This project element is part of a wider programme which aims to collate the archival materials necessary for the study of the Irish Catholic Episcopate, its clergy and its dioceses in the seventeenth century and to host the findings in an on-line virtual research environment with search facilities. The wider project envisages the hosting of prosopographical details, summaries of Episcopal letters and papers, transcriptions and translations of Episcopal writings and reports in full along with an up-to-date bibliography.
About this Project
Described by one historian as a ‘remarkable’ body of men, the Catholic Episcopate looms large in the history of Early Modern and Counter-Reformation Ireland. Continentally educated and highly qualified, they spoke numerous languages and played a variety of ecclesiastical and political roles both in Ireland and continental Europe. This project aims to bring together the extant archival materials relevant to their careers including their letters, papers, reports and writings. It concentrates on the ecclesiastical province of Dublin which comprised of the archdiocese of Dublin and its suffragen dioceses of Kildare, Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin. General correspondence information as well as the letter summaries of the five bishops of these dioceses in the early to mid-seventeenth century are included. These were Thomas Fleming, archbishop of Dublin (1623-1651); Ross MacGeoghegan, bishop of Kildare (1628-1644); David Rothe, bishop of Ossory (1620-1650); Nicholas French, bishop of Ferns (1645-1678) and Edmund O'Dempsey, bishop of Leighlin (1642-1658). Their letters are concerned with a variety of matters from contemporary Irish, British and European political and religious issues to their pastoral ministries and personal interests. Together they reveal the personalities and issues at the heart of the Counter-Reformation in seventeenth-century Ireland.