Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Perth, the Ancient Capital of Scotland
Chapter V


The ancient kingdom of Scone will always bulk largely in Scottish history, on account of its great prominence at a period which we regard as prehistoric. The centre of the Pictish kingdom, inhabited exclusively by the Pictish people, Scone, from being a mere hamlet, gradually became the capital of the Picts. Its administration was ecclesiastical rather than civil—at least, up to the middle of the ninth century, when the Pictish rule, as such, terminated. After that period the Scottish kings were crowned at Scone, but were not resident there, although they continued to hold Parliaments on the Moothill. The word Scone means a Cutting: probably the Friars Den gave it the name [root Lat, Scindere; also Gaelic, Skene].

The earliest mention of Scone is in 710, at which date, and probably for some time earlier, it was the capital of Pictavia, a territory that is supposed to have been that part of Scotland lying north of the river Forth. Scone continued to be the Pictish capital at least up to a.d. 843, when the Pictish kingdom came to an end, and was by conquest (the battle of Scone) amalgamated with that of the Scots under Kenneth M'Alpin. This King was not resident at Scone, but ruled his kingdom from Forteviot Palace. The Pictish kingdom, so much associated with Scone, was thus succeeded by a more extended monarchy, that of the united Picts and Scots. Under its various kings it lasted two centuries, or until the dynasty became extinct in 1029 under Malcolm II. Kenneth, who was the most powerful man of his time, lived and died at the Palace of Forteviot, a Royal residence that has long since disappeared. Forteviot Palace appears to have been contemporary with Abernethy and Scone, but there is little or nothing about it to be found in history. It is recorded that Hallhill, near Forteviot Church, was a summer residence of Malcolm Canmore and other Scottish kings. The Mill of Forteviot, mentioned by some writers, was a place of some note. The miller's daughter is said by tradition to have been the mother of King Malcolm. Forteviot Church is believed to have been founded by Hungus, King of the Picts, but the authority is insufficient. This ruler was in power towards the close of the fifth century ; so that if the church was founded by him, it must have been for Pagan worship, as the Picts were not converted until the close of the following century. On the night before the battle of Dupplin, 31st July, 1332, Edward Baliol with his troops encamped on the miller's acre close to Forteviot In the reign of Alexander III., the Thane of Forteviot was an important personage, and designated William of Forteviot

It is recorded that Kenneth had much concern for religion, and that he transferred the Episcopal See from Abernethy to Kilrymont (St Andrews), the bishop of which was to be chief bishop of the Scots; a sign that even at that time there were more bishops than one in the Pictish Church, then united to the Scottish Church. This is a statement we cannot verify. St Andrews was founded as a Roman Catholic See much earlier than the days of Kenneth M'Alpin. He was buried at Iona in 860; all the kings down to Edgar in 1098 were interred there. They regarded Iona as the Holy Isle, where it was thought essential that their bodies should rest if they expected happiness in a future state.

On the Pictish kingdom coming to an end in 843, Scone continued to be an ecclesiastical centre, and for some centuries thereafter was a place that possessed great influence in the Church; and though the Abbey was not founded till 1115, Scone was an important place long before that period. The most ancient Council in Scotland of which we have any record was held on the Moothill of Scone in 906, at which date it received the title of the Royal City. Skene, a well-known historian, is of opinion that Scone was a royal city before the reign of Kenneth.

In respect that it was the Pictish capital, it would be quite entitled to that appellation before the amalgamation of the Picts and Scots. At this Council, Constantine II. and Killach, the bishop of St Andrews, with the Scots people then present, solemnly agreed to observe the laws and discipline of faith: the rights of the churches and of the gospel. It was also ordained that the clergy should reside upon their charges, and have no meddling with secular business; that they should instruct the people diligently, and show a good example in their conversation ; that they should not keep hawks, horses, or hounds for pleasure; that they should carry no weapons, nor be pleaders of civil causes, but live contented with their own provision; and if they were tried for transgression on any of these points, for the first fault they should be fined, and for the second be deprived of their office and calling. This was a national Assembly held on the Mount of Belief or Moothill of Scone, Scone being the capital.

