Thomas Hussey

(1746—1803) Roman Catholic bishop of Waterford and Lismore

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(1746–1803), first president of Maynooth College and Catholic bishop of Waterford 1796–1803. Born in Co. Meath, educated in Seville and Salamanca, he was ordained priest in 1769. While chaplain to the Spanish embassy in London he built up a network of contacts which included Edmund Burke, and was a member of the Royal Society of London. With Burke's son Richard, he worked as an agent for the Catholic Committee, winning the trust of the London government. He also negotiated the setting up of Maynooth College. Canny and capable in diplomatic affairs, he found it difficult to adjust on his return to Ireland. He was rarely in Maynooth and clashed with the government over his defence of the right of Catholic troops to absent themselves from Anglican services. A pastoral letter in 1797, with its criticism of the established church and its reference to ‘the remnants of old oppression’, also strained relations. Politically conservative, Hussey advocated Catholic emancipation but was hostile to the French Revolution.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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