them,  turned 
fainting  from  the  food  that  was  the  wages  of  sin,  and  purchased 
an  eternal  kingdom  by  a  death  of  hunger,  imitating  him  who 
"  chose  rather  to  be  afflicted  with  the  people  of  God  than  to  have 
the  pleasure  of  sin  for  a  time,"  because,  like  him,  "  they  looked  to 
the  reward."  And  others  there  were  who,  when  called  upon  by 
the  representatives  of  that  alien  church,  which  for  three  centuries 
had  sought  in  vain  to  bring  them  into  its  fold,  either  to  send 
their  children  to  schools  of  error  or  to  abandon  the  occupation 
of  the  land  on  which  they  lived,  hesitated  not,  but  left  home  and 
country  and  all  that  made  life  dear,  and  became  dwellers  in  a 
strange  land.  Truly  they  remembered  "  that  we  have  not  here 
a  lasting  city,  but  we  seek  one  that  is  to  come  ;  for  they  that  dp 
these  things  signify  that  they  seek  a  country  and  that  they  de- 
sire a  better,  that  is  to  say,  a  heavenly  country." 

It  cannot,  then,  be  doubtful  that  the  brief  records  of  those  who 
suffered  for  the  Catholic  faith  in  Ireland  will  be  welcome  to  their 
descendants  ;  nor  will  they  be  without  interest  even  for  strangers 
and  members  of  another  church.  The  age  of  strife  and  relio-ious 
persecution  is  paSt :  the  descendants  of  the  persecutors  and  the 
persecuted  are  now  citizens  of  a  common  country,  and  can  re- 
spect the  noble  deeds  of  all  her  former  children.  The  valor  and 
endurance  of  her  martial  sons  are  a  subject  of  pride,  whether  dis- 
played in  the  defence  of  Londonderry  or  of  Limerick,  at  Clontarf 
or  Benburb.  Far  more  does  the  record  of  undeserved  sufferings 
heroically  endured  for  conscience'  sake  claim  the  respect  of  all  • 

Preface.  i ; 

to  none  can  it  be  ungrateful,  save  to  those,  if  any  such  there  be, 
who  would  renew  the  persecutions  which  caused  them.  Of 
course,  these  memorials  have  a  deeper  interest  for  those  who  are 
of  the  household  of  the  faith  j  for  the  sons  of  those  who  for  the 

"  Spared  neither  land  nor  gold, 
Nor  son  nor  wife,  nor  limb  nor  life. 
In  the  brave  days  of  old  ;" 

for  those  who  now  fill  the  posts  in  the  church  once  occupied  by 
martyrs.  To  them,  and  to  their  predecessors,  may  I  apply  the 
words  addressed  after  the  French  Revolution  to  the  glorious 
clergy  of  France : 

"Hail,  venerable  priests  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church! 
You  have,  indeed,  suffered  much,  but  you  have  not  yet  come  to 
the  city  of  the  living  God  and  the  company  of  the  angels,  where 
the  Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  has  glorified  those  whom  he 
called  in  persecution  and  justified  by  the  shedding  of  blood  for 
the  faith.  Let  us  strew  a  few  flowers  on  the  tombs  of  our  martyrs. 
Hail,  you  who  were  mighty  in  war,  and  fought  with  the  Did  ser- 
pent !  O  glorious  confessors  of  our  God  and  his  Christ !  to 
whom  it  was  given  not  only  to  believe  in  him,  but  also  to  suffer 
Tor  him — ^you  who  endured  so  much  ignominy,  who  as  exiles  trod 
the  narrow  way  of  the  cross  amidst  the  applause  of  heaven  and 
the  wonder  of  the  earth,  behold  me  at  your  feet !  How  beauti- 
ful are  the  feet  of  those  who  were  witnesses  to  God  even  unto 
the  ends  of  the  earth !  And  you  who,  contemning  the  tempest 
and  the  swelling  waves,  ceased  not  intrepidly  to  cast  your  nets ; 
you  who,  placed,  as  it  were,  in  the  fiery  furnace,  continued 
to  bless  God,  to  do  good  to  men,  to  guard  your  flocks ;  you, 
burning  and  shining  lights,  who,  when  you  might  no  longer  be  as 
a  light  placed  on  a  candlestick  to  shine  to  all  in  the  house, 
sought  to  gather  as  many  as  you  might  under  the  bushel  where 
you  were  hidden,  as  a  hen  gathereth  her  chickens  under  her  wings 
— sacred  leaven  which  preserved  the  whole  body  from  perversion 
— you  blessed  priests,  to  whom  the  Lord  gave  the  spirit  of  heroic 
endurance  in  the  midst  of  dangers — hail,  true  soldiers  of  Christ  1 
Hail,  holy  priests,  worthy  of  double  honor  I      Praise  be  to  God 

l6  Preface. 

who  gave  to  you  this  victory,  through  Christ  our  Lord  I  Happy 
persecution  which  brought  you  such  a  reward !  Happy  prisons 
through  which  you  reached  the  heavenly  palaces  I  Happy  death 
which  gave  you  eternal  life  !  Holy  fathers,  glorious  brothers,  who 
now  joyfully  stand  around  the  throne  of  the  Lamb,  look  dowii 
from  heaven,  and  bring  help  to  your  brethren,  your  flocks,  youi 
countrymen.  We  are  still  in  the  strife,  while  you  have  atcainec 
the  happy  rest.     Aid  us  by  your  prayers."* 

*  AmMoct,  ASaittuU.  Sacsr* 


I  HAVE  thought  that  some  of  my  younger  readers  would  like  to 
have  a  short  account  of  the  principal  works  of  old  authors  here  quoted, 
with  a  note  of  where  they  may  be  found.  I  may  here  point  out  that  the 
plan  I  have  observed  is  to  give  wherever  possible  the  "  Memorials" 
in  the  exact  words  of  the  original  writers  from  whom  they  are  derived. 
This  plan  has  the  advantage  not  only  of  enabling  the  reader  to  judge 
for  himself,  but  of  presenting  a  more  lively  and  truthful  picture  than 
any  modern  rhtiini  could  give  :  it  tells  the  reader  not  only  the  facts, 
but  how  those  facts  affected  contemporaries,  and  how  they  judged 
them,  and  thus  furnishes  a  lively  picture  of  the  times — a  record  not 
only  of  the  actions,  but  of  the  thoughts  and  feelings  of  the  men  of 
those  days.  I  need  hardly  point  out  that  the  language  of  those  old 
writers  is  not  always  that  which  we  should  use :  thus,  they  designate 
as  sectaries  and  heretics  those  whom  we  are  accustomed  to  call  "  our 
dissenting  brethren  ;"  but  it  would  be  absurd  to  make  those  who  were 
fleeing  into  the  wilderness  before  the  exterminating  sword  of  the 
Cromwellians  speak  of  them  as  "erring  brethren."  Time  heals 
wounds  and  obliterates  animosities.  I  have  let  the  men  of  old  speak 
their  own  thoughts  in  their  own  language,  as  we  do  ours. 

Annales  Ordinis  Minorutn.  Auctore  Luca  Waddingo.  Romx,  1731.  Wadding's  well- 
known  annals  of  his  own  order.  This  work  is  to  be  found  iu  all  our  great  libraries,  as  the 
British  Museum,  Trinity  College,  Maynooth  College,  etc. 

Scriptores  Ordinis  MinoruTH,  quibus  accessit  syllabus  eortitn  qui  ex  eodetn  ordifte  pro  ftiU 
Cknsii  fortiter  occubueru?ti.  Rom^,  1806.  This  is  the  revised  and  continued  edition,  by 
Thisboralea,  of  the  work  by  Wadding.     It  is  in  Trinity  College,  etc. 

Acta  Sanctorum.  Colgan.  Lovanii,  1645.  The  preface  gives  an  account  of  the  death  of 
Fathers  Fleming  and  Ward,  two  of  the  compilers.  It  is  in  the  British  Museum,  Trinity  Col- 
lege, etc. 

Hibernia  Dominicana.  De  Burgo.  Col  Agrippina,  1762.  This  well-known  work  it  m 
all  our  public  and  many  of  our  private  libraries. 

iS  Index  of  Principal   Woi'ks  referred  to. 

Monumenia  D^minicana,  Fonseca.  Romx,  1665,  This  is  not  an  uncommon  work  :  T  hart 
myself  a  copy. 

Historia  Caikoltca  Compendium,  Auctore  O'Sullevano  Bearro.  Ulissiponi,  1621.  TIm 
original  is  in  the  British  Museum,  Trinity  College,  etc  The  reprint  of  1850  is  to  be  had 

Relatio  Persecutionia  Htbemia.  Auctore  Dominico  a  Rosario,  (0*Daly.)  And  HUt. 
Gerald,  Ulissip.  1655.  Is  in  the  British  Museum,  Trinity  Library,  etc.  A  translation  of  it 
by  Father  Meehan  was  published  by  Duffy  in  1847 

PropugTtaculum  Catholica  VeriiatiSy  etc.  Auctore  R.  P.  F.  Antonio  Bruodino.  Pragx, 
1669.     Is  in  Maynooth  Library. 

De  Regno  Hihemut.  A  Petro  Lombardo.  Lovanii,  1632.  Is  in  the  British  Museum, 

Lyra  sive  Anacepkalosis  Hihern.  Auctore  T.  Carve.  Sulibaci,  1666.  Is  in  the  Briti&h 
Museum,  etc 

Relatio  Viridica  Provincia  Hibemice  Ordinis  Minorum.  Auctore  R.  P.  le  Marchant, 
1651.  I  have  seen  this  very  curious  account  of  the  Franciscan  province  of  Ireland  at  that 
time  only  in  the  Bollandists'  Library,  Brussels. 

A  nalecia  Sacra  Nova  et  Mira  de  Rebiis  Catholicomm  in  Hibemia  pro  Fide  et  Religi- 
one  gesiis.  Auctore  N.  Phi^adelpho,  (Dr.  David  Roothe,  Bishop  of  Ossory.)  Colonic,  m  17. 
And  Processus  Martyrialist  etc.,  by  the  same  author.  The  first  printed  in  161 7,  the  second 
n  X619.  The  first  is  a  general  account  of  the  history  of  the  time  ;  the  second  contains  a  cata- 
logue and  lives  of  those  who  up  to  that  date  had  suffered  for  the  faith.  The  first  exists 
in  the  Bollandists*,  Louvain,  and  Antwerp  libraries,  and  a  copy  is  in  the  possession  of  his 
eminence  Cardinal  Cullen.  Of  the  second  I  only  know  three  copies,  one  in  the  Bollandists* 
Library,  one  in  the  library  of  Louvain  University,  and  the  third  in  MS.  in  my  possession,  for 
which  I  am  indebted  to  the  kindness  of  the  Rev.  T.  O'Hea. 

Socieias  Jesu  usque  ad  Sanguinentt  etc  Tanner.  Pragze,  1675.  This  volume  of  lives 
of  the  Jesuits  of  these  countries  who  suffered  for  the  faith  is  to  be  found  in  the  British  Mu» 
seum  and  some  of  our  other  libraries. 

Collections  toward  !iij4straiing  the  Biography  0/  lumbers  of  the  Society  o/yesus.  Exe 
ler,  1838.     By  Dr.  Oliver.    This  work  is  to  be  found  in  most  libraries. 

Persecuiio  Hibemia.  By  the  Irish  Seminary  of  Seville.  Printed  1619.  I  am  indebted 
for  my  knowledge  of  this  work,  which  is  in  the  library  of  St.  Isidore's,  Rome,  to  Dr.  Moran. 

Sanciorale  Cisterciensum.  Valladolid,  1613.  For  references  to  this,  which  is  to  be  found 
in  tlie  private  library  of  Propaganda,  Rome,  I  am  also  indebted  to  Dr.  Moran. 

Hi&lorical  Review  0/  the  Civil  JVars  in  Irclayid.     Curry.     Dublin,  1775.     Is  in  all  out 


Noiicias  Historicas  de  las  tres  Florentissimas  Provincias  del  Celeste  Orden  de  la  Sma, 
TrirJciad.  A  Fr.  Domingo  Lopez,  etc  Madrid,  1714.  This  curious  but,  I  fear,  apocry- 
phal work  is  to  be  found  in  the  library  of  Maynooth  College,  and  in  the  private  library  of 

Tlieologia  Tripartita.  Ardsdekin.  Antverpis,  1686.  At  the  end  is  an  account  of  Dr 
Talbot,  Dr.  Plunket,  and  some  others.     It  is  a  common  book,  and  in  all  our  libraries 

Pii  Antistitis  Icon,  sive  de  Vita  et  Morie  Reverendi  D.  Francisci  ICirTvan  AlLid^     ' 
Episcopi.     Authore  loanne  Lynchaso,  Archidiacono  Tuamensi.     Maclovii,  1640      Tl 
m  the  Grenville  Library,  in  the  British  Museum,  is  the  only  one  known  to  exist.     On  th    tl  - 
lesf  is  written  by  R.  Heber,  to  whom  the  book  belonged :  '*  I  believe  this  to  be  the 

Mamiscripts  in  the  Biirgiin  Han  lAbrary,  19 

volume  in  existence  connected  with  the  history  of  Ireland  and  thff  portrait  of  Bishop  Kirwaa 
prefixed  is  totally  unknown.'*  The  biographer,  John  Lynch,  titular  Archdeacon  of  Tuam 
fled  out  of  Ireland  into  France  after  the  surrender  of  Gal  *ay  to  Cromwell,  and  is  the  author 
of  the  scarce  and  well-known  work,  Catnbrensis  Eversiu  A  translation  by  Father  Meehan 
was  printed  by  Duffy  in  1848. 

Efiilogiis  Chronalogim  exponens  sitccincie  conventus  jit  fundationes  Sacri  Ordinis  Prt- 
dicatorum  in  Regno Hiberttue.  Lovanii,  1706.  Fr.  loanne  O'Heyn,  O.P.  It  gives  a  very 
■liort  account  of  each  convent,  and  its  most  remarkable  alumni.  The  book  is  scarce  ;  th« 
only  copy  I  know  of  in  Ireland  is  in  the  library  of  the  Dominican  convent,  Gal  way. 

Tkrenodia  Hibemo  Catholica^  she  Planctus  Universalis  Totius  Cleri  et  Populi  Regn 
Hibemia.  Per  F.  M.  Morisonum,  Ord.  Min.  Strict.  Obs.  (Eniponti,  1659.  Exists  in  the 
Grenville  Library,  British  Museum.    I  do  not  know  of  any  other  copy. 

I  need  hardly  mention  here,  as  they  are  so  well  known : 

Dr.  Renehaa*s  Collections  on  Church  History^  edited  by  Rev.  D.  McCarthy.  Dublin, 

Dr.  lA.Qr^n*&  Lives  0/  Archbishops  0/ Duilin  ;  Life  0/ Dr.  Plutiket ;  History  of  Perw 
cuiions,  etc 

Father  Meehan's  valuable  translation  oiO* Sullivan  Lynch  and  OtIierSy  and  his  last  work. 
Flight  of  the  Earls. 

Father  Cogan's  Diocese  of  Meath, 

The  various  calendars  of  State  Papers  published  by  the  Record  0£5ce. 


No.  3307.  A  Catalogue  of  the  Martyrs^  etc.,  of  the  Society  of  Jesus^  quoted  as  Catalog. 
Soc.  fesu.  It  is  a  catalogue  of  all  those  of  the  society  who  had  recently  (about  1700)  suffered 
for  the  faith 

No.  3159.  Magna  Supplicia  a  PersectUorihus  aliquot  Catholicorum  in  Ihernia  Sutn^t^, 
Written  about  1600.    A  very  curious  collection  of  contemporary  anecdotes. 

No.  3167.  Compendium  Martyrii  Reverendi  Cornelii  0*Dovanii.  An  account  of  tha 
martyrdom  of  Bishop  Dovany  in  1612,  written  by  a  contemporary.  Bound  up  with  tht 
same  is  a  curious  letter,  dated  15th  April,  1612,  from  the  Rev.  Father  Fleming,  of  the  Order 
of  St.  Dominick,  dated  from  the  convent  of  Dundalk.  This  is  curious  as  showing  that  at 
that  date  the  Dominican  convent  of  Carlingford  had  been  transferred  to  Dundalk. 

No.  3195.  De  Provincia  Hiberniee  Ordinis  Sancti  Francisci  Tractatus  a  Rev.  Do 
naio  Mooney.  Anno  1637.  This  account  of  the  Franciscan  proWnce  of  Ireland  has  been 
frequently  referred  to,  and  a  good  part  of  it  pubhshed  in  Duffy's  Magazine  by  Father 

No.  3824.  Lettres  des  Jisuites  Anglais^  or  Correspondance  des  Pires  yisuites  Irlandai*. 
This  is  the  collection  of  letters  from  Irish  Jesuits  and  others,  giving  the  life  of  Htnry 
Slingsby,  which  my  readers  will  find  under  the  year  i64i. 


Anno   1B30. 

It  has  frequently  been  remarked  as  extraordinary  that 
the  early  annals  of  the  Irish  Church  did  not  record  a  sin- 
gle martyr :  such  was  the  gentleness  and  docility  of  the 
pagans  of  Ireland  of  the  time  of  St.  Patrick  that  their  con- 
version was  effected  without  provoking  any  violence  or 
the  death  of  a  single  missionary.  But  the  history  of  the 
Irish  Church  was  not  to  be  peaceable  to  the  end.  Heresy 
smote  where  paganism  had  spared,  and  the  sixteenth  and 
seventeenth  centuries  saw  the  Church  of  Ireland  purpled 
in  the  blood  of  her  martyrs. 

King  Henry  VIII.,  having  plunged  England  into  the 
guilt  of  heresy  and  schism,  resolved  to  make  Ireland  a 
sharer  in  the  same  fate. 

Accordingly,  the  death  of  Archbishop  Allen,  in  1534, 
having  caused  a  vacancy  in  the  see  of  Dublin,  Henry  ap- 
pointed, in  March,  1535,  Doctor  George  Browne,  an  Eng- 
lish Augustinian  friar,  to  the  vacant  bishopric  ;  and,  without 
any  confirmation  from  Rome,  he  was  consecrated  by  Cran- 
mer,  and  received  from  him,  in  compliance  with  the  schis- 

S2  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

matical  act  lately  passed  in  the  English  Parliament,  the 
pallium  and  other  insignia  of  his  dignity. 

This  schismatical  intruder  into  the  see  of  Dublin  found 
a  zealous  coadjutor  in  the  then  Bishop  of  Meath,  Doctor 
Edward  Staples,  an  Englishman,  who  had  been  appointed 
to  the  see  of  Meath,*  in  1530,  by  Pope  Clement  VII.,  at  the 
request  of  Henry  VIII.  By  their  advice,  a  Parliament  was 
convened  in  1536,  which,  after  the  spiritual  proctors  had 
been  illegally  deprived  of  the  right  of  voting,  and  great 
menaces  on  the  part  of  the  king  had  been  used,  at  length 
passed  an  act  vesting  the  supremacy  of  the  church  in  the 
king.  As  Henry  was  thus  proclaimed  head  of  the  church, 
it  was  deemed  necessary  to  secure  him  a  tribute  from  the 
ecclesiastical  property.  Hence  an  act  was  passed  giving 
him  the  first-fruits  of  every  benefice  and  the  twentieth 
part  of  the  profits  of  all  spiritual  benefices. 

The  same  Parliament,  which  thus,  at  the  dictation  of  the 
king,  waged  war  against  our  faith,  also  waged  war  against 
our  national  usages,  and  even  against  our  existence  as  a 
people.  Thus  we  find  one  act  passed  for  encouraging 
"the  English  order,  habit,  and  language,"  while  it  pre- 
scribed that  spiritual  preferment  should  be  given  "  only  to 
such  as  could  speak  English,  unless,  after  four  proclamations 
in  the  next  market-town,  such  could  not  be  found."  Should 
any  Irishman  perchance  be  promoted  to  any  benefice,  there 
was  an  oath  imposed,  "  that  he  would  endeavor  to  learn 
and  teach  the  English  tongue,  to  all  and  every  being  un- 
der his  rule,  and  to  bid  the  beads  in  the  English  tongue, 
and  preach  the  word  of  God  in  English,  if  he  can  preach." 
These  legislators  evidently  believed  it  impossible  to  make 
the  Irish  embrace  heresy  unless  they  could  make  them 

•  Staples  really  was  Bishop  of  Meath,  having  been  duly  appointed  and  conseaated    al- 
though he  afterward  apostatized :    but  Browne  never  was  ArtJibishop  of  Dublin,  never  Ii 
ing  been  lawfiilly  fleeted  or  consecrated.     He  «as,  as  he  himself  said,  *'  rnade  <aT^I-hU\'^\ 
kr  t/u  kinf"     See  his  letter  Quoted  in  Dr.  Moran's  A  rtiMshpfis  of  Dublin-,  p.  4.  ' 

In  the  Reign  of  Henry    VIII.  23 

cease  to  be  Irish  *  But  it  was  one  thing  to  have  laws 
passed  by  a  timorous  Parliament,  it  was  anotlier  to  enforce 
their  observance.  In  a  large  part  of  Ireland,  inhabited  by 
the  original  Irish,  the  authority  of  Parliament  was  little  re- 
spected, and  even  in  the  pale  the  clergy  and  people  ap- 
pear to  have  very  little  regarded  the  parliamentary  decrees 
which  transferred  the  supremacy  from  the  pope  to  the 
king.  Except  Browne  and  Staples,  no  bishops  appear  to 
have  leaned  toward  the  new  opinions,  as  they  were  call- 
ed ;  and  in  1538  we  find  Browne  writing  to  Cromwell  that 
not  even  in  the  diocese  of  Dublin  "  can  I  persuade  or  in- 
duce onye,  either  religious  or  secular,  sithens  my  comyng 
over,  ons  to  preache  the  word  of  God,  or  the  just  title  of 
our  moste  illustrious  prince."  f  But  the  most  urgent  de- 
sire of  Henry  was  not  the  change  of  the  religious  opinions 
of  the  people,  but  the  plunder  of  the  wealth  of  the  church. 
In  1536,  the  first  grant  of  religious  houses  was  made  to 
the  king  by  the  authority  of  the  Irish  Parliament.  This 
gjant  comprised  three  hundred  and  seventy  monasteries. 
In  the  following  year,  by  virtue  of  a  commission  under  the 
Great  Seal  of  England,  eight  abbeys  were  suppressed,  and 
in  1538  a  further  order  was  issued  for  the  suppression  of  all 
the  monasteries  and  abbeys.  In  some  cases  the  superiors 
of  these  religious  houses  surrendered  without  opposition 
the  charge  entrusted  unto  them,  but  whenever  they  could 
not  be  induced  by  threats  or  promises  to  resign  their  mo- 
nasteries, to  the  crown,  severer  m.easures  were  resorted 
to  ;  and  one  instance  is  especially  recorded  of  Manus 
O'Fihily,  the  last  Abbot  of  St.  Mary^s,  Thurles,  who,  on  a 
refusal  to  comply  with  the  wishes  of  the  crown,  was  car- 
ried a  prisoner  to  Dublin,  and  subjected  to  a  long  and 
painful  imprisonment.  J 

I  cannot  better  describe  the  persecution  of  the  Catho- 

•  See  Dr.  Koran,  chap.  i.  t  Diocae  ef  Meath,  p.  90. 

+  Grose's  Irish  AniiquUui,  ii,  85,  quoted  by  Dr.  Moran. 

24  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

lies  Ihan  in  the  words  of  the  Four  Masters  (ad  an.  iS37)  = 
"A  heresy  and  a  new  error  broke  out  in  England,  the 
effects  of  pride,  vainglory,  avarice,  sensual  desire,  and  the 
prevalence  of  a  variety  of  scientific  and  philosophical 
speculations,  so  that  the  people  of  England  went  into  op- 
position to  the  pope  and  to  Rome.  At  the  same  time 
they  followed  a  variety  of  opinions,  and  adopting  the  old 
law  of  Moses,  after  the  manner  of  the  Jewish  people,  they 
gave  the  title  of  head  of  the  church  of  God,  during  his 
reign,  to  the  king.  There  were  enacted  by  the  king  and 
council  new  laws  and  statutes  after  their  own  will.  They 
ruined  the  orders  who  were  permitted  to  hold  worldly  pos- 
sessions, namely,  monks,  canons  regular,  nuns,  and  Breth- 
ren of  the  Cross  ;  and  also  the  four  mendicant  orders — the 
Franciscans,  the  Preachers,  the  Carmelites,  and  the  Augus- 
tinians.  The  possessions  and  livings  of  all  these  were 
taken  up  for  the  king.  They  broke  into  the  monasteries  ; 
they  sold  their  roofs  and  bells,  so  there  was  not  a  monas- 
tery from  Arann  of  the  Saints  to  the  Iccian  Sea  that  was 
not  broken  and  scattered,  except  only  a  few  in  Ireland, 
which  escaped  the  notice  and  attention  of  the  English. 
They  further  burned  and  broke  the  famous  images,  shrines, 
and  relics  of  Ireland  and  England.  After  that  they  burn- 
ed, in  like  manner,  the  celebrated  image  of  Mary,  which 
was  at  Ath-Trium,  which  used  to  perform  wonders  and 
miracles,  and  at  which  were  healed,  the  blind,  the  deaf,  the 
lame,  and  the  sufferers  from  all  diseases  ;  and  the  staff  of 
Jesus,  which  was  in  Dublin,  performing  miracles  from  the 
days  of  St.  Patrick  down  to  that  time,  and  which  was  in 
the  hands  of  Christ  while  he  was  among  men.  They  also 
made  archbishops  and  bishops  for  themselves,  and  al- 
though great  was  the  persecution  of  the  Roman  emperors 
against  the  "church,  it  is  not  probable  that  so  great  a  per- 
secution as  this  ever  came  upon  the  world  ;  so  it  is  impos- 
sible to  tell  or  narrate  its  description,  unless  it  shou  d  be 

In  the  Reign  of  Henry   VIII.  25 

told  by  him  who  saw  it."  Under  the  year  1540,  we  shall 
meet  with  a,  particular  instance,  recorded  by  the  same  an- 
nalist, of  the  martyrdom  of  some  of  their  own  order. 

Anno    1BS9. 

The  Spanish  writer  Lopez  gives,  under  this  year  and 
154s,  the  martyrdom  of  a  large  number  of  Trinitarian  fa- 
thers, but,  as  there  is  great  doubt  as  to  the  accuracy  of 
those  accounts  in  Lopez,  I  shall  not  here  insert  them. 

Anno    1B40. 


"  The  English,  in  every  place  throughout  Ireland  where 
they  established  their  power,  persecuted  and  banished  the 
nine  religious  orders,  and  particularly  they  destroyed  the 
monastery  of  Monaghan,  and  beheaded  the  guardian  and  a 
number  of  the  friars." — Annals  of  Four  Masters,  at  this 


— • — 

Anno  ISOO. 


During  the  reign  of  Henry  VIIL,  Meath  had  been  dis- 
graced by  an  apostate  bishop.  Dr.  Edward  Staples,  an 
Englishman,  had  been  appointed  in  1 530,  at  the  request  of 
Henry  VIIL,  Bishop  of  Meath.  As  to  the  early  years  of 
his  episcopate  little  is  known.  In  1534,  he  fled  to  England, 
in  order  to  escape  the  anger  of  Silken  Thomas,  then  in 
rebellion,  to  whom  he  had  made  himself  obnoxious.  In 
1535,  he  returned  to  the  diocese  of  Meath,  deeply  infected 
with  the  principles  of  the  Reformation  •  and  from  that  time 

26  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

he  was  a  willing  assistant  of  Dr.  Browne,  the  intruder 
into  the  see  of  Dublin,  in  the  work  of  despoiling  the 
monasteries  and  endeavoring  to  force  the  new  heresy  on 
the  Irish  people. 

Mary  asceilded  the  throne  in  1553,  and  in  April,  1554, 
Dr.  Dowdall,  Archbishop  of  Armagh,  lately  returned  from 
banishment,  and  Dr.  William  Walsh,  received  a  com- 
mission to  proceed  against  immoral  ecclesiastics,  and  to 
depose  such  as  were  married  and  impenitent.  By  their 
authority,  Edward  Staples  was,  in  June  of  the  same  year, 
removed  from  the  diocese  of  Meath,  deprived  of  his  bene- 
fice, and  suspended  from  all  ecclesiastical  jurisdiction,  and 
this  Dr.  William  Walsh  was  afterward  duly  appointed 
Bishop  of  Meath. 

Sir  James  Ware  says  that  he  was  a  native  of  Waterford ; 
but  another  authority,  who  certainly  had  better  opportu- 
nities of  information,  namely,  John  alias  Malachy  Hortrey, 
a  Cistercian  monk  of  the  Abbey  of  Holy  Cross,  in  a  manu- 
script treatise  entitled  De  Cistertiensium  Hibemorum 
Viris  Illustribus,  states  that  William  Walsh  was  born  at 
Dunboyne,  county  Meath,  joined  the  Cistercian  order,  and 
lived  in  the  Abbey  of  Bective,  previous  to  its  suppression. 
Whatever  doubt  there  may  be  about  the  place  of  his  birth 
and  his  early  history,  there  is  none  whatever  as  to  his 
eminent  virtues,  distinguished  abilities,  and  the  heroic 
fortitude  with  which  he  bore  numerous  and  prolonged 
sufferings  for  the  faith.  His  unbending  orthodoxy  and 
opposition  to  the  innovations  of  Henry  VHI.  and  Edward 
VI.  marked  him  out  for  promotion  after  the  accession  of 
Mary,  and  accordingly  we  find  him  associated  with  the 
zealous  primate.  Dr.  Dowdall,  in  the  commission  to  drive 
from  the  sanctuary  all  such  as  were  faithless  to  their  trust. 
A  cong^  d  Vlire  was  issued  to  the  Archdeacon  and  clergy 
of  Meath  for  the  election  of  Dr.  Walsh,  and,  after  having 
received  the  royal  assent  and  the  confirmation  of  the  Holy 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  27 

See,  he  addressed  the  following  petition  to  Mary  and 
Philip : 

"  Petition  of  William  Walsh,  stating  that  he  was  elected 
bishop  by  the  chapter  and  clergy  of  the  bishopric  of  Meath, 
and  had  for  his  consecration  their  graces'  letters-patent; 
but,  not  having  his  lawful  consecration  from  the  Universal 
Catholic  Church,  like  other  bishops,  he  could  not,  with  good 
conscience,  be  consecrated  ;  and  stating  that  he  was  sent 
into  Ireland  at  his  own  cost,  by  commission,  to  deprive 
certain  married  bishops  and  priests,  and  was  so  occupied 
in  execution  of  this  office  that  he  could  not  attend  to  hip 
consecration.  He  therefore  prays  a  grant  of  the  tem- 
poralities of  the  see  from  the  date  of  the  deprivation  of  the 
late  incumbent,  which  was  the  feast  of  Saints  Peter  and 
Paul  last  past." 

On  the  receipt  of  this  petition  the  king  and  queen 
wrote  to  the  Lord  Deputy,  the  Chancellor,  and  the  Coun- 
cil of  Ireland,  thus : 

"  We  send  you  herein  enclosed  a  supplication  exhibited 
to  us  by  our  loving  subject.  Dr.  Walsh,  Bishop  of  Meath 
elect.  He  desires  the  temporalities  of  the  bishopric  from 
the  time  of  the  deprivation  of  the  late  incumbent.  Our 
pleasure  is  that  you  shall  give  order  to  make  forth  an 
7itterlemagne,  under  our  Great  Seal,  whereby  he  may  enjoy 
the  whole  temporalities  of  the  bishopric  from  the  time 
of  the  amotion  or  deprivation  of  the  late  incumbent." — 
Oct.  1 8th,  1st  and  2d  Mary  and  Philip. 

Dr.  Walsh  was  consecrated  about  the  close  of  1554,  and 
immediately  applied  himself  with  zeal  and  energy  to  reform 
abuses,  and  to  heal  the  wounds  which  during  the  last  two 
reigns  had  been  inflicted  on  faith,  morals,  and  discipline. 
The  period  of  his  usefulness  was,  however,  destined  to  be 
brief,  and  he  had  time  merely  to  stimulate  his  priests  and 
to  fortify  his  diocese  when  the  gathering  storm  burst  over 
the   Irish    Church,  and  sacrificed    the   Bishop  of  Meath 

28  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

among  its  first  and  noblest  victims.  Queen  Mary  died 
in  1558,  and  was  succeeded  by  Elizabeth,  who  at  once 
publicly  embraced  the  reformed  tenets,  and  proceeded  to 
have  them  enforced  on  all.  In  1560,  an  act  was  passed, 
under  the  deputyship  of  the  Earl  of  Suffolk,  which  ordered 
all  ecclesiastical  persons,  judges,  officers,  justices,  mayors, 
and  all  the  other  queen's  officers,  to  take  the  oath  of 
supremacy  under  penalty  of  forfeiture,  and  also  enacted 
that  if  any  person  should,  by  writing,  printing,  teaching, 
preaching,  by  express  words,  deed,  or  act,  maintain  any 
foreign  spiritual  jurisdiction,  he  should  for  the  first  offence  ■ 
forfeit  all  his  goods  and  suffer  one  year's  imprisonment, 
for  the  second  offence  should  incur  the  penalty  of  prae- 
munire, and  for  the  third  be  deemed  guilty  of  high  treason. 
(2.d  Eliz.  cap.  i.) 

It  was  now  the  fidelity  of  Dr.  Walsh  was  tested  to  the 
utmost.  Had  he,  like  a  few  of  his  contemporaries,  sacrific- 
ed conscience  to  expediency,  worldly  comfort  and  ephe- 
meral honor  were  soon  to  have  been  his  portion.  But  he 
felt  he  had  a  higher  authority  to  obey  than  Queen  Eliza- 
beth, and  hence  he  repudiated  her  pretensions  to  rule  the 
church,  and  guarded  his  flock,  even  at  the  peril  of  his  life, 
against  her  parliamentary  creed.  Ware  thus  narrates  the 
event : 

"  After  the  return  of  the  Earl  of  Sussex  to  Ireland,  let- 
ters came  from  her  majesty  signifying  her  pleasure  for  a 
general  meeting  of  the  clergy  of  Ireland,  and  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  Piotestant  religion  through  the  several 
dioceses  of  this  kingdom.  Among  the  bishops,  the  Bishop 
of  Meath  was  very  zealous  for  the  Romish  Church ;  not 
content  with  what  offers  her  majesty  had  proposed,  but 
very  much  enraged,  (after  the  assembly  had  dispersed 
themselves,)  he  fell  to  preach  against  the  Common  Prayer 
in  his  diocese  at  Trim,  which  was  newly  come  over  and 
ordered   to  be   observed,  for  which   the  lord   heutenant 

/;/■  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  29 

confined  him  till  he  acquainted  her  majesty  with  it,  who 
sent  over  her  orders  to  clap  him  up  in  prison.  Within  a 
few  months  after,  persisting  in  the  same  mind,  he  was 
deposed,  and  the  bishopric  of  Meath  was  about  two  years 
vacant,  till,  by  her  majesty's  provision,  Hugh  Brady  became 
Walsh's  successor."* 

On  the  i6th  of  July,  1565,  Adam  Loftus,  Protestant 
Archbishop  of  Armagh,  writes  to  Sir  William  Cecil : 

"  The  Xlllth  of  this  monthe  by  vertu  of  our  commission 
for  cawsis  ecclesiastycall,  we  committed  to  the  castell  of 
Dublyn,  doctor  Welcke,  late  byssippe  of  Methe,  there  to 
remayne  untill  the  queenes  majesties  pleasure  were 
knowne.  He  refused  the  othe  and  to  answer  such  articles 
as  we  required  of  him  ;  and  besides  that,  ever  sithens  the 
last  parliament,  he  hath  manifestly  contemned  and  openly 
showed  himself  to  be  a  mislyker  of  all  the  queenes  ma- 
jesties proceedings ;  he  openly  protested  before  all  the 
people  the  same  day  he  was  before  us,  that  he  would  never 
communicate  or  be  present  (by  his  will)  where  the  service 
should  be  ministrid,  for  it  was  against  his  conscience  and 
(as  he  thought)  against  God's  woord.  If  it  shall  seeme 
good  to  your  honour  and  the  rest  of  her  majesties  most 
honourable  counseyle,  in  myne  opinion,  it  wer  fit  he  showld 
be  sent  to  England,  and  peradventure  by  conferringe  with 
the  lerned  bishoppes  there,  he  might  be  brought  to  sum 
conformitie  ;  he  is  one  of  great  creadit  amongst  his  coun- 
trimen,  and  uppon  whome  (as  tutchinge  cawsis  of  re- 
ligion) thay  wholy  depend."! 

As  no  pretext  could  be  devised  for  leading  him  to  the 
scaifold,  he  once  more  received  the  culprit's  chains,  (he  bore 

•  Ware's  A  nnals^  1560.  1  need  hardly  say  it  was  only  the  temporalities  of  the  see  of  Meath 
which  were  given  to  Brady. .  William  Walsh  continued  lawful  Bishop  of  Meath  till  his  death. 

t  All  his  biographers  agree  that  Dr.  Walsh  passed  between  twelve  and  thirteen  years  in 
prison  :  and  he  escaped  about  Christmas,  1572.  He  would  therefore  appear  to  have  been  im- 
prisoned a  first  time  in  1560,  and  more  definitely  consigned  to  prison  in  1565  See  Henri- 
guex  and  his  EpUaph  ap.  Moran  and  Co^an. 

30  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  scars  of  them  to  his  tomb,)  and  was  reconducted  to  his 
former  prison  ;  this  was  "  a  subterraneous  dungeon,  damp 
and  noisome — not  a  ray  of  light  penetrated  thither ;  and 
for  thirteen  years  this  was  his  unvarying  abode."  During 
all  that  time  his  food  was  of  the  coarsest  kind,  and,  with 
the  exception  of  rare  intervals,  when  the  intercession  of 
some  influential  friends  obtained  a  momentary  relaxation, 
he  was  allowed  no  occupation  that  could  cheer  the  tedium 
of  his  imprisonment.  In  all  this  lengthened  martyrdom, 
prayer  was  his  resource,  and,  as  he  himself  subsequently 
avowed,  he  oftentimes  passed  whole  days  and  nights  over- 
whelmed with  heavenly  consolations,  so  that  his  dungeon 
seemed  transformed  into  a  paradise  of  delights.  To  pre- 
clude the  possibihty  of  idleness,  he  procured  a  bed  made 
of  twisted  cords,  and  whensoever  his  mind  was  fatigued 
with  prayer,  he  applied  himself  to  untie  those  cords,  and 
often  was  he  well  wearied  with  the  exertion  before  he 
could  reunite  them  to  compose  himself  to  sleep. 

His  persecutors,  overcome  by  his  constancy,  and  finding 
his  fervor  in  spiritual  contemplation  a  continual  reproach 
to  their  own  wickedness,  at  length,  about  Christmas,  1572, 
connived  at  his  escape.  Sailing  from  our  shores,  his  only 
regret  was  to  abandon  the  field  of  his  spiritual  labors,  and 
to  leave  his  flock  defenceless  amid  the  many  enemies  that 
now  compassed  its  destruction.  He  says  himself,  (letter 
of  July  sth,  1573,)  "  I  was  snatched  from  that  place  by  the 
liberality  and  care  of  my  friends,  and  having  met  with  the 
opportunity  of  a  ship  of  Brittany,  I  threw  myself  into  it, 
not  heeding  my  age,  which  was  above  sixty  years,  or  my 
state  of  health,  deeming  it  safer  to  trust  my  life  to  the  dan- 
ger of  the  sea  than  again  to  experience  the  cruelty  of  the 
enemies  of  the  Catholic  religion."  For  sixteen  days  he 
was  tossed  on  the  waves  by  a  violent  storm,  and  was  at 
length  driven  in  shipwreck  on  the  coast  of  France. 
Weighed  down  with  the  infirmities  which  he  had  contract- 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  31 

ed  in  prison,  and  with  the  burden  of  more  than  sixty 
years,  he  was  compelled  to  remain  for  six  months  unknown 
and  abandoned  in  Nantes.  At  length,  receiving  aid  from 
the  nuncio,  he  proceeded  to  Paris,  and  thence  to  Spain; 
The  closing  years  of  his  life  were  spent  in  Alcald.*  A 
noble  Spanish  lady  received  him  into  her  house,  and  at- 
tended him  as  though  he  were  an  angel  from  heaven. 
The  sores  which  yet  remained  from  his  dungeon  chains 
she  kissed  as  the  trophies  of  his  martyrdom.  She  would 
allow  none  but  herself  to  wait  on  him,  and  on  her  knees 
she  usually  dressed  his  wounds  and  ministered  to  his 
wants.  From  this  asylum  of  charity,  thus  providentially 
prepared  for  him,  he  passed  to  the  convent  of  the  Cisterci- 
an fathers  in  the  same  city,  and  there,  on  the  4th  of  Janu- 
ary, 1577,  he  happily  closed  his  earthly  life,  which,  as  many 
attested,  he  had  never  sullied  by  any  stain  of  mortal  sin.f 
His  remains  were  placed  in  the  Collegiate  Church  of  Saint 
Secundinus,  and  a  monument  erected  over  them  by  the 
Bishop  of  Grenada,  with  the  following  inscription  : 

"  Here  lieth  William  Walsh,  a  Cistercian  monk,  and  Bi- 
shop of  Meath,  who,  after  thirteen  years'  imprisonment, 
and  many  labors  for  the  Catholic  faith,  at  last  died  in 
exile  at  Alcala,  on  the  day  before  the  nones  of  January, 


He  is  held  in  veneration  by  his  Cistercian  brothers  as  a 
holy  martyr  in  the  cause  of  the  Catholic  faith,  and  his 
memory  lives  in  benediction  in  the  diocese  he  adorned.^ 

*  Alcald,  called  by  the  Romans  Complutum.  It  was  here  Cardinal  Ximenes  had  the  Con^- 
^^iensiaft  Polyglot^  as  it  was  called,  printed. 

t  "  Con  grandissima  ragione  fu  questo  stimato  martire  e  ricevuto  per  santo  come  quello  cha 
ii.tiutoildecorsodi  sua  vita  mai  con  peccato  grave  aveva  macchiata  I'innocenza  battes&imale." 
— A'n-rtyrolog.  Cisterc.  MS.  ap.  Moran. 

X  The  life  of  Dr.  Walsh  I  have  taken  entirely  from  his  two  learned  modern  biographers, 
•  Dr.  Moran,  in  his  introduction  to  the  History  of  the  Catholic  Archbishops  0/  Dublin^  z.nA 
Rev.  A.  Cog  in,  Diflcese  0/  Meatk^  where  the  reader  will  find  the  original  authorities  re- 
Cerred  tc*. 

32  Martyrs  attd  Confessors 

Anno   1B6S. 


The  occurrence  in  which  these  confessors  suffered  is 
undoubted,  but  there  is  a  slight  confusion  as  to  the  name 
of  the  second.  "  In  this  year  the  heretical  soldiers  attack- 
ed the  convent  of  the  Franciscans  in  Armagh,  and  called 
upon  such  of  the  brethren  as  had  not  effected  their  escape 
to  renounce  the  Catholic  religion,  and  acknowledge  the 
queen's  supremacy.  Upon  their  refusal,  they  were  bound 
and  most  cruelly  flogged  to  make  them  abjure,  but  in  vain, 
and  the  soldiers  at  length  left  them  half-dead."  This  is 
the  first  instance  of  military  floggings  for  religion's  sake  ; 
but  from  this  date  they  never  ceased  in  Ireland  until  the 
present  century,  many  innocent  Catholics  having  been 
flogged  to  death  in  1 798  :  among  others,  two  who  died  un- 
der the  stripes  in  the  barrack  of  Dundalk. 

Anno  1568. 


The  life  of  this  remarkable  confessor  has  been  so  well 
and  ably  written  by  Dr.  Moran  that,  with  the  kind  permis- 
sion of  the  author,  we  give  it  in  his  words.  Father 
Wolf  is  enumerated  in  the  catalogue  of  martyrs  and  con- 
fessors given  by  Dr.  Roothe  in  his  Analecta. 

One  of  the  most  remarkable  men  who,  during  the  fiist 
years  of  Elizabeth's  reign,  labored  in  our  Irish  Church  to 


•  The  only  notices  I  have  found  of  these  confessors  is  in  Luke  Wadding's  Scriptures  Ordi- 
i  Minorum,  and  hhAmuifes  Ordinis  Min.  ii.  1391.  In  the  first  passage  their  namss  are 
given  as  Conacius  Macuarta,  Rogerus  MacCongail,  and  Fergallus  Bardeus.  In  the  second 
passage  Macuarta  and  MacCongail  are  not  mentioned  ;  but  the  sufferings  of  Fergallus  Var- 
dL^us  and  Henricus  Femlamaidh  are  commemorated.  Probably  there  were  four  who  suffered. 
Apparently  Wadding  has  confoun-led  Fergial  Ward,  who  was  hanged  in  1577,  with  the  others 
wh«  were  thus  scourged  in  1565.     See  later,  at  the  year  1577. 

In  the  Reigii  of  Elizabeth.  3  3 

gather  together  the  scattered  stones  of  the  sanctuary,  was 
Father  David  Wolf,  a  member  of  the  Order  of  St.  Ignati- 
us. A  native  of  Limerick,  he  spent  seven  years  in  Rome, 
imbibing  the  full  spirit  of  his  order,  under  the  immediate 
guidance  of  its  holy  founder  and  St.  Francis  Borgia  ;  and 
in  August,  1560,  he  was  sent  by  the  Holy  See,  with  all 
the  privileges  of  apostolic  commissary,  to  confirm  his 
countrymen  in  the  faith,  amid  the  impending  persecutions 
of  Elizabeth.  His  chief  care  was  to  propose  learned  and 
zealous  men  to  fill  the  vacant  sees  of  our  island  ;  and  the 
names  of  Richard  Creagh,  of  Armagh,  Donald  McConghail, 
of  Raphoe,  Eugene  O'Hart,  of  Achonry,  Maurice  McBrian, 
of  Emly,  to  omit  many  others,  are  a  sure  guarantee  of  the 
fidelity  with  which  he  fulfilled  this  charge. 

Father  Wolf  resided,  for  the  most  part,  in  his  native  dio- 
cese ;  but  his  jurisdiction  extended  to  the  whole  island, 
and  we  find  him  incidentally  referred  to  in  contemporary 
records  as  visiting  the  district  of  Tyrone,  and  again  as 
travelling  through  various  dioceses  of  Connaught  and  Ul- 
ster. The  English  agents  were  filled  with  alarm  at  the  pre- 
sence in  the  country  of  one  who,  by  public  acclamation, 
received  the  title  of  papal  nuncio;  and  when,  in  1561, 
Tope  Pius  IV.  invited  Queen  Elizabeth  to  send  her  repre- 
sentatives to  the  Council  of  Trent,  she  absolutely  refused, 
assigning  as  one  of  the  chief  reasons  for  her  displeasure 
that  "an  Irishman  (Father  Wolf)  had  been  sent  from 
Rome  to  Ireland  to  excite  their  disaffection  against  her 
crown."  So  watchful  were  the  agents  of  the  English  gov- 
ernment in  pursuit  of  the  Jesuit  father  that  he  was  for  sev- 
eral years  unabl6  to  enter  v/ithin  the  Hmits  of  the  pale  ; 
and  we  find  him,  when  delegating  his  jurisdiction  for  Dub- 
lin and  its  vicinity  to  Father  Newman,  in  1563,  affirming 
that,  so  many  were  the  dangers  which  beset  his  journey 
thither,  he  feared  to  visit  that  district. 

Among  the  papi-rs  of  tjic  secret  archives  of  the  Vati- 

34  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

can  there  is  one  which  was  presented  in  1560  to  the  Car- 
dinal Protector  of  Ireland,  and  which  sketches  the  course 
to  be  pursued  by  the  agents  of  the  Holy  See  while  pei- 
forming  the  visitation  of  our  island.  A  few  extracts  will 
suffice  to  prove  how  full  of  responsibility  and  peril  was  the 
mission  entrusted  to  the  disciple  of  St.  Ignatius  :  "  His 
first  care  shall  be  to  visit  the  Catholic  leaders,  and  especi- 
ally the  four  chief  princes  of  the  kingdom,  to  commend,  in 
the  name  of  his  holiness,  their  unflinching  constancy  and 
zeal,  and  to  encourage  them  to  persevere  in  the  defence  of 
the  Catholic  faith."  '  The  bishops  also  were  to  be  visited, 
"  to  see  if  they  resided  in  their  dioceses  and  instructed  their 
flocks  ;  if  they  were  attentive  to  the  due  decorum  of  the 
sacred  edifices,  and  vigilant  in  selecting  zealous  and 
worthy  ministers  for  the  altar."  As  to  the  clergy,  he  was 
to  inquire  into  their  manner  of  administering  the  sacra- 
ments, and  to  afford  them  every  aid,  especially  in  adminis- 
tering the  holy  sacraments  of  confession  and  communion, 
in  preaching  the  word  of  truth,  and  in  exhorting  their  Cath- 
olic flocks  to  lead  holy  and  Christian  lives.  Should  any 
heretical  minister  be  found,  the  agent  of  Rome  was  to 
guard  the  people  against  the  contagion  of  his  errors,  and, 
above  all,  to  seek,  in  the  spirit  of  charity,  to  bring  him 
back  to  the  paths  of  truth.  "  He  must  also  seek  to  estab- 
lish grammar-schools,  supplying  them  with  Catholic  mas- 
ters, and  thus  remedy  the  great  ignorance  of  the  natives  •; 
admonishing  the  parents  to  send  their  children  to  the 
schools,  that  thus  they  may  be  instructed  in  literature  and 
morality,  and  at  the  same  time  acquire  a  meet  knowledge 
of  the  saving  truths  of  faith."  If  possible,  some  monas- 
teries were  to  be  established,  and  exact  discipline  maintain- 
ed ;  hospitals,  too,  were  to  be  founded,  and  other  places  of 
refuge  and  succor  for  the  poor. 

For  these  things,  and  for  whatsoever  else  might  be  done 
no  reward  or  recompense,  even  in  the  name  of  alms  was 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth,  35 

to  be  received  ;  the  salvation  of  souls  alone  was  to  be  the 
moving  spring,  and  the  reward  of  every  fatigue.  Should 
the  glory  of  God  and  the  interest  of  religion  require  it,  life 
itself  was  to  be  risked  ;  but  in  this  the  laws  of  Christian 
prudence  were  to  be  observed,  and  all  undue  temerity  to 
be  shunned.  In  fine,  the  Holy  See  was  to  be  m-ade  ac- 
quainted with  the  real  state  of  the  Irish  Church,  the  losses 
sustained  by  the  Catholic  faith,  the  perils  to  which  religion 
was  exposed,  and  the  most  opportune  aid  and  succors  were 
to  be  pointed  out  that  could  be  granted  to  sustain  the 
faithful  in  the  dangers  to  which  they  were  exposed. 

The  course  traced  out  in  these  "  instructions"  was  exact- 
ly pursued  liy  Father  Wolf,  and  before  the  close  of  this 
chapter  we  shall  have  occasion  to  cite  some  of  his  letters, 
which,  while  they  disclose  precious  details  regarding  the 
condition  of  our  island,  clearly  demonstrate  how  indefati- 
gable he  was  in  his  labors,  and  how  unceasingly  he  strug- 
gled to  restore  our  suffering  church  to  its  primitive 
comeliness  and  fervor. 

One  of  the  chief  wants  of  Ireland  at  this  period  was  a 
place  of  untainted  instruction  for  Catholic  youth.  The 
monastic  schools  had  been  swept  away  by  the  persecution 
of  Henry  VIII.,  and  now,  in  such  districts  as  were  acces- 
sible to  the  English  arms,  no  mere  Irishman  or  Catholic 
could,  without  risking  liberty  or  life,  seek  to  instruct  his 
fellow-countrymen  in  the  rudiments  of  literature  and  reli- 
gion. To  meet  this  want,  a  "brief"  was  addressed  by  the 
holy  father,  on  the  31st  of  May,  1564,  to  the  newly  con- 
secrated primate,  Dr.  Richard  Creagh,  and  to  Father 
David  Wolf,  empowering  them  to  erect  schools  whereso 
ever  they  should  deem  fit  throughout  the  kingdom  of  Ire 
land,  and  communicating  to  such  schools  all  the  privileges 
of  a  university  ;  while,  at  the  same  time,  it  was  declared 
that  these  schools  were  necessary  for  the  establishment 
of  due  order,  and  for  the  maintenance  of  the  Catholic  faith. 

36  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Neither  Dr.  Creagh,  however,  nor  Father  Wolf  was  allow- 
ed sufficient  time  to  carry  into  effect  the  wise  designs  of 
Rome.  The  history  of  Dr.  Creagh's  imprisonment  is  well 
known.  Father  Wolf  shared  his  sufferings,  being  loaded 
with  chains,  and  thrown  into  the  dungeons  of  Dubhn  Cas- 
tle. On  the  13th  of  March,  1568,  a  letter  was  despatched 
from  Rome  to  the  nuncio  in  Madrid,  instructing  him  to 
employ  all  the  papal  influence  at  that  court  to  procure, 
through  the  mediation  of  the  Spanish  monarch,  the  libera- 
tion of  these  two  ecclesiastics,  whose  labors  in  the  sacred 
cause  of  religion  had  already  won  for  them  the  applause 
of  the  whole  Christian  world. 

"  We  have  been  informed,"  thus  writes  the  sainted  pon- 
.<ff  Pius  v.,  "that  our  venerable  brother  the  Archbishop  of 
Armagh,  who,  as  you  are  aware,  is  Primate  of  Ireland,  has 
been  arrested  by  the  English,  and  cast  into  prison  in  the 
Tower  of  London  ;  and  that  our  beloved  son  David,  of  the 
Society  of  Jesus,  is  also  closely  confined  by  the  same  Eng- 
lish in  the  city  of  Dublin,  both  of  them  being  treated  with 
the  greatest  severity.  Their  sufferings  overwhelm  us  with 
■\ffliction  on  account  of  their  singular  merits,  and  of  their 
teal  for  the  Catholic  faith.  And  as  it  is  our  desire  and 
Dur  duty  to  succor  them  as  far  as  is  in  our  power,  we 
know  of  no  other  means  for  doing  so  than  that  our  dear- 
est son,  his  Catholic  majesty,  should  employ  his  authority 
with  the  English  queen  in  their  behalf  You,  therefore, 
will  use  every  endeavor  with  his  majesty  to  this  effect,  and 
you  will  urge,  and  request,  and  solicit,  in  our  name,  his 
letters  to  his  ambassador  and  to  the  queen,  to  obtain  the 
liberation  of  these  prisoners.  Than  which  favor  none 
other  could  be  at  present  more  acceptable  to  us.  Given 
in  Rome,  at  St.  Peter's,  under  the  seal  of  the  Fisherman 
this  13th  day  of  March,  1568." 

The   mediation   of    the   Spanish   court,   however    was 
without  effect ;   and  Father  David  was   detained  in  the 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  37 

closest  custody  till  IS72,  when  he  happily  made  his  es- 
cape from  Dublin  Castle,  and,  accompanied  by  Sir  Rice 
Corbally  and  the  son  of  James  Fitzmaurice,  took  refuge  in 
Spain.  Sir  Peter  Carew,  writing  to  the  Privy  Council  in 
England,  on  the  6th  of  February,  1573,  characteristically 
remarks,  "  James  Fitzmaurice  hath  sent  his  son  with  one 
David  Wolf,  an  arrant  traitor,  into  Spain,  to  practise  his 
old  devices."  He  soon,  however,  returned  to  the  former 
fields  of  his  labors,  and  in  1575  we  find  him  engaged  once 
more  in  visiting  and  consoling  the  Catholics  of  Ireland. 
We  shall  conclude  our  notice  of  this  indefatigable  and  holy 
man  with  the  words  of  the  author  of  Cambrensis  Eversus : 
"  I  saw  a  dispensation  granted  by  David  Wolf,  of  Limerick, 
lo  Richard  Lynch,  a  citizen  of  Gal  way,  grandfather  to  Nicho- 
las Lynch,  provincial  of  the  Irish  Dominicans,  who  died  at 
Rome  about  twenty  years  ago,  deeply  regretted  by  his 
friends.  The  dispensation  was  signed  David  Wolf,  Apos- 
tolic Nuncio."*  Orlandini  speaks  of  him  in  his  History  of 
the  Society  of  Jesiis :  "  I  have  learned  that  he  was  a  man 
of  extraordinary  piety,  who  fearlessly  denounced  crime 
when  ever  it  was  committed.  When  the  whole  country 
was  embroiled  in  war,  he  took  refuge  in  the  castle  of  Chu- 
noan,t  on  the  borders  of'  Thomond,  and  of  the  county  of 
Galway ;  but,  when  he  heard  that  its  occupants  lived  by 
plunder,  he  scrupled  any  nourishment  from  them,  and  soon 
after  sickened  and  died." 

We  have  no  precise  record  of  the  year  in  which  he  died, 
but  it  seems  to  have  been  in  1578,  as  no  mention  is  made 
of  him  in  the  detailed  correspondence  of  1579  and  the  fol- 
lowing years,  during  the  eventful  period  of  the  second 
Desmond  war.     The  name  David  Wolf,  sacerdos  Hiber 

•  Nuncio,  Perhaps  when  returnine;  a  second  time  to  Tre^nnd  he  reLeived  the  title  of  nuncio  ; 
it  is  probable,  however,  that  he  was  only  commissary.  He  wns  c<  mmonly  stj  led  nuncio,  even 
on  his  tirst  arrival,  though  he  was  certainly  at  that  time  only  commissary  apostolic. 

t  Now  Cluain  Dubhain  cr  Clonoan,  an  old  castle  close  to  the  boundary  of  Ih.e  county  Gal- 
way, and  not  far  from  Rockvale,  in  the  pariah  -.u'  JCilkeedy.  lian.i.y  '4  Imliirtuin,  county  C-iarrt. 

38  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

nus,  occurs  for  the  last  time  in  a  list  transmitted  by  the 
Spanish  nuncio  to  Rome,  on  the  3cl  oi  June,  1578  ;  and  from 
this  list  we  learn  that  he  was  then  living  in  Lisbon,  sup- 
ported by  the  generous  contributions  of  the  Holy  See. 

Anno   1369. 


This  martyr's  sufferings  and  triumph  are  related  by 
Father  Mooney,  in  his  Provincice  HibernicB  Dcscriptio,  in 
the  following  words  : 

"In  the  year  1569,  (if  I  be  rightly  informed  as  to  the 
date,*)  a  certain  brother  Daniel  O'Duillian,  of  the  convent 
of  Youghal,  very  bravely  overcame  the  tormentor.  For, 
when  one  Captain  Dudal  (probably  Dowdall)  with  his 
troop  were  torturing  him,  by  order  of  Lord  Arthur  Grey, 
the  viceroy,  first  they  took  him  to  the  gate  which  is  called 
Trinity  Gate,  and  tied  his  hands  behind  his  back,  and, 
having  fastened  heavy  stones  to  his  feet,  thrice  pulled  him 
up  with  ropes  from  the  earth  to  the  top  of  the  tower,  and 
left  him  hanging  there  for  a  space.  At  length,  after  many 
insults  and  tortures,  he  was  hung  with  his  head  down  and 
his  feet  in  the  air,  at  the  mill  near  the  monastery  ;  and, 
hanging  there  a  long  time,  while  he  lived  he  never  utter- 
ed an  impatient  word,  but,  like  a  good  Christian,  inces- 
santly repeated  prayers,  now  aloud,  now  in  a  low  voice. 
At  length  the  soldiers  were  ordered  to  shoot  at  him,  as 
though  he  were  a  target ;  but  yet,  that  his  sufferings  might 
be  the  longer  and  more  cruel,  they  might  not  aim  at  his 
head  or  heart,  but  as  much  as  they  pleased  at  any  other 

•  In  this  and  many  other  Instances  there  was  a  difficulty  in  ascertaining  the  exact  date,  the 
witnesses  who  narrated  the  events  a  few  years  afterward  recollecting  the  circumstances  well 
enough,  but  in  the  absence  of  all  almanacs  finding  it  difficult  to  state  with  precision  the  year. 
Thus,  even  as  to  such  public  and  notorious  events  as  the  death  of  Archbishop  O'Brien  ana 
the  execution  of  Archbishop  O'Hurley  the  year  is  differently  stated  by  different  writers. 

Ill  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  39 

part  of  his  body.  After  he  had  received  many  balls,  one, 
with  a  cruel  mercy,  loaded  his  gun  with  two  balls  and  shot 
him  through  the  heart.  Thus  did  he  receive  the  glorious 
crown  of  martyrdom,  the  22d  of  April,  in  the  year  afore- 
said."— Mooney,  p.  53. 

As  this  is  the  first  recorded  martyr  of  the  host  that  the 
Order  of  Saint  Francis  has  produced  in  Ireland,  it  may 
not  be  out  of  place  to  give  here  the  well-deserved  praise 
which  Father  Mooney  bestows  on  his  order,  writing  in  the 
year  1624: 

"  When  Queen  Elizabeth  strove  to  make  all  in  Ireland 
fall  away  from  the  Catholic  faith,  and  a  law  was  passed 
proscribing  all  the  members  of  the  religious  orders,  and 
giving  their  monasteries  and  possessions  to  the  treasury, 
while  all  the  others  either  took  to  flight,  or  at  least  quitted 
their  monasteries,  and,  for  safety  sake,  lived  privately  and 
singly  among  their  friends,  and  receiving  no  novices,  the 
Order  of  St.  Francis  alone  ever  remained,  as  it  were,  un- 
shaken. For,  though  they  were  violently  driven  out  of  some 
convents  in  the  great  towns,  and  the  convents  profanely 
turned  into  dwellings  for  seculars,  and  some  of  the  fathers 
suffered  violence  and  even  death,  yet  in  the  country  and 
other  remote  places  they  ever  remained  in  the  convents, 
celebrating  the  divine  office  according  to  the  custom  of 
religious,  their  preachers  preaching  to  the  people,  and  ful- 
filling their  other  functions,  training  up  novices,  and  pre- 
serving the  conventual  buildings,  holding  it  sinful  to  lay 
aside  or  even  hide  their  religious  habit,  though  for  an  hour, 
through  any  human  fear.  And  every  three  years  they  heln 
their  regular  provincial  chapters,*  and  observed  the  rule  as 
it  is  kept  in  provinces  that  are  in  peace." — Mooney,  p.  2.     - 

•  These  chapters  were  generally  held  in  woods,  as  Mooney  relates,  at  the  respecliTe  years. 

40  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Atmo   1570. 


Under  the  heading  of  "Convent  of  Gallvaise,  Ahar- 
lagh,"f  Mooney  says : 

"  This  convent  is  situated  in  a  small  rural  town  of  the 
diocese  of  Emly.  I  could  hear  nothing  of  its  foundation 
or  history;  but  I  found,  in  the  year  1570,  while  Henry 
Sydney,  who  was  then  viceroy,  was  making  excursions  in 
those  parts,  three  brothers  suffered  martyrdom  in  that  con- 
vent. The  names  of  two  I  could  not  learn  ;  the  third  was 
called  Dermod  O'Mulroney,  a  priest.  He  fled  with  his 
comrades  from  that  rural  monastery  to  the  town  of  Clonmel 
to  avoid  the  persecution,  which  was  then  vehement ;  but 
when  he  had  remained  there  some  time  he  resolved  to 
return  to  his  monastery,  God  perchance  so  disposing  it, 
that  he  might  obtain  the  crown  of  martyrdom.  When, 
therefore,  they  thought  all  was  safe,  he  returned  to  the 
monastery  and  dwelt  there ;  but  on  a  certain  day  the 
English  soldiers  suddenly  came  and  surrounded  the  place, 
so  that  there  was  no  way  for  the  brethren  to  escape.  The 
holy  man  mounted  up  into  the  bell-tower  of  the  church 
with  his  two  companions,  that  they  might  hide  there,  and 
drew  up  the  portable  ladder  which  was  there.  The  soldiers 
made  a  fire  to  burn  the  church  and  lower  ;  then  the  holy 
man,  that  he  might  save  the  church,  freely  descended,  and 
having  let  down  the  ladder,  as  he  put  his  foot  on  the  first 
step,  signed  himself  with  the  sign  of  the  cross,  and  repeat- 
ed the  psalm, '  Have  mercy  on  me,  O  Lord.'  The  soldiers, 
nothing  softened,  loaded  him  with  blows  and  wounds,  and 
at  length  struck  off  his  head.     Then  a  marvel  was  seen ; 

*  V-rf^m  Moottey  MS,,  p.  54,  and  Roothe's  Analecta  Mira  et  Nova,  2d  part  See  also 
Waddings  Scripiores  and  Atinaies. 

\  Roothe  calls  it  '*  Monastery  of  Gallbally,  in  the  mountains  of  Aharlatrh,  near  Tipperarv  " 
The  town  of  Gallbally  is  in  the  county  Tipperary,  in  the  glen  of  Aharlow,  at  the  foot  uf  the  Gal'.te 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  41 

for  when  his  head  was  cut  off  no  drop  of  blood  flowed 
from  his  body,  which  the  soldiers  seeing,  cut  up  his  body 
in  pieces,  yet  did  not  blood  flow.  Of  the  two  others  the 
memory  of  the  place  retained  nothing  but  the  fact  of  their 
death.  This  have  I  to  tell  of  this  convent,  which  is  now 
wholly  destroyed  save  the  walls." — Mooney,  p.  54. 

A^nno  1576, 


I'he  following  is  the  account  of  his  martyrdom  given  by 
Father  Mooney  under  the  head  "  Convent  of  Roscrea  :"t 

"  The  roof  of  the  whole  convent  has  fallen  in,  (this  was 
in  1625,)  yet  the  walls  and  windows,  with  some  glass  in 
them,  yet  remain.  There  still  lives  there  one  of  the  pro- 
fessed brothers.  There  were  six  conventuals  there  before 
the  destruction,  and  some  among  them  fell  away ;  but  one 
of  them,  by  name  Thady  Daly,  fled  to  Limerick,  and  was 
there  taken  while  he  sought  to  escape  beyond  the  seas ;  and, 
constant  in  the  confession  of  the  faith,  he  rejected  the  offer 
of  life  and  reward  if  he  would  join  the  heretics,  choosing 
rather  a  glorious  death  ;  and,  thus  '  perfected  in  a  short 
time,  he  filled  a  long  life,'  but  under  whom,  or  in  what 
year,t  I  could  not  learn  from  that  brother.  This  brother 
was  the  companion  of  this  holy  martyr  both  in  his  flight  and 

his  captivity,  but  he  was (the  word  is  illegible  in  the 

MS.)  and  very  simple,  and  when  danger  presented  itself 
he  abandoned  his  rule,  and,  having  received  some  gifts,  he 
deser.;ed  his  order  and  obtained  his  temporal  liberty,  and, 
returning  to  his  own  part  of  th€  country,  which  was  not 

*  From  Mooney,  p.  55,  and  Wadding's  Scripiore^  and  .4  nnales,  vol.  xxi.  p.  64. 
t  Roolhe's  AnaUctt  mentions  Father  Daly  under  the  year  1579,  and  says  he  came  from  the 
con-'enl  of  Aaketia  :  bui  Moonev  is  clearly  the  better  authority. 
t  The  Anna^  say  on  the  \st  ri  January,  aduui  the  year  1576. 

42  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

far  distant  from  that  convent,  he  then  led  a  secular  life 
until  1611.  At  that  time  I  was  vicar  of  the  province,  and 
preached  the  Lent  in  those  parts ;  and  I  frequently  went 
to  a  place  of  devout  pilgrimage  about  a  mile  distant  from 
the  convent,  called  the  Island  of  Viretin,  that  as  far  as  .n 
me  lay  I  might  exhort  to  penance  the  people  who  flocked 
there  in  pilgrimage.  On  a  certain  day,  this  brother,  who 
was  then  old,  came  to  me,  who  knew  him  not  even  by 
sight,  told  me  the  whole  history  of  his  life,  and  humbly 
begged  that  I  would  again  receive  him  into  the  bosom  of 
the  order.  When  on  inquiry  I  found  the  matter  to  be  as 
he  said,  being  touched  with  pity  for  him,  I  appointed  him 
a  day  to  come  to  me ;  and  when  he  had  dwelt  with  me 
some  days,  I  sent  him  to  a  certain  convent  of  our  order, 
there  to  lead  a  penitential  life.  He  yet  lives,  and  I  hope 
better  than  before." — Moottey,  p.  55. 

Anno  1377- 


Dr.  Moran  thus  relates  his  martyrdom  : 

"While  Drury  was  lord-deputy,  about  1577,  Fergal 
Ward,  a  Franciscan,  and  a  native  of  Donegal,  was  put  to 
death  in  Armagh.  He  was  venerated  by  the  people  for 
the  simplicity  of  his  life  and  his  zeal  for  the  salvation  of 
souls.  He  travelled  at  intervals  throughout  the  whole 
province  of  Armagh,  visiting  the  scattered  families  who,  in 
the  mountainous  districts,  lived  without  the  comforts  of  the 
holy  sacrifice  or  the  strengthening  grace  of  the  sacraments 
On  one  of  these  excursions  he  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 

•  ■erom-DT.yLor2.r,'sHistoryqfih^Archl,hhofsa/Dull!„,Uxnina-m,p  14,  where  ht 
quotes  Synop.  Prov.  Franciscan,  zh  Nii.,  p.  66.  The  same  account  is  given  by  En.odin  lib 
in.  cap.  20,  wherfe  be  refers  to  John  Good's  work,  * 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  43 

soldiery,  and,  being  sccwrged  with  great  barbarity,  was 
hanged  from  the  branches  of  a  tree  with  the  cincture  of 
his  own  religious  habit." 


Father  Mooney  did  not  know  the  name  of  this  martyr, 
which,  however,  we  learn  from  other  authorities ;  but  I 
give  his  account  as  the  fullest  and  most  authentic,  as  it 
was  derived  from  the  actors  in  the  tragedy.  He  also  states 
it  to  have  taken  place  in  the  convent  of  Elphin,  in  the 
episcopal  city  of  Elphin,  while  others  lay  the  scene  in  the 
convent  of  Moyne,  in  the  county  of  Mayo.  Clearly  the 
English  soldiers  who  assisted  at  the  massacre  and  narrat- 
ed it  to  Father  Mooney  knew  little  of  the  name  of  the 
place  where  it  occurred  or  of  the  priest  whom  they  saw 
slain  ;  but  they  are  the  very  best  authorities  as  to  the  fact 
having  taken  place. 

Father  Mooney  thus  narrates  the  event : 

"  In  this  same  convent,  on  another  time,  certain  English 
soldiersf  seized  a  certain  priest  of  our  order  and  some  oth- 
er prisoners.  They  pressed  a  certain  secular,  who  was 
one  of  their  captives,  to  tell  them  something  of  the  plots 
which  they  said  he  had  made  with  others  against  the 
Queen  of  England ;  but  he  protested  he  could  tell 
nothing  but  the  truth,  and  that  there  were  no  plots  ;  so 
they  determined  to  -.ang  him.  When  they  said  this,  he 
begged  he  might  be  allowed  to  make  his  confession  to 
the  brother;  this  they  granted  the  more  readily  that 
they  thought  the  priest,  if  he  were  tortured,  would  reveal 
what  might  be  told  him.    As  soon  as  the  confession  was 

•  From  Dr.  Moran,  who  quotM  Hynop.  Prov.  Franciscan,  in  Hii.,  and  Mooney,  p.  35 
The  name  we  learn  from  the  fonuer,  and  also  the  date. 
t  They  were  the  soldiers  of  Filton,  then  President  of  Connaught 

44  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

over,  the  secular  was  hung ;  and  then  they  asked  the 
priest,  who  was  also  to  be  hung,  if  he  had  learned  aught  of 
-the  business  in  confession.  He  answered  in  the  negative, 
and,  refusing  to  reveal  anything  of  a  confession,  they  offer- 
ed him  life  and  freedom  if  he  would  reveal,  and  threatened 
torture  if  he  refused.  He  answered  he  could  not,  and  they 
immediately  knotted  a  cord*  round  his  forehead,  and, 
thrusting  a  piece  of  wood  through  it,  slowly  twisted  it  so 
tightly  that  at  length,  after  enduring  this  torment  for  a 
long  time,  his  skull  was  broken  in,  and,  the  brain  being 
crushed,  he  died.f  I  have  seen  and  examined  ocular  wit- 
nesses of  this  fact,  who  were  serving  in  that  body  of  Eng- 
lish troops,  and  sought  absolution  from  me  ;  but  they  did 
not  remember  the  name  of  the  brother  or  the  exact  year ; 
but  it  was  about  1577." — Mooney,  p.  35. 

A.nn<t  1577' 


1  GIVE  his  life,  translated  from  the  work  of  Dr.  Roothe, 
Bishop  of  Ossory. 

"  The  memory  of  those  des'erves  to  be  preserved  who 
have  left  to  posterity  an  example  of  fidehty  to  God  and 
man  worthy  both  of  honor  and  of  imitation.  Such  was  the 
Right  Rev.  Thomas  Leverous,:}:  who  was  born  in  a  village 
of  the  county  Kildare,  of  a  family  bound  by  old  ties  of 
clientship  to  the  illustrious  family  of  Kildare  in  the  same 

"  In  the  reign  of  Henry  VHI.,  when  schism  was  already 
impending  over  England,  Gerald  Fitzgerald,  Earl  of  Kil- 

•  others  say  the  cord  of  his  hnbit.  '     f  On  the  9th  of  June 

t  Leurusius  is  the  name  as  given  m  Latin,  which  is  translated  Leverous. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  45 

dare  and  Viceroy  of  Ireland,  was  summoned  to  England  at 
the  instigation  of  his  enemies  and  by  the  advice  of  Cardi- 
nal Wolsey,  who  was  then  all-powerful  and  not  at  all  favor- 
able to  the  Geraldines.  The  earl  was  accused  of  being 
unfaithful  to  the  king,  and  of  having  in  his  office  of  vice- 
roy connived  at  rebels  and  disturbers.  He  was  thrown 
into  prison,  and  the  news  inflamed  the  youthful  mind  of 
his  eldest  son,  Thomas  Geraldine,  who  had  been  left  by  his 
father  to  exercise  his  power  in  his  absence.  When  he  re- 
ceived the  news  of  his  father's  arrest,  he  handed  back  the 
sword  of  state  to  the  chancellor  and  privy  council,  and, 
with  courage  worthy  of  a  man,  but  the  folly  of  a  child,  took 
up  arms  against  the  king,  (a.d.  1534.)  But  this  furious 
outburst  was  soon  quelled  with  the  death  of  its  author  and 
five  of  his  uncles,  the  only  one  of  the  family  who  was  saved 
being  Gerald  Geraldine,  the  youngest  son,  who  was  hidden 
by  a  faithful  nurse  from  the  rage  of  his  enemies.*  But  as 
it  was  said  that  this  escape  was  favored  by  Leonard,  Lord 
Gray,  he  afterward  paid  the  penalty  of  this  connivance 
with  his  head.  But  how  could  sb  young  a  boy  take  to 
flight,  or,  if  he  did,  how  could  he  effect  it  successfully,  at  so 
young  an  age  and  surrounded  by  so  many  dangers  1  Nor 
could  any  common  man  give  a  shelter  to  a  youth  of  so  no- 
ble a  race  without  it  being  remarked.  But  the  affection- 
ate care  of  his  nurse  shone  forth  in  this  emergency,  and 
she  had  as  a  partner  in  her  trouble,  and  the  guide  of  her 
flight,  the  Thomas  Leverous  of  whom  I  now  wnte. 

"  He  was  as  a  father  to  the  youth  while  he  grew  up,  and 
by  constant  flight  eluded  the  snares  of  his  enemies  ;  and  a 
guide  and  counsellor  when  he  grew  up  and  travelled  in  for- 
eign lands.     When  he  was  named  to  the  bishopric  of  Kil- 

•  Our  author  is  here  inaccurate.  Gerald  and  Edward  were  the  two  sons  of  Earl  Gerald,  by 
his  second  wife,  Lady  Elizabeth  Gray.  Edward,  the  youngest,  was  conveyed  to  his  mother  in 
England ;  Gerald,  tl  e  elder,  aged  about  thirteen,  found  an  asylum  in  Thomond.  See  Haver* 
ty's  Ireland,  p.  361, 

46  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

dare,  he  lost  nothing  of  his  humility,  gentleness  of  mind, 
piety,  and  Christian  charity  ;  yea,  rather,  his  lowliness  of 
spirit  and  contempt  of  worldly  honors  and  riches  increased 
as  he  was  elevated  in  dignity  and  wealth. 

"  When,  after  the  death  of  Henry  VIII.  and  Edward  VI., 
Queen  Mary,  the  daughter  of  the  former  and  sister  of  the 
latter,  restored  the  exiled  Gerald  to  his  rank  and  title,  his 
faithful  friend  and  guardian,  Thomas  Leverous,  was  estab- 
lished in  the  bishopric  of  Kildare.* 

"  That  diocese  is  ample  and  honorable,  the  land  thereof  is 
rich,  the  inhabitants  numerous,  and  embrace  many  noble 
families  ;  but  of  these  by  far  the  most  numerous  and  most 
honorable  is  that  of  the  Geraldines.  His  bishopric 
Thomas  enjojred  during  the  reign  of  Queen  Mary,  but  at 
her  death,  when  her  sister  Elizabeth  succeeded  to  the  crown 
by  the  will  of  her  father,  she  gave  instructions  to  the  vice- 
roy, the  Earl  of  Sussex,  to  tender  the  oath  of  the  queen's 
ecclesiastical  supremacy  to  the  bishops  of  Ireland,  and  to 
drive  from  their  sees  whoever  should  refuse  to  take  it. 

"  When  Bishop  Leverous  was  summoned  by  Sussex  to 
take  the  oath,  and  he  refused  to  take  it,  as  being  against  his 
conscience,  the  earl  asked  him  for  what  reason  he  denied 
that  the  queen  was  the  head  of  the  church,  since  so  many 
illustrious  men,  and  so  many  doctors  and  bishops,  both  in. 
England  and  Ireland,  had  acknowledged  her  as  such.  But 
he  gave  for  answer  only  such  a  simple  reason  as  any  com- 
mon man  might  understand,  namely,  that  all  true  ecclesi- 
astical jurisdiction  must  come  from  Christ  our  Lord  ;  and, 
since  he  had  not  given  even  the  smallest  share  of  ecclesi- 
astical power  to  his  Mother,  so  glorious  and  so  dear,  so 
adorned  with  virtues  and  honors,  how  much  less  could 
such  supreme  jurisdiction  be  given  to  anyone  of  the  same 
sex !     St.  Paul  would  not  allow  any  woman  even  to  speak 

•  ■'  He  succeeded  by  provision  of  Queen  Mary,  March  ist,  1554,  but  was  not  confir:aed  by 
the  Jiope's  bull  till  tlie  3d  of  August,  T.m."—l\'are''s  Antiquities:  Bishofs  0/ Kildart.      ' 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  47 

in  church  :  how  much  more  are  all  excluded  from  judgino-, 
ruling,  and  presiding !  St.  John  Chrysostom  well  express- 
ed the  mind  of  our  Lord  (lib.  ii.,  De  Sacerdotio)  when  he 
thus  spoke  of  all  persons  of  that  weaker  sex :  '  When  the 
question  is  of  the  headship  of  the  church,  and  of  entrusting 
to  one  the  care  of  so  many  souls,  the  whole  feminine  sex 
must,  by  its  nature,  be  excluded  from  a  task  of  such 
weight'  So  also  Tertullian :  '  It  is  not  permitted  to  a 
woman  to  speak  in  the  church,  nor  to  teach,  nor  to  offer, 
nor  to  claim  a  share  in  such  offices  reserved  to  men, 
much  less  in  that  of  the  priesthood.' 

"  And  were  it  not  that  they  are  unfitted  by  nature  and 
the  condition  of  their  sex  from  such  exercise  of  authoritv, 
he  who  on  earth  raised  his  Mother  to  a  dignity  above  all 
others,  and  above  all  women,  and  in  heaven  has  placed 
her  on  a  throne  next  to  himself,  would  not  have  lowered 
her  by  refusing  her  an  honor  fitted  to  her  sex,  and  which 
others  of  that  sex  might  enjoy.  But  since  by  nature  it  was 
not  fitting  that  women  should  share  in  it,  it  was  no  dis- 
honor to  his  Mother  not  to  participate  in  the  jurisdiction 
which  her  Son  conferred.  Hence  it  followed  that  Eliza- 
beth could  not  lawfully  take,  nor  her  father  Henry  give, 
nor  any  parliament  bestow  on  women  that  authority  which 
Christ  gave,  and  which  v/as,  as  the  Scripture  says,  'a 
fountain  sealed  up '  to  those  men  to  whom  he  assigned  it 
who  bears  on  his  shoulder  the  key  of  the  house  of  David, 
and  who  gave  to  Peter  his  keys,  by  which  the  gate  of  hea- 
ven is  shut  and  opened. 

"The  answer  of  the  bishop' pleased  not  the  viceroy,  who 
drove  him  from  his  bishopric  as  unworthy  of  the  honor 
who  thus  dishonored  his  queen ;  yet  he,  with  a  sincere 
mind,  sought  not  to  deprive  her  of  any  just  honor,  but  only 
refused  her  an  unlawful  title  and  a  vain  figment  of  honor 
devised  by  flatterers,  and  which  became  not  her  head, 
adorned  with  an  earthly  crown. 

48  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

"Driven  thus  from  his  cathedral  see,  and  deprived  of  its 
revenues,  humble  and  poor  like  Christ,  he  sought  a  strange 
and  distant  shelter  in  a  distant  district,  rejoicing  to  suffer 
contumely  for  the  name  of  Christ.  As  he  had  answered 
the  viceroy  when  he  threatened  him  with  deprivation  of  all 
his  goods  and  expulsion  from  his  see  unless  he  bowed  him 
to  the  queen's  will,  '  What,'  said  he,  '  will  it  avail  a  man 
to  gain  the  whole  world  and  lose  his  own  soul  ?'  Thus  he 
esteemed  all  things  as  dirt  that  he  might  gain  Christ.  O 
generous  champion  of  Christ !  who  to  prepare  for  the  fight 
threw  away  all  burdens,  great  was  thy  faith,  great  thy  zeal 
for  the  faith,  and  great  the  reward  laid  up  for  thee  in 
heaven  !  Thus  was  this  aged  man,  of  venerable  appear- 
ance, unfitted  for  any  business  save  the  care  of  souls  and 
the  upholding  of  ecclesiastical  discipline,  compelled  to  turn 
his  aged  limbs  to  tasks  fitted  only  for  the  youthful — the 
labors  of  a  toilsome  journey  and  a  distant  flight.  When 
he  was  young,  he  went  into  voluntary  exile  for  the  sake  of 
another  ;  now,  aged,  he  was  compelled  to  seek  his  own  liv- 
ing In  exile.  But  he  could  console  himself  with  the  wise 
words  of  the  great  St.  Leo  {Serm.  g,  De  Quad.) :  '  As  it  is 
the  occupation  of  the  whole  body  to  live  piously,  so  it  is 
the  occupation  of  all  time  to  bear  the  cross."  No  age,  no 
time,  no  place,  no  state  in  this  our  mortal  life,  can  insure 
the  servants  of  Christ  from  bearing  the  cross  ;  and  there 
is  often  more  danger  from  a  concealed  adversary  than  from 
an  open  enemy. 

"  In  order,  therefore,  that  he  might  secure  his  own  safety, 
and  be  of  service  also  to  others,  he  went  to  Gerald,  Earl 
of  Desmond,  and  the  Countess  Joan,  his  wife,  and  the  mo- 
ther of  Thomas  Butler,  Earl  of  Ormond,  a  wise  and  pru- 
dent heroine  ;  and,  being  hospitably  received  by  them,  he 
kept  himself  with  all  prudence  and  peacefulness,  lest  he 
should  bring  any  trouble  on  those  who  sheltered  him. 

"  By  his  assiduity  in  his  sacred  ministry,  he  abundantly 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  49 

compensated  the  generosity  of  his  host,  and  his  piety, 
modesty,  sobriety  of  life,  and  fervor  in  promoting  the  di- 
vine honor  made  him  acceptable  to  the  neighboring  nobles 
and  the  inhabitants,  among  whom  he  sedulously  labored 
to  preserve  them  from  the  novelties  of  heresy.  He  was 
constant  in  admonishing  and  exhorting  in  all  fitting  time 
and  place,  and  performing  the  work  of  a  bishop  ;  and  la- 
bored like  a  simple  priest  in  administering  the  sacra- 
ments, and  found  such  labors  sweeter  than  honey  and  the 

"  When,  however,  prudence  required  him  to  abstain  from 
these  exercises  in  places  where  he  was  well  known  or 
which  were  near  his  ordinary  residence,  his  charity  could 
not  endure  to  be  idle,  but  he  cheerfully  removed  to  more 
remote  districts,  and,  like  the  busy  bee,  ever  sought  new 
fields  of  work. 

"  He  travelled  through  various  districts,  instructing  all, 
both  old  and  young,  with  the  same  zeal,  with  teachings 
adapted  to  the  age  and  intelligence  of  each  ;  and  the  vene- 
rable bishop,  in  these  labors,  never  thought  of  his  rank  or 
age,  and  even  taught  boys,  like  a  common  pedagogue,  not 
only  the  elements  of  rhetoric  and  grammar,  but  even  to 
read  ;  and  this  not  only  in  country  villages,  as  in  the  village 
of  Adare,  in  the  territory  of  Connaught,  but  in  municipal 
towns  and  noted  places,  as  in  Limerick,  where  he  opened 
a  school,  and  had  for  teacher  under  him  Richard  Creagh, 
then  young,  but  who  was  afterward  Archbishop  of  Armagh 
and  Primate,  of  whom  we  have  written  more  at  length  in 
the  beginning  of  these  notes. 

"  How  noble  a  school,  in  which  the  teachers  were  so  dis- 
tinguished !  how  well  cultivated  the  field,  in  which  the  labor- 
ers were  so  skilled !  how  fruitful  the  seminary,  planted  by 
such  noble  founders !  how  glorious  the  lecture-hall,  in 
which  such  great  doctors  taught !  Would  that  I  might 
erter  that  school  to  hear  you,  Leverous  and  Creagh,  teach- 

so  Martyrs  atid  Confessors 

ing  even  the  rudiments  of  philology  to  the  tender  minds  of 
youth,  as  a  preparation  for  the  higher  mysteries  of  the 
faith,  and  forming  their  souls  at  once  in  learning  and  vir 
tue !  I  may  well  address  you  in  the  words  which  St.  Au- 
gustine uses  of  Saints  Peter  and  Andrew  when  called  by 
our  Lord  :  '  Leaving  their  fishing,  they  adhered  to  him,  or 
if  they  left  him  for  a  time,  to  return  again  they  did  as  is 
written :  "  Let  thy  foot  wear  the  doorstep  of  his  house ; 
arise  and  come  to  him  assiduously  and  learn  his  precepts." 
He  showed  them  where  he  dwelt,  and  they  came  and 
dwelt  with  him.  What  a  happy  day  and  night  did  they 
pass  !  Who  may  tell  us  what  they  heard  from  Christ  ? 
Let  us  also  build  up  in  our  hearts  a  dwelling  for  him,  that 
he  may  come  and  teach  us  and  dwell  with  us.' 

"  Our  Lord  taught  Peter  and  Andrew,  and  they  taught  the 
world :  the  same  Loi^d  taught  Richard  and  Thomas,  and 
they,  by  their  teaching,  made  wise  unto  salvation  the  little 
world  of  Ireland.  From  their  school  came  forth  worthy 
disciples,  zealous  laborers,  who  gathered  an  abundant  har- 
vest into  the  granary  of  the  Lord  :  the  one  labored  in  the 
north,  the  other  in  the  south.  Were  there  no  other  monu- 
ment of  their  piety,  their  labors  in  teaching  youth  were 
deserving  of  commemoration.  Well  hath  Plutarch  said : 
'  As  the  limbs  of  new-born  children  should  be  laid  straight, 
that  they  may  so  grow  up,  so  also  their  minds  should  be 
trained  to  virtue ;  for  that  early  age  is  easily  moulded, 
and  discipline  is  better  implanted  in  their  minds,  which  are 
yet  impressionable,  while  when  age  has  hardened  them 
they  are  more  difficult  to  change.'  What  I  before  said  of 
his  colleague*  is  yet  more  appHcable  to  Leverous,  who  the 
more  deserves  our  admiration  in  that  he  was  a  bishop  when 
he  thus  devoted  himself  to  the  labor  of  teaching  youth. 
Thus  did  he  ever  strive  to  preserve  the  faith  in  his  country 

•  "  His  colleague,"  Dr.  C'reasl'.  wI"o.^e  life  comes  before  that  of  Dr.  Leverous  jn  Rootbe. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  5 1 

and  hand  it  oyer  to  posterity,  and  after  having  thus  labor- 
ed to  the  end,  he  went  to  receive  at  the  hand  of  his  Lord 
and  God  the  crown  he  had  earned  by  his  labors.  He  died 
at  the  age  of  eighty,  and  was  buried  in  the  town  of  Naas,* 
which,  after  the  cathedral  city,  is  the  principal  town  in  the 
diocese  of  Kildare.  The  towns-people  unanimously  assert 
that  he  has  been  honored  by  miracles.  He  died  about  the 
year  1577." — Roothe,  De  Processu  Martyriali. 


"  He  was  from  Munster,  a  most  zealous  priest,  and  Vi- 
car-General of  Kinsale.  When  visiting,  as  was  his  office, 
his  parish  priests,  and  admonishing  them  to  be  diligent  in 
guarding  the  flocks  committed  to  their  care,  he  fell  into 
the  jaws  of  that  cruel  tyrant,  Sir  John  Parrot,  then  Presi- 
dent of  Munster,  by  whose  order  he  was  hung.  And  thus 
he  obtained  of  Christ  the  victory,  on  the  30th  March,  1577." 
— Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

A.nno    1S78, 


Again,  by  the  kind  permission  of  Doctor  Moran,  I  :opy 
his  excellent  account  of  this  holy  martyr. 

"  Dr.  Patrick  O'Hely,  the  last  Bishop  of  Mayo,$  was  a 
native  of  Connaught,  and  from  his  youth  was  adorned  with 
every  virtue.     Having  embraced  the  religious  order  of 

•  In  the  parish  church  of  St.  Timi.— Ware's  AnIifuitUs. 

t  From  Dr.  Moran,  p.  139  The  original  authorities  are :  O'Sullivan,  p.  50 ;  Roothe's  A  no- 
Ucia,  p.  63  ;  Dom.  a  Rosario,  p.  140  ;  Mooney,  pp.  9  and  54  ;  Theatre  o/Prot.  p.  5° :  Bruo- 
din, p.  437 ;  Arthur  a  Monasterio  in  Martyrolog.  Francis.     See  also  Renehan,  Collec.  p.  389. 

X  Mooney,  p.  9. 

52  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Saint  Francis,  he  proceeded  to  Spain,  and  pursued  his  sa- 
cred studies  with  great  applause  in  the  University  of  Alcala. 
In  obedience  to  the  minister-general  of  his  order,  he  repair- 
ed to  Rome  in  1575,  and,  having  resided  for  some  time  in 
the  convent  of  Ara  Cceli  in  that  city,  he  was  proposed  for 
the  vacant  see  of  Mayo,  in  the  consistory  of  4th  July,  the 
same  year.*  Returning  to  Ireland,  he  was  accompanied  by 
Cornelius  O'Rorke,  a  Franciscan  priest,  who,  though  the 
eldest  son  of  the  Prince  of  BrefTny,  had  abandoned  all  the 
pleasures  of  the  world  to  embrace  a  life  of  prayer  and  pov- 
erty. They  encountered  many  difficulties  on  their  journey, 
but  at  length  safely  landed  in  Dingle,  in  the  county  Kerry. 
The  heretical  spies  whom  Drury,  the  lord-deputy,  kept 
at  this  time  stationed  along  the  southern  coast  of  Ireland, 
soon  recognized  the  venerable  strangers.  They  were, 
therefore,  almost  immediately  on  landing,  arrested  and 
transmitted  to  Limerick,  to  be  examined  by  Goulden,  the 
military  commander  of  that  district.  By  his  orders  the 
prelate  and  his  chaplain  were  loaded  with  chains  and  cast 
into  the  public  prison.  Here  they  remained  for  some 
months,  till  the  arrival  of  Sir  William  Drury  in  Kilmallock, 
before  whom  they  were  conducted,  in  the  month  of  Au- 
gust, 1578. 

"  On  being  examined,  Patrick  O'Hely  confessed  that  they 
belonged  to  the  Franciscan  order,  that  he  himself  was 
Bishop  of  Mayo,  sent  by  Gregory  XIII.  to  guide  and  in- 
struct his  spiritual  flock ;  this,  he  added,  was  the  object  of 
his  mission,  and  the  only  motive  of  his  return  to  Ireland. 
'And  do  you  dare,'  asked  Drury,  'to  defend  the  au- 
thority of  the  pope  against  the  laws  of  the  queen  and 
Parliament?'  'I  repeat  what  I  have  said,'  replied  the 
bishop,  '  and  I  am  ready,  if  necessary,  to  die  for  that  sa- 
cred truth.'     Father  O'Rorke  replied  in  the  same  strain. 

*  Ex  Acl.  Consiit. 

In  the  Reigii  of  Elizabeth.  53 

Threats  aiid  promises  were  unavailing  to  change  their 
resohition  ;  and  they  both  joyfully  received  sentence  to  be 
first  put  to  the  torture,  and  then  to  be  hanged  in  the  pre- 
sence of  the  garrison. 

"  These  orders  of  Drury  were  executed  with  an  uncommon 
degree  of  barbarity.  The  two  prisoners  were  first  placed 
on  the  rack,  their  arms  and  feet  were  beaten  with  hammers, 
so  that  their  thigh-bones  were  broken,*  and  sharp  iron 
points  and  needles  were  cruelly  thrust  under  their  nails, 
which  caused  an  extreme  agony  of  suffering.  For  a  con- 
siderable time  they  were  subjected  to  these  tortures,  which 
the  holy  confessors  bore  patiently  for  the  love  of  Christ, 
mutually  exhorting  each  other  to  constancy  and  perse- 

"At  length  they  were  taken  from  the  rack,  and  hanged 
from  the  branches  of  a  neighboring  tree.  Their  bodies 
were  left  suspended  there  for  fourteen  days,  and  were  Used 
in  the  interim  as  a  target  by  the  brutal  soldiery.  When 
the  martyr-prelate  was  being  hurried  to  execution,  he  turn- 
ed to  Drury  and  warned  him  that  before  many  days  he 
himself  should  appear  before  the  tribunal  of  God  to  answer 
for  his  crimes.  On  the  fourteenth  day  after,  this  unhappy 
man  expired  in  great  agony  at  Waterford,  of  a  distemper 
that  baffled  every  remedy.f  The  22d  of  August,  1578, 
was  the  day  rendered  illustrious  by  their  martyrdom.  By 
the  care  of  the  Earl  of  Desmond,  their  bodies  were  reve- 
rently laid  in  the  Franciscan  convent  at  Clonmel,  whence, 
seventy  years  afterward,  (in  1647,)  they  were  translated 
with  solemnity,  and  deposited,  together  with  the  imple- 
ments of  their  torture,  in  the  convent  of  Askeaton." 

*  Domio.  a  Rosario. 

t  Besides  the  authorities  quoted  by  Dr.  Moran.  this  fact  is  mentioned  in  the  ancient  MS  in 
the  Bui^undian  Library,  which  is  entitled  Magna  Supplicia,  etc    RfS.  No.  2159. 

54  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


About  this  year  Dr.  Gibbon,  Archbishop  of  Cashel,  who 
had  been  forcibly  driven  into  exile,  died  in  the  city  of 
Oporto.  He  is  enumerated  by  Dr.  Roothe  among  those 
who  suffered  death  or  imprisonment  for  the  faith.  I  have 
not  met  with  any  other  record  of  his  imprisonment  save  in 
Bruodin,  who  says  he  died  in  prison  in  Cork,  6th  May, 
1578. — See  also  McCarthy  Collections. 

A.nno  157s. 


"  He  was  a  native  of  Cork,  and  for  many  years  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  and  noted  for  his  virtues  ;  at 
length  he  was  obliged,  by  illness,  to  leave  the  society,  with 
the  good  will  of  the  fathers.  He  was  soon  after  appointed 
Bishop  of  Cork.t  but  had  hardly  taken  on  him  the  burden 
of  the  episcopate,  when  he  was  arrested  for  having  opposed 
the  queen's  supremacy,  and  carried  to  Dublin.  In  prison 
he  was  tortured  in  divers  ways,  and  was  more  than  once 
hung  up  for  two  hours  by  his  hands,  tied  together  behind 
his  back.  Broken  with  these  and  other  sufferings,  after  an 
imprisonment  of  eighteen  months,  he  went  to  receive  his 
reward,  the  4th  of  June,  1578." — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 


Father  Mooney  is  our  authority  for  this  narrative. 

"  In  the  year  1578,  the  English  heretics  made  an  expedi- 

•  From  Roothe's  A  natecia  Nova  et  Mtra.  ad  part. 

t  Dr.  Tanner  was  appointed  bishop  on  the  nones  of  November,  1574.  He  was  a  naHve  of 
Leinster,  and  we  find  faculties  granted  to  him,  not  only  for  his  own  diocese,  but  also  for  the 
provinces  of  Cashel  and  Dublin.  His  successor,  Dermitius  Graith,  was  appointed  on  the  nth 
October,  is^o.—Mora7i  ex  A  rcklv.  Vatican  in  A  rchbishops  of  Dublin^  vol.  i.  p.  187. 

}  Mooney,  p.  z. 

In  the  Reigti  of  Elizabeth.  55 

tion  to  this  convent,  (that  of  Elphin,  in  the  city  of  the  same 
name,)  and  when  the  brethren  learned  their  approach  they 
fled  across  the  sea  in  a  boat  which  was  there.  The  father 
provincial  minister  was  there  at  the  time,  and  when  he 
asked  who,  for  the  merit  of  holy  obedience,  would  remain 
alone  in  the  monastery,  Brother  Phelim  O'Hara,  a  lay 
brother,  was  chosen  out  of  many  who  offered  themselves, 
partly  because  he  was  prudent  and  far  advanced  in  years, 
and  partly  because  it  was  hoped  he  would  be  less  obnoxious 
than  the  others.*  Wherefore  he  received  the  benediction 
and  remained.  But  the  English,  coming,  despoiled  the 
monastery  and  slew  this  brother,  even  before  the  high 
altar ;  nor  did  they  dare  to  remain  there  long,  but  departed 
the  same  day.  The  other  brethren  who  had  fled,  and  who 
remained  out  at  sea  waiting,  when  they  returned  home 
found  the  brother,  who  had  become  a  martyr  through 
obedience,  before  the  high  altar,  where  it  was  believed  he 
was  praying  when,  on  the  approach  of  the  enemies,  he 
gave  up  his  soul  a  grateful  sacrifice  to  God.  He  is  buried 
in  the  chapter  house." 

Waddirig  adds :  "  The  soldiers  returning  another  time 
seized  a  secular  priest  and  another  Minorite  friar,  and  having 
hung  the  former,  tortured  the  latter,  to  make  him  reveal 
what  the  priest  had  said  in  confession,  by  tightening  a 
cord  round  his  forehead  till  the  skull  cracked  and  the  brain 
protruded  He  also,  Annals,  ad  an.  1578,  mistakes  the 
convent  of  Moy  for  that  of  Elphin. 


These  fathers  were  members  of  the  Franciscan  convent 
of  Down.     A  military  commissioner,  named  Britton,  and 

•  Because  the  others  were  priests. 

t  From  Brundin,  Passic  Martyr.  440  :  and  L.  Wadding,  Scr'iptores  and  /i-^'iiei   irai.  n. 
p.  J5S,  and  who  |iuts  their  martyrdom  about  1570  ,  but  Uruodin  gives  the  exai  1  J^i- 

56  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

his  ravaging  band,  resolved  to  fix  their  winter  quarters  in 
that  ancient  town.  Their  thirst  for  religious  spoils  soon* 
-mpelled  them  to  the  convent.  But  the  sacred  vessels  had 
been  concealed,  and  none  could  be  found.  The  three 
fathers  were  their  only  prey.  These  they  first  subjected  to 
a  variety  of  tortures,  and  then,  dragging  them  to  the 
adjoining  garden,  strangled  them  from  the  branches  of  a 
large  oak  that  overshadowed  the  sanctuary. 

AMno  1S79. 


I  GIVE  his  life  in  full  from  Dr.  Roothe. 

"  After  collecting  as  best  I  could  any  information  in  my 
power  about  Archbishop  O' Hurley,  it  now  remains  for  me 
to  relate  what  befell  a  suftragan  of  his  see,  Thomas  O'Her- 
laghy.  The  diocese  of  Ross  is  situated  in  the  south  part 
of  Munster ;  the  cathedral  is  in  a  town  neither  large  nor 
fortified,  in  the  district  of  Carbary,  and  from  its  name  of 
Ross  the  bishopric  derives  its  title.  Thomas,  of  whom  I 
write,  was  a  man  of  most  exemplary  piety,  born  of  a  hum- 
ble family  in  a  small  village  of  that  territory,  and  when  he 
was  raised  to  the  episcopal  dignity  he  was  unwearying  in 
the  care  of  his  flock,  and  preserving  them  in  the  Catholic 
faith.  Together  with  two  other  Irish  bishops,  Donald 
Magongial,  Bishop  of  Raphoe,  and  Eugene  O'Hairt,  Bishop 
of  Aghadoe,  he  took  a  part  in  the  Council  of  Trent,  and  he 
therefore  strove  with  peculiar  zeal  to  have  the  decrees  and 
discipline  of  the  council  observed  throughout  the  whole 
district  under  his  jurisdiction.  This  caused  him  many 
troubles,  and  raised  a  great  persecution  against  him,  v/hich 
compelled  him  to  take  refuge  in  a  small  island  to  escape, 
like  a  bird  from  the  claws  of  a  hawk  ;  and,  like  another 
Ulysses  in  Ithaca,  he  there  led  a  solitary  life  with  one 

/»  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth  57 

chaplain,  intent  on  prayer  and  meditation ;  yet  he  was  not 
long  safe  from  the  pursuer.  They  were  both  taken  prison- 
ers by  one  from  whom  they  looked  not  for  such  treatment, 
a  noble  of  their  own  nation,  one  O'Sullivan,  the  eldest  son 
of  the  great  O'Sullivan,*  a  spoiler  the  more  unfortunate  the 
greater  his  spoil ;  for,  like  the  Tolosan  gold  or  the  horse 
of  Sejan,  it  prospered  him  not,  but  from  that  day  he  fell 
into  many  misfortunes,  hated  by  the  strangers,  and  detest- 
ed by  the  natives  and  his  former  friends.  He  took  his  cap- 
tives to  Sir  John  Perrot,  an  English  Protestant,  who  was 
then  President  of  Munster ;  by  him  the  bishop  was  cast 
into  chains,  a  chain  being  fastened  round  his  neck,  and  fet- 
ters on  his  legs,  and  after  he  had  suffered  much  torment 
and  misery  in  Ireland  he  was  sent  to  England. 

"  The  night  previous  to  his  being  taken  before  the  pre- 
sident he  took  care  to  have  his  efiiscopal  tonsure  shaved, 
in  token  of  Catholic  union  and  the  faith  which  he  profess- 
ed, for  he  did  not  blush  to  confess  Him  before  men  from 
whom  he  hoped  to  receive  the  reward  of  his  confession,  the 
prize  of  victory,  and  the  crown  of  immortality  ;  but  this 
tonsure,  detested  by  them,  drew  upon  him  the  scorn  and 
insolent  scoffs  of  the  soldiers,  his  jailers.  When  taken  to 
England,  he  was  thrf  wn  into  the  Tower  of  London,  where 
he  was  kept  for  three  years  and  about  seven  months  with 
the  primate.  Archbishop  Creagh..  At  first  he  was  shut  up 
in  a  dark  cell,  without  bed,  fire,  or  light,  having  only  one 
small  window,  which  was  open  to  the  northern  blasts, 
which  froze  his  aged  limbs. 

"  Freedom  and  honors  were  offered  to  him  if  he  would 
yield  to  the  queen's  will ;  but  he  would  not.  Many  per- 
s^.ns  v/ere  sent  to  persuade  him,  by  threats  and  fair  words, 
to  apostatize,  bat  he  adhered  fiimly  to  the  rocic  on  which 
he  had  taken  his  stand.     They  brought  him  in  writing  a 

*  Filio  majore  majoris  O'Sullivan. 

58  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

form  of  abjuration  to  sign,  in  which  were  contained  many 
errors  against  the  faith ;  but  he  firmly  refused  to  admit, 
either  by  word  or  writing,  anything  contrary  to  the  ortho- 
dox faith,  and  declared  he  would  rather  his  hand  were  cut 
off  than  that  it  should  sign  such  a  paper  ;  that  he  valued 
the  deposit  of  the  faith  more  than  to  renounce  it  for  any 
human  threats.  In  this  he  imitated  Eusebius,  the  Bishop 
of  Vercelli,  who,  when  the  Arian  emperor  called  upon  him 
to  give  up  the  declaration  of  Catholic  faith  which  the  or- 
thodox bishops  had  entrusted  to  him  for  safe-keeping,  and 
threatened  that  his  right  hand  should  be  cut  off,  boldly  an- 
swered, '  Behold  both  my  hands  ;  rather  shall  they  both  be 
struck  off  than  I  will  basely  resign  that  which  has  been 
entrusted  to  me.' 

"  At  length  the  innocent  bishop  was  freed  from  prison, 
at  the  solicitation  of  certain  English  nobles,  and  on  Cor- 
raac  Dermicia,*  of  the  house  of  Carter,  Lord  of  Muskerry, 
in  Ireland,  becoming  bail  for  his  innocence  and  purity  of 
life.  On  leaving  prison,  he  determined  to  cross  over  into 
Belgium,  but,  being  seized  with  an  illness,  the  seeds  of 
which  he  had  contracted  in  prison,  he  changed  his  mind, 
and  betook  himself  to  Ireland.  On  landing  at  the  port  of 
Dublin,  he  was  seized  and  brought  before  the  viceroy,  who 
was  about  again  to  cast  him  into  prison,  and  did  detain 
him  until  he  learned  by  letter  from  the  Governor  of  the 
Tower  of  London  that  it  was  by  the  command  of  the  queen 
and  council  he  was  set  free. 

"  He  was  now  advanced  in  years,  of  grave  manners,  of 
frugal  and  temperate  habits,  contented  with  the  simplest 
food,  much  given  to  meditation  and  prayer.  He  generally 
recited  the  canonical  office  of  matins  in  the  middle  of  the 
night,  and  that  with  bare  head,  and  mostly  on  bended 
knees.     He  practised  frequent  fasts,  and  frequently,  remov- 

*  So  ^vritten  in  the  original :  it  is  probably  a  translation  of  Dermody,  as  Denniciada,  lata, 
is  a  classic  form  of  the  same  patronymic. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  jg 

ing  the  bed,  he  lay  undressed  on  the  hard  floor ;  and  every 
year,  at  the  close  of  the  Lenten  fast,  he  remained  without 
eating  from  his  sober  midday  meal  on  Holy  Thursday  un- 
til afternoon  of  Holy  Saturday. 

"  Although  he  suffered  from  dropsy,  and  was  of  so  weak 
health  that  he  seemed  to  need  all  possible  quiet  and  repose 
to  restore  his  strength,  yet  in  his  whole  life  he  seemed 
hardly  ever  to  rest  from  his  labors ;  for  he  was  ever  en- 
gaged either  in  the  administration  of  the  sacraments  or  of 
his  episcopal  jurisdiction  and  preaching,  or  in  private  pray- 
er and  chastising  his  flesh.  He  heard  the  confessions  of 
the  people,  and  even  of  the  poorest,  in  wretched  hovels 
often  covered  with  mud  ;  he  often  administered  confirma- 
tion to  the  crowds  who  pressed  to  receive  it  until  he  was 
exhausted ;  he  conferred  holy  orders  on  those  who  were 
chosen  ;  he  blessed  the  sacred  vessels  and  the  holy  oils, 
and  labored  in  every  way  possible  for  a  prudent  and  zeal- 
ous bishop  devoted  to  the  salvation  of  souls. 

"  He  loved  not  high-sounding  discourses,  but  rejoiced  in 
the  humble  ;  nor  did  he  prefer  his  own  opinion  to  that  of 
others.  He  was  gentle  in  discourse,  and  liberal  in  giving 
to  the  poor  of  the  little  he  received  from  friends  and  bene- 
factors, for  he  never  received  one  farthing  of  the  revenues 
of  his  see,  which  an  intruder  held.  He  avoided  all  famili- 
arity with  women,  nor  would  he  ever  speak  with  them  save 
before  witnesses.  He  was  a  lover  of  soHtude  and  silence, 
and  even  when  sitting  at  the  table  of  seculars  he  frequent- 
ly led  the  conversation  to  spiritual  subjects,  taking  occa- 
sion from  passing  events  to  rise  to  spiritual  thoughts,  and 
tJ  excite  the  minds  of  his  hearers  to  heavenly  desires. 

"  When  he  left  the  Tower  of  London,  and  proceeded,  in 
company  with  his  bailsman,  Cormac  Dermiciada,  to  Ire- 
land, he  resided  at  first  in  Muskerry,  the  territory  of  that 
lord ;  but  because  he  was  there,  on  account  of  his  host, 
obliged  to  assist  at  feasts  and  banquetings,  which  Httle 

6o  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

suited  his  taste,  he  determined  to  seek  another  abode, 
where  he  might  more  freely  indulge  his  pious  tastes.  He 
therefore  hired  a  little  farm,  near  a  dense  wood,  in  the 
same  territory  ;  there  he  constructed  a  dwelling  of  boughs 
and  twigs,  with  a  roof  of  sods  and  straw,  and  the  walls 
plastered  with  mud.  against  the  cold.  The  house  was  the 
dwelling  of  a  husbandman,  and  so  were  the  furniture  and 
cooking  utensils  ;  no  hangings  or  table  napery,  no  silken 
coverlets  or  sumptuous  couches  ;  a  single  sheet  on  straw, 
and  a  thick  frieze  coverlet,  sufficed  him  ;  wooden  cups,  and 
a  plank  on  wooden  props  for  his  table.  His  drink  was  wa-' 
ter  from  the  spring,  or  a  little  weak  beer,  or  whey ;  hun- 
ger was  his  only  sauce,  labor  the  softener  of  his  couch,  a 
contented  mind  the  solace  of  all  his  trials. 

"  In  this  position  of  rural  poverty  he  yet  found  means  to 
relieve  the  poverty  and  wants  of  others.  The  war  in  the 
south  was  over,  and  the  country  was  overrun  with  crowds 
of  famishing  wretches  ;  for  the  violence  of  war  and  the 
passage  of  plundering  bands  of  soldiers  had  destroyed  all 
cultivation,  and  the  wretched  farmers,  not  able  to  bear  the 
incessant  plundering,  had  abandoned  their  fields  and  their 
cottages,  and  wandered  about,  seeking  a  precarious  life  by 
begging.  Many  of  these  came  to  the  bishop,  to  whom  he 
gave  freely  of  his  little  means. 

"  This  his  humble  dwelling  he  preferred  to  more  splendid 
mansions  ;  there  did  he  'place  steps  in  his  heart  in  the  vale 
of  tears,  in  the  place  he  had  chosen.'  From  thence  he  pro- 
ceeded on  his  annual  visitation  of  his  diocese  ;  there  he  re- 
turned when  he  had  completed  the  circuit  of  his  jurisdic- 
tion ;  there  he  meditated  day  and  night  on  the  law  of  the 
Lord.  Thus,  while  the  usurper,  who  had  been  placed  by 
the  favor  of  Elizabeth  in  the  see  of  Ross,  occupied  his 
cathedral,  the  legitimate  pastor  was  not  only  driven  from 
his  country,  but  made  captive,  and  fettered  and  sent  out 
of  the  kingdom  by  Perrot,  the  president,  and  returned  at 

In  the  Reign,  of  Elizabeth.  6 1 

length  with  difficulty  to  take  care  of  his  flock,  who  were 
dispersed  ;  for,  like  Moses, '  he  denied  himself  to  be  the  son 
of  the  daughter  of  Pharaoh,  choosing  rather  to  be  afflicted 
with  the  people  of  God  than  to  have  the  pleasure  of  sin  for 
a  time,  esteeming  the  reproach  of  Christ  greater  riches 
than  the  treasure  of  the  Egyptians.'  He  crossed  the  sea 
and  fled  into  the  desert  from  the  Egypt  of  England,  and 
dwelt  in  solitude  and  in  desert  places ;  there  he  held  his 
synods  and  administered  the  sacraments,  and,  far  from  the 
noise  of  the  world,  gave  himself  wholly  to  God.  On  the 
more  solemn  feasts  he  went  to  the  neighboring  chuich, 
celebrated  there  the  holy  mysteries,  and  preached  to  the 
people.  To  this  his  dwelling  may  be  applied  what  is  said 
in  Deuteronomy  of  the  land  of  promise, '  The  land  to  which 
you  shall  come  is  not  as  the  land  of  Egypt  that  you  came 
out  of,  where  when  the  seed  is  sown  it  is  watered  as  in  a 
garden  ;  but  it  is  a  land  hilly  and  wooded,  expecting  rain 
from  heaven,  which  the  Lord  thy  God  will  send,  and  his 
eyes  are  upon  it  from  the  beginning  of  the  year  to  the 
end.'  From  this  land  of  the  dying  he  sighed  after  the  land 
of  the  living,  where  the  sun  burneth  not  nor  the  cold  freez- 
es. In  the  midst  of  his  labors  and  his  sufferings  from 
dropsy,  his  soul  panted  for  the  courts  of  the  Lord,  and, 
seated  by  the  waters  of  Babylon,  he  was  refreshed  with  the 
thoughts  of  Sion,  and,  though  her  harps  hung  silent  on  the 
willows  because  of  the  violence  of  the  Babylonians,  his 
voice  did  not  cease  from  her  canticles  ;  the  beads  of  the 
rosary  were  ever  passing  through  his  fingers,  or  he  was  re- 
peating the  Psalter. 

"  Such  was  his  conversation,  pious  and  edifying,  whether 
at  home  or  abroad ;  and,  whether  at  home  or  abroad,  he 
was  ever  employed  in  his  Lord's  service,  for  the  venerable 
bishop  labored  much  to  bring  back  many  who  had  wander- 
ed from  the  faith,  to  confirm  those  who  were  wavering,  to 
inflame  the  tepid  and  strengthen  the  weak ;  and  it  was 

62  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

granted  to  him  to  drive  out  Satan,  not  only  from  the  mind, 
but  also  from  the  body.  There  was  a  certain  damsel  who 
was  possessed  by  a  dumb  devil,  and  she  was  grievously 
tormented ;  her  voice  trembled,  her  teeth  chattered,  her 
heart  palpitated,  and  the  shivering  of  all  her  limbs  showed 
the  power  of  the  malignant  spirit.  The  holy  bishop,  being 
taken  to  see  her,  exorcised  the  evil  spirit,  made  the  damsel 
repeat  the  Apostles'  Creed,  (which  she  did  with  great 
difficulty,)  and,  having  heard  her  confession  and  prepared 
her  by  careful  instruction,  administered  to  her  the  holy 
communion  ;  and  from  that  time  she  recovered  not  only 
her  spiritual  health,  but  gradually  also  the  health  of  the 

"The  holy  Bishop  O'Herlaghy  continued  unwearied  in 
his  apostolic  labors  up  to  his  sixtieth  year,  and  died  in  the 
territory  of  Muskerry,  and  was  buried  in  the  monastery  of 
the  Franciscan  order,  in  Kilchree,  (de  Cellacrea,)  in  the 
year  1579." — De  Processu  Martyriali,  etc.,  T.  N.  Phila- 
delpho,  16 19. 

A.n,ru>  1580.       . 

This  year  was  peculiarly  fruitful  in  martyrs. 


"  Hugh  de  Lacy,  of  a  noble  Munster  family,  was  a  man 
well  versed  in  sacred  and  profane  learning,  and  a  priest 
of  most  exemplary  life,  for  which  reason  he  was  created 
Bishop  of  Limerick  while  Henry  VIII.  was  yet  a  Catho- 
lic. When  the  king  apostatized,  he  never  could  induce 
Hugh  to  join  in  his  spiritual  revolt,  or  to  stain  himself  by 
subscribing  to  the  king's  supremacy  ;  for  which  reason  he 
was  deprived  not  only  of  the  king's  favor,  but  of  all  the 
revenues  and  of  the  possession  of  his  see.  As  nothing 
was  gained  by  this,  the  king  had  Lacy  thrown  into  prison 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  63 

in  Cork,  where  he  nearly  perished  from  the  filth  of  the 
dungeon.  He  was  freed  by  the  dexterity  of  his  friends, 
and  returned  to  Limerick  to  collect  his  flock,  which  he 
found  scattered  by  the  Anglican  wolf  But  the  persecu- 
tion increased  in  the  latter  years  of  Henry,  and  still  more 
under  the  Calvinistic  Edward  VI.,  and  Hugh  was  again 
threatened ;  wherefore,  imitating  the  example  of  the 
apostle,  he  sought  safety  in  Catholic  France.  On  the 
accession  of  Mary  he  was  recalled  by  Cardinal  Pole,  and 
returned  to  Limerick  amid  the  rejoicings  of  his  flock,  and 
for  many  years  fed  his  flock  in  peace,  with  zeal  and  vigilance 
walking  in  the  footsteps  of  the  great  Pastor.  When  he 
was  more  than  sixty  years  of  age,  and  Elizabeth  was  laying 
waste  the  Lord's  vineyard,  the  venerable  bishop  was 
deprived  of  his  episcopal  see,  and  of  all  means  of  living, 
and  thrown  into  prison  for  refusing  the  oath  of  the  queen's 
supremadry,  where,  worn  out  with  suffering,  the  noble- 
hearted  bishop  died,  the  26th  March,  anno  1571."* — 
Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 


"Father  Moore,  together  with  Oliver  Plunket,  an 
Irishman  of  gentle  birth,  and  William  Walsh,  an  English 
soldier,  were  seized  by  a  troop  of  heretical  soldiers,  tied  to 
stakes,  and  shot,  and  thus  obtained  the  palm  of  martyrdom, 
on  the  eleventh  of  November,  the  feast  of  St.  Martin, 
1580." — Philadelphus. 

A  letter,   written   on    the  9th  January,    1581,   in   the 

•  Here,  as  in  many  oth  ir  instances,  Braodin,  although  right  in  the  substance  of  his  narra- 
tive, is  wrong  in  his  dates.  Dr.  Roothe  puts  his  imprisonment  and  death  at  1580,  and  he  is  con- 
firmed by  the  Vatican  list  given  by  Dr.  IMoran,  which  describes  the  see  of  Limerick  as  vacant 
in  1580  "  per  obitum  D,  Ugonis  Lacy,  in  sua  ecclesia  defuncti  :'*  and  his  successor.  Dr.  Corne- 
lius Nachten,  was  appointed  in  1581.  Dr.  Lacy  was  deprived  of  the  temporalities  in  1571,  and 
William  Casey  intrtided  by  Edward  V[.  But  he  remained  at  liberty  at  least  until  1575. — Set 
Moran,  A  rchbh hops  of  Dubl'm,  vol.  i.  p.  t86,  and  IVare^s  Bishofis.  See  also  Casey* s  Recartta- 
Hon,/roni  the  State  J'a/erO^e,  in  Bra.iji,  I'a/iers  concerning  tht  Irish  Church,  p.  119. 

64  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Vatican  archives,  published  by  Dr.  Moran,  gives  a  fuller 
account  of  their  death.  They  were  in  the  Golden  Fort, 
held  by  a  Spanish  force  under  San  Jos6.  When  this 
traitor  surrendered  the  fort  to  the  English  commander, 
Lord  Gray,  the  letter  continues  : 

"  At  the  request  of  the  viceroy,  the  priest  Laurence, 
Oliver  Plunket,  and  William  Willick,  an  Englishman,  were 
delivered  into  his  hands.  To  them  the  offer  was  made  to 
be  restored  to  liberty  should  they  consent  to  take  the  oath 
of  allegiance  to  the  queen  ;*  but  when  they  replied,  with 
one  accord,  that  they  were  Catholics,  and  that,  by  the  grace 
of  God,  they  would  persevere  in  the  faith,  they  were  led 
off  to  a  forge  of  an  ironsmith,  and  then  their  arms  and 
legs  were  broken  in  three  different  parts.  During  all  that 
night  and  the  following  day  they  endured  that  torment 
with  invincible  patience.  At  length  they  were  hanged, 
and  their  bodies  cut  into  fragments."  Sir  R.  Bingham 
(letter  to  Walsingham)  says  that  an  Englishman  who  had 
waited  on  Dr.  Sanders,  Plunket,  who  acted  as  interpreter, 
and  an  Irish  priest  were  reserved  for  special  punishment ; 
"their  legs  and  arms  were  first  broken,  and  they  were 
hanged  on  a  gibbet  on  the  walls  of  the  fort." — See  Moran, 
History  of  the  Archbishops  of  Dublin,  vol.  i.  p.  202  ;  and 
Haverty,  History  of  Ireland,  p.  243. 


"  Father  Gelasius  O'Quillenan,  of  the  Cistercian 
order.  Abbot  of  the  monastery  of  Boyle,  was  martyred, 
together  with  the  priest  Eugene  Cronius,  (probably  Cronin,) 
1 5  80." — Philadelphus. 

