“Paths Coincident”

The Parallel Lives of Dr. Nicholas Sander and Edmund Campion, S.J.

in Journal of Jesuit Studies

Edmund Campion arrived in Dublin on August 25, 1570, on a travelling fellowship from St. John’s College, Oxford. This five-year leave of absence enabled him to postpone ordination in the Elizabethan church. Campion was invited to stay with the Recorder of Dublin, James Stanihurst, whose library was to satisfy his academic needs, and who was hoping that Campion might help with the university that formed a key part of the program of reform in Ireland. Campion had ignored calls from friends already at the English college in Douai to join them. Dublin was meant to be a quiet pause, allowing Campion to stay quietly within the establishment. It was not to be like that. This article argues that Ireland was the beginning and, thanks to the disastrous invasion in July 1579 by Nicholas Sander, the end of Campion’s troubles; that the rebellion stirred by Sander in Munster created such fear of an invasion in England that the Jesuit missionaries were doomed from the moment they landed at Dover one year later; that the radical arguments in favor of papal power to depose monarchs expressed in De visibili monarchia (1571), not the theological arguments for the Catholic and apostolic church in Rationes decem (1581), were at the center of Campion’s interrogations on the rack; and that the parallel lives of Campion and Sander reveal two completely contrasting views of the papacy, and of Rome.


Edmund Campion arrived in Dublin on August 25, 1570, on a travelling fellowship from St. John’s College, Oxford. This five-year leave of absence enabled him to postpone ordination in the Elizabethan church. Campion was invited to stay with the Recorder of Dublin, James Stanihurst, whose library was to satisfy his academic needs, and who was hoping that Campion might help with the university that formed a key part of the program of reform in Ireland. Campion had ignored calls from friends already at the English college in Douai to join them. Dublin was meant to be a quiet pause, allowing Campion to stay quietly within the establishment. It was not to be like that. This article argues that Ireland was the beginning and, thanks to the disastrous invasion in July 1579 by Nicholas Sander, the end of Campion’s troubles; that the rebellion stirred by Sander in Munster created such fear of an invasion in England that the Jesuit missionaries were doomed from the moment they landed at Dover one year later; that the radical arguments in favor of papal power to depose monarchs expressed in De visibili monarchia (1571), not the theological arguments for the Catholic and apostolic church in Rationes decem (1581), were at the center of Campion’s interrogations on the rack; and that the parallel lives of Campion and Sander reveal two completely contrasting views of the papacy, and of Rome.

No mortal eye could see

The intimate welding of their later history,

Or sign that they were bent

By paths coincident

On being anon twin halves of one august event.1

Edmund Campion had taken shelter in the secluded house of Sir Christopher Barnewall, where he spent ten weeks finishing the manuscript of his Two Bokes of the Histories of Ireland.2 He added a dedication to the Earl of Leicester on May 27, 1571, and left Ireland in early June disguised as a footman of the Earl of Kildare, and accompanying his steward, Melchior Hussey.3 He arrived at Douai in late June 1571, just as Nicholas Sander in Louvain finished his De visibili monarchia with two dedications: one dated June 29, to Pope Pius V, and another dated June 30, to cardinals Giovanni Morone, Stanislaus Hosius, and Giovanni Commendone, in which he asked the illustrissimi cardinales to help free their brethren from the “dreadful tyranny in England.”4 This monumental work (844 folio pages) was profoundly to shape the theology and politics of English Catholic exiles over the next decade.5

When Campion reached Flanders, Sander was the dominant force. While Campion had been lecturing in rhetoric, and acting as proctor in Oxford, Sander had been at the Council of Trent, campaigning for a tough policy on Elizabeth. Sander had resigned from New College in 1560, and been ordained in Rome by Bishop Thomas Goldwell.6 There he drafted a key report on the state of Catholics in England, for Giovanni Morone, the cardinal protector of England, which was to form the basis for papal estimates of the strength of Catholicism in England, and made Sander well known in Rome. Cardinal Hosius, the leading authority on the Eucharist, took Sander as his secretary to the last session of the Council of Trent in 1561.7 Sander and Bishop Goldwell represented English exiles on two vital questions; they argued that Catholics could not attend obligatory Protestant services, and that “the pretended queen” should be deposed.8 Pope Pius IV made two attempts to invite Elizabeth to send a legate to the Council; when neither succeeded, he recommended excommunication, which the legates considered on June 8, 1563.9 Sander was almost certainly the author of a secret document advocating a bull of excommunication; when Emperor Ferdinand, who would have to execute the bull, was sent a copy, he was incensed and instructed his ambassadors to oppose any such plan.10 He was supported by Philip II, who spent fifteen years using diplomacy to try to persuade Elizabeth to grant toleration.11

In 1571, within a year of the publication of the papal bull excommunicating Elizabeth, Regnans in excelsis, Sander had published De visibili monarchia, whose fierce defense of the pope’s right to depose monarchs was to form the basis of Campion’s interrogations on the rack. Four of the extracts in the anonymous, A Particular Declaration, published by the Privy Council in 1582, to denigrate Campion, and justify his torture, are from De visibili monarchia, whose infamous Book VII enraged the English government with its belligerent condemnation of Elizabeth, support of the bull of excommunication, and argument for the monarchical supremacy of the pope over all other rulers.12 Campion, during his first interrogation on the rack on August 1, 1581, was asked to repudiate Sander’s views.13

Sander remained in Louvain until he was summoned to Rome at the end of January 1572; everyone expected him to be given a cardinal’s hat.14 When Pius V died on May 1, 1572, Sander stayed in Rome to work in the office of the secretary of state, Tolomeo Galli, cardinal of Como, who “did all in matters of state.”15 His time in this office may have been the most influential period of his life.

In February 1573, Campion became what Dante calls a romeo, a pilgrim to Rome.16 He left William Allen’s seminary at Douai, the center of the English mission, and walked a thousand miles alone to Rome, dressed as a beggar, to visit the seven great basilicas of “Roma sancta” as it prepared for the Holy Year of 1575.17 Why did Campion leave Douai and undertake this solitary pilgrimage after only eighteen months? As early as August 10, 1572, Allen wrote to Cardinal Morone an appeal to the new pope, Gregory XIII, for his support in ousting “the pretended queen [praetensam reginam].”18 Allen does not, in that letter, talk about the method, but recommends further discussion with three men in Rome: Bishop Goldwell, Sander, and Nicholas Morton.19 As Eamon Duffy has commented, “Throughout the 1570s and early 1580s Allen was a key figure in a succession of plans for Spanish or French invasions of England.”20 In 1576, he and Sir Francis Englefield, who were in Rome for an audience with the pope, drafted a detailed plan for immediate invasion and replacement of the pretended queen by Mary, Queen of Scots.21 The “pretext of the war” was to be the bull of excommunication.22 The preparation for the invasion was to be done by “trustworthy and prudent men, chiefly priests.”23 Allen modified, but did not change, the policy so vigorously argued in De visibili monarchia.24 Campion walked a thousand miles to distance himself from this destructive confection of politics and religion.

Campion spent his two months in Rome “visiting those holy churches & memories of the blessed Apostles and infinite other martyrs & saints.”25 Rome, for Campion, was always the church of the apostles and martyrs, which he had described in his poem, Sancta salutiferi nascentia semina verbi.26 Here he prayed for the answer he had been promised, and applied to join the Society of Jesus, which had missions in India, Japan, and Brazil, but none in England.27 Throughout the early months of 1573, leading English exiles tried to procure Sander’s appointment in Madrid, and the cardinal of Como finally sent him on September 4 to try to persuade Philip II to use Ireland as a stepping-stone for an invasion of England.28 Despite the efforts of the papal nuncio, Nicholas Ormanetto, and (after his death in 1577) his successor, Philip Sega, Sander wrote from Madrid to Allen on November 6, 1577, an encrypted letter that was intercepted, deciphered, and copied by the Privy Council:

Therefore I beseeche you to take hould of the pope: for the king of Spaine is as fearefull of warre as a child of fyer, and all his endevor is to avoide such occasions. The pope will geve two thousand, when you there shalbe content with them. Yf they doe not serve to goe into England, at the least, they will serve to goe into Ireland. The state of Christendome dependethe uppon the stowte assaillinge of Englande.29

By March 1578, Sander was in Lisbon trying to gain help from the king of Portugal for an expedition led by the adventurer, Sir Thomas Stuckley, but the king diverted Stuckley to Morocco for a campaign that ended in disaster, and the deaths of both the king and Stuckley on August 4, 1578.30 When Sander learnt the news, he drew up new plans to lead an invasion of Ireland himself, with a force based around James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, veteran of the first Desmond rebellion in 1569. Sander intended that a papal nuncio, supported by English, Irish, and Scottish priests, would lead the bellum sacrum [holy war], on the assumption that war would spread from one island to “the other.”31 By June 1579, Sander and Fitzmaurice, with the support of the cardinal of Como and Bishop Sega, had put together a flotilla of the San Francisco, four small hired vessels, and forty soldiers under Captain Alessandro Bertone. From the start it was an expedition that was richer in papal banners and friars (two Spanish and two Irish) than weapons of war.

Meanwhile, in Prague, on June 23, 1579, three days after the flotilla sailed north from Ferrol in Galicia, Campion finished Book I of the “Topica” in Aristotle’s Logic.32 He had said his first Mass on September 8, 1578, and began an academic year that was unquestionably his annus mirabilis: teaching philosophy “with external auditors”;33 writing a major play, Ambrosiana, to be performed before the new emperor, Rudolf II, and, a second time in Prague Castle, before the dowager empress, Maria Augusta;34 composing dramatic fragments for Corpus Christi and All Souls’ Day;35 preaching to the court, giving weekly Latin sermons and funeral elegies;36 finally, after a year of correspondence and negotiation, recovering a manuscript of the Two Bokes of the Histories of Ireland so that he could revise it.37 It was the fulfilled life of a priest and scholar. On July 14, 1579, his students recorded reaching “the end of the entire book of Logic.”38

Three days later, on July 17, 1579, Sander’s flotilla laid anchor in the serene bay of Dingle on the southwest corner of Ireland, and “proclaimed the holy war sanctioned in letters from Pope Gregory.”39 Sander was putting into practice the resistance theory he had adumbrated in The Rocke of the Church (1567) and fully developed in De visibili monarchia. Fitzmaurice described the scene in a letter to the papal secretary of state, Cardinal Como:

When we landed, which we did a little before mid-day, out of six ships (whereof we captured two on the way, hired three and had bought one) we at once uplifted the standard of the cross, and sang litanies, and in the sight of the populous town of Dingle, betook ourselves to a certain fort, with nearly forty armed men, beside four priests and the same number of monks [friars] and with the help of God occupied it forthwith.40

The letter ended with an appeal for artillery, money, and soldiers. For the Elizabethan government, this was the realization of its worst fears: a rebellion enacting, on earth, the papal bull, Regnans in excelsis. Although only forty soldiers occupied the ancient fort of Dun an Oir in Smerwick, Sander’s ambition was to invade England with a large army.

On August 1, 1579, when Sir John Desmond murdered Arthur Carter and Captain Henry Davell, two highly respected English officials, Sander chillingly reported: “This murder enabled us to go forward openly.”41 The assassination gave political impetus to a revolt that alarmed the Privy Council in London, which immediately established a network of extraordinary posts to carry letters between Dublin and London, via Holyhead, Tavistock, and Bristol.42 The Spanish ambassador reported on August 15 that five thousand men had been mustered, a fleet equipped, Dover ordered to be fortified, a curfew enforced in London, and the carrying of pistols forbidden.43

In Prague, on August 11, 1579, after a month’s break, Campion began teaching Aristotle’s Physics.44 At the same time, in Rheims, William Allen set out for Rome to ask the Jesuit superior general, Everard Mercurian, to allow Campion and Robert Persons to lead the English mission.45 News of Sander’s landing in Ireland reached Rome by August 27, 1579, and Allen himself arrived to make a formal presentation to the pope on Monday September 28, 1579.46 On October 8, 1579, at a private dinner at his own “lodging,” Allen “thundered out in speech the arrival of D. Sander in Ireland.”47 On that very day, Sander was writing a desperate letter to Alessandro Frumento, the papal nuncio in Portugal, begging the Portuguese to make up the losses in ships, arms, and men incurred by the Moroccan foray.48

For the situation in Ireland had worsened. Fitzmaurice had been killed on August 18, and although Sir John Desmond took over the leadership, his forces were badly mauled on October 3 at Monasteranagh.49 On November 13, the Earl of Desmond, refusing to surrender Sander, was declared a traitor: he responded by sacking Youghal, thereby unleashing indiscriminate reprisals by the Earl of Ormond and Lord Justice Pelham.50 On November 19, 1579, Campion began teaching Book IV of Physics, on “Place and Time.”51 Unaware that Munster was now being put to the fire and the sword, Allen, at a dinner of November 24, 1579, in Morton’s house, announced that the Spaniards “were peaseablye posseced of all Ireland,” and there would be a new mission of six priests in the spring.52 The mission which Campion would be asked to join was announced in the context of Sander’s invasion and the possibility of “the Queens Majestie to be shakd of her estate.”53

Sander himself, during December 1579 and January 1580, was busy writing appeals for help.54 When two ships put in at Dingle, with inadequate supplies of money, powder, arms, and wine on January 28, 1580, Sander “railed and reviled them for not accomplishing their former promise,” and sent the second ship back within six hours to Spain, carrying Captain Bertone and desperate letters to Bishop Sega and the cardinal of Como, asking for help, and saying that “all the captains regard themselves as in the pay of his Holiness.”55

