1247. - ORGAN. - It would appear that, as early as this period, a large
organ was erected in Dunfermline Abbey, at the junction of the Old Church
with the New Choir, for the daily Abbey service. The organ is, however,
not mentioned in history before 1250, in connection with the ecclesiastical
procession at the "Translation," but then it is introduced to notice as
being in use, and for some time previous, no doubt. (Vide "Translation of
St. Margaret," An. Dunf. date, 1250.)
The above engraving represents the appearance and the working of an organ
of 1240. It is taken from the "Psalter of Edwin" in the Cambridge Library.
Lubkes, in his "Ecclesiastical Art," says that "the organs" of this early
period "were very simple, and the keys were so heavy that they could only
be pressed down by the elbow, or the complete fist;" and Hargreaves, in
his "Miscellania," notes that "the blowing power of the middle-age organs
came out of the eight arms of four strong men," who, when at work kept
pumping away at their levers, &c., as shown in the engraving.
1248. - IN A CHARTER, titled "Quieta clamacio Johannis Gallard de Keeth
Siwin," three of the Monks of Dunfermline Abbey are named as witnesses,
viz., Symon, Richard, and Adam. (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.97, No.170.)
1249. - THE NEW CHOIR NOT TO BE CONSECRATED. - It would appear that
Abbot and Monks of Dunfermline had been requested by the Bishop of the
diocese to consecrate the New Choir. They refused to do so, and appealed
to the Pope. The Pope, in his reply, says, that although the Abbey had
been increased in size by a nobler structure, yet the old consecrated walls
to which the new edifice was united remain in use; therefore, by these
presents, "we declare that, while the old walls so remain, no one can
compel the Abbot," &c., "on this account to consecrate the same church
anew; therefore Non Consecratur." (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.184, No.288.)
THE MIRACLES ATTRIBUTED TO QUEEN MARGARET "were proven," and she
consequently Canonized. The case had been committed to the charge of a
Cardinal, who corresponded with the Bishop of St. Andrews regarding the
matter, and from their testimony he (the Pope) is satisfied that the
miracles attributed to the blessed Margaret were genuine, and he therefore
conceded the request to enrol her name in the Catalogue of the Saints.
Dated "Lug'd. 15 Oct., and in the 6th year of our pontificate," 1249. (Vide
Print. Regist. Dunf. p.185, No. 290.) This Bull or Writ is addressed to
"my sons the Abbot and Conventual brethren at Dunfermline."
It is likely that the Bishop of St. Andrews, at least, would repair
Dunfermline to investigate this "coruscating miracle" case, the brilliant
light-flashes coming from her remains up the ground, or from her tomb. It
is to be regretted that there is no record of the Bishop's investigation.
It would have been curious to have known by what process of seeing and
reasoning he came to the conclusion, that the bright light-flashing
miracles were "genuine productions." Is it likely that the chemist or the
necromancer of the years 1243-1249 could have produced on demand the
appearances reported to have been seen at the "blessed Margaret's" tomb?
These bright light-flashes were never heard of before the time of this the
first Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, and no allusion is ever made to them after
he ceased to be Abbot - perhaps it would become unnecessary to repeat the
miracles now, since the object for which they had done duty had been
attained: viz., for the canonized saint; and lastly, the certain prospect,
for ages to come, of an ever-flowing-in of money into the Abbey exchequer,
from the crowds of devotees who would ever and anon come from far and near
to pay their adorations at her shrine." Regarding St. Margaret's Miracles,
see Appendix F.
"SAINTE MARGARETE" having been canonized, and enrolled among the saints
the Papal Roll, she henceforth has the designation of "Saint Margaret"; in
old writings, "Saynt Margerete," "St. Margaret," &c.
THE OFFICE OF LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF SCOTLAND conferred on the Lord
INDULGENCE OF TEN DAYS TO VISITORS AT ST. MARGARET'S SHRINE. - In the
Registrum de Dunfermlyn, there is a copy of a Bull of Pope Innocent IV.,
titled "DE indulgencia xi dierum," or "a free indulgence of 40 days to all
the faithful who visited the Shrine of St. Margaret." (Print. Regist. Dunf.
pp.185,186.) Dated "Lugdun, xj October, Pontificate anno vij" (1249).
THE NEW CHOIR NOT TO BE DEDICATED. - The Abbot and Conventual Brethren
the Abbey had, by writ, applied to Pope Innocent IV. for liberty to
dedicate the New Choir (probably to St. Margaret). The Pope, in his reply,
declares it to be quite unnecessary to dedicate it, because the walls of
the New Choir (or New Eastern Church) had been built to, and united with,
the walls of the Old Church, which had already been dedicated. (Print.
Regist. Dunf. No.288. p.184; writ entitled "Ecca denuo non consecretur.")
It would appear that the Pope uses "dedication" and "consecration" as
equivalent terms, although they are quite different. Compare Nos. 287 and
1250. - THE NEW TOMB OF ST. MARGARET. - Now that the Abbot had accomplished
his desire in getting Margaret "canonized, and enrolled in the Catalogue of
the Saints," the next act in his programme - on which he appears to have
long meditated, in connection with the canonization - required to be
attended to, viz., the removal of the remains of the canonized saint to the
Lady Aisle of the New Choir. His lordship was informed in November, 1249,
of the Pope's act of canonization, and no doubt he would at once have set
in motion the erection of a splendid tomb by June, 1250. Eight months
after her canonization, the new tomb was completed, and ready to receive
her sainted remains; and now the pomp and parade of a translation was all
that was necessary to complete his programme. It may be here noticed that,
at this period, the year commenced on 25th March, and thus from October,
1249, to June, 1250, there were eight months, as noted.
MALCOLM, EARL OF FIFE, DID HOMAGE BEFORE THE HIGH ALTAR FOR THE LAND
CLUNY. - In the Register of Dunfermline, it is noted that Malcolm, Earl of
Fife, did homage before the Great Altar, to Robert de Kaledeleth, then
Abbot, for the lands of Cluny, previous to High Mass, on the day that Holy
Margaret was translated at Dunfermline in presence of King Alexander III.,
seven Bishops, and seven Earls of Scotland. (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.235,
No. 348; Dal. Mon. Antiq. p.22.)
THE TRANSLATION OF ST. MARGARET. - On 13th July, 1250, the "sainted
remains" of Margaret were exhumed in presence of the young King, Alexander
III., his mother, and numerous Bishops, Abbots, Priests, and Nobility of
the kingdom, after having lain in her grave 157 years nearly. Of this
event Wynton sings -
"Saynt Margretis body a hundyr yhere
Lay be-for the Rwd Awtere,
In-to the Kyrk of Dunfermelyn;
Bot scho was translatyd syne
In-to the Qwere, quhare scho now lyis,
Hyr spyrit in-til Paradys.
And of that translatyowne,
The fest yhit is halyne ay
Be-for Myswmyr the fyft day."
(Wynton's Orygynale Cronikil, Book vii.3.)
Poets are said to take a little license at times, and here we find an
example of it. Wynton says she had lain a "hundred years"; 157 years,
nevertheless, is true history, and we should think that after such a lapse
of time, few of her remains would be found.
After the remains had been exhumed and deposited on a consecrated bier,
for transmission from the "Rwd Awtre" to the Lady Chapel in the Choir, the
ecclesiastical procession began to move to the Lady Aisle. "The procession
had proceeded only a few yards on its way when 'a miracle' occurred," viz.,
the sudden weighting of the bier on which St. Margaret's relics were borne.
