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Tanner, Edmund


Bishop of Cork and Cloyne, Ireland; b. c. 1526; d. Ossory, Ireland, June 4, 1579. It seems he was already a priest when at 39 he entered the Society of Jesus. He studied for a year in Rome, and in 1567 was sent with Father Rochfort to the University of Dillingen, where he took his D.D. Because of great illness he was forced to leave the Society. On Nov. 5, 1574, he was appointed bishop of Cork and Cloyne, and made commissary apostolic as well. This latter function gave him wide faculties in the Dioceses of Cashel and Dublin and in Dublin's suffragan sees in the absence of their own ordinaries. He set out from Rome in May 1575 to face a situation of extreme difficulty and danger; government correspondence is full of the reports of spies set to watch the priests. Tanner and his chaplain were arrested by Sir William Drury, President of Munster, and lodged in Clonmel jail, where Tanner was visited by a schismatic bishop, probably Patrick Walsh of Waterford and Lismore, whom Tanner reconciled to the Church. Released shortly afterward, "he suffered great penury and want as well in prison as out of it" and died exhausted by labor and ill-health.

Bibliography: e. hogan Distinguished Irishmen of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (London 1894) 1719, passim. w. p. burke, History of Clonmel (Waterford 1907) 3637.

[j. j. meagher]

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