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Michael Jones and the survival of the Church of Ireland, 1647–9

  • Patrick Little (a1)

Abstract

The marquess of Ormond's surrender of Dublin to the forces of the English parliament in the summer of 1647 has been seen as marking the demise of the Church of Ireland, with ministers given the choice of adopting the Presbyterian Directory for Public Worship or fleeing the country. This article examines the survival of the church thanks to the benign influence of the governor of Dublin, Colonel Michael Jones, and his brother, Dr Henry Jones, bishop of Clogher. Under Michael Jones's rule the Book of Common Prayer continued to be used, ministers were appointed to vacancies, and clerical networks continued to operate. It was only after the Cromwellian invasion in August 1649, and the replacement of Jones by the Cromwellian hard-liner, Colonel John Hewson, that the church was forced out of business – a process completed with its formal abolition by the autumn of 1650.

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Corresponding author

*History of Parliament, London, plittle@histparl.ac.uk

References

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1 An exception is Armstrong, Robert, ‘Protestant churchmen and the Confederate wars’ in Brady, Ciaran and Ohlmeyer, Jane (eds), British interventions in early modern Ireland (Cambridge, 2005); for older works on the period see St Seymour, John D., ‘The church under persecution’ in Phillips, W. A. (ed.), History of the Church of Ireland (3 vols, Oxford, 1933–4), iii, 59116; St Seymour, John D., The Puritans in Ireland, 1647–1661 (Oxford, 1921); see also Patrick Little, ‘The politics of preferment: Ormond, Ussher and the appointment of bishops, 1643–1647’ in idem (ed.), Ireland in crisis: war, politics and religion, 1641–1650 (Manchester, forthcoming).

2 The literature is too extensive to list here, but it is interesting that the essays in Ford, Alan, McGuire, James and Milne, Kenneth (eds), As by law established: the Church of Ireland since the Reformation (Dublin, 1995) move seamlessly from Bishop Bramhall in the 1630s to the appointment of new bishops in 1660–61.

3 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 2.

4 Ibid., pp 2–5.

5 Armstrong, ‘Protestant churchmen’, p. 249.

6 H.M.C., Egmont MSS, i, 425.

7 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, pp 5–6.

8 Carte, Thomas, Life of James Butler, duke of Ormond (6 vols, Oxford, 1851), iii, 309 (quoted in Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 7).

9 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 7.

10 Ibid., p. 8.

11 Ibid., pp 8–9; M. J. McEnery and Raymond Refaussé (eds), Christ Church deeds (Dublin, 2001), p. 325.

12 Gillespie, Raymond, ‘The crisis of reform, 1625–60’ in Milne, Kenneth (ed.), Christ Church Cathedral Dublin: a history (Dublin, 2000), pp 207–8.

13 Ibid., pp 208–9.

14 Gillespie, Raymond, ‘An age of modernization, 1598–1690’ in Crawford, John and Gillespie, Raymond (eds), St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin: a history (Dublin, 2009), p. 185.

15 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 9.

16 Carte, Life of Ormond, vi, 424–5; Armstrong, Robert, Protestant war: the ‘British’ of Ireland and the wars of the three kingdoms (Manchester, 2005), p. 218.

17 Armstrong, ‘Protestant churchmen’, p. 248.

18 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 3; for the identification of individuals see Leslie, J. B. and Wallace, W. J. R. (eds), Clergy of Dublin and Glendalough (Belfast, 2001), pp 844; The correspondence of James Ussher, 1600–1656, ed. Elizabethanne Boran (3 vols, I.M.C., Dublin 2015), iii, 909; Carte, Life of Ormond, vi, 424–5; Gillespie, ‘Crisis of reform’, p. 208; Leslie, J. B., Fawcett, F. W. and Crooks, D. W. T. (eds), Clergy of Derry and Raphoe (Belfast, 1999), p. 33; Rhodes was Strafford's brother-in-law, and outliers to this group included Joseph Ware, dean of Elphin, and Anthony Proctor, dean of Ferns: see list of clergy, 5 Aug. 1646 (Bodl., MS Carte 18, f. 387); list of clergy, c.1647 (ibid., MS Carte 21, f. 557v).

19 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 3.

20 Gillespie, ‘Age of modernization’, pp 181–2; idem, ‘Crisis of reform’, pp 196–200.

21 The exception was Benjamin Culme, dean of St Patrick's: see Gillespie, ‘Crisis of reform’, p. 181.

22 Archbishop William Laud to Viscount Wentworth, 12 Apr. 1634, quoted in W[illiam] A[lexander] R[eynell], ‘Jones, Lewis (1550?–1646)’ in D.N.B., xxx, 146–7.

23 Patrick Little, ‘Select document: Providence and posterity: a letter from Lord Mountnorris to his daughter, 1642’ in I.H.S., xxxii, no. 128 (Nov. 2001), pp 560–61.

24 For his links with Ormond see Little, Patrick, ‘The marquess of Ormond and the English parliament, 1645–1647’ in Fenlon, Jane and Barnard, Toby (eds), The dukes of Ormonde, 1610–1745 (Woodbridge, 2000), pp 86, 88, 91, 96, 98.

