Religion and reformation in the Tudor diocese of Meath

Brendan Scott

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ISBN: 1-85182-995-4
May 2006. 176pp.

This book charts the attempts made to introduce religious reforms into the diocese of Meath during the 16th century. The study opens with an investigation of the towns of Meath and a discussion of religion in the pre-reformation period. This is followed by a narrative of the reform initiatives introduced into the diocese and a discussion of the careers of three Tudor bishops there, which demonstrate the failure of religious reform in 16th-century Meath. Another chapter discusses the financial state of the Tudor church in Meath and the effect which this had on the suitability of the clergy there.

The dissolution of the monasteries is investigated, along with the covert resistance which some of the dissolution commissions encountered and the fate of the dispossessed religious. The dissolutions freed up a vast amount of property which lay in the gift of the crown to distribute among the gentry families of the Pale. The effect which this had upon the fortunes and religious outlook of both the nobility and gentry in 16th and early 17th-century Meath is examined in the final chapter.

Brendan Scott holds a PhD in history from NUI, Galway. He lectures part-time for the Adult Education Centre, University College Dublin, and is assistant editor of the Breifne Historical Journal.