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Notes on the Early History of Scotland
Interpolations in Ancient Annals

IT may not be out of place to append to this treatise an examination of those other works, which were largely interpolated for the purpose of making people believe that Hibernia and Scotia were ancient names of’ Ireland. That they were produced or tampered with may never be certainly known. At the time the Irish strove to obtain possession of the affluent Scots monastery at Ratisbon or Hegensburg, they were charged with making a fraudulent entry in the records of the establishment, in which they described Ireland as Great Scotland. This took place in the year 1515, and possibly some of these works may have been tampered with then to support the fictitious claim. For, notwithstanding the allegations of the Irish ecclesiasties, the local authorities were clear that the monastery belonged to Scotland; and it was accordingly restored to the Scots. [Burton’s History of Scotland, New Edition, vol i., pp. 202 and 203 and note.]


It will surprlse many readers to learn that Tacitus Life of Agricola is to be considered one of the fabricated works, though it may not have been produced for the purpose of identifying Hibernia with Ireland only. Ireland or Hibernia is mentioned several times in this work. In one place it is implied that its ports were more frequented, in Agricola’s time, than those of Britain; but this is contradicted by the evidence which will be produced when speaking of the absence of civilization and trade among the early inhabitants of Ireland. In another place, it is said that Agricola had often remarked that with a legion and a few auxiliaries, Ireland might easily be annexed to the Roman empire. For this information he is said to have depended upon a certain petty king of Ireland, who had been driven from that country, but whose name is prudently withheld. If this had been true, it would have been strange to find that Agricola, according to this work, wasted so much time and the lives of so many men, in trying to conquer so barbarous a country as Scotland, while a fine commercial country lay an easy prey at no great distance.

These are not the only statements in Tacitus’ Life of Agricola which are open to objection. The authenticity of the whole work has been questioned even; and several cogent proofs have been adduced to support this opinion. Among the first editions of Tacitus’ works it was not included. It was first produced at the time that Hector Boece, the most fabulous of the early Scottish historians, was studying at Paris. It mentions few places in Scotland, but speaks of the Horesti as one of the tribes inhabiting that country. Ptolemy, who gives the names of many, if not all of the tribes inhabiting Scotland not long after Agricola’s time, never mentions the Horesti. In addition to this there is no reliable evidence to show that Agricola ever was in Britain. It is said that he is not even mentioned, during the fourteen centuries after he lived, by an other author but Dion Cassius, whose history has been imperfectly preserved. This is the only work which can be produced in support of the authenticity of Tacitus’ Life of Agricola, and it cannot be said to afford much. The early annalists of both Scotland and England totally ignore both Taeitns and Agricola. Gildas, Nennius, the Saxon Chronicle, Ethelwerd, Henry of Huntingdon, William of Malmesbury, Florence of Worcester, Roger of Wendover, &c., give an account of the British wars of Julius Ceasar, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Severus, &c., but nothing is said of Agricola’s grand campaign, [Burton’s History of Scotland, vol. i., page 10, note] Hector Boece is the first writer who says anything about it.

Another objection to the authenticity of Tacitris’ Life of Agricola may be noticed, as it bears on the early history of Scotland. It is there stated, in direct opposition to other writers, that Agricola first subdued and explored the Orkney islands. [Section ix.] Eutropius, Bede, Nennius, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Henry of Huntingdon, and Ordericus Vitallis, all affirm that it was the emperor Claudius who added the Orcades to the Roman empire. Dr Skene says it is difficult to reconcile the statement that Claudius added the Orcades to the Roman empire, with that of Tacitus, that Agricola first made the Orcades known, [Celtic Scotland, vol. i., p. 36, note.] Whether are we to believe the Life of Agricola on this point, or the statenients of the other writers just mentioned? If the latter, then this also tends to show that the work under review is a fabrication. It will be afterwards shown that the Orcades spoken of by Bede and these other writers are not the Orkney Islands. These latter, we learn from authentic records, were not so called till the ninth century, if not later, but it is not unlikely that Tacitus’ Life of Agricola may have been compiled partly to support this transference of the name.

In addition to the foregoing objections, it may be urged that the statements in the Life of Agricola regarding the previous conquests of the Roman troops in Britain do not accord very well with the references of Lucan, Martial, V. Flaccus, Statius, and Pliny, to the Caledonians. The latter writers imply that the Romans had reached the Caledonian territory before Agricola’s time; Tacitus does not admit this. Then again we are told that the brilliant campaigns of Agricola went for nothing after all. If it were possible to prove that this Life of Agricola is a travestied account of the actions of Lollius Urbicus in Britain, there would be better circumstantial evidence to support it. It is certain that Urbicus was the commander of the Roman troops in Britain when the wall and chain of forts were built between the firths of Forth and Clyde; and it would not require any severe strain on our faith to believe that he fought several severe engagements with the tribes to the north of this barrier. His conquests were not fruitless either. The wall which he built remained the boundary of the Roman province to the north till the time when the Ronians left the island, [Skene’s Celtic Scotland, vol. i., p. 77.]

