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Allen, William, 1597/8-1621, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/871
  • Person
  • 1597/8-26 June 1621

Born: 1597/8, Ireland
Entered: 1617/8, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Died: 26 June 1621, Oropesa, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

Archer, James, 1550-1620, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/877
  • Person
  • 1550-19 February 1620

Born: 1550, Kilkenny
Entered: 25 May 1581, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c. 1577 Louvain, Italy, - before Entry
Died: 19 February 1620, Irish College, Santiago de Compostela, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

2 yrs Theology in Rome, concentrating on Moral;
In the Roman College 1584; at Pont-à-Mousson as Minister and student confessor, Campaniae Province (CAMP) 1586-7- moved to Nancy 1587 due to danger of war;
First Rector of Salamanca;
famous Missioner in Ireland during “Tyrone war”;
Bruxelles et Castrensis Mission in 1590;
at Salamanca in 1603;
At Bilbao - Castellanae Province (CAST) - in 1614 - Prefect of Irish Mission;
Irish College Salamanca in 1619 and then died in Santiago 15 February 1620.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
First Rector of Salamanca ad great promoter of education; A Most celebrated man whose name was very dear to Irishmen, and with whom he possessed unbounded influence.
He was a famous Missioner in Ireland during the War of Tyrone
In 1617 he was in Castellanae Province (CAST).
Succeeded Fr Thomas White as rector of Salamanca 1592-1605
His name also appears incidentally in the State Papers, Public Record Office, London, 1592, 1594.
He is highly eulogised in a report of Irish Affairs addressed by Capt Hugh Mostian to Louis Mansoni, the Papal Nuncio for Ireland, towards the latter end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. (Oliver’s “Collectanea” from Stonyhurst MSS. Oliver also refers to several of Archer’s letters as still extant)
1606 Archer was constituted the first Prefect of the Irish Mission in the National College, Rome (Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1872, July 1874 and a biography September 1874)

Note from Bl Dominic Collins Entry
After First Vows he was sent to Ireland as a companion to James Archer, who was a Chaplain to the Spanish invading force sent by Philip III of Spain. He was taken prisoner and rejected the overtures to reject his faith he was hanged (at Cork or Youghal).

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had studied at Louvain and was Ordained some time before March 1577. Before he entered the Society he was already a Master of Arts. When he returned to Ireland in 1577, he remained for at least he next eighteen months. He was at Kilmallock, 21 August 1578, when he assisted the Franciscan, Father Conrad Rourke, the eve of his death “in odium fidei”
After First Vows, Archer was deputed to revise his studies at the Roman College and Pont-à-Mousson. At the latter place he served also as Minister of the community and the student-boarders. It would seem that his Superiors were grooming him for professorial duties - However...
1590 By May he was serving as a military chaplain at Brussels
1592 He was sent to Spain to take charge of the newly founded Irish College, Salamanaca.
1596 He returned to Ireland to raise funds there for Salamanca College but his contacts with the Irish chieftains won for him the repute of a political intriguer and the hatred of the administration at Dublin. There can be no doubt that his sympathies lay with the Old Irish whose cause he saw was bound up with the survival of the Catholic Church in the country. He seems to have met Hugh O'Neill about the time of the battle of the Yellow Ford and was later at the camp of the Earl of Desmond. The MacCarthy Mor stated that Archer, by letter, solicited him to rise in rebellion.
1600-1602 He left Ireland for Rome, 20 July, but returned with the fleet of Juan Del Aguila, 23 September 1601 and remained until July 1602. Before his return to Spain he reported to the General on the state of Ireland.
1602-1612 Returned to Spain he held various posts in the Irish College, Salamanca, but seems also to have spent much time questing for the support of the Irish students. For a time he was stationed at Bilbao to win the support of new benefactors of the Irish colleges of the Peninsula.
His later years were spent at Santiago where he died, 19 February 1620

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Archer, James
by C. J. Woods

Archer, James (1550–1620), Jesuit priest and administrator, was born at Kilkenny and belonged, it can be deduced, to a patrician family prominent in that city. To prepare for an ecclesiastical career he went (c.1564) to the Spanish Netherlands, to Louvain, a hotbed of the new militant catholic theology and a strong influence on attempts at extending the counter-reformation to England. On his return to Ireland (1577) he was considered by the English authorities there to be a danger to the Elizabethan church settlement. Undoubtedly he had some sympathy with principals of the Desmond rebellion.

In 1581 Archer entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, continuing his studies there before moving (1585) to Pont-à-Mousson in the duchy of Lorraine, where there was a small seminary for Irish and Scottish students. Showing talent mainly as a confessor and administrator, he was sent (1587) to minister to the 1,200 Irish, English, and Scottish soldiers in the so-called Irish regiment, whom their commander, Sir William Stanley (qv), had persuaded to forsake the English service for the Spanish. The activities of Stanley and his entourage were an aggravating circumstance in the Spanish threat to Elizabeth I's England. Archer was said to have been involved in an alleged plot to murder the queen.

At the close of 1592 he went to Spain. After visiting the royal court at Madrid, he settled in Salamanca, the seat of Spain's foremost university, and took over the administration of the Irish college being founded there. In 1596 he returned to Ireland to seek money for the college and to explore the possibility of re-establishing a Jesuit mission. He was obliged to lie low in the countryside and eventually to join Hugh O'Neill (qv), whose rebellion had been raging since 1593. On all sides he acquired a legendary reputation. Summoned to Rome (1600) to give an account of his mission, he acted also as an envoy of O'Neill. In 1601 he was back in Spain, involved in planning the Spanish military expedition to Ireland as well as settling differences among the Irish at Salamanca. Archer was a member of the force numbering 4,432 men that headed for Kinsale in September. For the defeat of the expedition he blamed the commander, Juan del Águila (qv). Archer left Ireland for Spain in July 1602; his views about the failure of the enterprise were heeded at first, but when Águila was exonerated and peace was made with England (1603) his career as a negotiator for Spanish aid for Irish rebels was over. Although his Jesuit superior would not allow him to return to Ireland, rumours abounded there of his presence.

The rest of his life was given, as ‘prefect of the mission’, to the Irish seminaries in the Iberian peninsula. Once again Archer had to deal with differences among the Irish catholics: the Old English were accused by the Old Irish of unfairness towards them, and the Jesuits were accused by other clerics of self-preferment. Archer's work in Spain bore fruit in 1610 when the Spanish authorities built a new college for the Irish in Salamanca, the Colegio de los Nobles Irlandeses, to which the king gave his support. Archer spent his last years at Santiago de Compostela. It was at the Irish college there that he died on 15 February 1620.

Although he was a man of no more than moderate ability and an indifferent scholar, Archer had qualities that served to make him an important figure in the Irish counter-reformation: he was phlegmatic and a good administrator; he had some influence at the Spanish court and, thanks to his experience in Ireland in the 1590s, the confidence of both of the rival groups of Irish Catholics – Old English and Old Irish. Only a few letters of James Archer survive, and there is no known portrait or even a verbal description.

Thomas J. Morrissey, James Archer of Kilkenny, an Elizabethan Jesuit (1979)

Note from Bl Dominic Collins Entry
In February 1601 he made his first religious profession and seven months later was appointed by his superiors to join the Irish mission, as Fr James Archer (qv) had specifically asked for him, perhaps due to his previous military experience and also his Spanish contacts. Archer had been described by Sir George Carew (qv), president of Munster, as ‘a chief stirrer of the coals of war’ (Morrissey, Studies, 318) and was being constantly sought out by government agents. Collins's association with him was to prove dangerous. He sailed with the Spanish expedition to Ireland on 3 September 1601, one of the commanders being Don Juan del Aguila, to whom Collins had surrendered Lapena in 1598. The flotilla with which he travelled arrived late at Castlehaven due to bad weather. After the defeat of the Irish and Spanish forces at Kinsale, Collins finally met Archer in February 1602 at the castle of Gortnacloghy, near Castlehaven

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: Jumping Jesuits

Travellers in the Beara Peninsula will remember the Priest’s Leap, a mountain cliff in the townland of Cummeenshrule, where (around 1600 AD) a priest on horseback escaped from pursuing soldiers by a miraculous leap, which landed him on a rock near Bantry. Was the lepper a Jesuit? One tradition claims him as James Archer SJ; another as Blessed (Brother) Dominic Collins. In view of some dating difficulties, one can only say: pie creditur – a common phrase in Latin hagiographies, meaning “It is piously believed…”!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962

Few men played a greater part than Father James Archer in the tremendous effort to smash the growing power of England in Ireland that marked the closing years. of the sixteenth century. Arriving in Ireland in 1596, he found the country already in the throes of war. The Tudors. had by this time realised that England could not be safe unless Ireland were subjugated. By the end of the sixteenth century, England had shaken off the last shackles of medieval restraints and had emerged as one or the strongest powers in Europe, The threats of Spain and the Pope had been warded off, and England was looked upon as the leader and head of Protestant Europe. It was at this time that she turned her face in real earnest towards Ireland.

The history of the Reformation in Ireland during the sixteenth century can be told briefly. The reform movements of Henry VIII and Edward, his son, were a complete failure. Neither of these kings had sufficient political control outside the Pale to enforce their authority, and even within the boundaries of the Pale the movement made little progress. During the reign of Mary the Catholic Church again flourished, though the confiscated monasteries were not restored. In 1558 Elizabeth succeeded to the throne of England,. Prior to her succession, she had never shown any remarkable zeal for religion. As queen, what she desired pre-eminently was peace and harmony. For the first years of her reign, her position in England was too insecure to permit her to embark on any intensive persecution of the Catholics, The clergy, however, were subject to a persecution that varied all through her reign; it was intensified or slackened according to the political circumstances of the moment. Up to 1578 religion did not play a vital part in opposing the anglicisation of Ireland. Gradually from that time on, it became more and more important, until finally in the reign of James I the Catholics, both Irish and Anglo-Irish, clung to their faith as the only part of the heritage that had been left. So too it was religion that at the beginning of the next century was to unite the two races, by inciting them both to oppose the alien creed. Later it was on the rock of her Faith, preserved and enlivened at this time, that the nationality of Ireland was founded.

Perhaps before we examine the work of Fr Archer, a word on the state of religion in Ireland during the sixteenth century may not be out of place. It is certain that it was not a very vital force in the lives of many of the people. They were Catholics More by custom than by conviction. Here is one account left by Dr Tanner, who had to leave the Society of Jesus owing to ill-health and who was later appointed Bishop of Cork: “He (Dr Tanner) is assured by grave men that during all this time not a hundred Irishmen in all Ireland have been infected with heresy, though not a few ... attend the profane rites of the heretics, and the demoralisation of the people is such that a pious Catholic is hardly to be found; and no wonder since the clergy are the most depraved or all. Moreover, there is so little instruction to be had in the Christian Faith that few can so much as repeat the Lord's Prayer, the Articles of the Faith, or the commandments, and still fewer understand them. Sermons are so uncommon that there are many that have never so much as heard one. The Sacraments are rarely administered. In fine so gross is the ignorance of the people that there are many who, passing all their lives in the grossest sin, have grown accustomed thereto”.

In general we may conclude that religion was dormant in Ireland at the end of the sixteenth century. The people indeed had the Faith and seemed eager for instructions and there is no evidence of anti clericalism as in England. On the contrary, the priests were generally loved and would always find a safe shelter among the people, who had seen so many of them give up their lives for the Faith. But unfortunately, many of the priests were not active. The morals of the people were often depraved. There was little scope for Catholic education. The monasteries for the most part had been dissolved. The external organisation of the Church was shattered, and the wars had increased the laxity and poverty of the people. But the light of Faith had been kept glowing by the zealous labours of the Friars and the heroic priests and bishops who had endured persecution and death to shield, their flocks. This then was the state of the country, political and religious, when in 1597 Fr James Archer landed in Waterford to inaugurate what was to become the first permanent mission of the Society of Jesus in Ireland.

James Archer was born in Kilkenny in 1550. He attended the school of the famous Dr Peter White or that town, where the young Archer seems to have been a distinguished scholar. Very little is known of his career for the next fifteen years. In 1577 he was at Louvain, but in the following year he was back again in Ireland. On the 25 May 1581 he entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, and the next we hear of him is that in 1592 he was at Pont-à-Mousson with Fathers Richard Fleming, Richard de la Field and Christopher Hollywood, all Irish Jesuits. In the same year he was sent to Spain to collaborate with other Irish Jesuits in the foundation of the famous Irish college at Salamanca, which was instituted for the training of secular priests for the home mission. He remained there until 1596, when he was sent back to Ireland with Fr Henry Fitzsimon to re-open the Jesuit mission there which had lapsed for ten years.

Almost immediately after his arrival in Ireland, Fr Archer went northward to meet Hugh O'Neill, who was already in rebellion against Elizabeth. Archer looked upon the '”Nine Years War” as a crusade against the heretic queen. Therefore, during the few years that he was in Ireland, he strove to the utmost of his powers to unite the Irish under the leadership of Tyrone and to induce the Spaniards to send aid, His influence with the Irish chief's during these years was of paramount importance. He was looked upon by the English as one of their most dangerous enemies, and they laid several traps to ensnare him. If we were to rely on official contemporary documents alone, we should imagine that Archer was a traitorous intriguer and an enemy to all stability and good government. From other sources we can see that he was, first and foremost, a zealous missionary for the Faith.

In his first letter to his General in Rome, written on 10 August 1598, he gives an account of the precarious life he was leading even at this early stage. “The Government”, he says “hates me very much, hunts me very often in frequent raids, and has set a price on my head. This forces me to live in the woods and in hiding-places. I cannot even return to Spain, as merchants are afraid to receive me into their vessels, for they know well that there are spies in every port on the look-out for me”. Then he goes on to describe his missionary work: “I have already heard many thousand confessions, and have instructed an uncultivated and rude people. I brought back some to the Church and reconciled a noble person and his wife, and thus put a stop to dangerous dissentions which existed among members of both families who were leading men in the land, I administered the Sacraments in the camp, and it is marvellous to see the crowds that cone from the surrounding districts to hear Mass and go to Confession”.

In the beginning of the year 1598, the informer William Paule notified Lord Justice Loftus of the activities of Archer. He said that Jesuit lurked sometimes in Munster with Lord Roche and sometimes in Tipperary with Lord Mountgarrett. Paule urged Loftus to induce these Lords to betray Archer. Alternatively he suggested that the Protestant Bishop of Kilkenny should be ordered to capture him when he visited his friends in that town. Warning Loftus that Archer was wary, Paule informed him that the priest knew that his enemies were searching for him. Paule further suggested that he should have no scruple in killing Archer if he resisted arrest. Even at this early date, Fr Archer had attained to a position of outstanding influence with the Irish chieftains. He had already been universally accepted by them and an able adviser and true friend and had won the esteem and affection of the Irish people. He was equally hated and feared by their enemies.

In October 1598, Archer was mentioned in a despatch as “the chief stirrer of these coals (i.e., conspiracies) and promises to many the coming of forces from Spain”. He certainly did not spare himself in his effort to unite the Irish chiefs in their struggle against England, the common foe. In November 1598, he succeeded in inducing the Baron of Cahir to join the rebellion against Elizabeth. He hoped that by Easter 1599 “we, and such as be of our Catholic confederacy, shall be masters of all the cities, towns and forts in Ireland”. His reasons for the war throw a flood of light on his attitude to politics, and afford a convincing refutation of those who doubted his motives. They were first to restore the Catholic Church to its former position in Ireland; second, to repair the injuries done by the English to the Catholic nobility and gentry of Ireland; and finally to place a Catholic Prince on the throne of Ireland. Did Archer hope to set up Hugh O'Neill as High King of all Ireland or did he intend to make Ireland a vassal state of Spain? We do not know. The concepts of nationality, and a national state were only being moulded in the minds of men at this very time. It is even doubtful whether men like James Fitzmaurice or even Hugh O'Neill himself conceived it. Nationality in Ireland takes its origin from the religious persecutions of the seventeenth century; yet undoubtedly there existed in the sixteenth century some tendency towards local patriotism, especially as opposed to English tyranny. It is difficult to state definitely the motives and desires that agitated the mind of Archer during these years. One thing is certain that he considered freedom from English rule as essential to the spiritual welfare of Ireland.

In December 1598, Archer and his constant companion Bishop Creagh were accused of inciting the whole province of Munster to rebel. So great was his influence that his name had already come to the notice of Elizabeth, who charged him with “raising her subjects to rebellion”. Soon afterwards Elizabeth was again informed that the Irish priests, especially Archer “the Pope's Legate”, had assured the lords and chieftains who supported the queen or who remained neutral that after the war they would receive no better treatment from the English than the rebels. In this way they hoped to alienate her subjects from their allegiance. Rewards were offered for the capture of Archer, dead or alive. O'Neill's crushing victory at the Yellow Ford on the 15 August 1598 had shaken the loyalty of many supporters of the English. Archer's influence was more pernicious than ever. He was constantly on the move, visiting now one chieftain, now another. Several attempts were made to capture him, but all miscarried. Soon after his arrival in Ireland he had been arrested. He had managed to escape however and had determined never again to fall into the hands of his enemies. He can easily imagine the precarious position in which he was placed by the constant watch of spies, especially in areas where the Irish chieftains were not openly hostile to the Crown. But, through the goodwill and ever-watchful care of the Irish people, he escaped unscathed - though often at the last moment. His capture was looked upon by the Government as vitally important, his life being deemed of greater value to the Irish than those of the chieftains themselves. In 1600, in a report of Captain Hugh Mostian who had been won over by Archer from the English side, we read that “Archer by his sole authority as a private religious brought more comfort to the Irish than a great force of soldiers could do, and that the voice of the people gave him the title of Legate, At his nod the hearts of men are united and held together not only in the territory of Berehaven and all Munster, but in the greater part of the Kingdom ...”

In 1600 occurred a famous incident - the capture of the Earl of Ormonde by Owny O'More. The circumstances connected with the plot are fully described in the Calendar of Carew MSS. and elsewhere. Fr Archer happened to be staying with O'More when the latter captured Ormonde. There is no evidence to prove the charge that he was the instigator of the act. Naturally enough he was blamed by the English for having contrived the treachery and for refusing to liberate the Earl; although, according to them, some other Jesuits desired his release. He was also described as Ormande's “bed-fellow” and was said to have tried to convert him, which seems to be true. Several years later Ormonde was converted by two Irish Jesuits, Frs O'Kearney and Wale.

Early in 1600 Archer was summoned to Rome to give an account of the Irish Jesuit mission. It is strange that he should have been called away at such a critical juncture in the history of Ireland. Possibly the General in Rome did not fully realise what was at stake at the moment, or perhaps he night have thought that the final victory had already been won by the Irish. In a letter to the General, written by the Superior of the Mission, Fr Richard de la Field, an extremely cautious and conservative man, we read of Archer: “He has been a source of light and help in our work here. He has always lived with these Irish lords who are endeavouring to promote the interests of religion, and in consequence he is the object of an intense hatred of the Queen's officials and of the army. His presence here at the same time is very necessary for the advancement of the Catholic Faith in these calamitous times. It is important for us that he should be sent back as soon as possible. This letter is very valuable as coming from one who, at this time, was himself hesitating as to what side he should support in the conflict. It rightly stresses the spiritual nature of Archer's work, for it was that which predominated in all his other activity.

Of Archer's visit to Rome we know nothing. He was back again in Ireland in a few months, as his spies obligingly informed us. It was falsely reported to Cecil that Archer was returning from Rome armed with a Bull of Excommunication against all those who supported Elizabeth in the war. A few months later Cecil was again informed that Archer had landed in Ireland and was inciting the people to revolt. On his return he was again almost captured; but, as often before, he managed to escape his pursuers, Sir George Carew reported that Archer's arrival foreshadowed the advent of a Spanish fleet and the renewal of the war in Ireland. From an account given by his confrère, Brother Dominic Collins SJ, we learn that Archer actually did return to Ireland with Spanish help. His influence with the Irish soldiers was again evinced when, on the 29 May 1602, Carew informed Cecil that but for Archer many of them would have returned to their homes after the defeat at Kinsale or would have gone over to the side of the English. “Every day”', says Carew, “he devises letters and intelligences out of Spain, assuring them of succour, and once a week confirms new leagues and seals them with the Sacrament”. In another letter written by Carew we find the following amusing passage: “If Archer have the art of conjuring, I think he hath not been idle; but ere long I hope to conjure him. The country of Beare is full of witches; between them and Archer I do believe the devil hath been raised to serve their turn”. Even in defeat the English feared him. They seemed to have believed that he possessed superhuman powers, that he could walk on the sea and fly through the air. His name should have been not Archer but “Archdevil!” One can readily imagine the fate that awaited Archer, had he been captured. Shortly before this time he “was very near taken by a draught laid by the Lord Lieutenant, but happily escaped”.

In a report of Robert Atkinson, an informer and pervert, we got another account of Archer's activities. He says that he met Archer in Ireland when the latter was “chief commander of the Irish troops, horse and foot”. He also states that Archer commanded for his own guard as many men as he pleased, especially for “any bloody actions to be done upon the English Nation”. There is no evidence to show that Archer ever took part with the Irish soldiers in the actual fighting. Atkinson further states that Archer was commonly called the Pope's Legate and was Archprelate over all the clergy of the provinces of Munster, Leinster and the territory of the O'Neills. By others, he says, he was called Tyrone's Confessor, just as formerly he had been Confessor to the Archduke of Austria. For the rest we shall let Atkinson speak for himself: “Of all the priests that ever were, he is held for the most bloody and treacherous traitor, sure unto none in friendship that will not put his decrees in action by warrant of his Apostolic authority, as he calleth it, from time to time renewed by Bulls from Rome. He is grown to be so absolute that he holds the greatest Lords in such awe that none dare gainsay him”.

Even at the eleventh hour Archer's hopes did not give way. On the 14 June 1602 he was again supplicating for Spanish aid. For the next few weeks he remained with the Irish soldiers at Dunboy. Finally, on July 6th he left Ireland to induce the Spanish King to send another fleet to help a broken cause. He was more fortunate than his companion, Br Dominic Collins SJ, who was captured by the English and hanged in Cork on the 31 October 1602, being the third Jesuit to die for the faith in Ireland.

Fr Archer never again returned to Ireland. His life on the Continent we shall only review briefly. On the 6 May 1504 the General of the Jesuits appointed him Prefect of the Irish Mission in Spain. This appointment is clear proof that his Superiors held him in the highest esteem. They paid little attention to the lying reports that had been spread over England and Ireland in an effort, to blacken the reputation of one who was both a zealous priest and a great Irishman. In 1608, six years after his departure from Ireland, his name was still feared by the English. At this time he was accused of making preparations for another rebellion in Ireland. Chichester issued an order that spies be placed in various parts of the country to inform him of the arrival of Archer.

