Archdekin, Richard, 1619-1693, Jesuit priest and scholar

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Archdekin, Richard, 1619-1693, Jesuit priest and scholar

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  • MacGiolla Cuddy
  • Arsdekin
  • Archdeacon
  • Ardekin
  • Arschdekin

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16 March 1619-31 August 1693

History

Born: 16 March 1619, County Kilkenny
Entered: 20 September 1642, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 28 March 1648, Louvain, Belgium
Professed: 09 December 1657
Died: 31 August 1693, College of Antwerp, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLA)

Alias MacGiolla Cuddy

Son of Nicholas Archdekin and Anne Sherlog. Read Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy at Louvain
1649 in Tertianship at Mechelen
1650 Returned in Roman Cat age 34 having read 4 years of scholastic Theology
1671 Professor of Scripture at Antwerp (Louvain?) and was published - also taught Scripture, Humanities, Theology and Philosophy
Abbé Henegan says RIP 1690; Another account in suggests Ent 1649
Monument at Thomastown Kilkenny

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Nicholas and Ann née Sherlock
Studied Humanities at Antwerp and Lille under the Jesuits before Ent, and four years Theology in the Society. He knew Latin, Irish, English and Flemish.
1650 Teaching Humanities (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1653 Arrived at Professed House Antwerp, 26/03/1653, and Taught Humanities for six years and was a Professor of Philosophy, Moral Theology and Sacred Scripture, chiefly at Louvain and Antwerp, where he died. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS; and for his writings de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)
Writer; Professor of Theology and Sacred Scripture. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Nicholas and Anne neé Sherlock
He studied humanities in Ireland and Antwerp and on the completion of his philosophy studies at Louvain, entered the Society at Mechelen.
Having studied theology at Louvain he was Ordained priest there 28 March 1648.
Recalled to Ireland, he taught Humanities at Kilkenny until the fall of that city to the Cromwellian forces.
On his return to Belgium he continued to teach Humanities.
1657-1690 Professor of the ecclesiastical sciences :
1657-1665 Philosophy Antwerp, Sacred Scripture and Hebrew at Antwerp
1665-1674 Sacred Scripture, Hebrew and Moral Theology at Louvain
1674-1690 Prefect of ecclesiastical studies, Scripture and Moral Theology at Antwerp
1690-1693 On his retirement he continued to live at the College of Antwerp where he died 31 August, 1693.
The writings of Richard Archdekin were read in probably every theologate of Europe.
His most famous work was the “Praecipuae Controversiae Fidei” which went into many editions in his lifetime. The 1686 edition contains biographical notices of Blessed Oliver Plunket and Archbishop Peter Talbot.
Notable too amongst his works is his treatise on miracles composed with special reference to favours received through the veneration of relics of St. Francis Xavier which were kept at Mechelen. This book is said to be the first known to be printed in Irish and English conjunctively.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Archdekin (Ardsdekin, MacGiolla Cuddy), Richard
by Terry Clavin

Archdekin (Ardsdekin, MacGiolla Cuddy), Richard (1619–93), Jesuit priest and scholar, was born 16 March 1619 in Kilkenny city, son of Nicholas Archdekin and his wife Ann (née Sherlock). After being educated at the classical school in Kilkenny, he travelled to Antwerp (1637) to study theology at the Jesuit college there before moving to Louvain (1640), where he studied philosophy. Already proficient in Irish, English, and Latin, he became fluent in Flemish. On 20 September 1642 he entered the Society of Jesus at Malines (Mechelen) before returning to Louvain (1644) to resume his study of philosophy. He was ordained a priest on 28 March 1648 and, after completing his tertianship, returned to Ireland in summer 1649 to join the Jesuit mission there. Presumably he would have been a member of the teaching staff of a college that the Jesuits intended to establish in Kilkenny, but these plans were dashed by the invasion of Ireland by a militantly anti-catholic English protestant army under the generalship of Oliver Cromwell (qv). Archdekin was soon obliged to flee to Galway, which held out until 1652, after which he managed to slip away and (after a period in hiding) eventually found a ship bound for the Continent. He landed in the Spanish Netherlands on 26 March 1653.

Thereafter he pursued a successful academic career on the Continent, being first appointed to teach humanities at Malines and Alost (Aalst). In 1657 he became professor of philosophy at the Jesuit college in Antwerp and continued as such until 1662, when he began teaching scripture and Hebrew. He moved (1665) to the Jesuit college at Louvain, where he taught scripture, Hebrew, and moral theology before serving as professor of scripture and moral theology at Antwerp from 1664 until his retirement in 1690.

He also wrote a number of works, and his first publication, A treatise of miracles (1667), was printed in both Irish and English. When writing in Irish he used the pseudonym MacGiolla Cuddy. In 1671 he published Vita et miraculorum sancti Patritii Hiberniae, which included a life of St Patrick (qv) and also elaborated on prophecies attributed to St Malachy (qv). The same year he published Praecipuae controversiae fidei, a practical guide for missionary priests in Ireland. It included material on theology, philosophy, the catholic rite, secular and ecclesiastical history, sermons, and religious instruction. In particular it incorporated many references to Irish affairs. The first edition of 1,000 copies was sold out within months and it went through eleven editions in his lifetime. The 1686 edition was retitled Theologia tripartite universa and expanded on the preexisting material to include lives of the martyred archbishop of Armagh, Oliver Plunkett (qv) and of Peter Talbot (qv), archbishop of Dublin. In 1700 an error was uncovered in his teaching on philosophical sin, and as a result the book was placed on the prohibited index. This error was corrected in subsequent editions. He died at Antwerp 31 August 1693 and was buried in the Jesuit graveyard there.

Webb; Crone; T. Wall, ‘Richard Archdekin's catechetical hour’, IER, no. 70 (Jan.–June 1948), 305–15; Boylan (1988 ed.); Dictionary of catholic biography (1962); ODNB

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Irish Mission of the Society of Jesus, 1542-1773 (1542-1773)

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Irish Mission of the Society of Jesus, 1542-1773

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Archdekin, Richard, 1619-1693, Jesuit priest and scholar

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