The history of Scotland, up to the Reformation, may be divided into four periods, viz., the Roman period, terminating in 420; the Pictish period, terminating in 843; from this date to the Norman Conquest of 1066; and from the Norman Conquest to the Reformation of 1560. The Pictish kings were numerous, but we have no authentic information where they resided—presumably Inverness, Abernethy, and Scone. A peculiar law of succession prevailed among the Pictish kings, the right of sovereignty being in the females of the original royal blood, and not in the males. This rule was no doubt adopted to counteract the laxity of morals which prevailed amongst the males. Even if the mother had married into another tribe, she could transmit to her children a portion of the blood of the original ancestor of the line. The tribe, whether of the Northern or Southern Picts, who thus secured the eldest female descendant of the first king of the nation secured also the sovereignty of the whole.

From 843 to 1066 there were nineteen kings under the new monarchy, and some of these evidently resided at Forteviot Palace, Scone, and the Castle of Perth. Scone, however, continued to be a place of great importance, on account of the ordinance of Kenneth M'Alpin appointing the Scottish kings in future to be crowned there, in the chair which it is alleged he brought from Dunstaffnage, and which he ordered to be kept perpetually at Scone. This ordinance was observed up to 1651, when the last coronation took place; but all the kings were not crowned at Scone. It was believed that no king had a right to reign in Scotland unless he had first, on receiving the Royal name, sat on that chair. An ancient myth identifies it with the stone which Jacob used at Bethel for his pillow, and anointed with oil, which was afterwards removed to the Second Temple and served as a pedestal for the Ark. This is, of course, mere tradition.

Respecting the Moothill, there is a tradition that at the coronation of the kings, all the barons or landowners who assisted brought in their boots as much earth from their property as enabled them, while standing on their own land, to see the King crowned. After the ceremony they emptied the

earth from their boots on one spot and thus made it Boothill or Every Man's Land. The Highlanders called it Tom-a-mhoid, the hill where justice is administered.. Conventions of the nobles are said to have been frequently held here in ancient times. There is good reason for concluding that the scene of the Assembly to discuss Easter and the tonsure, the crucial point of difference between the Roman and Columban Churches, where we see the king of the Picts surrounded by his nobles, was no other than Scone, and that from the Moothill issued that public decree which regulated the form of the Christian Church among the Picts; that it was here also that Nectan, the Pictish king, dedicated his church to the Holy Trinity; and that it was from these events that the Moothill came to be known as the Hill of Belief. At its dedication the ancient monastery of Scone is said to have been erected into a priory, after the Roman form, and was dedicated to St. Mary, St Michael, St John, St Augustine, and the Hosts of Heaven joined with the Holy Trinity. There were three early kings of the name of Nectan. The first reigned from 456 to 481; the second, 598 to 618; the third, 712 to 727. Evidently Nectan III. is the king who presided at the dedication.

"As the Bell of Scone rang, So mote it be."—Old Saying.

The Moothill is said to have had a flat area on the top, of 100 yards by 60. About 200 yards east of the Palace is the ancient gateway, which was supported on cither side by a round tower (see illustration). Walls seem to have been erected from each of these to the ancient House of Scone. Near the gateway is the ancient Cross of Scone, having evidently been removed to this site from its original position. The walls that proceeded from this gateway seem to have enclosed the possessions of the Abbey as well as the Moot-hill. The Ancient House of Scone, with the Abbey and Abbey Church, were entirely destroyed at the Reformation. The rebuilding of the Palace was commenced some time after that event by William, first Earl of Gowrie, who was the first Commendator of Scone after the Reformation. The edifice was completed by Sir David Murray, who, at the forfeiture of the Gowrie family, received a gift of the estate from the Crown. This building was replaced by the present Palace of Scone in 1803. In 1624, Sir David Murray removed the remaining walls of the Abbey Church, and erected a new church on the top of the Moothill.

