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Annals of Dunfermline
A.D. 1069 - 1101 - Part 3

1070.—NUPTIALS OF MALCOLM III. WITH THE PREINCESS MARGARET OF HUNGARY AT DENFERMLINE, A.D. 1070.—The marriage of Malcolm III. (Canmore) with the Princess Margaret of Hungary, was celebrated at Dunfermline this year with great splendour.  Fordun, who wrote in the later part of the fourteenth century, referring to the nuptial ceremony, says:--

“Nuptiae factae sunt non procul a sinu maris quo applicuit, wt magnifice celebratae Anno Domini millesimo septuagesimo loco qui dicitur Dumfermlyn, quem tunc temporis rex habebat pro oppido.”  (Fordun, lib. V.c.17.

That is—

“The nuptials took place not far from the bay of the sea where she landed, and were magnificently celebrated, in A.D. 1070, at a place which is called Dunfermlyn, which the King then had as his fortified town (or residence).”

There is no list extant of the names of those who were witnesses of this, to Scotland, most important marriage; but, without doubt, the following principal parties would be in attendance:--Edgar the Atheling, his mother Agatha, and his sister Christian, Fothad (Bishop of St. Andrews), Turgot (Margaret’s confessor), Earl Macduff, with other clerics, earls, barons, and “honest men of the realm.”

Fothad II., Bishop of St. Andrews, performed the interesting ceremony, he was “ane man of great pietie and learning.”  Winton, who chronicles the occurrence, calls this bishop “a cunnand man,” i.e.., wise and learned man.  Winton notices the nuptials in the following lines:--

“Malcolm oure kyng than tyl hys wyl
Weddyd saynt Margret with hys lyf,
On lele Spowsal he thowcht to lede,
Departyd qwhyle thai suld be with Dick
Of Saynt Andrewys the Byschape than
The Secund Fothwck, a cunnand man
Devotely mad that Sacrament
That thai than tuk in gud intent,” &c.
--(Winton’s “Orygynal Cronikil, Scot.” vol. ii. P. 269.) 

Although Fordun, and other historians, state that the Royal marriage was celebrated at a place called Dunfermline, they do not point out the locus in that place.  It may be presumed that the nuptial ceremony was performed in the Chapel of Canmore’s Tower, or in the supposed Culdee Chapel adjacent.  According to S. Dunelm, who is supposed to have been inspired by Turgot, Margaret’s confessor—Malcolm had been betrothed Margaret long before the period of her marriage; therefore, it was not necessary to “raise a storm” to drive the Royal Exiles up the Firth of Forth, as has been done by early superstitious pens, in order to give the occurrence “a miraculous aspect.”  (Fordun, lib. v.c. 16; S. Dunelm, p. 201; Hailes’ Scot vol. i. pp. 8-9. &c., for notices of the nuptials.—Freeman’s Norman Conquest,  &c.)

At the time of the marriage, Malcolm would be in the 47th year of his age, and the age of Margaret would be about 24 years.  It may be further noted, that Margaret was one of the daughters of Edward, the son of Edmund (Ironside), King of England, of the Saxon line, who was murdered in 1016-1017.  This Edward the oldest son, owing to troublous times, took shelter in Hungary, and, while an exile in that country, he married Agatha, by whom he had a son Edgar, the Atheling, and two daughters, Margaret and Christian.

Mercer, in his “Dunfermline Abbey: a Poem,” has a few verses on “The Marriage.”  We extract a few lines:--

:And holy voice invoked Heaven’s care
To bless thro’ life the Royal Pair!
For many days the nuptial feast
Spread joy around in every breast,
And senachies were loud in song,
With voice and harp to cheer the throng.
A theme so fertile could inspire
The brethren of the holy choir;
Their strains, amid the joyous time
May thus be sung in modern rhyme,”—(Dunf. Ab., pp. 39-40.)

