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SCOTTISH BLACKFRIARS IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

A history of the Scottish Province of the Dominicans, or Blackfriars, would most probably close with a document of September 5th, 1573, in which the then Master General of the Order granted permission to the former Priors of Glasgow and Stirling, John Hunter and William Henderson, to take up residence in any house of the Order which would receive them. [1] John Hunter settled in the priory in Bordeaux, where he died with some reputation for piety and learning. Camerarius referred to his book on the Scottish Saints, now lost, and there is a manuscript treatise in the Bibliothèque Nationale which is attributed to him. It asserts that it is not lawful to deny the Catholic faith verbally, with a mental reservation, when living among heretics. [2]
On the 12th of September, 1662, Hunter was assured a place in the history of the Order. Jacques Quétif, the principal author of the monumental Scriptores Ordinis Fratrum Praedicatorum received some information about him on that date from a member of the Bordeaux Priory who had been professed there in 1625, and made it the basis of a brief eulogy. When Quétif was writing, at least three Dominicans were working in Scotland and attempts were being made to restore the Scottish Province as a missionary unit which would work in Scotland from a base on the continent. There was a Scottish Vicar-General, Father Patrick Primrose, in charge of Scotland, and he was attracting recruits. The great project would fade out after his death in 1671 and be almost forgotten both in the Order and in Scotland. A considerable amount of research must still be done before any definitive account can be offered of what was not simply an Irish Mission, as Mr Peter Anson and Dr Daphne Pochin Mould have thought.[3] In the following pages an attempt is made to bring together what is known at present and to point to areas for further research. I am deeply indebted to my friend and colleague, Father Godfrey Anstruther, who made transcripts of documents for me when engaged on his own research in Rome. Photostats of most of these documents proved impos-sible to obtain and before Father Anstruther's generous assistance became available I knew most of them only from transcripts in the archive room of St Mary's Priory, Tallaght, in Ireland. [4]
This account will be confined to the seventeenth century, mainly to the period between the establishment in Rome of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, in 1622, and the expulsion of James II from Britain in 1688. There may well have been Scots in the Dominican Order before 1622 of whom nothing is known. Among the Scottish students for the priesthood at Pont-à-Mousson in 1581 was one `Nicolaus Bourne,' who later became a Dominican in Spain, and who was perhaps the same Nicol Burne who had been a professor in St Andrews before leaving Calvinism for Catholicism and whose Disputation Concerning the Controversit Headdis of Religion was published in Paris in October of the same year. There were other connections with Spain. [5] Among the Dominicans in the household of the Spanish ambassador in London in the reign of James I there was a Scot who attracted considerable attention by moving in the opposite direction to Nicol Burne. On July 22nd, 1620, George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote to a correspondent: 'Lately a Scottish priest called Forsith, living long in the Spanish ambassador's house, hath turned his religion, and telleth strange tales of things he was acquainted with there.' Another contemporary had written the previous day: `I hear one Fawcet, a Scottish Dominican, long bred at Rome and sent here to be with the Spanish ambassador that he is converted and become a protestant; which the ambassador storms mightily at, and demands to have him delivered as belonging to him.' [6]
We come to slightly firmer ground with an Aberdonian, James Forbes, who entered the Scots College in Rome in 1602. He is described in the College register as belonging to the family of Corsenday. A William Forbes of Corsenday was at Pont-à-Mousson in 1582 but left without proceeding to the priesthood and later was a trader (mercator) in Scotland. What was his precise relationship to James Forbes is not clear, but the family belonged to that strong recusant group in the north-east which will figure largely in these pages. James left the Scots College and at some point became a Dominican. He was in Italy in 1634, a member of the Order and a priest. He must have been held in regard by the higher authorities in Rome because when the aged Vicar-General of the English Dominicans, Thomas Middleton, resigned his office in 1640, James Forbes was appointed to succeed him by the Master-General, on April 17th of the same year. The General was immediately under pressure from England to annul this appointment, a `Scotch superior' being politically unacceptable in England. And so on the 4th of May in the following year Father Forbes was assigned to the Priory of the Annunciation in Paris, the General considering that he should belong to the new Congregation of St Louis which was part of a movement for strict observance among members of the Order in France. Five years later he was still in the Congregation of St Louis, for on the 25th of August, 1646, he was released from office as Prior of Mesnilgrenier by the Master-General [7]
To be the superior of a community in France at that date was nowhere easy and not least in the Congregation of St Louis which was described by a visitator as in a state of complete upheaval in the same year which saw James Forbes demit office. [8] The French Dominicans were divided bitterly over the question of observance, and were further split by regional difference. In the Congregation of St Louis there was fierce conflict between Parisians and Gascons, with the former invoking the civil power in a bid to remove the Gascons by force if necessary. In another small congregation in which we find a Scotsman a few years later, the Congregation of Brittany, the visitator found a situation which he described as monstrous and unique in the Order. He compared its seven small communities to the seven Cantons of Switzerland, `each a small republic to itself.' The Province of Toulouse, with which also Scots are associated at this period, was deeply divided over questions of reform. The Master-General and the General Chapter of the Order insisted on certain principles being observed strictly, including one governing the age of admission of novices. The visitator in 1646 reported that the habit was being given to ten-year old boys, who sang in the choir and studied grammar later with the Jesuits, although it was forbidden to give the habit to anyone under the age of fourteen years. Nearly two years later, the Master-General was still struggling to enforce obedience about the age of admission, but when his representative ventured into the Priory at Agen, one of the houses of the Toulouse Province, the unfortunate man was beaten up in his cell at one o'clock in the morning by the younger members of the community and his letters of authority were seized and destroyed. As late as 1668 John Baptist de Marinis, the Master-General most concerned with the Scottish friars, was directed by Pope Clement IX, at the request of Louis XIV, to reform the French provinces of the Order. Reform was imposed at St Jacques in Paris only after calling in the civil authority and forcibly expelling four members of the community as an example to others; and when the General died, in 1669, the reform movement was effective only in some parts of France, for example in the Priory in Toulouse, in which we find one of the Scots studying in 1659.
Observance at Toulouse was medieval in character; perpetual abstinence from meat and observance of the long fast from mid-September until Easter; almost continuous silence; rising for prayer during the night; strict rules of poverty; and study according to the mind of the most holy Doctor Aquinas. As the seventeenth century wore on the students of Aquinas found themselves caught in the cross fire between Jansenists and Molinists, and complaining that when they taught Thomism they were accused of Jansenism. Little boys might still be sent to study grammar with the Jesuits, but the conflict between Dominicans and Jesuits over the nature of divine grace was soon to embitter relations between the two Orders and to disturb the rest of the Catholic Church, in Scotland as elsewhere.
There was a whole world of difference between life in the Priory in Toulouse and the unregulated hardship suffered by other members of the Order in Scotland or Ireland. There was an even greater difference between the friars of Toulouse and many of those in the comparatively new American provinces. ` It was a strange and scandalous sight,' wrote Thomas Gage, `to see here in Xalappa a Friar of the Cloister riding in with his lackey-boy . . . his long Habit tucked up to his girdle making show of a fine silk orange colour stocking upon his legs, and a neat Cordovan shoe upon his foot, with a fine Holland pair of draws, with lace three inches broad at knee. [9] Gage's friar would belong to one of the immense priories of the New World whose spacious buildings, gardens, and country estates, were maintained by the labour of hundreds of African slaves. General Chapters might exhort the brethren to observe poverty and simplicity, but to little effect in many places. The Chapter of 1642 held up the example of the illegitimate half-caste Brother Martin de Porres as a model to be imitated. `He was always most generous in alms to the poor and in other works of Christian love, and his heroic charity stood out, especially in his service to his sick brethren. He seemed to be always in prayer and spent many a night without sleep. He had no bed of his own.' Martin had died in Lima in 1639, still not admitted to full membership of the Order because of his illegitimacy and his mixed race. The Chapter of 1642 might praise his holiness. but the next two chapters would strongly forbid admission to the Order ` of those known as Mestizoes, or those who are begotten on the side of either one of their parents of Indian or African blood.'
