Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ashby, Richard

ASHBY, RICHARD (1614–1680), a Jesuit, whose real name was Thimelby, was the fifth son of Richard Thimelby, Esq., of Irnham, Lincolnshire, by his wife Mary, daughter of Edward Brookesby, Esq., grand-daughter of Lord Vaux of Harrowden. He was born in Lincolnshire in 1614, entered the Society of Jesus in 1632, and was professed of the four vows in 1646. After having taught philosophy and theology at Liège for sixteen years, he was sent on the English mission about 1648, and laboured chiefly in his native county. He was rector of the house for novices at Watten, near St. Omer, from 1666 till 1672, when he was appointed rector of St. Omer's College. His death occurred at St. Omer on 7 Jan. (or September) 1680.

Father Ashby was the author of: 1. 'Purgatory Surveyed, or a particular account of the happy, yet thrice unhappy, state of the souls there; also of the singular charity and ways to relieve them. And of the devotion of all ages for the souls departed, with twelve excellent means to prevent purgatory and the resolution of many curious and important points,' Paris, 1663, 8vo; reprinted, with a preface, by Father W. H. Anderdon, London, 1874. It is a translation from Father Estienne Binet. 2. 'Remarks on Stillingfleet.' Southwell gives the title in Latin as follows: 'Observationes generales in Librum Doctoris Stillingfleti, cum vindicatione S. Ignatii et Sociorum eius à fœdis maculis quibus eos ille aspergit,' London, 1672, 4to.

[Preface to Anderdon's edition of Purgatory Surveyed; Oliver's Collections S. J. 47; Foley's Records, ii. 643, v. 597, vii. 768; Southwell's Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu, 718; Backer's Bibl. des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus (1869), i. 300.]

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