“In the arched roof of the right-hand-side- staircase in Pennycuick House, there is a fine painting by Runciman, representing the landing, marriage, nuptial feast, and apotheosis of Margaret of Hungary, Queen of Malcolm Canmore.”  (Vide “Views in Edinburgh, or Modern Athens Illustrated,”)  These nuptials appear to have been celebrated on the day after EASTER, in 1070.  Easter fell on April 4th this year, consequently should this account be correct, “the nuptial ceremony” was celebrated at Dunfermline on the 5th April, 1070, about five months after her arrival in Scotland.  (Vide Bollandist’s Acta, SS., vol. 26, p. 319)

INFLUX OF EXILES FROM ENGLAND.—A “great flowing-in of malcontents from England occurred at this period.”  They were to be found in every town and village in Scotland, and as Dunfermline was the chief seat of Royalty at the time, it would receive its full share of the exiles.  Thus the arts, then known in England, “were introduced among the semi-barbarous Scots, and the Anglo-Saxon language soon began to prevail and supersede the Gaelic, especially along the coasts.  From this period a grand new era commenced in everything that characterizes a nation, and the royal residence at Dunfermline became the fountain from whence flowed streams of civilization and knowledge over a benighted land.”  (Chamb. Gazet. Scot. p. 241.)  Although there was no recognized metropolis in Scotland until 1436-1437, Dunfermline, there can be no doubt, was the metropolis of early times, afterwards other towns began to share in the distinction; and lastly, Edinburgh became the legal metropolis after the death of King James I., 1436.  

1072.—FOUNDING OF DUNFERMLINE CHURCH.—The year of the founding of the great Church at Dunfermline is not a record; but it is to be presumed that it would be shortly after the “Nuptial Ceremony.”  The great influx of English nobility &c., into Scotland, shortly after the arrival of the Royal Exiles, would, as a matter of course, greatly increase the number of the inhabitants in the then hamlet of Dunfermline, so much so, probably, as to render the little old Culdean Church no longer suitable for the increased number of worshippers.  It would appear that Margaret and Turgot had often held consultations regarding the erection of a more suitable place of worship.  The matter is laid before Malcolm, the King, who not only agree to erect a new edifice, but one for size and architectural adornments tha5t would surpass every other ecclesiastical building then in Scotland.  This resolution had been taken in consequence of his having resolved to have the place of “Royal Sepulture” within its walls.  Here historians step in and inform us that “Ejusdem ilius Turgoti suasu Malcolmus Trinitatis Templum ad Dounfermlin sancivit ut exinde commune esset Regum Sepulchrum”—i.e.., “By the advice of the same Turgot, alcolm appointed the Trinity Church at Dunfermline to be from that time the place of Royal Sepulchre.”  We fix the founding in the year 1072, tow years after the marriage, as the most likely date.  So the great Church at Dunfermline was founded, a great national, or kind of metropolitan Church, which when finished, would be “the largest and the fairest in the land.”  (For view and ground-plan of the Church, see Annals of Dunfermline, date A.D.1115; vide Boece, Fordun, &c.)  Fordun, after mentioning that Malcolm III. Had laid the foundation-stone of Durham Cathedral in 1093, adds, “Fundavit ecclesiam S. Trinitatis de Dunfermelyn ante diu quam multis ditavit donariis et redditibus”—(Fordun, i. p. 273.)—i.e.,  “He (Malcolm founded the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dunfermlyn, long before he enriched it with many gifts and revenues.”

ROYAL GIFTS TO DUNFERMLINE CHURCH.—About this period Malcolm III. And Margaret, his consort the Queen, bequeathed in free gift to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Dunfermline, just partially opened and dedicated, the following possessions:--“Pardusin, Petnurcha, Pettecorthin, Petbauchlin, Laur, Bolgin, the Shire of Kircaladinit, and Inneresk the Lesser,  and the whole Shire of  Fothriff and Muselburgh.”  It is not known as to whether or not these possessions were conveyed by Charter or by “oral gift.”  David I., their son, in his great Confirmation Charters to Dunfermline Abbey, A.D. 1128-1130, notices these gifts of his father and mother and confirms them; so also do succeeding monarchs on their ascending the throne.  (See Print. Regist. Dunf. pp. 3-5, 19, &c.

