They were already Christians, and with them came Irish missionaries, who spread the Faith throughout the western parts of the country.
The north was still pagan, and even in the partly Christianized districts there were many relapses and apostasies which called for a stricter system of organization and discipline among the missionaries.
Whilst Columba was labouring among the northern Picts, another apostle was raised up in the person of St.
He died three years later; and less than thirty years afterwards the monastic period of the Scottish Church came to an end, the monks throughout Pictland, most of whom had resisted the adoption of the Roman observance of Easter, being expelled by the Pictish king.
This was in 717, and almost simultaneously with the disappearance of the Columban monks we see the advent to Scotland of the , the anchorite-clerics sprung from those ascetics who had devoted themselves to the service of God in the solitude of separate cells, and had in the course of time formed themselves into communities of anchorites or hermits.
Tertullian, writing at the end of the second, speaks of portions of Britain which the Romans had never reached being; by that time "subject to Christ"; and early Scots historians relate that Pope Victor, about A. He also founded there a famous monastery, whence saints and missionaries went out to preach; not only through the whole south of Scotland, but also in Ireland.
Ninian died probably in 432; and current ecclesiastical tradition points to St.
The term as at present used includes the whole northern portion of the Island of Great Britain, which is divided from England by the Cheviot Hills, the River Tweed, and certain smaller streams.