It originated in the foundation of the see of Cloyne by St. Colman, who died in 604. In 707, an abbey was erected on the west side of the cathedral, which was plundered in 978 by the people of Ossory, and again, in 1089, by Dermot, the son of Fiordhealbhach O'Brien, The town is pleasantly situated in a level or slightly undulating plain, and is well sheltered by rising grounds and plantations, which give great amenity to the climate, It comprises two streets intersecting each other at right angles, and contains 330 houses, most of which are small and irregularly built. The bishop's palace is a large edifice, built by Bishop Crow, in 1718, and enlarged by several of the succeeding prelates. The grounds are well arranged, and near the house is a noble terrace, extending the whole length of the garden.
The palace and demesne were leased, in 1836, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to H. Allen, Esq., for 999 years, at a rent of £450 per annum, a fine of £2000, and £1300 for the timber: Mr. Allen intends to take down all the old part of the palace. The only manufacture is that of brogues and hats, which employs about 100 persons. The market is held on Thursday, and is well attended by buyers from Cove and Cork. Fairs are held on Feb. 24th, Easter and Whit-Tuesdays, Aug. 1st, Sept. 12th, and Dec. 5th, for the sale of horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and implements of husbandry. It is a constabulary police station. The bishop, who is lord of the manor, appoints a seneschal, who holds a court-leet annually, and a manor court once in three weeks.
Petty sessions are held every second Wednesday. The parish comprises 10,324 acres, of which 9552 are subject to tithe; the remainder consists of the bishop's lands, or those belonging to an ancient hospital, upon which part of the town is built. The soil is good, particularly in the valley, where it rests on a substratum of limestone. At Carrigacrump is a quarry of fine marble, somewhat similar to the Italian dove-coloured marble; it is the property of Col. Hooden. The parish is intersected by that of Kilmahon, which entirely separates from it the village and ploughland of Ballycotton, forming the extreme western point of the coast in Ballycotton bay. Besides the Episcopal palace, the principal seats are Kilboy House, the residence of F.
Rowland, Esq.; Kilcrone, of J. Hanning, Esq.; Barnabrow, of J. R. Wilkinson, Esq; the Residentiary-house, of the Rev. W. Welland; Cloyne House, the seat of H.
Allen, Esq.; the residence of the Rev, Dr. Hingston, Vicar-General of the diocese; Jamesbrook Hall, of R. W. G. Adams, Esq.; and Ballybane, of T. Gaggin, Esq. Not far from the town are Rostellan, the seat of the Marquess of Thomond, and Castle-Mary, of the Rev. R. Longfield.
The DIOCESE of CLOYNE is called, in the ancient Roman Provincial, Cluain-Vanian, and by the Irish historians Cluain- Vama. Of the successors of St. Colman little is recorded till after the an al of the English in the reign of Hen.
II.; the only names that have been preserved from the foundation of the see till that period are those of O'Malvain, who died in 1094; Nehemiah O'Moriertach, who presided from 1140 till 1149; and of his successors, O'Dubery and O'Flanagan, of whom the former died in 1159, and the latter in 1167. At the time of the English invasion, Matthew, whose surname is supposed to have been O'Mongagh, presided over the see; he died in 1192, and from that time till 1430 there was, with very little intermission, a regular succession of prelates, though few particulars of their history are recorded. Upon the election of Daniel, a Franciscan friar, in 1249, the dean and chapter refused to present him to the king for his approbation, and proceeded by apostolic mandate to the archbishop of Cashel and the bishops of Killaloe and Lismore, to have him consecrated. The king (Hen.
III.) consequently refused to invest him with the temoralities, but ultimately consented upon the condition that the dean and chapter should give security by patent not to make any election for the future, without first obtaining licence, nor to proceed to consecration without previously presenting the person elected to the king for his approbation. During the prelacy of Maurice O'Solehan, who succeeded to the prelacy in 1320, Edw. III.
