A year in the life of St Patricks Cathedral Armagh Issue 1

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A year in the life of St Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh
                               Issue 1 | Spring 2008
It is with much pleasure that I          which enable the Cathedral in all its    this issue together. Particular thanks
commend this new production. On          aspects to function. Along with this     to the Friends’ Committee and
the Hill of Armagh we have a rich        magazine, it is intended to enclose
                                                                                  to First Trust Bank, Armagh for
heritage and tapestry of events,         a list of the Friends of Armagh
activities and comings and goings        Cathedral and also contact details       sponsoring the project and enabling
to celebrate. So congratulations to      for those who might be encouraged        us to produce this record of a year in
the Committee of the Friends for         to join!                                 the life of St Patrick’s Cathedral.
deciding to acknowledge some of
these and in particular the highlights       I thank the Editor and Secretary
of 2007 and share them with a wider      of the Friends, Tom Duncan and the       Patrick W Rooke
audience. I trust those who pick         small Group responsible for putting      Dean
up this first issue of ‘Cathedra’ and
peruse its pages will find the contents
of interest.

    The Friends of the Cathedral
is that group of people who, from
the wider community, wish to
demonstrate in a practical way their
association with the life and witness
of the Cathedral. Thus they pay a
fee to belong, support Cathedral
events, attend worship when and
if possible, pray for its work and
witness and generally take an interest
in all that goes on. St Patrick’s has
‘Friends’ from all over the world
– living stones, parts of the body

                                                                   ongratulations to C athedr al member M r N or man
                                                                   Mawhinney on reaching his 100th birthday in
                                                                   August 2007. He is pictured with the Mayor of
                                                             Armagh, Councillor Charlie Rolloston and the Dean.

                                                                Mr Mawhinney joined the staff of Allisons Studios in
                                                             Scotch Street as a trainee photographer in 1922 where he
                                                             worked for the next fifty years. As the local photographer,
                                                             Norman was responsible for taking many of the pictures
                                                             which now form the ‘Allison Collection’ housed in the
                                                             Public Record Office, Belfast. During his working life he
                                                             became a well known and popular resident of Armagh,
                                                             serving both sections of the community equally and
                                                             recording their most cherished moments on film.


2 | Cathedra
The Friends of the Cathedral
Annual Outing                             again and we travelled on to the
                                          American Folk Park.
Decisions as to where the Outing
should be held are becoming more              We were scheduled to arrive in
difficult to make because over the         time to see a wedding ceremony as
16 years the Friends have roamed far      it was carried out by the pioneering
and wide to such places as Aras an        settlers in America. The inclement
Uactarain,Ulster History Park, King’s     weather made conditions underfoot
House in Boyle, Downpatrick,Hill          unpleasant but the tour of the Folk
of Tara, Clonmacnoise, Newgrange          Park,the Wedding Ceremony and
etc. So after some deliberations          the shop made for a most enjoyable
the decision was taken to go in the       afternoon.
direction of County Fermanagh.
                                             Once again time to board the
    The party set off on Saturday 16th     bus for the short drive to the Mellon
June 2007 for the Share Centre in         Country Inn where an excellent meal
Lisnaskea. The weather was very poor      was enjoyed by everyone.
but spirits were high. On arrival the
party boarded the ‘Lady of the Lake’          This is a venture that more of the
cruiser and set sail for Crom Castle.     Friends should try and take part in,
A very welcome cup of coffee and           because not only is it an opportunity
scones were served on the boat during     to see places that might not always
the journey. It was very unfortunate      be open to individuals, but it helps to
that the beauty of Lough Erne could       build up friendships.
not be seen in all its glory because of
the rain. However,all arrived safely at       The thanks of all of the Friends are
Crom and disembarked to visit the         due to Flo Lawson and Pat Harrison
Heritage Centre and have lunch.           for the excellent arrangements.

   After lunch all aboard the bus            So, see you all next year

                                               Murder Mystery
                                                                This was held at the Cathedral on Thursday 22nd
                                                                 November 2007. About 70 Friends came along to this
                                                                  very excellent evening which was organised to raise
                                                                   funds for the Friends.

                                                                         We met in the Library for an initial reception. We
                                                                     were then divided into teams for the Murder Mystery.
                                                                     The event and mystery were portrayed inside the
                                                                     Cathedral by the Armagh Living History characters
                                                                    in their Georgian costumes as they told their story of
                                                                   dastardly deeds.

                                                                   The teams then returned to the Deanery to enjoy Wine
                                                              and Cheese and to decide on the guilty party.

