Paterson, Alexander (DNB00)

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PATERSON, ALEXANDER (1766–1831), Scottish catholic prelate, born at Pathhead in the Enzie, Banffshire, in March 1766, entered the seminary at Scalan at the age of twelve, and was sent in the following year to the Scottish College at Douay, where he remained until 1793, when the institution was dissolved in consequence of the French revolution. On his return he was stationed successively at Tombae in Glenlivet (1793–1812) and Paisley (1812–16), and on 15 Aug. 1816 he was consecrated bishop of Cybistra in partibus, and appointed coadjutor to Bishop Alexander Cameron [q. v.] In 1821 he went to Paris, and succeeded in recovering all the property of the Scottish colleges in France that had not been sold under the revolutionary governments. On the resignation of Bishop Cameron in 1825, Paterson suc- ceeded him as vicar-apostolic of the Lowland district. In 1826 he repaired to Rome in order to procure the appointment of a third bishop for the Scottish mission. In this he also succeeded, for in February 1827 Leo XII decreed the division of Scotland into three districts or vicariates, viz. the eastern, western, and northern, and Paterson became the first vicar-apostolic of the newly created eastern district. Soon after his return he united the two seminaries of Aquhorties and Lismore into one college, established at Blairs, Kincardineshire, on a property made over to him for that purpose by John Menzies (1756–1843) [q. v.] of Pitfodels.

The last three years of Paterson's life he spent chiefly at Edinburgh. He died at Dundee on 30 Oct. 1831, and was buried in his chapel at Edinburgh. His successor in the vicariate was Andrew Carruthers [q. v.]

[Brady's Episcopal Succession, iii. 463, 468; Catholic Directory, 1894, p. 61; Catholic Mag. and Review (Birmingham) 1831–2, i. 714, 784; Gent. Mag. 1831, ii. 476; London and Dublin Orthodox Journal, 1837, iv. 121; Orthodox Journal, iv. 316; Stothert's Catholic Mission in Scotland, p. 460, with portrait.]

T. C.