1075.—FOUNDATION CHARTER OF DUNFERMLINE CHURCH, GRANTED by MALCOLM III.  (Vide Printed “Registrum de Dunfermelyn,” p. 417):-- 


“In name of the Holy Trinity, I Malcolm, by the Grace of God, King of Scots, of my Royal authority and power, with the confirmation and testimony of Queen Margaret, my wife, and of the Bishops, Earls, and Barons of my kingdom, the clergy also and the people acquiescing: Let all know, present and future, that I have founded an Abbey on the hill of the Infirm, in honour of God Almighty, and of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the safety of my own soul and the souls of all my ancestors, and for the safety of the soul of Queen Margaret, my wife, and of all my successors; for I have granted, and by this my Charter confirmed, to the foresaid Abbey, all the lands and town of Pardusin, Pitnaurcha, Pittecorthin, Petbachichin, Laur, Bolgin, and the shire of Kirkaladunt, and Inneresc the Lesser, with the whole of Forthriff and Muselburge, and all their pertinents; as well in Chapels, in Tithes, and other oblations; as in all other things justly belonging to these lands, towns, and shires, as freely as any King ever granted or conveyed any gift from the beginning of the world until this day.—Witnesses, Ivo, Abbot of the Culdees; Macduff, Earl; Duncan, Earl; Arnold, Earl; Neis, son of Wiliam; Marleswain.

.—Given at Edinburgh.”

                  “It agrees with the autograph in all respects,

                                                                          “SIR JAMES BALFOUR, Lyon.”

 Some critics have been of opinion that this Charter is apocryphal.

It is true that there are one or two difficulties in the Charter which have not as yet been clearly explained.  If the full light of the eleventh century could be thrown upon it, these modern difficulties would probably vanish, and leave the Charter “distinct and well defined.”  Professor Innes, at page xxi. of his preface to the “Registrun de Dunfermelyn,” refers to this Charter, and offers several objections against it, objections which appear to us, and many eminent antiquaries, to be of little weight.  The reader will find in the Appendix (A) the Professor’s objections and our answers to them.

ROYAL GIFTS OF A CRUCIFIX, GOLD AND SILVER VESSELS, JEWELS, &c., to Dunfermline Church of the Holy Trinity by the Queen, consort of Malcolm III., about this period (Hailes’s An. Scot. vol. i. p. 38).  “Queen Margaret enriched Dunfermline Abbey with many jewels of great value, with vessels of gold and silver, curiously wrought; and also a Black Cross, full of diamonds, which she brought out of England”  (Hay’s Scotia Sacra, vol. i. p. 328.

ALTARS IN THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY AT DUNFERMLINE.—There were at this period at least two altars in this Church of the Holy Trinity, viz., 1st, the High Altar, sometimes known as the “Great Altar” (Grate Awtre), which stood at the east end of the Church (east of the auld kirk); 2nd, The Altar of the Holy Cross, sometimes called the “Rood Altar” (Rwde Awtre), which stood on the south side of the Church, about forty feet south-west of the Great Alter in the Rood Aisle.  (Regarding altars erected in after times, see date 1466.)

1075.—CHURCH AT DUNFERMLINE PARTIALLY OPENED FOR WORSHIP.—It would appear, from the writings of several authors, that Abbeys and great Churches were commenced to be built at the extreme east end, and, as circumstances permitted, the building operations were carried on toward the west until finished.  Sometimes thirty or forty years were occupied in rearing a large sacred edifice.  Dunfermline Church appears to have taken up the greater part of forty years before it was finished.  Such being usual, a part of the eastern division of the edifice was built and completed for immediate worship, a temporary wall being built in the meantime on the west side of this completed part, in order to render it comfortable for the worshippers, and at the same time allow the west part of the building to be carried on at leisure until finished.  It may be presumed that this eastern part would be finished about this period (1075), three years after the supposed date of “the founding” see date 1072.  Probably, there would be “a chapel of the castle” in the Tower, on Tower Hill, as was generally the case in these times; and if there were, it would likely be here that Malcolm, Margaret, &c., would worship during the three years 1072-1075.

