Ferley, Paul, 1785-1850, Jesuit priest

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Ferley, Paul, 1785-1850, Jesuit priest

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

22 July 1785-03 January 1850


Born: 22 July 1785, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1819, Palermo, Sicily
Professed: 01 January 1832
Died: 03 January 1850, Clongowes Wood College SJ

In Clongowes 1817

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Graduated DD at Palermo.
Taught Rhetoric, Metaphysics and Theology at Clongowes.
He had a great love for the Society and great sympathy and charity for his neighbour.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Baptised in the old Parish Church of St Paul’s.
Early education was very successful in Humanities at Stonyhurst before Entry.
After First Vows he was sent with Messers Aylmer, St Leger, Butler and others to Sicily, graduating DD, and was very nearly made a Bishop.
1814 He came back to England and remained six months in Preston as Operarius.
He was then sent to Clongowes, and was one of the first to teach Philosophy and later Theology there.
He was the sent to the Dublin Residence, and was many years an Operarius there.
He was for some time teaching Rhetoric and Prefect of Studies, both at Clongowes and Belvedere.
1842 he finally went to Clongowes, where he remained until his death.
He was very fond of the Society, and remarkable for his great charity, such that the dying, or those in trouble always found him ready to comfort them.
For a few years before his death he suffered partial paralysis of his brain and other parts of his body. When no longer able to say Mass, he wished to hear it as often as possible, though unable to leave his room unaccompanied. Worn out, and fortified by the Sacraments, he died 03 January 1850.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Paul Ferley 1785-1850
Fr Paul Ferley was born in Dublin in 1785, and baptised in the old parish Church of St Paul’s. At the age of 22 he entered the Society at Stonyhurst.

He went with Messers Aylmer, St Leger, Butler and others to Sicily after his noviceship, where on completing his studies, he took the degree DD, and was very nearly made a Bishop.

On his return he worked at Preston for six months. Recalled to Ireland he was first to teach Philosophy, and after a few years Theology, at Clongowes. He laboured for many years as ab Operarius at the Dublin Residence in Gardiner Street. Finally he returned to Clongowes in 1842.

For some years he suffered from partial paralysis. Unable to say Mass, he wished to hear as many Masses as possible. At length, worn out in body and mind, he expired peacefully on January 3rd 1850.

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for yopu than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14/06/1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07/07/1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anto Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

IE IJA J/1282

Maintained by

Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes