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THE INDEX , 337 


| strou. 

His Royal Highness PRINCE ALBERT. 



The LORD PROVOST of Aberdeen. 

Sir ROBERT ABERCROMBY of Birkenbog, Baronet. 

JOHN ANGUS, Advocate, Town Clerk of Aberdeen. 

JOHN HILL BURTON, Advocate, Edinburgh. 

Sir JAMES CARNEGIE of Southesk, Baronet. 


P. CHALMERS of Auldbar. 


Sir W. G. G. CUMMING of Altyre, Baronet. 

ARCHIBALD DAVIDSON, Sheriff of Aberdeenshire. 





JAMES GILES, R.S.A., Aberdeen. 

JOHN GORDON of Cairnbulg, Advocate. 

ROBERT GRANT of Tillyfour. 

GEORGE GRUB, Advocate, Aberdeen. 

COSMO INNES, Advocate, Edinburgh. 

The Right Rev. JAMES KYLE, D.D., Preshome. 


Colonel LESLIE of Balquhain. 

HENRY LUMSDEN of Auchindoir. 

HUGH LUMSDEN of Pitcaple, Sheriff of Sutherlandshire. 




The Right Rev. WM. SKINNER, D.D., Aberdeen. 


JOHN STUART, Advocate, Aberdeen. 

$0int-f nasums. 

JOHN BLAIKIE ;md JOHN LIGERTWOOD, Advocates, Aberdeen. 




LITTLE is known of the life of THOMAS INNES, the author of the 
Critical Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of Scotland, and of the 
Civil and Ecclesiastical History which is now printed for the first 
time. I will incorporate, in these prefatory remarks, the substance 
of what has already been given in the only biographical notices (1 
of which I am aware, and will add any further information which 
I have been able to obtain. 

THOMAS INNES was born at Drumgask, in the parish of Aboyne 
and county of Aberdeen, in the year 1662. He was the second 
son of James Innes, wadsetter of Drumgask, by his wife Jane 
Robertson, daughter of - Robertson, merchant in Aberdeen.' 2 ' 
The family of Drumgask was descended from the Inneses of 
Drainie, in the county of Murray. The father of Thomas Innes 
held Drumgask in mortgage from the Earl of Aboyne, but it 
afterwards became the irredeemable property of the family. James 

O These are the following : First, the Life of Thomas Innes in Chambers's 
Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen, first edit. vol. iii. pp. 182-186 ; 
second, a notice in the Preface to the Second Volume of the Miscellany of the 
Spalding Club, pp. cxiv-cxxi ; third, a notice in the Preface to the Chartulary of 
the Church of Glasgow, pp. vi-viii. 

W The date of Thomas Innes's birth is mentioned on the fly-leaf of a missal 
belonging to the late family of Ballogie. He himself alludes to Aboyne as the 
parish of his birth in his History, p. 301, at the conclusion of his remarks on 
S. Adamnan, to whom the parish church was dedicated. 


Innes of Drumgask appears in the lists of the Commissioners of 
Supply, named for the Sheriffdom of Aberdeen in the first Parlia- 
ment of King James VII., and in the Convention of Estates in 
1689. ; ' ; As he was a conscientious member of the Church of 
Rome, it is not likely that he acted on the latter of these occasions. 
In the Parliament of King James he was, with several others, 
exempted by name from taking the Oath of Supremacy and the 
Test. (2) A letter from him to his eldest son Lewis, dated 7th 
May, 1683, is printed in the second volume of the Miscellany of 
the Spalding Club. It conveys a very agreeable impression of the 
writer, and shews the religious principle and mutual affection 
which bound together the family of Drumgask. 

In 1677, Thomas Inncs, then fifteen years of age, was sent to 
Paris, and pursued his studios at the College of Navarre. He 
entered the Scots College on the 12th of January, 1681, but still 
attended the College of Navarre. (:i) On the 26th of May, 168-1-, 
he received the clerical tonsure, and, on the 10th March, 1691, 
was promoted to the priesthood. After this he went to Notre- 
Dame des Vertues, a seminary of the Oratorians, near Paris, 
where he continued for two or three months. Returninor to the 


Scots College in 16Q2, he assisted the Principal, his elder brother 
Lewis, in arranging the records of the Church of Glasgow, 14 ' which 
had been deposited partly in that college, partly in the Carthusian 

') Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. viii. p. 463, and vol. ix. p. 472. 

() Wodrow's History, Burns' edit. vol. iv. p. 347. 

<" Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. cxvi. There is in the Library at 
Blairs a copy of Dion Cassius, awarded to him by the College of Navarre, 19th 
August, 1681, for a Greek oration. 

> Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 370. Registrum Episcopatus Glas- 
guensis, Preface, p. vi. 


monastery at Paris by Archbishop James Beaton. In 1694 he 
took the degree of Master of Arts in the University of Paris, and, 
in the following year, was matriculated in the German nation/' 1 

After officiating as a priest for two years in the parish of 
Magnay, in the diocese of Paris, he came again to the Scots Col- 
lege in 1697. In the spring of 1698 he returned to his native 
country, and officiated, for three years, at Inverayon as a priest of 
the Scottish Mission. (2) The Church at Inveravon was the pre- 
bend of the Chancellor of the diocese of Murray, and he alludes 
to this circumstance, and to his threo years' residence in that 
parish, in his Dissertation on the reception of the Use of Sarum 
by the Church of Scotland. 13 ' He again went to Paris, in October, 
1701, and became Prefect of Studies in the Scots College, and 
Mission Agent. w 

I have been unable to trace any external change in the con- 
dition of Thomas Innes for more than twenty years after the event 
last mentioned. He was no doubt occupied in the quiet discharge 
of his duties, and in those literary pursuits by which his name is 
now known. One circumstance appears to have caused him con- 
siderable uneasiness. He fell, with some, under the suspicion of 
Jansenism. There is no evidence of any formal accusation having 
been made against him,' 5 ' but in France, in the beginning of last 
century, the mere suspicion of Jansenism was enough to cause 

(l > Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. cxvi. 

l"> Ibid. 

W Ibid. p. 366. 

!4) Ibid. p. cxvi. 

i 5 ' The Statement quoted in the Miscellany of the Spalding Club, vol. ii. 
p cxviii, is avowedly destitute of much authority, and, in point of time, is irre- 
concilable with the true order of events in Innes's life, unless James II. be a mis 
take for James III. 

B 2 


serious injury to a clergyman, not only in popular estimation, but ^, 

with the authorities in Church and State. His known intimacy 
with Rollin, Duguet, and Santeul, may probably have given rise to 
the suspicion. He himself was much vexed in consequence ; and, 
in the year 1720, his brother Lewis, in what appears to have been 
a formal letter to the Vicar-General of the Bishop of Apt, con- 
tradicted a report that he had concurred in the appeal to a 
General Council against the condemnation of Quesnel's Moral 
Reflections, by Pope Clement XI. ;i) There is no appearance of 
Jansenism in his historical works, although they mark clearly his 
decided opposition to Ultramontanism. 

After a long absence he again visited his native country. The 
object of his visit was probably to collect materials for his Essay 
and his History. I have not ascertained the date of his leaving 
France, or how long he continued in Britain. It is known that 
he was in Edinburgh during the winter of 1724, and that he had 
come thither through England. This appears from a notice in 
the Analecta of Wodrow, (2) whose curiosity was naturally excited 
by the appearance of a Roman Catholic priest from abroad. This 
notice is valuable, also, as alluding to the work now printed, and 
may, therefore, be given at length : 

" There is one Father Innes, a priest, brother to Father Innes 
" of the Scots College at Paris, who has been in Edinburgh all 
" this winter, and mostly in the Advocates' Library, in the hours 
" when open, looking books and manuscripts. He is not engaged 

"' Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. cxvii. 

' Analecta, vol. iii. pp. 516, 517. These passages are quoted, though not 
altogether at full length, in Chambera's Biographical Dictionary, vol. iii. p. 183, 
and in the Miscellany of the Spalding Club, vol. ii. pp. cxviii, cxix. 

PREFACE. xiil 

" in politics, so far as can be guessed ; and is a monkish, bookish, 
" person, who meddles with nothing but literature. I saw him at 
" Edinburgh. He is upon a design to write an account of the 
" first settlement of Christianity in Scotland, as Mr Ruddiman 
" informs me, and pretends to show that Scotland was Chris- 
" tianized at first from Rome, and thinks to answer our ordinary 
" arguments against this from the difference between the keeping 
" of Easter from the custom of Rome ; and pretends to prove that 
" there were many variations as to the day of Easter, even at 
" Rome ; and that the usages in Scotland, pretended to be from 
" the Greek Church, are very agreeable to the Romish customs, 
" and, he thinks, were used by the Popes about the time which 
" he gives account of our difference as to Easter. 

" This Father Innes, in a conversation with my informer, my 
" Lord Grange, made an observation which, I fear, is too true. 
" In conversation with the company, who were all Protestants, he 
" said he did not know what to make of those who had separated 
" from the Catholic Church : as far as he could observe generally, 
" they were leaving the foundations of Christianity, and scarce 
" deserved the name of Christians. He heard that there were 
" departures and great looseness in Holland ; that, as he came 
" through England, he found most of the bishops there gone off 
" from their Articles, and gone into Dr. Clarke's Scheme ; that 
" the Dissenters were, many of them, falling much in with the 
" same methods and coming near them ; and that he was glad to 
" find his countrymen in Scotland not tainted in the great doctrine 
" of the Trinity and sound. Some in the company said, it seems 
" he had not heard of what was thrown up here as to Mr Simson. 
" He said he knew it, but the ministers were taking him to task 
" and mauling him for his departure from the Faith." 


As has been said, the duration of his sojourn in Britain on this 
occasion has not been ascertained. Either now or at other times he 
must have made a stay of considerable length. His Essay, his 
History, and his manuscript collections, shew that he had carefully 
examined the chief public and private repositories of books and 
manuscripts connected with his subject, both in England and in 
Scotland. In his letter to " The King," transmitting the newly 
published volumes of his Critical Essay, he speaks of having spent 
many years in the search and examination into all he could hear 
of within Great Britain of the remains of what related to the His- 
tory and Antiquities of Scotland."' It would evidently, however, 
be incorrect to suppose that he had spent many years within 
Britain in this search. Most of his authorities were to be found 
in the continental Libraries, then untouched by the spoiler; 
indeed, he drew from thence important materials, which no library 
in our island could have supplied him with, and he might have 
obtained copies of documents in this country, which his visit in 
1724' enabled him to verify more accurately. The words used bv 

J tl . 

him in the extract from Wodrow, in reference to the heretical 
opinions entertained by many of the bishops in England, imply 
that he had not been long in that kingdom previous to his coming 
to Scotland. While in his native country at this time, he appears 
to have gone northward as far as Aberdeen. This, at least, is the 
most natural meaning to be attached to his own words. In his 
sketch of the life of Boece, he speaks of " much search at Aber- 
deen," 2) as to how long that writer survived the publication of his 
History. In his Dissertation on the Use of Sarum, he mentions 
that he had seen the St. Andrews Missal, belonging to Lord Ar- 

;i > Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 353. 
(s > Critical Essay, p. 216. 


buthnot. ;i) The missal might, no doubt, have been sent to him at 
Edinburgh, as the Chartularies of St. Andrews and Brechin, and 
other valuable works in the possession of the Earl of Panmure, 
appear to have been. 12 ' That he went farther north than Edin- 
burgh is certain, as he refers to an ancient breviary and missal 
which he had seen at Drummond Castle. (3! He had, at all events, 
returned to Paris before December, 1J%7> at which time he was 
appointed Vice-Principal of the Scots College ; but he must have 
been again at London while his Essay was in the course of being 
printed, as he refers, in the second paragraph of his letter above 
mentioned, to the danger to which he would personally have been 
exposed at that time had the object of his work been fully ex- 
plained."' The Essay was published at London in 1729, and, in 
the course of that year, he was once more in France. 

The letter to the Chevalier is dated Paris, lyth October, 1729. 
His Letter on the Ancient Form of holding Synods in Scotland, 
addressed to Dr. Wilkins, and prefixed to the first volume of the 
Concilia Magnac Britannia 1 et Hibernia;, is dated at Paris, the 
23d November, 17-35. Thomas Innes died at the Scots College, 
on the 28th of January, 17*4-, in the eighty-second year of his age. 

Such are the scanty memorials which I have been able to col- 
lect in regard to the life of this learned man. The service done 
by him to the historical literature of his country by the publication 
of the Critical Essay is well known, but his labours, and the bene- 
fits we owe to them, are by no means to be measured by that work, 

O Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 365. 

< 2 > Critical Essay, p. 585. 

< 3 > Ibid. p. 565. 

> Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 353. 


and those already referred to by name. Next to his religious and 
professional duties, he devoted himself to researches in Scottish 
history and antiquities, and the results of his inquiries were 
always freely available to every one who requested his assistance. 

Many proofs remain of the extent and accuracy of his re- 
searches, and of his readiness to make them useful to others. 
Five closely written volumes, mostly in his own hand, of his 
manuscript collections in Scottish history still exist, and are now 
in the possession of Mr. Lahig, Keeper of the Signet Library, Edin- 
burgh. A thick quarto volume of collections and dissertations is at 
Preshome, under the charge of the Right Reverend Bishop Kyle. 
The papers printed in the second volume of the Miscellany of our 
Club have already been repeatedly referred to. Mention is there 
made of Inncs having " been in habits of communication with 
" more than one of the few cultivators of Scottish antiquities in 
" his time." ( " His Letter to Professor John Ker, of King's Col- 
lege, Aberdeen, is particularly noticed. Besides the Letter on the 
Ancient Form of holding Synods in Scotland, he supplied Dr. 
Wilkins with the canons of the later Scottish Councils. The as- 
sistance which he gave to Bishop Keith in his History, and in his 
Catalogue of Scottish Bishops, is less known. In the former work, 
the Bishop, while acknowledging his obligations to the Author of 
the Critical Essay, takes the opportunity of mentioning the good 
service which he and his elder brother had done in arranging the 
papers of the Scots College. 121 In reference to the Catalogue of 
Scottish Bishops, which was not published till eleven years after 

O Preface, p. cxx. 

12 History, folio edit. p. 151 ; Spottiswoode Society edit. vol. i. pp. 323, 324. 


the death of Innes, the editor of the Chartulary of the Church of 
Glasgow was the first, so far as I am aware, to point out how much 
Keith was indebted to his learned countryman.' 11 

There is yet another work, not hitherto alluded to, which has 
been atti'ibuted by some to Thomas Innes the Life of King 
James II., published from the Stuart MSS. by Mr. Stanier 
Clarke, in 1816. There is little external evidence to assist an in- 
quiry into the correctness of this opinion. But such evidence as 
there is, points to Lewis Innes rather than to his brother as the com- 
piler of these Memoirs. It is certain that the original Memoirs, 
written by King James himself, from which the Life is compiled, 
were deposited in the Scots College under the special charge of 
Lewis Innes. ( ' 2) This would also account for what has been re- 
marked in regard to the internal evidence of the work itself that 
the language appears to connect it with a Scotsman. On this 
subject more need not be added here. Reference may be made to 
the remarks upon it in Lord Holland's Preface to Fox's History 
of James II., in Mr. Clarke's Preface to the Memoirs, and in the 
Life of Thomas Innes in Chambers's Biographical Dictionary. 

What has been said, imperfect as it is, will, perhaps shew the 
chief features by which the character of Thomas Innes was dis- 
tinguished. Sufficient evidence of his worth is to be found in the 
reputation of those with whom he associated, and in the manner 
in which he is spoken of by all who knew him. His intimacy 
with some of the most pious divines of the Galilean Church has 
already been alluded to. But, beyond the bounds of his own com- 
munion, he was esteemed by all who were acquainted with him. 

I') Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, Preface, pp. vii, viii. 
<*> Life of James II., Preface, pp. xx, xxi. 


v\? ill ittl^r Air.,, 

The accomplished Atterbury, and the learned and modest Ruddi- 
man, appear to have been equally attracted towards him. Even 

Wodrow although it is not clear whether he had ever conversed 

with him influenced, probably, by the one point of sympathy 

between them, seems to have had a sort of liking for the " monkish 
bookish person," whom he saw pursuing his antiquarian researches 
at Edinburgh. He was on terms of intimacy with Bishop Archi- 
bald Campbell, and Bishop Keith speaks of him as " his worthy 
and learned friend." 

Before proceeding to consider more particularly the literary 
character of Thomas Innes, in connection with his Critical Essay 
and the History now printed, a brief account may be given of the 
other members of his family, and of its subsequent fortunes : 

James Innes, of Drumgask, had six sons Lewis, Thomas, 
Charles (his successor in Drumgask), Walter, Francis, and John, 
and one daughter, Elizabeth. 

The eldest son, Lewis, was born at Walkerdales, in the Enzie, 
in 1651. He studied at Paris, and, on the death of Principal 
Robert Barclay, in February, 1682, was appointed Principal of 
the Scots College there. The institution, which afterwards re- 
ceived the name of the Scots College of Paris, originated in an 
endowment given by David, Bishop of Murray, in the beginning 
of the fourteenth century. Archbishop James Beaton of Glasgow, 
was a great benefactor to it, and was looked upon as its second 
founder. He appointed the Convent of the Carthusians in Paris 
to be the overseers of his foundation, (1) and, as already mentioned, 
had deposited the records of the Church of Glasgow, along with 

"- Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. i>. 369. 


his own papers, partly in the College, partly in the Chartreuse. 
Along with his brother Thomas, Lewis Innes devoted himself to 
the preservation and arrangement of those records. He took a 
conspicuous part in the proceedings connected with the vindication 
of the authenticity of the famous charter which established the 
legitimacy of King Robert the Third. The Principal carried this 
charter to St. Germains, where it was shown to King James and 
the nobility and gentry of his Court. He afterwards submitted it 
to an examination by the most famous antiquaries of France, in- 
cluding Renaudot, Baluze, Mabillon, and Ruinart, in the presence 
of several of the Scottish nobility and gentry, at a solemn assembly 
held in the Abbey of S. Germain-des-Pres, on the ^6th of May, 
1694. 1 " 

Lewis Innes is said to have been one of five who acted as a 
Cabinet Council to James II., at St. Germains, on his return from 
Ireland in 1690. {2} On the llth November, 1701, he was ad- 
mitted Almoner to the Queen-Mother, Mary of Este, an office 
which he had previously held while she was Queen Consort. On 
23d December, 1713, he was admitted Almoner to her son, the 
Chevalier de St. George, and, on 17th March, 1714, a warrant was 
issued for appointing him Lord Almoner. (3) In 1713, he resigned 
the office of Principal of the Scots College. His resignation was 

O See Letter of Thomas Innes tq the University of Glasgow, Spalding Club 
Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 370 ; Ruddiman's Preface to the Diplomata Scotise, p. 37 ; 
and the attestation of the Charter, pp. 27-30, as printed at Paris in 1695. The 
date of 12th January, given as that of the Assembly in the letter, is a mistake 
into which Innes probably fell from that being the date of the Charter itself, and 
his thus confusing the two while writing. 

' 2 > Life of James IL, vol. ii. p. 411. 

< 3 > Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. pp. 376, 377. Life of James II., Pre- 
face, p. xx. 

c 2 


caused by his being constantly occupied with the political affairs 
of the exiled house. He appears to have acted as a sort of con- 
fidential secretary. Repeated allusions to him are to be found 
scattered through the printed volume of the Stuart Papers. In 
the beginning of lyiS he was set aside from his office. It is not 
easy to ascertain the exact nature of the transactions which led to 
this, but the following circumstances may be mentioned: When 
the Convocation of Canterbury was prorogued by George the First, 
whose ministers were alarmed by the proceedings of the lower 
house a prorogation which resulted in the Convocations of both 
provinces not being allowed to meet, again for the despatch of 
business the well-known Charles Leslie wrote to the Chevalier 
that the members of the English Church were disgusted with the 
tyrannical exercise of the prerogative of the Crown, and that the 
adherents of James were afraid that, in the event of a Restora- 
tion, similar dangers might be apprehended. He, therefore, 
advised the Chevalier to address a letter ostensibly to himself, but 
intended really for the English clergy in general, promising ample 
security to the Church of England. James acted on this advice, 
and Lewis Innes having made a translation of the letter into 
French, was accused of putting a false interpretation on certain 
parts which might materially injure his master in England. For 
this, and some other reasons, not exactly known, he was discharged 
from acting in the Chevalier's employment. ' The precise time 
during which he remained unemployed does not exactly appear, 
but within a few years, he was again in confidential communi- 
cation with his master. He seems to have been one of those 

"' See Stuart Papers, vol. i. pp. 24, 25, 87. 


most trusted in the important business of securing Bishop Atter- 
bury's papers, which, on that prelate's decease, were taken posses- 
sion of and deposited in the Scots College. ' 

Lewis Innes appears to have materially assisted in defraying 
the expenses attending the composition and publication of the 
Critical Essay. (2) He died at Paris on the 23d of January, 1738. 
In answer to a letter from his brother Thomas, communicating the 
intelligence of his decease, the Chevalier expressed his concern that 
he had lost a most faithful servant, who possessed a capacity and 
zeal for his service not always to be found in the same person. 
Thirty-seven years before, similar testimony had been borne by 
the Chevalier's father to the zeal, discretion, and affection of Lewis 
Innes.' 3 ' 

Walter, the fourth son of James Innes, of Drumgask, studied 
at the Scots College at Rome. He resided for sometime in France, 
and returned to Scotland as a missionary priest in 1688. He was 
imprisoned in 1690 for exercising his duties as a missionary, but 
being liberated in April, 1691, went to France in the end of the 
same year, and from thence to Rome, to assist William Lesly, the 
mission-agent. In May, 1700, he again came to Scotland as a 
missionary. In 1703, or 1704-, he publicly officiated in the hall of 
his brother's house at Drumgask, wherein, it is mentioned, an altar 
was placed, w and, in 1715, it is known that he continued to be 
stationed on Deeside, in the neighbourhood of the family property. 

W See Preface to the Stuart Papers, passim. 

< 2 > See Thomas Innes's Letter to " The King," Spalding Club Miscellany, 
vol. ii. p. 356. 

< 3 > Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 379. Life of James II., Preface, 
pp. xx, xxL 

< 4 > Blackhall's Brieffe Narration, Appendix to Preface, p. xxxv. 

xxti PREFACE. 

In June, 1722, he left Scotland and went to France. He died 
on the 15th of August in the same year, at his benefice in that 

Francis, the fifth son, was married to Jean Maitland, and had 
issue, James, Lewis, Charles, Robert (afterwards a Jesuit priest), 
and Elizabeth. He was Baillie of Aboyne in 1690.' 

John, the sixth son, was born on the 31st July, 1668. He 
entered the novitiate as a Jesuit, at Watten, in October, 1688, and 
two years afterwards completed his vows at Vienna. He studied 
philosophy at Gratz, and theology at Vienna. He was occa- 
sionally known by the name of Robison, assumed probably from 
that of his mother's family. He officiated occasionally at Glen- 
garden/-' and was afterwards a missionary in Russia for eleven 
years. He returned to Scotland in 1718, and served as a mis- 
sionary in Galloway, where he died Gth May, 1757- t3) 

Charles, the third son of James Innes, who succeeded to Drum- 
gask on his father's decease, was born in 1663. He was married 
to Claudia Irvine, and had three sons, Lewis, James his successor, 
and George, and four daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, Henrietta, and 
Claudia. w In consequence of his brother Lewis's, and his own 
services to the house of Stuart, he had an annual pension of two 
hundred pounds from the Court of St. Germains. t5) He died on 
the 21st November, 1746, aged eighty-three. 

') List of Tollable Persons within the Shire of Aberdeen, vol. i. p. 66. 
( J ) Blackhall's Brieffe Narration, p. xxxi. 

< 3 > Oliver's Collections on the Scotch, English, and Irish Members of the 
Society of Jesus, p. 24. 

( *> Blackhall's Brieffe Narration, p. xxxv. 

(S > Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. pp. 376, 377. 


Lewis, eldest son of Charles limes of Drumgask, predeceased 
his father, dying on the 26th May, 172Q. 

George, the third son, studied at Paris, in the College of 
Navarre. He came to the Scottish mission in October, 1712, 
and, in 1713, was appointed President of Scalan College, in Glen- 
livet. In November, 1727, he returned to Paris, and became 
Prefect of Studies in the Scots College. On the 10th of October, 
1738, he succeeded Principal Whitford as Head of the College, 
and died there on the 29th April, 1752. (1) 

James, second son of Charles Innes, succeeded his father in 
Drumgask. He married Catherine, daughter of George Gordon 
of Glastirum, and niece of Bishop Gordon, V.A., and acquired 
the estate of Balnacraig. He had four sons, Lewis his successor, 
Charles, Alexander, and Henry, and two daughters, Elizabeth and 
Jane. He died on the llth February, 1786. 

Charles, second son of James Innes, of Balnacraig and Drum- 
gask was a merchant in Riga. He purchased the estate of Ballogie, 
and, dying unmarried, left it to his elder brother Lewis, 

Alexander, the third son, was a priest, and a member of the 
Scots College at Paris. His name appears prominently in the 
rather obscure accounts which remain relative to the records in 
the Scots College at the time of the first French Revolution.'"' 
The College had its full share in the calamities of that dread- 
ful time. George Innes had been succeeded as Principal by John 

<'> Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, Preface, p. xiii ; and Spalding Club 
Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 379- 

(2 > See on this point Lord Holland's Preface to Fox's History of King James 
II. ; Mr. Stanier Clarke's Preface to the Life of James II. ; the Preface to the 
Chartulary of the Church of Glasgow ; and an article on the Ecclesiastical Anti- 
quities of Scotland, Quarterly Review, No. cxliv. 



Gordon, and probably on the decease of the latter in 1777, Alex- 
ander Gordon became Principal. 01 In September, 1792, the 
Principal escaped from Paris after refusing to take the new re- 
publican oath, and came to Scotland. The other members of the 
College also fled, and Alexander Innes alone remained. He was 
imprisoned, and was only saved in consequence of the death of 
Robespierre taking place on the day appointed for his execution/ 2 ' 
Alexander Innes appears to have continued at Paris. He was 
there at all events in 179S and 1802. He had succeeded as 
Principal of the College, or at least discharged the duties of that 
office, and died on the 1 Uh September, 1803. (3) 

Henry, the fourth son of James Innes, was also a member of 
the Scots College at Paris, and Procurator and Prefect of Studies. 
Two letters from Prince Charles Edward to Henry Innes are 
printed in the second volume of the Miscellany of the Club. After 
leaving France he was for some time chaplain to an English family 
in Devonshire. He came to Scotland about the year 1800, and 
officiated as clergyman at Balnacraig till his death on the llth 
November, 1833, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. 

Lewis, the eldest son of James Innes, succeeded his father in 
Balnacraig, and, as already mentioned, acquired Ballogie from his 
brother Charles. He was married to a daughter of Provost Young 
of Aberdeen, and had one son, William, and a daughter, Mary. 
William was educated at the Scots College of Douay, was a priest, 

"> Compare Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, Preface, p. iii, and p. viii, 
Analecta Scotica, vol. i. pp. 10-13, and Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 379. 

(*> Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, Preface, p. viii. Preface to Fox's 
History of James II., p. xxii. 

< 3 > Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, Preface, p. viii. Preface to Fox's 
James II., pp. xxiii, xxiv. 


and officiated for some time at Drummond Castle, afterwards at 
Carlogie, on the family property. He died in January, 1836. 
Mary was a nun at Paris, of the order of the Poor Clares. Lewis 
Innes of Balnacraig and Ballogie died on the 2yth day of Novem- 
ber, 1815, leaving his estates to Lewis Farquharson, a son of the 
house of Inverey. 

The preceding brief record of this family of priests may not be 
altogether uninteresting. For the greater part of the information 
on which it is founded, I am indebted to the kindness of the Reve- 
rend George A. Griffin, formerly of S. Mary's College, Blairs, 
now of New Abbey. 

The College with which the Innes family were so intimately 
connected was never restored to the condition in which it was 
before the French Revolution. A considerable part of the pro- 
perty was lost altogether ; the Roman Catholic bishops in Scotland 
succeeded in preserving the rest. The institution itself no longer 
exists; but the manor near Paris, the original endowment of the 
Bishop of Murray, still remains with the Scottish mission a link 
connecting the present day with the age of Bruce. 

Thomas Innes has hitherto been chiefly known by his Critical 
Essay, and on that work his fame will no doubt mainly continue to 
rest. Its merits have long been universally admitted. It has been 
well remarked, with particular reference to Pinkerton and Chai- 
raers, that " authors who agree in nothing else have united to build 
" on the foundations which Innes laid, and to extol his learning and 
"accuracy, his candour and sagacity." ' 

C> See Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. Preface, p. cxv, and passages cited 
from the Enquiry and Caledonia. 



It is needless to say more on this point ; but it is proper to 
make some remarks regarding the History now printed for the 
first time. The Preface to the Essay made its readers aware that 
that work was only to serve as an introduction to another on the 
Ecclesiastical History of Scotland. After mentioning that he had 
laid aside for some time the first rude draft of the Essay, Innes 

adds, " But being afterwards prevailed upon to search into, and 

" to endeavour to give some account of the beginning and progress 
" of the doctrine and discipline of the Christian Church in our 
" northern parts of the island, and it appearing impossible to give 
" any distinct account of the religious history of any country with- 
" out that the civil state of it and that of its inhabitants were first 
" well understood ; for these reasons, and being otherwise satisfied 
" that nothing solid or lasting could be built upon the schemes of 
" our civil history and antiquities such as our own modern writers, 
" especially Boece and Buchanan, had left, I found myself obliged 
" to resume the rude draft I had formerly made of this Essay, as 
" the only sure foundation on which I could venture any distinct 

J * 

" or lasting account of the religious part of our history. Where- 
" fore, having made a new examination of all contained in it, after 
" retrenching what seemed superfluous, and adding new observa- 
" tions, 1 reduced the whole into the method and order in which 
" it now appears. And being thus reduced into a continued series 
" and distinct order, I could not refuse to show it to some few 
" honourable persons versed in the history of our own and of other 
" countries, and on whose judgment I might depend and confide 
" in. I found them, after they had read and considered it, of 
" opinion that the facts asserted in it were supported with such 
" proofs, and the whole written with such regard to the true honour 


" of our country, that it could not fail to be acceptable to the 
" learned among our countrymen who loved truth and the real 
" honour of Scotland, and therefore they insisted that it ought to 
" be published by itself without waiting for the ecclesiastical part, 
" which was scarce begun, and which might be obstructed by the 
" advanced age of the author, and twenty other accidents, from ever 
" being continued on or perfected." (l) 

With these passages may be compared what he himself had 
communicated to Ruddiman on the subject of this work, as already 
quoted in the extract from Wodrow's Analecta. 

For many years it was not known in Scotland what had become 
of this Ecclesiastical History, or second part of the Critical Essay. 
Pinkerton, while remarking that " it may be easily seen to what 
" side he would incline," adds, " there is great room to regret that 
" he did not publish this second part." ' George Chalmers was 
more fortunate in this respect than his antiquarian rival. He had 
the History in his possession, and freely availed himself of it, as 
will be afterwards particularly mentioned. The references to it 
in the Caledonia naturally led to the wish that the whole work 
might be published. Such wishes have repeatedly been expressed. 
A transcript of the History had been purchased at the sale of 
George Chalmers's MSS., and deposited in the Advocates' Library ; 
and for a considerable time back it had been in contemplation by 
the Council of our Club to print a work recommended by the high 
merits of its author, and by his relation to the district of Scotland 
with which we are more immediately connected. 

('' Critical Essay, Preface, pp. vii, viii. See also Preface, p. xxi, and Essay, 
pp. 1 , 728, 760, and passim. 

' 2) Enquiry, edit. 1814, Introduction, p. Ixiv. 

D 2 


The first point to be ascertained was in regard to the existing 
manuscripts of the History. It was known that a part of the His- 
tory was in possession of the Right Reverend Bishop Kyle at 
Preshome. The Bishop, with his wonted liberality, to which, on 
former occasions, this and other literary clubs have been highly in- 
debted, at once gave us the use of this manuscript, and consented 
that it should be printed. 

The Preshome MS. is a folio of two hundred and thirty-eight 
pages, exclusive of a chronological index containing nine pages, 
and a preface of two pages. It is very distinctly and accurately 
written. The text is corrected, and the whole notes, references, 
and dates are filled in by the author with his own hand. It is 
evidently a complete transcript of this part of the work prepared 
for tbe press under the superintendence of Innes himself ; and it 
contains, besides the chronological table and author's preface, the 
first two books of the History exactly as now printed from it, and 
(Mids with the death of S. Columba in 597. 

The following particulars are all which I have been able to 
learn in regard to the history of this transcript. When Abbe 
PaulM'Pherson, afterwards Hector of the Scots College at Rome, 

O 7 

passed through Paris in 1798, he received from Alexander Innes, 
the grand nephew of Thomas Innes (who, as already mentioned, 
remained at Paris after the other members of the College had re- 
tired), several books and papers which were still in his possession. 
Among these were the transcript forming the first MS. volume of 
the History, five volumes of the author's manuscript collections, 
and the volume of the extracts and dissertations already referred 
to, and now at Preshome. Abbe M'Pherson carried these to 
England, and, while in London, lent them to George Chalmers. 


He afterwards presented to Chalmers the volumes of the collec- 
tions which he considered to be his own property, and which now 
belong to Mr. Laing. It would also seem that the Abbe or 
Alexander Innes either presented to Chalmers the other MSS. 
of Thomas Innes, or at least that Chalmers thought this was the 
case, and that he had consequently a right to retain them. But 
the bishops of the Scottish mission reclaimed these MSS., and 
got back the first volume of the History, and the volume of ex- 
tracts and dissertations. While the MSS. were in his posses- 
sion, Chalmers got a transcript made of the first volume of the 
History, and this was afterwards purchased for the Advocates' 
Library. Besides this copy there had also been acquired for the 
Advocates' Library a transcript executed under the superintendence 
of Chalmers of a continuation of the History. This transcript is a 
folio of one hundred and ninety-one pages, and contains the history 
of Scotland from the accession of Garnard son of Wid King of the 
Picts, in 636, to the accession of Hungus son of Urgust, in 821. 
There is thus a blank of forty years between the end of the first 
volume and the commencement of the continuation. This tran- 
script is frequently very erroneous; the proper names and Latin 
words are particularly inaccurate. It has no chronological table 
prefixed to it, it is not divided into books or chapters, and the 
authorities are not quoted in the same careful manner as in the first 
volume. There is a pencil note to the following effect on a blank 
leaf of the MS., which is thought to be in Chalmers's own hand- 
writing : " History of North Britain or Scotland, Ecclesiastical 
" and Civil. By Thomas Innes, M.A. of the Scots College at 
" Paris. Transcribed from the original MS. in Thomas Innes' s 
" own writing. This appears to have been the first draught of the 


" second volume of his Ecclesiastical and Civil History of Scotland 
" which he did not live to perfect for the press." The continua- 
tion of the History contained in the second volume is quoted by 
Chalmers in his Caledonia. The quotations made from it are 
referred to only by the year in which the event took place, while 
those from the former volume are distinguished by the sections into 
which that part of the work is divided. " 

I made enquiries for the purpose of ascertaining what had be- 
come of the MS. from which Chalmers had made this transcript of 
the second volume, and for some time without success. But on 
examining the volumes of the collections now belonging to Mr. 
Laing, with the use of which the Club had been favoured, I found 
what is no doubt the original draft of the continuation, and that 
from which Chalmers's copy was taken. The second of these 
volumes contains a narrative marked H., commencing abruptly 
as in the History now printed, and as in Chalmers's transcript, 
with the words : " All this considered." This narrative forms 
the basis both of the transcript and of the present text, but omis- 
sions are supplied and mistakes corrected from another narrative 
or rather series of memoranda in the same volume marked G. The 
narratives G. and H. contain mutual references, and generally 
mention where the one is to be read in connection with the other. 
The two narratives are both in Innes's own handwriting. That 
marked G. contains seventy-three quarto pages, and H. one 
hundred and six pages of the same size. They are not arranged 
under chapters or divisions of any kind ; it is frequently difficult 
to discover what authorities are referred to ; and where quotations 

<" Compare references in Caledonia, vol. i. pp. 315, 320, 322, 323, with those 
at pp. 325, 327. 


are incorporated into the text, it is repeatedly done, not by giving 
them at length, as in the first volume, but by a simple direction 
with reference to the original. 

These chronological memoirs begin, as already mentioned, forty 
years after the death of Columba, with which the first volume con- 
cludes, and end with the commencement of the ninth century. 
There must, no doubt, have been a similar narrative of the events 
of these forty years, but I have been unable to discover it. It was 
evidently not in Chalmers's possession, otherwise it would have ap- 
peared in his transcript. From a note at the beginning of H. the 
lost portion appears to have been marked C. It is not likely that 
the continuation of the History was ever brought by Innes into a 
more perfect form than that in which we now have it. 

A few words may be added regarding the plan which has been 
adopted in editing the History. 

The text of the first two books, with the author's chronological 
index, and preface, is printed as in the original transcript. Obvious 
clerical errors have been corrected, but the words of the author 
otherwise have been retained. The spelling has occasionally been 
slightly altered. The author's notes and references are given as in 
the original, except in a few cases where the mere form of quoting 
is simplified for the sake of convenience. I regret that in many 
cases it was out of my power to verify the references. But it is 
to be hoped that there are, notwithstanding, few errors in this 
respect, so far as the first two books are concerned. These refe- 
rences are filled in with Innes's own hand, and all who have any 
knowledge of his writings are aware how accurate he generally is. 

In regard to the remaining portion of the History my task was 
not so simple. The incomplete state of the MS., and the manner 


in which the two parts of it are put together made it frequently 
a matter of some difficulty to ascertain the reading, and to fill in 
the references, and Chalmers's transcript afforded little assistance 
in this respect. But it was thought desirable to preserve what Innes 
had written, although in an imperfect form, even at the risk of 
occasional mistakes being made; and Mr. Laing having most 
readily given his permission, a transcript of the chronological 
memoirs, derived from the two sources formerly mentioned, was 
carefully prepared for the Club by Mr. Francis Shaw. From this 
transcript the continuation has now been printed. The passages 
therein which are quoted at length from Bede, are taken from Dr. 
Giles's translation. 

The very few notes which I have made in any part of the 
History arc distinguished from those of the author by numbers in- 
stead of letters, and by being enclosed within brackets. 

Referring to his Critical Essay in the Preface to that work, (l) 
Innes remarks : " From these and such other reasons, I was at 
" last persuaded to let it appear rather from my own hand than 
" from that of any other, being unwilling to have the many faults 
" or mistakes of my own, that I doubt not will be found in it, 
" augmented by those which an editor not so well accustomed to 
" the style or matter, besides errors or mistakes in the copy, might 
" add to it." What the author thus avoided in regard to the 
Essay, it is to be feared may now have taken place in printing the 
History. But whatever errors may have been committed, the 
work itself will be no unimportant addition to the ecclesiastical 
literature of our country. It is written in the same simple and 

a ' Critical Essay, Preface, pp. viii, ix. 

PREFACE. xxxiii 

perspicuous style which distinguishes the Critical Essay, its greatest 
defect being the occurrence of frequent Gallicisms, a circumstance 
which the personal history of the author sufficiently explains. 

The narrative is founded on a careful examination of the best 
existing authorities. No such examination had been made by pre- 
vious writers on the ecclesiastical history of Scotland. These 
writers were generally ignorant of the real sources of authentic 
history, and made no proper use of what they did know. Innes, 
at once admitting that his materials were scanty, and that he was 
frequently obliged to use doubtful authorities to some extent, made 
the most careful enquiries as to the best sources of information, 
and when he found them, made the best use of them. Where he 
was obliged to rely on doubtful guides or probable conjecture, he 
warns his readers that such is the case. The earlier part of his 
work is derived from the authentic accounts of the Latin and 
Greek historians of the Empire. As he advances, and before he 
enters on the full current of the History of Venerable Bede, the 
narrative is derived from a great variety of sources, chiefly from 
the ancient Lives of the Saints. In using these last he avails 
himself of the critical aids in the way of a just appreciation of 
their authority, which he found in the works of the great school of 
ecclesiastical history in France, with some of whose brightest orna- 
ments he was personally familiar. From the time of S. Columba. 
till nearly the close of his narrative, he possesses the invaluable 
guidance of Bede. 

Something may now be said as to the spirit in which Innes's 
work is written. So far as the proper narrative is concerned, it 
will be difficult to find a fault. In his reasonings and disquisi- 
tions of which, perhaps, there is more than enough the Roman 


ecclesiastic is easily discerned ; but he does not seek to keep this 
character in the background. While he writes as an avowed ad- 
herent of the Roman see, his usual moderation never forsakes him. 
He has no favour for the temporal authority of the Pope over 
Christ iankingdoms, or even for his unlimited power in spiritual 
matters. He is much more zealous for the doctrines and discipline 
of the Church, than for the prerogatives of the see of Rome. 

The following opinion is given as to the design of the History, 
by a writer qualified beyond most others to speak with authority 
on the subject: " As in his Essay he had laboured to establish 
" the high monarchical principle, it was his object in the Eccle- 
" siastical History to support chiefly two doctrines the consecu- 
" tive ordination of bishops, from the apostolic times to his own 
" day, in the Church of Scotland, and the necessity of the epis- 
" copal order in all Churches; and, secondly, that Christianity 
" came to Scotland through Rome.""' There can be little doubt 
that one main inducement to write the work was to vindicate the 
Church to which he belonged from the attacks of those who sup- 
ported what he calls the new Reformation. No one has any right 
to quarrel with him for so doing. He simply discharged what to 
him was a plain duty. If it can be made out that he sacrificed 
historical truth for this or any other purpose, he will deserve the 
severest censure. 

This appears to be the proper place for noticing the most serious 
imputation to which the moral and literary character of Innes is 

In his Letter (2> to the Chevalier, Innes makes some re- 

(') Registrum Episcopates Glasguensis, Preface, p. vii. 
J Spalding Club Miscellanj, vol. ii. pp. 353 356. 

PREFACE. xxxv 

marks on the nature and design of the Critical Essay. Re- 
ferring to the book itself for his general motives in writing it, 
so far as he had thought it proper to render them public, he 
explains that he had also another motive which he could not 
divulge with safety. This was to expose the seditious princi- 
ples founded on the fabulous history of the forty kings, to 
which the writings of Buchanan had given such influence, and 
which had such effect during the civil wars of Queen Mary's 
reign, and those in the time of Charles the First, and had been 
used to justify the proceedings of the Scottish Convention in de- 
posing their Sovereign in 1689. Ho states that to carry out his 
object in exposing those opinions he had been obliged " to bring 
" it in as a necessary part of his subject, under the pretence of 
" enquiring into the true era of the Scottish monarchy." 

It may well be doubted how far any one is entitled to keep 
his real motives in the background to the extent here implied. 
But though it may appear absurd to question the author's evi- 
dence against himself, yet I cannot help thinking that in this 
letter Innes attributes much more weight to the political reasons 
for writing his Essay than they really had. An impartial exami- 
nation of the Essay itself and of his other writings will show that 
the ostensible object of the work must have been to a great extent 
the real one, and that his letter to James must admit of some of 
the qualifications which are frequently allowed in similar cases. 
At all events the letter shows that no conscious mis-statement 
was made to support his opinions. He not only believed all that 
he wrote, but farther, mentioned little except what could be veri- 
fied by the best evidence. I cannot conclude these remarks better 
than in the language of the writer already quoted : (1; " It is now 

(" Preface to the Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, p. vii. 


" well known that Father Innes's chief object in that work was, 
" as he describes it himself, to counteract the inventions of former 
" historians, and ' to go to the bottom of the dark contrivances of 
" factious men against the sovereignty of our kings.' But in 
" spite of the strong party feeling which was paramount in his 
" mind, he was of so temperate a nature and so honest withal, 
" that no quotations or statements of fact, scarcely an argument 
" or conclusion in his work has ever been challenged." 

Could wo suppose that Innes had been actuated by dishonest 
motives in writing his Essay, the temptation to sacrifice truth to 
his own political or ecclesiastical opinions would certainly have 
been yet stronger in the History. 

In estimating what Innes has accomplished, we must keep in 
mind that he was not permitted to advance far beyond the very 
threshold of his plan. What he has left is only a fragment of the 
work which he projected. It may be allowable to express a feel- 
ing of regret that he did not live to complete it. He stops 
towards the commencement of the ninth century. Other three 
centuries and a half of darkness and barbarism, and he would 
have reached the great Reformation of the Scottish Church by 
King David. He would then have had the guidance of the char- 
tularies which he had studied so carefully, and which he was 
among the first to understand and appreciate, and he would have 
given us a true and authentic account of the ecclesiastical system 
that prevailed during five centuries, whose history still remains al- 
most entirely unknown to the great majority of his countrymen. . 

The Letter on the ancient manner of holding Synods in Scot- 
land has been reprinted from the first volume of Wilkins' Con- 
cilia, and is appended to this Preface. This Letter, along with 


the Critical Essay, the History, and the papers in the Miscel- 
lany of the Club form a collection of the most valuable of Innes's 


ABERDEEN, 18th October, 1853. 






UT de veteri apud Scotos tenendi synodos modo ex pauculis illis, quac ex 
Knoxiana strage evasevunt, monumcntorum ccclesiasticorum reliquiis dis- 
tinctius aliquid disseri possit; notandum imprimis, non unura eundemque 
in synodis tenendis in Scotia modum fuisse servatum, sed varium pro vario 
ecclesiae Scoticanac per secula diversa statu. Visum est ergo, ad majorem 
hujus materiae perspicuitatem, res ecclesiasticas Scotiae in quasdam 
periodos, et quasi aetates distribuere. 


Ad primam aetatem reduci potest omne illud terapus, quod effluxit ab 
ortu evangelicae lucis in iis Britanniae partibus, quae Scotiae regno con- 
tinentur; hoc est, ab initio circiter seculi post Christum natum tertii, sive 
ab anno Domini CCIII. juxta vulgares Scotiae scriptores, usque ad con- 
junctionem regnorum, Pictorum scilicet et Scotorum. in unam Scotiae 
monarchiam, quae anno Domini DCCCXLIIL, a Kennetho II. rege 
effecta est. 


Jn hac prima aetate etsi modo nihil superesse videatur ex actis con- 
ciliorum Scotiac, praeter quosclam Adamnani canones contra esum sanguinis 
et suffocatorum ; dubitari tarn en vix potest, habita tune fuisse inter Scotos 
concilia, pracscrtim ad componendas acres illas de Pascliate, tonsura, et 
aliis disciplinac capitibus contentiones, quas Beda memorat. Notandum 
otinm canones Hibernicos, sicut ct alia disciplinae illorum temporum 
capita communia olim plerumque fuisse Scotis in Britannia cum Hibernis. 
Horum canonum ampla liabetur in Spicilegio R. P. Dacherii collectio. Sed 
parnm aut nihil inde lucis ad nostrum de forma conciliorum institutum de- 
rivari posse videtur. 


Secunda quasi aetas ecclesiae Scoticanae continebat annos 281, a con- 
junctione rcgnorum Scotici ct Pictici facta sub Kennetho II. rege, anno 
Domini DCCOXLIII. juxta certiorem computationem, ad initium usque 
regni Davidis I., anno Domini MCXXIV. 

Conventus, sive concilia hac aetate apud Scotos habita, speciem potius 
habcnt comitiorum illorum, sou conciliorum Gallicanorum, quae tempore 
Caroli Magni et succcssorum ejus habita sunt, in quibus edita sunt capitu- 
laria, quam conciliorum sive synodorum episcopalium. In iis utique iri- 
tererant non episcopi modo, sed et proceres, una cum ipso rege ; et capitula 
sou statuta edita, non ad ecclesiasticam tantum, sed etiam aliquando ad 
politiam civilem spectant. Sic etiam in Anglia hisce temporibus, id est 
seculis nono, decimo, et undecimo, habebantur quandoque concilia, quibus 
non tantum episcopi, sed et reges, et duces intererant, ut ex eorum sub- 
scriptionibus patet. Conventus autem, sive concilia habita his temporibus 
in Scotia, ejusdem videntur fuisse generis; quippe leges, sive canones ab 
iis editi, non ad res sacras tantum pertinebant, sed et ad civiles ; et in 
eorum convocatione et sanctionibus regia magis, quam episcopalis eminere 
videtur auctoritas. Hujus generis septem in Scotia hac aetate habita tra- 
duntur concilia, sive conventus, in quibus leges tarn ecclesiasticae quam 
civiles editae sunt. 

Primum habitum fuit post conjunctionem regnorum circa A.D. DCCCL. 
In eo editae sunt celebres illae olim in Scotia leges ecclesiasticae et civiles, 
dictae Macalpinae. a rege Kennetho II., Alpini filio, primo totius Scotiae 
monarcha. Earum praecipua capita referuntur ab Hectore Boethio in his- 


toria Scotorum, fol. 200, sed ex traditione vulgari, ut videtur, potius, quam 
ex auctentico aliquo monumento. 

Secundum convocatum est apud Forteviot, regiam olim Scotorum sedem, 
circa A.D. DCCCLX., regnante Donaldo ejus nominis secundo, Kennethi 
regis fratre. In hoc consessu sive concilio idem rex leges a rege Ethfino, 
sive Aetho Albo, filio Ecdachi, superiori seculo conditas, innovavit. Sic 
enim habet fragmentum veteris chronici Scotorum in appendice ad " Cona- 
tum Criticum," N. iii. editum.< a ) " In hujus [Donevaldi fratris Kennethi] 
tempore jura ac leges regni Edi, filii Ecdach, fecerunt Goedeli [Scoti] 
cum rege SHO in Fothertavaicht." Verum hae leges videntur ad statum 
potius civilem regni spectasse, quum ad ecclesiasticum. 

Tertium concilium apud Forfar habitum est, regnante Gregorio, circa 
A.D. DCCCLXXVIII. In hoc concilio sive consessu editae sunt leges 
tarn ecclesiasticae quam civiles, quas idem Boethius refcrt. (b ) 

Quartum concilium apud Sconam habitum est circa A.D. DCCCCYL, 
regnante Constantino, filio Aethi. In hoc concilio juxta fragmentum supra 
laudatum veteris chronici Scotorum, "Idem' ' rex, et Kellachius episcopus 
[S. Andreae] leges, disciplinasque fidci, atque jura ecclesiarum, evangelio- 
rumque pariter cum Scotis in Colle Crcdulitatis prope regali civitate Scoan 
devoverunt custodiri." 

Quintum concilium apud Bertham, sive Perth celebratum est, regnante 
Malcolmo II., circa A.D. MXX. I.cges in eo editae, tarn ecclesiasticae 
quam civiles habentur apud eundem Boetliium. W 

Sextum, regnante Macbetho, habitum est, circa A.D. ML. Leges 
tarn sacrae quam civiles in eo concilio editae, habentur insertae in ejusdem 
Bnethii historia. (e ) 

Sub rege denique Malcolmo III, circa A.D. MLXXIV., hortatu 
potissimum S. Margaretae, conjugis ipsius, ad disciplinae et morum re- 
formationem habita sunt aliquot concilia, quorum praecipua capita inserta 
sunt in auctentica ejusdem reginae vita ab auctore coaevo scripta. (0 

' m) Crit. Essay, p. 783 
" Boeth. Hist. fol. 208, 209. 
(c > Crit. Essay, p. 785. 
< d > Boeth. Hist. fol. 245. 
> Ibid. fol. 250. 

'"Acta Sanctor. Bolland. Vita S. Margaretae, reginae Scot, addiem, 10 Junii, num 
14, 15, 16. 




Tertia aetas constat annis circiter centum, ab initio nimirum regni 
Davidis I., A.D. MCXXIV., ad A.D. MCCXXV. Honorii papae III., 
annum decimum, ct Alexandri II., rcgis Scotorum, annum undecimum. 

Ilactenus, quac indicavimus, concilia speciem plerumque habent comi- 
tiorum rcgni magis, quam synodorum ccclesiasticarum. At quae liac tertia 
actate et scquentibus duabus habita sunt, erant revera concilia ecclesiastica 
proprie dicta ; in quibus utiquc tarn in indictione quam in sancicndis decretis 
ecclesiastica auctoritas maxime eminebat, Habebant autem concilia Scotica 
unius-cujusque sequcntium trium actntum aliquid unicuique aetati peculiare 
et speciales inter se dift'crentias tum in auctoritate, qua convocata sive 5n- 
dicta sunt, tum in modo proccdcndi, et in decretis sanciendis. Haec autem 
omuis variatio in disciplina ecclesiastica, praesertim in Synodis, major apud 
Scotos, quam in aliis plerisque Christianis regionibus ex tribus potissimum 
causis oriebatur. Et quidcm, 1, Ex paucitate episcoporum olim nostrorum; 
2, Quod cpiscopi nulli certae sedi essent plerumque addicti ; 3, Quod 
metropolitano proprio carcrent. 

Quod attinet ad paucitatem episcoporum ; etsi in nulla regione sub- 
sistere diu possit Christiana rcligio absque verbi Dei et sacramentorum 
miiiistris legitimis, qui a Christo per apostolos, eorumque successores 
cpiscopos potcstatcm suam omncm spiritualem derivent; fatendum tamen 
est, ante S. Ninianum cpiscopum, cujus Beda meminit, qui primus fidem 
Christi Pictis australibus circa seculi quarti finem, aut initium quinti pre- 
dicavit, nullius episcopi in Scotia nomeu ad nos pervenisse. Post Ninianum 
vero Palladius, Patricius, Scrvanus, Ternanus, Kentcgernus, Winninus, 
Baldredus, ct alii deinceps per singulas aetates episcopale ministerium j uxta 
scriptores nostros in Scotia exercuisse memorantur. Sed et aliorum pluri- 
morum episcoporum inter Pictos et Scotos (> nomina, et dies festi in calen- 
dariis nostris antiquis et libris ritualibus passim occurrunt ; etsi quo 
quisque tempore et loco sederit, aut episcopale munus gesserit, post tot 

8 Non levibus momentis et uuctoritatibus probari posset, habuisse olim tarn Pictos 
quam Scotos ante regnorum conjunctionem unum saltern pro unoquoque regno episcoptim 
proprium ; atque etiam sedem episcopalem Pictorum fuisse apud Abernethy in Stratherne, 
sedem vero episcopi Scotorum in lona insula sitam. Quemadmodum et apud Anglo- 
Saxones usque ad Theodori Cantuariensis tempora plerique episcopi erant regionarii (unus 
nimirum in unoquoque Saxomim regno), potius quam dioecesani. 


ac tantas monumentorum in Scotia, praesertitn ecclesiasticorum clades nihil 
fere certum statui potest. 

Fatendum est etiam serius apud Scotos, nee nisi post regnorum Scotici 
et Pictici in unam monarchiam conjunctionem, canonicara in distinctas 
dioeceses coepisse fieri regni Scotiae divisionem, et quidem pedetentim 
tantum et sub diversis regibus. 

Prima et institutionis ordine et loci celebritate extitit sedes S. Andreae. 
Haec erigi coepit ab Hungo, Fergussii sive Urgusti filio, septuagesimo 
secundo, juxta vetustiores indices, Pictorum rege, occasione translationis 
quarundam reliquiarum S. Andreae ex oriente ad terram Pictorum in 
locum, qui Kilrigmund sive Kilreuil olim vocabatur. Eum locum Deo 
dicavit Pictorum rex Hungus sub invocatione S. Andreae apostoli, et in 
civitatem erexit, extructa ibidem ecclesia S. Andreae, cum ea praerogativa, 
ut esset deinceps, "caput et mater omnium ecclesiarum in terra Scotorum."( h ) 
Aucta est non parum loci celebritas, cum post aliquot annos, ut refcrunt 
scriptores nostri, sedes episcopalis Pictorum sita olim apud Abernethy, 
primariam Pictorum civitatern, a Kennetho Magno, Alpini filio, devictis 
Pictis, ad S. Andream translata esset. Hinc factum est, ut quemadmodum 
Pictorum et Scotorutn regna in unam monarchiam sub rege Kennetho 
conjuncta sunt, et uterque populus paulatim in unum coaluit ; ita eandem 
primariam totius Scotiae episcopatus seclem utcrque populus in unum coad- 
unatus agnosceret, et veneraretur. 

Secunda sedes episcopalis post regnorum conjunctionem a Malcolmo 
secundo rege circa annum Domini MX., erecta Murthlaci, unde postea a 
Davide I. rege Aberdoniam translata, dicta est Aberdonensis. Tertio loco 
instaurata fuit per eundcm regem circa A.D. MCXVII. (dum adhuc erat 
Cumbriae princeps) regnante fratre Alexandro I., sedes Glasguensis, olim a 
Sancto Kentegerno fundata. Quarto demum loco sub idem tempus restituta 
fuit sedes Candidae Casae, a S. Niniano cpiscopo primitus fundata. 

Ad has quatuor sedes episcopales idem piissimus rex, David I., verus 
ecclesiae Scoticanae nutritius, adjecit quinque alias ; nimirum Dunkelden- 
sem, Moraviensem, Cathanensem, Brechinensem, et Rossensem. Circa 
idem tempus Dumblanensis a comite Palatino de Stratherne fundata est. 
His decem episcopalibus sedibus additae sunt postea diversis temporibus 
aliae tres ; Lismorensis, Orcadensis, ac demum, occupata ab Anglis insula 

11 Usser. de Ant. Britan. eccles. p. 343. 


Mona, in qua episcopus Insularum seu Sodorensis sedem habebat, ejus loco 
crecta est in lona insula sedes Hyensis, quae et Insularum dicta est. 

Ex nis tredecim episcopis una cuin abbatibus et majoribus prioribus, 
inter quos praecipuus erat Prior S. Andreae, qui omnes etiam abbates in 
conciliis pracccdebat ; ailjunctis ctiam capitulorum, collegiorum, et con- 
ventuum procuratoribus, necnon dccanis et archidiaconis, ex his, inquam, 
omnibus constabant concilia Scoticana. 

Inter omnes autem Scotiae episcopos primatum, ut diximus, sibi vendi- 
cabat, etiam a Pictorum tcmporibus, et ab ipsa sedis institutione, episcopus 
S. Andreae, eoque nomine alios Scotiae episcopos de consuetudine observata 
usque ad Innocentii Papae III., tempora O consecrare solitus erat, aliaque 
metropolitani munia obirc. Verum quia honorem pallii nondum fuerat con- 
seculus a summo pontifice, sicut nee Armachanus, nee alii in Hibernia 
metropolitan! usque ad ( k) A.D. MCLI., coeperunt Eboracenses archiepiscopi 
sub finem seculi undecimi et initio sequentis litem movere episcopo S. 
Andreae de cpiscoporum Scotiae ordinationibus, synodis congregandis, et 
aliis juribus metropoliticis. 

Ut finis imponeretur huic controversiae, quae disciplinae ecclesiasticae 
in Scotia, ct praesertim habendis synodis non parum oberat, magno zelo 
laboravit idem rex noster David, ejus nominis primus, non minus in de- 
fendendis ecclesiae juribus strenuus, quam pietate et sanctitate inter omnes 
suae aetatis principes iilustris. Is igitur statim atque fratri suo Alexandro 
I., in re;num successit A.D. MCXXV., primo regni sui anno legatum ad 
Honorium II., (') summum pontificem, misit Johannem, episcopum Glas- 
guensem, qui jam an tea multa passus erat pro libertate et juribus ecclesiae 
Scoticanae ; cui rex hoc praecipue in mandatis dedit, ut suo nomine pallium 
a summo pontifice peteret pro episcopo S. Andreae. Verum obstante totis 
viribus Thurstino, Eboracensi antistite, viro dilatandis metropoleos suae 
terininis unice intento, litis decisio in aliud tempus dilata est. 

Concessione itaque pallii pro episcopo S. Andreae in tempus indefini- 
tum remissa, factum est, ut defectu proprii archiepiscopi concilia provin- 
cialia in Scotia, liac tertia aetate et rariora essent, et, ea quae sunt habita, 
nequaquam aliarum ecclesiarum more juxta canonicas regulas mandate 

( " Innocent. Papae III. epistola 121, lib. 3. edit. Baluzianae. 

(k > Chron. Mailros ad A.D. MCLI. Gul. Neubrigen. praefat. ad Historiam Angliae. 

m V. Dissertationem de libertate eccles. Scot, et ab Ebor. Metrop. immunitate nondum 


proprii archiepiscopi convocarentur, nee illius auctoritate, aut ipso praeside, 
tractarentur negotia et ederentur decreta ; sed omnia, aut fere omnia, per 
legates pontificios, et ipsorum auctoritate gererentur. 

Septem omnino hac tertia aetate habita sunt in Scotia concilia pro- 
vincialia, quorum index, sive notitia inserta habetur < m > " Conatui Critico 
de antiquis Scotiae incolis," Anglice edito Londini, A.D. MDCCXXIX. 
His septem conciliis octavum addi potest, habitum (n > A.D. MCLXXX., ab 
Alexio, legato pontificio, de lite inter Hugonem et Johannem de episcopatu 
S. Andreae contendentes. 


Quarta aetas continet annos 246, ab anno scilicet Domini MCCXXV. 
Honorii papae III. decimo, et Alexandri II. Scotorum regis undecimo, ad 
A.D., circiter MCCCCLXX. Jacobi III , Scotorum regis undecimum. 

Novus et omnino singularis hac quarta aetate tenendi concilia pro- 
vincialia modus in Scotiam introductus est. Cum enim ex una parte 
Eboracenses archiepiscopi regis Angliae praesidio fulti, mordicus perseve- 
rarent in sua apud llomanam curiam intercessione, ne pallium, cum ordina- 
tionibus episcoporum Scotiae, et aliis metropoliticis juribus, praesertini 
synodos tenendi episcopo S. Andreae concederetur ; nee minori animi con- 
stantia tarn reges, quam episcopi Scotiae praedecessorum vestigiis in- 
haerentes, omnino abnuerent archiepiscopo subesse Eboracensi, aut con- 
ciliis mandato ipsius convocatis adesse : cumque ex alia parte frequentiores 
legatorum ad tenenda concilia in Scotiam introitus sicut superiori aetate 
contigerat, subditis, et praesertim clero oneri essent, et ob hanc causam 
regi nostro Alexandra II., non admodum grati (ut patet ex responso regis 
paulo acriori < 0) facto Othoni legato volenti in Scotiam intrare A. D. 
MCCXXX'VIl.), hinc factum est, ut jam fere omnis spes concilia pro- 
vincialia tenendi in Scotia sublata videretur; proindeque disciplina ecclesi- 
astica et canonicae regulae, quarum cura et observantia in singulis re- 
gionibus ad concilia potissimum spectabant, retro indies viderentur lapsurae. 
Ut huic tanto rnulo obviam iret, Honorius papa III., in haec verba ad epis 
copos Scotiae rescriptum misit A.D. MCCXXV. 

< m > Crit. Essay, pp. 589, 590. 

<"> Chron. Mailros, ad A.D. MCLXXX. 

" Math. Paris, ad A.D. MCCXXXVIL, p. 101. 


" Honorius episcopus, servus servorum Dei, venerabilibus fratribus, uni- 
versis episcopis regni Scotiae, salutem et apostolicam benedictionem. (p) 
Quidam vestrum nuper auribus nostris intimavit, quod, cum non haberefcis 
archiepiscopum, cujus auctoritate possitis concilium provinciale celebrare, 
contigit in regno Scotiae, quod est a sede apostolica. remotum, statuta 
negligi concilii gcneralis, et enormia plurima committi, quae remanent im- 
punita. Cum autcm provincialia concilia omitti non debeant, in quibus de 
corrigcndis excessibus, ct moribus reformandis diligens est adhibendus cum 
Dei timore tractatus ; ac canonicae sunt relegendae regulae ac conservandae 
maxime, quae in eodem concilio general! sunt statutae; per apostolica vobis 
scripta mandamus, quatcnus. cum metropolitanum noscamini non habere, 
auctoritate nostra concilium provinciale celebretis. Datum Tyberii, cal. 
Junii, pontificatus nostri anno nono." 

IIujus auctoritate mandati convenientes episcopi regni Scotiae, de con- 
cilio provincial! singulis annis celebrando sic statuerunt, ut ex '<" genera- 
libus ecclcsiae Scoticariae statutis, et < r > aliis documentis antiquis colligitur- 

I. Quod annis singulis unus episcopus communi reliquorum consilio 
conservator eligerctur, qui de concilio ad concilium suo fungeretur officio, 
praesertim in concilio provinciali quotannis indicendo auctoritate conserva- 
toria per Uterus ad singulos episcopos ; quibus eos requireret, quatenus die 
et loco praescriptis aclessent in habitu decenti, una cum praelatis, id est, 
abbatibus et majoribus prioribus suae dioecesis ; necnon cum capitulorum, 
collegiorum, et conventuum procuratoribus idoneis, decanis, et archidiaconis, 
ut per triduum, si necesse fuerit, in eodem concilio valeant pro necessita- 
tibus divinis et ecclesiasticis commorari, et, invocata Sancti Spiritus gratia, 
statum ecclesiasticum ibidem ad modum debitum et placentem Deo re- 
formare. Si quis vero canonica praepeditione fuerit impeditus, procura- 
torem vice sua sufficientem substituat; non autem veniens personaliter, cum 
venire potuerit, auctoritate concilii et arbitrio puniatur. 

II. Quod idem conservator pro tempore concilio praesideret, materias 
tractandas proponeret, suffragia colligeret, cum majori et saniori parte pa- 
trum concluderet, et decretum interponeret. Omnibus denique expeditis, 
et concilii proxime futuri die et loco indictis, solebant omnes episcopi 
praesentes decretis sive definitionibus concilii sigilla seu chirographa sua 

<"> Chartular. Vet. Aberdon. fol. 25, b. Item Chartular. Vet. Moravien. fol. 11, b. 
( " Chartular. Vet. Aberdon. fol. 39. Item Chartular. Moravien. 
<" Chartular. Brechinen. 


III. Quod idem conservator pro tempore manifestos ac notorios ejusdem 
concilii seu alicujus statuti in eodem violatores puniret, et ad debitam satis- 
factionem per censuram ecclesiasticam secundum juris exigentiam. efficaciter 

Denique, quod ad ritum externum ab episcopis nostris observatum in 
tenendis conciliis auctoritate conservatoria, habetur ille praefixus statutis 
generalibus ecclesiae Scoticanae, sed recentiori scriptnra tenoris sequentis. 

< a > Modus Proccdendi in concilia cleri Scoticani. 

Primo induantur episcopi albis, amictis, cappis solennibus, mitris, chiro- 
tliecis, habentes in manibus baculos pastorales ; abbates insuper pelliciis et 
cappis ; mitrati cum mitris ; decani et archidiaconi in superpelliciis, almutiis, 
et cappis : alii vero clerici sint in honesto habitu ct decenti. Deinde pro- 
cedant duo ceroferarii albis et amictis induti cum cereis ardentibus ante 
diaconum, qui legit evangelium, " Ego sum pastor bonus" etc., quem, 
comitetur subdiaconus, et petat diaconus benedictionem a conservatore, 
si praesens fuerit, vel ab antiquiori episcopo, si sit absens conservator. 
Perlecto Evangelic, osculetur liber a conservatore et singulis episcopis. 
Deinde incipiat conservator hymnum, " Veni, Creator Spiritus," etc., et ad 
quemlibet versum incensetur altare ab episcopis. Quo facto, qui habet 
clicere sermonem, (t) accepta benedictionc a conservatore, incipiat sermonem 
ad cornu altaris. Finito sermone, vocentur citati ad concilium, et absentes 
puniantur secundum statuta. Quibus statutis ibidem perlectis in publico, 
excommunicent episcopi secundum statuta, habentes singuli in manibus 

Caeterum ex omnibus hisce conciliis hac quarta aetate auctoritate con- 
servatoria convocatis (quorum numerum, cum < u > singulis annis convocari 
deberent, oportebat fuisse maximum per annos 246) ad meam notitiam pau- 
ca tantum hactenus pervenerunt, quorum index habetur in Conatu Critico.''" 
Pleraque reliqua Knoxianis temporibus perierunt, aut hactenus latent. 

Ex his autem, quae hac quarta aetate de institutione, officio, et potestate 

"> Chartular. Vet. Aberdon. fol. 24, b. 

'" Statut. general, eccles. Scot. can. 2. 

"" Ibid. can. 1. 

" Crit. Essay, p. 590, et seq. 


episcopi conservatoris dicta sunt, manifestum est, quod etsi propter inter- 
eessionem regum Angliae, et antistitis Eboracensis apud summum ponti- 
ficcm concessio pallii, et proprii mctropolitani (qui per annos plusquam 
centum a rcgibus et clero Scotiae flagitabantur) in tempus magis oppor- 
tunum dilata fuerit; revera tamen jura fere omnia et privilegia metropo- 
litiea collata fuerunt episcopo conservatori, et ab eo, durante sua administra- 
tione, exercita, praesertim quantum ad concilia provincialia. 

Constat etiam aliundc praecipuum illud jus metropolitan}, nimirum 
sententias, sive decreta episcoporum suffraganeorum per appellationem ad 
eum delata, denuo discutiendi et reformandi episcopo conservatori in re- 
liquos Scotiae episcopos tributum fuisse; ut constat ex decreto triumf x) 
regni Scotiae statuum in plenis comitiis, A.D. MCCCC. magni Schismatis 
tcmpore edito. 


(juinta quasi actas ecclcsiac Scoticanae continet 90 circiter annos ; 
nimirum ab A.D. MCCCCLXX. Jacob! regis III. undecimo, ad A.D. 
MDLX. Mariac rcginae octavum decimum quo catholica in Scotia religio, 
una cum hicrarchico online a Calvinianis vi et armis oppressa ct eversa est- 

Varies hacienus pro rerum et temporum circumstantiis vidimus in 
Scoticana ecclesia habendi synodos n:odos. Verum hac quinta aetate, 
erecta tandem in mctropolitanam ecclesia S. Andreae, res ecclesiasticas in 
Scotia, praesertim quantum ad synodos, constantiori tenore, et canonicis 
universalis ecclesiae regul's congruentiori processuras deinceps spes erat. 

<^uod spectat imprimis ad erectionem sedis S. Andreae in metropolim, sic 
se res habuit. Defuncto A.D. MCCCCLXVIIL, vironunquam satis laudato, 
Jacobo Kennedy, episcopo S. Andreae, regis cognato, suffectus est in ejus 
locum Patricius Graham, defunct! antistitis ex fratre nepos. Is Komam 
profectus, opportunitate usus turbarum in Anglia de regni successione, 
ipso etiam antistite Eboracensi in carcerem ab advert factione conjecto, 
baud difficulter impetravit a Sixto IV., summo pontifice. pallium cum digni- 
tate metropolitan!, primatis, et legati nati Scotiae pro se et suis suc- 
cessoribus, subjectis aliis duodecim regni episcopis Scotiae in suffraganeos. 

l " Ex actis Originalibus trium regni Scotiae comitiorum, habit, apud Sconam, Z\ 
Februar. A.D. MCCCC. 


Hanc subjectionem episcopi quidam aegre tulerunt. Nulli enim liac- 
tenus metropolitano, sed ecclesiae tantum liomanae, nullo mediante, juxta 
tenorem rescriptorum summorum pontificuvn, subject! fuerant; et per annos 
plusquam ducentos assueti munia metropolitan! sub titulo conservatoris, ut 
supra diximus, vicissim exercere. Advertcntes igitur, se ab liac honoris 
praerogativa per erectionem metropolitani in perpetuum excludendos, 
quidam ex ipsis privatis magis commolis studentes, quam ecclesiae Scoti- 
canae honori et utilitatibus, coeperant inter se murmurare, dcinde in apertas 
querimonias erumpere, regis et aulicorum animos contra novum archiepis- 
copum occupare. His se adjungcntcs arcliiepiscopi hostes et aemuli, tot 
eum criminationibus onerarunt non tantum apud regem, sed apud sum- 
mum pontificem, ut utrique aulae tain Scoticae, quam Romanae invisum 
reddiderint. Tandem vero exauctoratus-, et in monasterium inclusus, tot 
calamitatibus fractus obiit, A.D. MCCCCLXXYII., vix ulkira dignitatis suae 
aut jurium libcrum cxercitium nactus ; vir plane, ut mihi videtur, meliori 
sorte dignus. 

Patricio archiepiscopo in co;.djutorem primo, deindc in successorem 
datus Willelmus Schevos, vir astutus, ac praccipuus, ut ferunt, 1'atricii 
praedecessoris ipsius hostis et insectator, sed in rebus gerendis dexter ct 
impiger. Is, conciliatis sibi anirnis aulicorum turn in Scotia, turn etiarn in 
Uomana curia, Ilomam profectus, nova ab Innocentio VIII. p.ipa diplomata 
impetravit, data llomae 6 calend. Aprilis A.D. MCCCCLXXXVII. His 
metropolitica dignitas dcnuo sedi S. Andreae confirmata est, una cum pallio 
et dignitate primatis, et legati nati Scotiae " ad instar ecclesiae Cantuariensi* 
in Anglia," cum iisdem juribus et privilegiis. 

A.D. MCCCCLXXXIX., Eobertus Elacader, episcopus Glasguensis, 
Roinam profectus cum literis commendatitiis Jacobi IV. regis, et trium regni 
statuum supplicaturus pro erectione sedis suae Glasguensis in metropoli- 
tanam " ad instar metropolis Eboracensis in Anglia" cum iisdem juribus ct 
privilegiis, supplicationi annuit Innocentius papa VIII. cuncesso diplomate 
pontificio, dato idibus Januarii, A. D. MCCCCXCI. quo ecclesia Glasguen- 
sis in metropolitanam erecta est, et antistiti Roberto pallium concessum pro 
se et successoribus suis, distractis a metropoli S. Andreae, et Glasguensi in 
suffragaiieos subjectis quatuor episcopis; nimirum Dunkeldensi, Dum- 
blanensi, Candidae Casae, et Lismorensi. 

Anno vero Domini MCCCCXCVIII. loco sedis Soclorensis in insula 



Mona, quae ab Anglis fuerat occupata, erecta est in lona insula sedes Hyen- 
sis, quae et Insularum dicta est, et olim ante conjunctionem regnorum Pictici 
et Scotici, et fundationem sedis S. Andreae creditor fuisse praecipua, sedes 
episcopi Scotorum. Haec i^itur sedes Hyensis sive Insularum una cum 
episcopis Candidae Casae ct Lismorensi, assignata est in suffraganeam me- 
tropolis Glasguensis, a qua distractac sunt sedes Dimkeldensis et Dum- 
blanensis, et metropoli S. Andreae denuo restitutae. 

Constituta tandem in hunc modum in ecclesiis Scotiae cadem canonica 
dispositione episcoporum sub metropolitanis, quae in reliquis ecclesiis per 
orbem Christiunum din antca viguerat, modus etiam synodos habendi uni- 
versalis ecclosiae disciplinae congruentior in ecclcsias nostras introductus 
est et stabilitus. Qualis autem ille fucrit, colligere licet ex actis potissi- 
mum trium posteriorum conciliorum provincialium, quae habita sunt, A.D. 
MDXLIX., MDLI., et MDLIX., sub Johanne Hamilton, ultimo Scotiae 
primate; quae sola ex omnibus conciliis nostris provincialibus post erectio- 
ncm metropolis S. Andreae ad meam notitiam pervenerunt. 

Ex horum conciliorum actis praesertim vero ex literis indictionis con- 
cilii postremi per primatem ad archiepiscopum Glasguensem transmissis, 
necnon ex mandato cjusdcm arcliiepiscopi ad suos sufFraganeos, servatam 
fuisse constat in convocandis et habeudis synodis nostiis provincialibus 
tor mam quae sequitur. 

Arcliiepiscopus S. Andreae, Scotiae primas, hortante (non autem jubente, 
aut literis ad cum datis mandante), regina regente, indicit et convocat 
auctoritate sua metropolitica et regni primatiali concilium provinciale 
generale totius clcri Scoticani habendum, ipso primate praeside et pro- 
ponente, loco tali, inchoandum die tali, cum continuatione dierum, pro con- 
servanda libertate ecclesiastica, pro catliolica religione sustentanda, pro 
suppressione haeresium, pro moribus reformandis, etc., missis in hunc 
finem literis convocationis turn ad suos suffraganeos episcopos, turn ad 
archiepiscopum Glasguensem, qui eodem modo suos etiam suffraganeos ad 
idem concilium convocaret. Injunctum est etiam singulis episcopis, ut 
abbates, priores, commendatarios, etc., requirerent die et loco praescriptis 
concilio adesse. 

Quantum vero ad membra constituentia (si fas ita loqui) conciliorum 
nostrorum provincialium, sive ad personas, quae ad concilia nostra vocari 
solebant, sive ad consultandum, sive ad determinanda et definienda ea 


quae proponerentur, praeter episcopos ipsos (quorum in omnibus primae 
paries erant) abbates, majores priores, decanos, praepositos, archidiaconos 
etc. qui erant quasi delegati nati, sive ordinarii ad concilia provincialia, 
praeter hos, inquam, ad posteriory nostra concilia, praesertim vero ad 
ultimum, quod anno Domini MDLIX., habitum est (quoniam jam de summa 
rerum, et vere de aris et focis, deque ipsius fidci et catholicae religionis 
in Scotia integritate et incolumitate agcbatur, injunctum est episcopis per 
primatem, ut praeter deputatos, sive delegates ordinaries, ex singulis dioe- 
cesibus secum ad concilium adducerent viros prudentia et doctrina insig- 
niores tarn ex clero, quam ex omnium ordinum, regularibus, quatcnus 
conjunctis studiis remedia magis opportuna et efficacia ad avertendam 
cladem ecclesiae Scoticanae atque ctiam monarchiae imminentem pro- 
ponerent, et concordibus votis deccrncrcnt adhibenda. 

Quam studiose istud pracstitum fuerit in postremo illo concilio pro- 
vinciali anno Domini MDLIX. Edinburgi habito, probant luculenter pauca 
ilia, quae adhuc supersunt ex ipsis actis ; quibus proposita et decreta sunt 
efficacissima, quae per ea tempora licebant, remedia ignorantiae praesertim, 
et corruptis ecclesiasticorum ct religiosorum moribus, aliisque abusibus, 
qui contra canones et ecclesiae catliolicae sensum ct spiritum, dormientibus, 
ut ita dicam, et in otio et luxu sopitis pnstoribus, in ccclesia Scoticana 
succreverant, quique catholicis scandalum, et ansam in ecclesiam insur- 
gendi novatoribus praebebant. 

Quominus autem ista cleri nostri decreta et canones de reformatione 
tarn felicem haberent exitum, quam fucrant sapienter condita, ut nihil 
dicam de socordia aliisque vitiis eorum, quibus incumbebat invigilare decre- 
torum executioni ; ex ipsa rerum in Scotia his temporibus gestarum liisto- 
ria omnibus nota manifestum est, tarn subitaneo impetu a novatoribus 
nostris omnem ordinem tarn ecclcsiastici status, quam civilis (introducendae 
novae reformationis praetcxtu) subversum esse, ut excquendis de vera et 
canonica reformatione decretis nullus jam locus superesset; deturbatis 
praesertim dispersisque hue illuc episcopis, et viris omnium ordinum 
ecclesiasticis, antiquae fidei cultoribus, ante diem vigesimum tertium Feb- 
ruarii (dominicam septuagesimae) anno Domini MDLX., qui dies ex pos- 
tremo statuto ultimi concilii, praescriptus erat habendo novo provincial! 
concilio ; in quo diligenter discutiendum erat, utrum decreta postremi con- 
cilii anno superiori habiti, executioni fuissent demandata, vel novae rationes 

G 2 


incundae, quibus disciplina ecclesiastica restitueretur, et canonica reformatio, 
quantum rerum et temporum circumstantiae paterentur, pacifice et paulatim 
introduccretur, donee concilium generale jam inchoatum (cujus continuatio 
bonorum omnium votis ardentissimis postulabatur) remedia efficaciora ec- 
clesi;ie malis suprcma auctoritate praescriberet. 


I'aiisiis 23 die Noveinbris. 










Introduction First Inhabitants of Scotland Macates or Midland 

Britons Caledonians or Picts Pietish Chronicle, 




Agricola's Expedition into Caledonia, __ ___ 




Battle betwixt Romans and Caledonians, , 




Adrian's Expedition First Wall in Northumberland, 




Lollius Urbicus' Expedition against Caledonians under Antonine 

First Wall betwixt the Friths, ___~, 



First light of the Gospel in Britain in Scotland,. 



Fable of the disciples of S. John preaching in Scotland, .. 




Motions of Caledonians under Commodus, 



Union of Mieates and Caledonians, 



Tradition of early conversion of Inhabitants of Scotland Fordun's 

nml Tlnpcp's flppn-jnt> u ^ 




Tertullian's passage Britannia inaccessa Romanis, &c., 



Severus' Expedition through Scotland, __ 




Spvprns' Wnll in Northumberland 




Strength nf CalHnnians ,,., ___. ._ ~ ______ 



Caledonians the same as Picts. .__ _-_ 




Number of Christians increases in the North of Britain, 




Constantino Emperor Liberty of Christians, 




Bishops from Britain at Councils of Aries, 



of Rimini, &c., 



Episcopal Government propagated northward with Religion, 




Scots first mentioned by Ammian, 














:!*:> XXX. 

:i!)0 XXXI. 

40!) XXXIII. 


4-J-J XXXV. 
4u6 XXXVI. 

4-20 XXXVIII. 





Whence and where the Scots came into Britain,- 

Progress of Picts and Scots against Roman Empire,. 

The General Theodosius sent against them, 

Picts and Scots repulsed by Theodosius,. 

Territories betwixt Southern and Northern Walls erected into a 
Province called Valentia, . ___ 30 

Civil and Religious polity propagated in the North of Britain, 31 

First Preachers of Gospel in the North of Britain, of whose names 
we have account, all of them Bishops, 32 

S. Ninian, Bishop, educated at Rome, 33 

S. Patrick, his country, captivity, education, 34 

Maximus usurps the Empire in Britain Origin of story of disso- 
lution of Scottish Monarchy, 38 

S. Ninian returns to the North of Britain Converts the Southern 
Picts 39 

Picts and Scots invade the Roman provinces in Britain, 40 

Stilicho sends troops to repress them, , 40 






Many usurpers of the Empire in Britain Britons shake off the 

S. Ninian's Labours among the Midland Britons and Southern 
Picts Monastery at Candida Casa Ordination of Bishops, 
S. Ninian's death honour to his relics, 

Britons attacked by Scots and Picts, have again recourse to 
Romans Northern wall rebuilt, ,,., 

Britons succoured by Romans for the last time against the Nor- 
thern enemies Northern Wall re-established Romans forsake 
Britain, ___ 

Valentia abandoned to the Picts, e., 

S. German and Lupus come to Britain against the Pelagians 
Alleluia Victory against the Picts honour to relics, 

Of the Mission of S. Palladius to the Scots Discussion of the 
passages of Prosper, Nennius, &c., concerning this Mission, 

Examination of the glosses of Fordun upon Prosper's words, and 
of his inferences from them of new Scheme of Church Govern- 
ment formed by Presbyterians upon Fordun's words, ante cujus 
(Palladii) adventum, &c., 








446 XLIX. 











Account of Palladius according to the tradition of the Scots _ 
S. Servanus Suffragan to Palladius Palladius' relics Of de- 
bates of Scots and Irish, -- ___________ gg 

S. Patrick's Mission to Ireland Conversions Monasteries 
Ordination of Bishops, ________________ . (jy 

Of the nature and necessity of the Episcopal order for the being of 
a Christian Church. Distinction of what is essential and im- 
mutable in Episcopacy, and what is changeable, according to 
the circumstances of times and places, _________ 70 

Bishops at large National Bishops. Different situation of Bishops 
within and without the Roman Empire, __________ 7(i 

Manner of preaching and propagating the Gospel in Ireland and 
Northern parts of Britain without the bounds of the Roman 
Empire Monasteries Use of letters taught Bishops ordained, SO 

Many Bishops in Ireland, why ? Districts or Dioceses settled only 
by degrees, -~ __ ___ , ___ __ f . f ^ wf .^ fffrmf ___ 84 

Councils attributed to S. Patrick, containing rules of discipline, in 
use afterwards among the Northern Inhabitants of Britain as 
well as among the Irish, ----------- 85 

S. Patrick preaches, and settles Bishops in the Isles adjacent to, 
and apparently in Scotland, ---- ___. ---- . 

Transactions in the South of Britain Britons, oppressed by Picts, 
address in vain to the Romans for aid, _ -,.-.-..-,.-.-. ____ _. 

Picts take possession of Valentia as their property, ----- 

Britons call in the Saxons to their aid against the Picts and Scots, 
Saxons turn their arms against the Britons They ravage the 
Country, render themselves Masters of it by degrees Britons 
forced to retire to the corners of the Island, to the Midland 
Britons, and some of them abroad, ----- 

Of the ancient Kings of the Caledonians or Picts in the abstract 
of the Pictish Chronicle, ------------ 

Of Durst thii ty-seventh, king of the Picts his death Talore or 

Talarg, thirty-eighth king of Picts, reigned four years, - 

Nectan or Naitan I., thirty-ninth king of Picts, reigned twenty-five 




Foundation of Abernethy by King Nectan, 






LVI. Progress of the Saxons against the old Britons Of Ambrose, 

Arthur, &c., Kings of Britons, .-,-j.-.-.-., 98 

LVII. Of Coroticus. Death of S. Patrick of his writings, 99 

LVI1I. Of the miracles of S. Patrick, and of the other first Preachers of 
the Gospel in our Northern parts Of Bede's silence of S. Patrick 
in his History the word Confessor in ancient writers equiva- 
lent to Confessor et Episcopus, ........ ,!_._.. ,.-____,_ 102 






I. To King Nectan succeeded Drest Gormoth, fortieth king of 
Picts, reigned thirty years Of the erection of the Monarchy 
of the Scots in Britain Occasion of it Saxons press upon the 

Scots,. . ~ i...,., JJ ,i JJJJJJ1 , rrrr ,. i,,. I,*,,*,*,, j,^ 107 

II. Fordun antedates the Monarchy Fordun rectified, 110 

Scots in Britain oppressed and threatened hy Picts Fergus, son 
of Erch comes from Ireland with auxiliaries Erects the 
Monarchy, and makes himself the first King of the Scots in 
Britain, , -.-.-..-..-.,.-.. 110 

III. Of the Christianity and Ecclesiastical Government of the Scots, 

Episcopal Government in king Fergus's line Names of Bishops, 113 

IV. King Fergus, son of Erch, establishes the Monarchy and makes it 

independent and hereditary, 116 

Dongard, second king of the Scots, succeeds immediately to Fergus 

his Father, reigned five years, 117 

Galanan or Galaim, forty-first king of Picts, reigned twelve years, 118 
Comgal third king of Scots, succeeds immediately to his Father 
Dongard, reigns twenty-four ynr, ..-.-.-... ..,.-,.-,.-.^1-. ............. H8 

V. Of Gildas, the first British writer debates about the place and 

time of his birth, 118 

VI. Of the beginnings of Gildas, 122 

VII. Of S. Kentigern or Mungo, Bishop of Glasgow, his beginnings 

Marken or Marcus, King of Midland Britons or Cumbrians, 124 

VIII. Kentigern 's retreat to Wales Monastery at Elwy Laus perennis, 127 



522 IX. Kings of Picts, Badrest, forty-second King, reigned one year, - 128 

523 .................... Brest son of Gyrom, with Brest son of Adrost, 

forty-third king, reigned five years, -- . -- 128 
529 .................... Brest, son of Gyrom alone, reigned five years, 

Beath of S. Brigid and Barlugtach, --- 128 
531 .................... Gartnach, forty-fourth king of Picts, reigned seven 

years ^^ _ ,.., ,*,*,>. ,,,,,, _____ 128 
535 Gauran, son of Bongard, fourth king of Scots, reigned twenty-two 


541 Cealtrain, forty-fifth king of Picts, reigned one year, --- 128 

542 Thalarg, forty-sixth king of Picts, reigned eleven years, ----- 128 
Beath of Arthur, king of Britons Of king Loth, Modredus, &c. 

S. Bavid Bishop of Britons, ~~ __ ~_,~~ _______ -_. 129 

547 X. Beginning of Saxon Kingdom in Northumberland Of Beira and 

I Icl'Iiici 'I -J-TJJ JJ JJU -- -- JJ JJVJJ HJTt tffjy i JTTITJ if fU-Jlff JTil ri-rr-rr-rrrjr-rr , _ f r -~ 1 29 

XI. Lothian the old possession of the Picts proved against Ussher, &c., 130 
553 XII. Burst or Brest, forty-seventh king of Picts, reigned one year, -- 132 

Galam, with Aletb, reigned one year with Bride or Brude, reigned 

OT1P VPir jjjj-ji ii-rj jj-Ji-u 13*. 

VL1V JVl*l)**i 

556 Brude, son of Meilechon alone, forty-ninth king of Picts, reigned 

557 Conal, son of Comgal, fifth king of Scots, reigned fourteen years, 13'2 
Rederic, King of Cumbrians or Midland Britons, invites S. Kenti- 

gern home to Glasgow. S. Kentigern's acts preaching 
ordains Bishops, &c., _________ 132 

S. Kentigern's miracles death _________ ...... ........,,. .......... - --- 134 

XIII. Act of inquest of lands of Glasgow successors of S. Kentigern 

challenged by Sir James Balrymple, ------- 13-* 

XIV. Of negative arguments from Bede's silence, ............ ------- 136 

XV. Of Episcopal Government to the South of the Friths, ------- 139 

XVI. Of S. Columba, Priest, Founder, and first Abbot of Ycolmkill 

His Life by Cumian and Adamnan, two of his successors, -- 140 
XVII. Authenticity of Adamnan's Work, -------- 141 

XVIII. Value and importance of Adamnan's Work to Scots History, -- 147 
XIX. Parentage, education, and character of S. Columba ----- 148 

561 XX. Occasion of his coming to Britain,, -------- 149 

M 2 




563 XXI. S. Columba arrives in Britain, 150 

XXII. Donation of Y or lona Island made lo S. Columba not by the Picts, 
but by Conal, King of the Scots S. Columba begins his Mis- 
sion by founding a Monastery, as ctherApostolic Preachers used 
to do, ~~ ~ ___ 152 

XXIII. The Author obliged to enter into detail concerning Ycolmkill to 

put matters in better light, and obviate difficulties against Epis- 
copacy among the Scots and Picts, __ 153 

XXIV. National Bishops, among Piets, among Scots, __. 155 

XXV. Bishops at large among Scots and Picts Names of ancient Bishops 

among Scots and Picts Design of Divine Providence in the 

foundation of Ycolmkill,-,...,, rrrrfrt , rrflrtstttlslflls _ i ,, ij 159 

XXVI. Description of Ycolmkill Discipline of Ycolmkill, , 162 

XXVII. Columbites rather regular Clergy than properly Monks Institu- 
tion introduced from Gaul by S. Patrick, ,,,,.,., 104 

XXVIII. Exercises of Columbites 1. Prayer, private and public, at the 
stated canonical hours of day and night Mass Faith of the 

Columbites about the Holy Eucharist Particular usages, 166 

XXIX. 2d Exercise Lecture, Studies, Holy Scripture, 168 

XXX. 3d Exercise Writing or Copying Books 4th Exercise Corporal 

Labour Fasting, Abstinence, &c., , ,,.__-_ __ 170 

XXXI. Ycolmkill, Centre Arsenal and Bulwark of religious matters 
among Scots and Picts for a long time, with subordination to 

and union with Churches abroad, 172 

XXXII. Ycolmkill Nursery of Bishops and Priests as well as Monks among 
the Scots and Picts Of the nature of the superiority attributed 
by Bede to Abbot of Ycolmkill, 173 

XXXIII. Of the respect paid to the Episcopal character by S. Columba 

More respect paid to and greater distinction made of Bishops in 
Ycolmkill than elsewhere, 174 

XXXIV. Distinction of power of order and that of jurisdiction Deacons 

aspiring to equality or even jurisdiction over Priests, 177 

XXXV. Columbite Abbots Priests or Monks never claimed power of Or- 
dination Of Findchan, Superior of Columbite Monastery of 
Artchain, and ordination of Aldus Niger, I7g 




XXXVI. Remarks upon this relation of Adamnan Bishops among Scots 

and Picts ready at a call, , . IHO 

XXXVII. Necessity of a Bishop residing in Ycolmkill Bishops in great Mo- 
nasteries residing with the Abbots Bishops coadjutors to Ab- 
bots or Priests, Superiors of Monasteries for ordination, eon- 

XXXVIII. More proofs of Bishops in Ycolmkill, 1st; 

XXXIX. Ycolmkill supplied anciently, not only want of Diocesan Bishops 
but that of Parishes and proper Priests or Curates, by the many 
Monasteries or Cells of Columbites, spread everywhere through 
the Scots and Picts No argument can be drawn from Adam- 
nan's silence of what he proposed not to treat of Of Columbite 

Monasteries in particular, 187 

XL. Zeal and labours of the Columbite Bishops, Priests, and religious 

men Origin of the Keledees, _ 1'Ki 

563 XLI. Chronological account resumed S. Columba erects Monastery of 

Ycolmkill, _. 1 <) | 

XLII. S. Oran's death, ]'J-2 

565 XLIII. Conversion of Brude, King of the Picts, , ]!m 

XLIV. Progress of the Gospel among the Picts New Monasteries erected 

S. Machar at Aberdeen, , liiy 

XLV. Conversion of the Picts by the preaching, prayer, exemplary lives 

of S. Columba and his Disciples, accompanied with miracles, 105 
XLVI. Miracles necessary to convert the Picts, and to prove a Mission 
from God Short account of S. Columba's miracles set down 

from Adamnan, - A ---. ~ 195 

XLVII. Conversions sincere and lasting, because voluntary, without com- 
pulsion of the Magician Broichanus obstinate, 10(5 

568 XLVIII. Continuation of Gildas Gildas' works he is called to make refor- 
mation in Ireland by King Ainmire, . 19h 

570 Gildas' death, 200 

571 XLIX. Aidan, sixth king of the Scots, succeeds his cousin Conal King 

Aidan inaugurated by S. Columba by special order of God 

Antiquity of Inauguration or Coronation of Kings of Scots, 200 

L. God Almighty's particular care of the Royal Family of Scotland 
Kings of Soots chosen by God their persons sacred,- 












Of S. Brendan Abbot S. Columba orders mass to be celebrated in 
his Monastery of Ycolmkill upon news of the death of any of his 
friends of sea voyages in quest of desert islands for setting up 
houses of penance. Orkney and the northern extremities of 
Britain subject to the Picts, 204 

Practice of S. Columba in the administration of the sacrament of 
penance. Confession delay of absolution reconciliation and 
communion at Easter, &c., 205 

Battle of Stanmore or Fethenlegh, __ 206 

Death of Brude King of Picts Garnard or Gartnach, fiftieth king 
succeeds of the foundations and restorations of the Monastery 
of Abernethy S. Mazota 206 

Of S. Constantino, King of Britons Drumcheat Assembly of S. 
Columban, Founder of Luxeu and Bobbio, 208 

Battle of Woden burch Prselium Miatorum. S. Columba obtains 

victory to King Aidan Ceulin, King of Britons, quite defeated, 

Nectan or Naitan, fifty-first king of Picts of Abernethy, 210 

LVI. Death of S. Columba 9th June Circumstances of his death 
Crosses set up Vespers Nocturnal or midnight office Obse- 
quies celebrated during three days, _,.,.... __.__~__~_ 211 

LVII. S. Columba's relics remain still in Ycolmkill Translation of them 

to Down in Ireland fabulous, ._. 215 

LVIII. Respect paid to S. Columba's memory, 217 


THE first view I had from the beginning of this undertaking was 
to collect what I could discover of the remains of the Ecclesiastical 
History of Scotland or the northern parts of Britain, that part 
having been very much neglected by our former writers, or sadly 
misrepresented by our writers since the new Reformation. But my 
finding that entirely impracticable without a thorough enquiry into, 
and discussion of the civil state of the ancient inhabitants of these 
northern parts, gave rise to the Critical Essays : and these conclud- 
ing in a very different representation of the ancient civil state of 
the north of Britain from what our vulgar writers gave of it, seemed 
to require a Chronological Account of the civil as well as ecclesi- 
astical transactions in those parts of the Island, that might answer 
and agree to the plan laid in the foresaid Essays. 

Now I easily foresaw that each of these parts of our ancient his- 
tory I mean the civil and ecclesiastical if treated apart by itself, 
would be so very inconsiderable and interrupted, for want of ancient 
monuments to go upon, especially in the times I have in view, that 
it would not be possible to reduce such small parcels into one con- 
tinued series. Wherefore I could not but choose to join both parts 
together, and interweave them so in the order of time, as much as 
it can be observed, that both together might make one thread of 


history. Which method will, I hope, he attended with this farther 
advantage that each part will mutually give light one to another. 

For this reason, and also for clearing some controverted points, 
especially of the ecclesiastical part of our history, and rendering it 
more useful, I shall be obliged to interrupt sometimes the series of 
it by critical observations or digressions, larger or shorter, as the 
matter shall require. Nor is this without example in some of the 
best of our modern British writers, especially when not furnished 
with abundance enough of historical detailed accounts, which is too 
truly our case, who have nothing ofttimes but short passages, and 
sometimes but hints to go upon. 

This is in general what I have in view, and the method in 
which I am to proceed in this second part of this Essay on the His- 
tory of the Northern Parts of Britain or Scotland, in which I in- 
clude all those provinces of this Island that do at present or at any 
time past did belong to the Crown and Kingdom of Scotland. 









I. 1 DID endeavour, in the first part of this Essay, to give the most 
distinct account I could of the ancient inhabitants of the northern parts of 
Britain, commonly called Scotland, according to the order of the time of 
their first settlement, to which I must refer to avoid repetitions. 

The first known of these ancient inhabitants were the Mseatae, whom 
I call Midland Britons, because they dwelt betwixt the southern and 
northern walls ; next to them were the Caledonians, afterwards called 
Picts. The ancient possessions of the Caledonians were all the territories 
beyond the friths of Forth and Clyde, to the extremities of the north of 

I endeavoured also to show that the present inhabitants of Scotland, in 
their several provinces, have a right to reckon both these ancient people, 
the Maeats and the Caledonians, among their predecessors ; and that they 
have as just a title to claim all of them who were eminent either for their 
warlike actions or for the sanctity of their lives, for their countrymen, as 
those descended of the Scots who came from Ireland ; and by consequence 
that all that we find recorded of these two nations first known, and indeed 
of all the ancient inhabitants of the north of Britain, of whatever origin, 
belongs no less to the history of the present inhabitants of Scotland, than 
what is related of the Scots. 

I am now to give account, according to the order of time, as much as 
that can be observed, of what I can meet with in ancient writers of the 
transactions, civil or sacred, among these ancient inhabitants of the north 
of Britain, from the time I find first mention of them in approved writers. 


A. D. 0. We have no certain account of Britain till the Romans under Julius Csesar 
entered it, nor have we any light into the northern parts of the island till 
the Eomans carried their arms thither, about the eightieth year of Christ. 
For as to the abstract of the Pictish Chronicle, frequently mentioned in 
the first part of this Essay, and published in the Appendix^"' to it, containing 
a catalogue of their ancient kings, from Cruithne their first king this 
catalogue may indeed serve to show that the Caledonians, known afterwards 
by the name of Picts, looked upon themselves as the most ancient inhabi- 
tants of the northern parts of Britain, and as having had a succession of 
kings of their own nation as ancient as either the Britons or the Irish 
lay claim to. But I do not pretend that the series of kings, contained in 
the first part of that abstract, from Cruithne to Durst the son of Irb, is a 
proper voucher for a history of these kings ; much less can the number of 
years assigned to each of these kings' reigns, be a solid ground to fix their 
chronology, unless some more correct copy be found out. 

My intention, then, is to pass over the first part of that catalogue at 
present, and to begin the setting down a chronological account of the 
succession of the Pictish kings, only from the reign of Durst, son of Irb, 
in the beginning of the fifth century, where the second part of that abstract 
begins. And, in the meantime, to set down a chronological account of 
what I can find in the Roman and in other ancient writers, concerning the 
most ancient inhabitants of the northern parts of the island, which com- 
posed afterwards the kingdom of Scotland, to wit, of the Britons of the 
north, called Mwates by Dio; of the Caledonians or Picts: and of the 
Scots, from their first entry into Britain ; and to interweave, in the order 
of time, the civil or military transactions with what I can discover of the 
planting and progress of the doctrine and discipline of Christianity in these 
parts of the island. 

II. The first assured transaction that we meet with, happened towards 
the latter end of the first century, when the Roman arms first penetrated 
into these northern parts, under the command of Julius Agricola, during 
the reigns of Titus and Domitian, the emperors. We have an exact 
account of this expedition of Agricola into the north of Britain, from his 
son-in-law, the historian Cornelius Tacitus.< b) He informs us that Agri- 
cola was sent to command in Britain under Vespasian, about A. D. 78 : 

(a) Grit. Essay, app. ii. i" Tacit. Vit. Agric. c. is. 


That, during the two first years of his administration, having settled the A. D. 80. 
affairs, and by some new conquests enlarged the limits of the Roman pro- 
vince in Britain, in the third year he attacked the northern nations, 
unknown till then, and marched with his forces as far as the frith'") of 
Tay, wasting the country before him. The inhabitants surprised with this 
sudden invasion were at first so astonished that they made no great oppo- 
sition to the Roman army, nor attacked it ; and Agricola had, by this 
means, time to build some forts and settle garrisons for securing his march 
and conquests. 

In this he spent the fourth year of his administration, and finding the 
short neck of land betwixt the friths( b ) of Clyde and Forth a proper place 
to settle garrisons, he fortified it from sea to sea ; separating, by this 
means, from his new conquests the nations beyond these friths as in 
another island. For, though he had the year before made incursions 
beyond the friths, as far north as the river Tay, yet it appears that he 
intended at first to have fixed the bounds of the Roman empire in Britain 
at the narrow passage betwixt the friths. 

But as the Roman ambition, which Tacitus calls their glory, had no 
bounds, so in the following year, the fifth of Agricola's government, he 
marched again his army beyond the friths, entered Caledonia, subdued 
nations till that time unknown to the Romans, and fortified that part of 
the island that lies towards Ireland ; ajid that not out of any apprehension 
of an invasion from thence, but in view of conquering also that island, as a 
sure means to secure the Roman conquests in these parts, by putting 
the conquered Britons out of all hopes of recovering their liberty when 
they should see no free nation around them, but all subjected to the 
dominion of the Romans. 

Tacitus informs us that he heard Agricola often say that Ireland might 
have been conquered with one single legion and a few auxiliaries ; whereas 
the inhabitants of Caledonia were able at the same time to dispute their 
territories against all the Roman army in Britain, and to render their 
victory very doubtful. 

This marks a great difference in military forces or valour betwixt these 
two people in those times, and yet this is the most assured account that 
had hitherto been given of the ancient state of Ireland : since Agricola 

'' Vastatis usque ad Taum (aestuario nomen cst) nationibus. Tacit, ibid. c. xxii. 
lll> Glotae et Bodotriae. Ibid. e. xxiii. 


A. D. 83. had it from one of their own princes, forced out of the country by domestic 
sedition, whom, in view of the conquest of Ireland, he received and enter- 
tained, to be informed by him of the state and strength of the inhabitants. 
In the sixth year, Agricola being informed that a general insurrection 
of all the Caledonians was to be apprehended, and that the enemies had 
beset the passages by land, he therefore set out a fleet, the sight whereof 
struck no small terror in the Caledonians, seeing that even the sea could 
not shelter them, and that there was no refuge or place of retreat to them, 
if they happened to be overcome. Wherefore they took unanimously arms 
with so great preparation and show, that it struck terror in many of the 
Romans, and made the.m think of returning back. 

Agricola being informed that the enemies had divided their forces, and 
were resolved to set upon his army in several bodies, divided also his army 
into three bodies, not to be inclosed by the enemy, who, getting notice of 
this new disposition of the Roman forces, altered suddenly their resolu- 
tion, and attacked all in one body the ninth legion in the night time, 
killed the watches, and broke into the Roman camp. But Agricola, as- 
sembling quickly all his forces, fell suddenly on their rear, whence, after 
a famous fight, the Caledonians, being thus attacked unawares on both 
sides, were at last beat out of the camp. 

This advantage, as it encouraged the Romans to demand by their 
acclamations to be led into Caledonia, and to find out the utmost bounds 
of Britain, so it nothing dismayed the Caledonians ; who, attributing it 
rather to the art and cunning of the Roman general than to the valour of 
his forces, armed their youth, transported their wives and children into 
secure places, and having nothing now to expect but either revenge or 
slavery, made all necessary preparations for a vigorous defence. Nothing 
being more necessary for that than an entire union and concord among 
themselves, they made leagues and associations to stand one by another in 
the common cause, confirmed them by sacrifices, and thus they made up 
a great army. 

III. In the following summer, the seventh of his government, Agricola 
having sent his fleet before, plundering everywhere the coast where it 
touched, followed it himself with his land army as far as the foot of the 
Grampian hills. Meantime the Caledonians, to the number of thirty 
thousand men, besides the prime of their youth that flocked daily unto 
them, were come up within sight of the enemy. They were commanded 


by Galgacus, the chief of all their leaders or chieftains, both by valour and A. D. 84. 
by birth, says Tacitus ; which seems to import that Galgacus was their 
king. He having then assembled the chief of them, and observing the 
ardour with which all of them demanded battle, made use of the occasion 
and made a noble harangue to them, which may be seen at length in my 
author. In short he represented to them the ambition of the Romans, 
their tyranny, the necessity either of vanquishing them or becoming their 
slaves, there being left no place of retreat or refuge ; he minded them of 
their own past valour, and how glorious a thing it was to them to have 
hitherto distinguished themselves from all the other Britons, by preserving 
alone their liberty from the yoke of the Romans. And to pique them with 
honour/ 8 ' " Let us show," says he, " what kind of men Caledonia hath 
reserved for its defence !" This speech was received by the Caledonians 
with all the demonstrations of joy and applause. 

