Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clenocke, Maurice

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CLENOCKE or CLYNOG, MAURICE (d. 1580?), divine, was a native of Wales, and educated at Oxford, where he was admitted B.C.L. in 1548. Having taken orders, he became in Queen Mary's reign chaplain, servant, and domestic to Cardinal Pole, rector of Orpington, Kent, and dean of Shoreham and Croydon (Strype, Memorials, iii. 390, folio). In 1556 he was presented by Bishop Goldwell to the rectory of Corwen or Cwrr Owen, in the diocese of St. Asaph (Willis, Survey of St. Asaph, ed. 1801, i. 271). On the decease of Dr. William Glyn, bishop of Bangor, in May 1558, Clenocke was nominated by Queen Mary to be his successor, but was never consecrated. On Elizabeth's accession he was obliged to surrender all his preferments for refusing to comply with the court measures. In 1560 he travelled to Rome with Thomas Goldwell, bishop of St. Asaph. In the Vatican collections there is a paper written about that time apparently for the purpose of supplying the holy see with information which might be of service in the event of the pope filling the vacant sees in England. This document states that Clenocke 'is a good man, but is no preacher. He is worthy of the see of Bangor, to which he has been nominated' (Brady, Episcopal Succession, ii. 324). In 1567 he was a camerarius of the Hospital of the English Pilgrims at Rome, and subsequently he became its custos or warden. Pope Gregory XIII ordered the suppression of the hospital until the kingdom of England should return to the catholic church, and converted the institution into a college. In 1578 Clenocke, the last warden of the hospital, was made the first rector of the English college. A commotion was excited among the English students by his alleged favouritism to the Welsh. There were thirty-three English students in the college, and only seven Welshmen. The English students at but broke out in open mutiny (February 1578-9), and declared that they would leave Rome in a body unless another rector were appointed, and petitioned the pope to entrust the college to the government of the Society of Jesus. A detailed account of this dispute is given by Canon Tierney in his edition of Dodd (Church History, ii. 167-76). In March 1578-9 the pope gave over the management of the college entirely to the Jesuits, and on 23 April 1579 Father Alfonso Agazzari was appointed rector. The Jesuits retained the charge of the college till the suppression of their order by Clement XIV in 1773.

Clenocke, who is often called 'Dr. Maurice,' retired about 1580 to Rouen, where he embarked on board a ship bound for Spain, and was drowned at sea.

[Academy, xvi. 376; Letters and Memorials of Card. Allen, 69, 74, 77, 79, 82; Boose's Register of Univ. of Oxford, i. 215; Catholic Mag. and Review (1832), ii. 357, 358, 412, 415; Catholic Miscellany, vi. 255; Constable's Specimen of Amendments to Dodd's Church Hist. 48 seq.; Dodd's Church Hist. i. 513; Dodd's Apology for the Church Hist. 6, 89-91; Flanagan's Hist. of the Church in England. ii. 196, 197, 251; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. i. 501; Husenbeth's Colleges and Convents on the Continent, 5, 6; Munday's English Romayne Lyfe (1582), 60 seq.; Simpson's Life of Campion, 97; Strype's Annals (fol.), iii. 474; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 786, Fasti, i. 126,208.]

T. C.