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Title: Apostolic poverty at the ends of the earth : the Observant Franciscans in Scotland, c.1457-1560
Author: Strauch, Christina Arja
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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The Observant Franciscan Order was, with the exception of the Carthusians and their single house established at Perth by James I in 1429, the last religious order with late-medieval origins to found houses in Scotland before the Reformation. Most likely invited to come to Scotland in the 1450s by Mary of Gueldres, the Dutch wife of James II of Scotland, they were to found nine houses by the first decade of the sixteenth century. Unlike elsewhere in Europe, the Observants in Scotland never supplanted their Conventual brethren. In addition there is little evidence that the two branches of the Franciscan Order in Scotland were in competition with each other: there were no attempts by their respective Scottish patrons to reform any of the existing Conventual houses to the Observance. The Observants settled in Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Ayr, Elgin, Stirling, Perth and Jedburgh, which put them in six royal burghs, two important ecclesiastical burghs as well as all three of the Scottish pre-Reformation University centres. With the exception of Glasgow and Ayr they were all east coast burghs or on the east-facing river systems, most of which had well-established trade links with the Low Countries, Flanders and Northern Germany. It has always been assumed that the Observants occupied an influential role at court but this influence appears to be tied to certain locations. An investigation into patterns of royal patronage suggests it was most prominent in those royal burghs where the Observant house had most likely been a royal foundation. Overall, the thesis aims to shed some light on the role played by the Observants in later-medieval Scotland; how they were perceived by their contemporaries; and what actual influence they had both at court and within the burgh community. In so doing, it also aims to dispel some of the myths that surround them: myths very often based on conjecture due to a dearth of primary sources, which often put the Observants in a better light than they might have deserved.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available