Jesuit; b. York, England, 1563; d. Leicestershire, England, Jan. 18, 1639. Wright was the son of John Wright, apothecary of York, a noted recusant; the Marian priest Dr. John Wright was probably an uncle. William, like his elder brother Thomas, was educated at York. He went to Reims and then to Rome, where he entered the English College (1581). Wright joined the Society of Jesus (1581) while still a student. For several years Wright taught theology at the Jesuit colleges at Vienna and Graz. Proceeding to the English Mission (1606), he was captured and imprisoned soon after arrival, but escaped (1607) and concealed himself in Leicestershire. He founded the Leicestershire mission of the society and was for many years its superior. He appears to have lived and worked in the county until his death. He published several substantial works against the English Protestants.
Bibliography: t. cooper, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 1885–1900) 21:1050–51. h. foley, ed., Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, 7 v. (London 1877–82) 2.2:275–286; 7.3:871–874. Publications of the Catholic Record Society (London 1905–) v.37. a. f. allison and d. m. rogers, A Catalogue of Catholic Books in English…1558–1640, 2 v. (London 1956). c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothéque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels–Paris 1890–1932) 8:1223–24. j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time (London-New York 1885–1902) 5:596–598.
[a. f. allison]