Matthew Kellison

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Matthew Kellison (c. 1560 21 January 1642) was an English Roman Catholic theologian and controversialist, and a reforming president of the English College, Douai.



Born about 1560 at Harrowden, Northamptonshire, [1] he was son of a servant and tenant of William Vaux, 3rd Baron Vaux of Harrowden. In 1581 he entered the English College of Douai, then temporarily at Rheims, and in September 1582 he was sent with six of his fellow-students to the English College at Rome. In August 1587 he received orders, probably those of sub-deacon, and in September 1589, the year of his advancement to the priesthood, was sent back to Rheims to succeed William Giffard as professor of scholastic theology. He moved to Douai with the other professors and students of the college in 1593, and matriculated in the university there on 1 April 1594. Afterwards he returned to Rheims, and having taken the degree of D.D., he was appointed in 1601 regius professor, and on 30 January 1606 magnificus rector or chancellor of the university. When Arras College was founded at Paris in 1611 to associate scholars for the purpose of writing controversial works, Kellison was one of the five first admitted. He frequently visited the college. [2]

During the disputes at Douai College, in consequence of the subservience of the president, Thomas Worthington, to the Jesuits, the cardinal-protector summoned Worthington to Rome, and appointed Kellison as provisional head. Kellison arrived at Douai on 10 June 1613, and in November he was installed as the fourth president of the college. He resigned his preferments at Rheims, despite the inducement to remain held out by the Duke of Guise. [2]

At Douai he appointed professors, obtained the discharge of the Jesuit confessor, and withdrew the scholars from Jesuit schools to be taught in the College. Within a few years he had expelled Edward Weston and Thomas Singleton, leading supporters of the Jesuits within Douai. [3] His reforms made him enemies, but the nuncios at Brussels and Paris supported him. The English secular clergy three times without result recommended him to be their bishop, in 1608, 1614, and 1622. After presiding over Douai College for 27 years he died there, on 21 January 1642. [2]


His works include:


  1. One or other of the adjoining manors of Great Harrowden and Little Harrowden.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Kellison, Matthew"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  3. 1 2 3 Andrew Pyle (editor), The Dictionary of Seventeenth Century British Philosophers (2000), Thoemmes Press (two volumes), article Kellison, Matthew, p. 486-7.
  4. Peter Milward, article on Kellison in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography .

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Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Kellison, Matthew". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.