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The Kingdom of the Scots

Government, church and society from the eleventh to the fourteenth century

G W S Barrow

Edition: 2


This book explores the formative period when Scotland acquired the characteristics that enabled it to enter fully into the comity of medieval Christendom. These included a monarchy of a recognisably continental type, a feudal organisation of aristocratic landholding and military service, national boundaries, and a body of settled law and custom. By the end of the thirteenth century Scotland had a church based on territorial dioceses and parishes, centres of learning including monastic houses representing the main orders of western Europe, and thriving urban communities whose economic power counterbalanced the aristocracy's. How and to what effect these characteristics were acquired are the main subjects of the book.

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About the Author

G. W. S. Barrow was Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography, University of Edinburgh, 1979–92. His books include Feudal Britain (London, 1956); Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland (4th edition, Edinburgh, 2005); The Anglo-Norman Era in Scottish History (Oxford, 1980 – his Ford lectures); Scotland and its Neighbours in the Middle Ages (London, 1992); and The Kingdom of the Scots (2nd edition, Edinburgh, 2003).


An admirable guide to the growth of the Regnum Scotiae.
A feast of learning, clearly expounded by an author with an impressive mastery of documentary and onomastic evidence, a wide-ranging topographical knowledge, and an enviable ability to marry the local, the regional and the general.