1323.—DAVID II. BORN IN THE
PALACE OF DUNFERMLINE.—David II., the second son of King Robert I., was
born a Dunfermline on 5th March. (Fordun, xiii. 5, 12; Barbour, xiv.;
Hailes’s An. Scot. vol. ii. p. 114.) Winton informs us that –
“De Kyng Robertis swn Dauy
Wes borne in-til Dunfermelyn.”
(Wynton’s Orygynale Cronykil Scot. vol. ii. p. 132.)
At the time of David’s
birth, the poets of the day were very fulsome in their praises of him,
declaring that he would one day rival his father’s fame; but this was not
to be. (Vide Hist. Scot. inter. 1340-1371.) King Robert the Bruce had a
son named John by his first wife. He appears to have died in his
infancy. He was buried in the Priory of Restennot, near Forfar.
(Gordon’s Monas. Scotiæ, p. 264.)
NORTH QUEENSFERRY CHAPEL
OF ST. JAMES.—“William, Bishop of St. Andrews, gives the Chapel dedicated
to St. James, in North Queensferry to the Abbey of Dunfermline, for the
service of which the monks must find two chaplains to celebrate Divine
worship, and must also provide a chalice, vestments, books, and ornaments,
suitable to the chapel.” (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 251, No. 367; Dal. Mon
Ant. p. 36; also date 1479.
DUNFERMLINE was Clerk of Liberance of the King’s Palace at Scone.
the first mentioned Port of the burgh, is noticed in a Charter of Robert,
Abbot of Dunfermline, regarding St. Catherine’s Almshouse, &c., which
states that this almshouse stood “extra portam”—that is, without the
Port. This Port, in aftertimes was called the West Port, to distinguish
it from the Burgh Ports, afterwards built. It stood in the middle of St.
Catherine’s Wynd. (See Annals Dunf. date 1780, &c.)
CHAPEL AND ELEEMOSYNARY HOUSE DUNFERMLINE.—The date of erection of this
Chapel and Almshouse is unknown. They are not mentioned in any record
until the year 1327, when their names occur in a Charter in the Register
of Dunfermline. The Charter begins as follows:--“To all the Sons of Holy
Mother Church, Robert de Carell, by Divine permission, Abbot of
Dunfermline,’ &c. The Charter refers to the Chapel, the Almshouse, and
time of distributing alms to the poor, as also to the Port, and the Gyrth
Bow, but is too long for insertion. (See Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 370,
pp. 253, 254.)
LIFE OF SIR WILLIAM
WALLACE, Written by John (or Arnold) Blair in Dunfermline Monastery.—In
the year 1298 John Blair, sometimes called Arnold Blair, a learned monk of
Dunfermline, became chaplain to Sir William Wallace. After the hero’s
death in 1305, it is understood that he re-entered the Monastery of
Dunfermline, and, during the late years of his abode there, wrote a
history of his renowned master (about 1327). It bears the title of
“Relationes Quædam; Arnoldi Balir, Monachi de Dunfermelen & Capellani, D.
Willielmi Wallas, Militis,” &c. (Vide Cottonian MSS. Brit. Museum;
Nicholson’s Scot. Historical Library, pp. 248, 249; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol.
i. pp. 397, 531.)
ROYAL INTERMENT OF
ELIZABETH THE QUEEN IN THE CHOIR OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY.—Elizabeth the
Queen, consort of King Robert I. (Bruce), died at Cullen Castle, near
Cullen, on 26th October, 1327, and was interred shortly afterwards in the
Abbey Choir. King Robert, at the time of her decease, was prosecuting the
Siege of Norham Castle, in England. (vide Barbour, xx.; Fordun,
xiii.12-14; Hemingford, vol. i. p. 229, &c.) Her age at death is not
known. She was a daughter of Aymer de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, in Ireland.
Her remains were accidentally discovered, in 1817, when the ground of the
Old Choir was being prepared for the New Abbey Church. Her place of
sepulture, was found to be a little to the north-east of King Robert’s
tomb, viz., about three yards north-east of the stalk which supports the
present pulpit. (Regarding the discovery of her remains, see Chal. Hist.
Dunf., pp. 152. 153, 154.) Fordun’s note regarding the site of her tomb
runs thus: “Anno Domini 1327, Septimo Kalendas Novembris, obit Domina
Elizabeth regina, mater Regis David, et sepulta est in choro de
Dunfermeling, juxta regem Robertum sponsum suum”—that is: In the year of
our Lord, 1327, on the 26th October, Dame Elizabeth the Queen, the mother
of King David, died, and was buried in the Choir of Dunfermline, near her
husband, King Robert. Some authors state that she died in Cullen Castle,
and give different dates of months, but all agree that it was between
October 26th and November 7th, 1327.
