Records of Aquhorthies Roman Catholic College

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This small deposit contains a mixture of miscellaneous records created by or belonging to staff and students of Aquhorthies Roman Catholic College. It includes two folders of unsigned and mostly undated hand-written notes, consisting chiefly of sermons and discourses some of which are named, but the majority not. Named examples include: A discourse on the disadvantages of the consideration of eternity; A discourse on the theory of perception; Of the adoration of Christ, his mother and the saints and their images; On confession; Sermon on the passion of Jesus Christ. Dated items cover the period 1804 - 1810. Also included with these papers is a short Dissertation on the Common Pump and Fire Engine (n.d.), and a poem entitled The Boobie, which contains a reference to Boneparte's coming here , signed Aquhorthies February 14th 1817. The papers are a mixture of fair and good copies, and appear to have several different authors.

Three small volumes were also deposited with the loose papers. Two of these are manuscript books of religious discourses and prayers, possibly strays from the College library. Both are undated. One is inscribed Scalan and Chapeltown. The cover of another is inscribed Rev. Dom. Jac. Gordon. The third volume is a pass book between the Rev. R. Stewart and A. Malcom, listing mostly domestic items or groceries, Dec 1829 - May 1831.

Administrative / Biographical History

Aquhorthies Roman Catholic College was situated at Aquhorthies, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire from 1799 until 1829. In 1829 it was united with the Catholic seminaries of Chapeltown and Lismore, and moved with them to Blairs Estate, Maryculter, Aberdeenshire, gifted to the Church shortly before for this purpose by John Menzies of Pitfodels. The college which they formed was called St Mary's Roman Catholic Training College, but came to be known more commonly known as Blairs College.

The College has its roots in the fourteenth-century Scots College in Paris, which was established by David, Bishop of Moray, in 1325. It had a difficult early history, but prospered during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, becoming famous for its library, which came to possess, in addition to many valuable books, a large collection of historical manuscripts relating to Scottish history. These records were brought to Paris for safekeeping during the Reformation, although many were lost subsequently during the French Revolution. Some of the library's contents were salvaged and brought back to Scotland by Abbe Paul MacPherson in 1798, with the remainder being removed from Paris and deposited at Blairs College in 1837. Most of these records were subsequently deposited in the Scottish Catholic Archives, 16 Drummond Place, Edinburgh, in 1958.

An account of the foundation and early history of the College is given by Major Hay of Seaton, in The Blairs College Library in Library Review 17 (1931) 2 - 6.

Arrangement

This collection has not been fully listed, but is available for consultation

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1956

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk)and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Accruals

No accruals expected

Related Material

One other deposit relating specifically to Aquhorthies Roman Catholic College is held in the University Archives. This is a photocopy of an original document held by the Scottish Catholic Archives in Edinburgh, De Schola Aquortisiana, ab anno, quo primum instituta est 1799, ad annum usqu 1829 (GB 231 MS 2413). It is written in Latin and contains a list of students attending the College between 1799 and 1829, recording place of baptism, date of entry to the College and whether studying a secular or ecclesiastical course. It also contains details of College staff during this period. An Abstract of the rules and regulations for the students in the College of Aquhorties (Edinburgh; J. Moir, 1779) is also held in the University pamphlet collection.

Transcripts of some of the historical records which formed part of the Blairs College Library and which are now deposited at the Scottish Catholic Archives in Edinburgh are also held in the University. These include:

Liber procuratorum nationis anglicanae, 1333 - 1466, Index Scotorum, 1894 (GB 231 MS 958); Transcripts by Major Malcolm Vivian Hay of manuscripts in Blairs College Library, relating to Scots Colleges abroad, Scottish affairs in the archives of the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, etc. (GB 231 MS 2193); Transcripts by Major Malcolm Vivian Hay of manuscripts in Blairs College Library, relating to Scots Colleges abroad, Scottish affairs in the archives of the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, etc. (GB 231 MS 2193); Volume of transcripts of letters preserved at Blairs College, 1653 - 1695 (GB 231 MS 2402);Volume of transcripts of letters preserved at Blairs College, 1653 - 1695 (GB 231 MS 2402);Transcript of letters of James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth, preserved at Blairs College, 1687 - 1716 (GB 231 MS 2403);Transcript of letters of James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth, preserved at Blairs College, 1687 - 1716 (GB 231 MS 2403);Items relating to the Scots College, Paris and to the Catholic Church's other possessions in France (GB 231 MS 2404).

A number of items relating to Blairs Roman Catholic College are deposited in the University's pamphlet collections. Full reference details of these and the items listed above will be found on the University Library Catalogue http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Bibliography

No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names