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The History of Glasgow
Chapter XII - Bishop Joceline—Additional Lands—Condition of Serfdom


BISHOP INGELRAM died on 2nd February, 1173-4, and his successor, Joceline, abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Melrose, was chosen by the clergy, "the people requesting and the king consenting," at Perth, on 23rd May, 1174. Pope Alexander III. confirmed the election, and commanded that consecration should be given to the new bishop elsewhere if it was extremely difficult for him to appear before the Pope. Joceline was accordingly consecrated by the Primate of Denmark in 1175. Retaining the attitude of his predecessors, Joceline resisted the encroachment of York. On 25th January, 1175-6, King Henry held a council at Northampton, at which King William and the bishops of Scotland, as well as the archbishops of Canterbury and York, were present, and the question of jurisdiction was then discussed. The Scottish bishops refused to recognize the archbishop of York as their metropolitan, and the two archbishops having disagreed on the English claims no decision was arrived at till 30th July, 1176, when Joceline obtained from the Pope a command that until he had examined and decided the question the bishops of Scotland should yield no obedience to the archbishop of York, notwithstanding that Henry of England had compelled them to swear obedience to the Anglican church. [Reg. Episc. Nos. 35, 38; Dowden's Bishops, pp. 298-300; Lawrie's Annals, pp. 200, 213; Scottish Annals, pp. 264-6.]

King William had a great desire to add Cumberland and Northumberland to the Scottish kingdom, and when, in 1173, the son of Henry II. rose in rebellion against his father, William gave his support, on the promise of having his wishes in that respect so far gratified. While on a hostile expedition into England, in connection with this movement, William was taken prisoner at Alnwick, in July, 1174, and was not released: till the following December, and that on an extorted treaty whereby he became vassal of the English king for the entire extent of his dominion. In this irksome state of subjection William remained during Henry's lifetime, but after the accession of Richard I., who in the course of his crusading career was in urgent need of money to meet the costs of an expedition for achieving the conquest of Jerusalem, negotiations on the subject were renewed, and the "Lion-hearted king" readily accepted ten thousand merks as compensation for restoring the independence of Scotland. In the interval between the Alnwick affair and the restoration accomplished in 1189 William had much to do in keeping down trouble in different parts of his own kingdom, especially in quelling insubordination both in Galloway and in the far north. So far, however, as the bishopric of Glasgow and the town itself were concerned any information we have indicates a progressive state of development and rising importance.

By a Papal Bull addressed to Bishop Joceline, and apparently issued shortly after his election, though as transcribed into the Register bearing the obviously erroneous date 29th April, 1174, the rights of the church of Glasgow to many churches and lands were confirmed, and it was declared that the church was dependent only on Rome. On this subject it may here be added that by a writing addressed to King William; on 13th March, ii88, Pope Clement III. decreed that the Scottish church owed subjection only to the apostolic see, whose spiritual daughter she was, with no intermediary, and in that church the episcopal see of Glasgow was known to be included. [Reg. Episc. No. 32; Lawrie's Annals, pp. 199, 275 ; Scottish Annals, p. 299; Dowden's Bishops, pp. 298-9.]

As compensation for excesses committed by him against St. Kentigern and the church, after the decease of Bishop Ingelram, King William, by a charter supposed to have been granted between 1175 and 1177, gave to Bishop Joceline lands then called Balain [Reg. Episc. No. 39.] or Badlayn, and perhaps to be identified with those now known as Bedlay, situated on the north-east corner of the parish of Cadder and close to the border of Stirlingshire. If this surmise be correct the lands can scarcely have formed part of Cadder parish at the time when Malcolm bestowed the bulk of the lands on the church, but they may have been added to the parish after the date of William's gift. Lying to the north of "Ballain" were lands called Mucraht which William Cumin, baron of Lenzie and lord of Cumbernauld, claimed as belonging to Kirkintilloch and the bishop of Glasgow claimed as belonging to Ballain. An arrangement was concluded, between the years 1200 and 1202, and in presence of the King and his court, at Alyth, Cumin resigned to the bishop all right which he had to the lands. [Reg. Episc. No. 90] In the Barony plan of 1773 the place is called Muckcroft.

The several lands acquired by the bishops up till this time seem to have embraced all those which are classified in sixteenth century Rentals as situated within the barony of Glasgow. New names found either in charters or rentals, such as Dalmarnock, Barrowfield, Possil, Kenmore and Ramshorn, usually, if not invariably, imply sub-divisions of land having a general name, though it may be that in some instances lands were acquired of which no trace of acquisition has been preserved either in the Register or in title deeds.

That a section of the native population existed in a state of serfdom till at least the thirteenth century is shown by references in old chartularies and registers to their occasional transfer by sale or gift, and one such transaction is noted in the Glasgow Register. By an undated charter, but supposed to be granted between the years 1174 and 1189, King William transferred to the church of St. Kentigern and to Bishop Joceline and his successors Gillemachoi of Conclud, with his children and all his descendants, and the king charged his baffles not to obstruct the transfer. [Reg. Episc. No. 34.] As a rule, though there were exceptions, the serf was sold only along with the land on which he dwelt, and it is probable that Gillemachoi lived on that part of Conclud which was assigned to the bishop in or about 1170.


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