Scotland.—The term as at present used includes the whole northern portion of the Island of Great Britain, which is divided from England by the Cheviot Hills, the River Tweed, and certain smaller streams. Its total area is about 20,000,000 acres, or something over 30,000 square miles; its greatest length is 292 miles, and greatest breadth, 155 miles. The chief physical feature of the country is its mountainous character, there being no extensive areas of level ground, as in England; and only about a quarter of the total acreage is cultivated. The principal chain of mountains is the Grampian range, and the highest individual hill Ben Nevis (4406 feet). Valuable coal-fields extend almost uninterruptedly from east to west, on both banks of the Rivers Forth and Clyde. The climate is considerably colder and (except on parts of the east coast) wetter than that of England. The part of Scotland lying beyond the Firths of Forth and Clyde was known to the Romans as Caledonia. The Caledonians came later to be called Picts, and the country, after them, Pictland. The name of Scotland came into use in the eleventh century, when the race of Scots, originally an Irish colony which settled in the western Highlands, attained to supreme power in the country. Scotland was an independent kingdom until James VI succeeded to the English Crown in 1603; and it continued constitutionally separate from England until the conclusion of the treaty of union a century later. It still retains its own Church (see Established Church of Scotland) and its own form of legal procedure; and the character of its people remains in many respects quite distinct from that of the English. Formerly the three prevailing nationalities of the country were the Anglo-Saxon in the south, the Celtic in the north and west, and the Scandinavian in the northeast; and these distinctions can still be traced both in the characteristics of the inhabitants and in the proper names of places. The total population, according to the census of 1911, is 4,759,521, being an increase of 287,418 in the past decade. The increase is almost entirely in the large cities and towns, the rural population of almost every county, except in the mining districts, having sensibly diminished, owing to emigration and other causes, since 1901.
The history of Scotland is dealt with in the present article chiefly in its ecclesiastical aspect, and as such it naturally falls into three great divisions: I. The conversion of the country and the prevalence of the Celtic monastic church; II. The gradual introduction and consolidation of the diocesan system, and the history of Scottish Catholicism down to the religious revolution of the sixteenth century; III. The post-Reformation history of the country, particularly in connection with the persecuted remnant of Catholics, and finally the religious revival of the nineteenth century. Under these three several heads, therefore, the subject will be treated.
FIRST PERIOD: FOURTH TO ELEVENTH CENTURY.—Nothing certain is known as to the introduction of Christianity into Scotland prior to the fourth century. Tertullian, writing at the end of the second, speaks of portions of Britain which the Romans had never reached being by that time “subject to Christ”; and early Scots historians relate that Pope Victor, about A.D. 203, sent missionaries to Scotland. This pope’s name is singled out for special veneration in a very early Scottish (Culdee) litany, which gives some probability to the legend; but the earliest indubitable evidence of the religious connection of Scotland with Rome is afforded by the history of Ninian, who, born in the southwest of Scotland about 360, went to study at Rome, was consecrated bishop by Pope Siricius, returned to his native country about 402, and built at Candida Casa, now Whithorn, the first stone church in Scotland. He also founded there a famous monastery, whence saints and missionaries went out to preach, not only through the whole south of Scotland, but also in Ireland. Ninian died probably in 432; and current ecclesiastical tradition points to St. Palladius as having been his successor in the work of evangelizing Scotland. Pope Leo XIII cited this tradition in his Bull restoring the Scottish hierarchy in 1878; but there are many anachronisms and other difficulties in the long accepted story of St. Palladius and his immediate followers, and it is even uncertain whether he ever set foot in Scotland at all. If, however, his mission was to the Scoti, who at this period inhabited Ireland, he was at least indirectly connected with the conversion of Scotland also; for the earliest extant chronicles of the Picts show us how close was the connection between the Church of the southern Picts and that of Ireland founded by St. Patrick. In the sixth century three Irish brother-chieftains crossed over from Ireland and founded the little Kingdom of Dalriada, in the present County of Argyll, which was ultimately to develop into the Kingdom of Scotland. They were already Christians, and with them came Irish missionaries, who spread the Faith throughout the western parts of the country. The north was still pagan, and even in the partly Christianized districts there were many relapses and apostasies which called for a stricter system of organization and discipline among the missionaries. It was thus that, drawing her inspiration from the great monasteries of Ireland, the early Scottish Church entered upon the monastic period of her history, of which the first and the greatest light was Columba, Apostle of the northern Picts.
The monastery of Iona, where Columba settled in 563, and whence he carried on his work of evangelizing the mainland of Scotland for thirty-four years, was, under him and his successors in the abbatial dignity, considered the motherhouse of all the monasteries founded by him in Scotland and in Ireland. Bede mentions that Iona long held pre-eminence over all the monasteries of the Picts, and it continued in fact, all during the monastic period of the Scottish Church, to be the center of the Columban jurisdiction. It is unnecessary to argue the point, which has been proved over and over again against the views put forward both by Anglicans and Presbyterians, that the Columban church was no isolated fragment of Christendom, but was united in faith and worship and spiritual life with the universal Catholic Church (see, as to this, Edmonds, “The Early Scottish Church, its Doctrine and Discipline”, Edinburgh, 1906). Whilst Columba was laboring among the northern Picts, another apostle was raised up in the person of St. Kentigern, to work among the British inhabitants of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, extending southward from the Clyde to Cumberland. Kentigern may be called the founder of the Church of Cumbria, and became the first bishop of what is now Glasgow; while in the east of Scotland Lothian honors as its first apostle the great St. Cuthbert, who entered the monastery of Melrose in 650, and became bishop, with his see at Lindisfarne, in 684. He died three years later; and less than thirty years afterwards the monastic period of the Scottish Church came to an end, the monks throughout Pictland, most of whom had resisted the adoption of the Roman observance of Easter, being expelled by the Pictish king. This was in 717; and almost simultaneously with the disappearance of the Columban monks we see the advent to Scotland of the Deicolce, Colidei, or Culdees, the anchorite-clerics sprung from those ascetics who had devoted themselves to the service of God in the solitude of separate cells, and had in the course of time formed themselves into communities of anchorites or hermits. They had thirteen monasteries in Scotland, and together with the secular clergy who were now introduced into the country they carried on the work of evangelization which had been done by the Columban communities which they succeeded.
From the beginning of the eighth to the middle of the ninth century the political history of Scotland, as we dimly see it today, consists of continual fighting between the rival races of Angles, Picts, and Scots, varied by invasions of Danes and Norsemen, and culminating at last in the union of the Scots of Dalriada and the Pictish peoples into one kingdom under Kenneth Mac Alpine in 844. Ecclesiastically speaking, the most important result of this union was the elevation by Kenneth of the church of Dunkeld to be the primatial see of his new kingdom. Soon, however, the primacy was transferred to Abernethy, and some forty years after Kenneth’s accession we find the first definite mention of the “Scottish Church“, which King Grig raised from a position of servitude to honorable independence. Grig’s successors were styled no longer Kings of the Picts, but Kings of Alban, the name now given to the whole country between the Forth and the Spey; and under Constantine, second King of Alban, was held in 908 the memorable assembly at Scone, in which the king and Cellach, Bishop of St. Andrews, recognized by this time as primate of the kingdom, and styled Epscop Alban, solemnly swore to protect the discipline of the Faith and the right of the churches and the Gospel. In the reign of Malcolm I, Constantine’s successor, the district of Cumberland was ceded to the Scottish Crown by Edmund of England; and among the very scanty notices of ecclesiastical affairs during this period we find the foundation of the church of Brechin, of which the ancient round tower, built after the Irish model, still remains. This was in the reign of Kenneth II (971-995), who added yet another province to the Scottish Kingdom, Lothian being made over to him by King Edmund of England. Iona had meanwhile, in consequence of the occupation of the Western Isles by the Norsemen, been practically cut off from Scotland, and had become ecclesiastically dependent on Ireland. It suffered much from repeated Danish raids, and on Christmas Eve, 986, the abbey was devastated, and the abbot with most of his monks put to death. Not many years later the Norwegian power in Scotland received a fatal blow by the death of Sigurd, Earl of Orkney, the Norwegian provinces on the mainland passing into the possession of the Scottish Crown. Malcolm II was now on the throne, and it was during his thirty years’ reign that the Kingdom of Alban became first known as Scotia, from the dominant race to which its people belonged. With Malcolm’s death in 1034 the male line of Kenneth Mac Alpine was extinguished, and he was succeeded by his daughter’s son, Duncan, who after a short and inglorious reign was murdered by his kinsman and principal general, Macbeth. Macbeth wore his usurped crown for seventeen years, and was himself slain in 1057 by Malcolm, Duncan’s son, who ascended the throne as Malcolm III. It is worth noting that Duncan’s father (who married the daughter of Malcolm II) was Crinan, lay Abbot of Dunkeld; for this fact illustrates one of the great evils under which the Scottish Church was at this time laboring, namely the usurpation of abbeys and benefices by great secular chieftains, an abuse existing side by side, and closely connected with, the scandal of concubinage among the clergy, with its inevitable consequence, the hereditary succession to benefices, and wholesale secularization of the property of the Church. These evils were indeed rife in other parts of Christendom; but Scotland was especially affected by them, owing to her want of a proper ecclesiastical constitution and a normal ecclesiastical government. The accession, and more especially the marriage, of Malcolm III were events destined to have a profound influence on the fortunes of the Scottish Church, and indeed to be a turning-point in her history.