In an old Charter by
Queen Mary, mention is made of land and money, which had been bequeathed
by King Robert the Bruce, to pray for the soul of Elizabeth the Queen (for
ever). The following is an extract from said Charter:--
“I have given and grantit,
and be this oure letres have confirmed, for we and oure successouris gevis
and granttis oure speciale consent and assent, that ye auld chaiplanrie of
five poundis, infeft be umquhile oure predecessoure, King Robert the
Bruce, of gude mynde, of the burrow rudis of oure burge of Cullane with
thretty-thre schillingis four pennys in augmentatioune thairof, be the
Baillies and comunitie of the said burghe to sustene ane chaiplane daylie
residente yat tyme quhilk now may nocht leif yairupon to pray for the saul
of Elizabeth his spous, queen of Scottis, quhilk decessit in our said
burge of Cullane, and her bowellis erdit in oure lady kirk thairof,” &c.
This deed is dated 12th
July, 1543, and was printed in the Banffshire Journal of date December
15th 1863. From all this it would appear, that her body had been embalmed
at Cullen, and her bowels interred in the “Lady Chapel of Cullen,” and the
embalmed body thereafter taken to Dunfermline, and buried in the Choir of
the Abbey, adjacent to the site selected by King Robert, her husband, as
his place of sepulture.
The burgh of Cullen, in
Banffshire, is about 150 miles north of Dunfermline. Queen Mary would be
an infant about seven months old when that Cullen Charter was indited;
consequently, it would be made out in her name, under the sanction of the
Earl of Arran, Regent of Scotland.
1328.—KING ROBERT THE
BRUCE appears to have spent a considerable portion of his time, this year,
at Dunfermline and “Fons Scotiæ” (Scotland Well). The King, being
indisposed, was living in retirement at Dunfermline, and taking the
benefit of the waters of Scotland Well for his complaints. Scotland Well
is about 17 miles north-east of Dunfermline, on the north bank of
CHARTERS, WRITS, &c.—In
the Register of Dunfermline there are 34 Charters and Writs entered during
the reign of King Robert the Bruce, granted in favour of the Abbey, &c.
(between 1306-1329), 12 of which are from King Robert, the last entitled
“Quædam inquisition ca de tra de Oroc ptinen ad. . . “—an inquisition of
the lands, &c., of Orrock.” The Charter is dated 1328. These Charters
are between pp. 224-255 of Printed Register of Dunfermline, and are
numbered from 337 to 371 inclusive.
1329.—ROYAL INTERMENT OF
KING ROBERT THE BRUCE AT DUNFERMLINE.—King Robert I., the Bruce, of
immortal memory died of leprosy in Cardross Castle, on the Clyde,
Dumbartonshire, on 7th June, 1329, in the 55th year of his age, and 24th
of his reign, and was interred with great pomp and ceremony in the middle
of the Choir of Dunfermline Abbey. (Barbour, xx.; Fordun, xiii. 12, 14;
Hemingford, ii. 269; Abrid. Scot. Chron. p. 112; Hailes’s An. Scot. vol. i.
p. 353; Hay’s Scotia Sacra; Buchanan’s Hist. Scot.; Guthrie’s Hist. Scot.
&c.) Fordun’s words are, “Sepultus est rex apud monasterium de
Dumfermelyn, in medio chori debito cum honore.” (As above.)
Winton, alluding to his
“In Cardros quhare Kyng
In lang Sickness hys lattyr day,
He closed in gratyows state and pure
Hys spyryt sende to the Creatoure.
In the Kyrk of Dwnfermlyn
Hys body wes entery’d syne,
And gud Jamys of Dowglas
Hys heart tuk as first ordany’d was,
For to thei Haly Land;
How that was tane on hand
Well purportis Brwsys Buk,
Quhay will tharof the matter luke,” &c.
(Wynton’s “Orygynale Cronikil of Scotland,” vol. ii. p. 136.)
King Robert’s death “was
long and sorely lamented throughout the whole land.” History informs us
of the arrangements made, and the expenses disbursed in connection with
his funeral, but is silent on the subject of the proceedings and
procession on the day of his funeral at Dunfermline. There is no doubt,
however, that it was a large funeral, probably the largest seen in
Scotland, each heart throbbing with sorrow and regret as it went along.
