Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clare, John (1577-1628)

CLARE, JOHN (1577–1628), jesuit, was born in Wiltshire in 1677, entered the Society of Jesus in 1604 or 1605, and was professed of the four vows in 1618. He became prefect of studies both at Louvain and the English college, Rome; and was also professor of sacred scripture at Louvain. For some years he served the ‘college’ of St. Francis Xavier (the North and South Wales district) and was rector of that college at the time of his death on 4 June 1628. He was a very learned man, and had prepared for the press a controversial work, but died before it was printed. This was apparently ‘The Converted Iew, or certaine dialogves beween Micheas, a learned Iew, and others, touching diuers points of Religion, controuerted betweene the Catholicks and Protestants. Written by M. Iohn Clare, a Catholicke Priest, of the Society of Iesus. Dedicated to the two Vniuersities of Oxford and Cambridge.’ No place, 1630, 4to. It has a long ‘Appendix, wherein is taken a short view containing a full answere of a pamphlet entitvled, A Treatise of the Perpetuall Visibility, and succession of the true Church in all ages [by George Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury] printed anno 1824.’ Dodd and Harris, misled by Wood, erroneously state that the author of ‘The Converted Jew' was an Irishman, whereas he expressly styles himself an ‘English Pryest.’ In the summary of deceased members of the Society of Jesus it is asserted that the book, though published in his name, was not really written by him.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 1228; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 103; Ware’s Writers of Ireland (Harris), p 109; Oliver's Collections S. J. 68. 240; Backer's Bibl. des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus (1869), i. 1284; Foley’s Records, i. 132-3. iv. 401, 652. vii. 131; Historical MSS. Commission, 3rd Rep. 334; Catholic Miscellany (1823), ix. 33.]

T. C.