The Sixth Scottish University

The Scots Colleges Abroad: 1575 to 1799


For more than two centuries in which Catholicism was illegal in Scotland, the Scots Colleges abroad operated as a sixth Scottish university. During this time the university’s alumni, individually and collectively, helped to ensure the survival of Catholicism in Scotland through political and military activity as well as missionary work. Earlier scholarship has treated the colleges individually and overlooked the degree to which the university corpus formed coherent networks which, over two centuries, made significant contributions to greater European cultural and intellectual movements. Through a number of examples, a picture is given of the hitherto little recognised Scottish Catholic contribution to developments in the Arts, Humanities and Sciences in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
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Biographical Note

Tom McInally, Ph.D. (2008) in History, is Honorary Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen. His published papers are on the Scots Catholic colleges in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Table of contents

List of Tables, Figures and Maps

Chapter One The Sixth Scottish University

Chapter Two Development of the Colleges - Networks and Political Involvement
The Need for Catholic Colleges
Scots Benedictines in Germany
The Execution of the Queen
Formation of the Colleges
Furthering Political Aims
A Scottish University
Distractions, Progress and Retrenchment
Toleration in Scotland

Chapter Three The Education Provided
European Movements in Education
College Buildings
Ratio Studiorum
Espousal of Enlightenment Values
The Penalties of a Catholic Education

Chapter Four The Students and their Backgrounds
The Students
Family Connections

Chapter Five Catholic Missions in Scotland
Changes over Time
The Mission in Scotland

Chapter Six Heritage

Appendix: A List of Scottish Nobles identified by their disposition towards Mary Queen of Scots
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources


All interested in Scottish matters and in the history of northern Catholicism, educational institutions and the development of ideas in the Arts and Sciences in the early modern period.


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