Missions, Martyrs, and “Chartless Seas”: The Historiography of the Jesuits in Scotland

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Daniel MacLeod
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Daniel MacLeod Last modified: December 2021

Introduction: Scottish Jesuits and Catholicism in Early Modern Scotland

In 2002, the most prominent and productive historian of the Scottish Jesuits, Thomas McCoog, S.J., wrote a summary of the Scottish mission for The Innes Review to which he attached a detailed catalogue of Scottish Jesuits and a guide to sources related to them.1 In the article’s introduction,  McCoog noted that he provided the materials at the urge of other historians, and for those who “wander into the chartless seas of sixteenth-century Scottish Jesuit history.”2 This ominous invitation was intended to encourage historians to take up research on the Jesuits in Scotland, but alas few worked with his list over the ensuing two decades. The size of the scholarly community working on early modern Scotland and the relative dearth in the number of individual Jesuits working in Scotland in the period helps explain the lack of work. Yet, the global character of the order, the burgeoning nature of its activities in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and its interactions with a seemingly endless variety of fields render the Jesuits a useful subject wherever they show up in the early modern records, as they tie so much of the histories of early modern societies together. In Scotland, examination of the Jesuits can be particularly interesting as the order interacted with the unique character of the Scottish Reformation, the recusant Catholic community left behind after the Reformation Parliament in 1560, as well as the particular relationships with England and continental Europe. More recent research in the field proves out the enduring importance of this work, and if considered alongside past work signals a positive future for the study of Scottish Jesuits. This essay will serve as an introduction to the historiography of the Jesuits in Scotland that will identify patterns in work done to date, interrogate recent trends, and suggest ways in which the Scottish historiography might grow from engaging with current approaches in the field of Jesuit studies by expanding how and where we investigate the Society of Jesus in Scotland.

The limited research on the Scottish Jesuits clearly follows as a consequence of limited research into the early modern Scottish Catholicism more generally. Recent generations of scholars have provided a more fulsome picture of Protestant aspects of the Reformation era, with groundbreaking studies of the Kirk Session and new studies of the Reformed ministry marking notable achievements in that field.3  Some excellent research published in The Innes Review and elsewhere, particularly by the late John Durkan (1914–2006), provides the foundation from which a new generation of historians might look again at Ref0rmation-era Catholicism in Scotland.4 Durkan’s work in unearthing a significant corpus of material related to Scottish Catholics is especially exciting in its revealing a lively Catholic culture in post-Reformation Scotland, sustained and thriving in various forms well into the seventeenth century. His research helped provide balance to the “heroic Protestant narrative” discussed by Alec Ryrie and others.5 Yet, in spite of some of these positive developments, the definitive collection of essays on early modern Scottish Catholicism nears sixty years of age and much work remains to be done in revitalizing the field that includes the Jesuits, their collaborators, and the communities in which they worked.6 As is often the case for Scotland, the field of Scottish Jesuits suffers from a somewhat chronic inability of people to distinguish its history from that of England and although McCoog is indeed the leading historian of Scottish Jesuits, his principle work regards the Society in England.7 As well, the relative “success” of the Reformation in Scotland resulted in its becoming one of Europe’s most Protestant countries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which rendered it in the minds of some who do not study these matters professionally almost hermetically sealed from the intrusion of Catholic ideas and beliefs, let alone Jesuits.8 There is some truth in these positions, but more remains to be said about Scottish Jesuits, their work, their networks, and how historians have approached them over the last several decades.

The Jesuit Historians and Narratives of the Scottish Mission

The baseline historiographical work on the Scottish Jesuits was completed by the members of the order, particularly those who had charge of the archives and documentary evidence of the missions. This work was primarily concerned with gathering and editing the sources related to the Jesuits and their Catholic collaborators in early modern Scotland.9 This work of an earlier generation of archivists of the British Jesuit province that include John Pollen (1858–1925) and others was built on by McCoog whose work provides the launching point for the modern study of Scottish Jesuits.10 McCoog’s work on the British Jesuits is notable for the degree to which it professionalizes the discourse, intentionally eschewing either apologist or narrowly corporate analyses of the Society in Britain. In the first volume of his three-volume history of the Jesuits in Ireland, Scotland, and England, McCoog notes that he hoped to modernize the study of the Jesuits in these places by embracing what he called a “critical and not apologetic” account of the Society in the region, which at that time was seen as a departure from traditional assessments of the Society by Jesuit historians.11 For McCoog, the modernizing of the study involved moving away from analysis that was perhaps too-narrowly focused on glorification of the martyrs of this period, and toward an approach that acknowledged fuller picture including the political machinations of the order in Britain. His was a study of the Jesuits, warts and all.

