"The mist of ages" had obscured the actual life of the
patron saint of Glasgow ere it was written, as we now have it.
nearly six hundred years after he had
finished his apostolic labours.
The life on which, with the
exception of a fragment, all the others are now based, was written by
order of Bishop Jocelin, who was
appointed to the See of Glasgow in A.D. 1174.
It was compiled by a monk of Furness
(who bore the same name as the bishop), not merely from the tradition, but
from two prior manuscripts, giving accounts of the life and acts of the
The oldest of these MS. appears to have been written in
the native British language, and it is by some thought possible that the
writer was St. Asaph, one of St. Mungo’s own monks, and who was appointed
by him to be his successor in North
Be this as it may, the life, as we
now have it, is mixed with much that is purely legendary; yet, as these
monkish stories not only relate to the reputed founder of our city, but
figure so prominently in its armorial insignia, they must ever be of
interest to those born and living in the city of St. Mungo.
Under these considerations, it is
deemed appropriate to begin this volume of Glasgow Anecdotes with these,
most certainly its very earliest stories.