Nicholas Sanders

c.1530-1581. Roman Catholic scholar and controversialist. Born in Surrey and educated at Winchester and Oxford, he became a lecturer in canon law at Oxford (1551) until the accession of Elizabeth in 1558 made him leave England for the Continent. By 1561 he had been ordained priest at Rome, and he served as theologian at the Council of Trent* in the entourage of S. Cardinal Hosius.* Sanders's abilities were further recognized in 1565 with his appointment as professor of theology at Louvain, and there followed seven years in which he produced a number of works upholding the claims of Rome against the Anglican Church. He was summoned to Rome in 1572 to advise Gregory XIII* on English affairs, and worked and schemed for a military invasion of England by Catholic armies, with mixed results. He went to Ireland in 1579 in pursuance of his plans, but died there two years later. His works include The Rock of the Church (1567), De Visibili Monarchiae Ecclesiae (1571), and an uncompleted volume which was translated into English and published in 1877 as The Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism.