Southwell, Robert, an English Jesuit, was born at Horsham, St. Faith's, Norfolk, in 1560. He was educated at Douai, and became a Jesuit at Rome in October, 1578. In 1585 he was appointed praefect of the English college there, and the next year was sent as a missionary to England. He resided principally with Anne, countess of Arundel, secretly ministering to the scattered Roman Catholics. Apprehended in 1592, he was imprisoned in the Tower, and several times subjected to torture to make him disclose a plot against queen Elizabeth. In February, 1595, he was tried at the bar of the King's Bench, Westminster, and executed the next day (Feb. 21) at Tyburn. He was much revered among Roman Catholics for his gentleness and purity of life, and his name has lately been introduced for canonization in the Roman ecclesiastical courts. He wrote, St. Peter's Complaint, with other poems (Lond. 1593, 4to; last edition, with sketch of life, by W.J. Walter, 1817): — Supplication to Queen Elizabeth (ibid. 1593): — Moeonioe or Certain Excellent Poems, etc. (ibid. 1595, 4to). His chief prose works are, Triumph over Death (ibid. 1595): — Epistle of Comfort to those Catholics who Lie under Restraint (1605, 8vo): — Marie Magdalen's Funeral Teares (ibid. 1609, 1772; new ed. 1823): — Rules of a Good Life, etc. Collective editions of his works were published in 1620, 1630, 1634, 1637, and. 1828; and a complete edition of his poetical works in 1856. See Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.