THE BOOK OF ST. MARGARET AT DUNFERMLINE appears to have been merely a kind of diary, or journal of her religious and domestic duties and occurrences.  Some historians doubt the authenticity of this book, so far as regards Margaret being the sole author of it.  (See Aldred,  also, Hist. Scot.)

1080.—QUEEN MARGARET’S “INNOVATIONS,” DAILY WORK, &c.—This appears to be the proper place and date to note down a few words regarding the daily life of this pious Queen.

“Margaret appears to have affected an unusual splendour about her Court.  She encouraged the importation and use of vestments of various colours.  She was magnificent in her own attire.  She increased the number of attendants on the person of the King, augmented the parade of his public appearances, and caused him to be served at table in gold and silver plate.

“Every morning she prepared food for nine little children, all indigent orphans.  On her bended knees she fed them.  With her own hand she ministered at table to crowds of poor persons, and washed the feet of six children every evening.

“While the King was occupied in affairs of State, she repaired to the altar, and there, with long prayers, sighs, and tears, offered herself a willing sacrifice to the Lord.  In the season of Lent, besides reciting particular rites, she went through the whole psalter twice or thrice within the space of twenty-four hours.  Before the time of public mass, she heard five or six private masses.  After that service, she fed twenty-four persons; and then, and not till then, she retired to a scanty ascetic meal.

“In worldly matters, she did not abuse that influence which the opinion of her worth had merited in the councils of her husband, Malcolm.  To her he seems to have entrusted the care of the affairs respecting religion, and the internal polity of the kingdom; in both there was much to reform.  She restored the religious observance of Sunday—an institution no less admirable in a political than in a religious light.

“In the administration of her household, she so blended severity of manners with complacency, that she was equally revered and loved by all who approached her.  She entertained many ladies about her person, employed in their leisure hours in the amusements of the needle; and gave a strict attention to the decency of their conduct.  In her presence, says Turgot, nothing unseemly was ever done or uttered.  The expression of Turgot, her biographer, as to this is forcible:--‘In praesentia ejus, non solum nihil execrandum facere, sed ne turpe quidem verbum quisquam ausus fuerat proferre.’—Turgot and Papebroch.”  (Hailes’s Ann. Scot. vol. i. pp. 36-38, &c.)

Of Malcolm, the King, Lord Hailes says—“He was a Prince utterly illiterate, of intrepid courage, but of no distinguished abilities.  With regard to the internal polity of his kingdom, he appears to have been guided by Queen Margaret,” &c.  (Hailes’s Annals of Scotland vol. i. p. 29.)   

ST. MARGARET’S CAVE-ORATORY.—This Cave-Oratory is situated about 350 yards to the north-east of the Royal residence on Tower Hill, and a little to the east of the Tower Burn, which flows immediately in front of it, nearly opposite the United Presbyterian Church in Chalmers Street. 

“The tradition regarding it is as follows: Queen Margaret, who, according to her confessor, Turgot, was of a pious disposition, was wont frequently to retire to this secluded spot for secret devotion, and her husband, Malcolm, either not knowing, or doubting her real object, on one occasion privately followed here, and, unobserved, looked into the Cave to see how she was occupied, of course, prepared, according to the manners of the age, for the worst, if her object had been different.  Perceiving her engaged in devotional exercise, he was quite overjoyed, and in testimony of his satisfaction, ordered the place to be suitably fitted up for her use.”  (Chalmers’ Hist. Dun. Vol. i. p. 89.)

“A little orison cave it was
Downe in a dale hard by a forest’s side;
Far from resort of peepil that did pas
In traveill to and froe.”

This Cave-Oratory, or hermitage, consists of an open apartment in the solid rock;  The entrance faces the west; there are no windows.  The entrance would probably be filled up with a door, and with “lattice window” at the side of it.  The measures of this interesting Oratory are, 6 feet 9 inches in height, 8 feet 6 inches in width, and 11 feet 9 inches from the entrance to the rock at the back.  The following view of “the Cave” is taken from Baine’s View, of 1790.

