Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal Updated 21 June 2024 'Update' refers to the whole section update, not to each separate file.
CULLEN, Robert Bailie in Aberdeen
(About 1410-Before 1499)
CULLEN, John Merchant, Provost of Aberdeen
(About 1455-)
(About 1487-)


Family Links

1. Unknown

CULLEN, John 1

  • Born: About 1487
  • Marriage (1): Unknown

   User ID: X366.

  General Notes:

"... he (referring to Sir Robert Binny, a singer, chaplain and collector of the choir in St Nicholas, Aberdeen, who had become blind) had returned by 23 July 1506 when he appeared with his forespeaker, John Cullen. In Mar 1506/7 his forespeaker was Mr John Marschell, who succeeded him at the Holy Blood." (page 195)

from Medieval Burgh Kirk

The altar dedicated to the Holy Blood was also known simply as the Cullen altar, since it was the Cullen family who were its patrons.
Church music was an intrinsic part of prayer and liturgy in the medieval period, though the term "forespeaker" is not in common use. It is probable that the function of the forespeaker, in medieval Latin chant, was not unlike that of a precentor in other religious contexts.
In the Wikipedia article on Gregorian Chant, we are told:

"antiphonal chants are generally performed in responsorial style by a solo cantor alternating with a chorus. This practice appears to have begun in the Middle Ages. Another medieval innovation had the solo cantor sing the opening words of responsorial chants, with the full chorus finishing the end of the opening phrase. This innovation allowed the soloist to fix the pitch of the chant for the chorus and to cue the choral entrance." 1 2

  Research Notes:


This man did exist, but the placing of him in this family is speculative, based on names and dates. If this specific placing is erroneous, it is likely that John Cullen was related to this family in some other close way.

John married.


1 e-books, The Late Medieval Burgh Kirk of St Nicholas Aberdeen by Iain Fraser (PhD Edinburgh 1989) citing numerous sources.

2 Internet Site,

Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal

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