John Gregg (archbishop of Armagh)

Last updated

The Most Reverend

John Gregg

Archbishop of Armagh
Primate of All Ireland
Dr. R. Miller and John Gregg Archbishop of Dublin. (22571712226) (cropped).jpg
Church Church of Ireland
Diocese Armagh
Elected15 December 1938
In office1939–1959
Predecessor Godfrey Day
Successor James McCann
Consecration28 December 1915
by  John Bernard
Personal details
Born(1873-07-04)4 July 1873
Died2 May 1961(1961-05-02) (aged 87)
Nationality English
Denomination Anglican
Previous post(s) Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin (1915–1920)
Archbishop of Dublin (1920–1938)
Education Bedford School
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge

John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg CH (1873–1961) was a Church of Ireland clergyman, from 1915 Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin, in 1920 translated to become Archbishop of Dublin, and finally from 1939 until 1959 Archbishop of Armagh. He was also a theologian and historian. [1]



Gregg was born at North Cerney, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom on 4 July 1873, the son of Rev. John Robert Gregg, Vicar of St Nicholas, Deptford. [2] His elder sister, Hilda Gregg was a popular novelist. [3] The family was Anglo-Irish, and had produced many Church of Ireland clergy. Gregg's grandfather John Gregg and his uncle Robert Gregg had both served as Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and the latter as Archbishop of Armagh.

Gregg was educated at Bedford School, and at Christ's College, Cambridge, [2] where he was a classical scholar and won the Hulsean Prize Essay competition for 1896 with The Decian Persecution. [4] [5] Gregg graduated BA in 1895; MA 1898; BD 1910; BD (Dublin – ad eundem) 1911; DD (Dublin) 1913; DD (Cantab) – 1929, and was educated for the Anglican Ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

J. A. F. Gregg went on to be a notable church historian. He served as assistant curate of Ballymena under Charles d'Arcy 1896–1899, then as Curate at Cork Cathedral (1899–1906), and as Rector of Blackrock, Co. Cork (1906–1911), before being appointed in 1911 Archbishop King's Professor of Divinity in Trinity College, Dublin. [6] In 1915 he became Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin, in 1920 Archbishop of Dublin. He was accompanied by the Bishop of Cashel Robert Miller and by Protestant businessman Sir William Goulding "to see Michael Collins in May 1922, following the murders of thirteen Protestants in the Bandon valley, to ask whether the Protestant minority should stay on. Collins 'assured them that the government would maintain civil and religious liberty'." [7] [8] He was elected to Armagh in 1938, but refused the position largely on account of his wife's health, and Godfrey Day, Bishop of Ossory, was elected in his place. Following Day's death in 1939, Gregg was again elected Archbishop of Armagh which post he held until his retirement in 1959. He was married twice. First in 1902 to Anna Jennings (died 1945) by whom he had two sons and two daughters, and secondly, in 1947, to Lesley McEndoo, younger daughter of the then Dean of Armagh. [4] [9] His daughter, Barbara, was a novelist. [10] He was a supporter of the old Unionist order but encouraged his flock to make their peace with the post-1922 political realities in Ireland. [11]

According to R. B. McDowell –

"...the Church of Ireland was led (or some would say dominated) by John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, archbishop successively of Dublin and Armagh, who might fairly be described as an instinctive conservative with, however, an awareness of contemporary trends... Gregg's bearing suggested a prince of the church or at least a prelate of the establishment... he was a scholar and a man of affairs, his administrative flair being reinforced by dignity, decisiveness, and a sardonic wit... His theological sympathies were high church, though he had been brought up an evangelical and had an Anglo-Irish distaste for ceremonial exuberance. [12]

Selected publications



Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Narcissus Marsh</span> English clergyman

Narcissus Marsh was an English clergyman who was successively Church of Ireland Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, Archbishop of Cashel, Archbishop of Dublin and Archbishop of Armagh.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin</span>

The Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral is the senior cleric of the Protestant St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, elected by the chapter of the cathedral. The office was created in 1219 or 1220, by one of several charters granted to the cathedral by Archbishop Henry de Loundres between 1218 and 1220.

The Anglican Archbishop of Armagh is the ecclesiastical head of the Church of Ireland, bearing the title Primate of All Ireland, the metropolitan of the Province of Armagh and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Armagh.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Irish Catholic Martyrs</span> Irish Catholic men and women martyed by English monarch

Irish Catholic Martyrs were 24 Irish men and women who have been beatified or canonized for dying for their Catholic faith between 1537 and 1681 in Ireland. The canonisation of Oliver Plunkett in 1975 brought an awareness of the others who died for the Catholic faith in the 16th and 17th centuries. On 22 September 1992 Pope John Paul II proclaimed a representative group from Ireland as martyrs and beatified them.

