Procession from Gnobeg A.D. 1497
Moycullen Historical Society
To the most reverend father and Lord in Christ, to Lord William, by divine mercy, archbishop of Tuam, Matthew – by the same mercy – bishop of Clonfert and David de Burg, Canon of the holy cathedral of Clonfert and by the sake of the rectory of Gnobeg, and the vicar of Moycullen and Kilcullen and Kilbrown, and Raphoe of the diocese of Enachdun (sends greetings).
And against Maurice O’Flaherty above the vicarage of Gnobeg, and Roderick O’Kenneway above the vicarages of Kycommon and Kilrowan, and against Odnan O’Flaherty, at the insistence of the Warden and the 8 permanent vicars in the holy college of St. Nicholas in Galway, in the said diocese, and in each and every other to whom the provision and presentation of the said vicarages – or any other disposition – is seen as different, by law or custom, (we urge) wellbeing, and to obey indeed our apostolic orders i n this part (and) indeed letters of the most holy father and lord in Christ, the lord Alexander, by the foresight of the Pope worthy of God, with hemp and cord, in the manner of the Roman Curia, it appeared to us that bulls – whole, not touched or changed or lacking in any part – were presented to us through the said warden and vicars with due reverence and you knew that we received (them) and the tone of which followed word for word and such is it.
Alexander the Bishop, servant of the servants of God, sends his greetings and apostolic blessing to our venerable brother the bishop of Clonfert and to the beloved David de Burgh, canon of the Church of Clonfert. We willingly agree to the humble prayers of supplicants and we attend these with suitable favours.
A petition was recently shown to us, on behalf of the beloved sons of the warden and the sacred college of the Church of St. Nicholas in Galway, of the diocese of Enachdun and of the eight permanent vicarages and contained that the Church parish of Moycullen – called diocese – and the same church of St. Nicholas, stand in the one Church parish and, yet, the favoured son of Maurice O’Flaherty, passing himself off as a priest and falsely asserting that the said vicarage – on the basis of certain apostolic letters – belonged to him by law and – seeking to award to himself other vicarages – in the presence of the beloved son Milo O’Kennewan, Canon of Tuam, who – he said – had been appointed judge to oversee this, by apostolic authority.
He brought it to court and the same Milo – proceeding falsely in this case – pronounced on behalf of the said Maurice and against the said Warden and vicars a sentence that was full and unjust and there was an appeal against it to the apostolic seat, but the said warden and vicar – as they claim – being detained by a legal obstacle did not pursue an appeal of this type within the due time.
Wherefore, on behalf of the same warden and vicars, we have been humbly appealed to, that – with the lapse of due time not blocking the said appeal – and after and against any of the attempts and changes of the said letters and any others obtained through Maurice himself in any way at all, of any snatched, of the process and opinion of any and all through the said Milo and Maurice and any other judges and persons, to the disadvantage of the warden and vicars and of the Church of St. Nicholas, concerning the promise of deeds, of all (being) null and void, of main business, and each and everyone whom the warden and vicar have named …. namely, Maurice, and the favoured noblemen of William de Burgh, and his brothers and his sons at home and their other relations, and Thadeus McBrien Flaherty, Richard alias Risteard de Burgh, and any other clerics and laymen above the rectories and vicarages of this type, by impeding and molesting, injury and loss to the same warden and vicars and to the Church of St. Nicholas, and to other rectories and perpetual vicarages and church favours and to the same church of St. Nicholas unified and duly brought along, and in other things, shared and separate. They intend to move and to entrust the case to honest men in other parts, and to provide other things at the right moment, and may we consider this worthy of apostolic generosity.
We, therefore, influenced by pleas of this type, by your discretion and by apostolic script, instruct – concerning you or any of yours – if, by the call from the said Maurice and clerics and lay-people and others who have had to be called, there be a proposal about this type of obstruction, it be supported by the truth and, having heard then the proposals and knowing about the main business of this type, what was truly just, you be clear on what you are doing, having removed the appeal, and you decree it be firmly observed through Church firmness.
If, moreover, the witnesses who have been named, should withdraw themselves by favour, hatred or fear, you should force (them) to bear witness to the truth by a similar censure and by ending the appeal. With none opposing the lapse of the said time and with the happy record of Pope Boniface V l 11 our predecessor, it is to be forewarned – among other things – that none outside the city and diocese, except in certain, clear, cases (and in these, beyond a measure from his own area) be called to judge, or that judges (who are) appointed from the same centre, outside the town and diocese i n which they have been appointed, proceed against certain people, or that others should presume to carry out their duties for others, provided that no one is brought forward beyond two limits by the authority of those present, by constitutional and apostolic rules.
But if the same Maurice and clerics and lay or any others, communally or separately, be excused by the same centre, that they may be not suspended, forbidden or excommunicated, or cannot be called to court outside or inside these places, thro’ apostolic letters not making it clear, word for word, (there be) mention of this type regarding the excuse.
This has been given in Rome at St._. Peter’s in the year of our Lord, 1496, on 10 April, in the fourth year of our Papacy.
