Conry, Florence (DNB00)

CONRY, FLORENCE (1561–1629), archbishop of Tuam, whose name in Irish is Flathri O'Moelchonaire, was a native of Connaught. After receiving a suitable education in Spain and the Netherlands he became a Franciscan friar of the Strict Observance at Salamanca, and he was for some time provincial of his order in Ireland (Sbaralea, Supplementum et Castigafio, p. 238). He was commanded by Clement VIII to return to his native country, to assist by his counsels the army which Philip II had sent to Ireland in support of the rebellious catholics. On the suppression of the rebellion he was proscribed by the English, but he effected his escape to the Low Countries and thence proceeded to Spain (Ware, Writers of Ireland, p. 111). In 1602 he acted as spiritual director to Hugh Roe O'Donnell, prince of Tyrconnel, who died at Simancas in September that year (Moran, Spicilegium Ossoriense, i. 161; Annals of the Four Masters, ed. O'Donovan, vi. 2297). He was nominated by Pope Paul V to the archiepiscopal see of Tuam 30 March 1609, and was consecrated the same year by Cardinal Maffei Barberini, protector of Ireland, afterwards Urban VIII (Brady, Episcopal Succession, ii. 138).

At Conry's solicitation Philip III founded for the Irish a college at Louvain under the invocation of St. Anthony of Padua, of which the first stone was laid in 1616 (O'Curry, Manuscript Materials of Irish History, pp. 644, 645). During his long banishment Conry devoted himself entirely to the study of the works of St. Augustine (Wadding, Scriptores Ordinis Minorum, ed. 1806, n. 74). He died in a Fransciscan convent at Madrid on 18 Nov. 1629, greatly respected by the people of that country. The friars of the Irish college at Louvain translated his bones thither from Spain in 1654, and erected a monument to his memory with a Latin inscription (which is printed by Sir James Ware) on the gospel side of the high altar in their church.

His works, which display great erudition, are: 1. 'Emanuel. Leabhar ina bhfuil modh irrata agus fhaghala fhorbhtheachda na bethadh riaghaltha, ar attugadh drong airighthe Sgáthan an chrábhaidh, drong oile Desiderius. Ar na chur anosa a ngaoidhilg, le brathair airidhe dórd S. Fpronsias F.C.,' Louvain, 1616, 8vo. This is a translation from the Spanish work entitled 'Tratado llamado el Desseoso, y por otro nombre Espejo de religiosos.' 2. 'De S. Augustini Sensu circa B. MariaB Conceptionem, Antwerp, 1619. 3. 'Tractatus de statu Parvulorum sine Baptismo decedentium ex hac vita, juxta sensum B. Augustini,' Louvain, 1624, 1625, 1641, 4to; Rouen, 1643. It was also printed at the end of vol. iii. of Jansenius's 'Augustinus,' 1643 and 1662. 4. 'Scathán an Chrabhuidh,' or 'Mirror of Religion,' a catechism in Irish, Louvain, 1626, 8vo (O'Reilly, Irish Writers, p. clxxxii). 5. 'Peregrinus Jerichuntinus, hoc est de natura humana, feliciter instituta, infeliciter lapsa, miserabiliter vulnerata, misericorditer restaurata,' Paris, 1641, 4to, edited by Thady Macnamara, B.D., and dedicated to Urban VIII. 6. 'Compendium Doctrinæ S. Augustini circa Gratiam,' Paris, 1644 and 1646, 4to. 7. 'De Flagellis Justorum juxta mentem S. Augustini,' Paris, 1644. 8. An epistle in Spanish, concerning the severities used towards some of the chief catholic gentlemen of Ireland by the House of Commons. Latin translation in Philip O'Sullivan's 'Historiæ Catholicæ Ibemiæ Compendium,' tom. iv. lib. ii. cap. ix. p. 255.

[Authorities cited above; also Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Bibl. Grenvilliana; Brenan's Eccl. Hist. of Ireland, p. 509; MacGee's Irish Writers of the Seventeenth Century, pp. 1-23.]

T. C.