When in the ninth century the kingdoms of the Picts and Scots merged, there had already been a bond between them in the common Christian faith which both professed. Naturally, in a land of so many people, each one developed its own church, and there were differences of organisation and traditions between them. But England too in the age of the conversion was a land of many peoples; and yet Bede, writing in the eighth century and treating of the history of at least eight ‘kingdoms’, could still write an ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’. For him they were one people in Christ and had one history. So for the Scots, Christianity was to be a unifier, a loyalty that joined Picts and Scots, Celt and Saxon, Briton and in the end Scandinavian, though the last was the most difficult.
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