Among the mourners on that day would be observed the young King, David
II,; Randolph, Earl of Moray; the Earl of Fife, the guid Sir James
Douglas, Sir David Berkeley, Sir Malcolm Fleming, Sir Gilbert Hamilton,
&c., and many others of Scotland’s heroes, besides others of the nobility,
knights, squires, bishops, abbots, and other clergy, “in numerous train.”
After the sacred rites of
the Church in the Choir were concluded, and just before the coffin was
lowered into its last resting-place, a great hero and orator takes up a
position near the place of sepulture, and made an oration over the great
departed hero. This was Sir Gilbert Hamilton, one of the seven knights
who “kept the King’s person in the Battle of Bannockburn,” He attended
the funeral to Dunfermline, and “made ane singular oration [over the
grave], in manner of deploration, in his lawd and commendation, for he wes
ane naturale oratore in English, and could exprime maist in little room,”
&c. (Cham. Gaz. Scot. p. 528.) Barbour’s account of the funeral ceremony
is as follows:--
“I hope that none that is on
The lamentation can describe
That folk for their Lord made;
And when they long thus sorrowed had,
They have him had to Dumferline,
And him solemnly erded syne,
In a fair tomb into the Quire.
Bishops and Prelates that there were,
Assoilzed him—when the service
Was done, as they best could devise.”
It would seem that the
principal mourners remained in Dunfermline for some time after the
“And syne upon the other day
Sorry and wo they went their way;--
And he debowelled was cleanly,
And als balmed syne full righely,
And the worthy Lord of Dowglas
His heart, as it forespoken was,
Received has in great daintie
With great and fair solemntie.”
(Barbour’s “Bruce,” pp.
430-432. Annals Dunf. dates 1817-1819.) Dr. J. Hill Burton, in his Hist.
Scot. vol. ii. 1, states that “King Robert the Bruce died at Cardross, on
the northern shore of the Frith of Forth”!
The following accounts
and disbursements of moneys, in connection with the obsequies of King
Robert the Bruce, are taken from the Chamberlain Rolls:--
Clerk of Liberance,
Account of John of
Dunfermlin, Clerk of Liberance of our Lord the King’s household, rendered
And to John of Lithcu for
expenses incurred about the funeral of the King, L. xxix, for which he
The same debits himself
with 23 ½ stones of wax form the Chamber-lain, which he delivered to John
of Lithcu, and so balanced.
Fine Linen.—Be it
remembered, that of the fine linen and books of gold, delivered by the
Chamberlain, having been received by purchase, there are delivered to John
of Lithcu 5 pieces of fine linen, and 5 books of gold-leaf, for the lamp
and apparatus of the King’s funeral; and, to Thomas Armoure, 24 pieces and
half an ell; And all the residue, about the herse (or temporary erection)
and vestments round the altar, besides the 9 pieces and 3 books of gold
remaining in possession of the Sacristan of Dunfermline.
He credits himself with
payment made for vestments and copes, and one bedcover, for the use of our
Lord the King, £8 os. 8d.; and to Thomas de Carnoto for the tomb of our
Lord the King, made at Paris, £13s. 4d.
To John, the apothecary,
as a gift from the King, £14 13s. 4d.; and to the same for his fee, £18.
To John, the apothecary,
by the King’s orders, £66 8s.; and to the same for a robe, 26s. 8d.
To the mason of the tomb,
for his wages, and a gratuity given to him by the keeper, by sure account
held with Sir Walter of Twynham, £12s.
And to Richard Barber, in
the preceding year, for the said tomb, £13 6s. 8d.
And to the workman of the
tomb, for freight of the said tomb, and for his expenses from Paris to
Bruges, and in England and elsewhere, to Dunfermline, £12 10s.
And in purchasing two
horses for carrying the litter, £10 13s. 4d.; and for boards of Eslandia,
bought for the Chapel, erected over our lord the King’s body, on the day
of the funeral. 40s.
And to Sir David Barclay,
for his expenses at Dunfermline, when he was purveyor for our Lord the
King’s funeral, £28.
And to the Abbot of
Dunfermline for his oblation on the day of the King’s funeral, according
to agreement, £66 13s. 4d.
And to the Rector of the
Church of Cardross for the oblation pertaining to him of our lord the
King’s funeral, £20.
