Archbishop Richard FitzRalph

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

« Richard FitzPatrick, Lord Gowran | Index | Thomas FitzSimmons »

FitzRalph, Richard, Archbishop of Armagh, one of the most eminent Irish churchmen of the middle ages, was born at Dundalk about the end of the 13th century, and was educated at Oxford. He commenced Doctor of Divinity, and became Chancellor of that University in 1333. He was collated Chancellor of the church of Lincoln in 1334, became Archdeacon of Chester in 1336, and was installed Dean of Lichfield in 1337. By Pope Clement VI. he was advanced to the see of Armagh, and was consecrated at Exeter, on 8th July 1347.

He espoused the cause of the secular clergy in their contests with the mendicant orders, whose abuses he discerned and exposed both by writings and preaching. The heads of the Irish Franciscans and Dominicans cited him to Avignon, where he appeared, and in presence of Pope Innocent VI. undauntedly maintained the conclusions he had arrived at. The examination of the matter was committed to the cardinals, who, after a long controversy, decided against him. FitzRalph was silenced, and the rights of the friars in relation to preaching, confession, and free sepulchre were maintained. FitzRalph died at Avignon, 16th November 1360. Ten years afterwards, in 1370, his bones are said to have been translated to Dundalk, by Stephen de Valle, Bishop of Meath.

Harris's Ware says: "Because he was an enemy to the mendicants, some have spoken but indifferently of him and his writings, and Bellarmine thinks they ought to be read with caution. Prateolus and others, although they allow him to have been possessed of great accomplishments, yet rank him among the heretics; but Wadding, though not favourable to his cause, yet clears him of this aspersion, . . and adds that he rather offended by the exuberance of his knowledge than by the perversity of his will."

He is said to have translated the Bible into Irish, and by some writers has been ranked amongst the earliest British reformers. Harris's Ware gives an extended list of his writings. Another will be found in Notes and Queries, 2nd Series, by a writer who, as also the author of a note in Cotton's Fasti, cites authorities to show FitzRalph's claim to be considered a native of Devon.


118. Ecclesiae Hiberniae Fasti: Rev. Henry Cotton: Indices by John R. Garstin, M.A. 5 vols. Dublin, 1851-'60.

254. Notes and Queries (2). London, 1850-'78.
O'Callaghan, John C., see No. 186.

339. Ware, Sir James, Works: Walter Harris. 2 vols. Dublin, 1764.

« Richard FitzPatrick, Lord Gowran | Index | Thomas FitzSimmons »

Search Library Ireland


My Lady of the Chimney CornerMy Lady of the Chimney Corner

A memorable and moving story of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. In 1863 the author, Alexander Irvine, was born into dire poverty, the child of a 'mixed' marriage. His parents had survived the ravages of the famine years, but want and hunger were never to be too far away from their door. Irvine was ultimately destined to leave Ireland for America and to become a successful minister and author. He learned to read and write when he had left his home in Antrim far behind, but he came to realize that the greatest lessons he had received in life were at his mother's knee. My Lady of the Chimney Corner is the depiction of an existence that would be unthinkable in modern Ireland; but, more than that, it is the author's loving tribute to his mother, Anna, who taught him to look at the world through clean spectacles. ISBN 978-1-910375-32-7. USA orders. The book is also available as a Kindle download (UK) and Kindle download (US).

Popular Rhymes and Sayings of IrelandPopular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland

In Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland (first published in 1924) John J. Marshall examines the origin of a variety of rhymes and sayings that were at one time in vogue around different parts of the country, including those which he recalled from his own childhood in County Tyrone. Numerous riddles, games and charms are recounted, as well as the traditions of the ‘Wren Boys’ and Christmas Rhymers. Other chapters describe the war cries of prominent Irish septs and the names by which Ireland has been personified in literature over the centuries. The book is also available as a Kindle download.


Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland, by Asenath Nicholson, still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord’s field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be appalled and distressed.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger

This book, the prequel to Annals of the Famine in Ireland cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Refusing the luxury of hotels and first class travel, she stayed at a variety of lodging-houses, and even in the crude cabins of the very poorest. Not to be missed!

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

The Scotch-Irish in America

The Scotch-Irish in America

Henry Ford Jones' book, first published in 1915 by Princeton University, is a classic in its field. It covers the history of the Scotch-Irish from the first settlement in Ulster to the American Revolutionary period and the foundation of the country.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».


letterJoin our mailing list to receive updates on new content on Library, our latest ebooks, and more.

You won’t be inundated with emails! — we'll just keep you posted periodically — about once a monthish — on what's happening with the library.