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The History of Glasgow
Chapter XXVI - Baronial Revenues—Appointments of Bishops—Charters by King Robert—Polmadie Hospital—Barlanark or Provand —Chapel of St. Thomas—Lost Seal—Manor of Lochwood


INTROMITTERS with the temporalities in the barony of Glasgow must have had a somewhat precarious experience during the early years of the War of Independence, and they were probably changed more than once according to the dominance of the party locally in authority at the time. In the beginning of 1309 Scotland was becoming consolidated as the result of Bruce's successes, and it was at this time that the charter to Bishop Robert, already referred to, [Antea, p. 143.] was granted. By this document, which was dated at Arbroath, 26th April, 1309, the king charged his officials and lieges to cause the bishop's churches, lands, rents and whole possessions and goods, "hitherto seized " by others, to be delivered to his chancellor, Bernard, lord abbot of Arbroath, and to Master Stephen of Donydouer, canon of the church of Glasgow, his chamberlain, or either of them, as vicars or vicar of the bishop. [Glasg. Chart. i. pt. ii. pp. 21-23.] At this time and during the next five years the bishop was confined in an English prison, so that he must have enjoyed little if any personal advantage under the new arrangement, but it may be assumed that the revenues of the see would thenceforth be applied for the benefit of those engaged in the performance of the duties of office and the administration of affairs.

Canon Stephen, as empowered by the charter, probably acted as vicar during the absence of the bishop, and on the death of the latter, in 1316, he was himself chosen bishop and proceeded to Rome to receive confirmation. Failing apparently to obtain the Pope's sanction, Bishop Stephen left Rome to return to Scotland, but he died in the course of the journey. In 1318 the Pope appointed John de Egglescliffe, of the Order of Preaching Friars, to the bishopric, and, meanwhile, the chapter of Glasgow, perhaps unacquainted with the proceedings of the Apostolic see, had chosen John de Lindesay as bishop. The Pope declared this latter election to be null, and in a similarly discordant mood the appointment of Egglescliffe was disregarded in Scotland. Having at last reported to the Pope that he got nothing from his bishopric, and that he was unable to govern and instruct the flock committed to his care, Egglescliffe was, in 1323, translated to a see in Ireland, and John de Lindesay was thereupon accepted by the Pope and duly consecrated. [Dowden's Bishops, pp. 309-11. At the time of his selection as bishop Lindesay was one of the canons of Glasgow.]

In the bulls and diplomacies on the national affairs of Scotland, it was long before the papal see acknowledged Bruce's right to the title of king, [Notwithstanding the attitude maintained at the Roman court a provincial council of the Scottish clergy, held at Dundee in February, 1309-10, recognised Bruce as the lawful king of Scotland (A.P,S. i. p. 460).] but the solemn address and appeal of the Scottish Parliament, adopted at Arbroath Abbey and forwarded to the Pope in 1320, had a powerful effect, and from that time intercourse between Rome and this country assumed a friendlier tone. In an admonitory bull, dated in July, the English king was exhorted to try conciliation with Scotland and negotiations in that line were commenced, but it was not till three years later, and after resort to hostilities in the interval, that peace was concluded between the two countries. [Hill Burton's History of Scotland, ii. pp. 283-7.]

In the years of his reign subsequent to the battle of Bannockburn many charters, mainly of confirmation, were granted by Bruce to the church, such renewals being necessary in some cases to restore to their proper destination revenues which had been misapplied during the more troublous times. By writings addressed to the burgh of Rutherglen and his bailies of Cadihou in 1315-6, and by precepts to his chamberlain, King Robert confirmed grants by his predecessors and authorised continuance of the yearly payment, from the fermes of Rutherglen and Cadihou, of zoo shillings for the stipend of a chaplain in the church of St. Kentigern; ten merks towards the stipends of the dean and subdean in that church; and forty shillings for the lights of St. Kentigern. [Reg. Episc. Nos. 259-62.]

