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A 1555 papal bulla for Clare Abbey
by Luke McInerney

This paper presents a papal bulla that was issued to Clare Abbey on 23 March 1555. The Augustinian house of Clare Abbey in Co. Clare was founded in the late twelfth century by the ruling branch of the Uí Bhriain dynasty. By the late medieval period the abbacy had largely become an hereditary post of the Meic Craith lineage. Numerous examples exist in the papal registers of the abbacy transferred hereditarily by Mac Craith abbots, indicating that Clare Abbey had, like other Augustinian foundations in Gaelic areas, become the domain of clerical kindreds and enmeshed in the secular affairs of lineage and lordship. The papal bulla casts light on diocesan administration in the mid sixteenth century prior to the Protestant religious settlement of Elizabeth I and reveals details on ecclesiastical personnel during this tumultuous period.

This article was first published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 141 (2011), pp 128–148. Clare County Library is grateful to Luke McInerney for donating this article. For more of Luke’s writings click here...

A 1555 papal bulla for Clare Abbey by Luke McInerney (PDF)


The 1555 Papal bulla
The 1555 Papal bulla

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