Sweetman, Milo (DNB00)

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SWEETMAN, MILO (d. 1380), archbishop of Armagh, a native of Ireland, came of an Anglo-Irish family (cf. Cal. Rot. Claus. et Pat. Hiberniæ, Index Nominum). A Maurice Sweetman was archdeacon of Armagh in 1365 (Cotton, Fasti, iii. 44). Milo was appointed treasurer of the cathedral of Ossory or Kilkenny before 1360, in which year the chapter elected him bishop of that diocese. He proceeded to the papal court for confirmation, but on his arrival found that Innocent VI had already provided John de Tatenhale to the vacant see. The archbishopric of Armagh, however, being also vacant through the death of Richard Fitzralph [q. v.], the pope, as a consolation, bestowed it on Sweetman. Three years later Innocent's successor, Urban V, by a bull dated 9 Nov. 1363, translated Patrick Magonail, bishop of Raphoe, to the see of Armagh, either in ignorance of Sweetman's appointment or on a false report of his death. No notice was taken of this bull, and Magonail remained bishop of Raphoe until his death in 1366.

In 1365 Sweetman became involved in the perennial struggle of the archbishops of Armagh to assert their rights of primacy over the other Irish archbishops, and especially the archbishop of Dublin. The dispute about bearing the cross in each other's province became so acute between Sweetman and Thomas Minot, archbishop of Dublin, that on 9 June 1365 Edward III wrote ordering the two archbishops to observe the compromise arrived at between the archbishops of Canterbury and York, whereby each was entitled to have his crozier borne before him in the other's province. Sweetman refused, asserting his superiority over the diocese of Dublin (Rymer, vi. 467); he seems to have carried his point, and on 3 Oct. following Minot was summoned before the deputy, Lionel, duke of Clarence, for contempt in not meeting and agreeing with Sweetman. From that date the controversy subsided until the time of Richard Talbot (d. 1449) [q. v.], archbishop of Dublin.

Sweetman was present at the parliament of 1367 which passed the famous statute of Kilkenny. In 1374 Sir William de Windsor [q. v.], the lord deputy, acting on instructions from the English government, made an attempt to dispense with the Irish parliament, and issued writs ordering the clergy and laity to elect representatives and send them to Westminster. Sweetman took the lead in opposing this demand; in a letter (printed in Stuart's Armagh, pp. 190–1, from Rawlinson MS. SS. 7) he maintained that the inhabitants of the Pale were not bound to send representatives to Westminster, and, though in deference to Edward III the clergy elected representatives who repaired to Westminster, they were instructed by their constituents to refuse their assent to any subsidies or other imposts. This was the main object of their being summoned, and the attempt was not repeated (Leland, Hist. of Ireland, i. 328; Richey, Lectures on Irish Hist. i. 199–200).

In 1375 Sweetman, as metropolitan, visited the diocese of Meath and confirmed the charters of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin. On 20 Nov. in the same year, and again on 22 Jan. 1377–8, in the first year of Richard II, he was summoned to parliament (Cal. Rot. Hib. pp. 90 et seq.). He died at his manor of Dromeskyn, co. Louth, on 11 Aug. 1380 (Chartularies of St. Mary's, Dublin, Rolls Ser. ii. 284), being succeeded as archbishop by John Colton [q. v.]

[Rotuli Claus. et Pat. Hiberniæ, Record edit., pp. 81, 84, 90, 106; Rymer's Fœdera, orig. ed. vi. 424, 567, Record edit. III. ii. 769; Lascelles's Liber Mun. Hibernicorum, pt. iv. pp. 88, 90, pt. v. pp. 3, 44; Chartularies of St. Mary's, Dublin (Rolls Ser.), ii. 283–4; Ware's Bishops, ed. Harris, pp. 76–7, 83–4, 411; Cotton's Fasti Eccles. Hib. ii. 301, iii. 15; Gams's Series Episcoporum, p. 207; Stuart's Mem. of Armagh, pp. 190–1; Book of Howth, p. 399; Wilkins's Concilia, iii. 58, 64.]

A. F. P.