In Prague, on December 14, 1579, Campion finished Book IV of the Physics by asking whether all things were in Time.56 Time, meanwhile, was spinning its simultaneous threads in London, Smerwick, and Rome, and delay in the arrival of news proved central to the disastrous concatenation of events that was about to envelop Campion.57 Allen pulled the thread that would tug Campion back from his scholarly life into the murderous whirlpool of English politics, and bring his spell in Arcadia to an end. On December 5, Allen wrote from Rome with breathless urgency and excited affection to Prague:

My father, brother, son, Edmund Campion (I gladly take over all the terms of the highest love towards you) since the supreme Father and prefect of your Order, that is as I understand it, Christ, will summon you from Prague to Rome and furthermore into our England […] Make all haste and come, my dearest, as quickly as you can so that you may reach me in the city at least by the end of February, even though I should prefer you to come before the middle of the month, and that would certainly be best.58

The letter must have come like the summons of Death. Campion, far from making haste, “lingered for a little while [aliquantisper haerebat], whether from anxiety about the sheer immensity of the thing, or because his soul could not yet absorb the immense joy.”59 Campion did not tell his students that he had been “summoned, summoned” till February 9.60 Everything suggests some kind of crisis. Despite a flurry of letters from the superior general and from his rector, and the provincial, Campion left Prague on February 22, stayed two weeks with the Duke of Bavaria in Munich—where he preached on the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (March 7, 1580), and spent a great deal of time in the duke’s library which had many early editions of Luther—walked from Innsbruck to Padua, and, after another urgent instruction to “hurry to Rome,” finally took post-horses to reach Rome on April 10, four months after Allen had written to him.61

When he finally reached Rome, he asked Mercurian if he could not be in charge of the mission, and asked the pope, in an audience on April 14, what could be done about the papal bull. The pope privately admitted that the bull, issued under different circumstances, had caused “great harm” [magnum damnum] to Catholics in England.62 Publicly, the pope mitigated the bull in the faculties granted to Campion and Persons by absolving Catholics from obeying it “as things stand [rebus sic stantibus]”; the document was intercepted, copied, and used by the Privy Council as evidence.63 This “mitigation” did not convince the Privy Council, and led directly to what Campion referred to as the “bloodye questions.”64

The party of twelve missionaries left Rome on April 18, 1580, and walked to Calais. Campion again treated the thousand miles as a pilgrimage, outpacing the rest of the party so he could spend “some two or three howers” in solitary prayer each morning, and again each evening, before falling back to re-join the company “in a pleasant, sweet, and sociable manner.”65 The end of this pilgrimage he foresaw with grim humor: when someone criticized his “evil apparell” (a long coat of buckram that quickly became caked in mud) he replied that “to him that went to be hanged in England any kinde of apparell was sufficient.”66 Allen first told Campion of Sander’s expedition when he reached Rheims, on May 27:

We were told also by Mr Dr Allen how he had understood by fresh letters from Spaine that Dr Sanders by order of his holinesses Nuntio lying there was niewly gon into Ireland to comfort & assist certain Catholic Irish Lords as namely the Earl of Desmond the Vicont Baltinglas & others that were said to have taken armes a little before for defence of their religion & had asked help counsail & comfort of his Holiness therin for which journey of Doctor Sanders though being made by order of his superiors it belonged not to us to mislike, yet were we hartily sorry, partly for that we had iust cause to suspect and feare that which came to passe, that so rare and worthy a man should be lost in that action; and secondly for that we did easily foresee that this would be layd against us and other priests that should be taken in England as though we had been privy or partakers therof, as in very truth we were not, nor euer heard or suspected the same until this day.67

Persons profoundly distorts the reality: Sander had landed ten months earlier, and he had initiated, rather than supported, the rebellion. Baltinglass did not rebel till July 19, 1580.

The “clamour” that Campion described as greeting their arrival was occasioned by Sander’s expedition.68 Campion was found guilty by association, as he complained at his trial.69 Allen had known that Sander had landed in Ireland for at least eight months, long before he received letters the following May from Spain.70 Persons, who also must have known of Sander’s expedition for some time, says that Sander’s expedition “made the whole cause of the priests that were sent on mission to England more odious.”71 Campion went to see Allen:

F. Campian went to the President Mr Dr Allen and sayd Well Sir heer now I am: you haue desired my going to England and I am come a long iourny as you see from Praga to Rome and from Rome and do you think my labors in England may countervail all this travail as also my absence from Boemia, where though I did not much, yet I was not idle nor unemployed, and that also against hereticks.72

The tone suggests that Campion had long been aware of Allen’s ambivalent aims, and suggests that he was far from the naive martyr his critics sometimes allege. Persons says that they decided their only course was “to goe forward with the spiritual action,” aware that they would be charged “under a wrong tytle,” with political meddling.73 Campion’s language, in contrast to Allen’s affectionate letter, is formal and cold, and borders on the indignant. The gradual accumulation of clauses leads to one question, whether his “labors in England” will “countervail all this travail.” The word “travail” has its root in the Latin word trepalium: an instrument of torture. When Allen blandly replies that Campion’s talents would nowhere be better employed than in England, Campion, in the face of human muddle and diplomatic deception, has only one recourse:

As for me, sayd f. Campion, all is one and I hope I am & shal be euer indifferent for all nations & functions whereinsoeuer my superiors under God shal imploye me. I have made a free oblation of my self to his diuine maiesty for life and death, and I trust that he wil giue me grace and force to perform, and this is all I desire.74

Campion was not going “led by his own will” [sua voluntate inductus], as William Whitaker’s hostile English editions of the Rationes decem suggests.75 Whitaker’s argument was that Campion was the architect of his own misfortune, whereas all the evidence suggests that Campion did everything he could to avoid being sent to England, and that he came because he was bound by his vow of obedience.

When Campion landed at Dover on June 25, 1580, the country was on high alert against invasion: Sander had been in Ireland a whole year, and the Spanish ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza, reported to his king on June 18, “the calling out of the militia, which had been under orders to muster for the last four months, and the vigilant watching night and day from the beacon-towers.”76 On July 15, the Privy Council published a proclamation, written by Lord Burghley and corrected in his hand, against stirring up rebellion in England by spreading rumors of an invasion by the pope and king of Spain.77 Four days later, on July 19, 1580, when James Eustace, Viscount Baltinglass, raised the papal banner in Leinster, it was clear that Catholicism could unite Palesmen against the English crown, and Captain John Zouche described the Baltinglass rebellion as “the more dangerous because he coloureth it with religion.”78 By July 23, 1580, Mendoza reported that the fear that “Catholics may rise” in England had inspired Burghley’s proclamation, and further that all Catholics released on bail had to surrender themselves on pain of death within twenty days, and that very many had already done so.79

