Newport, Maurice (DNB00)

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NEWPORT verè Ewens, MAURICE (1611–1687), jesuit, son of John Ewens and his wife, Elizabeth Keynes, was born in Somerset in 1611. After studying humanities in the College of the English Jesuits at St. Omer, he entered the English College at Rome for his higher studies 18 Oct. 1628. He was ordained priest at Rome 13 Nov. 1634, and left the college for Belgium, by leave of the pope, 26 April 1635, in order to join the Society of Jesus. He was admitted at Watten, near St. Omer, the same year, under the assumed name of Maurice Newport, by which he was always known. On 23 Nov. 1643 he was professed of the four vows. After a course of teaching in the College of St. Omer, he was sent to the English mission, and stationed in the Hampshire district in 1644. Subsequently he continued his labours in the Devonshire and Oxford districts, and finally in the London district, of which he was declared rector 17 May 1666, and where he remained till the time of Oates's ‘Popish Plot’ (1678–9), when he succeeded in effecting his escape to Belgium. For some years he resided in the colleges of his order at Ghent and Liège, but eventually he returned to London, where he died on 4 Dec. 1687.

He was the author of a Latin poem, much admired at the time, entitled ‘Votum Candidum,’ being a congratulatory effusion, dedicated to Charles II, London, 1665, 4to; 2nd edit., ‘emendatior,’ London, 1669, 8vo; 3rd edit., ‘ab autore recognita,’ London, 1676, 8vo; 4th edit., London, 1679, 4to, under the title of ‘Ob pacem toti fere Christiano orbi mediante Carolo II … redditam, ad eundem sereniss. principem Carmen Votivum.’ At the end of the third edition is an additional poem upon the birth, to James and Mary, duke and duchess of York, of their son Charles, the infant Duke of Cambridge, who died in December 1677.

Newport also wrote a manuscript treatise, ‘De Scientiâ Dei,’ preserved in the library at Salamanca; and Oliver conjectures that he was the author of ‘A Golden Censer full with the pretious Incense to the Praisers of Saints,’ Paris, 1654, dedicated to Queen Henrietta Maria.

[De Backer's Bibl. des Écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus, ii. 1521; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 319; Foley's Records, v. 299, vi. 316, 330, vii. 236; Oliver's Collectanea S. J. 149; Oliver's Cornwall, p. 364.]

T. C.