Born: 06 February 1586, Dublin
Entered: 24 September 1606, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1615, Coimbra, Portugal
Final vows: 21 April 1624
Died: 18 August 1656, Irish College, Seville, Spain
Superior Irish Mission 20 April 1647-1650 and 27 June 1654
Educated at Portugal, Rome and Irish College Douai
1614 At Évora LUS in 3rd years Theology
1617 In Ireland Age 31 Soc 11
1621 Catalogue Talent prudence and judgment good. Gentle, a good preacher.
1622-1626 In Ireland
1638-1647 Rector Irish College Rome (Arch I C Rome Lib V 199) - 10 May 1647 (in 1642 Fr Richard Shelton is Prefect)
1650 Catalogue 65 years old on Mission 35 - Superior Irish College Rome and Sup Irish Mission 3 years
1655 Catalogue In Professed House Seville “Hospes HIB and operarius”
◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
The family had the title “Baron Sunderlin”
Very placid and gentle; A Good Preacher; Provincial; Writer; A good religious; Rector in Rome and Seville;
Irish Catalogues of 1609, 1621 and 1636 call him “Dublinensis”. In Foley’s Collectanea evidence is produced in favour of his being a native of Manchester. The author is of the view that Simon Malone was married in Manchester and returned home, or, that he took William to be educated in Manchester as “Harry Fitzsimon, and had him baptised there and that William was then sent to Rome.
William Malone Esq of Lismullen is on the Roll of Attainders of 1642
After First Vows did two years Philosophy and four Theology; He was proficient in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Latin.
Sent to Ireland 1615; Preacher and Confessor many years; Rector of Irish College Rome; Superior Irish Mission for three years (HIB Catalogue 1650)
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS says DOB 1586. After studies in Rome and Portugal was sent to Ireland 1617, his name is on a list in 1617 (Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874);
Sent to Rome in 1635 as Rector of Irish College; Made Superior of Irish Mission 23 December 1647, succeeding Robert Nugent.
Taken prisoner at the siege of Waterford and deported. He went to Seville, and there he was appointed Rector of St Gregory’s 1651-1655 and he died there 15/08/1655 age 70.
His famous work dedicated to King Charles I : “A Reply to Mr James Ussher, his answere”, 1627, was published at Douai (cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”; Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS.
Hollingsworth - of “Christ College” - states he was born in Manchester 1592. This is supported by the paper by Rev Laurence Canon Toole SS, of St Wilfred’s Manchester, regarding his birthplace (Chronicle of Manchester at Chetham Library, also published as “Mancunis” in 1839). “Anno 1592, was borne in Manchester, William son of Simon Malone, a young man with pregnant wife, he was tempted by some Irish merchants till the rebellion broke out 1649... Seduced from the Reformed to the Romish religion, of which he became one of the most earnest and able assertors; he made a reply to Archbishop Usher’s answer to the “Jesuite’s Challenge”, but he was overmatched, his adversary being more eminently learned, and having truth on his syde
“Thomas de Warre, subsequently by inheritance, Lord de Warre, a priest and rector, or parson of the Parish Church of Manchester in the reign of Henry V, founded a college to be attached to that Church for the daily celebration of the Divine Office. This College was dissolved in the first of Edward VI; it was refounded by Queen Mary; suppressed again in the first of Elizabeth, and refounded again under the name :”Christ College” in 1578.
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS gives date of RIP as 15 August 1655 age 70, making his birth 1586, six years earlier than Hollingsworth, who may have assumed date of Baptism to be DOB. There continues to be dispute about his place of birth in that his father’s name is in the marriage register in Manchester, and there is an entry in the burial register which suggests continual living in Manchester “1597, April 29, an infant douter of Symon Mallon”.
◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Early education was at Douai
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at the Roman College and Theology at Évora and Coimbra (LUS) where he was Ordained 1615
1615 Sent to Ireland and Dublin. He immediately became involved in a controversy with James Ussher (afterwards Protestant Archbishop of Dublin). Ussher’s book “An answer to a challenge made by a Jesuit in Ireland” (1625) was triumphantly refuted by Malone in a work entitled “A Reply to Mr . James Ussher, his Answer”, published in Douai which reduced Ussher to silence and encouraged the Catholics.
