Cornelius O'Devany

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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O'Dovany, or O'Devany, Cornelius, Bishop of Down and Connor. He embraced the rule of St. Francis in his youth, and was consecrated Bishop 27th April 1582. He was imprisoned in Dublin Castle for some three years preceding 1590, being obliged at times to keep himself alive by drawing up crusts of bread through a hole in the floor from other prisoners confined beneath him. After being at liberty for several years, he was again arrested in June 1611, on the charge of having assisted Hugh O'Neill with his counsel during his wars, and aided him in his flight to the Continent. In the face of a strong alibi, and the provisions of a recent Act of oblivion, he was sentenced to death, and suffered in company with the Rev. Patrick Locheran, his friend and companion, in a field near Dublin, 1st February 1612. They met their doom with fortitude, and after being half-hanged, were subjected to the barbarities then attendant on executions for high treason. It is related that "all the field was crowded with men, women, and children, and when the martyr was dead all struggled to carry away some relic, either a scrap of his clothes, or a drop of his blood, or a fragment of bone or skin; yet, though all crowded and struggled no one was hurt, and he was deemed most happy who was able to carry off the head of the bisnop, deemed more precious than gold or precious stones." The following night the bodies were dug up from beneath the foot of the gallows, and buried within the precincts of a neighbouring chapel.

Sources

74. Catholic Faith in Ireland, Memorials of those who Suffered for: Myles O'Reilly. London, 1868.

128b. Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland, from A.D. 1400 to 1875: W. Maziere Brady. 3 vols. Rome, 1877.

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