                                                            An event which was great fun and raised some money for the
                                                     Friends. Many thanks to the Dean and Mrs Rooke, Pat Harrison
                                                  and our sponsors Joyce Estate Agents

                                                                                                             Cathedra | 3
Archbishop and Mrs Harper

                                               Archbishop with Mrs Harper       Archbishop Harper with President McAleese and
           Archbishop Harper
                                             and his mother Mrs Harper Senior               the Duke of Edinburgh

Bishop Alan Harper became Archbishop of Armagh on the 2nd February 2007. Previously he had spent fi ve years
as Bishop of Connor. Elected by his colleagues on the bench of bishops, the new Archbishop is a man of wide
experience and expertise.

Archbishop Harper was enthroned in the Cathedral on the eve of St Patrick’s Day. It was a memorable occasion
and the service was attended by, among others, the Duke of Edinburgh and the President of Ireland.

The Archbishop and Mrs Harper are now settled in their temporary residence at 5 Beresford Row on the Mall.
The plans for the new See House are currently with the planners but it will probably be another couple of years
before it is built on the site of the old See House beside St Patrick’s Cathedral.

In welcoming the Archbishop and Mrs Harper to Armagh we wish them every happiness for the coming years in
the Primatial City.

Archbishop’s Enthronement
A while ago the Archbishop was enthroned, although I expect it’s gone very quickly for him in his new job.
What I remember most about it was that we were joined by the boys of St George’s Belfast and it was nice
to be part of such a big choir. The choirmaster from St George’s was quite tough with us, but was good.

The boys were nice and it would be quite good to do something with them again. I knew a few of them from
Charles Wood Summer School. The security was very tight because such important people were coming to the

I saw Prince Philip there, I didn’t even know who he was. President Mary McAleese came. She has been at the
Cathedral before – at least I knew who she was! I liked it when the Archbishop knocked on the door because it
looked as if they had locked him out. I didn’t really realise what was happening until I saw it on the television
the next day.

I’ve taken part in a few big services now but this was very special. I hope the Archbishop enjoyed it too. We
had a great tea afterwards at the Royal School! I liked the spring rolls!

                                       Patrick Ballantine – Chorister

4 | Cathedra
Latest in
Foreword a long Line
Archbishop Harper is the latest of a long line of Archbishops of Armagh. A plaque at the back of the Cathedral lists
the names dating back to 444 when Patrick was the first Bishop. This list is reproduced below together with thumbnail
versions of the paintings of Archbishops dating back to Henry Ussher in 1595. Until 1106 the incumbent held the title
of Bishop or Abbot thereafter Archbishop.
444   Patrick               883 Maerobartach                1216 Netterville             1471 Foxalls                    1724 Boulter
467   Benignus              893 Mochta                      1227 O’Fibabra               1476 Connesburgh                1742 Hoadly
481   Jarlath               900 Maelciarain                 1240 Albert                  1478 Octavian de Palatio        1747 Stone
497   Cormac                903 Cellach                     1247 Reginald                1513 Kite                       1765 Robinson
513   Dubthach              915 Maelciarain                 1258 O’Connellan             1521 Cromer                     1795 Newcome
526   Ailill I              936 Joseph                      1262 O’Scannell              1543 Dowall                     1800 Stuart
536   Ailill II             936 Mael Patrick II             1272 Macmaelisa              1553 Goodacre                   1822 J.G.Beresford
551   O’Faranan             936 MacDolgen                   1306 Taaffe                  1560 MacTeague                  1862 M.G.Beresford
588   Carlaen               944 Maelmuire                   1307 Walter de Jorse         1563 Loftus                     1886 Knox
623   Maclaisre             1006 Airindach                  1312 Roland de Jorse         1568 Lancaster                  1893 Gregg
640   Macronan              1032 Maeltuile                  1324 Segrave                 1584 Long                       1896 Alexander
688   Segeni                1032 O’Ferris                   1334 Mageraghty              1590 Garvey                     1911 Crozier
730   Suibhne               1096 Mael Patrick III           1348 Fitzralph               1595 Henry Ussher               1920 D’Arcy
732   Congusa               1099 O’Boyle                    1362 Sweteman                1613 Hampton                    1938 Day
794   Affiath                1106 Cellach                    1383 Colton                  1625 James Ussher               1939 Gregg
811   Nuadha                1134 O’Morgair                  1404 Flemming                1661 Bramhall                   1959 McCann
818   Artri                 1137 Gelasius                   1418 Swayne                  1663 Margetson                  1969 Simms
835   Forannan              1175 O’Caran                    1430 Prene                   1678 Boyle                      1980 Armstrong
862   Mael Patrick I        1181 O’Connor                   1444 Mey                     1703 Marsh                      1986 Eames
875   Fethgna               1206 McGillaweer                1457 Bole                    1714 Lindsay                    2007 Harper