The  following  account  of  the  life  of  this  holy  martyr  is 

•  In  which  was  embodied  the  oath  of  supremacy. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  65 

taken  from  Dr.  Moran,  who  drew  it  from  Henriquez  and 
O'SuUivan : 

"  Gelasius  O'CuUenan  was  born  of  a  noble  family  in 
Connaught,  and  in  his  early  years  joined  the  Cistercian 
order.  Having  completed  his  novitiate  and  sacred  studies 
in  Pans,  the  monastery  of  Boyle  was  destined  as  the  field 
of  his  labors.  On  his  arrival  in  Ireland,  he  found  that  the 
monastery,  with  its  property,  had  been  seized  on  by  one  of 
the  neighboring  gentry,  who  was  sheltered  in  his  usurpa- 
tion by  the  edict  of  Elizabeth.  The  abbot,  nothing  deterred 
by  the  penal  enactment  which  he  knew  impended  over 
him,  went  boldly  to  the  usurping  nobleman,  and  admonish- 
ed him  of  the  guilt  which  he  incurred,  and  the  malediction 
of  Heaven  which  he  would  assuredly  draw  down  upon  his 
whole  family.  Moved  by  his  exhortations,  the  nobleman 
restored  to  him  the  full  possession  of  the  monastery  and 
lands  ;  and  some  time  after,  contemplating  the  holy  life  of 
its  inmates  and  the  happy  fruits  of  their  zeal,  and  desirous 
to  share  in  their  apostolate,  he  too  renounced  the  world 
and  joined  their  religious  institute.  In  1580,  Gelasius, 
being  in  DubHn,  was  arrested  by  order  of  the  government, 
and,  together  with  Hugh  O'Melkeran,  another  Cistercian 
father,  was  thrown  into  the  public  jail.  John  O'Garvin,* 
then  Protestant  dean  of  Christ  church,  was  among  those 
who  assisted  at  his  first  interrogatory,  and,  having  propos- 
ed many  inducements  to  the  abbot '  to  abandon  the  popish 
creed,'  Gelasius,  in  reply,  reproved  him  for  preferring  the 
deceitful  vanities  of  this  world  to  the  lasting  joys  of  eternity, 
and  exhorted  him  'to  renounce  the  errors  and  iniquity  of 
heresy  by  which  he  had  hitherto  warred  against  God,  and 
to  make  amends  for  the  past  by  joining  with  him  in  pro- 
fessing the  name  of  Christ,  that  he  might  thus  become 
worthy  to  receive  a  heavenly  crown.'     The  holy  abbot  and 

•  He  is  styled  Ganrw  by  Ware  and  Mant.    He  was  soon  after  appointed  Protestant  Biahop 
of  Kilmore. 

66  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

his  companion  were  then  subjected  to  torture,  and,  among 
their  other  sufferings,  we  find  it  commemorated  that  their 
arms  and  legs  were  broken  by  repeated  blows,  and  fire  was 
applied  to  their  feet.  The  only  words  of  Gelasius  during 
all  this  torture  were,  'Though  you  should  offer  me  the 
princedom  of  England,  I  will  not  forfeit  my  eternal  reward." 
Sentence  of  death  being  passed  against  them,  they  were  led 
out  with  all  possible  ignominy  to  execution.  They,  how- 
ever, were  filled  with  consolation  ;  the  sight  of  the  joyous 
sufferers  excited  the  admiration  of  the  assembled  mul- 
titude, and  many  even  of  the  heretics  declared  that  they 
were  more  like  angels  than  men.  It  was  on  the  2ist 
November,  15  So,  that  they  were  happily  crowned  with 
martyrdom.  The  garments  which  they  wore,  and  the  im- 
plements of  their  torture,  were  eagerly  purchased  by  the 
Catholics,  and  cherished  by  them  with  religious  veneration. 
Gelasius  O'Cullenan  is  justly  styled  by  the  annalist  of  his 
order, '  Ordinis  CistC'f ciensis  decor,  sseculi  nostri  splendor,  et 
totius  Hiberniae  gloria."* — Henriquez,  Fasciculus,  part  i. 
distinct  27,  cap.  i. ;  G Sullivan,  Hist.  Cath.  p.  126. 


These  two  martyrs  received  their  crown  on  the  lOth 
August,  1580.  They  had  long  labored  among  the  suffer- 
ing faithful  along  the  south-western  coast  of  our  island. 
When  the  convent  of  Bantry  was  seized  by  the  English 
troops,  these  holy  men  received  the  wished-for  crown  of 

•  Curry,  in  his  CivU  IVars,  says :  "  Among  many  other  Roman  Catholic  bishops  and  prieit* 
Uiere  were  put  to  death  for  the  exercise  of  thoir  function  in  Ireland  Glaby  0' Boyle,  Abbot  of 
Boyle,  of  the  diocese  of  Elphin,  and  Owen  O'Mulkeren,  Abbot  of  the  monastery  of  the  Holy 
Trinity,  in  that  diocese,  hanged  and  quartered  by  Lord  Gray  in  15S0."  I'hese  two  are  pro- 
bably the  subjects  of  our  memoir,  Glaby  is  Gelasius  ;  and  the  practice,  common  even  now  in 
Ireland,  of  calling  a  priest,  especially  a  regular,  only  by  his  Christian  name,  as  "  Father  John," 
would  easily  lead  to  the  confusion  as  to  the  surname.  O'Boyle,  in  Irish  wou'd  be  "from 


In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  67 

martyrdom.  Being  conducted  to  a  high  rock  impending 
over  the  sea,  they  were  tied  back  to  back  and  precipitated 
into  the  waves  beneath.* 


Was  a  priest  of  the  diocese  of  Cloyne,  and  endured  a  most 
peculiar  martyrdom,  on  the  28th  March,  1580.  He  was  a 
most  apostolic  man,  full  of  attention  to  the  wants  of  the 
poor  and  of  solicitude  for  all  his  flock.  He  was  no  sooner 
arrested  and  conducted  under  a  military  guard  to  Youghal, 
than  two  wicked  men,  named  Norris  and  Morgan,  un- 
dertook the  task  of  his  execution.  They  conducted  him 
to  the  summit  of  Trinity  Tower,  and,  having  fastened  a 
rope  around  his  waist  and  arms,  precipitated  him  from  the 
battlements.  The  rope  not  being  sufficiently  strong  to 
resist  the  shock,  the  holy  man  fell,  mangled  and  almost 
lifeless,  to  the  ground. 

The  fury  of  his  executioners,  however,  was  not  allayed. 
Observing  that  life  was  not  yet  extinct,  they  caused  him 
to  be  dragged  to  a  mill  not  far  distant,  when  they  tied  him 
to  the  water-wheel.  His  lacerated  body  in  a  few  minutes 
was  wholly  disfigured,  and  scarcely  retained  the  semblance 
of  human  remains.f 

Philadelphus  adds  that  John  Norris  was  commander 
(what  he  calls  prefect)  and  William  Morgan  captain  of  the 
troop  that  arrested  him.  He  says  he  was  an  Observantine 
Franciscan.  Dr.  Moran,  on  the  authority  of  Bruodin,  calls 
him  a  secular  priest.  Wadding  also  claims  him  as  a  Fran 

•  Bruodin,  Passio  Mart.  p.  440,  and  Wadding,  AmtaUs  Ord,  S.  F.  p.  351. 

t  Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  ix, 

t  Philadelph.,  and  Wadding,  Scriptans  O.  S.  f.,  slao  A  arui/s,  vol.  m.  p.  258. 

68  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


Were  three  secular  priests,  and  natives  of  Kerry.  For 
more  than  thirty  years  they  had  been  indefatigable  in 
their  labors  in  their  native  county  and  the  surrounding 
territory.  It  was  in  the  town  of  Lislaghton  that  they 
received  the  crown  of  martyrdom.  While  the  country 
around  was  laid  waste  by  the  agents  of  persecution,  they 
hastened  to  the  sanctuary  to  offer  themselves  as  victims 
for  their  suffering  flock.  They  were  soon  discovered  there 
by  the  enemy,  and  immediately  beheaded.  The  6th  of 
April,  1580,  was  the  day  of  their  happy  triumph. — Bruodin. 

— ♦ — 

Was  parish  priest  of  Mullinahone,  in  Tipperary,  in  a  speci- 
al manner  attracted  the  rage  of  the  heretics,  and  was  com- 
pelled to  take  shelter,  together  with  numbers  of  his  flock, 
on  the  wild  summits  of  Slievenamon.  Rewards  were  more 
than  once  offered  for  his  arrest,  and  his  parish  was  frequent- 
ly scoured  by  military  parties  anxious  to  seize  on  their 

At  length,  while  engaged  in  administering  the  last 
sacraments  to  a  dying  man,  he  was  overtaken  by  his  pur- 
suers, who  at  once  hurried  him  toward  Clonmel.  Before 
arriving  in  that  town  the  officer  of  the  guard,  named 
Furrows,  fearing  lest  the  inhabitants  might  rescue  the 
venerable  captive,  gave  orders  to  have  him  despatched, 
The  soldiers  treated  him  with  great  brutality,  and,  hewing 
his  body  into  fragments,  scattered  his  mangled  members 
along  the  highway,  and  brought  his  head  as  a  trophy  to  the 
commander  in  Clonmel.* — Bruodtn. 

•  This  ifi  quite  a  diflFerent  person  from  the  Maurice  Kjnrechtfn  who  stiffered  in  icSs  whotie 
Kfe,  as  given  by  Roothe,  see  at  that  year.  Hanrichan  or  O'Hannchan,  and  Kjnrechin  or  Kin- 
rechtin.  and  O'Kinrechtin  were  very  common  names  in  Tipperary  at  this  period. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  69 


His  life  is  thus  narrated  by  Tanner  :* 

"  At  this  same  time,  Ireland  being  involved  in  the  same 
calamity  by  the  queen,  (Elizabeth,)  the  holy  pontiff  (Pius 
V.)  sent  spiritual  assistance  also  to  that  country  from  the 
same  society,  among  whom  was  Father  Edmund  Donatus, 
or,  as  he  was  called  by  many,  Donnelly,  who  came  to  a 
glorious  end  in  the  very  commencement  of  his  course,  and 
was  the  first  to  declare  in  Ireland  the  truth  of  the  Catholic 
religion  by  the  shedding  of  his  blood.f  He  was  born  at 
Limerick,  and,  by  the  desire  of  the  holy  father,  returned 
to  his  native  country  to  console  and  encourage  the  Catho- 
lics, then  grievously  tormented.  But  he  was  quickly 
seized  by  the  enemies  of  the  faith,  who  were  watching 
everywhere  most  carefully,  and  kept  for  a  long  time  in 
close  custody  in  Limerick.  There  his  constancy  was 
tried  in  many  ways,  the  ministers  of  error  promising  all 
sorts  of  rewards  if  he  would  abandon  the  Roman  faith  and 
embrace  the  errors  of  the  Reformation.  As  the  confessor 
of  God  remained  unshaken,  he  was  sent  to  Cork,  distant 
some  forty  miles,  to  be  further  subjected  to  the  cruelty  of 
the  question.  He  was  dragged  along  the  whole  road  with 
his  hands  tied  behind  his  back  like  a  robber,  and  made  to 
endure  all  that  is  inflicted  on  murderers  and  traitors,  and 
finally  thrown  into  the  common  jail  at  Cork,  where  he 
was  tortured  in  divers  ways.  As  his  constancy  was  still 
unshaken,  he  was  tried  for  high  treason  and  publicly  con- 
demned, such  grounds  being  assigned  for  the  sentence  as 
put  the  enviable  fate  of  the  martyr  in  its  true  light,  for  he 
was  charged  that  he  had  been  banished  from  the  realm  b> 
Queen  Elizabeth,  under  the  penalty  of  treason  if  he  return- 
ed, yet  had  returned  to  lead  and  strengthen  his  fellow- 

*  Tanner,  Societas  yesu  usque  ad  Sanguinis  et  Vita  Pro/usionem  pro  Deo  et  Christtank 
Seiiffione  militans. 
t  That  is.  the  first  of  the  fesuit*. 

70  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

citizens  by  his  word  and  example  ;  and  that  he  had  denied 
to  the  queen  the  title  of  head  of  the  English  Church.  This 
sentence,  so  unjust  in  itself,  yet  bearing  such  a  glorious 
triumph  to  him,  he  received  with  the  greatest  alacrity  and 
joy,  and,  bowing  his  head  in  token  of  thanks  to  his  judges, 
he  was  led  to  the  common  place  of  execution  as  a  traitor. 
There  the  rope  was  put  round  his  neck,  and  he  was  hung 
some  time  from  the  gallows  ;  but  while  he  was  yet  alive 
and  breathing,  the  rope  was  cut  and  he  fell  to  the  ground, 
•and  his  heart,  cut  out  and  held  up  by  the  executioner  to 
be  seen  by  the  people,  then  thrown  into  the  fire,  with  the 
rest  of  his  entrails.  The  rest  of  his  body  was  cut  in  four 
parts  and  affixed  to  poles,  there  to  remain  to  be  seen  by 
all,  as  though  his  torn  limbs  would  teach  more  fidelity  to 
the  queen.  The  holy  man  suffered  at  Cork,  in  1580." — 
Tanner,  p.  8,  PJiiladelph.,  and  Bruodin,  (lib.  iii.  cap.  xx.,) 
who  puts  his  death  at  1575. 


Philadelphus  mentions  these  as  follows  : 
"  I  have  also  seen  a  catalogue  in  which  are  written  the 
names  of  many  lay  Catholics  who  perished  in  consequence 
either  of  the  fraud  or  calumnies  of  their  enemies  or  the 
hatred  of  the  orthodox  faith  which  they  professed.  ...  To 
these  must  be  added  from  the  same  catalogue  twenty-two 
old  men,  (Catholics,)  whom,  being  unable  to  fly,  the  fury  of 
the  soldiers  burnt  to  death  in  the  village  of  Mohoriack,  in 
Munster,  the  26th  day  of  June,  1580."* — Philadelph.,  De 

•  Bruodin  (lib.  iii.  cap.  ix.)  gives  the  name  of  the  village  as  Ballymohun,  in  the  diocese  al 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  71 


Their  martyrdom  is  thus  narrated  by  Dr.  Moran,  from 
Henriquez : 

"  About  the  same  time  the  monastery  of  St.  Mary  of 
Maggio*  became  illustrious  by  the  martyrdom  of  its  holy 
inmates.  A  heretical  band  having  entered  the  adjoining 
country,  spreading  on  every  side  devastation  and  ruin,  the 
monks  of  Maggio,  forty  in  number,  were  in  hourly  expecta- 
tion of  death.  They  resolved,  however,  not  to  fly  from  the 
monastery,  choosing  rather  to  consummate  their  course  in 
the  asylum  which  had  been  so  long  their  happy  abode. 
They  therefore  assembled  in  choir,  and,  having  recited  the 
morning  office  in  silence  and  prayer,  awaited  their  execu- 
tioners. The  heretical  soldiers  did  not  long  delay.  On 
coming  to  the  monastery,  they  first  imagined  that  it 
had  been  abandoned,  so  universal  was  the  silence  that 
reigned  around  it,  and  they  plundered  it  in  every  part. 
On  arriving,  however,  at  the  church,  they  found  the  forty 
religious  kneeling  around  the  altar,  unmoved,  as  if  uncon- 
scious of  the  scenes  of  sacrilegious  plunder  that  were 
perpetrated  around  them,  and  wholly  absorbed  in  prayer. 
'  Like  hungry  wolves,  the  heretics  at  once  precipitated 
tfiemselves  upon  the  defenceless  religious.  The  cruelty 
and  ferocity  of  the  soldiers  was  surpassed  only  by  the 
meekness  and  heavenly  joy  of  the  victims,'  and  in  a  few 
minutes  forty  names  were  added  to  the  long  roll  of  our 
Irish  saints.  The  vigil  of  the  Assumption  was  the  day  con- 
secrated by  their  death.  One  lay  brother  of  the  monastery, 
who  had  been  absent  for  some  time,  returned  that  evening, 
and  found  his  former  happy  abode  reduced  to  a  heap  of 
smoking  ruins,  and,  entering  the  church,  he  found  the  altar 
and  choir  streaming  with  blood.  Throwmg  himself  pros- 
trate before  the  mutilated  statue  of -Our  Lady,  he  poured 

•  "  St.  Mary,  Abbey  of  Nenay,  or  De  Maggio." — Wart's  AiUiquitut 

73  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

forth  his  lamentations  that  her  monastery  was  no  more, 
and  that  her  glorious  festival,  which  should  be  then  com- 
menced, would  pass  in  sadness  and  silence.  He  had 
scarcel)  breathed  his  prayer,  when  he  heard  the  bells 
of  the  monastery  toll,  and,  lifting  his  head,  he  saw  his 
martyred  brethren  each  taking  his  accustomed  seat ;  the 
abbot  intoned  the  solemn  vespers,  and  the  psalms  were 
sung  as  was  usual  on  their  festive  days.  The  angels  and 
the  Queen  of  Heaven  joined  their  voices  with  those  of 
their  now  sainted  companions.  The  enraptured  lay  brother 
knew  not  whether  he  had  been  assumed  to  heaven  or  was 
still  on  earth,  till,  the  office  being  completed,  the  vision 
ceased,  and  he  once  more  contemplated  around  him  the 
mangled  and  bleeding  remains  of  the  martyred  religious." 
Manriquez  concludes  his  narrative  of  their  triumph  with  the 
impressive  words,  "O  happy  Ireland,  that  is  enriched 
with  the  treasure  of  so  many  martyrs !  O  happy  community, 
that  sent  forth  so  many  intercessors  to  the  heavenly 
throne !" — Moran,  who  refers  to  Henriquez,  Manriquez, 
Sanctoral.  Cisterc,  and  the  Persecut.  Hibernic.  of  the 
Irish  Seminary  of  Seville. 

Anno  1581. 


"  These,  together  with  some  other  Catholic  sailors,  had 
secretly  carried  over  into  France  a  certain  father  of  the 
Society  of  Jesus,  and  some  other  priests  and  laymen  who 
were  flying  for  the  faith,  and,  being  seized,  were  tortured 
and  hung,  cut  down  while  only  half-dead,  and  then  dismem- 
bered, on  the  5th  day  of  July,  1^?>\:'—Philadelph.  Bruo- 
diri  gives  a  slightly  different  account,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth. 


"  A  MERCHANT  and  ship-owner  of  Wexford,  because  that 
he  had  oftentimes  aided  the  Catholics  in  their  distress, 
both  bishops,  priests,  and  others,  suffered  a  long  impri- 
sonment, and,  worn  out  by  confinement  and  suffering  at 
Dublin,  he  slept  in  the  Lord  in  the  year  1581." — Philor 


"  A  PRIEST  of  the  diocese  of  Ferns,  worn  put  with  labori- 
ous journeys,  was  cast  into  prison,  because  that  he  had 
ingenuously  confessed  and  strenuously  defended  the  faith, 
and  sank  under  the  filth  and  horrors  of  the  prison,  going 
to  his  Lord  in  the  year  of  salvation  1581." — Philadelph. 


"  Was  a  priest  and  rector  of  a  parish  near  Dublin,  where 
he  was  made  prisoner  by  the  heretics  and  sent  to  Dublin, 
where  he  was  put  to  death,  rather  from  hatred  to  the 
Catholic  religion,  which  he  zealously  maintained,  than  for 
the  reason  which  was  alleged,  namely,  that  he  had  frequent- 
ly given  hospitality  to  Father  Rochford,  the  Jesuit.  He 
was  hung  and  cut  in  four  parts,  and  so  gloriously  died,  i  st 
July,  1 58 1."* — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

•  This  is  a  curious  instance  where  the  law  making  it  treason  to  "entertain  a  Jesuit"  WM 
literally  put  in  execution.  Roothe,  however,  says  that  it  was  for  Laving  given  slielter  to  th* 
Catholic  Baron  of  Baltinglas  when  in  extreme  want 

74  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Anno  1582. 


"  These  Franciscan  monks  and  priests  were  seized  by 
the  heretics  in  their  monastery  of  Lisacten  *  not  being 
able  to  fly,  on  account  of  their  age  and  loss  of  sight,  and 
violently  dragged  before  the  high  altar  of  the  church  and 
there  slain,  a  precious  holocaust  of  sweet  savor  in  the 
sight  of  the  Lord,  the  20th  July,  in  the  year  1582." — Phila- 
delph.,  and  Wadding,  Annals,  vol.  xxi.  p.  366. 


"  In  the  convent  of  Enniscorthy,  Thaddaeus  O'Meran, 
father  guardian  of  the  convent,  Felix  O'Hara,  and  Henry 
Layhode,  under  the  government  of  Henry  Wallop,  Viceroy 
of  Ireland,  were  taken  prisoners  in  their  convent  by  the 
soldiers,  and  for  five  days  tortured  in  various  ways,  and  then 
slain." — An7tals,  voL  xxi.  p.  366. 


"  Having  been  long  kept  most  strictly  confined  in  prison 
in  Dublin,  worn  out  with  misery  and  squalor  of  the  prison, 
there  died,  the  13th  February,  1582." — Annals,  ut  sup. 

"  A  PRIEST  of  Connaught,  was  slain  by  the  heretical  sol- 
diers, in  the  act  of  celebrating  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the 

•  Kriary  of  Lislaghtin  (county  of  Kerry.)    The  place  has  its  name  from  St.  Lactin,  who  died 
IB  the  year  632. — Ware^  p.  \m-j. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  75 

Mass,  in  his  parish  church  of  Killatra,  the  4th  May,  1532." 
— Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

— ♦ — ■ 


"  Also  a  priest  of  Connaught  and  parish  priest  of 
Coolrah,  when  the  soldiers  of  Elizabeth  rushed  into  the 
village,  sought  refuge  in  the  church ;  but  in  vain,  for  he 
was  there  hung  near  the  high  altar  and  afterward  pierced 
with  swords,  and  so  nobly  finished  his  life,  12th  June, 
1582." — Bruoditt,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 


"A  PRIEST  of  Leinster,  honorable  by  birth,  Dut  still 
more  by  piety,  was  seized  by  the  heretics  and  endured 
many  torments.  Being  sent  prisoner  to  England,  he  there 
died,  in  the  prison  of  Worcester,  and  so  triumphed  for 
Christ,  20th  January,  1582." — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

Anno  1SS3. 


"Archbishop  of  Tuam,  after  a  long  imprisonment,  es- 
caped to  Portugal,  and  died,  much  regretted,  in  the  city 
of  Lisbon,  in  1583.  He  is  buried  in  the  church  of  St. 
Roch."* — De  Processu  Martyriali. 

I  GIVE  her  hfe  from  Dr.  Roothe : 
"  This  virgin  was  born  of  noble  parents,  and  when  she 

•  Brennan  says  "  he  was  flogged  and  incarcerated,"  but  does  not  refer  to  his  authority.— 
EccL  Mist.  vol.  ii.  p.  123. 

^6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

attained  a  marriageable  age  determined  to  dedicate  her  vir- 
ginity to  God,  and  in  her  thirtieth  year  received  the  holj 
veil  from  the  Catholic  bishop.  The  name  of  virgin,  says 
St.  Ambrose,  is  a  title  of  modesty,  and  the  one  of  whom  I 
write  did  not  disappoint  the  omen  of  the  name  ;  for  she  ever 
delighted  in  purity  and  the  conversation  of  other  devout  and 
modest  virgins.  She  dwelt,  for  the  most  part,  in  the  city, 
or  at  least  diocese,  of  Dublin  ;  nor  could  her  profession  and 
mode  of  Ufe  be  long  concealed  from  the  pretended  bishop 
of  the  place,  for  information  of  it  was  given  to  him  by  a 
spy,  not  for  misliking  of  the  life  of  the  holy  virgin,  but  for 
hope  of  lucre  from  the  archbishop.  On  receiving  the  in- 
formation, he  sent  an  apparitor  to  arrest  the  lady  and  bring 
her  before  him.  She  was  first  thrown  into  prison,  and  then 
brought  out  for  a  public  examination.  Many  questions 
were  put  to  her  regarding  her  name,  parentage,  age,  resi- 
dence, and  profession,  to  all  of  which  she  answered  pru- 
dently and  categorically.  Her  age  was  then  thirty-three, 
her  condition  that  of  a  virgin.  '  How,'  said  the  pseudo- 
bishop,  'can  I  believe  that  one  so  noble  born,  so  well 
brought  up,  and  so  fair,  could  remain  in  this  wicked  world 
to  that  age  a  virgin  .''  This  he  took  from  the  ideas  of  Lu- 
ther, who,  himself  given  up  to  concupiscence,  remembered 
not  those  classes  of  eunuchs  of  whom  our  Lord  speaks,  of 
whom  those  who  voluntarily  renounce  carnal  pleasures  for 
the  kingdom  of  heaven  obtain  the  reward  ;  and  though 
this  work  is  difficult  and  beyond  the  ordinary  strength  of 
man,  yet  it  is  not  impossible  to  Him  whom  all  things  obey 
and  whose  power  is  equal  to  his  will.  But  our  Sunami- 
tess,  who  by  the  grace  of  God  had  observed  that  which 
she  had  promised,  modestly  blushing,  answered  that  she 
marvelled  her  questioner  should  think  it  strano-e  that  God 
should  give  strength  to  observe  the  vow  he  had  himself 
inspired,  and  which  so  many  men  and  women  in  all  ao-es  had 
observed.     Thus  repulsed  with  regard  to  her  vow  of  virgini- 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  77 

ty,  the  bishop  attacked  her  faith,  using  many  artifices  to  in- 
duce her  to  swerve  from  the  orthodox  faith  ;  but  she  bold- 
ly and  plainly  answered  that  she  had  hitherto  lived  in  the 
bosom  of  the  mother  church  Catholic  and  Roman,  and 
was  resolved  in  the  same  to  die,  nor  was  there  aught  in 
life  which  could  shake  this  her  resolution.  Irritated  by 
this  answer,  the  bishop  at  once  ordered  her  to  be  taken 
back  into  prison.  After  she  had  been  there  detained  for 
some  time,  she  escaped  by  the  aid  of  her  noble  relatives, 
who  bribed  the  jailer,  and,  having  found  a  British  ship  in 
the  port  of  Dublin,  agreed  with  the  master  to  take  her  to 
St.  Malo.*  This  is  a  city  in  the  lesser  Britain,  called  also 
Armorica,  surrounded  with  walls  and  towers,  yet  for  great- 
er safety,  when  the  gates  are  shut  at  night,  large,  fierce 
dogs  are  loosed  to  strengthen  the  guard.  They  roam  out- 
ride the  walls  and  ferociously  attack  any  man  or  beast 
whom  they  may  meet.  The  sailors  spoke  much  among 
themselves  before  they  arrived  at  the  port ;  this  inspired 
Dame  Margery  and  her  handmaiden  with  some  fear,  and 
she  determined  not  rashly  to  expose  herself  to  them. 

"  When  the  ship  reached  the  port  and  had  dropped  her 
anchor,  the  captain  and  his  men  landed,  leaving  only  two 
sailors  to  guard  the  women  till  morning,  for  it  was  late 
when  they  arrived  in  the  bay,  and  they  had  to  go  some 
distance  in  a  boat  to  land.  The  women  feared  the  dogs 
on  land,  but  the  dogs  on  sea  proved  even  more  dangerous ; 
for  the  two  unprincipled  sailors,  finding  themselves  left 
alone  with  the  two  women,  broke  into  the  place  where  they 
were  sleeping,  and  tried,  first  by  offers  and  promises,  and 
then  by  violence,  to  make  them  consent  to  their  impure 
desires  ;  but  the  holy  virgins,  calling  God  and  our  Blessed 
Lady  to  their  aid,  resisted  alike  their  solicitations  and 
their  violence,  and,  strengthened  by  him  who  is  the 
strength  of  those  that  call  upon  him,  were  enabled  to  de- 

•  Sancti  Maclovis  Portus. 

78  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

feat  their  unholy  violence.  At  length,  wearied  with  their 
obstinate  resistance,  the  sailors  left  them,  and,  retiring  to 
their  own  berths,  slept  heavily. 

"  All  thought  of  sleep  had  fled  from  the  terrified  wo- 
men, and,  trembhng  lest  they  should  again  be  attacked  by 
these  vile  men,  they  thought  of  flying  from  that  den  of  wild 
beasts.  Tying  their  clothes  tightly  around  them,  they 
threw  themselves  into  the  sea,  and,  supported  by  their 
clothes,  which  floated  on  the  water,  were  borne  to  the 
shore.  But  as  they  reached  the  land,  having  thus  escaped 
two  successive  dangers,  a  third  awaited  them — the  dread - 
of  the  ferocious  dogs  who  roamed  round  the  walls  at  night 
and  spared  neither  man  nor  beast.  The  maid  was  par- 
ticularly terrified,  but  her  mistress  encouraged  her,  re- 
minding her  of  the  divine  providence  and  goodness,  and 
saying  that  it  were  better  for  them  that  their  bodies  should 
be  devoured  by  dogs  than  their  souls  destroyed  by  vicious 
men.  Thus  they  mutually  encouraged  each  other,  arming 
themselves  with  the  sign  of  the  cross,  and  imploring  the 
divine  assistance  and  the  protection  of  the  Blessed  Virgin 
as  they  approached  the  shore.  On  their  landing,  the  fero- 
cious watch-dogs  rushed  at  them,  and  the  largest  and 
fiercest  placed  his  paws  on  the  shoulders  of  the  virgin,  as 
if  about  to  tear  her  ;  her  maid,  following  behind,  trembled, 
but  the  mistress,  repeating  the  verse  of  the  psalm,  '  Many 
dogs  surrounded  me,'  and  speaking  some  words  of  her  na- 
tive Irish  to  the  dog,  gently  stroked  his  head,  and  the  dog, 
suddenly  becoming  gentle,  with  all  his  fellows,  led  them  to 
the  gate  of  the  city,  and  guarded  thern  there  safely  until 
the  gates  were  opened,  which,  according  to  custom,  was 
not  until  the  sun  had  arisen. 

"  When  those  who  had  the  charge  of  the  keys  of  the 
gates,  and  of  the  dogs,  opened  them  in  the  morning,  they 
were  astonished  to  see  two  women  alive  and  unhurt  in  the 
midst  of  the  savage  dogs,  and,  after  a  few  questions,  they 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  79 

led  them  to  the  bishop  of  the  place,  who  was  then  cele- 
brating the  divine  mysteries  in  the  church.  The  news  of 
the  strange  event  spread  through  the  city,  and  a  crowd  as- 
sembled at  the  church  to  see  the  two  women  who,  contra- 
ry to  all  example,  had  escaped  safe  from  the  dogs. 

"The  bishop,  when  he  had  finished  Mass,  examined 
them  by  means  of  an  interpreter,  for  he  did  not  understand 
Irish,  nor  they  French  or  English.  But  by  good  fortune 
there  was  present  a  noble  of  Maclon,*  who  had  been 
brought  up  in  Ireland,  and  who  knew  the  parents  of  our 
Margery,  perhaps  even  herself,  having  resided  in  the 
neighborhood,  as  there  is  a  constant  intercourse  between 
the  inhabitants  of  Maclon  and  Ireland,  the  young  people 
of  each  country  being  entertained  in  the  other  to  learn  the 
language  and  custom  of  the  people,  as  is  still  the  custom 
in  some  parts  of  Ireland. 

"  In  order  more  certainly  to  learn  all  the  affair,  the  bi- 
shop sent  for  the  captain,  and  asked  him  what  he  knew  of 
the  women.  He  frankly  told  the  whole  tale,  how  they  had 
been  recommended  to  him  in  Dublin,  and  had  come  in  his 
ship,  and  how  he  had  left  them  in  it  the  preceding  even- 
ing to  await  for  day  in  order  to, land.  Finally,  the  two  sail- 
ors who  had  assaulted  them  were  brought  up,  and,  on  their 
confessing  their  guilt,  the  two  women  whom  they  had 
sought  to  injure  begged  that  they  might  be  forgiven. 

"  All  having  thus  come  to  light,  the  bishop,  lest 
the  recollection  of  these  events  should  perish,  ordered  the 
whole  examination  and  the  result  to  be  enrolled  in  the 
public  registers  of  the  town,  and  most  hospitably  enter- 
tained, during  their  stay,  the  two  women  thus  preserved 
by  the  divine  providence  ;  nor  when  they  departed  did  he 
allow  them  to  leave  empty-handed.  They  had  made  a 
vow  to  God,  who  had  freed  them  from  such  great  danger^ 
to  visit  the  shrine  of  St.  James  of  Compostella.     On  their 

•  Dr.  Roothe  wiites  it  Maclon. 

8o  Martyrs  aitd  Confessors 

arrival  there,  the  servant  fell  ill,  and  departed  to  the  Lord. 
The  stronger  constitution  of  the  mistress  enabled  her  to 
continue  her  pilgrimage  to  Rome,  and  to  visit  the  tombs  of 
the  apostles.  There  she  related  to  her  confessor  the  whole 
of  this  narrative — of  her  imprisonment  in  Ireland  and  her 
escape,  her  voyage  to  Brittany,  the  assaults  of  the  two  sail 
ors  and  her  escape  from  their  power,  the  unusual  gentle 
ness  of  the  watch-dogs,  and  how  the  waves  and  the  wild 
beasts  had  spared  their  innocence. 

"  Afterward,  by  her  counsel  and  example,  many  pious 
women  and  religious  maidens  in  Ireland  dedicated  their 
chastity  to  God,  and,  to  use  the  words  of  St.  Jerome,  {Epist. 
8,  Ad  Demetr.,)  '  by  the  solemn  words  of  the  priest  cover- 
ed their  consecrated  heads  with  the  virginal  veil ;'  and 
many  more  would  have  done  so  had  those  who  ruled  the 
country  allowed  them  to  lead  a  cenobitical  life.  But  since, 
according  to  the  proverb,  women  require  the  protection 
either  of  a  man  or  a  wall,  to  guard  them  '  from  the  attacks 
of  the  noonday  devil,  from  the  arrow  that  flieth  by  day,  and 
the  thing  that  walketh  in  the  night,'  prudent  men  were 
cautious  in  exhorting  the  weaker  sex  to  take  on  them  the 
veil  and  vow  of  celibacy,  lest  the  purity  of  that  virginal 
garment  shoulji  become  tarnished  in  the  heat  of  the  world- 
ly sun,  since  it  is  more  easily  guarded  in  the  shade  of  the 
cloister  than  in  the  throng  of  the  world.  Yet  there  still 
remain  in  that  land  scattered  shoots  of  that  virginal  tree, 
whose  light  shines  the  brighter  for  the  surrounding  dark- 
ness, and  by  whom  the  world,  the  flesh,  and  the  devil  are 

"  Our  Margery  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  Protestant 
in  Dublin,  in  the  year   1580,  and  in  the  third  following 
year,  that  is,    1583,  in   the  month  of  October,  reached 
Rome,  and  there  gave  an  account  of  all  these  her  wander- 
ings to  her  confessor,  from  whom  we  learned  them  and 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  8i 

for  the  edification  of  our  readers  have  here  written  them." 
— De  Processu  Martyriali. 

Dr.  Roothe  does  not  mention,  nor  have  I  been  able  to 
find,  the  date  or  place  of  Dame  Margery  Barnewall's 
death.  As  he  says  himself,  he  collected,  from  time  to 
time,  what  authentic  accounts  he  could  of  the  sufferings 
of  those  persecuted  for  the  faith  ;  and  thus  probably  her 
confessor,  who  was  his  informant,  could  only  tell  him  the 
events  of  her  life  up  to  her  arrival  in  Rome  and  departure 


— * — 

Ajnno  1584, 


I  GIVE  his  life  from  Dr.  Roothe,  and  in  the  notes  any 
additional  facts  from  O' Sullivan  and  others. 

"  The  birthplace  of  this  glorious  martyr  was  a  little  vil- 
lage in  the  diocese  of  Limerick,  less  than  three  miles  from 
that  city,  called  Lycodoon,*  where  his  parents  lived  re- 
spectably by  farming,  both  of  tillage  and  cattle  ;  they 
were  held  in  good  estimation  by  their  neighbors,  both 
rich  and  poor,  especially  James  Geraldine,  Earl  of  Des- 
mond. His  father's  name  was  William  Hurley,  owner  of 
the  farm  of  Lycodoon,  and  also  steward  or  bailiff  for 
many  years  to  the  said  earl,  whose  power  and  fame  was 
in  those  days  great  in  all  that  region,  and,  indeed,  through- 
out Ireland,  although  by  change  of  fortune  all  that  power 
has  fallen.  His  mother  was  Honor  McBrien,  who  was  de- 
scended from  the  celebrated  family  of  Briens,  Earls  of  Tho- 
mond,  and,  before  the  conquest  of  Ireland,  Kings  of  Mun- 
ster.     But  in  treating  of  the  man  of  whom  we  write  it 

•  Lycodunum :  Lycodoon  still  retained  in  the  town  land — no  longer  a  village — of  Lyco- 
doon, parish  of  Knockea,  now  the  property  of  William  Smith  O'Brien,  Esq. — Renehan^  p. 
251.  Vicus,  or  village,  seems,  in  wTiters  of  this  period,  often  to  mean  only  what  is  still  called 
in  Ireland,  among  the  peasantry,  "  the  town,"  namely,  the  dwelling-house  of  a  gentleman  of 
fiu-mer,  with  its  sitrrounding  offices  and  laborers*  cottages. 

82  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

boots  but  little  to  speak  of  his  descent  or  the  position  of 
his  ancestors,  since  he  himself  placed  little  or  none  of  his 
glory  in  such  things. 

'  Nam  genus  et  proavos  et  quas  non  fecimus  ipsi 
Vix  ea  nostra  voco.' 

"  By  the  care  and  liberality  of  his  parents,  he  received 
a  liberal  education,  and,  having  passed  through  all  branches 
of  study,  received  the  doctor's  degree  in  civil  and  canon 
law  ;*  and,  having  made  equal  progress  in  piety  and  reli- 
gion, he  was  chosen  by  the  Holy  See  as  a  fitting  man  to 
be  made  the  shepherd  of  his  Catholic  countrymen  in  Ire- 
land, then  suffering  under  the  storm  of  schism. t 

"  Having  then  been  raised  to  the  episcopacy  by  Gre 
gory  XHL,  and  named  Archbishop  of  Cashel,  he  took  his 
route  toward  Ireland.  But  there  was  great  difficulty  in 
proceeding,  from  the  dangers  to  which,  in  those  turbulent 
times.  Catholic  merchants  and  sailors  were  exposed  from 
the  heretics. 

"  However,  after  some  time,  having  found  an  opportu- 
nity of  a  Waterford  ship  in  the  port  of  Grosvico,^  in  Ar- 
morican  Britain,  he  treated  with  the  ship's  factor  for  a 
passage  to  Ireland.  There  were  in  the  same  town,  at  that 
time,  some  other  ecclesiastics  of  the  same  nation,  who 
were  also  desirous  to  cross  to  Ireland,  among  whom  was 
Niel,  Abbot  of  the  Cistercian  Order  of  the  Abbey  of 
Newry,§  in  the  diocese  of  Armagh. 

"And  that  all  may  understand  the  greatness  of  the 
danger  which  is  daily  encountered  by  the  laborers  in  our 
vineyard,  when  they  seek  to  return  to  their  country  to 

•  He  gave  public  lectures  in  philosophy  for  four  years  in  Louvain,  and  subsequently  held, 
with  great  applause,  the  chair  of  canon  law  in  Rheims. — Elo^mm  Elegiac,  ap.  Moran,  Hist, 
Arcftbis/ujps,\,  132.  . 

t  He  was  appointed  by  Gregory  XIII.  in  1580. — Ex  Act.  Consist,  ap.  Moran. 

X  Probably  Cherbourg, 

§  Abbas  de  Urio,  Ni:wry.  One  of  the  old  and  most  commonly  used  Irish  names  of  Newry 
was  Uar,  whence  the  Latin  "  de  Urio."     See  an  account  of  it  in  Ware. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  83 

spend  their  labor,  and  even  their  lives,  for  Christ  and  his 
church,  it  must  be  considered  that  it  is  most  difficult  to 
find  sure  and  faithful  men  to  whom  the  poor  travellers  can 
safely  trust  themselves.  For,  if  the  merchant  himself  be 
imbued  with  the  new  errors,  (which  is,  however,  very  rare 
in  a  real  Irishman,)  or  the  captain  of  the  ship,  or  even  any 
of  the  common  sailors,  (who  are  often  of  other  nations,  as 
Britons,  English,  or  Scotch,)  the  wretched  priest  is  in  dan- 
ger of  being  denounced,  especially  if  there  is  any  suspi- 
cion of  his  being  of  any  dignity,  or  even  if  the  sailors 
have  a  bare  suspicion  that  he  be  of  an  ecclesiastical  voca- 
tion, as  lately  befell  two  Capuchin  monks,  whose  innocence 
and  uprightness  was  known  to  all,  anno  161 8.  But  as 
these  two  unexpectedly  escaped  from  the  hands  of  their 
pursuers,  so  may  their  example  make  others  hope  confi- 
dently in  the  divine  bounty,  which  never  deserts  those 
who  trust  in  him,  but  upholds  with  his  almighty  arm  those 
who  are  under  trial  lest  they  fall,  or  withdraws  them  from 
danger  lest  they  perish,  and  even  strengthens  them,  when 
necessary,  to  confess  his  name  before  the  kings  and  princes 
of  the  earth.  The  greatest  and  most  frequent  danger  to 
which  those  are  exposed  who  seek  to  save  their  neighbors' 
souls  in  Ireland,  and  that  when  they  least  expect  it,  is  that 
of  being  betrayed  on  their  landing  by  the  sailors,  either 
through  treachery  or  fear  of  themselves  incurring  danger.* 
"  There  is  another  danger  on  the  shores  of  Catholic 
lands,  lest  they  be  denounced  beforehand  by  spies,  of 
whom  there  are  many  in  all  the  ports  from  which  they 
may  sail,  even  in  Catholic  lands.     There  is  danger  also 

*  There  were  heavy  penalties  enacted  against  aU  those  who  should  "  aid  in  introducing  Je 
luits  or  priests."  How  strictly  these  were  enforced  another  passage  from  our  author  will 
show :  "  As  a  certain  father  of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  and  with  the  illustrious  Baron  of  In- 
chiquiri,  who  had  received  him  as  a  guest,  was  thrown  mto  prison  ;  the  latter  was  at  length 
dismissed  with  a  heavy  fine,  for  having  extended  to  a  man,  bound  to  him  both  by  religion  and 
blood,  that  hospitality  which,  in  our  country,  is  ever  extended  to  all.  The  merchant  who 
brought  the  priest  was  deprived  of  all  his  p'rorsrty  by  the  president."— .,4  ;ja/«rfa    Sacra 

84  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

awaiting  them  on  the  shores  of  their  own  land,  that  of 
being  arrested  by  the  guards  of  the  port  and  the  authori- 
ties of  the  town  ;  dangers  by  sea,  lest  they  fall  into  the 
hands  of  heretical  pirates,  who  would  slay  them  for  hatred 
of  the  Catholic  faith  ;  danger  every  day  they  live  in  Ire- 
land of  falling  into  the  hands  of  her  present  rulers,  as 
iately  happened  to  the  Reverend  Father  Abbot  Paul  Ra- 
getus,  after  a  stay  of  many  years  in  his  native  land,  and  a 
little  before,  the  same  fate  befell  the  Reverend  Father 
Guin,*  of  whom  the  one  was  arrested  as  he  was  just  about 
to  step  into  the  ship  to  embark  in  order  to  leave  the  king- 
dom, and  the  other  as  he  was  going  to  the  seaport  town 
to  embark  for  France ;  both  were  thrown  into  prison  in 
the  Castle  of  Dublin,  thus  proving  how  every  step  in  Ire- 
land is  beset  with  danger.  However,  he  who  was  last  ar- 
rested, having  greased  the  hands  of  his  guards,  (to  use  the 
common  expression,)  managed  to  escape  ;  but  the  other, 
who,  as  it  seems,  had  less  of  that  ointment  and  '  oil  of  sin- 
ners,' still  lies  in  prison,  with  many  other  regular  and  se- 
cular priests.  But  we  have  one  ground  of  hope  for  them, . 
and  all  our  countrymen,  arising  from  the  marriage  of  our 
prince,  which  we  pray  God  may  be  prosperous.! 

"  Since  what  we  are  every  day  witnessing  has  led  me 
into  this  digression,  I  hope  that  pity  for  our  daily  misery 
will  obtain  me  the  reader's  pardon.  My  only  reason  for 
this  mention  was  to  show  to  what  dangers  our  Archbishop 
of  Cashel  exposed  himself  when  he  set  his  face  to  return 
into  his  own  land,  as  a  sheep  prepared  for  the  slaughter. 
He  entrusted  to  a  certain  merchant  of  Wexford  the  re- 
script of  his  appointment  and  his  other  papers  conferring 
on  him  the  care  of  the  flock,  for  he  would  not  seem  to 
thrust  himself  into   the   episcopacy  without   being  duly 

•  Probably  Quin. 

t  The  proposed  marriage  between  the  heir  of  the  crown,  Charles,  (afterward  Cliarles  I  ,J 
and  the  daughter  of  the  Span'sh  queen. 

Ill  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  85 

called  and  appointed,  as  do  our  modern  innovators,  like 
those  of  old.  But  being  duly  ordained  and  consecrated 
by  the  Apostolic  See,  he  could  truly  say,  '  Of  the  Lord  is 
our  calling,  and  of  the  Holy  One  of  Israel  our  King.' 
But  these  sacred  writings  he  preferred  to  send  by  others 
and  by  another  road,  that  he  might  be  exposed  to  less 
danger  on  entering  the  kingdom,  as  well  as  the  merchants 
who  took  him  with  them.  For  merchants  who  bring  in 
such  persons  are  exposed  to  no  little  danger,  as  this  very 
merchant,  R.  H.,*  had  experienced,  as  well  as  many  others  ; 
as,  for  example,  G.  D.,  who,  because  he  was  cognizant  of 
the  bringing  of  the  primate  into  Ireland,  was  punished 
with  three  years'  imprisonment  and  heavy  loss  of  fortune. 
Thus  is  it  seen  that  neither  their  incoming  nor  their  out- 
going nor  their  abiding  is  safe. 

"  The  Wexford  merchant  who  carried  the  bulls  fell  into 
the  hands  of  pirates,  by  whom  he  was  spoiled  and  so  pil- 
laged that  he  deemed  it  a  mercy  his  life  was  spared.  But 
the  archbishop,  taking  advantage,  as  I  have  said,  of  a 
Waterford  ship,  committed  himself  to  the  divine  providence; 
and,  after  a  prosperous  voyage,  reached  the  island  of 
Skerries,t  and  from  thence  proceeded  to  Waterford. 
While  he  was  hospitably  entertained  there,^  it  chanced 
that  one  day  there  was  some  conversation  on  religion  ; 
on  these  occasions  his  zeal  and  learning  could  not  be  re- 
strained or  concealed,  and  so  offended  a  certain  heretic 
who  was  present,  whose  name  was  Walter  Baal,  (a  fitting 
name,  since  of  old  it  designated  the  devil  and  a  son  of 
Belial ;)  he  broke  out  into  violent  language,  and  soon  after 

*  He  gives  only  the  initials  of  his  name. 

t  Sciretio  insula  ;  in  Irish,  Seine.     He  landed  at  Drogheda  — See  State  Papers. 

X  O'Sullivan  says :  "  For  two  whole  years  English  spies  sought  every  opportunity  to  seize 
on  his  person  ;  but  their  plans  were  frustrated  by  the  fidelity  of  the  Irish  Catholics.  In 
order  to  escape  notice,  he  wore  generally  a  secular  dress,  as  indeed  all  bi.shops  and  priests 
are  obliged  to  do  in  England,  Ireland,  and  Scotland  ever  since  tins  persecution  first  broke 
out"— P.  124. 

86  Mm-tyrs  and  Confessors 

starting  ofF  to  Dublin,  denounced  Dermod  to  the  govern- 
ors on  suspicion.  The  departure  of  this  man  suggested  to 
the  archbishop  the  thought  that  it  boded  him  no  good,  and 
his  fears  were  confirmed  by  an  honest  citizen,  who  warned 
him  and  the  companion,  or  rather  guide,  of  his  journey, 
Father  John  Dillon,  of  their  danger,  and  advised  them  to 
leave  that  city  immediately  *  The  same  father  Dillon 
afterward  paid  the  penalty  of  this  companionship  by  a 
long  imprisonment,  and  with  difficulty  escaped  death  by 
the  favor  of  his  elder  brother,  who  was  at  that  time  one  of 
the  King's  Council,  and  filled  the  office  of  First  President 
of  the  King's  Exchequer  or  Treasury. 

"  They  immediately  departed  with  their  little  baggage, 
and  betook  themselves  to  Slane,  to  the  castle  of  the  noble 
Lord  Thomas  Fleming,  Baron  of  Slane.f  Here,  by  desire 
of  that  pious  heroine,  Catherine  Preston,  wife  of  the  afore- 
said baron,  they  were  concealed  in  a  secret  chamber. 
They  remained  here  for  some  time,  removed  from  society, 
and  avoided  being  seen  by  any  but  friends,  until  the  at- 
tempt of  Baal  to  have  them  arrested  should  have  wholly 
failed,  and  the  rumor  spread  by  him  should  have  died 
away.  When  they  thought  that  the  whole  matter  was 
forgotten,  they  began  to  act  a  little  more  freely,  to  sit  at 
table  with  the  family  and  join  in  their  conversation,  and  no 
longer  to  avoid  meeting  any  guests  that  might  chance  to 
come  to  the  house.  Now,  it  so  chanced  that  one  day  there 
came  to  that  house,  whether  by  accident  or  design,  Robert 
Dillon,  one  of  the  King's  Council,  and  Chief-Justice  of  the 
Court  of  Common  Pleas.     At  table  the  conversation  turned 

•  O'Sullivan  gives  the  date  of  this  1583. 

■t  Ismay  Dillon,  daughter  of  Sir  Bartholomew  Dillon,  of  Riverstown,  county  Meath,  and 
*Qr.t  to  Sir  Robert,  was  married  to  John  Fleming,  of  Stephenstown,  second  son  of  James, 
Lord  Slane,  by  whom  she  had  Thomas,  Lord  Slane.  Dillon  and  Lord  Slane  were  therefore 
cousins.  Dillon  was  then  Chief- Justice  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas.  The  wife  of  Lord 
Slane,  Catherine  Preston,  was  daughter  ofjenico,  the  third  Viscount  Gormanston.  She  died 
in  IS97,  and  was  buried  in  the  hermitage  of  St.  Erk  Slane.— i>^  Archdairi  Lodge,  vol.  iii. 
p.  78  ;   iv.  pp.  143,  14+. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  8; 

on  serious  subjects,  and  the  archbishop  betrayed  so  mucl 
learning  that  it  gave  occasion  to  the  sagacious  chief- 
justice  (who  bodily  was  blind  of  one  eye,  and  mentall)i 
wholly  blinded  by  ambition)  to  mark  the  man,  to  inquire 
who  he  was,  whence  he  came,  and  to  put  many  other 
questions,  the  answers  to  all  of  which  he  kept  to  himself 
until  he  had  the  opportunity  to  lay  them  before  the  govern- 
ors and  the  council.  He  laid  all  his  suspicions  before 
the  council,  and  proposed  that  he  should  be  brought  from 
his  hiding-place  to  answer  for  himself  to  the  council,  and 
that  if  he  fled  he  would  confirm  their  suspicions  ;  and  that 
the  Baron  of  Slane  should  be  summoned  before  the  coun- 
cil, and  held  either  to  produce  his  guest  or  answer  for  him. 
The  bishop  fled,  and  the  baron,  having  appeared  before 
the  council,  was  severely  reprimanded  for  sheltering  such 
a  man,  and  threatened  with  heavy  fine  and  imprisonment 
unless  he  found  and  produced  his  late  guest.  Terrified  by 
these  threats,  the  baron  at  once  set  out  to  pursue  him  ; 
for,  being  tepid  in  faith,  and  bound  up  with  the  world,  he 
shrank  from  what  seemed  to  threaten  certain  destruction, 
especially  as  the  persecutors  were  so  bitter  in  their  rage 
against  the  archbishop,  and  their  threats  against  himself 
for  having  sheltered  him.  Loftus,*  who  was  the  colleague 
of  Wallop,  did  not  so  thirst  for  the  blood  of  the  innocent, 
for  he  was  more  inclined  to  gentleness  by  nature  and 
equity,  as  beseemed  a  chancellor  ;  but  his  partner  in  the 
government  was  a  son  of  Mars,  and,  skilled  rather  in  the 
arts  of  Bellona  than  of  Pallas,  was  a  man  of  blood,  and  not 
to  be  satisfied  without  shedding  it.  His  mind,  too,  was 
exasperated  against  Archbishop  Dermod  by  an  unfound- 
ed suspicion  which  he  had  conceived  that  that  prelate 
had  been  a  party  to  a  process  which  had  been  some  time 
before  instituted  at  Madrid  or  Rome  against  a  grandson  of 

•  "  Anno  JSS2-3.— Lords- Justices  of  Irelan*  Adam  Loftus,  Archbishop  of  Dublin  and 
1  ord-Chancdior,  with  Sir  Henry  Wallop,  Tieasurer  of  Ireland."— «aj-<r'j  Aniutli. 

88  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

his,  who  had  been  denounced  to  the  Inquisition  by  his 
own  countrymen  for  offences  against  religion.*  This 
prosecution  is  said  to  have  so  inflamed  the  mind  of  the 
lord-justice  against  our  prelate  that  he  could  not  be 
satisfied  with  less  than  his  death ;  as  this  was  well  known 
to  the  council,  they  admonished  the  Baron  of  Slane  that, 
U  he  would  save  his  own  life,  he  must  produce  the  bishop. 

"  Looking  more  to  his  own  safety  than  to  the  duty  of 
friendship,  he  pursued  hotly  after  the .  archbishop,  and, 
overtaking  him  at  Carrick-on-Suir,  just  as  lie  had  returned 
from  visiting  the  blessed  cross,!  a  visit  which,  when  in 
danger,  he  had  vowed  to  make,  he  prayed  him  very  civilly 
to  accompany  him  to  Dublin,  there  to  appear  before  the 
council,  and  prove  his  innocence,  and  show  that  he  had 
come  to  Ireland  with  a  true  ecclesiastical  spirit,  and  to 
preach  the  faith.  What  was  the  pious  bishop  to  do  ?  He 
recked  not  of  his  own  danger,  but  looked  to  the  safety  of 
the  baron.  At  that  time  there  was  at  Cork  the  great  Earl 
of  Ormond,  Thomas  Butler,  of  devout  memory,  who  loved 
Dermod,  and  respected  his  virtue  and  the  dignity  of  his 
office,  and  ordered  him  to  be  supplied  with  food  and  all 
necessaries  from  his  own  house;  and  many  say  that  he  had 
his  recently  born  son,  James;  who  afterward  died  young  in 
England,  privately  baptized  by  him. 

"At  that  time  the  unfortunate  rising  of  the  southern 
nobles  had  been  suppressed,  and  the  Earl  of  Desmond 
himself,  having  lost  nearly  all  his  forces,  was  about  to  seek 
safety  in  concealment.  I  express  no  opinion  on  the 
matter,  nor  do  I  attribute  to  any  one  the  blame  of  the 
crime  that  was  committed  ;$  nor  shall  I  speak  of  the  Lord 

•  Nota  Authoris. — "  Others  relate  that  Wallop  tortured  the  archbishop  out  of  haired  and 
envy  to  the  Earl  of  Ormond,  by  whom  the  prelate  had  been  received." 

t  This  would  be  the  Abbey  of  Holy  Cross,  in  Tipperarj-,  a  celebrated  pilRnniage  in  thos« 
days. — See  Haverty^s  History  of  Ireland,  p.  413. 

t  Our  author  refers  here  to  the  treachery  by  which  the  Desmonds  were  pursued,  and  to 
the  slauRhter,  after  quarter  given,  of  the  unarmed  Spanisli  garrison  of  the  fort  at  Smer\\ick 
Harbor,  by  01  der  of  Arthur,  Lord  Gray,  in  1580, 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  89 

Arthur  Gray  having  violated  the  pledge  he  had  given  to 
the  auxiliary  troops ;  but  it  is  believed  by  many  that 
Archbishop  Dermod,  either  of  his  own  idea  or  at  the 
suggestion  of  others,  wished  to  see  the  Earl  of  Desmond 
ere  he  retired  to  his  fastnesses,  to  console  him,  and  if  it 
might  be  to  bring  him  back  to  courses  more  consistent 
with  his  honor  and  safety  ;  and  if  the  earl  had  turned  ^ 
wilhiig  ear  to  the  advice  the  archbishop  sought  to  give 
him,  and  if  this  prudent  design  had  not  been  cut  short  by 
the  imprisonment  of  Dermod,  Munster  would  not  have 
had  to  deplore  the  wretch-'^d  death  of  the  earl,  which  hap- 
pened a  little  later,  at  the  hands  of  two  wretched  cut-throats. 
"  As  the  bishop  travelled  back  to  Dublin  with  the  baron, 
each  night  when  the  latter  put  up  either  in  the  public  inn 
or  the  house  of  a  friend,  the  former  was  thrust  into  the 
public  prison,  for  greater  security,  as  if  he  wore  the  wings 
of  Mercury  on  his  feet  to  enable  him  to  fly.  One  night  he 
spent  in  Kilkenny  in  prison,  and  there  a  certain  Catholic 
came  to  him  to  obtain  the  benefit  of  his  ministry  ;  their 
conversation  turned  upon  the  unhappy  Bishop  of  Ferns,* 
whom  human  weakness  and  the  fear  of  men  had  led  to  de- 
sert the  Catholic  faith.  '  Many,'  said  our  holy  martyr,  '  who 
are  lions  before  the  battle,  are  timid  stags  when  the  hour 
of  trial  comes.  Lest  this  prove  true  of  me,  I  daily  pray  to 
our  good  Lord  for  strength  ;  for  "  let  him  that  thinketh  to 
stand  look  lest  he  fall."  '  Thus  did  he  work  out  his  salva- 
tion with  fear  and  trembling,  neither  puffed  up  with  self- 
confidence  nor  cast  down  by  fear,  and  kept  himself  with 

•  circun'stance  connected  with  the  hero'c  constancy  of  Dr.  O'Hurlej  deserves  to  b» 
•pecMy  com.~nemora:ed.  The  Bishcp  of  Ferns  had  wave'ed  in  hi"  allegiance  to  th';  Holy 
See,  and  hence,  at  this  period,  stood  high  in  court  favor.  Witnessing  the  triumph  of  Dr. 
O'Hurley,  he  was  struck  with  remorse  for  his  own  imbecility  and  criminal  denial  of  his  faith, 
and,  hastening  to  the  lords-justices,  declared  that  he  was  sorry  for  his  past  guilt,  and  now  re- 
jected with  disdain  the  temporal  supremacy  of  Elizabeth.  "  He  too,"  writes  the  Bishop  of 
Killaloe  in  October  that  same  year,  "  is  now  confined  in  a  most  loathsome  dungeon,  from 
which  every  ray  of  light  is  excluded."— j«»r<i«,  p.  135,  EpUt.  cit.  See  a  furthtr  oi-.rur.t  0/ 
this  bisliopt  Dr.  Power^  at  p.  156. 

QO  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  sheep  of  Christ  in  the  sheepfold  who  hear  the  voice  of 
Christ  in  that  of  his  vicegerent.  When  the  archbishop 
arrived  in  Dublin,  he  was  brought  before  the  Privy  Council 
for  examination  *  falsely  accused  of  many  crimes,  and  he 
meekly  showed  his  innocence.  The  chancellor,  Adam 
Loftus,  treated  him  more  gently,  and  sought  by  many  ca- 
jolements to  induce  him  to  conform,  as  they  call  it.  Sir 
Henry  Wallop  was  more  savage,  and  repeatedly  broke  out 
into  violent  and  abusive  threats,  and  showed  that  his  invet- 
erate hatred  to  the  orthodox  faith  would  never  be  satisfied 
with  anything  -less  than  the  slaughter  of  this  innocent 

"  As,  after  many  examinations,  no  shadow  even  of  crime 
could  be  discovered  against  him,  and  he  could  not  be  con- 
demned by  the  tribunals,  according  to  the  common  law  of 
this  kingdom,  without  either  proof  of  some  crime  or  the 
confession  of  the  criminal,  the  judges  were  consulted  whe- 
ther he  could  not,  at  least,  be  sent  into  England,  there  to 
be  tried  under  the  statutes  recently  passed  there  against 
the  Catholic  subjects  of  that  kingdom,  especially  those 
suspected  of  any  foreign  intrigues.  But  the  judges  an- 
swered that,  as  Ireland,  although  part  of  the  possessions 
of  the  English  crown,  is  governed  by  its  own  laws,  cus- 
toms, and  statutes,  and  is  a  different  kingdom  from  Eng- 
land, with  a  different  parliament,  different  privileges,  and 
different  tribunals,  no  one  not  born  in  England  could  be 
sent  there  to  be  tried  by  the  laws  of  that  kingdom. 

"  Since,  then,  he  was  not  subject  to  the  law  of  England, 
and  could  aot  be  proved  guilty  of  any  crime  in  his  own 
country,  that  no  means  might  be  left  him  of  escaping  the 
hands  of  the  executioner,  a  new  and  strange  mode  of  trial 

*  O'Sullivan  says  at  his  first  examimation  he  was  asked  if  he  were  a  priest  to  which  he  an- 
swered in  the  affirmative,  and  added,  nioreovei,  that  he  was  an  archbishop.  He  Vvas  then 
thrown  into  a  dark  and  loathsome  prison,  and  kept  there,  bound  in  chains,  till  the  Holy  Thurs- 
day of  the  following  year. 
















In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  91 

was  devised  against  him.  And  as  by  the  laws  of  war  some 
military. cripies  are  punishable  by  death  by  the  authority 
of  the  general,  and  sudden  risings  or  breaches  of  military 
discipline  may  be  checked  by  sudden  punishments,  this 
bloody  soldier  determined  to  have  the  peaceful  bishop 
slain  by  military  law,  as  he  could  not  attain  his  end  by  the 
laws  of  his  country.  But  he  determined  first  to  subject 
him  to  the  torture,  that,  if  he  could  not  extort  by  pain  any 
confession  of  guilt,  he  might  perchance  be  induced  by  the 
intensity  of  his  sufferings  to  abjure  the  Catholic  faith.  But 
the  cruel  tyrant  was  disappointed  in  Dermod  ;  his  flames 
could  not  overcome  the  flames  of  the  love  of  Christ ;  the 
fire  that  burnt  without  was  less  powerful  than  that  which 
burned  within  his  breast. 

"  Fortunately  we  have  a  description  of  his  suflferings, 
written  by  a  noble  and  learned  man,  a  citizen  of  Dublin, 
who  learned  the  circumstance  from  eye-witnesses,  if  in- 
deed he  were  not  himself  in  the  city  when  our  martyr  suf- 
fered ;  wherefore  I  will  give  his  words,  as  given  in  the 
introduction  to  his  discussion  with  James  Usher.  (Stani- 
hurst,  pp.  29,  30.)  After  having  said  a  few  words  of  the 
martyrdom  of  Richard  Creagh,  Archbishop  of  Armagh  and 
Primate  of  All  Ireland,  words  which  I  will  give  in  writing 
of  the  death  of  that  prelate,  he  adds,  regarding  Dermod 
O'Hurley : 

"  '  The  Archbishop  of  Cashel  met  a  harder  fate,  and  the 
barbarous  cruelty  of  Calvinism-  cannot  be  bettef  shown 
than  by  it.  The  executioners,  placed  the  archbishop's  feet 
and  calves  in  tin  boots  filled  with  oil ;  they  then  fastened 
his  feet  in  wooden  shackles  or  stocks,  and  placed  fire  un- 
der them.  The  boiling  oil  so  penetrated  the  feet  and  legs 
that  morsels  of  the  skin  and  even  flesh  fell  off  and  left  the 
bone  bare.*  The  officer  whose  duty  it  was  to  preside  over 
the  torture,  unused  to  such  unheard-of  suffering,  and  un- 

*  O  Sullivan  says  he  was  subjected  to  this  torture  for  an  hour. 

g2  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

able  to  look  on  such  an  inhuman  spectacle  or  to  bear  the 
piteous  cries  of  the  innocent  prelate,  suddenly  left  his  seat 
and  quitted  the  place.  The  cruel  minds  of  the  Calvinistic 
executioners  were  gratified,  but  not  appeased,  by  these  ex- 
traordinary torments ;  and  a  few  days  afterward,  wholly 
unexpectedly,  they  took  out  the  archbishop,  who  from  his 
sufferings  was  indeed  suffering  a  daily  death,  yet  had  no 
reason  to  expect  execution,  to  a  place  a  little  distance  from 
the  Castle  of  Dublin.  This  was  done  at  early  dawn,  lest 
the  spectacle  should  excite  a  tumult  among  the  people. 
There  they  hung  him  with  a  halter  roughly  woven  of  twigs, 
to  increase  his  torture.  This  barbarous  and  inhuman  cru- 
elty satiated  indeed  their  thirst  for  his  blood,  but  opened 
for  the  holy  prelate  the  fountain  of  eternal  hfe ;  so  that, 
drinking  of  its  eternal  source,  though  cast  down,  he  is 
raised  up  ;  though  conquered,  he  hath  conquered  ;  slain, 
he  lives,  and  by  the  cruelty  of  the  Calvinists  triumphs 

" '  The  cries  of  the  holy  archbishop,  of  which  I  have 
spoken,  were  no  murmurs  of  an  impatient  mind — not  a  cry 
as  the  cry  of  Esau,  or  as  those  that  mourn  the  dead,  but 
the  sighs  of  a  Christian  breast  feeling  the  bitterness  of  its 
torments  ;  for  he  was  a  man  of  sorrows  and  acquainted 
with  infirmity,  and  from  the  sole  of  his  foot  to  the  crown 
of  his  head  all  was  tormented.  Not  only  his  legs  and  feet 
were  tortured  with  the  boiling  oil  and  salt,  but  his  whole 
body  was  burnt  with  the  heat,  and  bathed  in  the  chill  per- 
spiration of  exhaustion.  With  a  loud  voice  he  cried  out, 
"  Jesus,  Son  of  David,  have  mercy  upon  me  !"  raising  up 
his  voice  with  his  soul  to  him.  who  alone  is  mighty  to  save. 
No  torture  could  wring  from  him  aught  but  a  profession 
of  the  orthodox  faith  ;  he  was  stronger  than  his  tortures, 
for  neither  boiling  oil  nor  piercing  salt  nor  blazing  fire 
could  shake  his  faith  or  extinguish  his  love  of  God. 

"  '  Exhausted  and,  as  it  were,  suffocated  by  his  suffer- 

In  the  Reigtt  of  Elizabeth.  93 

ings  while  fastened  in  the  stocks,  the  archbishop  lost  all 
voice  and  sense,  and  when  taken  out  lay  on  the  ground 
like  dead,  unable  to  move  hand  or  foot,  or  even  eye  or 
tongue.     The  head  executioner  began  to  fear  lest  he  had 
exceeded  his  orders,  which  were  only  to  torture  and  not  to 
kill,  and  might  be  punished  for  having  put  him  to  death 
without  orders.     He  therefore  directed  him  to  be  wrapped 
in  linen  and  laid  on  a  feather  bed,  and  poured  a  few  drops 
into  his-mouth  to  see  if  any  life  yet  remained  in  the  tor 
tured  body,  and  if  he  could  be  recalled  to  his  senses.   Th 
next  morning,  as  he  had  a  httle  revived,  aromatic  drink 
were  administered  to  him,  to  give  him  strength  to  endur 
new  torments,  the  executioners  rejoicing  as  they  saw  him 
slowly  swallow  it  from  a  spoon,  for  they  feared  to  receive 
from  Wallop  the  same  punishment  as  Perillus  from  Phala- 
ris : 

"Et  necis  artifices  arte  perire  sua." 

" '  Our  martyr  was  gradually  so  far  recovered  as  to  be 
able  to  sit  up*  and  to  limp  a  little,  when  his  enemies 
Bought  to  make  him  waver  in  the  faith,  offering  him  dig- 
nity and  office  if  he  would  resign  his  position  as  bishop, 
and  acknowledge  the  queen  to  have  a  double  sovereignty, 
ecclesiastical  as  well  as  secular.  There  was  sent  to  him 
for  this  purpose,  among  others,  Thomas  Johns,  who  is  now 
chancellor  of  this  kingdom.  But  he  remained  unshaken 
as  the  Marpesian  rock.  His  only  sister,  too.  Honor  Hur- 
ley, was  induced  to  go  and  tempt  him  to  apostatize,  and 
she  urgently  besought  him  to  yield  ;  but  he,  frowning  on 
her,  ordered  her  to  fall  at  his  knees  and  humbly  beg  pardon 
of  God  and  absolution  for  so  grave  a  crime  against  God, 
so  hurtful  to  her  own  soul,  and  so  abhorred  by  her  brother. 

*  O'SuUivan  says :  "  A  worthy  priest  named  Charles  MacMorris,  of  the  Society,  skilled  in 
medicine,  found  access  to  the  archbishop,  and  treated  his  wounds  with  such  skill  that  in  a  few 
days  his  strength  began  to  return,  and  in  less  than  a  fortnight  he  was  enabled  to  sit  up  in  bed. 
This  priest  had  himself  befln  confined  in  prison  by  the  English,  but  released  on  account  ol 
the  skill  with  which  he  treated  some  nrblemen  when  suffering  fiom  dangerous  illness." 

94  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

" '  These  governors  were  about  to  quit  their  office,  to  be 
succeeded  by  Sir  John  Perrot,  who  at  this  time  arrived  in 
Dublin  ;  but,  before  he  entered  on  office,  as  it  was  rumored 
that  the  Earl  of  Ormond  was  hastening  to  Dublin  to  con- 
gratulate the  new  viceroy,  and  intercede  with  him  for  Der- 
mod,  Wallop  was  determined  first  to  slake  his  hatred  in 
the  blood  of  the  archbishop. 

" '  As  Perrot  was  to  receive  the  sword  of  office  on  Sun 
day,  the  feast  of  the  Holy  Trinity,  and  his  power  would 
then  cease,  lest  his  successor  might  prove  more  merciful, 
on  the  preceding  Friday,*  and  at  early  dawn,  as  we  have 
mentioned,  the  archbishop  was  drawn  on  a  hurdle  through 
the  garden  gate  to  the  place  where  he  was  hanged.  Wal- 
lop himself  (as  it  is  said)  going  before  with  three  or  four 
guards  ;  and  there  he  was  hanged  in  a  withey,  calling  on 
God  and  forgiving  his  torturers  with  all  his  heart. 

" '  He  was  taken  out  of  the  castle  without  any  noise, 
lest  there  should  be  a  tumult ;  but  the  Catholics  who  were 
prisoners  there,  seeing  him  going,  called  out  that  he  was 
innocent ;  and,  among  others,  a  certain  bishop,  then  a  pri- 
soner there,  called  out  aloud  that  he  rather  deserved  that 
fate  for  the  scandal  he  feared  he  had  formerly  given,  but 
that  Hurley  was  an  innocent  and  holy  man.  Upon  which 
the  jailer  severely  flogged  him  and  the  others,  and  so  re- 
duced them  to  silence.' 

"  The  holy  martyr  was  hanged  in  a  wood  near  the  city, 
and  at  evening  was  buried  in  the  half-ruined  church  of  St. 
Kevin  ;  and  it  is  stated  that  many  miracles  have  been 

*  According  to  O'Sullivan,  he  was  executed  on  the  7th  June,  15S4.  William  Simon,  a 
citizen  of  London,  removed  the  martyr's  body  in  a  wooden  um,  and  buried  it  secretly  in  cun- 
secrated  ground.  Richard,  a  distinguished  musician,  celebrated  his  sufferings  and  death  in  a 
plaintive  elegy,  called  "  The  Fall  of  the  Baron  of  Slane."  Moran  says  he  was  in  his  sixty- 
fifth  year,  and  was  executed  on  the  6th  May,  and  gives  as  his  authority  the  Littera  di  Geo- 
ghegan^  4th  June,  1584,  and  letter  of  Cornelius  Laonensis,  from  Lisbon,  29th  October,  15B4. 
{^History  of  the  Archbishops  of  Dublin^  i.  135.)  O'Sullivan  is  probably  inexact,  as  he  often 
is.  Mooney  also  says  he  suffered  "  mense  Mari ,"  but  the  recently  published  State  Papen 
say  he  was  executed  on  the  19th  June, 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  95 

wrought  there  ;  and,  in  consequence,  the  old  church  has 
been  restored,  and  a  road  opened  to  it,  which  is  much  fre- 
quented by  the  people,  who  go  to  recommend  themselves 
to  the  prayers  of  the  holy  martyr."* 


Ireland,  vol.  cv.  No.  10. 
1583,  Oct.  8. 
Indorsed,  Sir  H.  Wallop,  and  Archbishop  of  Dublin. 
Dr.  Hurley  apprehended. 

Addressed — To  the  Worshipful  Robert  Beale,  supplying 
the  place  of  Her  Majesty's  Chief  Secretary. 

Sir  :  By  our  last  letters  we  gave  you  some  inkling  of 
the  arrival  here  of  one  Dr.  Hurley,  upon  intelligence 
whereof  we  caused  so  narrow  search  to  be  made  after 
him,  as  we  found  he  had  been  entertained  in  the  house  of 
the  Baron  of  Slane,  and  some  others  of  good  account 
within  the  pale,  and  from  thence  was  departed  (in  com- 
pany with  Mr.  Perse  Butler,  base  son  to  the  Earl  of  Or- 
mond)  into  Munster.  Whereupon,  sending  for  the  Baron 
of  Slane,  we  so  dealt  with  him  as  he  travailed  presently  to 
the  earl  for  the  apprehension  of  the  said  Hurley,  and,  re- 
turning again  yesterday,  brought  him  unto  us,  but  as  yet 

•  Dr.  O'Hurley's  own  suffragan  bishop  thus  speaks  of  him :  "  The  Archbishop  of  Cashel 
endured  martyrdom  in  Dublin  with  most  glorious  firmness  and  heroism,  and  although  sub- 
jected to  the  most  dreadful  torture,  yet  could  never  be  induced  to  subscribe  to  the  iniquitous 
innovations  of  Elizabeth.  He  died,  fearlessly  and  gloriously,  confessing  his  faith  ;  but  what 
afflicts  me  is,  that  our  martyrs  are  no  longer  led  publicly  to  execution,  but  are  put  to  death  in 
private,  without  the  presence  of  the  people.  It  was  thus  the  archbishop  was  executed,  by 
only  three  soldiers,  fearing  lest  he  should  exhort  and  inflame  the  people  to  constancy  in  their 
Christian  bSsh."— Letter  of  Dr.  Conulaa  O'Mulrian,  ex  Archiv.  Secret.  Vatican,  ap. 

tThe  original  correspondence  on  the  subject  of  the  archbishop's  trial  between  the  lords-jus- 
tices in  Ireland  and  the  council  in  England,  lately  discovered  in  the  State  Paper  Office,  Lon- 
don, throw  much  light  on  the  whole  matter,  and  so  strikingly  prove  the  accuracy  of  the  nar- 
rative of  Dr.  Roothe  that  I  give  them  here  in  extensa. 

96  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

our  leisure  hath  not  served  to  examine  him.  What  shall 
fall  out  upon  his  examination  we  will  by  the  next  advertise 
the  Lords  at  large.  In  the  mean  time,  it  is  mjst  certain 
that  he  had  been  a  leidger2X  Rome  for  a  long  time,  solicit- 
ing all  matters  that  had  been  there  attempted  to  the  pre- 
judice of  H.  Majesty's  proceedings  here  in  this  realm, 
and  the  perturbing  of  this  state.  He  is  nominated  by  the 
Pope  to  be  Archbishop  of  Cashel.  Thus  for  the  present, 
all  things  else  being  in  reasonable  good  quiet,  and  having 
not  further  to  enlarge,  we  betake  you  to  the  tuition  of 
Almighty  God.  From  Dublin,  this  8th  day  of  October, 
1583.     Your  assured  loving  friends, 

Ad.  Dublin, 
H.  Wallop. 


Ireland,  vol.  cv.  No.  29. 
Indorsed,  20th  Oct.,  1583. 

Reed.  29. 

Lords  Justices  of  Ireland, 

Michael  Fitzsimons. 

Barnewell's  Second  Confession. 

Dr.  Hurley. 

Addressed — To  the  Right  Honorable  Sir  Francis  Wal- 
singham.  Knight,  principal  Secretary  to  her  Majesty,  give 
these  at  court. 

NnSadFitz-  Since  your  Honor's  departure  into  Scotland 
•jnoM'  pardon,  ^g  rcceivcd  a  letter  from  the  Lords  concerning 
one  Michael  Fitzsimons,  the  copy  whereof  we 
send  your  Honor,  here  enclosed.  Whereby  it 
seemeth  that  besides  his  flying  into  France 
without  hcense  which  he  maketh  the  ground  of 

In  the  Reign  of  Elisabeth.  97 

his  suit  for  a  pardon,  their  Lordships  would 
have  him  pardoned  for  any  one  fault  that  he 
hath  committed  against  the  law  here  in  hope 
of  his  conformity  and  dutiful  life  hereafter.  Ac- 
cording to  which  letter  we  have  called  him  be- 
fore us,  and  declared  their  Lordships'  pleasure 
in  his  behalf,  willing  him  to  show  any  one  fault 
wherein  he  had  offended  her  Majesty's  laws, 
and  he  should  have  pardon  for  it  according 
their  Lordships'  direction.  But  he  will  not 
enter  into  any  particular  with  us,  but  urgeth  the 
pardon  in  general  terms.  This  Fitzsimons  is 
well  known  unto  us  to  be  not  only  an  arrogant 
Papist,  impossible  to  be  reformed,  and  a  conti- 
nual practiser  against  the  state.  So  if  it  please 
your  Honor  to  read  the  examination  of  Christo- 
pher Barnewell  against  Sedgrave  and  William 
Fitzsimons  of  this  city,  your  Honor  shall  find 
that  this  Michael  Fitzsimons  was  made  ac- 
quainted with  the  whole  practice,  and  that,  if 
he  could  have  furnished  himself  with  money, 
he  should  have  been  the  carrier  of  the  letters 
both  to  the  Pope  and  the  King  of  Spain,  to 
have  solicited  for  more  aid ;  and,  therefore, 
since  his  offence  is  to  be  justified  by  Barnewell, 
and  that  he  will  not  enter  into  the  voluntary 
confession  of  it,  it  is  like  he  find  a  guilty  con- 
science in  divers  treasons,  and  therefore  will 
depend  upon-  this  letter  of  the  Lords  for  a  re- 
fuge against  the  first  fault  wherewith  he  shall 
be  charged.  Wherefore,  we  wish  (the  quality 
of  his  offence  considered)  that  we  might  have  a 
revocation  of  their  Lordships'  said  letter,  where- 
by we  might  be  at  liberty  to  deal  with  him  in  a 
more  severe  sort. 

98  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

IV^^oS  Bam'e-      Sccondly,  your  Honor  is  to  understand  that 
"""•  about  the  time  of  the  beginning  of  your  journey 

into  Scotland,  we  sent  to  the  Lord  Treasurer 
and  your  Honor  jointly  a  second  voluntary  con- 
fession of  the  aforesaid  Christopher  Barnewell 
touching  1 20.  In  which  confession  there  is  one 
Dr.  Hurley  (by  creation  of  the  Pope,  Archbishop 
of  Cashel)  named  to  have  been  a  practiser  at 
Rome  about  the  rebels  here,  and  to  have  had 
access  to  Cardinal  Comensis,  the  Pope's  secre- 
tary, as  in  the  confession  at  large  appeareth. 
This  Hurley,  having  received  letters  from  Rome 
to  divers  persons  in  Ireland,  landed  at  Droyg- 
hadore  about  six  weeks  past,  and  immediately 
grew  familiar  with  the  Baron  of  Slane,  and  re- 
sorted to  his  house  under  pretense  of  acquaint- 
ance with  a  base  son  of  the  Earl  of  Ormond's, 
who  married  the  Baron's  daughter,  and,  passing 
some  time  there,  from  thence  went  into  Orey- 
lies  country  to  seek  some  priests  of  his  foreign 
acquaintance,  and  so  into  Munster  to  the  Lord 
General,  (being  a  born  man  under  his  Lordship,) 
and  craving  protection  at  his  hands.  Which 
being  revealed  unto  us,  we  so  dealt  with  the 
Baron  of  Slane  that  he  travailed  to  the  Earl  and 
brought  the  said  Hurley  hither  unto  us,  where 
we  have  committed  him  close  prisoner  to  the 
Castle.  At  his  first  apprehension  he  uttered 
some  words  to  the  Baron  of  Slane  as  though 
120  and  ....  were  to  be  charged  with  these 
late  stirs  and  foreign  practices  and  so  the  Baron 
gave  it  forth  in  secret ;  but  before  his  coming  to 
us,  he  had  been  so  well  schooled  as  now  he  pre- 
tendeth  ignorance  in  all  things  saving  that  he 
confesseth  that  the  Viscount  of  Bathinglas,  his 

In  the  Reigti  of  Elizabeth.  99 

brother  Richard  Eustace,  Barnewell,  and  he, 
were  together  with  Cardinal  Comensis,  but 
denieth  that  he  saw  any  such  letters,  as  Barne- 
well in  his  confession  allegeth,  nor  heard  any 
matter  of  such  importance.  The  other  justi- 
fieth  his  former  confession,  and  addeth  that  the 
doctor  was  one  of  the  House  of  Inquisitions, 
which  he  denieth  not.  And  further  the  doctor 
confesseth  that  he  had  letters  from  Cardinal 
Sans  [Sens]  (who  is  called  Protector  of  Ireland) 
to  the  Earl  of  Desmond  and  others,  which  letters 
(he  saith)  he  left  in  France  and  would  not  med- 
dle with  them.  We  heartily,  therefore,  pray 
your  Honor  that  conferring  with  the  Lord 
Treasurer  you  will  procure  us  resolution  upon 
our  former  joint  letter  to  his  Lordship  and  you 
touching  the  confession  of  the  said  Barnewell, 
how  we  shall  either  proceed  in  it  or  suppress  it, 
and  also  what  course  we  are  to  hold  with  the 
Popish  Archbishop  and  Michael  Fitzsimons,  and 
so,  most  glad  of  your  Honor's  safe  return,  we 
commit  you  to  the  Lord. 

From    Dublin  this   20th   of  October,    1583. 
Your  Honor's  alwa}'-s  at  commandment, 
Ad.  Dublin,  Cane. 

H.  Wallop. 


State  papers,  Ireland  No.  7. 

1583,  Dec.  10. 

Among  other  letters  directed  to  us  and  brought  by  this 

last  passage,  we  received  one  from  your  Honor  decl^iring 

her  Majesty's  pleasure  for  the  proceeding  with  Dr.  Hurley 

lOO  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

by  torture  or  any  other  severe  manner  of  proceeding  to 
gain  his  knowledge  of  all  foreign  practices  against  her 
Majesty's  state,  wherein  we  partly  forbore  to  deal  till  now, 
because  that  Mr.  Waterhouse  (whom  we  used  only  in  the 
former  examinations)  was  employed  in  Connaught  with 
Sir  Nicholas  Malbie  in  searching  out  the  manner  of  the 
death  of  the  Baron  of  Leitrim,  and  being  now  returned,  we 
will  enter  into  the  matter  again  by  examination  of  all  such 
as  transported  Hurley,  and  such  as  hosted  and  entertained 
him  after  his  landing,  and  will  also  deal  with  himself  by 
the  best  means  we  may.  But  for  that  we  want  here  either 
rack  or  other  engine  of  torture  to  terrify  him,  and  doubt 
not,  but  at  the  time  of  his  apprehension,  he  was  schooled 
to  be  silent  in  all  causes  of  weight,  we  thought  that  in  a 
matter  of  so  great  importance  and  to  a  person  so  inward 
with  the  Pope  and  his  Cardinals,  and  preferred  by  them 
to  the  dignity  of  an  Archbishop,  the  Tower  of  London 
should  be  a  better  school  than  the  Castle  of  Dublin,  where 
being  out  of  hope  of  his  Irish  patrons  and  favorers  he 
might  be  made  more  apt  to  tell  the  truth,  and  therefore 
do  wish  that  we  had  directions  to  send  him  thither,  which 
we  think  may  be  secretly  done,  as  his  departure  hence 
should  not  be  known,  neither  be  discovered  till  he  came 
thither  ;  and  in  the  mean  season  we  would  not  only  inform 
ourselves  of  all  that  may  be  gained  here  out  of  the  exam- 
ination of  him  and  others,  but  also  prepare  that  Barnewell, 
his  accuser,  may  repair  to  the  court  to  justify  his  former 
deposition  and  other  matters  against  Hurley,  wherein  we 
pray  your  Honor  to  be  speedily  informed  if  her  Majesty 
please,  and  so  do  commit  ye  to  the  Lord. 

At  Dublin,  the  loth  of  Dec,  1583. 

Yr.  Honor's  assured  at  commandment. 

Ad.  Dublin,  Cane. 

H.  Wallop. 

To  the  Right  Hon.  Sir  Francis  Walsingham,  Knt,  prin- 
cipal secretary  to  her  Majesty,  give  these. 

In  the  Reign  of  EllsabcUi..  loi 

Indorsed,  loth  Dec,  1583. 
From  the  Lords  Justices  of  Ireland. 
Why  they  have  not  proceeded  further  as  yet  against 
Hurley,  they  want  instruments  of  torture. 

They  desire  the  said  Hurley  may  be  sent  ovei  to  the 
Tower,  and  herein  crave  answer  with  speed. 


Ireland,  vol.  civ.  No.  381. 
1583,  Aug.  1 2th. 

The  examination  of  Christopher  Barnewell,  of  Dundalk, 
the  1 2th  August,  1583.  (N.B.  The  first  half  of  this 
examination  is  regarding  James  Fitzmaurice  and  Roch- 
fort  the  'priest.)  Also  when  he  went  to  Rome,  as 
in  his  other  confession  is  expressed,  he  saith  that,  miss- 
ing Richard  Eustace  at  Paris,  he  went  to  Rome  and  there 
found  him,  at  which  time  there  was  one  Hiirley,  now 
created  Archbishop  of  Cashel.  Richard  Eustace  carried 
this  examinate  to  the  Archbishop,  who  examined  him  of 
all  matters  of  Ireland,  especially  what  Lords  were  in  arrest ; 
this  examinate  told  him  of  all  that  were  in  the  action. 
Then  the  Bishop  asked  of  the  Earl  of  Kildare.  He 
answered  he  was  in  the  Castle  of  Dublin  prisoner,  and  the 
Baron  of  Delvin  with  him.  Then  he  asked  whether  the 
Earl  were  taken  as  a  companion  of  the  Rebellion  or  ni.\ 
He  answered  no  ;  he  served  against  the  Viscount  and  be- 
fore that  against  James  Fitzmaurice.  Then  the  Bishop 
took  him  with  him  to  the  Pope's  Secretary,  called  Cardinal 
Comensis,  to  whom  he  told  the  same  tale.  Then  the 
Cardinal  saith,  "Who  would  trust  an  Irishman.'  The 
Earl  promised  to  take  our  part,  and  shrunk  his  shoulders 

I02  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

into  his  ears."  The  Archbishop  said  that  he  thought  the 
Earl  never  promised  that  he  would  take  arms.  Then  the 
Cardinal  chaffed,  and  said,  "  Wilt  thou  tell  me  T  Ami 
then  he  went  into  his  study  and  fetched  out  two  writings, 
the  one  a  great  writing  whereunto  the  Bishop  said  the 
most  part  of  the  lords  and  gentlemen  of  Ulster,  Munster, 
and  Connaught  had  subscribed  ;  the  other  was  a  letter 
from  the  Earl  of  Kildare  alone,  which  the  Cardinal  showed 
to  the  Archbishop  as  rebuking  him  for  not  believing  him. 
All  this  the  examinate  saith  was  expounded  to  him  both 
by  the  said  Bishop  and  Richard  Eustace,  and  he  saith 
further  that  the  Cardinal,  in  the  end  of  that  conference, 
said,  "  Do  you  think  that  we  would  have  trusted  to  James 
Fitzmaurice,  or  to  Stewkely,  or  to  all  these  lords,  (which 
subscribed  the  great  letter,)  unless  we  had  received  the 
letter  from  the  Earl  of  Kildare  ?"  And  then  the  Cardinal 
turned  away  and  told  the  Archbishop  that  the  Pope  had  no 
money  for  none  of  their  nation.  He  saith  further  that  all 
the  Irishmen  in  Rome  cursed  the  Earl  of  Kildare  for  breach 
of  his  promise,  and  prayed  for  the  Viscount  and  the  Earl 
of  Desmond  and  all  other  confederates. 

(Signed)  Christopher  Barnewell. 

The  said  Christopher  Barnewell  was  examined  before  us. 
Ad.  Dublin,  Cane. 

H.  Wallop. 

Ed.  Wate-rhouse. 


Ireland,  Eliz.  vol.  cviii. 
1584,  March  8th. 
Extract  of  the  last  letters  touching  Hurley. 

7th  March,  1584.     With  an  extract  of  Hurley's  exam- 
ination, as  also  of  other  examinations  that  touch  Hurley. 

In  the  Reig7t  of  Elizabeth.  103 

The  best  lawyers  there  doubt  whether  he  can  be  found 
guilty,  his  treasons  having  been  committed  in  foreign 
parts,  and  the  law  not  stretching  in  this  behalf  so  far  there 
as  it  doth  in  England.  They  think  it  better.  Hurley  hav- 
ing neither  lands  nor  goods,  that  he  be  executed  by  mar- 
tial law  rather  than  by  any  ordinary  trial. 

To  have  resolutions  herein  from  hence. 

Sth  March,  1584.  With  the  letters  of  Hurley  to  the 
Pope,  intercepted  since  his  torture. 

Hurley  and  such-like,  favored  by  great  Potentates, 
they  desire  to  know  the  acceptation  of  their  travail  in  this 
and  in  the  like. 

Never  heard  answer  to  their  letters  to  my  Lord  Trea- 
surer and  me  with  the  examination  of  Barnewell. 

They  will  desist  if  their  travail  be  not  acceptable,  know- 
ing how  dangerous  it  is. 


1584,  March  7th. 
From  ye  Lords  Justices  of  Ireland,  touching  Dr.  Hurley. 

Addressed— To  the  Right  Hon*>'^  Sir  Francis  Wal- 
singham,  K'.  Principal  Secretary  to  Her  Majesty,  and  of 
Her  Highness's  Most  Hon'''=-  Privy  Council. 

May  it  please  your  Honor.  Since  the  last  term,  which 
the  other  general  affairs  here  would  give  us  leave,  we  have 
at  several  times  examined  Dr.  Hurley,  with  whom  albeit 
we  dealt  by  all  the  good  means  we  could  to  draw  him  to  con- 
fess his  knowledge,  not  only  of  any  practice  of  disturbance 
pretended  against  the  land  in  particular,  but  also  of  any 

I04  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

other  foreign  conspiracy  whatsoever  against  her  Majesty 
for  England,  or  any  other  parts  of  her  dominions  ;  and  in 
that  point  we  omitted  not  to  give  him  a  taste  that  so  far 
forth  as  he  would  sincerely  and  liberally  discover  all  that 
he  knew  of  others,  her  Majesty's  mercy  might  be  extended 
to  repair  such  faults  as  himself  had  committed.  Yet,  he 
retaining  his  former  obstinacy  and  evasions,  we  found 
himself  far  off  from  that  truth  which  we  expected,  and  are 
not  ignorant  that  he  can  declare  if  he  list ;  yea,  he  wculd 
not  confess  that  he  brought  from  Rome  the  Pope's  letters 
of  comfort,  addressed  to  the  Earl  of  Desmond,  Viscount 
of  Baltinglas,  and  other  rebels,  till  he  knew  by  us  that  we 
had  intercepted  the  said  letters,  with  other  testimonials 
of  his  consecration,  and  were  already  possessed  of  them. 
So  as  not  finding  that  easy  manner  of  examination  to  do 
any  good,  we  made  commission  to  Mr.  Waterhouse  and 
Mr.  Secretary  Fenton  to  put  him  to  the  torture,  such  as 
your  Honor  advised  us,  which  was  to  toast  his  feet  against 
the  fire  with  hot  boots.  His  confessions,  as  well  upon  the 
torture  as  at  sundry  times  before,  we  have  extracted  and 
sent  herewith  to  your  Honor,  together  with  all  other  de- 
clarations, both  of  the  Lord  of  Slane  and  others,  which 
have  any  community  with  Hurley's  cases,  and  which  we 
have  at  several  times  drawn  from  the  parties  themselves 
by  way  of  examination  ;  by  which  we  doubt  not  but  your 
Honor  will  discern  how  many  ways  Hurley  is  to  be  over- 
taken with  treason  in  his  own  person,  and  with  what  br^d 
mind  he  came  into  Ireland,  instructed  from  Rome  to  poi- 
son the  hearts  of  the  people  with  disobedience  to  her  Ma- 
jesty's Government,  which  was  not  ui>hke  to  put  the  realm 
in  danger  of  a  new  revolt  if  he  had  not  been  intercepted 
in  time.  Even  so  we  desire  your  Honor  to  consider  how 
he  may  speedily  receive  his  deserts,  so  as  not  only  his  own 
evil  may  die  with  himself,  and  thereby  the  realm  delivered 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth,  105 

of  a  perilous  member,  but  also  his  punishment  to  serve  for 
an  example  ad  terrorem  to  many  others,  who  we  find  by 
his  own  confessions  are  prepared  at  Rome  to  run  the 
same  course  both  here  and  for  England.  And  herein  we 
thought  good  to  remember  your  Honor  by  way  of  our 
opinion  that,  considering  how  obstinate  ^d  wilful  we  finJ 
him  every  way,  if  he  should  be  referred  to  a  public  trial, 
his  impudent  and  clamorous  denial  might  do  great  harm 
to  the  ill-affected  here,  who  in  troth  have  no  small  admira- 
tion of  him.  And  yet,  having  had  conference  with  some 
of  the  best  lawyers  in  the  land,  we  find  that  they  make  a 
scruple  to  arraign  him  here,  for  that  his  treasons  were 
committed  in  foreign  parts,  the  statute  in  that  behalf  be- 
ing not  here,  as  it  is  in  England.  And  therefore  we 
think  it  not  amiss  (if  it  be  allowed  cf  there)  to  have  him 
executed  by  mtj-rtial  laiv,  against  v/hirh  he  can  have  no 
just  challenge,  for  that  he  hath  neither  lands  nor  goods, 
and  as  by  that  way  may  be  avoided  many  harms,  which 
by  his  presence  standing  at  ordinary  trial,  and  retaining 
still  his  former  impudence  and  negative  protestations,  he 
may  do  to  the  people.  So  also  it  may  be  a  mean  to  pre- 
vent danger  to  us,  and  the  said  Waterhouse  and  Mr.  Se- 
cretary, that  have  from  the  beginning  interposed  our- 
selves, not  only  in  his  apprehension,  but  also  in  all  his  ex- 
aminations, if  (as  it  is  most  likely)  he  should  break  ou 
and  exclaim  to  the  people  that  he  was  troubled  for.  som 
ndblemen  of  his  country,  whom  your  Honor  may  find  by 
the  extracts  now  sent  chargeable  with  more  than  suspi- 
cion of  confederacy  in  the  late  rebellion,  whereof  wo 
humbly  pray  you.-  Hor.or  to  be  careful  in  our  behalf,  con- 
sidering in  how  little  safety  we  live  here  for  the  like  ser- 
vices We  have  already  done  to  her  Majesty ;  and  so  eft- 
soons  desiring  your  Honor's  speedy  resolution  whether  he 
shall  be  passed  to  martial  law  or  not,  for  what  purpose 
we  have  sent  this  bearer,  Mr.  Randall,  and  to  return  with 

lo6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

your  answer  with  all  the  diligence  he  may,  we  hurnbly 
take  our  leave  of  your  Honor. 

At  Dublin,  the  7th  day  of  March,  1584. 

Your  Honor's  at  commandment, 
Ad.  Dublin,  Cane. 

H.  Wallop. 


Ireland,  vol.  cviii.     1584,  March  8. 

Indorsed,  8th  March,  1584. 

The  Lords  Justices  of  Ireland. 

Dr.  Hurley. 

Addressed — To  ye  Right  Honorable  Sir  Francis  Wal- 
singham,  Knt.,  Principal  Secretary  to  Hex  Majesty,  give 

It  may  please  your  Honor,  as  in  our  other  letter  to  your 
Honor,  of  the  7th  of  this  present,  we  have  declared  our  pro- 
ceedings by  torture  with  Dr.  Hurley,  having  sent  you  the 
abstract  of  his  examinations,  together  with  the  Baron  of 
Slane's,  John  Dillon's,  and  others,  to  be  considered  of  by 
your  Honor,  and  used  in  such  sort  as  shall  seem  good  unto 
you,  so  also  have  we  herewith  sent  the  copies  of  such  let- 
ters as  since  the  writing  of  our  former  letters  we  have 
intercepted,  being  written  since  his  torture — the  one  to  the 
Earl  of  Ormond,  and  the  other  to  a  kinsman  of  his  own  in 
this  town,  serving  Dr.  Forth,  who  should  have  practised 
for  him ;  which  letters  were  brought  to  our  hands  by  the 
fidelily  of  Sylvester  Cooley,  the  constable,  and  the  good 
handling  of  one  of  the  warders,  who  hath  the  keeping  of 
Hurley.  By  those  letters  your  Honor  may  discover  what 
favor  these  Romish  runagates  have  with  our  great  Potentate 
here.  They  that  will  not  see  let  them  be  blind  still ;  and 
it  shall  sufBce  us  to  have  discharged  our  duties  herein  as 

Ih  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  107 

before,  in  Barnewell's  examination,  formerly  sent  unto  the 
Lord  Treasurer,  and  your  Honor,  concerning  the  Earl  of 
Kildare  and  the  Baron  of  Delvin,  confirmed  now  by 
Hurley's  own  speech  to  the  Baron  of  Slane,  as  in  the 
Baron's  confession  appeareth,  whereof,  nevertheless,  we 
ne\  er  had  any  answer,  which  maketh  us  somewhat  doubt- 
ful how  to  proceed  in  these  causes,  not  knowing  how  our 
doings  in  that  behalf  are  there  thought  of  Beseeching 
your  Honor  to  let  us  understand  how  both  these,  and  the 
former  also,  are  there  taken,  and  be  directed  which  course 
we  shall  hold  therein,  or  otherwise,  if  your  Honor  find  but 
small  accompaniment  to  be  made  thereof,  that  it  will 
please  you  to  yield  us  your  good  advice  for  the  staying  of 
our  hands,  and  not  further  to  stir  those  coals  to  scorch 
ourselves,  knowing  how  dangerous  it  is  for  us  to  busy 
ourselves  in  this  sort,  with  setting  these  matters  abroad 
here,  if,  when  we  have,  according  to  our  duties,  presented 
the  same  unto  your  Honor's  there,  in  lieu  of  backing  and 
good  countenance  from  thence,  our  doings  shall  be  dis- 
covered ;  and  so,  craving  by  the  next  despatch  to  be  satis- 
fied from  your  Honor  herein,  we  humbly  take  our  leave. 
From  Dublin,  this  8th  of  March,  1583. 

Your  Honor's  always  at  commandment. 

Ad.  Dublin,  Cane. 
Sir  Franc.  Walsingham.  H.  Wallop. 

State  Papers,  Ireland,  No.  12,  vol.  iii.     1584,  July  9. 

It  may  please  your  Honor,  having  by  your  letter  unto 
us  of  the  29th  of  April,  received  her  Majesty's  resolution 
for  the  course  to  be  holden  with  Hurley,  namely,  that  we 
should  proceed  to  his  execution  (if  it  might  be)  by  ordinary 
trial  by  law,  or  otherwise  by  martial  law,  and  having  there- 

io8  Martyrs  and  Confessors, 

upon  caused  the  lawyers  and  judges  here' to  set  down  their 
resolute  opinion  in  that  matter,  which  was,  that  he  could 
not  be  tried  by  course  of  her  Majesty's  common  laws, 
as  may  appear  by  the  copy  enclosed,  we  thought  meet  ac- 
cording to  your  direction  to  proceed  with  him  by  the  other 
way,  and  for  our  farewell,  two  days  before  we  delivered 
over  the  sword,  being  the  19th  of  the  last,  (with  the 
consent  of  the  Lord-Deputy,)  we  gave  warrant  to  the 
knight-marshal  in  her  Majesty's  name  to  do  execution 
upon  him,  which  accordingly  was  performed,  and  thereby 
the  realm  well  rid  of  a  most  pestilent  member,  who, 
notwithstanding  the  appearing  of  his  treasons,  even  until 
he  was  given  to  understand  her  Majesty's  resolute  pleasure, 
and  our  determination  in  that  behalf,  was  continually  in 
hope  and  (in  a  manner)  in  an  assured  expectation  of  some 
means  to  be  wrought  for  his  enlargement,  if  he  might  have 
found  that  favor,  to  have  had  his  time  prolonged  but  to  the 
end  of  our  government.  Thus  much  we  thought  good  to 
signify  unto  your  Honor  of  our  proceedings  in  that  behalf, 
to  be  imparted  unto  her  Majesty  and  the  Lords,  as  your 
Honor  shall  see  cause,  and  in  the  meantime  do  receive  no 
small  comfort  by  your  Honor's  signification  of  her  Majesty's 
good  reception  and  allowance  of  our  careful  and  zealous 
;ravail  in  that  matter. 

Wherein  we  have  done  but  our  duties,  so  we  will  not, 
God  willing,  at  any  time  omit  to  perform  the  same  ir  like 
sort  as  occasion  shall  be  offered,  especially  in  such  mat- 
ters as  so  highly  concern  the  glory  of  God,  and  her  Majes- 
ty's crown  and  dignity,  to  whom  we  accompt  we  owe,  net 
only  all  omx  cnderivors',,  bu>'.  also  our  lives  ai)d  ourselves, 
and  so,  for  the  piesent,  we  betake  your  Honor  to  the  tui- 
tion of  the  Almighty. 

Dublin,  this  gth  of  July,  1584. 

Ad.  Dublin,  Cane. 

H.  Wallop, 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  109 

Directed — To  the  Right  Honorable  Sir  Francis  Wal- 
singham,  Knt.,  Principal  Secretary  to  Her  Majesty,  give 
these  at  Court. 

Indorsed,  1584,  19th  July,  from  the  Lord  Chancellor  and 
Sir  H.  Wallop. 

Enclosing  No.  121. 

Our  humble  duties  recommended  unto  your  Honors'. 
Having,  according  to  your  Lordships'  direction,  conferred 
whether  treasons  committed  in  the  parts  beyond  the  seas 
may  by  her  Majesty's  laws  be  tried  within  this  realm,  it 
appeareth  unto  us  that  before  the  statute  made  in  the  3Sth 
year  of  our  late  Sovereign  Lord  King  Henry  VHI.  it  was 
doubtful  in  England  whether  such  foreign  treasons  might 
be  tried  within  that  realm,  for  remedy  whereof  the  said 
statute  was  made  and  provided,  and  in  the  preamble  there- 
of is  set  down,  which  statute  is  not  confirmed  nor  establish- 
ed in  this  realm,  wherefore,  and  for  that  we  find  no  prece- 
dent for  any  such  trial,  and  that  the  rules  of  common  law 
appoint  no  ordinary  trials  for  things  beyond  the  seas,  our 
opinion  is  that  things  committed  without  this  realm  may 
not  be  tried  here  by  order  of  her  Majesty's  laws,  and  so  we 
humbly  take  our  leave. 

Dublin,  the  ist  of  June,  1584. 

Your  Honor's  humble,  to  command, 

Robert  Dillon. 

Lucas  Dillon. 

Edmond  Butler. 

Wilton  Bathe. 

Edward  Fitzsimons. 

George  Dormer. 

Richard  Barlinge. 

Richard  Sedgrave. 

no      "  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Ireland,  Eliz.  vol.  cix.  1584,  April  14th. 

{Extract  of  Indorsement)  Do  expect  answer  of  that 
formerly  they  have  written  hither  of  Hurley,  and  the  E. 

Addressed— To  the  Right  Honorable  Sir  Francis  Wal- 
singham,  Knt.,  Principal  Secretary  to  Her  Majesty,  give 


In  our  late  letters  touching  Hurley,  we  earnestly  press- 
ed her  Majesty  and  their  Lordships'  resolution  for  our  pro- 
ceedings with  him,  which  eftsoons  we  humbly  beseech  your 
Honor  to  hasten  as  much  as  you  may.  In  like  sort  we 
have  long  expected  their  Lordships'  pleasure  touching 
that  which  formerly  we  wrote  concerning  the  Earl  of  Kil- 
dare, etc. 

From  Dublin,  this  14th  of  April,  1584. 

Your  Honor's  always  at  commandment, 
Ad.  Dublin,  Cane. 

H.  Wallop. 


State  Papers,  vol.  cix.  No.  66. 
1584,  April  28. 

After  my  hearty  commendations  to  your  Lordships, 
your  late  letters  of  the  7th  and  8th  of  last  month  by  Mr. 
Alverie  Randolph,  together  with  the  extract  of  the  exami- 
nations off-hand  of  others,  being  of  some  length,  and  the 
time  otherwise  here  full  of  great  causes,  I  could  not  before 
now  so  impart  to  her  Majesty  as  I  might  withal  know  her 
mind  touching  the  same  for  your  Lordships'  further  direc- 
tion.    Wherefore  she  having  at  length  resolved,  I  have, 

hi  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  \  \  \ 

accordingly  by  her  commandment,  to  signify  her  Majes- 
ty's pleasure  unto  you  touching  Hurley,  which  is  this  : 
that  the  man  being  so  notorious  and  ill  a  subject,  as  ap- 
peareth  by  all  the  circumstances  of  his  course  he  is,  do 
proceed  if  it  may  be  to  his  execution  by  ordinary  trial  of 
him  for  it ;  howbeit,  in  case  you  shall  find  the  effect  of  his 
causes  doubtful  by  reason  of  the  affections  of  such  as 
shall  be  his  jury,  and  for  the  supposal  conceived  by  the 
lawyers  of  that  country  that  he  can  hardly  be  found 
guilty  for  his  treason  committed  in  foreign  parts  against 
her  Majesty,  then  her  pleasure  is  you  take  a  shorter  way 
with  him  by  martial  law.  So  as  you  may  see  it  is  referred 
to  your  discretion  whether  of  these  two  ways  your  Lord- 
ships will  take  with  him  ;  and  the  man  being  so  resolute  to 
reveal  no  more  matter,  it  is  thought  meet  to  have  no  fur- 
ther tortures  used  against  him,  but  that  you  proceed 
forthwith  to  his  execution  in  manner  aforesaid.  As  for 
her  Majesty's  good  acceptation  of  your  careful  travail  in 
this  matter  of  Hurley,  you  need  nothing  to  doubt,  and, 
for  your  better  assurance  thereof,  she  has  commanded  me 
to  let  your  Lordships  understand  that,  as  well  in  all  other 
the  like  as  in  this  case  of  Hurley,  she  cannot  but  greatly 
allow  and  commend  your  doings.  And  touching  the  mat- 
ters of  Sedgrave  and  Fitzsimons,  whose  trial  for  treason 
the  city  of  Dublin  claimeth  by  their  privileges  whereof 
you  writ  in  October  last,  so  it  is  that  the  best  lawyers 
here  have  delivered  their  opinion  against  the  claim  of  that 
city,  and  therefore  Sir  John  (Perrot)  before  his  departure 
shall  have  directions  to  proceed  accordingly  with  these 
persons  after  his  arrival  with  you. 

Indorsed,  28th  April,  1584. 

To  the  Lords  Justices. 

How  to  proceed  against  Dr.  Hurley 

By  Mr.  Randolph. 

112  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


I  GIVE  her  life  from  Dr.  Roothe  : 

"There  Hved  in  iDublin  a  widow  of  a  generous  soul, 
named  Eleanor  Birmingham,  relict  of  Bartholomew  Baal.* 
She  was  worthy  of  honor,  according  to  the  saying  of  St. 
Paul,  '  Honor  widows  who  are  truly  widows,'  and  have 
learnt  to  govern  their  own  house,  and  to  make  a  return  of 
duty  to  their  parents  ;  who,  being  widows  indeed  and 
desolate,  trust  in  God,  and  continue  in  supplications  and 
prayer  night  and  day.  And  such  was  this  widow  of  whom 
I  write, '  for  she  that  liveth  in  pleasures  is  dead  while  she  is 
living  ;'  but  she  was  not  such,  but  blameless,  having  care 
of  her  own,  especially  those  of  her  house.  That  she  had 
testimony  of  her  good  works,  and  brought  up  children, 
and  ministered  to  them  that  suffered  tribulation,  and  dih- 
gently  followed  every  good  work,  all  who  knew  her  testify. 
How  earnestly  and  sedulously  she  did  so  I  will  briefly 

"  How  diligently,  during  all  her  widowhood,  she  turned 
to  the  Lord  in  prayer  may  be  known  from  this,  that  be- 
sides her  daily  prayers,  morning  and  evening,  no  day  pass- 
ed in  which  she  did  not  devote  some  hours,  spared  from 
the  care  of  her  household  and  the  other  labors  of  Martha, 
to  the  reciting  of  the  rosary  and  penitential  psalms.  She 
never  missed  hearing  Mass  on  the  feasts,  and  also  on  all 
days  of  devotion  when  possible  ;  and  that  she  might  be 
more  certain  of  being  able  to  do  so,  and  even  to  have  a 
daily  Mass,  although  the  times  were  evil  and  the  rulers 
persecuted  the  Catholics,  she  entertained  in  her  house  a 
Catholic  priest,  to  whom  she  supplied  food,  clothing,  lodg 
ing,  and  an  annual  honorarium,  in  order  that  there  might 
always  be  there  a  priest  to  say  Mass,  administer  the  sacra- 

•  Or  Ball.    The  habit  of  calling  wives  by  their  maiden  name,  as  Dr.  Roothe  does  herr  and 
llsewbere,  still  remains  among  the  peasantry  in  many  districts  of  Ireland. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  1 1 3 

ments,  and  pray  for  her  and  her  family.  She  was  several 
times  accused  of  this  before  the  Privy  Council ;  and  at 
last  pursuivants  were  sent  who  arrested  her  as  she  was 
hearing  Mass,  together  with  the  priest  who  was  at  the 
altar.  They  were  both  hurried,  guarded  by  an  armed 
party,  before  the  viceroy  and  the  chancellor  and  a  few  of 
the  council ;  and  this  was  done  so  hurriedly  that  the  priest 
was  not  given  time  to  lay  aside  his  sacred  vestments  ;  and 
he,  clothed  in  the  sacrificial  ornaments,  and  she,  borne 
down  with  the  weight  of  years,  were  carried  off  in  a  cart 
to  prison  ;  and  that  this  might  be  the  more  insulting,  the 
priest,  clad  in  the  sacred  vestments,  was  paraded  through 
the  streets  and  held  up  to  ridicule.  But  though  this  sight 
moved  the  laughter  of  the  Protestants,  yet  it  the  more 
confirmed  the  Catholics  in  their  faith  :  as  in  the  time  of 
the  Emperor  Claudius,  when  the  holy  martyrs,  Marius, 
Martha,  and  Audifax,  were  paraded  through  Rome  with 
their  hands  cut  off,  and  hung  round  their  necks,  the  sight 
roused  the  Catholics  of  Rome  to  piety  and  constancy  in 
the  faith.  The  pious  matron  was  despoiled  of  the  sacred 
ornaments,  the  chalice,  paten,  and  all  other  things,  on 
which  these  fanatical  spoilers  greedily  seized  and  turned 
them  to  profane  uses.  She  lay  in  prison  for  a  considera- 
ble time,  until,  having  smoothed  the  way  by  bribes,  and 
the  minds  of  the  king's  ministers  being  mollified  by  the 
intercession  of  some  nobles,  she  was  set  free,  and  allowed 
to  return  to  her  house. 

"After  her  deliverance  she  resumed  her  accustomed 
way  of  life,  spending  her  time  in  prayer  and  other  pious 
exercises,  wherein  she  tasted  and  saw  how  sweet  is  the 
Lord.  And  she  ever  generously  relieved  the  wants  of  the 
poor,  and  this  the  more  freely  out  of  gratitude  to  God  for 
her  deliverance.  In  her  house  she  was  a  pattern  to  all  of 
integrity  and  chastity,  of  piety  and  innocence,  of  modesty 
and  virtue  to  her  servants,  of  purity  to  virgins,  of  conti- 

1 1 4  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

nence  to  widows,  to  all  a  light  of  religion,  of  faith,  and  of 

"  For  this  reason  noble  ladies  from  both  far  and  near, 
who  cared  for  the  bringing  up  of  their  daughters  in  solid 
piety,  sent  them  to  her  to  be  educated,  and  she  so  brought 
up  those  children  entrusted  to  her  as  to  make  them  hand- 
maids of  virtue,  so  that  they  might  say  of  her  what  St. 
Basil  writes  of  his  grandmother,  St.  Macrina,  where  he 
says  that,  when  a  child,  he  was  taught  the  Christian  doc- 
trine by  her,  wherefore  he  calls  her  his  nurse  in  the  faith, 
and  rejoices  that  he  retained  the  faith  which  he  nad  re- 
ceived like  pure  milk  from  her.  Many  now  in  Ireland 
may  truly  say  of  this  holy  matron  that  the  dew  of  piety 
was  instilled  by  her  in  their  earliest-  education  ;  and  many, 
also,  that  at  a  more  advanced  age  she  renewed  its  fresh- 
ness in  their  souls. 

"  But  her  heart  was  grievously  afflicted  by  the  hardness 
of  heart  of  her  eldest  son,  Walter  Baal,  who  from  commu- 
nication with  the  innovators,  had  imbibed  their  pernicious 
errors.  She  sought  by  all  means  to  purge  from  him  that 
leaven  of  malice  ;  she  prayed  day  and  night,  and  besought 
the  divine  goodness  to  cure  the  malady  of  his  soul,  and 
besought  the  prayers  of  others  for  the  same  end.  There 
was  no  priest,  secular  or  regular,  or  bishop  or  other  per- 
son, renowned  for  sanctity,  whom,  when  she  had  the  oppor- 
tunity, she  did  not  beseech  to  pray  for  his  conversion.  It 
seemed  as  if  St.  Monica  were  again  alive,  and  renewing  her 
prayers  for  the  conversion  of  St.  Augustine  to  the  Catholic 
faith  from  which  he  had  wandered.  But  Monica  was  hap- 
pier, since  she  at  length  obtained  her  request  and  recov- 
ered a  son,  not  only  a  Catholic,  but  a  most  intrepid  de- 
fender of  the  faith.  But  the  unworthy  son  of  this  worthy 
Eleanor  was  a  son  of  Belial,  without  price  he  served  Baal 
and  adored  him,  and  became  a  '  Nabal  ;  according  to  his 
name,  he  is  a  fool,'  (i  Kings  xxv.  25,)  and  his  folly  he  carried 

In  the  Reigit  of  Elizabeth.  115 

down  with  him  into  the  grave  ;  and  while  many  others 
by  means  of  this  matron  were  led  back  from  their  errors, 
he  hardened  his  heart,  and  obstinately  died  in  his  bhnd- 

"  But  the  crowning  stroke  of  his  wickedness  was  that, 
not  content  with  himself  wallowing  in  the  mud  of  error,  he 
bitterly  persecuted  his  mother  to  make  her  share  in  the 
same.  Being  made  mayor  of  the  city  of  Dublin,*  he  was 
so  inhuman  toward  the  mother  that  bore  him,  that  al- 
though she  was  decrepit  with  age  and  no  longer  able  to 
walk  from  weakness,  when  all  his  attempts  to  draw  her 
into  conformity  with  the  established  religion  had  failed,  he 
had  her  carried  to  prison  in  a  chair.  This  trial  she  pa- 
tiently bore,  and  leaving  behind  her  a  sweet  odor  of  con- 
stancy, longanim.ity,  and  unspotted  faith,  happily  slept  in 
the  Lord,  in  prison,  about  the  year  1584."! — Rooihey  De 
Processu  Mm'tyrialu 

*  Walter  Ball  was  Mayor  of  Dublin  in  1580,  having  been  sheriff  in  1572, — IVare^s  Antmh^ 
p.  168,  If,  therefore,  she  died  in  prison  in  1584,  this,  her  second  imprisonment  must  liave 
lasted  between  three  and  four  years. 

+  As  an  introduction  to  the  notices  of  Eleanor  Birmingham  and  Margery  Bamewall,  t)r. 
Roothe  says : 

"As  I  have  thus  given  a  few  examples  of  constancy,  taken  from  every  rank  of  the  male  s'tx, 
both  ecclesiastical  and  secular,  primates,  archbishops,  bishops,  abbots,  deans,  archdeacons, 
and  other  priests  of  different  orders,  of  whom  I  spoke  in  my  catalogue  ;  and,  as  I  there  made 
mention  of  illustrious  women,  if  now  I  give  two  examples,  one  of  a  married  woman  and  tht 
other  of  a  virgin.  I  shall  not  seem  wholly  to  have  omitted  the  sex.  I  shall,  therefore,  here, 
briefly  gives  a  few  particulars,  first  of  a  married  woman,  that  is  a  widow,  and  then  of  a  virgin." 

We  must  therefore  take  these  two  lives  (see  Anno  1583)  as  only  two  examples  out  of  many, 
and  instances  of  what  daily  befell  Catholic  women  in  Ireland  in  those  days 

The  end  of  Dame  Margery's  unworthy  son,  Walter  Baal,  is  thus  related  in  a  MS.  in  ths 
Burgundian  library : 

"  In  the  same  year  (1599,)  Walter  Baal,  truly  a  man  of  Belial,  a  senator  of  Dublin,  so  im- 
pious a  son  that  he  dragged  his  aged  mother  by  force  into  the  congregation  of  the  impious  and 
sacrilegious,  a  hunter  after  the  anointed  priests  of  the  Lord,  one  daj',  with  a  crowd  of  fol 
lowers,  went  to  seek  for  a  certahi  Franciscan  father,  and  a  father  of  the  Society  of  Jesus, 
whom  he  just  missed.  On  his  return  home,  disappointed,  he  was  seized  with  sudden 
madness,  and  breathing  blasphemies,  he  departed  to  join  the  other  persecutors  of  priests.*' 
^MS,  2159,  entitled  Magna  Supplicia  a  PersectUoribus  aliquot  Catholkorum  in  Hibemin 

Ii6  Martyrs  and  Confesscrs 

^nno  lo85. 


Bishop  of  Emiy,  was  appointed  to  the  see  of  Emly,  on 
24th  January,  1567.*  In  a  letter  of  Dr.  Cornelius  O'Mul- 
rian,  preserved  in  the  Vatican  archives,"!"  immediately  after 
the  eulogy  of  the  heroic  martyr  of  Cashel,  (Dr.  O'Hurley,) 
IS  added :  "  The  Bishop  of  Emly,  who  is  equally  constant 
in  the  faith,  is  at  present  confined  in  the  Dublin  dun- 
geons ;  they  are  now  preparing  for  him,  too,  the  tin  boots, 
and  intend  to  apply  the  fiery  ordeal,  as  they  did  with  the 
archbishop,  that  thus,  if -possible,  they  may  compel  him 
to.  renounce  his  religion."  This  was  on  the  29th  October, 
1584.  Of  his  subsequent  sufferings  no  record  has  been 
preserved  :  but  Mooney  chronicles  his  death  in  prison  in 
the  following  year.f  Philadelphus  also  mentions  his  death 
in  prison  at  Dublin,  but  puts  it  at  1586. 


I  GIVE  first  his  life,  as  written  by  Dr.  Roothe,  and  then 
such  additional  particulars  as  can  be  drawn  from  other 


"  This  great  ruler  of  the  Church  of  Ireland  was  a  noble 
champion  of  the  Catholic  faith,  and  foremost  among  its 
defenders  and  restorers  in  his  native  land.  He  was  born 
at  Limerick,  the  son  of  respectable  but  not  distinguished 

•  Dr  Moran,  Archbishops  of  Dublin,  p.  136, 

t  Ibia. 

X  Mooney,  p.  95.  In  another  passage  (p.  69)  he  also  mentions  his  death  in  this  year,  (al- 
though the  name,  probably  through  a  mistake  of  Mooney's  copyist,  looks  ike  Moriartiu 

In  the  Reign  of  Elisabeth.  117 

citizens  of  that  city,  Nicholas  Creagh  and  Joanna  White. 
That  city  is  situated  in  the  province  of  Munster,  remarka- 
ble for  its  site  and  its  cultivation :  it  is  surrounded  by 
walls  and  washed  by  the  river  Shannon,  the  greatest  of 
the,  rivers  of  Ireland  ;  the  goodness  of  its  port  invites  the 
citizens  to  commerce,  and,  in  consequence,  the  most 
honorable  of  its  citizens  for  the  greater  part  bring  up  their 
sons  to  trade.  Thus  it  happened  that  the  young  Richard 
was  by  his  parents  placed  in  a  commercial  house  to  learn 
business,  as  was  St.  Francis  by  his  father  ;  and  to  acquire 
a  knowledge  of  such  articles  as  were  most  in  demand. 
Among  such  was  saffron,  which  at  that  time  was  much 
used  by  the  Irish  for  dyeing,  cooking,  and  medicine. 
One  day  young  Creagh  perceived  that  the  bags  in  which 
the  saffron  was  kept  were  damp,  (as  ofttimes  happens  with 
that  oily  flower,)  and  fearing  lest  there  should  be  any  fraud 
in  that  dampness — for  he  had  learned  in  the  divine  law 
that  adulterating  goods  and  unjust  weights  are  an  abomina- 
tion to  the  Lord — he  placed  the  bags  in  the  sun  to  dry. 
His  mind  was  troubled  by  the  thought  of  the  dangers  to 
which  his  soul  would  be  exposed  in  trading  in  the  goods 
of  this  world,  for  the  Lord  had  destined  him  for  another 
business,  that  of  saving  souls,  that  he  should  make  fine 
linen  and  sell  it,  and  deliver  a  girdle  to  the  Chananite  ; 
and  should  be  as  a  merchant's  ship,  bringing  his  bread 
from  afar.  Nor  was  he  of  those  who,  being  brought  up  in 
garments  of  saffron,  embraced  the  dunghill,  but  rather  of 
those  who  deemed  saffron  and  cinnamon  and  all  other 
precious  spices  as  dirt  that  he  might  gain  Christ.  He  de- 
termined, therefore,  to  abandon  the  balance  that  he  might 
embrace  the  cross  ;*  and,  having  with  some  difficulty  ob- 
tained the  consent  of  his  parents,  he  got  his  discharge 
from  his  master,  and,  bidding  adieu  to  the  business  of  this 

•  "  Relicto  igitur  croco  ut  se  ad  crucen  Christi  pararet  melius." 

Xi8  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

world,  devoted  himself  to  study  and  piety  in  the  hope  of 
an  abundant  return,  as  he  remembered  the  treasure  hid- 
den in  a  field,  and  the  pearl  of  great  price  spoken  of  in  the 
gospel ;  wherefore  he  sold  all  he  had  to  buy  it. 

