Lacey, William (DNB00)

LACEY, WILLIAM (1584–1673), jesuit, whose real name was Wolfe, born at Scarborough in 1584, was son of a tanner and leather dealer. He was sent to Oxford by an uncle, became a student in Magdalen College in 1600, and graduated B.A. on 2 July 1606 (Oxford Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., vol. ii. pt. iii. p. 264). Having become a convert to the Roman catholic religion, he was well received by the jesuits at St. Omer; was admitted an alumnus of the English College at Rome in 1608; and, after receiving minor orders, left for Lorraine 2 Sept. 1611, in order to enter the Society of Jesus in the novitiate at Nancy. After his tertianship at Ghent, and a course of teaching at St. Omer, he was sent to England, and in 1625 was a missioner in the Lancashire district. In 1633 he was in the Oxfordshire district, or St. Mary's ‘residence,’ and two years later in St. George's ‘residence,’ which comprised Worcestershire and Warwickshire. He was professed of the four vows 21 Nov. 1637. In 1649 he was again at St. Mary's, where he remained, as missioner at Oxford, until his death. He died at Oxford on 17 July 1673. He was buried in the parish church of Somerton, Oxfordshire. Wood says ‘he was esteemed by all, especially by those of his own opinion’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 995).

He was the author of: 1. ‘The Jvdgment of an Vniversity-Man concerning M. William Chillingworth his late Pamphlet, in Answere to Charity Maintayned,’ 4to (anon.), 1639. Probably printed at St. Omer. A reply to Chillingworth's ‘Religion of Protestants’ [see Knott, Edward]. 2. ‘Heavtomachia. M. Chillingworth against himselfe,’ 4to, pp. 46. Printed as an appendix to the preceding work. Wood and Oliver erroneously ascribe to him another attack on Chillingworth, ‘The Totall Svmme,’ 1639, 4to, which was the work of the jesuit Father John Floyd [q. v.]

[Birch's Life of Chillingworth; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 320; Foley's Records, iv. 598, vi. 251, vii. 856; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 128; Southwell's Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu, p. 315.]

T. C.