The character of Vettius Bolanus, as described by Tacitus in the Life of Agricola, [Section xvi.] is also entirely at variance with the adulation of Statius when speaking of the same general’s actions in Caledonia. If we are to believe that the description was really penned by Tacitus, and that it is true, then we must confess that in this instance Statius has strung together a series of fables about Bolanus. There are numerous other discrepancies in this work, but it is needless to point them all out as they have been frequently commented on by different editors. Considered along with the fact that Agricola’s campaigns had never been heard of by any of the early annalists of either England or Scotland, and that he is not commemorated by a single coin or inscription found in Britain, they lead to the conclusion that the Life of Agricola is a fabrication of the fifteenth or sixteenth century. It is remarkable that two celebrated men of the name of Agricola flourished about that period.


Adamnan’s Life of St Columba is considered to be so genuine a work that the very idea of doubting its authenticity will be received with wonder by the numerous writers who have dealt with Columba’s life and works, Those of them, however, who condescend to peruse the following pages may perhaps reconsider the grounds of their decision. The present writer is not the only person who has questioned the authenticity of this work. Dr Gibes, in his edition of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, [Bohn’s Translation, P. 264, note.] says: "I have strong doubts of Adamnan’s having written it." Sir James Dalrymple, and a Prussian clergyman, likewise called the genuineness of the work in question; [Reeves’ Adamnan, appendix to pref., p. lix.] and viewed in the light thrown upon the subject in bringing forward the proofs which support the opinion that Scotland was the Only Scotia, the doubts expressed by these writers receive strong confirmation.

It has to be remarked, in the first place, that although Reeves’ edition of Adaman’s Life is said to be founded upon a manuscript of the eighth century, it is allowed that there is a total absence from it of the interlacing and artistic work which characterises most of the Scotic writings of the same period; and it appears first to have been heard of fifty years after the Reformation in Scotland. Besides this, reference is made to a work of Adamnan’s, entitled The Holy Places, in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and Wendover’s Flowers of History; but no notice is taken in either work of his Life of Columba. With reference to this omission in the Ecclesiastical History, it is explained that Adamnan probably wrote his Life of Columba after visiting King Aldfrid; but if this were the case, it is strange that no notice is taken in the Life of his having adopted the Roman usage with regard to Easter observance, which was at variance with the custom advocated by his illustrious predecessor. This explanation will not suit Wendovers case. He was a writer of the thirteenth century, and as five hundred years had elapsed since Adamnan lived, it would have been strange to find that he had never heard or read of such a remarkable work as this Life of Columba, had it then existed. It would have been a book as well worth noticing as that about the holy places. Wendover mentions Columba as well as Adamnan, but even when speaking of the earlier saint, not a word is said abont this Life. These facts are not in favour of the authenticity of the work before us: and its testimony regarding the question at issue might be discarded on these grounds alone; but let us examine it and see how valueless it is to support the belief that Ireland was once called Scotia.

Cumminius, a successor of St Columba in the abbacy of Hii, wrote a life of his eminent predecessor, which is said to form the ground-work of Adamnan’s third book. A few chapters of Cumminius’ work are also incorporated in other portions of Adamnan’s Life. Is it not possible that some scribe in the sixteenth century fabricated the latter on the basis of the former? A note to Reeves’ edition of Adamnan’s Life enables the reader to trace the whole of the earlier life, and it will be found to differ in this material respect from the later one, that it seldom if ever uses the word Hibernia, whereas in Adamnan’s work that word occurs frequently. To show the curious way in which this word is used in the later life, it will be sufficient to notice its occurrence in the only extract from Cumminius’ work which is acknowledged by Adamnan, and then to quote the instances in which it occurs in the later life.

The acknowledged extract is found in Lib, lII, chapter five, and Hibernia appears there; but a note informs us, by giving the exact words of Cumminius, that no such word is used in the text of the earlier life.

Turning now to the first and second books of Adamnan’s work, which were mainly written by himself, or rather alleged to have been, we find Hihernia often mentioned, but it is generally accompanied by the word Scotia, in the sentence immediately preceding or following. This is also a characteristic feature of some of the interpolated chapters of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. Of course the design is to make people believe that they were names for one country; but it is never distinctly affirmed anywhere in this work that Ireland or Hibernia was called Scotia. This duty is left for writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to fulfil.