 This interesting relic of Margaret’s devotions—

“This calm retreat, the silent shade,
For prayer and contemplation made,”

Should be kept in proper order, and at or near its entrance there should be an inscription on stone, or on brass, commemorative of its connection with the pious Queen of Malcolm III.

An old man, a native of Dunfermline, who died in 1844 at an advanced age, knew an aged man in his young days, who was wont to relate, that he had seen in the Oratory-Cave the remains of a stone table, or a stone bench or seat, with something carved on it resembling a crucifix.  This second aged man’s “young days” probably refers to A.D. 1700, or thereabouts, when this interesting memorial was to be seen.  There is not now, nor has been in the writer’s lifetime, the least vestige of any such stone, or any other relic. 

1083.—THE FAMILY OF MALCOLM AND MARGARET (inter 1070-1083.—It has been supposed that, if not the whole, at least the greater portion of the Royal children of Malcolm III. and Margaret were born in the Tower at Dunfermline.  There were, so far as is known, eight children, viz., six sons and two daughters.  The names of the sons, in the order of their ages, were as follow:--Edward, Edgar, Edmond, Alexander, David, and Ethelrede; the daughters were Matilda and Mary.  Of these sons, Edgar Alexander, and David ascended the throne.  Edward was slain at Alnwick; Edmond, by his traitorous conduct, was denuded of his natural rights; and Ethelrede was a churchman.  Abbot of Dunkeld, and “comes de fyf.”  Of the daughters, Matilda became the consort of Henry I of England, and died about A.D. 1119; and Mary was married to Eustace, Count of Boulogne.  (Hailes’s An. Scot. vol.i.pp.42, 43.)  We have given these particulars because, as an old author says, “they were almost Children of Dunfermlin.” 

The Princess Matilda was married to Henry I of England.  It is on record that when her marriage was negotiating, some difficulty arose in consequence of her being a nun, and bred in the nunneries of Wilton and Romsey.  On this being told her, she said that “she had taken no vows, nor ever had any intention of engaging herself to a monastic life; but had worn the veil in mere compliance with the will of her aunt and only in her presence.”  She further assured the Archbishop that her father, King Malcolm, seeing it once on her head, was so much offended that he pulled it off, and tore it to pieces.  Proof being given, Matilda’s account was found by Anselm to be true.  She was accordingly married to Henry I.  (Lord Lyttelton’s “History of the Life of King Henry .”  pp. 171, 172.; Chalmers’ Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 484.)  Would this “veil scene” occur in Dunfermline Tower?

1093.—ROYAL INTERMENTS AT DUNFERMLINE.—Three sad events for Scotland occurred, within three days, in the middle of November, 1093. viz., the death of Malcolm, King of Scotland; of Margaret, his consort, the Queen; and of Prince Edward, their eldest son, the heir-apparent to the Scottish throne.  We shall refer to these deaths in the order of their occurrence.

Malcolm III. was slain whilst besieging the Castle of Alnwick, in Northumberland on 13th November, 1093, about the 70th year of his age, and 37th of his reign.  According to various authorities, he was slain by his friend, Robert de Moubray, who, after the death, seized the body, and had it taken to Tynemouth, 27 miles south of Alnwick, and had it interred in the Priory there.  Some authors note that Malcolm was slain by a person named “Morel” of Bamborough, at the instigation of his master, Moubray, to whom he was steward.  (Vide Saxon Chron. P. 199; S. Dunelm, p. 218; W. Malmsbury, p. 122; Fordun, lib.v.c. 25; Hailes’s An. Scot. vol. i. p. 24 &c.; particularly to Chalmers’s Hist. Dunf. pp. 5, 6, 84, 85, 86, 87, 128, 130, 167,281, 283, 483, 483, 499.  and vol. ii. Pp. 120, 122, 167, 183, 207, also to Fernie’s and Mercer’s Hist. Dunf., Hist. Scot., &c.; and regarding Malcolm’s exhumation at Tynemouth, and re-interment at Dunfermline, see An. Dunf. date 1115; and of his second exhumation and re-interment in the Lady Chapel of Dunfermline Abbey, see An. Dunf., date 1250.  Hailes, in his “Annals of Scotland,”  (pp. 2-43) gives interesting details of Malcolm.