Enough has been said to show that a Scot who joined the Dominican friars in the seventeenth century had a considerable number of personal decisions to make and several styles of living open to him. He could volunteer for missionary work in Mexico or Peru, or settle quietly in a small relaxed priory on the continent, or immerse himself in academic pursuits, either slogging away at the production of folio monuments of misguided piety and erudition, such as the Biblia Mariana of Fra Joseph de San Miguel y Barco which was published at Burgos in 1674, or working off aggression by heavy bombardment of Molinists or Jansenists. He could be absorbed in the larger groups of English or Irish friars who developed their own bases abroad. The alternatives to life in Scotland under the penal laws against Catholics and other dissenters were varied, and there were varied and mutually inconsistent interpretations of Dominican life among the friars themselves, sufficient to hold together loosely every type from rascally humbug to dedicated saint. But in such a situation it may be suggested that only very strong motivation would commit a Scot to become both a Dominican friar and a missionary in Scotland, always remembering, however, that in the latter role he had the advantage of the resources of a religious order on which to fall back, especially when he had had enough of life in Scotland.
The security of membership of an Order may have been one of the factors which attracted students, like James Forbes, from the Scots colleges on the continent. In Douai or Rome they would of course become aware of the religious Orders often for the first time. They were also affected by internal dissensions in the colleges, whose history was often disturbed, as can be seen in the Abbé Macpherson's History of the Scots College, Rome.[10] At the beginning of our period, two students left the college to become Dominicans. In 1617 Robert Calendar, or Kallendar, left before taking the oath to work in Scotland which was required of students in the college. He is described in its register as afterwards a Dominican priest and a missionary in Scotland, but where he worked and for how long is unknown. The Minims, John Brown and Francis Maitland, in their report on religion in Scotland written in 1623 for the Congregation of Propaganda, said there were then thirteen priests in Scotland but gave the names of some others, members of Orders, who might increase the number. [11] Among these they give one Dominican, Robert Calender, an outstanding tbeologian and preacher, a truly apostolic man, at that time working in England. It appears that he was in Northumberland. Did he use the Border, and the difficulty of distinguishing an English tongue and a Scottish tongue in that area, to operate on both sides of the line, dodging the civil authorities in each country? Still less is known of James Murray, or Muir, whose name appears with Calender's in a list of former students of the Scots College written about 1620, in which he is described as a Dominican and a priest. In a similar list both Murray and Calender appear, the latter as `sacerdos Dominicanus in Scotia' and the former as `Dominicanus, sacerdos in Gallia, ex Gallia missus in Scotiam. [12] It would appear therefore that at least Murray had been trained in some French priory, but where may never be known owing to the disappearance of local records, and even central records in the Order. It should be noted that a recruit in the early seventeenth century was not required to undergo the long training which became obligatory later. If Calender and Murray were already mature men when they entered the Order they may well have been professed and ordained in a matter of three or four years. Calender at least can hardly have been a young man when he came to the Order, if the Minims' praise of him was well founded. We should perhaps look for the origin of both among members of the Protestant community in Scotland, rather than among the Catholics.
At this point attention should be turned to the records of the Irish Dominicans, who were already interested in Scotland. [13] In 1613 an Irish friar, Thomas Bath, received the necessary faculties for a missionary journey in England, Ireland and Scotland. Such faculties left options wide open and obviously are not evidence that the holder of them ever went to Scotland. But the possibility was there, and approved. The Irish were already receiving English novices and providing for their training; among these were Thomas Middleton already referred to, and the same Thomas Gage quoted above, who was shocked by what he saw in America and later left the Order and the Church. At the beginning of the century the Irish, already organised as a Congregation under their own Vicar-General, studied in Spain chiefly. As early as 1615, they were able to set up in Lisbon a community which continues to the present day, and another in Louvain in 1624. A reference to the establishment of the Louvain house describes it as intended for English, Scottish and Irish friars. [14] In 1629 the General Chapter held in Rome committed the care of Scotland to the Irish Dominicans, and it may have been Irish friars who in 1632 asked the papal nuncio in Paris for permission to go to Scotland. [15] The Irish Prior Provincial, Nicholas Lynch, had received permission in the previous October from the Master-General to go to England or Scotland when he completed his term of office as Provincial. In 1634, however, the Master-General was appealing to the Irish provincial to send priests to Scotland, although in September 1633 Propaganda had approved Father Dominic Burke and three companions for the Scottish mission. Four Irish Dominicans, perhaps the same four, were approved on June 25th, 1635, for work in the Highlands, in some part where Irish was spoken and where there were no Franciscans already active. They were to be supported by Propaganda financially for three years and a superior was to be appointed for their mission after discussion with the Master-General. Faculties were to be obtained from the Holy Office. It must have appeared most encouraging.
There were many difficulties, however, and they were in fact not unrecognised in Rome itself. An Irish Provincial Chapter held in Youghal in 1638 sent a number of petitions to the General which met with a firm reply in a long letter which insisted on limiting recruitment in view of the problems created for other provinces by Irish postulants overseas.[16] Hardly one, said the Master-General, wished to return home after finishing his theological studies. As for recruitment in Ulster with a view to sending friars to Scotland, the zeal of the proposal contrasted ill with the result. Irish Fathers will scarcely go to Scotland, deterred by the wildness of the mountains, the poverty of the country and the other inconveniences which put them off even more than the prospect of work in their own country, which they sometimes decline. But permission was granted for reception to the habit of any Scots, either in Ulster or in any other province of Ireland, who might more readily revisit their own country. But no novices were to be received except in a community large enough to maintain a certain level of regular observance.
The reference to the mountains and the poverty of the country suggest that the General may have heard reports, possibly through contacts with Propaganda, about the Highlands and the Western Isles where Irish Franciscans were already active. Members of Propaganda may have believed that Scotland became Christian in the days of Popes Eleutherius and Victor, but they were less romantic about the state of religion existing in the seventeenth century. One Roman writer noted in regard to what he called the Scots-Irish, non sono questi ne cattolici, ne eretici, poiche abborriscono l'eresia come religione nuova ma ascoltano i predicanti per necessita, errando nelle materie di fede per ignoranza causata dalla mancanza di sacerdoti, i quali in essa gl' istruiscono.' [17] Neither one thing nor the other, the people of the Western Highlands and the Isles might seem a ready harvest, but both Propaganda and the Dominican authorities had their eyes on far more attractive fields, in the Far East, Armenia, the Levant, and America. [18] They were not over enthusiastic about sending men or money to the wilds of Scotland as the Irish Franciscans found only too soon, and Propaganda did not want to see competition developing between Dominicans and Franciscans in such a difficult and impoverished area. So in June 1647 the Congregation refused permission to five Irish Dominicans to go to Scotland, on the ground that there were four Franciscans there already. This was a severe blow to plans already approved by the Master-General on the 23rd of March, when permission was granted to Fr John Baptist Fitzgerald to lead a group of friars to Scotland ` for the propagation of the faith, the comfort of catholics, and the recovery of the convents which our Order had there.' [19] Five names, including his own, were actually submitted to Propaganda. The Generals rescript had given full authority as Vicar-General to Fitzgerald, over all members of the Order in any way present in Scotland.
