Harris, Paul (DNB00)


HARRIS, PAUL (1573–1635?), catholic divine, although often assumed to be an Irishman, distinctly states that he was a native of England (Ἀρκτόμαστιξ, p. 119). He became a secular priest of the Roman catholic church, and lived for many years in Dublin, where he was rector of a seminary for boys. He engaged in several acrimonious disputes with the Franciscans. It was alleged that Thomas Fleming [q. v.], archbishop of Dublin, himself a Franciscan, had formed the design of displacing the secular priests in order to introduce Franciscan friars into the parishes of his diocese. The seculars vehemently opposed the scheme, and Harris, being more active than the rest, and a man of great spirit, incurred the censure of excommunication from the archbishop, who eventually procured an order from Rome for his banishment out of the diocese of Dublin. The date of his death is unknown, but he says that he was sixty years old when he published his Ἀρκτόμαστιξ in 1633.

His works, all of which were probably printed in Dublin, are: 1. A book against Archbishop Ussher's sermon preached at Wansted before James I. 2. ‘The Excommunication published by the L. Archbishop of Dublin, Thomas Flemming, alias Barnwell, Friar of the Order of S. Francis, against the inhabitants of the Diocese of Dublin, for hearing the Masses of Peter Caddell, d. of divinity, and Paul Harris, Priests, is proved not only unjust, but of no Validity, and consequently binding to no obedience. In which Treatise is discovered that impious plot … of the aforesaid Archbishop and his Friars in supplanting the Pastors and Priests of the Clergy, thereby to bring all into the hands of the Friars,’ 1632, 4to, pp. 112; 2nd edit. 1633. 3. ‘Ἀρκτόμαστιξ, sive Edmundus Ursulanus, propter usurpatum Judicium de tribunali dejectus, et propter libellum famosum in Judicium vocatus,’ 1633, 4to, pp. 120. This is a reply to Francis Matthews, a friar, who in 1631, under the pseudonym of Edmundus Ursulanus, published ‘Examen Juridicum Censuræ Facultatis Theologicæ Parisiensis, et ejusdem Civitatis Archiepiscopi latæ circa quasdam propositiones Regularibus Regni Hiberniæ falso impositas.’ Ἀρκτόμαστιξ means a scourge for the bear, and has reference to the pseudonym Ursulanus. 4. ‘Fratres sobrii estote, 1 Pet. 5, 8. Or an Admonition to the Fryars of this kingdome of Ireland to abandon such hereticall doctrines as they daylie publish,’ 1634, 4to. 5. ‘Exile exiled. Occasioned by a Mandat from Rome procured by Thomas Flemming, alias Barnwell, archbishop of Dublin, and friar of the Order of St. Francis, from the congregation of the cardinalls de propagandâ fide, for the banishment of Paul Harris out of the diocesse of Dublin,’ 1635, 4to.

[Burnet's Life of Bp. Bedell, 1692, p. 71; Bibl. Grenvilliana; Shirley's Cat. of the Library at Lough Fea, p. 131; Cat. Librorum Impress. in Bibl. Coll. Trin. Dubl. iv. 70; Ware's Writers of Ireland (Harris), pp. 119, 338.]

T. C.