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The Bishop of Meath is an episcopal title which takes its name after the ancient Kingdom of Meath. In the Roman Catholic Church it remains as a separate title, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with another bishopric.

Contents

History

Until the early twelfth century, the Kingdom of Meath had been divided into eight small monastic episcopal sees, which were located at Clonard, Duleek, Kells, Trim, Ardbraccan, Dunshaughlin, Slane, and Fore. By the time of the Synod of Rathbreasail, held in 1111, the last five had been united to the see of Clonard. Duleek was still recognized as a separate bishopric at the Synod of Kells, held in 1152, but disappeared not long after that date. The see of Kells was ruled together with Tirbrunensis (later Kilmore) in the second half of the twelfth century, but after 1211 Kells was incorporated into the diocese of Meath.

During the twelfth century, the bishops of Clonard were frequently called the "bishop of Meath" or "bishop of the men of Meath". Bishop Simon Rochfort transferred his seat from Clonard to Trim in 1202 and the title "bishop of Meath" became the normal style.

Following the Reformation, there are two parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, the bishopric of Clonmacnoise became part of Meath in 1569. In 1976, the bishoprics of Meath and Kildare were combined to become the united bishopric of Meath and Kildare.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Meath is still a separate title. The Roman Catholic bishop's seat is located at Christ the King Cathedral, Mullingar. The current bishop is the Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meath, who succeeded to the title on 16 May 1990.

Pre-Reformation bishops

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Bishops of Clonard

List of Bishops of Clonard [1]
From Until Incumbent Notes
bef.1096 1117 Máel Muire Ua Dúnáin Consecrated a monastic bishop at Clonard Abbey before 1096; became the first diocesan bishop of Clonard when the diocese was established in 1111; died in office 24 December 1117
1133 1140 Eochaid Ua Cellaig Became bishop before 11 November 1133; styled as the bishop of the men of Meath; died in office; also known as Eochaid O'Kelly
bef.1152 1173 Étrú Ua Miadacháin Present at the Synod of Kells in 1152; died in office; also known as Eleuzerius
bef.1177 1191 Echthigern Mac Máel Chiaráin Became bishop before March 1177; at first styled himself bishop of Cluain-irairt (Clonard), but subsequently adopted the title bishop of Meath; died in office; also known as Eugenius
1192 1224 Simon Rochfort Elected in 1192; died before August 1224
After the Episcopal see was tranferred from Clonard to Newtown near Trim by Bishop Simon Rochfort in 1202, the title "Bishop of Meath" became the normal style.

