Father George Blackwell


Archpriest. Ordained at Douai, France in 1575, he served in England for nearly 20 years. When Cardinal Allen died in 1594, he was named archpriest by Pope Clement VIII in 15971598. On the promulgation of the Oath of Allegiance of James I in 1606, he was confused by its ingenious wording into thinking it acceptable to conscientious Catholics, and in spite of its condemnation by Pope Paul V in 1606 and 1607, he signed it and urged the clergy to do so. On defending his conduct, he was deposed from the office of archpriest by the pope and replaced by George Birkhead, or Birket in 1608.