Reeves discharges the task in the following manner. [Irish Archaeological Society’s Edition.] In Lib. I. chapter twelve, for instance, a note to the word Scotia says: "Or Hibernia, as in the next sentence, showing that Ardnamurchan was not then in Scotia." Two chapters further on Scotia and Hibernia are found in the same sentence. In the seventeenth chapter again the word Scotiam appears, and a note to it says: "That is, Hiberniam, as in the next sentence.’ In the following chapter we find Scotiam and Hiberniam, and Scotia and Hibernia. A note to the first says: "Hiberniam lower down. Again in Scotia and its equivalent in Hihernia." In the twenty-second chapter, Scotiam and Hiberniam appear in sentences following each other; and in the forty-eighth chapter Hiberniae is followed by Scotiae, and it again by Hiberniam. In the second Book, the thirty-eighth chapter contains the word Scotiam, which, a note informs the reader, is convertible with Hiberniam in the next sentence. The following chapter has the word Scotia twice, but omits Hibernia. A note says: "This is another instance of the use of the word for Ireland, as contradistinguished from Scotland, then a part of Britain." In the following chapter, the fortieth, Scotia occurs, and a note to it informs us that it is "Called Hibernia in an earlier part of the chapter."

In all these instances, it will be seen, Hibernia and Scotia are made to appear as if they were synonymous names for Ireland; and yet here, as in all the ancient writers works with which we are dealing, this is never distinctly affirmed to have been the case.


Of Nennius, the reputed author of a history of the Britons, little is known; and it is even uncertain when the work was originally written. Some writers assign its compilation to the year 796, and others, to the year 994. Henry of Huntingdon quotes it as a work written by Gildas, and there is no impossibility in this, for it ends with the times before Gildas’ days; and in most of the manuscript copies of Nennius’ British History it is attributed to Gildas.[Innes’ Critical Essay, vol. 1., p. 192] Some additions about the kings of the provinces of England have been added by later writers; but there is reason to believe that the genuine work was written by Gildas, as stated by Huntingdon, who lived in the twelfth century.

Speaking of Nennius’ History of the Britons, as it now exists, the editor of one of the best editions published thus refers to its interpolations: "It will strike every reader that this work was peculiarly dealt with. It was treated as a sort of common land, upon which any goose might graze. Mere transcribers seem to have played the editor, if not the author." [Todd’s Irish Version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius, p. 19,] The earliest manuscript so far as is known to this editor, is of the twelfth century. [Todd’s lrish Version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius, p. 21.]

A work of such a dubious character might well be summarily rejected as an untrustworthy evidence of a Scots settlement in Ireland bcfore the eleventh century; but it is worth while to examine the evidence it does furnish somewhat minutely, in order to form a proper estimate of its fictitious nature. The Historia Britonum, in its original state, has apparently been wholly incorporated in Geolfrey of Monmouth’s British History; and this work, though overloaded with fabulous matter, enables us to trace the interpolations in Nonnius’ History. The passages in the latter which do not appear in Geoffrey’s work are suggestive, when looked at in connection with the subject at issue. Both works are contained in the Six Old English Chronicles in Bohn’s Antiquarian Library, and in comparing the two reference will be made to the translations in this volume.

To begin with, a few minor interpolations, which only indirectly concern the present question, may be noticed. Nothing equivalent to paragraph eight in Nennius’ History, for instance, is found in Geoffrey’s work. It is as follows: "Three considerable islands belong to it (Britain), one on the south, opposite the Armarican shore called Wight, another beween Ireland and Britain called Eubonia or Man, and another beyond the Picts named Orkney." The same can be said of paragraph twelve, which is to the effect that the Picts first occupied the Orkney Islands, from which they laid waste many regions, arid seized those on the left hand side of Britain, of which they are said to be in possessioli at the time the history was written.

Paragraph thirteen of Nennius, which is one that has a direct bearing on the Ireland-Scotia question, has a little, a very little, in common with the more probable account given of the settlement of the Spanish colonists called Barclenses in Ireland by Geoffrey, in Book III., chapter twelve, which was likely taken from a genuine edition of the Historia Britonum. In the edition under review, however, the Scots take the place of the Barclenses, and are represented as settling in Ireland in connection with improbable events, as is usual with these interpolations. In noticing the settlement of the Spanish colonists in Ireland, Geoffrey totally ignores the Scots, and the marvellous circumstances connected with the colonisation as recorded by Nennius. The fabulous account of St Patrick’s life and labours, which occurs in paragraphs fifty to fifty-five, is also unnoticed by Geoffrey, who would never have passed over such a. marvellous record without sorne allusion to it had it appeared in the original manuscript.

