Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dillon, Thomas (1613-1676?)

DILLON or DE LEON, THOMAS (1613–1676?), jesuit, was born in Ireland in 1613 and educated in Spain. He entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Seville in 1627 and afterwards became a professed father. He taught philosophy for six years and scholastic and moral theology for twenty-two years in the colleges of his order at Seville and Granada. In 1640 he was professor of humanities at Cadiz. He was residing in the college at Granada in 1676, being then in ill-health and afflicted with dimness in the eyes. Dillon was skilled in Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, and Athanasius Kircher (Œdipus Ægyptiacus, vol. ii. class. xi. sect. 4) pronounced him to be ‘linguarum orientalium et abstrusioris doctrinæ veterum explorator eximius.’ Probably he is the person whom Peter Talbot, archbishop of Dublin, calls Thomas Talbot, alias De Leon, ‘the oracle of all Spain, not only for his profoundness in divinity, but for his vast extent of knowledge in other sciences, and his great skill in the languages’ (The Frier Disciplined, p. 45).

He was the author of:

  1. ‘Leccion sacra en la fiesta celebre que hizo el collegio de la Compagnia de Jesus de la ciudad de Cadiz en hazimiento de gracias a Dios Nuestro Señor por el complimiento del primer siglo de su sagrada religion,’ Seville, 1640, 4to.
  2. ‘Commentary on the Books of Maccabees. MS.’

[Antonio's Bibl. Hispana Nova, ii. 307; Backer's Bibl. des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus (1869), i. 1599; Foley's Records, vii. 203; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 243; Southwell's Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu, p. 762; Ware's Writers (Harris), p. 164.]

T. C.