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The Bishop of Dromore is an episcopal title which takes its name after the original monastery of Dromore in County Down, Northern Ireland. In the Roman Catholic Church the title still continues as a separate bishopric, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with other bishoprics.
The monastery of Dromore is believed to have been founded by St Colman, first bishop or abbot of Dromore, sometime between 497 and 513. The first building was a small wattle and daub church on the northern bank of the River Lagan. Only a couple of the names of the monastic-bishops survive. Mael-Brigid Mac Cathasaigh, bishop and abbot of Dromore, died in 972, and in the Annals of Ulster record the death of Riagán, bishop of Druim Mór, in 1101.
The diocese of Dromore was established through the reorganisation of the Irish Church in the late 12th century, possibly at the synod held in Dublin in 1192 by the papal legate, Múirges Ua hÉnna, Archbishop of Cashel. The diocese coincided with the territory of the Uí Echach Cobo, which later became the baronies of Upper and Lower Iveagh, and the lordship of Newry, County Down.
Following the Reformation, there were parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, the bishopric continued until it became part of the united bishopric of Down, Connor and Dromore in 1842. In 1945, Connor was separated leaving the current bishopric of Down and Dromore.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the bishopric of Dromore continues as a separate title. The most recent Incumbent was the Most Reverend John McAreavey, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dromore, who was appointed by the Holy See on 4 June 1999 and was ordained bishop on 19 September 1999. He resigned on 1 March 2018, effective 26 March 2018.
|Pre-Reformation Bishops of Dromore|
|bef. 1197||unknown||Ua Ruanada||Named as the bishop of Uveghe (Iveagh) in a grant by Echmílid, Bishop of Down.|
|1227||unknown||Geraldus OCist||Formerly a monk of Mellifont Abbey; elected bishop bef. 15 April 1227 and confirmed by King Henry III 25 April 1227; death date unknown.|
|1245||unknown||Andreas||Andrew; formerly Archdeacon of Dromore; elected bef. 1 October 1245 and obtained the royal assent on that date; consecrated in late 1245; death date unknown.|
|c. 1284||1309||Tigernach (I)||Elected c. 1284; died in office.|
|1290||unknown||Gervasius||Also known as Gervase. Appointed bishop in 1290; death date unknown.|
|unknown||1309||Tigernach (II)||Formerly a monk; died in office.|
|c. 1309||unknown||Florentius Mac Donnacáin||Florence McDonegan; formerly a Canon of Dromore; elected by the dean and chapter in 1309; confirmed by the king.|
|1351||unknown||(Name not known)||Enech or Enoch; appointed by papal mandate.|
|1366||unknown||Milo||Appointed by the Archbishop of Armagh's mandate 20 October 1366.|
|1369||unknown||Christophorus||Also known as Christopher. Appointed by the Archbishop of Armagh's mandate 28 August 1369.|
|1382||Cornelius||No date of appointment; died bef. November 1382.|
|1382||unknown||John OFM||John O'Lannub or O Lannubh.; provided by Pope Urban VI; appointed sometime between 14 June and 15 July 1382; received temporalities 10 November 1382; death date unknown.|
|1398||1406||Thomas Orwell OFM||Also known as Horewell. Translated from Killala bef. November 1398; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Ely and Norwich 1389–1406; died aft. 1406.|
|1400||1402||John Waltham OSA||Also known as Volcan. Translated from Ossory 14 May 1400; translated back to Ossory 11 October 1402.|
|1402||1407||Roger Appleby OFM||Also known as De Appleby. Translated from Ossory 11 October 1402; absentee bishop 1402–07; translated to Waterford and Lismore bef. October 1407.|
|1407||1410||Richard Payl OP||Also known as Paylus or Messing. Appointed 30 December 1407; consecrated bef. 11 November 1408; translated to Sodor and Man 30 May 1410.|
