Aberdeen Collegiate Church

St. Nicholas was a large parish church the rectory of which was assigned to the sixth prebend of the cathedral in 1256 and by the fifteenth century had a considerable body of chaplains. Regulations were made by Ingeram de Lindesay, bishop of Aberdeen (1441-59) which has been regarded as ‘nothing less than the constituting of St. Nicholas’ a collegiate church’ but this is an exaggeration. In 1491, when there were twenty-two chaplains the church was prematurely described as collegiate.

About this time, the number of chaplains was apparently reduced to sixteen. New statutes made on 14th July 1519 contemplate a quasi-collegiate organization; while thirty-four stalls were ordered for the new choir which was evidently completed early in the sixteenth century. But it was not till 28th March 1540 that William Gordon, bishop of Aberdeen, with the consent of the dean and chapter gave the vicarage of St. Nicholas to ‘the College of the Chaplenis of the said Sanct Nicolas Kirk… for sustentatioun of ane provest’, thus completing the collegiate constitution of the church. This provostry was demitted by John Collinson in 1578.

We can see from the above that St Nicholas Collegiate Church was an ecclesiastical not a secular (or family) church like Rosslyn Chapel.

More to follow…


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