1626-1637 Sent as Procurator to Rome
1637-1642 Rector of Irish College at Rome 10 December 1637. While in office he secured for the College the house in the Via Baccina, where it remained until the suppression
1642-1647 Prefect of Studies at Irish College Rome until 20 April 1647
1647-1650 Superior Irish Mission 20 April 1647. In more normal times he would have been eminently equipped for the duties of Superior in view of his past successes as a missionary priest in Ireland and an administrator at Rome. But taking into account the complicated politico-religious state of Ireland in 1647 and his long absence abroad he proved quite somewhat challenged by the tasks awaiting him. He identified himself with the Ormondist faction, quarreled with Rinuccini and caused a rift between his subjects of Old Irish and Anglo-Irish origin. In the first months following the “Censures” he was away temporarily and had entrusted the Office to John Young, and he had neglected to inform the General of the evolving crisis. It has been suggested that his actions later demonstrated that he sides with the small Ormondist faction on the Mission who had publicly sided with the “Confederation” against the Nuncio. In his 1649 Report to the General on the Irish Mission, Mercure Verdier recommended that he be replaced in office as soon as he had finished three years, but not before tat so as to avoid trouble with the Confederation. In the event, the General died 08/06/1949 and the election of his successor 21 January 1650, it became possible to replace Malone without incurring the displeasure of the Confederation.,
1650 He was replaced in office in January 1650, and was a very zealous missioner, but he was asked to act as Vice-Superior, 1653, on the arrest of William St. Leger. Despite the advice of the Visitor Mercure Verdier, he was again appointed Mission Superior 27 June 1654, but as he was then in prison he could not assume office. He was then deported to Spain and appointed Rector of the Irish College, Seville, 27 October 1655. By this stage he was in somewhat broken health, and much of the administration involved on the rectorship was devolved to his companion John Ussher. He died at Seville 18 August 1656
(Addendum. William Malone published in 1611 the first English translation of the works of - the then Blessed - Teresa of Avilá)
◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
by Terry Clavin
Malone, William (1586–1656), Jesuit, was born 6 December 1586 in Dublin, the son of Simon Malone, a local merchant, and his wife, Margaret Bexwick from Manchester. He studied humanities at Douai before entering the Society of Jesus on 24 September 1606 at Sant’ Andrea, Rome. After completing his theology course at the Roman college, he went to Portugal, where he studied theology at Evora and Coimbra and was ordained in 1615. He was sent to Ireland in 1615 on the Jesuit mission and was based in Dublin for the next eleven years.
Shortly after arriving in Ireland and at the request of his protestant friend Sir Piers Crosby (qv), he drew up a brief outline of the fundamentals of the catholic faith. Crosby brought this statement to James Ussher (qv), at that time professor of divinity at TCD and rector of Finglas. Malone then wrote a challenge for Ussher, asking of the protestant clergy when it was that the catholic church had fallen into error and how was it that the protestant faith could be true if it rejected a number of tenets held by the early church. Crosby brought this statement to Ussher and a relatively amicable private correspondence ensued between the two clerics as they debated the tenets of the early fathers of the church. Eventually, in 1624 Ussher published an expanded response to Malone's initial challenge. As the publication of catholic literature was prohibited in Ireland, Malone left for the Spanish Netherlands in 1626 and then arranged for the publication at Douai of his A Reply to Mr. James Ussher his answer (1627). In the Reply Malone details disagreements among protestant theologians and argues that the contrasting unity of the catholic church was the surest sign of the rightness of its claim to be the one true church. He notes that whereas previously protestant divines had based their arguments solely on scripture, they have more recently come to agree with the catholic position that the church fathers constitute an important religious authority. Controversially he dedicated the Reply to Charles I and declared that not even the pope could draw the catholics of Ireland from their obedience to their rightful king. Such fulsome expressions of loyalty met with the disapproval of many of Malone's fellow clergy and compatriots. The Reply eventually found its way into circulation in Dublin c.1629–30, after which, at Ussher's behest, three protestant writers published between 1632 and 1641 rejoinders to Malone's work, each dealing with a different topic in the debate.
