Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Renehan, Laurence

RENEHAN, LAURENCE (1797–1857), president of Maynooth College, second son of Laurence Renehan and of Catherine (Borden), was born in 1797 at Longford Pass in the parish of Gurtnahoe, Tipperary. He was educated first at Freshfield, and afterwards at Kilkenny. In September 1819 he entered Maynooth College to study logic, and in 1825 was elected a Dunboyne student. On 15 Sept. of the same year he was appointed junior dean, and a few weeks later was ordained priest. On 27 July 1827 he was elected professor of scripture, and he held this chair till June 1834, when he reluctantly accepted the post of vice-president. From 4 June 1841 to 24 June 1843 he also filled the office of bursar, and succeeded in extricating the college from financial difficulties. In 1845, on the resignation of the Very Rev. Michael Montague, Renehan became president of Maynooth, retaining the position until his death on 27 July 1857. He made a large collection of records in connection with Irish ecclesiastical history, which he bequeathed to Maynooth College. They are now known as the Renehan MSS., and were partly edited by the Rev. Daniel Macarthy under the title of ‘Collections of Irish Church History,’ Dublin, 1861–74, 4to. The rest of his library was sold by auction on his death (cf. Bibliotheca Renehaniana in Brit. Mus.). He was the author of ‘Requiem Office’ and a ‘Choir Manual of Sacred Music,’ in addition to a short ‘History of Music,’ Dublin, 1858, 8vo.

[Gent. Mag. 1857, ii. 383; preface to Collections for Irish Church History; Freeman's Journal, 28 July 1857.]

E. I. C.