Kearney, John (DNB00)

KEARNEY or CARNEY, JOHN, in Irish Sean O Cearnaidh (d. 1600?), Irish divine, a native of Leyney in the province of Connaught, was matriculated as a sizar of Magdalene College, Cambridge, on 12 Nov. 1561, and proceeded B.A. 3 Feb. 1564–5, after having kept eleven terms (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 304). Soon afterwards he returned to Ireland, and aided the bishops to disseminate protestant doctrines among the Irish people through the medium of their native language. On 20 June 1571 he brought out the second edition of his ‘Aibidil air Caiticiosma,’ which is the first complete book now extant printed in the native language and characters (Stephens, Book of Common Prayer, Eccl. Hist. Soc., 1849, vol. i. Introd. p. xii). A previous edition, as he states in his preface, had appeared in 1563, but it is otherwise unknown. Of the second edition three copies are known to exist, one in the British Museum, one in the Bodleian Library, and a third in the library of Lincoln Cathedral. It was printed, as appears from the long title, in the house ‘over the bridge,’ and at the cost of John Uiser, alderman, and afterwards mayor of Dublin. The book begins with a long preface in inelegant Irish, and consists of four parts: (a) The ‘Aibgiter,’ or brief elements of the language; (b) the ‘Caiticiosma,’ or church catechism translated from the Book of Common Prayer; (c) ‘Urnaighthe,’ or prayers for personal and household use; (d) the book of ‘Airtioguil dairighe don riaghail chriosdaighe,’ or ‘Certain Articles of the Christian Rule,’ being the twelve articles set forth in England by Archbishop Parker in 1561, and in Ireland by the lord deputy and bishops in 1566. This last part has a distinct title.

William Daniel [q. v.] or O'Domhnuill published an Irish translation of the New Testament in 1602, and in the Epistle Dedicatorie to James I says: ‘The first attempt to enterprise this worke’ was made by Kearney, Nicholas Walsh, and Nehemias Donellan. Sir James Ware states that the version of Kearney and his friends was extant in manuscript in 1639. The Irish address to the reader prefixed to Daniel's testament states that this version follows the earlier one as far as the sixth chapter of St. Luke's Gospel. Kearney and Nicholas Walsh, afterwards archbishop of Ossory, who had been educated with him at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and who was associated with him in the introduction of the Irish types, also obtained from the government an order that the Book of Common Prayer should be printed in Irish, and that a church should be set apart in the shire-town of every diocese, where it was to be read, and a sermon preached to the common people (Richardson, Hist. of the Attempts to Convert the Popish Natives of Ireland, 1712, pp. 13, 14). The translation of the Book of Common Prayer by Fearganainm O'Domhnuileain was the only part of this scheme which was carried into execution.

On 26 Sept. 1571 Archbishop Loftus recommended Lord Burghley to appoint either Kearney or one Bulkeley to the vacant deanery of St. Patrick's, Dublin. But the recommendation was without effect, for the profits of the deanery, at the queen's desire, continued to be enjoyed by the lord chancellor of Ireland. Kearney was, however, made treasurer of St. Patrick's by Archbishop Loftus. On 26 Aug. 1572 the lord deputy Fitzwilliam and council suggested to the English council that Kearney should be appointed to the archbishopric of Tuam; but the turbulent state of the province of Connaught led Kearney to decline the offer of the see. Kearney had no further offers of preferment, and from 1582 onwards another person held the treasurership of St. Patrick's. Sir James Ware states that Kearney died about 1600 (De Scriptoribus Hiberniæ, ed. 1639, p. 86).

[Addit. MS. 5874, f. 33; Cotton's Fasti, ii. 116, 123; Dowling's Annales Hiberniæ, anno 1571; Elrington's Life of Archbishop Ussher; Gilbert's Hist. of Dublin; Hamilton's Cat. of State Papers relating to Ireland (1509–73), pp. 458, 481, 486, (1574–85) p. 104; Liber Hiberniæ, v. 45, 253, 254; Trans. Iberno-Celtic Society, 1820, vol. i. pt. i.; Mant's Hist. of the Church of Ireland, ii. 293; Mason's St. Patrick's, Dublin, p. 170, notes p. lxxiii; Mason's Life of Bedell, p. 284; O'Donovan's Irish Grammar, p. lv, Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 454; Ware's Works (Harris), ii. 98; Joseph Manning's The First Triad of Irish Type, 1885.]

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