Walsh, Peter

, an Irish catholic of great learning liberality, was born at Moortown, in the county of Kildare, irr the early part of the seventeenth century. He was a friar of the Franciscan order, and was professor of divinity at Louvain, where he probably was educated. Returning to Ireland, he went to Kilkenny at the time the pope’s nuncio was there, but was not of his party. On the contrary, he made many endeavours to persuade the Ifish Roman catholics to the same loyal sentiments as he himself held; and after the restoration of Charles II. when he was procurator of the Romish clergy of Ireland, he persuaded many of them to subscribe a recognition or remonstrance, not only of their loyalty to the king, but of their disclaiming the pope’s supremacy in temporals. This drew upon him the resentment of many of his brethren, and particularly of the court of Rome. Such hopes, however, were entertained of this important change in the sentiment! of the Irish catholics, that in 1666 the court thought proper to permit their clergy to meet openly in synod at Dublin, in order, as was expected, to authorize the above remonstrance by a general act of the whole body. But this assembly broke up without coming to any decision, and the duke of Ormond, then lord lieutenant, considered it necessary to proceed against those who refused to give any security for their allegiance. But when, in 1670, lord Berkeley succeeded him, by some secret orders or intrigues of the popishly-affected party in England, Walsh, and those who had signed the remonstrance, were so persecuted as to be obliged to leave the country. Walsh came to London, and by the interest of the duke of Ormond, got an annuity of lOOl. for life. He had lived on terms of intimacy with the duke for nearly forty years, and had never touched much on the subject of religion until the reign of James II. when he made some overtures to gain the duke over to popery; but desisted when he found his arguments had no effect. Dodwell took some pains, although in vain, to convert Walsh, hoping, that as they had cast him out of the communion of the church of Rome, he might be persuaded to embrace that of the church of England. Walsh died in September 1687, and was buried in St. Dun* stan’s in the West.

Burnet says of him: “He was the honestest and learnedest man I ever knew among them, and was indeed, in all points of controversy, almost wholly a protestant. But he had | senses of his own, by which he excused his adheiing to the church of Rome, and maintained, that with these he could continue in the communion of that church without sin, &c. He was an honest and able man, much practised in intrigues, and knew well the methods of the Jesuits and other missionaries.

He wrote various controversial pamphlets, chiefly in vindication of his conduct as to the above remonstrance; and a history of it, under the title of “The History, &c. df the Loyal Formulary, or Irish Remonstrance, in 1661,1674, folio. He wrote also “A Prospect of the State of Ireland from the year of the world 1756 to the year of Christ 1652,” Lond. 1682, 8vo; but this he brought down no farther than 1172, his style and tedious digressions not being relished. 1


Harris’s Ware. Buruel’s Own Times. Brokesby’a Life of Dodwill.