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The Bishop of Elphin is an episcopal title which takes its name after the village of Elphinmarker in County Roscommonmarker, Irelandmarker. In the Roman Catholic Church it remains a separate title, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with other bishoprics.

History

From the time Christianity first arrived in Ireland in the second half of the 5th century (in the form of Saint Patrick's mission), the early church was centred around monastic settlements. Patrick founded such a settlement in an area known as Corcoghlan, now known as Elphinmarker, in 434 or 435. Following the Synod of Rathbreasail in the year 1111, the diocese of Elphin was formally established.

Following the Reformation of the 16th century and related turmoil, there were parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, the bishopric continued until 1841 when it combined with Kilmore and Ardagh and formed the united bishopric of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the title continues as a separate bishopric. The current Incumbent is the Most Reverend Christopher Jones, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Elphin, who was appointed by the Holy See on 24 May 1994 and ordained bishop on 15 August 1994. The bishops seat (cathedra) is located at the Cathedral Church of the Immaculate Conception in Sligomarker, Irelandmarker.

Pre-Reformation bishops

List of the pre-Reformation Bishops of Elphin
From Until Incumbent Notes
?1111 1136 Domnall mac Flannacáin Ua Dubthaig Possibly became bishop at the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111; also was Bishop of Clonmacnoise and Abbot of Roscommon; died 17 March 1136
unknown bef.1152 Flannacán Ua Dubthaig Resigned before 1152; died at Cong Abbeymarker in 1168
bef.1152 1174 Máel Ísu Ua Connachtáin Present at the Synod of Kells in 1152; died in office
unknown 1180 Tommaltach mac Áeda Ua Conchobair Translated to Armagh before February 1180; also known as Thomas
c.1180 1195 Floirint Ua Riacáin Uí Máelruanaid, O.Cist. Became bishop circa 1180; died in office
1206 1215 Ardgar Ua Conchobair Became bishop before 14 February 1206; died in office
fl.1217/21 1229 Dionysius Ó Mórda Known to be bishop in 1217 and 1221; resigned 1229; died 15 December 1231
c. 1230 Alanus Became bishop circa 1230, but probably did not get possession of the see
1231 1244 Donnchad mac Fíngein Ó Conchobhair Consecrated in 1231; died 24 April 1244; also known as Dionysius Donatus
1245 1246 Eóin Ó Mugróin Elected after 12 June 1244; appointed 2 July 1245 and consecrated in the same year; died 1246
1247 1259 Tomaltach mac Toirrdelbaig Ó Conchobhair Elected before 21 August 1246 and consecrated 21 January 1247; translated to Tuam 23 March 1259; also known as Thomas
1260 1262 Máel Sechlainn Ó Conchobair Elected before 30 January 1260; received possession of the temporalities 8 November 1260; consecrated circa November 1260; died 9 January 1262; also known as Milo
1262 1265 Tomas mac Fergail Mac Diarmata, O.Cist. Elected before 26 January 1260; received possession of the temporalities 10 May 1262; died in 1265
1266 1284 Muiris mac Néill Ó Conchobair, O.P. Elected after 27 February 1266; received possession of the temporalities after 23 April 1266; died circa 5 December 1284; also known as Mauricius
1285 (Amiaim Ó Tommaltaig) Elected and confirmed in 1285, but was never consecrated
1285 1296 Gilla Ísu mac in Liathána Ó Conchobair, O.Praem. Elected 10 August 1285; received possession of the temporalities after 5 March 1285; died before September 1296; also known as Gelasius
1297 1303 Máel Sechlainn mac Briain, O.Cist. Elected before 2 November 1296; received possession of the temporalities 7 September 1297; died before March 1303; also known as Malachias
1296 1297 Marianus Ó Donnabair, O.P. Elected in September or October 1296; died in 1297
1303 1307 Donnchad Ó Flannacain, O.Cist. Elected before 28 June 1303; received possession of the temporalities after 28 JUne 1303; died 22 June 1307; also known as Donatus
1307 1310 Cathal Ó Conchobair, O.Praem. Elected after 2 September and consecrated circa October 1307; received possession of the temporalities 12 March 1309; resigned 1310; died 1343
1310 1312 Máel Sechlainn Mac Áeda Appointed 22 June 1310; received possession of the temporalities 7 December 1310; translated to Tuam 19 December 1312; also known as Malachias
1313 1326 Lúrint Ó Lachtnáin Appointed 21 January and consecrated after 19 February 1313; received possession of the temporalities 22 September 1314; died in 1326; also known as Laurentius
1326 1354 Seoán Ó Fínnachta Elected and consecrated in 1326; ; received possession of the temporalities after 31 December 1326; died in 1354
c.1355 1357 Carolus Elected circa 1355; deprived in 1357
1357 1372 Gregorius Ó Mocháin Appointed 27 February 1357; received possession of the temporalities 26 June 1357; translated to Tuam in 1372
1372 1404 Thomas Barrett Appointed 16 June 1372; received possession of the temporalities 24 November 1372; deprived by Pope Clement VIII 17 January 1383, but without effect; died 1404
1383 Seoán Ó Mocháin Appointed by Pope Clement VII between 17 January and 19 February 1383, but apparently did not take effect; later appointed to Derry 16 September 1394
c.1405 Gerald Caneton Translated from Cloyne circa 1405, but did not take effect
1407 1417 Seaán Ó Gráda Appointed before 12 October 1407; died in 1417
1412 (Thomas Colby, O.Carm.) Appointed by Antipope John XXIII 18 March 1412, but did not take effect; later appointed to Waterford and Lismore in February 1414
1418 unknown Robert Fosten Appointed 18 February 1418; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Durhammarker 1426; died after 1430
1421 Edmund Barrett Appointed in 1421 and died in the same year
unknown 1429 Johannes Deprived before 26 January 1429; died before March 1434
1429 Laurentius Ó Beólláin Appointed 26 January 1429; died before December 1429
1429 1449 William Ó hEidheáin Appointed 2 December 1429; translated to Emly 20 October 1449
1449 1468 Conchobair Ó Maolalaidh, O.F.M. Translated from Emly 20 October 1449; died in 1468; also known as Cornelius Ó Maolaidh
1458 1494 Nicol Ó Flannagáin, O.P. Appointed 7 June 1458 and again 10 July 1469; resigned in September 1494
1487 ?1495 Hugo Arward Appointed 24 January 1487; possibly died in 1495; maybe was also known as Aodh Mac an Bhaird
1492 unknown Riocard mac Briain Ó gCuanach, O.P. Appointed 22 June 1492, but not known if took effect; died after 1501
1499 1529 George Brana Translated from Dromore 15 April 1499; died sometime between 18 August and 27 December 1529
bef.1501 unknown Cornelius Ó Flannagain Appointed before 1501, but not known if took effect
1508 unknown Christopher Fisher Appointed 12 December 1508; date of death unknown
1525 1536 John Maxey, O.Praem. Appointed 7 April 1525; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Yorkmarker 1525; died 15 August 1536