It seems possible that this appointment remained a dead letter, but we cannot be sure. There may have been Irish Dominicans already in Scotland, though not necessarily in the Highlands. Where, for example was Theodore de Pietate O'Connell, who had been studying in Spain it 1629, in the priory of Lerida, and who was given a grant of twenty scudi by Propaganda on November 14th, 1637, and declared a missionary it Scotland? [20] He wrote to the secretary of Propaganda from London it 1641. His letter says that matters are in a desperate state. The king is going to Scotland to hold a Parliament and God knows what will happen after his departure; the writer fears the destruction of all Catholics. The superior of the Order (presumably the English Vicar) is in prison. He himself is not able to go on to Scotland because of the perils of the time and the hostility between the two kingdoms. He leaves it to the secretary to advise what he should do. Presumably he was not going to the West Highlands if he was travelling via London. At any rate a reply was written from Rome on November 12th, 1641, allowing him to remain in England until he could safely proceed to Scotland. He refers to `my mission' in his own letter and the reply calls him a missionary in Scotland. [21]
We move to somewhat firmer ground in 1649. On December 29th, Father Patrick Primrose, described as a Scot and a member of the Irish Province, was assigned to the Priory of the Minerva in Rome. [22] In the following year, Propaganda was to consider applications from him and from two secular priests, William Bannatyne and John Walker. [23] All three were in Rome in 1649 and were to return to Scotland about the same time. They had all studied in the University of Edinburgh, Primrose and Bannatyne being probably contemporaries and Walker a little younger. Primrose presented the university library with two volumes in 1631: André Tiraqueau's Commentarii de nobilitate et jure primigeniorum, printed at Paris in 1549, and Nicholas Sander's De visibili monarchia Ecclesiae, published at Louvain in 1571. [24] The latter was a well known piece of Catholic apologetic, the kind of book which might have been read by the Catholic steward of the Marquis of Douglas, whose parish minister from June 1621 was Bannatyne's father, or by some vigorous Protestant apologete. William Bannatyne left Edinburgh University without graduating and apparently went then to France; and being at Paris, by the Infinite Mercy of God, who wills the Salvation of all the Lost Children of Adam, he was converted to the Holy Catholick Faith. [25] John Walker was born in Edinburgh, graduated in 1635 as Doctor in Philosophy, and may have become a Catholic as a result of a journey to Portugal as secretary to Lord Lindsay of Balcarres. It appears certain that Primrose also was a convert to Catholicism. If he was a member of what later became the Rosebery family then, like Bannatyne, he grew up in an environment where crypto-catholicism was common. He may, like Walker, have been able to accept the ideals of the 1560 reformation but not the `second Reformation.' It seems that he too went to Paris, but when exactly he became a Dominican is not clear, certainly not for some years as will appear below. All three men were to be associated with the Catholic communities in the north-east, and also with the attempt to establish some regular pattern of ecclesiastical authority. Bannatyne became, in 1653, first Prefect of the Scottish Mission, the forerunner of the later Vicars-Apostolic and of the restored Roman Catholic hierarchy. Walker became third in the succession of Prefects-Apostolic and known as author of a controversial treatise, The Presbyterie's Triall. Primrose as Vicar-General of the Dominican Order in Scotland was to make the most sustained and systematic effort known until modern times to involve the Order in Scottish life. All three would experience imprisonment and long periods in exile.
In 1650 the future was being planned hopefully. On the 20th September the Congregation of Propaganda approved Primrose's request for faculties as a missionary in the three kingdoms of Great Britain. [26] His request had been supported by the Master-General, John Baptist de Marinis, who referred to him as Bachelor in Theology. On November 8th in the same year de Marinis appointed him Vicar-General of the Province of Scotland. He was made eligible for election to office within the Order although he had not yet completed twelve years from the date of his profession. This suggests that he must have entered the Order at least not earlier than 1637.
On the same date the General made out letters of commendation to civil and ecclesiastical dignitaries, with the hope expressed that they might lend Primrose financial support. He wrote also to five Provincials and to the Vicars of two Congregations of the Order asking them to accept young Scots as novices. The Provincial of Toulouse was asked to accept at least two, who would be sent by Father Primrose; it would appear that the same number was mentioned in the other letters. Fourteen novices in all would have been a substantial recruitment, but no doubt the General wrote with a view to giving a wide choice to the Scots, and keeping in mind the possible reluctance of some provinces to undertake responsibility for strangers who would not be available for work in their own territory. In October of the following year, the General had to meet a complaint from Primrose that although the French Provincials had shown good will towards the Scots, two youths had been rejected by the Priory of St Honoré in Paris. He suggested tactfully that perhaps the two had not been really suitable. He added that he would act further in regard to a proposed house in Paris for the formation of Scottish Dominicans if the King, his Council, the Archbishop and the other Dominican houses agreed first.
At the time Primrose was living in Paris, according to the Jesuit, Father Gall, ` not in any of his convents, but in a privat chamber, getting monyes for his Masse for his dailie maintenance.' [27] According to the same writer, Fr Primrose had recently taken one Edward White to the noviciate in Toulouse. The Master-General had in fact written to the Toulouse Provincial on March 1st, 1651, warmly commending Edward White as a youth of great promise. White had been for three months a student in the Scots College in Rome, then under the direction of the Scottish Jesuit William Leslie, and going through a period of great unrest. Gall wrote to Leslie on December 22nd, 1651, again with news of Primrose and with reference to the troubles in the College. Arthur Forbes lives with him also, but I doubt if he hath the vocation to their Order. He could not get into the Scots house here (Paris) albeit place one was promised, He putts all the blame of the troubles in your college & his coming away upon your reverence averring that he and the other Gray offered to take the oathe, but you would not accept of either, & that his first cause of distrust and owtfall was your obstinate detayning of a letter directed to him of no moment. Thus he, but I trust him not. I suspect now that Fr Primrose has been instrument in a part of the garboyles & troubles, which I wish may prove the last that ever fall out in that college.
Arthur Forbes was a son of an Aberdeenshire laird, James Forbes of Blacton, and had been expelled from the College in Rome. He subsequently became a soldier and died in 1695 as Laird of Balvenie in Banffshire. Edward White's early history is given in a letter from Father Gall, dated 19th August, 1650. He was born in Buchan, cousin to a secular priest, Alexander Bruce. The letter describes him as ` a youth of a sharpe piercing witt, if he deceive me not, & well enclyned, he studied in St Andrewes & came hether (to Paris) but 6 weekes ago or thereby. I received him in the church 2 days only before his departure hence so he is but a Neophyte. Father Gall urged that he should not be pressed to take the mission oath until more amply instructed. Use him gently and urge him not . . . otherwyse he shalbe the last Il sende that waye . . . It is easy to sympathise with Father Gall, who did not agree with the way his colleague handled affairs in Rome, when he learned of White's departure. His estimate of his ability is supported by what is known of White's career as a Dominican. The General took an unusually close personal interest in him, writing on December 30th, 1632, to express pleasure at the news of his profession and granting permission for him to continue his studies at Toulouse [28] On September 29th, 1659, the General wrote again in a congratulatory vein. White's studies were about to be completed and he was keen to begin work in Scotland, but de Marinis advised him to wait for a more peaceful state of affairs, stressing the advantage of some more years in regular observance and the study of cases of conscience and controversy as preparation for more fruitful work when he did return home. It is doubtful, however, if White ever returned to Scotland. In 1657 Father Philip Thomas Howard became Prior of the newly established English Dominican house at Bornhem in Flanders. [29] One of his problems was how to build up a solid community and he had no objection to Scots; after all his mother, the Countess of Arundel, was a Lennox Stuart. So in March 1662 the General formally assigned Fr White to Bornhem, and that is the last we hear of him. A letter had gone from the General to Howard on April 9th, 1661, which seems to point to some sort of struggle to secure White for the Scottish mission. The General invokes his own dependence on higher authority in regard to missionary faculties. He has left it to Primrose to handle the business; he can have his companion if he secures the papal nuncio's approval. When it came to negotiating with higher authorities, Thomas Howard's birth and connections gave him a long start over Patrick Primrose; the General sounds less than frank, although undoubtedly diplomatic, on this occasion.
