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The Highlanders of Scotland
Part I -
Appendix - The Seven Provinces of Scotland

     IN treating of the earlier part of the history of Scotland, it had been my intention to have refrained from entering more deeply into the subject than was absolutely necessary for the development of the single proposition which I had to establish – viz., the descent of the Highlanders from the northern Picts; but the remarkable discoveries of Sir Francis Palgrave, regarding the court and privileges of the seven earls of Scotland in the thirteenth century, corroborate so very strongly the views which I had been led to form of the constitution of the Pictish kingdom, and of its preservation in the subsequent Scottish monarchy, that I am induced to depart from my resolution, and to give a more detailed view of the subject in this Appendix.

      Previous writers of Scottish history have in general overlooked the ancient territorial divisions of the country. That the name of Scotia was, previous to the thirteenth century, confined to the country north of the Firths of Forth and Clyde, is undoubted; the chronicles and ancient writers invariably asserting that these Firths divided Scotia from Anglia. That part of the present kingdom situated to the south of these Firths, appears to have formerly consisted of the two provinces of Lothian and Cumbria, or Galloway; and these provinces have been frequently noticed by our later historians. These writers have, however, entirely overlooked the fact, that Scotia, or Scotland proper, was likewise divided into provinces. We have seen that frequent allusion is made by the chroniclers and monkish writers to the “provinciae Pictorum”; [See Part I., chap. ii.] and from the Scottish conquest down to the thirteenth century, they frequently notice the existence of provinces in the north of Scotland. The oldest description of these territorial divisions which we possess, is contained in the work of Giraldus Cambrensis, styled “De Situ Albaniae,” and written in the year 1180. He mentions that the “Aqua optima, quae Scotticé vocata est Forth,” divides the “regna Scottorum et Anglorum,” and says, “Haec vero terra a septem fratribus divisa fuit antiquitus in septem partes: quarum pars principalis est Enegus cum Moerne, ab Enegus primogenito fratrum sic nominata: seconda autem pars est Adthrodle et Gouerin [The word read by Innes Gouerin, ought undoubtedly to be Garörin or Garmorin, for the division of the Picts into the two nations of Australes et Septentrionales, and the language of Bede, precludes the possibility of Atholl and Gowry being in the same territorial division.; Innes probably never heard of the Earldom of Garmorin.]; pars etiam tertia est Stradeern cum Meneted: quarta pars partium est Fife cum Fothreve: quinta vero pars est Marr cum Buchen: sexta autem est Murref et Ros: septima enim pars est Cathanesia citra montem et ultra montem: quia Mons Mound dividit Cathanesiam per medium.” [Innes, App. No. 1.] He afterwards gives a different account of the seven provinces, of the authority of Andrew, Bishop of Caithness: –

      “Primum regnum fuit (sicut mihi verus relator retulit, Andreas, videlicet, vir venerabilis Katanensis episcopus nacione Scottus et Dunfermlis Monachus) ab illa aqua optima, quae Scottice vocata est Forth, Britannice Werid, Romane vero Scotte-Wattre, i.e., aqua Scottorum; quae regna Scottorum et Anglorum dividit, et currit juxta oppidum de Strivelin, usque ad flumen aliud nobile, quod vocatum est Tae.

      “Secundum regnum ad Hilef, sicut mare circuit, usque ad montem aquilonali plaga de Strivelin qui vocatur Athrin.

      “Tertium regnum ab Hilef usque ad De.

      “Quartum regnum ex De usque ad magnum et mirabile flumen quod vocatur Spe, majorem et meliorem totius Scociae.

      “Quintum regnum de Spe usque ad montem Bruinalban.

      “Sextum regnum fuit Muref et Ros.

“Septimum regnum fuit Arregaithel.”

      On comparing these two lists, it will be observed that six of the seven provinces are the same in both; the first province in the second list being equivalent to Fife and Fothreve; the second, to Stratherne and Menteth; the third, to Angus and Merns; the fourth, to Marr and Buchan; the fifth, to Atholl; and the sixth, Moray and Ross; while in the first list, the seventh is Cathanesia, and in the second it is Argyll.