SECOND PERIOD: ELEVENTH TO SIXTEENTH CENTURY: The Norman Conquest of England could not fail to exercise a deep and lasting effect also on the northern kingdom, and it was the immediate cause of the introduction of English ideas and English civilization into Scotland. The flight to Scotland, after the Battle of Hastings, of Edgar Atheling, heir of the Saxon Royal house, with his mother and his sisters Margaret and Christina, was followed at no distant date by the marriage of Margaret to King Malcolm, as his second wife. A great niece of St. Edward the Confessor, Margaret, whose personality stands out clearly before us in the pages of her biography by her confessor Turgot, was a woman not only of saintly life but of strong character, who exercised the strongest influence on the Scottish Church and kingdom, as well as on the members of her own family. The character of Malcolm III has been depicted in very different colors by the English and Scottish chroniclers, the former painting him as the severe and merciless invader of England, while, to the latter he is a noble and heroic prince, called Canmore (Ceann-mor—great head) from his high kingly qualities. All however agree that the influence of his holy queen was the best and strongest element in his stormy life. Whilst he was engaged in strengthening his frontiers and fighting the enemies of his country, Margaret found time, amid family duties and pious exercises, to take in hand the reform of certain outstanding abuses in the Scottish Church. In such matters as the fast of Lent, the Easter communion, the observance of Sunday, and compliance with the Church‘s marriage laws, she succeeded, with the king’s support, in bringing the Church of Scotland into line with the rest of Catholic Christendom. Malcolm and Margaret rebuilt the venerable monastery of Iona, and founded churches in various parts of the kingdom; and during their reign the Christian faith was established in the islands lying off the northern and western coasts of Scotland, inhabited by Norsemen. Malcolm was killed in Northumberland in 1093, whilst leading an army against William Rufus; and his saintly queen, already dangerously ill, followed him to the grave a few days later. In the same year as the king and queen died Fothad, the last of the native bishops of Alban, whose extinction opened the way to the claim, long upheld, of the See of York to supremacy over the Scottish Church—a claim rendered more tenable by the strong Anglo-Norman influence which had taken the place of that of Ireland, and by the absence of any organized system of diocesan jurisdiction in the Scottish Church.
Edgar, one of Malcolm’s younger sons, who succeeded to his father’s crown after prolonged conflict with other pretenders to it, calls himself in his extant charters “King of Scots”, but he speaks of his subjects as Scots and English, surrounded himself with English advisers, acknowledged William of England as his feudal superior, and thus did much to strengthen the English influence in the northern kingdom. During his ten years’ reign no successor was appointed to Fothad in the primacy; but at his death (when his brother Alexander succeeded him as king, the younger brother David obtaining dominion over Cumbria and Lothian, with the title of earl) Turgot became Bishop of St. Andrews, the first Norman to occupy the primatial see. Alexander‘s reign was signalized by the creation of two additional sees; the first being that of Moray, in the district beyond the Spey, where Scandinavian influence had long been dominant. The see was fixed first at Spynie and later at Elgin, where a noble cathedral was founded in the thirteenth century. The other new see was that of Dunkeld, which had already been the seat of the primacy under Kenneth Mac Alpine, but had fallen under lay abbots. Here Alexander replaced the Culdee community by a bishop and chapter of secular canons. Elsewhere also he introduced regular religious orders to take the place of the Culdees, founding monasteries of canons regular (Augustinians) at Scone and Loch Tay.
Even more than Alexander, his brother David, who succeeded him in 1124, and who had been educated at the English Court (his sister Matilda having married Henry I), labored to assimilate the social state and institutions of Scotland, both in civil and ecclesiastical matters, to Anglo-Norman ideas. His reign of thirty years, on the whole a peaceful one, is memorable in the extent of the changes wrought during it in Scotland, under every aspect of the life of the people. A modern historian has said that at no period of her history has Scotland ever stood relatively so high in the scale of nations as during the reign of this excellent monarch. Penetrated with the spirit of feudalism, and recognizing the inadequacy of the Celtic institutions of the past to meet the growing needs of his people, David extended his reforms to every department of civil life; but it is with the energy and thoroughness with which he set about the reorganization and remodeling of the national church that his name will always be identified. While still Earl of Cumbria and Lothian he brought Benedictine monks from France to Selkirk, and Augustinian canons to Jedburgh, and procured the restoration of the ancient see of Glasgow, originally founded by St. Kentigern. Five other bishoprics he founded after his accession: Ross, in early days a Columban monastery, and afterwards served by Culdees, who were now succeeded by secular canons; Aberdeen, where there had also been a church in very early times; Caithness, with the see at Dornoch, in Sutherland, where the former Culdee community was now replaced by a full chapter of ten canons, with dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, and archdeacon; Dunblane, and Brechin, founded shortly before the king’s death, and both, like the rest, on the sites of ancient Celtic churches. The great abbeys of Dunfermline, Holyrood, Jedburgh, Kelso, Kinloss, Melrose, and Dundrennan were all established by him for Benedictines, Augustinians, or Cistercians, besides several priories and convents of nuns, and houses belonging to the military orders. To one venerable Celtic monastery founded by St. Columba, that of Deer, we find David granting a charter towards the end of his reign; but his general policy was to suppress the ancient Culdee establishments, now moribund and almost extinct, and supersede them by his new religious foundations. Side by side with this came the complete diocesan reorganization of the Church, the erection of cathedral chapters and rural deaneries, and the reform of the Divine service on the model of that prevailing in the English Church, the use of the ancient Celtic ritual being almost universally discontinued in favor of that of Salisbury. Two church councils were held in David’s reign, both presided over by cardinal legates from Rome; and in 1150 took place, at St. Andrews, the first diocesan synod recorded to have been held in Scotland. David died in 1153, leaving behind him the reputation of a saint as well as a great king—a reputation which has been endorsed, with singular unanimity, alike by ancient chroniclers and the most impartial of modern historians.
David’s grandson and successor, Malcolm the Maiden, was crowned at Scone—the first occasion, as far as we know, of such a ceremony taking place in Scotland. His piety was attested by his many religious foundations, including the famous Abbey of Paisley; but as a king he was weak, whereas England was at that time ruled by the strong and masterful Henry II, who succeeded in wresting from Scotland the three northern English counties which had been subject to David. Malcolm was succeeded in 1165 by his brother William the Lion, whose reign of close on fifty years was the longest in Scottish history. It was by no means a period of peace for the Scottish realm; for in 1173 William, in a vain effort to recover his lost English provinces, was taken prisoner, and only released on binding himself, to be the liegeman of the King of England, and to do him homage for his whole kingdom. During a great part of his reign he was also in conflict with his unruly Celtic subjects in Galloway and elsewhere, as well as with the Norse-men of Caithness. The Scottish Church, too, was harassed not only by the continual claims of York to jurisdiction over her, but by the English king’s attempts to bring her into entire subjection to the Church of England. A great council at Northampton in 1176, attended by both monarchs, a papal legate, and the principal English and Scottish bishops, broke up without deciding this question; and a special legate sent by Pope Alexander III to England and Scotland shortly afterwards was not more successful.
It was not until twelve years later that, in response to a deputation specially sent to Rome by William to urge a settlement, Pope Clement III (in March, 1188) declared by Bull the Scottish Church, with its nine dioceses, to be immediately subject to the Apostolic See. The issue of this Bull, which was confirmed by succeeding popes, was followed, on William subscribing handsomely to Richard Coeur de Lion’s crusading fund, by the King of England agreeing to abrogate the humiliating treaty which had made him the feudal superior of the King of Scots, and formally recognizing the temporal as well as the spiritual independence of Scotland. William’s reign, like that of its predecessors, was prolific in religious foundations, the principal being the great Abbey of Arbroath, a memorial of St. Thomas of Canterbury, with whom the king had been on terms of personal friendship. Even more noteworthy was the establishment of a Benedictine monastery in the sacred Isle of Iona by Reginald, Lord of the Isles, whose desire, like that of the Scottish kings, was to supersede the effete Culdees in his domains by the regular orders of the Church. In 1200 a tenth diocese was erected—that of Argyll, cut off from Dunkeld, and including an extensive territory in which Gaelic was (as it still is) almost exclusively spoken. The Fourth Lateran Council was held in Rome in 1215, the year after William’s death, under the great Pope Innocent III, and was attended by four Scottish bishops and abbots, and procurators of the other prelates; and we find the ecclesiastics of Scotland, as of other countries, ordered to contribute a twentieth part of their revenues towards a new crusade, and a papal legate arriving in Scotland soon afterwards to collect the money. In 1225 the Scottish bishops met in council for the first time without the presence of a legate from Rome, electing one of their number, as directed by a papal bull, to preside over the assembly with quasi-metropolitan authority and the title of conservator. The Scottish kings were regularly represented at these councils by two doctors of laws, specially nominated by the sovereign.
The thirteenth century, during the greater part of which (1214-86) the second and third Alexanders wore the crown of Scotland, is sometimes spoken of as the golden age of that country. During that long period, in the words of a modern poet, “God gave them peace, their land reposed”; and they were free to carry on the work of consolidation and development so well begun by the good King David. Alexander II, indeed, when still a youth incurred the papal excommunication by espousing the cause of the English barons against King John, but when he had obtained absolution he married a sister of Henry III, and so secured a good understanding with England. The occasional signs of unrest among some of his Celtic subjects in Argyll, Moray, and Caithness were met and checked with firmness and success; and this reign witnessed a distinct advance in the industrial progress of the realm, the king devoting special attention to the improvement of agriculture. Many new religious foundations were also made by him, including monasteries at Culross, Pluscardine, Beauly, and Crossraguel; while the royal favor was also extended to the new orders of friars which were spreading throughout Europe, and numerous houses were founded by him both for Dominicans and Franciscans, the friars, however, remaining under the control of their English provincials until nearly a century later. David de Bernham of St. Andrews and Gilbert of Caithness were among the distinguished prelates of this time, and did much for both the material and the religious welfare of their dioceses. Alexander III, who succeeded his father in 1249, was also fortunate in the excellent bishops who governed the Scottish Church during his reign, and he, like his predecessors, made some notable religious foundations, including the Cistercian Abbey of Sweetheart, and houses of Carmelite and Trinitarian friars. An important step in the consolidation of the kingdom was the annexation of the Isle of Man, the Hebrides, and other western islands to the Scottish Crown, pecuniary compensation being paid to Norway, and the Archbishop of Trondhjem retaining ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the islands. Nearly all the Scottish bishops attended the general council convoked by Gregory X at Lyons in 1274, which, among other measures levied a fresh tax on church benefices in aid of a new crusade. Boiamund, a Piedmontese canon, went to Scotland to collect the subsidy, assessing the clergy on a valuation known as Boiamund’s R o 11, which gave great dissatisfaction, but nevertheless remained the guide to ecclesiastical taxation until the Reformation. With the death of Alexander in 1286 the male line of his house came to an end, and he was succeeded by his youthful granddaughter, Margaret, daughter of King Eric of Norway.
