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George Dowdall

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Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, in 1487; d. at London, 15 August, 1558. He entered the Order of Crutched Friars, and was the last prior of their monastery at Ardee. On the suppression of the monastery by Henry VIII, in 1539, he received a pension of £20 a year. After the death of Primate Cromer, four years later, he was appointed to the See of Armagh by the king, but his appointment was not recognized by the pope. Dowdall acknowledged Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church on earth, and denounced the real primate, Robert Wauchope, to the Government. Though a schismatic, he nevertheless vigorously opposed the introduction of Protestantism into Ireland in the following reign and became the leader of the Catholic party. His opposition proving fruitless, he withdrew from public life in disgust and shortly afterwards retired to the Continent. On the death of Primate Wauchope, Dowdall, having renounced the schism, was appointed in 1553 by the pope to the very see of which he had been the schismatical archbishop. Ruling during nearly all the reign of Queen Mary, he exerted himself to repair the ravages to religion wrought in the preceding reigns. He held an important synod in Drogheda in 1554 in which decrees were passed against priests who had presumed to marry.

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