      This variation, it is plain, could not arise from any error in the ancient documents from which these two accounts are taken; and the two lists can only represent the division of Scotland into seven provinces, at different periods, since otherwise we could not account for the omission of either Argyll or Caithness. This variation, however, points out distinctly the different periods in the history of Scotland to which the two lists apply. The first list omits Argyll; the second includes Argyll and omits Caithness; and the ninth century produced exactly the changes in the history of Scotland which would account for this variation; for the Scottish conquest, in 843, added Dalriada, which afterwards became Argyll, to the rest of Scotland, and towards the end of the same century, Caithness fell into the hands of the Norwegians. The second list thus exhibits the exact territories possessed by the king of Scotland subsequent to the ninth century, while the first list gives an equally faithful picture of the extent of the Pictish kingdom previous to the Scottish conquest. This is very plain, when we find that the seven provinces in the first list form exactly the possessions of the Picts, and that the part omitted is just the territory of the Dalriads; and this is most important, for it proves that the division into seven provinces was peculiar to the Picts, and that the Pictish kingdom formed the basis of the subsequent Scottish monarchy. Having thus established the fact that the seven provinces contained in the first list were the territorial divisions of the Pictish kingdom previous to the Scottish conquest, we now proceed to enquire into the nature and purpose of this division.

      Giraldus mentions a tradition that the seven provinces arose from a division of the territory of the Picts among seven brothers. These seven brothers, however, are manifestly the same with the seven sons of Cruthne, the progenitor of the Picts mentioned in the following passage of the Pictish chronicle: “Cruidne filius Cinge, pater Pictorum habitantium in hac insula, C. annis regnavit; VII. filios habuit. Haec sunt nomina eorum; Fiv, Fidach, Floclaid, Fortreim, Got, Ce, Circui.” [Pinkerton, App. No. 10.] The same seven brothers are mentioned in an old Gaelic poem attributed to St. Columba, and quoted in that ancient and singular history of the Picts contained in the book of Ballymote;

                        “The seven great sons of Cruthne

                        Divided Alban into seven parts,

                        Cait, Ce, Cirighceathac,

Fibb, Fidach, Fotla, Fortreand.” [Pinkerton, App. No. 14. This very curious and valuable document must not be judged of by Pinkerton’s translation, which bears but a very remote resemblance to the original.]

The names of these seven brothers, however, appear from the Irish annalists to have been actually the Gaelic names of the districts in question.

      The name of Fortren occurs frequently in these Annals, where many of the Pictish kings are termed “Ri Fortren,” or king of Fortren; and that this word, although used for Pictavia in general, was applied in a strict sense to Stratherne, appears from two facts: 1st, Angus Ri Fortren (or king of Fortren, in Tighernac), appears, in the old history of the foundation of St. Andrews, as residing in Forteviot in Stratherne as his capital; and it is plain that, in a state of society like that of the Picts, the residence of the monarch would always be in the territories of the tribe of which he was the chief. 2dly, The Annals of Ulster mention in 903 the slaughter of Ivar the Norwegian pirate, “by the men of Fortren,” while the Pictish Chronicle, in relating the same event, says, “In sequenti utique anno occisi sunt in Straithheremi (Stratherne) Normanni.”

      Fiv is manifestly Fife. In Cathanesia, and Athfotla or Atholl, we plainly recognise Got or Cait, and Fotla; while Tighernac mentions a battle fought “in terra Circi,” and from the parties engaged in it, it would appear to have been in the territories of the southern Picts, and consequently the province of Angus. There only remain the names Ce and Fidach to be identified; but although these must have been the Gaelic names of the two remaining provinces stretching from the Dee to the Firth of Tain, we are unable further to identify them. All authorities thus agree in the division of the Pictish nation into seven provinces; and as the Picts were at the same time divided into the two great nations of the Northern and Southern Picts, who were separated from each other by the Great Grampian range, it would appear that four of these provinces belonged to the former of these nations, and three to the latter.

      The Picts, however, it must be remembered, consisted of a confederacy of tribes, in number certainly greater than seven. These tribes, then, must have been grouped together, as it were into provinces, and it will be necessary to ascertain their number and situation before we can understand the purpose of the latter division. After giving the first list of seven provinces, Giraldus proceeds to say – “Inde est ut hi septem fratres praedicti pro septem regibus habebantur: septem regulos sub se habentes. Isti septem fratres regnum Albaniae in septem regna diviserunt, et unusquisque in tempore suo in suo regno regnavit.” There were thus, according to tradition, among the Picts, seven “reges,” and inferior to them seven “reguli,” that is to say, as the Picts were a confederacy of tribes, the heads of the nation consisted of fourteen chiefs, of whom seven were superior in rank to the rest. As we had previously found the existence of the seven provinces traditionally preserved in the shape of the seven sons of the supposed founder of the Pictish kingdom, so we should likewise expect to recognize the fourteen tribes of the nation traditionally preserved in the same documents and in a similar form. Such is actually the case. The Pictish Chronicle has the following passage: –

