CollectionBishop Cornelius Denvir Papers
Collection DescriptionCorrespondence of Bishop Cornelius Denvir, 1835-1865. This collection of c.325 letters includes c.35 letters by, to or concerning women. The correspondence makes reference to debts, wills, mixed marriages and marriage dispensations, female National School teachers, the establishment of a Sisters of Mercy Convent in Belfast and contributions to church and papal funds.

The collection includes, for example:

D.52/17 A letter from Archbishop Cullen to Bishop Cornelius Denvir which states, 'I hope your Lordship will make arrangements for the nuns in Belfast - They will be of inestimable service, and they will be well able to support themselves - You ought not to hesitate a moment about establishing one or two convents...', 30 April 1852.

D.53/5 A letter from Susanna McMullan, Newry to Bishop Cornelius Denvir which states, 'I am sorry to say that Mama is at present in a very precarious uncertain state of health[,] her strength and appetite have failed some months past. ...take charge of...£334-17-10 and have this sum funded, the interest of which she wishes to go for Masses (as many in the week as the interest will allow) to be established in Aughlisnafin Chapel in the parish of Kilmegan...', 11 February 1853.

D.53/12 A letter of complaint from Daniel Curoe, Randalstown to Bishop Cornelius Denvir which refers to 'The course of religious instruction adopted by the female teacher of Ballymena Model School', 13 May 1853.

D.53/39 A letter from Sister M Vincent Whitty, Convent of Our Lady of Mercy, Baggott Street, Dublin to Bishop Cornelius Denvir which states, 'As you cannot give us the ground at the Vicarage for building could you have any objection to our getting it in any other locality and building the Convent by subscriptions?...Our superiors here have been thinking that two acres of ground might be quite enough for our wants - of course we would not purchase this ground until we could be settled in Belfast', 22 November 1853.

D.54/1 A letter from Sister M Vincent Whitty, Dublin to Bishop Cornelius Denvir which states, 'Having heard from Mr. Loughan last week that the convent is nearly ready I have decided upon sending 3 Sisters by the 10 o'clock train in the morning to Belfast - Knowing your Lordship would wish us to get in quickly I thought it better to divide our party and not let anyone know of our arrival until the morning of the day we would come to Belfast - I will bring two Sisters with me on Tuesday', 15 January 1854.

D.59/11 A letter from Mary Ann McDonald, Ballycastle, referring to her marriage in a Protestant Church but stating she had continued to attend Catholic mass, 'Priest McGlenon was angry with me after my first child was born I send [sic] it to him to the chapel to Christian it and he did so and then I done [sic] all in my power to get my husband back and get married in the chapel but he would not go with me'. McGlenon subsequently refused to baptise another child, 21 October 1859.

D.61/1 A letter from Charles ?C, Dublin to Mrs Maguire, Saint Paul's Convent of Mercy, Belfast which states, 'You do not state whether you had a regular contract with your builder regarding the execution of the works - if not, you are all at sea and at his mercy. ...Not you alone but every member of the Community might be sued for the value of the works. I see no possible advantage to be obtained by resisting payment unless indeed your case be that the builder has overcharged...Your attorney...might be negotiate with the opposite party to obtain time for payment by instalments', 16 January 1861.


A specific reference number precedes a description of the document. This is needed to call up each document.

Repository NameDown and Connor Diocesan Archive (RC)
Address73A Somerton Road Belfast County Antrim
UK Postal CodeBT15 4DJ
Telephone+44 28-9077-6185
Repository Web Address
CommentSome of the information listed from this repository has been extracted from lists available in the repository. The lists were compiled by the archivist and we are grateful for his assistance. Due to time constraints not all items in this repository were examined individually.