Edward White was not the only Scots College student attracted to the Dominicans. When Primrose arrived in Rome in 1649 he reported the death of an otherwise unidentified Scots Dominican who had been his socius or companion. He wished to replace him with Alexander Lumsden, a student of the college whom he describes as having wished earnestly to enter the Order for almost two years.[30] There was a snag in that Lumsden had taken the mission oath to serve as a secular priest in Scotland, and Primrose petitioned Propaganda to commute this so that he might receive the Dominican habit and work in Scotland as a missionary with him. Eventually the petition was successful and Lumsden is noted in the Rome Register as having afterwards become a Dominican and a missionary in Scotland. He was noted in the Douai Register as being in Scotland in 1671.
We know a good deal about Lumsden. His parents were William Lumsden of Crombie, an Aberdeen advocate, and Helen Barclay, both Catholics. Alexander entered the Scots College at Douai on November 28th, 1641, aged 17 according to the register. He and his brother Patrick received the sacrament of confirmation in the church of St Jacques at Douai on June 16th, 1642, when Alexander took as his confirmation name Benedict, and Patrick the name Augustine. Alexander was studying grammar at this time, and in August 1644 he left Douai to join the Scottish Benedictines at Würzburg. He did not complete his noviciate there but went to the Scots College, Rome, where he took the mission oath on August 15th, 1646, only leaving in April 1650. By that time he had completed a considerable part of the course of study required for the priesthood. It is notable also that when Primrose was urging his suitability for work in Scotland, he stressed his knowledge of the native tongue. No details of Lumsden's work in his own country are known at present. His father and his brother Patrick, who returned to Scotland as a layman, were both in trouble as known recusants in Aberdeen but when Alexander appears again clearly it is in London in May 1679 as a prisoner in the Gatehouse, one of the priests accused by Oates. Early in January 1680, he and five other priests were condemned to death, but he was reprieved as a Scot and so not subject to the same law as the others. He was said to be 58 at the time, which does not square precisely with the age given in the Douai register. After a short period with the English Canonesses in Brussels as their chaplain, he returned to London. The English Dominican Provincial mentioned him in January 1698 as `having had frequent experience of prison chains,' and that is the last reference to him. He is thought to have died about 1700, in England.[31] The Scottish Dominican house in Paris which Primrose had hoped to see, never materialised, and by the time of Lumsden's death any Scots Dominicans in Britain were members either of the English or the Irish Provinces.
The next two of Primrose's recruits to be noted did not come from the Roman College. James Cunningham entered the Scots College at Douai on March 20th, 1649, being then fifteen. [32] His parents were John Cunningham of Coldoch, some miles west of Stirling, and Margaret Stuart. Like other boys at Douai, he had come first to finish his general education. When he left on August 26th, 1651, he was noted as modestus et Pius adolescens, but little suited for study. The mild note is in contrast to some other comments in college registers. Lumsden, for example, was described as 'seditious' when he left Rome. Cunningham intended entering an Order on leaving Douai, and on July 8th, 1652, the Dominican General gave permission for an Englishman, Vincent Torre, and James Cunningham, a Scot, to be professed for their desolated provinces. Both had been clothed with the habit at Morlaix in the Congregation of Brittany. Torre was to play an important part in the revival of the English Dominicans. He was at Morlaix until 1658, when he went to Bornhem. He succeeded Howard as Vicar-General of the English Dominicans in 1676 and later became the first Provincial of the restored English Province. He and Lumsden may have been together in London, but Torre escaped to the continent when denounced by Oates. Cunningham's career seems to have been altogether quieter, and certainly less distinguished. He is listed in an undated catalogue of the community at Nantes, thought to have been written about 1656; he was then a student in theology and a subdeacon. On March 30th, 1658, he was granted permission by the General to go to Scotland, with the blessing of the Vicar-General of the Congregation, to settle some family affairs which required his presence. The Vicar-General was to determine the length of absence, after which he was to return to the community at Rennes to which he was assigned.
The other recruit remains one of the most tantalising figures in the whole story. He appears in the Master-General's records simply as Vincentius Marianus Scotus. [33] John Baptist de Marinis writes to him on November 16th, 1652, in reply to a letter dated October 12th, which is lost. The General addresses him as already a priest but not yet two years in the Order. From the tone of the General's reply it would seem that Vincentius Marianus had written an enthusiastic letter begging to be allowed to join Primrose and to work with him in Scotland even if it meant martyrdom. While welcoming his zeal, the General remarks that he cannot but be anxious about his immaturity in age and his lack of training. While it is reasonable to rely upon divine assistance, God is not to be tempted by assault upon dangers in which very great and accomplished men have made shipwreck. It will be better therefore for him to prepare further by study of theological controversy. The Provincial of England (at this date the honorary title of a member of the General's council) will get in touch with him with a view to attaching him to a community. From another letter, dated 21st June, 1653, and addressed to the Prior of Bergues, near Dunkirk, it appears that Vincentius Marianus had received the habit at Cologne and was living there still. The General wished him to be affiliated to the community at Bergues, pointing out that its position near Dunkirk made it an admirable base from which to travel to Britain and to which to return in time of persecution. He did not wish to force anyone on the community and asked that it should consider his request formally in chapter and give its reply. As he had anticipated, the reply was favourable, and on September 13th, 1653, he formally assigned Vincentius Marianus to Bergues.
In these two latter documents the General seems to associate Fr Vincent with the English Mission, in spite of what had passed between them about Scotland. It was to Scotland, in fact, that Fr Vincent went. The evidence for this is the existence of his chalice in the Catholic church in Morar, in Inverness-shire. It is a small chalice of a type commonly provided for priests setting out as missionaries. An inscription inside the base states that it is for the use of Vincentius Marianus of the Order of Preachers, missionary in Scotland, and gives the date 1658. Further evidence of his presence in Scotland, and most probably in the north, is provided by a copy of Tractatus mysteriorum Missae by Francis Titelmann, published at Lyons in 1549 and previously in the possession of some of the Forresters of Corstorphine. The title page carries among other inscriptions one which runs, Ad usum P F Vincentii Mari (ani) Ord Praed 1658. It was later in the century in the possession of a secular priest in Aberdeen, Robert Francis Strachan, who was a notable book collector, and it has remained in Scotland ever since. [34]
Who was Vincentius Marianus and where had he studied for the priesthood? Marianus is plainly a pious adaptation of some Scottish name so as to express devotion to Mary. Mair, Murison, Morrison? In the West Highlands the patronymic Mac Gille Mhuire was known- the son of the servant of Mary. `Marianus' conveys this adequately. Does the chalice in Morar indicate that the Dominican was there? If so, he must have been a Gaelic speaker. Another Dominican died in the same district in 1678 at Arisaig; the Irish friar, George Fanning, of whom we shall have more to say presently. Did he receive Fr Vincent's chalice? If so, what was the connection between them? When and why did Fanning leave Barra, where he was working in 1671 as he had been doing for years? Was it because of the arrival of other priests, or to replace another Gaelic-speaking Dominican in Morar? Was Vincentius Marianus in Morar and later in the east? Or did he come originally from the northeast and go at some time to Morar? These are the sort of questions to which at present there is no answer. After 1658 there is silence about Fr Vincent, until 1677, when the General Chapter in Rome conferred the title of Preacher-General on him and a Father Henry Vere, as members of the English Province!
