George Otto Simms
His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. George Otto Simms (4 July 1910- 15 November 1991), D.D., was an archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

 in the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...


Early life and education

He was born at Combermore House in Lifford
Lifford is the county town of County Donegal, Ireland. It is the administrative capital of the county and the seat of Donegal County Council, although the town of Letterkenny is often mistaken for fulfilling this role...

, a small town in the east of County Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

, part of the Province of Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. He also attended the Prior School in Lifford for a time. He went on to study at Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

, after having attended Cheltenham College
Cheltenham College
Cheltenham College is a co-educational independent school, located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.One of the public schools of the Victorian period, it was opened in July 1841. An Anglican foundation, it is known for its classical, military and sporting traditions.The 1893 book Great...

, a public school
Public School (UK)
A public school, in common British usage, is a school that is neither administered nor financed by the state or from taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees and charitable contributions, usually existing as a non profit-making charitable trust...

 in Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...


Clerical and scholarly career

He became a deacon in 1935 and a priest in 1936. He was appointed Dean of Cork in 1952; consecrated a bishop, he served as Lord Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross
Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross
The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross is the Church of Ireland Ordinary of the united Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross in the Province of Dublin....

, 1952-56.

He was successively Lord Archbishop of Dublin
Archbishop of Dublin (Church of Ireland)
The Archbishop of Dublin is the title of the senior cleric who presides over the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough in the Church of Ireland...

, from 1956 to 1969, and then Lord Archbishop of Armagh
Archbishop of Armagh (Church of Ireland)
The Anglican Archbishop of Armagh is the ecclesiastical head of the Church of Ireland, the metropolitan of the Province of Armagh and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Armagh....

, from 1969 to 1980. He was also a scholar, who published research on the history of the Church of Ireland and on the Book of Kells
Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier...


George Otto Simms is interred with his wife, Mercy Felicia née Gwynn (1915–1998) in the cemetery attached to St. Maelruain's Church
St. Maelruain's Church
St. Maelruain's Church is a church of the Church of Ireland located in Tallaght, South Dublin in Ireland. The parish is in the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough. It occupies the site of an original monastery...

, Tallaght
Tallaght is the largest town, and county town, of South Dublin County, Ireland. The village area, dating from at least the 17th century, held one of the earliest settlements known in the southern part of the island, and one of medieval Ireland's more important monastic centres.Up to the 1960s...

, County Dublin
County Dublin
County Dublin is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Dublin Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the city of Dublin which is the capital of Ireland. County Dublin was one of the first of the parts of Ireland to be shired by King John of England following the...



  • For Better, for Worse, 1945
  • The Book of Kells: a short description, 1950
  • (ed with E. H. Alton and P. Meyer) The Book of Kells (facsimile edn), Berne, 1951
  • The Bible in Perspective, 1953
  • Christ within Me, 1975
  • Irish Illuminated Manuscripts, 1980
  • In My Understanding, 1982
  • Tullow's Story, 1983
  • (with R. G. F. Jenkins) Pioneers and Partners, 1985
  • Angels and Saints, 1988
  • Exploring the Book of Kells, 1988
  • Brendan the Navigator, 1989
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