Eucharistic commentary by Robert Howie, c.1620

Scope and Content

Acuratus de Coena Domini tractatus by Robert Howie, Principal of St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews. His teaching on the sacrament of the Eucharist in this treatise is very similar to that expressed in a new confession of faith produced in 1616, of which Howie was thought to be the main architect.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Howie (d. c.1647) was educated in Aberdeen and then studied theology on the continent, graduating from Basel with a reputation for excellence in theological disputation and a treatise already published. He returned to Scotland to work as a committed presbyterian minister in Aberdeen, soon gaining the position of principal of the new Marischal College there. In 1598 he was elected minister in Dundee where he was involved with the demands of the trade guilds for reform of civic administration to such an extent that he was banned from the city. His views on church government also shifted when he endorsed the royal policy to increase the power of bishops in Scotland and was appointed by the king as principal of St Mary’s College, St Andrews, in 1607 after the ejection of Andrew Melville. He continued to uphold the king’s ecclesiastical policy in Scotland, despite opposition, until the reign of Charles I when he swung back to support of Presbyterianism, signing the national covenant. He was forced to resign from St Mary’s after 40 years as principal, in response to accusations of misappropriation of funds by Samuel Rutherford, and died soon afterwards.


Single item

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Offered for sale from the library of Dr John Lee as lot 514. The Forbes copy of the sale catalogue, held in the library, notes the sale price of 36s, 6 April 1861


With the manuscript is correspondence between P C Anderson, Librarian, Aberdeen University, and J Maitland Anderson, St Andrews, concerning the loan of the document to Aberdeen for the use of Dr Kellas Johnstone, September - November 1925.

Call number used to be ms5148

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding: Paper; Paper: 41.3x31.5cm approx folded and stitched.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.