CULDEES, koordez, members of an order of monks or an imitation of such an order, in the British Isles and particularly in Gaelic land, of which mention begins to occur in mediaeval annals and other writings in the 1 lth century. The name Culdee, in the Scottish Cuilteach, believed to be equivalent to gille-De in that dialect and to ceile-De in the Gaelic of Ireland, is by some philologists derived from the Latin Cuitor Del; all three words, Scottish, Irish and Latin, meaning servant, or worshipper, of God. The Culdees seem to have been immediate successors or continuators of the communities of monks established among the Picts and Snots of North Britain and the Western Isles by Irish missionaries in the 6th century. They were attached to cathedral or collegiate churches, living in monastic fashion, but without monastic rule. They gradually de cayed, became indolent, did away with their vows of celibacy, squandered church property and finally disappeared. The most loyal mem
bers were probably absorbed by the larger monastic sects. Some like Dunkeld and Aber nethy were superseded by regular canons; Brechin and Dunblane were extinguished at the introduction of cathedral chapters, Monifieth passed into the hands of laymen. Before the Reformation, Saint Andrew too disappeared. At York was their only English establishment. In Ireland, their seats were • at Clones, Devenish and Scattery Islands. Consult Reeves, (The Culdees' (in Transactions of Royal Irish Academy, Dublin 1864); Lanigan, (Ecclesiastical History of Ireland' (Dublin 1822) ; Innes, C., (Scotland in the Middle Ages' (Edinburgh 1860) ; Skene, W. F., Scot land' (3 vols., Edinburgh 1876-80) ; Beveridge, W., (Makers of the Scottish Church' (New York 1908).