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Maurice Clenock

Frequently referred to as Dr. Morrice (d. about 1580)

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Clenock (or CLYNOG), MAURICE, date of birth unknown, d. about 1580. He was b. in Wales and educated at Oxford, where he was admitted Bachelor of Canon Law in 1548. During Mary’s reign he became almoner and secretary to Cardinal Pole, prebendary of York, rector of Orpington (Kent), and dean of Shoreham and Croydon, and chancellor of the prerogative court of Canterbury. In 1556 he was made rector of Corwen in the Diocese of St. Asaph, and on the death of the Bishop of Bangor in 1558 was nominated to the vacant see, but was never consecrated, owing to the change of religion under Elizabeth. Surrendering all his preferments, he accompanied Bishop Goldwell of St. Asaph to Rome, where they resided in the English hospital, of which Clenock was a camerarius in 1567. In 1578 he was made its warden. At the same time Gregory XIII ordered the hospital to be converted into a college until England should return to the Church. The warden was made the first rector of the college by the pope; but Cardinal Allen judged him unfit, though he described him as “an honest and friendly man and a great advancer of the students’ and seminaries’ cause” (Letter to Dr. Lewis, May 12, 1579). Despite his personal good qualities he did not prove a competent ruler. He was accused of unduly favoring his fellow-countrymen at the expense of the English students, who numbered thirty-three as against seven Welshmen. Feeling ran so high that, as Allen wrote, “Mischief and murder had like to have been committed in ipso collegio” (letter cited above). The students, having unsuccessfully appealed to the pope, left the college, and finally the pope, in April, 1579, appointed Father Agazzari, S.J., rector, leaving Dr. Clenock still war-den of the hospital. He retired, however, in 1580 to Rouen, where he took ship for Spain, but was lost at sea. In contemporary documents he is frequently referred to as “Dr. Morrice”.

EDWIN BURTON


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