On July 27, Sir Nicholas Malbie wrote despondently from Limerick to say that “if foreign aid come, few will stick with her majesty.”80 On August 21, Mendoza reported that the queen had ordered “a hundred Catholic gentlemen […] to be imprisoned in the castles and strongholds, which […] had been chosen for the purpose, in fear of a rising of Catholics here as well as in Ireland.”81 The Privy Council’s main problem was victualing the garrisons in Limerick, Cork, Kilmallock, and Youghal, and, by October, a massive force of 6,437 soldiers and 1,344 mariners.82 On August 25, Baltinglass inflicted a humiliating defeat in the muddy pass of Glenmalure in the Wicklow mountains on Arthur, Lord Grey, newly appointed lord deputy, and on August 31, even Grey wrote to Walsingham that “the conspiracy through Ireland is so general, that without a main force it will not be appeased.”83 Arthur Grey was a brutal man, as committed to forceful repression of Catholics as his father, William, had been when hanging the priests of Bloxham and Chipping Norton from their steeples during the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549.84

Although false rumors reached Ireland that a Spanish fleet and fifteen thousand Spanish troops were assembling in Biscay, and that Sander was in Asturias raising troops, it was true that papal ships were being fitted out at Ferrol.85 Not only was the whole of southern Ireland from Munster to Leinster now in rebellion, but the Pale itself was splintering, and Dublin was under threat.86 The latest of the queen’s ships were so loaded with artillery that there was little space for victuals.87 Admiral Winter, patrolling the south coast of Ireland in the Revenge, had to fit 225 tons of victuals around his forty-two guns, and on September 10, returned to England with his fleet to revictual; an absence that was critical.88

For, on August 28, a flotilla of six ships had sailed from Ferrol. Only one of these ships was of any size: the flagship of four hundred tons under Colonel Sebastiano di San Giuseppe. The other four ships ranged from 120 tons to fifty tons, and there was one small galley of twenty oars, but on board were the bishop of Killaloe, Fray Mateo de Oviedo, and the pope’s commissary, Don Fernando de Ribadeneyra. The soldiers, all raw recruits, had been hired locally with papal money, and consisted of two hundred men from Asturias and two hundred Biscayans, some Italians, and a further contingent of Irish swordsmen.89 These variously commissioned and re-fitted ships proudly flew the pope’s arms from their main-tops, and King Philip’s arms from their fore-tops.90 Two ships became separated in a storm and returned to Spain; one was carrying Charles Browne, the brother of Viscount Montague.91 The rest of this fleet reached Smerwick by September 13, while Admiral Winter was revictualling his ships in England.

The overwhelming scale and speed of Lord Burghley’s response indicated the level of danger perceived. He had nine of the queen’s latest warships fitted out. Admiral Winter in the Revenge (580 tons), Captain Bingham in Swiftsure (360 tons), the Aid (300 tons), the Achates (100 tons), the Bull (200 tons), the Lion (200 tons), the Foresight (300 tons, commanded by Captain Frobisher), the Tiger (200 tons), and the Merlin (50 tons).92 This formidable fleet, which could deploy some 252 guns, had to shelter from a storm in Kinsale on October 15, so when Lord Grey reached Smerwick with four thousand men, determined to avenge his humiliation at Glenmalure, he had no heavy artillery and no means of knowing where the fleet was; he withdrew and waited.93 The Swiftsure, which had been separated from the main fleet by the storm, arrived in Smerwick on October 17, having taken only sixty hours from Portland Race.94 After firing some of his guns, Captain Bingham reluctantly decided that he too had to wait for the admiral.95 He reported to Walsingham that two of the enemy ships had gone back to Spain with two hundred sick soldiers.96 Two days later, on October 19, 1580, Sander wrote to Sega to say that when he saw that his long awaited reinforcements consisted of little more than four hundred raw recruits, no artillery, and very little money, “a greater despair than ever seized upon the minds of all.”97 On the same day, he wrote a letter signed by the earl of Desmond and Viscount Baltinglass, to Bernardino de Mendoza, ambassador in London, begging for money and weapons: “6 bronze cannons, 6 demi-cannons with all necessary apparatus, 2 culverins, a quantity of powder, some artificial fire, 25 bombadiers,” 8,000 footmen, 2,000 harquebuses, 1,000 broad swords, and victuals.98 In fact, Sander had already despaired of Spain, and left the fort “with 2,000 ducats” to try to raise an Irish army; he engineered a meeting in nearby Tralee of the earl of Desmond (who had been a largely fugitive leader of the rebellion), Viscount Baltinglass, and Sir John of Desmond, but no coordinated action followed.99

The perceptions of the rebellion in England and the reality were never in harmony. While the Irish rebels were uncoordinated and lacked artillery, the Privy Council continued to fear what certainly could have happened if they had been adequately led and decently armed. From July 15 onwards, all news coming from Ireland was carefully concealed for fear of a rising. On October 23, 1580, Mendoza reported that the queen and council were “much troubled about affairs in Ireland” and “five hundred Catholic gentlemen have been imprisoned here on the charge of being Catholic, there being fears that they may rise in consequence of the news in Ireland.”100 As the rebellion spread through Ireland, and uncertainty surrounded the loyalties of both the O’Neill and the earl of Kildare, there was no certainty that the Spanish troops could be dislodged if Baltinglass and Desmond (who had four thousand men) joined forces. The council knew that in England the muster returns left as many gaps as they protected. Campion wrote to the Jesuit superior general, Mercurian, a description of the atmosphere in the country:

While I am writing this, a truly monstrous persecution is raging [immanissima saevit persecutio]. The house where I am staying is full of grief: they either forecast their own death, or capture, or imprisonment or seizure of all their property. Nevertheless, they press on bravely.101

Perhaps more bravely than the Asturians and Biscayans at Smerwick, who at this very time were shivering in the iron-age fort, Dun an Oir, and waiting for the inevitable; some were fortunate enough to die first of the damp and cold. The lord deputy himself complained of the raging weather as he camped nearby. As soon as the admiral and all his artillery reached Smerwick on November 7, he put his heavy guns ashore and moved his ordinance into position overnight.102 The bombardment, by land and sea, began on the morning of November 8 and lasted till 4 p.m. the following day, when the Spanish colonel finally despaired of help from Desmond, and displayed a white flag. On November 10, 1580, he came to Lord Grey with twelve of his officers, trailing furled ensigns to surrender.

Grey’s secretary was Edmund Spenser, who describes him “selfe being as neare them as any.”103 In his elegant italic hand he transcribed Grey’s report, dated November 12, for the queen.104 Sixteen years later, in A View of the State of Ireland, he defended Lord Grey. Far from deserving “the name of a bloody man,” Grey was “most gentle, affable, loving and temperate.”105 This is not convincing as a description of someone who had nearly cudgeled his Buckinghamshire neighbor, John Fortescue, to death in Fleet Street.106 Spenser described the tense negotiations as Grey himself rejected the appeal of Don Sebastian that his men should be spared “according to the custome of Warre, and the Law of Nations,” on the grounds that the Desmonds and their supporters “were no lawfull Enemies, but Rebells and Traytours, and therefore they that came to succour them, no better than Rogues and Runagates, specially comming with no licence, nor commission from their owne King.”107 The Spaniards “craved onely mercy, which it being not thought good to shew them […] there was no other way but to make that short end of them as was made.”108 John Hooker describes briefly what Spenser called “that sharpe execution of the Spaniards”: “When the capteine had yeelded himselfe, and the fort appointed to be surrendered, capteine Raleigh together with capteine Maccworth, who had the ward of that daie, entered into the castell, & made a great slaughter, manie or the most part of them being put to the sword.”109 The Spanish ambassador reported to Philip II that Lord Grey took “possession of the fort, on 10th, and they slaughtered 507 men who were in it, and some pregnant women, besides which they hanged 17 Irish and Englishmen.”110 Many of the young recruits from Asturias and Biscay were beheaded and thrown into the sea. Friar Laurence Moore, Oliver Plunkett, and Sander’s English secretary, William Wollick, were taken to a forge for torture, their legs and arms broken, the priest’s thumb and forefingers cut off. The massacre reflected “Grey’s hatred of Catholicism” and his fear of an “international Catholic conspiracy,” but it was completely contrary to the recognized ius gentium, and caused shock and outrage across Europe.111

