Salisbury, John (1575-1625) (DNB00)

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SALISBURY, JOHN (1575–1625), jesuit and Welsh scholar, born in 1575, is described as a native of Merionethshire, presumably a member of the Rûg branch of the Salisbury or Salesbury family. He entered the Jesuits' College of St. Albans, Valladolid, on 22 June 1595, was ordained priest on 21 Nov. 1600, and in May 1603 was sent to England, where in 1605 he entered the Society of Jesus, being then described as a ‘zealous missioner in North Wales.’ On 6 Dec. 1618 he took the vows of a professed father. On the death of Father Robert Jones, in 1615, Salisbury became superior of the then united North and South Wales district, taking up his residence at Raglan Castle, where he acted as chaplain to Lady Frances Somerset. By adding to some funds which his predecessor had begun to collect, he was enabled to found, in 1622, the college of St. Francis Xavier, of which he became superior. He was appointed procurator of the English province to Rome, but died in England while preparing himself for his journey thither in 1625.

Salisbury translated into Welsh Cardinal Bellarmine's large catechism on Christian doctrine, under the title ‘Eglurhad Helaethlawn o'r Athrawiaeth Gristnogawl.’ This is written in idiomatic Welsh, and was printed anonymously at the English Province press, St. Omer's College, in 1618 (16mo, pp. 348). In the colophon the translation is said to have been completed on 25 March 1618 (Brit. Mus.). Salisbury is said to have composed other works of piety.

He is to be distinguished from John Salisbury (fl. 1627), a member of the English College at Rome, and the author of a Latin poem, which bore the title ‘Panacrides Apes Musicis Concentibus Advocandæ ad Philosophicas Theses,’ which was published at Rome in 1627 (4to), along with three other poems by members of the same college—John Campian, Hadrian Talbot, and Thomas Grine or Grinus (Brit. Mus.).

[Foley's Records of the Jesuits, iv. 335, 392, 471, vii. 681, 1450; Y Cymmrodor, iv. 63–5; Rowlands's Cambrian Bibliography, p. 93.]

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