"  Freed  from  dealing  in  spices,  he  yet  gave  a  sweet  odor 
of  piety,  like  cinnamon  and  balsam,  and  to  him  might  be 
ai:>plied  what  St.  Basil  said  :  '  As  sweet  ointments  diffuse 
through  the  air  a  sweet  odor,  which  refreshes  those 
who  breathe  it,  so  a  good  man  is  useful  and  agreeable  to  all 
that  dwell  with  him,'  as  was  proved  in  him.  But  I  must 
now  relate  more  at  length  the  stages  by  which  he  was  led 
by  divine  Providence. 

"As  soon  as  he  had  learned  in  Ireland  the  rudiments  of 
the  Latin  language,  he  went  to  Belgium,  where  in  the 
great  University  of  Louvain  he  studied  letters,  and  having 
completed  his  course  of  philosophy,  and  taken  the  degree 
of  master  of  arts,  he  studied  sacred  theology  with  all  care, 
and  after  several  years'  study  attained  the  degree  of 
bachelor  in  theology.* 

"  Having  taken  this  degree,  he  determined  to  return  to 
his  native  land,  then,  alas !  overrun  with  weeds  and 
briers  caused  by  the  schism  and  heresy  under  Elizabeth, 
(for  her  Catholic  sister  was  then  dead  ;)  error  was  sown 
broadcast  all  through  the  kingdom,  more  especially  in  his 
native  city,  where  he  desired  to  root  out  the  bad  and  sow 
the  good  seed.     Being  now  a  priest,  he  labored  zealously, 

*  Note  A. — The  following  reference  to  our  archbishop  occ^trs  in  the  Records  of  Lowaiit, 
published  by  De  Ram  in  1861.     (^Renim  Lovaniensium,  libri  14,  auctore  Jac.  Molano,  1583,) 

"  Richard  Crews,  a  native  of  Limerick,  in  Ireland,  having  obtained  a  free  bourse  from  tha 
almoner  of  Charles  V.,  studied  arts  as  a  convictor  in  domo  Standonica,  and  afterward  theology 
in  the  Pontifical  College,  and  in  the  year  1555  took  his  degree  of  bachelor.  He  was  subse- 
quently made  Archbishop  of  Armagh  and  Primate  of  Ireland  ;  and,  being  taken  prisoner  in  th» 
persecution  of  Elizabeth,  miraculously  escaped  from  prison  in  the  year  1565,  and  came  to  Lou- 
vain, where  he  was  received  with  great  kindness  by  Michael  Banis,  President  of  the  Fontiiical 
College,"  founded  by  Adrian  VI.,  now  called  College  du  Pape. 

Dr.  Creagh,  in  his  examination,  says  he  was  educated  "  at  the  Emperor  Charles's  and  othir 
good  men's  costs." 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  1 1  g 

exhorting  in  prirate  and  preaching  in  public,  and  adminis- 
tering the  sacraments  ;  and  warning  all  against  the  oath 
of  the  queen's  usurped  ecclesiastical  supremacy,  and 
against  unlawfully  communicating  in  divine  things  with 
the  schismatics,  and  he  withdrew  many  from  these  two 
snares  of  the  soul. 

"And  as  nothing  remains  so  firmly  fixed  in  the  mind  as 
what  is  learned  in  youth,  {Quint,  lib.  i.  cap.  i.,)  he  gave 
whatever  time  he  could  spare  from  the  duties  of  his  sacred 
office  to  teaching  youth  and  bringing  them  up  in  virtue, 
not  unmindful  of  what  St.  Irenasus  wisely  observed,  the 
knowledge  of '  what  we  have  learned  in  youth  strengthens 
with  our  growth,  and  is  firmly  fixed  in  our  mind.'  '  A 
young  man  according  to  his  way,  even  when  he  is  old,  he 
will  not  depart  from  it'  (Prov.  xxii.  6.)  He  opened  a 
school  and  taught  at  once  letters  and  religion  to  children 
and  youth  and  all  who  came.  For,  as  the  father  of  Roman 
eloquence  says,  '  What  better  service  can  we  do  the  state 
than  to  teach  youth  .''  For  as  the  ruin  of  cities  and  states 
follows  the  neglect  of  this  duty,  so  does  their  prosperity 
from  its  fulfilment.  For  how  shall  the  state  flourish, 
unless  its  governors  be  good  ;  and  how  can  magistrates 
be  good,  unless  the  citizens  from  whom  they  are  chosen 
be  good  .■■  Nor  can  they  be  such,  unless  in  their  youth 
they  b'e  well  brought  up.  Grievously  did  our  forefathers 
offend  in  this  respect,  by  neglecting  the  education  of 
their  children.  But  far  more  grievously  do  our  modern 
rulers  offend,  who  devote  all  their  care  to  poisoning  the 
mind  of  youth,  both  by  infusing  the  poison  of  error  into 
Ihe  teaching  of  youth,  and  by  prohibiting  Catholic  schools, 
In  which  youth  would  be  taught  both  literature  and  virtue. 

"  Richard  therefore  labored  with  solicitude  and  zeal  to 
teach  youth,  to  form  their  plastic  minds  to  the  orthodox 
faith,  and  to  endure  sufferings  for  Christ.  After  some 
time,  however,  he  determined  to  leave  Ireland,  urged  by 

I20  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  inspiration  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  which  makes  men  deem 
all  that  they  have  done  nothing  while  yet  anything  re- 
mains to  do  ;  and  which  made  him,  although  wholly 
devoted  to  promoting  the  Catholic  faith,  consider  he  was 
not  yet  a  perfect  follower  of  Christ,  and  desire  a  more 
perfect  way  ;  and  partly  because  he  was  worn  out  with 
labor,  partly  because  he  desired  to  advance  more  in  sacred 
studies,  and  to  follow  a  stricter  rule  of  life,  he  proceeded 
to  Catholic  countries,  and  finally  to  Rome  *  Here  he  w'as 
known  arid  esteemed  by  Pope  Pius  V.,  who  forbade  him  to 
enter  a  regular  order,  as  he  purposed,  until  he  should  learn 
more  of  the  will  of  his  hohness  ;  but  the  pontiff,  although 
unknown  to  him,  had  already  determined  to  send  him  back 
to  Ireland,  to  strengthen  and  console  its   inhabitants,  so 

*  Note  B. — The  account  which  we  gather,  chiefly  from  the  archbishop's  examination  in 
London,  is  fuller.  I  take  it  from  an  excellent  sketch  of  his  life,  given  in  \^^  Rambler  o{ 
April,  1853^  (by  Rev.  D.  McCarthy,)  from  which  I  shall  also  make  several  other  extracts ;  the 
writer  does  not  appear  to  have  seen  the  life  by  Roothe.  The  details  in  the  life  by  Roothe  are 
fuller  and  more  authentic  than  any  others,  but  he  has  fallen  into  some  not  unnatural  errors  ag 
to  the  chronology  of  the  archbishop's  life,  and  has  transposed  his  trials  and  escapes ;  placing 
his  trial  in  Ireland  before  his  escape  from  the  Tower  of  London,  whereas  it  occurred  subse- 

It  will  make  the  narrative  clearer  if  I  here  give  a  summary  of  the  dates  of  his  life : 
1525. — The  archbishop  was  born  probably  in  this  year 

1 548. — About  this  year  went  to  Louvain ;  he  was  there  seven  or  eight  years. 
1555. — Took   his   degree   of  bachelor  of  divinity   at   Louvain,   and  soon  after  relumed  to 

1557. — This  year  Hugh  Lacy,  the  Catholic  bishop,  was  restored  to  the  see  of  Limerick,  and 

as  Dr.  Creagh  came  to  Limerick  under  him,  it  must  have  been  about  this  year. 
11558. — Elizabeth  succeeded,  and  the  persecution  began. 

1560. — The  Nuncio  Wolfe  arrived  in  Limerick,  charged  with  providing  for  the  vacant  sees. 
1562. — In  August,  Dr.  Creagh  left  Limerick  for  Rome  by  direction  of  the  Nuncio. 
1563. — January,  he  arrived  in  Rome. 
1564.— He  was  consecrated  archbishop  in  April,  and  set  out  on  his  journey  to   Ireland  on 

horseback;    in  October,  he  reached  London,  and  some  time  later  landed  in  Ireland, 

and  was  soon  after  arrested  and  sent  to  London. 
J565. — January  iSth,  committed  to  the  Tower.      He  was  interrogated  on  the  22d  February 

and  23d  March,  and  escaped  from  prison  on  the  octave  of  Easter  Sunday,  as  related 

by  the  letter  of  Dr,   Southwell  and  Father  Navarchus.      He  retuined  to  IrelpnJ 

either  the  end  of  this  year  or  the  beginning  uf 
1566. — In  August  of  this  year  he  had  an  interview  with  Shane  O'Neill. 
1567-— 8th  May,  he  was  taken  prisoner  in  Connaught ;  in  August,  he  was  tried  in  Dublin,  and 

acquitted,  but  kept  in  custody,  and  escaped  soon  after  ;   was  retaken  before  the  enl 

of  the  year,  and  sent  to  London,  and  lodged  in  the  Tower,  where — 
1585. — He  died  on  the  14th  October. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth. 


sorely  tried  for  their  faith  ;  and,  to  give  more  scope  to  his 
^eal,  to  consecrate  him  Archbishop  of  Armagh  and  Primate 
of  all  Ireland  ;  for  that  see  was  then  vacant  by  the  death 
of  his  illustrious  and  most  reverend  predecessor,  James 
Dowdell,  who  died,  about  the  same  time  as  Queen  Mary 
and  Cardinal  Pole,  in  England,  whither  he  had  gone  about 
some  affairs  of  his  church.  In  vain  he  alleged,  in  order  to 
escape  the  burden  to  be  laid  upon  him,  the  dangers  of 
the  journey  and  the  difficulty  of  entering  Ireland  ;  but  as 
soon  as  he  was  consecrated,  animated  by  the  Holy  Ghost, 
he  crossed  the  sea,  and,  leaving  behind  the  storms  of  ocean, 
encountered  fiercer  storms  on  land.*  He  had  hardly 
landed  and  proceeded  a  few  days  on  his  journey,  when  he 
was  seized  by  the  enemies  of  the  faith  and  carried  to 
Dublin  and  thrown  into  prison.  After  he  had  lain  there 
some  time,  he  fled,  together  with  his  jailer.f  What 
further  troubles  he  passed  through  I  will  relate  as  far  as  I 
have  learned. 

"  Escaped  from  chains,  he  fled  across  the  sea,  to  breathe 
in  freedom  among  Catholics  for  a  short  time,  and  prepare 
for  fresh  combats.  After  he  had  a  little  restored  his 
strength,  having  received  an  intimation  from  the  holy 
father,  the  primate  returned  a  second  time  to  Ireland, 
and,  while  watching  over  his  flock,  he  was  again  seized 
and  brought  before  the  viceroy  and  council  in  Dublin, 
where  he  was  accused  of  high  treason,  as  a  vagabond  and 
transgressor  of  the  laws,  a  contemner  of  the  statutes  of 
the  kingdom,  an  escaped  criminal,  and  worthy  of  the  se- 
verest punishment.  Jurors  were  called,  who,  according  to 
ancient  custom,  were  to  decide  on  his  guilt.  The  jurors 
were  sworn  before  the  royal  tribunal,  and,  having  heard 
from  the  judge  the  heads  of  the  accusation  and  the  evi- 
dence, were  to  pronounce  on  the  fact.     The  archbishop, 

•  See  Note  B,  p.  lac. 

^  This  is  a  mistake.     His  escape  with  his  jailer  was  from  his  lafer  imprisonment  in  1567. 

122  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

confiding  in  the  goodness  of  his  cause,  boldly  pleaded  be- 
fore the  jurors,  proved  his  innocence,  and  explained  the 
causes  of  his  arrest  and  his  escape.  He  acknowledged 
that  he  was  a  Catholic,  and  a  Catholic  bishop,  but  guilty 
of  no  crime  ;  that  he  had  not  broken  forcibly  out  of  prison, 
but  had  fled  with  his  jailer  to  save  his  life.  He  prayed 
them  to  remember  that  with  them  rested  the  life  or  death 
of  an  innocent  man  :  if  they  condemned  the  innocent,  they 
would  have  to  answer  to  the  divine  judgment ;  that  his 
mortal  life,  but  their  immortal  life,  was  in  the  balance. 
And  as  the  law  allows  the  accused  a  certain  number  of 
peremptory  challenges  to  the  jurors,  but,  if  he  exceed  the 
number,  condemns  him  to  what  is  called  the  peijie  forte  et 
dure,  that  is,  to  be  crushed  to  death  beneath  a  weight,  he 
challenged  some  peremptorily  and  some  for  cause,  and  in 
all  things  acted  with  wisdom  and  prudence,  neither  omit- 
Ing  any  just  means  of  defence  nor  in  aught  transgressing 
the  law — no  easy  matter  in  so  intricate  a  business.  The 
judge,  in  charging  the  jurors,  enlarged  at  great  length  on 
what  he  called  the  atrocity  of  the  crime,-  that  they  might 
have  the  less  hesitation  in  finding  him  guilty.  After  they 
had  heard  his  address  and  the  evidence,  they  retired  to  dis- 
cuss the  facts  and  decide  on  their  interlocutory  sentence, 
which  is  called  the  verdict.  There  ensued  a  long  discus- 
sion among  them  ;  and,  as  the  law  directs  that  the  jurors 
may  not  return  to  their  homes  until  they  have  agreed  on 
their  sentence  and  it  has  been  announced  by  their  leader, 
they  were  so  long  without  coming  to  a  decision,  some  being 
for  the  accused  and  some  against  him,  that  they  remained 
for  several  days  shut  up  on  a  small  allowance  of  bread  and 
water,  until  they  should  agree.  The  foreman  of  the  jurors, 
who  was  for  an  acquittal,  had  for  some  time  suffered  nmch 
from  dysentery  ;  and  all  physicians  are  agreed  that  nothing 
is  worse  for  such  a  complaint  than  cold  and  uncooked 
food,  yet,  supported  by  a  sen.':e  of  justice,  his  spirit  upheld 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  123 

(he  weakness  of  his  body,  and,  far  from  suffering,  he  was 
better  and  freer  from  the  disease  after  than  before  his  se- 
clusion. At  length  the  jurors  returned  a  verdict  of  not 
guilty,  but  were  in  consequence  themselves  thrown  into 
prison  and  fined.  The  archbishop  was  sent  to  London, 
and  th'rust  into  an  obscure  cell  in  the  Tower  of  London,  ■ 
which  was  called  '  the  whale's  room.'  The  place  was  very 
dark  and  shut  out  from  the  light  of  the  sun,  and  the  only 
light  allowed  to  the  prisoner  was  as  much  of  a  tallow  can- 
dle as  his  jailers  thought  would  enable  him  to  eat  his 
food.*  But  he,  thinking  more  of  the  food  of  the  soul  than 
of  the  body,  in  order  to  have  light  to  read  his  prayers  out 
of  a  book  which  he  had  concealed,  made  a  species  of  rude 
candles  out  of  strips  of  his  shirt  steeped  in  the  fat  of  the 
meat  given  him  for  food.  After  some  time,  however,  he 
was  removed  from  this  den  into  a  larger  and  more  light- 
some room  in  the  same  tower,  in  which,  he  could  breathe 
freer  and  purer  air  and  enjoy  the  light,  not  as  in  his  for- 
mer cell,  whither  not  even  a  ray  of  light  ever  penetrated. 
Here  he  remained  for  some  time  ;  and  though  afflicted  in 
many  ways,  and  deprived  of  all  human  consolation,  he  was 
not  abandoned  by  God  nor  weakened  in  mind,  for  he 
placed  his  confidence  not  in  the  arm  of  the  flesh,  nor  in 
the  vanity  of  this  world,  but  in  the  light  and  source  of  all 
consolation,  whose  streams  do  not  fail ;  his  hope  was  not 
in  riches  nor  in  power,  but  in  the  aid  of  God,  v/hose  aid 
never  fails  those  who  rest  in  the  testimony  of  a  good  con- 
science— those  who  love  not  the  world,  but  God.  In  so 
great  a  cause  he  was  neither  slack  nor  timid  ;  and  as  pov- 
erty and  suffering  are  said  to  be  as  sisters  to  a  pure  mind, 
so  they  strengthened  him  in  constancy,  fortitude,  and  lib- 

•  The ,  archbishop  himself  stated :  "  Besides  divers  my  poor  bodies  sickness,  I  can  neitliei 
day  nor  night  change  apparel,  having  neither  of  myself,  nor  of  any  other  body,  one  penny,  to 
cause  the  broken  shirt  that  is  on  my  back  to  be  once  washed ;  whose  incommodity  decency 
will  not  have  it  to  be  declared,  besides  the  misery  of  cold,  such  others  without  even  a  conve- 
nient hose."    He  had  been  nearly  three  months  in  prison  when  he  thus  wrote. 

124  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

erty  of  spirit.  He  daily  grew  in  the  contempt  ot  the 
things  of  this  world,  and  the  generous  determination  of 
suffering  all  things  for  Christ.  For  he  is  not  to  be  called 
courageous  whose  courage  does  not  rise  under  difficulties, 
as  St.  Bernard  says, '  The  faithful  man  is  more  faithful  when 
afflicted.'    {Epist.  256.) 

"  But  our  good  Lord,  whose  goodness  exceeds  our  desires, 
did  not  abandon  his  servant  in  his  distress,  but  by  the  aid 
and  observation  of  a  bird,  he  enabled  him  to  fly  from  pri- 
son. {Atkan.,  Oratio  contra  Gentes.)  Small  instruments 
e'lffice  in  his  hand  for  great  results.  What  is  smaller  than 
a  damp  head  of  saffron  ?  yet  it  called  our  prelate  from  the 
business  of  this  world  to  that  of  saving  souls  ;  so  by  watch- 
mg  the  flight  hither  and  thither  of  a  bird,  he  learned  how 
to  escape  from  that  labyrinth  of  Daedalus,  surrounded  by 
so  many  walls,  fastened  with  so  many  locks.  Thus  the  fu- 
gitive Malchus,  with  the  partner  of  his  home  and  faith, 
learned  by  watching  the  ants  a  path  of  flight. 

"  The  archbishop  escaped  from  the  Tower,  and  that  in  a 
manner  so  unexpected  as  to  excite  the  surprise  of  all  who 
knew  the  place  and  the  care  taken  in  guarding  prisoners. 
Many  illustrious  men  who  had  formerly  been  connected  by 
friendship  with  the  prisoner  were  anxious  to  learn  from 
himself  how  he  had  escaped  out  of  the  lion's  den.  Among 
others,  the  illustrious  Thomas  Goldwell,  Bishop  of  Asaph,* 
who  was  at  that  time  living  at  Milan,  on  hearing  that,  after 
his  escape  from  London,  he  was  at  Louvain,  wrote  to  him 
the  following  letter,  partly  to  congratulate  him,  partly  to 
inquire  the  particulars  of  his  escape  : 

"  Copy  of  a  letter  from  the  Bishop  of  Asaph  to  the  Primate, 
translated  from  the  English  original. 
"  '  Illustrious  and  very  Reverend  Lord,  I    was  deeplv 
grieved  to  learn  that  youi  grace,  on  your  arrival  in  Ireland, 

•  Dr.  Creagh  meiitioiied  in  his  examination  (  he  had  known  him  at  Rome. 

In  the  Reigti  of  Elizabeth.  125 

had  been  treacherously  captured  and  taken  to  the  Tower 
of  London.  But  equally  great  was  my  joy  when  I  learned 
that  you  had  escaped  almost  miraculously,  and  had  reached 
Louvain,  where  you  were  hospitably  entertained  by  our 
mutual  friend,  Master  Michael,*  who,  I  doubt  not,  rejoiced 
\\.  your  arrival  as  I  did  at  your  escape.  When  you  have 
leisure,  you  would  sensibly  oblige  me  by  writing  me  a  full 
account  of  your  escape  ;  for,  when  I  was  first  told  of  it,  it 
appeared  to  me  so  strange  as  to  resemble  the  dream  seen 
by  St.  Peter,  when  the  angel  led  him  forth  from  prison 
However  it  be,  praise  be  to  God,  who  deigned  to  protect 
his  servant.  To  his  divine  guardianship  I  commend  your 
grace,  praying  you  to  remember  me  in  your  prayers ;  and 
as  it  is  reported  here  that  a  certain  English  father  of  the 
Society  of  Jesus  was  your  grace's  companion  in  Ireland, 
there  are  many  here  who  are  anxious  to  know  his  fate. 
There  lives  in  this  city  a  very  pious  Irish  Jesuit,  named 
Maurice,  who  greatly  rejoiced  at  hearing  of  your  escape. 
I  pray  you  to  salute  for  me  our  reverend  friend  Master 
Michael.f    Wishing  your  grace  health  and  peace, 

" '  Your  grace's  unworthy  brother  and  servant, 
" '  Thomas  Goldwell,  Bishop  of  St.  Asaph. 

"•MiLA^,  20th  June,  1565.' 

"  The  answer  which  the  primate  wrote  to  the  Bishop  of 
St.  Asaph  has  not  come  into  my  hands,  but  the  account 
which  he  so  earnestly  asked  for  of  his  escape  is  to  be 
found  in  a  letter  written  by  Father  James  Navarchus,^  of 
the  Society  of  Jesus,  to  Father  Florence  Bonchortius,  of 
the  same  society,  and  which  is  to  be  found  among  the 
Japanese  §  letters  printed  at  Louvain  by  Uvelphius, 
(p.  290,)  and  it  may  be  considered  fully  trustworthy,  as  the 

*  Michael  Banis,  President  of  the  Pontifical  College,  Louvain. 

t  Evidently  Master  Michael  Banis,  President  of  the  Papal  College,  Louvain.    See  Note  A, 
p.  iia. 
X  Perhaps  his  name  was  Captain,  and  he  an  Englisl  man. 
I  Leittn/rom  the  Jesuit  MtssiomrUs  in  fapan. 

126  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

particulars  were  all  gathered  from  the  mouth  of  the  primate 
himself.  I  have,  therefore,  thought  it  worth  inserting 
here  for  such  of  my  readers  as  may  not  have  an  oppor- 
tunity of  seeing  it : 

" '  To  the  Rev.  Father  in  Christ  Florence  Bonchort,  of  the 
Society  of  Jesus,  the  Peace  of  Christ,  etc. 

" '  It  will  not  be  ungrateful  to  you,  dear  Florence,  if  I 
briefly  narrate  for  you  what  was  lately  told  me  by  the 
Most  Reverend  Archbishop  of  Armagh  and  Primate  of 
Ireland,  touching  his  marvellous  escape  from  prison  in 
the  Tower  of  London.  As  I  judged  the  event  to  be  not 
unlike  what  we  read  in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  of  the 
delivery  of  St.  Peter,  I  prayed  him  to  give  me  the  par- 
ticulars in  writing,  for  I  feared  lest  if  I  trusted  to  others 
I  might  omit  something,  and  he,  being  a  most  courteous 
man,  and  anxious  for  the  glory  of  God,  granted  my  request. 
I  deem  this  narrative  will  bring  no  little  consolation  to  the 
Catholics,  who  now  suffer  so  much,  especially  to  those 
who  are  engaged  in  the  defence  of  the  faith,  and  will  ex- 
cite the  faith  and  confidence  in  God  of  our  fellow-soldiers 
of  the  faith,  and  encourage  them  to  labor  still  more  zeal- 
ously in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord  in  its  present  distracted 
and  almost  desperate  state,  for  who  could  have  thought 
that  our  Archbishop  of  Armagh  would  escape  ?  I  know 
that  prayer  without  ceasing  for  him  was  made,  not  only  in 
the  colleges  of  our  society,  but  also  by  many  others,  not  so 
much  that  he  might  escape  as  that  he  might  with  con- 
stancy endure  death,  like  the  Bishop  of  Ross  and  Sir 
Thomas  More,  (some  members  of  whose  family  entered  the 
Society  of  Jesus,)  and  by  his  example  animate  others,  and 
inspire  them  with  constancy.  But  God  had  determined  to 
make  him  useful  to  the  persecuted  Christians  in  a  different 
way,  as  will  appear  from  th's  narrative.      To  beo-in,  then, 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  127 

at  the  beginning,  he  was  sent  from  Rome,  having  received 
much  from  the  bounty  of  Pope  Pius,  that  he  might  snatch 
his  sheep  in  Ireland  from  the  jaws  of  the  wolf  and  rule 
them  in  all  piety.  On  his  arrival  he  said  Mass  in  a  certain 
monastery  of  his  province.  The  soldiers  of  a  certain 
governor,  who  had  charge. of  the  coast  not  far  from  where 
the  bishop  landed,  found  him  there  and  carried  him  a 
prisoner  to  the  garrison,  where  he  was  interrogated  by  the 
governor  as  to  the  primacy  of  the  church.  He  freely  and 
ingenuously  confessed  the  Catholic  doctrine,  and  declared 
himself  a  Christian.  Among  those  who  were  present  at 
this  interrogatory  was  the  brother  of  the  governor,  a 
violent  man  and  quick  of  hand,  who  was  furious  at  the 
bishop's  opposition  to  heresy,  and  sought  by  all  means  to 
have  the  matter  referred  to  the  Queen  of  England,  hoping 
for  such  a  spoil  to  win  at  court  not  only  favor,  but  ample 
rewards,  for  he  made  no  great  secret  of  the  fact  that  he 
acted  rather  from  self-interest  than  from  any  great  zeal  for 
religion.  These  are  the  motives  which  influence  men 
devoid  of  the  love  of  God,  and  who  are  now  gradually  re- 
turning to  the  old  idolatry.  For  as  Catholics  by  study  and 
mquiry  make  progress  in  the  knowledge  of  truth,  so  those, 
by  adding  error  to  error  and  falsehood  to  falsehood,  fall 
deeper  and  deeper,  as  may  easily  be  perceived  by  any  one 
who  compares  the  earlier  with  the  later  works  of  Luther 
and  Melanchthon,  or  by  one  who,  meeting  with  these  men, 
examines  into  their  mode  of  life •  and  faith.  For  they  can 
never  put  any  limit  to  doubts,  and  are  obliged  to  confess 
ihat  they  rely,  not  upon  the  foundations  of  faith,  but 
upon  their  own  opinions. ,  On  the  contrary,  the  orthodox 
faith  is  one  certain  and  free  from  change,  for  it  comes 
from  God,  with  whom  there  is  no  change  or  shadow  of 

" '  To  return  to  the  primate.     Being  taken  on  that  night, 
he  was,  as  I  have  said,  sent  to  the  queen,  and  underwent 

128  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

several  interrogatories  at  Westminster.     After  having  an- 
swered all  that  was  alleged  against  him,  and  modestly  and 
fittingly  defended  our  faith,  he  was,  without  further  trial, 
marched  between  two  guards  through  almost  the  entire 
city  of  London,  as  a  spectacle  of  derision  and  contempt  to 
all  for  the  faith  of  Christ,  and  thrown  into  the  lowest  and 
darkest  prison  of  the  Tower.     This  was  on  the  feast  of  St. 
Peter's  Chair,  (i8th  January.)     After  a  time,  however,  he 
was  removed  to  a  larger  and  more  lightsome  room ;  for 
some,  mindful  of  justice  and  the  laws,  said  it  was  unjust 
that  one  who  had  not  been  tried  should  be  so  inhumanly 
treated,      While   the   bishop   was   thus   straitened,  God, 
the  Consoler  of  the  afflicted,  did  not  abandon  him,  but  on 
the  very  day  of  the  feast  of  St.  Peter's  Chair*  gave  to  him 
both  great  consolation  of  mind  and  a  sure  hope  of  deliver- 
ance.    He  persevered  continually  in  prayer,  and  on  the 
third  day  following,  which  was  Sunday,  recited  with  all  de- 
votion the  prayers  of  the  Mass,  as  well  as  he  could  from 
memory,  in  prison.     The  peace  and  consolation  which  he 
then  felt  had  been  preceded  by  a  dreadful  fear,  so  hard  to 
endure  that  his  soul  seemed  at  the  point  of  death,  and  he 
recited  the  office  of  the  dead  for  himself  believing  that  he 
would  soon  be  put  to  death  for  the  faith  of  Christ.     He 
waited  for  those  who  were  to  examine  into  his  faith  and 
life,  and  who,  he  knew,  were  to  come  on  the  feast  of  St. 
Patrick,  (17th  March,)  the  patron  of  Ireland,  and  his  first 
predecessor  in  the  cathedral  church  of  Armagh,  and,  as  he 
had  often  experienced  his  aid,  he  daily  by  prayer  besought 
his  help.     He  was  examined  on  this  day,  and  again  on  the 
fourth  following,  and  was  told  by  the  Governor  of  the  Tower 
that  the  great  point  was  that  with  regard  to  the  cure  of 
souls,  as  he  (the  governor)  held  obedience  was  not  due  to 
the  Roman  pontiff,  but  to  the  Queen  of  England,  to  whom 

•  St.  Peter's  Chair  at  Antloch,  Feb.  2x 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  129 

all  the  Irish  churches  are  subject,  and  that  all  would  be  well 
with  him  if,  renouncing  his  perfidy,  (for  so  he  called  the 
Catholic  faith,)  he  would  acknowledge  her  supremacy,  and 
pray  institution  from  the  queen.  To  all  these  representa- 
tions, which  were  again  and  again  repeated  by  others,  he 
constantly  answered,  as  became  a  Catholic  bishop,  that  he 
would  not  vary  by  one  hair's  breadth  from  the  ancient  laws 
of  Christ's  religion.  Five  weeks  had  now  passed  since  his 
imprisonment,  which  brought  it  to  the  octave  of  Easter, 
when,  I  know  not  why,  unless  by  the  divine  inspiration,  he 
began  to  think  of  escape.  It  seems  that  the  thought  was 
suggested  to  him  by  a  little  bird,  which,  flying  from  under 
the  eaves,  plumed  her  feathers,  and,  spreading  her  wings, 
and  flying  before  him  in  his  chamber,  seemed  to  invite  him 
to  follow  her  example.  Although  he  had  no  certain  hope 
of  escape,  he  began  to  prepare  his  little  bundle  and  secretly 
prepare  for  flight.  Nor  was  his  hope  vain,  as  the  result 
proved,  for  God,  unknown  to  his  servant,  had  prepared  help 
for  him. 

" '  On  the  following  night  a  great  noise  was  heard  in  his 
room  and  the  neighboring  one,  and  the  guardian  of  the  pri- 
son came  to  ask  what  was  the  cause  of  so  much  noise.  The 
bishop  answered,  as  was  the  truth,  (for  he  had  slept  soundly,) 
that  he  had  heard  nothing  and  had  not  caused  the  noise,  but 
there  were  signs  in  his  room  of  the  prison  having  been  dis- 
turbed. On  the  following  night  he  had  strange  dreams, 
and  seemed  to  himself  to  have  escaped  from  prison.  On 
the  third  night  he  seemed  to  be  surrounded  by  the  forms 
of  the  dead,  especially  those  to  whom,  on  the  festival  of 
Easter  and  the  following  day,  he  had  applied  the  indul- 
gences granted  to  him  by  the  pontiff.  The  dream  returned 
several  times,  and  at  length  the  figures  of  the  dead  seemed 
to  lead  him  out  of  prison.  At  dawn  he  began  to  recite  the 
Divine  Office,  having  entirely  forgotten  his  dreams  ;  but  he 
could  not  free  himself  from  an  inclination  or  inspiration  to, 

130  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

try  to  leave  the  prison  and  pass  the  gates.  This  idea  so  con- 
stantly returned  to  his  mind  that  he  could  not  drive  it  away. 
He  did,  however,  drive  it  away  once  and  again,  because  he 
deemed  it  only  a  distraction  of  prayer.  At  last  he  could 
no  longer  resist  the  impulse,  and  left  his  chamber  hastily. 
He  examined  the  neighboring  passages,  and  perceived 
that  all  the  doors,  which  were  ordinarily  securely  barred, 
were  open,  and  was  astonished  at  so  strange  a  case.  Re- 
turning to  his  chamber,  he  yet  dared  not  attempt  to  fly, 
fearing  to  bring  on  himself  still  greater  danger  if  retaken, 
and  tried  to  compose  himself  again  to  prayer  ;  but  he 
could  not  drive  away  the  idea  of  flight,  to  which  he  felt 
himself  strongly  prompted,  and,  having  again  examined  the 
door,  he  knelt  down  in  his  chamber  and  earnestly  besought 
God  to  give  him  courage  and  inspire  him  to  do  whatever 
was  most  for  his  divine  honor.  Having  made  this  short 
prayer,  he  took  under  his  arm  the  little  bundle  which 
through  some  presentiment  he  had  before  made  up,  and 
invoking  God,  the  Author  of  his  flight,  and  laying  aside 
all  fear,  proceeded  through  six  doors,  guided  he  knew  not 
how  along  that  winding  path,  for  he  had  been  brought  in 
by  another  door.  At  length  he  came  to  the  guards,  who 
asked  whether  he  had  a  butt.  This  word  had  been  given 
to  them  as  the  sign  or  password,  and  had  no  other  mean- 
ing but  to  detect  strangers.  As  he  understood  not  their 
question,  he  was  silent,  but  one  of  them  (and  in  this  may 
be  noted  the  power  of  God,  to  whom  it  is  easy  to  use  any 
instrument  for  his  own  glory)  answered  jestingly  that  he 
carried  his  coat  for  a  butt  under  his  arm.  They  then  asked 
him  who  he  was.  He  had  prepared  an  answer  to  this  ques- 
tion ;  reflecting  that  he  was  the  servant  of  the  servants 
of  Christ,  he  answered  truly  enough  that  he  was  the  ser- 
vant of  a  certain  great  Lord,  who  was  in  a  more  open  part 
of  the  prison.  As  the  guards,  fearing  blame,  pressed  him 
closely,  'and  said  he  should  be  taken  before  a  judge,  he  re- 

In  the  Reign  jf  Elizabeth.  1 3,1 

mained  unmoved,  and  said  he  was  ready  to  go  anywhere. 
At  length,  God  so  disposing,  they  let  him  pass.  Wander 
ing  for  three  days  about  London,  amid  strangers,  he 
heard  several  speak  of  the  escape  of  the  archbishop,  whom 
they  described  as  having  a  white  beard,  as  indeed  he  had, 
but  they  (deceived  by  the  double  meaning  of  the  word 
which  in  their  language  signifies  either  naturally  fair  oi 
white  from  age,  instead  of  a  naturally  fair  beard,  such  as 
his)  understood  it  to  be  white  from  age.  While  wander- 
ing these  three  days  through  the  streets  of  London,  he 
several  times  met  the  pursuivants,  and  some  of  them  spoke 
to  him  and  asked  him  who  he  was,  but,  as  he  answered 
them  in  French,  they  took  him  for  a  Frenchman,  and  left 
him.  I  have  also  been  told  by  persons  of  repute  that  he 
was  met  and  recognized  by  the  guardian  of  the  prison,  but 
that  he  felt  himself  hindered  from  molesting  him.  At 
length  he  found  a  ship,  and  was  taken  on  board  as  a  stran- 
ger by  the  captain,  who  was  a  decided  enemy  of  Catholics. 
Soon  afterward  the  pursuivants  came  on  board,  and  thrice 
interrogated  the  sailors  on  oath  if  they  knew  anything  of 
the  bishop,  whom  they  described  as  gray-haired  and  not 
as  an  Irishman,  (as  they  thought  that  name  would  be 
denied.)  The  sailors  were  asked  about  every  one  in  the 
ship,  but,  God  so  disposing,  they  did  not  ask  any  questions 
of  the  bishop  ;  for  they  never  suspected  him  to  be  the  arch- 
bishop; who,  they  believed,  was  gray-headed,  but,  when  they 
saw  him  young  and  speaking  French,  they  took  him  for  a 
Frenchman.  Thus  did  God  set  astray  those  who  were  in 
the  ship,  and  who  were  bitter  enemies  of  the  faith  ;  but  he 
escaped  from  out  of  their  hands,  and  arrived  safe  in  Brabant, 
although  three  hundred  ducats  were  promised  to  any  one 
who  should  apprehend  him.  In  that  country  he  gave  him- 
self not  to  idleness  or  pleasure,  but  to  sacred  meditation 
and  returning  thanks  to  God  for  his  great  mercies.  From 
this  wonderful  instance  of  divine  providence  we  clearly  sec 

132  'Martyrs  and  Confessors. 

that  there  is  no  surer  or  firmer  trust  than  in  God.  By  no 
other  means  than  the  help  of  God  did  he  escape,  and  he 
solemnly  asseverated  that  all  happened  as  I  have  related 
it,  nor  did  he  wish  it  concealed,  lest  any  one  should  suffer 
for  his  escape ;  and  in  this  he  imitated  St.  Stephen,  nay, 
our  Divine  Lord  himself.  I  will  here  add,  what  is  worthy 
of  note,  that  it  was  about  the  feast  of  St.  Patrick  he  was 
examined  in  Rome  previous  to  his  consecration,  and  that  a 
year  later  he  was  called  on  to  confess  the  faith  of  Christ  in 
London  on  the  same  feast,  and  he  escaped  from  prison  on 
the  same  day  on  which  he  was  consecrated  bishop.  I  have 
related  these  matters  as  he  gave  them  to  me,  written  with 
his  own  hand,  to  you,  Bonchort,  and  our  brethren  in  the 
warfare  of  Christ,  that  you  may  understand  God's  provi- 
dence in  regard  to  his  own,  since  he  restored  the  bishop  to 
the  Cathohcs  from  out  of  the  hands  of  his  enemies.  The 
first  time  I  saw  him  after  his  return  (for  I  had  before  met 
him  when  on  the  road  to  Ireland,  and  perceived  him  to  be 
a  man  of  good  and  pious  manner)  I  found  him  very  differ- 
ent in  appearance.  He  had  something  preeminently  holy 
about  him,  and  was  of  such  peculiar  piety  that  many  said 
God  had  worked  wonders  in  his  soul,  and  given  him  extra- 
ordinary virtue,  that  he  might  bring  back  his  nation  to 
their  pristine  piety.  Nor  can  it  be  doubted  but  that  the 
queen  must  have  been  much  struck  by  his  escape,  and 
felt  it  a  lesson  to  return  to  the  Catholic  faith,  especially  as 
she  is  said  not  to  be  very  averse  to  it  if  she  were  not  led 
by  the  advice  and  persuasion  of  certain  evil  men.  May 
she,  then,  be  led  by  this  warning  of  God  to  a  better  frame 
of  mind.  Farewell,  Florence,  my  dear  brother  in  Christ, 
and  forget  me  not  in  your  pra3'ers. 

"  '  Your  servant  in  the  Lord, 

"'James  Navarchus  Undischothanus. 
"  'LouvAiN,  on  the  Calends  of  October,  1565.' 
"After  some  time  (how  long  I  know  not)  he  returned  a 

In  the  RcigH  of  Elizabilh.  133 

third  time  to  Ireland,  through  solicitude  for  his  flock,  the 
holy  pontiff  also  having  so  advised.  At  that  time  war  was 
raging  in  Ulster,  (in  which  is  the  church  of  Armagh.)  It 
had  been  begun  by  John  O'Neill,  the  most  powerful  dynast 
of  all  in  that  province,  against  Queen  Elizabeth.  Whether 
his  motive  was  the  lust  of  power  or  the  desire  of  restoring 
the  orthodox  religion,  I  leave  to  others  to  decide.  How- 
ever that  be,  it  is  certain  the  primate  and  the  dynast  did  not 
agree  well  about  many  things.  The  origin,  or  at  least  the 
great  cause,  of  these  dissensions  was  the  discontent  of  the 
primate  at  the  many  injuries  the  dynast  inflicted  on  eccle- 
siastics,* and  his  offences  against  the  rights  and  privileges 
of  the  churches,  many  of  whose  possessions  he  occupied, 
and,  together  with  his  followers,  used  much  violence  to- 
ward them.  These  injuries  reached  such  a  height  that, 
when  the  primate  found  he  could  not,  by  advice  or  gentle- 
ness or  threats,  bend  him  from  his  violence  and  insolence, 
he  deemed  it  necessary  to  use  his  pastoral  authority  and 
proceed  to  public  censure.  He  therefore  proclaimed 
against  him  the  sentence  of  excommunication.  O'Neill 
resisted  the  judgment  of  his  bishop  and  contemned  the 
precept  of  his  pastor;  but  he  felt  the  punishment  of  his 
contumacy,  for  his  enterprises  from  that  time  to  his  death 
failed  and  ended  ill,  and  thus  the  divine  judgment  made 
itself  manifest.f 

"In  the  meantime,  the  primate  zealously  fulfilled  the  du- 
ties of  his  episcopate,  both  in  that  province  and  throughout 
such  parts  of  Ireland  as  he  visited  either  from  necessity  or 
as  opportunity  offered.  He  was,  however,  a  third  time 
treacherously  taken  prisoner,  and  sent   to  Dublin,  from 

•  The  chief  one  was  that  O'Neill,  in  an  expedition  af  ainst  O'Donnell,  in  the  winter  ol 
1566  or  spring  of  1567,  hung  a  priest.  On  his  return  to  Armagh  he  applied  for  absolution, 
which  the  primate  could  not  give,  as  the  case  was  reserved  to  the  pope. 

t  Shane  O'Neill  was  treacherously  murdered  by  the  Scots,  whom  he  had  invited  over  to  hii 
assistance,  June,  1567,  his  army  having  been  defeated,  and  nearly  annihilated,  in  a  great  bat- 
tie  a  few  miles  from  Letterkenny,  on  the  8th  May,  1567. 

134  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

whence  he  was'  sent  over  to  England  and  consigned  to 
close  custody  in  the  Tower  of  London,  where  he  long  led 
a  life  of  suffering,  or  rather  a  prolonged  martyrdom.  He 
escaped  from  the  Tower  a.d.  1565,  and  after  several  years 
was  again  consigned  to  the  same  prison,  where  he  died  the 
14th  October,  a.d.  1585. 

"  Besides  his  daily  difficulties  and  vexations  for  so  many 
years,  he  had  to  encounter  many  troubles  and  vexations  in 
the  administration  of  his  diocese  during  the  short  time  he 
lived  in  his  province  and  primatial  see ;  grievous  labors 
and  much  weariness  in  governing  his  flock  in  that  trou- 
bled and  afflicted  kingdom  ;  and,  the  more  to  try  his  con- 
stancy and  enhance  his  merit,  to  bear  also  the  calumnies  of 
strangers  and  the  accusations  of  some  of  his  own  subjects. 

"The  Bishop  of  Clogher,*having  a  knowledge  of  the  dis- 
putes between  the  primate  and  the  dynast,  whom  the  form- 
er reproved  for  many  excesses  and  offences  against  the 
ecclesiastical  jurisdiction  and  rights,  accused  the  primate 
to  the  court  of  Rome  of  having  violated  the  divine  laws 
and  those  of  the  church,  and  produced  to  his  holiness  and 
the  College  of  Cardinals  forged  letters,  purporting  to  be 
written  by  the  primate,  containing  horrible  things  and  evil 
counsels  most  foreign  to  his  nature.  But  the  wiles  of  his 
accuser  and  the  forgery  were  discovered  by  both  the  sig- 
nature and  the  known  handwriting  of  the  forger.  The  ac- 
cuser, being  therefore  called  upon  to  answer  for  his  calum- 
ny, fled  privately,  and,  proceeding  to  England,  abandoned 
the  faith  and  became  an  apostate.  And  while  the  pri- 
mate was  a  prisoner  in  the  Tower  he  was  daring  enough 
to  visit  him,  and  to  offer  him,  on  the  part  of  the  queen  and 
her  council,  wealth  and  honors,  if  he  would  take  his  advice 
and,  renouncing  his  obedience  to  and  union  with  the 
Apostolic  See,  swear  to  the  ecclesiastical  supremacy  of 
Elizabeth  ;  but  he  answered  the  unblushing  apostate  with 
indignation,  and  ordered  him  to  quit  his  presence. 

*  The  infamo;;3  Myler  McGrath, 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  135 

"  In  the  Tower  of  London  he  had  to  encounter  still  more 
wicked  machinations,  which  were  more  painful  to  his  soul, 
and  would  have  imprinted  a  fouler  stain  on  his  memory 
had  not  the  outstretched  arm  of  God  reduced  his  accuser 
to  silence,  and  his  mighty  hand  strengthened  his  servant  in 
his  troubles.  One  of  the  prison  guards,  named  Vanright, 
accused  him  of  having  attempted  to  offer  violence  to  his 
daughter.  (Some  describe  her  as  a  washerwoman,  others  as 
a  girl  of  tender  age.)  He  was  put  on  his  trial  on  this  accu- 
sation before  twelve  jurors  at  Westminster.  His  accusers 
poured  forth  all  their  malice  against  him.  Alone  and  un- 
defended, he  so  clearly  proved  the  falsehood  of  their  state- 
ments and  his  innocence,  that  the  jurors  pironounced  him 
innocent,  and  all  who  were  present  openly  declared  him 
spotless.  The  girl  herself,  who  had  been  schooled  by  her 
father  to  calumniate  the  primate,  openly  confessed  the 
falsehood  and  the  subornation.  Thus,  like  another  Atha- 
nasius,  did  he  confound  his  enemies. 

"  His  treatment  in  prison  varied  at  diiferent  times,  being 
at  times  less  rigorous,  at  times  more  severe.  When  he 
was  allowed  a  little  more  freedom,  his  delight  was  to  as- 
semble the  priests  who  were  his  fellow-captives,  and  were 
scattered  in  various  chambers,  and  with  them  to  discourse 
of  sacred  things,  as  did  the  primitive  fathers  in  the  crypts 
and  caves  and  sand-pits  of  Rome.  In  these  meetings 
under  his  presidency  were  discussed  the  controversies  of 
faith,  the  duties  of  a  Christian,  and  the  steps  to  perfecti»n 
for  a  Catholic.  At  times,  too,  he  gave  answers  in  writing 
to  those  who  sought  his  decision  on  matters  of  faith  and 
morals,  on  avoiding  heretical  churches  and  ceremonies, 
and  all  intercourse  with  heretics.  For  such  duties  he  had 
his  commissaries,  to  whom  while  in  Ireland,  and  especial- 
ly while  a  prisoner  in  Dublin,  he  delegated  full  powers, 
and  by  whose  means  he,  while  a  prisoner,  freely,  as  it 
were,  fulfilled  the  duties  of  his  office.     It  is  also  related  by 

136  Martyrs  and  Co7ifessors' 

a  trustworthy  witness,  that  at  one  time,  in  the  Tower  of 
London,  he  was  kept  so  strictly  that  he  was  loaded  both 
with  gyves  on  his  feet  and  chains  on  his  hands,  and  was  at 
the  same  time  suffering  from  the  stone,  so  that  his  only 
solace  was  to  open  the  window  for  fresh  air,  and  at  the  same 
time  pluck  the  herbs  which  were  growing  out  of  the  wall, 
and  make  out  of  their  juice  a  drink  which  seemed  to  alle- 
viate his  sufifering.  Rightly  has  it  been  said  by  the  great 
African,  '  He  feels  not  the  pain  in  his  foot  whose  mind  is 
in  heaven,'  (Tertullian  ;)  so  he  felt  not  the  chains  on  his 
hands  whose  soul  was  wrapt  in  heaven. 

"  There  came  an  order  from  the  council  to  Eugene  Hop- 
ton,  Knight,  the  head  guardian  of  the  Tower,  who  is  called 
lieutenant,  that  Richard  and  the  other  priests  who  were 
prisoners  were  to  be  taken  to  the  chapel  of  the  Tower  to 
hear  the  heretical  preaching.  The  lieutenant  spoke  to  him 
on  the  subject,  to  learn  his  mind.  Much  moved  by  so  un- 
lawful a  proposal,  he  answered  that  he  would  never  go,  but 
would  rather,  if  it  were  the  queen's  pleasure,  go  to  the 
scaffold.  The  knight,  angered  by  this  answer,  ordered  his 
servants  to  drag  hira  to  the  oratory.  This  they  did  willing- 
ly, and  forcibly  held  him  down  in  the  midst  of  the  audi- 
ence ;  but  when  he  heard  the  preacher  thundering  against 
the  pontiff,  and  all  who  professed  the  faith  of  the  pontiff, 
blaspheming  against  the  saints  and  the  Queen  of  Saints, 
and  disseminating  pestilential  errors  and  lies  in  the  ears 
of  his  hearers,  he  abruptly  interrupted  the  sermon,  and  on 
the  spot  answered  the  preacher.  He  was  ordered  to  be  si- 
lent, but,  boiling  with  zeal  for  the  honor  of  God,  he  contin- 
ued till  the  sectaries,  crowding  around  him,  violently  com- 
pelled him  to  silence.  But  with  one  word  he  adjured  his 
hearers  not  to  believe  the  false  preacher,  for  that  he  who 
should  hold  by  his  errors  without  doubt  would  perish  ever- 

"  He  was  taken  back  to  his  prison  ;  and  as  there  seemed 

In  the  Reign  of  Eliza^Qth.  ,137 

no  hope  of  shaking  his  constancy  in  the  faith — wliether  it 
was  that  his  jailers  were  weary  of  the  charge  of  guarding 
and  the  cost  of  keeping  him,  or  ashamed  of  the  failure  of 
their  repeated  attempts  to  bring  him  over,  or  merely  out 
of  malice  and  hatred  to  the  Catholic  religion — one  CuUigius, 
an  underwarder  of  the  Tower,  poisoned  some  cheese,  a  food 
which  he  knew  the  primate  took  freely  for  supper,  and 
placed  it  before  him.  He,  suspecting  no  evil,  ate  it,  and 
presently  felt  grievous  pains  in  his  entrails,  and  his  throat 
swelled.  The  day  after  he  had  eaten  it  he  sent  a  servant 
to  a  Catholic  physician  in  the  city,  named  Arclous  ;  when 
he  learned  the  symptoms,  he  exclaimed  that  the  bishop 
was  poisoned,  that  the  poison  had  penetrated  to  the  vitals, 
and  that  no  human  aid  could  avail.  The  primate,  feeling 
himself  getting  worse,  called  in  a  confessor  from  a  neigh- 
boring chamber,  Father  Critonius,  of  the  Society  of  Jesus, 
who  Was  there  confined  on.  account  of  the  faith.  He  heard 
■  his  confession,  gave  him  absolution,  and  did  all  that  the 
difficulty  of  their  position  would  allow,  watching  with  fra- 
ternal affection  over  the  pious  dying  bishop,  who  yielded 
up  his  soul  to  his  Creator,  the  14th  of  October,  1585. 

"  A  certain  modern  writer,  speaking  of  the  happy  end  of 
this  martyr,  says :  '  Richard  Creagh,  Archbishop  of  Ar- 
magh and  Primate  of  all  Ireland,  who  spent  the  greater 
part  of  his  life  in  the  Castle  of  Dublin  and  the  Tower  of 
London,  was  slain  by  poison,  by  a  certain  villain,  and,  leav- 
ing his  earthly  prison  of  stone,  rejoined  the  happy  inhabi- 
-  tants  of  heaven.' — Stanihurst,  Proemium  ad  Usserium,  pp. 
28,  29. 

"  When  he  was  in  Rome,  he  obtained  from  Gregory  XHI. 
an  annual  sum  for  the  support  of  some  Irish  students  to 
form  the  commencement  of  a  college.  Its  first  foundations 
were  laid  in  the  University  of  Pont-a-Mousson,*  whence 

•  University  cf  Pont-i-Mousson,  on  the  Moselle,  founded  iS7a. 

138  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

several  pious  and  learned  men  have  already  come  to  us. 
He  exerted  himself  much  to  forward  the  mission  of  the  So- 
ciety of  Jesus  in  Ireland.  On  this  subject  there  is  extant 
a  very  friendly  letter  of  his  to  the  Reverend  Father  Oliver 
Manarens,  who  was  then  visitor  of  that  society.  Mention 
is  made  in  Britannomachia  of  his  refusal  to  consecrate 
the  iimovating  bishops  in  England. 

"  He  wrote  several  little  works,  among  which  the  follow- 
ing are  said  to  be  the  principal :  Of  the  Origin  of  the  Irish 
Language,  Controversies  of  Faith  against  the  Heretics, 
(these  two  in  Latin,)  A  Catechism  in  Irish.  Some  of 
these  are  extant ;  others,  I  fear,  have  perished,  unless  per- 
chance they  exist  in  the  Tower  of  London,  where  also  he 
is  buried." 

So  far  Dr.  Roothe. 

I  will  now  proceed  to  fill  some  omissions  in  the  life 
given  by  Dr.  Roothe,  availing  myself  of  the  labors 'of  the 
learned  writer  in  the  Rambler.  Dr.  Creagh's  zeal  and  high 
repute  for  learning  attracted  the  attention  of  the  nuncio 
David  Wolfe,  who  arrived  in  Limerick  in  August,  1560, 
charged  expressly  with  providing  for  the  vacant  sees.  He 
was  at  once  destined  either  for  the  see  of  Armagh  or  that 
of  Cashel,  both  then  vacant,  and  was  commanded,  in  virtue 
of  the  oath  taken  by  the  bachelors  of  divinity,  to  proceed 
to  Rome.  He  expressed  a  decided  repugnance  to  this 
promotion,  but  in  obedience  to  his  oath,  and  not  without 
a  hope  that  he  might  be  permitted  to  enter  the  order  of 
Theatines  at  Rome,  he  left  Ireland  for  that  city  in  August, 
1562.  His  whole  resources  for  travelling  on  his  departure 
were  twenty  crowns  of  his  own,  forty  from  the  nuncio, 
and  twelve  marks  from  De  Lacy,  Bishop  of  Limerick, 
Arriving  in  Rome,  in  January,  1563,  he  delivered  to  the 
general  of  the  Jesuits  the  letter  written  to  Cardinal  Moroni 
by  the  Irish  nuncio,  and  was  ordered,  in  the  month  of 
February,  by  Cardinal  Gonzaga,  who  then  held  the  place 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  139 

of  Moroni,  absent  at  the  Council  of  Trent,  not  to  think  of 
entering  any  religious  order  until  the  pope's  pleasure  was 
known.  The  order  was  soon  given  ;  he  was  commanded  to 
prepare  for  consecration  as  Archbishop  of  Armagh,  was 
examined  on  St.  Patrick's  day,  1564,  and  consecrated  by 
Lomelino  and  other  bishops  in  the  pope's  chapel  the  follow- 
ing Easter.  Under  the  eye  of  Pope  Pius  IV.,  to  whom 
our  archbishop  was  specially  dear,  there  were  collected  at 
that  time  in  Rome  several  distinguished  Irish  priests,  who 
had  also  been  sent  over  by  David  Wolfe.  Three  of  them 
had  already  taken  their  places  in  the  Council  of  Trent  as 
Irish  bishops,  and  several  others  were  supported  in  Rorae 
with  their  retinue  at  the  pope's  special  charge.  Richard 
was  placed  on  this  list  as  soon  as  he  was  ordered  to 
prepare  for  consecration  :  "  He  had  daily  meat,  drink,  and 
wine  for  himself  and  his  servants  at  the  pope  s  cost,  paying 
for  his  house-room,  six  crowns,  by  the  month ;  he  had 
apparel  of  three  sorts,  of  blue  and  unwatered  camlet,  and 
wore  the  same  in  Rome,  having  four  or  five  servants 
waiting  there  on  him  ;  in  his  household  also,  and  support- 
ed at  his  own  expense,  were  two  or  three  poor  scholars." 
These  particulars,  and  many  others  too  numerous  to 
mention,  were  elicited  from  him  by  the  inquisitorial  inter- 
rogatories in  the  Tower  of  London.  In  the  month  of 
July,  1564,  he  received  the  pope's  blessing,  and  set  out  on 
horse-back  from  Rome,  accompanied  part  of  the  way  by  a 
priest  and  the  entire  journey  by  an  Ulster  student.  The 
fatigues  of  this  summer's  journey  reduced  a  constitution 
not  naturally  strong,  and  by  the  time  of  his  arrival  at 
Ausburg  he  was  attacked  by  an  ague  which  compelled 
him  to  accept  for  a  week  the  kind  hospitality  of  the  Car- 
dinal Bishop  of  Ausburg.  Starting  with  restored  health, 
he  proceeded  to  Antwerp,  where  he  met  John  Clement, 
tutor  of  the  children  of  Sir  Thomas  More,  and  then  an  ex- 
ile for  the  faith.     Prevented  from  sailing  immediately,  he 

140  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

turned  his  steps  to  his  beloved  Louvain,  where  his  heart 
was  cheered  by  meeting  some  Irish  students,  and  where  for 
the  first  time  since  his  departure  from  Rome  he  appeared 
l)ublicly  as  Archbishop  of  Armagh.  In  memory  of  old 
times  he  gave  a  grand  banquet  to  the  doctors  of  the  uni- 
versity, "  sitting  with  them  in  his  archbishop's  apparel  of 
blue  camlet,  which  he  did  not  wear  in  any  other  place 
since  he  came  from  Rome."  Embarking  in  an  Irish  ship 
bound  for  England,  he  was  driven  ashore  at  Dover,  and, 
in  his  own  words,  "  being  arrived  in  England,  he  was 
unknown  ;  and  at  Rochester  he  found  an  Irish  boy  beg- 
ging, whom  he  took  with  him  to  London,  and  then  lodged 
at  the  'Three  Cups,'  in  Broad  street,  in  October,  1564, 
where  he  tarried  past  three  days  ;  and  at  his  being  in 
London  he  went  to  Paul's  church  and  there  walked,  but 
had  no  talk  with  any  man ;  and  also  to  Westminster 
Abbey  to  see  the  monuments  there  ;  and  from  thence  he 
went  to  Westminster  Hall  at  the  time  that  he  heard  Bon- 
ner was  to  be  arraigned  there."  Within  less  than  one 
short  year,  our  fearless  primate  was  himself  to  be  arraigned 
there.  The  dangers  of  the  Irish  mission  had  greatly 
increased  since  his  departure,  and  there  were,  especially 
for  him,  difficulties  which  would  be  trying  at  any  time  in 
the  circumstances  of  the  diocese  to  which  he  had  been 
appointed.  Nearly  the  whole  diocese  of  Armagh  was  at 
this  period  under  the  absoliite  control  of  John  O'Neill,  a 
prince  of  great  energy  and  not  a  few  noble  quaHties,  but 
who,  though  never  faithless  to  the  Catholic  Church,  re- 
garded it,  as  it  has  been  too  often  regarded,  as  an  acolyte 
of  the  civil  power.  He  wished  to  have  the  vacant  see  of 
Down  for  his  brother,  a  young  man  without  learning, 
only  twenty-three  years  of  age,  and  he  had  sent  to  Rome  for 
the  purpose.  But  the  primate,  it  was  known,  would  not  con- 
sent to  that  nomination.  Moreover,  Terence  Daniel,  foster- 
brother  of  O'Neill,  and  Dean  of  Armagh,  a  court  favorite 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  141 

during  the  reign  of  Edward  VI.,  and  one  of  these  pliant 
ecclesiastics  with  whom  some  of  the  high  places  in  the 
church  were  cursed  at  that  period,  was  strongly  recom- 
mended to  the  pope  by  O'Neill  for  the  archbishopric. 
Here  was  what  may  be  called  the  Catholic  party  opposed 
to  the  new  primate.  Moreover,  Elizabeth  had  appointed 
Adam  Loftus,  an  English  Protestant,  to  the  see.  The 
canons  had  no  part  in  this  nomination  ;  for,  though  to 
conciliate  them  she  violated  a  statute  just  passed  by  the 
Irish  Parliament,  and  had  issued  a  cong^  d'dlire,  the  dean 
either  could  not  or  would  not  assemble  them,  so  indignant 
were  they  at  the  intrusion  of  a  heretic  into  the  chair  of 
St.  Patrick.  Loftus,  however,  after  a  considerable  delay, 
was  consecrated  in  March,  1563,  and  by  the  aid  of  English 
troops  held  his  position  for  some  time  in  the  Louth  or 
English  portion  of  the  diocese.  To  the  difficulties  arising 
from  these  two  parties  must  be  added  the  primate's  utter 
ignorance  of  the  arch-diocese.  To  use  his  own  words,  "  he 
did  not  wish  to  be  sent  to  Armagh  among  barbarous,  wild, 
and  uncivil  folks,  where  he  had  no  acquaintance  among 
the  clergy :"  he  had  merely  seen  some  of  the  Ulster  pre- 
lates in  the  English  pale  in  Queen  Mary's  time.  The 
■pope  had  given  him  a  letter  to  Shane  O'Neill,  and  a  pen- 
sion on  the  see  of  Down  for  O'Neill's  brother,  which  the 
Ulster  priest  had  applied  for  ;  but,  though  he  intended  to 
go  direct  to  Armagh,  he  did  not  know  if  Shane  would  re- 
ceive him.  Not  deterred,  however,  by  these  difficulties, 
he  resolved,  if  he  were  received  by  the  chapter,  to  incul- 
cate peace  and  loyalty  in  Ulster,  to  induce  O'Neill  and 
the  other  chieftains  to  found  colleges  and  schools,  and  he 
even  dreamed  of  the  possibility  of  founding  an  Irish 
university  with  the  cooperation  of  the  crown.  If  he 
were  rejected  by  the  chapter,  his  course  was  also  resolved 
upon.  When  commanded  by  the  pope  to  accept  the  arch- 
bishopric, he  had  extorted  from  his  holiness  a  promise  to 

142  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

be  allowed  to  resign  it  when  "  it  was  good"  and  he  would 
at  once  return  to  Louvain,  and,  according  to  his  first  and 
still  cherished  intention,  enter  a  rehgious  order.  Provi- 
dence had,  however,  marked  out  a  different  fate  for  him. 

Immediately  after  his  arrival  in  Ireland,  in  the  winter  of 
1 564,  when  in  the  act  of  celebrating  Mass  in  a  monastery 
in  his  own  province  not  far  from  the  place  where  he  had 
landed,  he  was  betrayed  and  arrested  by  the  garrison  of  a 
neighboring  castle  and  brought  before  the  warden.  He 
told  his  rank  and  his  object  in  coming  over,  and  at  the  in- 
stigation of  the  warden's  brother,  a  man  infected  with  the 
heresy  of  the  times  and  fully  aware  of  the  political  prize 
which  had  fallen  into  his  hands,  he  was  kept  a  close  pri- 
soner, and,  in  pursuance  of  orders  subsequently  received 
from  England,  was  sent  in  chains  to  London,  where,  as  I 
have  mentioned,  he  was  committed  to  the  Tower  on  the 
1 8th  January,  1565.  On  the  22d  February,  the  feast  of 
St.  Peter's  Chair  at  Antioch,  he  was  interrogated  at  great 
length  by  Sir  W.  Cecil  in  Westminster  Hall.  He  was 
again  examined  before  the  Recorder  of  London  on  the  17th 
of  March,  and  a  third  time  on  the  23d  March.  Soon  after, 
that  is,  on  the  octave  of  Easter,  he  escaped,  as  has  been  de- 
scribed by  Roothe,  and  proceeded  to  Louvain,  where  he  was 
welcomed  by  his  old  friend  Michael  Banis,  President  of  the 
Papal  College  in  that  university.  After  a  short  stay  there, 
he  proceeded  to  Spain,  whence,  expecting  to  return  to  Ire- 
land, he  wrote  to  Lord  Robert  Leicester  through  the 
Spanish  ambassador,  offering,  should  the  pope  order  him 
to  return  to  Ireland,  to  give  to  Caesar  his  own  and  to  God 
his  own.  The  good  archbishop  seems  for  a  long  time  to 
have  imagined  that,  if  the  queen  could  be  convinced  of  his 
loyalty,  and  he  was  truly  loyal,  she  would  forgive  his  Catho- 
licity. He  was,  however,  bitterly  undeceived.  It  does  not 
appear  whether  any  answer  was  given  to  his  letter,  but  he 
returned  to  Ireland  and  made  his  way  to  his  diocese,  where, 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  143 

in  the  monlh  of  August,  1566,  he  had  an  interview  at  Irish- 
Darell,  near  Clondarell,  in  the  county  of  Armagh,  with 
Shane  O'Neill,  and  he  was  accompanied  by  Myler  McGrath, 
lately  appointed  by  the  pope  Bishop  of  Down.  There  at- 
tended also  at  this  interview  another  powerful  chieftain  of 
the  O'Neills,  Turlough  Leynagh,  to  whom  a  letter  had  been 
sent  by  the  pope.  Pie  was  meditating  an  attack  on  Car- 
rickfergus,  and  requested  the  archbishop  to  warn  the  friars 
of  that  place.  On  the  following  Sunday  he  preached  in  the 
cathedral  of  Armagh  before  Shane,  Turlough  Leynagh,  and 
Hugh  O'Donnell,  of  Tyrconnell,  and  had  other  interviews 
with  Shane,  who  in  the  confidence  of  his  power  promised, 
when  burying  his  brother  at  Armagh,  that  "  he  should  hold 
his  church  as  honorably  as  any  archbishop  ever  had."  His 
promise,  however,  he  did  not  fulfil,  for  a  few  months  later 
he  ruined  that  cathedral  to  prevent  the  English  converting 
it  into  a  fortress.  On  Christmas-day,  1566,  hoping  to  pro- 
mote peace,  the  primate  wrote  the  following  letter  to  the 
lord  deputy.  Sir  Henry  Sidney  : 

"  Right  Honorable  Lord  : 

"  At  our  being  in  Spain,  doubting  whether  the  pope's 
holiness  would  command  us  to  come  back  again  to  Ireland, 
we  have  written  letters  to  my  Lord  Robert,  showing  that,  if 
we  should  by  the  said  holiness  be  commanded  to  come 
thither,  v/e  should  have  none  other  thing  to  do  but  what 
our  Lord  and  Master  Christ  has  commanded,  '  Give  to 
Caesar  his  own  and  to  God  his  own.'  The  aforesaid,  our 
simple  letters,  as  we  think  the  King  of  Spain  (because  we 
were  his  father's  scholar  at  Louvain  the  space  of  seven  or 
eight  years)  has  directed  unto  his  ambassador  in  England, 
willing  him  to  know  whether  the  queen's  majesty  should 
be  contented  that  we  should  fulfil  the  office  that  we  should 
be  bound  to,  concerning  the  Archbishopric  of  Armagh. 
Soon  after  we  have  received  without  our  own  procurement 

1^4  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

from  Rome  such  letters  as  were  necessary  for  the  aforesaid 
archbishopric,  whereby  we  were  bound  by  our  Catholic  re- 
hgion  to  come  to  Ireland  ;  wherein,  being  before  the  Lord 
O'Neill's  going  to  Tyrconnell,  we  desired  him  (according 
to  the  above-mentioned  letter  to  Lord  Robert)  to  provide 
for  all  possible  means  whereby  he  might  be  at  accord  with 
the  queen's  majesty  and  your  lordship.  But  he  was  then 
so  busy  about  his  affairs  that  he  took  not  heed  thereto ;  and 
now,  before  we  should  earnestly  speak  thereof  unto  him,  we 
thought  but  to  know  of  your  lordship's  will,  and  what  you 
shall  will  us  to  do  therein  we  shall,  by  God's  leave,  do  the 
best  we  can.  The  said  Lord  O'Neill,  for  safeguard  of  his 
country,  hath  burned  the  cathedral  church  and  the  whole 
town  of  Armagh,  although  we  have  earnestly  rhided  him 
before  and  after  he  did  the  same  ;  but  he  alleged  such  hurts 
as  were  before  done  to  his  country  by  means  of  that  place. 
If  it  be  your  lordship's  pleasure,  you  will  not  disdain  to  write 
to  us,  first,  whether  you  will  have  us  speak  concerning  any 
peace  with  the  said  Lord  O'Neill,  and  how  ;  secondly,  if  that 
peace  should  be  or  not,  whether  it  should  please  your  lord- 
ship that  we  should  have  our  old  service  in  our  churches 
and  suffer  our  said  churches  to  be  up  for  that  use,  so  that 
the  said  Lord  O'Neill  should  destroy  no  more  churches,  and 
perhaps  should  help  to  restore  such  as  by  his  procurement 
were  destroyed  ;*  finally,  whether  your  lordship  has  heard 
anything  concerning  our  letters  sent  by  the  King  of  Spain 
to  his  ambassador  and  to  my  Lord  Robert,  so  we  commend 
your  lordship  unto  Almighty  God.  From  Dunavally, 
(near  Charlemont,)  this  instant  Christmas.  By  your 
lordship's  to  command  in  what  we  can  lawfully  execute, 
"  Richard,  Archiep.  Armagh." 
No  written  answer  was  given  to  this  letter.     "  We  have 

•  The  reader  must  remember  that  at  this  date  Loftus,  the  titular  Protestant  Archbishop  of 
Armagh,  was  living  in  a  lodgiiiR  in  London,  and  that  there  was  not  even  the  pretence  of  a  Pro- 
testant congregation  in  the  diocese  of  Armagh. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  145 

given  forth  speech  of  his  extirpation  by  war,"  was  the  only 
reply.  The  Irish  race  and  the  Catholic  religion  were  to  be 
alike  exterminated,  and  O'Neill,  the  Irish  chieftain,  and 
Dr.  Creagh,  the  loyal  palesman  but  the  Catholic  bishop, 
were  doomed  alike.  Yet  even  Thomas  More  in  his  his- 
tory has  written  that  there  was  no  persecution  for  religion 
until  the  close  of  Elizabeth's  reign  ;  for  what  but  his  reli- 
gion did  the  queen's  devoted  subject.  Dr.  Creagh,  suffer .' 

To  add  to  the  primate's  troubles,  Myler  McGrath,  Bishop 
of  Down,  (who  afterward  apostatized  at  Drogheda,  on  the 
31st  May,  1567,)  fomented  trouble  between  him  and 
O'Neill,  (we  have  already  mentioned  the  outrages  against 
priests  committed  by  O'Neill,)  and  forged  a  letter  to  dis- 
grace him  with  the  pope.  The  forgery  was,  however,  dis- 
covered. The  primate,  in  consequence,  it  appears,  of  these 
troubles,  and  probably  to  escape  the  imputation  of  being 
implicated  in  O'Neill's  resistance  to  the  queen's  authority, 
retired  to  Connaught.  Here,  however,  he  was  pursued  by 
the  malice  of  his  English  enemies,  and  treacherously 
taken  prisoner,  on  the  30th  April,  (a  week  before  O'Neill's 
defeat  at  Letterkenny,)  by  O'Shaugnessy,  who  received  a 
special  letter  of  thanks  from  Elizabeth  for  his  services. 
By  order  of  the  queen,  dated  22d  July,  1567,  he  was  tried 
in  Dublin,  but  acquitted.  This  is  the  trial  narrated  in  de- 
tail by  Roothe,  who,  however,  puts  it  before  his  escape 
from  the  Tower  instead  of  after.  He  was  not,  however, 
set  free,  but  escaped  soon  after  with  the  aid  of  and  in 
company  with  his  jailer.  A  proclamation  was  issued 
with  a  reward  of  £,0,0  for  his  apprehension.  He  was 
taken  by  the  retainers  of  Gerald,  Earl  of  Kildare,  under 
the  command  of  Myler  Hussey,  who,  however,  could  not 
discover  him  until  he  had  sworn  and  pledged  the  earl's 
bonor  that  bis  life  should  be  spared.  On  the  22d  De- 
cember, 1567,  Hussey  petitioned  the  lord§  of  the  Privy 
Council  to  that  eifcct,  urging  that,  if  faith  were  not  kept, 

146  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

there  was  an  end  to  all  confidence  in  "  petitioner's  oath 
and  credit."  Before  the  end  of  the  year,  the  primate  was 
once  more  in  the  hands  of  Cecil,  (Shirley,  pp.  324,  326 ;) 
but,  whether  to  save  the  honor  of  his  captors  or  for  some 
other  reason,  he  was  never  brought  to  trial,  but  was  kept 
a  close  prisoner  in  the  Tower  until  he  was  carried  olT  by 
poison,  as  Dr.  Roothe  relates,  in  1585. 

The  original  authorities  for  Dr.  Creagh's  life  are 
Roothe,  O'Sullivan,  O'Daly,  and  the  documents  printed  in 
the  Shirley  papers  :  Sanders's  History  Eng.  Reform  ;  Life 
of  Sir  yohn  Perrot,  etc.  See  Renehan's  Bishops  ;  and 
the  Rambler,  April,  1854. 

Anno  1585. 


"  He  was  descended  from  the  royal  race  of  O'Conor,  in 
Connaught,  but,  renouncing  the  false  joys  of  the  world  in 
the  flower  of  his  age,  he  embraced  the  monastic  life  in  the 
celebrated  Cistercian  monastery  of  ...  in  the  diocese  of 
Elphin,  in  the  year  1562.  During  all  the  twenty-three 
years  he  lived  in  the  monastery  he  was  as  a  shining  light 
to  his  brethren.  He  was  assiduous  in  prayer,  during 
which  he  shed  floods  of  tears,  and  unwearied  in  all  works 
of  charity,  especially  toward  the  sick,  and  rigorous  in 
chastising  his  body.  During  the  last  fifteen  years  of  his 
life  he  never  touched  beer  or  wine ;  he  never  ate  meat 
duiing  all  the  years  of  his  profession.  Almighty  God,  to 
reward  the  merits  of  Father  O'Conor,  suffered  him,  together 
with  Father  Malachy  O'Kelly,  a  monk  of  the  same  monas- 
tery, remarkable  alike  for  noble  birth  and  virtues,  to  fall 
into  the  hands  of  the  cruel  satellites  of  Elizabeth,  by 
whom,  with  barbarous  torture,  he  was  first  partially  hung, 
and  then  cut  into  four  parts,  near  the  same  monastery,  the 

///  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  147 

19th  May,  1585.  See  a  manuscript  of  the  Irish  Coflege 
of  Prague,  and  Henriquez's  in  Menologia  Ciitet." — Brua- 
din,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 


I  GIVE  his  life  from  Dr.  Roothe  : 

"  It  is  almost  incredible  what  disturbances  and  tumults 
have  been  caused  in  Ireland  by  the  new  opinions  and  the 
differences  in  religion.  Even  the  heterodox  writers  admit 
that  all,  or  nearly  all,  the  insurrections  which  have  taken 
place  in  this  island,  from  the  beginning  of  the  English 
schism,  have  been  begun  on  account  of  the  faith  and  the 
orthodox  profession  ;  if  not  begun  for  that  reason,  3'et 
religion  entered  into  their  motives  ;  or,  finally,  if  that 
were  not  the  real  motive  of  their  authors  in  taking  up 
arms,  yet  they  held  it  out  as  a  pretext,  and  by  that  means 
drew  many  into  their  combinations.  Nor  has  this  been 
said  only  by  strangers,  but  among  natives,  by  all  those 
well  acquainted  with  affairs  and  intimately  conversant 
with  the  secret  councils  of  those  who  have  staked  all  in 
the  chance  of  battle. 

"It  would  not  be  well  here  to  repeat  what  has  been 
often  said,  or  by  imprudent  words  to  stir  up  a  trouble  not 
j'et  laid,  therefore  I  will  omit  all  mention  of  persons  whose 
defence  I  have  not  undertaken,  and  on  whom  the  judgment 
of  this  world  has  varied  according  to  the  opinions  and 
prejudices  of  various  men.  I  know  that  the  inhabitants 
of  Ireland,  the  subjects  of  our  king,  are  contented  with  the 
present  peace,  (as  the  subjects  of  the  Roman  empire  under 
Augustus,  when,  the  civil  war  being  ended,  the  Augustan 
age  of  peace  returned.)  I  know  how  they  detest  the 
tumult  of  war,  and  desire  to  devote  themselves  to  the  arts 

148  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

of  peace,  and  enjoy  its  sweets.  I  know  how  read)'  they 
are  to  receive  with  warm  affection  and  reverence  the  pre- 
sence of  their  prince.  I  know  that  they  desire  nothing 
more  than  the  happiness  of  the  king  and  his  offspring, 
and  that  under  their  auspices  may  be  firmly  estabUshed 
I  he  much-desired  peace  and  indulgence  toward  the  Irish, 
both  in  respect  to  other  matters  of  political  administration, 
and  especially  in  those  matters  of  ■nolirda  which  regard 
religion,  the  divine  worship  and  ecclesiastical  discipline, 
and  the  profession  and  practice  of  the  ancient  faith.*  And 
since  I  know  the  present  position  and  disposition  of  our 
countrymen,  and  that  respect  for  justice  which  is  natural 
to  all  mankind,  and  has,  moreover,  been  divinely  infused 
into  their  minds,  and  divinely  preserved,!  I  will  not  linger 
over  the  sad  events  of  the  days  that  are  gone,  or  past 
events  and  manners  ;  I  will  not  again  recite  the  odious 
tale  of  ancient  quarrels  and  injuries,  of  vengeance  sought 
or  inflicted  ;  for  me  these  things  shall  be  buried  in  oblivion, 
and  covered  with  eternal  shadows. 

"  What  I  have  now  to  do  is  to  give  an  account  of  th2 
holy  death  of  Maurice  Kinrechtin,  priest  of  the  holy  faith 
in  which  he  lived  and  in  which  he  died.  He  was  born  in 
the  town  of  Kilmallock,  and  departed  this  life  in  that  of 
Clonmel ;  the  former  is  in  the  diocese  of  Limerick,  the 
latter  in  that  of  Lismore  I  will  pass  over  his  childhood 
and  youth,  and  pass  to  the  account  of  his  maturer  years^ 
Having  embraced  the  ecclesiastical  profession,  and  obtain- 
ed the  rank  of  bachelor  in  theology,  he  was  made  chaplain 
and  confessor  to  Gerald,  Earl  of  Desmond ;  and  when  the 

*  Although  Dr.  Roothe's  book  was  printed  in  1619,  it  would  appear  probable  that  this  pa>- 
•age  was  written  much  earlier,  in  the  reign  of  James  I.,  when  the  Catholics  had  hopK>of 
toleration  from  him — hopes  soon  so  treacherously  and  bitterly  disappointed. 

t  Sir  John  Davis,  James  I. *s  Attorney-General  for  Ireland,  says:  "The  truth  is,  that  in 
time  of  peace  the  Irish  are  more  fearful  to  offend  the  law  than  the  English,  or  any  other  nation 
whatsoever.  There  is  no  nation  of  people  under  the  sun  that  doth  love  equal  and  inditferent 
justice  belter  than  the  Irish."     How  little  they  got  of  it  from  his  master  I 

In  the  Reign  of  Elisabeth.  149 

latter  joined  the  united  chiefs  his  chaplain  did  not  desert 

"With  a  good  intention  and  firm  faith,  and  pure  in- 
tention of  pleasing  God,  did  Father  Maurice  go  with  Earl 
Gerald  ;  not  from  party  spirit  or  intention  of  rebelling,  but 
to  preserve  the  peace  of  Christ — to  unite  in  the  union  of 
the  Catholic  faith  those  who  were  divided  into  parties  and 
sects,  and  '  to  overcome  Satan  in  their  hearts.'  (Eph.  v.  13  ; 
Coloss.  iv.  5.)  Whether  he  acted  wisely  as  regards  this 
world,  I  ask  not,  for  I  am  sure  he  acted  honestly  ;  and  the 
purity  of  his  intention  and  the  liveliness  of  his  faith  will 
have  freed  him  from  all  criminality  before  the  supreme 
tribunal  of  the  Judge  of  the  world ;  for  '  to  the  pure  all 
things  are  pure ;'  and  'blessed  is  he  that  condemneth  not 
himself  in  that  which  he  alloweth.'  (Rom.  xiv.  22.)  But  if 
any  man  be  straitened  between  the  duty  of  obedience  and 
the  dictates  of  his  conscience,  because  he  cannot  satisfy  both, 
there  can  be  no  doubt  the  lesser  must  yield  to  the  greater 
obligation,  the  human  to  the  divine,  that  of  the  natural  law 
to  that  of  the  positive,  temporal  to  spiritual,  profane  to 
sacred,  earth  to  heaven,  'for  all  that  is  not  of  faith  is  sin." 
(Rom.  xiv.  23.)  Such  was  the  hard  condition  of  the  times, 
such  the  necessity  of  the  day,  and  such  the  disturbance  of 
men's  minds ;  from  which,  indeed,  we  might  have  been 
wholly  delivered  and  truly  made  free,  if  King  James  had 
persevered  in  his  original  intention  and  granted  the  wishes 
of  the  native  inhabitants  for  the  free  exercise  of  their  reli- 
gion and  worship.  But  let  us  pass  over  these  sad  questions, 
and  speak  of  the  piety  and  constancy  in  the  orthodox  faith 
of  Maurice.  His  attention  to  prayers,  his  sobriety  and 
continency  of  life,  his  gentleness  of  speech,  proved  his  love 
of  God  and  his  neighbor.  Although  these  qualities  were 
recognized  by  all,  and  he  was  loved  and  respected  by  all 
the  good,  he  had  the  misfortune  to  fall  into  the  hands  of 

150  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

one  Maurice  Sweeny,*  a  faithless  and  bloody  captain  of 
hireling  soldiers,  a  deserter  from  his  lord,  in  whose  forces 
he  had  been  leader  of  the  axe-bearers — those  who  fight 
with  battle-axes,  a  weapon  much  used  by  the  Irish.  It  was 
no  wonder  that  Father  Maurice  was  by  this  perfidious  man 
given  up  a  prisoner  to  a  troop  of  English  soldiers,  and  thus 
to  Sir  John  Norris,  President  of  Munster  ;  since,  notwith- 
standing his  allegiance  to  him,  he  sold,  for  a  wretched 
price,  the  Earl  of  Desmond,  when  unarmed  and  defenceless. 
It  was  then  not  to  be  expected  that  he  would  treat  his 
chaplain  better.  But  the  fate  which  befell  the  captor 
showed  the  wickedness  of  the  capture. 

"  Maurice,  being  thrown  into  the  prison  of  Clonmel,  re- 
mained for  rather  more  than  a  year  in  chains  ;  here  he  bore 
the  filth  and  stench  of  the  prison,  and  all  the  other  suffer- 
ings of  prison,  with  great  patience.  He  edified  all  who 
approached  him  by  word  and  example,  exhorting  them  to 
penance,  to  constancy  in  the  faith,  to  restitution  of  goods 
unjustly  obtained,  to  charity  to  the  poor.  He,  indeed,  be- 
ing bound  in  the  Lord,  was  as  one  not  bound,  for  his  cha- 
rity and  prayers  reached  all  known  and  dear  to  him  ;  nor 
did  his  generous  spirit  forget  even  his  enemies.  To  all  he 
zealously  preached  the  unity  of  the  Catholic  faith,  out  of 
which  there  is  no  salvation.  He  could  preach  this  with, 
the  more  effect  to  the  Irish,  that  obedience  to  Rome  seems 
inborn  in  them ;  wherefore  he  might  duly  address  them 
in  the  words  of  Moses  to  the  Israelites  :  '  Behold,  heaven 
is  the  Lord's  thy  God,  and  the  heaven  of  heavens,  the 
earth  and  all  things  that  are  therein.  And  yet  the  Lord 
hath  been  closely  joined  to  thy  fathers,  and  loved  them, 
and  chose  their  seed  after  them,  that  is  to  say,  you,  out  of 
all  nations,  as  this  day  it  is  proved.'    (Deut.  x.  14,  15.) 

"  The  dwellers  in  this  island  seem  to  be  chosen  out  of 

•  "  Suvinium."  which  I  translate  "Sweeny." 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  151 

^11  nations,  that  they  hold  fast  on  the  Lord  in  all  their  tribu- 
lations. And  since  Maurice  seemed  by  his  sufferings  to  be 
more  closely  united  to  God,  he  was  the  more  beloved  by  his 
friends  and  the  servants  of  God.  About  the  feast  of  Easter, 
in  the  year  1585,  when  all  the  faithful  are  bound  not  only 
by  devot'on,  but  by  the  ecclesiastical  precept,  to  approach 
thi  hoi)  communion,  a  certain  eminent  citizen  of  Clon- 
mel  sought  to  afford  a  paschal  pleasure  to  the  captive 
priest,  and  at  the  same  to  satisfy  the  piety  of  his  neighbors, 
who  desired  above  all  things  to  make  their  Easter  confes- 
sion to  the  prisoner  for  Christ's  sake,  and  to  receive  from 
him  the  holy  communion.  Victor  White  therefore  went 
to  the  head  jailer,  and  for  a  considerable  sum  of  money 
obtained  of  him  that  the  prisoner  should  be  allowed  to 
spend  that  one  night  in  his  house.  The  jailer  assented  to 
the  petition,  which  was  backed  by  money,  and  let  out  the 
prisoner,  for  whom  the  other  became  security.  But  the 
■wretch  was  not  satisfied  with  selling  this  moment  of  liberty 
to  the  captive,  but  sought  also  to  sell  the  pious  host,  the 
whole  neighborhood,  and  the  life  of  the  poor  priest,  to  the 
wicked  President  Norris,  who  arrived  at  that  time.  That 
same  evening  he  privately  went  to  the  president,  and  told 
him  that,  at  the  request  of  Victor,  he  had  allowed  Maurice 
to  leave  the  prison  for  that  night,  and  sleep  in  his  house  ; 
that  he  was  there  then,  and  that  all  the  Catholics  in  the 
neighborhood  were  warned  of  the  Mass  which  would  be 
celebrated  the  next  day  ;  that  he  might  surround  the  house 
early  the  next  morning  with  soldiers,  and  seize  them  all. 

"The  president  listened  to  his  tale  with  pleasure,  and 
prepared  his  soldiers  for  the  work.  When  the  hour  for 
Mass  approached,  while  Maurice  was  yet  hearing  confes- 
sions, and  the  altar  was  prepared  in  a  quiet  part  of  the 
house,  the  pious  dwelling  was  surrounded,  and  the  soldiers 
rushed  in  and  seized  on  all,  nor  spared  the  hoary  head  of 
the  household.     Great  was   the  terror  of  the   assembled 

152  Alartyrs  and  Confessors 

Catholics ;  the  trembHng  women  and  children  hid  them- 
selves in  dark  corners  ;  others  threw  themselves  down 
from  high  windows  and  into  ditches  in  order  to  escape. 
In  these  efforts  some  broke  their  legs,  and  some  their  arms, 
and  received  other  injuries. 

"  In  the  mean  time,  the  priest  was  hid  under  a  large  heap 
tf  straw  which  lay  in  the  court-yard.  The  soldiers,  in 
trying  this  with  their  swords  and  javelins,  chanced  to 
wound  the  fugitive  whom  they  were  seeking  in  the  thigh, 
but  he,  being,  as  it  were,  rendered  insensible  by  fear,  did 
not  utter  a  sound,  and  so  escaped.  The  sacred  utensils 
were  carried  away,  the  chalice  and  the  rest  despoiled,  and 
the  master  of  the  house  himself  carried  to  prison,  and 
threatened  with  the  loss  of  all  his  goods  and  his  life  unless 
he  returned  the  priest  who  had  escaped.  These  two 
worthy  friends,  Victor  and  Maurice,  strove  each  to  suffer  for 
the  other.  I  will  not  here  speak  of  David  and  Jonathan,  or 
Orestes  and  Pylades  :  the  neighboring  Britain  produced 
Saint  Alban,  who,  while  yet  a  Gentile,  gave  shelter  to  a 
Christian  cleric,  as  did  Ireland,  Victor  and  Maurice.  (Bede, 
lib.  i.  cap.  vii.)  But  as  the  laurel  of  the  r.iartyr  is  more 
glorious  than  the  reward  of  the  confessor,  so  -f'-^s,  Alban  more 
happy  than  his  guest  as  he  received  fhe  crown  which 
seemed  prepared  for  the  latter,  and  f,o  Maurice,  by  his 
triumph,  recovered  the  crown  from  V;r./,oi. 

"  When  he  heard,  in  the  place  of  .vjfety  which  he  had 
reached,  that  Victor  was  in  peril,  he  r','airned  to  the  danger 
he  had  escaped  to  free  his  friend.  K\\  exchange  was  made 
of  the  prisoners  ;  Victor  was  set  free,  and  Maurice  was 
fettered  and  thrown  into  prison,  this  time  into  the  lowest 
prison,  dark  indeed  and  horrid  in  the  eyes  of  man,  but 
glorious  in  the  sight  of  angels.  Sentence  of  death  was 
passed  against  him,  although  not  in  a  legal  manner.  Its 
execution,  however,  he  could  have  avoided,  and  saved  his 
life,  if  he  would  have  abjured  the  orthodox  faith  and  taken 

In  the  Reigii  of  Elizabeth.  153 

the  oath  of  the  queen's  supremacy.  But  he  cl.ose  the 
better  part,  he  finished  his  course,  he  kept  the  faith.  As 
to  the  rest,  there  was  laid  up  for  him  a  crown  of  justice, 
which  the  Lord,  the  juSt  Judge,  gave  to  him  in  that  day, 
and  will  give  to  them  also  that  love  his  coming. 

"  I  find  a  difference  of  opinion  as  to  the  mode  of  his 
death.  Some  relate  that,  after  he  was  hanged  until  he  was 
half-dead,  his  head  was  cut  off,  and  his  body  divided  into 
four  parts.  Thus  it  is  related  in  a  MS.  Compendiitm  of 
Irish  Martyrs,  in  these  words :  '  When  he  came  to  the 
place  of  execution,  turning  to  the  people,  he  exhorted 
them,  as  far  as  time  would  permit,  and  at  the  end,  begging 
all  the  Catholics  to  pray  for  him,  and  blessing  them,  he 
was  hung  from  the  gallows,  and,  being  taken  down  half- 
dead,  his  head  was  cut  off  and  his  body  cut  into  four  parts ; 
and  these  were  watched  all  that  night  by  the  soldiers,  lest 
they  should  be  taken  away  by  the  Catholics.  The  next 
day  the  four  pieces  were  fastened  on  a  cross  in  the  middle 
of  the  town,  and  the  head  on  a  high  place  where  it  could 
be  seen  by  all,  and  so  he  completed  his  glorious  martyr- 

"  Others  relate  that,  after  his  head  was  cut  off,  the  Catho- 
lics, either  by  prayers  or  bribes,  induced  the  executioner 
not  to  do  any  more  to  his  body,  nor  to  cut  it  in  pieces  :  so 
says  the  Reverend  Father  Robert  Rochfort,  of  the  Society 
of  Jesus,  in  his  letter  to  his  companion  relating  the  death 
of  Father  Maurice.  This  letter  I  have  given  in  full,  exactly 
as  it  came  into  my  hands,  at  the  end  of  this  narrative. 
This  difference  in  the  narrative  may  have  arisen  from  the 
fact  that  some  inferred  from  the  terms  of  the  sentence  that  it 
had  been  carried  out  in  the  regular  and  usual  way,  and 
speak  rather  of  the  sentence  as  recorded  than  as  executed  ; 
and,  therefore,  I  consider,  in  the  Compendium  of  Martyr- 
doms, it  is  rather  the  sentence  than  the  execution  that  is 
sjioken  of.     But  as  sometimes,  either  through  the  mercy 

154  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

of  the  judge  or  the  favor  of  the  executioner,  some  part  of 
the  details  of  the  sentence,  though  not  of  its  essence,  was 
omitted,  those  who  more  carefully  inquired  into  every 
particular  narrate  the  event  with  more  accurate  detail. 
And  probably  this  is  done  more  accurately  in  the  narrative 
of  Father  Rochfort  than  in  the  Compendium* 

"  Somewhat  similar  to  this  is  the  difference  between  th 
different  accounts  given  by  different  writers  of  the  mar- 
tyrdom of  Sir  Thomas  More  ;  for  some  write  that  he  was 
quartered,  (as  Paulus  Jovius,)  others  that  he  was  only 
hanged,  and  the  latter  are  the  more,  correct.f  But  Jovius 
followed  the  tenor  of  the  sentence  pronounced  upou  him, 
the  others  referred  to  the  mitigation  accorded  by  the  king. 
Whether  anything  similar  occurred  in  the  present  case 
must  be  inquired  into  whenever  an  opportunity  may  offer. 

"  But,  whether'  his  body  was  quartered  or  not,  there  is 
no  doubt  he  was  beheaded,  and  the  following  strange  cir- 
cumstance followed  ;  for,  his  head  being  exposed  for  several 
days  in  the  sight  of  many,  as  they  crowded  round  -the  foot 
of  the  cross  which  stood  in  the  middle  of  the  market-place, 
about  the  tenth  hour  each  day  they  perceived  a  suffusion 
of  ruddy  color  and  perspiration  on  the  forehead  and  cheeks 
of  the  separated  head  ;  and  many  remarked  that  that  was 
the  hour  at  which  Maurice,  when  free,  used  to  celebrate 
Mass,  as  if  even  in  his  ashes  glowed  the  flame  of  piety  and 
adorned  the  forehead  of  the  martyr. 

"  Some  remarked,  too,  that  his  hands  after  death  formed 
of  themselves  the  sign  of  the  cross,  the  first  fingers  being 
crossed  and  the  thumbs  on  the  index ;  and  when  the  sol- 
diers who  were  on  guard,  seeing  this,  sought  to  remove 

■  It  was  a  common  request  to  make  of  the  executioner  of  those  who  were  executed  after  the 
manniir  of  traitors  that  he  would  allow  them  to  hang  until  they  were  dead  before  being  cut  down 
and  embowelled ;  but  frequently  this  was  not  done.— 6><f  iTtstaftces  in  Challanfr^s  Mission' 
ary  Priests^  and  Lingard-,  vol.  v.  p.  39. 

t  Henry  commuted  the  sentence  into  decapitation,  and  More  was  behe.irted. — Lingard,  vol. 
T.  p.  45- 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  155 

them  and  straighten  the  fingers  and  separate  them,  so  that 
they  should  not  make  the  sign  of  the  cross,  they  returned 
of  themselves  to  the  same  position,  and,  as  the  elements 
return  naturally  to  their  centre,  so  the  fingers  of  the  mar- 
tyr returned  to  the  form  of  the  cross.  He  departed  to  his 
crucified  Lord,  the  30th  April,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord ' 

"  Cojiy  of  a  Letter  of  Father  Robert  Rochfort,  relating  the 
Martyrdom  of  Father  Maurice  Kinrechtin. 

"'I  send  you  an  account  of  the  glorious  martyrdom  of  a 
friend  of  mine,  Maurice  Kinrechtin,  a  pious  priest,  chap- 
lain to  the  Earl  of  Desmond,  whom  you  know.  He  was 
for  this  cause  taken  prisoner  by  the  English,  and  taken  to 
your  native  town  of  Clonmel,  where  he  lay  in  prison  for 
more  than  a  year.  On  the  eve  of  Easter,  1585,  Victor 
White,  one  of  the  principal  citizens  of  Clonmel  and  a  pious 
Catholic,  obtained  from  the  head  jailer  permission  for  the 
priest  to  pass  the  night  in  his  house  ;  this  the  jailer  agreed 
to,  but  secretly  informed  the  President  of  Munster,  an 
English  heretic,  who  chanced  to  be  in  the  town,  that,  if  he 
wished,  he  might  easily  seize  all  the  principal  citizens 
while  hearing  Mass  in  the  house  of  Mr.  White  at  day- 
break ;  at  the  same  time  he  bargained  to  be  paid  for  his 
perfidy.  At  the  hour  agreed  on  the  soldiers  rushed  into 
the  house  and  seized  on  Victor,  but  all  the  others,  hearing 
the  noise,  tried  to  escape  by  the  back  doors  and  windows  ; 
a  certain  matron,  trying  to  escape,  fell  and  broke  her  arm. 
The  soldiers  found  the  chalice  and  other  things  for  Mass  , 
they  sought  everywhere  for  the  priest,  (who  had  not  yet 
begun  the  Mass,)  and  came  at  length  to  a  heap  of  straw, 
under  which  he  lay  hid,  and,  thrusting  their  swords  through 
it,  wounded  him  in  the  thigh,  but  he  preserved  silence,  and, 
through  fear  of  worse,  concealed  his  suffering,  and  soon 

IS6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

after  escaped  fiom  the  town  into  the  countiy.  But  the  in- 
trepid Victor  (who,  although  he  had  for  this  reason  suffered 
much,  could  never  be  induced  to  attend  the  conventicles 
of  the  heretics)  was  thrown  into  prison  because  he  would 
not  give  up  the  priest,  and  would,  no  doubt,  have  been  put 
to  death  had  not  Maurice,  hearing  of  the  danger  of  his 
friend,  voluntarily  surrendered  himself  to  the  president, 
showing  a  friendship  truly  Christian.  The  president  up- 
braided him  much,  and,  having  sentenced  him  to  death, 
offered  him  his  life  if  he  would  abjure  our  Catholic  faith 
and  profess  the  queen  to  be  head  of  the  church.  There 
came  to  him  also  a  preacher,  and  strove  long,  but  in  vain 
to  seduce  the  martyr  ;  nor  would  he  on  any  account  betray 
any  of  those  who  had  heard  his  Mass,  or  to  whom  he  had 
at  any  time  administered  the  sacraments  At  length  he 
was  dragged  at  the  tail  of  a  horse  to  the  place  of  execution 
as  a  traitor.  Being  come  there,  he  devoutly  and  learnedly 
exhorted  the  people  to  constancy  in  the  faith.  The  execu- 
tioner cut  him  down  from  the  gallows  when  yet  half-alive, 
and  cut  off  his  sacred  head,  and  the  minist-er  struck  it  in 
the  face.  Then  the  Catholics  by  prayers  and  bribes  ob- 
tained of  the  executioners  that  they  should  not  lacerate  his 
body  any  further,  and  they  buried  it  as  honorably  as  they 
could.  Farewell,  and  peace  in  the  Lord,  and  be  ye  imita- 
tors— if  occasion  offers — of  the  courageous  Maurice  Kin- 
reel  'in,  and  till  then  prepare  your  souls  for  the  trial.  Your 
devoted  servant,  dated  from  the  College  of  St.  Anthony, 
1586,  20th  March,  Robert  Rochfort.'" — Roothe,  De  Pro- 

cessu  Martyriali. 

— * — 

Anno  1588, 

"  Peter  Power,  native  of  Munster,  for  his  merits  was 
raised  to  the  diocese  of  Ferns  by  the  Apostolic  See.*    He 

•Appointed  in  Consistory  of  April  27,  ^sSi—Maran,  Archbishop!  of  Dublin,  vol   i.  p.  184. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elisabeth.  157 

fulfilled  the  duty  of  a  good  pastor,  but,  being  taken  pri- 
soner by  the  heretics,  was  wounded  and  bound  with  cord 
and  carried  to  Dublin,  where,  overcome  by  human  weak- 
ness and  the  torture  of  the  rack,  he  abjured  the  Catholic 
faith,  and  subscribed  to  the  new  religion  of  Elizabeth.  On 
the  fourth  day  afterward  he  so  repented  of  this  grievous 
fault  that,  having  first  received  absolution  in  the  tribunal 
of  penance,  he  courageously  returned  to  Dublin,  and,  like 
another  Pope  Marcellinus,  he  sought  the  viceroy  and  judge, 
and,  upbraiding  him  with  having  induced  him  to  be  guilty 
of  such  impiety,  retracted  all  he  had  said  or  written  against 
the  Catholic  faith,  and  renounced  all  the  errors  of  Pro- 
testantism and  heresy.  Angered  by  this  public  revocation 
of  the  Bishop  of  Ferns,  the  ministers  of  Elizabeth  tried 
his  constancy  with  the  sharpest  torments,  but  in  vain  ;  for, 
full  of  the  spirit  of  God,  in  the  midst  of  the  torture  of  the 
rack  he  at  one  time  prayed  in  the  words  of  the  psalm 
Miserere  me  Deus,  then  prayed  for  the  salvation  of  the 
executioners,  and  told  them  that  they  punished  him  not 
enough  for  the  crime  he  had  committed  in  denying  the 
faith.  At  length,  wearied  and  despairing  of  overcoming 
the  constancy  of  Peter,  the  officers  left  him  bound  in  pri- 
son. The  jailer,  a  Catholic  at  heart,  was  touched  with 
pity  for  the  bishop,  and  secretly  unbound  him,  and  let  him 
retire  to  a  safe  place.  Thus  did  Peter  expiate  his  fault, 
and  escape  from  the  hands  of  the  executioners.  By  the 
aid  of  the  Catholics  he  escaped  to  that  refuge  of  all  Irish 
exiles,  Spain,  where  he  died,  in  repute  of  holiness,  15th 
December,  1588." — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  x.x. 

Roothe  says  : 

"  Escaping  from  prison,  he  made  his  way  to  Rome,  and, 
prostrate  before  the  tribunal  of  the  supreme  judge,  obtain- 
ed absolution.  He  then  proceeded  to  Compostella,  where 
he  was  made  suffragan  of  the  Archbishop  of  Compostella, 
and  there  died,  (as  it  was  said,  of  poison  given  to  him  by  a 

158  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

wicked  Gallican  sacristan,)  about  1587." — Roothe,  De  Prc- 
cessu  Martyi-iali. 


"  Maurice  Eustace,  a  youth  of  great  promise,  entered 
the  Society  of  Jesus  at  Bruges,  in  Flanders,  and  being 
called  home  by  his  father.  Sir  John  Eustace,  a  noble  and 
influential  man,  he  returned  to  Ireland,  by  the  permissior 
of  the  father,  (as  is  mentioned  by  the  author  of  the  Thea- 
tre) before  he  had  taken  his  vows.  He  had  not  long  en- 
joyed his  gentle  native  air  when  he  was  seized  by  the  un- 
gentle heretics  in  Dublin,  and  examined  on  the  suspicion 
of  holding  correspondence  with  the  Catholic  nobles  who 
had  been  driven  by  the  cruelty  of  Elizabeth  to  defend  the 
Catholic  faith  by  arms.  Maurice,  who  was  an  intrepid 
j'oung  man,  boldly  answered  the  accusation  and  proved 
his  innocence,  adding,  that  he  had  only  lately  returned 
from  Belgium,  (where  he  was  enrolled  among  the  novices 
of  the  Society  of  Jesus,)  in  order  to  satisfy  the  ardent  de- 
sire of  his  parents,  and  that  his  object  was  not  to  excite 
rebellion,  but  only  to  satisfy  his  parents'  request,  and  re- 
turn as  soon  as  possible  to  take  his  vows.  On  this  the 
chief-judge  answered,  '  Out  of  your  own  mouth  I  judge 
you ;  for,  as  you  say  you  are  one  of  the  Jesuits,  who  are 
born  to  excite  trouble  and  sedition,  any  one  must  see  you 
are  guilty  of  the  crimes  you  are  accused  of  And  on  this 
he  sentenced  Maurice  to  die.  The  youth  was  then  drag- 
ged from  the  court  to  the  place  of  execution,  and  there 
hung,  and  cut  in  four  parts,  and  so  gloriously  triumphed 
for  Christ,  9th  June,  \^^Z"-^Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

Roothe,  De  Processu  Martyriali,  mentions  his  death, 
and  says  he  was  a  master  of  arts. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeih.  ijg 


"  Of  Wexford,  and  bachelor  of  theology,  moved  by  charity 
for  the  Catholics,  returned  to  Ireland  from  Spain,  ile 
had  hardly  landed,  when  he  was  taken  in  Wexford,  tried, 
and,  being  constant  in  the  faith,  by  order  of  the  judge  was, 
after  various  tortures,  hung  and  cut  in  four,  4th  October, 
1588." — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

Amno  1588. 


"A  STUDENT  in  arts,  {litteris  humanioribus^  was  seized 
by  the  heretics,  and,  because  he  remained  constant  in  the 
faith,  suffered  martyrdom,  at  Galway,  in  the  year  of  our 
Lord  \^%2,r—Philadelph. 


"Were  Franciscans,  and,  about  1588,  fell  victims  to  the 
malice  of  the  heretics.  They  spent  eight  years  in  admin- 
istering the  consolations  of  religion  throughout  the  moun  ■ 
tainous  districts  of  Leinster.  Many  families  of  Carlow, 
Wicklow,  and  Wexford  had  been  compelled  to  seek  a  re- 
fuge there  from  the  fury  of  the  English  troops.  The  good 
Franciscans  shared  in  all  their  perils ;  travelling  about 
from  place  to  place  by  night,  they  visited  the  sick,  consol- 
ed the  dying,  and  offered  up  the  sacred  mysteries.  Often- 
times the  hard  rock  was  their  only  bed  ;  but  they  willing- 
ly embraced  nakedness  and  hunger  and  cold  to  console 
their  afHicted  brethren.  In  a  remote  district  of  the 
Queen's  county  they  were  overtaken  by  a  party  of  caval- 
ry, bound  hand  and  foot,  and  conducted,  with  every  spe- 
cies of  insult,  to  the  garrison  of  Abbeyleix.     Here  they 

i6o  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

were  flogged,  and  then  put  on  the  rack  ;  at  length,  being 
strangled,  embowelled,  and  quartered,  they  happily  yielded 
their  souls  to  their  Creator." — Moran,  Archbishops  of  Dub 
lin,  p.  143  ;  Bruodin,  and  Mooney. 

A-nno     1BS9. 


He  is  commemorated  by  Father  Mooney  in  these 
words :  "  In  the  convent  of  Clonmel  is  interred  the  Rev. 
Father  Maurice,  a  priest  who  suffered  martyrdom  at  the 
hands  of  the  heretics  in  the  same  Clonmel,  about  the  year 
1589,  and  whose  relics  were  placed  behind  the  high  altar." 
— Mooney,  p.  58. 

A.nno    1B90. 


"  Born  of  a  respectable  family,  in  Wexford,  he  had  near- 
ly completed  his  studies  at  Louvain,  when  he  was  compel- 
led by  sickness  to  return  home,  but  was  arrested  at  Bris- 
tol, in  England,  examined,  and  called  upon  to  take  the  oath 
of  supremacy.  He  refused  resolutely  to  stain  his  soul  with 
such  a  perjury,  and  in  consequence  was  sent  to  London, 
where  he  was  flogged  through  the  streets.  Then,  after  hav- 
ing endured  the  horrors  of  Newgate  prison  for  four  months, 
he  was  put  to  the  torture  of  '  the  scavenger  s  daughter,'  and 
gave  up  his  soul  to  God,  under  this  torture,  the  13th  De- 
cember, 1590-" — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

Anno    1S97. 



He  is  mentioned  by  Curry,  Civii  Wars  in  Ireland,  p.  6, 
who    refers    to    Tlie    Theatre  of  Catholic  and  Protestant 

/«  the  Reign  of  Elisabeth.  i6l 

Religion,  p.  582  ;  and,  as  he  also  mentions  several  other 
martyrs,  the  exact  date  of  whose  triumph  I  have  not  been 
able  to  ascertain,  I  shall  here  give  the  whole  passage  : 

"  In  this  reign,  among  many  other  Roman  Catholic 
priests  and  bishops,  were  put  to  death,  for  the  exercise  of 
their  functions  in  Ireland  :  John  Stephens,  priest,  for  that 
he  said  Mass  to  Teague  McHugh,  was  hanged  and  quar- 
tered by  the  Lord  Burroughs,  in  1597;  Thady  O'Boyle, 
guardian  of  the  monastery  of  Donegal,  was  slain  by  the 
English  in  his  own  monastery ;  six  friars  v/ere  slain  in  the 
monastery  of  Moynihigan  ;  John  O'Calyhor .  and  Bryan 
O'Trevor,  of  the  order  of  St.  Bernard,  were  slain  in  their 
own  monastery,  De  Sancta  Maria,  in  Ulster ;  as  also  Feli- 
ray  O'Hara,  a  lay-brother ;  so  was  .(Eneas  Penny,  parish 
priest  of  Killagh,  slain  at  the  altar  in  his  parish  church 
there  ;  Cahill  McGoran  ;  Rory  O'Donnellan  ;  Peter  McQuil- 
lan ;  Patrick  O'Kenna  ;  George  Power,  Vicar-General  of 
the  diocese  of  Ossory ;  Andrew  Stritch,  of  Limerick ; 
Bryan  O'Murihirtagh,  Vicar-General  of  the  diocese  of  Clon- 
fert ;  Doroghow  O'Molowny,  of  Thomond  ;  John  Kelly,  of 
Louth  ;  Stephen  Patrick,  of  Annaly  ;  John  Pillis,  friar  ; 
Rory  McHenlea ;  Tirilagh  Mclnisky,  a  lay-brother.  All 
those  that  come  after  ^neas  Penny,  together  with  Walter 
Fernan,  priest,  died  in  the  Castle  of  Dublin,  either 
through  hard  usage  and  restraint  or  the  violence  of  tor- 

Of  Andrew  Stritch,  Philadelphus  says  :  "  He  was  a  priest 
of  the  diocese  of  Limerick.  Educated  for  the  church  in 
Paris,  he  went  to  Ireland  to  save  souls,  and  labored  zeal 
ously  in  that  vineyard  for  many  years  ;  at  length,  being 
taken  by  the  heretics,  he  was  taken  to  Dublin,  and  there 
thrown  into  prison,  where  he  happily  completed  his 
course,  about  the  year ." 

Bruodin  gives  us  some  more  particulars  about  the  Rev 
Walter  Fernan.     He  says:  "  He  was  a  priest  of  Leinster, 

i62  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

and  a  zealous  preacher.  Taken  by  the  heretics,  he  was 
sent  to  Dublin,  where  he  triumphed  in  Christ.  Thrown 
into  prison,  he  was  tied  round  with  an  iron  chain,  and  his 
hands  and  feet  being  tied  up  to  the  beam  of  the  roof,  he 
was  so  left  hanging  for  forty  hours.  He  was  then  flogged, 
and  salt  and  vinegar  rubbed  into  his  lacerated  flesh.  Be- 
ing then  asked  if  he  would  take  the  oath  of  the  queen's  su- 
premacy, he  answered,  with  constancy,  '  that  he  would  ra- 
ther die  than  swear  that  a  woman,  who,  as  St.  Paul  teaches, 
may  not  even  speak  in  church,  was  the  head  of  the  church.' 
The  bloody  judge,  named  Walter  Rawley,  angered  by  this 
answer,  ordered  Fernan  to  be  tortured  on  the  rack.  The 
executioners  had  not  been  long  pulling  his  limbs  asunder, 
when  Walter,  exclaiming,  '  Lord,  into  thy  hands  I  com- 
mend my  spirit,'  gave  up  his  soul  to  his  Creator,  the  I2th 
March,  1597." — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

Anno  1S9S. 


"  Edward  MacGauran  was  the  immediate  successor 
of  Primate  Creagh.  In  the  year  1594,  Pope  Clement 
VIII.  employed  the  prelate  as  his  envoy  to  the  Irish  na- 
tion, with  the  view  of  animating  them  to  persevere  stead- 
fastly in  the  faith,  and,  rather  than  deny  their  consciences 
and  their  God,  to  shed  the  last  drop  of  their  blood  in 
defence  of  their  religion.  The  recent  edict  of  Elizabeth 
against  the  priests  and  Catholics  was  the  last  of  the  many 
causes  that  alarmed  the  holy  pontiff's  zeal,  and  rendered 
such  an  exhortation  necessary.  Not  content  with  eject- 
ing the  bishops  and  priests  from  their  dwellings,  and 
hunting  them  into  the  woods,  nor  by  punishing  by  fines 
and  confiscations  both  priests  and  people  for  not  attend- 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  163 

ing  the  Protestant  worship,  nor  with  punishing  as  high 
treason  every  acknowledgment  of  the  pope's  spiritual 
authority,  this  unrelenting  persecutrix  published  a  new 
edict,  on  the  i8th  October,  1591,  in  which  she  commands 
all  heads  of  families  to  seek  out  and  discover  the  priests, 
whom  she  calls  Jesuits  and  Seminarists,  and  deliver 
them  over,  under  a  strong  guard,  to  her  officers.  The 
Irish  princes  had  frequently  implored,  during  the  last  fifty 
years,  the  advice  of  the  Roman  Pontiff,  and  his  interposi- 
tion, either  personally  or  through  the  French  arid  Spanish 
monarchs,  with  the  court  of  England  in  their  behalf; 
when  their  remonstrances  failed  of  effect,  the  Irish  then 
asked  for  military  assistance.  In  these  circumstances, 
Philip  II.,  of  Spain,  incensed  against  England  for  some 
depredations  committed  on  his  European  and  American 
dominions,  and  waging  against  her  an  unsuccessful  war 
for  the  last  five  years,  promised  at  length  to  send  an 
effectual  military  aid  to  the  Irish,  and  commissioned  Pri- 
mate MacGauran  to  give  the  Irish  princes  the  most  posi- 
tive assurances  of  its  speedy  arrival.  Dr.  MacGauran, 
setting  sail  from  Spain  in  the  vessel  of  James  Fleming, 
a  merchant  of  Drogheda,  arrived  in  Ireland  in  the  begin- 
ning of  1594  with  these  two  commissions.  He  lost  no 
time  in  visiting  the  different  princes  of  Ulster ;  he  com- 
municated to  them  his  commissions,  and  then  took  up  his 
residence  with  Maguire,  Prince  of  Fermanagh,  on  the  con- 
fines of  his  diocese. 

"  Maguire,  before  his  arrival,  had  been  in  arms  against 
England,  and  when  the  Lord-Deputy  Sussex  called  on 
him  to  delivei  up  the  primate  he  peremptorily  refused. 
Shortly  after  he  directed  his  forces  against  the  English 
possessions  in  Connaught,  and  brought  the  bishop  with 
him.  Sir  H.  Bingham,  the  governor  of  that  province,  des- 
patched Sir  William  Guelfort,  with  a  body  of  troops,  to 
oppose  him.     The  two  armies,  on  the  23d  June,  met  at  a 

164  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

place  called  Sciath-na-Feart,  (The  Shield  of  Wonders  ;) 
the  cavalry  of  both  were  before  the  fort,  and,  there  being 
a  very  thick  mist,  they  saw  not  each  other  till  they  met. 
The  signal  was  given,  and  a  brisk  and  determined  action 
having  been  commenced  by  the  cavalry,  Maguire,  after 
much  fighting,  fixed  his  eye  on  the  opposite  general,  and, 
setting  spurs  to  his  horse,  and  cutting  a  passage  for  him- 
self through  the  surrounding  officers  with  his  sword,  he 
pierced  Guelfort  through  with  his  lance.  The  English, 
astonished  at  this  daring  bravery,  and  seeing  their  com- 
mander slain,  fled  from  the  field.  The  primate  was  at  a 
short  distance  from  the  engagement,  administering  the 
last  sacraments,  and  hearing  the  confessions  of  some  of 
the  mortally  wounded  soldiers.  (Dr.  Roothe  says,  reconcil- 
ing a  dying  heretic.)  A  party  of  the  fugitive  cavalry  hap- 
pened to  come  upon  him  while  thus  engaged,  and  trans- 
pierced with  their  lances  the  unarmed  and  inoffensive 
archbishop,  being  roused  to  rage  by  seeing  him  engaged 
in  the  vocation  of  a  Catholic  clergyman."* 

Thus  the  martyr  Archbishop  Creagh  (anno  1585)  was 
succeeded  by  the  martyr  Dr.  MacGauran,  (anno  1598,)  and 
at  his  death  the  headship  of  the  Irish  Church,  with  the 
title  of  Vice-Primate,f  devolved  on  Dr.  Redmond,  Bishop 
of  Derry,  who  also  laid  down  his  life  for  the  faith,  (1604,) 
when  the  office  devolved  on  Dr.  Richard  Brady,  Bishop  of 
Kilmore,  *ho  was  a  confessor,  and  almost  a  martyr.  It 
then  passed  to  Dr.  Cornelius  O'Doveney,  who  also  laid 
down    his   life  for   Christ,  (anno    161 2.)     Thus    in    thirty 

*  Renehan,  Collec.  p.  18,  from  O'SuIlivan,  Pet.  Lombard,  and  Philadelph ,  who  put*  hii 
death  at  1598  ;  but  Di.  Renehan  gives  strong  reasons  to  think  this  arises  from  a  confusion  be- 
tween two  battles  of  Maguire,  and  that  the  true  date  is  1593.  Sir  Richard  Bingham,  writing 
to  the  Privy  Council,  on  the  28th  June,  1593,  describes  his  death  — See  Aloran,  HisL  Arch- 
bishops 0/  Dublin^  vol.  i.  p.  290. 

t  Mooney  thus  explains  the  title  of  Vice-Primate  :  "According  to  the  custom  of  the  pro- 
vince of  Armagh,  which  is  that,  when  the  primate  is  absent  or  the  see  of  Armagh  vacant,  the 
oldest  bishop  of  the  province  has  the  title  of  '  Vice-Primate,' .  .  .  which  I  thought  it  right  to 
hand  down  to  remembrance,  lest  the  custom  might  become  obsolete  by  oblivion." P.  75. 

Tn  the  Reign  of  Elizahith.  1G5 

years  four  martyrs  and  a  confessor  succeeded  each  other 
in  the  primacy  of  the  Irish  Church. 

"  Primo  avulso  non  deficit  alter 
Aureus ;  et  simili  frondescit  virga  metallo." 


"  A  PRIEST  of  Kilkenny,  and  Vicar-General  of  the  diocese 
of  Ossory,  in  a  very  advanced  age  was  dragged  to  Dublin 
to  answer  for  the  Catholic,  faith.  He  made  a  good  confes- 
sion before  the  public  tribunal,  and,  being  thrown  into 
prison,  and  worn  out  with  misery,  he  passed  from  life  to 
death  in  chains,  about  the  year  1599." — Philadelph.     See 

also  Curry. 

— • — 

Anno    1600. 


"  A  PRIEST,  and  Vicar-General  of  the  diocese  of  Dublin, 
was  thrown  by  chance  on  the  coast  of  England,  question- 
ed of  his  faith,  and  for  his  constancy  thrown  into  prison  in 
Chester,  where  he  ended  his  life  and  confession  of  the 
faith  in  chains,  about  1600." — Philadelph. 

Anno  1601. 


The  account  which  Father  Mooney,  who  was  one  of  thv. 
part}',  gives  of  all  the  circumstances  connected  with  the 
sufferings  of  these  holy  men,  is  so  interesting,  and  gives  so 
lively  an  idea  of  the  state  of  the  country,  that  I  shall  tran- 
scribe it  entire. 

1 66  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Of  Father  Bernard  Moriarty  he  says  :  "  He  was  a  priest 
of  the  diocese  of  Ardagh,  who  had  graduated  in  canon  law 
in  Spain,  and  was  Dean  of  Ardagh  and  Archdeacon  of 
Clane,  (Cluonensis,)  and  was  afterward  made  Vicar-Gene- 
ral of  Dublin  by  Dr.  Matthew  de  Oviedo,  Archbishop  of 
Dublin,  and  lived  in  the  Franciscan  convent  of  Multifarn- 
ham,  on  account  of  his  great  affection  for  the  brethren 

"  The  convent  of  Multifarnham,  situated  in  a  little  vil- 
lage of  the  diocese  of  Meath,  in  the  county  of  Westmeath, 
was  founded  by  a  Delmer,  who  in  Irish  is  called  Macher- 
bert,  and  is  believed  to  have  been  fpunded  during  the  life 
of  St.  Francis.  But  the  family  of  Nugent,  which  is  the  fa- 
mily of  the  Barons  Delvin,  are  now  looked  upon  as  the 
founders,  especially  the  descendants  of  Sir  James  Nugent, 
of  Donore.  This  convent  is  the  only  refuge  of  such  bre- 
thren as  are  sick,  weak,  or  aged,  in  the  whole  province, 
who,  coming  there  from  all  parts,  live  as  it  were  without 
fear,  wearing  their  habit  and  serving  God  in  all  simplicity. 

"  In  the  year  1601,  on  the  ist  day  of  October,  Sir  Fran- 
cis Shean,  a  heretical  soldier,  invaded  this  convent  with 
his  troop  of  soldiers,  and  apprehended  the  Right  Rev. 
Brother  Richard  Braden,  Bishop  of  Kilmore ;  the  Rev. 
Brother  John  Gragan,  the  provincial  minister ;  Brother 
James  Hayn,  a  priest ;  and  the  Very  Rev.  Bernard  Moriar- 
ty, Dean  of  Ardagh,  whom  I  have  mentioned  before.  Af- 
ter he  came  to  the  convent,  he  also  arrested  the  father- 
guardian,  who  was  there.  Brother  Neemias  Gragan,  a  very 
leligious  man  and  much  given  to  prayer,  gentle  in  conver- 
sation, prudent  in  counsel,  and  whose  whole  life  was  wor- 
thy of  praise.      He  arrested  Brother  Hugh  Mc ,  [the 

word  is  illegible,]  a  priest ;  Brother  Lewis  Ogy ,  [also 

illegible,]  a  lay-brother ;  Torchaeus  Gragan  and  John 
Cahill,  both  lay-brothers  ;  and  Brother  Donatus  Mooney, 
a  novice,  who  was  to  make  his  profession  in  two  days  ;  all 
the  rest  had  escaped,  for  it  was  night,  and,  after  the  night 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  167 

prayers,  at  the  usual  signal,  they  had  retired  from  the 
church  to  their  cells.  Now,  our  captor  sent  off  a  party 
with  some  of  his  prisoners  in  the  night  to  his  castle,  call- 
ed Balmore,  and  kept  us  two  days  in  the  monastery  prison 
ers,  he  staying  there  with  his  soldiers  to  look  after  plundc, 
of  which  there  was  not  much,  save  a  tolerably  large  store 
of  provisions,  which  was  the  greater  on  account  of  the  ap- 
proaching festival  of  St.  Francis,  to  the  celebration  of 
which  many  nobles  generally  flock  there,  who  send  before- 
hand their  provisions  to  the  monastery,  because  there  are 
no  fitting  inns  there  in  which  they  could  eat  on  that  day. 
While  we  were  kept  prisoners  in  the  monastery,  I  so  ar- 
ranged that  the  father-guardian  and  all  the  other  brethren, 
except  myself  and  one  lay-brother,  deceived  the  watchful- 
ness of  their  guards  and  escaped.  And  I  myself  remain- 
ed in  captivity,  partly  because  I  was  more  closely  watched 
by  the  guards,  as  being  young  and  active,  being  then 
about  twenty-four,  and  practised  beforetime  in  war,  and 
partly  from  a  scruple  that  I  thought  my  profession,  which 
I  was  to  make  in  two  days,  would  not  be  valid  unless  I 
made  it  in  the  hands  of  the  father-minister,  who  was  a  cap- 
tive in  another  place,  and  into  whose  company  I  calculated 
I  would  soon  be  brought.  Influenced,  then,  chiefly  by 
these  scruples,  I  would  not  escape,  although  the  father- 
guardian  wished  me  to  escape  rather  than  himself. 