While the heads were still floating ashore at Smerwick, the lord deputy and the earl of Ormonde completed a devastation that produced one of the worst famines in Irish history. Spenser, in A View of the State of Ireland, written fifteen years later, has Irenaeus recommend the methods, which, he says, took only eighteen months to bring the people of Munster to the point where they

would quickly consume themselves and devoure one another. The proofe whereof, I saw sufficiently exampled in these late warres of Mounster, for nothwithstanding that the same was a most rich and plentifull countrey, full of corn and cattle, that you would have thought they should have been able to stand long, yet ere one yeare and a halfe they were brought to such wretchedness as that any stony heart would have rued the same. Out of every corner of the woods and glynnes they came creeping forth upon their hands, for their legges could not bear them. They looked like anatomies of death, they spake like Ghosts crying out of their graves; they did eat the dead Carrions, happy were they could find them; yea, and one another soone after, insomuch as the very carcasses they spared not to scrape out of their graves. And if they found a plot of water-cresses or Shamrocks, there they flocked as to a feast for the time, yet not able long to continue therewithall; that in short space there were none almost left, and a most populous and plentifull country suddenly left void of man and beast, yet sure in all that warre, there perished not many by the Sword, but all by the extremitie of famine, which they themselves had wrought.112

Hooker’s “Supplie of the Irish Chronicle” ends its catalogue of rebellions in Ireland with the aftermath of Sander’s expedition: the famine in which, it is estimated, fifty thousand people died.113 On the last page, he describes how one could travel across the waste land stretching from Waterford to Smerwick “about six score miles” and not meet “anie man, woman, or child […] nor yet see anie beast, but the verie wolves, the foxes […] a heavie, but a just judgement of God upon such a Pharoicall and stifnecked people.”114 Hooker’s peroration ends with that “antichrist of Rome” who has “suborned his unholie & traitorous Jesuits, under colour of holiness, to range from place to place through her majesties realmes.”115 “The Continuation of the Chronicles of England” in Holinshed begins its long account of Campion’s trial with the indictment, in which the papal bull and Sander are central:

The like was put in practise in Ireland through doctor Sanders and other traitors, who there joined themselves togither under the popes standard, to bring to passe their secret appointment in this realme. Through their persuasions and dealings, the people were mooved in the popes name to fight against their lawfull princesse under his banner; and to rebell against hir so notoriouslie as they might. The incouragement to this great disobedience they received through doctor Sanders a fugitive and ranke traitor to his prince and countrie as also through diverse Jesuits both English and Irish.116

Nicholas Sander, one of the many brilliant scholars to leave New College, Oxford, for Louvain, died in the mountains of Ireland “of dysentery about the beginning of April 1581, mentally and physically broken.”117 Sander’s expedition to Ireland, like a suffocating blanket, robbed the Jesuit mission of the air it required to live and breathe. The massacre at Smerwick happened during the conference of Campion and Persons in Uxbridge; the Jesuits may not have heard the cries of the dying Spaniards, but Campion had to use all his logical and rhetorical skills, in the Tower and in Westminster Hall, to try to distinguish the mission from the material reality Sander’s expedition had given to the nightmare of a papal invasion. The proclamation of “Ordering Return of Seminarians, Arrest of Jesuits,” dated Westminster, January 10, 1581, and published on January 24, 1581, explicitly states this: “Her highness therefore, foreseeing the great mischief that may ensue by such wicked instruments, whereof experience hath been overlately seen in the realm of Ireland.”118

Persons, in his life of Campion, recounts hearing the news of Sander’s invasion in Rheims, and suggests that “they were hartily sorry.”119 Otherwise, Persons simply recounts that Campion finally agreed to giving up his alias, Mr. Patrick, because of it, and that they decided at the Hoxton conference to make it clear that they knew nothing of Sander’s expedition before they heard of it in Rheims.120 There is no suggestion that the increased level of spying and oppression of Catholics had come from Sander’s invasion of Ireland; instead it appears to be a response to the arrival of the Jesuits themselves. Persons suppressed the memory of the Irish invasion, and replaced the proclamation of July 15, 1580 (about invasion rumors) with the proclamation of January 10, 1581 (against Jesuits).121 This distortion shaped subsequent Catholic historiography of the Jesuit mission, so that the damaging effect of the Irish expedition was quickly expunged from the edifying narrative of Allen’s missionary priests. The Concertatio Ecclesiae Catholicae (1588) simply lists Sander as a great writer: neither his tragic death nor the famine occasioned by the invasion is mentioned.122 Richard Simpson (apparently unaware that Sander had landed in July 1579) talks as if Sander’s fleet “reached Ireland about the same time that Persons and Campion were entering England.”123

Yet the fate of Campion’s mission can be understood only within the context of the most serious threat to the stability of the Elizabethan state prior to the Spanish Armada, and the most destructive famine in Irish history before 1845. Mercurian was clearly not told before he authorized Campion’s participation, nor was Campion before he accepted the mission. After the initial shock in Rheims, Campion accepted his task as part of his vow of obedience in the full knowledge of the catastrophic impact of Sander’s military invasion on their spiritual mission. According to Camden, the queen fully understood the vow of obedience:

She did not, however, believe that most of these wretched little priests [misellis his sacerdotibus] had been party to plotting destruction to their country. She did, on the other hand, believe that their superiors used them as instruments of their wickedness since those who were being sent on a mission surrendered to their superiors the complete and free disposition of their lives.124

The queen, who seems remarkably well informed on religious obedience, and whose language sounds close to that used by Campion to Allen, may have been influenced by the interview (for which there is good authority) she had with Campion the night before his arraignment, when she offered him an archbishopric if he conformed.125

Irish historians—Colm Lennon, Vincent Carey, and Cieran Brady—give full weight to the terrible events of 1579 to 1583.126 English historians give it less prominence. Peter Lake and Michael Questier focus on the “carefully orchestrated pitch” made by the missionaries, and refer only once to “the recent military adventurism of Sander in Ireland.”127 Paul Hammer says that “when Robert Persons and Edmund Campion launched the mission to England in June 1580 […] the Jesuits sought to foment rebellion against Elizabeth and prepare the way for a foreign invasion to restore Catholicism by force.”128 Yet the English mission of 1580 was not planned by the Jesuits, but by William Allen, and the Irish invasion of 1579–1580 was planned by Sander, with the help of the papal secretary of state, cardinal of Como, and Bishop Sega. Patrick McGrath’s verdict, forty years on, still seems the most balanced:

Allen, like the pope who relied so much on his advice in English affairs, failed to see that he could not have it both ways and that he was placing the missionary priests in an impossible situation when he sent them to work for the Catholic cause by spiritual means while at the same time he was supporting attempts to overthrow the Protestant regime by force.129

Edmund Campion had used his two visits as a pilgrim to the shrines of the early church in Rome to voice his disagreement with the papal bull, as he asserted vehemently at his trial.130 His conception of the church was a thousand miles apart from Sander’s belief in the temporal power of the papacy; at his trial, he stated publicly that he “acknowledged her Majestie (both facto & Iure), to be Queene.”131 Campion, fully aware of the appalling muddle into which Allen’s request and his vow of obedience had thrust him, on his long journey to England never omitted the litany of the saints and, when he landed before dawn on June 25, 1580, at Dover, he flung himself full length on the beach, and did the only thing he could do, rebus sic stantibus: pray.132

1 Thomas Hardy, “The Convergence of the Twain,” in The Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Wordsworth Poetry Library: London, 1994), 279.

2 The text was not printed before Sir James Ware published it in The Historie of Ireland Collected by Three Learned Authors Viz. Meredith Hanmer, Doctor in Divinitie, Edmund Campion, sometime Fellow of St Johns Colledge in Oxford and Edmund Spenser Esq (Societie of Stationers: Dublin, 1633), stc 25067a. The house was in the grounds of the Grace-Dieu Augustinian convent.

3 The countess of Kildare was Mabel Browne, the sister of Viscount Montague, to whom Campion had dedicated his poem, “Sancta Salutiferi Nascentia Semina Verbi.” See Gerard Kilroy, Edmund Campion: Memory and Transcription (Ashgate: Aldershot, 2005), 149.

4 Nicholas Sander, De visibili monarchia ecclesiae, libri octo (John Fowler: Louvain, 1571), A&R 1013.

5 There is an urgent need for a new study of Sander; the best work, especially on the negotiations of the 1560s, is Thomas McNevin Veech, Dr Nicholas Sanders and the English Reformation 1530–1584 (University Library: Louvain, 1935). See also T. F. Mayer, “Sander, Nicholas (c.1530–1581),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (odnb) (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004); Freddy Cristóbal Domínguez, “‘We must fight with paper and pens’: Spanish Elizabethan Polemics, 1585–1598” (Ph.D. Diss., Princeton, 2011). I am deeply indebted to long discussions with Mark Rankin, whose work on the different editions and extant copies of De visibili monarchia (1571 and 1578) and De origine schismatis (1585 and 1586), is elucidating the influence of Sander on both the politics and the historiography of Catholic exiles.

6 Veech, Sanders, 23.

7 Ibid., 31.

8 Ibid., 33.

9 Ibid., 42.

10 Ibid., 44.

11 See Philip’s instructions to Bishop de Quadra, csps, Simancas 1558–1567 (hmso: London, 1892), 371–372.

12 A particular declaration or testimony, of the undutifull and traiterous affection borne against her Majestie by Edmond Campion Jesuite, and other condemned Priestes, witnessed by their own confessions: in reproof of those slanderous bookes & libels delivered out to the contrary by such as are malitiously affected towards her Majestie and the state (C. Barker: London, 1582), stc 4536, sigs B1r–B3v.

13 A Particular Declaration, 7.

14 Veech, Sanders, 110. Veech gives the date as January 25, but Tom Birrell (marginal gloss in London Library copy) suggests that it was a week earlier, January 18.

15 Robert Persons, “Domesticall Difficulties,” in Miscellanea II, ed. J. H. Pollen, S.J., Catholic Record Society (crs) 2 (crs: London, 1906), 64. See also Veech, Sanders, 199 and 217.

16 Dante Alighieri, Tutte le opere (Newton Compton: Rome, 1997), Vita Nuova, chapter xl, 712–713. I am grateful to Petr Osolsobe of Masaryk University, Brno, for alerting me to this passage.

17 Paolo Bombino, Vita et martyrium (Osannas: Mantua, 1620), 40.

18 Letters of William Allen and Richard Barret 1572–1598, ed. P. Renold, crs 58 (crs: London, 1967), 275–284.

19 crs 58, 279.

20 Eamon Duffy, “Allen, William (1532–1594)” in odnb, 7.

21 crs 58, 284–294.

22 crs 58, 284.

23 crs 58, 286.

24 Duffy, “Willam Allen,” 7.

25 absi Collectanea, P. I, f. 95a. Christopher Grene, who transcribed Persons’s manuscript in 1689, has numbered the openings and not the leaves, so I have used a/b rather than verso/recto.

26 The poem, dating from the period 1568–1570, and a translation, can be found in Kilroy, Memory and Transcription, 155–193.

27 By 1580, there were already twenty-one Jesuit provinces, and 144 colleges.

28 Veech, Sanders, 202.

29 British Library (bl), Add. ms 48029, f. 50r (deciphered words in italics); printed in “Some Letters and Papers of Nicholas Sander, 1560–1580,” ed. John B. Wainwright, in Miscellanea XIII, crs 26 (crs: London, 1926), 13–14. This manuscript comes from the Yelverton Papers, dominated by Thomas Norton and Robert Beale, so it is clear that Sander’s letter received attention at the highest level.

30 “The Memoirs of Father Robert Persons,” ed. J. H. Pollen, in crs 2, 64.

31 crs 26, 17.

32 For Sander, crs 26, 19; for Campion, Prague Metropolitan Library (pml), M42, f. 372r.

33 For the external auditors, see Strahov Monastery Library, Prague, ms dc.III.16, f. 99v; for his students’ notes on his lectures on Aristotle’s Logic, see pml, M42; for the Physics, see M65. I wish to thank the librarians of the Prague Metropolitan Library for allowing me to spend two days with these manuscripts, and Daniel Anderson, who located them, to whom I am also indebted for several long conversations.

34 The play is called “Ambrosia” in the only surviving manuscript in the Studienbibliothek Dillingen, ms 221, ff. 135r–169v, but Campion calls it “Ambrosiana” in his letter to Giovanni Campani in Decem rationes et opuscula (Plantin: Antwerp, 1631), A&R 170, 401; Bombino, Vita et martyrium, 46, and the Klementinum Diaries (also the authority for the second performance in Prague Castle), Strahov ms D.III.16, f. 99r, also call it “Ambrosiana.”

35 Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, ms A.V.3, ff. 1r–6v.