After the publication of the Reply, Malone was sent to Rome to act as procurator of the Irish Jesuits there. From 1637 to 1647 he was rector of the Irish college in Rome and seems to have performed this task with great distinction. On hearing that Malone intended resigning as rector, the Jesuit superior in Ireland, Thomas Nugent, wrote to Rome in March 1641 begging that Malone remain at his post. Nonetheless he did resign in 1642, but remained in the college as prefect of studies until 1647.
He returned to Ireland that year to become superior of the Jesuit mission in Nugent's stead and soon found himself caught up in the political turmoil of those times. In May 1648 the papal nuncio to Ireland, GianBattista Rinuccini (qv), excommunicated all those who adhered to the truce between the supreme council of the Catholic Confederation and the protestant forces in Munster. He also prohibited church services and the normal administration of the sacraments throughout Ireland. This act divided the catholic laity and clergy and put Malone in a very difficult position. On one hand, the Irish Jesuits were predominantly the sons of wealthy Old English landowners, a group who broadly sympathised with the supreme council. Malone himself was Old English and supported the truce with Inchiquin. Indeed, he appears to have opposed the admission of Gaelic Irish clergy into the Jesuits and, unusually for a catholic clergyman, spoke no Irish. Given these views, it is not surprising that his relations with Rinuccini, whose most reliable supporters tended to be Gaelic Irish, had been tense. However, on the other hand, the Jesuit order stood for obedience to the pope above all else, and could hardly defy his representative in Ireland.
Malone finessed the situation with some skill, but little success, by ordering the Irish Jesuits to follow the example of their diocesan bishop regarding the nuncio's interdict. As most of the Jesuit houses were located in the dioceses of bishops who supported the supreme council this meant that, in effect, the Jesuit order did not observe the interdict. Only in Limerick did the Jesuit house defy the local bishop, and by implication Malone, by observing the interdict. Moreover, many Jesuits actively encouraged the supreme council's defiance of the nuncio and in August 1648 six leading Jesuits signed a declaration supporting the supreme council. At some point in late 1648, Malone visited Rinuccini in Galway city in an effort to convince him of his good intentions. However, the nuncio regarded Malone's behaviour as treachery and believed that the Jesuits played a major role in the failure of his excommunication to defeat the supreme council.
Meanwhile, the Jesuit general in Rome, Vincenzo Carafa, ordered Malone to travel to Bordeaux to explain his behaviour (which he declined to do) and sent Mercure Verdier to Ireland as Jesuit visitor, to ascertain the situation in Ireland. After meeting Rinuccini in Galway, Verdier travelled to Kilkenny to hear Malone and his supporters state their case. Recognising the depth of opposition to Rinuccini within the order, Verdier did not remove Malone from his position, and absolved the Irish Jesuits from Rinuccini's censures. The latter act angered the Jesuits who held that Rinuccini's interdict was invalid.
By the spring of 1650 Malone was in Waterford city, which was being besieged by Cromwellian forces. A plague broke out and Malone and other Jesuits were active tending to the sick and dying. The same year, he was replaced by Thomas Nugent as head of the Jesuit mission in Ireland. Following the fall of Waterford in 1651, Malone went into hiding and was eventually captured in Dublin in 1654. Initially sentenced to death, this was commuted to transportation to Barbados, before he was simply put on a ship for Cadiz in 1655. On 27 October 1655 he was appointed rector of the Irish college at Seville. However, his health was failing and most of the work was carried out by his colleague John Ussher, who succeeded Malone as rector following his death in Seville on 13 August 1656.
