In 1192, John Comyn, very first Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, raised among the four Dublin Celtic parish churches, this one committed to Saint Patrick, next to a holy well of the same name and on an island between two branches of the River Poddle, to the status of a collegiate church, i.e., a church with a body of clergy committed to both praise and knowing. The new collegiate church fell outside the city borders, and this relocation produced two new civic areas, one under the archbishop’s temporal jurisdiction. The church was committed to “God, our Blessed Lady Mary and St Patrick” on 17 March 1191.
Comyn’s charter of 1191 or 1192, which allowed for a chapter of thirteen canons, of which three held unique self-respects (as chancellor, precentor and treasurer), was confirmed by a papal bull (of Pope Celestine III) within a year. The thirteen prebendaries connected to the church were provided with archepiscopal lands.
In time, a whole complex of structures arose in the vicinity of the cathedral, consisting of the Palace of the St Sepulchre (seat of the archbishop), and legal jurisdiction was divided in between a Liberty controlled by the dean, around the cathedral, and a larger one coming from the archbishop, adjacent.
Uncommonly, St Patrick’s is not the seat of a bishop, as the Archbishop of Dublin has his seat in Christ Church Cathedral. Given that 1870, the Church of Ireland has designated St Patrick’s as the national cathedral for the entire of Ireland, drawing chapter members from each of the twelve dioceses of the Church of Ireland. The dean is the common for the cathedral; this office has existed since 1219. The most famous office holder was Jonathan Swift.
There is nearly no precedent for a two-cathedral city, and some believe it was intended that St Patrick’s, a secular (diocesan clergy who are not members of a religious order, i.e. under a rule and, for that reason, “regular”) cathedral, would change Christ Church, a cathedral managed by an order.
A confrontational circumstance continued, with significant stress, over the decades after the establishment of St Patrick’s, and was eventually settled, more-or-less, by the signing of a six-point arrangement of 1300, Pacis Composition.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin (https://jnbuildersdublin.com/), Ireland, founded in 1191, is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. With its 43-metre (141 ft) spire, St. Patrick’s is the tallest church (besides diocesan cathedrals) in Ireland and the biggest. Christ Church Cathedral, likewise a Church of Ireland cathedral in Dublin, is designated as the regional cathedral of the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough.
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