36 Cieszyn Szerszkynk Library, ms dd.V.8, ff. 1r–413v. This is a concionale, containing the record preserved by Fr. John Aquensis of Campion’s Latin sermons for Sundays and feast days from the time of his ordination to his departure. To it was attached the only extant manuscript of his elegy on María Cardona (on which the Plantin, 1631, edition seems to be based), the “Dialogus Mutus,” and much else. I am grateful to Clarinda Calma for inviting me to accompany her to inspect this manuscript for the first time.

37 The two best manuscripts, Farmleigh, ms IV.E.6, ff. 1r–73v, and Bodley, ms Jones 6, ff. 4r–103v, preserve the pagination of a now lost (presumably autograph) original. The Farmleigh manuscript, previously unknown, has recently been given to Marsh’s Library, Dublin, by the Iveagh Guinness foundation, and is still kept at the president’s official residence, Farmleigh House, in Dublin. There are six letters on the subject of recovering his manuscript, dating from August 1578 to October 1579. Three from Gregory Martin may be found in The First and Second Diaries of the English College, Douay, ed. T. F. Knox (Nutt: London, 1878), 317–322. Campion has three copy letters in absi Anglia I: (one to Martin) ff. 25v–26r; (two to Coster) ff. 24r–v and f. 27r. All are printed (though with the wrong dates) in Richard Simpson, Edmund Campion (second edition, Hodges: London, 1896), 117–132.

38 pml, M42, f. 406v.

39 Colm Lennon, Sixteenth-Century Ireland: The Incomplete Conquest (St. Martin’s Press: New York, 1995), 223. I am deeply indebted to Colm Lennon for many hours in conversation about Campion in Ireland.

40 crs 26, 24–25.

41 crs 26, 29–30.

42 csp Ireland, 1574 –1585, August 10, 1579, 180.

43 csp Spanish, 1568–1579, August 15, 1579, 685–686.

44 pml, M65, f. 1r.

45 Douai Diaries, 320.

46 bl, Add. ms 48029 (Yelverton mss 33), ff. 134v–135r, in Charles Sledd’s report (ff. 121r–142v), which has undoubtedly been edited (perhaps by Thomas Norton), but the dates appear to be correct. It is printed in Miscellanea: Recusant Records, ed. Clare Talbot, crs 53 (crs: London, 1961), 193–245. See Thomas M. McCoog, S.J., “The English Jesuit Mission and the French Match,” in “And Touching Our Society”: Fashioning Jesuit Identity in Elizabethan England, ed. Thomas M. McCoog, S.J. (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies: Toronto, 2013), 70.

47 bl, Add. ms 48029, f. 135r; crs 53, 224 (“500 hundred Spanyards” is obviously imported from the following year).

48 crs 26, 28–31.

49 Lennon, Incomplete Conquest, 224.

50 Ibid., 225.

51 pml, M65, f. 136r.

52 bl, Add. ms 48029, f. 135v; crs 53, 225–226.

53 bl, Add. ms 48029, f. 135v (according to Sledd); crs 53, 226.

54 On December 26, 27, and January 23: crs, 26, 35–45.

55 crs 26, 43.

56 pml, M65, f. 168r.

57 Thomas Hardy’s language, and his use of letters and time, is being invoked here.

58 Allen, “Letters and Memorials,” 84.

59 Schmidl, Historiae Societatis Iesu, I: 437.

60 pml, M65, f. 260v.

61 A full account will appear in my forthcoming Edmund Campion: A Scholarly Life (2015), but the details quoted here combine the dates in pml, M65, which make it clear Campion left by February 22, with the evidence presented in Thomas M. McCoog, S.J.,“Edmund Campion in Bohemia,” in “Touching Our Society,” 93–99, to whose detailed archival work in Rome on the letters from the general, the rector in Prague, and the provincial in Vienna, I am deeply indebted. I had the privilege of having long conversations with him about all these issues; we both agree that there is an unexplained delay.

62 Vatican City, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Armadio 64, vol. 28, ff. 179r–v; 184r–187v; printed in Recusancy and Conformity in Early Modern England: Manuscript and Printed Sources in Translation, eds. Ginevra Crosignani, Thomas M. McCoog, S.J., and Michael Questier (pims: Toronto, 2010), 90–100.

63 The document is calendared under its date of April 14, along with two further copies: csp domestic, 1547–1580, 651.

64 bl, ms Harley 6265, f. 18v.

65 Bombino, Vita et martyrium, 74–75; Bodleian ms Tanner 329, f. 23r.

66 absi, Collectanea, P. I, f. 109a.

67 absi, Collectanea, P. 1, f. 114b.

68 Campion to Mercurian, June 20, 1580, in Henry More, The Elizabethan Jesuits, ed. and trans. Francis Edwards, S.J. (Phillimore: London, 1981), 77–79.

69 bl, ms Harley 6265, f. 22r.

70 Michael E. Williams takes the same view in “Campion and the English Continental Seminaries,” in The Reckoned Expense: Edmund Campion and the Early Jesuits, ed. Thomas M. McCoog, S.J. (Boydell: Woodbridge, 1996), 372n.

71 crs 2, 199; McCoog, “Touching Our Society,” 72.

72 absi, Collectanea, P.1, f. 114b.

73 absi, Collectanea P. I, f. 114b

74 absi, Collectanea, P.1, f. 115a.

75 William Whitaker, Edmundi Campiani Jesuitae Rationes decem (Wolfgang Kezel: Lichae, 1604), sig. A2r.

76 csp Spanish, 1580–1586, 35.

77 Tudor Royal Proclamations, eds. Paul L. Hughes and James F. Larkin, 3 vols. (Yale University Press: London and New Haven, 1969), II: 469–471 (no. 650).

78 csp Ireland, 1574–1585, LXXIV/66, July 26, 237

79 csp Spanish, 1580–1586, 43.

80 csp Ireland, 1574 –1585, LXXIV/75, 238.

81 csp Spanish, 1580–1586, 50.

82 csp Ireland, 1574–1585, LXXV/55, 56, 62; LXVII/25; Paul E. J. Hammer, Elizabeth’s Wars: War, Government and Society 1544–1604 (Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2003), 109.

83 csp Ireland, 1574–1585, LXXV/79, 247.

84 Julian Lock, “Grey, William, thirteenth Baron Grey of Wilton (1508/9–1562),” in odnb.

85 csp Ireland, 1574–1585, LXVIII/5, 176 and LXXII/44, 217.

86 csp Spanish, 1580–1586, 44, August 7.

87 Hammer, Elizabeth’s Wars, 94.

88 csp Ireland, 1574–1585, LXVI/55, 254, September 23.

89 crs 26, 46–47.

90 Ibid., 47.

91 Ibid., 47.

92 bl, ms 6265, f. 12r–v; I have collated the tonnage with J. J. College and Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15thCentury to the Present (Chatham House: London, 2006), whence I also derived the armaments.

93 Holinshed’s Chronicles (Harrison et al: London, 1587), II:170.b.19–37.

94 csp Ireland 1574–1585, LXXVII/51, 262.

95 Ibid., LXXVII/51, 262.

96 Ibid., LXXVII/51, 262.

97 crs 26, 48–56.

