When William Duthie arrived at Scalan as Master in 1741 his was the tenth appointment in the seminary’s twenty-five years to date. Raised an Episcopalian, he had converted to Catholicism while at Aberdeen University, and had studied for the priesthood in Paris. Almost forty when appointed to the College, his term as Master was notable on two counts in particular: his seventeen-year tenure was the longest in Scalan’s history; and it included a three-year period after the building was destroyed by Government troops when he somehow kept it alive without a home.
You will remember that the excerpts you have been reading recently are from Dr. John Watts' book "Scalan: Leaves from the Master's Day Book" and is centred on the time of the rectorship of Rev. William Duthie mentioned above. Copies of this are still available from Fr. Michael Briody, St. Michael's, 133 Glenmanor Avenue, Moodiesburn, G69 0DL. The cost is £5 including postage. Cheques should be written out to "The Scalan Association".
The book is a fiction in the sense that there is no Master's Day Book, but is a diary constructed around known dates and events and attitudes well-attested to in letters and documents of the time. Well worth a read.