Hugh de Brechin: The Amorous Priest

Hugh de Brechin: The Amorous Priest Not all clerics brought honour and respect to their positions. Hugh Henrici, also known as Hugh de Brechin, had held important positions within the diocese of St. Andrews and that of Brechin but had been excommunicated by the Pope c1430 because of his 'incontinence and of publicly keeping a concubine…' and 'for not obeying a warning to put away the woman….' He quickly moved to redeem himself by sending away the woman and in a supplication to the Pope it was recorded that he 'grieves from his heart for his excesses.' Breaching their vows of celibacy was not uncommon among churchmen in the middle ages - Cardinal David Beaton in the 16th century was known to have had several children - but what seemed to concern the church was the public display of such affairs. Hugh seems to have shown no contrition until his income from his positions within the church at Brechin (£10 sterling annually) and at Forden (Fordoun) (£20 sterling) was stopped. Luckily for him, the Pope re-instated him so that he was again in receipt of income from the prebends. Possibly, his love life continued in a rather more surreptitious manner!

With the coming of the Reformation, Brechin's importance as centre of religion gradually diminished as the church transferred allegiance from Rome to follow the protestant faith swinging between Episcopalianism and Presbyterianism.

© Copyright Brian Mitchell 2000

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The Battle of Mons Graupius.
Centre of Religion
Hugh de Brechin: The Amorous Priest
Royal Connection: Henry de Brechin
Battle of Stracathro
Brechin and the Scottish Wars of Independence
Sir Thomas Maule: Hero of the Castle
Treason at Brechin
Walter Stewart, Lord of Brechin