Fonds - Rev. Plagius Nowlan fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Rev. Plagius Nowlan fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on content of the fonds

Level of description


Reference code

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

2 cm of textual records

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Plagius Nowlan (1784-1871), Catholic priest, was born in 1784 in the parish of Killrush, County Wexford, Ireland. He received his early education in the Roman Catholic Seminary and St. Peter's College, Wexford, under Rev. John Sinnott. Rev. Sinnott's brother James had served for many years as a missionary in Newfoundland, so Nowlan's desire to serve in Newfoundland may have originated from that connection. Nowlan completed his ecclesiastical training at Birchfield College, Kilkenny.

Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming visited the southeast counties of Ireland in the 1830s to recruit priests for the Vicariate Apostolic of Newfoundland. Nowlan accepted Fleming's invitation. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Fleming in Carrick-on-Suir, Ireland, in 1831 and departed shortly afterwards for St. John's, Newfoundland.

Nowlan was appointed a curate to Rev. Ewer (also spelled Yore) in Harbour Grace, with residence at Carbonear, serving that parish from 1831 to 1835. During that period, he was appointed a member of the Board of Health for the District of Harbour Grace. He was also one of the founding members of the Benevolent Irish Society (BIS) in Carbonear.

In 1835, Rev. Nowlan was appointed the first parish priest of Holy Rosary Parish, Little Placentia (now Argentia), and remained there until his death in 1871. Among his accomplishments was the construction of a parish church. He also served as a member of the Roman Catholic School Board for the district.

Rev. Nowlan died on 6 January 1871. His remains were interred in Mount Rosary Cemetery, Argentia. During World War II, when American military forces began their occupation of the town of Argentia as a military base, the seat of the parish was moved to Freshwater. In 1942, Rev. Nowlan's remains were transferred to the parish cemetery at Freshwater.

Rev. Nowlan was seen as a pragmatic and affable man, who steered clear of the political and denominational controversies in which some of his colleagues immersed themselves.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records related to Rev. Plagius Nowlan, including baptismal certificate and canonical documents. Fonds also includes newspaper clippings and printed material related to his life.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No restrictions

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File list available

Associated materials

Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming fonds; Bishop John Thomas Mullock fonds

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created - April 28, 2013

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres