Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Faunt, Arthur

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FAUNT, ARTHUR, in religion Laurence Arthur (1554–1591), jesuit, born in 1554, was third son of William Faunt, esq., of Foston, Leicestershire, by his second wife, Jane, daughter of George Vincent, esq., of Peckleton, and widow of Nicholas Purefoy, esq., of Drayton. He was sent to Merton College, Oxford, in 1568, and placed under the tuition of John Potts, a noted philosopher, who had previously been his instructor in the country. Potts being a Roman catholic afterwards took Faunt away from Oxford with the consent of his parents, who were catholics also, and in the beginning of 1570 conducted him to Louvain and placed him in the jesuit college there. After graduating B.A. at Louvain he resided for some time in Paris, and then proceeded to Munich, where William, duke of Bavaria, chose him as his scholar, and maintained him in the university, where he commenced M.A. In 1575 he went to the English College at Rome, where he studied divinity, and changed his name to Laurence Arthur Faunt. Not long after he was constituted divinity reader in the college, and was in high favour with Pope Gregory XIII, who, in token of his affection, gave him license to make a seal, which, when appended to a document (drawn up by Faunt in favour of any of his countrymen), would enable the bearer to pass through foreign countries without fear of the Spanish inquisition or any other similar danger. It was supposed that if the pontiff's life had been prolonged he would have raised Faunt to the rank of cardinal.

When the king of Poland established a jesuit college at Posen, Faunt was appointed by the pope to be its first rector, and he accordingly left Rome on 10 June 1581. Alegambe states that he was professor of Greek at Posen for three years, and of moral theology and controversy for nine years (Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu, ed. Southwell, p. 538). He was highly esteemed by the spiritual and temporal estates of the Polish nation. A letter sent by him to his brother Anthony, dated Danzig, 1589, shows that he was sent for at the same time by three several princes (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 574). He died at Wilna, the capital of the province of Lithuania, in Poland, on 28 Feb. 1590–1.

His works are: 1. ‘Assertiones Theologicæ de Christi in terris Ecclesia,’ Posen, 1580, 4to. 2. ‘Assertiones Rhetoricæ ac Philosophicæ, quæ in Coll. Posnaniensi Soc. Jes. an. 1582 in solemni studiorum renovatione disputandæ proponuntur,’ Posen, 1582, 4to. 3. ‘Disputatio Theologica de D. Petri et Romani Pontificis successoris ejus in Ecclesia Christi principatu,’ Posen, 1583, 4to. 4. ‘Doctrina Catholica de Sanctorum invocatione et veneratione,’ Posen, 1584, 4to. 5. ‘De Christi in terris Ecclesia, quænam et penes quos existat, libri tres. In quibus Calvinianos, Lutheranos et cæteros, qui se Evangelicos nominant, alienos à Christi Ecclesia esse … demonstratur, et simul Apologia Assertionum ejusdem inscriptionis contra falsas Antonii Sadeelis criminationes continetur,’ Posen, 1584, 4to. 6. ‘Cœnæ Lutheranorum et Calvinianorum oppugnatio ac Catholicæ Eucharistiæ Defensio,’ 2 parts, Posen, 1586, 4to. The second part treats ‘De Augustissimo Missæ Sacrificio.’ 7. ‘De Controversiis inter Ordinem Ecclesiasticum et Secularem in Polonia, ex iure diuino, Regniq. Statutis, Priuilegijs, ac Præscriptione Tractatio’ [Cracow?], 1587, 4to; reprinted in 1632, and again in the ‘Opuscula,’ collected by Melchior Stephanidis, Cracow, 1632. 8. ‘Apologia libri sui de invocatione et veneratione Sanctorum, contra falsas Danielis Tossani, Theologiæ Calvinianæ Profess. Heidelbergen. Criminationes,’ Cologne, 1589, 8vo, Posen, 1590, 4to. 9. ‘Tractatus de controversiis inter ordinem ecclesiasticum & secularem in Polonia’ (anon.), 1592, 4to. 10. ‘De Ordinatione et Vocatione Ministrorum Lutheranorum et Calvinistarum, eorumque Sacramentis,’ Posen. 11. ‘Oratio habita in Synodo Petrocoviensi Provinciali. De causa et remediis Hereseῶn.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 572; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 789; Nichols's Leicestershire (1810), iv. 175, 176; More's Hist. Prov. Angl. Soc. Jesu, p. 17; Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 144; Fuller's Church Hist. (Brewer), v. 176; De Backer's Bibl. des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus (1854), ii. 181; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 89; Foley's Records, ii. 286, vi. 527, vii. 246; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 274; Burton's Leicestershire, p. 10.]

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