Petition on behalf of [William Lesley] to PF, [1667-1668]


Petition on behalf of [William Lesley] to PF, [1667-1668]


Other secular missionaries
Petitions for faculties
Scottish schools
Scottish colleges
Retirement missionaries


Petition on behalf of William Lesley, procurator of the Scottish mission, to PF. On behalf of the Scottish mission he asks for the following things: a) more Irish Franciscans to be sent to the Highlands; b) that a companion be sent to help Francis White, whether that be his brother John White or a certain Cussak, who is a secular Irish priest who has offered to go; c) that the rectors of the Scottish Colleges be ordered to search for students in the Highlands to teach them, and after ordaining them, send them back to the Highlands as missionaries; d) more schools be founded in the Highlands; e) that the missionaries find able young people who are disposed to become clerics and send them to these schools, and in case they are not able to pay for the schools, that PF or the Scottish Colleges subsidize them; f) that the missionaries and school teachers be sent books and devotional objects; g) that the missionaries be divided over the different provinces by the prefect; h) that all the Scottish who have been ordained ad titulum missionis in the Colleges but have subsequently entered a religious order, be ordered to go to Scotland immediately; i) that all priests write at least once a year to PF; j) that the regular missionaries be equally distributed throughout the country; k) that PF or the pope write a letter (or brief) in which they order the Scottish Catholics to financially support their own missionaries; l) that 13 secular missionaries be sent to each bishopric, plus one prefect and around 30 regular priests; Lesley is willing to go there himself in order to set an example; m) that John Walker be made prefect instead of [Alexander] Winster, who wants to resign; n) that the Scottish Colleges be visited in order to diminish certain bad practices; o) that the rector of the Scottish College in Paris be replaced; p) that likewise the Scottish monasteries in Germany be visited; q) that the faculties of the prefect and of the secular priests in Scotland be renewed, since they are about to expire; r) that these faculties be given to Alessandro Iruino [Alexander Irvin], and that all of them be restricted to certain areas; s) that the prefect of the mission should be ordered to visit all provinces at least once a year, and write letters describing the state of these areas, including their problems and needs; t) that the prefect be given the faculty to consecrate chalices and altar stones, since the current faculty is about to expire; u) that the cardinals have changed their minds regarding the location of a house where missionaries can retire, because if they were to find it in Dieppe as they currently intend to, the missionaries would have to retire in a land where they would be strangers; v) that the missionaries in the Highlands be given some chalices and vestments; w) that often students of the Scottish Colleges are ordained without dispensation, but they need a dispensation because they are former heretics or sons of heretics; x) that the Scottish mission be visited, and that the visitor may have ample faculties and instructions; y) that PF give the mission a bishop with the title of vicar apostolic, as has been done in Holland; and z) that the Duchess of Aiguillon be asked to approach her uncle, Cardinal Richelieu, to establish a nunnery in Scotland. The petition is undated.  
Additional comments
The petition must be dated before the end of 1668 because that is when Alexander Winster stopped being the prefect of the mission (or at least till 1672, when Walker went to Italy for medical attention). Alexander Irvin also arrived there in March 1668.


William Lesley


APF SOCG 308, 363r-369r, 370v




Addressed to PF








Origin: [Rome]
Destination: [Rome]


William Lesley, “Petition on behalf of [William Lesley] to PF, [1667-1668],” Early Modern Documents: Sources and Resources for Historical Research, accessed October 2, 2022,

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