John Troy (bishop)

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John Thomas Troy (10 May 1739, County Dublin – 11 May 1823, Dublin) was an Irish Dominican and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin.

John Thomas Troy
Archbishop of Dublin
Primate of Ireland
Dublin St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral North Aisle Monument John Thomas Troy by Peter Turnerelli 1823 2012 09 28.jpg
Recumbent effigy of John Troy in the north aisle of St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, sculpted by Peter Turnerelli in 1823[1]
ChurchRoman Catholic
In office1786 - 1823
PredecessorJohn Carpenter
SuccessorDaniel Murray
Personal details
Born10 May 1739
near Porterstown, Dublin, Ireland
Died11 May 1823
Dublin, Ireland
Previous postNone



Of Anglo-Norman stock, Troy was born at Annefield House, near Porterstown[2] and received his early education at Liffey Street, Dublin. At the age of sixteen he joined the Dominican Order and proceeded to their house of St. Clement, at Rome. Amenable to discipline, diligent in his studies, and talented, he made rapid progress, and while still a student was appointed to give lectures in philosophy. Subsequently, he professed theology and canon law, and finally became prior of the convent in 1772.[3]

Bishop of OssoryEdit

When the Bishop of Ossory died, in 1776, the priests of the diocese recommended one of their number, Father Molloy, to Rome for the vacant see, and the recommendation was endorsed by many of the Irish bishops. But Dr Troy, who was held in high esteem at Rome, had already been appointed Bishop of Ossory. He was consecrated at Louvain in June 1777 by the nuncio to Flanders Archbishop (later Cardinal) Ignazio Busca.[4]

Troy arrived at Kilkenny in August 1777 and for the next nine years he laboured hard for the spiritual interests of his diocese. Maddened by excessive rents and tithes, and harried by grinding tithe-proctors, farmers had banded themselves together in a secret society called the "Whiteboys", so called from the white smocks the members wore in their nightly raids. They attacked landlords, bailiffs, agents, and tithe-proctors, and often committed fearful outrages. Bishop Troy frequently and sternly denounced them, declaring any who joined the secret society to be excommunicated.[5] Bishop Troy had no sympathy with oppression, but he had lived long in Rome, and did not fully appreciate the extent of misery in which the poor Catholic masses lived.[3]

He was ready to condemn all violent efforts for reform, and had no hesitation in denouncing not only all secret societies in Ireland, but also "our American fellow-subjects, seduced by specious notions of liberty". This made him unpopular. He was zealous in correcting abuses in his diocese and in promoting education. So well was this recognized at Rome that in 1781, in consequence of some serious troubles which had arisen between the primate and his clergy, Dr. Troy was appointed Administrator of Armagh. This office he held till 1782.

Archbishop of DublinEdit

Upon the death of Archbishop John Carpenter of Dublin) in 1786, Bishop Troy was appointed to succeed him. At Dublin, as at Ossory, he showed his zeal for religion, his sympathy with authority, and his distrust of popular movements, especially when violent means were employed. Though his circular, issued on 15 March 1792, disavowing the authority of any ecclesiastical power to absolve subjects from their allegiance, is believed to have influenced the concession in that year of the relaxations embodied in Langrishe's Act, and the extension of the franchise to Roman Catholics in 1793, he declined to associate himself with John Keogh and other Catholic reformers in their demands for further relief.[5]

In 1798 he issued a sentence of excommunication against all those of his flock who would join the rebellion. In a pastoral read in all the churches, he spoke of the clerical organisers of the rebellion as ‘vile prevaricators and apostates from religion, loyalty, honour, and decorum, degrading their sacred character, and the most criminal and detestable of rebellious and seditious culprits.’ Troy's action at this time appears to have endangered his life; but the influence he had acquired with the government enabled him to moderate the repressive measures taken by the authorities. Believing that Catholic emancipation could never be conceded by the Irish parliament, he was one of the most determined supporters of the Union.[3]

In 1799 he agreed to accept the veto of government, on the appointment of Irish bishops; and even when the other bishops, feeling they had been tricked by Pitt and Castlereagh, repudiated the veto, Dr Troy continued to favour it. However, in 1809, he recommended Daniel Murray be appointed his coadjutor. Murray was an uncompromising opponent of the "veto", and while Troy's coadjutor, made trips in 1814 and 1815 to Rome concerning the controversy.[6]

In April 1815, Archbishop Troy laid the foundation of St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Marlborough Street, Dublin, but did not live to see it completed.[7] Archbishop Troy died on 11 May 1823 at the age of eighty-four. He died very poor, leaving scarce sufficient to pay for his burial, and was interred in the unfinished St Mary's Pro-Cathedral.[4]

In the administration of his diocese and in his private life, Troy was eminently zealous, pious, and charitable; and although his cordial relations with the government exposed him to many suspicions and accusations, there is no ground for questioning the integrity of his motives and conduct, which were inspired by his views of the interest of his church. He fully shared that distrust of revolutionary tendencies in civil affairs which dominated the ecclesiastical policy of the Vatican throughout his career.[5] John D'Alton, speaks of Troy as " a truly learned and zealous pastor, … a lover and promoter of the most pure Christian morality, vigilant in the discharge of his duty, and devotedly solicitous not only for the spiritual good of those consigned to his charge, but also for the public quiet of the state."[8]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Brady, Episcopal Succession (Rome, 1876)
  • William Carrigan, History of the Diocese of Ossory (Dublin, 1905)
  • Wyse, History of the Catholic Association (London, 1829)
  • Moran, Spicilegium Ossoriense (Dublin, 1874–84)


  1. ^ Casey, Christine (2005). The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-300-10923-8.
  2. ^ Purcell, Mary. "Archbishop John Thomas Troy (1739-1823)", Dublin Historical Record, vol. 31, no. 2, 1978, pp. 42–52. JSTOR
  3. ^ a b c D'Alton, Edward. "John Thomas Troy." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 4 Feb. 2018
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b c Falkiner, Cæsar Litton. "Troy, John Thomas", Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Vol. 57
  6. ^ "Daniel Murray (1768-1852", Collections, Emory University
  7. ^ Webb, Alfred. "Troy, John Thomas", A Compendium of Irish Biography, Dublin: M. H. Gill & son.
  8. ^ D'Alton, John. Archbishops of Dublin, Memoirs of:, Dublin, 1838.


  • D'Alton, History of the Archbishops of Dublin (Dublin, 1838)
  • McNally, Vincent J., Reform, Revolution and Reaction: Archbishop John Thomas Troy and the Catholic Church in Ireland 1787-1817. London: University Press of America, 1995, p. 10

External linksEdit