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Butler had been a Roman Catholic, and Bishop of Cork, who had embraced Protestantism in order to marry and guarantee the succession to his hereditary title.However, there were no children to his marriage and it was alleged that he had been reconciled to the Catholic Church at his death.The first building to go up on this site was designed by, and named after, John Stoyte; Stoyte House, which can still be seen from the entrance to the old campus, is a well-known building to Maynooth students and stands very close to the very historic Maynooth Castle. Renehan (1797–1857), a noted antiquarian, church historian, and cleric, served as president of St Patrick's from 1845 until 1857.Over the next 15 years, the site at Maynooth underwent rapid construction so as to cater for the influx of new students, and the buildings which now border St Joseph's Square (to the rear of Stoyte House) were completed by 1824. Under Renehan, many of the college's most important buildings were constructed by Augustus Pugin.The present college was created in the 1790s against the background of the upheaval during the French Revolution and the gradual removal of the penal laws.Until this time a significant number of Irish Catholic priests were educated on the European continent, particularly in France.
In 1535 the College was suppressed and its endowments and lands confiscated as part of the Reformation.
Degrees are awarded by the Pontifical University at Maynooth, which was established by a pontifical charter of 1896.
The Pontifical charter entitles the university to grant degrees in canon law, philosophy and theology.
Were this the case, a Penal Law demanded that the will was invalid and his wealth would pass to his family.
Much litigation followed before a negotiated settlement in 1808 that led to the establishment of a Dunboyne scholarship fund.