      “15 Brude bout, a quo xxx Brude regnaverunt Hiberniam et Albaniam, per centum 1. annorum spacium xlviii. annis regnavit. Id est Brude Pant, Brude Urpant, Brude Leo, Brude Urleo, Brude Gant, Brude Urgant, Brude Guith, Brude Urguith, Brude Fecir, Brude Urfecir, Brude Cal, Brude Urcal, Brude Cuit, Brude Urcuit, Brude Fec, Brude Urfec, Brude Ru, Brude Eru, Brude Gart, Brude Urgart, Brude Cinid, Brude Urcinid, Brude Iup, Brude Uriup, Brude Grid, Brude Urgrid, Brude Mund, Brude Urmund.”

      In the Book of Ballymote, perhaps the better authority, we find exactly the same list, with the exception that instead of Fecir we have Feth, instead of Ru we have Ero, instead of Iup we have Uip, instead of Grid we have Grith, and instead of Mund we have Muin.

      Although Brude is here stated to have thirty sons, yet, on giving their names, it appears to be a mistake for twenty-eight which is the true number, as the Book of Ballymote has the same. This number, however, is again reduced to fourteen, as we find that every alternate name is merely the preceding one repeated, with the syllable “Ur” prefixed.

      This, then, is a strictly analogous case to the former. It appears from Giraldus, that there were among the Picts persons styled “reges et reguli,” who, from the state of society among them, must have been chiefs of tribes, and consequently the nation was divided into fourteen tribes, while we find a tradition, that a successor of the founder of the nation and king of the Picts had fourteen sons.

      The tribes of the Caledonians or Picts, as they existed A.D. 121, are, however, preserved by Ptolemy. The exact number of these tribes cannot be ascertained from him, as he nowhere marks the distinction between the tribes of the Calegonians and those of the other Britons. They appear, however, to have been fourteen in number, for, north of the Firths of Forth and Clyde, which in the second century was certainly inhabited by the Caledonians or Picts alone, he places twelve tribes; the Damnonioi likewise belonged to them, for that tribe is placed by Ptolemy partly north and partly south of these Firths, and the expression of Julius Capitolinus, in narrating the building of the wall of Antonine in A.D. 138, “submotis barbaris,” implies that previous to that event a considerable number of the Caledonians dwelt south of the Firths; among these “submotis barbaris” we may probably likewise include the Novantai, as Tacitus draws a decided distinction between them and the neighbouring tribes, when he styles them, along with the Damnonioi “novas gentes.”

            This just makes up the number of fourteen; and it is a very remarkable circumstance, that in the name of these fourteen tribes, as given by Ptolemy, we actually find, with but one exception, the names of the fourteen sons of Brude given by the Pictish Chronicle. This will appear from the following table, and as the names in the one list are Gaelic, and in the other Greek, it will be necessary to add to the former the forms they would assume by pronunciation, and the use of the aspirate in the oblique cases, which has the effect in Gaelic, as is well known, of sometimes changing the form of the letter, and sometimes rendering it silent. [In old Gaelic D and T are used for each other indiscriminately. By the aspirate used in the oblique cases, B and M become V, P becomes F, and T is silent. In ancient MSS. it is likewise difficult to distinguish T from C.]

            Pant           or                           Plant              Novantai. [Na, the Gaelic definite article, Navantai – the Vantai.]

            Leo                                           Leo                Lougoi.

            Gant           pronounced             Kant              Kanteai.

            Guith          pronounced             Kai                Kairinoi.

            Feth            or                           Ped               Epidioi.   

            Cal             or                           Ka                 Caladenia.

            Cuit            or                           Tic                 Talkily.

            Fec                                           Fec                Vakomagoi.

            Eru                                           Eru                Mertai.

            Gart            pronounced             Kar                Karnones. [Tighernac mentions the Gens Gartnaidh, pronounced Karnie.]

            Cinid                                         Cinid              Damnonioi.