98 csp Spanish, 1580–1586, 57–59.

99 Ibid., 70; Lennon, Incomplete Conquest, 225–226.

100 csp Spanish, 1580–1586, 62.

101 Decem rationes, 418. The date of this letter has to be early November (the fifth month being from October 25 to November 25), and Campion (unlike Persons) is accurate about dates.

102 Holinshed’s Chronicles, II:171.a. 52–64.

103 Edmund Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland (Soc. Stationers: Dublin, 1633), stc 25067a, 75.

104 See Andrew Hadfield, Edmund Spenser: A Life (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2012), Figure 7 [166], for a photograph of the first page of Lord Grey’s letter to the queen, written in Spenser’s hand.

105 Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, 74.

106 Julian Lock, “Grey, Arthur, fourteenth Baron Grey of Wilton (1536–1593),” in odnb.

107 Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, 75.

108 Ibid., 75.

109 Holinshed’s Chronicles, II:171.b. 67–73.

110 csp Spanish, 1580–1586, 69.

111 Lennon, Incomplete Conquest, 226; Hammer, Elizabeth’s Wars, 109; Vincent Carey, Surviving the Tudors: The “Wizard” Earl of Kildare and English Rule in Ireland, 1537–1586 (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 2002), 80; Lock, “Grey, Arthur.”

112 Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, 72.

113 The figure is the lowest estimate: Lennon, Incomplete Conquest, 227.

114 Holinshed’s Chronicles, II:183.a. 24–25.

115 Ibid., II:183.b. 8–10.

116 Ibid., III:1322.b. 40–51.

117 Lennon, Incomplete Conquest, 226; see Mayer, “Sander, Nicholas,” for Cecil’s version that he “died raving in a frenzy.”

118 The National Archives, London, sp 12/152/3: printed by Hughes and Larkin, Tudor Royal Proclamations, II: 481–484.

119 absi Collectanea, P. I, f. 114b.

120 Ibid., f. 109b.

121 Ibid., f. 139b. McCoog, “The English Jesuit Mission,” 70–72, raises doubts (with which I concur) about Persons’s ignorance of the invasion.

122 [John Gibbons and John Fenn], Concertatio Ecclesiae Catholicae in Anglia (Bock: Trier, 1588), 406; absi, Collectanea, P. I, f. 128b.

123 Simpson, Campion, 143–144.

124 William Camden, Annales Rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum (Stansby: London, 1615), 327.

125 absiCollectanea, A.IV. 1–4, “Notae breves,” f. 158r. Bombino seems gradually to have accepted this story as authentic, since he includes a manuscript gloss and states that “the strength of the story has increased” to the account in his own second edition: arsi, Vita et martyrium, 1.35, 266.

126 Lennon, Incomplete Conquest; Carey, Surviving the Tudors; Cieran Brady, The Chief Governors: The Rise and Fall of Reform Government in Tudor Ireland, 1536–1588 (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1994).

127 Peter Lake and Michael Questier, “Puritans, Papists, and the ‘Public Sphere’ in Early Modern England: The Edmund Campion Affair in Context,” The Journal of Modern History 72 (2000): 587–627, at 623. But see McCoog, “The English Jesuit Mission,” 72–74, who couples it with the fear of a “papal league.”

128 Hammer, Elizabeth’s Wars, 107.

129 Patrick McGrath, Papists and Puritans under Elizabeth I (Blandford: London, 1967), 271.

130 bl, ms Harley 6265, f. 17r.

131 bl, ms Harley 6265, f. 19r.

132 Bombino, Vita et Martyrium, 95.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

“Paths Coincident”

The Parallel Lives of Dr. Nicholas Sander and Edmund Campion, S.J.

in Journal of Jesuit Studies



Thomas Hardy“The Convergence of the Twain,” in The Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Wordsworth Poetry Library: London1994) 279.


Nicholas SanderDe visibili monarchia ecclesiae libri octo (John Fowler: Louvain1571) A&R 1013.


VeechSanders110. Veech gives the date as January 25 but Tom Birrell (marginal gloss in London Library copy) suggests that it was a week earlier January 18.


Robert Persons“Domesticall Difficulties,” in Miscellanea IIed. J. H. Pollen S.J. Catholic Record Society (crs) 2 (crs: London 1906) 64. See also Veech Sanders 199 and 217.


Dante AlighieriTutte le opere (Newton Compton: Rome1997) Vita Nuova chapter xl 712–713. I am grateful to Petr Osolsobe of Masaryk University Brno for alerting me to this passage.


Paolo BombinoVita et martyrium (Osannas: Mantua1620) 40.


Duffy“Willam Allen” 7.


By 1580there were already twenty-one Jesuit provinces and 144 colleges.


Colm LennonSixteenth-Century Ireland: The Incomplete Conquest (St. Martin’s Press: New York1995) 223. I am deeply indebted to Colm Lennon for many hours in conversation about Campion in Ireland.


LennonIncomplete Conquest224.


Allen“Letters and Memorials” 84.


BombinoVita et martyrium74–75; Bodleian ms Tanner 329 f. 23r.


Campion to Mercurian June 20 1580in Henry More The Elizabethan Jesuits ed. and trans. Francis Edwards S.J. (Phillimore: London 1981) 77–79.


William WhitakerEdmundi Campiani Jesuitae Rationes decem (Wolfgang Kezel: Lichae1604) sig. A2r.


HammerElizabeth’s Wars94.


Ibid. 70; LennonIncomplete Conquest225–226.


Edmund SpenserA View of the State of Ireland (Soc. Stationers: Dublin1633) stc 25067a 75.


 See Andrew HadfieldEdmund Spenser: A Life (Oxford University Press: Oxford2012) Figure 7 [166] for a photograph of the first page of Lord Grey’s letter to the queen written in Spenser’s hand.


SpenserA View of the State of Ireland74.


SpenserA View of the State of Ireland75.


LennonIncomplete Conquest226; Hammer Elizabeth’s Wars 109; Vincent Carey Surviving the Tudors: The “Wizard” Earl of Kildare and English Rule in Ireland 1537–1586 (Four Courts Press: Dublin 2002) 80; Lock “Grey Arthur.”


SpenserA View of the State of Ireland72.


LennonIncomplete Conquest226; see Mayer “Sander Nicholas” for Cecil’s version that he “died raving in a frenzy.”


[John Gibbons and John Fenn]Concertatio Ecclesiae Catholicae in Anglia (Bock: Trier1588) 406; absi Collectanea P. I f. 128b.




William CamdenAnnales Rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum (Stansby: London1615) 327.


Peter Lake and Michael Questier“Puritans, Papists, and the ‘Public Sphere’ in Early Modern England: The Edmund Campion Affair in Context,” The Journal of Modern History 72 (2000): 587–627at 623. But see McCoog “The English Jesuit Mission” 72–74 who couples it with the fear of a “papal league.”


HammerElizabeth’s Wars107.


Patrick McGrathPapists and Puritans under Elizabeth I (Blandford: London1967) 271.


BombinoVita et Martyrium95.

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