Edward I, the powerful and ambitious King of England, whose hope was the union of the Kingdom of Scotland with his own, immediately began negotiations for the marriage of Margaret to his son. The proposal was favorably received in Scotland; but while the eight-year old queen was on her way from Norway, she died in Orkney, and the realm was immediately divided by rival claimants to the throne, John de Baliol and Robert Bruce, both descended from a brother of William the Lion. King Edward, chosen as umpire in the dispute, decided in favor of Baliol; and relying on his subservience summoned him to support him when he declared war on France in 1294. The Scottish parliament, however, entered instead into an alliance with France against England, whose incensed king at once marched into Scotland with a powerful army, advanced as far as Perth, dethroned and degraded Baliol, and returned to England, carrying with him from Scone the coronation stone of the Scottish kings, which he placed in Westminster Abbey, where it still remains. The interposition of Pope Boniface VIII procured a temporary truce between the two countries in 1300; but Edward soon renewed his efforts to subdue the Scotch, putting to death the valiant and patriotic William Wallace, and leaving no stone unturned to carry out his object. He died, however, in 1307; and Robert Bruce (grandson of Baliol’s rival) utterly routed the English forces at Bannockburn in 1314, and secured the independence of Scotland. After long negotiations peace was concluded between the two kingdoms, and ratified by the betrothal of Robert’s only son to the sister of the King of England. Robert died a few months later, and was succeeded by his son, David II, out of whose reign of forty years ten were spent, during his youth, in France, and eleven in exile in England, where he was taken prisoner when invading the dominions of Edward III. During the wars with England, and the long and inglorious reign of David, the church and people of Scotland suffered alike. Bishops forgot their sacred character, and appeared in armor at the head of their retainers; the state of religion and morals, both of clergy and laity, was far from satisfactory, and contemporary chronicles were full of lamentations at the degeneracy of the times. Some excellent bishops there were during the fourteenth century, notably Fraser and Lamberton of St. Andrews, the former of whom was chosen one of the regents of the kingdom, while Lamberton completed the noble cathedral of St. Andrews. Bishop David of Moray, a zealous patron of learning, is honored as the virtual founder of the historic Scots College in Paris. A proof that religious zeal was still warm is afforded by the first foundation in Scotland, at Dunbar, of a collegiate church, in 1342, precursor of some forty other establishments of the same kind founded before the Reformation.
David II died childless, and the first of the long line of Stuart kings now ascended the throne in the person of Robert, son of Marjorie (daughter of Robert Bruce) and the High Steward. During Robert’s reign of nineteen years there was almost continual warfare with the English on the Border, France on one occasion sending a force to help her Scottish ally against their common enemy. Robert was succeeded in 1390 by his son Robert III, in whose reign Scotland suffered more from its own turbulent barons than from foreign foes. Robert, Duke of Albany, the king’s brother, himself wielded almost royal power, imprisoned and (it was said) starved to death the heir-apparent to the throne; and when the king died in 1406, leaving his surviving son James a prisoner in England, Albany got himself appointed regent, and did his best to prevent the new king’s return to Scotland. The years of Albany’s dictatorship, which coincided with the general unrest in Christendom due to a disputed papal election, were not prosperous ones for the Scottish Church. Spiritual authority was weakened, and the encroachments of the State on the Church became increasingly serious. A collection of synodal statutes of St. Andrews, however, of this date which has come down to us shows that serious efforts were being made by the church authorities to cope with the evils of the time; and the long alliance with France of course brought the French and Scottish churches into a close connection which was in many ways advantageous, although one effect of it was that Scotland, like France, espoused the cause of the anti-popes against the rightful pontiffs. The young king, James I, was at length released from England in 1424, after twenty years captivity, returned to his realm, was crowned at Scone, and immediately showed himself a strong and gifted monarch. He condemned Albany and his two sons to death for high treason, took vigorous steps to improve and encourage commerce and trade, and evinced the greatest interest in the welfare of religion and the prosperity of the Church. The Parliament of 1425 directed a strict inquisition into the spread of Lollardism or other heresies, and the punishment of those who disseminated them; and James also personally urged the heads of the religious orders in his realm to see to a stricter observance of their rule and discipline. The king sent eight high Scottish ecclesiastics to Basle to attend the general council there; but in the midst of his plans of reform he was assassinated at Perth in February, 1436.
King James’s solicitude as to the spread of heresy in Scotland was not without cause; for early in his reign preachers of the Wyclifite errors had come from England, prominent among them being John Resby, who was sentenced to death and suffered at Perth in 1407. The Scottish Parliament passed a special act against Lollardism in 1425; and Paul Crawar, an emissary from the Hussites of Bohemia, who appeared in Scotland on a proselytizing mission in 1433, suffered the same fate as Resby. An oath to defend the Church against Lollardism was taken by all graduates of the new University of St. Andrews, the foundation of which was a notable event of this reign. It was formally confirmed in 1414 by Pedro de Luna, recognized by the Scottish Church at that time as Pope Benedict XIII. Scotland was the last state in Christendom to adhere to the antipope, and only in 1418 declared her allegiance to the rightful pontiff, Martin V. The year before his death James received a visit from the learned and distinguished Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who afterwards became Pope Pius II. About the same time the new Diocese of the Isles was erected, being severed from that of Argyll; and the bishops of the new see fixed their residence at Iona.
The new king, James II, had a long minority, during which there were constant feuds among his nobles; but he developed at manhood into a firm and prudent ruler, and he was fortunate in having as an adviser Bishop Kennedy of St. Andrews, one of the wisest and best prelates who ever adorned that see. James’s early death, owing to an accident, in 1460, was doubly unfortunate, as his son and successor James III was a prince of far weaker character, unable to cope with the turbulent barons, some of whom broke out into open revolt, seducing the youthful heir to the throne to join them. Active hostilities followed, and James was murdered by a trooper of the insurgent army in 1488. The disturbances of his reign had their effect on the Scottish Church, in which abuses, such as the intrusion of laymen into ecclestiastical positions, the deprival suffered by cathedral and monastic bodies of their canonical rights, and the baneful system of commendatory abbots, flourished almost unchecked. New religious foundations there were, chiefly of the orders of friars; and the diocesan development of the Church was completed by the withdrawal of the See of Galloway from the jurisdiction of York, and those of Orkney and the Isles from Norway. This act of consolidation formed part of the provisions of an important Bull of Sixtus IV, dated 1472, erecting the See of St. Andrews into an archbishopric and metropolitan church for the whole realm, with twelve suffragan sees dependent on it. York and Trondhjem, of course, protested against the change; but it seemed to be equally unwelcome in Scotland. The new metropolitan, Archbishop Graham, found king, clergy, and people all against him; he was assailed by various serious charges, and finally deprived of his dignities, degraded from his orders, and sentenced to lifelong imprisonment in a monastery. His successor in the archbishopric, William Sheves, obtained a Bull from Innocent VIII appointing him primate of all Scotland and legatus natus, with the same privileges as those enjoyed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The protest of the See of Glasgow was followed by a Bull exempting that see from the jurisdiction of the primate; but in 1489 a law was passed declaring the necessity of Glasgow’s being erected into an archbishopric. In 1492 the pope created the new archbishopric, assigning to it as suffragans the Sees of Dunkeld, Dunblane, Galloway, and Argyll. Two years later we hear of the arrest and trial of a number of Lollards in the new archdiocese; but they seem to have escaped with an admonition. From 1497 to 1513 the primatial see was occupied successively by a brother and a natural son of King James IV. The latter, who was nominated to the primacy when only sixteen, fell with his royal father and the flower of the Scottish nobility at Flodden in 1513. Foreman, who succeeded him as archbishop, was an able and zealous prelate; but by far the most distinguished Scottish bishop at this period was the learned and holy William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen 1483-1514, and founder of Aberdeen University in 1494.
In 1525 the Lutheran opinions seem first to have appeared in Scotland, the parliament of that year passing an act forbidding the importation of Lutheran books. James V was a staunch son of the Church, and wrote to Pope Clement VII in 1526, protesting his determination to resist every form of heresy. Patrick Hamilton, a commendatory abbot and connected with the royal house, was tried and condemned for teaching false doctrine, and burned at St. Andrews in 1528: but his death, which Knox claims to have been the starting point of the Reformation in Scotland, certainly did not stop the spreading of the new opinions. James, whilst showing himself zealous for the reform of ecclesiastical abuses in his realm, resisted all the efforts of his uncle Henry VIII of England to draw him over to the new religion. He married the only daughter of the King of France in 1537, much to Henry’s chagrin; but his young wife died within three months. Meanwhile his kingdom was divided into two opposing parties—one, including many nobles, the queen mother (sister of Henry VIII), and the religiously disaffected among his subjects, secretly supporting Henry’s schemes and the advance of the new opinions; the other, comprising the powerful and wealthy clergy, several peers of high rank, and the great mass of his still Catholic and loyal subjects. Severe measures continued against the disseminators of Lutheranism, many suffering death or banishment; and there were not wanting able and patriotic counsellors to stand by the king, notable among them being David Beaton, whom we find in France negotiating for the marriage of James to Mary of Guise in 1537, and himself uniting the royal pair at St. Andrews. Beaton became cardinal in 1538 and Primate of Scotland a few weeks later, on the death of his uncle James Beaton, and found himself the object of Henry VIII‘s jealousy and animosity, as the greatest obstacle to that monarch’s plans and hopes. Henry’s anger culminated on the bestowal by the pope on the King of Scots of the very title of Defender of the Faith which he had himself received from Leo X; open hostilities broke out, and shortly after the disastrous rout of the Scotch forces at Solway Moss in 1542 James V died at Falkland, leaving a baby daughter, Mary Stuart, to inherit his crown and the government of his distracted country.
James V’s death was immediately followed by new activity on the part of the Protestant party. The Regent Arran openly favored the new doctrines, and many of the Scottish nobles bound themselves, for a money payment from Henry VIII, to acknowledge him as lord paramount of Scotland. Beaton was imprisoned, a step which resulted in Scotland being placed under an interdict by the pope, whereupon the people, still in great part Catholic, insisted on the cardinal’s release. Henry now connived at, if he did not actually originate, a plan for the assassination of Beaton, in which George Wishart, a conspicuous Protestant preacher, was also mixed up. Wishart was tried for heresy and burned at St. Andrews in 1546, and two months later Beaton was murdered in the same city. Arran, who had meanwhile reverted to Catholicism, wrote to the pope deploring Beaton’s death, and asking for a subsidy towards the war with England. The Protestants held the Castle of St. Andrews, among them being John Knox; and the fortress was only recovered by the aid of a French squadron. Disaffection and treachery were rife among the nobles, and the English Protector Somerset, secure of their support, led an English army over the border, and defeated the Scottish forces with great loss at Pinkie in 1547.
