Described by Evelyn as “the chief of the Jesuits in the English College”, I believe this is Edward Courtney. —GS

From Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 12

COURTNEY, EDWARD (1599?–1677), a jesuit, whose real name was Leedes, was the son of Sir Thomas Leedes, K.B., by Mary, daughter and heiress of Thomas Leedes of Northamilford, Yorkshire. He was born at Wappingthorne, the family seat in Sussex, in or about 1599. His father, having embraced the catholic religion, voluntarily left this country and settled at Louvain. Edward, after studying classics in the college of St. Omer, entered the English college, Rome, for his higher course, as a convictor or boarder, under the name of Courtney, on 9 Oct. 1618 (Foley, Records, vi. 287).

He joined the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew’s in Rome in 1621, and was professed of the four vows in 1634 (Oliver, Jesuit Collections, p. 77). In the latter year he was arrested in London, and committed to the Gatehouse prison upon a charge of having written against the condemned oath of supremacy (Panzani, Memoirs, pp. 156, 162, 169, 177; Foley, Records, i. 251 et seq.) He was rector of the college of St. Omer (1646–9), twice rector of the English college, Rome, provincial of the English province of his order (1660–4), and then rector of the college of Liège. He died at St. Omer on 3 Oct. 1677.

Referring entries

Further reading


  • Diary,
  • Wikisource.