Born at Llanfrynach, Brecknock, probably son of Thomas ap John of Tŷ Mawr, and Janet his wife. Brought up as a Protestant, he proceeded in 1591 from Merchant Taylors’ to S. John's College, Oxford, of which he was elected a Fellow in 1593. On account of his Romanist leanings he was deprived of his Fellowship in 1595-6, and left Oxford to study theology with the Jesuits at Valladolid, having in the meantime been received into the Roman Catholic Church. There, in October 1599, he joined the Benedictine Order, taking the name ‘Leander a Sancto Marino.’ A doctor in divinity of the University of Salamanca, a brilliant scholar, and a great Oriental linguist, his advancement within the Order was rapid, and from 1619 to 1621 he officiated as the first President General of the English Benedictines. Early in 1634 he came to England under safe conduct to discuss with archbishop Laud the question of the reunion of the Anglican and Roman churches. He died in London 17 December 1636, and was buried in the Chapel Royal, Somerset House.
Published date: 1959
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