The Irish College of Leuven
Inscription on the entrance to the old Irish College of Leuven: “Dochum Glóire Dé agus Ónóra na hÉireann.” (“For the Glory of God and the Honour of Ireland”)
The Irish Franciscan College of St. Anthony of Padua in Leuven (present day Belgium, then in the Spanish Netherlands) was the scene of one of the most glorious chapters in the history of Irish Catholicism and also of Ireland as a nation. The College’s contribution to Irish history, religion, culture and the Irish language is breathtaking. It was co-founded under the patronage of King Philip III of Spain by the Irish Franciscan theologian Hugh MacCaghwell (Lecturer at the University of Salamanca, later appointed Archbishop of Armagh and tutor to the sons of Hugh O’Neill) and Archbishop Florence Conry, who we met a few weeks ago concerning the Irish College of Salamanca. (Archbishop Conry was also instrumental in establishing an Irish Regiment in the Spanish Army, under the captaincy of Henry O’Neill. The regular presence of Irish troops in the Spanish Netherlands made Leuven an attractive place for Irish students to study.)
The following is an article on the College from the Irish Ecclesiastical Record of October, 1871:
Ireland owes no small debt of gratitude to those self-sacrificing men, who, during the first half of the seventeenth century, devoted their lives to illustrate her annals, and gather together the scattered fragments of her early history. Throughout Elizabeth’s reign, ruin and desolation had fallen upon this kingdom; its monasteries were destroyed, its schools proscribed, its clergy persecuted, its most fertile districts reduced to a desert waste, and nothing was left undone to seize upon or destroy every monument of its ancient glory. Some of the agents of this reckless vandalism were impelled by irreligious fury, for thus they imagined they might turn away our devoted people from the long-cherished faith of their fathers; others were led on by the delusive hope that the national spirit of Ireland would cease to exist when the monuments of her early fame were obliterated and forgotten. “It seemed to you” (thus writes Michael O’Clery, the chief of the Four Masters, when dedicating his work to the O’Gara, of Coolavin [Fergal O’Gara, lord of Coolavin and descendant of the Kings of Sliabh Lugha, was patron of the Annals of the Four Masters — Shane], in 1636) —
“It seemed to you a cause of pity and regret, grief and sorrow for the glory of God and the honour of Ireland, how much the race of Gaedhal [ie. the Irish — Shane] have gone under a cloud and darkness, without knowledge of the death of saint or virgin, archbishop, bishop, abbot, or other noble dignitary of the Church; of king or prince, lord or chieftain, and of the synchronism or connection of the one with the other. I explained to you that I thought I could get the assistance of the chroniclers for whom I had most esteem, for writing a Book of Annals, in which the aforesaid matters might be put on record; and that, should the writing of them be neglected at present, they would not again be found to be put on record or commemorated to the end and termination of the world.” (1)
Dr. Petrie, the great restorer of Celtic archaeological studies in our own time, having cited these words in an address before the Royal Irish Academy, adds: —
“How prophetic were the just apprehensions of that chief compiler, that if the work were then neglected or consigned to a future time, a risk might be run that the materials for it should never again be brought together. Such, indeed, would have been the sad result….In that unhappy period, nearly all the original materials of this compilation probably perished, for one or two of them only have survived to our times….Had this compilation been neglected, or had it, as was supposed, shared the fate of its predecessors, what a large portion of our history would have been lost to the world for ever.”
There was also another reason why it was particularly important in the beginning of the seventeenth century to guard the few surviving monuments of our country. The traditions of the past were then rapidly fading away from the memory of our people. The newly-imported settlers [in the Stuart plantations — Shane] from England and Scotland had no interest in cherishing such traditions. Novel names of districts and towns were everywhere springing up and gradually supplanting the old Irish designations; the system of clans and tribes, each with its respective chronicler or bard, handing down from father to son the knowledge of the early dialects, was also broken up for ever, and thus there imminent peril lest even the few monuments that had survived the storm of past vandalism might be unintelligible records, and a sealed book for posterity. Hence, I hesitate not to say, that were it not for the Irish Franciscans in the beginning of the seventeenth century, and for others, who, both at home and abroad, emulated their devotedness, and rivalled them in zeal for preserving the literature of our country, the history of Ireland at the present day would be little more than a mere blank. The name of Island of Saints indeed might not be forgotten, but visionaries and aliens to our country might, without fear of rebuke, usurp its glory, or set forth, as based on reality, the most foolish dreams of their imagination, and pervert alike the truths of our history and the tenets of our faith. Thanks, however, to those devoted sons of Ireland in the seventeenth century, many precious monuments of our early Church and history have been preserved to us, sheltered by the mantle of St. Francis, in the recesses of our island, or in the monasteries on the Continent; the traditions of our people were duly chronicled, the records of the past were illustrated, the knowledge of the ancient Celtic language was preserved, and those materials were handed down which have enabled the writers of our own day to place beyond cavil the just claims of our island to a glorious and hallowed page in the history of the Christian world.
