Irish bishops and clergy in exile in mid-seventeenth-century France


d'Ambriéres, René and Ó Ciosáin, Eamon (2008) Irish bishops and clergy in exile in mid-seventeenth-century France. Irish Historical Studies, XXXVI (141). pp. 16-37. ISSN 0021-1214

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Abstract

After the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, hundreds of Catholic priests and religious were forced into exile on the Continent, with many seeking refuge in France, Spain and the Spanish Low Countries. For some, refuge was temporary while awaiting political developments and toleration in the home country; for others, it was permanent. The sheer numbers involved- in the hundreds (see below)- mark this as a new phenomenon in the migration of Irish Catholics to France. Although large numbers of Irish soldiers arrived there in the late 1630s and again from 1651 onwards, as Ireland was cleared of regiments connected with the Confederation of Kilkenny, the volume of priests and seminarians migrating to France had hitherto been on a much smaller scale than that of the military. This changed in the years after Cromwell's campaign in Ireland when groups of diocesan clergy left for France in large numbers- ordained clergy and professed nuns, rather than seminarians - representing a new departure in terms of the migrating population. This article uses John Lynch's De praesulibus Hiberniae and Richard O'Farrell and Richard O'Connell's Commentarius Rinuccinianus, both contemporary documents by Irish exiles living in France (Lynch and O'Connell resided in Brittany and Paris respectively), to trace the movements and experiences of the prelates and clergy who sought refuge in France, in addition to a range of French archival sources.1 While it is not possible, given the constraints of space, to study the lives of each of these men in detail, material from Irish, French and Roman sources is utilised to explore the principal issues facing exiled Irish clergy in France. Combining sources from several locations enables comparisons to be made, and the documentation yielded by the various strands of inquiry is mutually enriching, providing a considerable number of significant case studies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Irish bishops; clergy; exile; mid-seventeenth-century; France;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > French
Item ID: 7790
Depositing User: Eamon O'Ciosain
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 12:28
Journal or Publication Title: Irish Historical Studies
Publisher: Antrim W. & G. Baird Ltd
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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