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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost

Part I. Topography of Thomond Chapter 10. Ui Toirdhealbhaigh

List of the Protestant Bishops of Killaloe

I shall now give a list of the Protestant bishops of Killaloe, taken from Ware and from other sources:—

1546-1555. Cornelius O’Dea was appointed bishop of Killaloe by King Heny VIII. in July 1546, and by royal command was consecrated by his metropolitan. He had been previously chaplain to Murrogh Earl of Thomond. He presided over the diocese for about nine years.

1570-1612. Murtogh O’Brien-Arra was appointed bishop by letters patent of Elizabeth, dated 15th of May, 1570, and had his writ of restitution to the temporalities the same day. He received the profits of the see for six years before his consecration, but being at last consecrated, he sat about thirty-six years afterwards. He died on the last day of April, 1613, having voluntarily resigned a year before.

1612-1632. John Rider was born at Carrington in Cheshire, and educated at Jesus College Oxford. He was consecrated bishop on the 12th of January, 1612, and he died on the 12th of November 1632, at Killaloe, where he was buried in St. Flannan’s church. In this prelate’s time, King James I., by an order to the Lord Deputy and Lord Chancellor, dated 26th February, 1619, commanded his letters patent to issue, granting to the see 21 quarters or plowlands in the county of Clare, commonly known by the name of Termon I. Grady alias Tomgraney, [33] and ordered that the bishop should renew his patent with the addition of the said lands, and of such other lands as he should recover in right of his bishopric. [34]

1633-1646. Lewis Jones was born in Wales. He was advanced to this see from the deanery of Cashel by letters patent of Charles I. He died at Dublin in 1646, in the 104th year of his age, and was buried at St. Werburgh’s church. He was called the vivacious bishop of Killaloe, and married a young wife after he was three score years old.

1647-1650. Edward Parry, a native of Newry, was consecrated bishop of Killaloe in 1647. He died at Dublin, of the plague in 1650, and was buried at St. Audeon’s church.

1660-1669. Edward Worth was a native of the county of Cork, and was advanced to this see by letters patent of Charles II., dated 1660; he had his consecration and writ of restitution to the temporalities on the same day, with a retrospective clause as to the mesne profits from the death of Bishop Parry. He died at Hackney near London, in 1669, and was buried in the church of St. Mildred in London. He founded an hospital in the south suburbs of the city of Cork, called St. Stephen’s or the Blue Coat Hospital, for the support and education of poor boys, and endowed it with lands for its maintenance.

1669-1674. Daniel Witter was chaplain of James duke of Ormond. He became bishop of Killaloe in 1669, and died in 1674. By his will he bequeathed his stock, books, and furniture, to be sold for the use of the church of Killaloe, to buy a silver flagon for the altar, and to procure the Commandments, Creed, Lord’s Prayer, &c., to be hung up in the church.

1675-1692. John Roan, a Welshman, was appointed bishop by letters patent in 1675. He died in 1692 at his episcopal house near Killaloe, and was buried at the east end of the cathedral. His tomb bears the following inscription: “Hic jacet corpus Joannis Roan, S.S. Theologiae Doctoris, Laonensis Episcopi, qui obiit 5o die Septembris, A.D. 1692.”

1693-1695. Henry Rider was born at Paris, and was educated at Westminster School. He was consecrated in 1693, and died at Dublin in 1695.

1695-1713. Thomas Lindsay, D.D. was born and educated at Blandford in Dorsetshire. He was translated from Killaloe to Raphoe in 1713, and was subsequently raised to the archbishopric of Armagh.

1713, 1714. Sir Thomas Vesey was son of archbishop Vesey of Tuam, and was born at Cork when his father was dean there. From Killaloe he was promoted to Ossory.
1714-1716. Nicholas Foster, senior Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, was translated from Killaloe to Raphoe.
1716-1739. Charles Carr, M.A. was chaplain of the Irish House of Commons before he became bishop of Killaloe. He died in Dublin in 1739.
1740. Joseph Storey, M.A., was educated at Edinburgh. He became chaplain to the House of Commons in 1734, then dean of Ferns, afterwards in 1740 bishop of Killaloe, and finally bishop of Kilmore in 1742.