|1410||1418||John Chourles OSB||Also known as Curlw or Thouras. Appointed 16 July 1410 and consecrated bef. 4 January 1411; resigned in 1418; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Canterbury 1420–33, London 1419–26, and Rochester 1423; died 12 June 1433 and buried at St Mary Somerset, London, where he had been rector of the church.|
|aft. 1410||1429||Marcus||He was given authority by Nicholas Fleming, Archbishop of Armagh, as 'a bishop sojourning in the diocese of Dromore', to correct certain offenders; he does not appear to have been the actual bishop of the see; died bef. 31 January 1429.|
|bef. 1414||unknown||Seaán Ó Ruanadha||Known to be bishop around 1414, but nothing further known.|
|1419||unknown||Nicholas Warte OFM||Also known as Wartre. Provided by Pope Martin V 17 March 1419; appears to have resigned and retired to England (date unknown); acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of York 1420–1445, and was Rector of St Mary's Church, Castlegate, York; died aft. 1445.|
|1429||1453||Thomas Rackelf OSA[N 1]||Also known as Radcliffe. Appointed 31 January 1429; consecrated 21 December 1433; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Durham 1441–1446; died 1453.|
|unknown||1431||William[N 1]||No date of appointment; died bef. June 1431.|
|1431||unknown||David Chirbury OCarm[N 1]||Appointed 22 June 1431, but appears to have vacated the see soon afterwards; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of St David's in 1437; died aft. 1451.|
|1434?||1440||Thomas Scrope OCarm[N 1]||Thomas Bradley; possibly appointed in 1434; resigned bef. 1440; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Norwich 1450–1477 and Canterbury 1469; died 15 January 1492.|
|1450||1454/55||Thomas Radcliff[N 1]||Consecrated 1 February 1450; resigned 1454 or 1455; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Durham until 1487.|
|c. 1454/55||unknown||Donatus Ó h-Anluain||Also known as Donat Ohendua or O'Hand. Appointed 1454 or 1455; consecrated aft. 17 April 1456; death date unknown.|
|1457||1463||Richard Messing OCarm||Also known as Myssin. Appointed 29 July 1457; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of York 1458–1462; died aft. June 1463.|
|1463||unknown||William Egremond OESA||Appointment 15 June 1463; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of York 1463–1501; died aft. 1501.|
|unknown||1476||Aonghus||Aeneas; appointment date is unknown; died bef. August 1476.|
|1476||1480||Robert Kirk OCist||Appointed 28 August 1476; died bef. April 1480.|
|1480||1483||Yvo Guillen||Also known as Yvo Guillen Brito . Formerly a Canon of St Malo; appointed 14 April 1480; died bef. April 1483.|
|1483||1499||Georgios Vranas||Georgius de Brana, George Braua, Geo. Braun or 'an-t-easbog Gréagach'; a Greek by birth; formerly Procurator of Indulgences and Vicar-General of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost; appointed bishop 18 April and consecrated 3 May 1483; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Worcester and London 1497; translated to Elphin 15 April 1499.|
|1511||1526||Tadhg Ó Raghallaigh OESA||Also known as Thaddeaus or Thady O'Reilly; appointed 30 April 1511; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of London 1511; also was appointed Bishop of Ross on 23 December 1519; died bef. June 1526.|
|Church of Ireland Bishops of Dromore|
|1550||c. 1575||Arthur Magennis[N 2]||A son of Murtagh Magennis of Corgary, near Newry, Lord of Iveagh, who was killed by the men of Louth in 1529. Arthur was the father of Murtagh 'McEnaspicke', literally 'son of the bishop'from which Atkinson infers that he 'must have been a married man'. Papal appointee in 1540, but renounced papal authority and was confirmed (re-appointed) by King Edward VI bef. 10 May 1550; absolved and recognized by Queen Mary I; died c. 1575.|
|c. 1575||1607||See vacant|
|1607||1612||John Todd||Formerly Dean of Cashel; nominated to Dromore and to Down and Connor 24 January; appointed to all three by letters patent 16 May 1607; resigned 20 January 1612.|