More is known about the work of George Fanning. [35] In 1671, when Fr Francis Macdonel went to the Isles from Armagh, as a result of Archbishop Oliver Plunket's commission from Propaganda to care for the Hebrides, he found Fanning labouring with good results, although he was said to have no faculties from Propaganda. Macdonel continued: His ground for staying there must be either the privileges of his Order or else because he believes that these people, being as it were abandoned and in extreme necessity of Sacraments, any priest may come to their assistance. This is indeed one of the strongest arguments urged by almost all those working in these British Isles and also in England; and they claim they have a right to continue their functions and their work, all the more as they persuade themselves that recourse to Rome is either impossible or unnecessary, and that the delays of that Court are intolerable. For these reasons they think that they should not leave these souls to perish . . . These and very similar views are creeping in very fast, and if they are not remedied by giving them Superiors, very few will in time have recourse to the Holy See.
Francis Macdonel's report reinforces the remarks by the Dominican General, referred to above, about the unattractiveness of work in the Highlands of Scotland. The support given by Propaganda he considers totally inadequate. Of Father Fanning he says that `he would have perished from hunger before now, were it not that he lived with the Laird of Barra. He has not received a sixpence from the Sacred Congregation for the past eight years, although be has laboured much and with great fruit.' He comments on the lack of answer to his own letters to Rome; perhaps they have been lost on the way. We may wonder how good communications were within Scotland itself. In Gordon of Drum's list of the priests who were in the country in 1668 it is stated that there were three Dominicans. Fanning was certainly then in Barra, but can we be sure that he was included as one of the three? At any rate he is mentioned in another report, a product of livelier interest on the part of Propaganda which resulted in Alexander Leslie being sent to report on the state of religion in Scotland. In 1678 Leslie was in Arisaig; the people were distressed by the death of George Fanning and bitterly disappointed when they realised that Leslie's companion, the Highland secular priest, Robert Munro, was not to replace him. It appears from these references that Father Fanning was active for at least fifteen years in Gaelic-speaking Scotland. He had trained in Vienna.
Macdonel's remarks about George Fanning's faculties are a reminder of what was one of the problems of the time from the point of view of ecclesiastical authority, the restless characters who could settle nowhere with others. In extreme cases they might become confidence tricksters, like one James Kilkenny who seems to have exploited his Dominican habit widely. [36] At best they might find a niche in which to work by themselves. They might also shift about uneasily from one ecclesiastical state to another. One of these restless people comes into the seventeenthcentury list of Scots who became Dominicans and may be conveniently introduced at this point.
Thomas Johnston, a native of Aberdeen and legitimate son of Robert and Agnes Johnston, entered the Scots College in Madrid on the 7th of September, 1647, aged 29. He duly became a priest and returned to Scotland at the end of the year 1649. Later he decided to become a Benedictine and was professed among the Scottish Benedictines at Ratisbon on May 6th, 1655, assuming the name of Ninian. Various sources say that he died at Ratisbon in 1663, on 17th December according to the Ratisbon Necrology. [37] There are problems here. On May 27th, 1662, the Dominican General de Marinis wrote a long letter to a Father Ninian Johnston, a Scottish Benedictine at Ratisbon who wished to leave what he regarded as the relaxed life of Ratisbon for the stricter life of the Dominicans. [38] The General was elaborately tactful. He confessed to have found the matter very difficult and to have prayed much for guidance, to God and also to St Dominic. The firm conclusion came to his mind that Father Johnston should not withdraw from his previous profession, particularly in view of his age and his ruptured condition. He went on to point out that there was no Order in those days in which while some parts were relaxed others could not be found in which the best and most exact observance flourished. The Benedictine was apparently not proficient in the German language and the General pointed out that since Dominicans were chiefly occupied in hearing confessions and preaching to the people, this was a considerable disadvantage. And so he affectionately counselled him to put from his mind any idea of moving from his own Order, while hoping that he would retain his former devotion to St. Dominic and his fraternal attitude towards the friars.
The General's tact had no lasting effect. Thomas Johnston continued to press his case and evidently travelled to Rome to do so. At length, on September 20th, 1668, the General agreed to his joining the Order in Rome, or Germany, or somewhere beyond the Alps, provided he obtained permission from the Holy See to transfer from the Benedictines to the friars. The Holy Office granted the necessary faculty and on October 14th, 1668, the General issued the document by which Thomas Johnston was accepted into the Dominican Order on condition that he completed a probationary year satisfactorily. He was sent to the Belgian Province, whose Provincial persuaded Father Howard that he would be better among English brethren than among Belgians. So Howard accepted him for Bornhem, gave him the habit there on March 13th, 1669-when he took the name Dominic of St. Thomas-and placed him in the noviciate at Ghent. He was duly professed at Bornhem on April 7th, 1670, and there he survived for fifteen years, dying on April 11th, 1685. The last we hear of him in the Master-General's records is in May 1678 when the Master-General de Monroy wrote to the Prior of Bornhem telling him to see to it that Father Johnston should no longer approach secular prelates with his letters and his ravings. Two letters have survived in the Barberini papers in the Vatican, one written by Johnston from Ratisbon in June 1654, the other in August 1665. [39] In the first he refers to a work by himself which he had sent to Cardinal Francis Barberini, four books De modo ordinato Promovendi Opera Missionis et Unionis Catholicae. Another unpublished work was entitled Descriptionum generalium libri 3 de modis fundendi novum ordinem in Ecclesia. This was also composed when he was a Benedictine and its title is perhaps indicative of a dream of a new and perfect Order. There is a tragic element in the story of a man who turned to the priesthood at twenty-nine and was in turn secular priest on the Mission, Benedictine monk and Dominican friar, without ever finding the ideal state for which he longed with perhaps a neurotic perfectionism. He suffered ill health and constant frustration and disappointment, and demands our sympathy.
It is time to return to Primrose. It is clear from a letter dated November 7th, 1651, that the General had intended him to remain in one of the priories in Paris until times were better in Britain, and he thanks several members of the exiled Court for their patronage of him. It is equally clear from Father Gall's letter that Primrose was trying to recruit, in spite of the problems everywhere, and was retaining a freedom by living on his own which he would not otherwise have had. If he could have gathered more promising youths than Arthur Forbes he might have forced more practical recognition of the plan for Scotland than the General actually gave. At a later stage in the history of the English Province one of its members kept a school for boys in being, during a difficult period, simply by having a few pupils lodging with himself and acting as their tutor. This is the kind of thing Primrose may have been trying to do. It is possible that he did not remain many years in Paris, for in a report on Scotland which went to Rome in 1655 he is named as active in the Lothians, ` an eloquent man and full of zeal.' The report adds that he was at no time in Angus.
