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Seal of Bishop Jocelin

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Seal of Bishop Jocelin

Seal and signet of Bishop Jocelin.

Previously abbot of Melrose, Jocelin was consecrated as Bishop of Glasgow in 1175. He was active in promoting the prosperity of the area, starting by obtaining a charter from King William making Glasgow a Burgh of Barony, or Bishop's Burgh. Regular communication with successive popes raised Scotland's profile in Rome. In 1179 King William's charter was confirmed by the Pope, and the burgh taken under Papal protection.

Bishop Jocelin is best remembered for overseeing the reconstruction of Glasgow Cathedral, which had been destroyed by fire. He set about collecting funds and commissioned a monk, Jocelin of Furness, to write a biography of St Kentigern (or Mungo) in order to generate enthusiasm for Glasgow's patron saint and for the task of enlarging his church. The work resulted in a partially completed choir, new nave and transepts. The Cathedral was consecrated in July 1197. An anniversary "dedication feast" was subsequently instituted, a fair of eight days' duration that was the original Glasgow Fair.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 REN

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Bishop's Burgh, bishops, Burgh of Barony, charters, churches, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Fair, popes, saints, seals, signets

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