A few months later the young queen was sent by her mother, Mary of Guise, to France, which remained her home for thirteen years. The French alliance enabled Scotland to drive back her English invaders; peace was declared in 1550, and Mary of Guise was appointed regent in succession to the weak and vacillating Arran, entering on office just as a Catholic queen, Mary Tudor, was ascending the English throne. Arran’s half-brother, John Hamilton, succeeded Beaton as Archbishop of St. Andrews, James Beaton soon after being appointed to Glasgow, while the See of Orkney was held by the pious, learned, and able Robert Reid, the virtual founder of Edinburgh University. The primate convoked a provincial national council in Edinburgh in 1549, at which sixty ecclesiastics were present. A series of important canons was passed at this council, as well as at a subsequent one assembled in 1552, one result being the publication in the latter year of a catechism intended for the instruction of the clergy as well as of their flocks. From 1547 to 1555 John Knox was preaching Protestantism in England, Geneva, and Frankfort, and the new doctrines made little headway in Scotland. In 1555, however, he returned to Edinburgh, and started his crusade against the ancient Faith, meeting with little molestation from the authorities. He went back to Geneva in the following year; but his Scottish friends and supporters, emboldened by his exhortations, subscribed in December, 1557, the Solemn League and Covenant, for the express object of the overthrow of the old religion. Angered by the execution of Walter Mylne for heresy in 1558, the lords of the Congregation (as the Protestant party was now styled) demanded of the Queen Regent authorization for public Protestant service. Mary laid the petition before a provincial council which met in 1559, and which, while declining to give way to the Protestant demands, passed many excellent and salutary enactments, chiefly directed against the numerous and crying abuses which had too long been rampant in the Scottish Church. But no conciliar decrees could avert the storm about to burst over the realm.
Knox returned to Scotland in 1559, and inaugurated the work of destruction by a violent sermon which he preached at Perth. There and elsewhere churches and monasteries were attacked and sacked. Troops arrived from France to assist the regent in quelling the insurgent Protestants, while in April, 1560, the English forces, dispatched by Elizabeth, invaded Scotland both by land and sea in support of the Congregation. The desecration and destruction of churches and abbeys went on apace; and in the midst of these scenes of strife and violence occurred the death of the queen regent, in June, 1560. Less than a month later, a treaty of peace was signed at Edinburgh, the King and Queen of Scots (Mary had married in 1558 Francis, Dauphin of France), granting various concession to the Scottish nobles and people. In pursuance of one of the articles of the treaty, the parliament assembled on August 1, though without any writ of summons from the sovereign. Although the treaty had especially provided that the religious question at issue should be remitted to the king and queen for settlement, the assemblage voted for the adoption, as the state religion, of the Protestant Confession of Faith; four prelates and five temporal peers alone dissenting. Three further statutes respectively abolished papal jurisdiction in Scotland, repealed all former statutes in favor of the Catholic Church, and made it a penal offense, punishable by death on the third conviction, either to say or to hear Mass. All leases of church lands granted by ecclesiastics subsequent to March, 1558, were declared null and void; and thus the destruction of the old religion in Scotland, as far as the hand of man could destroy it, was complete. No time or opportunity was given to the Church to carry out that reform of prevalent abuses which was foreshadowed in the decrees of her latest councils. As in England the greed of a tyrannical king, so in Scotland the cupidity of a mercenary nobility, itching to possess themselves of the Church‘s accumulated wealth, consummated a work which even Protestant historians have described as one of revolution rather than of reformation.
THIRD PERIOD: SIXTEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY—It does not belong to this article to trace the development of the doctrines and discipline of the new religion which supplanted Catholicism in Scotland in 1560 (see Established Church of Scotland). The aim of the Reformers was to stamp out every outward vestige of the ancient Faith before the return of the Catholic queen, now a widow; and the demolition of churches and monasteries contined unabated during 1561. In August of that year Mary arrived in Edinburgh, and was warmly welcomed by her subjects; but it was only with the greatest difficulty that she obtained toleration for herself and her attendants to practice their religion, anti-Catholic riots being of frequent occurrence. The few Catholic nobles, mostly belonging to the north, found themselves more and more withdrawn from Catholic life, while the prelates and clergy were in constant personal danger. Some champions of the Faith there still were, notably Ninian Winzet and Quintin Kennedy, ready to risk life and liberty in the public defense of their Faith; and Mary herself did all in her power to cultivate close relations with the Holy See. Her ambassador in France was Archbishop Beaton of Glasgow. Pope Pius IV sent her the Golden Rose in 1561, and dispatched Nicholas of Gouda, a Jesuit, as nuncio to Scotland in the same year. Only one bishop ventured to receive the papal envoy, who sent to Rome a pitiful report of the religious condition of Scotland. Mary’s marriage to Darnley, a Catholic noble, who was proclaimed King of Scots, afforded a fresh pretext to the disaffected Protestant lords to intrigue against the throne; and headed by Moray, the queen’s own half-brother, they openly revolted against her. Their armed rising was unsuccessful, but their murderous plots continued, and Rizzio, Mary’s confidential secretary, and her husband Darnley were both murdered within less than a year’s interval. The seizure of Mary’s person by Bothwell, her husband’s assassin, and her subsequent marriage to him, belong to her personal history.
A month after her marriage Mary was imprisoned by her traitorous subjects at Lochleven, and a few weeks later, in July, 1567, she was forced to sign her abdication, and virtually ceased to be Queen of Scotland. Her baby son, James W, was hurriedly crowned at Stirling, and in August, Moray, now regent, returned to Scotland from Paris, where he had been in communication with the French Protestant leaders. The penal laws against Catholics were now enforced with fresh severity, the Bishop of Dunblane and many other ecclesiastics being heavily fined, and in some cases outlawed for exercising their ministry. Moray’s first parliament renewed and ratified all the ecclesiastical enactments of 1560; but his efforts to conclude an alliance with England and with France were alike unsuccessful. He was also confronted with a strong body of nobles adherent to the cause of Mary, who by their aid escaped from her prison; but in May, 1568, her forces were defeated by those of the regent at Langside, and the unfortunate queen fled over the border to English soil, which she was not to quit till her tragic death nineteen years later. The regent, after the abortive conferences at York and Westminster dealing with the charges against his sister, returned to Scotland, and continued, with the support of the general assembly of the Kirk, his severe measures against the Catholics. Every indignity short of death was inflicted on the priests who were apprehended in various parts of the kingdom; but whilst intriguing to obtain possession of the queen’s person, Moray was suddenly himself cut off by the bullet of an assassin. Lennox, who succeeded him as regent, proved a vigorous antagonist of Mary’s adherents; and one of the foremost of these, Archbishop Hamilton, was hanged at Stir-ling after a mock trial lasting three days. Robert Hay, chosen to succeed him by the few remaining members of the chapter, was never consecrated, and the primatial see remained unoccupied by a Catholic prelate for upwards of three centuries. Mar succeeded Lennox as regent, and Morton followed Mar, being chosen on the very day of John Knox‘s death (November 24, 1572). The iron hand of both pressed heavily on the Catholics, and we find the Privy Council publishing in 1574 a list of outlaws, including several bishops, any dealing with whom is forbidden under pain of death. All Papists cited before the civil tribunals are to be required to renounce their religion, subscribe to Presbyterianism, and receive the Protestant communion. The persecution at home had had the effect of driving many distinguished Scottish Catholics to the continent. Paris had been since 1560 the residence of Archbishop Beaton of Glasgow, and of the able and learned Bishop John Leslie of Ross, both devoted friends and counsellors of Queen Mary.
The hopes that the young King James, who had been baptized and crowned with Catholic rites, might grow up in the religion of his ancestors, were destroyed by his signing in 1581 a formal profession of his adherence to Protestantism and detestation of Popery. This did not prevent him from entering into personal communication later with Pope Gregory XIII, when he thought his throne in danger from the ambition of Queen Elizabeth. He promised at the same time conciliatory measures towards his Catholic subjects, and affected solicitude for his unfortunate mother; but he never made any practical efforts to obtain her release, and her cruel death in 1586 seemed to leave him singularly callous, though he attempted to appease the Catholic nobles, in their deep indignation at Mary’s execution, by restoring Bishop Leslie of Ross to his former dignities, and appointing Archbishop Beaton his ambassador in France. There was at this time a distinct reaction in favor of Catholicism in Scotland, and a number of missionaries, both secular and religious, were laboring for the preservation of the Faith. The Kirk, of course, took alarm, and urged on the king the adoption of the severest measures for the suppression of every vestige of Catholicism. James himself headed an armed expedition against the disaffected Catholic nobles of the north in 1594, and after one severe rebuff put Huntly and Erroll, the Catholic leaders, to flight. They left Scotland forever in 1595, and thenceforward Catholicism, as a political force to be reckoned with, may be said to have been extinct in Scotland. A large proportion of the people, however, still clung tenaciously to their ancient beliefs, and strenuous efforts were made, in the closing years of the sixteenth century, to provide for the spiritual wants of what was now a missionary country. In 1576 Dr. James Cheyne had founded a college to educate clergy for the Scotch Mission, at Tournai; and after being transferred to Pont-a-Mousson, Douai, and Louvain, it was finally fixed at Douai. The Scots College at Rome was founded by Pope Clement VIII in 1600; and there was also a Scots College in Paris, dating from 1325, while the Scots abbeys at Ratisbon and Wurzburg likewise became after the Reformation the nursery of Scottish missionaries.
In 1598 the secular clergy in Scotland were placed under the jurisdiction of George Blackwell, the newly-appointed archpriest for England. Many devoted Jesuits were laboring in Scotland at this time, notably Fathers Creighton, Gordon, Hay, and Abercromby, of whom the last received into the Catholic Church Anne of Denmark, the queen of James VI, probably in 1600, and made other distinguished converts. James’s succession to the Crown of England in 1603, on the death of Queen Elizabeth, gave him much new occupation in regulating ecclesiastical matters in his new kingdom, and also in introducing, in the teeth of bitter opposition, the Episcopalian system into Scotland. Pope Clement wrote to the king in 1603, urging him to be lenient and generous towards his Catholic subjects, and after long delay received a civil but vaguely-worded reply. James’s real sentiments, however, were shown by his immediately afterwards decreeing the banishment of all priests from the kingdom, and returning to the pope the presents sent to his Catholic queen. The remainder of his reign, as far as his Catholic subjects were concerned, was simply a record of confiscation, imprisonment, and banishment, inflicted on all classes impartially; and one devoted missionary, John Ogilvie, suffered death for his Faith at Glasgow in 1615. The negotiations for the marriage of James’s heir, first to a daughter of Spain, and then to Henrietta Maria of France, occasioned a good deal of communication between Rome and the English Court, but brought about no relaxation in the penal laws. In 1623 William Bishop was appointed vicar Apostolic for England and Scotland; but the Scotch Catholics were afterwards withdrawn from his jurisdiction, and subjected to their own missionary prefects. James VI died in 1625, after a reign which had brought only calamity and suffering to the Catholics of his native land.
