Paris - Scots College
The Scots College (Collège des Écossais), located at 65 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, was for centuries the centre of Scottish Catholic life in Paris. Until 1793 the College was part of the University of Paris. Today it is the home of the Association Franco-Ecossaise.
In the main stairwell, one flight up from the ground floor, hangs a portrait of King James III and VIII by Alexis-Simon Belle. 1 The painting was commissioned for the college in August 1703. It is a full-length portrait in which James wears armour and the sash of the Order of the Garter. He is standing on a shoreline and pointing across the water on which there are several ships sailing towards the cliffs of Dover. Behind James is a page dressed in Polish costume. According to Jane Margaret Strickland, the page is Roger Strickland (son of Robert Strickland, Vice Chamberlain to Queen Mary Beatrice); Roger was made Page of Honour, October 30, 1701, and Groom of the Bedchamber, November 29, 1706. 2 The portrait of James was the model for a 1724 portrait by Belle of Louis, Duke of Orléans, now at Schloss Rastatt.3
The chapel of the college is on the second floor. The entrance is immediately to the left of the portrait of King James III and VIII.
Over the altar of the chapel hangs a painting of the Crucifixion of Saint Andrew. In the background can be seen three ships flying red ensigns.
The chapel contains a number of funerary monuments of Jacobite interest; while the monuments are still in good condition, almost all the remains of the deceased were lost during the French Revolution.
Among the monuments of Jacobite interest are those to:
King James II and VII left instructions that at his death his brain should be preserved at the college. In 1703, James Drummond, Duke of Perth, erected a monument to house these remains on the left side of the chapel immediately across from the main entrance (no. 1 on the floorplan). The monument is of grey, black and white marble. Above a plinth stands a sarcophagus with the royal arms. Atop the sarcophagus is an obelisk on which formerly rested a gilt bronze urn which contained James' brain; the urn was lost during the French Revolution.
The plinth has a Latin inscription: 4
In 1883 workmen laying a pipe under the floor of the college discovered two lead cases one of which contained what appeared to be a human brain. The case was given to Monsignor Rogerson who died the following year. The executor of his estate, a British solicitor in Paris, had custody of the case until it was claimed by the Abbé Jouannin of St. Sulpice Seminary. In 1889 J.G. Alger wrote that, "a Scotch Catholic prelate has interested himself in the matter, and the relic will probably be reinstated at the college under an inscribed slab." 5 In 2001 Edward Corp wrote that, "it has never been heard of again." 6
In the floor immediately in front of the monument to King James II and VII is a stone slab with a Latin inscription recording this as the site where the entrails of Queen Mary Beatrice were laid (no. 2 on the floorplan): 7
In the floor immediately in front of the inscription to Queen Mary Beatrice is a diamond-shaped stone slab with a Latin inscription recording this as the site where the entrails of Princess Louise Marie (daughter of King James II and VII and Queen Mary Beatrice) were laid (no. 3 on the floorplan): 8
In addition to the monuments to the Royal Family, there are also several monuments to members of their court, most of which are set into the floor.
To the left of the memorial to Queen Mary Beatrice is a square stone marking the spot where the heart of Mary, Duchess of Perth, formerly lay (no. 4 on the floorplan). This lady was the daughter of the third Marquess of Huntly and the third wife of the 1st Duke of Perth; she served as a Lady of the Bedchamber in Ordinary to Queen Mary Beatrice. 9 The memorial stone is incised with tears which surround the outline of a heart, within which is a Latin inscription: 10
Next to the back wall of the chapel and immediately to the left of the memorial to the Duchess of Perth and is a stone marking the site of the burial of her husband, James Drummond, 1st Duke of Perth (no. 6 on the floorplan). He served as Governor to the Prince of Wales (later King James III and VIII), as Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and finally as Chamberlain to Queen Mary Beatrice. 11 The memorial stone has a Latin inscription: 12
To the left of the memorial to the 1st Duke of Perth and at the centre of the back wall of the chapel is a diamond-shaped memorial stone to Dr. Andrew Hay (no. 7 on the floorplan). This man was the son of Sir John Hay, of Barra and Lauds, Lord Clerk Register under King Charles I, and of his second wife Rebecca Thomson. He was a Catholic priest, and suffered terribly during the anti-Catholic riots in London in 1688. Eventually he retired to the Scots College. 13 The memorial stone has a Latin inscription: 14