         Henry Ussher       Christopher      James Ussher         John Bramhall     James Margetson      Michael Boyle      Narcissus March

       Thomas Lindsay      Hugh Boulter      John Hoadly          George Stone      Richard Robinson    William Newcome      William Stuart
                                                                                     (Lord Rokeby)

       Lord John George   Marcus Gervais     Robert Knox          Robert Samuel     William Alexander     John Baptist      Charles Frederick
           Beresford        Beresford                                Gregg                                  Crozier              d’Arcy

        John Godfrey         John Allen      James McCann       George Otto Simms      John Ward         Robert Henry        Alan Edwin
       Fitzmaurice Day    Fitzgerald Gregg                                             Armstrong        Alexander Eames     Thomas Harper

                                                                                                                                Cathedra | 5
‘Ancient Stones’
In St. Patrick’s Cathedral are a number of stone carvings, including representations of persons and
animals which have been carved from a distinctive pink sandstone. The two animals (a third
was stolen some years ago) have been called bears, but seem to me more likely to
be dogs with damaged muzzles. On one the relief of what is clearly a
dog’s head can be seen between its legs. There are also a couple of
human heads, and a standing figure of very simple form whose
head appears to be surrounded by either coarse stylised hair
or the rays of the sun.

   The outstanding member of this group is the statue
known as the ‘Tandragee idol’ (for a short time it was
housed at Tandragee). This statue sits on a wide solid base
and is carved ‘in the round’, so was clearly intended to
be freestanding (as were the dogs). The figure has one arm
across its chest, and in each hand there is a cylindrical object
(a thunderbolt?). It has an open mouth, and an antler-stump
on each side of its forehead. Its hands are identical to the front
feet of the dogs, wich (as well as the stone from which both are
made) links them. A recently discovered carving from near Armagh is a
combination of a human, with all the features of the ‘Tandragee idol’, and a dog.

   The figures almost certainly came from the vicinity of Armagh. It has been claimed that they were found around
                      the cathedral when it was being rebuilt in the 1830s. They do not seem to be of Medieval date
                               or later, and cannot be paralleled by any carvings from Christian sites. It is therefore
                                   likely that they belong to the pagan Iron Age (between about 400 BC and AD
                                      400). They indicate the former existence, in or near Armagh (perhaps on the
                                       site of the Cathedral), of a prehistoric pagan sanctuary of great importance.

                                            Several ingenious suggestions have been made as to the identity of the
                                        ‘Tandragee idol’, especially by comparing his attributes to the various
                                        ‘heroes’ (gods) mentioned in the early Irish mythological tales. I believe it
                                         represents a god who had the attributes of a stag and a hound, and is known
                                          from the Continent. In Irish mythology he would equate to the main Ulster
                                                god-hero Conall Cernach (‘Strong-hound the Horned’).

                                                     If any readers have knowledge of other stone figures, or
                                                  information regarding the discovery and history of those in the
                                                  Cathedral the Dean would be very happy to pass this on to the

                                                   Richard Warner

6 | Cathedra
Cathedral comings and goings
Director of Celtic Spirituality
The Reverend Grace Clunie, Rector of St Nicholas, Belfast, joined the Cathedral staff in
September 2007 as the Director of Celtic Spirituality. Grace returns to her native County
Armagh and brings with her a wealth of knowledge gained during more than twelve
years in the ordained ministry. Already she is developing this new initiative which it is
hoped will bring an extra dimension to the life and witness of the Cathedral.

Honorary Treasurer
At the end of 2007 the Board’s Honorary Treasurer, Mr Jack Moore, stepped down
after thirteen years in post. Previously Mr Moore had been the Board’s Honorary
                                                      Secretary – a position he was
                                                                                              Grace Clunie
                                                      appointed to in June 1978. A
                                                      member of the Board for thirty two years Mr Moore has
                                                      served as Secretary or Treasurer for almost thirty years – a
                                                      remarkable achievement, not least in that he was largely
                                                      responsible for overseeing, with the Dean, the 2003
                                                      Restoration Appeal.

