Wright, Peter (DNB00)

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WRIGHT, PETER (1603–1651), jesuit, was born at Slipton, Northamptonshire, in 1603 of poor parents, who were zealous catholics. After being engaged for ten years as clerk in a solicitor's office, he enlisted in the English army in Holland, but soon left it, and entered the Society of Jesus at Watten in 1629. In 1633 he was at Liège studying philosophy; in 1636 in the same college pursuing his theological course, and in 1639 prefect in the English jesuit college at St. Omer. He was appointed camp commissioner to the English and Irish forces at Ghent in 1642. Being sent to the English mission in 1643, he served for two years in the Oxford and Northampton district. He removed to London in 1646, was apprehended on 2 Feb. 1650–1, was committed to Newgate, tried for high treason under the statute 27 Elizabeth, condemned to death, and hanged at Tyburn on 19 May (O.S.) 1651.

Among the manuscripts at Stonyhurst College are sixty-two of his sermons, preached in the course of a year. His portrait has been engraved by C. Galle, and again by J. Thane.

[An account of Wright appeared under the title of ‘R. P. Petri Writi … Mors, quam ob fidem passus est Londini xxix Maii 1651’ [Antwerp, 1651], 12mo. It was translated into Italian (Bologna, 1651) and into Dutch (Antwerp 1651). See also Challoner's Memoirs of Missionary Priests; Dodd's Church Hist.; Florus Anglo-Bavaricus, p. 84; Foley's Records, ii. 506–64, vii. 870; Granger's Biogr. Hist. of England, 5th edit. iii. 348; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 229; Tanner's Societas Jesu, 1675.]

T. C.