Daniel Mannix, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne – Fact Sheet 248

Dr. Daniel Mannix
Dr. Daniel Mannix (L1200, L2679)

Born in County Cork, Ireland in 1864, Daniel Mannix studied for the Catholic priesthood at Maynooth seminary (County Kildare) and was ordained in 1890. A gifted scholar and theologian, he became a member of the teaching staff at Maynooth in 1895 and gained appointment as the seminary’s president in 1903. He was consecrated a bishop in 1912.

In 1913 Mannix accepted appointment as coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, which provided a path of succession to the ageing Archbishop Thomas Carr. On Carr’s death in 1917, Mannix became Archbishop of Melbourne, a position he occupied for 45 years until his death (at age 99) in 1963.

Mannix was well known for his involvement in the campaigns opposing the 1916 and 1917 conscription referendums in Australia, which went against the views of Prime Minister Hughes. He also supported the cause for home rule in his native Ireland and as a result, while travelling through Europe in 1921, British security forces refused him entry into Ireland.

Through the 1940s and 1950s, Mannix lent his support to Catholic initiatives that opposed the growth of communism in Australia, including the Catholic Social Studies Movement, the National Civic Council and the charismatic Bartholomew Augustine ('BA') Santamaria.

In recognition of his service as Chaplain-General to the Australian Armed Forces from 1917 until his death, the 'Last post' was played at Mannix’s funeral in November 1963.

Records relating to Daniel Mannix

Records held by the National Archives on Daniel Mannix relate principally to his role opposing conscription during World War I and security concerns over his support for Irish home rule. Records relating to his role as Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne are also held. A selection of records is listed below, including some photographs.

You may also identify further sources on the RecordSearch database using the keyword 'mannix' along with terms such as 'archbishop', 'rev*', and 'doctor or 'dr'.


For more information

You can read more about the two conscription referendums and opposition to conscription here: Conscription referendums, 1916 and 1917.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019