25 The Independents and their allies in the New Model Army rejected presbyterian church government, and supported instead a wider ‘liberty of conscience’, but it is not clear whether this improved the position of the Church of Ireland. For parliament's general lack of interest in Irish affairs during this period see Little, Patrick, ‘The English parliament and the Irish constitution, 1641–9’ in Siochrú, Micheál Ó (ed.), Kingdoms in crisis: Ireland in the 1640s (Dublin, 2001), pp 118–19.

26 H.M.C., Egmont MSS, i, 432–3.

27 Brent Moore to marquess of Ormond, 8 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 436v).

28 H.M.C., Egmont MSS, i, 438, 449; Commons’ Jn, v, 272, 274.

29 Brent Moore to Ormond, 8 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 436v); H.M.C., Egmont MSS, i, 466.

30 Gillespie, ‘Crisis of reform’, p. 208.

31 Sir Maurice Eustace to Ormond, 23 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 460).

32 Armstrong, Protestant war, p. 202.

33 H.M.C., Egmont MSS, i, 413, 423–4, 425, 434.

34 Ibid., i, 434, 445, 479; Armstrong, Protestant war, p. 218.

35 Lord Lambart to Ormond, 22 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 453); Sir Maurice Eustace to Ormond, 23 Sept. 1647 (ibid., f. 460v).

36 H.M.C., Egmont MSS, i, 425, 465, 466–7, 476.

37 Ibid., i, 466.

38 Michael Jones to both houses of parliament, 12 Jan. 1648 (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 24); same to Derby House Committee, 12 Jan. 1648 (ibid., f. 26).

39 Brent Moore to Ormond, 8 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 436); Michael Jones to Walter Frost, Mar. 1648 (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 18); same to Derby House Committee, 12 Jan. 1648 (ibid., f. 26); same to Oliver Cromwell, 28 Feb. 1648 (ibid., f. 32); same to treasurers at war, 23 May 1649 (T.N.A., SP 28/60, f. 13); bill of exchange, 3 Aug. 1649 (ibid., SP 28/62, f. 349).

40 Michael Jones to Derby House Committee, 12 Jan. 1648 (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 26v).

41 H.M.C., Egmont MSS, i, 425.

42 Brent Moore to Ormond, 8 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 436v).

43 Aidan Clarke, ‘Jones, Henry (1605–82)’ in D.I.B.

44 Bishop Henry Jones to Michael Jones, 6 Oct. [1647] (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 9r–v).

45 Mahaffy, J. P., An epoch in Irish history: Trinity College, Dublin, its foundation and early fortunes, 1591–1660 (London, 1903), pp 288, 297. Henry Jones had been made vice-chancellor in 1646 (Clarke, ‘Jones, Henry’).

46 Clarke, ‘Jones, Henry’.

47 Ormond to Henry Jones, 14 Feb. 1649 (Bodl., MS Carte 23, ff. 481–2).

48 Armstrong, Protestant war, p. 100; H.M.C., Ormonde MSS, new series, ii, 341–4 (the subscribers to the original petition included Henry Jones).

49 Patrick Little, ‘Jones, Michael (d. 1649)’ in D.I.B.; Correspondence of James Ussher, ed. Boran, iii, 905; Ford, Alan, James Ussher: theology, history and politics in early modern Ireland and England (Oxford, 2007), pp 263–5.

50 Correspondence of James Ussher, ed. Boran, iii, 901; for Nugent see list of clergy, c.1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 555).

51 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 8; Leslie, Dublin clergy, pp 56, 107, 156, 214, 252.

52 Gillespie, Raymond (ed.), The vestry records of the parish of St John the Evangelist, Dublin, 1595–1658 (Dublin, 2002), pp 178, 182, 184, 225.

53 Gillespie (ed.), Vestry records, pp 178, 186; the sums spent were £2 13s. 3d. (in 1646–7) and £2 6s. 6d. (in 1649–50); the amount of money spent on bread and wine can only be a very rough measure of frequency or popularity, not least because of fluctuating costs.

54 Bernard, Nicholas, Clavi Trabales; or, nailes fastned by some great masters of assemblyes, confirming the king's supremacy, the subject's duty, and church government by bishops (London, 1661), pp 50–2. I owe this reference to Professor Alan Ford.

55 Nicholas Bernard, The farewell sermons of comfort and concord preached at Drogheda in Ireland (London, 1651), p. 217.

56 Bernard, Farewell sermons, pp 323–4.

57 H.M.C., Ormonde MSS, old series, ii, 70–1, 77; for Lambert's earlier career see list of Lord Moore's regiment, June 1644 (Bodl., MS Carte 11, f. 366v), and payment to Thomas Lambert, 1644 (N.L.I., MS 2311, p. 217); he was listed as ‘absent by license’ in July 1648 (H.M.C., Ormonde MSS, old series, ii, 77).

58 Bishop Martin had joined Ussher in defence of the Irish articles of 1634; both were T.C.D. graduates and Calvinists: see Ford, Ussher, p. 191.