            Uip             or                           Uiph               Kournaovioi. [Corr is the Gaelic for a corner, and hence a district “Corrn’aovioi” is the “district of the Aovioi,” and Corr is singularly applicable to their situation in Caithness.]

            Grith           pronounced             Kre                Karnones.

            Muin           or                           Vuin               Venricontes.

      In comparing these names, it must be recollected that the Gaelic names are monosyllabic, while the Greek are not. But when, in fourteen Greek names, the first syllables of ten are found to be identic with the Gaelic, as well as the second syllables of two, and that there are but two which bear a doubtful or no similarity, the identity may be considered complete [The identification of the fourteen tribes with the fourteen sons of Brude may perhaps be considered visionary, but its accuracy does not in any way affect the argument regarding the constitution of the Pictish monarchy.’

      We thus see that the Pictish nation was a confederacy of fourteen tribes, the chiefs of seven of which were considered of superior rank to the others, and that these fourteen tribes were grouped into seven provinces, in each of which one of the seven superior chiefs ruled. This exhibits a system exactly analogous to that which existed as appears from Caesar and others, in Gaul, where several of the tribes were dependent upon others more powerful than themselves. It has been fully shews in this Work, that the northern tribes remained in very much the same state, down to the introduction of the Saxon laws, in the reign of Edgar; that the maormors or chiefs of these tribes assumed the title of earl, and that the territories of the tribes are exactly the same with the earldoms into whikkch the north of Scotland was afterwards divided. We are thus enabled, by comparing the tribes as given by Ptolemy with the subsequent earldoms and the seven provinces contained in Giraldus, to ascertain the exact local system of the Pictish kingdom. This will appear from the following table: –

            Nations.                     Provinces.            Tribes.        Earldoms.

            Southern Picts —       Fiv                       Cinid           Fife.

                     Fortren                 Phant          Stratherne.

                                 Circi                     Vuin            Angus.


            Northern Picts —        Fidach                 Fec             Marr.

                                             Ce                       Tuic            Buchan.

                                                                        Kant           Moray.

                                                                        Kar             Ross

                                             Fotla                    Kal             Atholl.

                                                                        Kre             Garmorin.

                                             Cait                     Leo             Fell into the possession of the Norwegians – A.D. 925.

                                                                        Ero                   “

                                                                        Kai                   “

                                                                        Uiph                  “

                                                                        Ped            Destroyed by Dalriads.


      From this table it will be observed, that the Southern Picts consisted of but three of the fourteen tribes, while their territories comprised three of the seven provinces. It would appear, then, that the system of dependent tribes was confined to the Northern Picts, and this circumstance will, to some degree, explain the origin of the seven provinces.

      It has been fully shewn in the previous part of the Work, that the Pictish monarchy was an elective one, and that the king of the Picts was chosen from among the chiefs of the tribes. [Part I., chap. ii.] Adomnan mentions the existence of a senatus among the Picts. This senatus, then, must have been the constitutional body by whom the Pictish monarch was elected, or his right to the Pictish throne judged of; and it is equally clear that it must originally have been formed out of the chiefs of these tribes; but while the Southern Picts consisted of three great tribes only, the nature of the country, and other causes incidental to mountain districts, had caused the division of the Northern Picts into a much greater number. Although these tribes were probably originally independent of each other, yet in a representation of the nation by the heads of its tribes, it was absolutely necessary that the one division of the nation should not have too great a preponderance over the other, in numbers and extent of territory equally powerful; and in this way, I think, arose the arrangement of the tribes of the Northern Picts into four provinces, in each of which one tribe alone, and probably the most powerful, was selected to form a part of the national council, and to which tribes the others would soon become dependent. The division of the nation into seven provinces was then a political institution, whose origin is unknown, for the purpose of preserving the balance between the two great branches of the Picts, whose habits of life, and the nature of their country, rendered their interests very different; and the seven great chiefs, by whom the seven provinces were represented, alone had a voice in the senatus of the nation, and constituted the electors of the Pictish monarch, and the judges of his right to the throne, when the principle of succession was introduced. [The seven provinces of the Picts, and the seven great chiefs who presided over them, are plainly alluded to in the following passages in the old accounts of the foundation of St. Andrews: – “Die autem postero Picti, ex sponsione Apostoli letificati, proelium pararunt; et diviso exercitu, circa regam suum septem agmina statuerunt.” – Pinkerton, App. No. 7. “Altero autem die, evenit regi praedicto, cum septem comitibus amicissimis, ambulare.” – Pinkerton, App. No. 12.]

