Item 1 - Bishop Edmund Tanner, Cork to Fr General Everard Mercurian SJ

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IE IJA MSSA/1

Title

Bishop Edmund Tanner, Cork to Fr General Everard Mercurian SJ

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  • 11 October 1577 (Creation)

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1f

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(1526-04 June 1579)

Biographical history

Born: 1526 Dublin
Entered: 09 June 1565, Professed House Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Left: 13 November 1571, Milan, Italy
Died: 04 June 1579, Munster

On 28 June 1567 Fr Borgia writes to Fr P Canisius that he was thinking of sending him to help at the University at Dillingen. Fr Womanstadt especially thought of sending a Theologian to Ireland - a priest would be a very good thing. see many things about Tanner in Vol VI of Canisius. (Spic oss III 35)
12 August 1567 Borgia to Germany : “Edmund an Irishman, a man of mature age and good parts will be sent to Würzburg. We have sent him to Würzburg or Dillingen where he will be useful. He is a Theologian” (Fr Nadal’s Epistolae Vol iii 509, 526)
On 20 August 1565 Fr Polanco writes to Primate Creagh : “We have elected Fr Borgia as General at our General Congregation. Among the Fathers who have come to Rome is Edmund the Irishman (Tanner), vir probitatis et doctinae non vulgaris qui nunc in probabtionibus nostrae Societatis exercetur” (Borgia Vol IV 68).

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
A Writer; A profound divine (Stanihurst); A Prisonere; A Bishop of Cork (cf "Hibernia Ignatiana").
He was once arrested but had escaped by the aid of friends. The heretics were bent on his destruction. God had blessed his labours, and many would be reconciled, to the Church, should the violence of the persecution subside. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Edmund Tanner, Bishop of Cork 1530-1579
Edmund Tanner was born in Dublin in 1530 and entered the Society at Rome in 1566. With Fr Rochford, he went to Dilingen for his studies. Owing to ill-health and with the blessing iof his Superiors, he left the Society. On Fr David Wolfe’s recommendation, he was appointed Bishop of Cork in 1574.In 1576 he received special faculties for Cork, Dublin and Cashel, and for this reason he is referred to in contemporary documents as Commissionary Apostolic.

Fr Houling SJ records that Bishop Tanner was arrested at Clonmel and thrown into prison. There he was visited by a Protestant prelate whom he finally converted. He then escaped and continued his labours for four years. Worn out by prison and toil, he died a veritable martyr in January 1579.

There is extant a famous letter of his to Rome in which he praised very highly the work of Frs Rochford and Lee in our school at Youghal.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
TANNER, EDMUND. A brief letter of this Father, addressed from Cork, the 11th of October, 1577, is extant. He states that he had once been arrested; but by the industry of his friends, had effected his escape, and that the enemies of Catholic Faith were constantly intent on his destruction; that God blessed his labours in the vineyard, and that many would be reconciled to the Church, if the violence of Persecution should subside. I suspect this Father is the person mentioned by Harris, p.97, Book, I. Writers of Ireland, who wrote “Lectiones in Summam D. Thomae”.

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Holograph letter from Bishop Edmund Tanner, Cork to Fr General Everard Mercurian SJ.

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See: Hogan, Fr Edmund SJ, 'Ibernia Ignatiana seu Ibernorum Societatis Iesu patrum monumenta', [Dublin], 1880, p.23.

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See: Moynes, Vera, ed. 'The Jesuit Irish Mission: A Calendar of Correspondence, 1566–1752'. Roma: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2017, p.375 for precis.

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