more pronounced. Through the glasses it could be noticed
The gradual extension of English influence in both the North and the South enabled Elizabeth and her advisers to throw off the mask of toleration, and to take more active measures for enforcing the new religion. Already Bishop Walsh of Meath had been thrown into prison (1565), from which he escaped in 1572 and fled to Spain; Bishop Leverous had been driven from his See in Kildare, though on account of the influence of his patron, the Earl of Kildare, he was permitted to end his days in his own diocese; Bishop Lacy of Limerick was reported by the Lord Deputy (1562) as "a stubborn and disobedient man in causes of religion" and as having committed offences whereby he had forfeited his bishopric by the laws of the realm. For some time Limerick was regarded as vacant, but the threatening attitude of the Geraldines made it impossible to interfere with its bishop, and when the Lord Deputy visited the city in 1567 he even allowed himself to be received by the bishop with full Catholic ceremonial. When, however, the power of the Southern confederation was broken Bishop Lacy was deprived of his See as far as royal letters patent could do it, and William Casey, the nominee of Edward VI. was placed in possession. The latter had made his submission to the Pope and had declared his sorrow for his crimes in the presence of David Wolf. Though apparently he had fallen once again, he was distrusted by those who had appointed him as is shown by the fact that a Scotchman named Campbell was set over him in 1585 to attend "to the spiritual functions of the bishopric."
The Pope appointed Donat O'Teige Archbishop of Armagh in 1560, and on his death Richard Creagh was designated as his successor. The latter was a native of Limerick, who had graduated at Louvain, and at the time he was nominated by David Wolf for an Irish archbishopric he kept a school in his native diocese. Having been consecrated in Rome in 1564 he arrived in Ireland towards the end of that year only to be arrested and thrown into prison, from which he managed to make his escape at Easter (1565). He returned to his diocese, but he soon found himself in conflict with Shane O'Neill. The archbishop was an Anglo- Irishman, who stood for loyalty to the queen, and who regarded O'Neill and his followers as both rebels, and, in a sense, savages. Instead of encouraging O'Neill's men to maintain their struggle he preached on the duty of obedience, whereat O'Neill was so enraged that he was at first inclined to drive the Primate from Armagh. He burned the cathedral of Armagh not, however, as is sometimes represented, in hatred of the archbishop, but because it had been used as a fortress by the English. The relations between the spiritual and temporal ruler of Ulster improved, and Creagh addressed a petition to the Deputy to be allowed to continue the Catholic services in the churches (1566). He was captured once again early in 1567, and put upon his trial. The jury having refused to find a verdict against him, both they and the accused were committed to prison in Dublin Castle. The archbishop eluded his guards once again, and it was only after the Earl of Kildare had promised that his life should be spared that his whereabouts were discovered. In December 1567 he was lodged in the Tower of London, in which he was kept a close prisoner, though he still contrived to communicate with Rome and with his diocese. Despite the intercession of the Spanish ambassador, and notwithstanding the fact that he suffered from grievous bodily infirmities, he remained a prisoner till his death in October 1585. As a guarantee had been given by the Earl of Kildare that his life would be spared, it was not deemed prudent to execute him, but according to well authenticated evidence his death was brought about by poison.
Thomas O'Herlihy was appointed Bishop of Ross on the recommendation of Father Wolf in 1561, and after having been consecrated he attended the Council of Trent. On his return to Ireland he took an active part in encouraging James Fitzmaurice, and was deputed to accompany the Archbishop of Cashel to seek for aid from Philip II. of Spain. He was captured in 1571 and sent to the Tower of London, where he was kept prisoner for about three years and a half. He came back once again to his diocese, and laboured strenuously, not merely in Ross, but in various districts in the South till his death in 1579 or 1580. Maurice Fitzgibbon, Archbishop of Cashel, went to Spain as the representative of the Southern Geraldines and their allies. Having failed to get any help from Philip II., he endeavoured at various times to interest the King of France, the Duke of Anjou, and the Duke of Alva in Irish affairs. Though he was certainly in Scotland, where he was arrested in 1572, it is doubtful if he ever returned to his diocese. According to one authority he was captured in Munster and kept a prisoner in Cork till his death in 1578, but it is more probable that he died at Oporto.
