Nary, Cornelius (DNB00)

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NARY, CORNELIUS (1660–1738), Irish catholic divine, was born in co. Kildare in 1660, and received his early education at Naas in the same county. He was ordained priest by the Bishop of Ossory at Kilkenny in 1682, and soon afterwards entered the Irish College in Paris, of which he was subsequently provisor for seven years. While in Paris he graduated doctor of divinity in the university in 1694, and he was also twice appointed procurator of the German or English ‘Nation’ at the university of Paris, and, as such, was for the time being a member of the academic governing body. Leaving France about 1696, he went to London, where he acted for a while as tutor to the Earl of Antrim, an Irish catholic peer; but afterwards removing to Dublin, he was arrested and imprisoned for his religion in 1702. In the ‘Registry of Popish Clergy’ for 1703–4 he is described as popish parish priest of St. Michan, and so he remained until his death, at the age of seventy-eight, on 3 March 1738. He is described by Harris, the editor of Sir James Ware's ‘Works,’ as ‘a man of learning and of a good character.’

An anonymous mezzotint portrait is mentioned by Bromley.

He was the author of the following works: 1. ‘A Modest and True Account of the Chief Points in Controversy between the Roman Catholicks and the Protestants,’ Antwerp and London, 1699, 8vo. 2. ‘Prayers and Meditations,’ Dublin, 1705, 12mo. 3. ‘The New Testament translated into English from the Latin, with Marginal Notes,’ London, 1705 and 1718, 8vo. 4. ‘Rules and Godly Instructions,’ Dublin, 1716, 12mo. 5. ‘A Brief History of St. Patrick's Purgatory and its Pilgrimages; written in favour of those who are curious to know the Particulars of that famous Place and Pilgrimage, so much celebrated in Antiquity,’ Dublin, 1718, 12mo. 6. ‘A Catechism for the use of the Parish,’ Dublin, 1718, 12mo. 7. ‘A Letter to His Grace Edward, Lord Archbishop of Tuam, in answer to his charitable Address to all who are of the Communion of the Church of Rome,’ Dublin, 1719, 1720, 1728, 8vo. 8. ‘A New History of the World, containing an Historical and Chronological Account of the Times and Transactions from the Creation to the Birth of Christ, according to the Computation of the Septuagint,’ Dublin, 1720, fol. 9. ‘The Case of the Catholics of Ireland,’ Dublin, 1724.

He was also the author of several controversial pamphlets and the translator of others, and left in manuscript a work entitled ‘An Argument showing the Difficulties in Sacred Writ as well in the Old as New Testament;’ he is also stated by Anderson (Sketches of the Native Irish) to have published a short ‘History of Ireland.’

[Harris's Works of Sir James Ware; Battersby's Dublin Jesuits; Anderson's Sketches of the Native Irish; Bellesheim's Geschichte der Katholischen Kirche in Irland, vol. ii.; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biography.]

P. L. N.