One of the latest official acts of Bishop Robert was the appointment of Sir Patrick Floker as master and guardian of the Hospital of " Polmade," with power to exercise discipline over the brethren, sisters and pensioners. Floker was at the time connected with the church of Kilpatrick, and it was stipulated that he should employ a curate to officiate in that church during his absence. The bishop's writing is dated at Glasgow, on Friday after the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist (25th April), in the year of grace 1316. [Reg. Episc. No. 263.] By a charter dated at. "Ruglen," on 28th May of the same year, King Robert directed that the masters, brethren and sisters of the hospital, here called the "Hospital of Polmade near (juxta) Ruglen," should freely enjoy all the privileges they had in the time of his predecessor, King Alexander, and specially that no one should seize the goods belonging to them in "Strablathy," or any other place, and that no one should trouble or molest them, contrary to the royal protection. [Reg. Episc. No. 265. "Strablathy," indicating the kirk and kirklands of Strathblane, was an endowment the origin of which cannot be traced. This connection with Strathblane gave the lords of Lennox an interest in the hospital, and in 1333 Earl Malcolm confirmed to the brothers and sisters freedom from all kinds of service, burdens and exactions, both as regards their own house and their church of Strathblane (lb. No. 284).] Three years later another patron crops up in the person of King Edward II. of England, who, when at York, in July, 1319, on the eve of his unsuccessful invasion of Scotland, issued presentations to a large number of prebends, churches and benefices in that country, and included in the list is a grant to William de Houk of the guardianship of the "Hospital of St. John of Polmadde in Cliddesdale." [Parish of Strathblane, by J. Guthrie Smith, p. 170.] But it is not probable that this appointment took effect.

John de Lindesay, who obtained the bishopric in 1323, bestowed on the hospital a considerable tract of adjoining land. At that time the revenue was found to be insufficient for continuing the celebration of divine service and the maintenance of the poor brothers and sisters dwelling in the hospital, and the bishop gave for these purposes the east half of his adjoining lands of Little Govan, [Reg. Episc. No. 260.] resulting apparently in an equal division between the bishopric and the hospital of the considerable area which lay between Gorbals lands and Rutherglen territory.

One of the presentations of King Edward in 1319 was in favour of Thomas de Newehaghe whom he had "appointed to the vacant prebend of Barlanark in the church of Glasgow," [Bain's Calendar, iii. No. 658. At the same time, the king had appointed Robert de Coucy to the " vacant deanery of Glasgow " (lb. No. 659), but there is no evidence that he entered into possession. In Registrum Glasguensis (Nos. 271 and 273) the dean in 1325 is named, variously, Robert de Bardis and Robert de Florencia.] but here, as in the appointment to Polmadie Hospital, the nomination seems to have been disregarded. John Wyschard

is noticed as holder of the prebend both in 1321 and 1322. [Reg. Episc. Nos. 268, 272.] The lands of Barlanark are understood to be those named "Pathelanerche" in Earl David's Inquisition, and are identified with "Barlannark cum Budlornac," which Bishop Herbert, previous to 1172, gave in augmentation of the prebend of Cadiho or Hamilton.3 Subsequently, Barlannark had been erected into a prebend by itself, and on 12th May, 1322, King Robert I. [Antea, pp. 37, 54.] authorised John Wyschard, designated "canon of the prebend of Barlanark of the church of Glasgow," to hold his prebend of Barlanark in free warren, and forbade that any person should cut wood, hunt on the lands, or fish in the lochs, without licence of the prebendary. [Reg. Episc. No. 272. The king was in Glasgow when this charter was granted. The witnesses were Bernard, abbot of Aberbrothoc, chancellor, Walter the steward, and James, lord of Douglas, and David de Lindesay, knights.] A "warren" right was considered to carry an inferior jurisdiction, as compared with free "forest," but both seem to have been independent of all except the sovereign authority. The vernacular Provand, by which name Barlanark was subsequently known, is understood to be the equivalent of the Latin Prebenda. It was a peculiarity of this benefice that the prebendary who held it, though a member of the cathedral chapter, was not, as far as can be ascertained, parson of any charge in town or country. Each of the other prebendaries, with the exception, perhaps, of Glasgow Secundo, who held the vicarage, was parson of a parish in the diocese. [Cosmo Innes says "a prebend often consisted of land, or even of money-rent. One at Elgin was prebenda centum solidorum " (Legal Antiquities, p. 183). The lands of "Provand," comprising an estate of 2,000 acres, situated to the east of Glasgow, will hereafter come in for occasional notice. For a summary of their history, see Glasgow Memorials, pp. 208-12.]

