Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1616-1622 - Strand (Covent Garden)

Theologian Marco Antonio de Dominis was born in 1560 on the island of Rab off the Adriatic coast. He was educated at a Jesuit school in Loreto and entered the Society of Jesus in 1579. Following further studies in Verona and Padua, he taught mathematics at the University of Padua and philosophy at the University of Brescia. In 1597 he resigned from the Society of Jesus in order to accept appointment as Bishop of Segna, in Habsburg-controlled Croatia. In 1602 he became Archbishop of Spalato (which was under Venetian control).

As a critic of the papacy, he was persuaded to migrate to London where he arrived in December 1616. His Manifestation, explaining his move, was published in Latin and Italian in Heidelberg in 1616. English, French, and Dutch translations were published that same year. He was appointed Dean of the Chapel Royal, Windsor, and Master of the Savoy Hospital, Strand. His publications were widely circulated. In De republica ecclesiastica (1617/22) he made a statement on how to reunite the church and secure peace in Europe.

In 1622 he suddenly returned to the Continent and to the communion of the Catholic Church. He accused the Church of England of being infected with heresy. Pope Gregory XV allowed him to settle in Rome. When the latter died in summer 1623, De Dominis was arrested by the Inquisition while his teachings were examined for heresy. He died in prison in September 1624. His body and books were burnt at Campo dei Fiori. Although a controversial figure, later critics have painted him as a pioneer in the cause of religious reconciliation.

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