The Abbey of Scone is supposed to have been situated between the present Palace and the old wall south of the ancient gate. Outside of this wall, and extending along the Friars' Den, within the present park or pleasure-grounds of the Palace, was the Royal City of Scone, the site of which was marked by an avenue or street, which still preserves the name of the Chantor Gate, leading from the Gallows Knowe at the south end across the ravine till it reached the road leading to the old gate from the east, which it joined 50 yards from that gate. About 100 yards from the Palace is an old burying-ground. In 1841 the foundation of a small room or cell was found between it and the Palace. It was surrounded by stone seats 15 inches broad, was about 12 feet in length, and was doubtless connected with the Abbey buildings. Near the same place were stone coffins in good preservation, but from the appearance of the skeletons they appeared to have been out of their original position.

The pleasure-grounds give indications of an extensive burying-place having been there in early times. It was evidently the place of interment of abbots, friars, inmates of the Abbey and Monastery, and very probably of the people. It does not appear that the Ruthven family, who succeeded to the Scone estates after the Reformation, were interred here; but on the attainder of the family in 1600, Sir David Murray (Lord Scone), who was the most capable of King James's ministers, and a nobleman who possessed great force of character, succeeded to the estates by virtue of a Royal Charter. His devotion to the King entitled him to this honour. He erected the family vault situated near the Palace, and this vault has been in use ever since.

On the west front of the Palace is Queen Mary's tree, said to have been planted by her own hands, and not far from this is a tree planted by King James VI. In the Palace is a bed, the embroidery of which is said to have been the work of Queen Mary when in Lochleven Castle. There are several curious beds, one that of Lord Cathcart when Ambassador.

We are informed that, in 1004, Malcolm II. secured a victory over the Danes, after which he called a Convention at Scone to reward those who had done well in the late war, when he gave away

certain Crown lands, reserving nothing to himself but the Moothill. This King's daughter was mother of King Duncan, whom Macbeth slew, and Malcolm III. (Canmore) was King Duncan's grandson. The statement about the Danish war and reward of the victors is regarded by Pinkerton the historian as the merest fable; but we have no material to enable us to determine the point

Alexander I., son of Malcolm Canmore, issued a writ to the merchants of England, asking them to trade with Scone, promising them protection on condition of their paying custom to the Monastery. This custom was an impost on all ships trading with Scone, from which it would appear to have been in ancient times a small shipping port. About a mile from the river there was, at a comparatively recent period, a bog called the full sea mere, which, according to tradition, had been levelled by the tide, and in which workmen when digging found stones similar to those in the bed of the Tay.

An assembly in the reign of Alexander I. was held at Perth, at which the King agreed to restore the ancient Abbey of Scone, the Queen, Alexander nepos regis (grandson of the King), two bishops, six earls, and others witnessing. and consenting. This official statement is not without significance. If Alexander I. merely restored the Abbey, it is evident he did not found it. It is stated by another authority that in place of the ancient Monastery of Scone, Alexander I. in 1115 founded

an Abbey of Canons Regular. This presumably was the foundation of the ancient Abbey, the successor of the ancient Monastery. The Monastery must have existed for some centuries previously, although its history is lost in obscurity. It was, we are informed, a foundation of unknown antiquity of the Culdees, or followers of Columba. The first prior of Scone was Robert, who was made Bishop of St Andrews in 1124. The foundation Charter of Scone was granted in 1115, and is as follows:—