During all this time, Fr Archer was actively engaged in Spain as Prefect of the Irish Colleges. These Colleges were founded by Irish Jesuits. at Salamanca, Lisbon, Santiago and Seville for the training of Irish secular priests. In 1617 he was the oldest Irish Jesuit alive, being seventy-two years of age. He was still Superior of the Mission in Spain. The date of his death is uncertain, but it occurred before 1626. Thus ended the career of one of the most remarkable Jesuits who laboured on the Irish Mission during these years.

If we are to assess the value of Archer's work in Ireland or the magnitude of the task he set before himself, we must not leave out of account the circumstances in which he lived. Although Archer's aim was first and foremost spiritual, he saw clearly that political independence of England was utterly essential to the religious welfare of Ireland. The idea of toleration was not yet born in Europe.
Neither Catholic nor Protestant was ready to brook the existence of the other. Even in Ireland the word “Counter-Reformation” connoted not only a spiritual movement within and without the Catholic Church, but also an effort to compel the return of erring souls by force of arms. Moreover the political and religious state of Ireland itself must also be taken into account. For almost a century the country has been a prey to disunion and internal strife. Religion too was not a vital force in the lives of the people, Had the persecution been as severe as it had been in England, or in other words, had political circumstances been favourable, Ireland might have succumbed to the new doctrines, All these facts were well known to Fr Archer when he arrived in Ireland in 1596. Thus we can understand why he strove to unite the country under O'Neill and to procure aid from Spain and the Pope.

Before concluding this article, it might not be out of place to discuss briefly how far Fr Archer influenced the wars of O'Neill, and, especially, the extent to which he influenced the Great Earl himself. One thing is certain, that Fr Archer was regarded by the English authorities as O'Neill's ambassador and representative not only at all the courts of the local Irish chieftains but in Spain and Rome. It is equally certain that he acted as intermediary between the Irish and Spanish several times, and even for years after the Irish collapse at Kinsale the English feared that he would again organise another Spanish expedition. Several years after that fatal day, the authorities had spies placed in all the Irish ports on the watch for Archer's return. Indeed many false alarms were given, and at one time the English actually believed that he had landed in Ireland. These precautions would not have been taken if the Government had not already experienced the powerful, stay that Fr Archer had over the people. How far were their fears justified? It is very probable that Hugh O'Neill did not realise what was at stake when he first launched his rebellion. In fact it seems that he would never have revolted and there been any alternative, What was he fighting for? An Irish Ireland, or a Catholic Ireland, or local independence? The problem has not yet been solved. But I think it is true to say that, whatever may have been his motive in starting the war, he never fully realised all that that war involved. Probably even he did not foresee that the struggle would take on a national aspect before its close; and it is far less likely that he realised that it would become part of a European campaign and would be looked upon by many nations on the Continent as just another element of the Catholic Counter Reformation. Moreover, if Hugh O'Neill did not realize all this, he would not have been able to combine all these forces in a vast movement against the common enemy. The problem could almost be stated thus: Was O'Neill the unconscious leader of a movement that was indeed begun by him, but whose consequences and ramifications he had not foreseen and perhaps did not even realise up to the last?

This question is difficult to answer. But I think some light is thrown on it by glancing at the part played by Fr Archer in these crucial years. Immediately after his arrival in Ireland, Fr Archer went direct to O'Neill, as we have seen. Coming from Spain, where he was well-known, he was suspected, probably rightly, of bringing a message from the Spanish Court. Soon after this he visited all the Irish chieftains, including O'Donnell, O'Sullivan Beare, Owny O'More, the Earl of Desmond, Florence MacCarthy, James Fitzthomas (who claimed to be the Earl of Desmond), Lords Barry, Roche and Mountgarrett, as well as the Mayors of the southern towns - including Cork, Waterford and Kinsale. The mention of these three towns is significant. They are on the coast nearest Spain. Why did Archer visit these chieftains? The answer is obvious. From the outset, he regarded the struggle as a Catholic crusade against England. Therefore his policy was to unite all the Irish under O’Neill and, if possible, secure help from Spain and Rome. His aim and purpose, as well as the means to achieve the end, were clear and decisive - unlike those of Hugh O'Neill. And it is well to remember here that O'Neill's environment, even if we allow for a period spent in England, was mainly the local life and tradition of a petty chieftain of Ireland with all the narrowness that it entailed. While Archer's background was not only Irish tradition modified by Anglo-Norman ancestry, but also an international education the best that Europe could offer, an almost first-hand realisation of what the Reformation meant to Europe, a partiality for things Spanish with a natural bias against England, and finally a full comprehension of the danger to the Catholic religion in Ireland in an English domination there. Unfortunately we have little reliable evidence to guide us. But from the information we have I think we can safely affirm that Fr Archer was responsible, at least partially, for the change of outlook that is so marked a feature in the development of O'Neill's character as the years went by. It is interesting to note that, in a report sent by the Bishops of Dublin and Meath to the King in June 1603, much of what I have said is corroborated. Having stated that O'Neill had revolted to defend his rights and privileges, they go on to assert that the Jesuits and other priests afterwards induced him to fight for the sake of the Catholic religion and to secure the aid of the Pope and King of Spain. In many other places in the official documents the Jesuits are blamed for spreading the revolt. We know now that, of the Jesuits of the time, only Fr Archer exerted any direct political influence on a wide scale. To him, therefore, we largely attribute the change that took place. Thus, as the English realised only too well, “to have Archer taken were a great service to both the realms (England and Ireland), he being a capital instrument for Spain and the poison of Ireland”.

Hated by the English, Fr Archer won the hearts of the Irish, both rich and poor. In all the references to him there is not one which in any way tarnishes his memory, except those that come from the hands of his political enemies. Had the Irish been victorious at Kinsale, James Archer would probably have been one of the most influential men in the country. But after the defeat of 1601, his position in Ireland was even more invidious than that of O'Neill's himself. The Great Earl could adapt himself to the new conditions and try to begin life all over again, but for Archer there were no alternatives but death or exile. He had been looked upon by the English as the symbol of the rebellion in Ireland, and in his person he crystallised the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the Irish people. He stands forth as one of the foremost champions of his time of the Catholic religion in Ireland. By the English he was believed to be the source of all the discontent in the country. He was the emissary of the King of Spain, the Pope's ambassador and a member of the Society of Jesus. For him there could be no forgiveness.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Archer SJ 1550-1626
Fr James Archer was known to the English as the Archdevil. So active was he o behalf of the Irish, and so adept at evading capture, that magical powers were attributed to him. He is the only Jesuit of those days of whom we have a personal description, due to the interest of his enemies in him. We read in the report of the spy that “Archer, the traitor, was small of stature and black of complexion, that his hair was spotted grey, that he had a white doublet, and that the rest of his apparels was of some colour suitable for disguise”. Indeed, we may say that we have a photograph of him for an engraving of him may be found in “The History of British Costume” : “He had black mantle, and the high-crowned hat of the times. He appeard in straight trouse”.

Born of one of the leading families of Kilkenny in 1550, Fr Archer was one of the most remarkable Jesuits who laboured on the Irish Mission. What Henry Fitzsimon was to the Pale, James Archer was to the native Irish. By his clear grasp of the political and religious situation, his tireless efforts to unite the country against the sworn enemy of her faith and culture and to enlist in her cause the support of Spain, Fr Archer deserves to be ranked with Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh o’Donnell as one if the leading champions of national independence and of the Catholic religion in the Ireland of his day.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ARCHER, JAMES. In p. 301, History of British Costume (Library of Entertaining knowledge), is a delineation of O’More, an Irish Chieftain, and Archer, a Jesuit retained by him, both copied from a map of the taking of the Earl of Ormond in 1600. The Rev. Father is dressed in a black mantle, and wears the high crowned hat of the time. I read in a Report or Memorial of Irish Aflairs, addressed by Captain Hugh Mostian to Lewis Mansoni, the Papal Nuncio for Ireland, towards the latter end of Q Elizabeth s reign, “Unus Pater Archerus major fuit illis (Hibernis) consolatio, quam potuit esse magnet militum copia. Testis sum illius praesentiam tantum profuisse, ut vix aliud tantum : ad ipsius enim Nutum uniuntur et tenentur, corda hominum non solum in teritorio Beerhaven et Provincifc Australis : sed et in majori parte totius Regni.” “Father Archer alone was a greater comfort to his Irish countrymen than even a considerable reinforcement of troops. I am a witness, that his presence was almost more serviceable to the cause than anything else : for at his nod the hearts of men were united and bound together, not only in the district of Beerhaven and Munster, but in the greater part of the whole kingdom”
A few of F. Archer s letters have been fortunately preserved. The first is dated from the Camp, 10th of August, 1598. He states the difficulty of all Epistolary communication the intense anxiety and diligence of the Government to apprehend him; insomuch, that he was obliged to live generally in the woods and secret places, “ita ut in sylvis et latebris ut plurimum degam”. Still he never ceased from exercising the functions of his ministry - he had received two thousand general Confessions - he had instructed and confirmed many in the Faith, and reconciled several to the Catholic Church - that there was every prospect of an abundant harvest of souls, if he had some fellow-labourers; and that the gentry in the North and South parts of the island were most desirous of a supply. It seems that he had been ordered to Ireland to procure assistance for the Irish Seminary at Salamanca, “in subsidium Seminarii Hybernorum”, and that he had succeeded in sending over several youths with funds for their education. In conclusion he says that he was intending to proceed by the first opportunity to Spain from the North of Ireland. Iter in Hispaniam cogito prima occasione ex Septentrionali parte. NB : I find by a letter of F. Richard Field, dated Dublin, 20th of July, 1600, that he as Superior of the Irish Mission, had made F. J. Archer the actual bearer of that very letter to Rome. He recommends to him Mr. Robert Lalour, qui se socium itineris adjunxit Patri Jacobo (Archer.)
The second letter is dated, Compostella, 26th of February, 1606. It proves his active industry in procuring donations for the purpose of educating his countrymen, as also his zeal for the conversion of souls. He had just reconciled to God and his Church three English merchants.
The third letter to F. George Duras, the Assistant for Germany, is dated Madrid, 4th of August, 1607. He was then living at Court, “Ego in aula versor”, and had been successful in collecting Subscriptions.
The fourth letter is to F. Duras, from Madrid, 29th September, 1607. and is only subscribed by F. Archer, who, from illness, “prae dolore pectoris”, was obliged to employ a Secretary. He recommends the erection of an Irish Novitiate in Belgium. After treating of the business of the Irish Mission, he mentions “the conversion of three Scotchmen at Madrid : one was so desperate a Puritan, as often to declare that not all the Doctors of the World should ever withdraw him from his sect and opinion. Truth, however, had conquered : from a lion he became a lamb, and has chosen the life of a Capuchin Friars. I have others in hand in the suit of the English Ambassador, whom I will endeavour to reform”. Further particulars of this Rev. Father I have not been able to collect.

Baker, John, 1644-1719, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2283
  • Person
  • 30 March 1644-29 August 1719

Born: 30 March 1644, Madrid, Spain
Entered: 07 September1670, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 04 April 1678
Final Vows: 02 February 1688
Died: 29 August 1719, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1685 Missioner in the Hampshire disctrict
1692 Succeeded Christopher Grene as English Penitentiary at St Peter’s Rome (ANG CAT 1704 shows him still there)

He is named in several letters of ANG Mission Superior John Warner, written to Rome, and in one dated 14 June 1680, he informs the General that John Baker had escaped from England. (Father Warner’s Note and Letter-book)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BAKER, JOHN, admitted a novice at Watten 7th Sept 1670. He succeeded F. Christopher Green, July, 1692, in the office of Penitentiary in St. Peter s at Rome; and died at Watten, 29th Aug. 1719, at. 75.

Bathe, William, 1564-1614, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/913
  • Person
  • 12 April 1564-17 June 1614

Born: 12 April 1564, Drumcondra Castle, Dublin
Entered: 14 October 1595, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1602
Final vows: 02 December 1612
Died 17 June 1614, Madrid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Mother was Eleanor Preston
Studied Humanities in Ireland, Philosophy at Oxford and Theology at Louvain
Was heir to Drumcondra Castle. Writer, Musician and Spiritual Director
Died as he was about to give a retreat to the court of Philip II of Spain
“Janua Linguarum” edited 20 times and in 8 languages

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of John, a Judge and Eleanora née Preston
Heir to Drumcondra Castle
Writer; Musician; Spiritual Director; Very holy man
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy partly at Oxford and partly with his Theology at Louvain.
Admitted to the Society at Courtray (Kortrijk) by BELG Provincial Robert Duras, and Entered at Tournai
(Interesting mention is made of him in Irish Ecclesiastical Record March 1873 and August 1874.)
After completing his studies he was made Rector at Irish College Salamanca
He died at Madrid aged 50 just as he was about to give a retreat at Court of Philip II
His “Janua Linguarum” was edited about twenty times and once in eight languages.
(cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” who enumerates his writings)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Elder son of John, of Drumcondra and Eleanor, née Preston, daughter of the third Viscount Gormanston.
He entered on his higher studies at Oxford but was prevented from graduating by the Oath of Supremacy. During his time at Oxford when he was still only twenty, he published ‘A Brief Introduction to the true Art of Musicke’. A Brief Introduction to the skill of Song' appeared a few years later. To these publications as well as his family's intimacy with Perrott, Lord Deputy of Ireland, William owed his reception at the court of Elizabeth 1. Eventually he renounced his inheritance in favour of his brother and determined to become a priest.
Studied for three years at Louvain before Ent 1595 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at St. Omer and Padua and was Ordained priest c. Summer 1602.
1602 He was now named secretary to Mansoni, Papal Envoy to Ireland but the Irish defeats at Kinsale and Dunboy rendered Mansoni's Embassy superfluous. By early Spring 1603 he was in Spain. There were many requests for him to return to Irish Mission, but he remained in Spain until his death in at Madrid 17 June 1614.
He was the valued spiritual director of the Irish College, Salamanca and it was there he wrote in collaboration with Stephen White and others his “Janua Linguarum” which appeared in 1611. This book went into many editions in various European languages including English. The English version, which in turn went into many editions, was shamelessly pirated without reference to Bathe's authorship.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bathe, William
by Seán P. Ó Mathúna

Bathe, William (1564–1614), diplomat, author, and Jesuit, was born in Drumcondra castle on Easter Sunday 1564, son of John Bathe (d. 1586), Irish solicitor general, chancellor of the exchequer, and grandson of James Bathe (qv), chief baron, and Eleanor Bathe (daughter of Jenico Preston, 3rd Viscount Gormanston, and Catherine Fitzgerald, sister of Thomas Fitzgerald (qv), ‘Silken Thomas’). He was educated privately in Dublin and at St John's College, Oxford; he left before graduation, probably on grounds of conscience. In 1589 he registered in Gray's Inn, one of the four inns of court in which candidates for the Irish bar were required to study. He attended the courts of Elizabeth and Philip II before commencing the study of theology in Louvain (1592), and entered the Jesuit order in Courtrai (1595). He acted as intermediary for O'Neill (qv) during the early stages of the nine years war. After ordination he was appointed adviser to Ludovico Mansoni, legate, later to Ireland. They reached Valladolid in December 1601 but did not proceed further after the fall of Kinsale.

Bathe never returned to Ireland. Two long letters written in June 1602, in Irish Jesuit archives, indicated keen support for fresh forces massing in northern Spain to free Ireland a jugo haereticorum (‘from the yoke of the heretics’). He maintained periodic contact with the court of Philip III. A brother, Sir John Bathe (qv), deeply respected in Old English circles, assumed the role of religious spokesman for his class for more than a quarter of a century; he too visited the Spanish court. A younger brother, Fr Luke Bathe, headed the Capuchin mission in Ireland in the 1620s and was a renowned preacher. William Bathe was spiritual director to expatriate students in the Irish College, Salamanca. He founded a sodality, ‘Congregación de pobres’, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the poor of that city, and gained a wide reputation for conducting retreats and days of recollection in monasteries and seminaries. He died suddenly in June 1614 while holding a mission for government personnel in Madrid.

His Brief introduction to the true art of music, published in 1584 while he was a student in Oxford (reproduced by Colorado College of Music Press, 1979), and A brief introduction to the skill of song (1596; new ed. by Boethius Press, 1982), were among the earliest printed texts in English on the theory of music and song, and highlighted the ambiguities in mutation from one hexachord to another in a melody with a range of more than six notes. Aparejos para administrar el sacramento de penitencia (1614) reflected his pastoral work. His main claim to fame, however, was Ianua linguarum (1611) with its long preface on linguistic theory. At least thirty editions of this work were published. The most elaborate, A messe of tongues (London, 1617), Ianua linguarum silinguis (Strasbourg, 1629), and Mercurius quadrilinguis (Basel and Padua, 1637), included English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, and German versions. He used short pithy sentences in parallel columns to enable mature students to learn several languages simultaneously. He allowed no repetition of the 5,300 different items of lexis. His multilingual presentation was adopted by Ian Amos Komensky for his Janua linguarum reserata series. Bathe's first cousin, Christopher Nugent (qv), 14th Baron Delvin, used a small number of colloquial phrases in parallel Latin, Irish, and English columns in his Primer of the Irish language for presentation to Queen Elizabeth (1562). The primer followed a system used by English-born wives in the Kildare household to learn Irish from the early fifteenth century. As such the method predated the Aldine Press and the Adagia of Erasmus.

E. Hogan, Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894); S. P. Ó Mathúna, An tAthair William Bathe, C.I, 1564–1614: Ceannródaí sa Teangeolaíocht (1980); id., ‘The preface to William Bathe's Ianua Linguarum (1611)’, Historiographia Linguistica, viii, no. 1 (1981); id., William Bathe, S.J., 1564–1614: a pioneer in linguistics (1986); id., ‘William Bathe, S.J., recusant scholar: “weary of the heresy” ’, Recusant History, xix, no. 1 (1988), 47–61

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: First musical textbook
The first musical textbook in the English language, A brief introduction to the true art of musicke (1584), was the work of William Bathe, born in County Dublin, who became a Jesuit
in 1596. A genuine polymath, he had by that stage already taught mnemonics to Queen Elizabeth I, presented her with a harp designed by himself, and studied at Oxford, Gray’s Inn and Louvain. He invented a simple form of musical notation (presently being researched in Trinity by Sean Doherty), and as a Jesuit wrote a seminal book on linguistics, and was an important pioneer in popularising the Spiritual Exercises.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Bathe 1564-1614
William Bathe was born on April 2nd 1564 in Drumcondra Castle, the grounds of which is the present day asylum for the male blind, now in the charge of the Brothers of Charity.

He was a fairly close relation of Elizabeth I of England. As a young man he was sent as a personal messenger to the Queen by the Viceroy of Ireland. He became a great favourite of hers and used amuse her greatly by his skill in playing all kinds of musical instruments. He also entertained her by teaching her mnemonics.

His skill in music was both practical and theoretic. He invented a “harp of new device”, which he presented to the Queen. He also wroteb a treatise called “A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music”. His name was also renowned for his famous book “Janus Linguarum”, a method of learning Latin or any foreign language, which ran into hundreds of editions iun most European languages, and held its place as a teaching method for centuries.

But his greatest claim to fame, and his merit in the sight of God was, that having spent some years at Oxford with no little distinction, being such a favoutite of Elizabeth, with a glorious career in front of him in the world, he returned to Ireland, surrendered his rights to his father’s extensive estates and entered religion. He became a Jesuit at Tournai in 1596.

He spent 19 years of most usefiul work in the Society, working in the Irish Colleges on the continent. Inspite of repeated requests, and his own desire, he was not released to work on the Mission in Ireland.

He died with a great reputation for sanctity in Madrid on June 17th 1614, at the early age of 50 years.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, WILLIAM, a native of Dublin. After studying at Oxford he grew weary of heresy, and retiring to the Continent entered the Novitiate at Tournay, in 1596. When he had finished his studies at Padua, he was ordered to Spain, and appointed Rector of the College of his Countrymen at Salamanca. To the regret of all who knew his merits, he was prematurely taken off by illness at Madrid, on the 17th of June, 1614, aet. 48. He has left :

  1. “An introduction to the Arte of Music”. 4to. London, 1584.
  2. “Janua Linguarum”, 4to. Salaman ca, 1611.
  3. “A Spanish Treatise on the Sacrament of Penance”. N.B. This was edited at Milan by F. Jos. Cresswell, in 1614. 4. “Instructions on the Mysteries of Faith, in English and Spanish”. F. More in p. 112 of his Hist. Prov. Angl. has inserted a letter of F. W. Bath, in praise of F. Person’s “Christian Directory”.

