The Reformed Orders and
King David I
At the end of the 11th century monastic fashions were rapidly changing.
The new reformed orders, like the Augustinians and Benedictines, started
to live in cloistered communities and a stronger chain of command
to the authorities in Rome was being established. Reform gave the
Church a renewed sense of
moral purpose and authority. With this wave of reform
came growing concern over depth of belief and heresy,
and also a strong desire for uniformity across Christendom.
Queen Margaret invited the Benedictines to found a community in
Dunfermline before she died in 1093, but there was considerable
resistance from Gaelic Scotland to what was seen as an outside force
influencing the Scottish Church and kingship. It was Margarets
son, David I, perhaps the most innovative of all the Scottish kings,
who revolutionised the Scottish church, bringing it into the European
David I -
The State-building King
David had been brought up in the excitement surrounding the First
Crusade (1095-99), which offered a new ideal of Christian Knighthood.
His mother, Margaret, had a strong and pious influence on him, and
from his time at the Norman court of Henry I of England he had seen
the Norman fashion of kingship at first hand. When he returned to
Scotland in 1113 to claim his inheritance from his brother, King
Alexander I, he brought with him these new ideas, along with a pack
of Norman followers to aid enforcement.
which would ultimately reshape the Scottish Kingdom, began in
the lands in the south of Scotland - the old ancestral homes of
the Angles and Britons. The latest monastic orders were brought
in: the Augustinians to Jedburgh; the Tironensians to Kelso; the
Cistercians to Melrose; and a new bishopric, complete with a new
cathedral, at Glasgow. After David became King of Scotland in 1124,
the reformed orders went on to establish themselves in Scone, St
Andrews, Cambuskenneth, Holyrood and the royal centre at Dunfermline.
estates by the monarchy, these new institutions gave
renewed impetus to the economy and increased trade
with Europe. The churches, bishops and abbots formed
the kings closest advisors; the monks formed
bureaucracy which looked after the kings records
Scotlands first systematic, written and recorded
It was a revolution from above as far as the local
populace were concerned,
but it had profound implications for everyday life.
The Church extended its role, establishing Scotlands
parish system and bringing Christianity to the heart
of every community through the local parish priest,
who blessed the crops and tended to the spiritual
needs and fears of the community. Davids revolution
also brought the kings law to the people; at
Roxburgh he established Scotlands first Sheriffdom
for the administration of the kings justice.