Owing to the unexplained disappearance of the records of the Bishopric of Ross and the lack of other early sources of information the date and manner of the foundation of the bishopric are equally uncertain. The first known bishop, Macbeth, appears as a witness to a charter granted by David I about the year 1125. Some consider that Macbeth was the last abb of the Culdee Community at Rosemarkie who was translated by the saintly king to the new bishopric. The fact that a century after Macbeth there were still only some half dozen canons, whose status was perhaps little more than nominal, suggest that in Macbeth's time and later the bishopric of Ross existed only in some minimal way. Macbeth is said to have described himself as "bishop of Rosemarkie" - perhaps the interpretation should have been "bishop from Rosemarkie", i.e. a rural bishop who tended to be based at and perhaps lived most of the time within the culdee community at Rosemarkie.

The diocese was poor and often complained its lack of funds. As a consequence, the cathedral was some time in building. We must remember that as well as building the cathedral itself funds had to be found to build manses and provide for the members of the chapter.


Diocese of Ross pages were last updated on: 07 August 2005
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