The three volumes of McCoog’s study indicate a singular knowledge of the sources and tell us much about the institutional goals of how the Society’s mission to Scotland change over time. Not surprisingly, the mission to Scotland was ultimately tied the English mission and would usually only garner the attention of superiors insofar as it seemed Scotland might be a path facilitating the restoration of Catholicism in England.12 For instance, Scotland could be used as a release valve when the temperature was high in the south or a place to hide endangered English Jesuits who might win a few converts along the way. The letters of the mission’s leaders were not shy about the utilitarian approach to Scotland, with Robert Parsons (1546–1610) writing to Superior General Acquaviva (in office 1581–1615), in 1581, “on the conversion of Scotland depends every hope of the conversion of England.” 13

For these Jesuits, and for McCoog’s analysis of them, the conversion was not as much focused on conversion of the Scottish people per se as much as its young king James VI (r.1567–1625). Much of McCoog’s analysis of this period of the Scottish mission thus engages with this principal preoccupation. The research examines Jesuits speculating as to whether they might persuade the young king to embrace the religion of his mother; where Jesuits might find collaborators toward this cause; or varied approaches of missionary leadership. In short, this work is very much a history of high-level politics and Jesuit organizational bureaucracy in sixteenth-century England and Scotland and the traditional correspondence that relates to this research. According to McCoog, the Scottish mission fades alongside hopes for conversion of the king and it subsequently languishes as it faces the formidable opponent of the newly established Protestant Kirk, which had made Catholicism illegal in 1560 and would enforce intermittent penalties against Catholics as it felt threatened or attempted to consolidate its power.14

Michael Yellowlees, who published the only scholarly monograph devoted to Scottish Jesuits in 2002, takes much the same line as McCoog.15 Through examination of the correspondence of Jesuits associated with the Scottish mission, Yellowlees marks its rise and fall and the various stages of hope for the resurgence of Catholicism there. Yellowlees’s book gives the space needed for fuller investigation of the Scottish Jesuits in the sixteenth century. It provides detailed insights into people like William Crichton (1535–1617) and John Hay (1546–1607), two Scottish Jesuits descended from prominent Scottish Catholic families. Crichton was an energetic and often frustrated leader among those hopeful for the conversion of James and the prospects of a mission in Scotland.16 Hay was a skilled debater and controversialist who once debated a Lutheran and won so resoundingly that his opponent, who was unaware that Hay was a priest because he was not wearing his clerics, noted “he is either lucifer or a Jesuit.”17 Hay’s career included time in Scotland where he facilitated the development of a popular devotional culture near Aberdeen and later worked on the continent translating documents from the overseas missions. Hay and Crichton stand as just two examples of ongoing progress of biographical material for Scottish Jesuits and these more fulsome narratives developed in Yellowlees’s book provide excellent foundation for investigation of other important aspects of the Scottish mission.

Yellowlees also summarizes the career of James Tyrie (1543–97), yet Tyrie’s career calls for much more detailed analysis.18 Tyrie spent most of his life on the continent, mostly in France and dying in Rome in 1597, but his career exemplifies both the diversity of the Scottish Jesuit experience in this period as well as the possibilities for new avenues for research. Tyrie is perhaps best known for his key contribution to writing the Ratio studiorum and for exchanging pamphlets with John Knox (1514–72) regarding the state of the church in Scotland, best represented in Knox’s An Answer to a Letter of a Jesuit named Tyrie (1572) and Tyrie’s Refutation that followed in 1573.19 Knox’s initial engagement with Tyrie was motivated by a letter Tyrie wrote to his brother David, who had converted to Protestantism at marriage, attempting to bring him back to Catholicism.20 David shared the letter with Knox who eventually had his reply printed at St. Andrews. James Tyrie’s break with his brother and his sterling reputation as a teacher and scholar on the continent places him among the more fascinating Scottish Jesuits of the period.  His eulogy claimed that once while committing a great deal of time to his studies he was visited by a vision of Ignatius of Loyola (c.1491–1556), instructing him “James, more of virtue, less of learning,” inspiring his refusal to commit consistently to either publishing or the political maneuvering of the Jesuits.21 The unique experiences of Tyrie signal the need for a more work on Scottish Jesuits that engages with the Jesuit reality outside the Scottish mission field, especially within the continental context of this period. The key exchanges among Scottish and continental Jesuits can open new lines of inquiry already present in other historiographies and help develop a more fulsome picture.

McCoog and Yellowlees inevitably examine some aspects of these continental networks of Scottish Jesuits through the prism of education.22 Recent work on the so-called “Scots Colleges” can help in rounding out our understanding of the training received by Scottish Jesuits.23  These Scots colleges in Rome, Douai, Paris, and Madrid provided seminary training for Scottish Jesuits, some of whom eventually found their way to the Scottish mission or to other missions elsewhere in Europe. Needless to say, the job of unpacking this educational tradition is more complex as we cannot point to one college for the majority of our answers. We cannot really point to one educational tradition either, as these universities were not all Jesuit so did not provide a uniform program of teaching. Recent work by Tom McInally helps contextualize the colleges as a whole.24 What McInally has called “Scotland’s Sixth University,” provided places for open and Catholic education for those fleeing penal laws and subsequently provided larger networks through which we can understand the movements of these priests or the details of their formation and working lives.

John Ogilvie S.J.