After the Restoration of Charles II, he became nominally a member of the Queen's household. In July 1661 Father Howard was appointec Vicar-General of the English Dominicans and in 1665 almoner and principal chaplain to the queen, Catherine of Braganza, who was much attached to the Order. It was probably about then that Primrose was named one of her chaplains. In the following year, Howard was pressing for Primrose's promotion to the degree of Master in Sacred Theology in the main an honorific title but carrying with it certain privileges. Letters of appointment were issued in brief form by John Baptist de Marinis or December 11th, 1666, with a dispensation from the prescribed examination until a convenient time and place offered. In the interval Primrose was to enjoy the title and privileges of a Master, having duly taken the oath of fidelity to the teaching of Aquinas. The formality of conferring the degree was left to Thomas Howard or another of the queen's chaplains, the Portuguese Dominican, Father Christopher of the Rosary, of failing them, any other Master of Theology in the Order. Just over a year later, on January 7th, 1668, the General produced a longer, formal document in which he displayed his most ornate eloquence. Primrose had apparently not gone to London, and the formalities are now left entirely to him to decide in respect of time and place. Father Christopher of the Rosary is recommended as the ideal man to preside over the usual ceremony `ut Rosa coronet Rosam,' but any other Master will suffice. There is much play upon the symbolism of the rose and its appropriateness to the recipient's name, which in the Latin form means simply `the first rose.' There is reference to his Herculean labours in Scotland over so many lustres of years, and also to his literary merits. About the latter we in fact know nothing, and it may mean little, except that he was, evidently translating into English a life of the South American Dominican saint, Rose of Lima, newly beatified and an object of the queen's devotion. (In February 1669 she was given an indult to keep the feast in her chapel at St James, with a plenary indulgence to all who then visited it.)
One wonders what Primrose really thought of it all, the contrast between the chapel in St James with its Mediterranean piety sustained by the presence of two Portuguese Dominicans and the daily life of a proscribed priest in Scotland, even although by this time he was certainly established in the north-east in the comparative security offered by the Gordon family and the various recusant lairds in the shires of Aberdeen and Banff; and it was a farther cry from Fanning in Arisaig to St James. The seventeenth century was a period of intense Marian devotion, taking many forms, some of them extravagant to the point of justifying protestant accusations of idolatry, like the Biblia Mariana already mentioned, whose author could turn any passage of the Old or New Testament into a statement about Our Lady. There was the rather febrile cult later to be identified with St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort. Rosary Confraternities were a popular institution not only in Europe but among Catholics in the Far East and in America. Devotion to Our Lady and to the rosary had been a characteristic of those members of the Irish Province, to which Primrose belonged, who were killed by Cromwellian soldiers; as it had been of the Scottish Jesuit, John Ogilvie, hanged in Glasgow in 1615 and later beatified.
We know that Primrose shared this devotion. The inscription on the base of his chalice which is now in the Dominican Chaplaincy in Edinburgh shows that he was known as Father Patrick Primrose of the Rosary. The quality of devotion to the rosary with which he was associated may be guessed from a tiny pamphlet of 34 pp. measuring 11 by 6.5cms. and attributed to Father Howard. A copy of what is presented as the 13th edition, printed anonymously in 1684, is in the National Library of Scotland, having been originally in the Advocates' Library.[40] It is entitled The Method of Saying the Rosary of Our Blessed Lady. As it was Ordered by Pope Pius the Fifth, of the Holy Order of Preachers. And as it is said in Her Majesties Chappel at St James. In the opening 'Advertisement' we are told `The devotion of the Rosary, so called, because it is as it were a Chaplet of Spiritual Roses, that is of most sweet and devout Prayers, was first revealed by the B. Virgin to St Dominick (the Father and Founder of the Holy Order of Preachers) as a devotion most efficacious for the obtaining all favours from God, and averting all evils from ourselves.' The writer goes on in a firmly Christocentric style. In the main text a brief statement of the theme of each decade of prayers is followed by a prayer for Our Lady's assistance. The nature of the writer's thought may be fairly judged by the two following examples. The first introduces the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the meditation on the finding of Christ in the Temple. Most Blessed Virgin more than Martyr in thy suffering, and yet the comfort of such as are afflicted: by that unspeakable joy wherewith thy Soul was ravished in finding thy beloved Son in the Temple, in the midst of the Doctors disputing with them, obtain of him for us, so to seek him, and to find him in the Holy Catholick Church, that we may never be separated from him. Amen. The other prefaces the meditation on the crucifixion. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, as the Body of the beloved Son was for us extended on the Cross, so may our desires be dayly more and more stretched out in his Service, and our hearts wounded with compassion of his most bitter passion. And thou, O most Blessed Virgin, vouchsafe to negotiate for and with us, the work of our salvation by thy Powerful Intercession. Amen.' The style would remain almost unchanged in the Scottish Catholic communities for two centuries and is remarkably concise and restrained compared to much that was current at the time.
Much earlier than this pamphlet, the Kirk authorities in Aberdeen had been concerned about the circulation of a book on the rosary, which was being copied by hand. [41] In penal times everywhere, whether in Scotland or Japan, the rosary was a standby when other devotions were dangerous. Pope Pius V had granted faculties to the Irish Dominicans which included permission to substitute for the breviary, when possession or recitation of it was not possible without grave risk, recitation of the rosary or other prayers and psalms which could be retained by memory. When Elizabeth Howard, second daughter of the Duke of Norfolk and niece of Father Thomas Howard, came to Scotland in 1676 as bride of the fourth Marquis of Huntly (later first Duke of Gordon), she established the rosary confraternity among her household much as it had been already established in the queen's household at St James. Light is thrown on the use of the rosary at a more ordinary level by the Irish friar Dominic O'Brullaghan's book on missionary practice in the British Isles, which is probably a fairly reliable guide as to how Dominicans conducted their missionary activity throughout most of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He stresses that missionaries are of many kinds and do not all act according to the same pattern. In Scotland they are likely to have no particular district assigned to them, but will work wherever they can advance `the glory of God, the Catholic faith and the salvation of souls.' They should co-operate with others, whether secular or regular clergy. O'Brullaghan's account of instruction, the hearing of confessions and the celebrating of Mass in private houses gives the outline of what was general practice in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Towards the end of his life, Patrick Primrose was active in Banffshire, in a way which was bound to bring the law into action sooner or later. In August 1670, the Privy Council in Edinburgh considered reports that he had been saying Mass in `the house of Kinnairdie in the paroch of Aberchardour, within the shyre of Banff, (where) there is usuall resort publickly to masse every Lords day, and that four families of the heretours in the said paroch doe upon the ringing of the bell goe to a roume in the said house where there is ane altar erected and preists doe officiat." [42] When the first report was received the identity of the priest seems to have been in doubt, because when the sheriff had verified that there was such a Mass centre he was told `to make inquyrie for the preist who used to say messe in the said house, and to apprehend and committ him to prison, and to seize upon any vestments or other popish ornaments made use of in their superstitious worship and service.' That was September 28th, 1670. On November 10th, the Council discussed the report of Fr Primrose's capture but only briefly owing to pressure of other business, and the sheriff was ordered `to see him so secured as that he may not escape before he be brought to a tryell.' He was placed in the Tolbooth of Banff and it was December 22nd before the Privy Council came to a decision. `The Lords of his Majesties Privy Councill, being certainly informed that Mr Patrick Primrose, prisoner in the tolbuith of Banff, doeth belong to the Queens Majesty as one of her servants, doe hereby give order and warrand to the Laird of Auchmedden, sherriff principall of the shyre of Banff, to sett the said Mr Patrick to liberty, he alwayes oblidging himself to depairt furth of this kingdome, and shall never return therto, under the payne of death, without licence from his Majestie or his Council].' On the 5th of January he was referred to as `latlie prisoner at Banff.' He had left prison a sick man and not able to travel, so the Council agreed to his remaining in the country until the fifth of February. He was not to leave Scotland again. He died sometime during that year and his body was carried to the pre-Reformation chapel of St Peter beside the River Deveron in the parish of Botary, and buried there. The Privy Council was not finished with him, however, even then. On March 4th, 1672, the sheriff of Aberdeen was told to support the protestant bishop and clergy in their efforts to root out popery and quakerism from the diocese. `And, whereas wee are informed that there is a superstitious monument erected upon the grave of the deceast Mr Patrick Primrose . . . wee authorise and requyre yow to cause demolish the same, in prosecution of which commands wee expect your ready obedience, and doe assure yow that the same shall be taken as good service done to his Majesty and a signall expression of your zeall for the preservation of the true protestant religion.'
