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Bishop John Geddes (1735-99)

Bishop John Geddes has been mentioned in previous posts. Who was he? He was born in 1735 in the Enzie, the area around Buckie which, in the centuries after the Reformation, remained tenaciously loyal to the Old Religion.

According to his “Autobiographical Notes” he learned to read when he was four; to write when he was six; and he began the study of Latin when he was seven. There was no schooling when he was ten because of “the confusion of the winter”, which could have been a comment on the weather or one of history’s great under-statements because it was the period of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite Uprising. The Geddes family lived about fifty miles from Culloden and were witnesses to the consequences: death, destruction and persecution against the Highlands in general and Catholicism in particular, since, if you were a Catholic, it was assumed that you were also a Jacobite.

To be continued...

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