The paragraphs referring to St Patrick’s life occur in a manuscript copy of the Historia Britonum, lying in the library of the Vatican at Rome. They do not appear in all the manuscripts of the work found elsewhere. Like other notices of presumed Irish saints, this one contains many wonderful, if not incredible, statements. It also speaks of Palladius, but unlike an English historian of the thirteenth century, in whose works a similar notice appears, it represents him as going to lreland to find the Scots. To let the reader understand its untrustworthiness it will be better to transcribe the whole passage; and then to compare it with the one in the works of Roger of Wendover, referred to above:—

In those days St Patrick was a captive among the Scots. His master’s name was Milcho, to whom he was a swineherd for seven years. ‘When he had attained the age of seventeen, he gave him his liberty. By the Divine impulse, he applied himself to reading of the Scriptures, and afterwards went to Rome, where, replenished with the Holy Spirit, he continued a great while studying the sacred mysteries of these writings. During his continuance there, Palladius, the first bishop, was sent by Pope Celestine to convert the Scots (the Irish). But tempests and signs from God prevented his landing, for no one can arrive in any country except he be allowed from above. Altering, therefore, his course from Ireland, he came to Britain, and died in the land of the Picts. The death of Palladius being known, the Roman patricians, Theodosius and Valentinian, then reigning, Pope Oclestine sent Patrick to convert the Scots to the faith of the Holy Trinity; Victor, the angel of God, accompanying, admonishing, and assisting him, and also the bishop Germanus. Germanus then sent the ancient Segerus with him as a venerable and praiseworthy bishop to king Amatheus, who lived near, and who had prescience of what was to happen; he was consecrated bishop in the reign of that king by the holy pontiff, assuming the name of Patrick, having hitherto been known by that of Mann; Auxilius, Isserninus, and other brothers were ordained with him to inferior degrees. Having distributed benedictions, and perfected all in the name of the Holy Trinity, he embarked on the sea which is between the Gauls and the Britons, and, after a quick passage, arrived in Britain, where he preached for some time. Every necessary preparation being made, and the angel giving him warning, he came to the Irish Sea, and having filled the ship with foreign gifts and spiritual treasures, by the permission of God he arrived in Ireland, where he baptised and preached. From the beginning of the world to the fifth year of king Logiore, when the Irish were baptised, and faith in the unity of the individual Trinity was published to them, are 5330 years. St Patrick taught the Gospel in foreign nations for the space of forty years. Endued with apostolical powers, he gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, gave hearing to the deaf, cast out devils, raised men from the dead, redeemed many captives of both sexes at his own charge, and set them free in the name of the Holy Trinity. He taught the servants of God, and he wrote 365 canonical and other books relating to the Catholic faith. He founded as many churches, and consecrated the same number of bishops, strengthening them with the Holy Ghost. He ordained 3000 presbyters, and converted and baptised 12,000 persons in the province of Connaught, and in one day baptised seven kings, who were the seven sons of Amalgaid. He continued fasting forty days and nights on the summit of the miountain Eli, that is, Cruaachan-Aichle, and preferred three petitions to God for the Irish that had embraced the faith. The Scots say the first was, that He would receive every repentant sinner, even at the latest extremity of life; the second, that they should never be exterminatod by barbarians; and the third, that as Ireland will be overflowed with water seven years before the coming of our Lord to judge the quick and the dead, the crimes of the people might be washed away through his intercession, and their souls purified at the last day. He gave the people his benediction from the upper part of the mountain, and going up higher that he might pray for them, and that, if it pleased God, he might see the effects of his labours, there appeared to him an innumerable flock of birds of many colours signifying the number of holy persons of both sexes of the Irish nation who should come to him as their apostle at the day of judgment to be presented before the tribunal of Christ. After a life spent in the active exertion of good to mankind, St Patrick, in a healthy old age, passed from this world to the Lord, and changing this life for a better with the saints and elect of God, he rejoices for evermore. St Patrick resembled Moses in four particulars. The angel spoke to him in the burning bush, he fasted forty days and forty nights upon the mountain. He attained the period of 120 years. No one knows his sepulchre nor where he was buried. Sixteen years he was in captivity. In his twenty—fifth year he was consecrated bishop by St Mattheus, and he was eighty-five years the apostle of the Irish. It might be profitable to treat more at large of the life of this saint, but it is now time to complete the epitome of his labours.

