John Crozier (archbishop of Armagh)

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Dr John Crozier

D.D., M.R.I.A.
Lord Primate of All Ireland
Lord Archbishop of Armagh
John Baptist Crozier.jpg
Church Church of Ireland
Diocese Armagh
Elected2 February 1911
In office1911-1920
Predecessor William Alexander
Successor Charles D'Arcy
Consecration30 November 1897
by  Joseph Peacocke
Personal details
Born(1853-04-08)8 April 1853
Ballyhaise, County Cavan, Ireland
Died11 April 1920(1920-04-11) (aged 67)
Armagh, County Armagh, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Denomination Anglican
ParentsBaptist Barton Crozier & Catherine Mary Bolland
SpouseAlice Isabella Hackett
Previous post Lord Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin (1897-1907)
Lord Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore (1907-1911)
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin

John Baptist Crozier, MRIA (8 April 1853 – 11 April 1920), was a Church of Ireland clergyman who served as Lord Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin (1897–1907); Lord Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore (1907–1911); and Lord Primate of All Ireland and Lord Archbishop of Armagh (1911–1920).


Early life and Crozier family of Gortra House

John Baptist Crozier, eldest son of The Reverend Baptist Barton Crozier (1807-1878) and Catherine Mary Crozier (née Bolland) of Rockview House, Knockfad, Ballyhaise, was born in the townland of Knockfad, Ballyhaise, County Cavan, on 8 April 1853. A tree called 'The Primate’s Tree' still flourishes in the garden at Rockview House. The Crozier family were originally from Gortraw (or Gortra), a townland between Magheraveely and Newtownbutler in the south-east of County Fermanagh. [1] Several members of the Crozier family are buried in the Church of Ireland cemetery in Magheraveely.

Crozier was baptised in Casletara Parish Church, Ballyhaise, on 24 June 1853 by curate Arthur Moneypenny. His paternal grandfather was John Crozier ( c. 1765-1814) of Gortra House, between Magheraveely and Newtownbutler in the south-east of County Fermanagh, and his mother was the daughter of John Boland, 54 Blessington Street, Dublin, by Catherine his wife, daughter of John Howard of Bray. The future Archbishop's parents were married at St. George's Church on Hardwicke Place in Dublin on 15 February 1851. Archbishop Crozier's paternal uncle was Captain John Crozier (1791-1852), also of Gortra House, an officer in the Fermanagh Militia and a Justice of the Peace.


He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, with a B.A. degree in 1872, a M.A. degree in 1875, and a B.D. and D.D. degree in 1888. [2] He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy from 1916. He was a keen horseman, Vice-President of the Holywood Cricket Club and one of the earliest members of The Wanderers Football Club of Dublin.

His extensive ministry began in 1876 in St Stephen, Belfast. Successive appointments followed to St Anne's Belfast (1877), Holyhood, County Down (1880), Dunsford in Down Cathedral (1889), St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin (1896), and as chaplain to Bishop Knox (1885), to the Lord Bishop of Down (Welland) (1892) and to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1891).

He was elected Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin on 20 October 1897 and consecrated in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin on 30 November 1897.

He translated to the Diocese of Down, Connor and Dromore in 1907, and on 2 February 1911 was elected, unanimously by the house of Bishops, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. He was enthroned in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, on 17 March 1911 in succession to Archbishop Alexander who had resigned due to ill-health. A special train brought hundreds of people from Belfast for the ceremony, which was so crowded that several hundreds had to be refused admission.

His family

He married on 12 September 1877, Alice Isabella Hackett, third daughter of John and Jane Sophia Hackett of St James, Bray, and they had four children. [3]

Their eldest son, Major-General Baptist Barton Crozier, who was born on 17 July 1878, married Ethel, the eldest daughter of William Humphries of Ballyhaise House, and they had a daughter, Cynthia, and a son, Ronald Baptist Barton Crozier. Major-General Crozier won numerous distinctions in the European war, including Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy and Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

Second son John Winthrop, who was born on 5 December 1879, was elected Lord Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry on 23 November 1938 and consecrated in Armagh Cathedral on 2 February 1939. He married on 1 September 1910 Bertha Elizabeth McCall from Banbridge, County Down. He retired in 1957 and died 15 February 1966.

Third son was Mervyn Packenham, born on 20 July 1881. He died at the Archbishop's Palace, Armagh, on 18 December 1914 and is buried at Armagh Cathedral.

Only daughter was Alice Maude who was born on 7 May 1884 and who married on 16 June 1908 Charles Chenevix Coote, son of Sir Algernon Coote, 12th Bt. of Ballyfin, County Laois, and had four children: Cecilla Maud, Mervyn Charles, Dermot Chenevix and Patricia Aileen.


Crozier died on 11 April 1920 at the Archbishop's Palace in Armagh and he is buried in the grounds of Armagh Cathedral, beside his wife, Alice Isabella, who died on 29 February 1928 at the residence of her daughter, Alice Coote of Grosvenor Place, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Their youngest son, Mervyn Packenham, who had died earlier in 1914, is buried in the same grave.


His memory is commemorated on a stained glass window in Armagh Cathedral, another window commissioned by him commemorates his son Mervyn. There is also a Memorial Plaque in Holywood Church.

In addition, portraits currently hang in the See House in Armagh and the Bishop's Palace in Kilkenny.

Arms granted by Ulster Office of Arms

In 1893, separate Arms were granted to this branch of the family having been used by them since 1704. [3]

Shield:- Or, on a cross, between four fleur de lys azure, a Crozier of the field

Crest:- A demi eagle displayed proper, charged on the beast with cross pattee or,

Motto:- Vi et virtute


  1. Robert Bell, The Book of Ulster Surnames, p. 46 (where Newtownbutler is erroneously given as being in County Armagh). The Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 2003.
  2. Entry on C page of Dictionary of Ulster Biography.
  3. 1 2 Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1899). Armorial Families: A Directory of Some Gentlemen of Coat-Armour. T.C. & E.C. Jack. p.  216 . Retrieved 7 June 2017.
Church of Ireland titles
Preceded by
Thomas Welland
Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin
Succeeded by
Charles D'Arcy
Preceded by
William Walsh
Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore
Preceded by
William Alexander
Archbishop of Armagh

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