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Adair, Archibald (d. 1647), Church of Ireland bishop of Waterford and Lismore, was the fourth son of Ninian Adair (fl. 1588), laird of Kinhilt in Galloway, and Catherine Agnew of Lochnaw, also in Galloway. He matriculated at St Andrews University in 1593 and graduated MA in 1596. He appears to have been presented to the vicarage of ...

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Andrews, George (d. 1648), Church of Ireland bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, was born in Daventry, Northamptonshire, the son of Thomas Andrews of Daventry and Jane, 'daughter of Mr Belson of London' (Visitations); his brother, Eusebius, was father of ...

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Ashe, St George (1658–1718), Church of Ireland bishop of Derry and scholar, was born at Castle Strange, co. Roscommon, on 3 March 1658, the second of the three sons of Thomas Ashe, who belonged to a Wiltshire family that had settled in Ireland...

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Atherton, John (1598–1640), Church of Ireland bishop of Waterford and Lismore, was the son of John Atherton (c.1560–1609?), rector of Bawdrip in Somerset, where Atherton was probably born. He both matriculated and graduated BA at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, in 1617 and took an MA from ...

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Babington, Brute (d. 1611), Church of Ireland bishop of Derry, came from Cheshire. He entered Christ's College, Cambridge, on 17 June 1572, graduated BA in 1576 (incorporating at Oxford on 15 July 1578), and MA in 1579 (as a member of St John's College...

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Bale, John (1495–1563), bishop of Ossory, evangelical polemicist, and historian, was born to parents of humble means at the village of Cove, near Dunwich in Suffolk, on 21 November 1495. In his Illustrium maioris Britanniae Bale names his parents as Henry and Margaret...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by Philip Carter

Barnard, William (1696/7–1768), Church of Ireland bishop of Derry, was born at Clapham, Surrey, the son of John Barnard, a lawyer. He entered Westminster School in 1713, and, aged twenty, was elected in 1717 to a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated BA (1721), MA (1724), and DD (1740). He became a minor fellow of ...

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Bedell, William (bap. 1572, d. 1642), Church of Ireland bishop of Kilmore, was baptized on 14 January 1572 at Black Notley, Essex, where he was born, the second of three sons among six children of John Bedell (d. 1600), yeoman, and Elizabeth Aliston or Elliston (...

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W. P. Courtney

revised by Alan R. Acheson

Bennet, William (1746–1820), bishop of Cloyne and antiquary, was born in the Tower of London on 4 March 1746, the son of Robert Bennet. He was educated at Harrow School, where he made the acquaintance of Dr Samuel Parr, Gilbert Wakefield, and Sir John Parnell...

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George Berkeley (1685–1753) by John Smibert, 1730 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Berkeley, George (1685–1753), Church of Ireland bishop of Cloyne and philosopher, was born at or near Kilkenny on 12 March 1685. His father, William Berkeley (d. in or after 1734), who later held a military commission, was a gentleman farmer descended from a ...

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Arthur H. Grant

revised by Philip Carter

Bisset, William (1758–1834), Church of Ireland bishop of Raphoe, was born on 27 October 1758, the son of the Revd Dr Alexander Bisset (d. 1782), chancellor of Armagh, into a family from Lessendrum, Drumblade, near Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Like his father, William was educated at ...

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Boyle, John (1563–1620), Church of Ireland bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, was born in Kent, the eldest son of Roger Boyle and Joan Naylor, daughter of John Naylor of Canterbury, and brother of Richard Boyle, first earl of Cork (1566–1643). The brothers' education suggests that their parents were of at least yeoman status. ...

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Boyle, Michael (1580?–1635), Church of Ireland bishop of Waterford and Lismore, was born in London, the third son of Michael Boyle (d. 1596), a merchant, and his wife, Jane Peacock, and younger brother of Richard Boyle, archbishop of Tuam. He entered ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by Jason Mc Elligott

Boyle, Roger (1617/18?–1687), Church of Ireland bishop of Clogher, was a younger brother of Robert Boyle, bishop of Ferns, and may have been the son of Robert Boyle (d. 1665), vicar of Carrickmacross, co. Monaghan. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin...

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Brady, Hugh (c. 1527–1584), Church of Ireland bishop of Meath, was born at Dunboyne in that county. Tradition describes him as a son of Sir Denis O'Grady of co. Clare but this may be incorrect. There is no evidence that O'Grady lived at ...

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Browne, Peter (d. 1735), Church of Ireland bishop of Cork and Ross, was the son of Richard Browne; nothing more is known of his parentage or whether he came of a family long settled in Ireland. He was educated in Dublin, at St Patrick's Cathedral school...

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G. V. Benson

revised by David Huddleston

Butcher, Samuel (1811–1876), Church of Ireland bishop of Meath, was the third son of Vice-Admiral Samuel Butcher and his wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of Richard Townsend Herbert, of Cahirnane, co. Kerry. He was born at his parents' residence at Danesfort, near Killarney, co. Kerry...

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Chappell, William (1582–1649), Church of Ireland bishop of Cork and Ross and college head, was born on 10 December 1582 at Laxton, Nottinghamshire, and baptized at Laxton on 15 December, the son of Robert Chappell. Having narrowly escaped death from smallpox aged two, he was educated, despite the poverty of his parents, at ...

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Chardon, John (c. 1548–1601), Church of Ireland bishop of Down and Connor, was a native of Devon. He entered Exeter College, Oxford, in 1562, apparently at an early age. He became a probationer at the college on 3 March 1565 but on 23 October 1566 was accused before the rector and scholars of having committed many offences '...