As already stated, the above is in many respects identical with an account of St Patrick’s life given in Roger of Wendover’s Flowers of History; and yet there is a material difference between the two. The one just quoted makes it appear as if Ireland was the country inhabited by the Scots, whereas Wendover confines the Scots to Scotland, and distinguishes between it and Ireland. Had it been the case in St Patrick’s time, that Ireland was called Scotia, and was peopled by Scots, he would have said so. He says Patrick was "Born in Ireland, and in his childhood was sold by his father, with his two sisters, into Scotland." Like Nennius, he says Palladius was sent to convert the Scots, but instead of sending him to Ireland to find them, he says: "Preaching the Word of God in Scotland, he (Paliadius) afterwards went into Britain, and died in the land of the Picts." Scotia and Britain were different countries then, as already stated; [Ireland not the Hibernia of the Ancients, p. 43] and as Wendover, in speaking of St Patrick, distinguishes Ireland from Scotland, he cannot mean the former when he uses the latter designation. The Scots are mentioned twice after this in the account in Nennius, but the name does not again occur in Wendover’s notice. That the latter’s is also fabricated there is every reason to believe, as will be afterwards shown in dealing with St Patrick’s supposed Irish mission; but it serves the purpose in the meantime of proving that the interpolations in Nennius’ about the Scots in Ireland were made after Wendover’s lifetime.

The following interpolations in an account of the Cruithnians, or Picts of Ireland, which cccurs in the Irish version of Nennius, cannot be passed over. In the thirty-first section of Todd’s edition of the Historia Britonum, after the name of king Geascuirtibout, these words are found: "XXX. of them henceforward, and Bruide was the name of every man of them, et reynaverunt, Hiberniam, et Albaniam,, per cl. annos ut invenitur, in the books of the Cruithnians, Bruide Pante was the name of the first Bruide." Then follows thirty kings of the name of Bruide. In a note among the additional notes, page xlv., we are told: "The Pictish Chronicle says, upon the name. of Bruide the first, a quo traginta Brude regnaverunt Hiberniam et Albaniam pee 150 annorum spatium; and adds their private or personal names. . . . If these thirty kings reigned over Albania, there will then be a double list of the kings of Fortren, which absurdity has induced me to analyse these statements." The analysis is followed by these remarks: "Thus when it was merely a man’s name, we find it recurring occasionally, but when it was titular to all alike, we find it entirely absent. Which evinces that the words, Hibernia.. . . . spatium are superfluous and false, as well as the thirty private names; and that these thirty Bruides are simply the kings of Pictland from Brudi Bout to Talorc III."

Passing on, in the text of the work, to king "Drust, the son of Erp, c. annis regnavit, and gained a 100 battles." Here we find added: "Nonodecimo anno regni eius Patricius sanctus episcopus ad Hiberniaim pervenit." The same passage appears in Fordoun’s list of kings, thus: "Durst, qui alias vocabatur Nectane filius Irbii annis xlv. Hic, ut asseritur, ‘Centum annis vixit et centum bella peregit.’ Quo regnante sanctus Palladius (instead of Patricius as in the Irish account), episcopus a beato Papa Caelestine missus est ad Scotos docendos, longe tamen ante in Christo credentes." It will be noticed that there is no Hiberniam in the passage as given by Fordoun; and his notice of Palludius’ mission to the Scots is in accordance with the Saxon Chronicle, which also leaves out all notice of Ireland and Hibernia in conneetion with Palladius’ mission.

Passing Talore, the next king after Drust, we come to Nectan Morbreac or Morbet, after whose name the following occurs: "Tertio anno regni ejus Darlugdach, abbatissa Cille-Dara de Hibernia exulat pro Christo ad Britiniam; anno adventus aui immolavit Nectonius anno uno Apurnighe Deo et sancoe Brigida, proesente Darlugdach, quoe cantavit alleluia super istam." A note to this passage, which appears on pages 161—3, says: These statements are false and out of chronology. Pictland and Abernethy were not then Christian, nor was St Bridget then born, nor was Darluchdach yet abbess of Kildare." Further on the same note informs us that Fordoun ascribes the foundation of Abernethy to St Bridget and her seven virgins, but places it in the reign of Garnard Makdompnach, the successor of the Bruide in whose times St Columba preached to the Picts, which is of course more probable."

It will be seen from the above that whenever the Irish account of the Cruithnian kings and the early part of the Pictish Chronicle introduce Ireland, or rather Hibernia, the information given along with it is contradicted by other authorities who evidently used the same original manuscript from which these two were compiled, and at the same time interpolated.