Agricola having also made a speech to his army, they drew up on both 
sides for battle, and immediately fell on. The Caledonians, as it was 
usual among the Britons, fought partly on foot, partly on chariots ; they 
used large broad swords without points and little targets. They attacked 
the Romans with great fury and disputed long the victory, which at last, 
chiefly by the martial skill and conduct of the general, inclined to the 
Romans. The Caledonians rallied frequently in their retreat; turned 
upon the enemy and cut off those that pursued them. This obliged Agri- 
cola to cause his troops pursue in bodies ; and by that means the Cale- 
donians were dispersed and the victory completed. After this battle, 
which was fought near the Grampian hills, Agricola marched back his 
army into the country of the Horesti (which is thought to be Angus), and 
took hostages of the inhabitants. 

Meantime his fleet made the tour of Britain to the north, and discovered 
it was an isle. They found out and subdued the Orkney Islands, unknown, 
as Tacitus thinks, till that time. They discovered also Thule, that is, 
either the high hills of Norway, or Shetland Island ; and so returned to 
the port whence they had set out. 

News of these victories of Agricola, in Britain, being brought to Rome, 
excited the jealousy of the emperor Domitian, and engaged him, under 
pretext of employing Agricola in a more honourable commission, to call 

< a) Ostendamus quos sihi viros Caledonia seposuerit. Tacit. Vit. Agric. c. xxxi. 


A. I). 121. him back to Rome. And thus all that he Iiad conquered in the north of 
Britain was immediately lost ; and the Caledonians recovered their liberty, 
as well as the Mreates, or Midland Britons ; and the limits of the Bx>man 
empire, which Agricola had endeavoured to fix at the friths of Clyde and 
Forth, were forced hack to Northumberland, where we shall see that 
Adrian the emperor, was contented to settle them about twenty-six years 
after Agricola had left the island. 

During that interval we have no account of any expedition of the 
Romans against these northern nations, nor of any motion of these northern 
nations against the Roman province. It appears the Mseates were content 
with their old possessions in the Midland ; and the Caledonians, beside 
their ancient seat benorth the friths, enjoyed quietly the possessions they 
had obtained adjoining the Mseates, on the south side of these friths. 

IV. The next expedition of the Romans into Britain was by the 
emperor Adrian, who came over himself in person, A. D. 121. When he 
arrived in the island, and had examined the state of the Roman province, 
and observed how much exposed the provincials lay to the excursions of 
the Caledonians and other northern nations, he, according to his custom on 
all frontiers of the empire, caused erect a wall, or fence, of eighty miles in 
length, to separate the Roman or provincial Britons, as Spartian relates, 
from the barbarous or unconquered nations of the north. 

There being no certain account or remains of any ancient Roman wall 
in Britain but in two places, the one in Northumberland, betwixt Carlisle 
and Tynemouth, where the country is about eighty miles in breadth, the 
other in Scotland, betwixt the friths of Clyde and Forth, where the 
passage is only about thirty miles ; the length that Spartian (a) assigns to 
Adrian's wall, being eighty miles, shows plainly that it stood in Northum- 
berland. Several Roman inscriptions found there prove the same, nor is 
the thing disputed. 

V. Though Adrian built this wall in Northumberland, as the boundary 
of the Roman province in Britain, yet the Romans did not lay down their 
claim to all the further parts of it, as far as the friths of Clyde and Forth, 
which Agricola had formerly subdued and inclosed with castles and fences. 
So we see that, A. D. 138, during Antonine's reign, and by his order, 
Lollius Urbicus, his lieutenant in Britain, attacked the northern nations, 

'' Britanniam petiit (Adrianus) in quamulta correxit, murumqueperoctogintamillia 
passuum primus duxit, qui Barbaros Romanosque divideret. Spartian. in Adriano. [c. xi.] 


forced the Caledonians out of the debateable ground, betwixt the walls, and 
fortified a second time the pass betwixt Clyde and Forth, with another'"' 
wall built of turf, says Capitolinus, but intermixed with piles or stakes, as 
Spartian tells us, Adrian used to build those limitary fences. Besides that, 
all these fences or walls erected against the eruptions of the nations bor- 
dering upon the empire were fortified from place to place with castles or 
stonework, whereby guards were settled, and upon which commonly there 
were inscriptions : in the places where the wall stood betwixt Clyde and 
Forth there have been found inscriptions of Antonine and Lollius Urbicus, 
which show evidently that Antonine's wall stood there ; for none of either 
of them have been found in Northumberland. 

VI. By this wall of Antonine, the Mteatte or Midland Britons were 
included and reunited to the body of the Roman empire in Britain, and by 
that means a communication was established betwixt them and the rest of 
the Britons, among whom by this time there were many Christians. For 
it hath been very well made out by some of our late British writers, par- 
ticularly from the authority of Eusebius' 1 '' the church historian, that the 
faith of Christ began to be preached in the Roman part of Britain even in 
the Apostles' own time ; and that passage of Eusebius, being compared witli 
what Gildas( c ) says of the first light of the Gospel shining in this island, it 
appears probable that this happened about the middle of the reign of Nero, 
that is about A.D. 71. But all that is related by the British writers, con- 
cerning the first instruments that God made use of towards procuring us 
that blessing, seems very uncertain it' not fabulous. However, by this 
early establishment of the Gospel in Britain, and considering especially the 
zeal of the Christians of these primitive times, we may justly suppose that 
the Gospel must have made, by the time of Antonino, a considerable pro- 
gress in the island, and by consequence, that the including, by Antonine's 
wall, the Mseates, and incorporating them into the body of the empire in 
Britain, gave a favourable occasion of propagating the Gospel among these 
northern inhabitants of the nation, even the length of the friths, where the 
wall stood. It was thus by degrees, from small and almost insensible be- 
ginnings, that the knowledge of the truth spread through the island ; as it 
pleased Divine Providence to open a door for the manifestation of it. I 

<' Crit. Essay, p. 12. 

<b) Euseb. De Praeparat. Evangel, lib. iii. c. 7. 

< c > Gildas, c. vi. 



A D. 138. shall take notice of these favourable opportunities as they present them- 
selves in the order of time. 

Bede ;a > gives us a farther account of the progress of the Gospel in 
Britain, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, or beginning of that of Corn- 
modus. Lucius, a king of the Britons, says Bede, having sent a letter to 
Pope Elcutherius, intreating that by his means he might be made a Chris- 
tian, soon after received the effect of his request, which no doubt contri- 
buted not a little to the increase of the number of Christians, not only in 
the territories of this king but in other parts of the island. 

VII. I must not omit to mention hero the opinion of our first Protestant 
writers after the new Reformation, who pretend that we had our first 
Christianity from the disciples of the Apostle S. John, that notion having 
been lately revived by Sir James Dalrymple fb) in his Collections. It was, 
in all appearance, the above mentioned passage of Bede, where he attri- 
butes the first Christianity of the Britons to Pope Eleutherius ; and the 
passage of Fordun, considerably augmented by Boece, with a new detail 
of circumstances by which the first light of the Gospel among the Scots is 
attributed to Pope Victor ; it was, I say, apparently these passages, of 
which afterwards, that gave occasion to our first Protestant writers to in- 
vent this story, not to have it thought that any good, especially such a 
blessing as that of the Gospel, could come to us from a Pope. For the 
principal means to carry on the work of the times of our Reformation, being 
to decry the Popes and the Church of Rome, and to render them odious to 
the people, to avoid the inconvenience of having it thought that we had 
the light of the Gospel, and the destruction of idolatry, in our country, from 
Rome, our first Protestant writers invented this fabulous story of the dis- 
ciples of S. John their coming from Lesser Asia to preach the Gospel in 

The first of our writers I meet with, that advanced this paradox, was 
our famed historian, Mr. George Buchanan, (c) in King Aidan's life ; 
where, in order to decry the mission of S. Augustine, sent from Pope 
Gregory to preach to the Saxons, he tells us very confidently that " the 
ancient Britons received Christianity from S. John's disciples by learned 
and pious monks of that age." I need not take notice to the learned 

(a > Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 4. 

< b > Epist. Dedicat. p. 2. Preface, p. xlv. 

(c) Buchanan. Hist, in Rege Aidano. 


reader that this was two or three centuries before the institution of monks A. D. 
or monasteries. But what Mr. George says only of the Britons in general, 
his namesake, Mr. David Buchanan,"" applies particularly to the Scots, 
and tells us that " those who came into our northern parts," to wit, into 
Scotland, " and first made known unto our fathers the mysteries of heaven, 
were of the disciples of S. John the Apostle." He repeats againOO that 
the Scots had received " their tenets and rites," that is, the doctrine and 
discipline of Christianity, '' from their first apostles, disciples to S. Jolin," 
according to "the Church of the East, 1 ' and adds, for the proof of it (not- 
withstanding that Bede, a contemporary author and upon the place, assures 
us over and over of the contrary, as we shall see in its proper place) ; Mr. 
David, I say, adds that till then, the seventh age, the Scots had kept the 
day of Pasche upon the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the 
week it fell upon. 

About the same time, Bishop Spottiswoode, (e> the Protestant Primate, 
in his Church History, after rejecting the opinions of our former writers, 
Fordun, Bocce, &c., tells his own was, that " when the Apostle S. John 
was relegated to Patmos, some of his disciples have taken their refuge 
hither, and been the first preachers of the Gospel in this kingdom" (of 
Scotland). Sir James Dalrymplc supposed, it seems, this story so certain 
that he hath not been at the pains to bring any proofs of it. At least none 
can be found in the place" 11 to which lie remits us for them. It may 
have been, perhaps, a bare fault of the printer, who hath unluckily passed 
over the grounds and authorities contained in Sir James's copy. However 
that be, all the grounds that I can perceive that our first Protestant writers 
had for this story, are taken from the relation Bede hath given us of the 
warm dispute 1 " betwixt our Bishop Colman and Wilfrid, at the conference 
of Streneschal, about Easter, where the good Bishop, being hardly put to it 
by the arguments of Wilfrid, and willing to take hold of any precedent or 
probable reason to support his cause, alleged the example of S. John and 
his disciples in Asia, who differed from the rest of the Church in the obser- 
vation of Easter. But Wilfrid having observed to him the difference there 

'*' David Buchanan's Preface to Knox's History, edit. Lond. folio, p. 1. 

<"> Ibid. p. 31. 

< c) Hist. p. 2. [edit. 1677.] 

(d) Vindication of Collections, p 32. 

"> [Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 25.] 


A 1). 138 was betwixt the practice of S. John and his followers in Asia, who kept 
Easter always on the fourteenth of the moon, whatever day of the week it 
happened, and the custom of the Scots, who kept Easter always upon a 
Sunday (which Colman could not deny), and Wilfrid having proved to him 
by that observation, that the example of S. John and of the Asiatics could 
bo of no service to him in that debate ; accordingly Colman dropt this proof, 
and had recourse to other topics, as we shall see in its proper place. 

Now the argument drawn from the custom of S. John and the Asiatics 
being thus abandoned long ago, the story of S. John's disciples coming to 
preach the Gospel to the Scots in Britain, which is wholly built upon it, 
would of course be overturned at the same time, even though it could be 
shown against what hath been proved at length, in the first part of this 
Kssay, that, the Scots had been, in the first age of Christianity, settled in 

But this groundless story of our first Conversion by S. John's disciples 
is now abandoned bv the more learned of our Protestant writers of the 
Episcopal Communion, and hath been refuted, as well as other paradoxes 
of Sir James Dalrymple's Collections upon our history, and of his Vindica- 
tion of it, by the anonymous learned author 0) of two tracts entitled, the 
one, The Life of Mr. Sage, the other, Remarks upon Sir James Dalrymple's 
Historical Collections, both printed A.I). 1714, which, if they had come in 
time enough to my hands might have been of use to me in the discussion 
of the passages of Bede, relating to Episcopacy in our country. But to 
return to the history. 

VIII. We have no account of the motions of the Caledonians during 
the rest of Antonine's reign, nor during that of Marcus Aurelius, his suc- 
cessor. But by what DioW relates, in the reign of Commodus, it appears 
that the Caledonians had not lain quiet, nor suffered all that tract of the 
debateable ground betwixt the two walls to remain in the peaceable pos- 
session of the empire. For, by the third year of Commodus, A.D. 183, 
the Romans were engaged by the northern nations in a formidable war ; 
they not only having broken through the wall and ravaged the British 
province, but had defeated the Roman forces, killed their general and all 
his soldiers. Upon this the emperor Commodus, terrified with the account 

'" [The Life of Bishop Sage, anil the Remarks on Sir James DaJrymple, were both 
written hy Bishop Gillan.] 
'> Dion, lib. Ixxii. c. 8. 


of this disaster, sent against the Caledonians Ulpius Marcellus, one of the A. D. 183 
greatest generals of the empire, as Dio describes him. He gave the Cale- 
donians several overthrows, and probably forced them back to Caledonia ; 
but Commodus, out of his innate jealousy against all great men, having 
soon recalled this general, and there being frequent seditions in the Roman 
province in Britain about these times, the Caledonians, after Marcellus 
retired, soon regained all that he had taken from them. 

IX. For Pertiuax, who succeeded in the government of Britain in the 
year 186, was, during the three years of his administration, almost wholly 
taken up !a) with appeasing those seditions, which put his own life in 
danger ; so that the Caledonians were at liberty to keep possession of 
their acquisitions in the midlands, and invade the Roman provinces in con- 
junction with their constant allies the Mieatse. 

The union< b) of these two people, the Mreates and Caledonians, was so 
great, that about the year 196, during the reign of Severus, the Romans, 
intending to make up peace with the Caledonians, they proposed it upon 
condition that the Caledonians should not give succour to the Mjeates, but 
the Caledonians would by no means abandon them. So that Virius Lupus, 
the Roman Governor in Britain, whilst Severus was engaged in war upon 
the frontiers of the empire elsewhere, and not in condition to assist him, 
not daring to continue the war against the Mseates, supported by the 
Caledonians, was obliged to buy peace from the Mseates, under pretext of 
ransoming the captives they had carried off from the Roman province, as 
they and the Caledonians were accustomed to do in their frequent incur- 
sions. Among these captives there were often Christians, and by their 
means the knowledge of Christ was more and more propagated among these 
northern nations ; as there are many examples in Church history of the 
light of the Gospel being carried into countries bordering the empire by 
Christians led in captivity. And thus, by degrees, the Christian faith was 
introduced into the northern parts of Britain, now called Scotland. 

X. There must, no doubt, have remained among the inhabitants of the 
north of Britain, a tradition of the first planting of Christianity among their 
ancestors in or about these times, and it is not unlike that this ancient 
tradition hath given rise to the two distichs upon the early Conversion of 
the Scots, composed only in, or after, the twelfth or thirteenth age, when 
the opinions of the early settlement of the Scots in Britain had already 

'> Capitolin. in Pertinace. [c. iii.] (b) Dion, lib. Ixxv. c. 5. 


A. I). ion. tiiken root, or rather when that story was generally received among them. 
The verses, as they are set down by our historian, John Fordun,'" are 
as follows : 

Christ! transactis tribus annis atque ducentis, 
Scotia catholieam csepit habere fidem ; 
lloma Victore primo Papa residente ; 
Principe Severo, martyr et occubuit. 

The expression "Victore primo ' demonstrates these verses are poste- 
rior to the eleventh age, when Pope Victor the Second lived, and their 
barbarous style shows they are yet later. However, upon the authority of 
these verses, John Fordun, who supposed the Scots were settled in Britain 
some ages before the Incarnation, places their first Conversion to Christianity, 
A.D. 203, in the time of Pope Victor the First, though, according to the 
truth of history, Victor suffered martyrdom and was succeeded by Zepherin, 
A.D. 202. However, Fordun was copied in this, as in most other things, 
by Boece, who enhances upon Fordun's narration, and tells us this Conver- 
sion happened during the reign of one Donald, whom they call therefore 
the first Christian king of the Scots. But Fordun and Bishop Elphinstone, 
or whoever was the author of the Legends of the Scottish Breviary,( b ) knew 
nothing of this king Donald, else to be sure they had not failed to mention 
him upon so remarkable an occasion. We have observed elsewhere( c ) that 
our Scottish deputies, in the famous debate about our independency before 
Pope Boniface VIII., advanced that Christianity was received in Scotland 
in the first ages. 

XI. But as to the progress that Christianity had made in the north of 
Britain towards the beginning of the third age, independently of these 
uncertain narrations of our modern writers, it appears, by what we have 
already taken notice of, from the disposition of the affairs in Britain, that 
the knowledge of Christ had very early access, at least to the Maeates or 
Midland Britons, inhabitants of those parts of the north of Britain that 
lie to the south of the friths of Clyde and Forth ; and the famous passage 
of Tertullian where he affirms as a known truth that " those( d) parts of 

"" Fordun, lib. ii. c. 35. [edit. Goodall, lib. ii. c. 40.] 
b> Breviar. Aberdonen. in festo S. Palladii, GtoJulii. 
"> Crit. Essay, p. 620. 

"" Britannorum inaccessa Romanis loca ('hristo vero subdita. Tertullian. contra 
.Iiultpos, c. vii. 


Britain where the Romans had no access were subjected to Christ," that is, A. I). 209. 
were become Christians. This passage, I say, seems to put it out of all 
doubt that, A.D. 209, when he wrote this treatise against the Jews, the 
knowledge of Christianity, or the light of the Gospel, had already pene- 
trated among the Caledonians beyond the friths, for at this time there was 
no part of Britain, except Caledonia, beyond these friths where the Romans 
had not penetrated, and which they had not subjected ; and even the 
country of the Maeates betwixt the walls, called afterwards Valentia, had 
been subdued by the Romans and united to the body of the empire from 
the year 138. when Antonine, as we have seen, conquered by Lollius 
Urbicus that part of north Britain, and built tlie wall betwixt the friths to 
inclose it in the empire. 

And it is to be observed that this passage is not an expression dropt 
by chance from Tertullian, but makes a part of the force of his argument, 
by which he proves against the Jews that Christ was the Messias, of whom 
it was foretold that the uttermost ends of the earth were given Him for his 
possession. He shows the accomplishment of this prophecy by enumerating 
the chief nations already converted to Christianity and become subjects to 
Christ, and among these nations he reckons the Britons, and even " those 
parts of Britain where the Romans had no access." Now, it had been to 
expose himself to the contempt of the Jews, to bring this as an argument of 
Christ's being the Messias foretold by the prophets, if the fact had been 
anywise liable to doubt. So we may conclude that, by the beginning of 
the third age, the Gospel was received in the extra-provincial parts of the 
island, and at least some Christians even among the Caledonians : and, by 
consequence, date from that the first Conversion of the inhabitants of what 
was afterwards called Scotland. As to the first messengers of the Gospel 
among these inhabitants of the north of Britain, at this distance of time, 
and for want of ancient monuments, we can expect no more certain account 
of them than of the first apostles of so many other nations converted in 
these first ages, such as Africa, Spain, and Britain itself, in general. But 
whatever ignorance we are in of the manner how the light of the Gospel 
was at first conveyed to these northern nations of Britain, and of the 
instruments Almighty God was pleased to make use of; that ought not to 
seem strange after the destruction of all ancient domestic monuments and 
records of the Caledonians or Picts, nor make us anywise doubt of the 
truth of a fact attested by a contemporary writer of such authority as 


A. I). 209. Tertullian, and which, besides, agrees so well with the situation of affairs 
in Britain in those times. 

Almighty God has infinite means to bring about the designs of mercy 
which He intends for any nation, and all instruments are sufficient. in his 
hands. One a > poor captive woman was the occasion of the Conversion of 
the nation of the Iberians ; and Frumentius, a young boy, led captive into 
the Indies, introduced among these people the Christian religion ; and on 
many other occasions, Christians led in captivity have brought in the know- 
ledge of truth into infidel nations. We have already seen, and it cannot 
be doubted of, but the Caledonians and M;eates carried off many captives 
from the provincial Britons in their frequent incursions, and no doubt in 
these times, since the year 18-3, among these captives there were many 
Christians of all degrees. 

But whatever progress Christianity had made in these early times in 
the north of Britain, the uncertain state, and almost perpetual agitation 
the inhabitants were in, by the frequent inroads made by the Caledonians 
into the lloman provinces, and the Roman expeditions against them, 
hindered, in all appearance, churches in those parts to be formed and 
modelled into that regular order and discipline, which was settled almost 
everywhere within the provinces entirely subjected to the Roman empire^ 
and governed by its polity and laws, which was in no manner the case of 
that martial people, the Caledonians. 

XII. About this very time they were up in arms against the Romans, of 
which Severus, the emperor, being informed, and that (h) the Maeates and 
Caledonians had overrun and pillaged the Roman provinces in Britain, he 
resolved to go himself upon an expedition against them. He marched, 
therefore, into Britain with great diligence, and arrived before the enemies 
were aware of his march. 

Dio, who, with Herodian, gives us the relation of this expedition of 
Severus, begins it with an account of these northern inhabitants of Britain. 
He tells us they were known by the names of Mseatae and Caledonii ; that 
the Moeates dwelt next the walls, no doubt that of Adrian rebuilt by Severus ; 
for he says that at that time the Romans possessed some more than the 
half of the island, so he must have looked upon Adrian's wall as the bounds 
of the empire in Britain. Dio adds that the Caledonii dwelt next the 

<"> Ruffin. Hist. lib. xii. cc. 9, 10. 

lb) Herodian. lib. iii. Dion, lib. Ixxvi. 


Maeates, by which appears, what often hath been remarked, that the posses- A. U. 209. 
sions of the Mseats lay betwixt the two walls of Adrian and Antonine. 
Besides these two names, Dio says these two people had other names of 
distinction among themselves (such, perhaps, as Ptolemy the geographer 
had given us account of), but that they were best known by these two of 
Moeates and Caledonians ; he adds, that their countries were full of high 
hills, marshes, and large plains uncultivated ; that their ibod was venison, 
wild fruit, and what they got by spoil. He remarks in particular of their 
customs, that they lived in tents and were extremely hardened to suffer 
cold, hunger, and toil ; that their arms consisted of short spears, dagger, 
and target ; that their horses were of a little size but very swift, and that 
they were themselves very nimble ; that they sometimes used to tight in 
chariots, and Herodian adds that they used to engrave"" on their bodies 
the figures of several beasts, that they wore no clothes on the parts marked 
with these figures, that the figures might appear. This description, com- 
pared with that which Claudian made of the Picts (ferro notatos 1 ')) about 
one hundred and fifty years afterwards, shows that the Caledonians wi-re 
the same people with the Picts, but of this elsewhere. 

Severus being arrived in Britain with a most powerful army, the Cale- 
donians, surprised with this sudden march, and with so great forces, sent 
deputies to ask peace and offer reparation of damages. But the Emperor, 
being resolved not to return without a triumph and the sirname of Bri- 
tannic, was deaf to their petitions, and sent back their deputies without 
answer. And in the meantime he made haste with all the preparations of 
war, and being resolved to conquer the whole island to the outmost extre- 
mities, he passed with his army over the fences and bulwarks which separ- 
ated the provincials from the northern nations, and entered into Caledonia. 

He met there with great difficulty to make passage to his army, being 
obliged to cut down great woods, to level steep places, to make causeways 
or highways through the marshes, and bridges over the rivers. He had no 
opportunity of a set battle, the enemies having retired themselves into the 
woods, marshes, and stony ground, with all that belonged to them. They 
did not assemble into a body of army, but baiting the Roman troops with 
oxen and sheep which they exposed on purpose, the Humans, separating in 

'' rrila.Txi llerodian. lib. iii. 

^) " Ferroque notatas 

Perlegit examines Pieto moriente tiguras." 



A. I), aof). parties from the army to carry off the prey, were waylaid and cut off by the 
enemies coming suddenly on them from their retreats. By these excur- 
sions and tumultuary fights the Caledonians destroyed greater numbers of 
the Romans than if they had beat them in a set battle : so that, Dio says, 
that there perished fifty thousand men of the Roman army in that expe- 

But that did not discourage Severus from marching forward with his 
army to the extremities of the island. There he observed the course of the 
sun and the great inequality of nights and days in winter and summer in 
those northern climates, by which it would appear that he spent at least 
six months in this expedition ; so that his return to the Roman province 
could be no sooner than the following year, 210. After he had gone 
through all Caledonia to the extremities of Britain, he obliged tha enemies 
to make a disadvantageous peace with him, with a loss of a part of the 
territories they had possessed themselves of, but this treaty lasted not long. 
The Caledonians, joined with the Mteates, were soon in condition to take 
back all they had lost, as we shall shortly see. 

XIII. Meantime Severus being returned, after his northern expedition 
to York, in order to secure the Roman provinces in Britain for the future 
against the attempts of the northern nations, caused build a stately wall 
from sea to sea through the island. This wall Spartian calls the greatest 
ornament of his reign, " maximum< 0) imperii ejus decus;" it was fortified 
from place to place with castles, and was situate in the place where Adrian 
built his Avail betwixt Tyne and Carlisle upon Eden, as we have endea- 
voured to show at length elsewhere. (b) 

Whilst the wall was a -building and the emperor at York at a distance, 
the Caledonians first, and then the Maeats, broke the peace and invaded the 
territories they had been forced to abandon, upon which Severus resolved 
upon another expedition against them, and commanded < c > the greatest 
severity and cruelty to be used towards them. But whilst he was making 
his preparations for this new war, he fell sick and died at York, A. D. 211. 
His eldest son, Antonine Caracalla, minding much more to settle him- 
self in the empire than to follow out his father's designs and revenge his 
quarrels, made peace anew with the Caledonians, and soon after made haste 

'' Spartian. in Severo. [c. xviii.] 
< bl Crit. Essay, p. 13, &c. 
< c) Dion, lib. Ixxvi. c. 1G. 


to get to Rome. By his retreat, if not by the treaty he made with them, A. D. -211. 
the Caledonians and Mseats remained masters of the debateable territories 
betwixt the walls, having repossessed what Severus had taken from them. 

XIV. We have no further account, during the most of this century, of 
these northern unconquered nations of Britain ; but it appears by the account 
Dio( a; gives, about the year 230, of the disposition of the Roman legions, that 
these northern nations appeared to the Romans as formidable to the empire 
as any of the most powerful nations that bordered upon it ; and that notwith- 
standing the strong wall built in Northumberland, the Romans were obliged 
to keep on that frontier, as great military forces as they did upon their 
frontiers, against the most warlike and powerful nations that lay around it. 
For Dio remarks that at this time under the emperor Alexander, when he 
was writing his history, there were two leg : ons kept upon the borders to 
defend the provincial Britons against the northern nations, whereas one 
legion alone was thought sufficient to keep in awe all the rest of the 
Britons ; and the most that the Romans kept against the Parthians, the 
Germans, and the other warlike nations, was two legions on each frontier, 
and in many places but one. as in the Gauls, in Spain, &c. 

JMoclesian, created emperor A. D. 284, became, the year following, by 
the defeat and death of Carinus, peaceable possessor of all the empire, and 
applied himself to repress all its foreign enemies, among others, by the title 
of Britannic given him, it would seem that he had obtained, no doubt by his 
lieutenants, some advantage over the northern inhabitants of the island. 
Soon after, Dioclesian associated Maximian Herculius to the empire. It 
was by Maximian, that Carausius, by birth a Fleming, and skilled in navi- 
gation, was placed commander of the coasts, against the invasions of the 
Saxons and Franks who used to infest the seas and plunder the coasts of 
the Roman provinces. But Carausius becoming suspected to Maximian, 
to secure himself, revolted against him, and usurped the empire in Britain, 
and became so powerful that Maximian, after useless efforts to repress him, 
was forced at last to abandon Britain to him, A. D. 289, where he reigned 
seven years. The interpolator of Nennius' < b > history .writes, that Carausius 
fortified anew the Roman wall in Britain with seven towers against the 
northern nations ; but whether this was the wall of Severus in Northum- 
berland, as by the dimensions that Nennius, and even the interpolator 

(n> Dion, lib. Iv. c. 23. (b) Nennius, c. xix. 


A. 1) >!). himself gives of it, would appear ; or the northern wall betwixt the friths, 
as this interpolator by his description of it gives us to understand; nothing 
can be determined from a writer who so visibly contradicts himself, besides 
that the fact in itself is very dubious, having no other voucher for it but 
such an uncertain and unskilled author as this interpolator seems all over 
to have been. 

However, about this time, the empire being attacked on all sides, the 
emperors Dioclesian and Maximian, to fortify themselves against so many 
foreign enemies, against whom they were not able themselves to march in 
person, thought fit to raise Galerius, and Constantius Chlorus, to the dignity 
of Caesars, A. D. 292. Thus the administration of the empire being 
divided among these four princes, Constantius had for his share the Gauls 
and Britain assigned him, with commission to march against Carausius, 
who continued still in his usurpation. But whilst Constantius was prepar- 
ing a fleet and forces to attack him, Carausius was killed by Allectus, who 
succeeded him in his usurpation of the empire in Britain, and enjoyed it 
about three years, till A. D. 296, that being pursued by Constantius, he 
was killed in battle by the prefect Asclepiodotus. And thus the Roman 
provinces in Britain were all reunited to the empire. 

XV. Eumenius the orator relating the year following, 297, the reduc- 
tion of Britain by Constantius, in a panegyric he pronounced in his honour 
at Autun in the Gauls, compares this expedition of Constantius into Britain 
with the exploits of Julius Caesar against the Britons, and extols those of 
Constantius beyond those of Julius Caesar, for this reason among others, 
because, says he, the Britons (a) being in Caesar's time as yet unexperienced 
in warlike discipline, accustomed only to fight with the Picts and Hibernians, 
people half-naked, did easily yield to the Roman valour ; whereas in Con- 
stantius' time, the Britons having been long trained up in military discipline 
under the Romans, the victory over them was more difficult, and, by conse- 
quence, more glorious. 

To pass by and leave to the grammarians and others the discussion of 
the words "soli Britanni," which our Buchanan among others hath can- 
vassed thoroughly ; this passage shows, at least, that in Eumenius' opinion, 
an author of the third age. the Picts, who are mentioned here, for the first 

'"> Ad hoc natio tune rudis, et soli Britanni Pictis modo et Hibernis assueta liostibus 
adhuc seminudis, facile Homauis armis signisque cessere. Eumen. paneg. ix. c. 9. 


time we hear of them by that name, were believed to have been the most A. D. -'117. 
ancient inhabitants of the north of Britain, and before Julius Caesar's time, 
and by consequence the sama people so well known in the two former ages 
by the name of Caledonians ; and this testimony of Eumenius, for the 
antiquity of the Picts or Caledonians in Britain, is so much the more 
weighty, that he himself lived at Autun in the Gauls, where, as a place at 
that time of great resort for learning, they had the best accounts of the 
neighbouring nations, and that he pronounced this panegyric in presence 
of Constantius himself and of his officers lately returned from an expedition 
in Britain. 

Now that the Caledonians were the same as the Picts, we have already 
seen that Herodian, describing them, tells us they used to engrave on their 
skin several sorts of figures, which is plainly the Picts, as Claudian after- 
wards describes them by their name of Picts. Nothing can be more express 
than the same Eumenius in another panegyric he made about ten years 
after this, in the presence of Constantine the Great. There, speaking of 
the death of this Constantius, father to Constantine, he says that Con- 
stantius, being invited to the society of the gods, thought it below him to 
make any more conquests on earth ; he deigned not, says the orator, to 
acquire the woods and marshes of the " Caledonians and other Picts," no, 
nor Ireland that lay next to them, nor the Fortunate Islands, &c. 

But we have treated this matter at full length elsewhere/ 3 ' and shown 
the occasion and origin of the new name of Picts, it having been at first 
given to all the unconquered nations of the north of Britain, and of its 
being appropriated at last to the ancient people of the Caledonians, witli 
whom, as the most powerful and famous among them, all the rest of the 
unconquered ancient inhabitants of the north united for the preservation of 
their liberty. But at this time there being others among them besides the 
Caledonians, that still retained the ancient British custom of painting or 
marking themselves, Eumenius' expression " Caledonum aliorumque Pic- 
torum" is exact and conformable to the manners of that people in his time, 
as if he had said, besides the Caledonians there are other people painted or 
figured in the north of Britain. 

From this follows, that all that hath hitherto been related of the Cale- 
donians, and other unconquered people of the north of Britain, their wars 

'' Crit. Essay, pp. 42 ~'2. 


.\. 1). 297. against the Romans and provincial Britons, belongs properly to the history 
of the Picts ; and by this also, and by what we have elsewhere set down at 
more length, appears how groundless are the reasonings of those modern 
critics, who pretend that the Picts were not settled in Britain till the third 
or fourth a_>e, because they are not till then mentioned by the name of 

XVI. But to return to the history. The persecution of the Christians 
which had made many martyrs in the Gauls and other parts of the empire, 
from the beginning of Dioclesian and Maxim ian's reign, broke out with 
incomparable more fury, and extended to all the Roman provinces, by the 
imperial edict, published at Nicomcdia, A. D. 303. This persecution 
reached also the Roman provinces in Britain. For though Constantius, 
who was averse to the persecution of Christians, had the government of 
Mritiiin in his share, yet, having as yet no more than the dignity of Caesar, 
he was still under the jurisdiction of the emperors Dioclesian and Maximian, 

i and obliged to execute, or at least not to stop, the execution of their edicts. 

Among 11 " those that suffered in the British provinces, S. Alban of Verulam, 
and Julius and Aaron of Caerleon, were the chief. Gildas adds that many 
other Christians were put to death in Britain with diversity of sufferings, 
that those who escaped the fury of the persecutors retired to woods and 
deserts and hid themselves in caves, and many more, no doubt, fled out of 
the bounds of the empire to be out of the reach of the persecutors, by which 
the number of Christians in the north of Britain must have been consider- 
ably augmented, and their zeal animated by the example of so many whom 
they beheld abandoning all, and reducing themselves to the greatest straits 
to preserve the precious treasure of Faith. 

This persecution lasted in Britain but about two years, for A. D. 305, 
Dioclesian and Maximian resigned the empire, upon which Galerius and 
Constantius were declared Augusti, or emperors, and governed by a division 
independently each of another ; and the western provinces, Spain, Gauls, 
and Britain, falling to Constantius 1 share, the persecution ceased, and the 
Christians were undisturbed in those parts. 

XVII. The following year, 306, Constantius went over himself to Britain 
with a resolution to make war upon the Caledonians and other Picts. He 
was joined at his passage by his son Constantine, and after he had gained a 

'' Gildas, c. viii. Hed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 7 


victory over the Picts, he died at York, where his son was immediately A. 1). 
proclaimed emperor by the soldiers in Britain : and soon after Constantino 
hasted over to the Gauls, but was not owned emperor by Galerius Max- 
imian, till he was forced to it, A. I). 308. 

Thus Constantine, being firmly settled in the empire, took care, in the 
first place, of the tranquillity of those parts where he had been first pro- 
claimed emperor; and, as Lactantius" says, the first thing he did was to 
secure full liberty to the Christians, by which was more fully verified what 
Gildas (b) and Bede relate of the good effects of the cessation of the persecu- 
tion in Britain ; that the Christians repaired their churches which had been 
ruined, and that they founded and erected new ones to the memory of the 
holy Martyrs, as trophies of their victory, kept the solemn festivals, and 
celebrated the sacred Mysteries in their usual manner ; and from this time 
we may date the flourishing state of the Church in Britain, which hitherto 
must have laboured under great difficulties, the governors of the provinces 
before Constantius. and the generality of the people being set against the 

XVIII. One of the first proofs we meet with of the settled condition of 
the British Churches, is the number of bishops that were sent from Britain c 
to the Council of Aries, A. D. 314. There, among others, we find three 
bishops of Britain subscribing to it, Eborius, bishop of York (which about 
these times < d) is thought to have enjoyed the primacy among all the British 
bishops, as being the ordinary residence of the emperor when in the island, 
and of the prefect of Britain), Restitutus, bishop of London, and Adelfius. 
qualified de Civ. Colon. London. There were, no doubt, many more bishop> 
in Britain at this time, but in a cause such as was that treated in the 
Council of Aries, it was enough to send one bishop out of each province in 
name of the rest ; and it is known that the Roman part of Britain at this 
time consisted only of three provinces. So also in the following Councils 
there is ground to believe that there were British bishops present at the 
Council of Nice, A. D. 325, and at that of Sardica, A. D. 347, and Sulpitius 
Severus, !D) a contemporary, assures us there were bishops from Britain 
present at the Council of Rimini, 359. 

<a) Laclant. de Mortib. Persecutor. 

(b) Gildas, c. viii. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. o. 8. 

< c) Concil. Gen. edit. Labbe. torn. i. col. 1430. 

(d) Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 52. 

< Sulpit. Sever. Hist. [lib. ii. c. 55.] 


A. I). 3.39. XIX. By this it is evident that Episcopal government was equally 
established in the Church of Britain in the first ages as in all other Christian 
Churches. And since the knowledge and doctrine of Christianity was 
derived to the northern parts of Britain from those of the south, there can 
be no rational doubt made but the same kind of church government that 
was in use in the south of Britain was equully delivered to the Britons of 
the north, with the rest of the doctrines and practices of Christianity, as 
being that form of government which had been established by Christ and 
his Apostles, and that it was received and established among the northern 
Britons in proportion as Christianity itself was settled and extended, and 
in that manner, and as far as that martial people were susceptible of Eccle- 
siastical polity. 

It is not unlike that both the doctrine and discipline of Christianity 
made considerable progress among them in the reign of Constantine the 
Great, since during all that time we find no account in the Roman writers 
of any invasion made by the Caledonians or Picts on the Roman provinces, 
nor of any expedition of the Romans against them, except that perhaps the 
expedition 1 ") that Constantine made in Britain about the year 310, may 
have been to repress some new motion of theirs. 

His son Constans, as appears by Ammian, (b) made another expedition 
to Britain against the same northern nations about the year 343, but that 
part of Ammian where he had given the particular relation of that war is 

XX. Towards the end of the reign of Constantius. A. D. 360, the same 
author' ' informs us that in Britain the Scots and Picts, two fierce people, 
having broken the peace, were making havoc of the bordering province's of 
the empire ; so that the provincials, mindful of the former invasions and 
ravages of these enemies, were all struck with dread and terror. These 
news coming to the Caesar Julian, who was then at Paris, put him in great 
solicitude and doubt what resolution to take ; for he durst not go over in 
person to the assistance of the Britons, as the emperor Constans had done 
some years before, as we have seen, for fear of leaving the Gauls destitute 
of a governor whilst they were threatened with invasion and war from the 

(I) Euseb. Vit. Constant, lib. i. c. 25. 

(b) Ammian. lib. xx. c. 1. 

(c) Cum in Britanniis Scotonim Pictorumque gentium ferarum excnrsn, rupta qnieie 
conclicta, loca limitibus vieina vastarentur, et implicabat f'ormido vicinas provincias, proe- 
tetitarum claditim conirerie fessas. Ammian. lib. xx. c. 1. 


Germans. Julian therefore sent Lupicinus, one of his generals, with new A. U. 360 

forces to the Britons against the northern nations. But Lupicinus, upon 

suspicion, was soon recalled ; and Julian himself revolting about the same 

time against the emperor Constantius his uncle, and being more intent 

upon securing his title to the empire than about defending the bounds of it. 

the Scots and Picts were left at full liberty to continue their incursions on 

the Britons, and overrun the Roman provinces for some years. 

XXI. This being the first time, as we have seen elsewhere, ^ that the 
name of Scots is mentioned in authentic history, before we proceed to the 
series of Ammian's relation of the Picts and Scots' inroads in the Roman 
provinces in Britain, it is of importance, towards setting in a better light 
the following part of the history, to repeat here in short what hath been 
said in the first part of this Essay, concerning the first entry and settlement 
of the Scots in Britain. 

Having in that first part shown, at least with great probability, that the 
coming in and first settlement of the Scots, even to Ireland, cannot bo 
placed higher than about or after the times of the Incarnation, it follows in 
course that their first entry to, and settlement in Britain, must be yet 
posterior to that, since it is generally agreed that it was from Ireland, 
that they came in immediately to the north of Britain, whereof the Cale- 
donians or Picts were the most ancient known inhabitants. Venerable 
Bede> b ' leaves it uncertain whether it was by force or favour that the Scots 
at first settled among the Picts. [Scoti] "duce Reuda de Hibernia egres*i 
vel amicitia vel ferro sibimet inter eos [Pictos] sedes quas hactenus habent 
vindicarunt." Bede adds, that the Scots, on their coming to Britain, settled on 
the north side of the frith of Clyde, which had been of old the boundary of 
the Britons and Picts in that western p:irt of Britain. Bede informs us also 
upon this occasion that the Scots in Britain were as yet, in his time, called 
Dalreudini : and long after Bede, a writerW of the eleventh or twelfth age, 
calls the kingdom of the Scots in Britain, before their union with the Picts, 
Regnum Dalrietae. the kingdom of Dalrede. The Irish give, at length, an 
account of the origin of this name Dalrieda, which they derive from Eocha 
or Carbre Rieda, as may be seen in their writers. (d) I shall only observe. 

<> Crit. Essay, p. 643. 

(b > Hist. Eccles. lib i. c. 1. 

( "> Crit. Essay, app. iii. p. 783. 

"" Ussher, Ant. Brit. pp. 320, 321. 



A. D. 360. that in the best copies of the ancient genealogy of the kings of Scots, we 
find one Eocha or Eedach Riada or Rieta, (a; son of Conar, in the thirteenth 
generation or degree, before Ere, father to Fergus, commonly called 
Fergus II. And these thirteen generations or descents, in the ordinary 
computation (allowing thirty years to each descent,) would amount to 
more than three hundred years before this Fergus, son of Ere ; so that if 
this Eocha Riada be the same with Beda's Reuda, first leader of the Scots 
into Britain (as English and Irish writers affirm him to be), the placing 
him, with the old genealogy, thirteen generations before Fergus, son of Ere 
(who lived in the end of the fifth and beginning of the sixth age), would 
advance the epoch of the Scots' first coming into Britain till about the 
beginning of the third age, which would agree well enough with the first 
mention that Ammian makes of the Scots in Britain about the year 360 ; 
since it cannot be doubted but they were come into that island some time, 
before they could make such a figure as to be taken notice of with the 
Picts as dangerous enemies of the empire, by so judicious a writer as 
Ammian. And even Ammian himself, though he doth not mention the 
Scots in his history till the inroads that the Picts and they made into the 
Roman provinces. A. D. 360, yet, in the short account he gives of them 
for the first time on that occasion, he gives us clearly to understand that it 
was not the first time that the Scots, in conjunction with the Picts, had 
ravaged the British provinces, where, he says, the provincials were so 
much more discouraged by these new invasions of the Picts and Scots, that 
they were already quite spent and wearied with their former incursions 
and ravages ; < b) " Prseteritarum cladium congerie fessas " (provincias). 

We have showed elsewhere"" that the Scots in Britain had not proper 
kings of their own nation till Fergus, son of Ere, in the end of the fifth or 
beginning of the sixth century. Till that time, and for some time after- 
wards perhaps, they had still looked upon themselves as one people with 
the Scots in Ireland, who continued after their first entry to Britain to flock 
in to them yearly in great numbers, and to assist the Caledonians or Picts in 
their expeditions against the Romans and Britons. But though in these 
expeditions the Scots went generally with the Caledonians, yet it is like 

<> Crit. Essay, Geneal. Table, p. 235. 
01 Ammian. lib. xx. c. 1. 
< cl Crit. Essay, pp. 666-689. 


they had also chieftains of their own nation, even before they had kings A. D. 360. 
in Britain proper to themselves. 

XXII. After this short, but necessary digression, on the Scots' first 
appearance in Britain, to return to the history, we have seen that, in the 
year 360, the irruption of the Picts and Scots, and their devastation of the 
Roman provinces had been overlooked by the Csesar Julian aspiring to the 
empire ; and we do not find that, when he had attained it, during his short 
reign, any stop was put to their incursions, nor during that of Jovian. So 
it is no wonder that, upon Valentinian I. coming to the empire, A. I), 364, 
among other Roman provinces invaded by thy barbarous nations in their 
neighbourhood, he found those of Britain ravaged not only by the Picts and 
Scots, but that the example of their impunity had drawn in also upon the 
Britons other new !a) enemies, to wit, the Saxons and the Attacotti. What 
the Saxons were is well known, and we shall hear enough of them in the 
sequel of this history. The Attacotti were, according to S. Jerome, a 
British people. Ammian calls them a warlike nation, " bellicosa hominum 
natio." Valentinian then finding the empire attacked all at once on so 
many sides, and not being in condition so soon to send succours to the 
Britons, the Picts and Scots advanced daily in the British provinces, ravag- 
ing all as they marched, carrying otf' captives, and reducing the Britons to 
the greatest extremities. 

XXIII. Their (b) numbers and boldness increasing daily, they killed 
Follafaudus, the Roman general, and Nectarides, count of the maritime 
coasts. An account of all this being brought to the emperor Valentinian, 
so alarmed him, that he dispatched immediately over to Britain, first, 
Severus, count of the domestics, whom he soon called back, and sent over 
the general Jovinus, and caused quickly convey provisions and all things 
necessary for a powerful army. At last, the emperor receiving daily more 
frightful accounts of the progress of the enemies in Britain, thought fit to 
confide the management of that war to one of the most famous generals of 
the empire, Theodosius, father to the first emperor of that name. Him, 
therefore, he sent over to Britain, and with him new and more considerable 

Ammian< c > informs us on this occasion, that in one of the former books 

'"' Picti Saxonesque et Scoti et Attacotti Britannos serumnis vexavere innumeris. 
Ammian. lib. xxvi. c. 4. 

lb) Ammian. lib. xxvii. c. 8. (c> Ammian. lib. xxvii. 


A. 1). .i()7. of his history he had given a description of Britain, but this book is lost, 
which might have given great light into the origins of several of the dif- 
ferent inhabitants of the island. He only tells us here that those who 
overrun the provinces of Britain at this time were the Picts, divided into 
two people, the Dycaledones and the Vecturiones (of whom we have spoken 
elsewhere),* 11 ' the Attacotti, a warlike nation, and the Scots, who, all dis- 
persing their forces in different bodies up and down the country, did abun- 
dance of mischief to the provincials 

Theodosius, being arrived in Britain, divided also his army into several 
bodies, and at first, passing by London, marched with expedition towards 
the enemies, who being surprised unawares, and louden with booty, he 
forced them to retreat in haste, and abandon their prey, which he caused 
restore to the owners, reserving only a share of it, to be distributed among 
Iiis soldiers. And having thus in a short time delivered the city of London 
of the fears and difficulties it lay under from the enemies, he made his 
entry into it as in triumph. And having informed himself of the state and 
forces of the enemies, he found the only sure means to defeat them was to 
draw them into ambushes, and by frequent and sudden incursions on them 
to surprise them unawares. By all which it appears, that the Picts and 
Scots had, before his arrival in the island, penetrated into the heart of Britain, 
put London in terror and reduced it to straits, and that they appeared so 
powerful to so valiant and experienced a general at the head of so great an 
army, composed of the choice of the Roman legions, that he thought it not 
advisable to hazard an open battle against them, but was forced to make 
use < b) of stratagems and sudden onsets to get the Roman provinces rid of 

XXIV. Theodosius having by those means defeated and put to flight 
all these enemies of the empire, made it his next care to restore the cities 
and garrisons, and having forced the Picts and their auxiliaries not only 
out of the British provinces, but out of all that debateable tract of ground 
that lay betwixt the southern and northern walls, whereof they had pos- 
sessed themselves '> as a part of their property, he pursued them over the 
friths of Clyde and Forth. This expedition of Theodosius against the Picts 

w Grit. Essay, p. 82. 

(b) Nonnisi per dolos occultiores et improvisos incursus superari posse. Aminian. 
lib. xxvii. c. 8. 

lc) Quse in ditionem hostium concesserat. Ammian. lib. xxviii. c. 3. 


and Scots is expressed in one word by the orator Pacatus, (a) where he says A. D. 367. 
that this general reduced the Scots to their marshes, including the Picts 
and Scots under one name, and designing the country, whither they were 
pursued, by the name of Marshes, which agrees perfectly with the descrip- 
tion that Dio (b) and Herodian give of Caledonia, the ancient country of the 
Picts or Caledonians, where the Scots had also begun to make an establish- 
ment. The poet C'laudian, in two of his panegyrics, is somewhat more 
large on this expedition. In the first,' ' on occasion of the third consul- 
ship of the emperor Honorius, A. D. 397, speaking of this general Theo- 
dosius, grandfather to that emperor, he expresses himself thus : 

Ille leves Ma.iro?, nee falso nomine Pictos 
Edomuit, Scotumque vago mucrone secutus 
Fregit Ilyperboreas remis audacibus undas. 

And in another t d) poem, the year following, he expresses this expedition 
of Theodosius in these few words : 

Ille Caledoniia posuit <|ui castra pruinis, 

Inculuit I'ictorum sanguine Thnle: 

Scotorum cumulos flevit glacialis lerne. 

These expressions would seem at first to import that this Roman gene- 
ral had chased the Scots over sea to Ireland and pitched his camp in 
Caledonia ; but we are not to press poetical hyperboles to the rigour of the 
letter, otherwise we must suppose that Theodosius pursued the Picts to 
Thule, and there made a great slaughter of them, whereas it is like that 
neither Claudian nor the Romans knew where Thule stood, and its situation 
is still under debate. However, as to the Scots, I do not pretend that they 
were by this time so well settled in the north of Britain that they never 
used in whole or in great part to return to Ireland. It appears to me more 
likely that the Scots, at their coming from Ireland, having fir>.t planted 
themselves in the neighbouring islands betwixt the north of Britain and 
Ireland, and made other settlements by degrees in Cantyre, in Argyle, Lorn, 
and in the other western coasts of the north of Britain, by force, or by 

'*' lledactutn ad paludes suas Scotum. Lat. Pacat. paneg. xi. c. 5. 
ll " Dion, in Sever. Herodian. lib. iii. 
' '' C'laudian. Paneg. in III Cons. Honor. 
"" Claudian. Paneg. :n IV Cons. Honor. 


.\. D. :)67. favour of the Picts, continued still to live in a close union with the Scots in 
Ireland, as being one and the same people, coming over in greater or smaller 
numbers from Ireland to Britain, as occasion offered, either to enlarge 
their possessions, and some of them as auxiliaries to go in conjunction 
with the Picts in their expeditions or inroads into the Roman provinces, 
and that in case of any great defeat, as it happened here, and a hot pursuit 
by the Human forces, the military men of the Scots had always safe retreat 
into the isles, or even into Ireland, till the storm blowing over, and the 
enemies retired, they might safely return thence back to their habitation 
in the north of Britain, ready for a new expedition against the provincials 
as a favourable opportunity presented itself. And I cannot but observe 
here, that there is great appearance that this expedition of Theodosius, 
followed by the total defeat of the Picts and Scots, and his forcing the Picts 
out of their old possessions betwixt the walls, and, according to the rigour 
of the letter of Claudian's expression, his forcing back the Scots to Ireland ; 
there is great appearance, I say, that this general defeat hath given the first 
rise to the story delivered by Fordun of a total dissolution of the Scots 
monarchy in Britain, which he supposes had been founded three hundred 
years before Christ, and lasted till towards the end of this fourth age, when 
it was destroyed, says Fordun, together with that of the Picts, not by this 
Theodosius, but by Maximus, who usurped the empire, A- D. 383. But 
besides that we have shown, in the first part of this Essay, that there is no 
solid ground for a Scottish monarchy in Britain in the times either of 
Theodosius or Maximus, it is, in the first place, more consistent with 
Fordun's own chronology to attribute this defeat of the Scots and Picts in 
this fourth age by a Roman general, to Theodosius than to Maximus. 
Secondly, we shall show, in its proper ia) place, that this story of Fordun 
cannot agree to the times of Maximus, nor to the circumstances of his 

XXV. However that be, it is certain that Theodosius, after having 
given this great overthrow to the Picts and Scots, and pursued them beyond 
the northern wall betwixt the friths, fortified anew this wall, made it again 
the boundary of the empire, as it had been settled about two hundred and 
thirty years before under the emperor Antonine. But what is chiefly to be 
remarked is, that the general Theodosius, by the emperor Valentinian's 

'" Infra, XXX. 


order, erected into a new province all the debateable ground, which was A. D. 369. 
formerly inhabited by the Maeats, from the wall in Northumberland to the 
wall betwixt the friths, and gave it the name of Valentia. and thus added 
a fifth province in Britain to the four that were before ; and in order to 
defend this new province from the incursions of the Picts and Scots, the 
Roman general settled strong garrisons( a) at this northern wall, formerly 
built by Antonine's order, and having thus extended anew the bounds of 
the empire to the friths, and settled peace and order in the British pro- 
vinces, he returned with triumph to the emperor. 

But all the precautions he had taken against the northern nations did 
not hinder the Picts from seeking all opportunities to attack, and, at 
last, recover their ancient possessions in this new erected province, which 
they looked on as a part of their property. However, they lay quiet for a 
season ; at least, we have no account of any new motion in these provinces 
till towards the usurpation of Maximus. 

XXVI. Meantime, this reduction of the debateable lands betwixt the 
walls (which contain now the southern parts of Scotland) into a regular 
province of the empire by Theodosius, and his establishing among the 
inhabitants the Roman discipline and polity, was attended with a new 
advantage, towards settling on a more lasting foot, among the Christians 
in those parts, that order and apostolical form of government universally 
practised in all other Christian countries from their first conversion, espe- 
cially within the bounds of the empire. We have seen< b > that the light of 
the Gospel had been early derived from the provincial Britons of the south 
to these inhabitants of the northern parts of the island betwixt the walls, 
and with the other doctrines and points of the discipline of Christianity. 
they could convey no other form of church government to these new 
Christians of the north, but what was in use among themselves in the 
south ; and it cannot be doubted of, with any probable ground, but that the 
Christians in the north, knowing no other but what they had received with 
the elements of Christianity, practised the same discipline, as well in point 
of church government as in all others, as far as the almost perpetual wars 
they were engaged in could admit of. But whereas hitherto we have met 
with no certain account of any one by name of their first apostles and 
pastors, or of those that succeeded them, nor with any distinct account of 

(t) Theodosius limites vigiliis tuebatur et praetenturis. Ammian. lib. xxviii. c. 3. 
'"> Supra, VI. X. 


A. I). 369. the progress of Christianity among these northern inhabitants, no sooner 
are they incorporated in the empire, by the erection of all betwixt the walls 
into a Roman province, and the same form and polity established among 
them as in the other provinces, but we begin to have a more distinct 
account of the progress both of the doctrines and discipline of Christianity 
among them, and the names of some of the chief instruments that Divine 
Providence made use of towards procuring to them that happiness. The 
first whose name we have on record is the great S. Ninian (called by the 
vulgar S. Ringan), the apostle and first bishop of the southern Picts or 
Caledonians. No doubt there were others before him among the British 
inhabitants betwixt the walls, since we will see by his life that they were 
generally all Christians, princes and people, before his time. But if anything 
hath been recorded of the first bishops or other pastors of those parts, and 
of their successors, it hath been destroyed by the frequent wars and devas- 
tations of those debateable lands, which so often changed masters. And we 
might have remained in ignorance of S. Ninian, had not Venerable Bede {al 
recorded in his history the name and character of this holy bishop, and a 
short account of his life and labours, which gave occasion to S. Ailred, 
abbot of Rievaux, in the twelfth age, to write his life at large from such 
monuments as remained of it in his time. 

XXVII. Before I enter into the detail of S. Ninian's life, I cannot but 
desire the reader to observe, on occasion of this holy bishop, the unaccount- 
able confidence with which the Presbyterian writers, especially in Scotland, 
in order to justify their new plan of church government set up at the 
Reformation (which was begun and carried on by mere laymen, or at most, 
by simple presbyters), have endeavoured to obtrude on our countrymen a 
fabulous scheme of a primitive church government in Scotland by presby- 
ters and monks, without either episcopal authority or ordination, as Bloadel 
and others, their brethren in foreign parts, have endeavoured to improve this 
invention and impose it upon the Christian world abroad ; and all this upon 
no better ground originally than that of one only passage of John Fordun, a 
writer of the latter end of the fourteenth age. Whilst we have at the same 
time certain accounts, both from monuments of history before Fordun, and 
from Fordun himself, of S. Ninian, S. Patrick, S. Palladius, S. Servanus, 
S. Ternan, S. Kentigern or Mungo, all of them bishops, and all either 

<' Hist. Eeclef. lib. iii. e. 4. 


natives of the northern parts of Britain, or Scotland, or exercising tliere the A. I). 369. 
Episcopal authority and functions, before there is mention so much as of ' 
the name of any one presbyter or monk exercising the function of preacher, 
doctor, or minister of the Word and Sacraments in our country. But of 
this famous passage of Fordun we shall have more occasion to speak in its 
proper place ; it suffices to have marked here that the first preachers of the 
Gospel, or ministers of the Word and Sacraments in Scotland, whose names 
we have account of, were all bishops. 

XXVIII. To return to S. Xinian's life, written by S. Ailred. Thus 
the life begins : S. Ninian, says Ailred, M was born in that country of the 
north western part of Britain, where the ocean, as it were, stretching forth 
its arms, and forming on each side an angle, divides Scotland from England. 
This is clearly Galloway, in its old extent. And what the author adds, 
that this country, even to later times, had a kin": of its own: as we are 
informed, says he. not only by history, 11 " but even from the memory of 
some yet alive ; this, from a writer of the twelfth age, confirms what we 
have saiil elsewhere of the kingdom of the Britons in the west of Scotland 
subsisting till the tenth or eleventh age. 

O O 

The Saint was born of Christian parents. His father was king or 
prince of that country. So it is like he was born before the expedition of 
the General Theodosius, who erected that country, as we have seen, into a 
Roman province, by the name of Valentin, A. D. 369. Modern writers (c < 
place his birth about the year 360. Whilst Ninian was as yet a child, he 
showed great devotion (d) to churches (by which it appears, at least, in 
Ailred's judgment, that this country was then generally all Christian, since 
there were in it churches set up). Ninian was sober in diet, says Ailred, 
sparing words, applied to reading and studies, grave in his behaviour, 
vigilant to subject the flesh to the spirit. At last, by the inspiration of the 
Holy Ghost, despising riches and all human grandeur, and renouncing all 

'' Vita S. Niniani, per Ailretlum, abbatera Kievall. [Vitse Antiqux Sanctorum in 
Scotia ; vita Niniani, c. i.j 

(b) (Ninianus ortus in ea Britannise insulsu legione) quse in occiduis insuhu partibus, 
ubi oceanus, quasi brachium porrigens, et ex utraque pane quasi duos angulos f'aeiens, 
Scotorum nunc et Anglorum regna dividit, constituta, quse usque ad novissima Anglorutn 
tempora propriura babuisse regem, non solura historiarum fide, sed ct qiuirumdani memoria 
eomprobatur. Pater ejus rex fuit, religione Christianus, &c. Ailred. ibid. [Vita 
Niniani, c. i.] 

101 Ussher, Ant. Brit. Chion. A. L>. 360. 

(d) Mira illi circa ecclesias devotio erat. Ailred. ibid. [Vita Niniani, c. i.] 



A. D. 369. carnal affections, this noble youth resolved to go abroad for his spiritual 
improvement. Having, therefore, passed over the sea, he travelled through 
the Gauls and Italy to Rome, and there addressed himself to the Pope (who, 
it is like, at that time, was Damasus, a person of great sanctity and 
learning), and having exposed to him the motives of his journey, the Pope, 
commending his devotion, received him with a fatherly tenderness, and 
committed him to the care of masters fit to instruct him in the Holy Scrip- 
tures, and in the doctrine and discipline of the Church. The pious youth 
applied himself with great avidity to the study of the Word of God, and of 
the holy fathers, laying up in his heart treasures of Christian verities for 
the nourishment of his own interior man, and in due time fit to be poured 
out for the spiritual comfort and instruction of others. Thus, being chaste 
in body, and prudent in mind, provident in counsels, and circumspect in 
all his actions, he gained the commendation of all, and became daily more 
in favour \vith the supreme bishop, says Ailred. 

XXIX. Whilst Almighty God, in the order of his providence, Avas thus 
preparing at Rome S. Ninian for the apostolical function of the conversion 
of the southern Picts, he was about the same time fitting out, among the 
natives of the same country of the north of Britain or Scotland, another 
vessel of election to be the apostle of the neighbouring island. For it was 
about this time, when the Romans, by the erection of the new province of 
Valentia, were in possession of all betwixt the walls, from Northumber- 
land to the friths, that the holy bishop, S. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, was 
born, A. D. 377, upon the confines of this Roman province, at Kilpatrick, 
near Alcluyd, or Dunbritton, in the north of Britain, as all the learnedest 
among the Irish, as well as other foreign writers, do now agree."" His 
episcopal character, his quality of Apostle of Ireland, his labours in propa- 
gating the Gospel, his zeal and eminent sanctity of life, all this in general 
appears certain beyond any rational doubt. But as to the precise year of 
his birth, or that of his death, and indeed as to the chronology of his life 
and detail of his actions, it appears almost impossible to distinguish what is 

<"> Ussher, Ant. Brit. pp. 426, 427, &c. Ware, Script. Hibern. p. 101. Colgan, 
Trias T!iaumatur<r. p. 223, &o. Flaherty, Ogyg. p. 391. Cave, Script. Ecclesiast. p. 271. edit. 
Colon. A. D. 1720. Act. Sanctor. Holland, ad 17 Martii. Mabillon, Anna!. Benedict, 
torn. i. p. 207. Tillemont, Hist. Eccles. torn. xvi. p. 455. Baillet, Vie des Saints, an 17 
Mars, &c. [See, on the other hand, Lanigan's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, volume 
first, chapter third, for the arguments in favour of Boulogne-sur-mer being the birth- 
place of S. Patrick.] 


certain from what is dubious, notwithstanding the large and learned A. D. 377. 
dissertations that Ussher, Bollandus, and others, have written upon tlie 
subject. And the great number of lives, by different authors, collected by 
Colgan and others, seem to some of the learned writers of later times rather 
to embroil the history of this Saint, and perplex the reader, than to con- 
tribute to any distinct account of his life and actions. 

But the honour our country hath by S. Patrick's being a native of it, 
and more yet, the obligations that the Scots even of Britain owe to him 
and his disciples, for the establishment and propagation of Christianity, as 
well among the Scots of Britain as among the Irish, renders it a duty on 
whoever undertakes the ecclesiastical part of the history of the north of 
Britain or Scotland, to give some account of what appears most assured of 
this holy bishop. 

Among the various monuments of his history, nothing appears to me a 
more proper voucher, and more assured foundation to go upon, than the 
short writing commonly called his Confession, which is generally esteemed 
his own work, is quoted by the ancientest authors of his life, and contains 
an account of him as an apostolical man, incomparably more answerable to 
that character than any one of his lives, or all of them together : besides 
that the style of this writing appears to some of the best judges > a) of 
ancient pieces to agree well to the times and circumstances of the Saint. 
We will not meet in this piece, says this learned and judicious (b) writer, 
with many miracles, or any long detail of facts, as in the vulgar lives of 
S. Patrick, but there is enough to support and maintain the great venera- 
tion which the Scots and Irish justly have for his memory ; and that better, 
perhaps, than that multitude of stupendous miracles, many of them not very 
likely or credible, to say no more, that we meet with in the legends pub- 
lished upon his life. There are, indeed, but few miracles marked in his 
Confession, but, on the other hand, there are several visions in it, and the 
Saint owns that Almighty God was pleased to manifest sometimes to him 
in an extraordinary manner what his will was over him. Nor ought it to 
be wondered at, that in an apostolical undertaking, where he had to over- 
come oppositions on all hands, friends as well as enemies, Almighty God 
should inspire and direct, as He had done the Prophets and Apostles, a 
Saint who resembled them so much in his conduct, and in the success of his 

'"' Tillemont, Hist. Eccles. torn. xvi. pp. 784, 785. 
"" Ibid. p. 455. 


A. D. 377. As to the chronology of his life, than which nothing can be more intri- 
cate, the learned continuators of Bollandus's Saints lives, have been at 
great pains to examine and endeavour to settle it, as much as is possible in 
a dissertation on the subject, which I shall generally follow, referring to 
the dissertation itself for the proofs and particulars, as also for the detail 
of his actions, which they have taken from the various writers of his life. 
And shall content myself with a few more certain and more probable facts 
taken especially from his Confession or Apology. 

S. Patrick was born, as was said, in the north of Britain or Scotland, at 
Kilpatrick, near Dunbritton, upon the confines of the new-erected Roman 
province of Valentia, as we have observed from the consent of all the 
learnedest writers of all countries ; by the quality of his father Calphurnius, 
a Dccurion, it appears he was of a Roman or provincial British extraction, 
and noble family. God, who had designed him for the laborious work of 
the conversion of a barbarous nation, whose tongue he understood not, began 
early to prepare him, by a particular dispensation of his providence, for that 
undertaking. It hath been elsewhere observed that, besides those Scots 
that had already begun to settle in Britain, many others of the Scots used 
in these early times, and continued till they were fully established as a 
distinguished nation in Britain, to come over immediately from Ireland 
and join as auxiliaries with the Scots already settled there, and with the 
Picts, ancient inhabitants of the north of Britain, in their expeditions and 
inroads into the Roman provinces of that island, whence they were accus- 
tomed to carry off with them prey and captives. In one of these inroads. 
S. Patrick, being then about sixteen years of age, was carried off by these 
Scots auxiliaries, with many other captives, to Ireland, from the province 
of Valentia, in the extremities of which he was born. 

The holy man acknowledges, with great humility, that this calamity fell 
upon him and others, his countrymen, for their sins, their forgetting of God, 
not observing his commands, nor hearkening to the exhortations of their 
pastors, " sacerdotibus (a) nostris " (which, in the style of that age, signifies 
bishops as well as priests), and by this it appears that there was a formed 
Christian Church at this time in those parts of Scotland, composed of pastors 

(a) Hibcrione (i. e. Hibernia) in captivitate abductus sum cum tot millibns hominum, 
secundum merita nostra, qtiia a Ueo recessimus, et prsecepta ejus non custodiviums, et 
sacerdotibus nostris non obedientes fuitniig, qui nostram salulem admonebant, &c. Confess. 
S. Patricii, edit. Ware, p. i. 


and people. S. Patrick was sold in Ireland to a master, who put him to A.D. 377. 
keep swine in the hills and woods, where lie suffered hunger, ( a) cold, and 
nakedness, exposed to the rain, snow, and frost; he tells that amidst these 
"humiliations and sufferings, God took pity on him, opened the eyes of his 
soul, touched him with a due sense of his bygone faults, and made him re- 
turn to God with all his heart ; that he recurred to prayer and fasting, and 
having sought God with all his strength, he found Him, and his faith, tlie 
fear and love of God, augmented daily in him, and that during his captivity 
he gave himself much to prayer, day and night. Amidst these pious exer- 
cises and sufferings he acquired the language of the inhabitants, and by 
that means he was prepared, by Divine Providence, to become one day the 
Apostle and instructor of that nation. 

He passed six years in this first captivity, and then was wonderfully deli- 
vered, and returned back to his parents in the north of Britain. After some 
years' travelling abroad, he was again made captive by other enemies, but 
soon set at freedom, and came( b ) back again to his parents, who used all 
means to persuade him to abide with them. But being admonished by 
visions from heaven, that God had made choice of him for tlie conversion 
of Ireland, that he would have much to suffer, but that God Avould support 
him with his Spirit which prayed in him, he resolved to travel again abroad 
for his further improvement in piety, and in the knowledge of divine truths. 

The writers of his life give large accounts of his several voyages of de- 
votion, into Gaul and Italy, towards the end of the fourth, and beginning 
of the fifth age, before his mission to Ireland. During the course of these 
voyages, he visited the monasteries and other places most renowned in these 
times for piety, learning, and regular discipline ; such as S. Martin's at 
Tours, S. Honorat's at Lerins, 8. Amator's and S. German's at Auxerre. 
In each of these he abode some years, and improved himself by the great 
examples and holy exercises that he met with in these sacred asyles of the 
true spirit of Christianity, and by the conversation of the great men that 
governed them, especially of S. German of Auxerre. All this may be 
found at large in the several writers of his life, and collected in a more 
regular order by the learned continuators of the BollandianW Acts. I have 
here put together this short account of tlie first part of his life and actions, 

111 Confess. S. Patricii, edit. Ware, p. 6. 

(b) Ibid. p. 9. 

lc > Act. SS. Holland, ad 17 Martii. 


A. I). 38.5. that I might not be obliged to interrupt it with the civil transactions of 
Britain, which were very remarkable in these times. 

XXX. And in the first place, A. D. .'385, Maximus, being proclaimed by 
the Roman soldiers in Britain, usurped the empire, and passed over immedi-' 
ately to the Gauls, with all the forces he could make. The Chronicle ( a ) 
published under the title of Tiro Prosper, Gregory of Tours,< b) and Sigebert, 
relate that Maximus, before he left Britain, attacked with great vigour 
and repressed the Picts and Scots, who had made incursions into the Roman 
provinces. The authority of Sigebert, who it is like copied the two others, 
was the chief foundation on which our historian Fordun, and his followers, 
built the story of the dissolution of the monarchy of the Scots in Britain 
by Maximus ; yet, according to Fordun's own calculation, this dissolution 
must have happened about the year 3GO, when Maximus was as yet a 
private man, for he says() their exile out of Britain lasted forty or forty- 
three years; and he places their restoration A. D. 403, so this defeat of the 
Scots, if true, would agree much better, (as we observed^) already,) to the 
General Theodosius, than to Maximus. Besides that, SeverusC 6 ) Sulpitius, 
Zosimus.CO and other writers near the time, make no mention of Maximus, 
his gaining any victory in Britain, or making any war, nor so much as of 
his having had any command, till he usurped the empire ; and they add, 
that upon his usurpation and revolt, he immediately passed over to the 
Gauls, and that NO suddenly, that he surprised the emperor Gratian unpre- 
pared, and being therefore abandoned by his soldiers, was killed at Lyons. 
All which seems to leave no room for Maximus losing any time before he 
left Britain, to march against the Picts and Scots. 

But we have seen elsewhereC*' that the whole story of a dissolution and 
restoration of a Scots Monarchy in Britain in Maximus' time is a mere inven- 
tion, chiefly perhaps devised to elude the force of the proofs drawn against 
Fordun's system, from the remains of our ancient chronicles written before 
their destruction or dissipation by King Edward I., in all which remains, 
Fergus, son of Ere, is called the first king of the Scots in Britain, which 
at once, ruining all Fordun's additions to the fabric of the high antiquities of 
Scotland, begun before his time, he was under a necessity to find out this 
and such other machines to support them. 

'i Tir. Prosper, Chron. apud Canis. <" Sever- Sulpit. Hist. Eccles. 

">) Greg. Turon. Hist. Sigebert, C'hron. (f> Zosim. Hist. 

"> Fordun, edit. Hearne, lib. ii. c. 45. '> Crit. Essay, pp. 744, 745, &c. 
<"' Supra, XXIV. 


However Maximus having carried over with him to the Gauls, as A. D. 3S.3. 
Gildas< a) relates, the flower of the British youth, gave a fair opportunity " 
to the Scots to extend their habitations in the north of Britain, and to the 
Picts to return and possess themselves anew of their ancient conquests in 
the province of Valentia; which Divine Providence made use of towards 
the propagating of Christianity among them. 

XXXI. For it was about these times that S. Ninian< b ) before mentioned 
having now passed several years at Borne, employed in the exercises of 
piety, in the study of the Scriptures, and of the doctrine and discipline of 
the Church, and being looked upon as a person of eminent virtue, the Pope 
also being informed that, there was a nation in the north-western part of 
Britain that had not yet embraced the Christian faith, promoted Xinian to 
the episcopal degree, and gave him mission to preach the Gospel to that 

Ninian, in his return from Rome, was moved with an earnest desire to 
visit the great S. Martin, bishop of Tours, famous for his sanctity and 
miracles; whereupon he diverted from his journey to that city, where S. 
Martin received him with great respect, knowing by revelation, says Ailred, 
that Ninian was extraordinarily sanctified by God, and destinated to be the 
happy instrument of the salvation of many. 

This shows that S. Xinian's return to Britain was before the year '597, 
in which S. Martin died, according to the more common opinion. 

S. Ninian having taken leave of S. Martin continued on his journey to 
Britain, and arrived in Valentia, his own country. His long absence, the 
report they had heard of his eminent sanctity, and the progress he had made 
at Rome in the knowledge of divine truths, drew great multitudes of the 
Christian people of these parts together, to welcome him at his return and 
receive him with great joy and thanksgiving to God, because they looked 
on him as a prophet. The holy man, profiting of these marks of esteem 
and confidence of the people, set himself immediately to reform all abuses 
that might have crept in among them, and having purged their minds from 
errors, he instructed them in the duties belonging to good Christians, and by 
works and examples showed himself a pattern of all virtue and piety, all 
which he confirmed by frequent miracles. Having thus reduced the ancient 
Christians of these parts to the knowledge and practice of the obligations 
of their holy profession, he then proceeded to gain over to it by degrees the 

<> Gildas, c. ii. <"> Vita S. Niniani, [c. ii.] 


A. I). 398. other inhabitants in their neighbourhood, to wit, the southern Picts. But 
the progress of the Gospel among these last, was much retarded by the 
motions they were in, and by those of the Roman troops against them, 
towards the end of this age, and beginning of the next. 

XXXII. For the Picts and Scots had not failed, as we observed, to lay 
hold of the favourable opportunity that was offered them, by Maximus 
his carrying over with him to Gaul so many of the regular troops, and of 
the flower of the British youth; upon which, it appears by the account 
which C'laudian the poet gives in the Panegyric of Stilicho, that by the 
year ;J!)8, the Picts and Scots had made such progress in ravaging the 
neighbouring provinces of Britain, that they were quite ruined, that they 
lived in perpetual dread and terror of the Picts ; that these were joined by 
the Scots, not only of Britain, but by new levies of Scots from Ireland ; that 
an account of this miserable state of the British provinces being brought to 
Stilicho, the Roman general under the emperor Honorius, he sent over 
new forces to Britain, and having beat out the Picts and Scots from the 
Roman provinces, he caused fortify anew the northern wall against their 
irruptions. For thus ( 'laudian brings in Britain, lamenting her perishing 
condition till Stilicho sent in forces to her succour against the Picts and 

"" Me c[iicM|iie vicinis pcreiintcm gentilnis, iinjuit, (Britannia) 
-Munivit Stilicho, totam cum Seotus lernem 
Movit, et inf'esto spumavit remige Tethys. 
Illiiis ett'ectum curis, ne bclla timerem 
Scotica, ne Pictum tremerem, &c. 

But this fortifying the wall by Stilicho, and his placing anew guards and a 
garrison on the frontiers of Yalentia to overawe the Scots and Picts, and 
protect the British provincials againt them, is more fully expressed in 
another passage of the same poet, where, giving account of the several 
legions which, by Stilicho's order, came to join him, A. D. 402, against 
the Goths, before the battle of Pollentum, he thus marks among others 
the Roman troops that guarded the wall in Britain, against the Scots and 
Picts ; 

"" Venit et extremis legio pratenla Britannis. 

Quae Scoto dat fraena truci, ferroqtie notatas 

Perlegit examines Picto moriente figuras. 

'*' Clandian. de Laudib. Stiliclion. lib. ii. "" Claudian. de bello Getico. 


The poet, by an ordinary metaphor, calls the forces that guarded the fron- A. D. 40-2. 

tiers of the British provinces a legion, though there needed always more 

than one legion to oppose those northern enemies. But the description he 

gives here of the Picts, as having figures imprinted with iron on them, 

agrees exactly, as we have seen elsewhere,W with the description that 

Herodian gives of the Caledonians, and proves them clearly to have been 

the same people under their old name of Caledonians and new name of Picts. 

XXXIII. The most part of the Roman forces being thus removed from 
the borders, and called over by Stilicho, the Picts and Scots failed not to 
break through the wall, and enter the province of Valentia, and they had 
so much the more favourable opportunity to overrun the British provinces, 
that, besides that the frontiers were in great measure denuded of their 
wonted garrisons, the rest of the Romans and Provincials in Britain were 
in great confusion in these times, by placing or displacing new tyrants or 
usurpers of the empire. 

For, A. D. 407, the soldiers' b) in Britain set up one Marcus for emperor, 
and soon afler put him to death, and in his place created one Gratian, and 
gave him the ornaments of the empire ; but they also soon wearied of him, 
and after four months' reign killed him, and elected for emperor one Cons- 
tantine, a common soldier, who had no merit but that of his name. Thus 
there were no less than four tyrants or usurpers in Britain, including 
Maximus. in the space of little more than twenty years. This no doubt 
gave occasion to S. Hierome, writing against Jovinian about the year 412, 
to call Britain a province^' fertile of tyrants; and this shows, as we else- 
where< d ' observed, that the expression " Britannia fertilis provincia tyran- 
norum et Scoticae gentes," &c., is not Porphyrius' words, who had no occasion, 
when he wrote that book against the Christians, to give that character to 
Britain, but S. Hierome's own, on occasion of so many little tyrants he 
had seen arise in that island. 

Constantino, the last of these usurpers, passed immediately over to Gaul, 
taking along with him what remained of regular forces in Britain, leaving 
the Provincials a prey to their enemies, with vain hopes of being succoured, 
if attacked, but he was no sooner arrived in the Gauls with his forces, than 

<> Supra XII. 

(b) Zosim. Hist. lib. vi. 

(cl Iliei'onym. contra Jovinian. 

"" Crit. Essay, p. 514. 



A. L). 407. the Picts and Scots, according to their custom, embraced that favourable 
opportunity, and broke in upon the British provinces. The Britons despairing 
of obtaining assistance either from Constantine, wholly taken up with securing 
his title to the empire in Gaul and in Spain, or from the Emperor Honorius, 
not able to defend even the capital of the empire attacked by Alaric, the 
Britons, I say, having no more hopes of assistance from the Eomans, and 
being encouraged, says Zosimus.W by letters from Honorius to do the best 
for themselves, resolved at last to shake off their dependence on the Roman 
empire and put themselves at liberty, and endeavour to defend with their 
own forces their country against their enemies. Thus Britain ceased to be 
a part of the empire A.D. 409, about four hundred and seventy years after 
Julius Caesar first entered the island about the year 55 before the Incarnation. 
The Britons< b > found in a short time that they had presumed too much on 
their own forces, and after a struggle of a few years, they saw themselves 
so overpowered by the Picts and Scots, that they were forced to have a new 
recourse to the Romans, their old masters; as we will see, after having first 
considered the progress of Christianity in the north of Britain, by the 
apostolical labours of S. Ninian. 

XXXIV. This holy bishop< c) had now preached some years to the 
Picts and other inhabitants of the north of Britain, and propagated the light 
of the Gospel among them. He made his chief residence in Galloway, his 
native country, at a place rendered from his time, famous by the church he 
caused build there, all of cut stone, which it seems was such a rarity among 
the Britons of those parts, that it gave the name of Candida Casa or whitf 
house, vulgarly Whithern, to the town in all after times. This church he 
dedicated to God, under the title and in memory of S. Martin, and estab- 
lished it the episcopal seat of these parts. Camden guesses this to be the 
town called by Ptolemy the geographer, Leucopibia, which he thinks is an 
error of the copyists instead of \evKoiKtdta, which hath the same signification 
in English, to wit, white houses. But the origin which Bede gives to the 
name is more natural, and not so far-fetched. To the church that Ninian 
built, was no doubt joined his monastery or seminary, for such was the 
custom of all these holy bishops, who planted or promoted the work of the 
Gospel, in order to have a retreat for themselves amidst their labours, 

<> Zosim. Hist. lib. vi. 

< b > Hed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 12. 

M Vila S. Niniani, [c. ii.] 


and a proper place for breeding young churchmen to succeed in the sacred A. D. 40!). 

S. Ninian's ;a) preaching was attended with many miracles, which Al- 
mighty God wrought by him, in confirmation of the doctrine he taught. 
Among others, a prince of that country named Tuduvallus, who had been 
struck with blindness for his opposition to truth, was, upon his repentance, 
restored to his sight by the prayers of the holy man. S. Ailred marks parti- 
cularly in his( b) life that he ordained priests, consecrated bishops, and that 
he divided the country into different districts, for the more convenient 
service and instruction of the people. The word pnrochia signified of old 
as well dioceses as what we now call commonly parishes, which last, by 
all that I can find, were not generally established, even in the south of 
Britain, till several ages after this, by Theodore, Bishop of Canterbury. 

In those ordinations of bishops and priests, and in the distribution of 
the country into districts, the holy bishop, in forming this infant church, 
followed the model and order of canonical discipline which he had been 
taught from his youth, and seen everywhere practised during his travels 
through the south of Britain, in the Gauls, and in Italy, and which he knew 
was the universal practice of the Church in that and all former ages, and 
in all countries where Christianity was established. And though we had 
no other authority that this was the discipline and form of government 
observed among the ancient Christians of the north of Britain or Scotland, 
from the beginning of Christianity settled among them, or at least, as soon 
as the disposition of the civil state could allow a fixed and regular discipline 
to be settled among them ; though, I say, we had no other authority for 
this but that of Ailred, a writer of the twelfth age, grounded upon what 
remained of ancient records in the monastery of Candida Casa, or Whithern, 
and on the constant tradition in his time, yet this alone would I hope suf- 
fice, in the judgment of all impartial readers, to prescribe against the notion 
of a pretended primitive Church government without bishops, in Scotland, 
before S. Palladius his time, advanced without any other authority but 
that of John Fordun, a writer of the end of the fourteenth age. But of 
this elsewhere' ' at more length. 

'' Vita S. Niniani, [c. ii.] 

(>>) Ortlinavit Presbvteros, Episcopos cor.secravit, et totam terram per ccrtas paroehias 
lu:,i r.. ..: i 

divisit. Ibid. [r. vi.j 

> Infra, XXXIX, XL. 


A. U. 409. It is also remarked by S. Ailred in the life of S. Ninian, that among 
other holy exercises of prayer and lecture, in which he spent in his retire- 
ments the time he could spare from his episcopal functions, one of his chief 
applications was to teach and instruct the youth, and cultivate them with 
the study of letters, as it was the general practice of all the first preachers 
of the Gospel among the uncultivated nations, in order to polish them, to 
root more deeply among them the knowledge of the truths of religion, and 
transmit them to posterity. This, we shall see, was practised also by S. 
Patrick, and other apostolical men among the Irish. Thus S. Ninian >'> 
received, in his monastery at Whithern, the children of the nobles and 
commons of the country, taught them sacred letters and sciences, and took 
a special care to form their manners to piety, as a most effectual means to 
enable them, by the edification of their lives and good odour of Christian 
virtues, to draw others to the knowledge of the truth, and at the same time 
to breed such among them, in whom he saw marks of divine vocation, to 
the ecclesiastical functions, in order to keep up the succession of pastors, 
and carry on the work of the Gospel. We have been informed already by 
Ailred, that for this end the holy man ordained priests and consecrated 
bishops of the choice of his disciples, whom he had trained up in the same 
manner that he himself, according to Bede, had been instructed in Rome in 
the faith and in the mysteries of truth ; by which we see that the faith 
and mysteries of the true religion in which the primitive Christians, young 
and old, of the south and west of Scotland, were instructed by S. Ninian, 
were the same that he himself had been bred up to at Rome. This was the 
doctrine and this the form of discipline which he instilled more particularly 
in the hearts and minds of his disciples. The cultivating these tender 
plants, and forming them to be one day worthy labourers in the vineyard 
which he had planted, was all his comfort and refreshment, when, amidst his 
toilsome voyages and laborious exercises of his episcopal functions, he 
retired to his monastery of Candida Casa, or Whithern. And thus it was 
that S. Ninian spent the rest of his days. 

As to his death, though it did not happen till some years after this, yet 
not knowing the precise year of it, (only that it is believed to have happened 
about the year 430 or 432,) and not to be obliged so soon again to interrupt 
the series of the civil and military transactions, I shall here add what 

11 Plures intei'ea tarn nobiles, quam mediocre?, filios suos viro sancto sacris litteris tra- 
dunt imbuendos, quos scientia erndiebat, moribus inforraabat, &c. Vita S. Niniani, [c. x.] 


fuither account we have of him. S. Ninian having spent about thirty A. D. 40!) 
years, from his return to his country, in forming and cultivating the Chris- 
tians of these parts, as well by the example of his life as by his preaching 
and miracles, being perfect in virtue and well advanced in years, was called 
by Almighty God to receive the reward of his labours, on the sixteenth day 
of September, on which his memory hath ever since been celebrated by the 
Church. He was buried in (a) the church of S. Martin at Whithcrn; there 
his body lies, says Bede, with those of many other saints ; there his relics 
were kept in great veneration, and honoured by the devotion and pilgrimages 
made to his shrine by the faithful of all degrees, from our kings to tin- 
meanest subjects, down till the times of the destruction of all monuments 
of the piety of our ancestors, and of their gratitude to the memory of thosi- 
blessed instruments whom God has been pleased to make use of, towards 
rooting out idolatry and planting and cultivating true religion among us. 

XXXV. The progress of the Gospel was frequently interrupted in the 
latter years of S. Ninian, by frequent wars betwixt the provincial Britons 
and the northern nations. The Britons having, as we have said, shaken off 
their dependence on the Roman empire, A.D. 409, resolving to defend 
themselves by their own forces against their common enemies the Picts, 
assisted by the Scots, found soon, by fatal experience, that they had presumed 
too much on their national forces, for having more than once (b) been deprived 
of all the military experienced soldiers, and of all the flower of the British 
youth, carried over to the Gauls by the usurpers, what remained, being 
generally unaccustomed to war or military discipline, they lay exposed as a 
prey to their enemies. Wherefore, after a faint resistance in the beginning, 
finding themselves overpowered by their enemies, after having lain groaning 
under their oppression during several years, they at last found themselves 
obliged to make new application to the Romans, craving in a lamentable 
manner their assistance, and promising again an entire subjection to the 
empire, provided that by their means they were freed from the oppression 
of their enemies. Upon this the Romans sent over forces to the Britons, 
which falling cl on the Scots and Picts made great slaughter of them, and 
beat them out of the bounds of the British provinces ; and having thus 

(a) Cujiis (Niniani) sedem episcopalem sancti Martini episcopi nomine et ceclesia 
insignem, ubi ipse (Ninianus) etiam corpore una cum pluribus sanctis requiescit. Hist. 
Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 

< b > Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib i. c. 12. 

(c) Gildas, c. xii. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 12. 


A. L>. 4-2-2. delivered them from oppression, ordered them, for a further security, to 
repair or rebuild the ancient wall betwixt them and the Picts and Scots, 
and so the Roman auxiliaries left them and departed home with triumph. 

This wall the Britons, having more skill in that kind of structure, 
built of turf rather than of stone, so it proved but a feeble defence to them. 

Bede gives (a) a distinct account of this wall, and says it was built be- 
twixt the friths of Clyde and Forth ; that it began at a place called Penel- 
tun or 1'enuahel. Nennius, (b; or rather his interpolator, says it was called 
Cenueil in the Scot's language, that is, the head of the wall ; it is like the 
same place since called Kineil, about two miles distant from Abercorn 
(where in Bede's time stood a famous monastery on the side of the frith of 
Forth,) and ending towards the west, near to Alcluyde, or Dunbarton, on 
tin; frith of Clyde. Bede remarks that in his time, there were extant as 
yot, remains of this wall of great height and breadth, as there are still to be 
scon till this day. But it proved of little or no use( c /to the Britons, for how 
soon the Picts and Scots had recovered themselves, and were informed that 
rhe Roman forces were all returned home, they came back upon the Britons, 
and without being at the pains to attack the wall, they broke in by sea over 
the friths, and ravaged all the country of the Provincials, cutting down the 
pour inhabitants like ripe corn. 

XXXVI. The Britons unable to resist the fierceness of their enemies, 
sent again deputies to the Romans, to expose their lamentable condition and 
beg relief, which was promised ; and accordingly new forces were sent over 
to Britain, under the command of Gallic, as Blondus (d) writes. These forces 
arriving on a sudden in the island, surprised unawares the Picts and Scots 
dispersed in different bodies preying on the country. The Romans slew 
great numbers of them, and forced the rest to make the best of their way 
home over the narrow seas or friths, which was the only short and sure way 
they had to escape, because the wall, being for the most part as yet entire, 
stopped the land passage ; besides that they were accustomed every year to 
pass these narrow seas to prey on the Britons. 

All this happened about the year 426, and is set down at more length 
by Gildas and Bede. 

"" Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 12. 
<b) Nennius, c. xix. 
" Gild, et Bed. ibid. 
"" Blond, dec. i. lib. 2. apud Usser. Ant. Brit. p. 314 


The Romans having thus rescued the Britons a second time from the A. D. 42fi 
oppression of their enemies, told them that they could not auy more bring 
over forces to their succour ; that therefore they ought to take arms them- 
selves, and train up their countrymen to warlike discipline, to defend them- 
selves with their native forces ; and to encourage them the more, they 
caused build a stately wall, not of turf, nor betwixt the friths of Clyde and 
Forth as the first wall, but of stone, eight feet broad and twelve feet high. 
from sea to sea in Northumberland, betwixt the towns which were formerly 
built there to keep off the enemy, and in the same place where Scverus <aj 
had built his wall formerly, says Bede. This wall the Romans helped them 
to build or repair, on public and private charges, and made it so strong and 
lasting, that even in Bcde's time it was as yet very conspicuous. They 
caused also erect towns from place to place on the sea side, where their 
enemies used sometimes to land. And thus having encouraged the Britons 
by exhortations, and instructed them in military discipline, and how to 
frame arms and instruments of war, they took their leave of them with a 
resolution not to como back. Having elsewhere' 1 " endeavoured to give an 
account of this wall at more length, and shewn that it stood in Northumber- 
land, where Adrian and Severus had formerly built a wall, I need add 
nothing here, but refer to what I have said there, and go on with the 

XXXVII. After this wall was finished, the Romans left Britain for 
the last time, telling the Britons not to expect their return any more to 
their assistance, and therefore exhorting them to do the best for themselves. 
The Scots and Picts, being informed that the Romans were departed the 
island and never more to come back, came and took possession, instead of 
the inhabitants (or provincial Britons) of all that space of debateable ground 
(formerly possessed by the Meats or Midland Britons), which lay betwixt 
the walls, from the northern extremities of the Roman part of the island, 
(known by the name of the province of Valentia, terminated by the friths 
and northern wall,) up to the wall in Northumberland. " Omnem< c > aquilon- 
arem extremamque terrse partem pro indigenis muro tenus capessunt." 

This passage affords a new proof that the last wall, of which GiWas 

(a) Ubi et Severus quondam vallum fecerat. Hist. Eceles. lib. i. c. 12. 

< b > Crit. Essay, pp. 23, 24. 

(c) Gildas, c. xv. Ded. Hist. Eceles. lib. i. c. 12. 


A. 1). ^27. speaks, was not built betwixt Clyde and Forth, as Buchanan< a > supposes, 
but in Northumberland. For it is unquestionable that the Caledonians, or 
Picts, were long before this in possession of the northern parts of Britain, 
up to these friths, so that when Gildas says that, A.D. 427, on the Romans 
leaving the island, the Picts with the Soots came back and took possession 
of all the northern lands up to the wall, he could not mean that they took 
possession of the lands beyond the northern wall, since these lands, from 
the utmost extremities of the island up to that wall, were the ancient posses- 
sion of the Picts, and that wall betwixt the friths was built some ages 
before, to be the boundary of the province of Valentia and the I'icts ; but 
the wall here spoken of by Gildas must have been the wall in Northumber- 
land, and rhe meaning of these words of Gildas and Bede, " Omnem aquilon- 
arem," &c.. can be no other than that the Picts took a new possession of the 
dobateablc ground, or province of Valentia, from the wall betwixt the friths 
up to that in Northumberland, that is of the most northern lands of the 
Roman part of the island, where the provincial Britons had inhabited before. 

The Picts, (k) then, with the Scots, masters of all that northern province, 
attacked the Northumbrians with great fierceness. The Britons terrified, 
made but faint resistance, the enemies dragged them down from off the 
wall with hooked darts, which so frightened them that after a weak defence 
they left the wall and cities that guarded it, fled away and dispersed here 
and there. The enemies pursued, preyed on the country, and made greater 
slaughter of the Britons than ever before, and reduced the remains of them 
to the greatest extremity. 

XXXVIII. It appears that the terror with which tho Britons were 
>truck about this time, made them abandon not only their wall and cities, 
but the towns also, or castles, which the Romans before their last departure 
had caused erect upon the southern coast, towards Flanders, whence the 
irruptions of the Saxons were dreaded. For if we take at the letter the 
words of Constantius, author of S. German's life, the Saxons also, about 
these times, came over and joined the Picts, and were ravaging Britain, 
A.D. 429, when S. German, Bishop of Auxerre, with S. Lupus of Troyes, 
came over to the island against the Pelagians. Constantius' ' informs us 
and after him Venerable Bede, that whilst these two bishops were in 

" Buchanan, Hist. edit. Freebairn, p. 75. 
" Bed. ubi supra 
"' Constantius, vit. S. Germ. lib. i. c. 28. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 20. 


Britain, A. D. 4'29, the Picts and Saxons, with joined forces, made war A. D. 429. 
upon the Britons, who, to withstand these enemies, were drawn together, 
but distrusting of their strength to resist them, .they implored the assistance 
of the holy bishops, which they promised, and accordingly hastened to the 
camp of the Britons. Their arrival inspired no less courage to the Britons, 
than if a new army had come to succour them. S. German put himself 
at their head, and choosed the ground proper for putting them into battle, 
in order to put in execution what he had. in view for obtaining an 
unbloody victory. The place he pitched upon was a valley surrounded 
with high hills. When the enemy began to approach, the holy bishop 
gave out order to all the soldiers to repeat with loud clamours the words 
they should hear him pronounce. So just when the enemies thought 
to have fallen on, imagining their march had not been discovered, the 
holy bishop all of a sudden cried out in a loud voice Alleluia ! three 
times, whereupon the whole British army, with one voice thundered out 
the same word Alleluia after the Saints. This noise multiplied and re- 
bounded by the echoes from the mountains that surrounded them, so 
terrified the enemies, that they fell a trembling as if not only the rocks 
and hills round about, but that the firmament had been falling on their 
heads. So they all threw away their arms, betook themselves to flight 
and dispersed, glad to escape with their lives ; and many of them were 
swallowed up by a river in their flight, into which they had thrown them- 
selves headlong to get away with greater speed. Thus Constantius at more 

In this narration he doth not name the Scots, either because they were, 
it is like, in a distinct body from the Picts and Saxons, or perhaps, because 
he confounds here the Scots with the Saxons ; by reason that when Con- 
stantius wrote this life, soon after S. German's death, which happened 
A. D. 449., the Saxons called over by the Britons to their assistance against 
the Picts and Scots, had turned their arms against the Britons themselves, 
and joined with the Picts, were ravaging the island and destroying the 
ancient natives. So it was natural for Constantius to think, that those who 
joined with the Picts attacked the Britons whilst S. German was in the 
island a few years before, were the same people, to wit, Saxons, as those 
who with the Picts were making war on the Britons, when he wrote S. 
German's life. However, it appears that this miraculous victory inspired 
the Britons with so great courage, and struck such terror into their enemies 



A . IX 4-). that they made the best of their way home, being pursued in their turn by 
the Britons, so that the holy bishops left the island in peace and security, 
when they returned back to the Gauls. " Composita insula pace multi- 
plici," says Bcde, after Constantius. 

It was in order to oppose the Pelagian heresy that S. German with S. 
Lupus had made this voyage to Britain. Everybody knows that this heresy 
attacked chiefly the gratuity, necessity, and efficacy of the grace of Christ. 
The author, Pelagius, being a Briton, the heresy also made a greater progress 
in that island, promoted chiefly by one Agricola. But he was not the only 
one that spread that heresy in Britain. Prosper informs us elsewhere, < a) 
that it got a footing there by the enemies of God's grace returning to the 
soil of their origin. So it appears there were more than this Agricola, and 
those Britons who being themselves infected with the Pelagian heresy, 
returned to Britain and infected others. But care was taken by the sounder 
part of the British Church to put a remedy to this growing evil ; and there- 
fore the Britons distrusting their own sufficiency to repress such subtile 
adversaries, they very prudently addressed themselves to the Gallican bishops 
in their neighbourhood, and craved their assistance in the common cause 
of the defence of the Catholic doctrine. The bishops of the Gauls upon 
that assembled in a great council, in which by common consent they made 
choice of these two holy bishops, S. German of Auxerre, and S. Lupus of 
Troves, to go over to Britain ; Pope Celestine also joined his authority to 
that of the Gallican bishops, and at the instance of the deacon Palladius, 
(who had a particular zeal for the Britons,) the Pope gave commission to 
S. German to go over in his name, and with( b ) his authority, vice sua, as 
Prosper informs us, and oppose the common enemy, to reduce the Britons 
to the Catholic faith, and confirm them in it. The two holy bishops 
zealously undertook the employment and performed their commission with 
great success, confirming their preaching by miracles, by which those that 
had been seduced were brought back to the true faith, the doubtful were 
confirmed in it, and the obstinate adversaries were confounded and reduced 
to silence. 

" ll Prosper, contra Collatorera, c. xxi. 

(bl Agricola Pelagianus, Severiani episcopi Pelagiani filius, ecclesias Britannia; dog- 
matis sui insinuatione corrupit, sed actione Palladii diaconi, Papa Caelestinus Germanum 
episcopum Autisiodorensem vice sua mittit, et deturbatis hereticis, Britannos ad Catholi- 
eam fidem redigit. Prosper, in Chron. ad A.D. 429. 


This perverse heresy being thus repressed (says Constantius,!"' an A. U. 429. 
author of the times, and after him Bede,) and the authors of it confuted, so 
that all men's minds were settled in the purity of the faith, the holy bishops 
repaired to the sepulchre of S. Alban the Martyr, with an intention to give 
thanks to God by his intercession. There S. German having with him 
relics of the apostles and divers martyrs (whereof, as the authors relate, lie 
used to carry a boxful hanging round his neck,) after prayer made, he 
caused S. Alban's sepulchre to be opened, because lie would there lay up 
those precious gifts ; for he thought it convenient that the same repository 
should contain the members of many saints out of divers regions, whom 
heaven had received for the equality of their merits. Having then witli 
great honour deposed and united together so many relics, he digged up 
from the place where S. Alban had shed liis blood a mass of earth, which 
he intended to take along with him, in which were yet marks of the blood 
of the martyr : these things being thus performed, an innumerable multi- 
tude was that day converted to our Lord. Thus Constantius ; by which we 
see what was, in those times, the faith of the British Christians, and of the 
holiest and learnedest bishops of the Gauls, concerning the veneration of 
relics and prayers to the saints. Soon after this happened the miraculous 
victory obtained by these holy bishops' prayers in favour of the Britons 
over the Picts and Saxons or Scots, which we have already set down ; after 
which, and many other miracles wrought by these bishops, they left the 
Britons in peace and security, and returned to the Gauls, A.D. 430. And 
to finish here at once what concerns S. German's zeal for preserving the 
Catholic faith among the Britons, this holy bishop, accompanied with 
Severus, Bishop of Treves, was obliged to make a second voyage to that 
island, about the year 447, to repress the same enemies of the grace of God, 
who had begun again to spread the poison of their heresy in Britain. But 
these holy prelates, by their instructions and miracles, did so confirm the 
Britons in the Catholic faith that the authors of the heresy were expelled 
the island. 

XXXIX. As to S. Palladius, the deacon above mentioned, who excited 
S. Celestine, Pope, to concur with the Gallican bishops in the first legation 
of S. German to Britain against the Pelagians, this is he who was ordained 
bishop by the same Pope, and sent by him, A. D. 431, to preach the Gospel 

<' Constantius, Vita S. German!. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 18. 


A. 1) 431. to the Scots. As to his country, the opinion of Fordun and others of his 
being an Oriental, or the same with Palladius, disciple of Evagrius, or 
Bishop of Hclenopolis, is exploded long since by all the learned. But his 
singular zeal for the Britons, as also the choice that S. Celestine made 
afterwards of him, preferably to others, to send him to preach the Gospel 
to the Scots, seems to render more probable Possevins' conjecture that he 
was a Briton, or of those parts. This is confirmed by what Archbishop 
UssherO* relates that he found in a MS. of a work of William of Malmes- 
bury, a note in an ancient hand, bearing that this Palladius was a Briton. 
And we see, by the example of S. Ninian, that some of the British youth, 
touched with a desire of advancing in piety and in the knowledge of the 
heavenly truths, used in those ages to repair to Rome, and there, according 
to their merit and progress, were advanced to Orders, and last to the degree 
of bishop, and sent back to propagate Christianity in their country or the 
neighbourhood. We shall see shortly another example in S. Patrick. 

Now as to S. Palladius's< b > mission, Prosper, a contemporary writer, 
speaking of the great zeal of S. Celestine, Pope, in particular for the 
Churches of Britain, gives us the first account of Palladius's ordination and 
mission to the Scots by that Pope in the following words. That this holy 
Pope Celestine, whilst he endeavoured (by the deputation above mentioned 
of S. German) to preserve the Roman part of Britain in the Catholic faith, 
did, by ordaining a bishop to the Scots, render a barbarous island Christian. 
Thus Prosper writing, A. D. 432, soon after the mission of S. Palladius, 
full of the hopes of the success of it, but before he could have any distinct 
account of it. But in his Chronicle, written several years after, and when 
by the preaching of S. Patrick, the second bishop sent from Rome to the 
Scots, the number of Christians was increased among them, he gives a 
more distinct account of the time of the ordination and mission of S. Pal- 
ladius, the first bishop sent to the Scots, in these words. A. D. 431, 
Palladius was ordained by Pope Celestine, and sent the first bishop to the 
Scots believing in Christ.C c ) 

"' Palladium Britannicum genere. Usslier, Ant. Brit. p. 418. 

(bl Nee segniore cura ab hoe eodem morbo (Pelagianismi) Britannias liberavit 
(Cselestinus Papa,) quando quosdam inimicos gratiae solum suoe originis occupantes, etiam 
ab illo secreto exclusit oceani, et ordinato Scotis episcopo, dum Romanam insulam studet 
servare Catholicam, fecit etiam barbarara Christianam. Prosper contra Collatorem. 

lc) Ad Scotos in Christum credentes ordinatur a Papa Cselestino Palladius et primus 
episcopus mittitur. Chron. Prosperi, ad A. D. 431. 


The two passages of Prosper containing the surest and first account we A. D. 431. 
have of a bishop sent from Rome to the Scots, whether in Ireland or 
Britain, have been the subject of great debates, not only as to what con- 
cerns the beginning or first preaching of Christianity to the Scots, but 
more especially in regard of the form of ecclesiastical government among 
them, wherefore these passages of Prosper are not to be passed transiently 
over, but require to be considered and examined more narrowly in order to 
fix the true meaning of them, which writers of different parties and nations 
have endeavoured to wrest in favour of the various opinions they were 
prepossessed with. 

The first debate is about the meaning of the words "ad Scotos, &c.," in 
Prosper's Chronicle. Who were these Scots to whom Palladius was sent 
by Pope Celestine ] Whether to those in Britain, or to those in Ireland : 
both Irish and Scots pretend, and with great warmth each of them, that 
he was sent to them. To clear this matter, I conceive it is of importance 
to observe, first, that Prosper's words ad Scotos, &c., are in themselves 
undetermined, and so their obvious and natural meaning is, that Palladius 
was sent to the people or nation of the Scots in general, whether in Ireland 
or in Britain. Secondly, on the one hand it must, indeed, be owned that 
Prosper's words in the first passage (contra Collatorem) "fecit etiam bar- 
baram (insulam) Christianam," he made a barbarous, or extra-provincial 
island, Christian, and this in opposition to Britain, which he calls a Roman 
Island, it must be owned, I say, that this passage insinuates that, according to 
Prosper, both Pope Celestine and Palladius had chiefly the Scots in Ireland 
in view, they being in those days as yet the greatest number, and a nation 
in one island by themselves, without the bounds of the empire, and there- 
fore termed barbarous, whereas in these times the Scots in Britain, though 
already settled in the isles and western coasts of the island, yet it appears 
not that they made as yet, and for several years after this, a distinct nation 
and kingdom in Britain by themselves. Thirdly, on the other hand, we are 
informed by the British writer Nennius,W who lived in the ninth age, and it 
is owned even by all the Irish writers in the most ancient accounts they give 
us of S. Palladius, that being well received by the Irish (because, say they, 
the conversion of Ireland was reserved to S Patrick), S. Palladius left Ireland 

(a) Et profectus est iste Palladius de Ilibcrnia, pervenitque ad Britanniam, et ibi 
defunctus est in terra Pictornm. Nennius, e. liv. edit. Gale. Vit. 2da S. Patrieii. p. 13. 
n. 24. Vit. 7ma S. Patrieii, p. 128. edit. Colgan, in Triade Tliaumaturga. 


A. I). 431. in a short time, and returned back to Britain and there remained till his 
death, in the northern parts of the island where the Picts dwelt, and where, 
also, long before this, the Scots had a habitation in the north-western parts 
of Britain, now can it be thought that S. Palladius would have overlooked 
these Scots, since his mission was intended for the Scots nation wherever 
they dwelt, and those in Ireland refusing to hear him, can we doubt but he 
would preach the Gospel to those in Britain, when he came among them or 
among the Picts in their neighbourhood. 