The following are a few extracts from works which refer to the Translation
procession and this miracle. We also give in this notice, within reversed
commas, some of the expressive phrases used by writers when treating of
this event, viz.:-
"In the year 1250," says Fordun, "the King (Alexander III.) and the
his mother, along with Bishops and Abbots, and other nobles of the kingdom,
met at Dunfermline, where they most devoutly lifted the bones and remains
of the renowned Queen Margaret, their ancestor, from the stone tomb in
which for many terms of years they had rested, and place them in a fir
shrine, adorned with gold and gems. At the digging of the ground so great
and agreeable a perfume arose, that the whole of that sanctuary was thought
to be sprinkled with painters' colours, and the scent of springing flowers.
Nor was there wanting a Divine miracle; for, when that most renowned
treasure, placed in the outer Church (Auld Kirk), was being easily carried
by the sacred hands of the Bishops and Abbots, to be re-interred in the
Choir, joining their melodious voices, and had reached even the chancel
entrance, just opposite the body of her husband, King Malcolm, lying under
a groined ceiling at the north part of the nave of the outer Church, the
arms of the bearers were immediately benumbed, and they could not convey
the shrine with the relics further, on account of the greatness of the
weight; but, whether willing or not, they were obliged to halt, and
speedily laid down their burden. After some interval, and additional and
stronger bearers of the shrine being got, the more they endeavoured to
raise it, the less able were they to do so. At length, all wondering, and
judging themselves unworthy of so precious a trust, the voice of a
bystander, devinely inspired, as was believed, was heard suggesting
distinctly, that the bones of the holy Queen could not be transferred
further until the tomb of her husband was opened, and his body raised with
similar honour. The saying pleased all, and, adopting its advice, King
Alexander, his lineal descendant, with associates chosen for this purpose,
without either force or impediment, raised aloft the shrine, filled with
the bones of the King, along with the elevation of the coffer of the relics
of the Queen, deposited in due form each in a sacrcophagus, in the
mausoleum prepared for that purpose, accompanied by the chanting convent
and choir of prelates, on the 13th day before the calends of July."
Here we find a very minute account of the "Translation" ceremony.
miracles are here recorded, viz., the arising of the perfume, and the
sudden weighting of Margaret's bier - if not, a third may be added, viz.,
the sudden lightening of the same." - "The reader will know how to treat
these monkish accounts which appear to be the afterpiece of the flashing
From this account it appears that Queen Margaret's first tomb was of
that her new shrine was made of fir, and that the tomb of Malcolm III. was
under a "groined ceiling," at "the north part of the nave of the outer
Guthrie, in his "History of Scotland," says:- "The translation took
about one hundred and fifty-seven years after her death. The young King
(Alexander III.) and his mother met at Dunfermline, where they placed the
remains in a golden shrine, magnificently enriched with precious stones."
(Guth. Hist. Scot.)
From this note it would appear that a new golden shrine had been prepared
to receive the remains or relics of St. Margaret, and that such were placed
in the shrine, resting on the tomb, by the Queen-mother and her young son,
the King, then about eight years old.
Hailes, in his "Annals of Scotland," notes that "the body of Margaret,
Queen of Scotland, was removed from its place of former sepulchre at
Dunfermline, and deposited in a costly shrine beside the High Altar. While
the monks were employed in the service, (and in procession) they approached
the tomb of her husband (Malcolm III.), the body on a sudden became so
heavy, that they were obliged to set it down. Still, as more hands were
employed in raising it, the body became heavier, the spectators stood
amazed, and the humble monks imputed this phenomenon to their own
unworthiness, when a by-stander cried out - 'The Queen will not stir till
equal honoures are performed to her husband.' This having been done, the
body was removed with ease"! Hailes adds that a more awkward miracle occurs
not in legendary history. (Hailes's An. Scot. vol.i.p.303; Fordun, x.3;
A.A.S.S. 10th June.)
In this second "awkward miracle," the Lord Abbot and his monks reappear.
There can be little doubt that this "second miracle" was long seen to be a
necessity. The write of the Annals, about forty years ago discovered,
whilst making a plan of the sites of the royal tombs, that the tomb of
Malcolm III., her husband, stood right in the way of the daily processions,
and made a break in the fine view of the interior of the new Choir. The
Lord Abbot knew well that, with all his address, it would be impossible for
him to obtain liberty to remove it out of the way. "A miracle of the
lowest order, a feigned miracle was resorted to;" the "miracle" succeeded;
Malcolm was exhumed, and carried to the Lady Aisle; then, with the greatest
ease, the relics or remains of St. Margaret were carried in procession and
deposited in the same place, the Lady Aisle. Thus end satisfactorily the
"miracles and programme" of the Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. (See Appendix
Our ground plan of the Abbey, under date 1226, shows the relative sites
distances from St. Margaret's tomb in the old building at M, to the second
tomb at N, in the Lady Aisle (St. Margaret's Chapel), in the eastern
projection of the building - distance from M to N being about 160 feet.
Tytler, in his History of Scotland, says - "The body of St. Margaret
removed, with much ecclesiastical pomp, from the outer church, where she
was originally interred, to the Choir, beside the High Altar. The
procession of priests and abbots who carried the precious load on their
shoulders moved along to the sounds of the organ, and the melodious songs
of the choir, singing in parts." (Tytler's Hist. Scot. vol.ii.pp.375,376;
also, Fordun, v.ii.p.83.) Tytler here notes that this is the first notice
of an organ in Scotland.
Winton, in his quaint rhyme, gives a pretty full account of the
"Translatyown of Saynt Margret, the haly qwene," which we give in extenso:-
"That yhere, with weneratyown,
Was made the translatyown
Of Saynt Margret, the haly qwene.
A fayre myrakil thare wes sene:
The thryd Alysandyre bodyly,
Thare wes wyth a gret cumpany
Of erlys, byschapys, and barownys,
And mony famows gret persownys;
Of Saynt Andrewys thare wes be name,
The Byschope Davy of Barnhame;
Robert of Kyldeleth syne
That Abbot was of Dwnfermlyne,
Powere had thai than at fulle
Grawntyd be the Papy's bulle
To mak that translatyown;
And that to do thai mad thame bowne,
And fayndyt to gere the body
Translatyd be of that Lady.
Wyth all thare powere and thare slycht,
Her body to rays thai had no mycht,
Na lyft hyr anys owt of that plas,
Quhare scho that tyme lyand was.
For all thare devoltyownys,
Prayeris, and gret perysownys,
That the persownys gadryd there
Dyd on devot mahere:
Quhyll fyrst thai tuk wpe the body
Of hyr lord that lay thare-by,
And bare it bene into the quere,
Lystly syne on fayre manere
Hyr cors thai tuk up and bare ben,
And thame enteryd togyddyr then.
Swa trowyd thai all than gadryd thare
Quhat honoure til hyr lord scho bare.
Swa, this myrakil to record
Notis gret reverens dwne til hyr lord;
As scho oysyd in hyr lyf,
Quhen scho wes hys spousyd wyf.
Of this loempne translatyowne
Befor thare is mad mentyown;
Bot thare is noucht, notyd the yhere,
Na this myrakil wryttyn here,
That suld noucht have bene forghet
For the honour of Saynt Margret."
(Wynton's "Orygynale Cronikil," B.vii.10.)