Florence of Worcester’s Chronicle is the next work we propose to analyse. It is mainly a copy of the Chronicle compiled by Marianus Scotus, who was born in 1028 and died in 1052. Under the year 1028, Florence calls Marianus a Scot of Hibenmia. [Translation in Bohn’s Antiquarian Library, which is the edition referred to throughout this notice.] Marianus himself says he was born in Scotia; and he never expressly affirms that this was the name of Ireland or Hibernia; but he gives a clear indication of the country of his birth by connecting kings Duncan and Macbeth with Scotia. [Burton’s History of Scotland, vi. i., p. 207, and Chalmers’ Caledonia, vol. i., p. 408, note.] lreland lays no claim to a monarch of the name of Macbeth in the eleventh century.

At the year 446, Florence speaks of the Scots and Picts coming from the north to invade the territories of the Romanised Britons in unison with other writers. At 651, Finan is said to have been sent by the Scots; and at 661 he is said to have been succeeded by Colman, who was also sent out of Scotland. At 664, Colman, we are told, rejoined his adherents in Scotland, which is also called his own country. From these instances, selected from others of the same nature, and compared with what has been said about these Scottish priests in reviewing Bede’s Ecclesiastical History (above, page 39), it will be seen that Florence’s Scotia was the Scotland of the present day, or at least a part of it.

Some of the interpolations which occur in Florence’s Chronicle may now be given to show their character. A.D. 491. St Patrick, archbishop of Ireland, made a blessed end, aged 122 years." "521. St Bridget, the Scottish nun, died in Ireland." " 672. As he (Bishop Ceadda) was departing out of this world, the most reverend father Egbert, who had been his fellow-scholar in Ireland, saw the spirit of St Chad, the bishop, Ceadda’s brother, with an host of angels, descend from heaven, and bear it upwards with them on their return to the realms of bliss." 674....Ireland, the island of the saints, was gloriously filled with holy men and wonderful works." " 687. St Killian, a Scot, born in Ireland, and bishop of Wartzburg, became eminent." These interpolations in two instances connect the Scots with Ireland; but that country is never called Scotia here or elsewhere in Florence’s Chronicle. After these interpolations, however, it may be as well to give a few more quotations from the genuine text, in which Scots are connected with Scotland. At the year 901, in speaking of the life of King Edward, it is said that "he also reduced to subjection the king of the Scots, the Cumbrians, and the Strathclyde and Western Britons." At 1050, "Macbeth, king of Scotland;" is spoken of. "A.D. 1054. Siward, the stout earl of Northumbria, by order of the king, entered Scotland, with a large body of cavalry, and a powerful fleet, and fought a battle with Macbeth, king of the Scots, in which the king was defeated with the loss of many thousands, both of the Scots and of the Normans."

The reader may now be able to judge whether the following celebrated Scots belonged to Ireland or Scotland. They are claimed by the Irish, but as Florence does not say they were born in Ireland, or had ever been in that country, their claim cannot be allowed. "974. . . . Eberger, archbishop of Cologne, gave the abbey of St Martin at Cologne to the Scots for ever. Minborin, a Scot, was the first abbot." "986....Minborin, the Scotch abbot, died in the abbey of St Martin at Cologne. . . . Killin succeeded him." 1003. "Killian, a Scot, and abbot of the Scottish monastery of St Martin, died. . . . Helias, a Scot, succeeded him." 1042. "Abbot Elias, a Scot, died... of St Martin. He was succeeded by Maiolus, a Scot, a holy man. 1061. "Maiolus, abbot of the Scots, died at Cologne; Foilan succeeded him." As no distinction is made between the Scots over whom Macbeth was king and these Scots just mentioned, they were evidently all born in Scotland.

Between these notices the following relating to Ireland appear, which are so characteristic as to be worth reproducing:—

‘A. D. 1043..... Animchadus, a Scottish monk, who led, a life of seclusion in the monastery at Fulda, died...... Over his tomb lights were seen, and there was the voice of psalmody. Marianus, the author of this chronicle, took up his station as a recluse for ten years at his feet, and sang masses over his tomb. He has related what follows respecting this Animchadus: ‘When I was in Ireland,’ says Marianus, ‘in an island called Keltra, he entertained, with the permission of his superior, named Cortrarn, certain brethren who came there. Some of them departed after their meal, but those who remained sat warming themselves at the fire, and asked him for something to drink, and on his refusing to give it without leave, they urged him to comply. At last he consented, but first sent some of the beverage to his superior, for his blessing. On the morrow, being asked for what reason he sent it, he related all the circunistanoes. But his superior, for this slight fault, immediately ordered him to quit Ireland, and he humbly obeyed. He then came to Fulda, and lived a life of holy seclusion, as I have already said, until his death. This was told us by the Superior, Tigernah, on my committing some slight fault in his presence. Moreover, I myself heard, while I was in seclusion at Fulda, a very devout monk of that monastery, whose name was William, implore the aforesaid Animchadus, who was then in his tomb, to give him his benediction; and, as he afterwards told me, he saw him in a vision standing in his tomb, shining with great brightness, and. giving him his benediction with outstretched arms; and I, too, passed the whole of that night in the midst of a mellifluous odour.’ These are the words of Marianus."

