St Andrews – An Early Burgh

In the 12th century, the bishop, Robert, and the Augustinian prior, Robert, each vied for the burgh entitlements of St. Andrews. Bishop Robert wanted absolute rights and privileges in a newly created burgh, and he wanted to build a cathedral with an altar dedicated to the apostle Saint Andrew. The bishop also sought continued control of the parish church. The burgh allowed Bishop Robert to recoup some of his financial losses, but the prior’s commercial ambitions presented competition to the bishop’s burgesses. Prior Robert wanted to establish a burgh, for its pecuniary benefits, as well as ringfence the revenues of ecclesiastical lands in East Fife. The Augustinian saw the benefit to his fellow order of having a large religious house, a town burgh, and land.

Iain Stewart – February 12 2024


St Andrews -Hammond, Matthew. “The Bishop, the Prior, and the Founding of the Burgh of St Andrews.” The Innes Review (2015): n. pag. Print.

Image courtesy of Visitscotland.