The most famous product of the Scots colleges and of the Scottish mission is St. John Ogilvie (1579–1615), a Jesuit who was martyred in Scotland in 1615. Ogilvie’s martyrdom falls outside the purview of the work of McCoog and Yellowlees, but there remains an ongoing need for a scholarly biography of Ogilvie.25 Although contemporary narratives of his martyrdom survive from both Protestant and Catholic perspectives, the authoritative biographical work on Ogilvie is a century old.26 This biography continues to be used by most people interested in his life, but the expanse of popular and devotional material related to Ogilvie continues to rule the day, especially as it proliferated in the time of his canonization in 1976 and the recent four-hundredth anniversary of his death.27 Churches and schools are dedicated to his honor, and plays have been written and produced to recognize the legacy of Scotland’s only post-Reformation saint. There is an ongoing campaign to mark the site of his death at Glasgow Cross, much of which was inspired by the anniversary in 2015. These popular commemorations reflect Scotland’s ongoing fascination with Ogilvie and hasten a call for more careful analysis.

A special issue of Journal of Jesuit Studies (JJS) investigating Scottish Jesuits emerged in 2020 from a 2015 conference marking the four-hundredth anniversary of Ogilvie’s martyrdom. The analysis offered there provides perspective for assessing where the field sits at the moment and hope for where the field can go in the coming years. The most important work presented in the special issue of the JJS moves beyond the narrative and political history of the Jesuits in Scotland and entangles the work of the mission with other histories. For instance, an article by Paul Goatman contextualizes Glasgow at the time of Ogilvie’s martyrdom and claims that the martyrdom was a botched effort by James VI/I and his local agent Archbishop John Spottiswoode (1565–1639) to frighten Glasgow’s Catholics into conformity.28 For Goatman, the continued resistance of Catholic families after the execution was a sign of the community’s strength as well as the failure of the king’s party’s brief foray into religious executions, which were resoundingly rare in Scotland in this period.29 Goatman builds a case for the resilience of the Catholic community in Glasgow from the time of the Reformation to the time of Ogilvie by marking its relative power within the town’s elite. He notes that during this period Catholics were “allowed to thrive” and assert themselves within the center of town life, which resulted in many of them strutting to John Ogilvie’s masses with relative impunity and remaining powerful even following the trial.30

Another recent article—this one by the noted Scottish historian Allan MacInnes—focuses on the political dimensions of Ogilvie’s martyrdom. MacInnes concludes that “Ogilvie was killed less for his Jesuit ministry than for his uncompromising stance in upholding the spiritual supremacy of the papacy of James VI and I.”31 His findings locate Ogilvie’s martyrdom within an intra-Protestant battle regarding the direction of the kirk under James, with Presbyterians unsatisfied with the kirk’s use of bishops and other disagreements that came to a head with the 5 Articles of Perth. As with Goatman’s analysis, in McInnes’s assessment Ogilvie arrives onto an established political scene in which his execution occurs as a result of existing tensions rather than any particular threat posed by the Jesuit. He is a victim of existing realities; not an introducer of new problems.32

These articles are edifying additions to our understanding of the political realities in early seventeenth-century Scotland. They do, however, tend to underplay Ogilvie’s role in the events that led to his death. This is made more problematic by the fact that Ogilvie’s death was so very conspicuous in Scotland and was accompanied by a near immediate battle for control over the rhetorical context of his death.33 Other Jesuits arrested in the same period as Ogilvie were not killed, nor were those who associated with him in Glasgow.34 Thus a fuller understanding  of Ogilvie, then, might only emerge when we activate his role in the events that led to his execution, revise our understandings of the rhetoric, and consider whether he may have pursued his martyrdom as had been a more common occurrence in England.35 More than anything else, “activating” John Ogilvie in the historiography helps bridge the gap between the contextualization of the communities Jesuits visited and the particular elements of the mission. In this way, Jesuit history is an integrated aspect of a larger historiography that complements and edifies a number of fields.

The Scottish Jesuits’ biographical details, educational backgrounds, or local contexts discussed above have facilitated more recent analysis that has forged new ways of understanding the Scottish Jesuits, some of which can be found in the JJS special issue. Alasdair Roberts, an expert and experienced scholar of Scottish Catholicism, uses his knowledge of the highlands to illuminate the Jesuit experience there.36 Roberts’s work follows many others in noting the key role played by the Catholic nobility in maintaining the Catholic presence in the highlands and Northeast Scotland. 37 Roberts breaks new ground, though, as he examines change in the Jesuit role in the highlands over time with the mission’s goals shifting from the conversion of the king in the early seventeenth century to more humble pastoral work in the second-half of the eighteenth century. New insights can also be found in Mark Elliott’s chapter on theological approaches to martyrdom in the Jesuit tradition.38 While exploring contemporary Jesuit theological approaches to the supremacy of kings and popes, Elliott contrasts the intricacies of the positions on martyrdom between Cornelius a Lapide (1567–1637), Ogilvie’s teacher at Leuven, and Juan Maldonado (1533–83), a Spanish Jesuit whose insistence on the special place of priesthood in the culture of martyrdom made him, as Elliott writes, “Ogilvie’s kind of theologian.”39

Language, Learning, Law

Roberts and Elliott offer key areas for development of the historiography of the Jesuits. First, Roberts finds some success among Jesuits doing linguistic work in the highlands in the eighteenth century in both Scots and Gaelic. This complements the work of Brian Halloran who documented the production of a catechism in Gaelic and the commitment of the Jesuits to ministry in Gaelic, which further entrenched the order into highland Catholic communities that were religious and linguistic minorities. This approach provides a great way to integrate Scotland into the wider Jesuit historiography where the order’s linguistic work is a staple of the global historiography.40 Scotland has yet to be integrated into these studies because the general absence of Gaelic language speakers and the traditional linguistic divide we see between highland and lowland Scotland, yet the close connection between Gaelic and Catholicism in these regions deserves updated analysis, as it survived significant resistance from the British state and was transported to what is now called Canada by those who arrived from these highland communities in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.41