I, Alexander, by the grace of God, King of Scotland, son of King Malcolm and Queen Margaret; and I, Sibilla, Queen of Scotland, daughter of Henry, King of England, wishing to beautify the house of the Lord and to exalt His habitation which is in Scone, dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity, we agree together, and dedicate to God Himself, St Mary, St Michael, St John, St Lawrence, and St Augustine, free, unfettered, and exempt from every tribute, and from which Royal dignity and power can free, defend, and protect it Again, for the purpose of defending and maintaining the worship and honour of God, we have been pleased, God acknowledging, to look out for clerical canons towards the edifice of the pious Oswaldi, concerning which (edifice) the reports of its established rites and worship have been made known to us by the honourable design (or counsel) of worthy men: which things, being conceded to us by the Prior himself from every . . . and subjection. We thus give up to the care and custody of the aforesaid edifice, according to the Order of St Augustine, the lands also and possessions, and written agreements for the same edifice. We give over as possessions by a perpetual right in behalf of ourselves, and for the fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, antecessors, and faithful successors, these lands and possessions: Infernus with five (Carucatis), the lands of Bencharin with three, the lands of Fotheros with one, Kinnochtry with one, Fingask with one, Dufrothin with three, Cleon with three, Liff with six, Grudin with ten, Invergowrie with three; and five mansion houses—one near Edinburgh, one near Stirling, one near Inverkeithing, one near Perth, and one near Aberdeen; and a common interest in the River Tay, so that they may fish in it

I, Alexander, by the grace of God, King of Scotland, by mine own hand confirm these things ; and I, Sibilla, by the grace of God, Queen of Scotland, with mine own hand confirm these things ; and I, Gregory, Bishop, by the authority of God, and of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of the holy apostle Andrew, lest anyone shall dare to violate these, I confirm them under an anathema; I, Cormack, Bishop by the authority of God, and of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of the holy apostle Andrew, lest anyone shall dare to violate these, confirm them under an anathema; I, Alexander, grandson of King Alexander, give testimony concerning these things; I, Beth, courtier, similarly; I, Gospatricius, give assent; I, Mallus, courtier, give assent; I,Madach,courtier,assent; I, Rothri, courtier, give assent; I, Gartnach, courtier, give assent; I, Dufagan, courtier, give assent

In the reign of Malcolm a Royal Charter conferred on the monks of the Abbey of Scone the right of holding their own court, and of giving judgment in battle, in war, or in water, with all privileges, including the right of all persons resident within their territory of refusing to answer except in their own proper court. The following is the Charter :—

I, Malcolm, King of Scotland, salute bishops, abbots, friars, courtiers, barons, justices, ex-courtiers, placed ministers, and all other worthy men throughout the land, French and English, Scots, and clerics and laymen, you may know that I have given over, and in the Charter confirmed to God and to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Scone, to the abbots and canons serving God there, the possession of one curia (in battle, in war, in water), with all liberties justly pertaining to the curia of their religion, with no license of responding beyond their own curia. No one, therefore, of my faithful friends will presume to carry this liberty beyond my bound.

This was a confirmation of that granted by Alexander I. Another curious Charter of Malcolm, allowing the Abbey to have a smith, leather-dresser, and shoemaker, is as follows:—

I, Malcolm, King of Scotland, give salutation to all honourable men throughout the whole land. You know that I have given over, and in this Charter confirmed to God and the edifice of the Holy Trinity of Scone, to the abbots and canons serving God in that same place, the free liberty of possessing at Scone three servants, viz., one blacksmith, one tanner, one sutor. I wish, moreover, and firmly declare that these three servants, while they remain in the employment of the aforesaid canons, shall possess every liberty and every free custom in the burgh and beyond the burgh.

Amongst the Charters in connection with the Abbey of Scone, one of the most curious and interesting is the Charter of Malcolm IV., dated 1164, confirming the foundation. It is of unusual importance as a reflection of the civil and ecclesiastical administration of that early period, especially the administration of the Abbey, the peculiar nature of its revenues, and the interest taken by the King in its prosperity and welfare. We give it in extenso:

