Report about the mission in Scotland by [William Lesley], [1678]


Report about the mission in Scotland by [William Lesley], [1678]


Mission reports
Petitions for faculties
Scottish Catholics abroad


Relation on the mission in Scotland. The covered subjects are the following: a) archbishoprics and bishoprics; b) the place of residence of the missionaries; c) the residence of the prefect of the mission; d) the universities; e) the Catholics usually live in the mountain areas and in the islands. It would be wise to send more missionaries to these regions; f) there is not even one Catholic bishop in Scotland, it is advised to send a bishop to Scotland once every seven years; g) there are many regular priests in Scotland, especially Jesuits; h) there are many regular and secular Scottish priests outside Scotland in the Colleges, who are actually obliged to work for the mission but who are not able to, or do not want to go back; i) there are many youths in Scotland suited for study, and they should be sent to the Colleges outside the country; j) the Catholics should not send their children to Protestant schools; k) the school teachers need more money; l) the school teachers could also help as priests during festivities; m) there are four overseas Colleges for the Scottish youth, but they should be inspected better by the nuncio or the bishops; n) especially the College in Rome should be visited; o) the students should be carefully selected so that the most talented will be send to the Colleges; p) there should be appointed someone who would make sure that the decrees are followed in the Colleges; q) the students should first be send to the missionaries since they do not learn missionary activities in the College; r) there are relatively few missionaries compared to the amount of Catholics, therefore more should be sent; s) there is a shortage of chalices and other Holy objects, it is asked whether they could send more; t) money is also needed for books; u) there is often not enough money for the priests in Scotland; v) to persuade the students to go to Scotland, they should be given the promise that when they get old or fall ill they will be taken care off; w) the faculties of the missionaries should be limited; x) cases of conscience; y) the prefect of the mission should be able to give dimissory letters, or there should be send a bishop who could do this; z) in the Collegio Urbanothere are two or three youths from outside the mountains; aa) there should be a visitation to the mission in Scotland; ab) maybe there should be a superior general of the mission; ac) they ask for a hospital in Dieppe or Caen; ad) they ask to give the prefect the power to appoint a vice prefect; ae) they ask to give the prefect the power to give faculties to priests; af) Pope Urban had given the mission a subsidy, and they would like to have another subsidy or fund; ag) questions about absolution for the students of the Colleges, of whom the greater part has been a heretic at some moment in their lives; ah) translation of books; and ai) translation of the compendium of Baronius in English.
Additional comments
The identity of the creator is rather vague but William Lesley seems the most likely candidate. He was the procurator in Rome of the Scottish mission. This same file (APF Scozia vol. 1) also contains another relation that he worked on and some letters from his hand. Moreover at some point the text says "Per parte poi del Procuratore/ della Miss’ne." So it seems that he has at least something to do with it. It is also possible that the report was written around the same time as the other report, in 1678


[William Lesley]


APF SC Scozia vol.1, 573r-580v




Adressed to the Congregazione particolare


Original; draft








Origin: [Rome]


[William Lesley], “Report about the mission in Scotland by [William Lesley], [1678],” Early Modern Documents: Sources and Resources for Historical Research, accessed May 30, 2024,