ROBERT II., the first
of the Stewart kings, had been early destined for the throne, a
parliament held in 1318 having declared him heir to the crown in
default of male issue of his grandfather, Robert I. On the birth of
David, in 1323-4, Robert ceased to be heir-presumptive, but that
position was restored in 1329. He was chosen guardian of the kingdom
in 1338 and again in 1346, and on the death of his uncle, on 22nd
February, 1370-1, he became King of Scots in the fifty-fifth year of
his age. The new king was of a peaceful disposition, and as the
English nation at that time had its own special troubles to contend
with, his reign of nineteen years was not eventful. Occasional
entanglements there were, such as those consequent on the league
with France and the outbreaks of unruly members of the Scottish
nobility, leading to border raids, invasions and counter invasions
on a small scale, the battle of Otterburn, in the year 1388, being
the most notable. [A full contemporary account of the battle of
Otterburn is given in Froissart's Chronicles, together with an
account of "the manner of the Scots and how they can war" (Globe
Edition, 1895, p. 16).
when a French army
landed in Scotland, in 1385, difficulty was experienced in
accommodating such a number of soldiers. Edinburgh, where there were
not in the whole town four thousand houses,"lodged so many, and the
remainder were quartered" in the neighbouring villages, and at
Dunfermline, Kelso, Dunbar, Dalkeith, and in other villages."
Complaints were heard of the burden of maintaining the foreigners,
as much harm being anticipated from their being allowed to remain,
as the English could do in battle. "If," argued the complainers,
"the English do burn our houses, what consequence is it to us? We
can rebuild them cheap enough, for we only require three days to do
so, provided we have five or six poles and boughs to cover them"
(Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland, pp. 8-11).]
Interruption to rural
labour and the consequent shortage of agricultural produce were
amongst the worst effects of these military incursions, conditions
of scarcity being indicated by the frequent licences granted by the
English king to the nobles and merchants of Scotland for importing
grain into the country, some of it coming from Ireland. But it is
known that the commercial spirit of the country was on the increase
and that the trade with Flanders, in which, however, the ports on
the eastern seaboard were mainly concerned, was conducted with much
activity. Though the western districts may not have directly
participated in the advantages of the growing Flanders trade they
had some compensation in being largely exempt from warlike
devastation, as the movements of troops were chiefly confined to the
south and east borders of the country. In the public records Glasgow
is occasionally mentioned in connection with visits of the king, who
it may be noted passed much of his time in residence at Rothesay
Castle. On 10th September, 1382, the king granted a charter "at
Glasgu," and on 21st September, 1384, other royal charters were
granted "at Glasgu, in the time of our council held there."
Archdeacon of Lothian and a Canon of Glasgow, was, "by apostolic
authority," appointed Bishop of Glasgow, as successor to Bishop Rae,
on 14th April, 1367. During Wardlaw's episcopate the great papal
schism occurred, and in 1378 Scotland joined France and other
countries in acknowledging Clement VII., seated at Avignon, as Pope,
while England was among the number of those who acknowledged Urban
VI. as Pope, seated at Rome. By Clement VII. (anti-pope, as in after
times he was called) Wardlaw was made a cardinal priest, on 23rd
December, 1383. At that date it was the rule that bishops on being
made cardinals should vacate their bishoprics, and Cardinal Wardlaw
therefore ceased to be bishop of Glasgow; but, on 24th November,
1384, the Pope granted to him exemption from the application of the
rule. In a letter addressed to the dean and chapter of Glasgow the
Pope asked them to give help and obedience to the cardinal whom he,
"desiring to honour the church of Glasgow and the realm of Scotland,
raised to that dignity, empowering him, for the support of his rank
and expenses, and for a certain fixed time, to retain the said
church, with the administration of its spiritualities and
temporalities, even as before his promotion." [Papal Reg. iv. p.
Wardlaw, "lord bishop
of Glasgow," who was paid his expenses for going to London on the
king's affairs in 1368 and 1369, [ Exchequer Rolls, ii. pp. 305,
344.] has the designation "lord cardinal of Glasgow" in 1384, on
being paid expenses incurred to him when sent, along with the Bishop
of Dunkeld, on a mission to the king and council of France, relating
to the affairs of the Scottish king and kingdom. [Ib. iii. p. 676.]
There seems to have
been an early rule against a cleric holding more than one benefice
at the same time, but the dispensations from the operation of the
restriction, recorded in the papal registers, are so numerous as to
leave the impression that it was not much honoured in the
observance. Luckily, applications for the granting of such
dispensations have been the means of preserving information
regarding a number of benefices which might not otherwise have been
procurable, and in this way the name of an early holder of the
chapel of St. Mary is divulged. In 1384 " Walter Wan, of the diocese
of Glasgow," was authorised to hold a benefice in the gift of the
abbot and convent of Kilwinning, "notwithstanding that he has the
chapel of St. Mary in Glasgow." Three years later the same chaplain
made a similar application with reference to a benefice in the gift
of the abbots and convents of Paisley and Kilwinning; but likely
enough these entries in the register refer to the one benefice,
possession of which, if got at all, may not have been secured till
In 1395 "Walter Wan,
priest," presumably of St. Mary's chapel, applied to the Pope to
sanction his acquiring "the canonry and second prebend of Glasgow,"
value 14 marks, void by the resignation of Gilbert de Carrick,
notwithstanding that John de Tonergayth has unlawfully held the said
canonry and prebend for sixteen years and that Walter has a
perpetual vicarage in the city of Glasgow. [Papal Reg. i. pp. 566-7,
584.] Here we have the earliest extant reference to the prebend of
Glasgow Secundo, the chief endowment of which was the vicarage of
the parish. Tonergayth, as a place, is heard of in 1327 when Eva,
widow of Robert Avenel, gave to the bishop and church of Glasgow,
for the weal of her soul and the souls of her predecessors and
successors, and for the increase of divine worship in the church,
the sum of forty shillings, yearly, payable furth of her fee of "Thunregeyth,"
[Reg. Episc. Nos. 278-9.] lands which seem to be identified with
those now called Tundergarth, part of the parish of that name in
Annandale. One "John de Tunnyrgayth" was clerk of the king's
wardrobe between 1360 and 1362, [Exchequer Rolls, ii. pp. 19, 112.]
but whether he or another of the same name was the interloping
prebendary has not been ascertained.
Owing to the old age
and infirmity of the king, his second son, Robert, Earl of Fife, was
chosen governor of the kingdom, and on his brother, Robert III.,
succeeding to the throne, on 19th April, 139o, he was continued in
the same capacity. With slight intermission Earl Robert, on whom the
title of duke, hitherto unknown in Scotland, was conferred in 1398,
and who thenceforth was known as the Duke of Albany, was at the head
of the government from this time till his death in 1420, four years
before the return of James I. from captivity.
From an entry in the
city's Inventory of Writs it appears that in the reign of Robert
III. the burgesses and community of Glasgow were recognised by a
direct grant from the crown, without the intervention of the bishop,
this being, so far as is known, a departure from all previous usage.
Notwithstanding the importance of such a document, if only from a
constitutional point of view, the royal grant referred to has shared
the fate of the two missing charters of the first King Robert's
reign, and the only trace of its existence is the entry in the
Inventory, where it is briefly described as "Precept under the
privie seall be King Robert III, directed to the Bishop of St.
Andrews, [The bishop of Aberdeen was chancellor in 1397. "St.
Andrews" is probably a misreading by the compiler of the Inventory.]
chancellor for the tyme, for granting a charter under the great
seall to the burgesses and communitie of Glasgow to keep their
mercat day on Munday instead of Sunday." The date is 13th October,
1397.10 Glasgow charters, so far as the terms of such are preserved,
provide for the weekly market being held on Thursday, and therefore
in the absence of information which the original precept probably
contained the reason for issuing the new order must remain unknown.
Duncan Petyt, Archdeacon of Glasgow, a former keeper of the privy
seal, was chancellor of the kingdom in 1396, [Glasg. Chart. i. pt.
ii. P. 24.] and it may have been through his influence that the
precept was issued.
Shortly after the
death of Cardinal Wardlaw in 1387, the "anti-pope" consecrated
Matthew de Glendonwyn Bishop of Glasgow, and he retained the
episcopate till his death in 1408. Perhaps unaware of or ignoring
this appointment, Pope Boniface, on ist March, 1390—I, named John
Framisden, a Friar Minor, as bishop, but in consequence of this
country having adhered to the Pope's rival at Avignon this
interference from Rome was of no avail. [Dowden's Bishops, pp.
316-8. 3 A.P.S. i. p. 572.] Bishop Matthew was often in attendance
at court, as shown by the frequency of his name in the lists of
witnesses to deeds under the great seal. He took a large share in
the conduct of the country's affairs, and he was one of the select
council, chosen by the parliament held at Perth in January 1398-9,
to act with David, Duke of Rothesay, then appointed lieutenant for
his father, King Robert.
[In the Breve
Chronicon (Reg. Episc. No. 327) the fight has this notice: "Bellum
de Perth, de 6o hominibus, A.D. 1397"; but 28th September, 1396, was
the date (Exchequer Rolls, iii. pp. lxxix. 418 ; Trial by Combat, p.
253). The chronicle appears to have been originally written on a
fly-leaf at the end of the ancient Register. The leaf is now missing
and the entries have been printed from transcripts. The first item
cites the year io67 and the last 1413, so that the chronicler or
chroniclers must have compiled or at least completed the list
subsequent to the latter date. The incorrectness, noticeable in some
of the dates in the chronicle, Professor Cosmo Innes thought might
arise from the transcribers having changed the old way of dating for
the Arabic numerals (Reg. Episc. p. xii). Most of the information,
sometimes under slightly varying dates, is contained in Fordun's
Scotichronicon, as supplemented and continued by Walter Bower. The
following is a translation of the items in the chronicle, some notes
being added within square brackets:
1067. Marriage of
King Malcolm and St. Margaret.
1170. Martyrdom of St. Thomas, bishop of Canterbury.
1296. 15 March, Capture of Berwick by Edward Langschankss.
1297. Battle of Faukyrk; at Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.
1208. (1312) Deposition of the Templars. [1208 misprint or
misreading for 1308. See Scotichronicon (1759) ii. p. 242.]
At the beginning of
the new reign in 139o, an eight-years' truce had been concluded with
England, but though comparative quietness was secured on the south
border there was much disturbance in the Scottish Highlands, one
singular incident connected with which being the fight between
members of the clans Chattan and Kay on the North Inch of Perth, in
1396. The following passage quoted from the Register of the
Bishopric of Moray and referring to the state of "Scotland" in the
year 1398, can scarcely be accepted as literally
1314. Battle of
1318. Capture of Berwick by the Scots, middle of Lent.
1320. "Blac parlment."
1329. Obit of King Robert.
1332. Coming of Edward de Balzol.
1332. Battle of Duplyn.
1333. 18 July, Battle of Halydonhill.
1346. Battle of Dorame; at Feast of St. Luke.
135. " Brynt Candylmess."
1350. First Mortality. [1362 Second Mortality. Scotichronicon (1759)
ii. p. 364; Fordun's Chronicle (1872) ii. p. 369.]
1370. Death of King David; at Feast of St. Peter's Chair.
1372. Coming of St. Nicholas.
1378. 23 Sept., Burning of Church of St. Andrews.
1378. The Schism began in that year.
1379. 12 Nov., Capture of the Castle of Berwick by Hog of Lydzertwod
and his company.
1381. "Penultima " and Third Mortality. ["1380 Secunda et tertia
mortalitas." Quoted, apparently from a different transcript, in
Gibson's History of Glasgow, p. 73.]
1384. Coming of the duke of Lancaster.
1384. Capture of the Castle of Berwick by the men of the Earl of
Douglas. 1385. Coming of the French and King Richard and the burning
of the town of Edinburgh.
1388. 5 Aug., Battle of Oterburne.
1390. Death of King Robert Stewart.
Tournament between the two [nations], about the feast of Michaelmas.
Coming of Sir John Morlay for the King's cup (pro cipho Reglo).
1397. Battle of Perth of sixty men.
1400. Coming of King Henry and capture of the Castle of Dunbar from
the earl. 1401. i March, Death of the Duke of Rothesay.
1402. Battle of Homyldon; at Feast of Holy Cross.
1403. Capture of Castle of Enerwyk, Schreuisbery and Coklau.
1405. Burning of the town of Berwyc by the Scots.
1405. Battle of Langhirdmanston, and death of Sir David Flemyng.
1406. 30 March, Capture of King James in England.
1406. 4 April, Death of King Robert.
1407. Burning of James Henry at Perth.
1407. 4 March, Burning of the church of Strevilling.
1409. 7 May, Capture of the castle of Jedword.
Tempest [on the day of] St. Kentigern.
1411. Burning of Linlithgow.
1411. Battle of Harlaw.
1412. Fight between John Hardy and Thomas Smyth.
1413. Slaying of the Earl of Stratherne.
accurate, and in any
case it seems more applicable to districts north than to those south
of the Forth: "In these days there was no law in Scotland, but the
strong oppressed the weak, and the whole kingdom was one den of
thieves. Homicides, robberies, fire-raisings, and other misdeeds
remained unpunished and justice seemed banished beyond the kingdom's
bounds." [Dunbar's Scottish Kings (1899), p. 174.] Whatever measure
of exaggeration there may be in this indictment the need was
evidently felt for a stricter rule, and as already mentioned, the
Duke of Rothesay was appointed the king's lieutenant through all the
kingdom. Shortly afterwards the duke, the Bishop of Glasgow and
others were sent to England as commissioners to treat for a renewal
of the existing truce, and this they succeeded in negotiating for
another year, the indenture stating the arranged terms being dated
14th May, 1399. [Bain's Calendar, iv. Nos. 519-20.]