1742. John Ryder, D.D., was educated at Cambridge. In 1743 he was translated from this see to that of Down and Connor, and subsequently promoted to Tuam.
1743. Jemmett Browne, dean of Ross, præcentor of Cork, and previously the holder of several benefices in succession, was named bishop of this diocese in 1743. He only held it two years, was transferred in succession to Dromore, to Cork, to Elphin, and to Tuam.
1745. Richard Chenevix, D.D., was descended from a French family and was educated at Cambridge. He was chaplain to the Earl of Chesterfield, Lord Lieutenant. In 1746 he was promoted from Killaloe to Waterford and Lismore. [35]

1746. Nicholas Synge, D.D., second son of Edward, archbishop of Tuam, and brother of Edward, bishop of Elphin. He was the fifth and last prelate of an episcopal family, being the grand-nephew, grandson, and brother of a bishop, himself a bishop, and an archbishop’s son. In 1753 Kilfenora was united to Killaloe. Bishop Synge died in 1771, and was buried at Dublin.
1771. Robert Fowler, D.D., educated at Cambridge. In 1779 he was advanced from Killaloe to the see of Dublin.
1779. George Chinnery, LL.D., dean of Cork. His bodily infirmities were great. After one year at Killaloe, he was sent to Cloyne, where he died almost immediately afterwards.

1780. Thomas Barnard, D.D., eldest son of the bishop of Derry, was for fourteen years prelate of Killaloe, from whence he was advanced to Limerick. The reader of Boswell’s Life of Johnson will recognise in him the friend of Burke, Reynolds, Goldsmith, and Johnson.
1794. Hon. William Knox, D.D., fourth son of Thomas, first Viscount Northland, and chaplain to the House of Commons, held the see of Killaloe for nine years and was then translated to Derry.
1803. Hon. Charles Dalrymple Lyndsay, D.D., son of the Earl of Balcarras, came to Ireland as private secretary to the Earl of Hardwicke, Lord Lieutenant, and was appointed to this see, but in the year following he abandoned it for a better, that of Kildare.
1804. Nathaniel Alexander, D.D., Cambridge, nephew of the Earl of Caledon, came from Clonfert to Killaloe, but did not remain even as long as his predecessor, since he got promoted in the course of the same year to Down and Connor; he subsequently went to Meath.
1804. The Right Hon. Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham Loftus, second son of the Marquess of Ely, præcentor of Cashel, succeeded. In 1820 he was translated to Ferns, and thence to Clogher.

1820. Richard Mant, D.D., Oxford, was domestic chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury. In 1823 he was advanced from this see to that of Down and Connor.
1823. Alexander Arbuthnot, D.D., dean of Cloyne, succeeded. He died at Killaloe in 1828, aged 59.
1828. Hon. Richard Ponsonby, D.D., third son of Lord Ponsonby, was dean of St. Patrick’s before he was promoted to this see. He held Killaloe only for three years and was then removed to Derry.

1831. Hon. Edmund Knox, D.D., seventh son of Thomas, first Viscount Northland, and brother of a former bishop of Killaloe, was appointed. In four years afterwards he obtained the see of Limerick. Just at the time Killaloe became thus vacant it was added to the dioceses of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, and Dr. Butson appointed bishop of the whole. He held them for two years only, and died in 1836.
1836. Stephen Creaghe Sandes, D.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, succeeded. In 1839 he was translated to Cashel.
1839. Hon. Ludlow Tonson, D.D., eighth son of William first Lord Riversdale. He died at Killaloe in 1862, and was succeeded by William FitzGerald, previously bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross. [36] He died at Killaloe in the year 1883, and was succeeded by the Ven. William B. Chester, archdeacon of the diocese, consecrated bishop on the 24th of February, 1884.