Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dawson, Edward

DAWSON or DAVISON, EDWARD (1576?–1624?), jesuit, the only son of respectable parents, ‘connected with Sir Anthony Staunden,’ was born in London in 1576 or 1578 (Oliver, Jesuit Collections, p. 80). He completed his studies in Spain, and after being ordained priest was sent to the English mission. He was soon apprehended and lodged in gaol, where he remained till 1606, when he was sentenced to perpetual exile, with forty-five other priests (Foley, Records, vi. 522). He entered the Society of Jesus at Louvain in 1606 or 1609 (ib. vol. vii. pt. i. p. 196). Having been sent back to England on the mission, he laboured for some time in London and in Lincolnshire. Recalled by his superiors to Ghent, he obtained permission to devote himself to the spiritual care of the English and Irish soldiers who were suffering from the plague in the Low Countries. He soon caught the contagion, and expired at Brussels on 22 Dec. 1622, according to the necrology of the province, but the year is incorrect (More, Hist. Missionis Anglicanæ Soc. Jesu, p. 449). He more probably died in 1624. Dodd states that he died at St. Omer about 1623 (Church Hist. ii. 393). Southwell says he was ‘ob opinionem doctrinæ, concionandi facultatem, et morum comitatem, illustribus viris peracceptus’ (Bibl. Script. Soc. Jesu, p. 185).

He published: 1. ‘A Practical Method of Meditation,’ St. Omer, 1614, 12mo. 2. ‘Lives of many Saints,’ Douay, 1615, folio, translated from the Spanish of Father Peter Ribadeneira (Backer, Bibl. des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus, ed. 1869, i. 1535).

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