Biography of James Ussher

James Ussher was an Anglo-Irish prelate of the Anglican church who is often remembered for his religious activities and his religious studies. He is known well for his works on chronology and his calculation for the date of creation. He was born in 1581 and died in 1656.

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My current biographical timeline for James Usher is as follows;

1581 – he is born on the 4th of January in Dublin, Ireland.

1591 – he enters Dublin Free School

1594 – he enters Trinity College in Dublin

1598 – he receives his Bachelor of Arts degree

1600 – he receives his MA (although some claim this was not until a year later)

1602 – he is ordained by his uncle in the Trinity College Chapel as a deacon

1605 – he becomes Chancellor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, he also becomes Prebend of Finglas

1607 – he becomes Professor of Theological Controversies at Trinity College, he also becomes a Bachelor of Divinity

1612 – he becomes a Doctor of Divinity

1613 – he marries Phoebe (Challoner?)

1615 – he becomes Vice-Chancellor

1616 – he becomes Vice-Provost

1619 – he travels to England and remains there for two years. His only child is born.

1621 – James I nominates Ussher to Bishop of Meath

1622 – his ‘Discource on the Religion Anciently Professed by the Irish’ is first published. This work has allegedly been highly influential in shaping the modern view of Irish church history.

1623 – he becomes Privy Councillor

1623-1626 – he stays in England and studies church history

1625 – he becomes Primate of All Ireland, he also becomes Archbishop of Armagh

1631 – a new edition of his ‘Discource on the Religion Anciently Professed by the Irish’ is published

1633 – Ussher supports Archbishop Laud as Chancellor of the University of Dublin

1634 – he leaves Dublin for episcopal residence at Drogheda

1639 – his ‘Britannicarum ecclesiarum antiquities’ (the antiquities of the British churches) is published. It contains many previously unpublished manuscript sources.

1640 – he leaves Ireland for the last time to go to England

1641 – he develops a position in church government

1642 – he moves to Oxford

1646 – he returns to London and stays with his friend Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Peterborough

1647 – he becomes a preacher at Lincoln’s Inn

1648 – he publishes a treatise on the calendar

1650 – his ‘Annales veteris testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti’ (Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world) is published

1654 – his ‘Annalium pars posterior’ is published. In this, he calculates the date of Creation to have been nightfall on the 22nd of October in 4004 BC.

1655 – his ‘De Graeca Septuaginta Interpretum Versione’ is published. This is allegedly the first serious examination of the Septuagint.

1656 – he dies at age 75 on the 21st of March in England.

1656 – his proposals, ‘The Reduction of Episcopacy’, are published posthumously

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