Further, Elliott’s work shows the value of diving deeper into the theological and educational culture of the Jesuits in this period and insisting on placing religion at the front of our work where it can so often get swallowed up by political, economic, or social analyses. Networks of new Jesuit colleges and universities all over Europe provide fruitful ground for interrogating the variety of spiritual and theological perspectives available to Jesuits in formation. The influence of Jesuit ideas about missions, or lessons learned in other missionary contexts still require exploration in the Scottish context. For instance, to what degree was the sacramental or liturgical life of the Society central to both asserting Catholic practice and creating an underground Catholic community? A longstanding controversy surrounds Jesuits getting permission to attend Protestant services in order to learn more about the belief system they hoped to undermine.42 What was it that these Jesuits hoped to learn? Did it change their missions? Again, re-asserting religious controversies can help us assess their effects and allow us to better understand the ultimate goals of the mission. Certainly, the controversial writing of the Jesuits themselves is worthy of more attention. Scholars have shown the writing of some Scottish Jesuits garnered interest on the continent, but an updated analysis of patterns of reception or influence for the work of Tyrie, James Gordon Huntly (1541–1620), Hay, and Patrick Anderson (1575–1624) would serve to place the Scottish Jesuits into the European context while also rounding out our understanding of the mission.43 Hay’s work definitely attracted the attention of Theodore Beza (1519–1605) who wrote an anonymous response to Hay’s Certaine Demandes in 1586.44

Recent work by Luis Fernando Hernández Arana shows the value of these more contextualized approaches as he places Ogilvie at the crossroads of medieval and proto-modern conceptions of law and justice.45 In interrogating the sources of Ogilvie’s trial within a “trans-religious” context, he nuances our approach to the martyrdom, locating it within the changing authoritative contexts of the period and warning historians to proceed with caution as they seek exclusive “political” or “religious” approaches to the trial. Like the research on the education of Scottish Jesuits abroad or the reception of their writing, this work inserts Scottish Jesuits into larger historical conversations and creates a variety of avenues through which we can contextualize their work.

New Directions: Collaborators and Culture

One key way in which research on the Scottish Jesuits can be improved is by creatively interrogating the missions and casting a wide net as we do it. If there were only a few dozen Jesuits in Scotland, these missions needed collaborators. For the most part, we have understood these collaborators as members of relatively powerful families that supported these missions, but there is more to be said about them, particularly with regard to who the collaborators were and, most interestingly, how these collaborations took place and where they might take us in our research. Recent work by Brian Mac Cuarta, S.J. exemplifies the value of this line of research.46 He traces the paths of Scottish Catholics from both highland and lowland Scotland to Ulster in the early seventeenth century, demonstrating both the significant level of recusancy in Scotland in the period as well as the capacity for Catholic landowners in Ulster to provide refuge for Scottish Catholics. Mac Cuarta shows us that Jesuit missionaries held Mass, administered sacraments, and sought converts in Ulster among a range of people that included Scottish Catholics who had relocated to Ulster. He shows clear evidence of a Catholic network that emerged from within “the common Gaelic world linking north-east Ulster and the Western Isles” as well as those from Glasgow and elsewhere in the lowlands.47 This work exemplifies the value of trans-national approach to research on Scottish Jesuits as well as the great potential for studies of a Scottish Catholic diaspora in the seventeenth century.

Another group of collaborators that require more sustained attention is the secular priests who worked with the Jesuits. Yellowlees, Roberts, and nearly every person who has studied the Scottish mission have noted the collaboration among these groups, with Halloran giving them special attention in articles and a small book noting the biographical details of their lives, emphasizing the important point that the number of secular priests working in the Scottish mission dwarfed the number of priests of the Society of Jesus by a significant margin.48 These relationships are ripe for further exploration. Jesuits’ camaraderie with their secular counterparts stands in contrast to other dynamics globally where tensions between Jesuits and other clergy often led to conflict in the mission field. What was different about the Scottish case? There were still tensions, but did the size and scope and shared creedal or national identities cause these to melt away amidst the difficulties of the mission? If so, on which aspects of the mission did they find their common ground?

Closer investigations of Jesuit collaborators in Scotland and elsewhere necessarily lead us away from the Jesuits, but this work eventually takes us back to them as well.49 One example of this journey emerges from the records of John Ogilvie’s trial where a town widow—Marion Walker (fl.1597–1615)—features prominently.50 One constant in the testimony of witnesses at his trial is their insistence that Walker hosted Ogilvie’s Masses in town. The trial records indicate little else about her, but her role as host of Ogilvie’s Masses was clear. A closer study of Glasgow Kirk Session and Presbytery records, however, reveal many more references to Walker.51 She is present over three decades railing against the new ministry, possessing Catholic objects, and even defending of a wrongfully convicted witch.52 All of these cases predated Ogilvie’s time in Glasgow, some by two decades, but they can tell us a great deal about Ogilvie and the Jesuit mission. The entries associated with Walker provide evidence of her membership in a Catholic community with particular grievances against the new kirk and its ministry. These grievances lead naturally to other investigations that show where Catholicism intersected with ideas about gender, devotional objects, speech, witchcraft, and a number of other characteristics of early modern religion.53 These connections have very little do with John Ogilvie, but they certainly provider a fuller picture of his work and of the Scottish mission.54

