in 1906 of thirteen members, including a dean, arch- deacon, precentor, clianeellor, treasurer, theologian, and canons. Diocesan clergy, 139; regulars, 39; churches and chapels, 156; primary schools, 227; Catholic population (1901), 147,358. The suffragan sees are Meath, .\rdagh, Clogher, Derry, Down and Connor, Dromore, Kilmore, Raphoe.
St. Patrick, having received some grants of land from the chieftain Daire, on the hill called Ard- Macha (the Height of Macha), built a stone church on the summit and a monastery and some other religious edifices round about, and fixed on this place for his metropolitan see. He also founded a school in the same place, which soon became famous and attracted thousands of scholars. In the course of time other religious bodies settled in Armagh, such as the Culdees, who built a monastery there in the eighth century. The city of Armagh was thus until modern times a purely ecclesiastical establishment. About 448, St. Patrick, aided by Secundinus and Auxilius, two of his disciples, held a synod at Ar- magh, of which some of the canons are still extant. One of these expressly mentions that all difficult cases of conscience should be referred to the judg- ment of the Archbishop of Armagh, and that if too difficult to be disposed of by him with his counsellors they should be passed on to the Apostolic See of Rome. In Irish times, the primacy of Armagh was never questioned, and for many centuries the pri- mates were accustomed to make circuits and visi- tations through various parts of the country for the collection of their dues. This wa-s called the " Cattlecess", or the "Law of St. Patrick". Beginning in 734, during the incumbency of Primate Congus, it continued till long after the English invasion, but ceased as soon as English prelates succeeded to the see. Two kings gave it their royal sanction: Felim, King of Munster, in 822, and the famous Brian Boru, in 1006. The record of the latter's sanction is preserved in the Book of Armagh, in the hand- writing of Brian Boru's chaplain. To add solemnity to their collecting tours, the primates were in the habit of carrying with them the shrine of St. Pat- rick, and as a rule their success was certain. These collections seem to have been made at irregular in- tervals and were probably for the purpose of keeping up the famous school of Armagh, said at one time to contain 7,000 students, as well as for the restora- tion, often needed, of the church and other eccle- siastical buildings when destroyed by fire or plun- dered in war. The Irish annals record no fewer than seventeen burnings of the city, either partial or total. It was plundered on numerous occasions by the Danes and the clergy driven out of it. It was also sacked by De Courcy, Fitz-Aldelm and Philip of Worcester during the conquest of Ulster by the .^nglo-Norm ans .
The seizure of the primacy of Armagh by laymen in the eleventh century has received great promi- nence owing to St. Bernard's denunciation of it in his life of St. Malachy, but the abuse was not with- out a parallel on the continent of Europe. The chiefs of the tribe in whose territory Armagh stood usurped the position and temporal emoluments of the primacy and discharged by deputy the eccle- siastical functions. The abuse continued for eight generations until Cellach, known as St. Celsus (1105- 29), who was intruded as a layman, had himself consecrated bishop, and ruled the see with great wisdom. In 1111 he held a great synod at Fiadh- Mic-Aengus at which were present fifty bishops, 300 priests, and 3,000 other ecclesiastics, and also Mur- rough O'Brian, King of .southern Ireland, and his nobles. During his incumbency the priory of Sts. Peter and Paul at .Vrm.igh was Ve-fovmded by Imar, the learned preceptor of St. Malachy. This was the first establishment in Ireland into which the Canons
Regular of St. Augustine had been introduced. Rod- eric O'Connor, monarch of Ireland, afterwards granted it an annual pension for a public school. After a short interval, Celsus was succeeded by St. Malachy O'Morgair (1134-37), who later suffered many trib- ulations m trying to effect a reformation in the dio- cese. He resigned the see after three years and re- tired to the Bishopric of Down. In 1139 he went to Rome and solicited the Pope for two palliums, one for the See of Armagh and the other probably for the new iletropolitan See of Cashel. The following year he introduced the Cistercian Order into Ireland, by the advice of St. Bernard. He died at Clair- vaux, while making a second journey to Rome. St. Malachy is honoured as the patron saint of the diocese. Gelasius succeeded him and during a long incumbency of thirty-seven years held many important .synods which effected great reforms. At the Synod of Kells, held in 1152 and presided over by Cardinal Paparo, the Pope's legate, Gelasius received the pallium and at the same time three others were handed over to the new metropolitan sees of Dublin, Cashel, and Tuam. The successor of Gela- sius in the see, Cornelius Mac ConcaiUe, who died at Chamb^ry the following year, on a journey to Rome, has been venerated ever since in that locality as a saint. He was succeeded by Gilbert O'Caran (1175-80), during whose incumbency the see suf- fered greatly from the depredations of the Anglo- Norman invaders. William Fitz-Aldelm pillaged Armagh and carried away St. Patrick's crosier, called the "Staff of Jesus". O'Caran 's successor was Thomas O'Conor (1181-1201). In the year after his succession to the see. Pope Lucius III, at the in- stance of Jolm Comyn, the first English prelate in the See of Dublin, tried to abolish the old Irish cus- tom accorch'ng to which the primates claimed the right of making solemn circuits and visitations in the province of Leinster as well as those of Tuam and Munster. The papal Bull issued was to the ef- fect that no archbishop or bishop should hold any assembly or ecclesiastical court in the Diocese of Dublin, or treat of the ecclesiastical causes and af- fairs of the said diocese, without the consent of the Archbishop of Dublin, if the latter were actuallj' in his see, unless specially authorized by the Papal See or the Apostolic legate. This Bull laid the ground- work of a bitter and protracted controversy between the Archbishops of Armagh and of Dublin, concerning the primatial right of the former to have his cross carried before him and to trj' ecclesiastical cases in the diocese of the latter. This contest, however, must not be confounded with that regarding the primacy, which did not arise till the seven- teenth century.
English Period (1215-1539). — As the first Anglo- Norman adventurers who came to Ireland showed very little scruple in despoiling the churches and monasteries, Armagh suffered considerably from their depredations and the clergy were almost re- duced to beggarj'. When the EngUsh kings got a footing in the country, they began to interfere in the election of bishops and a contest arose between King John and the Pope regarding Eugene Mac Gil- laweer, elected to the primatial see in 1203. This prelate was present at the General Council of the Lat- cran in 1215 and died at Rome the following year. The English kings also began to claim possession of the temporalities of the sees during vacancies and to insist on the newly-elected bishops suing them humbly for their restitution. Primate Reginald (1247-56), a Dominican, obtained a papal Brief uniting the county of Louth to the See of Armagh. Primate Patrick "O'Scanlan (1201-70), also a Do- minican, rebuilt to a large extent the cathedral of Annngh and founded a house for Franciscans in that city. Primate Nicholas Mac Ma-lisu (1272-