Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/35

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25
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF LISBON COLLEGE.

ticularly by the members of the College who had an opportunity of witnessing his zeal and prudence in the government of the House.

By the Bulls of Institution of the College, the privilege had been granted to the Presidents of presenting their subjects to Holy Orders without any other examination except that of the Superiors.

Some objection seems to have been made by the local authorities to the exercise of this privilege, and it was owing to the exertions of Dr. Clayton that permission for its exercise was obtained from the Inquisitor and Chapter of Lisbon, and this has been the practice ever since.

Those who have completed their Course at Lisbon, will readily appreciate the benefit of this concession.

Dr. Clayton left a considerable sum of money to the College and also all his books.

In the same year in which Dr. Clayton died, 1653, we find recorded in the College Annals, a remarkable instance of special Providence in the preservation of the life of the Rev. Daniel Fitter who, after the completion of his Course, having been ordained, was returning to England via Holland, a route which for greater security in those days of persecution, our missionaries not unfrequently took. The Dutch vessel in which he sailed fell in on its passage with a Spanish Privateer. As the two nations were at war an action immediately ensued, in the course of which the powder magazine onboard the Dutch vessel caught fire and the vessel was blown up with a tremendous explosion. Father Fitter was carried a considerable height into the air together with the ship's boat which, luckily coming down into the water in its natural position, received him as he fell. One of his legs and three of his ribs were broken, but his life was saved. The Spaniards finding him to be a Catholic priest showed him every attention and took him to Ostend, from which place, after being healed of the fractures which he had sustained, he made his way to England where he lived many years in the service of the Mission.