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Derry, diocese of

Derry, diocese of. Derry had been a bishopric from 1254 and was continued at the Reformation as a diocese of the Church of Ireland. Among the more remarkable bishops was Frederick Hervey (1768–1803), who succeeded as earl of Bristol in 1779 and played a prominent part in the agitation for parliamentary reform in the 1780s. He was followed by two other noble bishops, sons of Viscount Northland and Baron Ponsonby, who held the see until 1853. The bishopric of Raphoe to the West was joined to Derry in 1834. The medieval cathedral was destroyed by an explosion in 1566. The new cathedral, dedicated to St Columba, was built between 1628 and 1633 and extensively remodelled in Victorian times. The spire was damaged in the siege of 1689; a replacement in 1776 proved too heavy; the third spire, added in 1822, survives. St Eugene's Roman catholic cathedral was completed in 1873 and a spire added in 1903.

J. A. Cannon

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