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O'MOLLOY, ALBIN, or Alpin O'Moelmhuaidh (d. 1223), bishop of Ferns, was a native Irishman, who became a Cistercian monk at Baltinglass, and eventually rose to be abbot of that house. In Lent 1186, when John, archbishop of Dublin, held a synod at Holy Trinity Church, Albin preached a long sermon on clerical continency, in which he laid all the blame for existing evils on the Welsh and English clergy who had come over to Ireland (Gir. Camb. Opera, i. 60). Albin was shortly afterwards made bishop of Ferns or Wexford, the see having been previously declined by Giraldus Cambrensis. He was present at the coronation of Richard I on 3 Sept. 1189 (Gesta Ricardi, ii. 79). On 5 Nov. he was appointed by Pope Innocent III, with the Archbishop of Tuam and Bishop of Kilmacduagh, to excommunicate the Bishop of Waterford, who had robbed the Bishop of Lismore (Cal. Papal Registers, i. 15). In 1205 Albin received 10l. from the royal gift, and on 3 April 1206 was recommended by the king to the chapter of Cashel for archbishop (Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, i. 258, 291). In November 1207 Innocent addressed a letter to Albin with reference to persons who had been improperly ordained. On 17 June 1208 Albin was sent by the king on a mission to the King of Connaught. On 15 Sept. 1215 he had protection while attending the council at Rome; and on 5 Sept. 1216 received custody of the bishopric of Killaloe (ib. i. 385, 658,721). William Marshal, first earl of Pembroke [q. v.], while in Ireland between 1207 and 1213, seized two manors belonging to the Bishop of Ferns. For this Albin excommunicated him; but the earl pleaded that it was done in time of war, and retained the manors all his life. After Marshal's death, Albin came to the king at London and petitioned for the restoration of his lands. Henry begged the bishop to absolve the dead, but Albin refused to do so unless restoration were made. To this the younger William Marshal [q. v.] and his brothers refused their consent, and Albin then cursed them, and foretold the end of their race (Matt. Paris, iv. 492). The quarrel appears to have been at a crisis in 1218. On 18 April of that year Albin was prohibited from prosecuting his plea against William, earl Marshal, and on 25 June Honorius III directed the Archbishop of Dublin and the legate to effect a reconciliation between the bishop and the earl (Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, i. 823; Cal. Papal Registers, i. 56). Albin died on 1 Jan. 1223 (Annals of Loch Cé, i. 267). Matthew Paris speaks of him as conspicuous for his sanctity. Albin consecrated the infirmary chapel at the Cistercian abbey of Waverley on 6 Nov. 1201, and dedicated five altars there on 10 July 1214. The monks of St. Swithin's, Winchester, made him a member of their fraternity. He appears as a witness to several charters in the ‘Chartulary of St. Mary, Dublin’ (i. 31, 142-3, 147-8, Rolls Ser.)

[Matthew Paris, iv. 492 (Dr. Luard is clearly mistaken in identifying the Bishop of Ferns with Albin's successor, John St. John); Annales Monastici, ii. 253, 282; Surrey Archæological Collections, viii. 165; Annals of the Four Masters, ed. O'Donovan; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib. ii. 331; Ware's Works on Ireland, i. 439-40, ed. Harris; Lanigan's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, iv. 264-6, 277.]

C. L. K.