"ST. MARGARETE, NOMINA LOCORUM." - At and shortly after the canonization
St. Margaret, many objects, &c., in and around Dunfermline began to be
connected with her name - such as St. Margaret's Tomb. - As already
noticed, the remains of St. Margaret were transferred from the old original
tomb, in the now western church, to the splendid new tomb specially erected
to receive them, in the "Ladye Aisle" of the then recently-built Choir.
From 1250 to 1560, lights were kept perpetually burning before this tomb,
as also on each side the shrine, of which frequent mention is made in the
Register of Dunfermline. This tomb appears to have been destroyed by the
reformers on 28th March, 1560, or by the falling walls shortly after that
period. All that now remains is the double plinth of limestone, in a
dilapidated condition, now outside the area of the present church (on the
east). On the upper plinth are still to be seen six circular indentures,
from which rose "six slender shafts of shapely stone," that supported a
highly-ornamented canopy. In the centre of the second or upper plinth
St. Margaret's Shrine, which appears to have been an oaken cabinet,
elaborately carved - within which was a magnificent silver chest, profusely
adorned with gold and precious stones - containing the relics of St.
Margaret, which consisted of her skull, with "the auburn flowing goldin
hair still on it, along with certain bones." Particularly on her festival
day, St. Margaret's day, these relics were exposed to the view of admiring
pilgrims and other devotees, who had come to humble themselves and make
their adorations before the Shrine. On passing out from the sight of the
relics, "the devotee" would pass
St. Margaret's Altar. - An old writing refers to the situation of this
Altar: "Altare beate Margarete Regine, situatum in ecclesia parochiali de
Dunfermlyn ex parte australi." (See date 1449.) From this it is evident
that St. Margaret's Altar was situated on the south side of the church;
whether in the eastern or the western church, there is no mention. If in
the eastern, then it would be somewhere on the south-west of the present
pulpit; if in the old or western church, at or adjacent to St. Margaret's
first place of sepulture, then it would be situated a few feet to the south
and west of the zig-zag column. This we think the most likely locus of the
Altar, as it would serve to keep in remembrance the place of her first
interment. Here offerings in money, &c., were made by the devotees.
The Church of "The Holy Trinity and St. Margaret," after 1250, is found
the Register of Dunfermline and other old writings. St. Margaret, at the
time, became the TUTELAR SAINT of Dunfermline. St. Margaret's Black Cross
or Rood, given by her to the Church or Abbey of Dunfermline, was well known
throughout Catholic Scotland, and held in the highest veneration.
The magistrates of the burgh were the patrons of St. Margaret's Altar.
Burgh Records, 1473-1499.) Perhaps there would be a representation of this
Altar on the back of the Burgh Seal of 1395. At all events, the Burgh Seal
of 1589 has on it what must be taken for a rude representation of this
Altar - viz., St. Margaret, crowned and holding a sceptre in her right
hand, standing on a flight of steps, from which rise pillars which support
a herss or canopy over her head, while on each side of her are "wax candles
in flame" (being "the lichts" referred to under date 1490,&c.). St.
Margaret is also represented on the obverse of the Coket Seal of the
Regality Court of Dunfermline. (See date 1322.) There the Sainted Queen
stands "fully robed," while her dress is shown in "a tattered condition" on
the Burgh Seal. Perhaps this Altar would be partially destroyed at the
Reformation, and "the image would thus be left to go to decay." The
following is a representation of St. Margaret, taken from the matrix or
large double Seal of the Burgh.
Fernie, in his Hist. Dunf. p.24, states that these candles are inverted
swords - a singular mistake. (See Fernie's Hist. Dunf. p.24; Chal. Hist.
Dunf. vol.i.p.5; vol.ii.p.5, rectifies the mistake.) In several of our
early writings on Dunfermline (1833) we pointed out the mistake of these
candles being taken for "inverted swords." For other particulars regarding
this effigy, see date 1589 - article, "Burgh Matrix Seal."
ST.MARGARET'S DAY AND FESTIVAL. - This day was at first kept on the
June. After the Reformation it was altered, and held on other days of the
same month. The 10th of June was a great day in Dunfermline. In the Abbey
there was held a continuous service, with particular ceremonies,
genuflexions, processions. These processions generally ended with a solemn
march with song through the streets of the burgh, in which the trades, who
supported altars in the Abbey, joined in the rear. A fair, or market for
the disposal of all sorts of merchandise, was held on the streets on the
same day by "merchants who had come from afar."
The following Collect was used in the Abbey ceremonies of the festival-day,
in commemoration of the ceremony of the Translation:-
"Deus nobis qui translationem B. Margaritae Reginae pia recolimus mente,
praeclaris potentiae tuae miraculis illustratam, concede propitius ipsius
meritis et intercessione a labore requiem ab exilio patriam conferri
coelestem." (Vide "Acta Sanctorum," 10th June,p.320.)
"To us, O God, who recall, with pious thoughts, the translation of the
blessed Margaret, the Queen, which was made illustrious by the famous
miracles of thy power, graciously grant, by her merits and intercession,
rest from labour, and from exile a home in heaven."
Besides these are "St. Margaret's Oratory" (Cave), about 80 yards west
the top end of Bruce Street; "St. Margaret's Well," now called the Head
Well, about three-quarters of a mile north-east of Dunfermline; "St.
Margaret's Stone," about two miles south-east of Dunfermline; and "St.
Margaret's Hope," four and a-half miles south-east from all which it will
be seen that St. Margaret was great in Dunfermline pre-Reformation times,
so much so that the names continue after a lapse of more than 600 years.
Rev. C. Holshan, sub-prior of Douay College, in his letter of date July
1854, to the writer of the Annals, gives a later Collect, apparently that
of Pope Urban VIII., about 1628, viz.:-
"The Benedictine Missal for St. Margaret's Feast, has the following
Collect:- 'Dues qui beatam Margaritam Scotorum Reginam eximia in parperes
caritate mirabilem effecisti, da ut ijus intercessione et execplo, tua in
cordibus nostris caritas jugiter augeatur Per,'" &c.
That is -
"O God, who didst render the blessed Margaret, Queen of Scots, remarkable
for her extraordinary charity to the poor, grant that by her intercession
and example thy charity may be constantly increased in our hearts through
In the Roman Breviary there is a Collect, and a long account of St.
Margaret, to be read on her festival-day, June 10.
MALCOLM III., King of Scotland, was translated with Margaret, his consort,
on 13th July (O.S.), 1250, to the Lady Aisle, east of the Choir; and,
although it is not on record, there would, no doubt, be a splendid tomb
erected to his memory, unless the remains of both husband and wife were
deposited in one sarcophagus. It would appear that the miracle the bones
of Malcolm helped to produce at the Translation, had been reported to the
Holy See, for Malcolm is soon after found "Canonized, and enrolled in the
Catalogue of the Saints"! In Dr. Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia, p.150,
article "Alphabetical Calendar," his name is thus noticed;_
"MALCOLM III., King of Scotland - the Saint's day, June 2nd."
There are, therefore, no less than three "Canonized" and enrolled "Saints"
lying in Dunfermline Abbey, viz., St. David, St. Margaret and St. Malcolm!