The second debate on the sense of Prosper' s passages is on the words 
' ; primus episcopus," in his Chronicle. Fordun, as we shall see, joining his 
own gloss upon these words to his notion of a much more early Chris- 
tianity of the Scots in Britain, hath built upon them chiefly his new scheme 
of hierarchy, or church government among the Scots in ancient times : of 
whicli anon. 

But not to insist upon the word " primus," its being wanting, as Ussher (a) 
observes, in ancient MS. copies of Prosper's Chronicle, and retaining the 
common meaning of these words, as Bede and other ancients have it, 
nothing will be more plain than the meaning of the words by which Pal- 
ladius is designed the first bishop sent from Rome to the Scots, if it be 
observed that Prosper wrote his Chronicle about A. D. 445, some fourteen 
years after the mission of Palladius (A.D. 431), the first bishop sent to the 
Scots, and several years after the mission of S. Patrick, the second bishop 
sent to them. For, as it is nowise likely that S. Prosper, living at Rome, 
could be ignorant of the mission of S. Patrick to the Scots, nor of the great 
conversions made by him in Ireland, by the year 445 : so it was very 
natural that he, writing his Chronicle at the time he knew there had been 
sent a second bishop to the Scots, should call S. Palladius the first bishop 
sent to them, with reference to S. Patrick, the second bishop sent also to 
them, as I doubt not but S. Prosper would have designed him, if he had had 
occasion to mention him, as both Marianus< b) Scotus and Florence of 
Worcester do, and supply what is wanting in Prosper's Chronicle. Thus, 
" ad Scotos in Christum credentes ordinatus a Papa Cselestino Palladius 
primus episcopus missus est." Thus far Prosper : to which Marianus and 
Florence subjoin, " post ipsum Patricius, &c." ; thus the meaning of the 
word " primus," in Prosper, is clear : Palladius was ordained by Celestine, 

"" Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 417. 

lb) Marian. Scot, in Chron. Florent. Wigorn. Chron. 


Pope, and sent the first bishop to the Scots, and after him S. Patrick was A. D. 431. 
sent to them. So the true and natural meaning of the word " primus " 
in Prosper is, that of the two bishops sent to the Scots from Rome, S. 
Palladius was the first. 

The word " credentes," in Frosper's Chronicle ("ad Scotos in Christum 
credentes ordinatur a Cselestino Papa Palladius et primus episcopus mit- 
titur"), makes the subject of a third debate. What is the meaning of these 
words, " ad Scotos credentes," &c. ? Were those Scots to whom Palladius 
was destinated already Christians, or believers, before he was sent to them ''. 
Pordun, and the following Scots writers, interpret these words of Prosper' s 
Chronicle in that sense, and suppose that long before the coming of Pal- 
ladius the Scots in Britain were already all Christians ; but this interpre- 
tation seems to put Prosper in contradiction with himself, for in the first 
passage of Prosper, taken from his book contra Collatorem. he calls the 
island or nation, to which Palladius was sent, a barbarous island or nation, 
by which in this place Prosper must necessarily mean, that the generality, 
at least, of the inhabitants were as yet infidels, since he says, that of bar- 
barous, that they were before, Cclestine by the mission of S. Palladius, 
made them, or intended to make them, Christians. ' : Fecit etiam (insulam) 
barbaram Christianam." Since, then, Celestine made the nation to which 
he sent Palladius a Christian nation, according to Prosper, it would seem 
to follow that he was persuaded that when Palladius was sent, they were 
as yet infidels, or not Christians, at least as to the bulk of the nation. So 
I conceive the seeming contradiction betwixt the two passages of Prosper 
might be naturally thus reconciled ; when Palladius was sent to the Scots, 
A. D. 431, there were, no doubt, as we shall just now see, Christians 
already, or believers in Christ, among them, both in Britain and Ireland, 
and that suffices to verify the passage of Prosper's Chronicle, that Palladius 
was sent to the Scots believing in Christ. For it was natural that the 
Pope should address the Bishop Palladius to those among the Scots who 
were already believers or Christians, but that doth not hinder that the 
nation of the Scots in general, and the bulk of the inhabitants, might have 
been still infidels, and that Palladius was sent to convert them, and make 
them, that is the nation, Christians, which verifies the other passage of 
Prosper in his book against Cassian's Conferences, where, speaking of Pope 
Celestine's intentions in sending Palladius to the Scots, he relates it with so 
great hopes of success that he reckoned the work was done. By ordaining 


A. I). 431. > bishop for the Scots, says Prosper, ho made a barbarous island or nation 
Christian, and thus the passages of Prosper may be easily reconciled. 

As to the account of Pallaclius' mission, given by Nennius,< a J a British 
writer of the ninth age, where he plainly says that the Bishop Palladius 
was sent by Pope Cclcstine to convert the Scots : in the first place, Nennius 
lived about four hundred years after Palladius and Prosper's time ; secondly, 
Xennius is a writer of very small authority, and very credulous ; thirdly, it is 
visible by his text that he means here the Scots in Ireland, and not those 
in Britain, since he tells that Palladius soon left the Scots in Ireland and 
came over to Brifiin, where lie died in Pictland. But though we should 
understand the words of Xennius, " ad Scotos in Christum convertenclos," of 
the Scots in general, or nation of the Scots wherever they dwelt, that doth 
not hinder there being before his coming some number of Christians among 
the Scots, both in Britain and Ireland. And there is great reason to 
believe that Pope Cclestinc was informed, either by Palladius himself, who 
was so zealous for the British Islands, or by S. German, or by some that 
accompanied him into Britain, on their return from thence, that there was 
a beginning of Christianity among the Scots, and a door open towards the 
conversion of all the nation, and that upon this information the Pope, fol- 
lowing the constant practice and zeal of his predecessors, who, in all ages, 
since the Apostles' time, never failed to improve all opportunities towards 
propagating the Gospel, and extending the limits of the kingdom of Christ, 
by sending bishops to nations where they heard there was some number of 
Christians, and favourable dispositions in the rest, upon these informations, 
I say, and these motives, S. Celestine ordained Palladius bishop, and sent 
him to form a Christian Church and propagate the Gospel among the Scots. 

Xow it was natural, that in order to this, the Pope should address the 
new bishop more immediately to those among the Scots who had already 
embraced the faith of Christ ("ad Scotos in Christum credentes") that he 
might take information from, and measures with them, on the proper means 
for converting the rest of the nation, as well as that he might begin by 
settling order and discipline among them by constituting a Christian 
Church, which, properly speaking, and according to the sense of antiquity, 
they could not be truly called till they had a bishop at their head : he alone 
having by his character, according to Christ's institution, the power to 

" ) Nennius, c. liv. Missus est Palladius episcopns primitus a Ctelestino Papa Ro- 
mano ad Scotos in Christum convertendos. 


govern in chief, to preserve true faith, and to propagate it by ordaining A. D. 431. 
other pastors, and by giving them mission to deliver down to posterity the 
faith once delivered to the saints, and spread it in their neighbourhood, to 
maintain unity under a common head, within themselves, and communion 
with other Churches in their neighbourhood, and so with all the rest of the 
Christian world abroad. 

Now that, by the year 431, when Palladius was sent to the Scots, or 
before his mission, there was a beginning of Christianity, or some that 
believed in Christ among them, is very likely, even in regard of the Scots 
settled in former ages, on the western coasts and in the isles of Britain, by 
reason of their living upon one side, in the neighbourhood of the Britons, 
from whom they were only separated by the frith of Clyde, and who were 
generally Christians, and on the other side, contiguous to the Picts, who 
had begun to receive the Gospel by the preaching of S. Ninian. And as 
to the Scots in Ireland, that there were among them Christians before the 
mission of S. Palladius, I refer the reader to the British Antiquities of 
Archbishop UssherW where he will find, in about thirty pages in folio, 
accounts of Christians in Ireland before Palladius was sent thither. And, 
however dubious most of the legends quoted by Ussher upon this occasion 
may happen to be, independently of that, it is nowise credible that Ireland, 
lying in the neighbourhood of Britain, all Christian, could have remained 
two or three ages, since the Britons were Christians, without some Chris- 
tians, or believers in Christ, among them ; and that suffices to verify Pros- 
per's expression, "ad Scotos in Christum credentes," as we have shown. 

XL. After having thus endeavoured to fix the true meaning of Prosper's 
two passages, to reconcile them together, and with those of other ancient 
writers that mention S. Palladius, his mission to the Scots, it remains to 
give account of the use our historian Fordun hath made of the passage of 
Prosper's Chronicle, " ad Scotos in Christum credentes," &c., and of the 
inferences which he, according to his usual method, hath drawn from this 
passage, upon which, with the help of his new scheme of the high antiqui- 
ties of the Scots in Britain, and of his opinion of their Conversion to -Chris- 
tianity, A. D. 203, Fordun built the following story of S. Palladius, and of 
the church government among the Scots before Palladius's mission. 

He begins by relating Prosper's words from Bede and Sigebert, and 

<> Ussher, Ant. Brit. pp. 386-416. 


A. D. 431. supposes Palladius to be the disciple of Evagrius, mentioned by the histo- 
rian Socrates, and then, quoting the Polychronicon for his voucher, goeth on 
thus : " A.D. 430, Pope Celestine' a) sent to Scotland the first bishop Palla- 
dius, concerning whom the Scots arc persuaded that he taught by word and 
example, with great care, the orthodox faith to the nation of the Scots, 
who had been long before believers in Christ, that he taught them also to 
celebrate carefully the feasts and ecclesiastical solemnities. Before whose 
coming the Scots had for their doctors of faith and administrators of sacra- 
ments, priests only, or monks, following the rites of the primitive Church. 
Palladius came to Scotland with a great company of clergy, the eleventh 
year of King Eugenius's reign, and that king gave him, in a free gift, a 
dwelling-place where he himself had chosen it.'' 

The only voucher that Fordun quotes for this story is the Polychronicon ; 
now supposing these words were truly to be met with in the Polychronicon, 
it would add little or no authority to the credit of so ancient a fact, since 
Ralph Iligden, author of the Polychronicon, lived but in the same fourteenth 
age with Fordun, and both of them above nine hundred years after the 
mission of Palladius. But as to the Polychronicon, the truth is, that besides 
that there are no such words in Mr. Gale's edition, the only one I know of 
it in print, the true Polychronicon (whereof I have seen an excellent MS. 
in the Colbert ;b) library, belonging to the Count de Segnelay, in a hand near 
the time,) gives this account of S. Patrick and S. Palladius's mission, lib. iv. 
c. 32, where, after mentioning Pope Celestine, he adds, " Iste (Caelestinus; 
est qui misit S. Patricium primum ad Hibcrniam convertendam et Palla- 
dium Romanum Diaconum ad Scotos convertendos, anno Pontificatus sui 
nono." These words, far from assuring that the Scots were converted long 
before Palladius, "longe ante credentem," as Fordun alleges, quite over- 
turn that story, and attribute the Conversion of the Scots to Christianity as 
much to Palladius, as they do that of the Irish to S. Patrick, so Fordun's 
citation of the Polychronicon here is a bare flourish at best ; and it doth 

'' Polychronicon, A.D. 430. Papa Calestinus primum cpiscopum in Scotiam misit 
S. Palladium, de quo Scotis convenit, quod suam, id est, Scotorum gentem, longe ante in 
Christum credentem, (idem orthodoxam verbo sollicite perdocuit et exemplo, festa simul et 
memorias ecclesiasticas diligenter celebrare. Ante cujus adventum habebant Scot! fidei 
doctores ac sacramentorum ministratores, presbyteros solummodo et monachos, ritum 
equentes ecclesia; primitivae. Advenit vero Scotiam magna cleri comitiva, Regis Eugenii 
regnationis anno undecimo; cui rex mansionis locum, ubi petierat, gratis dedit. Fordun, 
edit. Hearne, lib. iii. c. 8. 

" Biblioth. Colbcrtin. MS. num. 3U7. 


not appear that he had any better ground for the story above rehearsed, A. D. 431. 
than his own interpretation of Prosper's words, with the opinion he was 
prepossessed with of the Scots' high antiquities, and of their early Conver- 
sion as we have observed. 

However, Fordun being looked upon, as we have shown elsewhere, by 
all our succeeding writers as the standard of the Scots history, this passage 
concerning Christianity before Palladius's coming, with Fordun's notion of 
the church government in those times, was copied verbatim by his continu- 
ators, by the compiler of Palladius' Lessons in the Scottish Breviary,( a ) and 
with some alteration in the words rather than in the sense by our following 
Catholic writers, Major, Boece, Lesley, &c. But how many citations so- 
ever are brought for this story from our writers, Catholic or Protestant, 
they all depend upon Fordun's sole authority, and must necessarily fall or 
stand with it. But to be sure, neither Fordun himself, nor any of his con- 
tinuators, nor the author of the Legends in the Scots Breviary, nor any 
other Catholic writer ever dreamt of a Scottish Presbyterian Church in 
those early times, that is, of a succession of priests or ministers of the 
Word and Sacraments, without episcopal ordination, or a parity of bishops 
and priests in their character and authority ; they all knew that this heresy 
had been condemned anciently in Aerius, and lately in the Waldenses, 
Wickliffe, and other sectaries ; and that such an imagination of a succession 
of Christian pastors, without episcopal ordination, would have been, in the 
judgment of all antiquity, looked upon almost as no less absurd in religious 
matters, than it would be in natural tilings to suppose a race of men grow- 
ing up like mushrooms, or propagated in the world without fathers. 

The expression of Fordun, " ante cujus (Palladii) adventum,'' &c., was 
meant by himself, and understood by all those other Catholic writers, in a 
very orthodox sense, nowise opposite to the known doctrine and practice 
of the Christian Church in all ages. All those writers being prepossessed, as 
well as Fordun, with the common opinions received in their times, that the 
Scots were settled in Britain before the Incarnation, that they had embraced 
Christianity from the beginning of the third age ; and then observing 
Palladius, called by Prosper the first bishop, sent to the Scots above two 
hundred years after their pretended Conversion, they all concluded, after 
Fordun, very naturally, from these premises, that during all that time, that 

( *> Breviar. Aberdonen. in festo S. Palladii. 6to Julii. 


A. D. 431. is, from the year 203, when this Conversion of the Scots to Christianity is 
placed by Fordun, till 431 (that Palladius, the first bishop, was sent to 
them), the Scots had no ordinary bishop residing among them, and yet 
were all Christians (so they understood the words, " ad Scotos in Christum 
credentes, 1 ' in Prosper,) when Palladius came to them, and by consequence, 
it not being possible to preserve Christianity among a people without pas- 
tors to instruct them arid administrate the sacraments to them, and these 
functions, next to bishops, belonging properly to priests, these writers con- 
cluded naturally with Fordun, that the Scottish Christians must of necessity 
have had priests among them for performing of those functions, during 
these first two hundred years after they embraced the Christian religion. 

But neither Fordun himself, nor any of our Catholic writers that copied 
him, ever dreamt that those priests or doctors of the Scots had no episcopal 
ordination, or that they were ordained by laymen, or by bare presbyters ; 
they knew very well it was no hard matter for their priests to receive 
ordination and mission from bishops in the neighbourhood, or in foreign 
countries, as it hath been the charitable practice in all ages of foreign and 
neighbouring bishops and Churches, to send in priests for instructing the 
people and administrating the sacraments to those Christians or Catholics 
who happened to have no proper bishops among them. For the purpose, 
everybody knows that the Catholics in Scotland remained more than one 
hundred years after the new Reformation without bishops residing among 
them, and during all that time they continued, as much as the severity of 
the new laws brought in with the Reformers would permit, in the profession 
of the Catholic Faith and use of sacraments, having no other doctors of faith 
or administrators of sacraments but clergy, priests and regulars of several 
orders, till at last they received the first bishop, several years after the 
Reformation, consecrated and sent to them from abroad. Now, I suppose, 
this fact may one day come to be chronicled, and could it be better ex- 
pressed than in the words of Prosper's Chronicle, mutatis mutandis, thus, 

A. D NN. ad Scotos Catholicos ordinatur a Papa N. et primus episcopus 

mittitur. A. D NN. was consecrated by Pope N. and sent the first 

bishop to the Scots Catholics, to wit, after the destruction of the old re- 
ligion with the hierarchy. 

I suppose, also, the case of those Catholics, as to pastors, wanting 
bishops, from the subversion of the episcopal order at the Reformation till 
the coming in of this new bishop, may also come one day to be chronicled, 


could it be .better expressed than in Fordun's words, ante cujus (NN. epis- A. D. 431. 
copi) adventum, habebant Scoti (Catholic!) fidei doctores ac sacramentorum 
ministratores presbyteros solumraodo vel monachos. Before the coming 
in of the new bishop, the Scots Catholics had for doctors of faith and 
ministers of the sacraments, only clergy, priests and regulars, from the 
expulsion or death of their old Catholic Ordinaries. 

Both these accounts, in the words of Prosper and Fordun, would be 
literally true and applicable, as well, at least, to the Catholics in Scotland 
since the new Reformation, as to the first Christians amon^ the Scots before 
Palladius, and would it be a tolerable inference to conclude from thence, as 
the Presbyterian writers do from Fordun's account of the state of the Scots 
in the first ages after they are supposed to have received Christianity, that 
during more than one hundred years after the new Reformation, the 
Catholics in Scotland had, for their pastors and ministers of the Word and 
Sacraments, none else but men bearing the title and using the power of 
priests who had not received episcopal ordination, nor- any at all but from 
mere laymen, or at most, from simple presbyters ? As if their priests could 
not easily have received ordination (as they did effectually) from the bishops 
of foreign Catholic countries ; or that some of these might have had the charity 
and zeal to make a visit among them, and ordain lawful pastors for them. 

I add, what I hope none that know the doctrine and discipline of anti- 
quity will contest, that at least from the beginning of the third age, when 
Christianity is supposed by Fordun to have been first planted among the 
Scots in Britain, till the coming in of Palladius, A. D. 4-'31, the distinction 
of bishops and priests, and the necessity of episcopal ordination for consti- 
tuting priests or ministers of the Word and of the Sacraments, were no less 
the universal belief and practice of the Christian Church in all other parts 
of it than in the sixteenth and seventeenth ages : I say, I hope this will 
not be contested, because even the most learned among the adversaries of 
episcopacy (such as Sahnasius, ;a) Blondel, (b) Bochard, &c.,) do commonly 
acknowledge that the distinction of bishops and priests and episcopal 
government were generally received by the middle, or before the end of the 
second age. 

That being : now suppose we should let pass that groundless notion of 
Presbyterian writers, that the hierarchy of the Christian Church, consisting 

(>) Salmas. sub mentito nomine Walon. Messal. p. 17. 
(bl Blondel, Apolog. S. Hieroo. 


A. D. 431. "f the distinct degrees of bishops, priests, and inferior ministers, had no 
divine institution, but was a bare ecclesiastical polity, introduced at first by 
those who succeeded immediately to the apostles in the second age, but 
being found necessary towards entertaining peace and unity in the Christian 
Church, that it had been universally received and settled before the begin- 
ning of the third age, in all Christian countries, civilized, or not barbarous, 
where there were Churches formed, as the only form of church government. 
This supposed, and that episcopal government was the only known govern- 
ment of the Church throughout all the Roman empire, that is, through all 
the polished part of the world, and that undeniably by the end of the second 
age, that is, before the Scots in Britain, according to Fordun and his fol- 
lowers, received the light of the Gospel, I would willingly ask of the 
Scottish Presbyterian writers whether their insisting so much on a Presby- 
terian government in Scotland from the first entry of Christianity among 
the Scots, A. D. 203, according to Fordun, till A. D. 431, that is, during 
the third, fourth, and beginning of the fifth age, whilst all the other 
Churches of the Christian world, orient and Occident, and all those Churches 
among others that were immediately founded by, and received the doctrine 
and discipline of Christianity from some one of the apostles themselves, 
not only owned episcopal government as the only settled form in the 
Church by Christ its Founder, but in consequence of that, condemned those 
who dared to take upon them the authority of the Christian priesthood 
without episcopal ordination as usurpers,'"' and all that they did of that 
kind as sacrilegious and null, and upon their repentance reduced them to 
the state of bare laymen. I would willingly ask, I say, of our Scots Pres- 
byterian writers in this supposition, whether their insisting so much on an 
an ti- episcopal Church in Scotland, in those times, doth great honour to the 
first Scots Christians of these ages, to single them thus out as the only 
Church that differed from all the rest of the Christian and even tfce aposto- 
lical Churches in ecclesiastical discipline and government, as being alone 
destitute of an ecclesiastical polity, order, and discipline, settled in all 
formed Churches over the Christian world : is this, I say, very honourable 
to these first Christians of Scotland ? or is it a likely story, or will it find 
credit in the learned world, especially having no other voucher but an 
author of the fourteenth age ? 

f<0 Infra, XLIII, the ease of Collnthus and Is^hyras. 


But enough of this, for I do not pretend here to enter upon the contro- A. I). 431. 
versy about Episcopacy in general. I refer the readers to the learned 
tracts written upon that subject by the Catholic divines, and by those of 
the Protestant Church of England ; my intention here being only to examine 
Fordun's account of church government among the Scots, before the coming 
in of S. Palladius, and I hope that by what I have said on that, it appears 
clearly that neither Fordun himself understood the words of Prospcr's 
Chronicle, nor any of our Catholic writers understood Fordun's words, " ante 
cujus (Palladii) adventum," &c., in the Presbyterian sense, as if the Scots 
had, for above two hundred years before Palladius, had no other ministers 
of the Word and Sacraments but nominal presbyters who had received no 
ordination from bishops, nor indeed any ordination at all, but what they 
received from simple presbyters or mere laymen. It was reserved to the 
times of our new Reformation, made and carried on in Scotland partly by 
mere laymen, and partly by bare presbyters ; it was, I say, reserved to those 
men to give this interpretation to Fordun's words, " ante cujus adventum," 
&c., and that too being forced to it by necessity, to screen themselves from 
the obvious accusation of usurping themselves, and admitting others to the 
pastoral functions without any episcopal ordination or mission, and without 
any precedent from antiquity for their so doing. To men in those circum- 
stances, Fordun's unwary and groundless expressions were more precious 
than all the Councils and Fathers of the first five ages, than the authority 
even of S. Hierome himself, whom of all the ancients, the anti-episcopal 
writers suppose the most favourable to their beloved parity, or an equal 
power in priests and bishops ; for S. Hierome, in his epistle to Evagrius, 
(besides many other passages of his other works, which manifestly show 
that he believed with all the rest of the ancient Fathers, the subordination 
of priests to bishops,) expressly excepts the power of ordination as an 
episcopal function, incommunicable to priests, li Quid 18 ' facit, excepta ordin- 
atione, episcopus, quod non facit presbyter." 

And now it will, I am afraid, appear that I have already insisted too 
long on Fordun's account of the pretended primitive church government in 
Scotland, but if the reader will attentively consider the abuse that hath 
been made, since the new Reformation, of Fordun's words, towards over- 
turning the whole ancient form of government of the Christian Church, and 

(t) Ilieronym. epist. 85, ad Evagrium. 


A. D. 431. the dismal consequences that the new schemes of levelling doctrines, built 
on such passages as this of Fordun, have had in Scotland within these two 
last centuries, as to the ecclesiastical and even as to the civil constitution, 
especially in the last age, if this be considered, I say, I hope the reader, far 
from thinking this digression on Fordun's passages superfluous, will be 
satisfied, that being obliged by the sequel of my narration to mention those 
passages, I ought not to have passed them slightly over in a work des- 
tinated chiefly to clear up the ancient state of the Christian religion in 

A learned bishop :a) of the Church of England hath remarked that in 
that laborious collection of Blondcl, under the title of An Apology for S. 
Tiierome, that writer, with all his vast reading, could not find one un- 
doubted example of a Church of the Presbyterian way in ancient times, but 
only that of the Scots, and yet the proof of this Presbyterian Church among 
the Scots before Palladium, depends chiefly on this passage of Fordun, "ante 
cujus (Palladii) adventum," &.c., for the great musters that are made of our 
Presbyterian writers, among others by David Buchanan,< b > in his preface to 
Knox s History of passages from the Scots historians and others, as so many 
ancient authorities, distinct from John Fordun's, in favour of the Presby- 
terian parity, are at the bottom all of them resolved in the sole authority 
of John Fordun, who wrote no sooner than about one thousand years after 
Palladius's time, without having one single author to vouch the gloss 
he puts upon Prosper's words, which joined with Fordun's own notions of 
the Scottish high antiquities, and of their early Conversion in Britain, is 
all the bottom he had to go upon for drawing the foresaid famous conclu- 
sion, " ante cujus, &c.," as we have shown ; and Fordun's new system of 
the remote antiquities of the Scots in Britain being sufficiently disproved 
already, his other fabric of a new and singular ecclesiastical government 
among the Scottish Christians in primitive times is overthrown, and falls 
to the ground all at once, for if in the beginning of the third age the 
Scots were not as yet fully settled in Britain, at least as a nation and 
government distinct by themselves, then there could be no Conversion of 
the Scots in Britain, A. D. 203, nor any Christian Church of the Scottish 
nation in that island during the third age, nor by consequence, any occasion 
for bishops, or in default of them, for priests or monks, to administrate 

(m> Lloyd's Church Government of Great Britain, preface, p. 5. 
(i>> Preface to Knox's History, edit. Lond. folio, p. 25. 


the Word and Sacraments to the Scottish Christians, whence it follows A. D. 431. 
that all the fabric of the primitive church government among the Scots, by 
priests and monks without bishops, is at once overturned, by what we have 
shown in the first part of this essay. 

XLI. But this, I am afraid, is too much on that subject. I return to 
what further account there is of S. Palladius' life. Fordun (a ' informs us, 
from the life of S. Kentigern, disciple to Servanus, that S. Palladius 
preached and exercised his episcopal functions several years, among the 
Picts and Scots in Britain ; that not finding himself able alone to discharge 
all the pastoral duties among these people, he made choice of Servanus, a 
person of great sanctity, whom he instructed in what belonged to the pas- 
toral charge, consecrated him bishop, and appointed him his coadjutor or 
suffragan for advancing the work of the Gospel, and for assisting him in the 
Conversion and instruction of the people. 

Both the Irish (bl and Scottish writers, after Nennius, agree that S. 
Palladius died at Fordun in the Mcarns, which the Picts possessed in those 
days, "in terra Pictorum ;'' his festival was celebrated all over Scotland the 
sixth of July, the day of his death, and he was recorded and honoured as the 
Apostle of the Scots, for thus his festival is inscribed in red letters in the 
ancientest Scottish calendars, "Prid.Non. Julii S. Palladii episcopietapostoli 
Scotorum," and this title of Apostle of the Scots, given to S. Palladius in the 
ancientest calendars of the Church of Scotland before Fordun's time, seems 
to imply that the churchmen and writers of Scotland, in more early times, 
were not persuaded that the body of the Scots nation was converted to 
Christianity before Palladius' time in the fifth century, and is a new proof 
that this Presbyterian scheme of the ancient church government of Scotland 
is fabulous. S. Palladius' memory is still kept up till this day at Fordun 
in the Mearns by a yearly fair, called by the vulgar, Padie-fair, curtailed 
for Palladie's fair, at Padie-kirk, where his relics were, in all bygone times, 
kept vvith great veneration; and where, A.D. 1494, (c) William Schcves, 
Archbishop of S. Andrews, caused place them more honourably in a silver 
shrine ; which, as the report goes, says Spottis\voode, (d) was taken up at the 
demolishing of churches, at the time of the new Reformation, by a gentle- 

la) Fordun, lib. iii. c. 9. 

(bl Nennius, c. xxiv. 

(e) Boelh. Hist. Sector, lib. vii. fol. 129, edit. Ferrer. 

< d) Hist. p. 7. 



A. D. 431. man of good rank, (Wishart of Pitarro,) who dwelt near the place. The 
people of the country, observing the decay which followed on that family 
not many years after, ascribed the same to the violation of S. Palladius' 
grave : thus Spottiswoode ; nor is this the only example of divine justice 
fallen upon families for the sacrileges committed in those times. 

This is all we know from the Scottish writers that now remain, of S. 
Palladius, of the exercise of his mission, and honour paid to his memory 
among the Scots. As to the Irish writers, it is true that they generally 
suppose after Nennius, that Palladius did not longO) survive his retiring 
from Ireland, and that he died soon after among the Picts in Britain, and 
that it was upon the news of his death that S. Patrick was consecrated 
bishop, and sent to the Scots in Ireland. But it is like, this tradition of the 
Irish had no other ground than that the Irish having no further account of 
S. Palladius after lie left Ireland, believed he was dead, or rather that his 
retreat from Ireland, with a resolution never to return back to it, was in re- 
gard of them the same thing as his death, and made the sending another 
bishop to Ireland equally as necessary, as if Palladius had been really dead ; 
and thus the tradition of the Irish concerning him, may be probably recon- 
ciled with that of the Scots in Britain, who are persuaded that S. Palladius 
outlived his retreat from Ireland, and exercised his pastoral functions 
several years among the Picts and Scots in the north of Britain, as we 
have said. 

However that be, it must be owned after all, that the cultivating and 
progress of the Christian religion in these early times among the Scots in 
Britain, as well as among the northern Picts, was chiefly owing to S. Pat- 
rick, his disciples, or to their successors, among whom the great S. Columba, 
as will afterwards appear, bears the principal rank. We may have also 
occasion, in the sequel of these essays, frequently to observe the communi- 
cation and intercourse, which lasted for several ages afterwards, betwixt the 
Scots in Ireland (as long as they bore that name), and the Scots in Britain 
(to whom the name of Scots was by degrees at last wholly appropriated), 
whence it came to pass in ancient times that both the Scots in Ireland and 
those in Britain, looked upon the Scottish Saints, without examining 
whether they were born in Ireland or in Britain, as belonging to the Scots 

<a) Post parvum intervallum defunctus est Palladius in campo Girgin, in loco qui 
dicitur Fordun. Dicnnt alii martyrio coronatum esse eum illic. Colgan, in Triade Thau- 
maturga, vit. 2 da S. Patricii, c. xxiv. p. 13. 


in common, and in consequence, both those of Britain and those of Ireland A. D. 431. 
promiscuously adopted them for their patrons, celebrating their memories, 
and looking upon the sanctity of their lives, and their zeal to propagate 
Christianity, and their other memorable actions, as being equally honour- 
able to both nations, without having ever had, as far as appears, any con- 
testation about them. It had been happy for them both, and advantageous 
to both nations, and for their mutual interests, spiritual and temporal, that 
this harmony and close union had been preserved without interruption be- 
twixt them, as it appears it was without any considerable breach, as long 
as the Irish continued a free and independent nation, governed by their 
own native kings and laws. But from the time that the Irish by degrees 
became entirely subject to the English, and especially after the usage that 
Edward Bruce, who had gone over to rescue them, met with, A.D. 1318, 
this mutual harmony betwixt the Scots and the Irish was interrupted, and at 
last the Irish being forced by the persecutions of the new Reformers to come 
over in great numbers to foreign Catholic countries, and there as a ready 
means to find protection, subsistence, and establishment, having begun 
under the name of Scots, (which had for many ages been in desuetude 
among them,) to claim to themselves alone all the merit of the Scottish 
Saints who were honoured in foreign countries, for the Conversions wrought 
by them in former ages, or for the sanctity of their lives, without leaving 
any share of the merit to the Scots in Britain, who were persuaded, with the 
consent of the generality of strangers of those times, that they had a right 
and title to these ancient eminent Scots, as good and better than the Irish, 
from thence began those hot debates and long paper war, which hath em- 
ployed the best pens of both nations within these two last centuries, to no 
other purpose than to expose them both to strangers by their altercations 
and animosities, which I would be much more inclined to contribute all I 
could to heal and make up than to exasperate, that being certainly more to 
the edification of the public, and more acceptable than all those debates to all 
equitable men of both nations, and to our common patron S. Patrick, for 
which reason I am resolved to enter as little as I can into these altercations 
and to content myself to call by the name of Scots those I find so called in my 
vouchers, leaving to those that have more leisure, the task of discussing to 
which of the two islands they belong,and this particularly during the four 
following ages that the name of Scots continued to be given to the natives 
of both countries. I now return to the history of S. Patrick. 


A. 1). 432. XLII. Upon S. Palladius leaving Ireland with a resolution never to 
return, S. Patrick, who had been particularly chosen by Almighty God for 
the Conversion of that island, being then in the course of his travels and 
studies at Auxcrre in France, with the holy bishop S. German, so zealous 
for the British Churches, was by him'"' sent anew to Rome, and there or- 
dained bishop, and received mission from the Pope. The precise year in 
which this happened is not certain. Marianus places S. Patrick's ordina- 
tion and mission A.D. 432. and ascribes it to Pope Celestine, whose death 
he puts off till 433. But it being certain that Pope Celestine died in April 
432, and was soon after succeeded by Pope Sixtus III. who lived till A.D. 
440, it is most probable that it was from Pope Sixtus that S. Patrick re- 
ceived both his ordination and mission for Ireland. Nothing is more 
edifying and apostolical than the account the Saint himself gives in his 
Confession or Apology of the dispositions with which he entered and 
carried on the work of the Gospel in that island. He abandoned b > his family, 
renounced his nobility to serve a stranger nation ; he devoted himself to 
God, to go and carry the knowledge of his name to the utmost bounds of 
the earth, resolved to endure all for the accomplishment of the work he had 
been called to, to bear with equanimity adversity or prosperity, and equally 
to render thanks to God for all that should befall to him. 

These were the dispositions in which he entered Ireland to preach the 
Gospel to a nation which had not' 01 as yet received the knowledge of the 
true God, and was wholly given up to idolatry. He consecrated himself 
entirely to the service of a people to whom he was unknown, except in 
quality of a slave and captive, resolved to suffer all sort of bad treatments, 
persecutions, and prisons, and even to lay down his life for the Gospel with 
joy, if God should judge him worthy of that honour. He informs us that, 
he was once taken up with the dl companions of his labours, by order of 
some of their kings, and all that they had, seized upon, and himself put in 
irons, they intending to put him to death, but that his time not being yet 
come, Almighty God preserving him to continue on the work to which He 
h:id called him, after a fortnight's imprisonment they were released. 

He tells us, also, no doubt for the information of those that should suc- 

<a) Act. Sanctor. Bolland. ad 17 Martii. 

(b) Confessio S. Patricii, a Warceo edita, et corrcctius a Sociis Bollandin. 

(c) Confess, num. 18. 
W) Ibid. n. 22. 


ceed in his labours, that he took special' 1 ' care in the exercise of his func- A. D. 432. 
tion to avoid even the least appearance of avarice, that he would accept of 
no presents from the many thousands that he baptized, nor from the church- 
men whom he ordained, but that on the contrary he distributer! all he had 
among them. 

In these dispositions he travelled and preached throughout all tlio four 
provinces of Ireland, beginning by that of Leinster. where having made 
several Conversions, he chose out from among the churchmen whom he had 
brought along with him, proper persons, and settled them pastors over these 
new Christians. From thence he passed on to Ulster, where, by his 
preaching and miracles, he converted many more ; he was called before 
Leogairc the chief King of Ireland at Tara, confounded his Druids or magi- 
cians, and founded the monastery of Sabhul-Patric at Down ; from Ulster he 
went to Connaught, and afterwards to Munster ; in a word he carried the 
light of the Gospel into all the corners of Ireland. 

The fruits of his preaching and sufferings were the Conversions of vast 
multitudes of people, whom he consecrated to God by baptism, and ordained 
pastors everywhere to baptize, instruct, and govern them ; he founded 
monasteries for educating and forming religious men and churchmen for 
the service of the people; he consecrated virgins to Christ, and of these 
some were of the best quality in Ireland, " filii" >; Scotorum et filife Regu- 

Among other virgins consecrated to God by S. Patrick or liis disciples. 
S. Brigid, so famous among the Irish and Scots, was one. Her birth is 
placed by Bollandus's c) continuators A.D. 436, and her consecration A.D. 
450, she being only fourteen years of age. S. Patrick/ 1 " himself, takes 
particular notice of the ardour with which these, even of this weaker sex. 
devoted themselves to Christ, by embracing the state of perpetual virginity, 
notwithstanding the opposition and bad usage they often met with from 
their parents or relations. But this, far from discouraging them, served 
ofttimes to augment their number. 

He had no less zeal for the sanctification of the new Christians of the 
other sex, who resolved to leave the world, and give themselves wholly to 

<' Confess n. 21. 

< Ibid. n. 18. 

< c > Act. Sunct. Holland. 

(d) Confess, n. 18. 


A. D. 43-.'. God ; he head, as we observed, in his travels abroad made long abode in the 
most renowned monasteries of foreign countries, such as S. Martin's of 
Tours, those of Auxerre, and of Lerins, and others. There he had learned 
monastic discipline, and was the first that introduced it into our northern 
parts, and many of his converts embraced that way of living, for whom he 
founded proper mansions, as we shall see, which became the nurseries as 
well of bishops and pastors, as of religious men devoted to a solitary life. 

-But S. Patrick's care for consecrating bishops for carrying on and main- 
taining the work of the Gospel, is particularly remarked by all the writers 
of his life. Nenuius, (a > the British writer, in the beginning of the ninth 
age, confirms the same, and says that during the long course of his mission 
in Ireland, he ordained above three hundred bishops, for as many Churches 
that ho had founded, and above three thousand priests to serve under them. 

This great number of bishops said to have been ordained by S. Patrick, 
during the course of his mission in Ireland, and some other unusual prac- 
tices that we may meet with in relation to episcopacy and church govern- 
ment in the earliest times of the Christianity, as well of Ireland as of the 
northern parts of Britain, without the bounds of the Roman empire, will 
no doubt appear very surprising to those that consider the discipline of the 
Church, as to bishop's seats, such as they were regulated by the Canons 
within the Empire. 

XLIII. In order, therefore, to obviate the difficulties that may arise 
from some unusual practices in Ireland, and especially in the northern extra- 
provincial parts of Britain, to avoid being obliged to repeat frequently 
the same remarks, and to prevent objections against episcopal government 
in genera^ arising from the prejudices of some of our modern writers, I 
must take the freedom to make some stop here, and for once go to the 
bottom of this subject ; and in the first place, after endeavouring to give a 
true notion of Episcopacy in general, distinguish what is essential and im- 
mutable in that sacred Order, according to the institution of Christ, from 
what is changeable or alterable, according to the circumstances or manners 
of a people or nation where Episcopacy is established. In the second place, 
lay open the wide difference there was in primitive times in the settlement 
of bishops betwixt the state, manners, and circumstances of the ancient 
inhabitants within the several provinces of the Roman empire, and those of 

'*' Nenniu?, c. lix. 


the nations or other inhabitants that had never been subject to it, such as A. D. 43-2. 

those of Ireland and of the northern parts of Britain beyond Antonine's 


I join here to the inhabitants of Ireland those of the northern parts of 
Britain, to wit, the Picts and Scots, (upon whose account, chiefly, I make 
this digression, in order to set what concerns Episcopacy in the best light I 
can, and to obviate the objections drawn from the singular circumstances 
and situation of bishops in ancient times among the Scots and Picts,) I 
join, I say, these three people under one consideration, first, because in 
ancient times, before they received Christianity, the circumstances and 
manners of these three people were much the same, being all three destitute 
of the form of polity settled within the Roman empire. Secondly, because 
in the earliest times, after they received the Christian faith, there was 
an essential connexion and conformity betwixt them (at least as great as 
could be betwixt the inhabitants of two different islands, and under different 
governments,) both in the doctrine and in the discipline of Christianity, as 
being all derived from the same source, that is, from the preaching and 
practice of S. Patrick, of his disciples, and of those that had been instructed 
and formed by them, as it will fully appear in the continuation of this essay. 

Now in the first place, as to the nature or character of Episcopacy, or of 
the episcopal Order. By Episcopacy in general is understood the fulness of 
sacerdotal power, which Christ having received from his Eternal Father, 
communicated to his Apostles, appointing them his vicegerents, upon his 
withdrawing his visible presence from the earth, to be by them transmitted 
to the bishops, their Successors, and handed down by them, and preserved 
in his Church to his second coming. 

And thus He established Episcopacy or the episcopal Order, the source 
of all the spiritual powers which He left towards governing, propagating, and 
preserving the Church, which is his spiritual kingdom upon earth, whereof 
He appointed the Apostles and their Successors the bishops, the supreme 
magistrates, with a due subordination among them, and all the powers and 
authority necessary for preserving faith, order, and unity, and for perpetua- 
ting his kingdom, and maintaining it against all enemies by their ministry, 
animated by the invisible operation of his Spirit, according to his promise 
to be always with the Apostles and their Successors, even to the end of the 

Hence in the episcopal Order or Character, all inferior Orders, as well that 


A. 1). -IM-2. of priesthood as the rest, are contained as in their source, and all of them 
derive from it that portion of the sacerdotal power they are invested with, 
as so many streams flowing from Episcopacy, the fountain head. Thus, 
when a bishop ordains a priest or deacon, he confers upon him that power 
that the Order he receives requires, but he still retains, if I may so say, the 
sovereignty or fulness of it himself. 

Hence the priest, by virtue of the portion of sacerdotal power communi- 
cated to him, can give children to the Church by baptism, but cannot give 
Fathers to it by ordination ; he can give, by baptism, the spiritual life, but 
cannot, by his ordinary power, give the perfection of Christianity ; he can 
otter the Christian (Sacrifice, he can forgive sins by the sacrament of pen- 
ance, ho can govern and iced by the Word and Sacraments the portion of 
the flock committed to him, and so of the other powers communicated to him 
I iy the bishop ; but all of them to be exercised either by order of. or with 
relation to the bishop, and with dependance on him. These were the senti- 
ments of the primitive times, That of S. Ignatius, Martyr, disciple of the 
apostles, is clear upon the head. " 8ine (u) episcopo nemo quidquam faciat 
eorum qute ad ecclesiam spcctant....Non licitum est sine episcopo, neque 
baptizarc. neque agapen facere," &c. In fine, the dignity of the priest is 
sublime, but limited to himself; he cannot communicate it to others, nor 
convey it down beyond bis own life. Whereas the bishop possesses all the 
sacerdotal powers, not only in a much more noble and independent manner, 
imt can transmit them. He not only can give children to the Church, but 
lie can give Fathers to it, which priests cannot do. This is the principal 
difference betwixt the Orders of bishops and priests assigned by S. Epi- 
phanius in his book of Heresies, where he argues against the heretic Aerius, 
who, among other heresies, was the first that broached in the fourth century, 
this of the equality of priests to bishops. 

'1 he Order of bishops," says this holy Father,< b) " begets Fathers to the 
Church, that of priests cannot beget Fathers, it engenders only children (by 
the laver of regeneration) but not Fathers or Masters." In a word, the bishop 
contains in his Character, not only all that is necessary towards governing 
and preserving a Church already formed, but he alone can form new 

" S. Ignat. epist. ad Smyrn. 

... H yap fan Trarepvi' yfvvrjTtKij TUNIS' rniTf'pasyap yevva rjj f'/t/cXrjo-i'a. r; 8c Trarc'pas 
Swanevij yfvvav, ...TIKVU yevva Ty (KK\rjolq, oil /jiyx irarfpas, rj 8i8a<TK<!Xouf. Epiph. 


Churches, create pastors to them, and endue them with all powers and A. 1). 
authority requisite to form other new Churches, and so continue down the 
sacred ministry to the end of the world. Thus the Church subsists and is 
perpetuated by the episcopal Order; and without it, it cannot continue beyond 
one generation. S. Hierome also, some of whose xpressions are chiefly made 
use of by Presbyterian writers to endeavour to prove the equality of priests 
and bishops, doth expressly except the power of ordination. " Quid facit, (a! 
excepta ordinatione, cpiscopus, quod non facit presbyter ? " These passages 
of S. Epiphanius and of S. Hieromc, though they at first sight appear very 
simple in the expression, yet if they be duly considered and weighed, they 
say all, and contain a clear and full distinction betwixt the dignity of the 
episcopal Order and that of a simple presbyter, and a manifest proof of the 
superiority of the first Order over the second. For by the power of ordina- 
tion, or of giving fathers and masters to the Church, as S. Epiphanius ex- 
presses it, is meant that power by which a bishop by virtue of his Character 
can empower, commission, or create all the spiritual magistrates or officers 
in the Church or kingdom of Christ, from the highest to the lowest, and 
convey to them, when destinated to be bishops, the fulness of the sacerdo- 
tal power, or create them first ministers or chief governors in this spiritual 
kingdom of Christ, or if only priests or inferior ministers, convey to them 
that portion of the sacerdotal power that is annexed to the Character of the 
Order which they are to receive. 

Now, as in temporal and earthly kingdoms or sovereign states, there are 
none but the king alone, or supreme magistrates who hold their power of 
God alone, that can by virtue of that power, or ot their Character, create 
first ministers or officers of state, generals of armies, governors of provinces 
or of cities, and perform such other acts of sovereignty ; so in the spiritual 
kingdom of Christ, the Church, the reserving to bishops, exclusively of 
priests of the second Order, the power of ordination, by which the first 
ministers and supreme magistrates (as well as all other officers of the 
Church,) are commissioned, created, and receive all their power and auth- 
ority, is an evident proof of the supreme authority of bishops, derived im- 
mediately from Christ, and depending only upon Him, and of the superiority 
of the episcopal Character to that of priests of the second Order. 

I add that the exclusion of the second Order of priests from the power 

(1) Hieronym. epist. ad Evagr. 


A. D. 432. of ordination contained in those passages of S. Epiphanius and S. Hierome. 
and indeed in the uniform practice of all antiquity, and the reservation of 
that power to bishops alone, contains another essential prerogative of bishops 
above priests, since from this it follows that the episcopal Order is absolutely 
necessary for the continuing on and propagating 1 the Church. Because, ac- 
cording to the authorities of these two holy Fathers, (which express the sense 
of the Church of all ages,) without the episcopal Order there can neither be 
bishops, priests, nor other ministers, and, by consequence, no authority, no 
power of the keys, no Christian Sacrifice, no pastors to feed the flock of 
Christ by the Word and Sacraments, in a word no Church at all. 

Whereas a Christian Church might possibly subsist for some time by 
the Order of bishops and deacons, or inferior ministers without the second 
Order of priests, as in the opinion of some learned men/") well versed in 
the discipline of the Church, it did subsist in some places in the apostolical 
times, where we have no clear proof that the Apostles always ordained any 
number to the limited Character of priests of the second Order, but conferred 
often all at once, the plenitude of episcopal powers upon those who were 
sent to convert the nations, and to form Churches of their new converts. 

The circumstances of the Church in those first times, seem to have 
often required this disposition, for all the first apostolical labourers, as well 
as the Apostles themselves, were destinated to go out into the world to 
preach the Gospel, according to Christ's commission, to all men, "onini 
creatures,' 1 to form Churches of those whom they converted, and to settle 
pastors over them, not only to feed the flock already brought into the 
Church, but to propagate the Gospel in the neighbourhood, and in propor- 
tion as the number of the faithful daily augmented, to form new Churches, 
and give them pastors, with power equal to their own, for the more speedy 
propagation of the Gospel. 

But, however that be, from what we have said, it follows that of all the 
powers contained in the plenitude of the Episcopal dignity, the power of 
giving Fathers to the Church, or of consecrating or ordaining bishops, 
priests, and deacons or ministers, is the most characteristic or distinguish- 
ing prerogative ; all the rest, even that of governing, visiting, correcting, of 
giving Confirmation, of veiling virgins, dedicating churches, &c., though 
they be proper functions of a bishop, yet they may be all of them delegated 

(al Thomassin, de ant. Eccles. Disciplina, lib. i. c 1. 


to priests upon urgent occasions, but the power of ordaining bishops or A. D. 432. 
priests can never be delegated to any not endued with the episcopal 
Character ; nor is there any example of its having been allowed of in all the 
history of the Christian Church, but, on the contrary, we find that, when- 
ever any under the episcopal Character presumed to usurp the power of 
ordination, the Orders they had pretended to confer were declared null, and 
the usurpers, with those they had attempted to ordain, were universally 
condemned in the earliest times Witness the decision of the famous case 
of Ischyras and Colluthus, whereof here follows a brief account, taken from 
authentic Acts, preserved to us by S. Athanasius. 

Colluthus, a simple presbyter, having usurped the episcopal office, and 
in that quality conferred the Order of priesthood (amoQr others) upon one 
Ischyras, a layman of Mareotis ; for this reason, in a numerous Council of 
bishops holdeiij A.U. 319, at Alexandria, in which the famous Osius pre- 
sided, it was enacted that this Colluthus, being only a priest, and not a true 
bishop, but an imaginary one, (or"" fancying himself to be a bishop,) should 
thenceforth take no other quality upon himself but that of a simple presbyter, 
as he truly was no more, and in consequence, that, all his ordinations were 
null, and those he had ordained reduced to their former condition, and 
among others, Ischyras declared no presbyter, though he had valued himself 
upon that quality, by virtue of a pretended ordination from Colluthus. 
Thus in substance the public Acts set down by S. Athanasius in his Apology. 

It is, I conceive, of the last importance for all our countrymen of the 
Presbyterian way to consider seriously with themselves whether or not this 
judgment passed by the great Osius, in so early times, and in so numerous 
a Council, recorded by S. Athanasius, doth not at least equally level at all 
the pretended ordinations of ministers of the Word and Sacraments, derived 
from the Knoxian ordinations, made by laymen, or, at most, by simple 
presbyters, at our Scottish Reformation, and from thence continued down 
upon the same footing, till our times. 

And in order to put this synodical judgment in a better light, it is of 
consequence to add here to it, the judgment that the historian Socrates, 
speaking the sense of the Church of his time, A.D. 439, makes of this 
Ischyras's taking upon him the quality and office of priest, without a true 

a> (I(r\vpas) UVK fan npftr^vripos' viro yqp K.o\\avOov TOV TtpfaSwrepov fyavraadtuTos 
fitiuKo-nr^v K. T. A. Libella Clericor. Mareotic. in Apologia S. Athanasii relat. torn. ii. 
Concil. General, edit. Cossart et Labbe, pp. 458-459. 


episcopal ordiuation, having received his ordination only from Colluthus, 
an imaginary bishop. 

" A< a > man of that country, (says Socrates, speaking of Mareotis,) called 
Ischyras, did a thing (i. e. committed a crime) which deserved to be 
punished by more than one death, for he had the boldness to take upon 
him the name, and to exercise the sacred functions of a priest, though he 
had never been initiated to the priesthood." Such authorities as these, 
containing the sense of so early times upon the necessity of episcopal or- 
dination, need not great discussion, but only to be seriously laid to heart by 
all whom it concerns. 

By all we have said, I hope it sufficiently appears that the power of 
ordination is the most essential prerogative of the episcopal Character, and 
the most inseparable from it. 

For which reason, all that I shall have occasion to say of the necessity 
of bishops, in the northern parts of Britain in ancient times, and of the im- 
possibility of a Christian Church its subsisting without the ministry of 
bishops, is chiefly to be understood of the power of ordination. All other 
episcopal powers and functions have their exceptions; the power of ordina- 
tion hath none, but is essentially annexed to the episcopal Character, and 
incommunicable to any other. 

So that without the bishop's ministry, as I have already often observed, 
according to the constant uniform practice of the Christian Church, there 
can be neither bishops, or priests, or any proper ministers of the Word 
and Sacraments, no spiritual government that binds to obedience, no power 
of the keys, &c.. in a word no Church. Thus episcopal authority is essen- 
tial to it 

XLIV. 13 ut whether the bishop have a fixed district, or govern at Urge, 
whether he have a proper seat, or travel about from place to place, whether 
he have the inspection and government of one whole people, nation, or 
kingdom, or only of a portion of it, whether in the exercise of his functions 
he subject himself, out of humility, to any other, whom he judges superior 
in sanctity and prudence to himself, (though of an inferior Character) and 
takes directions from him, or exerts upon all occasions the superiority of 
his power, which depends upon God alone, whether he have fixed revenues, 

*' EC Se T<f Mapeoira TOVTW lir^upas Tis QVTW Ka\ovp.evos, Trpaypa viriSv TroXXif davmtav 
atov' ovSe TianroTf yap iepo<rvvr)S Tv^iav ra TOV npfafivripov uvofia favria rupiBlfllvot, ta 
if/H<as irpdrTfiv eYoApja-c. Sotrat. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 27. edit. Vales, p 64. 


or subsist upon the labour of his own hands, or upon the charity of the A. D. 4:i-2. 
faithful, all these things may vary according to times, places, and other 
circumstances, but the episcopal Character is still the same. The history 
of the Church furnishes us with examples of bishops in all these circum- 
stances ; but without the power of ordination, there can bu none, nor was it 
ever allowed to exercise it without the episcopal Character. 

Thus we find in the monuments of the Church many bishops at large. 
The Apostles and apostolical men were generally such. We find, also, 
regionary bishops, who had no fixed districts or dioceses ; such were those 
who, in the seventh, eighth, or ninth ages, converted the nations of the 
northern continent; S. Aniand, S. Suibert, Willebrod, Willehad, &c., and 
in Germany, Boniface and Kilian ; and all those (for the same reason as the 
first twelve Apostles and apostolical men,) looking upon themselves as called, 
not barely to govern a particular flock, but to propagate the Gospel, to erect 
new Churches, and settle pro [XT bishops in them. And sometimes they 
themselves at last fixed their residence or seat in some one of the cities or 
towns they had converted. Among the regionary bishops may be also 
reckoned several bishops of Little Britany, such as Damson, Leonor, Maclo 
or Malo, who all of them at first exercised their episcopal functions through 
the country at large, though they afterwards choosed fixed residences, which 
by degrees came to be held for bishops' scats, and to have a determined 
precinct or diocese. 

But what is chiefly to the present purpose, we find also, in the same 
ecclesiastical monuments, bishops of whole nations, countries, or kingdoms. 
Such were Moyses, bishop of the Saracens ; Eritannion, bishop of the Scy- 
thians ; i'rumentius, bishop of the ^Ethiopians, or Abyssinians; Ulphilas, 
bishop of the Goths, and others ; but all of them without the bounds of 
the Roman empire. 

All these usages, how different soever they appeur from those of later 
times in Catholic or Christian countries, or even from those of ancient 
times, within the bounds of the Roman empire, all these usages, 1 say, 
make no real difference in the episcopal Character, much less do other 
differences of lesser moment betwixt bishops of ancient times and those in 
more modern, such as that those ancient bishops had neither stately churches, 
nor fixed revenue, nor numerous attendants or trains, but were often reduced 
to great straits, sometimes forced to earn their bread with the labour of 
their hands, according to the model. For example, Spiridion 


A. 1). 43'J "f Trimithunte, keeping his own slieep, was as true, and as great a bishop, 
and as much respected, as any that sat in the great Council of Nice. 

I insist upon this, because we meet with examples of these different 
usages in ancient times among bishops in Ireland, and more yet in the 
northern parts of Britain, and this chiefly, because they lived without the 
bounds of the empire, in countries where the Roman government had 
never penetrated, nor their discipline and polity ever been in use. 

For the chief occasion of the variety we meet with in the exterior dis- 
cipline of episcopacy, was the circumstances and manners of the inhabitants 
where it was established. For hence the difference we find in ancient times 
of the situation of bishops within and without the Roman empire. 

This whole empire was, in the time of Constantino the Great, (who first 
gave full liberty to tfce Christian religion), divided into four great districts, 
or prefectures, and each of these governed by chief magistrates, called pre- 
fects. Each province contained so many towns or cities, whereof the capital 
was called metropolitan, and had a magistrate with jurisdiction over all the 
province and rest of the cities. Each city had its proper magistrates. The 
cities were generally built of stone, and had each within its precinct, public 
edifices for their civil and religious assemblies. Of all which there are stilt 
stately remains, or ruins, to be seen in many provinces, or countries which 
had been subject to the empire, whilst it stood. 

This disposition or polity served, in the order of Divine Providence, for 
the speedy progress of the Gospel throughout the bounds of the empire, and 
became a general plan for settling episcopal seats in due subordination, by 
degrees, as the light of the Gospel spread itself through the provinces. It 
was natural to settle a bishop as the chief spiritual magistrate in each city, 
and among the bishops of the province, the bishop of the chief city or 
metropolis, was of course entitled to have jurisdiction over the rest, by the 
name of metropolitan, or archbishop; and the city of Rome, being the chief 
of all others, and the centre of the empire, it was by a special order of 
Divine (a) Providence, that S. Peter, appointed by our Lord himself the 
rirst and chief of the Apostles, was directed by the Spirit of God to place in 
that city his fixed seat, which was to be in all after ages the chief seat, and 
centre of unity in the Church of Christ, and head of the episcopal college, 

"" Beatissimus Petrus Princeps apostolici ordinis, ad areera Roman! destinatur 
imperil; ut lux veritatis qua: in omnium gentium revelabatur salutem, efficacius se abipso 
capite pertotum mundi corpus cffunderet. S., Sermon. 80. 


with a far greater (a) extent of spiritual jurisdiction, than it ever had of civil A. D. 4:32. 
authority at the greatest height of its power and dominion. 

As to the countries without the bounds of the empire, such as Ireland 
and the northern parts of Britain, we have no account of any such civil 
polity. The government was indeed monarchical in Ireland, and among the 
Picts and Scots in Britain. Ireland was also divided into four provinces, 
as we are told, to wit, Leinster. Ulster, Munster, and Connaught ; in each 
of which was a little king, as they relate, and under him several chiefs, or 
heads of clans, who took also sometimes the title of kings. But all this. 
depending more upon force and violence than upon any laws or regulation 
of polity, was not lasting or uniform. 

Hut we have no cert-iin account of any considerable town, cither in 
Ireland, before the invasion of the Danes in the eighth or ninth age, nor 
in the northern parts of Britain, without the bounds of the empire, that is, 
beyond the northern wall. Nor have there been found, by the most dili- 
gent enquirers, any considerable ruins or remains (except of Roman works) 
in the north of Britain. No conspicuous ruins, for example, are to be 
seen (b) at Tara, the chief seat of the kings of Ireland ; nor at Abernethy in 
the north of Britain, though it was once the chief city' c) of the Picts, and the 
ordinary dwelling-place of their kings. The chief reason of this is, that 
whereas within the empire the houses were generally built of stone, in 
Ireland, and in our northern parts, in the times we speak of, and long after- 
wards, they were made only of wood, interwoven with the branches of trees. 

The Danes, upon their invasions into Ireland, in the eighth and ninth 
age, made the first stone buildings. But the natives as yet, in the twelfth 
age, looked even upon churches of stone as an unusual novelty, and scarce 
could bear the sight d) of them. 

Stone buildings were certainly long before that in use, at least for 
churches, among the Picts in the north of Britain, since we find that, A.D. 
715, Naitan, (e) king of the Picts. in his message to Ceolfrid, abbot of Were- 

(a) (Roma) per sacram Beati Petri sedem eaput orbis effocta, latius prasideres reli^ione 
Divina quam dominatione terrena. S. Leo, Sermon. 80. 

Sedes Roma Pclri, quae pastoralis honoris 

Facia caput rnumlo, quidquid non possidet armis, 

Religione tenet. 
tw Ware, Ant. Hibern. p. 111. 

(c) Nunc fuit ille locus (Abernetliy) Principals Regalis et Pontificals per aliqua 
tempora totius Regni Pictorum. Lib. Paslet. in Biblioth. Reg. Lond. MS. lib. iv. c. 12. 
(J) Ware, ubi supra. 
< e) Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 21. 


A. I). 432. mouth, among other commissions, prayed the abbot to send him architects 
to build a church in his kingdom after the Roman manner, promising to 
cause dedicate it to the honour of S. Peter, and accordingly Ceolfrid complied 
with his desires, and sent him architects. But it seems the use of stone 
building was not received among the Scots, even for their churches, as far 
down as about A.D. 052. When Finan"" succeeded to Aidan, bishop of 
the northern Saxons, he built a church in the Isle of Lindisfarne becoming 
the episcopal see, that is, a cathedral church, the which, nevertheless, al'ier 
the manner of the Scots, he made not of stone, but of hewed oak, and 
covered it with reeds, &c. : from this it appears that hitherto the Scots had 
not commonly churches of stone, much less tlieir ordinary houses, which, 
both in Ireland and the north of Britain, were built of wood, and being 
soon made up, were sooner overturned or consumed with fire, so as no con- 
spicuous ruins of them were to be seen. 

XIjV. This being premised concerning episcopacy in general, and the 
disposition and circumstances of the inhabitants of Ireland, and of those of 
the northern parts of Bri'ain, without the bounds of the empire, I return to 
the- account I had begun of the progress of the Gospel, and of the settle- 
ment of the ecclesiastical discipline and government among these people. 

When the first preachers of the Gospel appeared in these countries, the 
people flocked to hear them, partly by a secret impression of Divine Provi- 
dence, partly by curiosity, being touched by tlieir instructions, by their 
miracles, and by the singularity and sanctity of their lives : great numbers 
were more easily converted that their kings or rulers generally made no 
violent opposition, and though their Druids, who were really magicians and 
the ministers of their heathen worship, both in Britain and Ireland, foreseeing 
the ruin of their superstitions, and decay of their interests, and of the re- 
spect paid to them by the people, excited sometimes their kings or princes 
to persecute the preachers of the Gospel, who were, by their instigation, 
exposed thus to be maltreated, and even imprisoned, (as we have observed 
that S. Patrick was' b ) ) yet we have no account of any martyrs, or of any 
put to death for the profession of Christianity, either in Ireland, or in the 
northern parts of Britain in these first times, nor of any general persecution 
of the Christian pastors or people ; and the number of those that embraced 

<> fied Hist. Eceles. lib. iii. c. 25. 
" Supra, XLII. 


Christianity augmented so suddenly, by the Conversion of their kings and A. D. 432. 
leaders, that they were in a short time out of danger of being oppressed by 
those that remained obstinate in idolatry. As the number of those that 
embraced the Gospel daily augmented, it was necessary to provide thorn 
speedily with pastors to instruct and govern those new converts ; for this 
reason, S. Patrick and their other first preachers were obliged to abridge the 
usual long trials and interstices, practised in Churches already formed, ac- 
cording to the discipline of the Canons, in regard of those that were to be 
advanced to the different degrees of the Christian priesthood. This order 
and discipline required that there should be proper places and masters set 
apart for the education of those dcstinated to the functions of the sacred 
ministry. Nothing of this could be supposed (o have been hitherto in 
Ireland, but in order to it, S. Patrick being perfectly well acquainted, in his 
travels abroad, with the numerous congregations of Religious men living 
under a Superior and rules, which he had seen in foreign parts, and being 
himself inured to their way of living, by the abode he made at Tours, 
Auxcrrc, Lerins. and elsewhere, he endeavoured to inspire the s nnc spirit 
into his first disciples, as the most conformable to the rules of Christian per- 
fection, which recommends nothing more than solitude and forsaking the 
cares and affairs of the world, attended with set times of prayer and the study 
and meditation of the Holy Scriptures, supported by a laborious penitential 
life. To men in these dispositions and circumstances, the founding a monas- 
tery or seminary of piety and learning, such as the circumst'inecs of the 
times and of the country required, was a short task. Among the first converts 
made by S. Patrick, there were always some men of great estates, such as 
their lesser kings, and heads of tribes or clans, who had large territories. 
Some of these, in order to propagate religion, failed not to make over 
parcels of ground fit for building a monastery, and the buildings and houses 
being all made of wood, in a country abounding with forests, and the peni- 
tential life which his disciples had embraced, rendering all of them that 
were healthy as many workmen, under the direction of such of them as had 
been bred to that rude kind of architecture, a church and a monastery were 
soon erected. And in order to form these new converts, to piety and such 
a degree of learning as the times allowed, of the multitudes that embraced 
Christianity, S. Patrick, by the Spirit of God, selected those among them 
in whom he observed more piety, zeal, and more capacity. These he in- 
structed by himself more particularly in the doctrines of faith, and rules of 



A. D. 432. a Christian life ; but the natives being as yet ignorant of letters, the Saint 
was obliged to accompany his religious instructions with teaching them the 
first elements of literature, to render them capable to read the Holy Scrip- 
tures, and such other books as he had brought along with him, or caused to 
be sent from abroad for their further instruction. 

We have clsewhere (a) treated of the ignorance of letters which was 
common to the inhabitants of Ireland in ancient times, as well as to the 
other northern people without the bounds of the Roman empire, and before 
their Conversion to Christianity. To remedy this, which was a great hind- 
rance to the progress of the Gospel, the first apostles of these nations were 
obliged to become their first masters, as well in the elements of letters as in 
the doctrines of religion. This, we have observed, (b) was the practice of 
the holy bishop S. Ninian among the midland Britons and the southern 
Picts. The historian Socrates' ' remarks that the bishop Ulphilas was 
the first master of the Goths, both in religion and in letters. Accordingly, 
Xennius (d) and Tircchan, the two most ancient writers that remain of S. 
Patrick's life, inform us that he wrote alphabets for his disciples, and 
taught them to re:id. And no doubt he himself, or his first disciples, that 
he had brought along with him from Gaul and from Britain, taught those 
among his converts in whom he found more talents and disposition to 
understand the Latin tongue, as being in those times the more general 
language in use over all the Koman empire, to enable them by that means 
to understand the Holy Scriptures, the Canons, and other writings of the 
holy Fathers, thereby to improve themselves by their own private study in 
a farther knowledge of the doctrine and discipline of the Church ; and from 
among those the Saint chose the more advanced for Superiors or Directors 
of his new monasteries, and advanced some of them to the episcopal de- 
gree, in order to propagate religion in the adjacent places. 

In proportion as the Gospel was propagated through the different pro- 
vinces and cantons, new monasteries of this kind were founded, built, and 
planted with new colonies. And thus the monastic discipline was intro- 
duced and propagated in Ireland by S. Patrick, who, for that reason,' ' is 

'> Crit. Essay, pp. 440, 441, &c. 

" Supra, XXXIV. 

< rt Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 33. 

(di Ware, de Scriptor. Hibern. lib. ii. c. 1. p. 103. 

( " Mabillon, Annal. Qenedictin. torn. i. p. 207. 


justly owned the first that brought in that way of living to our northern 
parts. But it is to be observed that in his time, monasteries, especially 
those governed by bishops, were not barely retreats of religious persons or 
monks, in a strict sense, who having renounced to the world, consecrated 
themselves to a solitary life, but were the seminaries of churchmen and 
bishops, according to the intention of S. Patrick, who formed them upon 
the models he had copied in Gaul, especially on the great monastery 
founded by S. Martin at Tours, and on that of Lerins, founded by S. 
Honorat, out of both which most of the greatest and most famous bishops 
of the Gauls were taken, during the fifth and sixth ages. In like manner 
the monasteries founded by S. Patrick became the nurseries of bishops and 
of the clergy of all degrees. 

The edification which the pious behaviour and regularity of the inhabit- 
ants of these religious houses gave to all that heard of them, drew multi- 
tudes of people to frequent them, and profit by their examples and instruc- 
tions, and for greater conveniency, they began to erect for themselves 
dwellings in the neighbourhood; these small beginnings grew up after- 
wards, by degrees, into towns, and this was the first origin of the most 
part of episcopal seats and towns in Ireland, in the northern parts of 
Britain, and of scverals of those in Wales, as well as in Little Hritany. 
A bishop being consecrated, and settled in them, but at first without any 
limited district, which could not be fixed whilst the Conversion of the 
country was as yet carrying on, and each bishop endeavouring to spread the 
light of the Gospel in all adjacent places and regions around, in proportion 
as any new canton was brought into Christianity, a new monastery was 
settled with a church, a bishop, and a religious society to be formed to piety 
and learning under the eye of the bishop (as we have already observed) for 
the service of the people. For there not being as yet, nor long after this, 
any parish churches set up, each one with a proper priest or pastor, the 
Bishop or other Superior of these monasteries or seminaries, when they 
could not go themselves, sent out priests through the country to instruct, 
baptize, and administrate the other sacraments to the country people. 

This was the practice in more ancient times, not only in Ireland, and 
in the north of Britain, but even< a > in the more polished parts of the south 
of the island, where we are told that Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, 

<> Concil. Anglic. Spelman, torn. i. p. 152. 


A. IX 432. was the first that divided the country into parishes, after the middle of the 
seventh age ; and we do not find in the three ;a) first ages that parish churches 
with proper pastors, were anywhere as yet in the Church commonly set up, 
at least through the country, with a power of giving baptism, celebrating 
the holy Mysteries, and absolving penitents, all which functions are generally 
reserved to the bishop in those first ages, except in cases of necessity ; arid 
all the priests assisted the bishops in the solemn assemblies, where the 
Christian Sacrifice was offered up, and were always ready at his disposal, to 
be sent abroad where the spiritual needs of the faithful required. 

XL VI. By what we have said, appears, First, the reason of the great 
number of bishops said to have been consecrated by S. Patrick in Ireland, 
the circumstances of that infant Church requiring that in the course of his 
preaching the Gospel, and converting the inhabitants, for the speedy pro- 
gress of the Gospel, he should give the fulness of sacerdotal power to the 
best qualified pastors whom he settled in the several cantons ; besides that, 
during the course of about sixty years assigned by the writers of his life 
to his episcopal administration, many of the first bishops dying, he was 
obliged to consecrate others in their place. However, it is otherwise 
certain, that there was anciently in Ireland an unusual number of bishops, 
even long after S. Patrick's time. Wardseus, 11 ' in his dissertation on the 
life of S. Rumold, reckons up, from ancient monuments, about one hundred 
bishops in Ireland, (b) marking each of their seats. S. Bernard,'*' in the life 
of S. Malachy, informs us that the custom of multiplying bishops had pre- 
vailed to that degree in Ireland, that in S. Malachy's time, (that is, in the 
beginning of the twelfth century,) there was a bishop almost in every 
Church, the number being augmented as the Metropolitan thought fit. This 
was, no doubt, an abuse, as S. Bernard observes it was ; but though the 
bishopricks of Ireland were afterwards reduced by the Legato Paparo,< d) A.D. 
1152, to a more regular number, and have been diminished by other re- 
ductions or unions of bishopricks, yet the number still remains greater in 
Ireland than in Britain, in proportion to the extent of these islands. Second, 
from what we have said of the nature of the buildings in Ireland, their 

(a) Thomassin, Disciplin. Eceles. torn. i. lib. i. 
ll> [Hugh Ward, an Irish Franciscan of'Louvain.] 
i") Vita Rumoldi, pp. 158, 159, &c. 

"'' In Hibernia siugulae pene Ecclesia: singulos habent episcopos, multiplicatos ad 
arbitrium Metropolitan!. Bernard. Vita S. Malachise. 
''" Ware, Ant. Hibern. c. xvi. p. 83. 


being anciently made not of stone but of wood, both their churches and 
houses, it follows that the accounts we meet with of bishops, both of Ireland 
and of the northern parts of Britain, their residing in ancient times in 
places where at present there appear no marks or remains of towns, cities. 
or monasteries, are not merely to be looked upon for that reason as ground- 
less, for a number of wooden houses were soon consumed, so as no mark of 
them, after some ages, remained. 

XLVII. We have already observed, that in Ireland, no more than in 
other countries without the bounds of the Empire, it was neither expedient 
nor possible that the districts or dioceses of the bishops could be fixed but 
by degrees and in length of time. However, if we could depend upon the 
Canons and Councils, attributed to S. Patrick, it would seem that he had 
begun, even in his own time, to settle by degrees this canonical discipline, 
as far as the circumstances of the country afforded opportunity. But 
though I doubt not but that S. Patrick, having been himself instructed in 
his rules of canonical discipline by the best masters whom he frequented 
in his travels abroad, would endeavour to settle this, and other parts of the 
ecclesiastical discipline, particularly that of holding of Councils, so much 
recommended by the Canons, yet when I consider the circumstances of Ire- 
land in his time, and the style of some of these Canons, I am apt to think 
that the Councils and Canons that we have under S. Patrick's name (and 
which are certainly very ancient), are to be looked upon rather as an im- 
perfect scheme of the discipline and regulations that were in use in Ireland 
during the first ages of the Christianity of the Irish, than the proper work 
of S. Patrick, and that they were afterwards attributed to S. Patrick, not 
only in order to give them more weight and authority, but because they 
were the most ancient regulations of the Christian Churches settled by S. 
Patrick and his disciples in Ireland : in the same manner as wo see that 
the first collection of Canons is attributed to the Apostles, and bears theii- 
name, " Canones Apostolorum," not that the Apostles themselves were the 
immediate authors of them in the form and style that we have them, but 
(according to the judgment of the learned) because these Canons contain the 
sum of the ecclesiastical discipline in use and practice in the first three ages 
after the Apostles' times. 

Now, as to the remains we have of collections of Irish Canons, besides 
the M.S. copies, of which Father D'Achery'") hath published a large ex- 

'=" D. Lucae Dacherii M.B. Spicileg. vet. Scriptor. torn. i. p. 491. edit. Paris, 1723, folio 


tract, there are still extant the Canons of two Councils, attributed to S. 
Patrick, and said to have been holden about A.D. 450. The one of which, 
with S. Patrick's own name, is inscribed also with those of two other 
bishops, Auxilius and Isserninus. 

The Canons of both these Councils were first published, A.D. 1656, by 
Warecus - a) among the works of S. Patrick, and they were afterwards in- 
serted in the great Collection of Councils, by Father Labbe.( b > 

By the first of these Councils it appears : First, That< c) the clergy, even 
those in inferior Orders, were fixed to certain churches, and vagabond clerks 
forbidden : Second, That a virgin < d > consecrated to God was accounted an 
adulteress it' she married, and was debarred the Holy Communion, till she 
forsook the adulterer and did penance : Third, That when a new< e> church 
was erected, the Holy Sacrifice could not be offered in it, till first it was 
consecrated by the Bishop: Fourth, That no (f> church could be erected, 
nor any stranger bishop or priest administrate any Sacraments in it with- 
out leave of the Bishop of the place. By these last Canons it appears, 
that by the time these Canons were made the country was begun to be 
distributed into districts or dioceses. 

In the other Council it is statuted among other regulations : First, That 
excommunicated <> persons be debarred from the Communion, from Mass, 
and from the kiss of peace (a Communione et Missa et pace) : Second, That 
if any of the clergy fell into a grievousO 1 ) sin, he was to be deprived of the 
exercise of all functions, retaining only the name or title of his Order : 
Third, That the Holy Sacrifice^' was offered for the deceased : Fourth, 
That if any one' k > took upon him the clerical functions without being 
chosen to it by a bishop, that is, without episcopal ordination, he was to 
be condemned and degraded. 

There are many other Canons in these two Councils, but the copies 
whence they were taken, besides their barbarous style, were so depraved, 
that some of them can scarce be made sense of. It appears, by several 
other Canons that bear the name of S. Patrick, that there must have been 

l " Ware, Opusc. S. Patricii, p. 31-42. 
b) Labbe, Concil. General, torn. iii. p. 1477-1481. 
|c > Can. 2, 3. <> Can. 4. 

' d) Can. 17. <"> Can. 10. 

"" Can. 23. w Can. J'2. 

(f) Can. -24, 30, 33. <"> Can. 16. 


other Councils, said to be holden by him and his fellow-labourers during A. D. 432. 
the long course of his episcopal ministry. 

The reason why I take so much notice of this and other remains of the 
discipline settled by S. Patrick in Ireland, is particularly because the same 
doctrine and discipline first established by him in that island, were by hi> 
disciples and their successors introduced and settled in the northern parrs 
of Britain, among the Scots and Picts. And besides that King Fergus., son 
of Ere, the first king of the Scots, and the other Scots that came into 
Britain with him, towards the end of this fifth and beginning of the 
sixth century, both churchmen and military men, had been all converted or 
instructed in Ireland by S. Patrick and his disciples, the writers of his lift 
give us sufficient ground to believe that he himself preached in the north 
of Britain to the Scots. 

XLVIII. They give a clear account of his preaching to the inhabi- 
tants of the Isle of Man, called anciently Eubonia, and sometimes Mona. 
but entirely distinguished from Anglesey, called also sometimes Mona. 
S. Patrick having converted the Isle of Man, settled in it a bishop's ra seat, 
and consecrated Gcrmanus for their first bishop. To Germanus succeeded 
Conindrus, who had for his successor Romulus, and after him Machael, or 
Machaldus, was Bishop of Man. The same writers relate that S. Patrick 
preached the Gospel in the other isles also, and having converted the inhulv- 
tants, he placed bishops in each of them, and that his custom was to pbice 
bishops not only in towns, but in lesser places (non solum in urbibus seil in 
oppidis) to the end that the faithful might not be deprived of the benefit 
of Confirmation. These islands were chiefly those betwixt Scotland and 
Ireland. Now Orosius having informed us about the beginning of the 
fifth century that these islands were inhabited by Scots, who were begun 
long before these times to have dwellings in the north-western parts of the 
mainland of Britain, it cannot be reasonably doubted but S. Patrick's pas- 
toral care was extended to these Scots of Britain as well as to those of 
Ireland, he being, as S. Palladius had been, destinated to be the Apostle of 
the nation of the Scots in general wherever they dwelt, though his chief 
vocation was to those of Ireland, whose Conversion had been, by a particular 
order of Divine Providence, reserved to him. Nor can it be reasonably 

(a) Jocelin. Vit. Patric. c. xciii ; Probus, Vit. Patric. lib. ii. c. 11 : apud Colgan. 
Triad. Thaumaturg. 


A. 1). 4.1-2. doubted but S. Patrick, who looked upon settling everywhere bishops, as 
the chief means of propagating the Gospel, in proportion as the Conversion 
of the Scots in Britain advanced, failed not to send bishops to them, as 
being absolutely necessary towards preserving and perpetuating Christianity, 
since it could not subsist without the sacred ministry which, without a 
bishop, could not outlast one man's life. 

I have insisted the longer upon S. Patrick's apostolical labours in plant- 
ing the Gospel in Ireland, and upon the means he made use of for carrying 
it on, as a necessary introduction for clearing the way and putting in a 
better light the propagating the Gospel among the Scots in Britain, and 
planting it among the northern Picts in the following age. We must now 
return to the civil transactions that parsed betwixt the remains of the 
provincial Britons and those northern nations. 

XLIX. After the victory, whereof we have already C a ) given an account, 
which the Britons, in a miraculous manner, by the repetition of the word 
'Alleluia," and by the prayers of the bishops SS. German and Lupus, 
gained over the Picts and other nations of the north, these holy men being 
returned to Gaul, the Scots and Picts broke in again upon the Britons and 
ravaged their country. 

Bedc relates' 1 " from Gildas, that the Britons, under these pressures, 
applied once more to the Romans for aid, and sent to the Consul Aetius, 
the groans of the Britons, " gemitus Britonum," (as Gildas calls them,) 
that is. an account of their miserable circumstances, informing him that the 
Barbarians (so they call the Scots and Picts) drove them to the sea, and the 
sea drove them back to the Barbarians ; so we are, say they, exposed either 
to be drowned or slaughtered. 

But the Romans were at this time in no condition to assist them, having 
then the Huns, Goths, and other enemies to oppose. So the Britons, des- 
pairing of any hopes of human assistance, began to enter into them- 
selves,( c ) to reform their lives, and to apply to Almighty God, who had 
compassion on them, and inspired them with courage to return upon their 
enemies and encounter them. Upon which the Hiberni, that is, the people 
(called as yet promiscuously, by Gildas and Bede, by the names of Hiberni 
or Scoti,) returned home, that is, those of them that were already settled ia 

<> Supra, XXXVIII. 
" Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 13. 
c) Gildas, c. six. Bed. Hist. Eecles. lib. i. c. 14. 


Britain, passed home to their own dwellings in and about Argyle, and in 
the north-western coasts or isles of Britain. But those that were only 
adventurers, that had come over from Ireland, either as auxiliaries to the 
Scots of Britain, or only to prey upon, or carry off captives from the 
Britons, most of them returned home again to Ireland, others remained 
with their friends in the north of Britain, ready to march with them and 
the Picts upon a new expedition, as it hath been elsewhereW shown. 

L. As to the Picts ceasing also at the same time to pursue the Britons 
and their retiring back, Gildas and Bede express this retreat in the following 
words, " Picti in extrema parte insulro, turn primum ct deinceps requiev- 
erunt." The Picts then, for the first time, and from thenceforth, remained 
quiet in the extremity of the island. These words " the extremities of the 
island of Hritain," taken in general, are the subject of a contestation, because 
they are susceptible of two different interpretations. The one 12. that by 
" Britain," or the " island of Britain," may be meant the whole island, 
including all from the most southern parts to the extremities of the north, 
both the provincial and extra-provincial parts of Britain, and in that sense 
" the extremity of Britain " would denote the most northern part of all 
the island. The other interpretation is, that by " Britain," may be under- 
stood those parts only of the island that had been included in the Roman 
dominions, which in their greatest extent reached no farther north than 
Antonine's wall, betwixt the friths of Clyde and Forth ; in this sense by 
"the extremity of Britain" is meant the more northern parts of Roman 
Britain, terminated by the northern wall betwixt the friths ; in a word, 
that part of the island which made formerly the Roman province of 
Valentia. bounded by the southern and northern walls. Now, to pretend 
that the meaning of Gildas and of Bede here was, that the Picts in their 
retreat, about A.D. 447, settled "for the first time" in the northern 
parts or extremities of Britain, taking it in the first sense, that is, for all 
the island, as if they had not been settled in the northern parts of Britain 
before this time, were visibly to put Gildas and Bede in contradiction, not 
only with all the most certain accounts that we have of the Picts, but 
even with themselves, since nothing is more certain in history, as we 
have seen all along hitherto, than that the Caledonians or Picts were long 
before this, and time out of mind, in possession of the northern extremities 

la) Crit. Es?ay, pp. G58, 659. 


A. I). 447. of the island of Britain, and particularly that, according'"' to Bede, they were 
the most ancient or first known inhabitants of those parts of that island. 

This supposed, it follows in course that the second interpretation alone 
can take place here, and that by Britain, in this passage of Gildas and Bede, 
must be understood that part only of the island that was bordered by An- 
tonine's wall, betwixt Clyde and Forth, and not all the island. And this 
is conformable to other passages of these writers, as when they relate that 
the Picts and Scots, thoir invading the Britons after the building of the 
last wall, and the Romans returning home, A.D. 429, with a resolution to 
came no more to their assistance ; upon this, says Bedc,( b) after Gildas, the 
Scots and Picts possessed themselves, instead of the native inhabitants, of 
all the northern and farthest part of the island up to the wall, " omnem 
aquilonalem extremamquc insulie partem muro tenus capessunt," where it 
is visible that, at least, the Picts took possession of the British province 
called Valeiitia, which was the most northern and farthest part of Britain, 
according to an expression usual in Bede, and other ancient writers, who 
give the name of Britain to that part of the island which the Romans pos- 
sessed and surrounded with walls, and looked upon what lay beyond the 
friths of Clyde and Forth as another island. Thus Tacitus,' ' speaking of 
Agricola's progress to these friths, says, " inventus est in Britannia ter- 
minus :" and adds for a reason of his calling those friths the extremities of 
Britain, that by his fortifying the pass betwixt those two friths, the enemies 
were driven out into Caledonia, as into another island : " Submotis velut, 
in aliam insulam hostibus." And Bede, speaking of that part only of the 
island, which the Romans possessed, and surrounded with a wall, calls it, 
all Britain, l 'totam( d ) Britanniam," and the island of Britain, " Britanniam 
insulam. "() 

By all this I hope it is manifest, that, by the extremities of the island 
of Britain, where, according to Gildas and Bede, the Picts retired about 
A.D. 447, and for the first time fixed their habitation, or rather lay quiet 
in them, must necessarily be understood, the extremities of Roman Britain 
only, or the province of Valentia, whereof the Picts had been so often in 
possession before, and as often forced out by the Romans, till now that the 

() Crif. Essay, pp. 48, 49. 

cb) Gildas, c. xv. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 12. 

(c) Vit. Agric. c. Ixxxi. 

(" Hist. Eccles. lib. iii c. 2. 

") Ibid. lib. iii. c. 22. 


Romans having for ever abandoned the island, the Picts took a lasting A. D.4-17 
possession, at least of all the eastern parts of that province bordered by 
the Gulf of Forth. For I suppose some of the Britons remained still in 
possession of the western parts of Valentia, bordered by the Gulf of Clyde, 
and remained masters of the impregnable rock of Alcluid, and of the adja- 
cent countries, as well as of what was afterwards called Galloway, as it will 
afterwards appear. 

Gildas and Bede adjoin to the passage which we have endeavoured to 
explain, the following words, " pr.iedasW et contritiones de Briton um gente 
nonnunquam facientes ;" by which we are informed, that, though the Britons 
had abandoned to the Picts the eastern part of the province of Valentia, 
afterwards called Pictland, and left the Picts in quiet possession of these 
i'ertile territories, hoping by that means to keep them from invading the 
more southern parts of their country, upon the same motives that had en- 
gaged the Romans and the Britons, A.D. 42(1, to content themselves to 
build the last wall in Northumberland, and abandon to the Picts those 
same territories of Valentia, as hath been elscwhereC b ) observed : yet this 
new compliance of the Britons had its effect only for some time, and the 
Picts remained quiet and ceased from invading the Britons beyond the Nor- 
thumbrian wall only till a new opportunity presented itself, which at last 
proved the ruin of the Britons, of which we are now to give an account. 

LI. The Britons, after the retreat of the Scots and Picts, and by the 
surrender they had made to the Picts of the eastern territories of Valentia, 
enjoyed for some time( c ) peace and quiet, and upon that ensued a great 
plenty, which the Britons, forgetful of their past misfortune, abusing to 
luxury and giving themselves to all sorts of vices, they were punished with 
a dismal plague, which brought a great desolation on their country, whereof 
their old enemies, the Picts, joined with the Scots, resolved to take advan- 
tage, embraced this opportunity to invade them again and subdue them. 
The rumour of their preparations so terrified the Britons, that, not knowing 
to what hand to turn themselves for help, they, with their infatuated king, 
Vortigern, resolved to call over into Britain the Saxons, a foreign people, 
from Germany, to assist them to defend their country from the Picts and 
the Scots. 

lm ' Gildas, c. xix. 

"" Supra, XXXVI. 

(c> Gildas, c. xix. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 14. 


A. 1) 4-1!). The SaxonsW received tho invitation with great joy, and embarking 
their forces under the conduct of Hengist and Horsa, their leaders, landed 
in the island of Thanot. Tho coming in of the Saxons to Britain is 
reckoned to have happened A.D. 44f), or 450. Soon after their arrival 
they marched northwards by Vortigern's order, and, in conjunction with 
the Britons, fought with the enemies and defeated them. Huntingdon C b ) 
informs us this first encounter betwixt the Saxons, joined to the 
Britons, and the Picts and Scots, was at Stanford in Lincolnshire, in the 
heart of England, by which we see how much masters of the south of 
England these northern enemies were become. The Saxons failed not to 
acquaint their countrymen abroad of the success of their arms, of the fer- 
tility of the country of Britain, arid of the indolence of the Britons ; upon 
which a more considerable fleet was sent over with a greater power of 
Saxons, who, being added to the former numbers, made up an invincible 
army. These new comers received of the gift of the Britons a place to 
inhabit, upon condition that they should wage war against their enemies 
for the peace and security of the country, and the Britons should give the 
soldiers their pay. 

LTI. Bede( c ) gives here an account of the nations from whence these 
first Saxons came into Britain, and posterior English writer.s( d ) have treated 
the subject, more at length ; to these 1 remit for the particulars concerning 
these nations. Bode adds that swarms of Saxons hasting over into the island, 
this new come people began to increase to that degree that they became 
terrible to the natives themselves, who had called them, that at la<t, of 
auxiliaries becoming enemies, to fortify themselves the more, they entered 
into a league with the Picts, whom they had by this timeO) drove to a 
greater distance by force of arms, and began to turn their weapons against 
the Britons their confederates. At first, they obliged them to furnish 
greater plenty of provisions, and, seeking an occasion to fall out, they pro- 
tested that unless greater store of provisions were brought them they would 
break the confederacy and ravage all the island ; nor were they backward 
in putting their threats in execution. In short, the fire kindled by the 
hands of these infidels proved God's just revenge for the crimes of the 

o 1 lied. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 15. 

(M Huntingdon, lib. ii. [Mon. Hist. lirit. vol. i. ]>. 707.] 

> Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 15. 

"" Ussher, Ant. Brit. pp. 208, 209, &c. 

"' Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 15. 


people: not unlike that which, lighted by the Chaldeans, consumed the A. D. 4-10. 
walls and other buildings of Jerusalem. For the wicked conquerors in tlie 
same manner, or rather the just Judge so permitting it, plundered all the 
neighbouring cities and country, and carried on the conflagration from the 
eastern to the western sea; in short, they destroyed all, sacred and profane, 
slew or put to flight the ancient inhabitants, whereof some of the miserable 
remains being taken in the mountains, were butchered in heaps : others 
with fearful hearts fled to countries beyond sea. Others continuing in 
Britain, full of dread, led a poor- life on mountains, in woods, and on craggy 
rocks. Among other retreats to which the Britons Hed for refuge, one of 
the safest was to their countrymen, the remains of the Ma?ates, or midland 
Britons, the ancient inhabitants of the western territories betwixt the 
southern and northern walls, and who (since the coming in of the Picts, 
and their settlement, as we have seen, on the south side of the Forth,) had 
retired most part towards the west, to Clydesdale and (ialloway, and there 
had set up a little kingdom, whereof the chief seat was that impregnable 
rock, or fortress, called Alcluid, and which, from the long habitation of the 
Britons in these parts, is still known by the name of Dunbritton. 

It was in and about this place that the northern wall terminated towai ils 
the west, and where the chief guards of these frontiers of the empire were 
place 1, while the pi'ovincc of Valentia subsisted. Upon the lloman forces 
leaving Britain, the provincials who inhabited those parts had formed 
themselves into a little state or kingdom (as we haveW shown elsewhere.) 
in order to defend themselves against the Scots and Picts, and the accession 
of great numbers of the Britons of the south, who retired to those of 
Clydesdale, to secure themselves from the ravages of the Saxons, was a 
new recruit to their little state, and contributed not a little to the stand 
that these Britons made against the new enemies. 

For whatever account may be made of Bede's authority in the historical 
matters of Britain in general, it were very hard to take all at the letter 
that he and the other Saxon writers set down of the almost constant 
triumphs of the Saxons over those ancient inhabitants, without having some 
regard to what Nennius and the other British writers, even Geoffrey him- 
self, say of the stand the Britons made after the first surprise (occasioned 
by the Saxons turning treacherously on a sudden against them,) of the re- 

<> Crit. Essay, pp. 32, 33. 


A. I). 44)). sistancc made by the Britons for a, long time, and of the advantages which 
they sometimes had over the Saxons in other encounters, besides that of 
Badenhill, which all the Saxon writers own. But the truth is, it is no 
easy matter, or rather, impossible, at this distance of time, to find out the 
truth of all that passed betwixt the Britons and Saxons in these early times, 
nor doth this properly belong to my subject ; the reader may consult upon 
it the learned English writers. So I return to the history of the northern 
inhabitants of Britain. 

LIU. Among these inhabitants, it hath been fully shown in the first 
part " of this Kssay, that the Caledonians or Picts were the most ancient 
and first known possessors of all the northern parts of the island beyond 
the friths of Clyde and Forth ; we have also remarked < b > the occasion of 
the new name of Picts given to the Caledonians by the Roman writers 
in tin: third age of Christianity; we have given/ ' from the best Roman 
writers, a short chronological account of the warlike actions of the Cale- 
donians or Picts, the only inhabitants of Britain who maintained their 
liberty and independency against the Romans, and that without any foreign 
assistance till the coming in of the Scots ; we have seen that, not contented 
with their ancient bounds on the north side of the Friths, they had begun 
to make early settlements on the south side, and that, when overpowered 
by the Roman forces, they were obliged to abandon these new acquisitions, 
they missed no opportunity of recovering them again. We have observed 
that" 1 ' the settlements they had made upon the south side of the friths, 
and the hopes of enlarging them in a fertile country, had encouraged them 
to grant the Scots, come from Ireland about the third age, a retreat and 
footing on the western coasts and islands of Britain, in order to have them 
for auxiliaries against the Romans and Britons ; we have seen' 6 ' that, at 
last upon the Romans leaving the island, the Picts had forced the Britons 
to give up to them the eastern parts of the province of Valentia, betwixt 
the walls, whilst the remains of the old Britons kept still possession of a 
part of the western coasts of that province. Now it cannot be supposed, in 
reason, that the Caledonians or Picts could ever have been able thus to 
carry on almost a constant war, offensive and defensive, against so powerful 

131 Crit. Essay, pp. 42, 43, &c. 

<*> Ibid. p. 57. 

t" Supra, II. VIII. et alibi. 

" Supra, XXI. 

' Supra, XXXVII. 


adversaries as the Romans and provincial Britons, during so many ages, A.I). 4.51. 
without a common concert and union among themselves, that is, without a 
government and a common head or leader, clothed with authority to con- 
vocate them upon all exigencies, to lead them on in battle, to act for them in 
treaties, and administrate justice in time of peace ; in a word, without a king. 

Accordingly we have given several catalogues a) of their ancient kings, 
and among these one more authentic than all the rest, of greater antiquity, 
and supported by the testimony of the most ancient writers of the Irish in 
the neighbourhood, under the title of " Chronicle of the Origin or first 
Kings of the ancient Picts," of which a full account is given in the first 
part( b ) of this Essay, where we have also laid open the defects and incor- 
rection of the first part of the only copy we have hitherto discovered, both 
in the true reading the names of the kings, and more yet in the numeral 
letters designed to mark the years of each of the reigns of the first thirty- 
six kings. For which reason we have hitherto superseded setting down 
their names, not being possible to reduce them to the chronological order 
that we endeavour to follow. Whereas the second part of this Pictish 
Chronicle, beginning at the reign of Durst, son of Irb or Erp, being one of 
the most exact' ' short chronicles that I have seen, as to the years of each 
king's reign, I shall henceforth set down each of the kings according to tin- 
order of time. 

LIV. A.D. 451. Drest. or Durst, son of Irb, the thirty-seventh king 
of the Picts, according to their Chronicle, deceased after a reign of forty-five 
years, according to the surest calculation : there being a visible mistake in 
the number of years assigned to his reign, as well as to several of those of 
his predecessors, in the incorrect copy we have of the first part of the 1'ict 
ish Chronicle (as hath been< d) elsewhere observed). It is said there that 
this king Durst fought a hundred battles, and we have seen the frequent 
inroads the Picts, no doubt under his command, made into the liritish pro- 
vinces, which must have given occasion to many battles and skirmishes ; it 
was upon occasion of these frequent invasions that the Britons were twice 
obliged to call in the Roman forces to their assistance, and with their help 
to repair first the northern and then the southern wall to secure themselves 

(1) Crit. Essay, p. 776, and p. 798. 

b) Ibid. p. 105. 

<" Ibid. pp. 110, 111. &e. 

<"> Ibid. p. 13G. 


A. I). 4.51. against their northern enemies. But all in vain, for the Picts passed over 
all these walls, and made themselves so often masters of the midland pro- 
vinces, that the Britons, as we have (a) seen, were obliged, in order to hinder 
them to ravage the other inland provinces, to abandon the midland province 
to them, where they settled on the eastern coasts of it, leaving the Britons 
in possession of the western territories. All this happened under King 
Burst's reign, and it cannot be doubted but that he had the greatest share 
in these exploits. 

But the most remarkable occurrences that fell out during his time was 
the Conversion of the Southern Picts, by S. Ninian bishop, and the mission 
of the holy bishops S. Palladius and S. Patrick, to preach the Gospel to the 
Scots, as hath been' b ) already related. The Pictish Chronicle takes notice 
of the mission of S. Patrick to Ireland, during King Durst's reign, but 
placing it in the nineteenth year of King Durst is certainly one of the 
many errors which are to be met, with in the numeral letters of the first 
part of that Chronicle. With the light of the Gospel, the knowledge of 
letters was. by degrees, introduced among the Picts, as it was also, upon the 
.same occasion, that is, by the first preachers of the Gospel, first. communi- 
cated to the inhabitants of Ireland, and to the other northern nations with- 
out the bounds of the Empire. And from thenceforth we have a more 
certain account of the succession of Pictish kings, and of the years of each 
of their reiffns. 


To King Durst succeeded Talarg or Talore, the son of Aniel or Amgl, 
the thirty-eighth king of the Picts, who reigned four years. 

LV. A.D. 455. This King Talore dying, was succeeded by Nectan, 
son of Erp or Irb, and the thirty-ninth king of the Picts. He was brother 
to King Durst, and had been maltreated by him and forced to retire into 

A.D. 458, the third year c < of Nectan's reign, according to the Pictish 

"> Supra, XLIX. 

" Supra, XXXIX. XLII. 

lc) Tertio anno regni ejus [Nectanii, sive Nectonii,] Darlugtach abbatissa, Cellsc 
Darade Hibernia exulat proxime ad Britanniam. Secundo anno adventus sui immolavit 
Nectomus Abernethige L)eo et Sanctae Brigidae, prsesente Darlugtach, quae cantavit Alle- 
luia super istam hostiam. Optulit igitur Nectonius magnus filius Urup, rex omnium 
provinciarum Pictorum, Apurnethige Sanctse Brigidse, usque ad diem judicii, cum suis 
linibus, quo; positce snnt a lapide in Apurfeirt, usque ad lapidem juxta Cairfuil, id est 
Letlifoss ; et hide in ahum usque ad Ktlian. Causa oblationis liffic est. Nectonius in 
uxilio manens, fratre suo Drusto expulsante se usque ad Hibernian), Brigidam Sanctam 


Chronicle, the virgin Darlugdach, disciple and companion to the famous S. A. D. 4.58. 
Brigid, and afterwards her successor, and Abbess of Kildare, being banished 
from Ireland, came over to Britain. Two years after her arrival, this Nee- 
tan, or Naitan, called Nectan the Great, son of Urup, or Irb, king of all the 
provinces of the Picts, gave unto God and to S. Brigid, Abcrnethy, until 
the Day of Judgment, that is, he made a perpetual donation of it, together 
with all the bounds thereof, from a stone in Aberfort unto another stone 
near Cairfuil, that is, Lethfoss, and from thence upwards to Ethan. The 
occasion of this donation was this. Nectan, whilst as yet a private man, 
being exiled by his brother King Durst, and forced to seek refuge in Ireland, 
addressed himself to the famous virgin, S. Brigid, and recommended himself 
to her prayers. The holy virgin, after consulting God in prayer, assured the 
prince of the Divine protection, and that he should return to his country 
and obtain peaceable possession of the kingdom of the Picts ; all this came 
to pass accordingly. And Nectan, having succeeded to this kingdom after 
the death of King Talore, as a monument of his gratitude, founded the 
church of Abernethy, and endowed it, and it became afterwards the chief (a) 
seat both of the kings and of the bishops of the Picts. 

We see by this that King Nectan was a Christian, and probably so also 
were many of his people. This was the first church that we have account 
of erected on the north side of the friths in Caledonia, as that of Candida 
Casa, or Whithern, in Galloway, was the first that we hear of erected by 
the bishop S. Ninian, apostle of the Southern Picts, betwixt the walls, in 
the south-western parts of what is now Scotland. As to what is re- 
lated of another foundation of the churcli of Abernethy, attributed by some 
posterior writers, as we shall 0'> see, to Garnard, the fiftieth king of the 
Picts, by others to Nectan, their fifty-first king, successor to Garnard, who 
lived both about one hundred years later than the first King Nectan, it is 
like that this hath rather been a restoration of that ancient church, made 

petivit, ut postularet Deum pro se. Orans autem pro illo dixit : si pervenies ad patriam 
tuara Dominus miserebitur tui, regnum Pictorum in pace possidebis. Ex Chronico Pic- 
torum. Vide Crit. Essay, app. ii. p. 778. [See Notes of Mr. Herbert and Dr. Todd on 
the Irish version of Nennius, p. 161, in which a correction is made in the reading of the 
Chronicle, and the obvious mistake as to chronology, in reference to S. Darluchdach, is 
pointed out. She was the immediate successor of S. Bride as Abbess of Kildare, and did 
not attain that dignity till at least sixty years after the date here mentioned. See, also, 
Pinkerton's Enquiry, vol. i. p. 296, edit. 1814.] 

(i) Fuit ille locus (Abernethy) principalis Regalis et Pontificalis per aliqua tempora 
totius regni Pictorum. Lib. Paslet. in Biblioth. Reg. Lond. M.S. lib. iv. c. 12. 

<> Infra, LIV. 



A. D. 458. by the Pictish kings after the total Conversion of all the Picts of south and 
north, brought about by the great S. Columba, who not only converted to 
Christianity the Northern Picts, who dwelt beyond the Grampian hills, but 
in all appearance reconciled many of those that dwelt on the south side of 
those hills, among whom it appears, by S. Patrick's expostulation against 
the British tyrant Coroticus (of which afterwards), that there must have 
happened a great decay of religion, which is not much to be wondered at, 
if it be considered that, besides the warlike temper and natural fierceness 
of this people, so opposite to the meekness of the spirit of Christianity, 
scarcely one half of them, to wit, only the Picts of the south, had been con- 
verted by their first apostle, S. Ninian, and the almost constant wars, and 
yearly expeditions that they were in former times engaged in against the 
provincial Britons, left but little opportunity to their first pastors to instruct 
them thoroughly in the doctrine, or to inure them to the practice of Chris- 
tianity. And the coming in of the Saxons about the middle of this fifth 
century, engaging the Picts in a new war, first against the Saxons, and soon 
after in conjunction with them against the Britons, became a new obstacle 
to the progress of Christianity, and gave, probably, occasion to many of 
them to forsake it, and upon that account to be called apostate by S. Patrick. 
LVI. We have already given a short account ( a ) of the first entry of the 
Saxons into Britain, of the occasion of it, and of the troubles and alterations 
with which it was followed. But leaving to the English writers the other 
particulars of these alterations, I shall only add here, that to the wicked 
King Yortigern (according to the British writers) succeeded his son Vorti- 
merus, to him Ambrosius. But of all the British kings that reigned during 
their struggle with the Saxons, there is none so celebrated in the British 
history as King Arthur. He is said to have flourished in the beginning of 
the sixth century, and Geoffrey, the British writer, hath attributed to him 
so incredible feats of war, that his accounts have given occasion to most of 
the judicious writers to reckon almost all he says as fabulous, and to some 
to go even the length of doubt ( b ) of the very being of Arthur. But that 
there was about these times such a prince, I conceive the account given of 
him by Nennius, (c) in the ninth age, and those given by other writers, 
sufficiently prove it, though Geoffrey's'" 1 ) account be rather a romance than 
a history. 

<*> Supra, LI. LII. <"> Nennius, cc. Ixii, Ixiii. 

(b> Gul. Neubrigen. lib. iii. c. 7. (d) Hist. Brit. lib. vii. 


As to Ambrosius, Bede (a) gives, from Gildas, the following account of A. D. 458. 
him. The Britons had at this time for their leader Ambrosius Aurelius, a 
modest man, who alone perhaps of the Roman nation had survived the 
storm, all the royal progeny having been slain in the same. Under this 
commander the Britons revived, and offering battle to the victors, by the 
help of God, came off victorious. From that day forward, sometimes the 
natives, and sometimes the Saxons, their enemies, prevailed, till the year 
of the siege of Baddesdownhill, when the Britons made no small slaughter 
of those invaders. This victory is placed by Bede forty-four years after the 
coming in of the Saxons ; for thus Bede interprets the words of Gildas. 
which have given occasion to intricate debates, of which afterwards. 

LVII. To return now to S. Patrick, and finish what concerns him. Of 
all the contradictions and afflictions which he met with amidst his apostoli- 
cal labours in Ireland, nothing seems to have affected him more than the 
barbarous treatment which he, and his new converts in Ireland, met with 
from Coroticus, a British prince. This wicked lb> man made a descent into 
Ireland, and pillaged that part of it where S. Patrick happened to reside 
for the time, and to be actually employed in instructing and in baptizing 
the neophytes, or those that had newly embraced Christianity. Coroticus, 
with his followers, broke suddenly in upon these neophytes of both sexes, 
who were as yet in their baptismal white robes, and without respect to the 
sanctity of the mysteries in which they were initiated, killed some of them, 
and carried off others captives, and sold them to those of the Scots, who it 
seems were yet infidels, and to Picts,< c) whom he calls apostates, for the 
reasons I have already assigned. 

The holy bishop, exceedingly grieved at this profanation and barbarity, 
deputed the next day to the tyrant a priest, with some others of the clergy, 
to entreat him to set at liberty the Christians whom he had led captives, 
and to restore at least some of the plunder ; but instead of a satisfactory 
answer, Coroticus mocked his messengers ; upon which the Saint wrote a 
circular letter addressed to all the Faithful, by which he declares" 1 ' Coro- 
ticus, and all those that had participated with him, separated from the 

'' Hist. Eecles. lib. i. c. 16. 

00 S. Patric. Epistola de Corotico apud Warseum inter opusc. et apud Bolland. ad 17 

<"> Ibid. num. 9, edit. Bolland. 
< d) Ibid. n. 3. 
<*> Ibid. n. 11. 


A. D. 458. communion of the Faithful, till they should put the servants of God at 
liberty, restore what they had plundered, and do penance for their crimes 
and sacrileges. In this letter S. Patrick entreats all those into whose 
hands it should happen to fall, to cause spread it everywhere, and read it 
in the Christian assemblies, and even to Coroticus himself, for he was also 
a kind of Christian, but only so in name ; such as Gildas (a > describes most 
of the other Britons of those times, whose wickedness drew upon them the 
destruction of their country. It was no doubt this caution of S. Patrick to 
have this letter copied and handed about, that contributed to preserve it to 
our time ; as there is still extant another work of S. Patrick, often men- 
tioned already, entitled his Confession, < b > or rather Apology ; it being 
properly speaking, a modest apology of his suffering himself to be elevated 
to the episcopal dignity, and of his going to exercise the functions of the 
sacred ministry, rather in Ireland, than among his countrymen in Britain; 
all which he justifies with great humility, by the particular marks of the 
vocation of God, and by the success and blessing God had been pleased to 
bestow upon his labours. 