In the ranks of those devoted men, the Irish Franciscans of the Convent of St. Anthony in Louvain, merit the place of honour not indeed that they were the first to enter this field of labour but because they were foremost in reducing to system the study of our antiquities, and more than any others laboured untiringly and perseveringly to preserve and illustrate the records of our history.
This Convent of St. Anthony of Padua, at Louvain, dates from the year 1606. “The Rev. Father Florent Conrie [Florence Conry — Shane], an Irishman born, a Franciscan Friar, and then Provincial of the Order in Ireland (it is thus an official account of the foundation of the College runs) petitioned King Philip the Third, in 1606, ‘That his Catholick Majestie would be pleased to grant the Irish Franciscans a place for a College and means whereby to live in the towne and universitie of Loven, and diocese of Mechlin, to the service and glorie of God, to the preservation of the Catholick religion, and their holy Order in the kingdome of Ireland.” (2)
On the 6th of January, 1602, three days after the fatal battle of Kinsale, which sealed the fate of Ireland as an independent nation [see here — Shane], Father Florence Conry set sail with the heroic O’Donnell, to solicit aid from the Spanish Monarch [see here for a separate petition delivered to the King on the same trip — Shane]. Eight months later he watched by the death-bed of that brave chieftain at Simancas, and accompanied his remains to their regal tomb in the cathedral of Valladolid. (3) Father Conry knew too well the fate that awaited him if he set his foot again on the Irish shore. He remained at one of the Franciscan convents of Spain, but still continued to devote all his energies to promote the welfare of religion in his suffering country. At the General Chapter of the Order, held at Toledo, in 1606, he was appointed Provincial for Ireland; for so bitter was the persecution (ob saevitiam persecutionis), (4) that then raged throughout the kingdom, that the Provincial Chapter could nowhere be held in Ireland. (5) His first care was to petition the Spanish Monarch, for the erection and endowment of a Convent of the Order in the city and university of Louvain. This request was readily granted, and Philip the Third, by letters dated the 21st of September, 1606, signified his pleasure to the Arch-Duke, Albert, Governor of the Low Countries, as also to the Marquis Spinola, Commander of the forces there, that the petition of Father Conry should be granted without delay; and that 1000 Spanish Ducats per annum, should be allotted for the support of the New College. Some difficulties however arose in Louvain about the erection of this national Franciscan Convent, and early in the following year, we find Father Conry addressing a petition to the reigning Pontiff, Paul V, soliciting “Apostolicke authoritie for building the intended Colledge,” and asking at the same time a confirmation of the Royal pension accorded by Philip the Third. A Brief of His Holiness, granting all the requests of the Franciscan Provincial was published on the 3rd of April, 1607; and the letters of the Archduke, Albert, and Isabella, commanding that this Brief should be put into immediate execution, are dated the 17th of August, 1607. The erection of the building was at once proceeded with, and precisely two years from the date of the Papal Brief (i.e. the 3rd of April, 1609), an official, deputed by the Archbishop of Mechlin, visited the new College, and in canonical form, declared it duly “erected and instituted for the Franciscans of the Irish nation.”