THE CULDEES' SENTENCE AND THE LORD ABBOT. - The religious controversy
had long subsisted between those who held to the Culdee form of worship and
those who adhered to Rome, was this year settled. A meeting of both sects,
by delegates, was held in the Church of Inverkeithing, in October, 1250, to
determine the case "accoring to justice." The Culdees, "according to this
sort of justice," were found in the wrong, and Robert, Lord Abbot of
Dunfermline, Chancellor of Scotland, and one of the King's Chaplains, was
appointed to pronounce sentence. The sentence was deferred for a time, in
consequence of the Culdees not coming forward on November 7th. Sentence of
expulsion was passed upon them shortly after; and thus the Culdees, as a
distinct body of worshippers, ceased to exist. (See Sibbald's Hist. Fife,
1251. - POPE INNOCENT IV., between the years 1243 and 1251, granted
twenty-one Bulls, or Writs, regarding the rights, privileges, and new
privileges conferred on Dunfermline Abbey. They are addressed to the
Abbot, and also to the Bishops of St. Andrews, Dunblane, and Dunkeld; but
they all refer to "momentous affairs" relative to Dunfermline. (Vide Print.
Regist. Dunf. pp.177-187.)
ROBERT, LORD ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE, RESIGNED (A.D.1251). - The Lord Abbot
Dunfermline appears to have been "implicated in the plot of trying to get
the bastard daughter of King Alexander II., the wife of Alan Durward,
Justiciar of Scotland, legitimized, that she might succeed to the throne,
in the event of the death of the boy-King, Alexander III." Feeling that he
had done wrong, and having had some misunderstanding with the monks, he
resigned his office of Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, and also his seals of
office as Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and retired to Newbottle, where he
assumed the attire and position of a monk of that Abbey. About the year
1269 he was elected Abbot of Melrose, and died in 1273. (Fordun, ii. 68,
216; Chron. Mel. p.151,191,216; Morton's An. Tev. p.226.)
This, the first Lord Abbot, was a most remarkable man. "He was
the theology of his time," "acute in the art of law," "sagacious, and of
polite address," and "full of energy and adroitness." During his ten years
of office as Abbot, he seems to have been ever and anon in correspondence
with Pope Innocent IV. for the good of his Abbey. In the register of
Dunfermline there are 21 of his Bulls regarding Rights, Privileges, Grants,
old and new, &c., which were partly sent to him and to others relative to
the wishes and suggestions of the Abbot. (Print. Regist. Dunf. pp.177,187.)
When he entered upon his Abbotship in 1241, he would find the Abbey
debt, and his finances at a low ebb, notwithstanding its great resources.
The great new Abbey Choir, and additions to the monastic buildings, then
recently erected, &c., had impoverished its exchequer, and such a state of
things would no doubt engage the serious thoughts of the Abbot.
He well knew how highly the memory of Queen Margaret was esteemed
throughout Scotland; and it would suggest itself to his "sagacious mind"
that a remedy, for resuscitating to some extent the Abbey finances, might
be found, if the remains of the pious Queen were canonized and removed to a
new tomb and shrine, in the Lady Aisle of the New Choir, so as to draw
pilgrims and other devotees to worship at her shrine, and leave money and
other offerings at her altar. Thus he might imagine that, from the high
repute of the shrine, &c., an ever-flowing-money stream as donations, and
also occasional gifts in land, would be the result, and in such
anticipations he was not disappointed.
To accomplish the canonizing of the Queen an obstacle would present
viz., to get hold of some tangible proof to satisfy the Pope - by some
miracle, that in verity she was "a pure and remarkable saint." The Court
of Rome in those days was very cautious in granting such honours. The
Abbot, fully aware of this, saw no way for it but to get the matter done
through the aid of an artificial "miracle." He had great difficulty in
convincing the Pope as to the reality of the miracle which had been
reported to him; but at last, by perseverance, after a five-years'
negotiation, the Abbot succeeds. He gets Margaret "canonized and enrolled
in the catalogue of the saints," and removed by a splendid Translation
ceremony from the old building to the new, when a second miracle was
enacted to get Malcolm III.'s tomb removed out of the way, &c. (See our
note on "The Translation of St. Margaret.")
From all this it will be seen that the Lord Abbot was an energetic,
persevering ecclesiastic, and well knew what was for the good and the
benefit of his Abbey. He was certainly the most expert Abbot Dunfermline
ever had; "but these miracles stagger the faith of all historians." There
appears to us to be no other way in explaining "the miracles" otherwise
than by adopting the suggestions we have made.
According to Dempster, he (the Abbot) was a man of literature, and notifies
that he wrote "De successione Abbatum de Melros," lib.i.; and "Florilegium
Spirituale," lib. i. vide Chron. Mel. pp.151,191,216; Morton's Annals of
JOHN, elected and consecreated Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, as successor
Lord Robert, resigned. (Fordun, ii. 85; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol.i.p.184.)
1252. - POPE INNOCENT IV. AND THE ALIENATION OF ABBEY LANDS &C.
Innocent IV. addressed a Bull to the Abbot of Holyrood, narrating that the
Abbot of Dunfermline having explained how the monastic possessions were
alienated, both by present monks and their predecessors, whereon writing,
oaths, and penalties had been interposed, and that such alienations were to
ecclesiastics as well as laymen, some of whom had obtained letters of
confirmation from the Holy See, he commands the deeds by which this was
done to be revoked, and the property of Dunfermline Abbey restored."
(Print. Regist. Dunf. p.186, No.293; Dal. Mon. Antiq. p.39.)
ABBEY DEBTS. - It is declared in a Bull of Pope Innocent IV. to the
that the Abbot and Convent shall not be compelled to pay debts, unless
proved that they had been contracted for its benefit. (Print. Regist. Dunf.
ABBEY LANDS, &C., that are alienated to be restored, &c. (Print.
Dunf. p.186, No.293.)
1253. - EMMA DE SMYTHETUN, daughter and heiress of Gilbert de Smythetun,
a Charter of this date, appeared before the King and Council, and
acknowledged that her lands belonged to the Monastery, being an
eleemosynary gift by King David in perpetuity, and unjustly alienated by
the Monastery; therefore she renounces all claim to the lands, and resigns
them unto the hands of the King, Alexander III. (Print. Regist. de Dunf.
1254. - ALEXANDER III., in a Charter, grants certain privileges to the
Abbey (Dunduff) - "Salvis burgis nostris." (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.51,
1255. - THE PERPETUAL LIGHTS burning before the tombs of David I. and
Malcolm IV. (donated in 1179) had this year their grants confirmed, by
Gregory de Melville, a descendant of the donor. (Print. Regist. Dunf.
ABBEY OF DUNFERMLINE AND PERTH - DISPUTE BETWEEN THEM SETTLED. - "1255,
Jan. 14: An Assembly at Holyrood, in which the King, with the advice of his
Council, settled a dispute between David de Louchor, Sheriff of Perth, and
the Abbey of Dunfermline, in pleno colliquio domini regis habito....per
commune consilium magnatum suorum ibidem existentium." (Acts of the
Parliament of Scotland, vol.i.p.61, and Ap. v.p.84.)
MONEY DEMAND ON THE ABBEY. - The Sheriff of Perth, a Judge constituted
royal authority, demanded from the Abbey of Dunfermline four merks - "per
defectum sequelae ad curiam vice-comitatus, de Perth" - for certain lands
enumerated. The King ordered the question to be tried before Alexander,
Earl of Buchan, his Justiciar, by a jury of barons. The barons, by a
verdict which appears to have been returned to the King, found that they
had sometimes seen the men of these lands come to the Court, but never in
consequence of that obligation - sicut sequelatores. (Print. Regist. Dunf.
p.51, titled "Transcriptum quiete clamacois dni. reg. de seqla non
facienda;" Dal. Mon. An. pp.66,67.)
