(c.1523–1622), a long-serving prelate noted for his flexible religious principles. As a Franciscan friar he was appointed by the papacy to the sees of Down and Connor in 1565. In 1570, however, he conformed to the established church and was appointed bishop of Clogher by Queen Elizabeth. The following year he was made archbishop of Cashel, which he held with the diocese of Emly till his death. During the periods 1582–9 and 1592–1608 he also administered the sees of Waterford and Lismore. Magrath became an influential political figure during the latter part of Elizabeth's reign, and was an important mediator between the Gaelic world and the Dublin government. By the early 17th century, however, he was viewed with suspicion by the leading English-born bishops of the Church of Ireland and was accused of pluralism, rampant nepotism, and widespread alienation of see property. Though he acquired two further dioceses, Achonry in 1607 and Killala in 1613, he had by this stage little influence in either church or state.
From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: European History.