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Boetius Egan



Egan, Boetius, Archbishop of Tuam, b. near Tuam, Ireland, 1734; d. near Tuam, 1798. He belonged to a family owning large estates in the County Galway. In the eighteenth century they were reduced in position and means. The penal laws made it then difficult for an Irish Catholic to receive Catholic education at home; nor do we know where young Egan received his early education. Neither is it certain at what age he went to France to be trained for the priesthood. This training he received at the College of Bordeaux, founded by Irish exiles and endowed by Anne of Austria in the seventeenth century. After his ordination he returned to Ireland and labored in the ministry for some years till, in 1785, he was appointed Bishop of Achonry. Two years later he became Archbishop of Tuam. Accustomed during his whole life in Ireland to the barest toleration of his religion, he joyfully welcomed the Catholic Relief Act of 1793, and hastened to express his gratitude to George III. When Maynooth College was founded in 1795, he was named one of its trustees. One of his last public acts was to sign an address to the Irish viceroy, Lord Camden, condemning the revolutionary associations then in Ireland. In this address George III was described as "the best of kings", and the Irish Parliament as "our enlightened legislature". It was strange language to use of such a king and of such a parliament.

E. A. D'Alton.








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