Bishops of Meath

List of Bishops of Meath [1]
From Until Incumbent Notes
1224 1226 Dónán Dé Elected in August 1224, but was not consecrated; died after 21 October 1226; also known as Deodatus
1227 1230 Ralph Petit Formerly Archdeacon of Meath; elected before 30 March 1227 and received possession of the temporalities on that date; died circa 28 September 1230
1231 1252 Richard de la Corner Formerly a Canon of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin; elected and consecrated in 1231; died before 29 June 1252
1253 Geoffrey Cusack, O.F.M. Elected and consecrated before July 1253; resigned in July 1253; died before October 1254
1254 1282 Hugo of Taghmon Received possession of the temporalities 23 December 1252; confirmed bishop by the pope 31 October 1254; consecrated after June 1255; also became Lord High Treasurer of Ireland; died before 30 January 1282
before 1283 1286 (Walter de Fulburn) Elected and consecrated before January 1283; appointed by Archbishop Nicol of Armagh, however, Fulburn but did not get possession of the see; translated to Waterford 12 July 1286
1286 1320 Thomas St Leger Formerly Archdeacon of Kells; elected bishop before 5 November 1282; took his claim to Rome, where it was approved by Pope Innocent IV; appointed 12 July 1286; consecrated 3 November 1287; died in December 1320
1321 1327 Seoán Mac Cearbaill Translated from Cork 20 February 1321; received possession of the temporalities 23 June 1322; translated to Cashel 19 January 1327; also known as John MacCarwill or O'Carroll
1327 1349 William of St Paul, O.Carm. Appointed 16 February 1327 and consecrated circa the same month; received possession of the temporalities 24 July 1327; died in July 1349
1349 1352 William St Leger Formerly Archdeacon of Meath; appointed 5 October 1349; received possession of the temporalities 24 February 1350; consecrated 2 May 1350; died 24 August 1352
1353 1367 Nicholas Allen, O.S.A. Elected before 9 January 1353 and appointed on that date; consecrated 31 January received possession of the temporalities 15 March 1353; died 15 Janaury 1367
1369 1379 Stephen de Valle Translated from Limerick 19 February 1369; received possession of the temporalities 15 February 1370 and again 6 September 1373; died 10 November 1379; also known as Stephen Wall
1380 1385 William Andrew, O.P. Translated from Achonry in 1380; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Canterbury 1380; received possession of the temporalities 12 November 1380; died 28 September 1385
1386 1400 Alexander Petit Translated from Ossory 10 March 1386; died 10 November 1400; also known as Alexander de Balscot
1401 1412 Robert Montayne Appointed 7 February and consecrated before 13 September 1401; died 24 May 1412
1412 1430 Edward Dantsey Appointed 31 August 1412 and received possession of the temporalities 11 April 1413; died 4 January 1430
1430 1433 William Hadsor Appointed 29 May 1430; died 28 May 1433
1433 1450 William Silk Elected before 30 August 1433; appointed 22 September 1434 and consecrated after 14 October 1434; died 9 May 1450
1450 1459 Edmund Ouldhall, O.Carm. Appointed 7 August 1450; died 9 (or 29) August 1429
1460 1482 William Shirwood Appointed 26 March 1460; died 3 December 1482
1483 1507 John Payne, O.P. Appointed 17 March 1483; received possession of the temporalities 16 July 1483; consecrated before 4 August 1483; died 6 May 1507
1507 1512 William Rokeby Appointed 28 May 1507; translated to Dublin 28 January 1512
1512 1523 Hugh Inge, O.P. Appointed 28 January 1512; translated to Dublin 27 February 1523
1523 1529 Richard Wilson, O.S.A. Appointed 27 February 1523; resigned before September 1529

