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Philip Skelton (1707 - 1787):
Cleric, Church of Ireland


Philip Skelton was born in Derriaghy, near Lisburn, County Antrim, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was curate at Drummully, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, to Dr Samuel Madden and was tutor to his children. He had parishes in Pettigo, Devenish, Enniskillen, and Fintona, County Tyrone, and his advice to his congregation was: 'If you have not food, beg it; if you can't get for begging, steal; if you can't get for stealing, rob and don't starve'. It is said that on two occasions he sold his library to feed his parishioners. He sometimes locked the doors so that they could not escape his hell-fire sermons, and he frequently called upon them to witness his death. He was a man of 'gigantic size', a keen boxer and brandisher of the cudgel, a 'bullet'- thrower in his youth, and he loved flowers. He published a Description of Lough Derg; Deism Revealed and Proposals for the Revival of Christianity. He died of pneumonia in Dublin, leaving instructions that his throat should be cut before he was placed in his coffin. [Life by Samuel Burdy, 1792]

Born: February 1707
Died: 4 May 1787
Kate Newmann