C. R. Elrington and J. H. Todd, The whole works of James Ussher, 17 vols (1847–64), iii, 3–5; W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Ireland (1854), 70–72; Annie Hutton, The embassy in Ireland (1873), 399, 413, 468–9, 473–5; Michael J. Hynes, The mission of Rinuccini (1932), 264–5, 297; Comment. Rinucc., vi, 139–40; D.Cath.B., ix, 573; Francis Finegan, ‘Irish rectors at Seville, 1619–1687’, IER, ser. 5., no. 106 (July–Dec. 1966), 45–63; D. Gaffney, ‘The practice of religious controversy in Dublin, 1600–41’, W. J. Sheils and D. Wood (ed.), The churches, Ireland and the Irish (1989), 145–58; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991), 49, 70–73, 78–9, 82–4; Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, Catholic reformation in Ireland (2002), 241–3; Alan Ford, James Ussher (2005), 62, 67–8
◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
William Malone (1647-1650)
William Malone was born at Dublin on 6th February, 1586. After studying humanities and rhetoric at Douay, he entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea in Rome on 24th September, 1606. He studied philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Evora and Coimbra in Portugal. Returning to Ireland in 1615, he was stationed in the district of Dublin. Soon after he became engaged in a controversy with James Usher, afterwards Protestant Primate. Usher's book, “An Answer to a Challenge made by a Jesuite in Ireland”, 1625, was triumphantly refuted by Fr Malone in a work entitled “A Reply to Fr James Usher, his Answer”, published at Douay in 1627, which reduced Usher to silence and encouraged Catholics greatly. In 1620 Fr Malone was made a Consultor of the Mission. On 11th April, 1624, he made his solemn profession of four vows. In 1626 he was sent as Procurator to Rome. When the administration of the Irish College, Rome, was given to the Society of Jesus by the will of the founder, Cardinal Ludovisi (1635), Fr Malone was selected to become Rector, but various obstacles arose which prevented him taking up that duty until 10th December, 1637. During his term of office he secured for the College the house in the Via Baccina, where it remained till the suppression of the Society. He ceased to be Rector on 1st February, 1642, but remained on as Prefect of Studies and Confessor till 20th April, 1647, when he was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission. During the dissensions that arose among Catholics on the occasion of the Nuncio Rinuccini's censures, he was a strong partisan of the Ormondist faction, and was in consequence denounced to Rome by the Nuncio. The General on 5th September, 16148, appointed a Visitor of the Irish Mission, and ordered Fr Malone to withdraw quietly to France. The Visitor, Fr Maurice Verdier, who arrived at Galway on 28th December, 1648, reported that it would be inadvisable to remove him just at that time. By the death of the General, on 8th June, 1649, all changes of Superiors were, with the approbation of the Holy See, suspended till a new General should be elected. Fr. Francis Piccolomini was elected on 21st December, 1649, and a few weeks later Fr Malone's Socius, Fr George Dillon, was appointed Superior of the Mission.
William Malone (1654)
Fr William Malone, who acted as Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission when Fr. William St Leger was exiled, was appointed Superior of the Mission for the second time on 27th June, 1654, but the General's letter to that effect can hardly have reached him before he, too, was tracked down by spies. To save his host he delivered himself up, and was sentenced to death. This sentence was afterwards changed to one of transportation to the Barbadoes; but just before he was put on board a ship sailing thither, another order arrived that he should be handed over to the captain of a ship bound for Cadiz. After many adventures he arrived there, and was appointed Rector of the Irish College at Seville on 27th October, 1655. But worn out by hardships he died there on 18th August, 1656, regretting the crown of martyrdom had escaped him.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father William Malone 1586-1656
William Malone was born in Dublin on February 6th 1586. After pursuing his studies at Douai, he entered the Socirty in Rome in 1606.
Returning to Ireland as a priest, he was stationed in Dublin where, like Fr Fitzsimon before him, he engaged in controversy with the Protestants, and became the great champion of the Catholics. He made his name in a clash with James Usher, afterwards Protestant Primate. The latter published a book entitled “An Answer to a Challenge made by a Jesuit in Ireland”. Fr Malone replied with his famous work “A Reply to Mr James Usher, his Answer”, published at Douai in 1627, which reduced Usher to silence and greatly encouraged the Catholics.
Fr Malone was the first Rector if the Irish College in Rome, when that institution was willed to the Jesuits by its founder, Cardinal Ludovisi in 1637. Ten years later Fr Malone was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission.
