In 1770, a priest from the north-east of Scotland, John Geddes, was sent out to Spain by the Scottish bishops to recover the Scots College, which had been closed after the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767 and whose assets had been taken over by the Irish College in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid.
The story of the struggle for and ultimate recovery of the College, and its move to a new home in Valladolid, was recorded by Geddes himself in 1780, as he left Spain to take up new duties as a bishop in Scotland. In October 2015, his Memoirs were published by the Pontifical University of Salamanca, edited with comments and context by Fr Michael Briody, a former student of the College and a priest of Motherwell Diocese. Fr Briody’s book provides us with a first-hand account of the events of those years, 1770-1780, as well as useful information about how it came about, and how the College came to be in Spain in the first place.
On Wednesday 14th October, the book was formally launched at the Pontifical University, at an event timed to coincide with the visit to Salamanca of the “Ambrosian Society”, the association of former students of the Scots College in Spain. Fr Michael presented the main content of the book and the person of Geddes, while Bp Maurice Taylor, Bishop Emeritus of Galloway and a former Rector of the College described the conditions that brought about the existence of a College in Spain. Welcomed by Canon Archie Brown of Troon, President of the Ambrosians, and concluded by Fr Tom Kilbride, the current Rector, the event was chaired by Fr Jacinto Núñez Regodón, Vice-Rector for Institutional Relations at the University in the presence of a fine turn-out of people.
Below is a link to view a News clip about it (in Spanish with English subtitles).