Malcolm, King of Scots, to the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, provosts, ministers, and all other good men of his whole realm, cleric and lay, French and English, Scots and Galovegians, both present and to come, greeting. Whereas it is known to be a special honour pertaining to the Crown to found churches, and to esteem and care for churchmen, it becomes us in our office of governing carefully to provide for the churches of our realm, and particularly to see that such as by some calamity or attack of the enemy are in distress shall have the greater comfort Therefore it is that for the honour of God and for the restoration of the Church of Scon, which has been founded in the principal diocese of our kingdom, and which we know to have been destroyed by fire, we have resolved with the consent of our nobles and ecclesiastics to grant confirmation to the said Church and the abbot promoted therein. We accordingly have renewed with the authority of our seal the privileges of our ancestors which have been reduced to ashes in the aforesaid fire, and do give grant and confirm to the said church and the abbot and canons who there serve and in time coming shall serve God, for ever the goods possessions and liberties bestowed upon the said church by our predecessors, viz., King Alexander of worthy memory and the renowned King David, our grandfather, as also by ourselves; and forasmuch as we have seen the copies of the foresaid privileges we ordain that the before-mentioned gifts as conferred upon the said church by the foresaid kings and by us shall be inscribed upon this present page. These are, that to the foresaid church were granted by King Alexander, Inverbuist with five carucates of land, Bencorin with three carucates of land, Fotheros with one carucate of land, Kin-nochtry with one carucate of land, Fingask with one carucate, Cloen with three, Dunfermline with three, Liff with six, Gruden with ten, Invergowrie with three; and five tofts—one at Edinburgh, one at Stirling, one at Inverkeithing, one at Perth, and one at Aberdeen; and two nets upon Tay, one of them in Kincarrathie and the other in the King's isle; and one net in the Forth at Stirling, and the cane and customs of one ship every year or of the ship belonging to the canons of Scon themselves or of any foreign ship which by their means shall be induced to anchor in the King's territory in summer or in winter, and all the skins of sheep being lambs pertaining to the King's kitchen except every sixth skin and this from the north of Lammermoor. And every Lord's day beyond quadragesima except every sixth Lord's day one skin of a cow or an ox likewise from the north of Lammermoor, and the half of the whole tallow and fat and stuffing which belongs to the King's part and the teind (tenth part) of all bread of the King's house, this likewise from the north and the island of Loch Tay with their pertinents and their plenary court with the duel, the iron and the water and all other liberties pertaining to a court and the privilege of answering to no one outwith their own court In augmentation of the goods of the fore-named church the renowned King David conferred upon the said church these possessions and liberties underwritten. For the light of the foresaid church twenty shillings of the duties of Perth and for the same ten shillings of the rents of the mills of Perth and half of the skins of the beasts slain for the King's requirements from the north of the Tay and half of the tallow and fat of these victims. Also Cambusmichel with the men, lands and waters, meadows, pastures, wood and plain, with the fishings and their right bounds and with all their pertinents, and fully, the whole tenth of my prebend (church revenue) and malt and cane of my skins and cheeses of these my four manors of Gowry, viz., Scon, Cupar Angus, Longforgan, and Strathardle, and the tenth of my mills of Amun (Almond) and the church of Lochforver, with the teinds and rectitudes pertaining to the same, and the church of Kerintun with all pertaining to it, and the teind of the whole parish of Scone in victual, in cheeses, in taking of fishes, and in all other things of which teind is taken and free passage at the Queen's gate to the Abbot himself and the canons of Scon and their own men and monies without any tax or toll and free liberty of taking material in my woods throughout Scotland wherever they may find it most convenient for them for building the church of Scon and their houses and the liberty of taking fencing material in that wood which is between Scon and Cargill and the native men of the lands and churches foresaid and their children besides those who shall have run off from the said canons and shall be lawfully claimed by them, and liberty to have at Scon three servants—one a smith, one a skinner, one a shoemaker, who while they remain in the service of the aforesaid canons shall have all the freedom and custom which servants of that kind have in my burgh of Perth. And from every ploughland of the whole land of the foresaid church of Scon to the said canons year by year for their conveth at the feast of All Saints one cow and two pigs, and four measures of meal and ten thraves of oats and ten hens and two hundred sheep and ten handfuls of candles and four pennyworths of soap and twenty half mels of cheese. Now we for the honour of God and for the salvation of our souls and the souls of our predecessors to the foresaid possessions of the said church have added these the teind of the corn of Forgrund or if Forgrund be otherwise disposed of then the said canons shall have like teind and common pasture and their men shall be with my men wherever the manors of their ground and mine adjoin. This liberty also we grant to them with the foresaid that no one shall at any time take conveth (tax or duty) upon their lands and men save by permission of the said canons. It is our will therefore and we firmly ordain that the foresaid church of Scon shall possess the churches lands, other possessions and rents and freedoms aforesaid untrammelled and undisturbed fully for ever as freely and quietly and honourably and peacefully as any church in my kingdom holds and possesses their benefices. Witnesses—William, the King's brother; Richard, elect of St. Andrews; Gregory, Bishop of Dunkeld; Andrew, Bishop of Caithness; Gregory, Bishop of Ross; Galfrid, Abbot of Dunfermline; William, Abbot of Melrose; Osbert, Abbot of Jedburgh; Alfred, Abbot of Stirling; Walter, Prior of St Andrews; Engelram, the Chancellor; Walter, son of Alan the Steward; Richard de Morevill, Constable; Nicholas the Chamberlain; Matthew the Archdeacon; Earl Duncan; Gilbert, Earl of Angus; Malcolm, Earl of Athole; Gilchrist, Earl of Menteith; Gilbert, son of the Earl Ferteth Merleswane; Adam, son of the Earl of Angus; Gillanders, son of Alfwin; Ewain, sheriff of Scon; M., son of Gilife; William de Lindesay; William de Hay; Galfrid de Connigsburg; Ness, son of William Lineth, sheriff of Perth.—The eleventh year of King Malcolm. At Stirling.

