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Holy Rood, Abbey of


Former royal monastery of the canons regular, adjoining Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, Scotland. It was founded by david i of Scotland c. 1128. Liberally endowed for the canons regular of st. augustine, it had close associations with the Scottish crown, being frequently used by the Stewarts as a royal residence. There James II was born in 1430 and married Mary of Gueldres in 1449, and there, too, James III and James IV were married in 1469 and 1503 respectively. Sacked and burned by the English in 1544 and 1547, and desecrated by the Reformers in 1559, the abbey fell into ruin, and while its chapel became the reformed parish church of the Canongate, the abbey lands were appropriated and created into a temporal lordship. Restored as a chapel royal by Charles I in 1633, and again by James II, the church was once more sacked in 1688, and later attempts to repair it were abandoned when its roof collapsed in 1768. It is now a ruin.

Bibliography: r. pitcairn, ed. Chronicon coenobii Sanctae Crucis Edinburgensis (Edinburgh 1828). c. innes, ed. Liber cartarum Sancte Crucis (Edinburgh 1840). j. harrison, The History of the Monastery of the Holy Rood (London 1919). d. e. easson, Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland (London 1957) 75.

[l. macfarlane]

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