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Archbishop Crolly and the Development of Catholicism in Ulster, 1812-49

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 09, 1993


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by The Very Rev. Dr Ambrose MacAuley PP

"William Crolly was born at Ballykilbeg near Downpatrick on 8 June 1780. His family, which was of Anglo-Irish origin, had been fairly substantial farmers in that district for many years.

William was sent to a nearby school for primary education and thence to a classical school in Downpatrick, which was conducted by the Reverend James Neilson, the Presbyterian minister in the town.

Many Irish towns then boasted classical schools; as their name suggests they concentrated on Latin and Greek but also taught English, Mathematics and in some cases French and other subjects, and they prepared their pupils for university education or mercantile careers."

This article looks at the life and work of Archbishop Crolly, who lived from 1780 to 1849.