Charter by Malcolm IV. of the teind of his prebend

Malcolm, King of Scots, to all good men of his whole realm, greeting. Know ye that I have given and granted and by this my Charter have confirmed in perpetual alms for the salvation of my soul and the souls of my predecessors to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Scon of the teind of my prebend and my malt and the cane of my skins and of my cheeses of all my manors of Gowrie both of the earldom and my regality as also the teind of all my courts and meetings in gold and silver and whole money of the said Gowrie. Witnesses—Engelram, the Chancellor; Walter, son of Alan the Steward; Nicholas, the Chamberlain. At Stirling.

Confirmation Charter by Malcolm IV. for the holding of a Court at Scone.

Malcolm, King of Scots, to the bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, provosts, ministers, and all good men of his whole realm, French and English, Scots and Gallowegians, cleric and lay, greeting. Know ye that I have granted and by this my charter have confirmed to God and the Church of the Holy Trinity of Scon and the abbot and canons there serving God, the holding of their court with the ordeals of the battle, the iron and the water, and all liberties justly belonging to a court of religious men, as also with the privilege of answering to none outwith their own court Let none therefore of my faithful subjects presume to infringe this their liberty upon the penalty of forfeiture at my hand. Witnesses—Engelram, the Chancellor; and Walter, son of Alan the Steward. At Stirling.

Scone was the residence of great dignitaries of the Church up to the Reformation, when the Abbey and church were burned, and from that date it gradually disappeared from history. Between the eighth and fifteenth centuries it had a record of very active life, though only preserved to us in a fragmentary form. The Estates of the Realm were frequently convened there, and many sparkling episodes occurred at these meetings, if we may judge from some which are recorded. The crowning of the kings at Scone was sometimes a very brilliant function. We give an illustration. Alexander III., grandson of William the Lion, when eight years of age, was in 1249 crowned at Scone. The Bishop of St Andrews girded him with the belt of knighthood, and explained the respective oaths which were to be taken by himself and his subjects, first in Latin and afterwards in Norman French. They then conducted the young King to the Regal Chair or Coronation Stone, which stood before the Cross. The crown was placed on his head, the sceptre in his hand. He was invested with the Royal mantle; and the nobility, kneeling in homage, threw their robes beneath his feet. A Highland bard of great age, clothed in scarlet, advanced from the crowd, and bending before the throne, repeated in his native tongue the genealogy of the young King, tracing his descent far back into antiquity. The ceremony was very imposing. Robert II. was crowned at Scone on 26th March, 1371, in presence of the prelates, earls, and barons ; and on the following day he convened the said nobles, the King sitting in the Royal seat upon the Mount of Scone. This seat must not be confounded with the stone seat, which was used at the Coronation only, and was kept in the Abbey Church. The Royal seat referred to was placed on the Moothill, and used when the King presided at a Parliament or Court of Justice. It was on this seat on the Moothill that Robert Bruce was crowned in 1306, after the Coronation Stone had been removed. The same authority informs us that the reign of David I. is the true commencement of Feudal Scotland and the termination of Celtic Scotland.