Marianus says he was obliged to leave his country, winch in his own work he calls Scotia, on account of religions disputes. This notice in Florence has evidently been fabricated, not only to connect Marianus with Ireland, but also to show why he left his native couutry. It is very unlikely that the slight fault noticed here is the religions disputes referred to by Marianus; and the marvellous circumstances with which it is connected, are alone sufficient to discredit it.

The other notice of Ireland appearing between the notices of the Scots of Cologne is as follows: "1053.....Aed, a long-bearded cleric in Ireland, a man of great eminence and earnest piety, had a large school of clerks, maidens, and laymen; but he subjected the maidens to the tonsure in the same manner as clerks, on which account he was compelled to leave Ireland."


Henry of Huntingdon is considered to be the of the earliest of the English historians as distinguished from chroniclers. He lived in the first half of the twelfth century. The first two books of his history are mainly a cornpilation from Bede’s Ecclesiastical history and the Saxon Chronicle. The third book is an epitome of Bede's information relating to the conversion of the English to Christianity. There appears to be no manuscript extant which can be considerd to have been written by Huntingdon. All the manuscripts, the earliest of which date from the thirteenth or fourteenth century, are therefore only copies; and this should be borne in mind in dealing with the statements contained in the work, as it renders the task of tracing any interpolations more difficult. It was first printed in the year 1596, that is, after the period of the Reformation in Scotland.[Bohn’s Translation, preface, p. xiii.]

It is difficult to say how much of this work is Huntingdon's own composition, as already stated. He frequently speaks of Hibernia or Ireland; but it has to be remembered that the former name had probably become attachcd to Ireland before his day. Many of the interpolations in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History are copied in this work; but it is possible they may have been inserted in Huntingdon’s History by other hands than his. It is significant to find that Ireland or Hibernia is seldom mentioned in the work before us from the period of Bede’s death till the eleventh century. Dealing with the work as we find it, however, there is abundant evidence to show that Huntingdon understood Scotia to have always been the name for the north—east of present Scotland; and that, like all the other writers whose works have been examined, he was ignorant of its having ever been applied to Ireland. It is necessary to reiterate this statement in order to bring out the fact as clearly as possible that all the ancient English historians who lived near the time when Ireland is said to have been called Scotia, or when the. transference of the name to present Scotland is said to have taken place, omit all notice of such an important historical event, as it strengthens the other proofs in favonr of Scotland being the only Scotia.

Having dealt at some length with the most of the interpolations in Huntingdon in speaking of those in the Ecclesiastical History of Bede, it is needless to go over the same ground again. A few passages will be referred to in support of what has just been alleged, and this is all that is necessary to add to what has already been said on the subject. With regard to Huntingdon’s ignorance of Ireland being called Scotia, we have a plain intimation near the begining of the history, that is, supposing the passage to have been written by him. That it is an interpolation made for the purpose of showing there were large numbers of Scots in Ireland, has already been sufficiently demonstrated, but that does not affect the present question. Near the beginning of the first book [Bohn’s Translation, p. 2.] it is said that Albion was afterwards called Britain, and then England. Shortly afterwards the Scots’ migration from Ireland is spoken of, which country is described and mentioned several times. [Ibid., pp. 9-12.] It is even stated that it was the original country of the Scots. This was the place to say that Ireland was at the time called Scotia, but there is not even a hint given here, or elsewhere in this work, that such was the case. Although the Scots are connected with Ireland, it is always called by that name, or rather Hibernia. This is just what has been done in copying the same information into Bede’s History; and in both instances the interpolators have so far missed their mark. In speaking of Henry of Huntingdon’s statement about the Pictish language being entirely lost, and the people being all destroyed, which also occurs at the beginning of the first book, Professor Skene says it is not true of the language, if it resembled one of the other languages mentioned by Bede and Huntingdon so closely that one of the spoken languages might equally represent it.. He adds that it is not true of the people either, as almost in the very year Huntingdon says they were all killed, he mentions the Picts as forming an entire division in David the First’s army at the battle of the Standard.[Celtic Scotland, vol. i. p. 194, note.] This shows how inefficiently the manipulators of ancient Scottish history discharged their task, and emphasises the remarks made by Innes on their want of sense and judgment, as quoted above (page 15).

Passing on to the period when the Romans left the island destitute of armed men, we find Hnntingdon repeating the substance of the passages in Bede, and all the other ancient annalists, relating to the incursions of the Scots and Picts.[Bohn’s Translation, pp. 38- 36] These have been taken from a preceding writer, Gildas, who never speaks of Ireland or Hlbernia. After describing the several successful inroads of the Scots and Picts, Huutingdon then notices their defeat by the Britons, and has the same sentence as we find in the Ecclesiastical History: "The Scots with shame returned to Ireland," or Hibernia. [Ibid., p. 35.] Here again no mention is made of Scotia as the name of Ireland.

Hnntingdon refers to Palladius being sent to the Scots, as most of the other ancient writers do. [Ibid., p. 35.]  Shortly afterwards he tells us that the Scots and Picts again attacked the Britons; and here he calls them northern nations, [Ibid., p. 36.] like Gildas. With the interpolated passages about Scots coming from Ireland to Britain, and returning there again, readers might have some difficulty in saying which Scots it was to whom Palladius was sent; but they have just to remember that Huntingdon lived when Scotia was the well-known name of present Scotland, and if these Scots had been the inhabitants of any other country he would have said so. In Book II. we are told that Oswy subjugated most of the tribes of Scots and Picts who occupied the northern districts of Britain; and shortly afterwards it is said that Edgar’s dominion extended over all the Scottish people. [Bohn's Translation, p. 52] It requires to be noticed that the northern districts of Britain here mentioned were not Scotia proper, but those districts of Britain adjacent to its southern frontier. There must have been no Scots in Ireland in Edgar’s time, for there is no evidence that his dominion extended over that country.

Passing on to the letter addressed by Laurentius to the Scots, [Ibid., p. 83] which has already been spoken of in dealing with the same in the Ecclesiastical history, we have the first mention of Scotia or Scotland by Huntingdon. If this had been the name of Ireland at time time referred to, a writer, who lived when it was a name for Scotland only, would have said so. And so with the Scots, to whom Pope Honorius wrote, [Ibid, p.94] if they had been inhabitants of any other country but Scotland Huntingdon would have said so. At page 96 [Ibid] we are told that Osric and Eanfrid had been baptised while they were in exile among the Scots and Picts; and on page 97 that "Oswald . . . sent into Scotland where he had been exiled.’ Then these words occur in the next sentence: "The Scots who dwelt in the south of’ Ireland." Here then we have not only a distinction made between Scotland and Ireland, but also between the Scots of Scotland and the Scots of Ireland. Of course this is taking the work as it stands. Several of these passages are evidently interpolations, especially those in which Ireland is mentioned, but their character in this respect has been treated of already. It may not be out of place to enumerate them all here, so that the reader may cornpare them with each other, amid with the references to the Scots and Scotia.

In addition to the instances already noticed, Ireland or the Irish are mentioned on pages 2, 3, 52, 60, 98, 99, 102, 106, 114, 117, which takes us up to the year 699, or about 35 years before Beck’s death. The words Ireland or Irish do not occur again till the year 945, pages 169 and 170; and then not again till the year 1051, page 203. With the exception of the two last, the others have all been dealt with in speaking of the interpolations in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. It is remarkable to find that all the notices of Ireland which occur in Huntingdon up to the year 699 appear also in Bede’s work, and that the name is not found again in Huntingdon till the year 945, which is after the time Ethelwerd says Ireland was first so called.

Besides the notices of the Scots and Scotland already referred to, the following appear:—Pages 4, 8, 38, 54, 55, 80, 98, 104, 105, 147, 169, 170, 172, 173, 176, 184, 198, 204, which takes us to the year 1054. The most of these seem to be a part of the genuine text, and they all refer to the country now called Scotland or its inhabitants. It should be stated that, in the passage on page 80, it is said that there was a controversy with the Scots and Picts about Easter, The Scots are twice mentioned here by Huntingdon. Wendover reproduces this passage almost word for word; but neither Scots nor Picts nor anything about the Easter controversy appears in connection with the same event as narrated by that writer.

This completes the review of the early annals which have been largely interpolated for the purpose of making people believe that the Scots originally came from Ireland to Scotland. An examination of these which have only been slightly tampered with for that purpose will be made at the beginning of another treatise, which will deal with the early history of Ireland and Iceland, in so far as it concerns the origin of the Scots.

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