Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wadding, Peter

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WADDING, PETER (1581?–1644), jesuit, born at Waterford in 1581 or 1583, was son of Thomas Wadding and his wife, Mary Vallesia. Both father and mother are said to have been of good family. Luke Wadding [q. v.] was his first cousin. Peter studied humanities for seven years in Ireland, and then proceeded to Douai, where he graduates M.A., and subsequently doctor of both laws as well as of divinity. He was admitted to the Company of Jesus on 24 Oct. 1601 by Father Oliveræus, the provincial of Flanders, and commenced his novitiate at Tournay on 28 Nov. following. Eventually he became professor of theology first at Louvain, and then at Antwerp. While at Antwerp Wadding had a controversy with the famous Arminian Simon Bisscop or Episcopius (1583-1643). The disputations of both were published in Dutch after their death in one volume, entitled ‘Twee brieven van den gelerden Peter Wading in sijn leven Jesuit tot Antwerpen: d’eene, van den Regel des Geloofs; d’andere, van den beeldendienst …’ Amsterdam, 1649, 4to (British Museum). Subsequently Wadding was transferred to Prague, becoming professor of theology and chancellor of the university there. His position involved him in disputes with the archbishop of Prague on the latter's claim to be chancellor of, and to exercise jurisdiction over, the university. On 30 Nov. 1632 Wadding completed a ‘Brevis Refutatio Calumniarum quas Collegio Societatis Jesu Pragensi impegit scriptor famosi libelli cui titulus “Flagellum Jesuitarum,” præsertim in negotio Academiæ Pragnensis…’ Nissa, 1634, 4to. This was followed by a solid work of 656 pages, entitled ‘R. P. Petri Wadingi Waterfordiensis Hibernie Soc. Jesu S. Theologiæ professoris, olim in Lovaniensi nunc in Pragensi Academia professoris Tractatus de Incarnatione,’ Antwerp, 1636, 8vo. In the following year he published an ‘Oratio Pragæ dicta,’ congratulating Ferdinand III on his election as emperor. The last years of his life were spent at Gratz, where also he was professor of theology and chancellor,. He died there on 13 Sept. 1644.

Besides the works mentioned, Wadding’s contemporary fellow Jesuit, Ribadeneira, says he published under a pseudonym, ‘Carmina varia et alia spectantia ad disciplinas humaniores,’ and ‘Tractatus aliquos contra Hæreticos’ (Ribadeneira, Bibl. Scriptt. Soc. Jesu, 1643, p.402). A manuscript volume in the Bodleian Library contains various other treatises by him (Tanner, p.744).

[Works in Brit. Museum Library; Foley’s Collections, vii. 799; Ware’s Irish Writers, ed. Harris; Webb’s Compendium of Irish Biogr.; authorities cited.]

A. F. P.