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Maelbrighte O'Hussey





(Irish, Maol Brighde ua Heodhusa; Latin, Brigidus Hossæus).

Known also as Giolla-Brigid and as Bonaventura Hussey, a Franciscan Friar, b. In the Diocese of Clogher, Ulster. Little is known of his life. The first definite information about him dates from 1 November, 1607, on which day he became one of the original members of the Irish Franciscans at their college of St. Anthony at Louvain. It seems, however, that he had previously been at Douai. At Louvain, he lectured first in philosophy and afterwards in theology. His fame rests upon his profound knowledge of the history and language of Ireland, for which, according to the chronicles of his order, he was even in his own time held in high esteem. As far as we know, his works were all written in Irish, and one of his writings, "A Christian Catechism" (Louvain, 1608), was the first book printed on the Continent in the Irish character. The book must have met with considerable success, for we find that it was several times reprinted and revised. Among his other works are to be mentioned: a metrical abridgement in 240 verses of the Christian Catechism, a poem for a friend who had fallen into heresy, a poem on the author entering the Order of St. Francis, and three or four poems preserved in manuscript in the British Museum and the Royal Irish Academy. A letter in Irish from him to Father Nugent, the superior of the Irish Jesuits, is printed in Rev. E. Hogan's "Hibernia Ignatiana" (p. 167). O'Hussey remained as guardian of the college at Louvain until his death in 1614.

Irish Ecclesiastical Record, VII (1870), 41; MORAN, Spicilegium Ossoriense, III, 52: WADDING, Scriptores ordinis minorum, 56; WARE-HARRIS, Writers of Ireland, 102; O'REILLY, Irish Writers, 168.

JOSEPH DUNN








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