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Achútegui, Pedro S, 1915-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/866
  • Person
  • 01 May 1915-28 December 1998

Born: 01 May 1915, Bilbao, Spain
Entered: 11 September 1931, Loyola, Spain - Castallanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 07 June 1944
Final vows: 02 February 1949
Died: 28 December 1998, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines - Philippine Province (PHI)

by 1951 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) working

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 : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jumping-jesuits/

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

FATHER JAMES ARCHER SJ 1550-1625
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.

Delamer, William, 1678-1724, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1176
  • Person
  • 14 April 1678-06 December 1724

Born: 14 April 1678, Monkstown, County Westmeath
Entered: 22 September 1697, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1706, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1715
Died: 06 December 1724, Orduña, Basque, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Isabel née Nugent
Had already started his studies at Santiago before Ent 22 September 1697 Villagarcía.
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Palencia and Theology at Royal College Salamanca where he was Ordained by 1706
After Tertianship he taught Philosophy at Pamplona, Theology at Oñate and later Bilbao.
1720 Until his death there he was an Operarius at Orduña 06 December 1724
His obituary described him as a man of no common talents

Kelly, Ignatius Daniel, 1679-1743, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1511
  • Person
  • 1679-03 October 1743

Born: 1679, Dungarvan, County Waterford
Entered: 17 November 1698, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1707, Valladolid, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1716
Died: 03 October 1743, Dungarvan, County Waterford

Alias Roche
Mission Vice-Superior 14 August 1727-1773

Entries in old books show that he belonged to :
1723 New Ross Residence
1723-1726 Waterford Residence
1737 Named Rector of Poitiers
His will made in 1743 names him as PP of St Patrick and St Olav Waterford (Thrifts Irish Wills VOL III p 75)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1727 Appointed Mission Superior - as appears by a letter of his to John Harrison 13 June 1727
1729 Sent to Irish College Poitiers by General Tamburini
1733-1734 He was sent to Salamanca (Irish Ecclesiastical Record)
1743 At the Waterford Residence

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John Daniel Kelly and Helena née Roche
1700-1707 After First Vows he studied Philosophy and Theology at St Ambrose, Valladolid where he was Ordained 1707
1707-1711 Teaching Humanities at Valladolid
1711-1714 Chair of Philosophy at Bilbao
1714-1715 Tertianship
1715-1718 He was sent back to his Chair of Philosophy at Bilbao
1718-1721 Chair of Theology at Coruña
1721 Sent to Ireland and Waterford Residence and was appointed (15 September 1725) Secretary and Assistant with right of succession to the Mission Superior Anthony Knoles
1727 On the death of Knoles (14 August 1727) he became Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission, and held this Office until 1773. By his prudent government he kept his subjects free from participation in the disputes then rife amongst Catholics. He received many applications to establish houses of the Society in places with old-time Jesuit associations but by reason of the lack of Jesuits he could not accede to the requests from Limerick and Galway. In the end he was able to open the Galway Residence.
At the request of the bishops in Ireland assembled at Dublin he was able to bring influence from abroad to prevent the renewal of religious persecution. While on Visitation as Mission Superior to the Irish Colleges on the Continent, he was able to bring their perilous financial situation to the attention of the General, and thanks to his painstaking work, his successor was able to bring financial negotiations to a successful conclusion.
He was very popular with the clergy and people of Waterford who prevented his return to Spain when he had been named rector of the Irish College, Salamanca.
He died as a result of an accident returning from a sick call 03 October 1743 Dungarvan

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

Ignatius Kelly alias Roche (1727-1733)

Ignatius Daniel Kelly, generally known in Spain and Ireland as Ignatius Roche, was the son of John Daniel Kelly, of Dungarvan, and Helena Roche. He was born at Dungarvan on or about 15th June, 1679, and entered the Society at Villagarcia in Castile on 17th November, 1698. He studied philosophy for three years, and did a four years' course of theology in the College of St Ambrose at, Valladolid, ending in 1707; after which he taught grammar for three years, and acted as Minister for one. From 1711 to 1714 he was Professor of Philosophy at Bilbao, and after an interruption of a year of third probation, he resumed his Chair of Philosophy at Bilbao for another three years, during which he made his solemn profession of four vows on 7th February, 1716. Then, after teaching theology at Coruna for two years (1718-20), he returned to Ireland early in 1721, and was stationed at Waterford. Having been appointed Secretary and Assistant to Fr Knoles, with right of succession (15th September, 1725), he became Vice-Superior of the Mission when Fr Knoles died on 14th August, 1727, and continued as such till 1733. By his prudent counsels he kept the Society free from participation in the internecine disputes then rife among Catholics. He received many applications from various places to establish Residences of the Society, but the fewness of subjects prevented compliance. The Residence of Galway, however, was re-opened in the summer of 1731, the bishops of Ireland, assembled in Dublin, requested him to use his influence abroad to thwart the hopes of the heretics, which he did with such success that the danger was averted. In 1631-32* he made a Visitation of the Irish College of Poitiers to settle the confused financial relations between it and the Irish Mission. He appealed often to be relieved of the government of the Mission, but his petitions were not heard until 1733. His end was in keeping with his life. He met with an accident on his way back from a sick call to a poor woman, and died soon after at Waterford on 1st October, 1743.

*Addendum for 1631-32 read 1731-32

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Ignatius Kelly 1679-1743
Ignatius Kelly, generally known in Spain and Ireland as Ignatius Roche, was born in Dungarvan in 1679. As was usual in those days, he did all his studies in Spain, where he was received into the Society in 1698. He was Professor of Theology in Bilbao and Corunna.

Having returned to Ireland he was stationed at Waterford. He acted as Socius to Fr Knoles and became Vice-Superior on his death. The following extract from a letter of his to Fr John Harrison, Santiago, 13th June 1727, will give an idea of the conditions of the time, and the various devices used in correspondence to conceal identities :
“I have written to you several times asking for news of your health, which may the Lord preserve to you for many years. Here we are few and frail. Mr Knoles is incapable of doing anything unless suffer. Senor Tamburini has relieved him of the charge of this poor Mission, and has placed it on my shoulders, and I assure you I am tired of it.I am sorry that I cannot give you a formal Patent to Dom Andrew Lynch, who will be the bearer of this. His parents are very respectable, and his parents have the necessary qualities to become an apprentice in your factory”.
In spite of the poor account that Fr Kelly gave of the state of the Mission, he was able to reopen the Galway Residence in 1729.

In 1733 he was relieved of office, and spent the next ten years in the ministry. He was Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Waterford from 1734-1742, and died on October 1st 1743, as a result of an accident occurred while returning from a sick call.

Lincol, Andrew, 1623-1686, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1578
  • Person
  • 30 November 1623-14 February 1686

Born: 30 November 1623, County Waterford
Entered: 25 June 1642 - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1652, St Ambrose Valladolid, Spain
Final Vow: 02 February 1660
Died: 14 February 1686, Irish College, Salamanca, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

1645 At Pamplona teaching Humanities
1651 ANG Catalogue declared fit to be Superior in Irish Seminary
1655 At Bilbao College teaching Grammar - very high talent, a taste for letters
1665-1685 Rector Irish College Salamanca Teaching Philosophy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Later than 1634 he was studying with John Clare and Andrew Fitzbennet Sall in CAST.
1665-1689 Rector at Salamanca (Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874, and Hogan’s List)
Note from Andrew Lynch Entry :
1672 Rector at Santiago, between whom and Father Andrew Lincol, Rector of Salamanca, Father Patrick Lynch was arbitrator in the case of Nicholas’ Wise’s will in 1672

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he spent a short Regency at Pamplona and then was sent for studies at Royal College Salamanca and St Ambrose Valladolid, where he was Ordained c 1652
1655-1656 At Bilbao
1656+1658 Sent to Santiago to teach Philosophy
1658-1666 Rector of Irish College Poitiers
1666 Rector of Irish College Salamanca until his death there 14 February 1686

McMahon, James, 1704-1753, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1730
  • Person
  • 25 July 1705-05 May 1753

Born: 25 July 1705, Armagh, County Armagh
Entered: 22 October 1725, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 30 October 1735, Salamanca, Spain
Died: 05 May 1753, Limerick Residence

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1738 Sent to Ireland and was fifteen Years at Limerick

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Constantine and Honora
1727-1728 After First Vows he was sent for Regency to teach Grammar at Valladolid
1728-1731 Sent to study Philosophy at Medina del Campo
1731-1732 Sent for further Regency to teach at Bilbao
1732-1735 Sent to Royal College Salamanca for Theology where he was Ordained 30 October 1735
1736-1737 Tertianship at Valladolid
1737-1738 Sent for to teach at León
1738 Sent to Ireland and Limerick, where after a few years he was stricken with rheumatism so that the more active ministry which he desired was denied him, and he died there 05 May 1753
Thomas Hennessy, the Mission Superior, described him as genuinely religious man who bore patiently his infirmities.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MAC-MAHON, JAMES, born in Ulster, on the 24th of July, 1705; and enrolled himself in the Society in the Province of Toledo, at the age of 20. He came to the Mission in 1738. The last 13 years of his life he spent at Limerick, in a very debilitated state of health. God was pleased to release him from his sufferings in 1753.

O'Meagher, Daniel, 1706-1772, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1928
  • Person
  • 11 October 1707-24 March 1772

Born: 11 July 1707, San Sebastián, Spain
Entered: 23 May 1723, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 30 November 1732, Valladolid, Spain
Final Vows: 06 January 1741, Bergara
Died: 24 March 1772, Castel San Giovanni, Piacenza, Italy - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Younger brother of Dominic RIP 1772

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John and Julia née Cruise (de la Cruz) brother of Dominic
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Palencia and Theology at St Ambrose, Valladolid where he was Ordained 30 November 1732
1737-1740 After Tertianship he held a Chair of Philosophy at Bilbao and later at Orduña.
1744-1750 He held a Chair of Philosophy at Santander.
1750 He lost his memory completely and had to be cared for in the community, yet notwithstanding this infirmity he accompanied the exile of his Spanish brethren in 1767
He died at Castel San Giovanni 24 March 1772
The superior of the Irish Mission, Ignatius Kelly, asked the General to have the Meagher brothers assigned to the Irish Mission but Spanish Superiors determined to hold on to these brilliant brothers

Sherlock, Paul, 1595-1646, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2127
  • Person
  • 14 August 1595-08 August 1646

Born: 14 August 1595, County Waterford
Entered: 30 September 1612, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 05 June 1621, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Final Vows: 18 October 1628. Irish College Salamanca, Spain
Died: 08 August 1646, Irish College, Salamanca, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias Sherlog

1614-1622 At Valladolid Age 18 Studying Theology, proficiency above mediocrity
1617 In CAST Age 18 Soc 4
1625 At Compostella Age 28 Soc 13. More than ordinary ability for preaching. He is confessor and Preacher
1626 In Spain
1633-1645 Rector of Irish College Salamanca. Has been Lecturer on Controversial subjects. A man of much learning with a talent for composing commentaries on the Scriptures. Excellent disposition, talent and judgement. Best talent for Government, teaching and commenting on Scriptures. In addition excellent at conducting business with people of the world. Much prudence and learning, firmness in dealing with others. Talent for writing and governing. A Religious spirit.
Left his books to the Irish Jesuit Mission, but especially for the Residence at Waterford.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Was of a Waterford family, but it has been seen stated that he was born in Wexford; Writer of commentaries on Holy Writ; Professor of extraordinary virtue and held in great esteem in Spain. (Foley’s Collectanea)
He obtained a high repute both as a Theologian and Administrator, and was Rector at Salamanca and Compostella for twenty years.
1631-1646 Rector of Salamanca (Irish Ecclesiastical Record September 1874). he was also a Professor of Controversy for seven years, and also for a time of Sacred Literature and Theology, wit a great repute for learning. As a result he was chosen as Censor of Doctrine by the Sacred Inquisition. he assiduously applied himself day and night to a study of the ancient Fathers. Weak health prevented him from leaving even more evidence of his learning and erudition.
He was a man of austere life, who subjected his body to severe inflictions in daily disciplines, hair-cloths and other practices; was much given to prayer and devoted to our Blessed Lady, fasting and other mortifications on the vigils of her feasts. Some are of the opinion that he received Divine Illustrations in prayer, and assistance in the rapid composition of his writings.
A Catalogue of Irish Jesuits for 1617 ((Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874) states his age at that time to be 18, and four years in Society.
He is identical with a Fr “Paul Shirley” noticed in “Records SJ” Vol V p 475, in a note citing Dodd’s “Church History”, who mistranslates the name given by Southwell as Sherlogus into Shirley.
Southwell in “Biblio Script SJ” makes an interesting note about him : he was of a family of clan of Waterford (Menapiensis); born on the vigil of the Assumption 1595, of devoted Catholic parents; was admitted to the Society on the day before the Kalends of October 1612 at the Irish College Salamanca
(In pencil) Wrote a sketch of William Bathe
(cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” for his writings) (cf Archivum Hibernicum Vol VI pp 157-74 for a biography)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Walter and Bela (Beatrice) née Leonard. Brother of Patrick
He had spent three months at Irish College Salamanca before Ent 30 Septmber 1612 Villagarcía
He completed his Noviceship at Medina del Campo
1614-1617 After First Vows he was sent to St Ambrose, Valladolid for Philosophy.
1617-1621 he then was sent for Theology first at Valladolid and then to finish at Compostela where he was Ordained 05 June 1621, and graduated with a “Grand Act”
1621-1622 He was then sent to Valladolid to teach
1622-1624 He taught at Monterey and Pamplona
1624/25-1628 Rector of Irish College Santiago after the death of William White
1629-1646 Rector of Irish College Salamanca 01 May 1629, succeeding Thomas Briones. For most of his active life in the Society he was occupied with administration but this did not prevent him from engaging in the deeper study of theology, particularly in Holy Scripture. (His published works are listed in Somervogel) For the historian, however, the 'autobiographia' written in 1643 is of most interest. He died in Office at Salamanca 08 August 1646
Like his brother Patrick, Paul also volunteered for service on the Irish Mission

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Sherlock (Sherlog), Paul
by Deirdre Bryan

Sherlock (Sherlog), Paul (1595–1646), Jesuit priest and theologian, was born in August 1595 at or near Waterford city, reputedly the son of Walter Sherlock and his wife Beatrice Leonard. He was a descendant of James Sherlock of Gracedieu who, in 1494, was granted extensive lands in Co. Waterford by Henry VII in reward for his family's loyalty to the Tudor monarchy. The Sherlocks, who served frequently as mayors of Waterford city between 1492 and 1642, were one of the foremost catholic mercantile and landowning families of east Waterford.

As a young boy Sherlock attained a proficiency in Latin under the tutelage of a catholic schoolmaster in Waterford. Like many of his contemporaries, he left Ireland for Spain, aged 16, to study at the Jesuit-run Irish College at Salamanca. He landed in Bilbao in May 1612 and reached Salamanca at the beginning of July. Together with Thomas Vitus (Wyse), a fellow-student from Waterford, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Salamanca on 30 September 1612. He spent the first two years of his novitiate at Villagarcia and Medina del Campo before travelling to Santiago de Compostela in 1614. Over the next seven years he studied philosophy and theology at the Jesuit college at Valladolid and at Santiago, where in 1621 he was ordained. In 1624 he succeeded Thomas White (qv), who had died in 1622, as rector of the Irish college at Compostela; four years later he was appointed rector of the Irish college at Salamanca, where he remained until his death in 1646.

A highly educated man, Sherlock taught scholastic theology and divinity both at Salamanca and Compostella. He published many theological works which earned him considerable praise from scholars in Spain and France. His most important work was a combination of ecclesiastical history and devotional commentary based on the text of the Song of Solomon; it was published in three folio volumes: Anteloquia ethica et historica in Canticum Canticorum (Lyons, 1634), Commentarium in duo priora capita Cantici Canticorum (Lyons, 1637), and Commentarium in reliqua captia Cantici Canticorum (Lyons, 1640), all three volumes being reprinted in Venice in 1641. He dedicated the work to Fernando de Vera, bishop of Cuzco, whose financial generosity, combined with the earnings accrued through publication, were sufficient to enable Sherlock to found a library at the Irish college at Salamanca. Two other works, written under the pseudonym of Paulus Leonardus, were also published: Responsio ad expostulationes recentium quorundam theologorum contra scientiam mediam (Lyons, 1644) and Antiquitatum Hebraicarum Dioptra (Lyons, 1651).

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.

Sherlock's religious practices of flagellation, wearing hair shirts, and fasting eventually eroded his health. It was believed by some that he received direct communication from heaven while praying and writing. He died 9 August 1646 at the Irish college, aged 50 years, and was buried in Salamanca.

After his death the Jesuits claimed that the library he founded at the Irish college was the property of their society and not the university. Four Irish students of the college took proceedings in the court of the chancellor of the university, successfully recovering the books acquired by Sherlock. In 1919 a six-foot brass plaque was erected in Waterford's catholic cathedral commemorating a unique group of priests, native to the diocese, who were eminent in the church both at home and abroad. Paul Sherlock is among those commemorated.

