The Chapel Royal of Scotland was founded by James IV in 1502 and was granted various churches and lands for its maintenance. Following the abolition of Episcopacy in 1688, these revenues reverted to the Crown and were granted to those ministers, usually three, who were appointed Deans of the Chapel Royal.
In 1860 following a recommendation by the Commissioners for the Scottish Universities, the revenue was used to help endow professorships in the faculties of theology in Scottish universities. In 1868, by Royal Grant in favour of the Deans, one third of the revenue was appropriated to the chair of biblical antiquities in the University of Edinburgh and one sixth each to the chairs of divinity at Edinburgh University, divinity and biblical studies at Glasgow University, ecclesiastical history at St Andrews University and divinity and biblical history at Aberdeen University.
The Deanery revenue is derived principally from teinds and, as the stipend is a prior charge, the total amount is subject to reduction by the augmentation of stipends. In 1983 the revenues amounted to around £1,000 per annum.