The notion that we need not merely focus on Scottish Jesuits to understand the Scottish Jesuits is one central to demonstrating how the order’s work was manifested in the early modern world as well as the future of research in the field. The two volumes of the landmark Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts confirmed unequivocally the role of the arts in the work of the early Jesuits.55 For Scotland, work of this kind still requires more careful attention, but hopeful recent research leads the way in demonstrating the potential for research that locates the Scottish Jesuits amidst studies of gender, art, regional difference, or the material culture of early modern Scotland. For instance, Patricia Barton’s recent work demonstrates the roles played by women in the early Scottish mission as well as the gendered views of recusant action prevalent in the thinking of Scottish Jesuits like Robert Abercromy (1536–1613).56 Peter Davidson and David Walker’s work also emphasizes the importance of the artistic traditions influenced by the Jesuits in Scotland. Davidson and Walker provide clear evidence of a Catholic material culture in the northeast of Scotland.57 From its unique built environment of castles and tower houses constructed for Catholic magnate families in the period surrounding the Reformation to the collections of relics, paintings, and other venerable objects, the breadth of the unique Catholic culture in the Scotland’s northeast is confirmed by this chapter and others.58 Much of the material culture of the northeast also demonstrates close connections between these lay communities and Jesuit work both abroad and in Scotland itself, further cementing the reward of broadening the scope of our inquiry. The mere survival of this vibrant Catholic material culture in the region signals the need for precise integration of regional difference into the story of the Scottish Jesuits, as the Abderdeenshire of John Hay in the mid-sixteenth century differed from the Glasgow of John Ogilvie in 1615, which differed still from work in the highland northwest. Further, when we seek an assessment of where and how a Jesuit mission is manifested in these regions, we may find a presence and influence more robust than has been acknowledged previously.


Although it does not always garner a great deal of attention in the historiography, the work of the Jesuits in Scotland has great potential to unlock new paths of inquiry for historians working on early modern subjects. Key to opening these paths is a clearer embrace of the social, cultural, and regional histories of Scotland. The benefits of this approach are clear. The more we seek out the activity of the Catholic communities the Jesuits served, of course, the better we understand the religious landscape of Scotland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These Catholic communities are too-often discussed marginally in the story of the establishment of Protestant Scotland. Although most historians now would shy away from depictions of the Scottish Reformation that portray it as a kind of popular overthrow of Catholicism, a tendency to revert to these narratives remains in the historiography. Too often, elements of religious practice that are reminiscent of the Catholic past are counted as aspects of a grand plan of the Reformed kirk and its ministry to introduce change slowly rather than thrust it on these communities all at once. In this view, Catholics seem permitted to act Catholically rather than asserting themselves as Catholics by resisting the new settlement in various ways.59 Recognition of a broader presence of Catholic culture and people help nuance this view.

Of course, many of these approaches are relatively old to Jesuit historiography elsewhere in the world, but they could offer new and exciting ways to understand the Scottish mission. We can return to well-used sources, ask new questions of them based on Jesuit experiences globally, and begin to think of early modern Scotland in new ways. Like the missionizing Jesuits themselves, historians of the Society of Jesus in Scotland should look to make connections and forge links among fields, national histories, and religious ideas and people. There are a number of connections still to be made between Jesuits, their schools, their missions, their heroes, their enemies, and their collaborators. The field and its sources are ripe for reinterpretation and provide unique opportunities for charting the “chartless seas” described by McCoog nearly two decades ago.


1 Thomas M. McCoog, “‘ Pray to the Lord of the Harvest’: Jesuit Missions to Scotland in the Sixteenth Century,” Innes Review 53, no. 2 (2002): 127–88.

2 McCoog, “Pray to the Lord of the Harvest,” 127.

3 Margo Todd, The Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern Scotland (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002); M. F. Graham, The Uses of Reform: “Godly Discipline” and Popular Behavior in Scotland and Beyond, 1560–1610 (Leiden: Brill, 1996);  Chris R. Langley, Catherine E. McMillan, and Russell Newton, eds., The Clergy in Early Modern Scotland (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2021).

4 John Durkan, Scottish Schools and Schoolmasters 1560–1633, Scottish History Society; Fifth Series, Volume 19 (Aberdeen: Scottish History Society, 2013); John Durkan, “A Post-Reformation Miscellany,” Innes Review 53, no. 1 (2002): 108–26, (accessed October 25, 2021); John Durkan, “A Post-Reformation Miscellany II,” Innes Review 55, no. 1 (2004): 52–72, (accessed October 25, 2021); John Durkan, “A Post-Reformation Miscellany III,” Innes Review 57, no. 1 (2006): 77–86, (accessed October 25, 2021).

