Maule, Henry (1676?–1758), Church of Ireland bishop and charter school enthusiast, was eldest son of William Maule, comptroller of the customs, Dublin, and his wife Jane, daughter of Roger West, of The Rock, Co. Wicklow. He was educated by a Mr Young of Dublin before attending TCD, receiving there his BA (1696), MA (1699), and later an LLB and LLD (1719). Ordained by the bishop of Cloyne at Trinity chapel (1699), he was prebendary at Lackeen (1702–19), and rector at Mallow (1702–20), Mourne Abbey (1702–26), Templeroan (1703), and St Mary Shandon, Cork (1706–26). He was also dean of Cloyne cathedral (1720–26), and subsequently bishop of Cloyne (1726–32), Dromore (1732–44), and Meath (1744–58).
Maule's early career appears uneventful, though he published a History of the Picts (1706) in Edinburgh. As rector of Cork, however, he was closely associated with the founding of Shandon charity school (1717), a prototype of the Irish charter school movement. Drawing on English and Scottish models, the movement's equation of protestantism with civilisation and industry gave the schools additional meaning in the Irish context. Maule toured Europe to investigate similar schemes, donated land for the schools, published Pietas Corcagiensis, or a view of the Green Coat Hospital and other charitable foundations in the parish of St Mary, Shandon, Cork (1721) in support of them, and drafted a proposal for a royal charter for an Irish ‘Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge’ (1730). The ‘Incorporated Society in Dublin for Promoting English Protestant Schools in Ireland’ that resulted stressed religione et labore (‘by religion and labour’), and its seal bore a Bible together with farm and spinning implements. At their worst, the schools provided cheap labour for subscribers and involved ‘transplanting’ children from one area to another. But the Incorporated Society also provided inspiration for the Dublin Society (est. 1731), which played an important proselytising role in the movement and subsequently much besides. While ultimately failing, to the relief of the catholic clergy it terrified, the charter schools movement provided a useful model for professional educators and public libraries. Maule later published God's goodness visible in our own deliverance from popery (1733), a typical anniversary sermon on the Irish rebellion of 1641, which ran into several editions.
As Maule's clerical activities reveal the nepotism of so many eighteenth-century ecclesiastical appointments, his three marriages exemplify the marital set-dance of the established church community, elaborate even by the standards of the Irish gentry. He first married Lady Anne Barry, daughter of Richard Barry, 2nd earl of Barrymore. Their son James married Lady Elizabeth Barry, daughter of James Barry (qv), 4th earl of Barrymore. Of their two daughters, Anne married John Coghlan of Bandon and Dorothy married (12 June 1731) the Rev. Southwell Ricard, prebend of Dromaragh. Maule's second marriage was to Catherine, daughter of Sir Richard Rooth and widow of William Stawell of Kinsale. His third marriage (1725) was to Dorothy, daughter of Capt. Thomas Gookin of Bandon, Co. Cork, and widow of the Rev. Richard Roffen, prebendary of Cahirlag, Cork, of George Howse, provost of Bandon, and of John Coghlan (presumably not the same gentleman who married the bishop's daughter). She predeceased Maule, however, through a long illness (15 July 1743), and he later died 13 April 1758 at Ardbraccan, Co. Meath, where he was buried.