1256. - JOHN, LORD ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE, DIED. - He was on his way to
on official business, when he was suddenly taken ill, and "died on the
road, at Pontigny, in 1256." (Fordun, ii.85; Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol.i.p.184.) He was the ninth Abbot.
MATTHEW, Elected and Consecrated Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. - Besides
other ecclesiastical offices, he was the cellarer of the Monastery. He has
been characterised as "a man of wonderful mildness." (Fordun, ii.91; Chal.
Hist. Dunf. vol.i.p.184.)
1258. - JOHN THYANUS was Chamberlain to the Lord Abbot of Dunfermline
this period, and continued in that office until about 1276. (Print. Regist.
1259. - POPE ALEXANDER IV., in a Bull, forbids the conventual brethren
Dunfermline to enter into any obligation, or to bind the Monastery at
solicitation of Kings, nobles, or bishops, under pain of excommunication,
because by such transactions the wealth of the churches (under their care)
had hitherto been diminished. (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.188, No.296.)
1261. - POPE ALEXANDER IV., between the years 1254 and 1261, granted
Bulls to the Abbot and Convent of Dunfermline. (Vide Print. Dunf.
1262. - CARNOCK CHURCH. - There was an "Ecca de Kernec," or Church at
Carnock, as early as this period, perhaps as early as 1250. Carnock is 3
and a-half miles N.W. of Dunfermline. (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.207.) This
Church, shortly after its erection, was given to Fons Scotiae (Scotland
Well). (Liber Cart. Priorat. S. Andree.)
1263. - DUNFERMLINE PHANTOM WARRIORS AND THE BATTLE OF LARGS (2nd
October,1263). - An old tradition continues to inform us that "On the eve
of the battle of Largs, it was believed by the Scots that the Royal Tombs
at Dunfermline gave up their dead, and that there passed through its
northern porch to war against the might of Norway a lofty and blooming
matron in royal attire, leading in her right hand a noble knight refulgent
in arms and a crown on his head, and followed by three heroic warriors,
like armed and like crowned; these were Margaret and her Consort, Malcolm,
and her three sons, the founders of the mediaeval Church of Scotland," &c.
(Quart. Review, 1xxx.p.120; Stanley's Church of Scotland, p.38.)
THE "HEROIC BALLAD OF HARDICANUTE" is supposed to have been composed
Elizabeth Halket of Pitfirrane (near Dunfermline), in commemoration of the
battle of Largs. (See Appendix F.)
1266. - THE TAX OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY. - This year a general tax-roll
churches, &c., in the diocese of St. Andrews was made out. Dunfermline is
under the general heading "Fothryf, diocese of St. Andrews," and its tax is
noted thus "Ecca de Dunfmel, C.LIB." (100 pounds); Carnock Kirk or Chapel
is rated at C.S. (100 shillings). (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.207.)
COLBAN, Earl of Fife, did homage for his lands of Cluny, in the Chapter
House of the Abbey, to Simon, the Abbot, on which occasion John Thyanus,
the Abbot's Chamberlain, got a well-furred cloak of the homage. (Pring.
Regist. Dunf. p.235, No.348; Dal. Mon. Ant. p.23.)
1269. - MATTHEW, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, ceased to be Abbot this
Nothing is known whether he died, resigned, or was dismissed. He was
the eleventh Abbot and second Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. (Chal. Hist. Dunf.
SIMON, elected and consecrated Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, as successor
Abbot Matthew. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol.i.p.178-184.)
1270. - THE NETHERTOWN AND GARVOCK BURN are mentioned in the Register
Dunfermline as early as this period (in a charter relative to Pitbauchly) -
viz., "Villa inferior de Dunfermelyn," and "rivulus qui venit de Garuoc."
This shows that the Netherton existed as early as this period, and that the
burn now called the Lyne or Line was then known as Garvock rivulet, or
burn, and therefore could not give the affix or last syllable to the name
"Dunfermline." (Print. Regist. Dunf. pp.213,214, No.16.)
1272. - ST. LEONARD'S CHAPEL AND HOSPITAL were probably founded about
period. In the MS. Minute Book of the hospital it is incidentally noticed,
under date 1651, that tradition affirmed that the Chapel and Hospital were
erected "in the time of Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret," but this is
not probable; it is more likely to have been during the reign of another
Queen Margaret - viz., Margaret, Consort of Alexander III. - the period
when many other St. Leonard's Hospitals were erected. The Minute Books of
the institution reach no farther back than 1594.
1274. - INTERMENT OF QUEEN MARGARET AT DUNFERMLINE. - Margaret, the
(Consort of Alexander III.) died at Cupar Castle, 26th February, and was
interred in the Choir of the Abbey of Dunfermline, near King David's tomb.
(Hay's Scotia Sacra, p.329.) Winton, in his Cronikil, notes -
"Margret, Qwene of Scotland,
Alysawndry's wyf, Kyng rygnand,
Deid, and in Dunfermelyn
Hyr body wes enteryd syne."
(Wynton's Orig. Cron. vol.i.p.391.)
This Queen Margaret was the daughter of Henry III., King of England.
Nothing is known of her history, public or private.
1275. - SIMON, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, was deposed for "obstinacy
crosses to the poor," by Bagimont, the Papal Legate. He was the twelfth
Abbot of Dunfermline, and held the abbotship for nearly six years. Simon's
name appears frequently in the Register of Dunfermline. He was sent, with
William Earl of Mar, as ambassador to the King of England, for recovery of
the King's Earldom of Huntingdon. He granted Charters of Confirmation for
the lands of Ballard, of Pitbauchly, near Dunfermline, and of Bendachen,
belonging to the Church of Dunkeld. (Print. Regist. Dunf. pp.178, 184, 213,
215; Fordun, ii. 123.)
RALPH DE GREENLAW, Sub-Prior of the Abbey, elected and consecrated Lord
Abbot of Dunfermline, successor to Simon, deposed. He was the thirteenth
LORD ABBOT RADALPHUS: HIS CHARTER TO THE QUEENSFERRY BOATMEN. - The
grants eight oars in the new passage boat to seven persons, one of whom is
a woman, for payment of 8d. yearly for each oar, and performing the usual
services, as also paying the old rent to the tenant of the passage. One of
the persons, Johannes Armiger, his heirs and assignees, ecclesiastics
excepted, shall have two oars, and the rest one only. Farther, the Abbot
declares that the successor of any of them "per vos, vel per ballivos
nostros saysinum remi sui habebit." This is one of the earliest
instruments of seisin in constituting the right to a ship or boat. (Print.
Regist. Dunf. pp. 216, 217, No.320; Dal. Mon. An. p.63.) The names of the
persons to whom this grant was made are - John Armiger; Peter, the son of
Adam; Thomas, the son of Bernard; Richard de Kirkeland; Magot de Craggy;
John Floker; and Eue, the daughter of John Harloth. The Charter is
designated "Carta de viij. remis in batello passagii."
RESIGNATION OF LANDS, &C. - About this period several lands, crofts,
are resigned into the hands of Alexander III. "cum omnibus hominibus et
cotariis" (with all the men and cottars on them, &c.), and the King
immediately, by charter, conveys them to the Abbey. (Print. Regist. Dunf.
1270-1275; Dal. Mon. An. p.42.)
1276. - POPE GREGORY X., between 1273 and 1276, granted two bulls to
Abbot and Convent of Dunfermline. (Print. Regist. Dunf. pp. 188, 189, and
Nos. 297, 298.)