"  After  two  days  the  tyrant  Francis  Shean  placed  me 
and  the  lay-brother  on  horses  and  brought  us  to  his  castle 
aforesaid,  and  set  fire  to  and  destroyed  the  whole  monastery, 
to  the  great  grief  of  all  who  saw  or  heard  of  the  destruc- 
tion of  that  holy  house,  of  which  the  very  memory  seemed 
thus  given  to  oblivion.  He  did  not  dare  to  do  me  any 
personal  injury,  because  he  feared  my  relations  and  others 
bound  to  me  in  blood  or  friendship  who  lived  near  him. 
Nay,  he  often  said  he  would  let  me  go,  but  that  he  could 
not  do  so,  unless,  putting  off  my  habit,  I  would  return  to 

1 63  Martyn  mid  Confessors 

the  world  ;  adding  that  I  might  do  so  without  denying 
the  Catholic  faith,  (which  he  called  papistical,)  since  I 
was  not  yet  bound  by  vows  ;  adding  that  my  doing  so 
would  be  very  pleasing  to  my  father,  (who  was  a  great  friend 
of  his,  and  without  whose  consent  I  had  embraced  this 
mode  of  life,)  because  he  had  much  possessions,  which, 
without  a  strenuous  protector,  as  he  said  I  would  be, 
would  most  likely  be  plundered  and  spoiled.  And  he 
urged  me,  saying,  '  If  you  will,  give  up,  not  indeed  the 
papistical  religion,  but  this  hypocritical  vanity,  and  return 
to  those  warlike  pursuits  in  which  you  gave  such  good  pro- 
mise, I  will  cause  you  to  be  taken  into  the  queen's  pay,  and 
you  will  become  a  great  man  :'  so  much  did  he  desire  my 
soul's  destruction.  But  he  who  had  called  me  from  the  dark- 
ness of  misery  into  his  admirable  light  and  the  society  of  his 
beloved  Son,  so  strengthened  my  soul  that  not  for  a  king- 
dom would  I  have  put  off  my  profession.  He  therefore 
strove  in  vain,  and  I  was  brought  into  the  prison  in  which 
were  the  bishop  and  the  father-minister  and  the  aforesaid 
Brother  James  and  the  priest,  and  I  was  left  with  them,  with 
my  companion  the  lay-brother  ;  and  as  the  year  of  my 
noviceship  was  now  fully  completed,  I  spoke  to  the  reverend 
father-provincial,  humbly  beseeching  him  that,  as  God  Jiad 
granted  me  to  come  to  that  day  and  place,  he  would  allow 
and  receive  my  vows,  by  which  I  was  determined  to  devote 
myself  and  my  whole  life  to  God  and  Saint  Francis.  The 
bishop,  surprised,  or  rather  wishing  to  try  me,  said  :  '  Hear 
me,  my  son,  who  art  now  in  prison  for  the  habit  of  Saint 
Francis,  and  mayest  depart  if  you  will  put  off  this  habit : 
if  thou  art  minded  to  be  for  ever  bound  by  this. rule,  weigh 
well  what  thou  dost.'  I  answered  :  '  Right  reverend  father, 
T  am  firmly  resolved ;  and  when  first  I  was  made  prisoner, 
the  first  thought  that  came  into  my  mind  was  that  Satan 
had  caused  this  violence  to  be  done  to  us  that  I  might  be 
driven  from   my  resolution.     But   I   might  have  escaped 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  169 

from  th^  monastery,  but  preferred  to  come  here,  that  I 
might  make  my  profession  in  the  hands  of  the  father- 
minister.  And  I  hope  that,  if  such  be  the  will  of  God,  I 
shall  escape  also  from  here,  so  that  I  be  first  bound  to  God 
by  this  triple  knot ;  and  if  it  be  not  his  will,  I  am  ready 
to  be  a  captive  in  the  hands  of  God,  and  a  captive  in  the 
hands  of  my  superiors  for  God,  and  a  captive  in  the  hands 
of  God's  enemies  as  loiig  as  he  wills.  I  prefer  the  freedom 
of  his  sons  to  that  of  his  enemies.'  At  length,  while  my 
fellow-prisoners  stood  around,  I  made  my  regular  profession 
in  the  hands  of  the  father-minister,  and  the  bishop  and  the 
others  wept  and  embraced  me  with  affection.  God  knows 
what  joy  my  heart  felt  in  that  hour.  I  cannot  describe  it, 
nor  can  I  now  think  of  the  joy  of  that  hour  without  tears, 
so  greatly  does  God  temper  for  beginners  in  his  service  the 
bitterness  of  afflictions  with  the  sweetness  of  his  consolations, 
so  that  we  may  truly  say  that  the  sufferings  of  this  time 
are  not  worthy  to  be  compared  either  to  the  grace  which  is 
given,  or  the  consolation  which  is  communicated,  or  to  the 
future  eternal  glory  which  shall  be  revealed  in  us.  I  have 
been,  perhaps,  too  prolix  in  describing  this  joy,  because 
■  through  life  there  has  been  given  to  me  the  grace  to  re- 
member with  joy  and  satisfaction  the  vows  which  my  lips 
then  uttered. 

"  After  this,  our  merciful  Lord,  seeing  that  I  was  young 
and  not  sufficiently  prudent  or  wise,  so  that,  were  I  long 
in  prison,  I  might  perchance  relax  of  my  fervor,  and,  by 
my  ingratitude  losing  grace,  say  or  do  something  unbefit- 
ting the  holy  profession  I  had  made,  put  it  into  my  mind 
to  devise  some  means  to  escape  from  that  prison  ;  and  I, 
turning  my  whole  mind  to  it,  often  thought  of  seizing, 
with  the  assistance  of  Father  Bernard,  the  castle  in  which 
we  were  kept  in  chains,  and  expelling  our  guards,  keeping 
it  in  our  possession  until  we  should  be  freed  by  the  Irish 
Catholics,  the  defenders  of  our  faith,  who  would  come  to  our 

170  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

assistance.  And  we  would  have  done  so  if  there  had  been 
in  it  any  gunpowder,  or  provisions  for  four  or  five  days  ;  but 
because  there  was  no  such  thing  there,  and  the  enterprise 
could  not  be  effected  without  shedding  blood,  we  again  and 
again  devised  other  means ;  but  none  succeeded.  Ever} 
night  I  and  Father  Bernard  were  bound  with  an  iron  chain 
on  our  feet,  for  they  feared  us  both  much  ;  but  occasional!) 
it  was  omitted  to  be  put  on.  At  length,  after  we  had  de- 
vised many  plans  in  vain,  I  succeeded  in  making  a  rope 
out  of  the  tow  with  which  the  soldiers  fired  their  guns, 
and,  aided  by  God  alone,  I  let  myself  down  from  the  top 
of  the  tower,  and  so  escaped,  to  the  great  surprise  of  all 
who  knew  the  height  of  the  tower.  I  had  only  got  half- 
way down  when  the  rope  broke,  and  I  fell,  and,  striking 
against  an  old  wall,  was  greatly  shaken  and  somewhat 
wounded,  yet  I  walked  that  night  ten  miles,  till  I  came  to 
a  place  of  safety,  for  I  was  unacquainted  with  the  country. 
Thei'e  were  guards  on  the  walls,  but  they  did  not  perceive 
me  ;  but  I  saw  them  plain  enough.  There  was  a  troop  of 
soldiers  encamped  on  the  ground  around  in  their  huts  and 
tents  and  sleeping  places.  It  was  about  seven  o'clock  in 
the  evening,  and  no  one  saw  me  ;  but  when  I  had  crossed 
the  ditch  of  the  camp,  in  which  the  water  was  up  to  my 
middle,  I  saw  all  over  the  place  the  soldiers  running  about 
with  candles  and  lanterns  seeking  me.  Thus  I  escaped 
by  his  might  who  decreed  that  my  colleague.  Father  Ber- 
nard, to  whom  I  had  first  communicated  my  intention  of 
entering  into  religion,  and  who  had  piously  and  prudently 
aided  and  strengthened  me,  should  remain  in  chains  as  a 
more  mature  victim,  and  obtain  the  palm  of  martyrdom 
Ly  his  providence  I  was  preserved  for  further  ills,  when,  if 
it  had  pleased  the  divine  goodness,  I  might  have  also  re- 
ceived the  crown  of  martyrdom.  .  .  .  After  this,  Francis 
Shean  determined  to  send  to  Dublin  the  priest  and  bro- 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  171 

ther ;  but  the  bishop,  because  he  was  of  a  noble*  family, 
he  gave  to  a  neighboring  Catholic  nobleman  to  keep,  he 
giving  security  to  send  him  to  Dublin  when  the  winter 
was  past,  which  was  done,  and  he  remained  there  until  he 
was  redeemed  with  money  the  following  summer,  in  the 
J  ear  1602. 

"  The  father-minister,  with  Brother  James  Hayn  and  the 
aforesaid  Father  Bernard,  were  sent  to  Dublin  ;  and  while 
they  were  on  the  road  Sir  Walter  Nugent,  standard-bearer 
of  the  Baron  of  Delvin,  with  thirty  Catholic  soldiers,  who 
were  in  the  queen's  service,  met  them,  and  the-  soldiers 
who  were  escorting  the  prisoners,  being  terrified,  took  to 
flight,  and  Nugent's  party  took  the  brother  and  the  priest 
with  them.  But  it  chanced  that  two  troops  of  heretic  sol- 
diers were  near,  who,  hearing  of  it,  immediately  pursued 
them  and  forced  them  to  fight,  although  only  thirty 
against  two  troops.  There  was  a  sharp  fight  for  three  or 
four  miles,  the  heretics  attacking,  and  the  Catholics,  with 
unbrok'en  ranks,  retiring  toward  a  place  of  safety.  At 
length  the  brothers  were  not  able  to  endure  the  fatigue, 
for  they  were  old,  and  voluntarily  gave  themselves  up. 
Six  of  the  Catholic  soldiers  were  slain.  Both  Father 
Bernard's  thighs  were  broken  by  the  heretical  musketeers, 
and  thus  they  were  led  captives  to  Dublin.  The  rest  at 
length  got  away  ;  but  Father  Bernard,  on  account  of  his 
wound,  and  that  he  had  no  surgical  care,  nor  bed  to  lie 
on,  died  on  earth  to  live  for  ever  in  heaven.  The  father- 
minister  and  Father  James  were  detained  there  until  I 
obtained  from  the  chieftains  O'Neill  and  MacMahon  two 
prisoners  of  war,  whom  I  gave  for  the  fathers.  Yet  before 
the  feast  of  the  Nativity  of  our  Lord  we  built  up  a  little 
house  on  the  site  of  the  monastery,  and  there  we  dwelt 
who  were  left  after  the  flight.     I  was  the  first,  and  then 

•  There  is  a  word  wanting  here,  which  I  have  supplied  at  a  guess.     The  text  runs,  "  Epis- 
copus  qui  genere  erat,  cuidam  nobili  vicino  tradidvt." 

172  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

others  returned,  and  from  that  day  there  were  never  want- 
ing brethren  there.*  They  had  no  church  save  a  very 
inconvenient  sort  of  cabin  in  the  garden  ;  and  the  offices 
of  the  monastery,  in  which  they  prefer  to  live,  however 
straitened,  rather  than  elsewhere  in  comfort.  Afterward 
]''ather  Neemias  Gragan,  the  father-guardian,  began  to 
build  a  church,  and  to  repair  the  monastery,  and  for  this 
purpose  caused  much  wood  to  be  cut  in  the  territory  of 
Deabhna  McLochlain  ;  and  when  they  had  roofed  a  cha- 
pel, and  some  outer  buildings,  there  came  down  the 
soldiers  of  another  Sir  Francis  Ringtia,  and  they  burnt 
down  the  monastery  again,  and  carried  off  some  of  the 
brethren  captive  to  Dublin.  The  bishop,  whom  I  mention- 
ed before,  who  was  then  very  decrepit,  and  had  long  dwelt 
in  the  monastery,  because  they  could  not  lead  him  away 
captive,  as  from  extreme  age  he  could  neither  stand 'nor 
walk,  they  stripped  of  his  clothes,  and  left  him  lying  in 
the  open  air.  He  only  prayed  that  their  crime  might  be 
forgiven  them. 

"  This  Bishop  Richard  was  of  a  noble  family  in  Brehne- 
Graille.  He  studied  civil  and  canon  law ;  afterward,  al- 
though he  had  great  expectations  in  the  world,  despising, 
its  allurements,  he  entered  the  order  of  St.  Francis  in 
the  county  of  Cavan,  and  made  such  progress  in  religion 
and  piety  that  he  passed  through  different  offices  in  the 
order,  and  was  made  father-minister  of  the  province, 
which  post  he  filled  with  the  highest  praise  ;  so  that,  from 
no  seeking  of  his  own,  but  the  solicitations  of  others,  he 
was  made  Bishop  of  Ardagh,  the  23d  of  January,  1576. 
Afterward  he  resigned  that  bishopric,  and  was  made 
Bishop  of  Kilmore.  Afterward,  according  to  the  custom 
of  the  province  of  Armagh,  by  which,  when  the  primate  is 

•  The  Fianciscans  have  never  abandoned  Multifamham,  and  still  own  the  old  church  (re- 
stored) an/"  tha  site  of  the  monastery,  with  some  remains  of  the  cloisters,  a  modem  house, 
which  is  now  the  monastery,  and  a  field. 

In  the  Reigii  of  Elizabeth.  173 

absent  or  the  see  of  Armagh  vacant,  the  senior  bishop  of 
the  province  has  the  title  of  Vice-Primate,  on  the  martyr- 
dom of  Dr.  Edmund  Gauran,  who  was  primate,  Dr.  Red- 
mond, Bishop  of  Derry,  held  the  office  of  vice-primate  ; 
and  at  his  martyrdom  it  passed  to  Dr.  Richard,  of  whom  I 
am  now  speaking,  as  the  senior  bishop  of  the  province ;  and 
after  his  death,  passed  to  the  holy  martyr  Cornelius, 
Bishop  of  Down  and  Connor.  These  things  I  thought  it 
well  to  mention,  lest  this  custom,  by  oblivion,  might  be- 
come obsolete. 

"  Dr.  Richard  was  old  when  he  was  made  bishop  ; 
throughout  his  life  he  was  most  religious,  and  never,  ex- 
cept when  the  duties  of  his  episcopal  administration  re- 
quired it,  lived  anywhere  saye  in  some  convent  of  his  or- 
der, and  generally  in  the  convent  of  Multifarnham.  He 
never  had  any  garments  but  such  as  the  brethren  com- 
monly wore,  and  always  took  his  meals  at  the  table  of  the 
community,  unless  when  the  coming  of  strangers  required 
him  to  remain  in  the  guest-house.  He  was  with  difficulty 
persuaded  to  give  up  the  practice  of  attending  chapter  and 
publicly  confessing  his  faults ;  he  attended  Matins  and  the 
other  offices  as  though  he  were  a  simple  monk.  He  had 
no  attendants  but  his  father-confessor,  one  secular  priest, 
and  two  monks.  I  saw  him  when  very  old,  and  he  was 
such  a  lover  of  austerities  that,  though  many  prudent  men, 
even  monks,  sought  to  persuade  him,  for  his  health's  sake, 
to  wear  linen  shirts,  until  his  death  he  never  would  wear 
aught  but  the  rough  habit.  He  was  much  given  to  prayer, 
and  strenuous  and  watchful  in  administering  the  episcopal 
office,  as  far  as  the  time  would  allow.  Thrice  was  he 
taken  prisoner  by  the  heretics  ;  the  first  and  second  times 
he  was  ransomed,  and  gave  great  edification  in  his  im- 
prisonment ;  the  last  time,  as  I  have  already  told,  being 
old  and  infirm,  he  was  despised,  stripped  of  his  clothes, 
thrown  among  nettles,  and  left  there.     He  lived  for  many 

174  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

years  after  he  had  resigned  his  episcopal  charge,  helpless 
and  childish,  but  gracious  and  amiable.  He  slept  in  the 
Lord,  in  the  year  1607,  in  the  month  of  September,  in  the 
convent  of  Multifarnham,  and  his  body  is  interred,  where 
he  himself  had  long  before  directed,  in  the  cloister,  where 
all  the  brethren  are  buried,  at  the  entrance  of  the  door 
which  leads  into  the  church." — Mooney,  p.  75. 

Philadelphus  narrates  the  martyrdom  of  Father  Moriarty 
and  the  imprisonment  of  the  bishop,  but  did  not  know  the 
date:  he  says  only  "about  1596." 


"  Was  of  a  noble  family,  a  theologian  and  priest,  and  vicar 
of  the  diocese  of  Killaloe.  He  was  a  truly  apostolic  pastor, 
and  when  the  wild  boars  ravaged  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord 
in  the  diocese  of  Killaloe,  (of  which  Malachy  O'Mollony  was 
bishop,)  he  feared  not  to  risk  his  life  for  his  flock.  He  was 
taken  in  the  district  of  Ormond,  where  he  was  visiting  the 
parish  priest,  and,  with  his  hands  tied  behind  his  back  like 
a  robber,  was  dragged  to  Dublin  in  the  midst  of  the  soldiers. 
The  reader  may  imagine  what  he  suffered  in  this  long 
journey.  (I  have  heard  much  of  it  from  my  mother, 
Margaret  O'Mollony,  a  near  relative  of  the  martyr,  and 
from  other  friends  in  my  country,  but  for  the  sake  of 
brevity  I  omit  much.)-  Hardly  was  Donatus  shut  up  in 
the  Tower  of  Dublin,  when  the  iron  boots,  the  rack,  the 
iron  gauntlets,  and  the  other  instruments  with  which  the 
executioners  tortured  the  confessors  of  Christ  were  paraded 
before  his  eyes,  and  he  was  asked  by  the  chief-judge  whether 
he  would  subscribe  to  the  queen's  laws  and  decrees  in 
matters  of  religion.  MoUony,  filled  with  the  spirit  of  God, 
answered  courageously  he  was  ready  to  obey  the  queen's  com- 
mands in  all  things  not  contrary  to  the  laws  of  yestts  Christ, 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  175 

ihe  King  of  kings,  and  his  vicar  on  earth.  The  judge,  like 
Pilate,  answered  :  '  The  queen  in  her  kingdom  is  the  only 
vicar  of  Christ  and  head  of  the  church  ;  therefore  you  must 
either  take  the  oath  of  supremacy  or  die.'  Mollony 
answered,  '  Either  Paul,  the  doctor  of  the  Gentiles,  and 
Christ  himself  in  his  gospels,  err,  or  the  queen  is  not  the 
vicar  of  Christ!  '  Then  you  will  not  acknowledge  the 
supreme  authority,  after  Christ,  of  the  queen  in  spirituals  ?' 
Bj  no  means!  said  Mollony  ;  '  a  woman,  who  may  not  speak 
in  the  church,  I  cajtnot  acknowledge  as  its  head ;  nay,  for  the 
truth  of  the  opposite  I  am  ready,  by  God's  help,  to  endure  all 
torments,  and  death  itself.  '  Very  good,'  said  the  judge  ;  '  we 
shall  see  to-morrow  if  your  deeds  correspond  with  your 

"  Next  day,  about  nine  o'clock,  the  executioners,  by 
order  of  the  judge,  so  squeezed  Donatus's  feet  in  iron  boots, 
and  his  hands  in  like  gauntlets,  that  blood  came  from  all 
his  ten  fingers. 

"  But  the  torture  failed  to  move  him,  and  during  it 
Donatus  more  than  once  returned  thanks  to  God  that  by 
his  grace  he  was  able  to  bear  the  torture  for  his  Son's  name. 
He  was  then  for  two  hours  extended  on  the  rack,  so  that 
he  was  stretched  out  a  span  in  length.  During  the  cruel 
torture  Donatus  continually  either  prayed  or  exhorted  the 
Catholics  who  were  near  to  constancy  in  the  faith,  which  is 
the  only  road  to  salvation,  and  for  which  he  was  ready  to 
shed  his  blood.  The  executioners  were  moved  to  tears  by 
the  patience  and  constancy  of  the  sufferer,  and,  by  order  of 
the  judge,  carried  him,  half-dead,  back  to  prison,  where  a 
few  hours  afterward  he  slept  piously  in  the  Lord,  on  the 
24th  April,  anno  1601." — Bruodin,  lih.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

176  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


"  A  PRIEST  of  Connaiight,  of  an  illustrious  race,  endured 
many  torments  for  the  Catholic  rehgion,  and,  worn  out  by 
sufferings  and  the  squalor  of  prison,  he  yielded  his  soul  to 
God,  in  prison,   in   Dublin,    isth   May,    1601." — Brnodin 

lib.  iii.  cap,  xx. 

— ♦ — 


"  Malachy  O'Mollony,  of  Thomond,  Bishop  of  Killa- 
loe,  a  pastor  unwearied  in  labor,  full  of  learning  and  apos- 
tolic zeal,  did  not  escape  the  satellites  of  Elizabeth,  who 
were  roaming  through  all  parts  of  Ireland.  He  was  taken 
in  the  castle  of  the  illustrious  hero  Gelasius  O'Saghnashy, 
dynast  of  the  Island  of  Guor  and  of  Knaleo,  and  was  led  on 
foot  through  all  Thomond  to  prison  in  Limerick.  In  that 
long  journey  he  suffered  unheard-of  insults  and  injuries 
from  the  brutal  soldiers.  He  spent  eighteen  months  in  a 
squalid  prison,  amidst  thieves  and  robbers,  and  his  con- 
stancy in  the  faith  was  firm  as  gold  tried  in  the  fire.  As 
his  constancy  remained  unshaken  by  his  sufferings,  he 
was  brought  before  the  tribunal  and  asked  whether,  as  be- 
came a  subject,  he  would  subscribe  to  the  queen's  decrees  in 
matters  of  faith.  Malachy  answered  that  it  was  not  com- 
petent for  Elizabeth  to  rule  the  church,  and  that  therefore 
he  recognized  her  authority  in  temporals,  but  not  in  spiri- 
tuals. Then  the  chief-judge,  without  any  further  examina- 
tion, sentenced  him  to  be  first  tortured  and  then  put  to 
death.  After  sentence  the  good  shepherd  was  taken  back 
to  prison,  whence  he  escaped  that  very  night  by  the  care 
of  his  uncle,  Gelasius  O'Mollony,  my  grandfather,  and,  re- 
turning to  his  own  people  in  Thomond,  he  changed  his 
dress,  and,  disguised  as  a  laborer,  and  hiding  from  the 
heretics  for  the  most  part  in  woods  and  morasses,  he  dis- 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth,  177 

charged  the  duties  of  a  bishop  for  some  years.  At  length, 
in  great  holiness,  worn  out  with  age  and  hardships,  he 
slept  in  the  Lord,  in  the  house  of  an  honorable  man,  Cor- 
nelius Bruodin,  Lord  of  Moyne,  (commonly  called  Mac- 
IJruodin,)  the  20th  July,  1603.',' — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

Anno  1602. 


"  It  was  intimated  in  many  districts  of  the  southern  pro- 
vince, in  1602,  that  such  of  the  clergy  as  pi;sented  them- 
selves to  the  magistrates  would  be  allowed  to  take  their 
departure  from  the  kingdom.  Two  Dominican  fathers^ 
and  forty  others,*  for  the  most  part  Cistercians  and  secu- 
lar priests,  availed  themselves  of  the  government  proposal. 
They  were  ordered  to  assemble  at  the  Island  of  Inniscat- 
tery,  in  the  vicinity  of  Limerick,  and  on  the  appointed  day 
they  were  taken  on  board  a  vessel-of-war  to  sail  for  France. 
No  sooner,  however,  had  they  put  to  sea  than  all  were 
tnrown  overboard.  When  the  ship  returned  to  port,  the 
captain  and  all  the  soldiers  and  sailors  in  her  were  cast 
into  prison,  and  all  the  officers  were  cashiered  by  the 
queen's  order,  that  she  might  seem  to  the  world  innocent 
of  that  atrocity ;  but  at  the  same  time  they  were  privately 
admonished  not  to  regard  this,  and  after  their  pretended 
imprisonment  were  rewarded  with  a  part  of  the  goods  of 
the  abbey  abandoned  by  those  so  sacrilegiously  slain  by 
them  ;  and  some  of  the  descendants  of  these  men  yet 
live  in  Ireland."! — Hib.  Dom.  p.  595,  who  quotes  O'Heyn, 
Efilogus  Chronol.  p.  18. 

*  De  Burgo  says  :  "  Forty-two  monks,  under  the  name  of  Bemardins,  two  fathers  of  oura, 
seven  clerics  of  ours  also,  came  then  from  the  convents  of  Limerick  and  K-illmallock." 

t  Incredible  as  this  atrocity  might  appear,  the  reader  who  will  look  in  this  work  to  the  yeal 
It  44  will  "see  that  in  that  year  another  captain  received  the  thankj  ot  Parliament  for  a  siinilai 

178  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


"  The  convent  of  Timoleague  is  near  the  sea,  at  a  small 
port  in  the  diocese  of  Ross,  eighteen  miles  from  Cork.  In 
this  convent  repose  the  remains  of  the  holy  martyr  Dr. 
Eugene  MacEgan,  a  priest,*  who,  while  he  was  officiating 
with  the  army  of  the  Catholics,  in  1602,  was  mortally  wound- 
ed by  the  heretics  and  left  for  dead,  but  was  carried  off  yet 
breathing  by  his  friends,  and  expired  in  great  sentiments 
of  zeal  and  charity  in  the  hands  of  a  priest  and  a  physician, 
who  both  declared  on  oath  that  they  perceived  in  the  place, 
while  he  was  expiring,  so  extraordinary  and  bright  a  light 
that  it  obscured  the  light  of  the  candle  which  was  there. 
He  is  buried  in  the  cloister  near  the  northern  and  western 
angle,  and  there  is  a  small  cross  above  in  the  wall." — 
Mooney,  p.  49.     See  also  Philadelphtis. 


The  following  account  of  this  holy  martyr  is  given  by 
Tanner : 

"Dominick  Collins,  a  man  who  showed  equal  courage 
when  serving  in  France  and  Spain  under  the  banners  of 
an  earthly  prince,  and  in  the  Society  of  Jesus  under  the 
banner  of  the  Cross,  was  born. of  noble  and  illustrious  pa- 
rents in  Ireland,  lords  of  a  town  called  Labranche.f  His 
name  while  living  in  the  world  was  O'Calanus,  (it  is  the 
custom  in  Ireland  to  prefix  the  letter  to  a  name  as  a  sign 
of  nobility,)  but  when  he  entered  religion  he  changed  it 
through  humility  to  Collins.:]:  When  he  had  attained  to 
manhood  under  the  training  of  his  pious  parents,  he  cross- 

*  "  Doctor  in  theology,  and  vicar-apostolic  of  the  diocese  of  Ross." — Pkiladelph. 

t  Philadelphus  calls  him  "  Yoghelensis,"  an  inhabitant  of  Youghal,  as  does  O'SuUivan,  p. 

X  Philadelphus  gives  his  name  as  Cullcn  ;  it  would  seem,  therefore,  doubtful  whether  hii 
&mily  name  was  O'Cullen  or  O'Callaghan  :  probably  the  latter. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elizabeth.  \  79 

ed  into  France ;  and,  inspired  by  the  generous  ardor  of 
youth,  he  determined  to  embrace  the  military  profession, 
induced  to  it  by  the  thought  that  in  the  army  of  the  most 
Christian  king  he  would  be  fighting  rather  for  Christ  than 
for  the  king,  for  France  was  at  that  time  torn  by  civil  strife, 
heresy  having  excited  sedition  ;  and  Dominick  served  for 
five  years  against  the  sectaries  who  had  taken  up  arms 
against  their  religion  and  their  king,  and  obtained  the  com- 
mand of  a  company  when  only  twenty-two  years  of  age. 
When  that  war  was  ended,  he  went  to  Spain,  where  he  was 
taken  into  the  army  by  King  Philip,  and  given  a  rank  suita- 
ble to  his  birth  and  services.  He  served  here  eight  years, 
mostly  in  peace,  but  turned  his  attention  from  external  to  in- 
ternal enemies,  and  sought  by  the  constant  use  of  the  sacra- 
ments, by  meditation  and  prayer,  to  overcome  the  interior 
enemies  of  his  soul,  and  to  overcome  his  body  by  mortifi- 
cation. His  piety  thus  daily  increasing,  he  began  by  de- 
grees to  conceive  a  desire  for  a  more  perfect  life,  and  to 
view  in  another  light  the  goods  of  this  world.  Having  de- 
termined to  enlist  under  the  standard  of  Christ,  he  only 
hesitated  as  to  which  of  the  various  orders  of  his  soldiers 
he  would  join.  He  was  at  first  inclined  to  join  the  Dis- 
calced  Franciscans,  from  love  of  the  strictness  of  their 
rule  ;  or  the  Friars  Preachers,  whose  order  was  celebrated 
in  Spain  ;  and  the  heads  of  both  these  orders,  knowing  his 
spirit  of  piety,  would  readily  have  advanced  him  to  the 
priesthood.  But,  after  having  long  and  earnestly  recom- 
mended the  matter  to  God,  he  determined  to  enter  the 
humble  Society  of  Jesus,  and  to  continue  in  it  in  the  hum- 
b'.e  rank  of  a  lay-brother,  as  though  unworthy  or  unfitting 
the  rank  of  priest.  When  he  arrived  at  Compostella, 
where  he  went  to  enter  on  his  noviceship,  in  a  handsome 
dress,  and  accompanied  by  a  large  number  of  friends  and 
servants,  as  was  fitting  for  his  birth  and  rank,  all  the  fa- 
thers judged  him  unable  to  undergo  the  labors  and  duties 

l8o  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

of  such  a  state,  because,  although  more  than  thirty  years 
of  age,  he  had  always  been  accustomed  to  be  waited  on, 
and  had  ever  lived  in  affluence. 

"As  he  perceived  the  common  opinion  in  their  counte- 
nance, he  sought  to  change  it  by  his  acts,  and  a  violent  in- 
fectious disorder  having  just  then  broken  out  in  the  college, 
although  he  had  not  yet  entered  on  his  noviceship  or  chang- 
ed his  secular  dress,  for  three  whole  months  he  most 
sedulously  attended  on  the  sick,  and  sought  to  be  em- 
ployed in  the  lowest  and  most  painful  services  with  as 
much  eagerness  as  he  had  formerly  courted  rank  and  digni- 
ties. After  he  had  gone  through  his  noviceship  and  taken 
his  religious  vows,  he  was  given  as  a  companion  to  Father 
John  Archer,  who  was  to  accompany  the  fleet  which  the 
most  Catholic  king  was  about  to  send  to  the  assistance  of 
the  Irish  Catholics.  Here  his  zeal  had  full  scope,  serving 
both  the  bodies  and  souls  of  the  sailors,  attending  on  the 
sick  day  and  night  like  a  physician,  and  exhorting  them  to 
patience,  persuading  those  who  were  well  to  the  practice 
of  virtue  and  the  use  of  the  sacraments.  Yet  outward 
occupations  did  not  so  engross  him  as  to  prevent  him  from 
meditation  and  prayer  as  if  he  were  in  a  college,  and  practis- 
ing continual  mortifications  both  at  sea  and  after  his  land- 
ing in  Ireland,  as  if  he  had  no  labors  to  undergo. 

"  These  voluntary  sufferings  prepared  him  to  endure  with 
courage  the  tortures  he  was  soon  to  suffer  at  the  hands  of 
the  enemies  of  the  faith  ;  for,  a  short  time  after  his  landins. 
he  was  taken  prisoner  in  the  fort  of  Beerhaven  by  the 
heretics,*  and,  contrary  to  the  law  of  nations  and  in  viola- 
tion of  their  pledges,  he  alone  was  put  in  chains  ;  for  the 
besiegers  had  guaranteed  the  safety  of  all  the  besieged  on 
condition  of  the  castle  being  surrendered  to  them,  and  had 
given  the  most  solemn  pledges  to  this  effect  to  Dominick 

« <f 

'  Beerhaven"  is  given  by  Philadelphus.     Tanner  has  "  vi9  arce  Dombugensi  ;"  but  h( 
constantly  makes  mis' ikes  in  the  orthography  of  Irish  names. 

In  the  Reign  of  Elicabcth.  /8i 

himself,  who  had  been  the  pacificator  and  the  messenger  of 
the  besieged.  But  they  seemed  to  consider  that  to  have 
seized  a  Jesuit  was  a  vindication  of  every  breach  of  faith 
and  perjury.*  His  hands  were  tied  behind  his  back,  and 
he  was  brought  to  Cork  by  a  troop  of  soldiers,  where  he 
was  thrown  into  the  common  prison.  He  lay  here  for 
three  months,  till  the  time  of  the  assizes  for  the  trial  of  all 
criminals,  when  he  was  to  be  tried. 

"  Dominick  would  not  appear  in  court  in  any  other  dress- 
than  the  usual  habit  of  his  order,  so  that,  if  any  other  cause 
than  his  religion  were  sought  to  be  assigned,  his  very  dress 
might  prove  the  contrary. 

"  Mountjoy,  Viceroy  of  Ireland,  who  presided,  made  great 
offers  to  him  if  he  would  join  the  queen's  army,  threatening 
him,  on  the  other  hand,  with  torments  and  death  if  he  per- 
sisted in  his  determination  not  to  deny  his  religion.  His 
friends  and  relations  also  sought  to  persuade  him  for  tfieir 
sakes  to  yield  to  the  circumstances  of  the  times,  and  not  to 
bring  destruction  on  himself  and  a  stigma  on  an  illustrious 
family,  saying  he  might  remain  in  secret  a  Catholic  and 
only  conform  outwardly  to  please  the  queen.  But  Dominick 
was  unmoved  alike  by  threats  and  promises,  and  declared 
he  could  not  in  such  a  matter  listen  to  them,  and  was  ready 
to  endure  every  torment  rather  than  deny  God.  Nor  did 
his  acts  belie  his  words,  for,  being  sentenced  to  death,  as 
guilty  of  treason,  he  returned  joyfully  to  his  prison  to  await 
the  time  of  his  delivery.  The  cruel  Mountjoy  was  anger- 
ed at  this  calmness  of  the  man  of  God,  and,  that  the  dajj 
which  were  to  precede  his  execution  might  be  full  of 
suffering,  he  ordered  him  to  De  tortured,  which  was 
contrary  to  law.  The  most  severe  torments  he  bore  as  if 
they  were  pleasures  and  favors  of  Heaven,  and  the  heretics, 
provoked  at  his  patience,  hastened  the  day  of  his  death. 

•  Philadelphm  siys  Beerhaven  was  taken  by  Sir  George  Carew,  then  commanding  ia 

x82  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

On  the  last  day  of  October,  1602,  at  dawn,  having  no 
respect  for  the  day,  which  was  Sunday,  they  led  him  out 
to  execution,  with  his  hands  tied  behind  his  back  and  a 
halter  round  his  neck.  He  walked  calmly  along,  with  his 
eyes  raised  to  heaven  and  his  mind  fixed  on  God,  reflect- 
ing on  Christ  bearing  his  cross.  When  he  arrived  at  the 
foot  of  the  gallows,  he  fell  on  his  knees  and  kissed  it,  com- 
mending his  passage  to  God  ;  then,  following  the  example 
of  the  martyrs,  he  prayed  for  his  enemies,  for  the  queen, 
and  for  his  country,  and  with  alacrity  and  a  cheerful  coun- 
tenance ascended  the  ladder.  Turning  round  on  the 
topmost  step,  from  thence,  as  from  a  pulpit,  (for  he  was 
dressed  in  the  ordinary  habit  of  the  order,)  he  began  more 
ardently  than  ever  to  exhort  the  Catholics  to  preserve  the 
faith  undaunted  unto  death,  and  disregard  alike  the  threats 
and  promises  of  the  heretics.  '  Look  up,'  he  continued,  'to 
Hesrven,  and,  worthy  descendants  of  your  ancestors,  who 
ever  constantly  professed  it,  hold  fast  to  that  faith  for 
which  I  am  this  day  to  die.'  These  words,  which 
derived  additional  force  from  his  high  birth  and  the  con- 
tempt he  had  shown  for  the  goods  of  fortune,  and  the 
position  in  which  he  stood,  were  most  powerful  in  encou- 
raging the  Catholics,  and  affected  even  those  who  were 
not  Catholics.  The  officers,  perceiving  this,  to  prevent 
any  further  effect  on  the  crowd,  ordered  him  to  be  thrown 
off  the  ladder.  Nor  was  he  allowed  to  hang  long  on  the 
gallows ;  for,  while  yet  breathing  and  palpitating,  the 
executioner,  in  punishment  of  his  constant  profession  of 
his  religion,  cut  open  his  breast,  and,  taking  out  his  heart, 
held  it  up  to  the  people,  uttering  the  usual  '  God  sav^ 
the  queen.'  Thus  this  last  victim  to  God  in  Ireland  in  her 
reign  preceded  the  queen,  guilty  of  so  much  innocent 
blood,  to  the  judgment-seat  of  God.*     On  the  following 

•  Queen  Elizabeth  died  on  the  24th  March,  1603 ;  but  her  death  brought  no  relaxauon  of  tba 




In  the  Reign  of  yames  I.  183 

night,  the  Catholics  collected  his  mangled  limbs  with  great 
pity,  and  consigned  them  to  the  earth  in  a  chapel  not  far 
from  where  he  suffered." — Tanner,  p.  55.  See  also  Phila- 
delphus,  and  Burgundian  MS.  Martyrol.  Sac.  jFesu,  and 
O' Sullivan,  Hist.  Cath.  p.  239,  edition  of  1850. 

A.ivnn  160i. 


"  And  at  that  time  Vice-Primate  of  Ireland,  when  in  his 
seventieth  year,  was  overtaken  by  a  troop  of  heretical  horse 
who  wCTe  wandering  about  the  country,  and  by  them  pierc 
ed  with  many  wounds,  whereof  he  died,  in  the  year  of  oui 
Lord  1604." — Philadelph.  and  Mooney,  sub  init.* 


"  A  GENTLEMAN  of  One  of  the  first  families  of  Kilkenny, 
proved  his  constancy  in  the  faith  by  enduring  a  long  and 
painful  imprisonment  for  having  of)posed  the  desecration 
of  the  Dominican  abbey  f  in  that  city,  and  died  in  exile 
the  24th  August,  1604.  The  convent  was  restored  to  its 
sacred  use  by  the  piety  of  the  citizens  after  the  death  of 
Elizabeth." — Philadelph. 

Anno  leOB. 


"  This  Bernard,  or,  as  some  have  it,  Barnabas  Kerolan, 
appears  to  be  the  same  whom  the  holy  martyr  Cornelius, 

•  See  Renehan's  CoUec.  p.  274. 

t  The  celebrated  Black  Abbey  of  Kilkenny.     It  was  again  restored  to  the  Dominicans,  and 
the  church  repaired,  1864. 

1 84  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Bishop  of  Down,  mentions  in  his  list  of  martyrs  (which  I 
have)  as  having  been  hung  from  a  tree  at  Trim,  by  the 
heretics,  in  the  year  1605."* — Philadelph. 

Anno  1606. 


"  Eugene  O'Galleher,  a  Cistercian  abbot,  and  an 
alumnus  of  the  monastery  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  of  Asse- 
roe,  diocese  of  Raphoe,  together  with  Bernard  O'Truory, 
his  companion,  a  monk  of  the  same  order,  were  slain  by 
some  soldiers,  in  hatred  of  their  religion,  in  the  year 
1 606." — Philadelph. 

Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx.,  gives  date  14th  November. 


"  A  PRIEST  of  Leinster,  of  a  noble  family,  was  accused  by 
the  heretics  of  having  administered  the  sacraments  accord- 
ing to  the  Roman  rite,  and,  without  any  more  trial,  was 
hung  and  quartered  at  Dublin,  on  the  25th  January,  1606." 
— Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

Anno  1607. 


"  Nigel  O'Boyle,  of  the  Order  of  St.  Francis,  was  be- 
headed by  the  heretics  and  buried  in  a  monastery  of  his. 

•  Mooney  says  he  perished  in  1601,  on  the  8th  March,  "at  a  very  advanced  age,  being,  as 
was  supposed,  the  oldest  priest  from  his  oidination  in  Europe."  (Mooney,  w;^  t?.it.)  The 
difference  between  old  and  new  style  frequently  gives  rise  to  apparent  discrepancies  in  dates. 
as  is  noticed  by  Mooney  himself  in  this  place,  where  he  adds  o-d  style  was  observed  io  soma 
parts  of  Ireland,  the  Gregorian  calendar  in  others. 

In  the  Reign  of  James  I.  185 

order.  It  is  to  be  inquired  whether  this  is  the  same  whom 
the  Bishop  of  Down,  in  his  list  of  martyrs,  calls  Thady 
O'Boyle,  guardian  of  the  Convent  of  Donegall,  a  preacher 
and  confessor  slain  by  the  heretics  1607." — Philadelph. 


He  was  Vicar-General  of  the  dioceses  of  Dublin, 
Kildare,  and  Ferns.  He  had  been  cast  into  prison,  and  on 
the  22d  December,  1606,  a  formula  of  retractation  was 
proposed  to  him,  in  which  King  James  was  declared  to  be 
"  lawful  chief  and  supreme  governor  in  all  causes,  as  well 
ecclesiastical  as  civil ;"  the  bishops  "  ordained  and  made 
by  the  King's  authority"  were  acknowledged  to  be  "  lawful 
bishops ;"  and,  in  fine,  a  promise  was  exacted  that  he 
would  be  "  willing  and  ready  to  obey  the  king,  as  a  good 
and  obedient  subject  ought  to  do,  in  all  his  lawful  com- 
mandments." To  this  latter  promise  Lalor  readily  assent- 
ed ;  and  interpreting  the  preceding  declaration  as  merely 
regarding  the  legal  ordinances  of  the  realm,  he  subscribed 
to  them  also.  The  government,  however,  was  not  as  yet 
satisfied,  and,  though  his  confinement  was  somewhat 
relaxed,  he  was  still  detained  in  custody.  His  friends,  on 
learning  that  he  was  indebted  for  this  leniency  to  his 
having  acknowledged  the  king's  supremacy,  were  filled 
with  indignation :  they  were  appeased,  however,  when  he 
protested  "  that  his  acknowledgment  of  the  king's  authority 
did  not  extend  to  spiritual,  but  was  confined  to  temporal 
causes  only."  This  declaration  of  the  vicar-general  soon 
reached  the  ears  of  the  lord-deputy,  and  hence  he  was, 
without  delay,  indicted  upon  the  statute  of  Prcemunire* 
tried,   and   found   guilty.      During    the   trial,  the   judge 

•  Whicl.  made  the  introduction  of  bulls,  or  holding  communication  with  Rome,  a  capital 

1 86  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

reproached  him  with  having  denied  the  doctrine  which  he 
had  by  his  signature  acknowledged  to  be  true.  The 
prisoner,  however,  by  his  courage,  made  ample  atonement 
for  any  weakness  he  might  have  heretofore  been  guilty  of. 
He  declared  that  there  was  no  contradiction  between  the 
document  he  had  signed  and  the  declaration  which  he  had 
made  to  his  friends :  he  had  acknowledged  the  king's 
authority  in  questions  of  social  order,  but  he  had  told  his 
friends  that  "  he  had  not  acknowledged  the  king's  su- 
premacy in  the  spiritual  order ;  and  this  he  still  affirmed 
to  be  true."  This  explanation  was,  of  course,  declared  by 
the  government  officials  to  be  mere  "  knavery  and  silliness ;" 
the  sentence  of  the  law  was  pronounced  upon  the  prisoner, 
and  in  a  few  days  another  name  was  added  to  the  martyrs 
of  Dublin. — Moratt,  Hist.  Archbishops  of  Dublin,  vol.  i.  p. 

Dalton,  Archbishops  of  Dublin,  p.  332,  says  the  sentence 
was  not  executed,  but  does  not  give  his  authority.  It  was 
certainly  passed. 

Anno   1608. 

"  He  was  Prior  of  Derry,  and  in  his  ninetieth  year  was, 
together  with  several  secular  priests,  hung  and  quartered 
by  the  English  in  the  market-place  of  the  town  of  Derry. 
His  brother,  William  Oluin,  another  religious  of  the  Friars 
Preachers,  was  also  hung  for  the  faith  a  short  time  before 
the  martyrdom  of  the  prior,  as  is  mentioned  by  Peter  Mal- 
phaeus.  Prior  of  Brussels." — Hib.  Dom.  p.  559,  and  Dom.  a 
Rcsario,  cap.  ix. 

Anno  1610. 


I  GIVE  his  life  from  Roothe,  De  Processu  Martyriali. 
"Sir  John  Burke  was  of  noble  birth,  and  had  inherited. 

In  the  Reign  of  yames  I.  187 

together  with  the  lordship  of  Brittas,  (De  Bretasio,)*  seve- 
ral other  estates  in  the  same  neighborhood.  His  wealth 
and  position  induced  Sir  George  Thornton,  an  Englishman, 
to  give  him  in  marriage  his  daughter,  a  young  lady  of  ex- 
cellent education,  named  Grace  Thornton.  After  some 
children  had  been  born  to  him,  he  conceived  a  desire  to 
travel,  more  especially  in  Spain — whether  that  he  consi- 
dered the  journey  thither  easier  than  elsewhere,  or  that  he 
thought  he  would  find  there  more  facilities  either  for  fur- 
ther travel  or  for  dwelling  there,  as  he  proposed,  for  the 
comfort  of  his  soul  and  peace  of  conscience,  and  security 
in  professing  the  Catholic  faith  ;  for  he  had  already  seen 
and  partly  felt  the  sufferings  which  weighed  on  Catholics 
in  his  own  land,  and  had  heard  from  trustworthy  persons 
of  the  splendor  of  the  divine  worship  and  the  liberty  and 
perpetual  peace  which  the  Catholics  enjoyed  in  Spain  ; 
and  how  that  nation  favored  his  own,  not  only  on  account 
of  the  similarity  (as  is  alleged)  of  their  origin,  but  much 
more  on  account  of  the  affection  created  by  their  profes- 
sion of  the  same  common  faith. 

"  While  John  was  thus  moved  by  these  reasons,  and  was 
privately  preparing  money  and  getting  letters  of  introduc- 
tion, his  servants,  guessing  his  intention,  desired  to  impede 
his  plan  ;  and  his  father-in-law,  having  heard  from  others 
some  hints  of  his  intended  journey,  made  use  of  all  his  au- 
thority, and  that  of  his  colleague.  Sir  Charles  Wilmot,  to 
put  a  stop  to  it ;  and  was  it  not  that  he  treated  him  more 
gently  because  he  was  his  son-in-law,  he  would  have  pun- 
ished severely  what  he  called  his  daring  attempt.  He  and 
Sir  Charles  Wilmot  were  joined  in  the  government  of  the 
province  of  Munster.  Being  thus  frustrated  of  his  intent, 
he  turned  himself  with  more  zeal  than  ever  to  a  course  of 
piety  in  his  own  country  and  amidst  his  own  kindred.     He 

*  Bruodin  (lib.  Hi.  cap.  xx.)  says  he  was  the  second  son  of  the  Baron  of  Castle  Connell,  in 
the  county  Limerick. 

1 88  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

attended  Mass  openly,  and  assisted  at  sermons  in  com- 
pany with  his  neighbors,  either  at  his  own  house,  when 
there  was  an  opportunity  of  having  a  priest  there,  or  in 
the  neighboring  town,  which  was  five  miles  from  his  house. 
And  neither  the  length  of  the  journey  nor  the  heat  of 
summer  or  the  rains  of  winter  could  prevent  him  from 
taking  this  journey  at  least  on  all  Sundays  and  feasts  ;  nor 
could  the  severity  of  the  persecution  keep  him  from  the 
participation  in  the  rites  of  religion.  By  degrees  his  piety 
and  zeal  for  the  Catholic  religion  so  increased  that  he  in- 
trusted most  of  his  domestic  affairs  to  his  wife,  and  gave 
his  whole  time  to  works  of  charity,  and  especially  to  es- 
corting on  their  road  and  forwarding  priests,  more  particu- 
larly those  of  the  Order  of  St.  Dominick,  and  by  this  means 
he  became  much  hated  by  the  Protestants. 

"  Thus  he  passed  his  time  until  the  arrival  in  Munster 
of  the  viceroy.  Sir  Charles  Mountjoy,  (Lord  Mountjoy.) 
At  that  time,  on  the  death  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  the  Catho- 
lics throughout  Ireland  tried  to  restore  in  the  various 
towns  the  public  exercise  of  the  Catholic  worship,  which 
before  they  had  only  practised  in  hidden  places  in  fear  and 

"  On  the  viceroy's  arrival  in  Limerick,  charges  were 
laid  before  him  against  Sir  John  Burke,  the  sum  of  all 
which  was,  that  he  had  been  a  leader  in  those  tumults  in 
the  city  ;  so  they  called  the  zeal  for  religion  which  the 
citizens  and  municipalities  had  shown  in  the  interregnum 
which  occurred  on  the  death  of  Elizabeth,  when  it  was  not 
certain  what  would  be  the  course  of  her  legitimate  suc- 
cessor. King  James — whether  he  would  imitate  the  exam- 
ple of  his  pious  mother  and  ancestors,  or  would  embrace, 
the  new  sect  instituted  by  his  predecessor.  And  as  there 
was  this  doubt  as  to  what  the  king  would  do — for  he  was 
despotic  enough  in  power  to  do  as  he  pleased — they  deem- 
ed themselves  free  to  come  out  of  their  hiding-places,  and 

In  the  Reign  of  yames  I.  i8g 

openly  show  their  affection  for  the .  Catholic  faith,  and, 
without  injury  to  any  one,  show  their  devotion  by  its 
public  exercise  ;  and  if  in  this  they  be  held  to  have 
acted  too  hastily  in  occupying  some  churches  without 
waiting  for  the  consent  of  the  authorities,  it  was  due  to 
the  fervor  of  their  piety,  not  to  any  malignity  or  spirit 
of  revolt. 

"  But  all  was  turned  into  crime,  and  the  viceroy  listened 
with  willing  ears  to  all  that  was  told  to  him  by  informers 
of  the  zeal  and  vehemence  of  Sir  John  in  this  work  ;  and 
he  caused  him  at  once  to  be  thrown  into  prison,  and  taken 
to  Dublin,  where  he  could  be  guarded  more  safely  in  the 
castle.  Many  interceded  for  his  release,  and  offered  to  be- 
come bound  in  any  bail  for  him  ;  but  all  their  entreaties 
were  rejected,  until  that  plague  was  raging  in  Dublin  which 
afterward  spread  over  almost  all  Ireland.  At  that  time 
the  chief-magistrate  and  the  council  of  the  kingdom,  and 
the  judges  and  all  the  officials,  fled  in  all  directions,  each 
seeking  his  own  safety,  and  waiting  till  the  plague  should 
abate.  In  that  terror  and  flight,  after  several  of  the  pri- 
soners had  been  carried  off  by  the  pestilence,  almost  all 
the  rest,  and  among  these  Sir  John,  were  set  free. 

"  While  he  was  detained  in  prison  he  gave  himself  wholly 
to  exercises  of  devotion,  reciting  the  canonical  hours  and 
the  rosary  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  pious  reading  and  medi- 
tation, in  which  he  seemed  so  absorbed  and  forgetful  of 
himself  that  he  heeded  not  the  mice  which  gnawed  his  bed 
and  pillow,  and  even  the  skin  of  his  neck.  Whenever  in 
the  night,  after  having  composed  himself  to  sleep,  having, 
as  he  thought,  said  all  his  prayers,  he  recollected  that  he 
had  omitted  through  forgetfulness  any  of  his  accustom- 
ed prayers,  he  at  once  got  out  of  bed  and  threw  himself  on 
his  knees  to  say  them. 

"  When  he  was  delivered  from  prison,  his  desire  for  per 
fection  continually  increased  ;  he  became  a  great  friend  of 

I  go  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

a  certain  father  of  the  Friars  Preachers  (Dominicans) 
named  Edmund  Halaghan,  by  whom  he  was  enrolled  in 
the  Sodality  of  the  Holy  Rosary,  which  had  been  recently 
erected,  and  most  regularly  observed  the  rules  of  that  con- 
fraternity, both  as  to  reciting  the  rosary,  frequenting  the 
sacraments  of  confession  and  communion  monthly,  and 
other  duties ;  and  his  fervor  so  grew  that  his  whole 
pleasure  was  in  the  society  of  ecclesiastics  and  pious  con- 

"  The  fame  of  his  piety  spread  through  all  the  neigh- 
borhood, and  came  to  the  ears  of  Henry  Bronkard,  Presi- 
dent of  Munster.  During  the  whole  time  of  his  presidency 
he  bitterly  persecuted  the  Catholics  ;  and  certain  men  who 
were  envious  of  Sir  John  stirred  him  up,  who  was  of  him- 
self indeed  willing  enough,  to  have  him  arrested.  Theo- 
bald Burke,  Baron,  and  Edmund  Walsh,  Knight,  who  was 
then  vice-lieutenant*  of  that  district  of  Limerick,  by  letter 
accused  Sir  John  of  being  a  harborer  of  popish  priests  and 
regulars  throughout  that  county  ;  they  added  that  he  had 
erected  an  altar  in  his  house,  as  in  an  oratory,  to  which 
crowds  of  people  of  both  sexes  came  from  all  parts  to  say 
their  prayers.  It  would  be  invidious  and  distasteful  to  me 
to  relate  what  befell  one  of  the  informers  ;  nor  is  it  for  us 
to  guess  what  will  be  the  fate  of  the  other,  or  indeed  of 
both,  unless  they  repent  by  times,  for  the  future  is  uncer- 
tain ;  but  'the  Most  High  is  a  patient  rewarder.'  (Ecclus. 
V.  4.) 

"  It  is  true  that  Sir  John  had  erected  an  altar  in  the  larg- 
est banqueting-room  in  his  castle  at  Brittas,  and,  to  leave 
it  freer,  he  moved  all  his  household  to  another  smaller  room 
This  he  did  that,  on  the  next  Sunday,  which  was  the  first 
in  October,  there  might  be  space  enough  for  the  crowd  of 
members  of  the  sodality  who  would  come  to  receive  the 

•  "  Vicecomes,"  which  generally  means  viscount,  is  here  apparently  used  for  vice-lieutenant 
of  the  county,  he  who  is  second  in  authority  to  the  lieutenanL 

In  the  Reign  of  James  I.  191 

holy  communion  ;  for,  according  to  the  rule  of  their  in- 
stitute, they  approach  the  holy  communion  on  the  first 
Sunday  of  every  month. 

"  The  president,  having  learned  all  this  from  a  trustworthy 
messenger,  sent  a  certain  Captain  Miller  with  his  troop  to 
apprehend  Sir  John  Burke  and  his  chaplain,  or  head  of  the 
sodality,  Father  John  Clancy,  (Clansaeus,)  and  carry  off'  all 
the  sacred  ornaments.  On  the  Sunday,  at  dawn,  Captain 
Miller  with  his  troop  of  horse  proceeded  to  the  land  of 
Brittas,  and  surrounded  the  house  at  the  moment  when  the 
priest  was  saying  Mass  before  a  great  multitude.  At  the 
first  noise  of  their  approach  the  terrified  crowd  fled  in  all 
directions  ;  but  Sir  John,  with  the  chaplain  and  the  sacred 
utensils,  fled  into  a  strong  tower  built  in  the  house,  ac- 
companied by  two  servants,  one  retainer,  and  two  women, 
who  had  joined  them  in  the  tumult.  The  captain  with 
his  guards  surrounded  the  tower  and  demanded  entrance, 
promising  that,  if  it  were  yielded,  no  harm  should  be  done 
CO  him.*  Sir  John  gave  him  no  answer  but  that,  if  he 
desired  to  enter  there,  he  should  go  to  confession  and 
become  a  Catholic  ;  if  not,  there  could  be  no  communica- 
tion between  Christ  and  Belial ;  for  '  without  are  dogs  and 
sorcerers,  unchaste  and  murderers,  and  servers  of  idols, 

•  Evidently  the  captain  ofifered  safety  to  Burke,  but  said  nothing  as  to  what  would  be  done 
with  the  priest  ;  and  tt  e  former,  well  knowing  what  would  be  his  chaplain's  fate,  refused  the 
proffered  terms.  This  is  also  shown  bv  O'Sullivan's  account  of  the  transaction.  He  says  ■ 
'■  Sir  John  held  the  castle  until  the  Mass  was  finished.  When  that  was  over,  the  priest,  dressed 
in  secular  habit,  went  out  in  the  crowd  of  people,  but  was  recognized  by  the  Protestants  and 
seized.  Sir  John,  mounting  his  horse,  with  his  armed  retainers,  rescued  the  priest  fi-om  the 
Piotestants.  For  this  he  was  soon  after  besieged  in  the  same  castle  by  five  troops.  He  held 
the  castle  against  them  for  fifteen  days  with  only  five  companions,  and  then,  being  pressed  by 
hunger,  he  broke  through  his  enemies  by  night,  and  having  lost  one  of  his  companions,  John 
O'Holloghan,  he  escaped  with  the  other  four.  He  was,  however,  taken  prisoner  by  the  Pro- 
testants a  few  days  later  in  the  town  of  Carrig-na-Suir,  which  is  in  the  county  of  Ormond,  and 
sent  to  the  city  of  Limerick.  Here  he  suffered  much,  for  many  days,  fi-om  the  darkness  and 
hith  of  his  dungeon,  and,  as  he  constantly  refused  to  hear  the  Protestant  preacher,  even  stop- 
ping his  ears  with  his  fingers,  and  preferred  the  Catholic  religion  to  the  title  of  baron  and  othei 
rewards,  and  even  to  his  life,  he  finally  suffered  death.  Jt  is  said  that  two  women,  who  were  accus- 
ed, the  one  at  Carrick,  the  other  at  Waterford,  of  having  concealed  him,  were  burnt  alive.  Il 
is  also  related  that  two  other  women  were  burnt  at  Limerick,  the  one  for  havirp  said  that  th« 
king's  laws  were  unjust,  the  other  for  having  concealed  a  priest." 

192  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

and  every  one  that  loveth   and  maketh  a  lie.'     (Apocal. 
xxii.  15.) 

"  Sir  John,  having  given  this  answer,  desired  the  captain 
and  his  troop  to  depart,  for  that  neither  he  nor  the  priest 
should  ever  fall  into  their  hands.  His  wife  and  mother 
implored  him  to  surrender,  and  admit  the  king's  troops. 
But  their  words  fell  on  deaf  ears,  for  he  would  neither 
let  them  in  nor  come  out.  The  vice-heutenant,  hearing 
of  the  disturbance,  came  to  the  spot  with  his  forces.  He 
stormed  and  threatened,  and  set  fire  to  the  houses  of  the 
retainers  round  the  castle,  and  tried  to  set  fire  to  the  roof 
of  the  castle  itself,  but  could  not  make  them  come  out. 
After  a  few  days  of  siege,  Sir  John  armed  the  two  servants 
I  have  spoken  of,  together  with  the  one  follower,  and, 
taking  the  ornaments  of  the  altar  under  his  arm  lest 
they  should  be  exposed  to  profanation,  with  his  casque  on 
his  head,  his  shield  on  his  left  arm,  and  his  sword  in  the 
right  hand,  he  ordered  those  three  to  follow  him,  and, 
throwing  open  the  door  of  the  tower,  suddenly  dashed  off  to 
the  bank  of  the  neighboring  stream,  having  first  sent  oif 
the  chaplain  to  a  safe  place,  and  agreed  with  his  followers  on 
a  trysting-place  if  they  should  escape.  Having  crossed 
over  a  murmuring  weir-head,  he  reached  the  land  ;  but  the 
noise  was  heard  by  the  guards,  who  seized  their  arms  and 
pursued  him.  In  order  to  run  quicker,  he  hid  the  sacred 
load  which  he  had  under  his  arm  in  the  brambles  and  long 

"  He  succeeded  in  evading  his  pursuers,  having  lost  two  of 
his  companions,  and  reached  a  distant  seaport  in  safety, 
probably  with  the  hope  of  sailing  from  that  port  before  the 
news  would  spread  or  the  place  of  his  hiding  become  known. 
But  finding  no  opportunity  of  so  doing,  he  retired  to  an 
inland  town,  and,  public  orders  regarding  him  having  been 
published  throughout  several  counties,  he  was  betrayed  by 
a  woman  at  Carrick-on-Suir,  and  taken  and  thrown  into 

In  the  Reign  of  James  I.  193 

prison  by  the  governor  of  that  town.  When  his  wife,  who 
was  with  child,  was  allowed  to  visit  him  in  prison,  there  was 
nothing  he  more  earnestly  urged  upon  her  than  to  hold  to 
the  true  faith,  to  serve  God  and  to  honor  his  blessed 
Mother,  and  to  avoid  all  intercourse  with  heretics.  Sir 
John  so  fled  from  all  communication  with  heretics,  that  he 
would  remind  us  of  Polycarp  against  Marcion,  whom  he 
called  the  eldest  born  of  Satan,  and  St.  John  fleeing  from 
the  bath  when  Cerinthus  entered.  In  order  the  better  to 
strengthen  his  wife  and  instruct  her  in  her  duty,  he  gave  her 
a  letter  to  Father  Edmund  Halaghan,  the  director  of  the  so- 
dality, (in  which  he  had  himself  been  some  time  enrolled.) 
beseeching  him  to  instruct  her  and  watch  over  her.  She 
was  so  eager  to  please  her  husband  that,  although  little  fit 
for  such  a  journey,  not  being  far  from  her  time,  she  travelled 
from  Carrick  to  Waterford,  and,  not  finding  him  there,  on  to 
Kilkenny,  and  that  at  the  most  inclement  season  of  the 
year.  A  troop  of  horse  was  sent  to  escort  him  from  Carrick 
by  the  president,  who  was  then  at  Cork,  and  they  were 
ordered  to  bring  him  to  Limerick,  where  the  president 
was  a  few  days  later  to  hold  a  general  jail  delivery. 

"Sir  John  so  abhorred  holding  any  intercourse  with  the 
Protestant  soldiers  that  he  would  neither  speak  .to  them  nor 
salute  them ;  nor  when  he  entered  an  inn  on  the  road,  or 
left  the  prison,  or  was  tied  on  a  car,  would  he  utter  one 
word.  So  also,  when  he  was  put  on  his  trial,  and  accused 
of  many  things,  and  especially  of  having  slain  a  soldier  by  a 
gunshot  when  he  was  besieged  in  his  castle,  he  answered 
not  a  word,  and  imitated  him  who,  as  a  lamb  before  his 
shearers,  opened  not  his  mouth.  The  president,  like  Pilate, 
sought  to  extract  an  answer  from  him,  and  declared  he 
sought  not  his  life  or  goods,  and  would  treat  him  with 
great  kindness  if  only  he  would  yield  to  the  king's  will  in 
matters  of  religion  and  faith.  On  his  refusal  to  obey  the 
king  in  matters  of  faith,  or  to  abandon  the  path  of  duty 

194  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

in  which  he  had  been  brought  up,  he  was  condemned  to 

"  What  was  very  remarkable  about  this  matter  was,  thai 
the  two  judges  whose  duty  it  was  to  pronounce  sentence — 
namely,  the  justices  of  the  province — touched  with  compunc- 
tion, evaded  doing  so  ;  and  in  consequence,  by  the  despotic 
order  of  the  president,  the  judge  who  by  virtue  of  an  extra- 
ordinary commission  sat  to  try  him  was  Dominick  Sarceville, 
(Sarcevilius,)  who  was  then  king's  procurator  or  fiscal  advo- 
cate of  the  province  of  Munster,  and  a  judge  in  the  Court 
of  Common  Pleas.* 

"  He,  indeed,  appeared  to  the  spectators  to  be  unwilling 
about  this  matter,  and,  looking  up  toward  heaven,  to  be 
touched  by  remorse  of  conscience  ;  but,  fearing  to  resist  the 
authority  of  the  president,  he  went  through  his  duty  as 
judge,  and  interrogated  the  accused  whether  he  would  obey 
the  will  of  the  king  and  conform.  He  unfearingly  and  un- 
hesitatingly answered  that  he  could  acknowledge  no  king 
or  queen  against  Christ,  the  King  of  heaven,  and  the  Queen 
of  heaven,  his  Mother  ;  and  that  whoever  sought  to  turn 
him  away  from  the  true  worship  and  honor  due  to  both, 
far  from  deserving  to  be  obeyed,  deserved  neither  honoi 
nor  assent ;  and  that  whoever  would  act  otherwise  was  not  a 
servant  of  God,  but  a  slave  of  the  devil.  Here  I  may 
remind  my  hearers  of  the  bold  speech  of  the  martyr 
Genesius,  who,  when  he  was  urged  by  the  persecutors  to 
renounce  Christ  and  obey  the  emperor,  answered  his 
tormentor  in  these  words  :  '  There  is  no  king  but  Christ ; 
and  were  you  to  slay  me  for  this  a  thousand  times,  you 
cannot  tear  him  from  my  heart  or  mouth.'  With 
similar  confidence  did  John  seek  to  deliver  himself  from 
the  importunity  of  the  judge  ;  and  in  language  not  dis- 
similar does  the  apostle  speak  of  God  alone,  immortal  and 

•  "  Antecessor  in  CuriS  Communium  Placitorum  TCgni."     I  do  not  know  if  I  h.tve  rifilitlT 
translated  "antecessor." 

In  the  Reign  of  y antes  T.  195 

invisible,  the  King  of  ages  ;  and  of  Christ  himself,  that  no 
one  is  good  but  God  alone  ;  and  forbids  us  to  call  any  on 
earth  our  father,  as  there  is  one  Father  of  all,  who  is  in 
heaven.  And  St.  Francis,  when  his  father,  in  the  presence 
of  the  Bishop  of  Assisi,  would  compel  him  to  take  his 
inheritance,  cast  off  even  his  garment,  saying  that  for  the 
future  he  could  more  freely  say,  '  Our  Father  who  art  in 
heaven.'  So  John,  when  solicited  to  deny  Christ  and  his 
blessed  Mother,  and  his  spouse  the  Catholic  Church, 
hesitated  not  to  say  that  to  do  so  was  not  the  part  of  a 
just  judge  or  king,  and  he  preferred  rather  to  disobey  one 
than  the  other,  and  preferred  heaven  to  earth. 

"  Sarcevilius  then  declared  he  was  guilty  of  high  treason, 
and  pronounced  on  him  sentence  of  death  in  this  form :  to 
be  hanged  and  then  beheaded,  and  his  body  divided  into 
four  parts.  This  sentence  he  received  with  a  cheerful 
countenance,  and  made  no  answer,  save  that  he  rejoiced 
that  those  who  could  so  torture  and  insult  the  body  had 
no  power  over  the  soul;  and  he  further  expressed  his 
aversion  to  heresy,  and  faithfulness  in  obedience  to  the 
Apostolic  See,  in  whose  holy  communion  he  wished  to 

"  He  was  carried  in  a  cart  to  the  place  of  execution,  out- 
side the  city,  and  then  he  asked  to  be  let  down  and  per- 
mitted to  approach  on  his  knees  for  the  space  of  about  a 
furlong*  to  the  gallows. 

"  When  his  request  was  granted,  he  commended  himself 
to  the  saints  with  the  greatest  fervor,  and  showed  as  much 
consolation  and  alacrity  as  if  he  were  going  to  a  feast.  Truly 
rnay  we  say  he  was  bidden  to  a  feast,  at  which  Christ  himself 
was  to  minister,  and  girding  himself  to  make  those  sit  down 
in  the  kingdom  of  his  Father  who  in  an  earthly  kingdom 
would  not  bend  the  knee  to  Baal,  but  chose  rather  to  offend 

•  He  uses  the  Persum  word  parasang,  an  uncertain  measure. 

196  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  presidents  and  princes  and  judges  of  this  world  than 
to  disobey  the  Judge  of  the  world  to  come,  by  whom  judges 
themselves  shall  be  judged,  and  kings,  if  they  err,  be  cor- 
rected, either  here  or  hereafter. 

"  One  day  judges  another,  but  the  last  judges  all.  When 
Sir  John  was  hung,  some  noblemen,  among  others  Sir 
iThomas  Broune,  entreated  the  president  that,  when  taken 
down  from  the  gallows,  he  might  not  be  cut  in  pieces,  and 
their  request  was  granted,  and  his  friends  and  relatives 
carried  him  into  the  city,  and  buried  him  in  the  church  of 
St.  John,  at  Limerick,  about  the  20th  October,  a.d.  1607." 

He  is  mentioned  also  by  Dominick  a  Rosario  ;  Carve, 
p.  315  ;  and  Hib.  Dom.,  p.  565  ;  but  they  add  nothing  to  the 
facts  given  by  Roothe  and  O'Sullivan.  Bruodin  (lib.  iii. 
cap.  XX.)  gives  a  long  life  of  him,  substantially  agreeing 
with  that  of  Roothe,  wkich  he  says  he  took  from  a  manu- 
script life  of  Sir  John,  in  his  possession,  written  by  Father 
Matthew  Crahy,  his  confessor,  afterward  vicar-general  of 
the  diocese  of  Killaloe. 


Of  him  Dominick  a  Rosario  writes : 

"  Have  we  not  also  the  history  of  the  martyrdom  of  John 
Graves,  doctor  in  theology,  who,  being  accused  of  having 
written  a  defence  of  the  pope's  supremacy,  was  arraigned 
before  an  iniquitous  tribunal .'  Will  not  the  blood  of  this 
man  cry  aloud  to  Heaven  till  this  world  has  grown  hoary  ? 
When  arraigned  before  his  judges,  and  interrogated  by 
them,  here  was  his  answer  :  '  See  you,'  said  he,  '  this 
thumb,  fore-finger,  and  middle  finger .'  With  them  I 
wrote  this  writing.  I  do  not  repent  of  having  done  so,  nor 
does  it  grieve  me  to  be  charged  with  it,  nor  do  I  blush  to 
acknowledge  it.'     He  was  then  sentenced  to  die,  and  his 

In  the  Reign  of  y antes  I.  1^7 

right  hand  to  be  burned  ;  but,  wonderful  to  relate,  the 
hand  was  burnt,  but  those  three  fingers  remained  unin- 
jured."— Dom.  a  Rosario,  p.  163. 


"  A  VERY  aged  Franciscan  priest,  was  seized  in  Drogheda, 
at  the  foot  of  the  altar,  after  saying  Mass.  When  he  was 
conducted  a  prisoner  through  the  streets,  the  women  rose, 
rushed  in  crowds  from  all  quarters  of  the  town,  and  by 
repeated  volleys  of  stones  and  other  missiles  rescued  him 
from  the  soldiery.  Father  Francis,  however,  being  con- 
scious of  no  crime,  and  fearing  lest  the  vengeance  of  the 
government  might  fall  on  the  Catholics  of  Drogheda, 
surrendered  himself  voluntarily,  and,  being  conducted  to 
Dublin,  was  arraigned  in  his  habit  before  the  lord-chan- 
cellor, the  Protestant  Archbishop  of  Dublin.  The  captain 
of  the  escort  interposed  in  behalf  of  Father  Helan ;  and 
stated,  moreover,  that  he  himself  had  never  been  in  such 
danger  of  his  life  as  from  the  women  of  Drogheda.  Not- 
withstanding this  interposition,  and  although  no  crime 
was  imputed  to  him,  the  aged  priest  was  thrown  into  prison, 
where  he  had  to  suffer  for  six  weary  months." — Mooney,  ap. 
Moran,  Hist.  Archbishops  of  Dublin,  vol.  i.  p.  246 ;  also 
Wadding,  Annals. 




"  Of  Wexford,  a  pious  priest,  persevered  courageously  in 
instructing  the  Catholics  entrusted  to  his  care,  at  the  risk 
of  his  life  ;  and,  being  taken  by  the  heretics,  he  was  hung 
and  quartered  at  Dublin,  the  12th  November,  1610."— 
Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

198  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Anno  161S. 




I  eiVE  first  his  life  from  Roothe,  as  it  is  not  to  be  hid 
in  Ireland  : 

" '  How  shall  I  worthily  praise,  O  holy  martyrs !  your 
courage  and  perseverance  in  the  faith  ?  You  endured  to 
the  end  the  sharpest  tortures,  and  yielded  not  to  t>>e 
torments,  but  rather  the  torments  yielded  to  you.'  (St. 
Cyprian,  lib.  ii.  epist.  2.)  I  speak  here  of  Cornelius 
Dovany,  Bishop  of  Down  and  Connor,  and  his  com- 
panion, Patrick  Locheran,  a  priest  of  Ulster ;  joined  i.*". 
affection,  and  even  in  death,  their  history  shall  not  be 
divided.  Great  as  is  the  distance  on  earth  between  a 
bishop  and  a  simple  priest,  it  is  just  that  we  should  com- 
memorate on  one  day  the  birth  to  a  heavenly  life  of  those 
on  whom  Christ  our  Lord  bestowed  in  one  day,  and  un- 
der the  same  persecutor,  the  martyr  s  palm.  They  were 
sentenced  to  death  by  an  unjust  judgment,  under  Arthur 
Chichester,  Viceroy.  They  suffered  death  in  the  city  of 
Dublin,  anno  161 1,  on  the  ist  day  of  February. 

"  In  thinking  of  them  I  am  reminded  of  the  holy  Pope 
Sixtus,  and  Laurence  the  Levite.  The  more  advanced  in 
age  and  in  rank  met  death  first  ;  the  other  obediently  and 
courageously  followed  his  father  and  his  bishop.  Sixtus 
consoled  Laurence  in  a  strange  manner  by  telling  him  there 
remained  for  him  yet  greater  sufferings  for  Christ,  and  that 
he  would  follow  him  after  three  days.  Cornelius  consoled 
Patrick  by  telling  him  that  he  would  follow  him,  not  in  three 
days,  but  in  three  minutes,  by  the  same  ladder  and  the 
same  death,  he  would  ascend  to  the  same  palm  of  martyr- 
dom. Sixtus  forewarned  Laurence  of  his  more  "-rievous 
sufferings.     Patrick  was  pressed  to  apostatize  by  Secretary 

In  tht  Reign  of  James  L  199 

Challoner  and  his  satellites,  being  shown  the  headless  and 
bleeding  body  of  his  bishop,  to  strike  him  with  the  fear  of 
death  ;  but,  firmly  fixed  on  the  rock  of  faith,  he  looked 
unmoved  on  the  blood  of  his  beloved  bishop,  and  drew 
strength  for  his  own  passion  from  the  sight. 

"  Cornehus,  having  embraced  the  rule  of  St.  Francis 
from  his  youth,  almost  before  he  had  attained  liis  twentieth 
year,  was  a  pattern  of  piety  and  patience,  and  having  been 
raised  to  the  episcopal  dignity,*  labored  strenuously  to 
fulfil  its  duties.  At  length  he  was  taken  prisoner  and 
thrown  into  prison,  in  Dublin  Castle,!  and  was  there  kept 

♦Appointed  to  the  united  sees  of  Down  and  Connor,  z6th  April,  1582. — Acta  Cojisisto- 

t  Two  unpublished  manuscripts  in  the  Burgundian  Library,  Brussels,  contain  much  valuable 
information  relating  to  the  martyrdom  of  Bishop  Cornelius.  The  one  is  entitled  Com- 
pendmTn  of  the  Martyrdom  of  the  Right  Rev,  Father  Cornelius  O^Doveany,  of  the  Order  of 
Friars  Mifwrs,  Bishop  of  Down  and  Connor^  and  of  his  Chaplain^  extracted  from  the  letters 
sent  from  Ireland  to- i/te  Irish  Friars  Minors  in  Louvain.  It  is  numbered  2167,  pp.  421. 
The  second  is  a  letter  from  Father  Thomas  Fleming,  Dominican,  dated  Dundalk,  15th  April, 
(old  style,)  1612,  and  evidently  addressed  to  a  Dominican  father  in  Louvain.  It  is  numbered 
2167,  pp.  415.  These  two  contemporary  accounts  fully  confirm  the  statements  of  Roothe  and 
O'Sullivan  ;  indeed,  it  is  probable  they  were  consulted  by  the  former.  As,  however,  they  give 
some  new  and  striking  facts,  I  will  here  give  some  extracts  from  each. 

From  the  Compendium.:  "During  the  whole  time  the  bishop  was  in  prison,  he  almost  daily 
said  Mass,  making  use  of  ornaments  secretly  conveyed  into  the  prison  by  some  Catholics.' 
He  was  often  seen  by  some  of  ours  bathed  in  tears  in  mental  prayer,  and  was  heard  by  his 
fellow-captives  in  his  prayer  to  break  out  into  these  words:  'O  Lord  God  I  through  thy  great 
mercy,  grant  me,  thy  servant,  to  lay  down  my  life  for  thee,  as  thou  didst  lay  down  thy  life 
on  the  cross  for  me,  thy  wretched  creature  ;  and  grant  me  to  end  my  days  for  the  confessioti  ol 
*hi'  name  either  by  the  sword  of  the  heretic  or  in  this  prison.'  He  often  said  to  noble  Catho- 
Jics  who  visited  him  that  he  would  prefer  life  in  prison  to  freedom,  were  in  not  for  the  good  of 
his  flock.  .  .  .  The  bishop  and  priest  were  placed  in  two  separate  carts,  and,  as  they  went,  the 
bishop  frequently  called  out,  '  Hasten,  my  friend,  to  receive  your  crown  ;'  and  the  priest 
answered,  '  Behold  me  ;  I  will  not  hesitate  or  delay.'  The  people  thought  themselves  happy 
if  they  could  get  near  the  cart  to  receive  the  bishop's  blessing,  which  he  lovingly  gave.  For 
many  years  his  face  had  not  been  so  fresh-colored  nor  his  countenance  so  cheerful  and  amiable 
as  it  was  from  the  door  of  the  prison  to  the  moment  of  his  death.  When  they  came  to  the 
place  of  execution,  there  were  between  five  and  six  thousand  people  there.  The  place  of 
execution  was  on  a  hill,  and  the  two,  gettmg  down  from  the  cart  at  the  foot  of  the  hill,  knelt 
down  and  prayed  fervently.  Then,  to  the  admiration  of  all,  the  old  mac,  '\ilh  strong  and 
eaj^er  steps,  walked  up  to  the  gallows  and  embraced  and  kissed  its  beams,  as  did  the  i)rie!;t. 
All  were  astonished  to  see  such  strength  in  so  old  a  man,  (he  was  about  eighty  years  old,)  and 
one  worn  out  with  prison.      Then  he  asked   that  the   priest  might  go  first,  (for  he  had  a 

'  I  have  seen  such  sacred  vessels,  etc.,  myself  in  Ireland:  small  chalices,  which  unscrewed 
mto  two  parts,  and  could  be  carried  in  the  pockets,  and  thin  vestments,  which  roljed  up  in  a 
smaD  space, — M.  CR. 

200  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

for  about  three  years.  What  he  suffered  there  can  hardly 
be  told,  being  almost  without  clothing,  and  in  danger  of 
perishing  of  hunger  and  thirst,  had  not  necessity  taught  him 
a  mode  of  obtaining  relief  There  were  confined  in  the 
castle  prison  at  that  time  other  prisoners  for  civil  offences, 

iJiRtoral  care  for  his  companion,)  but  it  was  refused  ;  and  the  priest  said,  '  Go,  then,  before  Die, 
leverend  father,  and  truly  without  delay  will  I  follow  you.'  He  mounted  the  ladder  without 
assistance,  the  executioner  going  before  him.  When  he  had  mounted  four  or  five  steps,  he 
blessed  all  the  Catholics,  praying  that  liberty  might  be  granted  to  them,  and  then  prayed 
to  God  that  he  would  forgive  the  injustice  that  was  done  to  him,  and  that  for  his  part  he  freely 
imd  willingly  forgave  it.  So  also  did  the  priest.  Then  the  bishop,  taking  for  his  text  the 
words  of  St.  Paul,  'Though  an  angel  from  heaven  should  preach  to  you  another  gospel  than 
ynu  have  heard  trom  us,  believe  it  not,'  began  to  address  some  words  of  exhortation  to  the 
people,  but  the  councillors  who  stood  around  ordered  him  to  be  stopped  and  immediately 
thrown  off.  Then  gently  smiling,  he  kissed  the  ccrd,  and  himself  fitted  it  to  his  neck,  and 
covered  his  face  with  a  cloth,  and  held  out  his  hands  to  the  executioner  to  be  bound." 

Father  Fleming,  in  his  letter,  says :  "  About  the  same  time  that  my  Lord  Carew  came  here, 
an  edict  was  promulgated  against  all  Jesuits,  seminarists,  and  other  priests,  and  a  short  time 
before  was  taken  prisoner  the  Right  Rev.  Cornelius  O'Dovany,  who  afterward  received  the 
crown  of  martyrdom  :  he  had  reached  his  eighty-sixth  year.  The  evils  of  these  days  will  not 
admit  of  my  telling  you  all  that  befell  him,  but  I  will  mention  a  few  incidents.  As  he  was 
passing  in  the  cart  to  the  place  of  execution,  one  of  the  first  citizens  of  Dublin  threw  himself  on 
his  knees  in  the  midst  of  the  street  to  ask  his  blessing.  A  noble  matron  also  rushed  through 
the  solders  to  the  cart  in  which  the  holy  old  man  lay  to  ask  for  a  bit  of  his  girdle,^  to  whom 
he  willingly  gave  the  whole.  The  insoleqt  soldiers  reproved  her,  saying  she  should  be  put  in 
the  cart  herself.  (Thus  are  carried  about  those  who  are  taken  in  adultery  and  fornication.) 
She  answered  them  that  she  would  deem  it  a  great  honor  to  be  put  in  the  cart  with  so  holy  a 
man.  ...  A  number  of  minls'ers  accompanied  the  procession,  among  whom  was  one  ChnI' 
loner,  who  is  well  known  to  your  friend  Michael.  He  was  very  troublesome  to  the  bishop,  and 
as  he  was  just  mounting  the  ladder  said  to  him,  '  Confess  that  it  is  not  for  your  religion,  but  for 
treason,  that  you  are  doomed  to  death.*  'Nay,'  said  the  bishop;  'the  contrary  is  clearly 
seen  ;  for  there  stands  the  messenger  from  the  viceroy  to  me,  who  offered  that,  if  1  would  only 
once  enter  that  temple,  (pointing  to  it,)  not  only  life,  but  ample  ecclesiastical  revenues  should  be 
given  me.*  .  .  .  There  was  one  of  the  soldiers,  named  Robin  Divel,  who  bought  the  bishop's 
tunic  from  the  executioner  for  ten  shillings,  but  he  had  hardly  got  it  in  his  hands  when  tlie 
Catholics  with  their  knives  cut  it  in  divers  pieces  and  plucked  it  from  him,  and  though  he 
drew  his  sword  to  protect  himself,  it  was  no  use  in  such  a  crowd,  and  he  lost  the  tunic  and  his 

The  following  extracts,  although  not  refernng  to  the  death  of  the  bishop,  are  interesting: 
*'  It  was  expected  that  there  would  be  a  great  persecution  of  the  Catholics,  but  it  is  gone  off  in 
smoke  :  it  is  not  known  why.  Our  domestic  affairs  go  on  well  and  quietly,  and  we  are  very 
well  received  by  the  people,  as  are  the  other  orders.  Your  friend  Robert  is  an  earnest  worker, 
and  never  rests  from  his  labors.  Where  I  am  stationed  there  is  an  abundant  harvest,  for  1  have 
to  travel  through  all  Ulster.  However,  by  special  order,  I  have  preached  here  the  wh  .tie 
Lent,  all  Sundays  and  holydays,  in  a  house  prepared  for  the  purpose,  and  which  is  capabk  of 
holding  six  hundred  persons,  and  it  is  wonderful  how  niady  the  people  are  to  receive  ilie 
8t^.     During  the  week  I  have  frequently  made  excursions  to  the  neighboring  villages,  of 

*  "  Althwdgh  forbidden  to  wear  it  openly,  he  always  wore  the  habit  and  girdle  of  St.  Francii 
under  his  other  clothes." — CoinJ>endmtn 

In  the  Reign  of  James  L  20 1 

who  were  fed,  if  not  better,  at  least  more  abundantly,  at 
their  own  expense.  They  were  in  the  story  under  him, 
so  that  he  could  hear  their  voices,  but  not  see  them. 
Searching  about  carefully,  he  found  a  broken  bit  of  the 
flooring,  which  could  be  lifted  up,  and  through  this  hole  he 
spoke  to  them.  They  were  willing  enough  to  succor  him 
in  his  hunger,  but  had  not  much  to  give  ;  however,  they 
offered  him  a  bit  of  bread  and  a  drink  of  beer.  As  the  floor 
intervened,  Cornelius  made  a  cord  with  his  braces,  and, 
letting  it  down  through  the  hole,  drew  up  first  a  dry  crust 
of  bread,  and  then  a  cup  of  insipid  beer  ;  and  many  a  time 
during  these  three  years  such  aid  prolonged  his  life.*  We 
are  thus  reminded  of  the  prophet  Jeremias,  who  was  let 

which  you  may  judge  the  fruit  by  one  example.  After  one  sermon  on  the  right  way  of  con- 
fessing, and  after  I  had  published  the  indulgences  granted  for  that  time,  I  and  another  priest, 
the  parish  priest  of  the  place,  were  occupied  all  that  afternoon  till  midnight  and  the  next  day 
until  twelve  hearing  the  confessions  of  the  people,  many  of  whom  made  a  general  confession 
of  their  whole  life.  These  are  the  things  of  most  moment  which  occur  to  me  to  tell  you,  and 
if  I  shall  learn  any  other  pleasing  news  I  will  communicate  it  to  you.  I  desire  to  hear  some 
news  of  my  Louvain  friends.  I  wish  them  all  health  in  Christ,  and  pray  thepi  to  remember 
me  in  their  prayers.  My  best  salutation  to  Master  Lossius,  the  royal  prefect,  to  Peter,  to 
Vising,  and  Smith  of  the  Cross. 

"The  Convent  of  Dundalk,  15th  April,  (old  style  ;  new  style,  25th,)  1612. — Your  devoted 
servant,  Thomas  FtifMiNG." 

*  The  following  letter  in  the  State  Paper  Office  throws  much  light  on  the  bishop's  arrest, 
and  shows  clearly  that  his  only  crime  was  his  re^'gion  : 

"  Fytzwylliam  to  Burghley,  October  26,  1588.     Dublin. 

"Tt  may  please  your  Lordship :  there  is  a  prisoner  in  the  castle,  ooe  Cornelius,  Bishop  of 
Down  and  Connor,  who,  having  lately  escaped,  had  upon  his  apprehension  found  about  him 
a  commission — the  copy  whereof  your  Lordship  shaU  receive  enclosed — sent  from  the  Bishop 
of  Derry,  authorizing  him,  as  his  vice-primate,  to  grant  pardons  and  indulgences,  who  albeit 
a  most  pestilent  and  dangerous  member,  and  fit  to  be  cut-off,  yet,  being  informed  that  we 
cannot  here  otherwise  proceed  agains.  him  than  in  the  course  of  Praemunire,  I  humbly  beseech 
y^ur  Lordship's  directions  and  assistance  for  some  other  means  whereby  we  may  be  rid  of 
such  an  obstinate  enemy  to  God,  and  so  rank  a  traitor  to  her  Majesty,  as  he  no  doubt  is. 

"  Nos  Redmundus,  Dei  et  Apostolicse  Sedis  gratia  Deren.  Episcopus  ac  totius  Hibernis 
Vice-Primas,  Revido  Dnn  confratri  N^"  Comelio,  Dunen.  et  Coneren.  Episc, — Quonlam  prop- 
ter imminentia  pericula  ac  discrimina  intentus  vits,  personaliter  terras  illas  visitare  nequimus, 
aJ  dispensandum  cum  omnibus  cum  quibus  si  presentes  essemus  Brevis  ApostoHci  auctoritate 
ac  primitialis  dignitatis  vices  nostras  ad  annum  integrum  a  tempore  et  {sic)  presentium  tenore 
hujus  scrlptur^e,  committimus  ac  potestatem  absolvendi  omnes  ad  singulos  ad  se  concurrentes  a 
casibus  tarn  episcopalibus  quam  papalibus  in  foro  saltern  conscientix,  injuncta  eisdem  pro  modo 
culpas  salutari  penitentia,  ad  predictum  tempus  concedimus  et  indulgemus.— Dat.  in  ecclesia 
parochial]  de  Tamlar,  2  Julii,  1  ?88.    Redmundus  Deren.  Episcopus  ac  Vice-Primaa." 

202  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

down  by  a  cord  into  a  dungeon  wherein  there  was  no 
water,  but  mire,  that  he  might  die  of  hunger  ;  and  had  not 
an  Ethiopian  of  the  king's  household  taken  of  the  old  rags 
there  were  in  the  king's  storehouse,  and  let  them  down  by 
cords  to  Jeremias  into  the  dungeon,  and  said,  'Put  these 
old  rags  and  these  rent  and  rotten  things  under  thy  arms 
and  upon  the  cords,'  he  had  not  been  drawn  up  and  brought 
forth  out  of  the  dungeon.  And,  in  like  manner,  had  not 
the  holy  bishop  received  these  crusts  of  bread  and  furtive 
drops  of  beer,  he  had  surely  perished  of  famine. 

"  At  length,  by  divine  Providence,  he  was  released,  God 
so  disposing  that  his  freedom  of  body  should  bring  freedom 
to  the  souls  of  many.  But  a  very  short  time  passed, 
however,  when  the  royal  councillors  repented  them  that 
they  had  let  him  go,  and  they  sought  by  every  art  to  get 
him  again  into  their  power.  But  as  the  bird  which  has 
escaped  from  the  net  of  the  fowler  suspects  everything, 
and  flies  every  dangerous  spot,  lest  some  snare  be  there 
hidden,  so  he  walked  cautiously  and  guardedly,  lest  he 
should  again  fall  into  the  same  pit.  But  a  care  for  his  own 
safety  often  came  into  collision  with  the  due  discharge  of 
his  sacred  ministry :  he  always  preferred  the  salvation 
of  others  to  his  own  safety  ;  and  at  length,  after  several 
years'  labors,  he  fell  into  the  hands  of  those  who  deem- 
ed they  would  do  the  king  a  great  service  by  apprehend- 
ing him. 

"  He  was  seized  in  the  month  of  June,*  while  he  was 
occupied  putting  an  end  to  quarrels  and  confirming  the 
servants  of  Christ.  The  priest  Patrick  was  taken  prisoner 
the  same  month  in  the  port  of  Cork,  whither  he  had  lately 

*  O'Sullivan  says  he  was  arrested  June,  i6i  i,  and  executed  April,  1612  ;  and  this  '11  prob£.bly 
correct,  although  Dr.  Roothe,  in  this  work,  puts  his  death  in  161 1,  because  he  himself  ad- 
dressed a  letter  to  him,  as  in  prison,  on  the  17th  December,  161 1,  and  had  he  been  executed 
eight  months  before,  he  would  have  heard  of  it.  (Epistola  Parsnetica  ad  Episcopnm  Dunen- 
sem,  in  AnaUcia  Sacra  et  N'ova.)  Carve  puts  his  death  at  1614,  but  he  is  often  inaccurate. 
Father  Fleming  writes  of  it  as  recent,  (on  2Sth  April,  1612.)  Mooney  also,  wlio  is  very  accvi 
rate,  puts  his  death  at  1613. 

In  the  Reign  of  yames  I.  203 

returned  from  Belgium,  and  he  confessed  to  the  provincial 
council  that  he  had  been  a  companion  in  their  travels,  and 
had  administered  the  rites  of  the  church  to  those  lords 
whom  fear  for  their  own  safety  or  love  of  religion  had 
made  exiles  from  their  wide  domains. 

"  They  were  both  taken  to  Dublin  ;  the  priest  was  thrown 
into  the  vilest  dungeon,  the  bishop  was  kept  in  custody  in 
the  castle.*  Both  were  sentenced  to  death,  but  I  will  re- 
late more  at  length  the  manner  of  their  sentence. 

"  The  bishop  was  accused  that,  in  the  last  warlike  rising 
caused  by  the  Earl  of  Tyrone,!  he  had  followed  the  earl, 
contrary  to  the  obedience  he  owed  to  his  prince,  and  was, 
therefore,  guilty  of  high  treason  ;  the  more  so  that  he  had 
aided  by  his  counsel  and  help  the  earl  when  he  fled  with 
his  adherents. 

"The  bishop  endeavored  with  valid  reasons  to  answer 
the  principal  heads  of  accusation  ;  and  to  the  first  he  an- 
swered that  he  was  consecrated  a  bishop  to  labor  for  the 
salvation  of  the  flock  entrusted  to  him,  and,  as  his  bishop- 
ric of  Down  and  Connor  lay  in  that  part  of  Ulster  which 
Earl  Hugh  held  by  force  of  arms,  it  was  his  duty  to  labor 
as  best  he  could  to  direct  the  inhabitants  in  the  way  of 
salvation  ;  that  as  to  warlike  matters  he  neither  desired  to 
know  nor  knew  anything ;  and  had  he  advised  the  earl 
against  his  will,  he  would  not  have  heeded  him  or  held  his 
hand  for  any  remonstrance  of  his,  (the  bishop.)  As  far  as 
he  could  by  word  and  example,  he  had  led  men  from  vice 
and  to  follow  virtue,  and  had  labored  and  watched  to  this 
end  ;  but  was  not  ashamed  of  it,  nor  should  it  be  brought 
as  a  crime  against  him.  And  even  were  these  things, 
however  unjustly,  to  be  accounted  crimes,  he  could  defend 

•  He  was  less  rigorously  confined,  and  was  even  able  to  say  Mass  by  stealth. — See  p.  199. 

t  Hugh  O'Neill,  Earl  of  Tyrone.  To  the  bishop's  plea  that  the  Act  of  Oblivion  covered  all 
offences,  the  judge  answered  that  it  could  not  avail  him,  as  he  had  not  submitted  and  taken  the 
oath  of  allegiance  and  supremacy.  This  was,  of  course,  to  exclude  all  Catholics  from  its  benefit, 
as  they  could  not  take  the  oath  of  supremacy. — O* Sullivan. 

204  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

himself  by  reminding  them  that,  when  King  James  as- 
cended the  throne,  he  had  proclaimed  by  the  voice  of 
a  herald,  and  publicly  posted  up  in  writing,  a  pardon  for 
all  offences  and  crimes  before  committed.  He  could, 
therefore,  allege  a  double  defence  :  first,  that  what  was  al- 
leged against  him  was  no  crime  ;  secondly,  that  even  were 
it  one,  it  was  forgiven  by  the  king's  pardon.  That  such 
was  the  intention  of  the  king  and  his  council  in  publishing 
the  Act  of  Oblivion  is  clear,  as  otherwise,  instead  of  an  act 
of  clemency,  it  would  be  a  snare.*  Thus  the  bishop  clear- 
ly answered  the  first  head  of  the  accusation  ;  the  second 
he  replied  to  not  less  felicitously. 

"  As  I  have  heard,  a  false  witness,  a  son  of  Belial,  ac- 
cused the  bishop  before  the  tribunal  of  having  been  with 
Earl  Hugh  shortly  before  his  flight,  and  having  consulted 
with  him  as  to  the  road  and  manner  of  his  flight  and  the 
preparation  for  it.  The  holy  bishop  could  have  proved 
by  the  testimony  of  many  witnesses  that  he  was  not  in 
that  province  at  that  time,  nor  within  many  days'  journey 
of  where  Earl  Hugh  was,  so  that  he  could  not  have  been 
the  adviser  of  that  unfortunate  expedition,  from  which,  had 
he  been  consulted,  he  would  rather  have  dissuaded  them, 
or  had  they  been  bent  on  being  rather  exiles  than  pri- 
soners, he  would  probably  have  accompanied  them  in  theii 

"  Had  he,  however,  even  known  of  their  departure,  and 
given  them  food  and  assistance,  how  should  this  be  con- 
sidered a  crime,  since  these  great  lords  of  the  kingdom, 
leaders  of  the  nation  and  subjects  of  the  king,  were  not 
criminals  or  rebels,  were  not  even  accused,  as  far  as  he 
could  know,  of  any  plots  against  the  crown,  much  less 
convicted  of  crime,  but,  on  the  contrary,  had  just  returned 

•  I  h^ve  omitted  here  a  long  parap-aph,  in  which,  in  the  style  of  the  pericd,  and  with 
classic  illustrations,  Dr  Roothe  enlarges  on  this;  and  later,  also,  cne  or  two  other  lengthy 

In  the  Reign  of  James  I.  205 

from  the  English  court  with  the  favor  of  the  king  ?  But 
whatever  matters  were  thus  alleged  against  him  were  the 
pretext  for,  not  the  cause  of,  the  death  of  the  bishop  ;  the 
real  cause  was  in  the  mind  of  the  judge  and  his  assessor  ; 
another  was  outwardly  put  forward.  His  real  crime  was 
that  he  was  a  Catholic,  a  religious,  and  a  bishop  ;  that  he 
had  administered  the  sacraments,  preached  the  word  of 
God,  and  bore  the  habit  of  St.  Francis,  which  they  hated. 

"  But  not  even  the  guilty  should  be  condemned,  except 
in  accordance  with  the  laws.  I  do  not  speak  here  of  the 
difference  between  civil  and  ecclesiastical  tribunals,  or 
of  those  ecclesiastical  immunities  sanctioned  alike  by  im- 
perial decrees  and  the  canons  of  the  church,  and  which 
the  holy  martyr  of  Canterbury  defended  even  with  his  life, 
against  the  so-called  English  customs  and  the  Statutes  of 
Clarendon.  But  in  this  trial  the  provisions  of  English 
law  were  not  observed.  The  accused  was  not  allowed  his 
lawful  challenges  to  the  jurors.  The  questions  of  fact  are 
to  be  determined  by  the  jurors  ;*  but  only  strangers  to  this 
country,  English  and  Scotch,f  to  whom  the  accused  was 
unknown,  and  by  whom  the  circumstances  of  the  case 
could  not  be  understood,  were  allowed  to  be  on  the  jury. 
One  Irishman  there  was  on  the  jury,  who  is  said  to  have 
openly  declared  his  dissent  from  the  verdict,  but  he  was 
not  listened  to.  An  Irish  false  witness  against  the  bishop 
was  heard  and  believed ;  an  Irish  juryman,  who  \vas  for 
acquitting  the  innocent,  was  not  Hstened  to,  and  might 
deem  himself  happy  not  to  be  punished  for  upholding  the 

"As  soon  as  the  jury,  with  one   exception,   had  pro- 

•  Accorfing  to  the  old  English  law,  the  jurors  were  to  decide  irom  their  own  knowledge, 
•ided  by  the  evidence,  and  the  writ  directed  the  sheriff  "  to  summon  a  jury  of  twelve  men  from 
the  neighborhood  who  best  may  know  the  facts."  The  bishop  also  challenged  the  jurors  ai 
being  aliens,  and  not  freeholders,  as  required  by  law,  but  the  cliallenges  were  all  disallowed.— 
(y  S-ulUvan. 

t  And  men  no*  one  of  whom  was  worth  twenty  pence  of  revenae. 

206  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

nounced  their  unjust  verdict,  the  judge  pronounced  the  sen- 
tence that  'Cornelius  Dovany,  Bishop  of  Down  and  Con- 
nor, should  be  taken  back  to  prison,  and  then  drawn  in  a 
cart  to  the  place  of  execution,  there  hanged  on  the  gallows, 
and  cut  down  while  alive,  embowelled,  and  his  heart  and 
bowels  burnt,  his  head  cut  off.  and  his  body  divided  into 
four  parts.'* 

"  The  like  sentence  was  passed  on  the  priest  Patrick, 
If  you  ask  the  cause,  a  different  one  was  alleged  in  each 
case,  but  in  reality  there  was  but  one — the  Catholic  faith  ; 
and  although  his  enemies  suppressed  this  in  his  sentence, 
in  his  death  all-powerful  truth  drew,  however  unwilling,  an 
acknowledgment ;  for  as  the  heretics  loudly  upbraided  him 
with  having  been  condemned,  not  for  the  faith,  but  for 
treason,  he  by  an  ingenious  artifice  preserved  not  his  life, 
but  his  honor. 

"A  petition  was  written  in  his  name,  stating  that  he 
lived  in  the  province  of  Ulster  at  the  time  when  the  Earl 
of  Tyrone  involved  that  province  and  others  in  wars  and 
forays,  and  neither  on  account  of  that  sedition  nor  for  any 
other  cause  had  he  avoided  speaking  with  or  meeting  the 
earl  or  his  followers,  much  less  so  after  peace  had  been 
made.  If  in  this  he  had  erred,  and  if  the  Act  of  Oblivion 
published  by  the  king,  and  pleaded  by  him,  did  not  cover 
his  offence,  he  thus  craved  pardon  from  the  viceroy.  This 
petition  was  sent  in,  and  his  life  was  promised  to  him  in 
the  name  of  the  viceroy  if  he  would  write  his  name  to  the 

•  A  certain  pious  woman,  who  used  to  carry  food  to  the  bishop  and  the  priest,  which  was  sup 
plied  by  the  Catholics,  after  his  sentence  asked  the  bishop  how  be  was  in  health.  "  I  have 
rot  been  better,"  said  he,  "  these  ten  years,  either  in  mind  or  body.  My  only  wish  now  is  th.^t 
Cod  will  vouchsafe  to  take  me  to  his  heavenly  kingdom  by  martyrdom,  rather  than  per- 
mit me  to  be  worn  out  ia  prison  of  old  age.  You,  daughter,  have  done  me  many  services,  for 
which  I  thank  you,  as  1  may,  and  which  God  will  reward.  Do  me  this  further  service,  I  pray : 
When  I  am  slain  (as  God  grant  I  may  be)  have  me  buried  in  this,  (showing  her  the  Franascan 
habit.)  I  value  this  frock,  which  I  put  on  when  I  was  young,  more  than  the  insignia  ot  a 
bishop." — O^  Sullivan. 

In  the  Reign  of  jFames  I.  207 

"When  Saul  pursued  the  royal  prophet  with  deadly 
hatred,  (i  Kings  xxii.,)  and  he,  flying  from  the  wrath  of  the 
king,  turned  aside  to  the  priest  Achimelech,  and  was  re- 
freshed by  him,  and,  being  seen  by  an  Edomite  servant  of 
Saul,  fled  elsewhere ;  and  when  the  priest  was  sent  for  by 
Saul  and  accused,  saying,  '  Why  hast  thou  conspired 
against  me,  thou,  and  the  son  of  Isai,  and  thou  hast  given 
him  bread  and  a  sword,  and  hast  consulted  the  Lord  for 
him,  that  he  should  rise  up  against  me,  continuing  a  trai- 
tor to  this  day  ?  And  Achimelech,  answering  the  king, 
said :  And  who  amongst  all  thy  servants  is  so  faithful  as 
David,  who  is  the  king's  son-in-law,  and  goeth  forth  at  thy 
bidding,  and  is  honorable  in  thy  house  ?  Did  I  begin  to- 
day to  consult  the  Lord  for  him  ?  far  be  this  from  me : 
let  not  the  king  suspect  such  a  thing  against  his  servant ;' 
so  Cornelius  the  bishop  did  not  deny  that  he  had  been 
with  Earl  Hugh,  but  confidently  denied  it  was  any  crime  ; 
but  if  his  adversaries,  as  they  had  the  power,  wrested  it 
into  a  crime,  he  begged  pardon  of  them  and  appealed  to 
their  clem.ency  ;  but  if  they  desired  his  death,  he  besought 
them  at  least  to  spare  his  honor,  and  assign  the  true  cause 
of  his  death.  They  were  not  adroit  enough  to  avoid  the 
snare,  and,  seeking  to  avoid  the  charge  of  cruelty,  they 
made  his  life  depend  on  the  royal  will,  and  then  openly 
offered  him  life  if,  abandoning  the  Roman  Catholic 
religion,  he  would  embrace  their  sect.  When  the  bishop 
heard  this,  he  raised  his  voice,  and  called  upon  all  present  to 
witness  that  he  died  for  the  Catholic  faith  ;  that  he  would 
betray  himself  and  deny  God  if  he  were,  for  such  an  earthly 
offer,  to  abandon  the  faith.*     Having  thus  obtained  his 

*  "  T he  viceroy  sent  several  times  councillors  and  others  to  offer  the  condemned  life  and 
reward,  and  especially  to  thb  bishop  his  bishopric,  and  to  the  priest  a  good  living,  if  they  would 
•■enounce  the  Catholic  Church  and  the  authority  of  the  Roman  pontiff,  and  acknowledge  the 
king's  supremacy.  The  bishop  answered  that  it  was  far  greater  folly  to  try  to  persuade  him, 
a  man  near  eighty  years  of  age,  for  the  sake  of  a  short  term  of  happiness  in  this  fleeting  life, 
to  mcur  eternal  punishment,  than  to  have  advised  the  aged  Eleazer,  in  order  to  avoid  death,  to 
tat  swine's  flesh.    So  also  spoke  the  priest." — 0* Sullivan. 

2o8  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

wish,  and  made  his  innocence  clear,  he  despised  this 
temporal  life,  and,  eager  for  the  death  which  awaited  him, 
he  expected  with  the  lofty  spirit  of  a  Christian  the  triumph 
of  the  cross. 

"  As  is  the  case  with  martyrs,  his  piety  increased  with 
his  worldly  t^'oubles,  and  in  watching  and  prayer  he  await 
ed  the  day  when  he  should  be  called  to  die.  That  happy 
and  wished-for  day  at  length  came.  The  1st  of  February 
at  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  he  was  called  to  mount 
the  cart  which,  surrounded  by  guards,  stood  at  the  prison 
door.  When  the  holy  bishop  came  in  sight  of  that 
triumphal  chariot,  he  sighed  and  said,  '  My  Lord  Jesus, 
for  my  sake,  went  on  foot,  bearing  his  cross,  to  the  moun- 
tain where  he  suffered  ;  and  must  I  be  borne  in  a  cart,  as 
though  unwilling  to  die  for  him,  when  I  would  hasten  with 
willing  feet  to  that  glory  .'  Would  that  I  might  bear  my 
cross  and  hasten  on  my  feet  to  meet  my  Lord !'  Turning 
to  his  fellow-sufferer,  Patrick,^  he  said,  '  Come,  my  brave 
comrade  and  worthy  soldier  of  Christ,  let  us  imitate  his 
death  as  best  we  may  who  was  led  to  the  slaughter  as  a 
sheep  before  the  shearer.'  Then  bending  down  and  kiss- 
ing the  cart,  he  mounted  up  into  it,  and  sat  down  with  his 
back  to  the  horses,  and  was  thus  drawn  through  the  paved 
streets  to  the  field  where  the  gallows  was  erected.* 

"  Doeg  the  Idumean  may  come  with  his  emissaries,  and 
slay  the  priest  of  the  Lord  ;  the  priesthood  they  cannot 
slay  ;  our  religion  they  ca«not  take  away,  our  faith  they 
cannot  uproot,  our  constancy  they  cannot  weary  :  the  moni 
of  us  are  slain,  the  more  numerous  we  are.  As  Tertullian 
says  {Apolog.  c.  50) :  '  The  battle  to  which  we  are  challeng- 
ed is  before  the  tribunals  ;  and  there,  at  the  peril  of  our 
life,  we  fight  for  the  truth.  Victory  is  what  is  sought. 
That  victory  brings  with  it  the  glory  of  pleasing  God,  and 

•  "  Having  crossed  the  nver  which  washes  the  city,  they  cime  to  the  foot  of  the  hillock  on 
wtiicli  stood  tne  gallows." — O^ Sullivan. 

In  the  Reign  of  James  I,  209 

the-  spo'l  of  eternal  life.  Your  cruelty  profits  nothing,  but 
is  lather  an  incentive  ;  we  become  the  more  numerous  the 
more  we  are  decimated  ;  our  seed  is  the  blood  of  Chris- 
tians.' This  was  well  proved  in  the  martyrdom  of  the  bish- 
op ;  for  those  Catholics  who  before  his  imprisonment  and 
condemnation  trembled  at  the  sound  of  a  falling  leaf,  who 
feared  to  meet  a  Catholic  priest,  much  less  a  bishop,  and 
were  slow  to  harbor  one,  lest  they  might  thereby  incur 
danger  or  the  enmity  of  the  rulers,  now,  when  he  was  led 
to  execution,  poured  out  in  a  dense  crowd  from  every  door 
into  the  streets,  and  in  the  sight  of  the  councillors,  and  to 
the  indignation  of  the  viceroy,  fell  on  their  knees.  Men 
of  the  first  rank,  and  the  inhabitants  of  all  the  neighboring 
villages  and  castles,  crowded  as  to  a  solemn  sight ;  they 
saluted  with  reverence  the  bishop  as  he  passed  in  the  cart, 
and  begged  his  pontifical  benediction.  As  they  lamented 
his  death,  he  gently  consoled  them,  and  with  forcible  words 
exhorted  them  to  fortitude  and  constancy  in  the  faith  and 
all  Christian  piety.  Many  noble  matrons  came  and  la- 
mented the  death  of  the  bishop  ;  and  as  they  perceived  sev- 
eral of  the  king's  council  accompanying  the  procession  and 
showing  their  hostility,  they  boldly  exclaimed  in  their  hear- 
ing that  it  ill  became  the  king's  councillors  to  turn  execu- 

"  May  it  be  well  with  that  citizen  of  Dublin  who,  as  the 
bishop  passed  his  house,  fasting  indeed  from  morning,  but 
not  fainting,  brought  him  out  a  cup  of  wine,  and  prayed 
him  to  bless  him  and  his  household.  We  may  believe  he 
remembered  the  vision  in  which  his  mother  taught  King 
Lamuel : '  Give  strong  drink  to  them  that  are  sad,  and  wine 
to  them  that  are  grieved  in  mind :  let  them  drink,  and 
forget  their  want,  and  remember  their  sorrow  no  more.' 
(Proverbs  xxxi.  6,  7.) 

"  But  Cornelius,  because  he  grieved  not,  but  rather  ex- 

210  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

ulted  as  a  giant  to  run  his  course,  only  tasted  of  the  wine, 
and  with  his  bound  hands  blessed  the  house  of  his  friend, 
and  the  whole  city  of  Dublin,  whose  citizens  he  praised  for 
the  fervor  of  their  faith  and  their  charity. 

"  Cornelius,  when  he  was  come  to  the  place  of  sacrifice, 
being  solicitous  for  the  constancy  of  his  colleague,  begged 
that  Patrick  might  be  put  to  death  first ;  for  he  feared  lest, 
by  the  sight  of  his  death  and  the  wiles  of  the  Calvinists, 
Patrick  might  be  induced  to  yield  to  human  weakness.  But 
as  his  wish  would  not  be  granted.  Father  Patrick  assured 
the  bishop  he  might  lay  aside  all  fear  for  him.  '  Though, 
said  he,  '  I  would  desire  to  die  first,  and  be  strengthened  in 
my  agony  by  your  paternal  charity,  since  we  are  given  up  to 
the  will  of  others,  go,  happy  father,  and  fear  not  for  my  con- 
stancy ;  aid  me  by  your  prayers  with  God,  by  whose  help  I 
am  sure  that  neither  death  nor  life,  nor  principalities  nor 
powers,  nor  things  present  northings  to  come,  nor  any  other 
creature,  shall  separate  me  from  the  love  of  Christ,  or  from 
my  companionship  with  you.'  Rejoiced  at  these  words, 
Cornelius  threw  himself  on  his  knees,  but  had  only  breathed 
a  hasty  prayer  (which  yet  reached  God  in  heaven)  when  the 
councillors,  the  captain  and  guard  called  out  to  make  an 
end  quickly.  The  field,  situated  to  the  north  of  the  city, 
which  would  easily  hold  3000  persons,  was  crowded. 
The  executioner  was  an  Englishman  and  a  Protestant,  (for 
no  Irishman  could  be  found  who  would  stain  himself  with 
the  blood  of  the  bishop,*)  who  was  condemned  to  death  for 
robbery,  and  was  promised  his  life  for  acting  as  executioner 
on  this  occasion.  Yet,  though  he  had  thus  purchased  his 
life,  he  was  touched  with  reverence  and  compassion  for  the 
gray  hairs  of  the  bishop,  and  prayed  his  pardon,  and  with 
trembling  hands  adjusted  the  noose.  The  moment  the 
bishop  mounted  the  first  step  of  the  ladder,  and  his  head 

*  "  The  regulrr  executioner,  who  wns  an  Trishman,  had  fled." — O'Sullivatu 

In  the  Reign  of  y antes  I.  211 

was  seen  aboye  the  crowd,  a  great  shout  and  groans  burst 
from  all  the  spectators. 

"  Then  the  minister  Challoner,  furious  at  the  cries  of 
pity  raised  by  the  people,  said  to  the  bishop : '  Why  delude 
ye  the  ignorant  people  ?  Why  end  ye  your  life  with  a  lie, 
and  a  vain  boast  of  martyrdom  ?  Tell  the  multitude  that 
ye  are  traitors,  and  that  it  is  for  treason  and  not  for  reli 
gion  ye  suffer.'  To  these  unjust  words  the  bishop  answer- 
ed :  '  Far  be  it  from  us,  who  are  about  to  appear  before  the 
tribunal  of  Christ,  to  impose  upon  the  people.  But  also 
far  be  it  from  us  to  confess  ourselves  guilty  of  crimes  of 
which  our  conscience  tells  us  we  are  innocent.  Nor  yet 
do  we  vainly  ambition  the  title  of  martyrs,  though  for  us  to 
die  for  Christ  is  gain.  You  know  that  you  are  yourself  guilty 
of  that  prevarication  of  which  you  accuse  us,  for  but  a  few 
hours  ago,  sent  as  you  said  by  the  viceroy,  you  offered  us 
life  and  freedom  if  we  would  subscribe  to  your  heresy. 
Leave  us,  then,  son  of  darkness,  and  calumniate  not  our 

"Then  the  minister  departed  and  left  the  martyrs  in 
peace.  As  they  mounted  the  middle  of  the  ladder,  again 
there  rose  the  cry  of  the  people  ;  and  a  third  time,  when 
he  was  about  to  be  thrown  off,  the  groans  of  those  who 
beat  their  breasts  rose  louder  than  before.  Thrice  he 
prayed,  as  he  stood  there :  once  for  all  the  bystanders  ; 
secondly,  for  the  city  of  Dublin,  and  all  the  Catholics  of 
this  kingdom,  that  they  may  serve  God  piously,  faithfully, 
and  perseveringly  ;  a  third  time  he  prayed  for  all  heretics, 
and  for  his  persecutors,  that  they  might  be  converted  from 
the  evil  of  their  ways. 

"  May  that  prayer  of  thy  martyr,  O  God  !  ascend  to  the 
throne  of  thy  power,  and  obtain  for  us  fruits  of  justice 
and  peace,  that,  errors  and  fears  being  removed,  we  may 
serve  faithfully  first  our  God  and  next  our  king.  The 
skies  gave  back  an  answer  (if  I  am  not  mistaken)  that  soon 

212  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

these  tribulations  should  come  to  an  end  :*  the  blood  of 
our  Abel  cries  from  the  earth  not  for  vengeance,  but  mer- 
cy. O  thou  sword  of  the  Lord !  how  long  wilt  thou  not 
rest  ?     Be  sheathed  ;  rest  and  be  silent. 

"  It  is  related  that  all  the  field  was  crowded  with  men, 
women,  and  children,  and  when  the  martyr  was  dead  ail 
struggled  to  carry  away  some  relic,  either  a  scrap  of  liis 
clothes,  or  a  drop  of  his  blood,  or  a  fragment  of  bone  or 
skin ;  yet,  though  all  crowded  and  struggled,  no  one  was 
hurt ;  but  he  was  deemed  most  happy  who  was  able  to 
carry  off  the  head  of  the  bishop,  deemed  more  precious 
than  gold  or  precious  stones.f  Let  us,  with  the  doctors 
of  Catholicity,  venerate  in  the  flesh  of  the  martyrs  the 
wounds  they  have  received  for  the  name  of  Christ ;  let  us 
venerate  that  virtue  which  conquers  the  world  ;  let  us 
venerate  their  ashes,  the  seed  of  life  to  rise  again  ;  let  us 
venerate  "-.he  bodies  which  have  taught  us  to  despise  death 
for  the  faith.  St.  Gregory  teaches  us  (lib.  vi.  indie.  15, 
epist.  23)  that  the  Christians  of  old  held  as  a  great  and  sacred 
gift  not  only  a  cloth  stained  with  the  martyrs'  blood,  but 
even  one  that  had  been  laid  on  their  tomb  ;  and  the  same 
Gregory  sent  to  King  Richard  a  little  key  in  which  was 

*  Alas  t  the  good  Bishop  Roothe's  anticipations  were  fallacious.  The  sword  of  the  Lord 
was  not  dieathed  for  one  hundred  years  more,  and  Bishop  Dovany  and  his  companion  were 
followed  by  hundreds  of  other  martyrs  ;  but  as  the  seed  was  abundant,  so  has  been  the  har- 
vest   The  blood-rain  of  martyrs'  blood  has  made  the  spiritual  harvest  in  Ireland  abundant 

t  "  The  bishop's  head  was  hardly  cut  off  when  an  Irishman  seized  it,  and,  rushing  into  the 
centre  of  the  crowd,  was  never  found,  although  the  viceroy  offered  a  reward  of  forty  pounds  of  m1- 
ver.  The  Catholics  gathered  up  his  blood,  and  contended  for  his  garments,  despite  the  re- 
sistance of  the  soldiery.  The  priest  Patrck  followed  the  same  road,  singing,  as  he  mounted 
the  ladder,  the  canticle  of  Simeon,  '  Now,  O  Lord  !  dismiss  thy  sei;vant  in  peace,'  and,  alter 
the  example  of  the  bishop,  he  prayed  for  the  bystanders,  blessed  them,  and  forgave  all  his 
enemies.  The  rope  being  put  round  his  neck,  he  hung  for  a  short  time,  was  then  cut  down 
half-alive,  mutilated,  and  cut  in  piece,"*-  The  soldiers,  warned  by  the  loss  of  the  bishop's  head, 
resisted  the  unarmed  crowd,  who  strove  to  catch  the  martyr's  blood  and  other  relics,  and 
wounded  many.  The  day  after,  the  bodies  were  buried  at  the  gallows'  foot,  but  in  the  stillness 
of  the  night  were  removed  by  the  Catholics  to  a  chapel  not  defiled  by  heretical  worship." — 

Mooneysays:  "  Their  remains  are  deposited  in  the  cemetery  of  St.  James,  together  with 
those  of  many  ntha  rs  whom  I  shall  mention  later,  because  all  the  churches  of  the  city  are  de 

In  the  Reign  of  yamcs  I.  213 

a  small  portion  of  the  iron  of  St.  Peter's  chains  which  had 
touched  his  sacred  body,  that,  as  he  said, '  that  what  bound 
his  neck  for  martyrdom  may  free  you  from  sin.'  (Lib.  x. 
indie.  S,  epist.  7.)  And  the  same  Gregory  sent  to  the 
noble  lady  Savinella  a  similar  key,  '  in  which,'  said  he,  '  is 
contained  the  blessing  of  his  chains,  that,  being  hung  on 
your  neck,  by  his  intercession,  what  brought  him  martyr- 
dom may  bring  you  the  grace  of  forgiveness.'  Far  differ- 
ent from  the  sectaries  of  this  age,  who,  that  they  only  may 
be  honored  by  men,  do  away  with  all  veneration  of  the 
saints  and  their  relics. 

"  One  circumstance  is  here  worthy  to  be  noted,  that  our 
Cornelius,  who,  many  years  before,  was  consecrated  bishop 
on  the  feast  of  the  Purification  of  the  Virgin,  was  called  by 
death  to  the  rewards  of  the  other  life  on  the  vigil  of  the 
same  feast  and  the  day  dedicated  to  St.  Brigid,  who  has 
always  been  invoked  as  patron  by  our  whole  nation,  and 
for  whom  he  had  a  peculiar  devotion.  It  is  also  worthy  of 
remark  that  the  bishop  was  condemned  to  death  on  the  day 
(the  28th  January)  on  which  died  Charlemagne,  the  great 
defender  of  ecclesiastical  freedom. 

"  Lest  their  names,  inscribed  in  heaven,  be  forgotten  on 
earth,  let  their  epitaph  be  here  recorded,  that  the  reader, 
meeting  with  the  record  of  the  saints,  may  remember  that 
the  1st  of  February,  in  the  year  of  our  salvation  161 1,  was 
the  day  on  which  was  born  to  a  better  life  the  blessed  mar- 
tyr Dovany,  Bishop  of  Down  and  Connor,  of  the  Order  of 
Saint  Francis,  who  for  many  years  watched  with  pastoral 
care  over  the  Catholic  flock  in  Ireland,  and,  after  many 
sufferings,  was  sentenced  to  death  in  the  Chichestrian  per- 
secution by  D.  Sibthorpe,*  and  by  martyrdom  passed  to 
his  rest. 

•  0*Sullivan  says,  Dominick  SarsBeld  was  the  judge,  "  one  most  cruel  to  priests  and  -Catho- 
lics," and  that  his  colleague,  though  a  Protestant,  feigned  illness,  not  to  take  part  in  the  con- 
demnation of  the  bishop,  who  was  innocent. 

214  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

"The  same  day  and  year,  the  blessed  martyr  Patrick 
Locheran,  priest,  under  the  same  viceroy,  Arthur  Chi- 
chester, and  D.  SarceviHus,  judge,  suffered  death.  Each 
might  have  secured  his  life  if  he  would  abandon  the  Catho- 
lic religion  and  the  obedience  of  the  holy  Roman  Church 
and  embrace  Calvinism.* 

"  Some  relate  that  Sarcevil  was  the  judge  who  sentenced 
the  bishop  ;  Sibthorpe,  the  priest.  It  differs  little,  for  they 
both  sat  in  judgment  and  concurred  in  the  sentence.  It  is 
related  that,  when  the  bishop  protested  against  being  tried 
by  a  lay-tribunal,  Sarcevil  alleged  to  him  the  example  of 
Christ,  who  submitted  to  the  judgment  of  Pilate  ;  to  whom 
the  bishop  answered  :  '  If  you  blush  not  to  imitate  Pilate, 
it  irks  not  me  to  imitate  Christ,  for  he  is  the  way,  the 
truth,  and  the  hfe.'  " 

— ♦ — 

Annia    1613,    1614,    and   1617. 


