Columbans' Evicted (1128)



Another of Margaret’s sons, David, succeeded to the throne. He was educated in England, living there until he was forty; time enough to be immersed in the Roman rites that were all over the country. It was his life’s ambition to change the religion of Scotland. Though the religion of the age was weak, its ecclesiasticism was powerful, and was every year becoming more so, and David was not the only monarch who was borne along with the current, believing that in addition to the grandeur of Rome he was adding to the power of Christianity.

David added six bishoprics. Many Columban pastors were stripped of all their lands and possessions, which were handed over to the foreign monks who took their place. If they bowed the knee to the new regime they could stay, if not they were often thrown out. An example of this was the monastery at Lochleven.‘In the royal charter now given to the Bishop of St Andrews David declares that "he had given and granted to the Canons of St. Andrews the island of Lochleven, that they might establish canonical order there; and the Keledei (Columbans) who shall be found there, if they consent to live as regulars shall be permitted to remain in society with and subject to the others; but should any of them be disposed to offer resistance, his will and pleasure was that such should be expelled from the island." Many Columban establishments were gradually suppressed, with more or less violence, ending in spoliation and extinction.