The following are a few of the many references to the death and interment of Malcolm:--

“Malcolm Kenmour mac Dunkan regna xxxvij; anuz et vi. Moys, et fust tue a Alnewyk et intirrez a Tynmoth.  Cesti, estoit le marryed Saint Margaret a Dunfermelyn.”  (Skene’s Chron. Scots and Picts, p. 206.)

That is—

“Malcolm Canmore, son of Duncan, regned 37 years and 6 months, and was slain at Alnwick, and interred at Tynemouth.  He married Saint Margaret at Dunfermline.”

“Malcolaim mac Donnchada ise do cear le Francii et Eduward a mac”—(Skene’s Chron. Scots and Picts, p. 119)—viz., “Malcolm, son of Duncan, he was slain by the Franks (or Normans), with his son Edward.” 

“Maelcholuim mac Donnchada Rz Alban et a mac dornarbad de [F]rancaib a borgul chatha et Margareta I a ben doec da chumaid”—(Skene’s Chron. Scots and Picts, from the “Annals of Inisfallen,” pp. 169-170—viz., “Malcolm, the son of Duncan, King of Alban, and his son were slain by the Franks in battle, and Margaret, his wife, died of grief.”

Winton rhymes the obit thus:--

“As he tly Alnevicke wes ryddand
There he dey’d slain of cas
And hys sowne, that with hym was
Edward the eldest, swa baithe thai
Ware slayne in Alnevicke on a dai.”
--(Wynton’s Orygynale Cronykil, vol.ii. p. 271,272.)

It may here be noted, that a small portrait of Malcolm” hangs in the upper picture-gallery of Newbattle Abbey, the seat of the Marquis of Lothian, Edinburghshire.”  (This appears to be a fancy likeness.)

PRINCE EDWARD DIED OF A MORTAL WOUND, in the 22nd year of his age, and was interred at Dunfermline, November (inter 16th and 30th).  There are no notices of this Prince on record.  It is evident that he accompanied his father, Malcolm, with the Scottish army, to the siege of Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland.  There are several accounts of his death, differing as to place and time of occurrence.  Some have it that he received his mortal wound during the confusion which ensued on the death of his father, and died on the same day of his wound; and was thereafter carried by the retreating Scottish army into Scotland for interment at Dunfermline.  Other accounts have it that Prince Edward was mortally wounded immediately after his father was slain; that he was carried off alive by the retreating Scottish army; and that, on reaching a spot in Jedburgh Forest (afterwards known as Edward’s Isle), about 36 miles north-west of Alnwick, and 56 miles south-east of Dunfermline, he died of his wound on November 15, two days after his father.  We are inclined to think the last account to be the correct one, so far as it relates to the place where he died; but the retreating Scottish army, after leaving Alnwick, might have gone over the 36 miles of ground between Alnwick and Jedburgh (“Jedwood Forest”) on the same day, viz., November 13th; and, in admitting this, it agrees with Winton’s account given in the preceding notice.

After the Prince’s death, his remains appear to have been, in the hurry of the retreat, sewn up, or roped up, in a horse-hide; for; in 1849, when the site of his grave in Dunfermline Abbey was opened, during the course of the repairs going on, a stone coffin was reached, which, on its cover-stone being removed, a “sewn-up hide: in its whole length, with thongs of the same material, was found in a decayed state.  On the hide being cut open, the fragment of a bone and a heap of dust were all that remained of the gallant Prince Edward after his long sleep of 756 years.  (See An. Of Dunf. date 1849.)

When Prince Edward’s remains were brought to Dunfermline, they were, “with grate honoure,” interred “Juxta patrem ante altare Sanctae Crucis”—(Fordun, v. 25)—that is, were interred near his father, before the Altar of the Holy Cross, at Dunfermline;  (Fordun lib.v.c. 25; Boece, lib. x. fol. 260; S. Dunelm, p. 218; Hailes’s An. Scot. vol. i. p. 24; Balfour’s Annals, p. 2; Chalmers’ Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 128, 133; vol. ii. p. 142, &c.)