By a statute dated
21st May,1401, in which reference is made to the great deficiency of
ornaments for divine service in the church, Bishop Matthew, with
consent of the dean and chapter, ordained that in future when any
one obtained a prebend he should assign to the dean and chapter a
stated portion for the purchase of robes and ornaments for the
church and required for divine service. From the enumeration of the
prebends contained in this statute it is learned that the chapter,
which latterly was composed of thirty-two members, had only reached
the number of twenty-three in 1401. [Reg. Episc. No. 320. The
twenty-three prebends were taxed as follows: Cadihou, Kilbryde,
Campsi, Carnwythe, Menar (connected with Peblis), Merbotil, Cadar
and Glasgu prisno, £5 each; Glasgu secundo, 2 merks; Barlanark, £5;
Renfreu, £3; Goven, 40s.; Casteltarris, 2 merks; Moffet, £5; Erskyn,
40s.; Dorysder, £3; Edalston, £3; Stobhou, £5; Are, £5; Auld
Roxburgh, £3; Cardrose, 40s.; Alyncrumbe, 40s.; Askyrke, 40s.]
Archibald, the third
Earl of Douglas, died on 3rd February, 1400-1, and on 8th July
following, his widow, Joanna, Countess of Douglas and Lady of
Bothwell, for the weal of her soul and of the soul of Archibald,
Earl of Douglas and Lord of Galloway and Bothwell, and of all their
ancestors and successors, granted to the church of Glasgow, for
increase of divine worship and in aid of the lights of the church,
three stones of wax, yearly payable furth of the rents of the barony
of Bothwell. [Reg. Episc. No. 321. On 10th October, 1398, the earl
and countess had converted the church of Bothwell into a collegiate
church for the service of a provost and eight prebendaries
(Chalmers' Caledonia, iii. p. 648). The first provost of the
collegiate church was Thomas Barry, a canon of Glasgow cathedral,
who celebrated in a lengthy Latin poem the battle of Otterburn,
where James, Earl of Douglas fell, 6th August, 1388 (Origines
Parochiales, i. p. 54). As to succession to the Bothwell estate, see
The Scots Peerage, iii. pp. 161-2.] This barony had belonged to Lady
Bothwell, and by her marriage with the Lord of Galloway, about 1362,
it was carried to the Douglas family, with whom it continued till
the forfeiture of James, Earl of Douglas, in 1455, when it fell to
the crown. Through some default the annual contribution to the
church of Glasgow had been neglected, and on this omission being
brought to the knowledge of King James III. he, by a charter dated
14th October, 1475, ordered that in future the three stones of wax
should be regularly levied from the lands of Odingstoune (Uddingston)
in the lordship of Bothwell, 2½ stones of which were to be used at
the tomb of St. Kentigern at the cathedral and the remaining half
stone at the tomb of St. Tenu, "in the chapel where her bones lay."
In 1498 it was found that the contribution was seven years in
arrear, and Archbishop Blacader thereupon instituted proceedings in
the court of the Official of Glasgow against fifteen possessors of
portions of the lands of Uddingston who were forthwith ordained to
deliver eighteen stones of wax to the church and three stones to the
chapel, under penalty of excommunication. [Reg. Episc. Nos. 407,
Though there is no
definite information on the subject, there are indications leading
to the belief that the timber steeple erected by Bishop Wischart was
burned down in the time of Bishop Glendonwyn. That prelate made
preparation for its restoration in stone-work, but died before its
erection was commenced, and it is not precisely known what progress
was made towards the completion of the cathedral in his time.
From a charter
granted by Bishop Glendonwyn in 1408 it is gathered that either he
or one of his predecessors had made a substantial alienation of
baronial territory. By this writ the bishop, with consent of the
cathedral chapter, gave to "his beloved vassal," William of
Strivelyne, son and heir of the late Sir John of Strivelyne, knight,
the lands of "Cadare," in the barony of Glasgow and shire of Lanark,
to be held of the bishop and church of Glasgow, for payment of a
feuduty of £4 yearly, and making suits at three head courts of the
barony, with ward, relief and feudal services. [Hist. MSS. Corn.
Report, x. Appx. i. p. 62. From the expressions "vassals" and "heir"
it may be inferred that the charter was the renewal of a previous
grant to one of William's ancestors. The witnesses are Symon of
Mundavill, I.A., archdeacon; John of Hawik, M.A., precentor of the
church of Glasgow; Sir Symon of Glendonwyne, knight; and Sir John of
Hawik, priest and notary public.] The lands of Cadder were thus
detached in classification from those which remained in the
possession of the bishop's rentallers, but in relation to the
severed territory the bishops were put in the position of feudal
superiors. [ Diocesan Registers, i. p. 38. The editors, without
citing their authority, speak of Cadder as a barony and, alluding to
its being held of the bishop by ward service, comment on such a
tenure being very rare in Scotland.] Parts of the Antonine wall
stood on the feued lands.