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David de Bernham


c.1200 - 1253

Statesman and clergyman. Born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, at a time when it was part of Scotland, de Bernham was educated at either Oxford or Paris. He began service as a clerk to Bishop William Malvoisin c.1225 and some time thereafter he became Vicar of Haddington. He seems to have been amongst the foremost men of his day, and by 1239 was Chamberlain of King Alexander II (1198 - 1249). The Bishop of Dunkeld had been the choice of both the clergy and laity to become Bishop of St. Andrews but the King appointed de Bernham to the post in the same year. De Bernham went on to consecrate a number of churches, including Ratho, St. John's Kirk (Perth), St. Michael's Parish Church (Linlithgow), St. Fittick's Church (Aberdeen), St. Vigeans Church (Arbroath) and St Serf's Tower (St. Andrews).

He crowned the young King Alexander III (1241-86) at Scone in 1249 and, two years later, went to York to be present at Alexander's marriage to Margaret of England. He was buried within the precincts of the Monastery at Kelso. De Bernham is believed to have kept strict control over the Clergy, especially the monks and others living in religious orders.


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