Mush, John (DNB00)
MUSH, JOHN (1552–1617), Roman catholic divine, was born in Yorkshire in 1552. When twenty-five years of age he passed over to the English seminary at Douay, and in the October following was sent with a few select students to join the English College at Rome, in the first year of its foundation. After spending seven years there he was sent upon the mission, carrying with him a reputation for learning and scholarship. Mush was highly esteemed by Cardinal Allen, who at one time thought of appointing him vice-president of the Rheims seminary in the place of Dr. Richard Barret [q. v.], who intended to go into England. In England Mush's character and abilities marked him out as the leader of the northern clergy. He came forward prominently at the crisis in the affairs of the clergy, when the grave dissensions among the priests confined in Wisbech Castle threatened to bring ruin or disgrace upon the mission. In company with Dr. Dudley he visited the prisoners as a chosen arbitrator in the dispute. Failing to bring about a reconciliation, he with his friend John Colleton [q. v.] projected the ' association ' which was intended in the absence of episcopal government to supply the secular clergy with some system of voluntary organisation. Thwarted in this scheme by the opposition of the Jesuit party, and by the unexpected appointment of George Blackwell [q. v.], said to be a creature of Father Parsons, as archpriest, Mush threw himself earnestly, though never with violence or misrepresentation, on the side of the appellant priests, who denied the legality of the appointment until it was confirmed by the pope, and finally appealed to Rome against the tyranny of Blackwell and the political scheming of the Jesuits. Mush was one of the thirty-three priests who signed this appeal, 17 Nov. 1600, and was later on, 3 Jan. 1603, one of the thirteen who signed the protestation of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth.
For his conduct in the prosecution of the appeal Mush was more than once suspended by the archpriest. In 1602 he was one of the four deputies who, with the connivance of the English government, were sent to Rome to lay the grievances of the anti-jesuit and loyal section of the clergy before Clement VIII. Mush has left a record of these negotiations, which were protracted at Rome for nine months, in a 'Diary,' which is preserved among the Petyt MSS. in the Inner Temple (No. 538, vol. liv. ff. 190-9). Soon after the settlement of the dispute Mush became an assistant to the archpriest in accordance with the terms of the papal brief, which directed that three of the appellants should be so appointed on the first vacancies and he continued for many years to take a leading part in the government of the clergy.
Mush resided chiefly in Yorkshire, and was there the spiritual director of Mrs. Anne Clithero the martyr, whose life he wrote. Bishop Challoner, who writes with respect of Mush's missionary labours, says (i. 189) that 'after having suffered prisons and chains, and received even the sentence of death, for his faith, he died at length in his bed in a good old age in 1617.'
Mush was author of 'The Life and Death of Mistris Margaret Clitherow, who for the Profession of the Catholike Faith was Martyred at York in the Eight and Twentith Yeare of the Raine of Qu. Elizabeth in the yeare of our Lord God, 1586. Written presently after her death by her Spiritual Father, upon Certaine Knowledge of her Life and the Processes, Condemnation, and Death.' It was edited from the original manuscript by William Nicholson of Thelwall Hall, Cheshire, and printed by Richardson & Son, Derby, in 1849. Mush also wrote, according to Dodd, an account of the sufferings of the catholics in the northern parts of England, and a treatise against Thomas Bell, formerly a fellow student at Rome and missionary in Yorkshire, who joined the church of England and wrote several books of controversy. But neither of these works of Mush appears to be extant.
A work of more historical importance was his well-written treatise, which he dedicated to the pope, in defence of his brethren of the secular clergy in their conflicts with the Jesuits and Blackwell, giving the text of the appeal and ending with a letter of an earlier date, 1598, written by himself to Monsignor Morro, reviewing the causes of the dissensions at the English College at Rome. It is entitled 'Declaratio Motuum ac Turbationum quse ex controversiis inter jesuitas iisq. in omnibus faventem D. Georg. Blackwellum, Archipresbyterum et Sacerdotes Seminario rum in Anglia, ab obitu illmi Cardlia Alani pise Memorise ad annum usque 1601. Ad S. D. N. Clementem octavum exhibita ab ipsis sacerdotibus qui schismatis, aliorumq. criminum sunt insimulati. Rhotomagi apud Jacobum Molæum' [but probably London], 1601.
[A brief notice of Mush will be found in Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 115. See also Douay Diaries, pp. 101,111,297; Letters and Memorials of Allen, pp. 197, 356; Foley's Records, vi. 134; and Dr. Bagshaw's True Relation of the Faction begun at Wisbich (1601), printed in the Historical Sketch of the Conflicts between Jesuits and Seculars in the Reign of Elizabeth, by T. G. Law (London, 1889), pp. 52, 93, and Introduction.]