Blackfriars, Perth

Last updated

Coordinates: 56°23′46″N3°25′55″W / 56.396°N 3.432°W / 56.396; -3.432


Church of the Blessed Virgin and Saint Dominic, Perth
Blackfriars monastery perth.jpg
Monastery information
Order Dominican
Establishedc. 1240
Dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Dominic
Diocese Diocese of St Andrews (Deanery of Gowrie)
Founder(s) Alexander II of Scotland
Important associated figures James I of Scotland

The Church of the Friars Preachers of Blessed Virgin and Saint Dominic at Perth, commonly called "Blackfriars", was a mendicant friary of the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church founded in the 13th century at Perth, Scotland. The Dominicans ("Black friars") were said by Walter Bower to have been brought to Scotland in 1230 by King Alexander II of Scotland, while John Spottiswood held that they were brought to Scotland by William de Malveisin, Bishop of St Andrews. [1] Later tradition held that the Perth Dominican friary was founded by King Alexander II. [2]

The Pontifical Offices of St Andrews listed the friary as having been dedicated on 13 May 1240. [3] The earliest surviving grant to the church dates to 31 October 1241. [2] Perth was perhaps the most important royal centre in the Kingdom of Scotland until the reign of King James III of Scotland, and the Dominican friary was frequently used for national church councils and as a residence for the King of the Scots. [4] It was at Blackfriars church that King James I of Scotland was murdered on the night of 20 February 1437, by followers of the Earl of Atholl. [5]

With the growth of Protestantism in Scotland, friaries were targeted by reformers more than any other church institutions, partly because their vitality posed the biggest threat. [6] A Perth mob attacked the church on 14 May 1543, and on 11 May 1559, it and the other religious houses of the city were attacked, looted and put out of order. [7] King James VI of Scotland granted all the property of the church to the burgh of Perth on 9 August 1569, nine years after the Reformation Parliament of 1560. [2]

The monastery's southern wall was found to also be the northern wall of the Fair Maid's House in 2006. [8]

See also


  1. Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 114.
  2. 1 2 3 Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 119.
  3. Anderson, Early Sources, vol. ii, p. 520.
  4. Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 119.; Watt, Medieval Church Councils, pp. 114-5, 134-5, 137-8, 152-3, 148, 164.
  5. Brown, "James I (1394-1437)".
  6. Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community, pp. 86-7, 116-7.
  7. Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 119; Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community, p. 116.
  8. Perth, 21, 23 North Port, Fair Maid's HouseCanmore

Related Research Articles

Elgin Cathedral A historic ruin in Elgin, Moray, north-east Scotland.

Elgin Cathedral is a historic ruin in Elgin, Moray, north-east Scotland. The cathedral—dedicated to the Holy Trinity—was established in 1224 on land granted by King Alexander II outside the burgh of Elgin and close to the River Lossie. It replaced the cathedral at Spynie, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the north, that was served by a small chapter of eight clerics. The new and bigger cathedral was staffed with 18 canons in 1226 and then increased to 23 by 1242. After a damaging fire in 1270, a rebuilding programme greatly enlarged the building. It was unaffected by the Wars of Scottish Independence but again suffered extensive fire damage in 1390 following an attack by Robert III's brother Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, also known as the Wolf of Badenoch. In 1402 the cathedral precinct again suffered an incendiary attack by the followers of the Lord of the Isles. The number of clerics required to staff the cathedral continued to grow, as did the number of craftsmen needed to maintain the buildings and surrounds.

Scottish Reformation Religious and political movement that established the Church of Scotland

The Scottish Reformation was the process by which Scotland broke with the Papacy and developed a predominantly Calvinist national Kirk (church), which was strongly Presbyterian in its outlook. It was part of the wider European Protestant Reformation that took place from the sixteenth century.

The Prior of St Andrews was the head of the property and community of Augustinian canons of St Andrews Cathedral Priory, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It was established by King David I in 1140 with canons from Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire. It is possible that, initially at least, the prior of St Andrews was subordinate to the bishop as abbot, but by the 13th century the canons of St Andrews were given freedom by the bishop to elect their prior. By the end of the 13th century, the abbacy of the native canons was no longer there to challenge the position of the priory, and the native canons themselves had been formed into a collegiate church.

Clement was a 13th-century Dominican friar who was the first member of the Dominican Order in Britain and Ireland to become a bishop. In 1233, he was selected to lead the ailing diocese of Dunblane in Scotland, and faced a struggle to bring the bishopric of Dunblane to financial viability. This involved many negotiations with the powerful religious institutions and secular authorities which had acquired control of the revenue that would normally have been the entitlement of Clement's bishopric. The negotiations proved difficult, forcing Clement to visit the papal court in Rome. While not achieving all of his aims, Clement succeeded in saving the bishopric from relocation to Inchaffray Abbey. He also regained enough revenue to begin work on the new Dunblane Cathedral.

Maurice of Inchaffray

Maurice was a 14th-century Scottish cleric who became Prior of Inchmahome, Abbot of Inchaffray and then Bishop of Dunblane. He was Prior of Inchmahome Priory in Menteith after 1297. He became abbot of Inchaffray Abbey in Strathearn between March 1304 and October 1305. As Abbot of Inchaffray, he held a canonry in the diocese of Dunblane, that is, the precentorship of Dunblane Cathedral. After the death of Nicholas de Balmyle, he was elected to the bishopric of Dunblane. He was consecrated to the see before 23 March 1322, after litigation at the Papal court. King Edward II of England had nominated one Richard de Pontefract to the see, while Roger de Ballinbreich had also been elected by the chapter; both of these men were overlooked by the Pope in Maurice's favour.

Thomas de Buittle [Butil, Butill, Butyll, Butyl, Bucyl] was a Scottish prelate, clerk and papal auditor active in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Probably originating in Galloway, Scotland, Thomas took a university career in canon law in England and France, before taking up service at the court of Avignon Pope Benedict XIII. He obtained a number of benefices in the meantime, including the position of Archdeacon of Galloway, and is the earliest known and probably first provost of the collegiate church of Maybole. The height of his career came however when the Pope provided him to the bishopric of Galloway, a position he held from 1415 until his death sometime between 1420 and 1422.

Thomas Hay was a 15th-century Scottish prelate. A canon of the diocese and cathedral of Aberdeen, on the translation of William Elphinstone from Bishop of Ross to Bishop of Aberdeen, Hay was provided as Elphinstone's successor in Ross, this occurring on 16 May 1483. He was probably the Thomas Hay who held the Aberdeen prebend of Turriff.

The Church of the Friars Preachers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Montrose, commonly called Blackfriars, was a mendicant friary of the Dominican Order founded in the 13th century at Montrose, Scotland. The Chronica Extracta claimed that it was founded by Alan Durward. It was however abandoned at some point in the 14th century. In the early 16th century it was alleged that the house had fallen into disuse because it had been burned during a war, perhaps the Wars of Scottish Independence, and neglected thereafter.

The Church of the Friars Preachers of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Wigtown, commonly called Blackfriars, was a mendicant friary of the Dominican Order founded in the 13th century at Wigtown, Galloway, Scotland. The Chronica Extracta said that it was founded by Dervorguilla of Galloway, who died in 1290.

The Church of the Friars Preachers of St Laurence, Stirling, commonly called Blackfriars, was a mendicant friary of the Dominican Order founded in the 13th century at Stirling, Scotland.

Perth Charterhouse

Perth Charterhouse or Perth Priory, known in Latin as Domus Vallis Virtutis, was a monastic house of Carthusian monks based at Perth, Scotland. It was the only Carthusian house ever to be established in the Kingdom of Scotland, and one of the last non-mendicant houses to be founded in the kingdom. The traditional founding date of the house is 1429. Formal suppression of the house came in 1569, though this was not actualised until 1602.

Trinity College Kirk

Trinity College Kirk was a royal collegiate church in Edinburgh, Scotland. The kirk and its adjacent almshouse, Trinity Hospital, were founded in 1460 by Mary of Gueldres in memory of her husband, King James II who had been killed at the siege of Roxburgh Castle that year. Queen Mary was interred in the church, until her coffin was moved to Holyrood Abbey in 1848.

Church of St Mary on the Rock

The Church of St Mary on the Rock or St Mary's Collegiate Church, was a secular college of priests based on the seaward side of St Andrews Cathedral, St Andrews, just beyond the precinct walls. It is known by a variety of other names, such as St Mary of the Culdees, Kirkheugh and Church of St Mary of Kilrymont.

Perth is a city and former royal burgh in central Scotland. There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times. Finds in and around Perth show that it was occupied by the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who arrived in the area more than 8,000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles followed the introduction of farming from about 4000 BC, and a remarkably well preserved Bronze Age log boat dated to around 1000 BC was found in the mudflats of the River Tay at Carpow to the east of Perth. Carpow was also the site of a Roman legionary fortress.

Blackfriars, St Andrews

Blackfriars is the modern name for the Dominican friary of St Mary which existed in St Andrews, Scotland, in the later Middle Ages. The name is also used for the modern ruins.

St. Marys Priory (Lothian)

St. Mary's Priory, North Berwick, was a monastery of nuns in medieval East Lothian, Scotland. Founded by Donnchad I, Earl of Fife around 1150, the priory lasted for more than four centuries, declining and disappearing after the Scottish Reformation. It had been endowed by the Earls of Carrick as well as the Earls of Fife, but over time lost its dependence on these and came to be controlled by the more locally based Home family, who eventually acquired the priory's lands as a free barony.

Greyfriars was a religious house in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, in the later Middle Ages. The house was Franciscan, of the Observant kind).

Education in Medieval Scotland Overview of education in Medieval Scotland

Education in Medieval Scotland includes all forms of education within the modern borders of Scotland, between the departure of the Romans from Britain in the fifth century, until the establishment of the Renaissance late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century. Few sources on Scottish education survived the Medieval era. In the early Middle Ages, Scotland was an oral society, with verbal rather than literary education. Though there are indications of a Gaelic education system similar to that of Ireland, few details are known. The establishment of Christianity from the sixth century brought Latin to Scotland as a scholarly and written language. Monasteries served as major repositories of knowledge and education, often running schools.

Women in Medieval Scotland

Women in Medieval Scotland includes all aspects of the lives and status of women between the departure of the Romans from North Britain in the fifth century to the introduction of the Renaissance and Reformation in the early sixteenth century. Medieval Scotland was a patriarchal society, but how exactly patriarchy worked in practice is difficult to discern. A large proportion of the women for whom biographical details survive were members of the royal houses of Scotland. Some of these became important figures. There was only one reigning Scottish Queen in this period, the uncrowned and short-lived Margaret, Maid of Norway.