Sall, Andrew (DNB00)
|←Salkeld, William||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 50
SALL, ANDREW (1612–1682), Irish jesuit, born at Cashel in 1612, belonged to a good old family whose tombs are still preserved there. His father's name is nowhere mentioned. He was educated at St. Omer for the priesthood, and became a jesuit. From 1652 to 1655 he was rector of the Irish College at Salamanca, and ‘reader in the chair of controversy against heresy there,’ in which capacity he was licensed by the Spanish inquisitor-general to read prohibited books. He was at the same time professor of moral theology. Afterwards he was professor of divinity in the colleges of Pampeluna, Palencia, and Tudela, all in the north of Spain. During his residence at Pampeluna he was intimate with Nicholas French [q. v.], who called him his ‘unicum solatium’ in exile there (Preface to Sall's Catholic and Apostolic Faith). The jesuits' fourth vow, that of special allegiance and obedience to the pope, was taken by Sall at Valladolid, probably in 1657 or 1658. This vow admits to the highest rank of the order, and by the constitution is not taken before the age of forty-five. In October 1659 Sall was at Nantes, whence he wrote a letter about the sufferings of his church in Ireland (Moran, Spicilegium Ossoriense, i. 428).
The exact date of Sall's return to Ireland does not appear, but he was provincial superior of the Irish jesuits in July 1664 (Walsh, Remonstrance, pp. 495, 575, 579), and not before the winter of 1662 (ib. pp. 84, 670). On 15 June 1666 he subscribed officially to the loyal remonstrance of the Roman catholic clergy (ib. p. 684). Sall's long and varied theological studies had the effect of making him doubt whether the church of England was not more in the right than the church of Rome. He argued the point for six years with Thomas Price [q. v.], the protestant archbishop of Cashel, but without making any public declaration. Rumours of his intended change were in circulation about the beginning of 1674, and Sall believed his life to be in danger. Price, with the mayor and ‘other English gentlemen of the city of Cashel,’ sent a mounted party to bring him safe to the archiepiscopal palace. Sall remained under Price's protection, and publicly challenged the Roman catholics to resolve his doubts. On 17 May 1674, being the fourth Sunday after Easter, Sall made a public declaration of his adhesion to the church of England in St. John's Church, Cashel. Sall considered his new confession a ‘safer way for salvation than the Romish church,’ but admits that he would probably not have declared himself openly but for Essex's proclamation ordering regular priests to leave Ireland, which grew out of the proceedings of the English parliament in January 1673–4. After taking the final leap Sall went to Dublin, and John Free, superior of the Irish jesuits, invited him to a private conference; but this he declined on the ground that his case was already public. On 5 July he preached in Christ Church Cathedral, when he explained and amplified the Cashel declaration.
Sall went into residence in Trinity College, Dublin, and was admitted to the degree of D.D. He published a thesis with two main points—that there is salvation outside the Roman church, and that the church of England way to it is safer than that of Rome. By leave of Primate James Margetson [q. v.] and the college authorities he invited several learned Roman catholic doctors to argue publicly with him, but they could hardly have done so safely, and refused. Protestant graduates then took up the Roman side, and argued it ably, even by the confession of those whom Sall had challenged.
In July 1675 Sall went to Oxford, and was admitted to read in the Bodleian on 2 Aug. (Wood, Life, ii. 305). His position was strengthened by a letter from the Duke of Ormonde as chancellor of the university. Peter Walsh [q. v.], writing from London on 1 Aug. to Bishop French, says: ‘Andrew Sall himself, that very gentleman whose “doleful fall” you sent me, is come hither last week and much caressed by several persons of high quality, amongst whom is the Earl of Orrery. One of the greatest of them says his talent is not preaching. He is nevertheless in good repute among all the Church of England men’ (Four Letters, p. 69). In September Sall received an anonymous letter containing a bull of Clement X, who promised him absolution if he would return to the fold. In the meantime his Dublin thesis had elicited a ‘shower of books’ against him. One was by J. E. printed at Louvain, and dedicated to Mary of Modena; another was the ‘Doleful Fall of Andrew Sall,’ by Bishop Nicholas French [q. v.], calling himself N. N.; and a third by Ignatius Brown, a jesuit, who wrote under the name of J. S. According to Peter Walsh, French's attack rather added to Sall's reputation, for he allowed him learning and virtue. In answer to these assailants Sall published his ‘True Catholic and Apostolic Faith,’ which was licensed by the vice-chancellor on 23 June 1676, and printed ‘at the theater in Oxford.’ This book is Sall's apology for himself, and also a vigorous but temperate statement of the case for the church of England against Rome. Three hundred copies were at once taken up in Oxford, and a second edition was in preparation within two days of the first publication (Cotton, ii. 137). Sall was created D.D. on 22 June 1676, and ‘in the act this year at the vespers disputed very briskly’ (Wood, Life, ii. 342, 350). Besides the serious attacks on Sall, the library of Trinity College, Dublin, contains a stupid and abusive contemporary poem, entitled ‘A Counterpoyson for to enchant that enchanted enchanting forsworn wretch Andrew Sall.’
