Reyner, Clement (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 48
Reyner, Clement

by Thompson Cooper
Contains subarticle William Reyner (fl. 1619).

REYNER, CLEMENT, D.D. (1589–1651), abbot of Lambspring or Lansperg in Germany, born in Yorkshire in 1589, made his profession as a Benedictine monk in the monastery of St. Laurence at Dieulward in Lorraine in 1610, and pursued his studies in St. Gregory's monastery at Douay. Subsequently he was sent to the English mission, and he was suffering imprisonment in his native county, on account of his sacerdotal character, on 1 April 1618. On his release he was employed in reforming the great monastery of St. Peter at Ghent. He graduated D.D. probably at Douay, and acted as secretary to the president of his order from 1621 to 1629. Being sent to Germany to negotiate the transfer of monasteries from the Bursfeld congregation, he was for half a year superior of the monastery of Rinteln, and was subsequently president-general of his order from 1635 to 1641. At the ninth general chapter held in 1643 he was declared the first abbot of Lambspring. He died at Hildesheim on 17 March 1650–1 (Snow, Necrology, p. 52). His remains were taken to Lambspring in 1692, and buried in the church there.

To Reyner bibliographers always attribute the authorship of the valuable historical work entitled ‘Apostolatus Benedictinorum in Anglia, sive Disceptatio Historica de Antiquitate Ordinis Congregationisque Monachorum Nigrorum S. Benedicti in regno Angliæ,’ Douay, 1626, fol. The materials for this work were collected by Father David Baker [q. v.] His friend, Father John Jones, D.D. (1575–1636) [q. v.], alias Leander à S. Martino, reduced the mass of materials into respectable latinity, and they left Reyner to edit the work, so that it passes for being finished ‘operâ et industriâ R. P. Clementis Reyneri.’ In the dedication to Cardinal Bentivoglio, Reyner candidly says: ‘Non author operis sum, sed jussu congregationis editor et dedicator’ (Dodd, Church Hist. ed. Tierney, iv. 97 n.)

A contemporary, William Reyner (fl. 1619), who was educated in Paris at the charge of his relative, Richard Smith (1566–1655) [q. v.], and afterwards resided at Arras College in Paris, published translations into Latin of the following: (1) Brereley's ‘Protestant Apology,’ Paris, 1615; (2) Stapleton's ‘Fortress of Faith,’ 1619; (3) Stapleton's ‘Protestancy and its Authors’ (Dodd, Church History, ii. 379).

[Dodd's Church Hist. 1st edit. ii. 408; Duthillœul's Bibl. Douaisienne, 2nd edit. p. 199; Gillow's Biogr. Dict. iii. 665; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. x. 268, 349; Oliver's Catholic Religion in Cornwall, pp. 493, 503, 522, 535; Petre's Notices of English Colleges, p. 33; Rambler (1850), vii. 426; Weldon's Chronological Notes, p. 91.]

T. C.