Post-Reformation bishops

Church of Ireland succession

Church of Ireland Bishops of Meath [2]
From Until Incumbent Notes
1529 1554 Edward Staples [A] Appointed 3 September 1529; accepted royal supremacy; deprived by Queen Mary I on 29 June 1554; died circa 1560
1554 1560 William Walsh, O.Cist. [C] Appointed by letters patent 22 November 1554; deprived by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560; died 4 January 1577
1560 1563 See vacant
1563 1584 Hugh Brady Nominated 21 October and consecrated 19 December 1563; died 14 February 1584
1584 1605 Thomas Jones Nominated 18 April and consecrated 12 May 1584; translated to Dublin 8 November 1605
1605 1608 Roger Dod Appointed by letters patent 13 November 1605; died 27 July 1608
1609 1621 George Montgomery Nominated 8 July 1609 and appointed by letters patent 24 January 1612; also was bishop of Derry and Raphoe 1605 to 1609, and Clogher 1605 to 1621; died in office 15 January 1621
1621 1625 James Ussher Nominated 16 January and consecrated 2 December 1621; translated to Armagh 21 March 1625
1625 1650 Anthony Martin Nominated 22 February and consecrated 25 July 1625; died in July 1650
1650 1660 See vacant
1660 1661 Henry Leslie Translated from Down and Connor; nominated 3 August 1660 and appointed by letters patent 19 January 1661; died 7 April 1661
1661 1682 Henry Jones Translated from Clogher; nominated 9 April and appointed by letters patent 25 May 1661; died 5 January 1682
1682 1697 Anthony Dopping Translated from Kildare; nominated 14 January and appointed by letters patent 11 February 1682; died 25 April 1697
1697 1705 Richard Tennison Translated from Clogher; nominated 1 June and appointed by letters patent 25 June 1697; died July 1705
1705 1715 William Moreton Translated from Kildare; nominated 27 August and appointed by letters patent 18 September 1705; died 21 November 1715
1716 1724 John Evans Translated from Bangor; nom 19 January and by lp 10 February 1716; died 2 March 1724
1724 1727 Henry Downes Translated from Elphin; nom 17 March and by lp 9 April 1724; translated to Derry 8 February 1727
1727 1732 Ralph Lambert Translated from Dromore; nom 12 January and by lp 10 February 1727; died 6 February 1732
1732 1734 Welbore Ellis Translated from Kildare; nom 18 February and by lp 13 March 1732; died 1 January 1734; his son was Welbore Ellis, 1st Baron Mendip
1734 1744 Arthur Price Translated from Ferns and Leighlin; nom 19 January and by lp 2 February 1734; translated to Cashel 7 March 1744
1744 1758 Henry Maule Translated from Dromore; nom 10 May and by lp 24 May 1744; died 13 April 1758
1758 1765 Hon. William Carmichael Translated from Ferns and Leighlin; nom 30 May and by lp 8 June 1758; translated to Dublin 12 June 1765; his father was James Carmichael, 2nd Earl of Hyndford
1765 Richard Peacocke Translated from Ossory; nominated 22 June and by lp 16 July 1765; died 15 September 1765
1765 1766 Arthur Smyth Translated from Down and Connor; nominated 27 September and by lp 28 October 1765; translated to Dublin
1766 1798 Hon. Henry Maxwell Translated from Dromore; nominated 28 February 1766 and appointed by letters patent 15 April 1766; died 7 October 1798; his father was John Maxwell, 1st Baron Farnham
1798 1823 Thomas Lewis O'Byrne Translated from Ossory; nominated 1 December and by lp 18 December 1798; died 17 February 1823
1823 1840 Nathaniel Alexander Translated from Down and Connor; nom 12 March and by lp 21 March 1823; died 21 October 1840
1840 1842 Charles Dickenson Nominated 21 December and consecrated 27 December 1840; died 12 July 1842
1842 1850 Edward Adderly Stopford Nominated 20 October and consecrated 6 November 1842; died 17 September 1850
1850 1852 Thomas Stewart Townsend Nominated 9 October amd consecrated 1 November 1850; died 1 September 1852
1852 1866 James Henderson Singer Nominated 2 November and consecrated 28 November 1852; died 16 July 1866
1866 1876 Samuel Butcher Appointed by letters patent 14 October 1866; died 29 July 1876
1876 1884 William Connyngham Plunket Elected 18 October and consecrated 10 December 1876; translated to Dublin 23 December 1884; his son, Benjamin John Plunket, became bishop of Meath in 1919
1885 1894 Charles Parsons Reichel Elected 19 August and consecrated 29 September 1885; died 29 March 1894
1894 1897 Joseph Ferguson Peacocke Elected 15 May and consecrated 11 June 1894; translated to Dublin 19 May 1897
1897 1919 James Bennett Keene 10 September and consecrated 17 October 1897; died 5 August 1919
1919 1925 Hon. Benjamin John Plunket Translated from Tuam, Killala and Achonry; elected 3 October and confirmed 15 October 1919; resigned 31 March 1925; died 26 January 194; his father was William Connyngham Plunket, who was bishop of Meath 1876-1884
1926 1927 Thomas Gibson George Collins Elected 4 February and consecrated 17 March 1926; died 3 July 1927
1927 1938 John Orr Translated from Tuam, Killala and Achonry; elected 22 September and confirmed 15 November 1927; died 21 July 1938
1938 1945 William Hardy Holmes Translated from Tuam, Killala and Achonry; elected 14 October and confirmed 19 October 1938; resigned 31 May 1945; died 26 May 1951
1945 1959 James McCann Elected 4 July and consecrated 24 August 1945; translated to Armagh 19 February 1959
1959 1973 Robert Bonsall Pike Elected 14 April and consecrated 19 May 1959; died 27 December 1973
1973 1976 See vacant
Since 1976, the Church of Ireland see has been part of the united Diocese of Meath and Kildare