The same credits himself
with payment to Henry of Driden for the King’s soul, in part
recompensation of the losses which he sustained by reason of his fee of
100 shillings from the multures of the Mills of Munros, subtracted by Sir
David of Graham, 100s.; and to Brynebill, in charity for the King’s soul,
And with the purchase of
a hundred thousand of gold-leaf, bought at Newcastle and York; six hundred
of bipartite gold-leaf, with paper, and a chest for holding the same; in
the seven pieces and five ells of fine linen, together with expenses made
about the same, for the funeral of our lord the King, £7 16s. 3d.
And with the purchase of
four pieces of fine linen, and of one thousand five hundred of gold-leaf,
delivered to Taskynus, the armourer, for our lord the King’s funeral, £6
Wax.—And to John of
Lithcu, by letter about our lord the King’s funeral, 478 stones and 4
pounds [of wax]; and to the same, for the same cause, 84 stones and 1
ACCOUNTS OF THE
Account of Sir Malcolm
Fleming, steward of our lord the King’s household, from 27th February 1329
[-30] to 10th January following;--
And for the costume of
the Steward and his suite, at our lord the King’s funeral, one piece
Buget.—To Knights for
their costume about the King’s funeral, 3 surtouts, and 2 mantles of black
To John of Lessydwyn, for
his stipulated robe for iron-work about the King’s tomb, 20s.
And in iron-work about
our deceased lord the King’s tomb, besides one robe elsewhere, charged £21
And for one cask of wine,
bought and given to the preaching friars of Perth, for the King’s soul,
ACCOUNT 25 JUNE, MCCCXXX.
And for certain expenses
about our lord the King’s funeral, made at Donypas and Cambuskenneth, of
which expenses the Sheriff of Stirling has to render account, £14 13s. 4d.
Meal.—And to seven
paupers, for the King’s soul, for one year ended on the Feast of St.
Peter, ad vincula, 7 chalders 9 bolls, and a third part of one boll.
ACCOUNT 12 MARCH, MCCCXXX.
Wheat.—And to Sir Malcolm
Fleming, at the obsequies of our lord the King, 5 bolls 3 firlots.
CLERK OF THE KITCHEN.
To Sir Malcolm Fleming,
at the obsequies of our lord the King at Dunfermline, 60 muttons.
ACCOUNT RENDERED 14 MARCH,
And to the Abbot of
Dunfermline, for money due to him by reason of the deceased lord the
King’s funeral, £66 1s.
And to the preaching
friars of Berwic, by warrant of the auditors of accounts, for the deceased
King’s soul, for one chalder of wheat and a chalder of barley, £4.
CHAMBERLAIN’S ACCOUNT, 14
Meal.—And to seven
paupers, for the King’s soul, for the year of this account, ending on the
Feast of St. Peter, which is called ad vincula, next to come, 6 chalders 9
bolls and three parts of a boll.
From these important
Rolls we learn several interesting items of information, viz., that the
marble tomb, or monument, erected to the memory of King Robert, was made
in Paris; that, when finished, it was forwarded to Bruges, under the
charge of workmen; at Bruges, or at Ostend, it would be put on board the
Abbot of Dunfermline’s ship, and thence, most likely, to Queensferry on
the Forth, for it’s destination in the Abbey. Bruges, it will be
recollected, traded with Dunfermline. (See “Cocquet Seal,” date 1322.)
Also, that the body of the King appears to have been taken along the old
Roman road direct to Dunipace from Cardross; from thence, vis Stirling, to
Dunfermline. By such a route the distance from Cardross to Dunfermline
would be about 60 miles.
These Rolls do not inform
us where the King’s body was embalmed, but most likely it would be at
Cardross, by John, “the apothecary.”
1330.—KING ROBERT THE
BRUCE’S MARBLE TOMB.—Immediately after the funeral of the valiant King, it
was resolved that a magnificent tomb of white marble be erected over his
grave. It would appear that there were no marble artists in Scotland at
this period consequently, application had to be made to the celebrated
worker in marble at Paris, viz., Richard Barber. He under took to furnish
such a tomb according to the plans sent to him for £6s. 8d. (a large sum
in those days). The tomb was finished by Barber during the summer of
1330, and dispatched immediately thereafter from Paris to Dunfermline, via
Bruges, and erected over Bruce’s remains, in the middle of the Choir of
Dunfermline Abbey, during the autumn of 1330. Of the form or aspect of
this tomb there exists no description, but from the fragments of
ornamental marble found, in 1817-1818, on the site where it stood, it
would be a tomb worthy of “the immortal hero.” (See Annals Dunf. date
1817-1818.) Fordun has preserved Bruce’s epitaph, which, no doubt, would
be cut into one of the conspicuous panel-spaces of the tomb, viz.:--
“Here lies the Invincible
Robert, blessed King. Let him who reads his exploits repeat how many wars
he carried on. He led the Kingdom of the Scots to freedom by his
uprightness; now let him live in the Citadel of the Heavens.” (Fordun
Scotichron, viii. 15; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 150.)
THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE
(Robert de Carel) received from the National Exchequer the sum of £66 1s.
this year, being his expenses, &c., for religious duties rendered on the
occasion of the obsequies of King Robert the Bruce’s funeral at
Dunfermline, 14th March. (Chamberlain Rolls, &c.; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol.
i. p. 497.)
“THE PERPETUAL VICAR OF
INVERKEITHING” comes to Dunfermline his regarding the Poverty of his
Church.—In a Charter, or Writ, in the Register of Dunfermline, dated this
year, it is recorded that John de Kinross, Perpetual Vicar of
Inverkeithing, came to Dunfermline, and represented to the Abbot and Monks
that his place was so much exhausted by exactons and contributions,
apostolical as well as royal, that there were not sufficient funds for the
ornamenting and repairing of the Choir, &c. The Monastery agreed to pay
half the expense of doing to in future. It is somewhat singular to find
that this Charter is dated on a Sunday. Dunfermline fraternity had in so
doing relaxed a little from the strictness of their Order. The Charter is
dated thus:--“The Sabbath-day before the Feast of St. Matthew, the Apostle
and Evangelist [Sept. 21], Anno Dom. M.CCC.XXX.°” (Print. Regist. Dunf.
No. 372, p. 256.)
1331.—ROBERT DE CRAIL,
Abbot of Dunfermline, ceased to be Abbot about this period.
ALEXANDER DE BER appears
in the Charters of the Register of Dunfermline, for the first time this
year as Abbot of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dunfermline. (Print.
Regist. de Dunf. No. 380, p. 261.) He ranks as the 16th Abbot of
Dunfermline. It is not known when he was elected and consecrated Abbot.
Neither is it known what became of his predecessor, Abbot Robert—whether
he died in office, or demitted his charge, or was dismissed.
1332.—INTERMENT OF REGENT
MORY AT DUNFERMLINE.—Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray and Regent of
Scotland, died suddenly at Musselburgh, on 20th July, 1332, and was
interred below the Lady Chapel at Dunfermline Abbey, according to the
directions he had given in his Charter of date 1321. He was Regent of
Scotland from the death of King Robert, the Bruce, to the date of his
untimely fate. He was married to the sister of King Robert, and
consequently was the King’s brother-in-law. His age at death is not on
The great Randolph was
one of “the commanding leaders” on the field of Bannockburn in 1314. On
the death of the Bruce in 1329, he was elected Regent of Scotland. In
July, 1332, he was sojourning in Musselburgh when he was poisoned by an
insidious monk. “His death was the cause of great sorrow and
lamentation.” Hailes, in his Annals of Scotland, says that Randolph “was
a man to be remembered wile integrity, prudence, and valour are held in
esteem among men.” (Vide Barbour-á -Pinkerton, vol. iii. p. 179; Fordun,
ii. p. 29; Wynton’s Oryg. Cron. Scot. vol. ii. p. 146; Abrid. Scot. Chron.
p. 116; Hailes’ An. Scot. vol. ii. p. 146’ Dal. Monas. Antiq. p. 52, &c.)
The precise spot where the remains of Randolph were interred is not known,
but it would appear it was somewhere within the area of the present
Session-house of the New Abbey Church. A memorial should here be erected
to his memory. Barbour, in his reference to the “good and great warrior
“The good Earl governed the
And held in peace so the countrie
That it was never on his day
So well, as I heard old men say,
But syne, a’lace, poisoned was he
By a false monk full traitorouslie;
To see his dead bodie was great pitie.
Thir Lord’s died upon this wise,
Be that high Lord of all thyngs is
Up to his meikle bliss them bring,
And grant his grace, that their offspring
Lead well the land, and intentive
Be to follow in all their life
Their noble elders great bountie
Where one fold Gog in Trinity
Bring us nigh to his meikle bliss,
Where always lasting liking is.”
(Barbour’s “Bruce,” p. 443.)
