Hay, John (1546-1607) (DNB00)

HAY, JOHN (1546–1607), Scottish jesuit, born in 1546, was a member of the family of Hay of Dalgety, Fifeshire. He entered the Society of Jesus at Rome on 25 Jan. 1565–6, and was fellow-novice with St. Stanislaus Kostka from 28 Oct. 1567 until 25 Jan. 1567–8 (Boero, Storia della Vita di S. Stanislao Kostka, p. 281). In 1576 he visited Strasburg for the benefit of his health, and while there took part in a famous disputation held in the protestant academy on the doctrine of transubstantiation (Sacchini, Historia Soc. Jesu, pt. iv. n. 131). Afterwards he succeeded in penetrating into Scotland, where his presence caused great commotion among the presbyterian ministers. Embarking at Bordeaux on 23 Dec. 1578, he landed at Dundee on 20 Jan. 1578–9, and stayed in the house of his brother Edmund, an advocate, who was one of the counsel for James Hepburn, earl of Bothwell, at his trial for the murder of Darnley, and in the process of his divorce. The Earl of Errol, constable of the kingdom, and the head of the family of the Hays, offered to conduct him to the king, and promised that he should be unmolested. Royal letters were issued, however, commanding him to quit the country. Another brother, William, gave a caution in 1,000l. that Hay should go abroad, ‘wind and wedder servand,’ before 1 Oct. 1579, and that he would do nothing meanwhile ‘offensive to the trew and Christiane religioun established.’ Hay described his proceedings in a letter addressed from Paris on 9 Nov. 1579 to Edward Mercurian, the general of the jesuits (Leith, Narratives of Scottish Catholics, pp. 141–65).

In or about 1581 he was appointed ordinary professor of theology in the university of Tournon in France, where he was also dean of arts. The publication of his ‘Demandes concerning the Christian Religion’ in 1580 greatly irritated the Calvinists, and led to a long and embittered controversy between the protestant professors at Nismes and the jesuits at Tournon. In his latter days Hay was appointed rector of the college at Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, where he died on 21 May 1607. Oliver says he was a man of commanding abilities, primitive fervour, and infantine docility. His works are: 1. ‘Certaine Demandes concerning the Christian Religion and Discipline, proposed to the Ministers of the new pretended Kirk of Scotlande,’ Paris, 1580, 16mo, pp. 104. It was reprinted and translated into French by Father M. Coyssard under the title of ‘Demandes faictes aux Ministres d'Escosse, …’ Lyons, 1583, 16mo. A German translation by Sebastian Werro, Pfarrherr zu Freyburg in Uehtland, appeared under the title of ‘Fragstuck des Christlichen Glaubens an die neuwe Sectische Predigkanten …,’ Freiburg, 1585, 4to; this is the first book printed at Freiburg. Another edition was printed there in 1586. Replies to Hay's work were published by Jaques Pineton de Chambrune and Jean de Serres. There was also published anonymously ‘Response aux cinq premieres et principales Demandes de Fr. Jean Hay,’ Geneva, 1586, 8vo. 2. ‘Disputationum libri duo, in quibus calumniæ et captiones Ministri Anonymi Nemausensis contra Assertiones Theologicas et Philosophicas … anno 1581 propositas discutiuntur,’ Lyons, 1584, 4to. To this De Serres replied in ‘Pro vera Ecclesiæ Catholicæ autoritate Defensio adversus Joh. Hayi Jesuitæ Disputationes,’ Geneva, 1594. 3. ‘La Défense des Demandes proposées aux Ministres de Calvin, touchant les blasphèmes, etc., contre le libelle de Jaques Pineton de Chambrun, prédicant à Nismes,’ Lyons, 1586, 8vo. 4. ‘L'Antimoine aux Responses que Th. de Beze faict à trente sept Demandes de deux cents et six, proposées aux Ministres d'Escosse,’ Tournon, 1588. Hay entitled his work ‘Antimoine’ because Beza had insultingly called him a monk. Hay edited the ‘Bibliotheca Sancta’ of Sisto da Siena, Lyons, 1591, fol.; several times reprinted, and translated into Latin from Italian, ‘Litteræ R. P. Alexandri Valingnano Visitatoris Societatis Jesu in Japponia et China, scriptæ 10 Octobris 1599, ad R. P. Claudium Aquaviva ejusdem Societatis Præpositum Generalem …,’ Antwerp, 1603, 12mo; ‘Japponiensis imperii admirabilis commutatio exposita litteris ad Reverendum admodum P. Claudium Aquavivam’ [by Valentino Carvaglio, and dated from Nangasachi, 25 Feb. 1601], Antwerp, 1604, 8vo; ‘De Rebus Peruanis Reverendi P. Dieghi de Torres, Societatis Jesu Presbyteri Commentarius …,’ Antwerp, 1604, 8vo. These three translations were reissued with other pieces in ‘De Rebus Japonicis, Indicis, et Peruvianis Epistolæ recentiores …,’ Antwerp, 1605, 8vo. A manuscript by Hay, ‘Helleborum Joanni Serrano [de Serres] Calviniano,’ was among the archives of the jesuits at Rome in 1676. ‘Scholia Brevia in Bibl. Sixti,’ Lyons, is also ascribed to him, together with ‘Universitatum totius orbis et collegiorum omnium Societatis libellus,’ Tournon, 1586, 8vo, published with the name of Franciscus Catinius on the title-page.

[Cat. of Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, iii. 687; De Backer's Bibl. de la Compagnie de Jésus, ii. 64; Dempster's Hist. Eccl. Gentis Scotorum (1627), p. 361; Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 136; Foley's Records, vii. 347; Southwell's Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu, p. 459; Stothert's Catholic Mission in Scotland, p. 364; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 369.]

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