J. Ware, The writers of Ireland (1764), 120–21; DNB; Anon. [attributed to Mother Mary Berchmans / Margaret Mary Sherlock], ‘Distinguished Waterford families: Sherlock’, Journal of the Waterford and South East Ireland Archaeological Society, ix (1906), 120–28, 171–5, x (1907), 42–4, 171–83; Amalio Huarte (ed.), ‘El. P. Paulo Sherlock: una autobiografia inédita’, Archiv. Hib., vi (1917), 156–74; P. Power, Waterford saints and scholars (1920); K. Kelly, ‘Father Paul Sherlock S.J.’, Decies: Journal of the Old Waterford Society, i (1976); William Nolan and Thomas P. Power (ed.), Waterford: history and society (1992), 189, 218; Patrick Grogan, ‘The Sherlocks of Waterford’, Decies: Journal of the Old Waterford Society, lvi (2000), 81–94; ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Paul Sherlock 1593-1646
Paul Sherlock of Waterford entered the Society at the age of 17 at Salamanca. As a Theologian he gained a great reputation, and was equally successful at government. For twenty years he was Rector of the Irish Colleges at Salamanca and Santiago.

He had very weak health, nevertheless he led a very austere life, and subjected his body to severe inflictions in daily disciplines, hair cloths and other penances. He himself says in a diary meant for publication :
“Here in Santiago I determined to wrote on the Canticles of Solomon, and to that end I have studied indefatigably, desiring in this way to imitate the Fathers of the Church. I did without a great part of my sleep at night. I continued in Salamanca for two or three years with greater rigour, for the cold nights of that place were especially mortifying. In 1629 I began to prepare the first volume of the work on the Canticles of Solomon for the press. To this end I received great strength from a vision of St Brendan the Irish Abbot”.

He died on August 9th 1646 at the age of 51, with a great reputation for holiness.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
SHERLOCK, PAUL, was born at Waterford, on the 14th of August 1595. Well grounded in Classical literature, he entered himself in the Irish College at Salamanca, in 1612, and on the 30th of September the same year enlisted under the banner of St. Ignatius. As a Theologian he attained to the highest reputation; for his ability in governing he was equally distinguished; and for the long period of 20 years, during which he was Rector at Salamanca and Compostella, he secured the esteem and attachment of his Brethren and Subjects. Application was made to the General of the Order on various occasions by F. Robert Nugent, the Superior of the Irish Mission, that his services might he confined to his native country; but, under the circumstances, it was judged expedient to continue F. Sherlock in Spain, and at Salamanca he terminated his useful career on the 9th of August, 1646. Gifted with talents of the first Order, and indefatigable in labor, he would have left numerous evidences of his genius and erudition, if his constitution had been stronger, or his life more extended; still we had from his pen,

  1. “Antiloquia in Canticum Canticorum”. 3 vols. fol. Lyons, 1633, 1637, 1640, under the borrowed name of Leonardus Hibernicus.
  2. “Vindiciae Scientiae Media”. 4to, Lyons. 1644.
  3. A posthumous work, “De Hebraeorum Republica”. Fol. Lyons, 1651
    *I believe the Family of Sherlock or Schyrlock came from Chester, with the Bagots. - From Devonshire emigrated the Cogans, and Fitz-Stephens.

Walsh, James, 1646-1695, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2220
  • Person
  • 19 March 1646-02 January 1695

Born: 19 March 1646, Dublin
Entered: 07 January 1671, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: Salamanca - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1682
Died: 02 January 1695, Bilbao, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Had studied 3 years Philosophy before Ent
1675 At Compostella teaching Grammar and Philosophy - talented teacher
1678 At Monreal “ing-opt”
1681-1685 At Pamplona - a talent for teaching Theology. Has taught Grammar, Philosophy and Theology (Moral and Scholastic). Progress in preaching.
1690 Was Rector at Salamanca and taught Theology

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Patrick and Isabel née Russel
He had made Priestly studies and Santiago and Salamanca and was ordained at Salamanca before Ent 07 January 1671 Villagarcía
1673-1677 After First Vows he was sent to teach Philosophy at Irish College Santiago
1677-1678 Sent to teach Philosophy for a year at Monterey
1679-1686 Sent to teach Dogmatic Theology at Pamplona
1686-1692 Rector Irish College Salamanca, and held Office for six years until his health determined he should relinquish it.
1692 Sent to Bilbao to teach Moral Theology and he died there 02 January 1695

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WALSH, JAMES Another Father of this name was living at Compostella, in 1686.