Friday, 13 December 2019

James Ussher DD

A voluminous pedigree of this family, and all the various branches, compiled by Sir William Betham, Ulster King-of-Arms, commences with

ARLAND USSHER, Bailiff of Dublin, 1460-2, Mayor of Dublin, 1469-71, who married firstly, Alsone Taylor, by whom he had a daughter, Margaret, and an only son, Thomas.

He wedded secondly, Anne Berford, and had further issue,
JOHN, of whom we treat;
Robert, dsp;
Philip, dsp;
Christopher, ancestor of USSHER OF EASTWELL.
The eldest son,

JOHN USSHER, Sheriff of Dublin, 1524, espoused, in 1485, Johanna, daughter of William Foster, of Killeigh, and had issue,
THOMAS, of whom hereafter.
The younger son,

THOMAS USSHER, married Margery, daughter of Henry Geydon, and had issue,
Henry (Most Rev), Lord Archbishop of Armagh;
ARLAND, of whom hereafter;
Rose; Ales; Katherine.
The third son,

ARLAND USSHER (c1552-98), wedded Margaret, daughter of James Stanihurst, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Sarah; Ellinor; Margaret; Mabel; Anne.
The eldest son,

THE MOST REV AND RT HON DR JAMES USSHER (1581-1656), Lord Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, espoused, in 1614, Phœbe, daughter of the Rev Luke Challoner, and had issue, an only child, ELIZABETH (1620-93).

At the age of 13 James Ussher entered the newly founded Trinity College in Dublin and had a distinguished academic career.

He was ordained by his uncle, Dr Henry Ussher (Archbishop of Armagh), in 1602.

Dr James Ussher,  Photo Credit: The National Trust

During the Irish rebellion of 1641 most of Archbishop Ussher's property was destroyed.

His Grace later lived in London and Oxford, and with his only daughter Elizabeth (wife of Sir Timothy Tyrrell) in Wales.

For a short time, while the Dean of Westminster was imprisoned in the Tower of London, Dr Ussher used the Deanery at Westminster.

He attended the funeral of CHARLES I at Oxford, but later also found favour with Cromwell.

Oliver Cromwell, in fact, ordered his burial in the Chapel of St Paul in Westminster Abbey, and paid the funeral expenses.

It is thought that this was the only occasion at which the Anglican funeral service was read in the Abbey during the Commonwealth period.

The present Irish marble gravestone in the Abbey, with brass lettering, was erected until 1904, and the Latin inscription was written by Dr Gwynn (Regius Professor at Trinity College) and others.

It can be translated thus:
In pious memory of JAMES USSHER who was born in Dublin in 1581, entered among the first students of Trinity College, promoted to the archiepiscopal see of Armagh, 
Primate of all Ireland, the hundredth heir of St Patrick the apostle of Ireland, historian, critic, theologian, most learned among the holy, most holy among the learned, 
Exiled from his own in this city of Westminster, he fell asleep in Christ in 1656. 
He was expelled from his sacred see and country by those same seditions which went on to grant him burial in this church among the most honoured. 
This stone was placed by George Salmon, Provost of the same college, 1904.
Ussher's coat-of-arms appears at the base of the stone, surmounted by a mitre.

This shows the arms of the See of Armagh impaling Ussher (azure, a chevron ermine between three batons, or).

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