After the suppression of the Geraldine uprising and after the decree of excommunication had been issued against Elizabeth still more violent measures were taken against the bishops and clergy. The Franciscan, Bishop O'Hely, was taken, together with another member of his order, at Kilmallock, and both were put to death (1578 or 1579). Edmund Tanner, who had been appointed to Cork in 1574, and entrusted with special faculties for the provinces of Dublin and Cashel, was arrested shortly after his arrival in Ireland and was thrown into prison. He succeeded, however, in escaping, and he continued his labours in various parts of Munster and Leinster till his death in 1578 or 1579. Nicholas Skerrett, a graduate of the /Collegium Germanicum/ in Rome, was appointed to Tuam in October 1580. He was thrown into prison after his arrival in Ireland, and, having succeeded in escaping from his captors, he made his way into Spain. He died at Lisbon in 1583 or 1584. Maurice MacBrien was appointed to Emly in 1567 on the recommendation of Father Wolf. During the earlier stages of the Desmond rebellion he took active steps to promote the Catholic confederation. At this period it is not improbable that he went to Spain to solicit the co-operation of Philip II., but he returned to Ireland, was captured in 1584, and two years later he died in prison in Dublin. Peter Power or de la Poer was provided to Ferns by the Pope in 1582. He was arrested and while in prison was induced to make his submission, but on his release, stricken with sorrow for the weakness he had shown, he boldly confessed his error and was arrested once more. How long he was detained is not certain, but it is clear from a letter of the Bishop of Killaloe that he was treated with the utmost severity. He died in Spain in 1587.
In 1581 Dermot O'Hurley was appointed to the Archbishopric of Cashel. He had been a distinguished student of Louvain, and was then a professor of Canon Law at Rheims. Hardly had he reached Ireland when the government spies were on his track. For some time he remained in the vicinity of Drogheda, and then he withdrew to the castle of the Baron of Slane, from which he proceeded through Cavan and Longford to his diocese. Having learned, however, that the Baron of Slane was in danger for having afforded him assistance he surrendered himself to his persecutors. He was brought to Dublin, in the course of which he admitted that he was an archbishop appointed by the Pope, but he denied that he had come to Ireland to stir up strife or to encourage treasonable conspiracies. On one occasion at least he was subjected to horrible torture to extract from him some damaging admissions. At the advice of Walsingham his feet and legs were encased in tin boots and he was held over a fire. As he still refused to submit he was tried by court-martial and condemned. In June 1584 he was hanged in Dublin. Edmund McGauran, who was translated from Ardagh to Armagh in 1587, devoted himself earnestly to the task of inducing the Catholic princes of Ulster to defend their religion and their territories. He was slain during a battle between Maguire of Fermanagh and the English in 1593. Redmond O'Gallagher, Bishop of Derry, was specially active throughout the whole province of Ulster, and so powerful were his protectors that for years the government agents were afraid to arrest him, but in the end he was slain together with three of his priests by soldiers from the Lough Foyle garrison (1601).
In the early years of Elizabeth's reign the government from motives of prudence abstained from adopting violent measures to promote the change of religion. But after 1570 there was a decided change, and particularly after 1580 the persecution was carried on with great bitterness. Many of the clergy, both secular and regular, were put to death. Amongst the latter the few Jesuits who had come into the country to help to carry on the work begun by Father David Wolf, the Franciscans, and the Dominicans, were pursued with relentless severity. Sometimes they were put to death by the soldiers without any form of trial, sometimes they were executed according to the proclamations of martial law, and sometimes they were allowed a form of trial. But the fact that they were priests was sufficient to secure their conviction. Several laymen were put to death for refusing to change their religion, for harbouring priests, or for having studied in some of the Catholic colleges on the Continent. Although Henry VIII. had succeeded in destroying many of the religious houses, still in a great part of the North, West, and South of Ireland the law had not been enforced, and even in the districts where the English held sway several of the monasteries enjoyed a precarious existence, partly owing to the kindness of certain noblemen, partly also to royal exemptions. But with the gradual subjugation of the country during the reign of Elizabeth more determined measures were taken for the suppression of such institutions. According to a return presented to the authorities in London (1578) "thirty-four abbeys and religious houses with very good lands belonging to them, never surveyed before 1569," were seized, as were also "seventy-two abbeys and priories concealed from her Majesty." From a revenue return presented in 1593 it can be seen that the suppression of these houses and the seizure of their property helped considerably to strengthen the royal exchequer. From the possessions in Ireland that belonged formerly to religious houses in England the queen received annually in round numbers ￡538, from the lands belonging to St. John of Jerusalem ￡776, from those of the monastery of Thomastown ￡551, from the possessions of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, ￡329, and from the monasteries and other religious houses in Ireland ￡4,716. The destruction of the monasteries did not, however, mean the extinction of the Mendicant Orders. They still continued to maintain themselves in the country, so that during the worst days of the seventeenth century the Franciscans and Dominicans were to be reckoned with as the most dangerous opponents of the religious policy of the English government.