Briones, Thomas, 1582-1645, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/955
  • Person
  • 1582-12 February 1645

Born: 1582, Jenkinstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 21 January 1605, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Final vows: 22 May 1622
Died: 12 February 1645, Irish College, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Alias Bryan

“Thomas O’Brien - see Briones”
Studied 2 years Philosophy and 2 years Theology
1609 was at Ingolstadt (Bavaria) further studies after 4th year Theology; subsequently Superior of Seminary for 4 years (dates unclear)
1609-1610 sent to Ireland with Daton and R Comeford
1617 was in CAST Province
1619 Master of Irish students at College of Salamanca
1625 College of Montforte (CAST)
1628 Rector of Irish College at Compostella
1633 Rector of Irish College at Seville
1639 at Malaga College
Was Master of Novices at some stage

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1613-1645 Rector of Salamanca and Seville; Writer
1609 Appears in Ireland
Because of the confusion over his aliases (above) he appears as two persons in Foley’s Collectanea : Thomas Brian (O’Bryan) and Thomas Brion (Briones)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Joanna née Hoyne
He began his studies at Salamanca in 1600 before Ent 21 January 1605 Rome
After First Vows he resumed studies at the Roman College, and then a final year at Ingolstadt.
1609-1613 Sent to Ireland and worked in the Kilkenny region
1614-1622 Recalled to Spain as Rector of Salamanca
1622-1626 Rector at Santiago
1626-1627 Rector of Salamanca again
1627 Went to Madrid as Procurator of the Irish Mission and Irish Colleges on the Iberian Peninsula
1631-1637 He changed Province from CAST to BAE and immediately appointed Rector at the Irish College Seville
1637-1641 Operarius at the Marchena Residence
1641 Reappointed as Rector of Seville in response to the reiterated demands of the students who resented the government of the College of Spaniards.
1644 Forced by illness and blindness to retire from Rectorship, but remained there as Spiritual Father to Seminarians until his death 12 February 1645.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Note from Richard Lynch (1611-1647) Entry
Lynch was appointed Rector of the Irish College Seville on 1 February 1644, replacing Father Thomas Briones

Butler, Thomas Bernard, 1640-1705, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/982
  • Person
  • 09 July 1640-06 March 1705

Born: 09 July 1640, Baramount, County Kilkenny
Entered: 12 May 1656, Villarejo, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: c 1665, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1673
Died: 06 March 1705, Professed House, Madrid, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Brother of the Lord of Galway
Writer and a man of great energy.
Got a procurator General established for Irish College at Madrid

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1673-1687 Rector Irish College Seville succeeding Ignatius Lombard
Writer; A man of great energy; Got a procurator for Irish Colleges established at Madrid

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Educated at College of Luis Gonzaga at Ocaña before Ent 12 May 1656 Villarejo
After First Vows (had made Noviceship at Villarejo and Madrid) he studied at Huete, Cuenca and Alcalá completing a “Grand Act” and being Ordained c 1665
1665-1673 On completing studies and formation he was sent to the Imperial College at Madrid
1673-1687 Transcribed from TOLE to BAE and appointed Rector of Irish College Seville. His was the last Irish Rectorship, but proved to be the longest and most successful. His popularity with the students was unbounded and the College prospered spiritually and materially under his rule.
He had always hoped to go to Ireland, initially after Ordination. In 1675, Father Stephen Rice, Superior of the Mission, asked the General to send him to Ireland, and in particular to Kilkenny, but at the time it was impossible to replace him at Seville. Two years after he retired from Seville, the General promised he should be sent back to Ireland to meet the wishes of many people, however the uncertain state of the country prevented his return.
1687 until his death he was Prefect of the church at the Professed House, Madrid, where he conducted a Sodality for Noblemen. He died at Madrid 6 March, 1705

Carrick, Richard, 1581-1615, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2293
  • Person
  • 1591-06 October 1615

Born: 1591, Dublin
Entered: 1604, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1614
Died: 06 October 1615, Murcia, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

◆Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Had studied at Douai before Ent 1604 TOLE
After First Vows he continued his studies at Murcia, where he was Ordained 1614

Old/16 has : “P Richard Carrig; Appears in CATSJ A-H

Comerford, James, 1626-1712, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1073
  • Person
  • 1626-06 December 1712

Born: 1626, Kilkenny
Entered: 1651, Madrid Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1658, Murcia
Final Vows: 15 August 1666
Died: 06 December 1712, Irish College, Poitiers, France

1699-1712 at Irish College, Poitiers (1708 taught Grammar and of delicate health)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Three Entries : Some confused dated between James Comerford 2 and James Comerford 3
1698 In exile at Poitiers
Of remarkable piety and zeal; His loss was deplored in Waterford, even many years after his exile. (cf Letter of father Knoles 1714)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already studied Philosophy for two years before Ent 1650 TOLE (Madrid)
After First Vows he was sent to Murcia for studies and was Ordained there 1658
He was later engaged in the following roles : Teaching Humanities; Minister; Teaching Moral Theology and Operarius at various locations : Huesca; Imperial College Madrid; the Residence of Navalcarnero and the Residence of Alcalá all in TOLE
1676 Sent to Ireland and Kilkenny
1694 Consultor of Irish Mission
1698 Arrested and deported to France and sent to Irish College Poitiers, where he was a Consultor up to the time of his death there 06/12/1712
The General of the time highly valued his judgement on maters touching the Irish College Poitiers and the Irish Mission itself.
Such was his contemporaries esteem for him that even in his advanced years he was proposed as Rector at Poitiers
The Superior of the Mission at the time, writing to the General 06 April 1714, recalled his memory : “James Comerford was a man remarkable for holiness whose loss is deplored this day”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
COMERFORD, JAMES, died in exile, as I find in a letter of the 6th of April, 1714, “insignis pietate”.

Conway, Dermot, 1723-1758, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1093
  • Person
  • 08 February 1723-13 February 1758

Born: 08 February 1723, Barcelona, Spain
Entered: 04 November 1749, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Died: 13 February 1758, Murcia, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

1757 was “Director” and teacher of French in the Royal College of Madrid

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Irish parents Patrick (of Limerick) and Margaret O’Dwyer (of Tipperary)
He had served in the Spanish Navy and took part in the Battle of Toulon
After First Vows he studied at Alcalá and completed these in the short space of 4 years (1652-1656), including making the “Grand “Act”
1756 An accomplished linguist he succeeded James Davin as Professor of French at the Imperial College Madrid, but was forced to retire a year later having contracted consumption
1758 He died at Murcia 13 February 1758
The “carta edificante” drawn up after his death is extant.

Conway, Patrick, 1605-1662, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1095
  • Person
  • 1605-14 May 1662

Born: 1605, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 1625, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1635, Alcalá (Alcalá de Henares), Spain
Died: 14 May 1662, Llerena, Badajoz, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

1625 In Madrid Novitiate - is more than of mediocre talent
1628 Taught at College of Plasencia (TOLE)
1635 On Irish Mission - being at Cashel in 1649, Superior of a Residence for 3 years then returned to Spain in Cromwell’s time
1655 CAT Taught Grammar at Ocanna (TOLE)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1628 At College of Placencia, Spain (in pen)
1635 Came to Irish Mission
1649 In Cashel - “a very worthy man”; Was Superior at Cashel; Taught Humanities;

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Murcia and then Theology at Alcalá, and was Ordained c 1635
1635-1654 Due to ill health he was sent to Ireland, and was appointed to Cashel Residence. It is most likely that he was Ordained before he departed on the journey. He was at Cashel for nineteen years and for a time he was Superior. During the “Commonwealth” period he was deported to Spain and TOLE.
1654 He served as Operarius at Ocaña and later Llerena, where he died 14 May 1662
He was thought to have some ability as a Moral Theologian and to have been a zealous Spiritual Director

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONWAY, PATRICK. This worthy Missionary was stationed at Cashell, in 1649. He was then about 44 years of age, and of a feeble constitution

Conway, Richard, 1572-1626, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1096
  • Person
  • 1572-01 December 1626

Born: 1572, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 22 July 1592, Coimbra, Portugal - Lusitaniae province (LUS)
Ordained: 1600, Salamanca, Spain
Professed: 06 January 1613
Died: 01 December 1626, Irish College, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Studied 3 years Arts and 2 of Theology at Coimbra before Entry
1603 At Salamanca has 3 years Philosophy and 4 years Theology and is a Confessor
1612 in Compostella where he wrote an account of O’Devaney’s in Ireland martyrdom from an eyewitness
1614 At Madrid College
1617 In Province of Castellanae
1622 Rector of Irish College Seville
1624 At Madrid, Prefect of College

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica”:
He was a Rector and a great promoter of the Irish Colleges in Spain; Writer;
He was zealous and pious.
He was tied to a tree by robbers and miraculously freed by the Blessed Virgin Mary and his Angel Guardian (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
Son of Patrick and his wife née White
Studied Humanities at Irish College Lisbon 1589/1590 before Ent 22 July 1592 at Coimbra
After First Vows was sent to Spain for studies, to Montforte for Philosophy and Royal College Salamanca for Theology and was Ordained there 1600.
From the completion of his studies until the end of his life he was destined to play an important part in the organisation and support of the Irish Colleges of Salamanca, Santiago, and Seville.
1600-1608 At Salamanca as Spiritual Father but frequently filled in as vice-Rector during the many absences of Thomas White, who was constantly travelling seeking alms for the College,
1608-1613 Rector Irish College Salamanca
1613-1618 Appointed Rector of Irish College Santiago
1619-1622 First Rector of new Irish College Seville - lent to BAE
1622-1625 Freed from Seville to organise the finances of the Irish Colleges from the procurator's office at Madrid.
1625 Appointed Rector of Seville again and died in Office 01 December 1626
Richard Conway, it can ·be justly claimed, was one of the most eminent of Irish Churchmen of the seventeenth century. Under his prudent guidance for over a quarter of a century the three Irish Colleges under the control of the Jesuits in Spain sent forth to the Mission in their home country an army of splendidly trained priests prepared with knowledge and animated by zeal to maintain the Catholic faith in all its purity amongst their countrymen.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Conway, Richard
by Terry Clavin

Conway, Richard (1572–1626), Jesuit, was born in New Ross, Co. Tipperary, son of Patrick Conway; nothing is known of his mother. In 1590 he travelled to Lisbon and studied humanities at the Irish college there. On 22 July 1592 he was received into the Jesuit noviciate at Coimbra. After completing his noviceship at Coimbra, he studied philosophy at Monterey in Spain (1595–8) and theology at Salamanca. Highly regarded by his superiors, he was ordained in 1600 at Salamanca and was preacher and confessor there (1600–08). From 1605 he was often acting rector of the college, as the rectors were frequently absent raising funds. Conway also went on fund-raising missions for the college and became close to influential figures at the royal court and elsewhere. His skill at tapping wealthy benefactors for money facilitated his appointment as rector of the Irish college at Salamanca on 6 May 1608.

By 1608 Conway had been made procurator of the Irish mission. This was an important but burdensome office, which involved variously arranging correspondence between the Jesuits in Ireland and Rome, providing travel expenses for Jesuit novices studying abroad, advising Irish exiles who went to Spain, and promoting the interests of the Irish seminaries at the royal court in Madrid. Further, in the years following the conclusion of the Nine Years War in Ireland in 1603, large numbers of Irish refugees began arriving in Spain, and Conway was heavily involved in providing for them. As a result of these administrative responsibilities, from 1608 he resided for part of each year at Madrid.

Despite his heavy workload, Conway kept in contact with his former pupils who had joined the Irish mission. Their dispatches from Ireland had left him keenly aware of the dangers that faced the catholic clergy there. In 1611 he began writing a book outlining the persecution suffered by Irish catholics at the hands of English protestants. However, his superiors dissuaded him from completing this work, for fear that it would anger the English government.

In 1611–13 he was heavily involved in negotiating the transfer to the Irish Jesuits of the Irish college at Salamanca, which had previously taught both the laity and candidates for the priesthood. The Jesuits intended to use the college exclusively to train priests, but this was strongly opposed by the existing students. In July 1613 Conway took possession of the college and informed all students there that they would be expected to become priests. Many students refused to accept this and were expelled. In 1614 the powerful exiled Irish catholic nobleman Domhnall O'Sullivan Beare (qv) protested at Conway's conduct, but his superiors stood by his actions and he remained rector at Salamanca until 1618. As before, he proved hugely successful at raising funds to maintain the college, which was soon able to support twenty-five students.

In 1618 he resigned his rectorship and moved to Madrid, where he focused on raising money for the Irish colleges in Spain and for the Jesuit mission in Ireland. However, in 1619 he was made rector of the Irish college at Seville. The college was in a miserable condition, but his ability to raise money brought about a rapid improvement. Such was his success that complaints were directed against him for depriving other Jesuit houses in the city of charity. In late 1623 he was replaced as rector in Seville and went to Madrid to resume his role as procurator. He returned to Seville to become rector again in late 1625 and died there 1 December 1626.

John McErlean, ‘Richard Conway S.J.’, Irish Monthly, no. 51 (1923); Francis Finegan, ‘Irish rectors at Seville, 1619–1687’, IER, 5th ser., cvi (July–Dec. 1966), 45–63

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

(Abbreviated from the account published by Fr. John Mac Erlean, S.J. in the IRISH MONTHLY, 1923-24)

The preservation of the Catholic Faith in Ireland during three centuries of brutal persecution was largely due to the colleges and seminaries which patriotic Catholic Irishmen founded in several countries of Europe for the instruction of Irish youths and the education of Irish priests. Such signal service to the cause of God and Fatherland deserves to be remembered with everlasting gratitude. Their work was crowned with success. The most deadly efforts of the persecutors were gloriously defeated. One strange effect, however, of the long continuance of the persecution has been that the lives and works of those who commenced and carried on its triumphal resistance have been forgotten by those who even now are enjoying the fruits of their self-denying labours. To rescue their memory from oblivion is a pious and patriotic task.

Three Irish Jesuits stand out prominently as founders of Irish colleges in the Spanish peninsula: Fr John Howling, of Wexford, founder of the Irish College of Lisbon in 1590; Fr Thomas White, of Clonmel, founder of the Irish College of Salamanca in 1592; and Fr Richard Conway, of New Ross, who with Fr, Thomas White founded the Irish College of Santiago de Compostella in 1613, and that of Seville in 1619. Sketches of the careers of Fr. Flowling and Fr White were published by the late Fr. Edmund Hogan, S.J. in his Distinguished Irishmen of the Sixteenth Century (London, 1094). Fr. Conway is mentioned frequently by the Rev, William McDonald, then Rector of the Irish College of Salamanca, in his articles entitled Irish Colleges Since the Reformation, published in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record in 1873, but a consecutive account of his career is well worth attempting for the light it throws upon the ecclesiastical history of the times.

The Conways were one of the leading families of New Ross in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The head of the family in the middle of the sixteenth century was Patrick Conway, who died in 1587, He married a Miss White, by whom he had two sons, George and Richard. Richard, the future Jesuit, was born at New Ross in 1572 or 1573. There is not much to record of his childhood or early years. He left Ireland for Spain when about sixteen or seventeen years of age, but, young as he was when he left his native land, he did not leave without personal experience of England's methods in Ireland, for his mother's house was raided on a forged warrant “to seize upon chalices, money and other things ... in respect of priests and Jesuits that were there harboured to say Masses”. In a note written in 1612 he sets forth clearly the reasons that forced him to seek abroad the education denied him at home. He says: “The greatest injury the English heretics have done, and one which has had the most serious consequences, has been the prohibition of all Catholic schools in our nation, naturally so inclined to learning, except an odd infant school in the principal cities and towns where reading, writing, and a little grammar are taught. Their object was to sink our people to degradation, or fill the universities of England with the children of those who had any means to educate them, where they might become more dependent on heretics and contaminated with their errors. They have also taken singular care that all children be taught English, and chastise them if they hear then speak their own native language. But all the efforts of these crafty heretics do not produce the desired effect. The natives not only did not go to England, but preferred rather to remain in ignorance than run the risk of their faith and religion by doing so, or they went secretly and quietly to many foreign parts, but particularly to Spain”.

It was in the year 1590, seemingly, that Richard Conway landed at Lisbon. There he met many other Irish students, who had come abroad for the same purpose, and whose interests and welfare were the object of the solicitous care of the Wexford Jesuit, Fr John Howling, then resident at the Jesuit house of S Roque, in that city. Fr Howling was at that very time engaged in founding a college for these Irish students, which was opened soon after'. During the next two years, 1590-1592, Richard Conway remained in the Irish College, studying humanities or classics. Then, as a Spanish writer says, “feeling that the end he had in view, the preservation of the faith and the conversion of heretics in Ireland, could be attained with greater security and perfection in a Religious Order, he offered himself to the Society of Jesus, and was received into it”. He entered the Novitiate of Coimbra on July 22nd, 1592.

After completing his two years! noviceship at Coimbra, and taking his vows as. a scholastic on August 20th, 15941, he was sent in the following year to the College of Monterrey in Spain, where he devoted himself to the study of philosophy for the next three years, 1595-1598, During this time he won the highest praise from the authorities of the College for his intellectual gifts, his prudence and skill in the management of affairs, and his progress in philosophy. He is described as being of gentle disposition, and even at this early date is said to be one who would be an excellent labourer in the vine yard of the Lord, and be suited for the office of Superior of his nation.

From Monterrey he passed, in 1598, to the Royal College of Salamanca, where he studied theology for the next four years, 1598-1562, though not without interruption, for, as our Spanish authority says: “The Superiors recognising his remarkable talent for looking after those of his nation, and the holy zeal that he had for their welfare, took him from his studies before he had completed them to employ him in this work, whereupon he began to aid the Irish seminaries”. The Irish Seminary, or College of Salamanca, founded by Fr Thomas White, had been put under the care of the Society of Jesus by King Philip, in 1592, in answer to a petition presented by the Irish gentlemen at the Spanish Court. From 1592 onwards, Fr White and Fr James Archer were in charge of it. As they were often absent on missionary labours, or seeking aims for the support of the College, the duty of loo!:ing after the Irish students devolved on Fr Richard Conway, especially after his ordination as priest in 1600, and though he had still to do two years of his theological course, he acted from time to time as Vice-Rector.

Thus began Fr Conway's work on behalf of the Irish seminaries. He was stationed at Salamanca as preacher and confessor from 1600 to 1608, and often acted as Vice-Rector, he had full charge of the Seminary of Salamanca as Rector from 1608 to 1613, then of that of Santiago, 1613-1618. In 1619 he became Rector of the newly-founded Irish College of Seville, a position he held until 1622, and to which he was again appointed in 1625, and which he continued to hold till his death in 1626. Nor did this exhaust his labours. During these same years he acted as Prefect of all the Irish colleges in Spain, and as Procurator of the Irish Mission, in which capacity he was called to attend to the financial and other affairs of the Irish Mission in countries so far apart as Rome, Germany, Spain, Flanders, France, and Ireland,

When first he took up these multifarious duties it was a time of extraordinary difficulty. The victory of the English arms in Ireland in 1603 not only cut off all hope of receiving alms from Ireland, such as Fr James Archer had collected for the colleges in 1596, but threw upon the shores of Spain in the succeeding years destitute crowds of Irish men, women, and children, fleeing in ever-increasing numbers from the cruelty of the English, while continuing the main work of providing for the necessities of the colleges, Fr Conway strove hard to relieve the distress of these helpless refugees. Of the religious and scholastic fervour of the Irish Seminary of Salamanca in these years the Annual Letters of the Province of Castile for the year 1604 bear : striking testimony. There were then four Jesuits living in the College, filling the offices of Rector, Confessor, Professor, and Spiritual Director respectively. The students numbered twenty-two, of whom eight were studying theology and four philosophy. Eight students had entered the Society of Jesus, and four had entered other Religious Orders. All students made a week's retreat, some even made two weeks, and all were assiduous in religious practices. The Bishop, the Magister Scholae, and other Doctors testified in laudatory terns to the doctrine, conduct, and training of the students.

But, meanwhile, those to whom was due whatever provision for Irish students existed were subject to a new and unexpected trial. The administration of the Irish Colleges was bitterly and unreasonably assailed. These institutions were so necessary, and the good they were doing for the preservation of the faith in Ireland was so striking, that some well-meaning persons forgot, no doubt unconsciously, the ceaseless efforts required to procure for them the limited and uncertain resources which they possessed; but the bitterest critics were those who had done nothing towards the founding of the Colleges, and had never contributed a penny towards their support. The history of the two centuries that followed offers many examples of similar attacks on the administration of the Irish Colleges in Spain and Rome. The motives in the main were provincial animosities, suspicions of partiality, and the interference of ill affected outsiders, who for their own ends fomented dissensions and encouraged insubordination within the college walls.

This agitation was begun in 1602, when a memorial against the continuance of the Irish Fathers of the Society af Jesus in control of the Seminary of Salamanca, drawn up in the names of O'Donnell and O'Neill, was presented to King Philip III, and demanded: (1.) that half the students of the Seminary should be selected from Ulster and Connaught; (2) that Fr Thomas White should be removed from the rectorship as being one who could not be trusted to carry out such a selection, or who would ill-treat those students whom he would be forced to receive; and (3) that a Spaniard, who would see to the punctual execution of this decree, should be appointed Rector.

The plot was skilfully conceived and vigorously carried out. The malcontents dared not go so far as to demand that the seminaries should be handed over to themselves, but yet they hoped by appealing to Spanish prejudices to oust the Irish Jesuits. The controversy continued for more than two years, memorials and replies alternating. In defence of the Irish Jesuits, the Irish nobles and gentlemen residing in Valladolid refuted the accusations and defended the existing administration; the Provincial of Castile denied that there was any preference against Northern students; the Bishop of the place testified to the good conduct of the students and the discipline observed in the government, and said he had never heard any complaints of the rule of the Irish Fathers. Finally, the Rector of the Royal College, to whose supervision the Irish College was subject, declared that all the charges made by the memoralists were false and wholly destitute of foundation.

In spite of these testimonies in favour of the Irish Fathers, the government of the Irish College was by order of the King taken from then and a Spanish Jesuit was appointed Rector. This royal order remained in force for only three years, 1605-1608. The arrangement was found by experience to be unsatisfactory both for the finances and the discipline of the College, Indeed, it would have proved ruinous to the College had not Fr William Bathe, Fr Richard Conway, and, later, also Fr Janes Comerton, who dwelt in it as confessors and preachers, exerted all their influence to keep things quiet, and in general to promote the interests of the College.

The efforts of the Irish Fathers to help the Irish students in the midst of numerous difficulties were fully appreciated by the Jesuit General, Fr Claudius Aquaviva, who on April 3rd, 1607, complimented Fr Conway on what he was doing for them. But the state of affairs brought about by the royal interference rendered all efforts well nigh futile. Soon the General came to see that if the Seminary was to do efficient work it would have to be committed to the charge of the Irish Fathers, and wrote to this effect to the Spanish Provincial on July 24th, , 1607. The Spanish Rectors themselves readily admitted their unsuitability for the position, and the last of the three who held office during those three years appealed to the Provincial to appoint Irish Rectors in future. Finally the King was requested to revoke his former order, which he did on March 24th, 1608. Fr Richard Convay was chosen as the person most fitted to take on the government of the College, and he entered upon his office as Rector on May 6th of the same year.

During the time of the Spanish Rectors, as well as during the whole of his subsequent career, Fr Conway continued his activity on behalf of the Irish students and refugees. In a contemporary account we read that he often went to the Court and other places to seek alms for the support of his seminarists and by his zeal, pleasant manners, and exemplary life succeeded in getting large contributions for their relief, many other students and priests, for whom the Seminaries had no room, he assisted by giving them enough to enable then to pursue their studies in Salamanca, Alcala, Valladolid, Granada, and Cordova. His zeal did not confine itself to students, ecclesiastical or lay, but extended itself to relieving a large number of Irish girls who fled from Ireland for religion's sake to Spain. He sought alms for them all, and settled them in good positions. Some entered convents, while for others he begged dowries, and left then honourably and virtuously married. In the matter of getting alms, he was greatly helped by the fact that he had easy access to the houses of the highest gentlemen at the Court, including even the King and Queen, and the Prelates and Chapters, all of thom he won over by his good example and by his conversation. Thile seeking to relieve the material necessities of his countrymen, he did not neglect their spiritual needs. He preached not only to his seminarists, but also to externs, gave them the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and sought their society only to win them and improve them spiritually.

His interest in the students did not cease when they left college, He followed then with paternal anxiety, and supported them by his advice when they had returned to their dangerous mission, and they on their part kept up a filial correspondence with him. Their letters shout the spirit with which they faced the danger's that surrounded them. The Rev Eugene O'Brien wrote to Fr Conway from Galway on September 30th, 1606, to tell him of the efforts made to take him when the persecutors found that he was an alumnus of the Spanish College. From Waterford the Rev John Wadding wrote in October of the same year, praising the constancy of the Mayor and Councillors of that city, several of whom had been taken prisoners by the heretics. Another former student, Rev Luke Bennett, a relative of his own, writing from Dunmore, in Leinster, in April, 1607, describes the persecution in his native New Ross, and tells how the faith is preserved in the district by the ministrations or four other priests from the Slamanca College, The Licentiate, Thomas Wise, who had gone from Salamanca to Rome, wrote to Fr Conway in June, 1607, telling hin of the barbarous cruelties inflicted on another former pupil. Thady Dimiran, because he refused to abjure the faith.