Father  Mooney,  continuing  his  account  of  the  monas- 
tery of  Multifarnham,  part  of  which  is  given  under  the 
year  1601,  gives  the  following  account  of  others  who  there 
suffered  for  religion,  and  although  it  refers  to  various  years 
I  will  here  give  it  in  extenso  : 

"In  the  year  1607,  Brother  John  Gragan,  father  pro- 
vincial, was  arrested,  and  in  1608  accused  of  high  treason, 
as  knowing  of  the  flight  of  the  Earls  of  Tyrone  and  Tyr- 

*  Father  Patrick  Locheran  was  accused  of  having  "  traitorously  gone  to  Belgium  in  the  same 
ship  with  the  fugitives,  Earls  O'Neill  and  O'Donnell."  He  answered  that  he  had  crossed  to 
Belgium  to  study,  in  the  same  ship,  but  be  ore  O'Neill  and  O'Donnell  did,  and  therefore  was 
ignorant  of  their  flight.  On  being  asked  whether  he  would  be  tried  by  a  jury  of  twelve  men, 
he  answered,  "  If  the  twelve  men  were  to  be  Irish,  they  would  themselves  be  in  danger  ;  if 
th.'v  were  Protestants,  ihey  might  be  induced  by  fear  or  reward  to  commit  sin,  and  condemn 
him.  That  he  did  not  desire  that  worthy  Catholics  should  be  brought  into  danger,  or  heretics 
induced  to  sin.  In  a  judge  should  be  found  equity  and  justice."  Then  Sarsfield  said,  "  As 
you  decline  the  trial  appointed  by  law,  the  decision  of  the  cause  rests  with  me,"  and  prccbsd 
w3  to  pronounce  sentence. — O^Sullivan,  torn.  iv.  cap.  xviii,  ' 

/«  the  Reign  of  yames  I.  215 

coiinell,  and  condemned.  His  life,  and  liberty  were  then 
offered  to  him  if  he  would  join  the  heretical  church,  but 
in  vain ;  his  constancy,  prudence,  and  religious  modesty 
much  edified  the  Catholics,  and  gained  the  affection  even 
of  his  adversaries.  At  length,  at  the  intercession  of  the 
Baron  of  Delvin,  who  had  been  accused  of  the  same  crime, 
but  had  obtained  the  king's  favor,  through  fear  of  those 
who  had  escaped.  Brother  John  obtained  his  life,  and 
was  set  at  liberty,  having  given  security  to  appear  if  called 

"At  another  time.  Sir  Dudley  Loftus,  son  of  the  chan- 
cellor, and  Sir  Richard  Graves,  invaded  the  monastery  and 
carried  away  prisoners — Brother  Cormac  O'Gabhun,  prior 
of  the  province,  who,  being  blind,  had  lived  for  six  years  in 
that  monastery  ;  Brother  Philip  Cluaine,  who  is  now  (1621) 
living,  an  old  man,  in  Kilconnell ;  Brother  Terence  Ma- 
canaspie,  who  died  in  prison  in  Dublin ;  Brother  Manus 
Oge  O'Fidy ;  and  Brother  Coghlin  Oge  MacAliadha. 
These  two  last  they  left  by  the  way  in  the  town  of  Ba- 
leathbeg ;  the  others  they  took  to  Dublin  and  threw  into 
prison,  where,  after  a  year  and  a  half,  two  of  them,  who 
survived,  were  set  at  liberty  on  giving  security  to  appear 
if  called  on. 

"  In  the  year  1613,  Patrick  Fox,  Viscount  of  Westmeath, 
invaded  the  monastery  and  carried  off  the  vicar  of  the  con- 
vent. Brother  Bernard  Gragan,  a  priest,  who  lay  in  prison 
in  Dublin  for  a  whole  year,  and  at  length  was  sent  an  exile 
into  France,  and  died  at  Rheims,  in  Brittany,  partly  from 
the  fatigue  of  the  journey  and  the  sea,  partly  from  i'-.firmi- 
ties  contracted  m  prison. 

"In  the  year  1614,  Sir  Oliver  Lambert  took  prisoner 
Brother  James  MacGrollen,  a  holy  priest  of  the  same  con- 
vent, who  was  seeking  alms  through  the  country,  and  he 
was  long  detained  in  prison  in  Mullingar  ;  being  then  sent 
to  Dublin  Castle,  he  remained  there  a  long  time  ;  but  as, 

2i6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

notwithstanding  many,  threats  and  promises,  he  remained 
constant,  he  was  sent  into  exile,  and  remained  some  time  in 
Rouen,  whence,  returning  into  Ireland,  he  was  by  pirates 
at  sea  wounded  in  the  face,  but,  his  wounds  being  cured, 
he  still  lives  in  Ireland. 

"In  1617,  there  was  taken  prisoner,  while  he  was  col- 
lecting alms  for  the  convent,  by  a  certain  local  tyrant 
whose  name  was  Daniel,*  another  brother  of  the  same  con- 
vent, whose  name  was  Charles  Crossan,  a  priest.  So  also 
in  like  manner  was  taken  in  this  year  Brother  Didacus 
Conor,  a  priest,  while,  through  obedience,  he  was  collect- 
ing alms.  These  two  are  yet  in  prison. f  So  much  for 
this  theatre  of  persecution  and  unarmed  and  innocent 
endurance." — Mooney,  p.  J"]. 


"  Was  a  citizen  of  Cork,  distinguished  for  his  learning 
and  wealth,  and  was  patron  and  protector  of  the  rights  and 
immunities  of  that  city.J  He  persuaded  his  fellow-citi- 
zens, during  the  time  between  the  death  of  Queen  Eliza- 
beth and  the  proclamation  of  King  James,  to  resume  the 
public  practice  of  the  Catholic  religion,  which  had  been 
long  omitted,  and  thereby  drew  upon  himself  a  most  bitter 
persecution  on  the  part  of  the  heretics.  He  was  put  upon 
his  trial  for  treason,  but  the  twelve  jurors  acquitted  him  ; 
and,  to  pi'n'sh  them  for  thus  refusing  to  condemn  the  in- 
nocent, they  were  toimented  in  all  sorts  of  ways,  publicly 
paraded  through  the  city  with  an  inscription  on  their  fore- 
heads calling  them  perjurers,  and  being  finally  thrown  into 
prison,  were  there  kept  till  they  paid  a  heavy  fine.  Even 
so  the  hatred  of  his  enemies  was  not  appeased,  and  William 

•  There  is  a  word  before  Daniel  which  is  illegible.  f  Mooney  wrote  m  1624. 

X  Our  author  probabl>  means  he  was  mayor. 

In  the  Reigtt  of  Mantes  I.  217 

was  compelled,  through  regard  for  his  life,  to  go  into  a  vol- 
untary exile,  where,  after  several  years,  he  piously  slept  in 
the  Lord,  at  Naples,  in  1614." — Philadelph. 

Anno  IGIS. 


"  Sir  Arthur  Chichester  devised  this  plan  to  entrap 
some  of  the  inhabitants  of  Ulster  who  were  most  remarka- 
ble for  their  courage  and  talent ;  but  he  the  more  thirsted 
for  the  blood  of  the  men  of  Ulster  because  he  had  himself 
been  granted  large  possessions  in  Ulster  by  the  king. 
He  seized  upon  an  idle,  dissipated  man,  who  had  often 
stopped  at  Bernard  O'Neill's,  and  had  him  condemned  to 
death.  He  then  promised  him  a  pardon  and  large  reward 
if  he  would  accuse  Bernard  and  the  others  whom  I  am 
about  to  name.  The  desperate  gambler,  unmindful  of  the 
many  benefits  he  had  received  from  Bernard,  consented. 
Then  the  viceroy  ordered  Bernard  and  Arthur  O'Neill, 
Roderick  O'Kahan,  Godfrey  O'Kahan,  Alexander  MacSor- 
ley,  knights  of  high  lineage,  and  Lewis  Olabertag,  a  priest^ 
to  be  seized  and  thrown  into  prison,  as  accused  of  high 
treason.  The  witness,  to  make  this  out,  swore  that  they 
had  conspired  to  take  some  forts  in  Ulster,  garrisoned  by 
English  and  Scotch,  and  to  slay  the  guards.  The  knights 
answered  that  the  testimony  of  one  man  of  infamous  cha- 
racter was  not  enough  to  convict  them.  They  were  tor- 
tured, but  confessed  nothing.  But  as  they  were  tried  by 
twelve  English  and  Scotch  Protestants,  who  had  also  re- 
ceived land  in  Ulster,  and  did  not  wish  to  have  Catholic 
neighbors,  they  were  at  once  found  guilty.     The  viceroy 

2i8  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

referred  the  sentence  to  the  king,  who  sent  back  for  an- 
swer that  a  free  pardon  should  be  granted  to  the  knights 
and  the  priest  if  they  would  renounce  the  Catholic  religion. 
But  they  boldly  made  answer  they  never  would  accept  that 
condition.  That  night  they  mutually  exhorted  each  other 
to  endure  death  for  Christ.  The  priest  gave  sacramental 
absolution  to  the  others.  The  next  day,  having  hung  a 
short  time,  they  were  cut  down,  embowelled,  their  entrails 
burnt,  their  bodies  cut  in  four  parts  and  exposed  in  public 
places.  This  happened  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1615. 
About  the  same  time  Sir  Patrick  O'Murry,*  Knight,  and 
Connor  O'Kieran,  priest,  were  put  to  death  in  like  manner 
on  the  same  charge." — 0' Stillivan,  p.  260. 

Anno   1617. 


Father  Mooney,  speaking  of  the  Castle  of  Dublin,  says : 
"  So  also  Brother  Thomas  Geraldine,  of  our  order,  a 
preacher,  and  some  time  commissary  of  our  province,  suffer- 
ed much  during  a  long  imprisonment,!  and  at  length  died 
in  the  Castle  of  Dublin,  worn  out  with  the  hardships  of  the 
prison,  in  the  month  of  June,$  in  the  year  1617  ;  and  the 
citizens,  having  begged  his  body,  celebrated  his  obsequies 
for  three  or  four  days  with  great  devotion,  to  the  great  sur- 
prise and  indignation  of  the  heretics,  who  yet  could  not 
prevent  the  devotion  of  the  people  ;  and  at  length  his  re- 
mains were  laid  in  the  same  cemetery,  (that  of  St.  James,) 
near  those  of  the  bishop,  (Dr.  O'Dovany.)" — Mooney,  p 
68,  and  Philadelph  and  Briiodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

•  "Omiirius.*' 

t  Philadelphus  says  he  was  several  times  imprisoned. 

t  Philadelphus  says  the  12th  of  July. 

In  the  Reign  of  yames  I.  219 


He  is  mentioned  in  a  letter,  preserved  in  Stoneyliurst 
College : 

" '  A  large  reward  had  been  offered  for  the  head  of  Dr. 
Matthews,  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  or  that  of  Dr.  Kearney, 
Archbishop  of  Cashel,  dead  or  alive.  The  chancellor, 
Adam  Loftus,  personally  conducted  a  most  rigorous  search 
in  Dubhn,  as  Archbishop  Matthews  was  supposed  to  be 
there.'  The  letter  continues  :  '  But  the  archbishop,  by 
God's  will,  was  out  of  their  way ;  but  in  the  search  many 
others  were  apprehended  and  cast  into  prison,  both  eccle- 
siastics and  others.  One  regular,  and  another  secular 
priest,  by  name  William  Donatus,  who,  though  lying  ill  in 
bed,  because  he  was  thought  to  be  the  chaplain  of  the 
archbishop,  was  compelled  to  get  up  and  accompany  the 
others  to  prison,  where  he  yet  lies.'  " — Renehan,  Collections, 
vol.  i.  p.  266. 


"  Dermid  Bruodin  was  born  in  Thomond,  in  Ireland,  of 
a  family  noted  for  many  generations  for  piety,  learning, 
and  hospitality,  and  became  a  member  of  the  Franciscan 
Order.  His  father  was  Miles  Bruodin,  owner  of  Mount 
Calary,  a  man  much  esteemed  by  Cornelius  O'Brien,  Earl 
of  Thomond,  (Clare  ;)  his  mother  was  Joanna  Mahony,  or 
Matthews.  He  was  no  longer  a  boy  when,  having  learned 
the  rudiments  of  learning,  he  lost  his  parents,  and,  having 
always  intended  to  devote  himself  to  God,  entered  the 
cloister  among  the  strict  observers  of  evangelical  poverty 
— the  Franciscans — as  a  novice  in  the  convent  of  Inisheen, 
in  Clare.  He  was  a  model  of  virtue,  assiduous  in  prayer, 
ready  for  every  exercise  of  humility,  constant  in  fasting, 
and  daily  afRicting  his  body  with  the  discipline. 

220  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

•'  Having  made  his  profession,  by  order  of  his  superiors 
he  proceeded  to  Spain,  and  there,  among  the  sons  of  the 
province  of  St.  James,  progressed  alike  in  learning  and 
piety.  When  his  studies  were  completed,  he  was  advanced 
to  the  priesthood,  and  desired  at  once  to  devote  himself  to 
the  saving  of  souls  in  his  country,  afflicted  by  heresy. 
His  superiors  agreed  to  his  request,  and  Dermid,  trusting 
in  the  Cross  of  Christ,  embarked  in  his  Franciscan  habit, 
(for  neither  danger  nor  the  entreaties  of  his  friends  could 
ever  induce  him,  as  the  other  missionaries,  to  exchange  his 
habit  for  a  secular  dress,*)  and,  by  the  providence  of  God, 
he  landed  at  a  port  near  the  place  of  his  birth,  near  the  Is- 
land of  St.  Sinnanus,  called  Inniscatha,  in  the  middle  of 
the  river  Shannon,  in  the  year  1575. 

"  The  moment  Bruodin  touched  his  native  soil  he  gave 
thanks  to  God,  and  began  his  apostolic  labors  among  his 
friends  and  relatives,  (and  then,  as  now,  there  were  as 
many  Catholics  as  Bruodins,)  and  labored  with  such  zeal, 
where  before  they  had  been  suffering  from  a  dearth  of  pas- 
tors, that  the  Catholics  in  all  the  baronies  of  Clare  were 
provided  with  spiritual  food.  Dermid  had  thus  labored 
for  many  years  in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord,  when  the 
enemy  of  human  salvation  sought,  by  means  of  the  satel- 
lites of  Elizabeth,  to  put  a  stop  to  his  zealous  efforts.  Di- 
vers man-hunters  were  therefore  employed  throughout 
Clare  to  catch  in  their  nets  the  zealous  preacher,  whose 
zeal,  indeed,  for  martyrdom  would  long  before  have 
brought  him  into  their  hands  had  he  not  been  prevented 
by  his  superiors. 

"  While  the  search  was  most  eager  Dermid  was  employ- 
ed preaching  and  catechising  not  far  from  Limerick,  in  a 
place,  however,  which  was  mountainous,  and  generally  safe 
from  the  excursions  of  the  heretics.     However,  his  pre- 

•  It  is  to  be  remembored  that  he  dwelt  in  Clare,  a  remote  district,  inhabited  exclusively  bt 
Catholics,  and  whither  the  queen's  soldiers  rj^rely  penetrated. 

Tn  the  Reign  of  yames  T.  221 

sence  ^here  came  to  the  knowledge  of  the  commander  of 
the  garrison  in  Limerick,  who  sent  some  musketeers  to 
arrest  him,  and  they  seized  him  in  the  act  of  preaching 
from  the  top  of  a  mound.  He  received  many  blows  from 
the  fists  and  sticks  of  the  soldiers,  and,  with  his  hands  tied 
behind  him,  was  driven  to  Limerick,  in  the  year  1603. 
Bruodin,  who  had  been  weakened  by  his  voluntary  fasts, 
was  thrown  into  prison,  where  for  four  months  he  endured 
much,  for  it  was  forbidden  under  a  heavy  penalty  for  any 
Catholic  to  speak  to  him  or  give  him  any  assistance. 

"  At  the  end  of  this  time  he  was  brought  before  the 
king's  judges,  and  being  asked  many  idle  questions,  Der- 
mid  boldly  answered  that  his  dress  showed  he  was  a 
Catholic  and  a  Franciscan  ;  that  as  to  his  name,  profession, 
labors,  and  friends,  they  were  abundantly  known  to  those 
who  had  taken  him  when  preaching  ;  that  therefore  there 
was  nothing  to  be  done  but  either  to  set  him  free,  or  by 
torture  to  try  his  constancy  in  the  profession  of  the  Cath- 
olic faith.  '  Well,'  said  the  judge,  '  you  shall  have  your 
wish.'  By  his  order  the  Franciscan  habit  was  torn  off  him, 
and  he  was  severely  flogged  by  two  executioners  ;  then  his 
hands  were  tied  behind  him,  and  he  was  lifted  up  by  them  off 
the  ground.  While  he  was  thus  tortured  he  was  asked  by 
a  certain  petulant  preacher  whether  he  felt  pain  ?  He  an- 
swered, '  I  feel  pain  indeed,  but  far  less  than  my  Lord  and 
Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  for  whose  cause  I  suffer,  endured  for 
me.'  Then,  let  down  from  the  rack,  he  was  taken  back  to 

"  At  the  time  when  Father  Bruodin  was  being  tortured 
there  arrived  in  Limerick  Donatus  O'Brien,  the  powerful 
chieftain  of  his  own  race,  and  Earl  of  Thomond.  He  was 
a  man  of  great  influence  both  in  England  and  Ireland. 
Touched  by  the  affection  which  the  O'Briens  always  bore 
to  the  Bruodins,  he  sought  to  devise  some  way  of  freeing 
Father  Dermid  from  further  tortures  and  the  death  which 

222  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

threatened  him.  With  this  view,  the  earl  persuaded  the 
judges  that  Dermid  was  a  fool,  with  whom  he  often  amus- 
ed himself,  and,  to  prove  this,  he  adduced  as  an  argument 
that  no  one  but  a  fool  would  go  about  in  public  with  his 
head  shaved,  and  a  long  beard  and  a  long  habit,  contrary 
to  the  usual  practice  of  all  the  other  popish  priests  in  Eng- 
land and  Ireland.  The  judges,  either  persuaded,  or,  as  I 
think,  not  wishing  to  offend  the  powerful  earl,  (whose  fidel- 
ity and  services  to  the  crown  were  well  known,)  set  Der- 
mid at  liberty,  who  was  indeed  nearly  worn  out  with  tor- 
tures and  suffering.  Dermid,  thus  set  free  as  a  fool  for 
Christ,  returned  to  his  native  district  and  prudently  re- 
sumed his  labors  in  Clare.  Protected  everywhere  by  be- 
ing known  as  the  mad  monk,  and  favored  by  Earl  O'Brien, 
(a  man  nominally  a  heretic,  but  a  Catholic  in  his  heart,)  he 
passed  safely  through  the  persecuting  English  at  Inish* 
and  elsewhere  in  the  province,  and  gained  many  to  Christ, 
ever  wearing  the  Franciscan  habit,  and  often  rejoicing  to 
bear  insults  and  derision  for  the  honor  of  Christ.  At 
length,  weighed  down  with  years,  and  worn  out  with  la- 
bors, Bruodin,  fortified  with  the  sacraments  of  the  church, 
slept  in  the  Lord,  in  his  Franciscan  convent  of  Inish,  the 
9th  August,  161 7.  The  other  friars  had  been  expelled  in 
1575,  and  he  had  lived  there  alone  with  his  servant  for  the 
three  last  years  of  his  life." — Bruodin,  lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 

As  this  is  the  last  date  given  in  Philadelphus,  I  shall 
here  insert  all  those  martyrs  to  whose  triumph,  being  un- 
certain of  the  year,  he  does  not  give  any  date. 


'•A   PRIEST   from   the   village   of  Newton,  near  Trim,  a 
venerable  old  man,  for  hatred  of  his  religion  was  cast  a 

•  The  Franciscan  convent  of  Inish,  or  Inis-auan-ruada,  founded,  according  to  Ware  by 
Donagh  Carbrac  O'Brian  in  the  year  1240  for  Minorites,  by  the  river  Forgy. 

In  the  Reign  of  yames  I.  223 

prisoner  into  the  Tower  of  Dublin,  where  he  ended  his 
days,   worn    out   with   suffering   and    misery,   about   the 

year ." 

— ♦ — 


"  One  of  the  leading  men  of  the  municipality  of  Athboy 
was  frequently  summoned  to  Dublin  by  the  chancellor  to 
answer  for  his  profession  of  the  Catholic  faith,  and  chiefly 
b'ecause  he  harbored  priests.  He  was  several  times  thrown 
into  prison,  where  he  patiently  spent  many  years.  At 
length,  as  the  noble-minded  man  could  neither  be  induced 
to  bend  to  the  times  nor  abandon  his  determination  of  pa- 
tient endurance,  the  enemies  of  the  faith  let  him  go  for  a 
time,  when  he  returned  home,  and  peaceably  died  there 
about  the  year ." 


"Was  a  merchant  of  Drogheda,  who,  being  in  England 
on  business,  was  arrested,  and  being  called  upon  to  swear 
to  the  queen's  supremacy,  he  ingenuously  confessed  his 
faith,  and  declared  he  was  a  Catholic,  for  which  cause  he 
was  put  to  death  in  the  city  of  Exchester,*  and  his  tomb  is 
said  to  be  celebrated  even  to  this  day  for  favors  obtained 




"  A  DISTINGUISHED  citizcn  of  Dublin,  had  been  reared 
up  from  his  youth  in  heresy,  but  by  a  special  grace  of  God 
was  received  into  the  church  ;  and  for  the  profession  of 
the  faith  he  suffered  in  Dublin,  for  nearly  twenty  years,  a 

*  So  printed  in  the  original,  in  the  margin.     It  is  Exeter,  as  given  in  the  text  "  Exoniensl." 
Bruodin  gives  the  date  of  his  death  as  zoth  September,  1600. 

224  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

most  cruel  imprisonment,  which  he  bore  with  unshaken 
mind,  but  from  which  he  contracted  a  fatal  disease  ;  and, 
although  he  was  at  length,  on  giving  security,  allowed 
home  for  a  time  to  recover  from  his  disease,  he  was  only 
delivered  from  it  by  a  happy  death." 

Here  I  may  also  insert  an  account  given  by  Father 
Mooney,  of  which  the  exact  date  is  uncertain,  but  which 
equally  must  have  occurred  about  the  close  of  Elizabeth's 
reign  : 


"  The  convent  of  Athskelin  (Askeaton)  is  said  to  have 
been  founded  by  the  Earl  of  Desmond,  and  for  a  long  time 
there  have  not  been  any  monks  there,  because,  during  the 
war  which  the  aforesaid  earl  waged  against  the  English, 
many  cruelties  were  practised  on  the  brethren  of  that  con- 
vent, and  several  of  them  suffered  martyrdom  at  the  hands 
of  the  English  soldiers  under  Nicholas  Mally ;  but  I  could 
not  learn  their  names  with  accuracy,  except  of  one  priest, 
whose  name  was  Brother  Cornelius,  whose  relics  are  inter- 
red in  the  chapter-house  of  the  convent." — Mooney,  p.  46. 

Anno    1618. 


"  The  Rev.  John  O'Honan  was  a  native  of  Connaught,  a 
priest,  and  a  member  of  the  Franciscan  order.  After  he 
had  spent  many  years  in  religion,  and  in  the  charge  of  the 
pastoral  office  among  the  afflicted  Catholics  of  Leinster,  he 
was  taken  by  the  English  heretics  in  Dublin. 

"  After  seven  weeks'  imprisonment,  despising  the  honors 
and  rewards  which  were  offered  to  him  in  the  name  of  the 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  225 

king  if  he  would  renounce  his  faith,  he  was  first  cruelly 
tortured,  and  then  hung  and  cut  in  four  parts,  and  so  glo- 
riously triumphed  on  the  14th  October,  1618." — Bruodin, 
lib.  iii.  cap.  xx. 



"  He  was  a  native  of  Ulster,  and  a  priest,  and  received 
the  crown  of  martyrdom  at  Derry,  of  St.  Columbanus,  for 
having  disobeyed  the  iniquitous  law  of  Elizabeth  and 
James.*  He  preferred  to  suffer  tortures,  the  ignominy  of 
the  scaffold,  and  the  cutting  of  his  body  in  four  parts, 
rather  than  deny  the  truth.  He  died,  venerable  for  age 
and  virtues,  the  6th  January,  161 8,  and,  as  we  may  piously 
trust,  enjoys  a  crown  of  glory  with  the  saints." — Bruodin, 

ut  supra. 

— ♦ — ■ 

A.nno  1632. 


"  Father  Edmund  de  Burgo  departed  to  Christ  in  the 
year  1632."!"  He  was  an  Irishman,  of  noble  family,  son  of 
the  brother  of  the  Dynast  of  Mayo,  a  man  of  great  humility, 
and  rich  in  a  spirit  of  holy  poverty.  He  was  a  great  op- 
ponent of  the  heretics,  many  of  whom  he  converted  to  the 
unity  of  the  church,  wherefore  the  heretics  turned  his 
convent  into  a  den  of  thieves,  but  Father  Edmund,  partly 
from  reverence  for  his  person  and  partly  fear  of  the  influ- 
ence of  his  family,  they  after  a  time  set  at  liberty." — Mott. 

"  He  had  received  the  habit  in  the  convent  of  Burishool, 
in  the  county  of  Mayo,  and  was  a  model  of  penance.  He 
wore  a  chain  of  iron  round  his  waist,  and  slept  on  the  ground 

*  That  making  it  treason  for  monks  and  priests  to  reenter  the  kingdom, 
f  Hill.   Dom.  gives  the  date  as  1633  ;  but  in  tlie  Mimumenta  Dominicana  it  is  printed 
163a.     He  was  a  monk,  but  not  a  priest 

226  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

or  on  a  little  straw,  with  a  stone  for  a  pillow,  and,  allowing 
himself  only  a  few  hours  of  sleep,  spent  the  rest  of  the  day 
and  night  in  prayer.  He  frequently  fasted  on  bread  and 
water,  and  in  the  depth  of  winter  attended  the  chapel  with 
bare  feet.  By  a  singular  grace  of  God,  although  noble  and 
brought  up  in  the  midst  of  the  pleasures  of  this  world,  he 
preserved  his  virginal  chastity  to  his  dying  day.  He  had 
a  singular  devotion  for  the  rosary  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  and 
at  the  striking  of  every  hour  knelt  down  in  prayer." — Acta 
Capitidi  Generalis  Roma,  1656,  ap.  Hib.  Dom. 

Anno     1633. 


"  The  venerable  Father  Arthur  MacGeoghegan,  after' he 
had  completed  his  studies  in  Spain,*  and  transacted  with 
much  prudence  the  business  of  the  order  entrusted  to  him, 
sailed  (from  Lisbon,  where  he  had  remained  for  some  time 
in  the  Dominican  convent  of  our  Blessed  Lady  of  the  Ro- 
saryf)  to  return  to  his  own  country,  but,  being  taken  on 
the  road  by  the  heretics  and  thrown  into  prison  in  London, 
was  tried,  as  was  usual,  for  high  treason, J  and  also  for 
having  said  in  Spain  that  '  it  would  be  lawful  to  kill  the 
King  of  England  ;'  but  he  proved  that  he  had  not  said  so, 
but,  arguing  against  the  heretical  doctrine  denying  man's 
free-will,  '  that  if  it  were  true  it  would  be  an  excuse  for  the 
greatest  crimes,  even  killing  a  king.'  Nevertheless,  he  was 
condemned  and  taken  to  the  place  of  execution,  where, 
h'vving  publicly  proclaimed  his  faith,  and  that  he  was  a 
Dominican,  he  was  hung,  and  cut  down  while  yet  alive, 
his  heart  and  entrails  cut  out  and  cast  into  the  fire,  and 
his  body  quartered,  and  thus  gloriously  completed  his  con- 

*  He  was  an  alumnus  of  the  convent  of  Mullingar.  -f  Dont.  a  Rosario. 

t  "  For  retumng,  haviiifi  been  ordained  beyond  the  seaa," 

In  the  Reign  of  Cliarles  I.  227 

fession  of  Christ." — Ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen.  1644,  ap.  Mon.  Dom., 
and  Dom.  a  Ros.  ap.  Hib.  Dom. 

De  Burgo  adds  that  Father  MacGeoghegan  had  been 
sent  to  Ireland  to  obtain  students  for  the  Dominican  Col- 
lege of  Lisbon,  which  had  been  founded  a  few  years  before, 
namely,  in  1615,  for  the  purpose  of  educating  priests  for 
the  Irish  mission.  His  death  as  he  was  passing  through 
England  of  course  hindered  the  execution  of  his  design, 
but  the  fame  of  his  martyrdom  attracted  many  young  Irish- 
men to  the  college  from  whence  he  came,  so  that  it  began 
from  that  date  to  flourish,  and  became  a  celebrated  semi- 
nary of  martyrs  ;  for  within  a  very  few  years  seven  priests 
left  it,  who  all  received  the  crown  of  martyrdom,  namely, 
Arthur  MacGeoghegan,  Gerald  Dillon,  Miler  Magrath, 
.(Eneas  Ambrose  O'Cahill,  Michael  O'Clery,  Gerald  Bagot 
and  Thaddasus  Moriarty. — Hib.  Dom.  p.  419. 

J.nno  1634. 


I  WILL  here  insert  an  interesting  account  of  a  young 
convert  who  suffered  imprisonment  for  the  faith  in  1634. 
I  do  so  the  more  willingly  as  this  contemporary  account 
gives  us  a  lively  idea  of  the  nature  of  those  times.  This 
account  is  taken  from  a  MS.  collection  of  letters  in  the 
Burgundian  Library,  which  was  taken  from  the  library  of 
the  suppressed  Jesuits. 

Francis  Slingsby  was  the  eldest  son  of  Sir  Francis 
Slingsby,  Knight,  an  Englishman  settled  in  Ireland,  and 
Elizabeth  Cuff.  The  family  was  a  noble  one  settled  in 
Yorkshire,  and  his  fkther  was  a  privy  councillor  in  Ire- 
land.*    The  family  were  all  Protestants.     He  was  born  to- 

*  See  the  statement  he  gave  when  entering  the  English  College  in  Rome,  (Appendix.)  Sir 
Francis  Slingsby  of  Scrivin  and  Redhouse,  in  the  West  Riding  of  Yorkshire,  who  died  in  1600. 
married  Mary,  daughter  of  Sii  Thomas  Percy,  brother  of  the  Earl  of  Iiorlhumberland.  By 
h'^'  he  had  many  children.  His  eldest  son,  Sir  Henry  Slingsby,  succeeded  him  in  his  English 
estate*.    The  father  of  the  subject  of  our  memoir  would  appear  to  have  been  a  younger  son  of 

228  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

ward  the  end  of  the  year  1611  or  the  beginning  of  1612, 
and  was  brought  up  in  Ireland  under  the  care  of  his  pa- 
rents until  his  thirteenth  year,  when  he  was  sent  to  Oxford, 
where  he  studied  for  five  years,  and  distinguished  himself 
in  mathematics.  In  1630,  he  left  Oxford,  and  there  is  no 
information  as  to  how  he  passed  the  three  next  years,  fur- 
ther than  that  he  spent  a  part  of  them  in  travel.  Up  to 
this  time  he  had  been  an  unshaken  Protestant,  but  in  his 
twenty-second  year  he  began  to  conceive  doubts  of  the 
truth  of  that  religion,  and  determined  to  seek  the  truth,  and 
by  the  grace  of  God  to  embrace  it.  His  conversion  was 
certainly  completed  in  Rome,  as  we  gather  from  several 
passages,  and  that  when  he  was  in  his  tv/enty-second  year, 
but  whether  it  was  commenced  in  that  city  is  not  stated. 

His  intimate  friend.  Father  Spreul,  whom  he  had  him- 
self converted,  thus  describes  his  conversion  : 

"  It  is  worthy  of  remark  that  in  his  conversion  to  the 
Catholic  faith  he  not  only  gave  his  whole  time  and  atten- 
tion to  the  prudent  and  sincere  investigation  of  the  truth, 
carefully  examining  the  testimonies  of  the  fathers  on  the 
controversies  of  our  day,  but  sought  to  learn  the  will  of 
God  by  continual  and  fervent  prayer,  frequent  fasts,  and 
abundant  alms  ;  so  that  he  was  strengthened  to  overcome 
all  the  allurements  of  the  world,  the  hope  of  honors  and 
dignity,  and  the  indignation  and  loss  of  friendship  of  his 
friends.  He  was  no  sooner  received  into  the  church  in 
Rome  than  he  went  through  a  course  of  the  spiritual  exer- 
cises of  St.  Ignatius,  and  at  their  conclusion,  in  obedience 
to  the  divine  inspiration,  he  determined  to  renounce  the 
inheritance  of  his  father,  and  embrace  the  institute  of  the 
society,  in  which  to  live  ;  and  this  resolution  he  adhered  to 
unshaken,  notwithstanding  the  greatest  difficulties,  during 

this  Sir  Frands.  He  says  in  the  statement  his  maternal  grandmother  was  " soror "of  the 
Earl  of  Northumberland.  He  must  either  have  made  a  mistake,  or  used  "  soror"  iu  the  senM 
af  first  cousin. — Stl  Lift  of  Sir  H.  Slingsiy,  printed,  Edinlnireh.  1806. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  229 

eight  years  that  he  remained  in  the  world,  and  by  a  re- 
markable force  of  mind  he  strove  after  religious  perfection 
by  a  most  exact  observance  of  our  rules  while  living  with 
laics  and  heretics  at  court  and  at  home." — Letter  of  Father 

His  friends  were  naturally  much  annoyed  at  his  conver- 
sion, which  he  did  not  conceal ;  indeed,  he  ever  most 
openly  professed  his  faith  and  returned  thanks  to  God  for 
the  grace  he  had  received,  as  Father  Spreul  mentions : 
"  Our  generous  athlete  so  boldly  overcame  all  these  diffi- 
culties that  he  not  only  openly  professed  the  Catholic  re- 
ligion, but  gloried  in  the  signal  grace  divinely  granted  to 
him,  and  ever  gave  thanks  to  God  for  it.  And  this  is  the 
more  worthy  of  notice,  as  many  after  their  conversion  are 
allowed  to  profess  the  Catholic  religion,  not  openly,  but 
in  private." — Ibid. 

His  father,  thinking  that  his  influence  and  that  of  his 
friends,  and  the  prospect  of  the  ruin  which  an  adherence 
to  the  Catholic  faith  would  cause  to  the  young  man's  pros- 
pects, might  induce  him  to  return  to  the  religion  of  the 
state,  urged  his  return  to  Ireland  ;  and  Francis,  although 
firmly  resolved  to  enter  the  Society  of  Jesus,  and  apparent- 
ly considering  himself  from  this  date  as  under  obedience  to 
the  general  of  the  order,*  prepared  to  return  to  Ireland  in 
obedience  to  his  earthly  father,  and  with  the  hope  of  con- 
verting his  relations  to  the  true  faith.  The  following  two 
letters,  one  from  his  father  and  one  from  his  mother, 
written  at  this  date,  explain  the  reasons  they  urged : 

"  My  Son  :  If  ever  you  thought  I  loved  you,  you  may 
well  think  I  took  always  more  care  for  your  soul  than  youf 
body  ;  and  if  you  do  not  think  I  have  given  you  sufficient 

•  "How  promptl '  and  with  wliat  resignation  of  his  own  will  he  left  his  country,  his  relations, 
and  his  possessions,  notwithstanding  the  good  he  was  doing,  when  he  was  called  to  Rome  by 
the  letter  of  the  general !  And  what  a  heroic  act  of  obedience  he  then  made,  in  fulfilment  of 
the  vow  he  had  made  in  Rome,  at  the  tomb  of  the  blessed  Aloysius,  after  his  conversion  J'  *— 
Lttter  0/ Father  Spreul. 

230  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

motives  for  your  return,  wherein  you  may  do  your  parents 
so  good  service ;  in  your  first  you  judge  uncharitably  of  ine, 
in  your  second  you  deal  uncharitably  with  me.  I  must 
needs  acknowledge  I  have  much  offended  God,  in  trusting 
too  much  to  an  arm  of  flesh  and  blood,  as  though  by  mine 
own  endeavors  I  could  attain  my  desire.  But  now  I  find 
my  fault  and  feel  my  punishment.  Our  hearts  are  in  the 
hands  of  God,  to  dispose  of  as  he  pleaseth  ;  you  are  now 
allowed  and  commanded  to  use  all  lawful  means,  and  then 
refer  the  issue  to  him.  These  arguments  might  bring  forth 
many  good,  feeling  motives,  and  you  know  my  education 
hath  not  been  such  as  to  give  my  tongue  effectual  persua- 
sions ;  yet  those  might  be  sufficient  to  give  you  a  sensible 
reason  not  to  disregard  my  loving  advice.  If  the  defects  I 
found  in  myself  made  me  seek  to  redeem  them  in  you,  it 
may  be  a  sufficient  motive  unto  you  to  think  how  dearly  I 
loved  you,  and  that  I  be  thus  requited  for  all  my  care,  tra- 
vail, and  cost.  My  time  by  course  of  nature  cannot  con- 
tinue long,  and  will  you  shorten  it  by  an  unkind  requital .' 
Take  but  this  for  your  theme,  and  then  comment  upon  it 
with  such  moving  reasons  as  yourself  can  give  and  your 
own  thought  dictate  to  you,  if  your  case  were  mine  ;  and 
be  not  partial,  and  let  not  this  undue  style  make  it  with 
you  disesteemed  or  derided.  I  have  said  enough  if  it  pre- 
vail ;  if  not,  too  much  ;  and  till  I  shall  either  see  you  or 
hear  a  good  answer  to  this  my  letter  you  shall  neither  hear 
from  me  nor  of  me. 

"  Sincerity  is  your  best  policy,  and  deal  as  plainly  with 
me  as  I  with  you,  and  if  you  give  me  not  great  cause  to 
the  contrary,  I  shall  ever  remain 

"Your  unfeigned  loving  Father." 
The  following  is  the  letter  from  his  mother : 
"  My  dear  Son  :  I  have  seen,  read,  and  considered  all 
your  letters  with  the  best  of  my  poor  judgment,  written 
to  your  father  and  myself,  both  before  and  since  your  sick- 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  231 

ness,  especially  your  long  one  of  two  sheets  of  paper,  sign- 
ed with  your  own  hand,  but  written  by  another  ;  whereby 
I  perceive  the  great  pains  you  took  to  be  resolved,  which 
zeal  I  trust  the  Lord  will  favor,  howsoever  you  may  be  mis- 
led. But  although  I  cannot  judge  of  controversy,  yet  I 
think  you  ought  not  to  forsake  your  old  father  and  me  to 
enjoy  the  liberty  of  conscience  which  (if  there  be  no  remedy) 
you  may  enjoy  here  at  home,  as  many  other  good  subjects 
do.  But  you  fear  your  father  will  be  offended :  much  bet- 
ter may  you  bear  that  than  we  your  longer  absence,  which 
I  assure  myself  would  bring  us  both  with  sorrow  to  oui 
graves.  My  dear  son,  consider  that  our  laws  do  not  enforce 
men's  consciences  ;  and  therefore  what  cause  can  there  be 
to  absent  yourself.''  If  ever  you  took  pity  on  my  sorrows, 
add  not  unto  them,  but  return  to  comfort  me,  whose  eyes 
have  ever  fasted  with  expectation  of  it.  Ah  my  son  !  you, 
that  ought  not  to  turn  away  your  ears  from  the  prayers  of 
the  poor,  are  much  more  bound  to  regard  the  tears  and 
supplications  of  your  mother.  I  do  beseech  you  with  up- 
lifted hands  to  return  by  your  nearest  way,  and  not  to  think 
of  passing  through  Spain.  The  infinite  testimony  I  have 
had  of  your  piety  and  obedience  to  both  of  us  assures  me 
you  will  be  grieved  that  I  cannot  know  the  haste  you  will 
make  home  ;  but,  my  dear  child,  let  not  that  trouble  you, 
for  I  am  comforted  in  the  confidence  of  it,  and  so  are  all 
your  sisters.  Your  sister  Willoughby  is  the  mother  of 
three  children,  and  your  sister  Betty  married ;  but  in  all 
this  I  can  take  no  true  contentment  till  I  see  you.  And 
if  it  please  the  Lord  of  mercy  to  permit  that,  then  shall  I 
say  I  have  had  one  joyful  day  before  my  death.  Fare- 
well, and  all  the  good  a  mother's  blessing  can  add  unto  you 
be  heaped  upon  your  head,  my  dearest  child. 

"  Yours,  as  you  know." 

Various  letters  of  his  to  Jesuit  fathers  give  an  account 
if  his  journey. 

232  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

To  Father  John  Thompson,  at  Piacenza,  he  writes  from 
Milan,  the  25th  May,  1634 :  "  We  are  now,  God  be  praised, 
safely  arrived  at  Milan,  and  have  already  taken  places  in  a 
coach  for  Thurin."  From  St.  Omer  he  writes,  on  the  14th 
July  :  "  I  arrived  in  Paris  on  Corpus  Christi  day,  being  the 
14th  June,  and  remayned  there  until  the  27th.  I  received 
from  Father  Talbot  a  pass  which  he  had  lying  by  him, 
which  is  yet  of  a  fresh  date,  and  I  make  use  of  it  for  my 
passage  into  England." 

He  must  have  arrived  in  Ireland  about  the  end  of  July. 
On  arriving  in  Dublin  he  waited  on  the  Lord-Deputy 
Wentworth;  as  we  learn  from  Father  Spreul : 

"  He  called  on  the  Lord-Deputy,  Viscount  Wentworth, 
(to  pay  his  respects  on  his  return,)  who  was  nearly  related 
to  him,  but  a  most  bitter  persecutor  of  Catholics  ;  and  in 
presence  of  a  crowd  of  heretical  noblemen  declared  himself 
a  Catholic,  and  when  the  lord-deputy  attacked  some  arti- 
cles of  the  Catholic  religion  he  boldly  answered  him.  All 
this  I  was  told  by  one  of  the  royal  chamberlains,  who  was 

"  As  his  father,  who  had  great  influence  in  that  kingdon? 
had  founded  great  hopes  of  advancing  his  family  on  the  pru  ■ 
dence  and  talents  of  his  son,  which  had  been  praised  by  all, 
he  left  no  stone  unturned  to  withdraw  him  from  the  Catholic 
religion.  He  pointed  out  to  him  the  shame  and  injury  he 
would  bring  on  an  illustrious  family  ;  that  he  would  render 
himself  incapable  of  holding  any  office  or  honor  or  dignity 
But  he  found  that  he  produced  no  impression,  although  he 
lieid  out  good  hopes  of  his  being  made  a  privy  councillor, 
(which  is  the  highest  honor  ;)  for  Father  Francis,  with  sin- 
gular modesty  and  moderation,  made  answer  only  in  these 
words  of  Christ,  '  What  shall  it  profit  a  man  if  he  gain  the 
whole  world  and  lose  his  own  soul  ?  so  that  his  father  per- 
ceived that,  like  the  apostle,  he  held  all  but  as  dirt  that  he 
might  gain  Christ,  and  that  the  only  way  to  influence  him 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  233 

would  be  to  persuade  him  that  the  Catholic  religion  was 
false.  And,  having  perceived  in  their  daily  discussions  that 
he  was  far  inferior  to  Father  Francis  in  disputing  on  points 
of  faith,  he  determined  to  take  him  to  Dr.  Usher,  who  was 
called  Archbishop  and  Primate  of  all  the  kingdom,  who 
was  considered  and  really  was  by  far  the  most  learned  man 
among  the  sectaries,  and  who  had  acquired  great  authority 
by  writing  books  against  the  Catholics.  While  he  was 
disputing  with  the  archbishop,  it  pleased  God  by  a  singular 
trial  to  test  or  rather  to  manifest  his  constancy  in  the 
Catholic  faith  ;  for  when  the  archbishop  had  objected  many 
things  against  the  faith,  Francis's  wonted  promptitude  and 
readiness  in  defending  the  orthodox  faith  suddenly  deserted 
him,  and  the  motives  and  reasons  which  had  influenced 
him  seemed  suddenly  blotted  out  from  his  mind,  and  he 
seemed  to  himself  plunged  in  sudden  mental  darkness. 
In  this  anguish  he  raised  his  whole  mind  to  God,  begging 
his  assistance  and  direction,  when  suddenly  his  mental 
darkness  vanished  and  he  felt  most  clearly  the  truth  of  the 
Catholic  faith,  and,  falling  on  his  knees,  he  prayed  aloud  to 
God  that  the  earth  might  open  and  swallow  him  up  if  ever 
he  failed  to  profess  the  orthodox  faith  taught  by  Christ  and 
his  apostles.  Rising,  he  turned  to  the  archbishop  and 
asked  if  he  would  do  as  much  for  his  faith  ;  but  he  hastily 
drew  back,  declaring  Father  Francis  was  not  in  his  right 
mind,  and  rashly  proclaimed  his  confidence  in  his  faith. 
As  many,  even  Catholics,  blamed  him  for  his  act,  I  asked 
him  why  he  had  done  so.  He  answered  that  he  had  done 
it  intentionally  and  calmly,  especially  to  convince  his  father 
of  his  firm  resolution  not  to  abandon  the  Catholic  faith,  and 
so  to  free  himself  from  the  continual  importunities  and 
vexations  which  hindered  him  from  his  spiritual  exercises 
and  private  meditations.  He  gained,  indeed,  his  object  by 
this  heroic  act,  but  it  produced  at  the  moment  very  dif- 
ferent  effects,   for  the   lord-deputy  and    the   archbishop 

234  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

were  so  irritated  that  he  was  that  very  day  thrown  into 

Father  Francis  himself  alludes  to  these  events  in  a  letter, 
dated  Dublin  Castle,  January  21st,  1635,  to  Father  Thomas 
Roberts,*  SJ.,  English  College,  Rome,  in  the  following 
words : 

"  Reverend  dear  Father  :  This  is  the  thirdf  letter  I 
have  written  to  you  since  my  coming  into  these  parts.  In 
my  former  I  gave  you  an  accompt  of  the  conference  which 
passed  betwixt  my  lord-deputy  and  myself  at  my  landing. 
After,  I  went  into  the  country  to  my  father,  who  received 
me  with  joy  and  much  love.  But  since  the  conversion  of 
my  dear  and  hopeful  brother  he  hath  almost  quite  with- 
drawn his  affection,  and  procured  my  imprisonment  in  the 
Castle  of  Dublin.  My  mother  and  one  of  my  sisters  are 
not  far  from  the  kingdom  of  heaven,  and  there  is  little  pro- 
bability of  gaining  my  father.  I  am  prest  with  longing 
desire  to  know  how  you  will  dispose  of  me  ;  for  if  you  say 
but  '  Veni,'  by  the  grace  of  God  nothing  but  violence  shall 
hold  me.  Dear  father,  pray  for  me,  as  I  do  continually  for 
you,  as  the  greatest  benefactor  I  have  in  the  world.  I 
pray  my  humble  respects  to  Mr.  Scaevola,J  and  my  dearest 
love  and  respect  to  Mr.  Fitzherbert,  Mr.  Southwell,  Mr. 
Trandis,  Mr.  Milford,  and  Mr.  Harvey." 

The  following  letter  describes  his  imprisonment : 

"  After  he  had  been  some  days  in  prison,  he  was  brought 
up  to  be  examined  before  two  privy  councillors,  and  a 
double  charge  was  made  against  him :  i.  That  he  had 
spoken  contumeliously  of  the  Protestant  religion  ;  namely, 

»  Father  Thomas  Roberts's  real  name  was  Joseph  Gerard.  Father  F.  Siingsby  signs  thi3 
letter,  and  also  several  others,  Leiuh  Newman.  In  otherplaces  he  uses  the  name  oi Francii 
PeriEus,  or  Perry.  Priests  and  Catholics  at  this  time  constantly  wrote  under  feigned  names, 
to  elude  their  enemies. 

f  The  other  two  are  lost. 

t  I  may  here  mention  that  ScEvola  is  the  name  always  used  for  Father  Muzio  Vitelleschi, 
General  of  the  Je  uits.     The  name  after  Southwell  is  difficult  to  decipher 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  235 

thai  it  came  out  of  the  teachers  of  Henry  VIII.  2.  That 
he  Lad  endeavored  to  bring  others  to  the  Catholic  faitli, 
which  by  law  was  made  treason.  To  the  first  he  answer- 
ed that  he  had  used  those  words  but  in  jest,  and  privately 
to  the  husband  of  his  sister,  who  had  jestingly  spoken 
words  of  contumely  against  the  pope,  to  whom  he  had 
answered  by  a  jest  common  in  England.  To  the  second 
he  confessed  that  he  had  done  his  best  to  bring  others  to 
that  only  way  of  salvation  which  he  had  himself  embraced. 
And  when  one  of  the  councillors  observed  that  by  the  law 
that  was  the  crime  of  high  treason,  he  answered,  '  If  that 
be  so,  I  cannot  deny  I  have  done  it,  nor  undo  what  I  have 
done.'     He  was  then  taken  back  to  prison. 

"  Such  was  his  calmness  of  mind,  his  modesty,  and  his 
gentleness  while  in  prison  that  he  won  the  affection  even 
of  the  heretics,  and  greatly  consoled  the  Catholics  who 
visited  him — and  great  numbers  of  Catholics  flocked  to 
visit  him  while  in  prison. 

"  These  latter  he  edified,  not  only  by  his  constancy  in 
professing  the  Catholic  religion,  and  readiness  to  endure 
all  things  for  its  sake,  but  also  by  his  pious  discourses,  and 
he  thus  moved  many  to  a  change  of  manner  and  a  more 
holy  life.  One  person  in  particular  I  know  who  was 
moved  by  his  words  and  example  to  a  total  change  of  life. 
While  he  remained  in  prison  he  was  challenged  to  a  dispute 
on  faith  by  another  heretical  bishop,  P.  Bromwell,  who  was 
considered  to  excel  in  talents  and  learning.  The  bishop 
chose  for  the  subject  of  the  dispute  the  receiving  of  the 
Holy  Eucharist  under  one  species,  for  there  is  no  con- 
troversy in  which  they  think  so  easily  to  obtain  the  victory 
as  in  this.  One  of  the  leading  men  about  the  deputy's  court 
told  me  of  the  subject  chosen  for  the  dispute,  and  invited 
me  to  be  present,  (for  I  was  not  at  that  time  a  Catholic  ;)  but 
when  we  both  came  to  hear  the  argument  the  bishop 
would  not  let  us  be  present,  on  which  the  nobleman  (who  was 

236  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

also  a  heretic)  by  whom  T  was  invited  openly  said  that  it 
would  seem  as  if  the  bishop  were  but  little  sure  of  the  faith 
he  undertook  to  defend,  when  he  would  not  allow  his  co- 
religionists to  be  present.  But  in  this  dispute  it  happened 
very  differently  from  the  former  one  with  the  Primate,  for 
so  clear  a  perception  of  Catholic  truth  was  divinely  vouch- 
safed to  him  that  he  most  easily  answered  every  objection 
of  the  bishop.  How  well  he  vindicated  the  Catholic  reli- 
gion on  this  occasion  may  be  gathered  from  this,  that  when 
i  inquired  from  the  only  person  who  was  present  (who  was 
a  most  bitter  opponent  of  the  Catholic  faith)  what  had 
been  said,  and  lamented  that  I  had  not  been  present,  he 
said  not  a  word  of  anything  which  the  bishop  had  urged, 
but  endeavored  to  slur  over  the  whole  matter,  which  he 
surely  would  not  have  done  had  he  had  the  least  chance  of 

"  Father  Francis,  too,  afterward  frankly  told  me  that  all 
had  turned  out  as  he  could  wish,  for  that  he  not  only  per- 
ceived most  clearly  interiorly  that  the  bishop's  arguments 
were  unfounded,  but  there  occurred  to  his  mind  abundance 
of  weighty  arguments  to  demonstrate  their  falseness. 
When  they  perceived  that  there  was  no  chance  of  Francis 
returning  to  their  religion,  they  determined  at  least  to  pun- 
ish him  by  a  lengthened  imprisonment." — Letter  of  Father 

"As  soon  as  it  was- known  in  Rome  that  he  was  in  pri- 
son, Cardinal  Barberini  exerted  himself  to  the  utmost  to 
obtain  his  liberty,  and  at  last  succeeded.  He  immediately 
wrote  to  the  Queen  of  England,*  and  to  her  sister,  the 
Duchess  of  Savoy,  requesting  the  latter  to  use  her  influ- 
ence with  her  sister  the  queen  to  obtain  Francis's  liberty. 
At  length  he  obtained,  by  his  entreaties,  that  the  Queen 
of  England  caused  her  confessor  to  write  to  Francis  to  say 

*  Henrietta  Maria  of  France. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  237 

she  would  try  to  obtain  what  was  sought.  Thus,  as  it  is 
thought,  it  came  to  pass  that,  instead  of  being  sentenced  to 
exile,  he  was  first  transferred  to  the  house  of  the  Earl  of 
Castlehaven,  a  Catholic,  who  had  done  much  to  obtain  his 
freedom,  there  to  be  detained  in  custody,  and  at  length  set 
free." — Letter  of  another  Jesuit,  name  lost. 

On  the  I2th  of  May,  1635,  he  was  admitted  to  bail,  to 
remain  in  Lord  Castlehaven's  house.  On  that  day  he 
wrote  to  Father  Roberts  (Gerard) : 

"  Hoping  every  day  to  get  my  liberty,  I  deferred  from 
time  to  time  to  write  to  you,  being  desirous  to  make  the 
news  the  subject  of  my  letter. 

"The  superior*  here  laboreth  to  procure  my  stay  in 
these  parts,  but,  if  you  would  know  mine  own  affection  or 
inclination  of  flesh  and  blood  in  this  point,  I  will  confess 
that  I  esteem  Rome  a  paradise  and  this  my  purgatory  ;  but 
yet,  as  well  in  this  as  in  all  other  things,  obedience  shall 
be  the  rule  of  my  actions.  My  mother  is  well  disposed  to 
be  reconciled  to  my  father,  but  he  remains  obstinate." 

The  last  sentence  probably  refers  to  his  father's  indig- 
nation at  the  conversion  of  his  brother,  and  his  mother's 
tendencies  toward  Catholicity,  (see  letter  of  21st  Janu- 
ary, 1635,)  but  she  was  not  finally  converted  till  later,  as  on 
the  8th  May,  1636,  he  writes  to  Father  Roberts,  (Gerard,) 
"  My  two  kinswomen  are  not  as  yet  entirely  persuaded  in 

After  he  had  passed  several  months  in  the  house  of  Lord 
Castlehaven,  being  at  length  fully  restored  to  freedom,  he 
proceeded  to  the  castle  of  the  dowager  Countess  of  Kil- 
dare.  His  confessor.  Father  William  Malone,  mentions 
that  "  in  a  short  time  after  his  return  to  Ireland  he  had 
converted  his  mother,  his  younger  brother,  his  sister,  and 
several  others  ;"  and  adds  : 

*  The  superior  of  the  Jesuits  in  Ireland  was  Father  Robert  Nugent.     See  the  MS.  RiUr 
tio  Brevist  etc,  by  Father  Maurice  Ward.    Written  1643. 

238  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

■'  His  father  was  now  advanced  in  years,  and  usually 
dwelt  in  Dublin.  Although  he  avoided  as  much  as  possi- 
ble showing  peculiar  favor  to  his  son,  and  would  not  allow 
him  to  dwell  in  the  same  house  with  him,  fearing  lest  he 
should  be  supposed  to  be  a  papist,  he  yet  freely  conversed 
with  him  in  private,  and  supplied  him  liberally  with  the 
means  of  satisfying  his  common  wants.  His  love  for  his 
son  sometimes  went  so  far  that  Francis  had  great  hopes 
his  father  would  renounce  his  heresy ;  wherefore  he  most 
freely  rendered  him  every  possible  service. 

"  By  his  father's  desire  he  attended  the  courts,  and  acted 
for  him  in  divers  causes.  These  and  other  secular  affairs, 
although  contrary  to  his  natural  inclinations,  he  undertook 
cheerfully,  always  in  the  hope  of  ultimately  gaining  his 
father's  soul ;  and  no  doubt  he  would  have  succeeded  had 
he  remained  longer  in  the  kingdom,  but,  on  account  of 
fresh  complaints  which  were  made  against  him,  and  being 
again  threatened  with  imprisonment,  he  was  compelled  to 
suddenly  embark  on  board  a  ship  for  England,  whence  he 
wrote  to  his  father  most  humbly,  and  fully  explaining  the 
reasons  of  his  departure." 

Father  Spreul  further  describes  his  mode  of  life  in  the 
interval  between  his  liberation  from  constraint  and  his  de- 
parture from  Ireland  : 

"  He  made  a  very  different  use  of  his  liberty  from  that 
commonly  made  by  youth  ;  for,  having  been  prevented 
from  practising  many  of  his  spiritual  exercises  in  prison, 
when  set  free,  like  a  flame  which  lay  for  a  time  compressed, 
bursts  forth,  he  edified  the  whole  city  by  his  fervor  and  his 
truly  angelic  life.  He  took  a  lodging  in  Dublin,  where  he 
dwelt  very  privately,  having  much  intercourse  with  the 
Jesuit  fathers  who  then  dwelt  in  that  city.*  He  kept  only 
one  sei-vant,  and  led  a  life  which  might  shame  many  in  the 

•  They  were  all  violently  exiled  in  1642.     See  that  year. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  239 

cloister,  for  no  novice  in  the  noviceship  could  be  more  ex- 
act in  observing  the  distribution  of  his  time.  For  this 
purpose  he  obtained  from  his  father-confessor,  according 
to  the  custom  of  the  society  (of  Jesus,)  a  plan  of  fixed  times 
for  rising,  praying,  etc.,  which,  through  obedience,  he  ob- 
sei'ved  exactly.  Every  morning  he  devoted  an  hour  to 
mental  prayer,  on  his  bare  knees  ;  then  studied.  During 
meals  he  listened  to  some  pious  book  read  by  the  servant ; 
he  examined  his  conscience  before  dinner :  he  had  a  fixed 
hour  for  recreation,  during  which  he  entered  into  conver- 
sation with  those  of  the  family,  speaking  of  God,  of  the 
lives  of  the  saints,  and  other  pious  subjects ;  and  they  all 
declared  to  me  that  they  never  were  so  edified  as  by  his 
conversation.  When  his  hour  for  recreation  was  over,  he 
betook  himself  to  his  room,  where  he  gave  some  time  to 
an  examination  of  himself  distinct  from  the  two  others,  and 
there  pursued  the  studies  he  was  ordered.  His  body  he 
afl^icted  with  disciplines  and  frequent  fasts.  He  rarely 
left  the  house  except  on  some  business,  and  so  eager  was 
he  to  employ  his  time  well  that  he  could  not  bear  to  be  a 
moment  idle.  According  to  the  custom  of  the  society,  he 
approached  the  sacraments  of  penance  and  the  Blessed 
Eucharist  on  every  festival  day,  and  so  exactly  conformed 
the  whole  tenor  of  his  life  to  the  institutes  of  the  society 
that  I  venture  to  say  that  no  one  in  any  of  our  colleges 
was  more  exact  in  observing  the  rule  than  he,  although  liv- 
ing as  his  own  master  in  the  world.  And  he  was  so  assidu- 
ous in  reading  the  rules  over  and  over  again,  that,  like 
another  Berchmans,  he  always  carried  them  about  with 
him,  and  that  so  secretly  that,  although  continually  among 
heretics,  no  one  ever  saw  them,  for  he  carried  the  rule 
sewed  up  in  black  silk  in  the  top  of  his  hat,  which  was 
made  of  beaver.  Although  Father  Francis  sought,  by 
every  means,  to  hide  his  admirable  mode  of  life,  for  he 
wore  a  dress  of  silk  and  fur  as  became  his  rank  and  the 

240  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

station  of  his  parents,  yet  lie  could  not  prevent  the  odor 
of  his  virtues  being  diffused  abroad  ;  the  more  so  as  there 
was  none,  not  only  among  the  heretics,  but  even  among 
the  Catholics,  who  led  such  a  life,  and  the  praise  of  his 
virtues  became  a  common  subject  of  conversation.  As  it 
is  the  custom  in  our  country  for  the  sons  of  nobles,  and 
especially  their  heirs,  to  live  in  great  splendor,  keeping 
many  horses,  devoting  themselves  to  hunting  and  such 
other  sports,  when  they  saw  a  youth  of  noble  birth,  in  the 
flower  of  his  age,  and  brought  up  while  a  heretic  in  the 
midst  of  luxury,  laying  aside  all  these  pleasures,  although 
in  themselves  lawful,  and  cheerfully  embracing  a  life  alto- 
gether contrary  to  the  ideas  of  the  world,  and  that  in  the 
metropolis  of  the  kingdom,  where  many  of  his  relations 
and  friends  dwelt  in  the  lord-deputy's  court,  not  only 
the  Catholics,  who  were  very  numerous  in  that  city,  but 
also  the  heretics,  gave  the  greatest  praise  to  Father  Fran- 
cis, and  called  him  a  saint ;  and  of  this  I  am  an  eye-wit- 
ness. It  was  by  a  singular  providence  of  God  that  so  pub- 
lic a  theatre  was  assigned  to  him  ;  for  many  Catholics,  by 
the  example  of  his  life,  were  confirmed  in  the  Catholic 
faith,  and  others  recalled  to  virtue.  Many  heretics,  too, 
were  converted  by  his  means,  among  whom  was  myself, 
who  write  this,  although  unworthy  of  such  a  blessing. 
For  I  can  sincerely  declare  that,  though  I  labored  much  in 
examining  into  the  truth,  I  found  no  motive  so  efficacious 
in  inducing  me  to  embrace  the  Catholic  faith  as  the  sanc- 
tity of  life  I  perceived  in  Father  Francis.  And  among 
many  others  converted  by  him  to  the  faith,  his  younger 
brother,  a  youth  of  much  promise,  ingenuously  confessed 
to  mc  that  his  chiefest  motive  for  abjuring  his  heresy  was 
the  religious  regularity  in  prayer,  sacred  reading,  and  ex- 
amination of  conscience  which  he  saw  in  Father  Francis. 
Nor  did  he  make  converts  only  by  this  holiness  of  life,  for 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  241 

he  confuted  the  heretics  by  most  weighty  reasons,  and 
showed  great  talent  in  all  controversies  of  faith. 

"  Although  he  desired  to  go  into  public  as  little  as  pos- 
sible, and  only  to  serve  God  in  the  aforementioned  exer- 
cises, yet  when  there  was  the  least  chance  of  saving  souls 
he  most  readily  deferred  or  abandoned  any  of  his  own 
business,  nor  did  he  ever  show  any  labor  or  trouble  in  this 
work,  serving  equally  freely  the  rich  and  the  poor.  He 
converted  in  Dublin  a  whole  family  to  the  faith — husband, 
wife,  and  children  ;  he  also  converted  his  own  mother,  bro- 
ther, sister,*  and  many  others,  to  the  number  of  not  less 
than  twenty,  while  he  remained  in  Ireland,  which  is  no 
small  number  if  we  consider  the  time  and  the  difficulty  of 
converting  heretics." 

It  appears  that  it  was  in  November,  1635,  that  he  was 
entirely  set  at  liberty,  for  in  a  letter  dated  November  24th 
of  that  year  he  says,  "  Lately  released  from  prison,  after  a 
full  year."  His  sisters  were  not  converted  until  1636,  for 
on  the  8th  of  May  he  writes  to  Father  Roberts,  "  My  two 
kinswomen  are  not  as  yet  entirely  persuaded  in  judgment." 

The  immediate  cause  of  Francis's  hasty  departure  from 
Ireland  in  1636  was,  as  we  have  seen,  the  imminent  danger 
of  being  again  thrown  into  prison  for  having  caused  the 
conversion  of  his  sister  ;f  but  he  had  long  meditated  pro- 
ceeding to  Rome  to  fulfil  his  original  intention  of  becoming 
a  Jesuit.  He  thought,  however,  that  it  might  be  desirable 
for  him  to  remain  some  time  longer  in  Ireland  in  order 
to  conciliate  his  father,  and  so  escape  being  totally  disin- 
herited ;  and  Father  Robert  Nugent,  the  superior  of  the 
Jesuits  in  Ireland,  was  anxious  to  detain  him  on  account 
of  the  good  he  was  doing.  The  latter  wrote  from  Ireland 
to  Father  Thompson  in  Rome  on  the  ist  of  March,  1636, 

•  It  appears  by  a  letter  from  Father  Malone  that  one  died  in  1635. 

t  "  He  fled  from  the  persecution  raised  against  him  by  his  relations  on  account  of  the  con- 
version of  his  sister.'* — Father  Spreia. 

242  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

offering  to  allow  Mr.  Slingsby  to  return  to  Rome,  but  re- 
commending that  he  should  be  left  to  settle  his  father's 
affairs.  The  general,  however,  Father  Mutius  Vitelleschi, 
anxious  only  for  the  spiritual  advance  of  his  intended 
future  son  in  religion,  wrote  him  to  neglect  all  worldly 
considerations,  and  come  at  once  to  Rome.  While,  how- 
ever, this  correspondence  was  going  on,  Francis  was 
obliged  to  fly  to  England,  and  thence  to  France.  This  is 
narrated  as  follows  by  Father  Spreul :  "  I  should  here  men- 
tion a  heroic  act  of  Father  Francis,  when,  leaving  his 
country,  his  friends,  and  all  that  was  dear  to  him  in  this 
world,  he  went  to  England.  He  had  left  Ireland  without 
the  knowledge  of  his  father,  who  would  have  had  recourse 
to  the  authority  of  the  viceroy,  and  was  therefore  destitute 
of  means  for  so  long  and  arduous  a  journey.  This  he  re- 
joiced at,  from  the  great  desire  he  had  to  abandon  the 
world.  He  bought  for  himself  in  London  a  poor  and  sim- 
ple dress,  with  the  intention  of  proceeding  to  Rome  on  foot, 
and,  if  all  other  means  failed,  begging  his  way ;  and  this, 
no  doubt,  he  would  have  done  with  as  great  fervor  as  the 
blessed  Stanislaus,  had  it  not  been  otherwise  decided  by  a 
particular  providence  of  God.  Just  as  he  was  about  to  start, 
there  arrived  from  Ireland  a  young  nobleman  whose  virtue 
was  well  known  to  him.  Lord  Castlehaven,  who  proposed 
visiting  foreign  parts,  as  is  the  custom.  Meeting  Father 
Francis,  whom  he  had  known  in  Dublin,  he  never  ceased 
importuning  him  until  he  agreed  to  accompany  him,  to  his 
great  profit,  for  the  pious  conversation  and  virtuous  ex- 
ample of  Francis  produced  a  great  impression  on  him 
Nothing  more  clearly  shows  how  gently  but  efficaciously 
he  inclined  the  minds  of  others  to  virtue  than  the  conduct 
of  this  3'oung  nobleman  while  travelling  with  Francis  ;  for 
it  is  commonly  said  those  who  travel  rarely  advance  in  vir- 
tue, and  most  gentlemen  while  travelling  attend  to  any- 
thing rather  than  virtue.     After  they  had  examined  such 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I,  243 

objects  of  interest  as  were  to  be  seen,  they  gave  the  rest 
of  their  time  to  the  study  of  mathematics,  in  which  he 
acted  as  teacher  to  the  young  count.  Every  week  they 
approached  the  sacrament  of  penance,  and  never  omitted 
to  receive  the  Blessed  Eucharist  on  Sundays  and  feast- 
days,  and  daily  to  devote  some  time  to  pious  reading. 
This  conduct  was  the  more  admirable,  as  the  earl  had  at- 
tained to  man's  estate.  He  remained  in  France  with  the 
earl  a  considerable  time,*  when,  on  receiving  a  letter  from 
the  father-general,  Mutius  Vitelleschi,  he  prepared  to  pro- 
ceed to  Rome,  although  the  earl  sought  by  all  means  to 
detain  him,  so  that,  not  ,to  offend  one  who  had  so  obliged 
him,  Father  Francis  explained  to  him  his  resolution  of 
embracing  a  religious  life.  The  earl  was  grieved  at  this 
beyond  expression,  not  only  because  he  lost  his  friend's 
society,  but  because  he  had  intended  him  to  marry  his 
sister,  a  young  lady  of  rare  beauty  and  virtue,  and  who  had 
a  large  dowry." 

The  letter  from  the  general  above  alluded  to  is  probably 
the  following,  from  Father  Thomas  R.oberts,  {ver^  Joseph 
Gerard,)  from  Rome,  dated  i6th  of  May,  1637,  written  by 
order  of  the  general  to  Slingsby  : 

''  He  ('  Scasvola,'  that  is,  the  general)  read  both  yours 
and  Mr.  Nugent's  with  great  attention  ;  and  having  well 
considered  both  the  parts  of  your  cause,  and  pondered  also 
the  weight  of  all  the  reasons  alleged  by  Mr.  Nugent  for 
that  part  which  he  desired  might  take  place,  yet  Scasvola 
persevered  in  his  former  opinion,  and  made  choice  of  your 
speedy  coming  hither  as  the  certain  means  of  your  much 
greater  good,  which  (as  he  saith  and  ever  hath  said  when 
we  have  talked  of  that  matter)  is  most  to  be  respected  and 
much  to  be  preferred  before  the  temporal  means  which  by 
your  stay  there  and  loss  unto  yourself  (which  would  cer- 

•  "  Fere  biennlum.*'     But  this  is  a  mistake,  as  the  reader  will  see. 

244  Martyrs  and  Coiifessors 

tainly  follow  of  it)  you  might  gain.  But  Scaevola  is  and 
will  be  much  better  pleased  with  my  friend  alone,  and  with 
the  internal  riches  which  he  will  bring  with  him,  and  which 
cannot  be  taken  from  him,  and  which  will  be  much  the 
greater  by  this  act  of  renunciation,  than  if  with  his  mea- 
sure of  interior  goods  he  brought  with  him  a  much  greater 
proportion  of  exterior  riches.  Therefore,  it  is  his  absolute 
desire  that  his  Joseph  do  break  away  from  the  world, 
though  he  leave  his  cloak  behind  him." 

This  was  followed  by  a  letter  from  the,  general  himself, 
dated  Rome,  23d  of  May,  1637,  as  follows  : 

"  Although  I  doubt  not  you  have  gathered,  both  from 
what  I  wrote  to  you  in  the  month  of  October  last  year  and 
from  what  I  wrote  to  Father  Nugent  in  March  last,  what 
I  think  of  further  delay  and  putting  off  of  your  journey,  and 
that  I  desire  nothing  more  than  that  you  should  proceed  to 
Rome  as  soon  as  possible,  nevertheless,  because,  perchance, 
you  may  think  that  I  have  been  moved  by  the  reasons  you 
and  Father  Nugent  have  written  to  me  and  Father  Thomp- 
son, and  changed  my  opinions,  I  write  these  few  lines  (for 
Father  Thompson  will  write  more  at  length  by  my  wish 
and  desire)  to  say  that  I  by  no  means  approve  what  you 
have  written  as  to  deferring,  and,  as  I  understand  it,  alto- 
gether abandoning  your  journey  ;  and  that  I  do  not  con- 
sider those  reasons  to  be  of  sufficient  weight,  but  that 
rather,  casting  aside  all  those  impediments,  you  should  fl> 
hither  to  take  up  the  cross  of  Christ,  and,  leaving  your 
father's  house,  and  all  human  relations,  give  yourself  whol- 
ly to  your  Creator. 

"  Having  weighed  the  whole  matter  in  God,  I  am  alto- 
gether confident  this  course  will  redound  to  the  greater 
glory  of  God,  and  your  own  salvation. 

"  Our  sweet  Jesus,  who  hath  cast  on  you  the  chains  of 
his  love,  yet  draws  you  on,  and  will  benignly  perfect  the 
work  which  his  infinite  mercy  hath  commenced  in  you." 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  ■  245 

After  Father  Spreul's  conversion  in  Ireland,  by  the 
advice  of  Francis,  he  had  gone  through  a  course  of  the 
spiritual  exercises  of  St.  Ignatius,  under  the  direction  of 
Father  Malone ;  and  he  then  determined  to  enter  into 
religion,  and  become  a  Jesuit.  They  then  agreed  to  meet 
in  France,  and  proceed  to  Rome  together ;  but  Spreul  fell 
very  ill,  and  his  friend  Francis  returned  to  Ireland,  and 
tended  him  in  his  illness. 

The  general  Vitelleschi  alludes  to  thfs  in  a  letter  dated 
Rome,  I2th  December,  1637,  in  which  he  says  he  (Francis) 
had  been  recalled  to  Ireland  from  the  midst  of  his  journey, 
and  hopes  he  would  soon  come  to  Rome.  As  soon  as 
Spreul  was  sufficiently  recovered  to  bear  the  fatigue  of  the 
lourney,  they  started  for  Rome,  setting  out  on  the  20th 
November,  1638.  They  made  the  journey  chiefly  on 
horseback,  and  Slingsby  carried  a  great  number  of  books 
with  him  on  a  sumpter-horse.  His  companion  mentions 
that  Francis  always  took  the  worst  horse  and  dinner  and 
bed,  saying  that  the  other's  recent  illness  required  the 
most  care.  It  would  appear  that  his  brother  Henry 
accompanied  him  this  time  to  France,  from  the  following 
passage  in  one  of  Father  Spreul's  letters  : 

"  When  his  brother  Henry,  whom  he  had  converted  to 
the  CathoHc  faith,  and  who  by  his  example  attained  to  a 
high  degree  of  Christian  perfection,  while  being  in  the 
world,  was  about  to  return  to  Ireland  from  France,  a  few 
days  before  his  departure  the  brothers  began  to  discuss,  in 
a  friendly  way,  the  subject  of  the  surrender  of  his  inheri- 
tance by  Francis  to  his  younger  brother.  The  younger, 
having  no  vocation  to  a  religious  life,,, pointed  out  that  it 
would  be  well  for  one  of  them  to  remain  in  the  world,  and 
continue  the  family  name,  (for  they  were  the  only  two  sons,) 
and  aflford  some  protection  to  the  poor  and  oppressed 
Catholics,  and  he  urged  for  this  purpose  he  would  need  the 
paternal  inheritance.     Francis  would  rather  that  they  both 

246  Maiiyrs  and  Confessors. 

devoted  themselves  to  God  in  religion  and  gave  all  their 
means,  after  their  father's  death,  to  found  a  college  in 
Belgium  for  the  education  of  youth  in  the  Catholic  relig- 
ion, who,  returning  to  their  own  country,  would  there 
preserve  the  faith,  and  be  the  noblest  posterity  of  the 
founders.  He  agreed,  however,  to  surrender  all  his 
inheritance  to  his'  brother  on  condition  that  the  latter 
should  pay  four  hundred  gold  .crowns  annually  for  a 
seminary  in  Belgium  for  educating  Irish  youth."* 

His  companion  relates  the  following  instance  of  his 
extreme  love  of  truth  : 

"  On  our  journey  to  Rome,  as  we  passed  Savona,  some 
soldiers  and  other  citizens  of  that  place  embarked  in  the 
ship  in  which  we  were  proceeding  to  Genoa.  When 
we  arrived  at  the  latter  place,  we  were  forbidden  to  dis- 
embark until  it  should  be  ascertained  whether  we  had 
passed  through  Nice,  where  it  was  said  (although  untruly) 
that  the  plague  was  making  great  ravages.  Those  who 
had  come  from  Savona,  fearing  lest  if  the  truth  were  told 
we  should  all  be  kept  in  the  ship,  as  it  were  in  prison,  for  a 
fortnight  in  the  port,  came  to  Slingsby,  who  spoke  Italian^ 
and  all  urged  that  it  was  necessary  to  dissemble,  and  by 
no  means  to  admit  that  we  had  put  in  there.  When  he 
answered  that  he  would  not  lie,  they  abused  and  threatened 
him,  hmting  broadly  that  w^  should  suffer  if  by  us  they 
were  so  inconvenienced.  But  he  answered  unmoved  that 
he  would  rather  endure  everything  than  offend  his  God  in 
the  least  thing  ;  then,  turning  to  me,  he  said  that  we  should 
commit  the  whole  affair  to  God,  through  the  intercession 
of  St  Catharine  of  Genoa,  whose  body  we  intended  to 
visit.  We  had  hardly  ended  our  prayer,  when  leave  arriv- 
ed from  the  magistrate  for  us  all  to  land  without  any  such 
previous  examination  as  was  at  first  pretended. 

•  See  letter  of  Francis,  and  his  brother  later. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  247 

"  When  we  were  about  to  sail  from  Genoa  to  Leghorn,  a 
certain  religious  of  the  Order  of  St.  Francis  wished  to 
come,  but  had  not  money  to  pay  the  captain  ;  but  Francis 
charitably  paid  for  him." 

The  two  friends  arrived  in  Rome  apparently  on  the  first 
day  of  1639.  Ori  his  arrival  in  Rome,  his  friend  and  pro- 
tector, Cardinal  Barberini,  offered  Francis  a  place  in  his 
house,  but  he  requested  to  be  allowed  to  enter  a  college, 
"  proposing  to  the  father-general  that  he  should  enter  the 
Irish  College,  but  in  this,  as  in  all  things,  submitting  him- 
self to  the  will  of  the  general."  (Letter  of  his  confessor, 
Father  Malone,  who  also  accompanied  him  to  Rome.)  It 
was  decided,  however,  that  he  was  to  enter  the  English 
College,  of  which  the  cardinal  was  the  protector.  The  car- 
dinal proposed  that  he  should  have  a  separate  room  and  a 
servant,  and  that  he,  as  protector  of  the  college,  would 
give  him  a  dispensation  to  have'  them.  But  the  modest 
youth  refused,  and  begged  the  father-rector  not  to  give 
him  any  indulgence  above  the  others  in  food  or  dress.  In 
college  he  was  a  most  diligent  observer  of  the  rules,  and 
never  omitted  to  ask  leave  of  the  prefect  or  vice-prefect 
when  he  left  his  room,  (although  others  did  not  do  so,)  be- 
cause such  was  the  ancient  rule.  It  would  appear  from 
the  document  already  referred  to  that  he  entered  the  Eng- 
lish College  about  the  middle  of  February,  1639,  ^"^^  there 
studied  philosophy  (and,  we  may  presume,  theology  also) 
for  two  years. 

He  was  no  sooner  settled  in  Rome  than  he  reverted  ta 
his  intention  of  resigning  his  inheritance  to  his  younger 
brother,  and  obtaining  funds  for  a  college  in  Belgium. 
How  this  was  arranged  the  two  following  letters  will  ex- 
plain :  the  first  is  from  Father  Francis  to  his  brother,  and 
is  dated  Rome,  24th  April,  1639  • 

"  My  most  deare  Brother  :  I  doe  hereby  renounce 
myne  inheritance,  and  doe  yield  unto  you,  my  most  deare 

248  Martyrs  atid  Confessors 

brother,  all  ye  rights  that  God  hath  given  me  unto  my 
father  and  mother's  estate,  and  doe  utterly  disenable  my- 
self of  pretending  anything  thereunto,  that  those  condi- 
tions be  observed." 

He  retained  a  portion  of  land,  value  ;£i00  a  year,  to  en- 
(bw  a  college. 

His  brother  answered  from  "  Kilkenny,  this  St.  Joseph's, 
(19th  March,)  1640.  When  I  become  master  of  my  father*s 
estate,  I  will  bestow  .3^100  a  year  of  it  in  erecting  an  Irish 
seminary ;  nay,  more,  if  God  shall  call  you  away  before  it 
shall  come  to  my  hands,  I  bind  myself  to  make  it  good  to 
the  society  for  that  intent.  I  now,  with  like  willingness, 
binde  myself  to  give  you  £,2i,  per  annum  for  yourself,  to 
be  paid  to  you  wherever  you  shall  demande  it. — H.  Slings- 


About  this  same  date  he  wrote  the  following  letter  to  his 
father ;  it  is  a  copy  in  his  own  hand,  but  not  dated : 

"  Most  honored  and  dear  Father  :  Being  now,  by 
the  assistance  of  my  good  God,  arrived  at  the  place  where 
he  showed  so  great  mercy  unto  me  as  to  make  me  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Holy  Catholic  Church,  which  of  all  places  ought 
to  be  most  dear  unto  me,  and  best  deserves  the  name  of 
my  country,  wherein  I  was  born  unto  Christ,  I  am  resolved 
here  to  spend  some  years  in  the  service  of  God,  and  pro- 
secution of  my  studies.  And  since,  the  considering  your 
age,  my  intended  stay  in  these  parts,  and  the  dangers  in  so 
long  a  voyage  when  I  return,  it  is  most  possible  I  shall 
never  see  you  more,  the  love  and  duty  I  owe  you  induce 
me  now  to  bid  you  farewell.  And  first  of  all  I  most  hum- 
bly crave  your  pardon,  if  at  any  time,  in  the  heat  of  dis- 
course about  matters  of  religion,  I  have  forgot  the  dutj  I 
owe  unto  a  father  by  being  more  earnest  and  vehement 
than  modesty  allows.  Yet  have  I  this  consolation,  that  my 
intentions  were  pure,  and  that  I  sought  you  and  not  yours, 
for  he  that  shall  be  my  Judge  is  also  my  witness  that  if  I 

In  the  Reigii  of  Charles  I.  349 

had  in  my  possession  all  your  estate,  wherein  God  and  na- 
ture give  me  a  right,  I  would  most  willingly  leave  both  it 
and  my  own  life  too,  so  that  your  soul,  so  dear  unto  me, 
might  enjoy  the  happiness  for  which  it  was  created.  My 
dear  father,  it  is  not  in  your  power  to  hinder  my  love  ;  all 
the  persecutions  you  can  raise  against  me,  all  the  afflic- 
tions and  wants  you  can  make  me  suffer,  nay,  your  refus- 
ing to  love  me,  (which  to  me  is  more  than  all  the  rest,)  are 
not  able  to  blot  out  my  love  toward  you.  For  when  I  con- 
sider how  good  a  father  you  ever  have  been,  how  careful  of 
my  education,  how  tender  in  your  affection,  how  liberal 
toward  me  for  my  expenses,  these  former  benefits  do  pre- 
vail ;  and  if  I  put  them  in  the  balance  with  your  latter  un- 
kindnesses,  yet  in  my  own  judgment  they  weigh  down  to 
the  ground,  especially  since  the  troubles  you  make  me  un- 
dergo proceed  not  originally  from  any  evil  will,  but  from  a 
deceived  judgment.  Now  that  you  may  see  how  good  a 
Master  I  serve,  I  will  declare  unto  you  how  the  prudence 
of  God  hath  so  disposed  things  that  I  was  never  brought 
to  extreme  necessity,  though  I  was  indeed  constrained  to 
sell  some  clothes  and  books  ;  for,  first,  I  had  when  I  was 
first  in  Rome  lent  unto  an  English  gentleman  eighty 
pounds  sterling,  which  I  could  never  get  paid  till  my  last 
being  in  England,  so  that  it  seemed  God  had  laid  it  up  in 
store  till  I  should  stand  in  need  thereof ;  for  our  diet,  w 
had  it  for  the  most  part  gratis  at  my  Lord  Falkland's 
When  I  came  into  France,  my  Lord  of  Castlehaven  main- 
tained me  in  all  things  gratis  for  the  space  of  a  year,  where- 
in he  made  no  difference  betwixt  himself  and  me,  desiring 
me  to  use  his  purse  as  my  own  ;  and  when  I  came  away 
into  Italy,  leaving  him  in  France,  he  lent  me  fifty  pounds 
for  my  expenses  by  the  way,  which  only  I  desire  you  to 
repay.  When  I  came  into  Italy,  Cardinal  Barberini,  hear- 
ing thereof,  had  given  orders,  before  my  arrival  at  Rome, 
that  lodgings  should  be  provided  for  me  in  his  palace,  but 

250  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

when  I  came  to  kiss  his  hands  I  told  his  eminence  that, 
if  it  pleased  him,  I  would  rather  follow  my  studies  in  the 
English  College,  which  he  willingly  assented  unto,  giving 
present  order  for  my  maintenance,  and  offered  me  the  pri- 
vilege of  keeping  a  servant,  which  I  refused.  Thus  I  may 
truly  say,  '  Pater  mens  et  amici  mei  dereliquerunt  me,  sed 
Dominus  suscepit  me.'  His  goodness  hath  a  care  of  me, 
and  suffers  nothing  to  be  wanting  unto  me  ;  one  thing 
alone  I  except,  that  we  two  are  not  one.  Yet  while  I 
have  a  tongue  to  speak  I  will  never  cease  to  beg  and  say, 
'  Lord,  if  thou  wilt  thou  canst  grant  me  what  my  soul  so 
much  thirsteth  after.'  O  my  father !  give  me  a  blessing ; 
you  know  what  my  heart  would  say.  Sapieiiti pauca.  My 
brother  hath  refused  certain  maintenance  here  that  hath 
been  offered  him  by  the  cardinal,  out  of  the  desire  he  hath 
to  return  to  you,  and  chooseth  rather  to  hazard  the  suffer- 
ing of  want  in  your  presence  than  to  want  nothing  being 
absent  from  you.  Receive  him,  therefore,  I  most  humbly 
beseech  you  ;  despise  not  your  own  bowels,  since  in  all 
things,  (yourself  being  judge,)  except  in  matters  of  religion, 
he  hath  been  a  dutiful  and  loving  son  unto  you.  And  as 
you  tender  the  favor  of  him  of  whose  favor  we  shalj  one 
ilay  stand  so  much  in  need,  reject  not  my  mother,  since 
lie  commands  you  to  receive  her,  and  assures  you  by  his 
(iwn  mouth  that  unless  you  forgive  you  cannot  be  for- 

The  rest  of  his  brief  career  may  be  given  in  the  words 
of  another  Jesuit  father : 

"  During  the  space  of  nearly  two  years  that  he  studied 
philosophy  in  the  English  College,  he  was  an  example  of  all 
virtues  to  the  other  alumni.  He  was  ordered  for  his  health's 
sake  during  the  summer  of  the  year  1640  and  1641  to  Tibur, 
and  stopped  in  a  certain  villa  at  Tusculum,  among  our 
students,  where  he  always  conducted  himself  as  one  of 
them,  and  showed  an  example  of  humility  by  always  wash- 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  251 

ing  and  cleaning  the  plates  in  the  kitchen.  At  the  end  of 
winter  he  was  desired  to  prepare  himself  to  receive  holy 
orders,  and  thus  fit  himself  for  entering  into  religion,  which 
he  had  sighed  after  as  another  promised  land  for  more  than 
seven  years.  This  he  did  with  great  fervor,  and  in  the 
month  of  July,  1641,  he  was  made  priest,  and  ever  re- 
cited the  divine  office  and  said  Mass  with  the  greatest 
attention  and  reverence.  He  chose  the  feast  of  the  bless- 
ed Francis  Borgia  for  his  entrance  into  the  novitiate  ; 
and  on  the  eve — that  is,  on  the  30th  September,  1641 — he 
was  accompanied,  as  is  the  custom,  by  the  alumni  of  his 
college  to  the  novitiate  of  St.  Andrea  on  the  Quirinal,  and 
there  took  on  his  body  the  religious  habit  which  he  had 
long  worn  in  his  heart." 

He  died  at  Naples,  but  when,  I  have  not  been  able  to 
discover ;  probably  before  he  had  completed  his  novice- 
ship.  Father  Spreul  says :  "  It  chanced  that  I  was  the 
first  to  bring  the  bitter  tidings  of  his  death,  struck  by  an 
unforeseen  chance,  to  the  master  of  novices,  Father  Oliva. 
He  was  struck  with  grief,  and  said  that  there  was  one  dead 
from  whom  he  had  learned  more  of  virtue  than  he  had  ever 
taught.  He  called  together  all  his  fellow-novices  into  the 
school,  and,  having  spoken  of  the  shortness  and  uncertain- 
ty of  life,  he  told  them  of  the  death  of  Father  Francis,  and 
uesired  them  to  say  the  rosaries  said  in  the  society  for  a  de- 
ceased brother,  not  that  he  might  be  freed  from  the  flames 
of  purgatory,  for  he  did  not  think  he  needed  these  suffrages, 
but  to  return  thanks  to  God  that  he  had  vouchsafed  them 
so  excellent  an  example  of  holiness  and  exact  observance 
of  the  rule.  He  exhorted  them  all  to  keep  such  an  exam- 
ple of  virtue  ever  before  their  eyes ;  that  they  could  all 
bear  witness,  as  he  could,  that  Father  Francis  had  been  so 
perfect  in  religious  observance  that  he  ventured  to  say  he 
had  never  broken  even  the  least  of  the  rules." 

252  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Anno    1637. 


"  This  venerable  prelate,  who  in  1628  was  transferred 
from  the  see  of  Kilmore  to  that  of  Armagh,  was  in  1637, 
for  having  dared  to  assemble  the  clergy  of  his  province  in 
synod,  thrown  into  prison  in  Dublin  Castle,  where  for  six 
weeks  he  was  detained  in  a  painful  captivity.  We  learn 
these  particulars  from  a  letter  by  the  archbishop  himself, 
addressed  to  Dr.  Dwyer,  in  Rome,  on  24th  October,  1637, 
in  which  he  further  states  that  as  yet  his  health  had  hard- 
ly recovered  from  the  severe  shock  it  received  in  the  damp 
dungeon  of  the  castle." — Moran,  Archbishops  of  Dublin, 
vol.  i.  p.  402. 

For  a  full  account  of  the  great  deeds  of  this  noble  bish- 
op, and  how  he  died  a  fugitive  on  Trinity  Island  in  Lough 
Erne,  and  was  buried  in  the  Abbey  of  Cavan,  founded  by 
Gelasius  O'Reilly,  I  must  refer  my  readers  to  Dr.  Rene- 
han's  Collections. 


"  The  venerable  John  O'Mannin,  of  the  convent  of  Derry, 
a  most  strict  observer  of  the  rule,  always  wore  the  habit  of 
his  order,  and  being  recognized  on  a  time  by  the  heretics, 
he  was  by  them  taken  prisoner  and  dragged  before  the  tri- 
bunal Here  he  despised  alike  the  rewards  which  were 
offered  to  him  and  the  torments  with  which  he  was  threat- 
ened, and  ever  loudly  professed  the  Catholic  faith.  He 
was  ordered  for  several  weeks  to  be  tortured  two  or  three 
times  a  week  on  the  rack,  and  once  when  he  was  hanging 
in  that  torture  he  was  let  fall  and  his  back  broken,  so  that 
to  his  dying  day  he  remained  hump-backed,  showing 
clearly  he  lacked  not  the  will  but  the  chance  to  be  a  mar- 
tyr."— Ex  Act  Cap.  Gen.  Roma;,  1656,  ap.  Mon.  Dom, 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  253 

Anno   1640. 


"This  year  the  Rev.  Father  Raymond  Keogh,  being 
taken  prisoner  by  the  heretics,  through  hatred  of  the  Ca- 
tholic faith  and  the  authority  of  the  Roman  pontiff,  which 
he  preached,  was  by  them  beheaded." — Ex  Relat.  ad  Sac. 
Cong.  dat.  ap.  Mon.  Dam. 

Anno   1G41. 

Although  it  is  foreign  to  the  purpose  of  this  book  to 
enter  into  the  general  history  of  Ireland,  or  even  of  the 
persecutions,  my  intention  being  only  to  give  a  brief  ac- 
count of  the  separate  sufferings  of  those  martyrs  and  con- 
fessors whose  names  have  been  preserved,  yet  it  appears 
desirable,  before  entering  on  a  new  and  different  era  of  per- 
secution, briefly  to  call  attention  to  its  features.  From  the 
change  of  religion  under  Elizabeth  to  the  commencement 
of  the  wars  of  the  Long  Parliament  the  persecution  had 
been  more  or  less  intermittent,  and  a  distinction  might, 
with  some  show  of  reason,  be  drawn  between  the  wars  in 
which  the  Irish  were  engaged  in  defence  of  their  indepen- 
dence against  Elizabeth  and  purely  religious  wars,  although 
in  truth  all  through  these  wars  hatred  and  love  of  the  Ca- 
tholic religion  were  the  mainsprings  of  action.  But  with 
1648  began  a  new  era.  The  Parliament  of  England  de- 
clared war  against  the  king,  and  Ireland  was  pressed  by 
the  two  belHgerents.  The  Catholics  took  up  arms  in  their 
own  defence,  and  declared  for  the  king.  At  one  time  they 
were  encouraged  by  him  ;  at  another,  when  pressed  by  the 
Parliament  and  the  Scotch,  he  disavowed  them.  One  party 
was  always,  and  under  all  circumstances,  inimical  to  the 
Catholic  Irish — the  party  of  the  Parliamentarian  Puritans, 
For  eight  years  these  bloody  wars  went  on,  accompanied 

254  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

by  most  sanguinary  persecutions  of  the  Catholics,  till 
Charles  I.'s  execution,  on  the  30th  January,  1649.  I" 
August  of  that  same  year  Cromwell  landed  in  Ireland. 
For  a  sketch  of  the  bloody  persecution,  or  rather  universal 
massacre,  which  followed,  I  must  refer  my  readers  to  the 
work  of  Dr.  Moran,  Persecution  of  the  Irish  Catholics  ;  but 
it  will  be  necessary  for  them  to  remember  these  dates,  in 
order  to  understand  the  lives  of  the  few  victims  whose 
names  have  been  preserved.  It  will  give  my  readers  some 
idea  of  the  way  in  which  the  persecution  was  carried  on, 
to  mention  that  Lord  Clarendon  says :  "  The  Parliament 
party  had  grounded  their  own  authority  and  strength  upon 
such  foundations  as  were  inconsistent  with  any  toleration 
of  the  Roman  Catholic  religion,  and  even  with  any  hu- 
manity to  the  Irish  nation — and  more  especially  to  those 
of  the  old  native  extraction,  the  whole  race  whereof  they 
had  upon  the  matter  sworn  to  extirpate."  (Hist.  i.  215.) 
The  Parliament  of  England,  under  their  guidance,  resolved, 
on  the  24th  of  October,  1644,  "that  no  quarter  shall  be 
given  to  any  Irishman,  or  to  any  papist  born  in  Ireland ;" 
and  their  historian,  Borlase,  adds  :  "  The  orders  of  Parlia- 
ment were  excellently  well  executed."  {Hist,  of  Rebellion, 
p.  62.)  Leland  and  Warner  refer  to  the  letters  of  the  lords- 
justices  for  the  fact  that  the  soldiers  "slew  all  persons 
promiscuously,  not  sparing  even  the  women."  Cromwell 
declared  on  landing  in  Dublin  that  no  mercy  should  be 
shown  to  the  Irish,  and  that  they  should  be  dealt  with  as 
the  Canaanites  in  Joshua's  time.  It  is  impossible  to  esti- 
mate the  number  of  Catholics  slain  in  the  ten  years  from 
1642  to  1652.  Three  bishops  and  more  than  300  priests 
were  put  to  death  for  the  faith.  Thousands  of  men,  women, 
and  children  were  sold  as  slaves  for  tne  West  Indies ;  Sir 
W.  Petty  mentions  that  six  thousand  boys  and  women 
were  thus  sold.  (Political  Anatomy  of  Ireland,  p.  187.) 
A  letter  written   in    1656,  quoted  by  Lingard,  puts   the 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  255 

number  at  60,000  ;  as  late  as  1666  there  were  12,000  Irish 
slaves  scattered  among  the  West  Indian  Islands.  (Let- 
ter of  Rev.  J.  Grace,  written  in  1669,  ap.  Moran,  p.  147.) 
40,000  Irish  Catholics  fled  to  the  Continent,  and  20,000 
took  refuge  in  the  Hebrides  and  other  Scottish  islands. 
(Moran,  p.  99.)  In  a  word,  as  Sir  W.  Petty  writes,  the 
population  of  Ireland  in  1641  was  1,466,000,  of  whom  Ca 
tholicswere  about  1,240,000;  in  1659,  the  whole  population 
was  only  500,091,  of  whom  Irish  were  only  420,000,  so  that 
very  nearly  or  quite  one  million  must  have  perished.  (Sir 
W.  Petty,  Polit.  Anat.  p.  13,  ap.  Moran,  and  Hardinge's 
Census  of  i6t,()) 

One  other  remark  is  necessary  before  entering  on  the 
separate  lives :  Up  to  1640,  the  Irish  had  days  and  even 
years  of  comparative  safety,  during  which  they  could  col- 
lect and  communicate  information,  and  several  writers  col- 
lected and  published  accounts  of  the  lives  and  deaths  of 
those  who  suffered  for  the  faith ;  but  so  universal  was  the 
desolation,  so  almost  entire  the  extinction  of  the  Irish  Ca- 
tholics, in  the  Cromwellian  persecution,  that  no  such  col- 
lections could  be  made,  and  hence  we  have  only  scatter- 
ed notices  of  a  comparatively  few  cases,  and  no  such  col- 
lected accounts  as  Dr.  Roothe's  De  Frocessn  Martyriali, 
published  in  1619,  and  similar  works.  The  few  records 
that  remain  have  almost  all  been  collected  by  Dr.  Moran 
in  his  work,  and  to  him  I  am  indebted  for  a  great  part  of 
the  following  pages. 


"Before  the  close  of  1641,  a  proclamation  was  pub- 
lished interdicting  the  exercise  of  the  Catholic  religion  ;  a 
rigorous  search  was  made  to  discover  the  priests  and  reli- 
gious, and  no  fewer  than  forty  of  them  being  arrested,  they 
were  for  some  time  treated  with  great  rigor  in  prison,  and 

256  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

then  transported  to  the  Continent.  An  extract  from  a  let 
ter  addressed  to  his  superior  in  Rome,  on  the  12th  July, 
1642,  by  a  Capuchin  father  who  was  sent  into  exile,  will 
convey  some  idea  of  the  storm  thus  let  loose  against  the 

" '  Whithersoever  the  enemy  penetrates,  everything  is 
destroyed  by  fire  and  sword ;  none  are  spared,  not  even 
the  infant  at  its  mother's  breast,  for  their  desire  is  to 
wholly  extirpate  the  Irish  race.  In  Dublin  our  order,  as 
also  the  other  religious  bodies,  had  a  residence,  and  a  beauti- 
fully ornamented  chapel,  in  which  we  publicly,  and  in  our 
habit,  performed  the  sacred  ceremonies ;  but  no  sooner 
had  the  soldiers  arrived  from  England  than  they  furiously 
rushed  everywhere,  profaned  our  chapels,  overturned  our 
altars,  broke  to  pieces  the  sacred  images,  trampling'  them 
underfoot  and  destroying  them  by  fire ;  our  residences 
were  plundered,  the  priests  were  everywhere  sought  for, 
and  many,  among  whom  myself  and  companion,  were 
captured  and  cast  into  prison. 

"  '  We  were  twenty  in  number,  and  the  lords-justices  at 
first  resolved  on  our  execution,  but  through  the  influence 
of  some  members  of  the  council  we  were  transported  to 
France.  The  masters  of  the  two  vessels  into  which  we 
were  cast  received  private  instructions  to  throw  us  into 
the  sea,  but  they  refused  to  commit  this  horrid  crime. 
Oh !  would  to  God  that  we  had  been  worthy  to  be  led  to 
the  scaffold  or  thus  drowned  for  the  faith.'  " — Moran, 
Persec.  p.  11,  and  letter  of  Father  Nicholas,  Superior  of 
the  Capuchins  of  Dublin,  from  Poitiers    I2th  July,  1642; 

quoted  by  him. 

— ♦■ — 

"  An  alumnus  of  the  Dublin  convent,  at  the  commence- 
ment of  the  war  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  heretics,  and 
although  not  accused  of  any  crime,  but,  on  the  contrary, 

In  the  Reigii  of  Charles  I.  257 

many  of  the  heretics  proclaimed  his  innocence,  )'et  was  he 
condemned  to  death  ;  and  having  thrice  confessed  to  his 
prior  and  received  absolution  from  him. — for  he  made  his 
way  into  the  prison  in  disguise — publicly  professing  his  in- 
nocence and  his  firm  adherence  to  the  Catholic  faith  and 
our  holy  order,  he  was  hung  in  the  public  place  of  Dublin, 
on  the  23d  of  March,  1641.  His  constancy  under  torment, 
and  the  joy  expressed  in  his  countenance,  moved  many  of 
the  heretics  to  tears  ;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  rather  excited 
the  fury  of  others,  who  vented  their  rage  on  his  body  by  all 
sorts  of  insults,  and  refusing  to  allow  it  to  be  buried  in 
the  city  ;  and  as  it  was  carried  out  of  the  gate,  one  broke 
the  skull  with  a  bullet  from  a  gun,  and  inflicted  divers 
other  like  injuries." — :Hib.  Dom.  p.  561,  ex  Actis  Capituli 
Generalis  Romce,  1644. 


"This  same  year-  the  Rev.  Father  Peter  O'Higgins, 
Prior  of  Naas,  obtained  the  palm  of  constancy  in  Dublin. 
{Hib.  Dom)  This  pious  and  eloquent  man  was  arrested 
and  brought  before  the  lords-justices,  (Parsons  and  Bor- 
lase,)  charged  with  dogmatizing,  or,  in  other  words,  seduc- 
ing the  Protestants  from  their  religion.  Now,  when  they 
failed  to  sustain  any  capital  charge  against  him,  they  sent 
to  inform  him  that,  if  he  abandoned  his  faith,  he  might  ex- 
pect many  and  great  privileges,  but  all  depended  on  his 
embracing  the  English  faith.  That  they  were  resolved  to 
sacrifice  him  he  knew  right  well ;  so  that  on  the  very 
morning  of  his  execution  the  messenger  came  to  his  prison 
with  the  terms  proposed  by  the  justices.  O'Higgins,  in 
reply,  said :  '  Alas  !  I  am  not  so  weary  of  life  as  to  wish 
for  speedy  dissolution  ;  but  if  your  masters  are  so  anxious 
to  preserve  me,  return  and  ask  them  to  forward  in  their 

258  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

own  handwriting  an  instruraen':  leaving  life  and  death  to 
my  own  option  ;  so  that  if  I  shall  have  renounced  the  Ro- 
man Catholic  religion  in  presence  of  the  gibiet,  the  terri- 
ble circumstance  in  which  I  have  been  placed  may  extenu- 
ate the  guilt  attaching  to  what  is  deemed  apostasy.'  The 
justices,  thinking  he  was  shaken  in  his  mind,  ordered  the 
conditional  pardon  to  be  handed  to  him  on  the  first  step 
of  the  ladder,  and  it  was  so  handed  to  him  by  the  execu- 
tioner. He  bowed  courteously  on  receiving  it,  and  loud 
was  the  exultation  of  the  heretic  mob,  who  thought  they 
were  about  to  catch  '  a  convert.'  Now,  when  he  stood  ex- 
posed to  the  view  of  God  and  man,  he  exhibited  to  all 
around  the  instrument  which  he  held,  and,  commenting  on 
it  with  warmth,  convicted  his  impious  judges  of  their  own 
avowed  iniquity.  Knowing  well  that  there  were  Catholics 
in  the  crowd,  he  addressed  them  in  such  words  as  these  : 
" '  Dear  brethren,  children  of  the  Holy  Roman  Church, 
since  the  day  I  fell  into  the  cruel  hands  of  the  heretics  who 
stand  around  me,  I  have  endured  much  hunger,  great  insults, 
dark  and  foetid  dungeons  ;  and  the  doubt  as  to  what  was  the 
cause  seemed  to  me  to  render  the  palm  of  martyrdom  doubt- 
ful ;  for  it  is  the  cause,  not  the  death,  that  makes  the  martyr. 
But  the  omnipotent  God,  the  protector  of  my  innocence, 
and  who  ordereth  all  things  sweetly,  has  so  arranged  that 
although  I  have  been  accused  as  a  seducer  and  a  criminal 
by  the  laws  of  the  land,  yet  to-day  in  me  it  is  the  Catholic 
religion  only  that  is  condemned  to  death.  Behold  here  an 
undoubted  witness  of  my  innocence — a  pardon  signed  by  the 
king's  representatives,  ofiering  me  not  only  life,  but  large 
gifts,  if  even  now  I  renounce  the  Catholic  religion.  But  I 
call  God  and  men  to  witness  how  freely  I  reject  this — how 
gladly  I  now  embrace  my  doom  in  and  for  the  profession  of 
that  faith.'  Having  thus  spoken  and  thrown  the  pardon  to 
a  friend  in  the  crowd,  he  desired  the  executioner  to  do  his 
office.     When  his  body  was  hanging,  and  the  executiouer 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  L  259 

pulled  at  it  several  times,  yet  heaving  a  loud  sigh,  he  uttered 
'  Deo  gratias,*  and  so,  having  disappointed  the  expectation  of 
the  heretics,  he  went  to  his  God." — Dom.  a  Ros.^  Father 
Meeharis  translation,  p.  199.* 

For  an  account  of  the  wholesale  massacres  of  Irish  and 
even  English  and  Scotch  Catholics  in  Ireland,  on  account 
of  their  religion,  I  must  refer  my  readers  to  Curry's  Civil 

•  Borlase,  tlie  Protestant  historian,  gives  the  following  account  of  his  arrest;  *'In  this 
expedition  to  the  county  of  Kildare  the  soldiers  found  a  pnest,  one  Mr.  Higgins,  at  Naas,  who 
might,  if  he  pleased,  havti  easily  fled  if  he  apprehended  any  danger  in  the  stay.  When  he 
was  brought  before  the  Earl  of  Ormond,  he  voluntarily  confessed  that  he  was  a  papist,  and  ihathis 
residence  was  in  the  tovm,  from  whence  he  refused  to  fly  away  with  those  that  were  guilty,' 
because  he  not  only  knew  himself  very  inirocent,  but  believed  that  he  could  not  be  without 
ample  testimony  of  it,  having,  by  his  sole  charity  and  power,  preserved  many  of  the  English 
from  the  rage  and  fury  of  the  Irish  ;  and,  therefore,  he  only  besought  his  lordship  to  preserve 
him  irom  the  fury  and  violence  of  the  soldiers,  and  put  him  securely  into  Dublin ;  though 
with  so  much  hazard  that,  when  it  was  spread  abroad  among  the  soldiers  that  he  was  a  papist, 
the  officer  in  whose  custody  he  was  entrusted  was  assaulted  by  them,  and  it  was  as  mucb  as 
the  earl  could  do  to  compose  the  meeting.  When  his  lordship  came  to  Dublin,  he  informed 
he  lords-justices  of  the  prisoner  he  had  brought  with  him,  and  of  the  good  testimony  he 
had  received  of  his  peaceable  carriage,  and  of  the  pains  he  had  taken  to  restrain  those  with 
whom  he  had  credif  from  entering  into  rebellion,  and  of  many  charitable  oflBces  he  had  per- 
formed, of  all  which  there  wanted  not  evidence  enough,  there  being  many  then  in  Dublin 
who  owed  their  lives,  and  whatever  of  their  fortunes  was  left,  purely  to  him.  Within  a  few 
days  after,  when  the  earl  did  not  suspect  the  poor  man  being  in  danger,  he  heard  that  Sir 
Charles  Coote,  whowas  provost-marshal -general,  had  taken  him  out  of  prison,  and  caused  him 
to  be  put  to  death  in  the  morning,  before  or  as  soon  as  it  was  light ;  of  which  barbarity  the  earl 
complained  to  the  lords-justices,  but  was  so  far  from  bringing  the  other  to  be  questioned 
that  he  found  himself  upon  some  disadvantage  for  thinking  the  proceeding  to  be  other  than  it 
ought  to  have  been." — Borlase,  ap.  Curry,  p.  211. 

"  That  this  Father  Peter  O'Higgins  is  another  person  from  the  Father  Peter  Higgins 
mentioned  before  is  quite  clear.  First,  because  his  martyrdom  is  mentioned  in  the  Acts  of  the 
General  Chapter  of  1656,  under  the  title  *  Appendix  of  some  remarkable  men  of  this  province, 
(Ireland,)  whose  memory  was  omitted  to  be  recorded  in  the  acts  of  former  chapters  ;'  but  the 
memory  of  the  former  was  not  forgotten  to  be  recorded  in  the  acts  of  former  chapters,  but  is 
recorded  in  the  acts  of  the  preceding  chapter,  that  of  1644.  Also  because  the  latter  is  called 
in  the  Acts  of  the  Chapter  of  1656  Prior  of  Naas,  and  is  therefore  called  reverend  father  ;  the 
former  is  called  in  the  Acts  of  1644  simply  father,  for  he  was  not  prior,  (not  in  office,)  and  it 
said  tc  have  confessed  to  his  prior,  and  indeed  all  the  details  are  different.  Nor  is  the 
identity  both  of  name  and  surname,  and  the  place  of  their  suffering,  any  objection.  For  only 
to  cite,  for  brevity's  sake,  a  few  instances :  I  knew  at  Rome,  in  the  convent  of  St.  Sixtus, 
two  of  our  fathers  whose  names  were  Michael  MacDonogh,  one  a  professor  of  theology,  and 
raised  at  that  very  time  to  the  bishopric  of  Kllmore,  the  other  a  student  of  theology.  Lately 
there  were  two  Thomas  de  Burgos,  both  alumni  of  the  convent  of  Athenry,  both  of  whom 
were  presented  for  thsir  degree  in  theology,  and  one  of  whom  lately  perished  in  the  earthqua^te 
at  Lisbon,  not  to  speak  of  the  third  Thomas  de  Burgq  who  writes  this.  At  this  moment  theie 
are  in  this  metropelSs  of  Dublin  four  priests  of  the  name  of  Peter  Talbot,  two  secular  and  twj  . 

>  Guilty,  that  is,  of  the  rising  of  1641. 

26o  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Wars,  Appendix,  p.  623,  where  he  gives  an  abridgment 
of  the  Collection  of  some  of  the  Massacres  and  Murders 
committed  on  the  Irish  in  Ireland  since  the  22,d  of  October, 
1641,  printed  at  London,  1662. 

Anno    1642. 


The  reader  has  seen,  under  date  of  the  preceding  year, 
an  account  of  the  sufferings  of  the  Capuchin  fathers  in 
Dublin.  Very  similar  was  the  fate  of  the  Jesuits  in  the 
same  place.  A  narrative  preserved  in  the  Irish  College, 
Rome,  and  given  by  Dr.  Moran,  thus  briefly  narrates 
them  :  "  We  were  persecuted  and  dispersed,  and  despoiled 
of  all  our  goods  ;  some,  too,  were  cast  into  prison,  and 
others  were  sent  into  exile.  Among  the  fathers  of  the 
society  was  Father  Henry  Caghwell,  renowned  for  his  zeal 
and  learning.  Being  confined  to  his  bed  by  sickness,  he 
was  apprehended  by  the  soldiers,  and  hurried  to  the  pub- 
lic square.  As  he  was  unable  to  walk,  or  even  to  stand, 
he  was  placed  on  a  chair,  more  for  mockery  than  ease,  and 
subjected  to  the  cruel  insults  of  the  soldiery  ;  he  was  then 
beaten  with  cudgels  and  thrown  into  the  ship  with  the 
others  for  France." — Missio  Soc.  Jesu  usque  ad  an.  1655, 
in  Archiv.  Colleg.  Nib.  Romce,  ap.  Moran. 

A  manuscript  in  the  Burgundian  Library  at  Brussels 
fixes  the  date  of  this  event  in  1643.  It  says:  "To  omit 
many  others,  his  master,  (Slingsby's,)  Father  Henry  Cagh- 

rcgular,  of  the  Order  of  Hermits  of  St.  Augustine.  It  is  also  to  be  remarked  that  the  latter 
Peter  is  called  O'Higgins;  the  first,  Higgins,  without  the  letter  O,  because  in  Dublin,  an 
almost  English  city,  many  Irish  names  lose  tlie  prefix  O,  or  Mac,  which  is  commonly  added 
in  the  country." — Hib.  Dom.  p.  562. 

I  have  given  the  whole  of  this  note  because  my  readers  will  constantly  meet  with  this  iden- 
tity of  names,  and,  as  little  is  known  of  many  martyrs  save  the  date  of  their  death,  might 
think  that  some  were  idiatical. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  261 

well,  ander  whom  he  learned  a  part  of  his  philosophy,  in 
the  course  of  last  year  (1642)  gave  to  the  citizens  of  Dub- 
lin a  noble  example  of  patience  for  the  faith,  for,  being  drag- 
ged from  the  house  where  he  lay  a  paralytic,  he  was  scourg- 
ed in  the  public  square,  and  left  lying  there  in  the  sight  of 
his  friends,  who  dearly  loved  him,  but  did  not  dare  to  raise 
him  up ;  then  he  was  cast  into  prison,  and  at  length 
thrown,  with  twenty  other  priests,  into  a  ship,  which  landed 
him  just  alive  in  France." — MS.  No.  3824,  Correspondance 
des  Pires  J^^suites  Irlandais. 

We  learn  from  Oliver  that  he  was  landed  at  Rochelle, 
where  the  Rector  of  the  Jesuits'  College  paid  him  every 
charitable  attention,  and  by  great  care  and  the  best  medi- 
cal advice  gradually  succeeded  in  restoring  him  to  a  state 
of  convalescence.  As  soon  as  he  could,  the  reverend  fa- 
ther hastened  back  to  the  scene  of  his  former  labors,  but 
within  a  few  days  after  his  return,  early  in  1643,  fell  a  vic- 
tim to  his  zeal  and  charity.  F.  G.  Dillon  says,  in  a  letter 
of  Aug.  3,  1643,  that  he  had  encountered  a  storm  on  his 
passage  back  which  lasted  twenty-one  days..  Sic  verus 
Chris ti  confessor  obiit. — Oliver. 



"  Father  Fergal  Ward  was  a  native  of  Ulster,  and  a 
member  of  the  order  of  the  strict  observance  of  St.  Francis. 
He  was  renowned  for  his  eloquence,  and  for  his  zeal  in  the 
exercise  of  the  sacred  ministry.  In  1642,  he  was  seized  on 
by  a  cruel  and  barbarous  pirate,  a  Scotchman,  named 
Forbes,  who  kept  six  vessels  in  the  service  of  the  Puritans, 
and  chiefly  infested  the  banks  of  the  Shannon.  In  the 
third  month  after  his  arrest  he  was  hanged  from  the  mast- 
head, in  odium  fidci,  in  the  very  centre  of  the  Shannon, 

264  Martyrs  and  Coftfessors 

afterward  he  was  brought  up  for  examination,  when  he  con- 
fessed he  was  a  Franciscan,  but  denied  that  he  had  sought, 
as  was  alleged,  to  betray  the  city  to  the  Catholics.  His 
constancy  in  the  faith  was  tried  by  many  torments,  especi- 
ally the  following :  the  executioners  wrapped  the  old 
priest's  ten  fingers  in  tow  and  pitch,  and  then  tied  them 
together  with  candles  of  pitch,  and  then  set  fire  to  them, 
so  that  all  his  ten  fingers  burnt  together.  (I  was  at  this 
time  in  the  country.)  While  his  fingers  were  thus  burning, 
Father  Francis  exhorted  the  Catholics  who  stood  around 
to  constancy  in  the  faith,  and  the  heretics  to  be  converted. 
A  certain  preacher,  wondering  at  the  patience  of  the  bless- 
ed martyr,  asked  him  whether  he  felt  pain.  'Touch  my 
fingers  with  one  of  yours,'  answered  Father  Francis,  '  and 
you  may  judge.'  When  all  his  fingers  were  burnt  down  to 
the  last  joints,  he  was  ordered  to  be  executed.  The  man 
of  God  gave  thanks  to  God,  and  went  to  the  place  of  exe- 
cution as  to  a  feast ;  and,  having  exhorted  the  people,  joy- 
fully mounted  the  ladder,  and,  fitting  the  rope  round  his 
neck,  having  made  all  necessary  dispositions  for  dying  well, 
he  desired  the  executioner  to  do  his  office.  He  was  then 
pushed  off  the  ladder,  and  so  hung  from  eleven  in  the  fore- 
noon until  five  in  the  afternoon. 

"  Father  Francis  had  in  the  city,  besides  one  sister,  two 
nephews  and  four  grand-nephews,  and  as  many  friends  as 
there  were  Catholics.  Some  of  them,  who  were  men  of  in- 
fluence, went  to  the  governor  and  asked  that  they  might 
take  down  the  body  of  the  father,  and  bury  it  after  the 
manner  of  the  Catholics.  The  governor  granted  their  re- 
quest, and  they  carried  the  body  to  the  house  of  his  sister, 
and,  having  there  laid  it  on  a  table,  dressed  in  his  habit, 
and  placed  lighted  candles  round  it,  devoutly  venerated  the 
deceased  martyr  of  Christ 

"  About  the  second  hour  of  the  night,  while  the  Catho- 
lics who  crowded  the  house  were  devoutly  praying,  Father 

In  the  Reigii  of  Charles  I.  265 

Francis  began  to  move,  and,  looking  on  his  sister  and  the 
persons  who  stood  around,  desired  them  not  to  be  afraid, 
but  to  lift  him  off  the  table.  His  friends  soon  crowded 
around  him,  and,  removing  the  candles,  perceived  that 
leather  Francis  was  really  alive  and  well,  and  began  to 
congraulate  themselves  and  him  that  he  had  escaped  the 
executioner.  '  Not  so,  my  dear  friends,'  said  Father  Fran- 
cis ;  '  my  soul,  which  had  left  my  body,  returns  by  the  will 
of  God,  who  desires  the  salvation  of  all  in  error  ;  call  there- 
fore to  me  the  governor  of  the  city,  that  once  more  I  may 
preach  to  him  the  words  of  salvation.'  All  the  Catholics 
who  were  present  besought  him  with  tears  to  abstain,  from 
useless  preaching,  and,  as  the  heretics  held  him  for  dead, 
to  hide  himself  in  some  safe  place  for  their  spiritual  good. 
It  is  the  will  of  God,'  he  answered,  'which  Christians 
must  nof  oppose,  that  I  should  announce  the  words  of  life 
to  the  heretics  ;  call,  therefore,  the  governor  and  the  leaders 
of  the  soldiers,  or  I  will  myself  go  to  them.' 

"  The  Catholics,  compelled  by  his  commands,  sent  to  the 
governor  to  inform  him  that  Father  Francis  was  alive 
and  well.  Astonished  at  the  news,  the  governor  hastened 
with  his  principal  officers  and  a  strong  guard  of  soldiers  to 
the  house  where  Father  Francis  lay.  The  moment  the 
father  saw  the  Puritans — who  were  rebels  alike  to  their 
God  and  their  king — he  rose  to  his  feet,  and  with  his  usual 
zeal  told  how  their  merciful  God  desired  their  salvation, 
and  earnestly  besought  them  to  abandon  heresy  and  return 
to  the  bosom  of  their  mother  the  church.  The  governor, 
hardened  in  evil,  the  more  raged  at  this  exhortation,  and 
ordered  the  papist — who,  as  he  said,  must  have  preserved 
his  life  by  magic — to  be  immediately  hung  with  his  own 
girdle  Some  of  the  soldiers  immediately  turned  execu- 
tioners, for  even  the  Puritan  officers,  not  to  speak  of  the 
soldiers,  considered  it  no  disgrace  to  hang  a  papist  with 
their  own  hands,  especially  if  he  were  a  priest.    They  im* 

262  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

where  tlie  pirate  then  lay  in  wait  for  some  prey,  about  the 
end  of  October,  1642." — Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xiv. 

This  is  quite  a  different  Father  Ward  from  the  one  slain 
in  Armagh  in  1577,  the  only  similarity  being  that  of  the 
name,  and  that  they  were  both  Ulster  men. 

"  Cornelius  O'Brien,  the  Lord  of  Carrigh,  in  the  county 
Kerry,  a  man  of  great  hope  to  his  family  and  his  country, 
was  arrested  by  the  piratical  band  of  the  same  Forbes,  in 
the  castle  of  Glanens,  which  was  situated  on  the  banks  of 
the  Shannon,  and  was  the  property  of  John  Geraldine. 
Being  conducted  to  their  vessels,  threats  and  promises 
were  alike  employed  in  vain  to  induce  him  to  abandon  the 
Catholic  faith.  He  was  therefore  led  out  to  execution,  and 
on  the  same  day  with  Father  Ward,  and  by  a  similar  death, 
attained  the  martyr's  crown.  Both  were  hanged  at  the 
same  time,  one  at  each  extremity  of  the  yard,  and  subse- 
quently, at  full  tide,  the  ropes  being  cut,  their  bodies  were 
cast  into  the  river." — Ibid. 


Dr.  Oliver  says  : 

"  All  that  I  can  gather  concerning  this  zealous  father  is 
from  two  letters,  one  dated  Waterford,  October  10,  1642  ; 
the  other  from  Galway,  August  3,  1643.  The  first  informs 
me  that  though  many  priests  and  religious  had  been  seized 
and  executed  by  the  Puritans,  yet  Father  James  Latin  and 
two  of  his  brethren  braved  every  danger,  and  were  indefa- 
tigable in  assisting  and  consoling  the  Catholics  groaning 
under  Puritanical  despotism.  In  the  postscript  the  writer 
says  he  had  just  received  intelligence  of  Father  Latin's  ap- 
prehension and  commitment  to  jail.  The  second  letter 
states  that  he  was  still  a  prisoner,  and  that  he  had  been 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  263 

appi  chended  in  the  street  in  the  act  of  proceeding  to  ad- 
mini.^ter  the  sacraments  to  the  sick." 

As  there  is  no  notice  of  his  having  ever  reached  France, 
it  is  easy  to  conjecture  his  fate. 


In  the  Barberini  archives  in  Rome  is  preserved  a  letter, 
•written,  on  the  9th  March,  1642,  by  the  venerable  Bishop 
of  Waterford  to  an  Irish  gentleman  resident  in  Paris.  In 
it  he  says : 

"  Last  week  the  President  of  Ulster,  having  received  re- 
enforcements,  once  more  took  the  field,  together  with  the 
Earl  of  Cork,  the  Earl  of  Barrymore,  Lord  Broghill,  and 
Sir  John  Browne.  Marching  to  Dungarvan,  and  seizing  on 
the  castle,  they  set  fire  to  the  town,  and  put  to  death 
Father  Edmund  Hore  and  Father  John  Clancy,  both 
priests,  together  with  others  of  the  principal  citizens ; 
they  then  sacked  the  place,  and  retired,  leaving  a  strong 
garrison  in  the  castle." — MS.  ap.  Moran,  Persecut.  p.  55. 


