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His only child was Elizabeth (1619–93), who married Sir Timothy Tyrrell, of Oakley, Buckinghamshire. From 1623 until 1626 he was again in England and was excused from his episcopal duties to study church history.He was nominated Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh in 1625 and succeeded Christopher Hampton, who had succeeded Ussher's uncle Henry twelve years earlier.Ussher resisted this pressure at a convocation in 1634, ensuring that the English Articles of Religion were adopted as well as the Irish articles, not instead of them, and that the Irish canons had to be redrafted based on the English ones rather than replaced by them.Theologically, he was a Calvinist although on the matter of the atonement he was (somewhat privately) a hypothetical universalist.His most significant influence in this regard was John Davenant, later an English delegate to the Synod of Dort, who managed to significantly soften that Synod's teaching regarding limited atonement.
He called a secret meeting of the Irish bishops in his house in November 1626, the result being the "Judgement of the Arch-Bishops and Bishops of Ireland".Ussher certainly preferred to be a scholar when he could be.He engaged in extensive disputations with Roman Catholic theologians, and even as a student he challenged a Jesuit relative, Henry Fitzsimon (Ussher's mother was Catholic), to dispute publicly the identification of the Pope with the Antichrist.In 1615, he was closely involved with the drawing up of the first confession of faith of the Church of Ireland. He became a national figure in Ireland, becoming Privy Councillor in 1623 and an increasingly substantial scholar.In 1619 Ussher travelled to England, where he remained for two years. A noted collector of Irish manuscripts, he made them available for research to fellow-scholars such as his friend, Sir James Ware.