In 1611 the General wished Fr Conway to go to Rome and assist him with his advice in matters concerning the Irish Mission; but he yielded to representations made by Fr Thomas White and others, who explained how much his services were required in Spain.

In the year 1610 the Irish College of Salamanca was the recipient of several privileges and favours, A new building was presented to the Irish by the States of Castile, etc. A slab was placed over the door to commemorate the event. A new title, Colegio de Nobles Irlandeses (College of Irish Nobles), was given to the new establishment, which was formally made a royal college, and placed under the protection of the Kind, and, in addition to the ordinary annual alms given by the King to the College, Philip III undertook to pay every student his travelling expenses back to Ireland on the completion of his studies. These grants, largely due to Fr Conway's intercession, secured the future of the College.

But the government of the College, the begging of alms for its support, the solicitation of royal favours, did not exhaust the activities of Fr. Conway. Whilst engaged in these absorbing occupations, he compiled a work on English tyranny in Ireland, the publication of which was stopped lest the irritation of the King of England might endanger the lives of the Jesuits in Ireland and England and lead to a more violent persecution of the Catholic priests and laity in these countries. Whether the book was ever completed or not is not known, but certain short tracts, which may have been intended to form chapters of the complete work, have been preserved. Among these, his treatise on Irish saints marks him out as one of the pioneers of Irish hagiography.

During the last two years of Fr Conway's rectorship at Salamanca he was much occupied with the negotiations that transferred the Irish College at Santiago de Compostella to the care of the Irish Fathers or the Society of Jesus in Spain. This College had been founded in the year 1605 by the King of Spain, at a time when thousands of Irish exiles fled to that country to escape the persecution of the English heretics. £100 per annun was granted to the students by the King, and the Rev Eugene MacCarthy, a secular priest, was appointed Rector of the College. This arrangement did not work satisfactorily, and Philip III determined to entrust it to the Irish Fathers. He wrote to this effect to the Provincial of Castile, Fr Gaspar de Vegas, and the Governor of Galicia, D Luis Henriquez. Owing to the straitened circumstances of the Province of Castile the Provincial hesitated about accepting the additional burden. Fr Conway forwarded to the General a statement of the case, giving the reasons for and against acceptance. The General in his reply favoured acceptance. Meanwhile Fr Eugene MacCarthy undertook the defence of the existing arrangement, and in a letter to the Provincial accused the Irish Fathers of being actuated by motives of ambition and self-interest in attempting to capture the College. Fr William White, SJ, had no difficulty in refuting these charges; the Provincial's opposition weakened, and in April, 1613, the question was finally settled by an express order to the Provincial from the Duke de Lerma, on the part of the King, for the Fathers to take charge of the College.

In consequence of this order, Frs Thomas White, William White, and Richard Conway sent to Santiago and took possession of the College, and on the 16th July the General wrote to the Provincial to order Fr Conway to take up the government of the Seminary of Santiago.

Fr Conway occupied the position of Rector from 1613 to 1618, though his other office of Procurator of the Irish Mission often compelled him to be in Madrid, especially towards the end of his term. He threw llimself with characteristic energy into the work of establishing and developing the new Seminary. The royal allowance of £100 per annum sufficed for the support of a small number of students, but by alms which he succeeded in obtaining from the clergy and the faithful he was able to maintain as many as twenty-five. He drew up plans for linking up the Seminaries of Salamanca, Santiago, and Lisbon, to prevent overlapping, by having humanities taught in one, philosophy in another, and theology in the third. He looked after the spiritual interests of the Irish in Santiago, and as many of them were soldiers from France and the Low Countries, he arranged for the sending of Irish Jesuits who understood French and Flemish to minister to them. Another favourite idea of his was to unite the two Colleges of Salamanca and Santiago at the latter place. This would have economised on the staff and would have been beneficial to the health of the students; but no change was made.

Some disagreements and disputes arose during these years between O'Sullivan Beare and Fr Contay. In 1614 the former complained to the General of the expulsion of certain students from the Seminary, which, he said, had been established by the royal bounty, and with his consent transferred to the Society of Jesus. After full examination, however, Fr Conway's action was approved by his Superiors. Another complaint was in respect of a house granted him by the King, of which he had been deprived by Fr Conway. This dispute was brought into the courts, and the claim of O'Sullivan Beare was upheld. It was a curious example of a double grant. In the decree of the Royal Camera, dated 29th July, 1617, it is said that the Camera, when it granted the house in question to the Seminary, was not aware that a grant had previously been made of the same house to O'Sullivan Beare, and that consequently the house was adjudged to him. There is no imputation against the good faith of Fr Conway in this law suit,

During the progress of the case, O'Sullivan Beare petitioned the King to have the former semi-laical character of the College of Santiago continued, maintaining that there was greater need of Catholic gentlenen in Ireland than of priests. Fr Conway resisted this interference, and his action received the approval of the General, Fr. Mutius Vitelleschi, who succeeded Fr Aquaviva on the latter's death in 1615. In April, 1618, on the appointment of Fr James Comerfort as Rector of Santiago, Fr Conway was left free to act as Procurator of the Irish Mission in Madrid. He had been carrying on the duties of this position since 1608, and had to deal with many important matters concerning the welfare of the Irish seminaries in Spain. Between 1613 and 1624 he carried on a good deal of correspondence about what is termed “the Sicilian money” - a legacy of the late Queen, amounting to between 6,000 and 7,000 ducats, half of which was to be invested for the support of the Mission. The exhausted state of the Sicilian treasury caused the payment of this sum to be deferred, and finally all hope of receiving it was abandoned.

Another important affair entrusted to the care of Fr Conway was that of the pension of Archbishop David Kearney, of Cashel. As the Archbishop was for many years at the beginning of the seventeenth century the mainstay of ecclesiastical organisation in Ireland, Philip III of Spain, in order to enable him to promote the interests of the Church, assigned to hin a pension of 2,000 ducats on the Bishopric of Cadiz. With the approval oi the General, the Archbishop in 1611 appointed Fr Conway his agent to conduct the necessary negotiations. These negotiations continued until the Archbishop's death in 1621, and the subsequent arrangements to carry out the disposal of the money in accordance with his wishes, and to resist the claims of the English and Scotch Colleges in Spain, occupied the attention of Fr Conway till his death, two years later, and dragged on for four years after that time.

In 1619 Fr. Conway vas recalled from Madrid, and sent to take up the position of Rector of the Irish College of Seville, which in that year was handed over to the Irish Jesuits. Eight years previously the General had been asked by Don Felix de Guzman, a Sevillian nobleman, Archdeacon and Canon, to undertake the management of such a college, but the General was unwilling to do so, as an English College already existed in the same city, and he wrote to that effect to Fr Conway, who as then in Lisbon, on December 6th, 1622. In the following year the Apostolic Nuncio in Spain gave leave for the collecting of alms for the Irish students of Seville, but again in this year, and in the two succeeding years, the General expressed his unwillingness to have the Society associated with the projected College.

The College was duly opened, and for the next few years was governed by a succession of secular priests, of whom the first two were Irish and the next four Spaniards. As the numerous changes indicate, the arrangement did not prove satisfactory, and Don Felix de Guzman and Don Geronimo de Medina Ferragut renewed their exertions to induce the Jesuits to take over the government of the College. Don Felix offered to support the Fathers sent, and Don Geronimo offered to make over the house which the students occupied, on the sole condition that the College should be called the College of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God and of the Holy Catholic Faith, which name it retained ever afterwards. Fr Conway was now in favour of the Society taking over the College, and the King wrote expressing his desire that this should be done. In April, 1619, the Provincial and his Consultors agreed to accept, notwithstanding the grave difficulties which presented themselves, and this decision was approved by the General on June 19th. On the same day he wrote to Fr Richard Conway telling him to proceed to Seville to take charge of the new College.

The Society took possession of the College on August 20th, 1619. Fr Conway and Fr Michael de Morales (Cantuell) drew up an inventory of its goods and a list of the students. The effects left by the preceding administration were valued at only £12, and several large debts had been incurred which had to be paid afterwards. Fr Conway mentions the names of six students. The names of six others are known, and another account says that there were in all fifteen.

In view of the necessities of the Irish Seminary of Seville, the Holy See on September 9th, 1619, granted, in answer to a petition of Fr Conway, permission to the fishernien of Andalusia to fish on șix Sundays and holidays in the year, on the understanding that “the fruit of their toil should be given freely and without condition to the Irish College of Seville for the support of the Rector and students and persons employed in their services”.

To raise funds for the Irish Seminaries, all of which, but especially that of Seville, were in great need, Fr Conway proposed that some Irish Fathers should be sent from Spain to the Indies, that is, to Mexico and South America, with a view to collecting alms. When that proposal was not favourably entertained, he begged the General to write to the Provincials of the Indies to ask then to do whatever they could, and he suggested that the Provincial of Mexico should be requested to set aside Fr Michael Godinez (Wadding) for that work. The first part of the proposal was agreed to, but what the ultimate success of the project was we do not know.

During the years 1622-1623 complaints were made to the General of the way in which Fr Conway was running the College. The matters complained of were not of serious import. He is said to have admitted more students than the revenues of the institution could support, and to have allowed confessions to be heard in the church of the Seminary instead of sending the penitents to the Casa Professa, according to the regulations already laid down. Another complaint was that “the students of the Irish College went one day during the summer months in their collegiate gowns to bathe in the river, and returned home two hours after nightfall”. The real reason underlying all the complaints were seemingly Fr Conway's zeal in collecting alms, and new regulations were made with regard to requesting support for the College in the city. Fr Conway's alms-questing was not without some exciting experiences, for at least on one occasion, when going along the road for this purpose, he was set upon by robbers, who deprived him of everything he had, beat hin severely, and left him with his hands tied at the foot of an olive tree, where he lay for some time before he was able to free himself and make his way to a neighbouring village.

Towards the end of the year 1623, Fr Luis Ramirez was appointed Rector of the Irish College of Seville, and Fr Conway returned to his forner office of Procurator of the Irish Mission at the court of Madrid. On the 22nd December of that year he laid before the General a new plan for increasing the provision made for the education of the Irish secular clergy. This was to petition the Holy See to allow the Chapters of the Churches of Spain to receive tho Irish students each for the Irish Missions into the seminaries founded by order of the Council of Trent, notwithstanding the decree of that Council that the seminarists should be natives of the dioceses. The General deferred the consideration of this suggestion until the approval of the Chapters should have been obtained.

Another prospect for the development of colleges for the Irish secular clergy opened when towards the end of 1623 the Grand Prior of England of the Order of St. John set aside 2,000 ducats as a beginning of a foundation of an Irish College in Rome. Fr Conway was directed to forward the sum to Rome, so that it might be used to buy a site or be allowed to lie at interest until there would be enough for the end intended. In the following year, 1625, the General announced to him that the foundation of an Irish Seminary in Rome by Cardinal Ludovisi was taking shape slowly, but that it was not known when it would be put into execution.

On June 2nd, 1624, Fr Conway informed the General that the King and Council, recognising that the Irish Seminary at Douay was not being well administered by those who had charge of it, wished to entrust it to the Society. In reply, the General told him that, if the matter was as represented, the King and Council would be sure to give some sign of their desire, but that meanwhile he was not to speak about the subject or try in any way to have the Seminary entrusted to the Society. Similarly, when he announced in the following year the foundation of a new Irish Seminary at Alcala, he was told to have nothing to do with it: “Better improve those of Salamanca, Seville, and Santiago, so that they may be able to support more alunni”.

In 1624 he appealed to the Catholic King to recommend the needs of the Irish students to the bishops of Spain, and in a letter dated St Laurence (the Escorial), 31st October, 1624, King Philip III wrote recommending them to the Bishop of Zamora, as he had already recommended then, he says, to the prelates of Seville and Jaen.

Meanwhile affairs were not proceeding well in the Irish Seminary of Seville, Before a year elapsed Fr Ramirez asked to be relieved of the rectorate. The Spanish Fathers were not able to manage the Irish students. On the 7th July, 1625, Fr. Conway was ordered to proceed to Seville and take charge of the Seminary, as soon as he had settled up his affairs in Madrid; but it was not until Christmas that he arrived in Seville, and entered upon his duties as Rector of the Seminary for the second time. Under his management the disorders ceased, and he was congratulated on the zeal with which he looked after the interests of the College.

In January of the following year, 1626, the Seminary suffered great loss from the overflowing of the river. A good part of the building collapsed, and Fr Conway's efforts for the welfare of his students won considerable praise. He found accommodation for them in different places, but remained on in the house himself, and when he had collected what was necessary for their support he carried the food to them every day on foot. A few months later, in August, 1626, he became seriously ill, and he died on the lst of December, after having received the last Sacraments.

In this sketch of Fr. Conway's life and work little has been said of his spiritual life. From the difficulties he overcame and the greatness of the work he accomplished it has been possible, no doubt, to form some idea of those interior forces which supernaturalised his external activities, but there is abundant testimony given by those who lived with him to his religious virtue and holy life. Especially remarkable was his constancy in prayer. As the hours of the day did not suffice for his many devotional exercises, he devoted to them a large part of the night. We are told, that, though it was generally twelve or one o'clock when he retired to rest, he rose before four in the morning. His spiritual note-books, which reveal the daily life of his soul, contain so many prayers and devotions, distributed by days, weeks, months, and years, that it would seen he had nothing else to do. His fasts and other mortifications were also noticed by his contemporaries. He slept three nights a week on the ground; he fasted every Saturday, and each day he gave a large part of his food to the poor. He wore clothes cast off by others, and at his death the only thing that he seems to have possessed was a small cross, half broken. As a final example of his spirit of detachment and abnegation may be mentioned the fact that, although for many years he had leave from his Superiors' to return to his native land, he never made use of it, lest by doing so he might neglect the Irish exiles abroad.

Fr Conway was not only a devoted son of the Catholic Church, but a great lover of Ireland. In the heat of controversy O’Sullivan Beare spoke of him as Anglo-Irish. Geoffrey Keating was accused of being the same, and his reply to the accusation might have been penned by Fr Richard Conway. For Fr Conway spoke the Irish language, and was as familiar with Irish history and tradiions as any O'Sullivan. By his words and writings he revived the name and fame of Ireland on the Continent. It was through him, as far as we can discover that the Codex Salmanticensis, from which Fr. John Colgan, OSF, and the Bollandists derive so much of their knowledge of Ireland's early saints, came into possession of the Irish College of Salamanca, and was thus preserved for future ages. The seminaries he founded frustrated the British plan of perverting Ireland through enforced ignorance.

To Salamanca, the first of the seminaries which lie ruled, he transmitted that tradition of learning and love of Ireland which such men as Fr Paul Sherlock and Fr Peter Reade afterwards handed on. Ireland may well be proud of him, and so may the Society of Jesus. At a time when the memory of the canonisation of St Ignatius and St Francis Xavier was still fresh in Spain, a Spanish contemporary does not hesitate to compare him with both these illustrious saints : “Fr Richard Conway”, he says, “was one of the true sons of our glorious Father, St Ignatius, and a true imitator of that zeal for souls that consumed the heart of the glorious Father, St Francis Xavier, on the eve of whose feast he was called to his reward by God, leaving to us who remain after him his exemplary life for our initiation and consolation”.

John MacErlean SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard Conway 1572-1626
Fr Richard Conway, together with Fr John Houling and Fr Thomas White, may be reckoned as one of the Saviours of the Faith in Ireland. This claim is based on his work of founding and maintaining Irish Colleges, mainly in Spain and Portugal, by means of which a steady flow of secular priests, Jesuits and educated Irish gentlemen was poured into the country, when all means of higher education had been eeradicated by the English authorities

Richard Conway was born in New Ross in 1572, and he sought the education, deniend him at home, in Lisbon, at the age of sixteen or seventeen. There he met Fr John Howling, and under his aegis became a Jesuit at Coimbra in 1592. Thenceforward, his whole life was dedicated to the education andservice of trhe countless Irish refugees flybing from persecution at home. He founded the Colleges of Santiago and Seville, and by a lifetime questing alms and wisely governing various Irish Colleges, fought the good fight, which prompted Fr MacErlean to say of him “Ireland may well be proud of him, and so may the Society of Jesus”.

Some time before his death, while collecting alms, he was waylaid by robbers and deprived of everything he possessed.He was neated severely, and he was left with his hands toed to the bottom of an olive tree. He cried aloud for help but noone came. He invoked Our Lady and his Guardian Angel, whereupon his bonds were loosened, and he made his way to a nearby town.

On his death bed, December 1st 1626, before he closed his eyes forever, Christ Our Lord appeared to him, and as a foretaste of the glorious reward in store for him, led him unto a charming region, where he beheld strange and secret sights.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONWAY, RICHARD. I learn from two letters of Dr. David Kearny, Archbishop of Cashell, of the 15th of July, 1616. and the 30th ot September, 1616, that this confidential Agent was actively employed In Spain in his Grace s service. The Father was at Madrid in October, 1624.

Davin, James, 1704-1760, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1167
  • Person
  • 11 November 1704-28 July 1760

Born: 11 November 1704, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 October 1725, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1734, Toledo, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1743
Died; 28 July 1760, Royal College Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

1757 At the Royal College of Madrid

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Nephew of Thomas Gorman
1725 Went to Compostella, and entered the Society at Salamanca.
He spent his life at Imperial College Madrid teaching.
Author of “Cartas Edificantes”, translated from French to Spanish by Diego Davin. These are in the old Jesuit Library at Waterford.
Many of his letters to John O’Brien, Rector of Salamanca are extant. As father O’Brien was in Salamanca until 1760, the cessation of letters in 1756 might suggest Father Davin’s death (Irish Ecclesiastical Record March, 1874)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Nephew of Thomas Gorman
1727-1730 After First Vows he was sent for studies to Oropesa for Philosophy
1730-1734 Sent for Theology first to Murcia and then Toledo where he was Ordained 1734.
1735 Following Tertianship he was sent as professor of French at the Imperial College Madrid where he lived for 22 years, sometimes as Minister, and in his latter years as Operarius until he died 28 July 1760
His magnum opus was his translation from the French into Spanish of sixteen volumes of the Jesuit Relations - “Cartas Edificantes”.
He was a prolific correspondent and many of his very readable letters to Fr. John O'Brien are preserved in the Salamanca Archives
A fluent Irish speaker, he was asked for repeatedly for· the Irish Mission by Thomas Hennessy. his Spanish Superiors fought to keep a man of his ability and succeeded

Dillon, Thomas, 1611-1690, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1188
  • Person
  • 1611-07 February 1690

Born: 1611, County Meath
Entered: 02 February 1627, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)
Ordained: 1635, Granada, Spain
Final Vows: 08 December 1647
Died: 07 February 1690, Granada, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Alias de Leon

1629 First Vows at Seville College 14 February 1629
1633 At Córdoba College - had studied 3 years Philosophy and 2 years Theology
1639-1643 Professor of Humanities, Logic, Philosophy and Metaphysics already for 3 years at Professed House Seville
1644-1690 At Granada : Teaching, Theology, Philosophy, Rhetoric, Logic
1661 Was rector of Granada College
Was at Granada presiding over a Thesis by De Vagara on 01 March 1653

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Educated in Spain.
Taught Philosophy six years, and Moral Theology eighteen years with distinction at Seville and Granada
1661 Deputed by the Andalusia Province to the Eleventh General Congregation, cum jure suffragii
He was “Linguarum Orientalium at abstrusioris doctrinae veterum Exploratur eximius” - Antonio, “Hispana Nova p 247 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
Writer and praised by Kiercher for his knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, as well as the abstruse sciences of the ancients
Dr Talbot says his real name was “Talbot”

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
Had studied at Seville before Ent 02 February 1627 Seville
After First Vows he completed his studies at Cordoba and Granada and was Ordained at Granada 1635.
After four years at teaching Úbeda and Cádiz he was appointed Chair of Philosophy at San Hermenegildo’s in Seville. Three years later he was appointed to Granada as Chair successively of Philosophy, Moral Theology and Dogmatic Theology. He remained at Granada where he died 07/02/1690
In 1661 He was entrusted by the General with the difficult task of recovering custody of a legacy of the Archbishop of Cashel for the Irish Mission, which had been claimed by the Provincial of Andalusia (BAE). After four years of negotiation he was successful.
Superiors of the Irish Mission had also tried repeatedly over years to have him appointed their Procurator at Madrid.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Dillon (De Leon), Thomas
by Elaine Murphy

Dillon (De Leon), Thomas (1613–90), Jesuit and scholar, was born in Ireland and educated in Spain. In 1627 he entered the Society of Jesus in Seville. He taught philosophy and then scholastic and moral theology at the society's colleges at Seville and Granada. In 1640 he was professor of humanities at Cadiz and, in 1661, he was deputed by the province of Andalusia to the eleventh general congregation. He was highly regarded for his knowledge of languages, including Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic. He produced two major works; the first, entitled ‘Lección sacra en la fiesta célebre que hizo el collegio de la Compagnia de Jesús de la ciudad de Cadiz en hazimiento de gracias a Dios Neustro Señor por el complimiento del primer siglo de su sagrada religión’, was published on the centenary of the Society of Jesus in 1640. His second work was a manuscript commentary on the book of Maccabees. By 1676, Dillon, or de Leon as he was also known, was residing at the Jesuit college in Granada suffering from ill health and failing eyesight. He died 7 February 1690 at Granada.

G. Oliver, Collections towards illustrating the biography of the Scotch, English and Irish members of the Society of Jesus (1838), 225; E. Hogan, ‘Chronological catalogue of the Irish members of the Society of Jesus, from the year 1550 to 1814’, Records of the English province of the Society of Jesus, ed. H. Foley, vii, no. 2 (1883), 1–96; DNB, v, 992; Crone, 53; ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Thomas Dillon (De Leon) SJ 1613-1676
Thomas Dillon was born in Ireland in 1613. He is more commonly known by his Spanish name “De Leon”.

He was a pensioner of the Irish College at Seville, and at the age of 14 left for the Novitiate at St Louis. He taught Philosophy and Theology at Granada. He received a high encomium from Athanasius Kirsher for his profound knowledge of Greek, Hebrew and Arabic : “Linguarum orientalium et abstrusioris doctrinaeveterum exploratur eximius”. Peter Talbot called him “the oracle of Spain”. He compose his works mainly in Spanish.

While teaching at Cadiz, he published a Spanish panegyric on the Centenary of the Society in 1640. He also arranged materials for a Commentary on the Book of Maccabees, but ill health and weak sight hindered publication.

