John Strain

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The Most Reverend
John Menzies Strain
Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh
Archdiocese St. Andrews and Edinburgh
Installed 1878
Term ended 1883
Successor William Smith
Other posts Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District and Titular Bishop of Abila Lysaniae 1864–1878
Ordination 9 June 1833 (Priest)
Consecration 25 September 1864 (Bishop)
Personal details
Born 8 December 1810
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 2 July 1883 (aged 72)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Parents Hugh Strain and Cecilia Strain (née McKenzie)

John Menzies Strain (1810–1883) was a Roman Catholic clergyman who served as the first Archbishop of the Metropolitan see of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Edinburgh on 8 December 1810, he was the son of Hugh Strain and Cecilia Strain (née McKenzie).[1][2] He was educated at Edinburgh High School, the Seminary in Aquhorties, Aberdeenshire, and the Scots College in Rome.[1][2]

Priestly career[edit]

He was ordained to the priesthood on 9 June 1833. He left Rome on 3 August 1833, returning to Scotland, where he served at St Mary's, Edinburgh for two months, then appointed an assistant at Dumfries. He was appointed to take charge of the mission at Dalbeattie on 17 March 1835, which included the greater part of Kirkcudbrightshire. He returned to Dumfries in 1857 to take charge of the mission there. In 1859, he became the President of St Mary's College, Blairs, Aberdeen.[1][2]

Episcopal career[edit]

He was appointed the Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District and Titular Bishop of Abila Lysaniae by the Holy See on 2 September 1864 and consecrated to the Episcopate at the Vatican on 25 September 1864. The principal consecrator was Pope Pius IX, and the principal co-consecrators were Cardinal Giuseppe Berardi and Archbishop François Marinelli.[1][2]

He laboured long and strenuously for the restoration of the Scottish hierarchy; and it was greatly due to his effects that the restoration took place, under Pope Leo XIII, on 15 March 1878. The Eastern District was elevated to the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, with John Menzies Strain appointed as its first archbishop. A few years later, he held the first diocesan synod in 1881.[1][2]

During his nineteen years' episcopate he saw the number of clergy and missions increase during his tenure; many new schools were opened, and several religious communities, both of men and women, introduced.

He died in Edinburgh on 2 July 1883, aged 72.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Brady, W. Maziere (1876). The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and Ireland, A.D. 1400 to 1875. Volume 3. Rome: Tipografia Della Pace. pp. 469–470. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Archbishop John Menzies Strain". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  • Catholic Directory for Scotland (1884), 169-80;
  • The Tablet, LXI (7 July 1883), 26.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "John Strain". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
James Gillis
Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District
Title elevated
New creation Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh
Succeeded by
William Smith