      Such, then, was the constitution of the Pictish monarchy previous to the Scottish conquest: let us now see what effect that event produced upon the system. Subsequent to this event, we have strong reason for thinking that some representation of the Pictish nation a separate and distinct from the Scots still continued, for in the reign of Donald, the successor of Kenneth Mac Alpin, we find a solemn contract entered into between the Goedili on the one hand, and the king of the Scots on the other, by which the laws and customs of the Dalriadic Scots were introduced, including of course the rule of hereditary succession to the throne.

      The second list of the seven provinces contained in Giraldus, applies unquestionably to some period subsequent to the Scottish conquest. The principal variation between this list and the previous one, is the addition of Argyll as a province, and the omission of Caithness. The former would be produced by the union of the Dalriadic territories to those of the Picts; the latter by the acquisition of Caithness by the Norwegians. The six years’ forcible occupation of the district by Thorstein in the end of the ninth century would not be sufficient to exclude it from among the provinces, for that pirate king likewise possessed Moray and Ross, which certainly continued as a Scottish province; and it is apparent from this fact that no conquest would be sufficient to account for the omission of one of the provinces. It must be recollected, however, that Caithness was in the possession of the Norwegian Earl of Orkney in the tenth century, when no conquest whatever of that district is recorded, and the fact that one of the previous earls of Orkney is stated by the Sagas to have married the daughter of Duncan, Jarl or Maormor of Caithness, affords a strong presumption that he acquired that district by succession. The entire separation of Caithness from Scotland, and its annexation to the Norwegian possessions as an integral part, will appear from a curious document printed by Sir Francis Palgrave in his valuable work on the Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth. This document, in giving a description of Danelaghe, mentions that it included “Albania tota quae modo Scotia vocatur, et Morovia, usque ad Norwegiam et usque Daciam, scilicet, Kathenesia, Orkaneya, Enthegal (Inchegall or the Hebrides) et Man, & c.” [Vol. I., p. 572.]

      The succession of the earl of Orkney to Caithness, therefore, caused the dismemberment of that district from Scotland, and that event took place, as appears from the Sagas, about the year 925, from which period Caithness must have ceased to form one of the seven provinces of Scotland. The only other variation which we discover, is, that a part of the province of Fife appears afterwards, under the name of Fortreve, which was previously the name of the province consisting of Stratherne and Menteth. From this it is plain that the Scots actually colonized the latter province, and that the remnant of the Pictish tribe which had possessed it, took refuge in the neighbouring province of Fife, to a part of which they gave their name, and where they remained, as well as the relics of the tribe of Fife, entire under a dominant Scottish population. The province of Angus seems to have continued under its Pictish chief as a tributary province, the Pictish Chronicle frequently recording the death of the Maormor or Angus, a title peculiar to the Picts, along with that of the kings of Scotland.

      The new arrangement, then, of the seven provinces, by which Argyll became a province in place of Caithness, could not have taken place prior to the year 925, while previous to that date, and subsequent to the Scottish conquest, we find that the representation of the Picts as a nation by their Senatus still continued. The preservation of the system of the seven provinces, taken in connexion with these facts, thus proves that the Scots were incorporated into the Pictish system, and that the provinces of the Northern Picts were preserved entire, while the Scots came in place of the Southern Picts, of whom alone probably the Maormor of Angus retained a voice in the national council.

      Such, then, was the constitution of the Scottish monarchy established on the overthrow of the Southern Picts, and adopting the constitutional form of the conquered kingdom; preserving, until the introduction of the Saxon laws in the twelfth century, the national council of seven great chiefs by whom the right of the king to the throne was judged under the hereditary kings of Scottish lineage, who filled the throne of the united nation, and thus gave the name of Scot and Scotia, formerly confined to the tribe from which they took their origin, to the whole country which submitted to their rule.

