Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Harcourt, William (1625-1679)

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William Aylworth in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

HARCOURT, WILLIAM (1625–1679), Jesuit, whose real name was Aylworth, born in Monmouthshire in 1625, entered the Society of Jesus at Watten in 1641. He taught first philosophy and then theology at Liège for eleven years, and afterwards spent nine years as a missioner, partly in Holland and partly in England. While in this country he resided with the Pierrepoints of Holbeck Hall, Nottinghamshire. During the excitement consequent on Titus Oates's plot he had some narrow escapes, and a large reward was offered for his apprehension. He contrived, however, to escape to Holland, and died at Haarlem on 10 Sept. 1679.

He is the author of: 1. 'Metaphysica Scholastica; in qua ab Ente per ejus V propositiones disputando ad Deum, pleræque philosophicæ, et non paucæ theologicæ difficultates elucidantur,' Cologne, 1675, fol., dedicated to Gervase, lord Pierrepoint. 2. 'The Escape of the Rev. William Harcourt, verè Aylworth, from the hands of the Heretics,' 1679; manuscript in the Public Record Office, Brussels. Printed in Foley's 'Records.'

[De Backer's Bibl. des Écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus; Florus Anglo-Bavaricus, p. 49; Foley's Records, v. 479, vii. 24; Gillow's Dict. of English Catholics; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 112; Southwell's Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu.]

T. C.