The Irish Province remembered him at the Provincial Chapter held at Mullingar later in that same year; his name appears in the list of obits, and as a Master in Theology. It would appear in memoirs of Scottish missionary priests in the following centuries more than once. One writer, born in the last decade of the seventeenth century, was persuaded to write his memoirs about 1770. `I begin,' he said, `by Mr Primrose, a famous holy Man, he is bury'd in Peter-Kirk in Strathboggie; I was told he appear'd to Mr Adamson who succeeded him a little before his death of a Consumption (reputed the learndest Churchman of his Time, & Malleus Hereticorum.) & warn'd him of his approaching Death in the words of Samuel to K. Saul.' [43] Gordon of Drum noted that he had died in the fifteenth year of his mission Brockie, author of so much spurious history, had heard of him at least and attributed some of his own inventions to him, although sadly out about when and where he died. Bishop Geddes, like Gordon, thought he had died in prison, but this seems not to have been the case, although it is probable enough that imprisonment in the Banff tolbooth for two months of winter brought on his death. Among the Dominicans there was nobody of comparable stature to succeed him.
Nevertheless, the idea of restoring the Scottish Province did not vanish immediately, and there were to be a few more recruits to the Order. A William Gordon from Aberdeen entered the Scots College, Rome, in 1669, and in February 1671 had his request to leave and join the Dominicans rejected by Propaganda. [44] He was dismissed from the College on June 10th, but there is no evidence that he joined the friars.
A little more is known about Joseph Davidson, who was a priest and a member of the Roman Province of the Order when he received permission to visit the city of Rome on April 4th, 1676. [45] He had received the habit in the Roman Province and completed his studies there, according to a letter sent by the General on March 19th, 1678, to Father Vincent Torre, then Vicar-General in England. The General considered Davidson sufficiently mature for the Mission. A note dated the following day places him under the English Vicar-General who is to provide him with faculties for the mission in Scotland. On the day after that, Howard wrote to Cosimo III of Tuscany commending Davidson on his journey back to Scotland. [46] He appears to have died somewhere on the way home. There may have been others before him in the Roman Province. There is one entry in Dominican records in Rome which shows that a Scottish pried called Andrew was assigned to the Priory of the Minerva on March 25th in some year around 1646, pro loco Provinciae desolatae. [47]
There are two others to be recorded about whom more is known thanks to the fact that they had lived in a hospice established in Rome in 1673 for the instruction of converts from Protestantism. [48] Howard, who was made a Cardinal in 1675, was one of its governors from 1678. Some of the hospice archives have survived, including a register of converts One Adam Brown was received as a guest in the hospice on May 7th 1676. He is described as Scozzese di setta Calvinista and elsewhere as Adamo Broun Scozzese. Provincia Tiuozia; Cittâ a Patria Smailholm Professione Studente; Etá 22; Statura mediocre; Pelo Biondo. So he appears, a Scottish student from Smailholm in Teviotdale, aged twenty two, fair-haired and of average height, who left the hospice on July 21st and was given the Dominican habit in San Xisto on 14th October, 1676 by Cardinal Orsini in the presence of Cardinals Howard and Altier (Protector of the Order), and the Master-General Roccaberti. We car follow him from this magnificent beginning until his ordination as a pries on April 20th, 1680. In that year he was studying at La Quercia. He complained to the General that the climate did not suit him and the General wrote to consult the Prior of La Quercia about this, referring to Brown incidentally as `Inglese.' Brown was consequently assigned to S Maximin in the Province of Toulouse on April 5th, 1681, for the purpose of study. He was a member of the English Province according to this last document. His Scottish loyalty appears in the fact that he took the name of Andrew in the Order, but he was professed for the English Priory at Bornhem. We have to leave him at St Maximin.
The other convert was Patrick Ogilbie, described on September 30th, 1677, as newly converted. At his confirmation on December 3rd he took the name Francis. He is described as: ` Patricio Francesco Ogilbie Scozzese. Provincia Banffia; Cittâ o Patria Dorn; Professione Barone; Statura alta; Etá 36. Tall and aristocratic from Banffshire, it has been suggested that he was a member of the family of Drum-na-Keith and a relative of Blessed John Ogilvie. On June 2nd, 1678, he entered the Dominican noviciate in the Priory of SS. John and Paul in Rome, which then belonged to the English Dominicans. He received priestly orders on December 20th, 1681. He appears to have been delicate and there was anxiety about his health in August 1683. In a document giving permission for a period of convalescence in another priory, he is called Patrick Mary Ogilbie, an indication of Marian devotion in a shape that was to become very popular. His health did not recover and he died at Civitá Vecchia on November 1684. The obituary notice sent out by the English Provincial says that he was in his 42nd year, the fourth year of his profession, and the third of his priesthood. It appears from the notice that he died surrounded by his Italian brethren, having received the usual sacraments of the Church, and supported by the prayers customary in the Order, which included the singing of the Salve Regina by the bed of the dying man. The laudatory phrases in the obituary may have been more than common form in his case, since a copy of it was kept so carefully that it still survives among the Torre Papers in the archives of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.
In the year in which Patrick Ogilbie died, Howard was made Cardinal Protector of England and Scotland. He was to die in 1694, three years before his niece Elizabeth left her husband, the first Duke of Gordon, and retired to a convent in Flanders. She gave ` the English fathers large means to found a mission in Scotland with the aim of restoring the Scotch province; but while the fund was in the bank of Paris it was lost in 1719 when commerce was wrecked by the failure of the great Mississippi scheme. [49] The money had come too late in any case. Had it been available when Patrick Primrose was in Paris, something might perhaps have been achieved and the Scots might have had, like their English and Irish brethren, their own national base abroad. It was Howard money which made Bornhem feasible, but there was no comparable wealth available in Scotland, especially at the time when it might have been of use.
These notes on Scottish Dominicans, and on Irish Dominicans working in Scotland in the seventeenth century, are plainly scanty. It may be possible to expand them, but the difficulties in the way of doing so are very great. So many records have disappeared. Others are simply inadequate by their nature: for example, the Registers of the Dominican Generals, who had no settled practice as to where in their registers appointments were to be entered. A friar who lived outside his own province was assigned to a particular place by the General, and this would apply to the Scots. The relevant entry might be made under the name of the man's own province, or that of the one in which he was actually living at the time, or the one to which he was being sent. It might take one of several forms; a letter to the individual might be noted, or a letter sent to one of the superiors concerned with the move, the provincial or the prior or the regent of studies. There is the further problem of the adaptation of names to foreign living and the ease with which a Scot might be described as English or Irish by a foreigner only concerned with him as a member of a particular province. A Scot surnamed de Lapa appears as a laybrother in a French priory. What was his real name? A Brother Patrick, a Scot, received permission to visit Rome in April 1679. That is the only fact known about him at present. There was a Felix McDowell at SS. Giovanni a Paolo . . . Was he Scottish or Irish? We cannot say. The difficulties are so vast as to make any exhaustive research impossible for one man. Bits and pieces of a jigsaw may be slowly put together if people researching in other fields pass on scraps of material which come to their notice.
