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Blackfriars, Perth

Church of the Blessed Virgin and Saint Dominic, Perth
Monastery information
Order Dominican
Established c. 1240
Disestablished 1569
Dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Dominic
Diocese Diocese of St Andrews (Deanery of Gowrie)
Founder(s) Alexander II of Scotland
Important associated figures James I of Scotland

The Church of the Friars Preachers of Blessed Virgin and Saint Dominic at Perth, commonly called "Blackfriars", was a mendicant friary of the Dominican Order founded in the 13th century at Perth, Scotland. The Dominicans ("Black friars") were said by Walter Bower to have been brought to Scotland in 1230 by King Alexander II of Scotland, while John Spottiswood held that they were brought to Scotland by William de Malveisin, Bishop of St Andrews.[1] Later tradition held that the Perth Dominican friary was founded by King Alexander II.[2]

The Pontifical Offices of St Andrews listed the friary as having been dedicated on May 13, 1240.[3] The earliest surviving grant to the church dates to October 31, 1241.[2] Perth was perhaps the most important royal centre in the Kingdom of Scotland until the reign of King James III of Scotland, and the Dominican friary was frequently used for national church councils and as a residence for the King of the Scots.[4] It was at Blackfriars church that King James I of Scotland was murdered on the night of February 20, 1437, by followers of the Earl of Atholl.[5]

With the growth of Protestantism in Scotland, friaries were targeted by reformers more than any other church institutions, partly because their vitality posed the biggest threat.[6] A Perth mob attacked the church on May 14, 1543, and on May 11, 1559, it and the other religious houses of the city were attacked, looted and put out of order.[7] King James VI of Scotland granted all the property of the church to the burgh of Perth on August 9, 1569, nine years after the Reformation Parliament of 1560.[2]


  1. ^ Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 114.
  2. ^ a b c Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 119.
  3. ^ Anderson, Early Sources, vol. ii, p. 520.
  4. ^ Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 119.; Watt, Medieval Church Councils, pp. 114-5, 134-5, 137-8, 152-3, 148, 164.
  5. ^ Brown, "James I (1394-1437)".
  6. ^ Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community, pp. 86-7, 116-7.
  7. ^ Cowan & Easson, Medieval Religious Houses, p. 119; Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community, p. 116.


  • Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History, 2 vols, (Edinburgh, 1922)
  • Brown, M. H., "James I (1394–1437)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 10 November 2007
  • Cowan, Ian B. & Easson, David E., Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland With an Appendix on the Houses in the Isle of Man, Second Edition, (London, 1976)
  • Watt, D. E. R., Medieval Church Councils in Scotland, (Edinburgh, 2000)
  • Wormald, Jenny, Court, Kirk, and Community: Scotland 1470-1625, (Edinburgh, 1981)

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