"Francis  O'Mahony,  or  Matthews,  was  a  native  of 
Cork,  and  a  shining  light  in  the  Order  of  Saint  Francis. 
Having  completed  his  studies  in  Spain  and  Belgium,  he 
returned  to  his  country  in  the  reign  of  King  James,  and  did 
much  for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  increase  of  the  Francis- 
can order.  In  more  advanced  age  he  was  provincial  minis- 
ter of  Ireland,  and  twice  general  visitor,  and  finally  guardi- 
an of  the  college  of  St.  Antony  at  Louvain,  of  which  he 
was  an  alumnus.  In  the  year  1642,  he  was  guardian  of  the 
convent  of  Cork,  and  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  heretical 
governor  of  the  city,  and  thrown  into  prison.     A  few  days 

264  Martyrs  and  Co?ifessors 

afterward  he  was  brought  up  for  examination,  when  he  con- 
fessed he  was  a  Franciscan,  but  denied  that  he  had  sought, 
as  was  alleged,  to  betray  the  city  to  the  Catholics.  His 
constancy  in  the  faith  was  tried  by  many  torments,  especi- 
ally the  following :  the  executioners  wrapped  the  old 
priest's  ten  fingers  in  tow  and  pitch,  and  then  tied  them 
together  with  candles  of  pitch,  and  then  set  fire  to  them, 
so  that  all  his  ten  fingers  burnt  together.  (I  was  at  this 
time  in  the  country.)  While  his  fingers  were  thus  burning, 
Father  Francis  exhorted  the  Catholics  who  stood  around 
to  constancy  in  the  faith,  and  the  heretics  to  be  converted. 
A  certain  preacher,  wondering  at  the  patience  of  the  bless- 
ed martyr,  asked  him  whether  he  felt  pain.  'Touch  my 
fingers  with  one  of  yours,'  answered  Father  Francis,  '  and 
you  may  judge.'  When  all  his  fingers  were  burnt  down  to 
the  last  joints,  he  was  ordered  to  be  executed.  The  man 
of  God  gave  thanks  to  God,  and  went  to  the  place  of  exe- 
cution as  to  a  feast ;  and,  having  exhorted  the  people,  joy- 
fully mounted  the  ladder,  and,  fitting  the  rope  round  his 
neck,  having  made  all  necessary  dispositions  for  dying  well, 
he  desired  the  executioner  to  do  his  office.  He  was  then 
pushed  off  the  ladder,  and  so  hung  from  eleven  in  the  fore- 
noon until  five  in  the  afternoon. 

"  Father  Francis  had  in  the  city,  besides  one  sister,  two 
nephews  and  four  grand-nephews,  and  as  many  friends  as 
there  were  Catholics.  Some  of  them,  who  were  men  of  in- 
fluence, went  to  the  governor  and  asked  that  they  might 
take  down  the  body  of  the  father,  and  bury  it  after  the 
manner  of  the  Catholics.  The  governor  granted  their  re- 
quest, and  they  carried  the  body  to  the  house  of  his  sister, 
and,  having  there  laid  it  on  a  table,  dressed  in  Iiis  habit, 
and  placed  lighted  candles  round  it,  devoutly  venerated  the 
deceased  martyr  of  Christ 

"  About  the  second  hour  of  the  night,  while  the  Catho- 
lics who  crowded  the  house  were  devoutly  pra3dng.  Father 

In  the  Rei^i  of  Charles  I.  265 

Francis  began  to  move,  and,  looking  on  his  sister  and  the 
persons  who  stood  around,  desired  them  not  to  be  afraid, 
but  to  lift  him  off  the  table.  His  friends  soon  crowded 
around  him,  and,  removing  the  candles,  perceived  that 
leather  Francis  was  really  alive  and  well,  and  began  to 
congratulate  themselves  and  him  that  he  had  escaped  the 
executioner.  '  Not  so,  my  dear  friends,'  said  Father  Fran- 
cis ;  '  my  soul,  which  had  left  my  body,  returns  by  the  will 
of  God,  who  desires  the  salvation  of  all  in  error  ;  call  there- 
fore to  me  the  governor  of  the  city,  that  once  more  I  may 
preach  to  him  the  words  of  salvation.'  All  the  Catholics 
who  were  present  besought  him  with  tears  to  abstain,  from 
useless  preaching,  and,  as  the  heretics  held  him  for  dead, 
to  hide  himself  in  some  safe  place  for  their  spiritual  good. 
It  is  the  will  of  God,'  he  answered,  "  which  Christians 
must  not  oppose,  that  I  should  announce  the  words  of  life 
to  the  heretics  ;  call,  therefore,  the  governor  and  the  leaders 
of  the  soldiers,  or  I  will  myself  go  to  them.' 

"  The  Catholics,  compelled  by  his  commands,  sent  to  the 
governor  to  inform  him  that  Father  Francis  was  alive 
and  well.  Astonished  at  the  news,  the  governor  hastened 
with  his  principal  officers  and  a  strong  guard  of  soldiers  to 
the  house  where  Father  Francis  lay.  The  moment  the 
father  saw  the  Puritans — who  were  rebels  alike  to  their 
God  and  their  king — he  rose  to  his  feet,  and  with  his  usual 
zeal  told  how  their  merciful  God  desired  their  salvation, 
and  earnestly  besought  them  to  abandon  heresy  and  return 
to  the  bosom  of  their  mother  the  church.  The  governor, 
hardened  in  evil,  the  more  raged  at  this  exhortation,  and 
ordered  the  papist — who,  as  he  said,  must  have  preserved 
his  life  by  magic — to  be  immediately  hung  with  his  own 
girdle  Some  of  the  soldiers  immediately  turned  execu- 
tioners, for  even  the  Puritan  officers,  not  to  speak  of  the 
soldiers,  considered  it  no  disgrace  to  hang  a  papist  with 
their  own  hands,  especially  if  he  were  a  priest.    They  im- 

266  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

mediately  fastened  his  Franciscan  girdle  round  his  neck 
and  tied  him  up  to  the  beam  which  supported  the  ceiling 
of  the  room,  and,  having  broken  his  neck,  left  him 
banging  there  all  night  under  a  guard  of  Puritan  sol- 

"  There  are  still  living  a  hundred  men  who  were  then  at 
Cork,  and  are  witnesses  of  what  I  write.  The  name  of  the 
governor  has  escaped  me,  or  I  would  record  it  for  his  last- 
ing ignominy.  On  the  next  day  the  body  of  the  deceased 
was  reverently  taken  down  by  the  Catholics  and  buried  in 
the  church  of  the  Friars  Minors,  anno  1642."* — Bruodin, 
lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 




"  In  the  following  year,  (1642,)  Father  Raymund  Keogh, 
of  the  convent  of  Roscommon,  was  seized  by  the  heretics, 
and,  being  slain  for  the  faith,  found  in  death  eternal  life." 
— Capit.  Gen.  Ronice,  1656. 

"  In  the  year  1642,  Father  Stephen  Pettit,  sub-prior  of  the 
convent  of  Mullingar,  while  hearing  the  confession  of  a 
sJdier  in  a  fight  near  Ballynacurry,  was  recognized  to  be  a 
priest  by  a  neighboring  advanced  post  of  heretical  soldiers, 

•  Bruodin  evidently  considered  the  revival  of  Father  Francis  miraculous,  but  it  was  not  ne- 
c"s«arily  so.  Many  extraordinary  cases  of  suspended  animation  from  hanging,  when,  as  in 
thoiic  times,  from  the  execution  not  being  carried  out  with  a  violent  fall,  the  neck  was  not 
broV.-.n.  are  recorded.  Among  the  papers  left  by  a  distinguished  surgeon  who  lived  in  Dublin 
«  th-5  close  of  the  last  century  was  an  account  of  the  case  of  a  young  man  who,  in  1798,  was 
hanged  for  several  hours,  and  whose  apparently  lifeless  body  was  brought  by  his  friends,  after 
dark,  to  the  surgeon's  house.  The  latter  succeeded  in  restoring  animation  :  the  young  man  re- 
mained concealed  in  the  surgeon's  house  for  some  days,  and  lived  long  aftei-ward.  An  illustra- 
tion nf  another  part  of  Bruodin's  account  maybe  drawn  from  the  same  period  of  1798.  A  well- 
known  major  of  yeomanry,  of  very  tall  stature,  was  known  by  the  sobriquet  of  Hit  ■walking 
gallows,  because  rebels  had  been  hung  over  his  shoulder.  The  more  ordinary  mode  was 
to  tie  the  condemned  to  the  end  of  the  shaft  of  a  cart  and  then  tilt  the  cart,  so  lifting  him  up 
ftom  the  ground.  In  this  mode  of  execution  the  neck  was  not  broken,  and  so  life  might  lingel 
a  long  time. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  267 

who  iiimed  at  him,  and,  being  hit  by  a  bullet,  he  received  the 
sacraments  of  the  church,  and  died  the  next  day." — Capit. 
Gen.  Roma,  1644,  and  Dom.  a  Rosario,  p.  360,  (216.) 

"  Brother  Raymund  Keogh  was  slain  by  the  heretics  in 
hatred  of  the  faith." — Capit.  Gen.  Romce,  1644. 

"  Brother  Cormac  Egan  was  hung  by  the  heretics  abou*. 
the  year  1642." — Ap.  Gen.  Romce,  1644. 

All  these  aie  from  Hibemica  Dominicana,  p.  562,  where 
De  Burgo  gives  reasons  to  show  the  two  Keoghs  are  dif- 
ferent, one  being  a  priest,  the  other  a  simple  monk. 


"  The  soldiery,  rushing  into  the  defenceless  town  of  Dun- 
shaughlin,  seized  on  fifty  old  men,  women,  and  little  boys, 
and  mercilessly  slew  them  with  their  swords  and  spears. 
Mrs.  Read,  then  in  her  eightieth  year,  encouraged  these 
sufferers  to  endure  every  torment  with  constancy  for  the 
faith.  Fired  with  rage  at  her  exhortations,  the  Puritan 
soldiers,  after  inflicting  many  wounds,  set  her  up  as  a  target 
for  their  guns  ;  and  thus  she  happily  expired.  The  son  of 
this  venerable  martyr  has  preserved  to  us  her  memory,  and 
in  his  commentary  on  the  Book  of  Maccabees  mentions  her 
heroic  death  to  illustrate  the  fortitude  and  holy  sentiments 
of  the  mother  of  the  seven  Maccabees,  the  true  model  of 
female  heroism." — Moran,  Persecut.  p.  198, 

Anno  1643. 


These  two  fathers  studied  in  Spain,  and  were  sent  into 
Ireland  by  their  superiors.  They  made  their  way  there  in 
an  English  vessel,  and  spent  there  some  time ;  and  Lopez 

268  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

mentions  that  Father  Cornelius  had  some  disputes  with 
heretics  about  recovering  the  convent  of  Adare.*  They 
returned  to  Spain  to  make  arrangements  for  a  college  of 
their  order  in  Seville  or  elsewhere,  and,  having  arranged  for 
the  reception  of  Irish  youths  in  the  convents  and  colleges 
of  Aragon,  Cdstile,  and  Andalusia,  embarked  for  Ireland, 
b\it  their  ship  fell  into  the  hands  of  a  cruel  heretical  pirate 
named  John  Plunket,  by  whom  they  were  thrown  into  the 
sea,  either  in  1643  or  1644. — (Lopez,  p.  62,  who  gives  as 
his  authority  an  original  letter  of  Father  Christopher 
Burgatt,  of  the  convent  of  Kilmallock,  written  in  Spain  in 
1648,  and  some  other  contemporary  authorities.) 

A.nno  1644.i 


"  This  father,  of  the  Order  of  St.  Francis,  after  complet- 
ing his  studies  in  Spain,  for  many  years  preached  with 
great  fervor  the  sacred  truths  of  the  Gospel  in  the  pro- 
vince of  Ulster.     He  was  concealed  with  Father  Ward  (see 

*  It  is  curious,  as  illustrating  the  way  in  which  the  Catholics  from  time  to  time  restored,  at 
least  partially,  the  possession  of  the  convents  to  the  religious,  that  although  the  Trinitarian 
convent  of  Adare  was  suppressed  in  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.,  in  a  survey  of  the  manor  of 
Adare,  dated  6th  November,  1559,  (2d  Elizabeth,)  it  is  said:  "There  standeth  an  abbey  of 
Friars  of  the  Trinity,  which  hath  a  Crosse  of  redd  and  blewe  upon  their  brests,  of  the  founda- 
tion of  the  earl's  ancestors,  as  the  minister  (that  is,  the  father-minister)  did  shew,  which  hath,  ate. 
And  the  said  minister  hath  in  Adare  a  small  acre  with  certen  gardens,"  etc.  N.B. — The  lands 
here  enumerated  as  belonging  to  the  abbey  and  minister  are  only  a  small  part  of  the  original 
possessions  of  the  abbey.  In  1366,  Elizabeth  demised  .ne  Trinitarian  Abbey  to  Sir  Warham 
St.  l.eger,  yet,  about  1640,  "  Father  Cornelius  had  a  lawsuit  with  some  heretics  about  the 
recovery  nf  the  convent  of  Adare,"  as  is  stated  in  the  letter  of  Father  Burgatt,  in  Lopez.  SeB 
Jtfaf"^-  0/  Adare^  by  Lord  Dunraven,  1S66. 

+  Fnnlana,  Mon.  Dojn.^  mentions  that  in  this  year,  "  in  the  general  chapter  of  the  Domini- 
can ordei  held  at  Rome,  the  Irish  provincial.  Father  Terence  Albert  O'Brien  (afterward  the 
mauyr"il  Bishop  of  Emly)  stated  that  there  were  in  the  Irish  province  about  six  hundred 
breth  en  of  the  order,  of  whom  the  greater  part  perished  in  the  Cromwelliar.  persecution, 
either  by  the  sword  or  by  deportation  to  Barbadoes,  or  exile  ;  so  that  in  the  following  chapter 
held  in  1656,  not  one  quarter  survived,  many  having  been  slam  in  their  own  convents,  many 
enduring  a  lengthened  death  in  the  new  hemisphere,  and  all  these,  being  approved  by  tha 
tesumonv  of  faith,  were  fonnd  in  our  Lord  Jesus  ChrisL" 












In  the  Reign  of  Cha*les  I.  269 

Anno  1642)  at  the  time  of  his  arrest,  and  shared  his  captivi- 
ty. The  Puritan  pirate  Forbes,  anxious-  to  supply  a  bloody 
feast  to  the  London  mob,  sent  Father  Ultan  prisoner  to 
England.  For  three  years  he  was  detained  a  captive  in 
Newgate,  (London,)  and  there  subjected  to  many  cruelties. 
His  constitution  yielded  to  the  severity  of  the  prison, 
and  he  expired,  before  being  led  to  the  scaffold,  in  the  year 
1644." — Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  x\'. 


"  Francis  Matthews,  of  Cork,  a  theologian,  and  learn- 
ed in  canon  law,  guardian  of  the  (Franciscan)  College  of 
Louvain,  and  father-minister  of  the  Irish  province,  who 
had  composed  several  works,  and  suffered  much  labor  in 
the  persecution,  was  cruelly  slain,  with  many  torments,  by 
the  heretical  Puritans,  in  the  year  1644." — Wadding, 
Scriptores,  p.  123. 

— • — 

Anmo    164B. 


"  In  this  year,  (1645,)  Dominican  blood  strll  flowed  freely, 
for  our  fathers  strenuously  upheld  the  Catholic  faith  in 
Ireland,  preaching  the  authority  of  the  holy  Roman  See, 
and  publicly  wearing  the  habit  of  the  order,  and  suffered 
many  torments  and  death  at  the  hands  of  the  sectaries. 
One  of  them  was  the  Rev.  Father  Peter  Costello,  who, 
while  denouncing  the  usurped  authority  of  head  of  the 
church  assumed  by  the  English  king,  pierced  with  a 
sword,  expired  on  the  spot,  and  his  soul  by  martyrdom 
ascended  to  heaven. 

"  He  was  followed  to  glory  by  Father  Gerald  Dillon, 
who  had  devoted  himself  to  bringing  heretics  to  the  know- 

270  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

ledge  of  their  true  mother  the  Roman  Church.  Being 
taken  prisoner,  he  was  thrown  into  a  wretched  dungeon ; 
and  there,  worn  out  with  the  squalor  of  the  prison  and 
various  sufferings,  he  breathed  out  his  soul  to  God." — Man. 
Doin.,  sub  anno.  Hib.  Dom.  says  they  were  both  from  the 
convent  of  Orlar,  in  county  Mayo,  but  says  they  suffered 
about  the  year  1648.  I  have  preferred  the  authority  of 
Fontana,  who  refers  to  the  acts  of  the  general  chapter 
held  in  Rome  in  1656. 


"  Malachy  Queely,  or  Keely,  was  a  native  of  the  diocese 
of  Killaloe,  and  made  his  collegiate  studies  with  signal 
success  in  the  University  of  Paris.  He  returned  to  his 
native  diocese,  where  he  proved  a  zealous  missionary  ;  he 
governed  the  see  of  Killaloe  as  vicar-apostolic,  and  was 
consecrated  Archbishop  of  Tuam  in  a  private  chapel  at 
Galway,  by  Dr.  Thomas  Walsh,  Archbishop  of  Cashel 
All  contemporary  writers  extol  his  virtues.  He  was  the 
father,  protector,  and  advocate  of  the  poor.  He  was  one 
of  the  first  members  of  the  Supreme  Council  of  Kilkenny. 
He  accompanied  the  Connaught  army  when  it  achieved 
many  brilliant  victories  in  1645  ;  but  after  the  coming  of 
Sir  Charles  Coote  from  the  North,  with  reenforcements  of 
Scotch,  the  Irish  were  defeated  ;  their  horse  fled  from  a 
party  of  the  enemy  on  the  25th  October,  1645,  '^'^^  Doctor 
Queely  was  left  on  the  road  mortally  wounded,  at  a  place 
called  Clare,  near  Sligo.  The  Puritans  first  cut  off  his 
right  arm,  and  then  cruelly  mangled  his  body,  cutting  it 
into  small  pieces." — Renehan,  Collect,  p.  402  ;  and  Moran, 
Persecut.  p.  206,  from  Bruodin.  Hardiman  s  Galway,  and 
Archives  of  St.  Isidore,  Rome. 

"  Father   Thaddasus    O'Connel,  of  the    Canons    of  St 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  271 

Augustine,  was  for  six  years  the  companion  of  Dr.  O'Queely. 
Taken  with  the  archbishop,  he  was  carried  off  to  execution. 
He  besought  the  archbishop  to  give  him  absolution,  and  as 
the  archbishop  raised  his  riglit  hand  to  do  so  the  soldiers 
cut  it  off,  and  at  the  same  moment  struck  down  Father 

O'Connel." — Bruodin. 

— ♦ — 


"  He  was  a  Leinster  priest,  a  most  zealous  and  pious 
pastor,  and  was  in  the  eightieth  year  of  his  age  when  he  was 
taken  prisoner  by  the  garrison  of  Dublin,  while  hearing 
confessions  in  the  village  of  Ballynacargy ;  and,  out  of 
hatred  to  his  faith  and  sacerdotal  character,  without  respect 
for  his  innocence  or  old  age,  was  hung,  by  order  of  Sir 
Charles  Coote,  Governor  of  Dublin,  in  the  town  of  Rath- 
connell,  in  the  year  1645."* — Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 

Anrun,  1640. 


"As  Fatherf  Dominick  A.  Neagren,  (or  Neaghten,)  of  the 
convent  of  Roscommon,  a  most  religious  man  and  strict 
observer  of  the  rule,  continued  to  wear  his  habit  during  the 
bitter  persecution,  and  exhorted  the  faithful  to  publicly 
recite  the  rosary  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  he  was  more  than 
once  flogged  and  wounded  almost  unto  death.  Yet  did  he 
persevere  in  his  holy  work,  and  by  the  order  of  a  chief  of 
the  soldiers  he  was  slain  by  the  sword.  A  true  Israelite, 
in  whom  there  was  no  guile." — Mon.  Dom.  ex  Actis  Capit. 
Ge7t.  1650.     Hib.  Dom.  puts  hira  "about  1648." 

•  I  have  put  the  death  of  Father  White  at  1645,  as  that  is  the  date  given  by  Bruodin  ;  but 
the  tnie  date  is,  I  think,  .1641,  or  early  in  1642,  when  Sir  Charles  Cootc  was  ravaging  the  coun- 
try, He,  Coote,  was  killed  at  Trim  on  the  7th  May  in  the  latter  year,  and  Bruodin  puts  the 
death  of  Father  Peter  Higgins,  who  was  certainly  put  to  death  by  Coote  in  1641,  at  1645,  as 
well  as  that  of  Father  White.  Ballynacargy  and  Rathconnell  are  two  villages  in  the  county 

\  "  Conversus,"  a  monk,  but  tiot  a  priest 

272  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


"  Rev.  Father  John  Oluin,  Prior  of  Derry,  who  waj 
sedulous  in  administering  the  sacraments  to  the  Catholics 
in  Ireland,  and  confirming  them  in  their  fidelity  to  the 
holy  Roman  Church,  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  heretics  and 
put  in  chains.  After  daily  suiferings  in  prison,  rejecting 
great  offers  from  the  heretics  if  he  would  abandon  the 
Roman  faith,  he  preferred  death  to  dishonor.  His  fellow- 
captives  narrated  that  they  saw  him  in  prayer  raised  up  off" 
the  ground.  Finally,  being  hung  and  then  beheaded,  he 
gave  up  his  happy  soul  to  his  Creator." — Mon.  Dom.  ex 
Actis  Capit.  Gen.  1650.  Hib.  Dofn.,^i\.&r  O'Heyn,  puts  his 
death  about  1657  ;  but  this  is  impossible,  as  Fontana 
refers  to  the  general  chapter  of  1650. 

Anno  1S47, 


In  1647,  the  Earl  of  Inchiquin,  having  administered  the 
covenant  to  his  apostate  followers,  led  them  on  to  the  assault 
of  Cashel.  Along  his  march  he  everywhere  burned  the 
crops  and  massacred  the  peasantry,  and  to  the  present  day 
his  name  is  familiar  in  the  household  traditions  of  our 
country  as  "  Murrough  of  the  Burning."* 

"  Cashel  became  not  only  a  prey  to  the  enemy,  but  a 
very  slaughter-house.  The  city  being  but  badly  fortified, 
it  accepted  the  off"er  of  conditions  from  Inchiquin,  and 
opened  its  gates.  The  garrison,  about  300  in  number,  to- 
gether with  the  priests  and  religious,  as  also  very  many 
of  the  citizens,  retired  to  the  cathedral  church,  which  holds 
a  strong  position,  and  is  styled  the  Rock  of  St.  Patrick. 

•  His  name  was  Morrough  O'Brien. 


In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  273 

Th^  inetny  having  taken  possession  of  the  city,  and  in  part 
des»K>yed  it  by  fire,  assailed  the  cathedral  with  all  their 
forcec,  but  were  heroically  repulsed  by  our  troops.  After 
a  loHf:;  combat  the  general  of  the  enemy  suspended  the 
fight,  and,  demanding  a  surrender,  offered  permission  to 
the  ga  ,Tison  to  depart  with  their  arms  and  ammunition,  and 
all  th«  honors  of  war,  requiring,  however,  that  the  citizens 
and  cl  ;rgy  should  be  abandoned  to  his  mercy.  It  was  then 
that  tl  e  true  heroism  of  the  Catholic  soldiers  was  seen. 
They  I .fifused  to  listen  to  any  conditions  unless  the  citizens 
and  cl  :rgy,  whom  they  had  undertaken  to  defend,  should 
be  sh:  rers  in  them  ;  and  they  added  that  they  chose  ra- 
ther tc  consecrate  their  lives  to  God  on  that  Rock  of  St. 
Patrick  than  to  allow  that  sanctuary  to  be  profaned  by 
dogs.  The  assault  was  then  renewed  with  extreme  feroci- 
ty ;  the  enemy,  being  7000  in  number,  assailed  the  church 
on  every  side,  entering  by  the  windows  and  the  shattered 
doors.  Nevertheless,  for  some  time  the  struggle  was 
bravely  maintained  within  the  church,  till  our  few  troops 
were  rather  overwhelmed  by  the  multitude  of  the  enemy 
than  vanquished  by  them. 

"  When  all  resistance  ceased,  then  was  the  cruelty  of  the 
heretics  displayed  against  the  priests  and  religious,  one  of 
whom  was  one  of  our  society,  by  name  F.  William  Boyton.' 
Many  old  men  of  eighty  years  of  age,  aged  females,  some 
of  them  in  their  hundredth  year,  besides  innumerable  other 
citizens  who  had  grown  old,  not  only  in  years  but  in  piety, 
and  whose  only  arms  were  their  prayers,  prostrate  around , 
the  steps  of  the  altar,  now  empurpled  them  with  their 
blcod  ;  while  the  infirm,  who  had  been  borne  to  the  church 
as  to  a  place  of  sacred  refuge,  and  the  innocent  children, 
were  slain  on  the  very  altar.  Within  the  cathedral  nine 
hundred  and  twelve  was  the  number  of  the  slain,  of  whom 
more  than  five  hundred  were  of  the  heretical  troops,  and 
about  four  hundred  of  the  Catholics.     Everywhere  dead 

274  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

bodies  were  to  be  seen,  which  for  some  days  rernahied  un- 
interred.  The  altars  and  chapels,  the  sacristy  and  seats, 
were  covered  with  them,  and  in  no  place  could  the  foot 
rest  on  anything  save  on  the  corpses  of  the  slain." — MS. 
Relatio  Rerum  quarumdam,  etc.,  written  by  the  Irish  Su- 
perior of  the  Jesuits,  ap.  Moran,  Persec.  p.  27. 

One  of  the  priests  who  had  taken  refuge  in  the  cathe- 
dral, Father  Theobald  Stapleton,  was  remarkable  for  his 
piety  ;  clothed  with  a  surplice  and  stole,  and  holding  a  cru- 
cifix in  his  left  hand,  he  sprinkled  with  holy  water  the 
enemy's  troops  as  they  rushed  into  the  sacred  edifice. 
The  heretics,  mad  with  rage,  strove  with  each  other  who 
should  pierce  him  with  their  swords,  and  thus  he  was  hewn 
to  pieces.  At  each  wound  the  holy  man  exclaimed, 
"Strike  this  miserable  sinner!"  till  he  yielded  his  soul  into 
the  hands  of  his  Creator. 

Of  Father  Boy  ton,  the  Jesuit,  we  read  : 

"  As  the  enemy  forced  their  way  in,  he  exhorted  all,  with 
great  fervor,  to  endure  death  with  constancy  for  the  Catho- 
lic religion,  and  was  wholly  occupied  in  administering  to 
them  the  sacrament  of  penance.  The  enemy,  finding  him 
at  this  work,  slew  the  father  with  his  children.  But  God 
revenged  the  unworthy  death  of  his  servants,  and  by  a 
manifest  sign  showed  the  cruelty  of  this  massacre.  A  gar- 
rison of  heretical  soldiers  was  stationed  on  the  rock ;  on  a 
certain  night  an  old  man  of  venerable  aspect  appeared  to 
its  commander,  and,  taking  him  by  the  hand,  led  him 
forcibly  to  the  top  of  the  church  tower,  and  then  asked  him 
how  he  madly  dared  so  impiously  to  profane  that  holy 
place.  And  as  he  trembled  and  did  not  answer,  he  flung 
him  down  into  the  cemetery  below,  where  he  lay  half-dead, 
and  with  many  bones  broken,  until  the  following  day,  when, 
having  fully  declared  the  divine  vengeance  which  had  over- 
taken him,  he  expired." — Tanner,  Soc.  J^esu. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  I.  275 

Dominick  a  Rosario  gives  the  following  account  of  the 
death  of  Father  Richard  Barry,  the  Dominican  :* 

"  The  colonel  who  led  the  assault,  struck  with  his  ap- 
pearance, (for  he  was  a  grave  and  noble-looking  man,  and 
held  a  sword  in  his  hand,)  said  to  him,  '  I  see  you  are  a 
brave  man,  and  I  promise  you  safety  if  you  will  cast  off 
that  dresS;  which  we  hate,  (he  was  in  the  habit  of  his  order ;) 
for  the  terms  of  this  war  allow  of  no  mercy  to  those  colors, 
which  excite  not  our  favor,  but  our  rage.'f  The  father 
answered :  '  My  dress  is  the  emblem  of  Christ  and  his  pas- 
sion, and  the  banner  of  my  warfare.  I  have  borne  it  from 
my  youth,  and  will  not  put  it  off  in  death.  Let  my  safety 
or  doom  be  that  of  the  emblem  of  my  spiritual  warfare.' 
The  colonel  answered  :  '  Be  more  careful  of  yourself  If 
you  fear  not  to  die,  you  shall  soon  have  your  way ;  but  if 
you  desire  to  live,  cast  away  that  traitor's  dress  ;  if  you 
look  for  the  foolish  vanity  of  martyrdom,  we  will  take 
care  that  you  shall  well  earn  it'  '  Since  so  excellent  an 
occasion  is  offered  me,'  answered  the  father,  '  to  suffer  is 
my  joy,  and  to  die  my  gain.'  Provoked  at  this  answer,  the 
colonel  gave  the  father  over  to  the  soldiers,  who  struck  him 
and  spat  on  him  ;  then,  tying  him  on  a  chair,^  they  applied 
a  slow  fire  from  the  soles  of  his  feet  to  his  thighs  for  about 
two  hours,  until,  while  he  looked  up  to  heaven  and  the 
blood  bubbled  from  his  pores,  the  oflficer  ordered  his  death 
to  be  hastened  by  driving  a  sword  through  him.  The  sol- 
diers remained  there  three  days  plundering,  for  they  did 
not  think  the  place  strong  enough  for  a  permanent  garri- 
son. During  this  time  a  certain  pious  woman,  who  was 
of  the  Third  Order  of  St.  Dominick,§  sought  out  his  body 

•  He  was  a  native  of  Cork,  and  Prior  of  Cashel,  and  had  desired  all  his  brethren  to  aoek 
their  safety  by  flight,  but  hi-nself  refused  to  leave  his  flock. 

t  It  must  be  observed  that  putting  ofl'the  religious  habit  was  oflen  looked  upon  as  a  sort  of 
tacit  apostasy. 

t  The  Acts  o/tke  General  Chapter  say,  "  to  a  column." 

§  Third  Order  of  St.  Dominick    those  who  lived  in  the  world. 

276  Martyrs  and  Cotifessors 

among  all  the  corpses,  and  when  she  had  found  it  informed 
the  vicar-general.  The  vicar-general,  after  the  departure 
of  the  enemy  on  the  fourth  day,  having  called  together  any 
clergy  and  people  who  survived,  together  with  the  notary 
apostolic,  Henry  O'CuUenan,  who  yet  lives,  (anno  1655,) 
and  has  borne  witness  to  this,  examined  the  body.  He 
found  all  the  marks  of  his  sufferings,  his  burnt  feet  and 
legs,  the  wound  going  from  side  to  side,  and  two  as  it  were 
fresh  streams  of  blood.  They  formed  a  procession,  and 
carried  his  body  to  the  convent  of  his  order,  where,  having 
sung  the  TV  Detim,  they  laid  it.  The  day  of  his  death  was 
the  isth*  of  September,  1647!" — Dom.  a  Ros.  p.  339. 

Lord  Castlehaven,  in  his  Memoirs,  says : 

"  It  (the  rock)  was  carried  by  storm,  so  that  within  and 
without  the  church  there  was  a  great  massacre,  and,  among 
others,  more  than  twenty  priests  and  religious  mep 

The  nuncio  Rinuccini  adds :  "  They  slew  in  it  (the 
church  of  St.  Patrick)  the  priests,  and  the  women  who  clung 
to  the  statue  of  the  saint."  J 

The  rest  of  the  conduct  of  Inchiquin's  soldiers  is  thus 
described  in  the  Relatio  referred  td  before : 

"The  heretics  set  to  work  at  once  to  destroy  all  the 
sacred  things  which  had  been  stored  in  the  cathedral  of  St. 
Patrick.  The  altars  were  overturned,  the  images  that  were 
painted  on  wood  were  consigned  to  the  flames,  those  on 

*  Tanner  says  the  13th.  Probably  the  town  was  taken  the  13th,  the  rock  the  15th  Fon- 
tana,  Mon.  Dom.,  gives  rather  a  different  account  of  the  first  part  of  Father  Barry's  death. 
He  says:  "  Standing  in  his  full  habit,  with  a  crucifix  in  one  hand  and  a  rosary  in  the  other,  ha 
exhorted  the  faithful  to  meet  death  Jravely  for  their  noly  religion.  Afterward,  being  takei, 
while  praying  in  a  chapel  of  the  church,  with  incredible  cruelty  his  feet  and  legs  were  burnt 
with  a  slow  fire,  and,  at  length,  he  was  pierced  through  with  a  sword."  Fontana  refers  to  the 
acts  of  the  general  chapter  held  at  Rome,  165a,  and  I  am  inclined  to  consider  his  account  the 
more  accurate,  and  that  O'Daly,  who  was  himself  of  a  warlike  turn,  adopted  a  popular  story 
about  the  sword.  I  have  met  with  hardly  any  authentic  accounts  of  priests  taking  part  'n  ac- 
tual warfare. 

\  Memoirs  of  Earl  0/  CasiIehaveMt\iyh\Ta5(i\{.     London,  1681. 

t  Rinuccinit  N^miaiura^  Florence,  1844,  p.  416. 

In  the  Reign  of  C/iailes  T.  277 

canvas  were  used  as  bedding  for  the  horses,  or  were  cut  into 
sacks  for  burdens.  The  great  crucifix  which  stood  at  the 
entrance  of  the  choir,  as  if  it  had  been  guilty  of  treason,  was 
beheaded,  and  soon  after  its  hands  and  feet  were  amputated. 
With  a  like  fury  did  they  rage  against  all  the  other  chapels 
of  the  city.  Gathering  together  the  sacred  vases  and  all  the 
most  precious  vestments,  they,  through  ridicule  of  our  cere- 
monies, formed  a  procession.  They  advanced  through  the 
public  squares,  wearing  the  sacred  vestments  and  having  the 
priests'  caps  on  their  heads,  and  inviting  to  Mass  those 
whom  they  met  on  the  way.  A  beautiful  statue  of  the 
Immaculate  Virgin,  taken  from  our  church,  was  borne 
along  (the  head  being  broken  off)  in  mock  state,  with 
laughter  and  ridicule.  The  leader  of  the  Puritan  army 
had,  moreover,  the^  temerity  to  assume  the  archiepiscopal 
nStre,  and  boast  that  he  was  now  not  only  governor  and 
lieutenant  of  Munster,  but  also  Archbishop  of  Cashel." 

I  will  conclude  this  account  with  the  following  extract 
from  Fontana : 

"  At  the  same  time  Sister  Margaret,  of  our  Third  Order, 
a  woman  of  more  than  seventy  years  of  age,  while  flying 
from  the  city  (Cashel)  was  intercepted  by  the  heretics,  and, 
being  constant  in  the  profession  of  the  Catholic  faith,  was 
slain  by  the  sword." — From  the  same  Acts. 


"  Father  Patrick  Hegerty,  formerly  definitor  of  the 
province  (Ireland)  and  commissary  visitor,  who  was  a  con- 
fessor of  Christ  in  many  prisons,  being  at  length  delivered 
after  a  five  years'  imprisonment  among  the  Scotch,  wrote 
to  me  from  the  Convent  of  the  Desert,  a  little  before  his 
death,  a  letter  dated  the  i8th  June,  1467." — Le  Marchant, 
Relatio  Viridica. 

278  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Here  it  may  not  be  amiss  to  give  a  short  account  of  the 
mission  in  the  Hebrides  among  the  Scotch,  where  Father 
Hegerty  so  long  labored  ;  and  for  this  purpose  I  shall  have 
recourse  to  the  pages  of  Doctor  Moran. 

In  the  month  of  December,  161 8,  Pope  Paul  V.  selected 
three  Franciscan  fathers  from  the  Irish  College  of  Louvain 
to  cultivate  the  vineyard  of  Scotland,  which  for  many  years 
had  been  overrun  with  heresy,  and  had  become  a  prey  to 
the  enemies  of  God.  Other  Irish  priests  had  been  from 
time  to  time  called  to  the  same  mission  in  the  early 
part  of  the  century,  through  the  care  of  Peter  Lombard, 
Archbishop  of  Armagh,  who  with  the  title  of  Primate  of  all 
Ireland,  by  authority  of  the  Holy  See,  united  also  that 
of  Primate  of  Scotland.  To  secure,  however,  an  uninter- 
rupted supply  of  fervent  missioners,  the  religious  of  St. 
Francis  now  received  it  in  special  charge' ;  and  on  the  4lh 
January,  1619,  Fathers  Edmund  Cana*  and  Patrick  Brady, 
with  the  lay-brother  John  Stewart,!  set  out  from  the  con- 
vent of  Louvain  to  brave  the  perils  of  persecution  in  that 
necessitous  mission.  After  two  years'  incessant  labor 
Father  Edmund  was  seized  by  the  Scotch  heretics,  and 
thrown  into  a  filthy  prison,  whence,  after  a  long  confine- 
ment, he  was  sent  into  banishment.  The  other  two  escaped 
the  pursuit  of  the  heretics,  and  continued  their  labor  of 
love  till,  in  1623,  a  new  dawn  arose  for  that  mission ;  and 
while  Dr.  Fleming,  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  was  appointed 
its  immediate  superior,  three  new  missionaries,  selected  by 
him — namely,  Cornelius  Ward,  James  O'Neill,  and  Patrick 
Hegerty — were  sent  thither  with  most  ample  authority  and 
privileges  from  the  Holy  See ;  and  at  the  same  time  the 

•  Cana  is,  I  think,  the  same  name  as  McCann. 

t  John  Stewart  was  a  native  of  Scotland,  but  for  many  years  had  lived  as  a  lay-V  rother  with 
Uie  Franciscans  in  Ireland.  About  1614  he  was  arrested  near  Dublin,  and  after  suffering 
many  hardships  in  Dublin  prison,  was  transferred  to  the  Tower  of  London,  where  many  at- 
tempts were  made  to  seduce  'lim  from  the  Catholic  faith.  He  was  released  about  1617,  aad 
cent  into  Belgium. 

In  tke  Reign  of  Charles  I.  279 

old  veteran  Father  Edmund  Cana  resolved  to  brave  once 
more  the  fury  of  the  heretics  and  the  penalties  of  the  law. 
The  barren  wilderness  was  soon  clothed  with  gladness,  and 
Father  Hugh  de  Burgo  writes  from  Dubhn  on  the  17th 
November,  1624:  "  God  has  already  performed  great  things 
in  Scotland,  through  the  labors  of  our  Franciscan  fathers. 
They  could  even  have  effected  more  were  it  not  for  the  great 
poverty  and  wretchedness  of  the  country  ;  for  their  district 
of  Scotland  is  so  impoverished  that  scarcely  can  they  find 
sufficient  means  for  the  most  frugal  support." 

It  appears  their  .labors  were  chiefly  in  the  Hebrides  and 
northern  parts.  Many  interesting  particulars  are  contain- 
ed in  a  narrative  which  was  drawn  up  for  the  Sacred  Con- 
gregation of  Propaganda  in  1637  by  Father  Ward.  He 
had  in  the  interim  visited  the  Eternal  City,  and  on  his  re- 
turn, having  received  the  benediction  of  the  Bishop  of 
Down  and  Connor,  hastened,  in  November,  1635,  to  re- 
sume his  missionary  labor  in  the  Hebrides.  Before  two 
months  had  elapsed  he  had  restored  fifty  heretics  to  the 
saving  fold  in  the  Island  of  Sgiahanach.  During  the  fol- 
lowing year,  (1636,)  in  twenty-two  villages  of  the  islands 
of  Eustia  and  Benimhaola,  two  hundred  and  three  heretics 
were  converted,  while  in  the  islands  of  Barra,  Feray,  and 
Barnaray  no  fewer  than  fifty  others  were  led  captive  to 
truth.  In  the  last-named  island  the  zealous  priest  was 
pursued  by  a  Protestant  minister,  who  had  procured  a 
warrant  for  his  arrest,  and  in  consequence  he  was  obliged 
to  fly  to  the  mainland  of  Scotland.  There,  on  the  moun- 
tains of  Muidheart  and  Arasoig,  during  two  months,  the 
conversion  of  two  hundred  and  six  heretics  was  his  reward. 
He  adds:  "The  missionary  labor  in  those  barbarous  and 
remote  districts  is  indescribable,  and  incredible  to  those 
who  have  not  witnessed  it.  Oftentimes  the  missionary 
father  has  passed  six  months  there  without  being  able  to 
procure  any  other  drink  than  milk  and  water;   indeed, 

28o  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

their  whole  food  consists  of  milk,  and  in  summer  they  sel- 
dom have  bread.  In  the  Hebrides,  and  in  the  mountain- 
ous districts  of  Scotland,  there  is  no  city,  nor  town,  nor 
school,  neither  is  there  anything  like  education  ;  and  none 
can  be  found  to  read,  except  a  few  who  received  education 
in  distant  parts."  Father  Ward  continued  on  those  moun- 
tains until  his  store  of  altar-breads  and  wine  for  the  Holy 
Sacrifice  was  exhausted  ;  he  then  set  out  on  foot  for  Edin- 
burgh, and,  after  many  risks  and  dangers,  returned  with  a 
renewed  supply  to  his  mountain  flock,  where,  though  he  was 
at  the  same  time  weighed  down  by  a  grievous  illness,  he,  be- 
tween the  8th  September  and  Christmas,  through  the  dis- 
tricts of  Locheabar,  Muiduirt,  Sliebhte,  and  Gleansilge,  re- 
ceived back  one  hundred  and  thirty-nine  heretics  into  the 
bosom  of  the  Catholic  Church.  Overcome  by  his  labors, 
Father  Ward  was  soon  obliged  to  return  to  the  compara- 
tive repose  of  his  Irish  convent,  and  Father  Patrick  He- 
gerty,  who  had  been  for  eight  years  guardian  of  the  con- 
vent of  Bunargy,  in  the  north  of  Ireland,  opposite  Scot- 
land, was  chosen  prefect  of  that  mission.  About  1641  he 
was  thrown  into  prison  by  the  Scots,  and  detained  in  close 
confinement  for  five  years.  On  the  29th  August,  1646,  he 
wrote  from  Waterford,  expressing  his  gratitude  to  God  for 
having  been  freed  from  prison,  and  requesting  at  the  same 
time  sufficient  means  to  resume  his  labors  in  the  vineyard 
of  Scotland.     He  died  at  Multifarnham  in  1647. 

For  further  particulars  of  these  Scotch  missions  the 
reader  is  referred  to  Dr.  Moran's  work. 

A.nno    las. 

FOX,  O.P.P. 

-     "  On  a  certain  stormy  night  the  heretical  troops  sudden- 
ly burst  into  the  monastery  of  our  order  at  Kilmalloc, 

During  ike  Commonwealth.  281 

which  lies  beyond  the  bridge  outside  the  walls,  hoping,  no 
doubt,  to  slay  many  of  the  brethren  ;  but  the  others  es- 
caped, and  they  found  only  these  two  kneeling  before  the 
high  altar,  in  prayer,  with  their  rosaries  round  their  necks 
They  pierced  them  with  swords,  and,  finally,  as  they  lay  in 
their  blood,  blew  out  their  brains  with  a  musket-shot,  and 
so  left  them,  and  carried  away  the  spoils  of  the  monaste- 
ry."— Mon.  Dam.,  Hib.  Dam.  p.  565,  atid  A  Rosario. 

Father  Geraldine  was  a  priest.  Father  Fox  a  simple 

Auno   1G49. 




Cromwell  landed  on  our  shores  in  July,  1649,  firmly 
resolved  to  acquire  popularity  among  his  fellow-Puritans 
by  the  extermination  of  the  Irish  papists.  On  his  arrival 
in  Dubhn  he  addressed  his  soldiers,  and  declared  that  no 
mercy  should  be  shown  to  the  Irish,  and  that  they  should 
"  be  dealt  with  as  the  Canaanites  in  Joshua's  time." 

Drogheda  was  first  attacked.  It  was  defended  by  3000 
good  troops,  commanded  by  Sir  Arthur  Ashton,  a  Catho- 
lic. Three  times  did  they  repel  the  assaults  of  their  io,ooc 
besiegers.  At  length,  seeing  further  resistance  useless, 
they  surrendered  on  terms.  Cromwell,  writing  to  the  Par- 
liament, makes  it  a  boast  that,  despite  the  promised  quarter 
he  himself  gave  orders  that  all  should  be  put  to  the  sword  ;* 
and,  in  his  Puritanical  cant,  he  styles  that  brutal  massacre 
a  righteous  judgment  of  God  upon  the  barbarous  wretches  ; 

•  "  Our  men  were  ordered  hy  me  to  put  them  all  to  the  sword." — CromwelVs  L^i^e^  i» 
Lenikal,  ap.  Lin^ard,  voL  iv.  p.  63V 

282  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

a  great  mercy  vouchsafed  to  us  ;  a  great  thing,  done,  not  by 
power  or  might,  but  by  the  spirit  of  God.  The  slaughter 
of  the  inhabitants  continued  for  five  days,  and  the  Puritan 
troops  spared  neither  age  nor  sex,  so  much  so  that  the 
Earl  of  Ormond,  writing  to  the  secretary  of  Charles  II.,  to 
convey  the  intelligence  of  the  loss  of  Drogheda,  declares 
that  "  Cromwell  had  exceeded  himself,  and  anything  he  had 
e\'er  heard  of,  in  breach  of  faith  and  bloody  inhumanity  ;" 
and  the  Parliamentarian  General  Ludlow  speaks  of  it  as  an 
extraordinary  severity.  The  church  of  St.  Peter,  within 
the  city,  had  been  for  centuries  a  place  of  popular  devo- 
tion ;  a  Httle  while  before  the  siege  the  Catholics  had  re- 
obtained  possession  of  it,  and  dedicated  it  anew  to  the  ser- 
vice of  God,  and  the  Holy  Sacrifice  was  once  more  celebra- 
ted there  v/ith  special  pomp  and  solemnity.  Thither  many 
of  the  citizens  now  fled  as  to  a  secure  asylum,  and,  with 
the  clergy,  prayed  around  the  altar ;  but  the  Puritans  re- 
spected no  sanctuary  of  religion.  " In  this  very  place" 
writes  Cromwell,  "  near  07ie  thousand  of  them  were  put  to 
the  sword.  I  believe  all  the  friars*  were  killed  but  two, 
the  one  of  which  was  Father  Peter  Taaffe,  brother  to  Lord 
Taaffe,  whom  the  soldiers  took  the  next  day,  and  made  an 
end  of;  the  other  was  taken  in  the  round  tower  ;  he  confess- 
ed he  was  a  friar,  but  that  did  not  save  him''  We  read  in 
Johnston's  History  of  Drogheda  : 

"  Quarter  had  been  promised  to  all  those  who  should  lay 
down  their  arms,  but  it  was  observed  only  until  all  resist- 
ance was  at  an  end.  Many,  confiding  in  this  promise,  at 
once  yielded  themselves  prisoners  ;  and  the  rest,  unwilling 
to  trust  to  the  mercy  of  Cromwell,  took  shelter  in  the  stee- 
ple of  St.  Peter's  ;  at  the  same  time  the  most  respectable 
of  the  inhabitants  sheltered  themselves  within  the  church. 
Here  Cromwell  advanced,  and,  after  some  deliberation,  con- 

*  Tbev  were  Carmelites. 

'^iTfTimil'I'IIIIirf'rf'Tr'lT  I'  "'"lip  1 


During  the  Commonwealth.  283 

eluded  on  blowing  up  the  building.  For  this  purpose  he 
laid  a  quantity  of  powder  in  an  old  subterraneous  passage, 
which  was  open,  and  went  under  the  church  ;  but,  chang- 
ing his  resolution,  he  set  fire  to  the  steeple,  and  as  the 
garrison  rushed  out  to  avoid  the  flames  they  were  slaughter- 
ed. After  this  he  ordered  the  inhabitants  in  the  church  to 
be  put  to  the  sword,  among  whom  many  of  the  Carmelites 
fell  a  sacrifice.  He  then  plundered  the  building  and  de- 
faced its  principal  ornaments." 

Thomas  Wood,  one  of  the  Puritan  officers  engaged  in 
the  massacre,  relates  that  a  multitude  of  the  most  defence- 
less inhabitants,  comprising  all  the  principal  ladies  of  the 
city,  were  concealed  in  the  crypts  or  vaults  of  the  church  ; 
thither  the  bloodhounds  tracked  them,  and  not  even  to  one 
was  mercy  shown.  Lord  Clarendon  also  records  that  dur- 
ing the  five  days,  while  the  streets  of  Drogheda  ran  with 
blood,*  "  the  whole  army  executed  all  manner  of  cruelty, 
and  put  every  man  that  related  to  the  garrison,  and  all  the 
citizens  who  were  Irish — man,  woman,  and  child — to  the 
sword  ;"  and  Cromwell  himself  reckoned  that  "  less  than 
thirty  of  the  defenders  were  not  massacred,  and  these,''  he 
adds,  "  are  in  safe  custody  for  the  Barbadoes." 

The  manuscript  written  in  165  i,f  quoted  by  Dr.  Moran, 
gives  the  following  account  of  the  martyrdom  of  Fathers 
Bathe  and  Netterville :  "  On  the  following  day,  when  the 
soldiers  were  searching  through  the  ruins  of  the  city,  they 
discovered  one  of  our  fathers,  named  John  Bathe,  with  his 
brother,  a  secular  priest.  Suspecting  that  they  were  reli- 
gious, they  examined  them,  and  finding  that  they  were 
priests,  and,  moreover,  one  of  them  a  Jesuit,  they  led  them 
off  in  triumph,  and,  accompanied  by  a  tumultuous  crowd. 

'  Down  to  the  present  century  the  street  leading  to  St.  Peter's  Street  retained  the  name  of 
Bloody  Stre.;t.  It  is  the  tradition  oi  the  place  that  the  blood  of  those  slain  ia  the  church 
formed  a  regular  torrent  c'own  the  street 

\  Relaiio  Rcrum,  etc 

284  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

conducted  them  to  the  market-place,  and  there,  as  if  they 
were  at  length  extinguishing  the  Catholic  religion  and  our 
society,  they  tied  them  both  to  stakes  fixed  in  the  ground, 
and  pierced  their  bodies  with  shot  until  they  expired." 

Father  Robert  Netterville  was  another  victim  to  their  furjr. 
He  was  aged  and  confined  to  bed  by  his  infirmities  ;  never- 
theless, "  he  was  forced  away  by  the  soldiers,  and  dragged 
along  the  ground,  being  violently  knocked  against  each 
obstacle  that  presented  itself  on  the  way  ;  then  they  beat 
him  with  clubs,  and  when  many  of  his  bones  were  broken 
they  cast  him  on  the  highway.  On  the  fourth  day,  having 
fought  a  good  fight,  he  departed  this  life,  to  receive,  as  we 
hope,  the  martyr's  crown." — Ibid. 

Three  Dominican  fathers  also  received  the  martyr's  crown 
in  Drogheda  on  this  occasion,  as  is  recorded  by  Fontana : 
"  Father  Dominick  Dillon,  Prior  of  Urlar,  together  with 
Fathers  Athy*  (the  sub-prior)  and  Richard  Oveton,  being 
taken  prisoners  in  Drogheda,  and  led  out  for  execution  in 
presence  of  the  whole  heretical  enemy,  poured  forth  their 
soul  in  prayer,  and  so  bravely  met  death." — Ex  Act.  Cap. 
Gen.  1650  ;  Mon.  Doin.  ad  an. 

"  This  same  year  and  day.  Father  Peter  Costello,  sub- 
prior  of  the  convent  of  Strade,  was  slain  there  for  the 
faith." — Mon.  Bom.-f 


"  The  Rev.  James  O'Reilly,  a  learned  theologian,  a  cele- 
brated preacher,  and  an  excellent  teacher,  was  sent  from 
Waterford  to  Clonmel,  where  he  instructed  youth  in  leai  n- 

•  O'Heyii,  "  with  Father  Richard  Ovetoif,  the  Snb-Priorof  Athy."  It  is  hard  to  determine 
which  is  correct,  as  Athy  is  not  only  the  name  of  a  town  where  there  was  formerly  a  Dominican 
priory,  but  also  a  common  surname. 

t  Straid,  or  Stracie,  as  De  Burgo  tells  us,  (./fri.  Vom.  p.  249,)  is  a  little  \-ilIage  in  the  county 
Mayo,  two  miles  from  Athlethan  or  Ballylehan.  Straid,  he  lells  us,  was  in  1760  celebrated  fot 
its  £iirs.  which  are  still  held. 

During  the  Covtmonwealth.  285 

ing  and  the  Christian  religion.  At  the  approach  of  the 
enemy  the  garrison  and  citizens  fled,  and  he  also  left  the 
city  to  seek  a  place  of  safety  ;  but,  mistaking  the  road,  he  fell 
in  with  a  troop  of  Cromwellian  horse,  as  he  carried  his 
rosary  in  his  hands.  Being  asked  what  he  was,  he  courage- 
ously answered,  '  I  am  a  priest,  and,  though  unworthy,  a 
Dominican  monk.  I  have  lost  my  way,  and,  flying  from  you, 
I  have  fallen  into  your  hands.  I  am  a  Christian,  Roman, 
Catholic,  and  Apostolic  ;  as  I  have  lived,  so  will  I  die.  May 
the  will  of  Heaven  be  done.'  They  immediately  rushed  upon 
him,  and  for  nearly  an  hour  he  endured,  with  wonderful 
fortitude  and  patience,  blows  and  wounds,  covered  with 
blood,  and  invoking  the  name  of  Jesus,  of  his  Blessed 
Mother,  "and  of  our  holy  father  St.  Dominick.  At  length, 
having  received  more  wounds  than  he  had  limbs,  he  fell  a 
happy  victim." — Hib.  Dom.  p.  566,  ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen. 
1656,  and  Mon.  Dom. 


It  was  on  the  nth  of  October  that  Cromwell's  soldiers 
entered  the  town  of  Wexford,  which  had  been  surrendered 
by  the  treachery  of  one  of  Ormond's  officers.  Cromwell, 
as  he  expressed  it,  "  thought  it  not  good  or  just  to  restrain 
the  soldiers  from  their  right  of  pillage,  nor  from  doing  exe- 
cution on  the  enemy  ;"  he  estimates  in  this  letter  the  num- 
ber of  the  garrison  butchered  at  2000.  Father  Francis 
Stafford,  in  a  letter  written  at  the  time,  says  :  "  On  the  nth 
of  October,  1649,  seven  friars  of  our  order,  (Franciscans,)  all 
men  of  extraordinary  merit,  and  natives  of  the  town,  perish- 
ed by  the  sword  of  the  heretics.  Some  of  them  were  killed 
kneeling  before  the  altar,  and  others  while  hearing  confes- 
sions. Father  Raymond  Stafford,  holding  a  crucifix  in  his 
hand,  came  out  of  the  church  to  encourage  the  citizens,  and 
even  preached  with  great  zeal  to  the  infuriated  enemies 

286  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

themselves,  till   he  was   killed   by  them  in  the   market- 

Dr.  French,  the  venerable  Bishop  of  Ferns,  who  himself 
escaped  with  difficulty,  gives  the  following  account  of  the 
massacre,  in  a  letter  to  the  internuncio,  1673  :  "On  one 
day  I  lost,  for  the  cause  of  God  and  the  faith,  all  that  I 
possessed  ;  it  was  the  nth  of  October,  1649  !  on  that  most 
lamentable  day  my  native  city  of  Wexford,  abounding  in 
wealth,  ships,  and  merchandise,  was  destroyed  by  the 
sword,  and  given  a  prey  to  the  infuriated  soldiery  by  Crom- 
well, that  English  pest  of  hell.  There,  before  God's  altar, 
fell  many  sacred  victims,  holy  priests  of  the  Lord  ;  others, 
who  were  seized  outside  the  precincts  of  the  church,  were 
scourged  with  whips  ;  thers  were  hanged  ;  some'were  ar- 
rested and  bound  with  chains ;  and  others  were  put  to 
death  by  various  most  cruel  tortures.  The  best  blood  of 
the  citizens  was  shed  ;  the  very  squares  were  inundated 
with  it,  and  there  was  scarcely  a  house  that  was  not  defiled 
with  carnage,  and  full  of  wailing.  In  my  own  palace  a 
youth  hardly  sixteen  years  of  age,  an  amiable  boy,  as  also 
my  gardener  and  sacristan,  were  cruelly  butchered ;  and 
the  chaplain,  whom  I  caused  to  remain  behind  me  at  home, 
was  pierced  with  six  mortal  wounds. 

"These  things  were  perpetrated  in  open  day  by  the  im- 
pious assassins.  From  that  moment  (and  this  it  is  that 
renders  me  a  most  unhappy  man)  I  have  never  seen  my 
city,  or  my  flock,  or  my  native  land,  or  my  kindred.  After 
the  destruction  of  the  city  I  lived  for  five  months  in  the 
woods,  with  death  ever  impending  over  me.  There  my 
drink  was  milk  and  water,  a  small  quantity  of  bread  was 
my  food,  and  on  one  occasion  I  did  not  taste  bread  during 
five  days  ;  there  was  no  need  of  cookery  for  my  scanty 
meals,  and  I  slept  in  the  open  air  without  either  bed  01 

•  See  the  letter  in  Dtiffy's  Mngazine,  May,  1847. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  287 

bed-clothes.  At  length  the  wood  ih  which  I  lay  conceal- 
ed was  surrounded  by  numerous  bodies  of  the  enemy,  who 
anxiously  sought  to  capture  me,  and  send  me  loaded  with 
chains  to  England.  My  angel  guardian  being  my  guide,  I 
burst  through  their  lines  and  escaped,  owing  to  the  swift- 
ness of  rny  able  steed." — Letter  of  Dr.  French,  ap.  Moran. 

"Cromwell's  'ministers  of  the  divine  will'  performed 
their  part  at  Wexford,  as  they  had  done  at  Drogheda,  do- 
ing execution,  not  on  the  armed  combatants  only,  but  on 
the  women  and  children  also.  Of  these  helpless  victims 
many  had  congregated  round  the  great  cross.  It  was  a 
natural  consequence  in  such  an  emergency.  Hitherto  they 
had  been  accustomed  to  kneel  at  the  foot  of  that  cross  in 
prayer ;  now,  with  life  itself  at  stake,  they  would  instinc- 
tively press  toward  it  to  escape  from  the  swords  of  the 
enemy.  But  as  far  as  regards  the  atrocity  of  the  thing,  it 
makes  little  difference  on  what  particular  spot  they  were 
murdered."* — Lingard,  vol.  ix.  note  D. 


Rev.  James  Lynch  was  parish  priest  of  Kells,  and  Rich- 
ard Nugent  of  Ratoath,  both  in  the  county  Meath,  and 
were  both  put  to  the  torture  and  suffered  on  the  same  day 
in  defence  of  the  Catholic  faith.  Father  Lynch  was  a  ven- 
erable old  man,  nearly  eighty  years  of  age,  and  was  massa- 
cred in  his  bed,  to  which,,  through  infirmity,  he  had  been  a 
long  time  confined.  Father  Nugent  was  sent  under  an  es- 
cort to  Drogheda,  and,  a  gibbet  having  been  erected  within 

*  Captain  Wood,  at  the  storming  of  Drogheda,  a  subaltern  in  Ingoldsby's  regiment,  descHb- 
-  ing  the  massacre  in  St.  Peter's  church,  Drogheda,  at  which  he  was  himself  present,  says; 
"When  they  (the  soldiers)  were  *o  make  their  way  up  to  the  lofts  and  galleries,  and  up  to  the 
tower  of  the  chnrch,  each  of  the  aasailants  would  take  up  a  child  and  use  it  as  a  buck!  cr  of  de 
fence,  when  they  ascended  the  steps,  to  save  themselves  from  being  brained  or  shot."  And 
he  describes  his  own  unavailing  attempt  to  save  one  young  woman  out  of  the  general  massa- 
«re  of  all  the  womeu  there. — Linffard.  vol   ix.  note  L>. 

288  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

sight  of  the  walls,  he  ended  his  course  with  such  serenity 
and  firmness  as  confounded  his  enemies,  and  drew  forth 
the  tears  and  benedictions  of  the  faithful  inhabitants 
of  that  ancient  city. — Moran,  Persec.  p.  193,  from  Bruo- 

Anno   16B0. 


From  Wexford,  Cromwell  advanced  in  a  dreary  season 
to  Kilkenny,  not  prepared  for  a  regular  siege,  but  relying 
on  the  promises  of  an  officer  named  Tickle  that  he  would 
betray  the  city  of  Kilkenny  into  his  hands.  The  plot  was 
discovered  and  the  agent  executed,  and  the  custody  of  the 
city  and  adjacent  country  was  entrusted  to  Lord  Castleha- 
ven,  with  a  body  of  twelve  hundred  men.  But  the  plague 
which  had  broken  out  obliged  Castlehaven  to  retire,  and 
reduced  the  garrison  to  about  four  hundred  and  fifty. 
Nevertheless,  Sir  Walter  Butler  made  a  brave  defence,  and 
repelled  the  assaults  of  the  besiegers  with  such  spirit  and 
success  that  Cromwell,  despairing  of  taking  it  by  force, 
granted  favorable  conditions  ;  but  no  sooner  had  the  ene- 
my possession  of  the  city  than  these  were  violated.  The 
Puritans  profaned  the  churches,  overturned  the  altars,  de- 
stroyed the  paintings  and  crosses,  and  profaned  all  things 
sacred.  The  vestments,  which  had  been  for  the  most  part 
concealed,  were  discovered  and  plundered  by  the  soldiery  ; 
the  books  and  paintings  were  cast  into  the  street,  and  ei- 
ther destroyed  by  fire  or  brought  away  as  booty.  The  holy 
bishop,  Dr.  David  Rooth,  venerable  for  his  years,  his  piety, 
his  learning,  and  his  zeal,  had  just  entered  a  carriage  to 
seek  for  safety  by  flight  when  the  enemy  arrived.  They 
inhumanly  dragged  him  from  his  seat,  despoiled  him  of  his 
garments,  and  then,  clothing  him  with  a  tattered  cloak, 
which  was  covered  with  vermin,  they  cast  him  into  a  loath- 

During  the  Comtnonwealtk.  289 

some  dungeon,  where,  after  a  prolonged  martyrdom,  he  ex- 
pired, in  the  month  of  April,  1650. 

While  the  pestilence  raged  within  the  city,  one  good 
priest.  Father  Patrick  Lea,  was  especially  distinguished  by 
his  charity  and  zeal.  Not  only  was  he  untiring  in  adminis- 
tering to  the  spiritual  wants  of  the  sick  and  dying,  but  he 
also  assisted  them  in  their  corporal  wants.  He  adminis- 
tered to  the  poor  even  in  the  most  loathsome  duties,  and 
sometimes  too  he  was  seen  digging  graves  and  bearing  on 
his  shoulders  to  interment  the  bodies  of  those  who  were 
abandoned.  It  was  while  exercising  this  last-mentioned 
excess  of  Christian  heroism  that  he  himself  was  infected 
with  the  disease,  and  expired,  a  martyr  of  charity,  a  few 
days  before  the  arrival  of  Cromwell  at  the  gates  of  Kilken- 
ny.— Moran,  Persec.  p.  50,  who  quotes  a  MS.  in  his  pos- 
session, written  in  1667,  and  entitled  Brevis  Relatio  de 
Prcesenti  in  Hibernid  Fidei  et  Ecdesics  Statu.  See  also 
Leland,  Hist,  of  Ireland,  vol.  iii.  p.  361. 


He  was  a  holy  Franciscan  friar,  appointed  to  the  see  of 
Ross,  in  1647,  by  the  pope,  on  the  recommendation  of  the 
Nuncio  Rinuccini.  In  1650,  when  the  savage  bands  of 
Cromwellian  soldiers  under  Ludlow  were  laying  waste  the 
country,  he  left  the  retreat  in  which  he  had  lair  hidden  for 
months,  in  order  to  visit  some  distant  and  abam  loned  parts 
of  his  diocese,  when,  on  his  return  to  his  lonely  hiding- 
place,  he  was  overtaken  by  a  troop  of  horse  under  the  com- 
mand of  Lord  Broghill,  who  was  hastening  to  assist  Crom- 
well in  the  siege  of  Clonmel.  "  Lord  Broghill  promised  to 
spare  his  life  if  he  would  use  his  spiritual  authority  with 
the  garrison  of  a  fort  adjacent  to  prevail  on  them  to  sur- 
render.    For  this  purpose  he  was  conducted  to  the  fort, 

ago  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

but  the  gallant  captive,  unshaken  by  the  fear  of  death,  ex- 
horted the  garrison  to  maintain  their  post  resolutely 
against  the  enemies  of  the  king,  their  country,  and  their 
religion,  and  instantly  resigned  himself  to  execution."* 
Bruodin  adds  that  he  was  offered  pardon  and  rewards  if 
he  would  deny  his  faith  and  join  the  Parliamentarians,  but 
he  rejected  the  temptation  with  disdain.  He  was  then 
abandoned  to  the  soldiers'  fury,  and,  his  arms  being  first 
severed  from  his  body,  he  was  dragged  along  the  ground 
to  a  neighboring  tree,  and,  being  hanged  from  one  of  its 
branches  by  the  reins  of  his  own  horse,  happily  consum- 
mated his  earthly  course  in  November,  1650.! — Bruodin, 
Passio  Martyr,  p.  530;  Hib.  Dom.  p.  490 ;  Mooney,  (con- 


"  He  was  born  in  1617  ;  he  was  teaching  poetry  in  Kil 
kenny  College  in  1649,  and  was  then  reported  by  the 
visitor.  Father  Verdier,  as  a  truly  good  and  religious  man. 
I  believe  he  made  his  d^but  as  a  minister  of  religion  at 
Waterford,  whence  he  was  sent  to  Ross  to  attend  Father 
Gregory  Dowdal  in  his  last  illness,  and  who  died  in  his 
arms  in  1650.  For  the  next  nineteen  years  he  continued 
to  exercise  his  pastoral  functions  in  that  town  and  neio^h- 
borhood.  No  dangers  that  threatened  him  from  the  Crom- 
wellian  party,  who  filled  every  place  with  blood  and  terror, 
could  deter  this  genuine  hero  from  doing  his  duty;  no 
weather,  no  pestilential  fever,  no  difficulties,  could  hold  him 

•  Leland,  vol.  iii.  p.  362.     He  refers  to  Cox. 

t  The  compiler  of  the  Supplement  to  Wadding's  Scriftores  says  Dr.  Egan  was  a  member 
of  the  Third  Order  of  St.  Francis,  and  that  thirteen  other  members  of  the  same  institute  suffej- 
sd  with  him,  (I  presume  he  means  about  the  same  time,)  and  he  refers  to  a  contemporary  writer 
F.  Bordonus,  as  his  authority.  ' 

During  the  Commonwealth.  291 

back  from  visiting  the  sick  and  the  dying  in  their  meanest 
hovels.  His  purse,  his  time,  his  services,  were  always  at 
the  command  of  the  distressed  Catholics  ;  it  was  his  food 
and  delight  to  exercise  the  works  of  mercy,  corporal  and 
spiritual.  Though  the  tyrant  Cromwell  had  issued  a  pro- 
clamation to  his  troops  (and  they  were  in  the  habit  of 
searching  the  houses  of  respectable  Catholics)  that  should 
they  apprehend  a  priest  in  any  house,  the  owner  of  such 
house  should  be  hung  up  before  his  own  door,  and  all  his 
property  be  confiscated,  and  that  the  captors  of  the  priest 
should  be  rewarded  at  the  rate  destroyers  of  the  wolf  for- 
merly received,  (so  little  value' was  attached  to  a  priest's 
life,)  nevertheless  Father  Gelosse  managed  every  day  tc 
offer  up  the  unbloody  Sacrifice  of  the  altar.  His  extraor- 
dinary escapes  from  the  clutches  of  his  pursuers  bordered 
on  the  miraculous.  He  assumed  every  shape  and  charac- 
ter :  he  personated  a  dealer  in  fagots,  a  servant,  a  thatch- 
er,  a  porter,  a  beggar,  a  gardener,  a  miller,  a  carpenter^ 
a  tailor  with  his  sleeve  stuck  with  needles,  a  milkman,  a 
pedlar,  a  seller  of  rabbit-skins,  etc.,  thus  becoming  all  to  all 
in  order  to  gain  all  to  Christ.  However,  he  was  foui 
times  apprehended,  as  he  told  Father  Stephen  Rice,  but 
his  presence  of  mind  never  forsook  him,  and  he  ingenious- 
ly contrived  to  extricate  himself  without  much  difficulty. 
After  the  restoration  of  Charles  II.  he  set  up  a  school 
at  Ross,  which  took  precedence  of  all  others  in  the  country, 
whether  rank,  numbers,  proficiency,  discipline,  or  piety 
be  taken  into  consideration ;  but  this  was  broken  up  by 
the  persecution  of  1670.  He  then  removed  to  the  vicinity 
of  Dublin,  where  he  taught  about  forty  scholars,  and  in 
August,  1673,  he  returned  to  Ross  to  reopen  his  school, 
but  at  the  end  of  three  months  was  obliged  by  the  fanatical 
spirit  abroad  to  abandon  this  favorite  pursuit.  He  was 
still  living  in  the  summer  of  1675,  when  I  regret  to  part 
company  with  him." — Oliver. 

292  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


Was  parish  priest  of  Ardfinnan,  in  the  county  Tipperary, 
and  was  famed  for  his  zeal  and  apostolic  labors.  He  had 
been  frequently  advised  to  fly  from  the  storm,  out  his 
affectionate  solicitude  for  his  flock  rose  superior  to  every 
counsel.  During  the  siege  of  Clonmel  he  was  seized  upon 
by  a  reconnoitring  party  of  Cromwell's  cavalry.  Immedi- 
ately on  his  arrest  he  was  bound  in  irons,  conducted  to  the 
camp  of  the  besiegers,  and  offered  his  pardon  .should  he 
only  consent  to  use  his  influence  with  the  inhabitants  of 
Clonmel,  and  induce  them  to  give  up  the  town ;  but  he 
steadfastly  refused,  and  was  consequently  led  out  in  sight 
of  the  besieged  walls,  and  there  beheaded  while  he  knelt  in 
prayer  for  his  faithful  people  and  asked  forgiveness  for  his 
enemies. — Moran,  from  Brtiodin. 


"  Of  the  convent  of  Athenry,  were  slain  through  hatred 
of  the  faith,  and  thus  offered  as  sacred  victims  to  Christ." 
— Mon.  Dom.  and  Hib.  Dom.,  ex.  Act.  Cap.  Gen.  1656. 


••  A  .SON  of  the  convent  of  St.  Dominick,  of  Benfica,  (near 
Lisbon,)  and  an  alumnus  during  some  years  of  the  Irish  Do- 
minican College  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  of  Lisbon,  then  pro- 
curator and  vicar,  was  led  by  his  zeal  for  souls  to  venture 
into  Clonmel,  then  held  by  a  strong  garrison  of  the  here- 

•  Of  Father  Moran  il  is  said  he  was  a  lay  monk  ;  of  the  other  two  it  is  not  said  whether 
they  were  priests  or  not,  but  they  are  not  styled  reverend,  from  which .  I  gather  thej  were  not 
in  holy  orders.     Fontana  puts  their  martyrdom  in  1650 ;  De  Burgo,  m  i6si. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  293 

tics.  He  was  seized  just  after  he  had  finished  Mass,  while 
administering  the  Blessed  Eucharist  to  a  dying  man,  and 
with  the  sacred  pix  in  his  hands  was  instantly  led  off  to 
execution.  He  prayed  fervently  with  the  people,  and 
amidst  their  tears  and  admiration  he  was  hung." — A  Rosa- 
rio,  p.  354,  (21 1 ;)  also  Hib.  Dom.  p.  566,  and  Man.  Dam. 


"  Father  Arthur  O'Cuiffe,  of  the  convent  of  Tralee, 
suffered  much  for  the  faith  under  Cromwell,  and  lay  for  a 
whole  year  in  a  noisome' dungeon.  During  that  time  the 
Rev.  Father  Edmund  MacMorice,  a  pious,  sincere,  and 
humble  man,  was  of  great  service  to  religion,  for  he  was 
able  to  travel  about  the  district  round  his  convent  in 
tolerable  freedom,  because,  being  a  near  relative  of  the 
Lord  of  Kerry,  no  one  dared  to  molest  him." — O'Heyn, 

Epilogus,  p.  21. 

— ♦ — 

jLtvno  1651. 


The  life  of  Bishop  O'Brien  has  been  well  traced  by 
Father  Meehan,  in  the  Hibernian  Magazine  for  1864,  and 
the  greater  part  of  the  following  account  is  taken  from  his 

Terence  Albert  O'Brien  was  born  in  the  city  of  Lim- 
erick, in  the  year  1600,  of  parents  descended  from  the 
ancient  house  of  O'Brien.  While  yet  a  child  he  received 
the  earliest  rudiments  of  education  from  his  pious  mother, 

*  DuSy's  Hihernian  Magaiiru,  April,  1864. 

294  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

and  an  aged  priest,  who  found  constant  welcome  and 
protection  in  his  father's  house,  and  who,  in  all  probability, 
was  the  first  to  inspire  him  with  the  idea  of  devoting 
himself  to  the  ministry.  As  he  grew  to  boyhood  the 
desire  struck  deeper  root  in  his  heart,  and  he  lost  no  time 
in  placing  himself  in  communication  with  his  uncle,  Mau- 
rice O'Brien,  who  was  then  prior  of  the  Dominican  convent 
of  his  native  city.  The  uncle  was  not  slow  in  seconding 
the  lad's  wishes,  and  he  accordingly  had  him  received  into 
the  novitiate  of  the  Friars  Preachers  ;  for  we  need  hardly 
add  that  the  monastery  of  St.  Saviour,  founded  in  the 
thirteenth  century  by  Donat  O'Brien,  had  long  since 
shared  the  fate  of  other  religious  houses  in  Ireland.  Hav- 
ing been  received  into  the  order,  young  O'Brien  was  sent 
to  the  convent  of  St.  Peter  Martyr  at  Toledo,  where  there 
was  then  a  vacancy  for  an  Irish  student,  and  arrived  there 
just  as  he  had  entered  on  his  twentieth  year.  The  Domi- 
nican school  of  Toledo  was  then  one  of  the  most  renown- 
ed in  Spain  ;  here  O'Brien  spent  eight  years,  when  he  was 
ordained  priest,  and,  as  the  wants  of  the  Irish  mission 
were  then  pressing,  his  superiors  commanded  him  to  lose 
no  time  in  preparing  for  the  journey  home. 

On  arriving  in  Ireland,  the  scene  of  his  first  mission  was 
Limerick,  where  he  took  up  his  residence  with  the  other 
Dominicans  in  a  hired  house,  where  they  lived  in  commu- 
nity as  well  as  the  circumstances  of  the  time  would  allow. 
It  was  a  time  of  peril  to  all  priests,  but  especially  to  those 
of  the  religious  orders,  for  Lord-Deputy  Falkland  was  then 
enforcing  the  penal  enactments.  The  Dominicans  were 
not,  however,  objects  of  so  much  jealousy  to  the  govern- 
ment as  the  Franciscans,  who  took  more  part  in  politics. 

Availing  himself,  therefore,  of  the  opportunities  which 
were  thus  afforded  him  of  doing  good.  Father  O'Brien 
settled  down  in  the  little  convent  at  Limerick,  where,  with 
the  rest  of  the  brethren,  he  toiled  through  many  dreary 

During  the  Commonwealth  295 

years  in  the  quiet  performance  of  the  duties  which  belong- 
ed to  his  calUng.  Fifteen  years  did  he  labor  in  Ireland,  dur- 
ing which  time  he  was  twice  elected  prior  of  his  native 
convent  of  Limerick,  and  once  of  that  of  Lorragh.* 

In  1G43,  the  Dominican  chapter,  assembled  in  the  Abbey 
of  the  Holy  Trinity  at  Kilkenny,  unanimously  elected 
-him  provincial  of  the  order.  A  short  time  previously  he 
had  seen  his  native  city  identify  itself  with  the  confede- 
rates, and  we  may  readily  imagine  with  what  feelings  of 
devoted  gratitude  he  and  the  other  members  of  his  order 
must  have  regarded  the  men  who  restored  to  them  that 
splendid  temple  which  William  Marshall,  Earl  of  Pembroke, 
erected  for  the  honor  of  God,  and  as  a  last  resting-place 
for  himself,  some  few  years  before  he  closed  his  mortal 
warfare.!  Toward  the  end  of  1643,  Father  O'Brien  was 
called  to  Rome  to  assist  at  a  general  chapter  of  the  Do- 
minicans, which  was  held  in  the  following  year,  when  many 
ordinances  were  made  for  the  better  government  of  the 
Irish  province,  and  the  revival  of  the  order  in  Ireland, 
where  it  had  suffered  so  terribly  during  the  persecutions  of 
Elizabeth  and  James  I.  The  acts  of  this  chapter,J  indeed, 
throw  much  light  on  the  state  of  the  Irish  Church  at  the 
period,  and  it  is  only  reasonable  to  suppose  that  we  are 
indebted  to  O'Brien  for  the  valuable  information  they 
contain.  This  chapter,  "in  order  that  proper  provision 
should  be  made  in  that  province  (Ireland)  for  literary 
studies,"  ordered  that  "  five  universities,  or  houses  of  gene- 
ral study,  should  be  established,  for  the  five  parts  of  the 
kingdom,  in  the  convents  of  Dublin,  Limerick,  Cashel, 
Athenry,  and  Culraha ;  and  if  from  the  hardness  of  the 
times  such  studies  cannot,  at  any  time,  be  carried  on  in 
one  of  these  convents,  then  the  provincial  shall  appoint  an- 

*  situated  in  the  barony  of  Lower  Ormond,  and  founc'^d  by  Walter  de  Burgo  in  126^ 
1  The  Black  Abbey  of  Kilkenny.  t  Hib  Dom.  p.  115. 

296  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

other  convent  for  such  time."*  At  this  chapter  Father 
O'Brien  was  raised  to  the  rank  of  master  in  theology,  and 
appointed  one  of  the  two  persons  to  decide  all  disputes  as 
to  the  boundaries  of  the  Dominican  convents  in  Mun- 

As  soon  as  the  council  terminated  its  sessions,  O'Brien 
set  out  for  Lisbon,  to  visit  the  Dominican  house  which  had 
been  founded  in  that  city  by  O'Daly  who  was  then  en. 
gaged  on  his  History  of  the  Geraldines.X  About  the  mid- 
dle of  July,  1644,  while  O'Brien  was  still  at  Lisbon,  intelli- 
gence from  Rome  led  his  friends  to  suppose  that  it  was 
the  intention  of  Urban  VIII.  to  advance  him  to  the  coad- 
jutorship  of  Emly,  and  indeed  the  announcement  seemed 
so  reliable  that  he  at  once  set  out  for  Ireland  to  take  part 
in  the  election  of  his  successor  in  the  provincialate.  There 
can  be  little  doubt  that  Urban  did  mean  to  have  him  con- 
secrated bishop,  but  as  his  holiness  died  in  the  very 
month  in  which  the  nomination  is  said  to  have  been  made, 
the  bulls  were  not  despatched,  and  O'Brien's  promotion 
was  consequently  postponed,  and  did  not  take  place  before 
the  third  year  of  the  pontificate  of  Innocent  X.  On  his 
return  to  Ireland,  O'Brien  fixed  his  residence  in  the  con- 
vent of  Limerick,  where,  as  provincial  and  prior,  he  exert- 
ed himself  indefagitably  for  the  interests  of  his  order, 
which  had  lately  received  a  large  accession  to  its  mem- 
bers from  Rome,  Louvain,  and  other  places  on  the  Conti' 

It  has  already  been  mentioned  that  O'Brien  was  not  con- 
secrated in  1644,  as  De  Burgo  thought,  as  is  shown  by  a 
letter  of  the  Nuncio  Rinuccini,  dated  Kilkenny,  January 

*  There  were  in  1646  in  Ireland  forty-three  Dominican  convents,  with  about  600  monks. 

t  A  convent,  once  founded,  was  always  held  to  exist,  and  to  preserve  its  ecclesiastical  privi- 
leges, as  long  as  any  brethren  remained,  although  the  original  building  might  lie  confiscated. 
Thus  the  Dominican  fathers  residing  in  a  lodging  in  Limerick  were  "  the  Convent  of 

t  A  Rosario,  Ptrsec,  p.  204. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  297 

1st,  1646,  in  which  he  says:  "Father  Terence,  provincial 
of  the  Dominicans,  is  a  man  of  prudence  and  sagacity. 
He  has  been  in  Italy,  has  had  considerable  experience, 
and  the  bishop  who  wishes  to  have  him  for  his  coadjutor 
is,  I  am  told,  in  very  feeble  health."*  Eight  months  after 
the  date  of  that  letter — that  is,  in  August,  1646 — when 
the  Bishop  of  Emly  was  on  the  point  of  death,  the  nuncio 
wrote  again  to  Rome,  recommending  various  candidates 
for  dioceses  that  were  then  either  vacant  or  about  to  be 
so ;  and,  among  others,  he  named  O'Brien  as  "  one  who 
deserved  the  highest  advancement  Rome  could  bestow, 
and  whose  claims  and  qualifications  were  duly  set  forth  in 
a  memorial  which  the  clergy  had  forwarded  in  his  favor." 
The  answer,  however,  did  not  reach  Ireland  till  October, 
1647,  when  Rinuccini  had  the  satisfaction  of  learning  that 
the  Holy  See  sanctioned  O'Brien's  promotion,  and  that  of 
the  other  candidates  for  whom  he  was  interested ;  and 
Father  O'Brien  was  consecrated  in  November,  1 647. 

Dr.  O'Brien  lost  no  time  in  taking  possession  of  his, see, 
but  he  found  it  in  a  deplorable  state.  The  victory  of  Co- 
noe-na-Noss  (13th  November,  1647)  had  made  Inchiquin, 
the  bitter  enemy  of  the  Catholics,  master  of  nearly  all 
Munster,  and  his  soldiers  ravaged  all  the  country.  At 
Kilkenny  Dr.  O'Brien  had  zealously  supported  the  policy 
of  the  Nuncio  Rinuccini,  and  joined  in  the  ill-advised  ex- 
communication ;  and  when  the  nuncio  was  at  Galway,  be- 
fore his  departure,  he  hastened  thither  to  see  him.  When, 
however,  he  had  reached  a  village  within  three  miles  of 
Galway,  (probably  Oranmore,)  word  was  brought  him  that 
the  nuncio  had  sailed,  and  he  then  returned  to  his  diocese, 
where  he  remained  until  May,  1650,  when  the  progress  of 
the  Cromwellians  compelled  him  to  return  to  Galway. 

In  August,  1650,  Dr.  O'Brien  acted  with  those  prelates 

•  JViinzuttu*-a,  pp.  84,  15a. 

298  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

who,  after  discarding  Lord  Ormond,  and  insisting  on  the 
appointment  of  Clanricarde  as  Viceroy,  offered  the  Protec- 
torate of  Ireland  to  the  Duke  of  Lorraine.  He  then  re- 
turned to  his  diocese,  and,  after  a  brief  sojourn  there,  fixed 
his  final  abode  in  Limerick,  just  as  Ireton  was  marching 
on  that  devoted  city.  Ireton  commenced  the  siege  of 
Limerick  early  in  165 1,  but  it  was  not  till  July  that  the 
investment  of  the  place  was  complete.  I  need  not  recapi- 
tulate here  the  well-known  incidents  of  that  heroic  siege, 
in  which  the  besieged  suffered  more  by  pestilence  than 
from  the  efforts  of  the  enemy.  Eight  thousand  citizens 
perished  by  the  pestilence,  and  the  heroic  missioners  of 
St.  Vincent  of  Paul,  who  were  in  the  city,  made  the  mem- 
ory of  their  order  dear  to  Catholic  Ireland  by  their  zeal  in 
attending  the  sick,  a  task  in  which  they  were  aided. by 
Drs.  Walsh,  Archbishop  of  Cashel,  and  O'Dwyer,  Bishop 
of  Limerick,*  who  were  also  in  the  city. 

At  length,  on  the  27th  of  October,  the  t/eachery  of  Co- 
lonel Fennell  enabled  Ireton  to  compel  the  surrender  of 
the  city.f  Twenty-four  persons  were  excepted  from  quar- 
ter by  the  articles  of  capitulation.  Knowing  the  fate  that 
was  reserved  for  him.  Dr.  O'Brien  retired  to  the  pest-house, 
in  order  to  devote  the  last  hours  of  his  life  to  the  benefit 
of  his  suffering  fellow-citizens,  and  to  preparing  himself  for 
death.  Here  he  was  found  by  the  officers  sent  to  arrest 
him,  and  brought  before  Ireton,  who  told  him  he  was  to  be 
tried  by  a  court-martial,  and  imprisoned  till  the  sentence 
was  pronounced.  The  bishop  heard  this  unmoved,  and 
when  asked  did  he  want  counsel,  calmly  replied  that  all  he 
equired  was  his  confessor.  This  boon  was  granted,  and 
Father  Hanrahan,  a  member  of  his  own  order,  was  suffer- 

•  He  was  the  on.y  one  of  the  twenty-four  to  whom  quarter  was  denied  by  Ireton  who  es 
caped. — Borlase  and  Ludlow^  afi,  Leland,  vol.  iii.  p.  387. 

1  Moran,  Pirsecutions,  p.  61 ;  Haverty's  History  0/ Ireland,  p.  591 ;  UOtmian  'Mag  itiHg 
p.  'JSS. 


Duri7ig  the  Connnonxvealtii.  299 

ed  to  pass  the  whole  day  and  night  of  the  30th  October  in 
his  prison.  On  the  following  evening  he  was  led  out  to 
execution,  and,  as  Father  Hanrahan  related,  walked  as  joy- 
fully to  the  place  as  to  a  feast.  His  contemporary,  De 
Marinis,  relates  his  execution  thus :  "  He  went  with  joy  to 
the  place  of  execution,  and  then,  with  a  serene  counte- 
nance, turning  to  his  Catholic  friends,  who  stood  in  the 
crowd  inconsolable  and  weeping,  he  said  to  them,  '  Plold 
firmly  by  your  faith,  and  observe  its  precepts  ;  murmur 
not  against  the  arrangements  of  God's  providence,  and 
thus  you  will  save  your  souls.  Weep  not  at  all  for  me,  but 
rather  pray  that  in  this  last  trial  of  death  I  may,  by  firm- 
ness and  constancy,  attain  my  heavenly  reward.'  The 
head  of  the  martyr  was  struck  off  and  placed  on  a  spike  on 
the  tower,"  ("which  is  on  the  middle  of  the  bridge." — A 
Rosario,)  "  and  long  after  seemed  to  drop  fresh  blood,  and 
uncorrupted  and  unchanged  in  aspect,  flesh,  or  hair — a  tri- 
bute, as  may  be  thought,  to  that  virginal  purity  which  it  is 
universally  believed  he  preserved  to  the  end."*  Thus  he 
went  to  his  reward,  on  the  vigil  of  All  Saints',  165 1.  De 
Marinis  and  A  Rosariof  relate  that  the  holy  bishop  sum- 
moned Ireton  to  the  judgment-seat  of  God  to  answer  for 
his  crimes;  and  on  the  i8th  day  afterward  that  bloody 
persecutor  was  seized  with  the  plague,  and,  after  sixteen 
days,  expired  in  great  torments.  Dr.  Moran  mentions  that 
the  spot  where  this  holy  bishop  was  martyred  is  yet  point- 
ed out  and  venerated  by  the  Catholics  of  Limerick.^ 

With  Bishop  O'Brien  perished  another  Dominican,  Fa- 
ther John  Collins.  He  had  made  himself  peculiarly  ob- 
noxious to  the  Parliamentarians  by  the  active  part  he  had 
taken  in  the  war  against  them  ;  he  had,  in  the  habit  of  his 
order,  and  with  a  crucifix  in  his  hand,  led  a  storming  party 
at  Bunratty,  and  had  made  himself  remarkable  during  the 

*  Hi'i.  Vom.  p.  489. 

t  In  HiZ.  Dom.  toe.  cii.  ;  and  A  Rosario,  Persec.  p.  207.  }  Moran,  Ptrsec.  p.  18a 

300  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

siege  for  his  courage,  and  was  in  consequence  excepted  by 
Ireton  from  the  capitulation.  He  was  sought  out  after  the 
surrender,  and,  being  found,  was  at  once  put  to  death  * 

Father  James  Wolf,  another  Dominican,  received  the 
crown  of  martyrdom  at  the  same  time.  I  give  the  account 
of  his  martyrdom  from  the  Acts  of  the  General  Chapter, 
held  in  Rome  in  1656,  p.   i5o:t 

"  He  was  an  old  man,  and  preacher-general,  who  had 
before  been  a  long  time  in  prison  for  the  faith,  and  in  this 
last  persecution  was  as  a  wall  against  the  enemies  of  the 
faith.  He  was  taken  in  Limerick  while  offering  the  Mass, 
and  in  a  few  hours  afterward  was  sentenced  to  be  hung,  and 
brought  out  into  the  market  square,  where  he  made  a  pub- 
lic profession  of  his  faith,  and  exhorted  the  Catholics  to 
constancy  in  the  religion  of  their  ancestors,  and  that  with 
so  much  ardor  that  it  moved  his  very  enemies.  Standing 
on  the  top  step  of  the  ladder,  and  about  to  be  swung  off, 
he  joyously  exclaimed,  '  We  are  made  a  spectacle  to  God 
and  angels  and  men — of  glory  to  God,  of  joy  to  angels,  of 
contempt  to  men'  Having  said  this,  he  was  hung,  and  so 
went  to  his  crown." 

O'Daly  adds  that  he  had  been  absent  from  the  city  dur- 
ing the  siege,  but  that,  when  it  was  taken  and  all  the 
priests  there  either  slain  or  driven  away,  zealous  for  the 
souls  of  the  citizens,  he  secretly  returned  to  administer  the 
sacraments  to  them,  but  had  hardly  been  there  eight  days 
when  he  was  taken  and  hung  ;%  and  this  agrees  with  what 
is  said  in  the  Acts  of  the  General  Chapter,  that  he  was  taken 
while  saying  Mass. 

It  is  probable  that  Father  David  Roche,  O.P.P.,  whom 
De  Burgo  mentions  to  have  been  sent  as  a  slave  to  the 
West  Indian  tobacco  plantations  in  this  year,  was  taken  at 

•  A  Rosario,  Persec.  p.  17.  t  ffii.  Dom.  p.  s68. 

X  A  Rosario,  Persec.  p.  217.  5  mi,,  _D„„,_  p  j^,_ 

During  the  Commonwealth.  301 

Here  also  we  may  commemorate  the  virtues  and  suffer- 
ings of  the  fathers  of  St.  Vincent  in  Limerick.  St.  Vincent 
of  Paul,  that  angel  of  charity,  cherished  a  special  affection 
for  the  persecuted  Church  of  Ireland.  "  The  sole  detail  of 
all  he  did  and  procured  to  be  done  in  favor  of  the  ecclesi- 
astics banished  from  Ireland  by  Cromwell  would  exceed 
my  limits,  and  wear  out  the  patience  of  my  readers."  And 
the  archives  of  Paris  yet  preserve  many  records  of  the  un- 
tiring efforts  of  the  saint  to  provide  a  home  and  a  refuge 
for  the  multitude  of  our  countrymen  who,  despoiled  of  all 
they  possessed,  and  exiles  from  the  land  of  their  birth, 
were  cast  upon  the  shores  of  France.  The  Bishop  of 
Waterford,  who  had  been  an  eye-witness,  gave  an  account 
to  Clement  XI.  of  the  assistance  in  money,  ornaments,  and 
clothing  sent  by  the  saint  to  the  suffering  Catholics  in 
Ireland,  declaring  at  the  same  time  that  as  St.  Patrick  and 
St.  Malachy  in  earlier  ages,  so  Father  Vincent  was  raised 
up  by  God,  in  this  period  of  persecution,  to  be  the  salva- 
tion of  our  country. 

It  was  in  '  1646  that  the  first  missionary  fathers 
landed  in  Ireland  ;  and,  during  the  five  years  that  they 
remained.  Limerick  was  the  chief  scene  of  their  labors. 
The  happy  fruits  of  their  zeal  were  soon  visible  to  all ;  and 
it  is  recorded,  as  a  striking  fact,  that  none  of  the  clergy  ol 
any  mission  which  they  visited  were  found  to  abandon 
their  spiritual  charges.  "  All  remained  with  the  flocks 
entrusted  to  them,  assisting  and  defending  them  until  they 
were  banished,  or  suffered  death  for  the  Catholic  faith  ; 
and,  in  effect,  it  was  granted  to  all  to  endure  one  or  the 

As  early  as  1648,  the  Archbishop  of  Cash  el  wrote  to  St. 
Vincent  that,  through  the  zeal  of  his  good  fathers,  "the 
people  had  been  excited  to  piety,  which  was  increasing  every 

•  Abelly's  Vie  de  Saint  VincenU  lib,  iv.  chap,  viii.,  in  Dr.  Moran,  Persee,  p.  7,  to  whom  I 
am  indebted  for  all  this  account  of  the  Vincentians. 

302  Martyrs  and  Confesson 

day;  and  although  these  admirable  priests  ha\E  suffered 
inconveniences  of  every  sort  since  their  arrival  in  this 
country,  they,  nevertheless,  have  not  ceased  for  an  instant 
to  apply  themselves  to  their  spiritual  mission,  and,  blessed 
by  heavenly  grace,  they  have  gloriously  propagated  and 
increased  the  worship  and  glory  of  God."  And  at  the 
same  time  the  Bishop  of  Limerick  wrote  that,  "by  the 
example  and  edifying  deportment  of  these  fathers,  the 
greater  part  of  the  nobility  of  both  sexes  had  become 
models  of  piety  and  virtue.  It  is  true  that  the  troubles 
and  the  wars  of  this  kingdom  have  been  a  great  obstacle 
to  their  functions ;  nevertheless,  the  truths  of  faith  have 
been  so  engraven  by  their  means  upon  the  minds  of  the 
inhabitants  of  both  the  cities  and  the  country  parts  that  the}- 
bless  God  in  their  adversities  equally  as  in  prosperity." 

When  the  storm  raged  with  all  its  fury  in  1657,  only 
three  priests  of  the  order  remained  in  Ireland,  but  their 
labors  were  incessant,  and  an  abundant  spiritual  harvest 
was  their  reward.  At  that  time  there  were  20,000  com. 
municants  within  the  walls  of  Limerick.  "  The  whole  city 
assumed  the  garb  of  penance,  to  draw  down  the  blessings 
and  the  grace  of  Heaven." 

In  April,  1650,  St.  Vincent  wrote  to  the  superior  of  the 
order,  encouraging  the  members  to  meet  courageously  the 
dangers  which  then  threatened  them.  In  his  letter  he 
says  : 

"  You  have  given  yourselves  to  God,  to  remain  im- 
movably in  the  country  where  you  now  are,  in  the  midst 
of  perils,  choosing  rather  to  expose  yourself  to  death  than 
to  be  found  wanting  in  charity  to  your  neighbors.  You 
have  acted  as  true  children  of  our  most  admirable  Father, 
to  whom  I  return  infinite  thanks  for  having  produced  in 
you  that  sovereign  charity  which  is  the  perfection  of  all 
virtues.  I  pray  him  to  fill  you  with  it  to  the  end,  that, 
exercising  it  ir  all  cases  and  everywhere,  you  may  pour  it 

During  the  Commonwealth.  303 

forth  into  the  hearts  of  those  who  want  it.  Seeing  that  your 
companions  are  in  the  same  disposition  of  remaining, 
whatever  may  be  the  danger  from  war  and  pestilence,  we 
are  of  opinion  that  they  should  be  allowed  to  stay.  How 
do  we  know  what  God  intends  in  their  regard  ?  Certainly 
he  does  not  bestow  on  them  so  holy  a  resolution  in  vain. 
My  God,  how  inscrutable  are  thy  judgments !  Behold,  at 
the  close  of  one  of  the  most  fruitful  missions  we  have  ever 
as  yet  witnessed,  and  perhaps,  top,  the  most  necessary, 
thou  dost  stop,  as  it  were,  the  course  of  thy  mercies  upon 
this  penitent  city,  and  dost  lay  thy  hand  still  more  heavily 
upon  her,  adding  to  the  misfortune  of  war  the  scourge  of 
pestilence ;  but  all  this  is  done  in  order  to  gather  in  the 
harvest  of  the  elect,  and  to  collect  the  good  grain,  into  thy 
eternal  granary.     We  adore  thy  ways,  O  Lord !" 

"  Although  the  three  fathers  who  had  labored  in  Lime- 
rick during  the  siege  escaped  the  fury  of  Ireton  on  its 
surrender,  one  of  them  resolved  to  remain  in  the  city  to 
assist  with  his  sacred  ministry  the  remnant  of  its  Catholic 
citizens,  and  after  awhile  consummated  there  his  holocaust 
of  charity.  The  two  others,  Brien  and  Barry,  escaped 
with  about  120  other  priests  and  religious,  in  various 
disguises,  mixed  up  with  the  garrison  of  the  place,  who  by 
the  terms  of  the  capitulation  obtained  their  lives  and 
permission  to  retire  from  the  city.  As  there  was  no 
quarter  allowed  for  any  ecclesiastics,  these  holy  men,  sure 
that  death  awaited  them,  passed  the  night  preceding  their 
escape  in  prayer  and  preparation  for  their  martyrdom. 
They  were  not,  however,  recognized  ;  and  after  escaping 
from  the  city  they  separated.  Father  Brien  taking  the  road 
toward  his  native  district  in  company  with  the  Vicar- 
General  of  Cashel,  while  Father  Barry  went  toward  the 
mountiins,  where  a  charitable  lady  received  him,  and  con- 
cealed him  for  two  months,  A  bark  freighted  for 
France  appearing  on  the  coast,  he  availed  himself  of  the 

304  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

opportunity  thus  presented,  embarked  in  the  vessel,  and 
happily  landed  in  Nantes.  This  caused  indescribable  joy 
to  St.  Vincent,  who  had  already  given  up  these  two 
fathers  as  lost,  believing  them  to  have  been  involved  in  the 
general  massacre  of  Limerick.  Although  these  good 
priests  escaped  from  that  general  massacre,  the  congrega 
tion  paid  its  tribute  to  the  persecution,  and  a  lay-brothei 
of  the  order,  named  Lee,  being  discovered  by  the  heretics, 
was  brutally  put  to  death  by  them  before  the  eyes  of  his 
own  mother  ;  his  hands  and  feet  were  first  amputated,  and 
his  head  was  then  bruised  to  atoms."* 

Father  Abelly,  the  author  of  the  Life  of  St.  Vincent, 
mentions  another  martyr,  whose  name,  however,  is  not 
given.     He  writes  as  follows  : 

"  It  happened  that  one  of  these  heroic  pastors,  having 
gone  to  a  missionary  father  (who  lived  in  a  cabin  at  the 
foot  of  a  mountain)  to  make  his  annual  retreat,  was  on  the 
following  night  discovered  in  the  act  of  administering  the 
sacrament  to  some  sick  persons,  and  cut  to  pieces  on  the 
spot  by  the  heretical  soldiery.  His  glorious  death  crowned 
his  innocent  life,  and  fulfilled  the  great  desire  he  had  to 
suffer  for  our  Lord,  as  he  himself  had  declared  in  the 
preceding  year  at  a  mission  given  by  the  Vincentian 
fathers  in  Limerick.'' 

Here  also  we  may  hand  down  the  names  of  those 
martyrs  of  charity  who  are  known  to  have  perished  of  the 
plague  while  attending  the  sick  in  this  disastrous  year. 

Of  these  there  are  enumerated  by  De  Burgo,  of  the  Do- 
minican order  alone,  in  the  year  165 1  :  Fathers  Michael 
O'Clery,  Prior  of  Waterford,  at  Waterford,  and  Gerald 
Kagot ;  Thaddaeus  0'Caholy,t  William  Geraldine,  and 
John  Geraldine,  of  Limerick  ;  and  Donald  O'Brien,  in 
county  Clare ;  and  of  the  Jesuits,  Father  Francis  White, 
at  Waterford. 

•  Act  of  the  order,  and  a  letter  of  St.  Vincent,  ap.  Moran.  f  Or  O'Cahasl 

During  the  Commonwealth.  305 

My  readers  will,  I  am  sure,  be  glad  here  to  read  the 
account  of  their  noble  devotion  given  by  O'Daly  :* 

"The  first  who  earned  this  crown  was  the  Reverend 
Father  Michael  O'Clery,  an  alumnus  of  our  college  of 
Lisbon,  and  prior  of  our  convent  of  Waterford.  When  the 
plague  raged  in  the  town  of  Waterford,  the  bishop  of  the 
place  called  together  all  the  priests  and  monks  of  the  place, 
and  laid  before  them  how  great  a  work  of  charity  and  how 
acceptable  to  God  it  would  be  to  devote  themselves  to 
administer  the  sacraments  to  those  of  their  Catholic 
brethren  who  were  perishing  of  the  plague.  All  the 
others  held  their  peace  ;  but  our  prior,  and  a  worthy  priest, 
Patrick  White,  a  canon  of  Waterford,  of  a  very  good 
Waterford  family,  and  his  brother.  Father  Francis  White, 
of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  and  minister'of  the  college  of  St. 
Patrick  of  Lisbon,  offered  themselves  for  this  duty.  They 
prepared  themselves  for  three  days  by  a  general  confession 
of  their  sins  and  the  reception  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament, 
and  then  entered  on  their  labors  in  the  pest-house,  where 
they  diligently  discharged  the  duty  of  physicians  of  souls. 
After  having  heard  the  confessions  of  almost  all,  they 
were  themsel\es  seized  with  the  disease  and  perished 

"  The  second  was  Father  Gerald  Bagot,  also  of  our  col- 
lege of  Lisbon,  a  man  of  good  family  and  talents.  Having 
come  into  Limerick  from  the  country,  he  was  asked  to 
step  out  of  his  way  to  hear  the  confession  of  a  man  who 
was  at  the  point  of  death  from  the  plague.  The  pious  fa- 
ther immediately  consented,  and  purchased  the  man's  sal- 
vation with  his  life,  for  no  sooner  had  he  completed  that 
work  of  charity  than  he  felt  himself  attacked,  and,  not  dar- 
ing to  enter  the  city,  in  three  days  after,  having  made  his 
confession  and  communion,  he  died  outside  the  walls. 

*  A  Rosario,  Persec,  p.  222,  in  Father  Meehan's  translation  ;  but  he  has  abridged  it.    Seo 
p  367  of  ori^al^  and  ap.  Hib.  Dom,  p.  570. 

3o6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

"  The  third  was  Father  Donald  O'Brien,  who  died  in  the 
same  way  in  Thomond,  (county  Clare,)  having  taken  the 
plague  by  hearing  confessions. 

"  The  fourth  was  Father  Thaddseus  O'Cahasi,  who,  in 
the  siege  of  Limerick,  when  the  sword  destroyed  without 
and  the  pestilence  within,  was  assigned  the  post  of  attend- 
ing to  the  hospital  of  the  soldiers,  which  was  near  our  con- 
vent, and  was  made  a  refuge  for  all  the  sick  except  those 
stricken  with  the  plague.  But  the  plague  made  its  way  in 
there  and  seized  our  father,  and,  having  received  the  sacra- 
ments, he  died  on  the  fifth  day.  Father  John  William 
Geraldine,  having  gone  to  hear  his  confession,  took  the 
disease  and  died  on  the  third  day.  He  was  a  very  religi- 
ous and  learned  man,  a  preacher-general,*  and  had  been 
prior  of  several  conv'ents. 

"  When  this  John  was  dying,  his  brother,  Gerald  Geral- 
dine, also  a  Dominican  father,  came  to  hear  his  confession, 
and  took  the  disease,  of  which  he  died  on  the  third  day, 
having  piously  received  the  sacraments. 

"The  Reverend  Father  Thomas  Philbin,  (MacPhilbin,) 
formerly  Prior  of  Burishoole,  and  Father  Charles  MacCuil, 
lost  their  lives  in  this  work  of  charity,  in  1652." 


These  two  appear  to  have  been  brothers  of  the  ancient 
family  of  O'Ferrall.  Of  Father  Laurence,  Dominick  a  Ro- 
sario  says  he  studied  in  the  college  of  Lisbon,  and  was  for 
some  time  guardian  of  it.  Of  Father  Bernard,  De  Burgo 
says  that  he  was  predicator  generalis  of  the  order ;  and 
from  the  Acts  of  the  General  Chapter,  held  at  Rome  in  1656, 

•  Prsedicator  generalii  ord. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  307 

he  and  Fontana  give  the  following  account  of  their  mar- 
tyrdom : 

"  They  were  seized  at  early  dawn,  while  praying  in  the  • 
church  of  their  native  convent  of  Longford,  which  had 
been  abandoned  by  the  brethren  on  account  of  the  violence 
of  the  persecution.  Father  Bernard  was  at  once  over- 
whelmed by  the  persecutors  with  more  than  four-and-twen- 
ty  deadly  wounds,  whereof  he  expired,  yet  lingered  long 
enough  to  receive  the  last  sacraments  from  another  of  our 
fathers  before  he  expired ;  and  this  he  had  himself 
foretold.  Brother  Laurence  they  dragged,  wounded,  be- 
fore the  governor,  and  on  discovering  that  for  the  faith,  and 
in  obedience  to  the  authority  of  the  nuncio,*  he  had  joined 
the  Catholic  army,  he  was  condemned  to  death.  He  was 
to  have  been  executed  on  the  following  day,  and  joyfully 
awaited  his  fate,  but  by  the  intercession  of  some  friends  it 
was  deferred  for  three  days.  This  was  most  grievous  to 
Laurence,  who  blamed  his  intercessors,  and  spent  the 
whole  three  days  in  pra3'ers  and  tears,  beseeching  God 
not  to  suffer  him  to  lose  the  palm  of  martyrdom.  At 
length  he  obtained  his  desire,  and  from  the  top  of  the  lad- 
der he  addressed  an  eloquent  exhortation  to  the  Catholics  ; 
then,  placing  the  rosary  round  his  neck,  and  holding  a 
crucifix  in  his  right  hand,  and  bidding  the  people  farewell, 
he  blessed  them,  and,  meekly  folding  his  hands  under  his 
scapular,  submitted  himself  to  the  executioner.  When  the 
executioner,  after  placing  the  cord  round  his  throat,  pushed 
him  off  the  ladder,  while  hanging  he  drew  both  his  hands 
from  under  his  scapular  and  raised  the  cross  on  high  in 
both,  as  the  emblem  of  his  triumph.  The  heretical  gov- 
ernor was  so  much  struck  that  he  allowed  his  body  to  be 
given  to  the  Catholics,  and  solemnly  interred  by  them,  and 
gave  a  safe  conduct  for  the  clergy  to  attend,  fearing  lest 

*  A  Rosario  says  his  captors  discovered  some  lettere  from  the  apostolic  nuncio  sewed  up  in 
bis  inner  gannents. — A  Rosario^  p.  aia. 

3o8  Martyrs'  and  Confessors 

otherwise  there  might  be  tumults." — Hib.  Dom.  p.  569,  and 
Mon.  Dom. 


"  Father  Ambrose  O'Cahill,  of  the  convent  of  Cork, 
after  a  glorious  trial,  earned  the  crown  of  heaven  by  the 
effusion  of  his  blood  ;  for,  while  proceeding  from  one  place 
to  another,  to  administer  the  sacraments  to  the  faithful,  by 
chance  he  fell  in  with  a  troop  of  the  heretic  horse,  and, 
having  been  recognized  by  them  to  be  a  priest,  was  by 
them  cut  in  pieces  on  the  spot." — Mon.  Dom.,  ex  Act.  Cap. 

See  also  Hib.  Dom.  p.  567,  and  A  Rosario,  p.  358,  (215,) 
who  calls  him  an  alumnus  and  sacristan  of  the  college  of 
Lisbon,  and  says  his  body  was  cut  in  small  pieces,  and 
scattered  for  food  for  ravens.  O'Heyn,  p.  13,  says  he  was 
taken  near  Cork. 


"  The  same  year  the  venerable  Father  William  O'Conor, 
of  the  convent  of  Clonmel,  a  most  pious  man,  and  intent 
on  the  salvation  of  souls,  was  taken  by  the  heretics  while 
administering  the  sacraments  to  the  faithful,  and,  being 
stripped  of  all  his  clothes,  was  beheaded." — Mon.  Dom.,  ex 
Actis  eisdem. 

He  was  Prior  of  Clonmel,  and  definitor  of  the  provincial 
chapter. — See  Hib.  Dom.  p.  329. 

"Also  at  Clonmel,  Father  Thomas  O'Higgins  was 
thrown  into  prison  by  the  heretics,  and,  being  condemned 
to  death  by  hanging  for  having  confessed  the  faith,  re- 
ceived his  crown" — Hib.  Dom.  and  A  Rosario. 

A  Rosario  adds  in  a  note  to  this  work : 

During  the  Commonwealth.  309 

"  Since  I  wrote  the  above,  certain  religious  and  learned 
men  have  testified  to  me  (and  they  are  above  suspicion) 
that  three  others  of  our  religion  suffered  death — Father 
William  Lynch,  who  was  hung ;"  and  he  adds  Fathers 
O'Conor  and  Costello,  whose  deaths  we  have  given  from 
the  Acts  of  the  General  Chapter,  but  which  O'Daly  had  not 

heard  of  before. 

— ♦ — 


"  Father  .Dillon,  of  the  convent  of  Athenry,  who  was 
of  a  noble  family,  and  remarkable  for  his  piety,  formerly 
vicar  of  the  Irish  Dominican  convent  of  Lisbon,  proceed- 
ed to  England  with  the  Irish  who  served  under  the  king's 
standard  to  hear  the  confessions  of  the  Catholics  in  that 
army,  and,  being  taken  prisoner  by  the  rebels  after  the 
battle  of  York,  was  thrown  into  prison,  and  there  kept  un- 
til he  died  of  hardship  and  hunger,  in  165 1." — A  Rosario,  p. 
359,  (216,)  and  Mon.  Dam. 


"  Father  Stephen  Petit,  of  the  convent  of  Athenry, 
while  hearing  the  confessions  of  Catholic  soldiers,  was 
struck  by  a  bullet,  and  so  completed  his  course,  in  the 
year  1651." — Hib.  Dom.  p.  570,  ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen.  RomcB, 

De  Burgo  points  out  that  this  is  clearly  another  from 
the  father  who  fell  in  1642,  being  from  different  convents, 
and  their  fate  narrated  at  different  chapters  of  the  order. 


"  As  we  learn  from  an  eye-witness  of  Cromwellian  cruelty, 
was  descended  of  the  royal  race  of  the  O'Briens,  a  most 

310  Martyrs  ajtd  Confessors 

generous  man,  and  of  surpassing  hospitality.  After  the 
Protestants  had  plighted  to  him  their  faith,  and  given  him 
a  safe  conduct,  he  was  advancing  one  day  to  meet  them, 
when  a  certain  Protestant  knight  shot  him  through  the 
body.  Dissatisfied  with  this  cruelty,  when  the  venerable 
old  man  (then  aged  about  sixty-four  years)  had  entered  a 
hut,  half-dead,  that  he  might  in  penitence  commend  his 
soul  to  God,  a  soldier  followed,  set  fire  to  the  hut,  and- 
burned  this  courageous  martyr,  in  Thorn ond,  a.d.  165 1." 
Morison's  Threnodia,  op.  Moran,  Persec.  p.  196. 


"Was  a  holy  and  illustrious  priest,  descended  from  the 
noble  lineage  of  the  Barons  of  Ossory.  Flying  for  refuge 
from  the  fury  of  the  Protestants  to  a  cave,  he  was  pursued 
by  them  ;  entering  the  cave,  they  cut  off  the  head  of  this 
most  holy  man,  who  was  equally  renowned  throughout  the 
whole  kingdom  for  his  life,  his  doctrine,  and  his  lineage. 
They  affixed  his  head  to  a  spike  over  the  town  gate,  to  be 
meat  for  the  fowls  of  the  air,  and  left  his  flesh  to  be  de- 
voured by  the  beasts  of  the  field." — Ibid. 


"  Few  dioceses  in  Ireland  contributed  more  martyrs  from 
its  hierarchy  than  the  ancient  see  of  Down  and  Connor. 
Under  James  I.,  and  again  under  Charles  I.,  we  find  its 
bishop  laying  down  his  life  for  his  flock.  During  the  per- 
secution of  Cromwell,  it  not  only  shared  with  Clogher  the 
glory  won  for  the  Irish  Church  by  the  heroism  and  forti- 
tude of  Heber  McMahon,  but  merited,  moreover,  to  have 
its  own  chief  pastor  put  to  death  for  his  unflinching  attach- 

During  the  Commonwealth.  311 

ment  to  the  Catholic  faith.  This  was  Dr.  Arthur  Magen- 
nis,  a  member  of  the  Order  of  St.  Bernard,  or  Cistercians.* 
Dr.  French,  indeed,  in  his  catalogue  of  the  Irish  bishops, 
merely  states  that  he  died  at  sea  ;  and  Bruodin  only  adds 
that  he  was  advanced  in  years,  that  he  was  at  the  time 
suffering  from  a  violent  fever,  and  that  he  was  subjected 
by  the  heretics  to  much  hardship  and  persecution.  From 
the  Bishop  of  Clonfert,  however,  we  learn  by  what  pecu- 
liar art  the  persecutors  effected  his  death.  Even  the  most 
ruthless  savage  would  desist  from  torturing  a  venerable 
aged  man,  thus  a  victim  of  disease  and  anguish  ;  but  the 
Puritan  sailors,  with  brutal  ferocity,  delighted  in  adding  to 
his  sufferings.  A  cannon  was  fired  off  at  his  bedside,  and 
though  it  was  charged  with  powder  only,  such  was  the  ter- 
ror that  it  excited  in  the  aged  bishop  that  he  instantly  ex- 
pired."— Moran,  Persec.  p.  209. 


"He  was  a  priest  of  the  Order  of  St.  Francis,  and  de- 
scended from  noble  parents  in  the  county  Limerick.  Be- 
fore entering  the  Franciscan  order,  he  was  for  many  years 
parish  priest  of  Kilragty,  and  his  labors  produced  an  abun- 
dant spiritual  harvest.  From  1642  to  165 1,  these  labors 
were  happily  continued  by  him  as  a  Franciscan  father,  till 
at  length  Limerick  became  a  prey  to  the  Puritan  strangers. 
With  many  others.  Father  Denis  fell  into  their  hands, 
being  arrested  at  the  house  of  his  relative  Mr.  Laurence 
Neherenny.  With  his  hands  tied  behind  his  back,  he  was 
led  along,  like  a  convicted  robber,  to  the  Island  of  St. 
Cunan,  or  Cronan,  where  was  then  the  heretical  camp. 
The  whole  way  along  he  fervently  exhorted  the  heretical 
soldiery  to  attend  to  their  eternal  salvation  ;  and  when  in- 

•  Hib.  Dom.  p.  490,  where  he  gives  Dr.  French's  catalogue. 

312  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

terrogated  by  the  commander  whether,  renouncing  the 
doctrines  of  Rome,  he  would  subscribe  to  the  Puritan 
tenets,  he  courageously  replied  that  he  had  long  anxiously 
sighed  for  an  occasion  when  he  might  lay  down  his  life  for 
the  Catholic  faith,  and  he  would  not  only  never  renounce 
its  saving  doctrines,  but  was  ready,  moreover,  to  endure  a 
thousand  torments  in  its  defence.  These  words  were 
scarcely  uttered  when  the  surrounding  soldiers,  erecting  a 
temporary  gallows,  hanged  him  on  the  spot." 


"  He  made  his  solemn  profession  among  the  religious 
of  the  Franciscan  convent  of  Inish,  and  filled  the  whole 
district  of  Thomond  with  the  odor  of  his  virtues.  In  165 1, 
he  was  arrested  by  the  Cromwellians  in  the  neighborhood 
of  his  convent,  and  was  tempted  with  the  promise  of  riches 
and  dignities  should  he  renounce  the  Catholic  faith  ;  but 
neither  allurements  nor  tortures  could  turn  him  aside  from 
the  path  of  virtue,  and  by  order  of  his  captors  he  was 
immediately  hanged  and  his  body  barbarously  mangled." 
— Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 


"  Ulster,  among  other  flowers  of  the  Franciscan  order, 
produced  that  most  pious  man  Father  Hugh  Mackeon,  the 
son  of  respectable  parents  in  the  county  Armagh.  He 
made  his  profession  in  the  convent  of  Armagh,  and  was  so 
esteemed  by  his  superiors  that  he  was  ordained  priest 
and  appointed  a  confessor.  When  the  Cromwellian  rebels 
prevailed  in  Ulster,  Father  Hugh,  by  order  of  his  superiors, 
betook  himself  to  Connaught,  where  he  was  taken  prisoner, 
and,  in  hatred  of  the  faith,  thrown  into  prison  in  Athlone, 

Durhig  the  Commonwealth.  313 

(Allonia,)  where,  overcome  by  the  squalor  of  the  place,  he 
died,  in  the  year  1651."* — Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 


"  The  family  of  Macnamara  is  an  ancient  and  illustrious 
one  in  Clare,  and  of  it  was  Father  Roger,  son  of  Donald 
Macnamara  and  Marina  Mahony.  He  made  his  profession 
in  the  convent  of  Quenhy.f  (built  magnificently  of  black 
marble  by  his  ancestors,)  and  was  ever  a  model  of  a 
simple  and  pious  religious.  From  the  time  he  was  ordain- 
ed priest  he  daily  offered  the  divine  sacrifice  of  our 
redemption  with  great  devotion.  When  the  heretics 
were  ravaging  the  province,  and  Father  Roger  bearing 
consolation  to  the  dispersed  Catholics,  God  determined  to 
reward  his  piety.  Therefore,  by  the  divine  permission,  he 
was  taken  near  the  town  of  Clare,  and,  when  neither 
threats  nor  promises  could  shake  his  constancy  in  the 
faith,  he  was  pierced  with  bullets  and  then  beheaded,  anno 
165 1." — Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 


"  Daniel  Clanchy  was  born  of  a  respectable  family  a 
Iradria,  in  Thomond,  and  became  a  lay-brother  in  the  Fran 
cisran  convent  of  Quenhy  in  1640,  where  he  lived  as  be- 
came a  worthy  disciple  of  St.  Francis  until  165 1,  when  he 
was  taken  by  the  heretics  and  hung  in  hatred  of  the  faith. 

"  Jeremias  Nerihing  was  the  son  of  wealthy  parents,  (who 

•  In  1658,  twenty-five  pounds  were  paid  to  Lieutenant  Edward  Wood,  on  the  certificate  of 
William  St.  George,  Esq.,  of  the  county  Cavan,  for  the  arrest  of  five  priests,  among  others  the 
Rev.  Hugh  MacGeown.  (See  under  that  year.)  Either  this  one  was  different  from  Father 
Hugh  Mackeon,  or  Lieutenant  Wood  had  to  wait  seven  years  for  his  blood-money  ;  probably 
they  were  different. 

t  Convent  of  Quenhy,  or  Quinchy,  see  page  sax. 

314  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

were  well  known  to  me.)  Despising  the  vanities  of  this 
world,  he,  in  1640,  became  a  lay-brother  in  the  same  con- 
vent of  which  Father  Bonaventure  Gorman  was  at  that 
time  guardian.  Taken  by  the  heretics,  he  was  beaten  with 
sticks,  and,  with  a  rope  round  his  neck,  was  threatened 
with  death  unless  he  would  renounce  what  they  called  the 
errors  of  popery.  Bi other  Jeremias  answered  that  out  of 
the  holy  Roman  Church  there  is  no  salvation,  and  was 
immediately  hung,  the  same  year." — Bruodin. 


"  He  was  born  in  the  county  of  Donegal,  and,  seeking 
to  follow  in  the  steps  of  Christ  in  evangelical  poverty,  be- 
came an  alumnus  of  the  Franciscan  convent  of  Donegal, 
where  for  some  years  he  led  an  exemplary  life.  When  the 
regicides  tyrannized  over  Ulster,  Father  Eugene  was 
taken  by  the  garrison  of  Balasaun.  He  was  scorned,  his 
religious  habit  torn  off  him,  he  was  flogged,  and  so  cut  to 
pieces  by  the  soldiers'  swords  that  eighteen  wounds  were 
counted  on  his  body.  Eugene  was  left  for  dead  on  the 
road,  but  was  found  by  some  of  his  brethren  still  breathing, 
and  was  carried  to  their  residence,  where,  to  their  great 
grief,  he  expired  four  days  afterward." — Bruodin. 


Bruodin  says  he  found  no  record  of  them  except  in  a 
book  published  in  Belgium  by  an  anonymous  writer,  and 
dedicated  to  the  Archduke  Leopold,  entitled  Sanguinea 
Erenio  Martyrwn  Hihcrnia  Ord.  Eremit.  S.  P.  Aw-usiini 

*   k 

During  the  Covtvtomvealth.  315 

The  writer  did  not  give  the  exact  dates  of  their  martyr- 

"  Father  Donatus  O'Kenedy  was  of  a  noble  family  in  Or- 
mond,  a  monk  of  the  Order  of  the  Hermits  of  St.  Augus- 
tine, and  was  hanged  in  hatred  of  the  faith.  Of  the  same 
order  were  Fathers  Donald  Screnan  and  Fulgentius  Joi- 
dan,  slain  in  like  manner ;  also  Father  Romand  O'Maly, 
of  a  Galway  family,  and  Father  Thomas  Tally,  and  Bro- 
ther Thomas  Deir." — Bruodin. 


"  He  was  of  the  race  of  the  chiefs  of  Baer  and  Bantry, 
in  Munster,  and  lector  jubilatus  in  theology.  He  was  ap- 
pointed over  the  Irish  province  in  1650,  and  governed  the 
flock  entrusted  to  him  as  well  as  he  could  till  the  year  165 1, 
when  the  rebels  prevailed  in  Munster.  Father  Francis,  the 
provincial,  remained  in  Kerry  while  the  heretics  ravaged 
all  the  country.  However,  to  escape  the  tempest,  and 
after  the  example  of  the  apostles,  to  preserve  himself  for 
the  care  of  the  flock  committed  to  him,  he  hid  himself  with 
many  others  in  a  cavern,  but  did  not  thereby  escape  the 
lynx  eyes  of  those  who  sought  out  papists  to  slay  them. 
The  holy  father  was  found  out  and  shot  to  death  in  the 
cavern,  which  thus  served  as  his  tomb,  about  the  beginning 
of  December,  165 1." — Bruodin. 


