The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/McEncroe, Ven. Archdeacon John
McEncroe, Ven. Archdeacon John, was born at Rathsalla, near Cashel, in Tipperary, on Dec. 26th, 1795. He entered St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, in 1814, and was ordained priest in 1819. In 1822 he went to America, and was engaged in missionary work under Bishop England. He distinguished himself by his opposition to the institution of slavery at a time when to do so meant liability to personal violence. Broken in health he returned to Ireland in 1829, and after an interval of repose was offered an American bishopric which became vacant. This he refused, and emigrated in 1832 to New South Wales, where he officiated as Colonial Chaplain, and was placed in charge of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Sydney, subsequently becoming dean, and later on archdeacon. He founded the Sydney Freeman's Journal, and was a regular contributor to its columns. When he returned from revisiting Ireland in 1859, he brought back with him the Rev. Dr. Forrest, as first rector of St. John's Roman Catholic College, affiliated to the University of Sydney. In 1849, when an attempt was made by the Home Government to reintroduce convicts, Archdeacon McEncroe, at a great public meeting held in Sydney, declared that rather than submit to such treatment the colonists would follow the example of the United States and proclaim their independence. Archdeacon McEncroe died on August 22nd, 1868.