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The Marian restoration in Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2016

Henry A. Jefferies
Thornhill College, Culmore Road, Derry, BT48 8JF, Northern Ireland. Email:


Mary’s endeavours to restore Catholicism in England have attracted much scholarly attention and not a little controversy, primarily because of her bloody response to the scale and persistence of the Protestant challenge she faced there. Her endeavours in Ireland, by contrast, have been relatively overlooked. Yet the Marian restoration in Ireland ought to be recognised as an integral part of Mary’s religious programme for her dominions. It offers interesting points of comparison for the implementation of the queen’s programme in England, and it was significant in its own right, not as a decisive watershed but, as a time when religious controversies were crystallised and definite decisions were made that proved significant in the subsequent survival of Catholicism as the religion of the people of Ireland.

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© Trustees of the Catholic Record Society 2016. Published by Cambridge University Press 

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3 Ibid.

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34 Ibid., no. 831.

35 CPCR, i, Patent Roll 1 Mary, no. 77.

36 Ibid., no. 79.

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38 CPCR, i, Patent Roll 1 Mary, no. 77.

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52 CPCR, i, Patent roll 1 & 2 Mary & Philip, no. 3.

53 Ware, ‘Annals of Ireland’, s.a. 1554; CPCR, i, Patent roll 1 & 2 Mary & Philip, nos 3, 4, 5, 13, 14.

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57 CPCR, 1 & 2 Philip and Mary, i, no. 59; Brady, Episcopal succession, 1, 235. David Edwards reckoned that Walsh secured a papal provision, despite the doubts expressed on the matter: ‘William Walsh’, David Edwards, ODNB.

58 ‘William Walsh’, David Edwards, DNB

59 c.f., CRP, vols 1–3, passim.. Pole seems to have given little thought to the north of England either. He commented to Bishop Gardiner that ‘almost all’ the people in England lived in the ecclesiastical province of Canterbury (see CRP, no. 1054), and he may have forgotten to summon the northern convocation of the English Church to the legatine synod of London, see Mayer, Prince and prophet, 236. At the same time, he was aware that the people in the north of England and Cornwall were the most obedient Catholics in England, and the least heretical: CRP, no. 815.

60 ‘Curwen’, Helen Coburn-Walshe, ODNB.

61 CRP, no. 1099.

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69 Ibid., 268.

70 Ibid., 271.

71 CRP, no. 1208.

72 Ibid., nos 1229, 1230.

73 Ibid., no. 1236.

74 Ibid., no. 1390.

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76 CRP, nos 1136, 1398. From the same time there are copies in Dowdall’s register of dispensations granted by Pole to two couples in Armagh diocese who had secured faculties from Canterbury during the time of schism to allow them to marry despite the impediment of consanguity: Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, MS DIO 4/2/12, ‘Dowdall’s register’, 83–8 (74, 75).

77 Ibid., no. 1314.

78 Mayer, Prince and Prophet, 271. See his note to CRP, no. 1959.

79 Mayer, Prince and Prophet, 261.

80 CRP, no. 1445.

81 Ibid., nos 1374, 1311.

82 Ibid., nos 1277, 1634.

83 CRP, no. 1109.

84 Calendar State Papers, Rome, ii, 240–1.

85 CRP, nos 1376, 1377, 1378; J. Hogan, ‘Miscellanea Vaticano-Hibernica, 1520–1631’ in Archivium Hibernicum, iv (1915), 217; Edwards, R.D., Church and State in Tudor Ireland: a History of Penal Laws against Irish Catholics (Dublin: Talbot Press, 1935), 164 Google Scholar, quoting Quirini, Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli, vol, 5, 41.

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95 CSPI, Mary, I, nos 58, 59.

96 CSPI, Mary, I, nos 66, 65.

97 The hospital was subsequently dissolved again by Elizabeth and its assets seized by the crown. Ware, ‘Annals’, s.a. 1557, 1559.

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110 Ibid., 131–6.

111 Shirley, Original letters, no. liv.

112 SP 63/207, pt. 4/3; Jefferies, Irish Church, 246.

113 Shirley, Original letters, no. xliv.

114 SP 63/10/42; Shirley, Original letters, no. lxx.

115 Ibid., no. liv.

116 State papers concerning the Irish church in the time of Queen Elizabeth, ed. W. Maziere Brady (London: Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer, 1868), no. 5.

117 Jefferies, Irish Church, 139–41; Jefferies, ‘Elizabeth’s Reformation’: 528–30.

118 CPCR, i, 489–90.

119 Jefferies, Irish Church, 139–40.

120 Shirley, Original letters, no. lxxvii.

121 Morrisey, ‘Wolfe’, ODNB.

122 Jefferies, Irish Church, p. 77.

123 Ibid., 147.

124 Ibid., 149–50.

125 Ibid., 178–80.

126 Lennon, Colm, The Lords of Dublin in the Age of Reformation (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1989), 130 Google Scholar, 142–51, 156–7, 163, 186, 215; see also Lennon, , ‘Mass in the Manor House: The Counter-Reformation in Dublin, 1560–1630’ in James Kelly and Dáire Keogh eds., History of the Catholic Diocese of Dublin (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), 117118 Google Scholar; Jefferies, Irish Church, 189–90, 177–8.

127 Brady, State Papers, no. lxix.

128 Ibid., no. liii.

129 Ibid., no. lxxiii.

130 Ibid., no. lxxxii.

131 SP 63/56/27; SP 63/55/59.

132 SP 63/94/37; Ciaran Brady, ‘Conservative Subversives: The Community of the Pale and the Dublin Administration, 1556–1586’ in P.J. Corish ed., Radicals, Rebels and Establishments: Historical Studies 25 (Belfast: Appletree Press, 1985), 11.

133 Marshall, Peter, Reformation England, 1480–1642 (London: Bloomsbury, 2003), 111 Google Scholar. That observation was reiterated in a stronger manner when Marshall described the place of Mary’s reign in the English Reformation as ‘its central crux and crisis, and that it set the tone of much of what was to follow’; see also , Marshall, ‘Confessionalization,Confessionalism and Confusion in the English Reformation’ in Thomas Mayer ed., Reforming Reformation (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), 15 Google ScholarPubMed.

134 Duffy, Fires of Faith, passim.

135 Jefferies, Priests and Prelates of Armagh, 165–70; Jefferies, Irish Church, 104–21.

136 Jefferies, ‘Elizabeth’s Reformation’, passim.

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