After 1676 there is no record of him

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DILLON, THOMAS, was born in 1613, and was educated in Spain. For many years he taught Philosophy and Divinity, with distinguished credit at Seville and Grenada. We learn from his friend Antonio, p. 247, Hispana Nova, that F. Kircher, a very competent judge, pronounced him to be “Linguarum orientalium et abstrusioris doctrines Vcterum Explorator eximius”. Whilst teaching Humanities at Cadiz, he published a Spanish Panegyric on the Centenary of the Society of Jesus, 4to. Seville, 1640. He also arranged materials for a Commentary on the Books of Maccabees ; but delicate health, and weakness of sight, prevented him from finishing them for the press. After 1676 I cannot trace his biography.

Field, Peter, 1638-1685, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1285
  • Person
  • 27 June 1638-05 October 1685

Born: 27 June 1638, Dublin
Entered: 24 November 1668, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Final Vows: 02 February 1679
Died: 05 October 1685, Cuenca, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

1670 After First Vows in Madrid 25 November 1670 he was sent to various houses of TOLE at Huete, Caravaca de la Cruz and Villarejo
In latter years he was sent to Cuenca College as a teacher of the younger pupils, where he died 05 October 1685

Harnett, Philip, 1943-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/506
  • Person
  • 06 January 1943-20 December 1996

Born: 06 January 1943, Dublin
Entered: 10 October 1961, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1972, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1982, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 20 December 1996, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola community, Eglinton Road, Dublin at the time of death.

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 31 July 1986-30 July 1992
1st President of the European Conference of Provincials 1992-1996

by 1966 at Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain (TOLE) studying
by 1973 at Washington DC, USA (MAR) studying
PROVINCIAL 01 September 1986
by 1994 at Brussels Belgium (BEL S) President European Conference
by 1995 at Strasbourg France (GAL) President European Conference

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Harnett, Philip
by Peter McVerry
Harnett, Philip (1943–96), Jesuit priest, was born 6 January 1943 in Dublin, the third child of Patrick Harnett and Ursula Treacy. He had two brothers, John and Patrick, and three sisters, Anne, Catherine, and Mary. Following an education at Pembroke School, Ballsbridge, and Belvedere College, he joined the Jesuits on 10 October 1961 and studied arts at UCD, philosophy in the Jesuit College, Madrid, and theology in Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained a priest on 23 June 1972.

Harnett studied as a drugs counsellor in Washington, DC, in 1972 and worked for the Dublin diocese as a drugs advisor until 1974. He was then appointed parish priest in the inner-city Jesuit parish of Gardiner Street where, for six years, he coordinated a major community development programme. From 1980 to 1983 he worked in the central administration of the Irish Jesuits before being appointed to the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. During this time he lived in the socially deprived neighbourhood of Ballymun and sought to raise awareness of the structural injustices in Irish society; he also lectured and gave many workshops on this theme. He worked closely with residents in Ballymun to support their struggle to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhood.

In 1986 Harnett was appointed provincial of the Irish Jesuits. In this post he led the Jesuits through a period of rapid change in Irish society and the Irish church, and his leadership skills became very evident. Although he had to make difficult, and sometimes unpopular, decisions to respond to the changing circumstances, he retained the respect of those whom he led. He encouraged and supported the Irish Jesuits in their commitment to social justice, which he saw as a central thrust of their mission. In 1993 he was appointed to the newly created post of president of the Conference of European Jesuit Provincials, which reflected the high esteem in which he was held, and moved to Strasbourg. Three years later he was diagnosed with cancer, and despite a course of immuno-therapy in Strasbourg he became progressively weaker. He returned to Dublin, where he died 20 December 1996.

Irish Province Jesuit Archives; personal knowledge

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996


Fr Philip Harnett (1943-1996)

6th Jan. 1943: Born in Dublin
Early education: Pembroke School, Ballsbridge and Belvedere College
10th Oct. 1961: Entered the Society at Emo
11th Oct. 1963: First Vows at Emo
1963 - 1965: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1965 - 1967: Madrid, studying Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Crescent College Comprehensive, Teaching
1969 - 1972: Milltown Park, studying Theology
23rd June 1972: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1972 - 1973: Washington, Diploma in Drugs Abuse Training
1973 - 1974: Gardiner St - work for Archbishop on Drugs SFX
1974 - 77: Gardiner Street, Parish Priest
1977 - 1978: Tullabeg, Tertianship
1978 - 1980: SFX Gardiner St - Parish Priest
1980 - 1983: Loyola House - Special Secretariat
1983 - 1986: Arrupe, Ballymun Superior - work at CFJ
1986 - 1992: Loyola House, Provincial
1992 - 1993: Sabbatical
1993 - 1996 Brussels/Strasbourg: President of Conference of European Provincials

Philip was feeling a lack of energy after Christmas 1995. His doctors diagnosed cancer and this necessitated the removal of a kidney. Under medical supervision, he initially returned to work in Strasbourg but his doctors eventually prescribed a course in immuno-therapy that lasted several months during which time Philip was unable to work. On completion of the therapy he returned to Dublin to stay with his sister Anne for some weeks. After a fall, he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital and then to Cherryfield Lodge. He made very determined efforts to regain his health and members of the province prayed for him through the intercession of Fr. John Sullivan. Gradually, however, he became weaker and was more and more confined to bed. He died at 3am on Friday 20th December 1996.

Homily for Philip Harnett's funeral Mass, December 23rd, 1996
Can't you imagine Philip Harnett as Jesus asks him does he love him more than these others, and then asks him for a second and third time does he really love him? What I imagine is that Philip would be wondering what kind of manipulation and emotional blackmail all this was! I think he'd probably call for some kind of small group session in Ignatius' court of heaven, perhaps with himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, to facilitate the Lord's apparent insecurity!

In this, the end of John's gospel, we have played out before us the last act of the drama, which began with the invitation to the disciples in the first chapter of John to "come and see". This last act for Philip wasn't as he had either anticipated or wanted: somebody else was putting a belt around him and taking him where he would rather not go. This last journey and meeting with Jesus began last January with news of his serious illness, and intensified in September when he returned to Ireland and it became clear that his illness according to conventional medicine was terminal. It was mostly a journey through his memory, his mind and his heart. Philip the mountain climber, the hill walker, the marathon runner, that vibrant and handsome physical presence, went on this most important of all his journeys with disintegrating body, struggling for breath, but with spirit undiminished and even expanding, as he yearned for life and yearned to understand better the meaning of his and our lives.

What did he find out? Well: that, as always, he was held by the hand of Jesus. That was core and central: beneath all his banter and mockery, it was always clear that for Philip his relationship with Jesus Christ was the bedrock of his life, I heard him once as Provincial articulate this in an impassioned and unguarded way, confirming what I had always suspected was true. This came out so strongly in these last few months: if Jesus was leading him, even where he would himself not want to go, then it was alright. He might argue, protest, even rant and rave, but in the end, warts and all, it was alright. And this is what happened: Philip was able to say “I'm happy”, even as he continued to desire life and felt it ebbing out of him: all will be well, all manner of things will be well, because Jesus Christ, his life-time companion, was with him.

What he found out also was that as he got closer to Jesus and the next life, he got closer to his family, his friends, to his life. He pondered long the influence of his deceased mother and father, his relationship with his brothers and sisters, John, Anne, Catherine, Patrick and Mary, his extended family of in-laws, nephews, nieces and aunts. It was such a great joy to him to be able, after a characteristically honest, searching, and healing look-back, to embrace this network of relationships with heightened appreciation. I know, because he told me and others more than once, how deeply touched he was in particular by the palpable love he felt from his immediate family: he relished the directness of their affection, he was so pleased that it could be expressed so openly, and he wanted so much for them to understand how much they meant to him. Of course he was still capable of saying "God bless" if there was even a hint of mawkishness or false sentimentality in any of this: but he did, more than ever before, want to own and relax into the love he felt for an received from others. And he did so that last journey was simplifying and purifying in a way that surprised and made him very happy - through his prayer, his pondering and sifting, his talking it over with others in a characteristically open way, he found that in coming closer to Jesus Christ he became closer to the rest of us. As his body contracted, his heart expanded.

This applied also of course to his relationship with his friends - with Bernadette in Australia (whose brother Joseph is, I'm glad to say, with us this morning), Catherine in France, with his many friends, Jesuit and lay, from Ireland and different parts of the world, many of whom are here today. He was inclined in fact to dwell less on his achievements, and more on the people who had enriched his life: this was a bit different for a Jesuit, as he well realised! He appreciated so much the care he received in Strasbourg, in Elm Park, above al in Cherryfield. This included those who so generously offered him the help of various alternative medicines, as with typical whole heartedness he embraced every way to continue with life which he had such a huge desire for. And he was so pleased too that the Jesuit Province was praying through John Sullivan's intercession for a miracle cure: I think there may have to be another small group meeting in heaven, involving Philip. John Sullivan and a facilitator to sort out what exactly John Sullivan thought he was at, before the two of them can be the good pals Paul Cullen was talking about last Saturday!

But this was something that Philip also found out: that God, the Father, was not aloof, distant, judgmental, and to be feared. Rather, he marvelled to discover the infinite, inexhaustible patience of God, so open to taking all the anger, the fear, the rage that someone in Philip's terrible predicament felt, and yet there for Philip, as Jesus was. That again was wonderful: this after all is the God of life, and Philip again was reassured that against all the odds God, who is Father and Mother, was there for him, no matter what.

I have spoken of Philip through what I know of his own eyes. The reading from the Romans, with talk of the groaning of creation, gives us an opportunity to assess Philip through our own eyes, because this is also part of the truth of who it is. Creation groans because God's kingdom is being established against great opposition, and Philip had dedicated his life to this Kingdom. What are the kind of qualities which made his contribution so important, particularly in his life as priest in Gardiner Street, Special Secretariat in Loyola, work in Ballymun and the Centre for Faith and Justice, as Provincial and then as President of the Conference of European Provincials?

Well: I think his leadership qualities were remarkable. I remember joking with him that as a leader of the pack on our rugby team he was remarkable for the fact that he could roar at the rest of us to get up first to the break-down point, while arriving himself half a yard behind everyone else to the next line-out! There was something here that was truly great: the ability to motivate others, to inspire, to empower, to make others believe in themselves, not to feel that he could or had to do everything himself. Some of this of course came from his great sense of vision: in many ways for us Irish Jesuits he personified what it was to be a Jesuit after our 32nd General Congregation in the 1970's, with our mission defined in terms of faith and justice, Some of it too came from his skill in management and group work - think of all those meetings, and he was still conducting them from his sick-bed! There was too his creativity: he displayed this perhaps to greatest effect in the last job he had in Europe, where he really was trying to get something very embryonic going in difficult circumstances and in a way which won the respect of all. He had a sharp mind, a shrewd intelligence, an original and critical reading of the world and the signs of the times. Allied to all this was his ability to challenge, in a way which brought the best out of others. As you heard at the start of the Mass, Fr. General himself obviously appreciated this quality in Philip, which leads me to believe that in their relationship of great mutual respect and not a little affection, there may also have been that Harnett push for the magis, the 110%, felt by Fr. General! And of course there was his terrific humanity, his openness in dialogue, his ability to respect the institution but never let this suppress the Spirit-led unorthodoxies in himself or others, his utterly irreverent wit. Very interesting, he would say, when bored stiff; the pious put-down, God bless; the hilarious, Inspector Clousseau grappling with French vowels, particularly of the eu variety, with corresponding facial grimaces.

The stories are legion, and most of them unrepeatable. An edited, maybe apochryphal one will have to act as catalyst for your own favourites: it tells of Philip, as Provincial, being driven in the back of a car up the Milltown drive to preside at an important Province meeting. On the way he passes a group of the younger men, and in self-mocking style waves to them airily, in truly regal and almost pontifical style. Then, as the car passes, they see the same Philip gesticulating at them wildly like a school-boy from the back window of the car. He could not be pompous: sacred cows were there to be slaughtered, the unsayable was suddenly sayable, and none of it was cruel because it was rooted in the ability to be contrite and laugh at himself ( I feel so guilty!) and to be deeply serious when it mattered. He made doing what was good seem adventurous, attractive - and just plain fun! Through all of this he achieved so much, and we may rightly assess this as of more significance than he himself was inclined to do in his illness. You will all have your own list of these achievements: I mention the Signs of the Times Seminar, the development of the Milltown Institute and the Irish School of Ecumenics, as examples of how to my certain first-hand knowledge his leadership has touched the lives of so many.

He was, then, a giant of a man and will be sorely missed. He meant so much to so many. We who are left behind, his family, his friends and colleagues, his brother Jesuits, have a right to ask why? Why now? A right to grieve, to be sorry, to be angry. In doing so we will be helped by the Spirit referred to in the reading from Romans, who helps us in our weakness. We will be helped too by the spirit of Philip, who trusted in God and Jesus, who would understand that we needed to grieve and be angry, but who might say to us in the future, when we might be tempted to use our grief in a maudlin way to block our own lives - well, he might say a gentle, God bless, and help us realise that his God is the God of life, and it is even deeper life that he now enjoys.

This is what the reading from Isaiah suggests I think - more mountains, food and drink, the heavenly banquet - all in continuity with this life. This is another of Philip's great gifts to us: dying, with all its terrible rupture and loss, is for the person of faith a passing to new life. Philip lived this rupture and this hope in an extraordinarily wholistic way. He told me early on that he did not want to die well", in the sense of whatever conventional expectations might be there: he laughed often, even through those last few months, and when he got angry, he would say, in aside, Kubla-Ross/stages of dying! He wondered too what would happen if there was a miracle: would he become a bit of an exhibit, like Lazarus, and would he be asked to go to Rome as part of the evidence for the cause of John Sullivan?! This apparent gallows humour was in fact more of what I have already alluded to: he loved life, he loved Jesus who was utterly incarnate, of flesh, for Philip: and if he trusted Jesus and God to bring him through death to new life, then this new life was in continuity with all the fun, the love, the mountains, the food and drink of this life. This was not a denial of death: rather it was a hymn to life, the ultimate compliment to and praise of the God of life. A 10th Century Celtic poem captures some of this sentiment:

The heavenly banquet
I would like to have the men of Heaven
In my own house:
With vats of good cheer
Laid out for them.

I would like to have the three Marys,
Their fame is so great.
I would like people
From every corner of Heaven
I would like them to be cheerful
In their drinking,
I would like to have Jesus too
Here amongst them.

I would like a great lake of beer
For the King of Kings,
I would like to be watching Heaven's family
Drinking it through all eternity,

This symbolic picture of the heavenly banquet, so true for example to the great satisfaction experienced by Philip in his two trips to pubs for a drink with his brother John in the weeks before he died, is part of Philip's gift to us as he parts. It tells us to treasure life to the full; to seek its meaning in responsible love and in Jesus Christ; to hope with great realism and joy for a reunion of all creation at God's heavenly banquet. In his last few days when Philip, master of meetings, wanted a bit of time on his own he used to say, courteously, humorously: the meeting is over, you may go now! The meeting is indeed over now, Philip: and although it breaks our hearts, you may go: and we thank you and God for all you have meant to us, and for the hope that we may continue to make this world a better place and may enjoy life to the full with you in the future.

Peter Sexton, SJ


When Philip Harnett became Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Ireland, he automatically assumed a number of responsibilities relating to the Irish School of Ecumenics. Firstly he became the Roman Catholic Patron, secondly he became Trustee, and lastly he assumed the Presidency of the Academic Council. In this last role he quickly became aware much more fully of the work of ISE - its degree/diploma programmes in Dublin, its adult education courses on reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the research and outreach efforts of the academic staff. Already in ISE there was a growing realisation that the Irish Churches should take a more positive interest in ISE and Philip saw and endorsed this aim. He also learned of the precarious financial position of ISE and he realised the need for change and development in the school's administration. As time passed the Provincial felt a growing need to take a more constructively active role to help ISE - discerning that those who were running ISE - Executive Board and Director - were too close to the action and too fully involved to stand back and be objective. With the agreement therefore of those in ISE, of the other Patrons and the Trustees, Philip invited (to use a politically correct term which probably understates the nature of the 'invitation') two business men whom he could rely on to act as consultants to the Patrons and to draw up a report on ISE.

That report, when in due time it was presented to the Patrons, was comprehensive and in some areas radical. Its recommendations were accepted by the Patrons who left it to Philip to set up a 'task force' to work with ISE in implementing the recommendations.

This process has resulted in long term advantages and reforms, the outworking of some of these is still in progress. It developed a new relationship for ISE with the Irish churches. The Archbishop of Dublin (Roman Catholic) together with a nominee for the Episcopal Conference have become Patrons (in the place of the Jesuit provincial who remains President of the Academic Council and one of the Trustees together with the Patrons from the other larger churches in Ireland, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian. Equally significantly the churches committed themselves to a programme of financial grants to ISE. This opened up the way for ISE to establish an Endowment Fund and to approach the corporate business sector for significant donations,

The Executive Board of ISE was given much greater responsibility and authority, making it possible for the Academic Council to concentrate on broad policy and the maintenance of Academic standards and research. These changes have been fundamental to the most recent development - albeit one not foreseen in the Consultants' report - that of grant-aid for ISE from the Minister for Education.

Throughout this whole process Philip Harnett retained his interest in and enthusiasm for ISE and for the aims and principles of the school, He gave constant personal support to those of us involved within ISE, and his quiet encouragement and guidance were always available and freely given. His commitment to ecumencial co-operation was a practical and constructive involvement and his actions stemmed from genuine concern and spiritual motivation. He saw ecumenical action and co-operation as a natural part of his Christian life and witness, and he put this vision to good effect in relation to ISE.

Over the time span of history many people have contributed to the formation of ISE's structures, visions and programmes. The recent development of the School is no exception and while successive provincials and directors have made their contributions, it fell to Philip to be the School's Jesuit patron at a critical phase. Philip Harnett had the vision - a vision that combined ideas and imagination with gentleness and compassion, allied to an administrative experience and skill. These attributes enabled Philip to help the school, grown too large for its original “family structure, to develop into a well administered institution. His was a contribution that came at the right time and was made in the right way.

David Poole

David Poole who is a member of the religious Society of Friends, was Chair of ISE's Executive Board from 1987 to 1996.

◆ The Clongownian, 1997


Father Philip Harnett SJ

Fr Philip Harnett SJ, whose older brother John was at Clongowes (1954-57) but who himself attended Belvedere, served as a member of the Board of Governors on two separate occasions. The first time was for a year in 1979-80, when he was Parish Priest of Gardiner St. Later, he was ex officio President of the Board during his creative and memorable six-year term as Jesuit Provincial, 1986-92. He was appointed President of the Conference of European Provincials in 1993, with his base in Strasbourg, a task with which he grappled with characteristic energy and commitment. He fell ill at Christmas 1995. Despite a heroic battle to overcome his illness, to the very great grief of his family and his fellow-Jesuits, Philip died on 20 December 1996, aged 53.

Harrison, John, 1682-1738, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1412
  • Person
  • 29 September 1682-20 February 1738

Born: 26 September 1682, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford
Entered: 29 November 1702, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1711
Final Vows: 15 August 1720
Died: 20 February 1738, Huesca, Spain - Aragoniae Province (ARA)

Alias Henriquez

Son of Peter Harrison (Henriquez) and Joan née Grace. Brother of James Harrison (Henriquez) RIP 1768

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1724-1728 Rector Santiago (succeeded “James Harrison perhaps should read James O’Connor alias Henriquez)
1728-1730 Rector Santiago from 17 October 1728 (should read Salamanca)
1729 Irish Mission Superior expressed his regret that he is being kept at Salamanca, as he was wanted or himself desired for the Irish Mission
From letters written to him he appears to have been well liked and rendered good service. (cf letters written to him from Joseph Delamer and Thomas Gorman - IER March 1874)
Documents of his are preserved at Salamanca
He wrote a petition to the King of Spain giving an account of the College of Salamanca (Dr McDonald’s “Irish Colleges Abroad”) (though this sounds more like Joseph Delamer?)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Peter and Joan née Grace. Brother of James Harrison (Henriquez)
Had studied Philosophy at Compostella before Ent 29/11/1702 Villagarcía
After First Vows he was sent to Compostella to complete his studies
There is no knowledge bewteen 1705-1714, but he was a priest by 1711
1714-1724 At Valladolid teaching Philosophy after two years post graduate studies and was Chair of Dogmatic Theology
1724-1728 Rector of Irish College Santiago and remained there until he succeeded Joseph Delamar (on his death) as Rector at Irish College Salamanca
1728-1731 Rector of Salamanca, but was deposed after three years later due to ill-considered judgements communicated to others. He had come in for extreme criticism by his Spanish Superiors for his administration at Compostela, and it was suggested that the College became burdened with huge debt and the discipline had become very relaxed. This caused significant embarrassment for the Irish Mission Superior, Ignatius Kelly. He wrote to Ignatius Kelly suggesting that there were eight places available at Compostela for 1730. Ignatius Kelly duly informed the local Archbishops, so that they might choose candidates. Meanwhile Harrison’s Spanish successor as Rector at Compostela wrote to Ignatius Kelly suggesting that there were in fact only four places.. At this point also, Harrison began to question the suitability of candidates for Salamanca sent to him by the Spanish Rector at Compostella. Meanwhile the Archbishops in Ireland wrote to the new General (Retz) both congratulating him and informing him of their concerns regarding the management of the Irish Colleges, and in particular the work of John Harrison.
1731 He fled, unauthorised and unannounced to Ireland and Dublin but was persuaded by Ignatius Kelly to accompany him as far as Poitiers, from where Harrison said he would travel to Rome to meet the General. He didn’t in fact go to Rome. he eventually arrived at Madrid where he stayed two years (1733-1735). After this he was withdrawn by the General from CAST and sent to ARA where he worked at the Church in Huesca until his death 20 February 1738
He was clearly a very talented man, but understood little of the ways of administration or diplomacy. His removal from CAST was damaging both to himself and the way this affected the Irish Jesuit Mission, especially in the Colleges of Spain. As a result of the anger and suspicion, no Irishmen were received in CAST for ten years.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Harrison SJ 1702-1738
Not every Jesuit who becomes a Rector becomes an Earl at the same time. This was the fate of Fr John Harrison, born in Kilmuckeridge, Diocese of Ferns, who entered the Society at Compostella in 1702. It happened in this way :
Fr Harrison became Rector of Salamanca in 1728 after the death of Don Dermitio O’Sullivan, who had made our College at Salamanca his universal heir. So Fr Harrison became ipso facto Earl of Beare and Bantry.

He had previously been Rector of Santoago from 17245-1728.

