Walsh, William

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Chaplain to Cardinal Pole, bishop of Meath; b. Dunboyne, County Meath, Ireland, 1512; d. Alcalà de Henares, Spain, Jan. 4, 1577. Walsh joined the cistercians at Bective in Meath. After receiving a doctorate in divinity at Oxford, Walsh was forced to flee abroad because of Thomas Cromwell's suppression of Bective in 1537. He was appointed chaplain to Cardinal Reginald pole in Rome, and obtained a papal dispensation allowing him to transfer to the augustinians. Pole as papal legate appointed Walsh bishop of Meath (1554) when Catholicism was restored under mary i. The bishop served on several ecclesiastical commissions during Mary's reign. At elizabeth i's accession (1558) Walsh refused the oath of supremacy and opposed the introduction of the Elizabethan liturgy and the book of common prayer. He was placed in custody, and he and his episcopal status were challenged; the case was brought to Rome where Pole's earlier use of legatine power to appoint bishops was declared void. After being reappointed by pius iv in 1564, Walsh was imprisoned in Dublin Castle (156572) by royal commission. He managed to escape to France and then to Spain, where he served as suffragan to the archbishop of Toledo.

See Also: irish confessors and martyrs.

Bibliography: a. cogan, The Diocese of Meath , 3 v. (Dublin 186270). w. m. brady, The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland, A.D. 14001875, 3 v. (Rome 187677).

[m. b. maccurtain]