Richard Graves

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Graves, Richard, D.D., Dean of Ardagh, was born 1st October 1763, at Kilfinnane, in the County of Limerick, of which place his father was vicar. His career in Trinity College was distinguished, and he secured a fellowship in his twenty-second year. He soon became one of the most earnest and popular preachers of his day. In 1798 he published An Essay on the Character of the Apostles and Evangelists. His desire for parochial duties was satisfied in 1801 by the gift of a prebendal stall in Christ Church, Dublin, to which was attached the parish of St. Michael's, where he laboured assiduously and devotedly, especially amongst the poor. His Lectures on the Pentateuch, published in 1807, are widely known, and for many years retained the position of a text-book in the Universities.

In 1809 he became rector of Raheny; in 1814, Dean of Ardagh; and he was Regius Professor of Divinity in Trinity College the same year. The faithful discharge of the duties of these offices did not prevent the composition of numerous theological works. In 1823 he exchanged his prebend of St. Michael's for the richer benefice of St. Mary's in Dublin. During a tour in England, in 1827,he was attacked with paralysis. He was kindly tended by his friend Southey, and recovered sufficiently to return home, where he lingered until 31st March 1829, when he died, aged 65. "Graves was a man of sound judgment, well trained intellect, and fertile imagination; his eloquence was copious; his manner was earnest, affectionate, and awakening; he was as noted for his simplicity as for his learning, for his benevolence as for his pastoral piety." A collected edition of his works, numbering seventeen in Cotton's list, was published by his son, R. H. Graves, D.D., in 4 vols. 8vo. in 1840.

Sources

39. Biographical Dictionary, Imperial: Edited by John F. Waller. 3 vols. London, N.D.

116. Dublin University Magazine (17). Dublin, 1833-'77.

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

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