Henessy, James, 1711-1771, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1441
  • Person
  • 23 July 1711-09 January 1771

Born: 23 July 1711, Kilmacthomas, County Waterford
Entered: 22 September 1737, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1740, Alcalá, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1755
Died: 09 January 1771, Ireland

1755-1757 At Villareal College, Master of Rhetoric, Admonitor and Spiritual Father, Prefect of Sodality
1764 Rector of Navalcarnero College (Madrid) TOLE - had also been Minister
1765 Not in TOLE Catalogue (Ireland??)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was public Professor of Rhetoric in TOLE.
1747-1755 In Clonmel (1747-1752) and back in TOLE in 1755 (HIB Catalogues 1752 and 1755)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Philosophy at Madrid and Theology at Salamanca before Ent there 22 September 1737
After First Vows sent to Alcalá to complete studies and was Ordained there 1740
1740-1741 Sent to College of Nobles, Madrid to teach Rhetoric
1741-1724 Sent to Alcalá as Minister
1724-1747 Sent to Villarejo teaching Rhetoric to Jesuit Scholastics
1747 Sent to Ireland and to St Mary’s Clonmel, and was Superior of the Residence for a while until the parish was taken by secular clergy
1753-1758 Sent to Villarejo to teach
1758-1762 Rector of Ocaña
1762 Sent as Superior of the Residence and Church at Navalcarnero (South of Madrid)
1767 Jesuits expelled from Spain
1771 Left for Ireland on 10 July 1771
Nothing further known
(Note: the catalogi of the Toledo province assign three different birthplaces for James Hennessy:-
(1) 'Balligrimminensis', diocese of Cashel; (2) Clonmel; (3) ' Kilnemackensis' of the diocese of Lismore.)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HENNESSEY, JAMES, was born in Munster,on the 16th of January, 1720, and became a candidate for the Society at Madrid, in 1737. Ten years later he came on the Irish Mission, and was stationed at Clonmel; but after a few years labor returned to Spain, where 1 find him in 1755 after which time he eludes my observation.

Lombard, Ignatius, 1614-1669, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1588
  • Person
  • 1614-01 September 1669

Born: 1614, Co Waterford
Entered: 24 February 1633, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1643, Salamanca, Spain
Professed: 20 August 1651
Died: 01 September 1669, Irish College, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

1636 At León College CAST teaching Grammar Age 22 Soc 3;
1639 At Compostella teaching
1642 At Salamanca in 3rd year Theology good talent
1645 at Irish College Salamanca with Fr Sherlock
1648-1652 Rector of Seville College
1651 At Compostella College
1651 ANG Catalogue Was Procurator at Madrid and thought to be fit to be made Rector of Irish Seminaries in Spain
1655 Catalogue Ay Madrid, Procurator of Irish College and Mission
1666-1669 Rector of Seville College

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1634 and 1638 Rector of Compostella
1666-1673 A most successful Rector of Seville
(cf Dr McDonald’s “Irish Colleges” and Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1635-1643 After First Vows Sent for Regency to León and then for Philosophy at Compostella
1639-1643 Sent to Royal College Salamanca for Theology, where he was Ordained 1643
1643-1648 Teaching Controversial Theology at Royal College Salamanca
1648-1652 Rector at Irish College Santiago
1652-1666 Sent to Madrid as Procurator managing finances of Irish Mission. During this time he also was the General’s representative at the Royal Court on business affecting overseas missions. He was also entrusted on occasion with handling negotiations between the King and the Holy See. (His name does not appear in TOLE Catalogues of this period, so he must have had special permission from his own Province to do so).
1666 Rector of Irish College Seville 07 September 1666 where he died in office 01 September 1669

Lynch, Patrick, 1654-1704, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1607
  • Person
  • 17 March 1654-30 October 1704

Born: 17 March 1654, County Galway
Entered: 05 January 1680 Madrid or Villarejo, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1693, Villarejo, Spain
Died: 30 October 1704, Alicante, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

Part of the Jesuit community at Murcia College, Murcia, Spain at the time of death

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Already Ordained before Ent 05 January 1680 TOLE and is most probably the same as the Patrick Lynch who signed his Mass report at Salamanca, 10 October 1677. It is not clear that he was already a Priest before Ent, but he had all but completed his Priestly studies.
After First Vows - unclear if his Noviceship was at Madrid or Villarejo - he was sent to Murcia College teaching Humanities. By 1685 he had been invited to go to the Irish Mission, but claimed ill health made it impossible for him. Eventually he did, five years later.
1690-1692 Sent to Ireland and probably Galway but only spent two years there due to the Williamite conquest of Galway
1692 Back in TOLE and sent to the Novitiate/Juniorate at Villarejo by 02 February 1693 when he made his Final Vows. He then returned to Murcia as a teacher, holding a Chair in Philosophy (1694-1697) and afterwards as an Operarius in the Church. He died at Alicante 30 October 1704

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LYNCH, PATRICK, was Superior of his Brethren in Dublin, in 1693, and 1694. Query. Was he not related to John Lynch, Archdeacon of Tuam, Author of that rare octavo volume, printed at St.Malo, in 1669, “Pii Antistititid Icon, sive de Vita et Mortc, Rmi D Francisci Kirruani Alladensis Epiacopi!” It fetched at Heber’s sale, December, 1834. 18l. 10s.

MacGill, William, d 1739, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2340
  • Person
  • d 30 September 1739

Died: 30 September 1739, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

◆ Old/15 (1) has “MacGhill” RIP 1739

MacHenry, Balthasar, 1622-1695, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1632
  • Person
  • 02 February 1622-28 May 1695

Born: 02 February 1622, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo
Entered: 15 May 1652, Madrid Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: Salamanca, Spain - pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1663
Died: 28 May 1695, Imperial College, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

Alias Henriquez

1655 CAT Teaching Grammar at Huete, Cuenca, Spain TOLE

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Wote a Latin Grammar and a Latin-Spanish Dictionary; Professor of “Belles-Lettres” for twenty-five years.
1670 Father De Burgo asked Father General to send him to the Irish Mission

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied at Irish College Salamanca where he was Ordained before Ent 15 May 1652 TOLE
After First Vows he was sent to do further studies and then teach Grammar at Huete. He was seen to be a good teacher and so also appointed in the same city to teach the Scholastics
1670-1680 Sent to teach Scholastics at the Juniorate at Villarejo
In 1670 there was correspondence between the General and the Irish Mission Superior to have him sent to Ireland, but the negotiations came to nothing.
1680 On his retirement from teaching he was sent as Operarius at Church of the Imperial College, Madrid, where he died 27 May 1695

Magill, Casimir, 1737-1771, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1649
  • Person
  • 19 June 1737-01 March 1771

Born: 19 June 1737, Dublin
Entered: 21 May 1760, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: before 1771
Died: 01 March 1771, Rome, Italy - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of James and Maria née Humphreys
1762-1765 After First Vows he was sent to Philosophy at Murcia
1765-1767 Sent for Theology at Alcalà when the Society was expelled from Spain in 1767
Date of his Ordination is unknown, but he was a Priest at the time of his death 01 Marhc 1771 in Rome
According to TOLE CAT for 1767, which carries annotations for later careers of TOLE, Magill was said to have LFET the Society 11 February 1768, but that he died in the Society in Rome 01 March 1771.

More, Jasper, d 1609, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1764
  • Person
  • d 02 September 1609

Died: 02 September 1609, Madrid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

◆ InOld/15 (1) , Chronological Catalogue Sheet and CATSJ I-Y

Mulroney, Francis, 1598-1629, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1791
  • Person
  • 1598-30 August 1629

Born: 1598, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 1617, Toledo Province - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1622/3, Murcia, Spain
Died: 30 August 1629, Clonmel, County Tipperary

1617 In TOLE Age 18 Soc 1

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Probably a nephew of Andrew Mulroney, as he is described in a list of the Irish Jesuit Mission of 1626 as “Andreas Mulrony Junior”
Had studied at Salamanca before Entry 1617 TOLE
1617-1620 After First Vows (Novitiate done either at Madrid or Villarejo, and seems to have been sent on one year Regency at Belmonte in his second year)
1620-1623 Studied Theology at Murcia where he was Ordained 1622/23
1626-1626 Teaching at Carnavaca de la Cruz and later as Spiritual Father at the Irish College Seville
1626/27 Sent to Ireland. No details of his work are known except he was based in and died at Clonmel August 1629

Murphy, Denis, 1833-1896, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/464
  • Person
  • 16 January 1833-18 May 1896

Born: 16 January 1833, Scarteen, County Cork
Entered: 26 October 1848, Dôle France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 1862
Final vows: 02 February 1869
Died: 18 May 1896, University College, Dublin

by 1849 in Vals, France (LUGD) studying
by 1859 at Bonn, Germany (GER) studying Philosophy
by 1860 at Paderborn, Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1861 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology 3
by 1867 at Manresa, Spain (ARA) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
When he was five years old the family moved to Kanturk, where he had his early education before going to Clongowes.

1852-1858 After First Vows and some studies he was sent for Regency to Clongowes as a Teacher of all years.
1859 He studied his Second Year of Philosophy at Bonn.
1860-1863 He began his Theology at Paderborn, but after one year was transferred to St Beuno’s.
Returning to Ireland he taught Humanities and Rhetoric as well as Logic at Clongowes.
1867 he made Tertianship at Manresa, Spain
1868 He was sent to Tullabeg teaching Rhetoric.
1869-1874 He was sent to teach at Crescent Limerick.
1874-1882 he was attached to the Missionary Staff, and was Superior of that Staff for seven years.
1883-1888 He taught at UCD
1888 he was sent to Milltown to teach Canon Law.
1892-1896 He was back at UCD, mainly as a Writer. He died unexpectedly during the night of 17 May 1896 in his 64th year and 48th in Religious Life.

Ten years before he died he had been appointed by the Bishops of Ireland as promoter of the Causes of those who had died for their faith during the Penal Times. His last work as entitles “Our Martyrs” which was not published until after his death, though he had seen the last sheet through the press!
His other works include : “The Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell”; The History of Holy Cross Abbey”; “School History of Ireland”

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Murphy, Denis
by David Murphy

Murphy, Denis (1833–96), priest and historian, was born 12 January 1833 at Scarteen, near Newmarket, Co. Cork, the eldest son of Timothy Murphy and his wife Joanna (née O'Connell). He was educated at Mr Curran's school in Kanturk before attending Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. Entering the Society of Jesus on 26 October 1848, he made his noviceship at Dôle and then returned to Clongowes and taught history and literature (1852–8). He undertook further philosophical and theological studies in Bonn, Paderborn, and St. Beuno's in Wales and, returning to Ireland in 1863, taught rhetoric and logic at Clongowes (1863–7). In 1867 he made his tertianship at Manresa in Spain and later taught at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, and the College of the Sacred Heart, Limerick. In 1874 he was attached to the society's missionary staff. He established a reputation as an excellent conductor of religious retreats and was appointed superior of the missionary staff in 1873. He began teaching French language and literature in 1883 at University College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, and, in 1888, was appointed to teach moral theology, and later canon law, at Milltown Park. In 1892 he returned to his teaching duties at University College and also served as an examiner in Spanish for the RUI.

Best known for his historical researches and writings, Murphy was a prominent member of several learned societies including the Kildare Archaeological Society, the RSAI, and the RIA (1884), and contributed to their journals. His articles in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland include ‘Mungret Abbey’ (1894), ‘The castle of Roscommon’ (1891), ‘The ornamentation of the Lough Erne shrine’ (1892), and ‘The Irish Franciscans at Louvain’ (1893). His best known historical work is Cromwell in Ireland (1883), a scholarly and balanced account of the military campaign of 1649–51 written to refute the many myths associated with Oliver Cromwell (qv); new editions were published in 1885 and 1897. Murphy gave credit to Cromwell for his courage and military effectiveness, but condemned his religious bigotry and cruelty, and agreed with the 1st earl of Clarendon's saying ‘that he was a great, bad man’ (Cromwell in Ireland, p. ix). In 1893 Murphy translated into English and published Lughaidh Ó Cléirigh's (qv) manuscript life of Red Hugh O'Donnell (qv) with an extensive historical introduction and parallel bilingual text (The life of Hugh Roe O'Donnell (1893)). The translation, however, was severely criticised by some Irish scholars for its lack of precision. His widely used School history of Ireland (1894) gave a concise bird's eye view of Irish history from the arrival in Ireland in the 3rd century BC of Ceasair, granddaughter of Noah, ‘forty days before the deluge’, up to his own day.

At the request of the Irish bishops, in 1886 Murphy began researching a history of the martyrdom of Irish catholics since the reign of Henry VIII. He carried out extensive researches in the Vatican and other continental archives for over a decade, the result of which was the posthumously published Our martyrs: a record of those who suffered for the catholic faith under the penal laws in Ireland (1896) which he completed only days before his death. His edition of The annals of Clonmacnoise (1896), based on the translation of Conall Mageoghegan (qv), was also published posthumously.

He was elected to the RIA's committee of polite literature and antiquities (1891) and became vice-president of the RSAI (1894) and editor of the Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society. He received an honorary doctorate from the RUI in recognition of his historical research. A kindly and cheerful man, he enjoyed playing the bass violin to relax from his scholarly pursuits. He died suddenly 18 May 1896 in his rooms at University College, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. There is a substantial collection of his papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin which includes research notes for Our martyrs and lists of Irish manuscripts in archives in Rome and Spain.

Times, 25 May 1896; Irish Catholic, 23 May 1896; RSAI Jn. (1896); Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society, ii (1896), 81–3; Irish Monthly, xxiv (1896), 328–31; DNB; Boase, supp. iii; Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., xv (1909), 90–92; Beathaisnéis 1882–1982, i, 90; papers of Denis Murphy, Jesuit Archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Denis Murphy 1833-1896
Fr Denis Murphy was born at Scarteen County Cork on the 16th January 1833. Having received his education at Clongowes, he entered the Society in 1848, making his novitiate in Dôle, France.

After his ordination and tertianship he taught in our Colleges, Clongowes, Crescent and Tullabeg. From 1874-1882 he was attached to the Mission Staff. From 1883-1896 he taught at University College, St Stephen’s Green, wit a break in between as Professor ar Milltown Park.

He had been appointed by the Bishops of Ireland as Promoter of the Causes of the Irish Martyrs. This led to his book “Our Irish Martyrs”. His other published works are “The Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell”, “The History of Holy Cross Abbey”, “Cromwell in Ireland” and “The Annals of Clonmacnoise”.

He died rather suddenly on May 17th 1896, being 64 years of age and 48 years a Jesuit.

◆ The Clongownian, 1896


Father Denis Murphy SJ

Clongowes was still lamenting the loss of one of her most distinguished sons, Dr William J Fitzpatrick, when another, of those who have won fame for their Alma Mater in the world of letters was called away to his account. Born at Newmarket, County Cork, in 1833; Denis. Murphy went first to school at Kanturk; and then came to Clongowes, so young and so clever, that he is said to have finished the class of rhetoric at the earliest age recorded except in the case of Chief Baron Palles. Before his sixteenth birthday he had entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, and after spending some years in England and on the Continent returned to Clongowes as professor of classics.

As a writer and a lecturer; Father Murphy soon made a name for himself; as an antiquary he stood in the foremost rank in this country, and in recognition of his great services to Irish literature and history, the Royal University conferred upon him the honorary degree of LLD.

Many noble tributes were paid to his memory by the Press, and we cannot do better than give our readers the notice which the “Independent” gave of his life and labours :-

The announcement of the death of the distinguished Jesuit, Father Denis Murphy, will come with tragic suddenness on his numerous friends in Ireland. Father Murphy had not been strong for some time past, but there was no premonition of the approach of his death. Last week he might have been met working among, as was his wont, the manuscript materials in the Royal Irish Academy. On Sunday, as usual, he performed his sacerdotal duties, and in the evening, apparently in the best of health, beguiled the time revising the final proofs of his “History of the Irish Martyrs”, which was promised from the printing press next month. On Monday morning he was found dead in his bed, evidently having passed quietly away in his sleep a few hours previously. By the death of the Rev Denis Murphy, Ireland is deprived of the services of an untiring, faithful-hearted son, who loved her with love “far brought from out the storied past”, used in the present and transfused for future times; and the Jesuits lose a useful member, whose work has added lustre to the Irish Province, for his name will be placed on the bead-roll with that of the Blessed Edmund Campion SJ, and those of the Bollandist Fathers.

Father Murphy was born in 1833; and shortly after the Famine Year joined the Society. He was educated: in England, Spain, and Germany, as well as at the Irish bouses belonging to his Order. The little town of Newmarket, County Cork, where he was born, is famous as the birthplace of John Philpot Curran, and is hallowed by the memory that there too Thomas Davis spent much of his boyhood's years. It lies in the heart of one of the most historically interesting and romantic districts in that county which Sir Walter Scott estimated contained more romance than all Scotland. Not very far from Father Murphy's early home the brave MacAlistrum had fallen in fight against Murragh-au Theathaun, as the peasants still call the Cromwellian commander, and Phelix O’Sullivan, the vindicator of the Irish Catholics, had broken battle with the English in the Raven's Gleng, and crossed the Blackwater by dint of his long spears; in his historic march into Connaught. Such and similar surroundings possibly first formed the historic faculty which, in later years, developed and trained as it became, distinguished Father Mürphy's career. Besides, lectures on side-lights of history, feuilletons and fugitive, magazine articles innumerable, he published several yolumes of rare value as contributions to the history of Ireland, although dealing with periods and individual persons. His life of Hugh. O'Donnell deserves a place in every Irish home. It is a bilingual text, and side by side wish the Gaelic original of the pious Scribe O'Clery, we have an English translation copiously imitated. By this scholarly book probably Father Denis Murphy will “be best known to the future students of our country's history. The story of Red Hugh, the bright brand foretold of Fanult, is. a revelation of purity of motive and single-hearted. I purpose which teaches mighty lessons to all Irishmen, and its publication as such. apart from its historic value, was a most important event. Nothing in drama or epic of any age or country can exceed the pathos and tragedy contained in this simple record of facts which Father. Murphy was the first to render into the English tongue. Sir William Wilde used to lament that Cromwell's campaignings in Ireland were the most defective portion of modern Irish history. To remedy this Father Murphy set himself to work, and did so effectually in his book “Cromwell in Ireland”, which gives in detail an account of that memorable campaign which began in August, 1648, and ended in May, 1649. He follows Cromwell step by step in his progress through the country, and traces his march with a blood-red line upon the map. He is even at pains to rescue Cromwell's memory from some things set down in malice, but he musters facts enough to show him the great bad man Clarendon maintained he was. Among his other substantial works are his “History of Holy Cross Abbey”, “The Annals of Clonmacnoise”, and his compendium of Irish history, The work he was engaged on when death took him to his reward is entitled “Our Martyrs”, and is a detailed account of those who died for the Faith in the different religious persecutions in Ireland from the period which is styled the Reformation. This book was the carrying out of part of the work he under took a few years ago at the suggestion of the Irish bishops - viz, the promotion of the claims to canonization of those Irishmen and women who had suffered death for religion's sake. “The School History of Ireland”, which was published in 1893, fulfils a useful work, This little book, which was brought up to date from the earliest periods, contains on its last page a graceful allusion to Mr Parnell's honoured name, and the services he rendered Ireland, which is, perhaps, remarkable when we remember the position of the writer and how high party seeling ran at the year of the publication of the book. Besides faithfully discharging the duties of a missionary priest, and a teacher in several schools and colleges, Father Murphy managed to make time in his busy life to fill with credit to himself positions of responsibility in many learned societies. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Vice-President of the Royal Academy and a Council member of che Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, and of the National Literary Society. He was editor of the “Kildare Archaeological Journal”, and took a particular interest in similar publications in Cork, Waterford, and Belfast. Such are Father Murphy's services as a historical researcher and a reliable interpreter of records difficult of access as to cause abiding regret that his books are so few. His place as an Irish scholar will not easily be filled ; his place as a thoughtful, ever faithful friend never can”.

His funeral was attended by a large number of clergymen and other citizens of Dublin, the coffin being covered with numerous beautiful wreaths. One in particular calls for our notice. The staff at the establishment of Father Murphy's printers (Messrs Sealy, Bryers, and Walker), subscribed for and forwarded a costly wreath to be laid on his coffin. The gift was accompanied by a large card bearing the imprint of an open book, the left hand page of which bore the following inscription :

Died May 18th, 1896
Aged 63

A Tribute of great Respect
and Affection
From the Staff of his Printers,
Middle Abbey Street.

The other page contained the following :

The concluding sentences of a corrected proof found at his death-bedside addressed to the Printer -

“But he chose the better part, he finished his course, and kept the faith. As to the rest, there was laid up for him a crown of justice which the just Judge gave him, and will give to all that love His coming”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Denis Murphy (1833-1896)

Was born at Scarteen, Newmarket, Co Cork. He was educated at Clongowes and, on being admitted to the Society, was sent to France for his noviceship. He pursued his higher studies at Bonn, and Paderborn, and was ordained at St Beuno's, in Wales in 1862. On his return to Ireland he was appointed to the teaching staff at Clongowes where he remained until 1867 when he set out for Spain to make his tertianship at Manresa. On his return from Spain, Father Murphy began his long association with the Crescent. From 1868 to 1874 he was a member of the teaching staff while he was also minister of the house, and in charge of the church choir. In 1874 he joined the mission staff then resident in Limerick and remained a member of it until 1883. During his years in Limerick, Father Murphy was held in the deepest respect and affection by all who knew him. He was known and appreciated as a man of versatile intellectual qualities. But this incident shows something of his very practical bent. During his years at the Crescent, it came to his notice that the widowed mother of two Crescent boys was having trouble with a leaking roof. She had seen better days and was in receipt of an annuity just enough to cover up the poverty of herself and children. She told Father Murphy that the estimates for repairs were beyond her resources short of going deeply into debt. Father Murphy, to calm her anxiety, went off to the builders, bought the wood at wholesale and with the help of the elder son of the widow, carried out the repairs on the roof with such skill that the next repairs became necessary only some forty years after Father Murphy's death.

In 1883, Father Murphy was transferred to University College, Dublin, where he was appointed to the post of bursar and librarian. His new post gave him enough spare time to work on his historical notes, the results of his researches during his scholastic days. For during his early years, he had travelled extensively in Europe to collect historical data on the persecutions for the Faith in Ireland. His researches brought him to the archives of cities so widely separated as Madrid, Lisbon, Douai, Louvain, Paris, Vienna and Prague. In his generation, Father Murphy was probably Ireland's most informed historian. After some five years at University College, Father Murphy was transferred to Milltown Park to take over the chair of moral theology. Fortunately, for Irish historical scholarship he was released from his post and returned to University College where he spent the last four years of his life. His monumental work entitled Our Martyrs was just finished in the press, but not yet published, the day before his death. For the last ten years of his life, he held from the Irish hierarchy the post of official Postulator of the Cause of the Irish Martyrs.

