Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bagshaw, Christopher
BAGSHAW, CHRISTOPHER (d. 1625?), priest, came of a Derbyshire family. He graduated B.A. on 12 July 1572, of Balliol College, Oxford, and in the same year was elected probationer fellow of his college. Before going to Oxford he appears to have studied for a short time at Cambridge. Baker records that he matriculated at St. John's College, Cambridge, on 22 Nov. 1566. According to Anthony à Wood he owed his fellowship to the influence of Robert Parsons; but Wood's editor, Bliss, prints in the footnotes to the life of Parsons (Athen. Oxon. ii. 657) a letter of Archbishop Abbot to Dr. Hussye, from which it appears that Bagshaw 'coming to be fellow was most hot in prosecution against Parson,' whose expulsion from the college he was instrumental in procuring. On 21 June 1575, Bagshaw took the degree of M.A. At this time he was zealous in his devotion to protestant principles, 'yet proved troublesome in his public disputes and in his behaviour towards persons.' About 1579 he became principal, whether in his own right or as deputy, of Gloucester Hall, where he made himself very unpopular. He soon resigned this office, and in 1582 Went into France. Here he became a convert to Romanism, and was made a priest. Then, with the permission of Cardinal Allen, he went to Rome, and was admitted to the English college, where his quarrelsome temper made him so unpopular that he was expelled by Cardinal Boncompagno. On leaving Rome he returned to Paris, where he became a doctor of divinity and one of the Sorbonne. The Jesuit writers used to style him derisively 'doctor erraticus' and 'doctor per saltum.' Afterwards he went to England to make converts, and in 1587 we find him imprisoned in the Tower (Foley, Records of the Society of Jesus, i. 481). In 1593 he was confined with other priests and gentlemen in Wisbeach Castle. His fellow prisoners held him at first in great esteem, but he was soon exposed by Father Edmonds, alias Weston, as 'a man of no worth, unruly, disordered, and a disobedient person, not to be favoured or respected by any' (Relation of the Faction begun at Wisbich, 1595 (1601), 4to, p. 38). When examined at the Tower for treasonable practices, Squier, an emissary from some English priests in Spain, affirmed that he had come with a letter (which he threw into the sea off Plymouth) from Father Walpole to Bagshaw at Wisbeach (Foley, Records, ii. 244). After his liberation, Bagshaw continued to reside abroad. In 1612 he held a disputation with Dr. Daniel Featley concerning transubstantiation. Notes of this disputation were printed many years afterwards in 'Transubstantiation exploded, or an Encounter with Richard, the titularie Bishop of Chalcedon. . . . By Daniel Featley, D.D. Whereunto is annexed a publique and solemne disputation held at Paris with Christopher Bagshawe, D. in Theologie and Rector of Avie Marie College,' 1638. Wood says that Bagshaw 'died and was buried at Paris after the year sixteen hundred and twenty-five, as I have been informed by Franc. à Santa Clara, who remembered and knew the doctor well, but had forgotten the exact date of his death.'
Bagshaw published at Paris in 1603 'An Answer to certain points of a Libel called An Apology of the Subordination in England,' 8vo. He is also thought to have been concerned in (1) 'Relatio compendiosa Turbarum quas Jesuitæ Angli una cum D. Georgio Blackwello, Archipresbytero, Sacerdotibus Seminariorum Populoque Catholico concivere,' &c., Rothomagi, 1601, 4to (published under the name of John Mush); (2) ' A true Relation of the Faction begun at Wisbich by Father Emonds, alias Weston, a Jesuit, 1595, and continued since by Father Walley, alias Garnet, the Provincial of the Jesuits in England, and by Father Parsons in Rome,' 1601, 4to.[Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss, ii. 389-90, Fasti, i. 188. 199; Dodd's Church History, ii. 67; Foley's Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, i. 42, 481, ii. 239, 244.]