5 Alec Ryrie, The Origins of the Scottish Reformation (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2006), 3–10.

6 David McRoberts, Essays on the Scottish Reformation, 1513–1625 (Glasgow: John S. Burns & Sons, 1962). Older still is John Hungerford Pollen, S.J., The Counter Reformation in Scotland (London: Sands and Company, 1925) On new directions in the historiography, see Stephen Mark Holmes, “Historiography of the Scottish Reformation: The Catholics Fight Back?,” Studies in Church History 49 (2013): 303–16, (accessed June 5, 2021).

7 Hannah Thomas, “Historiography of the Jesuits in England in the Early Modern Period,” Jesuit Historiography Online, ed. Robert A. Maryks ( (accessed August 5, 2021).

8 On the “success” of the Scottish Reformation relative to other reformations, see Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2005), 378–82.

9 William Forbes-Leith, ed., Narratives of Scottish Catholics under Mary Stuart and James VI (Edinburgh: Paterson, 1889); John Hungerford Pollen, S.J., ed., Papal Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots During Her Reign in Scotland, 1561–1567 (Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1901). A chapter on Scottish Jesuits is also included in Francis Edwards, S.J., The Jesuits in England from 1580 to the Present Day (Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Burns and Oates, 1985), 257–93.

10 Thomas M. McCoog, S.J., The Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England 1541–1588: “Our Way of Proceeding?,” Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions, 60 (Leiden: Brill, 1996); McCoog The Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England, 1589–1597: “Building the Faith of Saint Peter upon the King of Spain’s Monarchy," Catholic Christendom, 1300–1700 (Leiden: Brill, 2012); McCoog, The Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England, 1598–1606: "Lest Our Lamp Be Entirely Extinguished," Catholic Christendom, 1300–1700 (Leiden: Brill, 2017).

11  McCoog, Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England 1541–1588, 9.

12 This is particularly notable in McCoog, “On the Conversion of Scotland,” in Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England 1541–1588, 178–223.

13 Parsons to Acquaviva, October 21, 1581, in Victor Houliston, Thomas M. McCoog, and Ginevra Crosignani, eds. The Correspondence and Unpublished Papers of Robert Persons, S.J., 2 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2017), 1:227.

14 Jane E. A. Dawson, Scotland Re-Formed, 1488–1587, New Edinburgh History of Scotland, 6 (Edinburgh: University Press, 2007).

15 Michael J. Yellowlees, “So Strange a Monster as a Jesuiste”: The Society of Jesus in Sixteenth-Century Scotland (Isle of Colonsay, Argyll: House of Lochar, 2003).

16 More recent work on Crichton can be found in Thomas M. McCoog, “Converting a King: The Jesuit William Crichton and King James VI and I,” Journal of Jesuit Studies 7, no. 1 (2020): 11–33, (accessed June 3, 2021).

17  Yellowlees, “So Strange a Monster as a Jesuite,” 60.

18 Alasdair Roberts, “Tyrie, James (1543–1597), Jesuit,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, September 23, 2004, (accessed June 9, 2021).

19 John Knox, An Answer to a Letter of a Iesuit Named Tyrie, Be Iohne Knox (St. Andrews: Robert Lekpreuik, 1572), (accessed June 9, 2021); Tyrie’s Refutation can be found in Catholic Tractates of the Sixteenth Century, 1573–1600, ed. T. G. Law (Edinburgh: Scottish Text Society), 1–31.

20 Yellowlees, “So Strange a Monster as a Jesuite,” 34–35.

21 Yellowlees, “Eulogy of James Tyrie,” in “So strange a Monster as a Jesuite,” 163–64.

22 For more on Scotland’s engagement with Europe, see David Worthington, British and Irish Emigrants and Exiles in Europe, 1603–1688 (Leiden: Brill, 2010), especially chapters by McInally and Davidson in part 4, “Catholics at Home and Abroad”; on colleges, see Liam Chambers and Thomas O’Connor, eds., Forming Catholic Communities: Irish, Scots and English College Networks in Europe, 1568–1918, Catholic Christendom, 1300–1700 (Leiden: Brill, 2018); Liam Chambers and Thomas O’Connor, eds., College Communities Abroad: Education, Migration and Catholicism in Early Modern Europe, Studies in Early Modern European History (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018); David Edwards and Simon Egan, eds., The Scots in Early Stuart Ireland : Union and Separation in Two Kingdoms, Studies in Early Modern Irish History (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015),  especially chs. 5 and 6. Also, Martin Murphy, “Robert Abercromby, S.J. (1536–1613) and the Baltic Counter-Reformation,” Innes Review 50, no. 1 (1999): 58–75.

23 Maurice Taylor, The Scots College in Spain (Valladolid: Gráfs. Andrés Martín, 1971); Raymond McCluskey, ed., The Scots College, Rome, 1600–2000 (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2000); Brian Halloran, The Scots College Paris 1603–1792 (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1997).

24 Tom McInally, The Sixth Scottish University the Scots Colleges Abroad, 1575, History of Science and Medicine Library, 24 (Leiden; Brill, 2012).

25 Paul Goatman, “Introduction: New Perspectives on John Ogilvie’s Martyrdom, the Society of Jesus, and Scottish Catholicism during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Journal of Jesuit Studies 7, no. 1 (2020): 1–10, (accessed May 13, 2021).

26 A copy of the 1615 Douai printing of Ogilvie’s prison writing (Relatio) and testimony from his fellow prisoners (Continuatio) is held at the National Library of Scotland (BCL.S165). It is reprinted in William James Duncan, ed., Miscellaneous Papers Principally Illustrative of Events in the Reigns of Queen Mary and King James VI (Glasgow: Edward Khul, Printer to the University, 1834), 79–108. The Protestant perspective can be found in John Spottiswoode, A True Relation of the Proceedings Against John Ogilvie, A Jesuit, in Ancient Criminal Trials of Scotland, vol. 3, part 1, ed. Robert Pitcairn (Edinburgh: 1833), 350–54. Various works on Ogilvie can be found in William Eric Brown, John Ogilvie: An Account of His Life and Death with a Translation of the Documents Relating Thereto (London: Benzinger Brothers, 1925), 171–201; in Narratives of Scottish Catholics under Mary Stuart and James VI, 297–316. An interesting examination of the nature of the sources can be found in Luis Fernando Hernández Arana, “Between Sin and Crime: The Contrasting Hermeneutics of J. Ogilvie’s Trial and Execution, According to the Relatio incarcerationis and A True Relation of the Proceedings Against John Ogilvie,” Journal of Early Modern Studies 10 (2021): 49–81, (accessed May 30, 2021).

27 Most of the popular material devoted to Ogilvie can be found via London’s Jesuit Institute at “Resources: St John Ogilvie SJ (+ 1615),” (accessed May 13, 2021).

28 Paul Goatman, “Exemplary Deterrent or Theatre of Martyrdom?”: John Ogilvie’s Execution and the Community of Glasgow,” Journal of Jesuit Studies 7, no. 1 (2020): 47–66, (accessed October 25, 2021).

29 On Scottish martyrdom, see Jane Dawson, “The Scottish Reformation and the Theatre of Martyrdom,” in Martyrs and Martyrologies: Papers Read at the 1992 Meeting and the 1993 of the Ecclesiastical History Society, ed. Diana Wood (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), 259–70.

30 Much more work is required on Catholic communities in early modern Scotland. On Glasgow, see Daniel MacLeod, “Servants to St. Mungo” (unpublished PhD diss., University of Guelph, 2014).

31 Allan I. Macinnes, “John Ogilvie: The Smoke and Mirrors of Confessional Politics,” Journal of Jesuit Studies 7, no. 1 (January 7, 2020): 34–46, 41, (accessed May 30, 2021).

32 Some resistance to this narrative can be found in John Durkan, “Sidelights on the Early Jesuit Mission in Scotland,” Scottish Tradition 13 (1984-5): 34–48.

33 Goatman, “Exemplary Deterrent or Theatre of Martyrdom?,” 48–51.

34 On Glasgow’s community, see MacLeod, “Servants to St. Mungo,” 181–237; John Durkan, “John Ogilvie’s Glasgow Associates” Innes Review 21, no. 2 (Autumn 1970): 153–70; John Durkan, “Two Jesuits: Patrick Anderson and John Ogilvie,” Innes Review 21, no. 2 (Autumn 1970): 157–61;  Goatman, “Exemplary Deterrent or Theatre of Martyrdom?, 51–58; and Goatman, “Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Jacobean Scotland: The Case of Archibald Hegate Revisited,” Innes Review 67, no. 2 (2016): 159–81.

35 Daniel MacLeod, “Declining His Majesty’s Authority: Treason Revisited in the Case of John Ogilvie,” in Scotland’s Long Reformation: New Perspectives on Scottish Religion, c. 1500–c. 1660, ed. John McCallum, St Andrews Studies in Reformation History, 1 (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 179–201, (accessed October 25, 2021).

36 Alasdair Roberts, “Jesuits in the Highlands: Three Phases,” Journal of Jesuit Studies 7, no. 1 (2020): 103–15,  (accessed February 18, 2021).  Also, Alexander C. MacWilliam, “A Highland Mission: Strathglass, 1671–1777,” Innes Review 24, no. 2 (1973): 75–102.

37 Scott Spurlock, “The Laity and the Structure of the Catholic Church in Early Modern Scotland,” in Insular Christianity: Alternative Models of the Church in Britain and Ireland c. 1570–c.1700, ed. Robert Armstrong and Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), 231–51.

38 Mark W. Elliott, “Jesuit Exegesis, Jacobean Theology, and the Scottish Church in the First Two Decades of the Seventeenth Century,” Journal of Jesuit Studies 7, no. 1 (2020): 67–82, (accessed May 6, 2021).

39 Elliott, “Jesuit Exegesis,” 77.

40 Liam Matthew Brockey, “Comprehending the World: Jesuits, Language, and Translation,” Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu 88 (2019-II): 1–22. On Scotland, see Brian M. Halloran, “Jesuits in 18th-Century Scotland,” The Innes Review 52, no. 1 (June 1, 2001): 80–100, (accessed April 16, 2021). Peter Davidson’s short chapter on Irish Jesuit Robert Corbington’s recognition of and training in the diverse linguistic traditions of the British Isles is a tremendous example of the potential of this work, Peter Davidson, “Perceptions of The British Isles and Ireland among The Catholic Exiles: The Case of Robert Corbington SJ,” in British and Irish Emigrants and Exiles in Europe, 1603–1688, ed. David Worthington (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 315–22.

