Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Roger (d.1202)

ROGER (d. 1202), bishop of St. Andrews, was second son of Robert de Beaumont, third earl of Leicester (d. 1190) [q. v.], by Petronil, daughter of Hugh de Grantmesnil [q. v.], lord high steward of England. The marriage in 1186 of his relative, Ermengarde, daughter of Richard, viscount de Beaumont, with William the Lion, king of Scotland, probably accounts for the description of him as cousin of the king. Craufurd states that Roger was dedicated to the church in his youth, and that his father caused him to pursue his studies for that purpose. Having taken orders, he was made lord high chancellor of Scotland by William the Lion in 1178, and held that office till 1189. For twelve years before that date the possession of the see of St. Andrews had been disputed by two claimants—John and Hugh—who were both described as bishops of St. Andrews. John died in 1187, and Hugh in the following year. Thereupon Roger was elected bishop (13 April 1189) (Chron. de Mailros), but, for some unexplained reason, was not consecrated until 1198. Spotiswood adds that the ceremony was performed by Richard, bishop of Moray, but Hoveden avers that Matthew, bishop of Aberdeen, officiated. It is possible that this delay arose through the oft-asserted claim of the archbishop of York [see Roger of Pont l'Evêque, d. 1181] to supremacy over the Scottish church, a claim which the Scottish king declined to acknowledge; the bull of Clement III declaring the independence of the Scottish church was promulgated in 1188. It has been stated that after his election to the bishopric Roger was made abbot of Melrose. This is not impossible, as Radulfus, the abbot, became bishop of Down in 1189. Between 1199 and 1201 Roger was often in England, and his name is found as witness to many charters by King John. Wyntoun says that the castle of St. Andrews was built by Roger as an episcopal residence in 1200. According to Fordun, Roger's last political act was the reconciliation of the king of Scotland and Harald, earl of Orkney, which he effected at Perth in the spring of 1202. He died at Cambuskenneth on 9 July 1202, and was buried within the chapel of St. Regulus at St. Andrews, beside his predecessors Robert and Arnold. Dempster states that Roger wrote ‘Sermones varios in Ecclesiast.’

[Balfour's Annales, i. 28; Chron. of Melrose, pp. 97, 103, 104; Rog. Hov. in Rolls Ser.; Spotiswood's Hist. of the Church of Scotland, i. 83; Registrum Vetus de Aberbrothock, pp. 6, 23, 101, 102, 103, 104, 141; Registrum Prioratus Sancti Andree, pp. 147, 158; Keith's Cat. of Bishops, p. 9; Lyon's Hist. of St. Andrews, i. 97; Gordon's Scotichronicon, i. 143; Craufurd's Officers of State, p. 10; Anderson's Scottish Nation, iii. 357.]

A. H. M.