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John Constable

John Constable

(Alias Lacey).

Controversialist (pen-name Clerophilus Alethes), b. in Lincolnshire, 10 November, 1676 or 1678; d. 28 March, 1743. In 1695 he entered the Society of Jesus. For many years he served the Fitzherbert family at Swinnerton, where he is buried. Constable's chief controversial opponents were:

  • the Abbé Courayer (1681-1776; Dict. Nat. Biog. XII, 328) who championed Anglican orders, came over to England in 1728, was lionized, and eventually buried in the cloisters of Westminster; and
  • Charles Dodd vere Hugh Tootell, who wrote with a prejudice against Jesuits.

The chief writings of Constable are:

  • "Remarks on Courayer's Book in Defense of English Ordinations, wherein their invalidity is fully proved", an answer to Courayer's "Dissertations" of 1723;
  • "The Stratagem Discovered to show that Courayer writes 'Booty', and is only a sham defender of these ordinations", by "Clerophilus Alethes" (8vo, 1729), against Rev. Trapp's "Defense of the Church of England";
  • "Doctrine of Antiquity concerning the Eucharist" by "Clerophilus Alethes" (8vo, 1736);
  • "Specimen of Amendments proposed to the Complier of 'The Church History of England'", by "Clerophilus Alethes" (12mo, 1741);
  • "Advice to the Author of 'The Church History of England'", manuscript at Stonyhurst.

Gillow enumerates a few other writings by Constable.

Oliver, Collectanea S.J., 73; Foley, Records S.J., III, 207; VII (i), 159; Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la C. de J., II col. 1374; Gillow, Dict. of Eng. Cath., I, 552, sqq.; Cooper in Dict. Nat. Biog., XII, 36.


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