To the influence of Dr. Florence Conry at the Spanish Court, and to the favour of the Holy See, Ireland was mainly indebted for the tranquil retreat thus secured for the zealous children of St Francis. The fruits which the College soon produced proved how just were the expectations which had been formed by its patrons. Its chronicler assures us that from the time of its foundation to the year 1630, there were chosen from its inmates no fewer than three archbishops and two bishops for Irish sees, (6) besides eighteen professors of theology, twenty-five professors of philosophy, and sixty-three missionaries for labouring in the vineyard of the Irish Church, “some of whom laid down their lives, and others suffered imprisonment or exile for the faith of Christ.” (7)
Although Dr. Conry receives no place among the writers on Irish history and antiquities in the seventeenth century, there can be but little doubt that he exercised considerable influence in forming that great historical school, which, in after time, shed such lustre on St. Anthony’s of Louvain. He was the son of Fithil O’Moelchonry, of Cluantuibh, in Connaught, who was an antiquary by profession, and whose family had been for centuries the depositaries of the traditions and glories of the Western districts of our island. In baptism he received the name of Flathri, though in after years he was better known by the Latin name, Florentius. When rather advanced in age he embraced the religious life of the Franciscans of strict observance, and, as Lynch informs us, discharged the duties of Provincial of his Order in Ireland even before the close of the sixteenth century. In the month of May, 1609, he was promoted to the See of Tuam, and though he was unable to con-sole his flock in person, he never ceased, by the appointment of zealous vicars and by frequent pastoral letters, to watch over their interests and provide for their spiritual wants. During his leisure hours he devoted himself with special ardour to the study of the writings of St. Augustine; and it is recorded that he read each of that great Father’s works seven times. Wadding, in his History of the writers of the Franciscan Order, gives a list of the Theological writings of Dr. Conry, some of which were not published till after the death of this prelate. They were held in great esteem by some of his contemporaries, and were frequently appealed to in the angry controversies on the subject of divine grace, which agitated the schools at this period. An important public letter of Dr. Conry, dated at Valladolid, the 1st of March, 1615, on the conduct of the Catholic members of the Irish Parliament in permitting the confiscation of the estates of the Ulster chieftains, O’Neill and O’Donnell, is preserved to us in the “Historia Catholica” [read it all here — Shane] of O’Sullivan Beare. (8) In it he passes a high eulogy on the individual character of those members, most of whom were of English descent, but he censures their parliamentary conduct in sacrificing the interests of their Irish brethren, and thus effecting the ruin of religion in Ulster. “They showed but little constancy,” he says,
“in admitting Sir John Davis as Speaker of the House, and in allowing the unconstitutionally elected members to sit with them in Parliament”: “my fears,” he adds, “were increased by what you told me of the confiscation, and you appear yourself as if undecided about its illegality when you say that otherwise the king and his party would be offended. What! Will they not be offended if you refuse the oath of supremacy, or if you oppose the confiscation of your own property tomorrow or next day?…Do you doubt that it is sinful to rob men, not convicted of any crime, of their property? Were not these noblemen pardoned by the king, and if they, either to avoid calumnious suspicion, or to practise their religion more freely, retired from the country, is that a crime either proved or notorious? Moreover, most of the Catholics on all that territory must soon, at least in few generations, be perverted to error, and their example and numbers will spread heresy through the other provinces. And are these souls to be sacrificed to etiquette, or to the labour and pain of a three days’ struggle and opposition? What! Do you not daily give up your properties; do you not sacrifice the fines and penalties of not attending the Anglican worship, rather than violate a law of the Church? And yet here is a matter prohibited, not by a law of the Church, but by the law of nature and of God. God, in his mercy grant that you commit not such a crime, nor tarnish your former glory, nor provoke the wrath of the Almighty.”
One of the most valuable of Dr. Conry’s works was a small Catechism which was printed in Irish at Louvain, in 1626, with the title, “The Mirror of a Christian Life.” After many years of painful exile, this illustrious founder of St. Anthony’s died in a convent of his Order at Madrid, on the 18th November, 1629, in the 69th year of his age, and the 21st of his episcopacy. His remains were translated to Louvain in 1654, and a becoming monument was erected at the right of the high altar in the Church of the Irish Franciscans, with the following sweet lines dictated by Nicholas Aylmer, the Rector of the Pastoral College in Louvain: —
“Hic jacet et floret Praesul Florentius aevis,
Dum pietas, virtus, docta Minerva viget.
Ordinis altus honor, fidei patriaeque patronus,
Pontificum, merito, laude, perenne jubar.
Funde preces animae, lector, pia vota merenti,
Gratia nam Magnis debita magna viris.
Vivus, opus fabricae fratres devinxit amore,
Pignus amicitiae, mortuus ossa dedit.”
Another inscription was added, as follows: —
Illmus et Revmus Florentius Conrius
Ord. Min. Regularis Observantiae
Provinciae Hiberniae Quondam Minister
Pietate, Prudentia, Doctrina
Pro restauranda in Hibernia fide orthodoxa
Hoc S. Antonii a Padua Collegium
Munificentia Philippi III. Hispaniarum Regis
Anno Christi 1606.
Laboribus variis Fidei et Patriae ergo
Pie obiit in Conventu S. Francisci Matriti
XIV. Kal. Decembris. Ættatis 69. Archiep. 21.
Hujus Collegii PP. Anno 1654
Quo ejus ossa ex Hispania translata
Et hie immortalitatis praemium exspectant
If the new Irish foundation at Louvain was fortunate in having such a founder, it was perhaps still more fortunate in having Father Donatus Mooney for its first guardian. He was a man earnestly devoted to the study of the antiquities of Ireland, and to him we are specially indebted for that Irish historical school which soon became characteristic of St. Anthony’s, and enabled it in after times to render such services, and shed such light on the early monuments of our history.
Whilst as yet a Franciscan novice, Father Mooney suffered imprisonment for the Faith. He was living with the Provincial of the Order, Father John Gray, in the Monastery of Multifernan, and the aged Bishop of Kilmore, Dr. Richard Brady, (9) had chosen the same sanctuary as a safe retreat. They were, however, all seized in 1601, and dragged to prison, where our young novice lingered for some months. Whilst as yet in prison, he completed his noviciate and was admitted to the holy vows of his Order by his fellow-captive, the Father Provincial.
Soon after, he was liberated, but on the condition that he should seek a home in exile on the Continent. (10)
The chronicler of the Order adds, that he was “a man of great ability and learning. After teaching philosophy and theology in France, he was appointed the first guardian of the convent of St. Anthony, in Louvain, and subsequently he held a similar office in Drogheda. He was a distinguished preacher, and strenuously laboured for the conversion of the heretics, and the salvation of the faithful. Being elected Provincial of the Order, in the Chapter held in Waterford in 1615, he for three years faithfully discharged the duties of that arduous post.”
Father Mooney seems to have had a special talent for the reconstruction of the walls of the sanctuary in Ireland. In 1610 he was sent as superior to Drogheda, to restore the house of the Order, which, from the middle of the thirteenth century, had flourished till the year 1546, when it was reduced to ruin by Moses Hill, one of the unprincipled agents of the lawless monarch, Henry VIII. From an account of this Franciscan mission in Drogheda, which was forwarded to Rome in 1623, we learn some interesting details regarding our Church at that period of its desolation. Father Balthasar de la Hoyd, a native of the diocese, (11) was at this time Vicar-General of the absent Primate, Peter Lombard, (12) and resided in Drogheda. In 1623 his health was seriously impaired by illness, and his nephew, Christopher de la Hoyd, was his appointed delegate, with the same powers of Vicar-General, and at the same time received the charge of the parishes of St. Peter’s and St. Mary’s in that town. At this time there was only one public oratory in the town ; in it the Vicar-General performed the ceremonies of the Church with as much pomp as the circumstances of the times would allow, and he was assisted by two Jesuits, Fathers Robert Bath and James Everard, who established there the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin, and laboured with zeal in administering the Bread of Life to the faithful.
Some ruins of the old Franciscan convent still remained, (13) and as close to them as his safety would permit, the new Superior rented a private house where a small oratory was erected, and the faithful very soon flocked in crowds, to approach the Holy Sacraments. It happened that the Protestant Primate, Christopher Hampton, (14) had chosen Drogheda for his residence, and was now busily engaged building an episcopal palace for himself and his successors. (15) The new impulse given to Catholic piety was little less than treason in the eyes of the Protestant dignitary; hence, he more than once assailed the humble lodgings of the Franciscans, destroyed the altar and carried off the religious to prison. (16) They persevered, nevertheless, and the chronicler of the Order, writing in 1630, was able to attest that, from the re-establishment of the convent in 1610, “the friars never ceased to labour for the salvation of the faithful and the conversion of heretics, although they have been several times persecuted, and some of them arrested and put in prison.” (17)
It was also through the exertions of Father Mooney that the Franciscan Order was re-established in Dublin in 1615. Here, too, the ancient convent had been suppressed by order of Henry VIII., and was sold for secular purposes in 1543. In Cook-street, which was now chosen for their new and more humble abode, the religious set to work with true devotedness; schools were opened especially for the instruction of their own students in philosophy and theology, and the chronicler adds that “the faith received extraordinary increase in the city and neighbouring country by the preaching of the friars.” (18) The persecuting spirit of the so-called Reformation was soon, however, to blight all the fair promise of this good work. The destruction of the Franciscan schools and convent has been described by many anti-Catholic as well as Catholic writers. It is unnecessary to repeat what they have written, but I will add to their testimony the following unpublished narrative, written in 1633:
“Through the enmity of Satan, our schools and convents were soon destroyed, when on the 26th of December, the feast of St. Stephen, in the year 1629, the heretical mayor of the City of Dublin, named Christopher Foster, accompanied by the Protestant pseudo-bishop and a body of troops, assailed the chapel of the Friars Minors of that city, overthrew the images and altars, and carried off its other ornaments: but when leaving the place, the mayor, with his followers, was assailed with sticks and stones by an excited tumultuous crowd of women and boys, on account of which offence, very many of the Catholics, men and women, boys and girls, were arrested and thrown into prison ; some youths, moreover, were punished with the lash; and in the following year, 1630, the 24th February, by a new edict of King Charles of England, the aforesaid chapel and convent of the Friars Minors in Dublin were sacked and levelled to the ground.” (19)
Father Mooney, as we have seen, was chosen Provincial of the Order in Ireland in 1615. The following year he proceeded to St. Anthony’s, in Louvain, to watch over the growth of that institution, and during the leisure months that he enjoyed there, composed “The History of his Order in Ireland,” a work of vast research and full of invaluable details, not only regarding the early foundations of the various Franciscan convents, but still more illustrative of the desolation and ruin that fell upon our Church during the sad era of the Reformation, under Henry VIII., Elizabeth, and James I. (20) It has been embodied and popularized in the interesting “History of the Rise and Fall of the Irish Franciscan Monasteries,” by Rev. C. P. Meehan, a work full of interest to all students of Irish literature.
There is another Franciscan Father who merits to be mentioned among the first promoters of Celtic studies at St. Anthony’s. This was Giolla-Brigid, or Bonaventure Hussey, a native of Ulster, who, in the Chronicles of the Order, is described as a “man held in great esteem for his singular skill in the language and history of Ireland.” In a MS. list of the first religious who received the habit in the Convent of St. Anthony’s, (21) I find the name “Bonaventura Hosacus, antea Brigidus, dioecesis Cloghorensis, admissus die 1 Novembris, 1607.” O’Reilly, in his “Irish Writers,” states that in 1608 Father Hussey published his prose Irish Catechism in Louvain, the first book printed on the Continent in Irish, and that it was reprinted at Antwerp in 1611. I suspect, however, that the date of its first publication in Louvain should be 1618, in which year an edition of it, under the title of “The Christian Doctrine,” is mentioned by Anderson. (22) At all events, it was only in 1611 that the Irish typographical press was established at St. Anthony’s, as we learn from the following passage of the History of the Order, written in 1630: “The Irish Convent of Louvain, for the salvation of souls in the Kingdom of Ireland, established in the year 1611 a printing press with the proper type for the Irish letters, which, on account of the prevailing heretical rule, was heretofore impracticable to the Catholics of that Kingdom; and printed some books in the Irish language to the great advantage of the faithful.” (23) Father Hussey also composed a metrical Catechism in two hundred and forty verses, which a century later was published by Donlevy as an appendix to his own famous Catechism in the Irish language. O’Reilly mentions several other unpublished poems composed by the same writer, some of which are preserved in the Royal Irish Academy. The extract from the History of the Order just cited, mentions some books, aliquot libros, printed in the Irish language, at St. Anthony’s. It is not easy now to determine what these books were; one of them, no doubt, was the Irish Catechism of Dr. Conry, already referred to; another was the “Mirror of Penance,” published in 1618, by Hugh MacCaghwell, O.S.F,, who was subsequently appointed to the primatial see of Armagh. In a MS. catalogue of the books of the Irish Convent of Louvain, made about the year 1675, I find mention of another work with the title Acta Sanctarum Virginum Hibernice, which some time before had been lent to the Convent of Donegal. Perhaps this too may have been one of the books referred to in the above extract. At all events the Irish type of St Anthony’s continued for many years to render good service to our literature. The illustrious annalist, Michael O’Clery, availed himself of it when publishing his Glossary in 1643; F. Anthony Gernon, another Irish Franciscan, made use of it in 1645, for his “Paradise of the Soul;” a Jesuit, F. Richard MacGiollacuddy (better known by his anglicised name of Archdekin) printed with it a Treatise on Miracles, in 1677; and Colgan, and his brother hagiologists made frequent use of it in the Irish extracts inserted in their invaluable Latin works. The type was still preserved at St. Anthony’s in 1675, but there was then but little encouragement for Irish publications. In the MS. list of the books belonging to that Convent of which I have already spoken, the following passage is added, as precious as it is concise, and giving the only reference to this Irish type which I have been able to discover in contemporary records:
“In a plain chest is preserved the type of the printing press. The key is over the chest. In the pulpit there is one silver chalice belonging to the Convent of Donegal, a small case of the relics of various saints, and the silver seal belonging to O’Donnell. In the first of the upper, rooms, in a small chest, is the Irish type, with its own forms; also several copies of Colgan’s works, Ward’s St Romnald, the Fochloir (i.e. O’Clery’s Glossary), and some skins for the covers of books.” (24)
With the arrival of F. Hugh Ward, in 1623, began the golden era of historical studies in St. Anthony’s. For fifty years the religious of that convent pursued these studies with unrivalled activity, although more than once their material resources were quite exhausted, and they merited for their convent the eulogy bestowed by no partial writer in our own days:
“No Franciscan college has maintained with more zeal than this, the character of the order, as expressed in their motto: Doctrina et sanctitate.” (Proceedings of R. I. A. vol. III., page 485). The learned Bollandist, F. De Buck having cited these words, adds : “It would be easy to show the justness of this eulogy presenting in detail the names of the professors who have taught at St. Anthony’s.” (25)
The historian of Louvain, writing in 1667, laments the poverty which the inmates of St. Anthony’s had so often to endure; for frequently the promised aid of the Government was withheld, and the Irish exiles, now that all their property was confiscated in Ireland, could contribute but little to the support of their religious countrymen, either at home or abroad. A century later another writer of Louvain dwells on the same theme, but adds,
“Notwithstanding their poverty, we have often seen, amongst these religious, and we still see amongst them, a number of men of distinction, and of the highest nobility, who prepared themselves there by study and piety to sustain the Catholic religion in England and Ireland; there were even many amongst them who suffered persecution, imprisonment, and cruel torments for the Faith.” (26)
In the wars and tumults of which Belgium was the theatre during the closing quarter of the last century, the Convent of St. Anthony’s was more than once exposed to the fury of the contending parties, and yet this was not the worst violence to which it was subjected. An edict of the Emperor Joseph II., in 1782, appointed a visitator, and enacted some vexatious laws regarding the Religious, though it did not entirely suppress the Convent. Two years later the overflowing of the Dyle swept away all their cattle, wood, and property of every kind. At length, in 1796, when Louvain was invaded by the French, their convent was wholly dismantled; its church was desecrated, its property sold, and this hallowed abode of Irish piety and learning was thenceforth closed against the children of St. Francis.
(1) “Annals of the Four Masters,” translated by O’Donovan, vol. i. p. 56.
(2) Archiv. S. Isid. Rome. — There has been much controversy about the date of the foundation of the Convent of St. Anthony: some placing it in the year 1606 others in 1609, others at a later period. See Renehan, “Collections on Irish Church History,” page 190. The dates in our text are taken from the official document above referred to, and from copies of the original letters of Philip the Third and the Archbishop of Mechlin, preserved in the archives of St. Isidore’s in Rome.
(3) See ” History of Ireland,” by T. Darcy M’Gee. Vol. 2., page 63.
(4) The above particulars are taken from a MS., entitled “Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae fratrum Minorum” written between the years 1630 and 1633, preserved in the archives of St. Isidore’s. A History of the various Franciscan Convents in Ireland was published from this MS. in the Catholic Magazine (Dublin, February, 1847). A little later we will have occasion to make some remarks as to the compiler of this MS.
(5) Loc. cit. ad. an. 1606. — The MS. adds that he governed the Irish Province during his three years of office per substitutum vicarium. The next Chapter in 1609 owing to the severity of the persecution, was held in a wood, near the Convent of Roscrea, in sylva prope convectum Roscreensem, when Father Maurice Ultan was chosen Provincial. In 1612 the Provincial Chapter was again held in a wood near the Convent of Kilmaleighin in sylva prope conventum de Kilmaleighlin, and Father Francis O’Melaghlain was elected Provincial.
(6) These were Hugh MacCaghwell, appointed Archbishop of Armagh on 2nd April, 1626; Thomas Fleming, appointed Archbishop of Dublin, 23rd October, 1623; Florence Conry, appointed Archbishop of Tuam in 1609; Boetius MacEgan, appointed Bishop of Elphin in 1625; and Hugh (Bonaventure) Magennis, appointed Bishop of Down and Connor on 9th April, 1630. The last named Prelate entered the Convent of St. Anthony’s, Louvain, on 2nd June, 1614.