41 Daniel W. MacInnes, “The Legacy of the Highland Heather Priests in Eastern Canada,” in Keeping the Kirk: Scottish Religion at Home and in the Diaspora, ed. Stuart Macdonald and Daniel Macleod, Guelph Series in Scottish Studies, 3 (Guelph: Guelph Centre for Scottish Studies, 2014), 85–118.

42 Yellowlees, “So Strange a Monster as a Jesuite,” 153–54.

43 Alasdair Roberts, “Gordon, James [Known as James Gordon Huntly] (1541–1620), Jesuit,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (accessed June 11, 2021); Roberts, “Gordon, James (1553–1641), Jesuit,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (accessed June 11, 2021); Roberts, “Hay, John (1547–1607), Jesuit,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (accessed June 11, 2021); Mark Dilworth, “Anderson, Patrick (1574/5–1624), Jesuit,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (accessed June 11, 2021). Some work of Hay and Anderson can be found in Catholic Tractates; also, James Gordon Huntly, A Treatise of the Vnvvritten Word of God, Commonly Called Traditions: Written in Latin, by the R. Father Iames Gordon Huntley of Scotland, Doctour of Diuinity, of the Society of Iesus; And Translated into English by I. L. of the Same Society. The Second Part of the First Controuersy ([Saint-Omer: English College Press, 1614]), (accessed October 25, 2021).

44 Theodore Van Raalte, “Compelling Each Other: Theodore Beza's Response to John Hay as Part of Geneva's Anti-Jesuit Efforts,” in Theodore Beza at 500: New Perspectives on an Old Reformer, ed. Kirk Summers, Scott M. Manetsch, Refo500 Academic Studies, 74 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020), 263–82, (accessed October 25, 2021).

45 Hernández Arana, “Between Sin and Crime,” 75–78.

46 Brian Mac Cuarta, S.J., “Scots Catholics in Ulster, 1603–41,” in The Scots in Early Stuart Ireland, 141–68.

47 Mac Cuarta. “Scots Catholics in Ulster, 1603–41,” 145.

48 Brian M. Halloran, Scottish Secular Priests (Glasgow: John S. Burns, 2003); “Jesuits in 18th Century Scotland: John Durkan, “William Murdoch and the Early Jesuit Mission in Scotland,” Innes Review 35, no. 1 (1984): 3–11; Yellowlees, “So Strange a Monster as a Jesuite,” 82.

49 A helpful recent example of this can be found in Paul Goatman, “Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Jacobean Scotland: The Case of Archibald Hegate Revisited,” Innes Review 67, no. 2 (November 2016): 159–81, (accessed May 6, 2021).

50 “A True Relation,” in Ancient Criminal Trials of Scotland, 3/1:350–54.

51 For basic details see Daniel MacLeod, “Walker, Marion,” in The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. Elizabeth Ewan et al. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018), 443.

52 MacLeod, “Servants to St. Mungo,” 196–99.

53 On Catholicism and gender in Scotland, see Alasdair F. B. Roberts, “The Role of Women in Scottish Catholic Survival,” The Scottish Historical Review 70, no. 190 (1991): 129–50; On speech, see Elizabeth Ewan, “Disorderly Damsels?: Women and Interpersonal Violence in Pre-Reformation Scotland,” Scottish Historical Review 89, no. 2 (2010): 153–71, (accessed May 13, 2021).

54 Helpful new perspectives on the intersection of gender and the Scottish mission can be found in Patricia Barton, “Jesuits, Mission, and Gender in Post-Reformation Scotland,” in Scottish Liturgical Traditions and Religious Politics: From Reformers to Jacobites, 1560–1764, ed. Allan I. Macinnes, Patricia Barton, and Kieran German, Scottish Religious Cultures: Historical Perspectives (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021).

55 John W. O'Malley et al., The Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 1540–1773 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999); O'Malley et al., The Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 1540–1773 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006).

56 Barton, “Jesuits, Mission, and Gender in Post-Reformation Scotland,” 41–43. On recusancy more generally, see Allan MacInnes, “Catholic Recusancy and the Penal Laws, 1603–1707,” Records of the Scottish Church History Society 23 (1989): 27–63; and Margaret H. B. Sanderson, “Catholic Recusancy in Scotland in the Sixteenth Century,” Innes Review 21, no. 2 (Autumn 1970): 87–107.

57 Peter Davidson and David W. Walker, "Scottish Catholic Material Culture," in A Companion to Catholicism and Recusancy in Britain and Ireland, From Reformation to Emancipation, ed. Robert E. Scully, S.J., Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, 101 (Leiden: Brill, 2021). Many thanks to Dr. Davidson for providing me with an advanced copy of this chapter.

58 Fern Insh, “Recusants and the Rosary: A Seventeenth-Century Chapel in Aberdeen,” Recusant History 31, no. 2 (2012): 195–218, (accessed May 30, 2021).

59 Todd, Culture of Protestantism, 181–82, 232; an interesting study of lay-Catholic agency can be found in R. Scott Spurlock, “‘I do disdain both Ecclesiasticke and Politick Popery’: Lay Catholic Identity in Early Modern Scotland,” Records of the Scottish Church History Society 38 (2008): 5–22.

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