Edmund Campion

1540-1581. English Jesuit.* Son of a London bookseller, he was a precocious youth, accomplished at giving addresses of welcome to royalty. He was maintained by the Grocers' Company at Christ's Hospital, and afterward at St. John's, Oxford, where he became a junior fellow in 1557. Despite his doubt, Bishop Cheyney persuaded him to be ordained deacon, but he left Oxford in 1569 and went to Ireland. An attempt to resurrect Dublin University failed, and he returned to England in disguise. At Douai in 1571 he entered the Roman Church. Next year he went on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he became a Jesuit. He was sent to Bohemia and ordained by the archbishop of Prague in 1578. When the Jesuits agreed to take part in the English mission, Parsons and Campion were the first two chosen. They reached England in June 1580, but Campion was arrested just over a year later and executed at Tyburn in December 1581. He had time, however, to print and distribute his Decem Rationes.