Archbishop Thomas Jones

Jones, Thomas, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord-Chancellor, was born in Lancashire about 1550, and was educated at Cambridge. Entering the Church, he married Archbishop Loftus's sister-in-law, and was shortly afterwards (1581) appointed Dean of St. Patrick's. In combination with his Chapter, he made some disgraceful demises of the property of the Church — one afterwards endorsed by Dean Swift as "A lease of Coolmine, made by that rascal, Dean Jones, and the knaves or fools of his Chapter, to one John Allen.. for £2 per annum, now worth £150." In 1584 he was appointed to the see of Meath, and on Archbishop Loftus's death in 1605 was promoted Archbishop of Dublin and made Lord-Chancellor. The consecutive parliamentary history of Ireland may be said to date from his time — the Journal of the House of Commons commencing 18th May 1613. His legal functions were not onerous; but the obstinancy of the Catholics in adhering to their religion aroused his ire; and he treated "recusants" with unrelenting severity. He caused extensive repairs to be made in his Cathedral of Christ Church. The Archbishop died 10th April 1619, and was buried in St. Patrick's, where his monument may be seen. This prelate is thought to have been the author of An Answer to Tyrone's Seditious Declaration sent to the Catholics of the Pale in 1596, which remains in manuscript in Marsh's Library, and in that of Trinity College, Dublin. Both he and his son Roger, created Viscount Ranelagh, were engaged in bitter disputes with Lord Howth. Letters from both parties occupy considerable space in the Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1608-'10 (London 1874).


76. Chancellors of Ireland, and Keepers of the Great Seal: J. Roderick O'Flaherty. 2 vols. London, 1870.