EDWARD BALIOL AND HIS
ARMY ARRIVE IN DUNFERMLINE.—Edward Baliol, contending for the Crown of
Scotland, during the minority of David II., after landing his forces at
Burntisland, advanced with his small army to Dunfermline, on August 3rd,
where he found a seasonable supply of 500 excellent spears, and a quantity
of provisions, which had been stored up in the Palace some days before by
Randolph, the Regent. (Tytler’s Hist. Scot. vol. ii. p. 12; Bland’’s
Collection, vol. i. p. 558; Knighton, p. 2560; Chron. Lanercost; Hailes’s
An. Scot. vol. ii. p. 148; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 264, &c.)
Referring to this
incident, old Winton says—
“The Inglismen yhit
Fra thai tuk land, thare byddan wes,
And restyde thame a quhyle; and syne
Thai tuk the wai up til Dwnfermlyne,
And thare all a quhyle thai lay,
And sent thare schyppys about in Tay,” &c.
(Wynton’s Orygynale Cronikil Scot. vol. ii. p. 148.)
1334.-THE TOWN OF
KIRKCALDY, &C., GIVEN TO DUNFERMLINE ABBEY.—In a Parliament of the year,
the town of Kirkcaldy was made a Burgh of Regality, and mortified, along
with its harbours, to the Abbots of Dunfermline successively. (Sibbald’s
Hist. Fife et Kin. P. 314; Webster’s Topp Dict. Of Scot. p. 407.)
1335.—A PARLIAMENT was
held at Dunfermline, when Sir Andrew Moray was elected Regent of Scotland
during the minority of David II. (Vide An. Dunf. date 1338; Fordun-a-Hearn,
p. 1028-1032; Tytler’s Hist. Scot. vol. ii. p. 52.)
SIR JOHN DE STRIVILIN
AND ST. MARGARET’S FEAST AT DUNFERMLINE.—Edward Baliol, the Pretender to
the Crown of Scotland, had entrusted the siege of Lochleven Castle to Sir
John de Strivilin. Allan de Vipont held the Castle for David II. The
siege was carried on until 19th June, on which day Sir John’s hopes of
success were destroyed. The old historians state that the 19th June was
kept as a holiday in remembrance of St. Margaret; people from the most
distant parts of the country resorted to Dunfermline to celebrate the
anniversary of the festival of the saint, and to pay their adorations at
her shrine. Thither went Sir John de Strivilin, with part of his
garrison—some bent on religious some on making purchases, thinking that
their position of the banks of Lochleven were ”secure against the fates.”
Regarding the besiegers
leaving their fortifications for Dunfermline, Winton says—
“Before the Castelle thus
Til Saynt Margret the Qwensys dai
That dai Schyr Jhon de Striviline
Past with hys curt til Dunfermlyne,
And al the gentlys that with hym ware—
And in the tyme that thai ware thar,
The Stwf that was of that Castelle,
Ful wythyng gat and harde rycht weil
That with Schyr Jhon of Strivilyn
Thare days past to Dunfermlyn.”
Allan de Vipont, Governor
of the Castle (Lochleven). Took advantage of the absence of Sir John at
Dunfermline, and was successful in destroying the bulwarks which the
besiegers were erecting. An express was sent from Kinross to Sir John,
who with his followers, immediately set out for his camp, swearing
dreadful oaths by the way to his men, and vowed that he would not abandon
his enterprise until he had razed the Castle and put the garrison to the
sword. The appearance of things, however, on his arrival at his camp made
him at once raise the siege.
Referring to this, Winton
goes on to say—
“Word came til Dwnfermlyn
Til Schyr Jhon de Strivelin
Than (fra) Kinrosos, til Dwnfermlyn,
Than he was werra wode and wrathe
And swore mony ane awfue aithe.”
(Wynton’s Orygynale Cronikil Scot. vol. ii. pp. 181, 182.)
The references to this
incident are Fordun, xiii. 30, 31; Boeth. Lib. xv. Fol. 230; Barbour-á-Pinkerton,
vol. iii. p. 179; Heron’s Hist. of Scot. vol. iii. p. 40, &c.)
THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE
BECAME A LEGAL PROCURATOR.—Alexander de Ber, Abbot of Dunfermline,
received a procuratory form King David II., which conferred on him certain
privileges in legal transactions, and a letter also from the same King to
make certain payments to him.(Print. Regist. Dunf. Nos. 373, 374, pp.
256-258.) In the original MS. Register, or Chartulary, no less that
twenty-two monks’ names belonging to the Abbey are adhibited to Charter
374 as witnesses.
1337.—THE TOWN OF PERTH
ORDERED TO BE FORTIFIED, the Abbey to Pay part of the Costs.—Edward III.