These two pieces contain the most assured account that we have of S. 
Patrick's life and labours ; they are attributed to the Saint as his own 
works, in all the most ancient MSS., as the learned Waraeus/ c) who first 
published them, testifies. He observes< d > also, as a proof of their being 
very ancient, that the quotations of the Scriptures in them, are taken from 
the ancient Latin version made upon the Septuagint, (which perfectly agrees 
to S. Patrick's age,) and not from S. Hierome's translation from the Hebrew, 
which was not commonly in use till afterwards. Dr. Cave,< e) also, reckons 
these pieces among the genuine works of S. Patrick, and the continuators 
of the Bollamlian Acts of Saints seem to be of the same opinion. They 
have accordingly given us a new and more correct edition of them, and 
prefer them to all the different lives of the Saint, as being of greater anti- 
quity than any of them, and quoted verbatim under S. Patrick's name 
in the most ancient accounts of his life. They are also much valued by 
Usserius, (f > but by none more so than M. de Tillemont,'s' who, in the 

<' Epist. Gildae, edit. Gale. 

<bl Confessio B. Patric. edil. War. et Holland. 

(c) Ware, in notis ad opusc. S. Patricii, p. 94. 

'"' Ibid. 

(c) Cave, Scriptor. Eccles. p. 271. 

lf) Ussher, Ant. Brit. 

<> Tillemont, Hist. Eccles. torn. xvi. p. 455. 


history he hath given us of this Saint, prefers these pieces to all that hath A. D. 458. 
been written of him; and, indeed, the sense of piety, of humility, the 
ardent love of God, the vehement desire to do, and suffer all for the cause 
of God, and for the salvation of souls, render these pieces worthy of an 
apostolical man, notwithstanding their barbarous Latin style, which is not 
to be wondered at from one born in the farthest extremities of the Roman 
empire, and who had lived for so many years in Ireland. In fine, they are 
the most ancient writings of any native of Britain that now remain. This 
invasion made by Coroticus, on S. Patrick's flock in Ireland, must have 
happened when the Saint was well advanced in age, since he tells us that 
the priest, whom he deputed to Coroticus, to recover the captives, had been 
educated by himself from his infancy. 

We have no certain account how long S. Patrick lived after writing this 
last piece, and, what is still more surprising, though perhaps no Saint's life 
hath been written by more authors, and in more different forms, (whereof 
Colgan< a> hath given us no less than seven, besides several appendixes,) 
yet the learned have so mean opinion of them, that many of them think 
these pieces so very little serviceable to furnish out a true account of the 
life of this great Saint, that they rather serve to perplex and encumber 
it, so that some of the ablest writers that have undertaken it, differ in no 
less than thirty years in fixing the era of his death, some placing it A.D. 
460, others A.D. 493. This last date is more conformable to the different 
accounts of his life, which give him one hundred and thirty-two years of 
age, and in this they are followed, not only by C'olgan, but by Usserius. 
Warseus, Cave, &c. But the Bollandian< b > Acts, and after them Baillet, < c 
retrench the number of years of his life, and place his death A.D. 460, by 
reason that they find not, even in the many writers that have treated of 
him, anything memorable done by him during the last thirty years of his 

However that be, it is certain that this great Saint was the glorious 
instrument that Divine Providence made use of towards the Conversion of 
the inhabitants of Ireland from paganism, and that the Scots, and other 
northern inhabitants of Britain, owed in a great measure, chiefly to him 
and his disciples, if not their Conversion, at least their instruction in the 

(a) Colgan, Trias Th. Lovan. 1647, fol. 

lb) Act. Holland, ad 17 Martii. 

Cc) Baillet, Vies des Saints, 17 Mars. 


\. D. 458. doctrine and discipline of Christianity ; and I have insisted so long upon 
the life and actions of S. Patrick, not only because he was a native of those 
parts of Britain, which are contained many ages ago within the kingdom of 
Scotland, but because we cannot have a more faithful account of the doctrine, 
discipline, Church government, and other practices of the first Christians 
among the Scots in Britain, (which are otherwise involved in so great 
obscurity,) than from the accounts that remain of the doctrine and religious 
customs of S. Patrick and his disciples in Ireland, from whom they were 
originally derived, (as will appear in the sequel of this work, ) to the Scots 
and other northern inhabitants of Britain. 

LVIII. Some readers will perhaps be surprised that I have said so 
little of the prodigies and miracles said to have been wrought by S. Patrick 
in Ireland, whereas all the writers of his life insist so much upon them. 
Hut, besides that miracles require a certitude and attestation of a different 
nature from ordinary historical facts, many of the miracles attributed to 
S. Patrick, far from having the proofs and vouchers that the Church re- 
quires for extraordinary cures, and other operations beyond the common 
course of nature, are not only related by writers that lived at too great a 
distance from S. Patrick's time to be sufficiently assured of them, but many 
of these miracles are written with so little judgment, and regard to likeli- 
hood, that I have no apprehension that any men of true taste and literature, 
will blame my caution and reservedncss in passing them over ; and what I 
say of the miracles contained in the legends of S. Patrick, I mean of all 
such other miracles which we meet with in other legends and pieces of no 
better authority. 

But without entering into the detail of the miracles attributed to S. 
Patrick by the many writers of his life, published by Father Colgan,'") (to 
whom the reader, if he thinks fit, may have recourse,) and even without in- 
sisting upon what Ncnnius< b) (of some greater authority, because nearer the 
time,) says of S. Patrick's miracles, in short, I may at least conclude with 
the words of Marianus,' CJ our countryman, that the Conversion of all Ireland 
" was not brought about by S. Patrick without many signs and miracles, 
during the forty years that he laboured in that island." Since it had been 

(> Colgan, Vit. S. Patricii in Triad. Tli. 
< b) Nennius, cc. Iviii, lix, &c. 

(c) (S. Patricias) per annos qiiadraginta signis atque mirabilibus totam insulam 
Ilibcrniam convertit. Marian. Scot, ad A.D. 432. 


the greatest of all miracles, that a whole nation of uncultivated people, A. D. 458. 
blinded with superstition and idolatry, drowned in sensuality, governed 
only by their brutal passions, only actuated by exterior and sensible objects, 
and who had no distinct notions or ideas of immaterial things, should be so 
wonderfully changed and converted in a short time, without any other force 
or power, but upon the bare word or preaching of a stranger, as not only to 
forsake the worship of their false deities, and adore an invisible God, and 
renounce too their carnal passions, in hopes of a spiritual recompense in 
another life ; but many among them renounce even to the world, to the 
use of permitted eases, pleasures, and possessions, and embrace for the rest 
of their days voluntarily, poverty, chastity, and obedience. 

And what I say of the Conversion of the Irish by S. Patrick, is equally 
applicable and true of the Conversion of the Southern Picts by S. Ninian, 
and of the Northern by S. Columba ; of the Cumbrian Britons, Scots, and 
Saxons, by S. Kentigern ; and of the inhabitants of Britain by other saints, 
replenished with a portion of tlie apostolical spirit. For though in what I 
may have to say of their lives and actions, I shall not give any detail of the 
miracles attributed to them, by the authors of what remains we have of their 
lives ; yet to suppose that all these Conversions were wrought without any 
miracles, would be to suppose a most extraordinary and surprising miracle, 
against the common course of all that we meet with in the most authentic 
histories of the Conversions of the several nations of the world, from idola- 
try to Christianity. 

Before I conclude what concerns S. Patrick, I must observe, that it is 
no small surprise to find that Bede hath never once, in his history, named 
S. Patrick, though lie mentions, and sometimes at length, other saints of 
Ireland, every way inferior to him. But since we have S. Patrick placed 
upon his proper day (17 March) by Bede in his true Martyrologe, published 
lately by Dr. Smith, the omission of him in his History is a new proof of 
the insignificancy of negative arguments drawn from Bede's silence. But 
of this negative argument we have said enough elsewhere. Neither can 
anything be concluded against S. Patrick's being a true bishop, even in 
Bede's judgment, from his being qualified only " confessor " by Bede in his 
Martyrology, (xvi. kal. April, in Scotia, S. Patritii confessoris) ; for in the 
style of Bede, and of other monuments of antiquity, the title of " confessor " 
is often equivalent to that of " episcopus et confessor ; " as in the same 
authentic Martyrologe of Bede, we find many great saints, whose episcopal 


A. D. 458. Character no knowing person doubts of, qualified simply " confessor." Thus 
we find in it, "4 April. S. Ambrosii confessoris; 28 Maii, S. Germani 
confessoris ; 8 Jun. S. Medardi confessoris; 4 Julii, translatio S. Martini 
confessoris, (S. Martin of Tours) ; 1 Octob. S. Remigii confessoris," &c. 
I thought proper to add this remark for a general answer to such objections, 
;is a learned Presbyterian gentleman, Mr. George Crawfurd, made to me 
at Edinburgh, against S. Kentigern. or S. Mungo's episcopal Character, 
because he is sometimes found, for brevity's sake, designed only as "con- 
fessor," in writs where he is transiently named, such as in Donations to 
the Church or the like. 









I. A.D. 480. AFTER a reign of twenty-five years, happened the death 
of Nectan or Naitan, first of that name, the thirty-ninth king of the Picts, 
called in the Pictish Chronicle " Nectan the Great." To him succeeded 
Drest or Drust Gormoth, their fortieth king, and reigned thirty years. In 
his time happened one of the greatest events that are to be met with in the 
history of the North of Britain, to wit, the erection of the kingdom of the 
Scots in that, island, whereof this is the best account we can collect from 
the few remains we have of the history of those times. 

The Scots, as we have shown elsewhere,'"' began to come over from 
Ireland and settle in Britain, by favour of the Picts, during the third age 
after the Incarnation. We have also given( b > account of all that history 
furnishes concerning them, both in the Critical Essay, part first, and in 
different places of this second part, according to the order of time, till the 
coming in of the Saxons to the assistance of the Britons. By these auxili- 
aries, joined to the Britons, the Picts and Scots were at first repulsed in an 
engagement near Stanford, as we have already observed/ ' 

Bede informs us also, in particular concerning the Picts, that the num- 
ber of the Saxons being exceedingly increased by the coming in of new 
troops, they drove the Picts to greaterW distance, and that, nevertheless, 
not long after, upon the Saxons turning their arms against the Britons, who 

< a) Crit. Essay, p. 638. 

(b) Ibid. pp. 638-666. 

"' Supra, Book First, LI. 

<d) Longius bellando pepulerant. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 15. 


A. D. 480. had brought them in to their aid, the Picts, who (being admonished of this 
perfidy of the Saxons against the Britons, of what they themselves might 
look for at the hands of so faithless a nation, if they suffered their power 
to increase), should, for their own security, by all the rules of good policy, 
have joined with the Britons, in order to expel this common enemy out of 
the island; instead of that, the Picts let themselves be so blinded by their 
old enmity and domestic quarrels as to join with the Saxons against the 
Britons : whereas (a) the Scots, better advised, joined the Britons, according 
to Fordun, against the Saxons and Picts. And this is the first instance we 
meet with in history of any open breach betwixt the Picts and the Scots. 

But it was not long ere the Picts had occasion to repent of their incon- 
siderate bargain with their new confederates, and observe their error in 
fomenting so dangerous an enemy in their neighbourhood, as the Saxons 
proved to be to them in particular, as well as to the other ancient inhabi- 
tants of Britain. 

Nennius (b) and Malmesbury inform us, that some years after the coming 
in of the Saxons, Hengistus, their chief leader, had obtained the consent of 
Vortigern, king of the Britons, to call over his brothers Oth or Octa and 
Ebusa, and to settle them in the northern parts of the Roman provinces of 
Britain, under the pretext of guarding the Britons against the irruptions of 
their northern enemies. Accordingly a strong body of Saxons came over 
under leaders, and began to settle in the countries betwixt the Walls, or in 
the province of Yalentia, inhabited at that time by the Picts and by the 
remains of the Britons ; and the forces of the Saxons daily augmenting by 
the coming over of new bodies of their countrymen, by degrees they be- 
came masters of a part of these midland territories, and in proportion ob- 
liged the Picts of these parts to retire northwards, which made them press 
hard upon the Scots, and gave a new occasion to widen the breach betwixt 

The Picts, at the first entry of the Scots into Britain, being willing to 
have them auxiliaries in their wars against the Romans and provincial 
Britons, allowed them so much the more freedom to settle on their north- 
western coasts, and in the little islands betwixt Britain and Ireland, that at 
the first coming in of the Scots, and whilst the Picts had war with the 
Romans, they had a door open on the south side of the friths to extend 

'' Fordun, lib. i. cc. 14, 15, 16. 
(b) Nennius, c. xxxvii. 


their dominions into much more fertile territories than those were which A. D. 480. 
they had abandoned to the Scots. 

So the Picts, at the first coming in of the Scots, and for a long time 
afterwards lived in great union with them, and had no jealousy nor appre- 
hension of the increase of their colony, nor of the enlargement of their 
possessions in Britain, finding them always in readiness to go along with 
them in their southern expeditions. 

And this harmony betwixt these two people seems to have continued 
without any remarkable interruption till the Romans abandoned tho island 
in the beginning of the fifth age, and perhaps even till about the middle of 
that age, and the coming in of the Saxons, and their beginning to press 
hard upon the Pictish inhabitants to the south of the friths, and forcing 
them to give ground, but especially upon the descent of Octa and Ebusa 
into those northern parts of the island with new armies of Saxons, and 
their endeavouring to settle in the province of Valentia, of a great part of 
which the Caledonians or Picts had been frequently masters in the Roman 
times, and upon the final retreat of the Romans, after repairing the last 
time the wall of Adrian or of Severus, about A.D. 426, and the Britons 
retiring, partly to the south within the wall, partly to the west in Clydes- 
dale, upon that occasion, the Picts, as we have seen elsewhere,'"' had taken 
peaceable possession of the eastern parts of Valentia, and remained since 
that entirely masters of them, as a part of their property till the descent of 
Octa and Ebusa. 

But these new invaders, notwithstanding the former" 5 ' agreement made 
betwixt the Picts and the Saxons of the south, as Bede observes, began to 
attack the Picts in their possessions of Valentia, and by frequent accession 
of new bodies of Saxons coming over to them, increased their forces, so as 
to get a footing and settlement in these northern parts. 

By these encroachments of the Saxons, the possessions of the Picts to 
the south of the friths were reduced into narrow bounds, and from that time 
forwards the breach between the Picts and the Scots, which, upon the Scots 
separating from the Picts and joining with the Britons (as Fordun observes 
they did) had been already begun, widened daily more and more ; other 
new motives contributing daily to increase it, made the Picts begin to re- 
pent of their too great indulgence and too liberal concessions to the Scots. 

<> Supra, Book First, XXXVII, L. 
< w Supra, Book First, LII. 


A. D. 480. By reason that, on the one hand, instead of the room or space that the 
Picts had, in former times, to enlarge their bounds betwixt the walls, they 
now began to be pent up by the Saxons, and exposed rather to lose a part 
of what formerly they possessed to the south of the friths, than in condition 
to augment their possessions : on the other hand, instead of auxiliaries, 
n- trusty allies, as the Scots had been, at their first coming into Britain, 
having by this time acquired large possessions in the north-western parts 
of the island, and their number and forces still augmenting by frequent ac- 
cession of new forces from Ireland, they began to set up by themselves, to 
depend no more upon the Picts, but had joined with the Britons against 
them, and were at last become so considerable a colony that they wanted 
'Mih a king at their head to become an independent monarchy. All these 
motives could not fail of raising the jealousy of the Picts, and even their 
apprehensions, to a very high pitch ; but the means they used to obstruct 
the growth and power of the Scots, had just a quite contrary effect, and gave 
occasion to the increase of their power, and to the first establishment of the 
monarchy of the Scots in Britain. 

Fordun, <a) in the account he gives of the erection of the Scottish mon- 
archy in Britain, gives ground to believe that the Picts, upon the foresaid 
motives of fears and jealousies of the growth and power of the Scots, entered 
into a resolution to endeavour to force the Scots out of all Britain, and had 
actually begun to harass and annoy them all they could. Upon this, the 
Scots of Britain, as they were used to do in all their pressures, failed not 
to acquaint the Scots in Ireland of the danger they were exposed to, and to 
call to them for assistance. 

II. But before we proceed farther in the account of the foundation of 
the Scottish monarchy, in order to put this essential period of our history 
into a better light, we must recapitulate here in few words, what hath been 
olsewhere( b> treated at full length, and observe that Fordun (from whose 
Chronicle we have most of the particulars of the erection of the Scottish 
monarchy) had formed to himself a new system of its antiquity, which he 
thought more honourable to the nation, and had advanced the era of its 
foundation about seven or eight centuries higher than its true date ; and 
because all the nation in all ages had agreed that the name of first founder 
of the monarchy in Britain was Fergus, Fordun could not choose but pitch 

<*> Fordun, lib. i. cc. 31, 32 ; lib. ii. c. 12. 
(b) Crit. Essay, p. 637, &c. 


upon one of the same name for its founder. But whereas, according to all the A. D. -180. 

most ancient catalogues of the Scottish kings, all the remains of their most 

ancient Chronicles, and the uniform tradition of the Scots down to Fordun't- 

own time (witness the many testimonies' 11 ' of his contemporary writer 

Winton), Fergus, the son of Krch, had been uniformly believed by all the' 

Scots to have been their first king and founder of the monarchy (as it hath 

been in the first part"" of this Essay sufficiently proved), Fordun, to make; 

his new system of the monarchy bear up with the antiquity to which he 

had raised it, and agree with the uniform belief and tradition of the Scots 

in his own time, that their first king and founder of the monarchy was 

called Fergus, finding in the old Genealogy (c) of the Scots kings one Forco. 

Forgo, or Fergus, son of Erch (which in the common account was more 

than enough to place him seven or eight centuries before) upon this, Fordun 

pitches upon this Fergus, son of Feredach or Ferchard, and makes him the 

first king and founder of the monarchy of the Scots in Britain. 

In consequence of this, Fordun, in his Chronicle, < a ^ ascribes to this first 
Fergus, son of Feredach, whatever he had met with in the ancient Chro- 
nicles of the Scots (and assuredly he had the use of many that we have no 
more,) relating to the first founders, and to the occasion of the first erection 
of the monarchy. But having elsewhere' * proved that the first foundation 
of it was not three or four centuries before the Incarnation, as Forcluu 
would have it, nor the first founder' f > Fergus, son of Feredach, but Fergus, 
the son of Erch, it follows in course that all the account of its first founda- 
tion and founder, which Fordun hath collected from what he found extant 
in his own time, and applied to Fergus, son of Feredach, did not belong to 
him, nor to the epoch in which Fordun hath placed him, but to Fergus, son 
of Erch, and to his time, for which reason I make no difficulty to make the 
application of them to him. 

This supposed, I return to the account of the establishment of the 
Scottish monarchy, such as we find it in Fordun or other ancient writers. 

The Scots of Ireland, who by this time were, for the most part, Chris- 
tians, being informed that those in Britain, hitherto without a king, and 

<"> Crit. Essay, p. 680, app. vii. p. 820, &c. 

<w Ibid. p. 666, &c. 

w Ibid. p. 235, Genealog. Tables. 

w> Fordun, lib. i. cc. 31, 32; lib. ii. c. 12. 

w Crit. Essay, p. 638. 

<" Ibid. pp. 666, 689. 


A. 1). 50;?. dispersed in different quarters of the western parts of the island, were daily 
exposed to the insults and encroachment of the Picts, and even threatened 
to be expelled the island, were moved with concern at their pressures, and 
resolved to send to their assistance. Upon this, Fergus,< a > the son of Erch, 
a prince of extraordinary courage and valour, and of a royal descent, taking 
a more particular concern in the Scots of Britain, and at the same time ex- 
cited by the ambition of making himself a king, resolved to put himself at 
the head of those that were to march from Ireland to their relief. So 
having assembled a great body of choice troops, he passed over to the 
west of Britain with his brothers Loarn and Angus, and gathering together 
the Scots who had lived hitherto most part dispersed in the western islands 
and cantons of Britain, he united them into one body of people with the 
Scots that he had brought over with him from Ireland, and made< b > himself 
the first king over them, giving them also laws( c) and making statutes for 
the government of this his new kingdom, and thus, according to Fordun, 
our first general historian that now remains, the monarchy of the Scots in 
Britain was originally founded by Fergus, his taking upon himself the go- 
vernment of the Scots, to protect them against their enemies. And here 
we have not the least mention of any election made of Fergus, either by 
the heads of clans or by the nobles or commons, nor the least hint of any 
original contract, or " pacta-coiiventa," betwixt king and people. 

Winton, (d) our second general historian, gives mucht he same account 
of the origin of the Scottish monarchy, where he informs us that Fergus, 
the son of Erch or Erth, brought over with him from Ireland the famous 
fatal stone, and made himself king over the Scots, and over all their pos- 
sessions, from Drumalban to Sluaghmore and Inchegall. 

Fergus Erthesone, fra him (Simon Brek) syne 

Down descending, lyne be lyne, 

Into the five-and-fiftie gre, (i. e. degree,) 

As even recknand men may see, 

Brought this stane within Scotland, 

First quhen he cams and wan that land.'" 

"" Fordun, lib. i. c. 34. 

b > Super eos (Scotos) regcm primum se constituit (Fergus). Fordun, lib. i. c. 37. 

> Datis legibus et statutis. Fordun, lib. ii. c. 12. Crit. Essay, p. 262. 

"" Crit. Essay, p. 263, and app. p. 820. 
l " [Wyntown, vol. i. p. 58.] 


He that was called Fergus More, A. 1). 503. 

In the Third Buke ye hard before, 

Was Fergus Erthesone, yat thre zere 

Maid him beyond the Drum to steir. 

Owre all the hychts, ever ilk ane, 

As yai ly frae Drumalbane 

Till Stanemore and Inchegall, 

King he maid him owre yam all/" 

III. It is related 13 ' by some of the Irish writers of S. Patrick's life, that 
this King Fergus, the son of Erch, when he was as yet very young, in Ire- 
land, and before he came to Albany or was king, was blessed in a particular 
manner by S. Patrick, who foretold his future grandeur, and that he was to 
be the stock of a race of kings that were to reign in Albany. However 
that be, all the inhabitants of Ireland being generally before this time con- 
verted to Christianity by S. Patrick and his disciples, there can be no doubt 
made of Fergus, his being a Christian, when he came over to Britain, as 
well as his numerous followers. 

And Fordun^ in particular attests the Christianity of King Fergus, and 
of his two brothers, Loarn and Angus, where, after giving account of the 
death of King Kenneth the Great, the son of Alpin, he adds, " he was buried 
in lona, where King Fergus, son of Erch, with his brothers Loarn and 
Angus had been buried ; " to which he adjoins this vulgar prayer for 
Christians deceased : " May< c > their souls rest in perpetual peace." 

Now, if we reflect on what hath been already< d) said of the great number 
of bishops ordained by S. Patrick in Ireland, and in proportion of church- 
men of the second Order, I hope nobody that considers the universal practice 
and discipline of Christians everywhere in those days, especially in Ireland, 
where Fergus and his followers had been born and bred up, will think it a 
groundless conjecture to suppose that such a great body of Christians came 
not over to Britain, without bringing along with them their pastors ; that 
is, one or more bishops, and a competent number of churchmen of the 

(l) [Wyntown, vol. i. p. 71.] 

"> Colgan, Trias Th. Vit. S. Patricii, p. 95. 

(b> Fordun, lib. iv. c. 8. 

c) [Kenethus fil. Alpin] in insula lona, cum honore decent!, maximoque Scotorum 
ejulatu, sepultus est, ubi quondam Rex Fergusius films Erth cum fratribus Loarn et 
Oenegus, humo condebatur: quorum animse pace perpetua perfruantur. Fordun, ibid. 

<"> Supra, Book First, XLVI. 


A. D. 503. second Order, necessary for preserving and propagating Christianity in the 
places where they were to settle. 

It is true we have now no more any detail of what passed in those first 
times, among the Scots, in any ancient history remaining. But that there 
were bishops in Scotland, in these times, we are informed in the first place 
by the anonymous"" author of the Life of S. Finnan, or Winnyn, (from whom 
the abbey of Kilwinning derives its name,) that there lived in these wes- 
tern parts of Scotland, about this time, a holy bishop called Nennio, who 
had his seat at the great monastery, " apud magnum monasterium,'' which, 
as Dean Cressy< b) with reason judges, was that of Candida Casa, or Whit- 
hern, founded formerly by the holy bishop S. Niniau, and still kept up by 
his successors, which, from, the numerous society of religious men who lived 
there under the care of bishop Nennio, was called by excellence the Great 
Monastery. It was to this bishop Nennio that Finnan (whose name was 
pronounced Winnyn, as bishop' bj Ussher remarks, by the Britons who in- 
habited those parts,) was recommended by bishop Colman from Ireland, 
and was bred up in this monastery under Nennio, to the sacred letters and 
regular discipline. This Winnyn, going afterwards to Rome, was ordained 
bishop and returning back, exercised his sacred functions in Ireland, and in 
these western parts of Scotland, where he died in great opinion of sanctity, 
and was buried in Cunningham, at the place called Kilwinning from his 
name, where an abbey was afterwards erected. 

We are also furnished by Matthew Westminster^ 5 ) (if we could depend 
upon his authority.) with a proof of bishops at this time, both among the 
Picts and the Scots, coming to intercede for these people with King Arthur. 
But this story being taken from Geoffrey the British historian, who accord- 
ing to his custom, adds romantic circumstances to it, to magnify his hero, 
Arthur, I pretend not that any other use can be made of it than to show 
that Geoffrey, an author of the twelfth age, was persuaded that the govern- 
ment settled among the Scots and Picts, in the beginning of the sixth age, 
was episcopal ; which is, I hope, a sufficient prescription against writers 
two or three hundred years later, such as Fordun. 

But without being obliged to have recourse to English or British writers, 

<> Vita S. Finnani sive Wynn'mi episcopi apud Capgrav. ex Joan. Tinmuthen, fol. 

<"> Cressy, Ch. Hist, of Britain, p. 240. 

<" Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 494. 

(d) M. Westmonaster. ad A.D. 521. 


those of our own country furnish us with proofs of the Scots and Picts hav- ,\. U. 503. 
ing bishops in these times. But before I set down their authorities, I must 
here remind the reader of what I took notice of in the preface'"' to the 
Critical Essay, that the arguments and proofs contained in the first part of 
that Essay against the accounts given by Fordun, Boece, Buchanan, &c., 
of the forty pretended ancient kings, and other remote antiquities of the 
Scots, ought not to derogate from the authority of these same writers in 
their other historical accounts, especially of ecclesiastical matters, in follow- 
ing ages; particulaily when the accounts they give are conformable to, or 
not contradicted by more ancient writers, nor appear to have been written 
with any design to serve a turn, as we have sho\vn^ b) that Boecc's accounts 
of the kings were originally intended. And I conceive that the accounts 
we meet with in Boece and in other writers before the Reformation, of our 
ancient bishops or other ecclesiastical matters, however lame they be, are 
so much the more valuable and to be depended upon, that since their times 
there are infinite numbers of ancient records, histories, and monuments, 
particularly relating to the Church, entirely lost, (for the destruction of 
this kind of writings and books seems to have been one of the chief objects 
of the fiery zeal of the ringleaders among our first Reformers,) and they 
have fully satisfied their wrath against them, as hath been shown else- 
where. 10 ' 

Now it appears by what our later writers have delivered relating to 
ecclesiastical matters in the times posterior to Fergus son of Erch, that 
they had no design but to set down with simplicity what they found in 
more ancient writers, and what was generally believed in their times of 
the names, quality, and actions of the holy bishops and other saints of the 
Scots in ancient times, and all they contain is conformable to the remains 
that we have of ancient kalendars and liturgical books in use among the 
Scots in Catholic times, by which it appears that the festivals of these holy 
bishops, and other saints, were annually celebrated in our churches. Such 
are for the most part the holy bishops mentioned in several ages in Boece's 
history, and some of them in that of Buchanan, and in our ancient brevi- 
aries and missals. 

For which reasons I shall make use of these with so much the less 

w Grit. Essay, Preface, pp. xlviii, xlix. 
<"' Crit. Essay, pp. 282, 283, &c. 
(c) Crit. Essay, pp. 561, 562, &c. 


A. n. 503. scruple or difficulty in what they contain of ecclesiastical matters, that I 
have the example even of the best modern writers among the English 
Protestants, such as Spclman, Stillingfleet, Langhorn, Collier, and others, 
not to speak 'of the famous Ussher, who all of them employ this kind of 
authorities, when they treat of the ancient British bishops, and of the 
history of the Church of the old Britons ; though much of what they say is 
grounded only upon the authority of the lives or legends of these famous 
British saints, such as Dubricius, David, Asaph, and others who are not 
mentioned by Bcde, no more than the Scottish bishops, and the more cer- 
tain accounts that may have been written of them in ancient times are now 
perished. Now all ecclesiastical writings, and all that could furnish out 
anything like a continued Church History in our country being destroyed, 
as everybody knows, we are obliged to neglect no kind of materials that can 
give any light into it. 

For the purpose, Bocce informs' 31 us that during the reign of King 
Comgal, (whereof he and his followers place by mistake the beginning 
A.D. 479,) there nourished in Scotland the following holy bishops, Colman 
the ancient, Medan. Modan, and Euchin, and S. Patricianus ; this last 
was bishop in the Isle of Man, whereof the inhabitants were then all Scots. 
It is true that Boece anticipates some years the reign of King Comgal, and 
those of the other kings of Scots, from Fergus, son of Erch, till King 
Aidan, as Fordun had done before him, (for the reasons elsewhere' 6 ) related 
and examined,) and fixes the death of King Comgal A.D. 501. But this 
at least shows that Boece believed that all those bishops flourished in the 
end of the fifth century, or beginning of the sixth, which is the true epoch 
of the reign of Fergus son of Erch, first king of the Scots, to whom we now 

IV. It is no great wonder that we are left so much in the dark as to 
ecclesiastical matters of these times, since we have very little certain 
knowledge of the civil or military transactions during the reign of this first 
founder of the monarchy. But the uniting into one body of people the 
Scots that he brought along with him from Ireland, with the ancient Scots, 
inhabitants of Britain ; the settling the monarchy by establishing laws, 
order, and discipline ; the fixing the bounds of it ; the regulating the order 

<" Boeth. Hist. fol. 151, edit. Ferrer. 
("> Crit. Essay, pp. 690, 691, &c. 


of the succession to the crown, to avoid divisions and civil wars, (and the A. U. 503. 
succession of our first kings after Fergus, plainly shows that the order 
settled by him was that the crown should descend to the immediate heirs 
of line) ; in fine, the repulsing the encroachments of the Picts': the freeing 
the Scots from all subjection to the Picts, and dependence on them ; and 
making his new monarchy independent ; all these were as many necessary 
applications unavoidable to this king on his first entry upon the adminis- 
tration, and more than enough to fill up his short reign, which lasted only 
three years, according to all the ancient chronicles and catalogues'"' of the 
kings of Scots. 

Fordun indeed assigns sixteen years to Fergus's reign, and is followed 
in that by Boece, Buchanan, &c. ; but we have clsewhere( b > observed For- 
dun's motives for lengthening the reigns of some of the kings, from this 
Fergus till King Aidan, as well as for his adding three new names of kings 
to them, which had not been heard of before, in order to make the drawing 
out three generations, to fill up about two hundred years, less perceptible, 
which was a necessary consequence of Fordun's anticipating King Fergus's 
reign one entire century before its true date. 

A.D. 506. To King Fergus succeeded his eldest son and immediate 
heir, Domangard or Dongard, who, after a reign of five years, was also im- 
mediately succeeded, A.D. 511, by his eldest son and next heir, Comgal : 
by which it appears, as we observed already, that the first order of succes- 
sion settled among the Scots in Britain, from the origin of the monarchy, 
was not only hereditary in general, but intended to descend to the next 
immediate heir of line. 

It is true that the circumstances of the Scots in the first ages of the 
monarchy, surrounded on all sides by powerful enemies, and therefore 
obliged to be always on the wing, and ready to march with their king at 
their head, as chief commander, to encounter their enemies, these circum- 
stances obliged the Scots afterwards, when the immediate heir was under 
age, and not able to govern or command in person, to commit the adminis- 
tration to the nearest relation that appeared most qualified for the govern- 
ment and command. But this alteration of the first order of succession, 
however well intended, brought it in length of time into an inevitable con- 

( * ) Crit. Essay, app. iv. v. vi. vii. 
w Crit. Essay, p. 689, &c. 


A. U. .HO. fusion, which, as it was natural it should be, was followed with intestine 
divisions, civil wars, and bloodshed ; and these frequent troubles and con- 
fusions obliged the Scots at last, in the tenth century, to re-establish the 
original order of succession, and to enact that upon the death of each king, 
his immediate heir of line, of whatever age, should succeed, as we shall see 
in its proper place. 

A.I). 510. Durst< a) Gorthinmoth, or Gormot, king of the Picts, dying, 
had for successor Galanan, or Galain, the forty-first king of the Picts, who 
reigned twelve years. 

A.D. 511, died Domangart,' 1 " or Dongart, the second king of the Scots, 
and was succeeded by his son and immediate heir, Comgal, who reigned 
twenty-four years. 

V. It was, according to the most probable opinion, during his reign that 
the famous battle or siege of Badon-hill fell out, at which, according to the 
British writers, the Saxons received a great defeat from the old Britons, 
commanded, as they relate, by their king Arthur. Nennius is the most 
ancient writer that ascribes this victory to King Arthur, but without mark- 
ing the precise date of it ; he only says it was the twelfth and last battle of 
Kinir Arthur against the Saxons. 

~ o 

There are so many different opinions among the learned about the date 
of this battle, that it seems impossible, almost, to fix it. Gildas, himself, 
seem:s indeed to mark this date in these words following : " Et eo (c) tempore 
nunc, cives mine hostes viucebant, usque ad annum obsessionis Badonici 
montis qui propc Sabrinum ostium habetur, novissimaeque ferme de furci- 
feris non minima 1 stragis, quique quadragesimus quartus, ut novi, oritur 
annus, mcnse jam primo emenso, qui jam et mese nativitatis est." It is clear 
by this, that the siege or battle of Bansdown, or Badon-hill, happened the 
same year that Gildas was born ; and the concern that the learned take in 
the date of this battle, is not so much on account of the battle itself as in 
order to fix the time of the birth and chronology of Gildas, the most ancient 
British writer of whom we have now any remains ; besides that, Gildas 
having been famous in his time for the sanctity of his life, for his zeal for 
the propagation of the Gospel in our parts of Britain, for the increase and 
advancement of piety, and for his courage in rebuking publicly the wicked- 

(a > Catal. Regg. Pictor. 2d part, Crit. Essay, p. 137, et app ii. 
lb) Catal. Uegg. Sector. Crit. Essay, app. iv. v. vi. vii. 
lc> Gildas, c. xxvi. 


ness of the times, and the vices even of the princes and prelates, as well as A. D. 511. 
those of the people in his own time, he deserves that the memory of his 
life and actions be conveyed down with due respect to posterity. And what 
interests chiefly the Scots in this subject is, that Gildas, according to all tru- 
writers of his life, was a native of the northern parts of Britain, or Scotland, 
and a short account of him belongs so much the more to the present subject, 
that the Scottish writers seem hitherto scarce to have known him, or that 
their country had any interest in him. Even Dempster,( a) so zealous for 
multiplying writers of Scotland, confounds Gildas with Nennius, (whose 
works in most MSS. bear the name of Gildas,) and places him in the ninth 
age. Buchanan (b > knew so little about him that he supposes, with the 
legendary writers of the Britons or Welsh, that Gildas died and was buried 
at Glastonbury. Now, the source of the contestations about fixing the date 
of Gildas's birth arises partly from Bede's interpretation of the foresaid 
passage of Gildas himself, partly from the different relations of Gildas's life. 
Bede's interpretation^ or paraphrase of Gildas's words is as follows: " Et 
eo tempore nunc cives, nunc hostes vincebant, usque ad annum obscssionis 
Badonici montis, quando non minimas eisdem hostibus strages dabant, quarto 
circiter ct quadragesimo anno adventus corum in Britanniam." From that 
day, sometimes the natives, sometimes their enemies, prevailed, till the 
year of the siege of Baddesdown-hill, when they made no small slaughter of 
these enemies, being the forty- fourth year after their arrival in Britain, 
Here Bede visibly supposes that the forty-four years, mentioned by Gildas, 
were to be reckoned from the entry of the Saxons to Britain, which having 
happened about A.D. 449, it follows, in Bedc's account, that the battle of 
Baddesdown-liill, and by consequence the birth of Gildas, fell out A.D. 493. 
Whereas Gildas's words, if attentively considered, as Archbishop Ussher, O) 
Father Mabillon,( b ) and Dr. Smith, in the last edition of Bcde observe, im- 
port that since the battle of Baddesdown-hill, at which time Gildas was born, 
till the time of Gildas writing this historical piece, there had passed forty- 
four years and about one month ; so the fixing the date of this battle, and 
of the birth of Gildas, depends upon finding out the precise year in which 

<> Dempster, de Scriptor. Scot. p. 322. 

< b > Buchanan, Hist. Scot. fol. [p. 78.] 

(c) Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 16. 

(d) Ussher, Ant. Brit. 

< e) Mabillon, Annal. Benedict. 




A. 1). ;ill. Gildas wrote this piece, and counting forty-four years backwards. Now 
there are, indeed, some characters in the piece itself of the time in which 
it was written, but they depend on what passed among the Britons in those 
times, and that being uncertain, renders the whole very dubious. 

As to Gildas's life, we have two relations of it ; the most ancient and 
most authentic is that of an anonymous abbot or monk of Ruyse, an abbey 
of Little Hritany in France, taken from the ancient monuments of that 
abbey, whereof Gildas himself was the founder, and where he was buried, 
and his memory is still in veneration. This Life of Giidas, from which I 
shall chiefly take my accounts of him, was first published from a MS. of the 
abbey of Henry, upon the river of Loire, by JohnW a Boses, a Celestin, 
afterwards by Father Papcbroche( b ) and Father Colgan,( c ) and last of all it 
was given more complete and correct, from an ancient MS., by Father 

The second Life of Gildas bears the name of Caradoc of Lancarvan, a 
Welsh or British writer of the twelfth age, whereof there are large abstracts 
in bishop Usshcr's Antiquities/ ) and a copy of it in a modern hand in the 
King's Library at London. It seems wholly calculated to the humour of 
the monks of Glastonbury, who as they pretend that the great S. Patrick 
did sometime inhabit that abbey and was buried there, so, also, the legend 
of Caradoc seems written with design to lay the same claim to S. Gildas. 
This Life, with some alteration of the style, and some interpolations, as his 
custom is, was published by Capgrave( f ) from John of Tinmouth ; and this 
is what is called the Life of Gildas Albanius, which, says Mr. Collier(> hath 
so much the air of a romance, that it doth not deserve to be mentioned. 

Three different relations of Gildas's life have given occasion to some 
English and Irish writers to pretend that there were two saints of the name 
of Gildas, or rather to divide this holy man into two personages, and call 
the one Gildas Albanius, and the other Gildas Badonicus; and Colgan ( h ) 
goes the length to divide the most authentic Life we have of Gildas, and 

' Bibliotheca Floriae Jo. Bos. p. 429, edit. 1605, Lugdun. 

h) Act. Sancton. Holland, ad 29 Januar. 

" Colgan, Act. Sanct. Hibern. ad 29 Januar. 

d) Act. Benedict, torn. i. 

" Vita Gildse ex Ant. Brit. Usserii apud Colgan, Act. SS. ad 29 Januar. p. 179. 

'." Capgrav. Vit. Sanctor. fol. 156. 

'' Collier's Church Hist. vol. i. p. 61. 

" Colgan, Act. SS. Hibern. p. 181. 


apply, as his fancy leads him, some part of it to Gildas, whom he calls A. D. 511. 
Albanius, and other parts to Gildas, whom he names Badonicus. 

But the learned Father Bollandus ta) and Father Mabillon (b > refute this 
modern invention, chiefly grounded on legendary accounts attributed to 
Caradoc, or what John of Timnouth, or Capgrave, have transcribed from 
him, and prove that there was but one Gildas, called Albanius from Albany, 
now Scotland, where he was born at Alcluyd or Dunbritton, surnamed, also, 
Badonicus, from Baddesdown- hill battle, because he was born in the year 
that this battle was fought. Vossius, (c) also, and Dr. Stillingfleet (d) make 
but one Gildas; and the late Dr. Smith," 1 ' in his accurate edition of Bede's 
History, is of the same opinion, which is also the judgment of the exact 
critic, M. Baillet,< f) in his life of this Saint, after having examined the 
various opinions concerning him. 

I easily foresee that this account of Gildas may come to be contested by 
some of the learned of our neighbour nations, who pretend that there were 
two Saints of the name of Gildas, much about the same time ; and that the 
famous Gildas, author of what is called " Historia Britonum," and of the 
epistle or invective against the princes and clergy of the Britons, was not a 
native of our northern parts of the island. But to the reasons and autho- 
rities I have already set down, I have this further to add in short, that all 
the writers of Gildas's life, whether he be by modern writers called Albanius 
or Badonicus, whether there was one Gildas only, or that he be divided 
into two persons, all the writers, I say, of the Lives of Gildas the historian, 
or writer, do assert that he was born in the north of Britain, called since 
Scotland. The abbot of Ruyse's' tells the particular place of his birth, 
which he calls Arcluyd or Alcluyd, now Dunbritton. Caradoc, in Bishop 
Ussher's extracts^ of his Life, says that Gildas was son to a king of the Scots, 
the most noble of all the northern kings ; and Capgrave, (i) from John of 
Tinmouth, affirms that Gildas's father was king of Albany. 

(a > Act. Sanctor. Bolland. ad 29 Januar. 

(b) Mabillon, Annal. Benedict, torn. i. p. 150. 

(c) Vossius, de Scriptor. Latin. 

d) Stillingfleet, Brit. Ant. p. 209. 
'' Smith, edit. Bed. p. 58, in notis. 
tf) Baillet, Vies des Saints, 29 Janvier. 
' Vit. Gildae apud Jo. Bos. c. i. 

" Excerpta ex Vit. Gildse per Usser. apud Colgan. torn. i. p. 179, ex Caradoco 

< Vit. Gild. Capgrav. fol. 150. 



A. D. 511. By all this, it appears that Gildas, the most ancient writer of Britain 
now extant, was a native of that part of Britain now called Scotland. We 
shall see that the two next writers of Britain, Cumineus and Adamnan, 
were also both of them abbots of Ycolmkill in Scotland. 

As to the year of Gildas's birth, I should be inclined rather to remain 
in the general, and assign it to the end of the fifth, or beginning of the 
sixth, century, without pretending, amidst so great variety of opinions, to 
determine the precise year of it, if the fixing of it were not necessary for 
regulating the chronology of his life and actions ; so, amidst the various 
opinions about it, after a due examination, I have chosen to follow the date 
assigned by Matthew Westminster' 8 ) in his Chronicle, as the most probable, 
and which, for that reason, is followed by Bishop Ussher< b > and others, that 
is, the year 520, in which, according to Westminster, happened the siege 
or battle of Bansdown-hill, and, by consequence, the birth of Gildas. 

VI. All the writers of Gildas's life agree, as I said, that he was born in 
the northern parts of Britain, now called Scotland. The most authentic ("> 
account that we have of it, to wit that of the abbot of Ruyse, says positively 
that Gildas was born at Arcluyd or Alcluyd, that is, Dunbritton ; that he 
was son of the king of those parts, that is the king of the Middle-Britons, 
called afterwards Cumbrians ; that his father's name was Caunus or Cau ; 
he is also called Nau or Navus. His father had several sons, whereof the 
eldest was Cuil Hacl, or Hoel, as it is differently pronounced. The British 
writers say that this llocl was killed by their king Arthur ; but the abbot 
of RuyseW tells that he succeeded his father in his kingdom. His other 
children were Maelocus, Egreas, Allsecus, and a daughter, Peteona, who all 
renounced the world, and passed their lives in retirement, and in the exer- 
cises of prayer, penance, and mortification, and became famous by the 
sanctity of their lives, and by their miracles : says my author. 

But of all that happy family Gildas became the most eminent, not only 
by his piety, but by the service that he rendered to the Church, and by his 
writings. He was educated under the care of S. Iltut, or Eltut, a British 
abbot, whose monastery was a famous school or seminary in these days, in 
which were brought up, in piety and learning, many children of the best 

(> M. Westmonaster. ad A.D. 520. 
(b) Ussher, Chron. 
W Vit. Gild. edit. Jo. Dos. c. i. 
<"> Ibid. c. ii. 


quality in Britain. S. Iltut's first and chief application was to form the A. D. 511. 
hearts of his disciples to solid piety, upon the maxims of the Gospel, but 
without neglecting to cultivate their minds with learning, for which he 
found in the young Gildas natural enduemcnts. But lie having, says my 
author/") from his youth had the Holy Spirit for his inward master, he 
preferred the studies of piety to all others, and made those of human litera- 
ture subservient to them. Thus he learned under Iltut. not the bare 
speculative knowledge of the truths of salvation, but the love and practice 
of them; so that in a short time he became the most humble, the most 
patient, and the most mortified of all his condisciplcs, and gave early hopes 
of his becoming one day, not only a pattern of Christian virtues, but a zeal- 
ous preacher of the Gospel in the north of Britain and in Ireland ; and 
though that happened only several years afterwards, yet not to interrupt the 
thread of the narration, I shall here add what concerns this great man till 
his passing over to Gaul, A.D. 554 ; and without wearying the reader any 
longer with tedious discussions about the chronology of his life, I shall 
content myself to abridge what the abbot of lluysc relates of him. 

Gildas having spent" 3 ' several years in Iltut's school, took his leave of 
him, and went to consult other masters. John Bosco's edition of Gildas' s 
Life expresses this passage of it in these words : " Iron percxit ut et aliorum 
Doctorum sententias exquireret." C'olgan< c > and some other writers pretend 
that by Iron here is meant Ireland, whither he supposes that Gildas went 
for further improvement ; others say it should be read " pcrexit lecn," 
which is brought at last to signify Oxford, whither Gildas went to consult 
the Doctors. To say nothing here of this far fetched gloss, (which Stilling- 
fleet< d) justly calls sports of wit,) there is no appearance that the author of 
this Life is to be understood here of Ireland. Gildas, indeed, went after- 
wards to Ireland, as we shall see, and that he went not there as a scholar, 
but as a master, which gives this author occasion to speak several times of 
that island, but he always calls it by its usual names, Hibernia or Hiber- 
niensis Insula ; what likelihood, then, is there that in this place the author 
should have affected to call Ireland by an unusual name, known only to the 
learned, and probably to few or none, even among them, in the author's 

<" Vit. Gild. c. iii. 

< b) Ibid. c. vi. 

(c) Colgan, Act. SS. Hibern. p. 189. 

W) Stillingfleet, Brit. Ant. p. '207. 


A. D 511. time, and thus go to borrow the name to it from Diodorus Siculus, a Greek 
writer, the only one, perhaps, even among the ancients, that calls Ireland 
by the name of Iris, and that instead of making use of its usual name, 
Hibernia, by whicli he calls it more than once in the same work. 

This makes the learned Father MabillonV" 1 reading of this passage 
incomparably more probable, and that the author's original words were " ire 
perexit," meaning that Gildas, after learning all he could be taught at 
at Iltut's school, "went forward" to consult the learned men of other 
monasteries, which in those days were the only schools or universities for 
learning. There was about this time, as we have already' 1 ") remarked, a 
famous one in the north of Britain, Gildas's own country, called the Great 
Monastery, " Magnum Monasterium," from the great number of religious 
men and disciples that were bred up there under the care of Bishop Nennio, 
to whom S. Finnan or Winnyn was sent from Ireland to be educated in 
piety and letters. I conceive it is not improbable that among other monas- 
teries that Gildas resorted to for improvement in learning, this was one. 

However Gildas having been by Nennio, or some other bishop in his 
own country, advanced to the degree of priesthood, and being animated (c) 
with an apostolical zeal, went to the more northern parts of the island, and 
by his preaching and miracles converted many infidels, and reduced to the 
bosom of the Church, heretics and schismatics that had gone astray ; as it 
is related more at length by the foresaid author of his Life. This same 
author adds to this, immediately, the message of Ainmire, King of Ireland, 
to Gildas, to invite him over to that island ; but that happened only about 
the year 5 60, when Gildas was in the Gauls, where he passed over from 
Britain about the year 554, and settled in Little Britany, where he founded 
the monastery of Ruyse. 

VII. About the beginning of this sixth century lived S. Kentigern, 
(called S. Mungo by the vulgar,) Bishop of Glasgow. Ussher< d > places his 
birth about the year 514 ; but I conceive it ought rather to be placed at the 
end of the fifth century, since, according to the best account we have of his 
life, he was educated under the care of S. Servanus, who, according to 
Fordun, had been consecrated bishop by S. Palladius, which must have 

<> Mabillon, Act. Benedict, torn. i. Vit. Gildas. 

f" Supra, Book Second, III. 

(c) Vit. Gild. c. viii. 

w Ussher, Ant. Brit. Ind. Chronulog. 


happened about the year 440, according to the accounts the Scottish writers A. D. ail. 
give of S. Palladius, that he lived and preached several years among the 
Picts and Scots, after his coming back from Ireland, about A.D. 432, as we 
have elsewhere ;a > related. Now Servanus being at least thirty years of age, 
according to the Canons, when he was consecrated bishop, could not, in the 
common course of nature, have lived long enough into the sixth century to 
educate S. Kentigern, and, by consequence, it seems more probable that 
Kentigern's birth happened in the end of the fifth age. However it is 
certain that he flourished chiefly in the sixth. 

His Life written by Joceline, taken from, two more ancient relations of 
it, and dedicated to another Joceline, who was Bishop of Glasgow from 
A.D. 1175 till A.D. 1199, is extant in a MS. of Cotton< b > Library, written 
at full length, containing some important passages that are not in the coni- 
pend of it published by Capgrave from John of Tinmouth. There is in the 
same Cotton Library an imperfect beginning of another more ancient Life 
of this Saint,' '> but of no better character, written at the desire of Herbert, 
who sat Bishop of Glasgow in the same age, from 1147 till 1104. It is 
from these MSS., compared with the abridgment that we have of them in 
Capgrave, and from the preface to the ancient chartulary of Glasgow, that 
I shall take my accounts of S. Kentigern, who deserved to have had his 
Life written by more judicious and less credulous authors, and nearer his 
own time. 

I pass over the account of his birth, of which there appears nothing 
certain, but rather fabulous, only that his mother's name was Thanew or 
Tenew, daughter to the king of the Midland Britons or Cumbrians. .She 
lived afterwards a retired and penitential life, and was honoured as a Saint ' c) 
on the 18th day of July. Kentigern himself was educated under the care 
of the holy bishop Servanus, whose chief abode in his old age was at Cul- 
lenros or Culross, where he lived with a religious society of disciples. S. 
Kentigern, having resolved upon a more solitary life, left Servanus and 
passed into Cumbria. This country, according to Joceline,< d > and the pre- 

'" Supra, Book First, XLI. 

o MS. Cotton. Vitellius, C. VIII. 

" [See this Life printed in the Chartulary of the Church of Glasgow; Appendix II. 
to Editor's Preface.] 

< c > Breviar. Scot. 

(d) Jocelin. Vit. S. Kentigerni. [Vitse Antiquse Sanctorum in Scotia ; Vita Kente- 
gerni, c. xi.] 


A.U. .311. face of the old chartulary of Glasgow, included all the territories that lay 
towards the western coasts, betwixt the northern and southern walls, which 
formerly made a part of the province of Valentia, and composed at that 
time the kingdom of the Middle Britons. S. Kentigern upon his arrival 
there endeavoured to live unknown, and therefore retired to a solitary place, 
and gave himself to the exercises of prayer and mortification. 

But the inhabitants of those parts being most part Christians, and their 
king and great men having founded a bishop's seat at Glasgow, which at 
this time happened to be vacant, Kentigern was by the order^ of God 
chosen for their bishop, not without great reluctancy on his side, and having 
sent to Ireland for a bi>hop, they caused him to be consecrated according to 
the form in use among the Britons and Scots, which, as the author adds, 
; consisted b) only in anointing the elect bishop's head with chrism, and in 
i he imposition of the bishop's hands upon him, with invocation of the Holy 
<;hust or prayer and benediction." These rites sufficed, no doubt, for the 
validity of his consecration, but because it was performed by one single 
bishop (whereas the Canons require three), and that it seems some other 
usual ceremonies were wanting, the author excuses it by reason that these 
islanders being'"' at a distance from the rest of the Christian world, and 
exposed to the infestation of Pagans, were become very ignorant of the 
Canons and customs of the Church ; and the author adds that S. Kentigern 
travelled afterwards to Rome, and had any defects that might have happened 
in his consecration supplied by the Pope. 

The PrinceO') mentioned here was called Marcus or Marken, King of the 
Cumbrians or Midland Britons, who had his chief seat at Alcluyd or Dun- 
britton, near Glasgow. It was at this last place that S. Kentigern fixed 
his chief residence, and a great number of disciples assembling to him, he 
formed a numerous congregation of lieligious men, who had all things in 
common, says the author, and lived according to the apostolical primitive 
form, and intermixed their prayers and spiritual functions with the labour 
of their hands. But the principal application cf this holy bishop was to 
gain souls, travelling for that end everywhere through the country, not on 

<" Jocelin. Vit. S. Kent. [Vit. Kent. c. xi ] 

" Ibid. [Vit. Kent. c. xi.] 

=) Insulani quasi extra orbem positi, emergentibus paganorum infestationibus, cano- 
nura erant ignari. ecclesiastica ideo censura ipsis condescendens excusationem eorum 
admittit in hac parte. Ibid. [Vit. Kent. c. xi ] 

Ibid. [Vit. Kent. c. xxi.] 


horseback, but on foot, after the example of the Apostles. By these means A. D. 51 1. 
he converted many infidels, abolished everywhere the remains of idolatry, 
reduced the heretics to the union of the Church, and began to divide the 
country into districts, as much as the circumstances of the people, infected 
by the Pagan Saxons, lately come in among them, could allow. 

For by this time the Saxons, who were infidels, after possessing them- 
selves, as we have seen, of the best parts of the south of the island, had begun 
to get a footing in the more northern parts betwixt the walls, which not 
only hindered the settling of regular discipline among the ancient Chris- 
tian inhabitants, but gave occasion to many of them to relapse into idolatry 
and superstition. This was a new exercise of the holy man's zeal to recover 
those that had fallen away, and to fortify those that were staggering in faith. 

VIII. But whilst he was wholly taken up with this apostolical function, 
the devil, (a) envying the success of his labours, stirred up some wicked men 
who had the king's car, to irritate him against the Saint, and raised a per- 
secution which obliged him to leave this country, and retire into the 
southern part of the island, now called Wales, where he settled at n place 
called Elwy, and by the example of his holy life, being followed by a num- 
ber of disciples, he founded a monastery, which came afterwards to be a 
bishop's seat. For. as we have elsewhere observed, that most part of the 
cities and episcopal sees in Ireland had their origin from some holy man's 
retiring and assembling a numerous congregation of disciples, so, also, the 
same thing happened among the Scots, and even among the old Britons, 
where there had not been ancient Roman cities. 

Joc3line' b) informs us that in S. Kentigern's monastery at Elwy, there 
assembled to him above nine hundred and sixty-five disciples, who all lived 
under regular discipline. That of this number, three hundred, who were 
illiterate, he appointed to till the ground, and feed cattle without the 
monastery ; other three hundred he allotted to prepare nourishment and 
perform other necessary works within the monastery ; and that lie deputed 
the other three hundred and sixty-five, who were scholars, to celebrate the 
daily canonical Office, and these he divided again into several bands or 
companies, to the end that when one band had finished the Service of God 
in the church, another presently might succeed and begin the Office again, 
which being ended, a third company without delay resumed the same pious 

<> Jocelin. Vit. S. Kent. [Vit. Kent. c. xxiii.] 
<"> Ibid. [Vit. Kent. c. xxv.] 


A. D. .V22. exercise. By this means prayers were offered to God, and his praise sung 
in the church, without intermission day and night. 

What confirms this account that Joceline gives of S. Kentigern's mon- 
astery, is, that it is certain that the same pious practice of incessant prayers 
and praises of God, called Laus pcrennis, was in use< a) in the same age 
in many of the great monasteries of France, such as those of S. Denys, 
S. Maurice, S. Benigne at Dijon, Luxeu, Marmoutier, &c., and probably 
in others of Britain and Ireland. 

IX. A.D. 522. Galaam or Galanan Etelick, forty-first King of the Picts, 
dying, was succeeded by Brest or Dadrest, their forty-second king, who 
reigned one year only, and had for successor Drest or Durst, son of Gyrom, 
who reigned one year alone, and five years in partnership with Durst, son 
of Adrost, after whose death Drest or Durst, son of Gyrom, reigned other 
five years alone. 

About this time, to wit, A.D. 523, is placed the death of S. Brigid, 
Virgin, so famous in Scotland, as well as in Ireland, her native country, 
where she founded the monastery ofKildare. In both these kingdoms and 
abroad, a great number of churches were dedicated to God under the name 
of this holy Virgin, whose feast is kept the first of February. Her death 
was soon after followed by that of Darlugtach, Virgin, her disciple : the 
same who came ovcr< b> to Britain during the reign of Nectan, the thirty- 
ninth king of the Picts, and concurred with him to the first foundation of 
the ancient church of Abernethy. Her feast is celebrated October the first. 

A.D. 534. After the death of Durst, son of Gyrom, King of the Picts, 
Gartnach, son of Gyrom, succeeded, and was their forty-fourth king, and 
reigned seven years. 

A.D. 535, died Comgal, third king of the Scots, and his son Conall 
being under age and not capable to govern in person, the crown devolved 
to Gabhran or Gauran, brother to the late king. He reigned twenty-two 
years. But I find no certain account of the transactions during his time. 
He is called Goran and Couran by our modern writers. 

A.D. 541, Gartnach, the forty-fourth king of the Picts, was succeeded 
by Cealtrain or Kelturain, son of Gyrom, who, after one year's reign, had 
for successor Thalarg, son of Muircholach, who reigned eleven years. In 

< 4) Mabillon, Annal. Benedictin. torn. i. pp. 29, 46, 123, 174, 212, &c. 315, 342, 
418, 422. 

" Supra, Book First, LV. 


the second year of his reign, A.D. 542, is placed the death of King Arthur, A. D. 
to whom so many martial deeds are ascribed by the British writers. He 
is said<"> to have had a sister called Anna, married to one Loth, whom they 
call king of the Picts, though no such name appears either in the catalogue 
in Fordun's History, or in the Pictish Chronicle, or in any of the other 
catalogues of their kings The modern Scottish writers add, that from the 
name of this King Loth was derived that of the province of Lothian, not 
heard of till several ages afterwards. They give him for his children Wal- 
wanus and Modrcdus, who is also made king of the Picts, but all this seems 
originally grounded only upon the British stories of King Arthur, who, 
they say, was mortally wounded in a battle against this Modredus, assisted 
by the Scots and Picts, and was conveyed to Glastonbury, where he died 
and was buried. All which may be seen, with no small variety of circum- 
stances, in the British writers, and in our modern historians Bocce and 

About these times died S. David, Bishop of Mcnevia, famous for the 
sanctity of his life, and for his miracles among the Welsh or old Britons, 
who hold him for their principal patron. His feast is celebrated the first 
of March. 

X. A.D. 547, the kingdom of the Saxons in Northumberland began. 
We have elsewhere observed that the Saxons had long ago begun a settle- 
ment in these northern parts. But hitherto they had contented themselves 
with Chieftains or Dukes, depending on the king of Kent, till this year 
that Ida, having brought over with him new forces, and joined them with 
the rest of the Saxons, inhabitants of these northern parts, was the first 
that took the title of king. 

This northern kingdom, which was the fifth of the Saxon Heptarchy, 
was afterwards divided into two states or little kingdoms, called Deira and 
Bernicia, which sometimes had each a proper king of its own, at other 
times they were both subject to one king. 

That of Deira, according to mistaken accounts of some of the English < b > 
writers, was extended from the River Humber to that of Tweed, which, 
say they, was the boundary of the kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia. Others 
write, with much more probability, that Deira extended no farther than 
the River Tees, and make that river the boundary of these two little king- 

<' Boeth. Hist. fol. pp. 151, 155, &e. 
> Ussher, Ant. Brit. pp. 212, 213. 



A. D. 547. doms. The English writers pretend also that the kingdom of Bernicia 
extended from the Tees or Tweed to the frith of Forth, on the Scottish 
sea. But these boundaries varied often, according as the Picts or Saxons 
were more or less powerful in these parts. 

XT. It would, indeed, at first appear, by some expressions of Bede, that 
the Saxons had been masters of the territories to the south of the friths, 
and that the Pictish inhabitants of these parts were sometimes overrun and 
kept under by some of the more powerful of the Northumbrian kings ; yet 
besides that Bcde, being a Saxon writer, is not absolutely to be depended 
upon in the account he gives of the victories of the Saxon kings, nor of the 
extent he gives of their power and dominions over their neighbour princes 
and nations, enemies of the Saxons, he himself owns that the Picts re- 
covered^' again their territories whereof the Saxons had possessed them- 
selves ; and the Picts remained so much masters of the countries to the 
south of the friths, that in the seventh or eighth century these provinces 
are called Pictorum terra even by Bede himself, in the( b > Life of S. Cuth- 
bert, according to the remarks of the last learned editor of Bede's History, 
and Bishop Trumwin, who had his scat at Abercorn, on the south side of the 
friths, is called by Bcde himself Pictorum( c) Episcopus, and, by consequence, 
his diocesans, or the inhabitants of the country where he resided, were Picts, 
though, according to Bede, they happened at that time, that is A.D. 681, to 
be subject to the Saxons. And Bede himself owns that this subjection was 
only transient, and lasted only about four years, till A.D. 685, that by the 
victory which Brude, king of the Picts, obtained over Egfrid, king of the 
Saxons, in a battle where King Egfrid himself was killed and his army 
routed by the Picts, by this victory, says< d) Bede, " the Picts recovered their 
own lands which had been held by the English," which certainly must be 
understood of the lands to the south of the friths, for we nowhere read 
that the Saxons or English in those days ever possessed a foot of ground 
of the Pictish lands to the north of the friths ; accordingly, in this defeat 
the Picts drove the English out of all their bounds, from the friths, says 

frt Hist. Eccles. lib iv. c. 26. 

00 Vita S. Cuthberti, c. xi. Quodam tempore pergens (Cuthbertus) ad terram 
Pictorum quse Niduari vocatur. (i. e. populus accolens ripas fluvii Nid in Sohay fretum 
influentis). Not. D. Joan. Smith, editoris Hist. Bed. 

< c > Hist Kccles. lib. iv. c. 12. 

w Ibid. lib. iv. c. 26. Nam et Picti terram possessions suae quam Angli tenuerunt 


Mr. Collier, f"' to the Tweed. And Whithern, or Candida Casa, in Gal- A. D. 547 
loway, is placed in terra gentis Pictorum, in Pichtland, by Florence of Wor- 
cester, W one of the most ancient English historians after Bede. 

All this considered, with what hath been said in the first part of this 
Essay, and in several places of this part, it cannot but seem very strange 
that so learned a writer as Bishop Ussher is deservedly esteemed, especially 
in the antiquities of Britain and Ireland, shovdd let himself bo so overruled 
by partiality against the right the Picts had, in ancient times, and from 
them the Scots, to LourHan or Lothian and the other territories to the south 
of the friths which belong to the kingdom of Scotland, as to advance that 
the Southern Picts, whom S. Ninian converted, had no (cl habitation on the 
south side of the friths, but only on the north side, between these friths 
and the Grampian hills ; whereas, besides all the authorities above set down, 
there remains still a lasting public monument of the Picts having been in 
possession of Lothian and the adjacent counties, since the eminent hills in 
the heart of Lothian still retain the name of Pichtland hills, called by 
corruption Pentland hills by the vulgar, from the Saxon Peohtaland hills, 
as being more easily pronounced. And nothing shows how far national 
prejudices are capable to carry even learned men, than to observe that 
Bishop Ussher,. to elude the force of this palpable proof of the Picts having 
been in ancient times the possessors and inhabitants of Lothian, is obliged 
to have recourse to a groundless conjecture of Buchanan/" 1 ) who, without 
the least proof from record or history, imagines that the Pichtland hills 
(because the vulgar by corruption call them Pentland hills) had their name 
from one Penthus, never heard of before. But to be persuaded of the little 
solidity of this conjecture of Buchanan about Penthus, he himself speaking, 
some pages fe) before, of the Pichtland frith (called also by the vulgar 
Pentland frith) which divides Caithness from the Orkney Islands, had 
called it Picticum fretum, from the Picts, who in ancient times possessed 
all these northern parts. I thought it necessary to insist a little upon 
this notion of Bishop Ussher concerning the Pictish dominions, because 
of the abuse that some English and Irish writers make of his authority 

<*> Church Hist. vol. i. p. 109. 

< b) Flor. Wigorn. Chron. p. 688, edit. Francofurt. A.D. 1601. In terra gentis Pic- 
torum, episcopus Candida; Casae. 

> Ussher, Ant. Brit. pp. 348, 350. 
<d) Buchanan, Hist. edit. Freebairn, p. 30 
W Ibid. p. 20. 


A. D ,)53. against the independency of the kingdom of Scotland, especially as to 
those parts of it. 

XII. A.D. 553. Talarg, King of the Picts, dying, was succeeded by 
Drest or Durst, son of Moneth, who having reigned one year, had for suc- 
cessor Galarn, who reigned one year with Aleth, and another with Bride 
or Brude. 

A.D. 556. This Brude, son of Meilochon, whom Bede' a > calls a most 
powerful king, begun to reign alone, and was the forty-ninth king of the 
Picts, and reigned thirty years. It was under his reign that the Gospel 
was preached by S. Columba to the Northern Picts, as we shall shortly see. 

A.D. 557, died Gauran, the fourth king of the Scots, to whom succeeded 
his nephew Conal, son of Congal, and reigned fourteen years. 

It was about these times that S. Kentigern returned back from Wales 
to his episcopal see at Glasgow, of which Joceline, in his Life, gives the 
following account. Whilst S. KentigernO) governed the church and mon- 
astery that he had founded at Elwy, in Wales, whither he had been forced 
to retire, as we related before, by Marken, King of the Midland Britons or 
Cumbrians, many of the inhabitants of Cumbria had relapsed into idolatry, 
partly for want of pastors and instruction, partly by the mixture of the 
Saxons, as yet infidels, who had possessed themselves of a part .of that 
country. This infidelity of the Cumbrians drew upon them the wrath of 
God and severe punishments. 

At last Almighty God raised up another king called Rederec, whom 
Adamnan,< c > in S. Columba's Life, makes mention of as having his chief 
seat at Alcluyd, now Dunbritton (ad petram Cloithe). This King Rederec. 
being a particular friend of S. Columba, a pious and zealous prince, and 
having resolved to restore to its purity the Christian Religion within his 
dominions, sent messengers with pressing letters to S. Kentigern, conjuring 
him with great instance to come back to his pastoral charge at Glasgow, 
upon which the holy man resolved to return. 

But in the first place, not to leave the work he had begun, and which 
had so well prospered under his hand at Elwy, without providing for its 
preservation, he consecrated one of his choice disciples a bishop, his name 

<' Regnante apud Pictos Bridio filio Meilochon rege potcntissimo. Bed. Hist. 
Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 

<""' Jocelin. Vit. S. Kent. [Vit. Kent. c. xxix.] 
(e) Adamnan. Vit. S. Columb. lib. i. c. 15 


was Asaph, and he proved a prelate of so eminent sanctity, that the bishop's A. D. 5r, 
seat, formerly called Elwy, was afterwards called from his name S. Asaph, 
which it still bears. S. Kentigern having then established this pious 
person for his successor, accompanied with many of his former disciples, 
set out for Glasgow. King llederec, attended by a great number of the 
people coming out to receive him, the holy bishop gave them his benedic- 
tion, and among the other prayers he pronounced with authority these 
words : " Let all that obstruct the salvation of this people, and the preach- 
ing of the word of God, depart from hence." Upon which a great number 
of frightful spectres, says Joceline," fled away instantly in the sight of the 
people, leaving them in great fear and astonishment. 

The Saint comforted and encouraged them, and took occasion from that 
apparition to excite in them a horror against worshipping false gods, among 
whom he names Woden, the false deity of the pagan Saxons (by which it 
appears that some of the inhabitants of these parts subject to King Rederec 
were Saxons). He also obtained to the king, by his prayers, a son, called 
Constantino, who afterwards, having succeeded his father in the throne, 
surpassed all his predecessors in sanctity of life, as well as in temporal 
dominions and riches. 

Besides the holy man's labours in the dominions of King Rederec, |bl 
" he purged from idolatry and heresy the country of the Picts, which, says 
Joceline, is called now (that is, in the twelfth century) Galloway. He 
converted Albany, he built churches, ordained priests and consecrated 
bishops some of his disciples, and founded in these parts many monasteries." 
The author adds, that S. Kentigern sent some of his disciples to preach the 
Gospel to the Orkney Islands, and other northern countries, He had also 
a solemn meeting with S. Columba, after the arrival of that holy abbot in 
Britain, of which afterwards. 

Joceline and others relate, in particular, many miracles wrought by 
S. Kentigern ; among others, that of recovering the queen's ring, which 
had been thrown in the river Clyde, and was, he says, found in the mouth 
of a salmon, which story no doubt gave occasion to the arms of the Church 

<> Jocelin. Vit. S. Kent. [Vit. Kent. c. xxxii.] 

J> Pictorura patriam, quas modo Galwithia dicitur, et circumferentia ejns ab 

idolatria et hseretica pravitatis contagione purgavit....Petiit Albaniam,...ubi...ab idoli cul- 
tura et prophanis ritibus (purgavit)....Presbyteros et clerum ordinans et pluresde discipu- 
lis in episcopos consecravit: multa in partibus illis monasteria fundavit. Jocelin. Vit. 
S. Kent. [Vit. Kent. c. xxxiv.] 


.\. D. ~>5T. of Glasgow. But as these miracles, and such others, not very likely in 
themselves, are related only by authors that appear to have been too credu- 
lous, and who, besides, lived at too great a distance of time from the facts 
they relate, to be sufficiently informed of the truth of them, I pass them 
over, as I did those attributed to S. Ninian and S. Patrick. But notwith- 
standing my resolution to give no place in this Essay to uncertain miracles, 
I am not the less persuaded that the many conversions wrought by the 
preaching of these apostolical men were attended with true and certain 
miracles, as I have shown elsewhere. (a) 

Nor can I easily give credit to what Joceline relates of S. Kentigern's 
living to the age of one hundred and eighty-five years, and therefore I can 
affirm nothing of the precise year of his death, which Bishop Ussher< b) 
places about A.D. 601. All that we know of more certain of the chrono- 
logy of his life is, that he flourished in the sixth age, and died at Glasgow 
upon the thirteenth of January, on which day his festival was annually 
celebrated in a solemn manner in the Church of Scotland, by the name of 
S. Mungo, especially at Glasgow, where his body was preserved with great 
respect, and at his tomb, says my(> author, the blind recovered their sight, 
the deaf their hearing, the lame their going, the leprous were cleansed, 
and many other miracles were wrought, which drew the respect of all our 
countrymen, and in particular of our kings, bishops, and nobility, as appears 
by their grants and charters in favour of the Church of Glasgow, contained 
in the old chartulary ; by which it appears also that among other marks of 
veneration of our kings for the memory of S. Kentigern, the town of Glas- 
gow, from a burgh of baronry, belonging in property to the bishops of that 
see, was erected into a royal burgh, and the Church into a Metropolis. 

XIII. I cannot finish what concerns S. Kentigern and the foundation 
of the Bishopric of Glasgow without taking notice of the act or writ of the 
Inquest ( d > of the ancient possessions of the Church of Glasgow, made 
A.D. 1117, by authority of David, Prince of Cumbria (afterwards King 
David I.), and attested by that Prince, by all the great men of his court, 
and by the four great Judges of Cumbria: it is the first writ of the foresaid 

<' Supra, Book First, LVIII. 
" Ussher, Ant. Brit. Ind. Chronol. 
M Jocelin. in Vit. S. Kent. [Vit. Kent. c. xliv.] 

(d > Chartul. vetus Glasg. fol. 1, in Collegio Scotor. Paris. [Regist. Episcop. Glasg. 
vol. i. pp. 3, 4, 5.] 


chartulary, and contains the most ancient and most authentic account that A. D. 557. 
now remains of the first erection of that Church, and of S. Kcntigcrn's 
being placed bishop in it, as we have related. And what is chiefly remark- 
able, it ihformsW us that this Church had, after the death of S. Kentigern, 
during the course of many years, " a continued succession of bishops," which 
lasted until the Church and country itself were ravaged and destroyed by 
the invasion of different tribes of different nations (by which are no doubt 
meant the Picts, Saxons, Scots, and Danes), by whom most of the ancient 
inhabitants (the remains of the old Britons of those parts, often mentioned 
in this Essay) were either forced away, or brought under the subjection to 
new masters. 

The copies hitherto printed of this ancient Inquest of the possessions 
of the Church of Glasgow being very incorrect and full of faults, there shall 
be insert in the Appendix to this work an exact copy, taken from the 
ancient original chartulary. 

The account contained in this ancient document, of six hundred years' 
standing, of S. Kentigern, Bishop, and the many bishops his successors in 
the see of Glasgow, in the sixth and following ages, could not fail to shock 
our countrymen of the Presbyterian way, especially the late Sir James Dal- 
rymple, whose chief design in his Collections concerning the Scottish 
History being to endeavour to prove this surprising paradox, to wit, that 
the Christians in Scotland were Presbyterians as to doctrine and discipline, 
and especially as to the Hierarchy or Church Government, from their first 
receiving the Gospel, down till towards the eleventh or twelfth century, 
this being, I say, his design, he could not but be alarmed with an account 
of a succession of bishops in the sixth and seventh ages, especially in that 
part of Scotland which hath been, since the new Reformation, the chief 
bulwark and seat of Presbyterian principles. 

He therefore sets about to contest the truth of the relation contained 
in the instrument of the Inquest of the possessions of Glasgow Church, 
though it be one of the most ancient acts or instruments that we have 
left us of the Church of Scotland, attested by the religious prince, Count 
David, afterwards first of that name King of Scotland, and honoured as a 
Saint, by the Princess his spouse, by the prime nobility of his court, and 
by the four great Judges of the country, inregistered near five hundred 

<a) Post multa temporura curricula Sancto Kentigerno, pluribusque succes- 

soribus suis pise religionis perseverantia ad Dominum transmigratis, diversae seditiones, 
circumquaque iosurgentes, &c. Chartul. Glasg. MS. fol. 1. Dalrymple, Coll. p. 337. 


A. D. .5.37. years ago in the ancient chartulaiy of Glasgow, called of old the Red Book 
of Glasgow, and still extant. 

One would have naturally expected from this learned gentleman some 
positive proof to support his attempt to disprove so authentic a public evi- 
dence of so long standing ; and I hope it will serve with impartial readers 
for a confirmation of the account we have from it of S. Mungo, and of his 
many successors in the episcopal dignity, that a person so versed in all that 
remains of ancient history or records of Scotland, and one so zealous 
against episcopal government and succession, where he treats the subject 
designedly, could find nothing to invalidate the force of this testimony but 
negatives, that is, the bareW silence of Bede, and of other Saxon writers, 
from whom no account of S. Mungo, or of the bishops his successors, how- 
over certain they may have been, could be reasonably expected by any 
impartial person that considers the whole tenor of Bede's History, and his 
declared intention in writing it ; and the same I say of the other English 
or Saxon writers. 

XIV. But because this negative argument, grounded upon the silence 
of Bede, however insignificant it be when duly considered, hath been more 
than once objected against the Civil as well as Religious parts of our An- 
tiquities, I shall for once endeavour to go to the bottom of it, though it 
hath been touchedO) elsewhere, and show how little force there is in it. 

And, in the first place, it suffices, methinks, to read the bare title of 
Bede's History to be persuaded that his intention in writing it was only to 
give account of the Ecclesiastical History of the English or Saxon nation, 
" Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum," and whoever will examine it 
with attention, will find that Bede, all along in it, hath confined himself 
almost scrupulously within that compass ; that, accordingly, he gives us an 
exact account of the Conversion of the Saxons, of the progress of the Gospel 
among them, of the chief instruments of their Conversion that Almighty 
God was pleased to make use of in the several provinces of England, of the 
rirst bishops of each province or little kingdom, of the succession, inter- 
ruptions, and restorations of their bishops, and the erection and alteration 
of their bishop's seats, and all this from their first settlement, till he brings 
them down to his own time. And thus Bede hath completely answered 
the expectation that the title of his book gave his reader. 

<> Dalrymple, Coll. pp.341, 342. 
<" Crit. Essay, p. 655. 


He hath even gone beyond it, for having considered that the ecclesias- A. D.557. 
tical history of a country or nation can never be well understood without 
that the civil part of its history be put in due light, Bede begins his 
account of the Saxons by relating the occasion of their first coming in, and 
of their settlement in the island, and continues on the account of their 
progress in Britain, of the erection of the several kingdoms of the Hep- 
tarchy, and the succession, names, and chief actions of their kings, down 
till the time he wrote. 

But as to the o'.her inhabitants of the island, to wit, the Britons, the 
Picts, and the Scots, Bede could not indeed dispense himself from giving- 
some account of them, they being the most ancient inhabitants of Britain, 
settled in it long before the Saxons came in, and after their coming in, 
their affairs civil and ecclesiastical were frequently so interwoven with 
those of the ancient inhabitants, that what concerned the Saxons could 
never be explained without mentioning the Britons, Picts, or Scots, as they 
happened to interfere in them. Accordingly, Bede, in the first chapter of 
his History, being to give a short description of the island and of its 
ancient inhabitants, could not omit giving an account of the first settle- 
ment of these three nations, to give light to the sequel of his History, 
and prepare the way for the coming in of the Saxons. And for the 
same reason he begins the chapter following with an account of the 
Romans entering the island, and of their settlements in it, which he con- 
tinues afterwards till the state of their affairs abroad forced them at last 
to abandon it. 

Neither could Bede, in order to give light to his main subject, to wit, 
the Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, dispense himself from at 
least making mention of the Conversion to Christianity of the ancient in- 
habitants of Britain : he speaks also more than once of the bishops of 
the Britons in general, upon occasion of their conference with S. Augustine, 
Apostle of the Saxons, but not only he gives no account of the erection of 
their episcopal seats, nor of the succession of their bishops, as he does of 
those of the Saxons, but he doth not in all his History give us the name so 
much as of one single bishop of the Britons. Must we, therefore, doubt 
that there were such bishops among the Britons as the three we find pre- 
sent at the first Council of Aries, A D. 314, because Bede mentions none of 
them ? Or must we doubt that there ever were such bishops among the 
Britons as Dubricius, Samson, Asaph, or even the famous S. David, chief 



v IV A:.:, patron of the old Britons or Welsh, because wo find not in Bede so much 
as one of their names ! 

Now, since lx\le, either for want of information, or because he thought 
it unnecessary to the Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, hath not 
recorded the succession of the British bishops, nor so much as the single 
name of any one of them, with what ground can his silence of S. Kentigern 
and his many successors, bishops of Glasgow, among the Midland or 
Northern Uritous. be alleged :is an argument against the account we have 
of them in the most ancient record we hare remaining of the town and 
Christianity of lihscow. a record drawn up with such solemnity in so 
great an assembly, attested by the IVinee. and all the great men of that 
intry. above six hundred years ago f 

Much less ear. :':u- >ile;:ee of Bede, and his never mentioning any of the 

.e- of the aueient bishops of the Scots and of the Piets, be alleged as 
..-.-. argument that they had no bUhops, since that same famous passage of 
Iv.le. \\h-ieh is so e.'':en alleged, and with so great ostentation, by the Pres- 
byterian writers, against the superiority .of bishops over simple presbyters, 
cording to the interpretation of the ablest writer that ever 
tat the Scots and Piets had bishops in the most 

.iv.eiev.t limes. Ixxle's words are: "This* 1 island (Hy) hath an Abbot, 
uho is a priest, for it* ruler, to whose direction all the province, and even 
the bis' y to the usual order, are subject'' Now Blonde! vb ' 

himself, the most learned of all the Presbyterian writers, and the chief 
fountain all their common writers draw their arguments, explains 
with rvoson the word -province" in this passage, of the territories of the 
l^iets and Soot*, and, in consequence, he infers from it that the bishops 
mentioned here by Bede, were those of the Piets and of the Scots that 
were, ;uvording to Bede, subject to the Abbot of Ycolmkill. 

We shall discuss this passage, and the nature of the subjection men- 
tioned in it, in its proper place; I mention it only here to prove that, 
according to Bede. the Piets and Scots hail bishops in S. Oolumba's time. 
and in that of his successors, and ret Bede never sires us the name of one 

* Habere aatna solet ipsa insula (fly) rwtorem semper Abbaiem Presbyterum, 
rajas jari omais prorincia t ipsi etia* CfMnfi, ordtop iauatato, d^beant esse sabjccti. 
. E<vl. lib. ui. r. 4. 

-> PSetoTM Scotaramqa^ Sfpteotrionaliam (f>i$copi. io. B'.ondel. ApoJoy. S. 
M. p. 3TO. 


of them, excepting those alone who were employed in the: Conversion of the A. |j. .',',7 
.Saxons, whose history was all that Bede had in view. .And thus far as to 
the arguments drawn from the silence of Bcde, especially concerning S 
Kentigern and his successors, Bishops of Glasgow. 

XV. The denotation, above-mentioned, of this Church, and of the 
ancient inhabitants of Cumbria, happened about the eighth or ninth century, 
and upon that disaster followed in course the interruption of the episcopal 
succession in those parts ; but such was the goodness of God, and liis pater- 
nal care for the preservation of the necessary means of salvation among 
these desolate inhabitants, that no sooner was the epi.^.opal luccc lion in- 
terrupted at Glasgow, in the one extremity of Cumbria, or f.lie kingdom ot 
the Midland Britons (and in cour.-.e, with the cc"..-.ation of the epi.-.eopal 
ministry, especially of ordination, a stop put to the propagation to [io;terity 
of all true ministers of the Word and .Sacraments, in a word of a Chri-.f.ian 
Church;, but about the aarne time, that i :, al/mt the beginning of the eighth 
age, the most ancient episcopal see of Candida Casa or Galloway, at, the 
other end of Cumbria, was by a special providence of God re-established ;i 
by the Northumbrian Saxons ^converted to Christianity in the seven'h age. 
as we shall see, by the SootS; and the bishopric of Galloway or Candida 
Casa being restored, the necessary pastors were duly ordained, an'! 
the rest of the dioce-e of Glasgow. 

But such were the confusions of the- civil state of that country during 
these miserable times, ari.iing from the perpetual struggle of the I'iets. 
Saxons, Scots, and Danes, worrying one another about the po . -.<. -. .ion of it, 
that the country of Galloway >" being almo.-.t quite destroyed, the episcopal 
succession was again interrupted, after it had lasted since its restoration, 
under the administration of six buhops, according to Florence ' : of Wor- 
cester, who gives us their names (Malmcsbury mentions only four of them), 
during the space of above one hundred years, and from thenceforth the 
Christians of that country, in order to be furnished with lawful pastors, were 
obliged to have recourse to the Bishops of Holy Island, Ifexham, S. 
Andrews, and others in their neighbourhood, till the restoration of the 
episcopal aeea of Galloway and Glasgow, by King Malcolm Can more and 
his children. 

w Hist. Eecles. lib. T. c. 23. 

">' Malmesbur. de Ge*tU Pontif. lib. iii. fol. 122. 156. 

'" Flor. Wigora. Cbron. p. 688. 


A. D. 557. But this happened long afterwards, and will be treated in its proper 

place. What I have said here, by anticipation, upon occasion of S. Kenti- 
gern and his successors in the sec of Glasgow, is only in order to show 
that all these inhabitants betwixt the walls, the most ancient Christians of 
what is since called Scotland, had always enjoyed, down from the first 
erection of a Christian Church by S. Ninian, in the end of the fourth and 
beginning of the fifth century, a succession of bishops, as much as the con- 
vulsions of the State, by the invasion of infidels, or other enemies, had left 
bishops at liberty to reside, and the Christians at freedom to possess and 
exercise their religion, and to enjoy their lands and liberties. 

But when \vc observe these western provinces so frequently ravaged 
and destroyed, and the civil government so often overturned, can we wonder 
that the government of the Church, which is so connected with the peace 
of the State, suffered frequent interruptions ? So that I dare confidently 
advance that we have in all ages equal proofs of an episcopal government 
in Scotland, as we have of a Christian Church, particularly in these western 
parts of the kingdom (where, < a) since the Knoxian Reformation, by the new 
spirit which the authors and promoters of this new form of doctrine and 
discipline have inspired to the inhabitants, they have distinguished them- 
selves from all the rest of the kingdom by an aversion, which hath too often 
degenerated into rage and fury, not only against the Catholics, from whose 
hands they received the knowledge of Christianity and the books of the 
Holy Scripture, but even against the poor remains of the episcopal Order, 
such as it hath been endeavoured to be kept up among their brethren of 
the Protestant Communion). 

XVI. Thus far as to the ancient state of Christianity in the southern 
and western parts of Scotland : we are now, according to the order of time, 
to continue on the progress of its doctrine and discipline in the more 
northern parts of the kingdom, where, though the Gospel had begun to be 
preached long ago, yet the propagation of it, and the total Conversion of the 
northern inhabitants, especially of the Picts, was chiefly owing to the great 
S. Columba and to his disciples, and even as to the Southern Picts, by 
what we have had occasion to observe in what hath been related of their 
history, it doth not appear that hitherto Christianity had been so well 
settled, and so deeply rooted among them as not to have suffered some 

w Q. whether this parenthesis ought not to be left out as being too harsh, though 
too true ? 


eclipses, by reason of their warlike temper, their being almost still upon A. D. 557. 
expeditions, and the instability of the civil government, and other impedi- 
ments of the spirit of Christianity elsewhere mentioned. Whereas, by the 
conversions made among the Picts, by the preaching, the example, and the 
miracles of S. Columba and his disciples, by the pious institutions of so 
many monasteries within the bounds of the Picts, and in their neighbour- 
hood among the Scots, especially that of Ycolmkill, which, by the admirable 
lives of its holy inhabitants, raised up to a degree of Christian perfection, 
far exceeding the ordinary course of human nature, became a shining lamp 
that enlightened all the countries around, by all this, I say, Christianity 
was so deeply rooted among these people that it never afterwards suffered 
any considerable interruption. 

And whereas in the accounts we have hitherto given of the first estab- 
lishment and progress of the Gospel in those northern parts, we have often, 
for want of vouchers, been obliged to depend upon what could be gleaned 
from ancient writers, sometimes upon likely conjectures drawn from the 
circumstances of the people, of the neighbourhood, and of the times, and 
upon the authority of writers who were either too credulous, or lived too long 
after the transactions they treat of, to be fully relied on, we have the Life 
of S. Columba from the hands of two abbots, his successors in Ycolmkill, 
who may be both in some manner reckoned almost contemporary with the 
Saint, at least both of them well informed, upon the place, of all that con- 
cerned him, since the first of the two, Cumineus, might have possibly seen 
S. Columba himself,.and undoubtedly had his accounts from those of Ycolm- 
kill who had conversed with the Saint, and had been witnesses to his life 
and actions. 

XVII. S. Adamnan, the other writer of his Life, and his successor also 
in the government of Ycolmkill, where he sat Abbot from A.D. 679 till 
A.D. 704, besides that he had the records and monuments left by the 
abbots his predecessors, and by other religious men of this abbey, he had 
also conversed with some of the ancients, as yet alive in his time, who had 
been witnesses of many of S. Columba's actions and miracles, as he him- 
self < a > often assures us. So there can be no doubt made of his being fully 
informed of all that concerned the holy abbot. 

And as to his veracity, as well as to his capacity and character of probity, 

< al Adamnan. Vit. S. Columbae, lib. i. cc 1 , 2, 38, 43, 49 ; lib. ii. cc. 44, 45, 49 ; lib. 
iii. cc. 19, &c. 


A. I). -~j:~,7. Bode, one of the most capable judges of these times, who knew Adamnan, 
gives'") him the character of " a good and wise man, throughly instructed 
in the knowledge of the Scriptures." 

Adamnan was besides in great credit and esteem with the greatest and 
most considerable men of Britain in his time, such as Alfrid, King of the 
Northumbrians, to whom he was twice sent in embassy from the Scots and 
Picts, with the learned Ccolfrid, Abbot of Weremouth, who knew him 
personally, and calls< b > him " the excellent Abbot of the Columbites," and 
says that " his words and actions were graced with a wonderful prudence, 
humility, and piety." 

Tliis being the character given of Adamnan by his contemporaries, the 
greatest men and best judges of merit in Britain during his time, we may 
surely, and without any hesitation, depend upon the protestation that he 
makes in the preface to his work, to wit, " that< c > in writing his relation of 
8. Columba, he had not only set down nothing against truth, nor dubious 
or uncertain reports, but that he had made use of such accounts only as he 
had assurance of, cither by the relations of his predecessors, or of other 
ancient persons worthy of faith, and well-informed, who knew matters by 
themselves, and related them to him without any hesitation, or in fine, from 
written relations which he found done before his time." 

And that this Life of S. Columba, in three books, was truly the genuine 
work of S. Adamnan, Abbot of Ycolmkill, besides the testimony of the MS. 
of Cotton Library, of which afterwards, we have not only the testimonies 
of all the Irish writers, such as Ussher, < d > Warseus, (e) Messingham, < f > 
Colgan, ( s> &c., but also those of all the most learned among other foreign 

<a > Erat (Adamnanus) vir bonus et sapiens, et scientia Scripturarum nobilissimc 

instructus. Hist. Ecclcs. lib. v. c. 15. 

"" Adamnanus egregius Abbas et Sacerdos Columbiensium...miram in moribus ac 
vcrbis prudentiam, humilitatem, religionem ostendit. Ceolfrid Abbas Wiremuthen. epis- 
tola ad Naitan Regem Pietorum, apud Bed. Lib. v. c. 21. 

M Nemo me de hoc tarn praedicabili viro (Columba) aut mentitum Ecstimct, aut quasi 
dubia vel incerta scripturum; sed ea quse majorum fideliumque virorum tradita exper- 
torum, congrua relatione narrantium, et sine ulla arabiguitate narraturum sciat, et vel ex 
his quae ante nos inserta paginis reperire potuimus, vel ex his, quoe auditu ab expertis qui- 
busdam fidelibus antiquis, sine ulladubitatione narrantibus,diligentiua sciscitantes didici- 
mus. Adaranan. Prsefat. secund. ad Vit. S. Columbse. 

Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 367. 

(e) Ware, de Scriptor. Hibern. p. 34. 

"' Messingham, in Florileg. 

u) Colgan, in Triad. Thaumat. 


writers who had occasion to mention it, such as Canisius, <a) who gave us A. D. 557. 

the first imperfect edition of it, the Bollandian Collectors of Saints' Lives, 

who published a perfect edition of it, Father Mabillon,< b > Mr. Cave/ 01 &c., 

who all of them, as well as other learned men who mention it, acknowledge 

it a genuine work of Adamnan, and nobody that I know ever called it in 

doubt but Sir James Dalrymple, and his anonymous friends at Edinburgh : 

and whether their authority will be able to cope with that of those above 

mentioned, I leave to others to judge. An easy matter it is to deny a work 

to be genuine, but not so easy to prove it so. 

But that the reader may not be led into mistake by imperfect editions, 
and may find out more easily the passages I have had occasion to quote 
from Adamnan's work, I thought it not amiss here to give a more distinct 
account of the several editions of it, because there are considerable differ- 
ences betwixt them, according as the MSS. copies they are taken from are 
more or less perfect and complete. 

There are four printed editions of S. Columba's Life by Adamnan. The 
first, published A.D. 1604, at Ingolstad, by Canisius, from a very lame ami 
imperfect MS. copy, or rather abstract of it, in the monastery of Windebcrg, 
in Bavaria. And from this printed edition of Canisius, Thomas Mcssingham, 
an Irishman, hath given us a second edition, with all the faults and defects 
of the former ; and in both the one and the other there are wanting a great 
many full chapters of Adamnan's genuine work. The same imperfect copy 
is inserted in Surius's Collection of Saints' Lives. The third edition was 
published by Father Colgan, with notes and dissertations, in his Trias Thau- 
maturga, printed at Louvain, A.D. 1647. This edition, which I have fol- 
lowed, is taken from a very ancient MS. of the Abbey of llichcnau (Angia 
Dives), situated in an island of the Lake of Constance. It contains a full 
and entire copy of Adamnan's genuine work, and hath all the chapters 
wanting in Canisius's edition. The fourth edition was given by Father 
Papebroch, and the other continuators of the Bollandian Acts, from the 
same ancient MS. of the Abbey of llichenau, reviewed again and accom- 
panied with notes of the learned editors. Both these two last editions, 
being taken from the same MS., are in substance the same, both of them 
contain the same divisions, and number of books and chapters, and conclude 

(<) Canisius, in editione Vit. S. Columbse, per Adamnan. 
">> Mabillon, Annal. Benedictin. torn. i. p. 618. 
<c) Cave, de Scriptorib. p. 389. 


A. I) 5-57. with the adjuration of Adamnan to the transcribers (of which afterwards), 
and with the petition of the transcriber, Dorbenius, whom Father Colgan 
conjectures to have been Abbot of Ycolmkill in the eighth age. 

There is also a fair copy of this work of Adamnan in a very curious Col- 
lection of S.iints' Lives in Cotton Library/* 1 written above four hundred years 
ago. This copy of S. Columba's Life, as far as J could judge (having 1 , at 
the time I saw it, none of the printed editions at hand to collationate with 
it), this MS. copy of Cotton Library, I say, appeared to me entirely con- 
formable to the MS. copy of Richcnau, whence the two last above-mentioned 
perfect editions arc taken. It appears also to have been transcribed from a 
former copy, written in Ycolmkill, by order of one of our King Alexanders, 
by a monk called Simeon, under the direction of William, Abbot of Ycolm- 
kill. This appears, I say, by verses added to the end of the Life in this 
Cotton MS., a part of which verses Bishop UssherW hath set down, and a 
full copy may be inserted in the Appendix to this work. In fine, lest it 
might be alleged that, notwithstanding the authority due to Adamnan's 
genuine work, such as it came immediately from his own hand, yet posterior 
credulous writers might have made additions to it, or interpolations in 
transcribing it, so that the copies we have of it might happen not to be 
genuine, providence hath also taken care to obviate this objection, and given 
us an assurance of the integrity and authenticity of the transcripts of this 
work of Adamnan, greater than we have of most other works transmitted 
to us from ancient times, and that by the solemn adjuration^) with which 
Adamnan concludes this work, and which he addresseth to all that shall in 
after times copy and transcribe it : conjuring them in the name of Christ, 
Judge of the world, to transcribe it with the greatest care and fidelity, and 
to collationate and correct it with utmost diligence, upon the copy from 
whence they transcribe it, and at the same time recommending earnestly to 
them to add this adjuration to each copy they make of it : to the end that 
by that means it may be conveyed down to posterity, and accordingly it 
hath been handed down, and is to be met with in the ancient MS. copies, 

"" Cotton Library, Tiberius, D. VIII. 

(b) Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 364. 

(c) Obsecro eos quicunque voluerint hos describere Libellos, immo potius ailjuro per 
Christum, Judicem saeculorum, ut postquam diligenterdeseripserint, conferant et emendent 
cum omni diligentia ad exemplar unde traxerunt, et hanc quoque adjurationcm hoc in loco 
subscribant. Ad calcem Vitoe S. Columbae, per Adamnanum, editae per P. Colgaoum et 
PP. Bollandian. ex MS. Angise Divilis. Ilabetur eliam in MS. Cottoniano. 


and particularly in these from whence the two last printed editions of it A. D. 557. 
have been taken, as also it is in the MS. of the Cotton Library. 

So it would appear that Providence hath taken a special care, not only 
to preserve and bring down to posterity this ancient monument of the 
doctrine and discipline of Christianity in our northern parts, but to ascertain 
beyond the common course the authenticity and fidelity of it, to the re- 
motest ages : foreseeing, no doubt, that there would one day, in after ages, 
arise in our country a set of men, who, not being able, or not daring to 
contest the sanctity of S. Columba's life against the respect and veneration 
due to his memory by all our countrymen, and still paid to it by those of 
the Highlands and Isles, where he chiefly conversed, and yet less daring to 
contest his quality of founder, or chief doctor of Christianity, by himself 
and by his disciples, iti our northern parts, attested beyond exception by 
Bede and all ancient writers, they would at least endeavour, against the 
plain evidence of this ancient monument, as we will see, to impose upon 
their ignorant prepossessed sectators, and persuade them that the doctrine, 
church government, and discipline taught and settled by S. Columba and 
his disciples among the Scots and the Picts, was Presbyterian, and as dif- 
ferent from that of the rest of the Catholic Church, as the apostolical method 
practised by this holy man, and by his disciples in planting and promoting 
the Christian religion among our ancestors, by the edification of their ex- 
emplary lives, formed upon the strictest maxims of the Gospel, convincing 
their hearers of their divine mission, and confirming their doctrine by 
sensible miracles, as, I say, this apostolical method was different from the 
Knoxian method of reforming religion, by arming the subjects against 
their lawful sovereign at home, and inviting from abroad an armed power 
to support their Reformation. 

But to return back to Adamnan's Life of S. Columba. I insist the 
more upon asserting the authority of it (as imperfect as it seems), that 
besides what it contains of the life and actions of the Saint, it is the most 
ancient and most authentic voucher now remaining of several other impor- 
tant particulars of the sacred and civil history of the Scots and Picts, as it 
will appear in its proper place in the order of time. It had indeed been 
much to be wished that Adamnan, and his predecessor Cuminius, both of 
them writers of S. Columba's life, had insisted more upon historical facts, 
which might have given us greater light into the transactions of these 
ancient times, than upon the miracles of the Saint. But to do them justice, 



A. L). ~>">~. that is not so much their fault as it is that of the times or age in which 
they wrote ; and the same bad taste that reigned in the Lives of many other 
Saints, written in the seventh and eighth age, is no doubt the reason why 
we find so little method and order of time, as well as so little choice of facts, 
observed in this Life of S. Columba. 

And I cannot but add here, upon this work of S. Adamnan, the same 
observation that I mentioned elsewhere, upon occasion of the negative ar- 
guments which the Presbyterian writers endeavour to draw from the 
silence of Bcde upon certain facts and subjects that he had not proposed to 
himself to treat of, and which had no necessary connexion with the matter 
he proposed to handle in his History. 

1'cde and Adamnan propose to themselves to write upon certain limited 
subjects, and their character in general seems to be to keep close to what 
they proposed, without mixing in other matters, except in as far as they 
served to give light to the subject in hand. Thus, Bede having proposed 
to himself to write the Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, limits 
himself to that, as we have seen, and therefore gives us little or no further 
account of the ecclesiastical history of the neighbouring nations, to wit, the 
Britons, the Picts, the Scots, and the Irish, than what was necessary to 
illustrate or give light to the history of the Saxons or English, and that 
only by the by, and as it hath a connexion with the subject he speaks of. 
So also, Adamnan in this work having proposed to treat of the life and 
actions of S. Columba in three books, that is, to relate in the first his 
prophetical revelations ; in the second, his miracles wrought by Divine 
power ; and in the third, the angelical apparitions made to him ; he, in 
consequence, reduces all he has to say to these three heads, and limits to 
them his relation of S. Columba's life and actions. So that all other matters, 
all persons and places which he mentions, come only in by the by, and as 
they have connexion with one or more of the three foresaid heads. 

From this it visibly follows that all arguments drawn from Adamnan's 
silence of, or his not mentioning, such and such persons and affairs that do 
not belong to some one of the three heads he had in view, can be of no force 
to prove that there were no such persons or affairs, in the times that he 
treats of. And, by consequence, no proof can be drawn from this work of 
Adamnan that there were no ordinary bishops among the Picts and Scots 
in the times that Adamnan writes of, because he gives no distinct accounts 
of their names or seats. It is enough that the respect due to the episcopal 


Character, and rendered to it even by S. Columba himself, the necessity of A. D. 557. 
episcopal ministration for the ordination of priests in S. Columba's times, 
appears evidently by this work, and that bishops were to be found among 
the Scots and Picts upon a call, and were never wanting when there was 
need of them for ordinations. 

XVIII. And notwithstanding the defects and imperfection of Adam- 
nan's work, which, making allowance for the age in which he wrote, and 
the design of his work, are very excusable, it must be acknowledged that we 
owe very much to him, for the detail which the setting forth the miracles 
of S. Columba obliged him to enter into, from which, besides what his 
work contains of the Saint's life, and of the doctrine and discipline which 
he planted among the Scots and Picts, we have even as to our civil history 
the names of six of our ancient kings,' 1 " to wit, Gauran, Comgal, Conal, 
Aidan, Eochod-buyd, and Donnal-breac, before the History of Bode (from 
which we have the first account of the Saxon or English kings) was written. 
So that I cannot enough admire the confidence with which one of the most 
learned among our Scottish Presbyterian writers (who hath otherwise 
given more than ordinary proofs, in his way, of zeal for the Scottish anti- 
quities, and of his being versed in them), tells us very dogmatically, that it 
was agreed' b> on all hands (no doubt those of his party), that Adamnan's 
Life of S. Columba was a fabulous history lately published in his name, &c. 
But this only shows that Adamuan's work was not esteemed by those 
gentlemen, favourable to the Presbyterian scheme of doctrine and discipline., 
nor to the remote antiquities of the Scots, and to Bocce's plan of their his- 
tory, both which this late writer endeavours to vindicate. (c> 

And indeed the most valuable part of Adamnan's work is the many 
particulars that may be learned from it of the doctrine and discipline of 
Christianity, such as they were taught and practised among the Scots and 
Picts in ancient times under S. Columba's eye, and by his authority, which 
the foresaid Presbyterian writer, and others of his way (taking advantage 
of the general ignorance we have hitherto lived in, since the destruction of 
our ecclesiastical monuments, carried on chiefly by their forerunners), 
have so wildly misrepresented, that if one could believe them, our first and 

W Adamnan.Vit. S. Columba;, lib. i. cc. 7, 8, 9, 49; [Vitse Antique Sanctorum in 

Scotia, Vit. secund. Columb. c. 50 ;] lib. iii. c. 5. 

(b> Vindication of Sir James Dalrymple's Hist. Collect, p. 21. 

<"' Hist. Collect. Sir James Dalrymple, cc. 1, 2, 3, &c. 


A. D. o57. most ancient Christianity was of a quite different species, both as to doc- 
trine and discipline, from that of all the rest of the Christian Churches of 
the polished world, and particularly from those that were immediately 
planted by the Apostles themselves. 

Besides the history of S. Columba's life left us by Cumian and 
Adamnan, Bede also, and other ancient writers, furnish light into it. And 
among the moderns, Archbishop Ussher, in his British Antiquities, Father 
Colgan, in his Trias Thaumaturga, and Father Papebroch, have made con- 
siderable Collections on this subject. It is from all these monuments that 
I have drawn the following account of S. Columba and of his monasteries. 
XIX. S. Columba was descended of the royal family of Ireland, whereof 
he was a native. His father's name !tt> was Feidlimid, son of Conal-Gulban, 
who was son to Nicl, surnamed of the nine hostages, and died king of all 
Ireland about A.D. 404. His mother's name was vEthne, who was ad- 
monished, (b) whilst with child, of his future greatness ; he was born A.D. 
521, and for his first education he was committed to the care of Cruithno- 
can, a pious priest, who returning home one day from the church after 
mass, says Adamnan/ ) found all the room where the child lay, illustrated 
with a bright splendour, flowing from a globe of fire that reposed above the 
child. He was afterwards sent to Finian( d ) or Finnio, who is also named 
Findbar, a holy bishop, who had a famous seminary or school of piety and 
learning, in his monastery at Clonard, in Ireland, where assembled to him 
a great number of disciples, of whom many became afterwards bishops and 
abbots, the most famous in Ireland for the sanctity of their lives and for 
their learning and zeal for the salvation of souls. 

Among all these, S. Columba was eminent for all sort of virtues, gifts, 
and graces. " FromC 6 ) his childhood, he gave himself," says Adamnan, " to 
the service of God, to the practice of Christian perfection, and to the study 
of wisdom, preserving, by a special gift of God, the purity and integrity of 
his body and mind ; and though he lived here upon earth, yet his conver- 
sation was in heaven. He had an angelical countenance, his discourse was 
pure and chaste, his actions holy, an excellent ingine, a great discretion, 

(> Colgan, Trias Thaumat. p. 447 ; Adamnan. Prsefat. secund. in Vit. S. Columb. 
[Vit. secund. Columb. lib. i. c. 1.] 
lb) Adamnan. ibid. 
Ibid. lib. iii. c. 2. 