      We shall now examine what effect the formation of the Scoto-Saxon monarchy under Edgar, produced upon this constitutional body. We have seen that, down to the introduction of the Saxon laws into the country, the tribes of Scotland existed under the rule of their hereditary Maormors or chiefs and that, wherever the old population remained, these Maormors adopted the Saxon title of Earl. As this was the highest title of honour among the Saxons, it is plain that there would now be no distinction in title between the chiefs of the superior and those of the subordinate tribes; and the whole of these earls indiscriminately, along with the other earls created by the Scoto-Saxon kings, and the crown vassals or thanes, would now form the “communitas regni,” which constituted the parliament of all Teutonic nations. Notwithstanding this, however, as the seven great chiefs by whom the seven provinces of Scotland were represented, still existed, although they merely enjoyed the title of Earl in common with the other chiefs, it is not unlikely that we should find them retaining the shadow of this ancient national council co-existent with, and independent of, the great parliament of the nation, and claiming the privileges of the constitutional body of which their ancestors formed the members; that, besides the parliament or communitas regni, which included the whole of the earls, with the other crown vassals, we should find seven of the Earls claiming and exercising the privileges of the body which they represented; and that they would yield with reluctance their position as a representation of the seven provinces of Scotland.

      Of the exercise of this right, however, an instance appears to have occurred even as late as the reign of Malcolm IV. On the death of David Is., whose right to the throne had not been disputed by any of the factions into which Scotland was divided, the claims of his grandson Malcolm were disputed by William, commonly called the Boy of Egremont, the great-grandson of Malcolm Canmore, king of Scotland, by his eldest son Duncan, likewise king of Scotland, and he was supported by the Gaelic part of the population.       

      The Orkneyinga Saga states that “Ingibiorg Iarlsmoder (earl’s mother) married Malcolm, king of Scotland, who was called Langhals (Canmore); their son was Duncan, king of Scotland, the father of William; he was a good man; his son was William Odlinger (the noble), whom all the Scots wished to have for their king.” [Orkneyinga Saga, p. 90.]

      The nation, therefore, in some way expressed a desire to have the Boy of Egremont for their king; and that this expression of the desire of the nation was made by the seven earls, appears from the following passages. In 1160, the Chronicle of Melrose mentions the following event: – “Malcolmus Rex Scotorum venit de exercitu Tolosae, cumque venisset in civitatem quae dicitur Pert, Fereteatht comes et v. alii comites, irati contra regem quia perrexit Tolosam, obsederunt civitatem et regem capere voluerunt; sed praesumtio illorum minime praevaluit.” This attack by the earls was made in favour of the Boy of Egremont, for Winton mentions him as being among the conspirators as well as Gilleandres, Earl of Ross; and the fact that, while Winton assures us that the Boy of Egremont and the Earl of Ross were present, the Chronicle of Melrose does not include either among the six earls, shews very clearly that these six earls were acting in some public capacity peculiar to them. The following passage in Bower shews equally clearly, however, that the demonstration made by the six earls was the event alluded to by the Saga, when it says, “whom all the Scots wished to have for their king::--

      “Videntes denique Scotorom proceres nimiam sui regis familiaritatem cum Anglorum rege Henrico et amicitiam, turbati sunt valde, et omnis Scotia cum illis. Timuerunt enim ne sua familiaritatem cum Anglorum rege Henrico et amicitiam, turbati sunt valde, et omnis Scotia cum illis. Timuerunt enim ne sua familiaritas opprobrium illis pararet et contemptum: quod omni studio praecavere conantes, miserunt legationem post eum, dicentes; nolumus hunc regnare super nos. Propterea reversus ab exercitu de Tholosa, Scotiam adveniens, propter diversas causarum exigentias, auctoritate regia praelatos jubet et proceres apud burgum regium de Perth convenire. Concitatis interim regni majoribus, sex comites, Ferchard, scilicet, Comes de Strathern et alii quinque, adversus regem, non utique pro singulari commodo seu proditiosa conspiratione, immo reipublicae tuitione commoti, ipsum capere nisi sunt, quem infra turrim ejusdem urbis obsederunt. Cassato pro tunc eorum, Deo disponente, conatu, non multis postmodum diebus evolutis, clero consulente, cum suis optimatibus ad concordiam revocatus est.” [Fordun, b. viii., c. 4. This view of the conspiracy in 1160 suggested itself to me on seeing a notice of Sir F. Palgrave’s singular discovery, as until then I did not perceive that the institution of the seven provinces had survived the establishment of the Scoto-Saxon monarchy.]

      It appears, then, that a portion of the earls were considered as representing the greater part of the nation; and we thus trace, as late as the twelfth century, the existence of a constitutional body, whose origin is lost in the earliest dawn of Pictish history, while the incorporation and preservation of the Northern Picts, as a distinct portion of the nation, afterwards termed the Scots, becomes undoubted.

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