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Gahan, Matthew, 1782-1837, Jesuit priest
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Enquiry from Miss Zena M. Carns to concerning Fr Matthew Gahan SJ

A file relating to an enquiry from Miss Zena M. Carns, Stonyhurst Preparatory School, Hodder Place, Stonyhurst, Lancashire to Irish Fr Provincial Brendan Barry SJ concerning the re-establishment of the Catholic Church in the Isle of Man and Fr Matthew Gahan SJ. Includes a letter from Fr Francis Finegan SJ to Fr Barry answering the query and including copies of letters relating to Fr Gahan and the Isle of Man (24 July 1829 - 10 December 1838, 46pp).

Carns, Zena M, teacher

Fr Gahan's wish to administer to the Catholic population on the Isle of Man

Letter from James Duff, Liverpool to Rev. Matthew J. Gahan SJ, Hardwicke Street Chapel, Dublin seeking confirmation of Fr Gahan's wish to administer to the Catholic population on the Isle of Man. Remarks that he has been in contact with the Bishop who agreed to appoint Fr Gahan to the post as long as his own Bishop agrees.

Duff, James

From Fr Patrick Bracken SJ to James O’Shaughnessy, 10 February 1850

From Fr Patrick Bracken SJ, writing from Tullabeg, to James O’Shaughnessy. Replies to the latter’s enquiry in relation to Fr Gahan’s will, and also with regard to the agreement to Bishop Briggs to give £800 to the Society in compensation for their property on the Isle of Man.

Bracken, Patrick, 1795-1867, Jesuit priest

Historical research undertaken by Fr Kevin Laheen SJ into the Isle of Man Mission

File of documents related to historical research undertaken by Fr Kevin Laheen SJ into the Isle of Man Mission. Includes a letter from David C. Sheehy, Diocesan Archivist, Diocesan Offices, Archbishop’s House, Dublin 9 to Fr Laheen concerning Fr MacPharlan. Remarks ‘…not been able to establish where Fr was ordained…some time between 1787 and 1793’ (19 October 1999). Includes map of the Isle of Man with ecclesiastical sites marked. Includes two articles related to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ ‘Apostle of the Isle of Man’ by Rev. William S. Dempsey and ‘To the Greater Glory of God’.

Laheen, Kevin A, 1919-2019, Jesuit priest

Isle of Man Mission

The Isle of Man Mission material details the building of chapels and schools in Douglas and Castletown by Fr Matthew Gahan SJ (1782-1837) and his work on the island. Born in Dublin, he entered the Society at Hodder, Lancashire, England in 1805 and left for the Isle of Man in 1826. He had previously spent 3 months on the island in 1817 and 1825. When he died there in February 1837, the Jesuit mission to the island ended.

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Lease for Club room, Athol Street, Isle of Man

Parties:
Thomas Crelly, Painter, Douglas, Isle of Man and his wife Margaret Crelly and Fr Matthew Gahan SJ.

Property:
Large house known as the Club Room, yard, stables, offices and buildings, Athol Street, Douglas.

Terms & Conditions:
In consideration of a sum of £600.

Lease for property known as the old Club Room, Athol Street

Parties:
Rev. Matthew Joseph Gahan SJ and Thomas Redfern.

Property:
Stables, yard and dwelling house known as the old Club Room, Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man.

Terms & Conditions
For a term of 5 years at a yearly rent of £15 to be paid on 12 November and 12 May.

Letter from Bishop Briggs to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, 24 March 1836

Letter from Bishop Briggs, writing from Ushaw College, Durham to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ in the Isle of Man. Writes in relation to the admission to the Sacraments of members of various societies, and advises Gahan in relation to those to exclude (e.g., members of the Knights of St. Patrick), and those not to exclude (e.g., members of the Freemasons).

Briggs, John, 1788-1861, Roman Catholic Bishop of Beverley

Letter from Bishop Penswick to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ on a potential visit to the Isle of Man

Letter from Bishop Penswick, Liverpool to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Isle of Man concerning a visit he had intended to make to the island. Remarks that because the habeas corpus act has not been sanctioned by the legislators he is going to postpone his visit. Remarks 'I have often thought of you and even expected to be in a situation to relieve your wants; whenever my hopes are realised I will not overlook you.'

Penswick, Thomas, 1772-1836, Roman Catholic Bishop

Letter from Bishop Thomas Penswick, Liverpool to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ

Letter from Thomas Penswick, Liverpool to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Douglas, Isle of Man concerning a conveyance he obtained in Ireland from William MacPharlan which he gave to Frances Duff, Isle of Man to have it legally completed. Remarks that this was never done and that he feels the conveyance is, as a result, of no value. Remarks 'You will use your own discretion in your settlement with the General (Goldie), his demands can never be very overwhelming.'