In 1320 Sir Walter Fitz-Gilbert, progenitor of the ducal family of Hamilton, entered into an arrangement with the chapter of Glasgow cathedral whereby a suit of priests' vestments and plate, which he had given for use in services at the altar of the Virgin Mary, in the crypt of the cathedral, were allowed to be borrowed on certain occasions elsewhere, one of these favoured places being the chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr, where they might be used twice yearly, viz, on the Feast of the Commemoration of St. Thomas (29th December) and the Feast of his Translation (7th July). [Reg. Episc. No. 267.] This is the earliest known reference to the chapel of St. Thomas in Glasgow. Though the chapel is -supposed to have adjoined, or to have been in some way connected with the chapel of St. Tenu, we have little definite information on the subject.

At the time when the affixing of a seal to a document was the sole evidence of its authenticity, the safe custody of the matrix was essential to avert the risk of fraud. Now the matrix of Bishop Lindsay's seal happened to be lost, and to guard against any damage or injury that might be sustained through its possible use while beyond the bishop's control, protests were taken by him with declarations to the effect that any documents bearing the impressions of the seal from the date of its disappearance would be null and void. These protests and declarations were recorded by John de Quincey, notary public, in an instrument which sets forth that on 23rd April, 1325, the bishop appeared in his court at Glasgow, in presence of the notary and witnesses, and stated that his seal had been lost and that if found it was in nowise to be afterwards used, all documents to which it might be affixed being of no effect. The seal is described as containing the form or image of the blessed Bishop Kentigern, with the shield of a nobleman, William de Coucyaco, on one side, and a fish bearing a ring in its mouth above it, and the bishop's own shield on the other side, with a little bird over it; and the name of the bishop was also inscribed on the seal. The instrument then narrates that on 30th April the bishop, while dwelling at his manor de Lacu, [The dwelling on the south side of the Bishop's Loch, otherwise called the Manor of Lochwood, about six miles east of Glasgow Cross. The bishops of Glasgow retained this residence till the time of the Reformation. A chapel was also connected with the manor from at least the end of the fourteenth century (Reg. de Passelet, p. 198).] affirmed that the seal which was lost by Robert Barkow, near the chapel of St. Mary of Dumbarton, had been found by Sir James de Irwyn, a monk of Paisley, and returned to him; and to complete the official record which it was thought necessary to preserve, the bishop, on i8th May was present at a meeting of the cathedral chapter when the seal was produced, and after three impressions had been taken on red, white and green wax respectively, the matrix was publicly broken. The instrument to which these impressions and the common seal of the chapter were attached, the bishop then directed to be faithfully preserved in the treasury of the cathedral. [Reg. Episc. No. 271. The instrument was one of the documents taken by Archbishop Beaton to France at the Reformation. In the transcript supplied to Glasgow town council, in 1739, Father Innes notes that the seal in red wax was almost entire but that the other three had nearly disappeared.

The witnesses named in the instrument are Sir Robert de Bardis, dean, Sir Walter de Roull, precentor, Master William Comyn, chancellor, Sir John Wyssard, archdeacon of Glasgow, Master William of Yetam, archdeacon of Teviotdale, John Flemyne, the bishop's official, "and many other canons, members of the chapter."]


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