The trustees invested 75% of this in mortgages to Irish landowners at a yield of 4.25% or 4.75% per annum.
This would have been considered a secure investment at that time but agitation for land reform and the depression of the 1870s eroded this security.
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.
The building work was paid for by the British Government; parliament continued to give it an annual grant until the Irish Church Act 1869.