Dunfermline, Abbey of

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Former Benedictine abbey in Fife, Scotland, in the old Diocese of Saint Andrews. Founded by Queen mar garet c. 1074 and richly endowed by her and her two sons, Alexander I and david i, it became the wealthiest and most renowned abbey in Scotland. It was colonized from Christ Church, Canterbury, before 1089, and again in 1128 when the prior of the English primatial church was appointed first abbot of Dunfermline. The abbey was dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1150, although it was also known as Christ Church. The abbey contains the royal sepulchers of Margaret and her family and a number of later Scottish kings. It had three dependent prioriesColdingham, Urquhart, and pluscardenin 1560 when it was desecrated by Reformers and its numerous properties were confiscated. The abbey church is still in use.

Bibliography: Edinburgh, Bannatyne Club, Registrum de Dunfermelyn, c. innes, ed. (Edinburgh 1842). j. m. webster and a. a. m. duncan, Regality of D. Court Book, 15311538 (Dunferm-line 1953). d. e. easson, Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland (London 1957) 51. g. w. s. barrow, "Scottish Rulers and the Religious Orders 10701153," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, ser. 5, 3 (1953) 77100; "From Queen Margaret to David I: Benedictines and Tironians," Innes Review, 11 (1960) 2238.

[l. macfarlane]