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Edmund Tanner

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Bishop of Cork and Cloyne, Ireland, 1574-1579; born about 1526; died 1579. The statement in his brief of appointment that he was born in the ecclesiastical Province of Dublin is all that is known of his early life. His surname was borne by persons of humble station at Calverstown, Co. Kildare, which, coupled with his familiarity with the Eustaces of Baltinglas, may give colour to a surmise that he was a native of that district. In 1565 he was at Rome, being then probably in Holy orders, and entered the Society of Jesus ; after a year in the Roman College he was sent to Dillingen University in 1567, and became doctor of divinity. His health, however, failed and he left the Society. In 1574 he was again at Rome, and the See of Cork and Cloyne being vacant, he was appointed thereto, 5 November, 1574, and was consecrated at Rome. In May, 1575, he set out for Ireland with exceptional faculties for his own diocese and for those of Cashel, Dublin, and its suffragan sees in the absence of their respective prelates. Not long after his reaching Ireland he was captured while exercising his functions at Clonmel, and was thrown into prison ; here, as Holing tells, he was visited by a schismatical bishop whom he reconciled to the Church. A few days later he was himself released through the influence of a noble earl. Thereafter he did not venture into his own diocese but as commissary-Apostolic he traversed the other districts assigned him, administering the sacraments and discharging in secret the other duties of his office. Four years he laboured thus in continual peril and distress, and at length succumbed to his privations and fatigues in the Diocese of Ossory, 4 June, 1579. Bruodin states that he died in Dublin Castle after eighteen months of imprisonment and cruel torture.

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