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The Annals of Kilfenora or Ye Citie of the Crosses by Charles Ffrench Blake-Forster


The Annals: 1055-1394

1055-The trubulent Murrough O’Brien burned the cathedral, slew most of the inhabitants, and plundered the houses, which were about one hundred in number.

1056-The renovation of the cathedral was commenced.

1058-The renovation of the cathedral was complete, and it was considered one of the finest in Ireland.

1079-Kilfenora was plundered by the Connaught troops.

1100-Kilfenora was accidentally burned.

1115-This year the Synod of the Rathbresail was held. Kilfenora was most probably the See which is called in the acts of the synod “Rathsmaigha-Deisgirt”.

1152-There was a senate of the Catholic Church held at Kells this year, which was presided over by Cardinal Paparo, legate of Pope Eugenius III. It was decreed by the prelates assembled that the number of Irish Sees should be fixed at thirty-eight, but that the said decree was not to take effect till after the death of the then incumbents. Previous to the sitting of this Senate there was but one See in Ireland which, strictly speaking enjoyed metropolitical rights, viz.; Armagh. But for some years before the Diocese of Cashel was styled, and by many considered to be metropolitical church. At this point Kilfenora was subject to Cashel but it was then called Fenabore, which was latinized Fennaborenis, and Fymbarensis.

1254-Christian, Bishop of this diocese, died and was buried in a Monastery of Predicants at Limerick.

1265-One Henry succeeded, who was consecrated bishop of this diocese and was confirmed, by the Royal Assent, on the 12th of February as bishop of Fenabore. He is however, called by Harris, “Maurice”, who says that he is known by this name in the “Public records”, but the learned Sir James Ware, whom I prefer as an authority, gives his name as “Henry”, and the Catholic Registry also calls him by this name. On the death of the former bishop, who’s name I have been unable to ascertain, the Canons obtained a Conge-de-Eslier and elected the Bishop, Henry, who was confirmed and consecrated by his Metropolitan, before his election was certified to the King for approbation, and a warrant obtained from the King, authorising his consecration, which was then customary. However the King pardoned the offence of the bishop and issued his Writ to the Escheator as appears by Pat. 50, Hen.III. to restore him to the Temporalities, bearing the date above given upon condition of his swearing fealty. The King also directed the escheator to take and acknowledge from the Chapter by letters patent that they would never take this omission as a precedent to the prejudice of his prerogative.

1273-Henry, after having presided for eight years as Bishop of Fenabore, died and was interred in his own cathedral. Florence O’Tighernach, or O’Tierney, Abbot of Kilsane, Kilsonna or Kilshanny, in the county of Clare, a Cistercian monk, being chosen as the successor of Henry, was confirmed by the royal assent on the 18th of September. Harris incorrectly states that Kilsonna is in the county of Limerick. The Conge de Eslier had been issued at the petition of the Dean and Chapter on the 14th of the previous July, and on the eight of October following the Archbishop of Cashel received a royal mandate authorising him to consecrate the Bishop of Fenabore - Pat.I,. Edw. I, Memb, 3, 4. Shortly after a Writ was issued for his “Restitution to the Temporatlities”, but which however contained a clause to the effect that he first send his Proctor to England to swear to the King in his name. The bishop however delayed complying with this condition, and was in consequence afterwards obliged to sue for another Writ of Restitution which bore date the 30th of November 1274 - (Pat.2, Edv,I, Memb I).

1281-Florence O’Tighernach after a life of exemplary piety died and was interred in Kilfenora. Charles, Dean of Fenabore, being elected his sucessor was confirmed by King Edward I, on the same day his writ of Restitution to the Temporalities was issued. He died the year of his election, and was interred with his predecessor.

1300-Congall O’Loghlan died. He is called in the Annals of the Abbey of Lough Key, “Bishop of Corcomroe”, and the Annal of the Four Masters thus record his death: “Congalagh O’Loghlin Bishop of Corc Madruadh, a man distinguished for learning, piety, and hospitality died”.

1303-Simon O’Curren, Bishop of this diocese, died and was interred at Limerick in the Conventual Church of Dominicans, Maurice O’Brien, Dean of Fenabore, being elected his successor was confirned by Edward I, on the 8th of October.

1321-Maurice O’Brien died after having held the Episcopal See for eighteen years, and was buried with his predecessor at Limerick.

1322-On Palm Sunday this year, Richard O’Loughlin was consecrated Bishop of this diocese in the City of Waterford. The date of his consecration I give on the authority of Sir James Ware, Clynn the Friar, and other historians. The Rev Sylvester Malone in his “Church history of Ireland”, gives the date as 1323, and on the authority of the Four Masters; but in that work no mention whatever is made of such a Bishop under the year 1323, therefore Sir James Ware’s date of 1322 holds good. Harris however differs from Sir James, and states that Clynn gives the date as 1323 thus; “John Clynn relates in his Annals, ‘That a Bishop of Kilfenora was consecrated at Waterford on Palm Sunday, 1323’, but he is silent as to his name. Perhaps it was this Richard O’Loughlin who died on the 3rd of February 1359, but I leave the doubt to be cleared up by others. Such are the words of Harris, but Sir James Ware and Clynn give the date as 1322. , and I prefer taking them as authorities.

1359-On the 3rd of February Richard O’Loughlin, Bishop of Fenabore died, and was interred in his own cathedral.

1394-On the 16th of March, Patrick, Bishop of this diocese took the oath of fealty to King Richard II, in the Dominican monastery at Drogheda as “Patrick Bishop of Fenabore”.




The Annals: 1434-1599