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The Wardenship of Youghal, in the Diocese of Cloyne, was founded by Thomas, Eighth Earl of Desmond, the charter being dated 27 Dec., 1464, and was confirmed by the Holy See. It was endowed with a large number of rectories and vicarages in the Diocese of Cloyne, and also had four vicarages in Ardfert. By the terms of the foundation, the wardenship consisted of a warden, eight fellows, and eight singing-men (vicars choral), and the endowment was about £600 per annum. Three years later the noble founder was hanged by the Viceroy of Ireland (15 Feb. 1468), and a stormy period ensued on account of the Wars of the Roses, in which the Earls of Desmond were involved. The ninth earl was murdered by his own servants on 7 Dec., 1487. Two years later the Bishop of Cloyne resigned; and his successor, Blessed Thady MacCarthy ( beatified in 1895), died in exile as a confessor at Ivrea (24 Oct., 1492). The last Catholic warden was Thomas Allen (1533), after whom came the schismatic Roger Skiddy, who had various preferments under Edward VI, and was appointed Dean of Limerick and Bishop of Cork by Queen Elizabeth in 1562. He is described as "Warden of Youghal" in 1567. Sixty years later all the endowments were acquired by the notorious Earl of Cork, and in 1639 the rectory was united to the wardenship. A Catholic succession of wardens was maintained as late as 1709, when Father Richard Harnet held the position, which was then merely titular. The warden's house is now the picturesque residence of Sir Henry A. Blake, and is more generally known as "Sir Walter Raleigh's House".


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