Had Donald Bane, “the Usurper,” by any intrigue compassed the deaths of Malcolm and Edward, especially the latter?  This Donald began to besiege the Castle of Edinburgh, immediately after “the affair” at Alnwick,” so he could not be far off at the tiem, and perhaps he was one of the retreating army.

DEATH OF MARGARET, THE QUEEN, CONSORT OF MALCOLM III., AND HER INTERMENT AT DUNFERMLINE.—Margaret, the Queen, consort of Malcolm III., died in the Castrum Puellarum—i.e., Edinburgh Castle, on the 16th day of November, 1093, in the 47th year of her age, and 23rd of her reign.  On this day her young son Ethelrede, in haste from the Alnwick retreat, entered her sick chamber in Edinburgh Castle, and, at her request, he told her tenderly of what had then just happened, the violent deaths of her husband and her eldest son, “which so affected her with grief, that her strength and her spirits failed her, she made confession [to Turgot], received the Holy Sacrament, gave her dying blessing to those around her, and expired.”  Winton rhymes the occurrence as follows:--

“As thys ded all thys ware doune
Come wything til Saynt Margret soune.
The Revelatyoune that west maist
That scho had of the Haly gast
Than with devot and gud intent
Scho tuk the Haly Sacrament
Of Goddis Body blyst werracy
Wyth the last unctyoune; and that dai
Of al charges scho yhald hyr gwyte
And til the Creatoure hyr Spyryte
In-til the Castelle of Edynburch,” &c.
--(Wynton’s “Orygynale Cronikil” vol. ii. Pp. 271,272.)

Several writers mention that Margaret “died of grief,” in consequence of the sad intelligence of the deaths of her husband and eldest son, conveyed to her by Ethelrede.  This is not altogether correct.  The Queen had been long ailing, hr emaciated body was quite worn out; and although the deaths had not occurred, her after-days on earth would not have been many.  The physical requirements of her creed appear to have brought on consumption, from which there was no escape.

A late writer, one of her own faith, remarks, that “among the delights of a Court, she humbled her body by discipline and watchings, spending a great part of the night in devout prayer; and, besides the other fast days which she kept, in addition was the observance of the abstinence of Lent for forty days before the Lord’s Passion, and not even the most grievous sickness would make her foego it.” (Lect. Antiq. Edin, p. 19.)  A robust frame could not have stood out long against such excessive physical vigils and abstinence.  In short, she died a martyr to a too strict and unnecessary observance of the rites of Roman worship; for she was—

“Oftener on her knees than on her feet,
And died every day she lived.”

Turgot, her confessor relates the following as his last and affectionate interview with her:--“After a long discourse on her spiritual state, she thus addressed him, ‘Farewell, my life draws to a close; but you may long survive me.  To you I commit the charge of my children.  Teach them above all things to love and fear God; and whenever you see any of them attain to the height of earthly grandeur, oh! Then, in an especial manner, be to them as a father and a guide.  Admonish and, if need be reprove them, lest they be swelled with the pride of momentary glory, or through avarice offend God, or by reason of the prosperity of this world, become careless of eternal life.  This, in the presence of Him, who is now our only witness, I beseech you to promise and to perform.’”  (Hailes’s An. Of Scot. vol. i. pp. 39, 40.)

Margaret died in one of the little chambers of a building on the east side of the quadrangle through which we pass to the “Crown Room.”  This was the ancient Palace of the Castle.  The little chapel in which she worshipped when at this residence, still stand in a complete state of repair, a very tiny building, perhaps the oldest of which Edinburgh, or even Scotland, can boast.  It has the name of “St. Margaret’s Chapel.”

