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Scottish Catholic Correspondence Networks in Eighteenth-Century Europe*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 February 2016

Clotilde Prunier
Affiliation:
Université Paris Quest Nanterre La Défense
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Extract

This is a ‘work-in-progress’ essay. I am making an inventory of eighteenth-century Scottish Catholic correspondence with ARCANE, a database management system which, once the letters are processed, will enable me to give a material representation of this correspondence and of the networks, both human and epistolary, which it reveals. My hypothesis is that links of all kinds – the correspondence itself to start with – enabled the Scottish Catholic community to weather the penal laws in the eighteenth century. What the mission needed most was money and priests; both came from outside Scotland, which is why I have decided to deal with the continental network first.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Ecclesiastical History Society 1994

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Footnotes

My grateful thanks are due to the Catholic Record Society, which awarded me grants out of the David Rogers Research Fund, and to Françoise Deconinck-Brossard for her suggestions and comments on an earlier draft.

References

2 Catholics only represented a tiny fraction of the population of post-Refor mation Scotland until the massive influx of Irish Catholics. For estimates, see Darragh, James, ‘The Catholic Population of Scotland since the Year 1680’, InR 4 (1953), 4959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

3 It must be borne in mind that many letters have been lost, in particular those deposited in the Scots Colleges in Paris and Douai which were not salvaged when these two institutions were taken over by the French in the wake of the Revolution. Nevertheless, there are over 14,000 letters in the database.

4 Halloran, Brian, The Scots College Paris, 1603–1792 (Edinburgh, 1997);Google Scholar Lindsay, Maurice, The Scots College in Spain (Valladolid, 1971);Google Scholar McCluskey, Raymond, The Scots College Rome 1600–2000 (Edinburgh, 2000).Google Scholar

5 Before ‘letter’,’sender’,’addressee’ and ‘place’, national adjectives have a strictly geographical meaning.

6 Peter Grant arrived in Rome on 7 January 1738: Edinburgh, Scottish Catholic Archives, Peter Grant to George Innes, 8 January 1738; Peter Grant to James Gordon, 27 February 1738.

7 There were financial matters but also administrative ones which, had the abbot got his way, would have been detrimental to the mission, since he wished Leith to obtain from Rome the right for monks officiating in Scotland to be under no compulsion whatsoever to obey the bishops’ orders, in particular as to their stations.

8 The set referred to consists of the correspondence sent to and received from Spain that is housed at the Scots College, Salamanca (formerly Valladolid). French and German repositories have not been fully assessed yet and the archives of the Scots College, Rome, yielded very little harvest in that particular field.

9 Granovetter, Mark S., ‘The Strength of Weak Ties’, American Journal of Sociology 78 (1973). 136080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

10 On Alexander Geddes, see Goldie, Mark, ‘Alexander Geddes at the Limits of the Catholic Enlightenment’, HistJ 53 (2010), 6186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

11 On this, see McMillan, James E, ‘The Innes Brothers and the Scots College, Paris’, in Eveline Cruikshanks and Edward Corp, eds, The Stuart Court in Exile and the Jacobites (London, 1995), 91100.Google Scholar

12 See, e.g., Kidd, Colin, Subverting Scotland’s Past (Cambridge, 2003), 1017;Google Scholar Ferguson, William, The Identity of the Scottish Nation (Edinburgh, 1998), 18692.Google Scholar

13 McMillan, James E, ‘Jansenists and Anti-Jansenists in Eighteenth-Century Scot land: The Unigenitus Quarrels in the Scottish Catholic Mission’, InR 39 (1988), 1245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

14 For instance, much has been made of John Dalrymple’s embracing Catholic Relief in the late 1770s pardy as a consequence of his connection with die Scots College in Paris.

15 Goldie, Mark, ‘The Scottish Catholic Enlightenment’, JBS 30 (1991), 2062;CrossRefGoogle Scholar idem, ‘Common Sense Philosophy and Catholic Theology in the Scottish Enlighten ment’, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 302 (1992), 281–320

16 Goldie, , ‘Scottish Catholic Enlightenment’, 22.Google Scholar

17 By Scottish affairs I mean anything happening in Scotland, including family news.

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