Bhí eolas go fada leitheadach in Éirinn ar na tairngreachtaí a rinne sé i 1771 agus meastar gur chuir siad leis an bhfuadar agus an dóchasúlacht gan dealramh a bhí le brath i bhfichidí an 19ú haois. Tá cuntas air in Dictionary of National Biography. In ‘Westwood House’ in aice le Wigan in Lancashire ar 13 Eanáir 1722 a rugadh é. Ba é an seachtú mac é ag John Walmesley agus Mary Greaves. Fuair sé oiliúint i gColáiste Bheinidictigh Shasana in Douay agus ina dhiaidh sin i mainistir Naomh Edmund i bPáras mar ar chuaigh sé isteach san ord. Bhain sé dochtúireacht sa diagacht amach sa Sorbón. D’imigh sé ar camchuairt na hEorpa, chaith tamall ag taisteal san Iodáil, thug cuairt ar Shliabh Etna agus scríobh nótaí eolaíochta faoin mbolcán. Is ar a obair mar réalteolaí atá an bhéim ag an DNB; idir 1745 agus 1761 scríobh sé páipéir, a raibh tábhacht leo ag an am, ar an réalteolaíocht agus ar mhatamaitic. Tugadh ballraíocht i gCumann Ríoga Shasana dó i 1750 agus a leithéid chéanna i mBeirlín. Nuair a bhí an caileandar á leasú agus an ‘stíl nua’ á tabhairt isteach chuaigh rialtas na Breataine i gcomhairle leis.

Bhí sé ina phrióir ar mhainistir Naomh Edmund i bPáras 1749–53. Cuireadh go dtí an Róimh é i 1754 chun a bheith ina phrócadóir ginearálta ag na Beinidictigh. I 1756 ceapadh é ina chóidiútar don easpag a raibh iarthar Shasana faoina chúram; ba é easpag teidealach Rama é agus cónaí air in Bath agus tugadh cead dó ‘to retain the Benedictine priory of St Marcellus in the district of Chalon’. Tháinig sé i gcomharbacht ar an easpag i 1770. Le linn na gciréibeanna frith-Chaitliceacha in Bath ag lucht leanúna an Tiarna George Gordon loisceadh a leabharlann agus a lámhscríbhinní.

I measc na leabhar a scríobh sé tá The general history of the Christian Church, from her birth to her final triumphant state in heaven, chiefly deduced from the apocalypse of St. John the Apostle, by Signor Pastorini, 1771. Is é an cur síos air in Oxford companion to Irish literature: ‘... an elaborate interpretation of the Apocalypse of St. John, formed the basis for a dramatic outbreak of millenarian excitement in the 1820s.’ Faoin gceannteideal ‘Millenarianism’ deirtear in Oxford companion to Irish history: ‘During 1822–4 the prophecies of Pastorini, in which the Book of Revelation was interpreted as foretelling the violent destruction in 1825 of the forces of Protestantism, gave the Rockite movement in Munster and Leinster a tone of revolutionary excitement, and a sectarian edge, not seen in other agrarian movements.’ Clóbhuaileadh é ceithre huaire idir 1790 agus 1815 i mBaile Átha Cliath, in 1816 i mBéal Feirste, agus i gCorcaigh in 1820 agus 1821. Deirtear san DNB: ‘A mischievous use was made of some portions of this work in Ireland in 1825, when many of the people were under great political excitement. Certain passages extracted from it were printed on a broadside sheet, and circulated gratuitously among the catholics of the northern counties. This was done with great secrecy.’

Is mar seo a chuireann Thomas Wall síos ar Phastorini agus a gcuid tairngreachtaí: ‘So fascinated was he by mathematical problems that he was dismayed to find himself one morning at Mass vigorously drawing diagrams with the paten on the corporal. A realisation of this sad distraction cured him of his preoccupation with mathematics, and thereafter he devoted much of his time to the study of the Sacred Scripture, especially of the Apocalypse. His history was an interpretation of the Apocalypse but in Ireland a strange concoction from this work, called The Prophecies of Pastorini, was published and achieved an immediate popularity. It must have been a compilation of one of the almanac makers, skilled in epacts, golden numbers, dominical letters, phases of the moon, etc., and its extraordinary predictions about the year twenty five, when right would overcome might, and the bottomless pit would be locked etc., credited implicitly by simple folk, enraged government officials and embarrassed the Irish bishops who were at pains, especially the great Doctor Doyle, to discredit and denounce it (The Sign of Dr. Hay’s Head, 1958). Agus é ag trácht ar an saghas oideachais a bhí ar fáil ag Raiftearaí deir Ciarán Ó Coiglígh (Raiftearaí: Amhráin agus Dánta, 1987) go mbíodh leabhar Phastorini á léamh coitianta. Tá seo ag an bhfile in ‘An Cíos Caitliceach’, amhrán ag cáineadh an Hibernian Bible Society: ‘Scríobh Pastorini go dtiocfadh an bealach seo / Lá gach aon mhí go mbeadh cruinniú ins gach baile acu. / I gCluain Meala bhí díbirt ar New Lights is ar Orangemen, / Is i mBaile Loch’ Riach is ea a léadh a mbeatha dóibh.’ Agus tá sé arís aige in ‘Bearnán Risteard’: ‘Tá súil agam le Críosta go bhfillfidh Bearnaí arís chugainn / Mar scríobh Pastoiríní, ní fada uainn an lá, / Go mbeidh Galla suaite suaite sínte gan duine lena gcaoineadh, / Ach tinte cnámh thíos againn ag lasadh suas go hard.’ Gan amhras is ag Máire Bhuí Ní Laoghaire, in ‘Cath Chéim an Fhia’ (1822), atá an tagairt is aitheanta: ‘Is an bhliain seo anois atá againn beidh rás ar gach smíste, /... Gurab é deir gach údar cruinn liom sara gcríochna siad deireadh an fhómhair / Ins a leabhar so Pastorína go ndíolfaid as an bpóit’.

D’éag Walmesley in Bath 25 Samhain 1797 agus tá sé curtha i mBriostó.

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Diarmuid Breathnach

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