Rishton, Edward (DNB00)

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RISHTON, EDWARD (1550–1586), catholic divine, descended from an ancient family near Blackburn, Lancashire, was born in the diocese of Chester in 1550. He became a student at Oxford about 1568, ‘as it seems in Brasenose College,’ and he graduated B.A. on 30 April 1572 (Oxford Univ. Register, vol. ii. pt. iii. p. 15). Soon afterwards he withdrew to the continent, and began to study theology in the English College at Douay on 1 Oct. 1573. On 10 Nov. 1576 he and John Wright, B.D., were sent to Rheims to prepare the way for the migration to that city of their brethren in Douay. He was ordained priest at Cambray on 6 April 1577. In the same year he was sent to Rome, whence he returned to Douay in 1580, and was appointed to the English mission. On 20 Nov. 1581 he, with Edmund Campion [q. v.], Ralph Sherwin, and other priests, was tried for high treason at Westminster, and condemned to death (Stow, Annales, p. 695). The capital sentence, however, was not executed upon him, and he was among the twenty-one jesuits, seminarists, and other ‘massing priests’ who, on 21 Jan. 1584–5, were shipped at the Tower wharf to be conveyed to France, and banished the realm for ever. They were landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer, and were sent under conduct to Abbeville (Holinshed, Chronicles, iii. 1379, 1380). Rishton arrived at the college of Douay, then temporarily settled at Rheims, on 3 March 1584–5. After a brief sojourn there he proceeded to the university of Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, with the intention of taking a degree in divinity. He soon fled from that place, in order to avoid the plague, but became infected with the malady, and died near Sainte-Ménehould on 29 June 1586 (Dodd, Church Hist. ii. 74). He was buried there by the care of John Barnes [q. v.], a Benedictine.

Rishton corrected and completed an imperfect work in Latin on the history of the Reformation in England. This had been left to him by its author, Dr. Nicholas Sanders [q. v.], at his death, together with a small portion of a continuation beginning with the reign of Elizabeth. The work was published as ‘De Origine ac Progressu Schismatis Anglicani,’ Cologne, 1585, 8vo. In the continuation, ‘which was, in a manner, all his,’ Rishton printed two tracts, ‘Rerum pro religione catholica ac in turri Londinensi gestarum, ab an. 1580 ad an. usque 1585, indiculus seu diarium,’ and ‘Religiosorum et sacerdotum nomina, qui pro defensione primatus Romanæ Ecclesiæ per Martyrium consummati sunt, sub Henrico VIII Angliæ Rege.’ The latter is mostly extracted from Sanders's book, ‘De visibili Monarchia Ecclesiæ.’

Rishton's other works are: 1. ‘Synopsis rerum ecclesiasticarum ad annum Christi 1577,’ Douay, by Jean Bogard, 1595, fol.; a chronological table drawn up in twelve columns for the use of the English students at Douay. 2. ‘Schema per provocationem catholici ad protestantem doctum de differentiis inter visibilem ecclesiam Romanam, et occultum ac inauditum protestantium cœtum,’ Douay, 1575, 12mo. This work, which is mentioned by Tanner, is in English; it begins with the words ‘Firste, seeing it cannot be denyed.’ 3. ‘Profession of his Faith made manifest, and confirmed by twenty-four Reasons or Motives.’

[Buckley and Madan's Brasenose Cal. p. 6; Camden's Annals, translated by R. N. 1635, p. 262; Duthillœul, Bibl. Douaisienne, 1842, p. 42; Foley's Records, vi. 69, 132; Foster's Alumni Oxon. early ser. iii. 1259; Law's Conflict between Seculars and Regulars, p. xxxix; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 787; Records of the English Catholics, i. 438, ii. 475; Sanders's Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism (Lewis), introd. pp. xiv and 379; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 634; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 511, and Fasti, i. 189.]

T. C.