Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Walpole, Michael

WALPOLE, MICHAEL (1570–1624?), jesuit and controversialist, youngest of the four brothers of Henry Walpole [q. v.], was baptised at Docking, Norfolk, on 1 Oct. 1570. When John Gerard [q. v.] landed in Norfolk in 1588 he made the acquaintance of the Docking household, and young Michael attached himself to the jesuit. When Henry Walpole was taken prisoner at Flushing, Michael went to his assistance and procured his ransom. He entered the Society of Jesus on 7 Sept. 1593. Doña Luisa de Carvajal came to England in 1606, and he appears to have been her confessor or spiritual adviser. In 1610, while in attendance on this lady, he was arrested and thrown into prison; but on the intervention of the Spanish ambassador he was released, though compelled to leave the country. In 1613 he returned to England in company with Gondomar, when Doña Luisa's house was broken into and the lady imprisoned. Walpole very narrowly escaped arrest. When Doña Luisa died in 1614, Walpole was with her, and he accompanied her body on its removal to Spain next year, and died some time after 12 Aug. 1624.

Walpole wrote much. He published: 1. ‘A Treatise on the Subjection of Princes to God and the Church,’ St. Omer, 1608, 4to. 2. ‘Five Books of Philosophical Comfort, with Marginal Notes, translated from the Latin of Boethius,’ London, 1609, 8vo. 3. ‘Admonition to the English Catholics concerning the Edict of King James,’ St. Omer, 1610, 4to. 4. ‘Anti-Christ Extant, against George Downham,’ St. Omer, 1613–14, 2 vols. 4to; 2nd edit. 1632. 5. ‘Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola,’ St. Omer, 1616, 12mo: a translation of Ribadeneyra which was often reprinted.

[The sources of Walpole's biography are referred to or quoted at large in ‘One Generation of a Norfolk House,’ by the present writer, Norwich, 1878, 4to. Some few unimportant additions to the information there collected will be found in Foley's Records of the English Province, and in his Collectanea.]

A. J.