Born: 26 September 1682, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford
Entered: 29 November 1702, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1711
Final Vows: 15 August 1720
Died: 20 February 1738, Huesca, Spain - Aragoniae Province (ARA)
Son of Peter Harrison (Henriquez) and Joan née Grace. Brother of James Harrison (Henriquez) RIP 1768
◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1724-1728 Rector Santiago (succeeded “James Harrison perhaps should read James O’Connor alias Henriquez)
1728-1730 Rector Santiago from 17 October 1728 (should read Salamanca)
1729 Irish Mission Superior expressed his regret that he is being kept at Salamanca, as he was wanted or himself desired for the Irish Mission
From letters written to him he appears to have been well liked and rendered good service. (cf letters written to him from Joseph Delamer and Thomas Gorman - IER March 1874)
Documents of his are preserved at Salamanca
He wrote a petition to the King of Spain giving an account of the College of Salamanca (Dr McDonald’s “Irish Colleges Abroad”) (though this sounds more like Joseph Delamer?)
◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Peter and Joan née Grace. Brother of James Harrison (Henriquez)
Had studied Philosophy at Compostella before Ent 29/11/1702 Villagarcía
After First Vows he was sent to Compostella to complete his studies
There is no knowledge bewteen 1705-1714, but he was a priest by 1711
1714-1724 At Valladolid teaching Philosophy after two years post graduate studies and was Chair of Dogmatic Theology
1724-1728 Rector of Irish College Santiago and remained there until he succeeded Joseph Delamar (on his death) as Rector at Irish College Salamanca
1728-1731 Rector of Salamanca, but was deposed after three years later due to ill-considered judgements communicated to others. He had come in for extreme criticism by his Spanish Superiors for his administration at Compostela, and it was suggested that the College became burdened with huge debt and the discipline had become very relaxed. This caused significant embarrassment for the Irish Mission Superior, Ignatius Kelly. He wrote to Ignatius Kelly suggesting that there were eight places available at Compostela for 1730. Ignatius Kelly duly informed the local Archbishops, so that they might choose candidates. Meanwhile Harrison’s Spanish successor as Rector at Compostela wrote to Ignatius Kelly suggesting that there were in fact only four places.. At this point also, Harrison began to question the suitability of candidates for Salamanca sent to him by the Spanish Rector at Compostella. Meanwhile the Archbishops in Ireland wrote to the new General (Retz) both congratulating him and informing him of their concerns regarding the management of the Irish Colleges, and in particular the work of John Harrison.
1731 He fled, unauthorised and unannounced to Ireland and Dublin but was persuaded by Ignatius Kelly to accompany him as far as Poitiers, from where Harrison said he would travel to Rome to meet the General. He didn’t in fact go to Rome. he eventually arrived at Madrid where he stayed two years (1733-1735). After this he was withdrawn by the General from CAST and sent to ARA where he worked at the Church in Huesca until his death 20 February 1738
He was clearly a very talented man, but understood little of the ways of administration or diplomacy. His removal from CAST was damaging both to himself and the way this affected the Irish Jesuit Mission, especially in the Colleges of Spain. As a result of the anger and suspicion, no Irishmen were received in CAST for ten years.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Harrison SJ 1702-1738
Not every Jesuit who becomes a Rector becomes an Earl at the same time. This was the fate of Fr John Harrison, born in Kilmuckeridge, Diocese of Ferns, who entered the Society at Compostella in 1702. It happened in this way :
Fr Harrison became Rector of Salamanca in 1728 after the death of Don Dermitio O’Sullivan, who had made our College at Salamanca his universal heir. So Fr Harrison became ipso facto Earl of Beare and Bantry.
He had previously been Rector of Santoago from 17245-1728.