1277. - A CHARTER GRANTED BY ALEXANDER III., of this date, confirming
gift of the land of Lumphennens by Constantine de Lochor to his son Adam,
is still to be seen at Pitfirrane House, near Dunfermline. It is
beautifully written on vellum, and has the Great Seal of Scotland appended
to it. It is still in a remarkably fine state of preservation. (Chal.
Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 526-573.)
1278. - RESIGNATION OF LANDS (and men, &c., on them) into the King's
- viz., the lands of Beeth Waldef by Sir Ranulp de Strathechyn, "cum
omnibus hominibus et cotariis." (Print. Regist. Dunf. p.52, No.8; Dal. Mon.
"THE BLESSED MARGARET'S CHAMBER." - In a Charter of Alexander III. (the
King), dated 1278, reference is made to a resignation of lands - "Apud
castrum puellarum de Edenburg in Camera nra q dr. Camera be. Margerite
regine," &c., i.e., at the Maiden's Castle of Edinburgh, in our chamber
which is called the blessed Queen Margaret's Chamber. This would be a
chamber in the Castle Palace, where she so often had her residence,
probably the chamber in which she died on November 16th or 17th, A.D.1093.
(Print. Regist. Dunf. p.53, No.87, entitled, "Carta dni regis de terra
Beeth Waldef;" Dal. Mon. Antiq. p.54.)
1279. - JOHN DE INCHMARTYN AND THE LANDS OF ABBETHAYN. - In the Register
Dunfermline there is a Writ of Agreement between the Abbey and John de
Inchmartyn, by which it is agreed that John must pay three merks sterling
for the lands of Abbethayn, and declaring, if payment be delayed three
weeks beyond the stipulated period, he shall be excommunicated by the
Bishop of Dunkeld (or his substitute for the time), renouncing for him and
his heirs all letters obtained or to be obtained, and all remedy of law,
both canon and civil. (Print. Regist. Dunf. pp. 144, 145; Dal. Mon. An.
1280. - DAVID (Prince), Son of Alexander III., died at Stirling, and
interred in the Abbey of Dunfermline. (Hay's Scotia Sacra, p.329.)
According to Winton -
"Athowsand and twa hundyr yhere,
Foure scor oure tha, to rekyn clere,
Of Daivy thys thrid Alysawndry's sone,
Of thys lyf all the dayes war done.
Dede he wes into Stryvelyn,
And enteryd in Dwnfermelyn."
(Wynton's "Orygynale Cronikil Scot." vol.ii. p.392.)
ALEXANDER (Prince), Son of Alexander III., died at Lindores, and was
interred in the Abbey of Dunfermline - (Hay's Scotia Sacra, p.329) - of
whom Winton says -
"The ferd Alysawndyre, our Kyngis sone,
At Lundorys deyde, and syne
Enteryd wes in Dwnfermelyn."
(Wynton's "Orygynale Cronikil Scot." vol. ii. p.396.)
Nothing is known of these two Princes. David appears to have been
and Alexander 20 years of age. Their deaths (the deaths of the heirs
apparent), and that, too, in the same year, was the cause of deep-felt
sorrow throughout Scotland. In what part of the Abbey they lie is not
known. If they were interred beside their mother, the place of interment
would be near the east end of the nave (the Auld Kirk). If near their
father, their graves would be somewhere near the pulpit of the present
modern Abbey Church.
THE MILL POOL OF KIRKCALDY. - In a Charter of the Register of Dunfermline
of this date, granted by Lord Abbot Ralph to Sir Michael Scott of Balweary,
the Abbot enters into a convention with Sir Michael for the same, notifying
"that he and his heirs shall possess the course of the water running
between Balweary and Invertiel and the land of Milneton." An engraved
fac-simile of this Charter is given in the Register. (Vide Print. Regist.
Dunf. p. 145, 422.)
1281. - "THE KING SITS IN DUNFERMLING TOUNE, DRINKING THE BLUID-RED
- These often-quoted lines are to be found in the fine old ballad of Sir
Patrick Spens, composed to commemorate a sad disaster that occurred near
the end of this year (1281). As the lines are associated with Dunfermline
in the olden time, a few words regarding the ballad in question will be
The Princess Margaret, only daughter of Alexander III., was espoused
King Eric of Norway. The marriage was arranged to take place before winter
of that year. Probably she was at the time residing with her father in his
royal residence on Tower Hill (Canmore's), which was a favourite abode of
the King, and here he often domiciled for long periods.
In the ballad the King and his Courtiers are represented as being in
Dunfermline discussing over their wine, the forthcoming marriage, a
suitable ship, and a trusty captain. Such were the weighty matters talked
over in "Dumfarlin toon" over the bluid-red wine -
"The King sits in Dunfermling toune
Drynking the bluid-red wyne."
He asks -
"Oh where will I get a saylor bold
To sayl this schipe of mine?"
Sir Patrick Spens is recommended to the King, who writes to Sir Patrick,
and he accepts the office of captain.
"O up and spake an eldern knight,
Sat at the King's right knee;
Sir Patrick Spens is the best saylor
That ever sayl'd on sea.
Our King has written a braid letter,
And seal'd it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Who was walking on the strand."
It has been suggested by some critics that the strand here alluded to
the strand at Aberdour, in the Firth of Forth. Had this been so, the King
would not have troubled himself writing "a braid letter" to Sir Patrick.
Aberdour-on-Forth is within an hour's ride of "Dunfermling toun;" and
instead of writing to him, a special messenger on horseback, demanding his
attendance at Dunfermline, would have answered the purpose at once. We,
with others, suspect that Sir Patrick was then residing in Montrose, or
some other north-eastern port, and that the Aberdour brought into the
ballad, if it means anything, refers to the Aberdour in Aberdeenshire.
All the necessary preparations are made, the ship splendidly fitted
on 31st July, 1281, it leaves some now unknown port, with Margaret the
Princess and her numerous retinue.
"The ship, it was a guidlie ship,
The tapmast was o'gowd,
And at ilk tak o' the needle wark,
A silver bell it jow'd.
To Noroway, to Noroway,
To Noroway, o'er the faem;
The King's daughter of Noroway,
'Tis thou maun bring her hame."
The "guidlie ship" arrived in safety at its destination, but on the
voyage a great storm arose; the ship becomes a wreck, and sinks with all on
board, when approaching the Orkney Isles (near Papa Stronsay), which is
rather more than half-way between "Noroway" and Aberdour, on the Moray
Firth. Here, about
"Half owre, half owre to Aberdoure,
It's fifty fathoms deep,
And there lies guid Sir Patrick Spens,
And the Scots lords at his feet."
So ended this disaster, over which great lamentation was made -
"Oh, lang, lang, may the laydes look,
Wi' their gown-tails ower their croun,
Before they see their ain dear lords
Come sailing to Dunfermling toun."
It may be here noted that in the little island of Papa Stronsay there
large tumulus which has been known to the inhabitants from time immemorial
as "the grave of Sir Patrick Spens." (Vide "Aytoun's Ballads of Scotland.")
There has been much discussion from time to time as to who was the author
of this famous old ballad. We strongly suspect that it was composed by
Lady Wardlaw (whose maiden name was Elizabeth Halket), the reputed
authoress of the well-known poem entitled "Hardyknute." The construction
of the lines and expression used in Sir Patrick Spens have a close
resemblance to those in Hardyknute. We shall extract a stanza from each to
show the extreme probability of the author of Sir Patrick Spens being the
composer of Hardyknute. From Sir Patrick Spens -
"The King sits in Dunfermling toune,
Drynking the bluid-red wyne," &c.