The thirty-five years which elapsed between the succession of Charles I and the restoration of his son Charles II, after eleven years of Republican government, were perhaps the darkest in the whole history of Scottish Catholicism. Charles I sanctioned the ruthless execution of the penal statutes, perhaps hoping thus to reconcile the Presbyterians to his unwelcome liturgical innovations; and his policy was continued by Cromwell, apparently out of pure hatred of the Catholic religion. Every effort was made to extirpate Catholicism by the education of the children of Catholics in Protestant tenets; and the imprisonment and petty persecution of the venerable Countess of Abercorn showed that neither age nor the highest rank was any protection to the detested Papists. Queen Henrietta Maria, whom Pope Urban VIII urged to intervene on behalf of the Scotch Catholics, was powerless to help them, though a few instances of personal clemency on the part of Charles may be attributable to her influence. Meanwhile the Presbyterians labored to destroy not only what was left of the shrines and other buildings of Catholic times, but to uproot every Catholic observance which still survived. In the height of the persecution we find steps taken in Rome to improve the organization of the Catholic body in Scotland; and in 1653 the scattered clergy were incorporated under William Ballantyne as prefect of the mission. They numbered only five or six at that date, the missionaries belonging to the religious orders being considerably more numerous, and including Jesuits, Benedictines, Franciscans, and Lazarists. Missionaries from Ireland were also laboring on the Scotch mission, and a college for the education of Scots clergy had been opened at Madrid in 1633, and was afterwards moved to Valladolid, where it still flourishes.
Charles II, who succeeded his father in 1660, was undoubtedly well-disposed personally towards Catholics and their Faith; but his Catholic subjects in Scotland enjoyed little more indulgence under the episcopate restored by him in that country than they had done under the Presbyterians. The odious separation of children from their parents for religious reasons continued unabated; and in the districts of Aberdeenshire especially, where Catholics were numerous, they were treated as rigorously as ever. We have detailed reports of this period both from the prefect of the clergy, Winster, and from Alexander Leslie, sent by Propaganda in 1677 as Visitor to the Scottish mission. Their view of the religious situation was far from encouraging; but fresh hopes were raised among the Catholics eight years later by the accession of a Catholic king, James II, who at once suspended the execution of the penal laws, declaring himself in favor of complete liberty of conscience. He opened a Catholic school at Holyrood, restored Catholic worship in the Chapel Royal, and gave annual grants to the Scots Colleges abroad and to the secular and regular missionaries at home. But the Catholics had hardly time to enjoy this respite from persecution, when their hopes were dashed by the Revolution of 1688, which drove James from the throne. William of Orange, notwithstanding his promises of toleration, did nothing to check the fanatical fury which now assailed the Catholics of England and Scotland. The scattered clergy of the north found themselves in a more difficult position than ever; and this perhaps induced Pope Innocent XII in 1694 to nominate a vicar Apostolic for Scotland in the person of Bishop Thomas Nicholson. His devoted labors are manifest from the reports which he addressed to Propaganda; but neither during the reign of William and Mary, nor of Anne, who succeeded in 1702, was there the slightest relaxation in the penal laws or their application. The Union of England and Scotland in 1707 made no change in this respect; and the first Jacobite rising, in 1715, entailed fresh sufferings on the Scottish Catholics, who were so virulently persecuted that they seemed in danger of total annihilation.
Bishop Nicholson had obtained the services of a coadjutor, James Gordon, in 1705, and the devotion of the two prelates to their difficult duties was unbounded. In spite of the penal laws, Catholics were still numerous in the North and West, speaking chiefly the Gaelic language; and in 1726 it was decided to appoint a second vicar Apostolic for the Highlands, Hugh Macdonald being chosen. During his vicariate occurred the ill-fated rising of Charles Edward Stuart, the final failure of which, consequent on the disastrous battle of Culloden, brought fresh calamities on the Highland Catholics. The Highland clans were proscribed and dispersed, more than a thousand persons were deported to America, Catholic chapels were destroyed, and priests and people prosecuted with the utmost severity. To the suffering of the Catholics under the first two Georges from their enemies without, was added the misfortune of dissensions within the fold. Regular and secular missionaries were at variance on the question of jurisdiction; and there is abundant evidence that the Scottish Church at this period was tainted with the poison of Jansenism, the Scots College in Paris being especially affected. Every means was taken by the Holy See to secure the orthodoxy of the Scottish clergy, who continued however for many years to be divided into the so-called liberal party, trained in France, and the more strictly Roman section, for the most part alumni of the Scots College at Rome. By far the most prominent of the latter was the illustrious Bishop George Hay, the chief ecclesiastical figure in the history of Scottish Catholicism during the latter part of the eighteenth century.
Bishop Hay’s life has been dealt with elsewhere, and it will suffice to say here that his episcopate lasted from within a few years of the accession of George III almost to the close of the long reign of that monarch. He saw the fanatical outburst caused in Scotland by the English Catholic Relief Bill of 1777, when Edinburgh and Glasgow were the scenes of outrage and pillage worthy of the blackest days of the penal laws; and he also saw in 1793 the Catholics of Scotland released by Parliament from the most oppressive of those laws, though still liable to many disabilities. He did much to improve the condition and status of the Scots Colleges in Paris and Rome, which from various causes had fallen into a very unsatisfactory state; and his devotional and controversial writings won him repute beyond the limits of Scotland. During his long vicariate the Scottish Catholics, whose numbers had greatly fallen after the disastrous Jacobite rising of 1745, only very gradually increased. They numbered probably some 25,000 souls in 1780; and of these, it was stated, not more than twenty possessed land worth a hundred pounds a year. In 1800, seven years after the passing of the Relief Bill, the faithful were estimated to number 30,000, ministered to by three bishops and forty priests, with twelve churches. Six or seven of the priests were emigres from France. With the cessation of active persecution, a good many new churches were erected throughout the country, and at the same time the Catholic population was augmented by a large influx of Irish. In 1827 Pope Leo XII added a new vicariate to the Scottish mission, which was now divided into the Eastern, Western, and Northern Districts. By this time the Catholic population had increased to 70,000, including fifty priests, with over thirty churches and about twenty schools. The concession to Catholics of civil and political liberty by the Emancipation Act of 1829 was preceded and followed in Scotland, as in England, by disgraceful exhibitions of bigotry and intolerance, although many prominent Scotsmen, including Sir Walter Scott, were entirely in its favor.
The immediate result of the salutary measure of 1829 was the rapid extension and development of the Church in Scotland. A new ecclestiastical seminary was, by the generosity of a benefactor, established at Blairs, near Aberdeen: the first convent of nuns since the Reformation was founded in 1832, in Edinburgh; and in Glasgow alone the number of Catholics mounted up from a few scores to 24,000. Prominent among the bishops of Scotland during the first half of the nineteenth century was James Gillis, who was nominated as coadjutor for the Eastern District in 1837, the first year of the reign of Queen Victoria, and labored, indefatigably as administrator and preacher for nearly thirty years. The wave of conversions from Anglicanism which originated in the Tractarian movement in the Church of England was felt also in Scotland, where several notable converts were received during Bishop Gillis’s episcopate, and several handsome churches were built, and new missions established, through their instrumentality. Many new schools were also erected, and more than one convent founded, under the zealous prelate, and in the Western District the progress of Catholicism was not leas remarkable. Bishop Andrew Scott, who was appointed to the mission of Glasgow in 1805 and died as vicar Apostolic in 1846, saw during the interval the Glasgow Catholics increase from one thousand to seventy thousand souls; and his successors, Bishops Murdoch and Gray, were witnesses of a similar increase, and did much to multiply churches, missions, schools, and Catholic institutions through-out the vicariate. While in the sparsely-inhabited region included in the Northern Vicariate there was not, during this period, the same remarkable numerical increase in the faithful as in the more populous parts of Scotland, the work of organization and development there also went on steadily and continuously.
During the thirty years’ pontificate of Pius IX the question as to the advisability of restoring to Scotland her regular hierarchy was from time to time brought forward; but it was not until the very close of his reign that this important measure was practically decided on at Rome, partly as the result of the report of Archbishop Manning, as Apostolic Visitor to the Scottish Church, on certain grave dissensions between Irish and Scottish Catholics which had long existed in the Glasgow district. Pius IX did not live to carry out his intention; but the very first official act of his successor Leo XIII was to reerect the Scottish hierarchy by his Bull “Ex Supremo Apostolatus apice”, dated March 4, 1878. Thus reestablished, the hierarchy was to consist of two archbishoprics: St. Andrews and Edinburgh, with the four suffragan sees of Aberdeen, Argyll and the Isles, Dunkeld, and Galloway; and Glasgow, without suffragans. The exotic religious body styled the Scottish Episcopal Church immediately published a protest against the adoption of the ancient titles for the newly-erected sees; but the papal act roused no hostile feeling in the country at large and was generally and sensibly recognized as one which concerned no one except the members of the Catholic body. They on their side welcomed with loyal gratitude a measure which restored to the Church in Scotland the full and normal hierarchical organization which properly belongs to her, and which might be expected to have the same consoling results as have followed a similar act in England, Holland, Australia, and the United States.
If the “second spring” of Catholicism in Scotland has been less fruitful and less remarkable than in the countries just named, Scottish Catholics have nevertheless much to be thankful for, looking back through the past thirty years to what has been done in the way of growth, development, better equipment, and more perfect organization. Between 1878 and 1911 the number of priests, secular and regular, working in Scotland has increased from 257 to 555; of churches, chapels, and stations, from 255 to 394; of congregational schools from 157 to 213, of monasteries from 13 to 26, and of convents from 21 to 58. The Catholic population, reckoned to number in 1878 about 380,000 souls, has increased to fully 520,000. Of these only some 25,000, including the Gaelic-speaking inhabitants of the Western Highlands and islands, and of the Diocese of Aberdeen, are of purely Scottish descent, the other dioceses comprising a comparatively small number of Catholics of Scottish blood. The rest of the Catholics of Scotland, including at least 375,000 people in the single Archdiocese of Glasgow, are either themselves entirely Irish by birth and race, or descended from recent immigrants from Ireland into Scotland. Glasgow also harbors, of course, a considerable but fluctuating body of foreign Catholics; and a certain number of Catholic Poles and Lithuanians are always employed in the coal-fields and iron-works of central Scotland. But it would probably be within the mark to estimate the Irish element in the Catholic population north of the Tweed as amounting to between 90 and 95 per cent of the whole; and its tendency is to increase rather than to diminish.