|1612||1613||John Tanner||Nominated 9 February 1612; appointed by letters patent 7 January 1613; never consecrated; resigned 20 January 1612; appointed Bishop of Derry in 1612.|
|1613||1652||Theophilus Buckworth||Nominated 16 April; consecrated in May 1613; he was forced to flee to England because of the Irish Rebellion of 1641; died in Wisbech c. 8 September 1652.|
|1660||1661||Robert Leslie||Nominated 6 August 1660; consecrated 27 January 1661; translated to Raphoe 20 June 1661; his father was Henry Leslie, Bishop of Down and Connor (1635–1661).|
|1661||1667||See vacant||Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Connor, was appointed administrator of Dromore on 21 June 1661, and continued in the post until his death on 13 August 1667.|
|1667||1670||George Rust||Formerly Dean of Connor; nominated 27 September; consecrated 15 December 1667; died in December 1670.|
|1671||1683||Essex Digby||Formerly Dean of Cashel; nominated 6 January; consecrated 27 February 1671; died 12 May 1683.|
|1683||1694||Capel Wiseman||Formerly Dean of Raphoe; nominated 23 June; consecrated 23 September 1683; died in September 1694.|
|1695||1713||Tobias Pullein||Translated from Cloyne; nominated 17 March; appointed by letters patent 7 May 1695; died 22 January 1713.|
|1713||1717||John Sterne||Formerly Dean of St Patrick's, Dublin; nominated 23 April; consecrated 10 May 1713; translated to Clogher 30 May 1717.|
|1717||1727||Ralph Lambert||Formerly Dean of Down; nominated 14 May; consecrated 23 April 1717; translated to Meath 10 May 1727.|
|1727||1732||Charles Cobbe||Translated from Killala and Achonry; nominated 13 January; appointed by letters patent 16 February 1727; translated to Kiladare 16 March 1732.|
|1732||1744||Henry Maule||Translated from Cloyne; nominated 18 February; appointed by letters patent 20 March 1732; translated to Meath 24 May 1744.|
|1744||1745||Thomas Fletcher||Formerly Dean of Down; nominated 10 May; consecrated 10 June 1744; translated to Kildare 14 May 1745.|
|1745||Jemmett Browne||Translated from Killaloe; nominated 26 April and; appointed by letters patent 16 May 1745; translated to Cork and Ross 27 August 1745.|
|1745||1763||George Marlay||Nominated 3 August; consecrated 15 September 1745; died 12 April 1763.|
|1763||John Oswald||Translated from Clonfert and Kilmacduagh; nominated 19 April; appointed by letters patent 7 May 1763; translated to Raphoe 25 August 1763.|
|1763||1765||Edward Young||Formerly Dean of Clogher; nominated 19 July; consecrated 16 October 1763; translated to Ferns and Leighlin 4 March 1765.|
|1765||1766||The Hon Henry Maxwell||Formerly Dean of Kilmore; nominated 8 February; consecrated 10 March 1765; translated to Meath 15 April 1766.|
|1766||1775||William Newcome||Nominated 28 February; consecrated 27 April 1766; translated to Ossory 13 April 1775.|
|1775||1780||James Hawkins||Formerly Dean of Emly; nominated 23 March; consecrated 29 April 1775; translated to Raphoe 1 April 1780.|
|1780||1782||The Hon William Beresford||Nominated 20 March; consecrated 8 April 1780; translated to Ossory 21 May 1782; his nephew Lord John Beresford was Archbishop of Armagh (1822–1862).|
|1782||1811||Thomas Percy||Formerly Dean of Carlisle; nominated 17 April; consecrated 26 May 1782; died 30 September 1811.|
|1811||George Hall||Formerly Provost of Trinity College Dublin; nominated 10 October; consecrated 17 November 1811; died 23 November 1811.|
|1811||1819||John Leslie||Formerly Dean of Cork; nominated 5 December 1811; consecrated 26 January 1812; translated to Elphin 16 November 1819.|
|1819||1842||James Saurin||Formerly Dean of Derry; nominated 2 November; consecrated 19 December 1819; died 9 April 1842.|
|In 1842, the see became part of the united bishopric of Down, Connor and Dromore|
|Roman Catholic Bishops of Dromore|
|1536||c. 1539||Quintin Cogly OP||Appointed 29 May 1536; died c. 1539.|
|1539||unknown||Roger MacCiadh||Appointed 16 June 1539; death or end of episcopate unknown.|