An important meeting of the Scottish Parliament was held at Scone, on 5th February, 1284, when it was resolved to acknowledge the Maid of Norway as heir to the throne. This Parliament was attended by thirteen earls, twenty-four knights, and six barons. The Royal infant was daughter of Eric, King of Norway, and Margaret, daughter of Alexander III. This resolution was ratified by another Parliament at Scone on 12th April, 1285. In the same year a great controversy arose as to the Macbeth succession to the Crown, the claimants being cousins, Walter Stuart and William Comyn. The controversy was settled by a Parliament at Scone, Stuart getting an earldom and Comyn a barony. In 1286 this wise and good King, Alexander III., died, leaving the kingdom to all the miseries of a divided Regency and a disputed succession.1

On nth April, 1286, a Parliament was held at Scone, which appointed a Regency, in view of the accession of the Maid of Norway. The Regency consisted of the Earls of Fife and Buchan, the Bishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow, John Comyn of Badenoch, and James the Steward of Scotland. Unfortunately, the little Maid of Norway sickened and died on her passage to Scotland in 1292. This was a great calamity to the Scottish people. One of the commissioners to bring home the Royal infant was David Wemyss of Wemyss Castle, Fife, who received on the occasion from King Eric a silver rosewater basin, which may to this day be seen at Wemyss Castle, a relic of priceless value.

When John Baliol held his first National Council at Scone in 1292, Macduff, Earl of Fife, was summoned to answer for taking forcible possession of lands which were in the custody of the King. He defended himself, but was found guilty and imprisoned. He appealed to Edward, who summoned Baliol to answer to the charges of Macduff. Baliol disregarded the summons.

At a Parliament at Scone in 1294, all Englishmen were ordered by the Scottish barons to be dismissed from Baliol's Court, under pretence of economy, as English influence was becoming intolerable. The latter then made a treaty with France, and resolved on war with Edward. Many estates in England were at this time held by English barons. A council of four bishops, four earls, and four barons was appointed, without whose advice Baliol was debarred from performing any public act In 1296 Baliol was deprived of his Crown, and, being a very weak man, was sent by Edward to the Tower. Edward proceeded to Scotland with an armed force, and reached Perth, where he stayed for some time, and received the homage of many of the Scottish nobles. At this visit he went out to the Abbey of Scone, and carried away the Coronation Stone, or Stone of Destiny. This, with the Scottish Sceptre and Crown, he placed in Westminster Abbey.

A Parliament was held at Scone on 20th January, 1366, attended by bishops, abbots, earls, barons, and others. Thirteen representatives were chosen to represent certain burghs, Perth included. Another Parliament was held at Scone in September, 1367, to consider the depreciation of the Royal revenue. It was resolved that the patrimony of the Crown must be restored to the condition at which it stood in the time of Robert Bruce and Alexander III., and that all rents and duties disposed of or abolished should be restored.

Passing on to 1560, we find that in that year William, Master of Ruthven, acquired from the Abbey of Scone, and Patrick, Bishop of Moray, Commendator thereof, certain lands, parks, woods, and fishings in the Regality of Scone and Sheriffdom of Perth. This agreement was signed on 6th September, 1560, by William Ruthven and his father, Patrick Lord Ruthven, in presence of the following witnesses Patrick Murray of Tullibardine, Henry Lord Methven, Robert Murray, Andrew Ruthven, Malcolm Bower, Jas. Drummond, Allan Justice. It is said the Ruthven family had a residence in Scone in 1593, from which it may be presumed that they had restored the Palace, which had been burned down at the Reformation.