After the presentation and acceptance of these apostolic letters by us, and through us the deeds, we have been asked – through the said warden and vicars at this due instant – to what extent we deem it worthy to proceed with the execution of the said letters and contents against them. We, therefore, wishing to fulfil the apostolic order – as we are held (to do) – by the right of jurisdiction and the correctness of the letters and by having advanced first through us the taking of appeals, by our sure decrees and messages, through our open letters we place an order that the said Maurice, Odan and Roderick who have detained the said vicars and rector, – at the instance of the said warden and 8 permanent vicars should arrive or be made to arrive at a certain day and place and with our own servants openly appearing on a determined day and place and judges openly deciding on the taking of evidence; they should attest and say openly and publicly what has been personally sworn; each and any has said that he in no way wished to present himself, and with 2 suitable men employed, decrees were given on the place of writing regarding the quality of the said evidence, with a formal petition proposed openly to us through the procurator of the said warden and vicars, and it is agreed on the rightness of our procurator and after various ends had been first set in order to convict the clear obstinacy of the aforementioned, and as these in no way settle neither on their own behalf or the procurators ‘, they do persist in their clear and open obstinacy .
With points having been shown on the part of the warden and vicars, concerning the truth of petitions to references, and witnesses taken and received and their submissions published, and your letters and , equally, the apostolic ones, concerning too the commission of the said favours of St. Nicholas of Galway town ‘s holy collegiate, on behalf of the said warden and vicars and all that has been rightly and carefully shown to us, after discussion and examination, we have discovered and learned that it will be warmly approved that the said Maurice, Ado and Roderick – i n the said rectory and vicarages – have disturbed and troubled – by their action – the said warden and vicars whereby they may be able to gather in less crops, rewards and profits for the said rectory and vicarage, and they themselves renewed the appeal from the beloved son, Mylo O’Kennewan, placed through the warden and vicars, and tried to turn the fruits, returns and crops of the said rectory and vicarage (as) to their own, to the great disadvantage of the said warden and vicars and the holy collegiate of St. Nicholas.
And for that reason, we- having called on the name of the Most High, from whose countenance comes proper judgement and whose eyes see justice – affirm the said opinion by the apostolic authority that we discharge in this part, and we pronounce this – through those present – that what has been so stated is and will be truly null and void.
Wherefore, to you the most reverend Lord and the Lord William archbishop of Tuam, we advise by the virtue of holy obedience and, in advising, we order that- having read the current letters – you advise the said Maurice, Odo and Roderick by our authority and, indeed truly, by apostolic (authority) that – within 6 days – following the prompt reading of these current (letters) they refrain from the said interference and disturbance, truly and effectively; by yours and, truly, our apostolic letters those who have not attained this (order) within the 6 said days once elapsed, of which 2 for the first, 2 remaining for the 2nd, indeed 2 days for the third, we assign those who have been found guilty in this with a final canonical warning, by our apostolic authority, with their defenders, advisers and agents, consigned to the bond of greater excommunication and those whom we consign – by that same apostolic authority – are and will be so sentenced, and (this) we declare through those present.
Nonetheless, to each and all of you content in health, we advise – under proper canon law and – on so advising – we order that – in so far as the said disturbers and mischief makers of the warden and vicars in the said rectory and vicarages, with their agents, defenders and advisers have been excommunicated from all Sundays and festive days, by greater excommunication – you should announce this publicly and, from whomever or whatever remains, you should work on this, by announcing in the country and by lighting candles.
And moreover, to you the most reverend Lord and to lord William, archbishop of Tuam, to whom we have judged to defer an account of the papal respect of the office, we instruct and, in instructing we urge that you reverently and humbly undertake this our apostolic mission, and that you have it undertaken by your own also, that you humbly obey and reply to him and his rules and instructions within six days from the time of this being presented and shown to you, and that you have it properly replied to by your own, for whom we assign to you 6 days, 2 for the first, two left for the second, and two for the third with a final clerical warning .
And if you have not obeyed our warnings, truly apostolic, within six days, we shall have you r banned from entering Church, and if, through a further 6 days, following the immediate 6 previous days, you have stubbornly not obeyed, we will have you banned from every papal function and if that persists … through a further 6 days, following the immediate 12 previous days, you have stubbornly not refrained, we will have you suspended from all Church duty, by apostolic authority, and we note this through those present, each and every one, by the bond of greater excommunication.
These things have been done in the church parish of Ballypatrick, diocese of Clonfert, 16 Dec., A.D. 1497.
And indeed I, Matthew Lorean of the diocese of Enachdun, by imperial authority, (being) a public judge, have faithfully taken down and copied the above – written apostolic process through 2 suitable men, namely through the magistrate David O’Langan, cannon of the holy cathedral of Clonfert, and master/lord Maurice O’Finn, presbyter of the same diocese, by order and request of the said judges, word for word into this public manner/form, and I have affirmed these things by my usual and customary signatures, along with the (mark of the) seal of the above – stated judges, (after I) have been asked and required in the faith and trust of each and every (one who) investigated .