Kirwan, Stephen (DNB00)

KIRWAN, STEPHEN (d. 1602?), bishop of Clonfert, a native of Galway, was educated partly at Oxford and partly at Paris. Conforming to the protestant religion he was, apparently while ‘a student resident at Oxford,’ appointed archdeacon of Annaghdown in 1558. On 13 April 1573 he was, on the recommendation of Sir William Fitzwilliam, advanced to the see of Kilmacduagh, of which he was the first protestant bishop. His conduct giving satisfaction to the government, he was, on the recommendation of Lord Arthur Grey, translated to the bishopric of Clonfert on 24 May 1582, and on 15 July 1585 he was placed on a commission for compounding with the landowners in Connaught and Thomond for a certain rent in lieu of the uncertain cess accustomed to be paid by them to the crown. In 1587, 1588, 1597, and 1599 he was one of the commissioners of martial affairs in Connaught. On 20 Oct. 1602 Roland Lynch, bishop of Kilmacduagh, was appointed to the see of Clonfert in commendam, from which it seems likely that Kirwan died in that or the preceding year.

[Ware's Bishops, ed. Harris; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib.; Cal. State Papers, Ireland; Cal. Fiants, Eliz.; Brady's Irish Reformation.]

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