The Loomie Prize | Fr. Al Loomie, S.J.
Prize Description & Eligibility
The History Department of Fordham University will annually award the Loomie Prize to the best seminar paper produced during the previous academic year. All M.A. and Ph.D. students who have taken the proseminar/seminar sequence or a research tutorial are eligible.
The award honors the many years of teaching and service by Father Albert J. Loomie, a long-time member of the department who died in November of 2002. Father Loomie was an internationally recognized scholar in the field of early modern history. He was educated at Fordham Preparatory School. He received his B.A. from Loyola University in Chicago; a Ph.L. from West Baden College; his S.T.L. from Woodstock College; and a Ph.D. from London University (1957). His doctoral dissertation was on the subject of “Spain and the English Catholic Exiles, 1580-1604," and he worked under the direction of the eminent scholar of Tudor history, Sir John Neale. Father Loomie’s monograph, The Spanish Elizabethans: The English Exiles at the Court of Philip II (Fordham University Press, 1963; and published by Burns and Oates of London in 1964), was developed from his doctoral work.
Father Loomie entered the Society of Jesus after he graduated from Fordham Preparatory, and he was ordained a priest in June 1952.
He joined the Department of History at Fordham University in 1958, and had a distinguished career of scholarship and service, rising rapidly to full professor by 1969. He was Chair of the Department from 1978 to 1981. In June 1993, he retired as Professor Emeritus.
In addition to The Spanish Elizabethans, Father Loomie wrote seven books and numerous articles that explored Catholicism in England following the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. He has specialized in tracing Spanish influence in court and society during the early Stuart dynasty (especially under the reigns of James I and Charles I), which has meant that he mastered the remarkable feat of being equally adept in the diplomatic and political history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain and England. Few other scholars have attained his breadth of expertise in these fields. His other books include: Toleration and Diplomacy: The Religious Issue in Anglo-Spanish Relations, 1603-05 (1963); Spain and the Jacobean Catholics (2 vols., 1973 and 1978); and Spain and the Early Stuarts, 1585-1655 (a volume of collected essays, published in 1996).
Father Loomie’s most recent articles concerned a previously unknown painting of the Crucifixion by Peter Paul Rubens that hung in Queen Henrietta Maria’s chapel until it was destroyed during the British Civil Wars.
In addition to Fordham’s “Bene Merenti” medal (which was accorded to him in 1978), the professional recognition that Father Loomie received include d listings in The Dictionary of International Biography (since 1974), and Who’s Who in America (from 1984 onward). He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (whose patron is H.M. Queen Elizabeth II).