Price, Arthur (DNB00)

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PRICE, ARTHUR (d. 1752), archbishop of Cashel, was son of Samuel Price, who was vicar of Straffan in the diocese of Dublin, became prebendary of Kildare in 1672 (Cotton, Fasti, ii. 263), and was created B.A. of Dublin speciali gratiâ in 1692. Arthur Price was elected scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1698, and graduated B.A. in 1700, and D.D. on 16 April 1724. Taking holy orders, he was successively curate of St. Werburgh's Church, Dublin, and vicar of Cellbridge, Feighcullen, and Ballybraine. On 4 April 1705 he was named prebendary of Donadea, Kildare, on 19 June 1715 canon and archdeacon of Kildare, and on 31 March 1721 dean of Ferns and Leighlin. In 1723 he also received the benefice of Louth in Armagh. On 1 May 1724 he was appointed to the see of Clonfert. Price's promotion was ‘most highly provoking’ to the Irish chancellor (Lord Middleton); ‘and the first news of it made him swear’ (Bishop Downes to Bishop Nicholson, 24 March 1724, ap.Mant). From Clonfert Price was translated on 26 May 1730 to the see of Ferns and Leighlin, and on 2 Feb. 1734 to that of Meath. For the last piece of promotion Price was recommended on the ground of his ‘firm attachment to his majesty,’ his ‘great service in the House of Lords,’ and his devotion to ‘the English interest.’ While bishop of Meath he began to build an episcopal residence at Ardbraccan, but he left the diocese before it was completed, and the design was abandoned. In May 1744 he succeeded Bolton as archbishop of Cashel. Three years later he was made vice-chancellor of Dublin University. At Cashel he dismantled the old cathedral, which was built on a steep rock, and was rapidly falling into decay, and used as his cathedral St. John's parish church; these proceedings were authorised by an act of council (10 July 1749). The old cathedral having been declared incapable of restoration, a new edifice was eventually completed upon the site of St. John's in 1783. Price died in 1752, and was buried in St. John's churchyard, Cashel.

[Ware's Works concerning Ireland, ed. Harris, i. 164, 452, 645; Cat. Dublin Graduates; Lewis's Typograph. Dict. of Ireland; Cotton's Fasti Eccles. Hibernicæ, i. 95, 170 n., ii. 247, 252, 263, 351, iii. 107, iv. 169; Mant's Hist. of the Irish Church, ii. 397, 399, 504, 529, 580, 584.]

G. Le G. N.