The education of clergy for the Scottish mission is carried on at Blairs College, Aberdeen (number of students, 80); at St. Peter’s College, near Glasgow (32), and at the Scots Colleges at Rome (33), and at Valladolid (14). There are also a few Scottish students at the College of Propaganda at Rome; and 20 more, on French foundation-burses, were being educated in 1911 at the Ecole superieure de Theologie at the College of Issy, near Paris. Good secondary schools for boys are conducted by the Jesuits at Glasgow and by the Marist Brothers at Glasgow and Dumfries; and there are excellently equipped boarding-schools for girls at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and elsewhere, under religious of various orders. The Sisters of Notre Dame are in charge of a fine training college for teachers just outside Glasgow; and a hospital at Lanark is managed by the Sisters of Charity, as well as a large orphanage for destitute children. The Nuns of the Good Shepherd, the Sisters of Nazareth, and the Little Sisters of the Poor carry on their works of charity and beneficence with zeal and success, being largely helped by kindly Protestants; and many Protestant parents entrust their children’s education to the teaching orders of the Catholic Church. In the larger centers of population there is still a good deal of sectarian bitterness, fomented of course by the members of Orange and similar societies; but on the whole religious animosities have greatly died down in recent times, and in those districts of the Highlands where Catholics are most numerous, they live as a rule on terms of perfect amity with their Presbyterian neighbors.
The public elementary schools of Scotland are controlled and managed by the school boards elected by the rate-payers of each parish; and Government grants of money are made annually not only to these schools, but also to other schools (including those under Catholic management) which, in the words of the Act of Parliament of 1872, are “efficiently contributing to the secular education of the parish or burgh in which they are situated”. The amount of the grant is conditional on the attendance and proficiency of the scholars, the qualifications of the teachers, and the state of the schools; and the schools are liable to be inspected at any time by inspectors appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Scotch Education Department, and empowered to ascertain that the conditions necessary for obtaining the government grant have been fulfilled. No grant is made in respect of religious instruction; but such instruction is sanctioned and provided for in the code regulating the scheme of school work, parents being, however, at liberty to withdraw their children from it if they please. No complete statistics are available as to the total number of children in the Catholic elementary schools; but in the Archdiocese of Glasgow and the Diocese of Galloway, which together comprise fully four-fifths of the Catholic population of the country, 66,482 children were presented in 1910 for religious examination. Besides the elementary schools, what are known as “higher grade schools” also receive government grants in proportion to their efficiency, special additional grants being made to such schools in the six Highland counties.
With regard to the legal disabilities under which Scottish Catholics still lie, notwithstanding the Emancipation Act of 1829, it is unnecessary, as the provisions of that act apply to Scotland equally with England, to do more than refer to the article England (part II: ENGLAND SINCE THE REFORMATION). The only specifically Scottish office from which Catholics are debarred by statute is that of Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Established Church—an office which no Catholic, of course, would desire to hold. The clauses in the Act of 1829 providing for the “gradual suppression and final prohibition” of religious orders of men have in practice remained a dead letter; but they have in Scotland, as in England, the effect of seriously restricting the tenure and disposition of their property by religious communities. All trusts and bequests in favor of religious orders are void in law; and the members of such orders can hold property only as individuals. The English statutes (of Henry VIII and Edward VI) invalidating bequests made to obtain prayers and Masses, on the ground that these are “superstitious uses”, do not apply either to Ireland or to Scotland; and it is probable the Scottish courts would recognize the validity of such bequests as the Irish Courts undoubtedly do. (See Lilly and Wallis’s “Manual of the Law specially affecting Catholics “London, 1893.)
D. O. HUNTER-BLAIR
SCOTTISH LITERATURE. —Literature in Scotland may be said to take its beginning with the Life of St. Columba written by Cuimine, or Cuminius, who became Abbot of Iona in 657. This was enlarged, in 690, into the celebrated “Vita Sancti Columb”, by Adamnan, himself Abbot of Iona from 679 until his death in 704. Adamnan also wrote “De Situ Terrae Sanctae”. Other early Latin writers to whom the Scottish Borders may perhaps lay claim are Michael Scott (c. 1194-c. 1250), who was in his own day, and since, even more celebrated as an astrologer and magician than as a philosopher and expounder of Aristotle, and John Duns Scotus (1265?-1308), the Doctor Subtilis of the Franciscans. The early Gaelic Literature of Scotland, as represented by the Ossianic Ballads and the other legends and poems contained in “The Book of the Dean of Lismore”, which was compiled about 1512-26, can scarcely be called distinctly national, and falls more conveniently under the general heading of Celtic Literature. Under that heading, too, are appropriately grouped the collections in “The Book of Fernaig” (1688-93) and in the “Beauties of Gaelic Poetry”, as well as the various works written in Scottish Gaelic during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The present article is mainly concerned with that which is generally regarded as Scottish Literature proper, namely, the body of writing produced by natives of the Scottish Lowlands who wrote in a distinctive English called, in the earliest times, Anglian, in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and early sixteenth centuries, Inglis and from that time onward, Scottis, or Scottish. This language, which had once held powerful sway as the vehicle of literary expression used by poets, preachers, and chroniclers in great part of Northern England and in that portion of modern Scotland which had of old belonged to the Kingdom of Northumbria, sank, about the fourteenth century, to the level of a dialect in the region south of the Tweed and the Cheviots, but continued for some two hundred and fifty years to flourish north of those boundaries as the official speech of the Scottish Court and kingdom, and as the spoken and written tongue of the great majority of the Scottish people. From the fifteenth century it spread to west and north, and was modified by contact with Highland Gaelic, on the one hand, and French and Latin, on the other, until it acquired characteristics and peculiarities which differentiated it not only from standard English, but also from its own cognate dialects in use in Northern England. It has been divided into three periods namely: Early Scottish, extending down to 1475; Middle Scottish, the national period, from 1475 to 1650; and Modern Scottish, the dialectal period, from 1650 down to the present.
The earliest Anglian writing extant in Scotland is a runic inscription on the Ruthwell Cross in Dumfriesshire, which, long erroneously interpreted as Scandinavian, has been definitely deciphered as portion of a Caedmonian poem, on the Rood of Christ, in the Northumbrian, that is the Anglian, dialect. This inscription may belong anywhere from the end of the seventh to the middle of the tenth century. A “Cantus” or lament, in eight very passable lines, composed soon after the death of King Alexander III of Scotland, which took place in 1286, is preserved by Andrew of Wyntoun in his Chronicle. We have also, from other chronicles, evidence to show that patriotic and satirical songs were composed in Scotland against the English, when King Edward I was engaged in his war of conquest at the end of the thirteenth and beginning of the fourteenth century, and again when, at Bannockburn (1314), Bruce secured the independence of his country by his crushing defeat of the army of Ring Edward II. We may also infer from a statement of Barbour’s that Border ballads were probably composed at an early period.
The first writer of the literary language of Scotland to be named by name used to be Thomas Rymour (fl. 1280) of Ercildoune (or Earlston, in Berwickshire), because of his supposed authorship of the romance of “Sir Tristrem”; but more recent investigations tend to show that “Sir Tristrem” was the work of an Englishman earlier in date than the Scottish claimant. On the other hand, modern research seems destined to award a conspicuous niche in the Scottish literary temple of fame to Huchown of the Awle Reale. He is mentioned with much praise in Andrew of Wyntoun‘s Chronicle as having made the “gret Gest off Arthure”, “the Awntyre [Adventure] of Gawane”, and the “Pystyll [Epistle] of Suete Susane”. Eighty or ninety years later Dunbar laments “the gude Syr Hew of Eglyntoun”. It has been generally held that Huchown and Sir Hugh of Eglinton, a nobleman of Ayrshire who played a conspicuous part in Scottish history for about twenty-five years, from 1350 to 1375, are one and the same. The “gret Gest” has been identified with the “Morte Arthure”, a non-rhyming alliterative poem, and the “Awntyre of Gawane”, with a poem of similar metric scheme, entitled “Sir Gawane and the Grene Knight”. Besides these works and the “Pystyll”, there have also been attributed to Huchown the “Destruction of Troy” (from Guido delle Colonne’s “Destructio Trojse”); the “Wars of Alexander” (from the “De Preliis Alexandri”); the “Parlement of the Thre Ages” (partly from the French poems “Fuerre de Gadres” and ` Viceux du Paon”); the “Awntyrs of Arthure”; and, with other alliterative poems, “Cleanness”, “Patience”, and “Pearl”. This output would be so remarkable alike for quantity and quality that, should Huchown’s claim be finally substantiated, he will be entitled to rank among the very greatest of the Scottish poets. Other poems on the same metrical plan as the “Awntyrs of Arthure”, that is, in rhyming stanzas with constant alliteration, are “The Knightly Tale of Golagros and Gawane”, which, derived from the “Perceval” of Chrestien de Troyes, is possibly by Clerk of Tranent, who died about the end of the fifteenth century; the “Buke of the Howlat [Owl]”, an allegory against pride, suggested probably by Chaucer’s “Parlement of Foules”, and written about 1452 by Richard Holland, a priest of Halkirk in Caithness; and the anonymous “Taill of Rauf Coilzear” written about 1470, and dealing with the story of Charlemagne and the charcoal burner.