(7) “Quorum aliqui morte, alii captivitate et carcere pro fide affecti.” MS. Brevis Synops. &c., p. 60.
(8) Hist. Catholica. edited by Rev. Dr. Kelly, page 255.
(9) Dr. Richard Brady was a religious of the Order of St. Francis, and had been Provincial from 1570 to 1573. He was appointed Bishop of Ardagh on 27th January, 1576, and was subsequently translated to Kilmore on 9th of March, 1580. He lived to an advanced age and died from the hardships of his imprisonment in 1607. Ward, in his narrative, merely states that “aliquoties ab haereticis captus et incarceratus est.” Many details regarding this Bishop may b seen in “History of the Franciscan Monasteries,” p. 49.
(10) Brev. Syn., loc. cit.
(11) He is styled in the MS. “Principalis substitutes quondam Vicarii Diocesani et nunc in capite institutes Vicarius Generalis Diocesanus ab aliquot annis.”
(12) For many particulars connected with this illustrious Archbishop of Armagh, see the Introduction to his work entitled “De Hibernia Insula Commentarius,” in the edition, Dublin, Duffy, 1868.
(13) “Etiamnum ruinae apparent.” MS. Relatio.
(14) Appointed in 1613, died in 1624. Harris’s Ware, Bishops; p. 97.
(16) “Licet variis objecti periculis et pseudo-Primatis persecutionibus, qui captis aliquoties quibusdam fratribus altare soepius destruxit in quo divina res fiebat.” MS Relat. of 1623.
(18) Brev. Synop. MS. in Archiv. S. Isid.
(19) Ibid., page 45. “Per invidiam diaboli cito dissipata fuerunt cum anno Domini 1629, die 26 Decembris in festo S. Stephani hora 10 mattutina Christophorus Foster Haereticus praetor civitatis Dublinen, comitatus pseudo Episcopo haereticoet militum cohorte sacellum fratrum minorum ejusdem urbis ingressus fractis imaginibus et altaribus et sublatis aliis ornamentis domum rediret, concitato mulierum et puerorum clamore et tumultu, dictus praetor cum sequacibus exceptus fuit lapidibus et fustibus propter quod plurimi ex Catholicis viri et matronae, pueri et puellae capti et in vincula conjecti sunt, nonnulli adolescentes flagellis caesi, annoque sequenti 1630, die 24, Feb. novo edicto Caroli Regis Angliae, praefatum sacellum et domus fratram memoratorum Dublini destructa fuit et solo aequata.”
(20) A copy of this work in quarto, transcribed from the original text, was sold in November, 1869, among the MSS. of the late Dr. Todd. The original is preserved in the Royal Library at Brussels (MSS. No. 3195). with the following heading: — “Tractatum sequentem de Provincia Hiberniae concinnavit Reverendus admodum P. Donatus Monaeus, dum esset provincialis, et huc ex Hibernia ad res hujus collegii S. Antonii ordinandas advenisset.”
(21) Archiv. S. Isid. Rome.
(22) The Native Irish. By C. Anderson, page 59.
(23) MS. Brev. Synopsis Prov. Hib. “pro communi Regni Hiberniae animarum salute, Hibernici idiomatis proprios characteres et impressionem anteanum quam ob praedominantem haereticam potestatem Catholicis ejus Regni permissum anno 1611 erexit et aliquot ejusdem idiomatis libros fidelium utilitati impressit.”
(24) “In plana cesta habentur litterae typographiae: clavis pendet supra cestam. In pulpito est unus calix argenteus spectans ad conventum Dungallensem: parva Bursa Reliquiarum aliquorum sanctorum; sigillum argenteum spectans ad O’Donellum. In cameris superioribus; in prima manent litterae typographiae Hibernicae in parva cesta cum suis formis; plura exemplaria Actt. SS. Hiberniae et Tr. Thaum; disquisito de S. Romualdo, &c., Fochloir, cum coriis aliquot pro libris cooperiendit.” loc cit.
(25) L’Archeologie Irlandaise au Couvent de Saint Antoine de Padoue a Louvain, par le R. P. De Buck, S.J., Paris, 1869, page 3.
(26) Ibid, page 2.