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Annals of Dunfermline
A.D. 1201 - 1301 - Part 2


  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. 9. 97, No. 170.)

  1249.—THE NEW CHOIR NOT TO BE CONSECRATED.—It would appear that the 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 was 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 enroll her name in the Catalogue of the Saints.  Dated “Lug. 15 Oct., and 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 to 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 reposted 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., the canonization of “the haly queene;” a splendid new Tomb and Shrine 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.” 

  “SAINTE MARGARETE” having been canonized, and enrolled among the saints in 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 Abbot of Dunfermline.

  INDULGENCE OF TEN DAYS TO VISITORS AT ST. MARGARET’S SHRINE.—In the Registrum 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 DIDICATED.—The Abbot and Conventual Brethren of 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 288.

  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 LANDS OF CLUNY.—In the Register of Dunfermline, it is noted that Malcolm, Earl of Fife, did homage before the Great Altar, to Robert de Maledeleth, 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 grave157 years nearly.  Of this event Wynton sings—

“Saynt Margretis body a hundyr yhere
Lay be-for the Rwd Awtere,
In-to the Kyrk 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 early 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 Queen, 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, form the stone tomb in which for may 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 painter’ colours, and the scent of springing flowers.  Nor was there wanting a Divine miracle; for, when that most renowned treasure, place 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 they were able were they to do so.  At length, all wondering, and judging themselves unworthy of so precious a trust, the voice of a bystander, divinely 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 please 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 sarcophagus, 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.  “Two 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 miracles.”

  From this account it appears that Queen Margaret’s first tomb was of stone, 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 Church.”

  Guthrie, in his “History of Scotland,” says:--“The translation took place 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 place 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 sepulcher at Dunfermline, and deposited in a costly shrine beside the High Alter.  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 bystander dried 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 A. 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 writer 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 wasa exhumed, and carried to the Lady Aisle; the, 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. 

  Our ground plan of the Abbey, under date 1226, show the relative sites and 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 was 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 yher, with weneratyown,
Was made the translatyown
Of Saynt Margret, the haly qwene.
A fayre myrakil thare wes sene;
The thryd Alysandyre bodily,
Thare wes ayth a gret company
Of erlys, byschapys, and barownys,
And mony famows gret persownys;
Of Saynt Sndrewys thsre 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,
No lyft hyr anys owt of that plas,
Quhare scho that tyme lyand was.
For all htare devotyownys,
That the persownys gadryd there
Dyd on devot mahere:
Quhyll first 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 solempne translatyowne
Befor thare is mad mentyown;
Bot thare is noucht, notyd the yhere,
No 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 of 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 29th 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 center of the second or upper plinth stood

  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 golden 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 austrail.”  (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 in the Register of Dunfermline and other old writings.  St. Margaret, at the same time, became the TUTELAR SAINT of Dunfermline.  St. Margaret’s Black Cross or Rood, given by her to the Church of 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.  (See Burgh Records, 1473-1400.)  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 scepter 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 10th of 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 sin 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 recolumus mente, praeclaris potentiae tuae miraculis illustratam, concede propitious ipsius meritis et intercessione a labore requiem ab exilio patriam conferri coelestem.”  (Vide Acta Sanctorum,” 10th June, p. 320.)

Translation—

  “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 from 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 22, 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:--‘Deus qui beatam Margaritam Scotorum Reginam eximia in paupers caritate mirabilem effecisti, da ut ejus intercessione et exemplo, 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 our Lord.”

  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 Cyclopedia, 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 which 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, October, 1250, to determine the case “according 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 worshipper, ceased to exist.  (See Sibbald’s Hist. Fife, p. 195, &c.)

  1251.—POPE INNOCENT IV., between the years 1243 and 1251, granted twenty-one Bulls, or Writs, regarding the right, 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 of 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 learned in 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 in 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 offering at her altar.  Thus he might imagine that, from the high repute of the shrine, &c., and 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 itself, 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 Teviotdale, p. 226.)

  JOHN, elected and consecrated Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, as successor to Lo4rd Robert, resigned.  (Fordun, ii. 85; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 184.)

  1252.—POPE INNOCENT IV. AND THE ALIENATION OF ABBEY LAND, &c.—“Pope 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 writhing, 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 Abbey, that the Abbot and Convent shall not be compelled to pay debts, unless proved that they ad been contracted for its benefit.  (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 186, No. 292.)

  ABBEY LANDS, &c., that are alienated to be restored, &c.  (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 186, No. 293.)

  1253.—EMMA DE SMYTHETUN, daughter and heiress of Gilbert de Smythetun, in 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; there she renounces all claim to the lands, and resigns them into the hands of the King, Alexander III.  (Print. Regist. de Dunf. pp. 109. 110. &c.)

  1154.—ALEXANDER III., in a Charter, grants certain privileges to the Abbey (Dunduff)—“Salvis burgis nostris.”  (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 51, No. 84.)

  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. pp. 116-119.)

  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 or Perth, and the Abbey of Dunfermline, in pleno colloquio 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 by 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 ben 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 Rome, 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 his other ecclesiastical offices, he was the cellarer of the Monastery.  He has been characterized 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 about this period, and continued in that office until about 1276.  (Print. Regist. Dunf.)

  1259.—POPE ALEXANDER IV., in a Bull, forbids the Conventual brethren of 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. 196.)

  1261.—POPE ALEXANDER IV., between the years 1254 and 1261, granted three Bulls to the Abbot and Convent of Dunfermline.  (Vide Print. Regist. Dunf. pp. 187, 188, No. 294-296.)

  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 ½ miles N.W. of Dunfermline.  (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 207.)  This Church, shortly after its erection, was given to Fons Scote (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 eye 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 medieval Church of Scotland,” &c.  (Quart. Review, lxxx. P. 120; Stanley’s Church of Scotland, p. 38.)

  THE “HEROIC BALLAD OF HARDICANUTE” is supposed to have been composed by Elizabeth Halket of Pitfirrane (near Dunfermline), in commemoration of the battle of Largs. 

  1266.—THE TAX OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY.—This year a general tax-roll of the 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 for the homage.  (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 235, No. 348; Dal. Mon. Ant. p. 23.)

  1269.—MATTHEW, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, ceased to be Abbot this year.  Nothing is known of this Abbot during his thirteen years of the abbotship.  It is not known whether he died, resigned, or was dismissed.  He was the eleventh Abbot and second Lord Abbot of Dunfermline.  (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 178-184.)

  1270.—THE NETHERTOWN AND GARVOCK BURN are mentioned in the Register of 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 this 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 Canmor 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 Queen, (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.


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