Nugent, Robert, 1574-1652, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1846
  • Person
  • 20 July 1574-06 May 1652

Born: 20 July 1574, Ballina, County Meath
Entered: 02 October 1601, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 22 September 1601, Tournai - pre Entry
Final Vows: 04 September 1618
Died: 06 May 1652, Inishboffin, County Galway

Mission Superior 06 April 1627-1646

1603 At Tournai in Novitiate Age 27
1616 Age 39 Soc 15 Mission 9. Studied Theology at Louvain. Good theologian and Preacher. Choleric, but fit to be Superior
1621 Somewhat phlegmatic.
1626 Socius to Fr Holiwood
1636 Was Mission Superior in Ireland - In Dublin 1638
1649 At Kilkenny. By 1650 Vice Superior of Mission and previously Superior of Novitiate and Athlone Residence
1650 Catalogue Came on the Mission 1611. Studied Humanities in Ireland and 2 years at Douai, Philosophy and Theology at Douai. An MA and Priest on Entry
Letter of 27/08/1651 announced Fr Netterville’s death is at ARSI. Bishop Fleming writes of Robert Vester “hard worker” (Ossory Arch)
“Inisboffin surrendered 14 February 1652. Fr Nugent was not imprisoned there till then”. “Fr Hugent and his Harp - Coimbra I 319”
“Glamorgan in his letter signs himself “affectionate cousin” a reference to his relations to Inchiquin family

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Oliver Nugent and Catherine née Plunkett. Brother of Nicholas (RIP 1656) Nephew of Lord Westmeath (Baron Delvin). Uncle of Lord Inchiquin
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy at Douai, graduating MA, before Ent and four years Theology after at Douai. He knew Irish, English, Latin and a little French. Admitted by Fr Olivereo FLA Provincial, he went to Tournai 02/10/1601 (Tournay Diary MS, n 1016, f 414, Archives de l’État, Brussels).
He was a distinguished and divine Preacher, a mathematician and musician (improving the Irish Harp, very much augmenting its power and capacity).
1611 Came to Ireland and was Superior of the Mission for about twenty-three years, Sent to Ireland and became Superior of the Irish Mission for up to twenty-six years (inc 1634 as per Irish Ecclesiastical Record), and then in 1650 for a second time as Vice-Superior;
Had been Superior at the Novitiate and of a Residence; A Preacher and Confressor for many years (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
“Vir plane illustris” (Mercure Verdier in his Report to the General of the Irish Mission, 20/06/1649)
His enemy Peter Walsh calls him the “great mathematician”; Lynch in “Cambrensis Eversus” p 317, and “Alithinologia” p 113, praises his virtues and learning : “He had a singular knowledge of theology and mathematics, and a wonderful industry in relcaiming sinners, and extraordinary humility and self-contempt. In my own memory he made considerable improvement in the Irish Harp. He enclosed little pieces of wood in the open space between the trunk and the upper part, , making it a little box, and leaving on the right side of the box a sound-hole, which he covered with a lattice-work of wood, as in the clavicord. He then placed on both sides a double row of chords, and this increased very much the power and capacity of the instrument. The Fitzgerald Harp is probably his handiwork, or it is made according to his plan. According to Bunting, it has “in the row forty-five strings, and seven in the centre. It exceeds the ordinary harp by twenty-two strings, and the Brian-Boroimhe Harp by twenty-four; while in workmanship it is beyond comparison superior to it, both for the elegance of its crowded ornaments, and for the execution of those parts on which the correctness and perfection, it claims to be the ‘Queen of Harps’ - Ego sum Regina Cithararum - Buntings dissertation on the Irish Harp p27 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
He is named in a letter from James Archer, Madrid 28/09/1607, and keenly sought after by Christopher Holiwood (alias Thomas Lawndry), the Irish Mission Superior. He was indeed sent, first as Socius to the Mission Superior, and then as Mission Superior. (Several of his letters are extant and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS gives copious extracts, and he also notes Nugent’s resignation as Mission Superior 23/12/1646).
He is also mentioned in the Christopher Holiwood letter of 04 November 1611 (Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1874), as having a district with Father Galwey under their care, both being assiduous in their labour.
He endured continuous persecution over seven years. As a result he generally only went out at night, and though the roads were always full of soldiers, with the aid of Providence, he managed to travel unharmed, and impelled by zeal.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Oliver and Catherine née Plunket. Brother of Nicholas
Studied at Douai and was Ordained there the same year as Ent 02 October 1601 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for further studies
1608 Sent to Ireland working mostly in Meath and South Ulster, earning himself a reputation of an able Preacher in both Irish and English. He became secretary to Christopher Holywood and succeeded him as Vice-Superior or the Mission.
1627-1646 Superior of Mission 06 April 1627. For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor with equal success so that the Mission became in all but name a Province of the Society. His first term of office came to an end in 1646 when the General acceded that he should be granted repose after so many years of government. In the later years in office he had resided in Kilkenny and Kilkea Castle which had been bequeathed to the Society by the Dowager Countess of Kildare. At the time of the Nuncio's “Censures”, he was at Waterford and with the community there observed the interdict. Yet he was accused (falsely) by Massari, auditor to Rinuccini, of having promoted the Ormondist faction and Rinuccini in turn reported the calumny to Rome. The Jesuit Visitor Mercure Verdier was able later to get Rinuccini to withdraw the charge but he, unfortunately, failed to correct the slanderous report even though he was himself heavily in debt financially to Nugent.
1651 After the death of George Dillon he was appointed Vice-Superior of the Mission until a new Superior could be chosen. He was now living in Galway, and his first care was to have shipped overseas for their studies the young scholastics, who had been evacuated from Kilkenny, and who were the future hope of the Mission.
On the approach of the Putians to Galway, because of the special hatred for him entertained by the Cromwellians, he withdrew to Inishboffin but was persuaded to set out for France, so that he could look after the interests of the Mission there . In spite of advanced years, he set sail on 11 April 1652, but his boat when within sight of France was blown back to Inishboffin. He was now ill from the hardships of such a voyage for one of his advanced years and six weeks later he died at Inishboffin 06 May 1652
He was beloved not only by his fellow Jesuits, but also by all who came in contact with him. He was regarded both within and outside the Jesuit Mission as one of the most prudent and inspiring Spiritual Directors.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Robert Nugent (1627-1646)
Robert Nugent, son of Oliver Nugent, of Balena, in the diocese of Heath, and Catherine Plunkett, was born on 20th July, 1597. He completed the whole course of his studies at Douay, and having been ordained priest at Tournay on 22nd September, 1601, he entered the Novitiate of Tournay on 2nd October following. At the end of four years' theology he distinguished himself by a public defence of all philosophy and theology at Louvain. A year later (1608) he was sent on the Irish Mission, where he laboured in Meath and Ulster for many years, and obtained a high reputation
as a preacher both in Irish and in English. He acted as Secretary and Assistant to Fr Holywood, succeeded him as Vice-Superior on his death, and on 6th April, 1627, was formally appointed Superior. For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor, with equal success, so that the Mission became in numbers, colleges, residences, and foundations a Province in everything but name, His first term of office came to an end in 1646, when the General acceded to his request that he should be given some repose for so many years of government.

Robert Nugent (1651-1652)

Fr Robert Nugent was ordered on 28th January, 1651, to act as Vice-Superior, until a new Superior should be appointed. He resided at Galway, one of the few places still held by the Catholics; but soon the approach of the Cromwellian armies forced him to retire to Inishbofin. While there he was requested to betake himself to the Continent, as the interests of the Society demanded his presence there. It was also known that the heretics bore him a peculiar hatred. In spite of his advanced years he obeyed promptly, and set sail about the 11th of April. The ship was driven back by contrary winds, when within sight of the French coast, and had to return to the port it had left. The tempestuous voyage was too much for the old man. He was put ashore, and carried to a poor hut, where he lingered on for six weeks. He died in Inishbofin on 6th May, 1652, and was buried on that island. His gentleness, gravity, prudence, learning, and skill as a director of souls endeared him to all. He was beloved not only by his fellow Jesuits, but by all who came in contact with him, especially by the nobility, the prelates, and the members of other religious Orders.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Nugent SJ 1597[1574]-1652
Fr Robert Nugent was the greatest and longest in office of the Superiors of the Irish Mission, with the exception of Fr Christopher Holywood.

He was born on the 20th July 1597 [1574], son of Robert Nugent of Balena in the diocese of Meath, and his mother being Catherine Plunkett. He was the uncle of Baron Inchiquin and cousin of Elizabeth, Countess of Kildare. He was already a priest when he entered the Society at Tournai in 1601.

He was sent on the Irish Mission in 1608, and he laboured in Meath and Ulster for many years, where he acquied a high reputation as a preacher in both English and irish. He acted as Socius to the ageing Superior Fr Holywood and succeeded him in office in 1627.

For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor, so that the Mission became in numbers, Colleges and residences, a Province in everything but name.

In 1643 his cousin the Countess of Kildare donated Kilkea Castle, two miles NW of Athy, to the Jesuits for a noviceship. Here Fr Nugent entertained the Nuncio Fr Rinuccini for twenty days on his way to besiege Dublin. At the orders of the Supreme Council, he accepted charge of the Press at Kilkenny and also opened a noviceship there with six novices under Fr John Young.

On the collapse of the Confederate Cause Fr Nugent retired to Galway where he directed the Mission as Vice-Superior in 1651. He was ordered to the continent and set sail, but his ship was forced back and he died in Inisboffin on May 6th 1652, in a poor hut where he had lingered for six weeks.

It is interesting to recall that Fr Nugent, like Fr William Bath before him, was very interested in Irish Music. He actually improved the Harp in use in his time, by adding a double row of strings.

He suffered imprisonment in Dublin Castle for four years from 1616-1620, and during this period he composed Irish hymns set to old tunes which were popular in Ireland for years after his death.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NUGENT, ROBERT, brother of F. Nicholas, and uncle to Baron Inchinquin, was a man of the highest merit, “Vir plane illustris, omnique exceptione major”, as Pere Verdier describes him in his Report of the 20th of June, 1649. The first time that I meet with him is in a letter of F. James Archer, dated from Madrid, 28th of September, 1607. to F. George Duras, the Assistant of Germany, at Rome. After signifying the departure of FF. James Everard and Thomas Shine for the Irish Mission, he adds the anxious wish of their Superior, F. Holiwood, that FF. William Bath and Robert Nugent may follow them, as he has a station ready for them in the North of Ireland. F. Robert was sent to the aged Superior, who entertained the greatest esteem for him and made him his Socius during the latter years of his government. In the sequel F. Nugent was appointed Superior of his Brethren, and held that office for at least twenty years. Several of his letters are fortunately extant, which bear ample testimony to his sound discretion, unaffected zeal and piety, and conciliatory conduct. In one letter, the 31st of October, 1615, he prays to be released from the duties of Superiority, alleging that he is now in his 70th year a fitter age to prepare himself for eternity, than to be continued in his painful responsibility, and during such critical and eventful times.
In another letter of the 20th of January, 1646-7, after stating the difficulty of conveying letters to Rome, acquaints the Vicar F. Charles Sangri, that in virtue of the injunction of the late General Mutius Vitelleschi, and with the advice of his consultors, he had some time since directed one of his Rev. Brethren to compile a General history of the Irish Mission of the Society - that this work had been brought down to nearly the present most troublesome period that it was admirably and faithfully executed from authentic documents; but before the finishing hand could be put to his labours, the author died. F. Nugent could not ascertain what had become of the Manuscripts : it was well known that for some time they were buried underground; but whether any one had removed them from the secret place, and had transferred them elsewhere, he had not been able to discover. He adds, that he carefully kept by him the points of information which he received annually from each Residence of his Brethren; but that it would be a service of extreme danger, if not of ruin to them, to attempt to forward the papers to Rome, should the Puritans intercept them. In this letter he mentions, that at the express desire and command of the Supreme Council, he had accepted the charge of the press at Kilkenny : and also that he had hired a house in that town for the Novitiate; and early in February, F. John Young, who was a man of approved learning, and prudence, and distinguished for sanctity of manners, would begin to train the six Novices already admitted in the spirit of the Institute of the Society, and that there were many postulants for admission. He concludes with regretting that all hopes of peace had now vanished, in consequence of the imprisonment of Edward Somerset the Earl of Glamorgan a most staunch Catholic, who had been sent to Ireland by King Charles I, with full powers (with private authority independent of the Viceroy) to grant favourable terms to the Catholics. After he had concluded his treaty with the confederated Chiefs of Kilkenny, and had obtained from them a vote of ten thousand troops to be transferred forthwith to England, of which he had been chosen and appointed General; he no sooner had returned to Dublin, than the Viceroy committed him to close custody on the 26th of December last, and thus the whole negotiation and expedition had evaporated, and that now nothing was thought of but war. Before he resigned office into the hands of F. Malone, 23rd of December, 1646, he had been required by the Nuncio Rinnccini, to lend him the greater part of the funds of the Mission : (quatuor aureorum millia). This was vainly reclaimed by subsequent Superiors, and the Missionaries experienced great inconvenience and injury in consequence, as F. Wm. St. Leger’s letter, bearing date 16th of January, 1663, too well demonstrates. The last time that F. Robert Nugent comes across me, is in a letter of the 31st of August, 1650, where he is described as “antiquissimus inter nos”, but still not incapable of labor.

  • I have reason to suspect that the compiler was F Stephen White, of whom more in the sequel.
    *This Edward Somerset, was the eldest son of Henry, first Marquess of Worcester, the staunch Catholic Loyalist, who had suffered the loss of not less than three hundred thousand pounds in supporting the cause of Charles I!! In a letter now before me addressed by Earl Glamorgan to the General of the Jesuits, Vincent Caraffa, and dated from Limerick, 22nd of October, 1646, he expresses “impensissimum studium et amorem ergo, Societatem Jesu” and recommends his dearest Brother to the favourable attentions of his Reverend Paternity (Who was this Brother? John, Thomas, or Charles?) He ends thus : “Nihil magis invotis est, quam ut palam mortalibus omnibus testari mihi liceat quam vere et unice sim, &c. addictus planeque devotus GLAMORGAN”. He died in London on the 3rd of April, 1667.

Ó Neachtain, Peadar, 1709-1756, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1848
  • Person
  • 29 June 1709-28 October 1756

Born: 29 June 1709, Dublin
Entered: 25 May 1729, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1737, Toledo, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1749
Died: 28 October 1756, Murcia, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

Alias Ignatius Norton

Taught Rhetoric, Minis and Moral Theology. Was Prefect of Studies

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Teig (son of William) O’Neachtan and his wife Catherina Birmingham, not Cruice as O’Reilly wrongly states in his “Irish Writers”. A man named Birmingham is called in Irish “MacFeorais” and a lady “Ni Cheoris:. Mrs O’Neachtan is called “mother of the reverend learned Father Peter O’Neachtan, of the holy Ordere of Jesus - do Naom Ord Iosa”
Note from John O’Neachton Entry :
A John O’Neachton wrote verses “on the death of Catherine Cruice, wife of Teig O’Neachton, and mother of Peter SJ. They began : “Catriona ni Ceoris an oigbean bus aille - Catherinea Cruice, the young woman (who) was beautiful” (O’Reilly “Irish Writers”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Tadgh or Thady (poet) and Catherine née Nic Fheorais (Birmingham). Baptised by Canon Valentine Rivers (an alumnus of the Dublin Jesuit School)
Early education was at the Jesuit School in Dublin under Milo O’Byrne and then Philosophy at Canon John Harold’s Academy. In May 1728 with a letter of recommendation to the Rector, he headed for Santiago (the events of his journey are recorded in a poem by his father), and after a few months there entered the Irish College at Salamanca for a year before Ent 27 May 1729 Madrid
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Alcalà and for Theology to Toledo where he was Ordained 1737
1737-1743 Sent to teach Rhetoric to the Jesuit Scholastics at Villarejo
1743-1745 Sent to Alcalà to teach Philosophy
1745-1755 Sent to Murcia for a Chair of Moral theology.
1755 He was sent back to Alcalà to teach Moral Theology, but his health failed him afterwards and he had to resign. He moved to Murcia and died there 28 October 1756
In the Society Ó Neachtain was known by the anglicised version “Norton”. As an Irish speaker, The Mission Superior Thomas Hennessy had made representations to have him sent to the Irish Mission. His Superiors in TOLE had such a high regard for his gifts that they refused to release him.
His Obit pays tribute to a man of high intellectual gifts, which inspired so many of his Spanish students, though he was also much sought after by lay people as a Spiritual Guide.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Peadar Ó Neachtáin 1709-1756
Peadar Ó Neachtáin was born in St Catherine’s Parish Dublin on June 29th 1709. He was the son of Seán Ó Neachtáin, the Irish poet.

Peadar received his early education from the Jesuits in their day-school in Dublin presided over by Fr Robert Eustace. He entered the Society abroad at the age of 19.

Éigse Vol 1 contains a long poem of his father’s written on his son’s journey across the seas. Fr Peadar is mentioned by O’Reilly, author if the Irish Dictionary, in a list of 400 Irish writers.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NORTON, or O’NEAGHTON, PETER, son of Teigh O’Naghton, by his wife Catharine Cruise. This Jesuit is mentioned by O Reilly, author of the “Irish Dictionary”, in an account of four hundred Irish Writers.

O'Galvan, Patrick, 1706-1773, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1906
  • Person
  • 29 October 1706-22 December 1773,

Born: 29 October 1706, Belcaire, Alets-les-Bains, Occitanie, France
Entered: 14 December 1753, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 December 1758
Died: 22 December 1773, Genoa, Italy - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

1757 Socius to the TOLE Novice Master

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Patrick (a colonel in the Spanish Army who was killed at the siege of Barcelona 1714, who called himself Lord of Pobblegalvan, and was professed cavalier of the Order of Calatrava) and Leonora née O’Keeffe both originally from Cork.
Its is possible that he was born in Cork and brought to France at an early age, and that the record in the Novice Entry Book records the family property rather than place of birth.
Already Ordained before Ent 14 December 1753 Madrid

1755-1758 After First Vows he was sent to act as Socius to the Novice Master at Madrid.
1758-1762 He was then sent as Procurator for TOLE at the Imperial College Madrid. He was eminently qualified for this position, as before entry he had studied civil law.
1762-1767 He as appointed as an Operarius at the Church in Madrid.
1767 He was exiled at the expulsion of the Society in Spain, and found refuge at Genoa, Italy, where he died 22 December 1773

Power, Paul, 1732-1795, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2006
  • Person
  • 16 April 1732-22 February 1795

Born: 16 April 1732, County Waterford
Entered: 08 September 1750, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: c1759, Alcalá, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1768
Died: 22 February 1795, St, Patrick's, Waterford

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1783 Succeeded Father St Leger as PP of St Patrick’s Waterford
1793 Fathers Power, O’Halloran, O’Callaghan, Mulcaille and Betagh (the five survivors) met and agreed to confide the funds to Father O’Callaghan to be kept for the Restored Society.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Nicholas and Helena née Keating
Studied at Irish College Salamanca from 07 August 1748 for two years before Ent 08 September 1750 Madrid. He originally expressed his desire to join the Society and his Rector at Salamanca John O'Brien gave him a letter of introduction to the Provincial of Toledo : “He is 18 years of age, of good health, great ability, of a peaceful disposition and well inclined, of good appearance and with none of those impediments mentioned in our constitutions. He is of good parentage, upright and Catholic. He has a first cousin of his name, a merchant of Seville, who has offered to defray the expense of his entering”.
After First Vows he was sent to Alcalá for studies and was Ordained there c 1759
1759-1762 He was then sent to teach Humanities at Villarejo
1762 Sent to Ireland and the Waterford Residence. At the Suppression he was incardinated at Waterford, and continued to minister at St Patrick’s. He succeeded Fr St Leger as PP in 1783 and died there 22/02/1795

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for yopu than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14/06/1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07/07/1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anto Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
POWER, PAUL. All that I can glean of this Father is, that he was appointed joint executor with F. Callaghan to Rev. John Fullam’s will. It is painful to the compiler of these notes to be able to offer so little information, but he hopes to sharpen the industry and zeal of others. His object is merely to gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

St Leger, John, 1713-1783, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2142
  • Person
  • 23 August 1783-22 May 1783

Born: 23 August 1713, Waterford
Entered: 25 April 1729, Madrid, Spain - Toetanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1737, Murcia, Spain
Final Vows: 1752
Died: 22 May 1783, St Patrick’s, Waterford

Uncle of Robert St Leger - RIP 1856, and a nephew of John St Leger RIP 1868

For Entry was taken to Spain by a Sergeant of the Irish Brigade (told to Fr Hogan by John St Leger)
1754 Baptises Hannah - 10 year old daughter of Matteus Ryan of Newfoundland
1758 Baptises a young woman (age 22) from Newfoundland
He left many MS, sermons. Seems very familiar with “Bourdaloue” (Louis - a French Jesuit and Preacher)
In a book of Waterford Residence there is signed “Johan St Leger 1743”
Thrift’s Index of Irish Wills gives 1783 as date of John St Leger PP Waterford

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Nephew of Fathers Robert and John St Leger
Taught Humanities for five years in Spain
1742 Sent to Ireland
1752 & 1755 Acting PP in Waterford, where he built St Patrick’s Chapel ad Residence.
He was an eloquent Preachers, and left a large number of sermons MS.
A serjeant of the Irish Brigade was sent to bring him to a Continental College.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
According to the tradition of his granduncles (Fathers Robert and John St Leger who died last century) he was brought to Spain by a sergeant of the Irish Brigade sent over to Ireland for the purpose
1731-1737 After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Oropesa and was then sent to Murcia for Theology and was Ordained there 1737
1737-1738 Made Tertianship at Murcia
1738-1742 He was sent to teach Humanities at Villarejo
1742 Sent to Ireland and Waterford where he spent the rest of his life. He served at St Patrick’s Parish, a Church which 200 years later still serves local needs. At the Suppression he was incardinated into the local Diocese. He became PP in succession to Simon Shee, and at the Suppression of the Society was incardinated into the local Diocese. He died 07 June 1783 (as per tombstone at St Patrick’s in Waterford) and was buried at St Patrick’s in the St Leger tomb (His death was recorded in the Dublin Evening Post of 07 June 1783)

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John St Leger 1713-1783
Fr John St Leger was born in Waterford on August 23rd 1713, and entered the Society in Toulouse in 1729. Having taught Humanities in Spain for five years he came back to the Irish Mission in 1742.

With the aid of his friends in Spain he built the Church and Residence of St Patrick in Waterford, and for 31 years had charge of the parishes of St Patrick and St Olave in that city.

At the Suppression of the Society, the Bishop Dr William Egan declared St Patrick’s a Parish Church, and appointed Fr St Leger as its Parish Priest, with Fr Paul Power as his curate.

