Thursday, 26 November 2009

Autumnal Wanderings - Part 2

Torphichen Preceptory

photo courtesy of pariscub
Torphichen is derived from the Gaelic: torr-fithichean , 'the raven's hill'.

On Saturday 14th November Una Voce Scotland held another in its series of 2009 Autumnal pilgrimages.  A goodly number of members and friends made their way to Torphichen Preceptory, the Scottish seat of the Grand Priory of England of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta  (commonly known as the Knights of Malta). 

Many of the Scottish Knights and Dames attended in the regalia of the Order which added a further welcome dimension to the pilgrimage, attending Mass in a location their confreres would have done daily centuries ago.  They were led by the Grand Prior of England, Frà Fredrik Crichton-Stuart.

A Missa Cantata was offered by Monsignor Boyle, national Chaplain of Una Voce Scotland, and the society's good friend Fr. Emerson FSSP attended in Choir.

St Margaret's Banner leads the procession with Una Voce Schola seen in background 

Kneeling in Adoration

A Group Photo
In the centre from left to right - Mgr Boyle, Fr Emerson, Frà Fredrik Crichton-Stuart

The Knights of Malta have a somewhat potted history in Scotland.  Although Scotland was, by Papal Bull, regarded as having an independent hierarchy in the Roman Catholic Church, (much to the chagrin of the English Archbishops of York who always claimed fiefdom), the Knights of Malta did not confer Scotland the same autonomous status and kept in under the English Langue.  They backed, and died in battle, for the English in the Scottish wars of Independence and left (banished?) after the English defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn, returning later having made peace with Robert the Bruce. During the reformation the last Preceptor, Sir James Sandilands, sold the property of the Knights to the Scottish Crown then bought it back on a personal basis in the process adding further to his existing titles; that of Lord Torphichen.

Once again Una Voce Scotland was very fortunate to have the pilgrimage recorded on video and a DVD will hopefully be on sale in the near future. A good Christmas present for someone perhaps?

To see more photographs from this set click HERE


  1. Very interesting post Benedict. I confess that I know very little of the Knights of Malta, no doubt I can find out more about them on the website - which I will certainly do. Thanks again.

  2. umblepie,

    Thank you for your comment. I do hope you have had time for further research concerning the Knights as they do some wonderful charitable work around the world.