Macdonald, Hugh (1701-1773) (DNB00)


MACDONALD, HUGH (1701–1773), Scottish catholic prelate, son of the laird of Morar, Inverness-shire, born in 1701, after completing his studies in the seminary of Scalan, was ordained priest in 1726 by Bishop James Gordon (1664–1746) [q.v.] When in 1727 Bishop Gordon, with Pope Benedict XIII's assent, divided Scotland, hitherto one episcopate, into two districts or vicariates [see Gordon, James, 1664–1746], Macdonald was nominated to the vicariate of the highland district, and to the see of Diana in Numidia, in partibus infidelium (12 Feb. 1730–1), and he was consecrated in Edinburgh, 18 Oct. 1731, by Bishop Gordon, assisted by Bishop Wallace and a priest. In the briefs Clement XII caused a clause to be inserted empowering Macdonald and Gordon to define the limits of their respective jurisdictions. The partition was accordingly arranged in October 1731, and it was approved by Propaganda in a congregation held 7 Jan. 1731-2.

When Prince Charles Stuart arrived on the western coast of Scotland, near Borrodale, in July 1745, the bishop hastened to him, and vainly urged him to return to France. On 19 Aug. the prince's royal standard was blessed by the bishop, and displayed in Glenfinnan, a part of Moidart belonging to Macdonald of Glenaladale. After the rebellion the bishop escaped to Paris, and obtained from the crown of France a pension, which he enjoyed until his death, under the name of Marolle. He returned to Scotland in 1749, and being betrayed by a namesake, he was apprehended at Edinburgh in July 1755. On his trial in March 1756 he was found guilty of being a popish priest, and condemned to perpetual banishment, but by connivance of the authorities this sentence was not enforced. He died in Glengarry on 12 March 1773.

[London and Dublin Weekly Orthodox Journal, 1837, iv. 83; Catholic Directory. 1892, pp. 60, 61; Stothert's Catholic Mission in Scotland. pp. 7, 30, 105; Brady's Episcopal Succession. iii. 465, 466.]

T. C.