top of page

Praying for the King

Catholics were presumed to be Jacobites. As Bishop John Geddes wrote: “The Scottish Catholics were generally desirous of the restoration of the family of the Stuarts to the throne of Britain; nor is this to be wondered at…The Scottish Catholics were discouraged and much exposed to oppression - it was natural for them to hope for an event that was likely to relieve them and put them again in possession of the privileges of free-born citizens.” The Government was not particularly interested in how we worshipped God but they were mightily concerned about our politics, and when Bishop George Hay (in the painting above) eventually instructed Catholics in 1780 to start praying for the King in London rather than the “King over the water” it was a significant step in helping Catholics to emerge from the catacombs and to begin to play a fuller part in Scottish society.

bottom of page