Only in case of one bishop, the notorious Miler Magrath, was Elizabeth able to secure submission. He was a Franciscan friar, who, having been sent to Rome to petition that the vacant See of Down and Connor should be conferred on Shane O'Neill's brother, took steps to secure the appointment for himself (1565). Finding on his return that he could not hope to get any revenue from his diocese on account of the opposition of O'Neill, he made his submission to the queen (1567) and received as his reward the diocese of Clogher, and later on the Archbishopric of Cashel (1570). For the greater part of his term of office as archbishop he held the Sees of Waterford and Lismore, and when he resigned them in 1607 he obtained a grant of Achonry and Killala. While pretending to be scandalised by the toleration shown to Catholics, and especially to Catholic officials, and to be anxious that the laws should be enforced with the utmost rigour he took measures to warn the clergy whenever there was danger of arrest. On one occasion when he was in London, having learned that a raid was contemplated against the priests, he wrote to his wife to warn Bishop MacCragh of Cork to go into hiding at once, and to send away the priests who had taken refuge in his own palace at Cashel lest he should get into trouble. He was denounced by the officials in Dublin as a traitor, a drunkard, and a despoiler of the goods of the Church. He sold or leased the property of his dioceses, kept a large number of benefices in his own hands solely for the sake of the revenue, appointed his own sons, his daughter, and his daughter-in-law to parishes to provide them with an income, built no schools, and allowed the churches to go into ruins. His children made no secret of the fact that they were Catholics, and the archbishop himself seemed to think that though Protestantism had been useful to him in life, the old religion would be preferable at death. In 1608 faculties had been granted to Archbishop Kearney of Cashel for absolving Magrath from the guilt of heresy and schism. Some years later he besought a Franciscan friar to procure his reconciliation with Rome, promising that for his part, if the Pope required it, he would make a public renunciation of Protestantism. This request of his was recommended warmly to the Holy See by Mgr. Bentivoglio, inter-nuncio at Brussels, but the love of the archbishop for the revenues of Cashel and of his other bishoprics and benefices seems to have proved stronger than his desire for pardon, for he continued to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of the State Church till his death in 1622. It was believed by his contemporaries that on his death-bed he abjured his errors, and was reconciled with the Church by one of his former religious brethren.
The destruction of the religious houses and collegiate churches during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth dealt a heavy blow to Irish education. Here and there through the country, clergy and laymen contrived to teach schools and to give their pupils a sound knowledge of the classics as well as of the language, literature, and history of their country. But the theological colleges were closed; Oxford and Cambridge were no longer safe training-places for Irish ecclesiastics, and unless something could be done at once there was grave danger that when the bishops and clergy, who were then at work, passed away, they would leave none behind them to take their places. Fortunately the close and direct communication between Ireland and the Catholic nations of the Continent suggested a possible method of preventing such a calamity, by the establishment, namely, of Irish colleges in Rome, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. These institutions owed their existence to the efforts of Irish bishops and priests, and to the generous assistance of the Popes, and the sovereigns of Spain and France. They were supported by the donations of individual benefactors, by grants from the papal treasury or the royal treasuries of Spain and France, and by the fees paid by students, some of whom were wealthy enough to bear their own expenses, while others of them were ordained priests before they left Ireland so that they might be able to maintain themselves from their /honoraria/ for Masses.