|1540||c. 1575||Arthur Magennis[N 2]||Appointed 16 April 1540, but renounced papal authority bef. 10 May 1550; absolved and recognized by Queen Mary I; died c. 1575.|
|1576||1589||Patrick MacCaul||Appointed 23 (or 26) January 1576; died bef. February 1589.|
|1598||unknown||Eugene MacGibbon||Appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 20 February 1598.|
|1625||unknown||Patrick Hanratty||Formerly vicar apostolic of Down and Connor 1614–1625; appointed vicar apostolic of Dromore by papal brief 13 August 1625.|
|1647||1662||Oliver Darcy OP||Appointed 11 March 1647; consecrated 7 May 1648; died in 1662.|
|1671||unknown||Ronan Maginn||Appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 30 June 1671.|
|1697||1716||Patrick Donnelly||Appointed 22 July 1697; died in 1716.|
|1716||1747||See vacant||1731–1747: Dromore was administered by the Archbishops of Armagh.|
|1747||1766||Anthony O'Garvey||Appointed 1 September 1747; died 24 August 1766.|
|1767||1770||Denis Maguire OFM||Appointed 10 February 1767; translated to Kilmore 20 March 1770.|
|1770||1780||Patrick Brady OFM||Appointed 10 April 1770; died 4 July 1780.|
|1780||1801||Matthew Lennan||Appointed 20 December 1780; died 22 January 1801.|
|1801||1819||Edmund Derry||Appointed 19 July 1801; died 29 October 1819.|
|1820||1825||Hugh O'Kelly||Appointed 30 January and consecrated 16 April 1820; died 14 August 1825.|
|1826||1833||Thomas Kelly||Appointed 4 June; consecrated 27 August 1826; translated to Armagh as coadjutor archbishop on 1 December 1828 (succeeded as Archbishop of Armagh on 26 July 1832); retained administration of Dromore until Blake was appointed bishop in 1833.|
|1833||1860||Michael Blake||Appointed 13 January; consecrated 17 March 1833; resigned 27 February 1860; died 6 March 1860.|
|1860||1890||John Pius Leahy OP||Appointed coadjutor bishop 7 July; consecrated 1 October 1854; succeeded 27 February 1860; died 6 September 1890.|
|1890||1900||Thomas MacGivern||Appointed coadjutor bishop 9 March; consecrated 6 May 1887; succeeded 6 September 1890; died 24 November 1900.|
|1901||1915||Henry O'Neill||Appointed 10 May; consecrated 7 July 1901; died 9 October 1915.|
|1916||1943||Edward Mulhern||Appointed 19 January; consecrated 30 April 1916; died 12 August 1943.|
|1944||1975||Eugene O'Doherty||Appointed 18 March; consecrated 28 May 1944; retired 22 November 1975; died 24 March 1979.|
|1976||1999||Francis Brooks||Appointed 22 November 1975; consecrated 25 January 1976; retired 4 June 1999.|
|1999||2018||John McAreavey||Appointed 4 June 1999; consecrated 19 September 1999; resigned 1 March 2018, effective 26 March 2018.|
- From 1431 to 1453, Dromore was nominally governed by absentee bishops, of whom at least two were simultaneously using the title of bishop of Dromore whilst acting as suffragans in various English dioceses.
- Arthur Magennis was bishop of both successions.
- Atkinson, 'Dromore - An Ulster Diocese', P 18
- Atkinson, 'Dromore - An Ulster Diocese', P 19
- Atkinson, 'Dromore - An Ulster Diocese', P 18-9
- Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 348–350. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
- Cotton, Henry (1849). The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Fasti ecclesiae Hiberniae. Vol. 3, The Province of Ulster. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. pp. 276–280.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Harold O'Sullivan, 'The Magennis Lordship of Iveagh in the early modern period, 1534 to 1691', P176 in Lindsay Proudfoot, 'Down - History and Society', Geography Publications, 1997
- BBC Northern Ireland:BEGINNERS' BLAS SLOINNTE/ SURNAMES
- Atkinson, E.D., R.S.A.I. (1911). Dromore An Ulster Diocese, Chapter IV, p. 18.
- Fryde, ibid., pp. 389-390.
- Cotton, ibid., pp. 280-290.
- Fryde, ibid., p. 425.
- Diocese of Dromore. Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
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