                                                              Appointed in Mr Moore’s place is Mr Eric Marshall,
                                                           a native of Markethill and an experienced Honorary
                                                           Treasurer who has served in that capacity at Mullabrack
                                                           Parish for many years.
         Jack Moore                   Eric Marshall

Dean’s Verger
Mr Michael Cairns resigned as Dean’s Verger having served for more than seven years in this position. Highly organised
                             and hard working, Michael had done a magnificent job
                             in maintaining the Cathedral and its grounds in such
                             excellent order. The Cathedral Board acknowledged his
                             contribution at a reception in June. In the Autumn, Mr
                             David Bingham took up the post of Dean’s Verger and has
                             already begun to make his mark. Quietly and pleasantly
                             he gets on with the job and we are fortunate to have
                             secured his services. He is currently assisted by Mr Lee
                             Vage, Mr Sean McCabe and Mr John Fulton.
       Michael Cairns                                                                            David Bingham

Vicars’ Choral
In 2007 we bade farewell to the Reverend Mike Roemmele (now Rector of Macosquin,
Diocese of Derry) and the Reverend Mervyn Kingston (retired). In thanking them for
their contribution as Clerical Vicars Choral we welcome the Reverend Dr Eric Culbertson
(Tullanisken & Clonoe), the Reverend Joyce Moore (Drogheda & Kilsarin) and the
Reverend John McClenaghan (St Columba’s, Portadown). Mr Bill Lauder’s service to
the Choir over more than fifty years was acknowledged through his appointment by the
Archbishop and the Dean as Lay Vicar Choral.

Gentlemen of the Choir                                                                             Bill Lauder
We acknowledge the contribution to the Choir made by David Wilson and Matthew Marshall. Welcome to Brian
Jeffers who joined the Choir in 2007.

In 2007 we said farewell to Liam Crangle who was appointed Organ Scholar at St George’s, Belfast. Liam had
previously served as Head Chorister. Tom Chadwick also left during the year. We welcome new choristers Orly
Watson, Tom Creaney, Calum Weir, Matthew Gray and Daire Fitzmaurice.

                                                                                                       Cathedra | 7
   In September 2007, the Revd Grace Clunie was appointed to a part-time post at the Cathedral as Director of the
Centre for Celtic Spirituality. Previously, she served in St. Mark’s in Newtownards, Seagoe in Portadown, and St.
Nicholas’s in Belfast. Her vision for this new Centre is outlined below.

   Since arriving in Armagh, the three most often-asked questions about the Centre for Celtic Spirituality are:
   1. What is Celtic Spirituality?
   2. Why have a Centre for Celtic Spirituality at Armagh Cathedral?
   3. What will the Centre for Celtic Spirituality do?
   So here are some answers to these very helpful and insightful questions.

What is Celtic Spirituality ?                                   Why have a Centre of Celtic Spirituality
                                                                at Armagh Cathedral ?
   Celtic Spirituality looks back to the very first
Christians in these islands, and gains inspiration                 Armagh is a very ancient place. In fact its heritage
for today’s church from the practices of those first             reaches back into the mists of pre-history, and the site
Christians.                                                     of Navan Fort, dating back to Neolithic settlers around
                                                                4,500 BC, is a wonderful reminder of the intricacies of
    The period of history is from the middle of the 5th         pre-Christian community and ritual.
century right up to the Council of Whitby in 664A.D
- an era when the Church here was still relatively                 It is a fact of history that St. Patrick, and those who
independent and full of the zeal of the Spirit in its           first introduced the Christian faith to Ireland, somehow
liturgy, art, community life and practices.                     enabled a virtually seamless transition to the Christian
                                                                understanding of God and the Universe.
   Speaks to our Age...
                                                                    According to the Book of Armagh, in 447 St. Patrick
    Celtic Spirituality also speaks directly to the issues of   ordained that Armagh should have pre-eminence over
the age in which we live - environmental destruction and        all the churches of Ireland. So it is to this day, as both
global warming, materialism, secularism, community              Archbishops reside in Armagh, and it is known as the
isolation, fragmentation of the Church etc. etc.                Ecclesiastical Capital of Ireland.

     Celtic Spirituality offers us inspiration and hope            The Cathedral Choir traces its origins back to the
because it speaks of the Divine presence in all of God’s        legacy of the Culdees – Celi De (Lit: Vassals of God), an
                                                                ancient Monastic Celtic Christian order.
creation; of respect for the whole earth in the way we
live; of living a simple lifestyle; of acknowledging God’s         On this hill also lies the body of Brian Boru, High King
presence in every person, place and event; of a church          of All Ireland, laid to rest after the Battle of Clontarf in
based upon small, hospitable and caring communities             1014.
and of a faith that expressed itself in a balance between
head and heart in its poetry, liturgy, and calligraphic art.        In 1771 Archbishop Robinson founded Armagh Public
It is impossible to say completely what Celtic Spirituality     Library on the hill, a treasure-house for those interested in
is in these few words, but I hope this ‘flavour’ draws           ancient and valuable writings and manuscripts, and a wide
you to find out more, and to realise that it is as much an       variety of other writings, too many and varied to list here.
experience, as an intellectual discipline.                      Above the entrance door is an inscription in Greek which
                                                                in translation is: ‘The Healing Place of the Soul’.

