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Mathew, Theobald

Mathew, Theobald (1790–1856). Irish temperance apostle. Born in Tipperary, educated at Maynooth, he joined the Capuchins in Dublin. After ordination (1814) he took charge of the Little Friary among the destitute in Cork, where he opened free schools and founded a charitable society in St Vincent de Paul's tradition. Asked by Cork nonconformists to head their temperance movement (1838), he signed the pledge. Within nine months 250,000 followed him. As provincial of his order (1822–51), he addressed temperance meetings throughout Ireland. Travelling to London (1843), he held temperance meetings, met Peel, won public subscriptions, and warned the government of the incipient potato famine. His nomination by Cork clergy as their bishop was not ratified by the Vatican. He travelled in America preaching to catholic congregations and addressing temperance meetings (1849–51) despite ill-health, which caused him to refuse a bishopric on his return. He died at Queenstown.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Mathew, Theobald

Theobald Mathew, 1790–1856, Irish social worker and temperance leader, a Capuchin priest. Father Mathew spent many years working for the welfare and education of the poor. In 1838 he took a pledge of total abstinence and thereafter devoted himself to the cause of temperance, campaigning in Ireland, England, and North America.

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