< d > Ibid. lib. ii. c 1. Vita S. Finiani, apud Colgan. torn. i. p. 393. 
" Praefat. secund. Adamnan. Vit. S. Columb. [Vit. secund. Colu 

mb. lib. i. c. 1.] 


never letting pass one hour in which he was not applied either to prayer, A. D. 557. 
to reading, to writing, or to some useful labour. His fasting and watch- 
ing surpassed the common course of human ability. With all this, pre- 
serving always an equanimity and agreeable temper, he was most acceptable 
to all those he lived with ; and the cheerfulness of his countenance, accom- 
panied with modesty, show that his soul was replenished with spiritual 
joy and the inward consolation of the Holy Ghost." It was during hi.s 
abode in this monastery, that beingW in the Order of deacon, it happened 
that the holy Bishop Finian, his master, being about to offer the holy 
Sacrifice.* 10 and there being no wine, S. Columba, by his prayers, changed 
water into wine. Being afterwards promoted to the dignity of priesthood, 
he founded several monasteries in Ireland before he came over' ' to Britain, 
of which, that which was called Dearmach, that is, the Field of Oaks, was 
chief. It is called by Adamnan( d ' Roboretum Campi, in the same sense ; 
it is now called Durrogh, in King's County, and is to bo distinguished 
from another monastery, founded also by S. Columba, in Ulster, and called 
likewise, from the abundance of oaks, Roboretum' ' Calcheghi, now Derry ; 
in both which monasteries, and others that he founded in Ireland, he placed 
the more accomplished of his disciples for Superiors. 

XX. As to the occasion of S. Columba's coming over to Britain, the 
chief cause, no doubt, was the merciful disposition of Divine Providence 
towards the inhabitants of the northern parts of our island, but as to the 
immediate cause, the Irish writers'') after Adamnan give this account of it. 
That Dermod, King of Ireland, being provoked without any just ground 
against the kindred of S. Columba, marched against them with great forces, 
in a resolution to destroy their country, and extirpate the inhabitants ; 
upon which, they being but a small number in comparison of King Der- 
mod's army, had recourse to S. Columba, who obtained of God to them by 
his prayers a signal victory over their enemies, who were routed with a 
great slaughter. This battle was called Cuiledreme battle, and happened 
A.D. 561. 

However innocent S. Columba was of this bloodshed, it is said he was 

<*' Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 1. 

(b) Sacrificale Mysterium. Adamnan. ibid. 

(c) Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 

" Adamnan. lib. i. c. 29; lib. ii. c. 2. Ware, Ant. Hibern. p. 186. 
Ibid. lib. i. cc. 2, 20 . lib. iii. c. 15. Ware, Ant. Hibern. p. 214. 
'> Ussher, Ant. Brit. pp. 467, 468, &c. 


A. I). 561. excommunicated in a Synod by the Irish Churchmen of the adverse party. 
But this sentence was looked upon as null and unjust by all the most re- 
ligious men of the time, both at home and abroad. Among others, S. 
Brandan coming to the Synod, gave them such proofs of S. Columba's 
sanctity that he obliged (0 those that had pronounced this sentence to 
acknowledge the injustice of it, and to pay a due respect to S. Columba, 
S. Gildas also, who by this time was gone over to the Gauls, being con- 
sulted (b > about this sentence, by a letter from S. Columba, declared the sen- 
tence unjust and foolish, and kissed the letter, declaring publicly that he 
that had written it was full of the Spirit of God. But S. Columba, though 
not conscious (o himself of any real sin in praying for the protection of 
God, and good success to his relations in their own defence against an un- 
just invader, not satisfied with the judgments of the two holy abbots, 
Brandan and Gildas, in favour of his innocence, thought fit, out of humility, 
and for the respect he bore to the episcopal Character, to submit his case to 
the good bishop, S. Finian or Findbar, his old master, and ask counsel of 
him. Though S. Finian was equally persuaded, as all other holy men, 
of the injustice of the sentence, being more and more confirmed in the 
opinion he always had of S. Columba's sanctity, by seeing him accompanied 
by an angel ( c ) when he came to visit him, yet the good bishop considering 
the animosities that had ensued upon the battle of Cuiledreme among the 
different clans in Ireland, and apprehending some danger to S. Columba 
from King Dermod's resentment, he advised him to leave Ireland, and, 
without doubt moved by a particular inspiration of the Spirit of God, 
making use of his episcopal authority, he gave him mission to go over to 
Britain, in order to settle there, and to propagate the Gospel, particularly 
among the Northern Picts. 

XXI. S. Columba, having thus received mission from this holy bishop, 
resolved to pass over to Britain, as soon as he had put order to his monas- 
teries in Ireland, in each of which he placed for Superior one of his disciples 
to govern them under his direction during his absence, resolving to visit 
them himself, as he did in the voyages he made from time to time to Ire- 
land. The arrival of S. Columba in Britain is placed by Bede' a > A.D. 565 ; 

(a ' Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 3. 
*> Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 469. 

(c) Adamnan. lib. i. c. 7. 

(d) Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 


but according to the surest calculation it happened A.D. 5G3, that is, the A. D. 563. 
sixth year of the reign of Conal king of the Scots in Britain, two years 
after the battle of Cuiledreme, as Adamnan< a) informs us. Now according 
to the Ulster Annals,< b) this battle was fought A.D. 5G1. " S. Columba," 
according to (c > Bede, " came into Britain to preach the word of Giod to the 
provinces of the Northern Picts, that is, to those that are separated from 
the southern parts by a ridge of steep and frightful hills ; for the Southern 
Picts who dwelt on this side of these mountains had long before, as we have 
related, forsaken the errors of idolatry, and embraced the true Faith, by the 
preaching of Ninian, a most reverend bishop, and most holy man of the 
British nation, who had been regularly instructed at Rome in the faith and 
mysteries of truth." S. Columba brought along with him twelve of his 
disciples, whose names we have in Boece, and more correctly in Ussher, (d) 
and in the MS. copy of S. Columba's Life in Cotton Library, above 

The holy abbot upon his arrival into the territories of the Scots in 
Britain, addressed himself to King Conal, a most religious prince, who, 
according to our' 6 ' writers, had made several good laws in favour of religion, 
and he being well informed of the eminent piety and zeal of S. Columba, 
welcomed him with great respect, which was not little augmented by the 
first conversation he had with him just upon his arrival. For the holy 
man< f ' gave him, by the spirit of prophecy, as particular an account of the 
battle of Monamoir, at the very hour it was fought in Ireland, as if he had 
been present at it, telling him the names of the kings that were victorious, 
and of those that were beat, with the circumstances of their defeat. This 
conversation happened apparently in the island of lona or Hy, called after- 
wards Ycolmkill, where it is not unlike that in those early times the kings 
of Scots made frequently their residence,^' being a pleasant and fertile 
little island, situated almost in the middle of their dominions, consisting 
then of the Western islands and north western parts of the mainland. 

(t) Adamnan. lib. i. c. 7. 
<w Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 363. 
<> Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 
< d > Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 363. 
'-' Boeth. fol. 166. 
(f) Adamnan. lib. i. c. 7. 

(8 > Fuit (lona ins.) locus sepulturae et sedes regalis regum Scotiaa et Pictiniae. Act. 
Bolland. torn. ii. Junii. p. 181. ex Scotichr. MS. Fordun, lib. v. c. 10. 


A. D. 563. XXII. S. Columba having informed the king of the religious motives 
of his coming to Britain, King Conal made to him a donation of the island 
of lona or Hy, in order to erect a monastery in it for his residence and 
that of his disciples. We have elsewhere' 10 shown the mistake of Bede in 
ascribing this donation of lona to the Picts, which, as Father Mabillon < b) 
well observes, is contradicted by what Bede himself had elsewhere informed 
us of the situation of the Pictish and Scottish dominions in Britain, where 
he tells' ' us that the Scots, at their first coming over to this island, settled 
upon the north-western coasts of it, near to which is the island lona, in the 
heart of the Scottish dominions, all which lay betwixt lona and the terri- 
tories belonging to the Picts. Besides that, when S. Columba arrived, the 
Scots being Christians received him, as we have seen, with great respect, 
whereas the king of the Picts, Brudeus, was as yet an infidel, and the first- 
time that S. Columba went to visit him, two years after this, he caused shut 
his gates' d) against the Saint. But that lona or Hy was the donation of 
Conal, king of the Scots, is farther confirmed by the Irish Annals (e) of 
Tigernac and of Ulster. I saw a very ancient MS. copy of the Annals of 
Ulster, by the favour of the Duke of Chandos, in his grace's library at 
Canons near London. This copy is in Irish intermixed with Latin, in 
which language the death of Conal, King of Dalriada, that is, King of the 
Scots, and the donation of lona or Hy, made by him to S. Columba, are 
expressed in the following very clear but very coarse terms, partly Irish, 
partly Latin, thus : " Bar Conal mac-Comgail rig Dalriada xiii anno regni 
sui, qui offeravit (sic) insulam la Colmeill ;" that is, the death of Conal, 
son of Comgal king of Dalriada, who offered or made a donation of the 
island of la or Y to Colmkill, happened the thirteenth year of his reign. 
In fine, the relation that S. Adamnan gives of S. Columba's voyages''' to 
convert the Picts, demonstrates that his chief monastery was not situated 
in the Pictish but in the Scottish dominions. As to the Ulster Annals 
placing the death of King Conal in the thirteenth year of his reign, 
whereas, according to all the remains* of our ancient chronicles, he reigned 

<> Crit. Essay, pp. 88, 89. 

(b) Mabillon, Annal. Benedict, torn. i. p. 210. 

<c) Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 1. 

(J ' Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 35. [Vit. secund. Columb. c. 36.] 

<" Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 367. 

10 Crit. Essay, pp. 88, 89. 

<" Ibid. pp. 789, 797, 811, 824. 


not barely ten or eleven years, as our modern writers have it, but fourteen A. D. 3t>3 
years. This may be simply a fault of the copyist of those Annals. 

We may farther observe here, that the first thing that S. Columba re- 
solved upon, in order to carry on with success his apostolical functions of 
preaching the Gospel to the Northern Picts, was the erection of a monastery 
in their neighbourhood. S. Ninian, (a) when he preached the Gospel to the 
Southern Picts, had begun by settling a monastery at Candida Casa, in 
Galloway ; S. Patrick did the same (b) in several provinces of Ireland : so 
also S. Augustine, Apostle of the Saxons, <c) founded a monastery, how soon 
King Ethelbert granted him a place proper for it. The same method wa<j 
followed by those that planted the Faith in the several countries of the north 
without the bounds of the Empire, and in Germany. Thus the famous 
monastery (dl of Fulda was founded A.I). 744, by S. Boniface, Apostle of that 
nation. The intention of all these holy men in these pious institutions was 
not only to have a place of retirement amidst their labours, but chiefly to 
be a nursery of young labourers to carry on the work of the Gospel, and to 
be a bulwark to Christianity : or, as it is related of the foundation of new 
Corbey or Corvey' 6 ' in Saxony, the intention of these pious foundations w;is 
to defend and to perpetuate the Christian religion. 

Accordingly the island of lona, called afterwards Ycolmkill, that is, the 
convent or church of S. Columba in the island of Y or Hy, was erected by 
King Conal and S. Columba, in the same view and intention, to be a fort- 
ress of Christianity among the Scots, a nur.-ery of apostolical labourers to 
propagate it among the Northern Picts, to form and furnish pastors of the 
first and second Order to both these people, and supply all their spiritual 
necessities, and particularly the want of diocesan Episcopacy and parochial 
churches, till Divine Providence should, by uniting into one body of state, 
and into one kingdom, the several different nations that possessed these 
northern territories, now called Scotland, furnish the means to establish in 
this kingdom the same canonical discipline that was in use, in all other 
parts abroad, of the Catholic Church. 

XXIII. And because this once famous monastery of Ycolmkill was the 

' Supra, Book First, XXXIV. 

b) Supra, Book First, XLV. 

" Bed Hist. Kccles. lib. i. c. 33. 

Mabillon, Anna). Benedict, torn. ii. p. 125. 

Ibid. p. 470 ad tutamlam perennandamque religionem. 



A. D. MS. chief source of the doctrine and discipline of Christianity in these northern 
parts of Britain, and remained, from its first foundation till the eighth or 
ninth century, the centre, as it weve, of all religious matters, it is of so 
much the more importance to give a full account of it, that the adversaries 
of Episcopacy, confounding what is essential to, and immutable in that 
sacred Order, with what, being only more convenient and usual, depends 
upon times, places, and other circumstances, endeavour to draw arguments 
against the necessity, authority, and divine institution of the episcopal 
Order, and against its superiority to that of priests, from some expressions 
dropt from Bede, and some few other ancient writers, copying after Bede, 
concerning the authority of the abbots of Ycolmkill, and the respect paid 
to them even by bishops, and some other usages of that monastery. For 
those reasons, it is of jjn-at importance, towards setting in a true light the 
state of the Church among the Scots and Picts in S. Columba's time, and 
during the following ages, down to the gradual division of the kingdom 
into dioceses and parishes, to enter into some detail, before we proceed 
farther, and give at some length an account of the design that Divine Pro- 
vidence appears to have had in the foundation of this famous monastery, of 
the discipline and order established and observed in it, and of the influence 
that it had into all ecclesiastical affairs in our northern parts of Britain. 
After having, in the first place, made a short review of what concerned 
Church government in these parts of the island in the times preceding the 
erection of this monastery. 

It must then be considered, that though the light of the Gospel, as we 
have seen, had early begun to shine even in our northern parts of Britain 
which had never been subject to the Empire, and that in proportion as the 
Christian religion was planted among them, and as they persevered in the 
profession and exercise of it, they must have had pastors to entertain and 
keep it up by preaching the Word and the use of the Sacraments : nor 
could they be true pastors, according to all antiquity, without ordination 
received from a bishop, either of their own, or from those in their neigh- 
bourhood, yet the inhabitants of these northern parts, that lived without 
the limits of the Empire, being, as we have seen all along, a martial people, 
almost always upon expeditions, and engaged in wars offensive or defensive, 
it was not possible in the common course to establish, during some ages, 
among them that exterior ecclesiastic >1 polity, to which, as hath been'"' 

"" Supra, Book First, XLIV. 


observed, the form of the Roman government had paved the way, and A. D. .363. 
made it easy to be settled among the inhabitants of the provinces that 
were, or had been formerly, included in the Empire, that is diocesan 

For the purpose, we have seen< a) that there had been bishops long 
before S. Columba's time, in the country of the old Mseates, called by the 
I'omans Valencia, arid in the middle ages named Cumbria, lying to the 
south of the friths (which makes now a part of the kingdom of Scotland), 
such were, in the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth century, S. 
Ninian and his successors. For S. Ailred tells us, (b) in S. Ninian's Life, 
that he consecrated bishops, no doubt, to succeed him, and carry on the 
work of the Conversion of the Southern Picts, and keep up the profession 
of the Christian religion among the Mseates or Britons betwixt the walls. 
Among these successors of S. Ninian may be reckoned the Bishop Nennio, 
mentioned ( c ) before, who governed the Great Monastery in those parts, 
probably the same that S. Ninian had first established. And in this sixth 
century lived also S. Kentigern, who had many successors, as we are in- 
formed by the Inquest of the lands belonging to the Church of Glasgow, 
already mentioned. Among these successors of S. Kentigern, in the sixth 
century, is reckoned S. Baldred, Bishop, whose festival is marked in our 
old calendars on the sixth of March. And if all these bishops to the south 
of the friths have more the resemblance of diocesan bishops, as having 
fixed seats, S. Ninian, Nennio, &c , at Whithern or Candida Casa in Gal- 
loway, S. Kentigern, S. Baldred, and others, at Glasgow, the reason is 
patent, they were all within the bounds of Valentia, formerly a province of 
the Empire. 

XXIV. It was not so with the Scots and Picts, inhabitants of these 
northern parts beyond the friths, who had never been subject to the Empire. 
For though we have seen, that, before the coming of S. Columba, there 
were bishops among the Scots, in all appearance" 1 ) from S. Patrick's time, 
and at least from the coming^ over of King Fergus, son of Ercli, and the 
erection of the Scottish monarchy ; yet when one considers the manners, 

"" Supra, Book First, XXXI. 

<w Supra, Book First, XXXIV. 

"" Supra, Book Second, III. 

<"> Supra, Book Second, III. 

'-> Supra, Book First, XLIV. 


A . I) .563. temper, and circumstances of the Scots and Picts in those early times, such as 
they are described in the most ancient writers, it must be acknowledged that 
no other kind of bishops could have been at first settled among them, but 
such, as we have observed, were among the other warlike nations without 
the bounds of the Empire, that is, bishops of one whole people, nation, or 
kingdom, such as Ulphilas, Bishop of the Goths, Frumentius, Bishop of the 
Ethiopians, Britannion, Bishop of the Scythians, Moyses, Bishop of the Sa- 
racens, and others. Such, in all appearance, were the bishops of the Scots 
and Picts in the first times of their Christianity, one bishop for each king- 
dom, to direct and govern king and people in all religious matters, and to 
ordain priests and other ministers for instructing them, and administrating 
the Sacraments to them. 

And as the jurisdiction of these ancient bishops of the Scots and Picts 
was not limited to any particular district or portion of those kingdoms, but 
extended as far as the authority and dominions of each of the kings reached, 
and accordingly limited ; so in that sense these ancient bishops might have 
been called truly diocesan bishops, in so far as they had each of them a 
whole kingdom for their diocese, and that all the Christians within the 
bounds of it were subject to their jurisdiction. It was much in the same 
manner that the first bishops were established among the Saxons in Eng- 
land, during the Heptarchy, in proportion as their kings were converted or 
their subjects brought to the knowledge of the truth ; each kingdom having 
generally but one bishop, as we see Aidan, and the Scots his successors, 
were in the beginning the only bishops of the Northumbrians And 
Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, was the first that augmented the 
number of bishopricks in England, and distributed that country into 

But as to the Scots and Picts, though we had no other proof but the 
example and usages of all other warlike nations without the bounds of the 
Empire who had embraced Christianity, that alone might suffice to satisfy 
impartial people, versed in the history and ancient discipline of the Church, 
that the Scots and Picts, professing the Christian religion, could not have 
preserved it, nor propagate it to posterity, without having each people at 
least one such a national bishop, as we find among all other Christians in 
like circumstances. But that this was truly the case of these two people in 
ancient times receives a new confirmation and additional proofs from all 
such remains as are left us of the ancient state of Church government in 
both these nations. 


As to the Picts, all our writers (a > agree generally that S. Terrenanus, 
or Ternanus, was their first bishop, and what is more authentic, he is re- 
corded as first bishop of the Picts in the calendars of the ancient liturgy 
books of the Church of Scotland, particularly in the only copy remaining 
that I could hitherto meet with of the Missal of the Metropolitan Church 
of S. Andrews, carefully preserved with some other liturgical books in the 
ancient noble family of the Viscounts of Arbuthnot, which the present 
Viscount was pleased to allow me to peruse. In this Missal, S. Ternau 
is designed, both in the calendar and in the collect or prayer of the Liturgy 
of the day, " S. Terrenanus Archipreesul et Archiepiscopus Pictorum," and 
his festival was annually celebrated, with great solemnity, on the twelfth 
day of June. Boece, also, and Leslie, call him Archbishop of the Picts. 
As to his episcopal seat, and that of his successors, bishops of the nation of 
the Picts, the ancient Chronicle of Abernethy, quoted by the book of Paisley 
or Scotichronicon, in the King's Library at London, informs us that the 
seat b) of the bishops of the Picts, as well as that of their kings, was at 
Abernethy in Stratherne, and the diocese of these bishops included all the 
Pictish kingdom. 

As to the Scots, we have elsewhere' ' observed, that according to Boece 
(who might have perused many ecclesiastical monuments before the Refor- 
mation, which are perished since by the zeal of the party that chiefly car- 
ried it on), there were bishops among the Scots in Britain, at least, from 
the time of Fergus, the son of Erch, and of the erection of the monarchy ; and 
Boece gives us their names, whereof some are to be found in the ancient 
calendars of the Church of Scotland. 

But a proof of the Scots having anciently had a national bishop, is the 
style or title of Episcopus Scotorum, that is, Bishop of the Scots in 
general, or Bishop of the nation of the Scots, given to their chief bishop; 
and it appears that this title of Episcopus Scotorum, had, by a long and 
immemorial custom, been so appropriated to the chief Bishop of the Scots, 
that even after the division of the kingdom into dioceses, this title of 
Bishop of the Scots (Episcopus Scotorum) continued to be used by their 

<*> Fordiin, lib. iii. c. 9. Boeth. fol. 128, edit. Ferrer. Lesloci Hist, p 137. 
" Fuit ille locus (Abernethy) principalis Regalis et Pontificalis per aliqua tempora 
totius regni Pictorum. Fordun, lib. iv. c. 12, sive Liber Paslet. in Biblioth. Reg. Londin. 
citat. Chron. de Abernethy, ibid. 

> Supra, Book Second, III. 


A. 1) 563. chief bishops ; to wit, the Bishops of St. Andrews, in their writs and 
charters, < a) down to the twelfth century, and on their seals down' b) to the 
thirteenth, as is manifest by the charters of Robert, Arnald, &c., and by 
the seals of the bishops of th;it see, down to Bishop William Fraser, who 
died A.D. 1297. All this is confirmed by this formal passage, set down 
by Sir James Dalrymple, from the excerpts of the ancient chartulary of 
S. Andrews, in these words : " The (c) Bishop of S. Andrews was called 
the Bishop of the Scots, and thus, both in ancient and in modern writs, 
the Bishops of S. Andrews are called Archbishops, or Chief Bishops of 
the Scots, whence Bishop Fothet caused engrave upon the cover or case of 
the Gospel, this inscription Fothet, the chief bishop of the Scots, caused 
make this case for the O'ospel. So also now, in the vulgar language, the 
Bishop of S. Andrews is called Espic Allaban, that is, Bishop of the Scots, 
and so they are now called by excellence among all other bishops of the 
Scots, who are styled from the places where they reside." 

As to the scat of the national bishop of the Scots in ancient times, 
and before the union of the two kingdoms, there is all appearance that it 
was cither in Ycolmkill, which in these first times was the centre of all 
their religious matters, as we shall see, or in the place where their kings 
made their ordinary residence. 

\Vhat is chiefly to be observed in these citations, is, that these national 
bishops of the Picts and Scots were anciently designed, the one Archi- 
episcopus and Archiprsesul Pictorum, the other Primus or Summus Epis- 
copus et Archiepiscopua Scotorum : not to insist upon a writ that Sir 
James Balfour ll1 informs us he had seen of Bishop Kellach to the Keledees 
of Lochlevin, in which Kellach styles himself Maximus Scotorum Episcopus. 

'*> Chartulur. vetus S. Anilreae penes Comitem de Panmure, fol. 54. Robertas Dei 
gratia Episcopus Scotorum, &c. Ibid. fol. 55. Ernaldus Dei gratia Scotorum Epis- 
copus, &c. 

(1 Diplomat. Scot. Sigilla Robert. Ernald. Ricard. Roger. Will, et Will. Fraser, Epp. 

lc) Episcop. Sanct. And. dictus est Episcopus Scotorura : Et sic in scriptis tarn vetustis 
quam modernis inveniuntur dicti summi Arcliiepiscopi, sive summi Episcopi Scotorum ; 
unde et conscribi fecit in theca Evangelii Fothet Episcopus, 

Hanc Evangelii thecam construxit aviti, 

Fothet qui Scotis sumtnus Episcopus est. 

Sic et nunc quoque in vulgari et communi loculione Episcop. Alban. (f. Espic 
Allaban) i.e. Episcopi Albaniae appellantur. Sic et dicti sunt et dicuntur per excellen- 
tiam ab universis Scotorum Episcopis qui a locis quibus prsesunt appellantur. Dalrymple, 
Coll. p. 127. 

' Dalrymple, Coll. p. 129. 


Now these titles of Archiepiscopus or Summus Episcopus given to the A. I). 
two national Bishops of the Picts and Scots, clearly insinuate that, besides 
these two bishops who had the chief direction of all ecclesiastical matters 
in the two kingdoms, there were other bishops under them, who, though 
perhaps not ordained to any title, fixed locality, seat or district, had the 
episcopal Character conferred to them under the chief bishop of each 
nation, either in order to honour the sanctity of their lives and their dis- 
tinguished merits, or to be suffragans or coadjutors to the two chief 
bishops, (as Fordun (a > tells us that S. Servanus was consecrated bishop by 
S. Palladius for the same end), that is, to perform the episcopal functions 
for them in distant places of the country, for the greater conveniency <>t 
the people, who could not easily, on many occasions, have recourse or 
access to the chief bishop of the nation. 

The great extent of these two national bishops' jurisdiction, including 
each a whole kingdom, the frequent wars and expeditions that made their 
access difficult and dangerous in many occasions, and to many places, the 
spiritual wants and necessities of the people forced them apparently to fall 
upon this expedient, and the ignorance of the canons, which could not fail 
to be very general in these ancient times among the Scots and the Picts, 
and other islanders remote from the more polished countries, where cano- 
nical discipline was in vigour, made them less scrupulous and more excus- 
able. For as Joceline (b) observes in the Life of S. Kentigern (where he 
excuses this Saint's beinu- consecrated by one single bishop), " the islanders 
living, as it were, in another world, and being frequently infested by infi- 
dels, their ignorance of the canons deserves to be excused." This ignor- 
ance gave occasion to their transgressing often the canons in rites and other 
matters of discipline that were not essential. Among other transgressions 
of the canons may be reckoned that of ordaining bishops by one single 
bishop, because in these tumultuous times other bishops could not be had. 
as also the custom of ordaining them at large, and without a proper title 
and limited district. 

XXV. And these unusual practices of the Scots and Picts were so 
much the more excusable, that besides that the almost perpetual motion they 
were in by their intestine wars, one against another, and their foreign 
expeditions, hindered, as we have often observed, the canonical division of 

<*> Fordun, lib. 3. c. 9. 

lb) Vit. S. Kent, per Jocelin. Supra. Book Second, VII. 


A. I) .->(j3. these kingdoms into fixed dioceses ; they had also before them the like 
practices in Ireland, from whence they had originally received both the 
doctrines and discipline of Christianity. This practice of ordaining bishops 
at large, in Ireland, without fixed seats, and by one single bishop, which 
had probably begun out of motives of piety, necessity, or conveniency, con- 
tinued down among them till the end of the eleventh, or beginning of the 
twelfth age, as we sec by the letters of S. Anselm, (a > Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, complaining of it. 

As to the Scots and Picts, this irregular practice of ordaining bishops at 
large, and without a proper district, to be suffragans and coadjutors of the 
national bishops, had been, most probably, introduced at first among them, 
as we have observed, partly in order to administrate the Sacraments, an- 
nexed to the episcopal Character, and perform the other episcopal functions 
in places where the two chief bishops of these nations could not have easy 
access ; partly in order to do honour to religious men of an eminent and 
distinguished piety, zeal, and sanctity of life, as we find the like was done 
sometimes (l>) in the purest ages, and in countries where the canonical disci- 
pline was most in vigour. Thus Sozomen informs us that in or about the 
famous city of Edessa, Barses, Eulogius, and other religious men, were con- 
secrated bishops in the fourth age, not in order to govern any diocese, says 
Sozomen, but out of honour and respect, and as a recompense of the purity 
and sanctity with which they had lived in their monasteries. And what 
makes it the more likely that (his was the case of some of our bishops at large 
among the Scots and Picts, to wit, that the sanctity of their lives was the 
chief motive of ordaining many of these bishops is that, by all accounts 
th:it we have remaining of these ancient bishops ordained at large in our 
country, they were all persons of so eminent piety that they were after- 
wards honoured as Saints, and their festivals annually celebrated on the days 
they are marked in all our ecclesiastical calendars and liturgical books that 
have escaped the zeal of the Knoxian Reformers, and of those that suc- 
ceeded him of the same spirit, and it is from thee remains' ' that we have 
chiefly account of these bishops. 

" Anselm lib. iii. epistola, 147. Ussher, Vet. Epist. Ilibern. Sylloge, p. 96. 
Dieitur Episcopos in vestra terra passim eligi, et sine certo Episcopatus loco constitui ; 
alqtie ab uno Episcopo, Episcopum sicut quemlibet Presbyterum, ordinari, &c. Ad Reg. 

" Sozomen. Hist. Eocles. lib. vi. c. 34. 

(c) Kalendar. et Missal. MS. Ecclesise de Arbuthnot dioc. S. Andreas penes Vicecomi- 
tem de Arbuthnot. Kalendar. et Breviar. Aberdon. 1509. 


Such were S. Nachlan or Nathalan, Bishop, January the eighth, at A. D. 563. 
Tullich, in Mar; S. Wollock or Macwolock, Bishop, January the twenty- 
ninth, at Logy, in Mar ; S. Glascian, Bishop, January the thirtieth, at 
Kinglass, &c. ; S. Modock, Bishop, January the thirty-first, at Kilmodock : 
S. Marnan, Bishop, March the first ; S. Duthac, Bishop, March the eighth, 
famous in Ross; S. Ilonan, Bishop, May the twenty-second, at Kilmaronan, 
in Lennox ; S. Colmock, Bishop, June the sixth ; S. Molock or Molonach, 
Bishop, June the twenty-fifth, at Lismore, in Argyle; July the first, S. 
Servan or Serf, Bishop, of whom elsewhere ; August the tenth, S. Blane, 
Bishop, at Dunblane ; August the twenty-fourth, S. Yrchard, Bishop, at 
Kincardine- 0' Neil; September the first, S. Murdach, Bishop; September the 
twenty-second, S. Lolan, Bishop ; September the twenty-fifth, S. Bar or 
Finbar, Bishop, at Kilbarr, in the Isle of Barra, and in Caithness ; September 
the twenty-eighth, S. Machan, Bishop ; October the sixteenth, S. Colman, 
Bishop ; October the twenty-eighth, S. Marnoch, Bishop ; October the 
thirtieth, S. Talarican or Tarkin, Bishop ; November the thirteenth, S. 
Devenick, Bishop, at Banchory-Devenick ; November the eighteenth, S. 
Fergusian or Fergus, Bishop ; December the second, S. Ethernan, Bishop ; 
December the eighteenth, S. Manir, Bishop; December the twenty- second; 
S. Ethernase, Bishop ; &c. 

All these holy bishops' names are taken from the calendars or liturgical 
books of St. Andrews and of Aberdeen, these being the only two I can hear 
of, which escaped our Reformers' zeal ; but I doubt not but, if the calendars 
of the Churches of Glasgow, of Galloway, of Argyle, of Dunkeld, and espe- 
cially of the Isles, could be recovered, we should there find many more of 
the names of the ancient bishops of the Scots and Picts. Among these 
bishops, some, no doubt, were the chief or national bishops of the Scots 
and Picts. But the loss of the ancient monuments of our ecclesiastical 
history hinders us from being able to distinguish which among them were 
the national or ordinary bishops, and which were bishops at large and co- 
adjutors or suffragans, and renders it impossible to fix their chronology. 
As to the dates assigned to each of them in Adam King's' 8 ' Scottish Calen- 
dar, published A.D. 1587, as he brings no authority to prove these dates, 
and some of them are certainly wrong, we can in no manner depend upon 
them. The names of some of our ancient bishops are still preserved at the 

<*> Adam Regius or King, Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at Paris, his 
Calendar, printed at Paris, A.D. 1587. 


\ D. '(>?,. respective country churches, or other places where they were honoured. 
It was probably at these places where these holy bishops made their ordin- 
ary abode with their disciples, and to which they used to retire amidst their 
labours, where they finished their course and were buried, and where their 
relics were, in former ages, held in great veneration, and the great resort 
made to them by the faithful, as places of devotion, especially on their 
anniversary days, or festivals, was what gave the first rise and occasion to 
yearly fairs and markets kept on their anniversaries, whereof some are 
as yet to be seen marked in the old Scottish almanacs, notwithstanding the 
zeal of our new Reformers to abolish the memory of these ancient Saints of 
their country. 

After this prospect of the ecclesiastical government in Scotland in 
ancient times, which appears to have continued much on the same footing 
as long as the civil government was divided into different states and king- 
doms, before the union of the Scots and Picts, and that of all the provinces 
of the north and south into one monarchy, I come now in course to give 
account of the famous monastery of Ycolmkill, and of the discipline 
settled in it, of which Divine Providence made use as a means to preserve 
and propagate religion in our part of the island, to establish it upon a more 
firm foundation than ever it had been hitherto, and not only to furnish 
these parts with pastors of the first and second Order, but to form Aposto- 
lical men towards the Conversion of all the northern parts of England. 
Now M'e shall see that the monastery of Ycolmkill was that means, and that 
it was fitted by Providence to answer all those ends, after having first 
considered the situation of it. and the discipline established and observed 
in it. 

XXVI. The island of Hy or lona is situated at the south-western 
point of the isle of Mull, and about two miles distant from it. It would 
appear that the distance betwixt these two islands was not so great in S. 
Columba's time, since we find that passengers used to call a > over the frith 
from Mull to Ycolmkill. This island is now about two miles in length and 
one in breadth ; it is fertile of all things which that part of the climate pro- 
duces. It is as free of all venomous beasts, by S. Columba's benediction, 
so as they coukK b J do hurt to nobody. We have already shown that it was 
the donation, not of the Picts, but of Conal, King of the Scots. S. Co- 

(a> Adamnan. lib. i. cc. 25, 27. 
> b > Ibid. lib. ii. c. 28. 


lumba began by erecting in it a church, no doubt of wood, for such was the A. D. 563. 

custom of the Scots during these times, and the monastery or habitations 

he caused build for himself, for his disciples and for the multitude of those 

that frequented the holy place, were of a very mean fabric, that is cottages, 

such as were in use among the country people, if we may judge of the rest 

by S. Columba's own habitation which Adamnan calls more than once 

" tuguriolum,"( a ) a little cottage. And no wonder that their buildings were 

so mean, for they were all of their own fabric ; labouring with their hands, 

as we shall see, and providing for themselves the necessaries of life, without 

being a burthen to others, was a part of the exercises of S. Columba and 

his first disciples. 

As to the discipline of this monastery, it is certain that S. Columba was 
author of a monastic rule peculiar to his monasteries, and Waroeus( b ) in- 
forms us that this rule is still extant, but, by what I can learn, it hath not 
been as yet published. To supply the want of it we may learn in general 
what were the exercises of S. Columba and his disciples, from a passage in 
S. Adamnan, in which he gives us a short notion of the ordinary religious 
exercises of S. Columba himself, and, by consequence, of what he prescribed 
to his disciples, and to those that were to succeed them in the monasteries 
governed by his rule. For as Bede observes/ ) it was the chief maxim of 
these holy men, that " they taught no otherwise than they themselves and 
their followers lived and practised," that is, their lives and conduct were 
models and patterns of the pious exercises that they recommended to the 
practice of those whom they instructed. So that we cannot have a more 
certain account, in few words, of the exercises of the religious men in 
Ycolmkill, especially of those among them whom S. Columba destinated to 
the sacred ministry, than what S. Adamnan gives us of this holy man's own 
daily exercises in this monastery, to wit, that he spent all the hours of the 
day either in< d ' prayer, that is, in his private conversation with God, in 
which he spent often whole nights, as well as days, and in reciting the 
canonical Office of the day and night, in reading or studying, in writing or 

(a > Adamnan. lib. i. c. 25 ; lib. ii. c. 26 ; lib. iii. c. 15. 

ib) Ware, de Seriptor. Hibern. p. 15. 

(c) Cujus (Aidani) doctrinam id inaximc commendabat omnibus, quod non aliter 
quam vivebat cum suis, ipse docebat. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 5. 

< d) Nullum unius horae intervallum transire poterat, quo non aut orationi, aut lectioni, 
vel scriptioni, vel etiara alicui operation! incumberet. Adamnan. Prsef. secund. in Vit. 
S. Columba;, edit. Colgan, p. 337. [Vit. secund. S. Columb. lib. i. c. 1.] 


A. D. 563. copying books, and in corporal labour. And as for the farther particulars 
of these exercises, and of the usages of the monastery, we may gather them 
from S. Adamnan's account of the life of S. Columba, from what Bede 
relates of the lives, usages, and exercises of S. Aidan, and the other holy 
men bred up in this monastery, who planted the Gospel in the north of 
England, and settled among the Christians they converted, and in the 
monasteries that they founded in those parts, the usages that they had 
brought alo'.g with them from Ycolmkill. 

XXVII. And in the first place, it is to be observed that, as all S. Co- 
lumba's disciples bore the name of monks, in the language of these times, 
so the houses where they lived were named monasteries, and the discipline 
established am'-ng them resembled that of monks. They had a fixed rule, 
they had all in common, according to the form of living of the first Chris- 
tians in apostolical times. Wherefore, and according to that evangelical 
model, as Bede< a) relates, "they neither sought nor loved anything in this 
world ;" it appears also that they made vows (b) of renouncing to all pro- 
perty, of forsaking the world with all its concerns, and of consecrating 
themselves wholly to the exercises of religion. It were superfluous to add 
that they lived in perpetual continency, for everybody knows that all those 
of the monastic profession, and who renounced the world, renounced at 
same time to the married state. They all lived under the obedience of an 
Abbot, or other Superior, to be disposed of by him, either to remain all 
their lives in the low state of simple religious men, or to be advanced to 
the respective degrees of sacred Orders, according to the judgment that 
their Superior, after a long trial, made, in the first place, of their progress 
in piety and sanctity of life, as well as of their talents and other qualifica- 
tions for the service of the Church. 

So that, however they were called monks, according to the language of 
these times, yet, excepting those among them that, being illiterate, -were 
chiefly deputed to corporal labour, and those who were admitted as public 
penitents (who, by consequence, were excluded by the canons of the 
Church from the entry to holy Orders), the rest of them, in general, were, 
properly speaking, a body of regular clergy, such as those bred up in the 
monasteries or seminaries of S. Eusebius, of Vercelli, S. Martin, of Tours, 
S. Augustine, in Africa, S. Honoratus, of Lerins, &c., of whose disciples, those 

<> Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cc. 5, 26. 

(W Adamnan. lib. i. c. 32 ; lib. ii. c. 39. 


chosen out by these holy men, directed by the Spirit of God, were advanced to A. D. 5C3. 

holy Orders in the clerical state, and employed in the service of the Church, 

and it was from these religious houses that many of the greatest bishops of 

the ages, in which the discipline settled by the founders flourished in them, 

were taken ; and it was also from the same monasteries or seminaries in 

foreign parts that S. Patrick brought over to Ireland the first patterns of 

religious and clerical education and institution, and from Ireland S. Co- 

lumba introduced them into Britain, and settled a most complete model of 

them in Ycolmkill, whence they spread through all the northern parts of 


But it suffices to consider the practice of S. Columba himself, and the 
exercises established by him in Ycolmkill and his other monasteries, to be 
persuaded that the design of Divine Providence in the establishment of 
that famous monastery was not so much to form monks, in a strict sense, or 
so'itaries, such as those of the Orient, whose only aim was their own sancti- 
fication, without taking further share in the hierarchical functions than, by 
their prayers, to draw a blessing upon those that were employed in them. 
But that the monastery of Ycolmkill was established in the same view as 
those above-mentioned of S. Eusebius, S. Martin, S. Augustine, S. Honoratus, 
&c., that is to breed up their disciples in solid piety, which chiefly consists 
in the right regulation of the heart, and, in the first place, in the separation 
of their affections from the world, and in the renunciation to its cares and 
affairs, to all unnecessary eases and pleasures of life. And as for the 
ecclesiastical state, those wise directors, animated by and regulating their 
instructions upon the maxims of Holy Scripture and canons concerning 
the necessity of divine vocation to that state of perfection, at the same 
time that they endeavoured to inspire those of their disciples whom they 
found proper for that holy state, with an ardent zeal for the salvation of 
souls, and a promptitude to sacrifice themselves to that great work which 
our Lorr himself had begun, and his Apostles and their successors had 
continued, these prudent directors, I say, took care to excite in their 
disciples, at same time, a high esteem and profound veneration for the dif- 
ferent degrees of the sacred ministry, and holy dread and apprehension of 
the burden of the charge of souls, so as that they were disposed not only 
not to aspire or aim at it of themselves, but rather to decline the weight 
of it, and to submit to it only in as far as the spiritual wants of souls 
redeemed by the blood of Christ, and the order of God, manifested to them 


A. 1). 363. by the voice of their Superiors, directors, or other holy men of these times, 
forced them to submit, out of an apprehension to disobey Almighty God in 
the person of his servants. 

Of all these preparations and dispositions, we shall see afterwards a 
perfect pattern in our countryman, the great S. Cuthbert, bred from his 
youth in the C'olumbite monastery of Mailross, as Eede relates at length in 
his History, and in the Life of this Saint. But to return to the discipline 
of S. Columba's monasteries. 

XXVIII. At the same time that his disciples were bred up in these 
inward dispositions to piety, they were instructed in all that might qualify 
them for the pastoral functions, in case the spiritual necessities of the 
Church called for their help, and their chief exercises in the monastery 
were calculated to that end. 

We have already given from Adamnan a general view of these exercises 
in the practice of S. Columba himself, who taught them more by his own 
example to his disciples than by his words or regulations. These exercises, 
as we have seen, were reduced to these four heads, " orationi," prayer; 
" lectioni," lecture or studying; " scriptioni," writing or copying ; " oper- 
ationi," working, or the labour of their hands. 

As to prayer, besides the continual prayer or tendency of the heart 
to God, in which S. Columba himself lived, and trained up his disciples in 
the same pious disposition, there were regular times of public prayer at the 
canonical hours of the day and of the' 8 ' night, to which they all convened 
at the sound of a bell, for so I understand the barbarous word " clocca," < b > 
which Adamnan makes use of. They sung< c > the public Office, and were 
exact to perform it at the stated hours, as well abroad in their voyages and 
upon their missions, as at home in the monastery. Adamnan, upon that 
occasion, makes mention< d) of the miraculous elevation of S. Columba's 
voice, during the sacred Psalmody. 

But the principal part of their public prayer, or of divine Service, was 
the celebration of the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, or the solemnity of 
Mass ; and the terms of respect in which S. Adamnan expresses the holy 
mysteries being the same that the Catholic Church makes use of at present, 

(>> Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 23, n. 9, edit. Colg. 

i Ibid. 

<c) Ibid. lib. i.e. 37; lib. iii. c. 12. 



demonstrates that the faith that S. Columba settled in his monasteries, and A. D. 563. 
among the ancient Scots and Picts, concerning the real presence of the Body 
of Christ, or the oblation or sacrifice of the Mass, was in those days the 
same as it is now. For he calls them, the sacred Mysteries < a > of the 
Eucharist, the most holy( b > Mysteries, the Solemnity^ of Mass, the sacred 
Solemnity ( d ) of Mass ; and to show that they believed that the holy 
Eucharist was offered as a sacrifice or oblation, he calls Mass the Mysti- 
cal (e) Sacrifice, the Mysteries (f) of the sacred Oblation. And that they 
believed that the Body of Christ was rendered present in the sacred mys- 
teries by the words or prayer of the consecration appears, by Adamnan's 
informing us, not only that the bishop or priest at Mass consecrated KJ the 
holy mysteries of the Eucharist, that they consecrated"" the sacred oblation, 
but that by the consecration of the oblation at the altar, the bishop's or 
priest's pronouncing in the name of Christ the words or prayer of conse- 
cration, and acting by his authority, derived to them in rui uninterrupted 
succession from the Apostles by the channel of ordination, made or pro- 
duced the Body of Christ, " Christ! Corpus'" ex more conficere ;" allud- 
ing to an expression of S. Hierome, by which to express the eminence of 
the Character of priests above that of deacons, S. Hierome says, that by the 
prayer^' of the priests the Body and Blood of Christ are made or produced, 
and elsewhere, the priests with their sacred mouths make or produce'" the 
Body of Christ. And it is in these same terms that S. Adamnan explains 
the meaning of another expression of his own imitated from the Scripture, 
to wit, to break< m ' the Lord's bread. 

By all this the impartial reader, 1 hope, will perceive that the doctrine 
taught by S. Columba, and by his disciples and successors, concerning the 

(al Sacrae Eucharistiae Mysteria. Adamnan. lib. i. e. 40; lib. iii. e. 17. 

(b) Sacro Sancta Mysteria. Ibid. 

<> Missarum Solemnia, lib. i. c. 40; lib. iii. c. 17; lib. iii. e. 23, n. 1. 

(d) Sacra Missarum Solemnia, lib. ii. c. 45. 

(11) Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 1. Sacrificale Mysterium. 

<f) Sacrse Oblationis Mysteria. lib. i. c. 40. 

<g) Sacrae Eucharistiae Mysteria consecrare. 

cw Globus igneus in vertice S. Columba; ante altare stantis et sacram oblationem 
consecrantis. Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 17. 

(i) Christ! corpus ex more conficere. lib. i. c. 44. 

(k) Ad quorum (sacerdotum) preces, Christi corpus sanguisque conficitur. S. Hiero- 
nym. Epist. ad Evagrium. 

<l) Christi corpus sacro ore conficiunt. S. Hieronym. Epist. ad Heliodorum. 

() Dominicum panem frangere. Adamnan. lib. i. c. 44. 


A D. 563. sacred mysteries of the Eucharist, was the same in substance with that of 
the Catholic Church in this present and in all former ages. But as to the 
rite, or discipline observed in the celebration of the holy mysteries, it 
appears that the usages of the Picts and Scots in ancient times were, as it 
was usual in other countries, different in some things from the modern 
usages of the occidental Church. And first, in this, that, as it appears by 
the several expressions of Adamnan (hereC a ) marked) compared together, 
the holy sacrifice of Mass was not offered ordinarily but upon Sundays or 
festivals, or upon the news of the death, or on occasion of the anniversary, 
of some pious men related to the monastery. Secondly, that there is great 
ground to believe that the Scots in ancient times, in the celebration of the 
sacred mysteries, followed the Gallican rite or liturgy, introduced at first 
into Ireland by S. Patrick, educated in Gaul, and from Ireland brought over 
by S. Columba to our northern parts of Britain. But this, and the other 
varieties of rites observed in Scotland in the celebration of the sacred 
mysteries or Mass, and in the canonical offices (vulgarly called the Breviary) 
through the different ages, from the first establishment of Christianity till 
the new Reformation, may perhaps come to be elsewhere examined in a 
dissertation apart upon the ancient Liturgy of Scotland. 

XXIX. The second exercise of S. Columba and his disciples in their 
monasteries was lecture, " lectioni," reading or study, especially of what 
belonged to the doctrine and practice of religion, and, in the first place, of 
the Holy Scriptures : for thus S. Columba had been from his childhood 
taught in the monastery or seminary of the holy Bishop S. Finian or 
Findbar. where all his studies are comprehended by AdamnanW under the 
name of the wisdom or knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, " sapientiam 
sacra Scripturae," that is, not the bare lecture or study of the letter of the 
Scriptures, but the meditation of the truths contained in them, to sink them 
into the heart, in order to produce that divine wisdom which teaches to fix 
the heart in God, and to withdraw all its affections from the transitory 
satisfactions of the present life. And, doubtless, S. Columba inspired the 
same spirit into his disciples, to make, with S. Augustine, (c) the sacred 
Scriptures their greatest pleasure and consolation. For we find that the 

<*> Adamnan. lib. i. c. 40 ; lib. ii. cc. 1, 45 ; lib. iii. cc. 12, 17, 23, n. 1. 
(b) Cum vir venerandus (Columba) in Scotia apud Findbarum Episcopum adhuc 
juvenis, sapientiam sacrae Scripturse addiscens, commaneret. Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 1. 
lc) Sint castse deliciae mese Scripture tuae. S. Aug. Confession. 


assiduous lecture and meditation of them was one of the chief practices ' a > A. D. 503. 
of the Columbites both in Scotland and England. 

But to reap the fruit of these pious lectures, the young and unlearned 
among them were not abandoned to themselves to search out the meaning 
or sense of the Scriptures without a guide, but they were taught the true 
meaning of them by their ancients, who were instructed in the sense and 
meaning of the Church ; and we see in the example of S. Cuthbert, and in 
the method he was taught to understand the Holy Scriptures by his master, 
Boisil, Superior of the Columbite monastery of Mailross, that their custom 
in their conferences upon the Holy Scripture with their disciples, was (bl 
not to dive into the profound questions of the sacred text, but to render 
them attentive to, and cause them remark what was of greatest edifica- 
tion, to wit, the simplicity of faith that works by charity. But this exer- 
cise was chiefly for those that were already advanced and lettered, as for 
those that were as yet young in years, such as the twelve Saxon^ children 
chosen out by S. Aidan, to be bred up to the ecclesiastical state in his 
monasteries, according to S. Columba's rule, and in general as to all illite- 
rate persons that were received in the Columbite monasteries, the first 
application of their masters was to teach those of them, in whom they found 
capacity and inclination to letters, to read and write, joining those exercises 
to the necessary instructions of Christian doctrine and rules of piety. 

To these first elements, in proportion to their progress in piety, and the 
hopes they gave of being one day useful instruments of the salvation of 
others, and of their being called to the clerical state, was added the apply- 
ing them to learn the Latin tongue, this being the common language in 
religious matters of the occidental Church, of which they were members, 
to enable them to understand the Holy Scriptures, the canons of the coun- 
cils, or such writings of the Fathers, or other ancients, as they could pro- 
cure, to qualify them by those solid lectures and studies (to which the 
theology of those times was chiefly reduced) for the different degrees of 
the sacred ministry to which they might happen afterwards to be called 

Ut ornnes qui cum eo (Aidano) incedebant, sive attonsi sive laici, meditari 
deberent, id est, aut legendis Scripturis, aut Psalmis discendis operam dare. Hoc erat 
quotidianura opus illius, et omnium qui cum eo erant fratrum, ubicunque locorum devenis- 
sent. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. Hi. c. 5. 

(b) (Boisil in Collationibus de Sacra Scriptura cum Cuthberto) solam in ea fldei qua! 
per dilectionem operatur simplicitatem. non autem qusestionum profunda tractabat. Bed. 
Vit. S. Cuthbert. c. viii. 

< c > Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 26. 


A. D. 563. and promoted. It is remarkable that the application of their young scholars 
to lecture and study was so great and perseverant, that they carried<> books 
(which in those days were no small burthen) along with them in their 


XXX. Their third exercise was writing or copying books, " scriptioni." 
This we find was, according to Adamnan, one of the ordinary^ exercises of 
S. Columba himself, and of his chief disciples. The great number of them 
that were applied to reading or studying, and the rarity of books in those 
days, put S. Columba under the necessity of employing many of his disciples 
in transcribing books, in order to form a library in his monasteries, for the 
spiritual comfort and improvement chiefly of those that were destinated to 
the public canonical office, and to the service of the Church and sacred 
Orders. So that the transcribing the Holy Scriptures, what they could 
recover of the canons, of the books of the holy Fathers, and of other ancient 
ecclesiastical writers, and of other books necessary for Divine Service, and 
for the use of the learned and improvement of students, was one of the 
chief exercises of all those that were skilful and expert in the art of writing, 
to which all that were capable in the monasteries were bred up. And we 
see, by what Adamnan remarks/ ' that they were so careful of revising 
their copies, and rendering them correct, that there was not so much as an 
iota neglected. He gives'^) us also account of Psalters and other books 
transcribed by S. Columba himself, and therefore held in great veneration, 
and miracles wrought by them. 

The fourth exercise of S. Columba's disciples, according to the example 
he had given them, was corporal or manual labour, " operation!." This 
exercise, strictly enjoined by all the founders of religious congregations, 
was also recommended by the canons^ 6 ' of the Church in particular to the 
clergy. And none among the Columbites were exempted from labour of 
the hands, though the chief burden of it lay Upon those that were illiterate, 
or not employed in studies, or destined to the service of the Church. Thus 
we see it was these religious men themselves that erected^ their build- 
ings, that brought homers' the materials of them, that tilled the ground, 

(a) Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 8. 

(W Ibid. lib. i. cc. 23, 25; lib. ii. cc. 8, 9, 16 ; lib. iii. c. 23, n. 7. 

(> Ibid. lib. i. c. 22. 

< d > Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 8, 9, 16, 44, 45 ; lib. iii. c, 23, n. 7. 

<*' Concil. iv. Carthagin. can. 51. 

< n Adamnan. lib. i. cc. 29, 37 ; lib. iii. c. 15. 

<' Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 3, 45. 


cut (a) the corn, went a fishing for the monastery, in a word, that provided A. D. 563. 
for themselves, and for entertaining hospitably, all the necessaries of life, 
as much as they were able without being a burden to others. 

Now all these exercises of the pious inhabitants of S. Columba's monas- 
teries were accompanied with their regular fasting, not only in Lent upon 
one meal a day, and that only< b > in the evening, and after vespers or even- 
ing song, about five or six o'clock at night, at sunset, according to the uni- 
versal practice of the Church in those ages, but during the course of all the 
year (excepting the fifty days from Easter to Whitsunday) the Columbites 
fasted all Wednesdays^) and Fridays upon one meal a day, with this differ- 
ence from the great fast of Lent, that upon their weekly fasts they advanced 
their sole meal till three in the afternoon (" hora nona "), whereas in Lent 
they ate none till night. Adamnan also observes that their charity and 
love of entertaining hospitably engaged them to interrupt or relax their fast, 
upon the arrival of any extraordinary stranger of great merit that came to 
visit them. But some of the more fervent among them observed threc( d ) 
Lents, one at the usual time before Easter, one after Whitsunday, and one 
before Christmas. It was also the custom of some of the more advanced 
in piety to pass all the time- ' of Lent in retreat, or entire separation from 

But it is to be observed, that however strict and austere the discipline 
of Lent was among the Columbites as to fasting, they allowed a greater 
indulgence as to abstinence, even in Lent, than in modern ages. For 
though they all abstained absolutely from flesh on fasting days, yet u 
appears that they allowedCO the use of milk and white meats, and even of 
eggs. And probably this indulgence extended to all the Scots in those 
days. However, it is certain that the Scots, in following ages, embraced 
the common discipline of the rest of the Church, and abstained during 
Lent, from white meats, milk, eggs, and all that comes of flesh, till the 
fifteenth century, that Pope Nicholas the Fifth, by a special indult, <s> 
A.D. 1451, granted first to the diocesans of Glasgow a licence to use milk 

(t) Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 19; lib. i. c. 37. 

tb) Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 23. 

(c) Ibid. lib. iii. c. 5. 

<d > Ibid. lib. iii. c. 27. 

(e) Ibid. lib. v. c. 2. 

(f) Ibid. lib. iii. c. 23. 
> Clmrtular. Glasg. 


A. D. 563. and white meats in Lent, and A.D. 1459, the same Pope grantedO) the 
same licence for the diocesans of St. Andrews, to James Kennedy, Bishop 
of that Church, present in person at Rome, and from thenceforth this indul- 
gence was, by degrees, extended to the rest of Scotland ; the reason 
assigned for the licence, to wit, the want of oil, being common to all the 
kingdom. But in neither of these indults is any word of allowing eggs in 
Lent. And thus far as to the discipline of Ycolmkill, and other monas- 
teries of S. Columba. 

XXXI. It remains now to show that the monastery of Ycolmkill was, 
for some ages after its establishment, the chief centre and support of Chris- 
tianity among the Scots and Picts ; that this abbey, with the other monas- 
teries derived from it, as so many colonies, and founded by S. Columba in 
different places of the kingdom of the Scots and Picts, were the nurseries 
of churchmen of all orders and degrees, as well as of simple religious men. 
That these monasteries, by the bishops and priests formed and consecrated in 
them and sent out from them, supplied the want and answered the ends of 
diocesan episcopacy and parochial churches during the several ages after the 
foundation of Ycolmkill, whilst the separate interests of the Scots and 
Picts, the frequent wars betwixt them and with the neighbouring nations, 
their mutual incursions one upon another, and the other confusions of the 
civil state, hindered the canonical division of this northern country into 
dioceses and parishes, which could not be conveniently effected, nor estab- 
lished upon a lasting foundation, till the kingdoms of the Scots and Picts, 
with the debatable lands, from the northern friths to the Tweed and Solway, 
were at last all united into one monarchy of Scotland ; till the debates 
about the right of succession were fully settled, by the re-establishment of 
the primitive rule of the succession of the next immediate heir of the 
royal line, and till, by those means, the kingdom was brought to perfect 
union and tranquillity, that rendered it susceptible of the same canonical 
discipline and ecclesiastical polity which had been established in other parts 
of Christendom. 

That the monastery of Ycolmkill was, in the order of Divine Providence, 
the centre, and, as it were, the fortress of Christianity among the Scots 
and Picts, appears by the prerogatives which, as Bede< b) tells us over and 

(l) Chartular. Dunferra. Exemplar Panmurian. p. 307. 

00 Hy insula, ubi plurimorum caput et arcem Scoti habuere csenobiorum. Bed. 

Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 21. Hy monasterium in cunctis pene Scotorum scptentrionalium, 


over again, belonged to it, such as that it still continued in Bede's time the A. D. 563. 
head and bulwark of religion among the Scots and Picts, the source from 
which all the monasteries, founded among these two people, were derived 
and propagated, and of the authority by which they were governed, and by 
consequence, the centre and chief seat of religion in these two kingdoms. 
Adamnan also tells us of the great number of monasteries founded by S. 
Columba, or his disciples, within the bounds of the Scots and Picts, and 
proves how beneficial these pious establishments were to these two people, 
and how acceptable'"' they were to Almighty God, by the visible and dis- 
tinguishing marks of his protection over them, especially in the time of the 
general pestilence, by preserving from that plague the Scots and Picts 
alone among all the inhabitants of Britain, or rather of the rest of the 
Occident, and that, says Adamnan, by the prayers of S. Columba, and upon 
account of the honour paid by the Scots and Picts to his memory, and to 
his monasteries founded within the bounds of these two people : as we shall 
see at more length in its proper place. 

These monasteries, especially that of Ycolmkill, were the nurseries in 
which, under the direction of the Abbot, or other Superior, and of chosen 
masters, were bred up to piety and letters, children (such as the twelve 
Saxon children of S. Aidan) and other young people, to which also retired 
men of riper years, all of them with a resolution to renounce absolutely to 
the world, to all its cares and affairs, and to devote themselves wholly to 
the service of God in a religious state, to live according to the rule and 
discipline of the monastery where they entered, and in an exact obedience 
to the Abbot, or other Superior, to be wholly disposed of afterwards by 
him, according as he, by the knowledge he had of their dispositions and 
talents, after having consulted the will of God, should advise them either 
to remain in the lay state of simple religious, or to enter that of the clergy. 

XXXII. These monasteries were then not only retreats for monks and 
solitaries, but seminaries of the clergy, as we have already observed, from 
whence, as from storehouses, according to the exigencies of the Church, the 
most qualified subjects for piety and learning were chosen out by the 
abbot, with advice of the ancients, to be promoted to sacred Orders, and to 

et omnium Pictorum monasteriis, non parvo tempore arcem tencbat ; regendis eorura popu- 
lis praerat. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 3. Ex utroque monasterio (Hy et Dearmach) per- 
plurima monasteria per discipulos ejus (Columbae) et in Britannia et in Hibernia propagata 
sunt. In quibus idem monasterium insulanum (Hy) principatum tenet. Ibid. lib. iii. c. 4. 
(a > Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 46. 


A. D. 563. the dignity of priesthood or episcopate, and sent out to the several cantons, 
where their ministry was wanted. And as all this was done according to 
the direction of the Abbot of Ycolmkill, or other Superiors of monasteries 
depending upon him, to whom, at their admission into the monasteries, 
they had promised obedience, this gave naturally to the Abbot of Ycolmkill, 
as head of all the other Scottish and Pictish monasteries, an ascendant and 
a kind of superiority over all the churchmen of these parts, of whatever 
degree, and to whatever post they were afterwards promoted. So it was 
no wonder that all of them, from the lowest to the highest degree, having 
been educated and ordained at these monasteries, and sent out to labour 
from some one or other of them, and having been accustomed from their 
entry to the monastery to an entire subjection and dependence upon the 
Abbot of Ycolmkill, as Superior-in-chief of them all ; this being the case, 
it is no wonder, I say, that all of them, even the bishops who had been bred 
up there, should continue to pay such a deference to the Abbot, as to do 
nothing of moment without his advice or direction, and therefore to have 
recourse to him and consult him in all important cases and causes, and that 
this custom long continued should have appeared to Bede, a stranger, and 
living at a distance, a kind of right or jurisdiction of the Abbot over them. 
XXXIII. This, with the pre-eminence and superiority that Ycolmkill 
had over all the Scottish and Pictish monasteries, so often mentioned by 
Bede, is what this Saxon writer was struck with, when he tells us (a) " that 
the northern province of the Scots and all the Picts, even the bishops 
themselves, were, by an unusual custom, subject to the Abbot of Ycolmkill, 
though he was a priest only, and not a bishop." But that this was only a 
voluntary deference or respect paid to that abbot by the bishops, occasioned 
by their education from their youth, or from their first entry to the monas- 
tery, under the obedience to this abbot, and that it can by no means be 
understood of any derogation from the episcopal dignity considered in itself, 
appears evidently by what Adamnan, abbot of this same monastery (upon 
the place and nearer the time, and, by consequence, incomparably better 
informed than Bede could be), relates of Cronan, the stranger bishop who 
came to visit S. Columba in Ycolmkill. And this relation, though it hath 

l " Habere autem solet ipsa insula (Hy) rectorem semper Abbatera Presbyterum, 
cujus juri, et omnis provincia, et ipsi etiam Episcopi, ordinc inusitato, debeant esse sub- 
ject!, juxta exemplum primi doctoris illius qui non Episcopus, sed Presbyter extitit et 
Monachus. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 


been frequently quoted already by Episcopal writers, yet it containing a A. D. 563. 
most evident proof of the respect paid to the episcopal Character in the 
monastery of Ycolmkill, particularly by S. Columba himself, I shall here 
set it down in Adamnan's words. 

At a certain^"' time there came out of the province of Momonie to S. 
Columba (in his monastery of Ycolmkill) a stranger bishop called Cronan, 
who, out of humility, did all he could to conceal his Character, so as it might 
not appear that he was a bishop, but that he might pass for a priest only. 
But he could not keep his dignity or Character undiscovered by S. Columba ; 
for upon the Lord's day, according to custom, being invited by the Saint to 
consecrate'^ the Body of Christ, he called upon the Saint that they might 
like two priests join together in the fraction of the Bread of the Lord. S. 
Columba, therefore, coming to him at the altar suddenly, and looking him 
attentively in the face, discovering what he was, said to him : Christ bless 
you, brother, do you alone break this sacred Bread according to the episcopal 
rite, for now we know that you are a bishop. Why have you hitherto con- 
cealed yourself from us, and hindered us to pay you the respect and venera- 
tion due to your Character. The humble stranger, hearing this, was struck 
with astonishment, and he and all that were present glorified Christ in the 

By this relation of Adamnan it is evident, in the first place, that a very 
great distinction used to be made in Ycolmkill in the respect to bishops, 
from what was usually paid to priests, and that the respect due by the custom 
of that holy place to bishops, was so far above that which was paid to priests, 
that S. Columba amicably accuses this stranger bishop of giving occasion, 
by concealing his dignity, to himself and to his religious men to fail in their 
duty in omitting to render him the respect and veneration due to a bishop, 
and treating him only with that due to a priest, till the Saint by revelation 
discovered his Character. 

It appears in the second place by this relation, that according to the 
usages of Ycolmkill, which in those days were the standard of discipline 
among the Scots and Picts, a greater respect was in some manner paid to 
bishops in that monastery, and a greater distinction made betwixt them and 
priests in the celebration of the sacred mysteries, than in other Churches of 
the Occident, either in those ages or ours. For by this relation it appears 

(a) Adamnan, lib. i. c. 44. 

<b > Conficere Corpus Christ!. Ibid. 


A. D. 563. that in Ycolmkill a priest, even the abbot S. Columba himself, looked upon 
a bishop so far superior to him, that he would not presume, even though 
invited, to concelebrate or celebrate the holy mysteries jointly with him ; 
but though he was ready to join with this stranger in the consecration of 
the mysteries, taking him at first only for a priest, how soon he discovered 
that he was a bishop he modestly retired, and prayed him to consecrate 
alone according to the episcopal rite, as bishops used to do then among the 

Whereas in the Roman Church, according to a most ancient custom as 
yet in use in several great Churches in France, the bishop upon solemn days 
was accompanicdW by twelve priests, who concelebrated or jointly cele- 
brated with him ; pronouncing with him the words of consecration, and all 
the Canon of the Mass. In the Church of Paris, on Maundy Thursday, 
two priests concelebrate in the same manner with the bishop, pronounce 
all with him, and communicate with him in both kinds. And everywhere, 
oven at present in the Occident, as it is prescribed in the Pontifical,( b ) all 
priests newly ordained or consecrated concelebrate with the bishop that 
ordains them, saying along with him, word for word, the words of the 
oblation and consecration, and all the rest of the Canon, which it seems 
would have been looked upon as a derogation to the respect due to the 
Character of a bishop in Ycolmkill. 

It is to be further observed in this relation, that at the same time that 
Adamnan makes use of the scriptural expression of breaking the Bread of 
our Lord, instead of the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist, or solemnity of 
Mass, which are his usual expressions, he explains in the most energical 
terms, upon this occasion, the faith of S. Columba and of his disciples 
concerning this mystery, by the words " conficere Corpus Christi," which 
(as we have already observed,) literally signify to make or produce the 
Body of Christ at the altar. 

But to return. And now, I hope, by the behaviour of S. Columba 
towards Bishop Cronan, it hath sufficiently appeared that there was no 
where a greater respect paid to the episcopal Character than in Ycolmkill, 
nor anywhere a greater distinction made betwixt a bishop and a priest, and 
that, by consequence, the subjection of the Scottish or Pictish bishops to 
the Abbot of Ycolmkill mentioned by Bede, (and supposing that Bede was 

(>) Mabillon, Musaeum Ital. Ordo Roman. 

<b) Pontificate Roman, in Ordinatione Presbyter. 


not mistaken,) can be only meant of a certain deference or respect that the A. I). 563. 
bishops bred up in Ycolmkill (where generally all the bishops of the Scots 
and Picts were educated in those ages,) continued afterwards to pay to the 
abbot ; and that no argument can be drawn from Bede's words against the 
distinction of bishops and priests, nor against bishops being of a superior 
Order to priests. Even Bede himself was surprised at what he heard of the 
Abbot of Ycolmkill's power over bishops, and therefore calls it an unusual 

XXXIV. But supposing even that it had been more usual, it could be 
of no use to the Presbyterian cause, which chiefly depends upon, and must 
be reduced to this question : Whether the Character of a simple presbyter be 
equal to that of a bishop, and can enable him to perform validly the functions 
attached to the episcopal Order, especially that of ordaining priests and 
bishops. For, as I have elsewhere observed, 1 "' the power of ordination, 
and that alone, is the characteristic distinction betwixt bishops and priests, 
and everybody that is acquainted with the history, discipline, and usages of 
the Church, knows that a wide difference is to be made betwixt the power 
of Order, which is of divine institution, and that of jurisdiction, superiority 
of rank and exterior honours and deferences, which, ofttimes, depend upon 
times, places, and other circumstances of human institution. So that, 
though it could be shown that some abbots hud a superior rank, or even 
exercised a kind of jurisdiction over some bishops, yet that would in no 
manner serve to authorise the Presbyterians intruding themselves, without 
episcopal ordination, into the exercise of the power of the keys, the 
administration of the Word and Sacraments, their taking any spiritual 
authority over the faithful, or intermeddling with any other functions 
belonging to the pastoral charge, much less with that of giving ordination, 
which, as we have shown, is the most essential prerogative of the episcopal 
Character, incommunicable to any other. 

We have too many examples in ecclesiastical history of churchmen, of 
an inferior Order and Character, their endeavouring to equal themselves, 
and, by degrees, to obtain a preference of rank and honour, and even a 
superiority over those of a higher Order. But whatever toleration, or 
even approbation, those pretensions have, by degrees, obtained, yet there is 
no example of the Church's tolerating, much less approving, any usurpation 

<"> Supra, Book First, XLIII. 


A. I). 5fi?,. of the power of ordination, in any, however dignified or powerful, who was 
not invested with the episcopal Character. 

For the purpose, the presumption of some deacons, or archdeacons, in 
great Churches, and their aspiring to an equality, or even a preference to 
priests, is a grievance as old as S. Hierome's timc, (a) in the end of the 
fourth, or beginning of the fifth century. And though the trust that many 
bishops put in their archdeacons, their being the dispensers of the Church 
revenue, their having a share of episcopal jurisdiction delegated to them, 
and other privileges and prerogatives granted (o them by tlic bishops pre- 
ferably to others of their clergy of higher Orders, though all this, I say, 
increased at last their power and authority to that height that some arch- 
deacons came at last to have a court of their own, with jurisdiction over 
curates and other priests in their precinct, with a power not only to visit 
:uid correct, but to dcccrn pains against them. Yet, as it would be absurd 
to conclude from this power of jurisdiction granted to archdeacons over 
priests, that therefore the Order of deacon (which is all that belongs to any 
archdeacon) was equal or preferable to that of a priest, or that an archdeacon 
\vlio had only the Order of diaconate, and had never been promoted to that 
of priesthood, could validly exercise the chief functions of the sacerdotal 
Order, to wit, consecrate or offer the holy mysteries of the Eucharist, so it 
is no less absurd, even supposing that the Abbot of Ycolmkill had had 
jurisdiction over the Scottish or Pictish bishops in some ages, to infer from 
thence that these abbots had the power of ordaining priests, or that any of 
them, being only in priest's Orders, ever adopted it. 

XXXV. But we have from the same Adamnan, one of these abbots, a 
proof by which, if well considered, it appears no less evidently than by that 
we have already brought from him of the superiority of the Character of 
bishops over that of priests, that the Columbite priests, however dignified, 
oven though founders and Superiors of Columbite monasteries, yet never 
dared to venture upon conferring the Order of priest, not even to one of 
their own monks, but that though they had the strongest motives to exert 
the power of ordination, had they been invested with it, yet they were 
forced to send at a distance for a bishop to come and perform the function, 
when they had resolved to have one of their Religious men promoted to the 
Order of priesthood. I shall here set down at full length this relation of 

" Hicronym. Epistola ad Evas;. 


Adamnan, with its proper title (which contains the names and quality of A. 1) 5fi3. 
the persons and places) and then make some observations upon it. 

The title, which is of equal authority with the text, is conceived thus : 
" The( a ) Prophecy of the holy man (S. Columba) concerning Findchan, 
priest and founder of the monastery (of Columbites) in Shetland, which in 
Scots is called Artchain." Then follows the relation itself in these words : 
" Upon a certain time, the said Findchan, priest and soldier (that is, ser- 
vant) of Christ, brought with him from Ireland to Britain, in the clerical 
for religious) habit, Aidus or Hugh, surnamed the Black, descended of the 
royal race of Ireland, that he might pass some years with him, in a peni- 
tential pilgrimage in his monastery of Artchain. Now this Aidus Niger 
had been a very sanguinary man, and had put many to death, among others 
he had killed Dermod, the son of Kcrbuil, who had been made king of all 
Ireland, by God's appointment. After that this Aidus Niger had spent 
some time in penance in Findchan's monastery, he was there, by Findchan's 
order, who had a vehement affection for him, ordained priest, against the 
canons, by a bishop sent for on purpose. But the bishop" (informed, appa- 
rently, of the former wicked life of Aidus,) "refused to impose hands upon 
him, unless Findchan, in token of his consent and confirmation, would at 
same time lay his right hand upon Aidus's head. When an account of this 
ordination" (so opposite to the c;mons) " was brought to S. Columba, it 
shocked and grieved him extremely, and" (in a prophetic spirit) "he pro- 

(a) Beati Prophetatio viri (Columbre) de Findclmno presbytero, illius monasterii 
fundatore, quod Scottice Artchain nuncupatiir, in Ethica terra. 

Alio in tempore, supramemoratus presbyter Findchanus Christ! miles, Aidum cogno- 
mento nigrum, regio genere ortum, Cruthinium gente. de Scotia ad Britanniam sub 
clericatus habitu secum adduxit, ut in suo apud se monasterio per aliquot peregrinaretur 
annos; qui scilicet Aidus niger valde sanguinarius homo, et multorum fuerat trucidator; 
qut et Dermitium filium Cerbuil totius Scotiae regnatorem, Deo authore ordinatum, interfe- 
cerat. Hie itaque idem Aidus post aliquantum in peregrinatione transactum tempus, accito 
episcopo, quamvis non recte, apud supradictum Findchanum presbyter ordinatus est. Epis- 
copus tamen non ausus est super caput ejus manum imponere, nisi prius idem Findchanus, 
Aidum carnaliter amans, suam capiti ejus pro confirmatione imponeret dexteram. Qua? 
talis ordinatio cum postea sancto intimaretur viro, (Columbse) segre tulit. Turn proinde 
hanc de illo Findchano, et de Aido ordinato formidabilem profatur sententiam, inquiens. 
Ilia raanus dextera quam Findchanus, contra fas et jus ecclesiasticum, super caput filii 
perditionis imposuit, mox computrescet, et post magnos dolorum cruciatus, ipsum in terra 
sepeliendum proecedet, et ipse, post suam humatam manum, per multos superstes victurus 
est annos. Ordinatus vero indebite Aidus sicut canis ad vomitum revertetur suum, et 
ipse rursus sanguinolentus trucidator existet, et ad ultimum lancea jugulandus, de ligno 
in aquam cadens, submersus morietur. Talem multo prius terminum promeruit vita; qui 

totius regem trucidavit ScotitE. Quse beati viri prophetia de utroque adimpleta est 

Adamnan. Vit. S. Columb. lib. i. c. 36. 


A I), 563. nounced this formidable sentence against Findchan and Aidus. That right 
hand which Findchan hath irreligiously, and against the laws of the Church, 
imposed upon the head of the son of perdition, shall rot away after many 
piercing torments, and be cut off and buried, and Findchan himself shall 
outlive his hand many years. 

"And as for Aidus, so unlawfully ordained," continues the Saint, "he 
shall, like a dog, return to his vomit, and become a sanguinary man again, 
till at last he shall be pierced with a lance, and, falling from a tree into the 
water, he shall be drowned. Such a miserable end the murderer of the 
king of all Ireland deserved long ago. 

" This prophecy of S. Columba was fully accomplished," says Adamnan, 
" concerning them both. For the right hand of the priest Findchan, being 
rotten off at the wrist, was buried, long before him, in the isle called 
Ornon, and he himself, as the Saint had foretold it, survived it several 
years ; and Aidus Niger, unworthy of the name of priest, relapsed into his 
former crimes, and, being pierced with a lance, fell down into a loch from 
the prow of a ship or bark, and was drowned." 

XXXVI. And now I ask leave to make some obvious observations upon 
this relation of Adamnan ; and, in the first place, it is to be remarked that 
this Findchan was onc( a ) of the disciples of S. Columba, who either came 
along with him, or followed him soon after, from Ireland into Britain, that 
he was not only a Columbite priest, but a founder, president, or Superior 
of one of their monasteries, and, by consequence, one of the chief of them, 
and endued with all the powers or faculties that any priest of Ycolmkill 
could pretend to. On the other hand, this Aidus Niger had been King of 
Ulster, was a particular friend of Findchan, whom he passionately loved, 
" carnaliti-r amans," says Adamnan, and therefore he was at the pains to 
make a voyage on purpose to Ireland in hopes to reclaim him, and engage 
him into a penitential course of life to atone for his many crimes. Accord- 
ingly, Aidus gave all the outward appearances of a real conversion, and, for 
a proof of it, renounced his royal dignity and possessions, embraced the 
monastic state and put on the habit, and, in these apparent good dispositions, 
came along with Findchan to Britain, and was received in his monastery of 
Artchain, in Shetland, where, after some years' trial, Findchan, blinded by 
his affection for Aidus, and so more< b) easily persuaded of the sincerity of 

<*> Colgan, Vit. SS. Hibern. torn. i. p. 583. 
w Colgan, ibid. 


his Conversion, and, perhaps, in order to fix him the better in the monastic A. I). 
state, and in retreat for the rest of his days, or to compense his abandoning 
his earthly dignities, by a more sublime one of another Order, resolved to 
advance him to the Order of priesthood. 

If Findchan had believed that in quality of priest and Superior of a 
monastery of the Order of S. Columba, and depending upon Ycolmkill, he 
himself alone, or with the concurrence of the other priests and seniors of 
his monastery, had had power to confer the Order of priesthood to Aidus 
Niger, without the episcopal ministry, he had certainly the most pressing 
motives imaginable to exert his power upon this occasion. He had no 
bishop nearer him than upon the continent among the Scots and Picts, and 
could not doubt but the sending from Shetland in quest of a bishop to 
advance to holy Orders, against all the canons, a man of that quality, so 
noted for his crimes, and particularly for bloodshed (of all others the most 
opposite to the ecclesiastical spirit, and most strictly excluded from Orders 
by the canons), would make a noise, and if it came to be publicly known, it 
could not fail to give very great scandal both in Britain and Ireland, and 
shock all good men, and in particular the holy abbot S. Columba, Superior 
of his and of all the other monasteries, and draw from the holy man, as it 
did, severe punishments upon himself, and upon all concerned in that sacri- 
legious ordination. 

Whereas, supposing that Findchan himself, with the other priests of his 
monastery had thought themselves sufficiently qualified and empowered to 
ordain a priest, they might have easily ordained Aidus in so remote a corner 
as Shetland, without that it had ma;le any noise. Aidus had solemnly 
renounced the world, abandoned his country for ever, made profession of 
the monastic state, retired to bury himself, as it were, in a private monas- 
tery in the most distant corner of the northern isles of Britain, so as to be 
no more heard of in the world. In this case, since Findchan was resolved 
to have Aidus made priest at any rate, the ordaining him by Findchan 
himself, and the other presbyters and seniors of a monastery, in so remote 
a corner, might have made no noise anywhere else. Now when we see 
that Findchan, notwithstanding his earnestness to get Aidus ordained 
priest, and the importance of not divulging the ordination of a man so in- 
famous for his crimes, could find no other means of having this ordination 
performed than by sending, and perhaps far enough, through the Picts and 
Scots, for a bishop, which could not fail to make a noise ; and in the next 


place, that he engaged the bishop to perform the function, notwithstanding 
his reluctancy to take upon himself alone the guilt of an ordination (which 
it appears he doubted, at least, was criminal and sacrilegious) unless Find- 
chan would at same time lay his right hand upon Aid us to bear a part, as it 
were, of the guilt and of the reproach. When we consider, I say, and pon- 
der all the circumstances of this ordination, it seems not possible to conceive 
that Findchan, with all his qualities of priest, of founder, and of Superior 
of a Columbite monastery, and, by consequence, that any other Abbot, 
Superior, or Priest of Ycolmkill, or all of them together, destituted of the 
episcopal Character, ever so much as claimed, or pretended any right or 
power to ordain a priest, much less to ordain or consecrate a bishop. So 
that by this relation of Adamnan, it appears evident, that nothing can be 
more repugnant to the usages of Ycolmkill, as well as to those of all the 
rest of the Christian Church in all places and ages, than to pretend, as our 
Presbyterians do, that Aidan, Finan, and the other Scottish bishops sent 
to the north of England, or any of the bishops of the Scots and Picts, were 
consecrated or ordained bishops by the Abbot, priests, seniors, or other 
monks of Ycolmkill, without the concurrence or ministry of a true and 
proper bishop. And thus much to Adamnan's relation of the ordination of 

But before I leave it, these farther observations may be made upon it, 
First, that the exterior rites of ordination of priests among the Scots in 
ancient times were, in the main, conformable to the universal practice of 
the Church, and, in particular, to the prescript of the third Canon of the 
fourth Council of Carthage, to wit, by the imposition of the hands of a 
bishop, and of the priests that were present. Second, we see here the 
respect that S. Columba bore to the episcopal dignity, in the sentence he 
pronounced against this sacrilegious ordination. For though the bishop 
that ordained Aidus Niger was apparently one of those that had been bred 
up in Ycolmkill, that had been ordained in that monastery, and sent out 
from thence (as the custom then was) to serve the faithful among the 
Scots and Picts, and was no less guilty of the violation of the canons than 
the priest Findchan was in this ordination (however he had performed it 
with reluctancy, which showed that he acted against his conscience, or in a 
doubt), yet S. Columba pronounced no judgment or sentence against him, 
as he did against Findchan and Aidus. And there appears no other reason 
for this regard, but that the holy man would not assume a power over a 


bishop, or pronounce sentence against him, out of respect to his Character. A. I). 
Third, This relation confirms what we have formerly mentioned, that there 
were bishops at large among the Scots and Picts, ready upon a call to be 
found upon all emergencies, as their ministry happened to be wanted, and 
these bishops sent out from Ycolmkill, and generally residing in lesser 
monasteries with their disciples, in different cantons of the countries of the 
Scots and Picts, supplied the want of diocesan episcopacy, till the divisions 
and different interests of the inhabitants being made up and reconciled by 
degrees, made way for the canonical division of these northern parts into 
distinct dioceses. 

XXXVII. By all we have said it is evident, and will farther appear 
by what we shall have to add afterwards, that Ycolmkill was in those clays 
the Mother-Church of all those among the Scots and Picts, and the centre 
of all their ecclesiastical affairs, that in this monastery their bishops and 
other pastors were bred up, formed, ordained, and sent out from thence, for 
the service of the faithful, into all parts where their ministry was wanted, 
not only among the Scots and the Picts, but, as we shall see, in after times, 
among the Saxons through all the northern parts of England. Xow this 
consideration should, I conceive, suffice alone to convince all impartial 
readers, acquainted with the discipline of the Church in all ages, that there 
must have been one or more bishops constantly residing in Ycolmkill, at 
least, for giving ordinations ; especially if to this be added the proof already 
drawn from the ordination of Aidus Niger, by which it appears that none 
of the most dignified priests or Superiors of monasteries depending upon 
Ycolmkill, durst venture, however pressing motives they had to induce 
them, to ordain a single priest, not even one of their own monks. Hut 
first, that there was a proper bishop, constantly residing in the great monas- 
tery of Ycolmkill, receives a farther confirmation from the unquestionable 
accounts that we have of the like practice in other great monasteries abroad, 
in which we find not only proper bishops residing, but in some of these 
monasteries a succession of proper bishops continued on, for giving ordina- 
tions, and exercising the other episcopal functions in these religious houses. 
Though there appears no need of any such extraordinary bishops in them, 
their diocesan bishops being ofttimes near at hand, much less was there any 
such absolute necessity of a proper bishop in them, as there was in Ycolm- 
kill in the times we speak of, when there was as yet no regular division of 
our northern parts of this island into dioceses, nor any diocesan bishops 
settled as yet among the Scots and Picts, that we know of. 


A. u. .;ii;t. For the purpose, in the famous monastery of S. Denys,< a) of France, 

though it be situated within two short leagues of the episcopal seat of the 
diocesan, to wit, the Bishop of Paris, there was not only a proper bishop 
for the monastery, but a succession of proper bishops, all of them conse- 
crated in the usual form by the neighbouring bishops, as it is manifest by 
the Bull (b > of Pope Stephen III. to the Abbot of S. Denys. There was 
also a succession of such proper bishops in the great monastery (c) of 
S. Martin, of Tours, though it be, in a manner, at the door of the diocesan 
bishop, their metropolitan. The same practice we find in many other great 
monasteries, as in Lobbe( d ) or Laubes, in the diocese of Cambray; in 
Honon, Honangium,' 6 ) a great monastery in Alsace, of which the abbots 
were also bishops ; and by the writs and charters published by Father 
Mabillon,(0 it appears this monastery of Honon belonged to the Scots. 
Among other charters of donation, there is one of the Abbot Beatus, which 
bears that this monastery was founded for the pilgrims and poor of the 
nation of the Scots, " ad pauperes's' et peregrines gentis Scotorum." This 
charter is signed by seven bishops without fixed seats or titles ; and all the 
seven were Scots or Irish bishops, as Father Mabillon observes from their 
names, by which also appears, as it doth by other ancient monuments, that 
there was rather an abuse in former ages, among the Scots and Irish, in 
multiplying bishops without necessity, than a want of bishops necessary for 
the support of religion and giving ordination. In fine, this same learned 
writer tells us elsewhere' 11 ' that the custom of having bishops in monas- 
teries was in use in many other parts of the Christian world. 

Now it appears there was no kind of necessity of proper bishops in most 
i if these monasteries, nor any other use of them but for a distinction and 
honour, or in order to preserve their privileges, exemption and indepen- 
dency from their diocesan bishops. Whereas, in Ycolmkill, there was an 
absolute necessity of the episcopal ministry to ordain bishops, priests, and 
other ministers for all the Picts and Scots in Britain. And we find, that 

" Mabillon, Anna). Benedict, torn. ii. p. 168. 

b) Concil. General, edit. Labbe, torn. vi. col. 1776, 1777. 

c > Mabillon, Annal. Benedict, torn. ii. pp. 178, 179. 

'" Ibid. torn. ii. p. 33; Labbe, Concil. General, torn. vi. col. 1701, 170-2. 

" Ibid. Annal. Benedict, torn. ii. pp. 698, 699, 700. 

" Ibid. torn. ii. p. 59. 

' Ibid. torn. ii. pp. 699, 700. 

h) Mabillon, de re Diplomat, p. 629. 


even from the north of Ireland, where there were many monasteries, sub- 
ject to Ycolmkill, there came bishops to receive their consecration in that 
Mother-Church, witness Colman, of whose journey to Ycolmkill Atlamnan < a ' 
makes mention, and we find by the Life of S. Ita, Virgin, < b > that this 
Colman's journey to Ycolmkill was in order to be consecrated bishop. 

All this being, and considering the great number (CJ of bishops in Ireland, 
whence the Scots had received the doctrine and discipline of Christianity, 
and from whence S. Columba coining over, brought along with him the 
same discipline, as well as doctrine, concerning Church government, to 
which he himself and his first disciples had been bred up and accustomed, 
and not to insist upon what the author of the fifth Life of S. Columba 
relates ( d ) of many bishops coming over from Ireland with S. Columba, nor 
upon the conjecture already' 6 ' mentioned, though it be very natural, that 
Ycolmkill was in those ancient times the ordinary residence of the chief or 
national Bishop of the Scots in Britain, but especially considering the prac- 
tice above-mentioned of proper bishops in other great monasteries, where 
there was no absolute necessity of them, as it is visible there was in Ycolm- 
kill. All this, 1 say, considered, I do not conceive how it can be rationally 
doubted but that there was one or more bishops residing in Ycolmkill. 

Nor is this practice or usage of Hy or Ycolmkill destituted of examples 
in antiquity. This usage, as we have seen, consisted chiefly in this, that 
the Abbot or Superior of the monastery had not only the charge of the 
monastery, but that, though he was only a priest, and not a bishop, he had 
the administration of the pastoral functions and charge of the souls of the 
faithful of all the country around, that he was therefore obliged to provide 
them of pastors, and for that end took care to educate and to form in his 
monastery subjects proper not only to be ordained pastors of the second 
Order, but fit to be promoted to the episcopal degree, and that in order to 
that, he had always in his monastery with him a bishop, as his coadjutor, 
for administrating the Sacraments of Confirmation and Order. 

Now, of all this we have a famous example in the person of S. Gregory, 
administrator of the Church of Utrecht, in the eighth age. S. Gregory, 
born of noble parents, educated by S. Boniface, Apostle of these northern 

00 Adamnan. lib. i. c. o. 

<"' Vit. S. UK, Virg. c. 21, apud Colgan, torn. i. SS. Hibern. p. 69. 
c) Supra, Book First, XLVI. 
(d) Colgan, Trias Thaumat. p. 410. 
< e1 Supra, Book Second, XXIV. 

A a 


A. D. 563. parts of the Continent (afterwards Bishop of Mentz, and Martyr) being left 
by him administrator of Utrecht and the adjacent countries, settled in his 
monastery at Utrecht a famous school or seminary for the education as well 
of churchmen of all degrees, as of simple Religious men, and his humility, 
as that of S. Columba did, having engaged him to decline his being pro- 
moted himself to the episcopal dignity, he sent Alubert, an Englishman, 
one of his disciples, to be consecrated bishop at York, in order to be his 
coadjutor, and to perform the episcopal functions of giving Confirmation 
and Ordination, which ho himself, being destituted of the episcopal Charac- 
ter, could not administrate. This appears just a parallel case to that of 
S. Columba, and to his monastery of Ycolmkill. This S. Gregory of 
Utrecht lived in the eighth age. An account of him may be seen at more 
length in Mabillon's Benedictine'"' Annals, in M. Baillet's Saints' (b > Lives, 
taken from S. Gregory's original Life written by S. Ludger, Bishop, his 
disciple and contemporary, and printed by Mabillon in the Acts of the 
Benedictine (c) Order. 

XXXVIII. Second, we have a plain proof from the Ulster Annals, 
as Bishop Ussher assures us, of there having been a proper bishop in Ycolm- 
kill or Hy : not to insist upon the conjecture of " Episcopus Myensis " 
being a mistake of the transcriber for Episcopus Hyensis, in the subscriptions 
of the bishops to the Council of Calcluith, holden about A.D. 787, in the 
north of England, which is so much the more likely, that we find nowhere 
in England any bishop of the title of Myensis, and that nothing is more 
ordinary than mistakes of one letter for another in the reading of old M.SS. 
Third, as Ycolmkill was the nursery of bishops for the Scots and Picts, 
so it served them also for a place of retreat or refuge when either age ren- 
dered them unable to continue their labours, or that they were forced by 
opposition to abandon their charge, or were frightened with the burden, or 
wearied with toil. Hither, also, they frequently retired to renew and re- 
suscitate the spirit of fervour by the holy exercises and exemplar conversa- 
tion of the pious inhabitants, and in all their difficulties and doubts, thither 
they resorted to consult the Abbot or other experienced Religious men, full 
of the Spirit of God and of the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and 
canons of the Church, with which this island abounded, especially in the 

w Mabillon, Annal. Benedict, pp. 172, 186. 

(b) Baillet, Vies des Saints, 25 Aoust. 

< c) MabilloD, Act. Benedict. Seoul, iii. part. 2. 


first ages after its foundation, and before the invasion of the Danes, in the A. D. 563. 
ninth and tenth ages. Thus, besides the ordinary bishop residing in this 
island, there scarce ever wanted other bishops, brought thither by some of 
the foresaid motives. 

Thus we see Bishop Colrnan,( a ) being obliged to abandon his flock in 
Northumberland, A.D. 664, went straight back to the monastery of Ycolm- 
kill, and stayed there two or three years before he went to Ireland and set 
up a new monastery for his followers ; for, according to Bede, Colman left 
Northumberland and went to Ycolmkill immediately after the dispute, 
about Easter, A.D. 664. And he sailed thence to Ireland, to settle his 
new monastery only A.D. 667, according to Bishop Ussher,( b ) from the 
Ulster Chronicle. Thus Ceollach,( c ) Bishop of the Mercians, left his 
charge and returned also to Ycolmkill for the rest of his days. Thus 
Egbert (who, as MabillonC d ) shows, was a true and proper bishop, and we 
shall prove it in its own place,) thus Egbert, I say, came from Ireland 
to YcolmkillW before A.D. 716, and lived fourteen years in this -monas- 
tery, till his death, A.D. 729 ; besides many other bishops, whom the 
sanctity of the place, and the society of so many learned and holy men, 
attracted to visit them frequently, and even to live and die among them. 
By all this, it is evident there never wanted one or more bishops in Ycolm- 
kill, in order to consecrate other bishops and priests for the Picts and Scots, 
to be sent wherever their ministry was required, and by that means to 
supply all the ends of diocesan episcopacy, where it was not as yet settled. 

XXXIX. We are now to show that this monastery of Ycolmkill, with 
those derived from, and depending upon it, supplied also in our northern 
parts the want of curates or proper priests of the second Order, before that 
country was divided into parishes. We have already observed that, till the 
time of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, A.D. 668, the English or 
Saxon Churches were not distributed into parishes, and, considering the 
wars and frequent alterations of marches among the Scots, it is like this 
discipline was of a later establishment among them than in England. Till 
this distribution of the country into parishes was settled, the spiritual wants 

(a) (Colmanus Episcopus) relictis in ecclesia sua Lindisfarnensi fratribus, primo 
venit ad insulam Hy. Bed Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 4. 

<> Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 499. Vide etiam Joannis Smith Notas ad Bedara, p. 146. 

<"> Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 21. 

< d > Mabillon, Annal. Benedict, torn. ii. p. 81. 

W Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 23. 


A. D. 563. of these people were supplied by bishops and priests from the several mon- 
asteries founded by S. Columba himself, or by his disciples, in different 
places of the two kingdoms. Besides the monasteries of Ycolmkill, in 
Britain, and of Dearmach, in Ireland, BedeC") relates that there were a 
great number of monasteries derived from these two chief ones, and founded 
in both countries, not only by S. Columba himself, but also by his disciples. 
And Adamnan informs us of the foundation of these monasteries in Britain, 
where, giving account of the pestilence that raged in his time (circ. A.D. 
GSO) over all Europe, and particularly in Britain and Ireland, he attributes 
the (h) preservation of the Scots and Picts alone from that contagion, by a 
special protection of Almighty God, to the prayers of S. Columba, whose 
monasteries, says Adamnan, erected within the bounds of these two people, 
are till this day held in the greatest veneration by them both. By this we 
sec, first, the confidence that our predecessors, the Scots and Picts, put in 
S. Columba's prayers many years after his death, and the distinguishing 
mercies they were persuaded that Almighty God showed them by S. Co- 
lumba's intercession. Secondly, that there were many monasteries of 
Columbites spread up and down through the kingdoms of the Scots and 
Picts. But as to their names, their number, and their situation, Adamnan, 
keeping so scrupulously within the bounds which he had proposed to him- 
self in the Life of S. Columba, as we have already observed, that is, only 
to treat of his prophecies, miracles, and of the angelical apparitions made 
to S. Columba, gives us no other detail of his monasteries, nor almost even 
of his life, than as it happens to come in, as it were, by the by, in the rela- 
tion of some one or other of the three foresaid heads, to which all his work 
is reduced. And, for the same reason, we have from him so lame and 
transient accounts, or rather, bare hints, of our civil and ecclesiastical his- 
tory. So what we observed elsewhere of the insufficiency and weakness of 
all negative arguments drawn from the silence of Bede upon our history, is 
no less visible in Adamnan's relations of S. Columba's life. 

For the purpose Adamnan makes no mention of any of the monasteries 

'' Per plurima exinde monasteria per discipulos ejus (Columbsc) in Britannia et 
Hibernia propagata sunt. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 

(b) Oceani insulsG per totum, videlicet Scotia et Britannia, binis vicibus vastataB 

sunt dira pestilentia, exceptis duobus populis, hoc est, Pictorum plebe et Scotorum Bri- 
tannia;.. ..Cui alio itaque hsec tribuitur gratia a Deo collatanisi S. Columba:, cujus monas- 
teria intra utrorumque terminos fundata, ab utrisque usque ad prasens tempus valde sunt 
honorificata. Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 47. 


founded by S. Columba among the Scots and Picts in Britain, as well as in A. I). 563 
Ireland, but transiently, and upon occasion of some passage of S. Columba's 
life or miracles; and even as to Ycolmkill itself, the head and chief of all 
S. Columba's monasteries, and in which he made his ordinary residence, 
Adamnan gives us no particular account of its foundation, nor of the order 
and discipline established in it, but what we may collect and glean, as it 
were by the by, from some passages of Adamnan concerning S. Columba's 
life and miracles. Thus also, that is, only transiently, he mentions the 
monasteries of CampolungheC") and ArtechainW in Shetland, Cella Duini, ('') 
Killdune, the monasteries in the island of Himba, fdl where S. Columba 
retired sometimes. (It is like Himba was what is since called Ouyst or the 
Long Island.) But there can be no doubt, (though Adamnan doth not 
mention it,) but one of S. Columba's chief monasteries among the Picts was 
at Abernethy in Stratherne ; that being the principal seat of the kings and 
bishops of the Picts ; another, no doubt, was at Dunkeld, which held S. 
Columba always for its patron. BoeceO) relates that King Conal, among 
other monasteries, built one at Dunkeld for S. Columba ; one in the island 
(Emonia, in the frith of Forth, called from him Insula S. Columbje, Inch- 
colm, where, according to Forclun, S. Columba took up his dwelling C f 
sometimes, whilst he preached the Faith to the Picts and Scots. It was 
afterwards erected into an abbey of Canons-regular by King Alexander the 
First. There was also a monastery of S. Columba founded in his own time 
at Old Aberdeen by S. Machar, otherwise called S. Mochonna, whom the 
Saint sent with others of his disciples, twelve in number as we shall see, to 
preach the Gospel among the Picts in the north ; and many other monas- 
teries through the Pictish and Scottish territories. Such, among others, 
were the monasteries, churches, or cells of most of these holy bishops, 
whose names we have already ( s) S ct down from our ancient kalendars. In 
these monasteries they lived with their disciples, whereof some were always 
priests, and to them the people in the neighbourhood had their recourse for 
instruction, and for the sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and the Holy 

<*' Adamnan. lib. i. cc. 30, 41. 

<"> Ibid. lib. i. c. 36. 

(c) Ibid. lib. i. c. 31. 

(I1) Ibid. lib. i. cc. 21. 45. 

!) Boeth. Hist. fol. 167. 

(f) Fordun, apud Colgan Trias Thaumat. p. 466. 

( " Supra, Book Second, XXV. 


A. D. 563. Eucharist. From the remains of these monasteries of the Columbites came 
originally so many churches in all parts of Scotland, especially in the High- 
lands and Isles, called Ceillc or Kill, with the addition of the name of some 
holy bishop, abbot, or other saint, who had formerly founded or inhabited 
these monasteries or churches, or from whose names, in memory of their 
sanctity, the piety of the inhabitants had erected and called these religious 
monuments, many of which gave the origin to parish churches, and some 
of these Columbite monasteries gave probably the first origin to bishop's 
seats, as at Dunkeld, Brechin, Aberdeen, &c. 

All these monasteries were originally derived from that of Ycolmkill, 
lived in dcpendance upon it, and in a constant correspondence with it, as 
being the mother house and centre of all religious matters within the king- 
doms of the Picts and the Scots. And now, by all we have said, I hope it 
sufficiently appears that it was from that monastery, and from other lesser 
ones depending upon it, that the want of diocesan episcopacy and parochial 
churches was supplied, whilst the unsettled state of the inhabitants hindered 
them to be regularly established. 

XL. If we would have a farther account of the zeal, the voyages, the 
pious exercises, and of the other particulars of the manner in which the 
Columbite bishops and priests served in all religious matters the Scots and 
Picts, during the times that the circumstances of these people did not allow 
of the settlement of fixed dioceses and parishes, we have it in the account 
that BedcO) gives us of S. Aidan, S. Finan, S. Colman, S. Cuthbert, and 
other Columbite bishops and priests in the north of England and south of 
Scotland, all of them bred to the rule and exercises of the monastery of 
Ycolmkill, or in the monasteries derived from it. 

But referring that to its proper place, I shall only take notice here that 
the sanctity of the lives and the religious behaviour of the Columbite bishops 
and priests, bred up and formed to the ecclesiastical state in the manner we 
have already described, and entering it in the dispositions and preparations 
we have set down, their detachment from the world, all their conversations, 
care, and only business, as Bede describes( b ) them, being only about the 
next life, concerning Almighty God, and what related to his service. All 

'"' Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cc. 5, 26. 

(b) Tola enira tune fuit solicitude doctoribus illis Deo serviendi non saeculo 

Unde et in magna erat veneratione, tempore illo, religionis habitus, ita ut ubicunque 
clericus aliquis vel monachus adveniret, gaudenter ab omnibus tanquam Dei famulus, 
exciperetur, &c. Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 26. 


this made so deep an impression on the people that not only they thronged A. D. 563. 
in to hear them, and to receive their blessing and instructions, when any 
of them came into their neighbourhood, says Bede, but it obtained to them 
among the vulgar, the peculiar name of Servants of God, expressed in 
former times by the word Ceiledee or Keledee, so famous in our country in 
following ages, but whether originally Pictish or Gaelic is not easy to de- 
termine at this distance of time. However though the word Keledee be 
now become obsolete, it is still expressed in Gaelic by the word Gildee or 
Guildhee, which hath the same signification, and almost the same sound. 
But of this more at length in its proper place. 

And now it is time to bring to a conclusion this long digression con- 
cerning Ycolmkill. The learned and judicious readers will, I hope, excuse 
my insisting so long upon it, because they will easily perceive how impor- 
tant it was to go at once to the bottom of all that concerns that famous 
monastery, and its more singular usages ; thereby at the same time to give 
more light to the following part of our history, whereof that of Ycolmkill 
is, as it were, a key ; but chiefly in order to dissipate the clouds with which 
the prejudices joined to the ignorance of some of our modern writers have 
endeavoured to overcast and wrest the history of Ycolmkill, thereby to 
screen their levelling Genevian scheme of Church government, doctrine, and 
discipline from the just accusation of novelty, and of its being quite opposite 
as well to the ancient Church government doctrine and discipline of our 
ancestors the Scots and Picts, as to that of all the rest of the Christian 
world in those early times. 

XL1. I return now to the chronological order of S. Columba's life, and 
of the other transactions in our northern parts of the Island, from his coming 
over to it. 

S. Columba arriving in Britain, as we have seen, A.D. 563, employed 
the first two years in settling his monastery in the island lona, which 
Conal King' of the Scots had given him. That island being of such a small 
compass could not furnish the materials necessary for building a church and 
other habitations for S. Columba and his disciples. We see by S. Adam- 
nan's relations" 1 ) that the religious men of Ycolmkill were obliged to bring 
from the mainland the materials for their buildings; so that however poor 
and mean they made them, being most part in those times but bare cottages, 
it required both time and labour to erect a church and a monastery. 

(ii) Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 45. 


A. I). 563. XLII. It was during the time they were employed in that, and not long 
after S. Columba's arrival, that Odrannus< a > or Oran, one of those that 
followed him from Ireland, died, and was the first buried in the island. 
One of the writers of S. Columba's life set down by Colgan, gives the 
following account of S. Oran's death. It is related, says he, that upon 
8. Columba's arrival with his disciples into the island lona or Hy, he spoke 
thus to them : Whosoever of us, out of a desire to be with God, shall choice 
and be content to be the first that dies and is buried in this island, he shall 
procure a twofold advantage ; the one to himself, to wit, that of going more 
(|uickly to Christ the other to his condisciples and brethren, to wit, that of 
confirming and ratifying their right to this island, by taking corporal pos- 
session of it. Oran, who was wearied of the miseries of the present world, 
and had his heart fixed upon the happiness of enjoying God in the life to 
come, upon hearing these words of S. Columba immediately replied to him 
that he joyfully accepted the option, and was 'most willing to go to God 
without delay. Upon which the holy man said to him, Dear son, you may 
assuredly reckon upon the future happiness which you long after, and, 
besides, you shall even before men enjoy this farther prerogative in this 
world, that whoever comes to ask any favour of Almighty God at my sepul- 
chre, he shall not obtain the effect of his demand unless he first pay his 
respects and visit yours. S. Oran died soon after, having been but short 
while sick, and was the first buried in the island, in a place still called the 
monument or sepulchre of S. Oran. This relation is not in S. Adamnan's 
Life of S. Columba, but in that of a later writer. I have here insert it, as 
having given occasion to a fabulous story current in the island concerning 
S. Oran's death. His festival was annually kept upon the twenty-seventh 

After S. Columba had thus employed the first two years in settling the 
monastery in the island of Hy, and instructing more fully the Scots in 
Britain already Christians, he proceeded to the chief design of his mission 
into Britain ; that is, to preach the Word of God to the provinces of the 
Northern Picts, who were separated by steep and frightful mountains from 
the Picts of the South, who had long before forsaken idolatry, and embraced 
the faith of Christ, by the preaching of Ninian, a most reverend bishop, as 
we have elsewhere related. 


Colgan, Vita Quinta S. Columb. Trias. Thaumat. p. 411. 


XLIII. The first entry of S. Columba among the Northern Picts A. D. 565. 
happened at the time that Brudeus, son of Meilochon, a most powerful 
king, says( a) Bede, reigned over them, in the ninth year of his reign, which 
he had begun A.D. 556. So the coming of S. Columba to the Picts 
happened A.D. 565. This gave Bede, no doubt, occasion to place his com- 
ing to Britain that year. Bede adds that he converted the Northern Picts, 
by his word and example, to the faith of Christ ; this supposes that these 
Picts were, as yet, generally infidels ; and we have elsewhere shown the 
occasion of a great decay of Christianity in the Pictisb.( b > nation, which, at 
the coming of S. Columba, was gone that length, that even Brudeus, their 
king, was an infidel, having given himself up to the superstition of their ma- 
gicians, the same kind of men as the Druids among the old Britons and Irish. 

Hence it came to pass, that the first tiue< e > that S. Columba went to 
King Brudeus's court, the king, puffed up with pride, and valuing himself 
upon his grandeur, caused the gates of his palace to be shut against the 
Saint, which the holy man perceiving, approached the gates, and, first 
making the sign of the cross upon them, and then gently knocking at them, 
instantly the locks and bolts flew off, and, the gates opening of themselves, 
the holy man entered with his company. The king with his council, terri- 
fied with this miracle, came forth and met the Saint, and entertained him 
with great reverence, and from that time forward the king bore a great 
respect to him, and had him in singular veneration as long as he lived. 

Upon this followed the Conversion of the king and of his court, and 
that made way for the Conversion of the rest of the Northern Picts, and 
the reconciling 1 those of the South who had fallen away, and in propor- 
tion as the inhabitants embraced Christianity, S. Columba settled, from 
place to place, monasteries among them, to advance and cultivate the doc- 
trine of truth, and in order to that, the Saint made choice of the more 
zealous and capable of his disciples in Ycolmkill, and sent them out through 
the country to preach the Gospel and plant new monasteries, and by that 
means to entertain and forward these happy beginnings. 

XLIV. Among others of those that the holy man sent out upon these 
missions we have, in one of the Lives of S. Columba, published by Colgan, 

< a) Hist. Kccles. lib. iii. c 4 Venit (S. Columba) Britanniam regnante Pictis 

Bridio filio Meilochon re<je putentUsimo, nono anno regni ejus 

<b > Supra, Book First, LV. 
tc) Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 35. 



A. D. 060. an account'"* of the holy bishop, S. Machar, patron and first preacher of 
the Gospel at Aberdeen, and this account agrees in substance with that 
contained in the Breviary of Aberdeen, which was annually recited in that 
Church upon the twelfth of November, being the festival of S. Machar, and 
both these relations are said to be taken from a Life of this Saint of a 
higher antiquity. S. Machar was born, of noble parents, in Ireland, and 
at first named Mochonna. I find him also called Mauritius, but Machar 
is the name by which he is commonly known. He had followed S. Co- 
lumba into Britain, and after he had made more than an ordinary progress 
in piety and in learning in Ycolmkill, S. Columba, having caused him to be 
advanced to holy Orders, and afterwards to be consecrated bishop, sent him 
with twelve of his disciples to preach the Gospel in the most northern parts 
of the Pictish provinces, admonishing him to settle and erect a church 
upon the brink of a river where .he should find that by its windings it 
formed the figure of a, bishop's crosier. S. Machar, following this admoni- 
tion, went on northward, preaching the Gospel till he came to the brink of 
the river Don, near its entry to the sea, at a place where, by its windings, 
the river makes the foresaid figure of a crosier,( b J and there he built a 
church, which still bears his name, and became the Cathedral of Aberdeen 
in the time of King David I., who transferred the bishop's seat from Mort- 
lich to the Old-town of Aberdeen. It is reported that S. Machar went 
afterwards to Rome, in the time of Gregory the Great, and the Aberdeen 
Breviary insinuates that it was at Rome that he was consecrated bishop. 
It is also reported that, upon his return, he stopt at Tours, in France, 
where he died, and was buried in S. Martin's church : which is probably 
the reason why, in the remains of the Church of Aberdeen, there is no 
account of his relics honoured there, as it was usual for holy bishops, dying 
on the place where they had resided and laboured. However, we see in 
this, and other examples, that S. Columba's custom was to send out through 
the country, of his disciples commonly to the number of twelve, with a 
bishop, or with one designed to that dignity, at their head, to form new 
Churches, and thus by the preaching and miracles of S. Columba and of his 
disciples, and by the example of their lives, the Gospel was spread through 
the Northern Picts ; and the body of the nation was so much the more 

'*' Colgan, Trias Thaumat. Vit. quint. S. Columb. p. 435. 

lb> Ubi flumen Pracsulis instar baculi intrat mare, Mauritius csupit habitare. Hrcviar. 
Abcrdon. 12 Novemb. Colgan, ibid. p. 435. 


easily brought to the knowledge of the truth, and their Conversion the A. D. 5f>5. 

more solid and lasting, that these holy men, animated by the Spirit of God, 

made use of no human means towards bringing them in, nor of any other 

motives but those that Christ himself, the Apostles, and apostolical men, 

had employed, that is, earnest prayers to God, who hath all men's hearts 

in his hand, and the natural means of practising what they preached, and 

of persuading and convincing their hearers by sensible miracles wrought 

by the power and in the name of God, to prove that they were sent by Him, 

and acted by his authority- 

XLV. So we must not wonder to find so many miracles set down in 
the Life of S. Columba, by S. Adamnan. S. Columba had to do with a 
rude unpolished people whose chief exercise was warlike expeditions, a 
people drowned in sensuality, wholly governed by their passions, and not 
susceptible of any impressions but what affected their senses, knowing no 
rewards or punishments but what fell under these, and fortified in their 
prejudices against truth by their Druids or magicians, a set of men inspired 
and animated by the devil, and in great credit and authority with this 
people, by their charms, enchantments, and false wonders, wrought by the 
power and influence of the wicked spirits, protending a power over the 
elements, and the disposal of all these sensible goods and ills in which 
sensual and carnal men made their only happiness or misery consist. 

With men in these dispositions, and of a temper so different from the 
polished Greeks and Romans, their first preachers were not to begin by 
reasonings and arguments drawn from the nature or operations of the soul ; 
their first business was to prove their mission and establish their authority, 
and in order to that, to demonstrate by miracles falling upon the senses, 
and above the common course of nature, that they were sent and authorised 
by the true God, Creator and Master of all, and Author of nature itself, 
sovereign Master of life and death, and of all visible and sensible as well 
as of all spiritual and unseen rewards and punishments. 

XLVI. This renders the relation that Adamnan gives of S. Columba's 
miracles so much the more credible, that, besides the testimonies that are 
rendered, as we have seen, for his probity and sincerity, by the best judges 
among his contemporaries, it seems impossible that, without miracles, S. 
Columba could ever have brought about the universal Conversion of men of 
the temper and in the circumstances in which the Picts were in those days, 
and made them susceptible of believing and embracing the truths of Chris- 


A. D. 565. tianity to that degree of persuasion as to be ready to forsake not only 
their idols and false superstition of their magicians, but even the objects of 
their passions, in the enjoyment of which, hitherto, they had placed their 
only happiness in this life, of which alone they were apprised, and to do 
all this upon the hopes and fears of rewards and punishments in a life to 
come, of which they had no notion hitherto. 

We must not, then, be surprised when we read in Adamnan that S. 
Columba wrought, by the power of God, so many sensible miracles, such as 
to raisc^' the dead to life, to cure (b) the sick, to appease (c) tempests at sea, 
to alter (di the winds, to sail against( e ) them, to open(0 the bolted gates by 
his touch, to change's' water into wine, to obtain by his prayers the sudden 
changc (h) of tho heart of a woman from an obstinate aversion to her hus- 
band into love and affection, to obtain raW in a time of drought, to 
bring( k ) a fountain out of a rock for baptising a child, in Ardnamurchan, 
which continues still to flow, to inflict temporal^ punishments suddenly 
on wicked men, to confound< m) the magicians, to foretel< n > things to come, 
and done() at a great distance, to obtain(p) victory to kings, to be visited 
by angels/i) to be ravishedW during his prayers, and illustratedC 8 ) with 
heavenly splendour. Now all these, and many such other visible miracles, 
were so many demonstrations of his mission from God, and of his being 
authorised by Him in what he taught and enjoined, and were so many 
powerful motives to induce a people moved chiefly by sensible objects to a 
rational and firm persuasion of the verities that he preached, of the reality 
and certitude of the invisible objects of faith, and of a life to come after 
this in another world. 

XLVII. And what farther confirms that this Conversion of the Picts 
was the work of God and of his Divine Spirit, manifested by the miracles 
of S. Columba, and by his exemplary life, and those of his first disciples, 
and not the work of flesh and blood, or the effect of human power or 
industry, is this, that though Brudeus, their king, had already embraced, 

la) Adamnan. lib. i. c. 1 ; lib. ii. c. 32. ck) Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 10. 

< b > Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 4, 5, 30, 31, &c. < Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 22, 23, 24. 

"> Ibid. lib. ii. c. 42. (m) Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 1 1, 32, 33, 34. 

(d> Ibid. lib. ii. c. 45. (n) Ibid. lib. i. cc. \, 2, per totum. 

(e > Ibid. lib. ii. c. 34. <" Ibid. 

< f > Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 35, 36. lp) Ibid. lib. i. cc. 1, 8. 

<*> Ibid. lib. ii. c. 1. Cq) Ibid. lib. iii. passim. 

<h) Ibid. lib. ii. c. 41. (r> Ibid. 

10 Ibid. lib. ii. c. 44. (<) Ibid. &c. 


as we have seen, the Christian religion, and had a singular veneration for A. D. 565. 

S. Columba, and, by consequence, a readiness to comply with whatever the 

Saint should advise as the best means towards carrying on the Conversion 
of his subjects, yet he never used any compulsion or constraint upon the 
conscience of any of them, not even towards the most obstinate and malicious 
among them, and the most violent adversaries of the Gospel, such as were 
the magicians. For he had learned from S. Columba, his instructor, the 
same lesson that Ethelbert, first Christian king of the Saxons, was after- 
wards taught by his instructor, S. Augustine : That the service'"' of Christ 
ought to be voluntary, and not forced by compulsion. 

We have a remarkable instance of the gentle method and moderation of 
King Brudeus towards his infidel subjects, in his conduct towards the ma- 
gician' 1 '' Broichanus, who had been formerly his master or governor in his 
youth, for which reason, the king, mindful of Broichan's former service, 
permitted him to stay about court, though he remained obstinate in his 
infidelity. This man having obstinately refused to set at liberty a poor 
Christian maid, whom he had in bondage, notwithstanding S. Columba's 
earnest entreating him and soliciting for her, was struck with a heavy 
sickness, as S. Columba had foretold, that brought him to the gates of 
death, with which Broichan was so terrified that he at last consented to set 
the maid at freedom ; and the king himself, who still retained a remain of 
kindness for him, and hoping also apparently that a miracle wrought upon 
his own person might contribute to open his eyes, sent messengers to S. 
Columba to intercede for Broichan's recovery, which, accordingly, the holy 
man obtained of God by his prayers, and Broichan suddenly recovered his 
health by drinking of water infused upon a little stone which S. Columba 
had blessed and sent to the king ; and this stone having afterwards proved 
the instrument of many other miraculous cures, was preserved with great 
respect, and laid up in the king's treasure. 

It was by this apostolical method of preaching, accompanied with 
miracles, by the admirable lives of S. Columba, of his disciples and of their 
successors, by the many monasteries settled by him in the bounds of the 
Scots and Picts, it was by these means, I say, accompanied by the grace of 
God, that the belief and practice of the doctrines of Christianity were estab- 
lished upon so solid a foundation among our ancestors, that whereas the 

W Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 26. 
y> Adamnan. lib. ii. c. 33. 


A. D. 565. profession of it, particularly among the Picts, had been, till S. Columba's 
coming, as we have seen more than once, so unsteady and wavering, not- 
withstanding the preaching of S. Ninian, S. Kentigern, S. Gildas, and 
others, we shall find that, from henceforth, the Picts, as well as the Scots, 
persevered constantly in the profession of it without any considerable 

XLVIII. We have already given an account of what we could find in 
ancient monuments of the lives and actions of S. Ninian and S. Kentigern, 
both of them bishops, and of what concerned S. Gildas whilst he stayed in 
Britain, it now remains to finish what we have to add about him. 

S. Gildas, after having laboured with great success, as hath been already 
observed,( a ) in the northern parts of Britain, he retired to Gaul, about 
A.D. 554, and settling in Little Britanny, he founded there a monastery at 
Ruyse. There assembling to him many disciples, he applied himself by 
word and example to form their hearts and manners to the strict maxims 
of the Gospel. His absence from Britain did not diminish his concern for 
it. But being sensibly touched with the calamities that had fallen upon 
the old Britons by the oppression of the Saxons, under which they had now 
groaned about one hundred years, and daily receiving new and more 
lamentable accounts of the state of Britain by religious persons that had 
fled out of the island, and taken shelter in his monastery, about ten years 
after he had settled in it, A.D. 564, he wrote, in the anguish of his mind, 
a short account of Britain, published( b ) under the title of the History of 
Gildas, or of Britain, in which he laments its ruin. 

In which work it is no wonder that Gildas, being exulcerated by the 
cruelties exercised by the infidel Saxons against the ancient inhabitants of 
the island, and against their barbarous devastations and destruction of all 
its ancient monuments and ornaments sacred and profane, inveighs bitterly 
against them ; nor is it any wonder to find Gildas equally exasperated 
against the Picts and the Scots, whose inroads and invasions had given 
occasion to the Britons to call in the Saxons to their aid : it is no wonder, 
I say, that Gildas, writing in this temper, expresses himself in the most 
bitter and satirical terms against the Picts and Scots, as well as against the 
Saxons. For though he was born at Alcluid or Dumbarton, in that part of 
the north of Britain which hath been since conquered by the Scots, and 

<> Supra, Book Second, V. 

< b1 Edit, a Tho. Gale, A.D. 1691. 


hath belonged many ages ago to the kingdom of Scotland, yet he was de- A. D. 565. 
scended of the race of the Midland Britons, who took party with the rest 
of the Britons in their wars and divisions. 

Gildas spared as little the inhabitants of the south of the island, in the 
invective he wrote against the British princes and churchmen of all orders, 
which is published under the title of the EpistleW of Gildas (Epistola 
Gildse), where he exposeth, in the most bitter and satirical expressions, 
their wickedness, lewdness, and sacrileges, as the cause of God's heavy 
judgments upon them. 

It must have been probably after Gildas's coming into Gaul and settling 
at Ruyse that happened the invitation, mentioned in his Life, made him by 
Ainmirc, King of Ireland, since the beginning of that king's reign is placed 
no sooner than A.D. 568. Some say, indeed, that Ainmire was only one 
of the four provincial kings of Ireland when he invited Gildas over to it : 
so his voyage to Ireland might in that case have happened before his 
coming over to settle in Gaul, which would agree better with the order in 
which the monk of Ruyse relates his life and actions. However that be, 
this author of his Life writes, that King Ainmire sent to represent to the 
holy Abbot Gildas, (who was at that time held in great veneration both in 
Britain and Ireland for his sanctity, wisdom, and learning), the great decay 
of piety and religion among the natives of Ireland, and entreated him to 
come over to them, and labour by his zeal and preaching towards a true 
reformation of their lives and manners, and a renewal of the spirit of 
Christianity in some parts of the island. I am very willing to think that 
this is all that was meant by King Ainmire's message to Gildas, though 
the author of his Life gives a much more tragical account of the state of 
Ireland, as may be seen in his own( b ) words. 

The reason why I conceive the author's expressions to be hyperbolical 
and exaggerated beyond truth is. that it appears, by many good autho- 
rities/ c) that in Gildas's age there were many holy bishops, abbots, and 
religious communities in Ireland; so the corruption and ignorance could 
not be so universal as the author of Gildas's Life describes them. But I 

<> Edit, a Tho. Gale, A.D. JG91. 

lb) Eo tempore regnabat Rex Anmericus per totam Hiberniam, qui et ipse misit ad 
Gildam rogans ut ad se veniret, protnittens se ipsius doctrinis in omnibus obediturum, si 
veniens ecclesiasticum ordinem in suo regno restauraret : quia pene Catholicam fidem in 
ipsa insula omnes reliquerant, &c. Vit. Gild. c. x. edit. Jo. Bosco. 

"' Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 471. Colgan, Vit. SS. Ilibern. torn. i. p. J89, &c. 


A. D. 571. easily believe this author may be relied upon, where he informs that 
Gildas, assisted by King Ainmire's authority and liberality, erected in 
Ireland new monasteries or seminaries for educating youth in piety and 
letters, that growing up they might afterwards serve towards the renewing 
and improvement of piety and learning in that island. The author addsW 
that Gildas's labours for the advancement of religion, not only in Ireland, 
but in Britain and other foreign countries, made his memory continue still 
in great veneration till the author's own time. However, Gildas, after 
having accomplished in Ireland the work to which he had been called, 
returned back to liis monastery at Ruyse, in Little Britanny, where, being 
daily more disgusted of the world, he retired to a solitary( b ) island called 
Horath, and after having received the holy Viaticum, he expired there 
amidst his disciples, upon the twenty-ninth of January, about A.D. 570. 

XLIX. A.D. 571. The pious prince, Conal, King of the Scots, being 
deceased, was succeeded by his nephew, Aidan, son to King Gauran, who 
reigned thirty-four years, and was the sixth king of the Scots in Britain. 
The manner of his inauguration by the holy Abbot, S. Columba, is set 
down by Cumineus( c ) Albus and by S. Adamnan, (d > both of them Abbots 
of Ycolmkill, in the following words. Whilst S. Columba happened to be 
on a time in Himba, one of the western islands of Scotland, one night, 
being ravished in spirit, there appeared to him an angel sent by God, hold- 
ing in his hand the book containing the prayers and ceremonies of the 
Ordination or Inauguration of kings. The holy Abbot, receiving the book 
from the angel's hand, began to read in it, as he was commanded, but 
finding by it that it was enjoined to him to inaugurate Aidan king, and 
not Eoganan, his brother, he began to demur upon the divine order, be- 
cause he had a predilection for Eoganan. Upon this hesitation, the angel, 
stretching out his hand, gave him a stripe with a whip, whereof the blue 
mark lasted upon his side all the days of his life, the angel, at same time, 
adding these words : Know for certain that I am sent from God with this 
book, to the end that, according to what thou hast read in it, thou inaugur- 
ate Aidan king, and if thou refuse to obey this order, I will strike thee 
again. The angel of the Lord appeared thus to S. Columba three nights 

<> Vit. Gild, ut supra. 

(b) Mabillnn, Annal. Benedict, torn. i. p. 151. 

Vit. S. Columb. per Cumineum, c. v. apud Colgan, Trias Thauraat. p. 321. 

d) Adamnan. Vit. S. Columb. lib. iii. c. 5. 


one after another, with the book in his hand, and reiterated to him the A. D 
command of the Lord to ordain or inaugurate Aidan king. 

Wherefore the holy Abbot, in obedience to this order of God, passed 
over to the island lona or Hy, and, Aidan coming thither also about the 
same time, the Saint proceeded to the ceremony of ordaining or inaugurat- 
ing him king, as he had been commanded ; and during the ceremony S. 
Columba foretold by a prophetic spirit what was to happen to his sons, his 
grand-children, and great-grand-children, and imposing his hands upon the 
King's head, he recited over him the prayers of ordination or blessing* 10 of 
kings. Cumineus Albus, says Adamnan, in the book which he wrote of 
the virtues of S. Columba, tells that the Saint addressed to Aidan the 
following admonition by spirit of prophecy, concerning himself, his poste- 
rity, and his kingdom : Believe without doubt, Aidan, that none of your 
adversaries will be able to stand before you, until you wrong me, or the 
posterity of my family ; wherefore recommend this to your children, that 
they may transmit the same order to their sons, their grand-sons, and to 
their posterity, lest, by hearkening to wicked counsel, they deserve that the 
sceptre of this kingdom be wrested out of their hands. For at whatever 
time they shall attack me or my relations in Ireland, the scourge which 
upon your account I have endured from the angel, shall be, by the hand of 
God, turned against them to their ruin, the heart of men shall be taken 
from them, and their enemies shall exceedingly prevail over them. 

Thus Adamnan copying after Cumineus his predecessor, another of the 
abbots of Ycolmkill, who might have had this account from King Aidan 
himself, and without doubt he had it from those that lived with S. Columba 
and King Aidan, and from the records of the monastery. And Adamnan 
was so fully persuaded of the truth of this relation, that he adds as a thing 
publicly known at the time when he wrote, the accomplishment of a part of 
this prophecy, which happened to be fulfilled in his own time, under King 
Donald Breac, grand-son to King Aidan, as we shall see in its proper 

Father Martene, a learned French Benedictine, in his book " de Anti- 
quis< b) Ecclesiae Ritibus," observes that this inauguration of King Aidan is 
the most ancient account that after all his searches he had met with of the 

w Imponensque mamim super caput ejus, ordinans benedixit. Adamnan. Vit. S. 
Columb. lib. iii. c. 5. 

lb) Martene, do Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, torn. iii. p. 183. 

C c 


A. U. 571. Benediction or Ordination of kings, which are the names that Adamnan 
gives this ceremony. But since he mentions also the sceptre of the king- 
dom given to King Aidan, we may, I conceive, conclude from it that the 
rest of the regalia, or royal ensigns, such as the crown, sword, &c., were 
also delivered to him in this solemnity, though they be not mentioned by 
Adamnan, no more than King Aidan's being seated upon the famous fatal 
stone, whereof all our writers make mention as the most ancient ceremony 
used at the inauguration of our kings ; so 1 see no reason why I might not 
have made use of the word Coronation in setting down this solemnity, but 
I thought best to keep scrupulously to Adamnan's own terms of Benediction 
and Ordination. Martene observes' 1 " also, that by tHs relation of S. Adam- 
nan, it appears that this ceremony of inaugurating their kings was not a 
now custom, but an usual one among the Scots, fince there was a proper 
ceremonial containing the forms of prayers and benedictions to be used in 
such solemnities. This ceremonial book is called by Adamnan, Liber 
Vitreus, because, perhaps, the cover of it was encrusted with glass or 

As to S. Columba's officiating in this solemnity, and not a bishop, besides 
that the cort.nony of coronation, or inaugurating kings, is not a function to 
which the episcopal Character is absolutely necessary, as it is to that of 
ordination of priests and bishops; we see that, in the present case, there 
was an express appointment and order of Almighty God to S. Columba for 
performing this solemn inauguration. And, besides, the eminent sanctity 
of his life which gained to him the respect and veneration of the Scots of 
all degrees ; his being favoured beyond all those of his time, even above 
those of a more sublime Character, with the gift of prophecy and miracles, 
gave him the preference in performing a ceremony to which no other 
Character was required than th:\t of a priest and an abbot, and especially of 
an Abbot-superior of all the Scottish and Pictish monasteries, who had so 
extraordinary a pre-eminence, as we have seen, in all religious matters in 
Scotland. But it, was not for want of bishops in our northern parts that 
S. Columba was preferred in this august ceremony, for, besides others, S. 
Mungo or Kentigern, Bishop of Glasgow, was then near those parts, and, 
according to Joceline- b > in his Life, had about this time a solemn meeting 

') Martene, <le Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, torn. iii. p. 183. 

(1 Jocelin. Vita S. Kentegern. MS. [Vit. Kent. c. xxxix.] Capgrav. fol. 211. 


with S. Columba, each of them attended by their religious disciples. Our A. D. .-571. 
modern' 1 ) writers say that this meeting was at Dunkeld. 

L. King Aidan, from whom all our kings do lineally descend, being 
thus by the express order of Heaven inaugurated king of the Scots by S. 
Columba, his veneration for this holy abbot, and his confidence in him daily 
increasing, used frequently to resort to Ycolmkill to consult him, and 
entertain him upon all more important affairs upon the state of the kingdom 
and of the royal family. Hence it happened upon a time that King Aidan 
desirous to know which of his three eldest sons should survive and succeed 
him, and knowing that S. Columba was endued with the gift of prophecy, 
presented to him the young princes, his three eldest sons, Arthur, Eochod- 
find, and Domangard, in order to know which of them would live to be his 
successor after his death. Adamnan says it was S. Columba that asked 
that question at the king, who answering that he knew not, S. Columba 
replied: None' b) of these three will live to succeed you, for they will be 
each one killed in battle in your own time ; but if you have any younger 
sons let them be brought to me, and he that lc) the Lord hath chosen for 
king after you will instantly come running to me, and throw himself into 
my arms. 

Accordingly/" 1 ' the king having caused introduce his younger sons, as 
the holy man desired, Eochod-buyd, the eldest of them, came instantly of 
his own motion, running towards S. Columba, and leaned his head upon his 
bosom. The holy man, embracing the child and blessing him, spoke thus 
to the king his father : This child will sui'vive you, and succeed to you in 
the kingdom, and his sons will reign after him. All this prophecy, says 
Adamnan, was exactly fulfilled in its own time ; for some years after this 
Arthur and Eochod-find were killed in the battle called by Adamnan prse- 
lium Miatorum. Domangard was killed in a battle against the Saxons, 
and Eochod-buyd succeeded to his father in the kingdom. 

This Eochod-buyd, called by our modem writers Eugene the Fourth, 
was, as we see, by a special order of God king of the Scots, as Aidan his 
father had also been appointed in the same manner, each of them by a new 
and miraculous title accumulated to that of their birth-right and hereditary 

"" Boeth. Hist. fol. 107. 
"" Adamnan, lib. i. c. 9. 

> Quern ex eis elegcrit Dominus 

"" Adamnan. ibid. 


A. D. 571. succession. It is, indeed, by the order of God that all kings reign, but we 
meet with very few examples in history so well documented as this, under 
the New Testament of kings, thus chosen and placed upon the throne by 
an express and immediate order of God outwardly manifested. However 
this special favour of God towards two of our kings, Aidan and Eochod, 
from whom all our kings are descended in a direct line, being a sensible 
manifestation of the Divine protection and care of them and of their royal 
race, could not fail to inspire all true Scotsmen, their subjects, a more than 
ordinary respect for their kings, and oblige them to look upon their persons 
as sacred in a most singular manner. 

LI. It was during King Aidan's reign that happened the death of tho 
holy abbot S. Brendan, (a) an intimate friend of S. Columba, whose happy 
passage to heaven amidst the choirs of angels being revealed to him in his 
island, he caused instantly get all ready for celebrating a (b) solemn mass 
for him. Adamnan gives us other examples of S. Columba's practising this 
ancient usage of the Catholic Church of all ages, in celebrating himself, or 
causing celebrate in his monastery,' ' the sacred mysteries, immediately 
upon his being advertised, either by revelation or by other information, of 
the death of any of his friends. 

Another Saint of the name of Brendan, famous for his pilgrimages, lived 
about these times. Of this last Brendan, John of Tinmouth in his Life, 
gives long incredible stories. But however fabulous that legend may be, 1 
find by Adamnan' s relations< d > that in those days many Scottish and Irish 
devout men were so inclined to solitude and forsaking the world, that they 
made long voyages at sea to find out the most remote and desert islands in 
the north, for setting up monasteries in them. Thence came the Columbite 
monasteries of Campo-Lunghe, (e) Ardchain,CO and others in the Shetland 
Islands (in Ethica terra) designed chiefly for the retreats of penitents. To 
these houses S. Columba used to send penitents/*' after hearing their con- 
fession, and enjoining them penitential exercises for a number of years, in 
proportion of their sins, to be performed under the direction of the Superior 

<a) Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 11. 

W Missarum Solemnia. Ibid. 

(c) Adamnan. lib. iii. cc. 12, 23. 

( Ibid. lib. i. cc. 6, 20. lib. ii. c.42. 

<> Ibid. lib. i. cc. 30, 41. 

K> Ibid. lib. i. c. 36. 

<*> Ibid. lib. i. c 30. lib. ii. c. 39. 


of the monastery where they retired. Sometimes for great or scandalous (ft) A. D. 571. 
crimes he obliged them to leave their country, or the place where the scan- 
dal had happened. 

LII. But we have a very distinct account of the usage established by 
S. Columba, conformable to the canons, in the imposition of penance, and 
reconciliation of penitents, set down by Adamnan in his relation of the 
penitent Libranus, whereof I shall give here the substance, because by it 
we may learn what was the practice in use among the Scots in ancient 
times concerning the administration of the sacrament of penance. 

Libranus, born in Connaught in Ireland, being touched with the spirit 
of penance, came over to Ycolmkill to consult S. Columba upon the state 
of his conscience, and receive from him the order and measure of pen- 
ance he was to perform to obtain mercy of God, and the grace of recon- 
ciliation. After giving account of himself to the holy abbot, and informing 
him of the resolution he had taken to retire into a monastery, and there 
endure whatever penitential labours and mortifications should be enjoined 
him to expiate his sins ; <b) he then without delay made to the holy man a 
particular confession of all his sins upon his knees, and promised to accom- 
plish the laws and order of penance which he should enjoin him, which 
were as follows : That he should retire' ' to the monastery of Campo- 
Lunghe in Shetland (whereof his chief disciple, Baitheneus, was Superior) 
and there pass seven years in penitential exercises, and at the end of that 
time he should return back to him to Ycolmkill during Lent time, in order 
to be reconciled, admitted to the altar, and receive the holy Eucharist at 
Easter. All which being conformable to the common discipline of penance 
practised in the Church of that age, informs us that it was in vigour as yet 
in our country, as well as among the other Christians of the Occident. 
Adamnan informs us that Libranus after his seven years' penance return- 
ing to Ycolmkill, found S. Columba alive, as he had foretold, and was by 
him reconciled to the holy altar, and received the communion. 

From the same spirit of retreat or penance the long navigations to the 

(1) Adamnan. lib. i. c. 22. 

< b) Eadem hora omnia sua confessus peccata, leges penitcntiae flexis in terram genibiis, 

se impleturum promisit. Cui Sanctus septennem debes in Ethica penitenliam explere 

terra post septennorum annorum expletionem, diebus ad me hue quadragesimalibus 

venies, et in paschal! solemnitate ad altarium accedas, et Eucharistiam sumas. Adamnan. 
lib. ii. c. 39. 

(t) Adamnan. lib. i. cc. 19, 30. 


A. D. .784. north, of Cormac and other holy men took their rise. In one(> of S. 
< 'ormac's voyages, S. Columba, who happened to be at the time at the court 
of Brudeus, King of the Picts, where the prince of the Orkney-isles was 
also present, prayed King Brudeus to recommend Cormac and his other 
monks to this prince of the Orkneys (whose pledges as being a vassal of 
King Brudeus this king had in his hands), and to take care that they were 
well used, in case they should come to these islands ; as they happened 
effectually to come, and were accordingly delivered from imminent danger 
in consequence of King Brudeus's recommendation. By this it appears 
that the prince of the Orkneys was subject and tributary to the king of the 
Picts, and that the Pictish dominions extended to the utmost bounds of the 
north of Britain and adjacent islands. 

LIU. A.D. 584, is placed the battle of Stanmore,( b > otherwise called 
Fethenlegh, betwixt the Britons, assisted by the Scots, against the Saxons. 
When Malgo, king of the Britons, being attacked by Ceaulin, king of the 
West Saxons, sent to require aid from King Aidan, according to the league 
that was betwixt them, Fordun says that King Aidan sent forces to the as- 
sistance of the Britons, under the command of his son Griffin (of whom we 
have no where else any account), and of Brendin, lord of the Isle of Man ; 
that these marching together with the Britons against Ceaulin, had at first 
the advantage, but that in the second engagement they were routed with 
a great slaughter, 

LIV. A.D. 586, died Brudeus son of Meilochon, King of the Picts. 
Bede (c) gives him the title of a most powerful king rex potentissimus, 
the same title 1 that he and other English writers give to those of the Saxon 
kings during the Heptarchy, whom their later writers call monarchs of the 
English, because that, besides their paternal kingdom, they obtained by 
their great power and victories a pre-eminence over their neighbouring 
princes. So that though we have no certain ancient account of the warlike 
actions of this King Brudeus, we may very reasonably conclude from this 
high title, of a most powerful king, given to him by the English writers, that 
he not only possessed in full freedom all the ancient demesnes of the Pictish 
kingdom, from Orkney to the frith of Forth, but that he also recovered the 
Pictish possessions to the south of these friths, which the Saxons had over- 

(i Adamnan. lib. i. cc. G, 20. lib. ii. c. 42. 

< b > Fordun, lib. iii. e. 28. Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 290. 

< c > Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 


run or taken possession of. King Brudeus died the thirtieth year of his A. D. 5G. 
reign. Adamnan relates a remarkable occurrence that happened at his 
death. We have already'"? made mention of a little white stone, blessed 
by S. Columba, which, because of the miraculous cures performed by drink- 
ing of water infused upon it, was kept as a precious jewel in the treasure of 
the Pictish kings. He adds that when the time appointed by God for the 
death of any sick person was come, there was no finding this stone ; that, 
accordingly, upon the day of King Brudeus's death, the stone being sought 
for with the utmost diligence in the ordinary place where it had been care- 
fully laid up, it could not be found. 

King Brudeus was succeeded in the throne by Gartnaich or Garnard, 
son of Domilch or Domnath, the fiftieth king- of the Picts, who reigned 
eleven years. To this King Garnard is ascribed by Fordun (b > the founda- 
tion of the church of Abernethy. We have (c) a story full of anachronisms 
concerning this foundation of Abernethy by King Garnard in the legend of 
Mazota Virgin (December 22). Boece,< d > also, in his History, gives an 
account of the foundation of a convent of nuns (whereof S. Maxota was one 
of the chief), made at Abernethy by King Garnard. In fine, the Register () 
of St. Andrews attributes the foundation of Abernethy to Necton or Naitan, 
successor to Gartnaich. whereas we have elsewhere^' seen from the Pictish 
Chronicle that the first founder of the church of Abernethy was King Nectan 
or Naitan, the son of Irb or Erp, and thirty-ninth king of the Picts. 

Now, to discover the truth, or what seems more likely, amidst so dif- 
ferent accounts, we must observe that the first church of Abernethy, 
founded by King Naitan I., having no doubt been ruined during the wars, 
or decayed by length of time, it cannot be doubted but that among the 
many monasteries founded or restored by S. Columba, or by the Pictish 
kings at his exhortation, one of the chief of them, next to that of Ycolm- 
kill, was settled at Abernethy (the principal seat of the kings and of tV 
bishops of the Picts), in the place where King Naitan I. had settled the 
first church above one hundred years before, as we have seen, that this 
establishment of the church of Abernethy, begun, perhaps, by King 
Brudeus after his conversion and baptism, was perfected under his successor 

,.) Supra, Book Second, XLVII. 
<*> Breviar. Aberdon. ad 22 Decem. 
< c > Boeth. Hist. fol. 180, 181. 
<d) Appendix to Crit. Essay, num. v. 
Ce) Ibid. num. ii. 


A. D. o8G. Garnait, and a monastery erected and Columbite Religious settled in it, 
as in all the other monasteries during S. Columba's time ; that King Nectan 
or Naitan, the second of that name, and fifty-first King of the Picts, suc- 
cessor to King Garnait, made an addition to this monastery, and that some 
other of the Pictish kings founded also a monastery of Religious virgins, 
among whom S. Mazota was the most eminent for sanctity. But this royal 
city of the Picts being (as Eoece relates) destroyed at the devastation of the 
Pictish kingdom by King Kenneth Mac-Alpin, their records also, and his- 
torical monuments, had the same fate, and nothing escaped that we know 
of, but such extracts of them as that we have given in the Appendix to the 
Critical Fssay. 

From all this it hath happened, that posterior writers, for want of 
ancient records, having nothing but vulgar traditions to guide them, fell 
into contradictions and anachronisms concerning the first author and time 
of the foundation of Abernethy. The author of St. Andrews Register, 
knowing apparently nothing of King Nectan I. and little of the Christianity 
of the Picts before S. Columba, and knowing only by a popular tradition 
that the church of Abernethy was founded by a Pictish king called Nectan, 
attributed the foundation of it to Nectan II. after the coming of S. Columba. 
Fordun, knowinn; by tradition that this church and monastery was brought 
to perfection, and the first Columbites settled in it, during the reign of 
King Garnart or Garnard, made himW the first and chief founder of it. 
And Boece. following Fordun as to the foundation of this church, and ob- 
serving that there had also been there a monastery of virgins, whereof 
Mazota, and nine others, were the most eminent, and their memory pre- 
served in the calendars and offices of the Church, and celebrated upon the 
twenty-second December, he attributed also to King Garnard the foundation 
of this monastery of virgins. 

A.D. 588. According to the Ulster Annals, cited by Ussher,( b > hap- 
pened the Conversion of King Constantine to the Lord, " conversio Con- 
stantini ad Dominum," as these Annals express it. It is reported that this 
was that Constantine, King of Cornwall (Cornubiae) against whom Gildas 
makes a bitter invective, as a cruel tyrant, exhorting him, withal, to do 
penance : which sound advice Constantine having afterwards embraced, 
abandoned his kingdom, retired to Ireland, and embraced the monastic 

<> Fordun, edit. Hearn. p. 299. 

(b) Ussher, Ant. Brit, in Indice Chron. p. 533. 


state, that being afterwards advanced to Orders, though contrary to the A. D 588. 
ecclesiastical discipline of these ages, he went thence over to Scotland, and 
preached among the Scots and Picts, says Fordun, and erected a monastery 
at Govan, and converted many in Kin tyre, where it is said he suffered 
martyrdom by the hands of some wicked men. His memory was honoured 
in the Church of Scotland upon the eleventh of March. 

Fordun relates that this Gonstantine came to Scotland along with S. 
Columba in his return from one of his voyages to Ireland, whither he 
passed over sometimes to visit his monasteries in that kingdom. One of 
the most memorable voyages which he made to Ireland, was A.D. 586, in 
company of King Aidan, to an Assembly holden at Drumchcat,W in Ireland, 
at which were present with King Aidan and S. Columba, Aidus, son of 
Ainmire, King of Ireland, and many other great men, bishops and abbots 
of both kingdoms, for settling their affairs. Adamnan sets down an 
account which he had well attested by those that were present, of many 
miracles wrought during this voyage by S. Columba, upon several persons, 
either by touching them with his hand, by sprinkling holy water upon 
them, by drinking water infused upon bread blessed by the Saint, by 
touching the hem of his garment, &c. 

.It was about the same time that S. Columban, Abbot, so famous after- 
wards for the monasteries he founded in France and Italy, came over from 
Ireland, and, it is like, in S. Columba's company, upon his return to 
Britain after the Assembly of Drumcheat. Columbanus had been bred up 
in the great monastery of Bangor, in Ireland, governed by S. Comgall, 
otherwise called Faustus, a faithful disciple of our S. Columba, as we are 
informed by Notker, <b ) a monk of the monastery of S. Gall. This S. Gall 
was one of the twelve disciples whom S. Columban, as it was usual in 
those days, brought along with him, first to the north of Britain, no doubt 
to Ycolmkill, and from thence to France, where being well received by 
Childebert II., King of Austrasia, he established^) the monasteries of Ane- 
gray, Luxeu, and others, and gave them a rule that he had brought with 
him, the same that was in use at Bangor, settled there by S. Comgall, who, 
as Notker informed us, having been a disciple of our S. Columba, it is like 
the rule was much the same in substance in both these monasteries of 

<' Adamnan. lib. i. cc. 10, 11, 49, 50 ; lib. ii. c. 6. 

(b) Notker Balbulus, Martyrolog. 9 Jun. 

< c) Jonas, in Vita S. Columbani, edit, a P. Fleming inter Opera Columbani. 



A. D. .592. Hangor and Ycolmkill. This ruleC a ) of S. Columban is still extant. 
S. Columban, after twenty years' abode in Austrasia, Burgundy, &c., 
where he had to suffer not only upon account of his zeal against the vices 
of all states of men, but for his attachment to his Irish usages, particularly 
in the celebration of Easter, lie was at last forced to leave that country by 
Thcodoric, King of Austrasia, at the instigation of the wicked Queen 
Brunechild, and, after some years of an unsettled life, he retired at last 
into Lombardy, where he established the abbey of Bobbio, and there died 
A.D. 615. 

LV. A.D. 59'J, fell out the battle of Wodenburch, as it is called by 
Fordun/ 1 ') betwixt Ceaulin, King of the West Saxons, and Aidan, King of 
the Scots, come to the assistance of the Britons, to whom also many Saxons 
had joined against this Ceaulin, who, by his tyranny, had rendered himself 
odious to all the nations around him. Adamnan calls this battle, prselium 
Miatorum, for M.eatarum perhaps, because it is like a part of the British 
troops in King Aidan's army were of those Midland Britons, called formerly 
M;eat;e. However, Adamnan, upon occasion of this battle, gives a new 
instance of S. Columba's prophetical spirit, as well as of his zeaK c ) and 
that of his Religious disciples in Ycolmkill, for the prosperity of Aidan 
their sovereign. S. Columba being, at the hour this battle was given, in 
his monastery of Ycolmkill, called out of a sudden to Dermitius, his servant, 
to run quickly and toll the bell ; upon hearing the sound, all his Religious 
men convened in haste to the church, with the holy man at their head, 
where, falling on his knees, he said to them, Let us all earnestly pray to 
God for this people and for King Aidan, for at this very hour they are en- 
gaged in battle with their enemies. And after some space of time, going 
out of the oratory, and looking up to the heavens, he said, Now the enemies 
are put to flight, and King Aidan hath got the victory, adding withal that 
it was a doleful victory for him, because, in the battle, two of his sons, 
Arthur and Eochod-find, were killed, as the Saint had foretold ( d ) long 
before ; at the same time he told them the precise number of those that 
were slain in Aidan's army, that is three hundred and three men. The 
slaughter was incomparably greater on Ceaulin's side, his army quite routed, 

'*' Jonas, in Vita S. Columbani, edit, a P. Fleming inter Opera Columbani. 
'*' Fordun, lib. iii. c. 29. 
'" Adamnan. lib. i. c. 8. 
'"> Ibid. lib. i. c. 9. 


himself put to flight, and so dispirited that he soon after died denuded A. D. 597. 
of all. 

The year 597 was very memorable for the great events that happened 
in it. And first, the death of Garnait, son of Domeleh, King of the Picts, 
in the eleventh year of his reign. His name was famous in following ages 
by the restoration, as we have observed, or new foundation, of the ancient 
church and monastery of Abernethy, and his settling in it, in conjunction 
with S. Columba, the Religious Columbites, so well known in posterior 
ages by the name of Keledees, whereof this monastery was, next to Ycolm- 
kill, as it were, the mother-house from which several colonies were derived, 
to St. Andrews, and several other places of Scotland. King Garnait was 
succeeded by Nectan, son or nephew of Irb or Erp ; he was the fifty-first 
king of the Picts, and reigned twenty years. We have already observed 
the mistake of the abstract of the Register of St. Andrews, which attributes 
to this King Nectan the foundation of the church of Abernethy, which had 
been made by King Nectan I. above one hundred years before. 

LVI. But nothing rendered this year so remarkable amo'ng the Scots 
and the Picts as the death of the great S. Columba. We have a full relation 
of the happy passage of this holy man from S. Adamnan, with a detail of 
circumstances, which well deserves a place in this work, not only because 
of the edifying particulars which it contains, but because all that concerns 
this apostolical man, especially this last period of his mortal life, ought to 
be very precious to our countrymen, who have so great obligations to him, 
not only for his labours in the conversion of the northern Picts, from whom 
so many of the inhabitants of Scotland are descended, but for his settling 
Christianity on a more lasting foot, even among the Scots. 

Adamnan begins the relation of S. Columba's death by the account of 
a vision that the Saint had, A.D. 5!J3, in whichw it was manifested to him 
that Almighty God, moved by the prayers of many Churches, had resolved 
to prolong his life for four years beyond the time at which the Saint had 
hoped to leave this world ; after which, Adamnan continues thus : The 
term (b > of these four years drawing nigh in the month of May, the holy man 
going out one day in a waggon (because of his age and weakness,) to visit 
the brethren that were at work in a field in the western part of the island, 
he said to them, 1 had an earnest desire to go to our Saviour upon Easter- 

<' Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 22. edit. Colgan. 
lbl Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 23. 


A. D. 597. day last, but because I would not have the joy of that day changed into 
mourning, I chose to defer my departure from this world a little longer. 
These words having grieved his disciples, he began to encourage them with 
comfortable discourses, and standing upon an eminence, turning his face 
towards the east, he lifted up his hand and blessed all this our island, says 
Adamnan, adding, that from that time forward no viperous animal should 
hurt either man or beast in it, as long as the inhabitants should be careful 
to observe the commands of Christ. 

On Saturday'"' following, the holy man accompanied with his beloved 
servant Dermitius, went out to bless a barn, and in coming- back to the 
monastery he stopt in the way, and sat down to rest him at a Cross' b) of 
stone, which, says Adamnan, is yet to be seen set up at the side of the way. 
This stone Cross had certainly been erected by S. Columba'-s own order, and 
is an evident proof of the ancient usage among the Scottish Christians, 
(taught them above eleven hundred years ago by S. Columba himself,) of 
planting Crosses of stone or wood upon the highways, or in the most con- 
spicuous places, thereby to excite frequently the love and devotion of the 
Faithful to their Redeemer, by that sensible memorial adapted to the meanest 
rapacities, of his unbounded love for them ; and this usage was propagated 
through the kingdoms of the Scots and Picts, in proportion as Christianity 
itself was extended. Accordingly there are yet to be met with in all places 
of Scotland, the rubbish or ruins and names of Crosses demolished at or 
since the new Reformation by men, to say no more, who had certainly a 
quite different spirit and taste of devotion from that of S. Columba, and of 
the other saints who planted or promoted Christianity in our country, who, 
conformably to the usage of the rest of the Christian world in ancient times, 
made a part of their devotion consist in renewing frequently, by sensible 
signs, the memory of our Lord's Passion iu the hearts of the Christian people. 
Adamnan makes mention of two other Crosses (0) set up in Ycolmkill in S. 
Columba's own time, and of many miracles wrought by him by the sign < d) 
of the Cross. 

As the Saint returned to the monastery^' accompanied by his beloved 
servant Dermitius, after enjoining secrecy to him, he told him that he wau 

'' Adamnan. lib. iii. c. '23. 

<"> Ibid. 

"" Ibid. lib. i. c. 45. 

("> Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 16, 27, 29, &c. 

(e > Ibid. lib. iii. c 23. 


to depart out of this world that same night at midnight ; and going up to A. D. 597. 

another little eminence^' that overlooked the monastery, and standing on 

the top of it, he lifted up his hands and blessed the monastery, adding : To 

this place, however despicable and mean it now appears, not only the kings 

of the Scots -with all their people, but kings also of foreign nations with 

their subjects, shall pay great honour and respect, and-the holy men of other 

Churches will hold it in no small veneration. 

Being come back to the monastery (b) he sat down in his cell, and con- 
tinued to transcribe a Psalm-book which he had begun, and being come to 
this verse of the thirty-third Psalm, " They that seek the Lord shall not 
want any good thing," there, says he, I must stop at the end of this page, 
let Baitheneus continue on to write what follows. This last verse which 
the Saint copied agreed perfectly well to him, since he shall never be de- 
prived of the eternal good things of heaven where he is entered : and the 
verse following : " Come my children and hearken to me, and I will teach 
you the fear of the Lord," agrees no less well to his successor IJaithcneus, 
whom he left for spiritual master to his children, and who succeeded him 
not only in the office of teaching but also of writing. 

After this the Saint entered the churchW to assist at the canonical Othcc 
of the first vespers of Sunday, and then returned to his cell, and there laid 
himself upon his bed, where, instead of straw, he had a bare stone, and in- 
stead of -a bolster or pillow another stone, which at present, says Adamnan, 
stands for a title as a monument at his sepulchre. In that posture, none 
being present but his said beloved servant, he gave by him his last commands 
to his disciples, saying, I commend to you, my dear children, these my last 
words : Entertain peace and unfeigned mutual charity one with another, 
which if you observe according to the example of the holy fathers, God, the 
comforter of the good, will assist you, and I being present with Him will 
intercede for you, and He will abundantly bestow upon you, not only the 
necessaries of this life, but the eternal happiness in the next, which is pre- 
pared for those that observe his commandments. 

After which( d ) words, his last happy hour approaching, he was silent, 
and spoke no more; but when the bell rang at midnight for the nocturnal 

<a) Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 23. 

<"> Ibid. 

<-> Ibid. 

< Ibid. 


A. D. 597. Office, he arose in haste, and went to the church, where being arrived sooner 
than the rest, and going in all alone, he fell upon his knees near the altar. 
Dermitius, his servant, following more slowly, saw at a distance all the church 
illustrated with an angelic splendour, which at his approach instantly disap- 
peared. This splendour was also seen at a distance by others of the brethren. 
Dermitius, therefore, entering, tlic church, called out to the Saint with a mourn- 
ful voice, Father, where are you ? and groping up and down in the dark, 
he found him lying prostrate before the altar, and lifting him up a little, and 
sitting down by him, he laid his blessed head iu his bosom ; meantime all 
the brethren came in with lights, and seeing their holy Father ready to 
expire, began to lament. We were told by some that were there present, 
that a little before he expired he opened his eyes and looked about with a 
joyful countenance, beholding the holy angels that came to fetch him. 

Meantime Dermitius lifted up his blessed hand, that he might give his 
last blessing to his brethren assembled about him in the choir, and the holy 
man himself endeavoured, as he was able, by the motion of his hand to give 
them his blessing, since he could not pronounce it by the voice of his mouth, 
and after giving them in this manner his sacred blessing, he instantly yielded 
up his happy soul. The angelical vision left such a cheerfulness remaining 
in his countenance, that it appeared after his death rather the pleasant aspect 
of one asleep, than the ghastly face of a dead man. Meantime all the church 
resounded with the doleful lamentations of his Religious disciples. The 
canonical" 1 ) Office of the nocturns being finished, his sacred body was carried 
back from the church to his cell, accompanied by the holy symphony of 
Psalms, and his obsequies were, according to custom, solemnly celebrated 
three days and three nights, which being spent in Divine praises, the body 
of our blessed Patron was wrapt in fine linen, laid into a coffin prepared for 
that end, and buried with great veneration, there to remain till it arise in 
a glorious and eternal brightness. 

S. Columba died, as Bede (b > informs us, in the seventy -seventh year of 
his age, and, as Adamnan' c > relates, the thirty-fourth year after his coming 
to Britain, which happened, as we have seen, A.D. 563 ; so his death fell 
out in the year 597. It is the constant tradition and belief of the inhabi- 
tants of Ycolmkill and of the neighbourhood at this day, that S. Columba's 

<*' Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 23. 
i"' Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 
"' Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 22. 


body lies still in this island, being hidden by pious people, at the time of A. D. .597. 

the new Reformation, in some secure and private place in or about the 

church, as it used frequently to be in former ages during the ravages of the 

infidel Danes ; and not only the inhabitants of Ycolmkill, and those of all 

our Western Islands, and of all the Highlands in general, but all the Scots 

look upon the pretended translation of S. Coluvnba's body to Ireland as 


LVII. And, indeed, to prove the Irish story of this translation a fablo 
in its origin, it might suffice to set it down such as the Irish writers, and 
among them the diligent Colgan (a) relates it from the best vouchers that he 
could find, which in short is thus : That the shrine of S. Columba being 
taken up in Ycolmkill by the Danish pirates, and they rinding instead of 
the treasure they looked for, nothing but dust and bones, threw it into the 
sea, and that it swimmed miraculously from Ycolmkill, over the sea, to 
Down in Ireland, which is above one hundred miles ; and Colgan tells us 
elsewhere (b) that this pretended translation or transportation happened 
A.D. 857. He gives for author of the story of this translation, one Ber- 
chanus, but what ho was or when he lived he could find nothing certain. 
The first known authors that mention this translation arc Giraldus Cani- 
brensis cc) and Roger Hoveden' d) who wrote in the twelfth age, and say that 
A.D. 1177, the bodies of S. Patrick, S. Brigid, and of S. Columba, were 
by revelation discovered at Down, but without giving any account how S. 
Columba's body was brought thither. That there was a discovery made 
about A.D. 1177 of three Saints' bodies at Down, and that one of them was 
supposed to be called S. Columba, I shall not contest, since it is related by 
the two foresaid writers, Giraldus and Hoveden, but there being many Irish 
saints of the name of Columba or Columban, which is the same, there is no 
doubt but the body found at Down was of some other S. Columba, supposing 
one of the three found at Down bore that name, which depends upon the 
credit of that revelation. 

For as to our S. Columba, Apostle of the Northern Picts, besides the 
uniform uninterrupted tradition and persuasion of the inhabitants of Ycolm- 
kill, and of all the Scots of these parts, that his relics or body lies as yet in 

<*> Colgan. Trias Thaum. p. 446. 

lb) Colgan. ibid. p. 500. 

(c) Giral. Cambren. Topograpli. Hibern. Distinct, iii. c. 18. 

<d > Rog. Hoveden, Chron. ad A.D. 1177. 


A. I). 597. that island, it is attested by a series of authentic testimonies in every age, 
from the time of his death till the thirteenth or fourteenth age and down- 
wards, that is both before and after the year 875, in which this pretended 
translation of S. Columba's relics to Ireland is placed by Colgan. 

The testimonies of AdamnanO) and Bede< b ) put it out of doubt that he 
was buried in Ycolmkill, and that his body reposed still in that island in 
the seventh and eighth age, when they wrote. S. Adamnan's testimony is 
remarkable in this, that he says S. Columba's body was to repose there till 
the general Resurrection. In the ninth age, and after the union of the 
Scottish and the Pictish kingdoms by Kenneth Mac-Alpin, an ancient ( c ) 
Chronicle attests that the same King Kenneth, apparently in thanksgiving 
to God for the success of his arms, caused erect a new church to S. Columba, 
and solemnly translated his relics to it. This was, no doubt, a church of a 
more stately fabric, built in the same island to the memory of the common 
Patron of the two united kingdoms. This translation hath been made with 
groat solemnity, in the presence, it is like, of the king, and all the clergy 
and great men of the kingdom, as it was usual in that age, and is therefore 
set down in this Chronicle as a remarkable occurrence. In the same ninth 
age, Walafrid Strabo, in his account of the martyrdom of S. Blaithmac, 
Abbot of Ycolmkill, informs us that S. Blaithmac, upon the news or appre- 
hension of an invasion of the Danes, took care to transport the shrine of S- 
Columba, and laid it under ground( d ) in a secure place ; this invasion 
happened, according to Colgan, A.D. 823. In the tenth age, NotkerusW 
Balbulus, in his Martyrology, tells us that S. Columba rested, that is, his 
body reposed still and was preserved in Ycolmkill. In the end of the tenth 
age, or beginning^' of the eleventh, it is related in the Life of S. Cadroe, a 
Scotsman, that his parents, to obtain a son, visited S. Columba's relics in 
Ycolmkill, and obtained by his intercession the effect of their prayers. It 

"' (S. Columba: corpus in lona) debita liumatur cum veneratione in luminosa et 
asternali resurrecturum claritate. Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 23. 

(b) Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 4. 

(c) Septimo anno Regni sui (Kinadius Rex Alpini filius) rcliquias S. Columbae 
transportavit ad ccclesiam quam construxit. Chron. Regg. Scotor. Crit. Essay, p. 783. 

>d) Insula Pictorum qutedam monstratur in oris, 
Fluctivago suspensa salo cognominis Eo (i. e. Y) 
Qua sanctus Domini requiescit came Columba. 

Walafrid. Strabo, sec. iii. Benedict, parte 2 dl , p. 439. [Vita: Antiquae Sanctorum in 
Scotia ; Vita Blaithmaic, p. 461.] 

'" Notker. Balbul. Martyrolog. ad 9 Jun. 

lf ' Ex Vita S. Cadroes, ad 6 Martii, apud Bolandian. Acta. Sanctor. 


was,(") out of respect to his relics, preserved in Ycolmkill that, in the same A. D. 597. 
eleventh age, S. Margaret, Queen of Scotland, spouse to King Malcolm 
Keanmore, being informed that the monastery of Ycolmkill was, by length 
of time and invasions of enemies, almost ruined, among other works of piety, 
caused repair the church and monastery, and assign sufficient revenues to 
the religious inhabitants, as Ordericus Vitalis relates in his Chronicle. 

In the twelfth age, Henry of Huntingdon^' informs us that the 
relics of S. Columba were still in Ycolmkill. Matthew Paris c) another 
English writer, upon occasion of the death of Alexander II., A.D. 124!), 
assures us that the body of S. Columba rested still and was honoured (jacet 
et honoratur) in Ycolmkill. In the same" 1 ' age, the same fact is attested 
by Simon or Simeon Monk, who transcribed S. Columba's Life by order 
of one of our King Alexanders, and of William, Abbot of Ycolmkill, and 
added verses in the honour of the Saint, whereof Usshcr gives an extract, 
and which I copied out at length from the Cotton MSS., written about 400 
years ago, and may insert them in the appendix to this work. And this I 
hope will suffice to satisfy all impartial people that the story of the trans- 
lation of S. Columba's relics to Down in Ireland is fabulous, and that they 
still remain in Ycolmkill, hidden in some unknown place, till it please 
Almighty God in his own time to manifest them, in order to resuscitate or 
renew the faith and fervour of the good people of these parts, and of all 
Scotsmen that retain a due respect for the memory of this great Saint. 

LV1II. But to show the veneration paid to S. Columba, as well in 
foreign countries as at home, 1 shall add here the conclusion of Adamnan's 
three books of his Life. 

The reader/ 6 ) says Adamnan, cannot but have observed upon reading 
of these three books the great sanctity of this venerable prelate ; how 
many apparitions and visitations of angels were made to him, the gift of 
prophecy, that of miracles, how often even during his mortal life he 
happened to be all surrounded with heavenly brightness, which continues 
till this day to illustrate the place where he lies buried, and hath been 
seen by some choice persons, and this favour was moreover granted to this 

f ) Orderic. Vitalis, in Chron. p. 702, inter Scriptores Normannise. 

(h) Hen. Huntendun. Hist. lib. iii. fol. 190. 

<" Math. Par. Hist. Ang. p. 516. 

< d) Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 165. MSS. Cotton. Tiberius, VHI. D. 

(l-) Adamnan. lib. iii. c. 24. 



A.D. .597. blessed man, that though he lived in this little remote island in the 
extremity of the British ocean, his name and reputation are spread, and his 
sanctity honoured, not only through all Britain and Ireland, but even 
through Spain and Gaul, and the renown of his sanctity hath also 
penetrated beyond the Appenine Hills into Italy, and into the city of Rome 
itself, the head and chief of all other cities. 









\ LL this considered, I hope no impartial learned man will seriously call 
-^*- in doubt, that the Episcopacy of the Scots in Ireland and Britain, as 
well as that of the Britons, was acknowledged in these times by the 
Apostolical See and by other foreign Churches. 

The chief differences betwixt the Roman and other Churches abroad, 
and those of the old Britons and Scots of Britain and Ireland followed by 
the Picts, were about the time of the celebration of Easter, of which we 
have more than once given account already. The heats were greater about 
these very times than ever before concerning that question among the Scots 
in Ireland. The letter above mentioned of Laurence, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and more yet that of Pope Honorius had made impressions 
upon them, and engaged some of them to make a serious study of the dif- 
ferent calculations and decrees of the Councils for the regulation of Easter; 
others had travelled to Rome, and through other foreign Churches to observe 
their usages in this important point of discipline. At last a Synod was 
assembled at a place called Leni or Leighlin in Ireland, where, after great 
debates, they were divided into two parties, the one headed by Lasrean, 
Abbot of the place, who had lately come from Rome and had learned there 
and in other Churches abroad, the canonical manner of celebrating Easter 
according to the calculation or reformation made by Dionysius Exiguus, 
and Lasrean was followed in this by the Scots of the south of Ireland. The 
other party adhered to Finten otherwise Munni, esteemed a person of great 
sanctity, and in this division he was followed by the Scots of the north of 


A. D. <>.%. Ireland, and all those of Britain, as also by the Picts, who all of them as 
well as the old Britons persisted in their old usages. But one of the chief 
sticklers for the old usages was Segenius, Abbot of Ycolmkill, who took in 
very ill part the conduct of some of his friends in Ireland who had aban- 
doned the ancient usage of the Scots (which had been followed by S. Col- 
umba and all his monasteries), and had embraced the new calculation of 
Easter with the Scots of the south of Ireland and Churches abroad. 

To appease Segenius and his disciples, one Cumian a learned man who 
had made a particular study of this controversy, endeavoured in a long letter 
to this Abbot to justify from Scripture, Fathers, Councils, and from the 
general practice of Churches abroad, the alteration lately made among the 
southern Scots in Ireland, and their conforming to the manner of the cele- 
bration of Easter as observed in the Church of Rome and foreign parts. 
This letter is set down by Ussher in his Collection of Irish Letters. 

The division still continuing among the Scots gave occasion to some of 
the Scottish bishops and clergy to send a deputation to Rome with a letter 
to Pope Severin, about A.D. 640. But he dying after two months pontifi- 
cate the letter was answered during the vacancy by John, elected Pope, and 
and other chief Prelates of the Church of Rome, and addressed to the 
bishops and clergy of the Scots in the tenor indicated, and which may be 
seen at more length in Bcde.(') 

Meantime Ivineoch King of the Picts dying, A.D. 639, had been suc- 
ceeded by Garnard, son of Wide, alias Fothe, their fifty-third king, who 
reigned four years. 

A.D. 639. Ferchard I. King of the Scots, first of the name, died after 
a reign of sixteen years, and was buried with his ancestors in Ycolmkill. 
We have already discussed the fable invented by the Veremundian impostors 
concerning him. He had for his successor his brother Donald, the first of 
that name (whom our modern writers, reckoning their Veremundian kings, 
call Donald the Fourth.) He was surnamed Breac, that is, speckled, and 
reigned fourteen years. As much as Boece and his followers are injurious to 
his predecessor Ferchard, as we have seen, they are no less favourable to 
King Donald, attributing to him, against the truth of history and order of 
time, the religious actions of his predecessor, and passing over the disasters, 
which Adamnan, living at the time, tells us, King Donald's rash and im- 


[Hist. Eccles. lib. ii. c. 19.] 


prudent conduct drew upon him and the kingdom. For it was in the reign A. D. fi39. 
of King Ferchard, and by his assistance, and not of King Donald, as is 
evident by the true chronology of his reign, that the pious King Oswald 
recovered his kingdom, and that by the zeal and labours of Bishop Aidan 
and other churchmen sent him by the Scots, he settled Christianity in his 
territories. On the other hand, it was this King Donald that joining his 
forces with other enemies, attacked Donald the Second, King of Ireland, 
lineally descended of the same stock and family as S. Columba, and this 
against the express injunction accompanied with dreadful threats made by 
S. Columba to King Aidan at his coronation, as we said, to recommend to 
his children and descendants, that none of them should attack any of his 
kindred in Ireland under pain of incurring the wrath of God, of risking to 
lose their crown, of wonted courage being taken from them, and of their 
enemies prevailing over them. This prophecy, says Adamnan, was fulfilled 
in our time upon King Donald, grandson of King Aidan, his invading and 
ravaging the country of King Donald the Second, King of Ireland, and 
grandson to King Ainmire cousin to S. Columba, upon which ensued the 
battle of Rath or Magrath in Ireland. In punishment of this invasion, the 
kingdom of the Scots in Britain hath been, says Adamnan, in a decaying 
condition before strangers from that time forwards till now, which Adamnan 
as a good subject sadly laments. Accordingly we are told that our King 
Donald with his associates was put to flight with a great loss in this battle of 
Magrath, and that he was defeated in another battle probably by the Picts 
in Glenmorison ; and it is not unlike, that to this decay of the Scots affairs 
in Britain may have relation also what Bede relates of King Oswald and 
Oswy and other Saxon monarchs about these times, and their lording it 
over the Scots as well as over the Picts and Britons ; but that extent of the 
power of some of the Saxon kings was like a meteor, that lasted only during 
their own time and suddenly disappeared with them. 

By all this we see that King Donald the First, far from being that good 
prince and having that prosperous reign which our modern writers ascribe 
to him, was neither prudent in his enterprises nor successful in his battles, 
but on the contrary, by his bad conduct, drew upon his kingdom and pos- 
terity for some generations great misfortunes. This King Ferchard, brother 
and predecessor to King Donald, being the first of our real kings whom our 
modern writers, copying after the dark productions forged under the name 
of Veremund, have thought fit to pitch upon to expose as a monster of 


A. D. 639. wickedness, that so they might bring him in as an example of a king ar- 
raigned and deposed by his own subjects ; I thought it necessary in order 
to put a matter so important to the happiness and honour of our kings and 
people into a clearer light, not to pass it transiently over here, but insist 
upon it at some more length and go to the bottom of it as far as I found 
certain light to walk by, that by it we might be able to make an estimate, 
as well of the accusations of wickedness and mal- administration with which 
they load, as we will see, others of our kings, as also of the groundless 
authority these later writers have thought fit to ascribe to the Scottish 
subjects over the fortunes and even the persons of their sovereigns. I hope 
to make it good in the continuation of these Memoirs, that in reality the 
tyranny exercised against all the standing laws from the beginning of the 
monarchy, over Queen Mary, A. I). 1567, by the faction of Knox and Murray, 
is the very first precedent that can be alleged from any certain history 
of the Scots, of any such barbarous attempt of any Scottish subjects over 
their sovereigns. 

But before I leave this story, in which our later writers misrepresent so 
oildly the characters and conduct of these two kings, Ferchard the First and 
Donald the First, I must make a farther step, and inquire, by such light as 
the contemporary writers can afford, into the grounds upon which our 
modern writers or their vouchers seem to have forged their accusations 
of the one of these two princes, and built their clogcs of the other. 

As to King Ferchard, one of the chief accusations alleged against him 
is that he was infected with the Pelagian heresy, and denying the necessity 
of baptism. It were superfluous to pretend to refute such accusations, 
since there is not the least proof brought for them. But the conduct of 
King Ferchard, in so zealously concurring with the clergy of Ycolmkill to 
send into the North of England one of the most eminent among them, 
S. Aidan, to convert and baptize King Oswald's subjects, is alone sufficient 
to demonstrate the falsehood of this invention. And if I may give way to 
a probable conjecture, the only support the first vouchers of this calumny 
had to forge it upon, is a general complaint of Pope Honorius I. in his 
letter to the Scots chiefly of Ireland,^) that he had been informed that the 
Pelagian heresy was begun to spring up among them. This certainly 

'' Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. ii. c. 19. [The letter referred to, is not from Pope 
Ilonorius, but is the letter formerly mentioned from John, and tho other Clergy of the 
Roman Church.] 


regards only their churchmen, and the Pope speaks here only of the Scots A. D. 639. 
in general, without taxing those in Britain in particular, much less their 
king, with giving way to the error. In fine, Fordun, as I said, hath not a 
word of so much as any complaint against King Ferchard. 

But as to the eloges given by our modern writers to King Donald, it 
must be said that, however groundless they be, our later writers were not 
the first authors, but that they were originally owing to the mistakes of 
Fordun in the chronology of that king, and more yet to his misapplying 
of a passage of Adamnan, who, < a > speaking of S. Columba's giving a special 
benediction to a child called Donald, son of Odh or Aydo, afterwards King 
of Ireland, says the Saint foretold he should enjoy a happy reign and great 
prosperity ; all which Fordun by a palpable blunder applies to Donald I., 
son of Eochod-buyd, King of the Scots, who, far from deserving S. Columba's 
blessing, drew upon himself and his posterity, by transgressing the holy 
man's strict injunctions, the punishment foretold to his grandfather. 

A.D. 640, died Garnard the fifty-third king of the Picts, and had for 
his successor Buide, the son of Wide or Fothe, who reigned four years, and 
to him succeeded Thalarg, fifty-fifth king, and reigned twelve years. 

A.D. G42, happened the death of the pious prince, Oswald, King of the 
Saxons, the shortness of whose reign is much to be regretted ; considering 
the character Bede and all other writers give of him. This admirable 
prince, after he had held the government nine years, lost his life in a 
bloody battle fought at Macerfield, against Penda, King of the Mercians, 
who had attacked him. Bede relates a great many miraculous cures 
wrought by making use of the dust where his corpse lay, and sets down 
particular relations of them at large in his History where they may be 
seen.< b > His memory was accordingly honoured by an annual solemnity 
in all the churches of Britain, upon the 5th of August. 

He was succeeded in the kingdom of Bernicia by his brother Oswy, who 
had also been baptized and educated with his brothers among the Scots ; 
he reigned twenty-eight years. He had, in the beginning of his reign, a 
partner of his royal dignity < c > called Oswin, son of Osric, of the race of 
King Edwin, a man of wonderful piety and devotion, who governed the pro- 
vince of the Deiri seven years in very great prosperity, and was himself 

o> Adamnan. lib. i. c. 10. 

> Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cc. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. 

<> Ibid. c. 14. 



A. D. 64-1. beloved by all men, being a prince most remarkably obliging in his beha- 
viour, and both the rich and poor had a large share in his bounty. Among 
the rest of his good qualities his humility was particularly extraordinary, of 
which Bede gives an edifying instance, in which also appears S. Aidan's 
charity and disinterestedness. King Oswin gave to Bishop Aidan an extra- 
ordinary fine horse, < a) which he might either use in crossing rivers or in 
performing a journey upon any urgent necessity, though he was wont to 
travel ordinarily on foot. Some short time after, a poor man meeting him 
and asking alms, he immediately dismounted, and ordered the horse with all 
Ids royal furniture, to be given to the beggar ; for he was very compas- 
sionate, a great friend to the poor, and, as it were, the father of the 
wretched. This being told to the king, when they were going in to 
dinner, he said to the bishop, ' Why would you, my Lord Bishop, give the 
poor man that royal horse, which was necessary for your use ? Had not 
we many other horses of less value, and of other sorts, which would have 
been good enough to give to the poor, and not to give that horse, which I 
had particularly chosen for yourself? ' To whom the bishop instantly 
answered, 'What is it you say, King ? Is that foal of a mare more dear 
to you than the son of God?' Upon this they went in to dinner, and the 
bishop sat in his place ; but the king, who was come from hunting, stood 
warming himself, with his attendants, at the fire. Then, on a sudden, 
whilst he was warming himself, calling to mind what the bishop had said 
to him, he ungirt his sword, and gave it to a servant, and in a hasty 
manner fell down at the bishop's feet, beseeching him to forgive him ; 
' For from this time forward,' said he, ' I will never speak any more of 
this, nor will I judge of what, or how much of our money you shall give to 
the sons of God.' The bishop was much moved at this sight, and starting 
up, raised him, saying, ' He was entirely reconciled to him, if he would sit 
down to his meat, and lay aside all sorrow.' The king, at the bishop's 
command and request, beginning to be merry, the bishop, on the other 
hand, grew so melancholy as to shed tears. His priest then asking him, in 
the language of his country, which the king and his servants did not under- 
stand, 'Why he wept;' 'I know,' said he, 'that the king will not live long; 
for I never before saw so humble a king : whence, I conclude that he will 
soon be snatched out of this life, because this nation is not worthy of such a 

<> Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 14. 


Not long after the bishop's said prediction, AJ). 651, this pious prince, A. D. Gal. 
being betrayed by one that he trusted, was killed by order of King Oswy 
upon the first day of September-, in the ninth year of his reign. And 
about a fortnight after, in the same year, Aidan himself dying received the 
reward of his labours in heaven, says Bede; who, after giving a particular 
relation of some of the last miracles wrought by him whilst alive, concludes 
his account of him by that of the circumstances of his death, and the 
miracles that ensued upon it in the following words. < a) Aidan was in the 
king's country house, not far from Bebanburgh, (Bamborough,) at the time 
when death separated him from his body, after having been bishop sixteen 
years ; foi', having a church and a chamber there, he was wont to retire 
often and stay there, and to make from thence his excursions into the 
country round about ; which he also did in others of the king's country 
seats, as having nothing of his own, except his church and some few lands 
about it. When he fell into his last sickness, they set up a tent to him at 
the west end of the church, close to the wall of it, so that he gave up the 
ghost leaning upon a shore or prop that was upon the outside of the church, 
to strengthen or support the wall. His death happened upon the thirty- 
first of August, upon which day his memory was ever since observed over- 
all the churches in Scotland, and in the north of England, in the course of 
the canonical Office till the new Reformation. "His body was thence trans- 
lated to the isle of Lindisfarne, and buried in the churchyard belonging to 
the brethren. Sometime after, when a larger church was built there and 
dedicated in honour of the blessed prince of the apostles, his bones were 
translated thither, and deposited on the right hand of the altar, with the 
respect due to so great a prelate. 

" Finan, who had likewise come from the same monastery of Hy in the 
Scottish island, succeeded him, and continued a considerable time in the 
bishopric. It happened some years after, that Penda, King of the Mercians, 
coming into these parts with a hostile army, destroyed all he could with 
fire and sword, and burned down the village and church above mentioned, 
where the bishop died ; but it fell out in a wonderful manner that the post 
which he had leaned upon when he died could not be consumed by the 
fire which consumed all about it. This miracle being taken notice of, the 
church was soon rebuilt in the same place, and that very post was set upon 

"> Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 17. 


A.D. 651. the outside, as it Lad been before, to strengthen the wall. It happened 
again, some time after, that the same village and church were burned down 
the second time, and even then the fire could not touch that post ; and 
when, in a most miraculous manner, the fire broke through the very holes 
in it wherein it was fixed to the building, and destroyed the church, yet it 
could do no hurt to the said post. The church being therefore built there, 
the thiixl time, they did not, as before, place that post on the outside as a 
support, but within, as a memorial of the miracle ; and the people coming in 
were wont to kneel there, and implore the Divine mercy. And it is mani- 
fest that since then many have been healed in that same place, as also that 
chips being cut off from that post and put into water, have healed many 
from their distempers. 

" I have written thus much concerning the person and works of the 
aforesaid Aidan, in no way commending or approving what he imperfectly 
understood in relation to the observance of Easter ; nay, very much de- 
testing the same as I have most manifestly proved in the book I have 
written, ' De Tcmporibus '; but, like an impartial historian, relating what 
was done by or with him, and commending such things as are praiseworthy 
in his actions, and preserving the memory thereof for the benefit of the 
readers ; viz., his love of peace and charity ; his continence and humility ; 
his mind superior to anger and avarice, and despising pride and vain-glory ; 
his industry in keeping and teaching the heavenly commandments ; his dili- 
gence in reading and watching ; his authority becoming a priest in reprov- 
ing the haughty and powerful, and at the same time his tenderness in 
comforting the afflicted, and relieving or defending the poor. To say all 
in a few words, as near as I could be informed by those that knew him, he 
took care to omit none of those things which he found in the apostolical or 
prophetical writings, but to the utmost of his power endeavoured to perform 
them all. 

" These things I much love and admire in the aforesaid bishop ; 
because I do not doubt that they were pleasing to God ; but I do not praise 
or approve his not observing Easter at the proper time, either through 
ignorance of the canonical time appointed, or, if he knew it, being pre- 
vailed on by the authority of his nation, not to follow the same. Yet this 
I approve in him, that, in the celebration of his Easter, the object which 
he had in view in all he said, did, or preached, was the same as ours, that 
is, the Redemption of mankind, through the Passion, Resurrection, and As- 


cension into heaven of the Man, Jesus Christ, who is the Mediator betwixt A. D. 651. 

God and man. And therefore he always celebrated the same, not as some 

falsely imagine, on the fourteenth moon, like the Jews, whatsoever the day 

was, but on the Lord's day, from the fourteenth to the twentieth moon ; 

and this he did from his belief of the Resurrection of our Lord happening 

on the day after the Sabbath, and for the hope of our Resurrection, which 

also he, with the holy Church, believed would happen on the same day 

after the Sabbath, now called the Lord's clay." 

By these last words Bcde justifies S. Aidan and all the Columbitcs 
among the Scots the Picts and Saxons from the imputation of being guilty 
of the heresy or rather schism of the Quarto-Decimans, which chiefly con- 
sisted in celebrating Easter always upon the fourteenth of the moon of 
March, whatever day of the week it fell upon, and without any regard to 
the Sunday. Whereas Bede affirms, both in this and in many other 
places( R > of his History, that the Scots and all other followers of the dis- 
cipline of the Columbites celebrated the feast always upon a Sunday, and 
never celebrated it upon the fourteenth of the moon, the same day with the 
Jews, but where this fourteenth day happened to fall upon the Sunday. 
So this error or mistake of the Columbites proceeded originally from their 
simplicity or ignorance of the decrees and practice of foreign Churches and 
not from any affectation to celebrate the feast upon the same day with the 
Jews or with the Asiatic Schismatics. 

It is no wonder to find Bede so careful to vindicate S. Aidan's adher- 
ing to the customs of his country in celebrating Easter from all imputation 
of the spirit of schism, when, at the same time, he relates the testimony 
that the Heavens rendered to his sanctity, not only during his life but at 
the moment of his departure from this world, which gave occasion to the re- 
treat of S. Cuthbert, another precious ornament of our country, and his 
entry to the Columbite monastery of Melrose, founded by S. Aidan ujiom 
the river Tweed. 

S. Cuthbert's Life was written from the relations of those that knew 
him by Bede, first a part in prose, and then in verse, besides the large 
account he gives of him in his Ecclesiastical History ; and it was- also 
written by a contemporary anonymous writer who might have seen the 
Saint. From all which it appears in the judgment, not only of Scottish 

<> Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cc. 4, 19, 25 ; lib. v. c. 21. 


A. L>. <;.5i. writers, but of the most learned among the English and French, that he 
was a native of the eastern parts of the Island which make a part of the 
kingdom of Scotland, for, according to these authentic relations of his life, 
we find him from his childhood brought up in those parts at a place called 
Tyningham, by a devout widow whom, for that reason, he used to call his 
mother. We find him also a very young man near the river Tyne in 
Lothian, and a shepherd upon, the river Leder or Lauder in Lauderdale 
when it pleased God to manifest to him the glory of S. Aidan at his death, 
which Bede relates in the following words: 

" One night it happened that whilst S. Cuthbert was watching in prayer, 
the other shepherds his companions being asleep, he saw on a sudden a 
light from heaven so bright that it dispelled all the darkness, and therein 
he saw great multitudes of Angels descending to the earth, (a > and, presently 
after, returning to heaven, carrying with them a soul of marvellous bright- 
ness. This light touched exceedingly the devout youth, and inspired him 
with an earnest desire to undertake a spiritual life, that thereby he might 
be a partaker of eternal felicity. Having awakened his companions he gave 
them an account of what he had seen, adding Surely this was either a 
holy bishop or some other perfect person whom I saw, says he, with re- 
splendent brightness and such quires of Angels carried up to heaven. 

" The next day he was informed," says Bede, " that S. Aidan, Bishop of 
the Church of Lindisfarne, a man of admirable piety, died that very hour in 
which he had seen his soul mounting up to heaven. Whereupon he pre- 
sently resigned the sheep committed to his care to their owner, and resolved 
without delay to retire to a monastery." Bede continues on, and relates 
the exactitude of S. Cuthbert, in observing the fast of Friday, till three 
afternoon (which was the general observance of all devout people, especially 
of those instructed by S. Aidan and the Columbites); to recompense which 
Almighty God was pleased to send him food in a miraculous manner upon 
his journey. 

There were at that time, among others, two famous monasteries in 
those parts (both founded by S. Aidan) Lindisfarne near the borders, and 
Melrose in Scotland. Cuthbert chose this last where Eata was abbot, and 
Boisil prior, both of them disciples of S. Aidan, and both houses governed 
by the rule of Ycolmkill, and clothed in habits of white (such as S. Columba 

'> Vita Cuth. c. iv. 


and the Columbites wore) or rather of the colour of the wool afforded by A. IX 651. 

the sheep, which custom continued in these monasteries as yet, in Bede's 


Boisil, says Bede, (a > kindly received the devout young man, in the 
absence of Eata the abbot, to whom, at his return, having declared the good 
intention of Cuthbert, he obtained permission for him, after he had re- 
ceived the tonsure after the manner in use among the Scots, to be admitted 
among the brethren. Thus entering into the monastery, Cuthbert was 
careful to equal, or excel the rest of the brethren in the religious observ- 
ances of reading, working, watching, and prayer. In which words we may 
observe the same pious exercises in Melrose, as we have seen in Ycolmkill, 
whereof Melrose was a daughter or colony derived from it by S. Aidan. 
And accordingly we find the same usages as well as pious practices among 
those bred in Melrose as in those of the island Hy. 

After this account of S. Cuthbert's origin and first beginning, taken 
from so authentic writers, it is scarce worth the while to mention a legend 
of his life, translated from the Irish, and published by Capgrave, from John 
of Tinmouth, which makes S. Cuthbert son to an Irish king, born in 
Ireland, and conducted by his mother, in his infancy, to Scotland, at the 
time that one Columba was bishop at Dunkeld. < b > The same writer men- 
tions two other bishops in Scotland about these times, Eatan and Moedan, 
whom Colgan endeavours, with great pains, to make also Irishmen.: 01 

As to this Bishop Columba, he endeavours to show, by the analogy 
of Irish names, that he was the same with the famous Bishop Colman who 
was sent by the Scots, AD. 661, upon the death of Finan, Bishop of the 
Northumbrians, to succeed to him ; and our modern writers suppose Colman 
was bishop before his mission to England. But whatever be the truth of 
this legend, first given by John of Tinmouth, it suffices to show that before 
Fordun's time, it was believed there were in this seventh age several 
bishops in Scotland. 

The same year, 651, to Aidan in the episcopal dignity among the 
Northumbrians succeeded Finan, - d > sent as S. Aidan had been, from the 
island Hy or Ycolmkill where he had received the degree of bishop, 

<> Vita. Cuth. c. vi. 

<"' Colgan, Vit. SS. Hibern. p. 679. 

(c) Ibid. p. 691. 

(d) Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. Hi. cc. 17, 25. 


A. D. 631. being ordained by the bishops, who, as we observed elsewhere, resided 
either in Ycolmkill or in the neighbour provinces, and were to be found 
upon a call. S. Finan built in Lindisfarne island a church becoming the 
Episcopal seat ; the which, nevertheless, after the manner of the Scots, 
he made not of stone, but of hewed oak, and covered it with reeds. 

It was in Bishop Finan's time that the controversy about Easter began 
to be agitated with greater warmth betwixt the Scots that followed the 
discipline and usages of the Columbites, on the one hand, and, on the other, 
those that came from Kent or from the Gauls, who accused the Scots as 
keeping Easter Sunday, contrary to the custom of the universal Church. () 
This difference about Easter, whilst Bishop Aidan lived, was patiently 
tolerated by all men, as being sensible that he could not keep Easter con- 
trary to the custom of those that sent him ; yet he was most exact in the 
practice of the Christian virtues of faith, piety, and love, according to the 
custom of all holy men ; which made him be deservedly beloved by all, 
even by those who differed in opinion from him about Easter : but of this 

A.D. (J52, died Segenius, Abbot of Ycolmkill, one of the greatest men 
of those times, and one of the most forward defenders of the Scottish 
usages, ;is we have observed. To him succeeded in the government of that 
Abbey, Suibneus, son of Cuthri, who sat five years. However, the usages 
of the Columbite Scots began about these times to be more violently 
attacked. Nevertheless, it pleased Almighty God to continue his blessing 
upon their labours among the Saxons with a visible success. And the 
year 663, the second of Bishop Finan's episcopal administration, became 
remarkable for the conversion of the Midland English, and the recovery 
of the East Saxons to the Christian Faith, whereof Bishop Finan and the 
Columbite Scots, or those educated and ordained by them and following 
their usages, were, under God, the principal instruments of all which we 
have the following account from Bede. < b) 

About this time the Middle Angles, under their prince, Peada, son of 
Penda, received the faith and sacraments of Truth. This prince being an 
excellent youth, and most worthy of the title and dignity of a king, was 
by his father Penda set over that part of the kingdom. He went to 
Oswy, King of the Northumbrians, and asked to have in marriage his 

>'> Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 25. 
<"> Ibid. c. 21. 


daughter Alfleda, but could not obtain his desire unless he would embrace A. D. 65;3. 
the Faith of Christ, and be baptized with the nation that he governed. 
Whereupon, beginning to give ear to the preaching of truth, he was so 
touched with the promise of a heavenly kingdom, the hopes of a glorious 
resurrection and future immortality, that he declared that he was resolved 
to become a Christian, even though he should be refused the virgin, being 
chiefly persuaded to embrace the Faith by a son of King Os wy, called 
Alchfrid, his kinsman and friend, who had married his sister. He, there- 
fore, with all his companions, and soldiers, and their servants, was baptized 
by Bishop Finan in a village belonging to the king, called At the wall, (Ad 
murum). And, having received from the Bishop four priests, who, for 
their learning and good lives, were found proper to instruct and baptize 
his nation, he returned home with great joy. 

The names of these priests were Cedd, and Adda, and Betti, and Diuma, 
the last of which was a Scotsman, the others English. 

These priests, being arrived with the Prince in the province of the 
Middle Angles, preached the Word and were willingly listened to; and 
many of the nobility, as well as of the common sort, daily renouncing 
idolatry were baptized. Nor did King Penda himself, though an idolater, 
make any opposition to the progress of the Gospel ; on the contrary he 
gave free leave to preach it in his own kingdom of the Mercians to all who 
had a mind to hear it. Nay, he hated and despised such as had received 
the Faith of Christ, and did not perform the works of Faith, saying, they 
were contemptible and wretched who did not obey their God, in whom they 
believed. These things began about two years before the death of King 

(a> The same year, the Christian Faith was restored amono- the East 
Saxons, which they had formerly abandoned, expelling Mellitus their 
bishop. It was at the instance of King Oswy that they now received it ; 
for Sigebert, King of the East Saxons, being a great friend of King Oswy, 
and coming often to see him, Oswy exhorted him to the contempt of the 
idols, and Sigebert, being at last fully persuaded of the truth, was baptized 
with his followers by Bishop Finan, at the foresaid place called At the wall, 
(Ad murum.) King Sigebert become thus a citizen of the eternal kingdom, 
returned to the seat of his temporal dominion, and requested King Oswy to 

<> Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 22. 


A. D. 653. send him some teachers who might convert his nation to the Faith, of 
Christ, and baptize them. Oswy, therefore, recalled the man of God, 
Ccdd, from the Middle Angles, and adjoining to him another priest for a 
companion, sent them to preach to the East Saxons, where, after travelling 
through all the country they assembled a great congregation to the Lord. 
As it happened that the holy man Cedd returned home to the Church and 
Island of Lindisfarne, where he had been educated, to confer with Bishop 
Finan, the good bishop, finding how successful Cedd had been in the work 
of the Gospel, resolved to promote him to a higher dignity ; wherefore, 
calling to him two others, bishops, to assist him in the ordination, he 
created him Bishop of the East Saxons. 

I cannot help observing here a sensible proof of the belief of the 
necessity of bishops, its being as much established in Ycolmkill and among 
the Columbites as it was in any other part of the Christian Church, other- 
wise what motive could Bishop Finan, a Columbite, bred up in Ycolmkill, 
and governing himself by the usages and institutions of that mother house, 
have to advance Cedd from the dignity of presbyter to that of bishop, but 
that Bishop Finan and the Columbites were persuaded, as all other 
Christians in those days, that though the Character of the presbyter Cedd 
sufficed to qualify him to preach the Gospel to the East Saxons, to con- 
vert and baptize them, now that it was the question to form these neo- 
phytes into a Church, to furnish them with pastors, and to preserve unity 
among the pastors of the second Order, to govern them and to perpetuate 
the sacred ministry among them, &c., it was necessary to settle a bishop 
in their country, and none being so acceptable to them as Cedd, to advance 
him to the episcopal dignity. And what the Columbite Bishop Finan ob- 
served on this occasion, we ought not to doubt but the other bishops, bred 
up as Finan had been in Ycolmkill, had followed the same practice among 
the Scots and the Picts from the beginning, and that according as new pro- 
vinces were brought in, and the number of the faithful increased, they used 
to send them a bishop necessary to govern them, to form them into a regu- 
lar Church, and by ordination of pastors, to perpetuate the sacred ministry 
among them, and to perform the other functions annexed to the episcopal 
Character. Thus the holy man Cedd having, says Bede, received the epis- 
copal degree (or as Bede calls it, in another place, having attained to the 
degree of high priest, " summi sacerdotis gradu") returned to his province, 
and then with a more ample authority prosecuted the work he had begun, 


performing now, by the power annexed to the episcopal Character, functions A. D. 653. 
which he could not perform before whilst he was only a presbyter, such as, 
among others, that he erected churches in several places, ordained priests 
and deacons to assist him in the work of the Gospel and the ministry of 
baptism, following the example of generally all other first preachers of 
Christianity. In order to form a sufficient number of churchmen for the 
service of the people, he assembled and set up two communities or se- 
minaries of devout servants of Christ, and taught them to observe the 
discipline of a regular life according to the Columbite institution and 
usages in which he himself had been educated at Lindisfarne. 

It is scarce possible to find in antiquity more energetical terms than 
what Bede makes use of here to express the episcopal dignity of this 
Columbite Bishop Cedd, its proper functions, and the distinction of it 
from, and its superiority to the degree of presbyters ; especially if we add 
to this what Bede adjoins in this same chapter, of the power of excom- 
munication exercised with so great authority by Bishop Cedd, that it is 
extended even, to punish all that violated his censure not even excepting 
the king's person. And in the following chapter Bede relates the solemn 
consecration of a church and of a monastery by the same bishop, as shall 
be related afterwards. Now both these functions of solemn excommuni- 
cation and consecration of churches were reserved peculiarly to bishops in 
this age. 

Bede gives us the following account of the consecration of this church 
and monastery/*) by Bishop Cedd, who, as we have observed, had been 
educated with his three brothers in the monastery of Lindisfarne, according 
to the rule and practices of Ycolmkill established in Lindisfarne by S. 
Aidan its founder. 

Bede informs us, then, that Odilvald, King of Deira, having resolved to 
found in his kingdom a monastery to which he might from time to time 
retire to give himself to prayer and hearing the Word of God, having also 
in his view to choose this monastery for his burial place, to the end that 
both during his life, and after his death, he might be edified by the daily 
prayers of those who were to serve God in that place, being fully persuaded 
that the prayers of those whom he was to establish in it for performing 
Divine Service would be very beneficial to his soul ; < b > wherefore, being in- 

<> Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 23. 
<*> Ibid. 


formed of the sanctity and wisdom of the above mentioned Cedd, Bishop of 
the East Saxons, upon a time when he came to Northumberland, the king 
intreated him to accept of a parcel of ground for erecting a monastery in 
his dominions. The bishop yielded to his desire, and made choice for the 
situation of this monastery, not of a fertile or agreeable soil, but of remote 
and steep mountains, which had formerly been rather the lurking places 
of robbers or the retreat of wild beasts than the habitation of men. 

And the bishop having informed the king that the usage of those among 
whom he had been bred up to a regular life, that is, of the Columbites, was to 
consecrate to God by prayer and fasting the places that were destinated for 
churches or monasteries, he prayed the king that he might have leave to 
pass the forty days of Lent, which was at hand, in these holy exercises ; 
which he performed accordingly, fasting, according to custom, every day of 
Lent, except Sundays, till night, and then allowing himself a small quantity 
of bread with one egg, and a little milk and water. When the time of 
prayer and fasting was over, he erected and dedicated the church and mo- 
nastery to God, and established in it Religious men, according to the rules 
and usages to which he himself had been bred up in the Columbite monas- 
tery of Lindisfarnc, founded by S. Aidan according to the rule and discipline 
of Ycolmkill, of which from this relation of Bede we have a faithful account, 
and by consequence of the religion and holy observances established by S. 
Columba, and practised by the Columbite bishops and priests among our 
ancestors the Scots and Picts. 

A.D. 653, died Donald, King of Scots, the first of that name, surnamed 
Breac, after a reign of fourteen years. Our modern writers who call him 
Donald the Fourth, give him the character of a good and religious prince, 
and these characters are due to the humanity with which he sheltered 
Oswald and the other children of King Ethelfrid, and the zeal with which 
lie caused educate them in the Christian religion, in the monastery of Ycolm- 
kill, but they make no mention of the war made, (according to Adamnan), 
against Donald, King of Ireland, grandson to Ainmire, a near relation of 
S. Columba, against the express injunction the holy abbot had given to our 
King Aidan at his coronation, to recommend to his posterity that none of 
them should attack his relations in Ireland, under pain of incurring the 
indignation of Almighty God, so as to have the heart of men taken from 
them, that is, to lose their wonted courage and see their enemies prevail 
against them. The kingdom fell into such a decay before strangers, in 


Adamnan's time, that it caused him exceeding grief. Perhaps an effect of A. D. 653. 
this decay of the Scottish monarchy was that the same King Donald was, 
according to the Irish Annals, overcome and killed by Hoan, King of the 
Britons, and to the same transgressing the holy abbot's injunction may be 
owing the exorbitant power that, according to the Saxon writers, some of 
the English kings had over the Scots as well as over the Picts, and the 
other neighbouring princes in this age. 

This King Donald the First had for immediate successor, according to 
all the remains of our ancient chronicles, Malduin the eleventh king of 
Scots, and not Ferchard, as our modern writers, following Fordun, have 
him. Malduin reigned sixteen years. 

A.D. 656, Oswy, King of the Northumbrians, being attacked with a 
numerous army by Penda, the pagan king of the Mercians, gained with a 
small body of troops a signal victory over him, having routed his army and 
killed him ; and soon after he made himself master of Penda's kingdom. 
It is observable that Oswy, in order to obtain the protection of God against 
this powerful and cruel prince, obliged himself by a solemn vow to conse- 
crate to the service of God, in perpetual virginity, his only daughter 
Klfleda, and accordingly placed her to be educated in a monastery under 
the famous Columbite abbess, Hilda. Such was the devotion that King 
Oswy had learned among the Scots in the abbey of Ycolmkill, where, as 
we have observed, he had been educated with the rest of his brethren, and 
instructed in the faith and practices of Christianity, according to the usages 
of the Columbites in that famous monastery. 

This Abbess Hilda was of royal blood of the Northumbrian kings, and 
after passing honourably thirty years in a secular life, being resolved to 
consecrate herself to God in a monastery, and for that end to leave her 
country and to pass over to the monastery of Chelles in France, she was 
stopt by S. Aidan, and by him consecrated abbess of a monastery called 
Heruteuin Northumberland, founded by one Heiu, who was the first Saxon 
woman of those parts who had embraced the monastic state, and had been 
consecrated a nun by the foresaid Bishop Aidan. Hilda being set over 
this monastery began immediately to reduce all things to a regular course 
of life, according as she was instructed by learned men, especially Bishop 
Aidan ; and by consequence, the rule settled in it was that of the Colum- 
bites for those of her sex, and we shall see her persevere in the Columbite 
usages with greater steadiness than many others. And no wonder, for 


A. I). (>.)6. Bede observes, that her innate wisdom and zeal for the service of God 
made her be esteemed, frequently visited, and thoroughly instructed by 
Aidan, and other eminent persons of piety. 

" When Hilda had for some years governed this monastery, wholly 
intent upon establishing a regular life, it happened that she also under- 
took either to build or to arrange a monastery in the place called 
Strcancshalch (Whitby), which work she industriously performed; for 
she put this monastery under the same regular discipline as she had done 
the former ; and taught there the strict observance of justice, piety, 
chastity, and other virtues, and particularly of peace and charity ; so 
that after the example of the primitive Church, no person was there 
rich, and none poor, all being in common to all, and none having any 
property. Her prudence was so great, that not only indifferent persons, 
but even kings and princes, as occasion offered, asked and received her 
advice ; she obliged those who were under her direction to attend so 
much to reading of the Holy Scriptures, and to exercise themselves so 
much in works of justice, that many might be there found fit for ecclesi- 
astical duties, and to serve at the altar. In short, we afterwards saw 
five bishops taken out of that monastery, and all of them men of sin- 
gular merit and sanctity, whose names were Bosa, Hedda, Oftfor, John, 
and Wilfrid." (0 

We see by this relation that, according to the Columbite discipline, 
there were monasteries of virgins and women as well as of men. Such 
were in Scotland, in Bede's time, the monasteries of Coldingham and 
Tinningham in the south, and others in Ycolmkill itself and other parts 
of the Isles, as appears yet by the names of the places where they were 
situated; and whatever abuses the decay of regularity and the general 
corruption of mankind must have afterwards introduced into these sanc- 
tuaries, upon which, for a caution to posterity our writers are not silent, 
nor the Church neglected to apply remedies ; nor shall I be as occasion 
offers ; but whatever abuses may have crept in by length of time, such 
a sensible proof of the force of God's grace, and according to the ancient 
Fathers, such a demonstration of the verity and sanctity of the Christian 
Religion, wherewith even infidels were astonished and induced to open their 
eyes upon the perfection of Christianity, such a practice, I say, as the 

<' Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 23. 


observance of perpetual virginity, so much commended by the Apostle, A, D. 656. 
could not be decried in itself, be inveighed against, and run down by 
words and example, nor the rules so necessary for observing it designedly 
destroyed by any who were animated by the apostolic spirit. For if the 
gift of continency be a privilege granted only to some, and therefore ac- 
cording to the evangelical law entirely left to each one's free choice, and 
according to the ancient laws of the Church, not to be undertaken under 
any perpetual tie without mature examination and previous trial : yet 
either to render the observation almost impossible, the shutting up all re- 
treats necessary for observing it seems a reflection upon the wisdom of the 
Author of our holy religion by supposing that the Lord and his apostles 
had imposed on their followers impracticable perfection : but how much 
more to break through the solemn vows once made to God to observe it, 
and more yet to glory in this prevarication and incite others to the in- 
fidelity can proceed only from the hearts and minds of men void of the 
Spirit of God, and wholly ingulfed in carnal sensuality. 

Secundo. That some of these monasteries were double, composed of 
Religious men as well as women, but both of them living in separate habi- 
tations, and each employed in applications fitting their sex, and conform- 
able to their talents ; and all for the edification or service of the Church. 

But to return to King Oswy. The effects of his victory over Penda, 
and of his becoming master of the kingdom of the Mercians, was the con- 
version of the inhabitants and the settling of a bishop over them. The 
first was Diuma, a Scotsman, educated in the Columbite monastery of Lin- 
disfarne, sent at first by Finan, as we have seen, with three other Colum- 
bite priests to preach to the Middle Angles, and now settled and consecrated 
by him bishop both of the Middle Angles and of the Mercians ; for the 
scarcity of subjects fit for the episcopal degree obliged Finan to commit 
two nations to one bishop. We may here observe, that hitherto among 
the bishops of the Saxons of the north converted by the Scots there ap- 
pears no other division of districts or dioceses but only that of kingdoms. 
Each bishop being a national bishop as we have observed those among 
the Scots and Picts were. So it appears that the discipline in the estab- 
lishing of bishops among the Saxons by our Scottish Columbite bishops 
was regulated rather upon what they had seen practised in their own 
country, as well as upon the circumstances of the Saxons whom they had 
lately converted, than upon the canonical order observed in Churches 


A. U. (io7. abroad, with which, it is like, they were not much acquainted; besides that 
the circumstances of the inhabitants that had never been under the 
Roman Empire did not as yet allow of that exterior form of diocesan 
bishops to which the Roman polity had prepared the way ; and this 
custom of regionary or national bishops seems to have continued in most 
parts of England till the time of Archbishop Theodore, a prelate well 
skilled in the discipline and canons of the Church, who seems to have been 
the first that applied himself to multiply the bishops of the Scots, and to 
assign to each of them a locality or diocese according to the general prac- 
tice of the rest of the Church and the prescript of the canons. 

To Diuma, first bishop of the Mercians, who gained many souls to God 
in a short time, succeeded Bishop Ccollach, who was also a Scotsman/*) 
Ccollach after some years resigned his charge and returned to Scotland to 
Ycolmki.ll, which is the chief and as it were the bulwark of the Scottish 
monasteries, and there remained till he died. After him succeeded Trum~ 
here, an Englishman : he had been educated also among the Scots, and was 
at first settled abbot of a place called Ingetlingum, a monastery founded 
by Queen Eanfled in the place where King Oswin was killed, in order to 
have prayers daily made there for the soul of the deceased king, and for 
obtaining mercy from God for King Oswy that killed him. 

A.D. 657. Upon the death of Suibne, Abbot of Ycolmkill, succeeded 
Cummins, surnamed the White, and governed twelve years. This is he 
who wrote the first account that we have of S. Columba's life, which 
Adamnan makes mention of and follows. It is the first of the collection of 
the Lives of the Saint published by Colgan ;( b ) it was afterwards printed 
by Father Mabillon ( c ) from a manuscript of the monastery of Compien, 
and by Father Papebrock from another manuscript. The same year, 657, 
Thalarg, King of the Picts, was succeeded by Talorcan, son of Enfret or 
Anfrade, who reigned four years. 

About this time King Alchfrid, son to Oswy, having for the health of 
his soul made to Eata, Abbot of Melrose, a donation of a place called 
Inhrypum, now Ilippon. in order to found a monastery, this abbot chose 
out of Melrose some of the brethren to plant this new monastery, in 
which he established the same institutes and discipline as in Melrose, that 

^ Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 24. 

(b> xrias Thauomt. 

(o Acta Benedict, torn. i. 


is the Columbite rule and usages.( a ) Among those that the Abbot Eata A. D. 660. 
pitched upon for this new establishment was Cuthbert, who, as we have 
seen, had about ten years ago renounced the world, and entered Mclrosc 
under the discipline of the holy man Boisil, who Avas Prior of that house 
under the Abbot Eata, and a very spiritual man endued with the gift of 
prophecy. ( b ) Cuthbert having wholly resigned himself to his directions, 
received from him both the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and the 
example of good works ; for, as we have elsewhere observed, the method of 
the Columbite masters was to prescribe nothing to their disciples but what 
they practised themselves. We have also seen the prudent caution ob- 
served by Boisil and so of the other Columbite doctors in training up their 
disciples in the knowledge of the Holy Scripture, which was one of their 
chief studies. 

Eata gave to Cuthbert in his own new monastery of llippon the charge 
of attending the guests, in which, says Eecle, he had the happiness some- 
times to receive angels. But this new establishment of Rippoh remained 
not long in the hands of Eata and the Columbites.( c ) For the same King 
Alchfrid that had bestowed it upon them, being upbraided by the famous 
AYilfrid and by him prejudged against the Columbite usages, especially of 
Easter and the tonsure, after urging Eata and his religious men either to 
abandon these usages or to leave this new monastery, they chose this last, 
and returned in a body to Melrose, upon which King Alchfrid gave the 
monastery of Kippon to Wilfrid, of whom because of the figure he makes 
in the ecclesiastical history of these times it is necessary to give a short 

Wilfrid born of a noble family in Northumberland, was at the age of 
fourteen placed by Eanfled, spouse to King Oswy, for his education in the 
Columbite monastery of Lindisfarne, the chief school of piety and letters in 
the north of England. After four years'. abode in that house, having con- 
ceived some doubt about the usages of the Columbites, he resolved to 
travel abroad for his farther improvement and in order to be fully instructed 
in the subject of the debates of those times. After passing a short while 
with Honorius, Archbishop of Canterbury, he passed in company of Bene- 
dict Biscop to Lyons in France, and was kindly received and entertained by 

""Vita Cuth. c. vii. 

b) Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 27. 

" Vita Cuth. c. viii. 



_\. 1). 660. the Archbishop Dalfin, otherwise called Annemund or Chaumond, and from 
thence he went to Rome, where, being thoroughly instructed in the great 
debates of the time concerning Easter and the tonsure, he returned to 
Lyons, and after the death or martyrdom of his friend the Archbishop 
Dalfin he returned home to his country, and being kindly received by 
King Alchfrid, because of his virtue, learning, and attachment to the 
Roman usages, he was by this prince put in possession of the monastery of 
Ilippon, which Eata, Cuthbert, and the rest of the Columbites had chosen 
rather to give up than to renounce their own usages. 

We have already given a short account of the controversy about Easter. 
It is necessary before we proceed, to say something of that about the tonsure. 
It chiefly consisted in the form of the tonsure. Those that followed the 
usage of Rome and other foreign Churches had their tonsure shorn in a circle; 
whereas the tonsure of the Scots was not fully round and did not reach the 
hindermost part of the head, and therefore resembled a crescent or semi- 
circle; such as Father Mabillon hath caused engrave a model of (") in the pic- 
ture of Mummoleu, Bishop of Noyon, who had been bred in the Scottish or 
Irish monastery of Luxcu. The question at the bottom seems now-a-days 
not to Lave been of that importance which it appeared to be to those of the 
seventh or eighth age, and perhaps one reason of the heats about it was that 
the party opposite to the Scots, to render their adversaries more odious, attri- 
buted the Roman form of tonsure to the institution of S. Peter, and that of 
the Scots to Simon Magus. But that origin which was so generally believed 
in those days is long since exploded by the learned, who assign a more na- 
tural origin to the tonsure, which seems not to have been in use till the 
iifth or sixtli age. I cannot, I conceive, give a better account of the origin 
of the clerical tonsure and habit than in the words of one of the most 
esteemed historians of our time and the most versed in the ecclesiastical 
discipline. ( b ) "In the first ages of the Church there was no distinction 
between the clergy and the laity, as to the hair, the dress, and the whole 
exterior ; this would have been to expose oneself needlessly to the perse- 
cution, which was always more cruel against the clergy than against the 
simple faithful ; and all had a modesty of exterior which would have 
become clergymen. The freedom of the Church from persecution pro- 

"'Annal. Bencd. torn. i. pp. 528, 529. 

w Fleury, Droit Canon, c. v. p. 32. [Opuscules de Fleury ; Institution au Droit 
Ecclesiastique, c. v. p. 177. Nismes. 1780.] 


duced no change in this respect; and more than a hundred years after, A. D. 660. 

that is to say in the year 428, the Pope, S. Celestine, testified that the 

bishops themselves had nothing in their dress which distinguished them 

from the people. All the Latin Christians then wore the ordinary dress 

of the Romans, which was long, with the hair very short, and the beard 

shaven. The barbarians who ruined the empire were of a figure wholly 

different ; the dress short and tight, the hair long, some without beard, 

some with great beards. The Romans viewed them with horror, and as, at 

the time when these barbarians established themselves, all the clergy were 

Roman, they carefully preserved their dress, which became the clerical 

dress, so that, when the Franks and the other barbarians had become 

( 'hristians, those who entered among the clergy had their hair cut, and 

assumed the long dress. About the same time, several among the bishops 

and the other clergy assumed the dress which the monks then wore, as 

most conformed to Christian modesty : and from this comes, as is believed. 

the clerical corona; for there were monks who shaved the front of the 

head to render themselves contemptible." However that be, it appears by 

a passage of S. Gregory of Tours, that the tonsure in form of a crown 

was already in use in the beginning of the sixth age. And this was the 

form of it at Rome, and elsewhere abroad, at the time the controversy about 

it arose ; but this form hath been much altered in posterior ages, and at 

last this crown, brought into a smaller or larger circle among the clergy 

according to the lower or higher degree of Orders they are advanced to : 

whereas the monks or regulars have preserved it more in the ancient large 

form. Thus far as to the origin and alterations of it in the usage of Rome. 

Hut I find no distinct account of the true origin of the semi-circular form 

of the tonsure, anciently in use among the Scots, and old Britons, and 

Irish. And upon the whole, I cannot but join with Ceolfrid in that wise 

saying of his, in his letter to Naitan, King of the Picts. "The difference of 

tonsure is not hurtful to those whose faith is pure towards God, and their 

charity sincere towards their neighbour." (") For what appears most 

reprehensible in the controversy about these ceremonial points is the heat 

with which some of the parties carried the matter to schism and breach 

of communion, as it appears some of the Scots and Irish did. by the 

Archbishop Laurence's letter to Bede ; and the old Britons seem to have 

<*> Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 21. 