59 Brent Moore to Ormond, 8 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 436v).

60 Bolton, F. R., The Caroline tradition of the Church of Ireland (London, 1958), p. 183.

61 Sir Maurice Eustace to Ormond, 23 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 460v); cf. The whole works of Sir James Ware concerning Ireland, revised and improved … by Walter Harris esq., ed. Walter Harris (2 vols, Dublin, 1764), i, 158; Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 8.

62 Mahaffy, An epoch in Irish history, p. 288.

63 Correspondence of James Ussher, ed. Boran, iii, 901.

64 Jones, Henry, Remonstrance of divers remarkable passages (London, 1642), p. 11; Cal. S.P. Ire., 1633–47, p. 778; Correspondence of James Ussher, ed. Boran, iii, 872; Nugent had witnessed against Stephen Jerome in 1642: see examination of James Nugent, Nov. 1642 (Bodl., MS Carte 4, f. 56).

65 H.M.C., Ormonde MSS, old series, ii, 85.

66 List of regiments, 1648 (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 52).

67 Ford, Alan, ‘The Reformation in Kilmore before 1641’ in Gillespie, Raymond (ed.), Cavan: essays on the history of an Irish county (Blackrock, 1995), p. 97; Cal. S.P. Ire., 1633–47, p. 778; deposition of Francis Greham (T.C.D., MS 833, ff. 153–4); list of regiments, 1648 (ibid., MS 844, f. 52v); list of clergy, 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 555); Jones, Remonstrance of divers remarkable passages, p. 11.

68 Leslie, J. B., Clogher clergy and parishes (Enniskillen, 1929), p. 234; list of regiments, 1648 (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 53); list of clergy, 1647 (Bodl. MS Carte 21, f. 555v).

69 List of regiments, 1648 (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 53v); list of clergy, 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 555).

70 Archbishop James Ussher to Ormond, 29 May 1644 (Bodl., MS Carte 11, f. 30).

71 Petition of Dublin clergy, 19 June 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 242); petition of Dublin clergy, 9 July 1647 (ibid., f. 285v).

72 Morgan, Rhys, The Welsh and the shaping of early modern Ireland, 1558–1641 (Woodbridge, 2014), pp 125–8.

73 Bishop Edward Parry and Richard Parry to Sir George Lane, 14 Mar. 1649 (Bodl., MS Carte 24, f. 131); Archbishop Lancelot Bulkeley to Ormond, 15 Mar. 1649 (ibid., f. 136*); William Bulkeley to Gilbert Deane, 15 Mar. 1649 (ibid., f. 138); for Robert Parry see Leslie, Clergy of Dublin, p. 15; both Parry and Deane signed the remonstrance of August 1646 (Carte, Life of Ormond, vi, 424–5). For the connection between Deane and Ormond see Ormond to Charles I, 16 Sept. 1647 (Bodl., MS Carte 21, f. 441) and Ormond's pass, 1 Oct. 1646 (ibid., MS Carte 164, p. 288).

74 Howells, B. E. (ed.), A calendar of letters relating to north Wales (Cardiff, 1967), pp 90, 91, 93; for Parker see Leslie, J. B. and Crooks, D. W. T. (eds), The Clergy of Killaloe, Kilfenora, Clonfert and Kilmacduagh (Limerick and Killaloe, 2010), p. 8.

75 Howells, Letters relating to north Wales, pp 69, 71–5, 82–3, 85, 87, 94, 96.

76 Carte, Life of Ormond, vi, 585; A declaration of the lord lieutenant general of Ireland for setling the Protestant religion ([London], 1648), pp 3–4.

77 Micheál Ó Siochrú, Confederate Ireland, 1642–1649: a constitutional and political analysis (Dublin, 1999), pp 189, 192–5, 199–200.

78 Ormond to Henry Jones, 14 Feb. 1649 (Bodl., MS Carte 23, f. 480v).

79 Michael Jones to Ormond, 14 Mar. 1649 (Bodl., MS Carte 24, f. 129).

80 H.M.C., Ormonde MSS, old series, ii, 89–90.

81 Michael Jones to Oliver Cromwell, 6 June 1649 (T.C.D., MS 844, f. 77v).

82 Michael Jones to William Lenthall, 16 July 1649 (Bodl., MS Tanner 56, f. 79).

83 Calver, Edward, Zions thankfull ecchoes from the cliffs of Ireland ([London], 1649).

84 Bernard, Farewell sermons, pp 248–50.

85 Works of Sir James Ware, ed. Harris, i, 356; Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, p. 7; Gillespie, ‘Reform in crisis’, p. 208.

86 Seymour, Puritans in Ireland, pp 14–15; Gillespie, ‘Age of modernization’, p. 185. I am very grateful to Dr Robert Armstrong for his comments on an earlier draft of this article, and to the Church of Ireland Historical Society for allowing me to give it a public airing at their spring conference in 2017.

Michael Jones and the survival of the Church of Ireland, 1647–9

  • Patrick Little (a1)

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