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Dunfermline Abbey History

The Abbey has a very long history dating back to 800 AD.

C. 800 AD: Culdee (Celtic) community, build the first Christian Church at Dunfermline.

1066 AD: The Battle of Hastings.

1068 AD: Following The Battle of Hastings, the defeated English royal party with Margaret. (born circa 1045AD) daughter of Edward Atheling, claimant to the English throne, arrive at Dunfermline at the court of Malcolm III.

C. 1070 AD: Malcolm and Margaret are married, possibly at Dunfermline by Fothad the Culdee (Celtic) Bishop of St. Andrews. The marriage produced eight children, six sons and two daughters. Three of their sons Edgar, Alexander I, and David I, became Kings of Scotland.

1072 AD: By invitation from Malcolm and Margaret, Benedictines from Canterbury come to Scotland to found a Priory Church.

1093 AD: Malcolm and Margaret buried at Dunfermline.
1107 AD: Edgar, Son of Malcolm, buried at Dunfermline.

1124 AD: Alexander I (the Fierce) buried at Dunfermline.

C. 1126 AD: Work begins on the Medieval Nave at Dunfermline Abbey.

1150 AD: Priory raised to Abbey status. Abbey church dedicated as Church of the Holy Trinity.

1153 AD: David I, King of Scots, buried at Dunfermline.

1165 AD: Malcolm IV, grandson of David I Buried at Dunfermline.

C. 1250 AD: Monk`s Choir and shrine to St. Margaret added to the Church. Translation of the remains of Malcolm and Margaret to the new shrine.

1275 AD: Margaret, first queen of Alexander III buried at Dunfermline.

1286 AD: Alexander III, buried at Dunfermline. His sons David and Alexander were also buried there.

1297 AD: Battle of Stirling Bridge.

1298 AD: Battle of Falkirk.

1305 AD: William Wallace put to death by King Edward I of England. Wallace´┐Żs mother is said to be buried in the Abbey Churchyard. A thorn tree now bears a plaque to commemorate this.

1306 AD: Robert the Bruce Crowned King at Scone his title was not recognised by the English until 1328, the year before his death.

1314 AD: Battle of Bannockburn.

1327 AD: Elizabeth, Queen of King Robert the Bruce buried at Dunfermline.

1329 AD: Robert the Bruce buried at Dunfermline.

1332 AD: Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray and Regent of Scotland during the reign of the young David II, buried at Dunfermline.

1353 AD: Matilda (or Mathildis) daughter of King Robert the Bruce and Queen Elizabeth buried at Dunfermline.

1401 AD: Annabella Drummond Queen of King Robert III and mother of King James I buried at Dunfermline. A memorial stained glass window with her coat of arms as Queen of Scots is on the south wall of the Medieval Nave.

1420 AD: Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany buried at Dunfermline.

1450 AD: North Porch added to Medieval Nave.

1540-1570 AD: George Durie, Last Benedictine Abbot of Dunfermline. Chancellor of Scotland, Laird of Craigluskar, Archdeacon of St Andrews, and Abbot and Commendator of Dunfermline. The wife of his eldest son was present at the birth of King Charles I at Dunfermline.

1560 AD: From Monks to Ministers, the re-formation of the Church of Scotland. David Fergusson, First Presbyterian Minister of Dunfermline, Latin scholar, Chaplain to King James VI, and twice Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland becomes the first Presbyterian Minister of Dunfermline. Died in 1574.

1580 AD: The administration of the Abbey and its lands and properties throughout Scotland was carried out by a series of lay commendators, the first was Robert Pitcairn who was banished and died in 1584. His memorial stone is on the north wall of the nave.

1587 AD: George Gordon, the 6th Earl of Huntly. The last lay commendator.

1593 AD: The Abbacy was annexed to the crown by James VI.

1600 AD: Charles I Born at Dunfermline. The last king to he born in Scotland.

1602 AD: Wiliam Schaw Master of the King`s Works, Sacrist, and Queen`s Chamberlain. His memorial, gifted by Anne, Queen of James VI, is in the NW corner of the Medieval Nave. He is credited by some as being the originator of modern freemasonry.

1603 AD: Union of The Crowns between Scotland and England, James VI of Scotland became ruler of both Scotland and England.

1616 AD: The Wardlaw Tomb, previously a Stuart (Stewart) burial chamber, was given to the Wardlaw family by Anne, Queen of King James VI.

1661 AD: Episcopacy Restored in Scotland by Proclamation and by Act of Parliament in 1662. All Ministers appointed since 1649 had to apply to the Patron, normally a local landowner, for re-presentation to their position. Those who did not were `outed` in 1663. The Killing Times.

1666-1676 AD: Rev. Wm Pearson. M.A. D.D. episcopally ordained.

1676-78 AD: Rev. Alexander Dunbar. M.A. episcopally ordained.

1678-1686 AD: Rev. Robert Norie. M.A. episcopally ordained.

1690 AD:Restoration of Presbyterian Government in The Church of Scotland.

1701-1704 AD: Rev Hugh Kemp. During his ministry the parish church was occupied half of the time by his episcopal coadjutor, and half by himself.

1707 AD: Union of the Scottish and English Parliaments.

1711 AD: Ralph Erskine M.A. became First Charge Minister of Dunfermline. Was deposed from The Church of Scotland in 1740. He joined the Associate Presbytery of the Original Secession Church founded by his brother Ebeneezer and others in 1733. His burial place with a monument to Ralph Erskine is in the Abbey Churchyard.

1818 AD: Following the collapse of the great tower, work to clear the site prior to rebuilding the church began. Many tombs were uncovered, including that of King Robert 1 (the Bruce) which was opened and his remains examined and measured. The king was re - interred amid great scenes of national fervour.

1821 AD: New church extension to the Medieval Nave, completed and dedicated this section is still used as the Place of Worship Today.

1836-70 AD: Rev. Peter Chalmers M.A. D.D. Joined the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843. He changed his mind and was received back into the Church of Scotland.

1904 AD: The Great East Window (Sacramental Window) with its representation of the Last Supper was installed and dedicated in memory of John and William McLaren.

1914-1918 AD: World War I.

1933 AD: The Malcolm and Margaret Memorial Window, depicting their marriage by Fothad, Culdee Bishop of St Andrews was installed and dedicated.

1939-1945 AD: World War II.

1945 AD: Memorial Chapel dedicated to all who served in two World Wars. The vision of having a Memorial Chapel was that of Rev. Robert Dollar, minister of the Abbey Church.

1974 AD: The Bruce Memorial Window was installed and dedicated in the North Transept, commemorating the 700th anniversary the year of his birth. It depicts Christ and on each side, saints associated with Scotland. It also depicts Bruce with some of his chief men on either side.

1991 - 2011 AD: Rev. Alistair L. Jessamine M.A. B.D. Minister.

2012 AD: Rev. MaryAnn R. Rennie, BD. MTh. appointed Minister.

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