At the time of Margaret’s decease, the Castle of Edinburgh was being besieged by the usurper, Donald Bane.  Ethelrede, her son, and other attendants, were thus forced to convey her body out of the Castle through a secre5t door in the wall of the fortress, on the west side.  In this duty they were, says an old writer, favoured by a mist which kept them from being seen by the besiegers.  From Edinburgh the body was taken by her old ferry, the Queen’s ferry, on the Dunfermline, to the Church there, the erection of which is so much indebted to her influence and exertions, viz., THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, the place selected by Malcolm and Margaret for the “Locus Sepulturae Regum: of Scotland; and here, between November 16-30, the remains of the pious Margaret were deposited before the Rwde Awtre—i.e.., the Altar of the Holy Cross—with “great veneration and honour;” and perhaps on the same day that the remains of her son were committed to the earth.  Authentic history assures us that Turgot, Margaret’s confessor, wrote a history of the lives of Malcolm and Margaret, copious extracts from which are to be found in Hailes’s An. Scot. vol. i. pp. 34-41.  Turgot’s work is now very scarce.  (Vide Chalmers’ Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. pp. 170, 171,; also “Lectures on the Antiquities of Edinburgh, by a Member of the Guild of St. Joseph;” pp. 15-29.)  Referring to the conveying of Margaret’s remains from Edinburgh Castle to Dunfermline, Winton says, or rather sings—

“Hyr swne Ethelrede, queen thys felle
That wes hys modyr nere than by
Gert at the west yhet prewaly
Have the cors furth in a myst
Or mony of hyr endying wyst;
And whth that body thai past syne
But ony lat til Dwnfermelyne.
Before the Rwde Awtare with honoure
She was laid in Haly Sepulture.”
--(Wynton’s “Orygynale Cronikil of Scot.” vol. ii. Pp. 271, 272.)

(For further particulars relative to Margaret, see Fordun lib. v.c. 25; Boece, lx. Fol. 261; S. Dunelm, p. 219; Saxon Chron. fol. 199; Aber. Maxi. Ach.; Aldred; Majors’ Hist. Brit. and the Hist. of Scot likewise Chalmers’; Hist. Dunf.  vol. pp. 86, 87, 129-132, 288, 289, 484-493, vol. ii. Pp. 117,121-123, 170-172. 173-176, 178-182; also Fernie’s and Mercer’s Hist. Dunf.

1094.—DUNCAN II. bequeathed, as a free gift to the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dunfermline, “TWO VILLAS” called “LUSCAR.”  (See Confirmation Charters of David I. and his successors.)

1095.—DUNCAN II., who was assassinated this year, is said by some old writers to have been buried at Dunfermline.  (Abridged Chron. Scot; p. 59, c.  This is not absolutely certain, but extremely likely.  He knew that his father, Malcolm III., had ordained the Church of Dunfermline to be the place of future sepulture of the Royal Family of Scotland; besides this, by the previous entry, it is seen that by his magnificent gift of the two villas of Luscar to the Church he had become one of its benefactors.  It may be noted here, that there exists much difference of opinion among authors regarding the legitimacy of Duncan II.  David I. and his brothers, in their charters, call him “Duncan frater meus”—i.e. “Duncan, my brother.”  Probably Duncan was the osn of Malcolm’s first wife, Ingibiorg, and therefore a half-brother of Malcolm and Margaret’s children; and hence his supposed right to the throne.  It would appear that, at the time of Malcolm and Margaret’s death, in November, 1093, their children, at least their sons, were all under age, and hence the assumption of power, legal or otherwise, by this Duncan.  It would further appear, as he is styled “Duncan frater meus”  in those charters of Malcolm’s sons who had ascended the throne, that they  held his memory in affectionate respect; besides, King James II., in his Confirmation Charter to the Abbey in 1450, designates Duncan as King Duncan, which this James would scarcely have done had it not been so.  Was Ingibiorg, the first wife of Malcolm III, ever recognized as Queen of Scotland?

1097.—CUMERLACHI WERE GIFTED TO THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, DUNFERMLINE, about this period, by KING EDGAR, shortly after his ascension to the throne.  Cumerlachi, sometimes designated “Cumberlachi,” appear to have been a low grade of fugitive servants, or slaves.  Considerable difference of opinion still exists as to the etymology of this singular word or name.  May it not refer to Edgar’s “slave servants,” who had been brought from his possessions in Cumberland into Scotland?


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