Brown, Ignatius, 1630-1679, Jesuit priest

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Brown, Ignatius, 1630-1679, Jesuit priest

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  • Browne
  • Bruno
  • Ignatius Brunus

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01 November 1630-30 December 1679

History

Born: 01 November 1630, County Waterford
Entered: 27 June 1651, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1657/8, Valladolid, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1668
Died: 30 December 1679, Valladolid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Ignatius Brown 1st
Uncle of Ignatius Browne - RIP 1707

1655 1st or 2nd year Theology at Valladolid- College of St Ambrose.
1660 Reading Philosophy at Valladolid
1663-1673 In Ireland - Preacher and Catechist
1675 On business of Irish Mission in France
1678 Back to Ireland
Founded the College at Poitiers

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1663-1673 Sent from Compostella to Ireland. Reputed to be a learned, eloquent, zealous and edifying Preacher in Cork, Drogheda and other towns (Primate Plunket)
1666 At Waterford Preaching, Catechising and administering the Sacraments, and had been a Missioner for three years. (HIB Catalogue BREV - ARSI)
1673 Forced to leave Ireland in the Summer for health reasons and went to England. In November he went to Paris, and by his industry and the influence and generosity of great friends - including Queen Catherine of England - he procured letters patent for the erection of the Irish house of studies at Poitiers, and was declared its first Rector.
1679 He was appointed Confessor to the Queen of Spain, but died later that year at Valladolid on his way to Madrid. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
Founded the Irish College Poitiers; Writer
In his condemnation of Serjeant’s book he signs himself “Professor of Theology" (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
For his writings cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”. A controversial manuscript of his exists at Stonyhurst
Note from No Ch Name (actually George) Murphy :
Named in an Italian letter, dated Dubin 22 November 1672, and written by the Martyr, the Archbishop Oliver Plunket, Primate of Ireland, to Father General Oliva, in which, after expressing his affectionate regard for the Society, and informing him of the meritorious labours of Fathers Rice and Ignatius Brown at Drogheda, he speaks of Father Murphy as a good Theologian, and excellent religious man, a man of great talent, and a distinguished preacher in the Irish language. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Philosophy before Ent 27 June 1651 Villagarcía
1653 After First Vows he was sent to Valladolid for Theology where he was Ordained 1657/1658
1658 Appointed to Chair of Philosophy at Valladolid
1663-1671 Sent to Ireland and was appointed to Waterford for the next eight years, frequently preaching in various parts of Munster.
1668-1671 Arrested in Autumn 1668 and sentenced to imprisonment, but through the influence of a nobleman was released.
1671-1673 Sent to Drogheda
1673 Appointed Superior of Dublin Residence but did not assume office. He was now in poor health and received permission from the General to retire to one of the European Provinces. He was then able to take an active part in the negotiations for the foundation of the Irish College of Poitiers of which he became the first Rector.
During his Rectorship he published a refutation of the attacks of Andrew Fitzjohn Sall against the Catholic Church.
He resigned or was relieved of the Rectorship at Poitiers in 1679, apparently for the publication against the apostate Sall. So, he retired to his province of origin (CAST) and died at Valladolid on 30 December of the same year.

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

Brown, Ignatius (1630–79), Jesuit, was born on either 1 or 9 November 1630 in Co. Waterford, and by the late 1640s he was studying philosophy at Compostella in Spain. On 27 June 1651 he entered the Society of Jesus as a novice at Villagarcia before resuming his studies, this time in theology, at Valladolid. Following his ordination c.1658, he remained in Valladolid, where he taught philosophy for a period.

In spring 1663 he travelled to Ireland in the company of another Jesuit, Andrew Sall (qv), to join the Jesuit mission in his native land. From his base in Waterford, he toured south Munster, ministering to the faithful. Although he was arrested in 1668, an Irish noble quickly arranged his release. On 15 August of the same year he pronounced his final vows. In 1671 he was transferred to Drogheda, and was appointed superior of the Jesuit house in Dublin two years later. However, he never took up this position, due to poor health, and withdrew to the Continent via England.

By autumn 1673 he was in Paris, where he played a role in efforts to establish a foundation for the Irish Jesuits in France. Royal permission to establish such a house in the Jesuit province of Aquitaine was duly granted in April 1674, after which Brown purchased a building in Poitiers. He and his Irish colleagues hoped that the foundation would function as a seminary, but the Jesuit general refused to permit this. Instead it was to provide an education for young lay Irish Catholics and to act as a refuge or place of retirement for Jesuits on the Irish mission. He did not obtain actual possession of the house till winter 1675–6, and was formally appointed rector of the Irish college at Poitiers in April 1676. In 1677 the college was described as having many boarders. The college was expected to be funded by donations from Irish Catholics, but the actual sources of its endowments are uncertain and aroused the suspicion of Brown's superiors. It appears that the college was mainly funded by largesse from the Portuguese queen of England, Catherine of Braganza.