Roman Catholic succession

Roman Catholic Bishops of Meath [3]
From Until Incumbent Notes
1529 1554 Edward Staples [B] Appointed 3 September 1529; accepted royal supremacy, although no action was taken against him by Pope Paul III; deprived by Queen Mary I on 29 June 1554; died circa 1560
1554 1577 William Walsh, O.Cist. [D] Appointed by letters patent 22 November 1554; deprived of the Church of Ireland temporalities in 1560, but confirmed the Roman Catholic bishop 6 September 1564; died 4 January 1577
1577 1621 See vacant During this period, Cornelius Stanley was appointed vicar general of the sees of Meath and Dublin on 15 May 1591
1621 1652 Thomas Dease Appointed 5 May 1621 and consecrated 22 May 1622; died 1652
1652 1657 See vacant
1657 1661 Anthony MacGeoghegan, O.F.M. Translated from Clonmacnoise 16 April 1657; resigned 1661; died 1664
apptd. 1665 Edmund Mac Teige Appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 24 November 1665
1669 1679 Patrick Plunkett, O.Cist. Translated from Ardagh 11 January 1669; died 18 November 1679
1679 1688 James Cusack Appointed coadjutor bishop 5 October 1678; succeeded 18 November 1679; died 1688
1689 1692 Patrick Tyrell, O.F.M. Translated from Clogher 24 January 1689; died 1692
1692 1711 See vacant During this period, James Fagan was appointed on 30 April 1707, but did not accept it
1713 1729 Luke Fagan Appointed 15 September 1713 and consecrated 7 February 1714; translated to Dublin September. 1729
1729 1756 Stephen MacEgan, O.P. Translated from Clonmacnoise 26 September 1729; died 30 May 1756
1756 1778 Augustine Cheevers, O.E.S.A. Translated from Ardagh 7 August 1756; died 18 August 1778
1778 1827 Patrick Joseph Plunkett Appointed 19 December 1778 and consecrated 28 February 1779; died 11 January 1827
1827 1830 Robert Logan Appointed coadjutor bishop 26 July and consecrated 29 October 1824; succeeded 11 January 1827; died 22 April 1830
1830 1866 John Cantwell Appointed 4 July and consecrated 21 September 1830; died 11 December 1866
1866 1898 Thomas McNulty Appointed coadjutor bishop 29 August and consecrated 23 October 1864; succeeded 11 December 1866; died 24 December 1898
1899 1906 Matthew Gaffney Appointed 28 April and consecrated 25 June 1899; resigned in 1906; died 15 December 1909
1906 1928 Laurence Gaughran Appointed 19 May and consecrated 24 June 1906; died 14 June 1928
1929 1943 Thomas Mulvany Appointed 12 April and consecrated 30 June 1929; died 16 June 1943
1943 1946 John Francis D'Alton Appointed coadjutor bishop 7 April and consecrated 29 June 1942; succeeded 16 June 1943; translated to Armagh 25 April 1946
1947 1966 John Anthony Kyne Appointed 17 May and consecrated 29 June 1947; died 23 December 1966
1966 1968 See vacant
1968 1990 John McCormack Appointed 29 January and consecrated 10 March 1968; resigned 16 May 1990
1990 present Michael Smith Appointed auxilary bishop of Meath 17 November 1983 and consecrated 29 June 1984; appointed coadjutor bishop of Meath 13 October 1988; succeeded 16 May 1990

Notes

  • Edward StaplesA B  and William WalshC D  were bishops of both successions.

References

  1. ^ a b Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (Third ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 367-369. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  2. ^ Fryde, ibid., pp. 402-403.
  3. ^ Fryde, ibid., pp. 439-440.

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