Scots College (Rome)

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Pontifical Scots College, Rome
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
RectorFr Daniel Fitzpatrick
NicknameThe Scots College
AffiliationsJesuits (1615–1773)

Thereby Scots College (or The Pontifical Scots College) in Rome is the main seminary for the training of men for the priesthood from the dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.


Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York from a picture in the Scots College

The Scots College was established by Clement VIII on 5 December 1600, when it was assigned the revenue of the old Scots' hospice.[1] At first the college was sited in a little house in what is known today as Via del Tritone, opposite the church of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli.[2] In 1604 it was transferred to Via Felice, now called Via delle Quattro Fontane, where a bust[3] of the last of the Stuarts, Henry Cardinal Duke of York can be seen. The college remained there until 1962.[4]

From 1615 to 1773, the Rectors of the Scots College were drawn from the ranks of the Society of Jesus.[5] After the Jesuits were suppressed in 1773 by Clement XIV, by his brief Dominus ac Redemptor, the College was administered by a series of Italian clerics until 1800 and the arrival of Paul MacPherson, a Scot, who served as Rector for 38 years.[6] Since then the Rectors have all been drawn from the ranks of Scotland's secular clergy.

The other long serving Rector of the College, who also served for 38 years was Rt Rev. Msgr William Canon Clapperton (1886-1969) who served as Rector from 1922-1960. After his retirement he remained in Rome as canon of St John Lateran and is buried in the college plot at the Campo Verano cemetery in Rome.

The College moved to its current location on the Via Cassia some 4 miles from the city centre in 1962. The new College was designed by Renato Costa and was officially opened by Pope Paul VI on 18 November 1964. Seminarians at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome spend their first two years studying Philosophy at the Angelicum. After completion of Philosophy, and depending on their fluency in Italian, they take up the study of theology either at the Pontifical Gregorian University or the Angelicum, where theology is also offered in English. Priests taking part in postgraduate theology courses continue to stay at the College.[4] The celebration of the Feast of St. Andrew is a high point of the Scots College year.[7]

The chapel of the college houses the original tombstone of King James III and VIII.[8]

On 14 April 2016, the community of the Scots College were granted a private audience with Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace to mark the 400th anniversary of its becoming a seminary.[9] In 2017, seminarians from the college were invited to serve at the Easter Vigil at St. Peter's Basilica.[10][11]

Notable alumni[edit]

Other seminaries[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Roman Colleges" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ S. Maria di Costantinopoli
  3. ^ McFerran, Neil. "Via delle Quattro Fontane" Jacobite Gazetteer
  4. ^ a b Scots College Rome. "History". Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  5. ^ McCluskey, Raymond (2000). The Scots College Rome 1600-2000. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. ISBN 0 85976 524 5.
  6. ^ McCluskey, p. 169.
  7. ^ Fitzpatrick, Daniel. "Celebrating St. Andrew, Scotland in Rome", Foreign and commonwealth Office
  8. ^ McFerran, Neil. "Pontificio Collegio Scozzese", A Jacobite Gazetteer - Rome
  9. ^ "Pope Francis to Scots College: be courageous, merciful priests". Vatican Radio. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Scots College Seminarians to Serve at Papal Easter Vigil", Diocese of Dunkeld, April 3, 2017
  11. ^ Black, Ryan. "A Scotsman in Rome", 5 June 2017
  12. ^ Canon MacWilliam, Alexander (1970). "FR. ROLFE AND THE SCOTS COLLEGE, ROME". Innes Review. 21: 124–139. doi:10.3366/inr.1970.21.2.124.
  13. ^ Nichols, Aidan. The Latin Clerk: The Life, Work, and Travels of Adrian Fortescue, Casemate Publishers, 2011, ISBN 9780718892746
  14. ^ "Tambien la Lluvia"
  15. ^ Press Statement by the Scottish Catholic Media Office retrieved 28 February 2015

Further reading[edit]

  • Abbe Paul Macpherson, History of the Scots College, Rome, 1600-1792, John S. Burns, 1961

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°57′27″N 12°27′25″E / 41.95750°N 12.45694°E / 41.95750; 12.45694