"The  family  of  O'Broder  is  a  respectable  Catholic  one 
in  the  county  of  Galway,  possessing  land  not  far  from  a 
celebrated  lake  called  Lough  Derighert.*  Brother  An- 
tony Broder  was  a  member  of  this  family  and  an  ornament 

*  I  cannot  identify  this  lake. 

3i6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

to  the  Franciscan  order.  When  the  persecution  of  the 
rebels  laid  waste  the  country,  Antony,  who  was  then  only 
a  deacon,  had,  Hke  other  ecclesiastics,  to  seek  a  hiding- 
place.  He  sought  and,  as  he  thought,  found  one  in  the 
".astle  of  Turlevachan,  in  the  county  of  Galway.  It  proved, 
however,  an  unsafe  retreat,  for  Charles  Coote,  alike  a  bar- 
barous tyrant  and  a  cunning  hunter-out  of  priests,  found 
him  out  and  immediately  hanged  him,  in  the  year  1652. 

"  On  the  fourth  week  after  the  martyr  had  been  hurriedly 
buried,  on  the  place  of  execution,  his  friends  came  and  dug 
up  his  body,  in  order  to  bury  it  in  consecrated  ground. 
Strange  to  say,  when  he  was  dug  up  in  his  Franciscan 
habit,  blood  flowed  freely  from  the  nostrils.  I  leave  the 
explanation  of  this  fact  to  others." — Bruodin 


"  He  was  born  of  noble  parents,  in  the  county  of  Ros- 
common. Having  completed  his  studies,  he  embraced  a 
life  of  evangelical  poverty  in  the  Franciscan  convent  of 
Elphin,  which  was  then  a  noviceship  of  that  order.  The 
piety  and  learning  of  Conry  so  pleased  the  fathers  that  he 
was  ordained  priest.  One  day,  by  order  of  the  father- 
guardian,  he  went  out  to  beg  through  the  district,  as  is  the 
custom  of  the  mendicant  orders,  and  was  taken  prisoner 
on  the  road  by  that  cruel  tyrant  Charles  Coote,  carried  to 
Castle  Coote,  and  there  hanged."* — Bruodin. 

•  Bruodin  puts  his  death  at  1642,  but  I  think  that  must  be  a  mistake  for  1652.  In  1642,  Sif 
Charles  Coote  was  in  Dublin  and  its  neighborhood,  at  Naas  and  Trim,  and  was  killed  at  t!ie 
latter  place  on  the  7th  May  in  that  year.  His  son  was  appointed  Provost-Marshal  of  Coil- 
naught,  and  persecuted  there  in  1652,  when  he  might  well  have  taken  Father  Conry  near  El- 
phin The  mention  of  Castle  Coote  (which  is  in  Cavan)  is  strange.  It  should  be  added  that 
the  life  of  Father  Conry  in  Bruodin  comes  in  the  midst  of  sei'eral  others  who  suffered  in  165^ 
■o  that  1642  would  seem  to  be  a  clerical  error. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  317 

Anno  less. 


The  town  of  Galway,  the  last  fortress  of  the  Irish,  sur- 
rendered to  Ludlow  on  the  20th  March,  1652,  on  articles 
securing  the  inhabitants  their  residence  within  the  walls 
of  the  town  and  the  enjoyment  of  their  houses  and  estates. 
The  taxation  was  soon  so  great  that  many  of  the  towns- 
people quitted  their  habitations  and  removed  their  cattle, 
unable  to  endure  it.     The  tax  for  the  support  of  the  sol- 
diery was  collected  from  the  inhabitants  every  Saturday  by 
sound  of  trumpet,  and  if  not  instantly  paid  the  soldiery 
rushed  into   the   house  and  seized  what  they  could  lay 
hands  on.      The  sound  of  the  trumpet  every  returning 
Saturday  shook  their  souls  with  terror,  like  the  trumpet  of 
the  day  of  judgment.      On  the  23d  July,  1655,  all  the 
Irish  were  directed  to  quit  the  town  by  the  ist  Novem- 
ber following,  the  owners  of  houses,  however,  to  receive 
compensation  at  eight  years'  purchase  ;  in  default,  the  sol- 
diers were  to  drive  them  out.     On  the  30th  October  this 
order  was  executed.     All  the  inhabitants,  except  the  sick 
and  bedrid,  were  at  once  banished.*      But  to  return   to 
the  date  of  the  surrender  of  the  town.     Colonel  Stubbers, 
who  was  appointed  military  governor  of  the  town  upon  its 
surrender,  upder  the  pretence  of  taking  up  vagrants  and 
idle  persons,  made  frequent  nightly  excursions  with  armed 
troops  into  the  country,  and  seized  upward  of  a  thousand 
people,  often  without  discrimination  of  rank  or  condition, 
whom  he  transported  to  the  West  Indies,  and  there  sold 
as  slaves.     Upward  of  fifty  of  the  Catholic  clergy  were 
shipped   to   the  islands  of  Arran  and  Boffin,  until  they 
could  be  transported  to  the  West  Indies,  and,  being  allow- 

•  Prendergast,  Cromwellian  Stitlemtnt,  p.  146. 

31 8  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

ed  only  twopence  a  day  each  for  their  support,  they  v/ere 
nearly  famished.* 

Dr.  Francis  Kirwan,  the  Bishop  of  Killala,  was  at  this 
time  lying  hid  in  a  country-house  at  a  short  distance  from 
the  city.  For  eight  months  he  continued  there,  in  a  small, 
narrow  room,  which,  besides  two  beds  for  himself  and  his 
chaplain,  was  barely  able  to  contain  a  chest.  This  served 
for  an  altar,  and  while  the  holy  sacrifice  was  offered  up 
each  day  one  bed  had  to  be  removed  to  afford  standing- 
room  for  the  celebrant.  The  intense  cold  of  winter  was 
endured  without  a  fire,  and  during  the  whole  eight  months 
only  thrice  did  the  bishop  go  for  an  instant  from  this  hid- 
ing-place. On  one  occasion  he  was  carried  out  wrapped 
in  a  sheet,  while  the  enemy  were  engaged  in  searching 
every  corner  of  the  house  for  arms,  and  when  met  by  the 
soldiers  he  was  recognized  only  as  a  feeble  and  worn-down 
old  man,  and  well  does  his  biographer  compare  his  many 
sufferings  at  this  period  to  those  of  the  early  pastors  of  the 
Catholic  Church.  When  the  bishop  deemed  it  more  se- 
cure to  enter  the  town,  he  was  obliged  to  take  refuge  in 
the  topmost  story  of  the  house,  underneath  the  tiles,  and 
this,  too,  at  mid-winter,  without  one  spark  of  fire.  Some- 
times, too,  he  was  forced  to  go  out  on  the  roof,  and,  when 
the  pursuers  approached,  to  descend  into  a  neighboring 
house  by  the  dormer  window.  When  at  length  the  good 
bishop,  finding  it  impossible  to  remain  concealed  any  long- 
er, surrendered,  he  and  several  other  ecclesiastics  were 
treated  as  galley-slaves  ;  they  were  marched  along  in  bodies, 
surrounded  by  soldiers,  drums  beating  and  bugles  sound- 
ing ;  and  when,  by  the  diligence  of  priest-catchers,  many 
other  ecclesiastics  were  cast  into  prison,  they  were  locked 
up  in  houses  hired  for  the  occasion,  and  for  which  the 
prisoners  themselves  had  to  pay.     During  his  imprison- 

*  See  Anno  1657, 

Dtu'ing  the  Commonwealth.  319 

ment  the  holy  man  found  occasion  frequently  to  celebrate 
the  sacred  mysteries,  and  at  a  window  administered  to  the 
children  the  sacrament  of  confirmation.  No  sooner  was  it 
discovered  by  the  government  that  the  bishop  and  his  com- 
panions were  thus  engaged  in  conferring  spiritual  blessings 
on  the  Catholics,  than  their  banishment  was  resolved  on. 
Tiie  confessors  of  Christ  were  suddenly  carried  off  to  a 
ship,  and  on  their  way  were  surrounded  by  a  terrible  es- 
cort, nor  had  they  any  previous  notice  of  the  decree  ol 
banishment,  lest  their  friends  might  succor  them  with 
some  viaticum. 

For  further  particulars  see  under  1655,  notice  of  Dr. 

Throughout  the  whole  province  of  Connaught  the 
persecution  raged  with  the  same  fury.  Thus,  when  Dr. 
James  Fallon,  who  governed  the  diocese  of  Achonry  as 
vicar-apostolic,  was  arrested  in  lar  Connaught,  the  heretics 
so  plundered  him  of  his  copious  collection  of  books  that  not 
even  a  breviary  was  left  with  him.  Before  he  was  made  a 
prisoner  be  for  a  long  time  was  exposed  day  and  night  to 
the  inclemency  of  the  winter,  till  he  at  length  erected  a 
small  hut  at  the  base  of  a  rock :  here  he  remained  till  the 
goats,  browsing  on  the  foliage,  stripped  the  branches,  and 
then  he  was  obHged  to  seek  elsewhere  a  place  of  refuge. — 
Moran,  Persec.  p.  72,  and  Life  of  Dr.  Kirwan,  by  Lynch, 


"  He  was  a  son  of  the  noble  knight  Oliver  de  Burgo. 
Lord  of  Ropy,  in  the  county  of  Mayo,  and  Anabella  Conor, 
his  wife.  At  an  early  age  he  embraced  the  rule  of  St. 
Francis,  in  1635,  and  carefully  observed  it  until  1652, 
when,  with  Thaddaeus  Conor,  Lord  of  Bealnamilly,  he  was 
hung,  .in  hatred  of  the  faith." — Briwdin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 

320  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


"  Was  taken  while  preaching,  by  the  Cromwellians,  at 
Tulsk,  in  Roscommon,  in  the  castle  of  Sir  Ulysses  de 
Burgo,  ^nd  immediately  hung,  anno  1652." — Bruodin. 


"In  1649,  l^e  was  living  at  Galway,  aged  sixty-four,  of 
which  period  he  had  passed  twenty-four  years  in  the 
society,  but  was  in  priest's  orders  before  his  admission. 
The  good  old  man  was  literally  hunted  to  death  by  the 
Cromwellian  myrmidons,  between  the  years  1652  and  1656- 
Though  not  actually  taken  by  his  inveterate  and  savage 
pursuers,  he  died  of  exhaustion  and  hunger." — Oliver, 


"  He  was  of  a  noble  family  in  Thomond,  (Clare,)  and  enter- 
ed the  Order  of  St.  Francis  of  the  Strict  .Observance,  in 
the  convent  of  Inish,  in  the  sixteenth  year  of  his  age,  and 
there  made  great  progress  in  religion.  He  made  his  pro- 
fession about  the  year  1628,  and  by  order  of  the  heads  of 
the  Irish  province  proceeded  to  Rome,  and  there,  in  the 
Celebrated  college  of  St.  Isidore,  under  the  great  men  who 
then  presided  over  it.  Fathers  Luke  Wadding,  Antony 
Hickey,  James  Bridges,  and  Thaddseus  Daly,  (whose  me- 
mory is  in  benediction,)  made  such  progress  in  learning 
and  religion  as  might  be  expected  from  a  generous  youth 
under  such  masters.  When  he  had  finished  the  study  of 
theology,  he  proceeded  to  Naples,  by  direction  of  the  very 
Rev.  Father  Benignus  a  Genna,  then  minister-general,  and 
there  taught  philosophy  among  the  Fathers  Minorites. 
Anxious  to  serve  his  country,  he  obtained  leave  of  the 

During  the  Commonwealth.  321 

father-general  to  proceed  to  Ireland,  and  sailed  for  that 
country  in  the  year  1641,  and  devoted  himself  to  mission- 
ary labors.  When  the  Catholics  obtained  power  in  1643, 
Father  Eugene,  by  direction  of  his  superiors,  opened  a 
school  in  the  town  of  Quenhi,*  in  'Thomond,  which  he 
taught  together  with  the  Rev.  Father  Thaddseus  O'Brien, 
of  the  same  order.  So  great  a  number  of  youths  from  all 
parts  of  Ireland  flocked  to  this  school  that  in  1644  there 
were  more  than  eight  hundred  students,  (among  whom 
were  I  and  eighteen  other  Bruodins.)  When,  through  the 
evil  chance  of  war,  and,  alas !  the  dissensions  of  the 
Catholics,  this  school  was  dispersed.  Father  Eugene  was 
made  guardian  of  the  convent  of  Inish,  which  had  been 
founded  by  the  liberality  of  the  chief  of  the  O'Briens.  He 
proved  himself  diligent  and  blameless  in  this  office  for 
three  years.  At  length  he  was  taken  prisoner  by  the 
heretics,  then  overrunning  the  country,  in  the  year  165 1, 
and  grievously  scourged.  Father  Eugene,  more  solicitous 
of  saving  souls  than  of  preserving  his  life,  besought  them 
not  to  cease  their  cruelty  to  himself,  but  to  abjure  their 
errors.  On  the  other  hand,  they  threatened  him  with 
death  unless  he  would  embrace  their  creed,  and  when  they 
saw  that  they  prevailed  nothing  they  hanged  the  good 
father,  on  Mount  Luochren,  in  Thomond,  anno  165 1." — 
Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 


"  The  Rev.  Roger  Ormily  was  a  native  of  Clare,  and  a 
secular  priest,  who  for  thirty  years  was  parish  priest  of 
Brentire.     When  he  was  upward  of  sixty  years  of  age,  he 

•  Or  Qiiinchy,  according  lo  Ware,  where  was  a  convent  of  Friars  Minors,  founded  m  i^^j 
by  Maon  Macneman'a. 

322  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Cromwellians,  then  ravaging 
Clare,  and,  without  any  form  of  trial,  v/hen  he  confessed 
himself  a  priest,  was  hung,  and  so  gained  everlasting  life, 
on  the  I2th  October,  1652.  In  the  sameyear,  day,  and  place, 
and  by  the  same  death.  Father  Hugh  Carighy  obtained  the 
crown  of  martyrdom.  He  was  a  parish  priest  of  Clare,  and 
in  the  seventy-sixth  year  of  his  age,  and  the  forty-fourth 
of  his  priesthood." — Bniodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 


"  He  was  a  native  of  Ulster,  and  a  Franciscan  of  the 
convent  of  Armagh,  where  he  made  his  profession  about 
his  twentieth  year,  and  made  good  progress  in  virtue,  and 
would  have  made  more  had  not  his  days  been  shortened  by 
the  fury  of  the  heretics.  The  good  father  was  taken  pri- 
soner (I  know  not  by  what  chance)  by  the  soldiers  of  Lon- 
donderry, and  dragged  to  that  town,  with  his  hands  tied 
behind  his  back,  like  a  robber.  After  he  had  endured  tor- 
tures the  governor  ordered  him  to  be  brought  before  him, 
and  offered  him  a  wife  and  a  good  benefice  if  he  would  apos- 
tatize. Nielan,  with  an  angelic  courage,  replied  that  he  had, 
following  the  example  of  St.  Peter  the  Apostle,  voluntarily 
relinquished  all,  that  he  might  gain  Christ,  and  that  he 
would  not,  by  looking  back,  deprive  himself  of  the  reward 
promised  in  heaven ;  nay,  he  exhorted  the  governor  to  save 
his  soul,  redeemed  with  the  blood  of  Christ,  by  abjuring 
heresy  and  embracing  the  Catholic  faith.  Furious  at  this 
audacity,  the  governor  at  once  ordered  him  to  be  hanged. 
Joyfully  did  Father  Locheran  go  to  the  place  of  execution, 
and  was  then  hung,  from  enmity  to  the  Catholic  faith,  anno 
1652." — Binwdin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  323 


The  latter  of  these  two  noble  and  pious  ladies  was  exe- 
cuted in  this  year,  the  former  in  1654,  but  as  the  account 
of  their  deaths  is  given  by  the  same  author,  I  have  placed 
them  here  together. 

Morison  thus  narrates  their  fate : 

"  The  inhuman  fury  of  the  Protestants  was  not  satisfied 
with  the  slaughter  of  men,  but  they  also  drew  their  swords 
against  women.  Thus,  the  noble  Lady  Roche,  wife  of 
Maurice,  Viscount  of  Fermoy  and  Roche,  a  chaste  and 
holy  matron,  whose  mind  was  solely  occupied  with  prayer 
and  piety,  being  falsely  accused  of  murder  by  a  certain  un- 
grateful English  maid-servant,  (whom  she  had  compassion- 
ately taken  when  a  desolate  orphan,  and  supported  and 
educated,)  was  hanged  in  Cork,  in  1654,  although  stricken 
in  years,  .and  destined  in  the  course  of  nature  soon  to  die. 
The  noble  Lady  Bridget,  of  the  house  of  Darcy,  wife  of 
Florence  Fitzpatrick,  one  of  the  Barons  of  Ossory,  was 
also  hanged  by  the  Protestants,  at  Dublin,  in  1652,  with- 
out the  form  of  law  or  justice. 

"What  shall  I  yet  say  .■'  Time  would  fail  me  to  narrate 
the  martyrdom  of  chiefs,  nobles,  prelates,  priests,  friars, 
citizens,  and  others  of  the  Irish  Catholics,  whose  purple 
gore  has  stained  the  scaffolds  almost  without  end  ;  who  by 
faith  conquered  kingdoms  and  wrought  justice  ;  of  whom 
some  had  trials  in  mockeries  and  stripes,  moreover,  also,  of 
chains,  and  prisons  ;  others  were  overwhelmed  with  stones, 
cut  asunder,  racked,  or  put  to  death  with  the  sword ; 
others  have  wandered  over  the  world  in  hunger,  thirst, 
cold,  and  nakedness,  being  in  want,  distress,  and  afflicted, 
wandering  in  deserts,  in  mountains,  and  in  dens,  and  in 
caves  of  the  earth.  And  all  these,  being  approved  by  the 
testimony  of  the  faith,  without  doubt  received  the  pro- 
mise."— Morison,  Threnodia,  p.  72,  ap.  Moran,  Persec.  p. 
197,  and  Bruodin,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 

324  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


MoRisoN  gives  two  other  striking  examples  of  the  practi- 
cal working  of  the  laws  against  Catholics.     He  says  : 

"  I  myself  saw  this  iniquitous  law  (against  harboring  a 
priest,  27  Eliz.  cap.  ii.)  put  in  execution  in  the  city  of  Lim- 
erick by  Henry  Ingoldsby,  the  governor  of  that  city.  A 
gentleman  of  Thomond,  named  Daniel  Connery,  was  ac- 
cused of  harboring  in  his  house  n  priest,  and,  being  con- 
victed on  his  own  confession,  (although  the  priest  had  a 
safe-conduct  from  the  same  governor,)  he  was  sentenced  to 
death,  and,  the  sentence  being  (mercifully,  as  was  said) 
commuted  into  confiscation  of  all  his  goods  and  imprison- 
ment, afterward  commuted  for  perpetual  exile.  He  had  a 
wife  of  a  noble  family  of  Thomond,  and  twelve  children : 
his  wife  fell  ill,  and  died  from  the  want  of  necessaries  ;  and 
of  his  children,  three  handsome  and  virtuous  girls  were 
shipped  as  slaves  to  Barbadoes,  where,  if  yet  alive,  they 
live  in  miserable  slavery ;  the  rest  of  his  children,  who 
were  too  young  to  work,  either  died  of  hunger,  or  live 
miserably  under  the  yoke  of  their  enemies. 

"  I  also  saw  the  second  part  of  this  law  (as  to  denounc- 
ing a  priest)  put  in  force  in  the  same  Limerick,  under  the 
same  governor,  in  the  year  1652,  against  a  noble  and  hon- 
est Catholic  of  the  name  of  Daniel  Mollony,  of  Thomond, 
who,  coming  to  Limerick  on  account  of  some  business, 
chanced  to  meet  in  a  heretic  inn  a  priest,  a  relative  of 
his,  named  David  Mollony.  The  priest  was  afterward  be- 
trayed and  taken  prisoner,  and  Daniel  was  summoned  to 
answer  why  he  had  not  informed  the  magistrates  that 
there  was  a  priest  there.  He  answered  that  he  was  a 
Catholic,  and  that  there  was  no  law  obliging  one  to  de- 
nounce a  priest,  although  there  was  one  not  to  harbor  or 
feed  one,  (and  this  was  the  truth,  for  the  law  was  not  passed 
till  three  years  later.)     But,  notwithstanding  this  prudent 

During  the  Connnowub^alti'i.  325 

answer,  the  governor  ordered  his  ears  to  be  cut  off  by  the 
executioner,  which  was  done.  I  could  give  a  thousand 
such  examoles." — Morisotts  Threnodia. 

— ♦ — 


"  Father  O'Cuillin,  of  the  convent  of  Athenry,  was  a 
living  example  of  religion  and  observance  of  the  rule,  most 
given  to  prayer,  and  (though  of  delicate  health)  to  fasting, 
ever  content  with  a  poor  habit,  yet  of  so  excellent  a  genius 
that  without  masters  he  had  acquired  great  knowledge  of 
science.  He  learnedly  confuted  the  heretics  and  animated 
the  Catholics,  shunning  no  danger  in  the  defence  of  the 
authority  of  the  Holy  See.  Being  at  length  taken  by  the 
'/leretics  at  Limerick,  and  pierced  with  many  wounds,  he 
joyfully  laid  down  his  life  for  Christ.  His  head  was  cut 
off  and  borne  about  on  a  spear  as  a  trophy. 

"  The  same  year  Father  Edmund  O'Bern,  who  was  twice 
sub-prior  of  the  convent  of  Roscommon,  after  enduring 
much  for  faith,  country,  and  the  respect  due  to  the  Holy 
See,  and  therefore  sought  for  execution  by  the  sectaries,  at 
length  fell  into  their  hands,  and  was  instantly  pierced  with 
bullets,  axes,  and  swords,  and  so  purpled  his  purity  with 
his  blood."  He  was  taken  by  the  garrison  of  Johnstown. 
— Mon.  Dom.  and  Hib.  Dom.  ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen. ;  and  Bruo- 
din,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xv. 

Anno    1653. 


He  was  prior  of  the  convent  of  Tralee,  and  a  model  to 
those  under  him  in  defending  the  orthodox  religion  and  the 
authority  of  the  Roman  pontiff;  neither  labors,  nor  suffer- 
ings, nor  imprisonment,  nor  death  itself  could  break'  his 

326  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

When  the  Cromwellian  persecution  was  raging,  an  op- 
portunity offered  itself  for  his  escape  to  a  safer  place,  but 
he  courageously  refused,  being  moved  with  compassion  for 
the  Catholics,  to  whom  he  knew  his  presence  was  most 
necessary,  on  account  of  the  death  of  priests,  to  administer 
the  sacraments.  He  was  taken  prisoner  and  carried  to 
Killarney,  and  condemned  to  death.  From  the  top  of  the 
ladder  he  exhorted  the  faithful  with  great  earnestness  to 
have  patience  and  preserve  the  faith,  and,  having  recited 
the  verse,  "  Into  Thy  hands  I  commend  my  spirit,"  he  met 
a  glorious  death,  the  very  sectaries  being  struck  with  admi- 
ration, and  saying,  "  If  ever  a  papist  were  a  martyr,  he  was 
one." — Mon.  Dom.  ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen.  1656 

He  suffered  on  the  isth  October,  1653. 

"  He  had  studied  in  the  convent  of  Toledo,  where  he 
made  much  progress  in  learning,  having  first  entered  the 
college  of  Lisbon.  His  brother.  Father  Thomas  Moriarty, 
of  the  same  convent,  was  also  a  most  pious  and  zealous 
priest,  and  labored  much  in  the  same  district,  where  he 
died." — Hib.  Dom.  p.  573  ;  Dom.  a  Rosario,  p.  355. 


"  A  Dominican  of  the  convent  of  Roscommon,  lay  long  m 
prison,  where  he  suffered  much  from  the  filth  of  the  prison, 
the  weight  of  the  chains  with  which  he  was  bound,  and 
hunger,  being  compelled  to  sell  his  only  coat  for  bread.  At 
Gal  way  he  was  condemned  to  death  for  having  exhorted 
some  Catholic  women  to  constancy  in  the  faith,  and,  meet- 
ing a  glorious  death  by  the  gallows,  departed  to  heaven." 
— Mon.  Dom.  ut  supra. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  327 


On  the  6th  January,  1653,  a  proclamation  was  published 
against  the  Catholic  clergy.  By  it  all  ecclesiastics,  secu- 
lar and  regular,  were  commanded,  under  penalty  of  being 
judged  guilty  of  treason,  to  depart  from  the  kingdom  with- 
in twenty  days,  and  should  they  return,  of  the  penalties 
and  confiscations  specified  in  the  27th  of  Queen  Elizabeth 
— that  is,  those  of  treason.  A  manuscript  in  the  Irish 
College,  Rome,  quoted  by  Dr.  Moran,  continues  : 

"When  this  edict  was  published,  the  superior  of  the 
Jesuits  was  lying  sick  of  fever  in  fhe  house  of  a  respectable 
citizen,  unable  to  move  in  bed,  not  to  say  to  journey  on 
foot  or  on  horseback ;  a  petition  was  therefore  presented 
to  the  governor  of  the  city  that  he  might  be  allowed  to  re- 
main some  few  days,  till  his  strength  should  return.  But 
the  governor  replied  that,  though  the  whole  body  of  the 
Jesuit  was  dead,  and  life  remained  only  in  one  hand  or  foot, 
he  must  at  once  quit  every  inch  of  Ireland.  The  sick  man 
was  forthwith  seized  in  bed,  hurried  along  for  about  seven- 
ty Irish  miles,  in  the  midst  of  a  severe  winter,  to  a  seaport, 
and  then,  with  two  other  Jesuits  and  forty  secular  priests, 
was  cast  into  a  vessel  bound  for  Spain." — Status  Rei  Cath. 
in  Hibernid  hoc  anno  1654,  in  Archiv.  Colleg.  Hib.  Romce, 
ap.  Moran,  Persec.  p.  99. 

Borlase,  the  Protestant  historian,  estimates  the  number 
of  Irish  transported  in  the  year  1654  at  27,000.  A  con- 
temporary document  states  that  no  less  than  20,000  Irish 
took  refuge  in  the  Hebrides  and  other  Scottish  islands. 
Dr.  Burgatt,  agent  of  the  Irish  clergy  in  Rome,  afterward 
Archbishop  of  Cashel,  in  a  relation  presented  to  the  Sacred 
Congregation  in  1667,  says  :  "  In  the  year  1649,  there  were 
in  Ireland  twenty-seven  bishops,  four  of  whom  were  met- 
ropolitans. In  each  cathedral  there  were  dignitaries  and 
canons  ;  each  parish  had  its  pastors  ;  there  were,  moreover, 

328  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

a  large  number  of  other  priests,  and  innumerable  convents 
of  the  regular  clergy.  But  when  Cromwell,  with  exceeding 
great  cruelty,  persecuted  the  clergy,  all  were  scattered. 
More  than  three  hundred  were  put  to  death  by  the  sword 
or  on  the  scaffold,  among  whom  were  three  bishops  ;  more 
than  a  thousand  were  sent  into  exile,  and  among  these  nl] 
the  surviving  bishops,  with  one  only  exception,  the  Bishop 
of  Kilmore,  who,  weighed  down  by  age  and  infirmities,  as 
he  was  unfit  to  discharge  the  episcopal  functions,  so  too 
was  he  unable  to  seek  safety  by  flight.  And  thus  for  some 
years  our  island  remained  deprived  of  its  bishops,  a  thing 
never  known  during  the  many  centuries  since  we  first  re- 
ceived the  light  of  Catholic  faith." — Moran,  loc.  cit. 

REV.  M.  MORISON,  0.  MIN. 

Probably  to  about  this  year  may  be  referred  the  impri- 
sonment of  Father  Morison.     Writing  in  1659,  he  says  : 

"  I  myself,  the  least  and  most  unworthy  of  all,  {absit glo- 
riari  nisi  in  cruce^  passed,  thirty  months  in  a  dark  dungeon, 
thirty  feet  below  the  earth,  with  irons  of  47  lb.  weight  on 
my  feet  and  hands,  sometimes  alone,  sometimes  in  company 
of  robbers,  often  beaten  and  wounded,  and  at  last  sent  into 
exile.  Now  there  are  so  few  priests  left,  that  there  are 
many  Catholics,  especially  in  Munster,  who  have  not  been 
able  to  receive  the  sacraments  for  one,  two,  three,  and  even 
six  years,  and  some  have  journeyed  120  miles  to  confess 
and  receive  the  Blessed  Eucharist  once." — Morisons  Thre- 


— • — 


"The  same  year  Sister  Honoria  de  Burgo  proved  her 
devotion  to  her  heavenly  Spouse  by  uniting  to  the  lilies  of 
virginity  the  purple  of  martyrdom.     She  was  the  daughter 

During  the  Commonwealth.  329 

of  Richard,  dynast,  of  the  De  Burgos  in  Connaught,  and  in 
her  fourteenth  year  received  the  habit  of  the  Third  Order  of 
St.  Dominick,  at  the  hands  of  Father  Thady  Dunne,  the 
then  provincial  of  Ireland,  and  lived  piously  in  a  house 
which  she  caused  to  be  erected  near  our  convent  and 
church  of  Burishool.*  Here  she  continued  in  worlis  of 
piety  through  the  reigns  of  Elizabeth,  James,  and  Charles, 
up  to  a  great  age  ;  a  very  mother  to  the  needy  and  poor 
and  never,  as  is  believed,  having  committed  a  mortal  sin. 
In  a  time  of  great  dearth  she,  with  another  sister  of  the 
Third  Order,  was  near  perishing  of  hunger,  but  in  their  sore 
need  the  spouses  of  Jesus  Christ  implored  his  aid  who 
alone  could  save  them,  and  then  came  presently  to  the 
door  a  fair  young  man,  (it  may  be  thought  an  angel,)  who 
provided  the  handmaidens  of  Christ  abundantly  with  all 
they  needed,  and  departed.  At  length,  in  the  last  Crom- 
wellian  persecution,  when  the  religious  were  everywhere 
dispersed,  the  pious  virgin,  taking  with  her  a  little  food, 
fled,  with  the  companion  already  mentioned  and  one  hand- 
maiden, to  a  certain  island,  (called  Holy  Island  ;)  here, 
however,  she  was  followed  by  the  enemies  and  taken  pri- 
soner, spoiled  of  everything,  and,  though  it  was  the  depth 
of  winter,  stripped  almost  naked  and  led  away,  and  the  bar- 
barians flung  her  violently,  although  only  skin  and  bone, 
and  half-frozen,  into  a  boat,  like  a  log  of  wood,  whereby 
three  of  her  ribs  were  broken,  and  she  died.  Before,  how 
ever,  she  expired,  the  servant  carried  her  to  our  church  of 
Burishool,  and  laid  her  before  the  altar  of  the  Blessed  Vir- 
gin. Having  left  her  there,  the  servant  went  to  seek  the 
other  sister,  whom  she  found  in  the  wood,  and  when  she 
returned  to  the  church  she  found  the  body  of  Sister  Hono- 
ria  on  her  knees  as  if  praying,  she  calmly  sleeping  in  the 
"  Sister  Honoria  Magaen,  also  a  professed  sister  of  our 

•  Buiishool,  (in  Irish,  BuresuaU— that  is,  the  place  of  apples,)  in  the  county  Mayo. 

330  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Third  Older,  and  inseparable  from  Sister  Honoria  de  Burgo, 
whose  labors  and  troubles  she  shared,  joined  to  her  in^life, 
in  death  too  she  was  not  divided,  but  shared  her  tomb  and 
followed  her  to  glory  ;  for  she  was  taken  prisoner  by  the 
same  soldiers,  in  the  same  island  of  saints,  and,  in  derision, 
all  her  clothes  stripped  off,  and  many  torments  inflicted  on 
her.  As  she  was  younger,  and,  being  fair,  feared  more  for 
her  chastity  than  her  life,  by  the  inspiration  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  she  snatched  herself  from  the  hands  of  her  furious 
persecutors,  and  escaped  into  the  neighboring  wood,  where 
she  hid  herself  in  the  trunk  of  a  hollow  tree,  where  the 
next  day  she  was  found  by  the  servant  of  her  friend  Hono- 
ria, dead  of  cold,  with  her  hands  raised  to  heaven.  She 
was  buried  with  her  friend  in  one  tomb,  and,  as  in  life  they 
had  loved  each  other,  in  death  they  were  not  divided." 
— Mon.  Dow.  ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen.  1656. 

Anno    1G54. 


In  the  year  1654,  the  shedding  of  Dominican  blood  con- 
tinued in  Ireland.  The  Rev.  Hugh  MacGoilly,  of  the  con- 
vent of  Rathbran,*  who  for  his  piety  and  learning  had  been 
appointed  master  of  the  novices  in  that  convent,  urged  by 
his  zeal,  proceeded  to  Waterford,  to  confirm  the  Catholics 
there  in  their  veneration  and  reverence  toward  the  Holy 
Roman  Church,  and  its  visible  head  the  Pope.  He  was 
taken  by  the  heretics,  and,  having  freely  confessed  that  he 
was  a  priest  and  a  Dominican,  was  condemned  to  be  hung. 
Standing  under  the  gallows,  he  so  movingly  addressed  the 
bystanders  that  his  very  enemies  were  moved  to  tears. 

•  Rathbran    ia  the  barony  of  Tyrawly,  county  of  Mayo. 

During  the  Ccmmonwcalth.  331 

The  Catholics  buried  his  venerable  body  with  what  honor 
they  might. — Mon.  Dotn.  ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen.  1656. 


Their  fate  is  told  in  the  manuscript  given  by  Dr.  Moran  : 
"  We  lived  for  the  most  part  in  the  mountains  and  for- 
ests, and  often  too  in  the  midst  of  bogs,  to  escape  the  cav- 
alry of  the  heretics.  One  priest,  advanced  in  years,  Father 
John  Carolan,  was  so  diligently  sought  for,  and  so  closely 
watched,  being  surrounded  on  all  sides,  and  yet  not  dis- 
covered, that  he  died  of  starvation.  Another,  Father 
Christopher  Netterville,  like  St.  Athanasius,  for  an  entire 
year  and  more,  lay  hid  in  his  father's  sepulchre,  and  even 
then,  with  difficulty  escaping  the  pursuit  of  the  enemy,  he 
had  to  fly  to  a  still  more  incommodious  retreat.  One  was 
concealed  in  a  deep  pit,  from  which  he  at  intervals  went 
forth  on  some  mission  of  charity.  The  heretics  having  re- 
ceived information  as  to  his  hiding-place,  rushed  to  it,  and, 
throwing  down  immense  blocks  of  rock,  exulted  in  his  de- 
struction ;  but  Providence  watched  over  the  good  father, 
and  he  was  absent,  engaged  in  some  pious  work  of  his  min- 
istry, when  his  retreat  was  thus  assailed.  As  the  Holy 
Sacrifice  cannot  be  offered  up  in  these  receptacles  of  beasts 
rather  than  of  men,  all  the  clergy  carry  with  them  a  suffi- 
cient number  of  consecrated  hosts,  that  thus  they  may 
themselves  be  comforted  by  this  holy  sacrament,  and  may 
be  able  to  administer  it  to  the  sick  and  to  others." — Status 
Rei  Cath.  in  Hib.  hoc  anno  1654,  ap.  Moran,  Persec.  p.  120 


Of  the  first  all  we  know  is  that  on  the  4th  of  August, 
1654,  he  was  dismissed  from  prison,  "on  account  of  his 

333  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

miserable  condition,"  after  nine  months'  imprisonment ; 
but  two  conditions  were  added,  namely,  that  within  four 
months  he  should  transport  himself  out  of  the  country,  and 
during  that  interval  "  should  not  exercise  any  part  of  his 
priestly  functions,"  Another  priest,  named  William  Shiel, 
was  also  dismissed  from  prison,  on  account  of  his  "  being 
old,  lame,  and  weak,  and  not  able  to  travel  without  crutch- 
es ;"  but  two  conditions  were  also  added  to  his  release — 
that  he  should  never  exercise  his  priestly  function,  and 
should  not  move  beyond  one  mile  from  the  spot  in  Con- 
naught  which  would  be  assigned  to  him  for  residence  by 
the  governor  of  Athlone.  Some  idea  of  the  condition  of 
the  priests  in  prison  may  be  formed  from  the  fact  recorded 
of  Father  Tobin,  of  Kilkenny,  that,  though  in  a  violent 
fever,  he  was  obliged  to  sleep  on  the  floor,  and  his  only 
food  was  a  small  quantity  of  half-boiled  beans.  It  was 
made  a  privilege  to  allow  them  to  transport  themselves  to 
foreign  parts,  as  appears  from  an  order  of  29th  May,  1664  ; 
and  then  the  clause  was  added  that  each  should  provide 
the  five  pounds  which  had  been  paid  for  his  arrest. — Moran, 
Persec.  p.  105  ;  Prendcrgast,  Cromwellian  Settlement,  p. 
159  ;  Letter  in  S.  C.  de  Prop.  Fid.  \i,th  March,  1656 


I  FIND  the  following  notice  of  him  in  Curry : 
"A  barbarous  murder  was  committed  by  one  Edward 
Alta,  an  irreligious,  profane  fellow,  of  the  county  of  Mayo, 
and  his  accomplices,  on  some  Protestants  at  Shruel,  a  place 
meeting  Galway,  on  about  thirty  persons ;  and  the  pam- 
phleteer might  well  remember  that  the  neighboring  gentry 
came  with  all  expedition  to  rescue  the  said  Protestants,  and 
that  they  did  rescue  the  Bishop  of  Killala,  (who  by  the 
pamphlet  would  seem  to  have  been  murdered,)  and  his 

During  the  Commonwealth.  333 

wife  and  children,  with  most  part  of  the  said  Protestants  ; 
and  Bryan  Kilkenny,  a  friar,  then  guardian  of  the  abbey  of 
Ross,  near  Shruel,  was  of  the  first  that  made  haste  to  that 
rescue,  and  brought  the  said  bishop's  wife  and  children, 
with  several  other  of  the  distressed  Protestants,  to  his 
monastery,  where  they  found  as  much  civility  as  was  in 
the  said  friar's  power  tQ  give  them  for  several  nights,  until 
Mr.  Burke,  of  Castle-Hacket,  brought  the  said  bishop,  his 
wife  and  family,  to  his  own  house,  where  they  wanted  noth- 
ing he  could  afford  them  for  several  weeks  ;  the  like  being 
done  by  several  other  neighboring  gentlemen  to  the  rest 
of  the  said  Protestants,  until  they  were  sent  to  places  of 
security  by  the  Lord  Marquis  of  Clanricarde's  order ;  yet 
the  said  friar  hath  been  these  eight  years  past  (written  in 
1662)  kept  a  prisoner  for  his  function  or  calling,  without 
any  crime  laid  to  his  charge,  being  now  above  eighty  years 
old.  And  it  is  observable  that  in  this  county  of  Galway, 
all  the  war-time,  several  Protestant  ministers  had  their 
Protestant  flocks  and  meetings  without  interruption,  living 
among  the  Irish." — Extract  of  a  collection  of  some  of  the 
massacres  and  murders  committed  on  the  Irish  in  Ireland 
since  the  22,d  October,  1642.  {London,  1662,)  ap.  Curry's 
Civil  Wars,  Appendix,  p.  623. 


"  He  was  a  distinguished  Franciscan,  and  several  times 
held  the  offices  of  guardian,  definitor,  and  once  that  of  pro- 
vincial minister,  of  visitor-general,  and  guardian  of  the  col- 
lege of  St.  Anthony  at  Louvain.  Exemplary  for  piety, 
zeal,  and  eloquence,  he  was  known  to  all  the  Catholics 
throughout  the  island.  This  innocent'  and  exemplary 
man,  when  in  his  seventieth  year,  was  seized  by  the  rebels, 
alike  against  thei-  God  and  their  king,  and  was  sent  to  the 

334  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

island  of  Inisbofin,  some  miles  from  the  coast  of  Connaught, 
in  the  year  1651.  It  is  impossible  to  tell  all  he  suffered  in 
the  wretched  dungeon  there,  from  the  Calvinists,  during 
two  years.  At  length  he  was  taken  to  Galway  for  execu- 
tion, but  before  the  sentence  was  carried  out  he  gave  his 
soul  to  God  in  prison,  in  the  year  1654." — Bruodin,  lib.  iv. 

cap.  XV. 

— « — 

A-nvvy  1€55, 


Was  consecrated  Bishop  of  Clonfert  in  1639,  ^"^^  transfer- 
red to  Tuam  in  1647.  I*  is  not  necessary  here  to  enter  at 
any  length  on  the  part  he  took  in  the  politics  of  the  period  ; 
he  opposed  the  nuncio,  and  advocated  the  peace  of  1646  ; 
but  after  the  triumph  of  Cromwell  all  Catholics  suffered 
alike.  It  appears  from  the  Libellus  Snpplex,  presented  by 
Dr.  French  to  Clement  IX.  in  1667,  that  Dr.  Burke  was 
arrested  after  the  surrender  of  Galway  in  1652,  detained  in 
prison  for  some  time,  and  then  sent  into  exile.  He  was 
arrested  on  the  nth  March,  1654,  and  detained  in  prison 
for  fourteen  months,  having  suffered  so  much  in  the  mean 
time  from  a  violent  disease  in  the  legs  that  he  could 
scarcely  move.  In  August,  1665,  the  convict  ship  sailed 
from  Galway  for  the  port  of  Nantes,  with  the  Archbishop 
of  Tuam,  the  Bishop  of  Killala,  Dr.  Kirwan,  and  many 
priests  among  the  prisoners. 

In  1662,  after  the  restoration  of  Charles,  when  hopes  of 
toleration  (how  delusive,  time  soon  proved)  were  entertained 
by  the  Catholics  who  had  suffered  so  much  for  his  family, 
Dr.  Burke  sailed  directly  from  St.  Malo,  and  landed  in 
Dublin  about  October  or  November.  To  the  reproaches  of 
the  emissaries  of  Ormond  he  answered  that  he  had  returned 
to  die  at  home — "  to  He  down  at  rest  in  his  grave  and  native 
soil."     He  had  hoped  to  pass  through  Dublin  unnoticed. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  335 

when  the  lord-lieutenant  was  absent,  that  his  past  loyalty 
had  been  proved  ;  for  the  future  no  pledge  was  necessary, 
and  he  asked  permission  to  remain  in  Ireland  "for  so 
short  a  time  as  he  had  to  drag  on  a  miserable  existence, 
and  end  it  by  a  death  more  welcome,  which  he  daily  ex- 

The  next  day  the  archbishop  was  removed  in  a  litter  on 
his  way  to  Connaught,  accompanied  by  two  priests,  both 
Jesuits,  one  his  nephew,  and  the  other  Father  Thomas  Quin. 

He  died  in  1666,  being  above  eighty  years  of  age. — Rene- 
haiis  Bishops.  For  life  of  Kirwan,  LyjtcJis  Alethinologia  ; 
Walsh's  Remonstrance,  etc. 


"  In  this  year  the  venerable  servant  of  God,  Father 
Thomas  Birmingham,  died  in  exile  for  the  faith,  in  great 
reputation  for  sanctity.  After  the  example  of  our  early 
fathers,  he  was  most  assiduous  in  prayer,  and  a  great 
mortifier  of  his  body,  which  he  often  beat,  even  to  blood. 
He  watched  and  fasted  much,  and  slept  on  a  hard  board. 
He,  by  prayer,  obtained  aid  for  the  Catholics  who  were 
besieged  in  Naas.  At  length  he  was  taken  prisoner 
by  the  heretics,  who  thirsted  for  his  blood.  They  stripped 
him  of  the  habit  of  his  order,  and  in  derision  clothed  him 
in  that  of  the  Friars  Minors,  and  among  the  insults  and 
blows  of  the  soldiers  he  was  dragged  to  Dublin,  where  he 
long  lay  in  prison,  and  was  at  length  sentenced  to  be 
transported  to  Barbadoes.  But  a  ranson*  having  been 
paid  for  him  by  the  Lords  Constantine  and  Felix  O'Neill, 
and  Hugh  O'Rorke,  he  was  sent  to  Spain,  whence  he  pro- 
ceeded to  Rome,  and,  having  visited  the  most  celebrated 
shrines  in  Italy,  he  ended  his  course,  and  departed  to 
eternal  life. — Mou.  Dom.  ex  Act.  Cap.  Gen.  1656. 

•  Those  sejit  to  Barbadoes  were  publicly  sold. 

336  Martyrs  and  Confessors 


The  same  year  died  in  his  native  country  the  venerable 
old  man,  Father  Daniel  Cnegan,*  who  with  extraordinary 
zeal  revived  our  order  in  Connaught  when  it  was  nearly 
extinct.  He  restored  and  built  anew  several  convents, 
and  gave  the  habit  to  many  youths,  whom  he  sent  to  be 
educated  in  other  provinces  of  the  order.  Under  King 
James  this  intrepid  champion  of  the  faith  animated  to 
constancy  many  noble  men  who  were  thrown  into  prison 
for  their  ancestral  faith,  and  collected  funds  for  their 
sustenance.  He  persuaded  the  illustrious  Earl  of  West- 
meath  to  go  to  the  king  in  England,  to  seek  to  mollify  his 
anger  against  the  Catholics,  and  assuage  the  rage  of  the 
heretics.  He  suffered  much  persecution,  and  once,  having 
publicly  exposed  himself  to  preserve  the  honor  of  a  noble 
Catholic  matron  assaulted  by  heretics,  he  received  a  fear- 
ful wound  on  the  head,  from  which  he  nearly  died,  and 
lost  his  sight  ;  whereupon  the  heretical  governor,  on 
account  of  his  well-known  innocency'of  life,  exempted  him 
from  the  common  sentence  of  exile,  and  allowed  him  to 
spend  the  remnant  of  his  life  amidst  his  friends.  Here  he 
labored  assiduously  in  consoling  the  Catholics  ;  and,  worn 
out  with  age  and  labors,  he  calmly  slept  in  the  Lord. — 

Mon.  Dom.  ut  supra. 

— • — 


Of  the  many  thousands  of  Irish  men,  women,  and  chil- 
dren who  were  sold  into  slavery  in  the  West  Indies,  the 
names  of  very  few  have  been  preserved.  Among  these 
was  Father  David  Roche,!  Dominican.  Full  details  of 
this  infamous  traffic  are  given  by  Prendergast,  Cromwel- 

*  Moil.  Dam.  gives  his  name  as  Cnegan  ;  Hit.  Dom.  as  Creidegain.      t  Hih.  Dom.  p.  571. 

During  the  Commonwealth.  337 

lian  Settlement.  Thus,  a  government  order,  published 
on  March  4th,  1655,  states  that  in  the  four  preceding  years 
6400  Irish,  men  and  women,  boys  and  maidens,  had  been 
disposed  of  to  the  English  slave-dealers.  On  the  14th 
September,  1653,  two  English  merchants  named  Selleck 
and  Leader,  signed  a  contract  with  the  government  com- 
missioners, by  which  a  supply  was  granted  to  them  of  250 
women  and  300  men  of  the  Irish  nation,  to  be  found  with- 
in twenty  miles  of  Cork,  Youghal,  Kinsale,  Waterford,  and 
Wexford.  Roger  Boyle,  Lord  Broghill,  (afterward  Earl  of 
Orrery,)  deemed  it  unnecessary  to  take  such  trouble  in 
visiting  different  parts  of  the  kingdom,  and  undertook  to 
supply  the  whole  number  from  the  county  of  Cork  alone  ; 
hence  he  received  an  order  empowering  him  to  search  for 
and  seize;  upon  that  number,  "  and  no  person,  being  once 
apprehended,  was  to  be  released  but  by  special  order  in 
writing  under  the  hand  of  Lord  Broghill.  In  the  month 
of  November,  1655,  all  the  Irish  of  the  townland  of  Lac- 
kagh,  county  of  Kildare,  were  seized  on  by  the  agents  of  the 
government.  They  were  only  forty-one  in  number,  and 
of  these  four  were  hanged  by  sentence  of  court-martial ; 
the  remaining  thirty-seven,  including  two  priests,  were 
handed  over  to  Mr.  Norton,  a  Bristol  merchant,  to  be  sold 
as  bond-slaves  to  the  sugar-planters  at  the  Barbadoes." 
Again,  on  the  8th  December,  1655,  we  find  a  letter  from 
the  commissioners  to  the  Governor  of  Barbadoes,  "  advis- 
ing him  of  the  approach  of  a  ship  with  a  cargo  of  proprie- 
tors, deprived  of  their  lands,  and  seized  for  not  transplant- 
ing." They  add  that  among  them  were  three  priests,  and 
the  commissioners  particularly  desire  that  these  may  be 
so  employed  that  they  may  not  return  again  where  that  sort 
of  people  are  able  to  do  so  much  mischief,  having  so  great 
an  influence  over  the  popish  Irish.  On  the  4th  January, 
1655,  the  sum  of  five  pounds  was  paid  for  the  arrest,  on  the 
27th  November  preceding,  of  "a  priest,  with  his  appurte- 

338  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

nances,  in  the  house  of  one  Owen  Byrne,  of  Cool-ne-Kish- 
in,  near  old  Leighlin,  in  the  county  Carlow,  which  said 
priest,  together  with  Byrne,  the  man  of  the  house,  were 
brought  prisoners  to  Dublin."  On  the  8th  January,  Rich- 
ard and  Thomas  Tinte,  Edmund  and  George  Barnewall, 
and  William  Fitzsimons,  held  the  castle  of  Baltrasna,  ir 
the  county  Meath,  in  defence  and  rescue  of  a  priest  who 
had  repaired  thither  to  say  Mass.  For  this  they  were 
arrested  and  their  goods  seized,  and  the  soldiers  claimed 
the  booty,  on  the  ground  that  the  castle  was  defended 
against  them,  "with  arms  and  ammunition,  by  those  who 
maintained  a  priest  in  his  idolatrous  worship,  in  opposition 
to  the  declaration  of  the  state  in  that  behalf  "^//'z'^.  Doni. ; 
Moran,  Persec.  pp.  io6,  151  ;  Prendergast,  Cromwellian  Set- 
tlement, p.  159,  etc. 

Anno    1G56. 


"  He  was  prior  of  the  convent  of  Coleraine,  ana  was 
stoned  to  death  by  the  soldiers,  and  thrown  into  the  river, 
and  so  gave  his  hfe  for  the  faith  in  the  Cromwellian  perse- 
cution, about  the  year  1656." — Hib.  Dom.  p.  574 ;  OHeyn, 
p.  4. 


"  He  belonged  to  the  convent  of  Coleraine,  and  expired 
under  the  blows  of  the  soldiers,  about  the  year  1656. 
Another  James  O'Reilly,  who  belonged  to  the  convent  of 
Clonmel,  suffered  martyrdom  in  the  year  1649,  ^s  I  have 
mentioned  before."-  Hib.  Dom.  p.  1574;  OHeyn,  p.  4. 















During  the  Commonwealth.  339 


The  only  record  of  the  first  that  1  find  is  in  Dr.  Oliver, 
Collections,  etc.  He  says,  after  an  imprisonment  in 
Dublin  of  four  years,  he  died  on  the  2d  of  November  in 
this  year.  Dr.  Oliver  refers  to  Synopsis  Annalitim  Soc. 
jFesu  in  Lusitania,  auctore  P.  Ant.  Franco,  Aug.  Vindelic, 
1726,  pp.  466,  but  I  have  not  been  able  to  see  this  work. 

In  this  year  the  transporting  of  innocent  Catholics  to 
Barbadoes  continued.  In  Scobell's  Acts  and  Ordinan- 
ces there  is  an  Act  of  Parliament,  passed  in  1656,  which, 
after  stating  that  "  the  children,  grandchildren,  brothers, 
nephews,  uncles,  and  next  pretended  heirs  of  the  persons 
attainted  do  remain  in  the  provinces  of  Leinster,  Ulster, 
and  Munster,  having  little  or  no  visible  estates  or  subsist- 
ence," commands  all  such  persons  "  to  transplant  or  be 
transported  to  the  English  plantations  in  America." 

On  the  3d  of  May,  1656,  the  governors  of  the  various 
prisons  received  orders  to  convey  their  prisoners  to  Car- 
rickfergus,  "  to  be  there  put  on  board  such  ship  as  should 
sail  with  the  first  opportunity  for  the  Barbadoes."  One 
aged  priest,  named  Paul  Cushin,  was  arrested  at  his  mis- 
sion in  Maryborough,  and  was  among  those  then  hurried 
off  toward  Carrickfergus.  On  the  way  he  fell  dangerously 
ill,  at  Philipstown,  and  a  petition  being  sent  in  his  name 
to  the  commissioners  to  be  allowed  to  remain,  they  replied 
by  an  order  of  the  27th  August,  1656,  allowing  him  six- 
pence per  day  during  his  sickness,  which  munificent  sum 
"  was  to  be  continued  to  him  thence  to  Carrickfergus,  in 
order  to  his  transportation  to  the  Barbadoes." 

340  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

A.nno   1687. 


"  He  was  Prior  of  Derry,  and  suffered  a  long  imprison- 
ment and  sore  want.  The  heretics  made  him  great  offers 
if  he  would  abandon  the  Catholic  faith,  but  he  chose  rather 
death.  His  fellow-captives  related  that  they  had  seen  him 
in  prayer  raised  up  a  cubit's  height  from  the  ground,  and 
that  he  said  that  a  glimpse  of  the  glory  to  come  had  been 
granted  to  him,  lest  he  should  yield  to  the  bitterness  of 
torments.  He  was  strangled  in  prison,  and  his  head  cut 
off,  and  thus  received  the  crown  of  martyrdom,  about  the 
year  1657."* 


Of  the  Rev.  James  Finaghty,  vicar-general  of  the  diocese 
of  Elphin,  the  following  account  is  given  in  a  visitation  of ' 
the  diocese  made  in  1668  : 

"  Father  James  Finaghty  suffered  many  tortures  and 
cruel  afflictions  from  the  common  enemy  for  the  faith  of 
Christ :  five  times  he  was  arrested,  and  once  he  was  tied  to 
a  horse's  tail  and  dragged  naked  through  the  streets,  and 
then  cast  into  a  horrid  dungeon  ;  nevertheless,  being  again 
ransomed  by  a  sum  of  money,  he  continues  to  labor  un- 
tiringly and  fearlessly  in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord."f 

This  year  Mr.  Prendergast  gives  us  the  following  as  in- 
stances of  similar  orders  :  "  loth  August,  £<„  on  the  certi- 
ficate of  Major  Stanley,  to  Thomas  Gregson,  Evan  Powel, 

•  This  evidently  refers  to  the  sentence  for  treason. 

t  MS.  Relatio  Visitationis  Dioc  Elphin.,  facta  anno  1668,  ab  Edmundo  Tiege,  ap.  Moran, 
Fersec.  p.  125, 

During  the  Commonwealth.  341 

and  Samuel  Ally,  being  three  soldiersof  Colonel  Abbott's 
regiment  of  dragoons,  for  the  arrest  of  Donogh  Hagerty, 
a  popish  priest,  by  them  taken,  and  now  secured  in  the 
county  jail  of  Clonmel.  To  Arthur  Spunner,  Robert 
Pierce,  and  John  Brucn,  five  pounds,  for  the  good  service 
by  them  performed  in  apprehending  and  bringing  before 
the  Chief-Justice  Papys,  on  the  21st  January,  1657,  one 
Edmund  Duin,  a  popish  priest.  On  the  13th  April,  1657, 
to  Sergeant  Humphrey  Gibbs  and  Corporal  Thomas 
Hill,  ten  pounds,  for  apprehending  two  popish  priests, 
namel}-,  Maurice  Prendergast  and  Edmund  Fahy, 
who  were  secured  in  the  jail  of  Waterford,  and,  being 
afterward  arraigned,  were  both  of  them  adjudged  to  be 
and  were  accordingly  transported  into  foreign  parts."  * 

The  Archbishop  of  Tuam  informs  us  that  about  this 
year  the  priests  arrested  ceased  to  be  put  to  death,  as 
formerly,  in  consequence  of  the  remonstrances  of  the 
Catholic  princes  on  the  Continent ;  but "  they  were  trans- 
ported to  the  island  of  Inisbofin,  in  the  diocese  of  Tuam, 
where  they  were  compelled  to  subsist  on  herbs  and 
water."  Mr.  Prendergast  has  published  some  further 
details  connected  with  this  new  place  of  imprisonment. 
On  the  27th  February,  1657,  the  commissioners  referred 
to  his  excellency  to  consider  where  the  priests  then  in 
prison  in  Dublin  should  be  most  safely  disposed  of,  and,  in 
reply,  an  order  was  received  to  transport  them  "to  the 
isles  of  Arran,  lying  out  thirty  miles  in  the  Atlantic, 
opposite  the  entrance  ot  the  bay  of  Galway,  and  the  isle 
of  Inisbofin,  off  the  coast  of  Connemara." 

In  these  storm-beaten  islands  they  lived  during  the 
remaining  years  of  the  Commonwealth ;  and  from  a 
Treasury  warrant  dated  the  3d  July,  1657,  we  learn 
that  cabins  were  ordered  to  be  built  for  them  on  these 

•  Prendergast,  Cromwtllian  Settlement,  pp.  135-185. 

342  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

islands,  and  that  the  Governor  of  Galway,  Colonel  Thomas 
Sadleir,  was  commissioned  to  allow  them  sixpence  per 
diem  for  their  support.*  A  letter  from  a  priest  in  Nantes, 
dated  19th  October,  1659,  also  states  that  for  some  time 
past  the  Puritans  had  "  resolved  to  put  none  of  the  clergy 
to  death,  and,  instead  of  sending  them  into  exile,  to 
sentence  them  to  perpetual  imprisonment.  This  was 
partly  because  they  envied  us  that  incredible  joy  with 
which  the  priests  went  out  to  death,  and  partly  because 
they  thus  hoped  to  cut  off  all  chance  of  return  to  their 
flocks,  and  all  possibility  of  administering  spiritual  assist- 
ance to  the  Catholics.  Hence,  out  of  fifty-two  priests 
who  were  in  custody,  thirty-six  were  lately  sent  to  the 
islands  of  Inisbofin  and  Arran,  where  lately  there  are 
heretical  garrisons,  and  where  they  can  neither  offer  up  the 
Holy  Sacrifice  nor  see  the  face  of  a  single  Catholic,  and 
not  even  are  they  allowed  to  administer  to  each  other  the 
last  rites  of  religion."f 

Among  the  priests  sent  to  the  island  of  Inisbofin  about 
this  time  were  two  Dominican  fathers,  as  we  learn  from 
the  Hib.  Dam.  p.  577:  "The  Very  Rev.  Father  Gerald 
Davock,  an  alumnus  of  the  convent  of  Athenry  and  master 
in  theology,  returned  to  Ireland  after  having  studied  in 
Spain.  He  was  made  reader  in  philosophy,  and  afterward 
master  of  studies.  These  offices  he  filled  well,  and  preach- 
ed eloquently.  When  the  religious  were  dispersed,  he 
was  taken  by  the  heretics  and,  with  many  other  priests, 
both  secular  and  regular,  sent  to  the  island  of  Bofin,  where 
he  passed  seven  years  in  hunger  and  want  with  much 
patience.  When  King  Charles  II.  was  restored,  (1660,) 
they  were  freed,  except  that  great  and  venerable  man 
P'ather  Bernard  MacGhiclla  Cluinne,  provincial  of  the 
Franciscans,  who  there  died  happily  for  the  glory  of  God 

•  PrenderKast,  p.  iSt  t  Ex  Archiv.  Soc  Jesu  in  Pome. 

Durijig  the  Con:monwealth.  343 

Rcund  the  loins  of  this  heroic  man  was  found  when  he 
died  a  leather  girdle  set  with  sharp  iron  points.  Father 
Davock  lived  very  religiously  for  many  years  after  his 
liberation  from  that  island,  and  labored  by  woid  and 
example  in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord,  until,  in  advanced  age, 
borne  down  by  the  weight  of  the  persecution  which  had 
then  again  sprung  up,  he  died,  fortified  with  the  sacraments, 
in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1675." 

Brennan,  Eccl.  Hist,  of  Ireland,  vol.  ii.  p.  197,  gives  a 
list  of  the  priests  who  in  1653,  or  rather  1657,  were  con- 
fined as  prisoners  in  the  island  of  Bofin  or  shut  up  in  the 
jails  of  Cork  and  Galway : 

"Rev.  James  Fallen,  V.G. ;  Rev.  Roger  Commin,  secular 
priest ;  Rev.  Gerald  Davock,  Dominican ;  Rev.  Brien 
Corny,  Franciscan  ;  Rev.  Thomas  Bourke,  Franciscan  ; 
Rev.  Philip  Walsh,  secular  priest ;  Rev.  Thomas  Grady, 
secular  priest ;  Rev.  Timothy  Mannin,  secular  priest ; 
Rev.  Miles  Tully,  secular  priest ;  Rev.  Patrick  Trevor, 
secular  priest ;  Rev.  John  Kelly,  secular  priest ;  Rev. 
McLeighhn  Conry,  secular  priest ;  Rev.  Anthony  Geoghe- 
gan,  abbot ;  Rev.  John  Dillon,  Dominican  ;  Rev.  Thomas 
McKernan,  Franciscan  ;  Rev.  Edward  Delamar,  secular 
priest ;  Rev.  Terlagh  Gavan,  secular  priest ;  Rev.  John 
Russell,  V.G. ;  Rev.  W.  Henessy,  secular  priest ;  Rev. 
William  Farrell,  secular  priest ;  Rev.  Redmond  Roche, 
secular  priest ;  Rev.  Conner  Keilly,  secular  priest ;  Rev. 
Denis  Horgan,  secular  priest ;  Rev.  Henry  Burgat,  Domi- 
nican ;  Rev.  Timothy  Donovan,  Franciscan  ;  Rev.  Connor 
Hurly,  Franciscan ;  Rev.  James  Slevin,  Rev.  Thomas 
Roony,  Rev.  Connor  Scanlan,  Franciscans  ;  Rev.  Bernard 
Comins,  Dominican ;  Rev.  Bonaventure  Dant,  Rev.  Tho- 
mas Burke,  Rev.  Francis  Horan,  Rev.  Thomas  McKernan, 
Rev.  Terence  Gavan,  Rev.  Hugh  McKeon,  secular  priests. 
— Ex  Libra  Arckivii  Provincialis  Collegii  Lovamensis 
Sancti  Antonii  de  Padua  Fr.  Min.  Hibernorum. 

^44  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Anno   1658. 


That  the  persecution  still  continued  we  find  from  the 
entries  of  money  paid  for  the  arrest  of  priests.  Thus,  in 
November,  1658,  "To  Lieutenant  Edward  Wood,  on  the 
certificate  of  William  St.  George,  Esq.,  J.P.  of  the  county 
Cavan,  twenty-five  pounds  for  five  priests  and  friars  by 
him  apprehended :  namely,  Thomas  McKernan,  Turlogh' 
O'Gowan,  Hugh  McGeown,  and  Turlogh  Fitzsymons,  who, 
upon  examination,  confessed  themselves  to  be  both  priests 
and  friars." 

Father  Richard  Shelton,  superior  of  the  Jesuits  in 
Ireland!  writing  to  the  Sacred  Congregation  on  the  29th 
April,  1658,  conveyed  the  sad  intelligence  that  the  persecu- 
tion of  Cromwell  against  the  Irish  Catholics  was  carried 
on  with  ever-increasing  fury.  Two  of  the  Jesuit  fathers 
had  been  lately  arrested,  and  were  treated  with  great 
cruelty  ;  especially,  he  adds,  "  every  effort  is  now  made  to 
compel  the  Catholics,  by  exile,  imprisonment,  confiscation 
of  goods,  and  other  penalties,  to  take  the  sacrilegious  oath 
of  abjuration  ;  but  all  in  vain,  for  as  yet  there  has  not 
been  even  one  to  take  it,  with  the  exception  of  a  stranger 
residing  in  our  island,  who  had  acquired  large  possessions, 
and,  being  afraid  of  losing  them,  and  at  the  sam,e  time 
being  ashamed  of  the  other  Catholics,  undertook  a  journey 
of  more  than  two  hundred  miles  to  present  himself  to  one 
of  Cromwell's  emissaries." 

Yet  some  idea  may  be  formed  of  the  zeal  of  the  clergy  in 
filling  the  gaps  created  in  their  ranks  by  imprisonment  and 
transportation  from  the  fact,  mentioned  by  the  Archbishop 
of  Tuam  in  a  letter  written  from  Nantes  in  September, 
165  8,  that  even  then,  while  the  persecution  raged  with  its 
greatest  violence,  there  were  one  hundred  and  fifty  priests 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  345 

in  his  province  and  a  like  number  in  the  other  provinces, 
"attending  to  the  care  of  souls,  seeking  refuge  in  the 
forests  and  in  the  caverns  of  the  earth."* — See  Moran, 
Persec.  pp.  104,  125,  157. 

Anno    1604, 


The  reader  has  seen  how  in  the  years  from  1641  to  1660 
the  persecution  had  nearly  exterminated  the  Catholics,  till 
the  persecutors  slackened  rather  from  want  of  victims  than 
from  diminution  of  animosity.  In  1641,  according  to  Sir 
William  Petty,  the  Catholics  in  Ireland  were  about  1,240,- 
000 ;  in  1659,  there  were  only  413,984  persons  of  Irish  de- 
scent in  Ireland,  which  therefore  must  have  been  the  maxi- 
mum number  of  Catholics  left,  or,  in  other  words,  in  these 
eight  years  826,000  Irish  Catholics  had  perished  or  been 
exiled  or  sold  as  slaves  to  the  West  Indies. 

In  1660,  Charles  II.  was  restored  to  the  throne,  and  the 
persecution  of  Catholics  was  no  longer  so  violent ;  nor 
shall  we,  from  this  date,  any  longer  meet  with  hecatombs 
of  victims.  But  Ireland  was  still  to  furnish  a  few,  and  not 
the  least  illustrious,  of  her  confessors  and  martyrs.  Of 
these  was  Father  Christopher  O'Ferrall,  the  Dominican 
of  whom  we  find  the  following  record : 

"  He  was  a  friar  of  the  convent  of  Dublin,  and  studied  at 
i/>uvain,  whence  he  returned  to  Dublin,  where  he  became 
prior,  and  was  remarkable  as  a  pious,  diligent,  and  prudent 

•  In  1659,  there  were  in  Connaugh;  no  Scotch,  7673  English,  and79,  68a  Irish,  (the  last  may 
De  taken  as  Catholics,)  and  150  priests :  or  Catholics  to  Protestants  10  to  i,  and  i  priest  to 
every  534  Catholics.  In  1861,  there  were  46,326  Protestants,  866,023  Catholics,  anA  408 
priests  ;  or  Catholics  to  Protestants  nearly  18  to  i,  and  i  priest  to  every  2165  Catholics.  In 
1864,  the  total  number  of  priests  in  Ireland  was  3097.  The  Catholic  population  of  Ireland  in 
1861  was  4,505,365.  This  would  give  a  proportion  of  i  priest  to  1454  Catholics. — Ctnsm  ef 
'6J9,  by  H<trelinee ;  Cimus  of  1861  i  and  Cathtlk  Dirtctory,  1864. 

346  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

confessor.  Together  with  the  provincial,  Father  John 
O'Kart,  he  was  thrown  into  prison  in  Dublin*  for  the  de- 
fence of  the  authority  of  the  pontiff,  and  lay  there  for  full 
three  years ;  nor  was  he  allowed  any  bed,  but  made  to  lie 
on  the  bare  earth.  He  himself  told  me  (O'Heyn)  that  his 
feet  were  often  bitten  by  mice.  He  was  most  devoted  to 
the  Blessed  Virgin.  He  died  some  years  later  than  1664. 
Father  Arthur  Panti,  of  the  same  convent  of  DubHn,  was 
confined  in  Dublin  for  the  same  cause.  Afterward  he  was 
procurator  for  Ireland,  and  died  at  Seville  after  1664." — 
Hib.  Dom.  p.  575,  and  O'Heyn,  p.  7. 

Anno    166S. 


"  The  Very  Rev.  Father  Raymund  Moore,  (O'Morradh,) 
of  the  convent  of  Dublin,  was  a  distinguished  theologian. 
He  studied  with  distinction  in  Spain,  and  in  the  college  at 
Lisbon,  and  returning  thence  to,  Dublin,  immediately  on 
his  landing  was  thrown  into  prison,  with  the  two  priests 
mentioned  under  last  year,  and  spent  there  three  years,  en- 
during the  same  sufferings  ;  but  at  the  close  of  the  third 
year  this  glorious,  learned,  and  courageous  man  died  for 
the  honor  and  unity  of  the  church  under  its  visible, 
supreme,  and  infallible  head.  He  was  called  in  English 
Moore,  but  his  name  is  purely  Irish,  for  he  was  descended 
of  the  noble  family  of  O'Morradh,  who  were  formerly  lords 
or  dynasts  of  the  whole  of  the  county  which  is  now  called 
the  Queen's  County,  (except  the  barony  of  Upper  Ossory.) 
He  died  in  prison  in  1665." — 1/15.  Dom.  p.  575,  atid  O'Heyti, 
p.  7. 

•  It  would  appear  from  another  entry  that  Father  O'Hart  was  thrown  into  prison  in  i66a— 
Hib.  Dom.  p.  523- 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  347 

Anno    1666. 


I  GIVE  his  life  from  Dr.  Renehan's  Collections. 

After  the  death  of  Dr.  Hugh  O'Reilly,  the  primatial 
chair  remained  vacant  for  more  than  one  year,  and  was 
tlien  filled  by  another  clergyman  of  the  same  name,  but  of 
a  different  family.  He  had  the  misfortune  to  find  in  a 
personal,  political,  and  religious  enemy  the  only  historian 
that  has  left  any  considerably  detailed  narrative  of  his  life. 
He  concurred  in  the  excommunication  of  Father  Peter 
Walsh,  the  Franciscan  ;  he  manfully  opposed  the  cringing 
sycophancy  of  that  friar's  politics,  and  set  himself  up  as  a 
wall  of  brass  against  his  schismatical  innovations,  even  at 
the  peril  of  his  life.  It  would  be  unreasonable  to  expect 
from  so  vindictive  a  writer  as  Walsh  an  impartial  biography 
of  so  decided  an  opponent.  But  in  following  his  authori- 
ty,* if  many  of  the  primate's  qualities  are  suppressed,  yet 
those  which  appear  in  the  facts  he  relates,  or  shine  through 
the  ill-wrought  veil  of  his  clumsy  slander,  receive  addition- 
al lustre  and  certainty.  Indeed,  it  is  no  small  eulogy  of 
our  primate  that  the  tooth  of  even  Walsh's  revenge  could 
find  no  point  in  his  moral  or  religious  character  on  which 
to  fasten. 

The  most  Rev.  Edmund  O'Reilly  was  born  in  the  diocese 
of  Dublin,  about  the  year  1606,  and  after  having  complet- 
ed a  course  of  studies  in  philosophy,  and  a  limited  portion 
of  theology,  he  was  ordained  priest,  and  after  some  little 
time  appointed  to  the  government  of  a  parish  in  his  native 
diocese.t  It  appears  not  improbable  that  he  received  his 
ecclesiastical  education  in  the  college  established  in  Dame 
Street  by  the  Catholics,  and  that  the  suppression  of  that 

•  The  vfork  of  Walsh  from  which  the  facts  here  recorded  are  principally  taken  is  his  HhUry 
oftk^  Irish  Refno7isira?tce. 

+  Walsh's  Hist,  of  RemomtraHCt,  p.  608.  The  yiar  of  his  nativity  is  deduced  only  by 
mference  from  Columbanus. 

348  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

seminary  by  the  government  in  1629  was  the  cause  of  the 
abridgment  of  his  theological  studies.  Whatever  was  the 
cause,  he,  at  least,  deeply  regretted  the  effect,  and  anxious- 
ly awaited  an  opportunity  of  resigning  his  parish,  and  pro- 
ceeding to  some  foreign  university,  in  order  to  extend  his 
information,  and  qualify  himself  more  perfectly  for  the  dis- 
charge of  his  arduous  duties.  His  archbishop.  Dr.  Flem- 
ing, saw  that  his  strong  natural  talents  deserved  cultiva- 
tion ;  for  he  was  at  this  time,  to  use  the  words  of  Dr.  O. 
Plunkett,  "  a  man  of  a  good  mother-wit,  but  no  extraordi- 
nary learning."* 

Obtaining  at  length  his  superior's  permission,  he  repair- 
ed to  the  University  of  Louvain,  about  the  year  1633  \\ 
and,  residing  in  the  Irish  secular  college,  he  devoted  him- 
self for  seven  years  with  great  assiduity  to  the  study  of  the 
Sacred  Scriptures  and  moral  divinity  under  the  Jesuits, 
and  of  canon  law  under  the  Franciscans.  Here  his  piety 
and  ecclesiastical  decorum  soon  attracted  the  esteem  of  his 
superiors,  who,  after  some  time,  convinced  also  of  his  pru- 
dence and  zeal  for  collegiate  discipline,  appointed  him  pre- 
fect of  the  college  of  Irish  secular  ecclesiastics,  wherein  he 
resided.  But  he  was  honored  in  an  especial  manner  by  the 
affectionate  friendship  and  confidential  intimacy  of  the 
Hon.  and  Rev.  Thomas  Fleming,  (the  eldest  son  and  heir 
of  Lord  Slane,)  who,  renouncing  the  pleasures  of  earth, 
had  exchanged  the  titles  and  estates  of  this  world  for  the 
cloister  here,  and  the  "  hundredfold  hereafter,''  and  was 
now  professor  of  divinity  in  the  Franciscan  college  of  St. 
Anthony  of  Padua,  at  Louvain.  It  was  here  also,  and 
through  this  saintly  professor,  that  Mr.  O'Reilly  became 
first  acquainted  with  Peter  Walsh,  the  Franciscan.  But 
they  were  men  of  opposite  dispositions,  not  likely  to  coa- 

*  y-us  Pritnatiale,  p.  30. 

t  Columbanus's  Hist.  Address,  p.  ..     Walsh's  Hist.  0/  Rem.  p.  608,  says  he  was  is  i«36 

"  soinewliat  eJckrly." 

In  the  Reigii  of  Charles  II.  345 

lesce — the  one,  prefect  of  a  college,  and  the  confidant  of  the 
professors,  but  particularly  of  the  pious  Fleming ;  the 
other,  his  refractory  pupil — the  one,  a  disciple  of  the  Jesuits 
in  those  doctrines  of  grace  and  free-will  which  have  since 
gained  such  support  among  all  classes  of  Christians  ;  the 
other,  a  professed  Jansenist,  the  confidant  of  Jansenius,  to 
whom  Walsh  dedicated  his  philosophical  theses,  and  whose 
famous  AtigustimisWa^sh  boasts  of  being  the  first  to  have 
read  in  albis  as  it  came  from  the  press.*  In  these  circum- 
stances, an  acquaintance  between  two  such  men  would 
more  naturally  produce  hostility  than  friendship. 

The  Rev.  Mr.  O'Reilly  returned  to  Ireland  in  1641, 
bringing  with  him  testimonial  letters  of  the  strongest  de- 
scription from  the  university.  But  the  Hon.  and  Rev.  F. 
Fleming  thought  it  his  duty  to  write,  moreover,  privately  to 
his  uncle,  the  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  and  zealously  recom- 
mended to  his  grace's  esteem  and  protection  the  piety  and 
abilities  of  his  subject  O'Reilly.  He  again  zealously  ap- 
plied himself  to  the  laborious  functions  of  a  parish  priest 
in  the  salvation  of  souls,  and  was  in  a  few  months  appoint- 
ed by  Dr.  Fleming  vicar-general  of  the  diocese. f  The  la- 
bor and  responsibility  of  his  new  dignity  were  increased 
the  fol' owing  year,  1642,  when  the  Archbishop  of  Dublin, 
being  appointed  a  member  of  the  supreme  council,  and  fix- 
ing his  residence  on  that  account  at  Kilkenny,  the  admin- 
istration of  the  diocese,  in  spirituals  and  temporals,  was 
confided  entirely  to  the  vicar-general  O'Reilly  from  the 
year  1642  to  1648. 

In  this  latter  year,  he  was  deprived  of  his  oflfice  of  vicar- 
general,  if  we  may  credit  Peter  Walsh,  who  boasts  of  hav- 
ing been  the  principal  instrument  thereof  himself  The 
matter  appears  to  have  happened  thus :  when  Rinuccini 
and  a  portion  of  the  clergy  had  complained  that  the  coun- 

*  Walsh's  Hist,  of  Rem.  treatise  iv.  p.  75. 

t  Walsh,  etc     Columbanus's  ^w/.  AddreiSt  p.  14. 

350  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

cil  of  Kilkenny  had  grossly  neglected  the  interests  of  reli- 
gion in  the  articles  of  cessation  of  arras  with  Inchiquin, 
and  the  nuncio  had  thereupon  fulminated  sentence  of  ex- 
communication for  perjury  against  the  council  and  their 
adherent,  the  Catholics  became  divided  into  two  opposite 
parties,  the  majority  of  the  clergy,  the  people,  the  province 
of  Ulster,  and  the  Milesian  Irish  generally,  being  on  the 
one  side  ;  the  aristocracy,  the  dependents  and  expectants 
of  the  court,  and  the  Anglo-Irish,  on  the  other.  The  fa- 
mous Owen  O'Neal  espoused  the  nuncio's  cause ;  Dr 
O'Reilly  adhered  to  it  also,  and  was  believed  to  assist 
O'Neal  by  his  counsel.  The  opposite  party  labored  to  di- 
minish the  influence  which  O'Neal's  military  bravery  and 
repeated  victories  had  procured  him  with  the  people,  feel- 
ing that  their  existence  depended  on  their  success  in  this 
point,  and  that  while  O'Neal  continued  unsuspected  he 
would  continue  irresistible.  In  these  circumstances,  a  let- 
ter was  produced  in  the  council,  purporting  to  be  written 
by  O'Neal  to  Colonel  Jones,  the  parliamentary  general, 
and  intercepted  in  its  passage  to  him..  Dr.  O'Reilly's  name 
was  neither  mentioned  in  nor  signed  to  the  letter.  But 
P.  Walsh  contended  it  was  in  his  handwriting.  The  Arch- 
bishop of  Dublin  was  then  lodging  in  the  Franciscan  con- 
vent of  Kilkenny,  "which,  as  well  as  the  Dominican,  ob- 
served the  censures."  Walsh  resided  in  the  Duke  of  Or- 
mond's  castle,  and  from  thence  he  sent  the  letter  to  the 
archbishop,  with,  of  course,  his  own  conclusions  thereon, 
and  an  appropriate  commentary.  The  consequence  was 
that  Dr.  Fleming,  either  believing,  as  Walsh  says,  "  it  to  be 
Edmund's  handwriting,"  or,  what  his  subsequent  conduct 
proves  more  probable,  deeming  it  prudent  to  yield  for  a 
moment  to  the  storm,  in  order  to  avoid  odious  imputations 
himself,  and  appease  his  vicar's  enemies,  withdrew  his  com- 
missions from  Dr.  O'Reilly,  and  appointed  Dr.  Laurence 
Archibald,  P.P.,  of  Maynooth,  vicar-general  in  his  place. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  351 

The  malignity  of  his  enemies  was  not,  however,  yet  sat- 
isfied. The  following  year  he  was  waylaid  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  Dublin,  on  his  return  to  his  own  house,  by  an 
armed  party,  "  with  one  Scurtog  at  their  head,  and  narrow- 
ly escaped  assassination."* 

In  the  beginning  of  the  year  1650,  Archbishop  Fleming 
restored  him  to  the  office  of  vicar-general,  thereby  declar- 
ing solemnly  his  utter  disbelief  of  the  imputations  which 
pensioned  calumniators  had  fastened  on  his  character. 
These  slanders  did  not  assail  his  moral,  but  his  political 
conduct ;  they  were  even  then  put  forth  only  as  the  "  whis- 
perings" of  Ormond,  or  mere  "hearsay  reports,"  without 
pretending  to  a  particle  of  evidence,  and  doubted  by  their 
very  publishers.  If  O'Reilly  had  acted  disloyally  in  the 
affairs  of  Wicklow  Castle,  the  camp  at  Baggotsrath,  etc., 
Ormond  and  his  other  enemies  wanted  neither  the  power 
nor  the  will  to  punish  him  on  the  scaffold  on  which  they 
had  murdered  many  other  clergymen  of  acknowledged  in- 
nocence. And  it  is  clear  that  if  such  serious  charges  were 
but  partially  believed,  or  even  reported,  beyond  the  pur- 
lieus of  courtly  corruption,  Dr.  O'Reilly  would  not,  in  such 
times,  have  been  subsequently  appointed  Vicar-General  of 
Dublin  or  Primate  of  Armagh. 

After  his  reestablishment  as  vicar-general  he  persevered 
in  the  undisguised  profession  of  the  principles  for  which 
he  had  been  persecuted.  While  assisting  at  the  synod  of 
Leinster,  held  in  the  woods  of  Glenmalure,  in  the  county 
Wicklow,  he  gave  a  noble  specimen  of  the  apostolic  virtue 
of  overcoming  evil  with  good.  Peter  Walsh  had  been  ex- 
communicated by  the  synod,  and  denounced  for  errors  in 
doctrine,  schisni,  and  other  crimes.  Colonel  Luke  O'Toole, 
understanding  that  he  was  lurking  in  these  very  woods, 
prepared  a  party  of  horse  and  foot,  to  pursue  a  man  whom 
he  considered  a  spy  upon  the  Catholics,  and  the  fomenter 

•  Walsh's  Hist.  p.  609. 

352  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

of  their  dissensions,  a  rebel  to  the  church,  and  a  traitor  to 
his  country.  Dr.  O'Reilly,  having  learned  his  design,  gen- 
erously forgot  past  injuries,  exerted  every  means  of  chang- 
ing his  purpose,  and  ceased  not  to  reason,  to  importune, 
and  entreat  till  he  obtained  a  promise.  "  He  it  was,"  says 
the  ungrateful  Walsh,*  "who  alone  dissuaded  Colond 
Luke  O'Toole  from  his  design,  and  thus  saved  my  life." 
The  following  year,  (1653,)  Dr.  O'Reilly  was  himself  appre- 
hended as  a  popish  priest ;  for,  having  been  summoned  as 
a  witness  to  one  of  the  courts  in  Dublin,  one  of  the  par- 
ties, feeling  that  his  cause  would  be  injured  by  his  testi- 
mony, cried  out  to  the  judge,  as  soon  as  he  ascended  the 
table,  to  seize  him,  for  that  he  was  Edmund  O'Reilly,  the 
popish  vicar-general.  Immediately  he  was  seized  and 
dragged  to  prison,  where  he  was  loaded  with  chains,  and 
suffered  with  great  fortitude  the  most  shocking  privations. 
After  several  months'  incarceration,  the  intrepid  confessor 
— "  no  other  cause  of  guilt  being  found  in  him  "  except  his 
religion — was  driven  into  banishment,  by  virtue  of  a  pro- 
clamation of  the  Cromwellian  government,  dated  the  pre- 
ceding feast  of  the  Epiphany,  which  commanded  all  priests, 
bishops,  etc.,  to  quit  the  kingdom  within  twenty  days,  un- 
der pain  of  high  treason.f  Dr.  O'Reilly  fled  to  the  Irish 
College  of  Lisle,  in  Flanders,  and  it  was  there  he  received 
notice  that  the  pope,  in  approbation  of  his  virtues  and  con- 
stancy, had  appointed  him  to  the  primatial  see  of  Armagh. 
I  have  not  met  with  the  precise  date  of  this  promotion, 
but  think  it  must  have  been  toward  the  end  of  1654,  for  he 
did  not  leave  Ireland  till  near  the  end  of  1653, J  and  Pope 
Innocent  X.,  by  whom,  Primates  McMahon  §  and  Talbot  || 
inform  us,  the  appointment  was  made,  died  on  the  7th 

•  Hist,  of  Rem.  p.  609.  t  Hih.  Daminicava,  pp.  704,  705. 

t  Walsh  says  he  was  seized  in  1653,  (the  beginning  of  which  he  counts  from  the  25th  March,) 
hurrieci  to  prison,  suffered  much,  and  was  at  length  either  banished  or  licensed  to  depart  to 

Alorison,  TItren.  p.  12  ;  Jm Prim.  Armacanum,  p.  190.  0  Prim.  Dublin^  p.  59. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  IT.  333 

Januarj',  1655.  Knowing  that  the  Irish  colleges  in  Flan- 
ders were  beset  with  English  spies,  and  feeling  how  much 
his  future  safety  would  be  endangered  by  there  being  any 
legal  proof  of  his  consecration.  Dr.  O'Reilly  departed  pri- 
vately for  Brussels,  and  was  there  consecrated,  in  the  ves- 
try of  the  Jesuit  chapel,  with  the  utmost  secrecy. 

At  this  time  the  Catholic  Church  of  Ireland  was  reduced 
to  a  most  deplorable  condition.  "Neither  the  Israelites," 
says  Morison,  "  were  more  cruelly  persecuted  by  Pharaoh 
nor  the  infants  by  Herod,  nor  the  Christians  by  Nero, 
Diocletian,  or  any  other  pagan  tyrant,  than  were  the 
Roman  Catholics  of  Ireland  at  that  juncture."  Never  did 
the  host  of  hell  put  forth  half  such  violence,  even  in  Ire- 
land ;  never  did  any  religion,  in  any  country,  survive  so 
bloody  a  persecution,  or  withstand  such  infernal  machine- 
ry, as  were  then  levelled  against  the  Irish  Church.  The 
clergy  of  every  grade  and  order  were  driven  by  the  law 
into  perpetual  banishment ;  and  if  they  dared  to  remain  in 
the  kingdom,  or  return  to  it  again,  after  the  ist  February, 
1653,  they  were  condemned  to  be  hanged  till  half-dead, 
then  cut  down  alive  and  beheaded,  their  heads  put  upon 
poles  on  the  highways,  and  their  hearts  and  entrails  pub- 
hcly  burned.  A  price  was  set  upon  their  heads,  (it  was 
the  price  of  a  wolf's,)  and  the  money  was  paid  when  the 
bloody  evidence  of  the  murder  was  delivered.  It  was  then 
high  treason  for  a  Catholic,  priest  to  breathe  within  the 
realms,  as  Lord  Mansfield  expressed  himself  when  ex- 
pounding the  boasted  English  law  a  century  afterward.* 
To  harbor  a  priest,  to  speak  to  him,  not  to  betray  him,  nay, 
to  exercise,  no  matter  how  privately,  the  Catholic  religion, 
were  each  a  capital  crime,  for  which  the  laity  were  to  be 
punished  with  death  and  total  confiscation  of  property.f 

♦  See  his  speech  on  the  trial  of  Mr.  Webb,  June,  1768,  in  the  /  ift  of  Right  Rm.  Dr. 
i.'haltoner^  p.  145. 
1  Hii.  Dom.  p.  607 :  Carte,  vol.  iL  ;  Leland.  vol.  ii. :  McGeceheean. 

354  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

By  these,  and  many  other  such  hellish  laws,  and  the  still 
more  diabolical  machinery  that  was  invented  to  enforce 
them,  the  churches  were  widowed  of  their  bishops, 
the  people  deprived  of  comfort,  instruction,  and  sacra- 
ments, and  religion  so  nearly  extirpated  from  the  island 
that  the  despairing  tongue  faltered  while  it  said,  "  If  God 
be  with  us,  who  can  prevail  against  us?"  "There  is  no 
counsel  against  the  Lord." 

In  1649,  and  for  some  years  before,  the  Irish  hierarchy 
was  in  a  much  more  flourishing  condition  than  at  any  pe- 
riod since  the  English  schism.  The  sees  were  all  filled 
up,  except  Derry  and  Kildare  ;  the  parishes  were  supplied 
with  zealous  and  learned  pastors  ;  the  convents  were  re- 
established, and  their  crowded  choirs  poured  forth  in  un- 
ceasing peals  the  canticle  of  praise  and  benediction  to  the 
Lord.  The  prelacy  consisted  of  four  archbishops  and 
twenty-three  suffragans,  namely,  eight  in  the  province  of 
Armagh,  and  as  many  more  in  Cashel,  three  in  Dublin,  and 
four  in  Connaught.*  All  of  these  resided  in  their  dioceses 
with  undisturbed  security,  and  publicly  performed  the 
rites  of  religion  ;  many  enjoyed  the  cathedrals,  and  lands 
with  which  their  Catholic  ancestors  endowed  the  sees,  for 
the  support  of  Catholic  bishops.  The  parochial  churches 
and  glebes  were  restored  to  the  Catholic  clergy ;  the  male 
and  female  religious  recovered  their  convents,  and  a  rem- 
nant of  their  ancient  inheritance  ;  and  the  peace  of  1648 
with  Ormond  and  the  king  stiplilated  that  the  Catholic 
Church  should  permanently  enjoy  at  least  what  it  then 
possessed.!  Such  was  th-e  state  of  the  church  in  1649. 
The  Catholic  religion  was  not  only  what  it  always  con- 
tinued, the  religion  of  the  nation,  but  also  what  it,  on  that 
account,  ought  ever  to  have  been,  the  national,  the  estab- 

•  MS.  Memoii  of  the  State  of  the  Irish  Church,  written  in  i66j,/r>ui  me,  Dr.  French,  in 
HiB.  Dom.  p.  499, 
t  Philopat<r.  lib.  i.  p.  i6s  ;  H ib.  Dom.  p.  68tiw 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  IT.  355 

lished  religion.  But  how  reversed  was  the  scene  in  1654, 
when  Dr.  O'Reilly  was  consecrated  !  Three  of  the  bish- 
ops, and  more  than  three  hundred  of  the  clergy,  had  al- 
ready been  put  to  death  for  the  faith.  All  the  surviving 
bishops  but  one,  and  upward  of  one  thousand  priests, 
were  banished  for  ever  from  their  country ;  some  were  al- 
lowed to  seek  exile  in  the  kingdoms  of  Europe,  but  many 
hundreds  were  stowed  in  crazy  shipS)  treated  with  igno- 
minious cruelty,  and  transported  to  Barbadoes  and  other 
isles  of  the  West  Indies.*  The  friars  were  expelled  from 
their  convents  and  obliged  to  fly  ;  of  six  hundred  Domini- 
cans scarcely  one  remained  ;t  the  more  numerous  Fran- 
ciscans, the  Augustinians,  etc.,  were  also  gone  ;  nay,  even 
•the  nuns  were  turned  out  into  the  woods  or  banished  to 
some  distant  land.  But  one  bishop  remained,^  and  he 
was  old,  decrepit,  and  bedridden,  and  to  his  inability  alone 
to  discharge  any  episcopal  functions  he  owed  the  privilege 
of  dying  in  the  land  of  his  fathers.  There  remained  also 
a  portion  of  the  parochial  clergy,  who,  whenever  their 
functions  were  to  be  exercised,  nobly  braved  the  axe  and 
gibbet,  and  who,  when  the  sinner  was  reconciled  to  God, 
or  the  departing  soul  prepared  for  heaven,  sought  a  hiding- 
place  in  the  forest,  and  sheltered  themselves  in  caverns 
and  morasses  from  the  blood-scent  of  spies  and  priest- 
catchers.  They  did  not,  however,  always  escape.  Even 
after  the  restoration  of  Charles  II.,  when  persecution 
relaxed  its  fury,  not  less  than  one  hundred  and  twenty  of 
these  heroic  confessors  were  sometimes  crowded  into  the 
same  loathsome  jail,  to  pine  away  and  starve  together.§ 
In  this  state  did  things  continue  till  1661,  and  with  very 
little  variation  till  1669.  The  old  Bishop  of  Kilmore  still 
continued  to  struggle  in  the  arms  of  death  ;  the  Archbish- 

•  MS.  Memoir  of  the  Irish  Church,  ffih.  Dom.  t  Hib.  Dom.  pp.  5^5.  "*.  «<«■ 

I  MS.  Mem. ;  Walsh's  Hist,  of  Rem.,  fassim. 

5  Fasti  Dul'i-'cnses,  in  Whitelaw  and  Walsh's  f!ist.  Dub.  vol.  i. 

3S6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

op  of  Tuam  returned  in  1662,  to  die  along  with  him,  be- 
ing then  eighty  years  of  age,  and  disabled  by  repeated  at- 
tacks of  paralysis.  The  provinces  of  Leinster  and  Munster 
were  totally  bereft  of  their  bishops  for  sixteen  years,  and, 
Munster  like  Connaught,  had  each,  for  the  latter  half  of 
the  time,  but  one  prelate  surviving,  even  in  banishment. 
From  1652  to  the  year  1655  neither  the  sacrament  of  con- 
firmation  nor  of  holy  orders  was  conferred  in  Ireland,  yet 
there  were  in  the  latter  year  about  11 00  secular  priests  on 
the  Irish  mission  ;*  but,  the  Bishop  of  Ardagh  having  re- 
turned in  1665,  the  number  of  priests  was  doubled  in  the 
course  of  six  or  seven  years,  although  until  the  year  1669, 
the  period  of  Dr.  O'Reilly's  death,  the  Irish  prelacy  could 
only  count  three  bishops  in  Ireland,  and  three  in  involun- 
tary exile. 

Violent  as  was  the  fury  of  the  Cromwellian  persecution, 
its  terrors  did  not  frighten  the  new  primate  from  visiting 
his  desolated  flock.  But  the  difficulty  was,  how  to  make 
good  his  journey  to  Ireland  without  being  discovered. 
A  favorable  opportunity  was  for  some  time  waited  for  ; 
but  none  occurring,  he  set  out  from  Brussels  for  Lisle, 
and,  making  there  no  long  delay,  came  from  Lisle  to 
Calais.  Here  he  was  introduced  by  the  exiled  Bishop  of 
Dromore  to  Cardinal  Mazarin,  the  French  minister,  who 
gave  him  some  pecuniaryaid,  and  procured  him  a  safe  voyage 
to  London,  where  he  arrived  in  1658.  But  although  the 
cardinal  strongly  recommended  him  to  several  noblemen 
of  the  highest  influence,  and  entreated  for  him  the  pro- 
tection of  the  English  ministers,  yet  he  was  obliged  to 
conceal  himself  in  cells  and  garrets  ;  -and  it  was  in  one  of 
these  retreats  that  he  said  Mass  and  administered  con- 
firmation and  the  other  sacraments  to  a  multitude  of  Irish- 
men then  in  London,  having  previously  obtained  the 
necessary  permission  of  the  English  archpriest.  Dr.  Knight- 

•  Walsh'2  Hiit.  Stm.  pp.  574,  S7S.  etc. ;  also  the  MS.  Memoir  cited  before. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  357 

ley.*  After  about  six  weeks'  stay  in  London,  he  met  the 
schisniatical  friar  P.  Walsh.  The  primate,  supposing  that 
he  had  no  longer  any  motive  for  persevering  in  his 
obstinacy,  exerted  all  his  zeal  to  effect  his  conversion,  and 
promised  to  absolve  him  from  the  excommunications  he  had 
incurred  as  soon  as  he  should  repent.  His  exhortations 
on  this  subject  were  frequently  repeated,  and  always  with 
great  unction,  condescension,  and  mildness.  The  result 
was,  that,  besides  whatever  occurred  in  the  sacred  tribunal, 
the  primate  publicly  restored  him  to  the  communion  of 
the  church,  Walsh  "  kneeling  before  the  altar  in  his  own 
house''  while  the  primate  pronounced  the  solemn  words 
of  absolution  over  him.  Such  is  the  account  given  of  this 
transaction  by  Walsh  himself.f  But  after  the  return  of 
his  master  Ormond  to  power,  on  the  exile  of  Dr.  O'Reilly, 
he  relapsed  again,  and  even  boasted  that  he  had  never 
repented,  and  that  the  absolution,  given  as  above,  was  in 
spite  of  him.  This  clumsy  and  slanderous  fabrication 
was,  however,  believed  by  no  person,  and  was  indignantly 
denied  by  the  primate  himself  Walsh's  general  reputation 
for  intrigue  and  fabrication  left  but  little  credibility  to  his 
story.  The  interest  that  he  had  in  convincing  Ormond 
and  his  party  that  he  had  not  in  their  absence  changed 
his  principles,  on  the  other  hand  Dr.  O'Reilly's  character 
for  veracity  and  straightforwardness,  the  extreme  impro- 
bability that  he  would,  without  any  possible  inducement, 
so  grossly  profane  his  spiritual  powers  or  select  Walsh's 
own  house  for  forcibly  absolving  him,  while  Walsh  remain- 
ed patiently  and  piously  "on  his  knees  before  the  altar" — 
in  a  word,  every  circumstance  of  intrinsic  or  extrinsic 
evidence  convicted  the  fabricated  tale  of  absurdity  and 

At  all  events,  Dr.  O'Reilly  soon  felt  to  his  cost  that  Walsh 
had  not   more  influence  formerly  with   the  ministers  of 

•  Walsh,  etc.  pi'  609,  610.  t  Ibid. 

358  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  king  in  Ireland  than  he  had  now  with  his  murderers 
in  England,  and  that  the  only  return  he  had  to  receive  for 
his  trouble  was  the  exertion  of  that  influence  in  depriving 
him  of  his  friends  and  procuring  his  banishment.  He  had 
been  accompanied  to  London  by  two  priests,  whom  Walsh 
calls  Father  T.  T.  and  Father  N.  B.,  initials  which  I  am 
unable  at  present  to  decipher.  These  worthy  men  "  were 
told,"  and,  not  knowing  their  informant's  character,  were 
made  to  believe,  that  the  Primate  had  slighted  both,  and 
deceived  one  of  them  in  a  matter  of  grave  importance. 
The  consequence  was  a  silent  dissatisfaction  and  an  almost 
total  separation.  Soon  after,  however,  the  bishop  having 
learned,  by  some  accident,  the  cause  of  discontent,  and  an 
explanation  having  been  obtained,  he  at  once  fully  con- 
vinced them  that  the  supposed  recommendations  to  the 
Holy  See  had  never  been  made,  and  that  the  story  was, 
as  Walsh  confesses  and  the  event  proved,  totally  with- 
out foundation.  Finding  that  they  had  been  malicious- 
ly imposed  upon,  the  primate  and  his  companions  became 
grievously  dissatisfied,  and  "  quarrelled  with  Walsh" — no 
obscure  indication  that  he  was  the  incendiary  between 
them.  But  he  soon  took  ample  revenge.  While  the  pri- 
mate and  his  friends  were  preparing  to  continue  their  journey 
to  Ireland,  and  their  minds  filled  with  dreams  of  success, 
Walsh  was  whispering  in  the  court  of  Cromwell,  and  at 
length  obtained  an  order  from  the  minister  of  state  for  their 
banishment.  "  They  were  all  three,"  he  says,  "  ordered  on 
a  sudden,  when  they  least  expected  it,  to  quit  the  country 
for  France  instanter."  Who  could  expect  that  he  who 
confesses  himself  the  sole  author*  of  this  persecution  by 
his  Macchiavellian  intrigue  with  the  minister,  should  in  the 
same  page  charge  O'Reilly  with  being  the  friend  of  Crom- 
well and  the  enemy  of  Cromwell's  rival.-'  While  the 
tyrant  reigned,  Walsh  represented  O'Reilly  as  the  friend, 

•  Walsh's  Hist,  (ifRemons.  p.  6ia 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  359 

the  spy,  or  emissary  of  the  king  ;  when  the  king  was 
restored  to  power,  he,  to  cover  his  own  treason  and  gratify 
personal  enmity,  represented  him  as  the  ardent,  inveterate 
advocate  of  the  deceased  tyrant. 

Dr.  O'Reilly  was  obliged  to  fly  to  France,  but  soon  after- 
ward his  increasing  zeal  made  out  an  opportunity  of 
effecting  his  long  wished  for  visit  to  Ireland.  He  sailed 
directly  from  France,  and,  notwithstanding  the  penal  laws 
and  his  personal  proscription,  arrived  safely  in  his  province 
of  Armagh  in  the  year  1659.  Here  he  labored  with  great 
zeal  and  effect  for  a  year  and  a  half,  and,  travelling  in 
disguise  under  a  fictitious  name  and  character,  he  visited 
every  part  of  the  province,  and  almost  of  the  kingdom, 
instructing,  reforming,  and  consoling  his  afflicted  flock, 
and  administering  the  sacraments  which  required  episcopal 
power.  About  the  beginning  of  1660  "  some  person," 
says  Walsh,*  (who,  most  probably,  was  himself  that 
person,)  wrote  secretly  to  the  English  court  of  Charles  H., 
then  in  the  Low  Countries,  representing  Dr.  O'Reilly  as 
advocating  the  interests  of  Crornvvell,  and  animating  the 
Protestants  of  Ireland  to  oppose  the  restoration  of  Charles 
II.,  promising  them  the  full  cooperation  of  the  Irish 
Catholics  to  that  effect.  Impudently  false  as  this  absurd 
fabrication  would  have  appeared  if  known  in  Ireland,  it 
was  believed  in  Holland  by  a  prince  accustomed  to  be 
duped  ;  and  on  this  occasion,  having  no  means  of  detecting 
the  imposture,  Don  Stephano  de  Gamarro,  the  Spanish 
ambassador  to  the  Dutch  court,  was  solicited  to  complain 
to  the  pope  on  the  subject,  and  to  request  his  holiness,  in 
the  king's  name,  to  order  the  primate  to  withdraw  from 
Ireland.  The  appHcation  was  made  immediately  before 
the  king  left  Holland  for  England  ;  the  requested  order 
was  received  in  England  the  following  autumn.f 

*  Walsh's  Hist.  Remans,  p.  r>io. 

t  Walsh's /^ii/.  Remans,  p.  6ii ;  Dr.  Plunket's  J'xi  PrimaliaU,  p.  31 ;  MS,  ut  tutra. 

360  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

In  the  meantime,  Dr.  O'Reilly,  who  knew  nothing  of  the 
storm  excited,  and  now  ready  to  burst  upon  him,  was 
laboring  in  the  ministry,  exulting  with  joy,  as  were  all  his 
people,  at  the  restoration  of  the  king,  for  whose  cause 
they  had  suffered,  and  expecting  every  day  that  the  ex- 
cessive loyalty  which  made  them  fight  for  Charles,  even 
for  four  years  after  every  other  part  of  the  empire  had 
submitted  to  Cromwell,  as  it  had  provoked  the  usurper's 
greater  severity,  so  would  now  be  rewarded  with  propor- 
tionate favor.  An  address  of  loyalty  and  congratulation 
was  prepared,  and,  Walsh  being  selected,  as  a  clever, 
insinuating  politician,  and  a  man  who  had  friends  at 
court,  to  present  the  address  and  manage  other  matters  for 
the  Catholic  body,  the  unsuspecting  primate  signed  the 
document  appointing  him  the  Catholic  proxy  or  proctor. 
The  imperative  command  of  Pope  Alexander  VII.  to  the 
primate  had  been,  some  time  before  this,  sent  over  to 
Walsh  from  the  English  court,  a  fact  which,  connected 
with  several  other  circumstances,  leaves  no  doubt  that  it 
was  he  who  originally  suggested  it.  No  sooner,  there- 
fore, did  he  receive  Dr.  O'Reilly's  signature  to  the  deed 
of  procuration  than  he  sent  back  to  him,  with  characteristic 
gratitude,  the  decree  for  his  expatriation.  In  vain  did  the 
archbishop  solemnly  deny  the  charge,  in  vain  did  he 
appeal  to  the  testimon,y  of  all  who  knew  him,  and  to  pnblic 
notoriety.  He  was  compelled  a  third  time  to  quil  his 
country.  After  arriving  in  France  he  again  wrote  from 
Rouen  to  Walsh,  beseeching  him  to  efface  the. slanderous 
imj)ression  made  on  the  minds  of  the  ministers,  and 
multiplying  the  protestations  of  his  innocence,  which 
were  as  unnecessary  as  they  were  fruitless.*  He  then 
went  to  Rome,  and  remained  there  till  1665,  when  he 
returned  back  to  France,  again  wrote  to  Walsh,  and  on 

•  "  Wait  there  for  three  years,"  was  the  answer  his  grace  received  from  the  impudent, 
loxurious  friar. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  361 

August  31st  to  the  Lord-Lieutenant  Ormond,  soliciting 
permission  to  return  to  his  diocese.  Walsh  was  at  this 
time  moving  heaven  and  earth  to  induce  the  clergy  to 
adopt  his  famous  "  Remonstrance."  Ormond  also  pressed 
its  subscription,  not,  it  was  believed,  because  he  attached 
any  importance  to  it,  but  because  he  considered  it  a 
suitable  wedge  for  splitting  the  compact  Catholic  body 
into  parties  and  fragments.*  Since,  however,  it  had  been 
condemned  by  some  foreign  universities,  and  was  generally 
rejected  as  heretical,  or  at  least  schismatical,  by  the  Irish 
clergy — since  also  it  had  been  subscribed  from  1661  only 
by  one  bishop,  now  no  more,  and  sixty-nine  priests,  fifty- 
lour  of  whom  were  friars — it  was  deemed  a  matter  of  the 
utmost  importance  to  the  views  both  of  Ormond  and  his 
pensioner  to  enlist  the  support  and  influence  of  the 
primate  in  its  favor.  A  national  synod  of  the  clergy  was 
summoned  to  meet  in  Dublin,  June  nth,  1666,  and  letters 
were  despatched  to  Dr.  O'Reilly,  about  the  March  or  April 
preceding,  inviting  him  to  attend.  England  was  at  this 
time  at  war  with  France  and  Holland  ;  but  the  perils  of 
the  journey  could  not  shake  the  fortitude  of  the  archbishop. 
The  safest  route  appeared  to  be  through  Flanders.  But 
the  Internuncio  Rospigliosi,  learning  his  determination, 
and  knowing  the  temptations  that  would  beset  him  in 
Dublin,  wrote  to  dissuade  him  from  continuing  his  journey, 
lest  he  should  countenance  the  "  Valesian  formulary," 
So  important  indeed  did  the  nuncio  deem  this  point  that 
he  wrote  also  to  Martin,  Bishop  of  Ypres,  enclosing  a 
copy  of  the  letter,  and  requesting  him  to  make  out 
O'Reilly  and  deliver  the  enclosure  to  him.  The  primate 
received  these  letters,  but  yet  delayed  not  a  moment.  He 
passed   from    Flanders   to  London,  and   thence   through 

•  Ormond  himself  explains  his  motive  and  object  in  a  letter  to  his  son,  Lord  Arran,  dated 
December  a9th,  i6So.  "My  aim,"  says  he,  "was  to  work  a  division  among  the  Romish 
clergy,  and  1  believe  I  had  compassed  it,  to  the  great  security  of  the  Eovernment  and  tho 
Protestants  "Stt  Curtt,  vol.  iii.  ;  Plowden,  vol   i.  p.  54. 

362  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Chester  to  Dublin,  where  he  arrived  on  the  12th  June, 
1666,  being  the  second  day  of  the  national  congregation. 
The  English  lord-chancellor  had  already  learned  his 
arrival  in  England,  and  immediately  despatched  an  express 
to  Ormond,  informing  him  that  O'Reilly  was  travelling 
incognito  to  Ireland,  and  directing  his  excellency  to  secure 
his  apprehension.  It  is  worthy  of  remark,  as  illustrative 
of  the  vigilant  espionage  then  practised  over  the  Catholic 
clergy,  that  this  despatch  was  brought  to  Ireland  by  the 
very  same  packet  in  which  O'Reilly  travelled.*  The 
situation  in  which  the  primate  now  stood  was  of  a 
peculiarly  trying' character.  On  perusing  the  declaration 
of  principles  and  allegiance  called  the  "  Remonstrance," 
proposed  for  their  own  purposes  by  Ormond,  through  his 
creature  Walsh,  he  found  it  so  captious  and  ambiguous  in 
expression,  and  in  sentiment  so  temerarious  and  so  nearly 
resembling  heresy,  that  he  could  not  conscientiously  support 
it.  It  pledged  its  subscribers  to  swear  to  speculative 
opinions  which  were  uncertain  if  not  false,  and  if  not 
erroneous,  at  least  not  commonly  adopted  ;  it  encroached 
on  the  prerogatives  of  the  Universal  Church  in  defining 
articles  of  faith  ;  and  its  object,  he  thought,  was  dissension, 
and  its  tendency  schism.  On  the  other  hand,  he  knew 
very  well  his  temporal  happiness,  his  liberty,  nay,  perhaps 
his  life,  depended  on  its  adoption. 

But  Dr.  O'Reilly  was  not  "  a  reed  shaken  by  the  wind," 
he  was  not  a  "  man  clothed  in  soft  garments,"  nor  versed 
in  that  finesse  and  pliancy  which  prevail  in  the  "  palaces 
of  kings  ;"  he  knew  not  how  to  temporize,  but  he  knew  how 
to  contend  and  "suffer  for  justice'  sake."  At  once,  there- 
fore, he  boldly  opposed  in  the  congregation  the  "  Valesian 
Remonstrance,"  but  at  the  same  time  supported  warmly 
another  declaration  which  fully  expressed  the  strongest 
allegiance,  emphatically  renounced  the  objectionable  doc- 

♦  Walsh's  Hist.  elc.  p.  613. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  363 

trines  imputed  to  Catholics,  but  abstained  from  pronounc- 
ing on  dubious  and  disputed  opinions  which  had  no  con- 
nection with  their  political  relation  to  the  king,  or  their 
civil  relation  to  their  Protestant  fellow-subjects,  such  as 
the  superiority  of  councils  over  the  pope,  etc. 

His  support  of  the  latter,  however,  gave  as  much  offence 
to  the  court  as  his  rejection  of  the  former  formulary. 
Walsh  fled  to  the  castle  and  complained  to  Ormond  that 
very  night,  as  he  tells  us  himself  O'Reilly  was  summoned 
to  the  castle  before  the  lord-lieutenant.  Here  all  the 
artifices  of  that  crafty  and  intriguing  statesman  were  ex- 
hausted in  endeavoring  to  seduce  O'Reilly,  or  at  least  si- 
lence his  opposition.  In  an  address  of  considerable  inge- 
nuity he  at  first  sharply  rebuked  the  primate,  then  threw 
before  his  imagination  vague  insinuations  about  secret  ac- 
cusations, grievous  offences  against  the  state  privately  in- 
formed of,  and  terrific  innuendoes  about  their  punishment ; 
bid  him,  however,  to  speculate  upon  the  favor,  and  to  merit 
by  loyal  compliance  the  gracious  bounty,  of  the  crown,  but 
again  reminded  him  of  the  power  of  the  government,  and 
the  rigorous  severity  of  the  laws,  in  case  he  should  persist 
in  undutiful  opposition.  But  the  primate's  conscience  re- 
proached him  with  no  offence  that  merited  punishment ; 
and  as  to  the  sham  plots  and  unjust  persecution  then  so 
prevalent,  he  dreaded  them  as  little  a^  he  courted  the  cor- 
rupting bounty  of  the  crown.  He  therefore  returned  the 
day  after  to  the  national  congregation,  and  firmly  resisted 
every  attempt  to  corrupt  the  faith  or  discipline  of  the  Irish 

The  national  congregatioh,  after  having  unanimously  re- 
jected the  Valesian  Remonstrance,  was  dissolved  on  Mon- 
day, the  25th  of  June,  1666;  and  on  that  very  day  the 
Duke  of  Ormond  gave  an  order  from  the  castle  for  arrest- 
ing all  the  bishops  that  had  attended  its  sessions.  The 
prelates  had  all  been  invited  and  pressed  to  this  assembly 

364  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

by  Oimond  himself;  they  had  refused  to  come  to  Dublin, 
on  account  of  the  penal  laws  and  the  consequent  danger  to 
their  liberty  and  lives,  and  they  persisted  in  this  determi- 
nation until  Ormond,  as  lord-lieutenant,  gave  them  a 
passport,  and  pledged  himself  in  writing  that  they  should 
enjoy  perfect  security  and  liberty  in  coming  to  Dublin,  in 
their  deliberations  there,  and  in  returning  therefrom.  The 
Bishop  of  Kilfenora,  placing  no  great  reliance  on  the  vera- 
city or  justice  of  Ormond,  privately  fled  from  the  city  the 
very  moment  the  synod  was  dissolved,  and  thus  escaped 
the  execution  of  the  order.  The  other  prelates,  who  had 
formed  a  higher  estimate  of  his  honor  or  had  less  know- 
ledge of  his  character,  remained  in  town,  and  were  laid 
under  arrest  that  very  evening.* 

It  was,  however,  deemed  advisable  to  find  sdme  pretext 
for  this  nefarious  violation  of  public  faith.  Ormond  at  first 
pretended  that  it  was  done  only  with  the  view  of  detaining 
them  in  town  till  he  should  be  at  leisure  to  rebuke  them 
for  their  undutiful  proceedings  ;  yet  the  primate  remained 
three  monthsf  a  prisoner,  and  Ormond  never  once  spoke 
to  him.  This  pretext  being  published,  every  effort  was 
made  to  find  some  ground  of  accusation  against  O'Reilly. 
Being  allowed  to  live  at  his  own  lodgings,  and  walk  within 
the  confines  of  the  city,  several  attempts  were  made  by,  it 
would  appear,  hireliijg  spies  to  cajole  him  outside  the  limits 
into  the  adjacent  fields  ;  but  the  primate,  knowing  that  his 
doing  so  would  be  construed  into  a  breach  of  imprison- 
ment, always  avoided  the  snare.  This  scheme  having 
failed,  a  plot  that  would  disgrace  Macchiavelli  was  hatched, 
with  the  view  of  forcing  him  to  fly,  from  the  terror  of  an 
ignominious  death,  into  voluntary  banishment. 

The  story  throws  too  much  light  on  the  character  ol 

•  Walsh's  Hist.  etc.  p.  744. 

t  From  2sth  Jure  to  27lh  September.  Walsh  says  it  was  but  a  few  weeks,  and  insinuatM 
inat  it  W.1S  not  more  than  f<ur  or  five  ;  but  the  date  of  his  arrest  is  attested  by  Walsh  himseH 
and  the  date  of  his  banishment  by  Ware,  Whitelaw,  and  Walsh's  Fiuti  Dub.,  Carte,  etc. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  365 

Ormond  and  his  creatures  to  be  omitted,  besides  that 
it  amply  refutes  the  calumnious  imputations  charged  on 
O'Reilly's  character  after  his  death.  Peter  Walsh,  the 
chief  of  these  calumniators,  relying  on  the  credulity  of 
his  readers,  gravely  relates  the  transaction  substantially  as 
follows : 

When  Dr.  O'Reilly  had  been  about  a  fortnight  under 
arrest,  and,  confident  of  his  own  innocence,  did  not  avail 
himself  of  the  opportunities  offered  him  of  effecting  his 
escape,  the  Duke  of  Ormond  called  Walsh  aside  one  day, 
and  told  him  that  he  had  a  charge  against  O'Reilly,  of 
which  Walsh  had  as  yet  heard  nothing.  His  grace  then 
directed  the  secretary.  Sir  George  Lane,  to  read  for  Walsh 
a  part  of  a  certain  letter.  Accordingly,  Sir  George  pulled 
out  the  letter,  and  "  read  for  me  how  Lord  Sandwich,  the 
British  ambassador  in  Spain,  informed  thence  that,  as  he 
]iassed  through  Gallicia  to  Madrid,  Nicholas  French,  of 
Ferns,  told  him  that  Edmund  O'Reilly  had  started  privately 
from  France  for  Ireland,  with  the  design  and  set  purpose 
of  raising  a  rebellion  in  Ireland.  The  words  I  remember 
not,  neither  do  I  know,  nor  did  I  inquire,  from  whom  the 
said  letter  was,  or  whether  it  was  Sandwich's  own  letter  or 
the  secretary's  at  London,  or  any  other's."  Strange  as 
Walsh's  ignorance  and  incurious  indifference  may  appear, 
considering  the  importance  of  the  charge  and  the  part  he 
was  to  act,  stranger  still  is  the  conduct  pursued  toward  the 
detected  traitor  and  rebel.  Ormond  commanded  Walsh  to 
inform  O'Reilly  that  his  rebellious  conspiracy  was  dis- 
covered, and  the  channel  through  which  the  information 
came,  and  that,  in  consequence,  he  must  be  immediately 
put  under  a  guard  of  soldiers.  Still  the  primate  was  allow- 
ed to  go  where  he  wished,  but  yet  he  did  not  fly ;  and  it 
was  not  till  the  second  or  third  day  after  he  had  received 
this  secret  intelligence  from  his  pretended  friend  at  the 
castle  that  the  soldiers  appeared.     Their  vigilance,  how- 

366  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

ever,  was  not  very  excessive.  He  was  permitted  to  go 
from  room  to  room,  and  to  the  garden  ;  his  friends  were 
allowed  to  visit  him  at  all  times,  and  in  any  numbers  ;  and 
crowds  frequented  his  chambers  to  hear  Mass  daily  and 
receive  the  sacraments  ;  every  facility  was  afforded,  yet  he 
made  no  attempt  to  escape.  The  public  guard  of  soldiers 
was  continued  for  several  weeks,  till  it  was  supposed  that 
the  city  must  be  sufficiently  convinced  that  O'Reilly  must 
be  charged  with  some  grievous  offence.  In  the  meantime 
Ormond  went  off  to  Kilkenny,  leaving  his  orders  to  the 
privy  council ;  his  absence  might  tend  to  relieve  him  from 
the  odium  of  the  iniquitous  persecution  which  would  appear 
to  emanate  only  from  the  council,  and  at  all  events  would 
secure  him  from  any  inconvenient  inquiry  about  the  accu- 
sation, or  the  authority  on  which  it  rested.  At  length  the 
privy  council  ordered  the  prisoner  O'Reilly  to  be  brought 
before  them.  Who  would  not  suppose  that  this  unfortu- 
nate man,  to  whom  so  many  crimes  and  treasons  had  been 
imputed  by  the  pensioners  of  government,  would  now  be 
satisfactorily  convicted  and  punished  for  some  of  them  .' 
But  no,  the  council  instituted  no  trial ;  nay,  says  Walsh, 
they  charged  him  with  no  offence  whatever ;  but,  in  the 
true  spirit  of  persecution  and  despotic  tyranny,  they  told 
him  simply  they  had  orders  to  banish  him  from  Ireland, 
and  he  might  select  the  place  of  his  exile.  On  the  27th 
September,  1666,*  he  was  sent  off  to  London  under  the 
custody  of  the  City-Major  Stanley,  and  thence  was  sent, 
without  trial  or  accusation,  to  Dover,  where  he  took  ship- 
ping for  Calais. 

Thus  banished  for  ever  from  his  diocese  and  his  country, 
he  studied  how  he  might  best  provide  for  the  interests  of 
religion  and  the  spiritual  instruction  of  his  people.  His 
first  care  was  to  revisit  the  Irish  colleges  in  Belgium.    He 

•  FaHi  Duhlimmes,  in  Whitelaw's  Hist,  of  nMin  ;  Ware's  Gcsta  Hibernorum,  etc.,  «/ 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  367 

passed,  therefore,  from  Calais  to  Louvain,*  and  thence  to 
the  other  seminaries,  and  in  the  beginning  of  1667  reached 
Brussels,  where  he  ordained  several  priests  for  the  Irish 

He  then  directed  his  attention  to  the  Irish  colleges  in 
France.  He  came  to  Paris  in  the  summer  of  1667,!  and, 
making  that  city  his  principal  place  of  residence,  he 
occasionally  journeyed,  at  a  very  advanced  age,  to  the 
different  Irish  seminaries  throughout  the  country.  In 
these  he  exhorted  and  instructed  the  young  candidates 
for  the  ministry,  and  held  several  ordinations,  the  last  of 
which  I  find  any  mention  took  place  at  Paris,  in  January, 
1669.  It  was  probably  the  excessive  fatigue  of  one  of 
these  visits  of  pastoral  zeal  that  abridged  the  term  of 
his  pilgrimage  here,  and  hastened  the  reward  of  his 
manifold  virtues.  The .  expatriated  confessor  was  seized 
with  his  last  sickness  at  Saumur,  in  France,  on  the  Loire, 
and  there,  with  great  sentiments  of  piety,  he  resigned  his 
heroic  soul  into  the  hands  of  his  Creator,  about  the  spring 
of  the  year  i669.§ 

A-nno   1671. 


This  pious  bishop,  who  succeeded  that  confessor  of  the 
faith  Dr.  Burke  in  1669,  experienced  in  the  year  1671  how 

•  Walsh's  //ist.  of  Rem.  part  ii.  p.  744,  etc.  Walsh  knew  nothing  of  his  grace's  history 
after  his  arrival  in  Louvain. 

t  See  the  Registry  of  ike  Priests  0/ Ireland,  taken  by  government  in  1704,  passim. 

X  "  Perpetuo  damnatus  exilio,  in  Belgium  venit,  inde  Lutetiam  ante  aliquot  menses,"  says 
tl'.e  MS.  memoir  to  which  I  have  so  often  referred,  and  which  was  copied  by  the  present  Lord 
Arundel  from  the  original  MS.  paper,  written  in  1667,  and  preserved  in  the  convent  of  St.  Isi- 
dore at  Rome, 

§  So  I  learn  from  a  MS.  note  in  Plunket's  y»»  Prim.  p.  31,  and  from  date  of  Plunket's 
cimsecration.    (He  wrote  in  1669  from  Paris  to  P.  Walsh.    See  R.  612.) 

With  Dr.  O'Reilly  vras  confined  the  venerable  Dr.  Patrick  Plunket,  Bishop  of  Meath.  He 
was  the  second  son  of  Christopher,  ninth  Lord  Killeen.  joined  the  Cistercians,  became 
abbot  of  St.  Mary's,  Dublin,  and,  on  the  recommendation  of  the  nuncio,  was  promoted,  in  1647. 

