Tuesday, May 06, 2008


NEWS.scotsman.com has been covering the Bishop's of Scotland's decision to move the Scottish Catholic Archives:

Scotland's Roman Catholic bishops have agreed the oldest material in the Scottish Catholic Archives, based at Drummond Place in the New Town, should be given on long-term loan to Aberdeen University. It is understood the rest of the archive is likely to be transferred to Glasgow. Now a petition has been launched in a bid to persuade the bishops to rethink the plan and keep the material together in Edinburgh.

The archives – which hold records dating back to 1177AD – hit the headlines a few weeks ago when a man admitted impersonating a post-graduate history student to gain access to the premises and stealing 288 items worth £26,400. Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard Oliver Fallon, of Coombe Lane, London, ripped out pages and hid documents inside his notebook, which he then smuggled out at the end of the day.

The Catholic church's heritage commission is expected to announce the loan of material to Aberdeen soon, although premises to house the archive there will not be built until at least 2012.

Read it here...

Historians are upset:

OVER the past ten years or so, I have been a regular user of the Scottish Catholic Archives at Drummond Place and a frequent depositor of archival material, researching the history of the Scotland as it was affected by the Catholic community.

At Columba House it is possible, for example, to examine how extreme Protestants disrupted the Eucharistic Congress at Edinburgh in 1935 and how the people of the city reacted....

How could the SCHC [Scottish Catholic Heritage Commission] who, I understood, always valued and supported the work of Columba House, get it so wrong? Had they forgotten what happened fifty years ago when four men – Mgr David McRoberts (born in Wishaw), Fr William Anderson (Glasgow), Dr Lesley McFarlane (Aberdeen) and Dr John Durkan (Glasgow), all eminent historians and members of the Scottish Catholic Historical Association, made a hard-headed decision, based not on sentiment but on logic, to move the Catholic Archives from Aberdeen to Edinburgh as being the place where they had to be located for the SCA would now be within walking distance of the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish Record Office and the National Archives of Scotland and could create fruitful partnerships with these bodies.

Read this one here...

It appears that the theft actually took place and one wonders what the thief got:

THE documents, stained with the patina of time, evoked incense, candlewax and monks in dark cowels. Sitting on a table at the Scottish Catholic Archives was the forgotten history of the Catholic Church, as well as a pay-day for an opportunistic thief, Oliver Fallon, who impersonated a postgraduate history student to gain access to the Scottish Catholic Archives (SCA), yesterday admitted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court stealing 288 items worth £26,400.

The thief, who had launched similar raids on rare documents at other archives, made five visits in July 2006 to the centre which is based in Drummond Place, Edinburgh, and holds records dating back to 1177.

After requesting access to a range of documents, which were then brought into the reading room, Fallon ripped out pages and hid documents inside his notebook, which he then smuggled out at the end of the day.

Here is this article...

The oldest notation I found on this theft appeared in the Edinburg Evening News roundup of stories dated April 3.

It appears the decision to move the archives--what one would assume is a major decision--was made rather quickly.

It is also curious that a building to house them at Aberdeen University will not be built until 2012. 2012 is a significant date in many prophecy websites for a variety of reasons.

Will the archives be available to scholars in the interim? That has not been made clear. Nor has it been stated what exactly was contained in the pilfered cache.

Given the activities of Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh, I have to wonder if there is more of the same contained in the archives.

What prompts me to wonder is the book WHEN SCOTLAND WAS JEWISH, a look at the history of Judaism in Scotland based on DNA samples and cemetary records. The book poses some very interesting questions and potentially may validate some of the claims made by Masonic scholars. I have not yet finished the book, and that is the reason I haven't blogged any of it.

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