Skip to content

Light a FREE Virtual Prayer Candle

Light a FREE Virtual Prayer Candle These candles are perfect for loved ones, as memorials, and for those in need who are far away.

Light Your FREE Candle Now >

William Crolly

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Ballykilbeg, near Downpatrick, 8 June, 1780; d. 6 April, 1849. At fourteen he was sent to a classical school in Downpatrick, conducted by Rev. Mr. Nelson, a Unitarian minister, as there were no Catholic schools in the north of Ireland. In November, 1801, he went to Maynooth, and obtained first place in dogmatic theology in 1806. At Pentecost of the same year he was ordained priest by Dr. Troy, Archbishop of Dublin, and for six years lectured in logic, metaphysics, and ethics. In 1812 he took charge of the parish of Belfast, which comprised not only the entire town but also a district more than thirty miles in extent. On being appointed Bishop of Down and Connor in 1825, he induced the Holy See to change the episcopal parish from Downpatrick to Belfast, the real centre of the diocese. During the ten years he spent as bishop of this see he built a large church in almost every parish, and founded St. Malachy's Seminary. Owing to the dearth of Catholic schools, Dr. Crolly was obliged to allow Catholic children to attend Protestant schools, a course of action which caused a fierce controversy after his death. In 1835 he was appointed to the archdiocese of Armagh. Up to his time no primate had been allowed to reside in that town, but he lived alternately there and in Drogheda, where most of the primates had dwelt in penal times. His first care was to found St. Patrick's Seminary in Armagh, which was opened in 1838. His great work however, was the foundation of the cathedral, which was not completed till twenty-four years after his death. Having with great difficulty acquired a site on an historic hill by the side of the town, he laid the foundation stone on St. Patrick's Day, 1840, amid a vast assemblage of clergy and laity. The work of construction went steadily on until the famine years, and the primate visited several cities in Ireland, making an appeal in person. The famine, however, stopped the progress of the work. When the question of the Queen's colleges arose, the primate was one of those bishops who looked favourably on the project. It is certain, however, that if he had lived till the Synod of Thurles, in which these colleges were formally condemned as pernicious to the Faith, he would have laid aside his own private opinions on this subject, and submitted to the decision of the Holy See. He died in Drogheda of the cholera, on Good Friday (6 April), 1849, and was buried on Easter Sunday in the centre of the choir of the still unfinished cathedral of Armagh. A collection of the "Select Sermons " of the primate was published shortly after his death.

To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this.

Deacon Keith Fournier Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Caskets


Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!