The War of Independence, making as it did for an intense national sentiment, reacted correspondingly on the literature of the country, and for a time poets turned from the mythical paladins of romance to celebrate in verse the brave exploits of the sons of Scotland. Foremost among the writers of this national epos stands the venerable figure of John Barbour (c. 1316-1396), Archdeacon of Aberdeen. His poem of “Brus” or “The Bruce”, in about 7000 octosyllabic couplets, tells the life-story of Bruce, and ends with the burial of the hero’s heart at Melrose. This monumental poem is, with the exception of one or two lapses, in the main historically accurate: this, too, although it shows many traces of the influence of the French romances. “The Bruce” is a dignified composition, abounding in description, and all aglow with patriotic fire. To Barbour are also assigned a translation of part of a medieval romance on the “Trojan War” and the metrical “Legends of the Saints“. More doubtfully—on account of confusion of dates—he has been credited with the translation from the French of “The Buik of the most noble and vailzeand Conquerour Alexander the Great”, which, in style, meter, and phrase, closely resembles “The Bruce”. What Barbour did for Bruce, Blind Harry, or Harry the Minstrel (d. 1492), sought to do for the other great national hero, William Wallace. Blind Harry’s “Wallace” is in 11,858 lines of heroic verse. It is not so faithful to the facts of history as “The Bruce”, but it is intensely patriotic, and has been, in its original form and also in an early eighteenth-century modernized form, a stimulant of national feeling through the ages.
The desire to celebrate the history of the nation is also shown in the “Orygynale Cronykil” composed about 1420 by Andrew of Wyntoun, canon regular of St. Andrew’s and prior (1395) of St. Serf’s Inch in Loch Leven. The “Cronykil”, which is in rhyming octosyllabic couplets, is the story of the world from its creation, in nine books, the last four of which deal specifically with English and Scottish affairs. John Fordun (d. 1385?), canon of Aberdeen cathedral, wrote in Latin the annals of Scotland, his “Scotichronicon” coming down to the death of David I in 1153. It was continued, also in Latin, down to the death of James I in 1437 by Walter Bower, or Bow-maker (d. 1449), abbot of the monastery of Austin Canons on Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth.
The influence of Chaucer on Scottish poetry in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was very great. It is evident in the “Kingis Quair “—the Kings Quire or Book—of James I (1394-1437). During his long years of imprisonment in England (1406-24) James made a study of Chaucer, and in his noble poem, written to celebrate his rapturous love, he plainly shows his indebtedness to his master. The “Kingis Quair” is in the seven-line stanza which, though previously written by Chaucer and others, has ever since James’s time been called rime royal. To James are also as-signed “A Ballad of Good Counsel” and, with considerable dissent on the part of some scholars, the “Song on Absence”, “Peblis to the Play”, and “Chrystis Kirk of the Grene”, the last two uproarious descriptions of popular amusements. Another Scottish Chaucerian is Robert Henryson (1430?-1506?), notary public and preceptor in the Benedictine convent at Dunfermline. His principal works are “The Morall Fabillis of Esope”, thirteen in number, with two Prologues; “Orpheus and Eurydice”; “The Testament of Cresseide”, a sequel to Chaucer’s “Troilus and Cressida”; the “Garmond of Gude Ladies”; and “Robene and Makyne”, the first specimen of pastoral in the Scottish vernacular. Henryson had a real poetic gift and great mastery of style, and he holds a high position among the Scottish poets. The greatest of the Scottish Chaucerians was William Dunbar (c. 1460-1513?). At one time a Franciscan and afterwards a secular priest, he appears to have been more of a courtier than a churchman. His output of poetry was very large. He has been called with good show of reason the most considerable poet of Britain between Chaucer and Spenser. Seven of his poems, printed in 1508 at Edinburgh, are among the earliest specimens of Scottish typography. His principal works are “The Thrissill and the Rois”, a political allegory composed in honor of the marriage (1503) of James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England; “The Golden Targe”, another allegory; “The Merle and the Nightingale”, a didactic allegory; the “Lament for the Makaris”, a moralizing poem; the “Dance of the Sevin Deidlie Synnis”, remarkable for its character-painting and its stinging satire; and the “Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo”. Dunbar had poetic verve and an exuberant imagination; he had also a humor which was of the cynical order and frequently degenerates into mere ribaldry; and his mastery over satire has been seldom surpassed. He had a flyting, or poetical scolding-match, with Walter Kennedy, in which each poet seemed to reach the depths of scurrility. Apart from this, Kennedy’s other poems are mostly moral and edifying. They are “The Praise of Aige”; “Ane Agit Mane Invective”; “Ane Ballat in Praise of our Lady”; and a fragmentary poem “On the Passioun of Christ”.
Gavin Douglas (c. 1475-1522), third son of Archibald, Earl of Angus (“Bell the Cat”), was successively Provost of St. Giles’s in Edinburgh, Abbot of Arbroath, and Bishop of Dunkeld. He is famous for his complete translation of the “Aeneid” (1513) into Scottish vernacular verse. It is the first translation of a great Latin poet into any British tongue. The meter employed is the heroic couplet. The translation is not accurate, but the poet shows a keen sensitiveness to the beauties of Virgil. Douglas’s. original poems are his Prologues to the several books of the “Aeneid”; “The Palice of Honor” (1501), an allegory meant to show the triumph of virtue over difficulty; “King Hart”, an allegory on the temptations that beset man; and “Conscience“, a short moral poem. Sir David Lyndsay (c. 1490-1555), Lyon King of Arms, was probably the most popular of the Scottish poets before Burns. He was a severe satirist of corruption in Church and State, and spares neither pope nor clergy, neither nobles nor king. His first poem, “The Dreme” (1528), has a beautiful Prologue. “The Dreme” itself is a somewhat wearisome description of what was to be seen in hell, in heaven, in purgatory, and on earth, and abounds in criticism of the condition of Scotland. In much the same vein are “The Complaynt to the King” (1529) and “The Testament and Complaynt of our Soverane Lordis Papyngo [Parrot]” (1530). Of his numerous other works the most important are “The Historie and Testament of Squyer William Meldrum” (1550); “Monarchie” (1553); and “Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis”. The last mentioned is a rude drama combining the old morality, the interlude, and the modern play, and was meant to satirize the clergy, the nobles, and the merchants. It is interesting in literary history as the only surviving specimen of the old Scottish vernacular plays, many of which, we know, must have been written.
Minor poets, contemporaries of Dunbar, were: Sir John Rowll, who wrote “The Cursing against the Steilaris of his Foulis”; Quintyne Shaw, “Advice to a Courtier”; Patrick Johnestoun, “The Three Deid Powis”; John Merseir, “Perrell in Paramours”; and James Affiek, “The Quair of Jelousy”. Anonymous pieces of this period are: “Elegy on the Princess Margaret”, daughter of James I of Scotland and wife of the Dauphin, afterwards Louis XI of France; “Cockelbie’s Sow”, which combines burlesque and fable, prowess and true love, in an extraordinary medley; “The Wowing of Jok and Jynny”, a coarse tale of love-making; “Gyre-Carling”, dealing with the performances of the Mother Witch; “King Berdok”—a fragment—a burlesque of romance; “The Wife of Auchtermuchty”, a version of a folk-tale of domestic rivalry; “Sym and his Brudir”, a pointed satire on palmers; “The Thrie Priestis of Peblis”, didactic tales told by the device of bringing three priests together in an inn at Peebles; and “Grey Steill” and “Clariodus”, both romances.
The old Scottish Border ballads and others, which are to be found in such collections as those made by Percy, Scott, Furnivall, and Child, present a study of absorbing interest. Nothing more can be done here, however, than to indicate their directness of narration, their rhythm and lilt, their appeal to the primal feelings of human nature, their occasional patriotic spirit, and their still rarer flashes of humor. Many of the best of them belong to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Such examples as “The Battle of Otterburn”, “Kimmont Willie”, “Mary Hamilton”, “Sir Patrick Spens”, “The Young Tamlane”, and “Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead”—to name only a few—have been a source of perennial delight to successive generations of readers.
Scottish prose literature in the fifteenth century is not of much account. The principal remains are: “Ane Schort Memoriale of the Scottis Croniklis”, which belongs to about the year 1460; “The Craft of Dying” and other religious works; and Sir Gilbert Hays translations of the “Buke of Battailis” and the “Buke of the Order of Knighthede” from the French, and the “Buke of the Governaunce of Princes” from the Latin. In the sixteenth century Scottish prose made rapid strides. It was preluded by two Scottish writers in Latin, who are important enough to deserve a word of mention. John Major, or Mair (c. 1470-1550), philosopher, divine, and historian, Provost of St. Salvator’s College, St. Andrew’s, wrote, besides commentaries on Peter Lombard and many theological and philosophical works, a famous History of Scotland, entitled “De Historia Gentis Scotorum Libri Sex”, printed at Paris in 1521. Hector Boece (c. 1465-1536), principal of King’s College, Aberdeen, canon of the cathedral in that city, and rector of Tyrie in the same county, published in 1522 his “Episcoporum Murthlacensium et Aberdonensium Vitae” and in 1527, in seventeen books, his “Scotorum Historiae a prima gentis origine”. Boece’s Latin is much more elegant than Major’s, but his credulity is far greater, and he admitted as solemn historical facts many marvels which Major had rejected. A free translation of Boece’s work, made by John Bellenden (d. 1550?), archdeacon of Moray and canon of Ross, was printed at Edinburgh in 1536, under the title of “Hystory and Croniklis of Scotland”. Bellenden’s style is a fine example of terse Scottish prose. Bellenden also translated in 1533 the first five books of Livy, which were, however, not printed until 1822. An anonymous work, “The Complaynt of Scotlande”, printed at Paris in 1549, was long regarded as a notable specimen of original Scottish prose, but recent investigations have proved that it is mainly a translation or plagiarism from the French. Its purpose is to lament the calamities to which Scotland was then subject. It is written in what has been called the “aureate” or “Ciceronian” style, employing numerous Latin and French words, and in this respect affords a striking contrast to Bellenden’s more homely vernacular. The “Complaynt” is interesting, among other reasons, because of the list it gives of stories, romances, and songs popular in Scotland, some of which are no longer to be found.
As the ecclesiastical controversy of the sixteenth century grew in intensity, a great development was given to religious and polemic works. In 1552, by authority of John Hamilton, Archbishop of St. Andrew’s, the last Catholic Primate of Scotland before the Reformation, there was published at St. Andrew’s a “Catechism, that is to say ane Common and Catholike Instructioun of the Christian People in Materis of our Catholike Faith and Religioun”. This work contains a popular exposition of Catholic doctrine, and is justly regarded as a noble example of the Scottish vernacular of that period. It was edited by Dr. Thomas Graves Law for the Clarendon Press in 1884. There were many Scottish Catholic writers of this century to whose works sufficient attention has not hitherto been given. Foremost among them is Ninian Winyet, or Winzet (1518-92), who in the religious upheaval was deprived of his position as provost of the collegiate church of Linlithgow, subsequently held offices at the University of Paris and at the English College at Douay, and died as Abbot of St. James’s Monastery at Ratisbon. His works include “Certaine Tractatis for Reformatioun of Doctryne and Maneris” and the “Buke of Four Scoir and Thrie Questions”. Quintin Kennedy (1520-1564), Abbot of Crossraguel and son of the Earl of Cassillis, had a celebrated “Disputation” with Knox, and was also author of a “Compendious Treatise to establish the Conscience of a Christian man”.