During the dissensions which arose among Catholics during Rinuccini’s mission, Fr Malone sided quite definitely with the Ormondist faction. As a result, he was denounced to Rome by the Nuncio, and the General appointed a Visiitor, Fr Verdier, to inquire into the state of affairs in Ireland. The General had in fact ordered Fr Malone to withdraw to the continent. It is interesting to note that the Visitor, after his investigations, advised against this course.
On the death of the General, his successor Fr Piccolini appointed Fr George Dillon as Superior in 1649. When Fr William St Leger, the next Superior after Fr Dillon was banished from Ireland, Fr Malone acted as Vice Superior, and was himself again appointed Superior in 1654. However, he was tracked down by spies, and to save his host he gave himself up.
He was banished to the Barbadoes, but the order was changed, and instead he was sent to Cadiz. On his arrival at Cadiz he was appointed Rector of the Irish College in Seville, but worn out by the hardships, he died there on August 18th 1656, regretting the crown of martyrdom which had escaped him.
◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MALONE, WILLIAM, a native of Dublin : enrolled himself at Rome, in 1606, amongst the Children of St. Ignatius. After pursuing his studies in that city, and finishing them in Portugal, he was ordered to the Irish Mission, to which during nearly a quarter of a century he rendered good service by his splendid talents, apostolic zeal, and extraordinary prudence. Recalled from Dublin, where he was Superior of his brethren, in the early part of the year 1635, to preside over the Irish College of St. Patrick at Rome, founded by Cardinal Ludovisi, he continued its Rector during the space of several years. Of his talents for government his brethren had formed the highest opinions. In a letter now before me addressed by F. Robert Nugent, the Superior of the Irish Mission, to the General Vitelleschi, of the 14th of March, 1641, he earnestly conjures him “not to yield to his petition of being released from the Rectorship of the College, however painful such pre-eminence may be that he knows no one at present qualified to succeed him in that office that there is not one of his brethren so conversant with the state of this Kingdom and Mission none so thoroughly acquainted with the character of the Irish youth as F. Malone”. On the 23rd of December, 1647, F. Malone was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission in the place of the said F. Nugent. His superiority fell in most difficult times.
In a letter dated Waterford, the l5th of March, 1649, he says, how thankful he should be to be relieved from it that the burthen was heavier on his shoulders than Mount Etna, insomuch that he could say with the Apostle (2 Cor. i. 8 ), he “was even weary of life”. Naturally of a most placid disposition, he found it impossible, during the period of the Interdict, to give satisfaction to the Party supporting the Nuncio, John Baptist Rinuccini * (a prelate ignorant of the country, and of very high pretensions ), and the conflicting interests of the supreme Council at Kilkenny. During the siege of Waterford, he was in the town : on its capture by the enemies of the Catholic Faith, he was apprehended and sent into banishment. On reaching Seville his talents for government were put in requisition, as Rector of F. Gregory’s College in that city. There he consummated his course of usefulness by the death of the righteous, in August, 1656, act. 70.
F. Malone will always rank among the ablest Champions of Orthodoxy in that immortal work entitled “A Reply to Mr James Ushers His Answere”, 4to. 1627, pp. 717. It was printed at Douay; but F. Southwell incorrectly fixes the date of publication to the year 1608. The admirable dedication of the work to King Charles I is abundant evidence of the Author’s loyalty and undivided Allegiance, as well as of his Patriotism. Harris’s notice of this truly learned work satisfies me, that he had never ventured to read it. See p. 130, Book I. Writers of Ireland. Doctor Synge, Archbishop of Tuam, and Dr. Joshua Hoyle, would have consulted their literary fame, had they not attempted to grapple with F. Malone.
- The Latin Report of his Nunciature in Ireland is in the Holkam Library, and as translated by Archdeacon Glover, may be read in the Catholic Miscellany of October, November, and December, 1829. See also “Hiberaia Dominicana”, also Third Section of the “Political Catechism”, by T. Wyse, Esq. London, 1829. Lord Castleniaine, p. 277, of the “Catholic Apology”, 3rd edition, says that “The Pope on being informed of the Nuncio’s conduct, recalled him, and sent him to his Bishoprick, where he lived to his dying day in disgrace, and never had the least preferment afterwards”. He died on the 13th of December, 1653, aet. 61.