1913 edition of the Irish Church Directory digitized
In anticipation of the online availability of the 1913 editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette (coming next month) and following on from our earlier presentation of the first edition of the Church Directory, as published in 1862, made available online last September and now at this permanent link www.ireland.anglican.org/about/150, July 2013’s Archive of the Month presents the digitized version of the Directory, as it appeared in 1913.
Considered at this time to be the Gazette‘s sister publication, and printed and published from the Gazette’s then Dublin headquarters at 61 Middle Abbey Street, the Directory then as now was an invaluable resource for information about the Church’s structures – its parishes, dioceses, clergy and other key personnel.
Some 51 years after its first appearance, the 1913 edition provides a fascinating insight to the extent of the Church of Ireland on the eve of the enormous political, social and economic changes that would follow in Ireland, in the aftermath of the First World War, and other significant events of change that are now being marked as part of the Decade of Commemorations.
Whilst the size of the volume has increased – partly due to the inclusion of the Church of Ireland Constitution and partly also to an increasing number of advertisements, many of them full–page – the most striking change that has occurred in the five decades since 1862 is the considerable drop in the number of clergy.
Compared with 2318 clergy listed and accounted for in the 1862 Directory, by 1913, their number has fallen by almost 700 to just 1659. This is still a long way off the current 442 members of the stipendiary clergy who serve the Church of Ireland today, but nevertheless represented a staggering drop in clerical numbers, even before the First World War. The explanation for the dramatic fall is the impact of disestablishment and its knock–on effect which tightened the financial resources available to train and employ paid clergy, as well as provide for their pensions, accommodations and other expenses.
Another comparative change is the detail provided by the 1913 edition about individual clergy, in the clergy entry section, which, in addition to their positions within the Church, includes their qualifications and academic achievements, as well as any published work – features that continue in the Church of Ireland Directory published today.
In these clergy lists, we find some of the emerging great figures of the Church’s 20th–century leadership, then at a relatively early stage of their clerical careers. These included two notable leaders covered by previous Archives of the Month – John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, who would later become Archbishop of Dublin 1920–39 and then Archbishop of Armagh 1939–59, but who in 1913 was serving as Professor of Divinity in Trinity College Dublin, featured at this link www.ireland.anglican.org/about/165 and also his successor as Archbishop of Dublin 1939–56, Arthur Barton – who was renowned for his caring pastoral gifts as we demonstrated here www.ireland.anglican.org/about/158. On his rise through the ranks of clergy, he had just been appointed the head of the Trinity College Mission in Belfast in 1913.
(a) Biographical entries for John Allen FitzGerald Gregg, Professor of Divinity at Dublin University and Canon of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, in 1913, p. 29, and (b) for Arthur William Barton, Head of the Trinity College Mission in Belfast in 1913, p. 19.
Notwithstanding the reduction of clergy, the geographical size and extent of the Church of Ireland remained extensive – covering every part of the island. A useful relational breakdown of the counties (or parts thereof) contained in each diocese is provided in the volume in this table on page 48.
The summary figures from the religious affiliation section of the 1911 Census reproduced on page 325 (see image above) confirms that there were 575,489 members of the Church of Ireland (compared with 390,000 members today as recorded by the 2011 Census). There are many more parishes – evidenced for example, by a full contingent of all the original parishes dating from medieval times and created in the 17th and 18th centuries in inner city Dublin.
In 1913, the Church of Ireland comprised 13 united dioceses compared to the 12 that exist today – the additional one the separate one for Killaloe which has more recently, along with Kilfenora, Clonfert and Kilacduagh been united with Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe. Killaloe was the only see of the 13 in 1913 to have an episcopal vacancy, following the translation of the Rt. Revd Charles Dowse, bishop of Killaloe 1912–13, who after just one year in this diocese was moved to Cork, Cloyne and Ross.