wrote to Pope John XXII., stating that, in consequence of the poverty of the bishopricks of Cork and Cloyne, he designed to unite them into one see, to which the pope readily consented, and issued his apostolic bull, dated Aug. 2nd, in the 11th year of his pontificate, for that purpose, which was to take place on the death or avoidance of the present bishops. Walter Le Reed was translated from the see of Cork to the archbishoprick of Cashel, in 1330, but the bull having been lost in the mean time, the union was not effected. John de Swafham, who succeeded in 1363, was sent by the parliament, in commission with the bishop of Meath and others, in 1373, to represent to Edw. III. the state of the kingdom of Ireland, the result of which was the mission of the Earl of March into Ireland. This prelate was distinguished for his writings against the Wicklifftes, for which, in 1376, he was promoted to the see of Bangor by Pope Gregory XI. In 1377, his successor, Bishop Wye, applied to Pope Gregory to remedy the loss of the bull, and an exemplification of it was sent to him from Rome, which had equal validity; but Wye being deprived for misconduct, nothing was done till the accession of Bishop Pay, in 1421, when he referred the matter to the parliament in Dublin, but they refused to interfere, and Milo Fitz-John, then Bishop of Cork, refusing his sanction to the union, the case was referred to the court of Rome. Bishop Pay died in 1430, and the see of Cork being also vacant by the death of Milo Fitz-John, who died in the same year, the two vacant sees were both canonically united and conferred by Pope Martin V. upon Jordan, Chancellor of Limerick, who succeeded in 1431. From this time the sees continued to be united for more than 200 years, till 1638, when George Synge was consecrated Bishop of Cloyne, and William Chappel, Bishop of Cork and Ross, which two sees were united on the separation of that of Cloyne.
In 1639, the wardenship of the collegiate church of Youghal was united in perpetuity to this see, and so continues; but the late Bishop Brinkley obtained an act for separating the rectory from the wardenship, and it is now presented to as an ordinary benefice. From the death of Bishop Synge, in 1653, the see remained vacant till the Restoration, when it was united to those of Cork and Ross, and continued so during the prelacies of Michael Boyle and Edward Synge; but on the death of the latter, in 1678, it was again separated, and continued to be a distinct see till September, 1835, when, on the death of the last bishop, Dr. John Brinkley, it was, by the provisions of the Church Temporalities Act of the 3rd of Wm. IV., re-annexed to the see of Cork and Ross.
The diocese is one of the eleven that constitute the province of Cashel; it is wholly within the county of Cork, and comprehends an estimated superficies of 539,700 acres. The lands belonging to the see comprise 12,482 statute acres, much of which is rough unprofitable mountain; and the gross yearly revenue amounted, on an average of three years ending on the 31st of December, 1831, to £3402. The gross revenue, including the union of Ahada, which was formerly annexed to the see, but which has been separated by the provisions of that act, was previously £5008.
The chapter consists of a dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, archdeacon, and the 14 prebendaries of Donaghraore, Aghultie, Inniscarra, Brigown, Kilmacdonough, Cahirultan, Killenemer, Glenore or Glanworth, Cooliney, Ballyhay, Coole, Kilmaclenan, Subulter, and Lackeen; there are also five vicars choral not members of the chapter. The economy fund, on an average of three years ending with 1831, amounted to £559. 10. 8.
per annum, arising from rents of land, tithes and glebes reserved by lease, and one sixth-part of the tithes of the parish of Cloyne; it is appropriated to the payment of officers' salaries, and to the maintenance of the cathedral in repair. The consistorial court, held in the chapterhouse, on the north side of the cathedral, every third Tuesday, consists of a vicar-general, a surrogate, two advocates, two registrars, four proctors, and an apparitor.
The total number of the parishes in the diocese is 125, of which 22 are unions, the whole comprising 91 benefices, of which 13 are in the patronage of the Crown, 69 in that of the Bishop, 2 in that of the Incumbents, 6 in lay patronage, and one in the alternate patronage of the Bishop and a layman. The number of churches is 64, and there are 21 school and other houses in which divine service is performed till churches can be built; the number of glebe-houses is 29. In the R. C. divisions this diocese is united with that of Ross, forming the bishoprick of Cloyne and Ross, and comprising 42 parochial benefices, or unions, containing 89 chapels, which are served by 90 clergymen, 42 of whom, including the bishop, or parish priests, and 58 coadjutors or curates. The parochial benefice of the bishop is the Great Island, including the parish of Clonmel, and that part of the parish of Temple Robin which is on that island. There is no cathedral belonging to either of the sees; the bishop resides in his parish, near Cove.
