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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-Symonds', 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,

controverted between the Roman Catholics and Protestants. Fitz-Symonds was confined in the Castle of Dublin, and declared that, "as he was a prisoner, he was like a bear tied to a stake, and wanted some to bait him." This was considered as a challenge. Dr. Smith says, that two or three theologians, venerable for their age and ecclesiastical station, had entered the lists; but finding it of no use to answer his calumnies, or chastise his madness, relinquished the task. But from the other biographers it would appear that Ussher was the only person who encountered him in a public disputation; but how he came to be selected is not mentioned. Saldenus' asserts, that he was chosen by the unanimous consent of the University; but he does not give his authority, and we search for it in vain. Fitz-Symonds boldly offered to maintain those points in the Roman Catholic religion which were considered by Protestants as the weakest, and to oppose those in their doctrine which they thought the strongest. Dr. Bernard states, that the subject of disputation was the controversies of Bellarmine; that a meeting once a week was agreed upon; and that the first topic proposed was concerning Antichrist; that twice or thrice they had solemn disputations, though the Jesuit acknowledges but one; that Ussher was ready to go on, but the Jesuit was weary of it. Far different is the account which Fitz-Symonds published of the transaction, many years afterwards, in the dedication of his work called Britannomachia Ministrorum. He says: "Prodiit quidem semel in summa vocis vultusque trepidatione, octodenarius præcocis sapientiæ (non tamen malæ, ut videtur, indolis) juvenis, nescio an auræ popularis cupidior, saltem de abstrusissimis rebus theologicis, cum adhuc philosophica studia non esset emensus, nec ephebis egressus, disputandi avidus. Hunc autem jussi suorum calculos adferre, quibus pugil seu agonista idoneus renunciaretur, et vel cum ipso disputationem me initurum. Sed sicut ipsi eum minime tanto honore dignati sunt, ita me vicissim sua

and the greatest defender of their religion in his time.-Wood, Athen. Oxon., vol. iii. p. 97.

Sald. de lib., p. 368. Act. Erud. Lips. 1687, p. 115.

deinceps præsentia dignatus ipse non fuit." In quoting this passage the biographers of Ussher have stopped at the word "avidus," and put an et cetera after it. This afforded to Bayle grounds for a sneer at them, as if they suppressed whatever was inconsistent with their own story; and he adds, that some untruths must necessarily be told, either in the Jesuit's narrative, or in that of the authors of Ussher's life. On the alternative it is not difficult to decide. A letter from Ussher to Fitz-Symonds is still preserved, which demonstrates that the statement made by the Jesuit is false. The letter is as follows:

"I was not prepared, Mr. Fitz-Symonds, to write unto you before you had first written unto me concerning some chief points of your religion, as at our last meeting you promised. But, seeing that you have deferred the same (for reasons best known to yourself), I thought it not amiss to inquire further of your mind concerning the continuance of the conference begun between us; and to this I am rather moved because I am credibly informed of certain reports, which I would hardly be persuaded should proceed from him who, in my presence, pretended so great love and affection to me. If I am a boy (as it hath pleased you very contemptuously to name me), I give thanks to the Lord that my carriage towards you hath been such as could minister no just occasion to despise my youth. Your spear, belike, is, in your own conceit, a weaver's beam; and your abilities such that you desire to encounter with the stoutest champion in the host of Israel, and, therefore, like the Philistine, you contemn me as being a boy. Yet this I would fain have you to know, that I neither came then, nor do come now, unto you in any confidence of any learning that is in me (in which respect, notwithstanding, I thank God I am what I am), but I come in the name of the Lord of Hosts, whose companies you have reproached, being certainly persuaded that even out of the mouths of babes and sucklings he was able to shew forth his own praises; for the further manifestation whereof, I do again earnestly request you that, setting

aside all vain comparison of persons, we may go plainly forward in examining the matters that rest in controversy between us. Otherwise I hope you will not be displeased if, as for your part you have begun, so I also, for my own part, may be bold, for the clearing of myself, and the truths which I profess, freely to make known what hath already passed concerning this matter. Thus entreating you, in a few lines, to make known unto me your purpose in this behalf, I end. Praying the Lord that both this and all other enterprises that we take in hand may be so ordered as may most make for the advancement of his own glory, and the kingdom of his Son, Jesus Christ,

"Tuas ad aras usque,

This letter, written at the time, and addressed to FitzSymonds himself, must give a more correct account of the transaction than the preface to the Britannomachia, published in a foreign country, and twenty years afterwards. The letter, indeed, is quite decisive. Ussher could not address a letter to Fitz-Symonds, alluding directly to more than one disputation which had been carried on between them, if Fitz-Symonds had refused to dispute at all with him, unless accredited by some competent authority. He could not refer to the terms of love and affection which Fitz-Symonds had professed towards him, if he had been treated in the manner which the Jesuit describes".

In the year 1600 Ussher took the degree of Master of Arts. It does not appear from the College records at what time he was appointed a Fellow of Trinity College. At that period it appears to have been the practice to appoint Masters of Arts lecturers, who assumed by degrees the name and privileges of Fellows; and in the first College

Were it necessary to confirm the evidence of Ussher's letter, the Jesuit himself acknowledged that he was silenced. Saldenus says: "Fastidiosam viri præfidentiam ita perdomuit ut ad novum provocatus conflictum declinarit eum non tantum, sed et ad xeμveíav redactum se esse ipse confessus sit."-De libr., p. 368. Fitz-Symonds called Ussher, "Acatholicorum doctissimum."

account-book there is an entry, in December-quarter, 1600, of £10 wages for four Masters, viz., Mr. Walsh, Mr. Ussher, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Richardson. Ussher was immediately after appointed Catechist to the College, and the first Proctor, as he himself mentions in a letter to Archbishop Laud. The first public commencement in the College was held on Shrove Tuesday, 1600-1. In October, 1601, we first find the name of Ussher subscribed to a College document, a consent on the part of the Fellows to the appointment of John Alvey to the Provostship. Travers, who had been the first Provost (for the appointment of Archbishop Loftus was merely nominal), left the College in 1598, frightened, as it is said, by the disturbances in Ireland, or more probably feeling that his great support was lost by the death of Lord Burleigh. The Fellows did not proceed to an election, and the College was without a Provost till 1601, when the Queen named Henry Alvey.

The extraordinary selections made by the English government for the management of the infant Irish College must have materially contributed to influence the early theological opinions of Ussher. The newly-founded society must have been considered by Lord Burleigh, and others of his party, as a proper refuge for Puritans, who would not have been tolerated in any similar position in England. No other reason can be assigned for the selection of Travers, perhaps the most improper man in England

* See Works, vol. xv., p. 551.

The form was as follows:

"Actum est 8vo die Oct., 1601., Regni Reginæ Eliz. 43. "Noverint universi per præsentes, quod cum magister Gualterus Travers nuper Collegii Sanctæ et Individuæ Trinitatis Reginæ Eliz., juxta Dublin dignissimus Præpositus esset, eodemque munere per quinquennum fidelissime fungeretur, quod nunc in ejus locum magister Henricus Alvey, qui binis Sociorum Collegii publicisque regni senatorum literis vocatus et invitatus fuit, nobis ejusdem Collegii Sociis et prælectoribus consentientibus, suffectus sit. In cujus rei testimonium nomina infra subscripsimus anno et die supra memoratis.


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