Aindréas of Caithness


Aindréas of Caithness

Andreas or Aindréas of Caithness († 1184) is the first known bishop of Caithness and a source for the author of "de Situ Albanie". Aindréas was a native Scot, and very likely came from a prominent family in Gowrie, or somewhere in this part of Scotland. He was a prominent landowner in Gowrie, Angus and Fife, and it is likely that he was a brother of one Eógan "of Monorgan", another Gowrie landlord. [G.W.S. Barrow, "David I of Scotland", in "Scotland and its Neighbours in the Middle Ages", (London, 1992), p. 60, & n. 87.] At some stage in his career, he was a monk of Dunfermline Abbey (see below), though it is not known if this was before or during his period as bishop of Caithness.

The date of his accession to the bishopric is unknown, but he was certainly bishop by the year 1146 AD. The latter date is the latest date for Aindréas' first charter appearance (as bishop) in the "notitiae" written on the margins of the "Book of Deer". [John Dowden, "The Bishops of Scotland", ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912), p. 232; Kenneth Jackson, "The Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer: The Osborn Bergin Memorial Lecture 1970", (Cambridge, 1972),p. 80.] It is not known for certain that Aindréas ever visited Caithness, but his successor John certainly did. [Barbara Crawford, "Peter's Pence in Scotland", in G.W.S. Barrow (ed.), "The Scottish Tradition: Essays in Honour of Ronald Gordon Cant", (Edinburgh, 1974), p. 21.] If Aindréas did, he would have been based at Halkirk. It is probably no coincidence that the erection of the Scottish diocese of Caithness, and imposition of a Gaelic bishop, coincided with the introduction of Harald (Aralt), son of the Earl or Mormaer of Atholl Matad, as ruler of the formerly Norse-ruled province.

Bishop Aindréas is a frequent witness to the charters of Kings David I, Máel Coluim IV and William I. [John Dowden, "The Bishops of Scotland", p. 232.] The author of the early 13th century historical tract known as "de Situ Albanie" (En: "On the Place of Scotland") cites Aindréas as a source for his second list of Pictish kingdoms, and describes him as "a trustworthy informant ... a venerable man, bishop of Caithness, by nation a Gael ("nacione Scoctus") and monk of Dunfermline". [Quoted & translated by Dauvit Broun, "The Seven Kingdoms in De Situ Albanie: A Record of Pictish political geography or imaginary Map of ancient Alba?" in E.J. Cowan & R. Andrew McDonald (eds.), "Alba: Celtic Scotland in the Medieval Era", (Edinburgh, 2000, rev. 2005), p. 28.] He died at Dunfermline on December 29, 1184.

Notes

References

* Barrow, G.W.S., "David I of Scotland", in "Scotland and its Neighbours in the Middle Ages", (London, 1992),
* Broun, Dauvit, "The Seven Kingdoms in De Situ Albanie: A Record of Pictish political geography or imaginary Map of ancient Alba?" in E.J. Cowan & R. Andrew McDonald (eds.), "Alba: Celtic Scotland in the Medieval Era", (Edinburgh, 2000, rev. 2005), pp. 24-42
* Crawford, Barbara Elizabeth, "Peter's Pence in Scotland", in G.W.S. Barrow (ed.), "The Scottish Tradition: Essays in Honour of Ronald Gordon Cant", (Edinburgh, 1974), pp. 14-22
* Dowden, John, "The Bishops of Scotland", ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912)
* Jackson, Kenneth H. (ed), "The Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer: The Osborn Bergin Memorial Lecture 1970", (Cambridge, 1972)

External links

* [http://www2.arts.gla.ac.uk/History/Scottish/Level1/level1C-material.htm#Bishops%20North%20of%20the%20Forth Dauvit Broun's list of 12th century Scottish Bishops]


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