Campian, Edmund

, an ingenious Roman catholic writer, was born in London in 1540, and educated at Christ’s hospital. Being a boy of great parts, he was selected while at school, to make an oration before queen Mary at her accession to the crown; and from thence elected scholar of St. John’s college in Oxford by Thomas White, the founder of it, in 1553. He took his degrees of B. and M. A. regularly, and afterwards went into orders. In 1566, when queen Elizabeth was entertained at Oxford, he made an oration before her, and also kept an act in St. Mary’s church, with very great applause from that learned queen. In 1568, he went into Ireland, where he wrote a history of that country in two books; but being then discovered to have embraced the popish religion, and to labour for proselytes, he was seized and detained for some time. He escaped soon after into England; but in 1571 transported himself into the Low Countries, and settled in the English college of Jesuits at Doway, where he openly renounced the protestant religion, and had the degree of B. D. conferred upon him. From thence he went to Rome, where he was admitted into the society of Jesuits in 1573; and afterwards sent by the general of his order into Germany. He lived for some time in Brune, and then at Vienna where he composed a tragedy, called “Nectar and Ambrosia,” which was acted before the emperor with great applause. Soon after he settled at Prague in Bohemia, and taught rhetoric and philosophy for about six years in a college of Jesuits, which had been newly erected there. At length being called to Rome, he was sent by the command of pope Gregory XIII. into England, where he arrived in June 1580. Here he performed all the offices of a zealous provincial, and was diligent in propagating his religion by all the arts of conversation and Writing. He seems to have challenged the English clergy | to a disputation, by a piece entitled “Rationes decem oblati certaminis in causa fidei, redditse academicis Angliae,” which was printed at a private press in 1581; and many copies of which, as Wood tells us, were dispersed that year in St. Mary’s church at Oxford, during the time of an act. It was afterwards printed in English, and ably refuted by the English divines. In short, Campian, though nobody knew where he was, was yet so active as to fall under the cognizance of Walsingham, secretary of state; and Walsingham employed a person to find him out. He was at last discovered in disguise at the house of a private gentleman in Berks, from whence he was conveyed iiv great procession to the Tower of London, with a paper fastened to his hat, on which was written “Edmund Campian, a most pernicious Jesuit.” Afterwards, having been found guilty of high treason in adhering to the bishop of Rome, the queen’s enemy, and in coming to England todisturb the peace and quiet of the realm, he was hanged and quartered, with other Romish priests, at Tyburn, December 1, 1581.

All parties allow him to have been a most extraordinary: man; of admirable parts, an eloquent orator, a subtile philosopher and skilful disputant, an exact preacher both in Latin and English, and a man of good temper and address. Besides the works already mentioned, he wrote, 1. “Nine Articles directed to the lords of the privy-council,1581. 2.“The History of Ireland,” noticed above, published by sir James Ware, Dublin, 1633, fol. The original ms. is in the British Museum. 3. “Chronologia universalis.” 4. te Conferences in the Tower,“published by the English divines, 1583, 4to. 5 r” Nar ratio de Divortio,“Antwerp, 1631. 6.” Orationes,“ibid. 1631. 7.” Epistoke variee,“ibid. 1631. 8.” De Imitatione Rhetorica," ibid. 1631. His life, written by Paul Bombino, a Jesuit, is very scarce the best edition is that of Mantua, 1620, 8vo. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. I. —Strype’s Parker, p. 375. —Strype’s Grindal, p. 256, and Annals. See Index. Archseologia, vol. XIII, Dodd’s Church Hist. vol. II. Alegarnbe Bibl. Soc. Script. Jesu.