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Bishop Patrick Lynch commission

Identifier: A-01-9031

Scope and Contents

This collection contains two commissions given to Bishop Patrick Lynch by Jefferson Davis, naming him special commissioner of the Confederate States of America to the State of the Church.  One commission is signed by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and by Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.  The second is only signed by Benjamin.


  • Created: 1864


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Diocese of Charleston makes no representation that it is the owner of any copyright or other literary property in the materials contained in its archives. In providing access to or permitting the reproduction of any such materials, the Diocese of Charleston does not assume any responsibility for determining the nature of any rights, ownership or interest therein; nor for obtaining the appropriate permissions to publish or use; nor for determining the nature of any liabilities (for defamation and invasion of privacy) that may arise from any publication or use. This rests entirely with the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Patrick Neison Lynch, a Roman Catholic priest and bishop, was born 1817 in Kilberidogue, Ireland, to Conlaw Peter Lynch and Eleanor MacMahon Neison.  In 1819, he and his parents immigrated to the United States, where they settled in Cheraw, South Carolina. Lynch attended Cheraw Academy from 1828-1829.  He then attended the Seminary of St. John the Baptist in Charleston where he studied under Bishop John England. In 1833, Bishop England sent Lynch, then 17 years old, to Rome, Italy, to study at the Collegium Urbanum de Propaganda Fide. In 1840, Lynch became an ordained priest and returned to Charleston where he was assigned as pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation. After the death of the second bishop of Charleston, Ignatius Reynolds in 1855, the presbytery elected Lynch to serve as the administrator of the diocese.  Pope Pius IX did not appoint Lynch as bishop of Charleston until 1857. He was consecrated in 1858. In 1864, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, named Bishop Lynch as special commissioner of the Confederate States of America to the States of the Church. He went to Rome on a diplomatic mission to meet with Pope Pius IX and present himself as the minister of the Confederate States, in hopes of gaining recognition of the confederacy.  Pope Pius IX never met with Bishop Lynch in his capacity as special commissioner.  The pope did not endorse or support the succession of the Confederate States, and Lynch’s position as a diplomat went no further. After the war, Lynch was in danger of imprisonment and was required to sign an oath of allegiance in exchange for a full pardon.  While in Paris, France, he signed the allegiance and received a declaration of pardon. Bishop Lynch died in 1882.

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Language of Materials



Commission given to Patrick Lynch, bishop of Charleston by the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis.

Physical Access Requirements

Materials are fragile.

Related Materials

Pre-Diocesan and Episcopal Records (1727-1951) Item 30P9-Commission, 1864 Item 32R4 & 32R5-Presidential pardon, 1865 Item 33D1: Oath of allegiance, 1865

Processing Information

Processed by Melissa Bronheim, February 2013.

Inventory of the Bishop Patrick Lynch commission
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Repository Details

Part of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives Repository

114 Broad Street
Carriage House
Charleston SC 29401 US