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A.D. 795 to 1260
Viking Raiders
Turmoil and Trouble
The Alban Kings
Tanistry
More Strife
MacBeth
Reformation of the Church
Donald III
11th Century Scotland
12th Century Scotland
13th Century Scotland
Alexander III
Battle of Largs
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Beginning to A.D. 350
A.D. 350 to 794
A.D. 1260 to


The Reformation of the Church

The Church in Scotland in the Eleventh Century was certainly ripe for reformation. In many ways its organisation/power/control was based on the tribal society from which it had emerged. The local chiefs/magnates were lay Abbots who collected church revenues and delegated the religious functions to the appointed priests.

Clerics were free to marry (as they still are in the Church of Scotland) and religious observance appears to, at best, have been casual.

Many of the clerics had no knowledge of Latin and the services would have been conducted in Gaelic. Since the religious reforms of Whitby in A.D. 664, the priests had observed Easter in accordance with the rest of the Christian world. However, one difference remained in that they didn't celebrate Mass on Easter Day.

The actual role that the Monarch (Malcolm) took in church affairs is unclear. However, he was clearly influential as some Monarchs made widespread changes to services and observance. As an example Malcolm arranged to have Gaelic banned from church services and introduced the Latin services.

Gaelic however, continued to be the National language. The upper classes spoke Gaelic although they may also have used Anglo-Saxon and increasingly Norman French when dealing with Southern Britain. This increased trade and other dealings with the south increased the idea of the multi lingual society. Bear in mind, that the Alba of the time had settlers from Norway, Native Scots, Latin and Anglo-Saxon.

In addition to the church changing so was the royal court. Queen Margaret did not speak Gaelic and it was known that she disliked the informality of the ceremony adopted at court. Luxury and formal ceremony was introduced and this desire for luxury pervaded society from the courtiers downwards. Scotland was moving towards a degree of political stability and that, in turn, stimulated commerce and trade.

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