The last vestiges of privilege inherited from the pre–disestablishment era are evidenced by the fact that seven of the 13 episcopal residences were palaces – the addresses of the archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, and the bishops of Derry, Tuam, Cashel, Limerick, Ossory and Cork all recorded as such, while Kilmore and Down occupied See Houses in Cavan and Culloden respectively. The bishop of Meath’s address was given as Fitzwilliam Square Dublin, with those for Clogher and Killaloe as Bishopscourt in Clones, and Clarisford in Killaloe respectively.
Then as now the stipends paid to the clergy were modest. From the diocesan entry for Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, for example, we learn of special arrangements to supplement incomes of long–standing members of the clergy and to award additional good service grants, in an effort to ensure that no stipend would be less than £200 per annum.
In addition to the serving and retired members of the diocesan clergy, the Directory also reveals the role of some Church of Ireland clergy as chaplains to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and official household at Dublin Castle, whilst a list of the Army Chaplain’s Department is also included. Further evidence of the Church’s role in the wider British Empire at this time is seen in the advertisement directed to ‘Irish Churchmen’ for support in developing the Church in India on page xvii of the advertising section.
As mentioned above, a new addition to the 1913 edition compared with previous ones was inclusion of the Church of Ireland Constitution including amendments to 1911. Viewers should note that this part of the Directory has not been digitally reproduced for the Constitution has been subsequently amended and the current version is available online at this link www.ireland.anglican.org/constitution.
The final Part IV of the 1913 edition is perhaps the most colourful part of the volume, providing details such as those just ordained as deacons and priests and the parishes to which they were designated to serve; the clerical obituary for the previous year providing details of those who had died, their former appointments and date and age at death.
Also details of the consecration of bishops and their elections 1871–1912; a list of societies and institutions connected to the Church of Ireland and run under its auspices providing information on an array of charitable, mission and educational organisations and the person responsible for their administration; a list of cases heard in the Court of the General Synod; a list of the archbishops and bishops of other parts of the Anglican Communion; and finally an extensive advertising section the pages of which reveal the wide readership of the Directory.
(a) Detail from the list of ‘Principal Societies and Institutions Connected with the Church of Ireland’ in 1913, pp 322–323
(b) Cases heard in the Court of the General Synod since its inception and up to the year 1909, p. 324.
In addition to advertisements that we might expect to find for a church clerical directory, such as promotion of the Gazette weekly newspaper; the Clerical Mutual Assurance Society for clergy and their relatives; J. Clarke and Sons, stained glass artists; J. Wippell and Co. Ltd, manufacturers of church furniture; and S. Mccomas and Son, clerical tailors; there are also more exotic promotions aimed at a wider Church interest.
These latter include Thomas Cook and Son, who then as now had a premises opposite Trinity College Dublin, and were promoting tourist and circular tickets to places from Paris to the Nile and Palestine.
Closer to home several hotels took out full page adverts in the Directory, including the Shelbourne and Gresham in Dublin, and Parknasilla in county Kerry and Rosapenna Golf Links in county Donegal.
A sign of changing times is perhaps captured by the full page advert for Beverly Smyth and Sons, then furniture van proprietors removal contractors and general carriers, aimed specifically ‘at parties removing to or from any part of the United Kingdom’ – an outward route that many Church of Ireland families would in fact take as Ireland’s political and economic outlook began to change in the decades following the First World War.
Finally, a word about the provenance of this particular volume and how it came to be in the custody of the RCB Library, along with all the other directories from 1862. On several pages, the signature stamp of one T. Grattan Kelly has been purposefully affixed. It transpires that Grattan Kelly was Secretary to the Diocesan Synods and Councils for the diocese of Dublin, Glendalough and Kildare, and also served as Trustee for the Leinster Trust, a lucrative post which entitled him to occupy a house at number 43 Kildare Street, at which address the online 1911 Census of Ireland recorded he was living with his wife Clare, a son and trainee insurance clerk Cecil, a daughter Violet who was still attending school, and one servant.
To view the complete 268 pages of the 1913 Directory as a PDF, please click here. This PDF is 172Mb in size.
For further information please contact:
Dr Susan Hood
Churchtown Dublin 14