A. D. 661. carried it to the last extremity, as we see by Aldhelm's letter to one of 
their kings. () 

A.D. 661. Amidst these debates happened the death of Finan, Bishop 
of the Northumbrians, upon the seventeenth of February, on which day his 
festival is marked in our calendars and was always afterwards celebrated 
in our churches whilst the Catholic religion stood. His charity and zeal 
for promoting the conversion of the Saxons, both in the north among the 
Middle Angles, and even as far south as the East Saxons, where Sigebert 
their king, whom he baptized, re-established the Christian religion, and 
consecrated a bishop to continue in the work of the Gospel, the charity I 
say, and zeal of this holy bishop was no doubt abundantly compensated, 
and covered before God, the ruggedncss that Bede challenges in his temper, 
for not yielding to the solicitations of those (among other men of one Ronan 
another Scotsman) who pressed him to abandon the Columbite usages, to 
which the example of the holy men among whom he had been bred in 
Ycolmkill, and particularly of his predecessor, S. Aidan, and of the great 
S. Columba, kept him attached. 

Finan sat bishop of the Northumbrians ten years, and was succeeded by 
Colman, who, as his predecessors had been, was also sent bishop from 
Ycolmkill ''' by the Scots; among whom, our modern writers, Boece and 
Lesly, pretend that he exercised his episcopal functions before his going 
into the north of England and after his return from it. 

However that be, which I leave upon the credit of these writers, it is 
certain that nothing took up more both these bishops Finan and Colman 
next to the discharge of their pastoral office, during their abode in England, 
than the controversy about Easter solemnity and the form of the ecclesi- 
astical tonsure which makes a considerable part of the history of the Church 
of the Scots in these times. 

A.D. 662. The Abbot Eata, with Cuthbert and the rest of his new con- 
gregation at Rippon, being, as we have seen, dismissed by King Alchfrid 
because of their attachment to the Columbite usages, and the monastery 
of Rippon bestowed upon Wilfrid, they returned to their abbey of Melrose, 
and soon after the holy man Boisil, Prior of that abbey, being deceased, 
Cuthbert was obliged by the Abbot Eata to accept of that charge. 

Cuthbert then being established Prior of Melrose, not only instructed 

(> Ibid, lib v. c. 18. 
' Ibid. lib. iv. c. 4. 


by word and example those of the monastery in the duties of piety and of A. D. titw. 
a religious life, but travelled far and near among the inhabitants of those 
parts, especially in the parts of Scotland to the south of the friths, preaching 
to them and exhorting them to be converted from their wicked conversa- 
tion by laying before them the happiness and joys of heaven. For many 
of them, even of those that were Christians, in the time of pestilence, in- 
stead of addressing God to obtain mercy and deliverance from Him, had re- 
course to charms and diabolical enchantments to be preserved from the sick- 
ness. Wherefore to remedy this illusion, the holy man, following the example 
of his predecessor Boisil, went frequently out of the monastery through the 
country, sometimes on horseback, but more frequently on foot, to the vil- 
lages around, and preached the way of truth to the inhabitants. For the 
custom began in the time of S. Aidan, as we observed already, and in that 
of Ids Columbite disciples continued still among those people, to wit, that 
when a priest or other Churchman came into any village, all the people, 
upon his advertisement, used joyfully to convene to him to hear the Word, 
and with great cheerfulness to obey and practice what they had heard or 

And Cuthbert had such a talent of preaching, such a zeal for moving 
and persuading what he preached, such an angelical countenance and pene- 
tration, that none could conceal from him even the secrets of their heart, 
but all of them made to him an open and voluntary confession of their sins. 
being persuaded that nothing could escape his knowledge, nor were they 
less careful to perform the penitential works that he enjoined them for the 
sins they had confessed. And here Bede and another contemporary writer 
to S. Cuthbert, give us in the description of S. Cuthbert's life such a perfect 
model of the zeal and labours with which he, and our other Columbite 
Churchmen performed their pastoral functions both in Scotland and England 
before the canonical division was settled into dioceses and parishes. 

The custom of S. Cuthbert, says Bede, was to travel chiefly through 
those places, and to preach in those villages and hamlets, which, being the 
most remote and situated among the steep and high mountains, were fright- 
ful to look at, and by the poverty as well as rudeness of the inhabitants 
hindered the access of other doctors or preachers to come at them. But the 
holy man was so far from being terrified by these inconveniences that he 
used often to leave the monastery and not only to undergo all the toil and 
hardships of these barbarous parts, but took such pleasure to cultivate with 


A. 1). (iG2. the doctrine of salvation these rude inhabitants, that he frequently made 
his abode among them, in these mountainous places two or three weeks 
and even whole months at a time, in order to inspire and inflame them by 
his preaching and example with the love of heavenly things. 

But what chiefly gave so great success to his preaching among our 
countrymen to the south of the friths, was not only his labours and zeal for 
the salvation of souls but the sanctity of his life accompanied with miracles, 
of which Bcde relates several wrought by him, whilst he was Prior of Mel- 
rose, in his different progresses through those parts of Scotland to preach, 
instruct, and bapti/e the people. Among others, being in desert places and 
without all provisions he was miraculously fed, once in Niddisdale, another 
time in Teviotdalc. Being upon a time at a village of those parts called 
Runigham, and lodged in the house of a devout woman, he miraculously 
extinguished a violent fire that threatened to consume all the village. This 
holy woman whose name was Kenspre had taken care of him and entertained 
him from nine years of age till he was a man, and therefore he used to call 
her his mother, by which it is evident that S. Cuthbert was a native of those 
[>:irts of Scotland, and that is also the opinion of all the learned who have 
examined this point. So we may also observe, what Bede and other ancient 
authors of his life relate of his preaching and miracles, whilst he was Prior 
of Melrose, happened generally all in different places of the south of Scot- 
land. Thus it happened that the report of his sanctity and miracles, spread 
far and near in those parts, engaged the Abbess of Coldingham to send to 
intreat him to come to visit her monastery, and comfort them by his pious 
exhortations. This abbess was the famous Ebba, sister to King Oswy, 
and daughter to King Ethelfrid. She had been, as we have said, instructed 
and baptized with the rest of King Ethelfrid's children among the Scots, 
and bred up to the Columbite usages. Upon Aidan's coming to preach to 
the Northumbrians in King Oswald's time, she had by him or by his suc- 
cessor S. Finan been consecrated to God, and settled Abbess of Coldingham. 
This monastery, as we observed, was double, consisting of virgins and church- 
men, like that of Streaneshalch. But however, they lived in separate habita- 
tions, yet by degrees abuses crept in, and brought upon it the judgments of 
heaven, as we shall see in its proper place. S. Cuthbert being come hither 
upon the abbess' invitation, abode some days and preached to them the way 
of justice, or rules of Christian and religious life, both by his words and ex- 
ample. It is observed by Bede, that during his abode in this monastery, 


which is upon the sea-side, he used every night, according to his custom, A. D. ti(>2. 

while the rest were asleep, to go down to the sea, and persist in prayer 

standing in the cold water, till the hour of the canonical office called him 
home to the monastery to perform it with the rest of the brethren. 

This singular practice of standing in cold water during their private 
prayers, which, it is said, was used by S. Patrick, was a penitential exercise 
of other holy men in these times. We will see a singular example of it in 
the famous penitent of Melrose, our countryman Drythclm, towards the 
end of this age. 

Meantime the controversy about Easter, and other usages of the Col urn- 
bites, which had lain dormant in Bishop Aidan's time, had begun to be 
agitated with greater heat in that of Bishop Finan, and broke out anew 
with more violence during the episcopate of Colman, those that were come 
from Kent or France affirming that the Scottish manner of observing Easter 
was contrary to the custom of the Universal Church.< a) Among these, one 
of the most fierce adversaries of the Scottish usages, was one Ronaii, a 
Scotsman by birth, but educated in Italy and France, and there, says Beck, 
instructed in the true rules of the Easter observation, who encountering 
often Bishop Finan, reduced many to the canonical observation of the high 
solemnity, or at least to make a more diligent enquiry into the matter. 
But his arguings made no impression upon Bishop Finan, but on the con- 
trary rather exasperated him, and made him a professed adversary to the 
true observation of Easter, Finan being himself a man of a warm temper 
and perhaps irritated by the reproofs of an inferior, asRonanwas. .lame*, 
formerly deacon of the venerable archbishop Paulinus, kept also the true 
and Catholic Easter, with all those that he could reduce to the more correct 
way. "Queen Eanfleda and her followers also observed the same, as she had 
seen practised in Kent, having with her a Kentish priest that followed the 
Catholic mode, whose name was Romanus. Thus it is said to have hap- 
pened in those times that Easter was twice kept in one year, and that, when 
the king having ended the time of fasting, kept his Easter, the queen and 
her followers were still fasting, and celebrating Palm Sunday. This dif- 
ference about the observance of Easter, whilst Aidan lived, was patiently- 
tolerated by all men, as being sensible, that though he could not keep 
Easter contrary to the custom of those who had sent him, yet he industri- 

l " Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 25. 


A. I). t>(>4. ously laboured to practice all works of faith, piety, and love, according to 
the custom of all holy men; for which reason he was deservedly beloved by 
all, even by those who differed in opinion concerning Easter, and was held 
in veneration, not only by indifferent persons, but even by the bishops, 
Honorius of Canterbury, and Felix of the East Angles. 

' But after the death of Finan, who succeeded him, when Colman, who 
was also sent out of Scotland, eame to be bishop, a great controversy arose 
about the observance of Easter, and the rules of ecclesiastical life. Where- 
upon this dispute began naturally to influence the thoughts and hearts of 
many, who feared lest having received the name of Christians, they might 
happen to run, or to have run, in vain. This readied the ears of King 
< )swy and his son Alchfrid ; for Oswy, having been instructed and baptized 
by the Scots, and being very perfectly skilled in their language thought 
nothing bt'tter than what they taught. But Alchfrid, having been instructed 
in Christianity by Wilfrid, a most learned man, who had first gone to Rome 
to learn the ecclesiastical doctrine, and spent much time at Lyons, with 
Dalfin, archbishop of France, from whom also he had received the ecclesi- 
astical tonsure, rightly thought this man's doctrine ought to be preferred 
before all the traditions of the Scots. For this reason he had also given 
him a monastery of forty families, at a place called Rhypum ; which place, 
not long before, he had given to those that followed the system of the Scots 
for a monastery ; but forasmuch as they afterwards, being left to their choice, 
prepared to quit the place rather than alter their opinion, he gave the place 
to him, whose life and doctrine were worthy of it. 

" Agilbert. bishop of the West Saxons, above mentioned, a friend to 
King Alchfrid and to Abbot Wilfrid, had at that time come into the province 
of the Northumbrians, and was making some stay among them ; at the re- 
quest of Alchfrid, he made Wilfrid a priest in the monastery. lie had in 
his company a priest whose name was Agatho. The controversy being there 
started, concerning Easter, or the tonsure, or other ecclesiastical affairs, it 
was agreed, that a synod should be held in the monastery of Streaneshalch, 
which signifies the Cay of the Light-house, where the Abbess Hilda, a 
woman devoted to God, then presided. The kings, both father and son, 
came thither, Bishop Colman with his Scottish clerks, and Agilbert with 
the priests Agatho and Wilfrid. James and Romanus were on their side; 
but the Abbess Hilda and her followers were for the Scots, as was also 
the venerable Bishop Cedd, long before ordained by the Scots, as has been 


said above, and he was in that council a most careful interpreter for both A. D. 

" King Oswy first observed, that it behoved those who served one God 
to observe the same rule of life ; and as they all expected the same king- 
dom in heaven, so they ought not to differ in the celebration of the divine 
mysteries; but rather to inquire which was the truest tradition, that the 
same might be followed by all; he then commanded his bishop, Colman, 
first to declare what the custom was which he observed, and whence it 
derived its origin. 

" Then Colman said, ' The Easter which I keep I received from my 
elders, who sent me bishop hither ; all our forefathers, men beloved of 
<>od, are known to have kept it after the same manner; and that the same 
may not seem to any, contemptible or worthy to be rejected, it is the same 
which S. John the Evangelist, the disciple beloved of our Lord, with all 
the Churches over which he presided, is recorded to have observed. 1 

" Having said thus much, and more to the like effect, the king com- 
manded Agilbert to show whence his custom of keeping Easter was derived, 
or on what authority it was grounded. Agilbert answered ' I desire that 
my disciple, the priest Wilfrid, may speak in my stead ; because we both 
concur with the other followers of the ecclesiastical tradition that are here 
present, and he can better explain our opinion in the English language, 
than I can by an interpreter.' 

*' Then Wilfrid, being ordered by the king to speak, delivered himself 
thus : ' The Easter which we observe, we saw celebrated by all at Rome, 
where the blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, lived, taught, suffered, and 
were buried ; we saw the same done in Italy and in France, when we 
travelled through these countries for pilgrimage and prayer. We found the 
same practised in Africa, Asia, Egypt, Greece, and all the world, wherever 
the Church of Christ is spread abroad, through several natipns and tongues, 
at one and the same time ; except only these and their accomplices in 
obstinacy, I mean the Picts and Britons, who foolishly, in these two 
remote islands of the world, and only in part even of them, oppose all the 
rest of the universe.' 

"When he had so said, Colman answered, 'It is strange that you will 
call our labours foolish, the example of so great an apostle, who was 
thought worthy to lay his head on our Lord's bosom, when all the world 
knows him to have lived most wisely.' 



A. I). fiG4. " Wilfrid replied, ' Far be it from us to charge John with folly, for he 
literally observed the precepts of the Jewish law, whilst the Church still 
Judaized in many points, and the apostles were not able at once to cast off 
all the observances of the law which had been instituted by God. In 
which way, it is necessary that all who come to the faith should forsake 
the idols which were invented by devils, that they might not give scandal 
to the Jews that were among the Gentiles. For this reason it was that 
Paul circumcised Timothy, that he offered sacrifice in the temple, that he 
shaved his head with Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth ; for no other ad- 
vantage than to avoid giving scandal to the Jews. Hence it was, that 
James said to the same Paul, You see, brother, how many thousands of 
Jews have believed; and they are all zealous for the law. And yet, at 
this time, the Gospel spreading throughout the world, it is needless, nay, 
it is not lawful, for the faithful either to be circumcised, or to offer up to 
( i oil sacrifices of flesh. So John, pursuant to the custom of the law, be- 
gan the celebration of the feast of Easter, on tlie fourteenth day of the 
first month in the evening, not regarding whether the same happened on 
:i Saturday or any other day. But when Peter preached at Rome, being 
mindful that our Lord arose from the dead, and gave the world the hopes 
of resurrection, on the first day after the Sabbath, he understood that 
Kaster ought to be observed, so as always to stay till the rising of the 
moon on the fourteenth day of the first moon, in the evening, according 
to the custom and precepts of the law, even as John did. And when that 
came, if the Lord's day, then called the first day after the Sabbath, was the 
next day, he began that very evening to keep Easter, as we all do at this 
day. But if the Lord's day did not fall the next morning after the four- 
teenth moon, but on the sixteenth or the seventeenth, or any other moon 
till the twenty-first, he waited for that, and on the Saturday before, in the 
evening, began to observe the holy solemnity of Easter ; thus, it came to 
pass, that Easter Sunday was only kept from the fifteenth moon to the 
twenty-first. Nor does this evangelical and apostolic tradition abolish the 
law, but rather fulfil it ; the command being to keep the passover from 
the fourteenth moon, of the first month, in the evening, to the twenty- 
first moon, of the same month, in the evening ; which observance all the 
successors of S. John in Asia, since his death, and all the Church through- 
out the world, have since followed ; and that this is the true Easter, and the 
only one to be kept by the faithful, was not newly decreed by the Council 
of Nice, but only confirmed afresh ; as the Church history informs us.' 


" ' Thus, it appears, that you, Colman, neither follow the example of A. D. 064. 
John as you imagine, nor that of Peter, whose traditions you knowingly 
contradict ; and that you neither agree with the Law nor the Gospel in the 
keeping of your Easter. For John keeping the paschal time according to 
the decree of the Mosaic law, had no regard to the first day after the 
Sabbath, which you do not practise, who celebrate Easter only on the first 
day after the Sabbath. Peter kept Easter Sunday between the fifteenth 
and the twenty-first moon, which you do not, but keep Easter Sunday 
from the fourteenth to the twentieth moon ; so that you often begin Easter 
on the thirteenth moon, in the evening, whereof neither the Law made any 
mention, nor did our Lord, the Author and Giver of the Gospel, on that 
day, but on the fourteenth, either eat the old passover in the evening, or 
deliver the sacraments of the New Testament, to be celebrated by the 
Church in memory of his Passion. Besides, in your celebration of Easter, 
you utterly exclude the twenty-first moon, which the Law ordered to be 
principally observed. Thus, as I said before, you agree neither with John 
nor Peter, nor with the Law nor the Gospel, in the celebration of the 
greatest festival.' 

" To this Colman rejoined. ' Did Anatolius, a holy man, and much 
commended in Church history, act contrary to the Law and the Gospel when 
he wrote that Easter was to be celebrated from the fourteenth to the twen- 
tieth ? Is it to be believed that our most reverend father Columba and his 
successors, men beloved by God, who kept Easter after the same manner, 
thought or acted contrary to the Divine writings ? Whereas there were 
many among them, whose sanctity is testified by heavenly signs and the 
working of miracles, whose life, customs, and discipline I never cease to 
follow, not questioning their being saints in heaven.' 

" ' It is evident,' said Wilfrid, ' that Anatolius was a most holy, learned, 
and commendable man, but what have you to do with him since you do not 
observe his decrees ? For he, following the rule of truth in his Easter, 
appointed a revolution of nineteen years, which either you are ignorant of, 
or if you know it, though it is kept by the whole Church of Christ, yet 
you despise it. He so computed the fourteenth moon in the Easter of our 
Lord, that, according to the custom of the Egyptians, he acknowledged it 
to be the fifteenth moon in the evening ; so in like manner he assigned 
the twentieth to Easter Sunday, as believing that to be the twenty-first 
moon when the sun had set ; which rule and distinction of his it appears 


A. D. UG4. you are ignorant of, in that you sometimes keep Easter before the full 
of the moon, that is on the thirteenth day. Concerning your father Col- 
umba and his followers, whose sanctity you say you imitate, and whose 
rules and precepts you observe, which have been confirmed by signs from 
heaven, 1 may answer, that when many on the Day of Judgment shall 
say unto our Lord that in his name they prophesied and cast out devils 
and wrought many wonders, our Lord will reply that He never knew them. 
But far be it from me that I say so of your fathers ; because it is more 
just to believe what is good than what is evil of persons whom one docs 
not know. Wherefore I do not deny those to have been God's servants, 
and beloved by Him, who with rustic simplicity, but pious intentions, have 
themselves loved Him. Xor do I think that such keeping of Easter was 
very prejudicial to them, as long as none came to show them a more per- 
fect rule ; and yet I do believe that they, if any catholic adviser had come 
among them, would have as readily followed his admonitions as they are 
known to have kept those commandments of God which they had learned 
and knew. 

" But as for you and your companions, you certainly sin, if, having 
heard the decrees of the Apostolic See and of the universal Church, and 
that the same is confirmed by Holy Writ, you refuse to follow them ; for, 
though your fathers were holy, do you think that their small number, in a 
corner of the remotest island, is to be preferred before the universal Church 
of Christ throughout the world ? And if that Columba of yours, (and I may- 
say ours also, if he was Christ's servant) was a holy man and powerful in 
miracles, yet could he be preferred' before the most blessed prince of the 
Apostles, to whom our Lord said, ' Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I 
will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ; 
and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven ? ' 

' When Wilfrid had spoken thus, the king said, ' Is it true, Colman, 
that these words were spoken to Peter by our Lord 1 ' He answered ' It is 
true, king ! ' Then says he, ' Can you show any such power given to 
your Columba ? ' Colman answered, ' None. ' Then added the king, ' Do 
you both agree that these words were principally directed to Peter, and 
that the keys of heaven were given to him by our Lord I ' They both an- 
swered, ' We do. ' Then the king concluded, ' And I also say unto you, 
that he is the door-keeper, whom I will not contradict, but will, so far as I 
know and am able, in all things obey his decrees, lest, when I come to the 


gates of the kingdom of heaven there should be none to open them, he A. L>. 664. 
being my adversary who is proved to have the keys.' The king having 
said this, all present, both great and small, gave their assent, and renounc- 
ing the more imperfect institution, resolved to conform to that which they 
had found to be the better."C") 

The disputation being ended and the company broken up, Agilbert re- 
turned home ; and Colman finding himself neglected, and those of his 
party with their usages over-ruled, taking along with him such as would 
follow him, that is, those who refused to receive the general calculation of 
Easter and form of tonsure (for there was likewise much controversy about 
that), went back first to his church of Lindisfarne, and took along with 
him all the Scots that he had assembled there, with about thirty English- 
men, both the one and the other bred up to the monastic profession ac- 
cording to the Columbite discipline, and leaving only some of the brethren 
in the monastery, he went straight back to Ycolmkill, whence lie had been 
sent at first, and there remained some years. Colman carried, likewise. 
along with him from Lindisfarne a part of the bones of the most reverend 
Bishop Aidan, and left the other part in that church where he had pro 
sided, ordering them to be buried in the chancel. By which we may ob- 
serve the respect which the Columbite bishops had for the relics of the 
saints. Bede gives us here, upon occasion of Colman's retreat from Lin- 
disfarne, the edifying account of the lives. and conversation of this holy man 
and of the Scottish bishops, his predecessors, and of their Columbite 
disciples, particularly of their frugality, detachment, and spirit of poverty : 
all which I have already set down in the general description of their lives 
and manners. Bede adds that the whole time of the episcopacy of the 
Scots in the northern province of the English amounted to thirty years : 
whereof Aidan sat seventeen, Finan ten, and Colman only three years.' 1 ' 

It is observable that Bede informs us and repeats more than once,< 0> (as 
if he had intended to make his readers take particular notice of it) that 
upon S. Colman and the Columbites' retreat, the pest, which had begun 
before to rage in the South, broke out in these northern parts and carried 
off many ; among others Tuda,( d > who, as we will see, was placed bishop of 

<' Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 25. 
<" Ibid. lib. iii. c. 26. 
<"> Ibid. lib. iii. c. 27 ; lib. iv. c. 1. 
<*> Ibid. lib. iii. c. 27. 


A. U. (i(>4. Lindisfarne in Colman's room ; and after Tuda's death the episcopal see 
of Lindistarne was fourteen years without a proper bishop. <> 

Meantime the issue of the conference of Streaneshaloh, and success of 
Wilfrid's victory, besides the retreat of Colman, made other great altera- 
tions as to the question of Easter and the tonsure, in all the northern parts 
of England, where, it appears, the generality of churchmen of all degrees 
came over to the common practice of the Churches abroad. Among others 
Bishop Cedd forsook the usages of the Scots, and being returned to his 
monastery died of the pest this same year. Eata, also, Abbot of Melrose, 
with Cuthbert, the Prior, and the other religious of that abbey, forsook also 
those usages of the Scots that were opposite to the general practice of the 
Church, to wit, those that concerned the calculation of Easter and the form 
of the tonsure ; but continued to observe the Columbite rule and discipline 
upon other heads, since it appears that even long after this, when those of 
Lindisfarne had received first the rule of Bcnnet, they continued to observe 
that of S. Columba together with it : as we find the ancient monasteries of 
France, founded by S. Columban, after they had received S. Bennet's rule, 
continued for a long time to observe along with it that of S. Columban. 

To Colman, in the see of Lindisfarne, succeeded Tuda, who had been 
instructed and ordained among the southern Scots, and, according to the 
custom of that province, having the ecclesiastical tonsure, and observing the 
catholic time of Easter. He was a good and religious man, and taught both 
by word and example what belonged to faith and truth. But he governed 
this Church only a short time, and died this same year of the pest. Bede 
continues : Eata that was Abbot of Melrose, a most reverend and meek 
man, was transferred to Lindisfarne and settled abbot over the brethren that 
chose to remain in that Church when the Scots went away. This, they say, 
Colman, being upon his departure, requested and obtained of King Oswy, 
who mucli loved Bishop Colman because of his singular discretion, for Eata 
was one of Aidan's twelve children of the English nation whom he made 
choice of, when he was first made bishop, to be educated and instructed in 
Christ. Eata, then, being translated to Lindisfarne brought Cuthbert 
along with him, and established him Prior of this monastery; that he 
might there also, by the authority of a Superior and his own example, 
instruct the brethren in the observation of a regular discipline.' 1 ") 

'' Anglia Sacra, tora. i. p. 693. 

00 Vita Cuth. c. xvi. Hist. Ecclcs. lib. iv. c. 27. 


The holy man in this station was a perfect model of Superiors, particu- A. D. 664. 
larly of communities, by accompanying his zeal for the reformation of ab- 
uses and advancement of those under his charge with a singular prudence, 
uniformity, and unwearied patience and meekness, of all which, the ac- 
count that Bede has left us deserves the serious attention of all that are 
engaged in like employments. 

There were, says Bede, in the monastery some who were attached to 
their imperfect old customs, and preferred them to the regular discipline- 
that the holy man endeavoured to establish among them. These he en- 
deavoured to gain over by his meekness and patience, and by his daily ex- 
hortations to bring them up to a more regular and perfect way of living. 
And it often happened in the assembly of the brethren, whilst he ex- 
horted them to the observance of the rule, that some of the more refractory 
having, by their unbecoming language and contradiction, as it were wea- 
ried his patience, he would on a sudden rise up and with a sedate and calm 
countenance and disposition of mind dismiss the assembly and retire. And 
yet the very next day, on a new assembly, as if he had met with no con- 
tradiction the day before, would, with great calmness, resume the same 
purpose and repeat to them the same charitable admonition and exhorta- 
tions, and thus by little and little he brought them all to reason and to 
comply with what he desired. For he chiefly excelled in the virtue of 
patience, and was invincible in bearing with courage all adversities of body 
or mind, preserving always an equanimity of temper and a serenity of 
countenance, even amidst the most grievous and cross accidents, by which 
it evidently appeared that it was by the inward consolation of the Holy 
Spirit that he surmounted and contemned all exterior pressures. 

Nor was his zeal for the salvation of souls confined to those in the mo- 
nastery, but how soon he had settled in it good order and exact discipline, 
he continued on here what he had begun at Melrose, to make excursions 
through the neighbouring countries, and by his frequent visits and exhorta- 
tions to excite the inhabitants among the meanest of the vulgar to as- 
pire and use all their endeavours to arrive at eternal happiness. And being 
now indued with the gift of miracles, he restored by his instant prayers 
to their wonted health, many that were tormented with different distem- 
pers. He delivered also some that were possessed with unclean spirits, 
not only while present to them by his touch, command, and exorcising, but 
even when at a distance from them he restored them by his prayers, or fore- 


A. 1). t;4. told their being cured. Among others, one was the wife of Hildmer, a de- 
vout man, who was prefect to King Egfrid. He continued during all the 
time he was Prior of Lindisfarnc, that is ten or twelve years, in the labo- 
rious exercises of making frequent circuits through the adjacent countries, 
especially in the southern parts of Scotland, instructing, baptising, and ad- 
ministrating the sacraments to the inhabitants ; but his heart being daily 
more and more set upon the love of a solitary life, at last he obtained li- 
cence of his abbot, Eata, to separate himself by degrees from all unneces- 
sary conversation with men, and retired to the island of Fame, where he 
led a most mortified and penitential life in prayer, fasting, and watching, 
and was often sustained in a miraculous manner. (a) 

To return to the other alterations in the state of the Church that fol- 
lowed upon the Conference of Streaneshalch, Wilfrid, who had been the chief 
actor in it, was chosen bishop of Northumberland, by the mutual consent 
both of the princes, clergy, and people. Says Eddius, in his Life ; ( b) And 
as to his consecration, Wilfrid, excepting against receiving it, either from 
British or Scottish bishops, as being cither Quarto-decimans, or ordained 
by Quarto-decimans, upon his earnest request he was sent into France, by 
King Alchfrid, who reigned jointly with his father, Osvvy, and recommen- 
ded Wilfrid to the King of France, in order to receive his consecration 
from the Galilean bishops. It is worth observing, that the name of Quar- 
to-decimans, that Kddius makes Wilfrid give to the Scottish and British 
bishops, cannot be understood, at least as to the Scots, as if they had cele- 
brated Easter always on the fourteenth of the moon, whatever day of the 
week it happened (which was properly the error of the Quarto-decimans 
of Asia), since Wilfrid himself, in the Conference of Streaneshalch owns, as 
we have seen, that the Scots always celebrated Easter upon Sunday, and 
that their error or mistake lay chiefly in this, that when the fourteenth of 
the moon happened upon a Sunday, they did not transfer it to the following 
Sunday, as was the custom of the other Churches, but celebrated Easter 
that day, and so upon the same day with the Jews. By which expression 
of Wilfrid, if Eddius has not mistaken his meaning, we see how far the heat 
of dispute will sometimes drive otherwise great men to render their adver- 
saries' opinion odious. Secundo We may observe here, that at this time 
there were other Scottish as well as British bishops besides Colman. " Sunt 

(a) Vita Cuth. cc. xvii .xxii. 
'"' Eddius, c. xi. 


hie in Britannia multi episcopi . . ut Britones et Scoti,"* '' as, no A. D. 6G.~. 
doubt, there were both among the Scots and Picts. 

A. D. 665, Wilfrid being arrived in France, was there consecrated at 
Compiegne, with great pomp, as Bede and Eddius describe it.( b > But upon 
Wilfrid's not returning home so soon as was expected, King Oswy pitched 
upon Ceadda, a disciple of S. Aidan, who had succeeded his brother, the 
holy Bishop Cedd, in the government of the Abbey of Lastingham, and 
sent him to be consecrated Bishop of York, to the South of Britain, where, 
finding the see of Canterbury vacant by the death of Archbishop Deusde- 
dit, Ceadda received his consecration from Wini, who governed the bisliop- 
rick of London, assisted by British bishops. So, upon Wilfrid's return. 
finding the see of York full, he was obliged to return to his Abbey of Rip- 
pon, to expect better times ; being, in the meantime, frequently invited by 
Wulfhere, King of the Mercians, and by Egbert, King of Kent, he went and 
performed the episcopal functions in their kingdoms. 

And Ceadda, being thus consecrated Bishop of York, began immedi- 
ately to apply himself to promote the doctrine of the Church, accompany- 
ing his preaching by the practice of chastity, humility, and continency, and 
set times for lecture or study ; to travel about, not on horseback, but after 
the manner of the apostles, on foot, to preach the Gospel in towns and 
through the country in the villages, cottages, and castles. For he had 
been one of Aidan's disciples as well as Bishop Ccdd and his two other 
brothers, and all of them regulated their actions and behaviour upon Aidan's 
example and instructions, by which it appears that though Ceadda and the 
other Saxon Churchmen, bred up in the Columbite monasteries, had, for 
peace sake, after the Conference of Streaneshalch, conformed to the common 
discipline of the Church, concerning Easter and the tonsure, yet they con- 
tinued in other matters, especially in their way of living and preaching, to 
observe the Columbite discipline. 

Meantime, we may observe, by this disposition of ecclesiastical matters 
concerning Wilfrid and Ceadda that King Oswy, notwithstanding of his 
acquiescing in the universal practice of foreign Churches concerning Easter 
and the tonsure at the Conference of Whitby, which gave occasion to 
Bishop Colman's retreat, and to the other alterations that ensued in the 
Northumbrian Church, yet he still retained a warm side to the Columbites, 

(m1 Ibid. c. xii. 

"" Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 28. Eddius, c. xii. 



A. n. <>fi;>. as he did to Bishop Colman, himself in particular, as Bede expressly 
remarks, and, therefore, favoured them in all that did not concern these two 
controverted heads of discipline ; and it would appear also, that he enter- 
tained some grudge against Wilfrid, as having given occasion to those 
alterations, and though, at his death, according to Bede, King Oswy was 
perfectly reconciled to Wilfrid, yet it would appear by what we shall meet 
under his reign, that his son King Egfrid inherited the indisposition of 
his father against Bishop Wilfrid. 

At the same time, we may observe all over the fondness and attach- 
ment that King Oswy's son Alchfrid, King of Deira, had for Wilfrid, 
and, as no doubt, the preference that the king his father gave to Ceadda, 
and the little regard he had to Wilfrid in not waiting his return from 
France, could not but grieve Alchfrid; all this could not fail of raising 
some dissension and grudges betwixt the father and son, which was one 
of the bad effects of the expulsion of the Scots Columbites from the 
Northumbrians who owed to them their Christianity, and seemed to 
deserve, that greater regard had been had to the sanctity of their lives 
which Bede so much commends, and to the signal services they had ren- 
dered to these northern inhabitants of England. But I would be very 
loath to impute, as Fordun does,( a ) to the jealousy or envy of the English 
Churchmen, the opposition and contradiction that obliged Bishop Colman 
and the Columbites to leave England and return home. However, as to 
Wilfrid's fast friend King Alchfrid, after this discussion we hear no more 
of him, and it appears by his younger brother Egfrid's succeeding im- 
mediately to King Oswy, that King Alchfrid died in his father's time. 

A.D. G67. To Garnard, King of the Picts, succeeded his brother 
Drest or Durst, and reigned seven years. The same year Bishop Colmaii) 
who after his retreat from his bishoprick in Northumberland to Ycolmkill, 
had abode till now, that is three years, in that Abbey or among the Scots; 
for it appears by Bede,( b ) that he left Northumberland, A.D. 664, and 
went to Ycolmkill whence he had been at first sent bishop to the Nor- 
thumbrians, and by the Chronicle of Ulster it appears that he went not 
from Ycolmkill till A.D. 667,() and carried along with him part of the 
relics of the Saints which he had brought from Lindisfarne, as we observed, 

'' Fordun, lib. iii. c. 2. 

(b) Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 4. 

(c > Ussher, Ant. Brit. p. 499. Bed. not. Smith, p. 146. 


Colman being arrived with his disciples in Ireland, retired into a little A. D. 6(J7. 

island to the westward called Imsbofind, that is, the isle of the white calf. 

But shortly after, a dissension happening betwixt the Scots and English, 

Colman left his Scottish disciples in possession of the monastery of Inis- 

bofind, and carried the English along with him to a place called Mayo, 

where he founded for them another monastery which continued to flourish 

in regular discipline till Bede's time. According to the same Chronicle 

of Ulster, Bishop Colman returned back to the monastery of luisbofind, 

where he had settled his Scottish disciples, and there continued till his 

death, which happened A.D. 075. 

A.D. 669. Theodore, a Cirecian by birth, and a very learned man, 
was consecrated bishop at Home, and sent to Britain, where he arrived 
the next year, to fill the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, which had 
been vacant four years. Theodore, soon after his arrival, made a pro- 
gress through England, being accompanied by the Abbot Adrian sent 
along with him from Home ; and they were most willinglyCO heard and 
entertained by all persons. He everywhere taught the right rule of life, 
and the canonical observation of Easter. He was likewise the first 
archbishop, to whom all the English Church submitted itself. And in- 
asmuch as both Theodore himself and the Abbot Adrian were perfectly 
skilled as well in sacred as in secular literature, having a numerous corpus 
of disciples, there daily flowed from them, says Bede, rivers of saving 
'knowledge for watering the hearts of their hearers. They also delivered 
to them the arts of ecclesiastical poetry, astronomy, and arithmetic. 
From that time they began in all the English Churches to learn ecclesias- 
tical music. In a word, Bede tells that there were never happier times 
than these since the English came to Britain. He adds, that Theodore 
visiting all parts, ordained bishops in proper places, and with their assis- 
tance corrected such things as he found faulty. 

Among others, he challenged the holy Bishop Ceadda (who at that 
time, as we have seen, filled the metropolitan see of York), and objected 
to him that he had not been duly consecrated. The ground of this 
quarrel was probably that Bishop Ceadda had been consecrated by Wini 
and other bishops that did not follow the canonical form of Easter, or 
rather that he was ordained to a see to which Wilfrid had been previously 

w Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 2. 


A. D. M9. elected. However, this holy man Ceadda answered Theodore's challenge 
with so great humility, that it surprised and satisfied him. If you know, 
said Ceadda to him, that I have not entered into this bishoprick aright, 
L willingly depart from the office, as having never thought myself worthy 
of it ; but though unworthy, it was only out of obedience that I yielded 
to receive it. The Archbishop overcome with this humble answer, replied 
that it was not fit that he should quit the episcopal office, and therefore he 
again perfected his ordination after the Catholic manner, that is, he sup- 
plied any ceremony that might have been wanting according to the Roman 
rules ; after which, Ceadda being now at liberty, retired according to his 
own wishes to his monastery of Lastingham, where he had not remained 
long, when upon the death of Jaruman, Bishop of the Mercians, Wulf- 
licrc their king, requested the Archbishop to appoint a bishop over his 
subjects, he would not ordain a new bishop, but desired King Oswy that 
Ceadda who was living quietly in his monastery might be given them for 
their bishop, (a) he being now without an episcopal see ; for Wilfrid, as 
we said, had been possessed of that of York and of all the Northumbrians, 
and even of the Picts, says Bede, as far as the empire of Oswy reached, 
that is, in the meaning of Bede, of those Picts who dwelt upon the south 
side of the friths, who, according to Bede, had been for some years in a 
kind of subjection to the more powerful Saxon monarchs. 

Ceadda being thus appointed bishop of the Mercians, placed his 
episcopal seat at Lichfield, and took care to administrate his pastoral 
charge with great perfection of life, according to the example of the 
ancient fathers, that is, of the Columbite bishops, especially of S. Aidan, 
and accordingly following their example, he used to make his visits on 
foot; which the Archbishop Theodore observing and considering the 
extent of his diocese, and how precious his health and life was to the 
Church, he commanded him to ride whensoever he had a long journey to 
make, which Ceadda being very unwilling to do out of the spirit of mor- 
tification, the Archbishop himself lifted him up to his horse, because he 
found he was a holy man, and thus he made to Ceadda a kind of reparation 
for his harsh dealing towards him before he knew his true worth. The 
other particulars of Ceadda's holy and happy life may be seen in Bede at 
more length/ 1 " He died in the year 672. 

<' Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 3. 
CM Hist. Eccles. ibid. 


About this time Cuminius Albus, Abbot of Ycolmkill, died after A. U. 669. 
twelve years' administration. We have already observed that he was 
author of the first account we have of S. Columba's life. He was suc- 
ceeded by Failbeus, of whom Adamnan< a > makes mention as being his 
immediate predecessor. Failbeus governed ten years. This same year, 
669, died Malduin, King of the Scots. To him succeeded Ferchard, 
Second of that name, and twelfth king, surnamed Fada, that is, the long, 
son of Ferchard the First : of whom afterwards. All our ancient Chronicles 
give him twenty-one years of a reign, and place his reign after Malduin's, 
and not before it as the moderns have done. The next year, 670, died 
Oswy, King of Northumberland. Bede relates that, in his last sickness, 
he bore so great affection to the lloman and Apostolical usages, that had 
he recovered, -he was resolved to go in person to Rome, and there to end 
his days at the holy places, having entreated Bishop Wilfrid to be his 
conductor in that journey . (b> 

To King Oswy succeeded his son Egfrid. But it is of some impor- 
tance towards setting in due light the history of these times, to observe 
that besides this Egfrid, Oswy had two other elder sons, called Alchfrid 
and Aldfrid, who, because of the resemblance of their names, are by 
modern writers frequently confounded together, though they are in reality 
entirely different, and distinguished by their birth, characters, inclinations, 
and stations, and by all the marks that two brothers can be distinguished 
one from another. Alchfrid was eldest and lawful son to King Oswy, 
and his father gave him off a portion of his kingdom (it is like, Deira), 
to govern by him, and so he had the title of king during his father's life- 
time, but did not survive him. He was the great friend, patron, and pro- 
tector of Wilfrid. In his favour he took buck from Eata and the Colum- 
bites the monastery of Rippon, and bestowed it upon Wilfrid ; he was 
also a great stickler for him at the conference of Streaneshalch, and pro- 
bably died soon after ; at least we hear no more of King Alchfrid after 
that meeting. 

Aldfrid was only a natural son to King Oswy, and upon his father's 
death, out of apprehension or jealousy of his brother Egfrid, who was 
younger and succeeded, he was forced to leave the country, and retired to 
Ycolmkill, where he had his education among the Scots, with whom for 

'*> Adamnan. lib. i. c. 3. 
<"' Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 5. 


A. I). 070. that reason he ever afterwards entertained an amicable intercourse, as we 
will see, and particularly with Adamnan the Abbot. 

I must not omit to take notice here of so rare an example of the love 
of virginal chastity, that the like is scarce to be met with in Church 
history, especially it being a question of a sovereign Princess, and of 
matter that passed in a monastery of Scotland. The fact is related by 
Eedc. This King Egfrid, who succeeded to his father Oswy, King of 
Northumbria, had espoused Etheldred, daughter of Anna, King of the 
East Angles. This princess had been before married to another prince 
called Tondbcrt, and ho dying soon after the marriage, left her a virgin. 
Accordingly she resolved to persevere in the same resolution, and being 
married again to Egfrid lived twelve years with him, and though he knew 
that she loved him beyond all others, yet sucli was her love to virginity, 
by an extraordinary gift of God, that he could never prevail to obtain her 
consent to live with him as married persons, and at last, after her perse- 
vera'nt solicitations, she obtained leave of him to retire to a monastery, 
which accordingly having granted at last with great reluctance, she entered 
the Abbey of Coldingham in Scotland, under the government of her aunt 
S. Ebba, and was afterwards made Abbess of another monastery, Ely, where 
she died and was buried ; and as a token how acceptable her conduct was 
to God, Ecdc testifies that her body remained uncorrupted, and makes an 
clogc of her in verse as well as in prose. ( a) 

This Ebba, Abbess of Coldingham, mentioned here, was daughter to 
Ethelfrid. King of the Northumbrians ; and after his defeat and slaughter, 
she had with the rest of his children fled to the Scots, as has been else- 
where related, and being there instructed, baptised, and educated in the 
Christian Faith, upon her brother Oswald's recovering his kingdom, she 
came back with the rest of the royal family of the Northumbrians, during 
the time that S. Aidan was bishop, when by the fervour of the spirit of 
the perfection of Christianity, inspired to these northern inhabitants by 
the preaching of S. Aidan and our other Columbite bishops, religious, 
and churchmen, persons of the best families, made their nobility consist 
in devoting themselves wholly to the service of Christ. At that time 
many congregations both of men and women were spread through those 
parts of the island, severally embracing the spiritual warfare of our Lord, 

w Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c c. 19, 20. 


yea sometimes in the same place, persons of both sexes, men and virgins. A. D. G70. 
under the government of one spiritual father or one spiritual mother, 
armed with the sword of the Spirit, did exercise the combats of chastity 
against the powers of darkness enemies thereto. Such was the monastery 
of the famous Hilda at Streaneshalch or Whitby. The institute and practice 
of these was imitated by S. Ebba, who in the flower of her youth, for the 
love of the Son of God, contemned whatsoever was great or desirable in 
the world, preferred the service of our Lord to secular nobility, spiritual 
poverty to riches, and voluntary abjection to honours. 

Her first monastery is thought to have been a place called from her 
Ebbacester upon Derwentwater in the bishoprick of Durham, and from 
thence she was called to that of Coldingham in Scotland, in a place named 
by Bode the city of Colud (Coludi urbs).( a ' There she had the charge of 
a numerous congregation of men and women who had separate habitations, 
yet contiguous one to another, who, all united in one holy profession under 
the Columbite rule given them by S. Aidan, or S. Finan, with great joy 
and comfort, lived under her direction a long time with great regularity. 
It was into her monastery that the famous princess Ethcldred retired 
and became her disciple, submitting herself to the rudiments of so great 
a mistress. S. Cuthbert also used, as we have seen, to visit S. Ebba: 
and for the instruction of those under her care of the one and other sex, 
he used to make for some days abode in the monastery, and had his 
instructions been carefully observed, the relaxation of discipline which 
happened in this monastery, even in S. Ebba's time, and the calamity 
that ensued after her death upon the inhabitants of that monastery, had. 
no doubt, been prevented. But of that afterwards in its proper place. 

A.D. 673. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, had his first council 
of all England at Hertford, in which he endeavoured to settle Church 
discipline according to the ancient canons. I take notice the rather of it, 
that the canons of this council became a common rule of discipline of the 
Church of the Saxons, for the bishops, the clergy, and monks. We see 
by it that each bishop had his distinct district or diocese, and that it was 
resolved to augment the number of dioceses in proportion to that of the 
faithful. It is, also, to this archbishop that the first distribution of 
England into parishes is ascribed/ b) and it is certain otherwise, that 

<> Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 19. 

(b) Spelman, Concil. torn. i. p. 152. Bed. Smith, p. 189. 


A. I). t>74. Theodore being one of the most learned of the bishops of his time, 
especially in the knowledge of the canons and discipline of the Church, 
put a new and more regular order in the Church of the Saxons, and 
rendered it more conformable to the ancient canons and to the best ordered 
Churches abroad. 

A.D. G74. Happened the death of Drest or Durst, the sixth of that 
name, and fifty-eighth king of the Picts. We have an account of the 
occasion of his death from Eddius,' 1 " the writer of S. Wilfrid's Life, 
where he recounts the prosperous successes that King Egfrid's enterprises 
were attended with, in the first years of his reign, whilst he favoured 
Bishop Wilfrid, but set down, as is all the rest of the work, more in an 
oratorian style (full of bitterness against Wilfrid's adversaries, and eloges 
of his friends), than in that of a historian. 

Thus then he goes on to relate King Egfrid's successes against the 
Picts. In the first years of his reign (that is, about this year 674, as 
appears by the circumstances of the time), whilst his affairs were not as 
yet fully settled, the Picts resolved to make use of the opportunity before 
King Egfrid's power increased, to shake off the subjection under which 
the Picts to the south of the friths had been brought by the powerful 
King Oswy his father, assembled a great army from their northern 
habitations to attack him with great ardour and fierceness. Which how 
soon King Egfrid was informed of, he instantly sent out against them a 
disciplined body of cavalry under the command of Bernhoeth, a courage- 
ous general, who having engaged battle witli that undisciplined multitude, 
made so great a slaughter of them that two rivers, says Eddius, were filled 
with the bodies of the slain, and pursued the rest in their flight so nar- 
rowly, that great numbers were taken and remained in captivity under the 
Saxon yoke till the day that King Egfrid himself was overcome and killed 
by the Picts, A.D. 685 : that is, this subjection lasted about ten years, 
when the Picts, under their next king had full revenge of their Saxon 
enemies. Among others of the Picts slain in this battle was their king 
Durst the Sixth as we said. His successor was the valiant King Brude or 
Bridei, one of the most powerful monarchs of Britain in his time : he 
was the son of Bili, and fourth king of the name of Bridei, and fifty-ninth 
king of the Picts, and reigned twenty-one years. 

This same year, 674, the famous monastery of Weremouth or Jarrow, 

() Vita Wilf. c. six. 


was founded by Benedict Biscop, who was the first that established the A. D. 675. 
rule of S. Benedict in the monasteries, and from thence chiefly as well 
as by the zeal of Bishop Wilfrid, it was propagated by degrees through 
other monasteries in England. This same Abbot Benedict Biscop, a very 
active and industrious person, introduced glass work first to the island. 
He also brought along with him from France, architects for building of 
churches according to the rules of the art of architecture, grown in de- 
suetude in the island since the Romans left it. 

A.D. 675. According to the Chronicle of Ulster, quoted by Bishop 
Ussher, (a) Colman (otherwise called Columbian), formerly Bishop of the 
Northumbrians, died among his Scottish disciples, in his monastery of 
Inisbofind, whither (after he had settled that of Mayo for his Saxon 
disciples), he had come back to pass the rest of his days in prayer, fasting. 
retreat, and in the exercises of religion. His memory was honoured in 
Scotland by an annual festival upon the eighteenth of February, the day 
of his death, as appears by the Kalendars of our Churches. We shall 
consider in its proper place the stories that ou:- modern writers relate of 
Bishop Colman. 

About this time, the holy man Cuthbert, Prior of Lindisfarne, retired 
to the solitary island of Fame to lead an anchoritic life. A.D. G78, a dis- 
sension falling out betwixt King Egfrid and Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, 
by the instigation chiefly of Queen Ermenburga, wife to King Egfrid, 
Wilfrid was removed from his seat, no doubt with the concurrence of 
Archbishop Theodore, who, in pursuance of the canon of the Council of 
bishops, in the province of York, at the same time ordained Bosa Bishop 
of the Deirians, whose seat was at York, and F]ata for the Bcrnicians, 
having his Cathedral at Lindisfarne, whereof he had been settled Abbot. 
The reason given of this multiplication of bishops, was the decree of the 
Council of Hertford, and the too great extent of the diocese of York. 
There was another no less important reason, to wit, the order of Pope 
Gregory I., to augment to the number of twelve, the suffragans of York, 
in proportion to the increase of the number of the faithful in these parts, 
which was by this time come to pass, chiefly by the zeal and labours of the 
Scots Columbites, or those ordained and sent by them. But it appears not 
that, either Theodore or Wilfrid minded upon that decree of the Pope, or 

( " Ant. Brit. p. 499. 


A. D. 67s. thus, looked upon it sis obsolete. And we see, by frequent examples in the 
history of Britain, that the decrees of Rome, in matters of discipline, 
were not looked upon as binding, but in as far as they were conformable 
to the received discipline of each Church. 

However, Wilfrid being thus, by secular power, countenanced by 
Archbishop Theodore's authority, forced from his see, went first into 
Friesland, thence through France to Eome, to crave justice of the Apo- 
stolical sco to which he had appealed for redress of his grievances. He 
met with many dangers raid difficulties in his voyage, but at last arrived 
*afe at Home, whilst Agatho, the Pope, was holding a Council of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five bishops, against the Monothelite heresy. <> Wilfrid's 
arrival had been prevencd by a message from Archbishop Theodore, 
against him. However, he was himself at last called into the Council to be 
heard, and his cause being tried, and being acquitted, he was requested to 
make a confession and declaration, as well of his own faith, as of that of 
the several Churches of the island of Britain from whence he was come. 
Upon which, ho made this declaration, which, says Bedc, was inserted in 
the acts of this Roman Council in the following terms. 

Wilfrid, the beloved of God, Bishop of the city of York, appealing to 
the Apostolical sec in his cause, and being by that authority acquitted of 
certain and uncertain things, and seated in judgment with the other one 
hundred and twenty-five bishops in the Synod, made confession of the 
true and Catholic Faith, and subscribed the same in the name of all the 
Northern parts, to wit, the Isles of Britain and Ireland, which are in- 
habited by the nations of the English and Britons, and by those of the 
Scots and Picts, and in all their names made confession of the true and 
Catholic Faith, and corroborated it with his subscription. 

By this authentic act and solemn declaration, made before the Pope 
and Council, we see, beyond all rational, doubt, the conformity of all the 
inhabitants of Britain in general, and of the Scots and Picts in particular, 
in all matters of Catholic Faith, with the Church of Rome and other 
Churches of the Occident, assembled by their deputies in this Council at 
Rome. And no body could be better informed of the faith and doctrine 
of the Churches than Bishop Wilfrid, nor if the circumstances of the 
time be considered, any body more ready in all appearance to accuse, in 

" Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 19. 


particular the Scots in Britain, and especially the Columbites, of errors, in A. 1). 678. 
case they had dissented from the Roman and Catholic Church in any 
matter of faith, especially considering that the two bishops, whom in the 
Roman Synod he accused Theodore of having intruded on his diocese, 
were both bred Columbites, to wit, Bosa, created Bishop of York in his 
room, having been bred up in the Columbite monastery of Whitby or 
Streaneshalch, < a> and Eata made Bishop of Lindisfarne, one of the twelve 
chief disciples of S. Aidan. So that we have the orthodoxy, or confor- 
mity with the Catholic Church in all matters of faith, of the Scots and 
Picts in general, and Columbites in particular, avouched and confirmed by 
one of the greatest adversaries they had at this time, whose interest it was 
to have found them guilty. 

However, as to the sentence obtained by Wilfrid, in his favour from 
the Pope and this Council, Theodore who had been made Archbishop, 
and sent to Britain by the Apostolic see, had so little regard to it, that far 
from putting it in execution, we shall just now see that lie acted just a 
contrary part, and gave Wilfrid new subjects of dissatisfaction, almost upon 
the back of the favourable sentence he had obtained. And we do not find 
that Rome enacted any penalty against Theodore for his apparent dis- 
obedience. So true is it, what we have already observed, that in those 
days, for fear of augmenting of troubles, or giving occasion of schism, the 
Apostolical see, even after giving its judgment upon matters of discipline, 
referred to its tribunal, left the execution of its sentence to the prudence 
of the chief pastors upon the place, to be followed out in the manner the 
circumstances of persons and places required, towards cementing and pre- 
serving the peace of the Church, or procuring the essential advantage of 
the faithful, which visibly in the present case demanded an augmentation 
of the number of bishopricks in those Northern parts to the south side of 
the Friths. For supposing that the succession of the Bishops of Glasgow 
and Whithern continued on to these times, which it is very probable they 
did, though we have no distinct account of the series of the bishops ; yet 
it is visible, that the province of York, as well as other countries of the 
Saxons, being by the labours of our Scottish bishops, Aidan, Finan, and 
Colman, generally all become Christians, the order of the canons required 
an augmentation of bishops, in proportion to the multiplication of the 

'> Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 23. 


A. I). 678. faithful and extent of the country. These, or such motives of his conduct, 
in regard to Bishop Wilfrid, no doubt the Archbishop Theodore sent to 
Rome by his deputies; and probably they were the chief reason why the 
1'opc with the Council, though he acquitted Bishop Wilfrid of any accu- 
sations against his person, yet they did neither censure the conduct of 
Theodore, nor repeal the decree he had made for the multiplication of 
bishopricks, according as he and his Council found it necessary for the 
benefit of the faithful. The conduct of the Apostolic see towards Theodore 
on this occasion, and its forbearance with him, is a full answer to all that 
Mr. Collier alleges, by which he endeavours to show, that Aidan and our 
other Columbite bishops, their not submitting to the decrees of Rome about 
Master, was a sign they did not own its authority ; for nobody can doubt 
of Theodore's subjection to tlie Apostolic see, notwithstanding of his 
resistance to its decrees, in the case of Wilfrid. 

A. D. CI79. Failbcus, Abbot of Ycolmkill, after ten years of govern- 
ment, dying, the famous Adamnan, author of S. Columba's Life, succeeded, 
and ruled that Abbey twenty-five years. Of him we have already given 
account, and shall have as yet, more than once occasion to mention him. 
I shall only take notice here, that he is entirely to be distinguished from 
another Adamnan, of whom afterwards, an exemplary penitent, who lived 
at Coldin^ham, and foretold the punishment which was to fall upon that 

A. D. 080. Died the famous Hilda, foundatrix and Superior of Streanes- 
halch or Whitby, and though nobody stood up more for the Columbites 
than this Abbess, yet none of her sex has a greater character from Bede, 
for he tells us she was a woman of such eminent prudence, that not only 
men of ordinary condition, but kings and princes also used to consult her 
and follow her counsel. (a) Her monastery was double, and she had church- 
men as well as virgins, in separate habitations, under her government ; and 
such care she had to make her subjects diligent in reading the Scriptures, 
and exercising works of piety, that there were very many persons found 
there very fit for the ecclesiastical degree, and to serve at the altar. In a 
word, we have seen, says Bede, out of that one monastery no less than five 
bishops, all of them men of singular merit and sanctity; their names are 
Bosa, Hedda, Oftfor, John, and Wilfrid the younger. For her piety and 

<' Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 23. 


other excellent qualities, famous even among persons at a great distance A. D. G80. 
from her, she was generally called by the name of Mother ; and her life was 
not only a pattern to those that lived with her, but the fame of her pru- 
dence and virtue, became the instrument of the conversion and salvation to 
many that lived afar off from her. 

Before her death, she was visited for the space of six years, with sharp 
and long infirmities, during all which time she never ceased to give thanks 
to her Maker, and publicly or privately to instruct the flock committed to 
her charge. In the midst of which prayers and exhortations having 
received the viaticum of the most holy Communion, she passed from deatli 
to life on the seventeenth of November, on which day her festival was cele- 
brated in England. 

I have dwelt the longer on this holy virgin, because that besides the 
eminent sanctity of her life, she not only governed her monastery by tlic 
Columbite rule, but distinguished herself all along by her attachment to our 
Columbitc bishops, Aidan, Finan, and Colman ; and though upon the 
other Saxon Christians, after the famous Conference held in her monastery, 
embracing the general practice of the Churches abroad as to the festival 
of Easter, it is like she also prudently yielded, yet she remained in all 
other respects attached to the spirit and discipline established in her 
monastery by S. Aidan and the other Columbitc Scottish bishops. This 
was no doubt the source of the only blemish observed by the Saxon writers 
in Hilda's life, to wit, a persevcrant indisposition to Bishop Wilfrid, the 
greatest adversary of the Columbitcs. 

In effect, not only did S. Hilda declare herself against Wilfrid. A.D. 
664, in the controversy about Easter, and was one of the chief defenders 
of Bishop Colman and the Columbite cause, but Mnlmesbury gives us a 
letter of Pope John VI., A.D. 705, to King Kthelred, by which that Pope 
informs us that the Abbess Hilda was one of those that wrote against 
Bishop Wilfrid to the Apostolic sec. But she was not the only one, since 
Malmesbury marks in the same place, that Theodore and Berthwald, 
Archbishops of Canterbury, John of Beverley, and Bosa of York, all of 
them acknowledged for Saints, wrote to the Pope against Wilfrid ("). S. 
Hilda was succeeded in the government of the monastery of Whitby, by 
Elfled, sister to King Egfrid, who had been by her father, King Oswy, 
consecrated to God in that monastery, as we have seen from her infancy. 

'" Malmesb. fol. 151, et Eddius, c. Hi. 


A. D. 681. A. D. 681. That is three years after Bishop Wilfrid's expulsion, or 
rather retreat, and notwithstanding the sentence passed in his favour in 
the Roman Council, Theodore continuing in the same resolution of aug- 
menting] the number of the bishopricks in England, which, it must be 
owned, was very canonical in itself, far from laying aside those whom he 
had ordained in the province of York, augmented their number by con- 
secrating Tunbert for the seat of Hexham, the Bishop Eata reducing 
himself to that of Lindisfarne ; and Trumwine he made Bishop for the 
Southern province of the Picts, ( a ) which, at that time, happened to be 
subjected to the dominion of the English. By this province of the Picts 
is, without doubt, meant tho Pictish possessions to the south of the Friths 
so often mentioned : and, accordingly, this Bishop Trumwine's seat was 
upon the south of the Frith at Abercurning, still known by the name of 
Abercorn, where he had erected a monastery for his own retreat after his 
labours, and for breeding up churchmen for the service of these Picts 
of the south side of these Friths. As to the Picts of the North, as we 
do not find that he exercised any authority over them (no more than 
Wilfrid had done before him;, because the Picts of the North, as we 
have seen before, had bishops of their own ; and besides, they retained still 
as yet their own discipline and usages concerning Easter and the tonsure, 
as we will see they did for about thirty years after this in King Naitan's 
time, who. though their own native king, had great difficulty to oblige 
them to part with them. This attachment of the Picts to their own 
ancient usages, would have rendered Trumwine or any of the Saxon 
bishops very unacceptable to them, and by consequence useless. And if 
we may judge, by what happened four years afterwards, it is like he could 
promise no security to himself among them, being forced upon them by a 
declared adversary. Accordingly, how soon, by the victorious arms of their 
valiant King Brude the Fourth, they recovered their liberty, Bishop Trum- 
wine, finding no security among them for his own person, left instantly his 
monastery, deserted his flock, and made the best of his way to England. 

A. D. 683. Upon the twenty-third of August, deceased Ebba, first of that 
name, Abbess of Coldingham, in Scotland. We have already had occasion, 
more than once, to mention her. One of the last actions she did, was to 
obtain the liberty of Bishop Wilfrid, kept prisoner by her nephew, King 

"' Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. ]2. 


Egfrid. She lived to a very great age, which, no doubt, gave occasion to A. D. 683. 

the relaxation of the discipline of her convent, which, though she failed 

not to put order to it, how soon she was advertised, augmented after her 

death to the degree of drawing heavy judgment upon her monastery. 

Some years after her death, this monastery of Coldingham was burnt down 

by carelessness, or rather by a just judgment of God upon the wickedness 

of those that dwelt in it. 

We have the account of this calamity from Bedc, who was born not 
far from the place, and though, at the time it happened, he was very 
young ; yet he had the relation of it from a holy priest, who was actually 
dwelling in Coldinghain at the time the monastery was burnt. Wherefore, 
it being a remarkable example of the instability of human establishments, 
and containing a singular example of a true penitent, and the whole having 
passed in a monastery of Scotland, I cannot omit to set it down, and 
that in Bedc's own words. 

" About these times," says Bede, '-the monastery of virgins called the 
city of Coludi, above mentioned, was burned down through carelessness; 
and yet all that know the same, might observe that it happened through 
the malice of those who dwelt in it, and chiefly of those who seemed to be 
the greatest. But there wanted not a warning of the approaching punish- 
ment from the Divine Goodness, by which they might have stood corrected ; 
and by fasting, prayers, and tears, like the Ninevites, have averted the 
anger of the just Judge. 

"There was in that monastery, a man of the Scottish race called Adam- 
nan, leading a life entirely devoted to God in continence and prayer, 
insomuch that he never took any food or drink, except only on Sundays 
and Thursdays ; but often spent whole nights in prayer. This austerity 
of life he had first adopted from necessity, to correct his evil propensities; 
but in process of time, the necessity became a custom. 

"For in his youth he had been guilty of some wicked action, for Avhich, 
when he came to himself, he conceived extraordinary horror, and dreaded 
lest he should be punished for the same by the upright Judge. Repairing 
therefore to a priest, who he hoped might show him the way of salvation ; 
he confessed his guilt, and desired to be advised how he might avoid the 
future wrath of God. The priest having heard his offence, said, ' A great 
sore requires much attention in the cure; and, therefore, give yourself up 
as far as you are able to fasting, reading of Psalms, and prayer ; to the end 


A. U. 68:s. that thus preventing the wrath of our Lord in confession, you may find 
Him merciful.' Being highly affected with the grief of a guilty conscience, 
;md desiring as soon as possible to be loosed from the inward fetters of sin 
which lay heavy upon him, he answered, ' I am young in years, and strong 
of body, and shall, therefore, easily bear whatever you shall enjoin me to 
do, so that 1 may be saved in the day of our Lord ; though you should 
command me to spend the whole night in prayer standing, and to pass the 
whole week in abstinence.' The priest replied. ' It is too much for you to 
hold out the whole week without bodily sustenance; but it is sufficient to 
fast two or three days; do this till 1 come again to you in a short time, 
when I will more fully show you what you arc to do, and how long to con- 
tinue your penance.' Having so said, and prescribed the measure of his 
penance, the priest went away, and upon some sudden occasion passed over 
into Ireland, whence lie derived his origin; and returned no more to him 
as he had appointed. Remembering this injunction and his own promise, 
he totally addicted himself to tears, penance, holy watching, and conti- 
nence: so that he only fed on Thursdays and Sundays as has been said; 
and ate nothing all the other days of the week. When he heard that his 
priest was gone to Ireland, and had died there, he ever after observed that 
.- nne abstinence according to his direction ; and as he had begun that 
course through the fear of God, in penitence for his guilt, so he still con- 
tinued the same unremittingly for the Divine love, and in hope of his 

'Having practised this carefully for a long time, it happened that he had 
gone on a certain day to a distance from the monastery, accompanied by 
one of the brothers; and as they were returning from this journey, when 
they drew near to the monastery and beheld its lofty buildings, the man of 
God burst into tears, and his countenance discovered the trouble of his 
heart. His companion perceiving it, asked what was the reason, to which 
lie answered ; ' The time is at hand when a devouring fire shall consume all 
the structures which you here behold, botn public and private.' The other 
on hearing these words, as soon as they came into the monastery, told them 
to Ebba, the Mother of the congregation. She with good cause, being 
much concerned at that prediction, called the man to her, and narrowly 
inquired of him how he came to know it. He answered, ' Being busy one 
night lately in watching and singing Psalms, I, on a sudden, saw a person 
unknown standing by me, and being startled by his presence, he bade me 


not to fear, and speaking to me in a familiar manner, ' You do well,' said A. D 683. 
he, ' in that you spend this night-time of rest, not in giving yourself up to 
sleep, but in watching and prayer.' I answered, ' I know I have great need 
of wholesome watching, and earnest praying to our Lord to pardon my 
transgressions.' He replied, 'You are in the right, for you and many more 
do need to redeem their sins by good works, and when they cease from labour- 
ing about temporal affairs, then to labour the more eagerly for the desire of 
heavenly goods. But this very few do; for I having now visited all this 
monastery regularly, have looked into every one's chambers and beds, and 
found none of them, except yourself, busy about the care of his soul : 
but all of them, both men and women, either indulge themselves in sloth- 
ful sleep, or are awake in order to commit sin; for even the cells that 
were built for praying or reading are now converted into places of feasting, 
drinking, talking, and other delights ; the very virgins dedicated to God, 
laying aside the respect due to their profession, whensoever they are at 
leisure, apply themselves to weaving fine garments, either to use in 
adorning themselves like brides, to the danger of their condition, or to 
gain the friendship of strange men ; for which reason a heavy judgment 
from heaven is deservedly ready to fall on this place and its inhabitants 
by devouring fire.' The Abbess said, ' Why did you not sooner acquaint 
me with what you knew 2 ' He answered, ' I was afraid to do it out of 
respect to you, lest you should be too much afflicted : yet you may have 
this comfort, that the calamity will not happen in your days.' This 
vision being divulged abroad, the inhabitants of that place were for a few 
days in some little fear, and leaving off their sins began to punish them- 
selves ; but after the Abbess's death they returned to their former wicked- 
nesses nay, they became more wicked ; and when they thought themselves 
in peace and security, they soon felt the effects of the aforesaid judgment. 

" That all this fell out thus, was told me by my most reverend fellow- 
priest Edgils, who then lived in that monastery. Afterwards, when many 
of the inhabitants had departed thence on account of the destruction, he 
lived a long time in our monastery, and died there. We have thought fit 
to insert this in our History, to admonish the reader, of the works of our 
Lord, how terrible He is in his counsels on the sons of men, lest we should 
at some time or other indulge in the pleasures of flesh, and, dreading the 
judgment of God too little, fall under his sudden wrath, and either be 

M m 


A. D. 683. severely afflicted with temporal losses, or else, being more severely tried, 
be snatched away to eternal perdition." (a) 

Thus, Bede ; to which add the History of Durham, printed under 
Simeon of Durham's name ; but which the learned agree is truly the 
work of Turgot the Prior, who became afterwards Bishop of St. Andrews. 
This author tells that S. Cuthbert, who lived retired in Fame at this 
time, being promoted not long after this accident to the episcopal degree, 
entirely separated from his religious all society of women, for fear any 
then alive, or any of their successors, might after the aforesaid manner 
provoke the wrath of God against them. By the general consent, there- 
fore, of all of both sexes, he, both for present and future time, interdicted 
to his monks any conversation with women, wholly forbidding them any 
entrance into his church. And, therefore, in the isle of the episcopal 
see, he built a church apart, where women were to come to hear mass and 
instructions, that they might never come nearer the monastery. 

This monastery was rebuilt, and continued a retreat for religious wo- 
men till A.D. 870. when another Ebba being Abbess, she, with her re- 
ligious sisters under her care, suffered martyrdom from the Danes for 
preservation of their chastity, as we shall see in its proper place. 

A.D. 684. Egfrid, King of the Northumbrians, invaded Ireland; and 
notwithstanding the earnest entreaty of the holy man Egbert, who repre- 
sented that the Irish had done him no hurt, sent an army, under the com- 
mand of Beort, into that island, which miserably wasted, says Bede,( b) 
that harmless people, who had always been affectionate to the English ; 
yet so furious was the rage of this army, that neither churches nor monas- 
teries were spared. The natives, according to their ability, repelled force 
by force, and withal, by earnest prayers, solicited the assistance of heaven, 
at the same time using many imprecations against their enemies ; and, 
although those that use bitter language and cursing shall be excluded the 
kingdom of heaven, yet it was believed that the English and King Egfrid 
who, by their impieties, deserved such curses, by the just judgment of 
God did not long escape their due punishment, as we shall see next year. 
Our modern writers pretend that this invasion, made by King Egfrid's 
troops, was upon the Scots in Galloway ; but this is against the formal 
testimony of Bede, and has not so much as Fordnn to authorise them. 

() Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 25. 
""Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 2C. 


Egbert here mentioned is the same who became afterwards so famous A. D. 684. 
among the Scots, and therefore deserves that we give account of him 
now at large. He was by birth a Saxon, of a noble family of the Nor- 
thumbrians, who, being converted to Christianity in the time of the 
Bishops Finan or Colman, went with many other Saxons to Ireland, to be 
morn fully instructed, where he was living retired with his brother 
Edilhum and many others, in the monastery called Rathmelfigi. 

This same year, towards the winter, in a great Synod held at Twyfbrd, 
upon the river Aln, King Egfrid being present, and the Archbishop Theo- 
dore President of the Synod, Cuthbert, who was retired in his solitude of 
Fame island, was, by the unanimous consent of all, chosen Bishop of 
Hexham. But there being no drawing Cuthbert from his monastery by 
many letters and messengers sent to him, at last King Egfrid himself, 
with the Bishop Trumwine and other religious and great men, passed 
over into the Island. Many also of the brothers of the same isle of Lin- 
disfarne assembled together to the same purpose ; all of them by tears and 
conjuring him in the name of our Lord, engaged him to come to the 
Synod, where he continued to make all the opposition he was able to his 
promotion, well remembering the maxim of the great Gregory concerning 
the engaging into the weighty burthen of the Episcopal charge, virtutibus 
plenus coactus accedat, virtutibus vacuus nee coactus, he did not yield till, 
by the perseverant unanimous consent of all the Synod, and the order of 
all that had authority over him, he saw no possibility of resisting longer, 
without disobeying Almighty God. Thus he was at last overcome, and 
compelled to submit to the formidable burthen laid upon him. However, 
his consecration was put off till after winter. It was performed at Easter 
following, in the city of York, and in the presence of the aforesaid King 
Egfrid ; seven bishops meeting together, and Archbishop Theodore, their 
head. Cuthbert was first, as we said, elected Bishop of Hexham in the 
place of Tunbert, who had been deposed from the episcopal dignity by 
the same Theodore who had three years before installed him in it. 

But in regard that Cuthbert chose rather to be placed over the Church 
of Lindisfarne, near his beloved retreat at Fame, Eata returned to the 
Church of Hexham, and left that of Lindisfarne to Cuthbert. 

This same year, a short while after the consecration of S. Cuthbert, 
happened the famous victory of the Picts over King Egfrid and the 
Saxons, which gave a fatal blow to the kingdom of the Saxons in Nor- 


A. I). 685. thumberiand, and by which they lost all that their most powerful kings 
had gained over the I'icts. Thus it is described by Bede : King Egfrid 
rashly leading his army to ravage the province 1 of the Picts, much against 
the advice of his friends, and particularly of S. Cuthbert, who had fore- 
told to his sister Elfleda, Abbess of Whitby, the disaster that he was 
threatened with if he engaged in that expedition ; the Picts, commanded 
by their King Brudc, making show as if they fled, King Egfrid, pursuing 
them with his army, was drawn into the straits of inaccessible mountains 
and slain, with the greatest part of his forces which he had led on, in the 
fortieth year of his age, and fifteenth of his reign. This victory was 
gained by the Picts upon the eighteenth of May, and at a place, as Simeon 
of Durham or Tuvgot tells us, called Xcctan's mere; and he adds that his 
body was .taken care of, and sent to be honourably buried in Ycolmkill, the 
common burial place of the kings of the Picts and Scots. 

From this time, says Bedc, the hopes and strength of the English 
crown began to decay and fade ; for the Piets recovered their own lands 
which h;id been held by the English, that is, the Pictish possessions in 
Lothian and other territories to the south of the Forth, which, as we have 
seen, some of the more powerful of the English kings, such as Oswald and 
Oswy, according to Bede, had possessed themselves of, and kept in subjec- 
tion the ancient Pictish inhabitants of those parts : for we nowhere find in 
any ancient writer that ever the Saxon kings possessed a foot of ground to 
the north of the Friths. By consequence what Bede adds, that by this 
victory and downfall of the power of the Northumbrian kings, not only 
the Picts but the Scots also, and some of the Britons, recovered their 
liberty; this, I say, can be only meant of those Scots who, especially from 
the time of Aidan. one of their most powerful kings, had possessed them- 
selves of some of the territories to the south of the Clyde, amidst the 
Britons of those parts, but that afterwards, during the reign of King 
Donald Breac, having transgressed the injunctions given them by S. 
Columba not to hurt or invade those of his family in Ireland, they had 
deserved, in a great measure, the punishment which he had threatened 
them with with a decay of their power and courage, and by that, from 
Donald Breac's time till now their acquisitions to the south side of the 
Clyde had been overrun and curtailed by some of the more powerful of 
the Saxon kings, but by this defeat of King Egfrid they had begun to 
recover again, but suffered as yet still a diminution of their former valour 


and power, as appears by the heavy lamentation which the Abbot Adamnan, A. D. 685. 
who wrote about these times, makes of their present circumstances. 

In short, what Bede says here of the Picts, Scots, and Britons recover- 
ing their lands and liberties upon King Egfrid's death and defeat, has re- 
lation to what he had elsewhere mentioned more than once of the triumphs 
of some powerful kings viz., Edwin, Oswald, Oswy over the nations; <") 
all which, by this one victory of the Picts was sunk and faded away, the 
province of Lothian and other parts to the south of the Forth reunited to 
the Pictish monarchy, and the Saxon inhabitants in these parts were either 
killed or forced to submit to the dominion of the Ficts, or, leaving the 
country, to fly into England. Among others of those that fled was Trum- 
wine, "0 settled by Archbishop Theodore Bishop of the Southern Ficts. 
He withdrew with all his followers that were in the monastery of Aber- 
corn, where he had fixed his habitation, and which is seated in the country 
which the English were then in possession of, and which, for that reason^ 
Bede calls the country of the English, but close by an arm of the sea, to 
wit, the Frith of Forth, which parts those territories that had been pos- 
sessed by the English and the ancient kingdom of the Picts or Caledonia. 
It appears, by Trumwine's sudden retreat with all his retinue, upon the 
Picts recovering their dominions to the south of the Forth, that his being 
placed Bishop among them was against the grain of the Picts ; and being 
joined with Archbishop Theodore's endeavouring to extend his metropoli- 
tan power over them, was looked upon by them as a part of the Saxon 
yoke, which, having now by their valour shaken off as to civil jurisdiction^ 
and, having bishops of their own to answer all needs of the faithful, they 
were resolved to abolish all marks, of whatever nature, of their dependence 
upon the Saxons. Trumwinc was, no doubt, apprized of this temper of the 
Picts, and, therefore, how soon they became again masters of these terri- 
tories to the south of the Friths, where he had his seat, he suddenly 
abandoned all, and, with his followers, made quickly for England, where, 
having recommended his disciples, wheresoever he could, to the monasteries 
of his friends, he chose his own place of residence in the often-mentioned 
monastery of Streaneshalch Whitby composed of men and women ; and 
there he led a life in all monastic austerities, not only to his own, but to 
the benefit of many ; and dying there, he was buried in the Church of S. 

<> Hist. Eccles. lib. ii. c. 5. 
< b) Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 26. 


A. L>. 685. Peter the Apostle, with the honour due to his life and rank. The royal 
virgin, ^Elfled, who had succeeded to Hilda, with her mother Eanfled, 
then presided over that monastery, but the Bishop coming thither the 
devout Abbess found in him extraordinary assistance in governing, and 
comfort to herself. 

To King Egfrid, in the Northumbrian throne, succeeded Aldfrid, his 
natural brother, and son to King Oswy, who, though he was the elder 
brother, yet because he was not lawfully begotten, was rejected by the 
Northumbrians, and Egfrid preferred to the crown, upon which he retired 
to Scotland, cither by force or by fear, and there remained in Ycolmkill, 
whore he applied himself to the study of letters, and became so accom- 
plished a prince, that, upon his brother Egfrid's death, and the disasters 
following upon it, the Northumbrians with no less ardour invited him 
home to fill the throne, than they formerly rejected him. He returned 
then, and took upon him the government of the Northumbrian kingdom, 
reduced now into narrower bounds, especially towards the north, by the 
Picts repossessing J.othian, and their other ancient dominions to the south 
of the Friths. 

It is from the first author of S. Cuthbert's Life, who wrote during King 
Aldfrid's reign, that we learn that the place of King Aldfrid's retreat 
(which Bede calls < a) the Scottish Islands, " in insulis Scotorum," and 
Malmesbury calls " Hibernia") was really Ycolmkill. For thus that ano- 
nymous contemporary author speaks : " Aldfrid, son of Oswy, who now 
reigns, was at this time (A.D. 684) in the Island called Hy." < b) Thus we 
sec that it was usual to the exactest writers to confound Scotland with Ire- 
land in these times, when the name Scotia, and, as appears by this passage 
of Malmesbury and others, even the name Hibernia was common to both. 

It was in this abode of Aldfrid, among the learned men of Ycolmkill, 
that this prince became so great a proficient in morality, in govern- 
ment, and all kind of learning, that his countrymen judged none was more 
fit to save the remains, and heal the wounds, of a broken state left by 

It was also from this abode in that Island, where Adamnan was abbot 
at the time, that nobody was thought by his countrymen more proper to 
be twice sent in embassy to King Aldfrid than Adamnan ; in one of which 

<> Vita Cuth. p. 247. 
(l "Act. Holland, torn. iii. Martii, p. 121. 


embassies, he presented to that king, as a learned prince, his book of the A. D. 686. 
description of the Holy Land. But of this afterwards. 

A.D. 686. Deceased Eata, one of the last of the Columbite Bishops of 
England. He was one of the twelve Saxon children whom S. Aidan, upon 
entry into the Northumbrian territories, had made choice of to instruct 
them in the doctrine of Christ, and to breed them up for the service of the 
Church. Having embraced the religious state, which, according to the 
Columbite usages, was joined to that of the clergy, he was afterwards made 
Abbot of Melrose ; had first Boisil, and after him Cuthbert, for his Prior, 
who, after the Conference of Whitby, having embraced the common rule of 
Easter, came with him to Lindisfarne, and exercised there the same func- 
tion. Upon the dissension of King Egfrid and Wilfrid, new bishopricks 
being erected by Theodore in the diocese of York, Eata was made Bishop 
of Lindisfarne and of Hagulstad ; and, at last by the election of Tunbert 
for Hagulstad, Eata confined himself to Lindisfarne. But (A.D. G84) Tun- 
bert being deposed, and Cuthbert, the newly-elected bishop, preferring the 
see of Lindisfarne because of his solitude of Fame to that of Hagulstad, 
Eata, leaving that of Lindisfarne to Cuthbert, went back to Hagulstad. 
Such was the holy temper, and humble disposition, and detachment, which 
this holy man had received from his Columbite education, that he was 
always disposed to sacrifice his own satisfaction to that of others, and to 
the peace and edification of the Church. Minding only the service of 
God, and the advantage of the faithful, he was indifferent in whatever 
station Superiors thought he could most advantageously contribute to it. 
Eata passed in Hagulstad the two last years of his life, administering with 
piety and zeal his episcopal functions, till at last our merciful Lord re- 
solving to crown his labours, he was struck with a dysentery, by the tor- 
ments of which he was purified and prepared to pass into eternal happiness, 
as he did upon the seventh of May this year. His successor in Hagulstad 
was John, surnamedof Beverley, of whose sanctity and miracles Bede gives 
account. (0) 

S. Cuthbert, to whom Eata resigned the see of Lindisfarne, entered 
his pastoral charge soon after his consecration at Easter, A.D. 685, as we 
have seen, and following, says Bede, < b ) the example of the Apostles, be- 
came an ornament to the episcopal dignity by his virtuous actions. For 

'' Hist. Eccles. lib. v. cc. 2, 3, 4. &c. 
*' Ibid. lib. iv. c. 28. 

M m2 


A. D. 686. lie both protected the people committed to his charge by prayer, and ex- 
cited them by most wholesome exhortations to heavenly practices, and, 
which is the greatest duty of pastors, he showed in his own life and be- 
haviour the. example of what was to be performed by others. For he was, 
in the first place, wholly influenced with the fire of charity, modest in the 
virtue of patience, most assiduous and ardent in prayer, affable to all that 
came to him for comfort, being persuaded that, to afford the infirm breth- 
ren the help of his exhortations was no less acceptable to God than prayer, 
well knowing that he who suid "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," 
said, likewise, " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." He was also 
remarkable for penitential abstinence, and always intent upon heavenly 
things, through the grace of compunction. In fine, when he offered up to 
God the sacrifice of the saving Victim, he paid his vows to God not only 
with his voice, but with tears flowing from a heart thoroughly touched. 
These were the dispositions with which this holy bishop was animated. So 
it was no wonder that they were attended with a course of miracles during 
all the short time of his episcopal administration, which extended to those 
parts of Scotland that lie to the south of the Friths. For it appears that 
many of the inhabitants of these parts were, during these times, and long 
afterwards, under the direction of the Bishops of Lindisfarne and Jlexham ; 
and this lasted till the restoration of the see of Whithern. For the 
Southern Picts and other inhabitants of these parts being now at full 
liberty, and rid of the Saxon yoke, submitted willingly to be governed by 
S. Cuthbert and the other bishops in the neighbourhood, when they found 
them seeking nothing but the salvation of their souls ; whereas they were 
impatient, as we have seen, under the administration of Trumwine, though 
he was himself a good religious bishop ; but his being imposed by King 
Egfrid, an enemy, and Archbishop Theodore, made him odious to them ; 
whereas nothing of that kind could be objected to Cuthbert. His episco- 
pal seat was at Lindisfarne ill England, and it was only his charity and 
zeal for their souls that engaged him to exercise his episcopal functions 
in the adjacent province of the Picts, where his ministry was wanted, the 
Picts having no bishop of their own on that side of the Friths. Accor- 
dingly we find S. Cuthbert often in these parts, as appears by the account 
that Bede has left (a) of his miracles whereof one of the first was wrought 

<*' Vita Cutli. c. xxv. 


at his returning home from Melrose, where he had gone to confer with A. D. 686. 
Bishop Eata, upon a servant of a nobleman who was cured by drinking a 
mouthful of the infusion of holy water blessed by S. Cuthbert. About the 
same time, being at Carlisle near the borders of Scotland, he foretold the 
defeat and deathW of King Egfrid the moment it happened. Being come 
to the same place soon after, for making ordination and giving the monas- 
tic habit to the Queen Ermenburga, widow of King Egfrid, he obtained of 
God to his beloved friend and disciple, Herbert, that he should not outlive 
him. It appears by what Bede relates of the conversion of these two holy 
( b ) men, that Herbert was wont to make to S. Cuthbert, every time they 
happened to meet, a private confession of all his faults and failings. In 
the same parts likewise, by holy water, he restored to perfect health the 
wife of a Count who lay a-dying. Others he healed by blessed oil. ( c ) The 
pestilence raging everywhere this year and carrying off great multitudes, 
did not hinder S. Cuthbert from making his usual episcopal visits and cir- 
cuits all around, with so much the greater zeal( d ) that being admonished 
from heaven that his death was approaching, and resolved to retire to his 
beloved solitude of Fame, to prepare himself by prayer and other pious 
exercises for meeting it with greater confidence, he began by making a 
general visit, not only of all his own district, which included Lothian and 
the other southern provinces of Scotland, but of all the adjacent parts, 
exhorting and animating, by the fervour of his discourses, the faithful every- 
where, and confirming his doctrine by curing the sick, and many other 
miracles set down by Bede in his Life. Among other places to which he 
extended his pastcral care, was the monastery of Tyningham in Lothian, 
which formerly, says Bede, was a convent of men, when Cuthbert, as yet a 
child, had miraculously obtained of God the preservation of the barks and 
men belonging to the monastery ; ( e ) but as vicissitudes happen by length 
of time, it was in Bede's days changed into a noble congregation of virgins 
devoted to Christ. Of this monastery Verca was then Abbess, a lady of 
great quality and of so eminent piety, that Cuthbert, to testify the respect 
he had for her,( f ) caused preserve a piece of linen, whereof she had made 
him a present, to serve him for a winding-sheet ; and accordingly, upon 

w Vit. Cuih. c. xxvii. 
(1)) Ibid. c. xxviii. 
(c) Ibid. c. xxxii. 
"" Ibid. c. xxxiv. 
<" Ibid. c. iii. 
lf) Ibid. c. xxxvii. 

If n 


A. L). (isti. the approach of death, he ordered his body to be wrapt in the lineii which 
the Abbess Verca, beloved of God, had sent him. In this monastery, Cuth- 
bert changed water into excellent wine, as Bede was assured by one present 
at the time, who had tasted it. 

After this visit, being returned to his seat of Lindisfarne, after putting- 
order to all that belonged to his charge, he at last retired to his beloved 
solitude of Fame Island, from which he had been, two years before, as it 
were torn away by force of authority and obedience, and after which he had 
still breathed, amidst the toils, labours, and solicitudes of his episcopal 

We have, in his Life by Bede, an account from Herefride, Abbot of 
Lindisfarne under S. Cuthbert's direction, who was present, of the holy 
man's last sickness, death, and burial, which, in short, was, that being re- 
tired to his solitude of Fame, a short while after Christmas, about the 
beginning of A.D. C87, and after passing there two months in retreat, 
prayer, and mortification, he fell suddenly sick ; and, being at his own 
I'iirncst desire left all alone, he suffered exceedingly during five days that 
the tempestuous weather hindered all approach of barks to the rock where 
he lay. At last, the Abbot returning found him reduced to extremity by 
sickness and faintness. Having first recommended to his disciples, as his 
last will, the preservation of peace, humility, hospitality, particularly unity 
with all the re>t of the Church in the lawful observation of Easter, the 
canons and rules of the holy Fathers, and the regular discipline that he 
had established in the monastery ; and then, having fortified his passage 
out of the world by the holy Sacraments, to wit, the communion of the 
Body and Blood of Christ, which the Abbot Herefride administered to 
him, lifting up his eyes and hands to heaven, he rendered up his soul to 
<od during the nocturnal Office, the twentieth of March, 687. His body, 
as he had permitted at the earnest desire of the brethren, was carried back 
to Lindisfarne, and with great solemnity buried there in a stone chest, 
in S. Peter's Church, and remained uncorrupted. Bede relates that " Di- 
vine Providence, wishing to make more extensively known the great 
glory in which this Saint lived after death, whose exalted life previous to 
death was distinguished also by frequent miraculous signs, put it into 
the minds of the brethren, eleven years after his interment, to raise his 
bones, which they thought should be found dry, and the rest of the body 
by this time wasted away and reduced to dust, as happens with the dead; 


and, in order to testify their becoming veneration, to place them, after A. D. Gb7. 

being laid in a light coffin, in the same spot, but above the pavement. 

When, about the middle of Lent, they informed Eadbert, their Bishop, of 

this their resolution, he acceded to their design, and gave orders that they 

should see to it that this was done on the day of his death, which was on 

the thirteenth before the Kalends of April. Accordingly they did so ; and. 

on opening the grave, they found the whole body uncorrupted, as if lie 

were still alive, and. in the flexibility of the joints of the limbs, much likcv 

a sleeping than a dead person ; and all the vestments, also, in which the 

body had been wrapped up, appeared not only uninjured, but also with 

their first freshness, and wonderfully white. When the brethren saw this. 

they were instantly struck with such excessive fear and trembling, that 

they scarcely dared to speak, or look upon the miracle thus disclosed, and 

hardly knew what they were doing. 

" To give proof that there was no corruption, having taken off his 
outer vestments (for they were extremely afraid to touch what was next 
his flesh), they hastened to relate what they had found, to the Bishop, who 
then happened to be living in solitude in a place lying at some distance 
from the monastery, and surrounded on all sides by the ebbing waves of 
the sea : for in this place he was wont always to spend the time of Lent. 
and to pass forty days before Christmas, in devoting himself earnestly to 
fasting, prayer, and weeping ; and in this place, also, his venerable prede- 
cessor Cuthbert, before he retired to Fame, was for some time in the way 
of serving the Lord in solitary retirement, as we have stated before. And 
they brought with them, also, part of the vestments which had bec'ii 
wrapped round the holy body. While thankfully receiving these gifts, 
and gladly hearing of the miracles (for he even kissed, with marvellous 
feeling, the garments, as if they still enveloped the body of the Father), he 
said, ' Wrap new garments round the body instead of those you have 
brought, and so replace it in the coffin which you have prepared. And I 
know most assuredly that the place will not remain long empty, which has 
been consecrated by a heavenly miracle of such virtue. And blessed, in- 
deed, is he on whom the Lord, the author and giver of true happiness, 
thinks fit to bestow a resting place in it.' 

" When the Bishop, with many tears, and his tongue trembling with 
great emotion, had finished these and more sayings to the same effect, 
the brethren did as he had ordered; and, wrapping the body in new ap- 


A. D. 687. parel, and laying it in a light coffin, placed it above the pavement of the 
sanctuary.' 1 

After his death, Bishop Wilfrid, lately returned from his exile, and 
reconciled to King Aldfrid by the mediation of Archbishop Theodore, took 
care of the bishoprick of Lindisfarne till the election of a new Bishop. Dur- 
ing this vacancy of the See, which lasted a year, the church and monastery 
of Lindisfarne were so disturbed, that many of the brethren'") chose rather 
to abandon the place than to be exposed to such contradiction and tumult. 
The Bollandian writers think that this disturbance arose from Wilfrid, 
who was vehement in all that his zeal prompted him, by his endeavouring 
to substitute tne rule of S. Benedict for the Co'.umbite rule, and the dis- 
cipline established by S. Cuthbert. This is contradicted by Father 
Mabillon, who is of opinion that the rule of S. Benedict was received in 
Lindisfarne during S. Cuthbert's time ; but the anonymous and almost 
contemporary writer of S. Cuthbert's Life insinuates that the rule settled 
by S. Guthbert continued till this writer's time, towards the beginning of 
the eighth age, to be observed in that monastery, jointly with that of S. 
Benedict, after it was introduced. 

To S. Cuthbert, after the year of Wilfrid's administration was finished. 
succeeded Eadbert, a man, says Bede, ( b ) illustrious for his knowledge of 
the Sacred Scriptures, and by his exact observation of the Divine precepts, 
and his alms deeds. He governed the see of Lindisfarne about eight 
years, and with him peace and tranquillity were restored to the monastery ; 
for having been bred up by the Columbites, and walking in their footsteps 
in their apostolical way of living in primitive simplicity, all tumults and 
dissensions ceased ; and the Catholic form of observing Easter being by 
this time universally received in all the Saxon churches, and the Colum- 
bite rule, with the institutions of S. Cuthbert, being jointly observed with 
the rule of S. Benedict, and all that done by way of persuasion rather than 
authority, all occasion of dissension or tumult that happened in Wilfrid's 
time in the monastery was taken away. And the good Bishop continued, 
as S. Cuthbert had done, to govern and exercise his episcopal functions, 
not only in the places of Northumberland adjacent to Lindisfarne, but 
throughout all the eastern parts of Lothian or Pictland, to the south of the 
Friths ; and, as it is like, their successors continued to do, till the erection 

w Vita. Cuth. c. xl. 
< b) Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c 29. 


of the see of St. Andrews, and the extent of its jurisdiction to Berwick A. D. 687. 

inclusive. For this reason I shall continue on till then the series of the 

Bishops of Lindisfarne, as being, for the time, Bishops of the southern 

parts of Scotland, called in these days and long afterwards, by the name 

of Pictland, because it made a part of the Pictish dominions, as having been 

long ago at first yielded up by the Britons to the Picts. And though, 

after the coming in of the Saxons, this country had been also invaded by 

them, and a great many Saxon families settled in it, by whom the Saxon 

language had been first introduced into these parts ; yet upon King Egfrid's 

defeat, A.D. 685, the Picts recovered them, and from thenceforth they 

became so much masters of that country that from them it was called 

Pictland of which denomination the Pictland Hills in Lothian remain as 

yet a lasting monument. And at last, by the union of the Pictish and 

Scottish kingdoms into one monarchy, and by the advantages the Scots 

had over the Saxons whilst they were harassed by the Danes, all these 

countries, from Berwick-upon-Twced inclusive, to Carlisle upon the Eden 

or Solway Frith, were reunited to the Scottish monarchy, and became a 

part of Scotland, as they still remain. 

What I have said of the Bishops of Lindisfarne. their exercising the 
episcopal functions in Lothian and other parts of Pictland to the south of 
the Friths towards the east, is to be equally understood and applied to the 
Bishops of Hagulstad or Hexham, who supplied, in a great measure, on 
the same side of the Friths towards the west, the long vacancy of the 
ancient sees of Glasgow and Whithern during the interruption of the 
succession of these two diocesan Bishops. For which reason I shall like- 
wise continue on the succession of the Bishops of Hexham till Bishop 
Eardulph's time, in the ninth age. during whose time it was united to 
that of Lindisfarne, and the Bishop's seat, with S. Cuthbert's body, trans- 
ferred to Circenster or Chester, and from thence, in the end of the tentli 
age, to Durham. 

Meantime (as we have more than once observed) the Picts of the 
provinces to the north of the Friths, called ancient Caledon, and the Scots 
were governed by Columbite bishops of their own country. We have 
elsewhere set down the names of those of them which we could recover, 
who for the sanctity of their lives were honoured by the faithful with 
annual festivals, and whose names are marked in the Kalendars of what 
remain of our Liturgical books. But as to the particulars of their lives 


A. 1). <>x7. and actions, and even the precise time in which they lived, we are de- 
prived, for the most part, of that satisfaction, by the destruction of eccle- 
siastical monuments in our country : of which elsewhere. 

To return now to Bishop Wilfrid, who endeavoured also to extend his 
jurisdiction over the Picts in Lothian, whilst he sat peaceably at York, to 
which he had been lately restored. His restoration, which happened this 
year, was owing chiefly to the Archbishop Theodore, who, being now very 
aged, and upon the brink of eternity, had, it seems, a remorse for his 
hard usage towards S. Wilfrid, and therefore sent for him, was recon- 
ciled to him, and, for a full satisfaction of the wrong that Wilfrid com- 
plained of, Theodore wrote strong letters of recommendation in his fa- 
vour, among others to Aldfrid, King of the Northumbrians, which, being 
joined to the earnest solicitation of the Princess ^Elfled, sister to that 
King, and Abbess of Strcaneshalch, procured Wilfrid's reconciliation to 
Kinjr Aldfrid, and his restoration to the see of York, which was the 
more easy that all occasion of Wilfrid's complaints were taken away by 
the removal of Eosa, who had been placed Bishop of York in Wilfrid's 
place, and S. Cuthbert's retiring to his solitude, and soon after dying, 
as Eata of Hexham was deceased the year before. But this reconci- 
liation lasted only about four years. 

A.D. G88. Adamnan, Abbot of Ycolmkill, was deputed the second 
time in an embassy from the Scots, no doubt from King Ferchard the 
Second, then reigning, to Aldfrid, King of the Northumbrians. His first 
embassy to the same King happened two years before, as he tells us himself, 
soon after the war in which King Egfrid was killed by the Picts. This 
last legacy of Adamnan is not only mentioned by Adamnan himself, but by 
Bede, <"> and by Ceolfrid, Abbot of Yarrow, '. b > in his letter to Naitan. 
King of the Picts. It is like, his first embassy was not only in the name 
of the Scots of his own nation, but likewise of the Picts, to regulate the 
marches of the kingdoms, Aldfrid being forced, upon Egfrid's defeat, as 
Bedo informed us, to give up to the Picts large territories no doubt, those 
that his brother and other Northumbrian Kings, his predecessors, had 
usurped from the Picts and Scots towards the east, and also from the 
Britons, to the south of the Friths, towards the west. None could be more 
acceptable to the Northumbrian King than. Adamnan, who had been 
familiarly acquainted with him during his long retreat in Ycolmkill, where 

i" Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 15. 
<"> Ibid. c. 21. 


that prince stayed, as in banishment, all the time of his brother Egfrid's A. D. C88. 
reign, Failbe, and after him, Adamnan himself, being at the time Abbots 
of that famous monastery; for which reason, Adamnan calls him by the 
familiar name of a friend, " Regem Alfridum visitantes amicum." And, 
indeed, King Aldfrid had more than one reason to be a friend to the 
inhabitants of that sacred place, since he had found there, not only a retreat 
and protection in the time of his distress, but learned masters, by whose 
instructions he was become one of the most learned princes that had sat 
upon the Saxon throne ; especially in the Holy Scriptures, which was the 
chief subject of the studies of the inhabitants of Ycolmkill, according to 
the example of S. Columba, their founder ; and, accordingly, Bede calls 
King Aldfrid a man most learned in the Scriptures, " vir in Scripturis 
doctissimus." <"> 

It was, no doubt, in that quality of a learned as well as friendly 
prince, that Adamnan presented to him his curious book, containing the 
description of the Holy Places, or Holy Land, < b > so much esteemed by the 
learned, being the only account that we have in these ages of the state and 
circumstances of these sacred places which had been sanctified by our 
Lord's own presence when He conversed in the flesh. Bede valued this 
work so much that, besides an abridgement he left of it apart, he has in- 
serted a shorter abstract of it in his History. At the same time, he informs 
us that Adamnan had his account of the Holy Land from one Arculfus, a 
Gallican bishop, who, after having visited the Holy Land, and many other 
most famous cities and places in the Orient, was, in his return by sea. 
driven into the Western Islands of Britain ; and being come to Ycolmkill, 
Adamnan, who was Abbot at the same time, finding him a prelate well 
versed in the Scriptures, and perfectly informed of the Holy Places, not 
only received him with great joy, and heard with avidity and attention his 
relations of the Holy Land, but set them down in writing, and having 
carried them along with him in his embassy to King Aldfrid, presented 
them to him, by whose liberality they came, says Bede, to be made public. 
After Adamnan had dispatched all the affairs of his embassy, the king dis- 
missed him with many presents. This work of Adamnan, " De Locis 
Sanctis," was published entire by Gretzcr, at Ingolstadt, A.D. 1619. 

But it appears that one of the chief subjects of Adamuan's inquiries in 

"' Hist. Eccles. lib. iv; c. 26. 
(b) Ibid. lib. v. c. 15. 


A. D. 688. this voyage into England, was in order to be more fully informed about the 
famous question of the canonical time of celebrating Easter, which was the 
chief controversy of these times. We have seen the gradual progress that 
the settling of the right time of this solemnity had made among the 
southern inhabitants of Ireland, and among the Christians in the north of 
England. But the Britons, the Scots and Picts, and the northern in- 
habitants of Ireland, especially those that were subject to Ycolmkill, re- 
mained as yet still attached to their old irregular calculations. The form 
of the tonsure was another occasion of division. Adamnan, by his own 
lecture, conversation with the learned of both parties, and by his reflec- 
tions, was in some manner satisfied already as to his own opinion, that the 
general practice of the Church, in both these heads of discipline, was pre- 
ferable to that of the Britons, and Scots, and Picts. But he was desirous 
to improve the knowledge lie had attained to upon the subject, by the 
conversation of the learned, whom he could have opportunity to meet with 
in his progress through the northern parts of England, in order to bring 
others into it. 

Among ti.ose he visited in England was the learned Ceolfrid, Abbot of 
Yarrow, who gives us, himself, ( a > an account of what passed at their inter- 
view, particularly his own opinion conformable to the notions of these 
times concerning the origin and form of the tonsure ; of which in his 
letter to King Naitan about Easter and the tonsure : in this letter, after 
condemning the Scottish form of the tonsure as having its origin, in his 
opinion, from Simon Magus, Ceolfrid adds : " But do not think that my 
meaning is that those who use this tonsure are condemned in case they 
adhere to the Catholic unity in faith and actions. On the contrary, I con- 
fidently profess and acknowledge that many among them have been holy 
men and acceptable to God ; of the which number I reckon among these 
the excellent prelate Adamnan, Abbot of the Columbites, who, being sent 
from his country on an embassy to King Aldfrid, was pleased also to visit 
our monastery, where we observed in his words and behaviour wonderful 
wisdom, humility, and religion." Ceolfrid continues, " Among other 
things, discoursing with Adamnan, I said, ' I beseech you, most holy 
brother, who think you are advancing to the crown of life, which has no 
period nor bounds, why do you, contrary to what you profess to believe, 
wear on your head a crown that is terminated or bounded, and not finished 

'"' Bed. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 21. 


in a circle I And if you aim at the society of S. Peter, why do you imitate A. D. 088. 
the tonsure of him whom S. Peter anathematized ? and why do you not 
show that you love the habit of him with whom you desire to live happy 
for ever ? ' Adamnan answered, ' Be assured, dear brother, that though I 
bear Simon's tonsure, according to the custom of my country, yet I utterly 
detest and abhor all Simoniacal wickedness ; and I desire, as far as my 
meanness is capable of doing it, to follow the footsteps of the most blessed 
prince of the apostles.' "I replied," says Ceolfrid, " I verily believe it as you 
say ; but let it appear by showing in your countenance such things as you 
know to be his that is, the form of tonsure that he wore that you in your 
heart embrace whatever is of the Apostle Peter : for I believe your wis- 
dom does easily juilge that it is much more proper to distinguish your 
countenance, already dedicated to Giod, from the resemblance of his aspect 
whom you abhor in your hearts, and of whose hideous face you would shun 
the sight ; and, on the other hand, that it becomes you to imitate the out- 
ward resemblance of him whom you seek to have your advocate with God, 
as you desire to follow his actions and instructions." 

" This, then," says Ceolfrid, " I said to Adamnan, who, indeed, showed 
how much he had improved by seeing the statutes and discipline of our 
Churches, when, after his return from England, he brought great numbers 
to the Catholic observance of the Paschal time, though he was not yet able 
to reduce to a better way the monks that lived in Ycolmkill, over whom he 
presided as their ruler or Abbot." But the reduction of those of Ycolmkill 
was reserved to the holy man Egbert, who was particularly appointed by 
God for that work,, as we have seen. Meantime, we may observe, by the 
resistance of the religious men of Ycolmkill, in this point of discipline, to 
their Abbot, Adamnan, one of the greatest men of the time, and who, in 
quality of Head of all the Columbitcs, ought to have had so great influence 
over his own immediate disciples, especially in an afftiir in which he was 
supported by almost all the rest of the Catholic Church we may observe, 
I say, by this attachment of these of Ycolmkill to this 'point of discipline, 
which chiefly proceeded from the respect and veneration they had for all 
the practices and examples of the great S. Columba, and at the same time 
conclude from it their steadiness and perseverance in all other matters of 
doctrine and discipline which had been taught and established among 
them and the rest of the Scots and Picts by that great man : for whose 
memory the alteration about Easter and the tonsure begun by Adamnan in 



A. D. 688. the end of this age, and perfected in the beginning of the next, diminished 
nothing of their veneration, especially it being supported by frequent mi- 
raculous marks of his powerful intercession with God in behalf, as well of 
the Scots and Picts in general, as of each of them in particular who re- 
claimed his patronage : of all which Adamnan himself, at this very time, 
that is, about one hundred years after S. Columba's death, as a proof that 
he was still no less powerful with God. and no less solicitous for them than 
when alive upon earth, gives us proofs of which he himself was witness, 
and shared in the benefit, and which, being proper to give further light into 
the doctrine and discipline of the Scottish Church in these days, belong 
particularly <o this work, and deserve a place in it. 

Thus, then, in the first place, Adamnan gives account of the miracul- 
ous effects of S. Columba's protection against the plague, which he himself 
experienced in this same voyage through England, in his own preservation 
and that of all his retinue. " As for us," says Adamnan, < a > " we do not cease 
to render thanks to God for his having preserved us by the intercession 
and prayers of our venerable patron, S. Columba, from the attacks of the 
plague, both in these our islands and when we went to visit our friend, 
King Aldfrid, during the time the plague was raging everywhere, and carry- 
ing off numbers of people in the villages through which we passed. For 
such was the goodness of God towards us that, both in our first visit, after 
the battle in which King Egfrid was killed, and two years afterwards, in 
our second visit or progress through England, though we travelled amidst 
the plague, yet, not only none of our company died, but not so much as 
one of them was troubled with any sickness or distemper ;" and, which is 
more, in the same chapter, Adamnan gives us an account of the wonderful 
preservation of our ancestors, the Picts and Scots, alone among all the 
nations of Europe, from the universal plague that raged through all other 
countries ; and this singular favour was granted to them by the prayers of 
S. Columba. For after narrating, in the forty-fifth chapter, several miracles 
wrought by S. Columba's prayers, in Adamnan's own presence, he thus 
continues in the forty-sixth : 

" Nor ought it, I conceive," says Adamnan, " to be reckoned the least 
among S. Columba's miracles, what happened in the time of the plague, 
which, in our own time, ravaged twice the most part of the world. For, not 

<' Vit. Columbac, lib. ii. c. 46. 


to mention other large countries of Europe, that is, Italy, Rome itself, the A. D. 688. 