Meanwhile, his former colleague and travelling companion Sall had created a sensation in Ireland by converting to protestantism in 1674, a decision that he sought to justify in a sermon preached at Christ Church cathedral, in which he outlined a number of what he saw as false doctrines upheld by the catholic church, placing particular emphasis on its claim of infallibility. In 1675 Brown published his The unerring and unerrable church, in which he vigorously upheld this claim, arguing that scripture required an infallible authority to interpret it. Sall's apostasy had attracted a plethora of catholic denunciations, but it is a testament to Brown's skill as a controversialist that Sall devoted the bulk of his True catholic and apostolic faith (1676) to refuting his criticisms. Brown wrote under a pseudonym, leaving Sall unaware of the identity of his bitterest critic. Brown unleashed a final salvo against Sall with his An unerrable church or none (1678).

In early 1679 he resigned as rector of the Irish college and went to Castile to serve as confessor to the niece of King Louis XIV of France, Marie Louise, who had just married King Charles II of Spain. He died 30 December 1679 at Valladolid. He appears to have been the author of a pamphlet entitled Pax vobis. Purporting to be a dialogue between two English protestants, this was a theological satire directed against the protestant religion. Published in 1679, it went through six editions in the ensuing decade and was popular among English catholics.

F. Finegan, ‘The Irish college of Poitiers: 1674–1767’, IER, 5th ser., civ (July–Dec. 1965), 18–35; L. McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991); T. H. Clancy, ‘Pax vobis, 1679: its history and author’, Recusant History, xxiii (1996–7), 27–33; ODNB

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BROWN, IGNATIUS. There were two Fathers of this name.
The senior was born at Waterford in 1630, and after studying a course of Philosophy at Compostella, there enrolled himself at the age of 21, amongst the children of St. Ignatius. In a letter of F. St. Leger, dated Compostella, the 16th of January, 1663, 1 read, “Towards the beginning of Spring, F. Andrew Sall* and F. Ignatius Brown are to leave this Province for the Irish Mission. Both are learned, zealous, and duly qualified”. The Annual Letters shew that he, with FF. Maurice Connell and Robert Mead formed a glorious Triumvirate - that he excelled as a powerful and indefatigable preacher a son of Thunder at Cork, at Drogheda, and other towns in Ireland. His zeal made him several enemies : he was threatened with imprisonment and exile; but he was superior to fear, and he steadily persevered in the exercise of his Apostolic functions, until the summer of 1673, when the state of his health obliged him to go to England for the benefit of the Hot Baths. In the early part of November, the same year, he proceeded to Paris, where by his active industry, and the influence of Pere Ferrier, Confessor to Louis XIV, and by the generosity of friends, especially Catharine, Queen of Charles II, he procured in the year following Letters patent for the erection of an Irish House of Studies at Poitiers : and he was appointed its first Rector. His death happened late in the year 1679, at Valladolid, on his way to Madrid, where he had been appointed Confessor to her Majesty the Queen of Spain. We have from the sprightly pen of this Father :
1 “The Unerring and Unerrablc Church”, ( in reply to a sermon of Andrew Sall, preached at Christ’s Church, Dublin, on the 5th of July, 1674), Svo. 1675, pp. 310.
2 “An Unerrable Church or None”, 9 Svo. 1678, pp. 3-i2.
3 “Pax Vobis”. It seems that the MS. had been left with the English Fathers. The General of the Society, Charles de Noyelle, had heard of it, and on the 13th of March, 1683, gave directions to the English Provincial. F John Keynes, to report to him an opinion of its merits. His answer is dated Ghent, the 23rd of September following. In sending the judgment of those who had examined “the posthumous work of F. Ignatius Brown, written in English, entitled Pax Vobis”, he says “All united in admiring the vein of humour that pervades the work; but thought the publication inexpedient, taking all circumstances into consideration”. F. Keynes, after reading the work, coincided in their opinion. It has since been frequently printed.
Another work called Pax Vobis by E. G. was edited in 1679. Query. Who was the author?
Pax Vobis, an epistle to the Three Churches, a small octavo of 14-1 pp. printed in London in 1721, is said by the Rev. John Kirk, p. 80, Vol. V. Catholicon, to have had Dodd, the Historian, for its Author.

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Castellanae Province of the Society of Jesus, 1541- (1541-)

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

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