From Hardyknute -
"The tidings to oure good Scots King
Came as he sat at dine,
With noble chiefs in brave array,
Drinking the blood-red wine."
We have never seen the original print of Sir Patrick Spens, and, therefore,
can say nothing about the spelling of the word toune. It has been supposed
that toune is a misprint for toure. There can be no doubt that if toure is
the original spelling, it would be more correct, for the Kings of Scotland
resided in Dunfermling toure, and not, strictly speaking, in Dunfermling
Elizabeth Halket, or Lady Wardlaw, died about the year 1727.
SEAL OF THE ABBOT RADULPHUS. - The Seal of Lord Abbot Ralph appears
been made about this period. The following is a fac-simile of the Seal. A
fine impression, in gutta percha, was sent to us, in 1850, by Mr Henry
Laing, medallist, Elder Street, Edinburgh. It is oval in shape, and is
thus described by Mr. Laing:- "A Seal in excellent presevation; within a
Gothic miche, a representation of the Eternal Father and Son - the Father
sitting with the cruciform nimbus, holding between his knees the Son,
extended on the Cross. Above the right shoulder of the Father is a star,
and above the left a pellet within a crescent. At the sides of the niche
are the words, 'ECCLA XRI' In the lower part of the Seal, within a niche,
is a figure of an Abbot in pontifical vestments kneeling at prayer, and
'S:RADVLPHI ABBATIS DE DVNFERMELIN,' in letters of the period, are within
ornamented dotted curves along the circumference." (Laing's Catalogue of
At the time the writer received the impression of this fine Seal from
Laing, he suggested to him that the Church which crowns it was probably
intented to represent the east view of the Abbey, or new Choir, and in this
view he agreed, and, since then, all antiquaries who have taken the matter
into consideration. Therefore, although rude, still we have a faint
resemblance of the Abbey, in 1280, from the east. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol.
i. p.94; and Descrip. vol. ii. pp.216, 217.)
1285. - ROYAL INTERMENT OF KING ALEXANDER III. - "This King, in the
the evening, riding between Burntisland and Kinghorn, was, on March 16th,
thrown from his horse over a high rocky cliff, and killed on the spot."
Some accounts state that the horse went over the precipice with the rider.
(Hailes' An. Scot. vol. i. p.183; Fordun, x.40; Faedera, iv. 370; Abrid.
Scot. Chron. p.203.)
The remains of the King were embalmed, and according to Hay's Sacra
p.323, his heart was extracted and buried in the Church of St. John the
Baptist at Perth. Fordun, in his account of the violent end of Alexander,
says, "And he was buried in the Abbey of Dunfermline as became a King."
(Fordun, x. 40.)
In the "Chronicon de Lanercost," mention is made of the site of the
this Alexander, viz., "1285, He lies at Dunfermline alone, in the middle
part, and is buried near the Presbytery;" to which the writer in the
Chronicon appends: "Whence when we see a multitude lamenting as much his
sudden death as the desolation of the kingdom, they alone did not moisten
their cheeks with their tears, who closely adhered to him for his acts of
friendship and good deeds." At his death Alexander was 44 years of age,
and had reigned about 36 years.
The following are other references to the violent death and interment
Alexander III.:- "Alexandre le fitz Alexandre qi de viij. aunz de age
comensa a regna xxxvij aunz Qi roumpy de cole a Kinkorn, sours de quoyen
uevnt grant mal, et Sepultus Dunfermelin" - i.e., Alexander, the son of
Alexander, who at eight years of age commenced to reign; he reigned 37
years, and broke his neck at Kinghorn, from which arose great evil, and he
was buried at Dunfermline. (Skene's Chron. Scots and Picts, p.290.) It is
singular that these notices give 37 and 39 years for Alexander's reign. He
reigned 36 years.
Winton refers to the death, &c., as follows:-
"A thowsand twa hundyr foure-score of yhere
The fyft, frae that the Mayden clere,
Jesus Cryst oure Lord had borne;
Alysawndyr oure Kyng deyd at Kyngorne
Fra that place he wes had syne,
And enterred in Dunfermlyne;
In that collegyd Kirk he lyis:
His Spyryt in-til paradays," &c.
(Wynton's Orygynale Cronikil, vol. ii. p.390.)
The Chronicon de Lanercost notes that he was buried in the "middle part
near the Presbytery." In 1285, the Presbytery was situated near the east
end of the new Choir, or a little to the south of the site of the pulpit of
the present modern church.
Barbour, in his notice of the death of this King, says -
"When Alexander the King was dead,
That Scotland had to steer and lead,
The land six years, and more perfay,
Lay desolate after his day."
(Barbour's "Bruce," p.2, 36-40 lines.)
1291. - COAL AND STONE CHARTER OF WILLIAM DE OBERWILL TO DUNFERMLINE
- This very interesting Charter is in the Register of Dunfermline; it is
the oldest Coal Charter in Scotland. It appears that coal was dug at
Tranent in 1285; but Dunfermline coal had become subject for a charter in
1291. The later workings may therefore be older than those at Tranent;
being first noticed does not always imply the first in reality. The
following is a copy of the Charter, with our translation:-
"Omnibus has literas visuris vel audituris, Willelmus de Oberwill, dominus
de Pethyncreff, eternam in Domino salutem. - Noveritis me ex mera gratia et
perpetua voluntate concessisse religiosis viris Abbati et Conventui de
Dunfermelyn unam carbonariam in terra mea de Petyncreff, ubicunque
voluerint, excepta terra arabili, ita quod sufficienciam ad usus suos inde
percipient et aliis vendere non presumant; una vero deficiente aliam pro
voluntate sua facient quociens viderent expedire sibi. Insuper volo et
concedo eisdem liberam potestatem fodiendi, capiendi et caedendi, lapides
in dicta terra mea ad usus suos provoluntate eorum excepta terra arabili.
Concedo etiam (eis) et ad eos pertinentibus quod libere uti possint omnibus
viis et semitis per terra meas de Petyncref et de Galurig sine aliquo
impedimento, quibus aliquo tempori usi sent vel uti consueverunt. In cujus
rei testimonium presentibus sigillum meum apposui una cum sigillo officiali
domini Episcopi Snacti Andreae et sigillo Roberti de Malavilla, qui sigilla
sua ad instanciam meam praesentibus apposuerint. - Datum apud Dunfermelyn
die Marti proximo ante festum sancti Ambrosii Episcopi et confessoris. -
Anno gratiae millesimo Ducentesimo Nonagesimo Primo." (Printed Regist.
Dunf. pp. 218, 219, No.323.)