He died in 1783 aged 70 years, beloved and esteemed by all, as the vast concourse at his funeral testified.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770
Loose Note :
John St Leger
Those marked with * were working in Dublin when on 07 February 1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

Took the Oath of Allegiance 13 December 1775

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ST. LEGER, JOHN ( Salingerus, Uncle to FF. Robert St. Leger, D.D,), and Vicar Apostolic of Calcutta, and his brother F. John St. Leger) born at Waterford, on the 23rd of August, 1713; entered the Society in the Province of Thoulouse, on the 25th of April, 1729, and came to the Irish Mission thirteen years later. With the assistance of his Irish friends in Spain, he built at Waterford a Chapel for the Residence of the Society, and a good dwelling House. It was called St. Patrick’s. At the Suppression of the Order, Dr. William Egan, then Bishop of the Diocese, declared it a Parish Church, and appointed F. St. Leger its first Parish Priest and F. Paul Power his associate. To this day, the memory of these holy Men is in benediction. To the credit of the Bishops of Waterford, let it be remembered that whilst an Ex-Jesuit was living, no other was appointed Parish Priest of St. Patrick’s.

Stanihurst, Peter, 1599-1627, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2149
  • Person
  • 01 November 1599-27 May 1627

Born: 01 November 1599, Brussels, Belgium
Entered: 18 September 1616, Mechelen, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)
Ordained; 15 March 1625, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 27 May 1627, San Sebastian, Spain - Flanders Province (FLAN)

Brother of William - RIP 1663

Son or Richard and Ellen Copley (Richard - -RIP Brussels 1618 - studied for 6 years after the death of his wife) brother of William
Fellow Novice of Jan Berchmans
1626 A P Stanihurst is in the FLAN-BEL Province
In 1639 he wrote 10 “distichs in Theobald Stapleton’s “Irish Catechism” where he signs P Stanihurstus, Societ. Jesu, Hibernus
An Eloquium on him in “Arch de l’état, Brussels", Carton 1005 I, died 29 June 1627

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Richard and Helen née Copley and cousin of Protestant Bishop Ussher. Brother of William
Studied Humanities at Brussels under the Jesuits before Entry.
Fellow Novice of Jan Berchmans
Irish Mission Superior asked the General to send hoim or his brother William to teach at the irish College Compostella
Death date RIP 27 May 1627 Spain (before FV - Carton 1005 I. Archives de l’État, Brussels; Hogan’s Irish List; Mechelen Album)

Note regarding Peter and William Stanihurst taken from the leaves of Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS by Fr Morris SJ :
1644 Stanihurst : since about the year 1630, a good Father of the Society that lived in this town (Louvain) preached here on holidays. He was cousin german to the Superioress and her sister; he was named Father Stanihurst, whose mother was their father’s own sister, married to an Irish gentleman of good worth in his own country (St Monica’s Chronicle p 497) The Superioress, elected 25/02/1637, was Sister Mary Copley (St Monica’s Chronicle p 497). She and her sister Helen were daughters of William Copley of Gatton, Surrey, and heir of Lord Thomas Copley, Baron of Wells (ibid p120), that is Sir Thomas Copley who claimed the Barony of Wells. Richard Stanihurst, the father of Peter and William, became Chaplain to their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess Albert and Isabella, after the death of his wife Helen Copley (ita P Waldack). Of James Stanihurst, the father of Richard, Father Edmund Campion says in the preface to his “History of Ireland” : “Notwithstanding, simple and naked as it is, it could never have growen to any proportion in such post haste, except I had enterd into such familiar societie and daylie table talke with the worshipful esquire, James Stanihurst, Recorder of Dublin, who beside all courtesie and hospitality, and a thousand loving turnes not heere to be recited, both by word and written monuments, and y the benefit of his own library, nourished most effectively mine endeavours. Dublin 1633, reprinted 1809”
Richard Stanihurst was uncle to Ussher and cousin to Henry Fitzsimon. He wrote several works on which we see Sir J Ware’s “Irish Writers”, Webb’s Irish Biography. he became a priest upon his wife’s death, and Chaplain to the Archduke of Austria.
Barnaby Rich, Gent, in his “Description of Ireland” says R Stanihurst was a great alchymist. Father Holiwood often wrote to the General to have Peter and William sent to Ireland (Hogan)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Richard and Helen née Copley. Brother of William. His Grandfather James was sometime Recorder of Dublin.
Contemporary in Noviceship of Jan Berchmans
1618-1623 After First Vows he was sent first to Antwerp and then to Bruges for studies. The he was sent on a year of Regency at Bergues Saint Winoc. Although born in Belgium, he was considered eligible for the Irish Mission, and in fact the Irish Mission Superior had hoped that he might do a Regency at the Irish College Santiago.
1623-1625 He was then sent back to Antwerp for Theology and he was Ordained there 1625
1625 He was then appointed a Naval Chaplain and so was living at Dunkirk. During the year 1626/27, when his ship put in at San Sebastian, he set out for Madrid. It is known that he preached to the sailors in Holy Week (Easter Sunday was on 4 April 1627, and that he died shortly after.

Sweetman, Jerome, 1634-1683, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2168
  • Person
  • 30 September 1634-07 October 1683

Born: 30 September 1634,County Meath / County Dublin
Entered: 15 August 1652, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1659, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1669
Died: 07 October 1683, Talavera de la Reina, Castile-La Mancha, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

1655 At Compostella Age 22 Soc 3. Studying 3rd year Philosophy.
1660 At Pamplona College as Minister. Good talent and judgement
1665-1672 At Oviedo CAST teaching Grammar and Minister
1675 Not in Catalogue
Taught Philosophy and Theology at Ávila (no dates)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1674 Procurator of Irish Mission, Madrid
Names in a letter of Christopher Mendoza, Madrid dated c 1675 -He was procurator at Madrid (A Copy at the Archives de l’État, Brussels, is given in “Collectio Cardwelli” Vol iii Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
Accused by Titus Oates and mentioned in the false narrative (cf : “Records SJ” Vol v, pp 97 seq)
Mentioned occasionally in the “Note and Letter-book” of Father John Warner, ANG Provincial, and now in the Cambridge Public Library.
His letters are in Salamanca

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1654-1659 After First Vows he was sent for studies first to Compostella and then Salamanca where he was Ordained 1659
1659-1664 Sent as Minister and teaching Humanities at Pamplona and then Oviedo
1665-1669 Rector Irish College Santiago. He was known also to conduct parish missions from there.
1669-1672 Taught Moral Theology at Oviedo and later at Avilá.
1672-1682 General appoints him as Rector at Irish College Seville, at the request of the students, but he pleaded his indifferent health against acceptance of the post. Instead, on the representations of the Superior of the Irish Mission, Jerome was appointed Procurator of the mission and of the Irish Colleges (Santiago, Salamanca, and Seville) at Madrid, and against the opposition of the Provincial of TOLE
1682 Out of the blue he was commanded by a Royal Decree to leave Spain forthwith. The charges against him cannot now be specified but it can be surmised that the sum of his offence had something to do with his success in winning financial help for the Mission and Colleges to the (alleged) detriment of the Spanish Jesuits establishments. Protests and memorials from the Irish in Spain failed to move the King. The General pronounced him innocent of the charges and arranged for him to settle in the province of Portugal. He died on his way there at Talavera 07 October 1683

Wadding, Luke, 1593-1652, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2208
  • Person
  • 1593-10 January 1652

Born: 1593, Waterford
Entered: 06 April 1610, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1618, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 16 October 1626
Died: 10 January 1652, Imperial College, Madrid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias Gaudin

Son of Thomas and his 2nd wife Anastatia née Devereux. Brother of Thomas, half-Brother of Walter, Michael and Peter. 1st Cousin of Ambrose and Luke OFM

1619 at Monforte College teaching Latin
1625 At Valladolid Age 32 Soc 15. Teaching Grammar and Philosophy. Talent very good for teaching. Would be a good Superior
1626 In Spain. Prof 4 Vows. Talent, judgement and proficiency very good. A talent for teaching and government. Taught Philosophy and Theology
1633 At Salamanca Age 39 Soc 22 teaching Theology
1636-1639 At Valladolid teaching Philosophy and Theology
1642-1645 At Salamanca teaching Theology. Possesses excellent talent and judgement with much character and piety. Highly qualified to teach Theology. Has a talent for giving advice and transacting business. I believe a very good man to be a Superior. by 1645 has been Prefect of Studies.
1649 At Imperial College Madrid. Teaching Moral and “los estudios Reales”
In Waterford College there is a “Tirinus” with “Es de la Mission de Irlanda applicole con licencia de NP Geberal et Lucas Guadin SJ”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
A Writer; One of the Wadding brothers SJ; Rector of Burgos; Prefect of Irish Mission; Professor of Theology at Salamanca, Valladolid and Madrid; A most distinguished man “quem summis aequiparare possis” (Litt Anuae Prov of Toledo); Ninve Volumes of his Theological MSS are preserved at Salamanca (Foley’s "Collectanea")
1617 In CAST (Irish Ecclesiastical Record, August 1874)
1642 At Salamanca, and Robert Nugent Irish Mission Superior in a letter of 24 April 1642 asks General Vitelleschi for his and his brother Peter’s services in Ireland, and again in another letter of 28 February 1643 (Oliver Stonyhurst MSS).
RIP 31 December 1650 or 01 January 1651. His death is alluded to in a letter or report of Fr Christopher Mendoza, Madrid 1675, as having occurred at St George’s College Madrid, but without date (cf Richard Cardwell’s transcripts of MSS SJ in the “Archives de l’État”, Brussels, Stonyhurst MSS)
“The Supreme Council of Ireland, to Fr Luke Wadding, of the Society of Jesus in Spain 28 June 1643 : Reverend Father, wee have sent back Father Talbot into Spain, to render humble and hearty thanks to his Catholicke Majesty fr the great affection he bears to our cause and nacion; and wee have authorised you as by our severall commissions you will finde to agitat our affairs as well at Courte as with the Prelates and Clergie of Spaine. We know your zeal to the cause and the care you have of your countrye” (Hogan)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and his 2nd wife Anastatia née Devereux. Brother of Thomas, half-Brother of Walter Michael and Peter. 1st Cousin of Ambrose and Luke OFM
Apparently he left Ireland as a young boy, and he had already studied Humanities at St Patrick’s Lisbon, and he had started Priestly studies at Salamanca 15 September 1608 before Ent 06 April 1610 Villagarcía the same day as his brother Thomas
1612-1619 After First Vows 06 April 1612 he was sent for studies to Royal College Salamanca and was Ordained there c 1618
1619-1622 He then taught Classics and later Philosophy and Theology for three years at Monforte
1622-1624 Taught Philosophy at Compostela
1625-1640 First teacher of Theology at St Ambrose, Valladolid
1640-1647 Teaching Theology at Royal College Salamanca
1647-1652 Teaching Theology at Imperial College Madrid (TOLE) where he died 10 January 1652
The Superior of the Irish Mission wanted to have Luke sent back to Ireland but the Spaniards refused to part with a scholar of his brilliance. Luke himself never lost interest in the Mission and was able to assist it with alms from friends in Spain
On the outbreak of the war in Ireland in 1641, he was able to counter the misrepresentations of the origin of the war circulated at the Spanish court by the English Jesuit, Thomas Babthorpe
He was also a Writer.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Note from Paul Sherlock (Sherlog) Entry
In April 1642 and again in February 1643, Robert Nugent, superior of the Jesuits in Ireland, wrote to the general of the order, Viteilleshi, requesting the return to Ireland of Sherlock and another Irish Jesuit, Luke Wadding (a professor at Salamanca and cousin of the Franciscan Luke Wadding (qv) (1588–1657)), declaring both priests to be ‘absolutely necessary to this mission’ (Grogan, 94). Neither priest returned.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Luke Wadding 1593-1651
Fr Luke Wadding was a cousin of Fr Ambrose Wadding SJ, and of Luke, the glory of the Franciscan order. The Jesuit Luke Wadding was born in Waterford in 1593, of which city his father, Thomas Wadding, was Mayor in 1596. In 1610 Luke Wadding entered the Jesuit noviciate at Villagarcia Spain, joining his younger brother Michael, who had entered the year before, and was followed the year after by his brother Thomas.

Fr Luke spent all his life in Spain, teaching Humanities and professing Philosophy and Theology in the various Colleges and Universities. In spite of repeated appeals by the Mission Superior Robert Nugent, he was never allowed back to work in Ireland. However, like his celebrated cousin, the Franciscan, he worked on behalf of the Irish cause on the continent. According to Richard Bellings “Fr James Talbot OSA and Fr Luke Wadding SJ, Professor of Divinity at Salamanca, procured 20,000 crowns for the Irish cause”.

He died in Madrid on 30th December 1651. In 1648 he had acted as Prefect of the Irish Mission, having under his charge the Irish Jesuit Colleges in Spain and Portugal, and in general to transact the business of the Jesuits in Ireland.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WADDING, LUKE, (brother to F. Peter Wadding ) was a native of Waterford, and of a Family fruitful in great men. F. Luke was living at Salamanca, and his brother Peter in Bohemia, in the year 1642. On the 24th of April, that year, the Superior of the Irish Mission, F. Robert Nugent, applied to the General Vitelleschi for the benefit of their services at home. In a letter of the 28th of February, 1643, he repeated his anxious wish for their return, “in Missione hac omnino neccssarii sunt”; but it is certain that the petition could not be granted.

Ward, John, 1704-1775, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2229
  • Person
  • 02 February 1704-12 October 1775

Born: 02 February 1704, Dublin
Entered: 28 October 1725, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1734, Murcia, Spain
Final Vows: 24 February 1742, Clonmel
Died: 12 October 1775, Dublin

Superior of Mission 1760-1773

1768-1770 Superior of Ireland (Arch Ir Coll Rom XIX 97,102)
“Method” (ie of conversing with God) translated by Fr Ward SJ was published again by P Wogan 1799 at Dublin, and an irish version of it in Maynooth (Vol 97) “Mod labartha le Dia, Aistrighe ón Fraincis le PW do choimthinól Iosa”. Clodbualite le P Vhogán a m-Ath Cliatrh 1799. Iar n-a chur Ó Saxbeurla a nGaoildelg le Micheál Ó Longain is an mbliain 1834 (p815 Foley)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1736/8 Sent to Ireland
1752/5 Superior of Dublin Residence and Preacher
1768-1773 Superior of Irish Mission. He received Fr Betagh’s Final Vows. With General Ricci’s permission, he sent a considerable sum of money to relieve the Italian Fathers at the Suppression. Cardinal Marefoschi tried in vain to arrest him and obtain his money, which he had held for Irish ex-Jesuits. (cf Father Bracken’s MS. Hist., and Thorpe’s Letters)
Probably the author of “Method of Conversing with God” Translated from the French by John Ward.
Writer; Superior of Mission; Taught Philosophy in Dublin for two years

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Humanities at the Dublin Jesuit School before Ent 28 October 1725 Madrid
1727-1734 After First Vows he was sent for studies to Murcia where he was Ordained 1734
1734-1738 After a year of Tertianship he taught Philosophy at Palencia
1738 Sent to Ireland and Dublin where he taught at the Jesuit School and gave classes in Philosophy after the death of Canon John Harold
He succeeded Stephen Ussher as Superior of the Dublin Residence and was Consultor of the Mission for many years.
1760 Superior of Irish Mission. It was the time when the enemies of the Society were uniting their forces to procure its extinction. His advice to his companions was “God tries his elect, as gold in the furnace, and in this manner finds them worthy of Himself”. He was the last Superior of the Irish Mission when the Society was suppressed, and was one of the signatories of the acceptance of the Papal Bull of Suppression 07 February 1774.
Like many other Jesuits of the day, they were convinced of the innocence of the Society, and also that it would some day be restored. During the remainder of his life he was trustee of the ex-Jesuit funds which were carefully administered in the hope that they might help the Mission when restored at some future date.
He died at Dublin 12 October 1775

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for yopu than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

John Ward (1760-1774)

John Ward was born at Dublin on 2nd February, 1704. Having studied humanities at the Society's College of Dublin, he went to Spain, and entered the Novitiate of Madrid on 28th October, 1725. In 1727 he was sent to the College of Murcia, where he made his simple vows as a scholastic on 1st November, 1727, and spent the next eight years of his life at philosophy and theology and his tertianship. He was Professor of Philosophy in the College of Plasencia from 1735 to 1730, when he returned to Ireland. He was stationed in Dublin, and engaged in teaching Latin and philosophy in our college in that city. On 24th February, 1742, he made his solemn profession of four vows in the Jesuit church at Clonmel. He was Superior of the Dublin Residence and Consultor of the Mission for many years. He was appointed Superior of the Mission about the beginning of the year 1760. It was a time when the enemies of the Society were uniting their forces to procure its extinction. Fr Ward's advice to his subjects was: “God tries his elect, as gold in the furnace, and in this manner finds then worthy of Himself”. He was still Superior of the Mission when the blow fell, and he submitted himself to the Papal Brief, and subscribed a document, signed on 7th February, 1774, by the members of the Society in Dublin, accepting the Pope's decision. Conscious of the innocence of the Society, Fr Ward and the other Irish Fathers were convinced that the Society would one day be restored, and in that hope they resolved to save what they could until such time as the Holy See would re-incorporate them. Fr Ward was appointed trustee by his companions, but he did not survive long, for he died at Dublin on 12th October, 1775.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Ward 1704-1775
Fr John Ward was the last Superior of the Mission before the Suppression of the Society, ending a line which began with Fr Christopher Holywood, and numbering 32 Superiors, some holding office for a second time.

He was educated at our College in Dublin, where he was born in 1704. His studies were completed in Spain, where he entered the Society at Madrid in 1725.

Returning to Ireland in 1738, he taught Latin and Philosophy in our Dublin school. After being Superior of the Dublin Residence for many years, he was made Superior of the Mission in 1760, a post which he held for fourteen years.

Convinced that the Society would be restored, he, together with the remaining Irish Fathers, resolved to save whatever possessions they had. Fr Ward was appointed Trustee, but he died soon after in Dublin, on October 12th 1775.

To him is attribute the translation of a work in French, entitled “A Method of Conversing with God”.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770
Loose Note : John Ward Mission Superior
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07 February 1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WARD, JOHN, born in the County of Dublin, in 1705; at the age of 19, and on the 18th of October, 1724, entered the Society in the Province of Toulouse; was admitted to the solemn Profession of his Order, on the 24th of February, 1742. I find by the catalogue of 1755, that he had been on the Mission then for the last seventeen years, and was Superior of his Brethren in Dublin. Obit 12th of October, 1775.

White, Martin Francis, 1633-1693, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2250
  • Person
  • 11 November 1633-18 June 1693

Born: 11 November 1633, County Waterford
Entered: 07 November 1651, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1661, Valladolid, Spain
Final vows: 15 August 1675
Died: 18 June 1693, Waterford Residence

1658 At Bergara College teaching Grammar CAST. Has good talent, much progress in Philosophy. Age 25 Soc 7
1660 At Valladolid in Theology
His name appears on several books showing he belonged to Waterford Residence (Foley 836)
Could be referring to a Martin Francis White who enters in 1671

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Father Morris’s “Excerpts” give the RIP date
There are several books in Waterford College with his name and the words “Resid Waterford SJ”

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1653-1657 After First Vows he was sent to study Philosophy (in which he showed-talent)) and then to Vergara (Basque Bergara) for Regency (1655-1675)
1657-1661 He was sent to St Ambrose, Valladolid for Theology and was Ordained there c 1661.
1661-1666 After completing formation he was made a Naval Chaplain, and according to a report “gave proof of mature and heroic virtue in an engagement in the Spring of 1664”
1666-1670/71 He was to have taken up the Rectorship at the Irish College, Seville, but the General changed his mind and appointed Ignatius Lombard instead. He instead succeeded Lombard as Procurator at Madrid
1670/71 Sent to Ireland and Waterford where he worked zealously until his death there 08 June 1693

White, Peter, 1608-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2254
  • Person
  • 1608-08 July 1678

Born: 1608, County Waterford
Entered: 10 January 1627, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)
Ordained: 1635, Granada, Spain
Final Vows 18 October 1643
Died: 08 July 1678, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Nephew of Thomas White - RIP 1622;

Had studied Logic before Entry
1629 First Vows at Seville College
1633 At Granada College in 3rd year Theology
1648 Rector of Irish College Seville
1651 In Carmona College BAE Age 45 Soc 25. Taught Humanities, was Operarius, Minister, Procurator and Rector
1655 At Cadiz Confessor

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Nephew of Thomas White. Relative or Archbishop Walsh and Wise (the Grand Prior)
1661-1666 Rector at Seville - “well known through Europe for his splendid qualities” says Father de Leon
His letters 1642-1646 are in Salamanca
He was a favourite Spiritual Director in Madrid.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Nephew of Thomas White (RIP 1622) and a near relative of Archbishop Thomas Walsh of Cashel.
He had received his early education at Irish College Santiago before Ent 10 January 1627 Seville
1628+1635After First Vows he was sent for studies to Seville (1628-1631) and then to Granada where he was Ordained 1635. he finished his studies with a “Grand Act”
1635-1638 He did a year of Tertianship and was then sent to teach at BAE Colleges
1638-1645 He was sent to Madrid as Procurator of the Irish Seminaries and the Irish Mission
1645-1647 He returned to BAE
1647-1650 Rector Irish College Seville
1650-1656 He was sent to Cadiz as Operarius and Prefect of the Church
1656-1666 he was reappointed Rector of Irish College Seville
1666 He was sent to Jerez as Operarius and died there 08 July 1678
He was originally designated for the Irish Mission and was actually sent there in 1638, but then it was decided that the best work he could do for the Irish Mission was at Madrid and the Irish College in Seville.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WHITE, PETER. All that I can glean of him is from a letter of F. John Young, written from the Irish College at Rome, the 26th of October, 1661, in which he states that F. Peter White was then the Rector of the Irish College at Seville.

Wright, Matthew, 1647-1711, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2271
  • Person
  • 20 September 1647-22 August 1711

Born: 20 September 1647, Madrid, Spain
Entered: 18 February 1668, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 09 April 1678
Died: 22 August 1711, Dunkirk, Hauts-de-France, France - Angliae Province (ANG)

Son of Sir Benjamin and Jane (Williams) of Cranham Hall, Essex

◆ Came with three others (Charles Petre, Joseph Plowden and Andrew Poulton) under former ANG Provincial, John Warner, in 1689-1690 and was a Missioner in Ireland, Fr Warner as Confessor, the others in schools, and preaching in the country
(Cousin of Charles Petre??)

◆ The English Jesuits 1650-1829 Geoffrey Holt SJ : Catholic Record Society 1984
1684-1687 St Omer
1689-1690 Ireland
1691-1692 Ghent

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WRIGHT, MATTHEW, admitted on the 18th of February, 1668: was rector of Watten from 1694 to 1698 : occurs Prefect of Studies at St. Omer s College in 1704 : for the Four last years of his life was Rector of Ghent, but actually died at Dunkirk, on the 22nd of August, 1711, aet. 64.