Anderson, Patrick (1575-1624) (DNB00)

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ANDERSON, PATRICK (1575–1624), a Scotch Jesuit, was a native of Elgin or Moray, his mother being a sister of Dr. John Leslie, bishop of Ross. After a rudimentary education at the Elgin grammar school, and a course of classical study in the university of Edinburgh, he entered the Society of Jesus at Rome in 1597, and in due time acquired the reputation of an eminent linguist, mathematician, philosopher, and divine. Being sent home as a missioner, he arrived in London in November 1609, and proceeded at once to his native country, where his ministerial labours were highly successful, and his hairbreadth escapes from his persecutors very marvellous. He left Scotland for Paris to meet his superior, Father James Gordon (Huntly), late in 1611. It is a remarkable fact that at the time of his departure there was but one priest in all Scotland. To supply this dearth Anderson collected nearly a hundred promising youths who were eager to enter the priesthood. In 1615 he became the first Jesuit rector of the Scotch college in Rome. Returning to Scotland he was betrayed by a pretended Catholic and committed to the Tolbooth in Edinburgh. During his rigid confinement there he held several polemic conferences with presbyterian divines, and gave proofs of his learning and constancy. He was threatened with the barbarous torture of the ‘boots,’ and was daily expecting death when he was liberated by the intercession, it is believed, of the French ambassador, the Marquis Deffiat, who chose him for his confessor. He died in London 24 Sept. 1624. His works are: 1. ‘The Grovnd of the Catholike and Roman Religion in the Word of God. With the Antiquity and Continuance therof, throughout all Kingdomes and Ages. Collected out of diuers Conferences, Discourses, and Disputes, which M. Patricke Anderson, of the Society of Iesvs, had at seuerall tymes with sundry Bishops and Ministers of Scotland, at his last imprisonment in Edenburgh, for the Catholike Faith, in the yeares of our Lord 1620 and 1621. Sent vnto an Honourable Personage by the Compyler and Prisoner himselfe.’ 3 parts or vols. 1623, 4to. 2. ‘Memoirs of the Scotch Saints.’ MS. formerly preserved in the Scotch College at Paris. 3. Father de Backer mentions, in his list of Anderson's works, ‘Copia de las Cartas que se embiaron de Escocia a nuestro Padre Claudio Aquaviva, Preposito general de la Compañia de Jesus, por un Padre de Escocia, de la misma Compañia a quatro de Enero del año 1612. Por este relacion se puede ver el estado bueno de las cosas de la Christianidad de Escocia, fol. 10 ff. De Escocia, á quatro de Enero, 1612. De V. P. hijo, y siervo indigno Patricio Andersono.’

[Oliver's Collectanea S. J. 16; Foley's Records, vii. 9; Ribadeneira, Bibl. Script. Soc. Jesu, ed. Southwell, 645; Dodd's Church History (1737), ii. 393; De Backer, Bibliothèque des Écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus (1869), i. 147; Catholic Mag. and Review (Birmingham, 1835), vi. 17.]

T. C.