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Joseph Creswell

Controversialist, b. 1557 of Yorkshire stock in London; d. about 1623

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Creswell, JOSEPH (vere ARTHUR), controversialist, b. 1557 of Yorkshire stock in London; d. about 1623. His widowed mother married William Lacey, who, after her death, was ordained priest and martyred (August 22, 1582) at York. Creswell joined the Society of Jesus in Rome October 11, 1583, having previously studied at Reims and at the Roman College. Having been rector (1589-1592) after Father Persons of the English College, Rome, he also succeeded Persons as vice-prefect for English Jesuit interests in Spain. Creswell’s character and conduct in connection with his difficulties over the seminaries of Seville and Valladolid, and his controversy about Benedictine vocations have been severely criticized (cf. Camm, Life of Ven. John Roberts, and Pollen, The Month, London, September—October, 1899). Father Creswell had considerable intercourse with Sir Charles Cornwallis, the English resident at Madrid, till the Powder Plot, when Creswell was summoned to Rome. Sent to Belgium in 1614, he was at St-Omer in 1620, and in 1621 was made rector of Ghent. His chief works are: A Latin treatise, “De Vita Beata”; “Exemplar Literarum ad Cecilium (sive Burleigh)”, 1592, under the pseudonym “John Perne”, against Elizabeth‘s proclamation of November 29, 1591; “Vida y Martyrio del P. Henrique Valpolo,” (Madrid, 1596); treatise against James First’s (1610) proclamation (4to, St-Omer, 1611); “Meditations upon the Rosary” (St-Omer, 1620); translation into Spanish, under the name “Peter Manrique”, of Father William Bathe‘s “Preparation for administering Penance and the Eucharist” (Milan, 1614); translation into English and Spanish, under initials N. T. of Salvian’s “Quis dives salvus?” (St-Omer, 1618); “Relation de Inglaterra”, Ms X, 14, National Library, Madrid; memoir for Philip III of Spain on affairs of the Society; “Responsio ad calumnias,” Stonyhurst Library; Letters, Vatican Archives (Lettere di particolari, I, 1).


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