Balmerino, Abbey of

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Former cistercian abbey on the south bank of the Tay in Fifeshire, Scotland, in the old Diocese of Saint Andrews. It was founded and richly endowed by King Alexander II and his mother, Queen Ermengarde, c. 1227 and colonized by monks from melrose on Dec. 13, 1229. The abbey was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Edward the Confessor. After it had been sacked and burned by the English under Admiral Wyndham on Dec. 25, 1547, and desecrated by Reformers in 1559, the abbey was erected into a temporal lordship by the royal charters of 1603 and 1607 for Sir James Elphinstone, first Lord Balmerino. Only ruins now remain.

Bibliography: w. b. turnbull, ed., The Chartularies of Balmerino and Lindores (Edinburgh 1841). j. m. canivez, ed., Statuta capitulorum generalium ordinis cisterciensis ab anno 1116 ad annum 1786, 8 v. (Louvain 193341) 2:63. j. wilkie, The Benedictine Monasteries of Northern Fife (Edinburgh 1927). d. e. easson, Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland (London 1957) 62.

[l. macfarlane]