Henry Robert McAdoo was a Church of Ireland clergyman.

George Otto Simms was an archbishop in the Church of Ireland, and a scholar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Crozier (archbishop of Armagh)</span>

John Baptist Crozier was a Church of Ireland bishop. He served as Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin (1897–1907), Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore (1907–1911), Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh (1911–1920).

James Thomas O'Brien (1792–1874), was an Irish clergyman. He was Church of Ireland Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin from 1842 to 1874.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles D'Arcy</span>

Charles Frederick D'Arcy was a Church of Ireland bishop. He was the Bishop of Clogher from 1903 to 1907 when he was translated to become Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin before then becoming the Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore. He was then briefly the Archbishop of Dublin and finally, from 1920 until his death, Archbishop of Armagh. He was also a theologian, author and botanist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Archbishop of Dublin</span>

The Archbishop of Dublin is an archepiscopal title which takes its name after Dublin, Ireland. Since the Reformation, there have been parallel apostolic successions to the title: one in the Catholic Church and the other in the Church of Ireland. The archbishop of each denomination also holds the title of Primate of Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dean of Belfast</span>

The Dean of Belfast is the senior official of St Anne's Cathedral in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland and head of the Chapter, its governing body.

Thomas Lancaster was an English Protestant clergyman, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh from 1568.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Gregg</span> 19th century Irish Anglican bishop

Robert Samuel Gregg was a 19th-century Anglican bishop.

John Gregg was an Anglican bishop.

John Godfrey Fitzmaurice Day was a 20th-century Church of Ireland Archbishop.

John Hartstonge or Hartstongue was an English-born prelate of the Church of Ireland who became Bishop of Ossory and then Bishop of Derry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Denis Nulty</span>

Denis Nulty KC*HS is an Irish Roman Catholic prelate who has served as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin since 2013.

A bishop's borough or bishop borough was a pocket borough in the Irish House of Commons where the patron who controlled the borough was the bishop for the time being of the diocese of the Church of Ireland whose cathedral was within the borough. All bishops were themselves ex officio members of the Irish House of Lords. Three bishop's boroughs were disenfranchised by the Acts of Union 1800, and their bishops at the time applied for the standard £15,000 compensation due to patrons of disenfranchised boroughs; however, the Commissioners rejected these claims, and awarded the money to the Board of First Fruits. Armagh City, the Archbishop of Armagh's borough, remained enfranchised at Westminster and under the archbishop's control until the Irish Reform Act 1832. Although Cashel and Tuam were originally archbishops' boroughs, they passed to lay patrons in the eighteenth century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Archdeacon of Ossory</span>

The Archdeacon of Ossory was a senior ecclesiastical officer within the Diocese of Ossory until 1835 and then within the Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin until 1977 when it was further enlarged to become the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory. As such he was responsible for the disciplinary supervision of the clergy within the Cloyne Diocese.


  1. S. J. Connolly (2007). Gregg, John Allen Fitzgerald. In Oxford Companion to Irish History.
  2. 1 2 "Gregg, John Allen Fitzgerald (GRG891JA)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. "Gregg, Hilda Caroline [pseud. Sydney C. Grier]". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/38927.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. 1 2 Seaver, George, John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, Archbishop (Faith Press, 1963), p. 10
  5. The Decian Persecution: Being the Hulsean Prize Essay for 1896 by John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg (W. Blackwood and sons, 1897), title details at
  6. Malden Richard (ed) (1920). Crockford's Clerical Directory for 1920 (51st edn). London: The Field Press. pp. 1127/8.
  7. Bury, Robin (2017). Buried Lives – The Protestants of Southern Ireland. Dublin: The History Press Ireland. pp. 25, 120. ISBN   978-184588-880-0.
  8. citing McDowell, R.B. (1997). Crisis and Decline – The Fate of the Southern Unionists. Dublin: The Lilliput Press. p. 135. ISBN   1-874675929.
  9. "Marriages." Times [London, England] 22 Jan. 1947: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 Mar. 2015. URL:
  10. Allen, Nicholas (2009). "Fitzgerald, Barbara (Barbara Fitzgerald Somerville)". In McGuire, James; Quinn, James (eds.). Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  11. Bourke, Angela, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (NYU Press, 2002 ISBN   0-8147-9907-8, ISBN   978-0-8147-9907-9) p. 124 at
  12. McDowell, Robert Brendan, The Church of Ireland, 1869–1969 p. 131 online at
  13. Clement I, P., Gregg, J. Allen Fitzgerald. (1899). The epistle of St. Clement: bishop of Rome. London: Society for promoting christian knowledge.
  14. Gregg, J. Allen Fitzgerald. (1909). The Wisdom of Solomon: in the Revised Version : with introduction and notes. Cambridge: University Press.
Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by Archbishop of Dublin
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Armagh
Succeeded by