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Scottish Kings
A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005 - 1625 by Sir Archibald H. Dunbar, Bart. (1906)


This book relates to the Scottish Kings from the accession of Malcolm II. in the year 1005, to the death of James VI. in 1625. It contains the result of an endeavour to settle, as far as possible, the exact date of the noteworthy events in Scottish history during those six centuries. Unfortunately there are many noteworthy events in the early history of Scotland to which it is impossible to assign the exact date.

Pages xviii and xix contain a Table of the Scottish Kings from 1005 to 1625. This Table gives the names of the Sovereigns, the dates when their reigns began, their ages at accession, the dates when their reigns ended, and the lengths of their reigns. It contains the reigns of twenty-five Kings; the second reign of Donald Bane; the nominal reign of Margaret, ‘The Maid of Norway'; the First Interregnum; the Second Interregnum; and the reign of Mary Queen of Scots; making a total of thirty periods, or ‘reigns ’ if they may be so called, although the term ‘reign’ is not strictly applicable in every instance.

Pages 1-279 contain particulars as to the parentage, birth, marriage, death, burial-place, and issue of each Sovereign, with short notices and the dates of some of the principal events that occurred during their reigns. .

Thu paragraphs that relate .specially to the personal history of each Sovereign begin in the margin, so as to be more readily distinguished.

A Table of Regnal Years is inserted after each reign, followed by the names of the contemporary Sovereigns in England and in France, and by the names of the contemporary Popes and Antipopes.

The Tables of Regnal and Interregna! Years are calculated, in most cases, from the death, deposition, or abdication of the preceding Sovereign, on the principle of 'The King is dead! Long live the King!’ But if a special examination of the Records in H.M. General Register House were made, it might be found that Robert I. was not the only one of the Scottish Kings who reckoned his Regnal Years from the date of his coronation.

Upwards of live thousand references are given in footnotes, to show the principal sources that have been consulted, and to enable the reader, if so disposed, to refer to those sources for the purpose of comparing the various accounts of any particular Incident. In many cases the references are given to show that some statement of a so-called ‘Authority’ is wrong.

The pages from 280 onwards may be regarded as an Appendix. They contain Pedigrees, Explanations, Tables. Calendars, Maps, etc.

Pages 280-285 contain five Pedigrees, extending over a period of one thousand and nfty-seven years, from the accession of Kenneth I. (MacAlpin), King of Scots, in the year 844. to the accession of His Most Gracious Majesty King Edward VII. on the 22nd of January 1901.

Pages 286 and 287 contain a Table of the Marriages of the Scottish Kings from 1034 to 1625. The Marriages are placed in a separate Table, to avoid the necessity of using folding-sheets for the Pedigrees.

Pages 288 and 289 contain Pedigrees of the Ranulphs and Dunbars, Earls of Moray. These Pedigrees are inserted because they afford an opportunity of correcting (1) the pedigree and notes printed in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. xxii. pp. 187-192, 1st March 1888; and (2) the statements in Scottish Arms (1881), vol. ii. p. ii, No. xii. These Pedigrees clear up some doubtful points, which for the last two or three hundred years have been hopelessly confused.

Pages 290 and 291 contain an explanation of the use of the Tables and Calendars. These Tables and Calendars are provided to enable any person to translate the dates in old documents and chronicles into our present computation.

Pages 292-294 contain an explanation of ‘Double Dates.’ This explanation is given to show the true sequence of events that occurred before 1752, in which year the New Style was adopted in Great Britain.

Pages 295-297 contain a list of the principal Moveable Feasts and Fasts in chronological order.

Pages 298-305 contain some Notes on Eras, Calendars, Easter, the Old and New Styles, etc.

Pages 306 and 307 contain a Table of Eras, Events, and Anniversaries, with Notes.

Pages 308-320 contain a Table of Easter Day for a thousand years, from the year 1001 to the year 200c inclusive, according to the Old Style before 1753, and according to the New Style after 1582.

Page 321 contains a Table showing some errors in dating Easter Day, from the year 1001 to the year 2000.

Pages 322-324 contain Tables of the Principal Moveable Feasts and Fasts before and after Easter.

Pages 325-328 contain an Alphabetical Table of the Popes and Antipopes from 1005 to 1625, with the dates when their Regnal Years began and ended.1

Pages 329-388 contain an Alphabetical Calendar of Scottish and other Saints’ Days, and of the Principal Feasts and Fasts, moveable and immoveable; a Church Calendar; a Latin Calendar, with Transition; a Scottish Calendar: and a Table of Abbreviations used in the Calendars. In the Alphabetical Calendar, when there are two or more Saints of the same name, their names are, in most cases, arranged according to the sequence of the months in which their Feasts occur.

The Scottish Calendar, in the first edition of this book, had a number of days left blank, owing to the impossibility of proving the exact date of many events in Scottish history. In the present edition some of those blanks have been filled up with ‘ modern instances.’

Pages 389-401 contain the names of some of the Authors. Books, Chronicles, etc., referred to in the footnotes.

Then follow four coloured Maps, reproduced, by permission, from those in the late Mr. W. F. Skene’s Celtic Scotland. These maps are intended to give only a general idea of the boundaries of *Alban,’ ‘Scotia,’ ‘the Bishoprics,’ and of ‘the Ancient Divisions of the Land.’

The Index applies mainly to the first 289 pages.

This ‘Revised Chronology of Scottish History’ includes a period of more than six hundred years, and contains so many statements and dates, that it is hopeless to expect entire freedom from error, but great pains have been taken to make it accurate. To quote from the Preface of L’Art de verifier les Dates (p. xix): ‘Notwithstanding the long and laborious researches that have been made, notwithstanding all the precautions that have been taken, and the care that has been exercised to avoid mistakes, both in the composition of the work and in the correction of the proofs, it is difficult, not to say impossible, to escape from making some errors in so great a number of facts and dates.’

A. H. D.
Doffes House,
St. Andrew's Day, 1906.

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