Post-Reformation bishops

Church of Ireland succession

List of Church of Ireland Bishops of Elphin Fryde, ibid., pp. 392-393.
From Until Incumbent Notes
1541 1551 Conach O'Shiel Nominated 23 September 1541; died before 28 July 1551; also surnamed as O'Shyagall or O'Negall
1551 1580 Roland de Burgo Bishop of Clonfert 1538-1580; nominated to Elphin 23 November 1551 and appointed by letters patent 10 April 1552; acknowledged papal authority in the reign of Queen Mary I, but again accepted royal supremacy under Queen Elizabeth I; died 20 June 1580; also known as Roland Burke
1582 1583 Thomas Chester Nominated 25 May 1582; died in office
1583 1611 John Lynch Nominated 4 November 1583; resigned 19 August 1611
1611 1639 Edward King Nominated 6 July and consecrated in December 1611; died 8 March 1639
1639 1655 Henry Tilson Nominated 7 August and consecrated 23 September 1639; died 31 March 1655
1655 1661 See vacant
1661 1667 John Parker Nominated 6 August 1660 and consecrated 27 January 1661; translated to Tuam 9 August 1667
1667 1686 John Hodson Nominated 17 July and consecrated 8 September 1667; died 18 February 1686
1686 1691 See vacant
1691 1720 Simon Digby Translated from Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe; nominated 4 December 1690 and appointed by letters patent 12 January 1691; died 7 April 1720
1720 1724 Henry Downes Translated from Killala and Achonry; nominated 1 May and appointed by letters patent 12 May 1720; translated to Meath 9 April 1724
1724 1730 Theophilus Bolton Translated from Clonfert and Kilmacduagh; nominated 18 March and appointed by letters patent 16 April 1724; translated to Cashel 6 January 1730
1730 1740 Robert Howard Translated from Killala and Achonry; nominated 26 December 1729 and appointed by letters patent 13 January 1730; died 3 April 1740
1740 1762 Edward Synge Translated from Ferns and Leighlin; nominated 30 April and appointed by letters patent 15 May 1740; died 27 January 1762
1762 1772 William Gore Translated from Clonfert and Kilmacduagh; nominated 21 April and appointed by letters patent 3 May 1762; translated to Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe 5 March 1772
1772 1775 Jemmett Browne Translated from Cork and Ross; nominated 27 January and appointed by letters patent 6 March 1772; translated to Tuam 11 April 1775
1775 1795 Charles Dodgson Translated from Ossory; nominated 23 March and appointed by letters patent 12 April 1775; died 7 March 1795
1795 1810 John Law Translated from Killala and Achonry; nominated 11 March and appointed by letters patent 27 March 1795; died 19 March 1810
1810 1819 Hon. Power le Poer Trench Translated from Waterford and Lismore; nominated 12 April and appointed by letters patent 30 April 1810; translated to Tuam 10 November 1819
1819 1854 John Powell Leslie Translated from Dromore; nominated 16 November 1819; became Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh 15 October 1841; died 22 July 1854
Since 1841, the Church of Ireland see has been part of the united bishopric of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh


Roman Catholic succession

List of Roman Catholic Bishops of Elphin
From Until Incumbent Notes
1539 William Magennis Appointed 16 June 1539. (There is some confusion with this appointment, he maybe Eugene Magennis who was appointed Bishop of Down and Connor on the same day since nothing further is known of William Magennis)
1539 1541 Gabriel de S. Serio, O.S.B. Appointed 27 August 1539; translated to Ferns 3 June 1541
1541 1542 Bernard O'Donnell, O.F.M. Translated from Ferns 3 June 1541; died before 5 July 1542
1542 1561 Bernard O'Higgins, O.E.S.A. Appointed 5 May and consecrated 7 September 1542; he left Ireland in the later years of the reign of King Henry VIII and during his absence Elphin was administered by Henry O'Heyne, Bishop of Cork and Cloyne; O'Higgins returned in the reign of Queen Mary I; resigned 1561; died 1564
1562 1594 Andrew O'Crean, O.P. Appointed 28 January 1562; died 1594
1594 1620 See vacant No record of vicars apostolic during this period.
apptd. 1620 Nicholas a S. Patritio, O.E.S.A. Appointed vicar apostolic of Elphin by papal brief 29 August 1620
1625 Raymund Galvin Appointed 9 June 1625
1625 1650 Boetius Egan, O.F.M. Appointed 9 June 1625 and consecrated in 1626; died 19 April 1650
1650 1671 See vacant
1671 1701 Dominic de Burgo, O.P. Appointed 13 July and consecrated 22 November 1671; died 1 January 1701
1701 1707 See vacant
1707 1717 Ambrose MacDermott, O.P. Appointed 15 or 31 March 1707; died in September. 1717
1718 1731 Gabriel O'Kelly Appointed 20 March and consecrated 8 June 1718; died 4 August 1731; also known as Gabriel Carbry
1731 1748 Patrick French, O.F.M. Appointed in November 1731; died in 1748
1748 1756 John Brett, O.P. Translated from Killala 28 August 1748; died 12 June 1756
1756 1786 James O'Fallon Appointed 4 August 1756; died 2 December 1786
1787 1810 Edward French Appointed 13 February 1787; died 29 April 1810
1810 1814 See vacant
1814 1827 George Thomas Plunket Appointed 4 October 1814 and consecrated 24 February 1815; died 8 May 1827
1827 1843 Patrick Burke Appointed coadjutor bishop 12 January and consecrated 27 June 1819; succeeded 8 May 1827; died 16 September 1843
1844 1858 George Joseph Plunket Browne Translated from Galway 26 March 1844; died 1 December 1858
1858 1895 Laurence Gillooly C.M. Appointed coadjutor bishop Elphin 18 February and consecrated 7 September 1856; succeeded 1 December 1858; died 15 January 1895
1895 1912 John Joseph Clancy Appointed coadjutor bishop of Elphin 12 January and succeeded 8 February 1895; consecrated 24 March 1895; died 19 October 1912
1913 1926 Bernard Coyne Appointed 18 January and consecrated 30 March 1913; died 17 July 1926
1926 1950 Edward Doorly Appointed coadjutor bishop of Elphin 5 April and consecrated 24 June 1923; succeeded 17 July 1926; died 5 April 1950
1950 1970 Vincent Hanly Appointed 19 July and consecrated 24 September 1950; died 9 November 1970
1971 1994 Dominic Joseph Conway Appointed titular bishop of Ros Cré and auxiliary bishop of Elphin on 16 October 1970; ordained bishop 8 November 1970; appointed diocesan bishop of Elphin on 12 March or 1 May 1971; retired 24 May 1994; died 22 August 1996
1994 present Christopher Jones Appointed 24 May and consecrated 15 August 1994


Notes

  • There was a disputed election between these two candidates.


References

  1. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Retrieved on 20 August 2009.
  2. Fryde, ibid., pp. 427-428.



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