The rectory of Cloyne is appropriate to the economy estate and the vicars choral of the cathedral, and two curates are appointed to discharge the duties of the parish: the parochial tithes amount to £1317, of which one-sixth is payable to the economy estate, and fivesixths to the vicars choral. The cathedral, which is dedicated to St. Colman, and is used as the parish church, is a large cruciform edifice, in the later English style of architecture, and is supposed to have been erected so early as the 14th century. The principal entrance is from the west, beneath a lofty pointed arch, and on the north side is a small, low, pointed doorway.
The interior is remarkably neat, and kept in a good state of repair: the choir is tastefully fitted up, and is used as the parish church, but being found too small for that purpose, the organ was removed, in 1780, to the junction of the nave and transepts, by which the choir has been lengthened 21 feet. In 1829, galleries were built to accommodate the increasing congregation, and pews were erected, in 1836, round the communion table. On the north side of the choir is the entrance to the chapter-house, which is evidently much more modern than the cathedral. In the north transept is a handsome monument erected to the memory of Dr.
Woodward, and in the south transept, one for Dr. Warburton, both formerly bishops of this see. The transepts also contain some elegant monuments of the Longfields, Lumleys, and other families of note. At the village of Ballycotton, four miles from Cloyne, a new district church was built in 1835, by subscription, at an expense of £330: the curate is paid by the dean and chapter and vicars choral of Cloyne, as appropriators of this parish, and by the precentor, as rector of Churchtown, the district church being for the accommodation of both these parishes. This parish is the head of a R. C. union or district, comprising the parishes of Cloyne, Churchtown, Kilmahon, and part of Kilteskin; the chapel at Cloyne is a large, plain, old edifice.
The diocesan school is united to that of Cork. The Cloyne free school and charity were founded by Bishop Crow, by will dated Oct. 4th, 1726, in which he bequeathed the farm of Bohermore, and the small burgage of Cloyne, for the maintenance of poor Protestant boys, after paying £8 per ann. to the widows and orphans of clergymen of the diocese. The present income exceeds £200 per annum, and ten boys are maintained, clothed, and educated for three years, at the expiration of which they are apprenticed, with a premium of £4 each. Six chorister boys are also educated, supported, and clothed by the dean and chapter, and 14 free boys of the town are educated at this establishment. The school-house was erected in 1814, out of the accumulated funds of the charity, on land given by Bishop Bennett. There are also two national schools, in which are 550 boys and 366 girls. A fund for lending sums not exceeding £2 has long existed in the town, to which Bishop Brinkley contributed £70, and which circulates about £600 annually.
A benevolent society for the relief of sick and indigent room-keepers is supported partly by voluntary contributions, and partly by the profits and tolls of the fairs and market, which were transferred to this charity, in 1833, by the late Bishop Brinkley, and are continued by the present Bishop of Cork and Cloyne. A fund for relieving the widows of the clergy of the diocese was established in 1828, which, in June 1835, had accumulated to £953.
Here is also a parochial Protestant almshouse for poor persons, who receive a weekly allowance from the Sunday collections in the cathedral; also a fever hospital and dispensary.
Opposite the western entrance to the cathedral is one of the ancient round towers, which, in 1835, was surrounded with an iron railing, at the expense of the dean and chapter, by whom it is kept in repair. This ancient structure is perfect, except the top: the original building is 92 feet high, and a modern castellated addition has made the entire height 102 feet; it is quite cylindrical from top to bottom, its uni- form diameter being 9 feet, and the walls being 33 inches thick. The tower is divided into five floors or stages, which are nearly perfect; the upper story contains a bell, which was presented to the cathedral by Dean Davies in 1683, and hung here, the cathedral having no bell tower. At that time the top of the tower was open, and the bell attracted the lightning, by which it was cracked; the castellated part was therefore added for its protection. Of the ancient abbey founded in 707, or the hospital founded in 1326, there are no vestiges except the lands of the latter, which are still called the Spital fields. A small castle was erected here in the 14th century, by Bishop John de Cumba, but was destroyed by the Fitz-Edmunds after the Reformation. At Ballymaloe is a curious old house, built by the Fitzgeralds, who forfeited it in the war of 1641, and now the property of Mr. Forster; in the hall are two very large pair of elks' horns. In the neighbourhood are several very extensive natural caves in the limestone district, in some of which are very pure and beautiful stalactites.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
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