                                                                   Thus, the special nature and heritage of this ancient
                                                                place – the hill of Armagh – is a treasure to be both valued
                                                                                        and shared.

8 | Cathedra
What will the centre for Celtic Spirituality
do ?
  The Centre will be a resource both for the City of
Armagh and for a much wider user group.

   Local Activities...

    The Centre has already brought together a group
of people, from all church denominations, interested in
Celtic Spirituality. There are bi-monthly talks on aspects
of Celtic Spirituality, a weekly Holy Communion Service
(Wednesdays 12.30pm), Christian Aid Lunches on the first
Wednesday of each month at 1pm, an annual Conference
(23rd -25th May 2008), and an annual Pilgrimage to other
ancient Celtic sites.

    The Centre will also reach out to local schools, inviting
classes of children to the Cathedral and Library, to learn
about the Christian faith and the legacy of St. Patrick, and
also to value their local historical heritage.

   Retreat Centre...

    The Centre for Celtic Spirituality will be based at 8,
Vicars’ Hill, which will, hopefully, in time, be converted
to a place of retreat and hospitality for anyone wishing
to spend time on the ancient hill of Armagh. The Centre
will also be available to larger groups (ie. day retreats for
parishes or youth groups), will offer Spiritual Direction
and will facilitate the use of the local special library
collections for study. Those who visit the Centre will also
be able to link in with the Sunday and daily Cathedral


    At a time in our history when there are solid signs of
a more stable and hopeful future for Northern Ireland,
this is a vision for celebrating the heritage we have and
for promoting it by welcoming all from home or abroad
who wish to share in this ancient and sacred place. It is
our hope that, in the words of the inscription above the
Library, the Centre for Celtic Spirituality may fulfil the
vision described there as The Healing Place of the Soul.

   Rev. Grace Clunie can be contacted on 02838870667

                                                                Cathedra | 9
The Rookes of Vicars’ Hill
On Sunday evenings last April, the
BBC broadcast the four-part series ‘The
Rookes of Vicars’ Hill’. John Nicholson,
a member of the Cathedral congregation
and co-producer of the series reflects......

The      first   question    that    any
commissioning editor will ask us is,
‘what is the story or what is the new
idea’? So it was with ‘The Rookes of
Vicars’Hill’; here was a very human
story about a family having to, ‘up
sticks’ and move to a new home and
take on the challenges of a new role
in the Church at the same time as
Archbishop Robin Eames announced
his retirement from his long ministry
and mission for peace as Primate of             Dean Rooke on Portstewart Strand with Susanna, Nicholas, Mrs Alison Rooke and Emily.
all Ireland. These two interesting and        Early in 2006, the decision to invite         question – what is the proper role of
newsworthy stories would become the           Archdeacon Patrick Rooke to become            the Church? Is it about looking after
narrative spine of our documentary            Dean of Armagh was probably the last          people or is it about preserving old
series but the process of telling them        major appointment made by his boss,           buildings? When viewed against all
would also allow us to shine a light          Lord Eames, Archbishop of Armagh              the poverty and need that exists in the
on the whole Church and to look at            and Primate of all Ireland, before            World, then the saving of souls will
its role in society in the twenty first        he announced his own intention to             always win out over saving stones – or
century. Questions on the role of             retire at the end of that year. It was
religion in what is now known as                                                            maybe – a case can be made for both.
                                              to be a momentous year and the new
the secular age; questions on falling
                                              Dean’s job was to make sure it all went       For me as one of the producers of
Church congregations and questions on
                                              smoothly.                                     ‘The Rookes of Vicars’ Hill’, the
what the Church was doing to tackle
sectarianism in Northern Ireland could                                                      most memorable feature of the whole
                                              Throughout the filming of the TV series        series was the Enthronement Service
all be posed and hopefully answered.
                                              Dean Rooke highlighted some of the            for Alan Harper, the new Archbishop
                                              challenges facing him in his new role in      of Armagh. In an atmosphere of
For anyone who has ever moved house
                                              Armagh and how he and his colleagues
or changed their job or taken over                                                          highly charged political and religious
                                              might tackle them. Certainly, inspired
a challenging new role in life then                                                         symbolism where practically every
                                              by all of those grand old buildings,
the story of Patrick Rooke, his wife                                                        shade of belief and conviction in
Alison and their three children, Emily,       visitor numbers are increasing in
                                                                                            Britain and Ireland was represented,
Nicholas and Susanna will resonate            Armagh. The plan to persuade other
                                                                                            old foes had come together to make
strongly. Having just moved into a            parishes to visit the Cathedral one
                                              Sunday a month has also boosted the           peace. Here was the true essence of
brand new rectory in their old parish                                                       Christianity – Peace, Forgiveness and
in Portstewart they were now faced            congregation and given many more
                                              people a sense of ownership of their          Reconciliation on display for the whole
with the prospect of moving to an old                                                       World to see. Could it have happened
Georgian home. They were leaving              Cathedral. Reaching out the hand
                                              of friendship to other denominations          anywhere else?       The answer is – it
                     old friends and                                                        didn’t! These ancient and sacred stones
                     having to make           along with the ongoing work of the
                                              Hard Gospel Committee is all helping to       of St.Patrick had hosted a revival of
                      new ones in
                                              break down the old barriers, to combat        hope and the dawning of a new era of
                      a     completely
                                              sectarianism and the more recent threat       peace and prosperity in the history of
                       environment;           of racism. One of the main features           this troubled island.
                       how would they         of the television programmes was the
                        be accepted –         scenery; those striking views of Armagh
                        and how long          from almost every angle, including            So perhaps the old buildings of needs
                        before     they       from the sky, which highlighted all           must be preserved, not least to remind
                         could call the       of that magnificent architectural              everyone of the constancy of the
                         Deanery their        heritage. However, those same images          Church - the enduring nature of its
                          home?               also highlight a major dilemma for            message, that it is we, who will always
                                              the Church of Ireland which begs the          need renewing.

