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French, Peter (d. 1693), Dominican friar and missionary, was a native of Galway. On completion of his studies in Andalusia in the 1640s he travelled to Spanish America. There he worked for thirty years among the native peoples of Mexico. His command of one of the local languages was so accurate that he compiled a vernacular catechism, known by its Latin title Catechismus, seu, Expositio fidei Christianae. If it was printed no copy of it is known to have survived. According to John O'Heyne's Epilogus (1706) he was honoured with the title preacher-general by the Dominican province of Mexico. He later returned to Ireland and was a member of the Galway community by the year 1682. In October of that year the provincial chapter proposed him as preacher-general for the convent of Galway and by September 1685 he had been formally installed in that position. He appears to have remained in the Galway house until his death in 1693.

Thompson Cooper, rev. Thomas O'Connor

Sources  

T. S. Flynn, The Irish Dominicans, 1536–1641 (1993) · private information (2004) [Dr H. Fenning]