Adams, Bernard (1566–1626), Church of Ireland bishop of Limerick, was born in Middlesex. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford (BA 1586, MA 1590), and elected fellow. Appointed bishop of Limerick (1603; consecrated 1604), he held in commendam the bishopric of Kilfenora (1606–17) and the prebendary of Tomgrany (1610–26), both in Co. Clare, and a vicarage at Ballingarry, Co. Limerick. The first protestant bishop to care for St Mary's cathedral, Limerick, he restored and adorned the church, installed an organ, rearranged the musical services, and recovered and repaired diocesan property. In the ‘Black book of Limerick’ (Liber niger), a transcription of documents relating to the diocese, compiled by Cornelius O'Dea (bishop 1400–26), Adams recorded his diocesan activities (pp. 147–52) and probably paginated the MS in arabic numerals. He also transcribed procuration, taxation, and rental tables of the diocese and inquisitions and memoranda relating to them; these additions became known as ‘The little black book of Limerick’.
He died 22 March 1626 in Limerick and is buried in the cathedral beneath a tablet inscribed in Latin and English, which includes a verse translated from the Latin: ‘To me since I have met my doom, / Let none erect a marble tomb / Or monument; this humble urn / Will serve a little bishop's turn.’ John Young, catholic bishop of Limerick (1796–1813), wrote a preface to the MS, giving a short account of Adams's life. A portrait is in Trinity College, Oxford. The original MS ‘Black book’ is in Maynooth College library; a copy is in TCD, MS 559.