Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The successors of Saint Aidan (1222-1539) (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. xix, p. 177 ff:

John de St. John, treasurer of the cathedral of Limerick and of Ireland, succeeded in 1223. He erected or endowed a deanery in his church, and made the priory of Enniscorthy, with the consent of the
patron, a cell to the abbey of St. Thomas, near Dublin. He is also classed among the principal benefactors to his church, on account of the buildings he erected, and of the privileges which he procured for his see. In September, 1240, he convened a diocesan synod at "Wexford, in the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul, at Selsker. This prelate granted to the abbey of Douske or the vale of St. Saviour, all the land of Killacy, reserving a yearly rent of ten shillings payable to him and to his suc-
cessors. Having governed his see about twenty-one years, with great credit and integrity, he died in the year 1243.

Geoffrey St. John, the brother of his predecessor and official of Ferns, succeeded him in the year 1243; he had also been treasurer of the cathedral of Limerick, and escheator of Ireland before his promotion to the see. Before his death he petitioned Pope Alexander IV against Fulk, archbishop of Dublin, for burdening him with too great a retinue in his visitations, which was not warranted by the canons of the Lateran council, and through which he was obliged to incur larger expenses than the income of his diocese would permit; the Pope granted him a a license not to receive the archbishop with greater numbers in his trail, than the canons allowed.

Hugh de Lampert, treasurer of Ferns, was elected in 1258, and was consecrated the same year. He is reckoned among the benefactors to the abbey of St. Alban's, in England. He died on the 23d of May,

Eichard de Northampton, canon of the cathedral of Eallaloe, succeeded in 1282, and was consecrated the following year. He died in the year 1303, and in the twenty-first of his consecration, and was
buried at Ferns, in the cathedral of St. Aidan.

Simon de Evesham, succeeded in 1304, and consecrated in June; died in the following September.

Robert Walrand, succeeded in 1305. Governed the see about six years, and died at Ferns, on tlie 17th of November, 1311.

Adam de Northampton, succeeded in 1312, and was consecrated bishop of Ferns on Trinity Sunday. He appropriated the church of Maglass to the deanery of his cathedral on the 29th of October, 1346.
While Adam sat, Ferns and its castle were plundered, and set on fire by the Irish, who are called by English writers rebels. He adhered to Edward Bruce, on his arrival in those parts, and to Robert his brother, for which he was called to account for his treason in furnishing provisions, men and arms, to the invaders.

Hugh de Saltu, so called from the place of his birth, at Leixlip, near the Salmon-leap, on the Liffey, prebendary of St. Patrick's, Dublin, was consecrated in tliat city on Passion Sunday, 1347; he was
deprived before the end of the year by the Pope, who alleged that he had reserved to himself the provision to the see of Ferns.

Geoffrey Grosseld, doctor of divinity, and an Augustin hermit, succeeded by provision of Pope Clement VI., and was consecrated at Avignon, 1347, and died in the following year, October the 22d, of the plague, which was very fatal both in England and Ireland.

John Esmond, was consecrated about the end of 1349, and was soon after deprived by the Pope. John determined to hold the bishopric by force, or hinder his successor from the possession of it. In his resistance he was supported by William Furlong, and twenty-six others, who prevented the sheriff from enforcing the writ, commanding him to remove all force from the church and diocese of Ferns. Soon after, John Esmond was arrested, and obliged to give bail for keeping the peace, and to abide the judgment of the king's bench, on an indictment preferred against him.

William Chamells, a monk, was provided to the see by the Pope, in 1350, and obtained the temporals. When the castle of Ferns was taken by the Irish rebels, he, in person, headed a party of his servants and dependents, and putting the assailants to flight, recovered his castle. He sat about twelve years, and was a short time treasurer of Ireland. He died in July, 1362.

TSiomas Den, archdeacon of Ferns, was consecrated on Trinity Sunday, 1363, and sat upwards of thirty-seven years. He died in a very advanced age, in August, 1400.

Patrick Barrett, an Augustin canon of Kells in Ossory, succeeded, A.D. 1400. He was, by command of the Pope, consecrated at Rome. He was for a time chancellor of Ireland, and exercised that ofiice with great ability. He appropriated the church of Ardcolen to the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul, at Selsker, near Wexford. Patrick died in November, 1415, and was buried in the abbey of Kells.

Robert Whittey, chanter of Ferns, was promoted to the see by Pope Martin V., in 1416. He appropriated the church of Ardkevin to the abbey at Selsker, and died in 1458. He was bedridden almost ten years before his death. He had, according to Wadding, a Franciscan friar, Thady, as his coadjutor, in 1451.

John Pursell, who succeeded in 1459, governed the see about twenty years. Died in 1479.

Lawrence Nevil, canon of Ferns, was advanced to the see by provision of Pope Sixtus IV., and obtained the temporals on the 20th of May, 1480. He sat twenty-three years, and died in 1503.

Edmond Comerford, dean of Kilkenny, was consecrated in St. Canice's church, in the year 1505. Having presided four years, he died on Easter Sunday, 1509.

Nicholas Comyn was consecrated bishop of Ferns, in St. Paul's church, London, in January, 1509. He must have been coadjutor to Edmond Comerford, or Edmund must have resigned. Bishop Nicholas
was translated to the sees of Waterford and Lismore in 1519.

John Pursell, succeeded to the see of Ferns, in 1519. He was consecrated at Rome on the 6th of May, of this year. He was committed a prisoner to the custody of the marshal of the exchequer, on the 1st
of September, 1531; the reason is unknown. He died on the 20th of July, 1539.

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