Scottish College, Douai

The Scottish College or Scots College at Douai was a seminary founded in Douai, France, for the training of Scottish Roman Catholic exiles for the priesthood. It was modelled on the similar English College there, founded for the same purpose. It has an unfortunate notoriety in consequence of the long dispute between the Jesuits and the secular clergy which centred round it in later times.


The college was established in 1594, not as a new foundation, but as the continuation of a secular college at Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, which, owing to the unhealthfulness of the site, had to seek a new home. In 1506, however, it moved again, and it was not till after several further migrations that it settled finally at Douai in 1612.

The college was devoid of resources, and it was due to the zealous efforts of Father Parsons in Rome and Madrid, and of Father Creighton in France and Flanders, that numerous benefactions were given, and it was placed on a permanent footing. For this reason, the Jesuits afterwards claimed the property as their own, although it was admitted that in its early years secular clergy had been educated there. Appeals and counter-appeals were made, but the question was still unsettled when the Jesuits were expelled from France in 1764. The French Government, however, recognized the claims of the Scottish secular clergy and allowed them to continue the work of the college under a rector chosen from their own body.

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