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John Floyd

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English missionary, wrote under the names Flud, Daniel à Jesu, Hermannus Loemelius, George White, Annosus Fidelis Verimentanus, and under the initials J. R. Some of his works have been erroneously attributed to Robert Jennison, S.J. He was b. in Cambridgeshire in 1572; d. at St.-Omer, 16 Sept. 1649. he was educated at the Jesuit College at Eu, then at the English College at Reims (17 March, 1588) and finally the English College in Rome (1590), where he entered the Society of Jesus, 1 Nov., 1592. Nothing is known about his ordination, but in 1606 he was a missionary priest in England. On 6 April in that year he was arrested at Worcester while attempting to visit Ven. Edward Oldcorne who was to suffer martyrdom next day. Having been imprisoned for twelve months he, with forty-six other priests, was banished for life. He then spent four years teaching at St.-Omer, though Foley (Records, IV, 238), is mistaken in supposing he published any controversial works at that time. On 31 July, 1609, he was professed of the four vows, and soon after returned to England, where he laboured on the mission for many years, being often captured, but effecting his escape by buying off the pursuivants. In 1612 he published his first work, "The Overthrow of the Protestant Pulpit Babels", in which he replied to Crawshaw's "Jesuit Gospel". He was in return answered by Sir Edward Hoby in his "A Counter-Snarl for Ishmael Rabshakeh a Cycropedian Lycaonite, being an answer to a Roman Catholic who writes himself J. R." Father Floyd countered in 1614 with "Purgatorie's Triumph over Hell, maugre the barking of Cerberus in Syr Edward Hobyes Counter Snarle". This controversy closed with Hoby's rejoinder, "A Curry-comb for a Cox-combe", published in 1615. Father Floyd next turned his attention to Marc' Antonio de Dominis, formerly Archbishop of Spilatro, who had apostasized and become Protestant dean of Windsor. Against him Father Floyd wrote four works: "Synopsis Apostasiæ Marci Antonii de Dominis, olim Archepiscopi Spalatensis, nunc Apostatæ, ex ipsiusmet libro delineata" (Antwerp 1617). It was translated into English by Father Henry Hawkins, S.J., in 1617, and again by Dr. John Fletcher in 1828. "Hypocrisis Marci Antonii de Dominis detecta sui censura in ejus libros de Republicâ Ecclesiasticâ" (Antwerp, 1620); "Censura ex Librorum X de Republicâ Ecclesiasticâ Marci Antonii de Dominis" (Antwerp 1620, Cologne, 1621); "Monarchiæ Ecclesiasticæ ex scriptus M. Antonii de Dominis Archepiscopi Spalatensis Demonstratio, duobus libri comprehensa" (Cologne, 1622). All four works appeared under the signature Fidelis Annosus Verimentanus.

In 1620, Floyd published "God and the King", a translation of a work on loyalty, and in the following year a translation of Augustine's "Meditations". In 1623 he was living in Fleet Street (Gee's "Foot out of the Snare") and in the same year he wrote "A word of comfort or a discourse concerning the late lamentable accident of a fall of a room at a Catholic Sermon in the Blackfriars of London, wherewith about four-score persons were oppressed"; also a translation of Molina "On the Sacrifice of the Mass". In 1625 he published "An Answer to Francis White's reply to Mr. Fischer's answer to the Nine Articles offered by King James to Father John Fischer". In 1629 Fr. Floyd played a leading part in the controversy between Jesuits and seculars on the desirability of having a bishop resident in England. Bishop Richard Smith, whose presence was regarded by some as a source of persecution, had in fact left England for Paris and was never able to return, but the situation gave rise to acrimonious discussion. Father Floyd's works were "An Apology for the Holy See Apostolick's Proceedings for the Government of the Catholicks of England during the time of persecution" (Rouen, 1630; enlarged Lat. ed., Cologne, 1631): and "Hermanni Loemelii Antverpiensis Spongia qua diluuntur Calumniæ nomine Facultatis Parisiensis impositæ libro qui inscribitur Apologia" etc. (St-Omer, 1631). Both of these works were condemned by the Sorbonne, and in 1633 Urban VIII stopped the controversy and suppressed all writings on the subject. His other works are "A Paire of Spectacles for Sir Humphrey Linde to see his way withal" (1631); "The Church Conquerant over Human Wit" (1638); "The Totall Sum" (1638); "The Imposture of Puritan Piety" (1638). He left two unpublished works: "Vita Brunehildis Francorum Reginæ" and a "Treatise on Holy Pictures". Father Floyd spent the last years of his life teaching philosophy and theology at St-Omer's.


Dodd, Church History (Brussels, 1739-1742), III, 105; de Backer, Bibl des escrevains de la c. de J. (1869), I, 1888; Knox, Douay Diaries (London, 1878); Foley, Records Eng. Prov. S.J. (London, 1878, 1880, 1882), IV, 238; where he mistakes a date in Douary Diaries and states that Floyd was sent to Rome in 1593 instead of 1590; VI, 185; VII, 268; Gillow, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., s.v.; Cooper in Dict. Nat. Biog., s.v., who repeats Foley's mistake.

About this page

APA citation. Burton, E. (1909). John Floyd. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Burton, Edwin. "John Floyd." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by M. Donahue.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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