Letter from Alexander Winster to PF, [1665]-07-31, London


Letter from Alexander Winster to PF, [1665]-07-31, London


Mission reports


Letter from Alexander Winster, prefect of the Scottish mission, to PF. Winster explains that he had neither written nor sent any letters to date, for fear that his letters would be opened and read, due to the ongoing war between England and the Netherlands. Moreover he waited for letters from the other missionaries to arrive, which they now had (except for one), and that he is now forwarding them to PF. Winster writes about his current work in Edinburgh, and that many Catholics from the whole reign come to this city for the Parliament and the judges. On feast days he sometimes needs to administer the sacraments to 20 or 30 Catholics, and to say mass twice, since otherwise the great number of people might rise suspicions; he also notes that helping the sick is a difficult task, because he is the only priest in the city, and it is very dangerous. He describes the danger of conversion and of other activities that go against the local penal laws. In the Highlands however, the "harvest" is big, but there are too few "workers," namely Francis White alone; others do not speak the language. Winster notes that if it were not for the Jesuits present in larger numbers, it would be impossible to continue the work of the mission. Therefore he asks for other missionaries, especially for 'Joannes Blanchs' [John White] who would be very apt for the mission. He complains about the fact that no missionaries have come from the Scottish colleges in Europe, and that there is no place where the missionaries can retire, which causes them to leave the mission, as has already happened with Alexander Leith and Thomas Lumsden. He also asks for books. The letter is signed and dated 21 July (old style, thus 31 July 1665), and was discussed on 9 November 1665. 
Date discussed, 1665-11-09
Additional comments


Alexander Winster


APF SOCG 308, 214r, 215v




Addressed to PF


For a summary of this letter (as well as other letters from the same bundle) and the related decision, see: APF SOCG 308, 206r-208v, 231v (database item 331).
For the discussion of this letter, see: APF ACTA 34, 203r, 224v-227v (same information; not in this database).


Original, signed and dated








Origin: Edinburgh
Destination: Rome


Alexander Winster, “Letter from Alexander Winster to PF, [1665]-07-31, London,” Early Modern Documents: Sources and Resources for Historical Research, accessed March 7, 2021, https://earlymoderndocs.omeka.net/items/show/13411.

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