Penswick, Thomas, 1772-1836, Roman Catholic Bishop

Letter from Fr Charles Aylmer SJ to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ, 28 February 1837

From Fr Charles Aylmer SJ, in Douglas, Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ. Refers to the death of Fr Gahan, and to his estate and debts. Suggests that since the Bishop is to have the whole mission resigned into his hands, he should be responsible for its administration. Refers to the value of the property, including the house and chapel. Asserts that the complete handover of the mission to the Bishop, and the loss to the Society as ‘an injustice’. Reports that he has written to the Bishop about the death of Fr Gahan, and also to explain why it was necessary to open the new chapel. States that some people on the island intend to erect a monument to Fr Gahan’s memory in the chapel.

Aylmer, Charles, 1786-1849, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Charles Aylmer SJ, Palermo, Italy to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, 14 Clarendon Street, Dublin

Letter from Mr Charles Aylmer SJ, Palermo, Italy to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, 14 Clarendon Street, Dublin describing life amongst the community in Palermo and his work. Refers to Fr Gahan's work in Ireland. Remarks 'You cannot but be well persuaded of the interest we must all take in history of the commencement and progress of our little Irish Province. We have received no information whatever on this subject, and only know that three of you are actually in Dublin'. Remarks that both himself and Fr St. Leger have been ordained. Concludes 'Give me some account of your situation, employment etc. - but remember I do not mean to gratify curiosity; I only wish as much as may satisfy my affection and regard for you all and my zeal for the cause in which you have been the first to embark. Storms may assail you, but you know they are a distinctive mark of every good undertaking.'

Aylmer, Charles, 1786-1849, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Charles Aylmer SJ, Rome to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Clongowes Wood, Naas

Letter from Fr Charles Aylmer SJ, Rome, Italy to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Clongowes Wood, Naas, Kildare concerning domestic issues in Rome. Refers to a group of Polish fathers who are destined for Clongowes but remarks that he does not know when they will commence their journey. Refers to the General Congregation and the naming of the new Fr. General. Remarks 'You have no idea of all the imbroglios which I have witnessed here; men are men everywhere. I have so little that could edify you on the subject that I judge it more prudent not to enter upon it.' Asks to be remembered to members of the community in Clongowes Wood.

Aylmer, Charles, 1786-1849, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ

From Fr Matthew Gahan SJ in the Isle of Man to Fr Parick Bracken SJ. Discusses the situation of the Jesuit mission on the island, the retention of the chapel and school-house, and the difficult relations that existed between the Society and the Bishop. Refers to his own ill-health. Expresses his desire to have a person to assist him on the mission, but fears that such a move is not financially possible. Announces that he is to sell the chapel in Castletown. Adds that he will not be able to move into the new house in Athol Street the following week as planned. Refers to the departure of his house-keeper and his misfortune in acquiring a new servant who is both Manx and a Methodist.

Gahan, Matthew, 1782-1837, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ

From Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ in Tullabeg, County Offaly. States that he regrets that the latter did not inform him earlier of his desire that the sale of the chapel at Castletown be deferred. Reports that he has recently moved to the ‘new house’, and complains about the walk he has to make every Sunday to say Mass, given his present ill-health. Asks for some money to be sent over to him, as he is ‘tormented with one little debt or other’.

Gahan, Matthew, 1782-1837, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ, 2 January 1837

From Fr Matthew Gahan SJ in the Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ in Tullabeg, County Offaly. Complains that the latter’s request that ‘the place in Castletown’ not be sold was untimely, and announces that he is to rent it out. Believes that the mission should be given up, but does not think it possible. Refers to his bad health, and asserts that he believes that he is ‘very soon to meet death’. Also refers to the bad state of the chapel. Asserts that he would rather be dismissed from the Society, which, he believes, has been betrayed, than ‘be made the foot ball of any Vicar Apostolic’.

Gahan, Matthew, 1782-1837, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ, 27 January 1837

From Fr Matthew Gahan SJ in the Isle of Man to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ in Tullabeg. Declares that he would not think he should cross the Channel (back to Ireland) in his current state of health, and furthermore that he would only leave if the person who was to supply for him had been there for a time. Refers to the debts owed by him to various people. States that he would rather ‘die in a ditch’ before yielding to ‘a Judas like trick on the part of Dr Briggs [Bishop of the Northern District]’.