Sall resided at first in Wadham College. He afterwards removed to a house in Holywell Street close by, but his health was not good there, and ‘by the favour of Dr. Fell he removed to convenient lodgings in the cloister at Ch. Ch., near the chaplain's quadrangle, where he remained about two years’ (Fasti Oxon. ii. 356). He printed two books at Oxford in 1680, but returned to Ireland early in that year.
Sall gave up a good position and a certainty of preferment in the church of Rome, but he was not allowed to suffer much on that account. In 1675 he was presented by the crown to the prebend of Swords in St. Patrick's, Dublin, and in 1676 he was made chancellor of Cashel. He had, besides the rectory of Kilfithmone with other benefices in Cashel, the rectory of Dungourney in Cloyne, and two livings in Meath (Cotton, i. 44, v. 7). These Irish preferments were estimated at between 300l. and 400l. a year. Sall was also domestic chaplain to the king. Tanner had been told that he was chantor of St. David's by royal dispensation (Fasti Oxon. ii. 356), and Wood says this Welsh appointment was worth 80l. or 100l. a year, but Le Neve ignores it.
From November 1680 till his death, he lived at Dublin in the ‘next house to Young's Castle in Oxmanstown,’ on the left bank of the Liffey (Boyle, Works, v. 608). He had made some progress towards the completion of a system of philosophy, but laid all aside to advance Robert Boyle's plan of an Irish bible. With Boyle he had made friends in England, and spoke of his sister-in-law, Lady Burlington, as ‘among the best women I ever knew’ (ib. p. 605). With the translation of the New Testament into Irish it was only a question of a new edition. Bedell's translation of the Old Testament, which was unpublished, was in the hands of Henry Jones [q. v.], bishop of Meath [see Bedell, William]. After some time the manuscript reached Sall's hands, but he found it ‘a confused heap, pitifully defaced and broken’ (Boyle, Works, v. 606). With this and ‘another uncouth bulk’ sent him from Trinity College, he hoped to make up a complete Old Testament. The Irish types provided by Queen Elizabeth for the conversion of Ireland had been spirited away to Douay, where they did service on the other side; but a new fount was now cast in London, and a skilful printer specially instructed in its use (Boyle, Life, pp. 365, 392). Before the middle of February 1681–1682 twelve sheets were ready for the press. Sall also wrote a preface in which he was partly guided by the work of the French Jansenists. Boyle thought him particularly fit for this work, as ‘an able man and well acquainted with the humour and opinions of his countrymen’ (ib. p. 378). Of these labours Sall was not destined to make a full end, for he died unexpectedly on the evening of 5 April 1682, and was buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral. ‘He was,’ says Boyle (Works, v. 234), ‘a worthy and useful person, whose death I look upon especially at this juncture as a great loss, not only to those that knew him, but to the Church of Ireland in general.’ Narcissus Marsh [q. v.] (afterwards primate) took up the unfinished work. ‘The design,’ he says, ‘of printing the Old Testament in the Irish language has received a great (but I hope not a fatal) stroke, by the death of Dr. Sall’ (ib. p. 610).
Sall's published works are: 1. ‘A Declaration for the Church of England,’ Dublin, 12mo; London, 4to, 1674. 2. ‘A Sermon preached at Christ Church, Dublin, on Matt. xxiv. 15–18,’ Dublin, 4to, 1874 and 1875. There is a French version of this in the Bodleian Library, London, 8vo, 1675; but it is not in the British Museum nor in Trinity College, Dublin. 3. ‘True Catholic and Apostolic Faith,’ dedicated to Essex, Oxford, 8vo, 1676. 4. ‘Votum pro pace Christiana,’ Oxford, 4to, 1678, and 8vo, 1680. 5. ‘Ethica sive Moralis Philosophia,’ Oxford, 8vo, 1680. All the above are rare; the second and third were republished in 1840 and 1841 respectively by Josiah Allport.[Sall's own writings contain many autobiographical details, and upon them the notices in Ware's Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, and in Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ are chiefly founded. Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, and his Life and Times, ed. Clark; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Walsh's Hist. of the Remonstrance, and his Four Letters to Persons of Quality; Birch's Life of Robert Boyle, 8vo, and his folio edition of Boyle's Works, vol. v.; Bedell's Life, ed. Jones (Camden Soc.); Le Neve's Fasti Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ. Some of Sall's letters are preserved at Kilkenny Castle (Hist. MSS. Comm. 3rd Rep.)]