It is hoped that this present gathering of data may help workers in the field of Scottish history to note occasionally some relevant material. There must be more available from local and family records, presbytery records and possibly records of Court and government. Books and chalices may still turn up in odd places, as the Primrose chalice did in an auction in Aberdeen, with no history of previous association beyond what could be read inside the base.
Such as the story is, it is surely cautionary for any of us who feel like attempting a comprehensive account of religious life in seventeenth century Scotland, or a study of that great body of Scots abroad whose history has been scarcely touched as yet because the material is so scattered and perhaps because so much of it involves recusants whose very existence some of our historians have been reluctant to recognise, since it so modifies a favourite image of Protestant Scotland, but who move in any case in a very unfamiliar context. Some of the people who appear in these pages represent a native Scottish Catholic community which has existed continuously in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire since medieval times. Others were converts, evidence of how rightly worried the Kirk was about students who went abroad from Scotland and travellers who went to Mass in Paris or Rome, like the one who protested that his only reason for going to Mass was that in no other way could he get a glimpse of the French king. The converts are, in part at least, evidence of the spiritual unrest caused by religious conflicts in seventeenth-century Scottish society. The pages of Walker's book, The Presbyterie's Triall, show how some who were happy with Knox's reformation and its sacramental order found the second reformation of Presbyterians and Covenanters intolerable. It was not irrelevant for an Edinburgh student in the early years of Charles I to be studying Nicholas Sander on the visible government of the Church. Such study could be, as it was for Patrick Primrose, at least one step on the road to Rome, with political as well as religious consequences which could not be accepted by the majority of Scots.
There were Irish Dominicans in Scotland in the following century, and possibly an occasional Scottish Dominican, but the prospects of restoring the Scottish Province became increasingly remote. By the end of the eighteenth century, the Irish Dominicans were no longer working in Scotland. There appears to have been no regular Dominican work in the country again until the present century.



Footnotes


1. Archivum Generale Ordinis Praedicatorum. (hereafter AGOP) in the Priory of Santa Sabina, Rome. IV 39 f. 112.
2. David McRoberts, Essays on the Scottish Reformation (Glasgow 1962), 199, n. 51.
3. Peter F. Anson, Underground Catholicism in Scotland (Montrose 1970), 40, and Daphne Pochin Mould, The Irish Dominicans (Dublin 1957), 154, 242
4. A selection from Fr. Anstruther's transcripts is given in an appendix to this article.
5 for details regarding students at the Scots Colleges abroad, drawn from registers of the latter see Records of the Scots Colleges (Aberdeen, Spalding Club, 1906).
6. Godfrey Anstruther, O.P., A Hundred Homeless Years (London 1958). 109
7 Anstruther. 1689.
8. On the state of the French Dominicans at this time, see R. P. Mortier, Histoire des Maîtres Generaux (Paris 1914), V11, 2044. c
9. Quoted in Columba Ryan, 0 P.. Saint Martin de Porres (London 1970).
10. Abbe Paul Macpherson's History of the Scots College, Rome, ed. Rev. William James Anderson, Innes Review, X11, 3172.
11. Barberini Latin MSS. 8628, f. 85, cf. John Durkan. ` The Scottish Minims,' Innes Review, 11. 7781.
12. The lists referred to are in Barberini Lat. 8629. f. 24 and f. 27 1 owe these references to Fr Anstruther.
13. Irish material in the registers of the Dominican MasterGeneral has been collected by Hugh Fenning, O.P., and is published in Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorurn, XXXIX, 249336 (1969). (Hereafter AFP).
14. AFP, XXXIX 282.
15. The ' Acta' of Propaganda Archives and the Scottish Mission, 16231670, ed. Cathaldus Giblin. OFM. Innes Review V. 50 (hereafter Giblin).
16 AFP, XXXIX, 299-303.
17. Giblin, 41.
18. See AFP, XLI (1971), where Hugh Fenning OP has published an illuminating catalogue o material illustrating the relationship between The Dominicans and Propaganda Fide, 1622-1668.?
19. AGOP, IV, 85, 132.
20. Giblin, 53.
21. A transcript of the letter and the reply, made by an archivist of the Congregation of Propaganda in 1910 for Placid Conway OP, is in the Dominican Chaplaincy, Edinburgh.
22. AGOP, IV, 87, f. 296v.
23. Giblin, 56. On Bannatyne. or Ballentine, see William James Anderson. ' William Ballentine, Prefect of the Scottish Mission, 16531661,' Innes Review, VIII, 1920. The text of Ballentine's report on the Scottish Mission was published by Father Anderson, Innes Review, VII, 3966; 99129. On Walker. see Anderson, ?The Presbyterie's Triall,? Innes Review, VIII. 8690. Also for both, Anson, Underground Catholicism.
24. Both volumes are in the University Library: Tiraqueau shelfmark E*17.32. Sander*D.17.40 I am grateful to Dr John Durkan for bringing these volumes to my attention.
25. See the Preface to A Preparation for Death, reproduced in Innes Review, VIII (1957).
26. For documents concerning Primrose, see Appendix I XIII. Also Propaganda Archives, SOCG, 297 + 329r.
27. Quotations from Fr Gall's letters all come from M. V. Hay, The Blairs Papers (London and Edinburgh, 1929).
28. Appendix XIX XXIII.
29. On Howard, see C. F. R. Palmer. OP, The Life of William Thomas Howard, O.P., Cardinal of Norfolk (London 1867). Also Godfrey Anstruther, 01?, ?Cardinal Howard and the English Court (16581691),? AFP, XXV111, 315 361 (1958).
30. Appendix II and III.
31. W. Gumbley, OP, Obituary Notices of the English Dominicans (London 1955).
32. AGOP, IV, 91, f. 38v; XIV, K. f. 409; IV, 102, p. 233.
33. Appendix XIV XVIII.
34. Most recently in the library of St Peter's College, Cardross.
35. See Odo Blundell, OSB, The Catholic Highlands of .Scotland, 11 (Edinburgh 1917), R10.
36. Kilkenny strictly belongs outside the period covered here. He was active in the early part of the following century, using various aliases, including ' James Hamilton ' and ' Berwick.'
37. Ed. Mark Dilworth, OSB, Innes Review, IX, 173203
38. For Johnston, see Appendix XXVI XXIX; Palmer, Life of Howard, 1457; also Gumbley, Obituaries.
39. 1 am grateful to the Rev. Mark Dilworth, OSB, for this information.
40. Two other copies, of other editions, are known to exist: one at Downside, the other in the British Museum.
41. Selections from Ecclesiastical Records of Aberdeen (Spalding Club 1846), 1378. On 16th December, 1656, the Kirk Session resolved that Thomas Moncur and Patrick White were ` to be cited next day for transcryveing books of poperie, and spreading them, namelie one called the Rosarie.'
42. Registers of the Privy Council of Scotland, 111, 215, 225, 240, 263, 481.
43. The College for the Lowland District of Scotland at Scalan and Aquhorties: Registers and Documents, ed. William James Anderson, Innes Review, XIV (1963), 127.
44. Congregation of Propaganda Acta, 41, f. 34.
45. Apendix XXIV, XXV.
46. Transcript supplied by Fr Anstruther, deposited with the rest of his transcripts relating to Scotland in the Dominican Chaplaincy, Edinburgh.
47. AGOP, IV, 83, f. 31v.
48. On Brown and Ogilbie, see Appendix XXX, XXXI; also Anstruther, ` Cardinal Howard an the English Court.'
49. Palmer, Life of Howard, 179.