At this date the Ruthven family were proprietors of Scone, and a Charter in their favour by the Abbey of Scone is recorded in 1569 as follows:—

Charter by the Commendator and Convent of Scone creating William Lord Ruthven shireff of Perth and his heirs heritable Baillies and Justitiaries of all and sundrie the lands and possessions of the Lordship and Regality of Scone with power of levying escheats repledging etc.: And giving 100 pounds of Baillie fee. Containing precept of Sasine dated 6th April 1569.

To all by whom this Charter may be seen or heard Patrick Bishop of Moray Perpetual Commendator of the Monastery of Scone—for grateful actions and help and council to us—by a noble and potent Lord, William Lord Ruthven Sheriff of Perth: Make constitute etc the said noble lord and his heirs-male our true lawful undoubted etc. baillies and heritable justiciaries of All and singular the lands possessions etc. of the lordship and regality of Scone, giving him power to hold Courts of Bailliary and Justiciary, to levy escheats etc.

Dated at Scone 6 April 1569.
Signed by Patrick Bishop of Moray and by the Prior and sub-Prior of the Monastery of Scone.

In 1580 John, third Earl of Gowrie, was by Royal Charter created Commendator of the Monastery and Abbey of Scone. This important document we reproduce in extenso, as it is a link of no small moment in the historical narrative of the ancient Abbey of Scone.

Charter under the Great Seall creating John Rut/wen lawfull son of William Lord Ruthven, Treasurer, Perpetuall Commendator of the Monastery and Abbacy of Scone giving to him the benefice of the same with all and sundry lands Lordships Baronies teinds and others as well spiritualitie as temporalitie of the same which of old belonged thereto with tight and privilege of and free Regality during all the days of his lifetime, fallen in his Majestie's hands by the decease and for-faulture of Patrick Bishop of Moray late Commendator thereof Dated 7th May 1580.

James by the grace of God etc. To all men to whom these presents shall come: Be it known that because we have made constituted and ordained and by the tenor of these presents we make constitute etc. our lovite John Ruthven lawful son of our chosen and faithful cousin and councillor William Lord Ruthven our Treasurer perpetual Commendator the Monastery and Abbacie of Scone giving granting and providing to him the benefice of the same with All and singular Lands Lordships Baronies Castles Towers fortalices palaces monasteries manor places etc. etc. as well spiritual as temporal [with all the payments in use to be made to and pertaining to the said Abbacy] For all the days and term of the life of the said John, whether vacant and in our hands by the decease or forfeiture of Patrick Bishop of Moray Commendator of said Monastery: Holden and having the said Abbacy with lands lordships places teinds teind sheaves and others with power to let on long and short leases and to reduce those granted by the said Patrick Bishop of Moray or his predecessors against the laws and statutes: with power also to the said Commendator of giving and disponing all the benefits chapels prebendaries and altarages which to the donation of the said Abbacy pertained. . . .

There is a Charter of date 20th October, 1581, by King James the Sixth, who, understanding that the lands, etc., lately belonging to the Monastery of Scone, pertained of old to the Earls of Gowrie, and were granted by them, with confirmation thereof by the King's royal predecessors to the said Monastery for such suffrages as are now abolished, so that equity and conscience alike demand that they should now be restored to the representatives of their ancient possessors; grants them, therefore, to William Lord Ruthven and Dirleton, created Earl of Gowrie, as the representative of the ancient Earls. For this purpose the said lands have been resigned in the King's hands by the Commendator of the said Monastery, with consent of the Iconymus Administrator and Convent thereof. The lands are enumerated at length, being the barony of old called the Barony of Gowrie, afterwards the Barony of Scone.


Return to Book Index Page

 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast