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Annals of Dunfermline
A.D. 1301 - 1401 - Part 2


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.

  1325.—‘JOHN’ OF DUNFERMLINE was Clerk of Liberance of the King’s Palace at Scone.  (Chamberlain Rolls.)

  1326.—WEST PORT.—This, 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.)

1327.—ST. CATHERINE’S 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 Lochleven.

  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 death, says—

“In Cardros quhare Kyng Robert lay
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 life
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 funeral.

“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:--

[Translation.]

Clerk of Liberance, MCCCXXIX

  Account of John of Dunfermlin, Clerk of Liberance of our Lord the King’s household, rendered at Scone.

  And to John of Lithcu for expenses incurred about the funeral of the King, L. xxix, for which he will answer.

  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, 6s. 8d.

  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 6s. 7d.

  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 pound.

ACCOUNTS OF THE CHAMBERLAIN, MCCCXXX.

  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 cloth.

  Buget.—To Knights for their costume about the King’s funeral, 3 surtouts, and 2 mantles of black buget.

  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 8s. 2d.

  And for one cask of wine, bought and given to the preaching friars of Perth, for the King’s soul, 66s. 8d.

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, MCCCXXX.

  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 DECEMBER, MCCCXXXI.

  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 record. 

  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 Regent,” says—

“The good Earl governed the land,
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 never-the-las,
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 thai lai
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 syne
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.)

  1339.—THE MONK’S “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. 28, 29.)

  SIR JAMES DE DUNDAS, Excommunicated by the Abbot of Dunfermline, because he persisted in molesting the Abbey boatmen at the landing-rock, North Queensferry.

  1342.—ABSOLUTION FROM 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 Queensferry.

  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. pp. 317-318.)

  1347.—CHRISTIANA BESETH 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 necessary.

  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.)


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