Gauls and Spain, even the islands in the ocean, to wit, Britain and Ireland, 

were twice ravaged with a dreadful plague, all of them, excepting only the 

two people of the Picts and the Scots of Britain, who are separated one from 

another by the hills of Drumalbain : and though the sins of both these 

people were grievous enough to provoke the wrath of the Eternal Judge, 

yet He has been pleased hitherto patiently to forbear and spare them. 

" Now, to what else can we attribute this singular favour of God but to 
the prayers of S. Columba, whose monasteries, founded within the bounds 
of these two peoples, are, by them both, held in the greatest respect till 
this time ? But I cannot help adding here, with grief in my heart," says 
Adamnan, " that, notwithstanding these singular mercies bestowed by Al- 
mighty God upon these two peoples, there are still some of them so fool- 
ishly ingrate to the prayers of the saints, by which they have been hitherto 
protected, that they still continue to abuse the mercies of God." 

Thus Adamnan : and what lamentations would not the good Abbot 
have made, could he have foreseen that these monasteries of S. Columba, 
and even Ycolmkill itself which in his time was held in so great honour 
by the Scots and Picts the Mother Church of their Christianity pillaged 
and ravaged, not by the pagan Danes, as in former ages, but by the avarice 
of the inhabitants of these same countries which owed to S. Columba and 
his disciples the first light of the Gospel, and the progress and preservation 
of it among them during so many ages. But Almighty God has not 
let pass unpunished the chief instruments of this last destruction of these 
holy places, for it is till this day the opinion of Protestants as well as 
Catholics, in our Highlands and Isles, that the misfortunes, decay, and heavy 
judgments, which have ever since the new Reformation till now hung 
over a most ancient and once most potent family whicli had the immediate 
hand in ravaging Ycolmkill, are no less the lasting effects of the wrath of 
God for that sacrilegious depredation of these holy places, consecrated to 
the memory of the second Apostle of our country, than the decay and ruin 
that happened to an ancient family in the Mearns, was, in the judgment of 
all the neighbourhood, reckoned as the due punishment of the violation 
of the monument of S. Palladius, reckoned by the Scots among the first 
apostles of their nation. 

In the end of this seventh age, about A J). 689, the holy man, Egbert, 
who, as has been related, was living retired in a monastery of Ireland, pro- 



A. D. f>89. posed to himself to do good to many, and resolved to undertake the work of 
preaching the Gospel to some of those nations in Germany from whom the 
English were descended ; and, in order to that design, to sail about Britain 
towards these parts, to try to bring them over to Christ ; or, if that could 
not be done, he designed to go to Rome, to see and venerate the repositories 
of the holy apostles and martyrs of Christ. But whilst he was full of these 
thoughts, and preparing all for the journey, the holy man, Boisil, formerly 
Prior of Melrose under Eata, as we have seen, appeared three several 
times to one of the brethren of the monastery where Egbert lived, and 
ordered him to deliver the following message to Egbert from our Lord 
to wit, that he must not undertake the journey to Germany, as he had in- 
tended, but that the will of God was that he rather went to Ycolmkill and 
the Monastery of S. Columba, in order to bring them into the right way, 
that is, to reduce them to the canonical way of celebrating Easter. 

Upon this, Egbert, being thus by the will of heaven disappointed of all 
hopes of undertaking in person this pious design of preaching the Gos- 
pel in Germany, gave not wholly over his holy resolution, but resolved to 
do by others what he was hindered to go about himself. He, therefore, 
sent holy and industrious men to the work of the Gospel. Among these, 
Willibrord, born in England but educated under Egbert's direction in Ire- 
land, having thus received from Egbert a mission to preach the Gospel, 
went, accompanied with two brothers, and in a short time they converted 
many from idolatry to the faith of Christ. Willibrord, who was the chief 
and head of them, going afterwards to Rome, was ordained, by Pope Ser- 
gius, bishop at large, to preach the Gospel to the infidels upon the coast 
of Germany ; and at last he fixed his seat at Utrecht, and he is held to 
be the Apostle and first Bishop of that city, in Holland. 

Many other holy men, moved by nn apostolical zeal, went from our 
British Islands, during this and the following ages, to preach the Gospel in 
Germany and in the northern countries, whose lives and actions may be 
seen in the general history of the Church, and the particular Lives of each 
of them ; so that it were useless to digress upon them in this work, espe- 
cially since it would be both an endless and invidious labour to enter into 
the discussions and debates of the modern Scottish, English, and Irish 
writers, about the places of the birth and origin of each one of these 
apostolical men. These debates chiefly arise from the dubious and equivo- 
cal meaning of the names Scotia and Hibernia, which in these .times were 


indifferently applied, by the writers, to Ireland and Scotland, and particu- A. D. 689. 
larly to the Island of Ycolmkill, which not only belongs to Scotland, but 
was, in this seventh and eighth age, as it were, the very centre of all civil 
and ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom. For example, S. Kilian, bishop 
and martyr, and patron of Wurzburg, about this same time, is, by some of 
the authors of his Life, called an Irishman; but by Trithemius, who was 
Abbot of the Scottish monastery of Wurzburg, and no doubt had examined 
the ancient monument of it, Kilianus is called " monachus Hyensis," a 
monk of Ycolmkill, and his adding "in Ilibernia," is the effect of the con- 
fusion of this name, applied sometimes, as I said, in ancient times, as well 
to the northern part of Britain, inhabited by the Scots, as to Ireland, 
properly so called. 

But not to cumber this work with interminable debates, to little other 
purpose than to revive the contestations of the different pretenders to these 
apostolical men, I return to Egbert, who, by his zeal for the conversion of 
infidel nations, and more yet by his giving mission to other evangelical 
preachers, upon his being hindered himself to go and labour towards their 
conversion, appears to have been even at this time promoted to the epis- 
copal Order, which is confirmed by the manner that Bede speaks of him. 
For though it is observable that Bede mentions him nine different times, 
he never once calls him by the name of presbyter, by which he designs 
those who were only in the second Order of priesthood ; whatever other 
pre-eminence they had, even the great S. Columba, Abbot of Ycolmkill, 
whom he never calls but presbyter, whereas, he calls Egbert, everywhere, 
sacerdos, which, in Bcde's language, is common to the first and second 
Order of the priesthood, but made use of more often by him to design a 
bishop than a priest, as we seeO 1 ) in his account of the mission of the Gal- 
lican bishops, Germanus, Lupus, and Severus, to Britain against the Pe- 
lagians. Bede calls these bishops no less than fourteen times by the name 
of sacerdos. But not only everywhere is Egbert called by Bede, sacerdos, 
and never once presbyter, but the epithets that Bede gives him every time 
he mentions him, sufficiently prove that he was a bishop ; for he calls him 
four several times " reverendissimus pater et sacerdos Egbertus," and, 
again, " reverendissimus et sanctissimus pater et sacerdos Egbert,'' and 
though those expressions alone of Bede might suffice to convince impartial 

<> Hist. Eccles. lib. i. cc. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. 


A. D. 689. men that Egbert was a true bishop, yet, independently of Bede, other 
ancient writers who lived about or near the time, such as Alcuin and 
Ethelwerd, call Egbert expressly bishop, episcopus and antistes; whence 
Mabillon concludes that there can be no doubtC") but that Egbert was a 
true bishop in the proper sense, though, perhaps, says he, he was attached 
to no particular seat or diocese, which was an ordinary custom in Britain, 
and more yet in Ireland, in those times. But besides that, there was a 
particular reason why Egbert was bishop at large, and not fixed at first 
to any seat. For his first design, as we have seen, being to go to Saxony, 
Fric.sland, and other parts of Germany, to convert the old Saxons, and 
establish Christianity among them, and having towards that end assem- 
bled fellow-labourers to assist him and prepared all other necessaries, it 
was natural that lie should receive the Order of episcopacy before he left 
Ireland, to qualify him for ordaining pastors, founding and dedicating 
churches functions necessary in the founding a new Christian Church 
and being once promoted to the episcopal degree, the stop that Almighty 
God put to his intended mission made him a bishop at large without a see, 
till he came at last, as we shall see, and fixed himself at Ycolmkill, where 
he resided till his death, and acted with an authority, and got a greater 
ascendant over the monastery of Ycolmkill than ever their abbots had. 

A. D. 6S)0, died Ferchard, Second of that name, surnamed Fada, that is, 
the Long, and the twelfth King of the Scots. This is the second of our 
real kings whom Boece. from Veremuncl, makes a tyrant, or rather a monster 
of wickedness, and brings in his subjects preparing to impeach and punish 
him for his maladministration, had they not been dissuaded, say they, by 
the good Bishop Colman. They add, that being at last punished by God 
with a loathsome distemper, he repented, and was assisted at his death by 
the same Bishop Colman. Now, besides that there is nothing of all this 
in Fordun, who furnished all the real grounds of Boece's History that we 
know of, the falsehood of what they relate of this King Ferchard appears 
by the account already set down of Bishop Colman. We have shown 
that after his retreat from England, A.D. 664, he abode three years in 
Ycolmkill, or other parts of Scotland, in the exercise of his episcopal 
functions, before he retired to Innisbofind, upon the coast of Ireland, 
which happening A.D. 667, two years before Ferchard the Second came 

'' Annal. torn. ii. p. 81. 


to the crown, which, according to the exactest calculation we can make A. D. 690. 
from all the most ancient monuments now remaining, happened A.D. 669. 
So Bishop Colman being, during King Fercliard's reign, retired to his 
monastery of Ireland, either of Innisbofind or Magio, he could be of no 
service to King Ferchard against his subjects in the beginning of his 
reign, and far less could he be useful to him at his death, since we have 
seen that the death of Colman himself fell out A.D. 675, fifteen years 
before that of King Ferchard, which happened only A.D. 690. (What 
Bishop Lesley adds to this fabulous account of Colman, concerning his 
travels through Germany and Hungary, and his martyrdom in Austria, 
regards another S. Colman, a Scot, martyrized in Austria in the eleventh 
age.) But upon the whole, we sec by this and other such examples, what 
account ought to be made of the rest of our kings, supposed to have been 
tyrants, whom Boece and other modern writers upon this, from this Yere- 
mund. and Buchanan and Lesley after Boece, bring in arraigned or pun- 
ished by their subjects. But I refer the reader to what is said of the 
first origin and source of these fabulous arraignments and depositions of 
the kings of Scotland in my Critical Essay, pages 251, 252, etc. 

The same year, happened the death of Theodore. Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, one of the most learned men of his age, and who contributed the 
most of any. to settle in England ecclesiastical polity according to the 
canons, and to polish it by all kind of literature. He was the first among 
the Archbishops of Canterbury that exerted the metropolitan power to its 
full length, by erecting new bishopricks, calling to his councils the bishops 
of all the different kingdoms of the Heptarchy, exercising through them all, 
and particularly in the province of York, a metropolitical jurisdiction, and 
even endeavouring to extend it over the Picts, by settling a new bishop at 
Abercorn. It is worth the observing, that this was the second step that 
was made towards subjecting the Church, of Scotland to that of England ; 
and we have seen the check it met with from the Picts. The first step, 
upon which all that followed in after ages was grounded, was the order of 
Pope Gregory the First to S. Augustine, containing a draft of settling the 
Church of Britain ; according to which there were to be two Archbishops, 
one at London, and another at York; but this had hitherto never had any 
execution; and even Theodore, though sent from Eome, was so far from 
conforming himself to S. Gregory's plan in what concerned the metropolicy 
of York, that he not only took as great authority over that province as over 


A. D. (590. his own, and settled new bishops there; but set up and pulled down even 
the Bishops of York themselves, as he found it convenient, as we have 
seen in the case of Ceadda, Wilfrid, Bosa, etc., and, in a word, it must be 
owned that however learned he was and otherwise well-intentioned, his 
government was very arbitrary. He died at the age of eighty-eight. 

The same year died also another person of great distinction, though of 
inferior character, who concurred very much to the literature and exterior 
polity of the Saxon Church. This was Benedict, surnamed Biscop, before 
mentioned, the founder and first Abbot of Weremouth or Yarrow, where 
lie established the rule of S. Bonnet, and from thence, especially by the 
credit and /cal of Bishop Wilfrid, who was the first that introduced that 
rule into England, it was by degrees propagated throughout Britain. Bene- 
dict Biscop formed in his monastery of Yarrow a famous school or seminary 
of learning, in which, among others, Bedc, born A. D. 675, in those parts 
near. the borders of Scotland, was bred up to all kind of literature. To 
Benedict succeeded Ccolfrid, of whom \vc shall have very soon another 
occasion to speak. 

To King Ferchard succeeded Eochod or Eocha alias Achai II., sur- 
named Rinneval or Stronaval, with the crooked nose, in Latin, habens 
curvum nasum, as the Chronicon Scotorum expresses it. He was the son of 
Dongard, who was son to King Donald Breac, and was the fourteenth king 
of the Scots. His reign, which lasted thirteen years, is divided by our 
modern writers, after Eorclun, betwixt two kings, to the one of whom they 
gave the name of Eugenius the Fifth, who has three or four years of a 
reign assigned him, and give the other ten years reign to one Eugenius 
the Sixth ; neither of whom are mentioned by that name in any of the re- 
mains of our ancient Chronicles before Fordun, in whose work the ancient 
series or order of succession of our kings is inverted, by placing King 
Malduin after Ferchard the Second, whose predecessor he was, and who 
succeeded immediately to Donald Breac; whereas Ferchard the Second had 
for his immediate successor, according to all the ancient abstracts of our 
Chronicles, this Eochod Rinneval, who reigned thirteen years, according to 
the Chronicle in Latin rhythm, which agreeing better with the word 
"tredecim," written at length, is less subject to alteration than bare numeral 
cyphers ; for which reasons I have preferred it to other copies that allow 
Eochod only three years of a reign. 

About these times there happened in Scotland a miracle very memorable, 


which might be compared to the wonders of old, says Bede, to whom I A. D. 694. 

refer the reader to see the whole relation at length, and shall here set down 

only a short abstract of it. To the end, says Bede, that negligent Christians 

might be awakened into serious thoughts of the rewards destined to the 

good, and of the punishment of the wicked after this life, a certain man, 

after lying a whole night in the state of death, or rather in a trance, related 

what he had seen in a vision of the state of souls according to the different 

dispositions in which they depart out of this world. This man whose name 

was Drythelm, was an honest housekeeper, who, with his family, lived a 

religious life in Cunningham, in the west of Scotland, who having been 

struck with a disease, which by degrees so increased, that at last it brought 

him to the extremity, so that on a certain day towards the evening he died, 

OP rather seemed to expire, so that all those that attended him looked upon 

him as truly dead. But early next morning, before day, he came to himself 

again, and suddenly raising himself up in his bed, all those who mournfully 

watched about him, being terribly frightened, ran away ; only his wife, who 

tenderly loved him, stood still in great apprehension. 

The man seeing his wife, bid her be of good courage. "Fear not," said 
he, " for I am truly come alive, and permission is given me to live a while 
longer among men. But my conversation hereafter must be quite other- 
wise than formerly it has been." Having said this he presently arose, and 
went to the oratory of the village, and remaining in prayer till it was full 
day, immediately divided all his substance into three parts ; one whereof 
he gave to his wife, another to his children, and the third belonging to 
himself he instantly distributed among the poor. Not long after, he re- 
paired to the monastery of Melrose, which is almost enclosed by the win- 
dings of the river Tweed, and there, having received the monastic tonsure, 
he went in to a private mansion, which had been provided for him by Edil- 
wald, Abbot of Melrose, who was afterwards Bishop of Lindisfarne, when 
Bede wrote. He had a more private place of retreat in this monastery, 
where he might apply himself to the service of his Creator in continual 
prayer ; and that place being seated on the bank of the river, he was 
wont to go down often into the water to chastise his body, and many times 
to duck quite under the water, and to continue in it saying psalms or 
prayers as long as he could endure it, standing still sometimes up to the 
middle, and sometimes to the neck in water ; and when he went out from 
thence he never took off his cold and frozen garments, but let them grow 



A. D. G94. dry and warm on his body. And when in the winter weather, the half- 
broken pieces of ice swimming about him, which he had sometimes broken 
himself to have room to stand or dip in the river, those who beheld it 
would say, " It is wonderful, Brother Drythelm, that you are able to endure 
such austerity," he simply answered, (for he was a man of great simplicity 
and mildness), ' ; I have seen much greater austerity." 

Thus he continued till the clay of his death, in such extraordinary con- 
trition and mortification, that though his tongue had been silent, his life 
declared that he had seen extraordinary things, some very dreadful, others 
very ravishing, which were unknown to others. He would not relate what 
he had seen to slothful persons and such as lived negligently, but only to 
those who had the fear of God, and being terrified with the dread of the 
torments of the wicked, or delighted with the hopes of heavenly joys, 
would make use of the relation to advance in piety. Eede adds, that 
Aldfrid, King of Northumberland, a man most learned in all respects, was 
so much taken with the relation that Drythelm made of his visions, that 
when he happened to come into these parts, he went very often to hear him 
and converse with him. But the person from whom Bede received the full 
detail of Drythelm's visions, was one Hemgels, a religious man, distin- 
guished by the sacerdotal degree, who was still alive when Bede wrote, 
and having retired to Ireland, led there a solitary life upon coarse bread 
and water. This man had been very familiar with Drythelm, and had heard 
often from him all the particulars of his visions, and from him Bede had 
the account that he has given of them, to whom I refer the reader ; and 
without making any judgment of this vision, I shall only observe, primo, 
that considering the holy man's simplicity, and the wonderful impression 
what he had seen made upon his life, it cannot be doubted but his im- 
agination had been deeply struck with the impression of the different states 
of the punishments of the wicked, and happiness of the just that had been 
represented to him. Secundo, that the opinion that the learned King 
Aldfrid, and Abbot Edilwald, and others that knew him had of this holy 
penitent, suffices to show that with all his simplicity he was a man of good 
sense, and not a crazy brain. Tertio, that both the man himself, and all 
those that gave ear to him, were persuaded, that besides the torments of 
hell destined for the wicked, and the joys of heaven prepared for the just, 
there was a middle state of purgation or purgatory for the souls of those 
who had too long delayed to confess and do penance for their sins. Quarto, 


that in tins suffering state of purgation some remained till the Day of A. D. G9.>. 

Judgment, but that many were relieved from it before, by the prayers of 

the living, by alms, fasting, and chiefly by the celebration of masses, and 

that in this, the inhabitants of these southern parts of Scotland agreed 

with all the rest of the Church in all ages and countries, that the imperfect 

just deceased, were helped and relieved by the prayers and good works of 

the living, as especially by the holy sacrifice of the mass offered for them. 

A. D. 695, died Bride or Brude, the victorious king of the Picts, who 
by the defeat of King Egfrid, had recovered all the Pictish territories to 
the south of the Friths, and reduced the Northumbrian kingdom to nar- 
rower bounds. He was succeeded by Taran, son of Entifidich, who reigned 
four years, and was the sixtieth king of the Picts. In his time, the Picts 
gained a memorable battle against the Saxons, in which was killed the 
general of the Northumbrians, called Beort, who had attacked the Picts in 
order to revenge the death of King Egfrid, but he had no better fate than 
that king ; both he and his army being destroyed by the Picts, probably 
led on in battle by Taran their king. It was also in this king's reign thai, 
the abbot Adamnan, who, as we have said, by his own study, and the con- 
versation of Abbot Ceolfrid, and other learned men in England, had been 
fully satisfied of the error of his countrymen in the legal time of celebrat- 
ing Easter, and that the observation, as well of the Roman and other 
Churches abroad, as of all those of Britain, excepting the Scots and Picts, 
and the Britons, was the only right one ; and upon this, being desirous 
to bring his religious men of Ycolmkill to conformity with the other 
Churches, upon his return to that island he used all his endeavours to set 
them right, but without any success; such was their attachment to their 
ancient usages. Wherefore, leaving them for a space, A. D. 69C, seven 
years before his death, according to Ussher's Chronology, he passed over to 
Ireland, with a resolution to labour towards the reducing those of the 
inhabitants that had hitherto been refractory in the celebration of Easter, 
to the common observance of other Churches, and had so good success in 
that kingdom, that by his preaching and modest exhortations, he reduced 
to the legal observance, almost all that had hitherto stood out among the 
natives, excepting those that were subject to the jurisdiction of Ycolmkill. 

A. D. 699, died Taran, King of the Picts, and had for his successor 
Bridei or Brude the Fifth, son of Dereli, who reigned eleven years, and 
was the sixty-first king of the Picts. 

p p 2 


A. D. 703. A. D. 703. The abbot Adamnan, after reducing great numbers of the 
inhabitants of Ireland to the right observance of Easter, having celebrated 
the solemnity in the canonical manner, returned this year to Ycolmkill, his 
own island, and having most earnestly inculcated the observation of the 
Catholic time of Easter, says Bede, in his own monastery, yet without 
being able to prevail, it happened that he departed this world before the 
year came about, the divine goodness so disposing matters, that he being 
a great lover of peace and unity, should be taken to eternal life, and not 
be exposed again upon the return of Easter, to fall more grievously at 
variance with those that would not follow him in observing the true time 
of the celebration of this great solemnity. 

He died upon the twenty-third of September, and was buried in his 
own monastery, and his annual festival was celebrated in all our Churches 
in Scotland, by the name of S. Adavnan, the letter m or mh being pro- 
nounced u or v in Gaelic, whence he was called by the vulgar S. Deunan 
or Theunan ; and thus he is called by King in his vulgar calendar, on his 
anniversary day, the twenty-third, and not the twenty-fifth September, as 
he is placed by the name of Adamnan in the calendar of the Scottish 
Common Prayer-book, printed A. D. 1638, in which he is qualified bishop. 

Besides the sanctity of his life, and his zeal for uniformity in the 
Church, and other virtues, for which we have seen him highly commended 
by venerable Bede and Abbot Ceolfrid, his memory ought to be precious 
among the Scots, as an ancient writer, particularly for the light he gives 
us in these dark ages, both in our civil and sacred history, as the reader 
will have seen all along in the many citations from Adamnan's Life of S. 
Columba. Besides, we have from him another piece already mentioned, 
and much esteemed by the learned, intituled De Locis Sanctis, or a de- 
scription of the Holy Land in the state it was in the seventh age. For 
though Adamnan was only the penman of that work, and the substance of 
it is due to Arculfus, a French bishop, yet we should never have had it 
without Adamnan. A third small work of Adamnan is some rules or 
canons, chiefly concerning legal observances (according to the degree of 
the first Apostolical council), particularly against eating things strangled, 
or blood, which Apostolical precept, it appears by these canons and other 
ancient monuments, was still observed by the Scots, both in Britain and 
Ireland, as far down as the eighth or ninth age. These canons, which 
are only nine in number, I have seen under the title of " Canones Adam- 


nani" in an M.S. of the Cottonian Library, and in another very ancient A. D. 70fi. 
M.S. formerly belonging to M. Bigot, now in the King of France's library, 
number 3665. 

Before I leave S. Adamnan, it is fit to take notice that, among other 
works of piety, he rebuilt or repaired the buildings of the Abbey of Ycolm- 
kill, which were beginning to decay in his time. Upon which occasion he 
gives account of a miraculous alteration of the winds, obtained in his own 
presence, by his own, and those in his own company, their addressing to 
S. Columba, by whose intercession the contrary wind was suddenly changed 
into a favourable, which conveyed them in their boats, with all the materials 
for building they were loaded with to Ycolmkill. In the same chapter, 
he gives account of another miracle of the same kind, wrought in his own 
presence, and in that of all who sailed with him, by the Saint's prayers. 
He adds in the same and preceding chapter, two other miracles, to which 
he himself, and all the neighbourhood were witnesses, wrought by exposing 
the habit in which S. Columba expired, with books written in his own 
hand.< a > 

It will appear, perhaps to some, that I have insisted too long upon 
S. Adamnan ; but, besides the light he furnishes to our history in ages 
when our other writers are so barren of materials, the author of these 
memoirs, born in a parish anciently devoted to the memory of this holy 
man, and still preserving a monument of him, well known to all the neigh- 
bourhood by the name of S. Eunan's well, and S. Eunan's tree, thought it 
a duty to be at some more pains to illustrate his life and actions. 0) 

S. Adamnan had for his successor in the Abbey of Ycolmkill, Conain, 
son of Failbe, who governed it six years. The same year, 703, died 
Eochod Rinneval, or Eocha II, called by our modern writers, as I have 
observed, Eugenius. He had for his successor, Ambrecallach or Amber- 
kellech, the son of Ferchard Fada, or as the Register of S. Andrews, Gray, 
and Fordun have it, the son of Findan, who was son to Eochod Buyd. 
Amberkellech reigned one year only. Fordun adds, that having unad- 
visedly broken the peace with the Picts, and made an irruption into their 
kingdom, he was there killed by the shot of an arrow. But Fordun has 
nothing of the lust, avarice, and other vices with which, upon Veremundian 
authority, our modern writers load this prince. 

">Vit. Col. lib. ii. cc. 44. 45. 

(1) [The Parish referred to is Aboyne. See Collections for a History of the Shires 
of Aberdeen and Banff, p. 633.] 


A. I). 704. A. I). 704. His successor in the throne was his brother Eogan or 
Eugenius, son of Ferchard Fada, He is called by Fordun, Eugenius the 
Sixth, and others call him Eugene the Seventh. He reigned sixteen years. 
Fordun gives him the character of an humble and modest prince, more 
inclined to peace than war, gaining by his benevolence the neighbouring 
princes, and cultivating his own kingdom by good laws. To this, our 
modern writers add, that he caused all the martial deeds of his ancestors to 
be collected and chronicled for the benefit of posterity, and these Chroni- 
cles to be deposited in Ycolmkill, and expert historians, at the public ex- 
pense, appointed to continue the History of our country.W This King Eu- 
ffent-, called in our more ancient Chronicles, Eogan or Ewen, is the first of 
our kings that is mentioned in the Chronicle of Melrose. or rather in the 
interpolations to this Chronicle, taken from our more ancient Chronicles, 
where no doubt the whole series, from Fergus son of Erch, was contained, 
such as we find it in the abstracts from our ancient Chronicles, printed in 
the Appendix to the Critical Essay. But the Chronicle of Melrose begin- 
ning only A. I). 731. where Bede's History ends, the compiler of these 
additions to the Melrose Chronicle, to make his additions agree and answer 
to this Chronicle, begins the scries of our kings no higher than this Ewen, 
who lived about the time the Chronicle of Melrose begins : so, no wonder 
it contains none of our kings, predecessors to Ewen. But, as to the kings 
that succeeded him, they are all to be found in this Chronicle, or interpol- 
ations to it, taken from our ancient Chronicles, i.e. the same names of 
kings, bating faults of copyists, and exactly in the same series and order 
of succession, just as the other abstracts of our ancient Chronicles, num- 
bers 4, 5, and 6, in the Appendix to the Essay, conformable also to those 
extracted by Winton and James Gray, the former from Chronicles or 
Records all written before Fordun's new scheme of our history was framed, 
and by consequence more authentic, and more to be depended on in the 
names, order, and succession of our kings, than Fordun, Boece, or his fol- 
lowers, and Buchanan or any other of our modern Avriters, who all of them 
followed Fordun's scheme. 

As to the Chronicle of Melrose, an account of it has already been 
given in pages 610 and 611 of the Critical Essay ; to which it may be 
added, that the series of our kings down from Ewen I, called Eugene, 
being in a different hand from the Chronicle itself, and inserted in it in 

<' Buchan. 59th King, Boece, fol. 180. 


a hand posterior to the Chronicle, as is visible by the inspection of the A. D. 705. 
original M. S. in the Cottonian library, in which these additions being 
generally interlined, and that very negligently, especially as to the chro- 
nology, or application of our king's reigns, made by the interpolator to the 
years of God, and other transactions in this Chronicle. And Bishop 
Ussher, as well as Dr. Gale, the editor of the Chronicle of Melrose, has 
taken notice of these interpolations, and this editor, besides inserting them 
in the body of the piece, as he found them in the M.S. of the Cottonhm 
library, has printed these interpolations apart, at the end of the volume. 
For these reasons, little or no regard is to be had to the chronological 
part of these interpolations, either in the original M.S. or in the printed 
copy, pages 136, Sic., or page 595, at the end, where they are put alto- 
gether, with the epitaphs or inscriptions in verse, containing a short ac- 
count of our kings, from the union of the Pictish and Scottish kingdoms, 
that is, from King Kenneth Mac Alpin, down till King Malcolm the 
Fourth. For this reason, we shall not depend upon the years of God, 
assigned to these interpolations of the Chronicle of Melrose, towards set- 
tling the chronology of our kings till the time of Malcolm Canmore. 

The same year, 705, died Aldfrid, King of the Northumbrians, after a 
reign of twenty years He was before his death reconciled with the 
famous Bishop Wilfrid, and ordered his monasteries of Ripon and Hagul- 
stad and other rights to be restored to him, which was accordingly performed 
under King Osred his successor, in a Synod held the same year, upon the 
river Nid, which is therefore said to be holden in Niddisdale by Dean 
Cressy. Wilfrid outlived this restoration four years, and died at last at 
Oundle, and was buried in his monastery of Ripon. 

He was certainly a prelate of great zeal, learning, and courage, but a 
great adversary to the Scottish usages, as we have seen ; and accordingly, 
in his greatest straits, when he was pressed by the King and whole Synod 
to demit, "he spoke with resolution and courage, saying, 'Why do you 
force on me so deplorable and miserable a calamity as that I should turn 
against myself the sword of dreadful destruction, that is, the subscription 
to my own condemnation ? Could I, without being in some measure liable 
to suspicion, give ground of offence to all who hear my name thus made 
public, when publicly, with however little desert, I have borne, for almost 
forty years, the name of bishop? And was not I, also, the first, after the 
death of the early bishops, commissioned by S. Gregory to take measures 


A. ]). 709. for the purpose of eradicating the poisonous germs of Scottish planting, and 
of completely converting the whole nation of the Northumbrians to the 
true Easter, and to the tonsure in the form of a crown, instead of that 
which was previously made by shaving the hinder part of the head, from 
the crown downwards, thus bringing them to conformity with the custom 
of the Apostolic see ! Or was not I the first that troubled myself how I 
might instruct two choirs standing beside each other to chant, according 
to the rite of the primitive Church, with harmonious modulation of voice, 
the choirs and individuals answering in alternate responses ? Or how I 
might order the lives of the monks, according to the rule of the holy 
Father Benedict, which no one before me introduced among them ? And 
now, how shall I bring forward against myself a sudden sentence of con- 
demnation, where I am unconscious of any crime ? But with regard to 
this newly raised question, by which ye have endeavoured to injure my 
character for sanctity, I appeal with confidence to the Apostolic see; and 
whoever among you presumes to deprive me of my rank and dignity, I 
this day invite him to proceed thither with me to receive judgment. For 
the wise men of Rome ought to know correctly for what fault ye desire 
to degrade me, before I agree with you alone about these things.' On 
hearing this the Archbishop and the King said, ' Now surely since he has 
clearly become guilty, let him be branded by us, and condemned for having 1 
chosen their judgment rather than ours.' And in uttering this threat, 
the King added to the Archbishop, ' If you command it, I shall, without 
the least hesitation, take care on this occasion to force him, by the strength 
of my overpowering army, to acknowledge himself ready to submit to your 
judgment.' But the other bishops, members of the council, said, 'We 
ought to remember that he came hither on the safeguard of our plighted 
faith, since otherwise he would not be thus presuming; let us all alike 
then return in peace to our own homes with a prosperous journey ."() 

About the same time that Bishop Wilfrid died and entered into eternal 
rest, after the many struggles of his laborious episcopate, there happened 
another quite contrary death, capable to inspire terror and awake a sense of 
repentance in those that procrastinate their conversion from day to day ; 
and the account of it from Bede being from the relation of a bishop of our 
country, S. Pecthelm, the first Bishop of Candida Casa after the restora- 

u'Eddius Stephanos, Vita Wilfridi, c. xlv. Scriptores XV. pp. 75-77. 


tion of that see deserves to be mentioned in short in this work. " In the A. D. 709. 
reign of Coenred, who succeeded Ethelred, there was a layman in a military 
employment, no less acceptable to the king for his worldly industry, than 
displeasing to him for his private neglect of himself. The king often 
admonished him to confess and amend, and to forsake his wicked courses, 
before he should lose all time for repentance and amendment by a sudden 
death. Though frequently warned, he despised the words of salvation, and 
promised he would do penance at some future time. In the meantime, 
falling sick he was confined to his bed, and began to feel very severe pains. 
The king coming to him (for he loved the man) earnestly exhorted him, 
even then, before death, to repent of his offences. He answered, ' He 
would not then confess his sins, but would do it when he was recovered of 
his sickness, lest his companions should upbraid him with having done that 
for fear of death, which he refused to do in health.' He thought he then 
spoke very bravely, but it afterwards appeared that he had been miserably 
deluded by the wiles of the devil. 

" The distemper still increasing, when the king came again to visit and 
instruct him, he cried out with a lamentable voice, ' What will you have 
now? What are you come for] for you can no longer do me any good.' 
The king answered, ' Do not talk so ; behave yourself like a man in his 
right mind.' ' I am not mad,' replied he, ' but I have now all the guilt of 
my wicked conscience before my eyes.' 'What is the meaning of that' ? 
rejoined the king. ' Not long since' said he, 'there came into this room 
two most beautiful youths, and sat down by me, the one at my head and 
the other at my feet. One of them produced a very small and most curious 
book, and gave it me to read; looking into it, I there found all the good 
actions I had ever done in my life written down, and they were very few 
and inconsiderable. They took back the book and said nothing to me. 
Then, on a sudden, appeared an army of wicked and deformed spirits, 
encompassing the house without, and filling it within. Then lie, who by 
the blackness of his dismal face, and his sitting above the rest, seemed to 
be the chief of them, taking out a book horrid to behold, of a prodigious 
size, and of almost insupportable weight, commanded one of his followers 
to bring it to me to read. Having read it, I found therein, most plainly 
written, in black characters, all the crimes I ever committed, not only in 
word and deed, but even in the least thought; and he said to those men in 
white who sat by me, ' Why do you sit here, since you most certainly know 


A. D. 709. that this man is ours.' They answered, You are in the right, take and 
add him to the number of the damned.' This said, they immediately 
vanished, and two most wicked spirits rising, with forks in their hands, 
one of them struck me on the head, and the other on the foot. These 
strokes are now with great torture, penetrating through my bowels to the 
inward parts of my body, and as soon as they meet I shall die, and the 
devils being ready to snatch me away, I shall be dragged into hell.' 

" Thus talked that wretch in despair, and dying soon after, he is now in 
vain suffering in eternal torments, that penance which he refused to suffer 
during a short time, that he might obtain forgiveness. Of whom it is 
manifest that (as tlie holy Pope Gregory writes of certain persons), he did 
not see these things for his own sake, since they availed him only for the 
instruction of others, who, knowing of his death, should be afraid to put 
off the time of repentance, whilst they have leisure, lest, being prevented 
by sudden death, they should depart impenitent. His having books laid 
before him by the good or evil spirits, was done by Divine dispensation, 
that we may keep in mind that our actions and thoughts are not lost in the 
wind, but are all kept to be examined by the Supreme Judge, and will in 
the end be shown us, either by friendly or hostile angels. As to the angels 
first producing a white book, and then the devils a black one; the former 
a very small one, the latter one very large; it is to be observed, that in his 
first years he did some good actions, all which he nevertheless obscured by 
the evil actions of his youth. If, on the contrary, he had taken care in his 
youth to correct the errors of his more tender years, and to cancel them in 
God's sight by doing; well, he might have been associated to the number of 
those of whom the Psalm says, ' Blessed are those whose iniquities are for- 
given, and whose sins are hid.' This story, as I learned it of the vener- 
able Bishop Pecthelm, I have thought proper to relate in a plain manner, 
for the salvation of my hearers. 

" I knew a brother myself, (would to God I had not known him ! ) whose 
name I could mention if it were necessary, and who resided in a noble 
monastery, but lived himself ignobly. He was frequently reproved by the 
brethren and elders of the place, and admonished to adopt a more regular 
life ; and though he would not give ear to them, he was long patiently 
borne with by them, on account of his usefulness in temporal works, for 
he was an excellent carpenter. He was much addicted to drunkenness, and 
other pleasures of a lawless life, and more used to stop in his workhouse 


day and night, than to go to Church to sing and pray, and hear the word A. D. 709. 
of life with the brethren. For which reason it happened to him, according 
to the saying, that he who will not willingly and humbly enter the gate of 
the Church will certainly be damned, and enter the gate of hell whether 
he will or no. For he falling sick, and being reduced to extremity, called 
the brethren, and with much lamentation, and like one damned, began to 
tell them that he saw hell open, and Satan at the bottom thereof: as also 
Caiaphas, with the others that slew our Lord by him delivered up to 
avenging flames. ' In whose neighbourhood,' said he, ' I see a place of 
eternal perdition provided for me miserable wretch.' The brothers hear- 
ing these words, began seriously to exhort him that he should repent even 
then whilst he was in the flesh. He answered in despair, 'I liave no time 
now to change my course of life, when I have myself seen my judgment 

" Whilst uttering these words he died, without having received the 
saving viaticum ; and his body was buried in the remotest parts of the 
monastery ; nor did any one dare either to say masses, or sing Psalms, or 
even to pray for him. How far has our Lord divided the light from dark- 
ness ! The blessed martyr Stephen, being about to suffer death for the 
truth, saw the heavens open, the glory of God revealed, and Jesus stand- 
ing on the right hand of God. And where he was to be after death, there 
he fixed the eyes of his mind, that he might die with the more satisfaction. 
On the contrary, this carpenter, of a dark mind and actions, when death 
was at hand, saw hell open, and witnessed the damnation of the devil and 
his followers ; the unhappy wretch also saw liis own prison among them, 
to the end that, despairing of his salvation, he might die the more miser- 
ably, but might by his perdition, afford cause of salvation to the living who 
should hear of it. This happened lately in the province of the Bernicians, 
and being reported abroad, far and near, inclined many to do penance for 
their sins without delay, which we hope may also be the result of this our 
narrative."( a ) 

A. D. 710, died Brude, King of the Picts, apparently killed in the 
battle fought this year betwixt the Picts and the Saxons, commanded by 
their general Berfrid, of which the Saxon Chronicle, after Bede, contains 
only this short account. Berfrid, commander of the Saxon troops, fought 

"'Hist. Eccles. lib. v. cc. 13, 14. 


A. D. 710. with the Picts betwixt Heugh and Carau, places near the Pictish Wall, in 
Northumberland, which shows how far the Picts had gained ground on 
the Northumbrians, and were still advancing, when Berfrid, to check their 
pride, as Huntingdon expresses it, marched to oppose them, and gained the 
battle with a great slaughter of the Picts, and by their defeat revenged the 
death of King Egfrid and of the General Beort, both slain by the Picts. 

The same year (according to the Chronicles of Ireland, as Colgan 
informs us), died Caideus or Caidinus, Bishop of Ycolmkill ; and how 
many more of the same character, are we deprived of the knowledge of, 
by the destruction of the records and monuments of that same Abbey ? 

To King Brude, succeeded his brother Nectan or Naitan, son of Dereli, 
the third of that name, and the sixty-second king of the Picts, a learned 
prince, and so zealous for uniformity, not only in doctrine, but in the rites 
and discipline of the Church. For the divisions that had fallen out in 
Britain in the former age, and the debates that frequently happened in his 
time, about Enster and the tonsure, having excited this prince to examine 
into the grounds of them, lie no sooner came to the Pictish crown, but he 
applied himself to establish in his kingdom the uniform practice observed 
in almost all other Churches in the celebration of Easter, and the form of 
the tonsure ; of which Bode, living at the time, has left us the following 
account in his History : <b) 

At this time, Naitan, King of the Picts, inhabiting the northern parts 
of Britain, being taught by the assiduous lecture and meditation on eccle- 
siastical writings, renounced the error he and his nation had till then been 
engaged in, concerning the observation of Easter ; and reduced himself and 
all his people to celebrate the Catholic time of our Lord's Resurrection. 
We may observe here, by the by, that the Picts were not that ignorant 
and barbarous people they are represented by some writers, since not only 
their clergy and religious men, but the king himself used to apply, and 
that assiduously, to the reading of such as he could have of the ecclesi- 
astical writings, that is, of the Scripture and Canons. But in order to 
bring about more easily this reformation in these delicate points, he 
thought fit to call for the assistance of some of the more learned of the 
English nation, who, he knew, had long since formed their religious usages 
and discipline, upon the model of the Apostolical Roman Church. 

("'Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 21. 


Accordingly, he sent messengers to the venerable man Ceolfrid, Abbot A. D. 710. 
of the monastery of the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, which stands at 
the mouth of the river Were, in the neighbourhood of the Pictish king- 
dom, desiring that he would write to him a persuasive letter, by the help 
of which he might be enabled to confute those that would continue to 
keep Easter out of the due time, as also concerning the form and manner 
of tonsure by which the clergy ought to be distinguished, owning that 
he was himself already somewhat instructed in these matters. The king 
also prayed the Abbot, that architects might be sent him to build in his 
nation a church of stone after the Roman manner. The Pictish and 
Scottish churches, as has been elsewhere observed, had been hitherto, as 
the rest of their buildings, made of wood ; and King Naitan being in- 
formed that the Abbot, Benedict Biscop, predecessor to Ceolfrid, bad, 
among other decorations of his church and monasteries, brought from 
abroad ;a) not only architects for stone buildings, which were grown in 
desuetude in Britain since the Roman times, but also glaziers to make 
windows for the church and galleries, an art unknown to Britain till that 
time ; King Naitan being informed, I say, of these and other decorations 
for the Church and service of God, resolved to have a church built after 
that manner, and promised to dedicate the same to the honour of S. Peter, 
prince of the apostles, adding, that he and all his people would always 
follow the custom of the holy Roman and Apostolical Church, as far as 
they who lived at such a distance from thence, and whose language was so 
different, could be informed of it. 

The Abbot Ceolfrid, complying with the king's desire and request, 
sent him the architects he desired, and a long letter concerning Easter 
and the tonsure, which is set down by Bede, who, living at the time in 
the same monastery of Yarrow, and being the person of the greatest 
erudition, and the most skilled in those controverted points of discipline, 
was in all appearance the penner of this letter ; to whom, therefore, for 
abridging, I refer the reader to see the letter at length, and shall only set 
down the beginning and end of it. 

The letter begins thus : " To the most excellent Lord and glorious King 
Naitan, the Abbot Ceolfrid greeting in the Lord. We most readily and wil- 
lingly endeavour, according to your desire, devout king, to explain to you 

''Vita; Abbatum, p. 295. 


A. D. 710. the Catholic observance of holy Easter, according to what we have learned 
from the Apostolical see ; it being given by Almighty God to the Church, 
to instruct even the masters of the world, who apply themselves to seek 
the truth, to teach it, and endeavour to have it observed. For it is most 
true, what a certain secular writer said, that the world would be most happy j 
if either kings applied to philosophers, or philosophers reigned; which if a 
man could say with truth of the philosophy of this world, he speaking 
of worldly happiness, how much more it is to be wished and begged of 
God, with earnest prayers, for the citizens of the heavenly country, during 
their pilgrimage through this world, that in proportion as their power 
extends over others, so also they be more diligent to hearken to the com- 
mands of the Judge of all men ; and both apply themselves, and by their 
example and authority, induce those that are committed to their charge to 
observe the same." After this introduction, Ceolfrid enters into the matter, 
and in the first part of his letter he treats learnedly, and at length, both 
of the Jewish Pasch and of the Christian Easter ; and concludes from the 
reasons and authorities he there sets down, that the calculation and obser- 
vance of Easter used at Rome, and generally in all other Churches, was 
the only right, and conformable to Scripture, and the universal tradition 
since the great Council of Nice ; and that the Scottish, the Pictish, and 
British calculation and observance of that solemnity were erroneous. In 
the second part, he treats of the clerical tonsure. But having already 
treated of both these controverted points of discipline, as far as I thought 
necessary to give light to the history, I refer the reader for further infor- 
mation to the letter itself, set down at length by Bede, and shall only add 
here from him the conclusion of it, and the effects it had in the kingdom 
of the Picts. 

Ceolfrid, in the end of his letter, gives an account of the conference 
which he had, A. D. 688, concerning these two heads of discipline, with 
Adamnan, Abbot of Ycolmkill, in his last progress to England, and informs 
the king that Adamnan was so fully persuaded by what he had heard and 
seen in that voyage, of the preference clue to the rules and discipline of 
the Roman and other Churches abroad, concerning Easter and the form of 
the tonsure, as we have already related, that he spared no pains to bring 
over the religious of his own monastery of Ycolmkill to the like practice ; 
and his labours being unsuccessful as to them, he went to Ireland, where he 
had more success. In fine, Ceolfrid concludes his letter, with an exhor- 


tatiou to King Naitan, in these respectful words. "I also admonish your A. D. Vio. 

wisdom, King, that you endeavour in all points, with your nation over 

which the King of kings and Lord of lords has placed you, to observe 

those things which tend to cement and confirm the unity of the Catholic 

and Apostolic Church ; for by that means it will come to pass, that after 

your reign in a temporal kingdom, the most blessed prince of the apostles 

will readily open to you and yours, with the rest of the elect, the entrance 

into the heavenly kingdom. May the grace of the Eternal preserve you, 

and grant you a long reign for the peace of us all, my dear beloved son in 


The words of the learned abbot : " Over which [kingdom of the Picts] 
the King of kings and Lord of lords has placed you," contain a clear 
notion of the right by which the Pictish kings, and from them the kings 
of Scots, hold their crown immediately from God, independently of all 
human powers of whatever kind, as has been elsewhere observed/"' and 
particularly an acknowledgment by a famous Saxon writer, that the Pic- 
tish kings had no dependence on Northumbrian or Saxon kings, even for 
their lands and possessions to the south of the Frith, at least since King 
Egfrid's time. 

" This letter," says Bede, <: having been read in the presence of King 
Naitan, and of many of the more learned of his nation, and carefully in- 
terpreted into their own language by those who understood it, the king is 
said to have greatly rejoiced at the exhortation, insomuch that rising from 
among his great men that sat about him, he knelt on the ground, and 
rendered thanks to God for having received such a present from England, 
and then added : ' I knew indeed, before, that this was the true celebration 
of Easter, but now I so fully see the reason for observing this time, that 
I perceive I knew but little of it before ; wherefore, I publicly declare, 
and do protest to you all that are here present, that I will, for ever, with 
all my nation, observe this time of Easter; and I do decree, that this 
form of tonsure we have heard is most reasonable, and shall be received 
by all the clergy of my kingdom.' 

"Accordingly, he immediately caused this decree to be put in execu- 
tion by his royal authority." This expression of Bede seems to insinuate 
that this decree of King Naitan, concerning Easter and the tonsure, was 

l " Crit. Essay, pp. 261, 262, 263, 264. 


A. L> 710. enacted by his royal authority, without concurrence of the Pictish bishops 
and clergy, who, being all Colurabites, could not easily digest at first an 
alteration of the discipline to which they had all been bred up and used. 
Upon this, it happened that though many of the Pictish clergy submitted 
at first, and complied, partly persuaded by the reasons and authorities 
contained in Abbot Ceolfrid's letter to the king, (which had been read and 
explained to them) partly out of regard to the royal authority, and not 
daring openly to oppose what the king so absolutely commanded : yet, it 
appears that many of them stood out and adhered to their old usages, and, 
perhaps, brought over to their party some of those that had yielded at 

They were, no doubt, in the wrong, as well as the Scots and Britons, 
being but a handful of Catholics in a corner of the world, in comparison 
of all the rest of the Church, thus to remain divided from it for bare 
ceremonial practices, whilst they agreed with it in all that concerned faith 
and doctrine. But it must be considered that the Pictish clergy, as well 
as those of the Scots, both in Britain and Ireland, lived in dependence 
upon Ycolmkill. We have already seen in Bede, how obstinately the 
Scots, in the north of Ireland, that depended upon that abbey, remained 
fixed in their old usages, when the Abbot Adamnan went over on pur- 
pose to reclaim them a few years ago ; notwithstanding that the rest of 
the Scots of those parts yielded to his exhortations and authority. We 
have also seen that Adamnan met with no less resistance in his own 
monastery of Ycolmkill, notwithstanding their dependence on him as their 
abbot ; and this general resistance of the Columbites, both in Ireland and 
in Britain, to the Abbot Adamnan, a man otherwise so much esteemed, 
and of so great reputation, and so well deserving it; this resistance, I 
say, shows that the great authority Bede says the Abbot of Ycolmkill had 
over the Scots and Picts, is not to be pressed to the rigour. 

However, the Scottish and Pictish clergy being bred up in dependence 
upon Ycolmkill, as we have seen, all along from the time of S. Columba, 
and having, at their conversion to Christianity by that holy man, with 
the doctrine and discipline of Christianity, received from him the Easter 
cycle of eighty-four years, and the form of the tonsure, such as he used ; 
it was no wonder that they would not part with these observances as long 
as their mother house, Ycolmkill, stood out, as it continued yet four or five 
years longer to do. 


It is not unlike that something, also, of a national jealousy might A. U. 711. 
have influenced the incompliance of the Pictish and Scottish Columbites. 
We have seen how ill the Bishop Trumwine, otherwise a holy man, was 
received and used by the Picts, because he was placed over them by the 
sole authority of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. So, it may very 
well be, that their reluctancy, at this juncture, arose from their apprehension 
lest the alteration of these points of discipline might look like a sub- 
mission to Ceolfrid, a Saxon abbot, who lived according to a different rule 
and institute from them. For the rule of S. Benedict, lately introduced 
by Wilfrid, and by Benedict Biscop, predecessor to Ceolfrid, which he ob- 
served in his monastery of Weremouth, was entirely new to our Pictish 
and Scottish clergy and religious, who, all of them Columbites, and whose 
predecessors having planted Christianity among the Saxons of the north, 
might, apparently, be shocked that Ceolfrid, a northern Saxon's advice and 
instruction, were preferred by their king, even in points of discipline, to 
theirs, as if they had wanted any instruction from the Saxons or English 
in religious matters. 

But whatever were the motives of the reluctancy of the Pictish Col- 
umbites, to alter their calcul of the Easter solemnity, or form of their 
tonsure, it appears by the Chronicle of Ulster, that they resisted to that 
degree, as to choose rather to lose their houses, and even to be banished 
their country, than to submit to the alteration of these heads of their 
ancient discipline, which had been taught them by S. Columba himself, 
and practised by so many holy men, his successors and disciples. And, in 
effect, it appears by the foresaid Chronicle of Ulster, quoted by Bishop 
Ussher, that most of the Columbite Clergy were actually banished out of 
Pictland by the same King Naitan. For this Chronicle, speaking of the 
death of Dunchad, Abbot of Ycolmkill, during whose time happened this 
embroil and contestation about these points of discipline, and the exile of 
the Oolumbites, it expresses their banishment in these words. The family 
of Y,( a ) or Ycolmkill, that is of the Columbites, were by King Naitan ex- 
pelled over Drumalban, that is, out of the Pictish territories, into those of 
the Scots. For these two kingdoms, says Adamnan, were separated or 
divided by the hills of Drumalban, as we have elsewhere shown. By 
this, it appears, that the Pictish Columbites, being troubled by their own 

(a) Expulsio familioe I trans dorsum Albania; a Nectano Regc. Chron. Ulton. apud 
Ussher, p. 367. 

R r 


A. D. 7 1C. king, were obliged to seek refuge among the Scots, who remained under 
their peaceable king, Eocha, Eogan, or Eugenius the Seventh, unmolested 
in their usual observances. 

But this exile of the Pictish Columbites, is to be understood of those 
only among them who refused to submit to the canonical observances, to 
which many of them no doubt yielded ; and it lasted only a very few, that 
is, at most, three or four years, till the coming over of the holy prelate 
Egbert, who, as we have seen, having been chosen long before by Al- 
mighty God, for reclaiming the Columbites, especially those of Ycolmkill, 
from their irregular practices, had, by the blessing of God, more influence 
upon them and upon all that depended upon them, than their own abbot 
Adamnan, as Bede relates ; notwithstanding the great power that the same 
Bede had attributed elsewhere to the Abbot of Ycolmkill. Thus the 
reformation made in the island by Egbert, is related by Bede. 

" Not long after the decree of King Naitan, the Scots monks of the 
Island of Ycolmkill, with the monasteries that were subject to them, were, 
by God's assistance, reduced to the canonical observation of Easter and the 
tonsure. For, in the year 716 ( a ) after the Incarnation of our Lord, when 
King Osred being slain, Coenred took upon him the government of the 
Northumbrians, the beloved of God, and worthy to be named with all re- 
spect, the prelate Egbert, of whom we have more than once made mention 
already, coming to Ycolmkill, was honourably and joyfully received by the 
religious men of that place. And he being a most mild and agreeable 
teacher, and a most devout practiser of all that he prescribed to be done, 
was moat willingly heard by them all ; and by his pious and frequent ex- 
hortations, he changed that inveterate tradition of their ancestors to 
whom may be applied, says Bede, those words of the Apostle, that they 
had the zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, and taught them to 
celebrate the principal solemnity of Easter after the Catholic and Apo- 
stolical manner, as has been said, under the figure of a perpetual circle or 
cycle. Thus, the monks of YcolYnkill were converted by the instruction 
of Egbert, under their abbot, Dunchad, about eighty years after they had 
sent S. Aidan to preach to the English nation; and the man of God, 
Egbert, remained thirteen years in the foresaid island, which he had con- 
secrated to Christ, as it were, with a new shining light of ecclesiastical 

i> Hist. Eccles. lib. v. c. 22. 


unity and peace." This expression of Bede, "consecrated to Christ," A. D. 716. 
seems an allusion to the episcopal functions ; Egbert, as we have elsewhere 
shown, having been promoted to the degree of bishop ; and, no doubt, he 
exercised the episcopal functions during the last thirteen years of his life 
that he resided in this island, as in his proper seat, to which he had been 
in a miraculous manner appointed by the call of Almighty God. 

Dunchad, Abbot of Ycolmkill, above mentioned, during whose time 
this reformation of the calendar happened, died upon the twenty-fifth day 
of May the next year, 717, and was succeeded by Foelchuo, son of Dor- 
beny. Some write/ a) that this Foelchuo entered upon that administration, 
A. D. 714, and that he resigned it to Dunchad, who was certainly abbot, 
according to Bede, A. D. 716. However, Foelchuo, after he had governed 
anew during three years, had for successor Killen or Killian, who sat 
twenty-two years. 

From this Abbot Killian or Killen, Colgan gives us a succession of 
Abbots of Ycolmkill, down to the end of the twelfth age, taken from the 
Irish Annals, which he quotes, and gives us from them the chronology of 
this monastery, and of the abbots ; to the detail of which I shall refer 
the reader. 

Bede adds to the account of Egbert's reducing the Scots to the canoni- 
cal observances of Easter and the tonsure, the following reflection upon 
the wonderful conduct of the providence of God. 

" This appears to have been done by a wonderful dispensation of the 
Divine goodness, to the end, that by reason the Scots had taken care, 
willingly and without envy, to communicate to the English the know- 
ledge they had of the Divine mysteries, the Scots also should afterwards, by 
means of a native of England, have communicated to them what was 
wanting among them of the perfection of the way of living, that is. of the 
canonical discipline ; whereas, on the contrary, the Britons, who would not 
communicate to the English the knowledge they had of the Christian Faith 
(whilst now, the English people do believe, and are fully instructed in the 
rules of the Catholic Faith and observances), do still persist in their 
old irregular observances to expose their head without a crown, that is, a 
round tonsure, and keep the solemnity of Christ without the society of the 

By this last reflection that Bede makes upon the Britons, it appears 

(a) Colgan, p. 499. 
(b) Hi9t. Eccles. lib. v. c. 18. 
R r 2 


H 7-'0 that the labours of Aldhclm (which the same Bede relates < b) ), towards 
reducing them to the right rule of celebrating Easter, and other canonical 
observations, had not had great success. And in effect, it appears by a 
short Chronicle of S. D..vid of Menevia, published by Mr. Wharton in 
Anglia Sacra, < that the canonical observation of Easter was not established 
among the old Britons till A. L>. 770. As to Aldhelm, mentioned here, 
he had been disciple to Mailduff, a Scotsman, who after living sometime a 
solitary life in England, set up a famous school of piety and learning, at a 
place called Maldun, which gave beginning to the monastery called after 
him Maildulfsbury, and afterwards Malmesbury. Aldhelm was afterwards 
first Bishop of Shiveburn (which in after ages was transferred to Salis- 
bury), was learned fi.r the times, and is the most ancient of the Saxons 
of whom we have any works remaining. Among other works of Aldhelm. 
one is his exhortatory letter to Geronte, King of the Britons, written at 
the instance of a Synod held in order to reclaim the Britons from their 
uncanoiiical observations of Easter and the tonsure. Among others of his 
disciples was I'ecthelm, who became afterwards Bishop of Candida Casa 
or Whithern, upon the restoration of that see, which happened about 
these times, or not long after. The precise time is not marked, but it 
certainly fell out when Wilfrid the Second was Bishop of York, where he 
began to govern, A. D. 718, and was succeeded by Egbert, about A. D. 732. 
When Berle calls Pecthelm the first Bishop of Whithern, he certainly 
means only that he was the first after this restoration of this see; for Bede 
himself had informed us that it was first founded by S. Ninian ; and we 
have elsewhere seen, that S. Ninian had successors in his administration, 
though we have no account of their names, nor how long the succession 

A. 1). 720, died Eogan (called by our modern writers, Eugene the 
Seventh), King of the Scots, and was succeeded by Murdach, their six- 
teenth king. He was the son of Amkellach, and reigned sixteen years. 
Buchanan, after Boece, attributes to this king the restoration of the bishop- 
ric of Candida Casa (no doubt, because it happened during King Murdach's 
reign, according to their calculation) ; but it does not appear that Galloway, 
in these times, belonged to the Scots. For the Picts were the first that, 
soon after this, recovered those parts of the island from the Saxons, during 
the decline of the Saxon power in Northumberland ; and from the Picts, 

<"' tom. ii. p. 648. 


upon their union with the Scots in the ninth age, Galloway, with the rest A. D. 721. 

of the Pictish territories, came to make a part of the kingdom of the 

Scots. In Bede's time, Candida Casa belonged to the Saxons. (O The 
same year, Eadfrid, Bishop of Lindisfarne, dying, was succeeded by Ethel- 
wald, who had been a disciple of S. OuthbertC 6 ) and Abbot of Melrosc, 
where he received the holy penitent Drythelm ; of whom elsewhere. We 
have few particulars of the life of this holy bishop; but it cannot be 
doubted that, following the example of his master, S. Cuthbert, and of the 
other bishops his predecessors, he exercised his pastoral charge over the 
Picts as well as the Saxons, in those parts of Scotland (belonging then, 
for the most part, to the Picts), which lay to the south of the Forth. 

As to the rest of the Pictish dominions upon the north side of the 
Forth, we have elsewhere seen that they had bishops of their own ; and, 
though we are left in ignorance, within the country, of their names and 
succession, yet, for a proof of there being at this time bishops among the 
Picts, as well as among the Scots, we find this same year, 7'2l, in a 
council holden at Rome, by Pope Gregory II., against unlawful marriages, 
and, in particular, all marriages with virgins consecrated to God, and with 
near relations, are anathematized by the joint consent of all the bishops 
present : among these, are the names of a bishop of each of the Pictish 
and Scottish nations present at it, and subscribing to it in these words, 
" Sedulius, Bishop of Britain, of the race of the Scots ; Fergusius or Fergus. 
a Pictish bishop of Scotland."0) LanghornW conjectures that the Bis'aop 
Sedulius's seat was at Dumbarton, but I suppose it more likely at Glasgow 
where an episcopal see had been erected, and that Sedulius was one of 
those successors which the old Chartulary of that Church says that S. 
Kentigern had at Glasgow. As to Fergusius, it is like he was national 
Bishop of the Picts 

It is to be remarked that these two are the only stranger bishops 
whose subscriptions are at this Council ; the rest of the subscriptions 
being generally all of bishops near to Koine, or of Italy ; and by this it 
appears not only that the Scottish and Pictish were in communion with 
the Apostolic see, and the respect due to the episcopal character equally 
paid to them at Rome as to the other bishops, even those that depended 

''Hist. Eccles. lib iii c. 4. 
<b) Anglia Sacra, torn. i. p. 696. 
(c) Con. Gen. torn. vi. col. 1879. 
"" p. 264. 


A. D. 721. immediately upon, and were suffragans of the Pope, as Metropolitan, but 
that the Scottish and Pictish used in those days to travel to Rome, and 
visit the holy see, not only in order to satisfy their devotion to the 
memories of the holy Apostles, S. Peter and S. Paul, but to take directions 
from thence for their episcopal administration, in the same manner as 
bishops of other catholic countries were wont to do in those times. 

The custom of the Scots travelling abroad in this and following ages, 
both in order to preach the Gospel, and in pilgrimages of devotion, espe- 
cially to Rome, is not only recorded by ancient writers, but it became so 
ordinary, that we find hospitals for the Scottish pilgrims founded on 
purpose.W We liavc already made mention of a famous one, founded at 
Horou in Alsace, in usum pauperum et peregrinorum Scotorum. I shall 
not dispute, but that of the number of these pilgrims there were Irish, who, 
in these ages, were often called by the name of Scotti, as well as of the 
Scots in Britain. But, as I have already observed, having frequently no 
certain marks to distinguish the one from the other in their foreign jour- 
neys, it were to lose one's labour to spend time upon uncertain conjectures. 

But the Scots were not the only persons that travelled abroad from 
our part of Britain, out of devotion, or out of zeal to preach the Gospel. 
We find the same practice in use among the Picts ; and the Bollandian Acts, 
as well as those of the Benedictines, by Father Mabillon, have set down the 
Life of S. Vodal or Vodval, a Pictish priest, who, about the same time, that 
is, in the beginning of the eighth age, left his country, accompanied with one 
servant called Magnebert, and travelled through several provinces, in order 
as well to preach the Gospel and instruct the people, and do other works of 
charity, as to observe and practice the more edifying religious practices he 
found in the several churches and monasteries which he happened to pass. 
Being come to Soissons in France, Hildegarde, a lady of great quality, and 
abbess of a monastery in that city, touched with S. Vodval's merit and emi- 
nent sanctity, pressed him so earnestly to stop there, offering him a private 
cell near the monastery, that he resolved to make his abode there. He there- 
fore shut himself up as a hermit, without going abroad but to say mass, to 
assist the sick or persons in affliction, to preach the Word of God, or for some 
other actions of piety. But his greatest concern was for the poor, render- 
ing them in person all spiritual and temporal assistance, and procuring the 

'> Anna). Ben. torn. ii. p. 660, ex Concil. Melden. A. D. 845. 


same relief to them from others. Having left the monastery some time, A. D. 729. 
upon some displeasure of the abbess occasioned by the loss of some plate 
belonging to her, carried off by some beggars from the holy man's cell, and 
being miraculously stopped from returning to Pictland, his country, lie 
returned to the monastery, where he was received with universal joy, and 
continued in his ordinary exercises of retreat, prayers, preaching, and other 
exercises of his sacerdotal functions the rest of his life, and died in so great 
reputation of sanctity, accompanied with miracles, that he began to bo 
honoured as a Saint soon after his death, which happened about A. D. 720. 

About the same time, lived among the Picts, S. Maolrubius or Mulruy, 
a religious man of great sanctity of life, who being slain by the Danes or 
Norwegians in an invasion they made into Ross, A. D. 721, was buried at 
Apercross, and his memory celebrated as a Martyr upon '21st April. 

A. D. 725, died Nectan or Naitan the Third, King of the Picts, famous 
for his zeal for settling uniformity of ecclesiastical discipline among liis sub- 
jects, as we have seen. He had for his successors, Drest or Durst the 
Eighth, and Alpin, who reigned together five years. 

A. D. 729, in which the feast of Easter fell upon the eighth of the 
Kalends of May, the most reverend father, Egbert, after celebrating the 
solemn mass in memory of our Lord's Resurrection, in the abbey of Ycolm- 
kill (where he had made his residence these last thirteen years bygone), de- 
parted, that same day of Easter, to our Lord, and thus consummated the joy 
of the great festival (which he had begun with the brethren whom he had 
converted to unity of discipline), with our Lord, the Apostles, and the other 
citizens of heaven, or rather never ceases to celebrate the same. But it 
was a wonderful dispensation of Divine providence, says Bede, that this 
venerable man did not only pass out of this world to the Father on Easter 
day, but also that this should happen when Easter was celebrated upon a 
day on which it had never been wont to be kept in those parts. The 
brethren rejoiced in the certain and catholic knowledge of the time of 
Easter; they rejoiced in the patronage of their holy father, by whom they 
had been corrected, confiding that he would now be their patron and 
intercessor with our Lord, to whom he was gone before. He himself re- 
joiced and gave thanks to God for his being so long preserved alive, till 
he saw his hearers admit of, and celebrate with him, that as Easter day, 
which they had ever before avoided. Thus the most reverend father, 
being assured of their standing corrected, rejoiced that he might see the 
day of our Lord. He saw it and was glad. 


A U. 731. A. D. 730, to Durst and Alpin, conjunct Kings of the Picts, succeeded 
Oengus or Hungus, called also Onnast, son of Ungust, or Fergust the sixty- 
fourth king of the Picts, a warlike prince, who reigned thirty-one years. 

The following year, 731, Berlc concluded his Ecclesiastical History of 
the English nation, and though, as we have elsewhere observed, he does 
not treat in it of the Scots in Britain, but only by the bye, and in as far as 
it serves to give light to his main subject, the Ecclesiastical History of 
England, yet, considering the loss we have made of almost all our ecclesias- 
tical documents and monuments, the transient glimpses that we have found 
in Bede, of our ecclesiastical matters, serve extremely, to give light into 
them ; and we shall be at no small loss, henceforth, that we are to be de- 
prived of his assistance. 

In the conclusion of his History, Bede gives us a short account of 
the state of Britain, as it was, A. D. 7-31, containing the names of the 
kings and bishops in its several provinces; for which the reader may 
have recourse to Bede's own work. As to the countries adjacent to Scot- 
land, he tells us that Ceolwulf, to whom his History is dedicated, was King 
of the Northumbrians ; Wilfrid, Bishop of York ; Ethelwald, Bishop of Lin- 
disfarne ; Acca, Bishop of Hoxham ; and Pecthelm, Bishop of Candida Casa 
or Whithern, which, says Bede, the number of the faithful being in- 
creased, has been lately added to the number of episcopal sees, and has 
Pecthelm for its first bishop, that is, as has been already observed, for its 
first bishop after its restoration ; for, according to Bede himself, S. Ninian 
was first Bishop, as well as founder of this see, about three hundred years 
before, and Ninian had successors, as we have seen elsewhere. Bede con- 
tinues thus. The nation of the Picts, also, at this time, was at peace 
with the English nation, and rejoices in being partaker of the Catholic 
peace and verity with the universal Church (that is, in having now em- 
braced the true calcul of Easter and form of the tonsure, which had so 
long caused debates and divisions in the Churches of Britain.) The 
Scots that inhabit Britain being satisfied with their own territories, con- 
trive no mischief against the nation of the English. The Britons, though 
for the most part they are averse to the English nation, and wrongfully, 
out of a perverse custom, oppose the celebrating Easter, at the time ap- 
pointed by the whole Catholic Church, yet both divine and human power 
opposing them, they can in neither part prevail, as they desire ; for though, 
in part, they are their own masters, yet in some- part, they are under sub- 


jection to the English. Now, if at this time, either the Picts or the Scots A. D. 734. 
had been in any part under subjection to the English rule, Bede who 
never misses an opportunity of relating what tended to exalt the power 
and the glory of his countrymen over their neighbour nations, had not 
failed to inform us of it no less than of the subjection of a part of the 
Britons. However, upon this general tranquillity, or rather suspension 
of war, which happened, at this time, to be more general than ordinary 
among the different nations that inhabited Britain, Bede makes this 
remarkable observation : This peaceable and calm disposition of times 
prevailing, many of the Northumbrians, as well of the nobility as private 
persons, laying aside their weapons, rather incline to addict themselves 
and their children to monastic vows, receiving the tonsure, than to study 
martial discipline. What will be the end of this, says Bede, the next age 
will be better able to discover ? Bede stops short here in his History, and 
does not tell us further of what he apprehended of the consequences of 
this general tendency of his countrymen to a monastic life. 

But what he thought not proper to publish in his History, he expressed 
with freedom soon after, in a private letter of advice or instruction, sent 
A. D. 734, to Egbert, Archbishop of York, which was first published by 
Ware, and more correctly by Dr. Smith, in his new edition of liedeX") 

And as there are in this letter, besides the state of ecclesiastical 
matters in Northumberland, some things that may serve to put in a better 
light, ecclesiastical transactions in Scotland in the following dark ages, 
I shall here take notice of some heads of it. 

Among other abuses, Bede complains that the monasteries were 
frequently filled with people of irregular lives ; that the country seemed 
overburdened with these foundations ; that there were scarcely estates 
enow for the laity of condition ; and that if this humour increased, the 
country would grow unfurnished of troops to defend their frontiers. But 
what is chiefly to be remarked, is another abuse that he mentions ; that 
some persons of quality of the laity, who had neither inclination to, nor 
experience of, the monastic life, used to purchase some of the crown lands, 
under pretence of founding a monastery, and then get a charter of 
privileges signed by the king, the bishops, and other great men of Church 
and State ; and by these expedients, they wrought up a great estate, and 

<> Bed. edit. Smith, p. 306, &c. 
S s 


A. U. 734. made themselves lords of several villages; and thus, getting discharged 
from the service of the commonwealth, they retired for liberty, and indulged 
their passions ; took the name and office of abbots, and calling those places 
monasteries or abbeys, they stocked them, not with true religious men, but 
raked together a company of strolling monks, expelled for their misbe- 
haviour ; and sometimes persuaded their own retinue to take the tonsure, 
and promise to them monastic obedience ; and, having furnished their 
pretended monasteries with such an ill-chosen company, they lived a life 
perfectly secular, under the exterior habit and appearance of monks ; 
brought their wives into the monastery, and were husbands and abbots at 
the same time ; intent, by turns, upon procreating children, and regulating 
monks, and even allowing their wives to imitate those scandalous ways of 
profaning the names of a holy state, and to set up monasteries of women, 
and preside as abbesses over them. 

Thus, for about thirty years after the death of King Aldfrid (A. D. 
705), the country of the Northumbrians has run in riot, after this manner, 
insomuch that there are scarce any of the lieutenants or governors of 
towns, who have not seized the religious jurisdiction of a monastery, and 
put their wives in the same criminal posts. And as all customs are apt to 
spread, the king's inferior officers have taken up the same fashion; and 
thus we find a great many inconsistent offices and titles tacked together, 
the same persons being often all at once abbots and officers or ministers of 
state. And men are trusted with the government of religious houses, 
without practising any part of the obedience and discipline belonging to 
them. For a remedy of these disorders, Bede advises the Archbishop, to 
call a Synod, and have a visitation set on foot, and all such unqualified per- 
sons thrown out of their usurpations. 

In this letter, he insists also upon multiplying the episcopal sees in the 
province of York, and bringing them up, according to S. Gregory's plan, to 
the number of twelve ; and in order to that, to settle episcopal seats in 
some monasteries, etc. () 

This was one of the last works of Bede, and it is the more probable 
opinion that he deceased this year, 735, upon the feast of the Ascension. 
Malmesbury, after making a great eloge of his piety and learning, laments 
the loss of his industry and abilities in the ages following. He tells 

<>Col. 124, 125. 


us, that after his death, all notice of public transactions in Britain was in A. D. 737. 
a manner buried since his time. The English, as he complains, grew 
slothful and unlettered, and took no care to come up to the sense and figure 
of their predecessors; and thus, the inclination of posterity grew daily 
cooler for improvement, till they dwindled at last to a remarkable ig- 

The same year, 735, died Pecthelm, Bishop of Whithern. He was one 
of the most distinguished prelates of his time, not only for his piety and 
zeal, but for his learning and knowledge of ecclesiastical discipline, as ap- 
pears by the consultation concerning the impediments of marriage, ad- 
dressed to him by S. Boniface of Mentz, the Apostle of Germany/"' Pect- 
helm was succeeded by Frithewald who sat thirty years. 

The year following, 736, Murdach, King of Scots, dying, was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Eogan or Ewan the Second. And here again the order 
of succession, such as it is in all our ancient chronicles and catalogues 
before Fordun, was inverted by him, and Ethfin, who was Eogan or 
Ewan's successor, placed before him, immediately after King Murdach. 
This Eogan is called Eugene the Seventh by Fordun, and after him, by our 
modern writers. He reigned three years. The second year of King 
Eogan's reign, A. D. 737, Ceolwulf, King of the Northumbrians, to whom 
Bede dedicated his History, wearied of the world, resigned his kingdom to 
his cousin Eadbert, and retiring, embraced a religious state in the monastery 
of Lindisfarne, where he persevered till his death, and enriched that mon- 
astery with his treasures and augmentation of their lands and revenues. 
It was also by the credit of this king, after he became a monk, that a 
licence was given to the monks of Lindisfarne to drink wine or beer ; for 
till that time, says Hoveden, they were wont to drink only milk and water, 
according to the institution and ancient tradition of S. Aidan, the first 
bishop of that place, and of the monks that came along with him from 
Scotland, and obtained a settlement in that island, as we have seen, by 
the donation of King Oswald, and there joyfully passed their lives in great 
strictness and mortification, minding only the life to come. 

Thus Hoveden, which Turgot and Simeon, the one Prior, and the other 
a monk, of Durham pass over in silence. 

By this it appears that the evangelical spirit of voluntary poverty, of 

<> Letter ii. 



A. D "37. abnegation of tlie world and of mortification, to which S. Aidan and our 
Columbites were bred up in Ycolmkill, as has been observed, and established 
in all the monasteries which they founded, was such, that the Saxon monks 
could not long live up to it, especially after the princes and great men of 
the world began to make their abode among them, and heap riches upon 
them, which could not fail giving entry in a, great measure to the spirit of 
the world ; and the plenty they began to enjoy was naturally followed with 
cessation or relaxation of labour of their hands, and by degrees, with idle- 
ness, and the consequences of it ; all this just one hundred years after the 
foundation of that holy place ; and what happened here came by degrees, 
to be the case with many other such sacred retreats, as we will too often 
have occasion to observe. 

As to Eadbcrt, successor to King Ceolwulf, he was brother to Egbert, 
Bishop of York, who had been advanced to the bishoprick two years before. 
This Bishop Egbert, says Malmesbury, (> by his own prudence and indus- 
try, and assisted by the king, his brother's power, reduced the see of York 
to its first state, having recovered from the apostolical see, the archiepiscopal 
pull, and the dignity of metropolitan ; for Paulinus archbishop of York, 
being forced to fly away to Kent, carried his pall with him. He left it at 
Rochester, where he sat bishop till his death; and those that succeeded 
him in the see of York, till this Egbert, had contented themselves with 
the simple title of bishop, without aspiring higher. It was to this Bishop 
Egbert that Bode addressed the instructions and advices already mentioned. 
He was a man of parts, and a great encourager of learning, for which 
reason he set up a famous school and noble library in York, as we see by 
.Alcuin's letters, who had been bred up under him. 

As to our King, Eogan the Second, our modern historians, who wrote 
since the invention of Yerernund. give a very different account of this king, 
and of his subjects' behaviour towards him, from what Fordun had given be- 
fore him. Fordun informs us (b) that he was a humble and modest prince ; 
that he chose to pass the time of his reign either in peace, as being more 
beneficial to his subjects, than in war ; that being given to hunting, as most 
princes then were, he annoyed only wild beasts, and not men ; that by his 
wise behaviour, whilst he gained the favour and affection of his neighbour 

<"Fol. 153. 

<b) Scotichroo. lib. iii. c. 45. 


princes, he employed his leisure in polishing and adorning with good laws A. D. 739. 
his own kingdom. Thus Fordun, and it is confirmed by all our monastic 
writers, his followers, till Boece published the Veremundian scheme of 
our history (contrived in the dark, after king James the Third's death, and 
presented to Boece as a new discovery of the ancient achievements of the 
Scots.) According to this new draught. King Eugene the Eighth, as they 
call him, or Ewan the Second, gave, indeed, at his entry upon the adminis- 
tration, hopes of a good prince and happy reign, being a severe justiciary, 
and reforming the disorders which lie found had prevailed in the end of 
the former reign ; but he soon altered his course, and becoming a monster 
of all sorts of lewdness, cruelty, avarice, and sacrilege; and refusing to 
give ear to the wholesome admonitions of the bishops, in the third yeari 
of his reign lie was put to deatli by his nobles, and all his familiars and 
servants hanged up, which was an agreeable spectacle to the people. 
Thus Boece and Buchanan, of which Fordun has nothing. 

To this King Eogan or Ewan the Second, succeeded Ethfin, son to 
Eochod Rinneval, who, as we have observed, is named by Fordun and Ids 
followers, Eugene the Fifth or Sixth, while in the five extracts of our 
ancient Chronicles, he is ranked by them all (as may bo seen in the 
Appendix to the Essay,) immediately after King Ewan the Second, called 
Eugene the Eighth. He is placed in the same order in a sixtli abstract of 
our Chronicles, to wit, that series of our kings inserted in the Chronicle of 
Melrose, which, though it be not of the same hand nor equally ancient as 
this Chronicle itself, as we have already observed, yet appears to be of 
a very ancient hand, and certainly is anterior to Fordun's new scheme of 
our kings, and differs from it in everything that the five abstracts set 
down in the Appendix to the Essay differ from Fordun, and as far as it 
contains, agrees with the other five abstracts both in the names and 
order of succession of our kings. Now the entire harmony and agreement 
of these six abstracts of our ancient Chronicles (the only Chronicles I have 
ever met with written before Fordun,) appear to me, an evidence of the in- 
novations made by him, not only in addition of forty-five ancient kings be- 
fore Fergus son of Erch (as has been elsewhere shewn,) but in the names 
and order of succession of several of the kings, posterior to this king 
Fergus ; and Fordun having been looked upon and followed as the standard 
of our history, by all that I have seen of our writers since publishing his 
Chronicle, excepting James Gray's abstracts alone (for Winton wrote before 


A. D. 750. Fordun's was published,) all this being supposed, I hope the learned and 
candid readers will agree, that in setting down the names and order of 
succession of the kings, I could not rationally choose but prefer to Fordun' e 
new scheme, the concordant testimonies of so many witnesses writing or 
setting down abstracts taken from our ancient records and Chronicles, 
whilst they were still in being, and that before the end of the thirteenth 
age, when, as is generally believed, in King Edward the First's ravaging 
our country, the chief records and monuments of history were either 
carried off, destroyed, or dissipated, which gave occasion to new schemes 
of our history, and chiefly to that of Fordun, as the reader may see set 
down at length in the Critical Essay. 

To return to King Ethfin. The account that Fordun gives of him is, 
that he behaved in a manner worthy of the royal dignity, and entertained 
peace with the neighbouring princes the most part of his reign, which 
lasted thirty years ; only towards the end of it he was attacked by the 
Picts. Our modern writers give also a good character of this king, and 
tell us he was a severe justiciary, and held his kingdom in peace ; and, 
that under his government, his subjects increased in spiritual and temporal 

A. D. 740, died Ethelwald, Bishop of Lindisfarne ; and, in that quality, 
having had the spiritual charge of the Pictish and other inhabitants of 
Scotland, to the south of the Forth, as his predecessors and successors had, 
till the erection of the see of St. Andrews, in the next age. To Ethelwald, 
succeeded Cynewulf, in the bishoprick of Lindisfarne, and sat about forty 
years. The same year the Picts, under their king, Onnust, or Hungus, 
had war with Eadbert, King of the Northumbrians, < a ) and with the 
Britons, two years afterwards. ( b) 

A. D. 750, whilst (Engus, King of the Picts, was engaged in war 
against Ethelwald, King of the Mercians, Eadbert, King of the Northum- 
brians, invaded the Pictish territories, and possessed himself of the country 
of Kyle, which the Picts had wrested from the Cumbrians, or Britons, 
of these parts. Soon after, the same King Eadbert seized upon Cynewulf 
Bishop of Lindisfarne, and imprisoned him in Bamburgh, and besieged 
the church and monastery of Lindisfarne. 

<*> Lang. p. 279. 
'"'Chron. Mayl. p. 136. 


A. D. 755, S. Boniface, otherwise Winfrid, the Apostle of Germany, A. D. 756. 
and Archbishop of Mentz, suffered martyrdom in Friseland, upon the fifth 
of June, about twenty years after his first mission to Germany, in the 
thirty-sixth year of his episcopal consecration. He is deservedly looked 
upon as the Apostle of Germany, the restorer of ecclesiastical discipline 
in France, and one of the chief encouragers and propagators of learning, 
especially by the famous school he settled in the monastery which he 
founded at Fulda. I mention him here because some modern writers 
reckon him a Scotsman ; but it must be acknowledged that all the more 
ancient writers, as well as the more learned among the moderns, assure 
us that he was a Saxon, or an Englishman, born and bred up from his 
infancy in Devonshire. 

There would appear some more likelihood in what our modern writers 
pretend, that the famous Alcuin, who about this time presided over the 
schools of York, was a Scotsman, since he was born in the northern parts 
of Britain, included in or bordering upon what makes long since a part of 
the Kingdom of Scotland. Alcuin, or Alcuinus, was his true name, which 
he afterwards changed into that of Albinus, adding to it the name of 
Flaccus.W I observe this because our modern writers have multiplied the 
same person, according to his different names. Alcuin himself informs us 
that he was educated at York, under Bishop Egbert, who chiefly contributed 
to make all kinds of learning flourish in the schools of that city, whereof 
Alcuin was one of the greatest ornaments ; and there it was also that this 
archbishop collected a noble library. He was afterwards invited over to 
France, by the emperor, Charles the Great, who did not think it below him 
to become his disciple in improving himself, as much as the public affairs 
allowed him, in all kinds of literature. It was chiefly by Alcuin's exhor- 
tations that this emperor set up, in several places of the empire, public 
schools of learning , among others, at Tours, but especially at Paris ; 
which gave afterwards the origin to this famous university, whereof, for 
that reason, the same emperor was reputed the founder. 

A. D. 756, Eadbert, King of the Northumbrians, and (Engus, King of 
the Picts, having made up their differences, which had occasioned several 
wars betwixt them, as we have seen, united their forces and attacked 
jointly the strong city of Alcluid or Dunbarton, the chief fortress of the 

(4) Ann. Bened. torn. ii. p. 186. 


A. D. 761. Midland Britons, or Cumbrians, and the seat of their kings in the north of 
Britain, where it appears their power was as yet in these times very con- 
siderable, since it required the united forces of these two kings to subdue 
them ; and from this time the power of the Cumbrian kings began to 
decline in these parts. The year following, died, upon the sixth of March, 
S. Balther, who led an anchoritical life at Tynningham, in Lothian, at or 
near the famous monastery, whereof Bede makes mention in S. Cuthbert's 
Life. But by the account of his life, which we have in a poem concerning 
the Bishops of York, written, about these times, by the famous Alcuin, a 
contemporary writer, it appears that S. Balther's ordinary residence or 
retreat was the isle of the Bass < a > surrounded everywhere with high rocks. 

Here, Alcuin relates, that this holy hermit did many miracles, such as 
overcoming the devils by the sign of the cross, walking upon the sea, &c. 

Soon after, 758, followed the retreat of Eadbert, King of the Northum- 
brians, who, inflamed, says Florence, with the love of his heavenly country, 
embraced the monastical state, and the Chronicle of Melrose says, he became 
Canon of York, under his brother, Archbishop Egbert. However, he re- 
signed his kingdom to his son, Osulf, who, after a year's reign, was killed by 
the Northumbrians, and Ethelwold, surnamed Moll, succeeded to him. 

A.D. 7G1, died (Engus, called also Unnust and Hungus, the first of 
that name, King of the Picts. He had been a very warlike prince, as we 
have seen, by his battles with the Northern Britons or Cumbrians, the 
Northumbrians, and other Saxons, upon whom, it seems, he kept a heavy 
hand, which, it is like, has given occasion to some of their writers to call 
him a bloody and cruel prince, and to characterise his reign as a continual 
butchery. To this King Hungus, succeeded Bride or Brude, the sixth of 
that name, and the sixty-fifth king of the Picts. He was son to Wir- 
gust or Eergus, and having reigned only two years, A. D. 763, to him 
succeeded Kinioch or Kinoth, the son of Wirdech. He was the sixty- 
sixth king of the Picts, and reigned twelve years. He appears to have 
been one of the most powerful of the northern kings of Britain in his 
time, and a protector of those of his neighbouring princes that fell into 
distress ; and though he be not mentioned in Fordun's and the other Scots 
modern catalogues of the Pictish kings, yet he is more than once named 
by Simeon of Durham, by Roger Hoveden, and by the Chronicle of 

'' Scriptor. XV. torn. iii. p. 726. 


Melrose. He is placed in his own rank with other kings, by the Pictish A. D. 775. 
Chronicle, which demonstrates its authenticity, as it has been elsewhere 

The second year of his reign, A. D. 764, died Frithwald, Bishop of 
Galloway or Whithern, and had Pectwin for his successor, who sat thirteen 
years. A. D. 766, died Egbert, Archbishop of York, and was succeeded 
by Albert, of whom Alcuin makes a great eloge,W having been bred up 
under him, and settled keeper of the rich library which Albert and his 
predecessor Egbert had made up at York, and placed Alcuin as master or 
superior of the famous seminary or school of York. 

A. D. 769, Ethfin, King of the Scots, being deceased, was succeeded 
by his son Fergus, called by our modern writers, Fergus the Third, but in 
reality the Second of that name. Fordun tells us, that it was reported 
that this king, being suspected by his queen to entertain other women, 
was, out of jealousy, poisoned by her, in the third year of his reign ; for 
which crime she, being tormented by a desperate remorse, put violent 
hands on herself. 

A. D. 772, to Fergus succeeded Selvach, son of Eogan or Ewen the 
Second, and reigned twenty-four years. Our writers are divided as to 
the character of this king. Fordun blames him for his indolence and 
inactivity, in not making use of the almost perpetual divisions and tumults 
that raged among the Northumbrians, to gain ground upon the Saxons, 
and advance the bounds of his own kingdom. ( c ) Boece and Buchanan 
speak of him with more esteem, and lay the cause of his inactivity upon 
the gout with which he was sore vexed, and, therefore, obliged to employ 
his great men in the administration. 

A. D. 775, died Kinoth or Kineoch, King of the Picts, who, the year 
before, had granted shelter to Alcred, King of the Northumbrians, to pro- 
tect him against his rebellious subjects. Kineoch died in the twelfth year 
of his reign, and was succeeded by Alpin, son of Wroid, who reigned three 
years and a half. The second year of his reign, 777, the bishopric of 
Galloway falling vacant by the death of Pectwin, to him succeeded Ethel- 
bert, and sat fourteen years, and exercised the episcopal functions over the 
western provinces of Scotland, especially to the south of the Friths; 

(a) Critical Essay, p. 113. 

"De Pont. Ebor. torn. iii. XV. Scriptor. pp. 727731. 

(c) Fordun, lib. iii. c. 47. 



A. 1). 778. Lothian and the other south-eastern territories of Scotland or Pictland being, 
as we have seen, under the government of the Bishops of Lindisfarne, whilst 
the other provinces of the Scots and Picts to the north of the Friths were 
governed and had pastors of the second Order furnished them, chiefly from 
bishops residing in Ycolmkill, in the manner that we have elsewhere ob- 
served ; and though the records of that abbey be generally perished long ago, 
we have sufficient documents to show that it still subsisted in great splen- 
dour, under an uninterrupted succession of abbots, from Dunchad, already 
mentioned, who lived in Eede's time, during the rest of this eighth age. 

As to the Hishops of Lindisfarne, who governed and furnished pastors 
to Lothian and the other eastern territories of the Trans-forthian Picts, 
during the rest of this age, A. T). 780, Cynewulf, before mentioned, having 
exchanged his pastoral charge with a retreat, Higbald was chosen his suc- 
cessor, and sat bishop twenty-three years, till the end of this century. 

Meantime, A. I). 778, Alpin, the sixty-seventh king of the Picts, 
had for his successor Drest or Durst the Ninth, son of Talorgan, who 
reigned four years. To him succeeded (782), Talorgan, son of Onnust, 
and after a reign of two years, Talorgan had (784), for successor Canaul, 
son of Tarbu, who reigned five years ; and this was the last of the seventy 
Pictish kings, contained in the abstract of the Pictish Chronicles, and so 
often mentioned in all the most ancient Irish monuments of history, as 
has been elsewhere shown, containing their names and series of their 
succession, from Cruthne their first king, whom the Irish call Catluan, to 
Constantino the son of Fergus, who succeeding to this Canaul, was seventy- 
first king of the Picts, and reigned thirty years. 

He was son to Fergus or Urgus, and besides his brother Oengus or 
Hungus (named also Unnust), who succeeded him, and continued the 
race, he had a sister called Fergusian, who was married afterwards to 
Eocha or Achaius the Second, King of Scots. It was to this Constantine, 
King of the Picts. that Oswald, King of the Northumbrians, upon their 
rebellion, fled for refuge, and lived under his protection, which shows that 
he was a powerful prince. But what chiefly recommended his memory 
to posterity, was his piety, which particularly appeared by the foundation 
or rather restoration of the Church of Dunkeld, under the invocation of 
S. Columba, who had in his own time begun a monastery there, and 
settled a society of religious men, as has been observed in its proper place. 
But this Constantine is reckoned by Winton, and Abbot Milne, in the 


History of the Bishops of Dunkeld, the founder of it, because he caused A. D. 791. 

restore the church and other buildings, and endowed it with revenues 

for the subsistence of the churchmen that performed Divine Service in it. 
But Abbot Milne is certainly mistaken, in placing this foundation of it 
in the time of Abbot Adamnan of Ycolmkill, for that abbot died, as 
we have seen, A. D. 703, about eighty years before Constantine came to 
the throne. Milne tells us, that the religions persons placed in it for 
performing Divine Service were called Killdees, which, as we observed 
elsewhere, was the vulgar name given in those days to churchmen in 
our country, especially to those that lived together in communities. They 
were originally the same with the Columbites, formerly so called, because 
they followed the rule of S. Columba, of whose institutes and usages, 
enough has been already said. 

But as to the time of the first foundation of Dunkeld, we have the 
era of it thus marked by the author of the Scotichronicon, who quotes 
the Chronicle of Abernethy, where the writer informs us, that in one 
Chronicle, the foundation of Dunkeld was placed two hundred and twenty- 
six or two hundred and twenty-seven years after that of Abernethy, 
and in another, two hundred and forty-four. Now, if we reckon the era 
of Abernethy, not from its first establishment by King Nectan, about 
A. D. 541, but from its restoration or new foundation, by King Garnard 
or Gartney the First, about the year 586, in S. Columba's time, as seems 
to be the meaning of the author of this passage ; it will be found, that his 
reckoning answers exactly to that we follow here, in the reign of King 1 
Constantine. For adding to A. D. 586, the two hundred and twenty-six 
years that passed betwixt the foundation of Abernethy and Dunkeld, 
this last will be found to have happened A. D. 812, the twenty-fourth 
of King Constantino's reign. 

A. D. 791, died Ethelbert, Bishop of Galloway, and was succeeded by 
Beadulf, after whom, says Malmesbury, we find no more, because that 
Galloway being exposed to the ravages of the Scots or Picts, all things 
going to confusion in that country, the episcopal succession may have soon 
failed. Yet I find in a series of these bishops, in a very ancient M.S. 
of the Cottonian Library, that after Beadulfus, there was one Eadredus ; 
by which, it appears, that it might have subsisted till about the time of 
the union of the Scots and Picts, which, as we will see, was soon after 

T t2 


A. D. 796. followed by the translation of the episcopal seat of the Picts, from Aber- 
nethy to St. Andrews. 

Towards the end of this eighth age, we meet with the first accounts 
of the invasions and ravages made by a northern people, first upon the 
coasts of Ireland, of Britain, and of France. This people are commonly 
called Danes, because they came from Denmark, Norway, and the other 
northern countries, for which reason they were called by the French 
writers Xordmans, by the Irish writers Ostmans, Oostmann, because the 
country they came from lay towards the east or north-east from Ireland. 
They are called sometimes Dubli-Galli, that is, the Black Strangers. 

Their first attempts were upon the coasts of these several countries, 
where, finding no great opposition, and countries more plentiful than their 
own, they came frequently back in great numbers, and by degrees, made 
great establishments in these several countries, especially in Ireland, 
England, and France, and in the Western Islands of Scotland. 

In their invasions on our Western Islands, they attacked and pillaged, 
several times, Ycolmkill : and in one of them they killed Blaithmac, 
Abbot of Ycolmkill, and most of his religious men. The precise year 
is not certain ; Colgan places it about A. D. 823. The martyrdom of this 
holy abbot, and of his disciples, is set down in verse by "Walafrid Strabo, 
who wrote in the following age. 

A. D. 796, Selvach, King of Scots, dying, was succeeded by Eocha or 
Achaius the Third, son of Ethfin, who reigned thirty years. He was 
contemporary to Charles the Great, who, having succeeded to his father 
Pepin, A. D. 768, in the kingdom of France, became afterwards Emperor 
of the Occident, and by his great actions, military and religious, deservedly 
obtained the title of Great. All our writers from Fordun, downwards, place 
about these times the beginning of the ancient league betwixt the French 
and the Scots, first contracted, say they, betwixt Charles the Great, and 
this Achaius, King of Scots. I have given my opinion of this league, in 
the Critical Essay, page 296, &c. 

A. D. 818, died Constantine, son of Fergus or Urgus, the seventy-first 
king of the Picts, and had for successor his brother Hungus or Unnust, 
the eleventh of that name, who reigned, according to the Pictish Chronicle, 
twelve years ; others give him only ten years of reign, which agrees better 
with the time. King Hungus is famous in our history for the foundation 
of the Church of Kilrimund, so well known afterwards by the name of 


St. Andrews, because of the relics of that Apostle brought thither, and A. D. 818. 
held in great veneration, with frequent pilgrimages of devotion to visit 
them the following ages. 




ABERCORN, 270, 277. 

Abernethy, 79, 97, 157, 189, 207, 211, 

331, 332. 
Adamnan, S., abbot of lona, 141, 142, 

143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 262, 268, 

278, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 

299, 300, 301, 310, 312. 
Adamnan of Coldingham, 268, 271. 
Adrian, 8. 
Agricola, 4, 5, 7, 8. 
Aidan, king of the Scots, 200, 201, 202, 

203, 204, 206, 209, 210. 
Aidan, S., bishop of Lindisfarne, 2'24, 

226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 

237, 238, 245, 246, 247, 253, 257, 

260, 262, 263, 269. 
Aidus, the Black, 179, 180, 181, 182, 

Alchfrid, 233, 240, 241, 2-12, 244,248, 

256, 258, 261. 
Alcluyd, 34, 35, 46, 91, 93, 121, 1:", 

126, 133, 198, 327. 
Alcred, king of Northumbria, 329. 
Aldfrid, king of Northumbria, 261, 278, 

284, 286, 287, 288, 290, 298, 303, 


Aleth, king of the Picts, 132. 
Alpin, king of the Picts, 319, 320. 
Alpin, son of Wroid, king of the Picts, 

329, 330. 

Amberkellach, king of the Scots, 301 . 
Apercross, 319. 
Arculfus, 287, 300. 
Artchain, 179, 180, 189, 204. 

BAITHENEUS, abbot of lona, 205, 213. 

Baldred, (Balther) S., 155, 328. 

Beadulf, bishop of Candida Casii, 331. 

Blaithmac, S, 216, 332. 

Blane, S., 161. 

Boisil, S., 230, 231, 241, 244, 265, 279, 


Brendan, S., 204. 
Broichan, 197. 
Brude, son of Meilochon, king of the 

Picts, 132, 152, 193, 196, 197, 206, 


Brude, king of the Picts, 225. 
Brude, son of Bili, king of the Picts, 

264, 276, 299. 
Brude, son of Dereli, king of the Picts, 

299, 307, 308. 
Brude, king of the Picts, 328. 

CADROE, S., 216. 

Caidius, 308. 

Campo Lunghe, 189, 204, 205. 

Canaul, king of the Picts, 330. 

Candida Casa, 42, 43, 44, 45, 114, 317. 

Cealtrain, king of the Picts, 128. 

Cedd, bishop of the East Saxons, 233, 

234, 235, 236, 248, 254, 257. 
Ceollach, bishop of the Mercians, 240. 
Ceolwulf, king of Northumbria, 326, 

Chad (Ceadda), S., bishop of Lichfield, 

257, 258, 259, 260, 296. 
Coenred, king of Northumbria, 314. 
Coldingham, 238, 263 271. 

D u 



Colman, S., bishop of Lindisfarne, 161, 
244, 247, 248, 249, 251, 252, 253, 
254, 256, 257, 258, 259, 265, 269, 
294, 295. 

Colmock, S., 161. 

Columba, S., 140, 141, 145, 148, 149, 
150, 151, 152, 153, 162, 163, 164, 
165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 
172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 179, 180, 
181, 182, 185, 186, 188, 189, 191, 
192, 193, 195, 196, 197, 198,200, 
201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 
209, 210, 211, 212, 213,214,215, 
216, 217, 290, 291, 293, 301, 331. 

Congal, king of the Scots, 117, 118, 

Conain, abbot of lona, 301. 

Conal, king of the Scots, 128, 132, 151, 
152, 153, 162, 191, 200. 

Constantino the Great, 22, 23, 24. 

Constantino, king of Cumbria, 133. 

Constantino, king of the Picts, 330, 332. 

Constantius Chlorus, 20, 21,22. 

Cormae, S., 20G. 

Cronan, 174, 175, 176. 

Cnlross, 125. 

Cumian, 222. 

Cuminius, abbot of lona, 141, 145,240, 

Cunningham, 297. 

Cuthbert, S., bishop of Lindisfarne, 229, 
230, 231, 241. 242, 244, 245, 246, 
254, 263, 265, 274, 275, 276, 279, 
280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 286. 

Cynewulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, 326> 

DERMITIUS, 212, 214. 

Uevenich, S., 161. 

Diuma, bishop of the Mercians, 233, 

239, 240. 
Pomangard, king of the Scots, 117, 


Donald I., king of the Scots, 222, 223, 

224, 225, 236, 237. 
Brest, king of the Picts, 128. 
Drythelm, 227, 298,317. 
Dumbarton see Alcluyd. 
Dunchad, abbot of lona, 313, 314, 315. 
Dunkeld, 189, 330, 331. 
Durst, son of Irb, king of the Picts, 95, 

Durst Gormoth, king of the Picts, 107' 

Durst, son of Gyrom, king of the Picts, 

Durst, son of Adrost, king of the Picts, 

Durst, son of Moneth, king of the Picts, 

Durst, son of Wide, king of the Picts, 

258, 264. 

Durst, king of the Picts, 319, 320. 
Durst, king of the Picts, 330. 
Duthac, S., 161. 

EADBERT, bishop of Lindisfarne, 283, 

Eadbert, king of Northumbria, 323,324, 

326, 327, 328. 

Eadfrid, bishop of Lindisfarne, 317. 
Eata, bishop of Lindisfarne, 230, 231, 

240, 241, 242, 244,254,256,261, 

265, 267, 270, 279, 281, 286. 
Ebba, abbess of Coldingham, 246, 262, 

263, 270, 272, 279. 

Egbert, 274, 275, 289, 291, 292, 293, 

294, 314,315, 319. 
Egfrid, king of Northumbria, 261, 262, 

264, 265, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 
279, 280, 281, 286, 290, 299. 

Eocha I., king of the Scots, 203, 204. 
Eocha II., king of the Scots, 296, 301. 
Eocha III., king of the Scots, 332. 
Eogan I., king of the Scots, 302, 314, 



Eogan II., king of the Scots, 323, 324, 

Ethelbert, bishop of Candida Casa, 329, 

Ethelwald, bishop of Lindisfarne, 297, 

298, 317, 320, 326. 
Ethelwald, king of Northumbria, 328. 
Ethernan, S., 161. 
Ethernase, S., 161. 

Ethfin, king of the Scots, 325, 326, 329. 
Ethica, 261. 

FAILBE, abbot of lona, 261, 268, 287. 
Ferchard I., king of the Scots, 222, 223, 

224, 225 . 
Ferchard II., king of the Scots, 261, 

286, 294, 295, 296. 
Fergus, son of Erch, king of the Scots, 

112, 113, 117. 

Fergus II., king of the Scots, 329. 
Fergus S., 161. 
Finan, S., bishop of Lindisfarne, 227, 

2.31, 232, 233, 234, 239, 244, 246, 

247, 248, 263, 269. 
Finbar, S., 161. 
Findchan, 179, 180, 181, 182. 
Foelehno, abbot of lona, 315. 
Fordun, 65, 66. 
Frithwald, bishop of Candida Casa, 322, 


GALAM, king of the Picts, 132. 
Galanan, king of the Picts, 118, 128. 
Galgacus, 7. 
Garnard, son of Wide, king of the Picts, 

222, 225, 258. 
Gartnach, son of Gyrom, king of the 

Picts, 128. 
Gartnach, son of Domnath, king of the 

Picts, 207, 208,211. 
Gauran, king of the Scots, 128, 132. 
Gildas, S., 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 

124, 198, 199,200. 

Glascian, S., 161. 
Glasgow, 126, 132, 134, 135. 


Iligbald, bishop of Lindisfarne, 330. 

Hilda, abbess of Whitby, 237, 238, 248, 

268, 269. 
Ilimba, 189, 200. 
Hungus, son of Ungust, king of the 

Picts, 320, 326, 327, 328. 
Hungus, king of the Picts, 332. 
Hy see lona. 

IONA, 152, 153, 154, 158, 
165, 172, 173, 174, 
178, 180, 181, 182, 
186, 187, 188, 189, 
205, 207, 210, 211, 
216, 217, 222, 224, 
232, 234, 235, 236, 
253, 253, 261, 276, 
288, 289, 291, 292, 
300, 301, 302, 312, 
324, 330, 332. 

162, 163, 16-1, 
175, 176, 177, 
183, 184, 185, 
190, 191, 192, 
212,214, 215, 
227, 230, 231, 
237, 238, 240, 
278, 286, 287, 
293, 294, 299, 
313, 314^319, 

KENTIGERN, S , 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 
132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 138, 139, 

Killdune, 189. 

Killen, abbot of lona, 315. 

Kilpatrick, 34, 36. 

Kineoch, king of the Picts, 222. 

Kinoth, king of the Picts, 328, 329. 

LlBHANUS, 205. 

Lindisfarne, 227, 230, 232, 234, 235, 
236, 239, 241, 253, 254, 258, 275, 
279, 280, 282, 584. 285, 323, 330. 

Lolan, S., 161. 

Lollius Urbicus, 8, 9. 

MACHAN, S., 161. 
Machar, S., 189, 194. 



Malduin, king of the Scots, 237, 261. 

Manir, S., 161. 

Maolrubius, S., 319. 

Marken, king of Cumbria, 126, 132. 

Marnan, S., 161. 

Marnoch, S. 161. 

Melrose, 229, 230, 231, 240, 241,255. 

Modoeh, S., 161. 
Moloch, S., 161. 

Murdach, king of the Scots, 316, 323. 
Murdach, S., 161. 

NATHALAM, S , 161. 

Nectan I., king of the Picts, 96, 97, 107, 


Nectan II., king of the Picts, 211. 
Nectan III., king of the Picts, 308, 309, 

311, 313, 314, 319. 
Ninian, S,, 32, 33, 34, 39, 42, 43, 44, 

45, 114. 

ORAN, S., 192. 

Osred, king of Northumbria, 303, 318. 

Osulf, king of Northumbria, 328. 

Oswald, king of Northumbria, 224, 225. 

Oswin, king of Deira, 225, 226. 

Oswy, king of Northumbria, 225, 227, 

232, 233, 237, 239, 248, 249, 254, 

256,257, 258, 260, 2G1. 

PALLADIUS, S., 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 
57, 58, 59, GO, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66. 

Patrick, S., 88, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103. 

Pecthelm, bishop of Candida Casa, 304, 
306, 316, 320, 323. 

Pectwin, bishop of Candida Casa, 329. 

REDEEEC, king of Cumbria, 132, 133. 
Ronan, S., 161. 
Ronan, 247. 

ST. ANDREWS, 332, 333. 
Segenius, abbot of lona, 222, 232. 
Selvach, king of the Scots, 329, 332. 
Servanus, S., 65, 123, 125, 161. 
Severus, 16, 17, 18. 
Suibne, abbot of lona, 240. 

TALAEG, king of the Picts, 96. 

Talarg, son of M uircholach, king of the 

Picts, 128, 132. 
Talarican, S., 161. 
Talorcan, son of Enfret, king of the 

Picts, 240. 

Talorgan, king of the Picts, 380. 
Taran, king of the Picts, 299. 
Tenew, S., 125. 
Ternan, S., 157. 

Thalarg, king of the Picts, 225, 240. 
Theodosius, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. 
Trumwine, bishop of Abercorn, 270, 

275, 277, 280. 

Tuda, bishop of Lindisfarne, 253, 254. 
Tunberr, bishop of Hexham, 270, 275, 

Tyningham, 230, 238, 281, 328. 


VEHCA, abbess of Tyningham, 281, 282. 
Virius Lupus, 13. 

WIIITHEHN, see Candida Casa. 

Wilfrid, bishop of York, 241, 242, 244, 
248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 256, 257, 
258, 259, 260, 261, 264, 265, 266, 
267, 268, 209, 270, 284, 290, 296, 
303, 304. 

Wollock, S, 161. 

YCOLMKILX, see lonaj 
Yrchard, S., 161. 


DA Innes, Thomas 

777 The civil and 

16 ecclesiastical history 

1853 of Scotland