Brown, Levinius (DNB00)


BROWN, LEVINIUS (1671–1761), jesuit, born in Norfolk on 19 Sept. 1671, received his education at St. Omer and the English college at Rome. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1698, being already a priest, and became a professed father in 1709. Previously to this, in 1700, he had been appointed to the mission of Ladyholt, Sussex. He was rector of the English college at Rome from 1723 to 1731, when he became master of the novices, and was chosen provincial of his order in 1733, continuing in that office till 1737, and then passing to the rectorship of Liège college. He spent the last years of his life in the college of St. Omer, and witnessed the forcible expulsion of the English jesuits from that institution by the parliament of Paris in 1762. Being too old and infirm to be removed, he was allowed to remain in the house until his death on 7 Nov. 1764.

Brown was a friend of Alexander Pope's, and it is probable that during his residence as missioner of Ladyholt he induced the poet to compose his beautiful version of St. Francis Xavier’s hymn ‘O Deus, ego amo Te.’ He published a translation of Bossuet's ‘History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches,’ 2 vols., Antwerp, 1742, 8vo.

[Oliver's Collections S. J. 61; Foley’s Records, iii. 541-3, vi. 442, vii. 94; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), i. 241.]

T. C.