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was so ordered upon design by the governors of it, observing the pregnancy and forwardness of him; that it might be a future honour to it to have it upon record, in the frontispiece of their admission-book, and so accordingly the first graduate, fellow, proctor, and all other degrees originally from thence." And Dr. Parr says, "that his name as the first Scholar there stands to this day on the first line of their rollm." He may have been the first student, but he certainly was not the first Scholar; for the list of them, in the handwriting of Provost Alvey, is still extant, and after the three named in the Charter stand Abel Walsh, Jacobus Ussher, Jacobus Lee. Ussher says of himself that he was "inter primos in illam admissos"."

The system of instruction adopted in the new College is thus described by Dr. Bernard: "The education which that College then gave was very eminent. At the first foundation there were but four° Fellows, and yet the tongues and arts were very exactly taught to all the students, being divided into several classes. Aristotle's text was read in Greek by each tutor to his pupils. Three lectures a day every Fellow read, at each of which there was a disputation upon what had been then read, or the lecture before, and, among other ways, they were ordered to dispute more Socratico. On Saturday, in the afternoon, each tutor read, in Latin, a lecture on divinity to his pupils, and dictated it so deliberately that they easily took it in writing; and so were their other lectures also."

The religious education of young Ussher appears to have been watched with unceasing vigilance, and at fourteen years of age he was called upon to receive the holy communion. This sacred rite produced a great effect upon his religiously disposed mind; and his biographer informs us that, in advanced life, he was accustomed to look back with complacency upon the strict retirement and rigorous

m The oldest admission-book now extant commences in the year 1637, and the first name is William, eldest son of Lord Strafford, aged eleven years and a half.

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"Ussher's Letter to Hevelius.-Works, vol. xvi., p. 167.

Henry Ussher, the Archdeacon of Dublin, named in the Charter as the first Fellow, does not appear ever to have acted.

self-examination which always preceded his approach to the Lord's table, and to lament the little improvement which increasing years had produced. He observed with peculiar strictness the Lord's day; and his early piety led him to deplore as a sin his too great attachment to literary pursuits, that he could not welcome with more joy the approach of the day devoted to the service of his God than of that which restored him to his studies.

At this early period of his life he appears to have devoted himself to study with an ardour and perseverance extraordinary for his years. Admitted into the University, unacquainted with either the Greek or Hebrew languages, he must have used no common diligence to acquire the knowledge which he soon displayed in them. He was not inattentive to the study of logic and the Aristotelic philosophy then so much in fashion. But the decided leaning of his mind was to historical and chronological inquiries. It is said that he was first struck with the passage in Cicero, "Nescire quid antea quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum." And, indeed, he alludes to the circumstance in the dedication of the Antiquities of the British Churches to King Charles, using the strong expressions,


Indeque mihi insitum fuisse diffiteri non possum rerum gestarum et memoriæ veteris ordinem cognoscendi singulare quoddam et prope incredibile desiderium." The first work which confirmed this inclination was, "Sleidan de quatuor monarchiis ;" and so rapid was the progress made by the youthful student", that, ere he reached his nineteenth year, he had drawn up, in Latin, a chronicle of the Bible, as far as the Book of Kings, differing not much from the Annals which were published at the close of his long and laborious life.

The circumstances of the times and the peculiar situation of his own family, divided as it was between the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, exercised an irresistible force upon the mind of Ussher, to devote a considerable portion of his time to the study of polemical divinity. With that can

Some biographers have stated, that in his early life he manifested a strong inclination for poetry, and was much devoted to card-playing.

dour which distinguished him through the whole period of his life, he appears to have studied the works of the principal writers on both sides of the question, and the work which exercised a considerable influence upon the course of his subsequent studies was Stapleton's "Fortress of the Faith." The chief strength of Stapleton's argument lay in the attempt to establish the antiquity of the Romish faith and the novelty of the reformed Church, which he professed to maintain by the whole current of tradition transmitted through the works of the Fathers. Ussher, even at that early period, was impressed with the truth of Tertullian's maxim, “ Verum quodcunque primum, adulterum quodcunque posterius," and he determined to read through the works of the Fathers, and ascertain whether the appeal of Stapleton was founded in fact. This prodigious task he executed in eighteen years, commencing in the twentieth and terminating in the thirtyeighth year of his age. The fruit of his labours he intended to have communicated to the world in the Bibliotheca Theologica, but he never completed the work, never indeed finished any part of it. It has been stated by some writers, that Stapleton's work had been put into his hands by his uncle, Richard Stanihurst, in order to win him over to the Roman Catholic faith; but this is not very probable, as Stanihurst had been long resident at Louvain, and not much intercourse appears to have been kept up between them, as Ussher, in the only letter to his uncle which has been preserved, tells him he had never been able to procure his work, "Margarita Maria," and other writings, if there be any.

There is no record extant of the time when Ussher took

They seem to forget the age of the individual about whom they are speaking; and the stories may well be doubted when we have such proofs of his literary progress before he attained the age of fourteen.