Gahan, Matthew, 1782-1837, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Patrick Bracken SJ to Bishop Briggs, 12 March 1837

[Copy of letter] from Fr Patrick Bracken SJ to Bishop Briggs, in reply to the latter’s letter of 27 February 1837. Refers to the issue of the opening of the new Chapel, and agrees with the Bishop that it was probably ‘an error of judgment’. Refers to the death of Fr Gahan, and refers to his ill-health and the circumstances which led up to this demise. Praises the dedication and hard work of Fr Gahan, and his service to the Catholic population of the island. Informs the Bishop that it has been decided to place whatever property Fr Gahan possessed at his disposal. Refers to the debts owed now, and the value of the property, and also to Fr Gahan’s last will, which he suggests should be proved, and a legal transfer made. Encloses a copy of a written statement by Fr Gahan in relation to the property (not included).

Bracken, Patrick, 1795-1867, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Patrick Bracken SJ to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Isle of Man

From Fr Patrick Bracken SJ, writing from Tullabeg, County Offaly to Fr Gahan in the Isle of Man. Reports on some members of the community in Tullabeg, including Fr Robert Haly and Fr Aylmer, and adds that Fr Esmonde is on his way to Rome. Refers to Fr Gahan’s problems in the Isle of Man in relation to the provision of Mass for Catholics in Douglas, and the question of whether the Bishop would permit this. Asks him to defer the sale of the chapel in Castletown until he (Fr. Bracken) receives a reply from the Fr. General.

Bracken, Patrick, 1795-1867, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Peter Kenney SJ to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ, 20 March 1837

From Fr Peter Kenney SJ to Fr Patrick Bracken SJ. Discusses the withdrawal of Irish Jesuits from their mission in the Isle of Man, with reference to the financial and logistical operations involved. Refers to the death of Fr Gahan, and the bishop’s reaction to it and to the departure of the Irish Jesuits. Also refers to Fr Aylmer’s reaction. Reports on the situation in Clongowes, and to the small amount of money received in the collections. Hopes that Fr Bracken will make his visitation within the month.

Kenney, Peter J, 1779-1841, Jesuit priest and educator

Letter from Fr Robert Haly SJ to Fr Charles Aylmer SJ

Letter from Fr Robert Haly SJ, Clongowes Wood, Kildare to Fr Charles Aylmer SJ concerning Fr Gahan's will. Remarks that as one of the legatees named in the will he agrees to assign any property he is entitled to, to Dr. Briggs.

Haly, Robert, 1796-1882, Jesuit priest

Letter from James O'Shaughnessy to Fr Robert St Leger SJ

Letter from James O'Shaughnessy to Fr Robert St Leger SJ (Vice-Provincial), Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin concerning Fr Gahan's will. Remarks that he has only found a copy of the will and remarks 'I look upon the case a quite a hopeless one.' Continues 'The original will and whatever title deeds were in existence, I conclude from these letters, went into the possession of Father Aylmer - what became of them since there is nothing to inform us.' Concludes 'Should you think it necessary to write to this gentleman now in the Isle of Man to Dr Briggs or to any other of the inheritors, I take the liberty of telling you not to do so, till you previously allow me to wait on you…'

O’Shaughnessy, James

Letter from Thomas Penswick, Bishop of Liverpool to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ

Letter from Thomas Penswick, Bishop of Liverpool to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Catholic Chapel, Douglas, Isle of Man concerning rent money due to General Goldie for the chapel and garden occupied by Fr Matthew Gahan. Remarks that General Goldie is anxious to have the amount paid.

Penswick, Thomas, 1772-1836, Roman Catholic Bishop

Letter from William and James Duff, Douglas, Isle of Man to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ

Letter and copy of a letter from William and James Duff, Douglas, Isle of Man to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ, Hardwicke Street Chapel, Dublin expressing their satisfaction that Fr Gahan is to live and administer in the Isle of Man. Remarks 'we feel that in regard to pecuniary matters you will be a sufferer to a considerable extent by the change. But if the satisfaction of having done an important service to religion as well as to its followers, can be any compensation for this sacrifice you must certainly have an ample recompense.'

Duff, James

Letters from Bishop John Briggs to Fr Charles Aylmer SJ, concerning the chapel property in Douglas

A file of letters from Bishop John Briggs to Fr Charles Aylmer SJ, Catholic Chapel House, Douglas, Isle of Man concerning the chapel property in Douglas and the wish of the Bishop, Dr Penswick, that the property should be '…vested in Trustees of whom the Bishop should name one.' (22 December 1835, 3pp). Remarks that Fr Gahan is not correct in stating that the Bishop agreed that the chapel would be put in Fr Gahan's name alone. Remarks '…I believe Mr. Gahan is mistaken. For I was present when Dr Penswick refused his assent to this proposal made personally by Mr. Gahan.' (22 December 1835, 3pp).

Briggs, John, 1788-1861, Roman Catholic Bishop of Beverley

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