10 | Cathedra
The Tercentenary of Archbishop Richard Robinson’s
Birth: Why Now?
                                 Armagh Heritage                       We have followed the Robinson family and their
                                 days organized in                  principal descendants from roots in Strowan in Perthshire,
                                 2007 by the Armagh                 through Kendal in the old county of Westmoreland, to
                                 Visitor Education                  Rokeby and Cundall in Yorkshire, and finally to St. Mary
                                 Committee AVEC (see                the Virgin, in Merton Park, Surrey. We have discovered
                                 http://scholars.arm.               that Richard Robinson was baptized at Merton on 13th
                        raised                July 1708 and was probably born (we conclude) between
                                 the question: ``When               April and July 1708. His tercentenary is 2008.
                                 was Archbishop
                                 Richard Robinson                       Many people, particularly those in the counties of
                                 born, and when                     Durham, Surrey and Yorkshire record offices, and in St.
                                 should we celebrate                Mary’s Church, Merton, and our own cathedral, have
                                 his tercentenary?’’ The            assisted our research. It is notable, however, that nearly
                                 overwhelming majority              all the required material is directly available within the
                                 of sources say that                City of Armagh or on the Internet, and is directly within
                                 the primate, Baron                 the resources and expertise of staff in the Armagh Public
                                 Rokeby of Armagh,                  Library, the Armagh City Library, the Irish and Local
                                                                    Studies Library, the Armagh County Museum and the
                                 was born in 1709, but
                                                                    Armagh Observatory. Considering Robinson’s “dream”
the inscription on his tomb and on the memorial in the
                                                                    to establish a university in the Armagh, it’s as if it is here
Cathedral both say that he died on 10th October 1794,
aged 86 years. So he must have been born sometime
between 11th October 1707 and 10th October 1708,
                                                                       It is timely that the question of his date of birth should
and not 1709.
                                                                    have been solved in 2008, and most appropriate that
                                                                    the work was done with the support of the research and
   Our research into the matter makes a fascinating                 education institutions that have arguably sprung from
detective story. Many of the standard sources are wrong             seeds sown during his period of office. Robinson’s vision
or inconsistent; and even the authoritative 2004 Oxford             for Armagh is worth celebrating and — like Robinson
Dictionary of National Biography gives no new clues.                — with an eye on the future.
Instead, it gives an even greater range of dates: 1707 to
1711.                                                               Mark E. Bailey Armagh Observatory
                                                                    Carol Conlin Armagh Public Library

                   Transcription, and the original, of the Merton Baptism Registers 1708 and 1709.

                                                                                                                 Cathedra | 11
Archbishop and Lady Eames
                                         All at the Cathedral were sorry to
                                         be saying farewell at Evensong on
                                         Sunday 31st December 2006 to
                                         Archbishop and Lady Eames who
                                         had resided in the Cathedral Close
                                         for more than twenty years.

