Page:A Compendium of Irish Biography.djvu/301

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half dead, his head was cut off, and his body cut into four parts ; and these were watched all night by the soldiers, lest they should be taken away by the Catholics. The next day the four pieces were fastened on a cross in the middle of the town, and the head on a high place where it could be seen by all, and so he completed his glorious martyrdom." ^

Kiarwan, Francis, Bishop of Killala, was born in Gal way in 1589, and received the rudiments of education from his uncle, Eev. Arthur Lynch, a Catholic clergyman, who from time to time had endured the most trying persecutions on account of his faith. He subsequently studied at Lisbon, and was ordained in 16 14. Proceeding to France the year following, to pursue his studies, he for a time " taught philoso- phy" at Dieppe. In 1620, returning to Ireland, he was commissioned by Florence Conroy as Vicar-General of his province of Tuam, and in this capacity laboured un- tiringly in the wilds and islands of the west until Conroy's death in 1629, after which he proceeded to France. At Paris, on 7th May 1645, Kirwan was consecrated Bishop of Killala, when he returned to his native city for a time ; but after its fall in 1651 had to lie concealed from the fury of the Parliamentary troops in the neighbour- hood for many months. He underwent the greatest sufferings and privations — during eight entire months being able but thrice to leave his hiding place in a miserable garret infested by mice. He was after- wards imprisoned in Galway, where, for- getful of his own sufferings, he strove to alleviate those of his fellow-prisoners. In August 1655 the Bishop was banished to France, and at Nantes was for some years sheltered in the house of a " noble widow." His death took place at Eennes, 27th August 1 66 r, at the age of 72 years. His Life, written by his nepliew, the Arch- deacon of Tuam [See Lynch, John] was republished, with a translation and notes by Rev. C. P. Meehan, in 1848. =°5

Kirwan, Richard, LL.D., an eminent chemist and geologist, was born in the County of Galway, early in the 1 8th cen- tury. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at St. Omer's, his family intending him for the medical profession. The death of his brother put him in possession of an ample fortune, and he quitted college, became a Protestant, re- nounced the study of medicine, and devoted himself to science. In 1779 he settled in the neighbourhood of London, and read many papers before the Royal Society, gaining the Copley medal in 178 1. In 1 789 he returned to Ireland, was for some


time President of the Royal Irish Academy, and became associated with most of the scientific societies of the metropolis, and intimate with all the leading literary men. The following estimate of his scientific researches is taken from the Eiicyclopoedia Britannica: "Though Kirwan devoted his whole life to scientific inquiry, and was contemporary with Cavendish, Lavoisier, Black, Scheele, Priestley, and the fathers of modern chemistry, he did not advance the boundaries of the science by any great discovery of his own. One of the earliest of his works was his Essay on Phlogiston and the Composition of Acids, in which he endeavoured to reconcile the old chemistry with modern discoveries. . . [The work was refuted by Lavoisier and other eminent French chemists.] . . These refutations, though quite irrefragable, were so skilfully and courteously worded, that Kirwan, with a candour and liberality unfortunately too rare, abandoned phlogiston and adopted the theory of his opponents. In 1794 Kirwan published his Elements of Mine- ralogy, in 2 vols. 8vo., a work of great merit for its day, though now quite super- seded. His Geological Essays were less successful; but his Essay on the Analysis of Mineral Waters was useful, both for the number of analyses which it con- tained, and for the method of procedure which it inculcated. Kirwan was also the author of numerous papers in the Transac- tions of the Royal Society and of the Royal Irish Academy, on subjects connected with mineralogy and meteorology, as well as chemistry." "■^ He was an enthusiast concerning Irish music, and travelled with Mr. Bunting for the purpose of collecting old tunes. His latter years were devoted almost exclusively to theology. At his residence in Cavendish-row, Dublin, he was accustomed to receive his friends once a week, as he " reclined on a sofa, his hat on, a long screen behind him, and a blazing fire before him, no matter whether winter or the dog days." =°^ He remained covered even in courts of justice and at levees, and gave as a reason for never going to a place of worship the impossibility of removing his hat. He was singularly gene- rous and imselfish as a landlord and a friend. He strenuously opposed the Union, and is said to have indignantly refused a baro- netcy offered him by Lord Castlereagh if he would support the measure. He died in Dublin, 22nd June 1 8 1 2. Portraits of him will be found in the Royal Dublin Society and Royal Irish Academy. «= '"* ^^ ^49

Kirwan, Walter Blake, Dean of Killala, a distinguished preacher, was born in the County of Galway in 1754. 277