"To all who shall hear or see this Charter, William de Oberwill, owner
Pittencrieff, wishes eternal salvation in the Lord. Be it known to you
that I have granted, from my mere good pleasure and of my own free will, to
the religious men, the Abbot and Convent of Dunfermline, a coal pit in my
land of Pittencrieff, wherever they may wish, excluding the arable land, in
such a way that they may get from thence sufficiency of coal for their own
use, and may not presume to sell to others; moreover, one failing, they
will make another, according to their own free will, as often as they may
see it expedient for themselves. In addition, I am willing to grant, and
do grant to the same, free power to quarry, take, and cut stones in the
said land of mine, for their own use, according to their own free will,
excluding the arable land. I grant also to them, and to those belonging to
them, that they may use freely all the roads and paths through my lands of
Pittencrieff and Galrig, without any hindrance, which they have used at any
time, or have been wont to use. In testimony whereof I have attached my
seal to these presents, along with the official seal of my Lord Bishop of
St. Andrews and the seal of Robert Melville, who have attached their seals
to these presents at my instance. Given at Dunfermline on the Tuesday next
before the Feast of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Confessor, in the year of grace
EDWARD I., KING OF ENGLAND, arrived in Dunfermline 17th July, 1291 (his
first visit). - King Edward I. of England, in his route from Berwick to
Perth, arrives in Dunfermline on 17th July, as he had done at other places,
to ascertain the disposition and strength of the people, and imperiously
calls upon persons of all ranks - Earls, Barons, Bishops, Abbots,
Burgesses, &c. - to sign his roll of homage as his vassals. (Vide Tytler's
Hist. Scot. vol. i. p.87.) The "Ragman Rolls" gives the following account
of Edward's visit:- "In the year of the Lord, and Indication (MCCXCI.),
upon 17th day of the month of July, there came to the said Lord King at
Dunfermline, Radulph, Abbot of the same place, and noble men, Sirs Andrew
Fraser, William of Haye, Andrew of Moray, and Constantine de Loghor,
Sheriffs of Fife, and to the same Lord King of England, as over and
immediate lord of the kingdom of Scotland, made fidelity, and swore, some
of them, upon the High Altar of the said Abbey, and some in the Chapter, in
the presence of Bishop of Caithness, along with noble men, Sirs John of St.
John, Patrick of Graham, and Galfred of Moubray, knights, and many other
nobles, clergymen, and lay men." (Vide Ragman Rolls, print. at Edin. 1835;
Rymer's Faedera, i. 773, A.D. 1291-1296, p.15; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii.
1295. - JOHN BALIOL, KING OF SCOTLAND, at Dunfermline, relative to his
and Heir's Marriage. - there is a treaty still extant regarding this
affair, between John Baliol, King of Scotland, and Philip IV., King of
France, for Philip to give his niece, the eldest daughter of Charles, Count
of Anjou, in marriage to Edward, the son and heir of Baliol, which was
ratified by John Baliol at Dunfermline on the vii. Kal. Marcii (23rd Feb.),
1295, where it received the assent of the clergy, nobility, and burghs.
This treaty was registered at Paris, 23rd October, same year. (Vide Rymer's
Faedera; Anderson's Diplomata Scotiae; Chal. vol. i. p.510.)
1296. - EDWARD I. KING OF ENGLAND, IN DUNFERMLINE (second and third
Visits). - Edward I. had a twenty-one weeks' march through Scotland during
the summer of this year, his object being, according to Tytler and other
historians, "to destroy everything of antiquity in Scotland, to carry off
its Records and men of learning." He appears to have been twice in
Dunfermline during his progress, viz., on June 17th, when the Sheriff of
Stirling swore fealty to Edward before the Great Altar, and again on 13th
August, on his return journey. On his return, he came to Dunfermline by
way of Markinch, and then went on to Stirling. (Fordun, xi. 26; Tytler's
Hist. Scot. vol. i. pp.88 and 432; Crawford's Remarks on the Ragman Roll,
vol. i. p13; Hect. Boeth, xiv. fol. 305; Hemingford, p.97; Nimmo's Hist.
Stirlingshire, vol. i. p.496.)
1297. - ARNOLD BLAIR, "a Monk of the Benedictine Cloister of Dunfermline,"
left the monastery and became chaplain to Sir William Wallace (at the
hero's request). (See date 1327; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p.530;
Nicholson's Scot. Hist. lib. pp.248, 249.)
1300. - DUNFERMLINE ABBEY in High Repute for Sanctity. - In the "year
William de Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews, in premising the great
perfection of discipline, the commendatory life and charity of the monks,
gives them the vicarage of a church to render them still more fervent."
(Print. Regist. Dunf. p.73; No.122; Dal. Mon. Antiq. pp.16, 17.)
END OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.
(BEGINNING OF FOURTEENTH CENTURY.)
ANNALS OF DUNFERMLINE. - (CONTINUED.)
1301. - DUNFERMLINE ABBEY AND ROYAL BURGH. - At the commencement of
fourteenth century the Abbey and Monastery buildings stood unrivalled in
Scotland for their extent and "noble adornments." Within its walls any
three sovereigns of Europe could have been accommodated at one time without
in the least inconveniencing one another; and for "the holy life" and
"discipline of its monks" its fame was in "all the Churches." But, alas!
in three years after this date, much of the noble pile was destroyed. (See
1304.) At this period the Abbey property was surrounded by a wall of about
3000 feet in circumference, 12 feet in height, and 4 to 5 feet thick, with
ports and postern entrances at necessary places. At this period meetings
of the nobles and heroes of the land were held within its walls to concert
measures for their self-defence and the independence of Scotland.
The Abbey functionaries consisted of a Lord Abbot, Prior, and Sub-Prior.
There were 50 monks, a number of novices learning "the art of theology,"
and about 12 subordinate officers, servants, domestics, &c. In all,
probably there would be nearly 100 persons residing within the precincts of
the Abbey; and its property in lands, tithes, &c., was very great, and were
connected with localities in almost every part of Scotland.
Regarding the size and population of the Royal Burgh of Dunfermline
early period, nothing with certainty can be said; but it may be presumed
that it was then of some note, and may have had a population of at least
700 souls, governed principally by the Abbot and his officials, and subject
to the control of the King for the just conduct of its civil affairs.
1303. - SIR WILLIAM WALLACE AND HIS MOTHER, in disguise, travel on foot
from near Dundee to Dunfermline. - Some time in the autumn of 1303 the
renowned Sir William Wallace, "in hiding at or near to Dundee," finding
that he was being surrounded by scouts from the King of England's army and
by "sworn enemies, his countrymen," suddenly left his hiding-place in
disguise, and armed with a concealed sword only. His mother, also in
disguise, accompanied him, and both on foot set out on travel for the
south, and, according to Langtoft's Chronicle, they crossed a ferry over to
Lindores, then through the Ochils for the south, and that when they were
asked by any wayfarer as to where they were going, made answer that they
were going to St. Margaret's Shrine at Dunfermline. Whether this was
really their place of destination or not, the answer they gave would secure
them ecclesiastical protection, and allow them to proceed without
molestation. Alluding to this "walk in disguise," Langtoft says:-
"His modyr graithit(1) hir in pilgram weid;(2)
Hym (selff) disgysyt, syne glaidlye with hir yeid,(3)
A schort swerd(4) wndyr his weid(5) priuale,
In all that land full mony fays(6) had he.
Baith on thar fute, with tham may tuk thai nocht
Quha sperd, she said to Sanct Margret thai socht,
Quha serwit hir. Full gret frendschipe thai fand
With Sothroun folk, for scho was of Ingland.
Besyde Landoris the ferrye oure thai past,
Syne throw the Ochell sped thaim wondyr fast.
In Dunfermlyn thai lugyt all that nicht.
Apon the morn, quhen that the day was brycht,
With gentill women hapnyt thaim to pass
Off Ingland born, in Lithquhow wounnand was."
(Langtoft's Chronicle, p.322.)
(2) Pilgrim dress.
(3) Went, or travelled.
(4) Sword. (5) Dress,privately. (6) Foes.