Petre, Sir Edward (pēˈtər) [key], 1631–99, English Jesuit, confessor of James II of England. He attended the Jesuit seminary of Saint-Omer. He was imprisoned (1679–80) in connection with the Popish Plot (see Oates, Titus) and again (1680–83) because of his appointment as Roman Catholic rector of the London district and vice provincial of the Jesuits in England. He succeeded to his family baronetcy and estates in 1679. At the accession (1685) of James II, Petre became his confessor and was one of the most influential members of the king's secret council of Roman Catholic advisers. Pope Innocent XI refused James's request (1686) for Petre's preferment in the church, but in 1687 Petre was made a privy councilor. Extremely unpopular with the people, he fled at the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He later was rector of the seminary of Saint-Omer.
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