                                             Lord Eames of Armagh, as he is
                                         now known, distinguished himself
                                         in so many ways and will surely
                                         go down in history as one of the
                                         ‘great’ Archbishops of Armagh. He
                                         is currently co-chair of the Eames/
                                         Bradley Group commissioned with
                                         the task of enabling the people of
                                         Northern Ireland to move forward
                                         and in some way draw a line under
                                         the past.

                                             It was with great delight to the
                                         people of Armagh that the former
                                         Archbishop     was    awarded     the
                                         distinguished Order of Merit by the
                                         Queen in July and that he and Lady
                                         Eames were made Freemen of the
                                         City of Armagh in September. As yet
                                         they have not been seen grazing their
                                         sheep on the Mall.

Archbishop Brady created a Cardinal
On 17th October 2007 Pope                    In    congratulating     Cardinal
Benedict XVI announced that              Brady, Northern Ireland Secretary,
Archbishop Sean Brady would be           Sean Woodward described him as ‘a
one of 24 new Cardinals created at       man of great integrity and spiritual
a special consistory in Rome on 24th     strength’ and stated that ‘ his
November 2007. This means that           elevation to the College of Cardinals
Archbishop Brady joins Cardinal          will be a matter of much rejoicing
Cahal Daly and Cardinal Desmond
                                         throughout Ireland’.
Connell in the College of Cardinals
and that Ireland has 3 Cardinals for         Since his arrival in Armagh,
the first time in its History.            Cardinal Brady has held out the hand
   Cardinal Brady,a native of County     of friendship to all communities and
Cavan , was elected as Coadjutor         has consistently delivered a message
Archbishop of Armagh in February         of peace and reconciliation.
1995 and became Archbishop of
Armagh and Primate of All Ireland            All those associated with our
on 3rd November 1996. Prior to his       own Cathedral on ‘ the other hill
appointment , Cardinal Brady was         in Armagh’ congratulate Cardinal
Rector of the Irish College in Rome      Brady on his appointment and look
from 1987 until 1993 when he was         forward to many years of continuing
appointed parish priest of Castletara,   friendship and co –operation between
Ballyhaise , County Cavan.               the 2 hills.

12 | Cathedra
Cathedral Board
The Cathedral Board is the body of clergy and laity charged with the ‘regulation and management’ of the Cathedral
Church of Saint Patrick of Armagh by an act of the General Synod in 1972.
   Chaired by the Dean of Armagh, the Board comprises the members of the Cathedral Chapter (8), a Senior Clerical
Vicar Choral, six laypersons elected triennially from the registered vestry members of the Cathedral congregation and
four laypersons elected by the lay members of the Armagh Diocesan Council.
   This body of twenty persons is responsible for the preservation, restoration and repair of the fabric of the Cathedral
and all permanent structures within including the lighting, heating and cleaning of the building.
   Meetings of the Cathedral Board are held quarterly, usually in March, June, September and December.

                                                                                  Cathedral Restoration Appeal

                                                                                  In the spring of 2002 the Cathedral
                                                                                  Restoration Appeal was launched
                                                                                  to raise the funds necessary to carry
                                                                                  out essential repair work on the
                                                                                  Cathedral windows, interior plaster
                                                                                  and stone work, and refurbishment
                                                                                  of the Robing Room.        Our target
                                                                                  was to raise £500,000 towards a
                                                                                  total estimated cost of £1,000,000.
                                                                                  However as work on the building
                                                                                  progressed it became evident that both
                                                                                  the electrical and heating installations
Garden of Rest
                                                                                  also required urgent repair and so
To facilitate the burial of ashes, the                                            a second phase of restoration was
Board has agreed to a Garden of                                                   undertaken in October 2003 and
Rest to be sited opposite the Chapter
                                                                                  completed in April 2004. Since 1980
Room door. At present the Cathedral
architect is drawing up detailed plans                                            repairs and renovation have cost in
for this area.                                                                    excess of £1,500,000.

Cathedral Steward
In order to improve the experience of visitors
who come to the Cathedral, the Board has
agreed to appoint a steward on a trial basis from                              In the near future it is
                                                                                hoped to restore and
April to September 2008.
                                                                               re-hang the Cathedral
    Some 10,000 people visit the Cathedral                                       bells, enabling them
                                                                               to be change rung for
annually and a small contribution for entrance                                the first time since 1886.
will enable the Board to employ this steward                                Four of the bells were made in
to act as a Cathedral guide and assist in the                            Gloucester in 1721, two in London in
                                                                         1842 and the others in Loughborough
Cathedral shop.                                                                        in 1885.

                                                                                                          Cathedra | 13
Pound Hill
In the nineteenth century the Government
caused the whole of Ireland to be surveyed
county by county and mapped on a scale
of 6 inches to the mile. The work was
meticulously carried out by men of the
Royal Engineers and the scale was large
enough for many details to be recorded.
The results were published in handsomely
bound County volumes of hand coloured
maps each sheet measuring 24 inches by
36 inches (61cms by 91.5cms) and signed
by the responsible army surveyor. Armagh
being a small county was covered on thirty
two pages but larger counties like Antrim
and Tyrone required over fifty.
In Armagh City which is delineated on
sheet 12 there is recorded a pound a feature
also to be seen in the other towns and villages
in the county. In Armagh the pound was and
indeed still is situated behind the gaol and is
a rectangular enclosure within a stone wall
accessed by a gate in the centre of the façade. The interior    orientation had not by then been established. In one corner
corners are rounded presumably to prevent animals getting       there is a larger scale plan of Newry, then a major port and
jammed in them for its purpose was to confine or impound         at the top right hand corner one of Armagh.
stray cattle and other domestic animals left wandering in the
streets and becoming a public nuisance. In the days when            Rocque in this detailed plan names the principal streets,
Armagh, like other towns, was a centre for markets              the Commons, the churches and other public buildings. St
and fairs and when many inhabitants kept pigs, cows and         Patrick’s Cathedral set in its churchyard is approached by
horses escapes from sty, byre and stable were common. Any       Abbey Street and almost encircled by Castle and Callan
such wanderers were rounded up by the civil authorities         Streets. The top of Market Street however is build up with
and taken to the pound where they could be reclaimed on         only room for a flight of steps to the East gate. The road
payment of a fine. A simple precursor of today’s traffic           known as The Close does not exist and access to the top of
wardens and the removal of offending motor vehicles.             Abbey Street is by a narrow twisted passage named Church
    In 1806 the pound was moved to its present location at
South end of the Commons (now the Mall) which had been             To the West of the Cathedral a road runs close to the
leased in 1795 to the Corporation by the Archbishop for         churchyard wall. It is a continuation of Irish Street and is
the building of a gaol and a “manor pound”. In 1760 John        designated Pound Hill and where it bends to skirt the wall a
Rocque, a professional cartographer, published his Map of       simple square represents the actual pound. The four houses
County Armagh as a single monochrome sheet some 17              shown at its junction with Abbey Street are the dwellings
inches by 22 inches (43cms by 56cms). It is printed with        built by A r chbishop B oulter for cler gy widows in 1724.
the West at the top of the page for the convention of North     There are two more houses nearer the pound but it is likely
                                                                that they were demolished when the present terrace was
                                                                built between 1776 and 1780 although number 11 at the
                                                                end of the row is later dating from 1794.

                                                                    Irish Street thus continued into Pound Hill as a through
                                                                but steep road for the wall, railings and steps had not then
                                                                been built to convert it to a pedestrian way and compel
                                                                traffic to turn into either Callan or Castle Street. On
                                                                Livingstone’s map of 1766 the road is now called Church
                                                                Street although in a Census of the city in 1770 it is still
                                                                given as Pound Hill. Later this became known as Vicars’
                                                                Hill from the 18th century houses most of which were
                                                                occupied by paid Cathedral’s choir men or lay vicars as they
                                                                were styled.

             Vicars’ Hill houses from the Churchyard.           D.R.M. Weatherup

14 | Cathedra
Signs & Seals

     The Cathedral Seal as worn by the Dean and                   The Dean’s medal presented by the Friends of the
          Chapter on their clerical scarves.                                 Cathedral. (See Page 2)

Royal Celebrations
The Royal School Armagh will celebrate 400 years of History in 2008. The School is one of the 5 Royal Schools of
Ulster founded in 1608 by King James 1 as part of his scheme for the Plantation of Ulster. The other schools are in
Cavan,Dungannon ,Enniskillen and Raphoe.

   The 5 schools have joined together in a ‘Year of Celebration ‘ in 2008. A book outlining the histories of the
Schools was published at the end of 2007 and in 2008 there will be major exhibitions of the histories of the schools in
each of the 5 locations. The celebrations also include a major service at the Cathedral involving all 5 schools in March

   All associated with the Cathedral congratulate the Royal School Armagh and the 4 other 1608 schools on 400
years of continuous existence and wish them well in their ‘Year of Celebration’ and for the future.

        Royal School Armagh   Royal School Cavan    Royal School Dungannon Potora Royal School   Royal and Prior
                                                                                                 School Raphoe

                                                                                                            Cathedra | 15
     sponsored by
  First Trust Bank
English Street, Armagh,

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