Rudesind Barlow

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Dom William Rudesind Barlow (1585–1656), generally known during his adult life as Rudesind Barlow, was an English Benedictine, a recusant educationalist, and rector of the English College in Douai.[1]


Barlow was the third son of Sir Alexander Barlow of Barlow Hall, Chorlton, in the county of Lancashire, England, by his marriage to Mary Brereton. He was educated with his younger brother Edward at the English College, Douai. (His brother became Saint Ambrose Barlow and is venerated as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.)[2]

Wishing to become a Benedictine, Barlow joined the Spanish congregation, being professed at Cella Nueva in Galicia in 1605. Ordained priest in 1608 he graduated Doctor of Divinity at Salamanca. In 1611 he went to St Gregory's, Douai, where he was made prior in 1614, and two years later professor of theology at St Vaast's College, an office which he held for forty years.

From 1621 to 1629 he was President-General of the English Congregation. In 1633 he became titular Cathedral-Prior of Canterbury. Beyond a circular letter to the English Benedictines about their relations with the vicar Apostolic of England, none of his writings survive. According to Ralph Weldon, Barlow was looked on as a leading theologian and canonist; and effectively opposed Richard Smith as bishop of Chalcedon, who claimed leadership of the English Roman Catholics. On the death of William Bishop, the first vicar apostolic of England, Barlow was consulted by the pope as to the best successor, and recommended Smith; but later he differed on the question of the extent of the vicar apostolic's jurisdiction.


  1. ^ William Rudesind Barlow - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  2. ^ Jones, Terry H. "Saint Ambrose Edward Barlow". Retrieved 2008-12-13. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "William Rudesind Barlow". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Barlow, Rudesind". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.