St Giles' was only a
in its formal sense (i.e. the seat of a bishop) for two periods during the 17th century (1635–1638 and 1661–1689), when
, backed by the
, briefly gained ascendancy within the Kirk (see
). In the
, prior to the
, Edinburgh had no cathedral as it was under the jurisdiction of the
, whose episcopal seat was
. For most of its post-Reformation history the Church of Scotland has not had
, or cathedrals. As such, the use of the term cathedral today carries no practical meaning. The "
" title is older, being attested well before the building's brief period as a cathedral.