CollectionGB 3380 Scottish Catholic Archives, Historic Archives
Ref NoSCA CS/2
Extent15 files; 8 vols; 0.365m
Creator NameThe Catholic College of Aquhorties
Administrative HistoryAquhorties officially replaced Scalan as the college for educating the lowland clergy in 1799, after the land was purchased by the Vicar Apostolic of the district, Bishop Hay. In that same year, the students that were at Scalan transferred to Aquhorties to study under the procurator Rev. John Gordon and the two men allocated the responsibility for educating the young men, Rev. John Sharp and Rev. Alexander Badenoch. The new seminary was located four miles west of Inverurie, looking out over the valley of the River Don in Aberdeenshire. It was intended to be an all-through school, where lowland youth could progress through all the stages of priesthood. This was largely due to the closure of the Scots Colleges abroad at Paris, Douai and Rome, where many of the previous Scottish boys bound for the church studied in their final years. In order to fulfil this requirement, Bishop Hay began to look for a new Scalan, which he found when he leased the land Aquhorties in 1797.
The new seminary was built on a much grander scale than Scalan had been, with donations coming from a wide range of organizations and persons, including 600 from the British government. The seminary was a solid granite building that stood three stories high plus an attic, while measuring eighty feet long by twenty-two feet wide. The structure was built to house twenty students and three masters, demonstrating that it was far more elaborate than its predecessor. For eight years the seminary was the only college where boys could be trained for the priesthood in the lowland vicariate. In order to provide them with the proper academic background, the seminary provided basic education along with proficiency in Latin, Theology and Philosophy. The educational subject matter was virtually identical to that previously exercised at Scalan. Also like Scalan, the youths admitted to study at the college fell into two categories: those intended for the priesthood and boarders. The vast majority of the students fell under the first label, while the boarders or lay students were kept at a minimal number as to not corrupt the education of the church students. Those lay students that were admitted were usually destined to become storekeepers or merchants and were thus provided with an education to suit this end. The new Scalan did differ from the old one in several ways, such as tuition.
Unlike the situation exercised at Scalan, Bishop Hay and his successor, Bishop Cameron required the church students to pay for their first year of schooling to insure their abilities and dedication. The price of the first years tuition was 28 if the student provided their own clothes, blankets and shoes, and 30 if the college had to provide them. These prices also applied to the boarders, except they were required to pay them each year, where the church students had their room, board and goods paid for after their first year. This was a very different policy than had been exercised at Scalan, as was the situation regarding farming.
Bishop Hay and Bishop Cameron placed great stress on improving the agriculture at Aquhorties, spending 10,000 by the time the lease expired in 1844. The vast majority of this was spent on this improvement process. Although the Bishops placed great importance on farming, they also instituted a new rule that prevented the students from engaging in farming; for fear that it would damage their studies. This was a tremendous change in policy from Scalan where farming had been an integral part in the students life. Although there were numerous changes, many things remained the same regarding rules, regulations, recreation and education, until the students once more found a new seminary at Blairs in 1829. This date marked the end of Aquhorties as the seminary for the lowland vicariate, despite the fact that the lease was held until 1844. Procurators of Aquhorties
Rev. John Gordon (1799-1807)
Rev. John Davidson (1807-1808)
Rev. John Sharp (1808-1829)
DescriptionAccouts of the Aquhorties seminary; Average of Farm Parks; Cash accounts; Miscellaneous Accounts; Sales Records; Property value; Transcation Receipts; Lists of Students; Literary Materials; Rules and Requlations; Details regarding the Preshome and Aquhorties roup
Access StatusOpen
Closed Until01/01/2011
LanguageLatin; English
OriginalsThis is the original
CopiesGB 0231; The University of Aberdeen Special Library and Archives; MS 2249; Aquhorties Roman Catholic College (180-1817)
Publication NoteRev. William James Anderson, The College for the Lowland District of Scotland at Scalan and Aquhorties: Register and Documents. The Innes Review, vol. 14, no. 2 (Autumn 1963):170-196;Peter F. Anson, Underground Catholicism in Scotland. Montrose: Standar
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