The ruins of Fortrose Cathedral on the Black Isle. After the mid-13th century, it was here, rather than the old Pictish centre of nearby Rosemarkie, where the bishop of Ross had his seat (cathedra).
The Bishop of Ross was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Ross, one of Scotland's 13 medieval bishoprics. The first recorded bishop appears in the late 7th century as a witness to Adomnán of Iona's Cáin Adomnáin. The bishopric was based at the settlement of Rosemarkie until the mid-13th century, afterwards being moved to nearby Fortrose and Fortrose Cathedral. As far as the evidence goes, this bishoric was the oldest of all bishoprics north of the Forth, and was perhaps the only Pictish bishopric until the 9th century. Indeed, the Cáin Adomnáin indicates that in the reign of Bruide mac Der Ilei, king of the Picts, the bishop of Rosemarkie was the only significant figure in Pictland other than the king. The bishopric is located conveniently close to the heartland of Fortriu, being just across the water from Moray.
However, in the High and Later Middle Ages, the bishopric was only of medium-to-low status in the Scottish church. The Bishopric's links with Rome ceased to exist after the Scottish Reformation, but continued, saving temporary abolition between 1638 and 1661, under the episcopal Church of Scotland until the Revolution of 1688. Episcopacy in the established church in Scotland was permanently abolished in 1689.
Later named or conflated with St Boniface. He is listed as one of the witnesses in the Cáin Adomnáin, where he is called "Curetan epscop". In the Martyrology of Tallaght he is called "of Ross Mand Bairend" and in the Martyrology of O'Gorman he is styled "bishop and abbot of Ross maic Bairend". It is modern histiography that places this location at Rosemarkie in the Black Isle, Ross.
After the death of Bishop Robert (III.) de Fyvie, both Adam, precentor of Ross, and Thomas de Dundee were elected to the see. "Master Adam" voyaged to Rome resigned his claim in Thomas' favour; became Bishop of Caithness in the following year.
It appears that, although he appears briefly in the sources as "Bishop elect", he never appears to have been consecrated, namely because Avignon Pope Benedict XIII had reserved the see for his own appointment.
Most famous bishop of Ross, because of his work as a historian. He was forfeited on 19 August 1568 (though still acting as bishop in 1573) for his catholic and Marian sympathies by the Scottish church, but had his position reaffirmed by the Papacy. He was rehabilitated as Bishop between March 1587 and May 1589. He was translated as the Bishop of Coutances in 1592. Died 31 May 1596.