On the wall behind the memorial to Father Hay is a memorial stone to Frances, Duchess of Tyrconnell. She was the daughter of Richard Jennings and of Frances Thornhurst, the sister of Sarah, Lady Churchill (called "Duchess of Marlborough"), and the second wife of Richard Talbot, Duke of Tyrconnell. She was a Maid of Honour to Queen Catherine, wife of King Charles II, and after 1691 a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Mary Beatrice. She died in Dublin and is buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral. 15 The memorial stone has a frame ornamented with burning lamps and a Latin inscription: 16
On the floor to the left of the memorial to Father Hay is a stone marking the site of the burial of James Drummond, 2nd Duke of Perth (no. 5 on the floorplan). He served as Master of the Horse to King James III and VIII. 17 The memorial stone has a Latin inscription: 18
Immediately to the left of the main entrance to the chapel is a stone slab to the memory of John Caryll, Lord Caryll of Durford (no. 10 on the floorplan). He was Secretary to Queen Mary Beatrice and later Secretary of State. He was buried at the church of the English Benedictines near the tomb of King James II and VII. 19 The memorial stone has a Latin inscription: 20
21 Edward Corp, The King over the Water: Portraits of the Stuarts in Exile after 1689 (Edinburgh: Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 2001), 49 and 106. Alexis-Simon Belle was born in Paris in 1674, and died in the same city in 1734. In spite of the fact that he won the Prix de Rome, he chose not to train at Rome but rather to remain in France. In 1701 he moved to Saint-Germain-en-Laye where he worked for the English and Scottish court. He painted at least ten portraits of King James III and VIII, as well as others of his parents and his sister Princess Louise-Marie. Other portraits of James by Belle can be seen at the Hôtel Charost in Paris, at the Oratorio di San Giuseppe in Urbino, at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome, and in Pesaro.
22 Jane Margaret Strickland, Life of Agnes Strickland (Edinburgh: W. Blackwood, 1887), 121. Cf. Ruvigny, 220 and 222.
23 Cf. http://www.schloss-rastatt.de/index.php?id=1244. Louis stands in an identical pose. The page in a Polish costume has his head tilted in the opposite direction.
1 H. Longueville Jones, "Sepulchral Inscriptions at the Scotch College, Paris", Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica (London: John Bowyer Nichols and Son, 1841), VII, 35.
2 J.G. Alger, "The Posthumous Vicissitudes of James the Second", The Nineteenth Century 25 (January 1889): 108-109.
3 Edward Corp, "The Last Years of James II, 1690-1701", History Today (September 2001): 25.
4 Jones, VII, 35-6. The stone measures 203 cm by 98 cm.
5 Jones, VII, 36. Each side of the stone measures 68.5 cm.
6 Melville de Massue de Ruvigny, The Jacobite Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage & Grants of Honour (Edinburgh: T.C. & E.C. Jack, 1904), 146.
7 Jones, VII, 36. The stone measures 58 cm long by 51 cm.
8 Ruvigny, 146.
9 Jones, VII, 37-38.
10 John Burke and John Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of Engalnd, Ireland, and Scotland, 2nd ed. (London: John Russell Smith, 1844), 625.
11 Jones, VII, 38. Each side of the stone measures 56 cm.
12 Ruvigny, 177.
13 Jones, VII, 38-39. The stone measures 86 cm high.
14 Ruvigny, 146.
15 Jones, VII, 37. The stone measures 222 cm by 136 cm.
16 Ruvigny, 26.
17 Jones, VII, 42. The stone measures 86 cm by 41 cm.
Image 1 (James III and VIII with a page, by Alexis-Simon Belle): postcard, Scots College.
Image 2 (Exterior of the Chapel): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 3 (Interior of the Chapel): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 4 (Detail of Ships in the Crucifixion of Saint Andrew): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 5 (Floorplan of the Chapel): Jones.
Image 6 (Engraving of the monument to King James II and VII as it looked before the French Revolution): engraving by J. Mynde.
Image 7 (Monument to James II and VII today): Jebulon, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tomb_Brain_James_II_England_VII_Scotland_Scots_college_Paris.jpg.
Image 8 (Inscription on the Monument to James II and VII): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 9 (Monument to Queen Mary Beatrice): Jebulon, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Viscera_tomb_of_Mary_of_Modena%2C_coll%C3%A8ge_des_Ecossais_chapel_in_Paris.jpg.
Image 10 (Monument to Princess Louise): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 11 (Monument to Mary, Duchess of Perth): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 12 (Monument to James, Duke of Perth): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 13 (Monument to Father Andrew Hay): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
Image 14 (Monument to Frances, Duchess of Tyrconnell): © Noel S. McFerran 2019.
This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (email@example.com) and was last updated June 9, 2021.
© Noel S. McFerran 2007-2021.