Hay, Richard Augustine (DNB00)

HAY, RICHARD AUGUSTINE (1661–1736?), Scottish priest and antiquary, born at Edinburgh on 16 Aug. 1661, was second son of Captain George Hay (ninth son of Sir John Hay [q. v.] of Barra, lord clerk register of Scotland), by his wife Jean, daughter of Sir Henry Spotiswood, high sheriff of Dublin, and gentleman of the green cloth. He was baptised in the Tron Church by William Annan, D.D., afterwards dean of Edinburgh; was brought up at Innerleithen, Dysart, and Foord with his cousins, and was afterwards sent to schools at Edinburgh, Dalkeith, and Traquire. His father died when he was about five years old, and his mother soon afterwards married James Sinclair of Rosslyn, ‘from which time he was toss'd up and down till at last he was sent to France about 1673 or 1674, and there thrust into the Scots Colledge.’ He pursued his grammatical course in the college of Navarre at Paris. After four years he withdrew to Chartres, and settled as a pensioner in St. Chéron's abbey of canons regular near that city, where he completed his education in rhetoric. He took the habit of a canon regular at Sainte-Geneviève's at Paris on 25 Aug. 1678, and made his vows on 3 Sept. 1679. He was immediately sent to Saint-Jacques de Provins, where he resided two years, receiving the tonsure and the four minor orders in October 1680. Next he proceeded to Brittany, and studied philosophy and divinity in the abbey of Saint-Pierre de Rillé, near Fougères, where he was ordained subdeacon and deacon in September 1683. He then returned to Chartres to teach the third school, and there he was ordained priest on 22 Sept. 1685. The abbot of Sainte-Geneviève granted him a commission on 7 Sept. 1686 for establishing the canons regular in England and Scotland. He left Paris next day, ‘loanging to sie the smoak of his own countrey.’ Having kissed James II's hands at Windsor, he proceeded to Leith. His efforts to establish his order in Scotland were frustrated by the revolution. He was ordered to leave the kingdom, and the council of state made him give a bond in a thousand marks Scots that he would not go to England or Ireland, nor return to Scotland. He landed at Dunkirk on 5 June (N.S.) 1689, and proceeded to Paris. On 9 Nov. the same year he was made sub-prior of Hérivaux, on 11 Aug. 1692 sub-prior of Essomes, on 1 Aug. 1694 prior of Bernicourt in Champagne, and on 21 Jan. 1694–5 prior of St.-Pierremont-en-Argonne.

At a later date he returned to Scotland, and in 1719, while residing in Edinburgh, issued proposals for printing the ‘Scotichronicon’ of John de Fordun [q. v.] His latter days were embittered by poverty, and he died in the Cowgate, Edinburgh, in 1735 or 1736.

His works are: 1. ‘Descriptio Scotiæ Historico-Geographica,’ 1696, manuscript. 2. A letter in French to the Duke of Perth, dated 4 Sept. 1715, appended to a ‘Reponse de Mathieu Kennedy,’ Paris, 1715, 8vo. 3. ‘Proposals for printing the Chronicle of John Fordun, with the additions and continuation of Walter Bowmaker,’ Edinburgh, 1719. 4. ‘Origine of the Royal Family of the Stewarts; in answer to Dr. Kennedy's … Dissertation,’ &c., with an appendix of charters, Edinburgh, 1722 and 1793, 4to. 5. ‘Vindication of Elizabeth More from being a concubine, and her children from the tache of bastardy, confuting the critical observations of the publisher of the Carta Authentica, and of some other late writers,’ Edinburgh, 1723, 4to; dedicated to President Dalrymple; reprinted in Robert Buchanan's ‘Scotia Rediviva,’ Edinburgh, 1826, 8vo, art. i. 6. ‘Account of the Templars’ [Edinburgh, 1830?], 4to, from the original manuscript in the Advocates' Library. 7. ‘Genealogie of the Hayes of Tweeddale, including Memoirs of his own Times,’ Edinburgh, 1835, 4to. Only 108 small-paper and twelve large-paper copies privately printed. 8. ‘Genealogie of the Sainteclaires of Rosslyn, including the Chartulary of Rosslyn,’ Edinburgh (privately printed), 1835, 4to.

Most of his manuscripts were purchased by the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh, and are now preserved in their library. A list of them is given in the ‘Genealogie of the Hayes of Tweeddale.’ They include ‘Hay's Memoirs, or a Collection of several things relating to the historical account of the most famed families of Scotland,’ 3 vols.; and ‘Diplomatum veterum collectio,’ 3 vols., documents relating to the history of Scotland.

[Michel's Les Écossais en France, ii. 302 n., 303, 359; Cat. of the Advocates' Library, iii. 688; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. iii. 302, 303; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), p. 1016; Nicolson's Scotish Historical Library, 1776, p. 27; Gough's British Topography, ii. 611, 681.]

T. C.