St Columba. The earliest legend about the Loch Ness monster recorded is the story of St Columba’s encounter with the beast, Nessie.
Guilty for being partly responsible for the death of many men in the Battle of Cul-drebene, St Columba set out to mainland Scotland on a pilgrimage to spread Christianity across the land.
During this time, on his way to visit with the Pictish king in Inverness, he encountered some Picts burying what remained of one of their own people – badly savaged by a creature in the Loch.
The dead mans boat lay on the other side of the water, so Columba ordered one of his followers to swim over and retrieve the boat.
During this the servant was attacked by a creature that reared out of the Loch to attack the swimmer.
Columba (invoking the name of God) commanded the beast to return to whence it came and it vanished beneath the waters of the Loch leaving the swimming man unharmed.
Of course, this “true account” was written almost a century after the events took place and like most Christian legends is open to mis-interpretation and deliberate exaggeration (and is only one of many outlandish “miracles” attributed to the man).