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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 February 2016
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.
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.
1 See further <http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/astrolabe/articles/art001.htm/Arcane.htm>, last accessed 12 February 2011.
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.
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.
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), 91–100.Google 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.
17 By Scottish affairs I mean anything happening in Scotland, including family news.
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