John Hay, a Jesuit, who was expelled from Scotland in 1579, printed at Paris, in 1580, his “Certaine Demandes”. In the same year Nicol Burne, a secular priest, published his “Disputation concerning the Controversit Headdis of Religion“, and another priest, John Hamilton, published, in 1581, “Ane Catholike and Facile Traictise”. There were also able writers on the other side, such as John Craig (c. 1512-1600) and Robert Rollock (c. 1555-99), to say nothing of John Gan, who as early as 1533 had published the first prose treatise on the reformed doctrines in the Scottish vernacular, namely, “The Richt Vay to the Kingdom of Heuine”. But the greatest of these was John Knox (1505-72), whose published works, mainly controversial, fill six large volumes. He takes his place in literature in virtue of his “Historie of the Reformatioun of Religioun in Scotland”, first printed in 1586. An active part in promulgating the new religion was also taken by George Buchanan (1506-82), who wrote but little in the vernacular (“The Chamaeleon” and the “Admonition to the trew Lordis”), but whose Latin writings, especially his paraphrase of the Psalms and his “Rerum Scoticarum Historia”, gave him an enormous reputation. He was undoubtedly one of the best Latin scholars of modern times. Two of his four Latin tragedies, the “Baptistes” and the “Jephthes”, had a great effect on the German drama.
Scottish history in the vernacular was continued by Robert Lindesay (c. 1500-c. 1565) of Pitscottie in his “Chronicle of Scotland” from 1436 to 1475. John Leslie, or Lesley (1527-96), Bishop of Ross, and subsequently vicar-general of the Diocese of Rouen, wrote in Scottish a “History of Scotland” from the death of James I to his own time, which he subsequently translated in enlarged form into Latin, under the title of “De origine, moribus, et rebus gestis Scotorum”; it was published at Rome in 1578. In 1596 this work was translated into Scottish by Father James Dalrymple, of the monastery of St. James at Ratisbon. Always consistent in his championship of Mary Stuart, Leslie wrote in 1569 a “Defense of the Honor of Marie Queene of Scotland and Dowager of France“. Useful for historical details are the “Memoirs” of Sir James Melville (1535-1617) and the “Diary” of James Melville (1556-1614). Sir Richard Maitland (1496-1586) wrote a “Historie of the House of Seytoun” and a goodly number of poems; but he is best remembered for the magnificent collection of Early Scottish Poems by various authors which, with the aid of his daughter, he got together, and which is now preserved in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge. A similar collection, and a very valuable one, made by George Bannatyne, enriches the Advocates’ Library at Edinburgh.
The Reformation in Scotland was materially advanced by “The Gude and Godlie Ballatis”, the popular name of a collection of poems, partly devotional, partly satirical, which, first published about 1546, had subsequently a wonderful vogue, the formal title being “Ane Compendious Buik of Godlie Psalmes and Spirituall Sangis for avoiding of Sinne and Harlotrie”. Learned by heart and sung everywhere, these psalms and songs provided a ready means for prejudicing the minds of the people against the ancient Church. The major portion of the book would appear to be the work of three brothers, James, John, and Robert Wedderburne. The campaign was carried on after the Reformation by Robert Sempill (1530?-95) in “The Sempill Ballates”, which are coarse but clever satires against all who differed from the writer in politics or religion. Poets of a different vein were Alexander Scott (1525?-84?) and Alexander Montgomerie (c. 1545-c. 1610). Scott has been called the Scottish Anacreon. He wrote thirty-six short poems, nearly all amatory. His most remarkable pieces are “Ane New Yeir Gift to Quene Mary” and “Justing at the Drum”. Montgomerie’s fame rests mainly on “The Cherrie and the Slae” (1597), an allegory on virtue and vice. He also wrote “The Bankis of Helicon” and some seventy sonnets, many of which are direct translations from the French poet of the Pleiade, Pierre de Ronsard. Mary Stuart’s son, James VI of Scotland (1566-1625), who as James I of England was the first monarch to reign over both countries, had received a learned education from George Buchanan, and practiced composition both in verse and prose, and, as befitted a sovereign of the dual kingdom, he wrote not only in Scottish but also in English. Some of his poetical works are “Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie”, “Ane Schort Poeme of Tyme”, and “The Phoenix”. In prose he wrote “Doemonology” (1597); “Basilicon Doron” (1599); and “A Counterblast against Tobacco” (1604).
Alexander Hume (1560?-1609), Puritan minister and son of Baron Polwarth, published, in 1599, a volume of “Hymnes or Sacred Songes, wherein the Right Use of Poesie may be espied”. “The Triumph of the Lord” is the title he gives to his poem on the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Robert Sempill (1595?-1659), a kinsman of the author of “The Sempill Ballates”, was a humorous and satirical writer. He continued his father’s, Sir James Sempill’s, satire against the Catholic Church, “The Packman’s Paternoster”, and wrote many other pieces. He is best remembered for “The Life and Death of Habbie Simson, Piper of Kilbarchan”. The stanza of six lines, which he employed in this vivid and humorous account of old Scottish pastimes, became typical of later poems, especially of a facetious type, in the Scottish vernacular. It is known as the “Habbie Simson stanza”, and is frequently used by Burns. The Scotch tradition for good Latinity was carried on by John Barclay (1582-1621) and Arthur Johnston (c. 1587-1614). Johnston’s Latin works include elegies and epigrams, a paraphrase of the Canticle of Canticles, and a complete version of the Psalms. He was editor of the “Deliciae Poetarum Scotorum”, a collection of Latin poems by various authors. Barclay wrote “Euphormionis Satyricon” (1605); “Apologia” (1611); and “Icon Animorum” (1614). His most celebrated book is the “Argenis” (1621), a romance which, translated into nearly every European language, proved a really seminal work, and profoundly influenced European literature for many years. After an eventful career, Barclay died as a Catholic at Rome.
Towards the end of the sixteenth, and throughout the seventeenth, century Scottish literature is, especially by contrast with what was then being produced in England, scanty and poor. There is scarcely an outstanding name, if we except William Drummond of Hawthornden, and even he wrote in English. An era of acrid political or religious controversy, it has been noted, often causes the impoverishment of the stream of pure literature. Of such controversy there was enough and to spare in Scotland during the period indicated, and the usual result now supervened. With regard to the language, the Reformation had begun a process of Anglicization. The religious and devotional books in use—the Bible, the Psalm book, the Hymnbook, the Confession, the Catechism—were written in English, and mostly came from England. Following these, the language of pulpit and Parliament, of school, bar, and society came to be normally English. Books ceased to be printed in Scottish, and no one was taught to spell or write Scottish.
In addition, the union of the two Crowns under one sovereign, in 1603, and the consequent removal of the Court from Edinburgh to London naturally tended to focus men’s minds on England and things English, so that the Anglicization started by the Reformation was completed by the turn given to political events, and the old national Scottish vernacular, being now considered in the light of a provincial dialect, gradually ceased almost entirely to be a vehicle of literary expression. Hence it is that poets like William Drummond (1585-1649), Sir Robert Ayton (1570-1638), Sir William Alexander of Menstrie, afterwards Earl of Stirling (1567?-1640), and Robert Ker, Earl of Ancrum (1578-1654), and prose writers like John Spottiswoode (1565-1639), David Calderwood (1575-1650), William Lithgow (1582-1645), and Archbishop Robert Leighton (1611-84), who all wrote in English, take their places in an account not of Scottish, but of English, literature just as appropriately as do the Scottish born poets, philosophers, biographers, historians, and novelists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who used English as their ordinary mode of expression.
But although, at the time of the union of the two Parliaments in the reign of Queen Anne (1707), the “Scottis” language had for well-nigh a hundred years disappeared from serious literature, it still lingered on the lips of men and was freely spoken even by those who read and wrote English; nay more, it was occasionally employed in the composition of facetious and satirical verse. Such being the case, a revival on a grand scale of the ancient Scottish vernacular for poetical use was attempted early in the eighteenth century. With this revival the name of Allan Ramsay (1686-1758) and his dramatic pastoral, “The Gentle Shepherd” (1725), are most intimately associated, although he himself was stirred to emulation by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield’s “Last Dying Words of Bonnie Heck” (1706). The impetus given by Ramsay in “The Gentle Shepherd” and in his earlier poems caused many writers to express themselves in this Scottish way. The movement soon produced such a masterpiece as the ballad of “The Braes of Yarrow”, by William Hamilton of Bangour (1704-54); but it did not reach its climax until later in the century, with Robert Fergusson (1750-74) and Robert Burns (1759-96).
Among others who cultivated this style during the eighteenth century may be named the two Alexander Pennecuiks, Lady Grizel Baillie, Lady Elizabeth Wardlaw, Alexander Ross, John Skinner, Jean Elliot of Minto, Mrs. Cockburn, Alexander Geddes, Hector Macneill, Lady Anne Barnard, and John Mayne. In the nineteenth century the tradition was continued by Robert Tannahill; William Nicholson (“the Galloway Poet”); Sir Alexander Boswell; Lady Nairne; James Hogg (“the Ettrick Shepherd”); William Laidlaw; Allan Cunningham; and William Motherwell. In recent years a mild attempt has been made by the writers of what is irreverently termed the Kail Yard School to revive Scottish vernacular in prose; but while the Scottish tales and sketches of James Matthew Barrie (“Auld Licht Idylls”, 1888, and “A Window in Thrums”, 1889) and John Watson, better known as Ian Maclaren (“Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush”, 1894, and “The Days of Auld Lang Syne”, 1895), who may be taken as the principal representatives of the school, are full of humor and pathos, their example in the writing of Scottish dialogue has not been widely imitated.
In this article no account has been given of writers on mathematics, natural philosophy, jurisprudence, or medicine, not because Scotland has not many eminent authors in these departments to show, for indeed she is rich in such, but because, on general principles, their productions are not considered to come properly under the heading of literature.
P. J. LENNOX