Charles Frederick D’Arcy (2 January 1859 – 1 February 1938) was a Church of Irelandbishop. He was the Bishop of Clogher from 1903 to 1907 when he was translated to become Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin before then becoming the Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore. He was then briefly the Archbishop of Dublin and finally, from 1920 until his death, Archbishop of Armagh. He was also a theologian, author and botanist.
Born in Dublin in 1859, D’Arcy was the son of John Charles D’Arcy of Mount Tallant, County Dublin, and of Henrietta Anna, a daughter of Thomas Brierly of Rehoboth House, Dublin. He was a grandson of John D’Arcy of Hydepark, County Westmeath, and a descendant of The 1st Baron Darcy de Knayth, one of the knights who had fought at the Battle of Crecy (1346).
Charles D’Arcy was educated at The High School, Dublin, and Trinity College, Dublin, where he was elected a Scholar in mathematics and won a gold medal in Moral Philosophy. He graduated BA in 1882, with a first-class Divinity Testimonium, and MA in 1892. He was later awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Divinity, 1898, and Doctor of Divinity, 1900.
D’Arcy was ordained and became curate of Saint Thomas’s, Belfast, in 1884. He became Rector of Billy, County Antrim, in 1890, and of the united parishes of Ballymena and Ballyclug in 1893. From 1895 to 1903, he was chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, successively The 5th Earl Cadogan and The 2nd Earl of Dudley. In addition, he was Prebendary of Connor in Lisburn Cathedral, from 1898 to 1900. His next living was as Vicar of Belfast, from 1900 to 1903, and while there he was also appointed Dean of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, and examining chaplain to Bishop Welland.
In 1903, D’Arcy was elected Bishop of Clogher. In 1907 he was translated to become Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin and in 1911 became Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore, succeeding John Baptist Crozier in both.
In 1907 he became a member of the Royal Irish Academy and was a Select Preacher at the University of Cambridge (1907–1908 and 1925), Hulsean Preacher at Cambridge (1929 to 1930) as well as a Select Preacher at the University of Oxford (1908–1910), the University of Glasgow (1912) the University of Durham (1923).
In August 1919, D’Arcy was appointed Archbishop of Dublin, Bishop of Glendalough and Kildare and Primate of Ireland. Less than a year later, in June 1920, he was elected as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, again succeeding Crozier.
He was opposed to Irish Home Rule and in 1912 signed the Ulster Covenant. In 1921 he was appointed a member of the Senate of Southern Ireland, which was abolished with the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, but did not attend.
He was a lifelong friend of James Craig, Lord Craigavon, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and a member of the Athenaeum Club, London, and the University Club, Dublin. He was also a supporter of the Eugenics movement and chaired the Belfast branch of the Eugenics Education Society.
In 1934 he published his autobiography, The Adventures of a Bishop: a Phase in Irish Life, and in June 1937 announced that he intended to retire because of poor health. However, in the event he continued as archbishop until he died on 1 February 1938. He was buried at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, where there is a memorial to him in the north aisle.