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"The term Royal Peculiar is familiar to most people in reference to Westminster Abbey, where the monarch is technically the supreme head of the establishment in the Abbey and where the Church of England, per se, has no authority or jurisdiction.
In Ireland a similar position obtained in what was known as The Exempt Jurisdiction of Newry and Mourne, where the Bishops of the Dioceses of Down and Dromore had no authority or jurisdiction, which jurisdiction rested with the lay lord of the soil, to whom had been granted the rectories and advowsons of the vicarages in earlier terms.
This paper is an attempt to unravel the history of this extraordinary episode, which had its roots in pre-Reformation practice, even though its full effect does not appear to have been felt until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Disestablishment in 1870, of course, put an end to it and the parishes concerned became part of the normal diocesan structures at that time.
The details of this story had, I thought, long since been lost, but the chance discovery of a cache of correspondence relating to it among the Anglesey papers at PRONI led me to investigate further."
This article examines the struggle for Episcopal Authority, looking at The Exempt Jurisdiction of Newry and Mourne, where the Bishops of the Dioceses of Down and Dromore had no authority or jurisdiction.