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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > B > William Maziere Brady

William Maziere Brady

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Ecclesiastical writer, b. in Dublin, 8 January, 1825; d. in Rome, 19 March, 1894. He was nephew of Sir Maziere Brady, Bart., Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and youngest son of Sir Nicholas W. Brady who, whilst Lord Mayor of Dublin, was knighted by George IV during his visit to that city. William Maziere Brady entered Trinity college, Dublin, in 1842, received the Degree of B.A. in 1848, B. D. in 1858, and D. D. in 1863. In 1848 he was appointed Anglican curate of Maynooth and in 1849, curate of Kilkeedy, Limerick. In 1851 he became curate of St. Dolough's, Dublin, and in the same year Rector of Farrahy, County Cork. In this year, also, he married a lineal descendant, on the maternal side, of the famous Protestant divine, Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Connor. Dr. Brady acted as chaplain to several successive viceroys, and in 1681 became Vicar of Clonfert, County Cork. While here he published in three volumes the "Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, Cloyne and Ross" (Dublin, 1863), which he compiled from diocesan and parish registries and manuscripts in the principal libraries and public offices of Oxford, Dublin, and London, and from private and family papers. These "Records" are mainly those of the Protestant Diocese of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, but will no doubt be of great service to the future Catholic historians of these dioceses.

Dr. Brady published several works in favour of the disestablishment of the Irish Protestant Church, such as: "Remarks on the Irish Church Temporalities" (1865); "Facts or Fiction; The alleged Conversion of the Irish Bishops to the Reformed Religion at the Accession of Queen Elizabeth and the Assumed Descent of the Present Established Hierarchy from the Ancient Irish Church Disproved" (1866), which went through five editions; "State Papers concerning the Irish Church in the time of Queen Elizabeth" (1868); "Some Remarks on the Irish Church Bill" (1869); and "Essays on the English State Church in Ireland" (1869). On the Irish Church question he also contributed numerous letters to the newspaper press, and articles to "Fraser's" and "The Contemporary", many of which were subsequently reprinted in pamphlet or book form. Some interesting articles from his pen appeared in the "Catholic World" on "Ireland's Mission" (May, 1870); "The Ancient Irish Churches" (July, 1870), written while yet a Protestant, and "Pius IX and Mr. Gladstone's Misrepresentations" (May, 1875). His only work of a purely secular character is "The McGillicuddy Papers; a Selection from the Family Archives of the McGillicuddy of the Reeks, with an Introductory Memoir" (1867).

When the Church Disestablishment Act was passed, Dr. Brady went to Rome, where he examined the Vatican archives for information touching the ecclesiastical affairs of England, Ireland, and Scotland. He shortly resigned his benefices as Vicar of Donoughpatrick, and Rector of Kilbery, Meath, to which he had been promoted from Cork, and in May, 1873, was received into the Catholic Church by Monsignor, afterwards Archbishop, Kirby, Rector of the Irish College at Rome. His Vatican researches led to the publication of two volumes on "Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland, A.D. 1400 to 1875, with Appointments to Monasteries, and Extracts from Manuscripts in Public and Private Libraries in Rome, Florence, Bologna, Vienna, and Paris" (Rome, 1876-77). He also brought out, "Annals of the Catholic Hierarchy in England and Scotland, A.D. 1585-1876, with a Dissertation on Anglican Orders" (Rome, 1877; London, 1883). During his stay in Rome, Dr. Brady acted for a long time as correspondent of the London "Tablet", and issued a pamphlet on "The Pope's Anti-Parnellite Circular" (London, 1883). The last of his works was the "Anglo-Roman Papers", published in 1890. He had a large share in the political controversies of the day and corresponded much with Gladstone and other eminent statesmen. He died of apoplexy and was buried in the Campo Verrano Cemetery in Rome. His grave is marked with an Irish Cross on white marble, bearing the inscription, "In memory of William Maziere Brady, Cavalier of the Order of Pius IX, and Private Chamberlain to His Holiness Pius IX and His Holiness Leo XIII. Born in Dublin, January 8, 1825, died in Rome, March 19, 1894".


Irish Celts (Detroit, 1884); Journal of the Cork Archæological Society, 2nd series, vol. IX, No. 59 (July-September, 1903), s.v. Seven Clerical Worthies; ALLIBONE, Dict. of Authors, Suppl., I.

About this page

APA citation. Spillane, E. (1907). William Maziere Brady. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Spillane, Edward. "William Maziere Brady." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Theodore L.P. Rego.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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