"Wood, in his Life of Stanihurst, says, that "he, being a zealous Romanist, and Ussher (afterwards Primate of Ireland) a zealous Protestant, passed several letters between them concerning religion, Stanihurst endeavouring, to his utmost, to gain him to his opinion; but it is thought, and verily believed by some, that Ussher was too hard for his uncle in controversial points relating to divinity." Wood gives no authority for this story, and it no where appears among the other biographers of the Archbishop.

his degree of Bachelor of Arts. Dr. Smith states, that he obtained it when in his seventeenth year: it is probable, therefore, that he commenced A.B. in July, 1597. An interruption to all his favourite pursuits was now threatened; his father urged him strongly to the study of law as a professional pursuit, and wished to send him over to the Inns of Court in London. Ussher felt the greatest repugnance to commence this course of study, but such was his reverence for parental authority, that he was preparing to comply, when his father's death, on the 12th of August, 1538, left him at liberty to choose his profession. Dr. Parr states that a considerable estate devolved to the eldest son on the death of his father, but burdened with law-suits and portions for his seven sisters; that the young student, fearful of being taken away from the pursuits to which he was now permitted to devote himself, made over this property to his brother and sisters, reserving to himself only a small sum, sufficient for the purchase of some books and for his maintenance in the College; and that, as a proof how well he understood what he was doing, he drew out an exact account of the estate and leases left to him, and also of the suits and incumbrances which lay upon it, with directions what to do in them, and committed the whole to his uncle', as guardian to his brother and sisters, to be managed for their use. It is to be supposed that the biographers anticipate events, for James Ussher was not eighteen when his father died, and, therefore, could not have made over the property. He most probably did so when he came of age.

In August, 1598, died also Lord Burleigh, Chancellor of the University of Dublin; and to him succeeded Robert Earl of Essex, who was soon after appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland, and arrived in Dublin in April, 15998. The

' Dr. Parr does not mention the name of the uncle; but it is most probable it was George Ussher. Arnold was the youngest of three brothers, Henry, Archbishop of Armagh, being the eldest, and George, a merchant, the second, who died in 1609.

'The biographers of Ussher make strange confusion as to dates. They make the performance of the Act before the Earl of Essex to precede the death of Arnold Ussher; but this is impossible, for he died before Essex was appointed Chancellor of the University. The records of the Univer

University, to welcome their new Chancellor, had a solemn Act performed for his entertainment, and Ussher was selected as the respondent in the philosophical disputation, a task which he performed with great applause. But he soon undertook a more serious disputation, encountering the learned Jesuit, Henry Fitz-Symondst, on the questions

sity do not fix the date of the entertainment given to the Chancellor ; but it is well known that the Earl of Essex landed in Dublin on the 15th of April, 1599, and left it in the September following. It is not improbable that the visit of the Chancellor was soon after his arrival in Dublin, for on the 3rd of May, 1599, he continued, during pleasure, a concordatum of £40 per annum before granted by the Lords Justices.

'Henry Fitz-Symonds was the son of a merchant in Dublin, and matriculated as a member of Hart's Hall, Oxford, April 16, 1583, being then fourteen years of age. It seems probable that he was elected a student of Christ's Church in the following December. It does not appear how long he remained at the University, or whether he took a degree there. But sure it is, says Wood, "that being in his mind then, if not before, a Roman Catholic, he went beyond the seas, entered himself into the Society of Jesus, and made so great a proficiency under the instruction of Leonard Lessius that in a short time he became so eminent that he taught publicly among them philosophy for several years." After some time he returned to Ireland, where he was more than ordinarily active in making proselytes to the Roman Catholic faith, either by private conference or public disputations with the Protestant clergy. In this work he continued unmolested for two years, and gained the character of such an able and subtle disputant that few or none would contend with him. At length he attracted the notice of the Government, and was confined in Dublin Castle. At the end of five years he obtained his liberty on the promise of behaving quietly, and giving no further disturbance to the King or realm. He retired into voluntary exile in the Low Countries; but, in 1608, being summoned to Rome, he was appointed for the mission to Ireland; and, forgetful of his promise, returned to that country, and employed many years in the same course which he had pursued before his imprisonment. He was an active promoter of the rebellion in 1641, and after the overthrow of the rebels suffered severely in his attempts to escape the English army. He was obliged to shelter in the woods and mountains, and at length, in the year 1643, he took refuge in a bog, where the miserable hovel in which he slept neither afforded him shelter from the inclemency of the weather, nor from the water which rose from below. This wretched situation could not subdue his habitual cheerfulness, or prevent him from instructing and comforting those who flocked to him for advice. However the weight of years sunk under these accumulated sufferings, and he died on the 1st of February, 1643-44, being then seventy-five years of age. By his death, concludes Anthony Wood, the Roman Catholics lost a pillar of their Church, being esteemed, in the better part of his life, a great ornament among them,

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