(of England) ordered the otwn of Perth to be fortified at the expense of
the “Abbeys of Aberbrothick, Couper, Lindores, Balmerinock, Dunfermlyn,
and St. Andrews.” (Maitland’s Hist. Scot. vol. i. p. 527.)
“JUDGMENT” FINES.—This year, William, Earl of Ross, Supreme Criminal Judge
north of the river Forth, issued a mandate to the Sheriff of Fife, to pay
the eighth part of the fines of his last itinerary to the monks of
Dunfermline. (Print, Regist. Dunf. No. 376, p. 259.)
1340.—THE RIGHT OF THE
ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE TO A MAN AND HIS TWO SONS DISPUTED.—A jury was
empanelled on 12th May, to meet the Sheriff of Fife in the Cemetery of
“Katyl” (Kettle), to try the disputed case between the Abbot of
Dunfermline and the Earl of Fife, as to the ownership of a man and his two
sons, The Assize declared tht the man and his sons were the property of
the Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 379, p. 378;
Tytler’s Hist. Scot. vol. ii. p. 254.)
SIMON STURY, AND LANDS IN
MUSSELBURGH.—The Abbot of Dunfermline made a grant of seven acres of land
at Musselburgh to Simon, Stury, burgess there. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No.
235, p. 150.)
1341.—FRENCH NOBILITY IN
DUNFERMLINE.—This year Ambassadors, accompanied by a retinue of the
nobility, and a body of soldiers, came to Scotland to induce David II. to
invade England. They succeeded. Edinburgh could not afford accommodation
for the whole of the retinue, accordingly a great many of the French
nobility went to Dunfermline, and other towns, for suitable lodgings. (Holingshed.
Hist. Scot. p. 226; Froissart, vol. I. pp. 8-10; Stevenson’s An. Scot. pp.
SIR JAMES DE DUNDAS,
Excommunicated by the Abbot of Dunfermline, because he persisted in
molesting the Abbey boatmen at the landing-rock, North Queensferry.
EXCOMMUNICATION Granted by the Abbot of Dunfermline to James de Dundas.—This
Memorandum, or Writ, in the Register of Dunfermline, is curious, and we
therefore give a free translation of it:--
“Memorandum.—That in the
year of God, 1342, on Wednesday before the Feast of St. Bartholomew the
Apostle, Alexander, by the grace of God, Abbot of Dunfermline, went down
to the south side of the Queen’s Ferry, at the request of James de Dundas,
concerning an amicable termination of a dispute that had arisen between
him and the Abbot, on account of his molesting the Abbot’s men and boat
landing at two rocks within the flowing of the tide, as they were wont to
do. However, James de Dundas had alleged these rocks to be his property,
though the Abbot, his predecessors, and the Monastery had quietly and
peaceably enjoyed the right of landing on them beyond the memory of man,
and on this had a Charter from King David, their founder and first patron,
as also the Confirmations of the various Kings, his successors, and Popes,
as the Abbot then exhibited, in presence of the following subscribing
witnesses, viz., Magister Johannes de Gaytmilk, Alanus de Liberton,
Michael Squier, Radulphus Clericus, Johannes de Herth, Alanus Dispenser,
Richardus filius Willielmi Scrismour, Robertus Young, Johannes filius
Henry, Johannes de Lochilde, Radulphus Gourley, as also before other,
inhabitants of the ferry. James de Dundas had, on account of his
molestation, incurred the general sentence of Excommunication contained in
the Confirmation of the Popes, which he had during some time obdurately
resisted, until, on the before-mentioned day, he humbly supplicated the
Abbot, sitting along with some of his Council on these rocks, as being in
possession of them, that he would absolve him from the sentence of
Excommunication, and he should abstain from molesting the men and boats in
future. The Abbot, yielding to this humble supplication, absolved him
from the sentence of Excommunication, as far as lay in his power, on his
finding security to abstain from the like molestation; but were it ever
repeated, he should immediately again incur the same censure.”
(Print. Regist. Dunf. No.
381, pp. 262, 263; Dal. Mon. Antiq. pp. 56, 57, 58; Mercer’s Hist. Dunf.
pp. 227, 228; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 242, 243.) The rocks in the
dispute were those now called the Binks, a little to the west of South
1343.—KING DAVID II. AND
HIS QUEEN JOANNA RESIDING IN DUNFERMLINE.—From several old documents, it
would appear that King David II. and his Queen resided for a short time in
the Palace of Dunfermline, in November and December, 1342, during which
period several Royal Charters are dated from Dunfermline. One in
particular may be noted here, viz., the Charter of King David II., under
his Great Seal, confirming the Holyrood Charter of King Robert (his
father). This Charter is dated “Dunfermline, 30th December, the
fourteenth year of our reign,” (1343). (Vide Marwick’s Edin. Burgh Rec.
Repays her Debt to the Abbey.—The Abbot and Convent had advanced to
Christiana Beseth, during her most urgent necessity, forty pounds
sterling, for the ransom of her son, imprisoned in England; therefore she
conveyed to the Monastery the right to three pounds nine shillings yearly,
which she drew from certain lands. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 382, p. 263;
Dal. Monas. Antiq. pp. 37, 38.)
1353.—ALEXANDER DE BER,
Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, having gone to Rome to solicit a special
indulgence, died, on his return journey, at the village of St, Stephen, in
Lombardy (of the plague). He was the 16th Abbot of Dunfermline, and held
the office of Abbot twenty-two years. (Fordun, xiv. 8; Preface Print.
Regist. Dunf. p. 14; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol, I, p. 187.)
JOHN BLAK, the Cellarer
of the Abbey, was chosen Abbot of Dunfermline, by special license from the
King and the Bishops of Scotland. (Fordun. Xiv. 8, vol. ii. p. 349; Chal.
Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 187.) This was the 17th Abbot of Dunfermline.
THE Office of Abbot of
Dunfermline, held by John Blak, was disputed by John of Stramiglaw (Strathmiglo?).
JOHN BLAK resigned his
Abbotship of Dunfermline in favour of John of Stramiglaw.
JOHN OF STRAMIGLAW,
elected and consecrated Lord Abbot of Dunfermline in place of John Blak.
This was the 18th Abbot of Dunfermline. A few explanatory noted are here
The Convent of
Dunfermline had elected John Blak , their Cellarer, an excellent and
learned man, to be their Abbot; but John of Stramiglaw, a young monk of
the Abbey, then studying in Paris, hurried to Avignon, and obtained a
Papal presentation to the Abbacy, which Blak did not think proper to
resist, but accepted from his rival first a pension, and afterwards the
Priory of Urchard, in Moray, a cell of the Abbey. Fordun alludes to
Stramiglaw, in rather measured terms, and to the juggle by which he
obtained the Abbacy, which leaves the impression that he still held the
office of Abbot while the historian was writing, and therefore was not to
be lightly spoken of. (Fordun xiv. 8.) As Fordun’s story is curious, we
give a translation of it:--
“At the same time a
certain monk of this Monastery (Dunfermline), John of Stramiglaw by name,
then studying in Paris, and fearing that his Monastery would sustain
damage on account of the general reservation made by the Supreme Pontiff
concerning all the dignities of those who departed on a journey of this
sort, lest that dignity should fall into the hands of a stranger, repaired
to the Court of Avignon, and obtained the Abbacy of Dunfermline by Papal
Bulls: but these things being heard of , the said John Blak (the Abbot),
having consulted the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, pretended that he would
not give up his dignity as Abbot even to the Papal Legate himself; but
having learned the apostolic reservation and collation made to him by
Papal Bulls, whilst the Apostolical Legate himself was entering the
cemetery (or churchyard) of the Monastery with a few attendants, the
aforesaid Abbot, by the advice of his brethren, for the preservation of
the indemnity of the Monastery, adorned with the ecclesiastical vestments,
and wearing his mitre, proceeded to meet him, the conventual brethren
following him in procession, and placed the mitre on the head of the
Apostolical Legate, put the pastoral staff in his hand, and led him to the
choir and the altar, singing ‘Te Deum Laudamus,’ with a melodious tone and
loud voice; and having made speech, he, with not less humility than
cheerfulness, caused him to be installed, and he first, with bended knees,
rendered his manual obedience, the others following in like manner; to
whom, in his turn, the Apostolical Legate showed himself grateful, by
providing for him an honourable pension, and he was afterwards elected to
the Priory of Urchard.”
This same John of
Stramiglaw, on account of the taxation of his Monastery made in the ocurt,
paid 50 merks sterling to the Apostolical Treasury. It is to be noted
(adds Fordun’s continuator that he received that dignity from the
liberality of the Apostolical See, upon this condition, that (the right of
the Monastery should remain thereafter as at first, and the right of
confirmation to the Lord Bishop of the diocese, as clear, unimpaired, and
entire as of old, and as it was from the foundation of the house, without
any diminution of its right, or prejudice, or exaction whatsoever.” (See
also Fordun, ii. pp. 349, 350, fol. Edit 1759.)