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Bishop Nicolson

In 1694, Scotland was upgraded to a Vicariate Apostolic. Both Prefectures and Vicariates exist in the Church today, usually in mission territories where the Church is young and still getting onto a firm footing before being erected into dioceses. Thomas Nicholson was the first Vicar Apostolic, and the first Bishop to be appointed to Scotland since 1560, described at the time as “a very great man, both in learning and piety”. He divided Scotland into fixed districts with a “missioner” (priest) attached to each one and laid down rules about how they were to go about their work.

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