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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/114

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MAYNOOTH


MAYNOOTH


posals had licrn consicli'ivil. M:i\ iiootli was chosen, be- raiise it was considcrcil favouniMc In the morals anfl stuilies of a collego; also, hi-caiisr (lie Duke of Lciiistcr, who Iiad always been a frioiul of t\w Catholics, wished to have the new institution on his estate. The money granted by Parliament was voted for a Catholic col- lege for the education of the Irish clergy: that was the express intention of the (lovernment. but, as the Act was drawn in general terms, the trustees proceeded to erect a college for laymen in coiniexion with the ec- clesiastical establishment. This college was sup- pressed by the llovernmcnt in 1801. Another lay col- lege was then erected in the immediate vicinity of the ecclesiastical college, and was continued up to 1817 under lay trustees. The establishment of various col-


land the financial subsidy to Mayiiooth from the State underwent various changi's and gave rise to cli'liates ot considerable acrimony in the House of t'oiiiiiioiis. In IS 1.5, however, the government of Sir Hobert Peel raised the grant from £9,500 (about $17,500) to £26,- 000 (SbiO.OOO) a year and placed it on the consoli- dated fund, where it formed part of the ordinary na- tional debt and was free from aimual discussion on the estimates. Sir Hobert Peel also granted a sum of £:50,000 (about $150,000) tor suitable buildings; and it was then that the Gothic structure designed by Pugin, one of the handsomest college buildings in Europe, was erected. The disestablishment of the Irish Church by Mr. Gladstone in 1869, had serious fi- nancial results for Maynooth which was also disen-


St. Mary's, Mavnocjiii College, Iileland


leges in other parts of the country for the education of laymen made it uimecessary. Not long after the foundation of Maynooth, the whole country being con- vulsed by the relxdiion of 1798, the general disturb- ance found an echo in the new institution. Of its sixty-nine students no fewer than eighteen or twenty were expelled for having taken the rebel oath.

A valuable endowment was obtained for the new college on the death of John Butler, twelfth Baron Dunboyne, who had lieen Bishop of Cork from 1763 to 1786. On the death of his nephew, Pierce Butler, the eleventh baron, the bishop succeeded to the title and estates. This temporal dignity, however, proved his undoing; he gave up his bishopric, abjured the Catho- lic Faith, and took a wife. In his last illness he re- pented and endeavoured to make reparation for his conduct by willing his property in Meath, valued at alxjut £1,000 (about $5,000) a year, to the newly founded college. The will was disputed at law by the next of kin. The case of the college was pleaded by John Philpot Curran, and a compromise wa-s effected by which about one lialf of the property was secured to the college. The income from the bequest became the foundation of a fund for the maintenance of a higher course of ecclesiastical studies in the case of such stu- dents as should have distinguished themselves in the ordinary course. This is still known as the "Dun- boyne Establishment". After the union with Eng-


dowed; but a sum of atout £370,000 (about $1,850,- 000) was given once for all to enable the college to con- tinue its work. This sum was investeil for the most part in land, and has been very ably managed liy the trustees. Some of the most prominent Catholic lay- men in the country, such as the Earls of Fingall and Kenmare, had acted as Trustees up to the date of the disendowment: from that time no further lay trustees were appointed.

Among the most distinguished of the past presidents of Maynooth were Hussey, Renehan, and Russell, a full account of whom is to be found in the College His- tory by the Most Rev. Dr. Healy, Archbishop of Tuani. Dr. Hussey was the first president, and to his tact, judgment and skill the success of the original proje(!t was mainly due. Dr. Renehan was a distinguished Irish scholar, who did a great deal to rescue Irish manuscripts from destruction. Dr. Russell is chiefly known for his "Life of Cardinal Mezzofanti" and for the part he took in the conversion ot Cardinal New- man. Amongst the most distinguished teachers and men of letters who shed lustre on the college during its first century were John MacHale, Paul O'Brien, Daniel Murray, Edmund O'Reilly, Nicholas Callan, Patrick Murray, Mathew Kelly, John O'Hanlon, Wil- liam Jennings, James O'Kane, and Gerald Molloy. It is interesting to notice that, on the staff of the college in its early years, were four French refugees — the Rev.