St. Andrew and Anderson


Clan Siol Andreas: the race of Andrew/Anrias.

The cult of St Andrew came to the east of Scotland from Europe in the 9th century (c.834 AD). It was distinct from the early Celtic church, which came from Ireland, and the traditions of the different groups of peoples who had lived there in earlier centuries.

The cult soon became well established, and many people went on pilgrimages to St Andrews, its centre. Pilgrims believed that the relics of St Andrew had been brought there by St Rule (a.k.a Saint Regulus). According to legend, St Andrew, one of Christ’s disciples, was crucified on an X-shaped cross.

According to the various accounts Regulus was either shipwrecked or told by an angel to stop intentionally on the shores of Fife at the spot called Kilrymont, a Pictish settlement which is now St. Andrews. Here he was welcomed by a Pictish king, Óengus I (fl. 732-761, mac Fergus-the-Tall). Regulus is claimed to have brought three fingers of the saint’s right hand, the upper bone of an arm, one kneecap, and one of his teeth.

By the early 14th century, St Andrew was recognised as ‘patron and protector’ of the Scots, replacing St Columba. His symbol, the Saltire, was adopted as the national emblem. It was carried at the field of Bannockburn in 1314 along with the Brec Bennoch of St Columba, which has in the past been associated with the Monymusk reliquary, also in the National Museum of Scotland.

Images of St Andrew are also found in the Jacobite collection, in particular on the badges of the Order of the Thistle, the greatest Order of Chivalry in Scotland. The Order was established by James VII and II in 1687, to reward Scottish peers who supported his political and religious aims. After his exile to France, the deposed King continued to use it to encourage loyalty among his supporters. The Order continues today […] Bonnie Prince Charlie was keen to emphasise his Scottish roots to encourage support, dressing in tartan during his ill-fated time in Scotland, which ended with his defeat at the Battle of Culloden.

For centuries the Saltire has been used as a symbol of the Scottish people, and it continues to represent the nation today – on earth and in space! His flag was flown at Holyrood and then taken on space shuttle mission STS-116 to the International Space Station by astronaut Nick Patrick, whose mother came from Skye.

“ST ANDREW and the SALTIRE.” National Museums of Scotland. [https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore-our-collections/stories/scottish-history-and-archaeology/st-andrew-and-the-saltire/]. 2019. web.

“Ancient North Scotland.” The Highland Monthly – Volume 2. Edinburgh: JOHN MENZIES & CO. c.1890-91. p.546. Print.

“The Duan Albanach (Song of the Scots) .” the Lebor Bretnach. Nennius. Trans, William F Skene. Chronicles Of The Picts – Chronicles Of The Scots And Other Early Memorials Of Scottish History. H.M. General Register House, Edinburgh. 1867. Print.