Ellis, Philip (Michael)

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Benedictine monk of St. Gregory's, Douay, and zealous vicar apostolic of the (English) Western District; b. Waddesdon, Bucks., 1652; d. Segni, Italy, Nov. 16, 1726. As the third son of Rev. John Ellis, he was brought up a Protestant but became a Catholic while a boy at Westminster School. He was known at school and throughout life as "Jolly Phil." He smuggled himself across the English Channel, and entered the Benedictine monastery at Douay, where he was professed on Nov. 30, 1670. One of his brothers was the Protestant bishop of Meath, and another, secretary of state to William III. Later Ellis became chaplain to James II, and was consecrated bishop of Aureliopolis in partibus on May 6, 1688, in the chapel of St. James's Palace (then a Benedictine monastery). At the fall of the monarchy, he was imprisoned in Newgate Prison. On his release he went to Rome, was befriended by the Dominican Cardinal Philip Thomas howard, and made assistant prelate at the pontifical throne by Innocent XII. He resigned his vicariate and was made bishop of Segni in 1705 by Clement XI. He labored zealously for his new diocese, founded a seminary there, and held a synod in 1710.

Bibliography: j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time 2:161164. b. hemphill (pseud. for b. whelan), The Early Vicars Apostolic of England, 16851750 (London 1954) 2021. g. oliver, Collections Illustrating the History of the Catholic Religion in the Countries of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wilts, and Gloucester (London 1857). a. À wood, Athenae Oxonienses, 5 v. (London 1817) 3: 710711. g. a. ellis, The Ellis Correspondence, 168688, 2 v. (London 1829). n. luttrell, A Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs from September, 1678 to April, 1714, 6 v. (Oxford 1857). g. panzani, Memoirs, tr. j. berington (Birmingham 1793). j. a. williams, "Bishops Giffard and Ellis and the Western Vicariate, 16881715," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 15 (1964) 218228.

[b. whelan]