Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Corbie, Ralph

CORBIE or CORBINGTON, RALPH (1598–1644), jesuit, son of Gerard Corbie [q. v.], was born on 25 March 1598, near Dublin, his parents having been compelled to retire to Ireland from the county of Durham in order to escape persecution at home (Oliver, Jesuit Collections, p. 74). At the age of five he was taken to England by his parents, and he spent his childhood in the bishopric of Durham or in Lancashire. Afterwards he studied in the English college at St. Omer, at Seville, and at Valladolid, where he was ordained priest. He entered the Society of Jesus at Watten in 1626. About 1631 he was sent to the English mission, and the county of Durham was the scene of his labours (Foley, Records, vii. 169). Being seized by the rebels at Hamsterley on 8 July 1644, when vesting for mass, he was conveyed to London and committed to Newgate on the 22nd of that month, together with John Duckett, a secular priest. At their trial at the Old Bailey sessions (4 Sept.) they both admitted they were priests; they were condemned to death and executed at Tyburn on 7 Sept. 1644.

There is a long life of Corbie in Foley's ‘Records,’ iii. 68–96, taken principally from the ‘Certamen Triplex’ written by his brother Ambrose Corbie [q. v.] From the latter work Father Matthias Tanner in his ‘Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitæ profusionem militans,’ and Bishop Challoner in his ‘Memoirs of Missionary Priests’ (edit. 1742, ii. 278–85), derived their notices. There is an engraved portrait of him in the ‘Certamen Triplex.’

[Authorities cited above; also Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 111; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England (1824), ii. 386; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. vol. i.; Hist. MSS. Comm. 3rd Rep. 339.]

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