368  Martyrs  and  Cofifessors 

little  the  sufferings  of  the  Catholics  had  been  diminished 
by  the  restoration  of  Charles  II.  A  certain  wicked  apos- 
tate Augustinian  monk,  named  Martin  French,  who  had 
been  reprimanded  by  the  archbishop,  denounced  him  to 
the  authorities,  and  had  him  accused,  under  the  statute  of 
praemunire,  of  exercising  foreign  jurisdiction  in  the  British 
dominions.  In  consequence  of  these  accusations,  the  arch 
bishop  was  detained  for  many  months  in  prison,  and  for 
some  time  was  in  great  danger  of  being  led  to  the  scaffold. 
Archbishop  Plunket,  on  the  24th  April,  1 671,  thus  refers 
to  his  sufferings  : 

"  The  good  Archbishop  of  Tuam  was  imprisoned  anew, 
during  the  past  Lent,  on  the  accusation  of  Martin  French, 
and  was  found  guilty  of  prsemunire — that  is,  of  exercising 
foreign  jurisdiction  ;  but  now,  having  given  security,  he  is 
allowed  to  be  at  liberty  till  the  next  sessions  of  August ; 
but  Nicholas  Plunket,  who  is  the  best  lawyer  in  the  king- 
dom, and  the  only  defender  that  the  poor  ecclesiastics  have 
in  such  circumstances,  writes  that  he  should  appeal  from 
the  courts  of  Gal  way  to  the  supreme  jurisdiction  of  Dublin, 
in  which  there  is  greater  equity." 

On  the  trial  being  sent  to  Dublin,  French  did  not  ap- 
pear to  prosecute,  and  soon  afterward,  touched  with  re- 
pentance, he  petitioned  the  primate  to  pardon  him  his 
guilt  and  readmit  him  to  the  bosom  of  the  holy  church. 
The  good  prelate,  moved  by  his  prayers,  and  still  more  by 
the  tears  which  testified  his  horror  for  the  course  of  crime 
he  had  pursued,  absolved  him,  in  the  name  of  the  Holy 
See,  from  the  censures  he  had  incurred,  and  wrote  most 

to  the  see  of  Ardagh.  During  the  bloody  days  of  Cromwell  he  fled  to  the  Continent,  aiid 
about  1665  was  permitted  to  return  to  his  flock.  In  1666,  he  was  imprisoned  in  Dublin  alons 
with  Dr.O'Reilly,  and  kept  in  dose  confinement  for  several  months.  Apparently  he  escaped 
from  prison  ;  for,  in  November,  1667,  Dr.  French,  Bishop  of  Ferns,  in  his  EUnchus,  presented 
to  Pope  Clement  IX.,  says  that  Dr.  Plunket  then  lay  hid  in  the  woods,  on  the  mountains,  and 
in  the  cabins  of  the  poor.  He  died  on  the  18th  November,  1679,  in  the  seventy-sixth  year  of 
his  age,  and  was  buried  in  the  chancel  oCYJi\\cm.—Cagan's  Diocest  0/ Meatli,  p.  358. 








..,.,at-awi   ,^ftrf.^.,M 

In  the  Reign  of  Cluirles  II.  369 

pressing  letters  to  the  Archbishop  of  Tuam,  praying  him 
to  receive  back  the  prodigal  son  and  reinstate  him  in  the 
household  of  God. 

It  was  thus  Dr.  Lynch  himself  wrote  on  the  17th  Sep- 
tember, 167 1,  to  the  internuncio  at  Brussels.  After 
stating  that  French  had  repented  of  his  crimes,  he  adds : 

"  He  had  recourse  to  the  most  illustrious  lord-primate, 
who  freed  him  from  censures,  and  more  than  once  notified 
the  same  to  us  by  letters,  praying  also  and  beseeching  us 
that  we  would  admit  to  our  communion  this  man,  no 
longer  subject  to  censures  or  irregularities,  and  that  we 
would  cast  every  fault,  if  there  were  any,  upon  his  own 
i  shoulders,  and  to  this  testimony  we  have  given  every 
credence." — Moran's  Life  of  Archbishop  Plunket,  p.  89. 

jlnno  1074, 



Few,  even  among  the  Irish  prelates,  suffered  more  at  the 
hands  of  the  persecutors  than  Dr.  De  Burgo  ;  of  him  might 
be  said  that  he  was  a  "  minister  of  Christ  in  labors  more 
abundant,  in  stripes  above  measure,  in  prisons  more  fre- 
quent, in  deaths  often ;  in  perils  of  waters,  in  perils  of 
robbers,  in  perils  by  mine  own  countrymen,  in  perils  by 
the  heathen,  in  perils  in  the  city,  in  perils  in  the  wilder- 
ness, in  perils  in  the  sea." 

In  his  youth  he  had  served  for  some  years  as  an  officer 
in  the  Austrian  army  of  Northern  Italy ;  but,  renouncing 
the  world,  he  dedicated  himself  to  the  service  of  the  altar, 
and  was  appointed  Abbot  of  Clare,  in  the  west  of  Ireland. 
From  1647  till  the  bishop's  death,  in  1650,  he  acted  as 
Vicar-General  of  Killaloe,  and  v/e  find  him  three  years  later 
arrested  by  Cromwell,  and  sent,  in  company  with  eighteen 

370  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

other  priests,  into  banishment.  For  some  years  he  dedi- 
cated  himself  to  the  sacred  ministry  in  France  and  Italy, 
till  1671,  when  he  received  a  brief  from  Rome  appointing 
nim  Vicar-Apostolic  of  the  ancient  see  of  Killala.  Toward 
the  close  of  1672  he  reached  Ireland ;  but  in  the  mean- 
time the  Archbishop  of  Tuam,  as  metropolitan,  had  ap- 
pointed a  vicar-general  for  the  diocese,  and,  the  matter 
having  been  referred  to  Rome,  the  appointment  of  Dr. 
Burke  appears  to  have  been  cancelled. 

Before  the  close  of  1674  he  was  arrested  by  order  of  the 
crown,  accused  of  "bringing  Protestants  to  the  Catholic  faith, 
contrary  to  the  statutes  of  the  kingdom,  exercising  foreign 
jurisdiction,  preaching  perverse  doctrine,  and  remaining  in 
the  kingdom  despite  the  Act  of  Parliament  of  28th  March, 
1674,"  etc.  For  two  years  he  was  detained  in  prison  with 
irons  on  his  hands  and  feet.  At  the  assizes  he  publicly 
declared  that  the  Pope,  as  Vicar  of  Christ,  was  head  of  the 
Catholic  Church.  He  rejected  with  scorn  a  private  offer 
that  was  made  to  him  of  behig  promoted  to  a  Protestant 
bishopric,  should  he  conform  to  the  Established  Church. 
Conducted  from  Ballinrobe  to  Dublin,  he  there  displayed 
the  same  firmness,  and  was  at  length  sentenced  to  the 
confiscation  of  his  goods  and  perpetual  imprisonment. 
The  Earl  of  Clanricarde,  who  was  his  relative,  soon  after 
obtained  his  release,  which  was  accorded  on  condition  that 
he  should  pay  the  sum  of  £,?>o  sterling  (an  enormous  sum 
for  those  days)  within  one  month,  and  retire  to  the  Con- 

During  his  imprisonment  De  Burgo  had  made  a  vow  to 
visit  the  holy  places,  should  he  regain  his  liberty.  In 
1679,  he  fulfilled  this  vow,  but  on  his  return  from  Jerusalem 
was  captured  by  pirates  in  the  Mediterranean,  stripped  of 
all  he  possessed,  and  sold  as  a  slave.  He,  however,  found 
means  to  escape  to  Constantinople,  where  he  took  refuge 
with  the  Austrian  ambassador.     He  thence  proceeded  to 

In  the  Reign  of  Char  us  II.  371 

Venice  and  Rome,  and,  receiving  frequent  aid  from  the 
Sacred  Congregation,  seems  to  have  passed  in  peace  the 
closing  years  of  his  eventful  life. 

Most  of  these  particulars  are  taken  from  his  own  narrative 
in  1683,  in  the  archives  of  the  Propaganda, — See  Moratis 
Life  of  Archbishop  Pltinket,  p.  200. 

Anno    1678.  * 


His  life  is  given  at  considerable  length  by  Dr.  Renehan, 
and  will  no  doubt  be  fully  illustrated  in  the  future  second 
volume  of  Dr.  Moran's  Archbishops  of  Dublin.  As  this 
present  work  treats  only  of  the  sufferings  endured  for  the 
faith,  I  shall  give  only  an  abridgment  of  Dr.  Renehan's 
excellent  account  of  the  first  part  of  his  life : 

"  Peter  Talbot  was  a  member  of  that  ancient  and  very 
illustrious  family  that  bore  the  titles  of  Earls  of  Wexford 
and  Waterford  in  Ireland,  Earl  (at  one  time  Duke)  of 
Shrewsbury  in  England,  etc.  His  father,  Sir  William 
Talbot,  lived  it  Malahide,  and  was  the  ancestor  of  the 
present  Lord  falbot  of  Malahide.  Colonel  Richard  Tal- 
bot, Earl  and  Duke  of  Tyrconnell,  and  Lord-Lieutenant 
of  Ireland,  was  a  younger  brother  of  our  prelate.*  Peter 
was  born  at  Malahide,  in  the  county  of  Dublin,  in  the  year 
1620,  and,  after  having  been  educated  as  suitably  to  his 
rank  as  a  Catholic  could  in  these  days  of  uncivilizing 
persecution,  he  felt  a  heavenly  impulse  strongly  urging 
him  to  renounce  the  wealth  and  honors  of  the  world  at  the 
foot  of  the  cross,  and  to  embrace  the  poverty,  the  persecu- 
tions, and  the  sacred  ministry  of  Jesus.  He  was  according- 
ly sent  over  to  Portugal,  to  be  trained  up  in  the  spirit  and 

•  Carte's  Omiofid,  vol.  ii.  p.  384. 

372  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

to  acquire  the  learning  necessary  for  the  ecclesiastical 
state,  and  was  there  received,  in  the  year  1635,  into  the 
society  of  the  Jesuits.  Having  finished  his  course  of 
philosophy  under  the  Jesuits  in  Portugal,  he  was  sent  to 
their  college  in  Rome,  to  acquire  in  the  capital  of  the 
Christian  world  greater  knowledge  of  Scripture,  theology, 
and  law.  After  a  long  course  of  probation,  he  received  the 
holy  order  of  priesthood  at  Rome,  returned  soon  after  to 
Portugal,  and  was  sent  by  his  superior  to  teach  moral 
theology  at  Antwerp.* 

"  While  Talbot  was  here  enjoying  the  peaceful  pursuits 
of  a  collegiate  life,  his  native  country  was  agonizing  under 
the  bloody  ferocities  of  Cromwell's  army,  and  England  was 
being  disgraced  by  the  murder  of  one  king  and  the  ban- 
ishment of  another.  Charles  II.  fled  to  Paris,  whence  he 
removed  to  Cologne  in  July,  1655,  after  the  conclusion  of 
the  treaty  between  the  French  court  and  Cromwell.  His 
majesty  now  turned  his  thoughts  on  engaging  the  Spanish 
court  to  assist  in  his  restoration.  Talbot  possessed  a 
great  deal  of  influence  with  many  of  the  Spanish  ministers 
in  Flanders,  and  particularly  with  the  Count  de  Fonsal- 
dagna,  who  at  that  time  was  the  actual  governor  of  the 
country,  though  the  Archduke  Leopold  enjoyed  the  title. 
His  old  and  special  intimacy  with  Father  Daniel  Daly, 
alias  Dominick  a  Rosario,  a  native  of  Kerry,  and  the  am- 
bassador of  the  King  of  Portugal  at  the  court  of  France, 
besides  the  vast  power  and  influence  of  the  society  to 
which  he  belonged,  enabled  Talbot  to  be  of  incalculable 
service  to  Charles  in  the  days  of  his  distress.  He  fie- 
quently  visited  his  majesty  at  Cologne,  and  was  always 
honored  with  the  most  gracious  and  friendly  reception. 
Conversation,  after  some  acquaintance,  often  turned  on 
the  respective  merits  of  the  Catholic  and  Protestant  reli- 
gions.    If  the  king  was  willing  to  learn,  Talbot  was  able 

•  Life  in  BiblMluca  Patrum  S.  f. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  373 

and  willing  to  teach ;  and  so  deep  was  the  impression 
made  on  the  conscience  of  his  majesty  that,  after  a  secret 
conference  of  some  days,  he  at  length  shut  himself  up  with 
our  professor  in  h.s  closet  for  several  days,  till  his  convic- 
tion was  fully  completed,  and  every  doubt  removed  from 
his  mind.  Charles,  however,  was  not  a  man  who  would 
forfeit  a  crown  to  follow  his  convictions.  He  knew  how 
much  the  English  mind  was  maddened  by  the  spirit  of  bi- 
gotry against  the  Catholic  Church ;  he  knew  the  charac- 
ter of  Ormond  and  the  others  that  surrounded  his  person  ; 
he  probably  saw  that  those  calculating  royalists  might  be- 
lieve that  his  conversion  would  mar  their  projects  for  the 
settlement  and  partition  of  Ireland  ;  and  he  therefore  de- 
termined to  be  received  into  the  bosom  of  the  Catholic 
Church  as  secretly  as  possible,  and  afterward,  and  then 
only,  to  absent  himself  from  Protestant  communion,  but 
to  make  no  declaration  of  his  religious  opinions.  Talbot 
had  thus  the  pleasure  to  witness  his  solemn  renunciation 
of  the  errors  of  Protestantism,  and  to  receive  him,  after  a 
formal  profession  of  faith,  into  the  Catholic  Church,  and 
no  doubt  to  administer  to  him  the  holy  sacraments. 

"  The  royal  convert  persevered  for  a  few  years  ;  but  af- 
terward his  absence  from  Protestant  service  had  been 
jealously  remarked  by  his  ministers,  and  the  secret  of  his 
conversion  was  not  only  whispered  on  the  Continent,  but 
reported  in  England,  when  the  boasted  and  amply  reward- 
ed loyalty  of  his  Protestant  supporters  chuckled  at  the 
fact,  and  called  for  its  denial  or  an  open  profession  of 
Protestantism.  Charles,  with  characteristic  inconstancy 
dissembled,  denied,  renounced  the  convictions  of  his  hearty 
with  the  same  readiness  as  he  pledged  his  honor  or  his 
oath,  at  different  times,  to  support  and  to  repudiate  the 
Irish  peace,  the  Scotch  Covenant,  and  the  English  Church. 
Talbot's  labor,  however,  was  not  lost  either  to  the  country 
or  to  the  unhappy  king.     His  majesty,  though  a  weak  and 

374  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

ambitious  rnan,  was  a  sincere  convert,  and,  if  he  dared,  would 
have  proved  that  sincerity  through  life  which  he  evinced 
at  his  death.  When  the  earthly  crown  could  no  longer  be 
held,  Charles  made  an  anxious  effort  to  seize  on  a  crown 
in  heaven.  He  sent  for  Father  Huddlestone  to  receive 
iiim  again  into  the  church,  and  to  prepare  him  for  eterni- 
ty. He  needed  but  Httle  instruction  ;  Talbot  had  supplied 
tliat  want.  His  repentance  had  every  appearance  of  being 
intense  and  fervent ;  he  received  the  last  sacraments  with 
piety,  and  died  a  Catholic. 

"Various  causes  combined,  about  the  year  1668,  to  in- 
duce the  government  to  connive  at  the  appointment  of  a 
few  bishops  to  some  of  the  many  vacant  sees ;  and  thus 
the  episcopal  hierarchy,  reduced  for  some  years  before  to 
three  individuals,  (as  was  noticed  in  the  history  of  the 
Primates  of  Armagh,)  was  saved  from  utter  extinction. 
Dr.  Talbot  was  the  first  person,  or  among  the  first,  chosen 
by  his  holiness,  and  was  nominated  to  the  archiepiscopal 
see  of  Dublin.  How  little  he  ambitioned  this  arduous  but 
important  station  may  be  inferred  from  the  fact  that  no 
sooner  did  he  learn  that  his  promotion  was  intended  than 
he  went  to  Father  Joseph  Simons,  the  then  provincial  of 
the  Jesuits  in  England,  and  offered  him,  and  through  him 
the  Most  Rev.  Father  Oliver,  the  general  of  the  order,  to 
reenter  the  society,  if  they  deemed  that  course  more  con- 
ducive to  the  interests  of  religion.  But  these  fathers,  con- 
sidering the  invaluable  services  a  person  of  his  talents,  in- 
formation, and  family  influence  was  likely  to  render  the 
Catholic  cause  in  Ireland,  not  only  renounced  their  claim 
upon  him,  but  used  all  their  mfluence  to  forward  his  pro- 
motion to  a  see,  and  in  particular  to  that  of  Dublin. 
When  the  bull  of  his  appointment  arrived,  Talbot,  in 
order  to  avoid  publicity,  went  over  privately  to  Flanders, 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  375 

a  [id  was  consecrated  at  Ghent,  near  Louvain,  on  the  2d 
of  May,  1669. 

"  Dr.  Talbot  lost  no  time,  after  his  consecration,  in  visit- 
ing his  diocese.  It  had  been  now  thirteen  years  deprived 
of  a  bishop,  and  from  extreme  old  age  Dr.  Fleming  must 
have  been  able  to  afford  it  little  succor  during  the  last 
sevei  years  of  his  life,  spent  in  concealment.  A  people 
whose  religion  and  morals  were  just  after  being  exposed 
to  the  dangers  of  a  ten  years'  civil  war,  to  the  horrors  of 
Cromwell's  devastation,  the  fanatical  persecution  of  his 
followers,  the  irritating  ingratitude  of  the  restored  king, 
and  the  legalized  spoliation  of  the  Act  of  Settlement,  pre- 
sented a  large  field  for  the  exercise  of  episcopal  zeal,  and 
required  all  his  attention  and  activity.  Our  archbishop 
wanted  neither  the  energy  nor  zeal  nor  abilities  fitted  to 
the  occasion.  On  visiting  the  diocese  he  found  that  the 
Very  Rev.  James  S.  Dempsey,  the  vicar-apostolic,  who  had 
provided  for  its  administration  during  the  vacancy,  had 
been  necessitated  to  admit  persons  of  inferior  literary  quali- 
fications to  the  pastoral  charge.  To  remedy  this  evil  and 
promote  learning  among  the  clergy,  Talbot  held  a  diocesan 
synod  in  August,  1670,  wherein  it  was  enacted  that  all  the 
parishes  or  benefices  should  be  disposed  of  in  future  by 
concursus  to  the  most  successful  answerer,  and  that  all  the 
parochial  clergy  should  be  examined  within  a  month,  and 
prove  their  competency  for  the  cure  of  souls,  or  be  instant- 
ly deprived  thereof.  He  also  commanded  that  each  clergy- 
man should  give  catechetical  instruction  on  every  Sunday 
and  holyday,  not  only  to  the  children,  but  to  the  people  at 
large.  The  following  March  he  convoked  a  second  synod, 
in  which  other  regulations  were  enacted  for  reforming  the 
manners  of  the  laity,  (specially  that  no  Catholic  should  at- 
tempt to  marry  a  Jew  or  infidel,  under  pain  of  excommuni- 
cation,) that  the  bans  should  be  solemnly  published  before 

376  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

marriage,  and  that  any  of  the  faithful  who  dies  without  re- 
ceiving the  last  sacraments  through  his  own  fault  should 
be  deprived  of  Christian  burial.* 

"  From  the  time  of  Dr.  Talbot's  appointment  to  the  see 
of  Dublin,  his  supposed  influence  in  the  English  court,  his 
uncompromising  opposition  to  the  intrigues  of  the  remon- 
strants, and  his  zealous  discharge  of  his  sacred  duties,  ex- 
posed him  to  the  calumnies  and  bitter  hostility  of  a  large 
party  in  Ireland.  He  was  charged  particularly  with  the 
design  of  introducing,  contrary  to  law,  'popish  aldermen' 
into  the  corporation  of  Dublin,  and  of  reversing  the  Act  of 
Settlement.  Of  course  the  Protestants  were  excited  be- 
yond measure  at  the  thought  of  losing  their  ill-got  posses- 
sions, and  they  appealed  to  the  English  parliament  for  pro. 

"  An  address  was  accordingly  presented  to  the  king,  re- 
quiring, among  other  things,  that '  Peter  Talbot,  pretended 
Archbishop  of  Dublin,  for  his  notorious  disloyalty  aud  dis- 
obedience and  contempt  of  the  laws,  be  commanded  by 
proclamation  to  depart  forthwith  out  of  Ireland  and  all 
his  majesty's  dominions,  or  otherwise  to  be  prosecuted  ac- 
cording to  law,'  etc.  In  consequence  of  this  edict.  Dr. 
Talbot  was  banished  the  kingdom,  about  the  beginning  of 

"  Di.  Talbot  returned  to  England  in  1675,  where  he 
resided  for  the  next  two  years  in  Poole  Hall,  Chesbire.+ 
His  health  had  been  failing  so  rapidly  that  he  sought  and 
obtained,  through  the  interest  of  his  brother  with  the 
Duke  of  York,  Ormond's  permission  to  come  to  Ireland, 
'  to  die,'  as  he  said,  '  in  his  own  country.'  Before  obtaining 
this  leave,  he  had  to  promise  to  live  quietly  with  his  owr 

*  Siatuia  Dubiinettsia^  (1770,)  pp.  80,  8x. 

♦  Carte,  ii.  p.  477  ;  Harris's  Writers,  p.  193. 

In  ifie  Reign  of  Charles  II.  377 

family,  and  to  interfere  no  further  in  political  questions, 
not  because  the  helpless  archbishop,  who  was  borne  in  a 
chair  to  his  brother's  house,  could  be  suspected  of  a 
serious  design  to  subvert  the  government,  but  as  a  plea  to 
justify  the  severity  of  the  measures  already  taken  against 

"  Shortly  after  Dr.  Talbot's  arrival  in  Ireland,  the  Duke 
of  Ormond  received  a  letter  from  the  secretary  of  state, 
informing  hi'm  of  the  discovery  of  the  'popish  plot,'  and  of 
the  means  adopted  to  extend  it  to  Ireland  ;  that  Peter 
Talbot,  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  was  one  of  the  accomplices, 
and  that  assassins  were  hired  to  murder  the  duke  himself. 
The  duke  had  no  apprehension  of  that  nature  at  that 
time,  the  Irish  being  in  no  condition  to  raise  an  insurrec- 
tion, and  Peter  Talbot  in  a  dying  way.  He  signed,' 
however,  a  warrant  on  the  8th,  (October,  1678,)  and  de- 
spatched an  officer  to  secure  his  person.* 

"  Dr.  Talbot  was  arrested  in  his  father's  house  at  Car- 
town,  near  Maynooth  ;  his  papers,  containing  nothing  but 
dissertations  on  controversy,  were  all  seized  and  carefully 
examined.  He  was  immediately  removed  to  Dublin  '  in  a 
chair,  and  committed  close  prisoner  to  the  castle,  with  a 
person  to  attend  him  in  his  miserable  and  helpless  condi- 
tion, the  violence  of  his  distemper  being  scarcely  supporta- 
ble, and  threatening  his  death  at  every  moment.'f  Harris 
adds  'that  nothing  appeared  against  him  from  his  examina- 
tion, nor  from  those  of  others.  J  Yet  he  was  continued  in 
the  castle  about  two  years,  and  died  in  confinement  in  the 

*  Carte,  ii.  p.  478.  t  Carte,  ibid. 

X  P.  Walsh,  far  the  most  unscrupulous  of  his  accusers,  charges  him  with  reducing  to 
practice  the  worst  maxims  of  what  was  unjustly  called  Jesuitical  casuistry.  According  to  that 
libeller,  Dr.  Talbot  maintained  the  lawfulness  of  equivocation,  calumny,  assassination,  murder, 
treason,  etc,  provided  only  the  act  were  useful  to  yourself,  to  your  family,  to  your  society  or 
order.  Walsh  asserts  that  Dr.  Talbot  was  justly  expelled  by  the  Jesuits  for  some  grievous 
crime,  which  he  knows,  but  will  not  mention  :  and  on  the  same  page,  and  with  this  admi.ssioo 
before  him,  he  asserts  also  they  were  mainly  instrumental  in  procuring  his  promotion  to  thg 
we  of  Dublin  to  serve  their  own  interests. — Hist.  Remans,  pp.  258-260. 

378  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

year  1680.'*  The  reader  will  no  doubt  be  surprised  to 
find  such  admissions  in  the  pages  of  Carte  and  Harris, 
and  more  so  still  to  find  their  calumnies  repeated  by 
authors  without  number  who  never  notice  the  statements 
favorable  to  the  archbishop. 

"To  add  to  the  sufferings  of  this  amiable  prelate,  he 
saw  his  own  brother,  Colonel  Talbot,  and  Father  Ryan, 
superior  of  the  Jesuits,  first  cast  into  the  same  prison,  and 
then,  when  the  horrors  of  the  jail  became  insupportable, 
ordered  out  of  the  country.  And  he  knew  well,  if  he 
was  deprived  of  the  happiness  of  sharing  in  their  exile,  it  was 
only  because  the  attempt  to  remove  him  in  his  present 
exhausted  state  would  instantly  cause  death. 

"  It  would  be  unjust  to  the  memory  of  Dr.  Talbot  not  to 
give  the  vivid  description  of  the  circumstances  connected 
with  his  imprisonment  and  death,  left  us  by  a  contemporary 
and  countryman,  Richard  Arsdekin,  S.J.  This  I  translate 
literally  from  the  dedication  of  the  Theologia  Tripartita. 
Its  fidelity  may  be  relied  on  the  more  because  the  author  had 
reason  to  complain  of  some  expressions  applied  to  himself 
by  Dr.  Talbot  during  the  discussion  on  the  primacy,  and 
cannot  therefore  be  suspected  of  partiality.  '  After  a  short 
time,  when  the  storm  of  persecution  had  abated  somewhat 
rather  than  subsided.  Dr.  Talbot  returned  to  Ireland, 
where  he  labored  to  restore  church  discipline,  to  encourage 
the  Catholics,  and  to  elude  the  machinations  of  heretics. 
But  his  enemies  could  not  long  bear  the  light.  They 
were  incensed  at  his  zeal,  and  jealous  of  his  influence  with 
the  people  ;  and,  as  is  usually  the  case,  they  resolved  to 
lestroy  what  they  feared.  Secret  accusations  were  made 
before  a  heretical  tribunal,  suspicions  created,  all  the  othei 
means  craftily  employed  to  oppress  the  just  man,  opposed 
to  their  wicked  designs,  and  whose  worst  crime  was  to 
have  the  name,  the  office,  and  authority  of  a  priest.     At 

,  •  Harris's  _WV/V,-rj,  book  L  p.  193. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  379 

length  the  excellent  prelate,  always  supported  by  the 
testimony  of  a  good  conscience,  was  seized  on  suddenly 
by  wicked  officials  and  cast  into  a  public  prison  without 
being  guilty  of  the  least  offence.  There  this  faithful 
soldier  of  Christ  was  shut  up  in  close  imprisonment  for 
some  time  ;  but  neither  keepers  nor  prison  walls  nor 
chains  could  restrain  that  freedom  of  spirit  which  anima- 
ted the  true  pastor,  and  made  him  more  careful  of  the 
salvation  of  others  than  of  his  own  life.  While  he  patient- 
ly awaited  the  usual  inhuman  sentence  of  that  heretical 
tribunal,  his  feeble  body,  no  longer  a  fit  tenement  for 
the  noble  spirit,  was  broken  down  by  heavy  sickness. 
Still  the  soldier  of  Christ  struggled  on  against  disease  and 
the  filth  of  a  loathsome  dungeon,  destitute  of  almost  all 
human  aid,  with  nothing  to  console  him  but  a  firm 
resolution  and  conscious  innocence.  At  length,  after 
enduring  various  and  repeated  tortures,  he  suffered  death, 
not  indeed  beneath  the  axe  of  the  executioner,  but  immur- 
ed in  a  filthy  prison,  and  he  passed  to  that  better  world 
where  God  has  promised  a  crown  of  justice  to  those  who 
strive  lawfully.  But  this  most  illustrious  prelate  shall  ever 
live  in  the  memory  of  men ;  he  shall  ever  live  in  the 
society  of  holy  confessors  ;  from  him  the  injustice  of  man, 
the  cunning  and  envy  of  heretics,  shall  never  take  away 
the  laurels  won  in  a  glorious  fight.  O  blind  Tyranny ! 
thou  art  deceived :  whatever  thou  dost,  whatever  thou 
proposest,  the  blood  of  martyrs  has  been,  and  ever  will  be, 
the  seed  of  Christians !  Of  this  truth  Ireland,  ever 
faithful  to  her  God  and  to  her  king,  has  given  for  ages,  and 
will  continue  to  give,  a  noble  example.'* 

"  Some  recent  writers  have,  quite  erroneously,  fixed  the 
dite  of  Dr.  Talbot's  death  in  1681,  against  the  unanimous 

•  Tkeologia  TripariHa  Richardi  Arsdekitif  S.J.  ;  Prosecuiio  Ded.  torn.  i.  edit  qiiinta, 
Antverpise,  anno  1682.  Arsdekin  entered  the  society  in  1642,  being  then  twenty-three  yean 
of  age.  and  was  consequently  only  about  one  year  older  than  Dr.  Talbot. — See  Hib.  Dont.  pp. 
Vli,  81S 

380  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

testimony  of  our  best-informed  historians.  It  is  quite 
certain  he  died  in  1680,  and  probably  at  the  close  of  that 
year.  The  nuncio  wrote  from  Brussels,  December  21.  1680, 
'that  my  Lord  Talbot,  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  has  died 
of  his  sufferings  in  the  prisons  of  Ireland,  (e  morto 
d'infermita  nelle  carcere  d'Ibernia  ;)  that  Dr.  Plunket  was 
several  times  examined,  without,  of  course,  any  crime  being 
discovered  against  him,  and  was  still  most  strictly  guarded  ; 
and  that  Lord  Stafford  was  accused  by  many  of  the  usual 
witnesses,  and  could  depend  only  on  the  fears  of  the  peers, 
who  did  not  know,  if  they  admitted  such  proof,  when  the 
same  would  be  used  against  themselves.'  "* 

Anno    1679. 


"  Dr.  Forstall  was  a  prelate  of  great  virtue  and  learn- 
ing, and  before  his  appointment  to  the  see  of  Kildare^hehad 
held  high  ecclesiastical  offices  in  Vienna,  in  which  he  won 
for  himself  the  esteem  and  favor  of  the  imperial  court. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  Order  of  St.  Augustine,  all  of  whose 
convents  throughout  the  kingdom  had  been  impoverished 
or  destroyed  ;  and  some  idea  of  the  poverty  of  the  Irish 
Church  at  this  period  may  be  formed  from  the  fact  that 
Dr.  Plunket,  the  martyred  archbishop,  mentions  that  the 
diocese  of  Kildare  yielded  to  its  bishop  a  revenue  of  only 
56  scudi  a  year,  or  little  more  than  £1  per  month.f 
And  he  consequently  (20th  August,  1677)  solicited  and 
obtained  for  him  the  administration  of  the  diocese  of 
Leighlin,  which'  had  also  fifteen  or  sixteen  priests,  and  a 
revenue  of  only  fifty  or  sixty  scudi. 

"  Toward  the  close  of  the  year  1679,  Dr.  Forstall  was 

•  Eitract  from  original  documents  of  Padre  Theiner,  by  L   F.  R. 
t  Dr.  Piunkel  also  says  the  diocese  had  only  fifteen  priests. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  381 

cast  into  prison  ;  and  even  after  his  liberation  the  fury  of 
persecution  compelled  him  to  seek  for  safety  in  the  woods 
and  mountains,  u'ntil,  in  1683,  he  closed  his  earthly  career, 
an  exile  in  the  diocese  of  Cashel." — Moran's  Life  of  Dr. 

Plimket,  p.  169. 

— « — 

Anno    1680. 


"  He  was  born  in  Ireland  about  the  year  1629,  of  parents 
conspicuous  alike  for  the  nobility  of  their  race  and  their 
constancy  in  the  faith.  About  the  year  1648,  when  the 
whole  kingdom  was  torn  with  war,  led  by  the  desire  of 
leading  a  more  perfect  life,  and  devoting  himself  to  the 
warfare  of  the  Gospel,  he  entered  the  holy  order  of  St. 
Dominick.*  He  then  embarked  for  Spain,  but,  being  taken 
prisoner  at  sea  by  the  heretical  English,  was  carried  to 
Kinsale,  where  he  was  despoiled  of  his  clothes  and  the 
money  he  had  for  his  journey,  and  thrown  into  prison. 
Hence  he  escaped  by  the  singular  favor  of  God,  having 
jumped  down  from  the  wall  of  the  prison  into  the  mud  left 
by  the  receding  tide.  He  lay  hid  in  a  wood  there  for  two 
days,  covered  with  mud  up  to  his  neck,  because  he  dared 
not  go  to  the  river  to  wash.  During  these  two  days  he 
neither  ate  nor  drank.  At  ■  length,  he  made  .his  way  with 
difficulty  to  the  house  of  a  certain  Catholic  nobleman  of 
the  name  of  Roche.  Here  he  was  kindly  received  and 
harbored  until  he  had  recovered  his  strength,  when  he  was 
furnished  with  clothes  and  money,  and  allowed  to  depart  in 
peace.  Thus  aided,  he  made  his  way  safely  to  the  house 
of  his  mother,  who  was  astonished  at  his  appearance,  and 
msisted  that  he  should  not  again  expose  himself  to  the 

•  In  the  times  o*"  persecution  aspirants  to  the  religious  life  generally  were  received  into  the 
order  and  clothed  in  Ireland,  and  then  proceeded  abroad  to  pass  their  noviceahip  in  one  of  th« 
Irish  monasteries  on  the  Continent. 

382  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

dangers  of  the  sea.  His  determination,  however,  prevail- 
ed ;  and,  having  obtained  from  his  mother  fresh  supplies 
for  his  journey,  he  embarked  at  Galway,  and,  reaching 
Spain  in  safety,  proceeded  to  Segovia,  and  spent  six  years 
in  our  convent  of  the  Holy  Cross  there.  When  his  studies 
were  completed,  as  the  Cromwellian  persecution  made  it 
impossible  to  reach  Ireland,  he  proceeded  to  Andalusia, 
and  thence  to  Italy,  where  he  dwelt  for  about  sixteen 
years,  much  esteemed  by  all  for  his  probity  and  zeal  for 
religion.  He  was  held  in  the  highest  consideration  by  the 
illustrious  Father  Julius  Vincent  Gentili,  who  was  twice 
provincial  of  the  province  of  Lombardy,  and  afterward 
an  Archbishop.  Dr.  Burgo  held  many  high  offices 
in  his  order,  and  was  in  1671  named  by  Clement  X. 
Bishop  of  Elphin,  a  dignity  which  he  had  not  sought,  but 
to  which  he  was  called  unexpectedly,  even  as  Aaron  was. 
He  was  consecrated  at  Ghent,  in  the  forty-first  year  of  his 
age,  and  immediately  returned  to  his  native  land,  where 
for  thirty  years  he  zealously  discharged  every  duty  of  his 
s^icred  office. 

"  It  were  long  to  tell  all  he  suffered  in  the  bitter  perse- 
cution which  was  got  up  against  the  Catholics  in  England 
and  Ireland  in  1680.  A  reward  of  two  hundred  pounds 
was  offered  for  his  apprehension  by  the  viceroy  and  coun- 
cil, for  which  reason  he  always  travelled  by  night  while 
that  persecution  lasted.  For  four  months  he  lay  hid  in  a  soli- 
tary house,  and  never  even  put  his  foot  outside  the  door  : 
but  when  the  time  came  for  consecrating  the  holy  oils 
(Maundy-Thursday)  he  travelled  by  night  forty  miles  from 
that  place. 

"  I  (John  O'Heyn)  was  his  companion  all  that  year,  until 
the  illustrious  Archbishop  of  Armagh,  Dr.  Oliver  Plunket, 
was  taken  prisoner.  He  often,  from  his  prison  in  Dublin, 
warned  the  Bishop  of  Elphin  of  the  plans  of  the  supreme 
council  for  his  apprehension,  and  by  this  means  much  aid- 

ht  the  Reign  of  Charles  IT.  383 

ed  him  to  escape  their  snares.  Had  he  fallen  into  their 
hands,  no  doubt  his  fate  would  have  been  the  same  as  that 
of  the  primate,  who  was  hung,  beheaded,  and  quartered  on 
the  1st  of  July,  1681.  In  the  war  of  rebellion  against  our 
King  James  II.  he  was  compelled  to  take  refuge  in  the  city 
of  Galway,  out  of  his  own  diocese.  King  James  and  his 
queen  esteemed  him  much.  When  he  was  driven  intc 
exile,  King  Louis  of  France  offered  him  an  abbey,  but  he 
preferred  to  go  to  Louvain,  and  share  the  poverty  of  his 
order  in  our  college  of  Holy  Cross  there. 

"  When  our  convent  in  Louvain  was  in  a  ruinous  state, 
anc  had  to  be  vacated  for  repairs,  he  went  to  live  with  the 
Friars  Minors  in  the  same  city.  There,  in  his  seventy-fifth 
year,  worn  out  with  labors  for  religion,  having  made 
his  confession  and  received  the  holy  communion  and  ex- 
treme unction,  he  calmly  yielded  up  his  soul  to  his  Saviour, 
on  the  first  day  of  the  year  1704,  between  the  ninth  and 
tenth  hour  of  the  evening,  and  is  buried  in  this  church,  be- 
side the  high  altar." — Hib.  Dont.  p.  496  ;  O'Heyn,  p.  33  ; 
De  jFongke,  p.  423. 


"  He  studied  in  Spain,  and  returning  to  Ireland,  led 
there  a  most  exemplary  life,  although  he  was  the  son  of  a 
heretical  minister.  He  showed  that  1  he  works  of  faith  and 
grace  come  not  to  men  by  their  birth  or  by  nature,  but 
from  our  Lord  God,  by  Jesus  Christ ;  for  he  was  so  averse 
to  all  heretics  that  he  ever  avoided  their  company,  although 
many  of  them,  like  the  Catholics,  sought  his  society,  for  he 
was  very  agreeable  in  conversation,  although  ever  observ- 
mg  a  religious  gravity.  He  suffered  much  in  the  persecu- 
tion which  sprang  up  in  1680.  He  lay  for  a  whole  year  in 
prison,  in   close   confinement,  which   he   bore  with   such 

•  "  Lvnze,"    This  name  is  probably  the  same  as  Lynch- 

384  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

equanimity  and  cheerfulness  as  to  astonish  the  heretics 
who  spoke  with  him.  After  his  deHverance  from  prison 
he  lived  until  the  year  1686,  when,  fortified  with  the  sacra- 
ments of  the  church,  he  calmly  departed  to  our  Lord."— 
OHeyn,  p.  24. 

Anno   leSl. 


For  a  full  account  of  this  illustrious  prelate,  the  latest 
martyr  of  the  Irish  Church,  I  must  refer  my  readers  to  the 
valuable  work  of  Dr.  Moran,*  from  which  the  following 
brief  account  is  extracted.  As  the  purport  of  this  work  is 
only  to  give  an  account  of  the  sufferings  of  the  martyrs 
and  confessors  of  the  faith,  I  shall  give  a  very  short  account 
of  the  life  of  Dr.  Plunket  up  to  the  time  of  his  apprehen- 

Oliver  Plunket  was  born  at  Loughcrew,  in  the  county 
of  Meath,  in  the  year  1629.  He  was  a  near  relative  of  Dr. 
Patrick  Plunket,  who  successively  ruled  the  dioceses  of  Ar- 
dagh  and  Meath,  as  also  of  Dr.  Peter  Talbot,  Archbishop 
of  Dublin.  He  was  also  related  to  the  Earls  of  Fingall 
and  Roscommon,  and  to  the  Barons  of  Dunsany  and  Louth. 
From  an  early  age  he  showed  a  desire  to  devote  himself 
to  the  sacred  ministry,  and  his  education  was  entrusted  to 
his  relative,  Dr.  Patrick  Plunket,  then  titular  Abbot  of  St. 
Mary's,  Dublin,  until  the  age  of  sixteen,  when  he  proceed- 
ed to  Rome,  there  to  pursue  his  studies.  In  1643,  Father 
Peter  Francis  Scarampo,  an  Oratorian,  had  been  sent  by 
the  Holy  See  on  a  special  mission  to  Ireland  ;  in  1645,  he 
returned  to  Rome,  and  young  Plunket  accompanied  him. 

Plunket  lived  in  the  Irish  college,  and  pursued  his  studies 
in  the  Roman  college  of  the  Society  of  Jesus.     In  1654,  he 

•  Lift  of  Archbishop  Plunket,  by  Rev.   P.  Moran,  D  D.     Dublir,  1865. 

In  the  Reigr.  of  Charles  II.  jsj 

wa».  ordained  priest,  but,  it  being  impossible  at  thaf.  date 
for  him  to  proceed  to  Ireland,  he  took  up  his  residence 
with  the  Jesuit  fathers  of  St.  Girolamo  ddla  Cariti.  In 
1657,  he  was  appointed  professor  in  the  college  of  the 
Propaganda,  which  office  he  held  for  twelve  years. 

On  the  9th  of  July,  1669,  Dr.  Oliver  Plunket  was  nomi- 
nated by  the  Sacred  Congregation  Archbishop  of  Armagh, 
in  succession  to  Dr.  Edmund  O'Reilly.  He  wished  much 
to  be  consecrated  in  Rome,  but  it  was  deemed  more  pru- 
dent that  he  .should  be  consecrated  in  Brussels,  which  was 
done  on  the  30th  November.  1669.  He  immediately  left 
for  London,  and,  although  detained  at  Holyhead  for  twelve 
days  by  contrary  winds,  reached  Dublin  by  the  middle  of 

At  this  time  the  violence  of  the  Cromwellian  persecution 
was  over ;  and  although  new  laws  were  constantly  passed 
against  Catholics,  they  were  little  put  in  execution,  and  the 
government  connived  at  the  existence  of  priests,  and  the 
viceroy.  Lord  Berkeley,  was  favorable  to  a  policy  of  some- 
thing like  toleration. 

Dr.  Plunket  immediately  hastened  to  his  diocese,  where 
he  held  two  synods  and  two  ordinations,  and  in  a  month 
and  a  half  administered  confirmation  to  more  than  ten 
thousand  people,  and  in  foiir  years  to  forty-eight  thousand 
six  hundred  and  fifty-five. 

Before  the  end  of  1673,  however,  the  storm  of  persecution 
again  began  to  rage  ;  bishops  and  regulars  were  especially 
sought  after,  and  were  compelled ,  to  hide.  Dr.  Plunket, 
together  with  Dr.  Brennan,  Bishop  of  Waterford,  were  con- 
coaled  in  a  wretched  thatched  cabin,  through  the  holes  in 
the  roof  of  which  the  rain  poured  on  their  beds,  and  it  was 
with  difficulty  they  could  procure  even  oaten  bread  for  food. 
All  the  convents  were  destroyed,  the  monks  scattered,  and 
the  bishops  obliged  to  hide  in  the  mountains.  With  very 
Slight  intervals  of  relaxation,  this  persecution  lasted  until 

386  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  death  of  our  holy  martyr.  In  1678,  fresh  edicts  were 
issued,  and  bishops  and  priests  sought  for  more  rigorously 
than  ever.  The  infamous  conspiracy  against  the  lives  of 
Catholics  known  as  the  story  of  the  popish  plot  was  set  on 
foot  this  year  in  England,  and  the  viceroy,  the  Duke  of 
Ormond,  although  his  private  letters  show  he  was  well 
aware  of  the  falseness  of  the  story,  fostered  the  delusion, 
and  issued  fresh  edicts  against  the  Catholics :  all  bishops, 
Jesuits,  regulars,  and  priests  were  ordered  to  leave  the 
kingdom  ;  all  chapels,  or  Mass-houses  as  they  were  called, 
were  closed  or  pulled  down.  The  first  victim  was  the  illus- 
trious Archbishop  of  Dublin,  Dr.  Peter  Talbot.  He  had 
only  returned  to  England  from  his  exile  on  the  Continent 
in  1676,  and  a  few  months  before  the  present  outbreak 
against  the  Catholics,  through  the  intercession  of  the  Duke 
of  York,  obtained  permission  to  revisit  and  console  his 
spiritual  flock. 

In  the  month  of  November,  1679,  Dr.  Plunket  left  his 
place  of  concealment  in  the  secluded  parts  of  his  own  dio- 
cese, and  came  to  Dublin  to  assist,  in  his  last  moments, 
his  relative,  the  aged  Bishop  of  Meath.  Ten  days  later  he 
was  arrested  in  his  place  of  concealment,  in  the  city  of 
Dublin,  by  a  body  of  militia  headed  by  Hetherington,  and 
by  order  of  the  viceroy  he  was  committed  a  close  prisoner 
to  Dublin  Castle.  This  was  on  the  6th'December,  1679. 
For  six  weeks  no  communication  with  him  was  allowed ; 
but  after  that  term,  nothing  treasonable  having  been  dis- 
covered in  his  papers,  he  was  treated  with  more  lenity,  and 
permitted  to  receive  visits  from  his  friends.  The  only 
crime  of  which  he  was  at  first  accused  was  that  of  remain- 
ing in  the  kingdom,  notwithstanding  the  proclamation,  and 
of  exercising  the  functions  of  his  sacred  ministry.  Thus 
his  relative,  the  Rev.  William  Plunket,  wrote  on  the  20th 
March,  1680,  to  the  Propaganda :  "  I  hastened  thither,  (to 
the  castle,)  and  having  heard  and  learned  for  certain  that 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  387 

he  had  been  imprisoned  only  for  being  a  Catholic  bishop, 
and  for  not  having  abandoned  the  flock  of  our  Lord  in  obe- 
dience to  the  edict  published  by  Parliament,  I  was  some- 
what consoled,  it  being  his  and  our  glory  that  he  should 
sufier  in  such  a  cause." 

So  on  his  trial  the  primate  declared,  "  I  was  a  prisoner 
six  months,  only  for  my  religion,  and  there  was  not  a  word 
of  treason  spoken  of  against  me  for  so  many  years."  And 
the  attorney-general  himself  avowed  that  he  was  arrested 
"  for  being  an  over-zealous  papist." 

But  a  plot  to  bring  him  to  trial  for  complicity  in  the  trea- 
son of  the  imaginary  "  popish  plot "  was  being  hatched, 
and  the  chief  actors  in  it,  as  in  all  the  false  witness  borne 
against  him,  were  wicked  and  apostate  friars,  whom  it  had 
been  his  duty  to  punish  for  neglect  of  the  duties  of  their 

Chief  among  these  was  a  friar  named  MacMoyer,  whom 
Dr.  Plunket  had  suspended  for  various  crimes,  and  who 
was  noted  for  his  violence,  drunkenness,  and  immoralities. 
An  indictment  against  the  archbishop  for  conspiracy  was 
presented  to  the  grand  jury  of  the  county  of  Dublin,  and 
supported  by  the  evidence  of  this  MacMoyer  and  others, 
but  the  grand  jury  would  not  find  the  bill. 

The  Protestant  bishop  Burnet  gives  the  following  ac- 
count of  this  proceeding : 

"  Plunket,  the  popish  Primate  of  Armagh,  was  at  this 
time  brought  to  his  trial.  Some  lewd  Irish  priests,  and 
others  of  that  nation,  hearing  that  England  was  at  that 
time  disposed  to  hearken  to  good  swearers,  thought  them- 
selves well  ';;ualified  for  that  employment ;  so  they  came 
over  to  swear  that  there  was  a  great  plot  in  Ireland  to 
bring  over  a  French  army,  and  to  massacre  all  the  English. 
The  witnesses  were  brutal  and  profligate  men  ;  yet  ihe 
Earl  of  Shaftesbury  cherished  them  much,  they  were  exa- 
mined by  the  Parliament  at  Westminster,  and  what  they 

388  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

said  was  believed.  Upon  that  encouragement  it  was  reck- 
oned that  we  should  have  witnesses  come  over  in  whole 
companies.  Lord  Essex  told  me  that  this  Plunket  was  a 
wise  and  sober  man,  who  was  always  in  a  different  inter 
est  from  the  two  Talbots,  the  one  of  these  being  the  titu- 
lar Archbishop  of  Dublin,  and  the  other  raised  after- 
ward to  be  Duke  of  Tyrconnell.  Some  of  these  priests 
had  been  censured  by  him  for  their  lewdness,  and  they 
drew  others  to  swear  as  they  had  directed  them.  They 
had  appeared  the  winter  before  upon  a  bill  offered  to 
the  grand  jury,  but,  as  the  foreman  of  the  jury,  who  was  a 
zealous  Protestant,  told  me,  they  contradicted  one  an- 
other so  evidently  that  they  would  not  find  a  bill.  But 
now  that  they  laid  their  story  better  together,  and  swore 
against  Plunket  that  he  had  got  a  great  bank  of  money  to 
be  prepared,  and  that  he  had  an  army  listed,  and  was  in 
correspondence  with  France  to  bring  over  a  fleet  from 
thence,  he  had  nothing  to  say  in  his  own  defence,  but  to 
deny  all.  So  he  was  condemned,  and  suffered,  very  de- 
cently expressing  himself  in  many  particulars  as  became 
a  bishop.  He  died  denying  everything  that  had  been 
sworn  against  him." 

It  was  not  till  the  month  of  June,  1680,  that  the  wit- 
nesses had  fully  arranged  their  plans.  Armed  with  com- 
mendatory letters  from  the  English  court,  they  now  re- 
turned to  Ireland  assured  of  success.  Among  the  many 
precautions  taken  by  the  apostate  friar  MacMoyer,  one 
was  to  have  a  government  order  sent  from  London  to  the 
viceroy  that  no  Catholic  should  be  a  member  of  the  jury. 
"  Orders  had  been  transmitted  to  Ireland,"  says  the  pri- 
mate on  his  trial,  "  that  I  should  be  tried  in  Ireland,  and 
that  no  Roman  Catholic  should  be  on  the  jury,  and  so  it 
was  in  both  the  grand  jury  and  the  other  jury  ;  yet  there, 
when  I  came  to  my  trial,  after  I  was  arraigned,  not  one 
appeared."     Dr.  Plunket  did  not  object  to  this  arrange- 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  389 

ment,  though  in  itself  most  unjust,  so  conscious  was  he  of 
his  own  innocence,  and  of  the  known  character  of  his  ac- 
cusers ;  and  after  the  words  which  we  have  just  cited,  he 
again  avowed  upon  his  trial :  "  If  I  had  been  in  Ireland,  I 
would  have  put  myself  on  my  trial  to-morrow,  without  any 
witnesses,  before  any  Protestant  jury  that  knew  them  and 

The  viceroy,  however,  decreed  that  the  trial  should  be 
held  in  Dundalk,  the  scene  of  the  reputed  treasonable 
crimes  ;  and,  as  we  shall  just  now  see,  this  alone  sufficed 
to  derange  all  the  plans  of  the  witnesses,  for  they  were 
conscious  that  their  character  was  well  known  in  that 
quarter,  and  that  evidence  could  be  without  difficulty  pro- 
cured there  of  their  malignity  and  evil  designs  and  per- 
juries. Dr.  Plunket,  writing  to  the  internuncio  on  the 
2Sth  of  July,  1680,  the  day  after  his  return  from  Dundalk, 
gives  the  following  detailed  account  of  the  proceedings  of 
this  trial : 

"Your  letter  of  the  17th  July  consoled  me  in  my  tribu- 
lations and  miseries.  The  friar  MacMoyer,  as  well  in  the 
criminal  sessions  of  Dundalk  as  after  these  sessions,  pre- 
sented a  memorial  that  the  trial  should  not  be  held  in 
Dundalk,  where  he  was  too  well  known,  and  that  it  should 
be  deferred  till  September  or  March  next,  but  the  vice- 
roy refused. 

"  I  was  brought  with  a  guard  to  Dundalk  on  the  21st  of 
July.  Dundalk  is  thirty-six  miles  from  Dublin.  I  was  there 
consigned  to  the  king's  lieutenant  in  that  district,  who  treat- 
ed me  with  great  courtesy ;  on  the  23d  and  24th  of  July  I  was 
presented  for  trial.  A  long  process  was  read,  but  on  the 
24th  MacMoyer  did  not  appear  to  confirm  his  depositions 
and  hear  my  defence.  I  had  thirty-two  witnesses,  priests, 
friars,  and  seculars,  prepared  to  falsify  all  that  the  friar 
had  sworn,  forsooth  that  I  had  seventy  thousand  Catholics 
prepared  to  murder  all  the  Protestants,  and  to  establish  here 

390  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  Romish  religion  and  popish  siiperstitiott ;  that  I  had 
sent  mnnerous  agents  to  different  kingdoms  to  obtain  aid ; 
that  I  had  visited  and  explored  all  the  fortresses  and  mari- 
time ports  of  the  kingdom;  and  that  I  held  a  provincial 
council  in  1678,  to  introduce  the  French.  He  also  accused 
in  his  depositions,  Monsignor  Tyrrell ;  Rev.  Luke  Plun- 
ket,  the  ordinary  of  Derry  ;  and  Rev.  Edward  Dromgole, 
an  eminent  preacher.  Murphy  (the  second  witness)  no 
sooner  heard  that  the  sessions  and  trial  would  be  held  in 
Dundalk  than  he  fled  out  of  the  kingdom  ;  and  hence 
MacMoyer  alleged  that  he  himself  could  not  appear,  as 
he  awaited  the  return  of  Murphy  ;  and  so  these  sessions  ter- 
minated, and,  according  to  the  laws  of  this  country,  I  must 
present  myself  at  three  criminal  sessions  before  I  can  be 
absolved  ;  and,  as  there  will  be  no  sessions  in  Dundalk 
till  the  end  of  March,  my  counsel  and  friends  recommend- 
ed me  to  present  a  memorial  to  have  the  cause  adjudg- 
ed in  Dublin  at  the  next  criminal  sessions  of  All  Saints', 
and  that  the  jury  of  Dundalk  should  be  brought  to  Dublin, 
which  perhaps  I  may  obtain.  The  manner  of  proceeding 
here  in  criminal  cases  seems  very  strange  to  me.  The  per- 
son accused  knows  nothing  of  the  accusation  till  the  day 
of  trial ;  he  is  allowed  no  counsel  to  plead  his  cause  ;  the 
oath  is  not  given  to  his  witnesses,  and  one  witness  suffices 
for  the  crown.  They  receive,  however,  the  evidence  of 
the  witnesses  of  the  accused,  although  they  do  not  admin- 
ister the  oath  to  them.  The  sessions  being  over,  I  was  re- 
conducted, by  order  of  the  viceroy,  to  the  Royal  Castle  of 
Dublin,  to  my  dear  and  costly  apartment.  Considering, 
however,  the  shortness  of  the  time  spent  in  Dundalk,  it 
was  still  more  expensive,  as  I  had  to  bring  thirty-two  wit- 
nesses from  different  parts  and  maintain  them  for  foui 
days  in  Dundalk,  and  among  the  guards  and  servants  of 
the  lieutenant  I  distributed  forty  crowns.  Although  the 
two  chief-judges  are  appointed  by  the  crown,  the  jury  is 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  IT.  391 

cnosen  by  the  lieutenant  of  the  district  of  Dundalk.  As 
there  are  more  Catholics  than  Protestants  in  the  county 
Louth,  MacMoyer,  foreseeing  that  some  Catholics  would 
surely  be  on  the  jury,  and  knowing  that  the  lieutenant, 
who,  from  his  office,  is  called  sheriff,  was  a  friend  of  mine, 
presented  a  memorial  that  no  Catholic  should  be  on  the 
jury,  and  he  obtained  his  petition.  I  made  no  opposition, 
knowing  well  that  all  the  Protestants  of  my  district  looked 
upon  MacMoyer  as  a  confederate  of  the  Tories,  and  hence, 
at  the  criminal  sessions  of  Armagh,  in  1678,  he  was  pro- 
secuted and  fined  ;  and  I  knew,  moreover,  that  they  all 
deemed  fabulous  the  story  sworn  by  MacMoyer  against 
me  ;  and,  moreover,  his  dissolute  life  was  notorious,  and  he 
was  always  half-drunk  when  he  appeared-  before  the  tribu- 
nals. Murphy  fled  because  he  well  knew  that  the  jury  of 
Dundalk  would  have  hanged  him.  He  had  been  imprisoned 
in  Dundalk  and  escaped  ;  he  was  found  in  the  company  of 
the  Tories,  and  he  concealed  the  articles  which  they  stole. 
It  is  said  that  he  has  gone  to  England  to  obtain  pardon 
from  the  king,  that  he  may  afterward  appear  against  me  ; 
not  to  accuse  me  in  crimine  Icesce  majestatis,  (of  treason,) 
but  of  exercising  papal  jurisdiction  in  this  kingdom.  An- 
other witness,  Callaghan,  accuses  me  in  like  manner,  and 
it  is  an  accusation  which  I  deem  most  glorious.  It  is 
more  than  two  years  since  MacMoyer  commenced  his  ac- 
cusations against  me,  as  is  clear  from  the  depositions. 

"  I  more  than  once  wrote  to  your  excellency  to  request 
my  masters  to  send  me  some  aid.  I  am  at  this  moment 
500  crowns  in  debt;  I  have  to  pay  here  J^i  a  week  for 
my  own  and  my  servant's  apartments,  and  having  no 
means  to  pay  for  my  food,  one  of  my  servants  brings  it  to 
me  in  a  basket  from  the  house  of  two  Catholic  noblemen. 
This  is  the  truth,  coram  Deo,  et  nan  mentior ;  and  although 
you  well  know  I  have  not  now  received  one  halfpenny  from 
my  masters,  yet  Catholics  here,  as  well  as  Protestants,  can 

392  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

with  difficulty  be  induced  to  believe  it.  Here  there  is  no 
such  thing  as  revenue  ;  as  you  know,  we  depend  on  the 
benevolence  of  the  CathoHcs,  who  are  reduced  to  such 
poverty,  especially  in  my  districts,  that  it  is  difficult  for 
the  parish  priests  to  find  the  means  of  subsistence.  So 
many,  between  bandits  and  soldiery,  are  continually  in  pur- 
suit of  them,  that  in  my  district  the  greater  part  left  their 
holdings  ;  in  fact,  all  the  miUtary  are  maintained  at  the 
expense  of  the  poor  Catholics,  and  many,  not  being  able 
to  pay,  are  imprisoned." 

But  the  scene  was  now  to  be  soon  shifted  from  the 
shores  of  Ireland  to  the  banks  of  the  Thames.  Mac- 
Moyer  and  his  associates  felt  that  it  would  be  impossible 
for  them  to  attain  their  wicked  purpose  in  a  country  where 
their  crimes  were  so  public  and  the  primate  so  revered  ; 
they  therefore  petitioned  the  king  that  the  trial  should  be 
transferred  to  London.  The  suggestion  was  pleasing  to 
the  court,  and  about  the  middle  of  October  Dr.  Plunket 
received  a  summons  to  appear  before  Parliament  and  the 
king  to  answer  to  the  charges  imputed  to  him.  There 
are  two  letters  of  the  archbishop  written  on  this  occasion, 
one  on  the  2ist  of  October,  announcing  this  summons  to 
London,  and  another,  written  on  board  the  vessel  on  the 
24th,  the  day  of  his  departure  from  Ireland.  In  the  former 
he  thus  writes  : 

"  I  have  been  cited  to  appear  before  the  king  and  Par- 
liament in  London,  and  I  leave  to-day  to  embark.  May  all 
be  for  the  greater  glory  of  God  and  the  salvation  of  my 
soul.  Another  friar  has  made  his  appearance  as  informer. 
His  name  is  George  Coddan :  he  was  imprisoned  for  some 
crime,  and,  to  obtain  his  liberty,  became  informer  a{':ainst 
me  and  against  Dr.  Hugo,  one  of  the  chapter  of  Armagh, 
alleging  that  he  was  nuncio  of  the  pope.  A  third  friar, 
also,  a  certain  Paul  Gormley,  who  was  prisoner  in  Derry, 
being  arrested  for  robbery,  now  gives  evidence  in  order  to 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  393 

save  himself:  He  studied  in  Prague.  I  request  you  to 
speak  to  Mr.  Joyce  that  he  may  transmit  the  money  to  Mr, 
John  Comin  without  delay.  The  expenses  are  and  will  be 
intolerable,  and  already  I  have  sold  a  part  of  the  few  things 
I  had,  and  pledged  the  remainder,  even  to  the  chalice  and 
cross.  From  London,  if  possible,  you  will  receive  further 
intelligence.  I  have  been  deprived  of  pen,  ink,  and  paper. 
I  write  sub  galli  cantu  et  clam  ac  furtive.  Let  Mr.  Joyce 
not  mind  the  exchange,  for  necessitas*non  habet  legem.  One 
consolation  there  is,  that  the  captain  of  the  guard  which 
accompanies  me  is  not  my  enemy.  Dr.  Tyrrell,  Mr.  Luke 
Plunket,  and  Dr.  Dromgole  have  been  declared  guilty  of 
treason  by  the  grand  jury.  A  strange  thing  that,  on  the 
mere  deposition  of  witnesses,  sentence  should  be  given 
against  persons  who  are  a.bsent  and  unheard  ! 

"I  request  you  to  communicate  this  intelligence  to 
Monsignor  Cybo,  or  to  send  him  this  letter.  There  are 
many  of  the  Irish  nobility  and  gentry  here  accused  of  this 
Utopian  conspiracy,  as  my  Lord  Poer,  now  Earl  of  Tuam  ; 
my  Lord  Brittas,  etc.  I  recommend  myself  to  the  sacrifices 
and  prayers  of  all. 

"2 1st  October,  1680." 

I  will  now  give  his  trial,  from  the  account  printed  in 

"On  the  3d  of  May,  1681,  in  Easter  term.  Dr.  Oliver 
Plunket  was  arraigned  at  the  king's  bench  bar  for  high 
treason,  and  for  endeavoring  and  compassing  the  king's 
death,  and  to  levy  war  in  Ireland,  and  to  alter  the  religion 
there,  and  to  introduce  a  foreign  power.  And  at  his 
arraignment,  before  his  plea,  he  urged  for  himself  that  he 
was  indicted  of  the  same  high  treason  in  Ireland  and 
arraigned,  and  at  the  day  for  his  trial  the  witnesses  against 
him  did  not  appear  ;  and  therefore  he  desired  to  know  if 
he  could  be  tried  here  for  the  same  fact.  The  court  told 
him  that,  by  a  statute  made  in  this  kingdom,  he  might  be 

394  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

tried  in  the  Court  of  King's  Bench,  or  by  Commission  of 
Oyer  and  Terminer  in  any  part  of  England,  for  facts 
arising  in  Ireland,  and  that  this  arraignment  there  (he 
being  never  tried  on  it)  was  not  sufficient  to  exempt  him 
from  being  tried  here  *  He  then  desired  time  for  his 
witnesses,  which  they  told  him  he  could  not  do  till  aftei 
plea  pleaded,  whereupon  he  pleaded  not  guilty,  and  put 
himself  upon  the  country  for  his  trial ;  and  after  some 
consideration  had  about  time  to  be  allowed  him  to  bring 
his  witnesses  from  Ireland,  the  court  appointed  the  day 
for  his  trial  to  be  the  first  Wednesday  in  next  term,  which 
was  full  five  weeks'  time. 

"  And  accordingly,  on  Wednesday,  the  8th  of  June,  in 
Trinity  term,  he  was  brought  to  his  trial,  and  proclamation, 
as  in  such  cases  is  usual,  being  made,  it  proceeded  thus  rf 

"  Clerk  of  Crown.  Oliver  Plunket,  hold  up  thy  hand. 
These  good  men  which  thou  shalt  hear  called  and  per- 
s  ^1  ally  appear  are  to  pass  between,  etc. 

"  Plunket,    May  it  please   your  lordship :    I  have  been 

•  This  was  under  a  most  iniquitous  and  unconstitutional  act  of  the  English  Parliament,  and 
its  application  in  Dr.  Plunket's  case  was  peculiarly  outrageous.  To  send  him  to  be  tried  by  a 
London  jury  of  that  day  was  to  hand  over  the  good  prelate  lo  enemies  thirsting  for  his  blood  ; 
it  was  to  procure  credence  for  his  perjured  accusers,  removing  them  from  the  country  where 
their  crimes  and  perjuries  were  known,  and  where  Protestant  juries  had  already  refused 
credence  to  their  sworn  testimony.  It  was  also,  in  the  existing  circumstances,  to  deprive  the 
accused  of  the  probability  of  defence,  and  to  oblige  him  to  answer  the  highest  charge  against 
the  crown  before  a  court  where  there  could  be  no  witnesses  in  his  favor,  no  evidence  of  his 
innocence. — Moran,  p.  322. 

t  The  judges  on  the  trial  were  the  Lord  Chief-Justice  Sir  Francis  Pemberton  and  Judges 
Dolbein  and  Jones.  According  to  the  truly  barbarous  policy  of  the  law  in  fhe  seventeenth  cen- 
tury, (and  indeed  the  same  law  was  in  force  till  a  very  late  period,)  no  person  accused  of  treason 
was  al  lowed  the  assistance  of  counsel,  unless  in  the  case  that  some  purely  legal  question  should 
arise  during  the  trial.  Hence  Dr.  Plunket  now  stood  alone  at  the  bar  to  plead  his  causf 
btfoie  judges  who  seemed  to  vie  with  each  other  in  their  partiality  for  the  perjured  witnesse\ 
and  in  their  animosity  against  the  accused,  while  at  the  same  time  the  jury  had  naught  to 
guide  them  in  their  decision  but  the  long-concocted,  and  nevertheless  occasionally  conflicting, 
evidence  of  thf^se  perjurers.  One  instance  will  show  the  bias  of  the  judges.  When,  at  the 
tlose  of  the  first  witness's  er  dence,  Dr.  Plunket  asked  him  why,  if  all  he  had  said  were  true, 
Tje  had  never  during  thf  rtast  seven  years  given  any  notice  to  the  government  of  the  plo/ ,  the 
chief-justice,  seeing  this  witness  somewhat  perplexed,  suggested  to  him  an  answer,  saying, 
■*  Of  what  religion  were  you  then  ?"  and  the  witness  replying,  "  A  Roman  Catholic,"  Justice 
Dolbein  at  once  added,  "  Therefore  it  will  be  no  wonder  you  did  not  disccver  the  plot  '*  - 
Moran,  p.  324, 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  395 

kept  close  prisoner  for  a  long  time — a  year  and  a  half — in 
prison.  When  I  came  from  Ireland  hither,  I  was  told  by 
persons  of  good  repute,  and  a  counsellor-at-law,  that  I  could 
not  be  tried  here  ;  and  the  reasons  they  gave  me  were  that, 
first,  the  statute  of  Henry  VIII.  and  all  other  statutes  made 
here  were  not  received  in  Ireland  unless  there  were  an  ex- 
press mention  made  of  Ireland  in  them :  so  that  none  were 
received  there  but  such  as  were  made  before  Poyning's  Act. 
So  I  came  with  that  persuasion  that  I  could  not  be  tried 
here,  till,  at  my  arraignment,  your  lordships  told  me  it  was 
not  so,  and  that  I  must  be  tried  here,  though  there  was  no 
express  mention  made  of  Ireland.  Now,  my  lord,  upon 
that,  whereas  my  witnesses  were  in  Ireland,  and  I  knew 
nothing  of  it,  and  the  records  upon  which  I  very  much 
rely  were  in  Ireland,  your  lordship  was  pleased  to  give  me 
time  from  the  4th  of  the  last  month  to  this  day  ;  and  in 
the  meantime,  as  your  lordship  had  the  affidavit  here 
yesterday,  and  as  Captain  Richardson  can  testify,  I  have 
not  despatched  only  one,  but  two,  to  Ireland,  into  the 
counties  of  Armagh,  Dublin,  etc.,  and  where  there  were 
records  very  material  to  my  defence  ;  but  the  clerk  of  the 
crown  would  not  give  me  any  copy  of  any  record  at  all, 
unless  he  had  some  express  order  from  your  lordship  ;  so 
that,  whether  it  were  that  they  were  mistaken  or  wilfully 
refused,  I  could  not  get  the  records,  which  were  very 
material  for  me ;  for  in  some  of  those  records  some  of 
those  that  accuse  me  were  convicted  of  high  crimes,  and 
others  were  outlawed  and  imprisoned  and  broke  prison  ; 
and  there  were  other  records  also  of  excommunication 
against  some  of  them,  and  I  could  not  get  the  records 
unless  your  lordship  would  instruct  me  some  way  or  other 
how  I  can  get  over  them  that  are  most  material  for  my  de- 
fence The  servants  that  I  sent  hence,  and  took  shipping 
for  Ire'and  were  two  days  at  sea,  and  cast  back  again, 
and   from    thence   forced   to  go   to    Holyhead,  and   from 

396  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

Holyhead  in  going  to  Dublin  they  were  thirteen  or 
fourteen  days,  the  winds  were  so  contrary  ;  and  then  my 
servant  went  about  to  go  into  the  county  of  Armagh  and 
Derry,  that  were  a  hundred  miles  from  Dublin,  and  Meath, 
and  other  places,  so  that  in  so  short  a  time,  my  lord,  it 
was  morally  impossible  for  them  to  have  brought  the 
witnesses  over ;  and  those  that  were  ready  to  have  come 
would  not  stir  at  all  unless  they  had  a  pass  from  hence, 
because  some  of  them  were  Roman  Catholics,  and  they 
had  heard  that  here  some  were  taken  prisoners  that  were 
Roman  Catholics,  and  that  none  ought  to  come  without  a 
pass  ;  and,  they  being  witnesses  against  the  king,  they 
might  be  clapped  up  here,  and  brought  into  very  ill  con- 
dition ;  so  they  sent  one  over  that  made  affidavit. 

"  Lord  Chief-yustice.  It  was  the  affidavit  was  read  here 

"  Plutiket.  So  that,  my  .lord,  I  conceive  your  lordship 
will  think  I  did  it  not  out  of  any  intent  to  put  off  my  trial, 
for  Captain  Richardson  is  here,  who  knows  that  I  wrote 
by  the  post,  and  desired  them  to  come  with  the  packet- 
boat,  and  they  wrote  over  to  the  captain  after  they  were 
landed  ;  so  that  I  depended  upon  the  wind  and  weather 
for  my  witnesses,  and  wanted  your  lordship's  order  for  the 
records  to  be  brought  over,  and  that  their  examination 
might  be  brought  into  court,  and  their  own  original  exami- 
nation here  might  be  compared  with  it.  So  I  humbly  beg 
your  lordship's  favor  ;  the  case  is  rare,  and  scarce  happens 
in  five  hundred  years,  that  one  should  be  in  my  circum- 
stances. I  am  come  here,  where  no  jury  knows  me  nor 
the  quality  of  my  adversaries.  If  I  had  been  in  Ireland,  I 
would  have  put  myself  upon  my  trial  to-morrow,  without 
witnesses,  before  any  Protestant  jury  that  knew  them  and 
me.  And  when  the  orders  went  over  that  I  should  be 
tried  in  Ireland,  and  that  no  Roman  Catholics  should  be 
upon  the  jury,  and  so  it  was  in  both  the  grand  and  other 

In  the  Reigit  of  Charles  II.  397 

jury,  yet  then  when  I  came  to  my  trial,  after  I  was  ar- 
raigned, not  one  appeared.  This  is  manifest  upon  the  re- 
cord, and  can  be  proved. 

"  Lord  Chief- Justice.  There  was  no  prosecution  of  you 

"  Plunket.  But,  my  lord,  here  is  no  jury  that  knows  me 
or  the  quality  of  my  adversaries,  for  they  are  not  a  jury  01 
the  neighborhood  that  know  them,*  and  therefore  my  case 
is  not  the  same  with  other  cases.  .  .  .  Therefore  I 
beseech  your  lordship  that  I  may  have  time  to  bring  my 
records  and  witnesses,  and  then  I  will  defy  all  that  is  upon 
earth  and  under  the  earth  to  say  anything  against  me. 

"Lord  Chief-Justice.  Look  you,  Mr.  Plunket,  'tis  in 
vain  for  you  to  talk  and  make  this  discourse  here  now. 
You  must  know  that,  by  the  laws  of  this  kingdom,  when  a 
man  is  indicted  and  arraigned  of  treason  or  felony,  'tis  not 
usual  to  give  such  time.  'Tis  rare  that  any  man  hath  had 
such  time  as  you  have  had — five  weeks'  time — to  provide 
your  witnesses.  If  your  witnesses  are  so  cautious,  and  are 
such  persons  that  they  dare  not  or  will  not  venture  for  fear 
of  being  apprehended,  or  will  not  come  to  England  with- 
out such  and  such  cautions,  we  cannot  tell  how  to  help 
it.     .     .     . 

"  Clerk  of  Crown.  Oliver  Plunket,  hold  up  thy  hand. 
You  of  the  jury  look  at  the  prisoner  and  hearken  to  his 
charge : 

"  He  stands  indicted  by  the  name  of  Oliver  Plunket,  late 
of  Westminster,  in  the  county  of  Middlesex,  doctor  of  di- 
vinity, for  that  he,  as  a  false  traitor  against  the  most  illus- 
trious and  most  excellent  prince  our  sovereign  lord  Charles 
the  Second,  .  .  .  at  Dublin,  in  the  kingdom  of  Ireland, 
in  parts  beyond  the  seas,  with  divers  other  traitors  un- 
known, traitorously  did  compass  the  death  of  the  king. 

•  The  writ  for  summoning  a  jury  runs,  "  shall  summon  twelve  men  of  the  neighborhood 
who  best  may  know  and  judge." 

398  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

And  to  fulfil  and  accomplish  his  said  most  wicked  treasons 
...  did  consult  and  agree  our  said  sovereign  lord  the 
king  that  is  now  to  death  and  final  destruction  to  bring, 
.  .  .  and  tlie  religion  of  the  Romish  Church  into  the  king- 
dom of  Ireland  aforesaid  to  introduce  and  establish,  etc. 

"Mr.  Attorney-General.  May  it  please  your  lordship, 
and  you,  gentlemen  of  the  jury,  the  character  this  gentle- 
man bears,  as  primate  under  a  foreign  and  usurped  juris- 
diction, will  be  a  great  inducement  to  you  to  give  credit  to 
that  evidence  we  shall  produce  before  you." 

After  the  speech  of  the  attorney-general,  of  which  I 
have  given  the  opening  and  most  characteristic  words,  the 
witnesses  were  called.  These  were  some  apostate  friars 
and  bad  priests  whose  evil  doings  Dr.  Plunket  had  pun- 
ished, and  one  or  two  friends  of  theirs  of  similar  character. 
Their  character  and  history  are  fully  traced  by  Dr.  Moran. 

It  would  only  weary  my  readers  were  I  to  recount  the 
ridiculous  tales  they  told  of  Dr.  Plunket's  connection  with 
what  they  called  the  popish  plot.  According  to  them, 
this  bishop  (whose  most  private  letters,  now  published, 
show  he  was  incessantly  occupied  in  the  labors  of  his  epis- 
copate, and  could  not  obtain  for  himself  a  revenue  of  even 
near  £,ap  a  year,  and  frequently  received  only  £,1^  rais- 
ed annually  large  sums  for  the  support  of  a  French  army,* 
was  to  raise  himself  70,000  men,  and  spent  his  time  sur- 
veying the  ports  of  Ireland  for  the  purpose  of  a  military 
landing,  and  kept  100  priests  in  his  own  house,  when  that 
house  was  a  thatched  cabin  of  two  rooms,  and  when  there 
were  only  sixty-two  priests  in  the  whole  diocese  of  Ar- 
magh. The  only  witness  who  showed  even  ingenuity  in 
concocting  his  tale  was  Moyer,  an  apostate  Franciscan 
friar,  who  produced  a  paper — whether  a  letter  or  a  copy  of 


•  They  swore  that  for  this  purpose  he  raised  forty  shillings  and  fifty  shillings  a  year  fti  ... 
each  priest,  besides  other  sums,  whereas  in  reality  they  were  never  able  to  pay  the  twenty 
•hillings  which  they  were  bound  to  contribute  for  the  archbishop's  own  support. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  399 

the  diocesan  statutes  is  not  clear — signed  by  Dr.  Plunket, 
in  which  it  was  ordered  that  ;^50  a  year  should  be  raised 
by  the  clergy  of  Ireland  to  support  their  ecclesiastical  agent 
in  Rome.  Moyer  had  added  a  cipher,  making  the  sum 
^500,  and  said  the  money  was  for  the  furthering  of  the 
plot.  On  reading  the  document,  however,  Mr.  Justice 
Dolbein  observed, "  That  is  but  negotia  generally  ;"  and  Dr. 
Plunket  pointed  out  the  real  sum  was  only  ;£so.  On  which 
the  chief-justice  said,  "  Look  you,  Mr.  Plunket,  consider 
with  yourself,  ;^50  or  .;^500  in  this  case  is  not  five  far- 
things difference,  but  the  money  was  to  be  raised  by  your 

"  Plunket.  Ay,  but  whether  it  was  not  raised  to  this  effect : 
there  is  never  a  nation  where  the  Roman  Catholic  religion 
is  professed  but  hath  an  agent  for  their  spiritual  affairs  at 
Rome,  and  this  was  for  the  spiritual  affairs  of  the  clergy  of 

This  was  the  only  fragment  of  documentary  or  corrobo- 
rative evidence  produced.  Moyer,  indeed,  produced  what 
he  called  a  translatien  of  a  letter  of  the  primate's,  but  the 
original  was  not  produced,  and  the  pretended  translation 
was  evidently  a  forgery.  The  other  witnesses,  when  asked 
for  the  orders  which  they  swore  they  had  received  from 
Dr.  Plunket  to  raise  money  for  the  plot,  answered  that 
they  had  left  them  in  Ireland,  not  thinking  they  would  be 
asked  for.  But  Titus  Oates  had  proved  that  no  fable  was 
too  gross  for  the  credulity  of  that  day,  if  only  it  were  re- 
lated of  papists.*  Dr.  Plunket's  answer  to  these  absurd 
charges  could  only  consist,  besides  their  own  internal 
inconsistencies  and  extravagance,  in  proving  the  bad  char- 
acter of  the  witnesses.     But  this  he  was  not  allowed  to  do. 

•  The  most  complete  proof  of  the  utter  groundlessness  of  all  the  allegations  in  reference  to 
these  pretended  popish  plots  is  the  fact  that,  although  all  the  most  secret  correspondence 
of  the  persons  alleged  to  have  taken  part  in  or  been  cognizant  of  them  has  since  been  pub- 
lished, there  is  not  a  single  allusion  throughout  which  can  be  tortured  into  a  reference  to  th« 
great  plot  in  which  they  were  supposed  to  be  engaged. 

400  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

We  have  seen  already  how  the  chief-justice  met  the  na- 
tural question  of  why  they  did  not  reveal  his  pretended 
•reason  for  so  many  years,  or  while  he  was  in  prison  in 
Ireland,  or  on  his  trial  at  Dundalk,  by  the  suggestion  that 
they  were  Catholics,  and  that  that  would  account  for  any- 
thing. But  he  protected  the  witnesses  against  the  truth 
still  further. 

"Dr.  Plunket.  My  lord,  to  show  what  was  part  of  the 
falling  out,  (of  Friar  Meyer  with  himself,)  I  would  ask  him  if 
he  was  indicted  of  any  crime  and  found  guilty  by  a  jury  .? 

"  Mayer.  That  was  for  discovering,  for  I  discovered  it 

"  Plunket.  My  lord,  he  confesses  he  was  convicted  for 
giving  powder  and  shot  to  the  rebels. 

"  Mr.  Justice  Dolbein.  No ;  he  does  not  say  so.  Produce 
the  record,  if  you  have  any  of  such  thing.* 

"  Mr.  Sergeant  Jeffries.  Look  you.  Dr.  Plunket,  if  you 
will  ask  him  any  questions  that  by  law  he  is  bound  to 
answer,  do  it,  of  God's  name  ;  we  will  not  interpose.  But 
if  you  ask  him  any  questions  that  may  tend  to  accuse  him- 
self, we  must  tell  you  he  is  not  bound  to  answer  them. 

"  Plunket.  He  hath  been  convicted  and  found  guilty  ; 
he  will  confess  it  himself 

"  Lord  Chief-Justice.  He  is  not  bound  to  answer  such 
a  question.!  Look  you,  Mr.  Plunket,  don't  misspend  your 
own  time  ;  for  the  more  you  trifle  in  these  things  {he  less 
time  you  will  have  for  your  defence.  I  desire  you  now  to 
consider,  and  well  husband  your  time  for  your  defence. 
What  have  you  to  say  for  yourself.'' 

•  Tlie  judges  had  judicial  knowledge  that  the  Irish  courts  had  refused  to  give  copies  of  an 
records  without  pn  express  order  from  themselves, Jthe  Court  of  King's  Bench  in  England,)  and 
they  had  noi  given  any  such  order. —  Trial,  p.  62, 

t  This  was  not  only  manifestly  unjust,  but  wholly  illegal.  A  witness  is  not  bound  to 
criminate  himself— that  is,  to  confess  a  crime  of  which  he  has  not  been  found  guilty  ;  but  he  is 
bound  to  answer  whether  he  has  been  convicted  or  not,  for  this  does  in  no  way  endanger  him 
•  But  the  chief-justice  would  neither  give  an  order  for  the  production  of  the  witnesses'  convic- 
tions, nor  allow  them  to  be  asked  whether  they  had  been  convicted. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  401 

"  Plunket.  My  lord,  I  tell  you  I  have  no  way  to  defend 
myself,  in  that  I  was  denied  time  to  bring  over  my  records 
and  my  witnesses,  which  were  ten  or  twelve.  And  if  I 
had  them  here,  I  would  stand  in  defiance  of  all  the  world 
to  accuse  me  ;  but  I  have  not  sufficient  time  to  bring  over 
my  records  and  my  witnesses,  and  I  am  brought  here  from 
out  of  my  native  country.  Were  I  in  Ireland,  there  both  I 
and  they  should  be  known  ;  but  when  I  was  to  be  tried 
there,  they  would  not  appear ;  and  it  is  false  and  only  malice. 
These  men  used  to  call  me  Oliverus  Cromwellus  out  of  spite. 
.  .  .  As  to  the  first  point,  I  answer  that  I  never  receiv- 
ed a  farthing  of  money  out  of  my  own  district ;  and,  but 
for  my  own  livelihood — and  that  I  can  prove  by  those  that 
have  received  it  for  me — that  I  never  received  over  three- 
score pounds  a  year  in  my  life,  unless  some  gentleman 
would  now  and  then  give  me  ten  shillings  for  my  relief 
For,  my  lord,  this  is  the  way  in  Ireland  :  every  priest  hath 
so  many  families  allotted  to  him,  and  every  Catholic  family 
gives  two  shillings  a  year,  (as  they  that  profess  that  way 
know,)  and  the  priests  give  me,  who  am  superior  over  them 
in  my  owr  district,-  some  twenty  shillings,  some  thirty 
shilhilgs,  and  I  never  got  so  much  in  my  life  as  to  maintain 
a  servant,  and  this  was  attested  before  the  council  in  Ire- 
land ;  .  .  .  and  I  never  had  above  one  servant,  and  the 
house  I  lived  in  was  a  little  thatched  house,  wherein  was 
only  a  little  room  for  a  library,  which  was  not  seven  foot 
high,  where  once  this  fellow  came  to  affront  me,  because  I 
had  hindered  him  from  begging ;  and  that's  for  the  money. 
.  .  .  Your  lordship  sees  how  I  am  dealt  with.  First 
and  foremost,  I  have  not  time  to  bring  my  witnesses,  or 
my  records,  which  if  I  had  I  would  not  weigh  one  farthing 
to  leave  my  cause  with  any  jury  in  the  world.  Besides  all 
this,  I  am  brought  out  of  my  own  native  country,  where 
these  men  lived  and  I  lived,  and  where  my  witnesses  and 
records  are,  which  would  show  what  these  people  are.     I 

402  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

sent  by  the  post  and  did  all  that  I  could,  and  what  can  1 
say  when  I  have  not  my  witnesses  against  these  people  ? 
They  may  swear  anything  in  the  world  ;  you  cannot  but 
observe  the  improbability  of  the  thing  in  itself,  and  unto 
what  a  condition  I  am  brought.  My  lord,  my  life  is  in 
imminent  danger,  because  I  am  brought  out  of  my  own 
country,  where  these  people  would  not  be  believed  against 

"  Then  the  counsel  for  the  crown  spoke,  and  the  chief- 
justice  charged  the  jury  bitterly  against  the  prisoner, 
saying : 

"  These  things  do  seem  to  be  very  plain  by  the  witness- 
es, that  he  himself  hath  taken  a  commission,  or  a  grant,  or 
what  you  will  please  to  call  it,  from  the  pope  to  be  primate 
of  Ireland,  that  he  hath  taken  upon  him  to  make  laws  as 
the  provincial,  and  that  he  hath  taken  and  endeavored  to 
settle  the  popish  religion  in  that  kingdom,  and  in  order  to 
that  he  hath  invited  the  aid  of  the  French  army. 

"Then  the  jury  withdrew  for  a  quarter  of  an  hour,  and 
•  being  returned  gave  this  verdict : 

"  Clerk  of  the  Crozvn.  Oliver  Plunket,  hold  up  thy  hand. 
How  say  you,  is  he  guilty  of  high  treason  wheraaf  he 
stands  indicted,  or  not  guilty .' 

"  Foreman.  Guilty. 

"  Plunket.  Deo  gratias,  God  be  thanked. 

"  Then  the  verdict  was  recorded,  and  the  court  rose. 
And  the  keeper  went  away  with  his  prisoner. 

"On  Wednesday,  the  15th  June,  1681,  Oliver  Plunket 
was  brought  to  the  bar  to  receive  judgment. 

"Mr.  Attorney-General.  My  lord,  I  pray  your  judg- 
ment against  the  prisoner  Oliver  Plunket. 

"  Clerk  of  the  Crown.  Oliver  Plunket,  hold  up  thy  hand. 
Thou  hast  been  indicted  of  high  treason,  thou  hast  been 
thereupon  arraigned,  thou  hast  thereunto  pleaded  not  guilty, 
and  for  thy  trial  hast  put  thyself  upon  God  and  the  country, 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  403 

which  country  hath  found  thee  guilty.  What  hast  thou  to 
say  for  thyself  why  judgment  of  death  should  not  pass  upon 
thee,  and  execution  be  thereupon  awarded  according  to  the 

"  Plunket.  My  lord,  may  it  please  your  lordship,  I  have 
something  to  say,  which,  if  your  lordship  will  consider  se- 
riously, may  occasion  the  court's  commiseration  and  mercy. 
I  have,  my  lord,  for  this  fact  been  arraigned  in  Ireland, 
and  brought  to  my  trial  there.  At  the  day  of  my  trial  all 
the  witnesses  voluntarily  absented  themselves,  seeing  I  had 
records  and  witnesses  to  convince  them  evidently,  and  show 
what  men  they  were,  and  the  prepensed  malice  that  they 
did  bear  to  me,  and  so,  finding  that  I  could  clear  myself  evi- 
dently, they  absented  themselves.  On  thedayof  my  trial  no 
Christian  appeared,  but  hither  over  they  come,  and  procure 
that  I  should  be  brought  hither,  where  I  could  not  have  a 
jury  that  knew  the  qualities  of  my  adversaries,  or  who  knew 
me,  or  the  circumstances  of  the  places,  times,  and  persons. 
The  juries  here,  as  I  say,  were  altogether  strangers  to 
these  affairs  ;  and  so,  my  lord,  they  could  not  know  many 
things  that  conduce  to  a  fair  trial ;  and  it  was  morally  im- 
possible they  should  know  it.  I  have  been  accused  chief- 
ly for  surveying  the  ports,  for  fixing  upon  Carlingford  for 
the  landing  of  the  French,  for  the  having  of  70,000  men 
ready  to  join  with  the  French.  'Tis  well  known  that  in  all 
the  province  of  Ulster — take  men,  women,  and  children  of 
the  Roman  Catholics — they  could  not  make  up  70,000. 
This  a  jury  there,  my  lord,  had  known  very  well ;  and, 
therefore,  the  laws  of  England,  which  are  very  favorable  to 
the  prisoner,  have  provided  that  there  should  be  a  jury  of 
the  place  where  the  fact  was  committed,  as  Sir  Thomas 
Gascoine,  as  I  have  heard,  had  a  Yorkshire  jury,  though 
he  was  tried  in  London.  And  then,  after  my  coming  here, 
I  was  kept  close  prisoner  for  six  months,  nor  any  Chris- 
tian was  permitted  to  come  at  rae,  nor  did  I  know  any- 

404  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

thing  how  things  stood  in  the  world.  I  was  brought  here 
the  3d  of  May,  to  be  arraigned,  and  I  did  petition  your 
lordship  to  have  some  time  for  my  trial,  and  I  would 
have  had  it  put  off  till  Michaelmas  ;  but  your  lordship 
did  not  think  fit  to  grant  so  long,  but  only  till  the  8th 
of  this  month,  when  my  witnesses,  who  were  ready  at 
the  seaside,  would  not  come  over  without  passes ;  and 
I  could  not  get  over  the  records  without  an  order  from 
hence,  which  records  would  have  shown  that  some  of 
the  witnesses  were  indicted  and  found  guilty  of  high 
crimes,  some  were  imprisoned  for  robberies,  and  some 
of  the  witnesses  were  infamous  people.  So  I  petition- 
ed, the  8th  of  this  month,  that  I  might  have  time  ^or 
twelve  days  more,  but  your  lordship  thought,  when  the 
motion  was  made,  that  it  was  only  to  put  off  my  trial ;  and 
now  my  witnesses  are  come  to  Coventry  yesterday  morn- 
ing, and  they  will  be  here  in  a  few  days ;  and  so,  for  want 
of  time  to  defend  myself  in,  I  was  exposed  to  my  adversa- 
ries, who  were  some  of  my  own  clergy,  whom,  for  their 
debauched  lives,  I  have  corrected,  as  is  well  known  there. 
I  will  not  deny  myself  but  that,  as  long  as  there  was  any 
toleration  and  connivance,  I  did  execute  the  function  of 
a  bishop,  and  that,  by  the  second  of  Elizabeth,  is  only  a 
pr(Ziniinire,  and  no  treason.  So  that,  my  lord,  I  was  ex- 
posed defenceless  to  my  enemies,  whereas  now  my  wit- 
nesses are  come  that  could  make  all  appear.  And,  my 
lord,  for  those  depositions  of  the  70,000  men,  and  the 
moneys  that  are  collected  of  the  clergy  in  Ireland,  they 
cannot  be  true,  for  they  are  a  poor  clergy,  that  have  no  re- 
venue nor  land ;  they  live  as  the  Presbyterians  do  here 
There  is  not  a  priest  in  all  Ireland  that  hath,  certainly  01 
uncertainly,  above  threescore  pounds  a  year  ;  and  that  I 
should  collect  of  them  forty  shillings  apiece  for  the  raising 
of  an  army,  or  for  the  landing  of  the  French  at  Carling- 
ford,  if  it  had  been  brought  before  a  jury  in  Ireland  it 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  405 

woul  1  have  been  thought  a  mere  romance.  If  they  had 
accused  me  of  z.  prcstnunire  for  the  exercise  of  my  episco- 
pal function,  perhaps  they  had  said  something  that  might 
have  been  believed ;  but,  my  lord,  as  I  am  a  dying  man, 
and  hope  for  salvation  bymy  Lord  and  Saviour,  I  am  not 
guilty  of  one  point  of  treason  they  have  sworn  against  me, 
no  more  than  the  child  that  was  born  but  yesterday.  I 
have  an  attestation  under  my  Lord  of  Essex's  hand  con- 
cerning my  good  behavior  in  Ireland  ;  and  not  only  from 
him,  but  from  my  Lord  Berkley,  who  was  also  governor 
there,  which  the  king's  attorney  saw.  But  here  I  was 
brought,  here  I  was  tried,  and,  having  not  time  to  bring 
my  witnesses,  I  could  not  prove  my  innocence,  as  other- 
wise I  might.  So  that,  if  there  be  any  case  in  the  world 
that  deserves  compassion,  surely  my  case  does.  And  'tis 
such  a  rare  case,  as  I  believe  you  will  not  find  two  of  them 
in  print,  that  one  arraigned  in  Ireland  should  be  tried  here 
afterward  for  the  same  fact.  My  lord,  if  there  be  any- 
thing in  the  world  that  deserves  pity,  this  does  ;  for  I  can 
say,  as  I  hope  for  mercy,  I  was  never  guilty  of  any  one 
point  that  they  swore  against  me.  And  if  my  petition  for 
time  had  been  granted,  I  could  have  shown  how  all  was 
prepense  malice  against  me,  and  have  produced  all  cir- 
cumstances that  could  make  out  the  innocence  of  a  person. 
But  not  having  had  time,  and  being  tried,  I  am  at  your 

"Lord  Chief-Justice.  .  .  .  You  have  done  as  much 
as  you  could  to  dishonor  God  in  this  case ;  for  the  bottom 
of  your  treason  was  your  setting  up  your  false  religion,  than 
which  there  is  not  anything  more  displeasing  to  God  or 
more  pernicious  to  mankind  in  the  world — a  religion  that 
is  ten  times  worse  than  all  the  heathenish  superstitions,  the 
most  dishonorable  and  derogatory  to  God  and  his  glory  of 
all  religions  or  pretended  religions  whatsoever,  for  it  un- 
dertakes to  dispel  se  with  God's  laws,  and  to  pardon  the 

406  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

breach  of  them.  So  that  certainly  a  greatei  crime  tht  .€ 
cannot  be  committed  against  God  than  for  a  man  to  en- 
deavor the  propagation  of  that  religion.     .     ,     . 

"  Pbmket.  How  could  any  one  foresee,  unless  he  was 
Almighty  God,  that  they  would  deny  it,  or  that  he  could 
not  get  out  a  copy  of  a  record,  paying  for  it,  without  a  pe- 
tition ?  All  the  friends  I  had  told  me  upon  motion  there 
it  might  be  had  ;  but  here  I  have  it  under  the  lieutenant's 
and  council's  hands  that  they  would  give  no  copy  of  re- 
cords without  order  from  hence,  which,  before  I  could 
know  it,  it  was  impossible  for  me  to  have  them  ready 
against  my  trial.  .  .  .  There  were  two  friars  and  a 
priest  whom  I  have  endeavored  to  correct  this  seven  years, 
and  they  were  renegades  from  our  religion,  and  declared 
apostates.     .     .     . 

"  May  it  please  your  lordship  to  give  me  leave  to  speak 
one  word.  If  I  were  a  man  that  had  no  care  of  my  con- 
science in  this  matter,  and  did  not  think  of  God  Almighty, 
or  conscience,  or  heaven,  or  hell,  I  might  have  saved  my 
life  ;  for  I  was  offered  it  by  divers  people  here,  so  I  would 
but  confess  my  own  guilt  and  accuse  others.  But,  my 
lord,  I  would  rather  die  ten  thousand  deaths  than  wrong- 
fully accuse  anybody.  And  the  time  will  come  when  your 
lordship  will  see  what  these  witnesses  are  that  have  come 
in  against  me.  I  do  assure  your  lordship,  if  I  were  a  man 
that  had  not  good  principles,  I  might  easily  have  saved  my 
own  life,  but  I  had  rather  die  ten  thousand  deaths  than 
wrongfully  to  take  away  one  farthing  of  any  man's  goods, 
one  day  of  his  liberty,  or  one  minute  of  his  life. 

"  Lord  Chief-yustice.  I  am  sorry  to  see  you  persist  in 
the  principles  of  that  religion. 

"  Plunket.  T!  ey  are  those  principles  that  God  Almighty 
cannot  dispense  withal. 

"Lord  Chief-Justice.  Well,  however,  the  judgment 
which  we  give  you  is  that  which  the  law  says  and  speaks. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  407 

And  therefore  you  must  go  from  hence  to  the  place  from 
whence  you  came — that  is,  to  Newgate  ;  and  from  thence 
you  shall  be  drawn  through  the  city  of  London  to  Tyburn ; 
there  you  shall  be  hanged  by  the  neck,  but  cut  down  be- 
fore you  are  dead,  your  bowels  shall  be  taken  out  and  burnt 
before  your  face,  your  head  shall  be  cut  off,  and  your  body 
be  divided  into  four  quarters,  to  be  disposed  of  as  his  ma- 
jesty pleases.  And  I  pray  to  God  have  mercy  on  your 

"  Plunket.  God  Almighty  bless  your  lordship.  And 
now,  my  lord,  as  I  am  a  dead  man  to  this  world,  and  as  I 
hope  for  mercy  in  the  other  world,  I  was  never  guilty  of 
any  of  the  treasons  laid  to  my  charge,  as  you  will  hear  in 
time ;  and  my  character  you  may  receive  from  my  Lord- 
Chancellor  of  Ireland,  my  Lord  Berkley,  my  Lord  Essex, 
and  the  Duke  of  Ormond. 

"  Then  the  keeper  took  away  his  prisoner,  and,  upon 
Friday,  the  ist  of  July,  he  was  executed  according  to  the 

I  shall  now  give  the  account  of  his  execution  from  Dr. 
Moran : 

"Friday,  the  nth  of  July,  1681,  was  the  day  fixed  for  the 
execution  ;  and  at  an  early  hour  Dr.  Plunket  was  conducted 
from  prison  to  the  scaffold  at  Tyburn.  The  dauntless 
spirit  which  he  displayed  while  awaiting  in  prison  the  car- 
rying out  of  the  fatal  sentence,  and  the  heroic  sanctity 
with  which  he  disposed  himself  to  receive  the  martyr's 
crown,  belong  rather  to  the  next  chapter ;  for  the  present 
it  will  suffice  to  give  some  extracts  from  a  manuscript  nar- 
rative presented  the  same  year  to  the  Sacred  Congregation, 
and  which  was  not  improbably  written  by  Father  Teyling, 
a  distinguished  member  of  the  Society  of  Jesus.  It  is  en- 
titled A  Brief  Narrative  of  the  Imprisonment,  Accusations, 
and  Death  of  Monsignor  Plunket,  Archbishop  of  Armagh, 
and  Primate  of  Ireland,  executed  at  Tyburn,  in  London, 

4o8  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

the  nth*  of  yuly,  1681.  Many  of  the  facts,  however 
which  it  contains  have  already  been  commemorated  from 
other  sources,  wherefore  we  shall  be  content  with  present- 
ing those  passages  which  add  new  circumstances  connect- 
ed with  the  imprisonment  and  death  of  our  holy  prelate. 

"  The  glorious  death  of  this  prelate,  deserving  of  eternal 
memory,  as  well  for  his  innocence  as  for  the  heroic  con- 
stancy with  which  he  supported  his  atrocious  penalty,  has 
awakened  in  many  a  devout  curiosity  to  learn  its  circum- 
stances, and  especially  in  those  who  will  remember  to  have 
known  and  conversed  with  him  in  this  city  of  Rome,  where 
he  lived  for  so  many  years,  at  first  as  student  of  the  Irish 
college,  and  afterward  as  professor  of  theology  for  many 
years  in  the  college  of  the  Propaganda.  Wherefore,  not 
to  defraud  so  holy  a  desire,  while  we  await  a  more  com- 
plete narrative  of  those  facts,  we  shall  here  relate  what  is 
known  for  certain,  partly  from  various  letters,  and  partly 
from  his  own  discourse,  which  may  now  be  had  in  print  in 
many  languages.     .     .     . 

"  At  the  same  time  and  place  sentence  of  death  was  also 
passed  against  a  certain  Fitzharris,  a  man  for  many  and 
heinous  crimes  deserving  of  that  punishment ;  this  served 
to  form  a  contrast  with  Dr.  Plunket  and  add  new  lustre  to 
his  innocence.  On  fhe  sentence  of  death  being  passed, 
Fitzharris,  by  the  terror  of  his  looks,  his  trembling,  and 
the  complete  failure  of  strength,  showed  that  his  heart 
was  not  less  feeble  than  guilty.  On  the  contrary,  the  pri- 
mate, as  well  when  awaiting  the  sentence  as  when  it  was 
being  passed,  and  after  it,  displayed  such  a  frankness  of 
soul  and  heart,  such  a  serene  and  joyous  countenance,  and 
was  so  composed  in  all  his  actions  and  deportment,  that  all 
were  able  to  perceive,  not  only  his  perfect  innocence,  but, 
moreover,  his  singular  virtue,  which  was  master  and  supe- 
rior to  every  emotion  of  passion.     And  concerning  all  this 

•  New  style.    In  England  they  stUI  observed  old  style. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  409 

the  Catholics  who  were  present  wrote  endless  praises,  at- 
testing that  none  could  wish  for  a  deportment  more  noble, 
more  amiable,  more  worthy  of  Him  whom  he  there  repre- 
sented. Having  heard  the  sentence,  (turning  his  thoughts 
to  his  soul,  and  nowise  solicitous  as  to  the  sufferings  des 
tined  for  his  body,)  he  asked  as  a  favor  from  the  judge  to  be 
allowed  to  treat  of  spiritual  matters  with  a  Catholic  priest. 
'You  will  have,'  replied  the  judge,  'a  minister  of  the 
Church  of  England.'  But  he  answered,  '  I  am  obliged  for 
your  good  intentions,  but  such  a  favor  would  be  wholly 
useless  to  me.' 

"  The  primate  being  reconducted  to  prison  after  this  pub- 
lic and  so  glorious  trial,  there  arose  between  the  Catho- 
lics and  the  Protestants  an  eager  strife  who  would  visit 
him  and  converse  with  him — the  former  attracted  by  a 
singular  devotion,  the  latter  by  an  extraordinary  curiosity  ; 
and  he,  during  the  few  days  that  he  survived,  received  both 
with  such  courtesy,  with  such  a  sweetness,  and  calmness, 
and  amiableness  of  manner,  that  the  Catholics  departed 
truly  edified,  and  the  Protestants  were  not  only  exceeding- 
ly contented  with  his  deportment,  but  also  rendered  more 
affectionate  toward  the  Catholics.  Before  his  examination 
he  was  able  to  confer  with  a  spiritual  father,  to  whom  he 
manifested,  as  that  which  most  disturbed  him,  his  having 
no  horror  of  death,  on  account  of  which  he  feared  that  he 
'was  not  well  prepared  for  it,  which  shows  his  humility,  and 
with  what  worthy  sentiments  he  approached  his  death,  as 
the  only  scruple  which  disturbed  him  was  one  derived 
from  a  special  and  excessive  grace  which  God  granted  to 
him.  On  his  part,  he  was  nowise  negligent  in  disposing 
himself  for  this  great  grace ;  for,  in  addition  to  the  suffer- 
ings of  prison,  to  the  afflicting  journeys  so  patiently  borne 
by  him,  to  the  generous  and  repeated  pardon  which  he  so 
often  breathed  for  his  enemies  in  exchange  for  their  many 
outrages,  he   added,  moreover,  many  voluntary  penances, 

4IO  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

and  especially  a  rigorous  fast  on  bread  and  water  three 
times  each  week  during  the  whole  time  that  he  was  in  pri- 
son in  London,  as  the  keeper  of  the  prison,  a  Protestant, 
attested  after  Dr.  Plunket's  death,  not  without  eulogy  and 

"  At  length,  on  the  i  ith  of  July,  the  day  destined  for  the 
carrying  out  of  the  fatal  sentence,  the  keeper  of  the  prison, 
imagining  that  the  apprehension  of  approaching  death  and 
horror  of  the  atrocious  punishment  would  have  made  some 
impression  on  that  soul  hitherto  so  resolute,  went  early  in 
the  morning  to  visit  him,  and,  if  necessary,  to  give  him  cou- 
rage and  comfort  him  ;  but  he  was  yet  more  surprised  and 
filled  with  astonishment  on  finding  that  the  prelate,  on 
being  awakened,  was  as  little  moved  by  the  approach  of 
sufferings  as  though  his  body  was  insensible  to  pain,  while, 
nevertheless,  he  was  of  an  ardent  and  delicate  tempera- 
ment. In  a  little  while  the  announcement  was  made  that 
everything  was  in  order,  wherefore  he  was  taken  from  pri- 
son, and  stretched  (with  his  face  uppermost)  and  tied  with 
cords  upon  a  wooden  hurdle,  and  thus  drawn  by  a  horse  to 

"  It  had  been  a  hundred  years,  perhaps,  since  a  Catholic 
bishop  was  executed  there,  and  hence  the  curiosity  to  see 
a  victim  of  such  exalted  dignity,  and  already  so  famed  for 
his  noble  deportment,  gathered  together  an  immense  mul- 
titude of  spectators,  who  partly  awaited  him  on  the  road- 
side, partly  at  the  place  of  execution.  Such  as  he  had 
shown  himself  when  receiving  sentence  of  death  did  he  now 
prove  himself  in  this  last  scene  when  undergoing  death  it- 
self, being  ever  serene  and  tranquil  even  to  his  last  breath  ; 
so  that  he  universally  excited  that  esteem  and  sympathy 
which  are  invariably  evoked  by  a  heroic  virtue  oppressed 
by  an  extreme  rigor,  so  that  few  could  be  found  even 
among  the  Protestants  to  entertain  a  doubt  as  to  his  inno- 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  411 

"  On  the  scaffold  he  delivered  a  short  discourse,  in  which, 
after  protesting  his  innocence  as  to  the  charges  of  conspi- 
racy made  against  him,  he  prayed  for  life  and  health  to  the 
king  and  all  the  royal  family,  gave  a  most  complete  pardon 
to  all  his  enemies  and  adversaries,  and,  in  fine,  supplicated 
the  Divine  Majesty  to  be  propitious  to*  him,  through  the 
merits  of  Christ,  through  the  intercession  of  the  Blessed 
Virgin  and  of  all  the  holy  angels  and  saints  of  paradise. 
Which  form  of  prayer,  so  simple  and  yet  so  pious,  was  re- 
marked by  the  spectators,  who  never  remembered  to  have 
heard  from  any  other  such  an  express  mention  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin  and  the  saints. 

"  This  discourse  was  the  substance  of  the  longer  one  which 
he  wrote  with  his  own  hand  in  prison,  and  left  with  his 
friends,  lest  any,  by  a  malignant  alteration,  might  seek  to 
falsify  his  dying  sentiments.  Having  concluded  his  dis- 
course, the  sentence  was  carried  into  execution,  and  his 
happy  soul  sped  its  flight  (as  we  may  hope)  to  enjoy  an 
eternal  repose. 

"  On  the  same  day  and  in  the  same  place  Fitzharris  was 
executed,  and  to  the  last  the  contrast  of  his  manner  and 
actions  displayed  in  brighter  light  the  happy  lot  of  the  pri- 
mate ;  and  while  Dr.  Plunket  excited  compassion  on  ac- 
count of  his  atrocious  and  unmerited  suffering,  and  became 
universally  loved  for  his  innocence  and  extolled  to  the  skies 
for  his  constancy,  Fitzharris  was  abhorred  for  his  wicked 
deeds,  despised  for  his  vile  cowardice,  and  uncompassioned 
in  his  suffering,  as  being  his  due. 

"  The  primate,  before  death,  asked  and  obtained  permis- 
sion to  be  buried  with  the  fathers  of  the  Society  of  Jesus 
who  during  the  present  persecution  sacrificed  their  lives  at 
Tyburn.  He  was  therefore  interred  with  them  in  the 
church  of  St.  Giles  ;  and  we  cannot  but  remark  the  devo- 
tion and  great  esteem  which  the  English  Catholics  display- 
ed for  this  sacred  deposit ;  and  together  with  it  they  in- 

412  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

terred  a  copper  plate,  on  which  was  inscribed  the  following 
inscription : 

'"In  this  tomb  resteth  the  body  of  the  Most  Rev.  Oliver 
Plunket,  late  Archbishop  of  Armagh,  and  Primate  of  All 
Ireland,  who,  when  accused  of  high  treason,  through  hatred 
of  the  faith,  by  false  brethren,  and  condemned  to  death, 
being  nanged  at  Tyburn,  and  his  bowels  being  taken  out 
and  cast  into  the  fire,  suffered  martyrdom  with  constancy, 
in  the  reign  of  Charles  II.,  King  of  Great  Britain,  on  the 
1st  day  of  July,  1681.'" 

Here  we  may  remark  that,  by  referring  to  this  inscrip- 
tion, it  is  not  our  intention  to  ratify  the  title  of  martyr  till 
the  Holy  Church  will  authenticate  it ;  as,  also,  we  must  add, 
that  the  aforesaid  date  is  not  contrary  to  that  given  above, 
as  the  1st  of  July,  according  to  the  old  style,  still  used  in 
England,  is  equivalent  to  the  nth  of  July  according  to  our 
Gregorian  computation. 

Some  few  circumstances  yet  remain,  connected  with  the 
death  of  Dr.  Plunket,  which  cannot  be  passed  over  in 
silence,  and  which  we  now  add  : 

I.  It  is  deserving  of  attention,  that  all  the.  accusers, 
judges,  and  other  opponents  of  Dr.  Plunket  were  not  able 
to  attach  the  mark  of  conspiracy  to  his  cause,  or  conceal 
its  being  a  manifest  and  direct  cause  of  religion.  The 
plots  in  England  were  pretended  to  be  directed  against  the 
life  of  the  king  ;  but  neither  the  death  of  the  king  noi*  the 
advancement  of  any  other  cause  could  be  put  forward  as 
the  scope  of  the  pretended  Irish  conspiracy,  but  only  the 
establishment  of  the  faith. 

2  It  has  been  written  that  two  English  lords  (who 
were  successively  viceroys  in  Ireland)  declared  to  the 
king  that  it  was  impossible  to  believe  or  deem  probable 
any  of  the  accusations  against  the  primate,  for  they  had 
experienced  in  him  a  man  full  of  zeal  for  the  public  peace 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  II.  413 

— nay,  one  of  the  most  efficacious  in  Ireland  in  appeasing 
seditious  movements. 

3.  It  is  certain  tliat,  on  the  part  of  one  of  the  first  noble- 
men in  England,  his  life  was  offered  him  should  he  consent 
to  accuse  others,  which  offer,  although  resolutely  rejected 
by  him,  is  said  to  have  been  renewed  him  on  the  scaffold, 
God  permitting  the  temptation  for  the  greater  merit  of  one 
who  thus  in  such  innocence  sacrificed  his  life. 

4.  The  superior  of  a  certain  religious  order,  a  man  of 
great  prudence,  who  was  present  at  the  primate's  death, 
writes  that  on  the  scaffold,  by  the  singular  composure  of 
soul  and  actions,  he  seemed  like  an  angel  descended  from 
paradise,  who  was  joyously  arrived  at  the  moment  of  once 
more  returning  thither. 

5.  All  write,  with  one  accord,  that  this  innocent  victim 
has  done  and  yet  performs  great  good  in  England,  not  only 
by  the  edification  he  gave  to  the  Catholics,  but,  moreover, 
by  the  change  of  ideas  and  sentiments  which  he  occasion- 
ed in  many  Protestants,  who  now  commence  to  regard  all 
these  conspiracies  as  malicious  fictions  ;  and  there  are 
great  grounds  for  believing  that  the  fruit  which  England 
will  derive  from  his  blood  will  not  end  here.  The  archbishop 
himself  wrote  from  prison  in  London  that  he  h-^d  ex- 
perienced in  the  English  Catholics  the  most  exalted  piety, 
faith,  and  Christian  charity  which  any  one  could  desire-; 
and  he  gives  the  names  of  many  families  and  individuals 
who,  it  seems,  gave  to  him,  though  a  stranger  and  unknown 
to  them,  large  sums  of  money  to  enable  his  witnesses  to 
come  from  Ireland,  and  offered  themselves,  moreover,  as 
most  ready  to  undergo  any  other  expense  or  render  him 
any  service.  He,  therefore,  in  the  letter  referred  to,  pro- 
fesses an  unspeakable  love  for  those  so  bounteous  bene- 
factors, and  we  may  hope  that  as  he  has  while  living  d<>ne  so 
much  by  his  example,  so   now  he  will   be   efficaci  ms  in 

414  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

obtaining  from  Heaven  most  abundant  blessings  for  those 
by  whom  he  deemed  himself  so  benefited  upon  earth. 

Such  were  the  glorious  sentiments  with  which  the  arch- 
bishop encountered  the  barbarous  sentence  which  had  been 
unjustly  decreed  against  him.  None,  even  among  his  ene- 
mies, dared  to  insinuate  his  guilt  or  pretend  that  any 
deeds  of  conspiracy  could  be  imputed  to  him.  All  felt  the 
attractions  of  his  innocence  and  sanctity,  and  could  scarcely 
find  words  to  express  their  admiration  and  esteem.  Even 
among  subsequent  writers,  no  matter  how  ardent  defenders 
they  may  have  been  of  the  Protestant  cause,  none  have 
reproached  his  memory  with  the  reputed  guilt,  but  all  have 
uniformly  recorded  his  innocence  of  the  charges  thus 
made  against  him.  We  have  already  quoted  the  words  of 
the  Protestant  Bishop  Burnet,  we  may  now  add  the  testi- 
monies of  some  few  others.  Thus,  for  instance,  Echard,  in 
his  History  of  England,  after  stating  that  Dr.  Plunket  had 
an  attestation  of  his  innocence  under  the  hands  of  the  two 
viceroys  Essex  and  Berkeley,  adds  that  he  himself  was 

"Assured,  by  an  unquestionable  hand,  that  the  Earl  of 
Essex  was  so  sensible  of  this  good  man's  hardship  that  he 
generously  applied  to  the  king  for  a  pardon,  and  told  his 
majesty  that  these  witnesses  must  needs  be  perjured,  for 
these  things  sworn  against  him  could  not  possibly  be  true. 
Upon  which  the  king,  in  a  passion,  said,  '  Why  did  you  not 
attest  this  at  his  trial.?  It  might  have  done  him  good 
then.  I  dare  not  pardon  any  one.'  And  so  cdincluded 
with  the  same  kind  of  answer  he  had  given  another  person 
formerly, '  His  blood  be  upon  your  head,  not  upon  mine.' " 

The  continuation  of  Sir  Richard  Baker's  Chronicle 
not  only  corroborates  this  fact  relative  to  the  Earl  of  Essex, 
but  gives  us  the  general  Protestant  sentiment  of  the  time 
in  regard  to  the  perjured  witnesses,  and  the  accusations 
which  they  brought  against  the  primate. 

"  In  the  meantime,"  he  writes,  "  came  on  the  trial  of  Dr. 

In  the  Reign  of  Charles  IT.  415 

Oliver  Plunket,  popish  titular  Archbishop  of  Armagh,  who 
called  himself  Primate  of  All  Ireland.  He  was  a  worthy 
and  good  man,  who,  notwithstanding  the  title  given  him, 
was  in  a  very  mean  state  of  life,  as  having  nothing  to  sub- 
sist on  but  the  contributions  of  a  few  poor  clergy  of  his 
own  religion  in  the  province  of  Ulster,  who,  having  little 
themselves,  could  not  spare  much  to  him.  In  these  low 
circumstances  he  lived,  though  meanly,  quietly  and  content- 
edly, meddling  with  nothing  but  the  concerns  of  his  func- 
tion, and  dissuading  all  about  him  from  entering  into  any 
turbulent  or  factious  intrigues.  But  while  the  popish  plot 
was  warm,  some  lewd  Irish  priests  and  others  of  that  na- 
tion, hearing  then  that  England  was  disposed  to  hearken  to 
good  swearers,  thought  themselves  well  qualified  for  the 
employment,  so  they  came  over  with  an  account  of  a  plot 
in  Ireland,  and  were  well  received  by  Lord  Shaftesbury. 
They  were  also  examined  by  the  Parliament,  and  what  they 
said  was  believed.  They  were  very  profligate  wretches, 
and  some  of  the  priests  among  them  had  been  censured  by 
Plunket  for  their  lewdness,  so,  partly  out  of  revenge  and 
partly  to  keep  themselves  in  business,  they  charged  a  plot 
upon  that  innocent,  quiet  man,  so  that  he  was  sent  for  and 
brought  to  trial.  The  evidences  swore  that,  upon  his  being 
made  Primate  of  Ireland,  he  engaged  to  raise  sixty  or  sev- 
enty thousand  Irish  to  be  ready  to  join  with  the  French  to 
destroy  the  Protestant  religion,  and  to  get  Dublin,  London- 
derry, and  all  the  seaports  into  their  hands  ;  and  that,  be- 
sides the  French  army,  there  was  a  Spanish  army  to  join 
them,  and  that  the  Irish  clergy  were  to  contribute  to  this 
design.  Plunket,  in  his  defence,  alleged  the  improbability 
of  all  that  was  sworn  against  him,  which  was  apparent 
enough.  He  alleged  that  the  Irish  clergy  were  so  poo- 
that  he  himself,  who  was  the  head  of  the  whole  province, 
lived  in  a  little  thatched  house,  with  only  one  servant,  hav- 
ing never  above  sixty  pounds  a  year  income,  so  that  nei- 

4i6  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

ther  he  nor  they  could  be  thought  very  likely  to  carry  on 
a  design  of  this  nature.  But  the  fact  being  positively 
sworn  against  him,  and  the  jury  unacquainted  with  the  wit- 
nesses' characters  and  the  scene  of  action,  he  was  brought 
in  guilty  and  condemned.  It  is  said  that  the  Earl  of 
Essex  was  so  sensible  of  the  injustice  done  to  him  that  he 
applied  to  the  king  for  a  pardon,  and  told  him  that  the 
matters  sworn  against  Plunket  were  so  absurd  in  them- 
selves that  it  was  impossible  for  them  to  be  true.  But  the 
king  answered,  in  a  passion,  '  Why  did  you  not  declare 
this,  then,  at  the  trial .''  It  would  have  done  him  some 
good  then  ;  but  I  dare  pardon  nobody ;'  and  concluded  by 
saying,  '  His  blood  be  upon  your  head,  and  not  upon 
mine.' " 

With  peace  and  calm  Dr.  Plunket  prepared  himself  in 
prison  to  receive  in  a  worthy  manner  the  glorious  privilege 
of  dying  for  the  faith  with  which  God  wished  to  crown  his 
earthly  labors.  On  the  day  after  the  final  sentence  had 
been  passed  against  him  he  thus  wrote  to  his  friend  and 
fellow-prisoner.  Father  Corker : 

"  Dear  Sir  :  I  am  obliged  to  you  for  the  favor  and  chari- 
ty of  the  20th,  and  for  all  your  former  benevolence ;  and 
whereas  I  cannot  in  this  country  remunerate  you,  with 
God's  grace  I  hope  to  be  grateful  to  you  in  that  kingdom 
which  is  our  proper  country.  And  truly  God  gave  me, 
though  unworthy  of  it,  that  grace  to  have  fortem  animum 
mortis  terrore  carentem.  I  have  many  sins  to  answer  for 
before  the  Supreme  Judge  of  the  high  bench  where  no  false 
witnesses  can  have  an  audience.  But  as  for  the  bench 
yesterday,  I  am  not  guilty  of  any  crinie  there  objected  to 
me.  I  would  I  could  be  so  clear  at  the  bench  of  the  AU- 
Powerful !  However,  there  is  one  comfort,  that  he  cannot 
be  deceived,  because  he  is  omniscient,  and  knows  all  se- 
crets, even  of  hearts  ;  and  cannot  deceive,  because  all  good- 

In  tJifi  Reign  of  Charles  II.  417 

ness  :  so  that  I  may  be  sure  of  a  fair  trial,  and  will  get  time 
yufliclent  to  call  witnesses — nay,  the  Judge  will  bring  them 
in  a  moment,  if  there  be  need  of  any.  Your  and  your  com- 
rade's prayers  will  be  powerful  advocates  at  that  bench ; 
here  none  are  admitted  for 

"  Your  affectionate  friend, 

"  Oliver  Plunket." 

This  composure  of  soul,  and  tranquil  resignation  to  the 
will  of  God,  is  attested  not  only  by  the  friends  of  the  illus- 
trious primate,  but  also  by  Protestants  who,  perchance, 
had  occasion  to  contemplate  and  admire  his  fortitude  and 
heavenly  deportment  in  prison.  Sir  Richard  Bulstrode, 
for  instance,  attests  that 

"  Captain  Richardson,  keeper  of  Newgate,  being  asked 
by  the  lieutenant  of  the  Tower  how  this  prisoner  behaved 
himself,  he  replied,  '  Very  well,  for  when  I  came  to  him 
this  morning  he  was  newly  awake,  having  slept  all  night 
without  any  disturbance  ;  and  when  I  told  him  he  was  to 
prepare  for  his  execution  he  received  the  message  with  all 
quietness  of  mind,  and  went  to  the  sledge  as  unconcerned 
as  if  he  had  been  going  to  a  wedding.' " 

In  addition  to  the  particulars  of  the  closing  scene  of 
Tyburn,  which  we  have  already  presented  from  the  anony- 
mous narrative,  we  learn  many  further  circumstances 
connected  with  Dr.  Plunket's  execution  from  the  letter  of 
the  Archbishop  of  Cashel : 

"The  1st  of  July,  (that  is,  the  nth,)  1681,  being  at 
length  arrived,  this  great  bishop  (Dr.  Plunket)  was  brought 
to  the  place  of  execution  destined  for  public  malefactors, 
being  placed  upon  a  sledge  trailed  on  the  ground,  and 
drawn  by  horses,  and  accompanied  by  a  numerous  guard 
of  military,  as  well  as  by  a  multitude  of  spectators  and  royal 
officers  ;  and  to  all  he  gave  occasion  of  surprise  and  edifica- 
tion, because  he  displayed  such  a  serenity  of  countenance. 

4i8  Martyrs  and  Confessors 

such  a  tranquillity  of  mind  and  elevation  of  soul,  that  he 
seemed  rather  a  spouse  hastening  lo  the  nuptial  feast  than 
a  culprit  led  forth  to  the  scaffold. 

"  Being  arrived  at  the  place  of  execution,  he  mounted  a 
car  which  had  been  placed  there  on  purpose,  and  delivered 
a  discourse  which  lasted  an  hour,  clearing  himself  of  the 
accusfitions  for  which  he  suffered,  calling  God  and  the 
whole  heavenly  court  to  witness  his  innocence  as  to  the 
pretended  conspiracy,  and  declaring  himself  an  unworthy 
Catholic  prelate,  who  labored  to  preserve  and  advance  the 
true  faith  in  a  just  and  lawful  manner,  and  by  no  other 
means,  and  pardoning  his  accusers,  the  friars  and  their 
accomplices,  the  judges,  and  all  who  procured  or  concurred 
in  his  death  :  and  he  delivered  this  discourse  with  such 
sweetness  and  energy  that,  it  seems,  he  moved  to  compas- 
sion even  his  executioner,  and  much  more  so  those  who 
assisted  as  spectators.  Having  finished  his  address,  he 
made  a  lengthened  prayer  to  God,  and  passed  to  a  better 
life,  with  a  fortitude  and  spirit  truly  apostolic. 

"  His  discourse  is  everywhere  to  be  met  with  in 
print,  and  was  applauded  even  by  the  adversaries  of  our 
religion,  who  could  not  fail  to  admire  the  singu