Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Brady, Hugh

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1417227Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement, Volume 1 — Brady, Hugh1901Albert Frederick Pollard

BRADY, HUGH (d. 1584), bishop of Meath, was an Irishman by birth, and a native of the diocese of Meath. He is said to have been born at Dunboyne by one account, and by another to have been son of Sir Denys O'Grady or O'Brady of Fassamore, co. Clare (Cogan, Diocese of Meath, ii. 17; Cotton, Fasti Eccl. Hib. iii. 116); but the son of Sir Denys appears to have been a different Hugh Brady (of. Cal. Fiants, Eliz. No. 3943). The bishop was on his appointment described by the English privy council as 'one Hugh Bradby [sic], one of that nation, a graduate in Oxford, being a professor of divinity, and well commended for his conversation' (Cal. Carew MSS. 1515-71, p. 359); but no one of that name appears in the university register. Brady was appointed bishop of Meath by patent dated 21 Oct. 1563. He arrived at Dublin on 3 Dec. 1563 following, and was consecrated on the 19th. He was almost immediately sworn of the Irish privy council, of which he remained an active member until his death (Hist. MSS. Comm. 16th Rep. App. iii. 130 sqq.) He was also energetic in defending his bishopric against the attacks of Shane O'Neill [q. v.] His conduct as bishop of Meath was warmly commended; the lord deputy, Sir Henry Sidney [q. v.], wrote that 'his preaching was good, his judgment grave, his life exemplary, and his hospitality well maintained' (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1509-73, p. 298). He made a parochial visitation of his diocese in 1575, accompanied Sidney on his western tour in the following year, and restored the ruined church of Kells in 1578; in 1568 the bishopric of Clonmacnoise was united to that of Meath by act of parliament.

Brady's virtues and abilities suggested his promotion to the archbishopric of Dublin in 1566, when Hugh Curwen [q. v.] was translated to Oxford. In April 1566 the lord deputy and Adam Loftus [q. v.], archbishop of Armagh, urged Brady's promotion, but soon afterwards Brady had a dispute with Loftus 'in the execution of the commission for causes ecclesiastical,' and in September Loftus wrote that Brady was 'unfit for the archbishopric. Eventually Loftus secured his own translation to Dublin, and Brady remained bishop of Meath until his death on 13 Feb. 1583-4. He was buried in Dunboyne parish church. His widow Alice, daughter of Lord-chancellor Robert Weston [q. v.], who afterwards married Sir Geoffrey Fenton [q. v.], was described as 'a very virtuous and religious lady, charged with many children' (ib. 1574-85, p. 511); the eldest son, Luke, graduated M.A. from Christ Church, Oxford, in 1592 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714).

[Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1609-85; Cal. Carew MSS.; Cal. Fiants, Ireland; Hist. MSS. Comm. 15th Rep. App. iii.; Ware's Bishops (ed. Harris); Mant's Hist. Church of Ireland; Cotton's Fasti; Bagwell's Ireland under the Tudors.]

A. F. P.